The following is a biographical profile on Benefactor Henry Edward Victor Bliss (1869-1926)
- Baron Bliss was born in England and lived at Quarry Court, Marlow, Buckingham. He married Ethel Alice, Baroness Bliss.
- Baron Bliss inherited the title 4th Baron of the Kingdom of Portugal from an ancestor when Britain and Portugal were allies during the
- Peninsular War ofl809-1814 and the British sent troops to fight French incursions by Napoleon.
- He was an engineer by profession, but the source of the Baron’s wealth is unknown. Upon his death, he was worth one million pounds and may have acquired it by engineering, business, inheritance or all three.
- In 1911 at the age of 42, Baron Bliss was struck with paralysis from the waist down forcing him to use a wheelchair.
- After World War 2 that he procured the famous “SEA KING” 2, a shallow draught design great for cruising the Caribbean. He cruised the Bahamas for five years, visited Trinidad and finally ended up in British Honduras, visiting his friend, the then Attorney General of the colony who suggested that the fishing was great. Baron Bliss left Trinidad in poor health and stopped In Jamaica.
- The Baron arrived in British Honduras on January Nth, 1926, living aboard the SEA KING 2 2.With the SEA KING 2 anchored off Fort George Point in Belize City harbour.
- The Baron spent almost a month enjoying Belizean waters, breezes and fishing.
- Governor, Sir John Burdon, visited and made the Baron feel welcomed. Mornings would find the Baron being lowered in his chair to a small boat where local fisher¬men took him fishing by the reef and cayes. That small boat was also named the Sea King.
- By February 10th, the Baron’s health had deteriorated considerably and he was advised to make preparations for his demise. Baron Bliss called on Governor Burdon and expressed his wish to leave the bulk of his estate for British Honduras. On February 17th, one day after his 57th birthday, the will was executed and signed aboard the “SEA KING 2”.
- The will named Governor Burdon, Colonial Secretary, Charles Jones and Attorney General, Willoughby Bullock and their respective successors as executors of his will that would comprise a “BARON BLISS TRUST”. The will was witnessed by Captain R. K. I. Masson and Towrye Price.
- The Baron Bliss Trust has been used for many projects in Belize including: The Bliss Institute, The San Ignacio Town Hall, The Benque Viejo Town Hall, The Corozal Town Hall and The Bliss School of Nursing. Money from the fund was also crucial in acquiring land for the construction of Belmopan.
- Baron Bliss died on the 9th of March, 1926.
- As was his wish he is now buried in a tomb beneath the Bliss Lighthouse.
Information & Photos Courtesy: The National Heritage Library, Belize Archives Records and Services, and ISCR/NICH
How to cite:
ISCR/NICH. “Henry Edward Victor Bliss (1869-1926)).” Belize’s Heroes, Patriots & Benefactors Exhibit. Retrieved from: [Insert BHA Website URL]
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