The Manor – a minor mystery solved

References to the history of The Manor have noted that, prior to it being purchased for the Esoteric Section of the Theosophical Society and named “The Manor”, it had an earlier name. It was known locally as “Bakewell’s Folly” or “Bakewell’s Mansion” after the man who built it, or “Garroch”.


However, details of the house published when it was offered for auction as part of the Bakewell Estate in September 1922 by Stanton and Son Ltd, Real Estate Agents and Auctioneers, provide the facts.

Manor ad 1

Stanton and Son offered for auction two houses, built by Bakewell, as part of his estate. One was “Garrock”. It was located at the corner of Wharf Road and Mary Street, and was described as an “Imposing Residence” of brick, with slate roof, having a hall, 2 reception rooms, a breakfast room, a billiard room, a ballroom, 5 main bedrooms, 2 maids’ rooms, 3 bathrooms, “all modern offices, exceptionally well appointed”. “The grounds are most attractively arranged in gardens, lawns, shrub, and arc surrounded by brick wall on stone coping. Area for tennis court. This is one of the finest private residences over the harbour, and lends itself for convenient alteration into flats.

The second house was indeed already named “The Manor”, and was on what was then Sarah Street, extending to the harbour front reservation. “This mansion residence comprises approximately 45 rooms, all exceptionally large, also servants’ quarters, garage, stables, laundries, and gardeners’ rooms…Such a fine property should be particularly desirable for an Educational Institution, Residential Flats, for a Private Hotel, or for a Large Hospital.”

The Sydney Morning Herald, Saturday 16 September 1922, Page 9

Garrock  Manor 2

The Sydney Morning Herald, Saturday 2 September 1922, Page 18



Identifying the characters in “The Lives” – again

The large collection of lists identifying the characters in “The Lives” has slightly expanded.

I have received a copy of a duplicated (on the now long forgotten Gestetner Cyclograph which was probably the most popular, and certainly the cheapest, means of document reproduction from around 1900-1990). The document is undated, but appears to come from the mid-1920s.


Various private lists of “Star names” circulated within the Theosophical Society, especially during the hey-day of “the Lives’”; some of these were consulted in the Theosophical Society Archives and Library at Adyar.  In addition, handwritten annotations in copies of The Lives of Alcyone and Man. Whence, How and Whither in the Adyar library provided additional information, as did material on file in the Theosophical Society Archives at Adyar.  Of the three hundred or so “Star names” that were employed, only about forty were ever published with the corresponding names for their present incarnation. Arthur Nethercot, in his research for his biography of Mrs Besant discovered the identities of over 90. Gregory Robertson, who acted as my research assistant for most of the time I was at Adyar, and for a time after my return to Sydney, identified all “Star Names” bar one (“Scorpio) by a laborious, and meticulous, cross-matching of published and unpublished lists. See Gregory Robertson The Identification of Characters in The Lives of Alcyone Privately published, Sydney, 1980.

Although various suggestions were made as to the identity of “Scorpio”, it is clear that it was kept by Leadbeater as a threat which might be applied against a particular enemy.



Leadbeater in “Gems of Thought”

Gems of Thought

A curious volume, Gems of thought from leading intellectual lights: education, soul elevating and spiritualizing; designed to illustrate certain grand truths which are connected with the spiritual philosophy Compiled by John R Francis, Chicago, IL : Progressive Thinker Publishing House, 1906, contains some interesting early versions of some of Leadbeater’s writings:

“Dreams and their significance” 46-68

Dreams Gems

“Man and his bodies” 190-202

“Reincarnation” 215-228

“The law of cause and effect” 240-253

“Life after death: Purgatory” 254-267

“Life after death: The heaven world” 268-282

“Telepathy and mind cure”  294-309

“Invisible helpers”  329-343

“Clairvoyance: what it is” 344-356

Available in digital format on-line at: