William Thomas Percy BROOKS who was initiated into the Golden Dawn in May 1899.Unfortunately when he was transcribing all the membersí details from the GDís own list, R A Gilbert couldnít read Williamís motto, so we donít know what it was.


Very short biography as heís one of my failures - Iíve hardly found out anything about him.Heís probably the baby who was registered as William Thomas P Brooks at Norwich registry office in the autumn of 1874.On the day of the 1881 census, that baby (now aged 6) was living with his parents in a house on Church Street in Heigham, Norwich.Both his parents came from East Anglia: his father Thomas had been born in Norwich, his mother Jane had been born in Cambridgeshire.Thomas Brooks, ran his own business making fertiliser.His wife Jane was probably not asked how she spent her time or whether she earned any money.Itís possible that she worked in her husbandís business; but more likely that she organised the household, did the shopping and cooking, looked after William when he wasnít at school and gave orders to the one general servant that she and Thomas thought they could afford to help her with the heavy work.William seems to have been an only child.


Thatís all I know for sure!


WHO DID HE KNOW IN THE GOLDEN DAWN?I havenít a clue!Except that there may be a connection through his fatherís involvement in chemistry, to some of the other chemists/alchemists in GD.But then again, there may not.



I couldnít identify William for certain on the censuses from 1891 to 1911.Google led me to the website at www.yasni.co.uk/victor+biddlecombe, which had baptism records for the church at Heigham Norwich, but I couldnít find Williamís baptism amongst them.None of the other sources produced anything I was sure was the right man.



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 Dawnís administrative records and its Membersí 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 itís now in the Freemasonsí Library at the United Grand Lodge of England building on Great Queen Street Covent Garden.


Family history: freebmd; ancestry.co.uk (census and probate); findmypast.co.uk; familysearch.


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; Freemasonsí Library.


Wikipedia; Google; Google Books - my three best resources.I also used other web pages, but with some caution, as - from the historianís point of view - they vary in quality a great deal.



23 April 2012














BROOKS, WILLIAM THOMAS PERCY††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† motto unreadable on the roll

I May 1899

27 Dec 2011 tried searching on full name and got one response only: www.yasni.co.uk/victor+biddlecombe.Led to a transcription of baptism records f church of Heigham Norwich w DOB 25 Feb 1878.Cldnít find the baptism refíd to but on the strength of it tried freebmd and got b regn: William Thomas P Brooks r Norwich Oct-Dec 1874.

1881 census, unnumb house on Church Street, Heigham, Norwich

head†††† Thomas Brooks, m, 33, chemical manure manufr, b Norwich

wife††††† Jane, 41, no occup/source of inc gvn, b Hardwich Cambs

child†††† William T P aged 6, b Norwich

+ 1 genl serv.

Cldnít find the boy b 1874 on 1891, 1901 or 1911 censuses.On 1901 found another William Thomas P Brooks but he was born c 1899.