Agnes, Baroness de Pallandt was initiated into the Order of the Golden Dawn at its Isis-Urania temple in London in May 1891, taking the motto ‘Anael’. A note in the GD administration records describes her as “no good”. The note doesn’t say what it was she was no good at but she certainly doesn’t seem to have even begun the reading and study that was expected of initiates, and resigned from the GD in 1893.
BEFORE WE START:
If you search for the Baroness de Pallandt on the web or in the Times between (roughly) 1909 and 1925 you’re likely to come across the Baroness May de Pallandt. Originally from Canada and apparently living apart from her husband, she was pursued through the courts by the police and various firms for attempted fraud and unpaid bills. A colourful character! She must have been married to one of the van Pallandt family at some stage and, like Agnes, continued to keep the useful title after she and her husband went their separate ways.
The Golden Dawn’s Baroness de Pallandt was born Agnes Alicia Margaret MacLean, in London in 1849. Her parents were Allan Thomas MacLean, who was in the British army, and his wife Agnes Lisle MacLean.
CLAN MACLEAN AND THE ISLE OF MULL
See the Clan website, at www.maclean.org, but here I’ll paraphrase its pages on the emergence of the family in 14th century Scotland when the earliest important member of the clan - Lachlan Lubanach (Lachlan the Crafty) - was granted land on the Isle of Mull and later married his feudal overlord’s daughter. Lachlan Lubanach lived at Castle Duart, which still exists and you can see a photograph of it at the Clan website. Agnes’ father was one of the MacLeans of Pennyghael on the Isle of Mull who claimed direct descent from Lachlan Lubanach. Archibald MacLean of Pennyghael, Agnes’ grandfather, married Alicia daughter of Hector MacLean of Toiren. They had seven sons and two daughters. Eldest son Alexander inherited the family estate (and married another MacLean). The younger sons all left Mull to find work, two going to London and four going into the army.
Allan Thomas MacLean, the second son, joined the army in December 1810 and fought all the way through the Peninsular War. He was wounded and taken prisoner at Couches in March 1814 but was freed and healed in time to fight at Waterloo. In the 1820s, and promoted to Captain, he went with his regiment, the 13th Light Dragoons, to India. While stationed at Bangalore in 1831 and now promoted to Major, he had a falling-out with the regiment’s commanding officer, Lt-Col J F Paterson, which ended with his being court-martialed for insubordination and bringing the regiment into disrepute. At a hearing in Madras in December 1831 he was exonerated and Paterson criticised for not dealing with the matter by himself; but the incident seems to have led to MacLean returning to England and not serving abroad again. For reasons that baffle me, his career was not hampered by what happened at Bangalore (I know he was exonerated but these things do get about): he was promoted to Lieutenant-Colonel in 1834; was promoted to be the colonel of the regiment in November 1860; and reached his highest military level, that of Lieutenant-General, in December 1861.
AGNES MACLEAN’S CLOSE FAMILY - RATHER A COMPLICATED ONE
Allan Thomas MacLean was born about 1805. However, like many military officers he left it late to marry. It must have been around 1844 that he married Agnes Lisle Lawrence; I haven’t found details of the marriage registration on the web, so I’m assuming it took place in Scotland. This is where it gets complicated: Agnes Lisle Forlong had been married and widowed twice before. She too was Scottish, the daughter of William and Mary Maria Forlong of Wellshott Cambuslang. In 1822 she had married John Taylor, another army officer; they had three daughters but only one survived her infancy; and John Taylor had died in 1828. There’s even less information around about widow Agnes Taylor’s second marriage, to L Lawrence, than about her first; I haven’t even been able to find out her second husband’s forenames though his dates are 1802-40 and they don’t seem to have had any children. Agnes Lawrence, widowed again and with one daughter, then married Allan Thomas MacLean. Although Agnes MacLean was around 40 at her third marriage, she and Allan Thomas had two children: Arthur, born around 1845; and the GD member Agnes Alicia Margaret, born 1849 and named after her mother and one of her grandmothers.
I can’t find out anything more about Agnes’ full brother Arthur; I think he died in his infancy. So in 1850 Allan Thomas MacLean’s family consisted of his wife Agnes; her daughter Mary Maria, aged 18; and their daughter Agnes, aged 1. Although Agnes aged 2 had been born in London the family’s usual base must have been Scotland, given the lack of English information on them at this time; they’re not on the 1851 census in England.
In 1850 or 1851 Mary Maria Taylor married Lt-Colonel George Grenville Malet of the 3rd Bombay Light Infantry and went to live in India. However, Lt-Colonel Malet was killed in action in Persia in 1856. Mary Maria returned to England with her four children. By the day of the 1861 census Allan Thomas MacLean had moved his family to England and was living at 3 Oxford Square Paddington, off the Edgeware Road. Living with him were his wife Agnes; his daughter Agnes aged 12 (the future GD member, in case you’ve already lost track); his step-daughter Mary Maria Malet; and his step-daughter’s children, a third Agnes in the household - Agnes Malet, Margaret Malet, Bessie Malet and Allan Malet. It was no wonder that the census official got the ages of several of these children mixed up - writing down, for example, that young Agnes MacLean and Agnes Malet were the same age. At least Allan Thomas MacLean could afford to keep such a large household: he was able to pay for a governess (though not one who spoke French as her native tongue - they were the most expensive); a lady’s maid; a footman (note that he’d decided against employing a butler, they were really expensive); a cook; a nursemaid for all the young children; and a housemaid.
Allan Thomas MacLean died at 3 Oxford Terrace on 9 December 1868. He had made his Will in 1867, setting up a trust fund whose trustees were to pay an annual income to his wife (now widowed for the fourth time) and his daughter. It’s possible he included his step-daughter Mary Maria in these provisions though it was more usual to give daughters a financial settlement when they married (if they married) and of course Mary Maria was not his daughter, she probably inherited money from her father John Taylor (a man she could probably scarcely remember). The trustees of Allan Thomas MacLean’s money were John Cumming; and Frederick Talbot Tasker, solicitor, of 47 Bedford Row.
The Rev John Cumming lived at 7 Montague Place Russell Square and was a popular choice as executor and trustee. He was minister of the Church of Scotland’s church at Covent Garden which catered for Scots living in London. During his period in charge there, congregations were often several hundred-strong; and I think they must have included the MacLean and Malet families. Cumming was an indefatigable writer of letters to the Times, usually denouncing the doings of the Roman Catholic church and protestants who had converted to Catholicism. According to his wikipedia page, he believed that Judgement Day would take place at some time between 1848 and 1867; I wonder how he felt when 1868 arrived? He died in 1881 and was presumably replaced by a new executor and trustee of Allan Thomas MacLean’s Will. At least, I hope a replacement was chosen, I hope Mrs MacLean and Baroness de Pallandt didn’t just let the other executor and trustee of their money get on with it alone. Of Frederick Talbot Tasker much more further down this file.
When her father died Agnes Alicia Margaret MacLean was 19. As far as I can tell, she was not presented to Queen Victoria, but once the period of mourning was over, she was ‘out’ in every other sense. She may have already been engaged to be married when her father died. How she met him I do not know but in November 1870, Agnes MacLean married an officer in the Dutch army, Baron Karel (Charles) Frederick Henry van Pallandt.
This question of Van or De: they are equivalents in Dutch and French and are widely understood (however mistakenly) to denote nobility. Even in the marriage notice in the Times, however, Karel van Pallandt is named as ‘de’. I think Agnes, and possibly her mother too, thought that Agnes’ social status would not be so clear to English society if she used ‘van’, so she always used ‘de’. They wanted there to be no ambiguity about it in England because in the society in which Agnes and her mother wished to move, this sort of thing mattered. The Dutch family history website on which I found details of the van Pallandt family makes it clear that all sons are entitled to call themselves ‘baron’: not just the eldest one. So on her marriage, though her husband was the third son not the eldest one, Agnes MacLean became the Baroness de Pallandt (or Baronne, which she sometimes used, also French). I’ve explained all this about her title, not because it’s important to me, though it sheds light on her character and the nature of the society she lived in; I’ve explained it because it seemed so very important to her.
Agnes de Pallandt accompanied her husband back to Holland; she and her husband are not on the 1871 census and I presume they were living where Karel van Pallandt’s regiment was stationed. The van Pallandts were a very distinguished family, diplomats and prominent members of the Dutch royal court. Perhaps in order to enhance Agnes’ status with such in-laws, her mother had handed over some valuable silver plate which Allan Thomas MacLean had actually left to his wife for her lifetime (Agnes would only become its owner when her mother died). Agnes, however, did not have much luck with her marriages and the van Pallandts of her husband’s generation did not seem to live long: so many of them died young that I wondered if they had a tendency to develop TB. Agnes’ husband Karel van Pallandt died in 1872, aged 35.
There was no particular reason for Agnes to stay in the Netherlands: she had no children and she hadn’t had time, really, to learn to speak the language. She came back to England, probably as soon as it was decent, though whether she returned to live with her mother and step-sister’s family I don’t know. I have only one sighting of Agnes during the period 1872-1879: in June 1876 she went to one of the state balls that were held at Buckingham Palace during the Season. The state balls had guest-lists running into the thousands but to receive an invitation still said quite a lot about you. One thing it said about Agnes was that she had by this time been presented at court, either to Queen Victoria or the Princess of Wales: the sort of filip to your social career that was more likely to happen to you if you could call yourself a baroness. However, when - after seven years - Agnes married again, her new husband was not on the royal social circuit. On 16 January 1879, Agnes de Pallandt married Richard Wade who was from the professional middle classes.
Richard Wade’s father, Richard Blaney Wade was a very important man in the City, chairman from 1867 to 1894 of the National Provincial Bank (an ancestor of NatWest), one of its principal shareholders, and member of many banking committees. He married Adelaide Shadwell, a daugher of Sir Launcelot Shadwell one of the most senior lawyers in England. Richard senior and Adelaide were seriously wealthy but they had the large family that was typical of mid-Victorian England. Agnes’ husband was their eldest child: Richard Edward Lancelot Wade, born in 1851 and thus two years younger than Agnes. By 1861 the Wades were living in Upper Seymour Street, Marylebone, and it’s possible that the MacLeans had known them from Agnes’ childhood.
Agnes’ husband Richard Wade went to Harrow School. He didn’t go to university but that was nothing unusual at the time. His brothers Robert and Cecil didn’t do so either, they both went straight from school to work in the City: Robert qualified as a solicitor (which you did on the job in those days) and Cecil worked at the Stock Exchange. However, I haven’t found any evidence that Richard Wade pursued any profession after leaving school and I wonder if he was in poor health.
I may be reading too much into the marriage lines I found (via Ancestry) in the records of St Mary Marylebone, but I do wonder if this second marriage didn’t meet with the approval of Agnes’ mother or step-sister. No one from her family was a witness; though several members of Richard Wade’s family were. Did they think that - as Agnes was on the Queen’s guest-lists now - she should aim higher if she wanted to marry again?
Or perhaps Agnes’ family thought she should marry someone with a well-defined and regular source of income; and/or better health. As I’ve said, I can’t find any evidence that Richard Wade ever worked. And both he and Agnes had expensive tastes which landed them in trouble with the law. Back to the silver plate which Allan Thomas MacLean had left to his wife: since Karel van Pallandt had died, it had been sitting where Agnes de Pallandt had left it, in a bank in the Netherlands. When Agnes de Pallandt married Richard Wade, her father’s trustees asked her to sign a Deed of Settlement agreeing that the silver plate still belonged to her father’s trustees; and this she did. (This is another thing that makes me think Agnes’ marriage to Richard Wade was against her family’s better judgement - when she had married her Dutch aristocrat they’d been very happy to let her have the silver; now they were anxious that everybody should understand that it wasn’t hers, she was only allowed the use of it. This was not just a legal technicality - see the next paragraph.) An unexpected problem then arose: someone discovered (presumably the lawyers) that if they didn’t hurry up and bring the silver plate back from the Netherlands, it would become liable to import duty. So the silver plate was taken out of the Dutch bank and brought back to London and Agnes de Pallandt persuaded her mother to let her continue to use it. Then she and her new husband needed money which they had not got; so they took the silver plate to a pawnbroker called Robert Percy Attenborough, who gave them £475 for it.
Items held in trust for you are not yours to sell or pawn; by the terms of her father’s Will, Agnes de Pallandt would not be the owner of his silver plate until her mother died. No doubt when her mother and her trustees found out what Richard and Agnes had done, they had a fit; and Agnes’ trustees began proceedings against the pawnbroker - who should have known better but perhaps Richard Wade and Agnes didn’t tell him that they didn’t own what they were pawning. The court case ‘Tasker v Attenborough with Richard Wade and Mrs Wade’ was heard in July 1881, and was a clear-cut one: Attenborough was ordered to return the silver plate and pay the trustees’ legal costs as well as his own. If the judge censured the behaviour of Richard and Agnes Wade, the Times didn’t say so in its report on the case. Perhaps the judge took pity on Agnes, though, because by this time she was a widow again.
Agnes’ husband Richard Wade died on 4 February 1881. Although Agnes de Pallandt had lived virtually all her life in central London, at the time of Richard Wade’s death the Wades were living at 3 Whitchurch Villas, Ararat Road Richmond. It’s possible that they had moved there in a bid to improve Richard’s health - Richmond is upwind of the worst of London’s pollution. But on the other hand, the tale of the silver plate indicates that Agnes and Richard couldn’t keep within their income, and rents were lower in the suburbs.
Agnes didn’t marry again. Only a few weeks after Richard Wade’s death she had already moved away from Richmond and was staying in lodgings in Jermyn Street off Piccadilly while her husband’s legal affairs were sorted out. It seems that there was not much to sort out - Richard Wade left only £135. However, Agnes did not return to live with her family, so her income from her father’s trust fund had not been too much compromised during her second marriage (that’s what trust funds and trustees are for). Instead, she lived over the next 20 years at several addresses in the Bryanston Square district, near - but not too near - her mother and step-sister at 40 Oxford Terrace (now incorporated into Sussex Gardens).
So far, I’ve gained an impression of Agnes de Pallandt as a rather flighty, spoiled young woman, spending more than was covered by her income. However, she does seem to have gained more gravitas after she was widowed for the second time: she was, after all, in her 30s by then. For instance, she got involved in charity work with the British and Foreign Sailors’ Society, at least to the extent of helping out at a bazaar held to raise funds for the Society. And she joined the Theosophical Society, through which she met several women who were initiated into the Golden Dawn.
Agnes was a member of the Theosophical Society by 1889 and was attached to its Blavatsky Lodge so she knew Helena Petrovna Blavatsky and later Annie Besant, who dominated that lodge during the 1880s and 1890s. She will also have known other important members who attended Blavatsky Lodge’s meetings regularly - the Swedish Countess Wachtmeister, and A P Sinnett and his wife Patience, for example; and she was definitely acquainted with the TS’s co-founder, the American Colonel Olcott, because he mentioned her in his memoirs. William Wynne Westcott was also a member of the TS and of Blavatsky Lodge.
Around 1889, Agnes suggested that the TS should take on newspapers who made ill-informed (if not downright sneering) comments about theosophy. Agnes proposed that a group of TS members should read the newspapers on a regular basis with the intention of spotting articles hostile to theosophy and challenging them with letters and articles putting the TS’s side of the argument - which I’m sure she knew was not often heard in the press. When Agnes was staying in lodging-house in Jermyn Street, one of her fellow lodgers was a newspaper owner, Ernest Major. Perhaps the idea for a campaign to counter press misinformation about theosophy came to her from remembered conversations with him. It probably also came to her because she decided that such a project would help her deal with yet another bereavement: Agnes’ mother had died in January 1889.
Agnes put a request for help with her newspaper project in the June 1889 issue of the TS’s journal Lucifer. Although the initial response from readers was slow, by the early 1890s she was in charge of 33 volunteers. Agnes paid for a subscription to a cuttings agency out of her own money, and made efforts to establish friendly relations with journals and individual reporters who were willing to treat theosophy favourably. For the next few years she and her volunteers worked systematically to argue theosophy’s case. I wonder how Agnes felt when all her group’s good work was undone by the bad publicity theosophy brought on itself in 1894-95 when a dispute arose within the TS that tore it in two. The argument came down to whether Annie Besant or the American W Q Judge should lead theosophy after the death of Helena Petrovna Blavatsky. However, Judge’s claims that he had received communications from Blavatsky’s Mahatmas; and the refusal of the London hierarchy of the TS to accept that anyone but Blavatsky had ever heard from them or ever could, were a gift to the press. Meetings of individual lodges, to decide which side of the argument they should support, caused splits between members. Committees supporting W Q Judge’s stance were set up to argue his case; and when he lost, all the American lodges broke away and set up their own organisation and many individuals in England resigned from the TS here and had nothing further to do with organised theosophy. Some lodges lost so many members that they never held any more meetings and the number of members of the TS in England never recovered. Agnes was not one of those that resigned from the TS, so she must have agreed with the attitude of the TS hierarchy in London towards W Q Judge’s claims. But I haven’t found any evidence that Agnes’ newspaper project continued after the dispute: in the next few years theosophy in England was licking its wounds and keeping its head well down.
According to its own website, www.ts-adyar.org, when the Theosophical Society was founded, in New York in 1875, its original object had been to search for spiritual enlightenment through the occult texts of Western writers. It was only after Helena Petrovna Blavatsky and Colonel Olcott moved to India and settled in Adyar, on the outskirts of Madras, that its focus shifted to the texts and practice of Buddhism and Hinduism as sources of spiritual understanding and progress for the Soul. This process culminated in Blavatsky’s The Secret Doctrine, published in 1888; for at least the next decade it was the text most studied by TS members (most seem to have found it all but impenetrable). If you had joined the TS to pursue an interest in western occult texts such as the Kabbalah, you were no longer well catered for at TS meetings, and it might have been under these circumstances that Agnes decided that she would accept the offer of initiation into the Golden Dawn. She decided very quickly that the GD was not for her. Why was that? - something to do with the fact that she was “no good”, perhaps? My opinion is that Agnes’ education had not trained her to give sustained and concentrated attention to any difficult reading matter: and you certainly needed that if you were going to get any benefit out of being in the GD. However, Agnes may just have decided that if she belonged to both the GD and the TS she would not do either of them properly. She continued to be a committed member of the TS for some years. In 1896, she went to a soirée to meet Katherine Tingley, who had succeeded William Quan Judge as the leading theosophist in the USA; but she doesn’t seem to have done any more to get involved in Mrs Tingley’s ‘universal brotherhood’ movement.
In the years before the dispute over Judge, the TS was involved not only in spiritual enquiry but also in a number of practical schemes: a club for young working women in Bethnal Green, a creche and a children’s home, and the Dorothy Restaurants, which were run by a limited company with directors who were members of the TS. On 21 June 1889 Helena Petrovna Blavatsky was a guest at the opening lunch of the second of the Dorothy Restaurants, at 448 Oxford Street; and Agnes was also invited, as a personal friend of Blavatsky, I think, as I haven’t found any evidence that Agnes was an investor in the company.
In October 1892 the League of Theosophical Women, which ran the children’s home, held an Oriental Bazaar in the lecture hall at TS headquarters (19 Avenue Road Regent’s Park, owned by Countess Wachtmeister). Agnes was in charge of one of the stalls. Also helping out that day were Lady Eleanor Harbord, who later became a member of the Golden Dawn; and Ursula Bright. Ursula was the wife of Jacob Bright of the radical Liverpool family; he was a Liberal MP, she was a campaigner for women’s rights. It must have been due to Ursula Bright’s persuasive powers that Agnes found herself, a few months later, holding a meeting of the Women’s Franchise League at her home.
The Women’s Franchise League (WFL) had been founded in 1889 by campaigners who were mostly based in Liverpool and Manchester - Richard and Emmeline Pankhurst, for example, and Josephine Butler. Its founders felt that another group focusing on women’s rights was necessary for two reasons: firstly because they felt that the existing suffrage groups were concentrating on rights for unmarried women and widows and not including the concerns of married women; and secondly because they wanted to campaign on a very specific issue - getting laws passed to make women eligible to vote in local elections. Ursula Bright became the WFL’s main financial supporter. She was at the meeting Agnes organised; and so was another well-known campaigner for women’s votes, Marie Corbett. Also there was a very radical woman indeed: Dr Alice Vickery was a qualified pharmacist and GP; however, she was living with a man she wasn’t married to - neither of them believed in the institution of marriage - and they had two children; she also actively campaigned for birth control to be widely available. Some women would have refused to have Dr Vickery in their house; so it’s to Agnes’ credit that she was prepared to meet her. Although most of the people at the meeting seem to have been women, it was still customary for men to take the chair: Robert Arthur Arnold was chairman of this particular meeting. He was another radical Liberal MP whose wife (Amelia) was an active campaigner for women’s rights. He became chairman of the London County Council in 1895.
The 1894 Local Government Act achieved one of the WFL’s aims: it allowed single and married women who fulfilled all the other criteria, to vote in local elections. At that point, although the rest of its aims were still as far off as ever - divorce on equal terms with men; equality of inheritance rights - the WFL ceased to exist. However, this may not have impinged much on Agnes’ life - I hope she used the vote the WFL had won for her; but she didn’t became a vocal or active campaigner for women’s rights as far as I can see.
One of the objects of women’s rights campaigns was to protect the income of married women from the predations of unscrupulous husbands, and were especially important in the years before the married women’s property acts. Trust funds were a way for those who could afford it to guarantee a woman an income independent from anything earned by any man she might marry; and to ensure that men couldn’t get their hands on the woman’s capital. A trust fund’s trustees managed the capital and doled out the income; and the whole point of a trust fund was that the woman’s husband should never be a trustee. A trust fund could continue to operate for many decades, with new people being appointed to replace trustees who had died; the trust fund being wound up when the woman getting the income from it died. Trust funds were often set up as part of the provisions of a man’s Will, for his female relatives, and the Will’s executors were also the trust fund’s trustees. So Allan Thomas MacLean was making provisions for his wife and daughter in a manner typical of his time and class; and he appointed two executors and trustees typical of the type of person who were usually chosen: a vicar, and a solicitor. There was a snag to trust funds however: you had to be able to trust your trustees.
Frederick Talbot Tasker was the MacLean family solicitor for many years: he was there in 1867 when Allan Thomas MacLean made his will; he obtained probate on the Will of Agnes MacLean when she died in 1889. He was a fixture in Agnes de Pallandt’s life and the lives of many others for decades, working from offices at 47 Bedford Row in Bloomsbury. However, on 28 February 1898 he and his wife disappeared and in his absence he was declared bankrupt a few weeks later. The Official Receiver’s office, charged with the task of sorting out Tasker’s finances, found evidence that he owed a total of £16000-17000 to various creditors; and that he had stolen and spent large sums of money he was holding on behalf of his clients, who included companies but also individuals like Agnes. By 1901 Tasker had not been seen in England for three years and one of his creditors, the London and County Bank, was in court alleging frauds by Tasker going back as far as 1882, involving properties owned by a client of Tasker’s called Richard Ward. By 1897 the Bank had got so concerned about loans they had made to Tasker that they demanded that he give them more security. Tasker had paid a large sum of money into his account at the Bank; but the Bank now believed that the money paid in had not belonged to Tasker, it had belonged to Richard Ward.
I couldn’t find any other legal cases brought against Frederick Talbot Tasker. There was no money at his offices; the money in his business’s bank account didn’t belong to him; his house was mortgaged; and no one knew where he had gone. Tasker’s bank was the only creditor who could afford to go to court about the mess Tasker had left behind him when he skipped. Agnes’ trust fund may have been one of those that Tasker had stolen from. It would have been very easy for him, if no trustee had been appointed when Rev John Cumming died - and I did notice that on the grant of probate on the estate of GD Agnes’ mother, Agnes MacLean, Tasker was described as the “sole surviving executor” which meant he may also, by then, have been the sole trustee of her fund. Agnes was still living comfortably in 1911 so I think Frederick Talbot Tasker had not been able to make off with all her capital, she still had enough to maintain the style of life that was important to her. But I suppose that at the very least she would have had to find some new, more trustworthy, trustees for her fund: I’ve no idea what happens to a trust fund when its trustee flees abroad. The beneficiaries of trust funds can certainly apply to the courts to have a trust fund brought to an end. Perhaps Agnes did that, but I can’t prove it because such an ordinary proceeding wouldn’t be covered in the Times and legal journals where I found the details of Tasker’s bankruptcy. If her trust fund was wound up in the aftermath of Tasker’s disappearance, Agnes might - for the first time, at the age of 50 or so - have been left to take charge of her finances herself.
For that and perhaps other reasons, Agnes did make a big change, around 1900, opting not to continue to live in the house in Bryanston Street which had been her home for several years. On the day of the 1901 census she was taking a holiday in Dulverton in Somerset. When she came back, she moved out to the suburbs again, this time choosing the wealthy commuter-village of Surbiton, which had fast connections to Waterloo and plenty of imposing Victorian houses. Agnes moved into Morfa Lodge, 23 Adelaide Road; a 14-room house built of red brick and set in its own grounds, with some rather nice semi-circular rooms with big windows on the corner of the building. This was Agnes’ final move: she lived at Morfa Lodge until she died, though she did change its name.
So far, the evidence I’ve found for Agnes de Pallandt’s life has not given me any indication of an interest in music, but in 1906 Agnes had the overture to an opera dedicated to her by its composer. The opera was an obscure one called Sol Hatchuel, The Maid of Tangier. See the Sources section for more on it (there isn’t much). From the opera’s title page I think the writer of Agnes’ overture was an Englishman called Bernard de Lisle - but I may be wrong. I can’t find a reference to any composer of that name though I did find a couple of references to a Bernard de Lisle whose dates of birth and death seem to be about right for the piece and its date. If any reader of this biography of Agnes de Pallandt knows anything more about The Maid of Tangier, do get in touch. From the little evidence I’ve found, I’m not even sure whether Agnes’ overture was ever performed!
In 1908, Agnes was one of many people who ended their membership of the TS once Annie Besant had been elected as president-for-life following the death of Colonel Olcott. Those who ceased to be TS members might have had one of several reasons for leaving: a dislike of Besant’s leadership style, which, though energetic and committed, could be very combative; or a reluctance to follow where Besant was likely to lead the TS - she didn’t make any secret of her preference for Hinduism rather than Buddhism as the path to spiritual progress. Besant’s continued support of C W Leadbeater probably didn’t weigh with Agnes - she was not a member of the TS’s governing council and I imagine she didn’t know he was being accused of mutual masturbation sessions with boys in his care. It’s more likely in Agnes’ case that she just felt ready to draw a line under what was the end of an era at the TS - the one presided over by its founder-members.
The following year Agnes made one of the most remarkable gestures of any GD member - of any woman of her class and generation - when the death notices in the Times of 26 May 1909 included one for Charlotte Seymour, “most faithful and beloved lifelong friend and maid” of Baroness de Pallandt.
It was unheard of for a mere servant to have her death recorded in one of the foremost national newspapers; and I think it indicates that Agnes was harder hit by the death of Charlotte Seymour than by the death of her own mother.
Her name is actually a rather unusual one, but I’ve still had some trouble finding information on Charlotte Seymour, especially about her early life, but I think this is probably her, in 1861: a housemaid called Charlotte Seymour, aged 24, was one of three servants in the household of Spencer Westmacott and his wife Mary, at Holcroft Lodge, Grove Bank, Fulham. Westmacott was a Lt-Colonel in the Royal Engineers. He and his wife ran a tight ship, with the one housemaid, a cook and one male servant whose duties were not made clear to the census official; he was probably Lt-Colonel Westmacott’s batman - a military man’s valet. The fewer the servants, the harder they all had to work; and in the Westmacott’s household the sole housemaid was likely to have to do the kitchen scivvying, cleaning the house from top to bottom, waiting at table, answering the door... Heavy, labour-intensive, repetitious, boring work and Charlotte Seymour had probably already been doing this kind of job for 10 years.
Was Lt-Colonel Westmacott a friend of Allan Thomas MacLean? So that a servant could be handed on, as it were, from one to the other? Pushing it a bit far, I think. It’s more likely that, on attempting to hire a new housemaid, Agnes’ mother Agnes MacLean appreciated that one of the applicants had a good reference, from a military man. Mrs MacLean’s younger daughter may have been in need of her own lady’s maid, so that there would be a promotion available for the right kind of housemaid...
I can’t find Charlotte Seymour on the census of 1871 so I can’t be sure where she was working. But Agnes de Pallandt is not on the 1871 census either. I don’t think it’s too fanciful to suppose that Charlotte Seymour was working for Agnes de Pallandt by then, and had gone to the Netherlands with her on her marriage. Charlotte was certainly employed by Agnes de Pallandt by 1881: on the day of the 1881 census, she was with Agnes in the lodging house in Jermyn Street. The lodging-house keeper told the census official that Charlotte Seymour was Baroness de Pallandt’s lady’s maid - meaning that Charlotte had put cleaning out grates behind her and was looking after Agnes’ wardrobe and jewellery and doing her hair. It’s clear from Agnes’ touching death notice, though, that Charlotte had become a great deal more than a mere lady’s maid. In 1881 she had (probably) gone with her employer to live in a foreign country; and she was now supporting her mistress through her second widowhood.
The 1891 census was taken just a few weeks before Agnes was initiated into the Golden Dawn. She was living at 122 Bryanston Square Marylebone and Charlotte Seymour was with her, the eldest and most senior of three women servants. The census official just listed each of the servants as a general servant, so I don’t know which woman was doing what; but it was likely that Charlotte was performing a housekeeping role in addition to her lady’s maid duties, helping Agnes manage the household and supervising the two younger women - Eliza Jones aged 28 and originally from Brecon in remote central Wales; and Anna Jarvis, aged 22 and from Norfolk, who was probably doing all the heavy physical work that Charlotte had done at the outset of her working life.
Charlotte Seymour was like her mistress: a little bit vague about her age, when speaking to the census official; she was also vague about where she was born, saying Kent to the official in 1861 and not giving any details in 1881. It was clear from the various ages that Charlotte did admit to, though, that she was born before 1837. I still haven’t found any birth details for her.
Even a Victorian servant was occasionally given time off and at Easter 1901 Agnes allowed Charlotte to visit her sister; so that Charlotte was in her brother-in-law’s household on the day of the 1901 census. She was still vague about her age but she was more specific about where she was born. Both the Seymour sisters were born in Wadhurst, Sussex, a few miles south of Tunbridge Wells.
Charlotte Seymour’s sister Sarah was younger than she; Sarah’s birth was registered in October-December 1837, the first quarter after registration became compulsory. In 1864 Sarah married Benjamin Cornwell, a carpenter and joiner. Benjamin Cornwell was also a Sussex man, he’d been born at Buxted just outside Uckfield, but by 1901 he and Sarah were living in Tunbridge Wells. At the time of Charlotte Seymour’s visit their youngest son, Reginald, was still living at home while he was apprenticed to his father.
It was during another visit to her sister, in May 1909, that Charlotte died.
I am not going attempt to write about the processes of increasing trust and liking and shared sorrow by which Charlotte Seymour advanced in Agnes’ life from servant to a faithful, lifelong friend; nor about the rules and delicate boundaries that had to be negotiated, perhaps every day, by both women. I will just say that after Charlotte Seymour’s death, Agnes was happy to make plain the important role Charlotte had played in her life for many years. They had probably, each of them, become the other’s main emotional support. Perhaps many relationships between mistress and maid developed this way; but only Agnes, as far as I know, said so to the readers of the Times.
After Charlotte Seymour died, Agnes even renamed the house in Surbiton after her: Morfa Lodge became Seymour House. I have one last glimpse of Agnes, from the 1911 census, still at the renamed 23 Adelaide Road. No one could take the place of Charlotte Seymour, although it looks as though Agnes had done her best to fill the yawning gap by taking on a possible relation of Charlotte (a niece perhaps?) as one of the two servants she now employed: Emma Seymour, aged 31 and born in Ashurst Kent. The third member of the household was Elizabeth Small, aged 41 and from Highbridge in Somerset; though listed last, perhaps the more senior of the two.
Agnes de Pallandt died on 15 December 1925.
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.
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.
ON AGNES BARONESS DE PALLANDT
Burke’s Dictionary of the Landed Gentry of Great Britain edition published 1853 p221 for Archibald and Alicia MacLean.
ALLAN THOMAS MACLEAN:
H G Hart’s New Annual Army List 1840 p139 the page for the 13th Regiment, Light Dragoons also known as the 13th Hussars.
Asiatic Journal and Monthly Miscellany 1832 p153 issued July : Madras official news: court martial of Capt MacLean, at military headquarters Madras on 19 December 1831.
United Service Magazine 1862 p311 Promotions and Appointments: Major-General Allan T Maclean of the 13th Hussars to be a Lieutenant-General; order dated 20 December 1861.
Transactions of the Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland 1863 plix list of current members includes Allan Thomas Maclean, “admitted” to the Society (by election) in 1835, now Lt-Col of the 13th Light Dragoons.
Times Sat 12 December 1868 p5 Milit and Naval Intellg: obituary of Lt-Genl Allan Thomas MacLean.
Probate Registry: Allan Thomas Maclean of 3 Oxford Square Hyde Park, Lt-Genl and Col of HM 13th Regt of Hussars, d on 9 Dec 1868 at his home. Probate 14 Jan 1869 to the 2 execrs: Frederick Talbot Tasker, solr, of 47 Bedford Row; and John Cumming of 7 Montague Place Russell Sq ((I presume he too is a solr)). Personal effects < £16,000.
AGNES MACLEAN Agnes’ mother
Some information on her first marriage from Ancestry’s family history pages at wc.rootsweb.ancestry.com where John Taylor’s dates are given as 1779-1828. 2nd daughter Ellen Taylor was born and died in 1825; 3rd daughter Agnes Taylor was born and died in 1827.
The best information I’ve found on Agnes Forlong and her three marriages comes from Ancestry.co.uk surnames’ database and I give it here to iron-out the complications of Agnes de Pallandt’s step-relations:
Allan Thomas Maclean of Pennycross, born circa 1805. Ancestry ID = I526134104. He was married once, to Agnes Lisle Forlong born 3 April 1805. They had 2 child: Arthur born circa 1845 (Ancestry has no information about him at all); and Agnes the GD member (the database incorrectly gives a year of birth of 1847 for Agnes).
Agnes Lisle Forlong Ancestry ID = I526134329. Her parents are: William Forlong born 1762, of Wellshott Cambuslang; and his wife Mary Maria Fleming of Kelvinbank Glasgow. Agnes’ three marriages are:
1 = 1822 John Taylor; born 1779; Ancestry has no date of death for him. They had 3 children:
Mary Maria Fleming Taylor born 1823, Alice’s only sibling and actually a much older half-sibling
Ellen born 1825
Agnes born 1827.
2 = unknown date L Lawrence 1802-1840; no children
3 = Allan Thomas Maclean.
Arthur born c 1845
Agnes born circa 1847
AGNES HALF-SISTER MARY MARIA TAYLOR:
Mary Maria died 1905; she married 1850 George Grenville Malet (born 1806) probably in Scotland as I couldn’t find a marriage registration on freebmd. Their child were:
Allan MALET born circa 1851. He married Elizabeth Lysaght; 2s 2d
Agnes born circa 1853; died unmarried
Margaret born 1855; died unmmarried
Elizabeth born 1857; married Sydney Bates 2s 4d.
Just to make it as clear as I can: these 4 children of Mary Maria Taylor Malet are Agnes’ step-nephews and nieces; but they are about Agnes’ age.
In due course, Agnes’ step-niece Elizabeth married Sydney Eggers Bates of Manydown House Hampshire: www.british-history.ac.uk is the website of British History Online. Re Manydown House it quotes the Victoria County History, Hampshire volume 4. The house and land are in the parish of Wootton St Lawrence. There has been a house on the site since the 15th cent. In 18th century the estate was owned by the Wither family. It was bought from Lovelace Bigg-Wither in 1871 by Sir Edward Percy Bates. Sydney Eggers Bates was Edward Percy’s younger son. At www.thepeerage.com, Edward Percy Bates’ dates are 1816-1896. He was Conservative MP for Plymouth 1871-80 and 1885-92. He owned two houses, Manydown House and Gyrn Castle Flintshire. He was married twice:
1 = Charlotte Umfreville-Smith; 3 daughters
2 = Ellen Thompson; 3 sons, one of whom died in childhood.
Sydney Eggers Bates is the youngest of Edward Percy Bates’ six children. He married Elizabeth Malet in July 1878; 2 sons 4 daughters; he died in 1924.
HUSBAND NUMBER 1: THE VAN PALLANDTs and it’s definitely VAN not DE.
Times 28 November 1870 p1a marriage notices: on 24 November 1870 at All Saints Norfolk Square: Charles Frederick Henry Baron de Pallandt, 3rd son of Baron de Pallandt de Westervoort and Rennen-Enck Holland; to Agnes Alicia Margaret Maclean only child of late Lt-General Allen Thomas Maclean of 13th Hussars.
Marriage lines from records of All Saints Paddington:
The marriage took place on 24 November 1870 and was by licence not banns. The groom was Baron Carel Frederick Hendrik van Pallandt;a man of “full age” and a bachelor. His profession was given as “Officer of Hussards” and at the time of the marriage his permanent address was Arnhem in the Netherlands. The bride was Agnes Alicia Margaret Maclean, of “full age” and a spinster; and a resident of the parish. The groom’s father was Baron Jacob Adolphe Alexander van Pallandt van Westerwoort, described as a “Burgomaster of Arnhem”. The bride’s (dead) father was Allan Thomas Maclean, Colonel of the 13th Hussars. The witnesses included Agnes’ new father-in-law and two other members of the van Pallandt family, and Agnes Malet.
The van Pallandt family:
Family history website www.genealogieonline.nl is in Dutch and I also can’t see who compiled it. However, it’s got accurate dates and nicely laid out family trees in it so I think I can trust it. It’s clear even without knowing Dutch that in the 19th century the family was very distinguished, with diplomats and court officials in several generations. Agnes’ father-in-law is Johan (or Joan) Jacob Adolf Alexander, Baron van Pallandt Heer van Westervoort; born 1807 at The Hague; died 1876 at Huize Rennenenk Arnhem which seems to be the family estate. In 1829 he had married Adolphine Charlotte Wilhelmina van Pallandt Vrouwe van Walfort. They had 5 daughters and 7 sons; though not as many grand-children as that implies as only 1 daughter and 2 sons married including Agnes’ husband Karel and they had no children. Three of the children died before they reached 30; 2 more before they reached 50, including Karel. A younger brother of Karel, Jacob Adolf 1840-99 inherits if there’s primogeniture; he married and has descendants. Agnes’ husband was the 3rd son of this big family: Karel Frederik Hendrik Baron van Pallandt. Born 23 May 1837 at Arnhem; died 24 July 1872 apparently in London though I couldn’t find a death registration on freebmd. The website confirms the marriage of Karel to Agnes Alice Margaretha Mac-Lean in 1870; and that they had no children.
On Nina and Frederick, whose surname was van Pallandt: he was Frederik Jan Gustav Floris, Baron van Pallandt 1934-94. Dutch, son of a former Netherlands ambassador to Denmark. Mother Danish. I suppose he must be a descendant of Karel’s brother Jacob Adolf but I couldn’t find any information on the web which confirmed that. He was murdered! He got involved in drug trafficking and is thought to have been shot dead by a gang member; the murder is still unsolved.
HUSBAND NUMBER 2 - THE WADE FAMILY
The Harrow School Register 1801-93 published by Longmans Green 1894; p328 Richard E L Wade.
Agnes’ father-in-law Richard Blaney Wade:
City Bankers 1890-1914 by Youssef Cassis 1994 p57 in the chapter Banks and Bankers. Richard Blaney Wade is 1820-97. And p70.
Via www.ebooksread.com: I was able to glance at A Visitation of England volume 6 p23 where it said that Richard Blaney Wade of 13 Seymour Street had died on 29 July 1897 aged 76.
At www.personalia.co.uk/photographs/PHOTOGRAPHS.htm an album of photos of R B Wade and his family is being offered for sale (7 Nov 2012) at £250; all photos are annotated so they know who is in each picture. I noted that Agnes’ husband Richard Wade is not in any of them.
Richard’s younger brother Cecil Wade 1857-1908, married Frances (Fanny) Mackay Frew of Cardross Dunbarton in 1883. She had her portrait painted by John Singer Sargent in 1886, very soon after he arrived in Engl. It’s now in the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City: at jssgallery.org/Paintings/Mrs_Cecil_Wade.html you can see it.
An obituary of Adelaide Wade’s father: The Law Times volume 15 issue of 17 August  p467 Sir Launcelot Shadwell had died at his home in Barnes Elms Putney; he’d been ill for several weeks after having what sounds like a stroke on his way to work. He was born in 1779, the son of a barrister. He became a barrister himself, a member of Lincoln’s Inn and was also MP for Ripon. He was appointed the vice-chancellor of England in 1827; and appointed one of the Lords Commissioners of the Great Seal in 1835. He’d been married twice and had several children.
Marriage lines from records of St Mary Marylebone:
The marriage took place on 16 January 1879 at and was performed not by the vicar but by Richard Wade’s uncle, Rev Julius Shadwell, rector and vicar of Shinfold in Sussex. The marriage was by licence, not banns. The groom was Richard Edward Lancelot Wade. The bride was Agnes Alicia Margaret, Baroness van/de Pallandt (‘van’ was on the line but ‘de’ had been written in above the line presumably at Agnes’ insistence) and she signed the register as “A A M de Pallandt”. I couldn’t read all the witnesses names, but there were five of them, four named Wade and none of them were MacLean or Malet.
Times Tue 8 February 1881 p1 death notices: “On the 4th inst” [4 Feb 1881] at Richmond, death of Richard Edward Lancelot Wade eldest son of R B Wade of Seymour Street Portman Square.
THE TALE OF THE SILVER PLATE
Times 5 July 1881 p4 court reports: Tasker v Attenborough in which Tasker was acting for a group of plaintiffs, the trustees and executors of the Will of the late General Maclean. The defendant was pawnbroker Robert Percy Attenborough, with Richard Wade now deceased and his widow Mrs Wade.
AGNES AFTER HER SECOND HUSBAND’S DEATH
Times 2 April 1884 p10 a bazaar in aid of the British and Foreign Sailors’ Soc opened “yesterday” at Kensington Town Hall.
Wikipedia on Ernest Major: 1841-1908, founder and owner of the Shanghai newspaper Shen Bao, also known as the Shanghai News, which was first published in April 1872. Major returned to live in England in 1889 but set up the Major Company Ltd to run the paper; its final issue was published in 1949.
AGNES AND THE THEOSOPHICAL SOCIETY
Theosophical Society Membership Register January 1889-September 1891 p127 Agnes A de Pallandt Baroness, applic undated and almost certainly pre-dates this Register. Agnes paid her yearly subscription from 1891 to 1908.
Old Diary Leaves: the True History of the Theosophical Society by Henry Steel Olcott. Madras: Theosophical Publishing House. There are 6 volumes in all. Agnes appears in Volume 4, published in 1931 but covering the period 1887-92 and written many years before the publication date. Agnes’ only mention in any of the volumes is on p493 of Volume 4.
The newspaper project:
Lucifer: A Theosophical Magazine Volume IV March-August 1889, published by the Theosophical Publishing Company at 7 Duke St Adelphi. Agnes’ letter about her newspaper project appeared in Volume IV, issue of 15 June 1889 p351 in letters section. She wrote a follow-up letter which appeared in Volume V in the issue of 15 October 1889 p166. In Volume VII September 1890 to February 1891, issue of 15 December 1890 p344 Agnes was asking specifically for short articles on theosophy, suitable to be published in the newspapers and in Volume VII issue of 15 February 1891 p516 she reported that short articles on theosophy had been published in The Tablet; the Liverpool Mercury; Light; the Sunday Times; the West London Observer; the Kensington News; the Glasgow Herald; and others.
The fund-raising bazaar:
Lucifer: A Theosophical Magazine Volume XI Sep 1892- Feb 1893 w Besant sole editor. Pubd London: Theosophical Pubg Co 7 Duke Street Adelphi. Vol XI no 63 issue of 15 Nov 1892 p257 rptd an Oriental Bazaar held over 31 Oct and 1 Nov  at the Lecture Hall 19 Avenue
Road. Details of Ursula and Jacob Bright from wikipedia.
An appearance though no articles in Theosophical Siftings volumes 1-2 1888-90 published Theosophical Publishing Society, Adelphi London. Each volume is a collection in one place of recent theosophical talks, lectures, pamphlets etc. On p23 of a pamphlet by Herbert Coryn: The Scientific Basis of Occultism, is a news item/advert for The Dorothy Restaurant Co Ltd of 448 Oxford St. Members of the Theosophical Publishing Society had been invited to a luncheon held to open the restaurant, which was for women only. Some of the Company’s directors are theosophists. Amongst those at the lunch: Countess Wachtmeister; Baroness “de Palland” (sic); and Helena Petrovna Blavatsky.
More on the Dorothy Restaurants:
Posted at //blavatskynews.blogspot.co.uk on 14 October 2012: information that the Dorothy Rest at 448 Oxford St opened on 21 June 1889; no source given for the information.
The Theosophist May 1890-September 1890 p533 says the Dorothy restaurants were the brain-child of Isabel Cooper-Oakley, who founded them with two other investors. However, her two partners had since left England and thus had to drop out; Isabel’s sister Miss Cooper, and Countess Wachtmeister had replaced them. The premises at 448 Oxford St included a room that could seat 300 and was available for evening hire.
At www.english-heritage.org.uk at its page Personal Freedom and Public Space, about women in public life during 19th cent: the original Dorothy Restaurant was at 81 Mortimer St. You paid; and got a meat + veg lunch or dinner; if you paid extra you could have a pudding as well. It was open until 2200 hours.
London Gazette 19 July 1895 p4113 liquidations: notice issued by liquidator C L Schmitz on 17 July 1895. A final meeting of members of The Dorothy Restaurant Co Ltd would be held at 448 Oxford St on Wednesday 21 August 1895 at 1200. The liquidator would present his final report; and members would need to decide what to do with the company’s accounts and other records.
At scribd, Theosophy volume XI no 2 May-December 1896 pp130-34, an account of Mrs Tingley’s Crusaders’ group’s few days in England, June-July 1896. After trips to Liverpool and Bradford, the group went to London. On Wednesday 1 July 1896, Lady Malcolm of Poltalloch (a wealthy and well-connected woman with an interest in theosophy) gave a reception for the Crusaders at 23 Great Cumberland Place. Several old friends of Blavatsky had attended this to meet the Crusaders group, including Baroness de Pallandt.
The Women’s Franchise League (WFL):
The Women’s Suffrage Movement: A Reference Guide 1866-1928 by Elizabeth Crawford 2001. P719 in chap on the Women’s Franchise League (WFL) Crawford gives the names of the prominent campaigners who attended; and the fact that the meeting was held at Agnes’ house.
Rise up Women! By Andrew Rosen 1974 p17 in the chapter called Enter the Pankhursts Rosen gives the details of WFL’s aims, and names the WFL’s original governing council - it included Jacob Bright and Josephine Butler and also the pioneering worker for women’s rights in the USA, Elizabeth Cady Stanton.
The Militant Suffrage Movement by Laura E Nym Mayhall 2003 p24 about WFL’s success with the 1894 Local Government Act.
Details of Robert Arthur Arnold from wikipedia. He was the brother of the poet Edwin Arnold.
For Alice Vickery see www.rpharms.com, the website of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society. It has a section on women pharmacists up to the 20th century.
For Marie Corbett: no wikipedia page for her as yet so search on her name at www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk - Spartacus Educational.
Frederick Talbot Tasker’s bankruptcy:
Law Times volume 105 1898 p14 coverage of a bankruptcy hearing in the case of Frederick Talbot Tasker of Bedford Row. Tasker didn’t appear in court and court heard that he had recently disappeared. The total owed to all creditors was estimated at between £16000 and £17000.
Reports of the Chief Registrar of Friendly Societies parts 1-3, for year ending 1899. Published by the House of Commons. On p57 a note that Frederick Talbot Tasker had disappeared some time after March 1898 and had since been declared bankrupt.
Times Tue 5 April 1898 p15 in legal cols: in re Tasker, described as lately a solicitor at 47 Bedford Row; and living at Dartford though believed not to have been seen at either address since 28 February  when he and his wife had been seen at Cannon Street railway station by Mr Farrer of Messrs Farrer and Co, the firm of solicitors now acting for the creditor now bringing bankrupcty proceedings against him. Tasker’s present whereabouts were unknown. Most of the £16-17000 he owed was money entrusted to him as solicitor by clients, which he had “misappropriated”. The Official Receiver had declared Tasker bankrupt on 26 March ; clerks from the Official Receiver’s office had gone through Tasker’s papers and found virtually nothing of any value; and investigations had found that the house at Dartford was mortgaged.
Times Wed 4 May 1898 p5 m on Tasker’s bankruptcy: a hearing had been held at which he did not appear, so the hearing was adjourned sine die. He had plenty of clients and his bankruptcy had come as a surprise.
There was nothing on Tasker in Times 1899 or 1900.
Law Reports: Chancery Division volume 2 1901 p233 coverage of Taylor v London and Co Bank: in which the Bank was alleging fraud by Frederick Talbot Tasker, beginning in 1882 when Tasker lent a man called Richard Ward £1400 against mortgages on 4 properties owned by Ward.
The Accountant volume 27 1901 p60 also has an item on Taylor v London and County Bank. By mid-1897 the London and Co Bank was wanting to see some security offered by Tasker for loans they had made to him; so on 14 August 1897 he made a large deposit in his account with them (which I presume was money actually belonging to Ward but I didn’t followed the rest of the case).
The Maid of Tangier:
Harvard University’s copy of The Maid of Tangier can be accessed via Archive.org: Sol Hatchuel, the Maid of Tangier; published in London in 1906 by The Women’s Printing Society Ltd of 66-68 Whitcomb Street WC. The original libretto was in French; several translations were then listed including an English adaptation by Paul P Grunfeld DA. The front page refers to music by Bernard de Lisle but doesn’t say whether the reference is to the whole opera, or the 1906 version, or just the overture.
Either the music or the libretto may have been written by someone called C Macé: Folktales of the Jews Volume 1: Tales from the Sephardic Dispersion by Dan Ben-Amos 2006 has a reference to the opera held in Harvard University library, on p650: Sol Hachuel (sic) Mélodrame en Quatre Actes. The author or composer was C Macé. There’s a different date altogether for its publication - Rome 1901.
I found one reference to Paul R Grunfeld of the English adaptation, in the National Anti-Vivisection Society (NAVS)’s magazine The Animal’s Defender and Zoophilist volumes 22-23 1902 p1 possibly as the translator from the original German of a particular catalogue of equipment for use in experiments on animals. Arthur Arnold of Agnes’ meeting with the Women’s Franchise League was a member of NAVS.
I tried in the Times to see if it mentioned or at least publicised any performance of the Maid of Tangier in 1906, but couldn’t find any mention of the opera at all, no adverts for a forthcoming performance, no advert for the the publication of the 1906 version; nor any reference to the overture dedicated to Agnes.
The man called Bernard de Lisle I found though www.thepeerage.com: 1864-1921, a graduate of Jesus College Cambridge. I couldn’t find anything more about him so I’m not even sure he’s the composer of Agnes’ overture. The Times had a death notice for this man, in the issue of Monday 14 Nov 1921 p1a, which give no information about his life other than his being the brother of Everard M P de Lisle of Garendon Park Leicestershire. There was no obituary of this man in the Times.
Times 19 Dec 1925 p1a d notice f Agnes wdw of Baron Carl de Pallandt and of Richard Wade; only dtr of Lt Genl Allen Maclean. On 15 Dec  at Seymour House Surbiton.
Copyright SALLY DAVIS
4 April 2013