Following the annual Convention of the Theosophical Society, followed by a meeting of the General Episcopal Synod of the Liberal Catholic Church, at Adyar in December 1925, Leadbeater returned to Sydney. Accompanying him was a young boy, Peter Finch, whose grandmother had an interest in Theosophy and Buddhism, and had attended the Convention. Her grandson, being in her custody, had also been present, manifestly bored, until he was “given in charge” to Dick Balfour Clarke.
I.M. Britain, in The Australian Dictionary of Biography, comments of Finch at Adyar: His waif-like aura and wafer-thin body proved irresistible, at least in the spiritual sense, for Adyar’s twin panjandrums Dr Annie Besant and ‘Bishop’ Charles Leadbeater. From Dr Besant, Peter had lessons in meditation; ‘Bishop’ Leadbeater was more noted for his lessons in masturbation. http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/finch-frederick-george-peter-ingle-10179 The lessons in meditation from Besant seem entirely probable. There was no evidence whatsoever that Leadbeater engaged in any form of sexual activity with the boy.
Finch was taken to Sydney without his grandmother, enrolled in the Theosophically inspired Garden School, and confirmed into the Liberal Catholic Church by Leadbeater on October 10 1926. He was removed from the Garden School when his mother’s estranged husband located him and enrolled him in a local public school.
As the British born Australian actress Enid Lorimer (1887-1982) recalled the story: In 1925, Enid travelled to India for the Theosophist’s Golden Jubilee in Adyar, near present day Chennai (Madras), and here she came across a 9 year old English boy, who had been brought to the huge conference by his somewhat unattentive grandmother. He was running wild, and had attached himself to a Buddhist monk and was wearing saffron robes and a shaven head. Enid was asked to teach him to read and write in English (as he had been educated only in French.) Annie Besant, President of the Theosophical Society herself decided that the boy should be sent to Sydney, live in the Manor, and attend the school there. Here Enid continued to teach him and they formed a long term bond. She was aware of his very special charm, intelligence and ability as a mimic. http://enidlorimer.com/#/enid-and-children/4539070710
Frederick George Peter Ingle Finch (1916-1977) went on to become a notable English born Australian actor.
For Peter Finch, see:
Elaine Dundy Finch, Bloody Finch: A Biography of Peter Finch. New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1980
Trader Faulkner Peter Finch: A Biography. London: Angus & Robertson, 1979