Louisa Florence ffoulkes (who was called Florence not Louisa) was initiated into the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn at its Isis-Urania temple in London on 20 March 1895. She chose the Latin motto ‘In hoc signo vinces’. She was initiated into the GD’s second, inner Order only 15 months later, in August 1896 - she had worked hard at the learning necessary to reach that higher level initiation.
Although Florence ffoulkes was born on South Island New Zealand, her roots were Welsh and English. Like several other GD members, she was involved in a web of family and business relationships stretching from Pembrokeshire to Liverpool and Manchester. She was distantly related to GD member Charles Chase Parr; and GD member Blanche Elliot was Florence’s first cousin once removed (I think that’s right): their grandmothers were sisters.
THE JEFFREYS FAMILY
Louisa Florence Jeffreys was the daughter of Charles Jeffreys and his wife Clara Ellen, née Parr. She was born probably in 1854, probably in Christchurch though I haven’t been able to confirm the date or the place.
The work of Tee Corinne and Caroline Palmer and an online exchange of information between them has made this section really easy for me and I’m very grateful to them both. Artist and art historian Tee Corinne had compiled a book tracing the families of George Meares and Louisa Maria Jeffreys, who married in 1837. Caroline Palmer was researching the history of the gardens at Glandyfi House; you can see her results at www.parksandgardens.org. Both were using original documents now in the National Library of Wales.
People called Jeffreys were landowners in Denbighshire in the 17th century, but it’s easier to begin my tale of the family with Florence’s great-grandfather Edward, who lived in Shrewsbury in the early 18th-century. Edward worked as a lawyer, but made a comfortable fortune from investments in lead and silver mines in North Wales, enough to buy a small landed estate with mines on it, at Glandyfi on the Dyfi River. Edward’s second grandson, George, inherited that land in 1811 when his elder brother died childless (dying childless is a recurring theme in this family history). George married Justina Scott, probably in 1814. Glandyfi Castle - not a medieval remnant but a gothic-revival style seven-bedroomed house with some unusual, octagonal rooms - was built as George and Justina’s marital home. Justina was the adopted daughter of Edward Scott and his wife Louisa Maria widow of Count Louis de Saumaise. Louisa Maria had inherited her father Lewis Anwyl’s estate at Bodtalog near Tywyn in Merioneth, and Justina had grown up there. The Scotts entertained a series of literary guests at Bodtalog including Thomas Love Peacock who began visiting them in 1810. Living in London after Louisa Maria’s death in 1812, Edward Scott also came to know Shelley, Mary Godwin and John Stuart Mill. Justina inherited her adopted parents’ interest in Welsh language and culture; in 1824 she bought an early volume on the history of Welsh poetry and the tradition of The Bard, which her grand-daughter Florence must have known about and probably inherited.
George and Justina had a large family including two sons, Edward (born 1818) and Charles Alured (born 1821). As Edward was going to inherit the estate, Charles was sent to train for a working life as a solicitor, articled to Isaac Gilberts of Bala and Samuel Edwardes of Denbigh. When he qualified, in 1847, he also had an address in London. However, he doesn’t seem to have spent many years in practise; probably because early in 1851 he married a woman from a wealthy family.
THE PARRS OF WARRINGTON
Members of the Parr family of Lancashire had been based in Liverpool as businessmen from early in the 18th century but their rise to wealth began in the 1780s when Joseph Parr, Thomas Lyon and Walter Kerfoot founded what was later known as Parr’s Bank or the Warrington bank (now - as a result of many mergers - part of the Royal Bank of Scotland). Joseph Parr and Thomas Lyon were brothers-in-law and were already in business together in Warrington as sugar-boilers; but it was not long before the bank took over as their main source of income. Under the leadership of Joseph’s son Thomas, the bank expanded steadily and began buying up other banks. In the wake of the early companies acts, Thomas Parr presided over the bank’s conversion from a partnership to a limited company in 1865 and was elected the company’s first chairman. He and his fellow partners were paid £100,000 each for the extinguishing of their partnership interest in the firm - in 1865 that really was serious money.
In the early 19th-century, Thomas Parr began to buy land around Warrington, concentrating on the village of Grappenhall. In 1830 he built a house there, Grappenhall Heyes; a project no doubt conceived as a statement in stone of the family’s new wealth, but perhaps also as a distraction from his grief - in 1827 his wife Clare had died in childbirth, though her only child had survived.
Florence ffoulkes’ mother Clara Ellen Parr was the child that survived. In 1833 her father married Alicia, daughter of Philip Charlton of Wytheford Hall in Shropshire. Thomas and Alicia had one daughter and several sons so that Clara Ellen grew up the slightly odd-one-out in a large family. She spent a lot of time with her aunt Eleanor - her mother’s sister - who had married Richard Corbet of Adderley in Shropshire. Aunt Eleanor Corbet also had a large family including two daughters a few years younger than Clara Ellen: another Clara (born 1835); and Rachel Frances (born 1834) who in due course became the mother of GD member Blanche Elliot.
CHARLES AND CLARA ELLEN
I think Clara Ellen Parr and Charles Jeffreys married at Adderley. They may even have met there, through the Corbets. They began their married life in a house called Dyfi Bank, but also known as Voelas Hall, a rather mundane-sounding ex-mill or factory on the Glandyfi estate. They seem to have taken in some at least of the young children of Charles’ elder sister Louisa Maria, whose husband George Meares had died in 1849. However, Charles and Clara Ellen decided not to stay in north Wales, they chose instead to emigrate to New Zealand’s south island, to the brand-new colony of Canterbury. Land at Canterbury was being sold at £3 per acre to suitable middle-class applicants; and ships being organised for their trip to the colony; by the Canterbury Association, a joint enterprise between the New Zealand Company and the Church of England; though of course a colony of middle-class people could never have functioned without people who could build and maintain infrastructure like roads and houses for them, so assisted passages were also offered to suitably-skilled working people. Charles Jeffreys bought some land at Canterbury; my sources disagreed about how much but it was at least 100 acres; and one source said that Thomas Parr helped out by settling the Canterbury Association’s bill, perhaps thinking of it as a good investment as well as a late addition to his daughter’s marriage-portion.
I couldn’t find out when Charles Jeffreys’ purchased his plot; but I think the emigration plan was hastened if not begun by a tragedy typical of the time but no less sad for that: at the end of 1851 Clara Ellen gave birth to a daughter, Emily Clara; but the child died after only five months. Even decades later, Clara Ellen felt her loss acutely enough for her younger children to be very aware of what had happened. She even named her third daughter after the first one - Emily - which must have been a particularly difficult burden for Florence’s younger sister to live with. Perhaps there was something in Clara Ellen’s continuing grief which encompassed unacknowledged feelings about the death of her mother, whom she had never known. Like many people so bereaved in the 19th century, she became interested in spiritualism, in the hope of making contact with her own special dead.
