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William Bateson
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 10/28/19



This article is about the English geneticist. For his son the anthropologist and cyberneticist, see Gregory Bateson.

In one respect civilized man differs from all other species of animal or plant in that, having prodigious and ever-increasing power over nature, he invokes these powers for the preservation and maintenance of many of the inferior and all the defective members of his species. The inferior freely multiply, and the defective, if their defects be not so grave as to lead to their detention in prisons or asylums, multiply also without restraint. Heredity being strict in its action, the consequences are in civilized countries much what they would be in the kennels of the dog breeder who continued to preserve all his puppies, good and bad; the proportion of defectives increases. The increase is so considerable that outside every great city there is a smaller town inhabited by defectives and those who wait on them. Round London we have a ring of such towns with some 30,000 inhabitants, of whom about 28,000 are defective, largely, though, of course, by no means entirely bred from previous generations of defectives. Now, it is not for us to consider practical measures. As men of science we observe natural events and deduce conclusions from them. I may perhaps be allowed to say that the remedies proposed in America, in so far as they aim at the eugenic regulation of marriage on a comprehensive scale, strike me as devised without regard to the needs either of individuals or of a modern State. Undoubtedly if they decide to breed their population of one uniform puritan gray, they can do it in a few generations; but I doubt if timid respectability will make a nation happy, and I am sure that qualities of a different sort are needed if it is to compete with more vigorous and more varied communities. Everyone must have a preliminary sympathy with the aims of eugenists both abroad and at home. Their efforts at the least are doing something to discover and spread truth as to the physiological structure of society. The spirit of such organizations, however, almost of necessity suffers from a bias toward the accepted and the ordinary, and if they had power it would go hard with many ingredients of society that could be ill-spared. I notice an ominous passage in which even Galton, the founder of eugenics, feeling perhaps some twinge of his Quaker ancestry, remarks that “as the Bohemianism in the nature of our race is destined to perish, the sooner it goes, the happier for mankind.” It is not the eugenists who will give us what Plato has called divine releases from the common ways. If some fancier with the catholicity of Shakespeare would take us in hand, well and good; but I would not trust even Shakespeares meeting as a committee. Let us remember that Beethoven’s father was an habitual drunkard and that his mother died of consumption. From the genealogy of the patriarchs also we learn, “what may very well be the truth,” that the fathers of such as dwell in tents, and of all such as handle the harp or organ, and the instructor of every artificer in brass and iron – the founders, that is to say of the arts and the sciences – came in direct descent from Cain, and not in the posterity of the irreproachable Seth, who is to us, as he probably was also in the narrow circle of his own contemporaries, what naturalists call a nomen nudum.

Genetic research will make it possible for a nation to elect by what sort of beings it will be represented not very many generations hence, much as a farmer can decide whether his byres shall be full of shorthorns or Herefords. It will be very surprising, indeed, if some nation does not make trial of this new power. They may make awful mistakes, but I think they will try.

Whether we like it or not, extraordinary and far-reaching changes in public opinion are coming to pass. Man is just beginning to know himself for what he is – a rather long-lived animal, with great powers of enjoyment, if he does not deliberately forego them. Hitherto superstition and mythical ideas of sin have predominantly controlled these powers. Mysticism will not die out; for those strange fancies knowledge is no cure; but their forms may change, and mysticism as a force for the suppression of joy is happily losing its hold on the modern world. As in the decay of earlier religions, Ushabti dolls were substituted for human victims, so telepathy, necromancy, and other harmless toys take the place of eschatology and the inculcation of a ferocious moral code. Among the civilized races in Europe we are witnessing an emancipation from traditional control in thought, in art, and in conduct which is likely to have prolonged and wonderful influences. Returning to freer or, if you will, simpler conceptions of life and death, the coming generations are determined to get more out of this world than their forefathers did. Is it, then, to be supposed that when science puts into their hand means for the alleviation of suffering immeasurable, and for making this world a happier place, that they will demur to using those powers? The intenser struggle between communities is only now beginning, and with the approaching exhaustion of that capital of energy stored in the earth before man began it must soon become still more fierce. In England some of our great-grandchildren will see the end of the easily accessible coal, and, failing some miraculous discovery of available energy, a wholesale reduction in population. There are races who have shown themselves able at a word to throw off all tradition and take into their service every power that science has yet offered them. Can we expect that they, when they see how to rid themselves of the ever-increasing weight of a defective population, will hesitate? The time can not be far distant when both individuals and communities will begin to think in terms of biological fact, and it behooves those who lead scientific thought carefully to consider whither action should lead. At present I ask you merely to observe the facts. The powers of science to preserve the defective are now enormous. Every year these powers increase. This course of action must read a limit. To the deliberate intervention of civilization for the preservation of inferior strains there must sooner or later come an end, and before long nations will realize the responsibility they have assumed in multiplying these “cankers of a calm world and a long peace.”

The definitely feeble-minded we may with propriety restrain, as we are beginning to do even in England, and we may safely prevent unions in which both parties are defective, for the evidence shows that as a rule such marriages, though often prolific, commonly produce no normal children at all. The union of such social vermin we should no more permit than we would allow parasites to breed on our own bodies. Further than that in restraint of marriage we ought not to go, at least not yet. Something, too, may be done by a reform of medical ethics. Medical students are taught that it is their duty to prolong life at whatever cost in suffering. This may have been right when diagnosis was uncertain and interference usually of small effect, but deliberately to interfere now for the preservation of an infant so gravely diseased that it can never be happy or come to any good is very like wanton cruelty. In private few men defend such interference. Most who have seen these cases lingering on agree that the system is deplorable, but ask where can any line be drawn. The biologist would reply that in all ages such decisions have been made by civilized communities with fair success both in regard to crime and in the closely analogous case of lunacy. The real reason why these things are done is because the world collectively cherishes occult views of the nature of life, because the facts are realized by few, and because between the legal mind – to which society has become accustomed to defer – and the seeing eye, there is such physiological antithesis that hardly can they be combined in the same body. So soon as scientific knowledge becomes common property, views more reasonable and, I may add, more humane, are likely to prevail.

To all these great biological problems that modern society must sooner or later face there are many aspects besides the obvious ones. Infant mortality we are asked to lament without the slightest thought of what the world would be like if the majority of these infants were to survive. The decline in the birth rate in countries already overpopulated is often deplored, and we are told that a nation in which population is not rapidly increasing must be in a decline. The slightest acquaintance with biology, or even schoolboy natural history, shows that this inference may be entirely wrong, and that before such a question can be decided in one way or the other hosts of considerations must be taken into account. In normal stable conditions population is stationary. The laity never appreciates what is so clear to a biologist, that the last century and a quarter corresponding with the great rise in population has been an altogether exceptional period. To our species this period has been what its early years in Australia were to the rabbit. The exploitation of energy capital of the earth in coal, development of the new countries, and the consequent pouring of food into Europe, the application of antiseptics, these are the things that have enabled the human population to increase. I do not doubt that if population were more evenly spread over the earth it might increase very much more, but the essential fact is that under any stable conditions a limit must be reached. A pair of wrens will bring off a dozen young every year, but each year you will find the same number of pairs in your garden. In England the limit beyond which under present conditions of distribution increase of population is a source of suffering rather than of happiness had been reached already. Younger communities living in territories largely vacant are very probably right in desiring and encouraging more population. Increase may, for some temporary reason, be essential to their prosperity. But those who live, as I do, among thousands of creatures in a state of semistarvation will realize that too few is better than too many, and will acknowledge the wisdom of Ecclesiasticus who said, “Desire not a multitude of unprofitable children.”

But at least it is often urged that the decline in the birth rate of the intelligent and successful sections of the population (I am speaking of the older communities) is to be regretted. Even this can not be granted without qualification. As the biologist knows, differentiation is indispensable to progress. If population were homogeneous civilization would stop. In every army the officers must be comparatively few. Consequently, if the upper strata of the community produce more children than will recruit their numbers some must fall into the lower strata and increase the pressure there. Statisticians tell us that an average of four children under present conditions is sufficient to keep the number constant, and as the expectation of life is steadily improving we may perhaps contemplate some diminution of that number without alarm.

In the study of history biological treatment is only beginning to be applied....

Such a problem is raised in a striking form by the population of modern Greece, and especially of Athens. The racial characteristics of the Athenian and of the fifth century B.C. are vividly described by Galton in “Hereditary Genius.” The fact that in that period a population, numbering many thousands, should have existed, capable of following the great plays at a first hearing, reveling in subtleties of speech, and thrilling with passionate delight in beautiful things, is physiologically a most singular phenomenon. On the basis of the number of illustrious men produced by that age Galton estimated the average intelligence as at least two of his degrees above our own, differing from us as much as we do from the Negro. A few generations later the display was over. The origin of that constellation of human genius which then blazed out is as yet beyond all biological analysis, but I think we are not altogether without suspicion of the sequence of the biological events. If I visit a poultry breeder who has a fine stock of thoroughbred game fowls breeding true, and 10 years later – that is to say, 10 fowl-generations later – I go again and find scarcely a recognizable game fowl on the place, I know exactly what has happened. One or two birds of some other or of no breed must have strayed in and their progeny been left undestroyed. Now, in Athens, we have many indications that up to the beginning of the fifth century so long as the phratries and gentes were maintained in their integrity there was rather close endogamy, a condition giving the best chance of producing a homogeneous population. There was no lack of material from which intelligence and artistic power might be derived. Sporadically these qualities existed throughout the ancient Greek world from the dawn of history, and, for example, the vase painters, the makers of the Tanagra figurines, and the gem cutters were presumably pursuing family crafts, much as are the actor families [7] of England or the professional families of Germany at the present day. How the intellectual strains should have acquired predominance we can not tell, but in an in-breeding community homogeneity at least is not surprising. At the end of the sixth century came the “reforms” of Cleisthenes (507 B.C.), which sanctioned foreign marriages and admitted to citizenship a number not only of resident aliens but also of manumitted slaves. As Aristotle says, Cleisthenes legislated with the deliberate purpose of breaking up the phratries and gentes, in order that the various sections of the population might be mixed up as much as possible, and the old tribal associations abolished. The “reform” was probably a recognition and extension of a process already begun; but is it too much to suppose that we have here the effective beginning of a series of genetic changes which in a few generations so greatly altered the character of the people? Under Pericles the old law was restored (451 B.C.), but losses in the great wars led to further laxity in practice, and though at the end of the fifth century the strict rule was reenacted that a citizen must be of citizen birth on both sides, the population by that time may well have become largely mongrelized.

-- Heredity, by Prof. William Bateson, M.A., F.R.S.

William Bateson
Born 8 August 1861
Whitby, Yorkshire[1]
Died 8 February 1926 (aged 64)
Nationality British
Alma mater St. John's College, Cambridge
Known for heredity and biological inheritance
Awards Royal Medal (1920)
Scientific career
Fields genetics

William Bateson (8 August 1861 – 8 February 1926) was an English biologist who was the first person to use the term genetics to describe the study of heredity, and the chief populariser of the ideas of Gregor Mendel following their rediscovery in 1900 by Hugo de Vries and Carl Correns. His 1894 book Materials for the Study of Variation was one of the earliest formulations of the new approach to genetics.


Crayon drawing by the biologist Dennis G. Lillie, 1909

Bateson was born in Whitby on the Yorkshire coast, the son of William Henry Bateson, Master of St John's College, Cambridge. He was educated at Rugby School and at St John's College in Cambridge, where he graduated BA in 1883 with a first in natural sciences.[2]

Taking up embryology, he went to the United States to investigate the development of Balanoglossus.

Balanoglossus is an ocean-dwelling acorn worm (Enteropneusta) genus of great zoological interest because, being a Hemichordate, it is an "evolutionary link" between invertebrates and vertebrates. Balanoglossus is a deuterostome, and resembles the Ascidians or sea squirts, in that it possesses branchial openings, or "gill slits". It has notochord in the upper part of the body and has no nerve chord. It does have a stomochord, however, which is gut chord within the collar. Their heads may be as small as 2.5 mm (1/10 in) or as large as 5 mm (1/5 in).

-- Balanoglossus, by Wikipedia

This worm-like enteropneust hemichordate led to his interest in vertebrate origins. In 1883-4 he worked in the laboratory of William Keith Brooks, at the Chesapeake Zoölogical Laboratory in Hampton, Virginia.[3] Turning from morphology to study evolution and its methods, he returned to England and became a Fellow of St John's. Studying variation and heredity, he travelled in western Central Asia.

Work on biological variation (to 1900)

Bateson's work published before 1900 systematically studied the structural variation displayed by living organisms and the light this might shed on the mechanism of biological evolution,[4] and was strongly influenced by both Charles Darwin's approach to the collection of comprehensive examples, and Francis Galton's quantitative ("biometric") methods.

• THE OBSERVED ORDER OF EVENTS: Steady improvement in the birthright of successive generations; our ignorance of the origin and purport of all existence; of the outcome of life on this earth; of the conditions of consciousness; slow progress of evolution and its system of ruthless routine; man is the heir of long bygone ages; has great power in expediting the course of evolution; he might render its progress less slow and painful; does not yet understand that it may be his part to do so.
• SELECTION AND RACE: Difference between the best specimens of a poor race and the mediocre ones of a high race; typical centres to which races tend to revert; delicacy of highly-bred animals; their diminished fertility; the misery of rigorous selection; it is preferable to replace poor races by better ones; strains of emigrant blood; of exiles.
• INFLUENCE OF MAN UPON RACE: Conquest, migrations, etc.; sentiment against extinguishing races; is partly unreasonable; the so-called "aborigines"; on the variety and number of different races inhabiting the same country; as in Spain; history of the Moors; Gypsies; the races in Damara Land; their recent changes; races in Siberia; Africa; America; West Indies; Australia and New Zealand; wide diffusion of Arabs and Chinese; power of man to shape future humanity.
• POPULATION: Over-population; Malthus--the danger of applying his prudential check; his originality; his phrase of misery check is in many cases too severe; decaying races and the cause of decay.
• EARLY AND LATE MARRIAGES: Estimate of their relative effects on a population in a few generations; example.
• MARKS FOR FAMILY MERIT: On the demand for definite proposals how to improve race; the demand is not quite fair, and the reasons why; nevertheless attempt is made to suggest the outline of one; on the signs of superior race; importance of giving weight to them when making selections from candidates who are personally equal; on families that have thriven; that are healthy and long-lived; present rarity of our knowledge concerning family antecedents; Mr. F.M. Hollond on the superior morality of members of large families; Sir William Gull on their superior vigour; claim for importance of further inquiries into the family antecedents of those who succeed in after life; probable large effect of any system by which marks might be conferred on the ground of family merit.

-- Inquiries into Human Faculty and Its Development, by Francis Galton

In his first significant contribution,[5] he shows that some biological characteristics (such as the length of forceps in earwigs) are not distributed continuously, with a normal distribution, but discontinuously (or "dimorphically"). He saw the persistence of two forms in one population as a challenge to the then current conceptions of the mechanism of heredity, and says "The question may be asked, does the dimorphism of which cases have now been given represent the beginning of a division into two species?”

In his 1894 book, Materials for the study of variation,[6] Bateson took this survey of biological variation significantly further. He was concerned to show that biological variation exists both continuously, for some characters, and discontinuously for others, and coined the terms "meristic" and "substantive" for the two types. In common with Darwin, he felt that quantitative characters could not easily be "perfected" by the selective force of evolution, because of the perceived problem of the "swamping effect of intercrossing", but proposed that discontinuously varying characters could.

In Materials Bateson noted and named homeotic mutations, in which an expected body-part has been replaced by another. The animal mutations he studied included bees with legs instead of antennae; crayfish with extra oviducts; and in humans, polydactyly, extra ribs, and males with extra nipples. These mutations are in the homeobox genes which control the pattern of body formation during early embryonic development of animals. The 1995 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine was awarded for work on these genes. They are thought to be especially important to the basic development of all animals. These genes have a crucial function in many, and perhaps all, animals.[7]

In Materials unaware of Gregor Mendel's results, Bateson wrote concerning the mechanism of biological heredity, "The only way in which we may hope to get at the truth is by the organization of systematic experiments in breeding, a class of research that calls perhaps for more patience and more resources than any other form of biological enquiry. Sooner or later such an investigation will be undertaken and then we shall begin to know." Mendel had cultivated and tested some 28,000 plants, performing exactly the experiment Bateson wanted.[8][9][10]

In 1897 he reported some significant conceptual and methodological advances in his study of variation.[11] "I have argued that variations of a discontinuous nature may play a prepondering part in the constitution of a new species." He attempts to silence his critics (the "biometricians") who misconstrue his definition of discontinuity of variation by clarification of his terms: "a variation is discontinuous if, when all the individuals of a population are breeding freely together, there is not simple regression to one mean form, but a sensible preponderance of the variety over the intermediates… The essential feature of a discontinuous variation is therefore that, be the cause what it may, there is not complete blending between variety and type. The variety persists and is not “swamped by intercrossing”. But critically, he begins to report a series of breeding experiments, conducted by Edith Saunders, using the alpine brassica Biscutella laevigata in the Cambridge botanic gardens. In the wild, hairy and smooth forms of otherwise identical plants are seen together. They intercrossed the forms experimentally, “When therefore the well-grown mongrel plants are examined, they present just the same appearance of discontinuity which the wild plants at the Tosa Falls do. This discontinuity is, therefore, the outward sign of the fact that in heredity the two characters of smoothness and hairiness do not completely blend, and the offspring do not regress to one mean form, but to two distinct forms.”

At about this time, Hugo de Vries and Carl Erich Correns began similar plant-breeding experiments. But, unlike Bateson, they were familiar with the extensive plant breeding experiments of Gregor Mendel in the 1860s, and they did not cite Bateson's work. Critically, Bateson gave a lecture to the Royal Horticultural Society in July 1899,[12] which was attended by Hugo de Vries, in which he described his investigations into discontinuous variation, his experimental crosses, and the significance of such studies for the understanding of heredity. He urged his colleagues to conduct large-scale, well-designed and statistically analysed experiments of the sort that, although he did not know it, Mendel had already conducted, and which would be "rediscovered" by de Vries and Correns just six months later.[10]

Founding the discipline of genetics

Further information: Mutationism

Bateson became famous as the outspoken Mendelian antagonist of Walter Raphael Weldon, his former teacher, and of Karl Pearson who led the biometric school of thinking.

Biometrics is the technical term for body measurements and calculations. It refers to metrics related to human characteristics. Biometrics authentication (or realistic authentication)[note 1] is used in computer science as a form of identification and access control.[1][2] It is also used to identify individuals in groups that are under surveillance.[3]

Biometric identifiers are the distinctive, measurable characteristics used to label and describe individuals.[4] Biometric identifiers are often categorized as physiological versus behavioral characteristics.[5] Physiological characteristics are related to the shape of the body. Examples include, but are not limited to fingerprint, palm veins, face recognition, DNA, palm print, hand geometry, iris recognition, retina and odour/scent. Behavioral characteristics are related to the pattern of behavior of a person, including but not limited to typing rhythm, gait, and voice.[6][note 2] Some researchers have coined the term behaviometrics to describe the latter class of biometrics.[7]

More traditional means of access control include token-based identification systems, such as a driver's license or passport, and knowledge-based identification systems, such as a password or personal identification number.[4] Since biometric identifiers are unique to individuals, they are more reliable in verifying identity than token and knowledge-based methods; however, the collection of biometric identifiers raises privacy concerns about the ultimate use of this information.[4][8][9]

-- Biometrics, by Wikipedia

The debate centred on saltationism versus gradualism (Darwin had represented gradualism, but Bateson was a saltationist).[13]

In biology, saltation (from Latin, saltus, "leap") is a sudden and large mutational change from one generation to the next, potentially causing single-step speciation. This was historically offered as an alternative to Darwinism. Some forms of mutationism were effectively saltationist, implying large discontinuous jumps.

Speciation, such as by polyploidy in plants, can sometimes be achieved in a single and in evolutionary terms sudden step. Evidence exists for various forms of saltation in a variety of organisms.

-- Saltation (biology), by Wikipedia

Later, Ronald Fisher and J.B.S. Haldane showed that discrete mutations were compatible with gradual evolution, helping to bring about the modern evolutionary synthesis.

Gradualism, from the Latin gradus ("step"), is a hypothesis, a theory or a tenet assuming that change comes about gradually or that variation is gradual in nature and happens over time as opposed to in large steps.[1] Uniformitarianism, incrementalism, and reformism are similar concepts.

-- Gradualism, by Wikipedia

Between 1900 and 1910 Bateson directed a rather informal "school" of genetics at Cambridge. His group consisted mostly of women associated with Newnham College, Cambridge, and included both his wife Beatrice, and her sister Florence Durham.[14][15] They provided assistance for his research program at a time when Mendelism was not yet recognised as a legitimate field of study. The women, such as Muriel Wheldale (later Onslow), carried out a series of breeding experiments in various plant and animal species between 1902 and 1910. The results both supported and extended Mendel's laws of heredity. Hilda Blanche Killby, who had finished her studies with the Newnham College Mendelians in 1901, aided Bateson in the replication of Mendel's crosses in peas. She conducted independent breeding experiments in rabbits and bantam fowl, as well. [16]

Bateson first suggested using the word "genetics" (from the Greek gennō, γεννώ; "to give birth") to describe the study of inheritance and the science of variation in a personal letter to Adam Sedgwick (1854–1913, zoologist at Cambridge, not the Adam Sedgwick (1785–1873) who had been Darwin's professor), dated 18 April 1905.[17] Bateson first used the term "genetics" publicly at the Third International Conference on Plant Hybridization in London in 1906.[18] Although this was three years before Wilhelm Johannsen used the word "gene" to describe the units of hereditary information, De Vries had introduced the word "pangene" for the same concept already in 1889, and etymologically the word genetics has parallels with Darwin's concept of pangenesis. Bateson and Edith Saunders also coined the word "allelomorph" ("other form"), which was later shortened to allele.[19]

Bateson co-discovered genetic linkage with Reginald Punnett and Edith Saunders, and he and Punnett founded the Journal of Genetics in 1910. Bateson also coined the term "epistasis" to describe the genetic interaction of two independent loci.

Other biographical information

William Bateson became director of the John Innes Horticultural Institution in 1910 and moved with his family to Merton Park in Surrey. He was director there until his sudden death in February 1926. During his time at the John Innes Horticultural Institution he became interested in the chromosome theory of heredity and promoted the study of cytology by the appointment of W. C. F. Newton[20] and in 1923 Cyril Dean Darlington.[21]

In his later years he was a friend and confidant of the German Erwin Baur. Their correspondence includes their discussion of eugenics.

His son was the anthropologist and cyberneticist Gregory Bateson.

Author [John Riley Perks] (middle), with Gregory Bateson (left) and Jim Herndon (right), at an education workshop at Naropa Institute. Photo: George Holmes

For the unprepared mind, however, LSD can be a nightmare. When the drug is administered in a sterile laboratory under fluorescent lights by white-coated physicians who attach electrodes and nonchalantly warn the subject that he will go crazy for a while, the odds favor a psychotomimetic reaction, or "bummer." This became apparent to poet Allen Ginsberg when he took LSD for the first time at the Mental Research Institute in Palo Alto, California, in 1959. Ginsberg was already familiar with psychedelic substances, having experimented with peyote on a number of occasions. As yet, however, there was no underground supply of LSD, and it was virtually impossible for layfolk to procure samples of the drug. Thus he was pleased when Gregory Bateson, [Formerly a member of the Research and Analysis Branch of the OSS, Bateson was the husband and co-worker of anthropologist Margaret Mead. An exceptional intellect, he was turned on to acid by Dr. Harold Abramson, one of the CIA's chief LSD specialists] the anthropologist, put him in touch with a team of doctors in Palo Alto. Ginsberg had no way of knowing that one of the researchers associated with the institute, Dr. Charles Savage, had conducted hallucinogenic drug experiments for the US Navy in the early 1950s.

-- Acid Dreams, The Complete Social History of LSD: The CIA, The Sixties, And Beyond, by Martin A. Lee & Bruce Shlain

-- The Mahasiddha and His Idiot Servant, by John Riley Perks

In June 1894 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society[22] and won their Darwin Medal in 1904 and their Royal Medal in 1920. He also delivered their Croonian lecture in 1920. He was the president of the British Association in 1913–1914.[23] He founded The Genetics Society in 1919, one of the first learned societies dedicated to Genetics.[24] The John Innes Centre holds a Bateson Lecture in his honour at the annual John Innes Symposium.[25]

He was an atheist.[26][27]


• Materials for the Study of Variation: Treated with Especial Regard to Discontinuity in the Origin of Species (1894)
• The Methods and Scope of Genetics: An Inaugural Lecture Delivered 23 October 1908 (1908)
• Mendel's Principles of Heredity (1913)
• Problems of Genetics (1913)
• Mendel's Principles of Heredity - A Defence, with a Translation of Mendel's Original Papers on Hybridisation Cambridge University Press

See also

• Bateson–Dobzhansky–Muller model
• Lucien Cuénot


1. "William Bateson". Encyclopædia Britannica.
2. "Bateson, William (BT879)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
3. Johns Hopkins University Circular Nov.(1883) vol III. no 4.
4. Scientific papers of William Bateson. RC Punnett (Ed) : Cambridge University Press 1928 Vol 1
5. Some cases of variation in secondary sexual characters statistically examined, Proc Zool Soc 1892
6. Materials for the study of variation, treated with especial regard to discontinuity in the origin of species William Bateson 1861–1926. London : Macmillan 1894 xv, 598 p
7. Genetic Science Learning Center. "Homeotic Genes and Body Patterns". Learn Genetics. University of Utah. Archived from the original on 15 March 2019. Retrieved 28 May 2019.
8. Magner, Lois N. (2002). History of the Life Sciences (3, revised ed.). New York: Marcel Dekker, Inc. p. 380. ISBN 978-0-2039-1100-6.
9. Gros, Franc̜ois (1992). The Gene Civilization (English Language ed.). New York: McGraw Hill. p. 28. ISBN 978-0-07-024963-9.
10. Jump up to:a b Moore, Randy (2001). "The "Rediscovery" of Mendel's Work" (PDF). Bioscene. 27 (2): 13–24. Archived from the original (PDF) on 16 February 2016.
11. Progress in the study of variation I. Science Progress I, 1897
12. Bateson, W. (1900) "Hybridisation and Cross-Breeding as a Method of Scientific Investigation" J. RHS (1900) 24: 59 – 66, a report of a lecture given at the RHS Hybrid Conference in 1899. Full text:
13. Gillham, Nicholas W. (2001). Evolution by Jumps: Francis Galton and William Bateson and the Mechanism of Evolutionary Change. Genetics 159: 1383–1392.
14. Richmond, Marsha L. (2006). "The 'Domestication' of Heredity: The Familial Organization of Geneticists at Cambridge University, 1895–1910". Journal of the History of Biology. Springer. 39 (3): 565–605. doi:10.1007/s10739-004-5431-7. JSTOR 4332033.
15. "Bateson Family Papers". American Philosophical Society. Retrieved 4 October2013.
16. Richmond, M. L. (March 2001). "Women in the early history of genetics. William Bateson and the Newnham College Mendelians, 1900–1910". Isis. 92 (1): 69. doi:10.1086/385040. PMID 11441497.
17. "Naming 'genetics' | Lines of thought". Retrieved 28 September 2017.
18. Gordon M. Shepherd (2010). "Mendel's proposal that heredity is the outcome of 'independent factors' led William Bateson in England in 1906 to suggest the term 'genetics' as a specific biological term for the study of the rules of heredity. Following Bateson, Wilhelm Johannsen in Denmark in 1909 proposed the term 'gene' for the 'independent factors', as well as 'genotype' for the combination of genes in an individual and 'phenotype'" (Creating modern neuroscience Archived 22 July 2015 at the Wayback Machine, p. 17).
19. Craft, Jude (2013). "Genes and genetics: the language of scientific discovery". Genes and genetics. Oxford English Dictionary. Retrieved 14 January 2016.
20. A. D. H. (January 1928). "Obituary. Mr. W. C. F. Newton". Nature. 121 (3036): 27–28. doi:10.1038/121027b0.
21. "A Brief History of the John Innes Centre". Retrieved 21 October 2015.
22. "Library and Archive Catalogue". Royal Society. Retrieved 11 December2010.[permanent dead link]
23. "Report of the British Association for the Advancement of Science". Retrieved 21 October 2015.
24. "Genetics Society Website > About > About the Society". Retrieved 21 October 2015.
25. "The Bateson Lecture". John Innes Centre. Archived from the original on 9 November 2013. Retrieved 23 September 2013.
26. "William Bateson was a very militant atheist and a very bitter man, I fancy. Knowing that I was interested in biology, they invited me when I was still a school girl to go down and see the experimental garden. I remarked to him what I thought then, and still think, that doing research must be the most wonderful thing in the world and he snapped at me that it wasn't wonderful at all, it was tedious, disheartening, annoying and anyhow you didn't need an experimental garden to do research." Interview with Dr. Cecilia Gaposchkin by Owen Gingerich, 5 March 1968.
27. Charlton, Noel G. (25 March 2010). Understanding Gregory Bateson: Mind, Beauty, and the Sacred Earth. ISBN 9780791478271.


• Schwartz JH (February 2007). "Recognizing William Bateson's contributions". Science. 315 (5815): 1077. doi:10.1126/science.315.5815.1077b. PMID 17322045.
• Harper PS (October 2005). "William Bateson, human genetics and medicine". Human Genetics. 118 (1): 141–51. doi:10.1007/s00439-005-0010-3. PMID 16133188.
• Hall BK (January 2005). "Betrayed by Balanoglossus: William Bateson's rejection of evolutionary embryology as the basis for understanding evolution". Journal of Experimental Zoology Part B: Molecular and Developmental Evolution. 304 (1): 1–17. doi:10.1002/jez.b.21030. PMID 15668943.
• Bateson P (August 2002). "William Bateson: a biologist ahead of his time" (PDF). Journal of Genetics. 81 (2): 49–58. doi:10.1007/BF02715900. PMID 12532036.
• Gillham NW (December 2001). "Evolution by jumps: Francis Galton and William Bateson and the mechanism of evolutionary change". Genetics. 159 (4): 1383–92. PMC 1461897. PMID 11779782.
• Richmond ML (March 2001). "Women in the early history of genetics. William Bateson and the Newnham College Mendelians, 1900–1910". Isis. 92 (1): 55–90. doi:10.1086/385040. PMID 11441497.
• Harvey RD (January 1995). "Pioneers of genetics: a comparison of the attitudes of William Bateson and Erwin Baur to eugenics". Notes and Records of the Royal Society of London. 49 (1): 105–17. doi:10.1098/rsnr.1995.0007. PMID 11615278.
• Olby R (October 1987). "William Bateson's introduction of Mendelism to England: a reassessment". British Journal for the History of Science. 20 (67): 399–420. doi:10.1017/S0007087400024201. PMID 11612343.
• Harvey RD (November 1985). "The William Bateson letters at the John Innes Institute". The Mendel Newsletter (25): 1–11. PMID 11620779.
• Cock AG (January 1983). "William Bateson's rejection and eventual acceptance of chromosome theory". Annals of Science. 40: 19–59. doi:10.1080/00033798300200111. PMID 11615930.
• Cock AG (1980). "William Bateson's pilgrimages to Brno. Cesty Williama Batesona do Brna". Folia Mendeliana. 65 (15): 243–50. PMID 11615869.
• Cock AG (June 1977). "The William Bateson papers". The Mendel Newsletter. 14: 1–4. PMID 11609980.
• Darden L (1977). "William Bateson and the promise of Mendelism". Journal of the History of Biology. 10 (1): 87–106. doi:10.1007/BF00126096. PMID 11615639.
• Cock AG (1973). "William Bateson, Mendelism and biometry". Journal of the History of Biology. 6: 1–36. doi:10.1007/BF00137297. PMID 11609732.

External links

• Resources in your library
• Resources in other libraries

By William Bateson

• Online books
• Resources in your library
• Resources in other libraries
• Works by William Bateson at Project Gutenberg
• Works by or about William Bateson at Internet Archive
• Works by William Bateson at LibriVox (public domain audiobooks)
• William Bateson 1894. Materials for the Study of Variation, treated with special regard to discontinuity in the Origin of Species
• William Bateson 1902. Mendel's Principles of Heredity, a defence[permanent dead link]
• Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1922). "Bateson, William" . Encyclopædia Britannica (12th ed.). London & New York.
• Punnett and Bateson
• Opposition to Bateson – Documents by, or about, Bateson are on Donald Forsdyke's webpages
• Bateson-Punnett Notebooks digitised in Cambridge Digital Library
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Mon Oct 28, 2019 8:44 pm

Erwin Baur
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 10/28/19




Erwin Baur (16 April 1875, Ichenheim, Grand Duchy of Baden – 2 December 1933) was a German geneticist and botanist. Baur worked primarily on plant genetics. He was director of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Breeding Research (since 1938 Erwin Baur-Institute). Baur is considered to be the father of plant virology. He discovered the inheritance of plastids.[1]

In 1908 Baur demonstrated a lethal gene in the Antirrhinum plant. In 1909 working on the chloroplast genes in Pelargonium (geraniums) he showed that they violated four of Mendel's five laws. Baur stated that

1. plastids are carriers of hereditary factors which are able to mutate.

2. in variegated plants, random sorting out of plastids is taking place.

3. the genetic results indicate a biparental inheritance of plastids by egg cells and sperm cells in pelargonium.

Since the 1930s and the work of Otto Renner, plastid inheritance became a widely accepted genetic theory.

In 1921 and 1932 Baur co-authored with Fritz Lenz and Eugen Fischer two volumes that became the book Human Heredity, which was a major influence on the racial theories of Adolf Hitler. The work served a chief inspiration for biological support in Hitler's "Mein Kampf".[2]


1. Hagemann, R. 2000. Erwin Baur or Carl Correns: who really created the theory of plastid inheritance? Archived 2005-03-16 at the Wayback Machine. Journal of Heredity 91:435-440.
2. "Human biodiversity: genes, race, and history", Jonathan M. Marks. Transaction Publishers, 1995. p. 88. ISBN 0-202-02033-9, ISBN 978-0-202-02033-4.

External links

Short Biography, bibliography, and links on digitized sources in the Virtual Laboratory of the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science

Erwin Baur

[Born] Ichenheim, Germany, 16.04.1875

[Died] Berlin, Germany, 02.12.1933

Degrees: Dr. med., University of Kiel, 1900; Dr. phil., University of Freiburg i. Br., 1903

Career: 1894 studies of medicine at the universities of Heidelberg, Freiburg im Breisgau and Strassburg; 1897 medical studies at the University of Kiel and at the same time attendance at lectures in botany and biology; 1900 state examination and M.D. from the University of Kiel; for some time work as ship's doctor and as assistant physician at psychiatric clinics in Kiel and Emmendingen; abandoned medicine and psychiatry for doctoral work in botany at Freiburg; 1903 doctorate under Oltmanns with a study of the developmental aspects of fructification in lichens; 1903 first assistant to Simon Schwendener at the University Botanical Institute, Berlin; 1904 qualification as Privatdozent with a work on the fungal bacteria; 1911 professorship in botany at the Landwirtschaftliche Hochschule, Berlin; 1914 opening of the Institute for Genetic Research at Berlin-Friedrichshagen; 1923 new Institute for Genetic Research opened at Berlin-Dahlem; 1928 director of the new Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Plant Breeding and Genetic Research at Müncheberg; 1931 lectures on evolution, applied genetics and eugenics in London, Sweden and South America; editor of Zeitschrift für induktive Abstammung- und Vererbungslehre (from 1908 onward) and founder of Der Züchter (1929); co-founder of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Vererbungswissenschaft with C. Correns and R. Goldschmidt; president of the Fifth International Congress of Genetics (1927).

Selected works:

Baur, Erwin. 1911. Einführung in die experimentelle Vererbungslehre. Berlin
Baur, Erwin, Eugen Fischer and Fritz Lenz. 1921. Grundlagen der menschlichen Erblichkeitslehre und Rassenhygiene. München
Baur, Erwin. 1921. Die wissenschaftlichen Grundlagen der Pflanzenzüchtung: Ein Lehrbuch für Landwirte, Gärtner und Forstleute. Berlin
Baur, Erwin. 1910. Vererbungs- und Bastardisierungsversuche mit Antirrhinum. Zeitschrift für Induktive Abstammungs- und Vererbungslehre 3: 34-98
search the library or the technology database

Sources: DSB ; Schmidt ; Image: Museum für Naturkunde, Berlin: Collection of Portraits - HBSB ZM B I/502

-- Erwin Baur, by Virtual Laboratory of the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Mon Oct 28, 2019 8:56 pm

Fritz Lenz
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 10/28/19




Fritz A Lenz (9 March 1887 in Pflugrade, Pomerania – 6 July 1976 in Göttingen, Lower Saxony) was a German geneticist, member of the Nazi Party,[1] and influential specialist in eugenics in Nazi Germany.


The pupil of Alfred Ploetz, Lenz took over the publication of the magazine "Archives for Racial and Social Biology" from 1913 to 1933 and received in 1923 the first chair in eugenics in Munich. In 1933 he came to Berlin where he established the first specific department devoted to eugenics, at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute of Anthropology, Human Heredity, and Eugenics.

Lenz specialised in the field of the transmission of hereditary human diseases and "racial health". The results of his research were published in 1921 and 1932 in collaboration with Erwin Baur and Eugen Fischer in two volumes that were later combined under the title Human Heredity Theory and Racial Hygiene (1936).

This work and his theory of "race as a value principle" placed Lenz and his two colleagues in the position of Germany's leading racial theorists. Their ideas provided scientific justification for Nazi ideology, in particular its emphasis on the superiority of the "Nordic race" and the desirability of eliminating allegedly inferior strains of humanity - or "life unworthy of life" (Lebensunwertes Leben). Lenz was a member of the "Committee of Experts for Population and Racial Policy". He joined the Nazi party in 1937 while serving as the head of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Anthropology.[1]

After World War II, Lenz continued to work as a Professor of genetics at the University of Goettingen. When questioned Lenz said that the Holocaust would undermine the study of human genetics and racial theory. He continued to believe that eugenic theories of racial differences had been scientifically proven.


For Lenz, human genetics established that the connection between racial identity and human nature was actually physical in character. This extended to political affiliations. Lenz even claimed that the revolutionary agitation in Germany after 1918 was caused by inferior racial elements, warning that the nation's racial superiority was threatened. He stated that "The German nation is the last refuge of the Nordic race...before us lies the greatest task of world history".[2] For Lenz, this validated the racialised politics of the Nazis.

He justified the Nuremberg laws of 1935 in this way:

As important as the external features for their evaluation is the lineage of individuals, a blond Jew is also a Jew. Yes, there are Jews who have most of the external features of the Nordic race, but who nevertheless display Jewish mental tendencies. The legislation of the National Socialist state therefore properly defines a Jew not by external race characteristics, but by descent.[3]

Likewise, Lenz took the view that Slavs were inferior to Nordic peoples, and that they threatened to "overrun the superior Volk (People)." In 1940, Lenz advised the SS that "The resettlement of the Eastern zone is...the most consequential task of racial policy. It will determine the racial character of the population living there for centuries to come."


1. "Human biodiversity: genes, race, and history", Jonathan M. Marks. Transaction Publishers, 1995. p. 88. ISBN 0-202-02033-9, ISBN 978-0-202-02033-4.
2. Geoffrey G. Field, "Nordic Racism", Journal of the History of Ideas, University of Pennsylvania Press, 1977, p. 526
3. Fritz Lenz, Über Wege und Irrwege rassenkundlicher Untersuchungen, in: Zeitschrift für Morphologie und Anthropologie Bd. 39, 3/1941, S. 397

See also

• Racial policy of Nazi Germany
• Eugenics
• Ex-Nazis
• Alfred Ploetz
• Ernst Rudin
• Eugen Fischer
• racial hygiene
• Kaiser Wilhelm Institute of Anthropology, Human Heredity, and Eugenics
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Mon Oct 28, 2019 9:04 pm

Kaiser Wilhelm Institute of Anthropology, Human Heredity, and Eugenics
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 10/28/19



Former Kaiser Wilhelm Institute of Racial Hygiene, at the Free University of Berlin

Eugen Fischer during a ceremony at the University of Berlin 1934

The Kaiser Wilhelm Institute of Anthropology, Human Heredity, and Eugenics was founded in 1927 in Berlin, Germany. When confronted with financial demands, the Rockefeller Foundation supported both the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute of Psychiatry and the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute of Anthropology, Human Heredity and Eugenics.[1] The Rockefeller Foundation partially funded the actual building of the Institute and helped keep the Institute afloat during the Great Depression.


Josef Mengele in 1956

In its early years, and during the Nazi era, it was strongly associated with theories of Nazi eugenics and racial hygiene advocated by its leading theorists Fritz Lenz, (first director) Eugen Fischer, and by its second director Otmar von Verschuer.

In the years of 1937–1938, Fischer and his colleagues analysed 600 children in Nazi Germany descending from French-African soldiers who occupied western areas of Germany after First World War; the children were subsequently subjected to sterilization afterwards.[2]

Fischer didn't officially join the Nazi Party until 1940.[3] However, he was influential with National Socialists early on. Adolf Hitler read his two-volume work, Principles of Human Heredity and Race Hygiene (first published in 1921 and co-written by Erwin Baur and Fritz Lenz) while incarcerated in 1923 and used its ideas in Mein Kampf.[4] He also authored The Rehoboth Bastards and the Problem of Miscegenation among Humans (1913) (German: Die Rehobother Bastards und das Bastardierungsproblem beim Menschen), a field study which provided context for later racial debates, influenced German colonial legislation and provided scientific support for the Nuremberg laws.[5]

Under the Nazi regime, Fischer developed the physiological specifications used to determine racial origins and developed the so-called Fischer–Saller scale. He and his team experimented on Romani people and African-Germans, especially those from Namibia, taking blood and measuring skulls to find scientific validation for his theories.

During World War II, the Institute regularly received human body parts, including eyes and skulls, from Nazi party member Karin Magnussen who studied eye colors, and Josef Mengele (at Auschwitz concentration camp) to use in studies intended to prove Nazi racial theories and justify race-related social policies. After the German capitulation in May 1945, most of the thousands of files and lab material of the Institute were moved to an unknown location or destroyed, and never obtained by the Allies to use as evidence in war crimes trials and to prove or dis-prove the Nazi racial ideology which had motivated mass genocide in Europe. Most of the staff of the Institute were able to escape trial.

Efforts to return the Namibian skulls taken by Fischer were started with an investigation by the University of Freiburg in 2011 and completed with the return of the skulls in March 2014.[6][7][8]

See also

• Max Planck Society Archive
• Shark Island, German South West Africa
• Herero and Namaqua Genocide


1. Black, Edwin (9 November 2003). "Eugenics and the Nazis -- the California connection". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 20 November 2013.
2. Bioethics: an anthology Helga Kuhse,Peter Singer page 232 Wiley-Blackwell 2006
3. "Human biodiversity: genes, race, and history", Jonathan M. Marks. Transaction Publishers, 1995. p. 88. ISBN 0202020339, 9780202020334.
4. A. E. Samaan (2013). From a Race of Masters to a Master Race: 1948 To 1848. A.E. Samaan. p. 539. ISBN 1626600007.
5. Baumel, Judith Tydor (2001). The Holocaust Encyclopedia. Yale University Press. p. 420. ISBN 0-300-08432-3.
6. "Repatriation of Skulls from Namibia University of Freiburg hands over human remains in ceremony". 2014. Archived from the original on 2014-04-03.
7. Namibia Press Agency (7 March 2014). "NAMPA: WHK skulls repatriated to Namibia 07 March 2014" – via YouTube.
8. "Germany to send back 35 skulls". 28 February 2014.

Further reading

• Papanayotou, Vivi. "Skeletons in the Closet of German Science". Deutsche Welle. Retrieved 20 November 2013.
• Schmuhl, Hans-Walter (2003). The Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Anthropology, Human Heredity, and Eugenics, 1927-1945. Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science. 259. Springer. ISBN 978-1-4020-6599-6.
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Mon Oct 28, 2019 10:00 pm

Kaiser Wilhelm Society
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 10/28/19



Former Kaiser-Wilhelm-Institut for Chemistry in Berlin, the place at which nuclear fission was detected

Former Kaiser-Wilhelm-Institut for Biology, Berlin

The Kaiser Wilhelm Society for the Advancement of Science (German Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gesellschaft zur Förderung der Wissenschaften) was a German scientific institution established in the German Empire in 1911. Its functions were taken over by the Max Planck Society. The Kaiser Wilhelm Society was an umbrella organisation for many institutes, testing stations, and research units created under its authority.


Opening of the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Institut in Berlin-Dahlem, 1913. From right: Adolf von Harnack, Friedrich von Ilberg, Kaiser Wilhelm II, Carl Neuberg, August von Trott zu Solz

The Kaiser Wilhelm Gesellschaft (KWG) was founded in 1911 in order to promote the natural sciences in Germany, by founding and maintaining research institutions formally independent from the state and its administrations. The institutions were to be under the guidance of prominent directors, which included luminaries such as Walther Bothe, Peter Debye, Albert Einstein, Fritz Haber and Otto Hahn; a board of trustees also provided guidance.

Funding was ultimately obtained from sources internal and external to Germany. Internally, money was raised from individuals, industry and the government, as well as through the Notgemeinschaft der Deutschen Wissenschaft (Emergency Association of German Science).

External to Germany, the Rockefeller Foundation granted students worldwide one-year study stipends, for whichever institute they chose, some studied in Germany.[1][2][3] In contrast to the German universities with their formal independence from state administrations, the institutions of the Kaiser Wilhelm Gesellschaft had no obligation to teach students.

The Kaiser Wilhelm Institute and its research facilities were involved in weapons research, experimentation and production in both the First World War and the Second World War. During the World War I, the group, and in particular Fritz Haber, was responsible for introducing the use of poison gas as a weapon.[4] This was in direct violation of established international law. During World War II, some of the weapons and medical research performed by the KWI was connected to fatal experimentation on living test subjects in concentration camps.[5] In fact, members of the KWI Anthropology Department, particularly Otmar von Verschuer received preserved Jewish bodies for study and display from Auschwitz. [6] These were provided by Dr. Josef Mengele.[7] As the American forces closed in on the relocated KWI, the organization's president, Albert Vögler, an industrialist and early Nazi Party backer, committed suicide, knowing he would be held accountable for the group's crimes and complicity in war crimes.[8]


By the end of the Second World War, the KWG and its institutes had lost their central location in Berlin and were operating in other locations. The KWG was operating out of its Aerodynamics Testing Station in Göttingen. Albert Vögler, the president of the KWG, committed suicide on 14 April 1945. Thereupon, Ernst Telschow assumed the duties until Max Planck could be brought from Magdeburg to Göttingen, which was in the British zone of the Allied Occupation Zones in Germany. Planck assumed the duties on 16 May until a president could be elected. Otto Hahn was selected by directors to be president, but there were a number of difficulties to be overcome. Hahn, being related to nuclear research had been captured by the allied forces of Operation Alsos, and he was still interned at Farm Hall in Britain, under Operation Epsilon. At first, Hahn was reluctant to accept the post, but others prevailed upon him to accept it. Hahn took over the presidency three months after being released and returned to Germany. However, the Office of Military Government, United States (OMGUS) passed a resolution to dissolve the KWG on 11 July 1946.

Meanwhile, members of the British occupation forces, specifically in the Research Branch of the OMGUS, saw the society in a more favourable light and tried to dissuade the Americans from taking such action. The physicist Howard Percy Robertson was director of the department for science in the British Zone; he had a National Research Council Fellowship in the 1920s to study at the Georg August University of Göttingen and the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich. Also, Colonel Bertie Blount was on the staff of the British Research Branch, and he had received his doctorate at Göttingen under Walther Borsche. Among other things, Bertie suggested to Hahn to write to Sir Henry Hallett Dale, who had been the president of the Royal Society, which he did. While in Britain, Bertie also spoke with Dale, who came up with a suggestion. Dale believed that it was only the name which conjured up a pejorative picture and suggested that the society be renamed the Max Planck Gesellschaft. On 11 September 1946, the Max Planck Gesellschaft was founded in the British Zone only. The second founding took place on 26 February 1948 for both the American and British occupation zones. The physicists Max von Laue and Walther Gerlach were also instrumental in establishing the society across the allied zones, including the French zone.[9][10]


• Adolf von Harnack (1911–1930)
• Max Planck (1930–1937, 16 May 1945-31 March 1946)
• Carl Bosch (1937–1940)
• Albert Vögler (1941–1945)
• Otto Hahn (1 April 1946 – 10 September 1946 in the British Occupation Zone)

Institutes, testing stations and units

Kaiser Wilhelm Institutes

• KWI for Animal Breeding Research, founded in Dummerstorf. Transformed into a research institute of the (East)-German Academy of Sciences.
• KWI of Anthropology, Human Heredity and Eugenics, founded 1926 in Berlin-Dahlem.
• KWI for Bast Fibre Research, founded 1938 in Sorau. It was moved to Mährisch Schönberg in 1941 and to Bielefeld in 1946. After its incorporation into the Max Planck Society in 1948 and two further relocations to Westheim and Niedermarsberg in 1951 it was incorporated into the Max Planck Institute for Breeding Research and moved to Köln-Vogelsang. The Institute was closed down in 1957. Its first director was Ernst Schilling 1938-1945 and 1948-1951.
• KWI for Biology, founded 1912 in Berlin and moved to Tübingen in 1943. It was then the Max Planck Institute for Biology until 2005.
• KWI for Biochemistry, founded 1912. Nowadays, there exists the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry, but there is no straight relation between the institutes.
• KWI for Biophysics, formerly the Institut für Physikalische Grundlagen der Medizin of Friedrich Dessauer was incorporated into the KWG by Boris Rajewsky in 1937. The Institute is located in Frankfurt am Main. It is now the Max Planck Institute for Biophysics.
• KWI for Brain Research, founded 1914 in Berlin by Oskar Vogt. It is now the Max Planck Institute for Brain Research.
• KWI for Cell Physiology, founded 1930 in Dahlem, Berlin by Otto Heinrich Warburg and the Rockefeller Foundation.
• KWI for Chemistry, founded 1911 in Dahlem. It is now the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, also known as the Otto Hahn Institute.
• KWI for Coal Research Institute of the KWG, founded 1912 in Mülheim. It is now the Max Planck Institute für Kohlenforschung.
• KWI for Comparative and International Private Law, founded 1926 in Berlin by Ernst Rabel.[11] It is now the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law in Hamburg.
• KWI for Comparative Public Law and International Law, founded 1924 in Berlin; the first director was Viktor Bruns.[12] It is now the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law in Heidelberg.
• KWI for Experimental Therapy, founded in 1915 by August von Wasserman.
• KWI for Fiber Chemistry, founded in 1920 by Reginald Oliver Herzog, closed in 1934.
• KWI of Flow (Fluid Dynamics) Research, founded 1925. Ludwig Prandtl was the director from 1926 to 1946. It is now the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization.
• KWI for German History, founded 1917 in Berlin. It was later the Max Planck Institute for History, now transformed a Max Planck Institute for multi-ethnic societies.
• KWI for Hydrobiological Research. One of its directors was August Friedrich Thienemann.
• KWI for Iron Research, founded 1917 in Aachen and it moved to Düsseldorf in 1921. It is now the Max Planck Institute for Iron Research GmbH.
• KWI for Leather Research, founded 1921 in Dresden by Max Bergmann. It became a part of an institute that later the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry in Martinsried.
• KWI for Medical Research founded 1929 in Heidelberg by Ludolf von Krehl. It is now the Max Planck Institute for Medical Research in Heidelberg.
• KWI for Metals Research, founded 1921 in Neubabelsberg. It closed in 1933 and reopened in Stuttgart in 1934. It is now the Max Planck Institute for Metals Research in Stuttgart.
• KWI for Plant Breeding Research, founded in Müncheberg in 1929 by Erwin Baur. It is now the Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research located in Cologne.
• KWI for Physical Chemistry and Electrochemistry, founded 1911 in Dahlem, Berlin. It is now the Fritz Haber Institute of the MPG, named after Fritz Haber, who was the director 1911-1933.
• KWI for Physics, founded 1917 in Berlin. Albert Einstein was the director 1917-1933; in 1922, Max von Laue became deputy director and took over administrative duties from Einstein. It is now the Max Planck Institute for Physics; also known as the Werner Heisenberg Institute.
• KWI for Physiology of Effort (Work)/KWI for Occupational Physiology, founded 1912 in Berlin, moved to Dortmund in 1929. It is now the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Physiology in Dortmund.
• German Research Institute for Psychiatry (a Kaiser Wilhelm institute) in Munich. It is now the Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry.
• KWI for Silicate Research, founded 1926 in Berlin-Dahlem by Wilhelm Eitel.
• KWI for Textile Chemistry
• KWI Vine Breeding

Kaiser Wilhelm Society organisations

Aerodynamic Testing Station (Göttingen e. V.) of the Kaiser Wilhelm Society. The testing unit Aerodynamische Versuchsanstalt (AVA) was formed in 1925 along with the KWI of Flow (Fluid Dynamics) Research. In 1937, it became the testing station of the KWG.
Biological Station Lunz of the Kaiser Wilhelm Society
• German Entomological Institute of the Kaiser Wilhelm Society
Hydrobiological Station of the Kaiser Wilhelm Society
• Institute for Agricultural Work Studies in the Kaiser Wilhelm Society
Research Unit "D" in the Kaiser Wilhelm Society
• Rossitten Bird Station of the Kaiser Wilhelm Society, founded 1901 in Rossitten and integrated into the Kaiser Wilhelm Society in 1921. The ornithological station was ceased at the end of the Second World War, but work continues at the ornithological station Radolfzell which is part of the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology.
• Silesian Coal Research Institute of the Kaiser Wilhelm Society, in Breslau.

Institutions outside Germany

• Bibliotheca Hertziana, founded 1913 in Rome. It is now the Bibliotheca Hertziana - Max Planck Institute of Art History in Rome.
• German-Bulgarian Institute for Agricultural Science founded in 1940 in Sofia.
• German-Greek Institute for Biology in the Kaiser Wilhelm Society founded in 1940 in Athens.
• German-Italian Institute for Marine Biology at Rovigno, Italy.
• Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Cultivated Plant Research founded in 1940 in Vienna, Austria.


• Institute for the Science of Agricultural Work—founded in 1940 in Breslau.
• Research Unit for Virus Research of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Biochemistry and the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Biology
• Institute for Theoretical Physics

See also

• Research Materials: Max Planck Society Archive



1. Macrakis, 1993, 11-28 and 273-274.
2. Hentschel, 1996, Appendix A; see the entries for the Kaiser Wilhelm Gesellschaft and the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Fluid Dynamics Research.
3. List of Kaiser Wilhelm Institutes Archived 2013-09-09 at the Wayback Machinein summary of holdings, Section I (Bestandsübersicht, I. Abteilung), on the website of the Max Planck Gesellschaft Archives (in German). Retrieved 2015-08-29.
4. "History of the Kaiser Wilhelm Society". Retrieved 2019-07-28.
5. Müller-Hill, Benno (1999). "The Blood from Auschwitz and the Silence of the Scholars". History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences. 21 (3): 331–365. JSTOR 23332180.
6. "History of the Kaiser Wilhelm Society". Retrieved 2019-07-28.
7. "History of the Kaiser Wilhelm Society". Retrieved 2019-07-28.
8. "History of the Kaiser Wilhelm Society". Retrieved 2019-07-28.
9. Macrakis, 1993, 187-198.
10. Hentschel, 1996, Appendix A; see the entries for the Kaiser Wilhelm Gesellschaft and the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Fluid Dynamics Research.
11. Kunze, Rolf-Ulrich (2004). Ernst Rabel und das Kaiser-Wilhelm-Institut für ausländisches und internationales Privatrecht 1926-1945. Göttingen: Wallstein. p. 13.
12. Kunze (2004), p. 47-48.


• Hans-Walter Schmuhl: Grenzüberschreitungen. Das Kaiser-Wilhelm-Institut für Anthropologie, Menschliche Erblehre und Eugenik 1927–1945. Reihe: Geschichte der Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gesellschaft im Nationalsozialismus, 9. Wallstein, Göttingen 2005, ISBN 3-89244-799-3
• Hentschel, Klaus (ed.) (1996). Physics and National Socialism: An Anthology of Primary Sources. Basel, Boston: Birkhäuser Verlag. ISBN 0-8176-5312-0.
• Macrakis, Kristie (1993). Surviving the swastika: Scientific research in Nazi Germany. New York: Oxford Univ. Press. ISBN 0-19-507010-0.

External links

• History of the Kaiser Wilhelm Society in the National Socialist Era - Presidential Commission of the Max Planck Gesellschaft
• KWG & MPG Presidents
• A History of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Medical Research: 1929-1939, by David M. States (June 28, 2001) – compilation of articles, including several about the lives and work of Nobel laureates, on the official website of the Nobel Prize
• Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gesellschaft 1911-1948 (in German) – Deutsches Historisches Museum
• Max Planck Gesellschaft – English Portal
• Documents and clippings about Kaiser Wilhelm Society in the 20th Century Press Archives of the ZBW
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Mon Oct 28, 2019 11:58 pm

Eugen Fischer
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 10/28/19



Eugen Fischer with photographs of indigenous African women, circa 1938.
Born 5 July 1874
Karlsruhe, Grand Duchy of Baden
Died 9 July 1967 (aged 93)
Freiburg im Breisgau, West Germany
Nationality German
Occupation Professor
Known for Nazi eugenics
Political party Nazi Party

Eugen Fischer (5 July 1874 – 9 July 1967) was a German professor of medicine, anthropology, and eugenics, and a member of the Nazi Party. He served as director of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute of Anthropology, Human Heredity, and Eugenics, and also served as rector of the Frederick William University of Berlin.

Fischer's ideas informed the Nuremberg Laws of 1935 which served to justify the Nazi Party's belief in German racial superiority.[1] Adolf Hitler read Fischer's work while he was imprisoned in 1923 and he used Fischer's eugenical notions to support the ideal of a pure Aryan society in his manifesto, Mein Kampf (My Struggle).[1]


Fischer was born in Karlsruhe, Grand Duchy of Baden, in 1874. He studied medicine, folkloristics, history, anatomy, and anthropology in Berlin, Freiburg and Munich.[2] In 1918, he joined the Anatomical Institute in Freiburg in 1918,[3] part of the University of Freiburg.[4]

In 1927, Fischer became the director of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute of Anthropology, Human Heredity, and Eugenics (KWI-A), a role for which he'd been recommended the prior year by Erwin Baur.[5]

In 1933 Fischer signed the Loyalty Oath of German Professors to Adolf Hitler and the National Socialist State.

In 1933, Adolf Hitler appointed him rector of the Frederick William University of Berlin, now Humboldt University.[6] Fischer retired from the university in 1942. Otmar Freiherr von Verschuer was a student of Fischer.[7][8]

After the war, he completed his memoirs, it is believed that in them he whitened his role in the genocidal program of the Third Reich. He died in 1967.

Early work


In 1906, Fischer conducted field research in German South West Africa (now Namibia). He studied the Basters, offspring of German or Boer men who had fathered children by the native women (Hottentots) in that area. His study concluded with a call to prevent a "mixed race" by the prohibition of "mixed marriage" such as those he had studied. It included unethical medical practices on the Herero and Namaqua people.[9] He argued that while the existing Mischling descendants of the mixed marriages might be useful for Germany, he recommended that they should not continue to reproduce. His recommendations were followed and by 1912 interracial marriage was prohibited throughout the German colonies.[10][11] As a precursor to his experiments on Jews in Nazi Germany, he collected bones and skulls for his studies, in part from medical experimentation on African prisoners of war in Namibia during the Herero and Namaqua Genocide.[12][13]

His ideas expressed in this work, related to maintaining the purity of races, influenced future German legislation on race, including the Nuremberg laws.[11]

In 1927, Fischer was a speaker at the World Population Conference held in Geneva, Switzerland.[14]

Nazi Germany

Eugen Fischer during a ceremony at the University of Berlin 1934

In the years of 1937–1938 Fischer and his colleagues analysed 600 children in Nazi Germany descending from French-African soldiers who occupied western areas of Germany after First World War; the children were subsequently subjected to sterilization.[15]

Fischer did not officially join the Nazi Party until 1940.[16] However, he was influential with National Socialists early on. Adolf Hitler read his two-volume work, Principles of Human Heredity and Race Hygiene (first published in 1921 and co-written by Erwin Baur and Fritz Lenz) while incarcerated in 1923 and used its ideas in Mein Kampf.[17] He also authored The Rehoboth Bastards and the Problem of Miscegenation among Humans (1913) (German: Die Rehobother Bastards und das Bastardierungsproblem beim Menschen), a field study which provided context for later racial debates, influenced German colonial legislation and provided scientific support for the Nuremberg laws.[18]

Under the Nazi regime, Fischer developed the physiological specifications used to determine racial origins and developed the so-called Fischer–Saller scale. He and his team experimented on Gypsies and African-Germans, taking blood and measuring skulls to find scientific validation for his theories.

Efforts to return the Namibian skulls taken by Fischer were started with an investigation by the University of Freiburg in 2011 and completed with the return of the skulls in March 2014.[19][20][21]

In 1944 Fischer intervened in an attempt to get his friend Martin Heidegger released from service in the Volkssturm militia. However, Heidegger had already been released from service when Fischer's letter arrived.[22]:332-3


To 1909

• Fischer, Eugen. 1899. "Beiträge zur Kenntniss der Nasenhöhle und des Thränennasenganges der Amphisbaeniden", Archiv für Mikroskopische Anatomie. 55:1, pp. 441–478.
• Fischer, Eugen. 1901. "Zur Kenntniss der Fontanella metopica und ihrer Bildungen". Zeitschrift für Morphologie und Anthropologie.4:1. pp. 17–30.
• Fischer, Eugen, Professor an der Universität Freiburg i. Br. 1906. "Die Variationen an Radius und Ulna des Menschen". Zeitschrift für Morphologie und Anthropologie. Vol. 9. No. 2.
• Fischer, Eugen. 1908. Der Patriziat Heinrichs III und Heinrichs IV. Tübingen: J.C.B. Mohr (Paul Siebeck). Fischer's PhD thesis.

1910 to 1919

• Maass, Alfred. Durch Zentral-Sumatra. Berlin: Behr. 1910. Additional contributing authors: J.P. Kleiweg de Zwaan and E. Fischer.
• Fischer, Eugen. 1913.Die Rehobother Bastards und das Bastardierungsproblem beim Menschen: anthropologische und ethnographiesche Studien am Rehobother Bastardvolk in Deutsch-Südwest-Afrika, ausgeführt mit Unterstützung der Kgl. preuss, Akademie der Wissenschaften. Jena: G. Fischer.
• Gaupp, Ernst Wilhelm Theodor. Eugen Fischer (ed.) 1917. August Weismann: sein Leben und sein Werk. Jena: Verlag von Gustav Fischer.

1920 to 1929

• Schwalbe, G. and Eugen Fischer (eds.). Anthropologie. Leipzig: B.G. Teubner, 1923.
• Fischer, E. and H.F.K. Günther. Deutsche Köpfe nordischer Rasse: 50 Abbildungen mit Geleitwarten. Munich: J.F. Lehmann. 1927.

1940 to 1949

• Fischer, Eugen and Gerhard Kittel. Das antike Weltjudentum : Tatsachen, Texte, Bilder. Hamburg: Hanseatische Verlagsanstalt, 1943.[23]

1950 to 1959

• Sarkar, Sasanka Sekher; Eugen Fischer and Keith Arthur, The Aboriginal Races of India, Calcutta: Bookland. 1954.
• Fischer, Eugen. Begegnungen mit Toten: aus den Erinnerungen eines Anatomen. Freiburg: H.F. Schulz. 1959.

See also

• Karl Binding
• Racial policy of Nazi Germany
• Scientific racism
• Subsequent Nuremberg trials
• Doctors' Trial
• Anthropometry
• Fischer scale
• Fischer-Saller scale
• Shark Island Concentration Camp


1. Anderson, Ingrid L. (2016-05-26). Ethics and Suffering since the Holocaust: Making Ethics "First Philosophy" in Levinas, Wiesel and Rubenstein. Routledge. ISBN 9781317298359.
2. Max-Planck-Gesellschaft - Archive. "Fischer, Eugen". Archived from the original on 2014-08-19.
3. "Eugen Fischer".
4. Eugen Fischer (1921). "Bitte des anatomischen Instituts Freiburg i.B."
5. Schmul 2003, p. 25.
6. Lasalle, Ferdinand. "Rektoratsreden im 19. und 20. Jahrhundert – Online-Bibliographie - Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Berlin". Retrieved 19 April 2018.
7. Michael H. Kater (2011). "The Nazi Symbiosis: Human Genetics and Politics in the Third Reich". Bulletin of the History of Medicine. 85: 515–516. doi:10.1353/bhm.2011.0067.
8. Randall Hansen; Desmond King (2013). Sterilized by the State: Eugenics, Race, and the Population Scare in Twentieth-Century. Cambridge University Press. p. 328. ISBN 978-1107434592.
9. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-12-09. Retrieved 2014-01-19.
10. Holocaust Encyclopedia, p. 420
11. Friedlander 1997, p. 11
12. ... htmMedical[permanent dead link]experimentation in Africa
13. Lusane, Clarence (2002-12-13). Hitler's black victims: The historical experiences of Afro-Germans, European Blacks, Africans, and African Americans in the Nazi era. ISBN 9780415932950.
14. Ross, Edward Alsworth (October 1927). "Birth Control Review" (PDF). World Population Conference.
15. Bioethics: an anthology Helga Kuhse, Peter Singer page 232 Wiley-Blackwell 2006
16. "Human biodiversity: genes, race, and history", Jonathan M. Marks. Transaction Publishers, 1995. p. 88. ISBN 0202020339, 9780202020334.
17. A. E. Samaan (2013). From a Race of Masters to a Master Race: 1948 To 1848. A.E. Samaan. p. 539. ISBN 978-1626600003.
18. Holocaust Encyclopedia p. 420.
19. "Repatriation of Skulls from Namibia University of Freiburg hands over human remains in ceremony". 2014. Archived from the original on 2014-04-03.
20. Namibia Press Agency (7 March 2014). "NAMPA: WHK skulls repatriated to Namibia 07 March 2014". Retrieved 19 April 2018 – via YouTube.
21. "Germany to send back 35 skulls". 28 February 2014. Retrieved 19 April 2018.
22. Safranski, Rüdiger (1999). Martin Heidegger: Between Good and Evil. Cambridge (MAss): Harvard University Press.
23. Das Antike Weltjudentum - Forschungen zur Judenfrage. 1944.
• Baumel, Judith Tydor (2001). The Holocaust Encyclopedia. Yale University Press. ISBN 0-300-08432-3.
• Black, Edwin (2004). War Against the Weak: Eugenics and America's Campaign to Create a Master Race. Thunder's Mouth Press. ISBN 1-56858-321-4.
• Fangerau H.; Müller I. (2002). "Das Standardwerk der Rassenhygiene von Erwin Baur, Eugen Fischer und Fritz Lenz im Urteil der Psychiatrie und Neurologie 1921-1940". Der Nervenarzt. 73 (11): 1039–1046. doi:10.1007/s00115-002-1421-1. PMID 12430045.
• Mendes-Flohr, Paul R. (1995). The Jew in the Modern World: A Documentary History. Oxford University Press US. ISBN 0-19-507453-X.
• Schmuhl, Hans-Walter. "The Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Anthropology, Human heredity and Eugenics, 1927-1945", Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science vol. 259, Wallstein Verlag, Göttingen, 2003
• Weindling P. (1985). "Weimar eugenics: The kaiser wilhelm institute for anthropology, human heredity and eugenics in social context". Annals of Science. 42 (3): 303–318. doi:10.1080/00033798500200221. PMID 11620696.
• Friedlander, Henry. 1997. The origins of Nazi genocide: from euthanasia to the Final Solution. University of North Carolina Press. ISBN 0-8078-2208-6 ISBN 0807846759.

External links

• Book Review of The Rehoboth Bastards in Nature (1913)
• 2004 Newspaper Article regarding The Rehoboth Bastards
• The Rehoboth Bastards (Photo Album)
• Herero and Namaqua Genocide - Galerie Ezakwantu
• Works by Eugen Fischer at Project Gutenberg
• Lusane, Clarence (2002-12-13). Hitler's black victims: The historical experiences of Afro-Germans, European Blacks, Africans, and African Americans in the Nazi era. ISBN 978-0-415-93295-0.
• Detailed overview of Eugen Fischer with references
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Tue Oct 29, 2019 8:27 pm

Buddhism in London
by Diamond Way Buddhism: Karma Kagyu Lineage
Accessed: 10/29/19



Did you know that Buddhism has had a presence in London for over 120 years? This article overviews the historical context of our current London Buddhist Centre at the Beaufoy.

Early Buddhist influences on London

Japanese Pure Land Buddhists (1840–1907) established the first Buddhist “mission” in the West in 1889 in the central London home of a pioneering Irish Buddhist, Charles Pfoundes. The mission however was short-lived, as Pfoundes emigrated to Japan three years later.

Around 1863, newly arrived in Japan, Charles changed his surname to Pfoundes, learned Japanese and developed a passion for studying Japanese customs and culture. He subsequently made a career for himself as an East-West middleman, based mainly in Japan but with a thirteen-year period (1879-1892) in London where he gave innumerable talks on Japan and other topics and in 1889 founded the ‘Buddhist Propagation Society’; the first-ever Buddhist mission to the West (Bocking et al. 2014). As far as we know Charles never met, nor indeed wanted to contact, his brother Elam or his father James after he left them in Ireland in 1854. He did however spend time, though hardly quality time, with his mother on several occasions. In 1874 Caroline travelled to Tokyo, where Pfoundes held a responsible position in a major shipping company. That visit ended, according to Caroline’s later testimony in a Dublin courtroom in 1877, with Charles forcibly taking from her all the money she had brought with her to Japan, so that she was obliged to rely on the assistance of friends to get home. Caroline was in court because Charles, who in 1877 was travelling the world prior to settling, as he planned, in London, had visited Caroline in her own home in Dublin in May 1877 when she was in her early 60s and physically assaulted her when she did not give him back some Japanese ornaments he wanted. In October he returned and threatened to attack her again if she did not give him some papers. Pfoundes only avoided jail by paying sureties to keep the peace towards his mother for 12 months (‘A Strange Case’ 1877; ‘Extraordinary case’ 1877).

-- Mrs Pounds and Mrs Pfoundes: A Futuristic Historical Essay in Honour of Professor Ursula King [Charles James William Pounds Pfoundes] [Excerpt], by Brian Bocking

The next figure in the introduction of Buddhism in London was Allan Bennett (1872–1923). He was the second Englishman to become a Buddhist monk in the Theravada tradition (the first died shortly after his ordination in 1899). Bennett inspired many Londoners to explore Buddhism. A former occultist, he was a friend of Aleister Crowley, with whom he shared an interest in Buddhism. Bennett lived in a poor area of London. He was tormented by illness, which compelled him to use morphine and other drugs. He stayed with Crowley for a short time at a flat in Chancery Lane in central London, where they pursued their passion for mysticism.

After falling out with Crowley, in 1900 Bennett took a ship to Asia to dedicate himself to Buddhism. First he travelled to Ceylon, and later Burma where he received monastic vows and the name Ananda Metteyya “Bliss of Loving Kindness”. After returning to London, in 1908 Bennett started to promote Buddhism. He faced difficulties in upholding monastic rules in London, for example he was not allowed to ride behind a horse but London’s public transport was horse-drawn; he could not handle money so could never travel alone; and couldn’t share a house with a woman. However he managed to generate much attention.

Transport in London in the early 1900s

Another key figure in Buddhism making its mark on London was Christmas Humphreys, QC (1901–1983), considered the most eminent of all 20th Century British Buddhists. A barrister, he prosecuted several controversial cases in the ‘40s and ‘50s, and later became a judge at London’s Old Bailey. Humphreys’ interest in Buddhism developed at Cambridge University, where he joined the Theosophical Society. He was influenced by Ananda Metteya [Charles Henry Allan Bennett] and other early British Buddhists, such as the Pali Text Society’s founder, T. W. Rhys Davids. Humphreys organised a group that developed into the “Buddhist Lodge” of the Theosophical Society, which by 1926 had seceded to become the Buddhist Society in London, which is now the UK’s longest-standing Buddhist institution. In Humphrey’s spirit of non-sectarianism, the Buddhist Society has promoted the teachings of all Eastern Buddhist traditions, supported the development of Buddhism in London and the UK, and has hosted many prominent teachers. Of particular relevance to the history of the Karma Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism was the welcoming of H.H. the 16th Karmapa at the Buddhist Society on his visit to London in 1977.

The 16th Karmapa and Christmas Humphreys in London, 1977

Proliferation of Buddhist Centres in London

In the latter half of the 20th Century a number of actual and nominal Buddhist organisations appeared and made their mark on London’s Buddhist landscape. Theravada Buddhist institutions such as Chithurst and Amaravati Monasteries in north London gradually emerged from the fledgling English Sangha Trust, founded in London in 1956 by the English monk Bhikkhu Kapilavaddho (William Purfurst) to provide residences for monks and establish an authentically British monastic community. Temples catering predominantly for ex-patriot Buddhist communities of Sri Lanka and Thailand took shape respectively with the London Buddhist Vihara (West London) and Buddhapadipa Temple (Wimbledon). Other smaller temples and centres have similar offerings for London’s diverse Eastern Buddhist communities.

Chronology [of the English Sangha Trust]

1879 Edwin Arnold published a biographical poem about the Buddha called The Light of Asia

1881 Founding of The Pali Text Society by Dr Rhys Davids

1907 The Buddhist society of Great Britain and Ireland was formed (3rd November) in order to facilitate a visit by Ananda Metteyya [Charles Henry Allan Bennett]

1908 Ananda Metteyya arrived on 23rd April, creating the first recorded Buddhist mission to England

1909 The Buddhist Review was published on the 1st January; it was the first Buddhist periodical to appear in this country (Buddhist Society of Great Britain and Ireland)

1923 From 8th Jan to the 28th May Francis Payne gave a series of lectures at the Old Essex Hall, Strand, London, in an attempt to revive a flagging Buddhist Society

June 1924 The Buddhist Centre within the Theosophical Society was started by Christmas Humphreys later to become The [Buddhist] Lodge and then the present Buddhist Society (CH p17)

1926 On the 25th October the Buddhist Lodge within the Theosophical Society “divorced” the Theosophical Society and became independent (CH p27)

Nov 1926 The Buddhist Society of Great Britain and Ireland was dissolved (CH p28)

1928 The first Vihara connected with the birth of the British Maha Bodhi Society was founded by the Anagarika Dharmapala in Regents Park

1947 Venerable U Ṭhittila became librarian of the Buddhist Society and a leading exponent of Buddhism (CH p46)

1948 On 18th April 1948, certain members of the Buddhist Society and others founded the Buddhist Vihara Society in England with the object of expediting the founding of a Vihara in London where bhikkhus might live, teach and form a nucleus of the Theravada Sangha (CH p51) (see Sri Lankan Buddhism)

1951 The inaugural meeting of the Manchester Buddhist Society (27th May) (MBS)

Aug 1952 First Buddhist Summer School at St Anne’s College, Oxford (CH p53)

Nov 52 Samaṇera Dhammananda helped start Birmingham Buddhist Society (MBS) (MW 54/55)

Aug 1953 3 Grosvenor Square became the permanent home of the Manchester Buddhist Society (MBS)

Aug 1953 Samaṇera Dhammananda helped form Cambridge and Brighton Buddhist Societies (MBS)

May 1954 On the 17th the Sri Lankan Temple was opened at 10 Ovington Gds, Knightsbridge. The Venerable Narada Mahathera was the first incumbent

Aug 1954 Summer school held at Roehampton. Miss Horner and the Venerable Narada Mahathera attended (MBS)

Nov 1954 Venerable Kapilavaddho returned to England on the 12th, and stayed briefly in Manchester. He then moved to the London Buddhist Vihara (Sri Lankan temple) in Ovington Gds, Knightsbridge on the 15th. He was joined by Bhikkhus Guṇasiri and Mahanama, the Venerable Narada having already left. He set up the Dana fund (for the use of members in distress, for the maintenance of bhikkhus and for the expenses of lecturers) and the Buddhist summer school both of which were later taken over by the Buddhist Society (R&B)

April 55 On the 8-11th the first intensive practice course lead by Venerable Kapilavaddho. 15 attended held at Milton hall, Buxton (MBS)

Sept/Oct 55 A two week course was held at Ipping (AP)

Aug 1956 “The English Sangha Association is a new formation. It was founded at Oxford on 11/18 August 1956 by a group of sixteen people who had just completed a strenuous and continuous course in the practice of samadhi (concentration) and vipassana (insight) lasting a week under instruction of the Venerable Kapilavaddho.” (MW Nov 56) (M-EST First annual report by Dir. 30 April 57)

10 Oct 56 Buddhist Society moves to 58 Eccleston Sq (MW-55/56) (CH p59)

Oct 1956 EST leased 50 Alexandra Rd, London N.W.8. (M-EST First annual report by Dir. 30 April 57)

Dec 1956 First Sangha Magazine produced (S Dec 56)

28 Oct 62 131 Haverstock Hill was inaugurated. Mr Walshe, Chairman of EST (S Dec 62)

May 1963 Between February and May, Biddulph Old Hall was bought (S May and June 63)

1963 129 Haverstock Hill was purchased. The property was rented to provide an income for the Vihara

April 1964 Ananda Bodhi returned and went to Biddulph and taught samadhi and vipassana, Wat Paknam method. (S Mar 64)

April 1964 London Buddhist Vihara moved from 10 Ovington Gds, Knightsbridge to 5 Heathfield Gds, Chiswick. Venerable Saddhatissa Mahathera was the incumbent

1964 Lease of Sangha House, Alexandra Street finished

[1965/1966/1967] Venerable Ananda Bodhi returned to England in the Fall of 1961, at the invitation of the English Sangha Trust, becoming the Resident Teacher of the Camden Town Vihara. He was a special guest speaker at the Fifth International Congress of Psychotherapists in London, where he met Julian Huxley, Anna Freud and R.D.Laing, among others. For the next three years he taught extensively throughout the UK, founding the Hampstead Buddhist Vihara in London and the Johnstone House Contemplative Community—a retreat centre in southern Scotland. During this period he also joined a Masonic lodge. In 1965, when he decided to move to Toronto with two of his British students, Johnstone House was entrusted to Venerable Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche and Akong Tulku, becoming Kagyu Samye Ling—the first Vajrayana centre to be established in the West.

-- Ven. Namgyal Rinpoche [Venerable Ananda Bodhi/Leslie George Dawson], by Dharma Centre of Winnipeg

Ananda Bodhi, senior incumbent of the English Sangha Vihara and founder of a Buddhist contemplative centre in Scotland called Johnstone House, proposed turning the direction of the House over to myself and Akong. At once the fresh air and beautiful rolling hills of Dumfriesshire invigorated me and filled me with joyous expectation. After a series of further visits, Johnstone House was finally turned over to us and we moved in, giving it the name of Samye-Ling Meditation Centre.

-- Epilogue: Planting the Dharma in the West, from "Born in Tibet," "by" Chogyam Trungpa

To celebrate 50 years of Chogyam Trungpa's arrival in the UK Rigdzin Shikpo visited Biddulph Old Hall where he received many precious teachings from Trungpa Rinpoche.

-- A Tour of Biddulph Old Hall: Rigdzin Shikpo takes us on a tour of Biddulph Old Hall in Staffordshire, England. Biddulph Old Hall is the site of some of Trungpa Rinpoche's early teachings in the UK, by Rigdzin Shikpo

Biddulph Old Hall. Source: Sangha Magazine, May 1963

May 1963 Between February and May, Biddulph Old Hall was bought (S May and June 63)
Nov 1963 Ananda Bodhi to Thailand
1963 129 Haverstock Hill was purchased. The property was rented to provide an income for the Vihāra
April 1964 Ananda Bodhi returned and went to Biddulph and taught samadhi and vipassana, Wat Paknam method. (S Mar 64)
10 Jan 67 Maurice Walshe asked John Garry to manage Biddulph. He also found Richard Randall (previously Mr Purfurst and Venerable Kapilavaddho) and asked him to return
Biddulph Old Hall sold (S Nov 69)

-- Honour Thy Fathers: A Tribute to the Venerable Kapilavaddho ... And brief History of the Development of Theravāda Buddhism in the UK, by Terry Shine

Well, I met him in 1966. And at that time I was married to an Irish actress named Jacqueline Ryan, or Jackie. We had rather a stormy relationship....

I began making the aspiration in my mind, “May I connect with a realized master in the practice lineage.”...

So one day in my mind I was making this aspiration, and I had this sudden thought come to my mind, “Go to the phone book and look up ‘Tibet.’” And I thought, “That’s crazy. What’s that going to do?” And I thought, “Yeah, yeah, but what have you got to lose?” So I went to the phone book, and I looked up “Tibet.” Now in London, there’s 12 million people, the phone book is in four volumes, but I looked up in the “T’s,” and there was only one entry that began with the word “Tibet.” And that was “The Tibet Society of the United Kingdom ... and noted down the address -- I think it was 58 Eccleston Square.” ...

[S]o I got in the car, and I knew where Eccleston Square was, and I managed to find a parking place there without having to use the reverse. And it was sort of a Victorian townhome. And I went up the steps and there was a brass plate that said, “Buddhist Society.” And I thought, “Ha, that’s a good sign.” And underneath it it said, “Tibet Society.” So I pressed that bell push, the buzzer sounded, the door opened, and I went in.

And there was an arrow pointing down to the basement. So I went down to the basement, full of anticipation that there was going to be something very esoteric -- I was sure about that – “Tibet Society!” And there was this middle-aged English woman with her hair in a bun, typing away on an old manual typewriter, looking at me at the top of her glasses and saying, “How can we help you?” And I said, “Well, tell me about the Tibet Society.” And she said, “Oh, it’s a charitable organization, raising money for Tibetan refugees in India. Would you care to make a donation?” I thought, “This is crazy.” And I think I gave her 10 shillings, and I was about to leave, thinking that this was a total waste of time. And at that moment, a young woman came in the door, and she kind of pulled me aside and she said, “If you don’t mind me asking, ‘what are you doing here’?” I said, “Well, it’s really hard to explain, but I’m really interested in the teachings of the Kagyu order of Tibetan Buddhism.” She said, “Oh, you know there are two Tibetan lamas in this country, and they belong to that Kagyu order.” And then she reached into her purse and she pulled out a photo, and she pointed to the one on the left and she said, “That’s Trungpa. That’s the one you want to meet.” I said, “Yes. Okay.” And then she proceeded to give me the address and phone number. They were living in Oxford....

And I rushed home, and I phoned the number in Oxford, and asked to speak to Venerable Trungpa, and someone with a weird foreign accent said, “Oh, he no here right now. Better you write to him.” And then they gave me an address of some place called Biddulph in Staffordshire, Biddulph Old Hall in Staffordshire.

And so I sat down and wrote a letter, “Dear Venerable Trungpa. I’d very much like to come and meet you, and study under your guidance. And I’d be willing to meet you any time or place that would be suitable to you.”...

So I sent off the letter, and of course, the first day there’s no response. The second day there’s no response. The third day, now by that time you could get an answer, because in England you could send a letter one day and it would get there the next day, and you could get a reply the day after that. But on the third day there was still no answer. On the fourth day there was still no answer. Now I was getting antsy. And on the fifth day still no answer. And I thought, “Well, I can’t wait any longer. I’m just going to go.” And I had the address of this place, The Biddulph Old Hall, Biddulph, Staffordshire. And I had a road atlas. So I found this place Biddulph. It was like a dot on the map, it was just this little village. And I decided I was going to go....

And I finally found this little village called “Biddulph” in Staffordshire. It’s kind of in the middle of England. And then I stopped in the village, and got directions to the Old Hall. And it’s a beautiful stone manor house....

And this place had a kind of iron knocker on the door. And I knocked, and a young man came to the door and said, “How can we help you?” And I said, “Well, I came to see the Venerable Trungpa.” And he said, “Ah, you must be Richard. He told us you’d be arriving today.” And I said, “What?,” because I had not had any answer to my letter....

So I stayed there for a week, and I met with him regularly on a one-to-one basis....

So at the end of the week, I went back to London. And a day or two afterwards I was having dinner – I was with my wife Jackie – and she said to me, “I have a feeling you don’t really need me anymore.” And I said, “Yeah, maybe you’re right.” And she said, “I’m going to be leaving you.” And I said, “What?” And I didn’t really say much about it. But when I woke up the next morning – we had this big king-size bed, and there was this big empty space next to me -- she was gone. And I was kind of surprised, although she had said that, because it was so sort of sudden. And I remember calling up Trungpa Rinpoche in Oxford and saying, “You’ll never guess what happened. My wife left me.” He said, “Oh, yes.” And I said, “I have the feeling that if I contacted her, and asked her to come back, she probably would.” And he said, “Well, I wouldn’t do that if I were you.” And I said, “No, I’m not going to.”....

And then a couple of days later we set out for Scotland.

-- Richard Arthure on Meeting Chogyam Trungpa, by The Chronicles of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche

In 1967, the two Rinpoches named their centre after Samye, the first successful Buddhist establishment in Tibet. They were soon joined by master-artist Sherapalden Beru and the monk Samten. By 1970, Trungpa Rinpoche had departed for the USA and His Holiness the 16th Karmapa firmly encouraged Akong Rinpoche to take a leadership role in developing Samye Ling.

-- A Brief History of Kagyu Samye Ling, by Kagyu Samye Ling

1 Aug 1966 The Thai temple opened at 99 Christchurch Road, East Sheen (S-Feb 72). Venerable Chao Khun Sobhana Dammasuddhi was the first incumbent. The King and Queen of Thailand attended, as did Bhikkhu Khantipalo (A) (CH p68)

10 Jan 67 Maurice Walshe asked John Garry to manage Biddulph. He also found Richard Randall (previously Mr Purfurst and Venerable Kapilavaddho) and asked him to return

Nov 1969 A meditation block comprising three “cells” and a shower room in the rear garden of 131 Haverstock Hill are nearly completed. In addition there is a wooden shed also used as a Kuṭi.

Biddulph Old Hall sold (S Nov 69)

4 Dec 71 “Oaken Holt Buddhist centre, Farmoor, near Oxford, opened by owner U Myat Saw: - A Buddhist Centre has been opened at Oaken Holt, Farmoor, near Oxford. The first public event, on 4th December 1971, was a lecture entitled “What Buddhism has to Offer to the West”, by V.R. Dhiravaṃsa (the former Chao Khun Sobhana Dhammasudhi) of the Vipassana Centre at Hindhead. The lecture was preceded by a religious ceremony when seven bhikkhus chanted the scriptures; there was also a Dana ceremony. Over a hundred people came for the opening day, and of these more than a half came from London and places further away.

The centre has meditation facilities for those wishing to undertake strict practice. There is also a retreat house for those who wish to spend varying periods observing Sila in a religious atmosphere and quiet country surroundings. There is a Vihara nearby, where Buddhist monks will be in residence. Those who are interested may communicate with the Secretary, The Buddhist Centre, Oaken Holt, Farmoor, near Oxford.” (MW 71/72)

“It is with great pleasure that we can now announce that Dhammapadipa (Hampstead Vihara) will shortly assume its original status as a Vihara — a place of residence of bhikkhus in the dispensation of the Buddha. Our Administrator and Meditation Master Dr Michael Clark will shortly be returning from Thailand, where he will take up residence at Wat Dhammapadipa.” (S Vol. 4 No 6 -74)

April 1979 Haverstock Hill properties were sold at auction (26th)

June 1979 The Sangha moved to Chithurst (22nd)

-- Honour Thy Fathers: A Tribute to the Venerable Kapilavaddho ... And brief History of the Development of Theravada Buddhism in the UK, by Terry Shine

The Buddhapadipa Temple in Wimbledon, south London

Other Western or “modern” Buddhist organisations emerged in the late 20th Century and established their centres in London, some attracting attention to Buddhism for unfortunate reasons.

Tibetan Buddhism in London

By the early 21st Century, the popularity of Buddhism amongst those from both ethnically Buddhist cultures and Western practitioners had led to a proliferation of centres, temples and groups in and around London, offering access to virtually every brand, tradition, school or lineage of Buddhism, with Eastern roots or otherwise. Among this expansion, all of the four main schools of Tibetan Buddhism found representation. The Gelug School of the Dalai Lama is established in the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition’s (FPMT) Jamyang Centre in Lambeth; the teachings of the Sakya School are accessible through the Sakya Dechen Ling centre in Notting Hill of the British Buddhist master, Lama Jampa Thaye; the Nyingma School may be encountered at the Palyul Centre in Islington; and the Karma Kagyu School in the London Diamond Way Buddhist Centre in Lambeth.
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Tue Oct 29, 2019 9:28 pm

Mrs Pounds and Mrs Pfoundes: A Futuristic Historical Essay in Honour of Professor Ursula King
[Charles James William Pounds Pfoundes] [Excerpt]

by Brian Bocking
University College Cork



Mrs Pounds

Caroline Pounds, (née Elam) married James Baker Pounds, apothecary, in Ireland in 1836 when she was twenty. Her first child, Joseph Elam Pounds (known as Elam) was born in 1838, followed two years later by Charles James William Pounds, who in adult life changed his surname to Pfoundes. Another brother, George St Ledger Pounds, died at six months in the Autumn of 1843. Some time in the 1840s, Caroline separated from her husband James and left home, leaving the two surviving boys in their father’s care. [FN: Two newspaper court accounts differ; one says the marriage ended in 1840, the other (partly unreadable) says 18?9. 1839 was before George St Ledger was born, so probably 1849 is meant, but both may be inaccurate.] Caroline subsequently remained in Ireland, supporting herself as a governess and then as a companion and housekeeper. She died in 1898 at the age of eighty-two. By contrast first Charles (in 1854), then Elam (in 1855) and finally their father James (around 1856) emigrated to Australia. Charles’ father James and elder brother Elam made new lives for themselves in Australia, but almost immediately upon landing at Melbourne in 1854 Charles had run away to sea.

Around 1863, newly arrived in Japan, Charles changed his surname to Pfoundes, learned Japanese and developed a passion for studying Japanese customs and culture. He subsequently made a career for himself as an East-West middleman, based mainly in Japan but with a thirteen-year period (1879-1892) in London where he gave innumerable talks on Japan and other topics and in 1889 founded the ‘Buddhist Propagation Society’; the first-ever Buddhist mission to the West (Bocking et al. 2014). As far as we know Charles never met, nor indeed wanted to contact, his brother Elam or his father James after he left them in Ireland in 1854. He did however spend time, though hardly quality time, with his mother on several occasions. In 1874 Caroline travelled to Tokyo, where Pfoundes held a responsible position in a major shipping company. That visit ended, according to Caroline’s later testimony in a Dublin courtroom in 1877, with Charles forcibly taking from her all the money she had brought with her to Japan, so that she was obliged to rely on the assistance of friends to get home. Caroline was in court because Charles, who in 1877 was travelling the world prior to settling, as he planned, in London, had visited Caroline in her own home in Dublin in May 1877 when she was in her early 60s and physically assaulted her when she did not give him back some Japanese ornaments he wanted. In October he returned and threatened to attack her again if she did not give him some papers. Pfoundes only avoided jail by paying sureties to keep the peace towards his mother for 12 months (‘A Strange Case’ 1877; ‘Extraordinary case’ 1877).

With these facts in mind, it is remarkable to note that Caroline Pounds is usually regarded as one of the pioneer female artists of Australia, her reputation based entirely on a long-lost cache of botanical, bird and other paintings found in an attic in Geelong, Victoria as recently as the 1980s, some showing oriental influences. Until very recently it was thought that around 1846 (based on an inscription on one of the paintings) Caroline had accompanied her husband to Australia, where by the 1860s he had become a quite well-known coroner, and that the long-married couple had at some point visited their son Charles, an orientalist, in Japan -- this connection accounting for the ‘oriental’ elements in Caroline’s pictures. It is only with the help of recently-available digital databases offering searchable versions of books, newspapers, shipping records, gazetteers, archival materials, family trees and all manner of otherwise un-findable (because we don’t know where to look) published and unpublished data, that we have been able to build up a more reliable picture of Caroline’s life and, for example, to observe that if the lost pictures were indeed produced in 1846, the oriental influences could have little to do with Charles’ career in Japan, for he was only six years old at the time. Moreover, there is no evidence, beyond an inscription on one painting, to suggest that Caroline ever was in Australia, and in court in Ireland in 1877 she categorically denied that she had accompanied her husband there. Whether she should be regarded as a pioneering Australian woman artist is, therefore, a moot point! [FN: The current (July 29 2017) Wikipedia entry on Caroline Pounds provides an up-to-date overview of what is known, including my own research with Laurence Cox and YOSHINAGA Shin’ichi . A comparison with the much earlier (1992) Design and Art Australia Online entry on Caroline Pounds, which remains on the web at, illustrates just how much more, and more accurate, information has emerged as a result of digital search capabilities developed since 1992.]

There is much more about Caroline Pounds that is intriguing and elusive. Her own father, Joseph Elam (1782-1829) was a military officer, the errant son of a Quaker merchant of Leeds. Elam was by all accounts a negligent father of the three children (Caroline and two brothers) he had with his first wife, Anne Elam. Of Anne, virtually nothing is known – she may be the Anne Elam who died in a London workhouse in 1833, quite possibly still legally married to Joseph Elam. Her erstwhile husband was, in the late 1820s, involved in some way in a scandalous intrigue involving the two mistresses (mother and daughter Eliza Elam and Phoebe Blakeney) of a wealthy London-based Irish rake, Lord Portarlington. In 1827 Joseph Elam contracted what seems to have been a marriage of convenience with Lord Portarlingon’s senior mistress, Eliza (formerly Blakeney). Two years later, in 1829, Joseph died, and in 1833 Eliza herself passed away while on a visit to Manchester with Lord Portarlington. Portalington himself died in 1845, and in a sensational London fraud trial, which gripped the press and public at home and overseas during late 1853 and 1854, it was alleged that, while Eliza Elam had produced a child and claimed her as Lord Portarlington’s heir, the child was neither Joseph Elam’s nor Lord Portarlington’s; Eliza, it was argued, was beyond childbearing age and had bought the child from a peasant woman before convincing Lord Portarlington that the girl was his and thus deserved a £5,000 inheritance. It was the dispute over this inheritance that brought the matter into the open. [FN: The above brief summary of the case is based on multiple newspaper reports of the time from 1953-4.]

Caroline Pounds, whose mother was Elam Pounds’ estranged wife, Anne Elam, grew up in this evidently rather volatile social milieu; she was eleven years old when her father died. It is possible that she benefited from the kind of education provided for Lord Portarlington’s own privileged children and this is where she learned to draw and paint with such style, and perhaps why she had the kind of friends who could rescue her from faraway Japan in 1874, but so far it has proved impossible to fill in many more details of her life. Caroline Pounds remains an enigmatic figure, evidently well-educated, strong-willed and able for much of her life to live independently in Dublin, where in 1877 she still maintained a house and a maidservant, had sufficient resources to make a trip to distant Japan to see her estranged son, and was prepared to take him to court when he misbehaved.

Mrs Pfoundes

Rosa Alice Pfoundes (née Hill, 1856-1936) was one of the daughters of the governor of Sandwich gaol on the South coast of England. In 1878, at the age of 22, Rosa was staying in Liverpool with her recently-married sister Kate when Charles Pfoundes arrived in England to stay. Pfoundes was 38, seemingly with a good deal of money behind him and an ambition to establish himself in London society. The couple were married by the Liverpool Registrar in March 1878 and had set up house in London by the following year. Pfoundes was a regular attendee and sometimes speaker at various literary, geographical and orientalist gatherings around London and in the early 1880s the presence of Mrs Pfoundes is sometimes noted in the audience. As time went on, Charles Pfoundes, who had been able to secure only a humble clerking job at the Admiralty despite his expensive maritime experience in the Far East, enjoyed dwindling acceptance and support from the higher echelons of London society. The couple remained childless and towards the end of the 1880s a Japanese Buddhist who had come to the U.K. to study with Max Müller at Oxford reported back to his Buddhist colleagues in Japan that Pfoundes, who lived in very modest circumstances in London, albeit surrounded by thousands of books and papers, was interested in returning to Japan and that perhaps a position as an English-language teacher could be found for his wife Rosa. It is evident however that the marriage failed; in 1892 Pfoundes sailed for Japan alone (Bocking et al. 2014) and we have found no evidence of contact between Pfoundes and his wife, nor indeed mention of her, from the time of Pfoundes’ arrival in Japan in early 1893 until his death in Kobe in 1907. Back in England Rosa Pfoundes remained in London, working as a civil servant (and eventually thereby qualified to vote), living either alone or sharing accommodation with other single or married women. In 1921, presumably still working at the age of 57, she is listed in the electoral roll at an apartment in the pleasant environment of Bessborough Gardens, Pimlico. However, in November 1936, at the age of 80, she died in a hospital for the poor in Sussex and was shortly afterwards buried in a pauper’s (unmarked) grave in Hove cemetery. Even in comparison with the mother-in-law she probably never met, the independent and cultured Caroline Pounds, there is a paucity of evidence about the life, character and opinions of Rosa Alice Pfoundes which renders her (so far) virtually invisible to history.

Back in the Future

In the futuristic part of this essay, I want to suggest some ways in which emerging technologies ̶ and, perhaps more importantly, their accessibility and their manner of use ̶ might in future help us to learn and thereby understand far more than we can currently know about ‘lost’ figures in history such as Caroline Pounds and Rosa Pfoundes. Their lives – like the lives of many women in history and unlike the lives of many men – cannot readily be accessed through published texts and records of public events because they did not live public lives in the way that Caroline’s son, Rosa’s husband, did throughout his life. There were of course prominent and powerful women who were recognised as leaders in the field of religion in late 19th century London. In the late 1880s, Pfoundes vigorously denounced the ‘Buddhist’ pretensions of the Theosophical Society (to which he had once belonged), and in doing so attracted the ire of its leading figures who included Helena Blavatsky and Annie Besant. However, powerful and well-documented female figures in the public sphere are the exception rather than the rule in this period.


‘A Strange Case’ Freeman’s Journal, 3 Nov 1877, p.2.

Bocking, B., Laurence Cox & YOSHINAGA Shin’ichi (2014) “The First Buddhist Mission to the West: Charles Pfoundes and the London Buddhist mission of 1889 – 1892.” DISKUS 16 (3): 1 – 33. Online at ... view/51/44 (accessed 29 July 2017)

Bornet, P. (ed.) (2018) Translocal Lives and Religion: Connections between Asia and Europe in the Late Modern World, Sheffield: Equinox (forthcoming) ... on-bornet/

Cheshire, Tom ‘You’re being watched and you should worry.’ Sky News, accessed 29 July 2017 ... y-10962074

‘Extraordinary Case’ Irish Times, 3 Nov 1877, p.3.

Jones, L. (ed.) (2005) The Encyclopedia of Religion (Second edition). New York, Gale Macmillan.

King, U. (2005) ‘Gender and Religion: an overview’ in Lindsay Jones (ed.) The Encyclopedia of Religion (Second edition). New York, Gale Macmillan, Vol. V, pp.3296-3310.

Weeks, J. (2017) ‘”Keeping Grandpa alive”: the internet’s photographic treasure hunt’ 26 July 2017, accessed 29 July 2017 ... asure-hunt
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Tue Oct 29, 2019 9:54 pm

The hidden history of Buddhism in the West [Charles Pfoundes]
by Bhante Dhammika of Australia
June 17, 2016, 9:26 pm



Charles Pfoundes in Japanese eccleastical garb.

The establishment of a previously alien religion in a new environment is bound to be one of fits and starts, successes and dead ends, and so it has been with Buddhism in the West. Until fairly recently the beginnings of Western Buddhism was thought to be fairly clear and well-known, but recent research has shed new and unexpected light on this phenomena.

It seems certain now that the first Westerner to ordain as a monk, remain so for an extended period, and have at least some influence, was Bhikkhu Dhammaloka. His early life and given name are uncertain. He reportedly gave at least three names for himself at different times; Laurence Carroll, Laurence O'Rourke and William Colvin. Born in Dublin in the 1850s, he emigrated to the United States, worked his way across the US as a migrant labourer before finding work on a trans-Pacific liner. Leaving the ship in Japan, he made his way to Rangoon arriving in the late 1870s or early 1880s, around the time of the British annexation of Upper Burma. He became a monk sometime before 1899 and started giving public talks a year later. As with some other early Western monks in Asia Dhammaloka urged Buddhists to remain true to the faith of their fathers and not be seduced by the enticements of Christian missionaries. He told the Burmese that their religion was as coherent and as valid as Christianity, if not more so. Being Irish, Dhammaloka was also decidedly anti-British and he attacked the colonial government at every opportunity, making him something of a hero to the Burmese and an irritation to the British. Touring the country huge crowds flocked to listen to the European who lauded rather than disparages the Burmese and their religion. In 1907 Dhammaloka founded The Buddhist Tract Society which during its existence published numerous books and booklets on the Dhamma. His anti-British comments eventually led to Dhammaloka and some of his supporters being charged with sedition, found guilty and fined Rupees 1000 each. Dhammaloka’s numerous Burmese admirers had no problem raising the money to pay his and the other’s fines. Dhammaloka left Burma sometime after this and disappeared from history. He is thought to have died in 1914.

Bhikkhu Dhammaloka in the early 20th century.

More well-known successors to Dhammaloka were H. Gordon Douglas (Bhikkhu Asoka) formerly head of Mahinda College in Ceylon who ordained in February 1899 and died of cholera in Burma in April 1900; the Scotsman Allan Bennett (Bhikkhu Ananda Metteyya) ordained in Burma in May 1902 and founder of the International Buddhist Association and Buddhist Society of Great Britain and Ireland. He died in 1923; Anton Gueth (Ven. Nyanatiloka) of German who was ordained in Burma in 1904 by Ananda Metteyya and lived much of the rest of his life in Ceylon; and J. F. McKechnie (Bhikkhu Silacara) who ordained as a novice in July 1907 in Rangoon. After disrobing in 1925 he continued as editor of The British Buddhist for many years.

However, recent research has uncovered a surprising number of other Westerners who were drawn to the Buddhist monkhood before these pioneers. In the 1870s a destitute Russian became a monk in Bangkok and in 1878 an Austrian man is reported to have ordained in Bangkok. Nothing more is known about these two individuals. In June 1892 a Mr. MacMillan arrived in Ceylon from Scotland and ordained under the name Sumangala. Records from Japan show that a Dr. Norman, "a well-known Englishman" became a monk there in 1900. A Jewish man named Arnold Abraham or Abrams who had lived in the Straits Settlements in Malaya ordained in Rangoon in June 1904 and took the name Dhammawanga. M. T. de la Courneuve was ordained as a novice by Dhammaloka under the name Dhammaratanain Singapore October 2nd 1904. He was an ex-Inspector of Police, Pahang, Straits Settlements in Malaya and his father had been a Deputy Commissioner in the Burmese Civil Service. An individual named C. Roberts, a Welshman who is said to have spoken with an American accent, ordained as a novice probably in Rangoon in 1904. He disrobed in October 1904 after receiving a remittance from parents. He may have put on the robe simply because he was without money. An American sailor whose name has not been recorded ordained in Burma and in 1905 was residing in the Tavoy Monastery in Rangoon.

Others who have come to light include Frans Bergendahl (Sunno),a 20-year-old son of a wealthy Amsterdam merchant and a German Stange (Sumano) were both ordained by Nyanatiloka in 1906. Sumano died in 1910 and Sunno died in 1915. An Irishman whose lay name is unknown took the name Bhikkhu Visuddha and was involved in mass conversions of untouchable mine-workers in Marikuppam in India in 1907-8. Nothing else is known of him. A Mr. Solomon became a novice in Burma in 1907 but was disrobed shortly after for breaking rule about drinking alcohol. The German Walter Markgraf became a novice under Nyanatiloka in 1907 and disrobed half a year later. E. H. Stevenson born in the UK in 1863 ordained under the name Sasanadhajain Burma in September 1908 and is mentioned as giving lectures in Australia on a tour as a missionary for Buddhism in 1910.

As with most of these others we have only the barest information about these pioneers, mainly from incidental sources. Because of lack of information it is difficult to know why these men took, what then was such an unusual step and why they eventually disrobed. No doubt some were at a loose end or were eccentrics, others may have developed a fascination for Asian culture and wanted to experience it from the inside. Certainly all of them would have found the climate and food in the tropics challenging, and Asian Buddhist norms so different from their own, and this probably explains why so few of them lasted in the robes for long. One who did survive and indeed flourish was Captain Charles Pfoundes.

Theosophist A. P. Sinnett, author of Esoteric Buddhism

Up until recently it has been widely accepted that the British monk Ananda Metteyya’s (Allan Bennett) founded and organized the first Buddhist mission to the West in London in 1908. Recent collaborative research by historians in Japan and Ireland however has shown that this assumption needs to be revised. In fact it was not Theravadian but rather Japanese Mahayana Buddhists who were the first to try to teach Buddhism in the West. In 1889 the Japanese-sponsored Buddhist Propagation Society (BPS) of Japan launched a mission to London led for three years by the Irish-born Buddhist Captain Charles Pfoundes. The Buddhist Propagation Society had chosen a particularly opportune time to send its mission. Gilbert and Sullivan’s Japanese-themed opera The Mikado was running to record crowds in London and several exhibitions of Japanese art in London and Paris had created a fascination in things Japanese.

Charles Pfoundes was born 1840 in Waterford in Ireland in 1840 to Protestant parents who had been bankrupted during the great Famine of 1845-50. Immigrating alone to Australia in 1854 he joined the colonial navy and later captained a Siamese ship and ever after usually prefixed his name with Captain. He came into contact first in Thailand and seems to have been fascinated by it. His travels led him to Japan in 1863 where, having quickly learned Japanese he worked in shipping, as a cultural mediator, interpreter, guide and later as a newspaper columnist. He returned to Europe in 1878 via the US, married, worked at various jobs and began giving lectures on oriental subjects, mainly Japanese culture and Buddhism. On his return to Japan 10 years later without his wife he ordained as a priest in Kobe. Throughout the 1870 the Japanese government pressured monks to marry in the belief that it would weaken Buddhism and aid to modernise the country, and many monks gave into this pressure. Thus most Japanese clergy became and remain today technically priests rather than monks. Pfoundes died in Kobe in 1907 at the age of 67.

During his three year mission in London and elsewhere in the UK starting in 1888 Pfoundes’ lectures were well attended given that he was apparently an engaging and interesting speaker. A photograph of him at this time shows him in the full regalia of a Japanese prelate, accoutrements that must have increased his authority and made him appear even more interesting. Newspaper reports of the time show that Pfoundes’ two main subjects were Buddhist doctrine and criticisms of Theosophy which he dismissed as nonsense masquerading as Buddhism.

In 1883 the Theosophist A. P. Sinnett had published his book Esoteric Buddhism which became and remains even today a seminal text of Theosophy. Sinnett claimed that his book was the gist of "psychic communication" he had had with Mahatma Koot Hoomi, one of the supposed "Great White Masters in the Himalayas". It should be kept in mind that the general public at the time knew little of genuine Buddhism and Madame Blavatsky and Sinnett’s "esoteric Buddhism", actually a mish-mash of late Victorian spiritualism and occultism with a smattering of Buddhism and Hindu, was attracting a great deal of attention. In his lectures, Pfoundes made it clear that Buddhism and Theosophy had nothing in common. Notices in newspapers of the time show that Pfoundes was determined to clarify Buddhism and distinguish it from Theosophy.

Stratford, Enterprise Hall, Great Eastern Road. Sun. December 6th, at 7, Captain Pfoundes, ‘Theosophy: Its frauds and follies.’

Progressive Association, Penton Hall, 81 Pentonville Rd, Sun December 13 that 7, Captain Pfoundes, ‘Theosophy: Is it true? – An exposé of a dangerous fallacy.’

Progressive Association, Penton Hall, 81 Pentonville Rd,–January 31st, at 7, Captain Pfoundes, ‘Buddhism not Theosophy: the two critically contrasted’, preceded by vocal and instrumental music.

The grave of Charles Pfoundes in Kobe, Japan

However, on several occasions Pfoundes went beyond criticizing Theosophy to pointing out the dubious behaviour of some Theosophists, calling Madame Blavatsky a charlatan, Sinnett either delusional or a liar, and Charles Webster Leadbeater a pederast. All these claims have since been shown to have some substance to them but not at that time and Pfoundes was sued for libel. He settled out of court for 550 Pounds.

Having said all this, it is right to point out that while the early Theosophists had a scant understanding of the Buddha’s Dhamma and the "Great White Masters in the Himalayas" were non-existent, they had an important role to play in the revival of Buddhism in Ceylon and elsewhere, and energised the independence movements in various Asian countries. Their esoteric Buddhism owed almost everything to Blavatsky and Sinnett’s fanciful claims and almost nothing to the Buddha. As Colonel Olcott learned more about genuine Dhamma during his stay in Ceylon he quietly distanced himself from Madame Blavatsky and her followers.

Western monks such as Ananda Metteyya and Silacara helped give Asian Buddhists a renewed confidence in their religion while at the same time explaining it to European readers. Captain Charles Pfoundes went to the West to promote it and to help distinguish it from other forms of spirituality. Buddhists both East and West owe a debt of gratitude to them all.
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Wed Oct 30, 2019 12:43 am

Part 1 of 3

The First Buddhist Mission to the West: Charles Pfoundes and the London Buddhist mission of 1889 – 1892
by Brian Bocking, University College Cork; Laurence Cox, National University of Ireland Maynooth; and Shin‘ichi Yoshinaga, Maizuru National College of Technology
The Journal of the British Association for the Study of Religions (




This article challenges two general assumptions shared by scholars of Western Buddhism: (1) that the earliest Buddhist missions to the West were those established in California from 1899 onwards; and (2) that Ananda Metteyya‘s (Allan Bennett‘s) London mission of 1908 was the first Buddhist mission to London and thus to Europe. Recent collaborative research by scholars in Ireland and Japan demonstrates instead that the Japanese-sponsored 'Buddhist Propagation Society' (BPS) launched in London in 1889 and led for three years by the Irish-born Japanese Buddhist Charles Pfoundes predates both of the above-mentioned 'first' Buddhist missions. In this article we offer a first attempt to document the nature, activities and significance of the London BPS, drawing on Japanese and UK sources to examine Pfoundes' role and that of his Japanese sponsors. We discuss the nature of Pfoundes' Buddhism, the strategy and activities of the London BPS and the reasons for its eventual demise. The conclusion examines the links between the BPS and the later 'first' Japanese Buddhist missions in California and asks what hidden connection there might be between Pfoundes' missionary campaign in London in 1889-92 and Ananda Metteyya‘s return from Burma as the 'first' Buddhist missionary to London, almost two decades later.

* * *

Early Buddhist missions to the West: the conventional history

In April 1908 the Rangoon-ordained Buddhist monk Ananda Metteyya (Allan Bennett, 1872-1923) arrived in London with a party of Burmese sponsors. Ananda Metteyya‘s very presence in the capital, as a yellow-robed, shaven-headed monk demonstrating by example that it was (just) possible for a European to follow the strict vinaya regime in Edwardian London, aroused a good deal of interest in the press and among the public. In addition to preaching by example, Ananda Metteyya -- not a gifted orator -- delivered some talks on Buddhist thought and practice and gave interviews to the press.1 Within six months he was en route back to Burma.2 This visit is commonly regarded as the epochal first Buddhist mission to Europe, and for many writers marks the 'real' beginning of Buddhism-as-a-lived-religion in the UK.3

While Ananda Metteyya‘s 1908 mission to London has long been identified as a starting-point for the story of 'Buddhism in Britain', students of Western Buddhism are by now well aware that it was not the first Buddhist mission to the West. Japanese Buddhist missions, oriented mainly towards expatriate Japanese but with active Western adherents, had developed in California from 1899 onwards4 and these West Coast missions are now considered by scholars to be the earliest Buddhist missions to the West (Tweed 2000).

In this article, we set out to demonstrate that the first London Buddhist mission was in fact established in 1889, predating even the Californian missions by a decade. From 1889 to 1892, the Irish-born Japanese Buddhist Charles J. W. Pfoundes (1840-1907) headed an official Buddhist mission known as the 'Buddhist Propagation Society'. This was based in Westminster, operated throughout London and its suburbs and was the first and indeed only foreign outpost of the Kaigai Senkyo Kai (lit. 'Overseas Propagation Society' but normally translated 'Buddhist Propagation Society'), an initiative of a group of reformist Jodo Shinshu (True Pure Land) Buddhists based in Kyoto.

The Buddhist Propagation Society in London and Pfoundes' role in it were of course known to, and publicised by, his Buddhist sponsors in Japan at the time5 and at least one contemporary Japanese account6 was available to Notto Thelle, who in 1987 wrote:

The Society for Communication with Western Buddhists (Obei Bukkyo Tsushinkai) was founded in 1887; it was later reorganized as the Buddhist Propagation Society (Kaigai Senkyo Kai, literally Overseas Missionary Society), under the leadership of Akamatsu Renjo. Its purpose was to propagate Buddhism in the West, through missionaries and publications. A branch office was established in London in 1890, and a journal was published, entitled Bijou of Asia [Ajia no hōshu].

…[a]nother Western Buddhist, C. Pfoundes, also supported Japanese Buddhists against Christianity. He had first come to Japan in the 1860s as an officer in the British navy and remained for about twelve years, of which he reportedly spent seven or eight years in Buddhist temples. As an admirer of the ancient Japanese civilization and of Buddhism, he had dedicated much of his time to lecturing on Buddhism in the United States (1876-1878) and in England (1878-1893). He served as secretary of the London branch of the Buddhist Propagation Society and came to Japan again in 1893 at the invitation of his Buddhist friends. In his many meetings he appealed to the national sentiment and attacked Christian missionaries for slighting Buddhism and despising Japan as a barbarian country. Both Olcott and Pfoundes left Japan after controversies with their Japanese sponsors.

Thelle deserves credit for drawing attention to Pfoundes, who had remained unnoticed by other scholars, but Thelle had only limited information, some of which has been superseded by recent discoveries. For example, Pfoundes did not leave Japan after his return from London in early 1893 but remained there, resident and working in a variety of roles in the port city of Kobe where he died in 1907 and is buried in the foreigner‘s cemetery.7 Thelle portrays Pfoundes as little more than a transient foreigner, a pale version of the exotic Theosophical 'White Buddhist' Olcott, but in fact by 1890 Pfoundes had become a fierce opponent of Theosophy. Far from being a transient visitor like Olcott, Pfoundes spent a total of 26 years of his life in Japan and in 1899 even applied for Japanese nationality (Ruxton 2008, Bocking 2013). Ironically, it is because Pfoundes did not return to London but instead died alone in Kobe that his pioneering activities on behalf of Buddhism in the West were forgotten, while Ananda Metteyya‘s brief visit almost two decades later came to be remembered, through his later colleagues in London, as the 'first' Buddhist mission to the capital.

Beyond Thelle‘s brief depiction, Pfoundes' name has been remembered elsewhere but for a quite different reason. A collection of his newspaper columns on diverse aspects of Japanese art, folklore and customs was published by The Japan Herald in Yokohama in 1875 under the title Fuso mimi bukuro or A Budget of Japanese Notes. This work, similar to and subsequently overshadowed by Basil Hall Chamberlain's Things Japanese: Being Notes on Various Subjects Connected with Japan (1890), remains widely available and is still cited occasionally in modern scholarship, for example by Hendry (1981).

With the very recent advent of digital technologies which enable searches for lost fragments of information across thousands of local newspapers, popular magazines and archive collections, many new details of Pfoundes' remarkable life have now come to light.8 In 2013, Bocking offered a first brief biography, based on some of this new evidence (Bocking 2013). That article was however concerned mainly with Pfoundes' activities between his return to Japan from London in 1893 and his death in 1907. Of the putative 'London Buddhist Mission' Bocking could say at the time only that:

[a]bout this time [the early 1890s] Pfoundes became the London representative of the modern Jodo Shinshu-backed Japanese Buddhist missionary society the Kaigai Senkyo Kai, in which role he reportedly warned the young scholar Takakusu Junjiro away from the London Theosophists and hence towards Max Muller (Akai 2009, 190); a significant Weberian moment in the history of Japanese Buddhology, if so. The other activities, if there were any, of Pfoundes' London Japanese Buddhist outpost remain undocumented; perhaps an unwritten - and very early - chapter in the history of Buddhism in the UK.

Further research since 2013 has generated a great deal of new material specifically on the BPS in London, and the present article attempts to write that 'unwritten‘ chapter, at least in outline9.

The role of Mr Okazaki Hideki, a researcher from Matsue who had become interested in Pfoundes' connections with that city, should be acknowledged here. Mr Okazaki first found (in Nakanishi, 1892) a reproduction of the decorative 2-sided leaflet in Japanese and English used by Pfoundes in London to advertise the 'Buddhist Propagation Society‘.10 With confirmation that the English name of Pfoundes' London organisation was simply the 'Buddhist Propagation Society‘ and with his name and address indicating that the BPS had more than a nominal presence in London, we began searching new sources and were able to unearth numerous fragmentary references to the BPS in newspapers and magazines of the time and to uncover the remarkable extent of Pfoundes‘ engagement in Buddhist missionary work in London.

The main sources of information on Pfoundes' London Buddhist mission are:

• Reports from London in the magazine Kaigai Bukkyo Jijo (a journal published in Kyoto which reported on Buddhism in the West for Japanese Buddhists);
• Articles by Pfoundes and announcements and reports of his lecture meetings in The Two Worlds (UK weekly spiritualist newspaper);
• Announcements in The National Reformer (weekly secularist / radical newspaper);
• Notices in Reynolds’ Weekly Newspaper, published each Sunday with news of forthcoming public talks and events across London;
• Other local London and provincial newspapers;
• Material submitted by Pfoundes in 1902-3 to the organisers of the Lewis & Clark centennial exposition planned for Portland, 1905 ('President‘s Office Correspondence').

Who was Charles Pfoundes?

In letters written after his return to Japan, Pfoundes described himself as follows:

"Captain Charles James William Pfoundes F.R.G.S., Rl. U. Service Inst., Corr. Memb. Geog. Soc. Japan, Hon. Fel. Soc. Sc. Lit. & Art, Fel. Rl. Asiatic Soc., Fel. Rl. Historical Soc., Fel. Rl. Colonial Soc., Founder, Orientalists‘ International Union of the Pacific Hemisphere, Author, Orientalist, Lecturer, Initiated to Buddhist Sects, by Executive at Chief Monasteries, Esoteric &c., &c., Author of Fu-so mimi bukuro, Contributor to Current Literature in Japan and Abroad, Europe, America, &c., Specialist in Japanese History, Religion, Art, Literature, Olden Time Customs, Life of the People, &c."

The Royal British Colonial Society of Artists (RBC)[1] was founded in 1887 as the Royal Anglo Australian Society of Artists[2] and received its royal charter under its later name in 1907.[3]

Its members were artists from Britain (notably members of the Newlyn School), South Africa, Canada, India, New Zealand and Australia.[2]

It is known to have held an exhibition at the Royal Institute Galleries in London in 1937[4] and this is believed to have been its last.[2]


1. Dale, Rodney (1997). The Wordsworth Dictionary of Abbreviations and Acronyms. Wordsworth. p. 136. ISBN 9781853263859.
2. "Royal British Colonial Society of Artists". Artist Biographies. Retrieved 5 June 2016.
3. "News in Brief: Royal British Colonial Society of Artists". The Times. 27 September 1909. p. 10. Retrieved 5 June 2016. The King has been graciously pleased to grant a charter and diploma to ... The Society, which has now been in existence 21 years ...
4. "Art Within the Empire: Characteristic examples". The Times. 8 May 1937. Retrieved 5 June 2016.

-- Royal British Colonial Society of Artists, by Wikipedia

Pfoundes' life can be divided into four fairly distinct periods: (1) early life up to age 23 when he landed in Japan; (2) his first period of residence in Japan, 1863-1876; (3) the London years, 1878-1892 and (4) return to Japan, 1893 to his death in 1907.11

Pfoundes was born Charles James William Pounds in 1840 in Waterford or Wexford, Ireland, to Irish Anglican parents bankrupted during the 1845 Famine. His father James Pounds and mother Caroline Elam separated in 1846 when Charles was 6, leaving him motherless. He emigrated alone to Australia in 1854 aged about 14 and promptly joined the colonial (Australian) navy, subsequently captaining a Siamese naval sailing ship and spending some time in China.

Pounds changed his name to 'Pfoundes', which reflects the Japanese spelling of 'Pounds'12 soon after arriving in Japan in 1863, five years before the epochal Meiji Restoration. For employment reasons he may have added some years to his age.13 He quickly became fluent in Japanese and was fascinated by Japanese customs and culture, topics that preoccupied him for the rest of his life. He also began collecting Japanese art and sculpture. Beginning as a (British) policeman in Nagasaki port, he worked in a variety of roles in different parts of Japan, finding a niche as a cultural mediator between the Japanese and foreign diplomats and as an interpreter/guide, newspaper columnist, importer and lecturer.

In 1870-71 Pfoundes accompanied some high-ranking Japanese government and business figures to Europe and America.
This was part of a wider wave of early Meijiera missions to the West, which played an important role in Japanese reflections on religion and society and relationships between Buddhism and Christianity (Hayashi et al. 2014). By the early 1870s, capitalising on his naval experience, he had been appointed to a senior (Director‘s Office) position in the embryonic native Japanese steamship industry. He lived in several parts of Japan, later listing these as ―Nagasaki 1863-4-6; Yedo (Tokyo) 1866 & 8, 71-6. Hakodate 1865 &c.; …" 14

Pfoundes left Japan in 1876, tasked with setting up an exhibition of Japanese art in America, later writing that:

I assisted in purchasing and had charge of the packing and shipping, of a very large quantity of valuable goods chiefly fabricated for Exhibition at the Philadelphia Centennial; and went with them to New York, managing their exhibition in Old Chickering Hall &c. and subsequent disposal. …15

The 'disposal' took the form of a substantial auction of 627 items16 which made Pfoundes a significant amount of money, though not enough to buy property or relieve him of the need to earn a living. By his own account Pfoundes travelled extensively in Europe during 1877-8. In March 1878 he married 22-year old Rosa Alice Hill in the Liverpool Registry Office and the newlyweds set up home in London. He secured a lowly clerical position at the Admiralty; an appropriate employer but a far lower position than he might have hoped for, given his colonial navy background and experience in the Japanese shipping industry (Bocking 2013, Cox 2013). For the next fourteen years Pfoundes worked in London as an Admiralty scribe or clerk but in his private capacity gained admission to a wide range of London‘s learned societies and made a considerable name for himself as a prolific speaker on mainly Japanese and Oriental topics and would-be organiser of various cultural projects, including a Nipon (sic) Institute or Japan Society that began promisingly in 1879 but failed to flourish.

How Captain Pfoundes became a Buddhist

Thelle says that Pfoundes 'reportedly' lived 7-8 years in Buddhist monasteries in his first period in Japan, but gives no source. This may rely on Madame Blavatsky, whose Secret Doctrine (1881) quotes Pfoundes‘ account of the Shinto creation story and asserts that "Captain C. Pfoundes studied for nearly nine years in the monasteries of Japan the religion underlying the various sects of the land. ...".17 Writing from London in 1889, Pfoundes told his potential Japanese sponsors that he had stayed in at least three monasteries ('Tozenji, Sengakuji, and Daichuji‘) in the Shiba area during his residence in Japan. However, while he may have stayed in monasteries there is no evidence that he became a Buddhist in any meaningful sense before 1875, nor indeed that he took any formal Buddhist ordination or initiation before his return to Japan in 1893.18 He did study the history of Buddhism and current religious practices during his first period in Japan, as reflected in his Japan Mail articles republished in Fuso mimi bukuro. However, there is nothing in Fuso mimi bukuro to suggest anything but the view of an attentive and curious outsider who has read up on Japanese Buddhist history and observed at first hand the day-to-day customs and practices of different classes. Pfoundes‘ approach to Buddhism in these early pieces is neutral and descriptive when talking about the past, and condescending when he refers to the condition of Buddhism amidst Japan‘s rapid modernisation. The very first item in Fuso mimi bukuro is entitled 'Superstitions‘ and includes Pfoundes‘ opinion of modern Buddhism and Buddhist priests.

A full description of the superstitions of any nation involves no easy task, and the delineation of those of such a nation as this, in such a manner as to enable the reader to realize their hold over the native mind, is more than we can expect to accomplish. In giving a sketch of some of the most common, we are only selecting exemplars from a thousand forms that are either local, temporary or of but slight consideration. An instructive and amusing essay on this subject might be written, which would throw no little light on the real depth of the religious feeling of the Japanese and of their capacity for entertaining a higher form of faith than any they now possess. There is a large class of young students growing up who sneer at anything and everything native; but the great majority still resort, as did their ancestors, to all kinds of charms, prayers, incantations, amulets &c. to bring good luck, or ward off evil. In Sintooism [sic], as we term it, there is but little room for superstition or ghost stories, so that we are thrown upon the conclusion that the Buddhist priesthood are more or less the supporters of the gross follies which, in the form of superstitions, exist among all classes in this country. (Pfoundes 1875, 1-2)

Inoue did not attempt to deny that Buddhism as it could be observed in contemporary Japan was in a degraded state and in dire need of reform. Rather, in the mode of all rhetoricians attempting to stir outrage and action, the picture he painted was exaggerated. “Present-day Buddhism is practiced among foolish laymen, it is handed down by foolish clergy, and it is full of depravities; in short it is not free of becoming a barbaric doctrine.”43 This was “nothing intrinsic to Buddhism”; Buddhism simply reflected the “corrupt customs of society.”44 Inoue’s own efforts to effect change included promoting Buddhist philanthropy and campaigning against non-Buddhist superstition, folk belief in ghosts and the supernatural.45

-- Chapter 6. Buddhist Revival and Japanese Nationalism, from "Presenting Japanese Buddhism to the West: Orientalism, Occidentalism, and the Columbian Exposition," by Judith Snodgrass

He recognises that Buddhism had suffered egregiously in the process of Japan‘s modernisation, with multiple reforms designed to disestablish Buddhism and marginalise the role of the clergy in the modern state:

'Until the last few years the priests drew large revenues from the Government and from high officials – latterly they have been thrown on their own resources and become beggars literally‘ (Pfoundes 1875, 132)

The old-fashioned institutional Japanese Buddhism that Pfoundes encountered at first hand before 1868 thus seems to have held little personal attraction for him and it is not until 1888, when he had been living in London for almost 10 years, that we find any suggestion of a personal engagement with Buddhist texts, ideas and practices. In an article headed 'Divyatchakchus: The "Infinite Perception" of Japanese Esotericism by C. Pfoundes (OMOIE)‘19 published in the first (May 1888) issue of the journal Theosophical Siftings, he argues that modern science has its role, but true wisdom does not change through the ages. It can be attained only by those few advanced truth-seekers who are prepared to look beyond the narrow confines of their own religious tradition and pursue a higher path.

… Passing through the stages of scientific teaching of modern times, we learn minor details, unknown of yore, it is true; but the great principles still remain absolutely unchanged. The merely mechanical sciences, chemistry, geology, and other branches give us details; of matter we have a little more knowledge, but of LIFE we have learned absolutely nothing, while of psychology we know less than the ancients.

Will it therefore not well repay the true sincere student to hearken to the wisdom of old? The attainment of Transcendent Intuitiveness is not utterly beyond the capability of some, though to many so high an ideal may be hopeless.

From the Amitabah [sic] (Sutra) we learn that there are five faculties of intellectual power. …

A comparison of the 1888 'Divyatchakchus' article with his writings on Buddhism over the following summer of 1889 throws some light on the stages in Pfoundes' transition over a 12-month period from his fairly conventional position during the 1880s, as peripatetic speaker on Japanese and other topics, to his self-declaration as an officially appointed Buddhist missionary in October 1889. 'Divyatchakchus' shows that Pfoundes did engage positively, if briefly, with Theosophical thought during the late 1880s and presumably knew some of the leading Theosophists in London.20 In fact during 1888 he contributed half a dozen other articles on topics including Genghis Khan and Japanese folklore to the Theosophical journal Lucifer. However, a final Lucifer letter on 'Is the Bud(d)hist an Atheist?‘ (June 1889, Vol. 4, 351), marked the end of any friendly relations with the Theosophist camp.

'Divyatchakchus‘ is markedly different in tone and content from Pfoundes' next significant publication on Buddhism for an English audience, produced a year later. 'Buddhism, What it was, and is‘ appeared in three parts between May and August 1889 in the Spiritualist periodical The Two Worlds and can be regarded as Pfoundes' Buddhist manifesto. The Two Worlds, a nationwide magazine owned and edited since 1887 by the renowned spiritualist Emma Hardinge Britten described itself as 'A Journal Devoted to Spiritualism, Occult Science, Ethics, Religion and Reform' and had a negative view of Theosophy from the outset.21 There is no evidence that Pfoundes was an active spiritualist himself, but evidently he found a sympathetic editor in Hardinge Britten22 and as we shall see he later used Spiritualist venues in London for talks on Buddhism which were advertised in TTW alongside the regular notices of spiritualist meetings.

In 'Divyatchakchus', Buddhism had been presented in characteristically Theosophical fashion as but one expression of a larger abstract and universalist conception of wisdom or enlightenment for which Buddhism provides a conduit. By contrast, the following year‘s TTW article seeks with increasing urgency to clarify those features of Buddhism which distinguish it from other traditions. In the first part, titled 'Buddhism, What it was, and is‘, Pfoundes argues that:

BUDHISM23 is not a religion in the strict sense of the word, though it is religious, and in many of the sects, so numerous, there is much admixture of religion. It is now so frequently alluded to by writers and speakers amongst spiritualistic circles to a very large extent, that some brief account of this ancient and wide-spread faith is offered to our readers.

Pfoundes then offers a brief historical account, with the proviso that what matters is the practical use to which Buddhism may be put today:

Buddhism must be considered a successful effort to restore the purity of religious thought, the freedom of human action in spiritual matters, and we are more concerned in knowing what has come down to us for our use, than in the discussion of the exact dates. (TTW 17 May 1889 p326)

He goes on to make a special appeal to the sympathy of ordinary Spiritualists, who constituted the readership of the journal and whose belief in ‗the two worlds‘ was for the most part conditioned by a Christian world-view.24

To spiritualists it will be of interest to know that much of what is now openly advocated by their leaders is BUDHISM pure and simple - temperance in diet, abstinence from stimulants and coarse food, vegetarianism, kindness, gentleness, courtesy, charity, all the Christian virtues included. (TTW 17 May 1889 p326)

The second part of Pfoundes' TTW article appeared in July, under the simple title 'Buddhism'. It was this time prefaced by an enthusiastic note from the editor of The Two Worlds positioning Pfoundes as a learned authority on Buddhism, uniquely placed to refute spurious representations of the tradition. This is evidently a reference to Theosophy‘s controversial presentation of itself as 'Esoteric Buddhism' and the TTW’s editorial comment reflects the widening rift with the growing body of Theosophists whose belief in reincarnation was particularly offensive to Spiritualists.

Of course, the teaching about the members of man's being, the doctrine of karma and reincarnation, are truths. But materialism has here been woven into all these truths. In Sinnett's Esoteric Buddhism a genuinely spiritual outlook is combined with an eminently materialistic tendency — a combination that it was not easy to detect because there was scarcely anyone who could discern that something entirely materialistic had insinuated itself into a spiritual teaching — something that was materialistic not merely in the intellectual sense but materialistic as opposed to a spiritual view of the world. — I refer to what is said in Esoteric Buddhism about the “Eighth Sphere”. [note 3]

Here, then, are teachings which contain a great deal that is correct and into which this utterly materialistic and misleading statement about the Eighth Sphere has been woven. This culminates in the assertion made in Esoteric Buddhism that the Eighth Sphere is the Moon. Owing to its journalistic qualities and the good style in which it is written, the book was a tremendous draw and captivated many hearts. Consequently these readers imbibed, not the true teaching concerning the Eighth Sphere, but the strange assertion made by Sinnett that the Moon is the Eighth Sphere.

So there was Sinnett's Esoteric Buddhism. The book was written at the time when Blavatsky, after all the happenings of which I have told you, had already been driven into the one-sided sphere of influence of those Indian occultists who belonged to the left and had special aims of their own. Hence teachings relating to the constitution of man and to reincarnation and karma are given in Esoteric Buddhism. It is therefore written in opposition to those who wanted the knowledge of reincarnation to be allowed to disappear. This will also show you how vehemently the conflict was being waged.

Blavatsky was connected with American spiritualists who wanted to let the teaching of reincarnation disappear. Mediumship was a means to this end and so that method was adopted.
As Blavatsky revolted, she was expelled and came more and more under the sway of the Indian occultists; she was driven into their hands. This led to a conflict between American and Indian views in the sphere of occultism. On the one side there was the strong tendency to let the teaching of reincarnation vanish from the scene, and on the other, the urge to bring this teaching into the world but in a form that took advantage of the materialistic leanings of the nineteenth century.

This was a possibility if the teaching about the Eighth Sphere was presented as Sinnett presented it in the book Esoteric Buddhism.
There are a certain number of other facts which are perhaps of sufficient importance to be at least indicated — because I do not want to shock you by what I am saying but to explain the spiritual principle upon which our own standpoint is based.

Two difficulties had arisen as a result of the way in which the teaching about the Eighth Sphere had been presented in Sinnett's book. One of the difficulties had been created by Blavatsky herself. She knew that what Sinnett had written on this subject was false [note 4] but on the other hand she was in the hands of those who desired that the false teaching should be inculcated into humanity. Therefore she tried — as you can read in The Secret Doctrineshe tried to correct in a certain way this conception of the Eighth Sphere and matters relevant to it. But she did this in such a way as to cause confusion. Hence there is a certain discrepancy between Sinnett's Esoteric Buddhism and Blavatsky's Secret Doctrine. Blavatsky corrected in a way that actually reinforced the bias of the left-wing Indian occultists. She tried by very peculiar means, as we shall presently see, to let more of the truth come to light in order to overshadow the error. She was therefore obliged, in turn, to create a counterweight, for from the standpoint of the Indian occultists it would have been very dangerous to allow the truth to be revealed in this way.

She set out to create this counterweight — we shall gradually understand it — by pursuing a definite course. She came nearer to the truth about the Eighth Sphere than Sinnett had done but she created the counterweight by giving vent in The Secret Doctrine to a volley of abuse on the subjects of Judaism and Christianity, interwoven with certain teaching about the nature of Jehovah. In this way, what she had put right on the one side she tried to balance out on the other, so that too much harm should not be done to the stream of Indian occultism. She knew that such truths do not remain theory or without effect as do other theories relating to the physical plane. Theories such as those of which we are speaking penetrate into the life of soul and colour the perceptions and feelings of men; indeed they were calculated to turn souls in a certain direction. — The whole affair is an inextricable jumble of fallacies.

H. P. Blavatsky did not, of course, know that the driving forces behind both tendencies were directed towards a special aim, namely, to foster this particular kind of error instead of the truth, to foster errors of a type that would be advantageous to the materialism of the nineteenth century — errors such as could be possible only at the high tide of materialism. — There you have one side of the situation.

On the other side, Sinnett's Esoteric Buddhism and, in a certain respect, Blavatsky's Secret Doctrine too, had made a great impression, especially upon those who were really intent upon seeking the spiritual world. And that again naturally alarmed those who had cause to be alarmed at the possibility that an Occult Movement with such an oriental trend would appear.

Now a number of senseless polemics have been levelled against Blavatsky, against Sinnett, against the Theosophical Movement, and so forth. But among the different attacks made upon the Theosophical Movement in the course of time there have been some which emanated from well-informed but biased quarters. The tendency of Anglican spiritual life was that as little as possible of oriental teaching, as little as possible of any teaching concerning repeated Earth-lives, should be allowed to come to the knowledge of the public.

There is no doubt that among those who, from the standpoint that here lay a danger to Christianity in Europe, set themselves in opposition to the oriental teachings, were people who may be called “Christian esotericists”. Christian esotericists connected with the High Church party set themselves in opposition with this in mind. [note 5] And from that quarter came declarations calculated to stem the current of oriental thought proceeding from Blavatsky and Sinnett, but on the other hand to foster in the outside world esotericism of a kind calculated to conceal the teaching of repeated Earth-lives. To amalgamate a certain trend of thought with the form of Christianity customary in Europe — such was the aim of this group.
It desired that the teaching of repeated Earth-lives — which it was essential to make known — should be left out of account. And a method similar to that used in the case of Sinnett was put into operation.

I must emphasise once again that those who made the corresponding preparations were probably not fully aware that they were tools of the individuality who stood behind them. Just as Sinnett knew nothing of the real tendency of those who stood behind him, neither did those who were connected with the High Church party know much of what lay behind the whole affair. But they realised that what they were doing could not fail to make a great impression upon the occultists and that determined them to lend force to the trend of those who were intent upon eliminating the teaching of repeated Earth-lives.

If after these preliminary indications we turn to consider the particular fallacy contained in Sinnett's book, we find that it is the teaching that the Eighth Sphere makes itself manifest paramountly in the Moon; that the Moon with its influences and effects upon man is, in fact, the Eighth Sphere. Expressed in this form, this is a fallacy. — Here is the essential point. If in investigating the influences of the Moon we were to start from Sinnett's assumption, we should be trapped in a grave error arising from materialistic thinking and not easily fathomed. — What, then, was necessary if the truth were to be fostered? It was necessary to point out the true state of things in regard to the Moon as opposed to the erroneous presentation in Sinnett's Esoteric Buddhism.

Read Chapter IV dealing with this subject in the book Occult Science: an Outline. It was my purpose there to describe how the Moon left the Earth. I attached particular importance to the fact that the exit of the Moon should be described with the utmost clarity. It was essential to indicate the truth here as opposed to the fallacy. Thus in order to counter the Indian influence it was necessary to describe in all clarity the function of the Moon in the evolution of the Earth. That was one of the things that had to be done in my book Occult Science: an Outline.

The other thing that was necessary will be clear to you if you think of the people of whom I have just spoken, people who were also under a certain leadership and who did not wish the teaching of repeated Earth-lives to be spread among men as a truth because they considered that it would alter the form of Christianity customary in Europe and America. They went to work in a particular way, a way which we can clearly discern if we picture how these occultists set about refuting Sinnett's Esoteric Buddhism. The occultists who were connected with the High Church party took upon themselves the task of refuting Sinnett's Esoteric Buddhism and Blavatsky's Secret Doctrine.

In point of fact a great deal of good was done in regard to Sinnett's statement about the Eighth Sphere, for the falsity of the indications about the Eighth Sphere and the Moon was emphasised very poignantly from that side. But at the same time this was combined with another teaching. It was stated from that quarter that man is not connected with the Moon in the way described by Sinnett, but in a different way. True, this different way was not specifically described, but it could be perceived that these people had realised something about the process of the Moon's departure from the Earth as I have presented it in the book Occult Science. But now they laid great stress on the following. — They said: The Earth — and above all, man — was never connected with the other planets of the solar system ... therefore man could never have lived on Mercury, Venus, Mars or Jupiter. From that side, therefore, it was sharply emphasised that there is no connection between man and the other planets of the solar system. But this is the best way to instil yet another fallacy into the world, and to spread the greatest possible obscurity over the teaching of reincarnation. The other fallacy, Sinnett's fallacy, actually furthers the teaching of reincarnation in a sense, but in a materialistic form. The fallacy which consists in the assertion that during his Earth-evolution man has never had any connection with Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and so forth — this fallacy was not actually spread abroad by those who gave it publicity, but by those who stood behind them. It was they who worked upon the souls of men in such a way that these souls could never seriously believe in reincarnation. What, therefore, was strongly emphasised from this quarter was that man had never been connected with any planet other than the Earth nor had ever had anything to do with the other planets of the solar system.

-- The Occult Movement in the Nineteenth Century and Its Relation to Modern Culture, by Rudolf Steiner

Hardinge Britten wrote:

We have once more the pleasure of welcoming an article by our honoured contributor, Cpt. Pfoundes, long a resident in Japan and other Eastern lands: the present paper being a brief supplement to his former treatise on the TRUTHS of original Buddhism. Capt. Pfoundes (a member of several learned societies, whose chief object is the correction of error, as well as the diffusion of knowledge) is a high authority on the real primary teachings of Buddhism, and in this day, when all sorts of vague fantastic theories and spurious doctrines are being foisted on the public under the synonyn (sic) of "Buddhism," Capt. Pfoundes' timely papers cannot be too carefully studied, or thankfully accepted by the Editor and readers of The Two Worlds.

In the first part of the article, back in May, Pfoundes had sought to find commonalities between Buddhism and Spiritualism. In the second instalment he draws the two even closer, reinforcing the main Spiritualist objection to Theosophy by stating that in Buddhism

'(t)he doctrines of transmigration and re-incarnation, were some of the mistaken ideas that true enlightenment tended to dissipate.' (TTW July 26 1889, 447)

By August 1889, when the third part of the article appeared, the title had pointedly changed to 'BUDDHISM: WHAT IT IS NOT.' Here Pfoundes is explicit in his rejection of Theosophy, but also distances himself from Christianity 'or anything else' (which, since it is diplomatically unspecified, probably includes Spiritualism). He says:

BUDDHISM is not identical with the Esoteric Buddhism, of which so much has been said and written of late, much less is Theosophy of the day Buddhism pure and simple. It is Buddhism, and that alone, that we are now dealing with, and allusion is made to Christianity, or to anything else, no more than is absolutely necessary to the elucidation of the matter in hand. The writer is neither a Buddhist, nor a Theosophist;25 certainly not a follower of the individuals now most prominent in these movements; and it may be just as well to make it clear also that he is not a hostile critic to what is true and admirable in anything put forward under these, or any other, distinctive titles. The task will be essayed, however, to present the truth, if not exhaustively as to detail, certainly not mutilated or garbled, like so much that has been put forward on these subjects. (TTW 23 Aug 1889, 494)

In closing, Pfoundes sets out his stall as someone who has Buddhist truths to impart to those who are genuinely interested and eligible. This seems to be the point at which Pfoundes, realising that he possessed a knowledge of Buddhism exceeding that of the Theosophists, first decided to make a stand for Buddhism 'pure and simple‘, perhaps even making a dig at spiritualism by distinguishing between 'the trained spiritualist' and 'mere spiritist':

… "The great Master" gathered in his hand a few withered leaves, and asked his disciples: "Are these in my hand few, and those of the forest many?"

"True, oh great teacher; the leaves in the Bhagavat's hand are few, those of the forest are innumerable," answered they.

Then said the Tathagate (sic), "My words are but as the leaves in my hand. What you have yet to learn are as the leaves of the forest."

These gleanings are but the crude ore, and the rough pebbles, bright from the inexhaustible mines, are yet to be explored. In fitting hands, the pebbles become brilliant gems; the ore precious metal wherewith to make suitable settings.

To those who seek will come knowledge; to the worthy ENLIGHTENMENT. (TTW Aug 23 1889, vol 2 n.93, p495)

In less than twelve months, then, Pfoundes had moved from publishing in Theosophical magazines through endorsing Spiritualism and finally to criticising Theosophy and distancing himself from any other tradition than Buddhism 'pure and simple'. Yet Pfoundes knew that Buddhism as actually practised in Japan or anywhere else was by no means 'pure and simple'; he identified even in his TTW articles the malign influence of both 'a theocratic class' and excessive mystification of the teachings shading into 'superstition' (TTW Aug 23 1889, vol. 2, n.93, p494). Now, as a potential apostle of Buddhism 'pure and simple', Pfoundes had to decide, like every discerning missionary, what was core and what was peripheral to the Buddhism he would propagate to a new audience and, equally, how to lend authority to the core teachings.26

The Japanese roots of Buddhist globalisation

In the history of Meiji Buddhism, the years 1885-1899 are those of "Buddhist revival", in that many Buddhist societies, journals and schools appeared, most of which were trans-sectarian and anti-Christian in their character (Yoshinaga 2009). In effect, the common enemy, Christianity, forced Buddhists to unite without regard to sectarianism. The period from 1887-1893 was distinguished by the rise of "international communication", when Japanese Buddhists came into direct contact with European or American ―Buddhists‖ or Theosophists. Numerous Theosophical articles were published in Buddhist outlets and at least three ―white‖ Buddhists or sympathisers, Henry Steel Olcott (in 1889), Lafcadio Hearn (1890) and Pfoundes (1893), came to Japan. This "globalizing" tendency was related to one of the earliest modernizing movements, the Temperance organisation Hansei kai. Hansei kai was established in Futsū Kyōkō ('Normal School'), the Western-style middle school opened by the Nishi Honganji True Pure Land sect in 1885. The Kaigai Senkyō Kai was born of this modernizing and globalizing element within Japanese Buddhism. In March 1887, Matsuyama Matsutarō, a teacher of English at the Futsū Kyōkō, and two others wrote a letter of inquiry to the Aryan Theosophical Society, USA, to ascertain the truth of a Russian newspaper article report that "Buddhism has lately been introduced into New York and Brooklyn, and its followers are increasingly in number very rapidly"27. In response to this inquiry, the Theosophist William Q. Judge wrote as follows:

"I am a Buddhist but am not of a particular sect. I was made a Buddhist by Col. H.S. Olcott, in India, under the authority of the High Priest of Ceylon, and I try in every way to spread Buddhism… The account you read in the newspaper was in part true. There is no temple in this country. But there are many Buddhists. They do not properly understand it however, because there are no teachers, and many wicked lies are told against Buddhism by Missionaries and other people. The people need that religion because their own has not succeeded in making them honest or kind to each other. They are always fighting and going to law with each other although Jesus their prophet told them not to do so, but to love one another, and although they are not very happy, because the illusions of life make them slaves of the senses. So do tell your young men not to desert the law of Buddha for this religion but to try to spread Buddhism again over the face of the world."28

Through the network of the Theosophical Society, Matsuyama‘s letter evoked responses from America, Europe, Australia, and India. The number of letters from abroad reaching Matsuyama was large enough to encourage him and some of the staff of his school to organize a new group called Ōbei Tsūshin Kai (Society for Corresponding with Americans and Europeans ) to deal with those letters, many of which asked for some guidance on Buddhism. Matsuyama contributed a series of articles from the first issue onwards of the group‘s magazine Hansei Kai Zasshi. The Ōbei Tsūshin Kai seems to have been run on its members‘ own money. On Aug 11, 1888, they enlarged their small group into the Kaigai Senkyō Kai. Though its founding members - Matsuyama Matsutaro, Dōtsu Kojiro (editor-in-chief), Hino Gien (secretary) and others - were all from Futsū Kyoko, it proclaimed itself to be a nonsectarian organization. Its aim was "to propagate Japanese Buddhism abroad"29, not just the teachings of the Jodo Shin sect. Akamatsu Renjō, a high priest of Nishi Honganji, was the society‘s first president but his role seems to have been little more than nominal as he did not contribute an article to their organ, Kaigai Bukkyo Jijo which reported on the state of Buddhism overseas.

The first issue of the association‘s English/French language magazine The Bijou of Asia was distributed in 1888 to 270 locations in America, Britain, India, Siam30 and France31. The parallel Japanese-language journal, Kaigai Bukkyo Jijo, had started in December 1888, its first issue reprinted at least three times. The early issues of Kaigai Bukkyo Jijo contained articles and letters by Buddhists and sympathisers in America, Europe, Australia and Southern Asia such as Philangi Dasa (Carl Herman Vetterling), Francesca Arundale, Charles Johnston, Laura C. Holloway, Josephine W. Cables, Elliot B. Page, Edward Wolleb, Alexander Russell Webb, Dharmapala, and so on. Over the life of the journal Philangi Dasa was the most prolific contributor; second was Charles Pfoundes.

The founders of the Kaigai Senkyo Kai were inexperienced in missionary work. "As to the propagation of our faith, we think, it would be best for us to make our friends in Europe and America, and this could be performed by correspondence and the publication of tracts and books regarding our religion"32. Sometime in the summer of 1889, Matsuyama and his colleagues received an interesting proposal from Pfoundes in London and a sample of his articles on Buddhism. The Kaigai Senkyo Kai, it seemed, had a Japanese-speaking British missionary ready and willing to set to work propagating Buddhism in London.
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