OF THE CHIEF EVENTS IN THE LIFE OF H. P. BLAVATSKY AND
COL.HENRY S. OLCOTT,
FROM JANUARY THROUGH DECEMBER, 1891.
(The period to which the material in the present volume belongs)
1 8 9 1
January—Bertram heightley, then in India, starts the Prasnottara, a Question-and-Answer Journal for the Indian Section (Ransom, 276).
January 8-12—Col. Olcott meets with Burmese, Singhalese and Japanese Buddhists, to consider points of belief in the Northern and Southern Schools of Buddhism, and drafts a platform of Fourteen Clauses (ODL, IV, 257-58; Ransom, 276; Theos., XII, Suppl. February, 1891, pp. xxi-xxii).
January 17—Col. Olcott sails for Rangoon with the two Burmese Delegates; arrives Jan. 21st (ODL, IV, 259; Ransom, 276).
January 23—Col. Olcott leaves Rangoon for Pantanaw, and visits other towns for about a week (ODL, IV, 261-63).
January 30—Col. Olcott goes back to Rangoon; takes train to Mandalay; meets in Council with Buddhist priests (ODL, IV, 263-73).
February—H.P.B. has a sick spell in London; Part II of the Transactions is out, and a third one is promised (but did not appear!); a revised edition of The Secret Doctrine is already in preparation (Alice L. Cleather's “London Letter” in Theos., XII, April, 1891, p. 438).
February—British Section Rooms in Duke St. are transferred to 17 Avenue Road (Theos., XII, April, 1891, p. 438).
February 3—Col. Olcott leaves Mandalay, returns to Rangoon, and visits the elderly Bishop of Ava, Father Bigandet. Leaves Rangoon Feb. 7 (ODL, IV, 273-75; Theos., XII, Feb., 1891, Suppl., p. xxi; Col. Olcott's Full Report, Theos., XII, March, 1891, Editorial).
February 12—Col. Olcott reaches Madras (ODL, IV, 276).
February 16—Col. Olcott leaves Adyar for Australia, via Ceylon where he lectures extensively. Embarks at Colombo March 3rd (ODL, IV, 276-79; Ransom, 276; Theos., XII, Suppl. March, 1891, p. xxix, and Suppl. April, 1891, p. xliv).
February—The Oriental Department started by W. Q. Judge in U.S.A. (Path, V, 359) .
March 18—Col. Olcott reaches Melbourne; sails 20th for Sydney; sails 23rd for Brisbane (ODL, IV, 279-82).
March 30—Col. Olcott reaches Toowoomba, to handle the affairs arising from the Hartmann estate; settles the matter to mutual satisfaction (ODL, IV, 282-87; Ransom, 277; Col. Olcott's Full Report, Editorial in Theos., XII, August, 1891) .
March (or April)—Second edition of The Key to Theosophy is published, with Glossary prepared by H.P.B. (Theos., XII, May, 1891, p. 507 ; Path,, VI, April, 1891, p. 32).
April 1—Annie Besant embarks at Liverpool for the U.S.A., bearing the last Letter from H.P.B. to the American Convention. Reaches America on the 9th (Ransom, 279; C. F. Wright in Path, VI, p. 57 ; Lucifer, VIII, April, 1891, pp. 162, 253) .
April 23—Date given by Vera P. de Zhelihovsky as being the last time H.P.B. attended a meeting in her house (vide her sister's biogr. account in the Russian ed. of “The Tribes of the Blue Hills,” p. 53).
April 26-27—Fifth Convention of the American Section held at Steinert Hall, Boston, Mass. (Path, VI, April, 1891, p. 32; May, 1891, pp. 58 et seg.; Lucifer, VIII, June, 1891, pp. 341 et seg.).
April—A very serious epidemic of influenza reaches London. Practically the entire staff at 19 Avenue Rd. was laid up with it, three of them being at death's door. On April 25th, H.P.B. has a very high fever, and her doctor (Dr. Mennell) is seriously alarmed (C. F. Wright in Path, VI, June, 1891, p. 94; also July, 1891, p. 129 ; Lucifer, VIII, p. 252 ; V. P. de Zhelihovsky, Lucifer, XVI, April, 1895, p. 105) ; Cleather in Theos., XII, July, 1891, p. 628).
April 25-30—H.P.B. has very high fever; on the 30th, a troublesome quinsy formed in her throat, but improved; then an abcess formed on the bronchial tubes, but disappeared later; her weakness, however, increased (Lucifer, VIII, p. 252; Ransom, 280; Annie Besant in Theos., XXX, April, 1909, p. 88).
May 6—Annie Besant sails for England, accompanied by Dr. and
Mrs. J. D. Buck (Path, VI, p. 90; Ransom, 280).
May 6—H.P.B., somewhat improved, managed to walk into her sitting-room, though she said she felt she was dying. After another very alarming night, she sat in her arm-chair in the sitting-room, finding no ease in bed, and is reported to have rolled a cigarette for Dr. Mennell, the last one she ever rolled. Her niece, Vera. V. Johnston, visited her for a while (Ransom, 280-81; ODL, IV, 416).
May 8—At 11 a.m. H.P.B. grew worse; she was in her chair, and those present were Miss Laura Cooper, Claude Falls Wright and Walter Gorn Old, and Miss Black, the nurse. She rather suddenly passed away at 2:25 p.m., Greenwich Time (Theos., XXX, April, 1909, p. 88 ; Ransom, 281; Path, VI, June, 1891, pp. 94-95; W. G. Old in Theos., XIV, June, 1893, p. 543).
May 8-9—Col. Olcott has three distinct warnings about H.P.B.'s passing; then, on May 10th, receives cablegram about the fact (ODL, IV, 289-90; Ransom, 278).
May 11—Cremation of H.P.B.'s remains at Woking Crematorium, Surrey.
May 13—William Q. Judge sails for London on the SS City of New York (Path, VI, July, 1891, p. 128).
May 14—Blavatsky Lodge meets; Dr. W. Wynn Westcott, Vice-President, delivers talk on H.P.B. (Lucifer, VIII, June, 1891, pp. 337-38).
May 21—Bertram Keightley leaves Adyar for Colombo, Ceylon, to meet Col. Olcott (Theos., XII, Suppl. June, 1891; and his letter to Indian Section, Suppl. July, 1891, p. lxxxiv).
May 23—Consultative Emergency Council meet at London Headquarters; it consists of the European Advisory Council and the British Section Council, with W. Q. Judge in the Chair; Annie Besant and A. P. Sinnett are present (Lucifer, VIII, June, 1891, pp. 336-37) .
May 27—Col. Olcott embarks for Adyar via Colombo, after cancelling trip planned for New Zealand and Tasmania (ODL, IV, 289; Theos., XII, Suppl. Aug., 1891, p. xciv).
June 10—W. Q. Judge holds a meeting in Dublin, Ireland (Path, VI, July, 1891, p. 134).
June 10—Col. Olcott reaches Colombo, Ceylon; met by Bertram Keightley. Leaves with him June 15th for Marseilles (ODL, IV, 301-02; Ransom, 278) .
July 2—Col. Olcott reaches Marseilles; he is in Paris on the
3rd, and in London on the 4th, at about 6 p.m. met by Judge. After
reaching Headquarters, meditates together with Annie Besant in H.P.B,'s
bedroom (ODL, IV, 303; Ransom, 278).
July 9—10-Convention of the European Branches, T.S., held in London; this is the First Annual Conv. in Europe; G. R. S. Mead is General-Secretary. Olcott is in the Chair (ODL, IV, 306 et seq.; Theos., XII, Full Report in Sept., 1891; Ransom, 282; Path, VI, Aug., 1891, pp. 166-68; Lucifer, VIII, pp. 516-17) .
During Convention, Col. Olcott suggests the partition of H.P.B.'s ashes, and Judge offers resolution for the creation of an “H.P.B. Memorial Fund.” (ODL, 1V, 315; Ransom, 282; Theos., XII, Suppl. Sept., 1891, p. civ; Lucifer, VIII, pp. 515-16).
July—Col. Olcott goes with G. R. S. Mead to Paris and Nancy, France, for the purpose of engaging in, and observing, various experiments in hypnotism at La Salpêtrière and elsewhere. Meets a number of prominent physicians. Returns to London Aug. 29th (ODL, IV, 326-79; Ransom, 283; Path, VI, Oct., 1891, p. 230; Olcott's own art., Theos., XIII, Nov., 1891, and April, 1892).
