This is the third file in my sequence of life-by-dates biographies of Henry Pullen-Burry and his wife Rose. This file puts together all I’ve found out about Henry in the USA: 1898-1927. There’s also a section by Adam P Forrest (see 1908) giving some good reasons why Henry chose to live there.
A huge thank-you to Adam Forrest, of Portland Oregon, who inspired me to do the biographies of Henry and Rose; and then provided me with lots of information on the occult scene that Henry was part of in Portland.
HENRY AFTER ROSE
1898 TO 1927
Though he was often registered to practice, with the General Medical Council in the UK, Henry never worked as a doctor again.
Sources: it’s difficult to prove a negative, but there’s no evidence for him in general practice and (see below) some evidence suggesting he tried a number of other jobs instead.
PROBABLY OCTOBER 1898 TO SPRING 1899
Henry and his travelling companions (he describes the group as a “family” which I think is significant; a family of “four rough men”) - were marooned on a boat stuck in the frozen Yukon River, somewhere upstream of Dawson City.
Comment by Sally Davis: I just can’t see Henry Pullen-Burry as a “rough” man! However, I imagine the journey from Hampshire had toughened him up a bit.
That Henry did enter the USA during 1898: via Familysearch to US NARA 1910 census entries GS film number 1375299.
Source for winter’s length and conditions in the Yukon valley: The Klondike Stampede of 1897-98 by Tappan Adney. New York and London: Harper and Brothers Publishers 1900: passim as the book is about his journey; but also p162 for the fact that the river was iced up each winter; p165 in 1897 the icing-up had begun by 23 October 1897 and it was 50 degrees below at 7am, when Adney left Fort Selkirk; and p175 the river ice was four inches thick a couple of days later when Adney finally got to Dawson. P366 for the first signs of the 1898 thaw - 1 May; but p370 the melt water promptly put Dawson under water.
Sources for Henry being iced-up: typescript of evening-class given by Henry Pullen-Burry in Portland Oregon 1918-1919; now at the Freemasons’ Library in Covent Garden with catalogue number SRIA1938m. Volume 3: Science and Hermetic Philosophy part 1. Lecture 47 given November 1918 p281-82 which has the quote about the 4 rough men; and Lecture 51 given December 1918 p301.
Later source: The Man who created Sherlock Holmes: the life and times of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle by Andrew Lycett. Weidenfeld and Nicolson 2007: p209-10; pp209-10, p423.
The ice on the Yukon River melted, freeing the boats that were trapped but destroying a lot of them.
Source for the destruction of some boats by ice floes: Adney (see above) p162, Adney quoting the man who ran the trading post at Fort Selkirk.
Comment by Sally Davis: with the melting of the ice, Henry and his three travelling companions would have been able to finish their journey to the Klondike goldfields. I haven’t found any direct evidence at all for whether they got to them or not; whether they stayed as a group or all went their separate ways; and how long it was before Henry went south again.
Henry did not make his fortune in the Klondike goldrush.
Source: another negative, but that Henry spent the rest of his life living from hand to mouth is clear from the few sources that exist for his later years, when he was living in Portland Oregon.
?1899?1900 TO 1908
Henry moved from job to job and possibly from place to place as well. He spent time as a salesman, and loathed it; and also worked in the office of a saw mill.
Henry as a salesman:
Appearances in the set of 4 volumes at the Freemasons’ Library in Covent Garden, catalogued as SRIA 1938m, typescripts of lectures given by Henry Pullen-Burry between 1918 and 1920 to an occult group in Portland Oregon. Volume 4 of the set: The Aquarian Age. Lecture 36 given January 1921 and one of a group of them on the existence of black magic in the modern world: 211-216.
Henry as a clerk in a sawmill, and generally about this period in his life:
Letter from Henry to Michael Whitty, publisher of the occult magazine Azoth; written 7 June 1919. You can read the letter at www.heruraha.net, the Temple of Thelema website. It and a series Henry sent to Paul Foster Case were posted there in March 2010 by Jim Eshelman who was able to see the original letters but doesn’t say where they are now; as at March 2010 they hadn’t been published.
Comment by Sally Davis: Henry is writing to another occultist so he would say this wouldn’t he (and he’s also on the lookout for sympathy for his plight) but in the letter to Whitty he implies that his main effort at this time was being put into his occult studies. He describes himself at this time as “a sort of Elijah in the wilderness”. It’s not clear from the letter exactly where this wilderness was - whether in the Yukon; elsewhere in Canada; or in the USA; or in all those places; but Henry ended up in Oregon.
1904 to 1911
Henry was in what he called his “passage through the 6=5", a particularly hard time.
Source: letter to Whitty 7 June 1919 see above.
Comment by Sally Davis: it seems as though, even if he had wanted to return to the UK and his wife, Henry didn’t have the money to pay for the journey. I wonder if he would have come back, if he had raised the fare?
PROBABLY 1906, definitely before 1908
Henry was a member of an occult group, possibly the New Thought Circle he lectured to in 1908 (see below). Through a conversation with another member, he became convinced of the truth of the writings of the man he referred to as ‘Heer Rose of The Hague’. He’d acquired them around 1888 but had not paid them much attention. From this time on, however, the writings became more and more important to him, as predicting the Age of Aquarius.
Source: Appearances in the set of 4 volumes at the Freemasons’ Library in Covent Garden, catalogued as SRIA 1938m. These volumes are all typescripts, apparently of lectures given by Henry Pullen-Burry between 1918 and 1920 to an occult group in Portland Oregon. Volume 3: Science and Hermetic Philosophy part 2: Lecture 60 given February 1919 p355 though he’s a bit vague about when this life-changing conversation took place.
Comment by Sally Davis: in Lecture 60 Henry described how he had listened to another student describing a vision he or she had had, and gradually realised that a lot of what the student was telling him had been described in the writings of Heer Rose, including the existence in the past of creatures that looked like apes but were nevertheless human. The existence of this missing-link creature was very important to Henry, who had come to hate the Darwinian idea that our species is descended from apes. After this encounter, Henry began to study Heer Rose’s writings with very close attention and they formed the basis for a lot of what he later wrote about the Aquarian Age. By early 1908 he had enough information to hand on Heer Rose’s ideas, to give a lecture on “The Eternal Memory”, one of the two extra sephiroths that Heer Rose had postulated in his writings. Source for the lecture: Morning Oregonian 10 January 1908 p9.
Although he was still registered with the British GMC at an English address, this year is the earliest evidence for Henry living in Portland. He had probably been there for a while and got to know people because he was already a member of Portland’s New Thought Circle, which met on Friday evenings at Miss Eisner’s house, 454 Columbia Street.
GMC Register for 1908 p307 and for 1909 p312. In both issues, Henry’s address was 11 Osney Crescent Paignton. I don’t know who was really living there.
Morning Oregonian 10 January 1908 p9.
Comment by Sally Davis: new thought circles exist at the moment, though it wasn’t clear to me whether they are continuations of the one Henry was a member of, or more recent foundations. A New Thought Circle existed in Medford Oregon in 1917, but I couldn’t see any other evidence of the Portland one. Source for Medford’s New Thought Circle: Medford Mail Tribune Saturday 3 February 1917 p4: a thank you note to its women members.
WHY PORTLAND? Here are some very good reasons why, researched and written by Adam P Forrest:
Referring to events in the 1920s, Emma Hardinge Britten scholar Marc Demarest (Chasing Down Emma, 2011, July 11) described Portland with wry affection as “the strange wooded attractor of the weird”.
Portland had been an active centre of New Thought (the equivalent of today’s New Age) and other forms of alternative spirituality since long before Pullen-Burry arrived. In 1850, within two years of the birth of Spiritualism in upstate New York, séances were being held in Portland. As early as 1867, the First Society of Progressive Spiritualists was meeting weekly in Portland. The New Era Spiritualist Camp was founded a few miles south of Portland in 1873, to serve as a site for Spiritualist camp meetings.
Theosophy has been active here since at least the foundation of the Willamette Lodge in 1890. The Prometheus Lodge was founded in 1895. Another lodge, the Theosophical Society in Portland, celebrated its centennial in 2011. During the course of the 1890s, Annie Besant, William Quan Judge, and Countess Wachtmeister all lectured in Portland.
From 1886 to 1918, a very influential New Thought periodical, The World’s Advance Thought, describing itself as “the Avant-Courier of the New Dispensation” was published in Portland by Lucy A. Rose Mallory, whom no less an admirer of New Thought than Leo Tolstoy described as “the most important woman in America”.
In 1901, astrologer Llewellyn George founded both the Portland School of Astrology and Llewellyn Publishing in Portland. Now located in Minnesota, Llewellyn Worldwide has become the world’s largest publisher of New Age and occult books.
In Pullen-Burry’s time, popular Rosicrucianism arose in the United States, and took ready root in Portland. Max Heindel’s Rosicrucian Fellowship established a group in Portland within months of the Fellowship’s founding in 1909. Public classes studying Heindel’s books met regularly in the Portland public library. By 1923 The Triangle, a periodical of Spencer Lewis’ AMORC, was able to report that in Portland “the work is going on . . .with the usual enthusiasm”, and that the Imperator of the Order would be visiting the Portland AMORC group for a week. Also in 1923, J C F Grumbine relocated his Rosicrucian and mystical Order of the White Rose from Cleveland to Portland, where it continued to operate until his death in 1938.
Azoth: The Occult Magazine of America was edited from 1917 to 1921 by two consecutive Adept Praemonstrators or chief teachers of the New York temple of the AO (the Mathers loyalist branch of the Golden Dawn), firstly Michael Whitty and then (briefly) Paul Foster Case. In August 1921, in the same issue in which Pullen-Burry advertised his course of 123 mail-order lectures on Occultism, the magazine posted its statement of ownership. One of the ten owners was William E. Lilie of Vancouver, Washington USA, an integral part of the Portland metropolitan area.
At the Vernal equinox in 1920, a significant event transpired in Portland for another Golden Dawn Adept, for it was here that William Butler Yeats, on a lecture tour of America, received his famous samurai sword as a gift from Junto Sato.
End of Adam Forrest’s section; so back to Sally Davis who would like to comment that although there isn’t any direct evidence for it, surely Henry must have known most of the people Adam mentions; and most of the societies and magazines.
Sources and follow up for Adam Forrest’s section:
Chasing Down Emma: see Marc Demarest’s blog on the history of spiritualism, at ehbritten.blogspot.co.uk. Though you do have to be patient!
Lucy A Rose Mallory: a number of references to her on the web, and you can read copies of her magazine The World’s Advance Thought at www.iapsop.com
Max Heindel, writing name of Carl Louis von Grasshof. There’s a wikipedia page on him: 1865-1919, born Denmark. Worked as an engineer for the Cunard Line. Settled 1903 in Los Angeles, joined the TS and studied astrology. Author of several works on Rosicrucianism, particularly The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception (1909). Important work with Rudolf Steiner. Died 1919 in California.
Harvey Spencer Lewis, also known as Sar Alden; and Wisar Spenle Cerve. There’s a wiki on him: 1883-1939. Author, commercial artist. Founder (1915) and first imperator of the Ancient and Mystical Order Rosae Crucis (AMORC). I could see copies of the journal The Triangle via google; all from the 1920s.
Jesse Charles Fremont Grumbine; no wikipedia on him as yet. Upstate Cauldron: Eccentric Spiritual Movements in Early New York State by Joscelyne Godwin. SUNY Press 2015: p253 Grumbine BD heads a list of what looks like the teachers in an academy; as chair of metaphysics, ontology and divinity. On p311 Cayuga is listed as where Grumbine had his first ministry, in 1884 as clerk to the Universalist Society. As founder of the Order of the White Rose also known as the Order of Melchisedek.
At www.iapsop.com magazine The Rosicrucian Brotherhood volume 2 number 8 July 1908 announced the founding of the Ancient Order of Melchisedek, Brotherhood of Jesus.
I noticed a very large number of publications by Grumbine on a wide range of esoteric subjects including Auras and Colors; Clairvoyance; Clairaudience; Spiritualism and Channeling; Psychometry and Psychic Skills - etc.
Henry appears on the US Census, living in Mr and Mrs Martin’s lodging house in Multnomah, Portland Ward 4. This year, for the first time, his entry in the British GMC also gave an address in Portland - 247½ Fifth Street Portland.
GMC Register 1910 p217.
Via Familysearch to US NARA 1910 census entries GS film number is 1375299: household in Portland Ward 4, Multnomah. Just noting that Henry was still describing himself as married. The census didn’t ask people their occupation, unfortunately.
Henry began offering private tuition in chemistry and natural philosophy.
Source: Henry’s advert, in the Morning Oregonian 6 July 1910 p15 in the small ads.
Comment by Sally Davis: this is probably the point at which he gave up his job at the saw mill, the last work he had (it would appear) in which he was an employee, rather than self-employed.
DATE DIFFICULT TO ESTABLISH BUT AFTER 1910, PROBABLY AFTER 1918
Henry tried to make a living by selling typescripts of individual lectures from the set of evening classes now at the Freemasons’ Library and catalogued there as SRIA 1938m.
Letter from Henry to Michael Whitty, publisher of the occult magazine Azoth; written 7 June 1919. You can read the letter at www.heruraha.net, the Temple of Thelema website. It and a series Henry sent to Paul Foster Case were posted there in March 2010 by Jim Eshelman who was able to see the original letters but doesn’t say where they are now; as at March 2010 they hadn’t been published.
Set of 4 volumes at the Freemasons’ Library in Covent Garden, catalogued as SRIA 1938m. In Volume 1: The Hermetics of the Bible p67 a little note dated November  says that copies of the lectures contained in the volume could be bought for 25cents per lecture.
1912/1913 AND POSSIBLY LATER
Henry was living at 311 East 48th Street Portland.
Source: GMC Register 1913 p222.
Comment by Sally Davis: I do find it curious that Henry was still wanting to be registered with the British General Medical Council; because after many years of rootlessness he had now found himself a niche in the USA. He continued to send in his details to the GMC for its register until his death.
20 DECEMBER 1914; 3pm, Room 300 of the Alisky Building, Portland Oregon
Meeting - possibly the first meeting - of a group calling itself Ekklesia Number 1 of the Ekklesiae Autochristophysis. Henry was an important member of this group; possibly its leader and founder. It still existed in 1920.
Sources: announcement of the meeting, called a public “service”, in the Sunday Oregonian of 20 December 1914; published Portland.
Source confirming Henry’s involvement in the group: set of 4 volumes at the Freemasons’ Library in Covent Garden, catalogued as SRIA 1938m. In Volume 1: The Hermetics of the Bible, p1 and on the first page of each lecture, a Mrs Helen Bailey of 251 West Broadway Portland is named as honorary secretary of Ekklesia 1. Lecture 67 p67 announced that the annual meeting of Ekklesia 1 would take place on Sunday 21 November  at the K P Hall at 409 Alder, Portland.
?FROM DECEMBER 1914 TO 1921 (though possibly not continuously)
Henry gave a series of weekly lectures to the group known as Ekklesia 1 of the Ekklesiae Autochristophysis. His lectures were typed up and bound in the volumes now in the Freemasons’ Library and catalogued as SRIA 1938m.
Sources: the four volumes (one in two parts) SRIA 1938m.
Long comment by Sally Davis on the four volumes of typescript now in the Freemasons’ Library as catalogue number SRIA 1938m.
This is a monumental work: there are 1789 pages which contain 912,390-ish words; it’s the result of research, astral travelling and writing by Henry over 35 years, and meetings of one or more occult groups in Portland over eight years. Though I’m not sure what Henry intended when Ekklesia 1 was set up in late 1914, by the time he was finishing off the last of the volumes he did have a clear sense of what they were all for, a purpose very much at the heart of the occult world of his times - and you can include some at least of the GD members in that, he was not the only member writing along the same lines. All the volumes are laid out as a series of lectures, a set of evening classes in hermetics.
First and second volumes of the four: The Hermetics of the Bible; and The Occultism of the New Testament. Although they were typed up during 1920, the lectures resulted from discussions and other work, that Henry mentioned as having gone on several years before; so they were the first set of classes he thought of. Henry’s thesis was that the Bible is an occult text book, and its full meaning will only be made clear if you read it as a Kabbalistic text. The Hermetics of the Bible concentrates on the Old Testament, particularly the Book of Ezra, the Psalms especially 82 and 119, the causes and results of the Jewish captivity in Babylon, and a Kabbalistic interpretation of the creation myth in Genesis. The Occultism of the New Testament focuses on St John’s Gospel, and on what is predicted in it about the new Age in which Henry now believed he was living.
Third volume of the four, which is so big it’s in two parts: Science and Hermetic Philosophy. Each lecture has a date on it and the full set of lectures was delivered weekly between January 1918 and May 1920. In it, Henry (I suppose inadvertently) showed why he was no longer a practising doctor. He now hated the methods and the assumptions - essentially the whole idea - of contemporary, mechanistic science; on the grounds that it discounted the idea of the constantly re-born, ever-developing soul; rejected the idea of god or gods; and suggested the descent of Homo sapiens from apes. Henry hoped that the new Age would bring forth a hermetic science, based on axiom verified by means of astral travel to other realms and communication with their non-human inhabitants, rather than hypothesis verified by observation and experiment; and carried out by trained Adepts rather than scientists. In the two parts of the course, Henry argued that evolution is not about species, but about souls. He believed that everything on this planet, even rocks, had some form of consciousness and a soul, however basic and inert, which could move forward - essentially upward through reincarnations in ever-more-complex species - towards reincarnation in a human body, a particular high point but not the last stage in a soul’s development. He also believed that elsewhere in the cosmos, entities existed that were at a higher level of consciousness than humans. In Part 2 (begun in December 1918) Henry concentrated on human biology and psychology and social organisation. The importance to Henry of the writings of Heer Rose of The Hague is clear in it - Rose and the French advocate of reincarnation Allan Kardec appear in Henry’s lis of the few people chosen to receive some hints as to what the imminent next Age of history would consist of. (Henry had read Kardec’s work probably in the English translation made by GD member Anna Blackwell.) Rose and Kardec had been given their information by what Henry describes as (Part 2 Lecture 89 p533) entities representing the “great Cosmic Order of super-man souls...the Adepts of spiritual science”. Science and Hermetic Philosophy ends with a series of lectures on Death and After - what happens to the soul after the death of its latest human body.
Henry was aware of some at least of the most recent discoveries of materialist science. In Part 1 Lecture 2, given January 1918, p2 he said that “Substance...is matter in vibration” with different substances vibrating at different rates - a description with string-theory overtones; and he described the atom as an arrangement of electrons in balance. He was also very excited by the discovery of radium and X-rays; and by experiments with spiritualist mediums: he was convinced that they provided evidence of the continuation of the soul - of life after death. However, most 19th and 20th-century science only indicated to Henry how far Mankind had to go before the souls that inhabited the human bodies of the contemporary world could move to any higher level of existence.
Fourth and last volume: The Aquarian Age, lectures delivered by Henry between May 1920 and September 1921. These lectures make clear - or clearer - what was now the purpose of Ekklesia 1 (I’m not at all sure that its purpose at the outset was the same). Its members were not just students of hermeticism listening to Henry as their occultist teacher. Henry now thought of himself as an Adept successor to Heer Rose of The Hague, whom he now met regularly on his astral travels. In Henry’s astral travelling and other occult practices he had also met entities that had confirmed the arrival of the Age of Aquarius and told him what would be the main differences between it and its Piscean predecessor. The people of Ekklesia 1 - the people listening to the lectures - were to be trained as mediums and would use that training to find out more still about the Aquarian Age. They would communicate those findings to the public at large. The result would be the re-establishment of the Golden Age of Ibez, a civilization that had existed first in the Mexican Gult and later in the Pacific, around 1 million years ago; led by the group known as the White Lodge who were now in charge of the rescue of Mankind from the state it had got into when Ibez sank into the ocean. The lectures gave details of what Aquarian society would be like; but warned the mediums-to-be of the dangers of the Aquarian Age being prevented from taking root by the efforts of black magicians in the world (by which Henry meant most scientists, and big business). He ended the whole great effort by denying the Brotherhood of Man - as each soul has two unique parents, each human is an only child-cum-soul - and proclaiming instead (Lecture 66 given September 1921, p393) a “universal Father-Mother” of all souls.
How typical Henry’s beliefs were, amongst occultists of the time, I really wouldn’t know, I’m not an occultist myself although I gather from some that are, that Henry’s views were not original. Other GD members (Ellen Gaskell for example) certainly shared the conviction that the world was (at last) leaving the Piscean Age of unquestioning monotheism and moving into the Aquarian Age of religion based on knowledge: an age in which hermeticists would come in from the margins to take their proper place at the centre of soul and social development. Both Ellen Gaskell and Henry thought of themselves as heralds of the Aquarian Age. It was, I think, how Henry had come to justify to himself his desertion of his family; and his poverty and loss of social status since: he had a higher purpose and could not expect reward in this life - which, after all, was only the latest life of his soul’s progress through reincarnation to another level of existence.
I also wonder about whether Henry would still have counted himself as Christian at this stage in his life. In Science and Hermetic Philosophy and again in The Aquarian Age, he describes Christianity as being degraded and commercialised and part of the problem not the solution.
For more on this business of the astrological ages:
Ibez became most widely publicized as part of the Theosophical legends on Atlantis and Lemuria in Alice Bailey's A Treatise on White Magic (1934). You can read the relevant section online at:
Alice Bailey A Treatise on White Magic published 1934 in London by J M Watkins and in New York by the Lucis Publishing Co.
For some of the Theosophic teachings about Ibez with footnoted sources, try:
Comment by Sally Davis on whether the Bible is a kabbalistic document. All I know about the Kabbalah is contained in Kabbalah: A Very Short Introduction by Joseph Dan, Gershom Scholem Professor of Kabbalah at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Published Oxford University Press 2007. On p13 Dan says that Jewish esotericism dates from the first century CE and later; and (p6) that the “kabbalah...first appeared in southern Europe in the last decades of the twelfth century”. The Sefer Yezira, much used by my GD members, appears first (p17) in the Jewish European culture of the tenth century. Though most modern scholars assume that its origins were third or fourth century, it’s in the absence of certain evidence as no copies exist from that early.
Henry had moved from East 48th Street Portland; though I don’t know where he went to.
Medical Register 1919 p147 with Henry’s address as “Portland Oregon USA”.
Henry began to correspond with Michael Whitty; so he had found out about the existence of the occult magazine Azoth. The correspondence ended (as Henry no doubt hoped it would) with Henry writing an article for the magazine.
Source: letter from Henry to Michael Whitty, publisher of the occult magazine Azoth; written 7 June 1919. You can read the letter at www.heruraha.net, the Temple of Thelema website. It and a series Henry sent to Paul Foster Case were posted there in March 2010 by Jim Eshelman who was able to see the original letters but doesn’t say where they are now; as at March 2010 they hadn’t been published.
More information on Azoth:
Azoth: A Monthly Magazine Devoted to... Volume 7 numbers 1 to 6; and Volume 8 number 1. You can read volumes 7 and 8 at www.iapsop.com/archive/materials/azoth/ and there are a few more details about the magazine, which was published by the Azoth Publishing Co Inc of Cooperstown New York, from 1917 to August 1921. Editor: Michael Whitty; sub-editor (by 1920) Paul Foster Case; with specialist editors including Frank C Higgins, whose specialism was freemasonry - works by Higgins are mentioned by Henry in one of the volumes catalogued as SRIA 1938m.
Comment by Sally Davis: I’m not sure how and when Henry found out about Azoth - I guess he heard it on the American occult grapevine. If he hadn’t known of its existence already, he would have learned through Michael Whitty, that an offshoot of the Alpha and Omega Order (founded by Samuel Liddell Mathers after he’d been expelled from the GD in 1900) existed in New York - the Thoth Hermes Temple. Whitty was its senior figure in the late 1910s, and his protégé Paul Foster Case its rising star. Henry would have found some familiar names amongst the writers who appeared in Azoth: as well as Mathers, E W Berridge had items published in it. Whitty died late in 1920. There’s an obituary in Occult Review volume 33 number 2 February 1921 p75 though it has virtually no coverage of Whitty’s time in the USA. Whitty turns out to have been English by birth (born 1862). He was the grandson of the original Michael John Whitty, founder of the Liverpool Daily Post.
JULY 1920 TO JANUARY 1921
Henry’s article appeared in Azoth: Occult and Religious Symbolism.
Source: see iapsop website details immediately above.
?AROUND 1920, 1921
Ekklesiae Autochristophysis either morphed into or was taken over by a more dynamic Portland-based group.
Source: this is a bit of speculation by Adam Forrest, based on his knowledge of occult activity in Portland Oregon in the years after the first World War and a careful reading of the local sources for both groups.
The Brotherhood of Atlantis and Ibez had been founded.
Sources, both discovered by Adam P Forrest: Morning Oregonian of 20 March 1921, obituary notice for Linus M Clark of 10½ 16th Street North, Portland; who is described as a member of that Brotherhood. Source for Henry as another member of the Brotherhood, possibly its leader after Clark’s death: announcement of Henry’s funeral, in Oregonian 3 January 1927.
DECEMBER 1920 TO MID-1921 and possibly later but I couldn’t find evidence of later
Henry corresponded with Paul Foster Case.
Comment by Sally Davis: Henry’s letters to Whitty and to Foster Case are more or less the only source for what he’d been doing in the years between 1898 and (say) 1908; and also the only source I know of for his comments on the struggles of the GD in the late 1890s.
Source: extracts from Henry’s letters (but not the replies), posted in March 2010 at www.heruraha.net, website of the Temple of Thelema, by Jim Eshelman. Eshelman seems to have been able to see the letters but doesn’t say where they are now; as at March 2010 they hadn’t been published. Eshelman had been intending to write an article on HPB as a 7=4; but the set of letter-extracts were as near as he got to that.
For further information on Paul Foster Case: wikipedia; and a timeline compiled by Lee Moffitt and dated 26 September 1997 at kcbventures.com/pfc/documents/timeline.pdf. Moffitt suggests that Foster Case was grateful to be noticed by a member of the original GD - he felt it gave his position at the Thoth Hermes Temple greater legitimacy - he had only been a member of it for a few years when he took over as the Temple’s senior occultist after Whitty’s death.
Henry met Arthur Conan Doyle again, in Portland. Conan Doyle found Henry much like he had been in the 1890s - “full of Rosicrucian lore, and occult knowledge”.
The Man who created Sherlock Holmes: the life and times of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle by Andrew Lycett. Weidenfeld and Nicolson 2007: p209-10; p210, p423-26. Conan Doyle passed through Portland during a lecture tour.
Henry’s book Qabalism was published.
Source: Qabalism originally published by The Yogi Publication Society of Chicago; available on demand now through Kessinger Legacy Reprints.
Comment by Sally Davis: in his book, Henry puts forward a lot of the arguments that figured in the lecture series volumes (SRIA 1938m). I did notice a couple of changes in his thinking, though. In the Preface to Qabalism he said that the Kabbalah is the secret wisdom of the White Lodge of the Ibez civilization, and seemed to be trying to deny that the Jews had anything to do with it other than uncomprehendingly passing the wisdom on, via the Bible. Henry also included a chapter on the life and work of Philo Judaeus; who was hardly mentioned in the SRIA 1938m volumes. Henry did mention the mystical writings of Heer Rose of The Hague; but only ever referred to 10 sephiroth, rather than the 12 he suggested Heer Rose was advocating in the SRIA 1938m volumes.
30 DECEMBER 1926
Henry Pullen-Burry died of toxaemia in Multnomah Hospital. The soul that had occupied his body was released to await its next rebirth.
Source: Oregonian 3 January 1927: death and funeral announcement.
GMC Register 1927 p168 had an entry for Henry Pullen-Burry for the last time. His address was given as 413 Goodnough Buildings Portland. That’s not his house, or at least I think not: it was the meeting place where Henry was delivering his lecture series during 1920 and 1921.
AFTERMATH - SRIA 1938m. How the volumes might have come to end up in the Museum of Freemasonry in London.
All the volumes have a name handwritten on the inside of the leather binding: “C C Adams”. That’s Cecil Clare Adams (1891-1963) son of the architect Henry Percy Adams of the London-based practice Adams Holden and Pearson. After Winchester and RMA Woolwich, in 1910 Cecil went into the Royal Engineers. He survived the first World War and the second, being awarded the MC and retiring with the rank of Colonel. In 1917, during a tour of duty in Ontario Canada, Cecil married Louisa Augusta Kirkpatrick. They had one child, Margaret Cecil Adams, born back in England in 1921.
Cecil had a lifelong interest in the occult. In 1913 he was initiated into A E Waite’s Independent and Rectified Rite. By the early 1920s he was a freemason and member of Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia’s Metropolitan College; from which so many of the GD’s original members had come, around 1888-89. He also joined the freemasons’ lodge Quatuor Coronati 2076, founded in the late 1880s as a forum for the study of the history and symbolism of freemasonry. Though the demands of his profession meant that he couldn’t always attend meetings of the SRIA or QC2076, he rose through the ranks in QC2076 and served as its WM in 1940. In 1949 he was paid the compliment of being asked to give the United Grand Lodge of England’s annual Prestonian Lecture. The subject of the lecture was always left to the chosen lecturer; Cecil spoke about Our Oldest Lodge.
All in all then, a likely reader of lectures on the Kabbala and the Aquarian Age. Quite how Cecil found out about Henry’s sets of lectures I don’t know; perhaps he stumbled across Azoth, the first issues of which were published while he was stationed in Canada; or perhaps he knew through IRR friends of the existence of the Thoth-Hermes Temple and went to Canada with letters of introduction. Somehow, he got plugged into occult circles in the US, and eventually bought what is probably a full set of the lectures Henry gave to his Ekklesia 1 between 1918 and 1921. It was probably Cecil that had the typescripts bound in leather; and in due course either he or his heirs gave them to the SRIA, where they are now part of its library at the FML.
Sources for Cecil Clare Adams: see en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ for Cecil’s father and
www.mallandain.com/rf.fulcher.mathieson.htm, for his father’s affair with Cecil’s step-mother Alice Mathieson whom he married in 1898 when her divorce came through.
Familysearch Ontario Marriages 1869-1927 now housed at Toronto, GS film number 002130760
There’s an obitiary in Royal Engineers’ Journal published by the Institution of Royal Engineers; volume 77 1963 p318.
Initiation into the Independent and Rectified Rite: RAG p174 C C Adams, taking the motto Verum exquiro.
For SRIA: I looked at the Metropolitan College’s Transactions of 1920-25; edited by W John Songhurst and privately printed. The issue of 1921 p17-18; issue of 1922 p30-31; and issue of 1924 p20 show Cecil beginning to progress up the ranks of the College’s officers towards spending a year as its Celebrant. However he doesn’t appear in the issue of 1924, presumably because he had been posted abroad. He was still a member though (p64), at level Vº. He also appeared in the issue of 1925 p57 as VIIº.
Quatuor Coronati 2076: via google to Ars Quatuor Coronati 2076 volume 52 1941 p283 Cecil C Adams as the previous year’s WM, installing the coming year’s one.
His lecture: at public.76465.fr01.ikeepincloud.com a list of those giving the UGLE’s Prestonian Lecture.
Either Cecil Adams was lending his copies around, or there were other copies of some of Henry’s lectures in circulation in London in the 1920s. In the Gerald Yorke collection there are some notes by Dr Carnegie Dickson on that part of The Hermetics of the Bible which covers Genesis chapter 1, the creation story days 1 to 3 (but not 4 to 6); and on the earlier part of The Occultism of the New Testament, where Henry considers St John’s gospel up to the end of its chapter 5.
Source: Gerald Yorke Collection NS32, notebook at least partly used by Carnegie Dickson.
Comment by Sally Davis: Carnegie Dickson was the son of Dr George Dickson who was a member of the GD in Edinburgh in the 1890s. Carnegie Dickson was initiated into the GD’s daughter order Stella Matutina in July 1909. Stella Matutina suffered in the years after its founder, Dr Robert William Felkin, emigrated to New Zealand; but was revived by Carnegie Dickson and other London-based members in the 1920s.
RAG p41, p142, p165.
Gerald Yorke Collection of GD and Crowley papers, now at the Warburg Institute University of London. Catalogue number NS32: Notebook used by Rev A H E Lee and Dr Carnegie Dickson. Carnegie Dickson’s notes of Hermetics of the Bible Lectures 34 to 44; and notes on part of The Occultism of the New Testament.
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
12 September 2015
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: