G. B. Finch
Gerard B. Finch was an English Theosophist and barrister.
Personal life and career
Gerard Brown Finch was born on June 4, 1835 in Wigan, Greater Manchester, England to John and Nancy Finch. He was admitted to Queens College, Cambridge University on May 4, 1853, and was awarded a B.A. in 1857, and an M.A. in 1860. He was admitted to Lincoln's Inn as a barrister in 1857 and was called to the Bar in 1864. Subsequently he returned to Cambridge and taught law. In 1888 Finch was ordained a deacon at Canterbury, but he did not proceed to take priest's orders.
With his first wife, Margaret Elizabeth Finch, he had sons Ernest, Herbert, Alfred, and Arthur, and daughters Alice and Isabella. After she died in 1897, he married Amelia Janet Kelly the next year. Finch died on March 24, 1913 in Cambridge.
Theosophical Society involvement
In December 1883, Finch wrote a letter to A. P. Sinnett providing a nuanced view of Anna Bonus Kingsford's role in the London Lodge. Sinnett forwarded the document to Mahatma Koot Hoomi, via H. P. Blavatsky, "for considerations." KH instructed HPB to keep the letter and to show Mohini.
Finch was elected president of the London Lodge in 1884 as a compromise between the Mr. Sinnett and Mrs. Kingsford factions in the Lodge. He was one of the active members who first attempted to organize an inner group, with the encouragement of Masters K. and M. in Letter No. 5 of the Letters from the Masters of the Wisdom, Series 1. Lodge meetings were held at his Chancery Lane offices. On April 7, 1884, Colonel Olcott, Mr. Mohini, Mary Gebhard, Madame Blavatsky, and Finch saw the astral form of Mahatma M. during Col. Olcott’s opening speech of the London Lodge at Mr. Finch’s rooms.
Mr. Finch was frequently mentioned in Mahatma Letters and other correspondence:
- Bertram Keightley's account of receiving a letter from Master K. H. phenomenally on August 10, 1884 stated that Finch was present at the time.
- In Letter No. 40 of The Letters of H. P. Blavatsky to A. P. Sinnett, around November 1884, H. P. Blavatsky quoted Finch's viewpoint about Mohini's book Man: Fragments of a Forgotten History.
- Finch gave a large illustrated edition of The Light of Asia to HPB. On the flyleaf of the book is written: 'H. P. Blavatsky from her friend, Gerard Brown Finch.' A notation was added phenomenally by Master M. The book is at Adyar.
Society for Psychical Research
As of December 1883, Finch was a member of the Society for Psychical Research, which put him in company with such people as Henry Sidgwick, William Stainton Moses, Roden Noel, St. George Lane-Fox, George Wyld, Francesca Arundale, Richard Hodgson, Frederic W. H. Myers, Alfred Percy Sinnett, and Charles Dodgson [AKA Lewis Carroll].
- "Gerard Brown Finch," Cambridge University Alumni, 1261-1900.
- 1871 England Census, 1881 England Census, 1891 England Census.
- England Select Marriages, 1538-1973.
- U. K. and Ireland, Find a Grave Index.
- Theosophical Society General Membership Register, 1875-1942 at http://tsmembers.org/. See book 1, entry 1587 (website file: 1A/49).
- Details are provided in Letter 5 in the Letters from the Masters of the Wisdom, First Series.
- See Letter No. 3 of Letters from the Masters of the Wisdom, Series 1, page 4.
- Quoted from an unpublished draft of the First Report of the Committee of the Society for Psychical Research, Appointed to Investigate the Evidence for Marvellous Phenomena offered by Certain Members of the Theosophical Society preserved in the Archives of the Society for Psychical Research.]
- 1883 SPR Directory.