August 6—W. Q. Judge sails back to New York (Lucifer, VIII Aug., 1891, p. 518).
August 21—Bertram Keightley and Sydney V. Edge leave England for Adyar (Path, VI, Oct., 1891, p. 230; Theos., XIII, Suppl. Oct., 1891, pp. i-ii).
August 28—Col. Olcott goes to Canterbury to visit Rev. Win. Stainton Moses (ODL, IV, 379).
August 30—Col. Olcott escorts Annie Besant to the Hall of Science meeting where she delivers her farewell address (ODL, IV, 379 et seq.; Path, VI, Oct., 1891, p. 231; Ransom, 283; excerpts from Address, Theos., XIII, Suppl. Oct., 1891, pp. ix et seq.; Lucifer, IX, p. 83) .
September 4—Col. Olcott leaves London for Stockholm, via Hull and Göteborg. Has audience with King Oscar II. Returns to London via Copenhague, Kiel, Hamburg, Bremen, Osnabruck and Flushing (ODL, IV, 388-90; Ransom, 283).
September 8—W. Q. Judge starts on his postponed trip to the West Coast in U.S.A. (Path, VI, 230).
September 16-Col. Olcott sails from Liverpool for the U.S.A. Arrives at New York Sept. 23rd, where he is for the first time since 1878, and is met by Fullerton, Neresheimer and his own sister, Mrs. Belle Mitchell. Gives one lecture. On Sept. 28th, takes the overland train and stops at Sacramento and San Francisco where Judge meets him. Lectures several times (ODL, IV, 390-96; Ransom, 283; Theos., XIII, Suppl. Dec., 1891, pp. xxvi-xxvii).
October—Oriental Department established in London on the basis
of the similar effort in U.S.A. (Theos., XIII, Dec., 1891, pp. 188-89).
October 8—Col. Olcott embarks from San Francisco for Yokohama, via Honolulu; reaches destination the 28th; then goes to Kyoto, via Kobe. Meets with various Buddhist priests in connection with his 14 Fundamental Principles, etc. (ODL, IV, 397-408; Ransom, 284; Theos„ XIII, Suppl. Dec., 1891, p. xxviii).
November 10—Col. Olcott embarks from Kobe for Ceylon, via Shanghai, Hong-Kong, Singapore. Arrives in Colombo the 29th (ODL, IV, 309-10; Ransom, 284).
November 18—Annie Besant sails for New York; sails back to England Dec. 9th (Path, VI, Dec., 1891, p. 296; Jan., 1892, p. 325; Lucifer, IX, p. 344) .
November—New premises not far from the London Headquarters have been secured for the H.P.B. Press; new equipment is expected from America. All the printing will be done there from now on. James M. Pryse is in charge of the Press, and the Managers are Countess C. Wachtmeister, Annie Besant, G. R. S. Mead and E. T. Sturdy (Theos., XIII, Jan., 1892, p. 252; Lucifer, IX, Nov., 1891, pp, 254-55).
December 10--Col. Olcott returns to Adyar, after ten days in Ceylon (ODL, IV, 413; Ransom, 284).
December 27-29—Annual Convention at Adyar (Path, VI, March,
1892, pp. 403-06; Ransom, 284-85; Gen. Report, Theos., XIII, Suppl. to
January, 1892) .
KEY TO ABBREVIATIONS
Lucifer—A Theosophical Magazine, designed to “Bring to Light the Hidden Things of Darkness.” London, 1887, etc.
ODL—Old Diary Leaves, by Col. Henry Steel Olcott. Fourth Series, 1887-1892. London: Theos. Pub]. Society; Adyar: Office of The Theosophist, 1910.
Path—The Path. Published and Edited at New York by William Q. Judge. Vol. 1, April, 1886, etc.
Ransom—A Short History of The Theosophical Society. Compiled by Josephine Ransom. Adyar: Theos. Publ. House, 1938.
Theos.— The Theosophist. Founded by H.P.B. and Col. Olcott in
October, 1879. In progress.