Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

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Part 1 of 2

The Enochian Experiments of the Golden Dawn: Enochian Alphabet Clairvoyantly Examined
Golden Dawn Studies No. 7

Throughout the history of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn there were a number of sub-ceremonial groups who functioned within the egregor of the Order. One of these such groups was called the Sphere Group. It was founded in 1898 by Florence Emery Farr and other Zelator Adeptus Minors who were sometimes referred to as 'Zelators'.

In the initiation, AMORC makes the claim that their order is empowered by an egregore, or group consciousness, consisting of both incarnated beings and non-incarnate spiritual masters. The sincere members, who study and practice the teachings of the monographs, receive a spiritual energy or influx from the egregore, which provides the student with regenerative energy and a sense of direction.

-- The Prisoner of San Jose: How I Escaped From Rosicrucian Mind Control, by Pierre S. Freeman

The Sphere Group went through two incarnations. The first incarnation of the Sphere Group (No. 1) was founded in the summer of 1898 and was closed in 1901. The Sphere Group was opened to Zelator Adeptus Minors, but was later changed to Theoricus Adeptus Minors and higher. The Sphere Group (No. 1) was controlled by 'a certain Egyptian astral form' who occupied the centre of the Sphere, see Appendix III. The Egyptian Adept was 'first contacted through a piece of his mummy case -- or so F.L. [Frederick Leigh] Gardner ('De Profundis Ad Lucem'), who was a member of her group for a time' had told Gerald Yorke. [175.xviii].

In R.W. Felkin's paper called 'The Group as I knew it, and Fortiter [Annie Horniman]' he listed the original twelve members as 'Miss [Ada] Waters [Recta Pete], Mrs. [Cecilia] Macrae [Vincit Qui Se Vincit], Mr. [Marcus Worsley] Blackden [Ma Wahanu Thesi], Mrs. [Helen] Rand [Vigilate], Mr. [Edmund] Hunter [Hora et Semper], Mrs. [Florence] Kennedy [Volo], Mrs. [Henrietta] Paget [Dum Spiro Spero], Mr. [Robert] Palmer Thomas [Lucem Spero], Mrs. [Fanny Beatrice] Hunter [Beata est Veritas], Mrs. [Florence] Emery [Sapientia Sapienti Dono Data], Miss [Harrietta Dorothea] Butler [Deo Date] and myself [i.e., Robert Felkin (Aur Mem Mearab)]. Our Order names were never used and an Egyptian Figure occupied the centre of the Sphere'....

Now the original Egyptian Group only lasted from the summer of 1898 to 1901, when we had a meeting and we were told that the Egyptian had retired from the Group and the Group as it was then constituted was brought to an end, the reason being that he was changing his place on the higher planes and could no longer work with us ... so the second Group was formed having the Holy Grail on the central pillar.' [175.251].

The second incarnation of the Sphere Group (No. 2) only lasted from 1901 to 1902. In the Sphere Workings the Egyptian Adept was replaced with an image of the Holy Grail on the central pillar which was called 'The Cup of the Stolistes', see Appendix III.

From the papers in R.A. Gilbert's collection the reconstituted group consisted of Mrs. Florence Emery Farr (Sapientia Sapienti Dono Data), Mr. Marcus Worsley Blackden (Ma Wahanu Thesi), Mrs. Helen Rand (Vigilate), Mr. Edmund Hunter (Hora et Semper), Mrs. Henrietta Paget (Dum Spiro Spero), Mr. Robert Palmer Thomas (Lucem Spero), Mrs. Harrietta Dorothea Hunter [nee Butler] (Deo Date), Robert Felkin (Aur Mem Mearab), Miss Maud Cracknell (Tempus Omnia Revelat), Mrs. Helen (sometimes called Reena) Fulham-Hughes (Silentio), Henry Edward Colvile (Tenax Propositi), Colonel Webber-Smith (Non Sine Numine) and possibly Miss Ada Waters (Recta Pete), Mrs. Cecilia Macrae (Vincit Qui Se Vincit), Mrs. Fanny Beatrice Hunter (Beata est Veritas) and Lady Zeli Isabelle Colvile (Semper).

The Sphere Group had encountered opposition to a greater extent from Annie Horniman (Fortiter et Recte) and to a minor extent from W.B. Yeats (Demon est Deus Inversus), Ellic Howe wrote that 'Annie Horniman's original opposition to the Groups, which was shared by Yeats, was because she supposed they represented alien and magically suspect activities. By the end of 1902 the Groups had long since ceased to function and yet she was still obsessed by the memory of this awful heresy.' In Felkin's paper on the Sphere Group he suggested that Annie Horniman's constant nagging because 'She takes up the position that she is the Senior Adept; she believes that she is in touch with the Third Order, i.e., the Purple Adept, and that she, although not recognised, is really the Chief of the Order.' [175.251]. The opposition to the Sphere Group has been covered in Ellic Howe's Magician of the Golden Dawn [175.233-251] and in Mary Greer's Women of the Golden Dawn [151.251-264].

In the summer of 1901, the Sphere Group (No. 2) began to clairvoyantly or astrally examine the Enochian Alphabet.
Greer wrote that 'Florence attended occasionally, as she found the proceedings disappointing. Writing for guidance in her journal [dated 16 April 1901], she asked, 'Why does Miss O not get a correct key to the Enochian tablets?' The response was that Miss O was uninitiated and that neither Florence nor Humphries could properly consecrate her for the work.' [151.260].

The Sphere Workings contained in this book took place from 21 July to 20 August 1901 and were held at W.E.H. Humphreys' (Gnothi Seauton) home. He had controlled the Sphere Workings and recorded the results in three notebooks. These note-books are located in the Gerald Yorke Collection at the Warburg Institute (New Folder 100). The notes that are identified as 'G.J.Y.' were made by Gerald Yorke. The seer or medium was I.O., but I have been unable to determine who she was.

These Sphere Workings, titled 'The Sphere Workings: The Enochian Alphabet Clairvoyantly Examined', were also printed in The Monolith, Vol. II, No. 2. Introductory Notes by Robert Turner. Wolverhampton: The Order of the Cubic Stone, Winter Solstice, 1977. pp. 15-44.

Darcy Kuntz (Frater D.E.U.)
Calgary, Canada, 1996....

The Enochian Experiments of the Golden Dawn
The Enochian Alphabet Clairvoyantly Examined

Sunday, 21 July, 1901.

Vision of Sigillum [x] [AEmeth] in [the] Temple in [a] Cave. Got copy of marks from window in V[alet Anchora Virtus]’s bedroom.

Monday, 22 July 1901.

S[apientia] S[apienti] D[ono] D[ata, Florence Farr] present. Vision continued. But difficulties at first owing to hostile influences w[hi]ch I.O. said were due to the day being anniversary of a suicide in my [i.e., Humphreys’] rooms.

Vision: Rows of columns leading to [the] Temple and stated, re[garding] worship of 5 pointed star, that of the four great symbols one was absent; [the] symbol of [the] Tablet of Union [?[x]]. Also stated that the Enochian letters referred to Intelligences as well as Letters and the Centre seems not [to be] the N[orth] Pole but the Magnetic Pole.

Tuesday, July 23, 1901.

In Chamber of Initiation are 5 brethren. One speaks of the 5 sigils of the 5 Elements --- 5 below and 5 above.

There is an altar sometimes transparent, sometimes opaque, under it is a luminosity from no visible source.

The brethren had on yellow robes with engraved band round waist and the front ornament of each was an eye. Round the neck the Enochian letters seemed woven in the garment. In their hands they held a curious serpent twisted up and back again upon itself. This seemed to have the power of giving transparency.

I hear, “For all that is contains all.” [x]

The symbol on the altar changes – and instead of warmth, there is now a rushing wind. The altar, now no longer transparent seems to float and ascend to blue space, and return with yet another symbol. Altar and symbol seem effulgent. There is light present – but beyond it is sensation and Harmony. Everything seems green. (On handling [I.O. the] bI6/4Ib symbol this turned to blue). An idea of a principle of Force.

Now I am in a bare white chamber, and I feel a sensation of great warmth – the white light seems to glow.

On the walls seem the double triangles which seem to grow and diminish on looking at it. Each of the … [illegible word] points has its own angels. The use of this symbol brings six powers.

24 July 1901.

Scene, the original chamber. The Magus directs the clairvoyant to take up position on cross in centre of circle w[hi]ch is in a square. This in turn is a pentagram at each angle of which stands a figure: the walls recede. At the N[orth] point which gives forth a golden light is a winged figure, on his breast [is] the [x] [Mals]. The clairvoyant [is] drawn towards him (away from the centre). He seems [to be] the source of all vitality and more, and of all Light and more. In his hand he holds the Lotus w[hi]ch has 7 leaves (corrected later) [Note: the sketch in MS. shows 6 leaves only. G.J.Y.] and a curved stem with only one leaf and that [is] pointing to the West. The Lotus half in shade suggesting day and night and more. The stamens seem to be a crown of gold. The petals seem to multiply as one looks [at it]. There are 30 of them. The petals are half white and half black and yet not black for a kind of blue permeates everything. As I look the petals seem to expand and become globular and separate from the main stem, part light and part dark, individualize and float away from E[ast] to W[est] and dissolve.

Curled round the stamens with [its] tail touching (not inside) [its] mouth is the Serpent of Wisdom. It lies in the heart of the Lotus – and was therefore visible through the petals, etc. The head of the Serpent was Gold, the body of iridescent and glittering material.

I pluck the single leaf [as] above mentioned. It is striated and on it is the symbol of Jupiter [x].

Now I seem to retire again to [the] centre of [the] Pentagram, and then out (or in) through the corner of [the] Temple through [an] aperture over which is [the] Symbol [x] [Mals] representing Spirit [x]. I seem to be at the beginning of things and to descend down, down to darkness and yet not altogether darkness. The path at the angle of the Temple seemed to turn down and it was along this I went, till I seemed to leave the earth above and so was outside the earth. After great descent came to still water and yet not ordinary water. No light upon it. I go through the water – a deepish purpose changing to red; and then to yellow w[hi]ch in turn changes to bright light. This seems [to be] the circle of the Rainbow, “Eternity surrounds the Finite” I hear.

Now I stand back at the Circle and facing S[outh]. Guide says vision was of Water of Spirit, inexpressible, Absolute, all pervading. The Lotus is the Symbol of Being and the Serpent in the heart of the Lotus symbolized Wisdom and Knowing. The [x] [Mals] represents Spirit [x].

25 July 1901.

The Temple seems Astral, i.e. Transparent and the building is self luminous. The walls of the chamber form the circle and the points of the Pentagram touch them. I face the [E]ast, (i.e., the Eastern point, the water angle). On [the] Eastern Point of [the] Pentagram I see a downward pointing triangle with [a] dot in the centre (apex of triangle down). The triangle expands into a luminous Angelic figure with the sign of the triangle upon its forehead (The part of the walls appears to have dissolves or become transparent as the vision proceeded.) Two sides of the triangle seem to be produced to the two corners of Heaven in two luminous rays which seem to embrace a fourth part of the Universe including the Astral and regions above it. The Rays become wider as they ascend. Influences like waves of light, which form Angels, descend to the point and then ascend from the apex up [as] waves of light. The Angle which stands on the point is the personification of the Influences and Lord of that Quarter of the Universe. The Influences descend from the point in the Heavens as wings and the undulating waves ascend – the latter are in 3 bands coloured Rose, White and Golden. The waves seem subdivided to 7 by bands of colours which intermingle. Starting from the foot of the Angel (where [the] apex now is) and forming itself inside the large triangle is a circle. I hear the words, “Raphael, Giver of Light.” Symbols of the nature of Libra [x] are round the triangle. One seems like a horse shoe thus. [x] [Mals] a horseshoe also with a bar across the horse. The symbols are in light in [the] centre of [the] circle just above the heads of the Angels.

I go up left hand ray of triangle, the undulations [are] forming transparent steps, curved. I am told that each planet has a dual nature. A peculiar and unusual symbol of Jupiter [x] held out. The Planetary natures are light and dark. The vision is for Wisdom and Concealed Knowledge.

From [the] summit of [the] undulations, spheres seem to rise and in each sphere appears a figure or symbol (afterwards suggested that these spheres might be tops of pillars). There are 9 spheres on either side. Three more appear and form themselves (larger) across the rays. They are bluish, and the nearer to the East they are, the lighter in shade. The Centre has [the] symbol [x] [Ceph]. The r[igh]t hand side [has a] [x] [which is] like [the] upper part of eye, or perhaps [x]. The symbol seems to vary. The left hand has a 4 pointed star perhaps [x] [Na-hath]. The vision fades from blue into green, first blue then green: first experiment, then knowledge. The blue and green meet at the point where the Angel stands. The 9 globes are the 9 aeons; there are yet three more to be fulfilled. One aeon = a thousand thousand years. The 3 in the centre [are] not now explained.

26 July 1901.

Sitting began between 9 and 10 p.m. Medium on couch. Firstly a sensation of cold and I leave the body entirely. The guides saying they [will] take me to (a wonderful and far distant) place. They make the sign [x] which means ‘that which is enclosed.’ (=’S’, Fam) We do not go to the Temple – but to a new plane – not the Earth or the Astral but the place above – the Devachanic. Here mind is all. It seems [to be] a region of space which is filled with undulations sufficiently solid to see through down to the Astral, but not to pass through. The Astral light from here is very dim.

The prevailing colour, I can only explain by a kind of violet – violet rays – beyond the violent end of the spectrum. The symbol of this region, and that which will call up its influences is the double horseshoe [x] [Na]hath]. It is also one of the symbols which guard and rule over the North side of this region.

These are: On the North: [x] (The Enochian Letter: ‘H’ [Na-hath]).
On the South: [x] (The Enochian Letter: ‘T’ [Gisa]).
On the East: [x] (The Enochian Letter: ‘C’ [Veh]).
On the West: [x] (The Enochian Letter: ‘O’ [Med]).

To these symbols all influences on the 4 sides respectively are obediently. The region extends everywhere.

The influences seem to work on waves within the region. These waves are of mighty strength and each undulation has a dark line running through its centre. The motion is perpetual in slightly flattened concentric circles – each one is complete in its self and forms a beginning of another. So by influencing any one part you equally influence all parts.

This is the region which rules the minds of men. Note that the colour is not exactly violent, but beyond violet and indescribable. My guides, I see, are gradually rising to the surface of the region and I am met by an influence that is like the Wind – having no tangible form and coming in a kind of breeze.

The symbol of this influence is absolutely the Symbol of one of the Northern influences, i.e., the Being symbolizing the N[orth].

The [x] [Na-hath] now seems like the entrance, the double entrance or beginning to two worlds. It appears to be the Symbol of a new Force, sweeping, relentless and eternal, but which can be used and manipulated by him who understands. It is absolutely a mind force; not a material force.

(The vision now begins to face. I handed I.O. [x] Gimel symbol to hold, and the vision glowed – but a voice said, “Enough for a time.” Medium was rather long getting back.) Vision occupied an hour.


I see now a sea, absolutely light. It is the region [where] the Astral and Devachanic Planes do not touch. Between these is a transparent region and influences there are mixed, being partly Astral and partly Devachanic. They are less material than the Astral, but not so powerful as the Devachanic. They function at different periods and not always as the other two do. But the [Blank in MS.] of their functioning adds greatly to their power of manifestation on Astral lines. And this is the reason why [the] Astral manifestations are so much more powerful at some times than at others. On this Intermediate Plane, water becomes space. I see now a Mighty, Restless, Overwhelming Force – a black rolling Mass – gathering on one quarter of the Horizon and sweeping towards me. (Medium became faint and was restored.)

Seemingly behind all that one sees is the vision of this Resistless Force that sweeps the Sphere and everything. It is symbolized by [x] (Enochian Letter: ‘A’ [Un]). It does not undulate like the others, but moves in a much wider curve and seems to symbolize Destruction. It is the Qliphoth and is always in motion – and breaks all barriers. (I told I.O. to hold up Astral White Cross and the Force departed and calm reigned.).

Regarding the Plane, one of the Symbols: [x] (Enochian ‘M’) [was] interchanging with: [x] (Enochian ‘R’) [which] symbolizes water in every manifestation [on the] Astral and Material. It is [x] (= ‘M’, title, Tal), but there is a nature symbolized by ‘R’ as well as [x] (= ‘R’, title Don) and under these symbols all Astral influences are ruled. (I enquired re[garding] reason for two symbols.)

There are two symbols because water is dual in nature. They represent the ebbing and flowing of the tide. The influences on this Plane are very jealous. (In reply to another question): Yes, the two symbols represent the eternal conflict, Saturn [x] and Jupiter [x], Cambiel and Amnyxiel, the ebb and flow and much more.

(On looking [at] the [x] Gimel [symbol the] waves become translucent. There seems [to be] no movement and conflict ceases. Now I am simply floating and all around is green.)

(Some difficulty in bringing medium back.)


The Quadrangles are the Key by which these forces can be controlled. The Quadrangles may themselves be combined. The combinations are endless. The forces seem to be controllable through the Quadrangles.

A symbol should be placed within the Quadrangle – depending according to which influence it is required to control. All power on the Earth, the Astral, the Intermediate and the Devachanic Plane is in the hands of him who knows the symbols and their combinations.

Singly they influence, but [when] combined the influences are stupendous.

The Calls are all powerful on the Astral Plane. Combined they are all powerful on the Devachanic, Astral and Intermediate Plane, except those parts of the Devachanic Plane which seem beyond their influences, that is in their entirety. By [the] Table of Union Call, the Master can control a 4th part of the Astral Forces. (Here I repeated first 3 words of Call and asked what happened. Medium at once went into deeper trance and said, “I come. The Master calls me.” Seemingly a “Great Angle” was speaking through her. He held a Wand upon the end of which was the symbol: [x] (= ‘F’ [Orth]).

The Symbols are controllable, and have power on all Planes. The combinations are as important to control as the Creation of the Combined Force which will move at the bidding of the Magician.

It went well to test the influences of the North as they appear. They will respond to these Symbols if they are used with purity of intention. First there should be 30 Symbols (i.e., one for each Aethyr or Call). (Medium stated that in paper, shown her, the Symbols had been written wrong end first – which I had done intentionally.)

The first seven from the other end if used aright and at the proper hour, draw all the influences from the Southern Quarter of the Astral, Intermediate and Devachanic. They are all Manifestations of one force in different aspects.

From all three Planes the 7 Symbols drawn in a circle and placed [Blank in MS.] with the mind quite clear and pure and free, will draw all those influences in one mighty Wave of Energy. The force is that of the fluidic part of the Ether. I see a vast plane of Blue Ether, the region controlled by the 7 Letters. It is Life. Creation is Combination. Suddenly it is getting cold. (Medium was told to come back, but was unwilling and prevented, she said, and was only brought back with considerable difficulty.) 11:50 p.m.

27 July 1901.

(Room previously purified with [the] Lesser Banishing Rituals of Pentagram and Hexagram.)

I am on the edge of the Intermediate Sphere looking down upon the Astral. Far below I see a river which changes into a Dragon – the symbol of Water as an Elemental Force. It is the [x] = R = Don. The Dragon seems to encircle the world round the Astral, but not nearly so high as last night: it symbolizes also the Materiality of the Astral Plane and its limitations. The light is generally green changing to violet and yellow.

The Intermediate Plane seems limitless. I stand on the top edge looking down through space on to the Astral where there seems to be waves that move not like our Earth waves – they seem to move from a centre. It is the symbol of generative force and is: [x] [Veh]. (“To [the] left [is] a perpendicular – [to the] right [is] a half curve from right towards the line, a third line drops earthward from the point of junction resembling in some ways a ‘K’. It is [x] = ‘C’, title, Veh.)

It is the symbol of generative force. The waves come from a common centre, but now there comes an opposing force like a black border which seems to prevent the outcoming of the waves. The force of the waves [is] interrupted and prevented by the black rim which also prevents breathing. (Told to hold up Cross and repeat [x] [Adonai]). Now the ridge goes back for a time and progress continues. The waves are much lighter and brighter and are more like tongues than waves and are curved and short. They seem to flow out to where the Dragon encircles the Astral Plane and become merged in it.

Now I advance and become merged in a sort of haze, but quite clear and above the Astral and the Force here is shewn [to] me in a different figure: [x] [Ur]. The waves are rather undulating and lie more in parallel lines – they undulate but do not touch: there is incessant motion in the strata.

I go further in and see that the force is that of: [x] (‘L’, Ur) and seems to symbolize length.

The breathing becomes difficult owing to the contracting force, but this is not evil only opposed to length – it seems to come [from] the other way. i.e., cross-current. I can’t move in it just at first. (I gave [I.O. the]: [x] [Ur] Symbol to hold and improvement took place.)

Now I pass through the region and through a black veil and come to a new region where the light seems red and vision seems to be a space of conflicting forces not evil but different.

The light seems red, a very clear yellow red. The vision of the force on this side is one of incessant repetition of the symbol: [x] [Na-hath]. (The [x] [Na-hath] enables [me] to pass through.)

This internal sphere is a region where personification comes to an end.

I see through this red sea golden streams of life. It seems to be the visible principle of life. Life and (orange) light are in their natures the same. In the Intermediate Plane one sees water in different symbols – and in a more material manifestation to that where I was just now. Last night I was much higher: tonight I shall not be allowed to go to those regions.

The symbol: [x] [Na-hath] appears to be knowledge. To know is everlasting life that is the meaning of the symbol. (All [is] still peaceful: I still see this red crystal sea of undulating wave, a sort of sunset colour, amber leading into pink and a colour I cannot tell. The lesson is that the beginning is the end and vice versa.

(Retraced steps and got back 9:15 p.m.)

Notes: The difficulty in the Intermediate Plane is the difference in the forms and flows of the waves and in their tangibility. It seems a region of strata: strata of different colours not all flowing the same way.

There was first a flowing motion and then in the space where breathing was difficult there were extremely rapid vibrations in several directions and these again seemed to settle in the [x] [Na-hath] form of beautiful rose colour and regularizing to two sorts of peaks while through the whole one sees the sunset colours: [x] Egyptian Horizon. [This latter clearly a note added in pencil. G.J.Y.]


10:50 p.m.

I am being drawn up and am now in a region of wind. I seem to have passed through the Astral and am in the Air of the Intermediate Plane. It is very cold.

“These symbols bind the Eternities.”

“There are 5 greater symbols.”

I am standing in light above the Astral and a guide is showing me a huge circle set in the heavens and round it are placed symbols. (Re[garding] one symbol): It is a personal letter and the Symbol which rules the Individual life. To each life a Symbol. It is the Symbol of individuality on planes above and below.

It is the Symbol: [x] (‘Q’ [Ger]).

The symbol in the centre of the wheel has the sun [x] for its material symbol, and it is the force behind the Sun. Symbol: a parallel line to the left – and curve to the right. [Not one of the letters of the Enochian Alphabet. G.J.Y.]

Each symbol seems to be one of 4 in a block and so to show 4 sides of the same thing. The [forces] seem to be in different strata and the symbols take the 4 sides, and when you have the four together you can control the whole strata.

Each has a regular sequence, but they have got displaced. Each symbol has 4 sides.

The symbol in the centre glows as one.

In each side of the block there is a different symbol, but one signifies the whole and includes the rest.

The centre symbol is: [x] (Enochian: ‘D’ = Gal); but seems formed of twisted serpents. (Here [the] region became so cold that [the] Medium had to be brought back. Ended about 11.45.)

Notes: Each block or cube of 4 squares seemed to elongate into a pillar. They seemed to bear the signatures of the very highest. I mean, they would draw down influences of the very highest force sfor the circle. The circle suggests that the force of the symbol never fades. There are 32 rather than 28. The number will be explained later. There are 7 groups of 4 each. we shall see them or part of them next time. Thus is there a column and ¾ missing from the list I have and without them the key to the cipher cannot be obtained. The blocks group the manifestations of the same force which might easily be mistaken for other forces.

28 July 1901.

On an edge of the wheel which seems [to be] the edge of a world, perhaps a planet [? Moon [x]], it is the wheel of another aspect. The symbols are there: they now seem portions of districts mapped out.

I see symbols as last night, Cubes, but now they seem apices of a tremendous building: towers not pillars.

The building seems [to be] a temple. Before me is a wide gateway: it is the symbol: [x] [Na-hath].

At the entrance [there] seems [to be] a curious cloud not dark, but light. I am passing through ice and it is very cold. Now I come to a dark barrier (I gave symbol: [x] [Na-hath]). The symbol is reflected in brilliancy on the barrier and I pass through. I see a long avenue which seems to reach the setting sun. On either side is an avenue or gallery formed of 4 square pillars. The pillars themselves form symbols. The symbol of the place is: [x] (= ‘C’ [Veh]). This is the first symbol – complete in itself. By it the influences of the district are enclosed and their forces increased. The symbol is a sickle. It stands on edge – where the hand would be is a crown: [x]. The blade has 7 sides and the edges appear curved into waves or wings, undulating. The crown that forms the handle rests on a block of black marble, apparently. It is 4 square, and there are symbols or dots or squares arranged in some sort or order upon it. Yes, they are Geomantic Figures.

The symbol seems to symbolize June. The Crown is the Consummation. On the block in Geomantic Figures is read the limitations of the age.

The blade is in constant movement and seems to represent the swaying of human life. It is 7 sided and of many colours – to represent time in life. The dots form themselves into [x] [Adonai] (Lord) of Time. There are two square dots on top of the last letter. The symbol seems to grow into a huge standing figure crowned. The black square becomes his girdle and the lines of the sickle become his robes … (10:40. Medium brought back here as warned.)


I seem [to be] standing behind the sickle and the sickle is behind me. I see wheels – rushing, whirling wheels of fire. They are the symbols of [x] (= ‘L’ [Ur]) in groups of 3 making a sort of circle that whirls. They are the spirits of time for an appointed end.

The symbol is like the ‘U’ inverted or like the horseshoe with one side elongated and seems [to] = Th. [x] [Mals]. [Note: Not in Enochian Alphabet. [x] = ‘P’.] I pass through the Symbol. Every Symbol has a different atmosphere. It is very warm and I seem [to be] carried along by the fiery force which seems to rush me round in a stream of yellow light. (I repeated the word: [x] [Tetragrammaton].) The guide takes my hand and pulls me into a kind of shelter and the rushing whirling wheels go past. They are the primeval fires. They seem now to rush along towards a kind of loop where they circulate and form the symbol: [x] [Ceph].

I seem to be coming to a country and am carrying the symbol: [x] (Ceph). The atmosphere is brighter and clearing. The [x] becomes very large and seems to fill heaven and earth. It seems to be forming into a road or path leading to a new region. I have passed through the symbol and I see three rays that are the paths of three planets. That on the right as I approach is of [x] [Uranus] that on the left has not yet been named, it is beyond the path of Neptune [x]. In the middle is the path of Saturn [x]. The [Blank in MS.] seems connected with Uranus [x] and is a form of Higher Fire, a kind little understood. Herschel [or Uranus [x]] is cold above, but has latent fire within. Mars [x] typifies ordinary energy.

(Medium came back without much trouble, but had great difficulty in awaking. Said to be owing to the Fire and to the fact all the symbols had not been given.) The sickle was more thus: The blade was of seven layers parallel varying from rose to yellow –

DISK [x]

30 July 1901.

(Previous to sitting the Medium was nervous and I felt resistance in purifying the room. Medium’s guides throughout seemed to expect difficulty.)

5:30 p.m. Started through window. Passed through golden clouds and atmosphere became very cold. Now on edge of great covered abyss – suggests the other side of the Moon [x]. Below is a great black lake. On holding up the [x] Moon symbol the crescent is reflected in [the] lake and becomes a boat into which [the] Medium gets and sits in [the] middle, a guide at the helm and a guide behind her.

In the sky appears the sign Venus [x] like a star in the heavens and the boat becomes a platform and ascends to it, becoming a shining luminous platform. The cross of the sign becomes a doorway above – the disc becomes a revolving sphere: [x].

Above doorway are 2 symbols – no. 5. On holding up [x] Venus symbol, they glow red and seem to form a motto or name. It is one of the key words. Query word ‘Astarte’ or something of the same meaning.

There are 7 characters and they are from the so-called Theban Alphabet. (Self walking Medium down shining corridor with square pillars on either side. As we pass square columns they seem to become transparent and glow with bluish light and each bears a symbol.)

I am looking at a square transparent block of blue bearing the symbol: [x] (= Pal, ‘X’) on r[igh]t hand side. With it is [the] sign [x] – no, simply ‘X’ English ([x] [Gal]). The symbol is a name of – Symbolises breath – it is also a symbol of division. As I hold up [ b] Beth [symbol]: the ‘X’ divides into two crescents: [x]. I am at a cloud which by holding up [x] [Gal] allows me to pass through. It is the region of Duality and is very full of shifting clouds. (Medium told to return w[hi]ch she does with bad grace and on being shown [the] Theban Alphabet thinks she identifies inscription letters:

? Could it be [x] [Shaddai El Chai]: [x]

Guides were rather against her going again and said they were powerless. There was also written: ‘Nahusa calls” and N[ahusa] – was afterwards said to be a “Daemon”).


The scene was now laid in the Pentagram room of the Temple and I stand at the Western angle. (She says and maintained she faced South but this is unlikely and she corrected on seeing [the] diagram.)

I stand at centre from which 3 paths run to the Air angle which seems symbolized by: [x] [Ceph]. On the point is a star of 5 points. (Voice says “Look again.”) No, on 7 points and each seems to radiate to 7 paths “so 3 leads to 7.”

In the middle of the Star shiens: [x] (= ‘B’ [Pe]). The 3 straight lines from the Pentagram are the 3 strata, the 3 angels or the 3 divisions of the Air. (Voice says “Look to the right.” On [the] right hand side is a flame of perhaps Air or Fire. No, it is Spirit [x] undulating wide and it rises upwards. The colour is clear white. (“Look to left”.) On left I see a green globe revolving in two halves or hemispheres and held by an Angel. I hear the words “The Eighth.” It rolls incessantly. Now it reflects all colours as it passes blue, green and white. It is the power of invisibility – and assimilation from the Highest.

It represents one of the Air symbols, namely: [x] (Enochian ‘U’ [Vau]) and this character confers invisibility – Yet, it is of an Akashic character.

The Angels hold out their hands [x] and voice says “Look above”. I see above white wings and hear a rushing, it is the wings.

The walls of the chamber fade and the Pentagram becomes projected in[to] space as a solid, and becomes rose coloured.

(Advised to bring Medium back and she came but not entirely as guides told her. She was somewhat wild-looking and not quite herself. She was under [the] impression she had been talking all the time to me, but it was not so, and several times she thought she heard my voice, but it was not.)

1 August 1891.

Passed up and am in midst of white light with sort of Golden colour beneath it. It seems to permeate everything and I seem part of it. I am not alone. Two figures are with me. One on the right unusually tall, seems an Astral form. He has on a long robe, the edge of which is marked with curious symbols and repeated over and over again is the symbol: [x]. “I am a Guide” he says, and he holds up in his hand a symbol or emblem or shape somewhat similar to the [x]. It is a disc with a cross in the centre like a St. Andrew’s Cross. Disc has a silver border with figures in it. The X is blue – the blue of the sky with the light shining through. It seems large and has a circular handle like a scepter.

He shows the other side and it seems to have the same sigil but instead of flat [it] is hemispherical. There are curved symbols like serpents or sign of [Blank in MS.] which pass along the edge of the bar. As he holds it, it becomes part of the mist and the disc begins to revolve and I am drawn towards it. It is the sigil of the Moon. Four letters are connected with it. One thus: [x] (Enochian ‘U’ [Vau]) and [x] (‘G’ [Ged]) and two others. I am approaching Jupiter [x]. On saying ABA [x], the light concentrates to a dark spot. (The … [illegible word] seems to have passed – now after a few minutes).

The control of these regions is under 12 symbols – of which 12 [only] 9 are known and 3 [are] lost. They are the sigils of the planet [x] [Uranus]. Everything now turns to the blackest violet with a green light.

I am in the midst of the light and the region of Jupiter [x] had revolved past, and now this curious darkness seems to shadow the place. I see the symbol: [x] (‘A’ [Un]) in combination with [x] (= ‘E’ [Graph]). This means apparently that [x] [Uranus] is represented first by one symbol then by the other, according to the points of his path. They are destructive symbols but all destruction is not bad. To destroy is to re-create.

The temperature is extremely hot, yet a cold wind is blowing. One comes and stands between me and the disc and holds in his hand a symbol like a diamond. Like a solid diamond and it has 5 sides and becomes a Pentagram and I pass through the symbol of the Sun [x].


I am on Earth and I see a square building and three terraces leading up to it. It looks like a Jewish Temple, but not on Earth. There seems to be a great deal of incense about. The sign: [x] [Na-hath] is present. I am in a small square chamber and from the centre of the beams directed to the centre I look up and see the [x] [Na-hath] glow with a luminous golden light and in each side or half circle of the sign I see Geomantic Figures. I hear, “For this vision the end is not yet. There is no end.” Air very oppressive. A wind sweeps through and the glow fades. On the East is a purple veil. At the 4 corners are 4 characters. “Count from lower right hand corner.” (I see a table of squares.) Then to lower left hand corner and finish up at the right hand. I count 5 squares along bottom and 7 up each side. It is the Tablet of Re.

It is the power of 9 and controls the angles. Part of the Tablet controls the influences of the Upper Air.

7 August 1901. (S.S.D.D. [Florence Farr] present at this sitting.)

I am on a plain flooded with the golden light of sunrise. The atmosphere is very clear, but violet. There are 9 spheres. One in centre and 8 revolving round. Each one revolves itself and also keeps the circle. They revolve round a centre of light which makes them very bright. The centre glows and forms into [x] (= ‘X’ [Pal]), the sign of Dual qualities.

I am still on the same sphere but a Guide is with me – the atmosphere is green. A ray passes from my sphere to the centre and now rays pass and make as the huge spokes of a wheel. (Note well.)

The Guide says, “Watch the letter.” It seems to form itself into a pathway. “This,” he says, “is the influence of the 9th circle and the power of 9.” The spheres appear now as circles rather than as spheres. The power of 3 is the keynote of the Universe, it is the one with the dual.

What appeared as [x] [Pal] looks now as a pathway turning to the right. I get the word ‘Gabriel.’ Atmosphere [is] still green, now red, now yellow, and now I observe the sea. It is, I fancy, really air.

I pass over vast stretches of water and the globes are far above me, but it is not material water. I am now in the plain where the Temple was, but it is replaced by an interminable river. I follow it and come to some high rocks on which [an] inscription is in Theban Characters. Letters in groups of 2. 6 in groups of 2 – no, 7 or 8. Inscription means destiny, begins on Theban with a ‘K’ (? Karma). I approach the rocks which now have more inscriptions. It is a place of Tombs. I go up steps cut in the rocks. Each step on approach becomes a transparent block containing a red character. On the first [x] (‘U’ [Vau]), on the second [x] (‘F’ [Orth]). I have risen. The circles are the synthesis of Azoth of the Powers.


Eastern symbols have a personality which cannot be caught if translated.

The 9 Gods in the Boat of Ra = the 9 Powers. There seems 3 plains each ruled by 3 powers. The Material, the Astral and the Higher than the Astral, but the first two are almost interchangeable. (?) Dual: Ptah and Set.

I am now on the edge of a huge disc with all the colours of the rainbow, 9 colours, 9 powers. Earth [x] is the visible expression of Air [x], Fire [x], Water [x], [x] Salt seems the Life-principle, not quite Khepera, for that has a wider significance. I now go up higher to a clear atmosphere and I am looking at great blue waves that look more like flames – and possess a two-fold motion, along, upwards, and across, and each as it crosses seems to form a figure.

There are five points connected with the lines and they form: [x] (‘D; [Gal’). These [x]’s form themselves and I count 9.... i.e., 4 figures of 5 points each – and begin to revolve and become a sphere. It refers to water. Water here on Earth apparently. Light above. There are 9 Angels.

This has to do with: [x] (‘B’ [Pe]), for it is the controller of the rivers, the smaller waters and not the huge masses which are apparently a combination. [x] [Pe] is the water of life, the guardian of Life. It is the water on the Material Plane, for without water man cannot live.

The third alchemical symbol [x] [Sulphur] is fire which manifests as a surrounding light and seems to permeate. It is [x] [Gal] [whose] colour [is] scarlet not red. It is material fire.

The [x] [Ceph] is the Planetary Fire, answering to the Astral.

And there is yet a third symbol signifying fire, namely [x] (= ‘L’ [Ur]), the inner spirit of fire, the vitalizing principle of fire.

Yes, there are 9 Syziges, 9 principles.

8 August 1901.

There are not only 21 letters; 28 is the proper number. [Note: the normal number in the Enochian Alphabet.] I am standing in the midst of green and see two symbols which represent the whole alphabet. These two in addition make 30. The guide shows a huge world of green transparent – like marble with veins running through it. I stand upon it. Guide takes Wand and the pavement seems to glow with innumerable stars which group themselves in the form of letters of the Cypher. They form in 4 groups representing 4 Elements and then 2 which make the 30 represented. The 2 Elements are unknown to us at present. The other elements are Air [x], Fire [x], Water [x], and not exactly Earth [x]. The Earth here is a mingling of Air with Fire. Water [is] to have no representation here. I see represented a medium which encloses everything. It is Ether, but it seems more. I stand and the letters group themselves from a circle midway between Earth and Heaven, and I am told to count 4 from the order of the letters shown.

This is the order and form shown:


The missing ones refer to the Astral Ether. The Trinity controls the angle. Each corner of 3 letters represents an Archangel or ruler of a 4th part of the Heaven. The lost letters partly belong to the dominion of Lucifer and cannot all be given – not in this dispensation – nor to a human being. His Kingdom is waiting for his restoration


Lucifer, Son of the Morning [Stella Matutina]; his was the region of the Higher Ether.

I am passing up through clear air. On taking [x] (‘O’ [Med’) the whole atmosphere seems agitated and shakes and quivers in huge undulations. I seem to be floating, the light grows dim. The upper Ether represents the higher development of the … [illegible word] the mystery of the Divine Being. The letters represent the 30 Ethers or rather 28 plus 2.

9 August 1901.

I ascend a green shaft of light. All around is lightish green. A guide not known before, comes dressed in white garment and he holds twisted serpents, a Caduceus Wand. They are the symbols of Mercurius. Air is Ether. He says, “Take my hand” and we stand together and pass down a road. On each side are two roads – like a cross. We leave these and pass on to a great revolving disc of greenish colour.

Different shaped waves then to those on the sphere yesterday culminating here on the top or North. We stand on the apex of the North and the light flows from us into wide horn-like rays curved towards the North.

[Note: Here the inked fair copy breaks off. Remainder of this and following visions [were] copied from the rough pencil notes taken at the actual sittings. G.J.Y.]

Guide holds his wand and serpents become luminous and I seem to breathe a kind of Fire, and as the serpents wind the atmosphere, ground and even the light seems to become like glass of transparency due to diffuse radiance. My number is 5, the power of 5, the Pentagram [x], starting here, but [I am] looking [at it the] wrong way and [should be looking at it] from [the] left hand thus: [x]. On [the] right hand [at the] top corner they made: [x] (‘G’). They say that 9 (i.e., God) is our limit and the boundary of our influence.

The Pentagram appears suspended and is now lying parallel with us or rather it seems that the top of our sphere lies in its centre. It is glowing with golden light but with a greenish metallic luster and blue flames play under it. The blue flame is Salt [x], the inner significance, the golden glow is Sulphur [x].

The yellow flames on surface of [the] Pentagram seem [to be] intersecting triangles, the white light plays about it in tongues of very finely pointed light: the 2 diagonal lines have yellow trans[aren’t] and white light [an [x]) along the bisecting lines, they glow blue turning to purple – this is the energy of Mercury [x]. ‘Culminates on the 5 points.’ The bisecting lines are those which form an angle with the diagonals, and each point has an Angel or Spirit in connection with it. Yet only 3 symbols to Mercury [x]. 2 are dual. These are the centre 3 on [the] left hand side of square that actually belong to Mercury [x], but these symbols in each instance have a character of their own but share certain characteristics. Hence difficult to place what actually belongs to each because the manifestations appear so similar to the researcher tho’ in the upper air vast differences are easily ascertained.

All the elements have common qualities, this Spirit [x] – Air [x], Sun [x], Water [x]. Different forms of energy controlled by the Spirit of the Elements. Earth [x] is a manifestation on a lower plane of what Ether is on the upper.


Up shaft of light [is] white. The square now appears like constellations spanning the Heavens and each symbol becomes a sun, ruled by an Angel of its own, but at the corners stand 4 resplendent spirits. I have a guide. He holds in [his] hand a circle or disc.

Disc in 2 metals but appears to have no inscription. Metals pure white, one a transparent yellow.

Raphael seems to rule the right hand [or] N]orth]-E[ast] angle, Michael left [or] Western angle, Gabriel lower East angle, and Auriel at bottom lower angle to it. Each is an embodied essence of a manifestation of the Deity.

All the symbols of the globes seem scintillating. Their spirits seem to hold or show each letter, but for the angles, the Archangels stands on one and holds one in each hand. They glance on the 2 below and the one above crowns them and radiating shafts appear to form a pentagram at each angle.

Faintly glowing in centre there is a new symbol. A symbol of absolute balance and appears to be formed by the 3 sides of an equilateral triangle in a circle or disc. It is translucent and absolutely white. It seems to advance. A name of 3 letters, begins in centre, not I.A.O. There is a second symbol but not to be given tonight. I think second guide was Enoch.

11 August 1901.

Ask for guide. Name ADAN, [x] = He who reveals. He stands wearing straight purple garment, on his breast hangs a large circle enclosing a Pentagram of which the centre appears to be sunk. Pentagram glows with yellow light – a blue jewel in centre, and on it I see marks like small squares, one square at the top, then 4, two on each side:


They seem to glow red through the blue jewel. The squares represent the secret sign. Those who would enquire we give this proof. Unity. Unity. Trinity again. The 7 includes all. Now stay not to enquire what is not entirely necessary to the question.

Letters now arranged in a triangle.

I am on a grassy plain. Sun is setting and there seems no one in the world. Guide ADANNI, [x]. Behind a small tent of goat’s hair hung with skins. On the ground in front of us the grass has been cleared by fire [and] there is a plain black space. On the space which measures 10 ft. square is drawn, in red, a triangle apex pointing to the East and I face East. The sun sets immediately behind and the lines and sign on the triangle seem to become illuminated. Behold the key to all the great mysteries. Letters seem to begin in the centre of the base line.


Only the present High Priest of the Jews holds the Key in Jerusalem – to one in each generation is it given. Specious reason why at a time to Dee was given. Dee was a Jew.

12 August 1901.

Guide was same. Holds 7 pointed star. The purple robe is an over robe and he wears a white robe underneath. Headdress sort of shield with curving horn. We are in mist, the wall of mist parts and I see the triangle. Connected with building in this Cypher, seems to be [x] (= ‘T’ [Gisa]).

13 August 1901.

We ascend and are in a place where everything [is] very light. Guide ADAN [x] takes [my] hand. We stand with triangle as an arch and we both stand on [x] (‘B’ [Pe]) on base. That signs may be comprehended we will take them in order. The 3 angular and one in centre.

[x] (‘B’ [Pe]) is Light, the sign of illumination. Above it stands the double arches, they represent a city. To it came the Illuminati. It also signifies the Presence. Through its archways none but the chosen ones may pass. It is the entrance to a city and there is no exit.

Take angle to left at [the] point = Tau [x], not the extreme base universe. It is [x] (‘T’ [Gisa]) and is surrounded by luminous waves, it is a water symbol – the water of existence. Gimel [x] makes waves red as if by setting sun. It typifies water of existence, of Life. [An illegible line here. G.J.Y.] Fire of Water interchangeable with Water of Life. Am standing in this Sign and angle is S[outh]-E[ast].

[x] [Pe] = fire of Ether.


The upper [x] [Na-hath] and lower [x] [Pe].

I stand at lower angle, its two arms stretch up like pathways to the Heavens and glows with dazzling bright blue. [x] [Pe]; what you thought was water was the Ether of Fire. It represents the Sun [x], also symbol of all life and is all embracing and occupies a 4th part of existence.

The great arms have 7 divisions, meaning the 7-fold manifestation of power because 7 represents 2 … [illegible word] and unity. Each step is a progression. I pass from base of [x] [Pe] to [the] top where 2 points terminate at lower corners of the 2 arches. Triangle divided into 4 parts and 4 Archangels hold dominion over them.

We pass to the colonnades of the city that typifies Eternal Wisdom and the Eternal Wisdom illuminates all as far as the points of light reach.

On [the] point is [an] inscription or symbol like ‘H’ not Enochian. This is part of the power of [x] [Uranus].

16 August 1901. S.S.D.D. [Florence Farr] present.

Going up a rainbow. Prismatic colours broaden to strips taking whole angle of horizon. The curve is together over water – over the Crescent Moon [x]. Reach summit – everything very bright – white prism underneath. With me is 7 and 7 and 7 too visible for Spirits in appearance beyond average height. Garments mingle into surrounding light. Serpent emblem everywhere. On translucent golden pavements [with] red waves beneath. Some force drawing us forward. The twisted serpents change and grow. Nothing but twisted serpents. Asked what they mean. Guide writes with serpent caduceus. These are the beginning of wisdom … Now [we] ascend 12 steps. On 1st everything very cold. 2nd step difficult. Guide takes hand [and] he holds a Wand.

Everything green and transparent. Round Wand letters – on steps, Hebrew the oldest. First step ‘F’, second ‘Y’, third ‘G’. We pass onward and I see every step has symbol. I am on fourth step, light dark, a dark green, the letters form the markings as marble. This ‘Y’. Now changes to vivid rose. A saying “HVH’. Cloud comes and shuts off vision. Comes from above. Not a cloud, a Presence. R.A. waits. A revelation will be given.

Tablet stands upright like a pillar. Divisions illuminated. 4 above the top. 5 down in each division stands.

Top has 2 parallel perp[endicular] strokes and then short bar lines. KALDC [x]. R.A. waits.

To read the tables would release those confined within, which would be calamitous. How to work will be given in this hour yet will interpretation be withheld. Hanoch [x] walked with the All-wise. To him was given much wisdom. That released some but some are still held, to all the time is not yet. “They are the Elemental Powers.” Interpretation not given to man in this age.

[Note: Drawing of an eye in a circle and the letters: WIR, UR, AR-UGH]

20 August 1901.

Guide: “I am ZARAN [x] from …”

Pass through deep blue to yellow and then radiant light. Presence holds in hand a circle with a pentagram. On his head a double crown, in his hand a roll. It unfolds in two parts. “Are these what ye come to hear? They are revelations given to Hanoch [x] by him ascribed on the stone, within the symbols all is found of Wisdom and Knowledge. Yet it is given only to those to whom it can be given. Can be given in part.” They are the summons to bring the powers, the greater cube is ruled by a greater. The second Call, the water. By it rain will be brought, the rivers planted, these are arrested.

Letters are symbols given to bring the concealed knowledge to this age – meditate on and use the groups, [it] will to the future bring true happiness. Letters not conventional, but part of a priestly code. They were part of [the] secrets of priesthood, but since Hanoch’s time to all save only a few.

Presence takes my hand, on the hand is a large signet, the Sun [x], rays interlaced form a circle.

Call ARDOTH [x]. To me the letter [x] [Gal] refers. I bind, I also loose.

Place me on the N[orth]-E[ast]. (I hear rushing of many waters) of the line, the first line of the Tablet. Dee did not understand their use. The spirit that answered to the control gave him no clue to the real power of the Letters. They have a two-fold quality. Next symbol to look at [is] [x] [Pe]. He openeth and no man can shut.


With right use of the tables one can divine the thoughts of the Elements. 9 along top, 13 down. No, 10 along top.

Tables suspended.

XRVVAEHEOR. [Note: light pencil line through EOR. (?) G.J.Y.]

Holy is Eloi. Great is the Elohim.

I see blood falling. It is the beginning of the Invocation, also symmetrically law. On reading Call, Tablet became illuminated and a wind rushes. Guide appears holding Wand, indicates letters in diagonal manner from top right hand corner to left. In the centre of these Tablets in midst of letters is a Hexagram.
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Fri Jan 31, 2020 8:25 am

Part 2 of 2

Appendix I

[After the completion of the Enochian Experiments there was an attempt to summarize the visions of the Enochian Alphabet from the three note-books. On a unsigned sheet of paper the following was written. – D.K.]

[x]: Spirit.
[x]: The 3 globes.
[x]: (?) Raphael. Air.
[x]: That w[hi]ch is enclosed. Cold
[x]: North – also knowledge and cold.
[x]: South. E[arth] and Water of Existence.
[x]: East.
[x]: West.
[x]: Mighty resistless force.
[x]: Water.
[x]: Water as Elemental Force.
[x]: Angel held Wand with this on it.
[x]: Generative Force.
[x]: Fire … and Water(?)
[x]: Fire.
[x]: Fire(?) Also Air.
[x]: A personal letter ruling the individual.
[x]: Sign of division.
[x]: Middle of Pentagram, and the ruler of rivers and small masses of water. Sun and Ether of Fire.
[x]: Gives invisibility and belongs to Air(?) Also connected with Moon.
[x]: Also connected with Moon(?)

Appendix II

[In 1901, Florence Farr did some investigations on the Lunar aspect of the Enochian Tablets which she recorded in her journal. Mary Greer [151.442] gives the date of Farr’s journal entry as 16 April, 1901. The investigations that are printed below are dated 17 August 1901. It would seem that Farr had transcribed her journal entry on the 17 August 1901 and sent them along with a letter to an unknown person. The letter has been printed below, but is missing the beginning. The journal entry which Greer prints is slightly different and has been acknowledged as footnotes. – D.K.]

As I am working almost exclusively with Solar symbolism I am afraid I shan’t be able to get anything further with regard to these Luna Tablets because the 3 forces counteract each other & the other work is very important in my estimation. However here is a certain amount of light on the subject I think which you’ll be able to develop.

No wonder Ra said he was waiting last night!!

Yours in haste,

Florence Emery

17th Aug[ust] 1901.

As I got with the Ave Enoch[ian] current last night I thought I might as well make use of the opportunity to find out the real state of the case with the following result.

[The] Enochian Tablets are a conglomeration made by a man in the reign of Henry VII in England. He had some Kabalistic knowledge.1 The letters are the cipher of a secret society which he got hold of illegally. He adapted them to the Tablets which were founded on [the] Kabalistic [x] [Tetragrammaton].2

The Tablets are purely Luna as is [x] [Tetragrammaton] representing Luna quarters. The 21 [Enochian] letters represent the 19 years of [x] [North Nodal] revolution in [the] zodiac plus 2 aspects [x] [head (Caput Draconis) and tail (Cauda Draconis) of Dragon].3 p.q., [x] = [x] [Caput Draconis] & [x] [Cauda Draconis united]. 19 x 19 = 361. Each [“19” crossed-out] letter value nearly 19 degrees of 360 degrees of zodiac [“or rather have” crossed out] (a slight abatement on each).

4 Tablets = 4 quarters of Moon but in connection with the [x] [North Node] & [x] [South Node]. They move around the zodiac.

Favourable place for Western Tablets is West but it moves with [x] [tail] of Dragon. It is favourable to [the] New Moon.

East moves with [x] [head of Dragon]; favourable to [the] Full Moon.

South is favourable to increasing & is Southern declination.

North is favourable to decreasing & is Northern declination.

Tablet of Union = 19 year cycle & 1 for whole.

4 great crosses are 4 x 9 months = 3 years x 4 = 12 fortunate & fruitful years mixed with 7 barren years.

Their influences are those which govern the 7 days of the week, the 12 months or the year as in 36 decans & [“the” crossed out] it appears that if the 7 influences predominates, it is barren; it not, it is fruitful. So I suppose that the houses of the Planets are the houses which can overcome the planetary influences best.

The Tablets are only slightly connected with solar influence through the great crosses & their names of [the Great kings of the] East & West Tablets in [the] centre (Bataivah & Raagiol).

They have no eternal value but are useful in time until the luna forces & planetary influences – acting through [the] Moon – are disintegrated. The God of the Jews is a Luna God. People have tried to Solarise Luna symbolism by calling these quarters & [x] [North Node] & [x] [South Node], etc., Seasons of [the] year, etc., but the Sun forces do not care for the names, etc., that appeal to the Luna forces.

At times of [the] Eclipse, the Sun force is like St. George & spears the Dragon & a new sub-cycle is initiated. One fort night4 the [x] [Moon] tries to obscure [the] [x] [Sun] & vise versa [for the] next fort night. At [the] time of [x] with [x] [North Node] & [x] [South Node] it appears as a kind of cyclic generation.5

The 19 letters have to do with the degrees of [the] zodiac & the order of the Linea Spiritus Sancti in a regulation. Those are the most important words [“ORD IBAH” crossed out] (viz. ORO IBAH, etc.).6 10 lunations = 9 solar months = 40 weeks – period of prenatal life = 10 squares of small crosses result in Tablet in 40 luna forces. 9 [squares] of great crosses = 360 [“solar” crossed out] forces related slightly to solar forces. The 30 squares of lesser angles = days of [the] month.


1. ‘He had some outside Kabalistic knowledge.’ – F.F. diary.

2. ‘The letters are a cipher of a secret society which he got hold of illegally & adapted them to the Tablets which were founded on the Kabalistic Tetragrammaton [x] [in the] form of [[x] = Henoch].’ – F.F. diary.

3. ‘[These Tablets] represent the days of the Lunar month – the 21 [Enochian] letters represent the 19 years of [the nodal] period + the two letters representing head and tail of Dragon, which must be united with each letter to show its 2 aspects.’ – F.F. diary.

4. One fort night is equivalent to two weeks. – D.K.

5. ‘At the time of the degree of the zodiac represented by the letter [x] is in conjunction with [North and South Node].’ – F.F. diary.

6. The ‘Three Great Secret Holy Names of God”, i.e., ORO IBAH AOZPI are found on the central cross of the Enochian Air Tablet, called Linea Spiritus Sancti, reading left to right. – D.K.

Appendix III

The Workings of the Sphere Group

[On 17 January 1901, Florence Farr issued a ‘semi-official statement’ of the workings of the Sphere Group to its Theoricus Adeptus Minor members. A copy of the statement was sent to Frater Sub Spe [J.W. Brodie-Innes] and is printed below from Harper, [158.221-223]. The first incarnation of the Sphere Group (No. 1) used the figure of an Egyptian Adept in the centre of the Sphere, but was later changed to an image of the Holy Grail in the second incarnation of the Group.

In Annie Horniman’s [Fortiter et Recte) critical petition against the Sphere Group to the Chiefs of the Second Order (Rosae Rubeae et Aureae Crucis [Ancient Mystical Order Rosae Crucis] ) she wrote that the ‘group consisted of 12 members and the symbols were adapted from the Star maps and Tree of Life projected on a sphere, whence they were sometimes called the Sphere Group. The twelve members had astral stations assigned to them around this sphere and a certain Egyptian astral form was supposed to occupy the centre.’ [175.247].

In R.W. Felkin’s paper called ‘The Group as I knew it, and Fortiter [Annie Horniman]’ he wrote that the objects of the Sphere Group ‘were: to concentrate forces of growth, progress and purification, every Sunday at noon, and the progress was 1st, the formation of the twelve workers near but not in 35 [Blythe Road]; 2nd Formulation round London; 3rd, Formulation round the Earth; 4th, Formulation among the Constellations. Then gradually reverse the process, bringing the quintessence of the greater forces to the lesser. The process was to take about an hour.’ [175.250].

Robert Turner described the Workings of the Sphere Group as a group which ‘consisted of twelve members [who] each held to represent an individual Zodiacal potency – it seems likely that an unmentioned thirteenth member acted as Seer. During the Sphere ceremonies (which took place every Sunday at noon), the Adepti positioned themselves at equal distances around an Astrally constructed spherical image and invoked the presence of an Egyptian Spirit-form which manifested at the exact centre of their magical structure. As the ceremony progressed the ‘Sphere’ was gradually expanded (Astrally) until by degrees it encompassed: the place of Working, the City of London, the Earth, and finally the entire Solar System. After the required Astral communication has been received at a Super-Celestial level the ‘Sphere’ was caused to slowly contract, in an effort to draw the power back to the Earth Plane.’ [144.II:ii.17]. – D.K.]

The Sphere Group (No. 1)

87 the Grove Hammersmith W.
17 January, 1901

Care V[ery] H[onoured] Fra[ter] Sub Spe,

It seems necessary for me to make a semi-official statement of the Theorici regarding my work in the Order during the last 3 years in order to account for the present state of feeling of which naturally you became aware on your visit to London.

You may remember at the end of the year 1895 I came across an Egyptian Adept in the British Museum and freely told other members of the possibilities opened out. On Jan. 27th 1896 I received a long letter from D[eo] D[uce] C[omite] F[error, S.L. MacGregor Mathers] in reply to a letter of mine sending a charged drawing of the Egyptian and asking him if I were not grossly deceived by her claiming to be equal in rank to an 8 degree = 3 degree of our Order at the same time giving me numbers which I afterwards calculated to be correct for that grade. I still possess his letter approving altogether of my working with her, and saying it was necessary to make offerings & then all would be well - &c &c. I soon found there was a considerable prejudice against Egyptian Symbolism amongst the members of the Order and I began to hold my tongue after having recommended the various clearly marked groups of thinkers (such as Indian, Christian and son on) to work steadily and regularly by themselves each under some more advanced person. To you and to those who were not antipathetic I spoke more freely. When the splits in the Order itself became more and more pronounced my work with 3 others having become extremely interesting we resolved to carry out a plan suggested by an Egyptian for the holding together of a strong nucleus on purely Order lines. This was done by using the symbol of the globular Sephiroth: formulating it regularly once a week, each of us formulating the whole symbol, so that the strong should counterbalance the weak, placing it over the Order, the planet, then gradually increasing in size and imagining the symbols disposed as in the star maps in the visible universe. Here we invoked the light from the true Kether that the spirit of life and growth might be evoked by that light and that the great guardian wall of the Sephiroth might shed its influence upon the planet and the Order. This being done the Light was carefully concentrated upon the earth and upon the Sphere of the Order and upon our own spheres. This was done regularly once a week, and members were warned it was to be used for no purposes of personal desire, but for all. If we invoked the light upon the evil that was as yet unfitted for transmutation it was to be prevented from operating by the Great Guardian of the formula and not one of us has been allowed to work for our own selfish aims by means of the formula. It is quite true that in my experience of the working of the Order I have found several very capable persons who cannot interest themselves in many of the Order formulas of clairvoyance and divination yet who were intensely interested in the end I had in view and which is expressed above, the late Soror Volo [Florence Kennedy] being one of them. Others were interested in the study of the Egyptian religion but did not take interest in mediaeval symbolism. The Order passed into an apparently more and more hopeless state. There appeared no possible way in which it could emerge from the dishonesties which desecrated its symbols. Endless divisions, bickering, and scandals choked its activity. In the mean time the group I had founded and the groups you and others founded continued their work and at last in 1899 the time came. In the early months of 1900 matters were so arranged by the eternal powers that we were freed from the load of dishonesty under which we had been struggling.

All went well until September 1900 when I found everything I proposed was objected to. After a few weeks I discovered that my group which had been working quietly for 3 years was being violently attacked. First on the ground that we used the Order Rooms. It was then arranged that on Mondays and Wednesdays Members should by giving a weeks notice have the right to engage the rooms for 2 hours at a time. I was very glad of this as I had frequently been unable to go into the rooms myself when other Members were using them and it was a convenience all round to know when this was likely to be the case. I was then accused of keeping valuable information to myself. You will understand I think that with the anti-Egyptian Feeling about I shall still refuse to discuss Egyptian formulae with anyone not specially in sympathy with the ancient Egyptians. As for the working of my group we each sit at home and go through the stages of the invocation, we each simply invoke light upon the perfectly balanced symbol of the Tree of Life projected on a sphere, we do not work at clairvoyance or divination in any special way and I do not admit that we are concealing knowledge from anyone seeing that the whole of the symbol is explained in the Star maps lecture. I have written to you at great length because you are in the country and I have no opportunity of speaking to you. Would you kindly send this letter to Soror Veritas Vincit [Mrs. Agnes Cathcart]. I have recently put up the following notice at 36 B[lythe] R[oad].

S[apientia] S[apienti] D[ono] D[ate, Florence Farr] wishes to say that any Member of the Order who feels sympathy either for the study of the Egyptian Book of the Dead or for the symbolism of the Tree of Life projected on a Sphere will be very welcome to join her group on their attainment of the grade of Theoricus.

Yours under the wings of the eternal O,

Sapientia Sapienti Dono Date 5 degree = 6 degree T[heoricus] A[deptus] M[inor].

[In March 1901, Florence Farr issued another statement of the ‘semi-official workings’ of the Sphere Group to its Theoricus Adeptus Minor members which was an attempt to clarify the workings of the Group. In this document Farr stated that the Sphere Group no longer had any connection to the Egyptian Adept of the first incarnation of the Sphere Group. According to R.W. Felkin the members of the Sphere Group were informed at a meeting that the Egyptian Adept ‘was changing his place on the higher planes and could no longer work with us.’ [175.251]. A second incarnation of the Sphere Group was formed having replaced the Egyptian Adept with an image of the Holy Grail on the central pillar which was called ‘The Cup of the Stolistes’. The Sphere Group (No. 2) is printed below from Greer, [151.257]. – D.K.]

The Cup of the Stolistes within the Sephiroth as projected on a sphere.

The Sphere Group (No. 2)

There were twelve people in the ‘Sphere Working,’ evenly divided into six women and six men. Every Sunday from noon to 1 p.m., in their own separate homes but working simultaneously they began by creating an image of the Cup of the Stolistes (Holy Grail) containing a burning heart that represented Tiphareth. The Sephiroth of the ‘middle pillar’ (Kether, Daath, Tiphareth, Yesod, and Malkuth) were aligned on a central column, with Kether envisioned as a flame arising from the top of the Cup and Malkuth forming its base. The remaining six Sephiroth were doubled (to form twelve) and arched toward the four directions, creating a sphere around Tiphareth. Each person took one of the twelve sphere positions, envisioning themselves not only as the corresponding Sephirah but as an entire Tree of Life within that sephirah. They saw themselves clothed in the colour of the planet, bathed in an aura the colour of the Sephirah, and they consciously projected appropriately coloured rays of light to the nearest Sephiroth on the central column and to the Sephiroth above and below them. This was a feat of tremendous concentration and visualization ability in itself, but the work was only beginning.

First they imagined that the Sephiroth projected on the sphere were each approximately ten feet in diameter. This image was projected astrally over the Second Order headquarters at 36 Blythe Road. Then they imagined a larger sphere formed over all of London, with each Sephirah one mile in diameter. Next they formed an even larger sphere, 2,700 miles in diameter, over Europe. Fourth, they formed a sphere around the Earth, with Kether over the North Pole and Malkuth over the South Pole. In the fifth operation, the complete solar system (Sun, Moon, and Planets) was placed in the centre Sephirah of Tiphareth and the other Sephiroth, each 900 miles in diameter, were placed in the starry universe and aligned with specific constellations.

Each individual then linked him or herself from their own Kether to the sphere’s Kether via a cord of diamond light through which they travelled to the flaming Crown at the top of the Grail. From Kether they all sent rays of light into the whole universe, the planet, the Order, and themselves. Each individual then returned to his or her own Sephirah and began the journey back to earth, deliberately treading underfoot the shadows known as qliphoth that could potentially generate evil. Thus they transmuted evil into good through the actions of the greater forces on the lesser.
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Sat Feb 01, 2020 2:27 am

Eric Lambert (1909-1996), historian and intelligence officer
by Moises Enrique Rodríguez
Copyright © Society for Irish Latin American Studies, 2010


Many aspects of Tibetan politics were little-known to the British prior to the Younghusband Mission, and the systematic gathering of political intelligence became a primary part of the Tibet cadre's role, with paid informants used to gather information. I have previously examined how, during the period 1904-09, the Government of India collected information on Tibetan affairs from Tibet's neighbouring governments (particularly Nepal), and from missionaries on the Eastern Tibetan frontier. Other important news was obtained by the interception of Chinese and Tibetan communications through the Indian telegraph system. In Tibet, cadre officers had informants at all levels of society, and gathered news from European travellers and Indian traders. Intelligence gathering was thus recognised as an integral part of the Tibet cadre's duties.[16]

The National Archives of India show that Trade Agents were provided with a regular Secret Service allowance to pay informants. In 1910, this allowance was greatly increased (from 200 to 1000 rupees per month in the case of Yatung), as 'the local people as well as passing travellers require to be bribed liberally in order to brave the risk of being seen about this Agency by the Chinese'.[17]

Lists of the actual recipients of these funds reveal the wide range of informants used. Those listed naturally include those whose interests coincided with the British -- the Nepalese representative in Gyantse (who received a regular monthly payment of 50 rupees). Indian traders, and Bhutanese officials. O'Connor, building on contacts he had established during the Younghusband Mission, extended this range of informants. Villagers were rewarded with one or two rupees, servants of Lhasa officials and clerks at the Panchen Lama's monastery in Shigatse received 10-50 rupees. The Gyantse Jongpon’s clerk and a Gyantse monk were regular paid informants, and a number of other monks from leading monasteries throughout Lhasa and central Tibet also profited. Perhaps O'Connor's greatest success was in obtaining informants from the Chinese army, and there were also regular payments to a 'Chinese Agent from Lhasa'.[18]

Local agents who proved valuable were taken into regular cadre employment. For example, in 1912, A-chuk Tsering, who later accompanied Bell to Lhasa, was employed as a 'Secret Service Agent' at Ghoom under the District Commissioner Darjeeling, watching the movements of two Japanese studying Tibetan language there. [19]

British travellers also received Secret Service payments. In 1914, the botanist Frank Kingdom-Ward received a token 50 rupee payment for his report on south-eastern Tibet, while new light is shed on the nature of Bailey's travels by entries which reveal he received a substantial payment from Secret Service funds for his journey from Peking to Sadiya in 1911.[20]

Hugh Richardson has claimed that information gathering in Tibet was 'done openly' and that 'there was no clandestine activity or the employment of secret agents which are generally associated with the idea of spying'. But although there are no breakdowns of Secret Service expenditure in official records after 1909, there are private papers from later periods which show that Secret Service funds continued to be used to pay local informants. For example in 1944, Gyantse Trade Agent Mainprice refers to a 'Secret Service' payment of 450 rupees. In addition, the Indian archive indexes confirm that what the Government of India themselves termed 'Secret Agent(s)' were still used to report on Tibet in the 1940s.[21]

Therefore, while British sources claim that, due to the open nature of Tibetan aristocratic society, information was freely obtained in Lhasa, there was nevertheless an ongoing use of 'secret agents' by the British throughout the period of their involvement in Tibet. Once the Tibet positions were established in an intelligence-gathering role there was no further need to articulate this role; the tradition had been established.

There was, however, a reorganisation of intelligence gathering in the 1936-37 period, around the time when Gould and Richardson became respectively Political Officer Sikkim and Trade Agent Gyantse. The relevant archives remain classified, but it is possible to reconstruct the effect of these changes from scattered references to intelligence on the northeastern frontier. [22] Much of the responsibility for intelligence gathering in the region was apparently shifted from the Political Officer Sikkim to the Central Intelligence Officer in Shillong.

The Central Intelligence Bureau, which had been created by Curzon in April 1904, came under the Home Affairs Department, although it liaised closely with the Political Department; after 1944 all telegrams concerning Tibetan affairs were copied to the Shillong office. This post was occupied during the 1940s by an Irish police officer, Eric Lambert, and after 1946 he was given an assistant based in Kalimpong with particular concern for Tibetan affairs. Lambert's chosen assistant was Lieutenant Lha Tsering, the son of Bell's confidant, A-chuk Tsering. [23]

Lambert's office became an important influence on Tibetan policy in the '40s, but the close links between Lambert and the Political Officer Sikkim suggest they shared similar aims. For example, in September 1944, Lambert recommended an increase in government contributions to Tibetan monasteries, a policy which was enthusiastically followed by the cadre, as will be seen. [24]

The Government of India may not have had a monopoly on clandestine British operations in Tibet. The foreign policy interests of Whitehall and Delhi were not identical, and Whitehall may have used their own agents in Tibet. Certainly Whitehall took over the duty of obtaining British intelligence in Tibet after 1947, with the British High Commission in Delhi suggesting likely avenues of intelligence. [25]

-- Tibet and the British Raj, 1904-47: The Influence of the Indian Political Department Officers, by Alexander McKay

Lambert, Eric (1909-1996), was an Irish historian and former MI-6 intelligence officer who wrote the monumental Voluntarios Británicos e Irlandeses en la Gesta Bolivariana, a major contribution to the little-known history of British and Irish soldiers in the Wars of Independence of Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru.

Born in Dublin, Lambert went to India in 1929, where he worked as a police officer and a colonial administrator until the end of the Raj in 1947. During the Second World War, he remained a civilian but contributed to the war effort against the Japanese in Burma (Myanmar), receiving the temporary Chinese rank of General and the honorary British rank of Major. Upon his return to Europe, Lambert joined MI-6 (or SIS, the British Secret Intelligence Service) for which he undertook several intelligence-gathering missions around the world, including assignments in Latin America and Afghanistan in the 1960s.

In 1962, during a visit to an army base in Ibagué (Colombia), Lambert came across a portrait of Colonel James Rooke, which occupied the place of honour in the officers’ mess. Lambert’s hosts belonged to the Infantry Battalion “Jaime Rooke”, a unit named after a hero of Colombian independence who had died of his wounds at the battle of Pantano de Vargas in 1819. Rooke had been the commander of the “British Legion” of Bolivar’s army and his name is still remembered in Colombia’s history books. The Colombian officers were surprised to learn that Lambert had never heard of Rooke and asked him to research his background. Lambert undertook research at the National Library of Ireland and later published an article on Rooke in a Bogotá newspaper. The Colonel was in fact British in the nineteenth-century sense of the word: he had been born in Dublin of an English father and an Irish mother.

After retiring from MI-6 (or, officially, from the British Foreign Office), Lambert dedicated himself to researching the history of the many British and Irish volunteers who had fought for Bolívar during the Wars of Independence. As well as the three volumes of his monumental Voluntarios, he published Carabobo 1821 (a compilation of accounts in English about that battle) and a series of articles in the Irish Sword. He also contributed to other publications such as the Southern Chronicle and became a leading member of the Military History Society of Ireland.

Unfortunately, Lambert’s Voluntarios was never made available commercially. Only a small number of copies (300-400) were ever printed, and they were distributed to a limited number of libraries mainly in Latin America and Britain and Ireland. The English draft was never published and the work is available only in Spanish.

The book was printed in Caracas (Volume 1 in 1981 and Volumes 2 and 3 in 1993), and led to Lambert being awarded the Order of the Liberator by the Venezuelan government. Publication was delayed partly because some South American historians believed that Lambert was saying that the British and the Irish had liberated their continent from Spanish dominion. Lambert never claimed such a thing, but showed that the foreign volunteers had made an important contribution!

Eric Lambert died on 20 November 1996. In his obituary, John de Courcy Ireland called Lambert’s Voluntarios a model of deep and exacting scholarship. Lambert had no academic training as a historian but his police/intelligence-gathering background made him uniquely qualified for the investigative work required in historical research. He worked from primary sources, purposely ignoring the books of his predecessors in the field: Alfred Hasbrook (whom he considered inaccurate) and Luis Cuervo Marques (of whom he probably had never heard).

Author’s Note

I relied upon Lambert’s books and articles for my own work on the subject but was unable to meet him before he passed away. I was honoured, however, to have met his niece, Laragh Neelin, and the author of the foreword to his book, General Héctor Bencomo of the Venezuelan army. My conversations with them, as well as Neelin’s article in the Irish Sword, are the sources of this biography.


- Neelin, Laragh. “Remembering Eric Lambert” in the Irish Sword, 105 (Dublin: Military History Society of Ireland, 2009).

- Lambert, Eric. Voluntarios Británicos e Irlandeses en la Gesta Bolivariana (Caracas: Ministerio de Defensa, 1981 and 1993). 3 vols.
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Sat Feb 01, 2020 5:47 am

Paljor Dorje Shatra
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 1/31/20

In 1919, the cadre's flow of information was interrupted by the death of the main sources of information on events at Lhasa, the Tibetan Prime Minister, Lonchen Shatra, and the half-brother of the Maharajah of Sikkim, Lhase Kusho. This deprived the British of Lhasa news at an important time, as a Chinese Mission, nominally from the Kansu Provincial Government, reached Lhasa that year, suggesting the possibility of direct Chinese-Tibetan negotiations without British involvement.

-- Tibet and the British Raj, 1904-47: The Influence of the Indian Political Department Officers, by Alexander McKay

A photo of Paljor Dorje Shatra, Reproduced in Laurence Waddell's "Lhasa and Its Mysteriesv--vWith a Record of the British Tibetan Expedition of 1903-1904", 1905.)

Shatra (personal name Paljor Dorje, full title Longchen Shatra Paljor Dorje (blon chen bshad sgra dpal 'byor rdo rje); བཤད་སྒྲ bshad sgra; དཔལ་འབྱོར་རྡོ་རྗེ; dpal 'byor rdo rje; c. 1860 – c. 1923/1926), was a Tibetan politician.[1]


Shatra belonged originally to the Shangga family. He married, however, into the Shatra family, took their name and was a wealthy man.


In 1890 he accompanied the Chinese amban on his trip to Darjeeling and supported him during the negotiations leading to the Anglo-Chinese border treaty. Shortly afterwards he was appointed Shappe (Minister).

In 1903, he and the other three members of the inner cabinet (Kashag) were accused of treason by the Tsongdu for conspiring with the British. Conversely, however, the British accused him of conspiring with the Russians because of his cooperation with Agvan Dorzhiev.[2] The result of the accusation of the Tsongdu led to the 13th Dalai Lama deposing and banished him to his estate in Orong Kongbu (eastern Tibet). In 1915 the British reported that he had been alternately pro-Russian and pro-Chinese, but in around 1915 gained a strong anti-Chinese and pro-British attitude.

In 1907, when the Dalai Lama fled Tibet, he was recalled to Lhasa by vice-amban Zhang Yingtang and was appointed advisor to the parliament. His function was similar to a prime minister and he shared it with two other Kalon Tripa's, Changkhyim and Sholkhang. In 1915 the British reported that Shatra was the highest of the three Lönchens.

When the Dalai Lama returned to Lhasa, he won his confidence back. In 1908 he created the office of Lönchen for the three prime ministers. In 1910 he accompanied the Dalai Lama during his trip to British India.

Simla Treaty Conference, October 1913. Rear, middle, left is Archibald Rose and to the right Charles Bell. Front, left to right is Wangchuk Tsering, Chinese Delegates B. D. Bruce, Ivan Chen, Sir McMahon, Tibetan Delegates Longchen Shatra, Trimon and Tenpa Dhargay (known as the Dronyer Chenmo)

The revolt of 1911 ushered in an era of several decades of independence, he boosted the protesters morale.[2] In 1913-14 he took part in the Simla Convention.


He was known as a progressive politician and supporter of reform in Tibet. He had a strong character and a friendly way of dealing.

Sir Charles Bell described Shatra as follows: "He showed people skills and a political power that surprised many at the conference. His simple dignity and charming way of doing things made him beloved by all who knew him in Simla and Delhi".[2]


1. Alex McKay (2003). The Modern Period: 1895 - 1959 ; the Encounter with Modernity. RoutledgeCurzon. pp. 269ff. ISBN 978-0-415-30844-1. Retrieved 4 December 2012.
2. Shakabpa, Tsepon Wangchuk Deden (4th edition 1988) Tibet: A Political History, Potala Publications, New York, ISBN 0-9611474-1-5, pag. 203, 239, 262-263
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Sat Feb 01, 2020 6:02 am

Gyalse Kusho
by Who's Who in Tibet

In 1919, the cadre's flow of information was interrupted by the death of the main sources of information on events at Lhasa, the Tibetan Prime Minister, Lonchen Shatra, and the half-brother of the Maharajah of Sikkim, Lhase Kusho. This deprived the British of Lhasa news at an important time, as a Chinese Mission, nominally from the Kansu Provincial Government, reached Lhasa that year, suggesting the possibility of direct Chinese-Tibetan negotiations without British involvement.

-- Tibet and the British Raj, 1904-47: The Influence of the Indian Political Department Officers, by Alexander McKay

Gyalse Kusho. Colloquial form of address for Choda Namgyal (alias Karma Dadul Namgyal, which appears to be his real name). The elder half-brother of the present Maharaja of Sikkim. Born 1877. When the late Lhase Kusho (Trinle Namgyal) fled to Tibet in 1882, he took the Gyalse Kusho with him and settled at Tering, an estate a few miles from Gyantse which was granted to him by the Dalai Lama. The Gyalse Kusho forfeited his claims to the Sikkim Raj as he refused to return from Tibet when he was asked to do so by the Government of India. He married a Tibetan lady from Dote, near Saugang, one march from Gyantse by whom he had five children of whom two sons and two daughters are now [1920] living. The eldest son, Jigmed, born about 1910, is now being educated at Kalimpong.
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Sat Feb 01, 2020 6:46 am

Sonam Wangfel Laden [Laden La]
by Wikipedia (France)
Accessed: 1/31/20

Norbhu's contemporary, Rai Bahadur Sonam Wangfel Laden La (1876-1937), was a very different type of individual. A Sikkimese, he was a nephew of Urgyen Gyatso, and worked his way up in the Bengal Police. Displaying a great aptitude for intelligence work, he escorted both the Panchen and Dalai Lamas during their visits to India, in return for which he was given the Tibetan rank of Depon. Laden La also visited Europe, accompanying four Tibetan schoolboys who were sent to Rugby school in 1913. Like Norbhu, he made numerous visits to Lhasa in the 1920s and '30s on behalf of the British. [43]

Laden La became an extremely powerful figure on the frontier, and was active in frontier politics in opposition to the growing power of the Nepali community. [44] Unlike Norbhu, he made many enemies in India and Tibet. The independent observer, William McGovern, accused him of using his position for personal profit, and there is considerable doubt that his own claim to personal popularity in Lhasa bore any close relation to fact. As will be seen in Chapter Four, the Dalai Lama personally intervened to prevent his appointment as Trade Agent Yatung. Despite that, Laden La remained of great value to the Tibet cadre, which, in the light of his failures in other areas, suggests this was because of his intelligence skills. As one officer commented 'Laden La is very full of himself, but is very interesting regarding events and personalities in Lhasa.'[45]

Laden La also differed from Norbhu in that he adopted British dress and social customs, and aspired to a British lifestyle.
[46] While he retained the support of the Tibet cadre, he was less successful than Norbhu in cultivating the friendship of the Tibetan leadership, and was not appointed to a Political post. He remained, therefore, by our classification, an intermediary, rather than a member of the Tibet cadre. Thus succeeding local officers of ambition followed the Norbhu model. Ultimately Laden La failed to achieve the desired balance of British and Tibetan understanding and forms of behaviour, and he was not trusted by the Tibetans after his involvement in the events of 1923-24, described in the next chapter.

There was an obvious tension between Norbhu Dhondup and Laden La in addition to that arising from their different life-styles; they represented different local interests and communities. Laden La had connections with Sikkimese aristocracy through his uncle, while Norbhu, though of undistinguished background, was favoured by the Tibetan community with which he identified. These diverging interests have affected subsequent history, with traces of their rivalry remaining among the available oral sources in the Himalayas.

The Rudolphs have shown that competing lineages were common within a particular body of intermediaries in Rajastan.[47] Similarly, British service offered both Norbhu and Laden La the chance to ensure future prosperity for their families, and, ideally, to establish a family administrative lineage. Thus they competed to establish themselves as the most reliable intermediary between British India and Tibet; a contest won by Norbhu, as his promotion to the Tibet cadre indicates. While his son died young, Norbhu's value to the Tibetans may be reflected in the fact that his daughter now works for the Tibetan Government in Dharamsala. Laden La failed to establish a family administrative tradition, but he acquired considerable wealth, and while he died early, his family, like the MacDonalds, established a successful hotel business.

As a nephew of Urgyen Gyatso, Laden La did represent one of the two patterns of service Michael Fisher described.[48] Whereas Palhese and Shabdrung Lama's careers were linked to a British patron, the family tradition of service became the predominant mode among local employees in Tibet: Thus A-chuk Tsering, a Darjeeling Tibetan, and his son Lha Tsering, both served as intelligence agents for the Government of India. Tonyot Tsering, a Sikkimese educated in Kalimpong and Patna Medical College, served as a Sub-Assistant Surgeon in Gyantse, and his son. Tonyot Tsering jnr., served at Gyantse under the British, and from 1949 to 1960 at Lhasa under the Indian Government. Bo Tsering, a Sikkimese Sub-Assistant surgeon at Gyantse and Lhasa from 1914 until c 1950, was closely related to Sonam Tobden Kazi, who succeeded Norbhu Dhondup as Trade Agent Yatung. [49]

Family patterns of loyalty could represent great changes in allegiance, symbolising the process by which the British allied with existing local ruling classes after establishing their place at the top of the political hierarchy. Sonam Tobden Kazi was a great-grandson of the Sikkimese Prime Minister Dewan Namgyal, whose treatment of the Darjeeling Superintendent Dr A. Campbell and botanist J.D. Hooker in 1849 precipitated the eventual British take-over of Sikkim. Whilst Dewan Namgyal had been exiled by the British, Sonam Tobden was to be one of their most valuable employees. [50]....

Tibet's growing military power was closely associated with Tsarong Shape, who rose from humble beginnings to became Commander-in-Chief of the Tibetan Army in 1915. Tsarong had made his name commanding a small force which held off the Chinese army pursuing the Dalai Lama as he fled to exile in India in 1910, after which MacDonald had disguised him as a British mail-runner to enable him to escape to India. Tsarong was clearly an outstanding individual, a powerful figure in Lhasa politics who enjoyed a close relationship with the Dalai Lama. Tsarong was also exceptional in having a great interest in the world outside Tibet, and while British sources emphasise his ties with them, he was clearly equally interested in meeting other foreigners, for he befriended the Japanese travellers to Lhasa in the 1910-20 period, and in later years always met other foreign travellers to Lhasa. [41]

Bailey naturally identified Tsarong as a potential ally. Tsarong, however, lacked either a monastic or aristocratic power base, and his main supporters, army officers who had been trained by the Gyantse Escort Commander or at Quetta Military College, were suspected by conservative Tibetans of having adopted European values.

With his government still reluctant to allow its officers access to Lhasa, Bailey faced a problem in establishing close ties with Tsarong. In 1922 he managed, apparently without the support of the Government of India, to arrange for General George Pereira, a former military attache at the British Legation in Peking, to visit Lhasa en route from Peking to India. Although officially described as a ’private traveller', Pereira met Tsarong in Lhasa and sent Bailey detailed reports on Tibetan military forces, recommending that to organise their army 'it is absolutely necessary to send a military advisor to Tsarong'.[42]

In Lhasa, Pereira obviously exerted some influence on the Tibetan Government to follow Bell's earlier recommendation that a police force be established in Lhasa. The day after Pereira left Lhasa the Tibetans asked the Government of India to lend them the services of Laden La to establish and train the Lhasa police.[43] This request gave Bailey the chance to develop ties with Tsarong.

Bailey certainly knew that Whitehall would not sanction posting a British military officer at Lhasa, but Laden La was an experienced police and intelligence officer. He was trusted by the Tibetans, and had recently been in Lhasa with Bell. Just as in 1903, when Curzon had recognised that the distinction between a 'political' and a 'trade' agent was not 'mutually exclusive',[44] Bailey realised Laden La could fill a dual role. Bailey therefore persuaded his government that it was of 'great political importance' that Laden La be sent to Lhasa. So keen were government to use Laden La that he was able to demand promotion to Superintendent as a condition of acceptance, although there were no vacancies at that rank, and a special position had to be created for him. [45]

Laden La reached Lhasa in September 1923 and established a 200-man police force. He also established close ties with Tsarong and occupied a central role in subsequent events, the exact nature of which remains unresolved. In May 1924, a fight between police and soldiers ended with Tsarong punishing two soldiers by mutilation, as a result of which one died. Mutilation had been forbidden by the Dalai Lama, and Tsarong’s monastic and aristocratic opponents sought to use this incident to engineer his dismissal. Tsarong’s supporters, including Laden La, sought to preserve his position.[46]

Laden La became involved in what was apparently a half-formed plot to transfer secular power from the Dalai Lama to Tsarong Shape. Had it succeeded, Bailey, who was setting out for Lhasa at this time, could have arrived in Lhasa to be greeted by a new Tibetan Government headed by Tsarong. But the plot was not carried through
, and the full implications of these events was not brought out by Bailey's reports at the time. It was several years before somewhat contradictory versions of the story emerged in private correspondence.

Bailey visited Lhasa between 16 July and 16 August 1924. There he spent much of his time in discussions with Tsarong. Bailey's report reveals that he asked Tsarong what would happen if the Dalai Lama died, perhaps a rather curious question given that he was apparently in good health. Tsarong replied that if the Government of India sent troops it would stop any trouble, but Bailey warned him that his government would not interfere in Tibet's internal affairs. Bailey also advised Tsarong to deposit money in India in case he had to flee into exile. [47]

Bailey's departure from Lhasa was the signal for a series of events which greatly reduced British prestige in Tibet. The struggle between the 'conservative' and 'modernising' tendencies in Tibetan society culminated in defeat for those favouring modernisation. Laden La left Lhasa on 9 October 1924 and the police force lost all power. Tsarong conveniently left Tibet on a pilgrimage to India around the same time, and was removed from his post as Army Commander on his return. In Tsarong's absence his young military supporters were down-graded, and a number of other events in this period (such as the closure of the Gyantse school), illustrated the decline in the British position. In the late 1920s there were indications that the Dalai Lama was again turning to China or Russia for support, as the concluding years of Bailey's term in Sikkim saw Anglo-Tibetan relations at a low ebb. [48]

The decline in Anglo-Tibetan relations at this time has been blamed on a number of causes. Ira Klein has emphasised the wider decline in British power in the East at this time. Other observers have blamed the British failure to supply Tibet with further weaponry, or to obtain Chinese agreement to the Simla Convention. But, as the leading studies of this period have all dismissed any suggestion of British involvement in a plot to depose the Dalai Lama, the events involving Laden La have not been seen as significantly affecting Anglo-Tibetan relations, although that would have gone a long way towards explaining the British decline.[49]

Richardson does not refer to the incident at all, but, in connection with Chinese accusations of British support for 'militaristic lay officials who wanted to substitute some form of civil government for the Lama hierarchy' in the 1930s (allegations which may reflect their belated awareness of earlier events), he states that 'to suggest that the British Government would assist such a group -- if it existed -- [sic]'.[50]

Lamb, while noting rumours of a conspiracy between Laden La and Tsarong Shape, is content to note that there is 'not a vestige of evidence' for this in the India Office Library records. Goldstein, surveying these events, writes that ’Ladenla[sic] was an Indian official, and it would have been unreasonable to assume he acted without orders or at least official encouragement'; but footnotes this statement with the contradictory remark that 'This is, however, precisely what happened.'[51]

There is no doubt as to Laden La's involvement, although details of his role took some time to emerge. The Gyantse Khenchung, apparently at the Dalai Lama's behest, informed Norbhu Dhondup in 1926 that Laden La had been involved in a plot against the Dalai Lama, allegations which Gyantse school-teacher Frank Ludlow accepted as true. Then when Bailey was on leave in 1927, the Khenchung gave Trade Agent Williamson (who was acting as Political Officer Sikkim during Bailey's absence), a full account of the incident. The Government of India also accepted that Laden La was involved, judging from the National Archives of India restricted file on this matter titled 'Indiscretion of Laden La in associating with Tibetan officers attempting to overthrow the Dalai Lama.'[52]

The Government of India's treatment of Laden La after the incident is instructive. Far from censuring him, they promoted him to Trade Agent in Yatung, but the posting was cancelled after the Dalai Lama, who now deeply mistrusted Laden La, wrote to Norbhu Dhondup objecting to the appointment as 'he [Laden La] is not altogether a steady and straight-forward man and it is not known how he would serve to maintain Anglo-Tibetan amity.'[53]

When Laden La left Lhasa, ostensibly suffering from a nervous breakdown, he took six months' leave, and then resumed his post, continuing to be regarded as a valuable Agent, sent to Lhasa 'on special duty' whenever the need arose. Bailey strongly supported Laden La. He originally argued that the Khenchung's account was 'inconceivable', and when he finally advised his government that Laden La had indeed 'certainly committed a serious indiscretion' stated that he hoped no action would be taken against him: none was.[54]

Has previous scholarship been correct in rejecting any British involvement in this plot? Bailey was one of the outstanding intelligence agents of his time. An illustration of this is that his disguise in Tashkent had been so good that he was hired by the Cheka (the forerunner of the KGB) to find the British agent (Bailey himself), they knew was in the area. There must be considerable doubt that such an officer would be ignorant of the activities of his own key agent in a crucial post. [55]

Circumstantial evidence points to a 'plot'; we cannot necessarily expect empirical evidence. An experienced intelligence operator such as Bailey would naturally conceal evidence of a failed coup attempt if he could. The reporting of events in Tibet was largely controlled by the Political Officer Sikkim, and Bailey apparently took full advantage of his power to restrict government's knowledge of the matter.

Viewed from the perspective we obtain from knowledge of the cadre mentality, the events of this period can be seen to follow a logical sequence which provides a convincing hypothesis to explain the events of the time and the subsequent decline in Anglo-Tibetan relations. Bailey had apparently come to the conclusion that the only way to modernise Tibet to the extent where it would provide a secure northern border for India was by establishing a secular government in Tibet under Tsarong Shape's leadership. Bailey was seriously concerned about the possibility of Bolshevik subversion in Tibet, and the traditional Tibetan leadership cannot have seemed likely to be capable of resisting determined Russian infiltration.[56]

Pereira's reports must have been a significant influence on Bailey; it is clear from the way in which Bailey arranged permission for him to travel freely in areas normally closed to travellers that he had an important role. MacDonald, who was not then in Bailey's confidence, makes the unusual comment on Pereira's travels that, 'Whether his last journey was inspired by motives other than exploration and the desire to be the first European to reach Lhasa from the Chinese side I do not know, nor did he tell me.'[57]

In sending Laden La to encourage Tsarong, Bailey had an agent whose actions he could disown officially if they failed, while rewarding him later for his efforts. There is of course, the possibility that Laden La acted on his own initiative, in the tradition his 'forward' thinking superiors had inculcated in him. But Laden La was not officially attached to the Political Department at this time, and had he been involved in a foreign conspiracy without significant support from higher British officers it is hard to believe he could have escaped dismissal from government service.....

Soon after the Dalai Lama returned to Lhasa, there was a new initiative by the Government of India to overcome Whitehall's objection to a British officer visiting Lhasa. Following a Tibetan request for an officer to arrange the evacuation of the defeated Chinese forces from Lhasa to India, they despatched Laden La to Lhasa.

After ordering Laden La to Gyantse on 24 May 1912, Viceroy Hardinge, apparently waited a week before informing the Secretary of State that Laden La had been sent to Gyantse with orders to prepare to visit Lhasa. Given the slower communications and pace of government at the time, it appears that by waiting until Laden La had reached Gyantse, and then despatching the telegram to London on a Friday, the Government of India intended to present Laden La's arrival in Lhasa to Whitehall as a fait accompli. On Tuesday June 4th, a telegram was sent ordering Laden La to Lhasa. He received the telegram at 9 am on June 5th and departed later that day, accompanied by Norbhu Dhondup. But while the weekend's delay slowed their reaction, Whitehall eventually halted Laden La on June 9th, 40 miles from Lhasa, following a 'clear the line' telegram ordering them to return to Gyantse. [22]....

The Bell Mission to Lhasa in 1920-21 marked a major turning point in the history of the British presence in Tibet. It had the effect of opening the Tibetan capital to regular visits by British officials. Norbhu Dhondup and Laden La subsequently made regular visits to the Tibetan capital, and at least one representative of the Government of India visited Lhasa annually.[28] Ultimately, the Bell Mission paved the way for permanent representation in Lhasa, thus fulfilling the original intention behind Curzon's Tibet policy.[29]...

The two principal intermediaries used on missions to Lhasa were [Sonam Wangfel] Laden La and Norbhu Dhondup. Laden La, as we have seen in the previous chapter, lost the trust of the Tibetans after his actions in 1923-24, and although he was sent to Lhasa again in 1930 by Colonel Weir, the Tibetans remained suspicious of him. He was detained at Chushul ferry and told 'no useful purpose could be served' by his visiting Lhasa. Laden La appealed to Tsarong Shape, who intervened on his behalf in Lhasa, and after two days he was allowed to proceed.[36]

Laden La claimed that his 1930 mission was a success, a claim apparently accepted by his superiors, for he accompanied Colonel Weir to Lhasa later that year and again in 1932.[37] Other sources however, suggest Laden La was still mistrusted by the Tibetans and that he achieved little in Lhasa. Apart from Norbhu Dhondup, whose critiques of Laden La in his letters to Bailey could have been based on personal differences and professional jealousies,[38] there were also regular complaints about Laden La from the now retired David Macdonald.

MacDonald considered that both Laden La and Norbhu Dhondup were responsible for the downturn in Anglo-Tibetan relations, stating that they were working for their own ends, and giving political information to the Tibetans. In addition, Macdonald alleged that Tsarong had been demoted from Shape to Dzasci rank due to the assistance he had given Laden La in getting to Lhasa in 1930. MacDonald's negative view of Norbhu Dhondup was supported by Mr Rosemeyer, the telegraph officer who supervised the Gangtok to Lhasa line, (and himself an Anglo-Indian). He informed Bell that Norbhu was 'not a patch on your former Chief Clerk A-chuk Tse-ring[sic], who was both shrewd and clever'. [39]

But the presence of other foreign agents at Lhasa meant that an intermediaries' career was not without its dangers, Norbhu's life was, he reported, threatened on several occasions by Russian or Chinese agents; in response, he swore 'I...shall not die before I murder at least two, as I have my rifles and pistols...always loaded'.[40]

The extent to which the Sikkim Political Officers relied on the information obtained by these two intermediaries is difficult to assess. Their visits had the advantage that they could be arranged at short notice, while missions by Political Officers involved considerable preparation, and permission from Whitehall. The two men were thus of great value to the British, despite their shortcomings, and considerable reliance was placed upon their knowledge of the culture and people of Tibet. The Political Officers were aware of the difficult position these men held, but exercised their own judgment in assessing the worth of the reports they produced.[41]

-- Tibet and the British Raj, 1904-47: The Influence of the Indian Political Department Officers, by Alexander McKay

Sonam Wangfel Laden
Sonam Wangfel Laden the top left, in the front row Sidkeong Tulku Namgyal, Charles Bell and the 13th Dalai Lama
Birth: 1876, Darjeeling
Death, 1936
Activity: Indianist

Sonam Wangfel Laden (Tibetan : བསོད་ ནམས་ དབང་ འཕེལ་ ལེགས་ ལྡན་ , Wylie: bsod nams dbang 'phel legs Idan) also called Laden La (Tibetan : ལེགས་ ལྡན་ ལགས་ , Wylie: legs Idan lags, 1876 -1936) is an Indian policeman of Tibetan origin.


Sonam Wangfel Laden was born into a long-standing Tibetan family in the Darjeeling district. He received education from the Jesuits in the region, spoke English fluently as well as several local languages ​​and dialects1.

Between 1894 and 1898, he participated in the writing of a Sanskrit-Tibetan dictionary with Sarat Chandra Das and followed the teachings of Lama Sherab Gyatso from the monastery of Ghoom1.

He joined the Darjeeling police in 1899 and quickly became head of department1.

He participated in a liaison mission in the staff of the British military expedition to Tibet from 1903-19041.

He accompanied the 9th Panchen Lama during his visit of pilgrimage to India (in). He worked to foster good relations between Tibet and British India1.

When the 13th Dalai Lama fled before the Chinese invasion in 1910, he organized his meeting with Lord Minto, the Viceroy of India and stay in Darjeeling1.

In 1912, following the Chinese defeat in Tibet, the viceroy of India (Charles Hardinge) sent him to negotiate a cease-fire and various agreements. On April 15, 1912, he welcomed Alexandra David-Néel who wished to meet the 13th Dalai Lama1.

In 1913, he accompanied the first group of Tibetan boys who had left to study in England at Rugby and on this occasion visited several European countries1. During the First World War, he participated in the recruitment of soldiers and fundraising1.

In 1921, he accompanied Charles Bell, at his request, to Lhassa, during a mission aimed at improving Anglo-Tibetan relations1.

In 1923 1, the 13th Dalai Lama invited as superintendent of Darjeeling police in Lhasa rebuild a civilian police service, due to its decline after the Chinese occupation of Lhasa. He was assisted by the mining engineer trained at Rugby Mondrong Khenrab Kunzag, appointed superintendent2.

In 1929, he was asked to mediate following a deterioration in Tibetan-Nepalese relations1.

He retired in 1931, having received a number of Tibetan and British distinctions, including the Order of the Golden Lion and Commander of the Order of the British Empire. He then became involved in philanthropic and Buddhist works, collaborated in the translation of Padmasambhava's life for The Tibetan Book of the Great Liberation, edited by Walter Evans-Wentz1.


1. Joëlle Désiré-Marchand, Alexandra David-Néel: From Paris to Lhassa, from adventure to wisdom , Arthaud, 1997, ( ISBN 2700311434 and 9782700311433 ) , p. 181
2. (in) Tsepon WD Xagabba , Tibet: A Political History. Yale University Press, 1967, p 369, p. 264: " Following the Chinese occupation of Lhasa, the police system had declined and become ineffective. The Dalai Lama invited the Superintendent of Police in Darjeeling, Sonam Laden La, to establish a police department in Lhasa. Laden La, who was of Tibetan extraction, trained several hundred policemen and was appointed Superintendent of Police in Lhasa, with the title of Dzasa. He was assisted by Mondrong Khenrab Kunzag, the Rugby-educated mining engineer."


• (in) Nicholas Rhodes (in) and Deki Rhodes, A Man of the Frontier. SW Laden La (1876-1936). His Life and Times in Darjeeling and Tibet , Library of Numismatic Studies, Kolkata, 2006.

External link

• A hero of the old school [archive], May 23, 2005, The Statesman, India
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

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David Macdonald
by Wikipedia (France)
Accessed: 2/1/20

The Government of India wanted a local officer at Yatung for financial reasons. While this meant that the Trade Agent there would have less status than a British officer, this factor would, if Bell was correct, be balanced by his greater ability to cultivate the friendship of local officials, which was of paramount importance to his role (an issue that is discussed in Chapter Four). In the event, the officer chosen signified a compromise. He was an Anglo-Sikkimese, David Macdonald, a local government employee who had served on the Younghusband Mission. While not from an aristocratic family, he was intelligent and got on extremely well with Tibetans, and even the Chinese.

Macdonald was uniquely well qualified, and thoroughly conversant with British concepts of prestige. As he later recalled 'There was the prestige and pomp of the empire to be maintained and this meant one reflected the glory.' In contrast, when the Lhasa Mission was headed by a local officer of Tibetan origin in the 1940s, it was felt that 'the want of a Political Officer [i.e. a British officer] in charge of the Mission was felt by our friends'. [33]

Questions of manpower and economy, allied to the need to reward local supporters, meant that local employees had to be given positions of authority, but they were generally kept away from the key positions in which policy decisions were made. [David] MacDonald was the only local officer given a Political post in Tibet until the late 1930s, and he was originally appointed to Yatung, which had little or no influence on policy formation.

Ultimately, although the British had to use local employees, they felt that, with the exception of an exceptional individual such as Macdonald, their prestige could only be fully represented by British officers. Local officers had not been trained to command at British public schools, and thus could not be expected to understand and maintain public school codes of behaviour. In consequence, if a local officer failed to maintain the required status and standards of behaviour, his failure was blamed on his race or class, whereas if a British officer failed, it was the individual who was blamed: 'A man who does not play the game at the outposts is a traitor to our order.'[34]....

Within British India, Anglo-Indians, those of mixed British and Indian parentage, were often subject to greater prejudice than Indians, and they were excluded from several areas of government employment.[30] But in Tibet, Anglo-Indians were preferred to Indians. The difference is difficult to account for, but certainly some aspects of British Indian social attitudes were relaxed on the frontier,[31] and there was the precedent of a number of legendary Anglo-Indian frontiersmen, such as the Hearsey family, and General James Skinner, founder of Skinner's Horse, an irregular cavalry division. Several Anglo-Indian Medical Officers were used, including Dr Dyer, who accompanied Bell to Lhasa in 1920. In the 1940s, two Christian Medical Officers, the Anglo-Indian Dr Humphreys, and Captain M.V. Kurian, paved the way for the subsequent posting of Hindu Medical Officers at Gyantse. [32]

One Anglo-Indian was chosen for a Political post in Tibet, David MacDonald, the son of a Scottish tea planter, who became an important figure on the frontier. Although his father had left India when MacDonald was five years old, the boy was well provided for, receiving the then generous sum of twenty rupees a month in trust. His Sikkimese mother, Aphu Drolma, entered him in the Bhotia Boarding School, from where he entered local government service, before joining the Younghusband Mission.[33] While MacDonald began regular Tibetan service as a Trade Agent, not an intermediary, unlike the other two local officers classified here as Tibet cadre (Norbhu Dhondup and Pemba Tsering) he shared a similar background to the intermediaries, and his career may be more appropriately considered in this section.

MacDonald had a truly multi-cultural background. Raised as a Buddhist with the name of Dorji MacDonald, he converted to Christianity and adopted the name David under the influence of his wife, the Anglo-Nepalese, Alice Curtis. These various influences gave him command of all of the principal languages of the region, Tibetan, Nepali, Hindi, Lepcha and English, and insight into both Buddhist and Christian religious cultures. MacDonald had the character and skills needed to attract the patronage of British officers, a necessary quality for an ambitious individual of his background. He assisted both Charles Bell and Colonel Waddell, Chief Medical Officer on the Younghusband Mission and early scholar of Tibetan Buddhism, to learn Tibetan, and their support gained him Political employ.[34]

Bell's patronage was crucial; MacDonald was held in high regard by Bell, and owed his position to Bell's support. When his patron left, MacDonald lost influence. His efforts to support his son John, and his son-in-law Frank Perry, in various employment schemes on the frontier brought him into conflict with Bailey, the new Political Officer Sikkim, and his final years in Tibet were difficult ones. In retirement however, he ensured the family security by turning his Kalimpong home into a successful hotel, which still exists today. [35]...

The Dalai Lama's flight to India in 1910 gave the cadre the chance to befriend the traditional Lhasa leadership. MacDonald earned the Dalai Lama's life-long trust by aiding his flight into exile, and once the Tibetan leader was in India, Bell successfully cultivated his friendship, becoming the Tibetans' most trusted foreign confidant. Bell encouraged the Dalai Lama to begin transforming Tibet into a modern nation-state, guided by British expertise in such matters as the development of mining, improvement of communications, and strengthening of its armed forces.

As the British were forbidden by the 1907 Anglo-Russian convention from intervening in Tibetan internal affairs, Bell concealed the extent to which he guided these changes....

Macdonald had been specifically instructed that while he could shelter the Dalai Lama in the Trade Agency, he was to maintain neutrality in the Chinese-Tibetan conflict. But as the Tibetan leader fled south from the pursuing Chinese forces, Macdonald not only offered the Dalai Lama and his followers sanctuary in the Trade Agency, but deployed the Agency escort to protect him. [18]

Macdonald's interpretation of his orders attracted no censure from government. There can be little doubt that his actions were tacitly approved of by his immediate superior, the Political Officer Charles Bell, who was soon to benefit from the goodwill gained by Macdonald's action. Bell later described MacDonald's assistance to the Dalai Lama as being 'perhaps the chief reason why the British name stands high in Tibet.'[19]....

MacDonald considered that both Laden La and Norbhu Dhondup were responsible for the downturn in Anglo-Tibetan relations, stating that they were working for their own ends, and giving political information to the Tibetans. In addition, Macdonald alleged that Tsarong had been demoted from Shape to Dzasci rank due to the assistance he had given Laden La in getting to Lhasa in 1930. MacDonald's negative view of Norbhu Dhondup was supported by Mr Rosemeyer, the telegraph officer who supervised the Gangtok to Lhasa line, (and himself an Anglo-Indian). He informed Bell that Norbhu was 'not a patch on your former Chief Clerk A-chuk Tse-ring[sic], who was both shrewd and clever'. [39]...

In 1909-11, the publication of books by White and Younghusband, and Bailey's 'Blackwoods' article, signaled the replacement of the discourse of war by a more sympathetic approach, which became pronounced in the later works of Bell and Macdonald.[28] Tibet was no longer portrayed as hostile; indeed in Bailey's article it was simply an exotic location for shikar. As will be seen, Bell and MacDonald explained Tibet and its culture in sympathetic and comparative terms designed to portray it as 'familiar'...

The works of officers such as Bell and MacDonald played an important part in bringing Tibet into the realm of the 'familiar'. One method they used was a common journalistic device, applying comparisons to translate Tibetan institutions and personalities into familiar images. Lhasa was compared with Rome, the Dalai Lama with the Pope, and Sera and Drepung monasteries with Oxford and Cambridge. Bell even translated Tibetan personal names in an effort to make them more 'familiar'; thus he refers to Tsarong (Shape) as 'Clear Eye'.[84]...

Thus MacDonald described how, 'The climate of the Chumbi Valley is ideal, not unlike that of England', although at the time he wrote this he had never been to England![85]...

While government expected to be able to trust the judgement of its officers as to what information to present to the public, officials were required, by both civil and military regulations additional to the Official Secrets Act, to submit their writings for censorship. Some officers actively supported this system. For example the India Office noted that Macdonald was 'anxious that we should strike out anything that is considered objectionable’....

Arms supplies to Tibet from India were an issue of particular sensitivity, in that they could have been seen as implying recognition of Tibet as an independent state. Hence both Bell and Macdonald's references to these supplies were censored. Where Bell commented on Tibetan troops being 'armed with the new rifles', mention of the source of these rifles (the Government of India) was removed. Macdonald's claim in his manuscript that demands for payment for weapons were a factor in the Panchen Lama's flight was also censored, along with a large section of suggestions on future policy, including support for Tibetan independence. Macdonald was told that it was 'most important that nothing should be said which could tend to damage relations with Tibet or any other foreign power'.[8]....

The condition of the lower classes was heavily criticised on occasion, Macdonald being particularly critical. But a positive image was maintained by attributing misrule to the era of Chinese domination, and describing how conditions were improving under the Dalai Lama's rule. This positive note was enhanced by the constant stress on the overall happiness and contentment of the peasant class, which is a recurrent theme in British accounts of Tibet, where even 'the slavery was of a very mild type'. [23]

-- Tibet and the British Raj, 1904-47: The Influence of the Indian Political Department Officers, by Alexander McKay

Photographer: Evan Yorke Nepean
Collection: Evan Yorke Nepean
Date of Photo: August 7th 1936
Named Person: Sir Basil Gould, David Macdonald
Expedition: British Diplomatic Mission to Lhasa 1936-37

David Macdonald
Birth: Towards 1870, Darjeeling
Death: July 6, 1962, Darjeeling
Activity: linguist

David Macdonald, born Dorjé in 1870 or 1873 in Darjeeling, died on July 6, 1962 Darjeeling is an Anglo-Sikkimese1 which was British commercial agent (trade agent) in Tibet in the first quarter of the 20th century. Born to a Scottish father and a Lepcha mother, he was fluent in English and Tibetan.

According to Peter Bishop, he belongs to the lineage of the British officers of Tibetan Affairs -- Charles Alfred Bell, Hugh Edward Richardson, Frederick Marshman Bailey, Leslie Weir, Derrick Williamson, Basil Gould (in) -- who formed the backbone of reports Britain with Tibet2.

The possibility of living and traveling in Tibet combined with his knowledge of spoken Tibetan and literary Tibetan enabled him to observe Tibetan culture and to make it accessible to Europeans in his publications3.

Originally Buddhist, he was converted to Christianity by Fredrik Franson (in) of The Evangelical Alliance Mission (in) 4 . He was associated with the "Tibetan Translation of the New Testament" and founded a small church in Yatoung, Tibet5.


Origins and studies

Born in Darjeeling to a Scottish father and a Sikkimese mother of Lepcha ethnicity, David Macdonald was fluent in English and Tibetan. His father was a Scottish tea planter who left India when his son was six years old. He had, however, left to the mother of the child enough to live properly and a substantial allocation (for the time) of 20 rupees per month to pay for the studies of David 6. His mother made him wear Tibetan clothes so that he could enroll him in Bothia boarding school in Darjeeling7.

Early career

After completing his studies, he worked for the Bengal government's vaccination services, regularly touring villages in the Darjeeling district. He was thus able to familiarize himself with the mores and customs and the daily life of the peasantry of this Himalayan region8.

He then went to the service of the Tibetologist Laurence Waddell whom he helped in his research on the canons of Tibetan Buddhism and their commentaries as well as on the customs, traditions and superstitions of the Tibetans9.

Conversion to Christianity and participation in the translation of the Bible

Originally Buddhist, he was converted to Christianity by Fredrik Franson (in), of The Evangelical Alliance Mission (in), as reported by Gergan Dorje Tharchin in 1970 4, and became a devout Christian10. Around 1903, he participated, with JF Frederickson, of the Scandinavian Missionary Alliance, and H. Graham Sandberg, an Anglican chaplain, in the translation of the New Testament into Tibetan11. Around 1910, he revised the Old Testament translated into the same language by Joseph Gergan and August Hermann Francke12.

Participation in the British military expedition to Tibet

In 1904, he was Waddell's assistant along with an interpreter during the Younghusband military expedition to Tibet. He was responsible for collecting, classifying and cataloging, on behalf of the British Museum and the Bodleian Library, books and works of art taken from monasteries and dzongs and transported to India on the back of 400 mules13,14,15. He knew how to get the good graces of the most important figures involved in the expedition, both British and Tibetan, and avoid taking sides for one or the other of the existing factions among officers16.

For his skills and talents, Macdonald attracted the attention of British officials, including Charles Bell, who assured him the protection he needed to overcome the prejudices of Raj against Anglo-Indian17.

From the commercial agent in Tibet to the political representative in Sikkim

In 1909, when it was decided to appoint a public servant as a trade agent at Yatoung, Bell offered the post to Macdonald18. Of July 1909 at October 1924, he was the British commercial agent in Yatung and Gyantsé, then, for 4 months in 1921, the political representative (political officer) of the British empire in Sikkim19,20,21,22.

After their stay in Lhasa, the explorer Alexandra David-Néel, exhausted "without money and in rags", and her future adopted son Lama Yongden, were warmly welcomed by the Macdonald family (and their nine children) in Gyantsé in May 1924. Lodged with them for a fortnight, she was able to reach the north of India by Sikkim thanks in part to the 500 rupees which she borrowed from Macdonald and to the necessary papers which he and his son-in-law, Captain Perry, could give him.23,24,25.

In 1925 Macdonald welcomed and received Edwin Schary, an American who wandered through Tibet in search of the famous mahatmas (great initiates). He found him at his door, in his words "eaten away by vermin, hungry and very sick"26. A few years later, Macdonald was to preface the story of this quest published under the title In search of the Mahatmas of Tibet27.

The last years of his career were marred by problems related to his son-in-law, Captain Perry. In 1923, for the latter to obtain the post of chief of the brand new Lhasa police force, Macdonald had intermingled with the Dalai Lama. This earned him to be reprimanded and demoted by the government of India28.

At Gyantsé, Macdonald was replaced by Derrick Williamson, at least as soon as the latter arrived in May 1924, had survived an almost fatal fever which delayed the transfer of post by six weeks29.

Meetings with the 13th Dalai Lama

According to Lord Ronaldshay, Macdonald saved the life of the 13th Dalai Lama30 by helping to cross the Indian border when he was forced to flee31 in January-February 1910 32.

At Christmas 1920, he was invited by Charles Bell to accompany him to Lhasa. Unbeknownst to Delhi, he spent a month and met there several times the 13th Dalai Lama. When the government of India heard of his presence in Lhasa, he ordered him to return to Yatoung 33.

The Himalayan Hotel

The Himalayan Hotel in Kalimpong, was described in 1936 as the family home of Macdonald, then aged 34. In fact, Macdonald had the house built in 1925 and then, his children having grown up, converted it into a hotel, which it still is today. During the first half of the 20th century, the building, built in the style of English cottages35, welcomed the distinguished visitors, among other Tibetologists Charles Bell and Peter of Greece, the mountaineer Heinrich Harrer (the author of seven years adventures in Tibet), and Basil Gould, the British political representative in Sikkim, Bhutan and Tibet between 1935 and 1945 36.

In the 1930s and 1949 Macdonald made several attempts to return to Tibet on an official mission, but without success. His request for permission to travel to Gyantsé in 1931 was rejected by Leslie Weir, the British political agent at Sikkim37.


David Macdonald died on July 6, 1962 in Darjeeling. He was the husband of Alice Curtis, a Eurasian like him, of English origin and Sherpa38, under the influence of which, according to Alex McKay, he had become a Christian before entering government service39.


David Macdonald is the author of several authoritative books on Tibet. His great work is The Land of the Lama, a work published in 1929 and dealing with the region and its population from the physical, social, cultural, administrative and economic aspects, a veritable encyclopedia on Tibet which inspired many later authors.40

In 1930, he published a travel guide, Touring in Sikkim and Tibet, where, after a quick presentation of the two regions, he describes the routes allowing to gain Gyantsé in Tibet while passing by Sikkim (at the time British protectorate) then the Tibetan valley of Chumbi, all with practical information for travelers of the time.

Two years later, he published Twenty Years in Tibet, a book in which he recounts the events that marked the first quarter of the 20th century in the border regions northeast of India, whose military Younghusband Expedition to Lhasa in 1904, the flight of 13th Dalai Lama in India in 1910 and his return to Lhasa in 1912 41.

Because of his knowledge of Tibetan spoken as literary Tibetan, Macdonald was entrusted by the British Tibetanist Charles Alfred Bell to proofread and correct his English-Tibetan Colloquial Dictionary published in 1920 42.

In addition to the Tibetan from Lhasa, Macdonald also mastered dzongkha, Bengali, lepcha, Nepali and Hindi. He was in contact with the promoters of the "Gazetteer of Sikkim" (Sikkim Gazetteer), the "Survey of Indian languages" (Linguistic Survey of India (in)) and the "Tibetan translation of the New Testament (Tibetan Translation of the New Testament)43.


• (en) The Land of the Lama: a description of a country of contrasts & of its cheerful, happy-go-lucky people of hardy nature & curious customs; their religion, ways of living, trade, and social life, With a foreword by the Earl of Ronaldshay , Seeley, Service & Co., 1929, 283 p. (reissued under the title Cultural Heritage of Tibet in 1963 by Light-Life Publishers, then in 1978 in New Delhi)
• (fr) Mœurs et coutumes des Thibétains , preface by the Earl of Ronaldshay, French translation by R. Bilot, Payot, 1930, 262 p. (French translation of the previous one)
• (en) Touring in Sikkim and Tibet , Kalimpong, 1930 (reissued in 1999 by Asian Educational Services, New Delhi, 142 p.)
• (en) Tibetan Tales , foreword by L. Austin Waddell, in Folklore , vol. 42, 1931 (English translation of 9 Tibetan tales)
• (en) Twenty Years in Tibet: intimate & personal experiences of the closed land among all classes of its people from the highest to the lowest, with a foreword by the Earl of Lytton , Seeley, Service & Co., London, 1932, 312 p.
• (en) Preface (with Canon CE Tyndale-Biscoe) of the book by Edwin Gilbert Schary, In Search of the Mahatmas of Tibet , Seeley, Service & co., 1937, viii + 294 p.
• (in) Tibet , H. Milford, Oxford University Press, 1945, 31 p.

Notes and references

1. (in) Tim Myatt, Trinkets, Temples, and Treasures: Tibetan Material Culture and the 1904 British Mission to Tibet, in Revue Tibetan Studies, Number 21, October 2011, p. 123-153, p. 137: " [...] David Macdonald (1870–1962) [...]".
2. (in) Peter Bishop , The myth of Shangri-La: Tibet, travel writing, and the western creation of sacred landscape, University of California Press, 1980, 308 p., P. 195: " The lineage of British officers responsible for Tibetan affairs -- Bell, Macdonald, Richardson, Bailey, Weir, Williamson, Gould -- provided the backbone around which British contact with Tibet was organized."
3. Jeanne Masedo de Filipis, Tibet and the West, in Lhasa, place of the divine, ss the dir. by Françoise Pommaret, Olizane, 1997, pp. 19-34, p. 32: "This is how David Macdonald and Sir Charles Bell, the only foreigners admitted to live in Lhasa in 1921, became fine observers of the culture of Tibet, which through their publications they finally made accessible to Europeans."
4. (in) H. Louis Fader, Called from obscurity: the life and times of a true son of Tibet, God's humble servant from Poo, Gergan Dorje Tharchin: with particular attention given to his good friend and illustrious co-laborer in the Gospel Sadhu Sundar Singh of India, Volume 2 , Tibet Mirror Press, 2004 ( ISBN 9993392200 and 9789993392200), p. 54: "Macdonald [...] had not always been an adherent of the Christian faith. In fact, early in his primary education at Darjeeling, where he was born in 1873, he was first introduced [...] the religious "tenets" and "form of Buddhism, known as Lamaism, which is practiced in the Eastern Himalayas. [...] Tharchin himself, commenting much later in the 1970s, provides some interesting background information on Macdonald's subsequent Christian "missionary" activity and service. He, along with David Woodward, could report that Macdonald was led to Christ ... by Fredrik Franson of the Scandinavian Alliance Mission."
5. (in) David B. Woodward, Have a Cup of Tea Tibetan, 2003: "Yatung, Tibet, and as a Christian he started a small church there."
6. (in) Alex McKay, Tibet and the British Raj: the frontier framework, 1904-1947, Routledge, 1997, 293 p., P. 44: "Macdonald's Father, a Scottish tea-planter, had left India when Macdonald was six years old. He did, however, leave Macdonald's mother, a Lepcha, well provided-for, with the then-generous sum of twenty rupees a month for David's education."
7. Alex McKay, Tibet and the British Raj ... , Routledge, 1997, 293 p., P. 44: "She dressed him as a Tibetan in order to enroll him in the Bothia boarding school in Darjeeling."
8. (in) Introducing Twenty Years in Tibet [archive], on the site "He joined the Dept. Immunization under the Govt. of Bengal and his duties entailed making regular tours of the villages in the Darjeeling Dist. The twelve years that the author thus spent gave him a comprehensive insight into the manners and customs, and everyday lives, of the peasantry of this part in the Himalayas."
9. (in) Foreword to Tibetan Tales, in Folklore, Vol. 42, No. 2, Jun. 30, 1931, p. 178: "I have known Mr. Macdonald intimately ever since, over forty years ago, he was a Dux boy in the Government High School in Darjeeling, and was recommended to me by the Headmaster, through his training in literary Tibetan and knowledge of the Tibetan vernacular, as a promising assistant in my researches into the great body of the Tibetan sacred canonical books and commentaries, and into Tibetan customs, floating traditions, and superstitions. Latterly, he was my official assistant, in the Lhasa Mission of 1904 in the task of collecting, classifying, and cataloging for the British National Libraries the greatest collection of Tibetan books, sacred and secular, that ever reached Europe before or since that expedition. As a result of this unusual acquaintance with the Tibetan religion, language and customs, and his business ability."
10. (in) Peter Richardus Alex McKay, Tibetan lives: Himalayan three autobiographies, Routledge, 1998, p 223, p. xviii: "David Macdonald, who had become a devout Christian".
11. (in) Alexander McLeish, The Frontier Peoples of India [archive], Mittal Publications, 1984, p. 183.
12. (in) Jina Prem Singh, "AH Francke's contribution in the Cultural History of Ladakh," pp. 43-52 in Jina Prem Singh (ed.), Recent Researches on the Himalaya, New Delhi, Indus Publishing, 1997, p. 44.
13. (in) Michael Carrington, Officers, Gentlemen and Thieves: The Looting of Monasteries During the 1903/4 Younghusband Mission to Tibet in Modern Asian Studies, 37, 1 (2003), pp. 81–109: “[L. Austin] Waddell then, would be the perfect man for the job of Chief Medical Officer to the Tibet mission and after representations to the Government of India was chosen to be the official collector of materials for the British Museum. He was to be assisted by David Macdonald, an employee of the Government of India, Macdonald was the son of a Scot with a Sikkimise mother and he would be extremely useful as he spoke fluent Tibetan."
14. (in) Tim Myatt, Trinkets, Temples, and Treasures: Tibetan Material Culture and the 1904 British Mission to Tibet, op. cit., p. 137: "[...] David Macdonald (1870–1962) 71 who writes,"in January 1905 I was sent to Calcutta to categorize books and treasures, which others and I gathered in Tibet and were brought back using more than 400 mules. They included Buddhist classics, statues of Buddha, religious works, helmets, weapons, books, and ceramics. The bulk of ceramics were sent to specialists for examination. All these treasures were formerly preserved in the India Museum, where I worked, and later in the British Museum, the Indian Museum, the Bodleian Library and the Indian Administrative Library.”
15. (in) Peter Richardus Alex McKay, Tibetan lives: Himalayan three autobiographies, Routledge, 1998, p 223, p. xvi: "Macdonald first served as a translator on the Younghusband mission."
16. Alex McKay, Tibet and the British Raj ... , op. cit., p. 44: " Macdonald became favorably known to most of the significant figures involved in the expedition, both British and Tibetan, and avoided being identified with either of the factions that developed among its officers."
17. Alex McKay, Tibet and the British Raj ... , op. cit., p. 44: "Clearly a capable and talented man, Macdonald attracted the favor of a number of senior British officials, of whom Bell was to be the most significant. Being of mixed race, Macdonald was in particular need of this patronage to overcome the Raj's prejudice against 'Anglo-Indians'."
18. Alex McKay, Tibet and the British Raj ... , op. cit., p. 44: "Bell offered the position to the Anglo-Sikkimese David Macdonald, a quiet and modest man [...]."
19. (in) Barbara Crossette, The great hill station of Asia, Vol. 1938, 1998, 259 p. : "David Macdonald, who for twenty years in the first quarter of the twentieth century was the British trade agent in Tibet and later the empire's representative in Sikkim [...]."
20. (in) Himalayan Hotel Kalimpong [archive], on the website India Travelite: "Prior à son retirement he served as Briefly Britain's Political Officer in Sikkim, in support of Britain's relationship with Tibet, Bhutan and Sikkim. "
21. Alex McKay, Tibet and the British Raj ... , op. cit., p. 232: " D. Macdonald takes up post July 1909. Macdonald then served at Yatung, without official leave, until his retirement in October 1924."
22. (in) Alex McKay, The History of Tibet: The modern period: from 1895 to 1959, the encounter with modernity, 1904-1947 , pp. 417: "he became Yatung Trade Agent in 1909, and remained serving there and in Gyantse until 1924. He was Political Officer [in] Sikkim for four months in 1921."
23. Joëlle Désiré-Marchand, Alexandra David-Néel, life and travel: geographic routes, 2009, 700 p., P. 445.
24. Jean Chalon, The Luminous Destiny of Alexandra David-Néel, Perrin Academic Bookstore, 1985.
25. Biography (part 6 [archive], on the website
26. (in) Peter Bishop, The myth of Shangri-La: Tibet, travel writing, and the western creation of sacred landscape, University of California Press, 1980, 308 p., P. 201: "In 1925 Edwyn Schary, an American struggled desperately across Tibet in search of the famed Mahatmas. Macdonald, the British trade agent at Gyantse, described his arrival: 'One evening at dusk, a begrimed and filthily clad figure covered with festering sores crawled up to the main gate of the Gyantse fort -- he was really in a terrible condition, verminous, ill-nourished, and really very ill.'"
27. (in) Edwin Gilbert Schary, In Search of the Mahatmas of Tibet, Seeley, Service & Co., 1937, viii + 294 pp., Preface by David Macdonald (with Canon CE Tyndale Biscoe).
28. Alex McKay, Tibet and the British Raj ..., op. cit., p. 100: "Perry's problems inevitably began to involve his father-in-law [...]. News emerged that Macdonald had written to the Dalai Lama in 1923 asking him to employ Perry in the newly-formed Lhasa Police Force. [...] he was censured for his attempt to find Perry work with the Lhasa Police and it was decided to reintroduce the system of having separate agents at Yatung and Gyantse, with Macdonald reverting to the lower ranked post at Yatung."
29. Alex McKay, Tibet and the British Raj ... , op. cit., p. 132: “Early in May 1924, 'Derrick' Williamson arrived in Gyantse to replace the long-serving David Macdonald, who was retiring. But six weeks passed before Macdonald could hand-over to his successor, who was suffering from a near-fatal fever. "
30. (in) The Spectator, Vol. 142, 1929: "Lord Ronaltlshay tells us in a preface that Mr. David Macdonald, the author of The Land of the Lama (Seeley, Services, 21 s.), Saved the Dalai Lama's life in 1909 [...]"
31. (en) C. Mabel Rickmers, The Land of the Lama, in Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland, January 1930, 62, 180-182: "When compelled to flee to India in 1909, it was to Macdonald that His Holiness owed his safe passage over the frontier, a fact he has never forgotten."
32. (in) Ngawang Lobsang Thupten Gyatso [archive]
33. Alex McKay, Tibet and the British Raj: the frontier cadre, 1904-1947, op. cit., p. 68: "Bell did invite David Macdonald to join him in Lhasa for Christmas 1920, without asking permission from Delhi. Macdonald spent a month in Lhasa and had several meetings with the Dalai Lama. But the Government of India was reluctant to allow too many officials to visit the Tibetan capital. When they discovered where Macdonald was, he was ordered to return to Yatung."
34. (en) Robert Croston, Robert Roaf, in British Medical Journal , 2007: "[Sikkim, 1936] Kalimpong, where they put up at the Himalayan Hotel -- the family house of David Macdonald, now an old man and former Trade Agent Gyantse, Tibet."
35. History of the Himalayan Hotel [archive]: "The Himalayan Hotel, whose building was built in the style of English cottages [...]. David Macdonald erected the main building in 1925."
36. Himalayan Hotel Kalimpong, op. cit.: "After he retired, with his large family grown up, Macdonald turned the family home into a Hotel, and it has remained in the Macdonald family ever since. [...] The great names of the region have all been guests here. [...] it has also played host to Mme Alexandra David-Neel, Charles Bell, and many of the other British officials who traveled to Tibet in the first half of the twentieth century, as well to other Tibetologists such as Prince Peter of Greece, Rinchen Dolma Taring, authoress of “Daughter of Tibet”, Dr. Joseph Rock, Heinrich Harrer, author of “Seven Years in Tibet”, Sir Basil Gould, formerly Political Officer, Sikkim [...]."
37. Alex McKay, Tibet and the British Raj ..., op. cit., p. 134: "Macdonald [...] made several attempts in the 1930's and '40's to return to Tibet in an official capacity. [...] Macdonald recalled that in 1931, when he asked for permission to visit Gyantse, Weir replied that [...] he could not see his way to giving me permission."
38. (in) Toni Schmid, David Macdonald, in Ethnos, volumes 28 to 29, Routledge On Behalf of the National Museum of Ethnography, 1963, p. 254: “Friday July 6th 1962 David Macdonald died at Darjeeling. He was 89. His was a remarkable life. His ancestry was Scotch-Lepcha, and he married Alice Curtis, who was of English-Sherpa origin."
39. (in) Alex McKay, Tibet and the British Raj: the frontier framework, 1904-1947, Routledge, 1997, 293 p., P. 44: "David (born Dorje) Macdonald became Christian under the influence of his wife, the Anglo-Nepalese Alice Curtis, and entered local government service."
40. (in) Preface of Cultural heritage of Tibet, Light & Life Publishers, 1978, 267 pages, p. xv: “However his magnum opus was the 'Land of the Lama'. It deals with the country and its people in all its physical, social, cultural, historical, administrative and economic aspects. It is in fact an encyclopaedia on Tibet which has been freely used by the later writers."
41. Michael Buckley, in his tourist guide (in) Shangri-la: A Travel Guide to the Himalayan Dream (.. Bradt Travel Guides, 2008, p 191, p 127) hypothesizes that Heinrich Harrer, who stayed at Macdonald Darjeeling, was inspired by the title Twenty Years in Tibet for his own book Seven Years in Tibet: "Heinrich Harrer started writing his text, Seven Years in Tibet, after he departed Tibet in 1950 (see pages 92-3). He might have got the idea for the title from a book on the shelves [at Himalaya Hotel]: Twenty Years in Tibet, by David Macdonald, who was the British Agent in Tibet in the early 20th century."
42. (en) English Tibetan Colloquial Dictionary, 1920, preface: "And most of all are my thanks due to Mr. David McDonald, who has revised this book throughout and to whose unrivalled knowledge of both colloquial and literary Tibetan are largely due."
43. (en) Presentation of a reprint of Twenty Years in Tibet [archive]: “Having spent two decades in Tibet as British Trade Agent from 1905 to 1925, he gained the expertise of several languages., Viz. Bhutanese, Sikkimese, Bengali, Lepcha, Nepali and Hindi. [...] Macdonald had academic links with Sikkim Gazetteer, the Linguistic Survey of India and Tibetan Translation of the New Testament."
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Sun Feb 02, 2020 1:48 am

Frederick Williamson
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 2/1/20

Frederick Williamson CIE
Frederick Williamson (closest to right)
Born 31 January 1891
Died 1935
Nationality United Kingdom
Known for Founding member of the Himalayan Club

Frederick Williamson CIE (1891-1935) was a British Political Officer stationed in Sikkim, Bhutan, and Tibet in the 1930s.[1][2][3] He was an explorer and a founding member of the Himalayan Club.[3] It was 'largely owing to his influence and the esteem in which he was held in Lhasa' that Tibet permitted the 1935 and 1936 Mount Everest Expeditions.[3] His life was cut short by a chronic illness which occurred in Lhasa during November 1935 on a mission to negotiate a settlement between Tibet and Thubten Choekyi Nyima, 9th Panchen Lama.[3] On the announcement of his death, the Government of India stated that 'it robbed the Government of a most valuable officer'.[3]


Williamson was born on 31 January 1891 and educated at Bedford Modern School and Emmanuel College, Cambridge.[2] He entered the Indian Civil Service in 1914, serving in Bihar and Orissa.[2] At the outbreak of World War I, he saw military duty with the Gurkha Rifles in India (1915–16) and Mesopotamia (1916–18) where he was wounded.[2] He saw service in Palestine and Egypt (1918–19) where he was mentioned in despatches.[2]

After World War I he held appointments in Bihar (1919–22), was Secretary to the British Resident of Mysore (1922), and was Secretary to the British Resident of Hyderabad (1923).[2] He later became the British Trade Agent at Gyantse (1924) and Assistant to the Political Officer in Sikkim.
[2][3] His obituary in The Times states that he 'quickly felt the attraction of the romance and mystery' of those lands, and 'in his close study of the customs, folklore, and languages of the people followed in the footsteps of Sir Charles Bell'.[3]

Kula Kangri from Moenla Karchung 1933

In 1926, Williamson was made Officiating Political Officer in Sikkim and, in 1927, Consul-General to Kashgar, a position he held until 1930.[3] In 1931, Williamson returned to Gangtok as Political Officer in Sikkim. His brief life was cut short by a chronic illness which occurred in Lhasa during November 1935 on a mission to negotiate a settlement between Tibet and Thubten Choekyi Nyima, 9th Panchen Lama.[3] On the announcement of his death, the Government of India stated that 'it robbed the Government of a most valuable officer'.[3] His obituary in The Times states that he may well 'have wished nothing better than to end his days where his heart was—amid the eternal snows of Tibet'.[3]

In 1933, Williamson married Margaret Dobie Marshall who had accompanied him on his travels.[3] Margaret Williamson wrote a memoir of their life in Tibet, Sikkim, and Bhutan.[3]


The Trapchi Regiment

A keen explorer, Williamson was a founder member of the Himalayan Club.[3] In Kashgar and Gangtok he explored unknown routes[3] and in 1928 established a new route from Yarkand to the Kara-Tash Valley by way of Kichik Karaul.[4] In 1933 he travelled in Bhutan with his wife, crossing the Great Himalayan range into Tibet via Mon-La-Kar-Chung La, the difficult glacier pass.[3]

It was 'largely owing to his influence and the esteem in which he was held in Lhasa' that Tibet permitted the 1935 and 1936 Mount Everest Expeditions.[3]

On his travels, Williamson and his partner and future wife were prolific photographers.[5] Between December 1930 and August 1935, they took approximately 1700 photographs throughout the Himalayan region.[5] The photographs they took are at the University of Cambridge and are described as 'providing an unusually well-preserved and well-catalogued insight into social life in Sikkim, Bhutan, and Tibet during the 1930s'.[5]


1. Obituary in The Times, Mr Frederick Williamson, 19 November 1935, p.19
2. Who's Who, 1935, Published by A&C Black Limited 1935
3. "In Memoriam". Retrieved 8 July 2015.
4. Himalayan Journal, vol. iii, 1931, p. 36
5. "Digital Himalaya: Williamson Collection". Retrieved 8 July 2015.

Further reading

• Williamson, Margaret D. (1987). Memoirs of a Political Officer's Wife in Tibet, Sikkim and Bhutan. London: Wisdom. ISBN 978-0-86171-056-0.

External links

• The Williamson Collection
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Sun Feb 02, 2020 2:11 am

The Himalayan Club
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 2/1/20

The Himalayan Club is an organization founded in India in 1928 along the lines of the Alpine Club. The stated mission of the organization was “to encourage and assist Himalayan travel and exploration, and to extend knowledge of the Himalaya and adjoining mountain ranges through science, art, literature and sport.” The Club publishes a journal, the Himalayan Journal and has a library.


The idea to start such an organization was proposed in 1866 by Mr. F. Drew and Mr. W. H. Johnson to the Asiatic Society of Bengal. Twenty years later Emil Bos, president of the Alpine Club and Douglas Freshfield of the Royal Geographic Society wrote in the Alpine Journal that “the formation at Calcutta or Simla of an Himálayan Club, prepared to publish ‘Narratives of Science and Adventure’ concerning the mountains, would be the most serviceable means.” The organization was finally established on 17 February 1928 in the office of Field Marshal Sir William Birdwood. A library was established at Shimla.[1] The founding members [of the Himalayan Club] were:[2]

Sir Geoffrey Latham Corbett, Secretary for Commerce and Industry;
Major Kenneth Mason of the Survey of India
Mr. T. E. T. Upton, Solicitor to the Government of India
Major General Walter Kirke, acting Chief of the General Staff
Brigadier Edward Aldborough Tandy, Surveyor General of India
The Viceroy, Lord Irwin [Lord Halifax]
Field Marshal Sir William Birdwood, Commander in Chief
Sir Malcolm Hailey, Governor of the Punjab
Sir Edwin Pascoe, Director of the Geological Survey of India
Major General Kenneth Wigram
Brigadier William Louis Oberkirch Twiss
Mr. G. Mackworth Young, Army Secretary
Mr. James Glasgow Acheson, Deputy Foreign Secretary
Major Edward Oliver Wheeler of the Survey of India
Captain Charles Granville Bruce, 6th Gurkhas

The membership of the organization grew from 250 in 1928 to 572 in 1946. A library was initially established in Shimla at United Service Institution of India but moved to the Survey of India and in 1932 to New Delhi. In 1947, most of the British members left India but continued to be members. With more members in Calcutta, it was managed from there and the library moved from the Army headquarters to the Calcutta Light Horse Club in 1948. In 1958 the library moved to the Geological Survey of India and in 1966 it moved to the National Library of India in Calcutta. In 1971, it moved back to New Delhi where it was housed in the Central Secretariat and before moving to the Indian International Centre in 1976 where it continues to be located.[2]


1. Corbett, G.L. (1929). "The founding of the Himalayan Club". The Himalayan Journal. 1: 1–3.
2. Flora, Nirmolini V (2003). "The Library of the Himalayan Club, a Unique Cultural Institution in Simla, 1928-1946". Libraries & the Cultural Record. 38 (4): 289. doi:10.1353/lac.2003.0062.

External links

• Official website


The Founding of the Himalayan Club
by G. L. Corbett
Himalayan Journal 01 (1929)


MR. DOUGLAS FRESHFIELD tells me that the idea of a Himalayan Club goes back so far as 1866, when it was formally suggested to the Asiatic Society of Bengal by Mr. F. Drew and Mr. W .H. Johnson. And Mr. Fresh field himself, writing in The Alpine Journal in 1884, advised that our knowledge of the Himalaya might thus be extended. " The formation at Calcutta or Simla," he said, " of an Himalayan Club, prepared to publish Narratives of Science and Adventure' concerning the mountains, would be the most serviceable means to this end." The idea must have recurred to many, but it never took shape, not because a Club was not wanted, but because in this land of endlessness it is only now and then that the two or three are gathered together. The thing had hung in the balance for years when a chance talk at Simla tipped the beam, and the Himalayan Club was born on the path behind Jakko on the afternoon of the 6th October, 1927.

I wrote first to Major Kenneth Mason of the Survey of India, who also had long cherished the hope of a Club; to Major-General Walter Kirke, then acting as Chief of the General Staff; and to Brigadier E. A. Tandy, Surveyor General of India. I was diffident, for there seemed no reason why the time should now be fulfilled. Mason replied that he was with me heart and soul; Kirke that he would do anything he could to help; Tandy that he would help in any way he could. So encouraged, I went ahead. The Viceroy, Lord Irwin, the Commander-in-Chief, Field-Marshal Sir William Birdwood, and Sir Malcolm Hailey, then Governor of the Punjab, were among the first to whom I told our plans. Others were Mr. T. E. T. Upton, Solicitor to the Government of India; Sir Edwin Pascoe, Director of the Geological Survey of India; Major-General Kenneth Wigram and Brigadier W. L. 0. Twiss who still, they say, count for something among Gurkhas; Mr. G. Mackworth Young, Army Secretary; and Mr J. G. Acheson, Deputy Foreign Secretary. Mason meanwhile had consulted Major E. O. Wheeler of the Survey of India, and Captain J. G. Bruce, 6th Gurkhas. These were the founders of the Himalayan Club, and it is to their confidence and sound judgment that the Club owes its constitution. There were three others who had no claim to be members of the Club, but whose interest and advice meant much to us: the Foreign Secretary, Sir Denys Bray; the Education Secretary Mr. J. W. Bhore, who included in his Department the Survey of India; and the Private Secretary to the Viceroy, Mr George Cunningham. It was Denny Bray who determined the quality of our founder members: What you want," he said, "is a solid core of men who have done things."

We proceeded deliberately, remembering always that it's the first step that counts. There were three things to be decided: What should the Club be called? What should be its objects? Who should be asked to become founder members? The name of the Club was soon settled. "The Alpine Club of India" had been suggested, but seemed likely to scare those whose interest was not high mountaineering; nor had we need to look for a name beyond our own great range. Almost from the first we thought of ourselves as "The Himalayan Club. It was agreed that our objects should be based on the famous definition in the Rules of the Alpine Club. But it is shikar that first impels nine-tenths of those who go to the Himalaya; and though we were unwilling to admit shikar as a specific object of the Club we thought that our objects should recognise that knowledge of the Himalaya is extended through " sport," which would cover mountain climbing and ski-running as well as shikar. In this way we arrived at our definition:-

"To encourage and assist Himalayan travel and exploration, and to extend knowledge of the Himalaya and adjoining mountain ranges through science, art, literature and sport."

The list of those who should be asked to become founder members, was anxiously and carefully compiled. Our intention was to include everyone who had "done things in the Himalaya; and if anyone was inadvertently omitted, I hope he will forgive and join us now. On the 20th December, 1927, Mason and I sent out our circular letter, and then we waited apprehensively for the replies. We had never dared to hope for such a response. From all over India and beyond, and from the back of beyond, from Europe, Africa and America, replies came welcoming the Club and making varied and valuable suggestions. Almost everyone replied, and almost everyone who replied became a founder member. Our 127 founder members contribute to the objects of the Club much that there is of Himalayan knowledge and experience. The Club was formally inaugurated at a meeting held in Field-Marshal Sir William Birdwood's room at Army Headquarters, Delhi, on the 17th February, 1928.

While we were still intent on our first step, we learnt that "The Mountain Club of India" had been formed at Calcutta on the 23rd September, 1927. Mason and I took an early opportunity to meet Mr. W. Allsup, its moving spirit, and it was agreed that the two Clubs should go forward with mutual good-will, and that the question of fusion should be considered later. At the inaugural meeting of the Himalayan Club it was decided to ask the Mountain Club whether it would be willing to amalgamate. A general meeting of the Mountain Club on the 14th December, 1928, agreed to amalgamate "for the benefit of the common aims of the two Clubs," and we are now one strong and united organisation. Allsup to our regret has now left India, but the combined Club will not forget how selflessly he advocated amalgamation.

We owe much too to the Alpine Club, and in particular to Colonel E. L. Strutt, the Editor of the Alpine Journal, who is also one of our founder members, and to Mr. Sydney Spencer, the Honorary Secretary. From the first and throughout I have been in close correspondence with them, and their ungrudging help and wise advice have never failed me. Members of the Alpine Club who come to the Himalaya may be sure of a warm welcome and all the assistance that the Himalayan Club can give.

And so the Himalayan Club is founded, and we hope great things of it: the geographer that the blank places on his map may be filled in; the scientist that our knowledge of the Himalaya, its rocks and glaciers, its animals and plants, its peoples and their way of living, may continually expand; the artist that its glories may inspire fine pictures. The mountaineer may dream of the first ascent of a thousand unclimbed peaks, the shikari of record heads shot in nalas yet unknown. My own hope is that it may help to rear a breed of men in India, hard and self-reliant, who will know how to enjoy life on the high hills.

G. L. Corbett.
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Sun Feb 02, 2020 2:40 am

Geoffrey Corbett
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 2/1/20

The founding members [of the Himalayan Club] were:[2]

• Sir G. L. Corbett, Secretary for Commerce and Industry

-- The Himalayan Club, by Wikipedia


Sir Geoffrey Latham Corbett KBE CIE (9 February 1881 – November 1937) was a British member of the Indian Civil Service and a mountaineer. He held senior positions in the Governments of British India and the Kingdom of Egypt.

Early life

The son of Frederick Corbett, of Chaddesley Corbett, Worcestershire,[1] Corbett was educated at Bromsgrove School[2] and was already a climber while still there. In 1898, when he was seventeen, he made his first climbing trip to Switzerland, visiting the central Alps and climbing the Grand Muveran, the Dent de Morcles, and peaks around Zermatt.[3] In 1899 arrived as a classical scholar at Hertford College, Oxford,[2] and in 1901 he made a second trip to the Alps, when he made a traverse of the Aiguilles Rouges, among other routes. While at Oxford he also climbed in Yorkshire and the Lake District, usually with his friend Alfred Barran.[3] However, after taking a double first in Classics he entered the Indian Civil Service in 1904[1] and was lost to serious climbing for some years.


Corbett achieved fast promotion in India, with periods of leave which he used for climbing. In 1916 he was elected to the Alpine Club. In 1918, the last year of the Great War, he was appointed Director of Industries and Controller of Munitions in the Central Provinces. While there he explored the Satpuras and also visited Kashmir and Ladakh.[3] In 1919 he was appointed as Deputy Secretary to the Government of India for Commerce and Industry, then went to Calcutta as Director-General of Commercial Intelligence.[1] He attended the Washington Disarmament Conference of 1921–22, was sent on a mission to Fiji later in 1922, attended the Assembly of the League of Nations at Geneva in 1929, and was Secretary of the British Indian delegation to the Round Table Conferences of 1930 to 1932.[3] In 1931 he was a temporary member of the Viceroy's Executive Council.[1]

In 1921 he made a climbing trip to Switzerland with Henry Hayden and returned in 1922, 1925, and 1928, usually climbing with local guides.[3] He also took up big game hunting.[1]

In 1926 Corbett was at Simla as Secretary for Commerce and Industry in the Government of India, and his windows looked north towards the Himalayas. He began to plan the establishment of a Himalayan Club, an idea which was far from new, but he got the support of several important men. These included Lord Irwin, the Viceroy of India, who agreed to be a founder member, Field Marshal Sir William Birdwood, the Commander-in-Chief, India, who eventually became the first President; and Sir Malcolm Hailey, Governor of the Punjab. The Club was formally created in Birdwood's meeting room at Army Headquarters, Delhi, on 17 February 1928, with 127 founder members, and with Corbett himself as the first Honorary Secretary.[3]

Due to a collapse in his health, Corbett left India in 1932 and returned to Oxford as Reader in Indian History, also becoming the Himalayan Club's representative on the Mount Everest Committee.[3]

After Oxford, Corbett was appointed as Adviser to the Kingdom of Egypt's Ministry of Commerce and Industry in Cairo. In 1936 and 1937, he made expeditions to Switzerland, but died suddenly in Cairo in November 1937.[3] At his own request he was buried at sea.[1]

Private life

In 1912, Corbett married Gladys Kate Bennett, who like him was from Worcestershire, and they had one son. Their home in England was at Bonson, Nether Stowey, Somerset. His nephew was the acclaimed British film director Michael Powell[4]


• Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire[1]
• Companion of the Order of the Indian Empire[1]
• Grand Cordon of the Order of the Nile[5]


1. 'Sir G. L. Corbett' in The Times, issue 47832 dated 3 November 1937, p. 16
2. 'University Intelligence' in The Times, issue 35975 dated 1 November 1899, p. 10
3. Kenneth Mason, IN MEMORIAM GEOFFREY LATHAM CORBETT 1881-1937 from Himalayan Journal, vol. 10 (1938), online at
4. The Lady's Who's Who (1938), p. 100
5. London Gazette dated 5 November 1937, p. 6,890
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