Helen Mary Rand was initiated into the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn at its Isis-Urania temple in London in March 1891. She chose the Latin motto ‘Vigilate’. She was an active member of the GD from then until 1903; and of its daughter order the Independent and Rectified Rite until 1914. Helen’s husband John Rand also joined the GD’s Isis-Urania temple, being initiated in February 1892. He was never an active member and had resigned by 1903.


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 ‘Rand’. Before I start, I’d like to thank the genealogist who contacted me about John Rand, and to say: sorry again that I couldn’t help you as much as you helped me!




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 Suffolk and Essex.


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 Paris. He qualified as MRCS in 1858 and went into private practice in Essex. In 1868 he moved to Dulwich to become a partner in the medical practice run by Edward Reynolds Ray. He was a founder of the East Dulwich Provident Dispensary in 1886. The partnership of Ray and Rand continued until Dr Ray’s retirement in 1887. John Rand then took a new partner, G B Batten, but retired himself in 1896.


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 Lordship Lane (which links Camberwell and Dulwich) in a house called Walton House. They employed a cook, one housemaid, and a nurse. By census day 1881 John and Fanny had moved from Lordship Lane onto one of its side-roads; to 8 Grove Hill, which they also called Walton House. Helen’s brothers went to school at Dulwich College so they were all at home on census day 1881; it was Helen who was not in the UK on that day. The Rands had a visitor staying with them, a Miss Ellen Gatt from Portsmouth; and had dispensed with the nurse, employing only a cook and a housemaid – this was a household that was careful with money.


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 Essex and Suffolk. He married Anne Nockolds in 1862 and may have been a partner in the Nockolds family’s auctioneering and valuing business, which was based in Saffron Walden. Helen Rand’s future husband John was their only child, born in 1864, a few months before Helen herself. William and Anne Rand lived at Audley End. On the day of the 1871 census they were at home, though their son John was not. They were keeping house with the help of a cook and a housemaid. William Rand retired from the auctioneer’s business in 1875, probably because of ill health: he died in February 1876 aged 46. His brother Dr John Rand, and Martin Nockolds (probably Anne Rand’s brother) were his executors.



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 Sussex. That puzzled me - estate agents and auctioneers usually stay put, and their knowledge of their district is part of what their clients pay for.


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 85 College Street Petersfield. However, she died – in 1885 aged 51 – in the house of John Rand Helen’s father, at 8 Grove Hill Dulwich; and her son John gave that as his address too, as her “only next of kin”.



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 Clare in Suffolk. The Priory building was the last remnant of a priory founded by the Clare family in 1248; it still exists and is now a Roman Catholic retreat centre. It’s quite a big building but Helen was managing it with the aid of only a housemaid and a house boy. Helen and John continued to live at The Priory until 1896 when the retirement of John Rand Helen’s father either gave rise to, or helped with, a change of location for them. Dr John and Fanny Rand had chosen a house called Vallis Leaze, in Raynes Park, to retire to, but they went to India for a few months first, to visit Helen’s brother Walter, who was in the Indian Civil Service. Helen - and presumably John her husband as well - lived in Vallis Leaze for a few months, perhaps preparing it for Helen’s parents to move in.


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 London, it was not ideal. Inviting GD member Frederick Leigh Gardner to Sunday lunch at the end of that year, she warned him to bring a bicycle as the nearest station was 1½ miles away and the Rands didn’t have a carriage to send to meet his train. Let’s hope Helen – like her friend Annie Horniman – was a keen cyclist. Carriages and the horses to draw them were expensive but I’m still surprised that the Rands didn’t have one – I would have thought John Rand would need one for his work; though perhaps he went about his business on horseback. But if the Rands’ financial situation in 1897 was the same as it was in 1901, they were not employing any live-in servants either, not even the basic, cheapest general servant; though they almost certainly sent washing to a laundry, and had cleaners and gardeners coming by the day. Shortly after they moved in Helen was doing the Rands’ home-making herself: writing to Annie she moaned, “I am so tired having been slaving over curtains etc all day” while also trying to entertain a friend who had come to stay.



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 Sussex by 1908 and was working as a land agent there. Helen also had a new address, a flat at 36a Penywern Road Earl’s Court. When Marcus Worsley Blackden got married in 1909, meetings of the GD’s daughter order, the Independent and Rectified Rite (IRR), moved from his house in Acton to Helen’s flat.


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 Ada, and that he went back to Ada after a while. Colquhoun had also been told that Helen had continued to be Waite’s secretary until he married Mary Schofield in 1933. Did this possible relationship between Helen and A E Waite help cause the collapse of her marriage to John Rand? Perhaps it is just as likely that A E Waite provided Helen with a focus for her life after her husband had gone.

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, Lovelace Road, Long Ditton Surbiton, near where both their surviving sons had settled. Dr John Rand enjoyed a long retirement, playing golf and serving on the committee of the local cottage hospital. He died in September 1912. He left personal estate of £27548 and Helen’s share of it (if she had one) will have helped her financial situation. Filling in the 1911 census form, Helen’s father said Helen had a private income; but don’t think she had much to live on – Penywern Road was one of those cheap-but-convenient roads, near Earl’s Court station, perhaps all she could afford.


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 Berkshire; staying, or perhaps living with, Constance Oliver Skelton. Constance was two years younger than Helen and a childhood friend: in the 1870s her family had lived at 4 Grove Hill Dulwich, two doors down from the Rands. Constance’s father, who had the magnificent hame of Lemon Hart, ran a wine and spirits business. In 1890, Constance had married Samuel Gissing Skelton, a solicitor in practice at 1 Lincoln’s Inn Fields. In 1901 Samuel Skelton was acting for a John Rand in a bankruptcy case; I may be wrong but I think it’s more likely to have been Helen’s father than her husband. Like Helen, Constance had no children. Constance’s husband had left her enough income to employ a married couple who worked as cook/housekeeper and gardener. However, she did have a younger woman living with her who was perhaps a lodger: Fanny Baker (born 1882) who worked as a translator. I think I found Helen’s husband John Rand on the 1939 ‘census’, living in Chichester in a house called The Hut: retired surveyor, born 18 February 1864. Also in that household was a woman described as his wife: Althea Rand, born in 1876. I didn’t find a marriage between John Rand and a woman called Althea; but I only searched through the 1930s. Althea isn’t a common name, so I looked for a birth registration on freebmd. I came across an Althea Elizabeth Woollard, born in Bosmere Suffolk in 1876; perhaps this is her.


The death of Althea E C Rand aged 64 was registered in Windsor in 1941; I presume this is the woman from the 1939 ‘census’. John Rand died in 1942.


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 West Sussex during 1908 and 1909: source - electoral registers and telephone directories 1908-10

- 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.



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.



The Priory:

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 just into Essex.

Vallis Leaze:

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 [1896]; handwritten address Vallis Leaze, Raynes Park.

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” [1897] Helen as Vigilate to Annie Horniman as Fortiter [et Recte].

Warburg Institute Gerald Yorke Collection: series of letters from Helen to Gardner: 19 September [1897].



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 Penywern Road from 1909 to 1914 when the IRR was closed down.

Ithell Colquhoun’s Sword of Wisdom. London: Neville Spearman 1975: pp202-203, p232. Just to say, here, that Colquhoun’s knowledge of early 20th century occult social circles comes second-hand from people she met around 1930.



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 India. There was an outbreak of bubonic plague in India in 1897 and Walter was appointed head of Pune’s committee in charge of containing it. His methods were possibly necessary, but were seen as draconian and carried out without regard to Indian customs and sensibilities. He and Lieutenant Charles E Ayerst were murdered by Indian nationalists in June 1897, in Pune, driving away from the Diamond Jubilee celebrations at Government House.


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.

At www.dnaindia.com page on descendants of the Chapekar brothers, hanged for the assassination of Rand.

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 Rand’s activities in the months before his murder; and the reputation he had already gained in other postings for harsh treatment of Indian nationalists.


EGBERT GEORGE RAND. After Cambridge University and a few years as an army tutor, he qualified as a barrister and practiced at the Chancery Bar. He was the only one of the Rand children to go to university. He was also the only other Rand sibling to show any interest at all in the occult. He joined the Chancery Bar freemasons’ Lodge 2456 in 1903 and was still a member in 1921; probably much longer but that’s the last year of United Grand Lodge of England information to be on the Ancestry website. He died in 1936.


Alumni Cantabrigiensis

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 Rands-by-birth had died.


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 Rand brothers died: Egbert died at 7 Langley Avenue Surbiton in 1935; Arthur at Fairway, Portsmouth Avenue Thames Ditton in 1949. And Helen’s mother, once she was widowed, had also stayed very close: Fanny Rand died in February 1929 at Felixstowe, 3 Endsleigh Gardens Surbiton. Helen was her executor.


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, Devon.


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 Rands:

London Gazette 17 May 1901 p3405: Samuel Gissing Skelton of 1 Lincoln’s Inn Fields “holding a general power of attorney from John Rand”.

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.



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. 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.


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!




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: