Percy William Bullock was initiated into the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn at its Isis-Urania temple in London in September 1890. He chose the Latin motto ‘Levavi oculos’. He was well-versed in the occult already, and worked through the GD’s study programme for initiates quickly. He was initiated into its inner, 2nd Order on 3 July 1892. For over ten years he was one of the GD’s most committed and hard-working members. He also married another GD member.
Pamela Carden was initiated into the GD at its Isis-Urania temple on 22 March 1892. Her father and her mother were both members already. Pamela chose the Hebrew motto ‘Shemeber’. She too completed the GD’s study programme very quickly and was initiated into the inner, 2nd Order on 20 June 1893.
Percy William Bullock and Pamela Carden were married in 1894.
THE BULLOCK FAMILY
Percy William Bullock was the son of a man who owned a ladies’ outfitters in central London. Percy William’s father, Francis, was born in Abindgon on the border of Oxfordshire and Berkshire. In the 1850s he did an apprenticeship in a draper’s shop in Leighton Buzzard and then went to work in Henry P King’s draper’s shop at 139-140 High Street Southwark - a big business by 1850s’ standards, where Francis was one of 14 employees - before setting up in business for himself in the mid-1860s at 72 Edgware Road, a short distance from Marble Arch. Francis Bullock married a woman called Annie Elizabeth; but I can’t find any record of the marriage. Annie Elizabeth was a Londoner, possibly born in Whitechapel. Her original surname might have been Straughan; but I couldn’t find any evidence to prove that. I don’t really know anything about Percy William’s family on his mother’s side.
Once married, Annie Elizabeth spent the best part of 15 years being pregnant. Percy William, born in 1867, was Annie Elizabeth’s and Francis’ eldest surviving son; but two boys may have been born before him and died as infants. Percy William had one older sister, Clara Annie; and at least seven, possibly nine, younger siblings: Ethel Mary (born 1870); Mary or possibly Mary Ann (born just before census day 1871); Fanny Maud (born 1872); Nellie Florence (born 1873); Horace Straughan (born 1874); Eva Agnes (born 1875); Minnie Daisy (born 1876); and Albert Edward (born 1879).
The Bullock children were born in time to benefit from the 1870 Education Act, and it’s likely that they were all educated at schools run by the London School Board. Percy William’s sister Ethel Mary later worked for the LSB as a teacher of deaf children. In 1881, Francis Bullock employed five assistants, including two young women; but by 1891 Annie Elizabeth and Clara were working in the shop and only one person outside the family was employed in it. It might have been the long hours of shop-work and the uncertain income; it might have been a wish to educate some at least of their children out of the commercial classes (a very Victorian desire); but
none of Francis and Annie Elizabeth’s sons went into the family business. Horace emigrated to New South Wales (probably in the 1880s) and I don’t know what work he did there. Albert Edward trained as an architect (which you did on the job at that time). And Percy William went to work as a clerk in a solicitor’s office.
Percy William will have left school aged 14 or 15 - in 1881 or 1882. I don’t know where he worked in his first few years out of school. He might have been worked for Ashurst Morris Crisp and Co, whose managing clerk William Capel Slaughter and newly qualified solicitor employee William May left in 1889 to found the legal firm Slaughter and May. Slaughter and May specialised then, as they do now, in company law and finance. Percy William Bullock was definitely working for them in 1893, and was still doing so in 1902. His place of work will have been Slaughter and May’s original offices at 18 Austin Friars in the City of London.
PERCY WILLIAM IN THE TS AND THE GD
Outside his working hours, Percy William was heavily involved in the occult in the early 1890s and probably in the 1880s (I don’t have so much information about the 1880s). He was a member not only of the Golden Dawn but also of the Theosophical Society (TS): his application to the TS is dated 1891 but the impression I’ve got from my research is that he had been interested in western occultism for several years by then. He could have begun his voyage of discovery, for example, by reading Helena Petrovna Blavatsky’s Isis Unveiled, which was published in 1877; it dealt with the relationship between religion and contemporary science. He could have found out more about Christian esotericism in 1884, by reading articles on the subject published in the spiritualist weekly Light by Anna Bonus Kingsford, who founded the Hermetic Society as an offshoot of the TS in that year. This might have encouraged him to read Kingsford’s The Perfect Way; or the Finding of Christ, which was an account of a series of visions she had experienced. He definitely did read Kingsford’s 1885 publication, The Virgin of the World as one source for the talk he gave on hermetic philosophy in 1892.
The Hermetic Society only met between 1884 and 1886. I don’t think it’s very likely that Percy William was a member - what little records exist of it suggests that the members were above his social milieu; and even if I’m wrong and he had been a member, he couldn’t have got to meetings of the Society very often - they were held on weekdays during working hours. However, an interest in Dr Kingsford and her works will have led him to the TS in the end; where he would
have met G R S Mead, whose research into the supposed works of Hermes Trismegistus was published as Thrice-Greatest Hermes in 1906. He would also have met William Wynn Westcott, who was a senior member of the TS and already an experienced occultist. In the mid-1880s Westcott was working on his translation of the Hebrew esoteric text Sephir Yetzirah. It was published in 1887 as The Book of Creation and in a talk on hermetic philosophy in 1892 (see below for more on that), Percy William mentioned Sephir Yetzirah; he didn’t specifically say he’d read Westcott’s translation but I imagine he had.
Percy William will also have got to know Frederick Leigh Gardner at the TS; they shared an interest in alchemy. It’s most likely to have been William Wynn Westcott who put Percy William and Frederick Leigh Gardner in touch with his alchemist acquaintance the Rev William Alexander Ayton; both men knew Ayton before the GD was founded. From the late 1880s at least until 1905 if not longer, Ayton was sending manuscript copies of the many alchemical texts he possessed, for Percy William and Gardner to copy and return. Ayton and Gardner corresponded regularly from 1889 to 1905 and Gardner and his wife stayed with the Aytons several times. No letters sent between Percy William and Ayton survive but there definitely was a correspondence, though it seems that Percy William didn’t go and stay with the Aytons. How friendly Percy William and Gardner were is not clear to me; I haven’t found any evidence - for example - that the two of them worked on Ayton’s manuscripts, or alchemical experiments together.
It was probably so that he could study in peace and have somewhere to copy the manuscripts he had borrowed, that Percy William moved out of his family home and took lodgings nearby, at Miss Inglis’s boarding-house at 22 Upper George Street Bryanston Square, in the late 1880s; though his absence will also have freed up valuable space at 72 Edgware Road where the family and Francis Bullock’s unmarried employees were all cramped in above the shop.
The Hermetic Society closed after Anna Bonus Kingsford died in 1888 and all its members had to seek western occultism elsewhere. I’m sure many of them joined the GD as Percy William did. Percy William also became a regular at the TS’s Friday evening discussion group where you could hear talks on a wide range of theosophical and occult subjects. In due course, the discussion group became a TS lodge in its own right - Adelphi Lodge. William Wynn Westcott lectured regularly at the discussion group; and Jabez Johnson and Oswald Murray were both members of Adelphi Lodge in the early 1890s and later joined the GD, possibly recommended to Mathers and Westcott by Percy William. In 1893, Percy William, William Wynn Westcott and GD member Frederick Leigh Gardner attempted to revive the Hermetic Society under the wing of the TS. However, the Esoteric Section lasted only 18 months, rather overtaken by the power struggle that consumed the TS in 1894-95.
Percy William was a very busy man in the early 1890s, heavily involved with both the TS and the GD; though I’m sure that he saw them not as rivals for his time, but as two sides of the same occult coin: at the TS you talked about or listened to occult theory; at the GD you put occultism into practice as magic.
During 1891-92, when he was doing the study necessary to get into the GD’s inner, 2nd Order, Percy William was also working on a series of talks for the TS. He gave his talk on hermetic philosophy twice, in March 1892 at the TS’s Friday discussion group, and in December 1892 at the TS’s Brixton Lodge. In this talk, which was aimed at people who knew a little but not a lot about the subject, Percy William kept it simple and based his argument on named texts that his audience might have heard of: the Smaragdine (or Emerald) Tablet - particularly the French 19th-century occultist Eliphas Levi’s work on it; The Divine Pymander of Hermes Mercurius Trismegistus; and Sephir Yetzirah. As he reached the end of his talk, Percy William departed slightly from the academic and rather earnest tone that was typical of talks at the TS and gave one of the few glimpses I’ve found in all my GD researches, into the true feelings of any of its members - about the world he lived in, and his employment in the City of London, financial and legal centre of the British Empire: he described the majority of people he saw as “callous” and as existing in a state of “oblivion about things spiritual”. He hoped, though, that the oblivion was just a phase, to be replaced in due course by “a clearer and more universal illumination”.
His hope was quite misplaced.
Between his two talks on hermetic philosophy, in April 1892, Percy William also lectured at the discussion group on Electricity and Occultism. In February 1893 he gave a talk to the discussion group on Egyptian Belief Theosophically Considered. His choice of subject was influenced by Helena Petrovna Blavatsky’s Isis Unveiled, regarded as a text-book of theosophical belief by TS members. Percy William had been working on the ideas in that book with Herbert Coryn, a leading member of Brixton TS Lodge who was also in the GD. Later in 1893 Percy William gave one final talk, Occultism past and Present, also at the discussion group. The hermetic philosophy and Egyptian belief talks were later published in the TS’s compendium volume, Theosophical Siftings, together with Percy William’s essay On Gems (1893). The last item that Percy William worked on in this period of intense study was the introduction to Westcott’s edition of a copy The Chaldaean Oracles of Zoroaster (owned by GD member Marcus Worsley Blackden) which was published in 1895. However, the most sustained piece of work he did at this time was a translation of Cicero’s Somnium Scipionis (part of the sixth book of Cicero’s De Re Publica), which had interested occultists for many centuries because it was about astrology and astronomy. The translation was published in late 1894, in Collectanea Hermetica volume 5 as The Vision of Scipio Considered as a Fragment of the Mysteries; Percy William appearing as Levavi Oculos rather than under his real name, as its translator and as author of an essay on its occult importance.
The Collectanea Hermetica series is eight volumes (I think) published during the 1890s, edited by William Wynn Westcott and containing many contributions by GD members. As Westcott was a senior member of the TS, most of the eight volumes were reviewed in Lucifer, the TS’s main magazine during the early 1890s. However, in Lucifer’s review of Somnium Scipionis both Percy William and - by implication - Westcott, fared badly at an anonymous reviewer’s hands. The problem the reviewer found was not with the translation: he (I’m sure it was a he for reasons I’ll state in a minute) thought that was “creditably” done. It was Percy William’s essay that he didn’t like - the attempt to connect the Somnium to the ancient mysteries failed to convince him. He also criticised Percy William’s understanding of the classical world, saying (for example) that he didn’t know enough about the Stoic tradition to write about it with authority. And that’s why I’m sure the reviewer was a man, and from a particular social group as well: in the 19th century, with very few exceptions, only boys of the professional and upper classes received the kind of education that was based on the classics - Latin, Greek, ancient civilization. Percy William’s attempt to translate an item from the classics had exposed the limitations of his local school board education. The reviewer might also have felt that those who had not had a classical education should not muscle in on the ground of those who had, and if they dared, then woe betide them. The reviewer’s picking out of an error in attribution, however, brought Westcott into the sphere of his criticism: he thought Westcott should have spotted it and corrected it (Westcott was another man unlikely to have had a classical education).
Lucifer’s review must have been tough to swallow. A second unenthusiastic review, this time in the occult magazine The Unknown World, might have been a little easier to bear because it was almost certainly by A E Waite, whose magazine The Unknown World was. Percy William will have known that Waite had no time for Mathers or Westcott or any of their works. However, two such reviews perhaps encouraged Percy William to feel that in translating occult works he was getting out of his depth. His introduction to The Chaldaean Oracles was his last published work as far as I can see; and he also gave no more talks at the TS. He did, however, continue to work on the alchemical texts the Rev Ayton was lending him; though probably not at quite the same level of commitment.
Percy William’s willingness to volunteer, and his ability to think ‘organisation and method’ in the midst of all the occultism, meant that at the same time as he was doing all that occult study he was also spending time helping run both the TS and the GD. In 1892 he was honorary secretary to the TS’s Blavatsky Lodge. In the first half of that year he was sub-cancellarius of the GD; being promoted to cancellarius by August of that year. As cancellarius he was in charge of the GD’s move from Thavies Inn to Clipstone Street; a process that took from August to October 1892. He continued in-post - doing things like reminding members to pay their annual subscriptions - until March 1896.
For some of his period as cancellarius, Percy William was also honorary secretary of the Ananda Lodge, part of the TS’s Esoteric Section. This was founded at a meeting in November 1893 and was intended to meet on one Sunday afternoon each month for work on strictly Indian texts and disciplines, including meditation and probably yoga. At the outset it had eight members, all men. Percy William and William Wynn Westcott were two of the eight and the only ones to be GD members as well. In July 1894 Frederick Leigh Gardner became a member at about the same time he was initiated into the GD, but that was bad timing: in the next few months the controversy over the claims of William Quan Judge began to engulf the TS and attendance at Ananda Lodge’s meetings declined. Percy William went to his last Ananda Lodge meeting in September 1894, and the Lodge was disbanded in November 1895.
Ellic Howe reports in The Alchemist of the Golden Dawn that Percy William was amongst those who didn’t really want Annie Besant to run the TS. Those who took this attitude were no doubt aware that Besant preferred Hinduism to Buddhism as a basis for western theosophy and was likely to take the TS in that direction; however, they may also not have cared for Besant’s style of management. For whatever reason, Percy William and the Cardens too had all resigned from the TS by 1896. Percy William’s spell as the GD’s sub-imperator (March to December 1896) was also the last administrative job he did for the GD until the crisis of spring 1900.
There are a couple of reasons why Percy William might have curtailed his work for the GD in December 1896. One was the ejecting of Annie Horniman from the GD by Samuel Liddell Mathers, for reasons more to do with money than with magic. But another was the changes in his life that were being brought about by his marriage to Pamela Carden.
The very latest that Percy William Bullock could have encountered members of the Carden family was during March 1891, when Alexander James Carden and his wife Anne Rule Carden had their initiations into the GD. I think it’s just as likely that Percy William met them earlier than that: Alexander James was the first to join the TS officially, in November 1891; but the sponsors of his application were W R Old and Alice Gordon, both long-standing friends of Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, so the whole family could have been moving in theosophical circles for years before. Alexander James’ wife Anne Rule Carden joined the TS in 1892; and their elder daughter Pamela joined in 1893, the only one of their children to do so. By the time of her application to the TS, Alexander James and Anne Rule Carden were members of the GD and Pamela had been in the GD for a year (again, the only one of their children to be initiated), so all three of the Cardens knew Percy William Bullock very well.
The Cardens have their own biography in my set, with Pamela’s early life (what I know of it) included there. Here I’ll just say that, like the Bullocks, the Cardens came from a business background, though a very different business background. Alexander James’ father was Sir Robert Walter Carden, stockbroker and banker. When I first started investigating the Cardens I assumed that all Sir Robert’s descendants were very wealthy. Now I’m not so sure, but Alexander James had enough income from investments and dividends to be able to choose not to follow any profession. He and his wife and their children lived rather modest lifestyles, on the whole, and in the first two decades of the 20th century Percy William may have had a larger annual income than some of his in-laws.
When Pamela Carden applied to be a member of the TS, Percy William Bullock was one of her sponsors; so they were at least very friendly by then, and may already have been engaged to be married. They married in June 1894 and began their life together at 62 Oakley Square, near Euston Station, a house taken on a short lease by Percy William on behalf of the GD, which used some of the rooms for its meetings and rituals. By 1898, however, Percy William and Pamela had moved 69 Thornton Avenue in the new estate of Bedford Park. Several GD members lived in Bedford Park but by 1890s standards it was quite a long way out of town - it was in Chiswick, West London - and it wasn’t so easy for Percy William to drop into the GD offices on the way home from work, as he had often done when living off the Euston Road. You could have many more rooms for much less rent in Bedford Park, however, and the air was better, less polluted by the smoke of coal fires and industry - a health factor that Victorians set much store by and something that may particularly have weighed with the Bullocks and the Cardens as I’ve got the impression (perhaps a mistaken one) that Pamela Bullock’s health may have been such as to worry her family. There are letters from Pamela to Frederick Leigh Gardner, for example, from 1897 and possibly 1898, in which she mentions being so ill as to be in bed and in “the depths of invalid misery” when he called on the Bullocks one day; and another mentioning that she was hoping to make up some cures from a copy of Culpeper’s Herbal that she’d recently bought. With the spells of illness went periods of depression, when she thought of herself as “no use to anyone, but only a burden”. The quotes come from a letter in which Pamela was obliged to refuse Gardner’s invitation to undertake some magic with him. Pamela was flattered that Gardner had asked her, amongst all the GD members who were more experienced than she; it must have been a continual frustration for her to have to refuse chances like this because of her ill-health.
Although Pamela smoked, so knowing what we know now, we might think she contributed to her own health problems. Percy William smoked as well, a habit that Samuel Liddell Mathers found a bit difficult to cope with (not being a smoker himself) when Pamela and Percy William were staying with him and Mina Mathers in Paris in September 1895. Annie Horniman was visiting Mina and Samuel Liddell at the same time and she was a chain-smoker - poor Mathers!
It’s hard to know, now, exactly who was friends with whom amongst the GD members outside the GD meetings; but in the Warburg Institute collection there are letters to Gardner from William Wynn Westcott indicating that their families knew each other well; one from Helen Rand inviting the Gardners to Sunday lunch with her and her husband; and one from Pamela Bullock, dated 3 February 1896, accepting Gardner’s invitation to her and Percy William to have dinner at Gardner’s house and meet Gardner’s wife. Mrs Gardner was never a GD member, so this dinner party moved the relationships between Frederick and and the Rands and the Bullocks out of magic and into the ordinary social world.
Gardner ran an informal book buying service, specialising in occult works, and quite a few GD members used this service. Letters in the Warburg Institute show Westcott and William Sutherland Hunter regularly buying books through him. In 1897 Pamela Bullock asked Gardner to find her a copy of Culpeper’s Herbal and both she and Percy William were delighted with the one he got for them. In her thank you letter Pamela makes it clear that she’s intending to make some of its herbal remedies. Medical herbalism is a very old form of alchemy but in deciding she would try it out, Pamela was going well beyond what the GD expected of its members; as far as I know, the GD never studied medical herbalism, either in theory or in practice. Perhaps she was hoping that herbal remedies would cure her ills when ordinary doctors seemed unable to.
PERCY WILLIAM TRAINS AS A SOLICITOR
I don’t know enough about the law during the 1890s to be sure when and under what circumstances Percy William was allowed by his employers to change jobs from being a clerk like many others, to being an articled clerk, training to qualify as a solicitor. Whether it was policy at Slaughter and May to promote their better clerks like this; or whether the influence of Pamela Bullock’s family was brought to bear, I can’t say. Either way, it was an opportunity Percy William did not turn down. A need to study for professional exams would certainly help explain why he dropped out of the TS and cut back on his work for the GD in the mid-1890s. Percy William described himself as an articled clerk to the 1901 census official, and took his final exams late in 1903. It was probably this serious commitment of time and effort that he was thinking of when, in a letter to Annie Horniman in mid-December 1900, he wrote “I can do no work for a long time to come” (he means magical work, of course).
THE SPLITS IN THE GD
In the late 1890s Samuel Liddell Mathers’ behaviour as one of the GD’s rulers became more and more dictatorial. Despite Percy William’s need to concentrate on his legal studies, he and to a lesser extent Pamela were senior figures in the GD and could not help but be dragged in to deal with the consequences of Mathers’ increasingly arbitrary and paranoid behaviour. In December 1896, both Percy William and Pamela signed a petition to try to get Mathers to rescind his expulsion of Annie Horniman from the GD; but both of them submitted - with most of the other people who signed it - when Mathers reminded them of their magical vows and ordered them to obey him. As Mathers hadn’t bothered to tell Westcott he’d expelled Annie, it was left to Percy William and Pamela to do so. These days it seems to be understood by all GD historians that it was Mathers who, early in 1897, told Westcott’s employers that he was a prominent member of a secret society. They ordered Westcott to resign from all his official positions in the GD and of course Westcott had to do what they demanded. Percy William and Pamela were amongst those GD members who wrote to or visited Westcott to say how very sorry they were that he felt he had to limit his involvement in the GD from now on. Whether they realised Mathers’ part in the affair we don’t know. It all seems to have hit Pamela particularly hard: writing to Frederick Leigh Gardner in May 1897, Westcott mentioned that Pamela was considering resigning from the GD herself. However, there may have been another reason why Pamela Bullock should have been feeling like that: her father, Alexander James Carden, was possibly very ill by this time - he died on 23 July 1897.
Between 1897 and 1900, Percy William and Pamela continued to be friends with Westcott and did their best to stay on good terms with the Mathers; though it looks like they stopped visiting them in Paris. I doubt if Samuel Liddell Mathers was at all grateful but in 1897, Percy William organised a whip-round of GD members to help him and Mina through a difficult time financially. Pamela thought better of her wish to resign from the GD, and in the reallocation of administrative tasks made necessary by Westcott’s resignation (he had quietly got through a lot of the GD’s membership and exam work in the years between 1888 and 1897) she agreed to take responsibility for organising meetings and collecting annual subscriptions. She continued to do that job through the series of shocks that hit the GD between 1900 and 1903.
In February 1900 three years of upheaval within the GD began when a group of its most senior members held a meeting to discuss the possibility - spelled out by Samuel Liddell Mathers in a letter to Florence Farr - that the documents on which the GD based its legitimacy as an occult order were fakes. Percy William was at that meeting, and he became secretary to the committee set up as a result of it, to discover whether what Mathers had told Florence Farr was true. The obvious person to interview on the matter was William Wynn Westcott; and Percy William was the second person to attempt to get some kind of statement out of him. He - like W B Yeats before him - failed to get Westcott to say anything definitive, and during the rest of 1900 the committee began to act on the assumption that Mathers had been telling the truth, and to move towards a future in which the GD would operate without either Westcott or Mathers. Pamela was not a member of the committee and in any case, after there will have been several months in which she will have been in mourning and so not around to help: at the end of July 1900 her younger brother Alexander died of enteric fever in South Africa.
In 1901 Percy William acted as the GD committee’s secretary in two incidents that have become well-known in GD history: Aleister Crowley’s attempt to take possession of the 2nd Order’s headquarters in Blythe Road Hammersmith, on Mathers’ behalf; and the seeing off of two dubious Americans who later came back to haunt the GD as Mr and Mrs Horos . In April it was Percy William who struck Crowley’s name from where Crowley had written it on the list of 2nd Order members; and who informed Crowley that the committee did not recognise his initiation into the 2nd Order by Mathers. These assertions of the committee’s right to rule were a big step on the road to leaving Mathers behind. And in December Percy William was the third GD member to encounter Mr and Mrs Horos in London. He met Mr Horos rather than Mrs - she was too stout to climb the stairs! Percy William did allow Mr Horos to attempt to spin a yarn for him, but realised that his visitor must be the male half of a couple he’d been warned about by GD member Robert Nisbet some months before. He told Mr Horos that he and his wife’s dubious reputation had preceded them from Paris (where they had talked their way into Mathers’ confidence) and, “To cut a long story short he [Mr Horos ] retired discomfited”.
In the summer of 1901, Pamela’s brother Robert Walter had married Ethel Johns. I hope that Percy William and Pamela had brought their respective brothers together, because Robert Walter Carden and Albert Edward Bullock had things in common: they had both trained as architects, and they were both interested in the history of art and architecture, both publishing books on the subject in the years before World War 1. Though the specific art they studied reflected their very different backgrounds: Albert Edward focused on English sculpture and wood-carving and one of his books was an early account of the work of Grinling Gibbons; unlike Robert Walter and Ethel he couldn’t spend several years in Italy translating Italian art books.
Robert Walter and Ethel Carden had only been married a few weeks when Percy William’s father died. Percy William’s mother Annie Elizabeth had died in 1896 and on the day of the 1901 census only Clara, Ethel and Albert were still living above the shop with Francis Bullock. Clara described herself as a milliner’s assistant which I’m supposing meant that she was helping her father run the business. Percy William’s sisters Mary and Eva were married by this time and Minnie may have been; as far as I can tell, Nellie never married and I don’t know where she was living in 1901. As his father’s executor, Percy William’s main task was to close down the drapery business - Clara got married as soon as her period of mourning was over, and no one else was willing, let alone experienced enough, to take the shop on. The winding-up of his father’s affairs occupied Percy William during the early part of 1902 and was probably the reason why he didn’t act as Chief Adept at the GD’s Whitsun ritual - he’d been specially invited to take that role but wasn’t able to get to the ceremony. In 1903, Francis Bullock’s ladies’ outfitters was being run, at its old address, by Pettit and Co.
Percy William had managed to find time to attend the 2nd Order’s annual meeting on 3 May 1902. At that meeting a public acknowledgement of the GD having moved on from Mathers and Westcott was made when its members voted to hand decision-making to three ‘chiefs’ - Percy William, Robert Felkin and John Brodie-Innes - for the next 12 months. All three stood for re-election in June 1903 but none got enough votes to serve; and that year’s annual meeting ended with A E Waite taking charge of the 2nd Order. This opened up the biggest breach yet within the GD, which ended with it dividing into two daughter orders, Waite’s Independent and Rectified Order (or Rite) and Felkin’s Stella Matutina.
Such a vote of ‘no confidence’ in his, Felkin’s and Brodie-Innes’ actions during their one year in office caused Percy William to send in his resignation from the GD: he was a man who could take it on the chin when he had to and in any case, he had his legal studies to focus on. Pamela, however, did play an active part in the break-up of the GD. She was one of fourteen 2nd Order members who signed Waite’s manifesto (dated 24 July 1903) for what became the Independent and Rectified Order/Rite (known in shorthand as the RR et EC). She probably attended the new order’s inauguration on 7 November 1903. R A Gilbert has described the RR et AC as leaning more than the GD had ever done towards freemasonry, while still allowing women a role. Percy William was one of eight ex-GD 2nd Order members who joined the RR et AC during its first year. He never played a big role in it, though, opting instead to pursue his interest in alchemy alone when he had time. At least up until 1905, he was still borrowing manuscripts from Rev Ayton and the two men were still in touch on a regular basis - so much so that Ayton wanted Percy William and Frederick Leigh Gardner to act as executors of his Will (though when he died in 1909, someone else was his executor).
Pamela was probably a member of the RR et AC until Waite closed it down in 1914. In 1913 she introduced her friend Lucy Waterfield as a prospective member: it seems that Lucy had been living with the Bullocks, at least some of the time and at least since 1911, perhaps keeping Pamela company. Pamela and Percy William did not have any children. Pamela’s mother Anne had been living with Pamela’s younger sister Rowena since Alexander James Carden’s death; they seem to have spent quite a lot of time abroad perhaps visiting Robert James and Ethel in Italy.
I haven’t been able to find out whether Pamela and Percy William were members of magical orders in the 1920s; the membership records for those orders seem to have been lost. In the early 1920s Pamela, at least, was still pursuing her interest in the mystical side of the occult, and in 1923 she wrote a short play, An Advent Mystery. She had kept up with occult contacts she had made in the 1890s: John M Watkins of Watkins’ Bookshop (known to many GD members in the 1890s though never a member himself) published her play for her, using the women-run Women’s Printing Society of 31 Brick Street W1 to print it, perhaps on Pamela’s instructions. Having read the play, I have no real idea what to make of it - but then I make no secret of the fact that I’m no occultist. The main characters are biblical: Mary mother of Jesus; Martha as her sister; and their mother Anne. However, Mary is married not to the biblical Joseph but to Phildeus. Phildeus - the love of God - can only be seen by those whose Souls have reached a certain level of awareness that - as Pamela says in her foreword - the love of God is all around. The play is not a straightforward update of the biblical Mary and Martha; nor of the Annunciation. It’s an allegory of the Soul’s journey towards Love, full of symbolism which is spelled out very carefully in the stage directions as well as clear in the text. Its plot, such as it is, is Martha’s journey from sisterly jealousy and resentment to the same level of awareness of the Love of God that Mary shows from the beginning.
Just a thought: in the play’s first scene, Mary and Phildeus have been married for several months but their marriage has not been consummated. Consummation has to wait until Mary is ready; and takes place in between acts 1 and 2. Pamela makes clear that the consummation is as much spiritual as sexual; which almost made me wonder whether Percy William and Pamela had agreed on a marriage without a sexual relationship, like Samuel Liddell Mathers and Mina Bergson are thought to have done. But that’s just my wild imagination and I daresay the Bullocks were childless because it didn’t happen, not because they wanted to be. If Pamela had wanted children but never had any, she must have found writing the long scene in Act 2 in which Mary looks forward to the birth of her son rather difficult.
One aspect of An Advent Mystery that interested me as a researcher of the GD is that a lot of the text is laid out as poetry not dialogue and it’s clear from Pamela’s stage instructions that some of it was to be sung or possibly chanted. It sounds as though Pamela was thinking of the method of performance - for example of poetry by W B Yeats - that GD member Florence Farr developed in the 1900s where the words were not actually sung, but were definitely more chanted than spoken, and in which she accompanied herself on a lyre made for her by Arnold Dolmetsch. Two other women in the GD also had a go at this kind of almost-musical method of recitation, so Pamela could have been quite familiar with the idea, at least.
In a paragraph before the Foreword, Pamela says that some music had been composed for the play, which would be published with the text if public interest justified it; which it apparently didn’t, because I haven’t found any copies of a words-plus-music edition of An Advent Mystery. Pamela didn’t give the name of the composer; perhaps she had written the music herself.
Here is a song/chant from the end of the play (Pamela’s capitals):
Holy Mystic Numbers, Numbers One to Ten,
Breathing out from Unity, breathing back again.
ONE is the Beginning, ONE the utter end,
ONE is Peace and Harmony, ONE is Love and God.
When we broke the crystal ONENESS
Into countless jagged shards
We drowned the shrinking spirit in diversity and drea.
ONE is the Beginning, ONE the utter end,
ONE is Peace and Holiness, ONE is Love and God.
From ONE to ten the stream flows out,
Then turns again to ONE;
But slow the second journey is and sluggish flows the stream.
ONE is the Beginning, ONE the utter end,
ONE is Peace and Harmony, ONE is Love and God.
We are many,
We are ONE
ONE is many.
‘Holy Mystic Numbers’ isn’t, actually, a very good illustration of what I mean, but I found An Advent Mystery antiquated, in style and in concept. By the time An Advent Mystery was published, we’d had The Waste Land, Ulysses and Jacob’s Room (all 1922) and early work by e e cummings (1923). Not that any of those sold in huge numbers, and perhaps Pamela had never heard of any of them; but they did help fire the starting-gun for modernist literature. Pamela’s dancing flowers and fairies (bringing gifts for Mary’s son-to-be) and the use of ‘nay’ and ‘tis’ do seem very Victorian to me. However, An Advent Mystery did show that Pamela’s interest in Christian mysticism continued beyond any definite involvement in occult societies. Not just Christian mysticism, either: at the start of the book are two short quotes, a couple of verses by Hafez or Hafiz; and an aphorism by Jalaluddin-Rumi, both translations from the Persian - an interest Pamela had probably inherited from her father (see my biography of the Cardens for a bit more on that).
PERCY WILLIAM AS A SOLICITOR
In December 1903, Percy William took and passed his final law exams and qualified to practice as a solicitor. Early the following year, he resigned from Slaughter and May and set up his own business, Bullock and Co. From 1904 to 1919 the company worked from offices 65 London Wall in the City, and in the early years at least it also had bases at Bedford Park and in Bournemouth. In 1919 it moved to 7 Stone Buildings in Lincoln’s Inn. Because of some misfortunes which I’ll deal with below, I know that until around 1925 Bullock and Co did well, earning Percy William between £400 and £500 per year. Percy William became known for his excellent financial dealings on his clients’ behalf. The company was able to fund Percy William’s and Pamela’s move to 90 Sunningfields Road, an 11-roomed semi-detached villa in the north London suburb of Hendon. They were also able to employ more servants. On the day of the 1901 census, still living in Bedford Park, Percy William and Pamela were employing the one live-in servant considered to be the basic requirement of middle-class-ness. By 1911 they employed a cook and one housemaid.
Bullock and Co may have specialised in patent applications - though I don’t want to read too much into the patent applications I found via google, as patents are well-represented on the web while the other elements a solicitor might specialise in are not. Patents were certainly not the only thing Percy William did as a solicitor: I’ve also found evidence of him doing mortgage deals and conveyancing - typical solicitor stuff. Did members of the GD use him as their solicitor? He was liked and trusted by most of the Order’s members who knew him (for a notable exception, read on a little way). Unfortunately, though, it’s been difficult to find any evidence. I have only one piece of evidence, in fact, and it might be a special case.
Late in 1910, the racing paper The Looking Glass involved itself in occult matters by printing an article on Aleister Crowley’s Rites of Eleusis, which had recently been staged in London. Ex-GD member George Cecil Jones was the last member of the GD to still be friendly with Crowley and do magic with him. Jones took exception to something that was said in the article, which - he thought - implied that the friendship was a criminal one, that (though the word was not used) it was homosexual. Jones went to Percy William for advice about whether he could sue the paper for libel.
Percy William and George Cecil Jones had kept up their friendship in the years since they had ceased to be active members of the GD. Jones shared Percy William’s interest in alchemy, although he was much more knowledgable, especially on the practical side - he was a trained chemist. After a couple of decades spent working for other people, Jones had set up in business as a chemical analyst and I think it’s likely that Percy William was the business’ solicitor. But even if he was not, Jones might have chosen to consult Percy William on the question of whether he had grounds to sue, given the people he might have to call as witnesses in a trial - such a trial might turn out to be a rather occult affair. I’d love to know what advice Percy William gave Jones when Jones consulted him. In his place, I would have suggested that Jones grit his teeth and try to ignore it - after all, The Looking Glass was not a paper likely to be read by many people who knew him, and the offending paragraph was quite discreet really, with no names mentioned. But a solicitor can only advise. If the client insists on carrying on with legal action that’s likely to end in embarrassment or worse, the solicitor must do his best for him or her despite their reservations. Jones insisted on going ahead and Percy William’s first step will have been to take the advice of a barrister on the likelihood of winning the case; perhaps hoping the barrister might talk Jones out of going further. Either the advice favoured Jones’ case; or Jones was too determined for his own good; because the case did go to court, in April 1911, generating plenty of publicity, with names, and being covered in detail by the Times amongst other papers.
Although Crowley was the other person supposedly libelled in the paragraph Jones found so offensive, he didn’t sue; and he didn’t appear in the Jones v The Looking Glass case as a witness. In his Confessions Crowley suggests that Jones hadn’t wanted to ask him to give evidence, in case he made things worse; though it might equally well have been Percy William who had advised against letting Crowley say anything in court. Jones and his advisors called on Samuel Liddell Mathers and Edward William Berridge as more trustworthy witnesses to the nature of the friendship he had with Crowley; and both men did give evidence. Writing about the trial, Crowley described Percy William as a “mild mystic addicted to alchemy”. Though Crowley did not intend it that way, he makes Percy William sound like a very nice person; but perhaps Crowley was right when he also suggested that such a person was not at all suited to giving legal advice in such a difficult case. Crowley blamed both Percy William and Jones for their choice of barrister, saying that a more experienced man was needed to argue Jones’ case than the newly-qualified Mr Simmons who had represented him. I’m sure Percy William hired the best man he could, but Crowley was ignoring the fact that as a self-employed married man with a family, Jones’ financial means were limited.
The outcome of the trial was farcical but I don’t think what happened was the fault of any lack of effort on Percy William’s part. After two days of evidence and cross-examination, the jury gave a most peculiar verdict that suggested they did think Jones and Crowley were in a homosexual relationship; but that they still thought Jones had been libelled. As to whether it damaged Jones’ reputation; or the friendship with Percy William, I can’t say. I hope that Percy William didn’t have to handle too many cases as awkward and public as that one; and that if Jones had been a regular client of Bullock and Co, that he continued to be so.
As I mentioned just above, all went well for Bullock and Co until the mid-1920s. In the early 1920s Percy William got together with George Handley, a garage owner and inventor based in Palmer’s Green (at that time on the very edge of north London). I found several patents registered in both the UK and the USA in their joint names and although I don’t fully understand how the patented machinery worked, it all involved different types of rotary pumps. One of the patents was for a pump for a refrigerator; but most were for pumps in vehicles, including one which (according to my scientific advisor Roger Wright) sounds like an early attempt at getting fuel injection to work, thus dispensing with the need for a carburettor. In his partnership with George Handley, Percy William provided the finance and the legal expertise, while Handley was the technical expert. The combination worked well and earned both parties money; and Percy William began to look around for other inventions he could invest in. Unfortunately, he was a bit too keen, and got involved with someone who had - to put it mildly - a chequered past, money-wise.
Percy William met Robert Brownlow of Hendon Scientific Laboratories in 1925. Brownlow called himself a chemical engineer and inventor, and he probably was those things, but... Anyway, he persuaded Percy William to fund some inventions he was working on. Percy William raised £15,000 from various sources including his own money, and set up a company, Scientific Research Limited, with him and Brownlow as its share-holders (each owning at least 100 shares) and its two directors. The company rented premises at Brent Green in Hendon and kitted them out as laboratory in which Brownlow could work on his ideas. There was one in particular, apparently, coyly described by the Times as “a new proprietary article of universal utility” - I suppose we’ll never know what it was.
As 1925 turned into 1926, Brownlow was asking for ever more money, so in the autumn of 1926 he and Percy William advertised for more investors, offering a wage and a directorship in return for their money. Emil Schwarz was amongst those who answered the advert; but very shortly after handing over his cash, he began to smell a rat and went to the police. Why Percy William had not smelt one already I do not know. I think he was in dereliction of his duty as a solicitor in not checking up on Brownlow. Perhaps he was too excited about Brownlow’s inventions to act properly; perhaps he thought he needn’t be so stringent in his checks as usual, as he was the major investor. Goodness knows - the whole thing is very out of character for Percy William. Bankruptcy is a rather public process - finding out whether someone has gone bankrupt is not difficult. It didn’t take Schwarz and the police long to discover that Brownlow was an undischarged bankrupt; I presume it was Schwarz who informed Percy William of the fact, in November 1926. There are restrictions on what any undischarged bankrupt can do, financially. One of them was that he was not allowed to act as the director of any company; and yet in December 1926, Scientific Research Ltd was set up with Percy William, and Brownlow, as its two directors. Brownlow resigned as a director only a few weeks later; but then Percy William compounded the mess he was getting into, by appointing someone to take Brownlow’s place who did not own the requisite 100 shares in the company. All this was breaking the law - what was Percy William doing?
Brownlow was sent for trial in January 1927, charged with breaking the rules covering the actions of undischarged bankrupts. Charges of fraud were considered, but dropped. I haven’t been able to find out whether he was found guilty, but in the initial hearing it was revealed that he’d been bankrupt three times before - so he really couldn’t say he didn’t know the rules.
Scientific Research Ltd Brownlow went bankrupt, owing £3408, and Percy William seems to have been left by Brownlow to deal with the creditors. As early as June 1926 Percy William been so involved raising money for Scientific Research Ltd that Bullock and Co had been suffering because he wasn’t doing any legal work; and in October 1927 he’d been obliged to take a job as a manager at someone else’s solicitor’s firm - a step that pushed him back 20 years into his own past. In January 1928 the Board of Trade called in a firm of accountants to act as official trustees of Bullock and Co. Percy William was declared personally bankrupt, with claims against him totalling £7836. The Law Society revoked his licence to practice and he had to go to court to get it back.
In May 1928 the bankruptcy court decided to allow Percy William to practice law again, as in general he’d had (I quote the Times’ report on this, perhaps based on the Judge’s actual words) “an honest and good business record”. By November 1928 Bullock and Co were back at work, doing the conveyancing in the sale of a shop in south London. I don’t think that Percy William ever recovered financially though; I wonder, too, whether a lot of his former clients stayed away from a man who’d come such a financial and legal cropper. One client who did not stay away was GD member Julian Levett Baker, a professional chemist who shared Percy William’s interest in alchemy. Julian and Percy William were joint executors of the Will of Julian’s mother, who died in 1932.
Percy had only been back in business a few months when on 30 September 1929, Pamela died, aged only 58 and about 20 years before any of her siblings died (apart from Alexander). Her mother Anne had lived until 1924 so Pamela only survived her by five years. Perhaps Pamela’s days were shortened by the financial traumas of 1925 to 1928; though I do stand by my belief that her health may never have been very good. She seems not to have been able to do anything to prevent her husband getting so far out of his financial depth; and may even have been persuaded to invest Carden family money in Brownlow’s schemes.
Percy William and Pamela were childless and I do see Percy William’s last few years as rather lonely. He carried on working - he had no choice, really, having lost all his savings. He died in September 1940. I hope that in this last decade of his life, Percy William stuck by the sentiments he had expressed at the end of his 1892 talk on hermetic philosophy. He had said: “Hermetic philosophy is...a union of the reason and the religious instinct” offering “a key to unlock the mysteries of being and is a testimony to the eternal aspiration of man to become united with the Divine”. I hope that he still believed in the truth of that, and that his belief helped him rise above what I think must have been some bleak last years, both personally and when he looked at what was happening in the wider world.
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.
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 PERCY WILLIAM BULLOCK AND PAMELA CARDEN BULLOCK
For Francis Bullock’s business at 72 Edgware Road: Post Office Directories.
PERCY WILLIAM’S ADDRESS IN 1893
R A Gilbert’s The Golden Dawn Scrapbook: The Rise and Fall of a Magical Order, published 1997 York Beach Maine: Samuel Weiser Inc. On p45 there’s part of letter from Percy Bullock 1893 giving the address 22 Upper George St, Bryanston Square, requesting the GD’s yearly sub of 10 shillings per person. PO Directory 1893 street directory section p693 for Miss Inglis.
DEATH OF FRANCIS BULLOCK
Probate Registry volume for 1902: Francis Bullock of 72 Edgware Road died 25 July 1901. Probate granted London 30 January 1902 to Percy William Bullock “articled clerk”. Personal effects £2732/10/6.
London Gazette 28 February 1902 p1814 notice issued 25 February 1902 by Slaughter and May of 18 Austin Friars, solicitors for Percy William Bullock, executor of the Will of Francis Bullock of 72 Edgware Road, “Draper”, who had died 25 July 1901. All Francis Bullock’s creditors were to contact Slaughter and May by 10 April 1902.
PO Directory 1903 street directory section p378 Pettit and Co, ladies’ outfitters, now at 72 Edgware Road.
PUBLICATIONS BY ALBERT EDWARD seen on Amazon.com
1908 Some Sculptural Works of Nicholas Stone Statuary 1586-1647
1914 Grinling Gibbons and his Compeers
1917 English Architectural Decoration
1920 Westminster Abbey and St Margaret’s Church
PERCY WILLIAM AND PAMELA’S HOUSE IN HENDON
90 Sunningfields Road Hendon.
Website gives it a name: The Staithe. which is based on information in Burke’s Peerage 107th edition,
The Estates Gazette volume 159 1952 p560 had an advert for the one remaining flat in 90 Sunningfields Road. House described as double-fronted, semi-detached.
PERCY WILLIAM AS A LEGAL CLERK
That Percy was employed by solicitors Slaughter and May: Warburg Institute Gerald Yorke Collection catalogue number NS73 includes a note from Percy to Frederick Leigh Gardner, dated 14 November 1893 and written on Slaughter and May’s headed notepaper.
Post Office London Directory 1900 law directory p2624 Slaughter and May’s offices are at 18 Austinfriars.
Dictionary of Business Biography Volume V p187 for details of Sir William Capel Slaughter and Slaughter and May. Born 1857 son of Secretary of the London Stock Exchange’s share and loan deparment.
Seen 16 February 2010 Founded by William Capel Slaughter and William May in 1889 after they had qualified doing their training together, at Ashurst Morris Crisp and Co. now work from offices at 1 Bunhill Row: international lawyers specialising in mergers, acquistions and corporate finance.
PERCY WILLIAM AS A SOLICITOR
Law Lists don’t have his name in them until 1905.
The Weekly Notes of the Incorporated Council of Law Reporting for England and Wales, volume 38 1903 p319 in a list of people taking the solicitor’s Final Exam on 2 and 3 November 1903: Percy William Bullock.
Law List 1905 p396 London solicitors: Bullock with date January 1904 and 2 addresses - 65 London Wall and Turnham Green.
Times Thursday 11 July 1907 p16 Partnerships and Investments Section: advert from Bullock and Co of London Wall, on behalf of clients wanting to mortgage a property for £550; the property is in the City and has leasehold tenants in it.
Law List 1907 p413 London solicitors: Bullock at 65 London Wall and Bournemouth.
Law List 1908 p413 London solicitors: Bullock at 65 London Wall only.
Law Journal Reports New Series volume 80 part 7 1911 p88 refers to Percy William Bullock acting as solicitor in p89 Curtis v Beaney in the Probate, Divorce and Admiralty Division.
BULLOCK GETS INVOLVED IN JONES V THE LOOKING GLASS The Confessions of Aleister Crowley: an Autohagiography editors John Symonds and Kenneth Grant. London, Boston Mass, Henley: RKP 1979: p635, 641-42, 759.
Coverage of Jones v The Looking Glass from Times 27 April 1911; you can now download this as a pdf file.
Law List 1920 p483 London solicitors: Bullock and Co is now at 7 Stone Buildings Lincoln’s Inn.
PERCY WILLIAM AND GEORGE HANDLEY some patents from 1920s
Official Gazette of the US Patent Office volume 299 1922 p134 patent on a rotary pump with ejector. The holders of the patent were George Handley of Palmer’s Green London with half of the patent assigned to Percy William Bullock. Note filed 23 November 1920.
At a series of references to patents applied for by George Handley and PWB:
- ref GB 147283 and GB 147280 applications for patent 16 April 1919; patent granted 16 July 1920. For a mount for a pump
- ref GB 159258 application for patent 13 November 1919; patent granted 14 February 1921. It’s f a rotary pump discharge outlet
- ref GB 171860 application for patent 8 October 1920; patent granted 1 December 1921
- ref GB 187115 patent granted 19 October 1920; an endless chain machine
At this website I also saw one patent held by George Handley alone; and several held by George Handley and J B Carr from 1943-45.
At the US equivalent, patents held by George Handley and Percy William Bullock presumably on the same inventions as the UK patent website:
- US Patent Number 1335577 30 March 1920; rotary pump
- US Patent Number 1353745 21 September 1920; rotary pump for pumping liquids
- US Patent Number 1418921 6 June 1922; rotary pump with ejector
Refrigerating World volume 55 1920 p24 has exactly the same description of the item as that in US Patent Number 1353745 so it’s probably the same invention: Serial Number 333022 filed 24 October 1919.
Seen April 2013 at website a garage called George Handley is still in operation in Palmer’s Green: car body repairs on a site behind the ex-Woolworths.
PERCY WILLIAM AND ROBERT BROWNLOW
The Times had no mention of Brownlow in 1923, 1926, 1928 and the item below is the only one for 1927, so I don’t know very much about his previous three bankruptcies.
Times Sat 22 January 1927 p9 Industrial Chemist Sent for Trial: report covered the appearance of Robert Brownlow at Bow St police court “yesterday”. The third bankruptcy (1923) was mentioned in this report. Brownlow pleaded not guilty and was sent for trial. There was no more coverage of the case in the Times.
Chemist and Druggist volume 106 1927 p122 also had a report on Brownlow’s Bow St appearance and gave a few more details about his past ventures.
PERCY WILLIAM’S PERSONAL BANKRUPTCY
Times Wednesday 1 February 1928 p24 Legal Notices: an announcement dated 30 January 1928 by the Board of Trade that it had appointed an official trustee for Percy William Bullock as he was bankrupt.
Times Thursday 17 May 1928 p5 A Solicitor’s Discharge: barrister Mr Warrington acted for Percy William Bullock.
Times Monday 26 November 1928 p28 Property Page: Bullock and Co acting as solicitors in the sale by auction of 8 Spring Gardens. The auctioneers are Hiller, Parker May and Rowden who specialise in shops.
BANKRUPTCY OF SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH LTD
The Chemical Age volume 19 1928 p586 issue of 22 December 1928. Under the heading “Winding-up”, a statement from the official receiver in the winding-up of Scientific Research Ltd of Brent Green Works Hendon: a statement of the firm’s liabilities had been submitted by directors Robert Brownlow and Percy William Bullock on 11 October 1928.
Chemical Trade Journal and Chemical Engineer volume 83 1929 p552 also covers the winding-up of Scientific Research Ltd and gives a few more details.
PERCY WILLIAM’S DEATH
Law Times volume 190 1940 p158 a very short note recording the death of Percy William Bullock, solicitor, on ?14 (I couldn’t read the number clearly) September 1940.
Last appear of Bullock and Co is in Law List for 1940 p482 London solicitors - still at 7 Stone Buildings Lincoln’s Inn. Firm is not in the Law List for 1941.
PERCY WILLIAM BULLOCK AND THE OCCULT
Biography of Anna Bonus Kingsford and her founding of the Hermetic Society by Samuel Hopgood Hart. My copy was printed in 2013 by Kessinger Publishing but originally it was the Biographical Preface to a much longer work, Hart’s Credo of Christendom and other Addresses and Essays on Esoteric Christianity. Via the web it looks like the full book was published in 1930. On p5 Hart states that Helena Petrovna Blavatsky’s Isis Unveiled was regarded by all TS members as the TS’s “chief text-book”. For example: as she had not mentioned reincarnation in the book, reincarnation was not a doctrine put forward by the TS, at least during the early 1880s.
ANNA BONUS KINGSFORD
Biography of Anna Bonus Kingsford and her founding of the Hermetic Society by Samuel Hopgood Hart. I got my copy in 2013 from Kessinger Pubg but originally it was only the Biographical Preface to Hart’s Credo of Christendom and other Addresses and Essays on Esoteric Christianity published in 1930. The Biography: footnote on p2 says that many of Kingsford’s talks at the Hermetic Society were also published in the journal Light. In the book Hart describes his search for Kingsford’s papers, and his eventual conclusion (p70) that Maitland had destroyed virtually all of them, on finishing his biography of Kingsford. So no list of the members of the Hermetic Society is extant. Hart reproduces an invitation to the 1884 series of talks at the Society on p29: the talks would be on Thursdays at 5pm. On p29 Hart describes the inauguration of the Society on 9 May 1884; some scant details of where it took place, and who was there. Because of Kingsford’s illness (p47) no sessions of the Society were scheduled for 1887 and in fact it never met after 1886. Kingsford died (p52) on 22 February .
Re the journal Light: Janet Oppenheim’s The Other World: Spiritualism and Psychical Research in England 1850-1914. London Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 1985. It was founded (p42) by Edmund Dawson Rogers, founder-member of the British National Association of Spiritualists; and also of the Society for Psychical Research. (P46) Light was founded as a weekly spiritualist newspaper in January 1881. It still exists, though now as a quarterly.
Website No talks by either of them are mentioned in Hart’s book, which I’m a bit worried by, but Hart is concentrating on Kingsford, he doesn’t even cover talks at the Society by Maitland. says both Samuel Liddell Mathers and William Wynn Westcott gave lectures at the Hermetic Society; website does not give a source for this information.
Influential publications by Anna Bonus Kingsford; from the British Library catalogue:
The Perfect Way; or the Finding of Christ. London: Field and Tuer 1882; revised and enlarged edition 1887. And several later editions including one published in 1890.
The Hermetic Works: The Virgin of the World. This was a translation, not an original work, with an essay, introduction and notes by Dr (sic) Anna Kingsford and E Maitland. London: G Redway 1885.
Dreams and Dream Stories, edited by Edward Maitland. London: G Redway 1888
The biography referred to by Hart is: Anna Kingsford, her life, letters, diary and work. By Edward Maitland. London: G Redway 1896.
There is one modern biography: Red Cactus: the life of Anna Kingsford by Alan Pert. Watson’s Bay NSW 2006. Pert is highly critical of Maitland’s work, suggesting that Maitland was going out of his way to play down Kingsford’s role in her own life, and to exaggerate Maitland’s own.
GRS MEAD’s work on hermeticism: Thrice-Greatest Hermes. London and Benares: Theosophical Publishing Society 1906.
The Alchemist of the Golden Dawn: Letters of the Revd William Alexander Ayton to Frederick Leigh Gardner and Others 1886-1905 edited and with an introduction by Ellic Howe. Aquarian Press 1985. The letters used for the book were all written by William Alexander Ayton to Frederick Leigh Gardner; Howe didn’t find any letters from Ayton to Percy William. During the 20th century the letters to Frederick Leigh Gardner made their way into the occult collection of Gerald Yorke which is now in the Warburg Institute, University of London.
PERCY WILLIAM IN THE THEOSOPHICAL SOCIETY
Just noting that the TS only began keeping systematic records in the late 1880s, when it had already been in existence for nearly a decade. Theosophical Society Membership Register January 1889-September 1891 p97 immediately after Annie Besant, the application of Percy W Bullock. No application date (this usually indicates someone who’s been a member for some time). Subscriptions paid 1892-94 only. Addresses during membership:
22 Upper George Street Bryanston Square
62 Oakley Square Hampstead Road
Branch = Adelphi
THE TS’S ANANDA LODGE IN ITS EASTERN SCHOOL OF THEOSOPHY
The information on Ananda Lodge was kept by its president, William Wynn Westcott, and has found its way into the Freemasons’ Library. It includes:
- FML’s call number GD 7/4/5 Westcott’s set of Lodge rules, prepared by Percy William as its Secretary.
- FML’s call number GD 7/4/6 the Lodge Minute book covering its monthly meetings during the whole period of the Lodge’s existence - 19 November 1893 to 3 November 1895. The Lodge had eight members including three who were in the GD: Westcott, Bullock, and Frederick Leigh Gardner who didn’t join until July 1894. Westcott’s record-keeping had got very desultory by early 1895; very few of the members were coming regularly to the meetings by that time; and I think that in practical terms the Lodge was non-functioning by the end of 1894.
The reference to Percy William’s lack of enthusiasm for Annie Besant as leader of the TS comes from The Alchemist of the Golden Dawn p74.
Theosophical Siftings volumes 4-5 1892-95 published by the Theosophical Publishing Society, Adelphi London. These volumes bring together recently published talks and pamphlets. This volume contains these works by Percy William Bullock, given as talks and then published as pamphlets:
* Hermetic Philosophy
* Egyptian Belief Theosophically Considered
* Occultism Past and Present.
My quotations from the talk on Hermetic Philosophy are from the original pamplet published London: Theosophical Publishing Society 1892 p15.
May 2013: Wikipedia had articles on the Smaragdine Tablet, with Isaac Newton’s translation; on the Divine Pymander; and on Sephir Yetzirah though wikipedia’s editors were calling for input from an expert on the Kabbalah. At I also found full texts in English of The Divine Pymander of Hermes Mercurius Trismegistus - the 1650 translation by John Everard; and Westcott’s 1887 translation of Sephir Yetzirah as The Book of Creation. Websites and also had translations of The Divine Pymander.
The dates the above talks were given on; and Percy William’s administrative work for the TS, appear in:
Lucifer: A Theosophical Magazine volumes
* X March-August 1892
* XI September 1892-February 1893
* XIII September 1893-February 1894
THE REVIEWS OF PERCY WILLIAM’S SOMNIUM SCIPIONIS
Lucifer: A Theosophical Magazine volume XV September 1894 to February 1895; edited by Annie Besant and G R S Mead. Volume XV number 189 issue of 15 January 1895 p426 review of Collectanea Hermetica volume 5
The Unknown World covering Alchemy, Magic, Divination, Rosicrucianism, Witchcraft, Astrology, Mysticism. Volume 1 no 6 issued 15 January 1895 p283.
Wikipedia on the publication correctly called De Re Publica written by Cicero 54-51BC.
SOME WORKS IN THE FREEMASONS’ LIBRARY
NB: there is nothing by Percy William in the British Library catalogue.
The Freemasons’ Library has two items by him and none about him:
* Somnium Scipionis translated into English and with an essay by LO (ie Levavi Oculos, Percy William’s GD motto). Theosophical Publishing Society 1894
* M W Blackden’s copy of The Chaldaean Oracles of Zoroaster edited and revised by Sapere Aude (one of Westcott’s GD mottoes) with an introduction by LO (Bullock). Theosophical Publishing Society 1895.
Via google books:
Egyptian Belief Theosophically Considered by P W Bullock and Herbert Coryn. Published 1893 as a TS pamphlet.
PERCY WILLIAM AND PAMELA CARDEN BULLOCK IN THE GD:
Because Percy William did so much administrative work for the GD, a lot of material by him is now in the Freemasons’ Library Golden Dawn collection. A letter and the notes of a meeting are the sources for Percy William’s encounter with Mr Horos:
- FML call number GD 2/4/3, unsigned but in Westcott’s handwriting. Dated 15 June 1900, it’s a record of a meeting between the writer and GD member Robert Baird Brash Nisbet, who’d been living in Paris for a couple of years. He was a member of the GD’s Ahathoor Temple there, and was a long-time friend of Samuel Liddell Mathers; but he’d got very worried (as well he might) about Mathers’ recent behaviour.
- FML call number GD 2/4/4/2, a handwritten letter by Percy William to Annie Horniman, with an extra paragraph added by Pamela on the end. The letter is dated 10 December 1900.
THE BULLOCKS AND FREDERICK LEIGH GARDNER:
Warburg Institute Gerald Yorke Collection catalogue number NS73 - letters mostly to but occasionally copies of letters from, Gardner, covering the mid-1890s to the mid-1920s. Including a set from Pamela Bullock, sent between 1896 and 1897; and one from Westcott to Gardner also mentioning that Pamela had been ill, in such a way as to make me wonder whether he was Pamela’s doctor. Also letters from Helen Rand to Gardner 28 February 1897; from Westcott to Gardner, 17 March 1897; from Helen Rand to Gardner 1 April 1897; and from Ada Waters to Gardner 8 May 1897.
Nicholas Culpeper (1616-54) botanist, pharmacist and political radical: see wikipedia, www.sciencemuseum.org etc. His The English Physician was published in 1652, in English (not Latin); given the title by which it’s now known, Complete Herbal for the edition of 1653.
More easily accessible sources:
The Magicians of the GD: A Documentary History of a Magical Order 1887-1923 by Ellic Howe. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul 1972. His sources had all been published already; see his pxxiii for a list of them. When his manuscript was finished he was given access to documents kept by A E Waite, mostly from the late 1890s and later; he made some alterations based on them.
R A Gilbert The Golden Dawn Companion.
The Golden Dawn Scrapbook: the Rise and Fall of a Magical Order by R A Gilbert published 1997 York Beach Maine: Samuel Weister Inc.
THE HOROS FRAUDSTERS
The trial of Theodore and Laura Horos, real names Frank Dutton Jackson and Editha Loleta Jackson, received huge coverage in the papers. Even the Times succombed and carried detailed reports on the commital hearings and the Old Bailey trial. You can read the blow-by-blow account in the Times starting on Friday 27 September 1901 and ending on Saturday 21 December 1901. Mr Horos was found guilty of rape and Mrs Horos of aiding and abetting; they both got penal servitude. Mention of Mathers and the GD was made by Mrs Horos during the commital hearing, report published in the Times of Friday 22 November 1901 p13. The Horoses were professional fraudsters. They had been allowed in to Ahathoor Temple in Paris by Mathers despite the fact that they were never GD members. He’d also lent them GD rituals to copy - rituals they never returned.
PAMELA and PERCY JOIN WAITE’S IND AND RECT RITE
A E Waite: A Magician of Many Parts by R A Gilbert published Wellingborough Northants 1987. P178 Appendix C lists the original members of the RR et AC.
LUCY WATERFIELD, WHO APPLIES TO JOIN INDEPENDENT AND RECTIFIED ORDER/RITE
Freemasons’ Library GD database. records that a Miss Lucy Waterfield applied to join A E Waite’s Independent and Rectified Rite on 4 September 1913. She gave as her address: c/o P W Bullock, 90 Sunningfields Road Hendon. The information in FML’s GD database is all from original sources now in the FML’s collection; but exactly which records the information was taken from is not in the database, for reasons of space.
R A Gilbert’s GD Companion.
Lucy Waterfield, from the census and freebmd. I don’t think she’s a relation of either Percy William or Pamela. She was born in 1877, the youngest child of Henry Waterfield and his first wife, Katherine Jane née Wood. Her mother died in 1882. In 1885 her father got married again, to Mary Augusta Shee. Henry Waterfield worked in the financial department of the India Office.
By 1901 he had been knighted. He and Mary Augusta retired to Bournemouth, where Henry died on 5 July 1913 - only a couple of months before Lucy considered joining the RR et AC.
An Advent Mystery. [A Play] by Pamela Bullock. London: John M Watkins of 21 Cecil Court 1923. The last page, p52, has a British Library date-stamp on it “12 Dec 23" so Watkins published the play in time for Christmas.
AUTHORS OF THE TRANSLATIONS FROM PERSIAN see wikipedia though there’s very little more detail on Hafiz.
1 = Hafiz. Pamela must mean Khwajeh Shams al-Din Muhammed Hafez-e Shirazi, 14th century Persian mystic.
2 = Jalaluddin. Wikipedia has a long article on Jalal ad-Din Muhammed Balkhi, also known as Jalaladdin Rumi or just Rumi. 1207-1273, poet and Sufi mystic, his work is seen as one of the pinnacles of writing in Persian.
For more on Florence Farr’s chant-plus-lyre see Florence Farr: Bernard Shaw’s ‘New Woman’ by Josephine Johnson. Gerrard’s Cross: Colin Smythe 1975.
Copyright SALLY DAVIS
11 August 2015
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