George Easthall WILLIAMS whose initiation date R A Gilbert was not quite certain of; he made a guess of December 1889.Williams chose the Latin motto ĎAd finemí.The address he gave for GD correspondence was the Primrose Club, at 4 Park Place St Jamesís London SW1.A later note on his GD papers said that he had died by March 1892.

 

I couldnít spot this man for sure on the censuses of 1881 and 1891.Despite not having any idea how old George was, I did have a go at finding a birth registration for a child with all those names - that is to say, including ĎEasthallí - but I couldnít find one.If he was born in England or Wales (I was using freebmd which doesnít cover anywhere else), he must have been among the many ĎGeorge Williamsí whose registrations I came across.

 

I do know what George Williams did for a living.Via Google, I did find a reference to a man of that name (all that name) being appointed as the London correspondent for a number of American newspapers, in 1889.I havenít had any success following this reference up, though.

 

The other bit of information I can give is about Georgeís politics.According to Wikipedia the Primrose Club was founded as a consciously Conservative gentlemanís club: all prospective members had to pledge their support to the Conservative Party.Giving the Primrose Club as his address for post, doesnít imply George Williams lived there.Most gentlemanís clubs had rooms which members could stay in from time to time, but I donít think you could actually take up permanent residence in them.It was more likely that George Williams actually rented rooms at a much less swish address, or moved from lodging house to lodging house on a regular basis.The Club would then be his one permanent address, and a place to eat and drink and meet people with whom he had a lot in common, while he lived out of his suitcase.

 

Of course, I looked for a death registration but couldnít find one for him, at least not in England or Wales.Which adds to my suspicion that he might have been an American, over in England as part of his job.

 

 

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 Dawnís administrative records and its Membersí 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 itís now in the Freemasonsí Library at the United Grand Lodge of England building on Great Queen Street Covent Garden.

 

Family history: freebmd; ancestry.co.uk (census and probate); findmypast.co.uk; familysearch; Burkeís Peerage and Baronetage; Burkeís 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.

 

Catalogues: British Library; Freemasonsí Library.

 

Wikipedia; Google; Google Books - my three best resources.I also used other web pages, but with some caution, as - from the historianís point of view - they vary in quality a great deal.

 

The reference to Easthall Williams as a newspaper correspondent: Current Opinion volume 2 1889 but as so often with Google, the snippet of information I could see didnít include the page number.

 

Copyright SALLY DAVIS

25 April 2012