Francis Lee Woodward

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Francis Lee Woodward, M.A., (Cantab.) was an English educator and scholar of the Pāli language. He served as Principal of Mahinda Buddhist College in the town of Galle, Sri Lanka (then Ceylon).

Personal life

Mr. Woodward was educated at Cambridge University.

Theosophical Society involvement

Woodward was admitted as a member of the Theosophical Society on November 24, 1902.[1] At that time he was teaching at the Rossall School, Stamford, Lancashire.


One of Mr. Woodward's most noteworthy translations was Manual of a Mystic, published in 1917 for the Pali Text Society. The original manuscript was a relatively recent work, but a reviewer wrote,

It is of unique interest as being the only known exposition of the Buddhist method of meditation; while Theosophists will doubtless find many indications of a knowledge of the whereabouts of the chakrams and the significance of the colours in the aura...

Here, then, we have a sphinx-like classic, rendered into worthy English, and beautifully printed and bound. We congratualte the translator and all concerned in the production.[2]

Here is a list of Woodward's publications:

  • Manual of a Mystic. London: Oxford University Press, 1917. This was a translation from the Pāli and Sinhalese work entitled The Yogavachara's Manual. It was edited, with introductory essay, by Mrs. Rhys Davids, and published for the Pali Text Society.

Additional resources


  1. Theosophical Society General Membership Register, 1875-1942 at See book 2, entry 22530 (website file: 2B/69).
  2. W.D.S.B., "Quarterly Literary Supplement: Manual of a Mystic" The Theosophist 39.1 (October, 1917), 108-110.