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Huguenots (/ˈhjuːɡənɒts, -noʊz/; French: les huguenots [yɡ(ə)no]) are an ethnoreligious group of French Protestants.

The term has its origin in early 16th century France. It was frequently used in reference to those of the Reformed Church of France from the time of the Protestant Reformation. Huguenots were French Protestants who held to the Reformed tradition of Protestantism. By contrast, the Protestant populations of eastern France, in Alsace, Moselle, and Montbéliard were mainly ethnic German Lutherans.

In his Encyclopedia of Protestantism, Hans Hillerbrand said that, on the eve of the St. Bartholomew's Day massacre in 1572, the Huguenot community included as much as 10% of the French population. By 1600 it had declined to 7–8%, and was reduced further after the return of severe persecution in 1685 under Louis XIV's Edict of Fontainebleau.

The Huguenots were believed to be concentrated among the population in the southern and western parts of the Kingdom of France. As Huguenots gained influence and more openly displayed their faith, Catholic hostility grew. A series of religious conflicts followed, known as the French Wars of Religion, fought intermittently from 1562 to 1598. The Huguenots were led by Jeanne d'Albret, her son, the future Henry IV (who would later convert to Catholicism in order to become king), and the princes of Condé. The wars ended with the Edict of Nantes, which granted the Huguenots substantial religious, political and military autonomy.

Huguenot rebellions in the 1620s resulted in the abolition of their political and military privileges. They retained the religious provisions of the Edict of Nantes until the rule of Louis XIV, who gradually increased persecution of Protestantism until he issued the Edict of Fontainebleau (1685). This ended legal recognition of Protestantism in France and the Huguenots were forced either to convert to Catholicism (possibly as Nicodemites) or flee as refugees; they were subject to violent dragonnades. Louis XIV claimed that the French Huguenot population was reduced from about 800,000-900,000 adherents to just 1,000-1,500. He exaggerated the decline, but the dragonnades were devastating for the French Protestant community.

The remaining Huguenots faced continued persecution under Louis XV. By the time of his death in 1774, Calvinism had been nearly eliminated from France. Persecution of Protestants officially ended with the Edict of Versailles, signed by Louis XVI in 1787. Two years later, with the Revolutionary Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen of 1789, Protestants gained equal rights as citizens.[1]

Emigration and diaspora

The bulk of Huguenot émigrés relocated to Protestant states such as the Dutch Republic, England and Wales, Protestant-controlled Ireland, the Channel Islands, Scotland, Denmark, Sweden, Switzerland, the Electorate of Brandenburg and Electorate of the Palatinate in the Holy Roman Empire, and the Duchy of Prussia. Some fled as refugees to the Dutch Cape Colony in South Africa, the Dutch East Indies, the Caribbean colonies, and several of the Dutch and English colonies in North America.[2] A few families went to Orthodox Russia and Catholic Quebec.

After centuries, most Huguenots have assimilated into the various societies and cultures where they settled. Remnant communities of Camisards in the Cévennes, most Reformed members of the United Protestant Church of France, French members of the largely German Protestant Reformed Church of Alsace and Lorraine, and the Huguenot diaspora in England and Australia, all still retain their beliefs and Huguenot designation.


Huguenot cross

A term used originally in derision, Huguenot has unclear origins. Various hypotheses have been promoted. The term may have been a combined reference to the Swiss politician Besançon Hugues (died 1532) and the religiously conflicted nature of Swiss republicanism in his time. It used a derogatory pun on the name Hugues by way of the Dutch word Huisgenoten (literally housemates), referring to the connotations of a somewhat related word in German Eidgenosse (Confederates as in "a citizen of one of the states of the Swiss Confederacy").[3]

Geneva was John Calvin's adopted home and the centre of the Calvinist movement. In Geneva, Hugues, though Catholic, was a leader of the "Confederate Party", so called because it favoured independence from the Duke of Savoy. It sought an alliance between the city-state of Geneva and the Swiss Confederation. The label Huguenot was purportedly first applied in France to those conspirators (all of them aristocratic members of the Reformed Church) who were involved in the Amboise plot of 1560: a foiled attempt to wrest power in France from the influential and zealously Catholic House of Guise. This action would have fostered relations with the Swiss.

O.I.A. Roche promoted this idea among historians. He wrote in his book, The Days of the Upright, A History of the Huguenots (1965), that "Huguenot" is:

"a combination of a Dutch and a German word. In the Dutch-speaking North of France, Bible students who gathered in each other's houses to study secretly were called Huis Genooten ('housemates') while on the Swiss and German borders they were termed Eid Genossen, or 'oath fellows,' that is, persons bound to each other by an oath. Gallicised into 'Huguenot', often used deprecatingly, the word became, during two and a half centuries of terror and triumph, a badge of enduring honour and courage."

Some disagree with such double or triple non-French linguistic origins. Janet Gray argues that for the word to have spread into common use in France, it must have originated there in French. The "Hugues hypothesis" argues that the name was derived by association with Hugues Capet, king of France,[4] who reigned long before the Reformation. He was regarded by the Gallicians as a noble man who respected people's dignity and lives. Janet Gray and other supporters of the hypothesis suggest that the name huguenote would be roughly equivalent to little Hugos, or those who want Hugo.[4]

In this last connection, the name could suggest the derogatory inference of superstitious worship; popular fancy held that Huguon, the gate of King Hugo, was haunted by the ghost of le roi Huguet (regarded by Roman Catholics as an infamous scoundrel) and other spirits. Instead of being in Purgatory after death, according to Catholic doctrine, they came back to harm the living at night.[5] The prétendus réformés ("these supposedly 'reformed'") were said to gather at night at Tours, both for political purposes, and for prayer and singing psalms.[6] Reguier de la Plancha (d. 1560) in his De l'Estat de France offered the following account as to the origin of the name, as cited by The Cape Monthly:

Reguier de la Plancha accounts for it [the name] as follows: "The name huguenand was given to those of the religion during the affair of Amboyse, and they were to retain it ever since. I'll say a word about it to settle the doubts of those who have strayed in seeking its origin. The superstition of our ancestors, to within twenty or thirty years thereabouts, was such that in almost all the towns in the kingdom they had a notion that certain spirits underwent their Purgatory in this world after death, and that they went about the town at night, striking and outraging many people whom they found in the streets. But the light of the Gospel has made them vanish, and teaches us that these spirits were street-strollers and ruffians. In Paris the spirit was called le moine bourré; at Orleans, le mulet odet; at Blois le loup garon; at Tours, le Roy Huguet; and so on in other places. Now, it happens that those whom they called Lutherans were at that time so narrowly watched during the day that they were forced to wait till night to assemble, for the purpose of praying God, for preaching and receiving the Holy Sacrament; so that although they did not frighten nor hurt anybody, the priests, through mockery, made them the successors of those spirits which roam the night; and thus that name being quite common in the mouth of the populace, to designate the evangelical huguenands in the country of Tourraine and Amboyse, it became in vogue after that enterprise."[7]

Some have suggested the name was derived, with similar intended scorn, from les guenon de Hus (the monkeys or apes of Jan Hus).[8][9] By 1911, there was still no consensus in the United States on this interpretation.[10]


The Huguenot Cross

The Huguenot cross is the distinctive emblem of the Huguenots (croix huguenote).[11] It is now an official symbol of the Église des Protestants réformés (French Protestant church). Huguenot descendants sometimes display this symbol as a sign of reconnaissance (recognition) between them.[12]


Areas controlled and contested by Huguenots are marked purple and livid on this map of modern France.

The issue of demographic strength and geographical spread of the Reformed tradition in France has been covered in a variety of sources. Most of them agree that the Huguenot population reached as many as 10% of the total population, or roughly 2 million people, on the eve of the St. Bartholomew's Day massacre in 1572.[13][14]

The new teaching of John Calvin attracted sizeable portions of the nobility and urban bourgeoisie. After John Calvin introduced the Reformation in France, the number of French Protestants steadily swelled to ten percent of the population, or roughly 1.8 million people, in the decade between 1560 and 1570.[13] During the same period there were some 1,400 Reformed churches operating in France.[13] Hans J. Hillerbrand, an expert on the subject, in his Encyclopedia of Protestantism: 4-volume Set claims the Huguenot community reached as much as 10% of the French population on the eve of the St. Bartholomew's Day massacre, declining to 7-8% by the end of the 16th century, and further after heavy persecution began once again with the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes by Louis XIV of France in 1685.[13]

Among the nobles, Calvinism peaked on the eve of the St. Bartholomew's Day massacre. Since then it has been sharply decreasing as the Huguenots were no more tolerated by both the French royalty and the Catholic mass. By the end of the sixteenth century Huguenots constituted 7-8% of the whole population, or 1.2 million people. By the time Louis XIV revoked the Edict of Nantes in 1685, Huguenots accounted for 800,000 to 1 million people.[13]

Huguenots controlled sizeable areas in southern and western France. In addition, many areas, especially in the central part of the country, were also contested between the French Reformed and Catholic nobles. Demographically, there were some areas in which the whole populations had been Reformed. These included villages in and around the Massif Central, as well as the area around Dordogne, which used to be almost entirely Reformed too. John Calvin was a Frenchman and himself largely responsible for the introduction and spread of the Reformed tradition in France.[15] He wrote in French, but unlike the Protestant development in Germany, where Lutheran writings were widely distributed and could be read by the common man, it was not the case in France, where only nobles adopted the new faith and the folk remained Catholic.[13] This is true for many areas in the west and south controlled by the Huguenot nobility. Although relatively large portions of the peasant population became Reformed there, the people, altogether, still remained majority Catholic.[13][16]

Overall, Huguenot presence was heavily concentrated in the western and southern portions of the French kingdom, as nobles there secured practise of the new faith. These included Languedoc-Roussillon, Gascony and even a strip of land that stretched into the Dauphiné. Huguenots lived on the Atlantic coast in La Rochelle, and also spread across provinces of Normandy and Poitou. In the south, towns like Castres, Montauban, Montpellier and Nimes were Huguenot strongholds. In addition, a dense network of Protestant villages permeated the rural mountainous region of the Cevennes. Inhabited by Camisards, it continues to be the backbone of French Protestantism. Historians estimate that roughly 80% of all Huguenots lived in the western and southern areas of France.

Today, there are some Reformed communities around the world that still retain their Huguenot identity. In France, Calvinists in the United Protestant Church of France and also some in the Protestant Reformed Church of Alsace and Lorraine consider themselves Huguenots. A rural Huguenot community in the Cevennes that rebelled in 1702 is still being called Camisards, especially in historical contexts. Huguenot exiles in the United Kingdom, the United States, South Africa, Australia, and a number of other countries still retain their identity.[17][18]

Year / Number of Huguenots in France

1519 / None[19]
1560 / 1,800,000
1572 / 2,000,000
1600 / 1,200,000
1685 / 900,000
1700 / 100,000 or less
2013 / 300,000[20]



Persecution of the Waldensians in the Massacre of Mérindol in 1545

The availability of the Bible in vernacular languages was important to the spread of the Protestant movement and development of the Reformed church in France. The country had a long history of struggles with the papacy (see the Avignon Papacy, for example) by the time the Protestant Reformation finally arrived. Around 1294, a French version of the Scriptures was prepared by the Roman Catholic priest, Guyard des Moulins. A two-volume illustrated folio paraphrase version based on his manuscript, by Jean de Rély, was printed in Paris in 1487.[21][22]

The first known translation of the Bible into one of France's regional languages, Arpitan or Franco-Provençal, had been prepared by the 12th-century pre-Protestant reformer Peter Waldo (Pierre de Vaux).[23] The Waldensians became more militant, creating fortified areas, as in Cabrières, perhaps attacking an abbey.[24] They were suppressed by Francis I in 1545 in the Massacre of Mérindol.[25]

Other predecessors of the Reformed church included the pro-reform and Gallican Roman Catholics, such as Jacques Lefevre (c. 1455–1536). The Gallicans briefly achieved independence for the French church, on the principle that the religion of France could not be controlled by the Bishop of Rome, a foreign power.[26] During the Protestant Reformation, Lefevre, a professor at the University of Paris, published his French translation of the New Testament in 1523, followed by the whole Bible in the French language in 1530.[27] William Farel was a student of Lefevre who went on to become a leader of the Swiss Reformation, establishing a Protestant republican government in Geneva. Jean Cauvin (John Calvin), another student at the University of Paris, also converted to Protestantism. Long after the sect was suppressed by Francis I, the remaining French Waldensians, then mostly in the Luberon region, sought to join William Farel, Calvin and the Reformation, and Olivetan published a French Bible for them. The French Confession of 1559 shows a decidedly Calvinistic influence.[28]

Although usually Huguenots are lumped into one group, there were actually two types of Huguenots that emerged.[29] Since the Huguenots had political and religious goals, it was commonplace to refer to the Calvinists as "Huguenots of religion" and those who opposed the monarchy as "Huguenots of the state", who were mostly nobles.[30]

• The Huguenots of religion were influenced by John Calvin's works and established Calvinist synods. They were determined to end religious oppression.
• The Huguenots of the state opposed the monopoly of power the Guise family had and wanted to attack the authority of the crown. This group of Huguenots from southern France had frequent issues with the strict Calvinist tenets that are outlined in many of John Calvin's letters to the synods of the Languedoc.

Criticism and conflict with the Catholic Church

Like other religious reformers of the time, Huguenots felt that the Catholic Church needed a radical cleansing of its impurities, and that the Pope represented a worldly kingdom, which sat in mocking tyranny over the things of God, and was ultimately doomed. Rhetoric like this became fiercer as events unfolded, and eventually stirred up a reaction in the Catholic establishment.

Fanatically opposed to the Catholic Church, the Huguenots attacked priests, monks, nuns, monasticism, images, and church buildings. Most of the cities in which the Huguenots gained a hold saw iconoclast riots in which altars and images in churches, and sometimes the buildings themselves were torn down. Ancient relics and texts were destroyed; the bodies of saints exhumed and burned. The cities of Bourges, Montauban and Orléans saw substantial activity in this regard.

The Huguenots transformed themselves into a definitive political movement thereafter. Protestant preachers rallied a considerable army and a formidable cavalry, which came under the leadership of Admiral Gaspard de Coligny. Henry of Navarre and the House of Bourbon allied themselves to the Huguenots, adding wealth and territorial holdings to the Protestant strength, which at its height grew to sixty fortified cities, and posed a serious and continuous threat to the Catholic crown and Paris over the next three decades.

The Catholic Church in France and many of its members opposed the Huguenots. Some Huguenot preachers and congregants were attacked as they attempted to meet for worship.[31] The height of this persecution was the St. Bartholomew's Day massacre in August, 1572, when 5,000 to 30,000 were killed, although there were also underlying political reasons for this as well, as some of the Huguenots were nobles trying to establish separate centres of power in southern France. Retaliating against the French Catholics, the Huguenots had their own militia.[32]

Reformation and growth

Huguenots faced persecution from the outset of the Reformation, but Francis I (reign 1515–1547) initially protected the dissidents from Parlementary measures seeking to exterminate them. After the 1534 Affair of the Placards[33][34] he distanced himself from Huguenots and their protection. Earlier, Francis I persecuted the old, pre-Protestant movement of Waldensians in southeastern France.

Huguenot numbers grew rapidly between 1555 and 1561, chiefly amongst nobles and city dwellers. During this time, their opponents first dubbed the Protestants Huguenots; but they called themselves reformés, or "Reformed". They organised their first national synod in 1558 in Paris.[35]

By 1562, the estimated number of Huguenots peaked at approximately two million, concentrated mainly in the western, southern, and some central parts of France, compared to approximately sixteen million Catholics during the same period. Persecution diminished the number of Huguenots who remained in France.

Wars of religion

As the Huguenots gained influence and displayed their faith more openly, Roman Catholic hostility towards them grew, even though the French crown offered increasingly liberal political concessions and edicts of toleration.

Following the accidental death of Henry II in 1559, his son succeeded as King Francis II along with his wife, the Queen Consort, also known as Mary Queen of Scots. During the eighteen months of the reign of Francis II, Mary encouraged a policy of rounding up French Huguenots on charges of heresy and putting them in front of Catholic judges, and employing torture and burning as punishments for dissenters. Mary returned to Scotland a widow, in the summer of 1561.[36]

In 1561, the Edict of Orléans declared an end to the persecution, and the Edict of Saint-Germain of January 1562 formally recognised the Huguenots for the first time. However, these measures disguised the growing tensions between Protestants and Catholics.

Civil wars

Huguenots massacring Catholics in the Michelade in Nîmes.

These tensions spurred eight civil wars, interrupted by periods of relative calm, between 1562 and 1598. With each break in peace, the Huguenots' trust in the Catholic throne diminished, and the violence became more severe, and Protestant demands became grander, until a lasting cessation of open hostility finally occurred in 1598.

The wars gradually took on a dynastic character, developing into an extended feud between the Houses of Bourbon and Guise, both of which—in addition to holding rival religious views—staked a claim to the French throne. The crown, occupied by the House of Valois, generally supported the Catholic side, but on occasion switched over to the Protestant cause when politically expedient.

Millais' painting, Huguenot Lovers on St. Bartholomew's Day.

The French Wars of Religion began with the Massacre of Vassy on 1 March 1562, when dozens[5] (some sources say hundreds[37]) of Huguenots were killed, and about 200 were wounded. It was in this year that some Huguenots destroyed the tomb and remains of Saint Irenaeus (d. 202), an early Church father and bishop who was a disciple of Polycarp. The Michelade by Huguenotes against Catholics was later on 29 September 1567.

St. Bartholomew's Day massacre

The St. Bartholomew's Day massacre of French Protestants (1572).

It was the climax of the French Wars of Religion, which were brought to an end by the Edict of Nantes (1598). In 1620, persecution was renewed and continued until the French Revolution in 1789.[/i]

In what became known as the St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre of 24 August – 3 October 1572, Catholics killed thousands of Huguenots in Paris and similar massacres took place in other towns in the following weeks. The main provincial towns and cities experiencing massacres were Aix, Bordeaux, Bourges, Lyons, Meaux, Orleans, Rouen, Toulouse, and Troyes.[38]

Although the exact number of fatalities throughout the country is not known, on 23–24 August, between 2,000[39] and 3,000[40][41][42] Protestants were killed in Paris and a further 3,000[43] to 7,000 more[44] in the French provinces. By 17 September, almost 25,000 Protestants had been massacred in Paris alone.[45][46] Beyond Paris, the killings continued until 3 October.[45] An amnesty granted in 1573 pardoned the perpetrators.[citation needed]

Edict of Nantes

Henry IV, as Hercules vanquishing the Lernaean Hydra (i.e., the Catholic League), by Toussaint Dubreuil, circa 1600

The pattern of warfare, followed by brief periods of peace, continued for nearly another quarter-century. The warfare was definitively quelled in 1598, when Henry of Navarre, having succeeded to the French throne as Henry IV, and having recanted Protestantism in favour of Roman Catholicism in order to obtain the French crown, issued the Edict of Nantes. The Edict reaffirmed Roman Catholicism as the state religion of France, but granted the Protestants equality with Catholics under the throne and a degree of religious and political freedom within their domains. The Edict simultaneously protected Catholic interests by discouraging the founding of new Protestant churches in Catholic-controlled regions.

With the proclamation of the Edict of Nantes, and the subsequent protection of Huguenot rights, pressures to leave France abated. However, enforcement of the Edict grew increasingly irregular over time, making life so intolerable that many fled the country. The Huguenot population of France dropped to 856,000 by the mid-1660s, of which a plurality lived in rural areas. The greatest concentrations of Huguenots at this time resided in the regions of Guienne, Saintonge-Aunis-Angoumois and Poitou.[47]

Montpellier was among the most important of the 66 "villes de sûreté" (cities of protection/protected cities) that the Edict of 1598 granted to the Huguenots. The city's political institutions and the university were all handed over to the Huguenots. Tension with Paris led to a siege by the royal army in 1622. Peace terms called for the dismantling of the city's fortifications. A royal citadel was built and the university and consulate were taken over by the Catholic party. Even before the Edict of Alès (1629), Protestant rule was dead and the ville de sûreté was no more.

Expulsion from La Rochelle of 300 Protestant families in November 1661

By 1620, the Huguenots were on the defensive, and the government increasingly applied pressure. A series of three small civil wars known as the Huguenot rebellions broke out, mainly in southwestern France, between 1621 and 1629 in which the Reformed areas revolted against royal authority. The uprising occurred a decade following the death of Henry IV, a Huguenot before converting to Roman Catholicism, who had protected Protestants through the Edict of Nantes. His successor Louis XIII, under the regency of his Italian Catholic mother Marie de' Medici, was more intolerant of Protestantism. The Huguenots responded by establishing independent political and military structures, establishing diplomatic contacts with foreign powers, and openly revolting against central power. The rebellions were implacably suppressed by the French crown.

Edict of Fontainebleau

Louis XIV gained the throne in 1643 and acted increasingly aggressively to force the Huguenots to convert. At first he sent missionaries, backed by a fund to financially reward converts to Roman Catholicism. Then he imposed penalties, closed Huguenot schools and excluded them from favoured professions. Escalating, he instituted dragonnades, which included the occupation and looting of Huguenot homes by military troops, in an effort to forcibly convert them. In 1685, he issued the Edict of Fontainebleau, revoking the Edict of Nantes and declaring Protestantism illegal.[48]

The revocation forbade Protestant services, required education of children as Catholics, and prohibited emigration. It proved disastrous to the Huguenots and costly for France. It precipitated civil bloodshed, ruined commerce, and resulted in the illegal flight from the country of hundreds of thousands of Protestants many of whom were intellectuals, doctors and business leaders whose skills were transferred to Britain as well as Holland, Prussia, South Africa and other places they fled to. 4,000 emigrated to the Thirteen Colonies, where they settled, especially in New York, the Delaware River Valley in Eastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey[2], and Virginia. The English authorities welcomed the French refugees, providing money from both government and private agencies to aid their relocation. Those Huguenots who stayed in France were subsequently forcibly converted to Roman Catholicism and were called "new converts".[49]

After this, the Huguenots (with estimates ranging from 200,000 to 1,000,000[3]) fled to Protestant countries: England, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Norway, Denmark, and Prussia – whose Calvinist Great Elector Frederick William welcomed them to help rebuild his war-ravaged and underpopulated country. Following this exodus, Huguenots remained in large numbers in only one region of France: the rugged Cévennes region in the south. There were also some Calvinists in the Alsace region, which then belonged to the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation. In the early 18th century, a regional group known as the Camisards (who were Huguenots of the mountainous Massif Central region) rioted against the Catholic Church, burning churches and killing the clergy. It took French troops years to hunt down and destroy all the bands of Camisards, between 1702 and 1709.[50]

End of persecution

The death of Jean Calas, who was broken on the wheel at Toulouse, 9 March 1762

By the 1760s, Protestants numbered about 700,000 in France, or 3% of the population. Protestantism was no longer a favourite religion of the elite. By then, most Protestants were Cevennes peasants. It was still illegal, and, although the law was seldom enforced, it could be a threat or a nuisance to Protestants. Calvinists lived primarily in the Midi; about 200,000 Lutherans accompanied by some Calvinists lived in the newly acquired Alsace, where the 1648 Treaty of Westphalia effectively protected them.[51]

Persecution of Protestants diminished in France after 1724, finally ending with the Edict of Versailles, commonly called the Edict of Tolerance, signed by Louis XVI in 1787. Two years later, with the Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen of 1789, Protestants gained equal rights as citizens.[1]

Right of return to France in the 19th and 20th centuries

The government encouraged descendants of exiles to return, offering them French citizenship in a 15 December 1790 Law:

"All persons born in a foreign country and descending in any degree of a French man or woman expatriated for religious reason are declared French nationals (naturels français) and will benefit from rights attached to that quality if they come back to France, establish their domicile there and take the civic oath."[52]

Article 4 of 26 June 1889 Nationality Law stated: "Descendants of families proscribed by the revocation of the Edict of Nantes will continue to benefit from the benefit of 15 December 1790 Law, but on the condition that a nominal decree should be issued for every petitioner. That decree will only produce its effects for the future."[53]

Foreign descendants of Huguenots lost the automatic right to French citizenship in 1945 (by force of the Ordonnance du 19 octobre 1945, which revoked the 1889 Nationality Law). It states in article 3: "This application does not, however, affect the validity of past acts by the person or rights acquired by third parties on the basis of previous laws."

Modern times

In the 1920s and 1930s, members of the extreme-right Action Française movement expressed strong animus against Huguenots and other Protestants in general, as well as against Jews and Freemasons. They were regarded as groups supporting the French Republic, which Action Française sought to overthrow.

In World War II, Huguenots led by André Trocmé in the village of Le Chambon-sur-Lignon in Cévennes helped save many Jews. They hid them in secret places or helped them get out of Vichy France. André Trocmé preached against discrimination as the Nazis were gaining power in neighbouring Germany and urged his Protestant Huguenot congregation to hide Jewish refugees from the Holocaust.

In the early 21st century, there were approximately one million Protestants in France, representing some 2% of its population.[54] Most are concentrated in Alsace in northeast France and the Cévennes mountain region in the south, who still regard themselves as Huguenots to this day. Surveys suggest that Protestantism has grown in recent years, though this is due primarily to the expansion of evangelical Protestant churches which particularly have adherents among immigrant groups that are generally considered distinct from the French Huguenot population.[55]

A diaspora of French Australians still considers itself Huguenot, even after centuries of exile. Long integrated into Australian society, it is encouraged by the Huguenot Society of Australia to embrace and conserve its cultural heritage, aided by the Society's genealogical research services.[56]

In the United States there are several Huguenot worship groups and societies. The Huguenot Society of America has headquarters in New York City and has a broad national membership. One of the most active Huguenot groups is in Charleston, South Carolina. While many American Huguenot groups worship in borrowed churches, the congregation in Charleston has its own church. Although services are conducted largely in English, every year the church holds an Annual French Service, which is conducted entirely in French using an adaptation of the Liturgies of Neufchatel (1737) and Vallangin (1772). Typically the Annual French Service takes place on the first or second Sunday after Easter in commemoration of the signing of the Edict of Nantes.


Most French Huguenots were either unable or unwilling to emigrate to avoid forced conversion to Roman Catholicism. As a result, more than three-quarters of the Protestant population of 2 million converted, 1 million, and 500,000 fled in exodus.[3]

Early emigration to colonies

Etching of Fort Caroline

The first Huguenots to leave France sought freedom from persecution in Switzerland and the Netherlands. A group of Huguenots was part of the French colonisers who arrived in Brazil in 1555 to found France Antarctique. A couple of ships with around 500 people arrived at the Guanabara Bay, present-day Rio de Janeiro, and settled on a small island. A fort, named Fort Coligny, was built to protect them from attack from the Portuguese troops and Brazilian natives. It was an attempt to establish a French colony in South America. The fort was destroyed in 1560 by the Portuguese, who captured some of the Huguenots. The Portuguese threatened their Protestant prisoners with death if they did not convert to Roman Catholicism. The Huguenots of Guanabara, as they are now known, produced what is known as the Guanabara Confession of Faith to explain their beliefs. The Portuguese executed them.

South Africa

Individual Huguenots settled at the Cape of Good Hope from as early as 1671; the first documented was François Villion (Viljoen). The first Huguenot to arrive at the Cape of Good Hope was Maria de la Quellerie, wife of commander Jan van Riebeeck (and daughter of a Walloon church minister), who arrived on 6 April 1652 to establish a settlement at what is today Cape Town. The couple left for the Batavia ten years later.

But it was not until 31 December 1687 that the first organised group of Huguenots set sail from the Netherlands to the Dutch East India Company post at the Cape of Good Hope.[57] The largest portion of the Huguenots to settle in the Cape arrived between 1688 and 1689 in seven ships as part of the organised migration, but quite a few arrived as late as 1700; thereafter, the numbers declined and only small groups arrived at a time.[58]

The Huguenot Monument of Franschhoek in Western Cape province, South Africa

Many of these settlers were given land in an area that was later called Franschhoek (Dutch for "French Corner"), in the present-day Western Cape province of South Africa. A large monument to commemorate the arrival of the Huguenots in South Africa was inaugurated on 7 April 1948 at Franschhoek. The Huguenot Memorial Museum was also erected there and opened in 1957.

The official policy of the Dutch East India governors was to integrate the Huguenot and the Dutch communities. When Paul Roux, a pastor who arrived with the main group of Huguenots, died in 1724, the Dutch administration, as a special concession, permitted another French cleric to take his place "for the benefit of the elderly who spoke only French".[59] But with assimilation, within three generations the Huguenots had generally adopted Dutch as their first and home language.

Many of the farms in the Western Cape province in South Africa still bear French names. Many families, today, mostly Afrikaans-speaking, have surnames indicating their French Huguenot ancestry. Examples include: Blignaut, Cilliers, de Klerk (Le Clercq), de Villiers, du Plessis, Du Preez (Des Pres), du Randt (Durand), du Toit, Duvenhage(Du Vinage), Franck, Fouché, Fourie (Fleurit), Gervais, Giliomee (Guilliaume), Gous/Gouws (Gauch), Hugo, Jordaan (Jourdan), Joubert, Kriek, Labuschagne (la Buscagne), le Roux, Lombard, Malan, Malherbe, Marais, Maree, Minnaar (Mesnard), Nel (Nell), Naudé, Nortjé (Nortier), Pienaar (Pinard), Retief (Retif), Rossouw (Rousseau), Taljaard (Taillard), TerBlanche, Theron, Viljoen (Villion) and Visagie (Visage).[60][61] The wine industry in South Africa owes a significant debt to the Huguenots, some of whom had vineyards in France, or were brandy distillers, and used their skills in their new home.

North America

Walloon Monument in Battery Park, Manhattan, New York City

French Huguenots made two attempts to establish a haven in North America. In 1562, naval officer Jean Ribault led an expedition that explored Florida and the present-day Southeastern US, and founded the outpost of Charlesfort on Parris Island, South Carolina. The French Wars of Religion precluded a return voyage, and the outpost was abandoned. In 1564, Ribault's former lieutenant René Goulaine de Laudonnière launched a second voyage to build a colony; he established Fort Caroline in what is now Jacksonville, Florida. War at home again precluded a resupply mission, and the colony struggled. In 1565 the Spanish decided to enforce their claim to La Florida, and sent Pedro Menéndez de Avilés, who established the settlement of St. Augustine near Fort Caroline. Menéndez' forces routed the French and executed most of the Protestant captives.

Barred by the government from settling in New France, Huguenots led by Jessé de Forest, sailed to North America in 1624 and settled instead in the Dutch colony of New Netherland (later incorporated into New York and New Jersey); as well as Great Britain's colonies, including Nova Scotia. A number of New Amsterdam's families were of Huguenot origin, often having emigrated as refugees to the Netherlands in the previous century. In 1628 the Huguenots established a congregation as L'Église française à la Nouvelle-Amsterdam (the French church in New Amsterdam). This parish continues today as L'Eglise du Saint-Esprit, now a part of the Episcopal Church USA (Anglican) communion, and welcomes Francophone New Yorkers from all over the world.[62] Upon their arrival in New Amsterdam, Huguenots were offered land directly across from Manhattan on Long Island for a permanent settlement and chose the harbour at the end of Newtown Creek, becoming the first Europeans to live in Brooklyn, then known as Boschwick, in the neighbourhood now known as Bushwick.

Jean Hasbrouck House (1721) on Huguenot Street in New Paltz, New York

Huguenot immigrants did not disperse or settle in different parts of the country, but rather, formed three societies or congregations; one in the city of New York, another 21 miles north of New York in a town which they named New Rochelle, and a third further upstate in New Paltz. The "Huguenot Street Historic District" in New Paltz has been designated a National Historic Landmark site and contains the oldest street in the United States of America. A small group of Huguenots also settled on the south shore of Staten Island along the New York Harbor, for which the current neighbourhood of Huguenot was named. Huguenot refugees also settled in the Delaware River Valley of Eastern Pennsylvania and Hunterdon County, New Jersey in 1725. Frenchtown in New Jersey bears the mark of early settlers.[2]

New Rochelle, located in the county of Westchester on the north shore of Long Island Sound, seemed to be the great location of the Huguenots in New York. It is said that they landed on the coastline peninsula of Davenports Neck called "Bauffet's Point" after travelling from England where they had previously taken refuge on account of religious persecution, four years before the revocation of the Edict of Nantes. They purchased from John Pell, Lord of Pelham Manor, a tract of land consisting of six thousand one hundred acres with the help of Jacob Leisler. It was named New Rochelle after La Rochelle, their former strong-hold in France. A small wooden church was first erected in the community, followed by a second church that was built of stone. Previous to the erection of it, the strong men would often walk twenty-three miles on Saturday evening, the distance by the road from New Rochelle to New York, to attend the Sunday service. The church was eventually replaced by a third, Trinity-St. Paul's Episcopal Church, which contains heirlooms including the original bell from the French Huguenot Church "Eglise du St. Esperit" on Pine Street in New York City, which is preserved as a relic in the tower room. The Huguenot cemetery, or the "Huguenot Burial Ground", has since been recognised as a historic cemetery that is the final resting place for a wide range of the Huguenot founders, early settlers and prominent citizens dating back more than three centuries.

Some Huguenot immigrants settled in central and eastern Pennsylvania. They assimilated with the predominantly Pennsylvania German settlers of the area.

In 1700 several hundred French Huguenots migrated from England to the colony of Virginia, where the English Crown had promised them land grants in Lower Norfolk County. When they arrived, colonial authorities offered them instead land 20 miles above the falls of the James River, at the abandoned Monacan village known as Manakin Town, now in Goochland County. Some settlers landed in present-day Chesterfield County. On 12 May 1705, the Virginia General Assembly passed an act to naturalise the 148 Huguenots still resident at Manakintown. Of the original 390 settlers in the isolated settlement, many had died; others lived outside town on farms in the English style; and others moved to different areas.[63] Gradually they intermarried with their English neighbours. Through the 18th and 19th centuries, descendants of the French migrated west into the Piedmont, and across the Appalachian Mountains into the West of what became Kentucky, Tennessee, Missouri, and other states. In the Manakintown area, the Huguenot Memorial Bridge across the James River and Huguenot Road were named in their honour, as were many local features, including several schools, including Huguenot High School.

French Huguenot Church in Charleston, South Carolina

In the early years, many Huguenots also settled in the area of present-day Charleston, South Carolina. In 1685, Rev. Elie Prioleau from the town of Pons in France, was among the first to settle there. He became pastor of the first Huguenot church in North America in that city. After the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685, several Huguenots including Edmund Bohun of Suffolk, England, Jean Postell of Dieppe France, Alexander Pepin, Antoine Poitevin of Orsement France, and Jacques de Bordeaux of Grenoble, immigrated to the Charleston Orange district. They were very successful at marriage and property speculation. After petitioning the British Crown in 1697 for the right to own land in the Baronies, they prospered as slave owners on the Cooper, Ashepoo, Ashley and Santee River plantations they purchased from the British Landgrave Edmund Bellinger. Some of their descendants moved into the Deep South and Texas, where they developed new plantations.

The French Huguenot Church of Charleston, which remains independent, is the oldest continuously active Huguenot congregation in the United States. L'Eglise du Saint-Esprit in New York, founded in 1628, is older, but it left the French Reformed movement in 1804 to become part of the Episcopal Church.

Most of the Huguenot congregations (or individuals) in North America eventually affiliated with other Protestant denominations with more numerous members. The Huguenots adapted quickly and often married outside their immediate French communities, which led to their assimilation.[64] Their descendants in many families continued to use French first names and surnames for their children well into the nineteenth century. Assimilated, the French made numerous contributions to United States economic life, especially as merchants and artisans in the late Colonial and early Federal periods. For example, E.I. du Pont, a former student of Lavoisier, established the Eleutherian gunpowder mills.[65] Howard Hughes, famed investor, pilot, film director, and philanthropist, was also of Huguenot descent and descendant from Rev. John Gano.

Paul Revere was descended from Huguenot refugees, as was Henry Laurens, who signed the Articles of Confederation for South Carolina; Jack Jouett, who made the ride from Cuckoo Tavern to warn Thomas Jefferson and others that Tarleton and his men were on their way to arrest him for crimes against the king; Reverend John Gano was a Revolutionary War chaplain and spiritual advisor to George Washington; Francis Marion, and a number of other leaders of the American Revolution and later statesmen. The last active Huguenot congregation in North America worships in Charleston, South Carolina, at a church that dates to 1844. The Huguenot Society of America maintains the Manakin Episcopal Church in Virginia as a historic shrine with occasional services. The Society has chapters in numerous states, with the one in Texas being the largest.

Spoken language

The Huguenots originally spoke French on their arrival in the American colonies, but after two or three generations, they had switched to English. They did not promote French language schools or publications and "lost" their historic identity. .[66] In upstate New York they merged with the Dutch Reformed community and switched first to Dutch and then in the early 19th century to English.[67] In colonial New York city they switched from French to English or Dutch by 1730.[68]
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Some Huguenots fought in the Low Countries alongside the Dutch against Spain during the first years of the Dutch Revolt (1568–1609). The Dutch Republic rapidly became a destination for Huguenot exiles. Early ties were already visible in the "Apologie" of William the Silent, condemning the Spanish Inquisition, which was written by his court minister, the Huguenot Pierre L'Oyseleur, lord of Villiers. Louise de Coligny, daughter of the murdered Huguenot leader Gaspard de Coligny, married William the Silent, leader of the Dutch (Calvinist) revolt against Spanish (Catholic) rule. As both spoke French in daily life, their court church in the Prinsenhof in Delft held services in French. The practice has continued to the present day. The Prinsenhof is one of the 14 active Walloon churches of the Dutch Reformed Church (now of the Protestant Church in the Netherlands). The ties between Huguenots and the Dutch Republic's military and political leadership, the House of Orange-Nassau, which existed since the early days of the Dutch Revolt, helped support the many early settlements of Huguenots in the Dutch Republic's colonies. They settled at the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa and New Netherland in North America.

Stadtholder William III of Orange, who later became King of England, emerged as the strongest opponent of king Louis XIV after the French attacked the Dutch Republic in 1672. William formed the League of Augsburg as a coalition to oppose Louis and the French state. Consequently, many Huguenots considered the wealthy and Calvinist-controlled Dutch Republic, which also happened to lead the opposition to Louis XIV, as the most attractive country for exile after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes. They also found many French-speaking Calvinist churches there (which were called the "Walloon churches").

After the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, the Dutch Republic received the largest group of Huguenot refugees, an estimated total of 75,000 to 100,000 people. Amongst them were 200 pastors. Many came from the region of the Cévennes, for instance, the village of Fraissinet-de-Lozère.[69] This was a huge influx as the entire population of the Dutch Republic amounted to ca. 2 million at that time. Around 1700, it is estimated that nearly 25% of the Amsterdam population was Huguenot.[citation needed] In 1705, Amsterdam and the area of West Frisia were the first areas to provide full citizens rights to Huguenot immigrants, followed by the whole Dutch Republic in 1715. Huguenots intermarried with Dutch from the outset.

One of the most prominent Huguenot refugees in the Netherlands was Pierre Bayle. He started teaching in Rotterdam, where he finished writing and publishing his multi-volume masterpiece, Historical and Critical Dictionary. It became one of the 100 foundational texts of the US Library of Congress. Some Huguenot descendants in the Netherlands may be noted by French family names, although they typically use Dutch given names. Due to the Huguenots' early ties with the leadership of the Dutch Revolt and their own participation, some of the Dutch patriciate are of part-Huguenot descent. Some Huguenot families have kept alive various traditions, such as the celebration and feast of their patron Saint Nicolas, similar to the Dutch Sint Nicolaas (Sinterklaas) feast.


A number of French Huguenots settled in Wales, in the upper Rhymney valley of the current Caerphilly County Borough. The community they created there is still known as Fleur de Lys (the symbol of France), an unusual French village name in the heart of the valleys of Wales. Nearby villages are Hengoed, and Ystrad Mynach. Apart from the French village name and that of the local rugby team, Fleur De Lys RFC, little remains of the French heritage.


Huguenot weavers' houses at Canterbury

Both before and after the 1708 passage of the Foreign Protestants Naturalization Act, an estimated 50,000 Protestant Walloons and French Huguenots fled to England, with many moving on to Ireland and elsewhere. In relative terms, this was one of the largest waves of immigration ever of a single ethnic community to Britain.[70] Andrew Lortie (born André Lortie), a leading Huguenot theologian and writer who led the exiled community in London, became known for articulating their criticism of the Pope and the doctrine of transubstantiation during Mass.

Of the refugees who arrived on the Kent coast, many gravitated towards Canterbury, then the county's Calvinist hub. Many Walloon and Huguenot families were granted asylum there. Edward VI granted them the whole of the western crypt of Canterbury Cathedral for worship. In 1825, this privilege was reduced to the south aisle and in 1895 to the former chantry chapel of the Black Prince. Services are still held there in French according to the Reformed tradition every Sunday at 3 pm.

Other evidence of the Walloons and Huguenots in Canterbury includes a block of houses in Turnagain Lane, where weavers' windows survive on the top floor, as many Huguenots worked as weavers. The Weavers, a half-timbered house by the river, was the site of a weaving school from the late 16th century to about 1830. (It has been adapted as a restaurant—see illustration above. The house derives its name from a weaving school which was moved there in the last years of the 19th century, reviving an earlier use.) Other refugees practised the variety of occupations necessary to sustain the community as distinct from the indigenous population. Such economic separation was the condition of the refugees' initial acceptance in the city. They also settled elsewhere in Kent, particularly Sandwich, Faversham and Maidstone—towns in which there used to be refugee churches.

The French Protestant Church of London was established by Royal Charter in 1550. It is now located at Soho Square.[71] Huguenot refugees flocked to Shoreditch, London. They established a major weaving industry in and around Spitalfields (see Petticoat Lane and the Tenterground) in East London.[72] In Wandsworth, their gardening skills benefited the Battersea market gardens. The flight of Huguenot refugees from Tours, France drew off most of the workers of its great silk mills which they had built.[citation needed] Some of these immigrants moved to Norwich, which had accommodated an earlier settlement of Walloon weavers. The French added to the existing immigrant population, then comprising about a third of the population of the city.

Some Huguenots settled in Bedfordshire, one of the main centres of the British lace industry at the time. Although 19th-century sources have asserted that some of these refugees were lacemakers and contributed to the East Midlands lace industry,[73][74] this is contentious.[75][76] The only reference to immigrant lacemakers in this period is of twenty-five widows who settled in Dover,[73] and there is no contemporary documentation to support there being Huguenot lacemakers in Bedfordshire. The implication that the style of lace known as 'Bucks Point' demonstrates a Huguenot influence, being a "combination of Mechlin patterns on Lille ground",[74] is fallacious: what is now known as Mechlin lace did not develop until the first half of the eighteenth century and lace with Mechlin patterns and Lille ground did not appear until the end of the 18th century, when it was widely copied throughout Europe.[77]

Many Huguenots from the Lorraine region also eventually settled in the area around Stourbridge in Worcestershire where they found the raw materials and fuel to continue their glassmaking tradition. Anglicised names such as Tyzack, Henzey and Tittery are regularly found amongst the early glassmakers, and the region went on to become one of the most important glass regions in the country.[78]

Winston Churchill was probably one of the most prominent people of Huguenot descent, deriving from his American grandfather Leonard Jerome.


Entrance to Huguenot Cemetery, Cork in Cork, Munster

Following the French crown's revocation of the Edict of Nantes, many Huguenots settled in Ireland in the late 17th and early 18th centuries, encouraged by an act of parliament for Protestants' settling in Ireland.[79][80][81][82][83] Huguenot regiments fought for William of Orange in the Williamite war in Ireland, for which they were rewarded with land grants and titles, many settling in Dublin.[84] Significant Huguenot settlements were in Dublin, Cork, Portarlington, Lisburn, Waterford and Youghal. Smaller settlements, which included Killeshandra in County Cavan, contributed to the expansion of flax cultivation and the growth of the Irish linen industry.

For over 150 years, Huguenots were allowed to hold their services in Lady Chapel in St. Patrick's Cathedral. A Huguenot cemetery is located in the centre of Dublin, off St. Stephen's Green. Prior to its establishment, Huguenots used the Cabbage Garden near the Cathedral. Another Huguenot Cemetery is located off French Church street in Cork.

A number of Huguenots served as mayors in Dublin, Cork, Youghal and Waterford in the 17th and 18th centuries. Numerous signs of Huguenot presence can still be seen with names still in use, and with areas of the main towns and cities named after the people who settled there. Examples include the Huguenot District and French Church Street in Cork City; and D'Olier Street in Dublin, named after a High Sheriff and one of the founders of the Bank of Ireland. A French church in Portarlington dates back to 1696,[85] and was built to serve the significant new Huguenot community in the town. At the time, they constituted the majority of the townspeople.[86]

One of the more notable Huguenot descendants in Ireland was Seán Lemass (1899–1971), who was appointed as Taoiseach, serving from 1959 until 1966.

Germany and Scandinavia

Obelisk commemorating the Huguenots in Fredericia, Denmark

Around 1685, Huguenot refugees found a safe haven in the Lutheran and Reformed states in Germany and Scandinavia. Nearly 50,000 Huguenots established themselves in Germany, 20,000 of whom were welcomed in Brandenburg-Prussia, where they were granted special privileges (Edict of Potsdam) and churches in which to worship (such as the Church of St. Peter and St. Paul, Angermünde and the French Cathedral, Berlin) by Frederick William, Elector of Brandenburg and Duke of Prussia. The Huguenots furnished two new regiments of his army: the Altpreußische Infantry Regiments No. 13 (Regiment on foot Varenne) and 15 (Regiment on foot Wylich). Another 4,000 Huguenots settled in the German territories of Baden, Franconia (Principality of Bayreuth, Principality of Ansbach), Landgraviate of Hesse-Kassel, Duchy of Württemberg, in the Wetterau Association of Imperial Counts, in the Palatinate and Palatinate-Zweibrücken, in the Rhine-Main-Area (Frankfurt), in modern-day Saarland; and 1,500 found refuge in Hamburg, Bremen and Lower Saxony. Three hundred refugees were granted asylum at the court of George William, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg in Celle.

Relief by Johannes Boese, 1885: The Great Prince-elector of Brandenburg-Prussia welcomes arriving Huguenots

In Berlin, the Huguenots created two new neighbourhoods: Dorotheenstadt and Friedrichstadt. By 1700, one-fifth of the city's population was French speaking. The Berlin Huguenots preserved the French language in their church services for nearly a century. They ultimately decided to switch to German in protest against the occupation of Prussia by Napoleon in 1806–07. Many of their descendants rose to positions of prominence. Several congregations were founded throughout Germany and Scandinavia, such as those of Fredericia (Denmark), Berlin, Stockholm, Hamburg, Frankfurt, Helsinki, and Emden.

Prince Louis de Condé, along with his sons Daniel and Osias,[citation needed] arranged with Count Ludwig von Nassau-Saarbrücken to establish a Huguenot community in present-day Saarland in 1604. The Count supported mercantilism and welcomed technically skilled immigrants into his lands, regardless of their religion. The Condés established a thriving glass-making works, which provided wealth to the principality for many years. Other founding families created enterprises based on textiles and such traditional Huguenot occupations in France. The community and its congregation remain active to this day, with descendants of many of the founding families still living in the region. Some members of this community emigrated to the United States in the 1890s.

In Bad Karlshafen, Hessen, Germany is the Huguenot Museum and Huguenot archive. The collection includes family histories, a library, and a picture archive.

Effects of the exodus

The exodus of Huguenots from France created a brain drain, as many Huguenots had occupied important places in society. The kingdom did not fully recover for years. The French crown's refusal to allow non-Catholics to settle in New France may help to explain that colony's low population compared to that of the neighbouring British colonies, which opened settlement to religious dissenters. By the time of the French and Indian War (the North American front of the Seven Years' War), a sizeable population of Huguenot descent lived in the British colonies, and many participated in the British defeat of New France in 1759–60.[87]

Frederick William, Elector of Brandenburg, invited Huguenots to settle in his realms, and a number of their descendants rose to positions of prominence in Prussia. Several prominent German military, cultural, and political figures were ethnic Huguenot, including poet Theodor Fontane,[88] General Hermann von François,[89] the hero of the First World War Battle of Tannenberg, Luftwaffe General and fighter ace Adolf Galland,[90] Luftwaffe flying ace Hans-Joachim Marseille, and famed U-boat captain Lothar von Arnauld de la Perière.[91] The last Prime Minister of the (East) German Democratic Republic, Lothar de Maizière,[92] is also a descendant of a Huguenot family, as is the German Federal Minister of the Interior, Thomas de Maizière.

The persecution and flight of the Huguenots greatly damaged the reputation of Louis XIV abroad, particularly in England. The two kingdoms, which had enjoyed peaceful relations prior to 1685, became bitter enemies and fought against each other in a series of wars (called the "Second Hundred Years' War" by some historians) from 1689 onward.

1985 apology

François Mitterrand issued a formal apology to the Huguenots and their descendants on behalf of the French state in 1985

In October 1985, to commemorate the tricentenary of the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes, President François Mitterrand of France announced a formal apology to the descendants of Huguenots around the world.[93] At the same time, the government released a special postage stamp in their honour reading "France is the home of the Huguenots" (Accueil des Huguenots).


Huguenot legacy persists both in France and abroad.


Several French Protestant churches are descended from or tied to the Huguenots, including:

• Reformed Church of France (l'Église Réformée de France), founded in 1559, the historical and principal Reformed church in France since the Protestant Reformation until its 2013 merger into the United Protestant Church of France
• Evangelical Reformed Church of France (Union nationale des églises protestantes réformées évangéliques de France), founded in 1938
• some French members of the largely German Protestant Reformed Church of Alsace and Lorraine

United States

• Bayonne, New Jersey[94]
• Four-term Republican United States Representative Howard Homan Buffett was of Huguenot descent.
• Charleston, South Carolina, is home to the only active Huguenot congregation in the United States
• In 1924, the US issued a commemorative half dollar, known as the "Huguenot-Walloon half dollar",[95] to celebrate the 300th anniversary of the Huguenots' settlement in what is now the United States.
• Frenchtown, New Jersey, part of the larger Delaware River Valley, was a settling area in the early 1700s.
• The Huguenot neighbourhood in New York City's borough of Staten Island, straddling Huguenot Avenue
• Huguenot Memorial Park in Jacksonville, Florida.[96]
• The early leaders John Jay and Paul Revere were of Huguenot descent.
• The Manakintown Church serves as a National Huguenot Memorial.
• Francis Marion, an American Revolutionary War guerrilla fighter in South Carolina, was of predominantly Huguenot ancestry.
• New Paltz, New York[97]
• New Rochelle, New York, named for the city of La Rochelle, a known former Huguenot stronghold in France. The Huguenot and Historical Association of New Rochelle was organised in 1885 for the purpose of perpetuating the history of its original Huguenot settlers. The mascot of New Rochelle High Schoolis the Huguenot; and one of the main streets in the city is called Huguenot Street.
• John Pintard (1759 - 1854), a descendant of Huguenots and prosperous New York City merchant who was involved in various New York City organizations. Pintard was credited with establishing the modern conception of Santa Claus.
• In Richmond, Virginia and the neighbouring Chesterfield County, there is a Huguenot Road. A Huguenot High School in Richmond and Huguenot Park in Chesterfield County, along with several other uses of the name throughout the region, commemorate the early refugee settlers.
• Walloon Settlers Memorial (located in Battery Park) is a monument given to the City of New York by the Belgian Province of Hainaut in honour of the inspiration of Jessé de Forest in founding New York City. Baron de Cartier de Marchienne, representing the government and Albert I, King of Belgium, presented the monument to Mayor John F. Hylan, for the City of New York 18 May 1924.


• There is a Huguenot society in London, as well as a French Protestant Church of London, founded in 1550 in Soho Square, which is still active, and also is a registered charity since 1926.[98][99]
• Huguenots of Spitalfields is a registered charity promoting public understanding of the Huguenot heritage and culture in Spitalfields, the City of London and beyond. They arrange tours, talks, events and schools programmes to raise the Huguenot profile in Spitalfields and raise funds for a permanent memorial to the Huguenots.[100]
• Canterbury Cathedral retains a Huguenot Chapel in the ‘Black Prince’s Chantry’, part of the Crypt which is accessible from the exterior of the cathedral. The chapel was granted to Huguenot refugees on the orders of Queen Elizabeth I in 1575. To this day, the chapel still holds services in French every Sunday at 3pm.[101]


• Huguenot refugees in Prussia are thought to have contributed significantly to the development of the textile industry in that country. One notable example was Marthe de Roucoulle, governess of Frederick William I of Prussia and Frederick the Great.


• Sean Francis Lemass, Taoiseach of Ireland from 1959–1966, was of Huguenot descent.

South Africa

• Most South African Huguenots settled in the Cape Colony, where they became assimilated into the Afrikaner and Afrikaans population. Many modern Afrikaners have French surnames, which are given Afrikaans pronunciation and orthography. The early immigrants settled in Franschhoek ("French Corner") near Cape Town. The Huguenots contributed greatly to the wine industry in South Africa.[102]


• The majority of Australians with French ancestry are descended from Huguenots. Some of the earliest to arrive in Australia held prominent positions in English society, notably Jane Franklin and Charles La Trobe.[103]
• Others who came later were from poorer families, migrating from England in the 19th and early 20th centuries to escape the poverty of London's East End Huguenot enclaves of Spitalfields and Bethnal Green. Their impoverishment had been brought on by the Industrial Revolution, which caused the collapse of the Huguenot-dominated silk-weaving industry. Many French Australian descendants of Huguenots still consider themselves very much Huguenots or French, even in the twenty-first century.[104]

See also

• Calvinism portal
• France portal
• Christianity portal
• Religion portal
• History portal
• Bible translations into French
• French Confession of Faith
• List of Huguenots
• Huguenot Church, Charleston, SC——The only active French Calvinist or Huguenot congregation still existing in the United States.[105][106][107]
• Huguenot, Staten Island
• Huguenot Street Historic District
• Industrial Revolution
• Les Huguenots (opera)
• Guillebeau House
• Walloon church——French-speaking Dutch Reformed congregations adhered to by Walloons and French Huguenots
• Waldensians——another Protestant group persecuted alongside Huguenots by Francis I of France
• Salzburg Protestants——German Protestants expelled from the Archbishopric of Salzburg


1. Aston, Religion and Revolution in France, 1780–1804 (2000) pp 245–50
2. Calvin, Claude (1945). The Calvin Families. University of Wisconsin. pp. 47–53, 57–71.
3. Encyclopædia Britannica, 11th ed, Frank Puaux, Huguenot
4. Gray, Janet G. (1983). The Origin of the Word Huguenot. Sixteenth Century Journal. 14. pp. 349–359. JSTOR 2540193.
5. Antoine Dégert, "Huguenots", The Catholic Encyclopedia, 1911
6. "Who Were the Huguenots?", The National Huguenot Society
7. De l'Estat de France 1560, by Reguier de la Plancha, quoted by The Cape Monthly (February 1877), No. 82 Vol. XIV on page 126|The Cape Monthly on the Internet Archive
8. Bibliothèque d'humanisme et Renaissance, by Association d'humanisme et renaissance, 1958, p 217
9. William Gilmore Simms, The Huguenots in Florida; Or, The Lily and the Totem, 1854, p. 470
10. George Lunt, "Huguenot – The origin and meaning of the name", New England Historical & Genealogical Register, Boston, 1908/1911, 241–246
11. croix huguenote
12. "The National Huguenot Society - Cross of Languedoc". Retrieved 2018-12-07.
13. Hans J. Hillerbrand, Encyclopedia of Protestantism: 4-volume Set, paragraphs "France" and "Huguenots"
14. The Huguenot Population of France, 1600-1685: The Demographic Fate and Customs of a Religious Minority by Philip Benedict; American Philosophical Society, 1991 - 164
15. "The National Huguenot Society - Who Were the Huguenots?".
16. The Huguenots: Or, Reformed French Church. Their Principles Delineated; Their Character Illustrated; Their Sufferings and Successes Recorded by William Henry Foote; Presbyterian Committee of Publication, 1870 - 627
17. The Huguenots: History and Memory in Transnational Context: Essays in Honour and Memory of by Walter C. Utt
18. From a Far Country: Camisards and Huguenots in the Atlantic World by Catharine Randall
19. Huldrych Zwingli began the Reformed tradition in Zürich, Switzerland in 1519 (see Reformation in Zürich and History of Calvinism). John Calvin converted to it either in the late 1520s or the early 1530s.
20. Reformed Church of France membership at the time of its 2013 merger into the United Protestant Church of France.
21. Darling, Charles William (1894). Historical account of some of the more important versions and editions of the Bible. University of Wisconsin-Madison. p. 18.
22. Bullen, G. (1877). Catalogue of the loan collection of antiquities, curiosities, and appliances connected with the art of printing. N. Trübner and Co. p. 107 (item 687).
23. "Wayback Machine" (PDF). 12 May 2014. Retrieved 15 April2018.
24. Malcolm D. Lambert, Medieval Heresy: Popular Movements from the Gregorian Reform to the Reformation, p. 389
25. Hanna, William (1872). The wars of the Huguenots. New York: Robert Carter & Brothers. p. 27. Retrieved 7 September 2009.
26. Margaret Ruth Miles, The Word Made Flesh: A History of Christian Thought,Blackwell Publishing, 2005, pg 381
27. Paul Arblaster, Gergely Juhász, Guido Latré (eds) Tyndale's Testament, Turnhout: Brepols, 2002, ISBN 2-503-51411-1, pp. 130–135
28. John Calvin, tr. Emily O. Butler. "The French Confession of Faith of 1559". Retrieved 2 August 2010.
29. Tylor, Charles (1892). The Huguenots in the seventeenth century : including the history of the Edict of Nantes, from its enactment in 1598 to its revocation in 1685. London: Simpkin, Marshall, Hamilton, Kent. p. 3. Retrieved 15 September 2018.
30. Renaissance Spell: The Huguenots
31. margaret kilner. "Huguenots". Retrieved 2 August2010.
32. Lucien Bély (2001). The History of France. Editions Jean-paul Gisserot. p. 48. ISBN 9782877475631.
33. L'affaire des placards, la fin de la belle Renaissance Archived 18 March 2010 at the Wayback Machine
34. "18 octobre 1534 : l'affaire des placards". Retrieved 2 August2010.
35. "Catholic Encyclopedia: Huguenots". Retrieved 2 August2010.
36. Fischer, David Hackett, "Champlain's Dream", 2008, Alfred A. Knopf Canada
37. Thomas Martin Lindsay, A History of the Reformation, 1907, p 190: "six or seven hundred Protestants were slain"
38. PARKER, G. (ed.) (1994), Atlas of World History, Fourth Edition, BCA (HarperCollins), London, pp. 178;
39. Alastair Armstrong: France 1500–1715 (Heinemann, 2003) pp.70–71;
40. "This Day in History 1572: Saint Bartholomew's Day Massacre". Archived from the original on 12 February 2010. Retrieved 2 August 2010.
41. PARKER, G. (ed.) (1998), Oxford Encyclopedia World History, Oxford University Press, Oxford, ISBN 0-19-860223-5 hardback, pp.585;
42. CHADWICK, H. & Evans, G.R. (1987), Atlas of the Christian Church, Macmillian, London, ISBN 0-333-44157-5 hardback, pp. 113;
43. Alastair Armstrong: France 1500–1715 (Heinemann, 2003) pp.70–71
44. MOYNAHAN, B. (2003) The Faith: A History of Christianity, Pimlico, London, ISBN 0-7126-0720-X paperback, pp.456;
45. Partner, P. (1999), Two Thousand Years: The Second Millennium, Granda Media (Andre Deutsch), Britain, ISBN 0-233-99666-4 hardback, pp. ;
46. Upshall, M. (ed.) (1990), The Hutchinson Paperback Encyclopedia, Arrow Books, London, ISBN 0-09-978200-6 paperback;
47. Benedict, Philip (1991). The Huguenot Population of France, 1600–1685: The Demographic Fate and Customs of a Religious Minority. Philadelphia: The American Philosophical Society. p. 8. ISBN 0-87169-815-3.
48. see article: – Revocation of the Edict of Nantes
49. John Wolf, Louis XIV, ch 24; Bertrand Van Ruymbeke, "Escape from Babylon", Christian History 2001 20(3): 38–42. ISSN 0891-9666 Fulltext: Ebsco
50. Pierre-Jean Ruff, 2008. Le temple du Rouve, lieu de mémoire des Camisards. Editions Lacour-Ollé, Nîmes. The first Camisards and freedom of conscience. Retrieved from
51. Nigel Aston, Religion and Revolution in France, 1780–1804 (2000) pp 61–72
52. Sir Thomas Barclay (1888). Nationality, domicile and residence in France: Decree of October 2, 1888 concerning foreigners, with notes and instructions and the laws of France relating to nationality, admission to domicile, naturalization and the sojourn in France of foreigners generally. pp. 23–.
53. Great Britain. Foreign Office (1893). Nationality and Naturalization: Reports by Her Majesty's Representatives Abroad Upon the Laws of Foreign Countries. H.M. Stationery Office. p. 47.
54. "France". 1 January 2004. Retrieved 2 August 2010.
55. ... o-politics
56. The Huguenot Society of Australia. "Welcome to The Huguenot Society of Australia Website". Retrieved 30 April 2016.
57. Botha, Colin Graham. The French refugees at the Cape. p. 7. Retrieved 21 July 2009.
58. Botha, Colin Graham. The French refugees at the Cape. p. 7. Retrieved 21 July 2009.
59. Walker, Eric (1968). "Chapter IV – The Diaspora". A History of Southern Africa. Longmans.
60. Ces Francais Qui Ont Fait L'Afrique Du Sud. Translation: The French People Who Made South Africa. Bernard Lugan. January 1996. ISBN 2-84100-086-9
61. Watkinson, William Lonsdale; Davison, William Theophilus, eds. (1875). "William Shaw and South Africa". The London Quarterly Review. 44. J.A. Sharp. p. 274. Retrieved 7 July 2017 – via Google Books.
62. "Chronology – French Church du Saint-Esprit". Retrieved 2019-03-29.
63. "Huguenots in Manakintown" (PDF). Library of Virginia. Archived from the original (PDF) on 17 December 2008. Retrieved 2 August 2010.
64. Gevinson, Alan. "Protestant Immigration to Louisiana.", accessed 2 September 2011.
65. article on EIDupont says he did not even emigrate to the US and establish the mills until after the French Revolution, so the mills were not operating for theAmerican revolution
66. Thera Wijsenbeek, "Identity Lost: Huguenot refugees in the Dutch Republic and its former colonies in North America and South Africa, 1650 to 1750: a comparison." South African Historical Journal 59.1 (2007): 79-102.
67. Eric J. Roth, "From Protestant International to Hudson Valley Provincial: A Case Study of Language Use and Ethnicity in New Paltz, New York, 1678–1834." Hudson River Valley Review (2005) 21#2 pp 40-55.
68. Joyce D. Goodfriend, "The social dimensions of congregational life in colonial New York city." William and Mary Quarterly (1989) 48#2: 252-278.
69. Ghislain Baury,La dynastie Rouvière de Fraissinet-de-Lozère. Les élites villageoises dans les Cévennes protestantes d'après un fonds d'archives inédit (1403–1908), t. 1: La chronique, t. 2: L'inventaire, Sète, Les Nouvelles Presses du Languedoc, 2011.
70. "The Huguenots in England". The Economist. 28 August 2008. Retrieved 2 August 2010.
71. "French Protestant Church of London". Archived from the original on 17 May 2009. Retrieved 2 August 2010.
72. Bethnal Green: Settlement and Building to 1836, A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 11: Stepney, Bethnal Green (1998), pp. 91–95 Date accessed: 21 May 2008
73. Palliser, Mrs. Bury (1865). History of Lace. London: Sampson Low, Son and Marston. p. 299. A nest of refugee lace-makers, "who came out of France by reason of the late 'troubles' yet continuing," were congregated at Dover (1621–22). A list of about twenty-five "widows being makers of Bone lace is given..."
74. Wright, Thomas (1919). The Romance of the Lace Pillow. Olney, Bucks: H.H. Armstrong. pp. 37–38.
75. Seguin, Joseph (1875). J. Rothschild, ed. La dentelle: Histoire, description fabrication, bibliographie (in French). Paris. p. 140. There is a tradition that the art of bobbin lace was brought to England by the Flemish emigrants who, fleeing from the tyranny of the Duke of Alba, went to settle in England. This tradition is entirely false for the lace industry did not exist in Flanders when the Duke of Alba went there.
76. Yallop, H.J. (1992). The History of the Honiton Lace Industry. Exeter: University of Exeter Press. p. 18. ISBN 0859893790.
77. Levey, Santina (1983). Lace, A History. London: Victoria and Albert Museum. p. 90. ISBN 090128615X. Until the late 18th century, the lace made at Lille was indistinguishable from the other copies of Michelin and Valencienne, but, at that time, it appears to have adopted—along with a number of other centres—the simple twist-net ground of the plainer blonde and thread laces.
78. Ellis, Jason (2002). Glassmakers of Stourbridge and Dudley 1612–2002. Harrogate: Jason Ellis. ISBN 1-4010-6799-9.
79. Grace Lawless Lee (2009), The Huguenot Settlements in Ireland, Page 169
80. Raymond Hylton (2005), Ireland's Huguenots and Their Refuge, 1662–1745: An Unlikely Haven, p. 194, Quote: "The Bishop of Kildare did come to Portarlington to consecrate the churches, backed by two prominent Huguenot Deans of ... Moreton held every advantage and for most of the Portarlington Huguenots there could be no option but acceptance ...
81. Raymond P. Hylton, "Dublin's Huguenot Community: Trials, Development, and Triumph, 1662- 1701," Proceedings of the Huguenot Society of London 24 (1983–1988): 221–231
82. Raymond P. Hylton, "The Huguenot Settlement at Portarlington, ...
83. C. E. J. Caldicott, Hugh Gough, Jean-Paul Pittion (1987), The Huguenots and Ireland: Anatomy of an Emigration, Quote: "The Huguenot settlement at Portarlington, 1692–1771. Unique among the French Protestant colonies established or augmented in Ireland following the Treaty of Limerick (1691), the Portarlington settlement was planted on the ashes of an ..."
84. The Irish Pensioners of William III's Huguenot Regiments
85. 300 years of the French Church, St. Paul's Church, Portarlington.
86. Portarlington, Grant Family Onliine
87. "Cooperative religion in Quebec". Journal of Ecumenical Studies. Goliath. 22 March 2004. Retrieved 2 August 2010.
88. Steinhauer, Harry. Twelve German Novellas, p. 315. University of California Press, 1977. ISBN 0-520-03002-8
89. Pawly, Ronald. The Kaiser's Warlords, p.44. Osprey Publishing, 2003. ISBN 1-84176-558-9
90. Galland 1954, p. vii.
91. Miller, David. U-boats, p.12. Brassey's, 2002. ISBN 1-57488-463-8
92. Leiby, Richard A. The Unification of Germany, 1989–1990, p. 109. Greenwood Publishing Group, 1999. ISBN 0-313-29969-2
93. "Allocution de M. François Mitterrand, Président de la République, aux cérémonies du tricentenaire de la Révocation de l'Edit de Nantes, sur la tolérance en matière politique et religieuse et l'histoire du protestantisme en France, Paris, Palais de l'UNESCO, vendredi 11 octobre 1985. –". Retrieved 30 April 2016.
94. Archived 5 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine
95. "Huguenot Half Dollar". Retrieved 2 August 2010.
96. "444 Years: The Massacre of the Huguenot Christians in America". - The Christian Broadcasting Network. Retrieved 15 April 2018.
97. "Historic Huguenot Street". Historic Huguenot Street. Retrieved 30 April2016.
98. Super User. "Huguenots of Spitalfields heritage tours & events in Spitalfields – Huguenot Public Art Trust". Retrieved 30 April 2016.
99. "Eglise Protestante Française de Londres". Eglise Protestante Française de Londres. Retrieved 30 April 2016.
100. Super User. "Huguenots of Spitalfields heritage tours & events in Spitalfields – Huguenot Public Art Trust". Retrieved 30 April 2016.
101. "The Huguenot Chapel (Black Prince's Chantry)". Retrieved 2018-11-28.
102. "Paths to Pluralism: South Africa's Early History". Michigan State University. Retrieved 21 April 2009.
103. The Huguenot Society of Australia. "Famous people". Retrieved 30 April2016.
104. The Huguenot Society of Australia. "Who were the Huguenots?". Retrieved 30 April 2016.
105. A short history of the French Protestant Church in Charleston, S.C.: the only Huguenot Church in America. Charleston, S.C.: the French Protestant Church, 1909.
106. "Security Check Required".
107. "French Huguenot Church".

Further reading

• Baird, Charles W. "History of the Huguenot Emigration to America." Genealogical Publishing Company, Published: 1885, Reprinted: 1998, ISBN 978-0-8063-0554-7
• Butler, Jon. The Huguenots in America: A Refugee People in New World Society (1992)
• Cottret, Bernard, The Huguenots in England. Immigration and Settlement, Cambridge & Paris, Cambridge University Press, 1991.
• Diefendorf, Barbara B. Beneath the Cross: Catholics and Huguenots in Sixteenth-Century Paris (1991) excerpt and text search
• Gilman, C. Malcolm. The Huguenot Migration in Europe and America, its Cause and Effect (1962)
• Glozier, Matthew and David Onnekink, eds. War, Religion and Service. Huguenot Soldiering, 1685–1713 (2007)
• Glozier, Matthew The Huguenot soldiers of William of Orange and the Glorious Revolution of 1688: the lions of Judah (Brighton, 2002)
• Gwynn, Robin D. Huguenot Heritage: The History and Contribution of the Huguenots in England (Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1985).
• Kamil, Neil. Fortress of the Soul: Violence, Metaphysics, and Material Life in the Huguenots' New World, 1517–1751 Johns Hopkins U. Press, 2005. 1058 pp.
• Lachenicht, Susanne. "Huguenot Immigrants and the Formation of National Identities, 1548–1787," Historical Journal 2007 50(2): 309–331,
• Lotz-Heumann, Ute: Confessional Migration of the Reformed: The Huguenots, European History Online, Mainz: Institute of European History, 2012, retrieved: 11 July 2012.
• McClain, Molly. "A Letter from Carolina, 1688: French Huguenots in the New World." William and Mary Quarterly. 3rd. ser., 64 (April 2007): 377–394.
• Mentzer, Raymond A. and Andrew Spicer. Society and Culture in the Huguenot World, 1559–1685 (2007) excerpt and text search
• Murdoch, Tessa, and Randolph Vigne. The French Hospital in England: Its Huguenot History and Collections Cambridge: John Adamson, 2009 ISBN 978-0-9524322-7-2
• Ruymbeke, Bertrand Van. New Babylon to Eden: The Huguenots and Their Migration to Colonial South Carolina. U. of South Carolina Press, 2006. 396 pp
• Scoville, Warren Candler. The persecution of Huguenots and French economic development, 1680-1720 (U of California Press, 1960).
• Scoville, Warren C. "The Huguenots and the diffusion of technology. I." Journal of political economy 60.4 (1952): 294-311. part I online; Part2: Vol. 60, No. 5 (Oct., 1952), pp. 392-411 online part 2
• Soman, Alfred. The Massacre of St. Bartholomew: Reappraisals and Documents (The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1974)
• Treasure, G.R.R. Seventeenth Century France (2nd ed 1981) pp 371-96.
• VanRuymbeke, Bertrand and Sparks, Randy J., eds. Memory and Identity: The Huguenots in France and the Atlantic Diaspora, U. of South Carolina Press, 2003. 352 pp.
• Wijsenbeek, Thera. "Identity Lost: Huguenot Refugees in the Dutch Republic and its Former Colonies in North America and South Africa, 1650 To 1750: A Comparison," South African Historical Journal 2007 (59): 79–102
• Wolfe, Michael. The Conversion of Henri IV: Politics, Power, and Religious Belief in Early Modern France (1993).

In French

• Augeron Mickaël, Didier Poton et Bertrand Van Ruymbeke, dir., Les Huguenots et l'Atlantique, vol. 1 : Pour Dieu, la Cause ou les Affaires, préface de Jean-Pierre Poussou, Paris, Presses de l'Université Paris-Sorbonne (PUPS), Les Indes savantes, 2009
• Augeron Mickaël, Didier Poton et Bertrand Van Ruymbeke, dir., Les Huguenots et l'Atlantique, vol. 2 : Fidélités, racines et mémoires, Paris, Les Indes savantes, 2012.
• Augeron Mickaël, John de Bry, Annick Notter, dir., Floride, un rêve français (1562–1565), Paris, Illustria, 2012.

External links

• Historic Huguenot Street
• Huguenot Fellowship
• Psalm 25 "A toi, mon Dieu, mon cœur monte" from the Genevan Psalter performed at an event at the cathedral in Noyon, France marking the 500th anniversary of John Calvin's birth in 2009. The music has been credited with little documentation to both Claude Goudimel and Louis Bourgeois. Only three of the ten verses of the original are performed here. YouTube video (3:06)
• The Huguenot Society of Australia
• Library for Huguenot History, Germany
• The National Huguenot Society
• The Huguenot Society of America
• Huguenot Society of Great Britain & Ireland
• Mitterrand's Apology to the Huguenots (in French)
• Who were the Huguenots?
• Huguenots of Spitalfields


• Huguenots and Jews of the Languedoc About the inhabitants of Southern France and how they became to be called French Protestants
• Early Prayer Books of America: Being a Descriptive Account of Prayer Books Published in the United States, Mexico and Canada by Rev. John Wright, D.D. St Paul, MN: Privately Printed, 1898. Pages 188 to 210 are entitled "The Prayer Book of the French Protestants, Charleston, South Carolina." (597 pdfs)
• The French Protestant (Huguenot) Church in the city of Charleston, South Carolina. Includes history, text of memorial tablets, and the rules adopted in 1869. (1898, 40 pdfs)
• La Liturgie: ou La Manière de célébrer le service Divin; Qui est établie Dans le Eglises de la Principauté de Neufchatel & Vallangin. (1713, 160 pdfs)
• La Liturgie: ou La Manière de célébrer le service Divin; Qui est établie Dans le Eglises de la Principauté de Neufchatel & Vallangin. Revised and corrected second edition. (1737, 302 pdfs)
• La Liturgie: ou La Manière de Célébrer le Service Divin, Comme elle est établie Dans le Eglises de la Principauté de Neufchatel & Vallangin. Nouvelle édition, Augmentée de quelques Prieres, Collectes & Cantiques. (1772, 256 pdfs)
• La Liturgie: ou La Manière de Célébrer le Service Divin, qui est établie Dans le Eglises de la Principauté de Neufchatel & Vallangin. Cinquieme édition, revue, corrigée & augmentée. (1799, 232 pdfs)
• La Liturgie, ou La Manière de Célébrer le Service Divin, dans le églises du Canton de Vaud. (1807, 120 pdfs)
• The Liturgy of the French Protestant Church, Translated from the Editions of 1737 and 1772, Published at Neufchatel, with Additional Prayers, Carefully Selected, and Some Alterations: Arranged for the Use of the Congregation in the City of Charleston, S. C. Charleston, SC: James S. Burgess, 1835. (205 pdfs)
• The Liturgy of the French Protestant Church, Translated from the Editions of 1737 and 1772, Published at Neufchatel, with Additional Prayers Carefully Selected, and Some Alterations. Arranged for the Use of the Congregation in the City of Charleston, S. C. New York, NY: Charles M. Cornwell, Steam Printer, 1869. (186 pdfs)
• The Liturgy, or Forms of Divine Service, of the French Protestant Church, of Charleston, S. C., Translated from the Liturgy of the Churches of Neufchatel and Vallangin: editions of 1737 and 1772. With Some Additional Prayers, Carefully Selected. The Whole Adapted to Public Worship in the United States of America. Third edition. New York, NY: Anson D. F. Randolph & Company, 1853. 228 pp. Google Books and the Internet Archive. Available also from Making of America Books as a DLXS file or in hardcover.
• The Liturgy Used in the Churches of the Principality of Neufchatel: with a Letter from the Learned Dr. Jablonski, Concerning the Nature of Liturgies: To which is Added , The Form of Prayer lately introduced into the Church of Geneva. (1712, 143 pdfs)
• Manifesto, (or Declaration of Principles), of the French Protestant Church of London, Founded by Charter of Edward VI. 24 July, A.D. 1550. By Order of the Consistory. London, England: Messrs. Seeleys, 1850.
• Preamble and rules for the government of the French Protestant Church of Charleston: adopted at meetings of the corporation held on the 12th and the 19th of November, 1843. (1845, 26 pdfs)
• Synodicon in Gallia Reformata: or, the Acts, Decisions, Decrees, and Canons of those Famous National Councils of the Reformed Churches in France by John Quick. Volume 1 of 2. (1692, 693 pdfs)
• Synodicon in Gallia Reformata: or, the Acts, Decisions, Decrees, and Canons of those Famous National Councils of the Reformed Churches in France by John Quick. Volume 2 of 2. (1692, 615 pdfs)
• Judith Still. "Huguenot". Words of the World. Brady Haran (University of Nottingham).
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Sun Apr 07, 2019 5:05 am

The World Fellowship of Buddhists (The WFB) [World Buddhist Conference]
Accessed: 4/6/19



First World Fellowship of Buddhist Conference at Sri Lanka in 1950. Dr. Ambedkar and Mrs. Ambedkar with the delegates and observers from all over the world are seen in the photograph

March 28, 1977, the day of her death, was an interesting one....

Throughout the day many people spontaneously turned up to visit Freda, many of them from the Tibetan Friendship Group that Freda had founded. She greeted them all warmly and told them about her new project to sponsor Tibetan children in top Indian public schools, especially girls, who had less chance of receiving a good education than boys....

At six p.m. Freda and Pema Zangmo went for a walk, after which Freda settled down to some letter writing. She then took out some of her own childhood photographs and those of her children, taken in Lahore, before Partition. At ten p.m. Freda woke Pema Zangmo to give her instructions about certain gifts and money she wanted her to pass on to specific people. She brought out some yellow fabric as a gift for her faithful attendant to make into a nun's blouse, and told her to practice Dharma faithfully. Freda then dressed herself in her finest robes, telling the curious Pema Zangmo, "I will need them tomorrow." She then put on a tape recording of H.H. Karmapa, which he had sent her from New York, and sat down to meditate.

Pema Zangmo, who had gone back to sleep a few feet away from Freda, was awakened by the sound of "louder breathing." She got up and went over to Freda, who was still sitting bolt upright in the meditation position, and tapped her on the shoulder. Freda did not move, nor open her eyes. Peering closer, Pema Zangmo could detect no sign of outer life at all. In total panic she ran out into the hotel corridor screaming for help. A doctor was quickly summoned, who officially pronounced Freda dead. The cause: cardiac arrest....

"On the fourth day we took her to Goodie Oberoi's farm"....

With fortunate synchronicity Freda's funeral coincided with the opening day of the World Buddhist Conference [The World Fellowship of Buddhists]. It was postponed until two p.m. so that the delegates could pay their respects to the woman who had been the close and beloved disciple of the Karmapa, who had been the first nun to achieve the highest bikshuni ordination, who had tirelessly helped the Tibetan refugees in the greatest hour of their need, and who had been such a powerful diplomat of Buddhism around the world.

12th General Conference
Date: 1 – 6 October B.E. 2521 (1978)
Venue: Tokyo and Kyoto, Japan

Theme: Buddhist Contributions to the Future
At this conference practicing of having Declaration at the end of each WFB General Conference was followed from this Conference onwards. Since many resolutions were remained unimplemented, no resolutions with that were of (1) political nature, (2) have difficulties of implementation, and (3) no providing funds to implement to the submitted project; could be proposed to the General Conference.

11th General Conference
Date: 20 - 25 February B.E. 2519 (1976)
Venue: Bangkok, Thailand

Theme: Role of Buddhists in Present Day Society
The conference was to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the WFB. Princess Poon, the WFB President mentioned of the significant fact on the recognition given by the United Nations (UN) which was glad to cooperate with religions for the sake of peace desired by all. The letter of this recognition was given to the WFB President on 25 October B.E. 2518 (1975) at the UN Headquarters in New York.

-- The World Fellowship of Buddhists (The WFB) [World Buddhist Conference], by

According to Kabir, coaches carrying around a hundred robed delegates arrived -- Buddhist monks from across the world, including representatives from Russia, who were attending the Conference for the first time in history. They stood around the pyre chanting and saying prayers. A white cloth was placed on Freda's body, and Ranga lit the pyre. Rather alarmingly, those standing close by saw beads of sweat appear on Freda's face.

"It was an amazing send-off. We knew her life had been devoted to the spiritual, but I had no idea how big she was in the Buddhist world until she died," said Ranga.

-- The Revolutionary Life of Freda Bedi, by Vicki Mackenzie


The World Fellowship of Buddhists (WFB) is an international Buddhist organization established since B.E. 2493 (1950) in Sri Lanka by the initiation of Dr. Gunapala Piyasena Malalasekera, a famous Sri Lankan Pali scholar, who inspired a Buddhist meeting leading to the founding of a world organization. His brilliant thoughts were responded to beyond expectation. Buddhist delegates from Asia, Europe and North America (including Hawaii) agreed to participate in a conference in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Apart from Sri Lankan participants, there were 129 Buddhist delegates from 27 countries. At this historic meeting, the World Fellowship of Buddhists was founded. It marked the first event in Buddhist history when Buddhists (laity and sangha) of nearly all sects in the world represented and gathering for the same purpose for the progress of Buddhism.

The World Fellowship of Buddhists

Since the old times Sakyamuni Buddha had his disciples propagate the Teaching of Buddhism, time and changing of the world has flourished practice and understanding of Buddhism into various schools and traditions namely Theravada, Mahayana or Vajrayana and so many sects disseminated from Asia to other continents. Still we are all disciples of one and only, Lord Buddha. Many scholars in the old times realized that it was the time that Buddhism should have unity and amity for sustainability and prosperous of Buddhism. The distinguished Sri Lankan Pali scholar who initiated and propelled this idea and led to establishment of the world organization was Dr. G.P. Malalasekera. The World Fellowship of Buddhists (WFB) was inaugurated at the Dalada Maligawa, the Holy Temple of the Tooth Relic in Kandy, Sri Lanka on 25 May B.E. 2493 (1950), a day associated with the Buddhist Vesakha.

Undeterred by customs and practices peculiar to denominations were united in their resolutions to promote and to propagate Buddhism, the Constitution of the World Fellowship of Buddhists which is to serve as operational guidelines was formulated and approved as follows:

Name: The organization shall be known as "The World Fellowship of Buddhists" with "The WFB" as the acronym.

Aims and Objectives of the World Fellowship of Buddhists are as follows:

1. To promote among the members strict observance and practice of the teachings of the Buddha;
2. To secure unity, solidarity and brotherhood amongst Buddhists;
3. To propagate the sublime doctrine of the Buddha;
4. To organize and carry on activities in the field of social, educational, cultural, and other humanitarian services;
5. To work for securing peace and harmony amongst men and happiness for all beings and to collaborate with other organizations working for the same ends.

Especially, the World Fellowship of Buddhists refrains from involvement directly or indirectly in any political activity.

General Conference

28th General Conference
Date: 26 - 30 September B.E. 2559 (2016)
Venue: Seoul, Republic of Korea

Theme: Buddhism in Daily Life, Daily Life of Buddhists
Twenty-six years ago since the WFB family last met with each other in Seoul at the 17th WFB General Conference. It was the first time that Buddhist of Vajarayana Sec acted as the host of the WFB General Conference. Seoul has changed into a perfect blending of tradition and advance technology. Jin-Gak Buddhist Order, one of the oldest denominations in South Korea, was the host of this conference which had organized it with friendly atmosphere and smooth operation. The conference was held in conjunction with Celebration of the 70th Anniversary of Jin-Gak Buddhist Order.

27th General Conference
Date: 14 - 19 October B.E. 2557 (2014)
Venue: Baoji-Shanxi, People’s Republic of China

Theme: Buddhism and Public: Benefit-Charity
It was the first time for the People’s Republic of China to host the WFB General Conference and Baoji was chosen as venue of the conference because it was said to be among the first cities to embrace Buddhism when the religion was introduced to China before spreading to and flourished in other parts of China and served as the beacon of Buddhism throughout Asia. Furthermore, it is the city where the Buddha’s finger relic is enshrined.

26th General Conference
Date: 11 - 16 June B.E. 2555 (2012)
Venue: Yeosu, South Korea

Theme: Buddhist Ecological - Environmental Thought & Practice for the 21st Century
It was the second time in 20 years that the WFB General Conference had been held in South Korea since B.E. 2533 (1990). Advancement of Korea both spiritual and material prosperities fascinated all participants being witnessed by Yeosu Expo 2014 which also be held at the same time.

25th General Conference
Date: 13 - 17 November B.E. 2553 (2010)
Venue: Colombo, Sri Lanka

Theme: Reconciliation through the Teachings of Buddha
Venue of the conference was selected to be in Sri Lanka where the WFB was founded and the 1st General Conference was inaugurated so as to commemorate the 60th Anniversary of which around 3,000 participants including delegates, observers and invited guests from leading Buddhists countries around the world attended.

24th General Conference
Date: 14 - 17 November B.E. 2551 (2008)
Venue: Tokyo, Japan

Theme: Buddhist’s Contribution to Resolving Social Problems
At this conference, there was an approval of establishing the WFB Humanitarian Relief Fund which consequently resulted from two natural disasters happened in the same month of May B.E. 2551 (2008) - Nargis Cyclone happened in Republic of the Union of Myanmar of which suffered more than 2 million people and the great earthquake followed by several aftershocks in People’s Republic of China.

23rd General Conference
Date: 19 - 23 April B.E. 2549 (2006)
Venue: Kaohsiung, Chinese Taipei

Theme: Buddhism and Tolerance for World Peace
The theme of the conference was defined in accordance with the Buddha’s Teachings that is the merit of tolerance can pacify all raging situations. Only tolerance can be fulfilled through the perfection of morality.

22nd General Conference
Date: 9 - 13 December B.E. 2545 (2002)
Venue: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Theme: Wisdom and Compassion : The Way Forward
The theme was chosen to express that Buddhists of all denominations need to effectively expand our compassion into the entire world with right understanding and proper methods in accordance with Teaching of the Buddha in order to save all world beings.

21st General Conference
Date: 5 - 9 December B.E. 2543 (2000)
Venue: Bangkok, Thailand

Theme: Buddhism and Globalization
At the conference, the dialogue on how Buddhism can adapt to globalization, meet challenges in life and bring peace and harmony to mankind was discussed. The conference was also held to celebrate “Golden Jubilee” the 50th Anniversary of the WFB (B.E. 2493-2543/1950-2000) which the opening ceremony was held at Thailand Cultural Center. H.E. Mr. Chuan Leekpai, Prime Minister of Thailand was also attended at the conference. Various heads of States and Sanghas sent their visions and messages to congratulate on this memorable occasion. At the Opening Ceremony Day, the WFB Golden Jubilee Exhibition had enlightened the activities over the past 50 years and of its future works. The remarkable event was inauguration of the World Buddhist University that marked another milestone to the wisdom of our Buddhist world.

20th General Conference
Date: 29 October – 2 November B.E. 2541 (1998)
Venue: Wollongong, Australia

Theme: Buddhism and Challenges in the 21st Century
H.E. Phan Wannamethee was elected as new WFB President. At the conference, the World Buddhist University (WBU) has been established in accordance with its Charter approved by the Conference on 1 November B.E. 2541 (1998) as an international community of Buddhist scholars and institutions engaged in research, training, spiritual practice and educational development based on Buddhism. It will serve as a coordinating centre for academic affairs with all the Buddhist institutions and scholars through a networking system. Its inauguration will be officially held in B.E. 2543 (2000) in conjunction with the 50th Anniversary of the WFB.

19th General Conference
Date: 22 – 29 November B.E. 2537 (1994)
Venue: Bangkok, Thailand

Theme: Buddhist Way: The Way to Harmony and Peace
The WFB confirmed at this conference that we will continue to co-operate with other religious and humanitarian national and international organizations to alleviate both physical and mental suffering now and in the future. As relations among us grow closer, our improved rapport and responsiveness will generate harmony and peace among Buddhists and thereby loving-kindness and compassion toward all living beings.

18th General Conference
Date: 27 October – 3 November B.E. 2535 (1992)
Venue: Kaohsiung, Chinese Taipei

Theme: Development through Harmony and Cooperation
At the conference, the WFB confirm on its standpoints that Buddhism offers a practical way for all of us to lead wholesome lives and redeem humanity from the ills of the world: violence, social unrest, illicit drugs, scourge of AIDS, child abuse and degradation of environment. We confidently pledge to continually cooperate with other religious, social and cultural organizations and movements which are committed to the fostering of greater understanding, peace and harmony of all humankind. In addition, the WFB pledge to work earnestly to contribute to international efforts to engender a greater environmental awareness on our planet and encourage appropriate steps to solve the problems.

17th General Conference : 40th Anniversary of the WFB and the first time that over 500 participants from 26 different countries attended.
Date: 21 - 29 October B.E. 2533 (1990)
Venue: Seoul, South Korea

Theme: Buddhist Challenges Into the Next Decade
The conference was also held to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the WFB. The meeting also commemorated the Anniversary with the publication of the 40th Anniversary Volume and convening two impressive Pancasila Ceremonies at stadiums in Pusan AND Seoul. It was the first time in the history of the WFB that the host in Korea invited over 500 participants from 26 different countries to get together in the spirit of friendship and joy in the Buddha-Dharma.

16th General Conference
Date: 19 - 26 November B.E. 2531 (1988)
Venue: Los Angeles, USA

Theme: WFB : Unity for World Peace
This was the first time in 38 years that WFB General Conference held outside of Asia. Regarding to the WFB application, the General Council (composed of the Heads of the delegations) informed that before an application was considered by EXCO, the Vice Presidents in the particular areas concerned were asked to review the application and subsequently submit their reports to the Executive Council Members. The Vice Presidents undertook these investigations on their own account without reimbursement on the part of the WFB.

15th General Conference
Date: 26 November - 2 December B.E. 2529 (1986)
Venue: Kathmandu, Nepal

Theme: Lumbinī : A Symbol of World Peace
The conference was coincided held with the United Nations International Year of Peace. The WFB under the leadership of the WFB President, Prof. Sanya Dharmasakti, was active in promoting positive relations with UNESCO and the UN in various projects working for peace and harmony among humankind.

14th General Conference
Date: 2 - 7 August B.E. 2527 (1984)
Venue: Colombo, Sri Lanka

Theme: Buddhism’s Contribution to World Culture and Peace
At the conference, a new Standing Committee on Socioeconomic Development was established. The WFB also stressed that among major religious traditions of the world, Buddhism remains unique in that it does not attempt to eliminate plurality and diversity through a process of unification; we affirm to work for peace and tranquility through peaceful means with the ultimate aim of achieving a peaceful community, by the complete elimination of all nuclear weapons and the arms race.

13th General Conference
Date: 21 – 29 November B.E. 2523 (1980)
Venue: Bangkok and Chiang Mai, Thailand

Theme: Buddhist Practice in Contemporary Life
The conference was also held to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the WFB. H.S.H. Princess Poon Pismai Diskul, who was re-elected for another 4 years, also marked with appreciation that the WFB Headquarters had been stationed in Thailand for 17 years with the generous support of the successive Royal Thai Governments had made the WFB work spread worldwide. At the initial period, we had only 29 Regional Centres and at the time of the conference we had no less than 78 of them in 34 countries on all continents of the world.

12th General Conference
Date: 1 – 6 October B.E. 2521 (1978)
Venue: Tokyo and Kyoto, Japan

Theme: Buddhist Contributions to the Future
At this conference practicing of having Declaration at the end of each WFB General Conference was followed from this Conference onwards. Since many resolutions were remained unimplemented, no resolutions with that were of (1) political nature, (2) have difficulties of implementation, and (3) no providing funds to implement to the submitted project; could be proposed to the General Conference.

11th General Conference
Date: 20 - 25 February B.E. 2519 (1976)
Venue: Bangkok, Thailand

Theme: Role of Buddhists in Present Day Society
The conference was to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the WFB. Princess Poon, the WFB President mentioned of the significant fact on the recognition given by the United Nations (UN) which was glad to cooperate with religions for the sake of peace desired by all. The letter of this recognition was given to the WFB President on 25 October B.E. 2518 (1975) at the UN Headquarters in New York.

10th General Conference
Date: 22 - 27 May B.E. 2515 (1972)
Venue: Colombo, Sri Lanka

Theme: World Peace Through Buddhism
At this conference, it may be added that Dharmacakra had been accepted universally as the common seal of Buddhism by all the Buddhists of the world. Remarkably, it was also informed at the conference that UNESCO had recognized WFB as a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), having Category B Consultative Status with the Agency. Moreover, the WFB as the parent organization, had held an inauguration ceremony of the World Fellowship of Buddhist Youth (W.F.B.Y.) which was marked to be born in Sri Lanka and the 1st Buddhist Youth Conference was also convened. From then on the W.F.B.Y. is an organization of youth wing under the WFB’s auspices.

9th General Conference
Date: 13 – 20 April B.E. 2512 (1969)
Venue: Kuala Lumpur and Penang, Malaysia

Theme: Buddha Dhamma : A Way of Life
Noticeable feature of this conference was the resolution to have the permanent headquarters of the WFB in Thailand adopted at the General Council on 4 November B.E. 2509 (1966) that permanent headquarters of the WFB be located in Thailand for the more efficient working of the World Fellowship of Buddhists and the greater control and safety of its assets and records.

8th General Conference
Date: 6 – 12 November B.E. 2509 (1966)
Venue: Chiang Mai, Thailand

Theme: Buddhism Promotes Peace and Harmony Among Men
This was the first time that the WFB General Conference had a theme and this practice was followed by all of the WFB General Conferences from that time on. At this conference a Committee on Youth was added to the General Conference which made the WFB germinate the establishment of the World Fellowship of Buddhist Youth (W.F.B.Y.) as a permanent auxiliary institution to the W.F.B.

7th General Conference
Date: 29 November - 4 December B.E. 2507 (1964)
Venue: Sarnath and Varanasi, India

Sarnath, Varanasi in India was chosen as the venue of the conference because it is where Śākyamuni delivered his first sermon which came to be known as the turning of the Wheel of the Law, the Dharmacakra. It was also as tribute to the Centenary of the birth of the late Venerable Anāgārika Dharmapāla who was the pioneer of the Buddhist revival in India and the first Buddhist missionary to visit Europe and America that spread Buddhism beyond Asia.

6th General Conference
Date: 14 - 23 November B.E. 2504 (1961)
Venue: Phanom Penh, Cambodia (now Kampuchea)

The Conference decided to add about being a Regional Centre of the WFB, geographic or political boundaries should not be an obstacle to recognize more than one organization in the same area if the applying organization represents a clearly defined group of Buddhists. Moreover, the Constitution was revised to extend the term of its officers to 4 years as well as increasing number of Vice Presidents to 12 elected at the WFB General Conference. The need for organizing a Buddhist Youth Organization was also re-emphasized for international exchange program among Buddhist Youth of WFB’s member countries.

5th General Conference
Date: 24 - 30 November B.E. 2501 (1958)
Venue: Bangkok Thailand

Decision worth mentioning was made at this conference was that in order to strengthening the President’s authority, who would be assisted by 11 Vice Presidents, Ex-Presidents would automatically become Honorary Presidents on relinquishing their positions. The conference also called for the promotion of new methods and the improvement of existing standards of teaching of Buddhism in all Buddhist countries at all educational level, especially concerning children.

4th General Conference
Date: 15 - 21 November B.E. 2499 (1956)
Venue: Kathmandu, Nepal

The conference was held in the same year of Buddha Jayantī, the commemoration of the 2,500th anniversary of the Buddha Parinirvāņa. Moreover, there was one more committee, Culture and Art, added to the 5 previous committees being set up since the 1st General Conference of the WFB. Totally there were 6 committees.

3rd General Conference
Date: 3 - 6 December B.E. 2497 (1954)
Venue: Rangoon (now Yangon), Union of Burma (now Myanmar)

The conference was held with the host country’s intention that the WFB conference should be an historic gathering of international Buddhist leaders and representatives of Buddhist organizations and communities with a view to revealing Buddhism to humankind and demonstrating the Buddhist Way of Life to distracted and threatened world. There were 215 delegates and over 500 observers representing 28 countries excluding Burma attended. Noteworthy resolutions should be mentioned was pilgrimage to Four Buddhist sacred sites to remind Teachings of the Buddha should be formed namely Lumbinī, Kusinārā, Bodh Gayā and Sarnath.

2nd General Conference
Date: 25 - 30 September B.E. 2495 (1952)
Venue: Tokyo, Japan

The conference was held in the same year which Japan had commemorated the 1400th anniversary of the introduction of Buddhism into Japan. Main discussion of the conference were on World Peace and promote welfare of mankind since all participants were fully aware of the horrors of war, particularly a nuclear holocaust resulted from the World War II. Moreover, it was agreed with the policy that office bearers should hold their post for a term of four years with the possibility of re-election.

1st General Conference
Date: 25 May - 6 June B.E. 2493 (1950)
Venue: Colombo, Sri Lanka

The First Conference was held at the Holy Temple of the Tooth in Kandy, Sri Lanka on 25 May which is the Buddhist Vesak Day to make the event worldwide importance. There were 129 delegates representing 29 countries excluding those from Sri Lanka, the host country gathering at the conference.

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Francis Younghusband
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 4/6/19



Sir Francis Younghusband
Francis Younghusband c. 1905
Born 31 May 1863
Murree, British India
Died 31 July 1942 (aged 79)
Lytchett Minster, Dorset, England
Nationality British
Alma mater Royal Military College, Sandhurst
Occupation British Army officer, explorer, and spiritual writer
Spouse(s) Helen Augusta Magniac
Awards Order of the Star of India
Order of the Indian Empire
Charles P. Daly Medal (1922)

Lieutenant Colonel Sir Francis Edward Younghusband, KCSI KCIE (31 May 1863 – 31 July 1942) was a British Army officer, explorer, and spiritual writer. He is remembered for his travels in the Far East and Central Asia; especially the 1904 British expedition to Tibet, led by him, and for his writings on Asia and foreign policy. Younghusband held positions including British commissioner to Tibet and President of the Royal Geographical Society.

Early life

Francis Younghusband was born in 1863 at Murree, British India (now Pakistan), to a British military family, being the brother of Major-General George Younghusband and the second son of Major-General John W. Younghusband[1] and his wife Clara Jane Shaw. Clara's brother, Robert Shaw, was a noted explorer of Central Asia. His uncle Lieutenant-General Charles Younghusband CB FRS, was a British Army officer and meteorologist.

As an infant, Francis was taken to live in England by his mother. When Clara returned to India in 1867 she left her son in the care of two austere and strictly religious aunts. In 1870 his mother and father returned to England and reunited the family.
In 1876 at age thirteen, Francis entered Clifton College, Bristol. In 1881 he entered the Royal Military College, Sandhurst, and was commissioned as a subaltern in the 1st King's Dragoon Guards in 1882.[1]

Military career

A one-room inn in a then-wild area east of Tonghua, in Jilin, China, where Younghusband and his companions stayed in 1887.[2]

Having read General MacGregor's book Defence of India he could have justifiably called himself an expert on the "Great Game" of espionage that was unfolding on the Steppes of Asia.[3] In 1886-1887, on leave from his regiment, Younghusband made an expedition across Asia though still a young officer. After sailing to China his party set out, with Colonel Mark Bell's permission, to cross 1200 miles of desert with the ostensible authority to survey the geography; but in reality the purposes were to ascertain the strength of the Russian physical threats to the Raj. Departing Peking with a senior colleague, Henry E. M. James (on leave from his Indian Civil Service position) and a young British consular officer from Newchwang, Harry English Fulford, on April 4, 1887, Lieut Younghusband explored Manchuria, visiting the frontier areas of Chinese settlement in the region of the Changbai Mountains.[4][5]

On arrival in India he was granted three months' leave by the Commander-in-Chief Field Marshal Lord Roberts; the scientific results of this travel would prove vital information to the Royal Geographical Society. Younghusband had already carried out numerous scientific observations in particular, showing that the Changbai Mountains's highest peak, Baekdu Mountain, is only around 8,000 feet tall, even though the travellers' British maps showed [nonexistent] snow-capped peaks 10,000-12,000 ft tall in the area[6]. Fulford provided the travellers with language and cultural expertise.[7] Younghusband crossed the most inhospitable terrain in the world to the Himalayas before being ordered to make his way home. Parting with his British companions, he crossed the Taklamakan Desert to Chinese Turkestan, and pioneered a route from Kashgar to India through the uncharted Mustagh Pass.[4] He reported to the Viceroy, Lord Dufferin, his crossing through the Karakoram Range, the Hindu Kush, the Pamirs and where the range converged with the Himalayas; the nexus of three great empires. In the 1880s the region of the Upper Oxus was still largely unmapped. For this achievement, aged still only 24, he was elected the youngest member of the Royal Geographical Society and received the society's 1890 Patron's Gold Medal.

"From Peking To Yarkand and Kashmir via the Mustagh Pass"

In 1889, he made captain, and was dispatched with a small escort of Gurkha soldiers to investigate an uncharted region north of Ladakh, where raiders from Hunza had disrupted trade between Yarkand and India the previous year.[8] Whilst encamped in the valley of the Yarkand River, Younghusband received a messenger at his camp, inviting him to dinner with Captain Bronislav Grombchevsky, his Russian counterpart in "The Great Game". Younghusband accepted the invitation to Grombchevsky's camp, and after dinner the two rivals talked into the night, sharing brandy and vodka, and discussing the possibility of a Russian invasion of British India. Grombchevsky impressed Younghusband with the horsemanship skills of his Cossack escort, and Younghusband impressed Grombchevsky with the rifle drill of his Gurkhas.[9] After their meeting in this remote frontier region, Grombchevsky resumed his expedition in the direction of Tibet and Younghusband continued his exploration of the Karakoram.

Younghusband received a telegram from Simla, to attend the Intelligence Department (ID) to be interviewed by Foreign Secretary Sir Mortimer Durand, transferred to the Indian Political Service. He served as a political officer on secondment from the British Army. He refused a request to visit Lhasa as an interpreter, disguised as a Yarkandi trader, a cover not guaranteed to fool the Russians, after Andrew Dalgleish, a Scots merchant, had been brutally hacked to death. Younghusband was accompanied by a Gurkha escort, celebrated for their ferocity in combat. The Forward policy was circumscribed by a legal offer to all travellers of a peaceable security crossing borders. Departure from Leh on 8 August 1889 on the caravan route took them up the mountain pass of Shimshal towards Hunza, his aim being to restore the tea trade to Xinjiang and prevent any further raids into Kashmir. Colonel Durand from Gilgit joined him. Younghusband probed the villages to gauge the reception: calculating it was a den of thieves, they ascended the steep ravine. The Hunza was barred to them, a trap was sprung; the parley terms took him inside to negotiate. The nervous reception over, they were all relieved to find safety; Younghusband wanted to know who was waylaying innocent civilian traders, and why. The ruler, Safdar Ali extended a letter of welcome to his Kashmiri kingdom; the British investigated from whence came the Russian infiltrators under Agent Gromchevsky. Further south at Ladakh, he kept close watch on their movements. Reluctantly, Younghusband dined with the Cossack leaders, who divulged the secrets of their common rivalry. Gromchevsky explained that the Raj had invited enmity for meddling in the Black Sea ports.
The Russian displayed little grasp of strategy, but basic raw courage; he betrayed the confidence of Abdul Rahman as no friend to the British. Younghusband tentatively concluded that their possessions at Bokhara and Samarkand were vulnerable. Having drunk large quantities of vodka and brandy, the Cossacks presented arms in cordial salute and they parted in peace. Woefully unprepared for winter, the British garrison at Ladakh refused them entry.

Younghusband finally arrived at Gulmit to a 13-gun salute. In khaki, the envoy greeted Safdar Ali at the marquee on the Karakoram Highway, the men of Hunza kneeling at their ruler's feet. This was colonial diplomacy, based on protocol and etiquette, but Younghusband had not come for merely trivial discussions. Reinforced by Durand's troops, Younghusband's arguments were to prevent the criminal looting, murder and highway robbery. Impervious to reason though Safdar Ali was, Younghusband was not prepared to allow him to laugh at the Raj. A demonstration of firepower "caused quite a sensation", he wrote in his diaries. The British major was disdainful, but content when he left on November 23 to return to India, which he reached by Christmas.

In 1890, Younghusband was sent on a mission to Chinese Turkestan, accompanied by George Macartney as interpreter. He spent the winter in Kashgar, where he left Macartney as British consul.[10] Younghusband wanted to investigate the Pamir Gap, a possible Russian entry route to India, but he had had to ensure that the Chinese at Kashgar were sorted out, to prevent a tripartite attempt by the Hunza clans. It was for this reason he recruited a Mandarin interpreter, junior officer George Macartney, to accompany his missions into the frozen mountains. They wintered in Kashgar as a listening post, meeting in conference with the Russian Nikolai Petrovsky, who had always resisted trade with Xinjiang (Sinkiang). The Russian agent was well-informed about British India, but proved unscrupulous. Believing he had succeeded, Younghusband did not reckon on Petrovsky's deal with the Taotai, the Chinese governor of Hunza.

In July 1891, they were still in the Pamirs when news reached them that the Russians intended to send troops "to note and report with the Chinese and Afghans". At Bozai Gumbaz in the Little Pamir on 12 August he encountered Cossack soldiers, who forced him to leave the area.[11] This was one of the incidents which provoked the Hunza-Nagar Campaign. The troop of 20 or so soldiers planted a flag on what they anticipated was unclaimed territory, 150 miles south of the Russian border. However, the British considered the area to be Afghan territory. Colonel Yonov, decorated with the Order of St George, approached his camp to announce that the area now belonged to the Tsar. Younghusband learnt that they had raided the Chitral territory; furthermore, they had penetrated the Darkot Pass into the Yasin Valley.
They were joined by eager intelligence officer Lieutenant Davison, but the British were disabused by Ivanov of British sovereignty: Younghusband remained polite, maintained protocol but hospitable to the big Russian bear hug.

During his service in Kashmir, he wrote a book called Kashmir at the request of Edward Molyneux. Younghusband's descriptions went hand in glove with Molyneux's paintings of the valley. In the book, Younghusband declared his immense admiration of the natural beauty of Kashmir and its history. The Great Game, between Britain and Russia, continued beyond the start of the 20th century until officially ended by the 1907 Anglo-Russian Treaty. Younghusband, among other explorers such as Sven Hedin, Nikolay Przhevalsky, Shoqan Walikhanov and Sir Auriel Stein, had participated in earnest.[12] Rumours of Russian expansion into the Hindu Kush with a Russian presence in Tibet prompted the new Viceroy of India Lord Curzon to appoint Younghusband, by then a major, British commissioner to Tibet from 1902-1904.

Invasion of Tibet and massacre at Guru

In 1903, Curzon appointed Younghusband head of the Tibet Frontier Commission with John Claude White, political officer of Sikkim, and E. C. Wilton as deputy commissioners.[13] He subsequently led the 1903-04 British expedition to Tibet, whose putative aim was to settle disputes over the Sikkim-Tibet border, but by exceeding instructions from London, the expedition controversially became a de facto invasion of Tibet.[14]

About 100 miles (160 km) inside Tibet, on the way to Gyantse, thence to the capital of Lhasa, a confrontation outside the hamlet of Guru led to a victory by the expedition over 600-700 Tibetan militia, largely monks.[15] Some estimates of Tibetan casualties are far higher; inciting other conflicts,[16] Younghusband's well-trained troops were armed with rifles and machine guns, confronting disorganized monks wielding hoes, swords, and flintlocks. Some accounts estimated that more than 5,000 Tibetans were killed during the campaign, while the total number of British casualties was about five.

The British force was supported by King Ugyen Wangchuck of Bhutan, who was knighted in return for his services. The incident, portrayed by Chinese sources as a "massacre", embarrassed the British Government, which desired good relations with China for the sake of the coastal Chinese trade. Accordingly, the British repudiated the treaty known as the Treaty of Lhasa that Younghusband's services had obtained.

In 1891, Younghusband received the Companion of the Order of the Indian Empire, which was upgraded to Knight Commander in 1904;[1] and in 1917, he was awarded the honour of Knight Commander of the Order of the Star of India. He was also awarded the Kaisar-I-Hind Medal (gold) in 1901[1] and the Gold Medal of the Royal Scottish Geographical Society in 1905.[17]

In 1906, Younghusband settled in Kashmir as the British representative before returning to Britain, where he was an active member of many clubs and societies. In 1908, he was promoted to lieutenant colonel. During the First World War, his patriotic Fight for Right campaign commissioned the song "Jerusalem".

The Fight for Right Movement was founded in August 1915 by Francis Younghusband.[1] Its aim was to increase support for the First World War in Great Britain and to boost morale in the armed forces.[2]

Membership cost five shillings and members were pledged to 'fight for right till right be won', a call against disaffection in the progress and conduct of the war.[3] The movement also advocated thrift in wartime.

An early meeting of the movement took place at the Aeolian Hall concert venue in London and musical composition and performance played an important part in the group's work. Edward Elgar composed "Fight for Right" for the group, to a text by William Morris. Hubert Parry turned to William Blake and composed "Jerusalem" for the movement, first performed in March 1916 at a rally at Queen's Hall.

Many of the leading members of the movement were connected with Britain's War Propaganda Bureau, known as Wellington House.

-- Fight For Right Movement, by Wikipedia

Himalaya and mountaineering

Younghusband was elected President of the Royal Geographical Society in 1919, and two years later became Chairman of the Mount Everest Committee which was set up to coordinate the initial 1921 British Reconnaissance Expedition to Mount Everest.[18] He actively encouraged the accomplished climber George Mallory to attempt the first ascent of Mount Everest, and they followed the same initial route as the earlier Tibet Mission. Younghusband remained Chairman through the subsequent 1922 and 1924 British Expeditions.

In 1938 Younghusband encouraged Ernst Schäfer, who was about to lead a German expedition to "sneak over the border" when faced with British intransigence towards Schäfer's efforts to reach Tibet.[19]

Personal life

In 1897 Younghusband married Helen Augusta Magniac, the daughter of Charles Magniac, MP. Augusta's brother, Vernon, served as Younghusband's private secretary during the expedition to Tibet.[20] The Younghusbands had a son who died in infancy, and a daughter, Eileen Younghusband (1902–1981), who became a prominent social worker.[21]

From 1921 to 1937 the couple lived at Westerham, Kent, but Helen did not accompany her husband on his travels. In July 1942 Younghusband suffered a stroke after addressing a meeting of the World Congress of Faiths in Birmingham. He died of cardiac failure on 31 July 1942 at Madeline Lees' home Post Green House, at Lytchett Minster, Dorset.[22] He was buried in the village churchyard.[21]

Spiritual life

Biographer Patrick French described Younghusband's religious belief as one who was

brought up an Evangelical Christian, read his way into Tolstoyan simplicity, experienced a revelatory vision in the mountains of Tibet, toyed with telepathy in Kashmir, proposed a new faith based on virile racial theory, then transformed it into what Bertrand Russell called 'a religion of atheism.'[23]

Ultimately he became a spiritualist and "premature hippie" who "had great faith in the power of cosmic rays, and claimed that there are extraterrestrials with translucent flesh on the planet Altair."[24]

During his 1904 retreat from Tibet, Younghusband had a mystical experience which suffused him with "love for the whole world" and convinced him that "men at heart are divine."[25] This conviction was tinged with regret for the invasion of Tibet, and eventually, in 1936, profound religious convictions invited a founder's address to the World Congress of Faiths (in imitation of the World Parliament of Religions). Younghusband published a number of books with what one might call New Age themes, with titles like The Gleam: Being an account of the life of Nija Svabhava, pseud. (1923); Mother World (in Travail for the Christ that is to be) (1924); and Life in the Stars: An Exposition of the View that on some Planets of some Stars exist Beings higher than Ourselves, and on one a World-Leader, the Supreme Embodiment of the Eternal Spirit which animates the Whole (1927). The last drew the admiration of Lord Baden-Powell, the Boy Scouts founder.[26] Key concepts consisted of the central belief that would come to be known as the Gaia hypothesis, pantheism, and a Christlike "world leader" living on the planet "Altair" (or "Stellair"), exploring the theology of spiritualism, and guidance by means of telepathy.

Younghusband allegedly believed in free love ("freedom to unite when and how a man and a woman please"), marriage laws examined as a matter of "outdated custom."[27] One of Younghusband's domestic servants, Gladys Aylward, became a Christian missionary in China.

Fictional portrayal

The Ingrid Bergman film The Inn of the Sixth Happiness (1958) is based on Gladys Aylward's life, with Ronald Squire portraying Younghusband.[28]


Younghusband wrote 26 books in all between 1885 and 1942. Subjects ranged from Asian events, exploration, mountaineering, philosophy, spirituality, politics and more.

• Confidential Report of a Mission to the Northern Frontier of Kashmir in 1889 (Calcutta, 1890).
• The Relief of Chitral (1895) (co-authored with his brother George John Younghusband)
• South Africa of Today (1896)
• The Heart of a Continent (1896) The heart of a continent: vol.1
• "Our True Relationship with India" . The Empire and the century. London: John Murray. 1905. pp. 599–620.
• Kashmir (1909)
• India and Tibet: a history of the relations which have subsisted between the two countries from the time of Warren Hastings to 1910; with a particular account of the mission to Lhasa of 1904. London: John Murray. 1910.
• Within: Thoughts During Convalescence (1914)
• The Sense of Community (1916)
• The Gleam (1923)
• Modern Mystics (1923) (ISBN 1-4179-8003-6, reprint 2004)
• Mother World in Travail for the Christ that is to be (1924)
• Wonders of the Himalayas (1924)[29]
• The Epic of Mount Everest (1926) (ISBN 0-330-48285-8, reprint 2001).
• Life in the Stars (1927)
• The Light of Experience (1927)[29]
• Dawn in India (1930)
• The Living Universe (1933)
• The Mystery of Nature in Frances Mason. The Great Design: Order and Progress in Nature (1934)


1. C. Hayavando Rao, ed. (1915). The Indian Biographical Dictionary. Madras: Pillar & Co. pp. 470–71. Retrieved 27 March 2010.
2. James 1887, pp. 235–238
3. General Sir C MacGregor, The Defence of India, (Simla, 1884)
4. Younghusband, Francis E. (1896). The Heart of a Continent, pp. 58-290. John Murray, London. Facsimile reprint: (2005) Elbiron Classics.
5. James, Sir Henry Evan Murchison (1888), The Long White Mountain, or, A journey in Manchuria: with some account of the history, people, administration and religion of that country, Longmans, Green, and Co.
6. [[#CITEREF|]], pp. 254,262)
7. [[#CITEREF|]], pp. 125,217)
8. The Heart of a Continent, pp. 186ff
9. The Heart of a Continent, pp. 234ff
10. Dictionary of National Biography Sir George Macartney
11. Riddick, John (2006). The history of British India. p. 82. ISBN 978-0-313-32280-8.
12. David Nalle (June 2000). "Book Review – Tournament of Shadows: The Great Game and the Race for Empire in Central Asia". Middle East Policy. Washington DC: Blackwell. VII (3). ISSN 1061-1924. Archived from the original on 1 June 2006.
13. Patrick French (2011). Younghusband: The Last Great Imperial Adventurer. Penguin Books Limited. p. 269. ISBN 978-0-14-196430-0.
14. "Tibetans' fight against British invasion". – China Tibet Information Center. Archived from the original on 3 November 2007. Retrieved 15 January 2008.
15. Morris, James: Farewell the Trumpets (Faber & Faber, 1979), p.102.
16. Nick Heil (2008). Dark Summit: The Extraordinary True Story of One of the Deadliest Seasons on Everest. Virgin Books Ltd. p. 54. ISBN 0-7535-1359-5.
17. "Scottish Geographical Medal". Royal Scottish Geographical Society. Retrieved 26 August 2015.
18. Text of The Epic of Mount Everest, Sir Francis Younghusband.
19. Hale, Christopher. Himmler's Crusade (Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 2003) pp. 149-151
20. Fleming, Peter (2012). Bayonets to Lhasa - the British invasion of Tibet. Tauris Parke, London. ISBN 9780857731432.
21. Dictionary of National Biography
22. Anon. 1942 Obituary: Sir Francis Edward Younghusband. Geographical Review 32(4):681
23. French, p.313.
24. French, p. xx
25. quoted in French, p.252.
26. French, p. 321
27. French, p. 283
28. French., p. 364
29. Hopkirk, op cit.

Secondary sources

• Allen, Charles (2004). Duel in the Snows: The True Story of the Younghusband Mission to Lhasa. London: John Murray. ISBN 0-7195-5427-6.
• Broadbent, Tom (2005). On Younghusband's Path: Peking to Pindi. ISBN 0-9548542-2-5.
• Candler, Edmund (1905). The Unveiling of Lhasa. Thomas Nelson and Sons Ltd.
• Carrington, Michael (2003). "Officers Gentlemen and Thieves: The Looting of Monasteries during the 1903/4 Younghusband Mission to Tibet". Modern Asian Studies. 37, 1: 81–109.
• Fleming, Peter (1986). Bayonets to Lhasa. ISBN 978-0195838626.
• French, Patrick (1997). Younghusband: The Last Great Imperial Adventurer. ISBN 0-00-637601-0.
• Hopkirk, Peter (1990). The Great Game: The Struggle for Empire in Central Asia. pp. 447–482. ISBN 1-56836-022-3.
• Mehra, P. (1968). The Younghusband Expedition.
• Meyer, Karl E.; Brysac, Shareen Blair (25 October 1999). Tournament of Shadows: The Great Game and the Race for Empire in Central Asia. Basic Books. ISBN 978-1-58243-106-2.
• Seaver, George (1952). Francis Younghusband: Explorer and Mystic.

External links

• Halkias, Giorgos, The 1904 Younghusband's Expedition to Tibet, ELINEPA, 2004
• Description of rare Younghusband photograph collection held by the Royal Geographical Society of South Australia [1]
• Works by Francis Younghusband at Project Gutenberg
• Works by or about Francis Younghusband at Internet Archive
• Portraits of Francis Younghusband at the National Portrait Gallery, London
• "Archival material relating to Francis Younghusband". UK National Archives.
• World Congress of Faiths' History
• Royal Geographic Society photograph of Younghusband's Mission to Tibet
• 1st King's Dragoon Guards (
• The heart of nature (1921)
• India and Tibet (1910)
Site Admin
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Sun Apr 07, 2019 6:12 am

Christmas Humphreys
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 4/6/19



March 28, 1977, the day of her death, was an interesting one....

Throughout the day many people spontaneously turned up to visit Freda, many of them from the Tibetan Friendship Group that Freda had founded. She greeted them all warmly and told them about her new project to sponsor Tibetan children in top Indian public schools, especially girls, who had less chance of receiving a good education than boys....

At six p.m. Freda and Pema Zangmo went for a walk, after which Freda settled down to some letter writing. She then took out some of her own childhood photographs and those of her children, taken in Lahore, before Partition. At ten p.m. Freda woke Pema Zangmo to give her instructions about certain gifts and money she wanted her to pass on to specific people. She brought out some yellow fabric as a gift for her faithful attendant to make into a nun's blouse, and told her to practice Dharma faithfully. Freda then dressed herself in her finest robes, telling the curious Pema Zangmo, "I will need them tomorrow." She then put on a tape recording of H.H. Karmapa, which he had sent her from New York, and sat down to meditate.

Pema Zangmo, who had gone back to sleep a few feet away from Freda, was awakened by the sound of "louder breathing." She got up and went over to Freda, who was still sitting bolt upright in the meditation position, and tapped her on the shoulder. Freda did not move, nor open her eyes. Peering closer, Pema Zangmo could detect no sign of outer life at all. In total panic she ran out into the hotel corridor screaming for help. A doctor was quickly summoned, who officially pronounced Freda dead. The cause: cardiac arrest....

Tributes began to pour in acknowledging her many achievements....

Christmas Humphreys, founder of the Buddhist Society in London, wrote a glowing tribute in their magazine, The Middle Way:

Freda Bedi showed what a Buddhist life should be. For twenty-five years she gave her life with immense and ceaseless energy to all in need of help, whatever their creed or caste or color. She never relaxed or hesitated. If the job was there to do she began it and relied, never in vain, on the needed support to appear. I saw much of the results of her labor when I was myself in India for the Dalai Lama in 1962, and endorse a remark by Mrs. Carlo Robins: "Freda Bedi is an example to all those adherents to any religion who readily regard their religion as being their life and not merely a department of it." Freda Bedi was a great woman, a great Buddhist and an inspiration to all Buddhists East and West to work unceasingly in the service of mankind.

-- The Revolutionary Life of Freda Bedi, by Vicki Mackenzie

David Chadwick: [Trungpa] Rinpoche said that until he met Little Joe, the Peyote Road Man, Suzuki Roshi was the only sane man he'd met in America. Rinpoche said that after he left Tibet he never heard of his teacher again and he felt so sad and alone, and then when he met Roshi he felt that he had a friend. He said that all the people supporting him in England were only making things worse -- the whole Christmas Humphreys crowd.

-- Interviews: Bob Halpern cuke page, by Crooked Cucumber: The Life and Zen Teaching of Shunryu Suzuki, by David Chadwick

Christmas Humphreys
Christmas Humphreys
Born 15 February 1901
Ealing, Middlesex, England
Died 13 April 1983 (aged 82)
St John's Wood, London
Nationality UK
Occupation Barrister; judge; author
Years active 1924–1976

Travers Christmas Humphreys, QC (15 February 1901 – 13 April 1983[1]) was an English barrister who prosecuted several controversial cases in the 1940s and 1950s, and later became a judge at the Old Bailey. He also wrote a number of works on Mahayana Buddhism and in his day was the best-known British convert to Buddhism. In 1924 he founded what became the London Buddhist Society, which was to have a seminal influence on the growth of the Buddhist tradition in Britain. His former home in St John's Wood, London, is now a Buddhist temple. He was also an enthusiastic proponent of the Oxfordian theory of Shakespeare authorship.

Family and early career

Humphreys was born in Ealing, Middlesex, the son of Travers Humphreys, himself a noted barrister and judge.[2]


Sir Richard Somers Travers Christmas Humphreys (4 August 1867 – 20 February 1956) was a noted British barrister and judge who, during a sixty-year legal career, was involved in the cases of Oscar Wilde and the murderers Hawley Harvey Crippen, George Joseph Smith and John George Haigh, the 'Acid Bath Murderer', among many others.

Travers Humphreys was born in Doughty Street in Bloomsbury in London, the fourth son and sixth child of solicitor Charles Octavius Humphreys, and his wife, Harriet Ann (née Grain), the sister of the entertainer Richard Corney Grain. Humphreys was educated at Shrewsbury School and at Trinity Hall, Cambridge, graduating BA in 1889. He was called to the Bar from the Inner Temple in 1889 and entered the chambers of E. T. E. Besley, where he concentrated on practice in the criminal courts.

On 1 March 1895 Oscar Wilde, Lord Alfred Douglas and Robbie Ross approached [his father] Charles Octavius Humphreys with the intention of suing the Marquess of Queensberry, Douglas' father, for criminal libel. Humphreys applied for a warrant for Queensberry's arrest and approached Sir Edward Clarke and Charles Willie Mathews to represent Wilde. Travers Humphreys appeared as a Junior Counsel for the prosecution in the subsequent case of Wilde vs Queensbury.

On 28 May 1896 Humphreys married the actress Zoë Marguerite (1872–1953), the daughter of Henri Philippe Neumans, an artist from Antwerp. In 1895 she had appeared in An Artist's Model with Marie Tempest, Marie Studholme, Letty Lind and Hayden Coffin. They had two sons, the elder of whom, Richard Grain Humphreys (1897-28 September 1917) was killed in France in the Third Battle of Ypres during World War I; the younger son was the noted barrister and judge Christmas Humphreys, who prosecuted Ruth Ellis for the murder of her lover David Blakely in 1955.

In 1902 Humphreys held a junior brief under H. F. Dickens KC for the defence of Emma 'Kitty' Byron, who was charged with the murder of Arthur Reginald Baker. Although Byron was convicted, Dickens's defence was so spirited that she was given a reduced prison sentence due to public petition.

Humphreys was appointed Counsel for the Crown at the Middlesex and North London sessions in 1905, a junior Treasury Counsel (or 'Treasury Devil') to the Crown at the Central Criminal Court in 1908, and was appointed one of three senior Treasury Counsel in 1916.

In 1910 Humphreys appeared as Junior Counsel in the prosecution of H. H. Crippen for the murder of his wife, Cora Henrietta Crippen; and in 1912 he appeared for the prosecution against Frederick Seddon, who was found guilty of poisoning Eliza Mary Barrow. He appeared for the prosecution at the Old Bailey in 1915 with Archibald Bodkin (later Director of Public Prosecutions) and Cecil Whiteley (later KC) against George Joseph Smith, the 'Brides in the Bath' murderer.

In 1916 he was one of the team who prosecuted Sir Roger Casement for treason. At the Central Criminal Court in 1922 he successfully prosecuted Horatio Bottomley for fraudulent conversion. Also in 1922 he appeared for the Crown, led by the Solicitor-General Sir Thomas Inskip, against Edith Thompson and Frederick Bywaters, who were jointly charged with the murder of Thompson's husband.

After appointments as Recorder of Chichester, Recorder of Cambridge and Deputy Chairman of London Sessions in 1926, Humphries was made a Judge of the King's Bench Division in 1928, and received the customary knighthood.[5] Although Humphreys had a long career at the Bar, it was unusual for someone whose experience was confined to criminal work to be appointed a High Court judge. His attitude while on the bench seemed fierce and intimidating, although Humphreys was popular among legal colleagues and in private was said to be witty.[9]

During the 1940s and early 1950s Humphreys sat in the Court of Criminal Appeal. After World War II, he sat in this capacity with Lord Chief Justice Lord Goddard and Mr Justice Lynksey to hear William Joyce's appeal against his conviction for treason during the war. The court rejected Joyce's appeal.[10] He also presided at the brief treason trial of John Amery, a British fascist who had set up the British Free Corps, a small wartime unit of British volunteers serving in the German Waffen SS. During the eight-minute trial, Amery was sentenced to death after pleading guilty, although Humphreys only accepted the guilty plea after making sure Amery was fully aware a death sentence would be the inevitable outcome of this.

In 1949, Humphreys presided over the trial of John George Haigh, the Acid Bath Murderer, whom he sentenced to death. In 1950, he sat with the Lord Chief Justice Lord Goddard and Mr Justice Sellers in the Court of Criminal Appeal to hear the appeal of Timothy Evans against his conviction for the murder of his baby daughter, evidence having also been admitted as to the death of Evans' wife.

He was appointed a Knight Bachelor in 1925 and a Privy Counsellor in 1946. He retired in 1951 as the senior and oldest King's Bench judge. He was a member of the Garrick Club and was a keen yachtsman...

In 1955 Humphreys appeared in Murder Anonymous, an episode in the long-running Scotland Yard series of short films, being interviewed by the host Edgar Lustgarten. Humphreys speaks for several minutes at the start of the episode and then again near the end. The film was released in November 1955, three months before his death.

-- Travers Humphreys, by Wikipedia

His given name "Christmas" is unusual, but, along with "Travers", had a long history in the Humphreys family.[1] Among friends and family he was generally known as 'Toby'.[1] The death of his elder brother shocked Humphreys into reflection about his beliefs and at age 17 he found himself drawn to Buddhism.[1] He attended Malvern College, where he first became a theosophist and later a convert to Buddhism, and Trinity Hall, Cambridge; he was called to the bar by the Inner Temple in 1924.

The same year, Humphreys founded the London Buddhist Lodge, which later changed its name to the Buddhist Society.[1] The impetus for founding the Lodge came from theosophists with whom Humphreys socialised. Both at his home and at the lodge, he played host for eminent spiritual authors such as Nicholas Roerich and Dr Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan....

Other Oxford colleges, notably Brasenose and Pembroke, were helped in many ways as a result of Spalding's generosity. However, the best known benefaction he and his wife made to Oxford must be the resources they provided for the establishment of the Spalding Chair in Eastern Religions and Ethics, the first occupant of which was Sir Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan. This unique position is associated with a fellowship at All Souls College....

In practical terms the task of promoting knowledge of this healing unity centred on Spalding's plans for the Union for the Study of the Great Religions ('the Union'). The Union was founded in Oxford in 1950/1951 by Sir Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, Canon Charles E. Raven, and H. N. Spalding. Radhakrishnan was the first scholar to be elected to the Spalding Chair of Eastern Religions and Ethics. In later life he was to become Vice-President and finally President of India. He and Spalding soon established a firm personal friendship that was to continue until the latter's death. Radhakrishnan was appointed to the Oxford Chair in 1936 after Spalding had made the necessary funds available to the University....

Spalding was not an apologist for any one or other of the great religions of the world. As his friend Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan observed, HN was a deeply religious man, whose religion 'was not confined to a code of conduct and respect for outward forms. These latter were experienced as opening the door to the truths of spirit. Man is not a finished creation. He is an experiment of which he can be partly the creator. Religion is essentially the art and theory of the re-making of man. It assumes man's ability to change himself.'

-- The Spalding Trust and the Union for the Study of the Great Religions: H.N. Spalding's Pioneering Vision, by Edward Hulmes

and for prominent Theosophists like Alice Bailey and far Eastern Buddhist authorities like D.T. Suzuki. Other regular visitors in the 1930s were the Russian singer Vladimir Rosing and the young philosopher Alan Watts,[3] and in 1931 Humphreys met the spiritual teacher Meher Baba.[4] The Buddhist Society of London is one of the oldest Buddhist organisations outside Asia.

In 1945 he drafted the Twelve Principles of Buddhism for which he obtained the approval of all the Buddhist sects in Japan (including the Shin Sect which was not associated with Olcott's common platform) of the Supreme Patriarch of Thailand and leading Buddhists of Sri Lanka, Myanmar, China and Tibet.

Legal work

When he had first qualified, Humphreys tended to take criminal defence work which allowed his skills in cross-examination to be used. In 1934, he was appointed as Junior Treasury Counsel at the Central Criminal Court (more commonly known as "the Old Bailey"). This job, known unofficially as the 'Treasury devil', involved leading many prosecutions.

Humphreys became Recorder of Deal in 1942, a part-time judicial post. In the aftermath of World War II, Humphreys was an assistant prosecutor in the War Crimes trials held in Tokyo.[5] In 1950 he became Senior Treasury Counsel. It was at this time that he led for the Crown in some of the causes célèbres of the era, including the cases of Craig & Bentley[6] and Ruth Ellis. It was Humphreys who secured the conviction of Timothy Evans for a murder later found to have been carried out by John Christie. All three cases played a part in the later abolition of capital punishment in the United Kingdom.

Also in 1950 at the trial of the nuclear spy Klaus Fuchs, Christmas Humphreys was the prosecuting counsel for the Attorney General.[7] In 1955 he was made a Bencher of his Inn and the next year became Recorder of Guildford.[8]


In 1962 Humphreys became a Commissioner at the Old Bailey. He became an Additional Judge there in 1968 and served on the bench until his retirement in 1976. Increasingly he became willing to court controversy by his judicial pronouncements. In 1975 he passed a six-month suspended jail sentence on a man convicted of two counts of rape. The 18-year-old had raped the two women at knife-point. The leniency of the sentence created a public outcry. His sentence of a man to eighteen months in jail for a fraud shortly afterwards added to the controversy.[9]

The Lord Chancellor defended Humphreys in the face of a House of Commons motion to dismiss him, and he also received support from the National Association of Probation Officers. However, he had pressure put on him to resign, which he did some six months after the controversy.[9]

Literary career

Humphreys was a prolific author of books on the Buddhist tradition. He was also president of the Shakespeare Fellowship, a position to which he was elected in 1955. The Fellowship advanced the theory that the plays generally attributed to Shakespeare were in fact the work of Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford. Under Humphreys the fellowship changed its name to the Shakespeare Authorship Society.

In 1962 Humphreys was appointed Vice-President of the Tibet Society, and made Joint Vice-Chairman of the Royal India, Pakistan and Ceylon Society.[10]

He published his autobiography Both Sides of the Circle in 1978. He also wrote poetry, especially verses inspired by his Buddhist beliefs, one of which posed the question: When I die, who dies?

He died at his London home, 58 Marlborough Place, St John's Wood.[2]

Published works

As author

• An Invitation to the Buddhist Way of Life for Western Readers
• Both Sides of the Circle (1978) London: Allen & Unwin (autobiography) ISBN 0-049-2102-38
• Buddhism: An Introduction and Guide
• Buddhism: The History, Development and Present Day Teaching of the Various Schools
• Buddhist Poems: a Selection, 1920–1970 (1971) London: Allen & Unwin, ISBN 0-048-2102-69
• A Buddhist Students' Manual
• The Buddhist Way of Action
• The Buddhist Way of Life
• Concentration and Meditation: A Manual of Mind Development
• The Development of Buddhism in England: Being a History of the Buddhist Movement in London and the Provinces (1937)
• Exploring Buddhism
The Field of Theosophy
• The Great Pearl Robbery of 1913: A Record of Fact (1929)
• An Invitation to the Buddhist Way of Life for Western Readers (1971)
• Karma and Rebirth (1948)
• The Menace in our Midst: With Some Criticisms and Comments, Relevant and Irrelevant
• One Hundred treasures of the Buddhist Society, London (1964)
• Poems I Remember
• Poems of Peace and War (1941) London: The Favil Press
• A Popular Dictionary of Buddhism
• A Religion for Modern Youth (1930)
• The Search Within
• Seven Murderers (1931) London: Heinemann
• Sixty Years of Buddhism in England (1907–1967): A History and a Survey
• Studies in the Middle Way: Being Thoughts on Buddhism Applied
• The Sutra of Wei Lang (or Hui Neng) (1953)
• Via Tokyo
• Walk On
• The Way of Action: The Buddha's Way to Enlightenment
• The Way of Action: A Working Philosophy for Western Life
• A Western Approach to Zen: An Enquiry
• The Wisdom of Buddhism
• Zen A Way of Life
• Zen Buddhism
• Zen Comes West: The Present and Future of Zen Buddhism in Britain
• Zen Comes West: Zen Buddhism in Western Society

As editor

(editor of several works by Daisetz Taitaro Suzuki):
• Awakening of Zen
• Essays in Zen Buddhism (The Complete Works of D. T. Suzuki)
• An Introduction to Zen Buddhism
• Living by Zen
• Studies in Zen
• The Zen Doctrine of No Mind: The Significance of the Sutra of Hui-Neng (Wei-Lang)

As co-editor

• Secret Doctrine by H.P. Blavatsky
• Mahatma Letters to A.P. Sinnett

Of forewords and prefaces

• Buddhism in Britain by Ian P. Oliver, (1979) London: Rider & Company, ISBN 0-091-3816-06
• Diamond Sutra and the Sutra of Hui-neng (Shambhala Classics) by W. Y. Evans-Wentz (foreword), Christmas Humphreys (foreword), Wong Mou-Lam (translator), A F Price (translator)
• Essays In Zen Buddhism (Third Series) by D. T. Suzuki
• Living Zen by Robert Linssen
• Mahayana Buddhism: A Brief Outline by Beatrice Lane Suzuki
• Some Sayings of the Buddha

See also

• Buddhism and Theosophy
• Buddhism in the United Kingdom
• Buddhism in Europe
• Buddhism in the West


1. Daw, Muriel (February 2016). "Christmas Humphreys 1901-1983 A Pioneer of Buddhism in the West". The Middle Way. Buddhist Society. 89 (4): 279–286. eISSN 0026-3214.
2. "Humphreys, (Travers) Christmas". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/31265. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
3. Watts, Alan, In My Own Way: an autobiography, pg. 79–80., Novato: New World Library (2007)
4. Kalchuri, Bhau (1986). Meher Prabhu: Lord Meher. 4. Myrtle Beach: Manifestation, Inc. p. 1432.
5. Jeanie M. Welch (2002). The Tokyo trial: a bibliographic guide to English-language sources. ABC-CLIO. p. 88. ISBN 0-313-31598-1.
6. Francis Selwyn (1988). Gangland: the case of Bentley and Craig. Crimes of the century. Taylor & Francis. p. 101. ISBN 0-415-00907-3.
7. : The World's Greatest Spies and Spymasters by Roger Boar and Nigel Blundell, 1984
8. Christmas Humphreys Biography Accessed 29 February 2012
9. Damien P. Horigan, "Christmas Humphreys: A Buddhist Judge in Twentieth Century London", Korean Journal of Comparative Law, vol. 24., p. 1-16.
10. Humphreys, Christmas (1972). Buddhism. Penguin. ISBN 0140202285.

External links

• Biography of Christmas Humphreys
• "Christmas Humphreys: A Buddhist Judge in Twentieth Century London" Damien P. Horigan Korean Journal of Comparative Law 24, 1–16
Site Admin
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Sun Apr 07, 2019 6:34 am

Spalding Trust
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 4/6/19



Gelek Rinpoche was another frequent guest at the Bedi household. A highborn reincarnate lama related to the Thirteenth Dalai Lama, Gelek Rinpoche was found by Freda in the Buxa refugee camp, plucked out, and taught the niceties of how to behave in Western society, Professor Higgins-style. "I stayed with Mummy and her family on and off for about three years. Trungpa and Akong were already living with her. Trungpa was very diligent, but I was lazy. I felt I was on holiday! Mummy Bedi helped me get over my monk's superiority complex. She also taught me to respect women and other people in general.

"Her intention was to teach me about life outside my small monastic world. I was completely unaware of anything other than Tibetan life. She taught me to speak proper English. 'Don't run your words together, say them separately,' she'd instruct. Mummy would also take me to social events such as diplomatic parties. She would literally take me by the hand and show me how to enter a room, how to behave, and what to say. 'If you do not know the person, you put out your hand and say, slowly, "How do you do, how lovely to meet you.'" Sometimes we acted out these scenes with her husband and two children, Kabir and Guli, as the audience.

"Mummy was very strict and stern, especially if I did not do my homework. But she was also very, very kind and extremely good at administration. Whatever she said she was going to do, she did it. She was completely generous with everything. Totally altruistic. There is no doubt she put me on the path for coming to the West. In fact, she told me to go to America. She said that Westerners needed the Dharma, that they needed help. She also told me that Westerners were more open than Tibetans and more forthright, which was encouraging. 'Whatever you know you can say -- the more you say, the more they will understand. You don't have to hide.' She was correct," he said.

Trungpa was installed as the principal of the Young Lamas Home School, and Akong was its manager.....

The tulkus were learning English and their lessons on the modern world with varying degrees of success. Freda's star student, Trungpa Rinpoche, however, was making exceptional progress, and Freda's aspirations for him became increasingly ambitious. He had a natural aptitude for English and had taken to reading the poets that Freda presented him with, especially T.S. Eliot.

Liberalism still permeates our minds and affects our attitude towards much of life....For it is something which tends to release energy rather than accumulate it, to relax, rather than to fortify. It is a movement not so much defined by its end, as by its starting point; away from, rather than towards, something definite....By destroying traditional social habits of the people, by dissolving their natural collective consciousness into individual constituents, by licensing the opinions of the most foolish, by substituting instruction for education, by encouraging cleverness rather than wisdom, the upstart rather than the qualified, by fostering a notion of getting on to which the alternative is a hopeless apathy, Liberalism can prepare the way for that which is its own negation: the artificial, mechanised or brutalised control which is a desperate remedy for its chaos....

[N]o one to-day can defend the idea of a National Church, without balancing it with the idea of the Universal Church, and without keeping in mind that truth is one and that theology has no frontiers....I have maintained that the idea of a Christian society implies, for me, the existence of one Church which shall aim at comprehending the whole nation. Unless it has this aim, we relapse into that conflict between citizenship and church membership, between public and private morality, which to-day makes moral life so difficult for everyone, and which in turn provokes that craving for a simplified, monistic solution of statism or racism which the National Church can only combat if it recognises its position as a part of the Universal Church....the allegiance of the individual to his own Church is secondary to his allegiance to the Universal Church. Unless the National Church is a part of the whole, it has no claim upon me....even in a Christian society as well organised as we can conceive possible in this world, the limit would be that our temporal and spiritual life should be harmonised: the temporal and spiritual would never be identified. There would always remain a dual allegiance, to the State and to the Church, to one's countrymen and to one's fellow-Christians everywhere, and the latter would always have the primacy. There would always be a tension; and this tension is essential to the idea of a Christian society, and is a distinguishing mark between a Christian and a pagan society....

We may say that religion, as distinguished from modern paganism, implies a life in conformity with nature. It may be observed that the natural life and the supernatural life have a conformity to each other... It would perhaps be more natural, as well as in better conformity with the Will of God, if there were more celibates and if those who were married had larger families.... I would not have it thought that I condemn a society because of its material ruin, for that would be to make its material success a sufficient test of its excellence....We need to know how to see the world as the Christian Fathers saw it....We need to recover the sense of religious fear, so that it may be overcome by religious hope....

It may be opportune at this point to say a word about the attitude of a Christian Society towards Pacifism....I cannot but believe that the man who maintains that war is in all circumstances wrong, is in some way repudiating an obligation towards society; and in so far as the society is a Christian society the obligation is so much the more serious. Even if each particular war proves in turn to have been unjustified, yet the idea of a Christian society seems incompatible with the idea of absolute pacifism; for pacifism can only continue to flourish so long as the majority of persons forming a society are not pacifists....The notion of communal responsibility, of the responsibility of every individual for the sins of the society to which he belongs, is one that needs to be more firmly apprehended; and if I share the guilt of my society in time of 'peace', I do not see how I can absolve myself from it in time of war, by abstaining from the common action....

The Church is not merely for the elect -- in other words, those whose temperament brings them to that belief and that behaviour. Nor does it allow us to be Christian in some social relations and non-Christian in others. It wants everybody, and it wants each individual as a whole. It therefore must struggle for a condition of society which will give the maximum of opportunity for us to lead wholly Christian lives, and the maximum of opportunity for others to become Christians. It maintains the paradox that while we are each responsible for our own souls, we are all responsible for all other souls, who are, like us, on their way to a future state of heaven or hell.

-- The Idea of a Christian Society (1939), by T.S. Eliot

He was keen on history and geography too. Freda decided that he was ready to try to get into Oxford, her own university, where he would receive the finest education the West had to offer. With such credentials he would be perfectly equipped and have the clout to bring the sacred Buddhist teachings to the outside world in a language it could understand.

With the help of John Driver, an Englishman who was also tutoring Trungpa, Freda set about getting a Spalding Scholarship for Trungpa, and succeeded. In early 1963 Trungpa set sail for England accompanied by Akong Rinpoche, to enter into the arcane, privileged, and hallowed halls of Oxford University. It was another epic journey into the unknown, heralding as many adventures, pitfalls, and triumphs as they had met in their escape from Tibet.

-- The Revolutionary Life of Freda Bedi, by Vicki Mackenzie

The Spalding Trust is a charitable organisation based in Stowmarket, England. Its mandate is to promote intercultural understanding by encouraging the study of comparative religion.

Mr. and Mrs. H.N. Spalding established the Trust by means of two trust deeds in 1923 and 1928.[1] The Trust has made grants to individuals, institutions and libraries. Among its benefactions have been the Spalding Chair in Eastern Religions and Ethics and the Spalding Lectureship in Eastern Orthodox Studies, both in the Faculty of Oriental Studies at the University of Oxford. The Trust also gave several grants to the School of Oriental Studies at the University of Durham in the 1950s. A Spalding Visiting Fellowship in Comparative Religion was established at Clare Hall, Cambridge in 1994.[2]

The Trust's website presents the scope of projects supported, and instructions for individuals applying for assistance.[3]

The Spalding Trust's chairs have included Sir Douglas Veale (1950-1953) and Thomas Knox-Shaw (1953-1971). The present chair (2000 to date) is Anne Spalding, H.N. Spalding's granddaughter.[1]:199

The Ellen Rebe Spalding Memorial Fund was set up by H. N. Spalding in memory of his mother and is a subdivision within the Spalding Trust. Numerous grants from this Fund have been used to help disadvantaged women and children in Oxfordshire, where the family lived and worked.[4]


1. Hulmes, Edward (2002). The Spalding Trust and the Union for the Study of the Great Religions: H.N. Spalding's Pioneering Vision. Spennymoor, England: Memoir Club. ISBN 1841040401.
2. Whaling, Frank (2003). "Review of The Spalding Trust and the Union for the Study of the Great Religions". Studies in World Christianity. 9 (2): 304–307. doi:10.3366/swc.2003.9.2.304.
3. "The Spalding Trust". Retrieved 2012-04-05. In the case of individuals, a grant may be offered, for example, to support the costs involved in a research project or the cost of publication of the results of research.
4. "Spalding Trust".

Further reading

Henderson, K.D.D.(Spring 1970). "The work of the Spalding Trust and the Union for the Study of the Great Religions". World Faiths: Journal of the World Congress of Faiths (No. 79): 1-6.
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Sun Apr 07, 2019 6:56 am

In Memory of Rosemary Vosse (Karma Dolma Chuzom)
by Family Faraggiana of Turin, Italy, edited by Samten de Wet
Accessed: 4/6/19



Single-handedly Freda had already set the scene for Buddhism to make the historic leap from East to West when she had the foresight to establish the Young Lamas Home School. In 1972, the year of her full ordination as a bikshuni nun, she took another momentous step in that direction by personally agreeing to take the Buddha's message to South Africa, the first of several overseas "missions" she undertook. Hr journey there was significant not least because it revealed the full extent of the spiritual authority invested in her by the Karmapa, as well as the scope of the knowledge and personal realizations that she had attained in her relatively new religious path.

The invitation had come from Rosemary Vosse, a theosophist descended from Italian nobility, who had met Freda in India. She had literally begged Freda, now known as Sister Palmo, to come to South Africa, which was being brutally ripped apart by the bloody internal war of apartheid, as blacks fought for equal rights and the end to racial segregation. Nelson Mandela, leader of the African National Congress (ANC), the group that led this fight, was serving a life sentence on Robben Island, a measure intended by the government to cut off the hope he had inspired in his followers. Everywhere, protestors were being beaten and jailed, and a general reign of terror, instigated by the police, hung like a dirty pall over the land.

It was an invitation Freda could not resist. Any notion of racial inequality and suppression of freedom was an immediate clarion call to her. In fact it was in Johannesburg that her hero, Mahatma Gandhi, had formulated his philosophy of peaceful civil resistance, triggered when he was ordered to move from a first-class carriage to a third-class carriage because he was "colored," despite the fact that he was working as a lawyer there and had a valid ticket. The result was Satyagraha, his Doctrine of Truth, which he propagated there for twenty years and which Freda espoused when she became a Satyagrahi.

Her tour was to encompass Johannesburg, Capetown, Durban, and Port Elizabeth. It started on an auspicious note. Stepping off the airplane and into the terminal, she saw a delicate pink, green, and yellow butterfly still alive in a wastepaper basket. She gently picked it up and put it in a flowerbed. Freda viewed it as a sign. "It had a significance I can't put into words, but something extremely beautiful happened as I entered Africa," she wrote to her family.

She addressed audiences, large and small, who had come as a result of publicity generated by her Tibetan Friendship Group. She was warmly welcomed, and the press was polite. She spoke from university podiums and temple high seats, telling people about her experience of Gandhi and her own time as the first Englishwoman to offer Satyagraha. And then, when the audience was warmed up, she moved on to even more unconventional themes -- reincarnation and the Tibetan tulku system -- showing them slides of the young rinpoches she had taught and of her own teacher, the Sixteenth karmapa.

"I tried to convey to them something of the wonder of the Tibetan masters, the Dalai Lama, and in particular my own guru," she said. The university students were especially rapt, she reported.

Her talks to the Indian community living there and to the small group of Buddhist sympathizers were more profound, and they allowed Freda to share the depth of her knowledge. She gave discourses on both major and minor points of Buddhist philosophy.

"I was able to give a talk on the realizations of Milarepa (Tibet's beloved poet-saint). I endeavored to bring out his philosophical approach as well as his beautiful teachings, which were based on the Vajrayana lyrics, which I translated. This talk was taped, as were many others," she stated.

In Milarepa's biography, examples can be found of a range of images of woman, from human to demonic and to divine. In general Milarepa disparages women, their nature, appearance, and the role they play in the life of the religious practitioner. 'Woman is always a trouble-maker ... the primary source of suffering',18 he warns (male) practitioners. Of woman's ability to attract men he cautions, 'At first the lady is like a heavenly angel ... middle-aged she becomes a demon with corpse's eyes ... at life's end she becomes an old cow with no teeth.'19 Of her role he is equally scathing, 'At her best, she may serve and devote herself to others, at her worst, she will bring mishap and disaster.'20 In the text, women themselves subscribe to this position, 'Because of my sinful Karma I was given this inferior [female] body',21 declares a young woman when she approaches Milarepa for Buddhist teachings. In these examples, the practitioner of Buddhism is implicitly male, the woman implicitly 'other'. While the male strives for perfection, the woman acts as obstacle and deterrent, or as an inferior being.

In many of the Buddhist scriptures there are numerous examples of teachings which pair together the female and the demon as beings which potentially cause difficulties for the 'practitioner' on the path. Robert Paul notes the connection between these categories, 'In general it may be said that the demons, the passions and women are conceptually related, and thought of as opponents of Buddhism, and of patriarchal unity.'22 Milarepa constantly warns of the destructive powers of women, admonishing his followers to reject their seductive charms, and become meditative hermits. Even a demon, who is subdued by Milarepa after she emerges from a crack in a rock, is told that she is in an unfortunate rebirth, not because of her demonic form, or because of living in a rock, but that 'Because of your evil habit propensities formed in the past, and your vicious doings in the present . . . you were born as a lower form of woman' (italics mine).23 In the relatively tormented world of demons, Milarepa is at pains to point out that the female demonic status is inferior to that of the male.

-- Traveller in Space: In Search of Female Identity in Tibetan Buddhism, by June Campbell

More impressively, Freda also revealed that she conferred initiations. This was nothing short of extraordinary. Only the most qualified lamas gave initiations, ceremonies that bestowed on the recipient the power, knowledge, and blessings of the particular buddha invoked. It was exceptional for a newcomer to Buddhism to be conducting this rite, and it was unheard of for a Western woman to do so. This was proof that the Karmapa held her in high spiritual regard.

"On Easter Sunday I was able to give the Forest Dolma (Tara) initiation, which His Holiness Karmapa had allowed me to confer. It was in a perfect setting, in a forest glade with pine needles all around, and the shrine at the foot of a tress," enthused the nature-loving Freda. She continued to give the Tara initiation throughout her tour. And then she ventured into the highly esoteric and advanced reaches of Tibetan Buddhism -- the Vajrayana or Diamond Path -- by conferring the initiation of the buddha of purification, Vajrasattva.

"I explained how to meditate on Vajrasattva, and say his hundred-syllable mantra," she explained. "It was a most interesting experience to be giving these teachings, and I do think that if the group carries on with the practice, there will be a quick and wonderful development, because the Vajrayana path is more rapid than the Mahayana path. But all the time I am weaving in the Mahayana. The Vajrayana is the meditation side, the Mahayana, the philosophy," she went on, indicating the highly arcane and intricate system of Tibetan Buddhism that Thomas Merton, the Jesuit, described as the most complex religion on earth. "It is complex and detailed because it is profound," said Freda.

Following her plan to sow permanent seeds of Buddhism in South Africa, Freda established small centers, often in people's homes, where people could gather to meditate, say prayers together, and study the Buddha's teachings. She fervently hoped the centers would grow.

Although she fell instantly in love with the natural beauty of Cape town, she was utterly dismayed by the absence of black faces in the suburbs she was visiting. This was apartheid at work.

"I was surprised to see so few Africans about -- they are living in outside areas. You do see them in shops and streets, but Cape Town has such a Western appearance. I was not prepared for that. I rather thought it would be like India, where there would be big houses and a lot of simple houses around. Instead it is like being in Switzerland or Holland -- there are hardly any black or brown faces visible."

Much to her delight, she did manage to introduce one African into Buddhism, when she gave the Refuge ceremony to a gathering at a home belonging to Bruce Ginsberg (later famous for introducing rooibos tea to the rest of the world).

"She was a housemaid and was extremely delighted to get it. It gave me some personal satisfaction too," Freda admitted. "Actually Buddhism is not a conversion religion -- and I cannot seek people out to give the teachings to, as much as I want to. We have to wait until people come voluntarily. That is how it should be," she added.

Despite being forbidden to proselytize, Freda was nevertheless openly thrilled when she was called upon to officiate at the funeral of a Chinese seaman who had been murdered in Port Elizabeth. Her fame as the only ordained Buddhist in South Africa had spread, much to the gratification of the sailor's Buddhist family. Freda saw it as yet another sign that her religion would take root in South African soil. Officiating at the cremation ceremony, Freda once again revealed her spiritual credentials when she performed the esoteric rite of powa -- the transference of consciousness -- a highly accomplished process whereby a "master" steers the departing mind, or soul, through the death process into a favorable future existence.

"I was able to use the Amitabha Puja for the first time in English," she elaborated, referring to the ritual of the Buddha of Infinite Light, much beloved of the Chinese. "I also made use of the teachings of powa, which the Venerable Ayang tulku [an eminent reincarnate lama recognized as a living expert in afterlife rituals] gave me in Mysore. It was miraculous I had it with me. by 'chance" I also had a special mandala from Rumtek to be used at the time of somebody's passing. Whatever I could do, I did, praying for the liberation of his mind into the luminous states of consciousness, which is the buddha-field. I also drafted a telegraph to H.H. Karmapa in Sikkim to do special ceremonies for the seaman.

"Many people there had never seen Buddhist rites before, and they were deeply moved. We felt it was extraordinary that the first Buddhist nun to reach South Africa was able to be in Port Elizabeth on the very day that the seaman needed help," she added.

She continued on her whistle-stop tour, founding centers, giving talks, and meeting would-be Buddhists. She was particularly happy when she came across the Indian community, who took her into their homes. "They helped stanch my homesickness at being severed from the motherland. It's a group of some thirty-five Indian families, who have kept the flag of Dharma flying here. I gave them the initiation of Jetsun Dolma in her form as the Perfection of Wisdom," she said, indicating the zenith of the wisdom path, "Emptiness," which is represented by the female form, out of which all things are made manifest.

Sheila Fugard, who met Freda in south Africa, was won over. She was the wife of the internationally renowned playwright Athol Fugard, as well as a poet and author in her own right, and was in a distressed state due to the constant harassment she and her husband were receiving from the police. Athol was courageously defying apartheid by writing and staging political plays, such as Blood Knot for a group of multiracial actors, and they were under perpetual surveillance as a result, with their house regularly being ransacked. It was a situation Freda understood only too well from her own experience of being harassed and pursued during her defiant fight for Indian independence. To Sheila, Freda, or Sister Palmo, as she called her, was a veritable lifeline. Her devotion became absolute, as depicted in the book she wrote about her, Lady of Realisation.

"We were going through a very tough time. I was under enormous stress and was just coming out of a nervous breakdown. We had no money and yet were still trying to create a new theater for all races, but the government was forbidding us to go into the townships, where the blacks lived," said Sheila, now living in California with her daughter.

There was also a lesser-known, religious component to apartheid. "The Dutch Reformed Church felt that blacks should have separate churches, and were fighting with the Catholics who wanted to open the churches to blacks. sister Palmo was invited in order hopefully to help sow seeds of harmony through establishing Buddhism, and teaching meditation," she explained before continuing with her own story:

"I knew nothing about Buddhism apart from reading Evans-Wentz (an early translator of Tibetan texts, including the Tibetan Book of the Dead). I was desperately seeking some means of achieving inner stillness, and had visited several teachers, including Sufis and Hindu swamis. They had offered advice and explanations as regards the nature of the mind, meditation, and the problems of living, but none really helped. The knots of personality remained unsolved.

"I went to a lecture sister Palmo was giving in a private house. As I walked in, I was met by a sight I had never seen before -- a middle-aged Englishwoman sitting in the lotus position, wearing maroon robes with a shaved head. There was no doubt she was beautiful, with a firm bone structure and skin, which, although aging, had a unique softness. She emanated a tranquility, an aura of profound compassion, and what could only be described as an elevated energy. There was an aspect of the yogi about her that fascinated me, and yet at the same time she was undisputedly the Western intellectual.

"What she said was interesting enough to draw me back to listen to her again. By the third time, I thought, 'Forget everything else, this is it.' I signed up for an initiation and a retreat. I was so glad I did. And I also took Refuge with her. The experience was unforgettably powerful," she reminisced.

Freda also had secular words of wisdom to offer regarding apartheid, telling her audience that the intellectuals invariably suffered in any repressive regime. "Such situations toughen the moral fiber," Freda told them. "Tenacity is at the root of sila, or morality, the very bedrock of Buddhism. And nonviolence is only understood through experience."

It was in the personal arena, however, where Freda provided the most comfort to Sheila Fugard.

On hearing about her breakdown and the traumas she was going through, Freda said, "Well, you know, what you are talking about is suffering. That was the Buddha's main message, it was the foundation of what he taught. But if you think of the mind like a lake, while the surface may be ruffled and agitated by waves, in the depths it is very calm and still.

"Mind is radiantly pure. emptiness, the primordial ground, underlies both samsara (the Wheel of Suffering) and nirvana. The world of meditation is of extraordinary beauty. In mastering concentration all concepts and confusion fall away. All is attainable by the pupil, but initiations by the guru, proper instruction, and firm endeavor are necessary.'

The effect of Freda's words was immediate and electric. "With those words Sister Palmo changed my life," said Sheila. "She made me realize that that was how it was. Suffering is there, clear and simple, and yet there is a way out. I understood that there was a deep reservoir of peace available to me beneath the fear and anxiety. From that moment I turned a corner and came out of my depression. Things slowly began to improve. She was an excellent teacher and had the clearest view of the Path of any Tibetan master I later met. She had a unique ability to cut through. She was also extremely articulate, the result of her education and talent as a writer and teacher."

As with all truly effective teachers, however, it was the unspoken qualities that Freda embodied that made an equally powerful impression on Sheila. Qualities including compassion, empathy, kindness, and a sense of humor, gained from a deep understanding of the Path, and literally embodied.

"Aside from her words it was her manner itself that was healing. she reached me at a human level. Sister Palmo became a role model, not just for me but for many women, because of all that she had been through and because she was powerful. Her life was vast. She'd been a conservative Englishwoman, an intellectual who had fitted in with a Sikh family, who had got involved in Indian politics, who knew Indira Gandhi and who had had a family before her inner path took over. She was extraordinary. I was her student, and was devoted as well as highly respectful of her," said Sheila.

When she flew out of South Africa, Freda left behind the Karma Rigdol centers she had established in Cape Town, Johannesburg, and Port Elizabeth, all under the auspices of H.H. Karmapa, and a small but enthusiastic group of people committed to following the Buddhist path. Many, like Sheila Fugard, had taken Refuge with Freda, and had been given Tibetan names. Others, like Andre de Wet, became ordained taking a monk's name -- in his case, Karma Samten.

She left her new converts with texts of prayers and rituals in English that she had translated herself from the Tibetan. this in itself was an innovative step forward in the bringing of Buddhism to the West, as for many years after the Tibetan diaspora newly engaged Buddhists were obliged to read prayers and chants in the original, without knowing what they were reading and saying.

Over the ensuing years she remained in constant contact with them through her usual stream of letters, guiding their newly formed centers in precise detail: suggesting candidates for the roles of president, secretary, or treasurer according to each person's personality and ability, which she had witnessed and assessed. As with her own children, she was liberal with advice: "youth are the breath of any new movement, but we need the older students to give stability, those who have seen something of the sorrows of the world. they have more staying power and more understanding of continuity, which is important." Multitasking, also as usual, she set up journals, sent articles, and tried tirelessly (in vain) to get visas for eminent lamas such as Ayang Rinpoche to visit the centers to inspire them anew. When that did not work, she encouraged her students to come to India so that they could experience for themselves what it was like to be in the presence of the freshly emerged meditation masters from Tibet, and get their blessing that way.

Personally on several occasions Freda tried to return to South Africa herself, battling for months to get another visa, but to no avail. The authorities would not let her in.

-- The Revolutionary Life of Freda Bedi, by Vicki Mackenzie



"I am doing things that are worthwhile for other people."

On a New Moon Sunday just before 7.p.m. on the 3rd August, 1997, Rosemary Vosse passed away peacefully at her home ‘Watersedge" Malton Road, Wynberg, Cape Town.

The third daughter of the Marchese Antinori, an old Umbrian noble family, with its original seat in Perugia, Italy, Rosemary is survived by her two elder sisters, Erica and Peggy, and her nephews, nieces and extended family in Turin, Milan, Pisa, Britain, Canada and elsewhere..

Rosemary was born on 17th September, 1913 at Riccione, Italy on the Adriatic. After the death of her mother in 1922, Rosemary and her sisters went to live with her paternal Aunt Nora Antinori in Perugia, who had a great influence on Rosemary's life, and inspired her altruistic work at an early age.

She studied Art in Perugia and Turin, German in Vienna in 1938.

In 1939 she moved to South Africa which became her adopted country for the rest of her life. In 1944 she married Bertus Vosse, (Picchio, as he was known to the Italian family). Their only child, Wilfred, died at an early age.

Rosemary was known to her many Tibetan friends as Karma Dolma Chuzom, a name which was given to her by H.H. the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa, Rangjung Rigpe Dorje. To many of us, she was simply known as Dolma, ‘Mother.’

Over the years, Rosemary was a great inspiration to many through her selfless service to Humankind. She was deeply involved in Theosophy, with her late husband - and was a President of the Cape Town Lodge.

Inspired by an article which appeared in The Middle Way, the Journal of The Buddhist Society in London, Rosemary founded The Tibetan Friendship Group in the late 1950’s and edited its Newsletter - The Tibetan Friendship Group Newsletter, for many years, which then changed into The Bodhisattva Path, and eventually transformed into eighteen issues of MAITRI under the Editorship of Karma Samten (Andre de Wet), AND Sheila Fugard.
Later, Rosemary produced and edited ‘Koeksister’ and eventually ‘Co-Exister’ for many years.

Deep friendships with the Tibetan Community in exile, were cemented through her various journeys to India, where she and her husband were received in audience by many of the great Rinpoches. In 1974/5, Rosemary and Karma Samten joined the Entourage of His Holiness the 16th Karmapa, Ranjung Rigpe Dorje, and in 1976 she once again toured the world, to join Sister Palmo in California, with Sheila Fugard, and Karma Samten, for extended Teachings and diplomatic work on behalf of the Tibetan Refugees.

Rosemary was certainly avante garde in spreading awareness in Cape Town of more a ecological lifestyle, "voluntary simplicity" as she used to call it, and a vegetarian diet.Through her extensive sprouting operations, money was generated exclusively for Tibetan Refugees in exile, countless people were introduced to the precious Teachings of Tibetan Buddhism, and many life long friendships were formed. Rosemary invited the Ven. Gelongma Karma Khechog Palmo (Mrs Freda Bedi) to Cape Town in 1972 - and through this visit - The Karma Rigdol Centres of Tibetan Buddhism were formed under the Direction of H.H. the 16th Karmapa - and the first South African President, the late Dr. Ernst Landsberg.

Rosemary was also an active member of many social organisations, and maintained wide international links with enlightened groups
. She was a tireless campaigner for a more noble way of life - and manifested a simplicity of living. She personally ‘adopted’ the Venerable Ato Rinpoche, and assisted in his education through his early years in the West. During the last years of her life, she was deeply grateful to have received Akong Rinpoche, and Ato Ripoche in her home, and to have attended the talk by His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Cape Town in 1996. She was also a Member of the Mountain Club of South Africa, and the National Council of Women.

The National Council of Women of the United States (NCW/US) is the oldest [1] nonsectarian organization of women in America. Officially founded in 1888,[2] the NCW/US is an accredited non-governmental organization (NGO) with the Department of Public Information (UN/DPI)[1] and in Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations (ECOSOC).[3]

-- The National Council of Women of the United States, by Wikipedia

The International Council of Women (ICW) is a women's organization working across national boundaries for the common cause of advocating human rights for women. In March and April 1888, women leaders came together in Washington D.C. with 80 speakers and 49 delegates representing 53 women's organizations from 9 countries: Canada, the United States, Ireland, India, United Kingdom, Finland, Denmark, France and Norway. Women from professional organizations, trade unions, arts groups and benevolent societies participate. National councils are affiliated to the ICW and thus make themselves heard at the international level. The ICW enjoys consultative status with the United Nations and its Permanent Representatives to ECOSOC, ILO, FAO, WHO, UNDP, UNEP, UNESCO, UNICEF, UNCTAD, and UNIDO.

-- International Council of Women, by Wikipedia

She will be sadly missed by her huge international family. But her example remains a living memory for us all.

Samten de Wet. Turin, 2nd November, 1997.

"There is no more valuable thing possessed by any individual than an exalted ideal towards which he continually aspires, and after which he moulds his thoughts and feelings, and forms, as best he may, his life."

-- H.P. Blavatsky. Practical Occultism, p. 87.

"Thou shalt not separate thy being from BEING and the rest, but merge the Ocean in the drop, the drop within the Ocean.

So shalt thou be in full accord with all that lives, bear love to all men as though they were thy brother-pupils, disciples of One Teacher, the sons of one sweet mother."

-- "The Voice of the Silence"

Rosemary wrote:

From another dear "sister" away in the Eastern Transvaal, we received this prayer originally spoken by one of the North American Indians in Canada. "For me it embodies much of what is ultimately important to our spiritual lives," she says.


Great Spirit, whose voice I hear in the wind,
whose breath gives life to the world -
hear me!
I am small and weak, I need your strength and wisdom.
May I ever walk in beauty.
May my eyes ever hold the red and purple sunset,
May my ears sharp to hear your voice,
May my hands respect the things You have made,
Make me wise, so that I may learn the lessons You
have taught your children,
the secrets You have hidden in every leaf and rock.
Make me strong, not to be superior to my brother,
but to fight my greatest enemy - myself.
Make me ever ready to come to You with straight eyes
so that when life fades as the fading sunset
my soul can come to You without shame.


-were among the words that Mother, who died when we were children, taught us to address at bedtime to "God, my father in Heaven."

For how long we continued repeating those words during later years nobody remembers, in any case, after some time things tend to lose their potency, becoming automatic repetitions - not so?

But it’s interesting to remember that prayer a whole lifetime later, with gratitude to the woman who brought us into the world and who is described on her faraway tombstone as "A faithful wife and a devoted mother."

Kindness, gentleness and obedience are qualities we can all do with in greater abundance - the last being, in our adulthood, the attitude described by one of our very good friends as a type of listening to the voice of our intimate conscience.

Through our involvement with the Tibetan Friendship Group, we have been very happy to learn that H.H. the Dalai Lama has been awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace. "My true religion is kindness", is a phrase attributed to him.



Rosemary had the great fortune, to die peacefully in her own bed. These short pieces, edited from past issues of the Co-Exister, begin with a beautiful 'Morning Piece' - in which Rosemary demonstrates that the blankets on her bed, were woven with the relationships of those whom she loved.

Dear Friends,


- on a Sunday, there are several extra jobs to do. Like changing the sheets on the bed. Which means that the top one goes to the bottom and the clean one comes on top. That's what we always did at home.....

There's a variety of sheets here: this morning the clean one was one of the two Pauline kindly gave me when Erika was coming from Germany. The material is very nice, but they were a little short, so Hennie kindly added on a strip at the bottom, which makes all the difference. Hennie, as you may guess from her name, comes from Holland.

Today's pillowcase is the one Monique gave me, with flowers all over it on a pale blue background. Monique, incidentally was born in New Zealand.

After these comes the blanket we bought in Connaught Circle, New Delhi in 1965. It's surprisingly long and entitled "Beauty's Chancellor".

The next blanket is a very special one received from the Ven. Chogay Trichen Rinpoche of Lumbini, the place where the Buddha was born in Nepal, just over the border from India. It was in 1978 that Acharya Pema Wosel accompanied me on that trip from Varanasi by bus - a whole long day till we reached the tiny hamlet near the border post, where we had to find a place to sleep in the darkness - no electric lights..... Pema Wosel assured me in his deep voice that he would find something for "Mother", and disappeared, leaving her on the bench at the little tea booth among the buzzing mosquitoes.

The next morning meant a long ride together on a bicycle-rickshaw over the most potholed road anyone has ever seen. By the time they got to Lumbini, your editor was beginning to feel queasy, and after the usual hefty meal Tibetans expect you to eat, the feeling got worse - till she had to decamp hastily and bring it up again.....horrors.

Anyway, in the end our good Rinpoche made her a present in recognition of the help received from the Tibetan Friendship Group, of the woven Nepali blanket off his own bed - a short one because the high teachers apparently never lie down.

The final item to go on the bed is the light yellow nylon quilt that our dear friend Gita brought along many years ago. She was of Polish origin.

How could one not sleep peacefully on this incredible international concoction of a bed at "Watersedge"?

But one can still be restless occasionally, even when remembering all the good things one has received from kind friends. It's simply the way of life, never to be entirely satisfied. Our Buddhist friends call it "dukka", often translated as "suffering", but generally explained as "dissatisfaction".

So every morning we repeat the words:

"Let me be led from darkness to light,
From the unreal to the real,
From death to immortality,
From chaos to beauty."
Love to all from


Though Rosemary was a deeply committed Theosophist, this is not the time nor the occasion to air the Theosophical Teachings. They can be consulted in great detail and width in 'The Secret Doctrine' and 'Isis Unveiled' written by H.P. Blavatsky, a Teacher much beloved by Rosemary. Instead, during the last few years of her life - Rosemary was deeply inspired by the Life and Works of Peace Pilgrim - and she constantly quoted and used the writings of Peace Pilgrim in her publications. At that stage we may not have taken much notice, as the copies of 'Co-Exister' eventually, got buried beneath the piles of newspapers in the kitchen. But now that Rosemary has left us for Other Shores, we feel that this brief Summary of the Teachings of Peace Pilgrim, seems to encapsulate perfectly the many concerns and moral obligations that Rosemary demonstrated in her practical life.



1. Assume right attitudes towards life.

Stop being an escapist or a surface-liver as these attitudes can only cause disharmony in your life. Face life squarely and get down below the froth on its surface to discover its verities and realities. Solve the problems that life sets before you, and you will find that solving them contributes to your inner growth. Helping to solve collective problems contributes also to your growth, and these problems should never be avoided.

2. Live good beliefs.

The laws governing human contact apply as rigidly as the laws of gravity. Obedience to these laws pushes us towards harmony; disobedience pushes us towards disharmony. Since many of these laws are already common belief, you can begin by putting into practice all the good things you believe. No life can be in harmony unless belief and practice are in harmony.

3. Find your place in the Life Pattern.

You have a part in the scheme of things. What that part is you can only know from within yourself. You can seek it in receptive silence. You can begin to live in accordance with it by doing all the good things you are motivated toward and giving these things priority in your life over all the superficial things that customarily occupy human lives.

4. Simplify life to bring inner and outer well-being into harmony.

Unnecessary possessions are unnecessary burdens. Many lives are cluttered not only with unnecessary possessions but also with meaningless activities. Cluttered lives are out-of-harmony lives and require simplification. Wants and needs can become the same in a human life and, when this is accomplished, there will be a sense of harmony between inner and outer well-being. Such harmony is needful not only in the individual life but in the collective life too.


1. Purification of the body temple.

Are you free from all bad habits? In your diet do you stress the vital foods - the fruits, whole grains, vegetables and nuts? Do you get to bed early and get enough sleep? Do you get plenty of fresh air, sunshine, exercise, and contact with nature? If you can answer "Yes" to all of these questions, you have gone a long way toward purification of the bodily temple.

2. Purification of the thoughts.

It is not enough to do right things and say right things. You must also think right things. Positive thoughts can be powerful influences for good. Negative thoughts can make you physically ill. Be sure there is no unpeaceful situation between yourself and any other human being, for only when you have ceased to harbour unkind thoughts can you attain inner harmony.

3. Purification of the desires.

Since you are here to get yourself into harmony with the laws that govern human conduct and with your part in the scheme of things, your desires should be focused in this direction.

4. Purification of motives.

Obviously your motive should never be greed or self-seeking, or the wish for self-glorification. You shouldn't even have the selfish motive of attaining inner peace for yourself. To be of service to your fellow humans must be your motive before your life can come into harmony.


1. Relinquishment of self-will

You have, or it's as though you have, two selves; the lower self that usually governs you selfishly, and the higher self which stands ready to use you gloriously. You must subordinate the lower self by refraining from doing the not-good things you are motivated toward, not suppressing them but transforming them so that the higher self can take over your life.

2. Relinquishment of the feeling of separateness.

All of us, all over the world, are cells in the body of humanity. You are not separate from your fellow humans, and you cannot find harmony for yourself alone. You can only find harmony when you realise the oneness of all and work for the good of all.

3. Relinquishment of attachments.

Only when you have relinquished all attachments can you be really free. Material things are here for use, and anything you cannot relinquish when it has outlived its usefulness possesses you. You can only live in harmony with your fellow human beings if you have no feeling that you possess them, and therefore do not try to run their lives.

4. Relinquishment of all negative feelings.

Work on Relinquishing negative feelings. If you live in the present moment, which is really the only moment you have to live, you will be less apt to worry. If you realise that those who do mean things are psychologically ill, your feelings of anger will turn to feelings of pity. If you recognise that all of your inner hurts are caused by your own wrong actions or your own wrong reactions or your own wrong inaction, then you will stop hurting yourself.


It is many years since childhood days when we first saw a picture of (the) Potala (Palace) of Lhasa, that incredible building rising out of a hill as if it were a part of it. Little did we dream then, way back in Italy, that life would get us involved with Tibet and all that has come out of it.

The experience of meeting some of the high entities from that region and learning about their inspiring teachings, has surely been the most rewarding thing in this long life. As it gradually draws toward its close, we feel confident that, seeing that life is an ongoing process of alternating activity and rest, we shall return to the earthly scene in due course, to carry on the big work of encouraging our flagging brethren.

In this Year of Tibet, we remember the words coming from those high places addressed to the ones embarking upon the path of life:-

"To live to benefit mankind is the first step".

-- Rosemary

N.B. "We", of course, is that delightful editorial plural in which some of us are privileged to indulge.

NOTE: This small Memorial Page was, prepared by the Family Faraggiana of Turin, Italy, and edited by Samten de Wet. If you know of friends of Rosemary who have not received a copy and would like to - please send the names and addresses to:

Erica Faraggiana, Strada S. Margherita, 158, Turin 10131, Italy. Fax: (0939) 011. 812.1226


Samten de Wet, P.O.Box 15438, Vlaeberg, Cape Town 8018. Email:

or: Email:
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Sun Apr 07, 2019 8:14 am

Bruce Ginsberg
Dec 11, 2016



Bruce Ginsberg

On the Road with Zen and Tea.

Bruce Ginsberg is a South African farmer’s son and a Zen practitioner for 50 years who has immersed himself in Asian cultures and made a life journey through tea. He was Chairman of the Buddhist Society Trust from 1991-2012 and served on the United Nations Association Religious Advisory Committee alongside imams, rabbis, Hindu priests, and Christian bishops and academics in the interfaith field. He runs Dragonfly Tea, a family-owned, British tea company with a hundred year heritage of making artisanal teas.

Early Samovar

The samovar was a Russian invention of the mid-18th century and widely used to boil water for tea.

Q. You are the grandson of a tea planter?

In the 19th Century my grandfather lived in Moscow, where he completed his schooling. Tea is very central to Russian life and he lived there with a maternal uncle who worked in the tea trade. He went to South Africa in 1903 and is known as the founder of Rooibos tea.

Q. Chinese tea was very popular in Europe. What part did South Africa play in the tea trade?

The Cape was the stopping off place of the tea ships from the East. Their ballast was porcelain, and above that was tea. The Portuguese were the first to encounter and introduce tea to Europe in the early 17th century. Tea was in Holland from about the 1640s and by 1662 Samuel Pepys is mentioning drinking fine tea in his diaries. The craze quickly spread and tea became an expensive, fashionable, drawing room drink, as it was in China.

The Cederberg mountains and nature reserve are located near Clanwilliam, approximately 300 km north of Cape Town, South Africa.

Q. How did your grandfather become involved with Rooibos tea in South Africa?

Rooibos is a wild legume. The tea drinking culture was spread to all the Dutch and French frontier farmers at the Cape. Tea was mixed with local herbs to make it go further, as it was expensive. As a result, a number of Cape Bush Teas made from local plants came into use. Rooibos (redbush) was on the fringe at that stage and not so well known. The main one in use amongst rural farmers was Cyclopia (honeybush). In 1907, as a result of the Anglo Boer War and bad feeling, the British organised a very big Exhibition of South African country products in London, opened by the Prince of Wales. This spurred an interest in all these teas and raised their profile. My grandfather was the first to put Rooibos into packets, making a consistent quality tea, and he carried out experiments using old Chinese tea curing techniques on this wild Cape plant. Later, in the 1920s, a shortage of wild teas, which grew only in the Cederberg coastal ranges inland from the South Atlantic coast, led to Benjamin Ginsberg driving a project to get Rooibos, which has a difficult seed to propagate, into cultivation. As a result Rooibos became a new 20th century agricultural crop that is now crucial to the rural economy of this marginal area on the edge of the desert.

Benjamin Ginsberg, a Russian pioneer in the Cedarberg region of the Cape, South Africa, perfected the curing of Rooibos ("Red Bush") tea.

Traditionally the local people would climb the mountains and cut the fine needle-like leaves from wild rooibos plants (Aspalathus Linearis). They then rolled the bunches of leaves into hessian bags and brought them down the steep slopes on the backs of donkeys. The leaves were then chopped with axes and bruised with hammers, before being left to dry in the sun.

In 1904, Benjamin Ginsberg, riding in the remote mountains, became fascinated with this wild tea. He ran a wide variety of experiments at Rondegat Farm, finally perfecting the curing of rooibos. He simulated the traditional Chinese methods of making very fine Keemun, by fermenting the tea in barrels, covered in wet, hessian sacking that replicate the effects of bamboo baskets. His first packing machine is pictured on the left.

Benjamin Ginsberg also enthused the local GP, Dr. le Fras Nortier, who then began to experiment to find a way to propagate the seeds. He found that the only way was to replicate the action of mountain fires that crack open the very hard seed shells.

Benjamin's son, Henry Charles, built on this pioneering work, becoming the first to seed large, dedicated plantations of rooibos and encouraging other farmers to follow. He also created national demand for rooibos in South Africa, stressing its healthy properties, including naturally caffeine free and rich in minerals. He was followed by his son, Bruce, who introduced rooibos to the UK and further afield.

-- Benjamin Ginsberg (businessman), by Wikipedia

Bruce Ginsberg making Rooibos tea. Making Rooibos tea in South Africa, 1973. At the end of the curing process the oxidising heaps of tea begin to give off heat and a sweet smell, which attracts bees. The leaves have changed from Green to the desired characteristic Reddish colour. At this stage the heaps are thrown open and the tea spread across concrete courts, where it is allowed to dry in the sun, a completely natural artisan process based on famous Chinese teamaking techniques like that used in making the revered Keemun.

Q. How is Rooibos cured?

Like a Chinese Oolong tea. All teas are cured, whereas a herb is just dried, and Rooibos is cured. It is high in anti-oxidants and is a mild anti-spasmodic that can be given to little children and babies with feeding problems, and it relaxes you at night.

rooibos tea leaves. Rooibos tea, also known as redbush tea, is made from the South African shrub Aspalathus linearis which grows only in the Cederberg Mountains.

Q. Who built up the business of Rooibos tea?

My father became an obsessive farmer, and by 1950 was growing half of the Rooibos tea cultivated in South Africa. He was the one who really placed it on the market. He was also the largest wine grape farmer in South Africa and laid out a model estate. I ran those farms for him for 6 years after he had a heart attack. He sold his farms in 1991.

Q. You introduced Rooibos tea to England?

I came to live in London in 1976 where I introduced Rooibos tea. In South Africa it was a poor man’s tea, but in the UK we developed a marketing proposition that it was actually a very special rare tea and now it is popular all round the world. The Germans are the biggest drinkers, and it is very popular in America and China.

The Dharma Bums, a 1958 novel by Beat Generation author Jack Kerouac. The basis for the novel’s semi-fictional accounts are events occurring years after the events of On the Road.

Q. In 1967 you became a student of Zen Buddhism?

I was working as a journalist and I went to Tokyo for a job interview with a Japanese English newspaper, but my real interest was to get a closer understanding of Zen. Zen was the avant garde flavour of the decade in the 50s and 60s, with the American Beats, Kerouac’s “Dharma Bums”, abstract expressionists, John Cage. We were all fascinated by Zen.

With a Chinese Zen master. A young Bruce Ginsberg sitting with a Chinese Zen master.

And, like tea, Zen was from China?

Zen was originally Chinese, but maintained in purity in Japan. Zen was brought to China from South India in the 5th century by a man called Bodhidharma.

Q. You studied Zen in Japan?

I was living as a layman in a famous Zen monastery, Daitokuji, which is where the Japanese tea ceremony was developed 500 years ago. It is famous for its gardens, poets and painters, and every autumn 10,000 tea ceremony teachers come to Daitokuji to pay tribute to the founders of the tea ceremony. I began to get a sense of the way tea was celebrated, and it deepened my interest in the culture of tea.

With the famous Korean Zen Master Kyong Bong. Bruce with one of the most eminent Korean Son (Zen) masters, Venerable Kyong Bong, in the South Korean mountains. September 1967.

Q. What is the culture of tea that you discovered?

Fine tea needs to be drunk very slowly close to nature. Tea was spread from China by Buddhist monasteries. It doesn’t only have caffeine, it has theanine, which is a relaxant. So you have a simultaneous relaxed alertness, as meditation does. It became a practice for the warrior classes who brought Zen to Japan in 11th and 12th century.

Q. Is tea connoisseurship like that of wine?

It’s like wines on a much deeper scale. It’s possible that wine connoisseurship developed from tea connoisseurship.

Inspecting tea used for making Black tea on a British tea estate in Kenya.

Q. What interests you so much about tea?

Tea culture is my interest. The experience of boundlessness that comes when you hold a cup of tea. I see myself as a beginner, with a beginner’s mind, fascinated by everything. Each moment is a heaven in itself if you know how to step into it. You are bringing everything into attention and noticing. I am an explorer in the classic world of tea.

Q. Is there a great variety of tea cultivation in China?

Every mountain range across China has its own techniques in curing tea. Until the 1870s a trained British tea taster had to understand 8,000 teas. Part of the connoisseurship is the shape and beauty of the leaf, and the quality of the water is also very important. I have seen the Japanese Emperor’s tea maker take 6 hours rolling tea by hand, until it is so altered that you can eat it as a delicacy.

Bruce rolling the highest quality green Gyokuro tea in Japan, near Uji, overseen by the Emperor’s tea maker and assistant. The process takes 6 hours.

Q. Why have you followed this path of Zen and tea?

I have been on a path to deepen my experience of everything, to understand the moment before you think when the brain has already made the decision for nine tenths of all the things we do. We have an existence which doesn’t need thinking when we hand ourselves over to the moment.

Q. Is it like a religion for you?

It is a religious feeling. We need to explore the aesthetics of the moment of drinking and tasting in full awareness and emotion structured into an art form. The art of drinking a cup of teas is artistic as a ritual and when you leave the tea room you need to feel a part of everything. James Joyce called it the aesthetic arrest. When you get absorbed into the moment, totally absorbed, you feel free and totally alive. What follows the freedom is the creative flow through us.

Q. Chinese tea once enjoyed great popularity in England, but now this has changed?

The British have lost their knowledge on tea, and from the 1880s more tea was coming from India than China. Many houses don’t even have teapots any more, but people keep drinking it because the physical effect is such that we like that mood sensation which has a very subtle effect. In the 18th century more than half the tea drunk in England was green tea, and we moved to poor quality Indian tea. A tea called Eastern Beauty was a favourite of Queen Victoria; a fine Oolong, slightly fermented tea, just turning to brown from green. By the 19th century the Chinese produced black teas for the English market, but real tea shouldn’t have any bitterness to it.

Inspecting tea gardens in the Wuyi mountains of Nanping, China.

Q. Tea also comes from India?

Indian tea like India is a British creation. A representative of the Chelsea Physic Garden went to China in 1849/50 and smuggled plants out to the British who put them into India and Ceylon. Up until recently the Chinese wouldn’t drink such teas. Real tea goes back 1500 years.

Q. And now coffee is the dominant global drink?

Coffee is now the fashion icon because we need to develop the style which people have forgotten in tea. Tea has a quietness, stillness and repose, whereas coffee is a buzz.

With a tea picker in the Zhejiang mountains, near Mount Lu.

Q. You also love gardens. What is it about gardens that interests you?

I am intrigued by how we cut off a piece of space and do something to it. Colour touches the heart and flowers have an emotional effect on us. Gardens are artificial, but there is a structure between nature and man. I also have a topiary box plant (buxus) nursery, because a garden is a culture, a space that as you walk through it either speeds you up or slows you down, without realising it. It is very important for me to be near nature.

Q. Is this possible today?

It’s absolutely critical. Drinking tea you need calmness and relaxation, so anything that requires this needs a centre of gravity within ourselves. In the Renaissance world we measured the world with our bodies, and this comes from being in balance, a sense of poignancy. If you want to feel alive you need these small ceremonial moments of poise.

West Lake, Hangzhou. West Lake is a freshwater lake in Hangzhou, the capital of Zhejiang province in eastern China. It is divided into five sections by three causeways. There are numerous temples, pagodas, gardens and artificial islands within the lake.

Q. What tea do you drink yourself?

I vary, but at the moment I usually start the day with a 2nd flush Darjeeling, without milk and sugar, and will add water to the pot several times. In China, with fine teas the third or fourth cup will be praised more than the first. Sometimes during the day I drink a Chinese Oolong, half black, half slightly scented with orange blossom, or a particularly fine handmade green Dragonswell tea, Lung Jing, grown in the hills around the magical West Lake in Hangzhou. Hangzhou was the ancient Song dynasty capital in Zhejiang province where Marco Polo stayed. It is a place where great poets have lived and painted. There is a beautiful causeway made up of numerous bowed bridges across the lake, and the light comes so beautifully, with endless reflections. It has touched people for a long time. Zen came to Japan from there and the Zen monasteries in the area were famous for their simplicity, their formal strictness and tidiness, and the playfulness of the practitioners with their high cultural emphasis on creativity. Gondolas ply between several small islands, where there are famous teahouses. At night I drink Rooibos in particular, as it is wonderful for sleep.

Tasting teas of different types in a rural tea factory in China, sampling in small cups typical of the type used in the gongfu tea ceremony style in Fujian province.

Q. What are you looking for?

I am not looking for anything, other than to enjoy the moment. It’s about the quality of how each of us experience the world that we are part of, to allow these moments where we rise to the occasion. I am a tea enthusiast, and have travelled all over China. Tea is involved with nature, with gardens.

Q. Are you a Buddhist?

Others would describe me as a Zen Buddhist, but I don’t know if we need these names any more. We are travellers.


Q. Do you consider yourself a South African?

I feel very tender towards South Africa, which has 8,000 species of plants, wonderful mountains and is where two oceans meet. I try to go back every year, but no longer have a farm there. It’s a place of the heart where I have known intimacy with everything around me. My first fears and exultations were experienced there as a boy who clambered over rocks.

London, December 2016
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Sun Apr 07, 2019 8:48 am

Part 1 of 2

Allen Ginsberg
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 4/7/19



Freda was now free to concentrate on reestablishing the Young Lamas Home School in Dalhousie. With the Dalai Lama's permission, she put her spiritual son, Chogyam Trungpa, in charge of Spiritual Studies, and when he left, another eminent tulku, Ato Rinpoche (Dilgo Khyentse's nephew), took over. The school had about thirty pupils at any one time.

Freda, who was utterly nonsectarian in all religious paths, encouraged her pupils to stay true to their respective traditions, but she did want to introduce them to the formal studies of Geography, History, and the English language, through which, she envisioned, they would transmit the Buddha's message to the outside world. Certainly most of the young tulkus were not particularly interested in taking on such foreign subjects, and they approached their lessons in a somewhat desultory fashion. But Freda persisted.

In Dalhousie a colorful band of Westerners also encountered Freda (including the Beat poet Allen Ginsberg) as they made their way to the Young Lamas Home School to volunteer their services....

Following one Tara initiation she gave in America, Freda revealed that the Karmapa had told her she was named after an eighth-century nun in India, a Sister Palmo, who was associated with Tara and who was bestowed with exceptional caring skills. Freda had translated a text about this original Sister Palmo, which she now made available. One of the attendees read it out as a tribute to Freda:

"One should imagine the form of a woman with yellow robe who lived in a hermitage, following the path of the yogi, dwelling in a forest, living a life of seclusion and meditation. Gelongma Palmo showed herself in her outer form as the bikshuni -- a fully ordained nun with an ushnisha mound on her head, like the Buddha. In her inner form she manifested as Tara, green in color, removing obstacles and hindrances (to enlightenment). Thinking of Gelongma Palmo in this form, we should recollect the very beautiful initiation of the Green Mother, which we experienced this morning."

The references and allusions were obvious. Freda clearly identified with the eight-century nun, and she wanted others to see her that way as well.

On her last trip to the United States, exhausted, she managed to find time for a solitary two-week meditation retreat at Mount Shasta. Eyewitnesses reported that she emerged quite radiant. The retreat coincided with her tenth anniversary as a nun, after which she was regaled with a large party, complete with cake, candles, and musicians. Allen Ginsberg and Lama Karma Thinley were among the guests.

-- The Revolutionary Life of Freda Bedi, by Vicki Mackenzie

On our way back to Tail [July, 1970] we stopped off in New York for the weekend. Rinpoche gave several public talks, one entitled “Meditation in Action” and another called “Tibetan Alchemy.” It was now early July, and his seminars at Tail of the Tiger were due to start in another week. Even now, a mere two months after arriving in the United States, everywhere Rinpoche went he attracted new students. When we came back through New York, there were many more people around all the time. An important and absolutely chance meeting was running into the poet Allen Ginsberg. Allen was with his father, who was quite old and in poor health, and they were trying to hail a taxicab, the same cab we thought we were hailing. We were with someone, perhaps Richard Arthure, who introduced us to Allen. When he learned who Rinpoche was, Allen held his hands in anjali (hands at the heart in a gesture of respect or reverence), bowed, and said “OM VAJRA GURU PADMA SIDDHI HUM,” which is the mantra of Padmasambhava, the syllables that invoke the essence of his energy. We all decided to share the cab. After dropping of Allen’s father, we went to Allen’s place, where he and Rinpoche talked for hours about poetry, Buddhism, politics, sex – everything. They wrote poetry together that night, and it was the beginning of a deep dharmic and poetic friendship. Later, when they knew each other better, Allen asked Rinpoche what he thought of being greeted by Padmasambhava’s mantra. Rinpoche told him that at the time he had wondered whether Allen understood what he was saying.

Rinpoche had started writing poetry in English while he was in England. He had studied English poetry at Oxford, and his early poems tended to be more formal, with allusions to Christian themes and Greek mythology as well as to Buddhist deities. He also had encountered Japanese haiku in India, which had given him a different idea, a sense of how one might compose poetry that was a more direct reflection of the mind. This was similar to the training he had received from his guru in Tibet in composing dohas, or spontaneous songs of spiritual realization. Allen introduced Rinpoche to the possibility of even greater freedom of expression and a kind of poetry that was as fresh, wild, and evocative as our experience of America. It was the first chapter in a long and important association with American poets and poetics, which had its intense ups and downs.

Interestingly enough, this was not the first time that Rinpoche and Allen had met. After Rinpoche’s death, while going through photographs from a visit to India in the early sixties, Allen saw a picture of himself taken at the Young Lamas Home School in Dalhousie. A young monk was showing him around. He looked closely at the photograph and realized that it was Rinpoche who had taken him on that tour, ten years before they met in New York. Neither one of them realized this when they ran across each other in America.....

When [Rinpoche] met somebody, he instantly connected with them, and he never forgot a face. This I think was because he wasn't just superficially getting to know people, but instantaneously he could see into the deepest parts of a person.

-- Dragon Thunder: My Life with Chogyam Trungpa, by Diana J. Mukpo with Caroloyn Rose Gimian

Allen Ginsberg
Ginsberg in 1979
Born Irwin Allen Ginsberg
June 3, 1926
Newark, New Jersey, U.S.
Died April 5, 1997 (aged 70)
New York City, U.S.
Occupation Writer, poet
Education Columbia University (B.A.)
Literary movement Beat literature, hippie
Confessional poetry
Notable awards National Book Award (1974)
Robert Frost Medal (1986)
Partner Peter Orlovsky (1954–1997; Ginsberg's death)

Irwin Allen Ginsberg (/ˈɡɪnzbɜːrɡ/; June 3, 1926 – April 5, 1997) was an American poet, philosopher and writer. He is considered to be one of the leading figures of both the Beat Generation during the 1950s and the counterculture that soon followed. He vigorously opposed militarism, economic materialism and sexual repression and was known as embodying various aspects of this counterculture, such as his views on drugs, hostility to bureaucracy and openness to Eastern religions.[1] He was one of many influential American writers of his time known as the Beat Generation, which included famous writers such as Jack Kerouac and William S. Burroughs.

Ginsberg is best known for his poem "Howl", in which he denounced what he saw as the destructive forces of capitalism and conformity in the United States.[2][3][4] In 1956, "Howl" was seized by San Francisco police and US Customs.[1] In 1957, it attracted widespread publicity when it became the subject of an obscenity trial, as it described heterosexual and homosexual sex[5] at a time when sodomy laws made homosexual acts a crime in every U.S. state. "Howl" reflected Ginsberg's own bisexuality and his relationships with a number of men, including Peter Orlovsky, his lifelong partner.[6] Judge Clayton W. Horn ruled that "Howl" was not obscene, adding, "Would there be any freedom of press or speech if one must reduce his vocabulary to vapid innocuous euphemisms?"[7]

Ginsberg was a practicing Buddhist who studied Eastern religious disciplines extensively. He lived modestly, buying his clothing in second-hand stores and residing in downscale apartments in New York's East Village.[8] One of his most influential teachers was the Tibetan Buddhist Chögyam Trungpa, the founder of the Naropa Institute in Boulder, Colorado.[9] At Trungpa's urging, Ginsberg and poet Anne Waldman started The Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics there in 1974.[10]

Ginsberg took part in decades of non-violent political protest against everything from the Vietnam War to the War on Drugs.[11] His poem "September on Jessore Road", calling attention to the plight of Bangladeshi refugees, exemplifies what the literary critic Helen Vendler described as Ginsberg's tireless persistence in protesting against "imperial politics, and persecution of the powerless."[12]

His collection The Fall of America shared the annual U.S. National Book Award for Poetry in 1974.[13] In 1979 he received the National Arts Club gold medal and was inducted into the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters.[14] Ginsberg was a Pulitzer Prize finalist in 1995 for his book Cosmopolitan Greetings: Poems 1986–1992.[15]


Early life and family

Ginsberg was born into a Jewish[16] family in Newark, New Jersey, and grew up in nearby Paterson.[17]

As a young teenager, Ginsberg began to write letters to The New York Times about political issues, such as World War II and workers' rights.[18] While in high school, Ginsberg began reading Walt Whitman, inspired by his teacher's passionate reading.[19]

In 1943, Ginsberg graduated from Eastside High School and briefly attended Montclair State College before entering Columbia University on a scholarship from the Young Men's Hebrew Association of Paterson.[20] In 1945, he joined the Merchant Marine to earn money to continue his education at Columbia.[21] While at Columbia, Ginsberg contributed to the Columbia Review literary journal, the Jester humor magazine, won the Woodberry Poetry Prize, served as president of the Philolexian Society (literary and debate group), and joined Boar's Head Society (poetry society).[19][22] Ginsberg has stated that he considered his required freshman seminar in Great Books, taught by Lionel Trilling, to be his favorite Columbia course.[23]

According to The Poetry Foundation, Ginsberg spent several months in a mental institution after he pleaded insanity during a hearing. He was allegedly being prosecuted for harboring stolen goods in his dorm room. It was noted that the stolen property was not his, but belonged to an acquaintance.[24]

Relationship with his parents

Ginsberg referred to his parents, in a 1985 interview, as "old-fashioned delicatessen philosophers".[17] His father, Louis Ginsberg, was a published poet and a high school teacher.[20][25] Ginsberg's mother, Naomi Livergant Ginsberg, was affected by a psychological illness that was never properly diagnosed.[26] She was also an active member of the Communist Party and took Ginsberg and his brother Eugene to party meetings. Ginsberg later said that his mother "made up bedtime stories that all went something like: 'The good king rode forth from his castle, saw the suffering workers and healed them.'"[18] Of his father Ginsberg said "My father would go around the house either reciting Emily Dickinson and Longfellow under his breath or attacking T. S. Eliot for ruining poetry with his 'obscurantism.' I grew suspicious of both sides."[17]

Naomi Ginsberg's mental illness often manifested as paranoid delusions. She would claim, for example, that the president had implanted listening devices in their home and that her mother-in-law was trying to kill her.[27][28] Her suspicion of those around her caused Naomi to draw closer to young Allen, "her little pet", as Bill Morgan says in his biography of Ginsberg, titled, I Celebrate Myself: The Somewhat Private Life of Allen Ginsberg.[29] She also tried to kill herself by slitting her wrists and was soon taken to Greystone, a mental hospital; she would spend much of Ginsberg's youth in mental hospitals.[30][31] His experiences with his mother and her mental illness were a major inspiration for his two major works, "Howl" and his long autobiographical poem "Kaddish for Naomi Ginsberg (1894–1956)".[32]

When he was in junior high school, he accompanied his mother by bus to her therapist. The trip deeply disturbed Ginsberg – he mentioned it and other moments from his childhood in "Kaddish".[26] His experiences with his mother's mental illness and her institutionalization are also frequently referred to in "Howl".
For example, "Pilgrim State, Rockland, and Grey Stone's foetid halls" is a reference to institutions frequented by his mother and Carl Solomon, ostensibly the subject of the poem: Pilgrim State Hospital and Rockland State Hospital in New York and Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital in New Jersey.[31][33][34] This is followed soon by the line "with mother finally ******." Ginsberg later admitted the deletion was the expletive "fucked."[35] He also says of Solomon in section three, "I'm with you in Rockland where you imitate the shade of my mother," once again showing the association between Solomon and his mother.[36]

Ginsberg received a letter from his mother after her death responding to a copy of "Howl" he had sent her. It admonished Ginsberg to be good and stay away from drugs; she says, "The key is in the window, the key is in the sunlight at the window – I have the key – Get married Allen don't take drugs – the key is in the bars, in the sunlight in the window".[37] In a letter she wrote to Ginsberg's brother Eugene, she said, "God's informers come to my bed, and God himself I saw in the sky. The sunshine showed too, a key on the side of the window for me to get out. The yellow of the sunshine, also showed the key on the side of the window."[38] These letters and the absence of a facility to recite kaddish inspired Ginsberg to write "Kaddish", which makes references to many details from Naomi's life, Ginsberg's experiences with her, and the letter, including the lines "the key is in the light" and "the key is in the window".[39]

New York Beats

In Ginsberg's freshman year at Columbia he met fellow undergraduate Lucien Carr, who introduced him to a number of future Beat writers, including Jack Kerouac, William S. Burroughs, and John Clellon Holmes. They bonded, because they saw in one another an excitement about the potential of American youth, a potential that existed outside the strict conformist confines of post–World War II, McCarthy-era America.[40] Ginsberg and Carr talked excitedly about a "New Vision" (a phrase adapted from Yeats' "A Vision"), for literature and America. Carr also introduced Ginsberg to Neal Cassady, for whom Ginsberg had a long infatuation.[41] In the first chapter of his 1957 novel On the Road Kerouac described the meeting between Ginsberg and Cassady.[26] Kerouac saw them as the dark (Ginsberg) and light (Cassady) side of their "New Vision", a perception stemming partly from Ginsberg's association with communism, of which Kerouac had become increasingly distrustful. Though Ginsberg was never a member of the Communist Party, Kerouac named him "Carlo Marx" in On the Road. This was a source of strain in their relationship.[19]

Also, in New York, Ginsberg met Gregory Corso in the Pony Stable Bar. Corso, recently released from prison, was supported by the Pony Stable patrons and was writing poetry there the night of their meeting. Ginsberg claims he was immediately attracted to Corso, who was straight, but understanding of homosexuality after three years in prison. Ginsberg was even more struck by reading Corso's poems, realizing Corso was "spiritually gifted." Ginsberg introduced Corso to the rest of his inner circle. In their first meeting at the Pony Stable, Corso showed Ginsberg a poem about a woman who lived across the street from him and sunbathed naked in the window. Amazingly, the woman happened to be Ginsberg's girlfriend that he was living with during one of his forays into heterosexuality. Ginsberg took Corso over to their apartment. There the woman proposed sex with Corso, who was still very young and fled in fear. Ginsberg introduced Corso to Kerouac and Burroughs and they began to travel together. Ginsberg and Corso remained lifelong friends and collaborators.[19]

Shortly after this period in Ginsberg's life, he became romantically involved with Elise Nada Cowen after meeting her through Alex Greer, a philosophy professor at Barnard College whom she had dated for a while during the burgeoning Beat generation's period of development. As a Barnard student, Elise Cowen extensively read the poetry of Ezra Pound and T. S. Eliot, when she met Joyce Johnson and Leo Skir, among other Beat players. As Cowen had felt a strong attraction to darker poetry most of the time, Beat poetry seemed to provide an allure to what suggests a shadowy side of her persona. While at Barnard, Cowen earned the nickname "Beat Alice" as she had joined a small group of anti-establishment artists and visionaries known to outsiders as beatniks, and one of her first acquaintances at the college was the beat poet Joyce Johnson who later portrayed Cowen in her books, including "Minor Characters" and Come and Join the Dance, which expressed the two women's experiences in the Barnard and Columbia Beat community. Through his association with Elise Cowen, Ginsberg discovered that they shared a mutual friend, Carl Solomon, to whom he later dedicated his most famous poem "Howl". This poem is considered an autobiography of Ginsberg up to 1955, and a brief history of the Beat Generation through its references to his relationship to other Beat artists of that time.

"Blake vision"

In 1948 in an apartment in Harlem, Ginsberg had an auditory hallucination while reading the poetry of William Blake (later referred to as his "Blake vision"). At first, Ginsberg claimed to have heard the voice of God but later interpreted the voice as that of Blake himself reading Ah! Sun-flower, The Sick Rose, and Little Girl Lost, also described by Ginsberg as "voice of the ancient of days." The experience lasted several days. Ginsberg believed that he had witnessed the interconnectedness of the universe. He looked at latticework on the fire escape and realized some hand had crafted that; he then looked at the sky and intuited that some hand had crafted that also, or rather, that the sky was the hand that crafted itself. He explained that this hallucination was not inspired by drug use but said he sought to recapture that feeling later with various drugs.[19] Ginsberg stated: "living blue hand itself. Or that God was in front of my eyes - existence itself was God," and "And it was a sudden awakening into a totally deeper real universe than I'd been existing in." [42]

San Francisco Renaissance

Ginsberg moved to San Francisco during the 1950s. Before Howl and Other Poems was published in 1956 by City Lights Bookshop, he worked as a market researcher.[43]

In 1954, in San Francisco, Ginsberg met Peter Orlovsky (1933–2010), with whom he fell in love and who remained his lifelong partner.[19] Selections from their correspondence have been published.[44]

Also in San Francisco, Ginsberg met members of the San Francisco Renaissance (James Broughton, Robert Duncan, Madeline Gleason and Kenneth Rexroth) and other poets who would later be associated with the Beat Generation in a broader sense. Ginsberg's mentor William Carlos Williams wrote an introductory letter to San Francisco Renaissance figurehead Kenneth Rexroth, who then introduced Ginsberg into the San Francisco poetry scene. There, Ginsberg also met three budding poets and Zen enthusiasts who had become friends at Reed College: Gary Snyder, Philip Whalen, and Lew Welch. In 1959, along with poets John Kelly, Bob Kaufman, A. D. Winans, and William Margolis, Ginsberg was one of the founders of the Beatitude poetry magazine.

Wally Hedrick — a painter and co-founder of the Six Gallery — approached Ginsberg in mid-1955 and asked him to organize a poetry reading at the Six Gallery. At first, Ginsberg refused, but once he had written a rough draft of "Howl", he changed his "fucking mind", as he put it.[40] Ginsberg advertised the event as "Six Poets at the Six Gallery". One of the most important events in Beat mythos, known simply as "The Six Gallery reading" took place on October 7, 1955.[45] The event, in essence, brought together the East and West Coast factions of the Beat Generation. Of more personal significance to Ginsberg, the reading that night included the first public presentation of "Howl", a poem that brought worldwide fame to Ginsberg and to many of the poets associated with him. An account of that night can be found in Kerouac's novel The Dharma Bums, describing how change was collected from audience members to buy jugs of wine, and Ginsberg reading passionately, drunken, with arms outstretched.

Ginsberg's principal work, "Howl", is well known for its opening line: "I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked ..." "Howl" was considered scandalous at the time of its publication, because of the rawness of its language. Shortly after its 1956 publication by San Francisco's City Lights Bookstore, it was banned for obscenity. The ban became a cause célèbre among defenders of the First Amendment, and was later lifted, after Judge Clayton W. Horn declared the poem to possess redeeming artistic value.[19] Ginsberg and Shig Murao, the City Lights manager who was jailed for selling "Howl," became lifelong friends.[46]

Biographical references in "Howl"

Ginsberg claimed at one point that all of his work was an extended biography (like Kerouac's Duluoz Legend). "Howl" is not only a biography of Ginsberg's experiences before 1955, but also a history of the Beat Generation. Ginsberg also later claimed that at the core of "Howl" were his unresolved emotions about his schizophrenic mother. Though "Kaddish" deals more explicitly with his mother, "Howl" in many ways is driven by the same emotions. "Howl" chronicles the development of many important friendships throughout Ginsberg's life. He begins the poem with "I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness", which sets the stage for Ginsberg to describe Cassady and Solomon, immortalizing them into American literature.[40] This madness was the "angry fix" that society needed to function — madness was its disease. In the poem, Ginsberg focused on "Carl Solomon! I'm with you in Rockland", and, thus, turned Solomon into an archetypal figure searching for freedom from his "straightjacket". Though references in most of his poetry reveal much about his biography, his relationship to other members of the Beat Generation, and his own political views, "Howl", his most famous poem, is still perhaps the best place to start.[citation needed]

To Paris and the "Beat Hotel", Tangier and India

In 1957, Ginsberg surprised the literary world by abandoning San Francisco. After a spell in Morocco, he and Peter Orlovsky joined Gregory Corso in Paris. Corso introduced them to a shabby lodging house above a bar at 9 rue Gît-le-Coeur that was to become known as the Beat Hotel. They were soon joined by Burroughs and others. It was a productive, creative time for all of them. There, Ginsberg began his epic poem "Kaddish", Corso composed Bomb and Marriage, and Burroughs (with help from Ginsberg and Corso) put together Naked Lunch from previous writings. This period was documented by the photographer Harold Chapman, who moved in at about the same time, and took pictures constantly of the residents of the "hotel" until it closed in 1963. During 1962–1963, Ginsberg and Orlovsky travelled extensively across India, living half a year at a time in Calcutta (now Kolkata) and Benares (Varanasi). Also during this time, he formed friendships with some of the prominent young Bengali poets of the time including Shakti Chattopadhyay and Sunil Gangopadhyay. Ginsberg had several political connections in India; most notably Pupul Jayakar who helped him extend his stay in India when the authorities were eager to expel him.

England and the International Poetry Incarnation

In May 1965, Ginsberg arrived in London, and offered to read anywhere for free.[47] Shortly after his arrival, he gave a reading at Better Books, which was described by Jeff Nuttall as "the first healing wind on a very parched collective mind".[47] Tom McGrath wrote: "This could well turn out to have been a very significant moment in the history of England — or at least in the history of English Poetry".[48]

Soon after the bookshop reading, plans were hatched for the International Poetry Incarnation,[48] which was held at the Royal Albert Hall in London on June 11, 1965. The event attracted an audience of 7,000, who heard readings and live and tape performances by a wide variety of figures, including Ginsberg, Adrian Mitchell, Alexander Trocchi, Harry Fainlight, Anselm Hollo, Christopher Logue, George MacBeth, Gregory Corso, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Michael Horovitz, Simon Vinkenoog, Spike Hawkins and Tom McGrath. The event was organized by Ginsberg's friend, the filmmaker Barbara Rubin.[49][50]

Peter Whitehead documented the event on film and released it as Wholly Communion. A book featuring images from the film and some of the poems that were performed was also published under the same title by Lorrimer in the UK and Grove Press in US.

Continuing literary activity

Ginsberg with his partner, poet Peter Orlovsky. Photo taken in 1978

Though the term "Beat" is most accurately applied to Ginsberg and his closest friends (Corso, Orlovsky, Kerouac, Burroughs, etc.), the term "Beat Generation" has become associated with many of the other poets Ginsberg met and became friends with in the late 1950s and early 1960s. A key feature of this term seems to be a friendship with Ginsberg. Friendship with Kerouac or Burroughs might also apply, but both writers later strove to disassociate themselves from the name "Beat Generation." Part of their dissatisfaction with the term came from the mistaken identification of Ginsberg as the leader. Ginsberg never claimed to be the leader of a movement. He claimed that many of the writers with whom he had become friends in this period shared many of the same intentions and themes. Some of these friends include: David Amram, Bob Kaufman; Diane di Prima; Jim Cohn; poets associated with the Black Mountain College such as Robert Creeley and Denise Levertov; poets associated with the New York School such as Frank O'Hara and Kenneth Koch. LeRoi Jones before he became Amiri Baraka, who, after reading "Howl", wrote a letter to Ginsberg on a sheet of toilet paper. Through a party organized by Amiri Baraka, Ginsberg was introduced to Langston Hughes while Ornette Coleman played saxophone.[51]

Portrait with Bob Dylan, taken in 1975

Later in his life, Ginsberg formed a bridge between the beat movement of the 1950s and the hippies of the 1960s, befriending, among others, Timothy Leary, Ken Kesey, and Bob Dylan. Ginsberg gave his last public reading at Booksmith, a bookstore in the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood of San Francisco, a few months before his death.[52] In 1993, Ginsberg visited the University of Maine at Orono to pay homage to the 90-year-old great Carl Rakosi.[53]

Buddhism and Krishnaism

See also: A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada and Mantra-Rock Dance

In 1950, Kerouac began studying Buddhism[54] and shared what he learned from Dwight Goddard's Buddhist Bible with Ginsberg.[54] Ginsberg first heard about the Four Noble Truths and such sutras as the Diamond Sutra at this time.[54]

Ginsberg's spiritual journey began early on with his spontaneous visions, and continued with an early trip to India with Gary Snyder.[54] Snyder had previously spent time in Kyoto to study at the First Zen Institute at Daitoku-ji Monastery.[54] At one point, Snyder chanted the Prajnaparamita, which in Ginsberg's words "blew my mind."[54] His interest piqued, Ginsberg traveled to meet the Dalai Lama as well as the Karmapa at Rumtek Monastery.[54] Continuing on his journey, Ginsberg met Dudjom Rinpoche in Kalimpong, who taught him: "If you see something horrible, don't cling to it, and if you see something beautiful, don't cling to it."[54]

After returning to the United States, a chance encounter on a New York City street with Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche (they both tried to catch the same cab),[55] a Kagyu and Nyingma Tibetan Buddhist master, led to Trungpa becoming his friend and lifelong teacher.[54] Ginsberg helped Trungpa and New York poet Anne Waldman in founding the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado.[56]

Ginsberg was also involved with Krishnaism. He had started incorporating chanting the Hare Krishna mantra into his religious practice in the mid-1960s. After learning that A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, the founder of the Hare Krishna movement in the Western world had rented a store front in New York, he befriended him, visiting him often and suggesting publishers for his books, and a fruitful relationship began. This relationship is documented by Satsvarupa dasa Goswami in his biographical account Srila Prabhupada Lilamrta. Ginsberg donated money, materials, and his reputation to help the Swami establish the first temple, and toured with him to promote his cause.[57]

Allen Ginsberg's greeting A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada at San Francisco International Airport. January 17, 1967

Despite disagreeing with many of Bhaktivedanta Swami's required prohibitions, Ginsberg often sang the Hare Krishna mantra publicly as part of his philosophy[58] and declared that it brought a state of ecstasy.[59] He was glad that Bhaktivedanta Swami, an authentic swami from India, was now trying to spread the chanting in America. Along with other counterculture ideologists like Timothy Leary, Gary Snyder, and Alan Watts, Ginsberg hoped to incorporate Bhaktivedanta Swami and his chanting into the hippie movement, and agreed to take part in the Mantra-Rock Dance concert and to introduce the swami to the Haight-Ashbury hippie community.[58][60][nb 1]

On January 17, 1967, Ginsberg helped plan and organize a reception for Bhaktivedanta Swami at San Francisco International Airport, where fifty to a hundred hippies greeted the Swami, chanting Hare Krishna in the airport lounge with flowers in hands.[61][nb 2] To further support and promote Bhaktivendata Swami's message and chanting in San Francisco, Allen Ginsberg agreed to attend the Mantra-Rock Dance, a musical event 1967 held at the Avalon Ballroom by the San Francisco Hare Krishna temple. It featured some leading rock bands of the time: Big Brother and the Holding Company with Janis Joplin, the Grateful Dead, and Moby Grape, who performed there along with the Hare Krishna founder Bhaktivedanta Swami and donated proceeds to the Krishna temple. Ginsberg introduced Bhaktivedanta Swami to some three thousand hippies in the audience and led the chanting of the Hare Krishna mantra.[62][63][64]

The Mantra-Rock Dance promotional poster featuring Allen Ginsberg along with leading rock bands.

Music and chanting were both important parts of Ginsberg's live delivery during poetry readings.[65] He often accompanied himself on a harmonium, and was often accompanied by a guitarist. It is believed that the Hindi and Buddhist poet Nagarjuna had introduced Ginsberg to the harmonium in Banaras. According to Malay Roy Choudhury, Ginsberg refined his practice while learning from his relatives, including his cousin Savitri Banerjee.[66] When Ginsberg asked if he could sing a song in praise of Lord Krishna on William F. Buckley, Jr.'s TV show Firing Line on September 3, 1968, Buckley acceded and the poet chanted slowly as he played dolefully on a harmonium. According to Richard Brookhiser, an associate of Buckley's, the host commented that it was "the most unharried Krishna I've ever heard."[67]

At the 1967 Human Be-In in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park, the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago, and the 1970 Black Panther rally at Yale campus Allen chanted "Om" repeatedly over a sound system for hours on end.[68]

Ginsberg further brought mantras into the world of rock and roll when he recited the Heart Sutra in the song "Ghetto Defendant". The song appears on the 1982 album Combat Rock by British first wave punk band The Clash.

Ginsberg came in touch with the Hungryalist poets of Bengal, especially Malay Roy Choudhury, who introduced Ginsberg to the three fishes with one head of Indian emperor Jalaluddin Mohammad Akbar. The three fishes symbolised coexistence of all thought, philosophy and religion.[69]

In spite of Ginsberg's attraction to Eastern religions, the journalist Jane Kramer argues that he, like Whitman, adhered to an "American brand of mysticism" that was "rooted in humanism and in a romantic and visionary ideal of harmony among men."[70]

Illness and death

In 1960, he was treated for a tropical disease, and it is speculated that he contracted hepatitis from an unsterilized needle administered by a doctor, which played a role in his death 37 years later.[71] Ginsberg was a lifelong smoker, and though he tried to quit for health and religious reasons, his busy schedule in later life made it difficult, and he always returned to smoking.

In the 1970s, Ginsberg suffered two minor strokes which were first diagnosed as Bell's palsy, which gave him significant paralysis and stroke-like drooping of the muscles in one side of his face.

Later in life, he also suffered constant minor ailments such as high blood pressure. Many of these symptoms were related to stress, but he never slowed down his schedule.[72]

Allen Ginsberg, 1979

Ginsberg won a 1974 National Book Award for The Fall of America (split with Adrienne Rich, Diving into the Wreck).[13] In 1986, Ginsberg was awarded the Golden Wreath by the Struga Poetry Evenings International Festival in Macedonia, the second American poet to be so awarded since W.H. Auden. At Struga, he met with the other Golden Wreath winners Bulat Okudzhava and Andrei Voznesensky. In 1993, the French Minister of Culture made him a Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres.

Ginsberg continued to help his friends as much as he could, going so far as to give money to Herbert Huncke out of his own pocket, and housing a broke and drug addicted Harry Smith.

With the exception of a special guest appearance at the NYU Poetry Slam on February 20, 1997, Ginsberg gave what is thought to be his last reading at The Booksmith in San Francisco on December 16, 1996.

After returning home from the hospital for the last time, where he had been unsuccessfully treated for congestive heart failure, Ginsberg continued making phone calls to say goodbye to nearly everyone in his addressbook. Some of the phone calls, including one with Johnny Depp, were sad and interrupted by crying, and others were joyous and optimistic.[73] Ginsberg continued to write through his final illness, with his last poem, "Things I'll Not Do (Nostalgias)", written on March 30.[74]

He died surrounded by family and friends in his East Village loft in New York City, succumbing to liver cancer via complications of hepatitis. He was 70 years old.[20]

Gregory Corso, Roy Lichtenstein, Patti Smith and others came by to pay their respects.[75]

One third of Ginsberg's ashes were buried in his family plot in Gomel Chesed Cemetery in Newark, NJ.[76][77] He was survived by Orlovsky.

Shambala Mountain Center, path to Ginsberg and Orlovsky burial place

When Orlovsky died, as per Ginsberg's wishes, another third of his ashes were buried alongside Orlovsky at Shambhala Mountain Center in Colorado. The remaining third of the ashes are buried at Jewel Heart, Gelek Rimpoche's sangha, in India.

In 1998, various writers, including Catfish McDaris read at a gathering at Ginsberg's farm to honor Allen and the beatniks.[78]

Social and political activism

Free speech

Ginsberg's willingness to talk about taboo subjects made him a controversial figure during the conservative 1950s, and a significant figure in the 1960s. In the mid-1950s, no reputable publishing company would even consider publishing "Howl". At the time, such "sex talk" employed in "Howl" was considered by some to be vulgar or even a form of pornography, and could be prosecuted under law.[40] Ginsberg used phrases such as "cocksucker", "fucked in the ass", and "cunt" as part of the poem's depiction of different aspects of American culture. Numerous books that discussed sex were banned at the time, including Lady Chatterley's Lover.[40] The sex that Ginsberg described did not portray the sex between heterosexual married couples, or even longtime lovers. Instead, Ginsberg portrayed casual sex.[40] For example, in "Howl", Ginsberg praises the man "who sweetened the snatches of a million girls". Ginsberg used gritty descriptions and explicit sexual language, pointing out the man "who lounged hungry and lonesome through Houston seeking jazz or sex or soup." In his poetry, Ginsberg also discussed the then-taboo topic of homosexuality. The explicit sexual language that filled "Howl" eventually led to an important trial on First Amendment issues. Ginsberg's publisher was brought up on charges for publishing pornography, and the outcome led to a judge going on record dismissing charges, because the poem carried "redeeming social importance",[79] thus setting an important legal precedent. Ginsberg continued to broach controversial subjects throughout the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s. From 1970–1996, Ginsberg had a long-term affiliation with PEN American Center with efforts to defend free expression. When explaining how he approached controversial topics, he often pointed to Herbert Huncke: he said that when he first got to know Huncke in the 1940s, Ginsberg saw that he was sick from his heroin addiction, but at the time heroin was a taboo subject and Huncke was left with nowhere to go for help.[80]

Role in Vietnam War protests

Protesting at the 1972 Republican National Convention

Ginsberg was a signer of the anti-war manifesto "A Call to Resist Illegitimate Authority," circulated among draft resistors in 1967 by members of the radical intellectual collective RESIST. Other signers and RESIST members included Mitchell Goodman, Henry Braun, Denise Levertov, Noam Chomsky, William Sloane Coffin, Dwight Macdonald, Robert Lowell, and Norman Mailer.[81][82] In 1968, Ginsberg signed the "Writers and Editors War Tax Protest" pledge, vowing to refuse tax payments in protest against the Vietnam War,[83] and later became a sponsor of the War Tax Resistance project, which practiced and advocated tax resistance as a form of anti-war protest.[84]

He was present the night of the Tompkins Square Park riot in 1988 and provided an eyewitness account to The New York Times.[85]

Bangladeshi war victims

Allen Ginsberg called attention to the suffering of victims during the Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971. He wrote his legendary 152-line poem, September on Jessore Road, after visiting refugee camps and witnessing the plight of millions fleeing the violence.

Millions of daughters walk in the mud
Millions of children wash in the flood
A Million girls vomit & groan
Millions of families hopeless alone[86]

Ginsberg's poem also serves as an indictment of the United States:

Where are the helicopters of U.S. AID?
Smuggling dope in Bangkok's green shade.
Where is America's Air Force of Light?
Bombing North Laos all day and all night?

Out of the poem, he made a song that was performed by Bob Dylan, other musicians and Ginsberg himself.[87]

The last few lines of the poem read:

Millions of babies in pain
Millions of mothers in rain
Millions of brothers in woe
Millions of children nowhere to go[88]

Relationship to communism

Ginsberg talked openly about his connections with communism and his admiration for past communist heroes and the labor movement at a time when the Red Scare and McCarthyism were still raging. He admired Fidel Castro and many other quasi-Marxist figures from the 20th century.[89][90] In "America" (1956), Ginsberg writes: "America, I used to be a communist when I was a kid I'm not sorry". Biographer Jonah Raskin has claimed that, despite his often stark opposition to communist orthodoxy, Ginsberg held "his own idiosyncratic version of communism".[91] On the other hand, when Donald Manes, a New York City politician, publicly accused Ginsberg of being a member of the Communist Party, Ginsberg objected: "I am not, as a matter of fact, a member of the Communist party, nor am I dedicated to the overthrow of the U.S. government or any government by violence .. I must say that I see little difference between the armed and violent governments both Communist and Capitalist that I have observed".[92]

Ginsberg travelled to several communist countries to promote free speech. He claimed that communist countries, such as China, welcomed him, because they thought he was an enemy of capitalism, but often turned against him when they saw him as a troublemaker. For example, in 1965 Ginsberg was deported from Cuba for publicly protesting the persecution of homosexuals and referring to Che Guevara as "cute".[93] The Cubans sent him to Czechoslovakia, where one week after being named the Král majálesu ("King of May",[94] a students' festivity, celebrating spring and student life), Ginsberg was arrested for alleged drug use and public drunkenness, and the security agency StB confiscated several of his writings, which they considered to be lewd and morally dangerous. Ginsberg was then deported from Czechoslovakia on May 7, 1965[93][95] by order of the StB.[96] Václav Havel points to Ginsberg as an important inspiration.[97]

Gay rights

One contribution that is often considered his most significant and most controversial was his openness about homosexuality. Ginsberg was an early proponent of freedom for gay people. In 1943, he discovered within himself "mountains of homosexuality." He expressed this desire openly and graphically in his poetry.[98] He also struck a note for gay marriage by listing Peter Orlovsky, his lifelong companion, as his spouse in his Who's Who entry. Subsequent gay writers saw his frank talk about homosexuality as an opening to speak more openly and honestly about something often before only hinted at or spoken of in metaphor.[80]

In writing about sexuality in graphic detail and in his frequent use of language seen as indecent, he challenged — and ultimately changed — obscenity laws. He was a staunch supporter of others whose expression challenged obscenity laws (William S. Burroughs and Lenny Bruce, for example).

Association with NAMBLA

Ginsberg was a supporter and member of the North American Man/Boy Love Association (NAMBLA), a pedophilia and pederasty advocacy organization in the United States that works to abolish age of consent laws and legalize sexual relations between adults and children,[99] saying that "Attacks on NAMBLA stink of politics, witchhunting for profit, humorlessness, vanity, anger and ignorance ... I'm a member of NAMBLA, because I love boys too — everybody does, who has a little humanity."[100] In "Thoughts on NAMBLA", a 1994 essay published in the collection Deliberate Prose, Ginsberg stated, "NAMBLA's a forum for reform of those laws on youthful sexuality which members deem oppressive, a discussion society not a sex club. I joined NAMBLA in defense of free speech."[101] In 1994, Ginsberg appeared in a documentary on NAMBLA called Chicken Hawk: Men Who Love Boys (playing on the gay male slang term "Chickenhawk"), in which he read a "graphic ode to youth".[99] In her 2001 book, Heartbreak, Andrea Dworkin described her sense of her fellow writer's position (they shared a godchild):

One the day of the bar mitzvah [in 1982], newspapers reported in huge headlines that the Supreme Court had ruled child pornography illegal. I was thrilled. I knew Allen would not be. I did think he was a civil libertarian. But, in fact, he was a pedophile. He did not belong to the North American Man/Boy Love Association out of some mad, abstract conviction that its voice had to be heard. He meant it. I take this from what Allen said directly to me, not from some inference I made. He was exceptionally aggressive about his right to fuck children and his constant pursuit of underage boys.[102]
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Part 2 of 2

Demystification of drugs

Ginsberg talked often about drug use. He organized the New York City chapter of LeMar (Legalize Marijuana).[103] Throughout the 1960s he took an active role in the demystification of LSD, and, with Timothy Leary, worked to promote its common use. He remained for many decades an advocate of marijuana legalization, and, at the same time, warned his audiences against the hazards of tobacco in his Put Down Your Cigarette Rag (Don't Smoke): "Don't Smoke Don't Smoke Nicotine Nicotine No / No don't smoke the official Dope Smoke Dope Dope."[104]

CIA drug trafficking

Ginsberg worked closely with Alfred W. McCoy on the latter's book The Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia, which claimed that the CIA was knowingly involved in the production of heroin in the Golden Triangle of Burma, Thailand, and Laos.[105] In addition to working with McCoy, Ginsberg personally confronted Richard Helms, the director of the CIA in the 1970s, about the matter, but Helms denied that the CIA had anything to do with selling illegal drugs.[106] Allen wrote many essays and articles, researching and compiling evidence of the CIA's alleged involvement in drug trafficking, but it would take 10 years, and the publication of McCoy's book in 1972, before anyone took him seriously. In 1978 Ginsberg received a note from the chief editor of The New York Times, apologizing for not taking his allegations seriously so many years previous.[107] The political subject is dealt with in his song/poem "CIA Dope calypso". The United States Department of State responded to McCoy's initial allegations stating that they were "unable to find any evidence to substantiate them, much less proof."[108] Subsequent investigations by the Inspector General of the CIA,[109] United States House Committee on Foreign Affairs,[110] and United States Senate Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities, a.k.a. the Church Committee,[111] also found the charges to be unsubstantiated.


Most of Ginsberg's very early poetry was written in formal rhyme and meter like that of his father, and of his idol William Blake. His admiration for the writing of Jack Kerouac inspired him to take poetry more seriously. In 1955, upon the advice of a psychiatrist, Ginsberg dropped out of the working world to devote his entire life to poetry.[citation needed] Soon after, he wrote "Howl", the poem that brought him and his Beat Generation contemporaries to national attention and allowed him to live as a professional poet for the rest of his life. Later in life, Ginsberg entered academia, teaching poetry as Distinguished Professor of English at Brooklyn College from 1986 until his death.[112]

Inspiration from friends

Ginsberg claimed throughout his life that his biggest inspiration was Kerouac's concept of "spontaneous prose". He believed literature should come from the soul without conscious restrictions. Ginsberg was much more prone to revise than Kerouac. For example, when Kerouac saw the first draft of "Howl" he disliked the fact that Ginsberg had made editorial changes in pencil (transposing "negro" and "angry" in the first line, for example). Kerouac only wrote out his concepts of Spontaneous Prose at Ginsberg's insistence because Ginsberg wanted to learn how to apply the technique to his poetry.[19]

The inspiration for "Howl" was Ginsberg's friend, Carl Solomon, and "Howl" is dedicated to him. Solomon was a Dada and Surrealism enthusiast (he introduced Ginsberg to Artaud) who suffered bouts of clinical depression. Solomon wanted to commit suicide, but he thought a form of suicide appropriate to dadaism would be to go to a mental institution and demand a lobotomy. The institution refused, giving him many forms of therapy, including electroshock therapy. Much of the final section of the first part of "Howl" is a description of this.

Ginsberg used Solomon as an example of all those ground down by the machine of "Moloch". Moloch, to whom the second section is addressed, is a Levantine god to whom children were sacrificed. Ginsberg may have gotten the name from the Kenneth Rexroth poem "Thou Shalt Not Kill", a poem about the death of one of Ginsberg's heroes, Dylan Thomas. Moloch is mentioned a few times in the Torah and references to Ginsberg's Jewish background are frequent in his work. Ginsberg said the image of Moloch was inspired by peyote visions he had of the Francis Drake Hotel in San Francisco which appeared to him as a skull; he took it as a symbol of the city (not specifically San Francisco, but all cities). Ginsberg later acknowledged in various publications and interviews that behind the visions of the Francis Drake Hotel were memories of the Moloch of Fritz Lang's film Metropolis (1927) and of the woodcut novels of Lynd Ward.[113] Moloch has subsequently been interpreted as any system of control, including the conformist society of post-World War II America, focused on material gain, which Ginsberg frequently blamed for the destruction of all those outside of societal norms.[19]

He also made sure to emphasize that Moloch is a part of humanity in multiple aspects, in that the decision to defy socially created systems of control — and therefore go against Moloch — is a form of self-destruction. Many of the characters Ginsberg references in "Howl", such as Neal Cassady and Herbert Huncke, destroyed themselves through excessive substance abuse or a generally wild lifestyle. The personal aspects of "Howl" are perhaps as important as the political aspects. Carl Solomon, the prime example of a "best mind" destroyed by defying society, is associated with Ginsberg's schizophrenic mother: the line "with mother finally fucked" comes after a long section about Carl Solomon, and in Part III, Ginsberg says: "I'm with you in Rockland where you imitate the shade of my mother." Ginsberg later admitted that the drive to write "Howl" was fueled by sympathy for his ailing mother, an issue which he was not yet ready to deal with directly. He dealt with it directly with 1959's "Kaddish",[19] which had its first public reading at a Catholic Worker Friday Night meeting, possibly due to its associations with Thomas Merton.[114]

Inspiration from mentors and idols

Ginsberg's poetry was strongly influenced by Modernism (most importantly the American style of Modernism pioneered by William Carlos Williams), Romanticism (specifically William Blake and John Keats), the beat and cadence of jazz (specifically that of bop musicians such as Charlie Parker), and his Kagyu Buddhist practice and Jewish background. He considered himself to have inherited the visionary poetic mantle handed down from the English poet and artist William Blake, the American poet Walt Whitman and the Spanish poet Federico García Lorca. The power of Ginsberg's verse, its searching, probing focus, its long and lilting lines, as well as its New World exuberance, all echo the continuity of inspiration that he claimed.[19][80][97]

He corresponded with William Carlos Williams, who was then in the middle of writing his epic poem Paterson about the industrial city near his home. After attending a reading by Williams, Ginsberg sent the older poet several of his poems and wrote an introductory letter. Most of these early poems were rhymed and metered and included archaic pronouns like "thee." Williams disliked the poems and told Ginsberg, "In this mode perfection is basic, and these poems are not perfect."[19][80][97]

Though he disliked these early poems, Williams loved the exuberance in Ginsberg's letter. He included the letter in a later part of Paterson. He encouraged Ginsberg not to emulate the old masters, but to speak with his own voice and the voice of the common American. From Williams, Ginsberg learned to focus on strong visual images, in line with Williams' own motto "No ideas but in things." Studying Williams' style led to a tremendous shift from the early formalist work to a loose, colloquial free verse style. Early breakthrough poems include Bricklayer's Lunch Hour and Dream Record.[19][97]

Carl Solomon introduced Ginsberg to the work of Antonin Artaud (To Have Done with the Judgement of God and Van Gogh: The Man Suicided by Society), and Jean Genet (Our Lady of the Flowers). Philip Lamantia introduced him to other Surrealists and Surrealism continued to be an influence (for example, sections of "Kaddish" were inspired by André Breton's Free Union). Ginsberg claimed that the anaphoric repetition of "Howl" and other poems was inspired by Christopher Smart in such poems as Jubilate Agno. Ginsberg also claimed other more traditional influences, such as: Franz Kafka, Herman Melville, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Edgar Allan Poe, and Emily Dickinson.[19][80]

Ginsberg also made an intense study of haiku and the paintings of Paul Cézanne, from which he adapted a concept important to his work, which he called the Eyeball Kick. He noticed in viewing Cézanne's paintings that when the eye moved from one color to a contrasting color, the eye would spasm, or "kick." Likewise, he discovered that the contrast of two seeming opposites was a common feature in haiku. Ginsberg used this technique in his poetry, putting together two starkly dissimilar images: something weak with something strong, an artifact of high culture with an artifact of low culture, something holy with something unholy. The example Ginsberg most often used was "hydrogen jukebox" (which later became the title of a song cycle composed by Philip Glass with lyrics drawn from Ginsberg's poems). Another example is Ginsberg's observation on Bob Dylan during Dylan's hectic and intense 1966 electric-guitar tour, fuelled by a cocktail of amphetamines,[115] opiates,[116] alcohol,[117] and psychedelics,[118] as a Dexedrine Clown. The phrases "eyeball kick" and "hydrogen jukebox" both show up in "Howl", as well as a direct quote from Cézanne: "Pater Omnipotens Aeterna Deus".[80]

Inspiration from music

Allen Ginsberg also found inspiration in music. He frequently included music in his poetry, invariably composing his tunes on an old Indian harmonium, which he often played during his readings.[119] He wrote and recorded music to accompany William Blake's Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience. He also recorded a handful of other albums. To create music for Howl and Wichita Vortex Sutra he worked with the minimalist composer, Philip Glass.

Ginsberg worked with, drew inspiration from, and inspired artists such as Bob Dylan, The Clash, Patti Smith, Phil Ochs, and The Fugs.[43] He worked with Dylan on various projects and maintained a friendship with him over many years.[120]

In 1996, he also recorded a song co-written with Paul McCartney and Philip Glass, "The Ballad of the Skeletons",[121] which reached number 8 on the Triple J Hottest 100 for that year.

Style and technique

From the study of his idols and mentors and the inspiration of his friends — not to mention his own experiments — Ginsberg developed an individualistic style that's easily identified as Ginsbergian.[122] Ginsberg stated that Whitman's long line was a dynamic technique few other poets had ventured to develop further, and Whitman is also often compared to Ginsberg because their poetry sexualized aspects of the male form.[19][80][97]

Many of Ginsberg's early long line experiments contain some sort of anaphora, repetition of a "fixed base" (for example "who" in "Howl", "America" in America) and this has become a recognizable feature of Ginsberg's style.[citation needed] He said later this was a crutch because he lacked confidence; he did not yet trust "free flight".[citation needed] In the 1960s, after employing it in some sections of "Kaddish" ("caw" for example) he, for the most part, abandoned the anaphoric form.[80][97]

Several of his earlier experiments with methods for formatting poems as a whole became regular aspects of his style in later poems. In the original draft of "Howl", each line is in a "stepped triadic" format reminiscent of William Carlos Williams.[citation needed] However, he abandoned the "stepped triadic" when he developed his long line although the stepped lines showed up later, most significantly in the travelogues of The Fall of America.[citation needed] "Howl" and "Kaddish", arguably his two most important poems, are both organized as an inverted pyramid, with larger sections leading to smaller sections. In America, he also experimented with a mix of longer and shorter lines.[80][97]

In "Howl" and in his other poetry, Ginsberg drew inspiration from the epic, free verse style of the 19th-century American poet Walt Whitman.[123] Both wrote passionately about the promise (and betrayal) of American democracy, the central importance of erotic experience, and the spiritual quest for the truth of everyday existence. J. D. McClatchy, editor of the Yale Review, called Ginsberg "the best-known American poet of his generation, as much a social force as a literary phenomenon." McClatchy added that Ginsberg, like Whitman, "was a bard in the old manner — outsized, darkly prophetic, part exuberance, part prayer, part rant. His work is finally a history of our era's psyche, with all its contradictory urges." McClatchy's barbed eulogies define the essential difference between Ginsberg ("a beat poet whose writing was ... journalism raised by combining the recycling genius with a generous mimic-empathy, to strike audience-accessible chords; always lyrical and sometimes truly poetic") and Kerouac ("a poet of singular brilliance, the brightest luminary of a 'beat generation' he came to symbolise in popular culture ... [though] in reality he far surpassed his contemporaries ... Kerouac is an originating genius, exploring then answering - like Rimbaud a century earlier, by necessity more than by choice - the demands of authentic self-expression as applied to the evolving quicksilver mind of America's only literary virtuoso ..."):[17]


• Howl and Other Poems (1956) ISBN 978-0-87286-017-9
• Kaddish and Other Poems (1961) ISBN 978-0-87286-019-3
• Empty Mirror: Early Poems (1961) ISBN 978-0-87091-030-2
• Reality Sandwiches (1963) ISBN 978-0-87286-021-6
• The Yage Letters (1963) — with William S. Burroughs
• Planet News (1968) ISBN 978-0-87286-020-9
• Indian Journals (1970) ISBN 0-8021-3475-0
• First Blues: Rags, Ballads & Harmonium Songs 1971 - 1974 (1975), ISBN 0-916190-05-6
• The Gates of Wrath: Rhymed Poems 1948–1951 (1972) ISBN 978-0-912516-01-1
• The Fall of America: Poems of These States (1973) ISBN 978-0-87286-063-6
• Iron Horse (1973)
• Allen Verbatim: Lectures on Poetry, Politics, Consciousness by Allen Ginsberg (1974), edited by Gordon Ball ISBN 0-07-023285-7
• Sad Dust Glories: poems during work summer in woods (1975)
• Mind Breaths (1978) ISBN 978-0-87286-092-6
• Plutonian Ode: Poems 1977–1980 (1981) ISBN 978-0-87286-125-1
• Collected Poems 1947–1980 (1984) ISBN 978-0-06-015341-0. Republished with later material added as Collected Poems 1947-1997, New York, Harper Collins, 2006
• White Shroud Poems: 1980–1985 (1986) ISBN 978-0-06-091429-5
• Cosmopolitan Greetings Poems: 1986–1993 (1994)
• Howl Annotated (1995)
• Illuminated Poems (1996)
• Selected Poems: 1947–1995 (1996)
• Death and Fame: Poems 1993–1997 (1999)
• Deliberate Prose 1952–1995 (2000)
• Howl & Other Poems 50th Anniversary Edition (2006) ISBN 978-0-06-113745-7
• The Book of Martyrdom and Artifice: First Journals and Poems 1937-1952 (Da Capo Press, 2006)
• The Selected Letters of Allen Ginsberg and Gary Snyder (Counterpoint, 2009)
• I Greet You At The Beginning of a Great Career: The Selected Correspondence of Lawrence Ferlinghetti and Allen Ginsberg, 1955-1997 (City Lights, 2015)
• "The Best Minds of My Generation: A Literary History of the Beats" (Grove Press, 2017)

See also

• The Life and Times of Allen Ginsberg (film)
• Category:Works by Allen Ginsberg
• Allen Ginsberg Live in London
• Hungry generation
• Howl (2010 film)
• Central Park Be-In
• Trevor Carolan
• Counterculture of the 1960s
• Burroughs: the Movie by Howard Brookner
• List of peace activists
• Kill Your Darlings
• Jewish Buddhist


1. (from the "Houseboat Summit" panel discussion, Sausalito CA. February 1967)(Cohen 1991, p. 182):
Ginsberg: So what do you think of Swami Bhaktivedanta pleading for the acceptance of Krishna in every direction?
Snyder: Why, it's a lovely positive thing to say Krishna. It's a beautiful mythology and it's a beautiful practice.
Leary: Should be encouraged.
Ginsberg: He feels it's the one uniting thing. He feels a monopolistic unitary thing about it.
Watts: I'll tell you why I think he feels it. The mantras, the images of Krishna have in this culture no foul association ... [W]hen somebody comes in from the Orient with a new religion which hasn't got any of [horrible] associations in our minds, all the words are new, all the rites are new, and yet, somehow it has feeling in it, and we can get with that, you see, and we can dig that!
2. Addressing speculations that he was Allen Ginsberg's guru, Bhaktivedanta Swami answered a direct question in a public program, "Are you Allen Ginsberg's guru?" by saying, "I am nobody's guru. I am everybody's servant. Actually I am not even a servant; a servant of God is no ordinary thing." (Greene 2007, p. 85; Goswami 2011, pp. 196–7)


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3. de Grazia, Edward. (1992) Girls Lean Back Everywhere: The Law of Obscenity and the Assault on Genius. New York: Random House, pp. 330–31.
4. About Allen Ginsberg. December 29, 2002
5. Ginsberg, Allen "Howl" pp. 13–15.
6. Kramer, Jane (1968), Allen Ginsberg in America. New York: Random House, pp. 43–46, on Ginsberg's first meeting with Orlovsky and the conditions of their marriage. Also see, Miles, pp. 178–79, on Ginsberg's description of sex with Orlovsky as "one of the first times that I felt open with a boy."
7. de Grazia, Edward. (1992) Girls Lean Back Everywhere: The Law of Obscenity and the Assault on Genius. New York: Random House, p. 338.
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9. Miles, pp. 440–44.
10. Miles, pp. 454–55.
11. Ginsberg, Allen Deliberate Prose, the foreword by Edward Sanders, p. xxi.
12. Vendler, Helen (January 13, 1986) "Books: A Lifelong Poem Including History", The New Yorker, p. 81.
13. In 1993, Ginsberg visited the University of Maine at Orono for a conference, to pay homage to the 90 year old great Carl Rakosi and to read poems as well. "National Book Awards — 1974". National Book Foundation. Retrieved 2012-04-07.
(With acceptance speech by Ginsberg and essay by John Murillo from the Awards 60-year anniversary blog.)
14. Miles, p. 484.
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65. Chowka, Peter Barry, "This is Allen Ginsberg?" (Interview), New Age Journal, April 1976. "I had known Swami Bhaktivedanta and was somewhat guided by him ... spiritual friend. I practiced the Hare Krishna chant, practiced it with him, sometimes in mass auditoriums and parks in the Lower East Side of New York. Actually, I'd been chanting it since '63, after coming back from India. I began chanting it, in Vancouver at a great poetry conference, for the first time in '63, with Duncan and Olson and everybody around, and then continued. When Bhaktivedanta arrived on the Lower East Side in '66 it was reinforcement for me, like 'the reinforcements had arrived' from India."
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113. Ginsberg, Allen (1986) Howl: Original Draft Facsimile, Transcript & Variant Versions, Barry Miles (ed.). New York: Harper. pp. 139–140. Ward also illustrated a later broadside version of "Howl", which can be seen in the cited pages.
114. Cornell, Tom. "Catholic Worker Pacifism: An Eyewitness to History". Catholic Worker Homepage. Archived from the original on March 17, 2010. Retrieved May 1, 2010.
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116. "The Ten Most Incomprehensible Bob Dylan Interviews of All Time — Vulture". October 4, 2007. Archived from the original on November 27, 2010. Retrieved October 31, 2010.
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118. O'Hagan, Sean (March 25, 2001). "Well, how does it feel?". The Guardian. London. Retrieved April 23, 2010.
119. "First Blues: Rags, Ballads and Harmonium Songs | Smithsonian Folkways". Smithsonian Folkways Recordings. Retrieved 2018-03-10.
120. Wills, D., in Beatdom #1 (2007), "Allen Ginsberg and Bob Dylan"
121. "Ballad of the Skeletons - Allen Ginsberg - Songs, Reviews, Credits - AllMusic". AllMusic.
122. "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original(PDF) on March 28, 2012. Retrieved 2011-10-10. TV interview 1982 Hedwig Gorski and Robert Creeley discuss Beats in the context of performance poetry. Special Robert Creeley issue, Turkey.
123. Ginsberg, Allen Deliberate Prose, pp. 285–331.


• The Allen Ginsberg Papers, 1937–1994 (1,330 linear ft.) are housed in the Department of Special Collections and University Archives at Stanford University Libraries
• Rath, Akshaya (2016). "Allen Ginsberg in India: Life and Narrative". Scripta Humana. 7 (1): 137–150.

Further reading

• Bullough, Vern L. "Before Stonewall: Activists for Gay and Lesbian Rights in Historical Context." Harrington Park Press, 2002. pp 304–311.
• Charters, Ann (ed.). The Portable Beat Reader. Penguin Books. New York. 1992. ISBN 0-670-83885-3 (hc); ISBN 0-14-015102-8 (pbk)
• Clark, Thomas. "Allen Ginsberg." Writers at Work — The Paris Review Interviews. 3.1 (1968) pp. 279–320.
• Collins, Ronald & Skover, David. Mania: The Story of the Outraged & Outrageous Lives that Launched a Cultural Revolution (Top-Five books, March 2013)
• Gifford, Barry (ed.). As Ever: The Collected Letters of Allen Ginsberg & Neal Cassady. Berkeley: Creative Arts Books (1977).
• Ginsberg, Allen. Travels with Ginsberg: A Postcard Book. San Francisco: City Lights (2002). ISBN 978-0-87286-397-2
• Hrebeniak, Michael. Action Writing: Jack Kerouac's Wild Form, Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois UP, 2006.
• Kashner, Sam, When I Was Cool, My Life at the Jack Kerouac School, New York: HarperCollins Perennial, 2005. ISBN 0-06-000566-1
• Podhoretz, Norman. "At War with Allen Ginsberg", in Ex-Friends (Free Press, 1999), 22–56. ISBN 0-684-85594-1.
• McBride, Dick: Cometh With Clouds (Memory: Allen Ginsberg) Cherry Valley Editions, 1982 ISBN 0-916156-51-6
• Miles, Barry (2001). Ginsberg: A Biography. London: Virgin Publishing Ltd. ISBN 978-0-7535-0486-4.
• Morgan, Bill (2007). I Celebrate Myself: The Somewhat Private Life of Allen Ginsberg. New York: Penguin. ISBN 978-0-14-311249-5.
• Morgan, Bill (ed.), I Greet You at the Beginning of a Great Career: The Selected Correspondence of Lawrence Ferlinghetti and Allen Ginsberg, 1955-1997. San Francisco: City Lights Publishers, 2015.
• Goswami, Satsvarupa dasa (2002). Srila Prabhupada Lilamrta Vol 1–2 (2nd ed.). Los Angeles: Bhaktivedanta Book Trust. pp. vol.1 1133 pages vol.2 1191 pages. ISBN 978-0-89213-357-4.
• Bromley, David G.; Shinn, Larry D. (1989). Krishna consciousness in the West. Bucknell University Press. ISBN 978-0-8387-5144-2.
• Chryssides, George D.; Wilkins, Margaret Z. (2006). A reader in new religious movements. Continuum International Publishing Group. ISBN 978-0-8264-6168-1.
• Chryssides, George D. (2001). Exploring New Religions. Continuum International Publishing Group. ISBN 978-0-8264-5959-6.
• Goswami, Satsvarupa dasa (2002). Srila Prabhupada Lilamrta Vol 1–2 (2nd ed.). Los Angeles: Bhaktivedanta Book Trust. ISBN 978-0-89213-357-4.
• Goswami, Mukunda (2011). Miracle on Second Avenue. Torchlight Publishing. ISBN 978-0-9817273-4-9.
• Ginsberg, Allen; Morgan, Bill (1986). "Kanreki: a tribute to Allen Ginsberg, Part 2". University of California.
• Cohen, Allen (1991). Allen Cohen, ed. The San Francisco Oracle. The psychedelic newspaper of the Haight-Ashbury (1966–1968). Facsimile edition (1st ed.). Regent Press. ISBN 978-0-916147-11-2.
• Greene, Joshua M. (2007). Here somes the Sun: The spiritual and musical journey of George Harrison (reprint ed.). John Wiley and Sons. ISBN 978-0-470-12780-3.
• Ellwood, Robert S.; Partin, Harry Baxter (1988). Religious and spiritual groups in modern America. University of Wisconsin (2nd ed.). Madison: Prentice Hall. ISBN 978-0-13-773045-2.
• Muster, Nori Jean (1997). Betrayal of the spirit: my life behind the headlines of the Hare Krishna movement (reprint ed.). University of Illinois Press. ISBN 978-0-252-06566-8.
• Brooks, Charles R. (1992). The Hare Krishnas in India (reprint ed.). Motilal Banarsidass Publishers. ISBN 978-81-208-0939-0.
• Szatmary, David P. (1996). Rockin' in time: a social history of rock-and-roll. Indiana University (3rd, illustrated ed.). Prentice Hall. ISBN 978-0-13-440678-7.
• Schumacher, Michael (ed.). Family Business: Selected Letters Between a Father and Son. Bloomsbury (2002), paperback, 448 pages, ISBN 1-58234-216-4
• Schumacher, Michael. Dharma Lion: A Biography of Allen Ginsberg. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1994.
• Trigilio, Tony. Allen Ginsberg's Buddhist Poetics. Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois University Press, 2007. ISBN 0-8093-2755-4
• Trigilio, Tony. "Strange Prophecies Anew": Rereading Apocalypse in Blake, H.D., and Ginsberg. Madison, NJ: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 2000. ISBN 0-8386-3854-6.
• Tytell, John. Naked Angels: Kerouac, Ginsberg, Burroughs. Chicago: Ivan R. Dee, 1976. ISBN 1-56663-683-3
• Warner, Simon (ed.). Howl for Now: A 50th anniversary celebration of Allen Ginsberg's epic protest poem. West Yorkshire, UK: Route (2005), paperback, 144 pages, ISBN 1-901927-25-3
• Warner, Simon. "Raising the Consciousness? Re-visiting Allen Ginsberg's 1965 trip to Liverpool", chapter in Centre of the Creative Universe: Liverpool and the Avant Garde, edited by Christoph Grunenberg and Robert Knifton. Liverpool & Chicago: Liverpool University Press & Chicago University Press, 2007, ISBN 978-1-84631-081-2 (pbk); ISBN 1-84631-081-4 (hc)
• Young, Allen Gay Sunshine interview with Allen Ginsberg. Grey Fox Press, 1974. ISBN 0-912516-05-4

External links

• The Allen Ginsberg Trust
• Works by or about Allen Ginsberg in libraries (WorldCat catalog)
• Allen Ginsberg at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database
• Thomas Clark (Spring 1966). "Allen Ginsberg, The Art of Poetry No. 8". The Paris Review.
• Case Histories: Allen Ginsberg at honoring Ginsberg's work, from PEN American Center
• Allen Ginsberg on With audio clips, poems, and related essays, from the Academy of American Poets
• Audio recordings of Allen Ginsberg, from the Woodberry Poetry Room, Harvard University
• Audio recordings of Allen Ginsberg, from Maryland Institute College of Art's Decker Library, Internet Archive
• "After 50 Years, Ginsberg's Howl Still Resonates" NPR October 27, 2006
• Allen Ginsberg photographs with hand-written captions at LensCulture
• Autobiographical Article in Shambhala Sun Magazine
• Modern American Poetry, interview
• Allen Ginsberg at Find a Grave
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