Charles and Clara Jeffreys went to New Zealand on the Tasmania, the last-but-one boat chartered by the Canterbury Association before it was wound up in 1852. The crew mutinied while the ship was taking on fresh water at Madeira; perhaps Charles Jeffreys was one of the passengers who helped Captain McMillan put the mutiny down. The voyage continued without any further trouble and Charles and Clara Ellen disembarked finally at Lyttelton - the port of entry to the Canterbury colony - on 15 March 1853. It seems to have always been part of the plan for at least some of Louisa Meares’ children to join them when they had got themselves settled in and found the money for their passages, and in due course at least two of Louisa Meares’ sons went to New Zealand.
Charles and Clara Ellen’s land was just outside the very newly-founded settlement of Christchurch. They named their acres Bryndwr Farm and gave the local landmarks Welsh names - it was a home-from-home on the other side of the world. They ran it as a sheep farm - very rapidly there were more sheep than people on the farmland of the Canterbury Plains.
A very important fact about the Canterbury Association and its colony in New Zealand was that it was the brainchild of people who were nearly all involved in some way in the Oxford Movement, the high church faction within the Church of England. I was not brought up as a Christian so I find doctrinal disputes within the Church of England rather arcane and baffling. See wikipedia for a short introduction to what the Oxford Movement wanted and how it acted. And thank heaven for an article by Rev Michael Blain on what the founders of the Canterbury Association had in common. The Rev Blain describes the typical member of the high church faction around 1850 as “conservative (nearly always), rural-based (usually)...unselfconsciously loyal to the teachings of the Book of Common Prayer”. Many were from landed aristocracy and most of whom knew each other through Eton, Oxford University and politics both local and national. The majority of these well-connected men only lent their names to the Canterbury Association; they had no need to emigrate themselves. But their names were likely to, and intended to, attract the kind of emigrant who agreed with them on social and political as on religious issues: comfortably-off, unquestioningly devout, followers of high church practice (of which more in a minute) rather than the austere, bible-based though equally fervent people who were in the Church of England’s Evangelical faction. Charles and Clara Ellen Jeffreys must have been members of the high church faction. These beliefs, shared with the majority of middle-class settlers in the colony, formed the basis for Florence’s own beliefs, character and aspirations and remained with her most of her life.
Florence Jeffreys may have been born at Bryndwr Farm, and she certainly lived there until around 1870. But then she and her sister Emily (born in 1858) returned to England and they may never have gone back.
I find it a bit curious that Charles Jeffreys should choose to settle in New Zealand when, by the time he emigrated, it must have been fairly clear that he would inherit the estate at Glandyfi in the end. His elder brother Edward had married Jane Coram in 1841 but by 1851 they still hadn’t had any children. Perhaps Charles wasn’t prepared to wait - he might die first, after all - and after the death of her infant daughter, Clara Ellen wasn’t prepared to stay. A new start seemed preferable, so they left. However, between 1853 and 1868, the situation changed, or rather, didn’t change: Edward Jeffreys and Jane still didn’t have children; and Charles and Clara Ellen had two daughters, Florence and Emily, but no sons. Early in 1868 George Jeffreys’ death was imminent and he wrote a Will in which he acknowledged that he wasn’t going to have any grandsons. I won’t go into the details - Tee Corinne has put them on the web if you’re interested in the legal aspects. I’ll just say that George Jeffrey’s heirs were (in order) his son Edward; then his son Charles; then Edward’s daughters if he had any (which he didn’t); and then Charles’ daughters - Florence and her sister Emily. The complexities of the Will, and the fact that he was named as one of the trustees of its provisions, would probably have required Charles Jeffreys to return to England in any case. But by 1868 Florence and Emily were teenagers and decisions needed to be made about their futures. Perhaps it was just a question of education: Florence’s religious education had been very well seen to; but Christchurch had no school even for boys until 1881, and I imagine governesses were in similarly short supply; so any further schooling Charles and Clara Ellen thought Florence and Emily should have, would have to be done elsewhere. Charles and Clara Ellen may also have decided that they did not want Florence and Emily to marry in New Zealand, now it was so likely they themselves would need to return to Wales and take up residence at Glandfyi when Edward died. Charles, Florence and Emily at least, and probably Clara Ellen as well, therefore returned to England in 1870. They may have been at sea on their way when Charles’ mother Justina died in 1869. Charles and Clara Ellen did go back to Bryndwr Farm, for a few years; but Florence and Emily remained in England.
On the day of the 1871 census, Florence and Emily Jeffreys were at Victoria House Ladies’ School at Leamington Spa. The school was run by Mrs Ann Gawthorpe, whose three daughters were amongst its pupils that day. There were three teachers, one born in Germany, one born in France, and one who taught music - giving a clear indication, I think, of where Charles and Clara Ellen thought their own daughters’ education was lacking. The first girl on the list of pupils was Margaret Louisa Bradley. Florence later described Margaret (Daisy) as her “first-found friend” and dedicated two poems to her. Perhaps Mrs Gawthorpe’s school was approved of by the Oxford Movement, because Margaret Bradley’s family lived in the privileged group where the Church of England met Oxford University and the main boys’ public schools. Margaret’s father, Rev George Granville Bradley, had taught at Rugby School before moving on to be headmaster at Marlborough College. In 1871 he had just been elected Master of his old college University College Oxford. Florence and Margaret shared an interest in poetry - Margaret is better known as the writer and poet Margaret Woods - and for Florence it must have been a real thrill to read Tennyson with someone who knew him personally; and Matthew Arnold with someone whose father had been taught by Matthew’s father Thomas. She might, though, have felt very much the country bumpkin when in the company of Margaret and of her family if she visited them.
I don’t know where Florence and Emily Jeffreys spent the next decade. There was plenty of time for them to return to Bryndwr after Charles and Clara Ellen had decided that their education was complete. Charles had to make another trip to England in 1873 following the death of his sister Louisa Maria Meares; he returned in due course to New Zealand, and could have taken his daughters with him then. If they stayed in England, they had a rather limited choice of relations with whom to make their home. They will never have known three out of their four grandparents. They may have reached England in time to at least to meet Thomas Parr, but he died in 1870. From later information, I think Florence at least got to know her cousins the Corbets and the Bruces. However, I would suppose she and Emily spent most of their time with their uncle and aunt, Edward and Jane Jeffreys, and may have been with them at Glandyfi when Edward died there early in 1880, and their father inherited it.
Charles and Clara Ellen Jeffreys are not on the 1881 census anywhere in the UK; I suppose that they were still on their way from New Zealand. Neither Florence nor Emily was at Glandyfi though Jane Jeffreys had left it and moved to Pembrokeshire by census day. Emily was at Plumpton Hall, Whepstead in Suffolk, visiting William R Bevan and his family: he had three daughters who were about Emily’s age and were perhaps friends of hers. Florence was in London, at 245 Brompton Road in lodgings that seem rather temporary. Also living in lodgings in the Brompton area of west London on that day was Henry William Wynne ffoulkes, a student at the newly-founded Guildhall School of Music. I think that Florence and Henry were engaged by this time, and were waiting for Charles and Clara Ellen to arrive so that the legal preliminaries could be signed off and they could marry: they were married on 23 July that year at St Mary Abbott’s Kensington.
The ffoulkes family owned Ereiffiad (Eriviat in English), an estate at Henllan, a few miles north-west of Denbigh. They could trace their ownership of Eriviat back at least to a John Wyn ap Fowk who began to use ‘ffoulkes’ as his surname in 1572, but I’ll begin my account of them with Florence’s husband’s grandfather, John Powell ffoulkes, who married Caroline Mary Jocelyn. John and Caroline Mary had the usual large family, including four sons, three of whom were Henry Powell (born 1815), Edmund Salusbury (born 1819) and William Wynne (born 1831). In many ways, the ffoulkes’s were like the Bradleys, although they were not so wealthy or so influential and consequently not quite so much at the privileged centre of things: John Powell ffoulkes’ brother Rev Henry was a fellow and then Principal of Jesus College Oxford; and his sons Henry and Edmund were also clergymen, Henry becoming archdeacon of Montgomery and canon of St Asaph cathedral; and Edmund being another priest-academic and fellow of Jesus College. And when the Oxford Movement began, the ffoulkes’s became high church; Edmund - a friend of John Henry Newman - even left the Church of England for Roman Catholicism, though he returned later.
It was through Henry Powell ffoulkes that Florence’s husband was related to GD member Marian Charlotte Vibart, though it’s possible that Florence’s family had also known Marian’s mother’s family from way back. In 1861 Henry Powell ffoulkes had married Jane Margaret, daughter of Edward and Frances Lloyd of Rhagatt in Merionethshire. (This could be described as a marriage ‘out’: the Lloyds were in the opposing faction of the Church of England, the Evangelicals). Jane Margaret’s sister Eliza had already married Meredith James Vibart. Marian Charlotte Vibart was their elder daughter.
Florence’s husband was a son of the youngest of John Powell ffoulkes’ sons, William Wynne ffoulkes, the one who didn’t become either a clergyman and/or an academic. He practised as a barrister, working in the courts of Cheshire and living in Chester; though he was also known for his interest in archaeology and was a member of the Society of Antiquarians. He was married twice. His first wife was Elizabeth Benedicta, daughter of Rev Richard Coetmor Howard of Conwy. They married in 1854. Henry William Wynne ffoulkes was the elder of their two sons, born in 1855. However, Elizabeth Benedicta died a few days after giving birth to her second son, Piers, in March 1858. Both Henry and Florence therefore had a background which included the death of a mother as a result of childbirth; and children growing up with a step-mother and half-sisters and brothers. The background was more immediate in Henry’s case than in Florence’s; but I bet Florence’s mother talked about it more.
Left a widower with two infant sons, William Wynne ffoulkes was quick to find another wife: in 1859 he married Hester Mary Heywood. He went on to have two more sons and two daughters. Hester Mary was the daughter of yet another vicar. She had grown up in Devon, but her father’s family were from Liverpool, where they owned the bank Arthur Heywood Sons and Co, an ancestor of Martin’s Bank. The Heywoods were related by marriage to the Gladstones; and they were very wealthy indeed. However, very little of the wealth was passed over to Hester Mary, and Henry ffoulkes grew up in Chester in a family that was comfortably off but not rich.
As was typical of the time, Henry ffoulkes’ education was dominated by family influence. He was sent to Denstone College (then known as St Chad’s College), which been founded by a relation of Henry’s step-mother - Sir Thomas Percival Heywood son of Benjamin, one of the partners in Arthur Heywood Sons and Co. The school took its first pupils in 1873. From it, Henry went to Trinity College Oxford, graduating in 1880. He will have been at school and then an undergraduate while his uncle Rev Edmund ffoulkes was taking the long walk back from Roman Catholicism to the Church of England; in 1878 Rev Edmund was rewarded for recanting by being appointed vicar of Oxford University’s own church, St Mary the Virgin.
Henry’s being a Guildhall School student in 1881 is a little puzzling. Perhaps he was thinking of pursuing a career in music; though I haven’t found any information to suggest he was ever a professional musician. But if he was thinking of following other male members of his family into the Church of England on the high church end of its spectrum, some musical knowledge might have been helpful: the sung Eucharist service is a high church idea. He may just have wanted to study the subject for interest’s sake and this brings me to the question of how he and Florence lived and what their sources of income were in the next few years. It was not until 1886 that Henry ffoulkes was ordained as a deacon, so he and Florence must have had income from sources other than the Church of England. Florence, at least, received income from the trust funds set up in grandfather George Jeffreys’ Will; and after her parents took possession of Glandyfi they might have been able to give her a share of the income from the estate. I suppose Henry ffoulkes was not a pauper either: when he died his personal effects alone were worth £7000 in contemporary money-values so perhaps he too benefited from a trust fund income.
Henry ffoulkes’ uncle (and probably god-parent) Canon Henry Powell ffoulkes had always taken a particular interest in him - he took charge of the marriage service when his nephew married, for example, although it was not held in his church. He must have been delighted with Henry ffoulkes’ decision to become a clergyman, though he won’t have been around to be present at Henry’s ordination service - he had died the year before it took place. As for Florence - ‘thrilled’ is the word that comes to mind but I’m not sure that it quite covers the feelings she had, as shown in her poems. It was another ‘given’ of the high church position that the role of Church of England priest was a sacramental one; their ordination set those who chose that vocation apart from ordinary humanity. Florence’s poems show her revelling in her husband’s role and seeing it as lifting her onto another level as well as him, through the sacrament of marriage that had joined them together. There was a role for her, too, as the wife of a parish priest, and I think she needed this, to give her Christian belief a practical outlet, and possibly to help her fill the void where children should have been in her life: in a painful repeat of the fate of Edward and Jane Jeffreys, the years were going by and still she and Henry had no children.
1887 was such an important year for Florence. Her first volume of poetry was published - Short Poems in Light and Shade - and was well-received, on the whole. And Henry ffoulkes was ordained as as priest by the Rev George Ridding, bishop of Southwell in Nottinghamshire, who had also helped find Henry his first long-term appointment, as curate of St Mary Nottingham. Henry and Florence had taken up their posts at St Mary in 1886 and they stayed there for five years. At some point in those five years Henry came to the attention of Henry R Markham Clifton of Clifton Hall, an estate on what was then the edge of the city of Nottingham. Markham Clifton was patron of the rectory of Clifton-with-Clapton, on the estate. In 1891 he offered Henry ffoulkes the job of rector there, which Henry accepted. Markham Clifton died in 1896 and the Clifton estate was inherited by a distant cousin, Sir Hervey Juckes Lloyd Bruce. Bruce had estates in Ireland and didn’t live at Clifton a great deal. He seems to have been happy with the way Henry ffoulkes was doing things - the high church way - and Henry ffoulkes continued in post: so that Florence was living most of the year in Nottingham when she was a member of the Golden Dawn.
