John Hugh Armstrong Elliot (known as Hugh, not as John) was initiated into the Order of the Golden Dawn at its Isis-Urania temple in London on 6 October 1894. He chose the Latin motto ‘nobis est victoria’. He did the work necessary to progress further and was initiated into the GD’s 2nd, inner order on 2 March 1896. Hugh married early in 1896 and shortly afterwards his wife, Eleanor Blanche Elliot (known as Blanche, I think, not as Eleanor) was initiated, on 17 February 1896, taking the Latin motto ‘prospice’. She took rather longer to reach the 2nd order but was initiated into it on 12 January 1900.
Blanche’s younger sister Lucy Margaret Bruce was initiated into the GD’s daughter order Stella Matutina (SM, founded by Robert Felkin) in March 1907; though she was never in the GD itself. Blanche’s cousin Archer Henry Corbet was also a member of SM; initiated in March 1906. And a man who was probably related to Hugh Elliot through a series of marriages joined the SM, in 1910: George Hender Geach.
ELEANOR BLANCHE BRUCE
Blanche’s father was Robert Bruce (born 1821) third son of John Knight Bruce and his wife Sarah who at that time lived on the estate John had inherited from his mother at Llanblethian Glamorgan. I presume Robert Bruce was named for the great king of Scotland but that has made it hard to find the man on the web. He later got the nickname ‘hurricane’ applied to him but I couldn’t discover why, amongst all the web references to hurricane bob as storm-force winds and destruction of property. Of course, those words might sum him up rather well!
Robert Bruce joined the 94th regiment of Foot in 1838. In 1851-53 he was in South Africa fighting the Kaffir Wars. By 1857 he was colonel of the 2nd Foot regiment. Around 1860 he was stationed in Corfu, which at that time was in the British Empire. For a few years from 1864 he was in a semi-retirement, on half pay, but in October 1878 he was promoted to lieutenant-general and appointed commander of the government’s troops in Scotland, a post he held until his retirement in July 1881.
In 1857, Robert Bruce married Rachel Frances, daughter of Richard Corbet of Adderley in Shropshire, and his wife Eleanor. Robert and Rachel Frances had seven daughters, but no sons. The daughters were: Constance Mary born 1858; Isabel born 1859 or 1860; Augusta Rachel born 1861; Amy Gertrude born 1863; Eleanor Blanche the GD member born 1864; Janet born 1866; and Lucy Margaret born 1871 or 1872. The Bruces kept moving and so their daughters were all born in different places: Constance Mary’s birth was registered in central London; Isabel’s on Corfu; Augusta Rachel’s at Market Drayton (the nearest registry office to Adderley); Amy Gertrude’s at Kensington; Eleanor Blanche’s at Chelsea; Janet’s at Clifton Bristol; and Lucy Margaret’s in Scotland. However, the family stayed in Scotland during the 1880s, appearing on the censuses of 1871 and 1881 at Arngask, near Perth. They were probably living in the same house on each census day but the census officials heard its name differently, so it’s called Glendouglas House in 1871 and Glendenglie House in 1881, though the proper spelling may be Glendouglie.
Like most girls of their class at that time, the Bruce sisters didn’t go to school, they had governesses, with all the limitations on their education that that implies. An English governess called Martha Buckland was living with the Bruce family in 1871. With Robert Bruce’s pay as a senior army officer, and income from Rachel Frances’ dowry, in 1871 they could afford to pay for Miss Buckland; a cook; a lady’s maid; a nursemaid; and two housemaids. On the day of the 1881 census only four of the daughters were at home but the number of domestic servants employed was no less - a lady’s maid, a cook, a housemaid and a kitchenmaid. However, this time there was no governess living-in. Blanche was at home that day and it’s likely (though I can’t prove it of course) that her education was considered by her parents to be over: Arngask is rather a remote community and I find it difficult to believe that the Bruce’s had a governess who only came in during the day.
Quite when the break-up happened I don’t know, but the census records from 1891 show the Bruce family scattered to the four winds. Robert Bruce was still living at Arngask, the house being called Glendouglie Mill this time; but he was on his own there except for a housekeeper and a general servant. Constance Mary had married Francis Charles Gore in 1879 and was living in London. Amy Gertrude had married Thomas Edward Erskine in 1888 and may already have been living in the USA. Later, her husband held two appointments as consul-general for the British Government - at St Louis around 1910, and in New Orleans in 1916. Augusta Rachel and Lucy Margaret were in the Arngask district but were not living with their father - that was still very unusual for unmarried daughters in 1891. They were at Lingo House at Carnbee; with one general servant. Isabel and Janet were visiting a Miss or Mrs Buchanan, at 4 Grosvenor Crescent Edinburgh. And - and this may be the cause of the break-up - Rachel Frances Bruce was a private patient at the Royal Asylum for the Insane at Morningside in Edinburgh.
Mental breakdown, dementia, psychotic episodes - three of the great ‘unmentionables’ of Victorian Britain and not much more mentionable today. Rachel Frances did not stay in the asylum for the rest of her days; but the fact that she had been there at all was something no member of her family was likely to admit in public. Perhaps Isabel and Janet Bruce were in Edinburgh to visit their mother; but it would be just as Victorian to act as if she had gone on a holiday, and not go to see how she was being treated, or how she was progressing, despite being nearby.
On census day 1891 Blanche was far away from Morningside, in Westbury-on-Trym, Bristol visiting Rev David Wright and his wife Emily. The Wrights were probably family acquaintances from when the Bruces were living in Bristol (around 1866 when Janet was born there).
The Bruce family never did get back all together living in the same house: Robert Bruce died on 14 October 1891. Although they kept their contacts in Scotland, over the next decade there was a tendency for the women Robert left behind to move to England; and - in general - to keep largely separate households. England must be where Blanche met Hugh Elliot.
This section is based on part of Lettsom: His Life, Times, Friends and Descendants, a biography of physician and social campaigner Dr John Coakley Lettsom (died 1815). The book was written by James Johnston Abraham at Hugh Elliot’s instigation and using family papers Hugh had inherited. It was published in 1933 by William Heinemann’s medical department, of which Hugh had been - possibly still was - managing director.
John Coakley Lettsom married Ann Miers, daughter of a wealthy tin-plate manufacturer, and they had eight children though only three survived their father. The youngest child, Eliza Lettsom, married John Elliot in 1804. The Elliots could trace their ancestry back to 17th-century Pembrokeshire, but the man Eliza Lettsom married was living in west London, where he owned Elliot and Co and managed its brewery in Pimlico. John and Eliza Elliot lived next to the brewery in Pimlico Lodge. They had 15 children. Of their eight sons, six continued a family tradition of entering the army. They all went to India to serve in regiments stationed in Madras; four died there, two managed to live long enough to come home. The daughters all married, creating a wide network of in-laws and cousins in the next generation, including - though I haven’t worked out how - a Mrs Georgina Hargreave.
Hugh’s grandfather was the eldest son of John Elliot and his wife Eliza: John Lettsom Elliot, born 1804. When his father died in 1839, he took over the running of the brewery and was also a director of the Hand-in-Life Fire Insurance Company. Wanting to expand the brewery and take some of the financial strain off his own family, in 1837 John Lettsom Elliot invited James Watney and Charles Lambert to invest as partners. In 1849 their involvement was reflected in a change of company name, to Elliot, Watney and Co. However, in 1850, John Lettsom Elliot decided to retire from managing the firm. James Watney and in due course his two sons took over, buying Elliot out in 1858; and ‘Watneys’ is how the brewery is now known.
Both John Lettsom Elliot and his father (who had been a Fellow of the Royal Society) moved in literary and scientific circles. In 1824, John Lettsom Elliot was one of the group of male acquaintances who founded the Athenaeum Club, a club that prides itself on its spirit of intellectual enquiry. In due course Hugh Elliot became a member of the Athenaeum Club, probably recommended to the other members by John Lettsom Elliot.
Early in his retirement, John Lettsom Elliot wrote two comic plays. But essentially, after 1850 he settled down to a life of wealthy leisure, disturbed only by financial and other crises in his family.
He was married twice. His first wife was Marie Antoinette des Jardins, the daughter of a French couple who had fled the revolution. They married in 1829 and had five sons: John Elliot the younger (Hugh’s father) and four sons who continued the family tradition of serving in the army in Madras. Marie Antoinette Elliot died in 1846. In 1863 her widower married Harriet, widow of the 6th Earl of Guilford, whom he had probably known for many years through connections her family and the Lettsoms both had in the West Indies. When Harriet died in 1874 John Lettsom Elliot moved into rooms in The Albany, Piccadilly. He was still living there in 1891, with an elderly housekeeper to look after him. He died in 1898.
The Elliot family had a motto that - now I know something about them - doesn’t seem all that apt to me: fortiter et recte (strong and upright). Hugh Elliot might have wanted to choose it as his motto when joining the Golden Dawn. However, he couldn’t do so: no two members of the GD could have the same motto at the same time, and Annie Horniman had already bagged it. It fitted Annie Horniman to a tea.
Hugh Elliot’s father John Elliot was known as ‘the younger’ to distinguish him from his more well-known father. He went to Winchester College and then University College Oxford, but John Lettsom Elliot retired from the family firm while he was still an undergraduate and in any case probably never intended that his son should join the business. John Elliot the younger qualified as a barrister at the Inner Temple in 1855. Whether he practised as one I am not sure: I found some indications that he did, at least at first; but in 1891 John Lettsom Elliot said his son had never done so.
Hugh Elliot’s mother was Charlotte Georgiana (sometimes seen as Georgina or Georgianna) Armstrong, daughter of Lt-Colonel George Craven Armstrong. She had been born in Bengal, where her father was an officer in the 47th Bengal Native Infantry. Lt-Colonel Armstrong retired in 1853 and the family returned to Britain. Charlotte Georgiana and John Elliot the younger married in June 1859. Hugh was their eldest child, born in 1861. He and his sisters Harriet Alice (1863), Florence Ethel (1864) and Evelyn Gertrude (1867) were all born in Kensington. In 1868 the family moved to Teignmouth to be nearer where John did most of his legal work. The evidence I found about John Elliot’s career suggests he was working at least at this stage, on the western circuit of the English court system which covers court sessions at Exeter, Plymouth and Devonport. Hugh’s siblings Francis (1868) and Winifred (1876) were born in Devon.
The Elliots ran a fairly modest household in Teignmouth, with three servants in 1871 and a cook, housemaid, parlourmaid and nurse in 1881. John Elliot and Charlotte followed the Elliot family tradition when it came to a choice of school for Hugh: like his father, his grandfather and (I think) his great-grandfather, he was sent to Winchester College. However, Francis was sent to Wellington College in preparation for the army career followed by the younger sons of Elliots in at least the past three generations.
Hugh was destined to follow his father into the law, so - again like his grandfather and father - he went to Oxford University. He was an undergraduate at Magdalen College where he studied jurisprudence. He graduated in 1884, at the beginning of five years during which death broke up the Elliot family in much the same way that illness and death broke up the Bruce family around 1891. The break-up began with the death of John Elliot the younger, in Teignmouth, in September 1884 at the age of only 54. Charlotte Elliot opted to leave Devon for the south-east and moved, with her daughters, to Folkestone. The crisis was not as bad as it could have been, because John Lettsom Elliot stepped in to give financial and presumably other help to Charlotte and her children. Despite the death of his father, therefore, Hugh was able to continue doing the work and passing the exams necessary to qualify as a barrister. In May 1887 Hugh was called to the bar (the last stage in becoming eligible to start work) at the inn of court his father had been a member of, the Inner Temple. As if she had been hanging on for this important rite of passage, Charlotte Elliot died later that year, in November 1887 in Folkestone. And this difficult period was ended by the death of Hugh’s youngest sister, Winifred, in 1889 at the age of 13.
By February 1888, Hugh Elliot was working as a barrister. He had joined the chambers in King’s Bench Walk in the Temple that George Cope Cope was already working in. The Copes and the Elliots had been friendly for a long while and it’s possible (I haven’t found any certain evidence for it) that the firm where George Cope Cope’s father was a partner - Cope, Rose and Pearson of George Street Westminster - were solicitors for the Elliots’ family firm. George Cope was initiated into the GD in 1895, about six months after Hugh Elliot, who was probably the man who recommended him to the GD hierarchy.
By 1891, Francis Elliot had joined the army and followed the path taken by many of his uncles and great-uncles: he was in India as an officer in a native infantry regiment in Madras. Hugh’s sisters Harriet Alice (I think she’s called Alice) and Florence Ethel (she’s definitely called Ethel) married serving officers; though Ethel’s behaviour wrecked her husband’s army career.
Harriet Alice Elliot had married Gerald Burrell Geach of the 4th Dragoon Guards in 1889. They had one child, Charles Leonard Elliot Geach, born in 1891. Geach’s regiment was sent to India and like nearly all the Elliot soldiers, he never came back: he died of typhoid at Murree in July 1899. By 1901 Harriet Alice and Leonard had returned to England. A George Hender Geach joined Stella Matutina in 1910. As Geach is such an unusual surname, he must have been a relation of Gerald Burrell Geach - not a close one, though, as Gerald Burrell Geach had no brothers.
OSBORNE v HARGREAVE - the career of Ethel Elliot
Florence Ethel Elliot is the Mrs Osborne of the sensational 1891 slander case Osborne (plaintiff) v Hargreave (defendants). The press had a wonderful time with the case, it was a gift: an upper-middle-class woman accusing her cousin and her cousin’s husband of calling her a thief; with the plaintiff’s sister accusing one of the defendants of being involved in an improper relationship with one of their side’s witnesses. Coverage appeared in newspapers as far away as New South Wales and California, some of which is now in newspaper archives on the web. I won’t give a blow-by-blow account here, I’ll just sum it up. I’ve drawn most of my understanding of what went on in the trial, and the even more amazing sequel, from the Times, which had at least three columns’ coverage throughout the trial’s five days of evidence. It helps to know that in between the accusations and the trial, Ethel Elliot married her fiancé Captain Clarence Arthur Osborne.
The basic debate in the case was whether Ethel Elliot had stolen some jewellery from Mrs Hargreave while staying with her in Torquay in February 1891; and had sold it to the City jewellers Spink and Son for £550 while calling herself Mrs Price. As plaintiff, Ethel was arguing that she had not; as defendants, Mrs Hargreave and her husband Major Hargreave had said in so many words that she had. Both sides in the dispute agreed that the theft and the sale had taken place. But was Ethel Mrs Price, and therefore the thief? For five days a series of witnesses gave evidence one way or the other, until the trial was halted by an anonymous letter containing new evidence, while Hargreaves’ barrister was summing-up of their side of it. A two-day adjournment was called. When the trial resumed, the barristers for Ethel’s side told the judge that the Hargreaves had been right: evidence had been found at the Bank of England which linked Ethel beyond all doubt to the spending of the £550. A warrant was issued for Ethel’s arrest on charges of larceny, and also of perjury (for what she’d said during her time as a witness in the slander trial) but she had fled the country. Brought back in February, she was arrested at Dover and in March 1892 was sentenced to nine months’ hard labour; hardly any of which she served as she was pregnant and ill - her eldest daughter Phyllis was born three or four months later.
Hugh Elliot had played his part in this hugely embarrassing episode and gave evidence during the slander trial, on Thursday 17 December 1891. Hugh had first found out what the Hargreaves were saying about Ethel on 9 March 1891, when a mutual friend, Mr Engelhart, called on him at his chambers. Mr Engelhart had come straight from Spink and Son, where he had been showing members of staff a photograph of Ethel and asking if she was Mrs Price. What Mr Engelhart told him caused Hugh to leave work immediately and take Mr Engelhart home to repeat it all to Ethel, and to Alice Geach who was with Ethel at the time. Ethel denied everything, and in order to prove that the Hargreaves were being outrageous, Hugh, Mr Engelhart, Alice and Ethel went to Spink and Son the following day to see what the staff said when confronted with Ethel in person. At first Mr Spink didn’t want to commit himself outright - he ummed and aahed. Hugh lost his temper, telling Mr Spink in no uncertain terms that this was a legal - perhaps a criminal - matter and he must be sure. So Mr Spink retorted that if Hugh wanted certainty, Mr Spink was prepared to say that yes, Ethel Elliot was the Mrs Price he had bought the jewellery from; and he would thank Mr Elliot to behave like a gentleman, however angry he was.
Not a helpful intervention. The question of who had urged Ethel to bring the slander action against the Hargreaves wasn’t gone into during the trial, but it’s likely that Hugh was one of those who had done the urging, together with Captain Osborne. As it turned out, this too was not a helpful intervention. The evidence from the trial, though, is clear: neither Hugh nor Captain Osborne dreamed that Ethel might be guilty; they continued to believe in her innocence until they found out about the evidence unearthed at the Bank of England: a £50 note, counter-signed ‘Ethel Elliot’ in a shop in Bond Street; one of the notes Mrs Price had obtained as a result of the transaction with Spink and Son (it’s not actually quite as simple as that, but that’s the damning evidence in a nutshell).
Some other things came out in the evidence of Hugh and John Lettsom Elliot to the slander trial, suggesting to me that Ethel and her siblings had all inherited their great-grandmother Eliza Lettsom Elliot’s inability to make her outgoings match her income. Eliza had had to disappear abroad several times to avoid her creditors and no doubt that’s where Ethel got the idea from - when in real trouble, leave the country. During the trial both Hugh and John Lettsom Elliot were asked to explain the family’s finances. They sounded pretty chaotic to me but the extent of John Lettsom Elliot’s financial support was made clear: he was paying Hugh an allowance of £400 a year; giving each of Hugh’s sisters £40-50 a year to double the income they had from money their mother had left them; and he owned 27 The Boltons, Brompton, the house that Hugh, Ethel and Evelyn had moved into in 1890, so they had no rent or mortgage to pay.
You will have gathered, I think, that I don’t have much sympathy for the Elliots. If life is a 100-metre race, people like them have a start of 30 or 40 metres over the majority of the population by virtue of wealth they have not earned. And even that is not enough for some of them: they take it as their due, and want more. However, I do see that in Hugh Elliot’s case at least, the featherbedding may have come at some cost: I don’t think he wanted to work as a barrister. He did what was expected of him by those who paid his bills, but when he had the chance, he moved into another kind of work. 1894 seems to have been a watershed year in this, perhaps the year he was offered work at William Heinemann Limited.
From about 1894 until 1929 and possibly even later, Hugh was working in publishing rather than in the law. The Law Lists from 1894 to 1911 do suggest he may have been doing some work on the Court Service western circuit; but on the census of 1911 he described his source of income as “publisher”, not mentioning any work as a barrister. It wasn’t until 1929 that he hired chambers again, in Crown Office Row, Temple and even then it’s possible he was only living in them, not working from them. The Law Lists give Hugh’s address as Crown Office Row from 1929 until his retirement in 1939.
The information collected for 1891 census involved asking where people were on the night of Sunday 5th to Monday 6th April. Ethel Elliot and Captain Osborne had actually married earlier that Sunday, and had left for the continent on their honeymoon. Osborne v Hargreave was at a very early stage and the Osbornes could afford to go away for a few weeks: Hugh and Captain Osborne were still trying to find a solicitor willing to take the case on in the face of the problematic evidence from Spink and Son. Two or three solicitors’ firms had already turned them down. Perhaps they should have taken the hint.
So only Evelyn and Hugh were at home on the evening of census day. Evelyn took over from Ethel and acted as mistress of the house in The Boltons until she married Marcus George Yunge-Bateman in 1894. Evelyn probably met her husband during the brief period when Charlotte Elliot was living in Kent: he worked as a GP and council medical officer in Folkestone. Hugh also moved out of 27 The Boltons in 1894.
There had been a certain amount of rallying round the flag before Ethel’s criminal trial in March 1892: even Mrs Hargreave was in court to plead for leniency. Whether the two sides ever trusted each other again afterwards, goodness knows. Even though I haven’t found any evidence that Ethel was ever caught stealing anything else, it won’t have been easy for family members to forget what had happened. Years after, Osborne v Hargreave and its consequences continued to come back and haunt them. A number of novels were based on it, and two very successful plays. Mrs Dane’s Defence, by Henry Arthur Jones, had its first night at Wyndham’s Theatre in October 1900 and ran for 209 performances there before going on tour. Then in 1922 John Galsworthy’s play Loyalties ran for a whole year at St Martin’s Theatre. Both plays were filmed as well. More immediately and personally, the Elliots will have been hit hard financially: they had to both sides’ legal fees and these would have been high, as some of the most senior barristers in the country had been hired. Captain Osborne paid a heavy price personally too - his army career became untenable and he left it and got work as a stockbroker in the City. In 1901 he and Ethel were living in style in Sloane Street with their children: Phyllis who had spared Ethel most of her prison sentence, Betty, Margot and Bryan. I have found one piece of evidence, though, to suggest that they divorced later.
HUGH ELLIOT IN PUBLISHING
Hugh Elliot worked for two publishing firms, William Heinemann Ltd and the much less well-known Rebman and Co. He seems, at least in the 1900s, to have worked for both of them at the same time, though he must have committed more hours to William Heinemann Ltd as they were by far the bigger firm. William Heinemann founded the famous publishing firm in 1890, after many years working for the music publisher Trübman. Heinemann had lots of friends in literary and artistic circles including George Bernard Shaw (who knew several members of the GD), Arthur Symons and Whistler; and was soon publisher for Stevenson, Kipling and H G Wells. Hugh Elliot knew William Heinemann well enough to be described as a friend in a biography written soon after Heinemann’s death in 1920. Through William Heinemann he will have been acquainted with all those famous novelists, but he was not their editor; he was managing director of the company’s medical list.
The editors of W B Yeats’ letters call Hugh Elliot the owner of Rebman and Co; but GD member A E Waite describes him as a partner in the firm and I think that’s more likely. The firm was named for Francis J Rebman, presumably because he had the idea for it. I’m not sure how he and Hugh met; probably through Hugh’s work at William Heinemann. Rebman doesn’t seem to have lived in England until the 1890s; he had been born in Germany but was a US citizen by the time Rebmans was founded in 1894. Although in its later years it published a few occult books, the firm was founded to publish medical texts - these medical connections must have made Hugh something of a specialist in the law covering the publication of medical books. Though still living in Edinburgh when the firm was founded, GD member Dr Robert Felkin also had some kind of stake in Rebmans - perhaps a shareholding - and it published a couple of his works.
HUGH AS A FREEMASON
Hugh Elliot became a freemason while he was still only in his twenties: that’s rather early in a man’s working life, in general, although freemasonry does seem to have been very active amongst Oxford and Cambridge university undergraduates at that time. The lodges Hugh was a member of were all connected to Oxford University. By 1889 he had been initiated into St Mary Magdalene craft lodge, number 1523; and Oxford and Cambridge Universities craft lodge number 1118. Hugh seems to have been more committed to St Mary Magdalene 1523 - he served his year as Worshipful Master in 1889. He didn’t serve as an officer at the Oxford and Cambridge Universities Lodge 1118 and I gather the lodge did suffer from a high turnover of members. However, from the GD point of view the Oxford and Cambridge Universities Lodge 1118 is very interesting: when I looked through a list of its members, several names rang a bell. The Rev Hugh Reginald Haweis joined the lodge in 1867; he wasn’t a member of the GD, but his wife Mary Eliza was. In 1870 a Colonel Stephen Babington became a member; although I can’t trace the exact relationship, he’s likely to be a relation of GD member Anna Mary Babington. In 1876 Robert Roy was initiated into the lodge: he was a very senior and active member of Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia and one of the first people William Wynn Westcott and Samuel Liddell Mathers invited to join the GD. And in 1882 Hugh’s college friend the Rev Henry William Wynne ffoulkes became a member. Again, ffoulkes never joined the GD but his wife did - she was the poet Louisa Florence ffoulkes (known as Florence, not Louisa) who became a close friend of Hugh and was related to Blanche.
In October 1889, Hugh joined the relatively newly-founded craft lodge Quatuor Coronati 2076, which was set up with the purpose of bringing rather higher academic standards to the study of the history of freemasonry. He was a corrresponding member, meaning that he would receive its journal and be welcome at its meetings (held in London); but would not be eligible to serve as a lodge officer. He was initiated into Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia in 1890, probably through his acquaintance Robert Roy. In 1902-03 he served a year as its Celebrant (equivalent to a freemasons’ lodge’s Worshipful Master); although he had not served the previous year as the Celebrant’s deputy so something had gone a little wrong with the normal procedures.
Craft masonry is only one of several different kinds of freemasonry practised in England, and by
1885 Hugh had been initiated into one of the other kinds, the Ancient and Accepted Rite. The AAR’s equivalent to a craft lodge is called a Rose Croix chapter; Hugh joined the Oxford University chapter, number 40, probably recommended by Henry ffoulkes who was a member by 1880; and so was Oscar Wilde whose wife Constance joined the GD. After they had left Oxford, both Hugh and Henry ffoulkes changed chapters, to the Oxford and Cambridge chapter 45, which met in London in the AAR’s office building at 33 Golden Square. Oscar Wilde and Robert Roy were members of this chapter; and so was the Earl of Euston, brother of GD member Lady Eleanor Harbord. Henry ffoulkes was more committed than Hugh to the AAR: by 1900 he had reached its 31º level - only 81 AAR members could be at this level at any one time. Hugh, however, reached only as far as the 30º level, to which access was not restricted (but it didn’t cost so much, either!)
Although he kept up his lodge memberships, for business and other reasons, the freemasonry side of the occult doesn’t seem to have given Hugh quite the satisfaction he was looking for. In 1894 he joined the Theosophical Society, remaining a member until 1904, through a particularly difficult period in the TS’s history, in which two factions fought bitterly over the direction the organisation would take after the death of Helena Petrovna Blavatsky.
THE THEOSOPHICAL SOCIETY AND THE GOLDEN DAWN
As I work my way through my GD members’ list in more or less alphabetical order, Hugh Elliot is the first biography I’ve done of a large group of GD members who were all members of the TS as well; and who all give as their address for TS correspondence the house lived in by John William Brodie-Innes and his wife Frances, in Royal Circus Edinburgh. I have to say that I don’t understand what’s going on here; though it may have to do with the split in the TS worldwide, which was at its most bitter during 1894-95 with most of the fighting going on at its London hq. Until the split left the TS in London desperate for new members, all new applicants to join the TS had to have two sponsors who were already members. Hugh’s two sponsors were John and Frances Brodie-Innes; and his TS record says that he was a member of the TS’s Scottish Lodge, which met at the Brodie-Innes’ house in Edinburgh. However, as far as I know, Hugh Elliot never lived nor worked in Edinburgh; and neither did most of the people who gave the TS the Brodie-Innes’s house as their address. Hugh’s acquaintance with them was almost certainly through John Brodie-Innes, who had been called to the bar at Lincoln’s Inn in 1878 and practised in England for several years before moving back home to Scotland to become an advocate in the courts in Edinburgh. Though why the TS’s journals and newsletter couldn’t be sent to Hugh in London, I do not know: unlike the GD, the TS was not a secret society, quite the reverse.
It seems that when he joined the TS, Hugh Elliot already knew Florence ffoulkes as well as her husband (though curiously, Henry Wynne ffoulkes was not a member of TS or the GD). Hugh and Florence jointly sponsored a great many new TS members over the next two or three years. Four of the acquaintances they sponsored also joined the GD in due course: John Valentine Lacy who knew Henry ffoulkes’ cousins the Vibarts; George Cope Cope (as I’ve already mentioned); and Ida Bennett were three of them. And in due course, in February 1895, they sponsored Blanche Bruce; perhaps already engaged to be married to Hugh. Blanche’s address at that point was 78 Cheyne Court Chelsea; but she too became a member of the TS’s Scottish Lodge. Her sister, Isabel Bruce, also joined the TS in December 1897. Perhaps Isabel had never met the Brodie-Innes’s: she first address she gave the TS was one in Bideford, Devon; but later she asked that letters be sent to her through the Pioneer Club in London. Mary Eliza Haweis was also a member of the Pioneer Club, which organised talks during the London social season on a wide range of subjects, everything from spiritualism and theosophy to women’s rights.
A pamphlet called ‘Introduction to Theosophy’ was reviewed in the TS’s main journal, Lucifer, in 1889. The pamphlet’s author was just named as “Mr Elliot”. Especially given the spelling of ‘elliot’, Hugh could have been the author; although obviously the pamphlet pre-dates his official membership of the TS by several years.
It was odd that Florence ffoulkes, Hugh Elliot and Blanche Bruce should choose to join the TS at such a turbulent time in its history, because they were three of the very few people to do so. Perhaps they found out very quickly how much the daily business of the TS was being affected by the split - lodges closing down, far fewer talks being given and discussion groups ceasing to meet. The GD may have come as a welcome relief to all three - its splits were several years ahead. Despite the two jobs he was now doing, Hugh was able to commit himself more to the GD than Blanche, who got pregnant very soon after they married - their only child, Lettice Ann, was born at the end of 1896. Getting used to having a husband and running a married couple’s household, while being pregnant after only a few weeks of marriage, was not ideal way to begin your life as a wife, but I have noticed it was quite common amongst the married women of the GD. In Blanche’s case, she had a couple of changes of address to negotiate in the early years of her marriage. She and Hugh began their married life at 7 Smith Square Westminster; but by 1901 they had moved to Chelsea, to 26 Cheyne Row, where they employed a cook, a housemaid and a nursemaid for their daughter. So many quick changes of circumstance hampered Blanche’s ability to do the study required of GD members who wanted to progress into its inner, 2nd order, and she took four years to complete the work.
‘Lettice’ is an unusual name. I saw evidence on the web of a Lettice Corbet, alive in the 17th century, and I suppose that Blanche and Hugh named their daughter after her. On the day of the the 1901 census, Lettice had gone on a visit and was staying with her great-aunt, Rachel Frances Bruce’s sister Clara Corbet, at 36 Norham Road Oxford. Four years of age seems rather young to be paying visits without your parents but a sick-nurse was a member of Blanche and Hugh’s household on census day, so someone was very ill. The fear of their only child catching whatever the illness was, had caused Blanche and Hugh to send Lettice away, accompanied only by her own nursemaid, Elizabeth Bickerstaff. Lettice was not with her parents on the day of the 1911 census either; she was at boarding-school at The Hall, Harpenden. The education of women in the professional and landed gentry classes had moved on a fair amount since Blanche’s own childhood: there were more schools to send their daughters to; and parents’ expectations had moved a little way beyond the 19th-century concept of ‘accomplishments’ being all that was necessary for young women of their class. However, Blanche and Hugh’s choice of school was no intellectual powerhouse. At The Hall Harpenden, though Latin, maths and science were taught, there were no resident teachers for those subjects immediately before World War 1; the resident teachers taught French, English and gardening, suggesting that the curriculum favoured those subjects more. All the girls had to learn singing, art and needlework but they could only learn a musical instrument if their parents were willing to pay extra. An advert for the school (probably from around 1914) emphasised the small number of pupils at the school, which ensured more individual attention; and its healthy situation and large grounds where pupils could play tennis and croquet and some field games.
THE ELLIOTS AND YEATS
Both Hugh and Blanche knew GD member W B Yeats well enough to take a small part in his attempt to set up a Theatre of Beauty, to put on plays and masques; an idea which emerged during 1901 from talks Yeats been having with his friends on ‘musical speech’. Blanche and Hugh must have been two of those friends, and the GD’s greatest female magician Florence Farr was another.
Florence commissioned Arnold Dolmetsch to make a psaltery for her to play while she recited poetry by Yeats in a manner that was more than speech but less than singing: chanting is perhaps a good description. She first tried the method out during a performance of the play Beloved of Hathor in November 1901 (Beloved of Hathor was co-written by Florence Farr and Olivia Shakspear) and in the following years she used it in performance in the UK and on tour in the USA. Inspired by Yeats’ arguments and probably by hearing Florence Farr in performance, Blanche began to try the chanting technique. Blanche did not have the theatrical talents and training that made Florence Farr such a promising actress and exciting ritualist: Yeats told his friend Lady Gregory that Blanche had “never learnt voice production”. However, Yeats thought Blanche had a feel for poetic language and had brought her own qualities to her performances: “her own little lilt”, he said, which was “extraordinarily impressive and poetical”. She had - not exactly stage presence but something special about her, Yeats thought: “She is a really beautiful person too and that helps things”.
In March 1903 Hugh and other GD members including Pamela Colman-Smith signed a circular Yeats had prepared to raise some money for the Theatre of Beauty. Nothing more was heard of the scheme, though, and I don’t think that Blanche would have performed in public, even if the Theatre of Beauty had been able to find funding for some masques.
AFTER THE GOLDEN DAWN
I won’t go into the wrangling that caused the evolution of the GD into two daughter orders between 1901 and 1903, because neither Hugh nor Blanche Elliot were actively involved in it until the end of the process. They did both stop paying their annual subscriptions to the TS during this time - like many others, they may have not wanted to follow the route the TS in Britain and Europe was now taking (towards Hinduism) now Annie Besant was in charge. In addition, Hugh may have had to concentrate his efforts on helping William Heinemann Ltd stay afloat at the time: in 1899 William Heinemann married Magda Stuart Sindici, who led her much older husband a fine dance, alienating his friends, spending money like it was going out of style and making a series of disastrous investments on the Stock Exchange. Within two years they had separated and she went to Paris, but while she was demanding William Heinemann’s full attention, the firm he’d founded suffered.
In the spring of 1903 those people who were still GD members found themselves having to follow either A E Waite towards the mystical side of magic; or Robert Felkin keeping to the magical side. Hugh Elliot went with Robert Felkin, his friend of several years and fellow investor in Rebmans and Co, into Stella Matutina (SM), which began to meet in the basement of Felkin’s house at 47 Bassett Road north Kensington. No administrative papers from SM exist now. There are lists of new members but the names of the GD members who were in at the start, and the list of people who acted as its officers have been lost. R A Gilbert believes that Hugh was SM’s Cancellarius in its early years. I think Blanche was a member too, as she recruited two of her relations. Her sister Lucy joined SM in 1907 and Lucy and Blanche’s first cousin, Archer Corbet, became a member in 1906. Archer was the son of Rachel Frances Bruce’s younger brother, the wonderfully-named Rev Athelstan Corbet. It’s likely, though, that the Elliots had ceased to be active members of SM before the Felkins emigrated to New Zealand in 1916.
After the war, John William Brodie-Innes revived the GD’s old Edinburgh-based temple of Amen-Ra. By 1921 there was a branch of it in London. Hugh Elliot was the London branch’s imperator, with Carnegie Dickson as its cancellarius - son of George Dickson, a GD member in Edinburgh in the 1890s.
THE REST OF LIFE
Florence ffoulkes’ husband, Hugh’s fellow undergraduate and freemason Henry Wynne ffoulkes, died in 1904. So did Florence’s father. As a result Florence never committed herself to either of the GD’s daughter orders. She had to leave the vicarage just outside Nottingham where Henry had been the rector, of course. She chose to move to London, perhaps so that she could be near her friends the Elliots, now she was alone. In 1911, Blanche’s relations Archer Corbet, his wife Anne Maria and their newly-born son John Vincent were living in Florence’s house at 4 Nevern Square, Earl’s Court while she was staying with her mother and sister in Ascot.
Francis Rebman left England and returned to the USA in 1906. Rebmans and Co did continue for a few years. Hugh and Robert Felkin were left as its major players though they may not have agreed on its future direction: Robert Felkin was wanting to expand the firm’s publishing specialisms to feature more books on esotericism. Rebman’s was a small firm, operating on very little capital; to expand its operations would require investment and energy and Hugh was probably unwilling to commit more of either of those things to it. And then the case about Bloch’s book came long.
In 1909 Rebman’s was prosecuted under the Obscene Prints Act, after publishing a medical work whose title in English was The Sexual Life of Our Time. The book was typical of the type of text Rebman’s specialised in: a handbook for doctors, originally in German, by Professor Ivan Bloch of Berlin. It was unfortunate, then, that a member of the public saw some copies and complained to the police about their content. The police went to Rebman’s offices and impounded all the copies they could find. Hugh Elliot and Robert Felkin decided to fight the case, and hired a barrister with expertise on what was considered obscenity. At the case’s initial hearing, a magistrate ordered that all copies be destroyed, despite agreeing with Mr Bodkin (the chosen expert) that it was a textbook not pornography. Rebmans appealed against the decision and the legal fees began to rise. In the long run, Bodkin seems to have made his point about Bloch’s book: its publication was allowed and it became a standard work on the subject of human reproductive health. But the cost of defending it in court was too much for Rebmans: by 1911 it had been bought out by William Ryder and Hugh’s connection with it had ended.
I believe Hugh continued to work for William Heinemann Ltd, or to advise it, even after William Heinemann died in 1920, and probably into the 1930s. He and Blanche didn’t have the kind of income they could have expected if he had been a successful barrister; but Hugh was probably happier in the work. The Elliots were living carefully in 1911, possibly because of the costs of Rebman’s legal case, coming with at the same time as fees for Lettice’s schooling: on census day that year, Hugh and Blanche were living at 6 More’s Garden (More’s Garden is a big block of flats on Cheyne Walk) and only had one servant living-in. They continued their policy of moving on fairly quickly, however, and were no longer at that address in 1925.
Because they only had a daughter, Blanche and Hugh Elliot were spared parental involvment in the first World War. The war years were, nevertheless, punctuated for them by the deaths of relatives of Blanche. Blanche’s mother Rachel Augusta and her sister Clara died within three months of each other at the beginning of 1916. Blanche’s sister Amy’s husband died a few months later; perhaps the Elliots didn’t know him very well, as he and Amy had been living in the USA, probably since the 1890s. It wasn’t all death and mourning, however: in February 1917, Lettice Elliot married Flight Sub-Lieutenant Michael Birkbeck of the Royal Navy. Blanche and Hugh’s only grandchild - a son this time, James Birkbeck - was born at the end of that grim year.
This is all very speculative, but a passing reference in the biography of John Coakley Lettsom made me wonder whether Hugh and Blanche had separated, possibly around 1929 when the Law Lists show Hugh with an address in the Temple for the first time for many years. The author of the biography of John Coakley Lettsum says that Hugh was living in chambers in the Temple while the book was being prepared (which was 1932-33). It’s not common - at least, I don’t think so - for married couples to live above the legal chambers. That they were separated might explain another snippet of information that puzzled me: when Blanche died early in 1947, her death was registered in Bath. She might have moved there to escape the Blitz, or just been there on a visit, or in a hospital; but the two pieces of information have made me wonder. Perhaps by the 1930s Hugh Elliot was closer to Florence ffoulkes than to Blanche: when Florence died in July 1936, Hugh was one of her executors.
Hugh retired from work as a barrister in 1939 or 1940, and moved out of the Temple; he died in December 1948, at home at 10 Wilbraham Place Sloane Square.
BASIC SOURCES I USED for all Golden Dawn members.
Membership of the Golden Dawn: The Golden Dawn Companion by R A Gilbert. Northampton: The Aquarian Press 1986. Between pages 125 and 175, Gilbert lists the names, initiation dates and addresses of all those people who became members of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn or its many daughter Orders between 1888 and 1914. The list is based on the Golden Dawn’s administrative records and its Members’ Roll - the large piece of parchment on which all new members signed their name at their initiation. All this information had been inherited by Gilbert but it’s now in the Freemasons’ Library at the United Grand Lodge of England building on Great Queen Street Covent Garden. Please note, though, that the records of the Amen-Ra Temple in Edinburgh were destroyed in 1900/01. As far as I know, the records of the Horus Temple at Bradford have not survived either.
Family history: freebmd; ancestry.co.uk (census and probate); findmypast.co.uk; familysearch; Burke’s Peerage and Baronetage; Burke’s Landed Gentry; Armorial Families; thepeerage.com; and a wide variety of family trees on the web.
Famous-people sources: mostly about men, of course, but very useful even for the female members of GD. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Who Was Who. Times Digital Archive.
Useful source for business and legal information: London Gazette and its Scottish counterpart Edinburgh Gazette. Now easy to find (with the right search information) on the web.
Catalogues: British Library; Freemasons’ Library.
Wikipedia; Google; Google Books - my three best resources. I also used other web pages, but with some caution, as - from the historian’s point of view - they vary in quality a great deal.
ELEANOR’S FATHER ROBERT BRUCE:
New Annual Army List, Militia List and Yeomanry Cavalry List 1879 p116.
Modern English Biography by Frederic Boase, 1965. Volume IV supplement to the original Volume 1.
Neither of those mention Robert Bruce’s period in Corfu. The sources for that are the birth registration of Eleanor Blanche’s elder sister Isabel Bruce; and a letter written by Edward Lear:
At The article mentions a letter written in Corfu by Lear in 1862 in which he relates a funny incident. He was working painting when he stopped to watch a march-past of British troops. “Colonel Bruce” gave him a salute and Lear waved back, forgetting he’d got his hands full of paintbrushes. The paint went all over his beard and could only be got off with turps. issue of 2 June 2012, article Old Man of Corfu - Happy 200th Birthday, Edward Lear.
There’s a photograph of Constance Gore in full court dress, on the web, taken on 4 June 1914 in as she was about to go to Buckingham Palace to present her acquaintance the Countess Sondes to Queen Mary. The website is lafayette.org.uk/gor5766a.html which shows records of The Lafayette Studio of 179 New Bond St. At homepages.roots.web.ancestry.com there’s a Vans family archive. Constance married barrister Francis Charles Gore 1846-1940; he was the senior solicitor at the Inland Revenue. They had three sons and one daughter. Further details at website www.thepeerage.com
Isabel’s birth registration: is a list of babies born to troops stationed in the Ionian Islands which were owned by the British from 1818 to 1864.
Blanche’s sister Augusta Rachel Bruce probably caused as much consternation as pleasure in the family when she got engaged at the age of 46. In some respects it was an excellent (though belated) marriage, but her groom-to-be was a full decade her junior. She married Sir Stewart Blakeley Agnew Patterson of the Indian Army political department in January 1908. They lived in India, on the north-west frontier amongst other places, until the late 1920s when Patterson was appointed a government advisor and they returned to live in Roehampton.
Burke’s Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry 1969 edition volume 2 p71 gives details of her marriage.
There are references to her husband, Sir Stewart Blakeley Agnew Patterson KCVO, CSI, CIE at and www.bl.uk.
Website Family web pages at a list of people named Erskine, with DOBs and DODs and places of both; but with no indication as to the sources of the information. Plantagenet Roll of the Blood Royal: Mortimer-Percy Volume by the Marquis de Ruvigny and Ranieval published 1911 P227. gives details of her marriage in 1888 to Thomas Edward Erskine.
Official Manual of the State of Missouri issued by its Secretary of State 1909 p508 has Thomas Edward Erskine in a list of foreign consuls resident in St Louis Missouri. The same information appears in the 1913 edition p511.
London Gazette issue of 28 January 1916 p1125 in a Foreign Office bulletin dated 16 January 1916: Thomas Edward Erskine was appointed HM Consul-General for the states of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida; with official residence in New Orleans.
Website But a reply to this posting says that Blanche’s sister is NOT that person. posted 5 March 2013 mentions a mystic, “Miss Lucy Bruce” who lived on Iona.
Lettsom: His Life, Times, Friends and Descendants by James Johnston Abraham. Published London: William Heinemann Medical Books Ltd 1933.
Via the web, for sale at abebooks and elsewhere:
A Letter to the Electors of Westminster, from an Aristocrat written by John Lettsom Elliot 1850.
Three to One: A Comedy in Two Acts 1850
Five to Two: A Comedy in Three Acts 1851.
John Lettsom Elliot’s two marriages, via familysearch:
1 = England-EASy GS film number 413277: 16 July 1829 at St James Westminster. John Lettsom Elliot born 1808 to Marie Antoinette des Jardins.
2 = England-ODM GS film number 1042324: on 10 February 1863 at St James Westminster: John Lettsom Elliot to Harriet Countess of Guildford (correctly Guilford) daughter of Henry Warde.
GEORGE CRAVEN ARMSTRONG
London Gazette p434 in the middle of a long list of army promotions; unfortunately I couldn’t see the date of the issue. Promotions to Lieutenant-Colonel included that of George Craven Armstrong of the Bengal Native Infantry (NI).
Via nationalarchives.gov.uk to a list of Begnal Army service files held at the India Office. File IOR/L/MIL/10/25/403 is George Craven Armstrong’s: 47th NI, retired December 1853.
See also GEORGE CARLYON ARMSTRONG Charlotte Elliot’s brother: DNB Supplement issued 1912; and elsewhere. Newspaper magnate and Tory party wheeler-dealer.
GERALD BURRELL GEACH
At there are details of the descendants of Charles Skally Geach 1833-64 and his wife Harriet Georgina Burrell.
London Gazette 1 August 1882 p3582 list of promotions in the 4th Dragoon Guards.
Via to Guardian issue of 19 July 1899 p14 death notice for Captain Gerald Burrell Geach of 4th (Royal Irish) Dragoon Guards.
GEORGE HENDER GEACH
At desturmobed.blogspot.co.uk pages on Lesser-Known Writers, the page on Eleonora Frederika Adolphine Sgonina, who married George Hender Geach in 1915. Blogger has probably got the information from: Peter Geach: Philosophical Encounters by P T Geach and H A Lewis 1991 p1. Peter Geach is George and Eleonora’s son.
Osborne v Hargreave and its sequels:
The short account in the New York Times of 23 December 1891 is easy to get to via the web.
The reports in the Times appeared on the following days: the slander trial 16 December 1891 to 23 December 1891; Ethel’s appearances in the dock as a criminal on 5, 6 and 8 February 1892; 10 March 1892. The Times was anxious to assure its readers that at no time when on remand in Holloway did Ethel have to mix with the rest of the prisoners; she was kept in the infirmary. And she was allowed out after serving only a few weeks of her sentence, on health grounds. The grounds might have been justified but never let it be said that there isn’t one law for the rich and another for the poor in England.
The Quarterly Register of Current History volume 1 1892 editor is Alfred S Johnson p499 describes Osborne v Hargreave as the greatest sensation since the Tichborne case.
A later account of the trial appears in: Famous Trials Re-Told: Some Society causes célèbres by Horace Wyndham. Published Hutchinson and Co. Via the web I saw a publication date of 1925; however the BL’s copy is date-stamped “26MAY43". Pp117-128.
Some Piquant People by Lincoln Springfield. Published T F Unwin Ltd 1924 pp65-66 re Osborne v Hargreave as providing some plot for Mrs Dane’s Defence and Loyalties. He spells Elliot with two t’s. Further details of both plays from wikipedia.
Evidence that the Osbornes may have been divorced is from a form of words on the Will of Ethel Osborne at the probate registry: she is described as a “single woman”. However, I couldn’t find certain evidence of any divorce proceedings.
The Lancet volume 1 1894 p1043 in a list of marriages: on 16 April  Evelyn Gertrude to Marcus Yonge (sic) Bateman of Folkestone, MRCS, graduate of Cambridge University.
That Evelyn’s husband’s name is Marcus Yunge Bateman see General Medical Council lists: 1st registered 1887; MRCS; Licensed by the Society of Apothecaries of London 1887; Diploma in Public Health Cambridge University 1892.
FRANCIS RIVERSDALE ELLIOT
Hart’s Annual Army List 1891 p861 Francis Riversdale Elliot es a 2nd Lieutenant with date 3 March 1888.
By the time of John Lettsom Elliot’s death in 1898 he’s a major-general: probate registry entry for John Lettsom Elliot: Francis and Hugh are joint executors.
HUGH ELLIOT AND WILLIAM HEINEMANN LTD
William Heinemann: A Memoir by Frederic Whyte. Published NOT by William Heinemann Ltd but by Jonathan Cape 1928: p298. And see also his page on wikipedia.
HUGH ELLIOT AND REBMANs
Collected Letters of W B Yeats Volume III covering 1901-04 p328 footnote 3 for Hugh’s address at that time and his connections with the two publishing firms.
Shadows of Life and Thought: A Retrospective Review in the Form of Memoirs by Arthur Edward Waite. London: Selwyn and Blount of Paternoster House EC 1938 p173-74 has something on Rebman and Co, particularly Felkin’s involvement; but Waite is talking about 1908.
Another man involved with Rebman and Co is mentioned by Waite but not by name; I think the anonymous man is Hugh Elliot. It’s Waite who says that Rebman and Co were taken over by William Ryder.
HUGH AS A FREEMASON
QUATUOR CORONATI LODGE 2076
Ars Quatuor Coronati 2076 Volume II 1889 unnumbered pages at the end of volume list all current full and corresponding members. On [p11] as corresponding member number 272 John Hugh Armstrong Elliot of 6 King’s Bench Walk, Temple, with joining date October 1889. As member of lodge 1523 where he was currently WM; and of lodge 1118.
ST MARY MAGDALENE LODGE 1523
Typescript history of the lodge, at Freemasons’ Library: St Mary Magdalene Lodge 1523: 1875-1975 by T L Dewhurst. Published London 1975.
OXFORD AND CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY LODGE 1118
The History of Oxford and Cambridge University Lodge number 1118 1866-1966 by E W R Peterson MA. Pp31-39 and pp44-49.
Oxford and Cambridge Lodge 1118 and R A Chapter: Notes from the Minute Books compiled by Horace Nelson. No publication details but preface [p6] dated 31 December 1925. P9-12, pp14-20.
ANCIENT AND ACCEPTED RITE
Rules and Regulations for the Government of the Degrees from the 4º to 32º Inclusive under the Supreme Council 33º of the Ancient and Accepted Rite [in the British Empire etc etc]; plus a List of Members. I looked at the issues of 1880, 1885, 1888 and 1900.
Issue of 1880 p40; and p113 where Hugh doesn’t appear in the list of current members.
Issue of 1885 pp80-81, pp127-128.
Issue of 1888 p47 restriction on numbers and list of members at 31º level.
Issue of 1900 p219.
SOCIETAS ROSICRUCIANA IN ANGLIA
Transactions of Societas Rosicruciana Metropolitan College 1890-91 p1-2 meeting of 10 April 1890 - Hugh is one of the candidates for membership of SRIA’s metropolitan college.
Transactions 1902 p2 meeting of 10 April 1902 p4 Elliot formally elected celebrant for April 1902 to April 1903 despite not having done the deputy’s job in 1901-02.
HUGH IN THE THEOSOPHICAL SOCIETY
Legal career of his sponsor John William Brodie-Innes: The Scots Law Times volume 2 1912 p53.
Theosophical Society Membership Register June 1893 to March 1895 p108 entry for Hugh Elliot. Application February 1894, subscriptions paid 1894-1904.
Theosophical Society Membership Register March 1895 to June 1898 p113: the only new TS member to be sponsored by Hugh and Blanche Elliot applied to join in 1896. He was Robert H Godwin, about whom I know nothing; he was never a GD member.
Hugh as possible author of a pamphlet on theosophy:
Lucifer: A Theosophical Magazine Volume V September 1889 to February 1890, editors Blavatsky and Annie Besant. Published Theosophical Publishing Co of 7 Duke Street Adelphi. In the original Volume V issue of 15 November 1889 p259.
BLANCHE IN THE THEOSOPHICAL SOCIETY
Theosophical Society Membership Register June 1893 to March 1895 p248 entry for Eleanor Blanche Bruce “now Mrs Elliott” (sic). Application February 1895, yearly subscription paid 1895-1902. In Theosophical Society Membership Register March 1895 to June 1898 p209 December 1897 application of Isabel Bruce.
THE GOLDEN DAWN
Warburg Institute Gerald Yorke Collection catalogue number NS73. Letter from Hugh at 7 Smith Square, to Frederick Leigh Gardner 26 December 1896; declining to sign the petition to reinstate Annie Horniman.
BLANCHE’S PERFORMANCE POETRY
Collected Letters of W B Yeats Volume III 1901-04 p262 in letter Yeats to Lady Gregory 27 November 1902 p2364 though he spells her surname as ElliotT.
THE THEATRE OF BEAUTY
Collected Letters of W B Yeats Volume III covering 1901-04 p328. There’s a lot on Yeats’ part in The Theatre of Beauty, see for example W B Yeats: A Life. Volume 1 The Apprentice Mage by R F Foster. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, paperback edition 1998. The index has it in under ‘masquers’ not under ‘theatre of beauty’. Chapters 10 pp257-259; Chapter 11 pp290-91; and note 38 p587.
AFTER THE GOLDEN DAWN
STELLA MATUTINA’S Amoun Temple
RAG’s Golden Dawn Companion Wellingborough: The Aquarian Press 1986 p41, p166.
Warburg Institute Gerald Yorke Collection catalogue number NS73. Letter from Mabel Curtis Webb dated 5 December 1921.
HUGH ELLIOT AS A BARRISTER
Oxford Historical Register 1220-1900 p671 John H A Elliot attended Magdalen College Oxford. Graduated with a degree in Jurisprudence 1884.
Called to the bar: Times 8 May 1887 p10.
Law Lists 1887 to 1940.
MORE’S GARDEN CHEYNE WALK
Seen Nov 2013 at Signed by the author 1925 and giving 6 More’s Garden as his current address. due to be sold 26 Nov 2013: a first edition of Charles Morgan’s My Name is Legion published by Heinemann’s Ltd 1925.
In A City at Risk: A Contemporary Look at London’s Streets published Hutchinson 1970, author Simon Jenkins on p164 describes More’s Garden as “an ugly block of flats called, with massive presumption, More’s Garden”.
LETTICE ANN ELLIOT
The Hall Harpenden: information on the teachers from the 1911 census. Rest of the information on the school from website which is run by the local history society. It has a page on Harpenden Hall including a prospectus for The Hall Harpenden school which the society dates to just pre-1914.
Via web to which houses the archive of Flight and Flight Global magazine. Flight magazine issue of 18 January 1917 p74.
For information on Michael Birkbeck’s family see No sources are given for the information in it. which seems to be a list of the descendants of William the Conqueror; includes the Carringtons and the Legge-Bourkes.
HUGH AS EXECUTOR OF FLORENCE FFOULKES
Times 3 November 1936 p29 legal notice under the Trustee Act 1925.
Copyright SALLY DAVIS
Find the web pages of Roger Wright and Sally Davis, including my list of people initiated into the Order of the Golden Dawn between 1888 and 1901, at: