George Cecil Jones (who was called Cecil, not George) was initiated into the Order of the Golden Dawn at its Isis-Urania temple in London on 12 July 1895. He chose the Latin motto ‘Volo noscere’. He did the work necessary to reach the inner, 2nd Order quickly - he almost certainly knew a great deal of it already - and was initiated into the 2nd Order on 11 January 1897. It’s not clear from the GD records that have survived but it’s likely that he dropped out of the GD after Samuel Liddell Mathers was expelled from the GD in May 1900.
UPDATE DECEMBER 2017
I’ve recently found out a whole lot more about Cecil Jones’ family.
CECIL JONES’ EARLY LIFE
Cecil Jones’ father, George Cecil Jones senior, was born in Cirencester in 1847. By 1871 he had moved to London to work, and was living as a lodger at 55 Jasmine Grove Penge in the household of Joseph and Joanna Goodenough. One of the other two lodgers in the household that day was a William Jones, also born in Cirencester and perhaps George Cecil’s brother. All three of the lodgers worked as clerks in a bank; perhaps the same bank.
In 1872 George Cecil Jones married Sarah Matthews at St Swithin’s in the Walcot district of Bath. Sarah’s father, Thomas Matthews, was land agent at the Bathurst Estate near Cirencester. Sarah had worked before her marriage as a governess in the household of William Gaynor (or Gayner) of Filton, near Bristol. The GD’s George Cecil Jones, was born in Croydon on 10 January 1873; events conspired to make him George Cecil Jones senior and Sarah’s only child.
In 1871, George Cecil Jones senior was probably already employed by the National Bank of Scotland, because the inquest on his death mentioned that he had been at the Bank for many years. He was promoted several times so that on the day of his death he was one of the bank’s accountants; having worked his way up, I would imagine, from a beginning as one of the many clerks in its accounting office. In terms of the average Victorian office, this was a rapid rise up the hierarchy. Perhaps too rapid. The inquest heard that George Cecil Jones senior had been working very hard recently, and had at the same time been suffering from “great depression of spirits” about the Bank’s future.
A man with depression: still a very much resisted concept even today. In her book “Shattered Nerves” Janet Oppenheim describes how attitudes towards depression in men changed during the mid to late 19th century; and what contortions of explanation were needed by the medical profession to square the existence of men with depression, with male stereotypes in which mental breakdown called not only the individual’s manliness into question, but also the future of the Empire. In 1878 when George Cecil Jones senior decided he could not carry on living, he had reached a position of responsibility at his work, but he probably wasn’t high enough up the hierarchy to be in one of power: it was the classic depression-inducing combination. In that mental state it’s difficult to admit you need treatment; besides which, treatment for George Cecil Jones would have been expensive and finding the money for it would have added to his worries. I doubt if he went to a doctor.
That George Cecil Jones senior should suffer from depression was bad enough; that he should decide to kill himself made it all much worse; and that he should do it almost in public, at his place of work... The verdict at the inquest was one of suicide while in a state of temporary insanity.
In 1878 mental illness was shameful, especially in a man; and suicide was illegal. However, I think the National Bank of Scotland made sure that Sarah Jones and her son didn’t suffer financial distress in addition to all their other trouble: on the 1881 census, she is listed as having an income from an annuity, which is likely to have continued until her death. Sarah did try to leave the past behind: on the day of the 1881 census she told the official that her name was Mabel Jones; and that her son’s name was George. On that day she was living at 117 Ramsden Road, near Clapham Common. Her brother Edward Matthews, an accountant, was living with her, and so was her nephew, another Edward Matthews. The younger Edward was 9 and perhaps had come to London to provide companionship for Cecil Jones.
In 1887 Sarah Jones married again. Her second husband, Frederick William Gayner, had a farm at Filton, just north of Bristol; he may have been related to the family who had employed Sarah before her marriage. The marriage was a failure and husband and wife separated.
END UPDATE 4 DEC 2017
Where Cecil Jones first went to school is another thing I don’t know, but when he was a bit older, he attended the City of London School, run by the Corporation of London for the sons of men in business and the professions; and he stayed at the school even after his mother’s remarriage. All applicants had to have a reference from a Corporation councillor or alderman: I imagine the Bank had arranged that in Cecil Jones’ case. The school assumed that pupils could already read and write; it concentrated on adding to the basics with a broad and in-depth preparation for a life in work. English, Latin, French, Greek, German, even Sanskrit were taught; and elocution lessons were available to rid pupils of accents that might restrict the range of jobs open to them. The school offered a wide range of science subjects: maths, arithmetic, drawing, basic chemistry and natural philosophy. For this, the pupils’ parents had to find fees of 10 guineas per year although several scholarships were available. It was an education better than could be had at many public schools.
One of Cecil Jones’ fellow pupils at City of London School was Julian Levett Baker, the son of another man who worked in a bank (though not the same bank). Cecil and Julian were exactly the same age and perhaps in the same class, and shared some interests; they formed a friendship which lasted the rest of their lives.
Cecil Jones and Julian Baker had both decided that they were going to be chemists by the time they left City of London School; and for them that didn’t mean training to be a pharmacist, it meant chemistry in its modern sense, which is based on laboratory analysis of substances to assess their constituent elements and their properties. Perhaps Cecil and Julian were already curious about alchemy but even if they hadn’t been, he might have been excited by the possibilities of a working life in chemistry. Modern chemistry was still in its infancy and was a very fast-moving field at that time: anyone working in it would be breaking new ground on a regular basis. And at the same time, more jobs for chemists were being created in local government, by new legislation, and also in industry, by the need to understand and control industrial processes: a new profession was in the process of being created. Living in London was again an advantage: they were both able to get one of the best specialist educations in chemistry available in the UK, though not at the same institution. While Julian Baker trained at the Finsbury Technical College, from 1889 to 1893, Cecil Jones did City and Guilds exams at the Central Technical College of the London Institute for the Advancement of Technical Education, one of the myriad and diverse colleges that (by 1900) were making up the University of London. The earliest source I could find for Cecil Jones’ education says that he also went to Birmingham University; but doesn’t give dates for when he was there, and I’m not even sure whether he was a student there or - which would have been much later in his life - an examiner.
Leaving college well qualified, Cecil Jones went to work for Heinrich Bernhard Helbing and Francis William Passmore, who were in partnership as analytical chemists. Helbing had been born in Darmstadt and had - I presume - trained as a chemist in Germany. Francis William Passmore had trained in England with B H Paul, the expert on quinine and caffeine, before some time working for Emil Fischer in Wurzburg, Germany, at the time Fischer was doing research on sugars which by the 1920s was seen as classic. Later in his career, Passmore was called as an expert witness in legal cases on sugars and saccharins; and gave evidence to the House of Lords on the chemistry of dried milk. During Cecil Jones’ time at the partnership, Passmore and Helbing published a series of booklets which indicated the kind of analysis the partnership was doing: on chloroform (in French); on disinfectants; on Symphoral (also called Symphorol), a newly-discovered diuretic; and on malakine, a new preparation for getting rid of parasitic worms. At some stage (the copy I saw didn’t have a date on it) the partners also published a 12-page pamphlet on how to prepare English herbs and drugs; which might have been of particular interest to Cecil Jones.
After 18 months working for the Helbing and Passmore partnership, Cecil Jones left London in 1894 and moved to Hampshire. In July 1895, when he was initiated into the GD, he was living in Vyne Road Basingstoke, a few minutes’ walk from his new workplace. He had taken a job with a firm which seems to have gone quickly through a number of names, but which in 1910 was called Dowson Economic Gas and Power Co Ltd. Joseph Emerson Dowson had founded the firm to manufacture a steam boiler he had designed to generate gas from high-quality anthracite coal. Coal tars and ammonia were bi-products of the process; they could be sold on for use in the chemical and dyeing industries. The steam boiler went into production in 1878 and was the first gas generator of its kind to be built in the UK; it was soon being sold in North America as well.
In 1884, the Dowson firm’s headquarters were at Great Queen Street, Westminster. The equipment was built at Kingsclere Road Basingstoke; or so Roger Wright and I think - we couldn’t find much information about the site at Kingsclere Road on the web and the factory doesn’t seem to exist any more. On the 1901 census, Cecil Jones is described not as a chemist but as a chemical engineer and Roger, as my science advisor, suggests he may have been working on improvements to the equipment’s efficiency. I add that he may also have been required to improve its safety: in 1901 he wrote a paper on The Need for Greater Care in Introducing Gas-firing into Small Gasworks. By the day of the 1901 census, he had moved a little way out of town and was living at 57 Waterloo House, Cliddesden Road in the Greenbank district of Basingstoke, an address shared by Arley Short although Short and his family kept a separate household. Perhaps it was at this address that Aleister Crowley had come to stay with Cecil Jones and learn some basic alchemy, late in 1898.
In 1902, Cecil Jones changed employers again. Moving from job to job every few years like this was very unusual at the time; it’s important to remember that he was working in a profession where new job opportunities were being created all the time. However, this latest move was also a promotion, to a post as managing chemist, perhaps in charge of a department and taking decisions on policy and development. It may have been on the strength of this promotion that he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Institute of Chemistry in 1902. The move he made was from Hampshire to Essex and from gas power to brewing. Julian Baker had already taken a job with a brewery firm; after a scare about arsenic in the coal used to fire the brewing process, those brewers who could afford it had thought it wise to hire experts to do routine analyses, not only of the coal that was being used, but also of the malt. Cecil Jones’ new employer was the very rapidly expanding firm of Free, Rodwell and Co Ltd, whose maltings were at Mistley on the River Stour in Essex, below the house owned by Robert Free, one of the company’s founders. Following a stock market flotation in 1893, in which £75,000 was raised, Free, Rodwell and Co began to build big-time at Mistley, turning it one of England’s most important brewing centres in only a few years. Robert Free was particularly keen to build units where East Anglia’s large barley crop could be stored while awaiting processing; the firm’s eight-storey maltings and kiln number 1, the most technically advanced of their kind when they were built around 1896, are now Grade II listed. Free, Rodwell and Co raised a further £30,000 by a second share issue in 1898 and used it to finance the building of a small village, New Mistley, for the firm’s workers. The village had several different styles of house in it, from small houses for its labourers, to detached houses for more senior staff. Robert Free died in 1902 and the decision to appoint a chemist may have been taken by his son, who took over the firm that year. Cecil Jones was still working for Free, Rodwell and Co, and probably living in one of the houses at New Mistley, when he got married.
In January 1905, George Cecil Jones married Julian Baker’s sister Ethel Melinda. He continued to work for Free, Rodwell and Co for two more years. He and Ethel lived in Mistley and their daughter Eileen was born there late in 1905. However, in 1907, Cecil Jones resigned from his job, and the family moved back to London. I think this was probably a joint decision, influenced by a number of factors: Ethel might have been finding it hard work and rather lonely, living with a small baby a long way from her family in south London; Aleister Crowley was spending more time in England, based in London; and Cecil Jones had decided to go into business for himself as an analytical chemist - a very common move amongst chemists of his generation.
As a married man with a family to support, perhaps 1907 was not the best time for him to be deciding to go self-employed, but I think he might have been planning for it and moving towards it all his working life. It would explain why he had changed jobs several times: he had been gaining as varied an experience of industrial chemistry as possible, and making his name known to as wide a field of potential clients as he could. He continued to keep his name in the profession’s public eye until the mid-1920s with a series of publications, mostly on aspects of brewing chemistry, some written on his own and some with co-authors including A R Ling, who had been Julian Baker’s boss in the laboratory of the London Beetroot Sugar Association in the 1890s. He and Julian Baker prepared a series of tables on specific gravities, for use by the brewing industry, following the budget of 1914; as Cecil Jones’ name is listed first on this work, I think he did most of the calculations necessary to prepare the tables.
Between 1910 and 1920, Cecil Jones did some work for Julian Baker, reading long and complex articles on chemistry and reducing them to a quickly-read abstract for publication in the magazine Julian was editing at the time, The Analyst. Cecil Jones’ last published article, asking Is Forced Malt Objectionable in the Brewery? was published in 1925 in the Journal of the Institute of Brewing; again Julian Baker was the journal’s editor.
Compromises had to be made once Cecil Jones had founded his own business, not only because he no longer had a regular income and possibly a rent-free house, but also to cover the legal fees of a libel case he instituted late in 1910 (see below for much more on that). On the day of the 1911 census, Cecil, Ethel Melinda, their daughter Eileen and their son George Alan (born in 1910) were living - not in a new, possibly detached, house in Essex but at 41d London Road Forest Hill, a small flat in a converted suburban villa. It was near Ethel’s family, however; south of the worst of the London smog; and convenient for Forest Hill station and trains into the City, where Cecil Jones’ business was based in rooms on the top floor of 43-45 Great Tower Street. Completing his census form, Cecil Jones described himself as an ‘employer’, not as self-employed, so he had at least one person working for him - probably a trainee recently out of technical college, like he had once been himself.
The day chosen for the 1911 census was a few weeks before the libel case Jones v The Looking Glass and others, which ended the association for which Cecil Jones is most famous: his magical friendship with Aleister Crowley.
CECIL JONES AND THE GOLDEN DAWN
Before I start this section I want to say a little about the sources for it. Elaine Simpson and Cecil Jones were the two GD members who knew Aleister Crowley the longest. As neither of them wrote any memoirs or autobiography, the main source for their lives in esoteric circles is Crowley’s writing. Even if Crowley had been a scrupulous memoir-writer, to have only one source is always unsatisfactory and all memoirs are a justification of the writer’s actions and opinions in the face of contemporary or future criticism. There are added problems with Crowley, the main one being not so much the hostility he shows to ex-friends of his; but his inability to see anyone as having a life outside what he wants from them. That said, Crowley is a source and I suppose that’s better than nothing. There’s very little mention of him in the GD archives at the Freemasons’ Library, and the only other source there is that you could use to build up a picture of Cecil Jones as a person doesn’t do him any favours - it’s a transcript apparently taken by the Times newspaper’s court reporter, at the libel trial Jones v The Looking Glass and others, of April 1911.
Either Allan Bennett or Julian Baker could have recommended Cecil Jones to the GD hierarchy as a candidate for initiation: they were both already members when Cecil Jones was initiated. All three spent their working days doing modern chemistry. Unlike most of their co-professionals, however, they maintained an interest in the origins of their profession; and unlike most members of the GD, they had a practical understanding of alchemy. They didn’t regard ancient alchemy as solely about chemical processes. Cecil Jones, certainly, was open to the idea that alchemical texts were as much metaphorical as practical. He also had no problem with the idea that magic could be used to make contact with other beings, who might hand over - to the right candidate - the kind of information that would bring great power. His interest in magic wasn’t confined to alchemy, he read more widely than that. For example, he was familiar with one at least of the 17th-century manuscripts which helped develop the legend of Christian Rosenkreuz; though he had no particular desire to be a member of a Rosicrucian order and didn’t see the GD as such a thing - which, indeed, it wasn’t by the time he joined it, it had moved away in several different directions from its Rosicrucian foundations.
During the time that he was a member of the GD, Cecil Jones was living and working outside London. The number of rituals and meetings he could attend was limited. In addition, he was rather quiet and retiring by temperament, not a genial friend-to-all like Julian. So he was not as well known to other GD members as Julian was. However, he was a much-respected member, and his help was called on by Florence Farr in March 1900 when she was facing the biggest crisis of her GD membership - what to do about a letter she had received from Samuel Liddell Mathers claiming that all the documents on which the GD had been founded had been faked by William Wynn Westcott. Mathers had warned Florence never to tell anyone this; but of course, she felt she really couldn’t leave such accusations just lying there unchallenged. She decided to hold a meeting on 3 March 1900, to tell a few 2nd Order members what Mathers was saying, and ask them what they should all do about it. The people she invited were a very select band, whom she knew well and trusted: Dorothea Hunter and her husband Edmund; Marcus Worsley Blackden;
W B Yeats; Percy Bullock - and Cecil Jones. Cecil Jones didn’t attend that meeting - it was probably organised at such short notice that he couldn’t make it. He was told of its outcome however: those who were there agreed that they would have to investigate the allegations. They formed themselves into a committee, and on behalf of the group Percy Bullock wrote to Mathers to explain their decision and ask him to explain further. The investigating committee met again on 10 March 1900 and this time Cecil Jones was able to go. But never again. I guess that until he’d read Mathers’ letter, he hadn’t realised exactly what was happening. Once he did, he wanted no more part in it. He might not have been as worried that the GD’s foundation was based on forged documents as he was about Mathers’ part in allowing and perpetuating and possibly even writing the forgeries. What did you do when your magical masters were proved to have aided and abetted a fraud and benefitted from it in money and other terms? Did you denounce him and seek another master? Did you stay loyal, thus aiding and abetting the fraud yourself? Faced with a dilemma, Cecil Jones withdrew. He may have written to Florence Farr to say he wouldn’t take part in the investigation. If he did write, the letter hasn’t survived; and at the 2nd Order meeting of 21 April 1900 he was replaced on the investigating committee by Charles Rosher. Cecil Jones didn’t attend that meeting. He certainly knew that it was due but I imagine he didn’t want to be there and find himself very much put on the spot. Although it was a regular 2nd Order meeting, scheduled some time before, it took place in the wake of the struggle for possession of the 2nd Order rooms at 36 Blythe Road, between supporters and opponents of Mathers’ one-man rule of the GD: another problem which Cecil Jones would have found difficult to deal with, if he had known what was happening, and one which leads us neatly to his relations with Aleister Crowley.
CECIL JONES AND ALEISTER CROWLEY 1898-1900
If you’ve read the introduction to my web pages on the GD you will know that I don’t ‘do’ magic - I’m not an occultist, just a historian. I’m not going to write the story of the magical partnership between Cecil Jones and Crowley. I’ll just say that Julian Baker introduced Aleister Crowley to Cecil Jones in October 1898 and that the two men continued to do magic together, from time to time, until an incident in November 1910 brought their magical friendship to an end. The friendship extended to each of them meeting the other man’s wife; though I don’t know whether the two wives knew each other. I refer anyone who wants to read more about the magical aspects of the friendship, to Richard Kaczynski’s Perdurabo, which I have used myself. What I’m going to look at is something slightly different.
Even using Crowley’s writings I get the impression that there was more of a meeting of minds between him and Cecil Jones, than between him and Julian Baker. It was Cecil Jones, not Julian Baker, that recommended Crowley to the GD hierarchy (which as I’ve said above, essentially meant Mathers, by this time) as a potential initiate. However, Crowley was friendly with both Baker and Cecil Jones in 1899 and until he met Allan Bennett, regarded them as the only GD members with anything to teach him. At this early stage in Crowley’s magical career, he also thought of them as experienced and knowledgable and deferred to their opinion. When he got impatient with the study required to reach the stage where he could be initiated into the GD’s 2nd Order, he went to them and argued that he should be allowed to skip it, as he already knew most of it. But he bowed to their dictat that - however dull the study was - he must obey the GD rules and submit to the discipline of carrying on doing it. It may have been in response to Crowley’s frustration that Cecil Jones gave him 116 pages of notes, drawings and diagrams he’d made in July 1898 on various aspects of GD magic; by the 1960s they were owned by John Fuller, who collected Crowley memorabilia.
In both Crowley’s memoirs - The Spirit of Solitude (1929) and The Confessions - Crowley uses the same phrase to describe what Cecil Jones’ first impressions of him were: “that I had a tremendous natural capacity for Magick”. Maybe that is Crowley being wise long after the event, but there is evidence from 1899 to back up the idea that Cecil Jones recognised Crowley as someone with special gifts for magic. And it was Cecil Jones who first put it to Crowley that he carry out the Abra-Melin rituals. This was a radical suggestion. He made it in 1898 or 1899, when Crowley’s knowledge of magic, though expanding rapidly, was still only a few months old; and Mathers’ translation, The Book of Sacred Magic of Abra-Melin the Mage had only been published a few months before. If Crowley did the rituals - which were complex and time-consuming - he would become one of the only living people to have carried them out: so Cecil Jones was assuming a great deal in urging Crowley venture into this virtually unknown territory. As far as I know, Cecil Jones never carried them out himself.
About the meeting of minds, here’s a tale from The Spirit of Solitude suggesting that both men were on the same wave-length when it came to magical manifestations. Crowley mentions an occasion (which must have occurred some time during 1899) when he and Cecil Jones were about to leave Crowley’s flat in Chancery Lane to go out for something to eat, when they noticed “semi-solid shadows on the stairs; the whole atmosphere was vibrating”. Returning from their meal they found the flat had been ransacked and its contents strewn all over the place. I’m not going to speculate on the semi-solid shadows, but if I’d come back to my flat and found it turned upside down, I’d have supposed that burglars had been and gone. However, Crowley interpreted it as Abra-melin’s demons seeking him out already, even though he’d not yet begun the Abra-melin rituals; and apparently Cecil Jones agreed with the way Crowley saw it. They watched “semi-materialised beings... marching around the main room in almost unending procession”.
In 1899 Crowley was not a member of the GD’s 2nd Order and consequently was not yet allowed to do practical magic under GD auspices. However, he and Cecil Jones were doing magical rituals together. For example, anxious about Allan Bennett’s health (he suffered terribly from asthma), they invoked the spirit Buer, who was supposed to heal the sick. However, there were constraints on how much of a magical partner Cecil Jones could be to Crowley. Crowley was planning to do the Abra-Melin rituals in 1900, but when Crowley asked Jones to stay with him as he carried them out, as magical assistant cum bodyguard, Cecil “did not see his way to come”. I suppose it’s possible that Crowley offered to pay Cecil’s living expenses during the six months the rituals were supposed to take, but if he did, Cecil Jones turned the offer down. I think myself that Crowley won’t have made that offer; he still had a private income at that time and he was always inclined to forget that other people did not have that privilege, and thus needed to work for a living. If Cecil Jones had agreed to give up his job to spend six months as a magical assistant, he would have severely dented his career as a chemist and left himself completely dependent on Crowley for money. No wonder he couldn’t see his way to come.
By early 1900, Crowley was ready and very willing to have his second GD initiation and be allowed into its inner, 2nd Order. The 2nd Order members in London refused to initiate him. I imagine Cecil Jones approved of Crowley’s decision to go to Paris and be initiated by Mathers. When Crowley returned and found himself still excluded from the 2nd Order, Cecil Jones and Julian Baker both felt a certain responsibility for the impasse. They tried to negotiate with Florence Farr (the GD’s most senior figure in London) a way round the continued refusal; but couldn’t come up with a solution acceptable to all parties. And it was at this point in the saga of Crowley and the GD that Florence Farr received Mathers’ letter about the forged documents.
Cecil Jones didn’t take any active part in Crowley’s attempts to seize the 2nd Order’s rooms in London on Mathers’ behalf, in mid-April 1900. Did he know about the attempts in advance? - none of the accounts of what happened suggest that he did. Once he found out - probably from Crowley and after the event - what did he think? He might still have been in favour of reinstating Mathers’ rule, but - in view of what he knew by then about the GD’s fraudulent foundation documents - he might just not have known what outcome to hope for, and thanked his lucky stars that his work meant that he didn’t have to make a decision. However, when both Mathers and Crowley were expelled from the GD in May 1900, a line was crossed in Cecil Jones’ mind.
In Cecil Jones’ eyes, the GD without Mathers would be a useless organisation: Mathers’ skills as a magician and occultist outweighed all his considerable downside; and in any case, an apprentice should remain loyal to his or her master. GD members Edward William Berridge and John William Brodie-Innes shared that understanding of the magical apprentice/master relationship. After May 1900 they continued to defer to Mathers in magical matters and to consider themselves as part of a magical order still led by Mathers. The evidence in the GD archives suggests that Cecil Jones ceased to be a member of the GD after May 1900; and he also never joined either of the GD’s daughter orders, A E Waite’s Independent and Rectified Rite/Order, or Robert William Felkin’s Stella Matutina. I don’t think any papers of Mathers’ survive other than those in the GD archive at the Freemasons’ Library; so we can’t tell whether Cecil Jones and Mathers continued to have any kind of relationship, magical or otherwise, after 1900. Cecil Jones’ main magical relationship in the next few years was with Crowley; although because Crowley was so often abroad, he mostly practised alone.
In the late spring of 1900, rumours reached some at least of the GD’s members that the police were allegations that Crowley had been involved in homosexual relationships while at university. Homosexual acts were illegal. Edward William Berridge spoke to Crowley about the rumours - asking him if they were true - and got an answer that he remembered a decade later, so ambiguous had it been. Crowley’s memoirs say that he contacted several GD members, asking them if he should be worried, though the memoirs don’t say how specific he was, on the question of what exactly he should be worried about. Cecil Jones was one of the people Crowley went to, and - like the others - he used either tarot or astrology to answer Crowley’s question. He reached the same conclusion as the others: no, Crowley shouldn’t be worried. However, in late June or early July 1900 Crowley left England for Mexico, and spent almost all the next three years abroad. A few months after he left, at a time while he was trying to do magic and not getting anywhere, Crowley was glad to receive a letter (apparently out of the blue) from Cecil Jones. I daresay they continued to correspond, but Crowley’s memoirs suggest that he and Cecil Jones didn’t meet again for nearly six years. And when Crowley was faced with a magical crisis, in 1905-06 - whether to accept that the entity he called Aiwass as a genuine emissary from the spirit world, announcing a new world order - he chose not to go to Cecil Jones to discuss his dilemma. Instead he took his troubles all the way to Shanghai, to Elaine Simpson.
In mid-1906 Crowley and his wife Rose came back to England intending to spend at least a few months there. Much had happened, magically speaking, in Crowley’s life. Because he left no records, we don’t know what had been going on in Cecil Jones’ magical life, though in the work-a-day world, he (like Crowley) had got married and had a daughter. Crowley and Cecil Jones began meeting again; but now their original magical roles were reversed. Crowley describes how in December 1906, Cecil Jones urged him to admit that he had reached the 8th level of the 3rd Order, a level of magician-ship thought until then to be unattainable by any human - a uniqueness that Crowley actually resisted for several years though in the end he succombed.
Cecil Jones might have come to regard Crowley a magician who was something more than human; but he was not a slavish acolyte - perhaps the events of 1900 had taught him to examine potential magical masters for their feet of clay. The role of slavish acolyte was soon to be taken by others, beginning with Victor Neuberg whose role in Crowley’s life was later described by John Fuller as “a cross between a disciple and a maid of all works”. Jones still thought of himself and was still thought of by Crowley at this stage, as a person to take note of. When he challenged Crowley to do a particular magical practice, suggesting self-harming as a punishment for failure, Crowley did the practice and when he failed at it, carried out Jones’ suggested punishment. Crowley ended with cut-marks all over his arms - which got Cecil Jones in hot water with Rose Crowley. Crowley doesn’t record whether he, in his turn, suggested particular magical practices to Cecil Jones. During 1906 and 1907 Jones and Crowley met regularly to compare what they were doing, and the idea gradually emerged of forming that 3rd magical order that Cecil Jones believed Crowley was now eligible for. This was the order known as Silver Star or A...A, and as the two saw it in 1907, it would have themselves and one other person as its three worldly chiefs. It took a while to find a suitable third person, but once John Frederick Charles Fuller had been chosen, they were able to launch the A...A in 1909.
I think that the founding the A...A was another turning point in the relations between Cecil Jones and Crowley. John Fuller (looking back from the distance of 1966) remembered it as Crowley’s order. The evidence from 1909-11 certainly shows Crowley as the order’s most important member, acknowledged as its most senior magician and working hard as its publicist and its organiser. Both Cecil Jones and Fuller were background figures in comparison; but of course, they had to go to work (Fuller was in the army and didn’t see much of Crowley at all during 1910). I’m not suggesting that Cecil Jones objected to this; I don’t suppose he even saw it like that; but there was beginning not to be room in Crowley’s life for other magicians with experience.
A distraction from the idea of the new magical order was the final collapse of the marriage of Aleister and Rose Crowley, in 1908-09. Crowley spent a lot of both those years abroad and was in North Africa in November 1909 when Rose got her divorce and custody of the marriage’s only surviving child, Lola Zaza Crowley (born 1906). As part of the divorce settlement, Crowley borrowed money against a sum of £4000 he would inherit when his mother died; the borrowed sum was put into a trust fund to provide income for Crowley himself, and Lola Zaza. Crowley’s mountaineering partner Oscar Eckenstein agreed to be one of the trust fund’s two trustees; and Cecil Jones was the other. These two were Crowley’s most trusted friends in 1909.
Two strands contributed to the ending of the magical friendship between Crowley and Cecil Jones very shortly afterwards: Crowley’s plans for the A...A, which became very ambitious and very public; and the homosexual relationships that he’d always had alongside and in between his heterosexual ones, from his time at Cambridge University up to and including 1910.
The staging of the Rites of Eleusis at Caxton Hall in Westminster in October and November 1910 brought the A...A a lot of newspaper coverage. The coverage included a series of articles in a racing paper called The Looking Glass, which got more and more personal about Crowley and the people he knew. As a senior member of the A...A, Cecil Jones must have gone to see the Rites; but he did not appear on the stage in any of them; and Allan Bennett had left magic far behind and was now a Buddhist monk, living in Asia. Somehow, though, their names became known to The Looking Glass, with details of how close they had both been to Crowley years before. I wonder who had been talking to the press indiscreetly? In its article published on 26 November 1910, The Looking Glass named both Cecil Jones and Bennett as close friends of Crowley during 1899; and did a bit more than hint that Crowley and Bennett had had a homosexual relationship. The gist of that article was taken up by the moralist and fraudster (isn’t it interesting how often the two go together?) Horatio Bottomley and published in his magazine John Bull. In The Confessions Crowley was sure that he himself was the real target for all The Looking Glass’s mud-slinging - that Cecil Jones and Bennett were just collateral damage - and he was probably right. A lot of the legal case that followed turned on the fact that Crowley and Bennett had been given plenty of grounds to sue for libel, especially by The Looking Glass, but that neither of them had done so. But Cecil Jones did so.
Cecil Jones consulted Percy William Bullock of Bullock and Co solicitors. Percy William had been one of the most senior, most hard-working, and best-liked members of the GD during the 1890s. Although he seemed to favour studying manuscripts rather than practical experimentation, he had always had an interest in alchemy, so he and Cecil Jones had that in common and may have remained friends after the expulsions of 1900. Though they never did magical work together as far as I know, Percy William may have been Cecil Jones’ solicitor for his business affairs. Even if he wasn’t, Percy William was a solicitor Cecil Jones knew; it would have been easier to go to him for advice about taking these particular legal proceedings. The evidence that might come up if the case got to court might result in Crowley being arrested; Bennett wouldn’t be arrested but only because he now lived in Asia. It would probably also involve making the existence of the GD public again (it had already been made public at least twice).
The offending paragraph in the article in The Looking Glass was worded so that Cecil Jones actually stood outside the allegations it made against Crowley and Bennett. It would be interesting to know what advice Bullock offered Cecil Jones when they originally spoke about the article. As time went on and Crowley didn’t show any signs of suing despite having grounds, but Cecil Jones still wanted redress for the implied insult, Bullock seems to have decided that he needed an opinion from a barrister on whether Cecil Jones stood any chance of receiving an apology and damages if Crowley wasn’t demanding them. The barrister Bullock conducted decided that Cecil Jones should still be able to demand an apology and damages both from The Looking Glass, and from John Bull that had repeated the gist of it.
It was down to Cecil Jones, as the client, to decide whether to take the next step. No doubt hoping it wouldn’t come to court, he chose to continue with the legal proceedings. Only a letter from Bullock and Co was needed to persuade Bottomley, as editor of John Bull, to publish a retraction of the article they had printed. John Bull also printed a statement saying that Cecil Jones was no longer an associate of Aleister Crowley - a statement which turned out not to be true. However, The Looking Glass’ editor and publishers wouldn’t retract what had appeared in their magazine.
Cecil Jones wouldn’t back down either, and the case reached court in April 1911. Cecil Jones had to go into the witness box and help put his own case: he was asked questions to this end by Mr Simmons, his own barrister; and then asked more difficult ones by Mr Schiller, barrister for The Looking Glass’ publishers. It’s very difficult to come out of such an ordeal with dignity. Cecil Jones was under a great deal of stress - had been for several months, I imagine - but reading a verbatim report of his cross-examination, I thought he didn’t help his own cause at all. What you need in these circumstances (or so it seems to me) is a convincing performance of innocence wronged which gains the jury’s sympathy. Cecil Jones (in my view) came over as irritable, argumentative and a bit too clever for his own good. He sounded brusque, if not arrogant, and created the wrong impression.
Schiller was building a case on the basis of guilt by association. He focused much of his cross-examination on eliciting what kind of relationship there had been between Cecil Jones and Crowley, around 1899 and also more recently. He asked what Cecil Jones thought of Crowley, what he’d known about him, then and now, and whether they were still in touch. Cecil Jones’ replies were that, yes, he still considered Crowley a friend of his. When Schiller asked what exactly that meant, Cecil Jones told him that he still saw Crowley every two months or so and spoke to him regularly on the phone. Schiller made quite a bit out of the fact that Cecil Jones had introduced Crowley to his wife and that she knew him quite well; giving the jury the impression that if she knew Crowley, Mrs Jones was not quite a lady. And then de Wend Fenton, the editor of The Looking Glass (acting as his own barrister), got Cecil Jones to admit that he had continued to associate with Crowley despite thinking of him as (to quote de Wend Fenton) “a notoriously evil person”.
When Cecil Jones was finally able to leave the witness box, Samuel Liddell Mathers and then Edward William Berridge were called as ex members of GD - to give evidence on the side of The Looking Glass. Mr Schiller wanted to ask them what sort of an organisation the GD was, and what was known about Crowley by its members in 1899-1900. Mathers contradicted some statements Cecil Jones had made earlier, about whether or not the GD had been a Rosicrucian organisation. I can’t quite see why the exact nature of the GD should matter to the trial, but the fact that Mathers was so sure something Jones had said in the witness box was wrong, can’t have gone down well with a jury probably already prejudiced against Jones. And Berridge’s evidence - although stopped by an objection made by Cecil Jones’ barrister - made it clear that in early 1900 some members of the GD at least had heard rumours that Crowley was homosexual.
Crowley was in court for both the days of the trial. In his memoirs he said that he went in disguise and no one recognised him, but that isn’t true. During his cross-examination Cecil Jones admitted that he could see Crowley in the court-room. The jury were probably aware that Crowley had chosen not to sue and Mr Schiller left them wondering why Cecil Jones hadn’t asked Crowley to give evidence on his behalf. There was a moment, after Berridge’s evidence, when Cecil Jones’ barrister Mr Simmons hovered on the brink of asking the judge to call Crowley as a witness; but he didn’t actually do so, and as a result, the only person who was called to speak on Cecil Jones’ side was John Fuller. Kaczynski suggests that Fuller’s evidence came too late to counter all the insinuations that had been made by earlier witnesses. I’d also point out that Fuller had only known Crowley since 1906. The case was about events and ‘who knew what’ during a period before Fuller and Crowley had met.
Mr Schiller’s summing-up on behalf of The Looking Glass’ publishers persuaded the judge (if he hadn’t made up his mind already) that, “If a man values his own reputation so cheaply that he does not mind associating with that kind of creature, he must not complain if comment is made about it”. The jury agreed as well, and decided that the offending words in The Looking Glass were fair comment, and consequently not a libel. Normally, the loser of such a case would have to pay the legal costs of both sides, so the penalty Cecil Jones might have faced would have been heavy financially as well as in terms of his reputation; though the decision about costs is up to the judge and he may not have ordered Jones to pay for all the lawyers.
By not suing for libel, Crowley had saved himself from the kind of outcome to a libel trial that had engulfed Oscar Wilde in 1895. By not calling him as a witness, Cecil Jones too had prevented Crowley being arrested for homosexual offences. By not volunteering to be a witness, Crowley had saved himself by bringing down public humiliation on his friend. When the trial was over, John Fuller asked Cecil Jones why he hadn’t had a subpoena issued, forcing Crowley to be a witness or face charges of contempt of court. Jones had replied that if Crowley wouldn’t volunteer to help him, he certainly wasn’t going to beg. Fuller thought that Jones had been very honourable, though misguided.
Cecil Jones had said in his cross-examination that he had been one of those GD members who had heard the rumours of Crowley’s homosexual relationships; but he had dismissed them as malicious gossip. Anyone might assume that a friend of theirs couldn’t be a criminal, but I think that maybe Cecil Jones had shut his eyes to things about Crowley that he wouldn’t have dismissed so lightly in another man. As with Mathers, so with Crowley: the great magician outweighed the human failings. Cecil Jones could have seen - but he was not looking - that Crowley tended to leave people to their fate if helping them would put him on the spot - though of course, the ‘spot’ was a considerable one in this case and might have ended like it did for Oscar Wilde, in Reading gaol.
A large number of papers reported on the trial. You would expect papers like the Daily Mirror, the Daily Mail and the Daily Express, perhaps, to cover it, but even heavy-weight papers like the Daily Telegraph and the Morning Post published reports; and both the London papers, the Evening News and the Standard. So Cecil Jones’ clients, his acquaintances and his neighbours at work and at home would have been able to find out what was being said about him and his friends; and people learned his name who would otherwise have gone their entire lives without hearing anything about him. And seeing he had lost the case, a large number of the people who now knew his name will have got the wrong impression - I do think it was a wrong impression - of what Cecil Jones and his friends got up to; and what magicians get up to.
You just have to live these things down.
After April 1911, did Cecil Jones and Aleister Crowley continue their friendship as he had described it in court? - meeting every so often to discuss their magical progress, and having weekly chats in the meantime on the phone? If you believe The Confessions, they did not, because Crowley dropped him, annoyed at what he saw as a betrayal by two old friends, Cecil Jones and the editor of The Looking Glass. Those who write their memoirs write them with the intention of having the last word. After ten years of receiving from him magical cooperation, and support both in his magical career and his private life, Crowley dismissed Cecil Jones, the man who got him into the GD and helped teach him the basics of what he knew about magic, as a “pompous imbecility”; and - apparently - never had anything to do with him again. According to Kaczynski’s biography, they didn’t even meet when (from January 1945 to December 1947) they were again living in the same town.
Cecil Jones might have wanted to move on after the disaster of April 1911 and erase the name of Crowley from his mind, but he couldn’t do so completely. He was still a trustee of Lola Zaza Crowley’s money. He could also have refused to carry on at the task; but after the trial he probably saw more clearly than before, why trustees were needed. He did not have to meet Crowley, most of the work was done by solicitors; it was decisions about how the money in the fund should be spent that the trustees were required to make. As a trustee, Cecil Jones will have had some dealings with Rose Crowley, who had custody of Lola Zaza until she came of age in 1927; and with the artist Gerald Kelly, Rose Crowley’s brother, who seems to have done his best to act as a father-figure to Lola Zaza. Financial and legal work on the trust fund was required after the death of Lola Zaza’s grandmother, Emily Crowley, in April 1917; but again, Cecil Jones will have been dealing with Emily’s brother Tom Bond Bishop, whom Emily had named as her executor. After Cecil Jones’ first co-trustee, Oscar Eckenstein, died (in 1921) he may have been sole trustee for several years, until Gerald Yorke replaced Eckenstein in 1928. Cecil Jones might have expected to have to face some conflict between himself as an ex-friend, and Yorke as a new friend of Crowley, but Yorke took an independent and serious view of his duties as trustee. After Rose Crowley died in 1932, Crowley wrote to Yorke (but apparently not to Cecil Jones) suggesting that all the income from the trust fund be paid to him, now that Lola Zaza had inherited money from her mother; but both trustees agreed to refuse the request.
Unless all parties come to an agreement to terminate a trust fund, it continues until all its beneficiaries are dead or any other requirements have been fulfilled. I couldn’t find any evidence as to when Lola Zaza’s trust fund was wound up. It didn’t happen at her coming-of-age. It might have happened when she married Frank Hill in 1934 but I don’t think it did. Most trust funds benefiting women are not terminated when they marry and in any case the other beneficiary, Crowley himself, would have had to agree the terms. Another possible date for a winding-up was after Aleister Crowley died in 1947. However, the trust fund could have continued, with trustees being replaced as they died, until Lola Zaza Hill died in 1990.
As far as I can tell, Cecil Jones never published anything on magic or alchemy. Assuming that he is the author identified as “G.C.J.” in the July 1909 issue of Occult Review, he did contribute one book review. However, even this was under special circumstances: the book he reviewed was Crowley’s book of correspondences, 777, which Crowley had worked on from notes compiled several years before, mainly by Allan Bennett but also by Cecil Jones and other GD members. Like so much in the occult world, the review was an in-joke, Cecil Jones pretending not to know who wrote the book or what the A...A was. With the exactitude of the scientist, he noticed some misprints, but excused them by saying that - given the nature of the work - he was surprised not to find more (perhaps Crowley should have asked him to copy-edit the manuscript before it went to the publishers). He applauded the supposedly unknown author, saying that the book brought into the public arena much “that has been jealously and foolishly kept secret in the past”; although he ended his short piece by warning future readers of 777 that of course, in the occult, there were some facts that could never be learned from books.
If Cecil Jones continued to take any interest at all in magic and alchemy after 1911, he kept it quiet and worked either alone or with people he could trust. He continued to run his business until he retired in 1939 - and his timing in choosing that year to stop work was impeccable, because the premises he’d last been based in were destroyed soon after, in the Blitz. Cecil Jones’ daughter Eileen, rather than his son George Alan, seems to have been the one to be a chip off the old alchemical block: in 1926 she graduated in chemistry at the University of London. In 1935 she married Stanley Breach Lewis, who I think was a solicitor. It’s been difficult to find out much about George Alan Jones but in 1949 he was working as the general manager of a dairy. On the probate registry record for his father’s Will, he’s described as a grocer; perhaps he was still with the dairy firm.
World War 1 was a conflict in which chemistry - and the chemists who could make it work and/or make it deadly - were an important factor. Alas, though, I have no idea what Cecil Jones did during that war: I haven’t found a single reference to it, it was probably classified in any case. It’s possible that he just continued to work at his business, though I find that difficult to believe.
The bomb that wrecked the building where Cecil Jones last worked probably destroyed all the records of his business, if he had not tidied them away as waste already. I have hardly found any information on the kind of clients Cecil Jones had, and the sort of analysis work they needed him to do. Perhaps a great deal of his work was on the materials of brewing - not all breweries were big enough to afford to employ a full-time chemist. The one piece of work I did find a reference to, was from the years just before Cecil Jones retired, and it can’t have been typical of his daily routine: he was chosen by the geologists of the University of Cambridge’s British East Greenland Expedition to analyse rock samples they had collected on the Skaergaard Peninsula in 1935 and 1936.
Not immediately, but soon after he retired, Cecil Jones and Ethel Melinda moved to Hastings, probably to 14 Elphinstone Road, his home address when he died. Perhaps Cecil’s mother Sarah Gayner went with them. She died in 1949 at the age of 100; though she did not die in Hastings.
Cecil Jones kept active, at least during the first years of his retirement, developing new interests and keeping up old ones now he had more time. He enjoyed listening to music (both live and on the radio), corresponded with a large number of people, and continued to read widely. He kept his brain active by working on his French and Italian, and learned enough to be able to communicate in Esperanto (I wonder where he took lessons in that?) 1952 was a very sad year for him though: Ethel Melinda Jones died; and then an operation reminded Cecil Jones again of his mortality by restricting his mobility, so that he could no longer dig his garden.
Not only did Cecil Jones outlive Aleister Crowley (died 1947) - that might have been expected. He also survived his own wife, his sister-in-law Muriel Albinia Baker, both of Julian Baker’s wives and even Julian himself (died 1958). He was able to write the best obituary of Julian Baker, but it must have been a melancholy task. He lived on for three years after his friend, dying aged 87 in St Helen’s Hospital, Hastings, on 30 October 1960.
At the end of the process of doing what I could to build a biography of Cecil Jones, I still find him a very elusive personality. Even the two descriptions of his character that I found don’t entirely agree. Many years after their friendship had ended, Crowley described him thus: “a Welshman... [with] a fiery but unstable temper, [he] bore a striking resemblance to many conventional representations of Jesus Christ. His spirit was both ardent and subtle. He was very widely read in Magick; and, being by profession an analytical chemist, was able to investigate the subject in a scientific spirit”. Crowley also credited him with a wry sense of humour.
See the Sources section below for a poem by Crowley dedicated to Cecil Jones; undated but written before 1910 when they were still speaking to each other.
The other description is from one of Cecil Jones’ obituaries and is based on the memories of people who knew him through his work; it’s also obeying the dictat de mortuis nil nisi bonum. A rather different picture of him emerges from it than that written by Crowley: amongst his colleagues in chemistry, Cecil Jones was known for his sound judgement and good advice, and for combining “great physical caution with outstanding moral courage”. The writer of the obituary remembered Cecil Jones as “tolerant and always contented”: perhaps this calmness - so different from Crowley’s memory of him - was the wisdom of age and experience. However, it agreed with Crowley on the “whimsical sense of humour”. So I’ll leave Cecil Jones making a remark in the witness box in 1911, about the time in 1899 when Crowley, seeking to baffle his creditors (of which he had a large number) signed the lease on a flat using a flamboyant Russian alias. Cecil Jones said of this: “a wiser man would have called himself Smith”.
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 GEORGE CECIL JONES
Who’s Who in Science (International) editor H H Stephenson. London: J and A Churchill 1912 p148. This notes that Cecil Jones was FIC, FCS and a member of the Society of Chemical Industry, the Institute of Public Analysts and the Institute of Brewing.
The Royal Institute of Chemistry Journal volume 85 numbers 1-38 1961: p122 in the March 1961 issue.
BUT HE’S MUCH LESS OF A PUBLIC FIGURE THAN BAKER
For example, between 1905 and the late 1930s Julian Baker’s name appeared in the Times quite often; but I never saw Cecil Jones referred to.
And he wasn’t involved very much in this huge conference of professional chemists:
Seventh International Congress of Applied Chemistry published in 6 volumes London: Partridge and Cooper Ltd 1910. It was held in London from 27 May 1909 to 2 June 1909 and was a HUGE event with a gruelling series of social occasions as well as days full of lectures. The great and the good of chemistry from all over the world attended this. Neither Julian Baker nor Cecil Jones was important enough to give a lecture or dominate the social occasions; though Baker did speak at the final session, on 2 June 1909 at the Imperial Institute. Cecil Jones was a member of the Congress, but unlike Julian Baker he hadn’t served on its organising committee. Mrs Baker may have served on the Congress’ women’s committee but Mrs Jones didn’t - she was expecting her second child at the time.
GEORGE CECIL JONES SENIOR (assuming I have found the right person)
Times 9 April 1878 p1a in the deaths column: George Cecil Jones aged 30 of the National Bank of Scotland, accountant, had died “on 1st April 1878 at 37 Nicholas Lane Lombard Street”. Times 3 April 1878 p10 in a series of reports on inquests.
VICTORIAN ATTITUDES TO DEPRESSION
“Shattered Nerves”: Doctors, Patients, and Depression in Victorian England by Janet Oppenheim. New York, Oxford: Oxford University Press 1991. Chapter Five: Manly Nerves, especially pp150-152.
BACK TO CECIL JONES
Re City of London School: Our Schools and Colleges: Volume I Boys by Frederick Shirley de Carteret-Bisson. London: 1879: p703.
The University of London 1858-1900: the Politics of Senate and Convocation by F M G Willson. The Boydell Press 2004 p462 begins a list of institutions that made up the University of London in 1900: p463 Central Technical College of City and Guilds of London Institute for the Advancement of Technical Education is one of them.
At www.britannica.com US based website of Encyclopedia Britannica: the City and Guilds of London Institute is now part of Imperial College.
A good statistical introduction to chemistry as a profession in this period is on the web at www.euchems.eu, article by Anna Simmons of the Open University: Working in a Transitional Territory? Chemical Consultants in the United Kingdom 1870-1914. Read at the 6th International Conference on the History of Chemistry. I think the publication’s title is Neighbours and Territories: the Evolving Identity of Chemistry: pp555-563. The statistics in this article seem to be showing that - after the gaining of experience in the field - self-employment as a consultant was the preferred option for chemists in the early days of the modern profession.
Passmore’s training with B H Paul. The articles below seem to have been particularly important in establishing Paul’s reputation:
Seen at pubs.rsc.org, Analyst vol 2 1877: 7-8: The Presence of Cinchonidine in the Quinine Sulphate of Commerce, by B H Paul, PhD.
Via archive.org to Year-Book of Pharmacy 1886-87 p70: The Amount of Caffeine in Various Kinds of Coffee, by B H Paul and A J Cownley.
I didn’t see any publications in which B H Paul and F W Passmore were the authors.
In the British Library catalogue and on web, a series of publications by H Helbing FCS and F W Passmore:
BL 1893 Facts About Disinfectants
BL 1894 Malakine: Its Physical, Chemical and Therapeutical Properties
Information on malakine and what it is from The Medical Bulletin: A Monthly Journal of Medicine and Surgery volume 17 1895 p341, p529.
BL 1894 The Properties and Advantages of Symphoral, the New Diuretic
The web shows symphoral or symphorol preparations are still widely available. Chemical Synonyms and Trade Names by William Gardner. Crosby Lockwood and Son 1924 p243.
Not BL 1892 Recherches...sur le chloroforme médicinal. 11-page pamphlet
Not BL and I couldn’t see a pubication date: The Growth and Preparation of English Herbs and Drugs. 12-page pamphlet.
The Helbing and Passmore partnership was legally dissolved, probably a long time after the partners had gone their separate ways, at a rather telling date: London Gazette 10 March 1916 p2595 dissolved by mutual consent as of 1 August 1914; although this official notice of it had not been issued until 22 February 1916.
Later career of F W Passmore:
Reports of Patent, Design and Trade Mark Cases volume 23 1906 p274.
Journals of the House of Lords volume 151 1919 p17.
At www.nature.com volume 108 issued 17 November 1921 p379 short obituary of Francis William Passmore wh’d died on 29 October  at his home at Bexley Heath.
I found very little information on Joseph Emerson Dowson; or on his invention for the production of coal gas, which doesn’t seem to have been patented.
British Library catalogue does have this: Joseph Emerson Dowson as co-author with Alfred T Larter: Producer Gas published London: Longmans and Co 1906.
The Health Exhibition Literature volume 18 1884 p248.
At www.gracesguide.co.uk information originally published by the Iron and Steel Institute in 1935: Dowson Economic Gas and Power Co Ltd, of Basingstoke had amalgamated with Mason’s Gas Power Co Ltd of Levenshulme in 1910 to form Dowson and Mason Gas Plant Co Ltd.
Metallurgia: British Journal of Metals volumes 61-62 1960 p34.
Via www.nationalarchives.gov.uk to a list of building control documents held at Hampshire Record Office: couldn’t see the exact number of file, but the Dowson’s plant was in Kingsclere Road.
Remediation of Former Manufactured Gas Plants... by Allen W Hatheway 2011 p183 Table 3.10
Website list.english-heritage.org.uk using information from Industrial Archaeology of East Anglia by John Booker. Batsford 1980.
The British Malting Industry since 1830. Christine Clark 1998 p85-88, p107, p110, p192, p255.
Familiar Past? Archaeologies of Later Historical Britain, editors Sarah Tarlow, Susie West 2002 Article by Shane Gould on Mistley: p148.
Essex by Nikolaus Pevsner and James Bettley 2007 p601.
AND IN BUSINESS AS AN ANALYTICAL CHEMIST
Kelly’s Directory of London 1908 street index p452 in which he is not listed as a resident of 43-45 Great Tower Street though 2 other analytical chemists are.
Kelly’s 1910 street index p365 in which G C Jones, analytical chemist, occupies the 5th floor of 43-45 Gt Tower Street. Opposite this building is the one in which Bernard Dyer worked, the best-known analytical chemist of his day.
Perdurabo: The Life of Aleister Crowley by Richard Kaczynski. Berkeley CA: NAH Books originally 2000; the one I looked at was the revised edition, 2010: pp580-81 has a good list of articles.
Allen’s Commercial Organic Analysis edited by Alfred Henry Allen 1913 seems to be a reprint (possibly with additions) of Commercial Organic Analysis 1912; there’s also a 3rd edition 1918. The 1913 edition contains 2 articles by G C Jones: Alcohols; and Wines and Potable Spirits and -Glucosidal Bitters.
The Brewers’ Journal 1915. Article by George Cecil Jones and Julian Baker (in that order, so I think Cecil Jones did most of the work on it): Original Gravity Tables Computed to Hundredths of a Degree. It was later published as a pamphlet: Original Gravity Tables Computed to Hundredths of a Degree, from the table attached to the Finance Act 1914.
The Analyst volumes 41-42 1916 pi editor is Julian L Baker; and G C Jones is on the list of those who are preparing abstracts for publication from articles published in other chemical magazines: this is what The Analyst magazine does. You can see back copies of The Analyst at pubs.rsc.org. There are examples of G C Jones doing review work for The Analyst in 1910, 1911, 1913 and 1920 as well as 1916.
Journal of the Institute of Brewing volume 31 1925 p189 article by G C Jones: Is Forced Malt Objectionable in the Brewery?
The work for the British East Greenland Expedition may not have been published in Cecil Jones’ lifetime.
At journals.cambridge.org the journal Polar Record volume 2 no 13 January 1927 pp24-26 has genl information on the expedition of 1935-36.
This was the earliest reference I could find to Cecil Jones’ work being published: Geoscience issue 12 1984 in Dn as Meddelelser Om Gronland tranlsated as Syenitic and Associated Intrusions of...E Greenland p3 with authors as W A Deer, D R C Kempe and G C Jones. I did find a reference in Greenland Geoscience volume 1 1979 p4 to a publication by Wager in 1937 which may have mentioned Cecil Jones’ analysis work, but I cldn’t find any more information on the web. IF the 1937 paper mentioned Jones, then he must have done the work around 1936.
Region of East Greenland by W A Deer, D R C Kempe and G C Jones: p14.
EILEEN CECIL JONES
University of London Calendar issue of 1920 p318; issue of 1926 p314. And issue of 1932 p459 in an alphabetical by surname list probably of graduates: Eileen Cecil Jones 1924-26 2nd class chemistry.
GEORGE ALAN JONES
This was too common a name for me to identify him with confidence. He is described in Cecil Jones’ Probate Registry listing as a “grocer”, but no address is given for him.
THE OTHER EXECUTOR, Cecil’ son-in-law Stanley Breach Lewis
No probate entry as far as 1966 and only 1 other item: London Gazette 26 January 1973 p1314 notice probably issued under the Trustees Act 1925 re the death of Gertrude Dora Lewis, spinster of West Wickham Kent, who’d died on 28 January 1972. The contact is a solicitors’ firm; with SBL’s name perhaps indicating he’s the executor; the dead woman is perhaps his sister seeing she isn’t his wife. In Cecil Jones’ Probate Registry listing he’s described as a “schoolteacher”; I wondered if he had married Eileen Jones but it seems he didn’t so he must just have been a friend.
JONES AND THE OCCULT
In the Golden Dawn Collection now at the Freemasons’ Library:
GD 2/4/3/2 is typed letter to SLM composed by PWB and dated 4 March 1900. In it SLM is told that “yest anoon” Florence Farr had told the fllwg GD members the contents of SLM’s letter of 16 Feb 1900 alleging the GD founding docts were forgeries. Pp were: Dorothea and Edmund Hunter; MWB; WBY; PWB. GCJ had been asked to be present when Florence F told the others; but he hadn’t turned up. The group wld be asking him to attend their next mtg.
GD 2/4/3/6 is Mins of mtg of 10 March 1900, after no response had been rcvd from SLM when the group asked him if the allegs were true. Those present at the mtg decided to give SLM one more week to make a response: GCJ was at this mtg.
GD 2/4/3/16a mins of mtg of 29 March 1900 of the group now a cttee investigating the allegs. Those present: Florence F; Dorothea and Edmund Hunter; PWB. GCJ didn’t attend this one.
GD 2/4/3/26a dtls of resolns passed at a 2nd Order mtg 21 April 1900 at which 22 pp were present. The ((investigating)) cttee constituted on 12 March 1900 was approved to run the 2nd Order until a m prop constituted execv took office; except that 2 orig members were deemed no lgr to want to be on it, and 2 were elected to replace them. The 2 that were deemed no lgr on the cttee were: Blackden and GCJ; the 2 who replaced them were Helen Rand and Charles Rosher. Rosher spcfc to replace GCJ. GD 2/4/3/35 is the Mins of the 2nd O mtg of 21 April 1900, heavily annotated and n actually having a list of all those who attended. However, from the a/c of those who took an active part I managed to make a list; and GCJ wasn’t one of them, I think he didn’t go to the mtg.
And he seems to have tkn no fur active part in the events of 1900 in the GD.
Apparently there is an article on him in Welsh Occultists LLC Books 2010. The British Library hasn’t got a copy of the book so I haven’t been able to check it out.
THE TWO EDITIONS OF ALEISTER CROWLEY’S CONFESSIONS
The first one, published during his life-time, only reaches early 1904.
The Spirit of Solitude: an Autohagiography subseq re-Antichristened The Confessions of Aleister Crowley. In two volumes published London: Mandrake Press Museum St 1929. This is on the web at hermetic.com/crowley/confessions.
THE MORE FAMILIAR VERSION PUBLISHED AFTER HE HAD DIED
The Confessions of Aleister Crowley: An Autohagiography. I used the edition edited by John Symonds and Kenneth Grant, published London, Boston, Henley: Routledge and Kegan Paul 1979.
The Book of the Sacred Magic of Abra-Melin the Mage translated by Samuel Liddell MacGregor Mathers. When Cecil Jones suggested that Crowley try doing its rituals, the book was hot off the press: published London: J M Watkins 1898.
http://Www.hermetic.com/crowley/confessions:A time-line of Crowley’s life is at
Www.lashtal.com/wiki/Aleister_Crowley_Timeline which is the website of the Aleister Crowley Society. I think it’s based on Crowley’s papers.
There are plenty of biographies of Crowley already. The one I have consulted is Perdurabo: The Life of Aleister Crowley by Richard Kaczynski. Berkeley CA: NAH Books originally 2000; the one I looked at was the revised edition, 2010.
The Winged Beetle poems by Aleister Crowley. 350 copies privately printed 1910. The whole book is dedicated to John Fuller, a great admirer of Crowley’s poetry. Most of the poems are dedicated to one person or another. Only three members of the Golden Dawn are honoured thus: Cecil Jones; Allan Bennett; and Elaine Simpson. None of the poems are dated. P22-23 The Hermit: An Attack on Barbercraft is dedicated to Cecil Jones:
p22 At last an end of all I hoped and feared!
Muttered the hermit through his elfin beard.
Then what art thou? the evil whisper whirred.
I doubt me sorely if the hermit heard.
To all God’s questions never a word he said,
But simply shook his venerable head.
God sent all plagues; he laughed and heeded not,
Till people took him for an idiot.
God sent all joys; he only laughed amain,
Till people certified him as insane.
But somehow all his fello-lunatics
Began to imitate his silly tricks.
And stranger still, their prospects so enlarged
That one by one the patients were discharged.
God asked him by what right he interfered;
He only laughed into his elfin beard.
When God revealed Himself to mortal prayer
He gave a fatal opening to Voltaire.
Our hermit had dispensed with Sinai’s thunder,
But on the other hand he made no blunder;
He knew (no doubt) that any axiom
Would furnish bricks to build some Donkeydom.
But! — all who urged that hermit to confess
Caught the infection of his happiness.
I would it were my fate to dree his weird;
I think I will grow an elfin beard.
None of the poems in the colln are dated.
CECIL JONES’ PUBLISHED WORK ON THE OCCULT
Occult Review volume 10 July-December 1909. Editor is Ralph Shirley. Published by William Rider and Co Ltd. Volume 10 number 1 July 1909 p54-55 a review by “G.C.J.” of the anonymous 777 Vel Prolegomena Symbolica ad Systemam Sceptico-Mysticae Viae London: Walter Scott Publishing
THE RITES OF ELEUSIS
Occult Review volume 12 number 4 October 1910 p213-15 on the Rites of Eleusis, describing what would happen at them and giving the dates of the performances and where to get tickets.
JONES v THE LOOKING GLASS
Times Thursday 27 April 1911 p4a in the law notices section: King’s Bench Division, before Mr Justice Scrutton and a jury: Jones v The Looking Glass Publishing Co (Limited) and others which had “commenced yesterday [Wednesday 26 April] and concluded to-day”. This article was short - just a summary of the judgement. The alleged libel appeared in The Looking Glass on 26 November 1910. Mr Simmons was Jones’ barrister. Mr Schiller was the barrister for the publishers of the The Looking Glass. The Looking Glass’ editor, Mr de Wend Fenton, appeared in his own defence and on behalf of The Looking Glass’ printers. Jones’ solicitors were Bullock and Co.
On the web at www.100thmonkeypress.com there is what is described as a transcription by the Times’ court reporter of some (but not all) of the evidence: far more than appeared in the Times’ report. The cross-examination of Jones is there, and the evidence given by Samuel Liddell Mathers and Edward William Berridge; but not the evidence of Jones’ witness John Fuller.
Small pamphlet 666 Bibliotheca Crowleyana a catalogue of books pamphlets etc by or about Aleister Crowley, collected and with an Introduction by Major-General J F C Fuller with copyright Fuller 1966. It’s a typescript, published Delectus Books: Introduction is pp2-8; Cecil Jones’ 1898 manuscript file p25; Fuller’s coverage of the Jones v The Looking Glass trial p27.
LOLA ZAZA’S TRUST FUND
See Kaczynski for the details and for the death of Eckenstein and the appointment of Gerald Yorke. Probate Registry record for the death of Emily Bertha Crowley and the identity of her executor.
Copyright SALLY DAVIS
3 December 2017
Email me at
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: