Maria Jane Burnley Hume

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Maria Jane Burnley Hume, also known as "Minnie Hume", was the only daughter Allan Octavian Hume. She married Ross Scott, an associate of Helena Petrovna Blavatsky and Henry Steel Olcott, the Founders of the Theosophical Society, during their early days in India.

Personal life

Maria Jane Burnley Hume was born on January 3, 1854 in Umballa, Bengal, India to Allan Octavian Hume and his wife Mary Anne.[1] She was known to her family as "Minnie." Not much is known of their family life, but the 1861 census shows Mary Anne and her daughter living in the St. Sidwell parish of Exeter in Devon, England.[2] They had possibly taken refuge there from the rebellions taking place in northern India at that time. The mother, Mary Anne Hume, died on March 30, 1890.[3]

Minnie does not seem to have been a member of the Theosophical Society, but after moving to England she became a member of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn.[4] In her later years, Minnie lived with her widowed father in England.[5] She died in 1927.

Marriage to Ross Scott

On December 28, 1881, she married Ross Scott. This marriage seems to have been a request from the Masters. The Readers Guide to The Mahatma Letters to A. P. Sinnett states:

HPB was told by the Mahatmas to try to find a suitable wife for him — certainly one of the strangest things in the Letters.[6]

This is confirmed in a letter from Mme. Blavatsky to A. P. Sinnett. She asked the Masters to help Mr. Scott and "... was told to provide him with a wife — 'Miss Hume would do first rate for him.'"[7]

They had a son, Montague Allan Hume Ross Scott, who served with the Royal Engineers in India. Ross Scott died in 1908.

Encounter with Mahatma

One day Mrs. Scott was at the headquarters of the Theosophical Society, in Bombay, along with her husband, [[, Madame Blavatsky, Colonel Olcott, Damodar K. Mavalankar, M. Murad Ali Beg, and Bhavani Shankar. They all saw Master M. appearing into the room next to the one they were occupying and leaving a letter, before disappearing again.[8]


  1. India, Select Births and Baptisms, 1786-1947.
  2. 1861 England Census.
  3. Pall Mall Gazette (April 1, 1890), 6. See British Newspaper Archive.
  4. