Henry Pullen-Burry now (2015) has a page on wikipedia.  However, it concentrates on the occult side of Henry’s life; and doesn’t have much information on Rose.  So I decided to do a life-by-dates biography myself.


Dr Henry Pullen-Burry was initiated into the Hermetic Golden Dawn at its Isis-Urania temple in London, during November 1892; taking the Latin motto ‘Anima pura sit’.  The month was a busy one for new members: Harriett Emily Lammin, Charles Chase Parr, Albert Duncan Macmillan and Alfred J Hailey were also initiated.  I imagine it was all done in one ceremony though the GD records aren’t clear on that point.  Despite his professional and family commitments Henry completed the study necessary to progress further in the Order in less than 18 months, and was initiated into the GD’s inner, 2nd Order on 14 March 1894 - a date which had great significance for him later in life. 


During the mid-1890s Henry was a very active member of the Order.  The GD’s Flying Roll 8 - A Geometrical Way to Draw a Pentagram - is by him; and he also contributed the fourth vision to Flying Roll 33 - Seven Visions of Squares upon the Enochian Tablets.  He was acknowledged by other GD members as one of the Order’s authorities on the Kabbalah.  He and Annie Horniman met regularly to go astral travelling together.  And around 1897-98 he did his best to recruit Arthur Conan Doyle to the GD; though without success. He was also willing to play his part in the mundane-but-necessary administrative work of the Order. But then, in 1898, he left England, ostensibly to get rich quick in the Klondike goldrush; and never returned.


Henry’s wife Rose Pullen-Burry, née Anwyl, was initiated the week after her husband joined the GD’s 2nd Order - on 20 March 1894, choosing the Latin motto ‘Urge semper igitur’.  That GD meeting was another busy one: Frederick Leigh Gardner and sisters Charlotte and Margaret Elizabeth Wright were also initiated.  Rose probably didn’t know the Wright sisters; but Gardner was an acquaintance of Henry’s, through Mark freemasonry, and had possibly been recommended to the GD by Henry, though several other members knew him as well.  Rose’s progress to the GD’s 2nd Order was nearly as quick as her husband’s had been - she was initiated into it on 3 August 1895 - though she was never as prominent a member of the GD, and didn’t serve as an administrative volunteer.  She did continue as a member of the GD after her husband left her.  When the original GD fell apart into its two daughter orders in 1903 she became a member of the Independent and Rectified Rite (or Order) the one founded by A E Waite and Marcus Worsley Blackden; though she was not one of the IRR’s founder members.


This is the first of my three life-by-dates files on Henry and Rose Pullen-Burry.  It covers their family background and Henry’s professional life up to the time of their marriage in 1882. 


Update September 2016: in August 2016 I was contacted by someone in Australia who had recently begun to research the Burry family of Sompting in Sussex.  The someone didn’t want to be named or even acknowledged, but I like to pay my debts.  The someone - I shall call her ‘my contact in Canberra’ - sent me digital copies of original documents, and transcripts of newspaper announcements.  Using them, the history of Henry Pullen-Burry’s family in the decades just before he was born, has become a lot clearer.  So many many thanks to my contact in Canberra. 




People called Burré, Bury or (more recently) Burry were living in the parish of Sompting near Worthing in Sussex.  Two 19th-century antiquarians found evidence that the contemporary Burrys of Sompting could trace their ancestry back to the nephew and heir of Richard Burré, whose tomb in the parish church dates from 1527.

Source: The Herald and Genealogist volume 1 1863 letter to the editor from a Mark Antony Lower: A Curiosity of Heraldry at Sompting.  Mr Lower traced the family back to a Walter Burry who was MP for New Shoreham in 1319. 

Via archive.org to Sussex Archaeological Collections volume 41 1898 printed by Farncombe and Co of Lewes for Sussex Archaeological Society: pp8-21, article by J Lewis André FSA: Sompting Church; plus the article’s Appendix pp22-24 which mentions 15 headstones of members of the Burry family; latest listed was from 1784.



In 1689 an Edward Burry was a sheep farmer on a leased estate at Sompting Peverel.  An 18th-century Henry Burry leased the demesne of Cokeham Manor.


Victoria County History of Sussex volume 6 part 1 by A Constable published 1980: p35.

Sussex Archaeological Collections volume 41 1898 p24.

Sussex Poll for 1820 a list of current freeholders in the rape of Bramber includes p29 a Henry Burry of Sompting and p30 a George Pullen of Lancing

Via archive.org to Sussex Archaeological Collections volume 41 1898,  J Lewis André’s article, see above.



Among the children of Henry Burry of Sompting, and his wife Elizabeth, were another Henry (born 1787) and his sister Ann (born 1785).

Information from: my contact in Canberra who saw transcripts of the baptisms on Ancestry.com. I’ve only got access to Ancestry.co.uk.  At Familysearch GS film number 001068515 I saw the baptism of Ann Burry daughter of Henry and Elizabeth; on 29 July 1785 at Sompting.  But Familysearch didn’t have the baptism record of Henry Burry born 1787.



Ann Burry and George Pullen were married in Sompting.

Source: Familysearch England-ODM GS = 1068992.  Plus information on the marriage at www.myheritage.com.



Henry Pullen-Burry’s father John Pullen was born at Lancing, Sussex; son of George and Ann Pullen.

Source: Familysearch England-ODM GS film number 0915460, 0416749: birth of John Pullen 28 January 1816 at Lancing.



The Burry family rented out some of their property as lodgings for summer visitors to the south coast.  Their holiday tenants included (in July and August 1827) Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, widow of the poet and author of Frankenstein.


The Letters of Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley volume 1.  Editor Betty T Bennett.  Published Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press 1980; p556-570.

Comment by Sally Davis: the woman from whom Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley rented her holiday home was possibly Jane Maria Burry, née Scott, who had married Henry Burry (born 1787) in 1814.  Source for the marriage was seen by my contact in Canberra: entry of the marriage in the register of St James Clerkenwell; 24 December 1814.



Henry Burry (born 1787) prepared his Will.  The Will set up a trust fund which would give both his wife Jane Maria, and his niece Elizabeth Pullen, an income for life, based on the profits of the various land-holdings Henry had in and around Sompting.  As Henry and Jane Maria had no children, Henry’s nephew John Pullen would work the land.  If Elizabeth Pullen had no children, John Pullen would inherit the land after the deaths of the other beneficiaries.  John Pullen was named as one of the Will’s executors; and also as a trustee of the trust fund.


Will of Henry Burry, prepared 1838, copy of which is now at the Public Record Office: PROB 11/2046 Image Reference. 

Freebmd for the marriage of Elizabeth Pullen. 

Comment by Sally Davis: the Will is a long and complex document; and the clerk who prepared the copy now at the PRO had handwriting that was very difficult to read.  I hope I’ve got the gist of what Henry Burry wanted done; but I may have misunderstood, and left things out.  I think the Will indicates that Henry Burry was thinking of his nephew John Pullen as his heir.



John Pullen and his sister Elizabeth were living in Sompting with their uncle Henry and aunt Jane Maria Burry.

Source: 1841 census.

Comment by Sally Davis: perhaps Henry and Jane Maria had taken in John and Elizabeth around 1838, which was why Henry Burry’s Will was drawn up then.  



Death of Henry Burry in Sompting.

Source: freebmd and see 1852 below.


MID-19TH CENTURY but apparently not before that

Sompting became an important centre of market gardening, especially fruit farming.

Source: Victoria County History Sussex volume 6 part 1 pp34-35, p53, p59-60 which comments on the opportunities offered Sussex farmers and gardeners by the expansion of towns like Brighton, Worthing and Hove as holiday resorts.



John Pullen’s sister Elizabeth married George Baker.

Source: freebmd.

Comment by Sally Davis: George Baker ran a grocery and drapery business in Littlehampton.  This marriage might have made a very big difference to John Pullen’s future, if any children had been born to it.  But Elizabeth and George Baker were childless.



John Pullen was living in Sompting with his aunt Jane Maria Burry, widow of Henry.  Under the terms of Henry Burry’s Will, John was running Henry’s market garden business on 20 acres in the village.  The business was employing 13 men.

Source: census entry for an unnamed house in Sompting.

Comment by Sally Davis.  Jane Maria was 79.  Although she gave her source of income as money derived from property she owned, she wasn’t doing any farming or market gardening herself.  John Pullen was working the land for her, as Henry Burry had intended.  Aunt and nephew were employing two servants who lived in: a housekeeper and a skivvy.



Jane Maria Burry died.

Source: freebmd.

Comment by Sally Davis: I’m not sure I’ve read the Will of Henry Burry correctly on this; but I think that on her death, the income received by Jane Maria for her lifetime went to Elizabeth Pullen, now Baker, for her lifetime (and she survived John Pullen).


28 DECEMBER 1852 - the marriage of Henry Pullen-Burry’s parents:

John Pullen of Lancing and Sompting married Emily, only daughter of George Heather of Broadwater.

Sources: freebmd; and via www.genesreunited.co.uk to Sussex Advertiser of 4 January 1853 p7.

I found very little information on Emily’s father.  This was probably him, via

www.genesreunited.co.za to Brighton Gazette of 3 May 1855: a man called George Heather was chosen as a constable for the hundred of Worthing.

At genesreunited and elsewhere on the web, there was mention of a George Heather Smith of Worthing who owned a drapers’ shop later in the 19th century; possibly a relation.


?BY 1855

Elizabeth Pullen Baker’s husband George had died.

Source: discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk, document C17/3/65 now housed at the Public Record Office, is papers connected with a Chancery case dated 1855: Baker v Baker ex parte George Baker, late of Littlehampton Sussex, grocer and draper.  The Applicant is Elizabeth Baker of Sompting, his widow; and the defendants were: Alfred Baker of Ashington Sussex. 



Birth of the GD member later known as Henry Pullen-Burry, at Sompting.  His birth was registered as: Henry Burry Pullen.  His siblings Louisa (1856); Bessie (the traveller and writer, 1858); Horace John (1860); Mary (1861); Emily (1863); and Arthur (1867) were also registered with the surname ‘pullen’; but after Arthur, there was a change.

Sources: freebmd



Earliest reference I could find to John and Emily Pullen living at Rectory House, Sompting.

Source: Victoria County History Sussex volume 6 part 1 p60 which cites Kelly’s Directory of Sussex issue of 1859.



John and Emily Pullen and their family were living at Rectory House Sompting.  They employed a housekeeper, two nurses and a housemaid.  John Pullen’s market gardening business covered 54 acres and employed 28 workers.

Source: 1861 census.



IF these are Henry’s parents, his family life was uncomfortable: the father, “pious and calvinistic”, a regular church-goer and a good employer within his limits, but “hot-tempered and dictatorial” with his family; the mother, also pious, well-read and cultured, enjoying music and painting especially, but enduring a life of “intense and prolonged physical suffering” before dying of heart failure.  Both parents were curious about spiritualism and held seances; all the family believed in ghosts; and one of their sons was a gifted psychic.  If Henry’s father is the man meant, he believed that his dead uncle visited him in dreams and gave him advice about how to manage his market-gardening business.


Although Henry never joined the family business, his writings show that he knew a lot about how to organise a productive, low carbon (though of course he didn’t put it that way) market garden.   They also show a habit of close observation that would have stood him in good stead in his work during the first part of his life.


Later in his life, Henry’s views stood outside normal politics.  However, he rejected the concept of private property and privately-held wealth.  He also saw the traditional Victorian family as a very low point in the evolution of human society, lower (for example) than tribal life; and advocated that all children be removed from their parents to be educated.  In one lecture he related an anecdote about family life with Rose where a morning conversation with her caused him to forget important information passed to him in a dream.

Sources are all in the unpublished set of typescripts at the Freemasons’ Library catalogued as  SRIA1938m.  

?The parents: Volume 3: Science and Hermetic Philosophy part 2. December 1919 Lecture 101 p606 and Lecture 102 p607.  As with the ?evidence for 1852, no names are given.

Low opinion of family life: Volume 3: Science and Hermetic Philosophy part 2: January 1919 Lectures 54-56 especially Lecture 55 when he declares that being reincarnated into a family means a soul has been condemned to a life of very little educational value to it.  Also January 1920 Lecture 106 p641. 

The close observation: Volume 3: Science and Hermetic Philosophy parts 1 and 2 passim.  The low carbon market garden: Volume 4: The Aquarian Age.  July 1921 Lecture 56 pp334-336.

The separation of children from their parents: Volume 4: The Aquarian Age May 1921 Lecture 48 p283 though he does say that no one will need to pay for their children’s education.


MARCH 1868

John Pullen officially added the surname ‘Burry’ to his own one of Pullen.

Source: a deed dated 25 March 1868 and registered at the High Court of Chancery.  An official notice prepared by his solicitors and dated 30 March 1868 was published in the Chichester Express and West Sussex Journal p1. 

Comment by Sally Davis: Henry Burry who died in 1846 was the last man called Burry to live in Sompting; though Familysearch shows another branch of the family living in Hampshire by the late 18th century.  By taking the extra surname, John Pullen was doing what he could to keep the surname alive in the village; and acknowledging how his uncle had helped set him up in business.

Comment by Sally Davis on the naming of John and Emily’s children, after this important change.  The entries in freebmd show that Anne Elizabeth (born 1869) was the only one of John and Emily’s children to be registered with the surname ‘pullen burry’; Walter (born 1871) and Hubert (born 1872) were registered as ‘burry’.  The official notice of the added surname covered only John Pullen, not his wife or any of his children, but all the children used both surnames later in their lives.  Though the surnames weren’t joined by a hyphen in the offical documents of 1868, it was soon added on.




John Pullen Burry and Emily were still living at Rectory House Sompting.  On census day they were employing a household staff of cook, housemaid and nurse.  Their children Henry, Louisa, Horace, Mary, Emily, Arthur and Anne were all at home on census day.  Henry, now 16, was not listed as still at school, or as working; so I’m not quite sure what he was doing - studying at home perhaps.  Source: 1871 census.

Comment by Sally Davis: the addition of ‘burry’ to ‘pullen’ is another bit of indirect evidence that John had inherited land from someone called ‘burry’.  The 1871 census didn’t have information on how many people John Pullen Burry employed in his business but the 1881 census does indicate that it was continuing to expand.



I have found a small amount of information on where and how Henry and his siblings were educated.  Bessie, Horace, Mary and Emily were all at school on census day 1871; the three youngsters were still living at home but Bessie was one of the pupils at Emily Davis’ boarding school at Liverpool Terrace, New Shoreham.  Later, Bessie spent some time continuing her education in Germany; perhaps some of her siblings also did so.  On the day of the 1881 census, Henry’s two youngest brothers were the only ones still at school: Arthur at Cranford College in Cookham near Maidenhead; and Walter at Helen Pollard’s school at 15 Dyke Road Brighton.  Perhaps Henry had gone to Miss Pollard’s and then Cranford College in the late 1860s/early 1870s.

Sources: 1871 census; Victoria County History Sussex volume 6 part 1 p60; 1881 census.  Who Was Who 1929-40 p1110 entry for Bessie Pullen-Burry.

Comment by Sally Davis:

If John and Emily were regular attenders at the Church of England parish church - which it seems as though they were - they will have been able to begin their children’s education by sending them to Sompting’s National School.  This was only the equivalent of a primary school, however.  John and Emily wanted their children to be better educated than that and were willing to pay the price that level of ambition entailed - both the school and college fees and the loss of the income they could have had if the children had been sent to work very young.



Henry Pullen-Burry is in a list of students taking London University exams in 1874; they may have been medical exams, but I think they were entrance exams.  He was a medical student in 1877, at University College London and at the London Hospital, probably doing his year as hospital houseman.  In January 1878 he became a member of the Royal College of Surgeons and was licensed to practice by the Royal College of Physicians.  From that date he could work as a private general practitioner and was eligible to apply for posts in the public sphere.


London Medical Record 1874 p508.

London Medical Record volume 5 1877 p391.

Source for Henry’s time as a house surgeon in London: Unpublished set of typescripts at the Freemasons’ Library catalogued as  SRIA1938m.   Volume 3: Science and Hermetic Philosophy part 1; Lecture 50 December 1918: p229.


??MID-1870s TO AT LEAST 1884

Henry Pullen-Burry served in a volunteer militia.

Sources: only one definite, from 1884.  Plus an anecdote about a spiritualist experience he had later in life but which referred to a time he had been in the army.   Recounted without any specific dates, in Unpublished set of typescripts at the Freemasons’ Library catalogued as  SRIA1938m; Volume 3: Science and Hermetic Philosophy Part 2: Lecture 114 March 1920: p680 though without any firm date.

Comment by Sally Davis: it was nothing unusual in the late 19th century for young a young man to join a volunteer regiment.  Several other GD members did so and so did the subject of my other history research project, Henry George Norris. 


FROM 1878 TO 1898

Henry Pullen-Burry worked as a doctor.  However, later in life he viewed doctors as the worst kind of materialist scientist.  Although he thought that an occultist needed to be, in some senses, a physician, in 1921 he also noted how many medical practitioners were atheists and suggested that they were being recruited as black magicians.  Doctors ranked with salesmen in his eyes - about as low as you could get in terms of morals. 

Sources: Unpublished set of typescripts at the Freemasons’ Library catalogued as  SRIA1938m.

Occultist as physician: Volume 3 Science and Hermetic Philosophy part 2 Lecture 118 April 1920 p703.  Doctors and black magic: Volume 4: The Aquarian Age.  Lecture 36 January 1921: eg pp211-216 but he sticks the knife into doctors pretty regularly.

Comment by Sally Davis: by the 1920s Henry’s hostility towards doctors had extended to the whole concept of science as practised in the materialist society of the West.  He thought modern biological science in particular had lost the plot - if it had ever had it - of history as a progress of the soul through reincarnation in different species.  He particularly condemned Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection, as expounded by Thomas Huxley whom Henry called a “pseudo-scientist”, and I get the impression that he just couldn’t stomach the idea of his soul having spent time as an ape; despite what he said about animals, plants and even rocks having some level of soul.

Sources: Unpublished set of typescripts at the Freemasons’ Library catalogued as  SRIA1938m.   Evolution of the soul through reincarnation: Volume 3: Science and Hermetic Philosophy parts 1 and 2 passim.

The description of Huxley: Volume 3 Science and Hermetic Philosophy part 2 March 1920 Lecture 113 p673.  The reference to Huxley comes in a passage where Henry was telling his audience that the work of Gustave Geley and Juliette Bisson with the medium Eva Carrière had proved the existence of life after death.  His information on the work of Geley and Bisson had come from an article by Stanley de Brath in Occult Review volume 29 number 3: 149-156: Super-Normal Physiology and Materialization. De Brath was convinced; and so, therefore, was Henry - especially as he wanted to be.

There’s coverage of Geley and Juliette Bisson on wikipedia; pretty sensationalist some of it is, too.  For a calmer view, which disputes the idea that Bisson and Carrière had a lesbian relationship, see:

The Spiritualist Movement: Speaking with the Dead in America and Around the World published 2013, editor Christopher M Moreman.  I saw this on the web; the British Library doesn’t seem to have a copy or hasn’t catalogued it yet, so I couldn’t see the publisher.  P234 describes how photographs were found amongst Geley’s papers after his death which showed how Eva’s materialisations had been faked - you could see the wires if you looked carefully.

A bit more background on Bisson and on Carrière, and the involvement of a Munich-based psychiatrist:

Unruly Spirits by M Brady Bower.  Urbana Illinois: University of Illinois Press 2010: p117 in the chapter The Limits of Method


PROBABLY 1878 to MID-1880

Henry worked at the London Hospital, firstly as house physician, then as house surgeon.


Reports from Committees Session 1890 volume XI covering 11 February to 18 August 1890 in the House of Lords; Paper 225.  Together with the Proceedings of the Committee, Minutes of Evidence, and Appendix.  GB House of Lords Select Committee on Children’s Life Insurance Bill.  Published Eyre and Spottiswoode 1890, printed by Henry Hansard and Son.  Online version found by Roger Wright in the outer reaches of archive.org.  Minutes of Evidence 16 July 1890 pp23-24 evidence of Henry Pullen Burry about his medical qualifications and experience, though he didn’t give exact dates.



Henry was a voluntary fireman.

Source: an anecdote Henry told, in Volume 3 Science and Hermetic Philosophy Part 1: Lecture 50 December 1918: p299 though again with no definite date.

Comment by Sally Davis: a date of the late 1870s, while Henry was still working in London, seems a likely time for this to have happened: surely fighting fires was young men’s work.



Henry’s name was in the General Medical Council list for the first time.


GMC Register 1879 p142.

Comment by Sally Davis: the address Henry gave for this first listing was Sompting, probably because he didn’t have a fixed address in London.



In 1881 John Pullen Burry told the census official that his market garden now covered 600 acres, and employed 45 labourers.  Horace, now 21, was now working for his father; by 1891 so were Arthur and Walter.  Only Horace, Anne and Hubert were living at home on census day 1881.  John and Emily employed a cook and a housemaid; but - for the first time - there was also a live-in governess in the household.

Source: 1881 census.

Comment by Sally Davis: Henry’s long medical training probably couldn’t have taken place without his father’s business abilities and energy; however badly they may have got along.

There are quite a few references to the Pullen-Burry market gardening business, on the web.  The firm is also mentioned in: Market Gardening: The History of Commercial Flower Fruit and Vegetable Growing by Ronald Webber.  David and Charles 1972: p80.

This is a bit speculative, but while working my way through the history of Sompting in the

Victoria County History Sussex volume 6 part 1 I noticed on p60 mention that the Crofts family - who owned most of the land around - leased out the 340-acre Upton Farm in 1859.  The lessee or lessees weren’t name but I’m wondering if John Pullen took on part at least of that land.  There must be some basis for the rapid expansion of acres involved in John Pullen’s business between 1851 and 1881.



Henry was in general practice in Hertfordshire, with patients in Baldock, Stotfold and Arlesey.  He was living in a house on the High Street in Baldock, and his sister Mary was keeping house for him.  He had consulting rooms at Baldock, probably in the house on the High Street, with an occasional surgery in Arlesey. 


Reports from Committees Session 1890 volume XI covering 11 February to 18 August 1890 in the House of Lords; Paper 225.  Together with the Proceedings of the Committee, Minutes of Evidence, and Appendix.  GB House of Lords Select Committee on Children’s Life Insurance Bill.  Published Eyre and Spottiswoode 1890, printed by Henry Hansard and Son.  Online version found by Roger Wright in the outer reaches of archive.org.  Minutes of Evidence 16 July 1890 pp23-24 evidence of Henry Pullen Burry about his medical qualifications and experience, though he didn’t give exact dates.  In the course of his evidence pp23-26 Henry mentioned that he was often not paid for the work that he did, especially by his poorer patients.  He also said that he was often not called out to his poorer patients until the patient was on the point of death; if he’d been asked for medical help sooner, a lot of lives could have been saved. 

GMC Register 1881 p173.  Census 1881.


17 MAY 1882

Henry Pullen-Burry married Rose Anwyl at St Mary’s Balham.

Sources: The Lancet 1882 p935 and Medical Times and Gazette 1882 p598.

Comment by Sally Davis: I haven’t found any clue as to how Henry and Rose met.  It’s just a hunch that they did not know each other until they were in their 20s and Henry was living in London.




Anwyl is an unusual surname.  On the web I found information on two families called Anwyl, who claim descent from Owain Gwynedd, ruler of the Welsh kingdom of Gwynedd from 1137 to 1170.  I presume Rose’s father was a member of this family but I couldn’t actually find his name in any of the genealogical sources I looked at.

Sources: wikipedia; Annals and Antiquities of...the county families of Wales by Thomas Nicholas published Longmans 1872; Section V pp664-700.  And at landedfamilies.blogspot.co.uk.


Rose’s father Thomas Anwyl was born in London around 1824; and worked as an auctioneer though he had retired by the 1870s.

Source: census entries.

Comment by Sally Davis: My knowledge of Thomas Anwyl is very limited and I’ve been hampered with all the family by the number of ways you can mis-hear and mis-spell that surname.

Thomas Anwyl married Maria Adams in November 1850.  They had four daughters, all born in central London: Florence (1855); Rose (1859); Gertrude (1862); and Blanche (1864).

Source: for the marriage: Familysearch England-EASy GS Number 413318.  Freebmd.



By 1871 the Anwyl family had moved out of London and were living at Cornwall Cottage, Devonshire Road Streatham.  Thomas and Maria only employed the one, basic, general servant.  Florence, Rose, Gertrude and Blanche were all described as still having lessons; perhaps at a day-school or with a governess who came by the day, as there was no live-in governess in the household on census day.

Source: 1871 census.

Comment by Sally Davis: the Victorians, not understanding exactly how germs caused illness, laid great emphasis on better air.  As Gertrude was perhaps a delicate child (see below) the search for a more healthy environment for her would have been one reason for the move out of central London.  However, in 1871 the Anwyls were living very modestly - they were much less well-off than the Pullen-Burrys - and rents were lower out of town.  As to what education Rose Anwyl had and where she had it, I haven’t found any real information.   In the lectures Henry gave around 1918-1920, Rose is hardly mentioned but when she is, Henry is often disparaging of her intellectual abilities.  If she lacked the spirit of intellectual enquiry, it was more likely to be as a result of the typical, unchallenging education given to middle-class girls, than any lack of intelligence.



Rose’s youngest sister Gertrude died, aged 10.

Source: freebmd.



The Anwyl family were still living at Cornwall Cottage, Devonshire Road Streatham.  They were still employing just the one general servant.  The three remaining daughters were all still unmarried, and still living at home.  It was from this house that - the following year - Rose Anwyl was married.

Source: 1881 census.


Rose and Henry Pullen-Burry’s married life and their time in the Golden Dawn are covered in the next file of this set of three.



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.




6 January 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: