Irene Augusta Ada Lloyd was initiated into the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn
at its Isis-Urania temple in
UPDATE JANUARY 2021
Thanks are due for this update to a very distant cousin of Irene, who has been researching the Lloyd family. She sent excerpts from the Lloyd family tree; also a copy of Irene’s Will, which was quite a revelation. As a result I can now write in more detail about Irene’s life from 1914 onwards.
UPDATE SEPTEMBER 2018, for which many thanks are owed to Freddy Ogterop of Cape Town, contributing editor to ESAT – the Encyclopaedia of South African Theatre, Film, Media and Performance. Access the database at
Though Irene is not in it, her husband Alfred is,
and Freddy contacted me in June 2018 to let me know he was in the process of
updating Alfred’s entry with a lot of new information. He has since sent me a
timeline of Alfred Holtzer which I have used to cover Alfred and Irene’s lives
This is what I have found on IRENE AUGUSTA ADA LLOYD, married name Holtzer, later Lloyd-Holtzer.
IN THE GD
I’m always intrigued to know who had recommended new GD initiates as suitable recruits. Irene was related to Charles Lloyd Tuckey, who was initiated in 1894. However, they were connected through several marriages and they might not actually have ever met; in addition, Dr Tuckey had resigned from the GD by late 1895 and presumably was no longer in regular contact with its more dedicated members by the time of Irene’s initiation. It must have been someone else who had put forward Irene’s name to the GD’s founders.
Although Irene became very interested in the western magical tradition, and worked hard to build up her understanding of it, her ability to take part in GD rituals was limited by her working hours: she was not an active member in that sense.
Irene doesn’t seem to have told the GD’s record-keepers what her married name was. I suppose she just forgot.
Irene was never a member of Stella Matutina or the Independent and Rectified Rite - the two daughter-orders of the GD.
ANY OTHER ESOTERIC INTERESTS?
In my original biography of Irene I assumed that
she only became interested in theosophy after she and her husband Alfred went
Theosophy came relatively late to
I haven’t found any evidence that Irene was interested in spiritualism. This is a tricky one, however: spiritualism was a very locally, even family-based pursuit and there was no over-arching organisation with a membership list that can be consulted now. What I can say is that if Irene was a spiritualist medium, it was not on such a level that her name became even nationally known.
UK Theosophical Society Membership Registers 1889-1901, which had no membership entry for Irene.
www.theosophy.org.za/html/cape_town.html is the history of the
Website iapsop.com is the home of the
International Association for the Preservation of Spiritualist and Occult
Periodicals. They have a good set of copies of The Theosophist magazine,
published at the TS’s ashram/headquarters in Adyar near Chennai (
Website theosophy.ph/encyclo/index gives a more
general history of theosophy in
There are biographies of two early members of the
TS lodge in
Abraham de Smidt 1829-1908 artist and surveyor-general of the
IRENE LLOYD - BIRTH/YOUTH/FAMILY BACKGROUND
There is plenty on the web and elsewhere about the Lloyd and Moffat/Duncombe families.
HER FATHER’S FAMILY
On her father’s side, Irene was a member of the
Lloyd family of
The pride of the Lloyd family in the early 19th century was its one connection with the Irish aristocracy, formed in 1786 when Julia Vereker, sister of the second Viscount Gort, married Frederick Lloyd of Cranagh, a great-grandson of John Lloyd and Mary Otway. Irene Lloyd was a great-grand-daughter of the Lloyd/Vereker marriage, through their third son the Rev Charles Lloyd. After several chaplaincies in Devon and nearly twenty years as a missionary on Prince Edward Island off the coast of Canada, the Rev Charles Lloyd was appointed curate of St John the Evangelist Durdham Down in Bristol, and so met the Vanderhorst and Duncombe families of Clifton.
On her mother’s side, Irene was a descendant of
Elias Van der Horst of
Between 1807 and 1840, the slave trade and slavery
were abolished in all places ruled by the British. The Slavery Abolition Act of
1833 allowed the payment of compensation to owners of slaves, and in the 1850s
and 1860s Irene’s grand-mother was still doing nicely enough out of other
investments; but as I was doing the research for this biography, I detected a
slow decline in income and in social status in the family as the 19th
century proceeded. The loss of the family’s more-or-less-free labour played a
part in that, but so too did mismanagement, debt, and costly legal cases. By
the time John Duncombe Taylor died, in 1835, he had many creditors and part of
his estate at Sion Hill in
Cordelia Duncombe Taylor married Alexander Moffat,
who worked as a doctor on
Cordelia and Alexander Duncombe continued to live
Burke’s Landed Gentry of Ireland editions of 1863; and 1871 p803: the Lloyd family of Lloydsborough and Cranagh/Cranna.
The Tuckey pedigree, compiled by Charles Lloyd
Tuckey’s brother, Rev James Grove White Tuckey. First published in Journal
of the Cork Historical and Archaeological Society edition of 1919. Full
text and same page numbers now available online at www.corkpastandpresent.ie
beginning on p255, in 1627 with a Tuckey born in Worcestershire who settled in
At landedestates.rmigalway.ie I noticed that Lloydsborough House was for sale in 2014, owned up to that point by descendants of John Lloyd and Mary Otway.
The Gorts of
The online version of Cracroft’s Peerage sheds a little more light on the connection between the Lloyds and the Vereker/Gorts.
Irene’s grandfather, the Rev Charles Lloyd:
Alumni Cantabrigiensis seen online so no volume number but p186 in that volume.
A Yearbook of Missions 1847 p295.
Gentleman’s Magazine 1858 marriages p631.
The Vanderhorsts and the Duncombes, with one Moffat:
Via www.nationalarchives.gov.uk to a list of documents now held by Bristol Record Office: family and financial papers of the Vanderhorst, Duncombe and Cooper families, donated by
Miss E I M Duncombe; accession number 5097. Catalogued as BRO 8032/...
One item I didn’t mention in the main biography is
8032/14, an autograph book owned at one time by Irene’s grand-mother Cordelia
Duncombe. It covers 1806-28 and contains entries by various members of the
Buonaparte family who were known to Vanderhorst and Duncombe family members
Seen online: Vital Records from the Gentleman’s
Magazine p274 has announcements of the marriage of John Duncombe Taylor and
Mary Cooper Vanderhorst in 1798; and of his death, in
Alexander Moffat’s compensation claims after the
abolition of slavery: www.ucl.ac.uk/lbs/claim/view/759 and view/761.
Alexander and Cordelia Moffat’s change of surname:
The Court Journal issue of 1835 p758 issued 3 November  at
IRENE’S PARENTS who were very elusive!
I couldn’t find Irene’s mother Jessica Mary Duncombe, later Lloyd, on any census! She was always elsewhere. And I’ve only found Irene’s father Charles Lloyd once; in 1891, after the death of his wife.
Rev Charles Lloyd had married Elizabeth Tyeth,
daughter of William Tyeth of Bideford, in 1826 while he was curate of Bideford.
They had three sons and three daughters. Charles Frederick Lloyd was the eldest
of the six, born in
I haven’t found any record of Jessica Mary
Duncombe’s birth. Her age at death makes it likely that she was born in 1835;
and she was probably born on
On census day 1861, Constance Julia Lloyd was
staying with her grand-parents Rev Charles and Elizabeth Lloyd. The rest of the
family were not in the
Charles Frederick and Jessica Lloyd were not in
Cordelia Duncombe died in 1875. She left personal
estate valued at under £4000 - less than I would have expected. There was a
dispute over the Will’s contents which ended in the Chancery Courts where one
of the executors - William Cross, a
Charles Frederick and Jessica were not in the
The trust fund records held at Bristol Record
Office say Charles Frederick Lloyd died, in
Charles Frederick Lloyd:
Via google so it’s a snippet to Bulletins and Other State Intelligence 1856 part 2 July-December, published 1857. I couldn’t see the page number: Charles Frederick Lloyd to be an ensign.
United Service Magazine volume 121 issue 1869 p614.
Freebmd; probate registry records.
There are some details about him at family history website myheritage; but without any sources. BRO 8032/32/a-b which covers September 1881 to May 1900: details of trust funds benefiting Charles Frederick Lloyd and wife Jessica Mary.
BRO 8032/33: Will of Major Charles Frederick Lloyd of Tonbridge; and solicitors’ letters 1887-1900 about his estate.
Marriage of Charles and Jessica:
Familysearch England-VR GS film number 1595529.
Via genesreunited to Western Daily Press of 1 October 1858, where the relationship of the groom to the viscounts Gort was part of the marriage announcement.
Familyseach England-VR GS film number 1596358: baptism of Constance Julia Lloyd 1859.
Familysearch England-EASy GS film number 1595532: baptism of Irene Augusta Lloyd at St Barnabas Bristol 25 April 1861.
Familysearch England-EASy GS film number 1749585: baptism of Charles Vereker Lloyd 28 October 1864 at St Andrew Bristol.
Familysearch England-EASy GS film number 1749585: baptism of Adelaide Camilla Lloyd 19 June 1873 at St Andrew Bristol.
Death of Cordelia Duncombe:
Probate Registry 1875.
At discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk, records of Cross v Duncombe, PRO reference C16/997/C181.
Death of Jessica Mary Lloyd:
Probate Registry 1885
IRENE’S SIBLINGS seem to have accepted the family’s declining financial
status: her sisters married men who worked for a living; and her brother worked
as an engineer in
Irene’s older sister, Constance Julia Lloyd, was
the only one of the siblings who remained in
Charles Vereker Lloyd was a civil engineer. He
I couldn’t find any evidence of any children being born to Constance Behrens or Charles Vereker Lloyd.
Sources for Irene’s sisters and brother:
The very little I found on Lewis Behrens was,
unfortunately, from after
Kelly’s Directory of Lincolnshire 1909 p423 Lewis Behrens is a teacher in a school whose name I couldn’t see on the snippet.
Minutes of Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers issue of 1904 p180 Charles Vereker Lloyd is in the list of members. I also found him on the web, as a member, in the Minutes of Proceedings 1908 p195; and volume 190 1912 p241.
Probate Registry 1956
London Gazette 24 April 1956 p2440 list issued under the 1925 Trustees Act which is a set of procedures to be followed when winding up a Trust.
My source for
Probate Registry 1945.
On Tasman Vanderhorst Homan, who seems to have been an only child:
Via Familysearch to www.findagrave.com only
there’s no grave as he was cremated. Record added in 2012. Tasman Vanderhorst
Homan born 1897
Also at Familysearch there are two records of journeys he made by ship; both of which give his year of birth as 1897:
1 = arriving Sydney New Zealand (not the one in
At www.ipaustralia.com.au Intellectual Property in
IRENE LLOYD: EDUCATION and WORK
I couldn’t find any direct evidence at all about Irene’s education. However, there are two pieces of indirect evidence that suggest she was well-educated for a middle-class girl of her time. Firstly, there was the job she was able to get (see below). And secondly, on census day 1871, Irene’s elder sister Constance was a pupil at the small boarding school for girls run by Mary Jenkins at 10 Arlington Villas Clifton. Perhaps, in due course, Irene was sent there too. It’s always hard to gauge the education given pupils in 19th-century girls’ schools such as this, and I’m not going to speculate on it, except to say that it enabled her to get a job in the rapidly-expanding field of schools inspection.
On the day of the 1891 census, the official wrote down that Irene was working as an “Assistant Needlework Inspectress (Education Dept)”. No more details were needed for the census return and I haven’t found out anything more from any other source; but then, I haven’t known quite where to look. I’m not able to say, therefore, what her qualifications were for the work she was doing; who her current employer was (although the entry reads as if it was the government); how long she had had that job; and whether she had been employed anywhere else previously. On census day 1891 Irene was 29 or 30, and she could easily have been in paid employment for a decade.
I shall assume that Irene worked until she got married; though I haven’t any information on that either.
On census day 1891, Irene was visiting Edwin Luke
and his wife Lucy in north
Sources: 1891 census.
There has been a spot of social climbing on websites that mention Alfred Holtzer; when it comes to his father’s work: several state that Alfred was the son of a barrister. I think the source of this is Alfred himself, speaking to the press later in life and allowing himself some dramatic licence when it came to his early days. The late 19th-century census returns all agree that George William Holtzer, Alfred’s father, worked as a barrister’s clerk - that is, he was employed in the chambers of a barrister or firm of barristers, doing the financial and management side of the business while the barristers did the law and appeared in court. Quite a difference, not only in income, but also in social status.
While George Holtzer was a Londoner, his wife Anne
Elizabeth Cairn was from Devonport; perhaps her family knew the Luke family,
who came from
George and Anne’s four sons all went into office
work as clerks. On the day of the 1891 census, Alfred’s work was noted down as
“merchant’s clerk”; so he was probably working, like so many others, in the
Irene Lloyd and Alfred Holtzer married in the
spring of 1898 and in October, they went to
Alfred Holtzer became one of mainstays of
All the references I found to Alfred’s involvement
in theatre in
Alfred Holtzer died in November 1958 in
For a time there was a bust of Alfred Holtzer in South Africa, done by Moses Kottler at some stage before Alfred’s retirement from the Bank; not as a commission but because “the man had an interesting face”. However when Freddy Ogterop enquired after it, he discovered it had been destroyed in a fire. A portrait of Alfred by Frank Wiles does still exist.
freebmd; censuses 1901, 1911 - Irene and Alfred do
not appear in
Via Ancestry to UK Outward Passenger Lists
1890-1960: the ship ‘Greek’ left Southampton for
I couldn’t find any evidence of Irene’s return to
For Alfred in
The Standard Bank is one of the biggest in
A family history tale of Alfred Holtzer, some elements of which are contradicted by evidence from other sources: via
to a posting by Tony Davis dated 9 June 2003. The posting asked descendants of
Alfred and Irene Holtzer to contact the site. None had done so as far as June
2016. In the absence of web-based family history data covering
The Owl Club has a short wikipedia page. There are
several histories; which draw on Alfred’s reminiscences as a long-serving
member. See, for example, The Third Tuesday: A History of the Owl Club
1951-1981 by Owl Club member Eric Rosenthal. Published for the Club in
Webpage esat.sun.ac.za/index.php/Alfred_Hotzer is
part of the online Encyclopaedia of South African Theatre, Film, Media and
Performance (ESAT); hosted by
Eric Rosenthal’s The Third Tuesday.
The Cape issue of 8 March 1929.
Who’s Who in
The Flag is Flying by Leonard Schach.
Stage by Stage: The Leonard Schach Story by Donald P Inskip.
Lantern volume 38 1989 p20.
The bust of Alfred is mentioned in Moses Kottler: His Cape Years by Kottler and J de P Scholtz. Tafelberg 1976 p61.
THE REST OF IRENE’S LIFE
Irene and Alfred’s marriage was probably over in
1914. Irene removed all doubt about the marriage’s status in November 1918 when
she requested a divorce. Such a determination not to return to
While Irene had been in
In 1903 the GD had come to an end, at least in
Into the vacuum in the TS in
Wedgwood was a descendant of Josiah Wedgwood. He
began a training for the Church of England priesthood before hearing Annie
Besant lecture in 1904 and joining the TS instead. Born in 1883, Wedgwood was
too young to be a member of the GD and in any case doesn’t seem to have been
interested in that kind of occultism. Instead, he sought the acquaintance of
people like John Yarker, who researched the history of freemasonry and was a
member of a number of orders that were on the masonic fringes; and Theodor
Reuss, one of the founders of the OTO. Wedgwood was general secretary of the TS
Co-masonry, or co-freemasonry, is a form of
freemasonry that permits women as well as men to be initiates. Women can take
part in all rituals, and can hold high office in the organisation. Co-masonry
began as Le Droit Humain, in
The Order of Universal Co-Freemasonry’s links with the Theosophical Society were close, both in terms of personnel and in the manner of its rituals: Annie Besant served as Lodge of Human Duty number 6’s first Worshipful Master and remained the most senior officer in the whole Order until her death in 1933. Wedgwood and Leadbeater were members. Besant and Leadbeater prepared a ritual for the Order to use. Originally called the Dharma Ritual by its authors, it’s better known now, and still in use, as the Lauderdale Ritual.
Several people who had been members of the GD
became prominent in co-masonry, including Edith Drummond; Oliver Firth; and
Frank Harrison. However, I’m not sure that Irene knew any of them very well:
Mrs Drummond lived in
The question of who Irene might have known in the co-masons does matter, because if it was like male freemasonry, and indeed like the GD, initiation was by invitation only. If you expressed an interest in joining a lodge, your name would be put forward by acquaintances who were already members, and your background would be investigated to see if you were suitable. In the GD’s case this vetting included a scrutiny of your birth horoscope. As a member of the TS and ex-member of the GD, Irene was always likely to pass these tests; but I would like to know, who was willing to recommend her as a future co-mason.
The co-masonry order founded in the
Irene left this Church money in her Will, to spend as its elders saw fit; which suggests she had been – perhaps still was – an active member of the Church.
I haven’t been able to find out when Irene joined the Liberal Catholic Church. She could have been one of its formative members; depending on whom she knew or became acquainted with on her return to England (which I also don’t know). A small group of people was meeting regularly in 1914 at 28 Red Lion Square, just off Holborn; later in the first World War it also met at 1 Upper Woburn Place, home of James Ingall Wedgwood. There were theosophists in the group; and also members and priests of the Old Catholic Church – 28 Red Lion Square was associated with that church, whose members called it St Willibrord’s Oratory.
The Old Catholic Church in the UK collapsed in late 1915. The following year, Wedgwood went to visit Charles Webster Leadbeater in Australia. Wedgwood announced to Leadbeater the founding of the Liberal Catholic Church, which Wedgwood intended to focus on the life of Christ; the teachings of the early Christian churches; and theosophy. He made himself its presiding bishop – its most senior figure – and Leadbeater a bishop, and the two men worked together to compile a suitable liturgy. Wedgwood travelled widely during the next year or two, recruiting members and ordaining priests in the US and other countries not affected by World War 1 being fought in them. In his absences from London, authority was in the hands of Robert King, a priest in the Old Catholic Church who had joined the Liberal Catholic Church.
The Liberal Catholic Church and the TS were close during and in the years after World War 1. In 1917, the TS’s publishing house and shop moved into Wedgwood’s home in 1 Upper Woburn Place. Wedgwood set up an oratory above the TS’s shop, held services in it – presumably using the new liturgy – and ordained priests. He had to go abroad, however, in 1922, resigning as presiding bishop and appointing Robert King in his place. The Liberal Catholic Church services moved from 1 to 2 Upper Woburn Place, into the rooms of the TS’s London Lodge.
No doubt the plan had always been for the Liberal Catholic Church to have its own church building. In 1926 it moved into an ex-Wesleyan Methodist chapel on Caledonian Road in north London. Built in 1866, for ten years the chapel had been used by a local firm as a furniture store. The new St Mary’s Liberal Catholic pro-cathedral was on an impressive scale: the original building could seat 1000 and the furniture firm had added a gallery of extra storage space. An apse was added, thanks to Lady Emily Lutyens, who attended the Liberal Catholic Church services. I couldn’t pinpoint in which year the apse was built but it was likely to have been in the late 1920s. It was designed by Lady Emily’s husband Edwin Lutyens; and probably paid for by Lady Emily. Lady Emily was an active volunteer for the TS in the 1910s and 1920s; she had a close relationship with Krishnamurti, and may have brought him to the pro-cathedral when he was in England.
I expect the people Irene knew at the pro-cathedral of St Mary’s were an important feature of why she chose to bequeath money to the Liberal Catholic Church. However, there must also have been something about what kind of religious observance the Liberal Catholic Church stood for that appealed to her; perhaps it reconciled the Christian religion of her childhood with the theosophy she followed later. I’ve read some confusing descriptions of what exactly Wedgwood and Leadbeater’s 1916 liturgy contained. The best account of Wedgwood’s spiritual life says that he and Leadbeater took the text of the Byzantine orthodox church’s Divine Liturgy of St John Chrysostom, as a basis for their new liturgy. However, when they had finished its text to their own satisfaction, they laid it before the Maitreya for his or its approval (do they mean Krishnamurti?). William Loftus Hare, who went to St Mary’s pro-cathedral in June 1927 wrote that the service that day included both the Eucharist and elements of theosophical teachings on Karma; and that the sermon had been on transubstantiation. To Hare – a purist theosophist – the service was essentially Roman Catholic, with a few Modernist changes.
In the first 20 years of its existence Annie Besant played a role in the Liberal Catholic Church that was important, but unofficial. The Church was Catholic – women priests were not allowed until the 21st century. However, while composing the Liberal Catholic Church’s liturgy, Leadbeater and Wedgwood regretted that Annie was too far away (she was in India) to contribute to it. Perhaps they had in mind her feel for how the text would sound when spoken, rather than her theological knowledge – she was known as a rousing orator. As editor of The Theosophist, and theosophy’s most senior official, she promoted the Liberal Catholic Church’s teachings amongst theosophists. And William Loftus Hare went to hear her preach the sermon at Sunday service at the Liberal Catholic Church; and described her as entering the pro-cathedral flanked by a procession of its priests and bishops; as if she was the ordained head of it.
As with co-masonry so with the Liberal Catholic Church: I have no idea when Irene became involved with it. On the basis of her Will, though, I am sure that the Church was an important feature of her life, even after she could no longer attend its religious services.
IRENE’S LAST YEARS
Irene was 78 in September 1939 when the data for the 1939 Register was collected. She was living an independent life as the sole person in her own household, at 68 Carleton Road Islington, only a short walk from St Mary’s pro-cathedral; suggesting she was a very committed member of the Liberal Catholic Church. 78 was not bad for a woman born in the early 1860s but amazingly, Irene had another twenty years to live. At some stage during the next 12 of them, she became too frail to live alone; and it was at that point that – if I’m right – her income was augmented with money from the co-masons and possibly the Liberal Catholic Church as well; and she moved, or was moved, to Wells. She was still capable of acting for herself in May 1951, when she wrote out her Will and had it signed; but the two witnesses were nurses, suggesting she was needing everyday nursing care. She died in Wells Infirmary in June 1959, aged 98.
Edith May Laurence Percy was Irene’s executor; not a relation as far as I know, as Irene had outlived all her close relations. Edith was young enough to be Irene’s daughter and perhaps that’s how Irene saw her – Irene had no children of her own. Edith was born in 1881, the daughter of Caleb Percy, who ran a grocery and corn chandler’s business in Glastonbury’s High Street. Edith became a teacher and seems to have lived all her life in Glastonbury. I don’t know how she and Irene met. She never married, and died in 1962.
SOURCES for Irene in the years after 1914:
Charles Webster Leadbeater. Wikipedia. The advice on masturbation that he gave the TS’s adolescent boys was very sensible, in fact; but provoked an hysterical reaction amongst their late-Victorian parents.
Francesca Arundale. There’s a wiki on her though it’s speculation on my part that Irene may have known her. Francesca went to live in India, at Adyar, in 1902.
Annie Besant. Wikipedia. A wiki on co-freemasonry.
In the Liberal Catholic Church: At //nla.gov.au the National Library of Australia, you can read online On the Liberal Catholic Church: Extracts from the Letters of Charles Webster Leadbeater to Annie Besant 1916-23 compiled by C Jinarajadasa (an ex-pupil of CWL) and published at Adyar 1952: pp4-6.
At www.theosophycanada.com a series of pamphlets includes The Validity of Orders in the Liberal Catholic Church; by an anonymous member of the TS’s lodge in Sydney NSW. The writer mentioned Mrs Besant writing an article in The Theosophist in which she recommended the Old Catholic Church to her readers, especially those interested in ceremonial. The writer deplored the number of TS members who had rushed to join it. At www.iapsop.com there’s a complete set of The Theosophists to read online. I found an article called What is the Old Catholic Church? In Volume 38 October 1916-March 1917 pp495-96. The author is just given as “An Old Catholic”. It might be the article the pamphlet is referring to, but even if Annie Besant hadn’t written it herself she had allowed it into the magazine.
And see also the section below, on what the Liberal Catholic Church believed.
CO-MASONRY OR CO-FREEMASONRY
The charity listing and current address of the English co-masons: //register-of-charities.charitycommission.gov.uk.
The website of England’s co-masons is www.freemasonryformenandwomen.co.uk.
The Grand Almoner Violet Fletcher: I could only find one mention of her name online, in a journal on the history of the Scottish Rite. She contributed an article on the subject.
Women’s Agency and Rituals in Mixed and Female Masonic Orders edited by Alexandra Heidle and Jan A M Snoek. Boston and Leiden: Brill, in its Texts and Studies in Wn Esotericism series. 2008: p344, p354, p359 with a reference to the opening of co-masonry’s headquarters building, quoting Times 3 September 1911.
When I was working through the The Co-Mason Magazine looking for GD members I made a mistake: I only covered volumes 1-4 published 1909-12, though the British Library has the volumes to 1924. I shall have to go back, when I can, and do the rest! For co-masonry’s GD members to 1912: volume 1 pp26-27. Volume III January 1911 introductory pages; p157; p214.
LIBERAL CATHOLIC CHURCH
At www.companieslondon.com the Liberal Catholic Church Corp Ltd was incorporated on 1 October 1938 and is still in existence. Address in 1938 was St Mary’s Ch, 471a Caledonian Road; current address 205c Upper Richmond Road SW15.
At //all-saints.lcc.weebly.com is the web page of the Pro-Cathedral Church of All Saints in the Liberal Catholic Church. The most senior official is an archbishop.
Its predecessor the Old Catholic Church:
At www.iapsop.com, The Theosophist volume 38 October 1916-March 1917 published by the Theosophical Publishing House Adyar 1917: p298, reference to Arnold Mathew having been consecrated priest in the Old Catholic Church in 1908 by its most senior cleric, the archbishop of Utrecht. I think the Old Catholic Church had no outpost in England before then.
James Ingall Wedgwood and Robert King in the Old Catholic Church: //cwleadbeater.wordpress.com posting from 2017 transcribing what seems to be the original document from 1915, published in The Liberal Catholic LV 1 February 1986 p14.
The collapse of the Old Catholic Church reached the Times Fri 31 December 1915 p5 with an item saying that its archbishop – Arnold Harris Mathew – and five of his bishops had joined the Roman Catholic Church; that is, the one whose headquarters is in the Vatican. The Times report gave some information on Mathew including the fact that he’d been a priest in the Church of Rome before; had gone over to the Old Catholic Church, and been excommunicated by the Pope for having done so.
At //intern.vkk.nl the Liberal Catholic Institute of Studies. Unit 3 Paper 1 Part 1: A Brief History of the Liberal Catholic Church by Rt Rev Sten von Krusenstierna. This bit copyrighted 1978: p27 an account of 1913-16.
28 Red Lion Square:
At //westernorthodoxuniversity.files.wordpress.com an article: Arnold Harris Mathew and the Old Catholic Movement in England 1908-52 by John Kersey 2017: p146.
1 and 2 Upper Woburn Place:
At //westernorthodoxuniversity.files.wordpress.com an article Arnold Harris Mathew and the Old Catholic Movement in England 1908-52 by John Kersey 2017: p141 quoting a letter from Mathew to Canon Farrer 15 December 1914; p222. In the letter of p141 Mathew mentioned that he was married, but separated from his wife.
At www.youngriteusa.org. The Liberal Catholic Institute of Studies. Paper 1 Part 2: A Brief History of the Liberal Catholic Church by Rt Rev Sten von Krusenstierna. Part 2 chapter 7 review of 1917-18; couldn’t see any page numbers.
Wiki on Theosophical Publishing Society officially renamed Theosophical Publishing House 1917.
TP House was still at 1 Upper Woburn Place in 1919: google came up with quite a few adverts for publications giving that address.
Hibbert Journal: A Quarterly of Religion 1920 p205 shows the Theosophical Publishing House still at 1 Upper Woburn Place; however at //ezitis.myzen.co.uk the web pages of Lost Hospitals of London the section on the Alexandra Hospital for Children with Hip Disease shows its offices were at 1 Upper Woburn Place in 1920.
Gas Journal volumes 161-62 1923 p100, p709 etc has adverts for the Gas Generator Syndicate Ltd with offices at 1 Upper Woburn Place.
An A-Z published in the late 1920s shows that Upper Woburn Place was where the BMA headquarters is now. At //cdn.rt.emap.com the catalogue to Open House weekend 2015 says that the land that is now BMA House with an address in Tavistock Square was bought by the BMA in 1923.
471a Caledonian Road
At //search.lma.gov.uk a Guide to Family History Resources London Borough of Islington has a Wesleyan Chapel on Caledonian Road in use from June 1866 to June 1916.
A source widely quoted elsewhere but originally at friendsofislingtonmuseum.files.wordpress.com: a copy of Eric A Willats FLA: Streets with a Story: the Book of Islington. 471A is listed under Hillmarton Villas. It was last used as a church in 1976.
Couldn’t find any reference to the apse at St Mary’s pro-cathedral in the wikipedia article on Edwin Lutyens or the wikipedia list of his designs.
Emily Lutyens née Bulwer-Lytton: wikipedia and just noting here that she left the TS in 1930, having supported Krishnamurti when he rejected the role that had been thrust on him, of the coming Maitreya.
Liberal Catholic Church personnel that Irene will have known: see references to Robert King above.
For King and Frank Waters Pigott: see the biography of Wedgwood at www.findagrave.com. Pigott’s dates are 1874-1956. He had previously been a cleric in the Church of England. Presiding bishop of the Liberal Catholic Church from 1934, after Leadbeater’s death; still in post at his own death.
The Liberal Catholic Church’s beliefs:
Article online in Catholic Herald posted 22 August 2019: Heretic of the Week, Charles Webster Leadbeater.
William Loftus Hare: Mrs Besant and the Liberal Catholic Church. Originally published in The OE Library Critic volume 17 number 2 September 1927; I found it at //cwleadbeater.wordpress.com. Loftus was not an admirer of Annie Besant. In his article he raged at the methods she had used to foist the Liberal Catholic Church on theosophists, accusing her (amongst other things) of “besantry”; “artifice” “bad faith” and “sophistry” and also of “knowing little” about the subject of her sermon. The service Loftus went to took place on Sunday 19 June 1927 and was one of three at which Annie Besant spoke. Francesca Arundale’s great-nephew George Arundale, who was also a senior officer in the TS at Adyar, was priest-in-charge that day. Hare summed up the two-hour service as an “amateurish pantomime”.
Wedgwood and the Liberal Catholic Church:
The most detailed biography I found was at www.findagrave.com though Wedgwood has no grave, he was cremated. It was compiled from contemporary and historical sources by Rev Dr Ian Ellis-Jones of Sydney NSW; and the sources he used are listed. It includes information on Charles Webster Leadbeater’s role in the new Church and its early priests and bishops. It names Theodor Reuss, John Yarker and Gérard Encausse as occult acquaintances of Wedgwood; no dates are given for when he knew them, but it’s likely to have been during the 1900s. It mentions bouts of ill-health beginning in 1922 and that Wedgwood died from a degenerative disease. I
There’s a wiki on Wedgwood that is more forthcoming about his homosexuality and the fact that he died of tertiary syphilis.
Gérard Encausse. Wikipedia, an entry at www.wikiwand.com, and an entry at www.findagrave.com have more or less the same details of his life. In the case of wikipedia and wikiwand, the entries are identical; and the wikipedia one is flagged as lacking any sources.
Encausse was a member of the GD: R A Gilbert’s The GD Companion: p126 initiated March 1895, in French, at the Ahathoor Temple in Paris, giving a Paris address and using Papus as his GD motto. Doesn’t seem to have been a very committed member. On p108 Gilbert notes that in 1884 Encausse had founded L’Ordre Martiniste.
According to his wikipedia entry ‘Papus’ was the name under which Encausse published a number of books on occultism, including one on the Kabbalah and one on divination using the Tarot pack. Irene would have been very familiar with both those subjects: they were standard teachings in the GD.
Theodor Reuss. Wikipedia, though as with Encausse there’s a warning notice about a lack of sources for the entry. 1855-1923.
John Yarker. There’s a wiki on him.
At //oto-usa.org/usg/lion-eagle/John-yarker an article on him by Richard Kaczynski, whose biography of Aleister Crowley I use for my GD research.
Irene’s last years:
Findmypast’s transcription of the 1939 Register; information collected on 29 September 1939.
Will of Irene Lloyd Holtzer (sic), widow. Signed 2 May 1951; address given only as “Wells”.
Just for the record, with information forwarded to me by Freddy Ogterop but lacking a source: Alfred Holtzer died in South Africa on 3 November 1958.
Probate Registry entry for Irene Lloyd Holtzer, died 20 June 1959. The sole executor was Edith May Laurence Percy of Avalon, Street Road Glastonbury.
Sources for Edith Percy: freebmd; census 1911; Probate Registry index 1962.
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. I have recently (July 2014) discovered that some records of the Horus Temple at Bradford have survived, though most have not; however those that have survived are not yet accessible to the public.
For the history of the GD during the 1890s I usually use Ellic Howe’s The Magicians of the Golden Dawn: A Documentary History of a Magical Order 1887-1923. Published Routledge and Kegan Paul 1972. Foreword by Gerald Yorke. Howe is a historian of printing rather than of magic; he also makes no claims to be a magician himself, or even an occultist. He has no axe to grind.
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.
Copyright SALLY DAVIS
16 September 2018
29 January 2021
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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: