This file continues the life-by-dates of Henry Pullen-Burry and his wife Rose Pullen-Burry née Anwyl: it covers 1882 to 1898 and includes the period when they were both members of the Order of the Golden Dawn.
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.
HENRY AND ROSE TOGETHER
Henry and Rose’s first child, Ethel Pullen-Burry, was born, in Baldock.
Source: Familysearch England-ODM GS number 1537857 IT 2-5.
Henry went to Colchester to take an exam in military tactics. At that time, he was a Lieutenant in the First Hertfordshire Royal Volunteers. He passed the exam and was awarded a certificate the following April.
Source: announcement in the Hertford Mercury and Reformer 12 April 1884, p2, found online for me by my contact in Canberra.
Comment by Sally Davis: other than his own spiritualist anecdote, told many years later and without dates, this is the only source for Henry in the volunteer force. I would think that he didn’t join another regiment once he had moved away from Hertfordshire.
1884, PROBABLY AFTER APRIL THAT YEAR
Henry was appointed to the medical staff of the Midhurst Poor Law Union in Sussex; working in its Milland District. Henry and Rose moved to the small village of Bramshott in Hampshire.
For the appointment: Lancet 1884 p807.
For his working in general practice as well: 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 but especially pp23-24 for Henry’s qualifications and experience.
1884 TO EARLY NOVEMBER
Charles Webster Leadbeater was curate of Bramshott and Liphook.
Comment by Sally Davis: thanks are due to Rose and Henry’s descendant Anwyl, who emailed me in June 2017 to alert me to this curious coincidence. Rose and Henry were never in the Theosophical Society but by the time they arrived in Liphook, C W Leadbeater was a member of its London Lodge. Even if the Pullen Burrys were not regular church-goers, they must have at least been introduced to Leadbeater as a fellow resident of the villages of Liphook and Bramshott. Leadbeater had been ordained in the Church of England, and given the job as curate, as the result of efforts made by his mother’s brother-in-law, Rev William Wolfe Capes. Capes was rector of Bramshott and Liphook from 1869 to 1901, but as he was often away, he needed a curate to take care of the parish in his absence. Giving the job to Leadbeater also solved the problem of finding an income for Charles and his widowed mother Emma. Early in November 1884, Leadbeater resigned from the Church of England in order to go to India with Helena Petrovna Blavatsky and Colonel Olcott.
Sources: see their wikipedia pages for information on Charles Webster Leadbeater and Rev William Wolfe Capes. Capes was an historian; he published a series of works using documents in the library at Hereford Cathedral; and some classical histories.
At theosoph.ph/encyclo the entry for Charles Webster Leadbeater describes his very sudden decision to abandon the CofE and follow Blavatsky. They sailed from England on 5 November 1884. Leadbeater became a Buddhist shortly after.
Evangelicalism in the Church of England c 1790 to c 1890: A Miscellany editors Mark Smith, Stephen Taylor. Woodbridge: Boydell 2004. In footnotes: p149 footnote 56: William Wolfe Capes 1834-1914 was rector of Bramshott 1869-1901.
The 1881 census shows Charles and his mother Emma living at Hertford Cottage, Headley Road in the hamlet of Liphook.
Henry and Rose’s only son, Henry, was born and registered with the confusing name Henry Burry Burry.
Source: freebmd. As an adult and in the permanent absence of his father, the GD Henry’s son used the surname Pullen-Burry.
AFTER 1884 BUT POSSIBLY QUITE SOON AFTER
Henry was initiated into the freemasonry craft lodge Carnarvon Lodge 804. He then joined its Royal Arch Chapter. The lodge and chapter were based in Havant, where they had their own masonic hall.
Comment by Sally Davis: my information is about the Chapter rather than the lodge it was attached to; but I think I’m OK in assuming that Henry joined the Chapter as a member of the Carnarvon craft Lodge 804.
Generally on freemasonry:
Freemasons’ Library at freemasonry.london.museum, which has a searchable catalogue and access to digitised freemasons’ magazines to around 1900. In August 2016 I searched the digitised magazines. There were plenty of responses to the search term ‘Burry’; but all but the one from 1896 (see below) turned out to refer to G C Burry - George Cook Burry - Henry’s distant relation from the branch of the Burry family based in Christchurch Hampshire.
Source for Henry in Carnarvon Chapter 804:
The Freemason’s Chronicle March 1896 p4: report on that year’s installation meeting of the Carnarvon Royal Arch Chapter 804.
General source for Carnarvon Lodge 804 and its Chapter:
Carnarvon Lodge 804 Havant: By-Laws and History, prepared by W W B Beach; J le Feuvre; and E Goble who are all members and were able to base their account on the lodge’s Minute books, account books and a Manuscript lodge history. Printed 1893. Particularly pp22-32. The lodge had been consecrated in 1860. As the lodge and chapter were in Havant, Henry was unlikely to have known about them, or have been acquainted with any of their members, until he went to work for the Midhurst Poor Law Board. Henry is not named in the account of the lodge’s history. However, the history does mention that a group of members left to found their own lodge, in the early 1880s. Carnarvon Lodge 804 then made a big effort to recruit new members, beginning in the mid-1880s just when Henry and Rose arrived in Bramshott. Carnarvon Lodge 804's Royal Arch Chapter had been consecrated in 1873. In 1879, one of its members was Eugene Edward Street, who later joined the GD.
PROBABLY BETWEEN 1884 AND 1897
Henry was initiated as a Master Mark Mason, a group of freemasons independent of the United Grand Lodge of England.
Source for Henry being an MMM: Gerald Yorke Collection of GD and Crowley papers, now at the Warburg Institute University of London. Catalogue number NS73: letter sent by Frederick Leigh Gardner to Henry on 30 September 1897.
General sources for Master Mark Masonry: the Grand Lodge of Master Mark Masons has a website at www.glmmm.com but there’s not much on it about its history. There’s a wiki on its history and www.markmastermasonscornwall.org.uk has a history page in preparation. I haven’t got access to the Mark Masonry Grand Lodge in London so if there are any lodge/chapter histories there, I can’t get at them.
Henry and Rose lived in Bramshott, where Henry worked as a GP in addition to doing his workhouse duties. Yew Tree House, on Station Road, was where they were living when they were in the GD. The GD only took its first initiates in 1888 and I don’t think Henry and Rose knew any of the early members; but later in his life Henry mentioned that he and Rose were having spiritualist seances before they joined the GD; sitting at the kitchen table, sometimes with guests but sometimes with just the two of them. When there were just the two of them, Rose acted as the medium using the automatic writing technique.
For when they arrived in Bramshott: GMC Register 1885 p194.
Comment by Sally Davis: Liphook was a small place and Bramshott even smaller but when the Pullen Burrys lived there it did have one resident of note - the botanist Mary Ann Robb who built Chitlee Place and its arboretum in 1880.
Source for the seances: Unpublished set of typescripts at the Freemasons’ Library catalogued as SRIA1938m. Volume 3, Science and Hermetic Philosophy Part 2: March 1920 Lecture 111 p665.
Winifred Margaret Pullen Burry was born, Henry and Rose’s last child.
Source: freebmd; Winifred was registered in Wandsworth - perhaps born while Rose was visiting her parents.
1887 or 1888
Henry acquired a manuscript of mystical writings by a Kabbalist he later called ‘Heer Rose’ or ‘Heer Rose of The Hague’. Although he did not pay the writings any real attention for nearly 20 years, when he was older he saw his coming across them or being offered them as a defining moment in his life. It certainly was an important staging-post in his progress towards being the Adept he considered himself to be, when preparing a set of lectures around 1920.
Source for Henry’s acquisition of the manuscript and his attitudes towards it: unpublished set of typescripts at the Freemasons’ Library catalogued as SRIA1938m. Volume 3, Science and Hermetic Philosophy Part 1: February 1919 Lecture 60 p355; though by this time Henry couldn’t remember exactly when Heer Rose’s works had come to his hand.
Comment by Sally Davis on Heer Rose, 27 January 2016. While I was working my way through the typescripts SRIA1938m, I was never very sure I believed in Heer Rose’s existence. I could see how very useful it would be if Henry invented such a person and efforts by me, Roger Wright and Adam P Forrest of Portland Oregon failed to find anything more than a photo. Eventually I asked Susan Snell, archivist at the Freemasons’ Library, if she had any contacts in the Netherlands that she could ask to search Dutch-language sources. She offered to email Jac Piepenbrock of the library of freemasonry in the Netherlands. I was grateful, but I didn’t expect anything to come of it. Imagine my surprise, then, last week, when Susan forwarded me information rooted out by Mr Piepenbrock, which proved not only that Heer Rose was real, but also that - in his professional sphere - he was quite well-known, at least in the Netherlands. I can now do a short biography, based on the sources Jac Piepenbrock forwarded to Susan Snell. A note of warning, however: I was only able to get google to translate one of the sources into English; so I might have got some of it wrong!
Willem Nicolaas Rose was born in 1801 at Cheribon in the Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia). From 1819 to 1822 he was a pupil at the artillery school in Delft, training as an engineer/architect. He was employed by the city of Rotterdam from 1839 to 1855. His last project for the city - a sewage and water purification system - brought him to national attention, and in 1858 he accepted the job of chief architect to the Dutch government in The Hague. He retired in 1867 and died in 1877. In 1824 he had married Johanna Maria van Alphen, a member of another Dutch family with East Indies connections. So far, so respectable, but in his spare time Heer Rose was a spiritualist medium, using the automatic writing technique to convey messages from the beyond which described (amongst other things) great battles between angels and devils. It was the language in which Heer Rose wrote these messages down - very Book of Revelations - that convinced some people who attended seances with him that he was an Old Testament prophet updated, writing down the exact words of God. His visions were publicised in the Netherlands by the magazine Spiritistisch tijdschrift, edited by Frederik Willem Roorda van Eysinga (1827-97) and published intermittently between 1872 and 1881.
Many thanks to Susan, and to Jac, for doing so much to bridge the gap between Heer Rose and Henry Pullen-Burry. However, there are still gaps left. It’s a nuisance, but none of the Dutch information on Heer Rose mentions the Kabbalistic writings that Henry Pullen Burry acquired: perhaps for the very reason that he had acquired them and they had thus gone beyond the knowledge of Dutch historians. And how did Henry get to know about them? The way Henry spoke of Heer Rose in his later lectures, I don’t think the two men ever met. Did someone take them to England, intending to sell them there, after Heer Rose’s death? Or did Henry come across them in the Netherlands somehow? There’s a small clue in Oliver Gee’s thesis that at least in the early 1900s there was contact between spiritualists in England and the Netherlands; but it’s all rather tenuous.
Sources for Willem Nicolaas Rose (all in Dutch of course):
The photo of Heer Rose found by Roger Wright can be seen at //media-kitlv.nl, website of the Universiteit Leiden Digital Image Library, digital collection of the University of Leiden.
Sources found by Jan Piepenbrock:
There’s a wiki on him at https://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Willem_Nicolaas_Rose, using these sources:
C A A de Graaf in Rotterdaam jaarboekje 1954: 177-208 on the water purification works. The wiki has a link to the article.
E M Berens W N Rose 1801-77 published Rotterdam 2001; Stedenbouw civiele techniek en architectur.
Entry in www.stadsarchief.rotterdam.nl
Oliver Gee’s thesis presented to the University of Amsterdam in 2011: Wolken met Gouden Boorden. Google translated it as: Clouds with Golden Edges. Its subtitle in English is: the Last Two Historical Novels of H J Schimmel in the Light of his Spiritualist Beliefs.
On p3 a note on the cover photos says that the one of H J Schimmel, probably taken in 1903, shows him reading a copy of Light, the magazine of the London Spiritualist Alliance.
Information on S F W Roorda van Eysinga: dates and early life - p7, p24. His support of the ideas of the French spiritualist Allan Kardec (who believed in spiritualism and reincarnation) - p24. Spiritistisch tijdschrift and its publication of automatic writing by Heer Rose as medium - p33 footnote 34, p36 footnote 55. Roorda van Eysinga’s client/guru relationship with Willem Nicolaas Rose - p36 and p36 footnotes 53, 55, 56. The information on Roorda van Eysinga and Heer Rose is from letters Roorda van Eysinga wrote between 1872 and 1886, with Rose’s influence continuing after his death. The letters are now at Harmonia, the Collection of the Dutch Association of Spiritualists.
That Willem Nicolaas Rose was not a freemason although his father was: membership lists for Dutch and Dutch-speaking freemasons’ lodges at
Simon Hendrik Rose (1769-1823) was member of Lodge ‘La Vertueuse’ in Batavia (Djakarta).
A final comment: Spiritistisch tijdschrift is the only magazine to publish any of Heer Rose’s spiritualist writings. And if the Kabbalistic manuscript Henry Pullen Burry had in his possession is still in existence, someone is keeping very quiet about it. It was probably thrown away decades ago - the only evidence of Heer Rose as a scholar of the Kabbala.
Comment by Sally Davis 16 March 2016 on Heer Rose and English spiritualism; based on sources hunted out for me by my co-worker on Henry Pullen-Burry, Adam P Forrest of Portland Oregon.
It was always a puzzle to me when I was going through those typescripts as to how Henry could have come across automatic writings made by Heer Rose as a medium. Thanks to Adam, I now see that Henry could have been aware of Heer Rose as early as 1872, though that seems rather early for him. The spiritualist newspaper The Medium and Daybreak reported in November 1872 on the visit to the Netherlands of Mr Herne and Mr Williams, English spiritualists, who took Katy King with them to act as medium at several seances organised by Dutch spiritualist A J Riko of The Hague. Heer Rose and Roorda van Eysinga attended one of those seances.
Henry’s a bit more likely to have seen an extract from an article in The Herald of Progress in 1881. The Herald of Progress was published in Newcastle-upon-Tyne but was easily available in London through E W Allen of 11 Ave Maria Lane EC. The article had originally been published in Revue Spirite, Journal d’Études Psychologique, the French spiritualist monthly; which was also relatively easy to gain access to in London - there was an advert for it in the same edition of The Herald of Progress in which the article appeared. The article in The Herald of Progress was in English, a translation of what I suppose must have been an original in French; and this explains something else I’ve wondered about, with Henry and Heer Rose: surely Heer Rose’s writings must have been in Dutch, which I’m quite sure Henry couldn’t understand. Now it seems some of them at least could be read in French, the whole idea of Henry being so influenced by Heer Rose is much more of a going concern. The article as it appeared in The Herald of Progress was called Transitional Man. Even if Henry didn’t read the article in 1882, Heer Rose’s automatic writings on this species supposedly sitting between Man and the Apes were in the papers Henry obtained in the late 1880s and had with him even in his last years. See the last file in this sequence for how important Henry thought Heer Rose’s idea of a transitional species was; for him, they did away with the need for Darwin’s theory of descent by natural selection - Henry hated the idea that Man was descended from the apes.
The final references Adam Forrest found were from the very time that Henry thought he had obtained the manuscripts of Heer Rose’s writings. Two articles appeared in the English spiritualist journal Light..., both attributed to a writer with the writing name “1st M.B. (Lond)”. The first was published in 1888: How to be Happy. It used writings by Heer Rose as a guide to achieving a happy life. The second - The Object of History - was published in 1890 and subtitled Spirit Communications Through W N Rose. In it, the author described how Heer Rose’s automatic writing explained history, as “great events...arranged in due order, for the attainment of a definite purpose”; and progress, as part of the Creator’s plan for His universe, moving towards a “universal civilisation” based on virtue and wisdom. Like the Transitional Man species, Heer Rose’s concept of where modern progress was heading, was fundamental to Henry’s later understanding of the purpose and meaning of his own life.
Almost I’m tempted to say that “1st M.B. (Lond)” was Henry Pullen-Burry himself. I’ve decided to stop myself from doing so, because he published so little: only one item that I know of, a short book on the Kabbalah, and that right at the end of his life. Even the typescripts of Henry’s lectures to his spiritualist group in Portland (late 1910s/early 1920s) were not published, just circulated amongst occultists.
Sources for the early references to Heer Rose in the English press:
The Medium and Daybreak: A Weekly Journal Devoted to the History, Phenomena, Philosophy and Teachings of Spiritualism. Published London, from offices in Southampton Row WC and available through agents in most British cities; editor and publisher is James Burns. Volume 3 number 139 issue of 29 November 1872 p465-66 and p470 for the publishing details.
In the 1890s, A J Riko was editing a Dutch spiritualist magazine called Sphinx: see Light: A Journal of Psychical, Occult and Mystical Research, published in London by the Eclectic Publishing Co Ltd of 2 Duke St Adelphi. Volume 14 1894 number 710 issue of Saturday 18 August 1894 p386.
The Herald of Progress: A Weekly Journal devoted to the philosophy and teachings of spiritualism. Volume 2 1881. Publication and distribution details p344; small ads p351 including adverts for Revue Spirite and also The Theosophist. Volume 2 number 44 issue of Friday 13 May 1881 pp299-300 and volume 2 number 47 issue of Friday 8 June 1881 pp340-41: The Transitional Man. At the end of the article was was a letter from John Yarker, written after reading the first part of it. Yarker says that at seances that he’d been present at in 1876 and 1877, the medium had seen creatures similar to those described by Heer Rose: at the end of the short letter, brief synopses of what the medium had desc at those sessions, w dates in 1876 and 1877. So the idea of a transitional species was not just confined to Heer Rose in the late 1870s. John Yarker was a freemason and a well-known figure in occult circles.
And the two articles by “1st M.B. (Lond)”:
Light: A Journal of Psychical, Occult and Mystical Research published in London by the Eclectic Publishing Co Ltd of 2 Duke St Adelphi. Volume 8 1888 number 410 issue of Saturday 10 November 1888: pp550-51. And volume 10 1890 number 481 issue of Saturday 22 March 1890 p139.
After that long digression on Henry and Heer Rose of The Hague, back to the life-by-dates:
Henry’s mother Emily Burry (sic) died, aged only 57. IF she’s the person referred to in the source below, on the evening of her funeral, her family held a seance with her psychic son as the medium. At that seance the recently-dead mother (possibly Emily Burry) spoke through her psychic son to say that she had already seen the Saviour, who had recognised her.
For the death freebmd. I couldn’t find any newspaper coverage of the funeral.
For the seance and ?Emily’s communication with her son:
Unpublished set of typescripts at the Freemasons’ Library catalogued as SRIA1938m. Volume 3, Science and Hermetic Philosophy Part 1: December 1919 Lecture 102 p 607.
ALL DAY ON 14TH APRIL 1890 AND AGAIN ON 16 APRIL
Henry and other important figures in the parishes of Headley, Bramshott and Selborne walked the boundaries between the parishes to reach agreement on exactly they were.
Comment by Sally Davis: with the Poor Law operating at parish level, this was not just an interesting day out for antiquarians. This beating of the bounds had been called for by the parish overseers and financial and legal issues would be decided by the results of it. Despite the effort’s serious purpose, everybody does seem to have had a good time, especially on the first of the two days, when they were treated to lunch at Mr Whitaker’s house in Headley.
Source: local history webpages at www.johnowensmith.co.uk/headley/bram1890.htm: Contemporary Account of the Perambulation of the Bounds of Headley and Bramshott Parishes in the Year 1890.
Quick comment by Sally Davis: just to say that at least in 1890, in outward appearance Henry was still living as a middle-class professional and responsible member of a rural community.
FRIDAY 27 JUNE 1890
Henry gave was one of several doctors who gave evidence to the House of Lords Select Committee in connection with a proposed Children’s Life Insurance Bill. He made allegations about patients he had had in Arlesey in Hertfordshire that were very upsetting to the people of Arlesey; most of which were challenged or even refuted by local officials.
At hansard.millbanksystems.com/lords/1890/jun/16/second-reading coverage originally in volume 345 pp961-91 of the Bill’s 2nd reading in the House of Lords, on 16 June 1890.
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 but especially pp23-26 for what Henry said.
Times Mon 30 June 1890 p9 Children’s Life Assurance: Select Committee. There was no coverage of the evidence heard, but the names of the Committee members and those who had given evidence on 27 June 1890 were listed.
Comment by Sally Davis: though he had been in general practice in Liphook for six years by this time, Henry evidence was about his practice in Hertfordshire, specifically about the patients he had in the village of Arlesey. He wanted to tell the Committee that he had come across quite a few cases of suspicious deaths amongst infants of families living in Arlesey, and thought that the children had been allowed to die - when medical treatment could have saved them - so their parents could claim on the child’s insurance policy. He said that the practice was particularly widespread amongst the village’s most “wretched” and “depraved” group of families, whose fathers drank and whose children were nearly all illegitimate. Pressed by several Committee members, he had to admit that his opinion was hearsay - based on what was ‘common knowledge’ in the village; that he had never refused to issue a death certificate, however suspicious he might have been as to the circumstances; and that he did not know of any case where a parent had been prosecuted as the result of a child’s death in Arlesey. Asked which insurance companies were operating in the district, Henry referred to the Prudential by name, and mentioned another firm though he couldn’t remember the name of that one.
In justice to Henry, I will say that other witnesses giving evidence to the Committee were saying the same things. However, they seem to have been a bit more discreet about naming names and places. The Bill had been sponsored by the NSPCC, and was being guided through the House of Lords by the bishop of Peterborough, Dr William Connor Magee, who had been made the Select Committee’s chairman.
Source for Dr Magee: see wikipedia.
16 JULY 1890
Letters challenging Henry’s assertions about the residents of Arlesey were handed to the Select Committee as part of the evidence of Thomas Charles Dewey, senior manager at the Prudential Insurance Company.
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 pp146-147 evidence of Thomas Charles Dewey.
Comment by Sally Davis: the outraged Arlesey locals included the Medical Officer of the Poor Law Union; the clerk to the local School Board, who sent statistics showing the relatively low number of illegitimate children in the village; the Registrar of births, marriages and deaths, stating how few of the death certificates signed by Henry were of children who were insured; and the vicar of Arlesey, saying how upset the villagers were and saying that most children’s deaths could be attributed to ignorance of basic child and sick care, they weren’t the result of wilful neglect.
17 JULY 1890
The anger at Arlesey about Henry’s Select Committee evidence was mentioned in the Times; and Henry was named as having caused it.
Times: 17 July 1890 p12 Child Life Assurance. The report was short and only the vicar of Arlesey’s letter of objection was mentioned. No details were given of all the facts collected by local officials to challenge Henry’s allegations. Perhaps the Times reporter agreed with Henry’s point of view, despite the evidence.
For a modern assessment of whether Henry and his medical colleagues were justified, see www.tandfonline.com/doi: article by Daniel J R Grey: Liable to Very Great Abuse. The article’s purport is that there was no good evidence of widespread child murder for the sake of collecting on the dead child’s life insurance; and the lack was widely acknowledged as early as 1914. The attitudes of witnesses like Henry Pullen-Burry was indicative of a middle-class hostility towards working-class lifestyles which came out in more than just allegations about wilful child neglect. The 1890 Bill was sponsored by the NSPCC, which had recently been founded.
Final comment by Sally Davis, 5 January 2017: thanks are due to two people for galvanising me to produce this new section on Henry’s evidence to the House of Lords, and its consequences: Henry’s great-great-grand-daughter who asked if I could find a copy of the Select Committee evidence, after the House of Lords had lost theirs; and Roger Wright, who found one in the further reaches of archive.org after I’d been defeated, trying to pin it down in the British Library catalogue.
18 NOVEMBER 1890
Henry (but not Rose) attended one of the London Spiritualist Alliance’s regular evening meetings, held at their headquarters, 2 Duke Street Adelphi, London WC. The main speaker that evening was Alice Gordon, whose talk was about Helena Petrovna Blavatsky’s powers of telekinesis. Mrs Gordon was already a member of the GD - she was initiated in December 1889. So it’s possible that Henry first found out about the GD’s existence, through Alice Gordon.
Source: Light: A Journal of Psychical, Occult and Mystical Research published in London by the Eclectic Publishing Co Ltd of 2 Duke Street Adelphi. Light... was a major spiritualist weekly, published from 1880 into the 1930s. Volume 10 number 517, issue of Saturday 29 November 1890 p575.
Comment by Sally Davis: as well as checking out 1890, I also looked at the volume of Light... published in 1895. I only found the one reference to Henry, so he wasn’t a very active member of the London Spiritualist Alliance; but then, he lived out of town.
5 MARCH 1891
Henry’s father John Pullen Burry died. IF it’s his father Henry is talking about, in the SRIA 1938m source below, John’s ghost wandered around the market garden for a couple of weeks after he’d died, unwilling to let the business go; and then made a last appearance in front of one of his sons who lived quite a long way off (possibly Henry himself). On a more down-to-earth note, John’s executors were his son Horace, his daughter Emily, and Ernest Henry Blaker. He left a personal estate of £7337.
Sources: freebmd and Probate Registry 1891.
Unpublished set of typescripts at the Freemasons’ Library catalogued as SRIA1938m. Volume 3, Science and Hermetic Philosophy Part 1: December 1919 Lecture 101 p 606 though not all the details Henry gives seem to fit John Pullen as the subject of the anecdote.
Comment on strife in the Pullen-Burry family, by Sally Davis: my contact in Canberra sent me a transcript of quite a long report on the funeral of John Pullen Burry, published in the Sussex Agricultural Express 10 March 1891 p3. Three of his children didn’t attend: Louisa, who had died; Hubert, who was probably in New Zealand; and Henry, with less excuse. I’ve suggested that Henry Pullen-Burry and his father didn’t get on; the absence of Henry and Rose at this crisis tends to confirm my guess. Though it might have been Henry’s siblings that he wanted to avoid, there’s something about the tone of the report, that makes me wonder whether John Pullen Burry was a respected man, but not one who was well liked. Amongst the other mourners were George Cook Burry, of the branch of the Burry family that was now based in Hampshire; and Ernest Henry Blaker, as the family solicitor. John Pullen Burry was buried in Sompting churchyard, near his Burry ancestors.
Comment by Sally Davis: Ernest Henry Blaker was based in Chichester. Source: The Law Journal volume 85 1938 p115 an obituary of him, as solicitor and for 30 years the Registrar of Chichester County Court.
John Pullen Burry’s sons Horace John and Arthur took over the business; and his daughter Emily may also have played an active role in it though one less acknowledged in the sources I found.
At www.familychest.co.uk a Conveyance of October 1893 was up for sale; to which Horace John, Emily and Ernest Henry Blaker were signatories, as they tidied up John Pullen’s estate.
The Gardener’s Chronicle 1913: by this time the firm is known as H and A Pullen-Burry.
Municipal Yearbook and Public Utilities Directory 1924 p220 shows Arthur Pullen-Burry living at
Rectory House, Sompting.
At www.roll-of-honour.com/Sussex/Sompting, there’s a photo of the Sompting war memorial. Hilary, son of Horace John and Alma; and Cyril son of Arthur; were both killed in World War 1.
APRIL 1891 - not long after the funeral
On census day 1891 Henry and Rose Pullen-Burry were still living at Yew Tree House, Station Road, Bramshott, with Ethel (6), Henry (5) and Winifred (3). They employed two live-in servants - their tasks aren’t specified but they were probably a skivvy and a housemaid, or a skivvy and a nurse. As this was a rural household, they also employed a groom to look after either a horse or (depending on how prosperous Henry was) a carriage, for Henry to use to visit patients.
Less than a month after their father’s death, Henry’s sisters Mary and Emily, and his brothers Arthur and Walter were all still living at Rectory House Sompting; employing a cook and a housemaid. Horace and his wife Alma were living at West Cottage Sompting with their daughter Dorothy and two servants. Henry’s brother Hubert wasn’t on the census; he had probably already gone to New Zealand. Bessie, who always seems to have lived a life completely apart from the rest of the family, was staying in a boarding house at 20 Old Steyne, Brighton.
Source: 1891 census.
Further on Hubert by Sally Davis: website www.thepeerage.com which uses Burke’s Peerage as its source, says that Hubert Pullen-Burry married Marion Hariette Olivia Cooke in 1896; she was the daughter of a civil engineer, Charles Edward Cooke. 1931 edition of Debretts says Hubert and Marion were living in Auckland NZ at that time. See www.geni.com and familysearch for him having died in Wellington NZ in 1956.
Henry was elected as an officer in the Carnarvon Royal Arch Chapter 804.
Comment by Sally Davis: any freemasons’ lodge or chapter has a hierarchy of officers which administer the lodge and carry out its rituals. Anyone willing to be an officer is first elected at a low level. They then spend one year at each higher level, ending with a year in the top post - Worshipful Master in a craft lodge.
Source for Henry in the hierarchy of Carnarvon R A Chapter 804:
The Freemason’s Chronicle March 1896 p4 Ryl Arch. Rpt of the quarterly mtg of Carnarvon Chapter 804, Tues 18th ult; no venue gvn. It was the installn mtg: “H B Pullen Burry” was one of the officers f cmg year: “N”. He’s 2 down from the chapter’s WM-equiv. After the mtg, the banquet but again no venue gvn.
Henry’s initiation into the Golden Dawn’s outer order.
Source: RAG p150.
14 MARCH 1894
Henry was initiated into the GD’s 2nd Order. Once in the 2nd Order you were allowed to do practical magic. All members of the 2nd Order had a second motto. Henry chose the Latin phrase ‘Deus et lex’.
For the date of the initiation: RAG p150.
For Henry’s 2nd Order motto. The records of the Isis-Urania temple’s 2nd Order have not survived and as a result hardly any 2nd Order mottos are known. However, Henry used his in a series of letters to Paul Foster Case in the early 1920s. The letters have not been published but in March 2010 Jim Eshelman posted extracts from them onto the Temple of Thelema website at www.heruraha.net. Thanks to Adam Forrest of Portland Oregon for sending the extracts to me.
AFTER 14 MARCH 1894 TO END 1895
Henry served as the GD’s sub-cancellarius.
Source: RAG p32, and p50-51 for the work of the cancellarius and sub-cancellarius.
Comment by Sally Davis: the job title ‘cancellarius’ or ‘sub-cancellarius’ sounds impressive but on a daily basis it involved helping to manage the Order’s budget, by way of sending out reminders of yearly subscriptions due; notifiying members of the dates and places of rituals and other formal meetings; supervise the exams initiates needed to take to progress to the 2nd Order; and keeping track of members’ addresses (no easy task when people moved house so often). Just noting that RAG p32 doesn’t give an exact date for when Henry became sub-cancellarius, the date of after 14 March is mine; I don’t think that - given the requirement to supervise exams - the job would have been thought appropriate for someone not in the 2nd Order.
20 MARCH 1894
Rose Pullen-Burry’s GD initiation.
Source: RAG p152.
PROBABLY 1895 though possibly as early as 1893
Two GD Flying Rolls were compiled to which Henry contributed: numbers 8, and 33.
Sources for the texts:
RAG The GD Companion p115, p117 but neither are dated.
Try also: Francis King’s Ritual Magic in England 1887 to Present Day published Spearman 1970; or his Magic, The Western Tradition published Thames and Hudson 1975.
The dates of both flying rolls are uncertain.
In their The Chronology of the Golden Dawn Mary K Greer and Darcy Kuntz give a specific date for Flying Roll 8 of 25 February 1893 (p24); they assign Flying Roll 33 to some time in 1895 (p27). Holmes Publishing Group, Postal Box 2370 Sequim Washington 98382 USA; 2007.
However, Adam P Forrest is not so sure about Flying Roll 8:
Argument for an 1895 date for Flying Roll 8, by Adam P Forrest, using R A Gilbert’s transcription of Westcott’s Catalogue of the Flying Rolls: Flying Roll VIII was originally "Enoch Suggestions", and the original issue date was 25 February 1893. "Enoch Suggestions" was later erased, and replaced with "Geometric Pentagram." According to R A Gilbert, the date was changed to 1895 when the name of the Roll was replaced. If you're interested, William Wynn Westcott was apparently willing to have the Roll copied for a fee, and the price was 1 shilling.
A bit more on Flying Roll 8, including some information which might indicate a date, by Sally Davis:
Flying Roll 8 is A Geometrical Way to Draw a Pentagram. All Henry’s own work. Assuming that you must be in the 2nd Order to take part in building the flying roll library of rituals, Flying Roll 8 must be from after March 1894. The Gerald Yorke Collection of GD and Crowley papers, now at the Warburg Institute University of London: Catalogue Number NS57 is a notebook of uncertain origin, bought by Gerald Yorke in 1950 at Sothebys. On its p63 someone has written out Flying Roll VIII; and on p64 they’ve drawn the pentagram according to its instructions, in red and black ink and with some annotations as to the meaning of the pentagram’s points. You need a pair of compasses to get the pentagram right.
Adam P Forrest agrees with Greer and Kuntz about Flying Roll 33:
Flying Roll 23, by Adam P Forrest, again using R A Gilbert’s transcription of Westcott’s Catalogue of Flying Rolls: Flying Roll XXXIII had originally been "New Regulations," which NOM had erased and replaced with "Enoch Visions" on his catalogue list. Unfortunately, he had stopped dating the Rolls in his catalogue entirely by then. The last dated Roll was number XXIX, issued November 3, 1894, so the Enochian Visions was probably issued in 1895. As it was a long Roll, the price for copying it was listed as 5/6.
Some more information on Flying Roll 23, and a hint at a date of after mid-1894, by Sally Davis:
Flying Roll 33 is Seven Visions of Squares upon the Enochian Tablets, to which 5 people contributed: Helen Rand (visions 1 and 2); Annie Horniman (vision 3); Henry (vision 4); Pamela Bullock (visions 5 and 6); and Edward William Berridge (vision 7). . As Pamela Bullock’s married name is used rather than Carden, her maiden name, Flying Roll 33 must be later than June 1894, the month she married Percy Bullock.
16 MARCH 1895
Rose Pullen-Burry’s father Thomas Anwyl died.
Sources: freebmd; probate registry records.
Comment by Sally Davis: I think, from what happened to Rose’s mother and sisters after her father’s death, that he had not left them much money.
Henry did his best to prevent Alice Isabel Simpson from being initiated into the GD. Many year later he said of Mrs Simpson: “I knew the woman well, and protected in words as well as in action as Cancellarius against her advancement” before being over-ruled by Mathers.
Sources and comments by Sally Davis. The source is Henry, writing to Paul Foster Case; date unknown but in a sequence of letters written between January and July 1921; that is to say, over 25 years after the events he’s mentioning. See a long extract from the letter at website www.heruraha.net. It’s interesting that Henry knew Alice Isabel before she joined the GD, but perhaps he didn’t; perhaps his involvement was as one of those chosen to investigate whether she was a suitable candidate - a process of enquiry which took place with virtually every potential recruit (see 1897/98 below for an account of the process from the receiving end, by Arthur Conan Doyle). Why the subject of Alice Isabel Simpson came up in Henry’s letter: Paul Foster Case’s 2nd Order motto was Perseverantia - see www.golden-dawn.org/biocase.html; he was a member of the Alpha et Omega Order’s New York-based Thoth-Hermes Temple. Alice Isabel’s GD motto was Perseverantia et Cura Quies, usually shortened to ‘perseverantia’.
Source for initiation and motto of Alice Isabel Simpson on 12 July 1895: RAG p155. She was initiated into the 2nd Order on 27 May 1899. If he’d been around, Henry would probably have tried to stop this second initiation but by then, he was long gone to the Klondike and couldn’t have done anything about it even if he’d known it was going to happen. Alice Isabel and her daughter Elaine Mary did take an active part in Aleister Crowley’s attempt to take over the GD on Mathers’ behalf, in April 1900, and were expelled from the Order as a result; but again, Henry was either still in northern Canada, or in the USA, in April 1900 and couldn’t have done anything to help or hinder them.
An easy-to-read account of what happened in April 1900: Ellic Howe chapter 15 pp219-232.
ALL OF 1896 AND 1897; and possibly EARLY 1898
Henry must have done a good job as sub-cancellarius: at the beginning of 1896 he was promoted to cancellarius when the previous holder of the post, Percy Bullock, became sub-imperator. The cancellarius’ duties included producing some yearly accounts for the Order’s hierarchy to consider; and a list of current members and their progress as magicians - a kind of end-of-term report.
Source: RAG p32.
Comment by Sally Davis: Henry will have prepared the accounts for 1896 and 1897; but probably not those of 1898 and that might have been the point at which the GD members began to wonder where he was.
In Carnarvon Royal Arch Chapter 804, Henry reached the level of ‘N’ - Nehemiah; a few levels down from the Chapter’s top job of First Principal.
The Freemason’s Chronicle March 1896 p4.
Comment by Sally Davis: if things had followed their usual plan - which they didn’t - Henry should have served his year as the Chapter’s First Principal around 1899/1900.
LATE AUGUST 1896
GD member in Glasgow and active Scottish freemason Edward Macbean wrote to Henry as one of the GD’s experts on the Kabbalah; asking how two particular Hebrew words should be transcribed. A copy of Henry’s reply has survived: he signed it ‘fraternally yours’ but he also ticked Macbean off on two counts: because Henry had had to pay excess postage on Macbean’s letter, which hadn’t had enough stamps on it; and because Macbean had signed with his own name, rather than his GD motto.
Source: Freemasons’ Library GD collection item GD 2/5/5/1, undated but with a pencil note saying “Rec’d 25/8/96".
Comment by Sally Davis: no doubt Henry thought that, as an official of the GD, he should strive to maintain standards; but the letter is short and abrupt, he comes over as unnecessarily officious and surely the excess postage he’d had to pay can’t have been a great deal. Perhaps the letter played upon worries he had about money on quite other counts.
Henry staved off trouble in the GD’s Isis-Urania temple.
Source: Henry, writing to Paul Foster Case; date unknown but in a sequence of letters dated January to July 1921. See a long extract from the letter at website www.heruraha.net.
Comment by Sally Davis: 1897 was a turbulent year and perhaps Henry did more behind the scenes to guide the GD through it than is evident from the sources that have survived. However, he was not able to make Mathers change his mind about Annie Horniman; nor was he able to prevent the disturbance caused by two major withdrawals of committed members of the Isis-Urania temple later in 1897: William Wynn Westcott and Frederick Leigh Gardner. I think that Henry is making himself out to be more influential in the GD in the late 1890s than in fact he was, to impress Foster Case, a rising star in the occult in America.
?3 DECEMBER 1896
Samuel Liddell Mathers expelled Annie Horniman from the GD. Rose and Annie were good friends. Through Annie’s visits to Yew Tree House to go astral travelling with Henry, the two women had, of course, known each other since before Rose had been initiated into the GD; perhaps Annie had helped persuade Rose to join. So Rose was as outraged as many other GD members by the injustice of Mathers’ action, which had everything to do with his personal finances and very little to do with magic. A petition was quickly circulated, organised by Frederick Leigh Gardner; begging Mathers to reinstate Annie. Mathers chose to make the issue one of command and obedience and, in the end, all the petition’s signatories knuckled under to him, Rose included. Annie remained in exile from the GD, though still friends with many members, until Mathers in his turn was expelled, in April 1900.
Gerald Yorke Collection of GD and Crowley papers, now at the Warburg Institute University of London. Two items:
Catalogue number NS73 letter from William Wynn Westcott to Frederick Leigh Gardner gives the date of Annie’s expulsion as 3 December  though Westcott admits that Mathers hasn’t told him it had happened, as yet, he’d found out from Percy and Pamela Bullock.
Catalogue number NS73: a number of letters all dated December 1896 or January 1897, from various GD members to Frederick Leigh Gardner; most of them signing the petition to reinstate Annie Horniman; though some explaining why the writer felt they couldn’t sign. Including the one from Rose Pullen-Burry, but not one from Henry.
And see also Ellic Howe who describes exactly how Annie Horniman came to be expelled, with quotations from letters that passed between her and Mathers during autumn 1896; and gives an account of the petition and Mathers’ hostile reaction: pp126-144.
BY 22 DECEMBER 1896
Henry had gone to Paris to see Mathers. He stayed with Samuel Liddell Mathers and his wife Mina for about a fortnight, ample time for him to study Mathers with a physician’s eye and reach the conclusion that Mathers had become mentally disturbed by “unbalanced Mars work”.
Source: Gerald Yorke Collection of GD and Crowley papers, now at the Warburg Institute University of London: letter from Rose Pullen-Burry written at Liphook 22 December 1896 in response to one from Frederick Leigh Gardner wanting her to sign the petition to reinstate Annie Horniman.
Comment by Sally Davis: Rose apologises that Henry is not at home to sign the petition; and does seem to be implying that Henry’s trip to Paris was on Annie Horniman’s behalf. For certain causes, Henry seems to have been willing to abandon his patients (and the income that some of them represented) to rush off on GD affairs; or had he been going to visit the Mathers in any case?
Source for Mathers’ mental state: Henry himself, writing to Paul Foster Case BUT many years later. The date of the letter is unknown but it’s one of a sequence of letters Henry wrote to Foster Case between January and July 1921; that is to say, over 25 years after the events he’s mentioning. See a long extract from the letter at www.heruraha.net the Temple of Thelema website.
Someone wrote a letter to William Wynn Westcott’s employers telling them he was a prominent member of a rather dubious society. As a result, Westcott felt obliged to resign as an officer of the GD. Florence Farr took over as the most senior GD member resident in the UK but power in the Order passed to Samuel Liddell Mathers in Paris.
Source: Gerald Yorke Collection of GD and Crowley papers, now at the Warburg Institute University of London. Catalogue number NS73: two letters from Westcott to Frederick Leigh Gardner, dated 17 March 1897 and 18 March 1897. The first letter makes it clear that this occasion was not the first time information about Westcott’s occult activities had been drawn to his employers’ attention.
Comment by Sally Davis: it’s generally assumed by historians of the GD that the anonymous letter was sent by Mathers. I must say that the change of personnel at the top in England was a blow to historians: record-keeping in the GD went downhill badly after Westcott had to give up doing it!
Frederick Leigh Gardner was declared persona non grata at the GD’s Isis-Urania temple after a series of complaints about his behaviour, particularly towards the women members, and particularly as organiser of its rituals. Gardner resigned from the GD as a whole on hearing that a recent Isis-Urania members’ meeting had declined to hear his side of it. When it became clear to Gardner that Henry had supported the meeting’s decision, he wrote a very angry letter to Henry as a fellow Mark mason, reminding him of the obligations imposed on freemasons to support each other; pointing out that Henry had often enjoyed hospitality at Gardner’s house; and declaring him not fit for the company of “moral and upright men”. Henry wrote back, resenting Gardner’s “abuse”; and their acquaintance-ship ceased.
Comment by Sally Davis: Gardner sent a copy of his abusive letter to William Wynn Westcott, who wrote back dismayed that Gardner had made “such a slashing onslaught on the poor man”; and advising Gardner just to let the matter go (rather than upset anybody else, presumably).
See Ellic Howe for why and how Gardner came to be expelled: pp175-186.
Source: Gerald Yorke Collection of GD and Crowley papers, now at the Warburg Institute University of London. Catalogue number NS73: set of 3 letters Frederick Leigh Gardner sent to Henry, dated 22 September 1897, 28 September 1897 and 30 September 1897; plus Henry’s reply to the last one, also dated 30 September 1897; and one letter from Westcott to Frederick Leigh Gardner dated 1 October 1897.
UNCERTAIN DATE but not later than mid-1898
Writing in 1923 or 1924, Conan Doyle gives “1898" but for reasons I outline below, it’s more likely to have been 1897
Henry paved the way for Arthur Conan Doyle to join the GD. But Conan Doyle declined the offer of membership.
Any paperwork connected with people being considered as possible GD initiates has not survived as far as I know. Particularly with people who declined membership, I imagine that all letters and memoranda about them were thrown away at the time. Conan Doyle’s own recollection of what happened is the only source that I know of for his being offered GD membership. He published it in an article, long after the event: Pearson’s Magazine volume 57 January-June 1924, issue of March 1924. Article by Arthur Conan Doyle: My Adventures in the Spirit World: pp203-09; in which Henry is named, but the other GD member that Conan Doyle met is not.
Comment by Sally Davis, based on Conan Doyle’s article and at some length because it sheds some light on what happened to you if you were being considered for GD membership:
Conan Doyle and Henry Pullen-Burry got to know one another in the late 1880s when they were both general practitioners in Hampshire. As personal information on GD members and their habits are rare, I give Conan Doyle’s description of Henry here: according to Conan Doyle, Henry was “a small doctor...small in stature, and also, I fear, in practice”; he smoked a pipe; and shared Conan Doyle’s interest in spiritualism and theosophy. In the article Conan Doyle portrays himself as reading widely on the occult at this time, but as far more wary of it than Henry was, though he was swayed by the belief expressed in spiritualism by two scientists he admired, William Crookes the chemist (who was a GD member though Conan Doyle won’t have known that) and Alfred Russell Wallace the traveller and evolutionary biologist. Conan Doyle was intrigued to discover that Henry had a room in his house “reserved for mystic and philosophic purposes”, which no one but himself was allowed to go in (I wonder where Rose did her magic, in that case? Actually, having a room set aside for occult purposes was not so unusual amongst GD members - those who could afford a house big enough, that is.) Although Conan Doyle gave up his practice at Southsea, took some extra training, and set up as an ophthalmologist in London, he and Henry must have kept in touch and in due course Henry recommended Conan Doyle to the GD hierarchy as a future member. Did Henry have one eye on gaining the kudos of having brought on board the creator of Sherlock Holmes? Probably. The usual discreet enquiries were made; Conan Doyle was judged a suitable candidate; and Henry was authorised approached to him with an invitation to join. Conan Doyle seems to have interviewed Henry (not the other way round). He wanted to know exactly what he might be getting into if he accepted; and on what it would do for him. Henry told him that he would gain “powers which people would call supernatural ...knowledge of deeper forces of nature”. This sounded good to Conan Doyle, he asked to join, and few mornings later he awoke with a sense of having had some kind of psychic exam during the night, which he took to be his suitability being checked out by GD members. Conan Doyle still wasn’t sure though: he checked out what would be expected of him as an initiate, and began to worry about the level of commitment Henry said would be required - after all, he had his medical work and Sherlock Holmes to attend to. After thinking it over further, he decided not to be initiated.
Henry wasn’t that easily put off, however. A couple of months after apparently having accepted Conan Doyle’s change of mind, he called on him bringing another GD member with him, someone Conan Doyle knew of as “famous and much-travelled”. A letter written by William Wynn Westcott confirms that the second caller was Robert William Felkin, (future founder of Stella Matutina) a well-known authority on the treatment of tropical diseases, having spent time in east Africa as a medical missionary before qualifying fully as a doctor. The two GD members proceeded to have a conversation about astral travelling that put Conan Doyle right off. Looking back from 1924 he remembered having “brushed against something strange, which I am not sorry that I avoided”. He worried that people willing to develop these powers might - in the process - lose their sense of Christian ethics.
Henry’s original idea of bringing to see Conan Doyle a GD member he knew of and would be impressed by was a good one. But that conversation about astral travelling: not so clever. Reading Conan Doyle’s account in a copy of Pearson’s Magazine sent to him by Frederick Leigh Gardner, Westcott commented that both Henry and Felkin “appear to have spoken in a wild manner” - reflecting, perhaps, on the Famous Initiate That Got Away.
Source for Westcott’s comment: Gerald Yorke Collection catalogue number NS73: letter written 17 April 1924 by Westcott, to Gardner.
Sources for Conan Doyle: wikipedia; and GMC Registers.
Henry set out for the Klondike.
Sources for his getting at least as far as a boat on the Yukon River (though without dates):
Unpublished set of typescripts at the Freemasons’ Library catalogued as SRIA1938m. Volume 3, Science and Hermetic Philosophy Part 1: November 1918 Lecture 47 p282 and December 1918 Lecture 51 p301.
What on earth was he doing? Comment by Sally Davis:
People had been finding small deposits of gold in the Klondike River valley in north-west Canada for a while; but the big strike was made in August 1896 by George Carmack, his Indian wife Shaaw Tháa and her family. IF Henry had been a reader of the Times newspaper with enough spare time to peer into its smallest news items, he might have noticed a reference to “wonderful discoveries of gold” being reported to members of a Royal Geographical Society expedition stationed at Fort Cudahy, in February 1897. But the news didn’t really break in the USA until 16 June 1897, with the arrival at San Francisco of an American steamer from Alaska; and in Britain not until the end of July 1897, with published confirmation in the Times including advice issued by the Canadian Emigrants’ Information Office and warnings of the dangers of this isolated place with six-month-long frozen winters. Amongst the instructions was the advice to leave setting out for the Klondike until next spring - that is, spring 1898. If Henry was struck by gold fever in July 1897 he seems to have paid attention to the advice; but huge numbers did not. Result: sky-rocketing prices for even basic groceries; frostbite; and places which had been tiny settlements with no real infrastructure of roads or sewers, suddenly having to accommodate thousands of new, ill-equipped, exhausted and fractious arrivals.
wikipedia, which focuses on the American experience of the gold rush.
Times Friday 23 October 1896 p10 review of Warburton Pike’s Through the Subarctic Forest published Arnold 1896.
Times 23 February 1897 p5.
Times 5 April 1897 p8 - the British government hadn’t yet been able to confirm that the rumours are true.
The Klondike Stampede of 1897-98 by Tappan Adney. New York and London: Harper and Brothers Publishers 1900: p1.
Times Thursday 29 July 1897 p11 article: The Yukon Goldfields.
15 JANUARY 1898
Henry made a passport application.
Source: Index to the Register of Passport Applications 1898, seen at findmypast: applicant H B P Burry.
Henry left England, headed for the Klondike River.
Possible source for the Atlantic crossing but not the exact date: findmypast passenger lists show one male H Burry travelling by ship from Liverpool to Halifax Nova Scotia at some point during 1898. It might not be the GD’s Henry, of course.
Comment by Sally Davis on the date Henry sloped off. As soon as the news reached the USA’s East Coast, Harper’s Weekly magazine sent their reporter Tappan Adney to the Klondike as their man on the spot. He left New York on 28 July 1897 and went by the recently-opened Canadian Pacific Railway to British Columbia; stopped off to get well kitted-out at Victoria British Columbia and again at the Fort Selkirk trading post; and reached Dawson City by boat along the Yukon River on 23 October 1897, 92 days after he set out. Perhaps other people, not bothering to get so well-prepared (there were plenty of those) might have made the journey more quickly; but on the other hand, Henry had to cross the Atlantic before he could get to the start. For reasons I give below, I think Henry must have set out not later than mid-1898 and probably earlier than that.
There’s some doubt about whether Henry meant to come back.
Comment by Sally Davis: this is all rather speculative, based on the addresses he and Rose gave for 1898 to 1901. For most of that time both the General Medical Council and the GD thought that both Henry and Rose Pullen-Burry could be reached at 185 Victoria Street in London, care of a Mrs Wreford. The entry for Henry in the GD’s address book was “Away at Klondike” as if the writer fully expected Henry to come back. However, for 1901 and after there’s no known address for Rose; and in 1901 the GMC had an address for Henry in Thornton Heath. It’s hard to reach a conclusion but I’ll make two suggestions: either that originally, Henry did mean to return to Britain eventually, but changed his mind; or that he never intended to return but didn’t want to say so, especially to Rose.
RAG p150 and p152, with details taken from the GD address book.
GMC Register 1898 p277 and GMC Register 1899 p288.
Kelly’s Directory 1898 street directory p745.
Kelly’s Directory 1901 street directory p818.
GMC Register 1901 p295.
ROSE AFTER HENRY LEFT
Rose and the two daughters, at least, moved to London, to rooms at 185 Victoria Street; they lived there until 1901.
Comment by Sally Davis: the Kelly’s Directory entries for 185 Victoria Street suggest that in 1898, there were people living in the rooms above a tailor’s business which occupied the street level. But the 1901 issue has the building occupied solely by business tenants. So it’s likely that by 1901 Rose and her daughters had to go and live elsewhere. I expect they were glad of it: although there was a temperance hotel right next door which would have been quiet enough, next door to that was the entrance to Victoria Station.
At some point Rose realised that her husband was not going to come back. She and her three children were left with very little money. Annie Horniman stepped in to help.
Sources: Gerald Yorke Collection catalogue number NS73: letters from William Wynn Westcott to Frederick Leigh Gardner, written 12 November 1921, 6 January 1922 and 17 April 1924. Although the letters were written long after the event, Westcott had met up with Annie Horniman shortly before leaving England for South Africa in mid-1921. He’d probably got the information from her - asking after old friends. However, though he says that Annie Horniman had helped Rose and her family, he doesn’t give details. By 1924 he had also received a letter from Henry Pullen-Burry; I suppose he Henry could have told him how Annie had helped, but somehow I doubt it. I’m still looking, but so far I haven’t found any other sources for the help Annie gave to Rose and her children: that is, sources saying what the help was (school fees? Rent?) And how long it went on for.
Comment by Sally Davis: who knows how long it took Rose to realise that her husband was gone for good. Perhaps he sent her a letter. Or perhaps she eventually had to admit it to herself after many months of gradually diminishing hope. Her predicament was a grim one. I presume that like most young women of her age and class, Rose Pullen Burry had had the kind of education that prepared her for marriage and motherhood, not for work, in any field. There’s no evidence that she ever had a job, even after her husband left her. Annie Horniman had inherited a fortune from her grandfather, the founder of the Hornimans tea importing firm. Before Rose was left with no income, Annie had already been very generous with money towards Mina (and thus Samuel) Mathers. Although I haven’t found any evidence specifically saying that Annie’s help was financial in Rose’s case, money was what Rose will have been most in need of, however embarrassed and humiliated she might have felt by needing to accept it from her wealthy friend. Rose’s daughters were educated for work - they were both teachers - and fees for them to get the necessary qualifications would have been something Annie could offer and Rose would be glad to accept. Probably Annie paid the fares for Ethel and later Winifred to travel to South Africa, where they both found jobs. In one of the biographies of Annie Horniman she’s mentioned as taking Helen Pullen-Burry on holiday with her in Europe.
The theatre group:
Collected Letters of W B Yeats Volume IV 1905-1907. Editors John Kelly and Ronald Schuchard. Published Oxford University Press 2005: p437-38. Ethel did not find this involvement with the theatre company wholly delightful: she and her fellow volunteer Miss Gildea were so upset by J M Synge’s behaviour in public with his various mistresses, that they complained to Annie about it.
The holiday in Europe: this is a tricky one. I read the information in Annie H: A Pioneer in the Theatre by Sheila Gooddie. Methuen 1990: p89. In the notes for the information, on p199 footnote 17, the source is given as “Helen Pullen-Burry’s unpublished reminiscences; Horniman Collections, John Rylands University Library of Manchester”. What worries me is that I haven’t come across anyone called Helen Pullen-Burry in my other reading; she certainly wasn’t a child of Henry and Rose.
Rose may have changed her name from ‘pullen-burry’ to Burry.
Comment by Sally Davis: though it may just be the way Annie Horniman had always thought of her.
Source for the change of name, if it is one: Collected Letters of W B Yeats Volume IV 1905-1907, editors John Kelly and Ronald Schuchard. Published Oxford Univerisity Press 2005: p430 letter from Annie Horniman in Edinburgh, to W B Yeats 27 June 1906, where Annie tells Yeats she’ll be back in London on Thursday, at which time “Mrs Burry is coming to the flat”.
Rose may have got married a second time, to a man called Wreford.
Source for a remarriage of Rose to someone called Wreford is:
Collected Letters of W B Yeats Volume IV 1905-1907 editors John Kelly and Ronald Schuchard. Published Oxford Univerisity Press 2005; footnote 10 p430 in connection with Annie Horniman’s letter of 27 June 1906, p430.
Comment by Sally Davis: I don’t think Rose married a second time, though I can see how the idea arose that she did: “Address as Mrs Wreford” does make it sound as though Rose has remarried someone else. But I haven’t found evidence of a divorce; or a marriage registration - at least, not in England - and the evidence from Annie Horniman in 1906 and William Wynn Westcott in the 1920s suggests that she remained Mrs Burry or Pullen-Burry. I can think of two possible reasons for the appearance in Rose and Henry’s lives of a ‘mrs wreford’. The first is that Rose was using an assumed name - which leads me to wonder whether she and Henry were hiding from creditors. The second is that Mrs Wreford was Rose’s landlady at the Victoria Street address, a woman running a boarding house and taking in post for her lodgers. I have to say that I haven’t been able to confirm either of these theories: I don’t know how I could confirm the first without a court case involving Rose masquerading as Mrs Wreford; Kelly’s Directory for 1898 lists only the business on the ground floor, not the residents of the rooms above. I haven’t got lucky trying to find Mrs Wreford on the 1901 census; I can’t see Rose or her daughters either - perhaps they were abroad with Annie Horniman.
Further comment by Sally Davis 6 January 2017: I am now in contact with the great-grand-daughter of Ethel Bauristhene, née Pullen-Burry, and there’s been no mention of a second marriage for Rose.
Rose’s son, the younger Henry Pullen-Burry, went to live in the USA.
Thanks to Adam P Forrest for finding him there.
Comment by Sally Davis: Henry Pullen-Burry the younger was the only member of the family I could find on the 1901 census: he was working as a stable-man on a stud farm in Orpington Kent, and lodging with his boss, Tom Olliver, and Tom’s wife Alice at 1 Gray’s Cottages Cudham. Perhaps he had chosen the work; but it’s just as likely that his future had been thrown into chaos when his father joined the gold rush and didn’t come back. By 1911 he had left England for North America. He fought in the first World War as a soldier with the Canadian Expeditionary Force. The US census of 1930 has him living with his wife Mayna and their three sons at Hennepin Minnesota.
At //livesofthefirstworldwar.org details of the members of the Canadian Expeditionary Force.
Via Familysearch to US Federal Census 1930.
Update January 2017: Ethel’s great-grand-daughter has sent me a very detailed family tree compiled by one of Henry’s American descendants.
Rose went to live in South Africa. ?probably before 1911. And finally, having qualified as a sports and medical masseur,Winifred went to South Africa, in 1916. At some point, probably in South Africa, Ethel and Winifred were both members of a co-masons lodge. Ethel’s husband, Antonio Bauristhene, had some correspondence with Alister Crowley in the mid-1920s.
Ethel and Winifred both married in South Africa, and they both have descendants.
ETHEL to South Africa:
findmypast passenger lists: Miss E Pullen-Burry travelled from Southampton to Durban, sailing on 10 March 1906 on the Donald Currie and Company ship German.
Collected Letters of W B Yeats Volume IV 1905-1907 editors John Kelly and Ronald Schuchard. Published Oxford University Press 2005; footnote 10 p430 in connection with Annie Horniman’s letter of 27 June 1906; and p524 footnote 10 which mentions a ‘thank you’ letter Annie Horniman wrote to Yeats in November 1906, after he had sent her a presentation copy of his Poems 1899-1905. Annie told him that she’d already bought several copies and sent one to “Ethel Burry in Natal”.
WINIFRED to South Africa:
On the day of the 1911 census, Winifred was one of the students at the Physical Training College in Dartford.
Source for Winifred going to South Africa: findmypast passenger lists have a Miss Pullen-Burry, aged 29, going from London to Durban on the Union Castle line’s Walmer Castle, leaving 19 February 1916.
Seen at google, the 1936 issue of Directory of Masseuses and Masseurs covering July 1920 to June 1936. Published London: Chartered Society of Massage and Medical Gymnastics. On p552 Winifred is listed under her married name, as Winifred Margaret Pullen Gillmaster. There’s no address for her and it’s not clear whether she was still working; though she was still a member of the Society.
ROSE to South Africa:
Source: I couldn’t find an obvious candidate on findmypast. The most likely one was a woman called Rose Burry, date of birth unknown, who sailed from London on 14 June 1909 on the John T Rennie and Son’s ship Inchanga, bound for Durban; though the marital status of this woman was given as “Single”. I couldn’t find Rose on the 1911 census, so perhaps she’d left the country by then.
ETHEL AND WINIFRED AS CO-MASONS
Unlike the freemasonry that most people know of, co-masonry allows women. When she first contacted me, in December 2016, Ethel’s great-grand-daughter sent me a photo which she asked me to identify, saying that both Ethel and Winifred Pullen-Burry were in it, but that that was all she knew about what was going on. Roger Wright managed to find on the web a website selling official co-masonry regalia; and to identify some of the items being worn or held by people in the photo. I’m now fairly comfortable with the idea of the photo as showing the men and women members of a co-masons lodge, possibly at the end of a lodge meeting. Ethel is sitting on an ornate chair in the middle of the front row, and I think she is the current Worshipful Master of the lodge. Winifred is sitting to her right (as you look at the photo) one of two women and one man carrying a rod of office; I would guess she is one of the other lodge officials for the year. As at 6 January 2017, the lodge name and number, and the date of the photograph, are still a mystery.
ETHEL AND WINIFRED’S MARRIAGES AND DESCENDANTS are on the family tree sent me by Ethel’s great-grand-daughter.
Rose was living in Johannesburg in 1921.
Source: Gerald Yorke Collection catalogue number NS73: letter from William Wynn Westcott to Frederick Leigh Gardner written 6 January 1922. Though he does not say so, I believe Westcott got the information from Annie Horniman, whom he met up with in England in 1921 before leaving to live in Durban. Just as Westcott was living in South Africa with his daughter (Lilian Gee), Rose must have been living with one of her daughters.
Rose died in South Africa, in 1922.
Source though without a specific date: Gerald Yorke Collection catalogue number NS73: letter from William Wynn Westcott to Frederick Leigh Gardner, 17 April 1924 in which Westcott calls Rose “Mrs Pullen-Burry” and says she died about 18 months ago. He doesn’t say where he had come by the news; but I note that he had received (after years of silence) a letter from Henry Pullen-Burry during 1923; perhaps Henry knew that his wife had died.
For what happened to Henry after 1898 you’ll need to go to the third file in this life-by-dates sequence.
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
6 January 2017
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