Who Is Ireland’s Barbara Hewson? Age of Consent to 13, Murder, and Bono. 1498 Til Now
Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary...
Oh Barbara Hewson. Where does one begin with thee? Many people see you as an enigma, probably paid by old men to do their dirty work of lobbying for the reduction of the age of consent. But I’m not sure that you are so easy to define. A little birdy asked me to investigate Barbara Hewson in the way that I investigated Laura Kuenssberg, John Kersey, and Theresa May’s Father, Hubert Brasier. I love to delve deep into the family history of these complicated characters. I love to study the predatory tentacles of the establishment Kraken that haunts the deep dark ocean of our modern British civilisation. I am basically studying the deoxyribonucleic acid as it progresses through time and space, reproducing to continue its journey. How the genetics react at different eras of social uprising, revolution, cultural evolution, and through personal trauma. DNA can tell us a lot about what makes a human tick, and by studying our own DNA’s history, maybe we can discover why we believe what we do?
Barbara Hewson is no different to you or I. She is experiencing this same journey as us, so why does she choose this path? What made Barbara Hewson become an advocate for the reduction in age of consent to 13 years old?
Hewson Family Value
Let us go back to the 15th century England and it is the 13th year of the reign of King Henry VII, 1498, and Johannes (John) Hewson (or/and Hewetson) was born in Settrington, Yorkshire. In 1547 John, aged about 50 years old, gains the title of Freeman of York, and officially becomes a member of the Merchant Adventurers Company. The merchant's guild was renamed the Merchant Adventurers Company in 1581 and imported iron, hemp, and other items from northern Germany and the Baltic states. The status of Freeman was presented to those who had become an expert in their specific trade. In 1560, John was a glover and his eldest son, Thomas, was his apprentice. John had married well. His wife was Maureen Lambert, daughter of John Lambert of Calton and Skipton in Yorkshire, whose bloodline was of William the Conqueror and the Earl of Mons and Louvain.
John Hewson died around 1567 and only two years later Thomas Hewson, the new head of the Hewson family, would himself be made a Freeman of the City of York. In November of that year, 1569, the Rebellion of the Northern Earls began, led by Charles Neville, 6th Earl of Westmorland, and Thomas Percy, 7th Earl of Northumberland. It was now the 13th year of the reign of Queen Elizabeth and the catholic nobility in the north of England planned to seat the imprisoned Mary Queen of Scots on the English throne after deposing the protestant Queen Elizabeth I. The rebels had originally planned to besiege York, but instead took Barnard Castle in Durham. The rebellion found little support amongst the population and soon they found their forces seriously outnumbered. The Earls fled to Scotland. York had been spared a violent conflict but 600 of Mary’s northern allies were beheaded. The north of England had become a dangerous place to live and fear of the black death was ever present.
Thomas Hewson made the monumental decision in the 1570s to begin migrating his family to Ireland. As a protestant supporter of Elizabeth I, he had been offered land and title in Kildare, and his younger brother was given the title Christopher Hewson, Vicar of Swords, Co. Dublin, and also came into possession of large estates in the county of Kilkenny. They were part of the first plantations in early modern Irish history. The first attempts to create an officially state sanctioned English style civilisation in Ireland by colonising large areas land, then introducing a hierarchy, and the rule of law to the supposedly savage catholic population of Ireland. The Hewson name had been interchangeable with the name Hewetson until the family's move to Ireland. The ‘et’ was an Anglicization and the Hewson family would fit in better in the Emerald Isles by not being linked with the foreign English oppressors. The term “Rich Foreigners” would be how many Irish people would describe the Hewson's for centuries to come.
The eldest son of Christopher Hewson, Vicar of Swords, known as Thomas Hewson of The Basken Swords, Co. Dublin would be the first to acquire land near Askeaton in Limerick and the future seat of the Irish Hewson’s, Castle Hewson, in nearby Ballyengland. The same Thomas Hewson of The Basken Swords was one of the 49 Irish Protestant Officers who remained loyal to King Charles I during the English Civil War. Thomas fought as part of the Irish Catholic Confederate troops over a decade after his brother and mother's bodies were dug up by catholic popish rebels, and displayed on the lawn of the local church (from an affidavit 5 Feb. 1642). Thomas Hewson was killed by English parliamentarian forces in 1651 in the siege of Limerick during the Cromwellian war in Ireland. In 1666, after the restoration of the Monarchy, a decree (Roll ii., Skin 69) on “The 49 Officers who remained loyal to Charles I” ruled that Thomas Hewson’s widow should receive the wages that he was owed at the time of his death, a princely sum at the time of £332 and 2 Shillings. On the other side of that war was a distant relative of Col. Thomas Hewson, the infamous hardline radical preacher, Col. John Hewson of London, a self proclaimed “Child of Wrath” and butcher of Drogheda, who was appointed as governor of Dublin after losing his eye in the battle of Kilkenny in 1650.
Cromwell's massacre was not the only brutal killer at large in mid 17th century Ireland. The plague also took hold, with pestilence and starvation, exacerbated by war, ravaging the Isles. But the Hewson family would continue to expand over the following century.
We are the Law!
By the beginning of the 18th century, a new generation of Hewson’s, who had been born and bred as Irish nobles, took the family towards new horizons. The first junior branch of the Castle Hewson family purchased land in Ennismore, near Listowel. John Hewson, born 1708, would soon begin leasing the majestic Ennismore Manor House property (including 1170 acres of land) from the Earl of Listowel's estate, and become John Hewson of Ennismore, Co. Kerry. At that time, back at Castle Hewson, Robert Hewson was on the glovers throne. He had married Lillian Lees the daughter of Col. James Lees, and had 5 sons and 2 daughters. Col. James Lee would eventually become the Black Rod in the Irish Parliament.
John Hewson of Ennismore’s sons built out new branches to the Hewson Irish dynasty. George Hewson, John’s 4th eldest son, became seated at Enniscoush and Rathkeale, south west of Limerick. His youngest son, Henry Hewson, became the Vicar of Kilflynn near Tralee, Co. Kerry.
One of John’s daughters, Mary Hewson, married Robert Hilliard, of Listrim, who was the head of another titled family with large estates. Soon a cousin, James Hewson, would seat his family in Hollywood House (also called Hollywood) in Ballinvira, near Adare. When Robert Hewson, of Castle Hewson, died his eldest son, born 1759, became titled John Hewson, of Castle Hewson. On the 1st January 1772 he would marry Mary Lysaght, who was the Daughter of William Lysaght of Castle Harrison, which was close to Ballyhea and Charleville in the north of County Cork. William Lysaght was also the younger brother of John Lysaght, 1st Lord Lisle, M.P. for Charleville 1727. William and Mary would go on to have 7 sons and 8 daughters. The Hewsons were a growing family at the forefront of Irish aristocratic life, but there was a major problem. There weren’t many Irish aristocratic families to marry into. John Hewson of Castle Hewson’s daughter, Mary Hewson, would go on to marry her cousin, James Hewson of Hollywood. This would be the fate of other Hewson’s to come.
One of the junior branches of the Castle Hewson family, John Hewson, resumed the original and longer patronymic, Hewetson, and was appointed a Justice of the Peace for the county of Kilkenny on 2nd November, 1764, as the Reverend John Hewetson. His son, Robert Hewson, was ordained at Waterford in the Cathedral Church, would also revert to using Hewetson. He would later be ordained Priest on 8th October, 1797, in the Parish Church of St. Patrick in the city of Waterford, and also appointed Justice of the Peace for the County of Waterford by the then Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Earl Camden. The main reason these men were changing their names to sound more English would have been to protect the Hewson family from retribution, as they were acting magistrates during the Irish rebellions. The Hewson family began implementing a formula for success in Ireland. Send the boys to Trinity College, Dublin, as soon as they seemed old enough and then have them trained to become lawyers and/or clergymen. Between 1729 and 1829, over 25 young men from the line of the original John Hewson of York, would gain degrees at the Trinity College, Dublin, the vast majority would study law or theology. The Hewson girls were married off to the other anglo-irish protestants aristocrat families, or at worse married inside the Hewson family.
From Murder to Modern Times
In 1826, William Hewson, a lawyer, and Anne Hewson (nė Brownrigg), had a boy that they named John Brownrigg Hewson. Anne Hewson’s father was John Brownrigg of Edenderry, described in Susanna Barrows book, Drinking: Behavior and Belief in Modern History, as a wealthy Landowner who gave patronage to the Carbury and Edenderry Temperance Society, in fact representatives of John Brownrigg owned over 300 acres in King's County (Offaly). Barrows goes on to mention that he was a senior magistrate for the region of Kings County, which is now called East Offaly, and is located in the Irish midlands. John Brownrigg Hewson would have 3 sons. His eldest William Everard Gardiner Hewson, born 1874, John Gilbert Brownrigg Hewson, born 1875, and the youngest boy was Maurice Francis Hewson. Maurice would catch pneumonia at Repton boarding school, and die when he was only 17 years old. William Everard Gardiner Hewson (called Everard by most) did not take the death of his baby brother very well. It was to haunt him for decades to come. On 5th May 1909 he was made a magistrate of Limerick and 2 months later his father, John Brownrigg Hewson, passed away. Five years later Everard Hewson would murder a woman for no apparent reason. It happened two weeks after the assassination of Franz Ferdinand but before the declaration of world war. A widow named Elizabeth Costello, formerly Lynch, was working as a maid in Castle Hewson. On the Monday morning in question she came to work and began to get ready. Standing in a kitchen pantry she was shot in the back by Everard Hewson, of Castle Hewson, who used a revolver. The bullet passed directly through Elizabeth’s heart.
Every branch of the Hewson family tree was shook by the news of the murder. Ireland’s oldest solicitor, Mr. Arthur J Blood-Smith represented Everard. Mr. Blood-Smith was a descendant of the Irish adventurer, Thomas Blood, who was once caught trying to steal the Crown Jewels. Thomas Blood had his estates in Ireland taken from him during the English Civil War and was furious. Blood and an accomplice were caught in the process of the theft, and brought before King Charles II, who was so impressed with his audacity that he restored Blood’s land and titles. There would only be one way that Mr Blood-Smith could see his client walk away from the winter assizes relatively free. On 1st December 1915, William Everard Gardiner Hewson was found “Insane and Incapable of Pleading,” he was detained at Dundrum Lunatic Asylum for the Clinically Insane, at "his majesty’s pleasure." Five years later he would be released in secret to a dowager house near Rathkeale.
The Castle Hewson title was handed over to John Brownrigg Hewson’s second born son, John Gilbert Brownrigg Hewson, known as Gilbert Hewson. In 1915 Gilbert was a 40 year old lawyer and would marry his cousin, Kathleen Violet Hewson, daughter of George Hewson of Ennismore. Gilbert became a politician and was a elected to Dáil Éireann (Irish Parliament) as an independent Teachta Dála (Member of Parliament) for the Limerick constituency at the June 1927 general election. He would have a son, Maurice Hewson, who would become district commissioner and member of the British colonial administration of the Australian Gold Coast. Maurice Hewson would have a son named George Everard Hewson, the father of Barbara Hewson.
The Direct Line
Maurice Gilbert Hewson was born in 1913. Only a year before the outbreak of the Great War, and two years before his uncle was sent to a lunatic asylum for the criminally insane for murder. Gilbert would still get to know his kindly uncle, as Everard would be free from the asylum by the early 1920’s. Maurice’s father was elected to the council as representative for Limerick as an independent candidate. Minority rule in the Irish parliament at the time meant that Gilbert Hewson often held the balance of power in and around 1927. By this time his son, Maurice Gilbert Hewson, was studying at the same Reptford Boarding School where his namesake uncle died of pneumonia only decades before. He also studied at Trinity College, Co. Dublin, until signing on to be part of the British Colonial Commission.
Maurice had become another Hewson who would leave the comfort of his family home and move to a foreign country to support the British colonial system. Firstly, he was sent to the British Colonial West Africa and an assignment to Nigeria, where Maurice was trained as a District Commissioner for his future post. Maurice was popular and very sporting. He was an outstanding cross country runner, a championship tennis player, and a renowned amateur boxer. In a BBC historical article called "The Diary of a Colonial Administrator," George David Lintott, who was en route from Liverpool to the Gold Coast in 1944, notes a meeting with Maurice Hewson (although he misspells his name Morris). Lintott reports:
“This morning I had a long chat with Morris Hewson who is DC of Kumasi. I was introduced to him by Mr I G Jones, the Gold Coast Labour Officer. Hewson is quite young and we had a general chat about my intended career. He does not think I shall have any regrets about my choice of career. He stressed how overworked the Political Department was at the moment and that there is always plenty to do and to interest you. He agreed that the climate has its disadvantages and that it usually gets you in the end. He also agreed with me that the job is not now well enough paid in view of the vast increase in the cost of living. One’s income is not enough to marry on until after about ten year’s service. While on the subject of weddings, Hewson was Best Man at Devoux’s wedding, who I met in London after getting my appointment. Devoux is DC of Accra.” - George David Lintott, 1944.
Maurice Hewson was one of the District Commissioners who was charged with planning the Gold Coast Volta River Dam project. Britain offered £141.000.000.00 towards the project in the 1950s but the project collapsed when the Gold Coast became independent and renamed itself Ghana. The Americans would complete the Volta Dam project and the affair seemed to ring the death of British colonial system. In 1957 Maurice would return to Ireland to train in law and take up his seat at Castle Hewson. He was a patron of the Irish Palatine Society.
Barbara Hewson’s father was born George Everard C. Hewson, he would prefer to be called just Everard. He would make his life in Ballina, Co. Galway, Ireland, and study to become a renowned eye surgeon. George Everard Hewson would author, and be included, in many scientific papers and journals. He would marry Barbara Hewson’s mother Kathleen Joan Denby, who also prefered to be called by her middle name. Joan’s brother, Sir Richard Kenneth Denby, would be President of the Law Society of England & Wales in 1978. Sir Richard Denby had received a Knighthood, recorded in The London Gazette on 25th July, 1978. For a man with a Knighthood, Sir Denby has a tiny digital footprint. He was noted as being Chairman and a Director of Pennine Radio 235 in 1983’s IBA Guide to Independent Broadcasting. Pennine 235 was a small Bradford based local radio station championed by the Member of Parliament for Great Grimsby, Austin Mitchell. Sir Richard Denby would also be named in the Tuesday 16th November, 1982 edition of the London Gazette as Deputy Lord Lieutenant of West Yorkshire under Sir William Bulmer. I’ll return to talk about Peter Jonathan Denby, son of Sir Richard Denby, and cousin to Barbara Hewson soon.
Barbara Hewson, The Career
Barbara Hewson was born in 1961 into a previously influential Irish aristocratic family. But her family's triumphs were always linked to the success of the English royal family, and the authority of the crown, and the British empire were waning. Her family had always been protestant stronghold in catholic Ireland, so was G. Everard Hewson shocked when a young Barbara Hewson asked to go to a catholic boarding school. It had become a family tradition to go to boarding schools in England, and Barbara would take a place in St. Leonards-Mayfield School, Mayfield, East Sussex, between the years 1972-79. Mayfield is the home of a legend where the Archbishop of Canterbury, St Dunstan, who founded the church in about 960, opened an ironmongers next door, and was confronted by the devil disguised as an old woman. Dunstan supposedly pinched the devil by the nose with hot tongs. The devil ran off to Tunbridge Wells to douse his nose in the cool spring water. This story is celebrated folklore in Mayfield. A cartoon devil even adorns the signpost of the little Sussex village, being pursued by a tong carrying Dunstan.
In the Sussex area, whilst Barbara Hewson was at boarding school in the county, cases of child sexual abuse were being reported, and covered up frequently. Not far away the Johnson children (Boris, Joe, and Rachael) were being sent away to boarding school by their mother, who was suffering from extreme depression. When they arrived, Ashdown House Boarding School in Forest Row, East Sussex, was rife with sexual abuse. In 2017, Martin Haigh, a former teacher at that period was convicted of abusing 4 boys, aged between 7 and 12 years old, from 1972-1975. Martin Haigh admitted to his crimes. Alex Renton describes some of the abuses that were prevalent in Ashdown House in his engrossing book Stiff Upper Lip: secrets, crimes, and the schooling of a ruling class. In West Sussex at this time, at Ifield Hall children's home in Crawley, Canon Gordon Rideout was abusing children, he was convicted of the historic abuse of 16 children in 2013, and sentenced to 10 years in prison. Roy Cotton, Robert Coles, Vickory House, Peter Ball, Michael Mytton, Keith Denford, all now convicted were just some of the sexual predators committing crimes in the surrounding areas of Mayfield.
Barbara Hewson would go on to study English at Trinity Hall College, Cambridge University in 1979 to 1983, and receive a B.A. (Hons). She would upgrade her degree to a M.A. via the then Polytechnic of Central London, now the University of Westminster, where she obtained her conversion diploma in Law. In 1985 she was called to the Bar of England and Wales. In 1987 Hewson began her career in the Chancery bar, doing cases about wills, land and trusts, and she then joined a chambers specialising in EC and public law. Barbara was a talented young legal professional, now based in London, working towards a career that was full of opportunities. In 1991 Hewson helped to form the Association of Women Barristers and was elected to the Bar Council of England and Wales. She was also called to the Bar of Ireland in this year. But it is when she was appointed as Press Officer for the Association of Women Barristers that Barbara tentatively began to express her opinions. In 1992 Hewson was one of the 13 committee members chosen by JUSTICE to contribute to their report named The Protection of the Small Investor. Hewson was also a member of the Council of JUSTICE, the law reform charity, from 1996-2006. In 1996 she would contribute to her second JUSTICE report on Interventions in Public Interest Cases.
This is where Barbara Hewson found her general area of legal expertise in Court of Protection work, human rights, medical law, judicial review, and regulatory defence cases. Hewson would campaign against court-ordered treatment of pregnant women, claiming that family courts were depriving women of fundamental rights to personal autonomy and to a fair trial. In Ireland, she appeared in a number of cases in the Four Courts in Dublin, concerning the home birth midwife Ann Kelly between 1997-2000. On 6th September, 1997, The UK Independent Newspaper reported that Ann Kelly, who worked safely for 25 years as a midwife, was ordered to stop working by the Irish Nursing Practice Standards Committee when hospital doctors complained she had failed to get a mother to hospital early enough during the delivery. Ann Kelly worked for 12 years as a midwife in Dublin, and safely delivered 350 babies at home before being ordered to stop. The case threatened to stop legal home births in the republic of Ireland.
Hewson was the first barrister to receive The Lawyer's "Barrister of the Year" Award, for her work on the landmark case of St George's NHS Trust v S in 1999, upholding the right of competent pregnant women to refuse medical intervention, which resulted in Guidelines being laid down by the Court of Appeal for future cases. In 2000 Barbara was called to the Bar in Northern Ireland. In 2002 Hewson was critical of the Court of Appeal's ruling in the case of Jodi and Mary, the Maltese conjoined twins, and acted for pro-life campaigner Bruno Quintavalle in an unsuccessful bid to stop the twins' separation. Mary died during the eventual operation to separate the twins, performed by surgeon Adrian Bianchi; Jodi has grown up to be a healthy young lady. If they hadn’t been separated then they were predicted to survive for only around 6 months. Over the early years of the new millennium Barbara had acted as counsel in cases in the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, notably P, C & S v. United Kingdom (2002); Glass v. United Kingdom (2004) and D v. Ireland (2006).
Barbara Hewson did not only see herself as a leading barrister, but also as a talented writer. She has written for such publications as Public Law, The Barrister, Criminal Bar Quarterly, The Justice Gap, New Law Journal, Solicitors Journal, Counsel, The Lawyer, Legal Week, Times Law Page, Medical Law Review, Feminist Legal Studies, British Medical Journal, Journal of Medical Ethics, Abortion Review, the AIMS Journal, and more infamously for Spiked Online. In 2003 she would make a significant u-turn where she began arguing for the abolition of anonymity for complainants in cases of sexual assault. Hewson had previously supported anonymity for complainants in sex cases. The same year, she voiced reservations about Labour's Sexual Offences Bill. In one of her early pieces for Spiked Online, "Fetishising Images" published on 23rd January 2003, Hewson writes, “Common sense would suggest that committing rape is much more serious than looking at a picture. But it seems that the law is beginning to equate criminal responsibility for the two. The logical consequence of this situation is ‘thought crime,’ where a person is penalised for what he may have been thinking when viewing an image, regardless of whether he has caused actual harm to a child.”
Barbara Hewson had began to question laws that were enacted to protect children. And in the article Hewson suggests that there is no real harm caused in viewing most images of child pornography. One response to the article said, “Barbara Hewson has made the case for root-and-branch reform. She has betrayed the whole rationale for criminalising and pathologizing thousands of people for looking at pictures, at huge cost to the taxpayer, as fundamentally flawed. I suppose we will all be long dead by the time historians give her due credit for leading the charge of civil society against paedophile McCarthyism.” With a leading barrister sticking her head out from behind the parapet, paedophiles began to rejoice, for they had a champion. Although for Hewson this article was just her testing the water. She still continued to write academic legal papers that were less controversial like "The Law on Abortion in Northern Ireland" (2004) and "Dancing on the Head of A Pin: Foetal life and the European Convention" (2005). In 2007 she was made a trustee of the British Pregnancy Advisory Service. Hewson argued that abortion should be removed from the criminal law and she was a panellist at the inaugural "Human Rights in Childbirth" Summit held at The Hague, the Netherlands, in 2012.
She’s Only Gone and Said It!
In 2013, everything would begin to change for Barbara Hewson. She would return to the subject that she began to discuss a decade before. On the 8th May, 2013, writing for Spiked Online, Barbara Hewson began to attack the post Jimmy Savile police investigation entitled Operation Yewtree. Her article, "Yewtree is Destroying the Rule of Law," Hewson declares, “do not support the persecution of old men. The manipulation of the rule of law by the Savile Inquisition — otherwise known as Operation Yewtree — and its attendant zealots poses a far graver threat to society than anything Jimmy Savile ever did.” It was an article that really held no punches and caused shock in every child protection agency in the UK. In the article, Hewson uses the horrors of gang rape to belittle the experiences of victims who had suffered child sexual abuse by those in positions of power. Hewson states that “touching a 17-year-old’s breast, kissing a 13-year-old, or putting one’s hand up a 16-year-old’s skirt, are not remotely comparable to the horrors of the Ealing Vicarage assaults and gang rape, or the Fordingbridge gang rape and murders, both dating from 1986. Anyone suggesting otherwise has lost touch with reality.” But surely anyone who would conflate the experiences would also be suffering from lunacy.
It was evident that Barbara Hewson was setting up the most confounding argument for a leading human rights barrister. On the 8th July, 2013, Barbara Hewson confirmed her position in the infamous Channel 4 News interview with Krishnan Guru-Murthy. Someone of such a high stature ridiculing and laughing at the claims of victims of abuse was truly disturbing. Barbara Hewson was under the spotlight, and where most would crumble under the pressure, she seemed invincible to shame. She also had her defenders. On 12 May 2013, the Irish Independent's columnist Eilis O'Hanlon commented, "The vehemence of the reaction against Barbara Hewson demonstrates that she was certainly right to compare the public mood around this issue to a witch-hunt, since it is in the nature of witch-hunts to not only shout down opposition, but also to attack what you think someone said, or what you wish they'd said, rather than what they did say." Whilst Brendan O'Neill, editor of Spiked Online, in Hewson's defence on BBC's Radio 5, saying, "I published it because it's a fantastic article." And the sociologist Frank Furedi stated that Barbara Hewson had been "morally lynched" for expressing political opinions, and accused the NSPCC of "moral blackmail."
Although she found much support for her right to say what she said, the true pressure of openly supporting the human rights of peadophiles would eventually see Hewson’s behaviour become more extreme, and often erratic. But there would also be plenty of doors opened by Hewson’s odd defence of historic abusers. On 17th October 2013, Hewson participated in a panel debate in the Battle of Ideas Festival at the Barbican, entitled "The Law and our Private Lives: An Abusive Relationship?" On 25th October 2013, Hewson was one of 100 women invited by the BBC for a day of debate and discussion about women's role in society. And on 30th October 2013, she debated the proposition "Is Rape Different?" at the LSE. Barbara Hewson had managed to find many platforms where she would be allowed speak her mind. On 30 January 2014, Hewson appeared on BBC 2's Daily Politics programme to debate the need for a new Victims' Law with Sir Keir Starmer QC. Hewson was invited back on Channel 4 News to discuss the outcomes of the Dave Lee Travis trial, and of the Max Clifford trial. She would become almost a regular on BBC radio legal debates.
Things That You Should Know
Hewson would become very active on Twitter. She became obsessed with her online image. On the 7th June, 2015 she would set up a Wikipedia account, WikiUser: WmConq (possibly noting her relation to William the Conqueror), in an attempt to control her history. Over the next few years, until 1st May, 2017, Hewson would make over 100 edits to her Wikipedia page only for others to revert the edit soon after. Hewson’s Wiki page history is the example of a Wiki information war. On Twitter, Hewson’s behaviour became out of control. In April 2016 Hewson was allegedly issued with a harassment warning by police in relation to her conduct towards Mehul Desai, a law student. Reports in the Daily Mail allege that Hewson became involved in a feud with another barrister, Sarah Phillimore, and that "Miss Hewson contacted him (Desai) in an attempt to dig up 'dirt' on Miss Phillimore. When he refused to help her, he claims he was subject to an onslaught of online and other abuse." Desai claimed that he had "received death threats and abuse over the phone" from Hewson, that she sent him a picture of his daughter's head, and that he was left "feeling frightened, alarmed, distressed and anxious." Phillimore separately complained to the Bar Standards Board in January 2017 about Hewson's conduct towards her.
In 1998 Barbara Hewson’s paternal grandparents were burnt to death at their home in Limerick. A fire somehow broke out at their remote country house. Pamela Hewson got through to the fire brigade, but after giving the address, the line went dead. When the fire brigade arrived they were hampered by the excessive security and the house was completely engulfed. Various news outlets would report the incident as “relative of U2’s Bono killed in house fire.” The Irish Independent would later state that Maurice Gilbert Hewson left £1,300,000 in his will.
Barbara Hewson’s cousin is Peter Jonathan Denby, and he has a history. Peter Jonathan Denby went to the University of York and he would strike up a life long friendship with a man named Keith. Keith Harvey Proctor would go on to become the disgraced Member of Parliament for Billericay, when he was found having sexual relations with a 16 year old boy. He would also be at the centre of the Operation Midland investigation to child sexual abuse allegations. Denby had a long history of getting into trouble. In the 1980s he acted as the getaway driver for two Irishmen who robbed policemen at gunpoint. After being identified as the driver of the vehicle, Denby went on the run, and was pursued in a nationwide manhunt. During his months as a fugitive he would phone Harvey Proctor to seek help. Nowadays, he prefers to be called Jonathan Denby and is a hotelier in the Lake District. Jonathan Denby seems to live the quiet life, but in the 80s he was a fugitive and £500,000 in debt, and now, he has a monopoly on the Lake District hotel scene. In 2012, Denby’s wife and children were almost killed in a mysterious fire that started in the bathroom. She told the Westmorland Gazette that she did not smell any smoke as she settled down to watch television in her living room for a ‘quiet’ Friday night with her two daughters, Sara, 14 and Georgina, 18. Their dog raised the alarm, allowing them to escape. Jonathan Denby was away at the time.
My investigation has led me to the conclusion that Barbara Hewson is what is becoming known as a “Contraryist.” She has a love of arguing, and she uses wild standpoints to aid her in finding people to argue against. Her family has a history of doing the opposite of most. Thomas Hewson of York, in the 16th century, moving his protestant family to catholic dominated Ireland. The other Thomas, Col. Thomas Hewson, a protestant fighting for the Catholic Confederate troops. William Everard Hewson the Magistrate who shoots an innocent woman for no reason, so many Hewson’s choose a life of the contrary. The family seems to thrive on being opposed by the majority, and Barbara Hewson is no different.
Barbara would oppose her family religion so she could battle catholics on the issues of abortion and the women's right to choose. And as a result she did some very good things. But in the new millennium Barbara was looking for the ultimate fight, and eventually Operation Yewtree gave her a new podium. I believe that the madness of her position is relative to her public online breakdowns on Twitter. Barbara Hewson’s appetite for argument and been unleashed, and slowly she has lost her focus. Her behaviour has become almost pathetic, but she could still make a change. Barbara Hewson is a very intelligent human who has become very lost.
I understand that most believe she is a tool for shady establishment figures, so they can lobby for a change in the age of consent. But I believe that Barbara has a thirst for battle that cannot be quenched. She has met her match with this argument, as there are no good arguments for risking a change in the age of consent, and historic sexual abuse is much a part of our future, as it is a part of our past. I hope that it's not too late for Barbara Hewson to make a change. However there is always a possibility that she is just another member of the establishment. Related to people with titles and power and protecting them at all cost.
And yes, she's a distant relative of Bono.