Katherine Julia Buckman was initiated into the Order of the Golden Dawn at its Isis-Urania temple in London, on 25 June 1896, taking the Latin motto ‘Hic habitat felicitas’. She resigned from the Order less than a year later, in April 1897.



Following May’s update, Percy Buckman’s grand-daughter Erica sent me photocopies of poems by Katherine Julia and her siblings. Around 1880, Katherine began to fair-copy them into an informal anthology, which is still in the family. She’d written several of the poems herself, and I’ve got permission from Erica and Carol Grace to print two of them as part of this biography. So: thanks again!



Huge thanks are due to two grand-daughters of Katherine Julia’s artist brother Percy Buckman for this update of my work on Katherine Julia. Carol Grace Buckman read the biography online and contacted her cousin Erica Haines. Erica and Olive, another Buckman descendant, have been researching the history of the family, particularly the life of James Buckman. They’ve given me lots of ‘family history’ information, and Ms Haines sent me an extract from a long Memoir by Percy Buckman, covering his time in Egypt over the winter of 1892-93. Carol Grace also mentioned that James Buckman had been a freemason; which opened up a new route for Katherine Julia into the GD.



GD members Katherine Julia Buckman and Julian Levett Baker were related. They were both descendants of John Buckman and his wife Mary, who lived in Cheltenham in the late 18th and early 19th-centuries. John had his own shoemaking business in the town. Katherine Julia was a daughter of John and Mary’s son James. Julian Levett Baker was a grandson of John and Mary’s son John Bishop Buckman of Cheltenham. James Buckman’s children were first cousins of Julian Baker’s mother and the two families were friendly. Julian appointed James Buckman’s son Sydney an executor of his Will.


I have found a bit of evidence that Katherine Julia might also be related to GD member Charles Chase Parr (initiated 1892); but the relationship must be quite distant, based on marriages in the mid-18th century, and I haven’t checked it out.



It seems that none of John Buckman’s sons followed him into the shoe-making business. Katherine Julia’s father James (1814-84) had a working life which embodied the change in the 19th century approach to science research: the professionalisation of work previously the preserve of the leisured, moneyed classes. He started out training as a pharmacist in Cheltenham; then spent several years in London in the 1830s studying medicine, but never practised and probably returned to Cheltenham not fully qualified. On the day of the 1841 census he was in business, as a pharmacist, in Peterville Street Cheltenham, employing one trainee and earning enough to employ one household servant as well. Even by this stage, however, his main interest was the study of the the area around Cheltenham: field-walking and digging, collecting and identifying plants and specimens of the local rocks. A series of publications beginning in the late 1830s led to his being elected a fellow of several national scientific societies including the Geological Society (as early as 1842) and the Linnean Society (1850).


The financial troubles of others led to a change of direction for James. He had agreed to act as guarantor for the ironmongery business of his brother Edwin and Edwin’s business partner Benjamin Norman; so when the business went bankrupt in 1844, James too lost a lot of money. Inevitably, his own business suffered from the lack of investment, and James decided that he would look for work that reflected his leisure interests, rather than continue to struggle as a pharmacist. Paid work in the sciences was still rather rare, but more and more institutions were being founded that needed secretaries, curators and teacher/lecturers to run them on behalf of their management committees. After a couple of years in Birmingham working at the Birmingham Philosophical Association, James was appointed in 1848 to the post of professor of geology, botany and zoology at the newly-founded Royal Agricultural College in Cirencester, where to start with, he was encouraged and funded to do the kind of research that he had been doing for nothing.


It was James Buckman’s research on identifying species, particularly grasses, that led him to become embroiled in the greatest scientific debate of his day. His work on grasses was funded from 1857 by the British Association for the Advancement of Science (BAAS). He also corresponded with Charles Darwin about his work, which supported the arguments Darwin put forward in On the Origin of Species and was mentioned in the book. The meeting of the BAAS at Oxford in 1860 is best known for the argument between T H Huxley and bishop Wilberforce over Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection. But the day before that famous set-to, Buckman had presented some results that had caused a controversy of their own. He read a paper which suggested that grasses could hybridise - a conclusion which challenged the Church of England’s teaching that God’s Creation was unchanging and unchangeable.


The paper inflamed an ongoing struggle at the Royal Agricultural College as its Principal, Rev John Constable, fought with most of his staff for control of the syllabus. Rev Constable regarded Buckman’s research as not only heretical, but immoral, and the suggestion that grasses could hybridise only served to make him more certain of the rightness of his position - that teaching along those lines should not be allowed in the College. The majority of the teaching staff opposed this conservative attitude, but the Principal gained the upper hand as the controversy over Darwin’s book raged during the next two years. So that several professors, including James Buckman, duly resigned from the College in July 1862. They took with them quite a lot of the students but the field was clear for Rev Constable to replace them with men more amenable to Church of England teaching; and to destroy completely James Buckman’s experimental garden.


Katherine Julia Buckman was born the year after her father’s resignation, into an atmosphere of scientific uproar in the nation and financial uncertainty in the family. However, James and his family were rescued, and their futures put on a secure footing, through the support and generosity of his wife’s family.


James Buckman’s married life was tragic: he was married twice and both his wives died as a result of childbirth, as so many Victorian women did. James’ first marriage, early in 1852, was to Louisa Elizabeth (born 1826), daughter of William Dunn and his wife Elizabeth née Hammond. William Dunn worked in an office in Worcester. James and Louisa’s son Conrad was born a year later in Cirencester; but both Conrad and Louisa died a few weeks later at Dawlish in Devon, where perhaps they had been taken because they were both so weak.


In 1858 James Buckman married again. His second wife was Julia, daughter of John Savory and his wife Martha, née Hames. James Buckman may have first met the Savory family when doing his unfinished medical training in London in the 1830s - John Savory was a pharmacist and a doctor, a member of the Apothecaries’ Hall. On the day of the 1851 census, John and Martha were living above their pharmacy shop with their children Thomas (22), Charles (21) and Julia (17) - but it was a big shop, at 143 New Bond Street in the fashionable area of Mayfair. John Savory’s two sons and eight other young men worked as assistants in the shop; and the household employed a very long list of servants with an unusual number of men in it - most of them, I should imagine, working for the pharmacy business. There was a porter, an errand boy, a coachman, a footman, a page and a groom; plus a cook, a ladies’ maid, two housemaids and a kitchenmaid. This was a very wealthy family: male servants, and ladies’ maids, didn’t come cheap.


James and Julia Buckman had five children in the seven years after their marriage: Sydney Savory born 1860; Ada Hames born 1861; Katherine Julia born in the spring of 1863; Minnie Georgina born 1864; and Percy Warner James born 1865. On census day 1861 James, Julia and Sydney were at home in their house in Dollar Street Cirencester where Julia was coping with a rather more modest staff than she would have been used to in her parents’ house - just the three servants, all women. Sydney was less than a year old, Ada would be born within two months. After James had resigned from his post at the Royal Agricultural College, he and Julia tried at first to stay on in Cirencester, James giving private tuition to ex-students of the College. They did remain for a year or two, and Katherine Julia was born there. Their situation was untenable in the long term, however, and in the autumn of 1863 the family moved to Bradford Abbas near Sherborne in Dorset. John Savory had bought a farm there for his son-in-law, to give him an income, and the security of not having to find employment working for someone else where it was likely that the same troubles that had dogged him at the College would probably revisit him.


John Savory’s idea was to expand on the private teaching that James was already doing, by buying land where he could continue his botanical experiments and use them as the basis for his lessons, without interference from those who opposed James’ results. And the idea did work to a certain extent. There was never any shortage of families willing to pay for their sons to be educated in the latest agricultural methods by James Buckman: there were always more applicants than would fit into the farmhouse. James was able to continue his botanical and geological studies, and his horticultural experiments resulted in a new, improved variety of parsnip which is still for sale now. He resumed his walking and collecting and was a founder member of what is now the Dorset Natural History and Archaeological Society.


James Buckman will also have been eased into Dorset and Somerset society through his contacts as a freemason. He had been initiated into Cotteswold Lodge 592 (previously 862) as early as 1851 and may have been one of its founder members. That lodge met in Cirencester. He joined Foundation Lodge 82 (previously 97) the same year; it met in Cheltenham. His membership of both those lodges lapsed after he left Gloucestershire but in February 1864 he joined the Lodge of Brotherly Love 329, which met in Yeovil. Then in 1867 he was a founder member of Benevolence Lodge 1168 which met in Sherborne. He may also have been a freemason in the independent Ancient and Accepted Rite. According to Carol Grace Buckman’s recollections, he was most active in Dorset freemasonry and was given full masonic rites when he died. From my point of view, however, his membership of the Lodge of Brotherly Love 329 is the most interesting. In the 1870s, local doctor William Wynn Westcott was also a member of it: in 1889 Westcott became one of the founders of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn.


James’ wife Julia died on 10 November 1865, ten days after the birth of her son Percy, and James’ children went to live a part of each year with John and Martha Savory.


On the day of the 1871 census Katherine Julia, her sisters Ada and Minnie, and her brother Percy were all living with John and Martha at 22 Sussex Place Marylebone. John Savory had handed the pharmacy business on to his son Charles, and to William Robert Barker who was probably an ex-apprentice. He and Martha were still very comfortably off - six female servants were employed to help Martha (now 63) with her young grandchildren; and one male servant probably worked directly for John Savory, who was still in practice as a GP. Sydney was probably at school: both he and (later) Percy went to Sherborne School.


John Savory was 71 on the day of the 1871 census. He died in October 1871 while on holiday in Sussex. His son Charles survived him by less than three years, dying in 1874. Katherine Julia and her siblings went through another period of upheaval. The Savory family ended any active involvement in the pharmacy business and William Robert Barker took it over. And Martha Savory chose to move to Little Oat Hall House in Burgess Hill Sussex. She took her grand-daughters Ada and Minnie with her and was still - even in her widowhood - able to pay a housekeeper, two ladies’ maids, a housemaid, a kitchenmaid, a footman and a coachman, as well as a bailiff to run the farm that supplied the house.


Katherine Julia probably went to live in Sussex with her grandmother and sisters immediately after John Savory’s death. By 1881, though, she was in Dorset, keeping house for her father. She and eldest brother Sydney were both at home at the farm in Bradford Abbas on the day of the 1881 census, with James Buckman and Thomas Dickinson, one of his pupils who perhaps couldn’t get home for the Easter holidays. Katherine Julia was running the household - which in term-time was a lot bigger - with four servants. And Percy was at Sherborne School.


I have not been able to find out anything at all about any education Katherine Julia might have had. If John and Martha Savory had opted for a governess to educate their three grand-daughters at home, no such servant was being employed by them on the census days of 1871 or 1881. It’s possible that the grand-daughters went to school; but they were not at school on the day of the 1871 census, or on the day of the 1881 census. One piece of evidence Percy Buckman’s grand-daughters sent me made me wonder if at some time she had been at school in Yeovil; but I may be over-interpreting it. I give evidence below that suggests Katherine Julia had had the religious education given to all middle-class girls. In most cases I’d expect that, but Katherine Julia’s case is a bit different and I’d really like to know whether James Buckman’s experiments in botany had caused him to have any religious doubts. However, in the 19th century it was still largely true that even if men doubted, their women were not expected to follow suit. Did James Buckman allow Katherine Julia to take any part or even to observe his work with parsnips or to go with him on trips in search of Dorset’s geological and archaeological heritage? Historical work on James Buckman concentrates on his career as a naturalist and hardly mentions his family at all. I haven’t found anything in the sources for his life which says what he believed or what he allowed his daughters to learn; and in any case, the decisions about his daughters’ education may have been left to John and Martha Savory. Result: Katherine Julia’s education - like the education of most women who joined the GD - is more or less a mystery.


At the beginning of the 1880s, Katherine Julia’s life so far had been characterised by death and dislocation. She and her siblings seem to have been coping with it reasonably well though; and such a childhood was not uncommon in Victorian England. And the five Buckman children did have each other – they formed a very tight-knit group. The book of poems sent me by Percy Buckman’s grand-daughters belongs to this period; though the earliest poem in it is from 1873. It’s possible that when Katherine Julia began to collect together poetry that she and her siblings had been writing, she chose to leave out any ‘dark night of the soul’ poems she found; or that their authors didn’t give them to her, even for a little book never intended to be published. The poems she did fair-copy are a cheerful group, on subjects typical of the period; and her hand-writing is a joy to read. Katherine Julia and Sydney contributed more poems than any of the others to the anthology; though all the siblings contributed at least one and Katherine Julia called it the SCAMP anthology – Sydney, C for Katherine Julia, Ada, Minnie and Percy.


Katherine Julia chose eight of her own poems to go into the collection. The subjects vary from a celebration of her cousin Ellen’s wedding in 1879 to a comment on the heavy snows of January 1881. I’m not about to announce an unknown Great Poet to the world, but here are two of the eight.



The moon’s just risen. What a lovely night!

The stars shine out, it is almost as bright

As day, but then how still

The little singing birds are all at rest

Upon the trees or tucked up in the nest

And wait till morn again their song to thrill


The only sound, is the soft wandering wind

Among the trees where he’s a mind

To play, how quiet it seems

Then at that little village yonder, peep,

Where all the folks lie peacefully asleep

After the toils of day lulled with sweet drams


No busy sounds disturb the quiet scene

Where all looks lovely as a midnight dream

The breeze so soft and sweet

Oh! would the day could always be as calm

No toils or troubles then could do us harm

No trials or sorrows should we have to meet


But now fair moon t’is time to say “Goodnight”

Tomorrow evening if thou* shine as bright

I will come out to thee,

And like the owl who careth not for day

But flies at night in his own lonely way

My midnight rambles solitary shall be.


KJB 1880.

* ‘you’ has been crossed out




On a certain Mr Bullock, who conducted a Ladies’ choir in Yeovil, Somerset


B stands for Bull, who roars loudly and long

At all the young Ladies who dare to sing wrong.


U is for usual, for usually he

Is in a bad temper, or seems so to be.


L is for love! Half the class, so I’ve heard,

Are in love with the Bull, which is truly absurd.


L is also for lungs. Our lungs must be strong,

For the Bull keeps us roaring an hour or so long.


O is for organ, on which he can play

So I’ve heard and I hope I may hear him some day.


C is for concert, which at Yeovil Town Hall

The Bull will conduct, it is open to all.


K is for Kill! May our tunes not be

The ones the cow died of, or or kill our bully.


KJB 1884.


The collection of poems doesn’t contain any that are dated to after 1884. In November of that year, James Buckman died. None of his children lived at the farm afterwards. Four months later, in March 1885, Martha Savory died. There’s evidence to suggest she did leave at least her grand-daughters Ada and Minnie, and presumably Katherine Julia as well, some money; but again, none of her grand-children lived at the house in Burgess Hill afterwards. Katherine Julia’s sisters Ada and Minnie were living near Andover on census day 1891, at St Vincent Lodge Upper Clatford; and between them, they had enough income to afford a maid - most likely a housemaid - and a general servant. Minnie remained a spinster but Ada married a Frenchman, probably at some point during the 1890s, and went to live in France.


Katherine Julia was not living with her sisters on census day in 1891. She was keeping house for her younger brother Percy, who had trained at the Royal Academy schools as an artist and etcher. Brother and sister were living modestly, without servants, in a flat in Colville House, on Colville Square in Bayswater. Not having to pay a servant helped build a surplus in their savings and in Percy Buckman’s Memoir he describes how he, Katherine Julia and Minnie decided to blow the money on a trip to Italy, which they probably undertook early in 1892. An architecture student friend of Percy’s went with them and they visited Genoa, Milan, Verona, Pisa, Florence, Venice, Perugia and Assisi. Later in 1892 Percy was hired by Percy Newberry of the Egypt Exploration Fund to spend the archaeology season 1892-93 as expedition artist at Beni Hasan. He took over the task of copying the wall-paintings there from future GD member Marcus Worsley Blackden, who had left the camp mid-season, after a series of disputes with Newberry. As far as I can tell from Percy Buckman’s memoir, though, the two men didn’t meet.


As well as her brother Percy, Katherine Julia had other contacts in the kind of social circles where the artistic, scientific and academic worlds came together. Her first-cousin Edwin, son of Edwin the bankrupted ironmonger, became an artist and printer and also taught art to Queen Alexandra and her daughters for several years. When Edwin and his wife Annie were in England - which they often were not - they lived in west London; as did Edwin’s father Edwin, still alive in the early 1890s. The artist Edwin’s younger brother Harry became a wood engraver; though he didn’t live in London. Katherine Julia’s elder brother Sydney was his father’s heir in terms of James’ work in geology and palaeontology. He earned a living by writing fiction under the professional name James Corin, while preparing the series of publications on the geology of the Cotswolds and Jurassic coast for which he is best known now. Sydney and his wife Maude were living in the Cotswolds in the 1880s and 1890s but Sydney was often in town for meetings of the Geological Society and Palaeontological Society. Though visits by Sydney to London won’t have been an unadulterated pleasure for him or his relations: his palaeontological work was quite as controversial as his father’s on grasses had been. Both its high standards of accuracy and its conclusions brought him into conflict with the scientific societies that had elected him a member.


Katherine Julia probably continued to keep house for her brother Percy until he married Caroline Bent in January 1894. When Katherine Julia was initiated into the GD, two years afterwards, she was living at 20 St Charles Square, off Ladbroke Grove in Notting Hill. It is most likely that she was living with Percy and Caroline and their children. Though she might have been living in her own flat, most people still thought that was not something a respectable unmarried woman really did while she had relatives around to take her in, and in any case, Katherine Julia may not have been able to afford that level of independence. If she was living with her brother and sister-in-law, all parties may have been seeing the arrangement as a permanent one, given that she was now in her 30s and not likely to marry; and not having responsibility for running the household any longer should have freed up Katherine Julia’s time for other pursuits - like being a member of the GD.


Or helping with the translation from French of a notorious book on the life of Jesus - part learned treatise on the origins of the works of the New Testament, and part biography, but more like a novel than either of those genres. Early in 1898, aged 35, she married the book’s main translator, William George Hutchison, a man ten years her junior.


William George Hutchison had been born in Scotland although his mother, Rosa, was from Devon. His father, Thomas Hutchison, was in business as a silk mercer and draper, and the family lived in Kirkcaldy. William was born in Kirkcaldy around 1874, the second of four children. Neither he nor his elder brother Montague went into their father’s business. Instead, they moved to London in the early 1890s. William Hutchison embarked on a career as a translator and editor, mostly working for The Walter Scott Publishing Company Limited and specialising, at least to begin with, in translating from French the works of Ernest Renan (1823-92), the political philosopher and expert on semitic languages and civilization. Renan had been brought up in Brittany as a Roman Catholic, but had abandoned his faith for a scientific rationalism. His series of seven books grouped under one heading as The Origins of Christianity were all controversial, but his Vie de Jésus outraged many conservatives. Published in 1863 (the year of Katherine Julia’s birth) Vie de Jésus rapidly became hugely popular with those who were too aware of modern developments in science and textual criticism to continue with the religious beliefs they had been brought up with. But it offended others on a number of counts. To devout Christians, even the idea that Jesus could be the subject of a biography was heretical, as it reduced him to the level of any human being instead of a man set apart from all humanity as the only Son of God. The biography also denied Jesus’ miracles. Jews were offended by Renan’s portrayal of Jesus as a Jew who had to purge himself of all jewish-ness before he could carry out his mission.


William Hutchison chose to begin his work of translation with the third book in Renan’s set of seven: his English version of Antichrist (originally published in 1873) was published in 1892. Then he seems to have spent five years translating Vie de Jésus and must have met Katherine Julia Buckman during this time. When the book was finally published, his “chief thanks” went to her for her help which had been “as constant as it was valuable” during what he seems to have found a demanding and difficult process. There had been an English translation of the first edition of Vie de Jésus as early as 1863; and quite a few since. William Hutchison opted to translate the 13th edition, which contained Renan’s later reflections on his subject matter. As part of the work of translation, the quotes used by Renan were collated with the Revised Version of the English bible; and I guess that it was this work that Katherine Julia contributed to the final product, which was published in 1897 and included a long Preface by William Hutchison on the context in which the original work had been written.


Katherine Julia’s collation work on Vie de Jésus was probably done in 1896 and 1897. As she carried out this exacting task, she might have spent time reflecting that whereas books like On the Origin of Species and Vie de Jésus put into words the doubts that many people had about their faith in a rationalist age, some people still had no religious doubts at all, and that there were more monks and nuns in Britain than at any time since the reign of Henry VIII. In the middle of St Charles Square stood the new buildings of a Carmelite monastery, founded as an offshoot of a French order as late as 1878.


At the beginning of 1897, a deadline may have been looming which made Katherine Julia feel she must chose between her collation work and further involvement in the GD. Perhaps she and William Hutchison were engaged by this time; even if they weren’t, quite yet, she was not going to let him down by saying she had other commitments, especially as the process of producing the book was proving so wearing. William Hutchison was having arguments with the publishers over exactly how much of Renan’s original text to include. Many English-language editions of Vie de Jésus had left out the scholarly analysis and textual criticism with which Renan had introduced the main text. William Hutchison wanted to keep them in, in this new translation, but his bosses at The Walter Scott Publishing Company wouldn’t have it. Katherine Julia may have felt that without her support, the translation would never even make it to the publishers. In addition, William Hutchison was never a member of the GD himself. Perhaps he disliked and resented Katherine Julia’s involvement in an organisation about which she could tell him nothing.


For whatever reason, Katherine Julia left the GD after only a few months as a member, and it was clear that this was the result of careful thought and a clear-cut decision. Unlike many initiates, who just stopped going to the rituals and doing the study-work without telling anyone, Katherine Julia sent in a letter of resignation. If the myths and magic of ancient Egypt did inspire and intrigue her, it’s a pity she didn’t hang on a bit longer in the Order. She might then have had the chance to become a member of Florence Farr’s Sphere Group which Florence founded specifically to study Egyptian symbolism and methods of invocation.


Perhaps it was Katherine Julia who persuaded William Hutchison to bow to the inevitable - his The Life of Jesus was published with his own long preface in it but with Renan’s original introduction cut. William worked on one more of Renan’s seven-volume set for The Walter Scott Publishing Company: Marcus Aurelius, published 1903. But when it came to publishing his translation of another of Renan’s seven, The Apostles, he put his foot down about Renan’s chapter of textual analysis of the original documents, and insisted it be included with no cuts. The Apostles was published by Watts and Co for the Rationalist Press Association Ltd, a publishing company founded with the express purpose of getting the works of agnosticism and atheism to the wider public. In another departure from the approach of The Walter Scott Publishing Company, The Apostles was printed on cheap paper so that it could be sold at a low price and reach a wide public. Perhaps this was what William Hutchison had wanted for his The Life of Jesus.


In the years between 1898 and 1905 William Hutchison edited and prepared other translations and compilations (particularly of British poetry) for The Walter Scott Publishing Company; he wrote introductions to other works for them; and had books commissioned by other publishers as well, building up a reputation, particularly as a translator from the French. However, Katherine Julia wasn’t thanked for her contributions to any of the other works by William Hutchison that I looked at. The Life of Jesus was published late in 1897 and - with the work finally done and some money coming in from its sales - Katherine Julia and William Hutchison were married. Household management and children duly followed and took up Katherine Julia’s time. On the day of the 1901 census, William and Katherine Julia Hutchison were living in Hammersmith, at 5 Melrose Gardens, with their daughter Corinna (born 1899) and son Keith born just a month before census day. A month-nurse was a member of the household on census day but would be leaving soon. In general, Katherine Julia was managing with one general servant to help her. A second son, Laurence, was born in 1902 and sometime before 1905, Katherine Julia’s sister Minnie came to live with the family. This was probably because Minnie was in poor health, no longer able to live alone: she died in December 1905, and left Katherine Julia her farm, Sandpits, at Bledlow in Buckinghamshire.


1904 to 1907 were years of very great difficulty and distress for Katherine Julia, certainly emotionally, perhaps financially and legally. Whatever religious beliefs she had must have been tried to the utmost. It’s likely she was having to nurse her sister Minnie. Her brother Sydney’s troubles with the Palaeontological Society came to a head in 1907 when the Society said it would not publish his latest work on the Jurassic - it was published in the end but these disputes take their toll and his health was suffering. However, by far the most intractable problem for Katherine Julia during those years was the mental health of her husband. An increasing mental instability was perhaps reflected in or possibly even exacerbated by the kind of books he was working on in the early 1900s. In 1904 he wrote an introduction for The Walter Scott Publishing Company’s new edition of James Anthony Froude’s The Nemesis of Faith, a novel (originally 1849) about a priest’s crisis of belief. Then he was asked to prepare a new, abridged edition of Tracts for the Times, originally published between 1833 and 1841 by members of the high-church Oxford Movement, to argue their case for a very conservative view of Christian religion. Bishop Wilberforce of the 1860 argument over On the Origin of Species was an Oxford movement member. William Hutchison’s selection was published in 1906 and was the last work in which he was involved that was published in his lifetime.


Mental illness is still a taboo subject: we like to think it doesn’t happen, or wouldn’t happen to us. In Edwardian England, a toxic mixture of Christian morality and Darwinian evolutionary theories made its occurrence so shaming, some families locked away their mentally ill relations and pretended they had died. Neither of Percy Buckman’s grand-daughters know anything about what was wrong with William Hutchison and it’s likely the family never talked of it. Katherine Julia first tried to improve her husband’s mental state by moving her family out of town to the farm at Bledlow. Bledlow was near Thame, where Katherine Julia’s brother Sydney and his family had moved in 1904. Living nearby, it would easier for Katherine Julia to call on Sydney and Maude’s help, now she was left having to cope with erratic behaviour - perhaps even violent behaviour - on her husband’s part, as well as care for her children, who were not yet of school age. The move didn’t work, however, and the decision was made to remove William from the family home to the City of London Mental Hospital at Dartford, which took fee-paying patients as well as people detained under the mental health acts. William Hutchison died at the hospital in May 1907, in his early 30s.


This is a bit speculative, but I think Katherine Julia felt the shame of mental illness in the family, though probably more on her children’s account than on her own - the Darwinian idea of inherited characteristics had made people aware that the tendency to mental illness could run in families. She may also have wanted a fresh start after several years of traumatic events and the mourning of those who had died before you might have supposed they would. The difficulties Katherine Julia had faced as the wife, and then the widow, of a man who was mentally ill, may have influenced her brother Sydney to step right outside his normal sphere of subject-matter to write Mating, Marriage and the Status of Woman, published in 1910.


On the day of the 1911 census Katherine Julia and her children were at 2 Spenser Road Harpenden. Rents would be cheaper in Harpenden than in London, and the surburban setting better for her children’s health; but Harpenden was also a place that none of the Buckmans had lived in or near before. Marian Loïs Durnford, a teacher, was a member of the household on that day. Katherine Julia, filling in the census form as head of the household, described Miss Durnford as a visitor, but she may have been boarding with them during term-time - she was much younger than Katherine Julia and wasn’t likely to have been a friend. Katherine Julia’s income, from her own inheritance and perhaps from her dead husband’s books, was enough for her to employ one servant to help her, but she might have been grateful - with the children all now at school - for a bit more from a lodger.


At least Katherine Julia didn’t have to face mourning sons killed or lost in battle - Keith and Laurence Hutchison were born too late to fight in World War 1. Two of Katherine Julia’s children did inherit something from their father; but it was not mental illness, it was writing and book-production skills. I believe Corinna may have gone to Durham University, taking advantage of opportunities Katherine Julia had never had. Corinna donated to the British Library a manuscript which contained some leaves of music probably written in the late 14th or early 15th century. It’s believed that she had inherited it from her grandfather James Buckman, who had found it while doing antiquarian or possibly even archaeological work in the Augustinian abbey at Cirencester. Later Corinna followed in Katherine Julia’s footsteps by helping prepare a book whose main author was a man in the family: her brother Keith thanked her for her proof reading of his Labour in Politics, published by the Labour Publishing Company in 1925. I haven’t been able to find out anything more about Corinna’s life. Members of the Buckman family tell me she married a Swede, Bertil Meurling, and has descendants in Sweden.


I’ve also found very little information on Laurence Hutchison except that he may have been a member of the Royal Aero Club; and might have moved to Australia. Keith Hutchison followed his father by becoming a writer and editor: he worked in London for the New York Herald Tribune and as financial editor of the magazine The Nation. He married in New York and has descendants in the USA.


By the late 1920s Katherine Julia had moved back to London, to 35 Lancaster Road (now Lancaster Grove) in Belsize Park. Percy, Caroline and their family were living in south London: since 1898, Percy had been teaching art at Goldsmiths’ College. In the early 1920s he was helping the art historian George Charles Williamson prepare The Art of the Miniature Painter; published in 1926, it was for several generations the standard work on the subject. Sydney, despite the opposition that his work on fossils provoked amongst other scientists, had doggedly continued his research, and - for the first time in his life - was even being paid to do work on specimens by the Canadian Geological Survey.


Katherine Julia Hutchison died on 23 August 1928. Her distant cousin, solicitor Ernest Jeffrey Charles Savory, was one of her executors. Her two brothers and her three children survived her. Sydney’s conclusions about the Jurassic have been vindicated by subsequent research.



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. As far as I know, the records of the Horus Temple at Bradford have not survived either.


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.


Useful source for business and legal information: London Gazette and its Scottish counterpart Edinburgh Gazette. Now easy to find (with the right search information) on the web.


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.





The common ancestors are John and Mary Buckman who may be the people referred to at freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com?~wragg44/leigh/leighvol4.htm, a list of marriages that took place at Leigh Gloucester between 1754 and 1807. They include the marriage of a John Buckman of the parish of Deerhurst, to Mary Bishop of Leigh parish. By licence 11 August 1795. Witnesses: Ann Trinder, William Freeman.



Confirmation of the descent of both of them from John and Mary Buckman of Cheltenham: personal communication by letter from Erica Haines of Tunbridge Wells, May 2018. With family trees, marriage certificate Buckman/Baker 1871 etc.



Oxford DNB volume 8 p538 on James Buckman 1814-84, naturalist and agriculturalist. ODNB is now online at www.oxforddnb.com.http://www.oxforddnb.WHAT'S

Geology and Religion: A History of Harmony and Hostility editor Martina Kölbl-Ebert. Published by The Geological Society in 2009 as their Geological Society Special Publication 310. One of the articles in the Evolution section 245-56: James Buckman (1841 to 1884): The Scientific Career of an English Darwinian Thwarted by Religious Prejudice. By H S Torrens, whose sources include a manuscript autobiography by Katherine Julia’s elder brother Sydney Savory Buckman, written 1928; and papers held by Peter Buckman (b 1918) and Olive Buckman his sister (b 1919).

Personal communications by email 2016-18 from Carol Grace Buckman, grand-daughter of artist Percy Buckman. And family history information sent by Erica Haines of Tunbridge Wells. May 2018.


As a freemason:

United Grand Lodge of England membership records now at Ancestry including which craft lodges James Buckman was a member of.

Craft lodge details from Lane’s Masonic Records:

Cotteswold Lodge Cirencester founded 1851 as 862, renumbered 1863 as 592.

Foundation Lodge Cheltenham founded 1807 as 97, renumbered 1863 as 82.

Lodge of Brotherly Love Yeovil founded 1810, renumbered 1863 as 329. Westcott is thought to have joined this lodge before 1873 though the exact date isn’t clear.

Benevolence Lodge 1168 Sherborne founded 1867.




London Gazette p3505, I couldn’t quite see the date but it was 1844: legal notice of impending bankruptcy proceedings against Benjamin Norman and Edwin Buckman of Cheltenham, ironmongers. A hearing due 4 November following a bankruptcy order against them issued 1 June 1844.


On the Origin of Species by Charles Darwin. First edition London: John Murray 1859. 2nd edition 1860; into its 4th 1866, still in print, of course. See the text at darwin-online.org.uk. Wikipedia gives the exact date of publication as 24 November 1859.



Her baptism: familysearch England-EASy GS film 350598.

The marriage: familysearch England-ODM GS film number 0376937 to 939


JOHN AND MARTHA SAVORY and JULIA SAVORY - it’s amazing what you can piece together from Ancestry’s census and probate records!



Via archive.org to The Sherborne Register 1823-92; compiled Harry H House published for the school 1893: p171.




See catalogues of the British Library and the British Museum of Natural History for lists of his works on geology and palaeontology, particularly his seven-volumes on ammonites. The volume that so offended the Palaeontological Society was: A Monograph of the Ammonites of the Inferior Oolite Series published by the Society in 1907.

American Journal of Science volume 18/218 1929 p96: an obituary.


Some modern assessments:

Milestones in Geology: Reviews to Celebrate 150 Volumes of the Journal of the Geological Society edited by Michael John Le Bas. Geological Society 1995 as Geological Society Memoir Number 16. Article by J H Calloman of University College London pp127-150: Time From Fossils: S S Buckman and Jurassic High-Resolution Geochronology. Most of the article is serious geology but there is some biographical information. This is the source for Sydney as a novelist with the writing name of James Corin. However, the only work I found in the British Library catalogue under that name is Mating, Marriage and the Status of Woman. London and Felling-on-Tyne: Walter Scott Publishing Company Ltd 1910. Google didn’t come up with any novels by James Corin either. It might just mean that Sydney’s fiction works were published in instalments in magazines rather than as books. However, I’m a bit uncomfortable about this.

Comparative Planetology, Geological Education and History of Geology by Wang Hongzhen 1997 p205-206 S S Buckman 1860-1929.


As well as his palaentological and geological books and - possibly - works of fiction, there are a couple of other kinds of books by Sydney in the British Library: Arcadian Life by S S Buckman Fellow of the Geological Society. London: Chapman and Hall 1891. It’s a fictional account of a walking holiday in a rural Arcadia; with illustrations by his brother Percy.


Sydney’s wife Maude Mary Holland:

At tribalpages.com information on the Holland family including births and deaths.

Via google to A History of the Family of Holland of Mobberley by Edgar Swinton Holland.



Extract of Percy Buckman’s handwritten, unpublished Memoir; sent to me by Erica Haines of Tunbridge Wells May 2018: pp41-58 and details of what was on pp8-9 about arrangements for the children after Julia Buckman’s death.

Dictionary of British Artists 1880-1940: p84.

At www.artfact.com in 2013 I saw reproductions of some works by him: Goring Church; Valley of the Kings; 2 nudes.

Percy’s work for the Egypt Exploration Fund:

Nature: International Journal of Science volume 48 1893 pxix and p159.

Times 15 July 1893 p7: exhibition of recent work in Egypt, organised by the EEF.

Beni Hasan published by the Egypt Exploration Fund 1893 authors Newberry, Griffith, Fraser.

Site report Beni Hasan: Zoological and Other Details published 1900 by the Archaeological Survey of Egypt. Authors: Howard Carter, Marcus Worsley Blackden, Percy Brown, Percy Buckman, Percy Edward Newberry.

American Journal of Archaeology volume 8 1893 p583.

Archaeological Survey of Egypt editor F L Griffith. Zoological work and other facsmiles by Percy appear in Part IV: “Seventh Memoir Beni Hasan”. Published EEF 1900.

The Rock Tombs of Deir el Gebrawi Part I 1902: the plates are Percy Buckman’s work.


Percy Buckman’s later career:

Studio International volume 73 1918 pxi staff list Goldsmiths’ College.

lists staff at Goldsmiths’ College School of Art. Percy Buckman teaches life drawing and painting.

Works by Percy in exhibitions of the Society of Miniature Painters are mentioned in the Times: 16 May 1930 p14; 16 May 1933 p12; and 12 May 1936 p14, in which his work catalogue number 200 was singled out for special praise.


THE ART OF THE MINIATURE PAINTER in which Percy Buckman was co-author with the collector and art historian George Charles Williamson.

Times 21 May 1926 p12: next week’s publications.

The Art of the Miniature Painter by George Charles Williamson with Percy Buckman. London: Chapman and Hall 1926.

Times 18 February 1953 p10 in the obituary of miniature painter Nellie M Hepburn Edmunds, Williamson and Buckman is mentioned as the standard work on the subject of miniatures.

George Charles Williamson: there’s a wikisource listing his (many) contributions to the 1911 edition of Encyclopaedia Britannica and to the 1913 edition of the Catholic Encyclopaedia.

Who Was Who volume IV 1941-50 p 1243. Just noting that he also wrote books of advice for antique collectors and so probably knew GD member Herbert Slater.


Some modern works which mention Percy:

Saluki: The Desert Hound and the English Travelers who brought it to the West. Brian P Duggan and Terence Clark 2009. P55 on Beni Hassan.

Howard Carter: The Path to Tutankhamun by T G H James. London: Kegan Paul 1992 p46-47. And one which doesn’t:

Flinders Petrie: A Life in Archaeology by Margaret S Drower. University of Wisconsin Press 1st edition 1985; 2nd edition 1995. Percy Buckman isn’t in the index so I guess he and Flinders Petrie never met.



At www.allposters.co.uk you could buy (as at 3 April 2014) prints of works by him, with titles such as A Match at Football (rugby not football); The Flower Market Covent Garden. None were dated.

Via genesunited to Gloucester Citizen and other papers in that area issue of 16 October 1930 - an obituary of Edwin Buckman.

And again via genesunited to Gloucester Journal of 22 November 1930 Edwin’s wife’s name is Annie MacDonald Buckman.



Cauda Pavonis was the newsletter/journal of the Hermetic Text Society. At www.alchemywebsite.com/cauda.html there is a list of articles pubd in it, beginning 1982 but it’s no longer being published unfortunately. When it was published it was issued by the Dept of English, Washington State Univ at Pullman. In volumes 11-16 1992 pp7-12, article by Sharon E Cogdill on Florence Farr’s Sphere Group. Cogdill lists the group’s “mortal” members - there were others, of course, from the universe beyond sight; Katherine Julia was not amongst them.


Florence’s article Egyptian Magic was published in Collectanea Hermetica volume VIII 1896, not under her own name but using the short-form of her GD motto - SSDD; editor of the series was William Wynn Westcott.

A compendium of Florence’s writings on magic has now been published by the Golden Dawn Research Trust as volume 1 in its The GD Legacy series: The Magical Writings of Florence Farr edited and with a foreword by the Trust’s Darcy Küntz. 2012.


Marcus Worsley Blackden did publish some short works on the Egyptian mysteries but not until years after Katherine Julia had left the GD:

An article in Occult Review volume 5 number 6 June 1907 p305: The Wisdom of the Mysteries in Egypt.

A short pamphlet: Ritual of the Mystery of the Judgement of the Soul in which Marcus Worsley Blackden published his translations of selected pieces of the Book of the Dead, put together to form a modern ritual. London: Rosicrucian Society of England 1914.



Works in the British Library catalogue:

1892 Renan’s Antichrist. As translator and editor. The Walter Scott Publishing Company Ltd as The Scott Library volume 108.

1897 Life of Jesus by Ernest Renan. As translator and writing the Introduction. The Walter Scott Publishing Co Ltd. Katherine Julia is thanked on pvii of the preface but is not a co-author.

1898 Lyra Nicotiana: Poems and Verses Concerning Tobacco. As editor. The Walter Scott Publishing Co Ltd

1900 Home in War Time. Poems by Sydney Dobell 1824-74. As compiler and editor. Vigo Cabinet Series number 2.

1902 The Cynic’s Breviary. Maxims and Anecdotes from Nicolas de Chamfort (?1740-94). As compiler and translator. London: Elkin Mathews.

1903 Poor Robin’s Almanack: Selected Verses, and a Calendar of British Poets. As author of the Preface but not as compiler. Orinda Booklets Extra Series number 6.

1903 Marcus Aurelius by Ernest Renan. As translator and writer of the introduction. The Walter Scott Publishing Co Ltd. With a second edition 1904.

1904 Songs of the Vine; With a Medley for Malt-Worms. As the editor and compiler. London: A H Bullen.

1905 The Apostles...by Ernest Renan. As translator. London: Watts and Co.

1905 Words of a Believer originally by Hugues Félicité Robert de la Mennais. As translator.

London: S C Brown, Langham and Co

1905 Sir John Suckling: Ballads and Other Poems. Sir Charles Sedley: Lyrics. John Wilmot Earl of Rochester: Poems and Songs. As author of the preface. Pembroke Booklets number 4.

1906 Tacitus and Other Roman Studies. By Marie Louis Antoine Gaston Boissier. As translator. London: A Constable and Co.

1906 The Oxford Movement. Being a Selection from Tracts for the Times. As editor and writer of the introduction. London and Felling-on-Tyne: The Walter Scott Pubg Co Ltd.

Listed in the BL catalogue under FROUDE:

1904 The Nemesis of Faith by James Anthony Froude. As author of a new introduction. The Walter Scott Publishing Co Ltd. The Scott Library volume 121.


Apparently not published in Hutchison’s lifetime:

1970 The Poetry of the Celtic Races, and Other Studies As translator and author of the introduction and notes. London: Kennikat Press.



See a thorough biography on wikipedia.


A modern reference to Renan’s work and Hutchison’s translation, in The Historical Jesus and the Literary Imagination 1860-1920 by Jennifer Stevens. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press 2010 p75 in a section headed 19th Century Lives of Jesus: footnote 29 and footnote 39.



A brief page on it, based on the RPA’s annual reports, is at humanistheritage.org.uk, the website of the British Humanist Association.

Blasphemy Depot: A Hundred Years of the Rationalist Press Assoc Bill Cooke. Published by the RPA 2003 gives details of how, when and by whom it was founded. William Hutchison was not in the index and he wasn’t listed as a founder member.



Wikipedia on Stone House, previously the City of London Lunatic Asylum; at Stone near Dartford.

Via www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/hospitalrecords to further information.

Neither of Percy Buckman’s grand-daughters were able to shed on why William George Hutchison had been sent to the asylum: they had never heard it spoken of. Personal communications Carol Grace Buckman and Erica Haines, 2016 and 2018.



All of them are named in Cassell’s Little Folks volume 75 1911 p394 in the middle of a big list, possibly of current readers.


Corinna married a Swedish man, Bertil Meurling. They have descendants in Sweden.

For information on the manuscript with music in it see www.diamm.ac.uk the Digital Image Archive of Medieval Music. British Library additional Ms item GB-Lbl Add.39255(N).

Searching for her on google, I got very little response. I did get a link to Durham University calendars 1918-19 and 1921-22 but when I got the calendars on the web and did a search, nothing was found.


Labour in Politics by Keith B Hutchison. Labour Publishing Co 1925: in the preface p5 he thanks his sister Corinna Hutchison for her proof reading.

Familysearch had 3 records of him arriving at Ellis Island: 1925; 1937; 1944.

New York City marriages 1829-1940 has a record of the marriage of Keith B Hutchison and Bertha Wallerstein on 8 September 1925 in Manhattan. Bertha was 26, born in Albany New York State 1899; daughter of Alfred and wife Nellie née Jastrow. Details from a family tree sent me by Erica Haines in May 2018 show that they had two children.

Eventually he must have taken US citizenship. Familysearch had US social security number 061-12-0461 for him, and a date and place of death: 15 July 1987 at 661 Heritage Village, New Haven Connecticut. Described as a retired writer and editor.

Collected Letters of Robinson Jeffers by Robinson Jeffers, James Karman and Una Jeffers. Keith Hutchison was a correspondent of Jeffers: brief details of him on p733.


LAURENCE whose name is spelled with a ‘w’ by the family.

Using google, the only response I got was at ancestry.com.au so perhaps he emigrated. It was a GB Royal Aero Club aviator’s certificate issued to him at some date between 1910 and 1950.




12 October 2018


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