Helen Mary Rand was initiated into the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn
at its Isis-Urania temple in
This is a file about Helen’s life outside the
occult. To reach my account of her life in the GD and descendent orders, return
to the Index page and take the other option under ‘
FAMILY BACKGROUND AND EARLY LIFE
Two pieces of information to save reader bafflement:
1 = Helen’s father and her husband had exactly the same name: John Rand. I shall call them John the father, or Dr John; and John the husband. Clearly it follows that:
2 = Helen had the same surname before and after her marriage.
The Rands were from
John Rand Helen’s father was a doctor. He had
gained a basic training working for Henry Hare of Great Baddow,
Essex before studying and working at Guy’s Hospital and hospitals in
In 1860 John Rand Helen’s father married Fanny Hicks, daughter of Charles and Anna Hicks, who ran a farm at Great Holland Essex and lived at Holland Hall. Dr John and Fanny Rand had four, possibly five children: Walter Charles, born 1863; Helen Mary born 6 December 1864; Egbert George born 1868; and Arthur Harold born 1869 all survived to adulthood. There was also, possibly, a second daughter – Ethel, born 1867, who died when she was two.
By the day of the 1871 census John and Fanny Rand
and their family were living on
Helen’s father and husband having the same name was not a coincidence: in 1888 Helen married her first cousin John Rand; he was probably her father’s godson and the two families were very close.
John Rand, Helen’s husband, was the only child of
William Rand, her father’s brother. William Rand was an auctioneer, working in
HELEN’S HUSBAND JOHN RAND
It has been very hard to find any information about the working life of John Rand Helen’s husband. I’m not even absolutely sure exactly what he did for a living; and his daily tasks may have been different at different times. On the day of the 1881 census he was training as an estate agent; but not in his relations’ family business. He was living, with two other pupil estate agents, in the household of Ann Hadley, a farmer in Dilwyn, Herefordshire; perhaps he was at college. In 1885, in a probate application, he described himself as a “gentleman”, as if he had no profession at all; though by 1891, as a married man, he was working as an auctioneer and valuer and by 1901 he had added ‘surveyor’ to that list. In a source from 1909, he was described as a “land agent”, which often describes someone who is managing a rural estate for an absentee landlord.
I didn’t come across any evidence that John Rand
Helen’s husband was ever in legal partnership with anyone; so I guess he worked
for himself, or was an employee. I also didn’t find him named in any bankruptcy
proceedings, either as the insolvent one or as a creditor; so he must have been
quite careful of committing himself financially. He moved about quite a bit in
his working life: from Essex, to Surrey and then to
The 1885 probate application I mentioned above
followed the death of Anne Rand – Helen’s aunt, the mother of her future
husband. On the day of the 1881 census Anne had been living in Hampshire, at
MARRIAGE OF HELEN AND JOHN RAND
The two first cousins married each other in Dulwich in the spring of 1888. They had no children.
On the day of the 1891 census – a week or two
after Helen’s initiation as a GD member – they were living at The Priory, at
Very early in 1897, Helen and John moved to Esher Ditton, to a house called Elmfield;
which existed at least up to 2002. In 2002 its address was Portsmouth Road
Esher; but early references to it place it on Stoney
Hill, which is not on Streetmap so must have been
rationalised away by the GPO. Esher may have been near to John Rand’s
work-place; but from Helen’s point of view as a GD member wanting to go to
meetings in central
BREAKDOWN OF HELEN AND JOHN RAND’S MARRIAGE
The genealogist who contacted me about John Rand
discovered that he and Helen had separated, and John had begun a relationship
with another woman, Althea. A child was born to John and Althea early in 1907,
so his marriage to Helen had probably ended by then. John had moved to
From the daughter of a couple who knew Helen and
IRR founder A E Waite, Ithell Colquhoun (biographer
of GD founder Samuel Liddell Mathers) heard a tale that
– for a short time in 1910 – Waite was living with Helen in 36a Penywern Road. Waite and Helen had often gone to Sunday
lunch with the couple at that time. The couple had told their daughter that the
relationship between Helen and Waite was more that of head of household plus
employed housekeeper/ secretary (except that I’m sure Helen wasn’t being paid)
- Helen waiting on Waite (no pun intended!) hand and foot and him addressing
her as Vigilate, not Helen. Colquhoun supposed that
it was a temporary arrangement, following a
falling-out between Waite and his first wife
If it happened at all, Helen’s episode as Waite’s
helpmeet was over by census day 1911. On that day Helen was with her parents
John and Fanny Rand, apparently part of their household at Felixstowe,
Until the 1921 census is released for historians to study, I have no information on where Helen lived between census day 1911 and the ‘census’ taken in September 1939. The obvious arrangement was for her to live with her mother, at least until 1929 when Fanny Rand died.
The probate registration for Fanny Rand, describes
Helen as the wife of John Rand; but her listing on the 1939 ‘census’ calls her
a single woman – a reflection of the uncertain social status of women whose
husbands had left them and who may or may not have been divorced. There is
evidence of Helen living with “spinster cousins” in the 1930s. However, she
wasn’t with them on the day in September that the 1939 ‘census’ was carried
out. She was at a house called Ridgeway, in or near Newbury in
The death of Althea E C Rand aged 64 was
There’s no knowing what Helen thought of A E Waite’s remarriage, in 1933. No matter how badly she had got on with his second wife, Waite’s death in 1942 must have been a poignant moment for Helen. Annie Horniman had died in August 1937; some sources say that Helen inherited Annie’s private papers.
Helen Rand moved to 28 South Bank Lodge, probably after the war; it was block of flats round the back of Surbiton railway station. She was living near both her brothers’ families. She died on 28 February 1953. Her probate registry entry describes her as a widow; so perhaps John Rand her husband had died by then; but perhaps not.
Information collected by genealogist employed to find John Rand’s heirs: overview sent by emails 5 and 6 June 2013:
- that Helen and her husband John were first cousins; source - birth certificates/baptism records etc
- that Helen’s husband
John Rand was working in
- that Helen was living with “spinster cousins” at least from 1931 to her death: source not disclosed to me and at that date the 1939 ‘census’ data wasn’t available to the public.
Helen Rand’s father JOHN RAND:
General Medical Council registers. Entries for Dr John Rand from 1867 to 1895.
He has an entry in the Royal College of Surgeons’ Plarr’s Lives of the Fellows Online; which gets its information from an from Dr Rand’s obituary in British Medical Journal 1912 volume 2 p461.
Dr John Rand’s partner, Edward Reynolds Ray was uncle of GD member Rose Mary Howard Swain; he was her mother’s brother. In 1868 Dr Reynolds Ray was looking for a new partner following the death of his father, Edward Ray. See my biography of Rose Mary Howard Swain.
Probate Registry entries for Dr John Rand 1912; and Fanny Rand 1929.
JOHN’S PARENTS WILLIAM AND ANNE née Nockolds
William Rand as auctioneer:
At //secureweb1.essexcc.gov.uk the archives held at Essex RO. Catalogue numbers D/DU 1107/3 and D/DU 1107/4 concerning properties owned or sold by William Rand in Saffron Walden; and the assignment in 1875 of the goodwill of an auctioneer’s business in Saffron Walden, by William Rand “auctioneer” of Audley End, to Henry Joshua Cheffins, also an auctioneer, of the City of London. Cheffins was still in business as an auctioneer in Saffron Walden in 1923.
Via www.nationalarchives.gov.uk to GB 0046 D/EHe, a catalogue of records held at Hertfordshire Archives and Local Studies. File of articles in the Hertfordshire and Essex Observer includes a notice March 1864 of a fat-stock sale in Saffron Walden in wichh William Rand is involved.
Coates’s Herd Book issued by George Coates 1871 p798 list of subscribers includes William Rand.
The Nockolds: the web has plenty of coverage of the Nockold family of Saffron Walden. A Martin Nockolds – perhaps his brother-in-law - was one of William Rand’s executors in 1876. From Country Life volume 41 1917 pxxx an advert involving Martin Nockolds and Sons surveyors and auctioneers of Saffron Walden.
Via web to www.historyhouse.co.uk/placeS/Essexso1f.html to a transcription of the 1874 PO Directory for Saffron Walden a surrounds: a William Rand is in a list of residents of Audley End.
Probate Registry entries 1876.
JOHN AND HELEN MARRIED
At www.clarepriory.org.uk and at plenty of other web pages: information on and
photographs of The Priory at Clare; on the outskirts of the village, actually
Transactions of Croydon Natural History and Scientific Society 1895 pciii list of newly-elected members includes Samuel George Parsons at Vallis Leaze.
Warburg Institute Gerald Yorke
Collection: letter Helen Rand to Samuel Liddell Mathers
23 December ; handwritten address Vallis Leaze,
Guy’s Hospital Reports 1900 pxxxi has John Rand at Vallis Leaze.
1901 census: Dr John Rand, Fanny, and Helen’s youngest brother Harold Arthur all at that address.
FML GD Collection GBR 1991 GD 2/4/1/14 letter “Jan 29”  Helen as Vigilate to Annie Horniman as Fortiter [et Recte].
Warburg Institute Gerald Yorke
Collection: series of letters from Helen to
JOHN AND HELEN SEPARATED
A E Waite: Magician of Many Parts R A Gilbert. Wellingborough: Thorsons
Pubg Group Ltd und its ‘Crucible’ imprint.
1987. On p118 Gilbert lists the various addresses at which meetings of the
Independent and Rectified Rite took place. They were held at 36a
Ithell Colquhoun’s Sword of Wisdom.
WALTER CHARLES RAND entered the Indian Civil
Service. In 1897 and probably when his parents visited him in 1896, he was
Assistant Magistrate at Pune
Times Fri 25 June 1897 p5 The Outrages Near Bombay. Gives content of telegrams sent by Governor of Bombay on 23 and 24 June.
Times Mon 5 July 1897 p11.
Times Mon 19 July 1897 p5.
Times Thur 30 Dec 1897 p3.
The incident has been covered more by Indian historians than by British ones. They have concentrated on the role of the Indian newspaper press and on the self-conscious nationalism of the assassins.
At www.mainstreamweekly.net article orig in Mainstream volume XLVII number 28 27 June 2009: Swine Flu and Indian Strategy to Combat the Menace.
page on descendants of the Chapekar brothers, hanged
for the assassination of
At www.hindustantimes.com posted 12 July 2017 an article on the Chapekhar Wada, home in Pune of the Chapekar brothes.
Via google to Telegraphic Imperialism: Crisis and Panic in the Indian Empire by Deep Kanta Lahiri Choudhury 2010.
Plague Ports: The Global Impact of Bubonic
Plague 1894-1901 by Myron Echenberg 2010: pp66-67 has the most detailed account of
EGBERT GEORGE RAND. After
Probate Registry 1936.
ARTHUR HAROLD RAND qualified as a chartered accountant and became a partner in the City firm of McAuliffe Davis and Hope. He had a long retirement and died in 1949. Both he and Helen chose chartered accountant Paul Bernard Addington as one of their executors; presumably he was a family friend.
London Gazette 19 January 1937 p444 partnerships dissolved include that of a long list of partners trading as McAuliffe Davis and Hope at Bishopsgate House, 80 Bishopsgate EC2. This particular change in the firm’s partners was due to the retirement of Arthur Harold Rand. Notice issued 14 January1937 by the firm’s solicitors, Landons.
Probate Registry entries 1949, 1956.
EGBERT GEORGE and ARTHUR HAROLD MARRIED TWO
SISTERS and I think they married them on the same day in 1906, though I can’t
find a registration for Egbert and younger sister
Kathleen. Arthur married the older sister, Winifred. The Rands
all stayed close around the Surbiton/Thames Ditton
area, at least until the
Winifred Florine and Kathleen Mary were daughters of solicitor Edward J Bowring. On the day of the 1901 census the Bowring family were living at Westcroft, Lovelace Road Long Ditton. The only other house in that road in 1901 was that of Edgar Addington and his family.
In 1911 Egbert and Kathleen Mary Rand were living at the house called Walton, on Effingham Road Surbiton; with their two children Betty and Maurice, a nurse and one general servant. Arthur and Winifred Florine Rand were at Oakhill Cottage, Oakhill Grove Surbiton, with their son Alan Bowring Rand; a nurse and one general servant.
Egbert and Kathleen, and Arthur and Winifred stayed in the north
Surrey area until the
Helen’s sisters-in-law, though, moved away after
their husbands’ deaths: Arthur’s widow Winifred went to Eastbourne where she
died in 1956; Egbert’s widow Kathleen lived until
1980, dying in Budleigh Salterton,
HELEN and probably JOHN RAND TOO, IN 1939
Via Findmypast to 1939 Register; data collected on 29 September 1939.
Constance Oliver Skelton: freebmd;
census 1871-1911; and for her husband’s work and the connection with the
London Gazette 17 May 1901 p3405: Samuel Gissing
Skelton of 1
Probate registry 1922; 1959.
GD member Harriett Emily Lammin’s original surname had been Skelton. I tried to find that Samuel Gissing Skelton and Harriett were related, but I couldn’t.
DEATH OF HELEN RAND
Probate Registry entries 1953 in which Helen’s block of flats is spelled as one word. Its correct name is South Bank Lodge and there’s plenty of evidence of it continuing to be a useful place to live, up to July 2018. The block was purpose built. Most of the flats have two bedrooms. I’m not sure when it was built because though there’s a resident living in it listed in the 1871 issue of the A B C Court Directory and Fashionable Guide, it looks very 1930s in photographs. Perhaps the exterior was given an overhaul then.
BASIC SOURCES I USED for all Golden Dawn members.
Membership of the Golden Dawn: The Golden Dawn
Companion by R A Gilbert.
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.
For the GD members who were freemasons, the membership database of the United Grand Lodge of England up to 1921 is now available via Ancestry: it gives the date of the freemason’s first initiation; and the craft lodges he was a member of.
To take careers in craft freemasonry further, the website of the the Freemasons’ Library is a good resource: //freemasonry.london.museum. Its catalogue has very detailed entries and the website has all sorts of other resources.
You can get from the pages to a database of freemasons’ newspapers and magazines, digitised to 1900. You can also reach that directly at www.masonicperiodicals.org.
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.
To put contemporary prices and incomes into perspective, I have used www.measuringworth.com/ukcompare which Roger Wright found for me. To help you interpret the ‘today’ figure, measuringworth gives several options. I pick the ‘historic standard of living’ option which is usually the lowest, often by a considerable margin!
Copyright SALLY DAVIS
22 August 2018
8 March 2021
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: