William Kingsland

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William Kingsland

William Kingsland (May 5, 1855 - February 6, 1936) was an English engineer, scientist, author and Theosophist. He was President of the Blavatsky Lodge in London and was present in the meetings where H. P. Blavatsky answered members' questions on The Secret Doctrine.

Personal life and career

William Kingsland was born at Devizes in Wiltshire, on May 5, 1855. In 1879 he entered the School of Submarine Telegraphy in London. After finishing school he worked for the newly established Telephone Company in London and later for the Brush Electric Light Company.

On February 4, 1885, Mr. Kingsland married Phoebe Edmonstone, who died 41 years later, in 1926.

In 1888 he became involved with the Theosophical movement until 1909, when he resigned from the Theosophical Society (Adyar).

In 1911 he took up his electrical work until the First World War, when he joined a Volunteer Regiment to offer his knowledge in signalling. In December 1916 he was given a commission as Lieutenant. He continued his work until March 1919.

In the 1920's he became active again in the Theosophical movement until his death at Ryde, on February 6, 1936, at the age of 81 after an illness of two months.[1]

Mr. Kingsland died on February 6, 1936, at Ryde, Isle of Wight, England.

Theosophical involvement

In the 1880's Mr. Kingsland got in touch with the Theosophical teachings through the writings of A. P. Sinnett and H. P. Blavatsky. But the turning point in his life took place on June 2, 1888, at the age of 33, when he visited Mme. Blavatsky who was living in London and was gathering around a group of students. Recalling this day he wrote:

I had the good fortune to meet her for the first time on the 2nd June, 1888, when she was living at No. 17, Lansdowne Road, Notting Hill, and had gathered round her a considerable number of devoted workers. This visit was not, however, my first introduction to Theosophy, for I had for some two months previously been attending Mr. A. P. Sinnett’s weekly gatherings at his own house; I had read his Occult World and Esoteric Buddhism, and the early numbers of The Theosophist published in India. This literature opened out for me a new world of thought and endeavor. Theosophy struck a chord to which my inmost nature immediately responded.[2]

From that day on he became an important worker and on January, 1889, was elected as President of the Blavatsky Lodge. It was during this time that a number of meetings were held where members asked Mme. Blavatsky questions about the concepts taught in her newly published book, The Secret Doctrine.

During the split of 1895 he stayed with the Theosophical Society (Adyar) but in 1909, he resigned in disagreement with the policies of Annie Besant.

He continued his career independently as an author until in the 1920's he became active again in the Theosophical movement. On November 13, 1923, he formed with Alice L. Cleather and others the Blavatsky Association to perpetuate the memory of H.P.B. and defend her name and work whenever possible.[3]


Mr. Kingsland wrote at least 128 articles in a wide range of subjects, according to the Union Index of Theosophical Periodicals. He also wrote books from 1891 until shortly before his death in 1935.

  • Theosophical Concepts of Evolution and Religion. 1889, Pamphlet. According to the minutes of the Cincinnati Theosophical Society, "Dr. Buck said he considered it the best digested, most concise & best written of the pamphlets so far."
  • The Mystic Quest: a Tale of Two Incarnations. London: G. Allen, 1891.
  • The Esoteric Basis of Christianity, or, Theosophy and Christian Doctrine. London: Theosophical Pub. Society, 1891.
  • A Child's Story of Atlantis. London: Theosophical Pub. Society, 1908.
  • Scientific Idealism; Or, Matter and Force and Their Relation to Life And Consciousness. London: Rebman, 1909.
  • The Physics of the Secret Doctrine. London: Theosophical Publishing Society, 1910.
  • Our Infinite Life. London: Allen & Unwin, 1922.
  • Rational Mysticism: A Development of Scientific Idealism. London: Allen & Unwin, 1924.
  • Was She a Charlatan? A Critical Analysis of the 1885 Report of the Society for Psychical Research on the Phenomena connected with Mme. H. P. Blavatsky. London: Blavatsky Association, 1927.
  • An Anthology of Mysticism and Mystical Philosophy. London: Methuen & Co., Ltd., 1927.
  • The Real H. P. Blavatsky: A Study in Theosophy and a Memoir of a Great Soul. London: J. M. Watkins, 1928.
  • Christos: The Religion of the Future. London: J.M. Watkins, 1929.
  • The Great Pyramid In Fact and In Theory, Part I. Descriptive. London: Ryder & Co., 1932.
  • The Art of Life and How to Conquer Old Age. London: C.W. Daniel Co., 1934.
  • The Great Pyramid In Fact and In Theory, Part II. Theory. London: Ryder & Co., 1935.
  • The Gnosis or Ancient Wisdom in the Christian Scriptures. London: George Allen and Unwin, Ltd., 1937.

Additional resources


  1. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, Collected Writings vol. X (Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1988), 423.
  2. Daniel H. Caldwell, The Esoteric World of Madame Blavatsky (Wheaton, Ill., Quest Books, 2001), 341
  3. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, Collected Writings vol. X (Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1988), 422.