The income of Clifton rectory was a good one - £465 per year in 1904. Having income from other sources as well, and no children for whom to plan and save, Florence and Henry were comfortably off. At some point in her life before 1911, Florence went travelling to Muslim countries where Arabic was spoken. I’m hazarding a guess that the trip took place during the 1890s; and that she went to the Middle East rather than North Africa. Two such devout people would surely have wanted to see the places where the Christian story had taken place, and where various archaeological expeditions were digging to find the locations of some of the events mentioned in the Bible - the Palestine Exploration Fund had been set up (in 1865) for just this purpose. The trip had a considerable down-side: Florence was shocked by the cruelty to animals she saw on her travels, and later wrote a set of poems pleading with Muslims to treat their animals well. Her memories of the trip were not all negative, however: she wrote a poem commemorating a night spent under the desert stars, communing with her God. Florence also made at least one trip abroad without her husband, around the time of the 1891 census when she’s not listed anywhere in the UK. On that day, Henry ffoulkes was paying a visit to his father William Wynne ffoulkes and his step-mother Hester Mary, at Old Northgate House Chester. Charles Jeffreys, Clara Ellen and Emily were at Glandyfi Castle. Perhaps Florence was travelling with her husband’s relations, GD member Marian Vibart and her parents - they aren’t on the 1891 census either.
FLORENCE, HENRY AND THE OCCULT
As early as 1882 - he had only just graduated - Henry ffoulkes became a freemason. He was initiated into the Oxford and Cambridge University craft Lodge number 1118. One later GD member (Robert Roy), and the husband of one (Rev Haweis, husband of Mary Eliza Haweis), were already members of this lodge. And in 1891 Hugh Elliot was initiated - perhaps recommended as suitable by Henry; Hugh Elliot would become a GD member and marry Florence’s cousin Blanche Bruce. Lodge 1118's rules in its early years were that two-thirds of the members at any one time had to be Oxbridge graduates. The number of new recruits in any year was low and there was always the problem of members moving on as they left the UK to run the Empire. The lodge was not based in either Oxford or Cambridge, but in London at the Freemasons’ Tavern.
There are other kinds of freemasonry, and both Henry ffoulkes and Hugh Elliot were initiated into the Ancient and Accepted Rite. Membership of the AAR is by invitation only and modern candidates are still expected to state their belief in Christianity, and the Trinity of Father, Son and Holy Ghost; that may have been its greatest appeal to Henry. The AAR’s equivalent of a craft lodge is called a Rose Croix chapter. Henry ffoulkes was a member of Oxford University chapter number 40 by 1880; Hugh joined it a few years later, probably at Henry’s recommendation. Oscar Wilde was also a member; his wife Constance joined the GD. After they left Oxford, Henry ffoulkes and Hugh Elliot joined the AAR’s Oxford and Cambridge chapter 45; like the craft lodge with the same name, for the convenience of its members it met in London, in the AAR’s masonic hall and offices at 33 Golden Square. Robert Roy was a member of this chapter, too. Henry ffoulkes was more committed to the AAR than to his craft lodge: in 1898 he reached the AAR’s degree level 31º. There could only be 81 members at this level at any time; and initiation was quite expensive.
When Henry ffoulkes wanted to attend a lodge or chapter meeting, and especially when he served as Worshipful Master of Oxford and Cambridge University craft lodge 118 in 1894, he would have had to make regular trips to London. If Florence went up to London with him on these occasions she could have used the time to go to meetings of the Theosophical Society (TS), or the Golden Dawn. She might also have gone to meetings of the Society for Psychical Research: Florence was not a member herself, but her mother Clara Ellen had joined in 1884, very soon after it was founded.
I’ve said that 1887 was a high-point for Florence: a year to be proud of, on her own and her husband’s behalf. However, it seems to have been followed almost at once by a period of doubt about her faith; about whether she was up to shouldering the burden of the priest’s wife, of setting an example of Christian piety in the parish; and about the ability of the Church to address the practical problems (not the theological ones) of the age - which she will have seen daily in her visits to her husband’s poor and sick parishioners. There may have been an element in this uncertainty about how to live with her continuing childlessness. (I am assuming that Florence would have wanted children.) Florence’s high church upbringing would have taught her that it was the duty of a woman of sincere belief to submit to God’s will, in the matter of childlessness as in others; I imagine that knowing that was so, didn’t make the submission any easier for her.
In 1887 the TS’s main journal, Lucifer published a letter by Florence which she had called “Let every man prove his own work” (sic). Although Florence was not at this time a TS member, she had obviously started to read some at least of theosophy’s main texts and had begun to buy the magazine regularly. Lucifer’s editors, Helena Petrovna Blavatsky and Mabel Collins, chose to print her letter as a contribution to the ongoing debate between theosophy on the one side, and the various factions calling themselves Christian (as the editors put it) on the other. Florence’s letter (dated 25 October 1887) says that she had come to the conclusion that theosophy should seize the day and shine “a penetrating and illuminating ray of light upon the terribly harrowing and perplexing practical problems of our age”. Florence was convinced that it was a peculiarly Christian duty to address these problems, but she felt that the Christian churches weren’t trying hard enough: surely, she argued, a heaven-born religion, with all its learned believers, must be able to find solutions to those problems and “carry out the will of Christ in a Christian land”. But as the Christian churches were failing in their duty, perhaps theosophy could do the job.
Florence’s letter was followed by a long and detailed response on theosophy, altruism and human misery; uncredited but in that case probably by Blavatsky. Florence responded to the editor’s comments, and in a second letter gave a more personal reason for her anxiety, declaring, “I desire very strongly to obtain conquest over self” but saying that theosophy seemed to be asking her to pay a dreadful price for it: to “sacrifice any iota of my belief in the power of Christ”. And did the study of the occult require her to give up prayer?
This really is the nub: it’s very obvious from Florence’s poetry, how important prayer was to her; how often and how earnestly she prayed and how much comfort she derived from it. Regular prayer was woven into the pattern of her days. Prayer was, I think, more important to her than parish work, attendance at the services, taking holy communion... It was a private place - just her and God - where she could discuss all her uncertainties. Theosophy seemed to be demanding that she abandon that comfort - or what had been that comfort, but somehow was no longer, now she was having doubts.
Florence’s letter, and Blavatksy’s response, provoked so many replies that there wasn’t room in subsequent issues to print all of them. Although the letters that were published warned Florence that any serious student of the occult must accustom themselves to solitude, their writers also (mostly) agreed that no, you didn’t have to cut yourself off from Christ to involve yourself in the occult. Florence wasn’t reassured though, quite the reverse: in February 1888 Lucifer published her poem Questions. In it she sees herself as “Two eyes” that are “looking and longing for light”; and a heart that is “breaking with pain and grief” as it tussles with temptation yet again and feels that it has been abandoned when it’s in most need. At the high - or low - point of the poem she cries “Is our Great God, but a God of stone?” Florence had not cut herself off from God; He had cut himself off from her.
Had Florence discussed her troubles with Henry? She had the utmost respect, as well as the greatest love for him: he was her friend - they shared jokes; he took her seriously; he urged her on as a poet and many of the poems published in 1887 were dedicated to him. But after all, he was a paid representative of the God whom she was finding so indifferent and of the Church that she felt was slacking in its duties. What if she asked her husband for his priestly help in this crisis and only ended up undermining his belief as well as her own? It seems from her writings during this difficult period that Florence didn’t confide in Henry as much as she would have liked to: she was “Weary and mournful, sad and alone” as she struggled.
Florence didn’t have any further correspondence with Lucifer. Poems she published many years later indicate that she didn’t completely abandon Christianity, and that she continued to find joy and comfort in the Church of England’s sacraments. But she joined the TS in 1893 and remained a member until 1904; and she joined the GD (her husband didn’t join either). Some of her later poems show her trying to weave together some theosophical ideas with some Christian views she held particularly dear, to make a synthesis that she could live with. Joining the Golden Dawn must have been a part of this process. She might actually have found the GD easier going than the TS: initiates into the GD were expected to believe in the One God, though there were no specific instructions on how they were supposed to go about it.
Florence recruited some new members to the TS, acting as their joint sponsor with Hugh Elliot. John Valentine Lacy (1894, a friend of the Vibart family) and Ida Bennett (1896), went on to join the GD as well. In 1894 Florence and Hugh were also joint sponsors to Augusta Brooke Meares. Augusta was the wife of Florence’s cousin George Brooke Meares (eldest son of Louisa Maria Meares née Jeffreys). Later, because of a big drop in members, only one sponsor was needed by the TS so Florence was sole sponsor of Blanche Viola Laing, the wife of George Dawson Laing who ran a wine and spirit merchants based in Nottingham. Neither Augusta nor Blanche Viola went on to join the GD.
During the 1890s Florence’s life followed a pattern. The continuing struggle with her beliefs. Parish duties. Poetry. Study of theosophy and texts set by the GD. Discussions on theosophy with Nottinghamshire-based friends like Blanche Viola Laing and possibly Augusta Mary Salmond. Travel. Visits to friends and relatives. Getting away to London sometimes and attending GD rituals and TS meetings. There were some inevitable low points: Henry’s step-mother Hester Mary died in 1895. And some high points: fellow GD members Florence’s cousin Blanche Bruce and Florence’s TS friend Hugh Elliot were married in January 1896. And in July 1899, Henry officiated at the marriage of his brother Piers to Katharine Mary Baker.
Piers ffoulkes had taken much less time than Henry to make up his mind to become a Church of England clergyman. He’d probably decided by the time he went to university because he went to Keble College Oxford, which had been founded to commemorate John Keble whose 1833 sermon started the Oxford Movement. After spending time as a curate in Durham and Jarrow, Piers had been appointed rector of All Saints Odd Rode, in Cheshire just north of Kidsgrove. Katharine Mary was the daughter of one of Piers’ wealthiest parishioners, George Barrington Baker of Rode Hall (who in 1900 added his wife’s surname to his own, to become Baker-Wilbraham). Florence might have been rather envious of her sister-in-law’s religious certainties: Katharine Mary’s unstinting work as a parish priest’s wife gained her quite a reputation in the diocese of Chester and she never seems to have suffered from doubt. However, Florence and Katharine Mary did have something in common: Katharine Mary and Piers, too, had no children.
On the day of the 1901 census Florence and Henry ffoulkes were out of the country. So too were Clara Ellen and Emily, perhaps travelling with them; though Charles Jeffreys was at Glandyfi.
Henry ffoulkes’ father William Wynne ffoulkes died in January 1903. And just over a year later, on 28 January 1904, Henry ffoulkes died. He, and presumably Florence as well, were on a visit to Piers and Katharine Mary at Odd Rode at the time; and Henry was buried there a few days later. Was the death sudden? You would think so, with a man aged only 49. However, he might have been ill for a while: I noticed that William Wynne ffoulkes had named his sons Piers and John as his executors, not Henry, as if Henry might not be up to the many tasks and travel involved; though there may have been other reasons for his being left out, of course.
If ever a few weeks were going to test Florence’s faith to its furthest limits, it was the following few. She didn’t have any time at all to take in the loss of her husband, before Charles Jeffreys died, at Glandyfi, on 19 February. She might have been expecting him to die soon - he was 82 - but his death did more than deprive her of her father, it brought into sharp focus decisions that she and her sister would have to make about the future - decisions I’m sure she would rather have made with Henry to advise her. Charles Jeffreys had named Clara Ellen as sole executor of his Will; but it would have to be Florence and Emily who had to decide about the estates he had owned at Glandyfi and (still, apparently) at Bryndwr, Christchurch, which were now theirs. Were they going to keep them? And try and run them? Or should they sell, and face the clearing of the house and the moving of their mother (nearly 80 herself) to a home somewhere else?
Florence and Emily took two years to make their decision, which was to sell the land they had inherited. Women of their class weren’t trained for estate management; and times for land-owners were beginning to be rather hard (they would get much worse after 1911). .Florence would have had to move anyway, when her husband’s successor at Clifton rectory took up his post. And the money from the sale of the estates could be invested in shares and government stocks to provide an income for them and Clara Ellen without so much hard work on any of their part. The land was sold, divided into lots, during 1906.
Emily Jeffreys - the daughter named after a dead child - had never married and had always lived with her parents. She and Clara Ellen moved to south Ascot, to a house named Loretto; near to London but not in the big (and dirty) city. They had certainly moved in by 1911 and probably did so in 1906. Florence chose not to move in with them but leased her own house an easy trip away, in London, at 4 Nevern Square near Earl’s Court station.
This time of loss and grief and life-changing decisions easily explains why Florence did not keep up her membership of the TS after 1904. She had taken no part in the arguments that had caused the evolution of the GD into two daughter orders over 1900-03, and she did not join either A E Waite’s Independent Rite or Robert Felkin’s Stella Matutina when they were formed in 1903. It’s possible she joined Stella Matutina later, however: Blanche and Hugh Elliot, Blanche’s sister Lucy Margaret Corbet and Blanche’s cousin Henry Archer Corbet were all members of SM.
I think that in 1904 Florence turned to Hugh Elliot for the help that she could not have from Henry ffoulkes. Henry’s brother Rev Piers was Henry’s executor, but I think Florence didn’t know him as well as Hugh. Hugh was a barrister but Florence probably didn’t need legal advice so much as someone to discuss the wider implications of the decisions she and her sister would have to make. From this time on, Hugh was her legal advisor and she made him one of the trustees of the fund set up to give her an income; and one of the executors of her Will. Piers ffoulkes and Katharine Mary were only her in-laws; Blanche and Hugh were her relations and friends. On the day of the 1911 census, Florence was living for a while with her mother and sister; she had let 4 Nevern Square to Henry Archer Corbet and his family.
Life wasn’t completely grim for Florence during the period 1904 to 1906. In January 1905 she applied for a patent! - for a device that would make some kind of improvement to women’s hats. The fashion was for particularly heavy, large and exuberantly decorated hats at that time; perhaps she’d invented something to help relieve the pressure on the wearer’s neck. I couldn’t find an illustration of the device she had invented without buying a rather expensive copy of the HMSO patent office issue for that year. She did not gain herself an new income: her application seems to have been rejected.
It might have been as a result of Florence’s decision to set up home in London that she came to the notice of one of Queen Victoria’s distant, impoverished relations, the Princess of Hanover, who lived in England as an exile. It’s not clear from the evidence I’ve seen whether Florence actually met the Princess - who by the 1900s was spending winters abroad - but the Princess read some of Florence’s poems, and either wrote to her or spoke to her about how much she liked them. Florence and the Princess did have some things in common despite their very different social status: the Princess was childless - her only child had died aged only a few days - and she was actively concerned in fighting cruelty to animals as a patron of the RSPCA. Perhaps it was through encouragement from the Princess that Florence decided to write some poems addressed to Muslims, about the treatment of animals that Florence had witnessed in Muslim countries. Florence’s volume To the Arabs: Allah’s Message was published in 1911 and apparently it had an endorsement of some sort by the Princess. Florence had put a great deal of thought and work into the project, aside from writing the poems: she seems to have studied the Koran to understand its teaching on the subject; and she’d had her poems translated into Arabic. But what puzzles me is - who was the reader the volume was addressed to? Perhaps there was a group of people intending to distribute it in Muslim countries. I haven’t been able to find a copy of Poems to the Arabs - I only learned of its existence because it was advertised in Florence’s next book of poems.
In 1912, Florence published a larger and more orthodox book of poetry, her Poems of Life and Form. The book got rather a savaging from a young Australian poet in The Poetry Review: beneath his snide comments there was a relevant criticism - he thought the poetic forms Florence was using were outdated. Some work by the up-and-coming Rupert Brooke was printed in the same volume. I found the contrast between Brooke’s work and Florence’s uncomfortable, being used to modernist poetry; I was almost inclined to agree with the reviewer.
It’s impossible not to be hurt by negative reviews and if Florence learned about what had been said of her work in The Poetry Review I imagined the cut it made was deep. She published only one more small poetry volume, all sonnets, and all for a charitable purpose: The Living Way was printed in 1918 to raise money for the Sacramental Society of Inner Light, an organisation which brought together the blind and the sighted. I suppose she must have been a member of the Society; but I haven’t been able to find any information about it at all. I imagine its members must have studied or tried to live up to the (high-church) sacraments, because Florence writes one poem about each of them. Her tone is both reverential and celebratory; which suggests to me that the poems might have been written as early as the 1870s, before Florence’s crisis of belief began; or that they were very recent restatement of her belief in Christianity.
The house at Nevern Square was Florence’s home until her death but she may have taken refuge in Ascot during the first World War to avoid the bombing. There were other reasons for spending time there too: Clara Ellen Jeffreys was in her 80s, and she died in 1915. Although Florence and Clara Ellen had lived apart for so long, they were always close: several of Florence’s poems are dedicated to her and others reflect events in Clara Ellen’s life, including the death of her infant daughter. Emily was Clara Ellen’s executor, probably because Clara Ellen had left her the house called Loretto. Emily lived there until her own death only five years later and in the same year (1920) Florence’s TS friend Blanche Viola Laing also died.
On Clara Ellen’s death, Florence had chosen not to live with her sister. I don’t think they were close and Florence’s closest friends were still in London so she returned to 4 Nevern Square.
At the beginning of the 1920s Piers ffoulkes became ill and had to retire from his post as rector of Odd Rode. He and his wife moved to the Deanery Cottage in Chester, where Katharine Mary nursed him until he died in 1927. Katharine Mary became a very active figure in the charitable efforts of the diocese of Chester. And illustrating the difference in expectation between a woman born around 1854 (Florence) and one born in 1871 (Katharine Mary) she also gained a qualification by study and exam - the Lambeth Diploma, which enabled her to teach theology. She encouraged like-minded women to move into Deanery Cottage until she had gathered around her a group of women who wanted to share an almost convent-like life of prayer and contemplation. Florence didn’t join this group. She no longer had Katharine Mary’s single-minded religious devotion. She also had other ways of reaching God.
Florence died on 20 July 1936 at 4 Nevern Square, aged 82. Her friends, GD members Blanche and Hugh Elliot both survived her.
I’ll leave Florence ffoulkes in the desert, sensing that divinity is all around her: the poem is ‘Silence. Night in the Desert’, published as part of her collection Poems of Life and Form in 1912. The capitals are hers.
Alone! Alone! And not the faintest sound
Breaks the sweet slumber of the silent night;
Alone! And in the fervent, calm moonlight
I stand, and gaze upon the scene around.
The rock beneath my feet is desert bound,
The stars, in myriads, glistening in the height
Lend their sweet touch to the supreme delight
My Being claims with Nature, silence crowned.
Alone I dream! Till sense with wings is fraught,
I learn that in the past, ere Sunlight shone,
Or WORD was uttered by th’Eternal ONE,
E’en then, beyond the pale of backward thought,
In silent stillness of All-Conscious Rest,
Mused the Omniscient GOD - Unmanifest.
If you want to read more about Florence as a poet, follow this .
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.
SOURCES FOR LOUISA FLORENCE FFOULKES
THE JEFFREYS OF GLANDYFI, Florence’s father’s family
Glandyfi Castle and the estate, after Florence:
Birmingham Post 20 April 2007 when Glandyfi Castle last sold. There’s a left-over mining village in the grounds; croquet lawn; tennis courts; and woodland incl a lot of interesting trees eg Wellingtonia. Article says Charles Jeffreys had a house blt f himself in NZ during 1870s but returned to Engl on inheriting Glandyfi in 1880.
At of 3 July 2011 had an article on Glandyfi Castle wh is up f sale again, incl its contents. The Jeffreys family sold the estate in 1906.
At , article posted 2012 about the opening of Glandyfi Castle as a luxury guest-house.
Caroline Palmer’s garden research is at Record ID 4311 and includes some family history.In 1906 the estate was sold in lots. The castle and 370 acres were bt by Lewis Pugh Evans Pugh. He then sold the castle and 43 acres to Maj Robert Spurrell but contd to live at Glandyfi Castle.
EDWARD JEFFREYS founder of the family fortunes:
Carmarthenshire and Ceredigion by Thomas Lloyd, Julian Orbach and Robert Scourfield. New Haven Connecticut and London: Yale University Press 2006: p471-72.
Shropshire Archives have the wills of Edward Jeffrey dated 4 July 1795; and of his son Robert Jeffrey dated 18 February 1801. Robert’s Will sets up a trust for his eldest son Edward Jeffrey and his heirs. Robert’s other children were: George; William; Richard; Sarah; and Elizabeth.
GEORGE AND JUSTINA JEFFREYS
Justina’s adopted parents, Edward and Louisa Maria Scott:
At welshjournals.llgc.org.uk an article on Edward Scott and his literary circle.
The Letters of Thomas Love Peacock 1828-66 by Thomas Love Peacock and Nicholas A Joukovsky. There are actually two volumes of letters; 1828-66 is volume two. Oxford: Clarendon Press 2001 p471.
Keats-Shelley Memorial Bulletin issue 36 1985 pix, p47.
Welsh Minstrelsy by Thomas J L Prichard, published 1824. On p319 list of subscribers to this publication included Mrs Jeffreys of Glandyfi.
Tee Corinne’s postings on the family of George and Justina Jeffreys are at: genforum.genealogy.com/jeffreys/messages/447/html beginning with one by Tee Corinne from October 2003. The postings include the full text of the Will of George Jeffreys, which was signed on 10 February 1868. Without this posting I would not have realised that - in due course - Florence and her sister Emily Jeffreys inherited Glandyfi Castle. Caroline Palmer’s contribution to the exchange was more information on Justina Scott including her correct surname. Tee Corinne is the author of this family history book: Ancestors and Descendants of George Meares and Louisa Maria Jeffreys: Wales, New Zealand, India and Florida. Published Wolf Creek/Pearlchild 1997. I saw its publication details on the web, but haven’t been able to see inside a copy. The British Library doesn’t have a copy of the work but gives Tee Corinne’s dates as 1943-2006; I presume she was a descendant of George and Louisa Maria Meares herself.
Details of where George and Justina Jeffreys are buried are at lineone.net/~dyfival1/histegfurn/htm, which is a history of the Glandyfi valley.
EDWARD JEFFREYS, CHARLES’ ELDER BROTHER
Gentleman’s Magazine volume 170 1841 p313 a list of recent marriages.
Handbook for Travellers in North Wales published by John Murray 1868. On p171 Glandyfi Castle is now described as the seat of E Jeffreys esq.
The Legal Observer... volume 33 1847 p519.
The Law Times volume 9 1847 p44, p157.
Law List for 1847 and 1858: he isn’t listed in either of them.
The house called Dyfi Bank or Voelas Hall: see lineone.net/~dyfival1/histhouses.htm
THE PARRS OF WARRINGTON, Florence’s mother’s family
Burke’s Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry 1852 edition, volume 2 p1005
traces the descent of Florence’s mother from a late 17th-century John Parr who married a daughter of Roger Hesketh of North Meols. GD member Charles Chase Parr was also descended from this John Parr. Clara Ellen’s father was Thomas Parr born 1792; and his first wife Clare Ellen, daughter of Rev Croxton Johnson of Wilmslow. Thomas and Clare married in 1825. Clare died in childbirth in 1827 but the child survived. In 1833 Thomas married Alicia, daughter of Philip Charlton of Wytheford Hall Shropshire.
The GD’s Blanche Elliot, wife of Hugh Elliot, is a grand-daughter of Clare Ellen Johnson’s sister Eleanor who married Richard Corbet of Adderley in Shropshire.
Parr’s Bank, also known as The Warrington Bank.
The bank has now been swallowed via NatWest by RBS and the bank’s archives including Parr family papers from the 18th and 19th centuries, are at the RBS Group headquarters in Edinburgh. At heritagearchives.rbs.com there is a summary of the history of Parr’s Bank Ltd. : Parr archive held at RBS. Two books were quoted as additional sources: 200 Years in Warrington 1788-1988, a private publication by Nat West Bank in 1988; and The Westminster Bank Through a Century by T E Gregory, published by the Westminster Bank 1936. Warrington Library has Parr family records 1600-1900 and Lyon family records 1566-1860.
Via web to the website of Craig Thornber who is a descendant of Eliza Stott. Stott appears on the 1881 census working at Grappenhall Heyes as a nurserymaid to the family of Florence’s half-first-cousin, Joseph Charlton Parr.
For more information on land owned by the Parr family, go via nationalarchives.org to a list of documents now at the Cheshire and Chester Archives.
Grappenhall Heyes house at Warrington, built by Thomas Parr:
See Cheshire and Chester Archives.
The Parrs and the bank after Thomas Parr:
See Craig Thornber’s website; he uses Burke’s Landed Gentry 1894 edition.
Cheshire at the Opening of the 20th century by Robert Head. Pike’s New Century Series published Brighton 1904 by W T Pike and Co.
And wikipedia for its merger in 1918 with the ancestor of NatWest.
CHARLES AND CLARA AND THE MEARES FAMILY IN NEW ZEALAND
Annual Report of the National Library of Wales 1961 In January 2004
Posting by Tee Corinne at archiver.rootsweb.ancestry.com/th/read/MCMURDO/2004_01/1073337809.
A posting in response was sent by Nigel Callahan December 2004 gives information that Charles Jeffreys was in the UK in 1870: see his website at , it’s a history of the parish.
See wikipedia for an introduction to the Canterbury Association.
Rev Michael Blain’s article is at anglicanhistory.org/NZ/blain_canterbury2007.pdf: The Canterbury Association (1848-1852): A Study of its Members’ Connections: pp1-8.
Lists of the middle-class passengers on the Canterbury Association’s ships to New Zealand can be found at freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~nzbound/cbyassoc.htm.
On Bryndwr Farm: Place Names of New Zealand by Alexander Wyclif Reed 1975: p56.
For the subsequent history of Bryndwr Farm see //christchurchcitylibraries.com.
Indirect evidence that Charles Jeffreys still owned Bryndwr Farm in 1904:
Bye-Gones Relating to Wales and the Border Counties volume for 1903-04: p301 issue of 2 March 1904.
THE WYNNE FFOULKES FAMILY - Florence’s husband
At histfam.familysearch.org, family history information from volumes 4 and p381 of volume 5 of Jacob Lloyd’s 6-volume (1881-87) History of the Princes, the Lords Marcher and the Ancient Nobility of Powys Fadog.
The house Eriviat - Ereiffiad in Welsh - still exists, see
JOHN POWELL FFOULKES, Henry’s grandfather
Medieval History of Denbighshire by John Williams of Wrexham published 1860: p213.
HENRY POWELL FFOULKES, Henry’s uncle; and the connection through LLOYD to GD MEMBER MARIAN CHARLOTTE VIBART
Crockford’s Clerical Dir 1882 p369.
Gentleman’s Magazine volume 211 1861 issue of November  p558 marriage of Henry Powell ffoulkes to Jane Margaret Lloyd.
Information on the descendants of James Meredith Vibart 1753-1827 can be seen at //archives.rootsweb.ancestry.com
For more on the Lloyd family see Frances Power Cobbe: Victorian Feminist, Journalist, Reformer by Sally Mitchell. Charlottesville and London: University of Virginia Press 2004. Jane Margaret’s sister Mary lived with Frances Power Cobbe.
EDMUND SALUSBURY FFOULKES, another uncle of Henry ffoulkes
Crockford’s Clerical Directory 1882 p369 with a gap between 1849 and 1876.
ODNB volume 19 p459 has an entry for Edmund’s son Charles John ffoulkes 1868-1947 which gives information about his father.
One of Edmund’s sons eventually inherits Eriviat: The County Families of the UK better known as Walford’s County Families. Published annually; this is the 60th edition 1920; volume 1 p476.
WILLIAM WYNNE FFOULKES Henry’s father
Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries London issue of 1856 p24 as one of the two local secretaries for Cheshire.
Death of Henry’s mother:
Solicitors’ Journal and Reporter issue of 10 April 1858, birth announcements: on 22 March  to wife of William Wynne ffoulkes, a son, at Stanley Place Chester.
Gentleman’s Magazine and Historical Chronicle issue of 1858; death notices p566: in list of deaths on 28 March , Elizabeth wife of William Wynne ffoulkes, at Stanley Place Chester.
His father’s second marriage:
Gentleman’s Magazine and Historical Reviww volume 7 p418.
Connections between Hester Mary Heywood and the Gladstones, through Hester Mary’s aunt Anna Maria Heywood:
Via the Lancashire Online Parish records project: marriages at St George Derby Sq Liverpool 1813-65: p72 and p73.
Anna Maria Heywood’s husband: at
a page originally published in the Martin’s Bank Magazine winter 1948 about the early days of Arthur Heywood Sons and co.
1881 census: William Wynne ffoulkes and wife Hester Mary were staying at Anna Maria Heywood’s house just outside Liverpool.
FLORENCE’S HUSBAND HENRY WILLIAM WYNNE FFOULKES
The Denstonian 1881 is the magazine of (Denstone College) St Chad’s College. On p78 issue of 23 July : marriage announcement, Henry ffoulkes to Florence Jeffreys. There was also an announcement in the Times of 23 July 1881.
Henry ffoulkes in the Church of England:
Crockford’s Clerical Directory issues of 1888, 1895, 1902, 1904.
Patronage of the rectory at Clifton: see account of the descent of the estate at Clifton; and information on Sir Hervey Juckes Lloyd Bruce.
HENRY’S BROTHER PIERS FFOULKES
Crockford’s Clerical Directory 1902 p462.
Odd Rode village website at
At some information on the Rode Hall estate and the Wilbraham family.
Via to the Guardian of 2 August 1899 p10 marriage announcement Katharine Mary Baker to Piers ffoulkes.
Katharine Mary Baker:
See which uses information from Burke’s Peerage 107th ed.
Supplement to the Edinburgh Gazette issued 1 April 1920 p966.
The Official Year-Book of the National Assembly of the Church of England 1933 issue p76.
Times 27 March 1937; 29 March 1937.
Times 27 March 1937 and 29 March 1937.
HENRY AND FLORENCE IN THE OCCULT
Henry and craft freemasonry:
The History of Oxford and Cambridge University Lodge number 1118 1866-1966 by E W R Peterson MA. Pp31-39, pp40-49.
Oxford and Cambridge Lodge 1118 and Royal Arch Chapter: Notes from the Minute Books compiled by Horace Nelson. No publication details but [p5] in his Preface Nelson explains that this book is a development of the history compiled for the Jubilee years of the lodge (1918) and of its chapter in 1924. Preface [p6] dated 31 December 1925: pp14-20; pp25-26.
Ancient and Accepted Rite:
For the entrance requirements: Beyond the Craft by Keith B Jackson. Original edition 1980. I used the 6th edition, 2012, to which Jackson has added details of several orders left out of the 1st edition. Hersham Surrey: Lewis Masonic, an imprint of Ian Allan Publishing Ltd. See www.lewismasonic.co.uk
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; p113 to confirm Hugh Elliot was not yet a member.
Issue of 1885 pp80-81, pp127-128.
Issue of 1888 p47, p50, p57, p84.
Issue of 1900 p219 both Henry ffoulkes and Hugh Elliot are still members of Oxford and University chapter 45.
Via google to cat.llgc.org.uk National Library of Wales catalogue. The NLW has documents on the ffoulkes family and the estate at Eriviat. Catologue number NLW MS11983C is press cuttings covering 1834-1904 including one listing the hymns sung at the burial of Henry Wynne ffoulkes at Odd Rode in 1904.
For more on Mary Augusta Salmond see Florence’s poetry file.
FLORENCE AND THE THEOSOPHICAL SOCIETY
Theosophical Society Membership Register September 1891-January 1893 p219 entry f L Florence ffoulkes. Subscriptions paid 1893-1904.
Theosophical Society Membership Register June 1893 to March 1895 for Florence as a sponsor of new members; always with Hugh Elliot as co-sponsor except p124 Blanche Viola Laing.
Lucifer: A Theosophical Magazine published London: George Redway of York St Covent Garden. Volume I September 1887-February 1888 edited jointly by Helena Petrovna Blavatsky and Mabel Collins. Volume 1: pp159-160 and pp162-69; pp226; pp228-29; p326; p328; p485.
BLANCHE VIOLA LAING née Wadmore
Her husband’s business: census information and London Gazette 11 February 1879 p 689 notice announcing the ending of part’p of George Dawson Laing and John Lysander Laing; trading in Walsall as Laing Brothers, wine and spirit merchants.
On the Wadmores: and The Wadmores of London by Blanche Viola’s son John G Laing, published 1953.
John G Laing inherited paintings from Blanche Viola’s father:
At items in Marine Sale 2012 include A Margate Hoy off Grays Essex by John Cleveley the 2nd (1747-86). Provenance includes James Wadmore of London and John Grosvenor Laing of Nottingham.
Richard Parkes Bonington: Young and Romantic catalogue of an exhibion at Nottingham Castle 2002: p32 accessn number NCM-1962-142.
Blanche Viola’s brother-in-law John Lysander Laing emigrated to New Zealand and died there: via paperspast.natlib.govt.nz to the New Zealand Herald 5 October 1918 p1 and 7 October 1918 p10.
CLARA ELLEN AND THE OCCULT
Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research London: Trübner and Co of Ludgate Hill: p317, p327. Volume II 1884, Volume XI 1895 p614 and Volume XV 1900-01 p497 all show Mrs Jeffreys still as a full member at the Glandyfi Castle address.
In October 2013 Amazon and quite a few other book-selling websites had copies of the patent application by L F Wynne-ffoulkes (she didn’t usually hyphenate the ffoulkes’ surnames); application number 18568 published HMSO 1 January 1905. The application was for improvements in ladies’ hats. Searching the web for lists of current patents issued by the UK patent office, I couldn’t find a patent with Florence’s name on it.
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: