Laura M. Cooper

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Laura Mary Cooper (1855-1924) was an English member of the Theosophical Society and sister of Isabel Cooper-Oakley. She was married to G. R. S. Mead.

Personal life

Laura Mary Cooper was born on October 14, 1855 in Amritsar, Bengal, India to Frederick Henry Cooper and his wife Mary Steel Cooper.[1] She was the third child, following a brother Frederick Allen Cooper (1852-1856), who died young, and a sister, Harriet Isabella Cooper (1854-1914), who was known as Isabel.

In 1899, at the age of 44, she married scholar George Robert Stow Mead (1863-1933), with whom she had worked in the households of Helena Petrovna Blavatsky and Annie Besant for many years. They lived at 16 Selwood Place, South Kensington, London.

She died on October 4, 1924 in Middlesex, England.

Laura Cooper in first row, second from left

Theosophical Society involvement

Miss Cooper joined the Theosophical Society on November 6, 1884 as a member of the London Lodge.[2] In August 1890, she became a member of H. P. Blavatsky's Inner Group.

That same year, she was placed in charge of The Working Women's Club, also called the "Bow Club," along with Annie Besant, Emily Kislingbury, and others.

Laura Cooper wrote an account of H. P. Blavatsky's death entitled "How She Left Us", which was the first article in the book "In Memory of H. P. Blavatsky" written as a tribute by some of Madame Blavatsky's pupils in 1891. Laura gave a detailed account of the last days and hours of Madame Blavatsky as she succumbed to influenza:

When all hope was over the nurse left the room, leaving C. F. Wright, W. R. Old and myself with our beloved H.P.B.; the two former knelt in front, each holding one of her hands, and I at her side with one arm round her supported her head; thus we remained motionless for many minutes, and so quietly did H.P.B. pass away that we hardly knew the second she ceased to breathe; a great sense of peace filled the room, and we knelt quietly there until, first my sister, then the Countess arrived.[3]

In 1893, Miss Cooper became corresponding secretary of the Bradford Lodge, and she also acted as honorary secretary for the Blavatsky Lodge.[4]


  1. India, Select Births and Baptisms, 1786-1947. Reference ID volume 89 page 352.
  2. Theosophical Society General Membership Register, 1875-1942 at See book 1, entry 3069 (website file: 1B/6).
  3. Laura M. Cooper, "How She Left Us" In Memory of H. P. Blavatsky (London: Theosophical Publishing Company, 1891), 6-7.
  4. Laura M. Cooper, "Blavatsky Lodge" Lucifer 13 no.73 (September, 1893): 71.