Jeremiah Leech Atherton was initiated into the Order of the Golden Dawn at its Horus Temple in Bradford. He was the Horus Temple’s fifth member, going through the initiation ceremony in May 1888. He chose the Latin motto ‘semper fidelis’. He was one of the Horus Temple’s most senior members, taking an active role in seeking out new recruits, and serving as its Imperator from 1888 to 1892, and as its Cancellarius from 1892; though he was never initiated into the inner Second Order of the GD.
A WORD OF WARNING BEFORE I START: this is my biography of a member of the Golden Dawn who lived in Bradford. I could have done a much better job of it if I lived in the area myself and could look at local archives.
Jeremiah Leech Atherton’s parents were both from Lancashire. Elizabeth Shuttleworth grew up in Prescot, between Liverpool and St Helens; and William Atherton was born in Middleton, a village south-west of Lancaster. They married, in Prescot, in January 1837 and only moved to Yorkshire in 1841 so that William Atherton could begin work as minister of the Congregationalist chapel at Bingley. The Rev Atherton had not had any recognised training for the ministry but despite this, he soon made an impact and a name for himself in the district, with his energy and his sermons. His dramatic preaching style began to attract large crowds - in 1845 the chapel was enlarged to accommodate them - and he also started to receive offers of work from other chapels. He accepted one of these, from the congregation at Idle Upper Chapel. Idle was just east of Bingley. It was another mill town, situated on the Liverpool/Leeds ship canal and the River Aire. Rev Atherton took up his new post in 1849. The offer by his new parishioners at Idle had included building a school, and rebuilding the chapel. Both these promises were carried out but William Atherton didn’t live long enough to do more than begin his work in them: he died suddenly on 16 July 1850, aged only 34.
Jeremiah Leech Atherton was William and Elizabeth’s eldest child. He was born in Ashton-under-Lyne, east of Manchester, in 1838. He had few siblings by Victorian standards: two brothers, Ebenezer and James; and one sister, Mary. What happened to Elizabeth Atherton and her children immediately after William Atherton died I don’t know. The normal procedure was for a widowed women with a young family and a small income to seek a home with her relatives; but I couldn’t find Elizabeth or any of her children on the 1851 census. By 1861 Elizabeth and her family had returned to live in the Bowling area of Bradford. On the 1851 census form, the box which should have detailed Elizabeth Atherton’s source of income was not filled in; but from later census forms it’s clear that she was living on an annuity, one paid for either by her family or by her husband’s congregation. By 1861 all Elizabeth’s children were working Ebenezer was studying medicine, James was working as an apprentice to an engineer, Mary as a milliner’s apprentice; and Jeremiah was employed as a yarn manager in a woollen mill.
In 1860, Jeremiah had married Ann Maria Dobson. I’m not quite sure I have found the correct Dobson family on the 1841 census. If I’ve got it right, Ann Maria’s father, Samuel Dobson, was a farm labourer, but the main bread-winners in the family were her older sisters, who were working in a woollen mill; Ann Maria was still at school. The family was living in Guiseley. If it is the right family, I would imagine Ann Maria would, in due course, have joined her sisters at the mill, and this might have been where she and Jeremiah had met; though meeting through attending the same church or chapel was a commonplace of the time as well; or they might have met at school.
Jeremiah and Ann Maria had at least eight, possibly eleven children, over the next decade, but - as was typical of their time - several of them died in their infancy. These children died: Thomas Cathcart Atherton (born 1861, the twin of William, there’s no death registration for him); Ann Maria (1866-67); and Mary (1868-69); and there may have been as many as three more. Those who survived were William Cathcart Atherton, born 1861, the twin of Thomas; Samuel born 1864; Frances Elizabeth born 1869; and Ursula born 1871. Around 1869, Jeremiah and Ann Maria moved out of Bradford to Keighley, on the edge of the moors (it’s just down the valley from Howarth where the Brontë family lived). After the deaths of three (at least) young children they may have gone in search of the better air that (not understanding exactly how germs were spread) the Victorians set such store by. Elizabeth Atherton was still living in the Bradford area at this time, but in Guisborough with her daughter Mary, who had married Robert McTaggert. Elizabeth Atherton died, in Bradford, in 1880.
I can’t find Jeremiah and Ann Maria on the 1871 census. By 1881, they had moved again, back to Idle. Jeremiah’s brother William Cathcart was still living at home; and Frances and Ursula were still at school. I can’t find Jeremiah’s son Samuel anywhere in the UK.
William Cathcart Atherton married Alice Jane Smith in 1884 and the following year Jeremiah and Ann Maria became grandparents when Ada was born, the first of nine children.
Ann Maria Atherton, died in the summer of 1887, aged 49. Two years later, Jeremiah got married again, to Alice Mitchell. I think Alice was the daughter of a Thomas Mitchell who was living in the Thornton area, to the south-west of Bradford, in 1881; if this is the right person, Alice was working as a worsted spinner at that time and probably up until her marriage. Jeremiah and Alice had one child, Anne Maria, born in 1890. On the day of the 1891 census Jeremiah, Alice and the infant Anne Maria were living at 21 Fairfield Road Manningham. Living with them were Samuel Atherton, who was working as a butcher; and Ursula, who was a seamstress. It’s interesting, and I’m not sure how to interpret it, that neither of the older children was working in the woollens industry which dominated their home town.
A quick resume of what happened to Jeremiah’s older daughters: Frances married Herbert Walton Taylor in 1889. And Ursula made what the Victorians would have considered a very good match in 1896, when she married Barnard Hartley, who was clerk to the Bingley School Board.
Now I want to look at Jeremiah Leech Atherton’s working life, because he’s one of the few GD members even in Bradford who worked in one of Britain’s great 19th-century industries. Firstly I’ll give as complete a list as I can of what he told the census officials he was doing, in the years between 1861 and 1901; and where he was living at the time as I’m going to use that in a theory.
In 1861 he was living at Bowling, in the south Bradford; and was working as a yarn manager.
He isn’t on the 1871 census.
In 1881 he was living in Idle, which is to the north of Bradford, and working as a yarn buyer and it’s possible his son William Cathcart was working for him or with him.
In 1891 he was living in Manningham, on the north side of Bradford but nearer into town, and working as the manager of a mohair spinning works. His son was working as a “plush finisher” - that is, velvet plush.
In 1901 Jeremiah had moved to Bingley but had the same job as in 1891.
I do think, based on the census information, that Jeremiah Atherton worked for more than one firm in the course of his working life, rather an unusual career pattern for his time; and that he may have run his own business for a time, as well.
I’m not going to speculate about where Jeremiah Atherton worked in the early part of his life as I imagine all mills needed a manager for their yarn processes. He must have been employed - that is, not in business for himself. There were mills all over Bradford and in every surrounding district. If he was living in Bowling, he might have been working at one of the mills in the Horton district; and that’s as far as I’ll go.
You can read his reply to the 1881 census official in two ways unfortunately: either he is working as a buyer for a mill-owning company, with his son William Cathcart in his office; or - now he has considerable experience of yarns and is a well-known figure in the industry - he has set up his own business as an independent buyer, working with his son. A reference to him in an obituary I found describes him as “efficient and upright man of business”; which sounds like what you might say about a man who ran his own business, but which I suppose might also refer to his way of doing business for an employer. If Jeremiah and William Cathcart Atherton did run their own business in the 1870s and 1880s, their timing wasn’t good: my reading about the woollen industry in Bradford suggests that the 1870s, at least, were a time of depression in the industry, following a period of over-production. Mills had to make changes to the type of product they made; and some firms didn’t survive.
I think I’m on safer ground with Jeremiah Atherton at the end of his working life, from 1881 at the latest, and probably up to his death: he was employed at a mill, to manage the mohair spinning works. According to the books I’ve looked at via googlebooks, the reference to ‘mohair spinning’ cuts the list of Jeremiah’s possible employers down quite a bit, because only a few Bradford firms did mohair: Mitchell Brothers; Titus Salt and Co; Joseph Benn and Son; and S C Lister and Co. I’d love Jeremiah’s employer to be John Foster, of the famous Black Dyke mill and band; but John Foster’s firm was based at Queensbury, south-west of Bradford on the way to Halifax, and Jeremiah’s various addresses are on the wrong side of town - surely he would live near his work? Joseph Benn and Son’s mill was at Great Horton, also perhaps a bit far from Manningham and Bingley.
In trying to make a good guess as to where Jeremiah Atherton was working in (say) 1891 I’m also considering exactly how he and his son William Cathcart Atherton were earning their living on the day of the 1891 census. William Cathcart in particular, gave quite specific details to his census official and as a result, I’m going to suggest, cautiously, that in 1891 at least, William Cathcart Atherton worked for S C Lister and Co; and so did Jeremiah.
Samuel Cunliffe Lister (1815-1906) began as a worsted manufacturer in 1838 in partnership with his brother John. As much an inventor as an entrepreneur, his Lister nip comb of 1851 revolutionised the milling of wool by making it much easier and less dirty to straighten the fibres in a piece of fleece, ready for spinning. Around 1855, Lister began a series of experiments that almost bankrupted him before he finally discovered a way to re-use waste silk fibres as yarn. In the difficult economic conditions of the 1870s, his company diversified from worsteds into fake sealskin. However, the invention that made Lister rich was a loom that could weave fabrics which had a very deep pile: velvet and mohair.
In 1871 Lister’s original mill burned down. Its replacement was finished in 1873 and with 27 acres of floor-space was the biggest silk mill in the world at that time: see the Italianate design and huge chimney at www.cottontown.org. The mill still exists, as flats and leisure facilities; it closed down as a working mill in 1990. When S C Lister and Co first used the mill, 5000 people (mostly women) worked in it and production concentrated on silk worsted, mohair and chiffon - luxury products where Samuel Cunliffe Lister held patents on the machinery.
I’m suggesting that both Jeremiah Atherton and William Cathcart Atherton were working for S C Lister and Co by 1891. However, if I’m right, what they told the census officials on the day of the 1891 census was only the half of it: father and son were in opposite camps, because in early April 1891 workers at the Manningham Mill were heading for the bitter end of a strike that had begun with the management’s announcement (just before Christmas) of 25% wage-cuts for 1000 workers. The workers directly affected had gone on strike almost at once. The finishers - including (if I’m correct) William Cathcart Atherton - had joined them in February. The firm’s directors had brought in strike-breaking workers and called in the police to break up the demonstrations at the Mill gates. By mid-April 1891 things were desperate for those on strike: money raised from union organisations all over the West Riding was beginning to run out and the company’s directors were still refusing to negotiate or go to arbitration. Over the weekend of 11-12 April 1891 (a few days after the census), the Durham Light Infantry had been called out from their barracks at Bradford Moor to join the police in quelling a crowd of strikers massed outside the Town Hall. Stones and knives had been thrown at them; they had charged with fixed bayonets. The Riot Act had been read.
And then the strike collapsed. It’s not clear to me whether the workers were allowed by the Company to go back to their jobs. If they were, it was of course at the lower rate of pay. Meanwhile the Company was still making a profit at that time and just to rub salt into the workers’ wounds, Samuel Cunliffe Lister was given a peerage in 1891, becoming the first Baron Masham.
The 1890s and 1900s were hard times for Bradford’s mills. The McKinley Tariff Act had been passed in the USA late in 1890 and had put a heavy tax on imported silk and other manufactured textiles. That was, of course, the reason for S C Lister and Co’s decision to enforce a pay-cut. The directors knew that the firm’s exports to the USA would take a big hit. Another Bradford firm, Joseph Benn and Son, moved most of their woollen production to Rhode Island after 1903. At least S C Lister and Co didn’t do that. Jeremiah Atherton was working at the same job, presumably for the same employer, on the day of the 1901 census; and probably until his death.
Jeremiah Atherton’s intellectual interests would have come as welcome relief, I imagine, in these increasingly difficult economic times. His interest in the occult may go back a long way. A book I found but would not like to place too much reliance on, describes three of the early members of the Horus Temple - Frank Harrison, Thomas Pattinson and Jeremiah Atherton - as “old occult students”; and suggests that they had known the alchemist Rev William Alexander Ayton for many years by the time the Golden Dawn was founded. Rev Ayton was one of the earliest members of the Golden Dawn’s Isis-Urania temple in London.
Jeremiah was a freemason in one local lodge and two local chapters: Scientific Lodge number 439, where he served his year as WM; Chapter of Moravia number 387; and Chapter of Sincerity number 600 (it has now been renumbered 61) where he served a year as PZ. The lodge and chapers had all been in existence since before Jeremiah Atherton had even been born and were based in different districts of the West Riding: Scientific Lodge 439 met in the Fleece Hotel, Main Street Bingley throughout the period that Jeremiah was a member; Chapter of Moravia was based in Baildon; and Chapter of Sincerity 61 (ex-600) is now based in Halifax, I’m not sure where it met in Jeremiah’s lifetime.
In 1887, shortly after it was founded, Jeremiah became a corresponding member of the lodge Quatuor Coronati 2076, whose purpose was to bring method and rigour to the investigation of the history of freemasonry. As QC2076's local secretary for West Yorkshire, Jeremiah went to a meeting in 1889 at which a paper ‘The Advance of Intelligent Masonry’ was read. The Bradford and District Masonic Literary Society was founded at the meeting and Jeremiah became one of its two vice-presidents.
Jeremiah was a also Mark Master Mason and the member of a very unusual MM lodge, the Old York Time Immemorial Lodge, which at least from 1852 to 1873 was its own master, not subject to the rules of any grand lodge, MM masons or otherwise. In 1873 it finally placed itself under the orders of the (Yorkshire based) Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons of England. As preparation for this event, seven of its members were promoted to the Mark Degree; Jeremiah Atherton was one of the seven. Mark masonry was not accepted by the United Grand Lodge of England, which consequently had no authority over it.
As soon as he had two years experience as a master mason, and was the member of a Royal Arch chapter, Jeremiah became eligible to join the Order of the Temple, the knights templar. There was also an assumption that any candidate for membership would of course be a believer in Christianity. The Order of the Temple’s equivalent to a craft lodge was called a preceptory. Jeremiah was a member of Faith preceptory 13 which met at the Masonic Hall in Darley Street Bradford. It was one of the Order’s oldest preceptories, with a warrant dating to 1809. He may have been serving his year as its preceptor (the equivalent to a craft Worshipful Master) in 1890: in May 1890 he went to the annual meeting of the Order’s governing body in England and Wales, its Great National Priory. He was there as a representative of the Order in West Yorkshire; and as “Standard Bearer (Beauçeant)”. This was the only annual meeting he attended, and by 1897 he was no longer in the Order.
The Ancient and Accepted Rite (AAR) was an organisation of freemasons separate from the craft lodges of the United Grand Lodge; with its own headquarters, in London; and its own lodge equivalents, its Rose Croix chapters. Membership was by invitation only, and like the Order of the Temple it was a consciously Christian organisation - candidates were required to believe in the Christian trinity. Jeremiah became a member of the AAR’s Prince of Wales 69 chapter, which was founded in 1876. It met in Huddersfield; there wasn’t an AAR lodge in Bradford. Jeremiah was serving as the chapter’s Recorder in 1888 and was its Most Wise Sovereign (MWS, equivalent to a craft lodge’s worshipful master) in 1889. He reached the AAR’s 30º in 1887 and was still a member of Prince of Wales 69 in 1900.
As a freemason Jeremiah was eligible to be elected to the Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia (SRIA); he joined its Hallamshire College in February 1883. Membership of SRIA would have put him in touch with William Wynne Westcott, if they did not already know each other through their occult interests. Westcott was a very active member of SRIA, attending nearly all of the meetings of its Metropolitan College, and giving many talks. He was SRIA’s secretary during the 1880s before becoming its Supreme Magus (its most senior official) in 1892. Samuel Mathers was also a member but didn’t attend quite so many meetings. Hallamshire College was very active, holding four meetings each year and organising visits for its members and their guests, to places of historical and iconographical interest: in the 1880s, for example, they went on trips to York and Fountains Abbey. As a senior member of Hallamshire College Jeremiah used his managerial skills when he served as its Celebrant in 1888-89 and organised College conferences (to take place in Bradford) in 1893 and 1900. (At the 1900 conference the Hallamshire College changed its name to York College.) In 1892 he was elected to SRIA’s High Council at the special request of William Wynne Westcott, one of the first decisions Westcott made as Supreme Magus; though Jeremiah didn’t get to the High Council’s meetings very often as they were always held in London.
When the Order of the Golden Dawn arose out of the desire of Westcott and Samuel Mathers to do practical magic (SRIA was more of a research and discussion group), Jeremiah was one of the senior members of SRIA who they invited to help them by advising on suitable rituals and study-programmes for new initiates. All of those who did give advice were initiated as members of GD, though Jeremiah took a more active role in the GD than some of the others.
Jeremiah Leech Atherton died suddenly, on 14 August 1908. Before that time another of his children had died: his son Samuel died, unmarried, in 1897 and is buried with his grandmother and some of Jeremiah’s other children in the Atherton family plot at Idle Upper Chapel graveyard; he was 33. And William Cathcart Atherton died aged 47 only a year after his father, in 1909.
BASIC SOURCES I USED for all Golden Dawn members.
Membership of the Golden Dawn: The Golden Dawn Companion by R A Gilbert. Northampton: The Aquarian Press 1986. Between pages 125 and 175, Gilbert lists the names, initiation dates and addresses of all those people who became members of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn or its many daughter Orders between 1888 and 1914. The list is based on the Golden Dawn’s administrative records and its Members’ Roll - the large piece of parchment on which all new members signed their name at their initiation. All this information had been inherited by Gilbert but it’s now in the Freemasons’ Library at the United Grand Lodge of England building on Great Queen Street Covent Garden. Please note, though, that the records of the Amen-Ra Temple in Edinburgh were destroyed in 1900/01. The records of the Horus Temple at Bradford have not survived beyond 1896 either, but there’s a history of the TS in Bradford on the web (though originally written in 1941) at in which a lot of the same people who joined the GD are mentioned. After surviving some difficult times in the 1890s, Bradford TS still seems to be going strong (as at December 2012). In April 2012 the History page was updated with the names of all the members at least up to 1941.
For the posts Atherton held in the Horus Temple, see Gilbert pp35-37.
The members of the GD at its Horus Temple were rather a bolshy lot and needed careful management!
Family history: freebmd; ancestry.co.uk (census and probate); findmypast.co.uk; familysearch; Burke’s Peerage and Baronetage; Burke’s Landed Gentry; Armorial Families; thepeerage.com; and a wide variety of family trees on the web.
Famous-people sources: mostly about men, of course, but very useful even for the female members of GD. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Who Was Who. Times Digital Archive.
Catalogues: British Library; Freemasons’ Library.
Wikipedia; Google; Google Books - my three best resources. I also used other web pages, but with some caution, as - from the historian’s point of view - they vary in quality a great deal.
SOURCES FOR JEREMIAH LEECH ATHERTON
ELIZABETH SHUTTLEWORTH ATHERTON
Via familysearch to details on England EASy film number 148 2456: William Atherton married Elizabeth Shuttleworth or Shuteleworth on 3 January 1837 at Prescot Lancs. There are no details in this record of who her parents were. When I searched with google, I didn’t find any information specifically on her on the web; but I did see that there were plenty of people with that surname in the Prescot area: between Liverpool and St Helens.
The Evangelical Magazine and Missionary Chronicle volume 19 p354 in the ‘Home Chronicle’ section: item describing the initiation day of Rev William Atherton “late of Middleton” as minister of the Independent Chapel at Bingley; on 19 May 1841. The ceremonies were attended by what must have been all the dissenting ministers of the district. Middleton is a small village south-west of Lancaster near the sea.
Website //vitaldb.moorlandit.com is called Vital Records Search and there are transcriptions there of registers from the Idle Upper Chapel independent church. The original chapel on the site had opened in 1717; it was rebuilt several times, the latest occasion being 1850.
VILLAGE OF IDLE
There was nothing useful on the history of the village on wikipedia but at Idle is 3 miles north-east of Bradford on the Leeds/Liverpool canal and the River Aire. There were plenty of woollen mills in the district. A rail link to Bradford opened in 1866. Idle is just south of Guiseley where I suggested that Jeremiah’s first wife grew up. there’s a map and description of Idle, published originally in 1870-72 in the Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales by John Marius Wilson; no page number.
Via ebooks to Idle Upper Chapel Burial Register and Graveyard Inscriptions. The Atherton family had 2 graveplots; Jeremiah had paid for several burials in them. The Athertons buried in graveplot AAA13 are:
Samuel died 30 October 1851 infant son of Rev William Atherton
Elizabeth died 16 December 1880 aged 74, wife of Rev William Atherton
Ann Maria died 10 August 1887 aged 49, wife of Jeremiah
another Samuel died 12 Dec 1897 aged 33 (the son of Jeremiah who was born in 1864).
The book also gave dates for Rev William Atherton: born 8 February 1816; died 16 July 1850. He is buried in Wigan.
Ancient Bingley by Joseph Horsfall Turner gives a list of ministers at Bingley with details of their careers. P161 Rev William Atherton confirms information from elsewhere that he came from Middleton in Lancs. He started work at the chapel in Bingley in January 1841.
JEREMIAH ATHERTON’S WORKING LIFE
Connecting Seas and Connected Ocean Rims...Migrations from the 1830s to the 1930s, editors Donna R Gabaccia and Dirk Hoerder. Leiden and Boston Mass: Brill 2011. I saw this via the web, December 2012, and couldn’t see the author of the article that was most useful. On p347 in the article The Transatlantic Worsted Trade: Salt and Sons and Samuel C Lister both diversified into silk plush and artificial sealskin in 1870s, which sold very well in the 1880s. P348 the US McKinley Tariff law of 1890 was a disaster for Bradford’s woollen industry.
Technology and Culture volume 51 number 4 2010: article The Yankee Yorkshireman by Mary Blewett 2009 . Published Johns Hopkins University Press 2010. Seen on the web December 2012. On p36: the 1870s were a period of decline in production in the Bradford woollen mills. The decline led to diversification from cloth for women’s dresses into p37 suiting for men’s suits and outdoor wear.
SAMUEL CUNLIFFE LISTER at Manningham Mills:
See wikipedia on Samuel Cunliffe Lister, first Baron Masham; 1815-1906.
Seen December 2012 at Its huge Italianate chimney dominates it. Lister’s Mill was known for its velvet, silk and mohair plush. A photo of Lister’s Mill - the 1873 one.
At the British Industrial History website, a brief time-line for Samuel Cunliffe Lister and his firm.
See wikipedia on Manningham Mill which is no longer in operation though the building still exists and is Grade II listed.
MANNINGHAM MILLS STRIKE OF 1890-91:
I found the date of the end of the strike on website An article commemorating the end of the strike, published 27 April 2011, by Manny Dominguez, says that the strike ended on 27 April 1891. The Mill employed 5000 people at the time, most were women. The trouble had begun on 9 December  when a notice from Management had appeared announcing a wage cut for 1000 workers, due to economic troubles; a lock-out was threatened if workers refused to accept it. The firm’s managing director at the time was Jose Reixach; as far as I know there was never any question of Jeremiah Atherton reaching that level. is the website of The Socialist newspaper.
At The details that accompany the Walk include the information that the company’s proposed wage-cut was 25%; and that Lister and Co was still making a profit at the time of the strike. The strikers were supported by unions and other societies in West Riding but in the end they ran out of money and the strikers had to go back to work. The lack of any help given to the strikers by both the major political parties led to the creation of the Independent Labour Party out of a number of Yorkshire-based unions etc in 1893. The new political party held its first conference in Bradford. Manningham Mill closed down in 1990. is a historical walk around Manningham issued by the City of Bradford.
I found information on the strike, its causes, and the violence that surrounded its later days in the Times: Times Wed 29 October 1890 p5; Times Thurs 18 Dec 1890 p8; Times Fri 13 Feb 1891 p10; Times Tue 14 April 1891 p10 though I couldn’t find any coverage at all of how the strike ended, or when, or on what terms. The Times’ coverage was very pro-company.
For further information on this important piece of industrial action: The Manningham Mills Strike Bradford December 1890 to April 1891 by Cyril Pearce. Published University of Hull 1975. Though please note that I haven’t read the book myself.
MY DUBIOUS SOURCE FOR ATHERTON AND THE OCCULT
The Strange World of the Brontës by Marie Campbell. Sigma Press 2001. This book does not give sources but I give this information for what it’s worth: p175 Amongst the first members of the Golden Dawn’s Horus Templer were F D Harrison and “J Leech Atherson (sic)” whom the author describes as “old occult students”. The author names Ayton as a behind-the-scenes originator of occultism in Bradford p175 who had taught Pattinson and (unnamed) others.
ATHERTON AS A FREEMASON
Ars Quatuor Coronati number 2076 is the Transactions of Quatuor Coronati lodge number 2076. Volume 1 1886-88. Unnumbered pages at the back contain a list of the lodge’s corresponding members: number 71 is Jeremiah Leech Atherton of 21 Fairfield Road Bradford, with a joining date of November 1887. PM lodge 439; PZ chapter 439; Past Provl GDC West Yorkshire. He was Quatuor Coronati 2076's local secretary for West Yorkshire.
AQCVolume II 1889: p82 in the news section, a report of a meeting held at the Masonic Hall Bradford on 26 February , to discuss a paper: Advance of Intelligent Masonry. This was not a lodge meeting, it was open to all freemasons. Atherton attended it. A decision was taken at the meeting to found the Bradford and District Masonic Literary Society and Atherton was elected one of its 2 vice-presidents.
AQC Volume VIII 1895; p1 Unnumb endpages [p15] listing corresponding members: Jeremiah Leech Atherton now of 2 Leonard’s Place Bingley. For the first time he is listed as a member of chapters 387 and 600 - PZ of 600.
AQC Volume XIII 1900: on an unnumbered page of corresponding members Atherton is now of Beech Grove Bingley (which was his last address).
From the Freemasons’ Library Catalogue, some more information on the lodges and chapters Jeremiah Atherton was a member of in Yorkshire:
In the FML, a copy of Chapter of Moravia number 387: presentation of a centenary charter Baildon 1975. This booklet includes a brief history of the chapter. Author is G G Lane. The tenor of the Presentation suggests the Chapter was founded in 1875 BUT:
In the FML: letter written 2 August 1832 by R M Beverley to W H White. The letter’s contents makes it clear that the Chapter of Moravia existed by that date; its number at that time was 814.
In the FML: The Chapter of Sincerity number 600 Bradford 1854-1954 by Wade Hurstwick; published 1954.
And some information from websites: both the chapters Jeremiah Atherton was a member of are mentioned at the website of the Masonic Province of West Riding - wrprovince.net:
(There’s been a renumbering shuffle since Jeremiah’s day and) Chapter of Sincerity is now number 61. It was consecrated in 1790. It now meets in Halifax.
Chaper of Moravia was consecrated in 1835. It now meets in Otley Road Baildon which is just north of a place on the website’s map called Idle Moor.
ANCIENT AND ACCEPTED RITE
Rules and Regulns for the Govt of the Degrees from the 4º to 32º Inclusive under the Supreme Council 33º of the Ancient and Accepted Rite [in the British Empire etc etc]; plus a List of Members. I looked at the issues of 1880, 1885, 1888 and 1900.
Rules and Regulations... to 30 June 1885 was the earliest one in which Atherton appeared, in the issues I went through: p113 Atherton is now a member of AAR’s Rose Croix chapter Prince of Wales 69.
Rules and Regulations... to 30 June 1888: p50, p59, p69.
Rules and Regulations... to 31 July 1900 p59, p195.
THE KNIGHTS TEMPLAR
Calendar of the Great Priory (of England and Wales) which in 1896 changed its title to Liber Ordinis Templi. I looked at its annual reports from 1870s to 1900 and he only appears once:
1890: p4, p34.
Liber Ordinis Templi volume 1 1896-1900. P256 as part of the 1898 Annual Report, a list of current Order members. Atherton isn’t in it.
Ordo Templi Alphabetical List of Great Officers 1846-1915 Atherton isn’t in this.
ATHERTON IN THE GOLDEN DAWN
The Freemasons’ Library has 2 items written by him, of an administrative rather than an occult nature:
By-laws of the Horus Temple number 5 Bradford
a set of cards to be completed and issued to members, giving date/place of the next meeting
This is a strange one: via The website is entitled The Web of Hiram; and it’s maintained by a University member of staff who’s doing research. Atherton’s name came up in the full text of a talk given by Bro C J Scott in November 1911 at Old York T I Lodge Bradford: The Tradition of The Old York T I Lodge of Mark Master Masons. Scott had been able to find evidence going back to 1680s to confirm the exist of freemasonry lodges in the Bradford area. TI = Time Immemorial; the lodge doesn’t have a number, therefore. The Old York TI lodge became affiliated to the Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons of England in 1873 having existed completely independent of any Grand Lodge from January 1852 to October 1873. At its last meeting as an independent lodge, in March 1873, 7 of its members were promoted to the Mark Degree; one of the 7 was Jeremiah Atherton. It had 71 members in 1873. Just to make things clear (from elsewhere in C J Scott’s talk): the Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons was based in West Yorkshire NOT in London; it was usually known as the Grand Mark Lodge. (Seen December 2012) I found a website indicating that the University has records of freemasons lodges based in the Bradford area which were NOT affiliated to the United Grand Lodge of England whose Freemasons’ Library is in London WC1.
C J Scott’s talk also mentioned Scientific Lodge 439 in passing, as it was founded by Bro John Craven Taylor who was an important member of Old York TI Lodge. He died in 1891 and is buried in Cullingworth where Scientific Lodge 439 originally met. Its later meeting place, the Fleece Hotel, was in Main Street Bingley.
ATHERTON IN SOCIETAS ROSICRUCIANA IN ANGLIA (SRIA)
History of the Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia by the MW Supreme Magus Dr William Wynn Westcott. Privately printed London 1900. P21 J Leech Atherton was admitted into SRIA’s Hallamshire College, later known as York College, on 24 February 1883. Westcott describes Atherton as having bec an imp member of SocRos since that date. P23: on 22 November 1888 Atherton was elected Celebrant. p24 Hallamshire College as a group was made a member of Quatuor Coronati 2076. Atherton was elected to SRIA’s High Council on 2 April 1892 at Westcott’s particular request. Atherton organised the meeting of Hallamshire College which took place in Bradford on 10 November 1893; p26 and the meeting at Bradford on 17 November 1900. P31 has a list of the members of SRIA’s High Council as at 1900; J Leech Atherton is still a member, representing Hallamshire which is now called York College.
Transactions of Societas Rosicruciana Metropolitan College has some information on Atherton, but not much. Trans 1892-93 inside front cover Atherton was one of 2 Magistri Templi at SRIA’s York (Hallamshire) College this year. He sometimes attends SRIA Metropolitan College meetings as a visitor.
Seen on the web December 2012 a special edition of Ars Quatuor Coronati 2076 entitled The Collected Works of Sir Humphry Davy. On p183 was a brief item on Jeremiah Leech Atherton who’d died “suddenly” on 14 August 1908 at Beech Grove Bingley. The notice spoke of him as having “long experience of the worsted trade”; and as an “efficient and upright man of business”.
Copyright SALLY DAVIS
Find the web pages of Roger Wright and Sally Davis, including my list of people initiated into the Order of the Golden Dawn between 1888 and 1901, at: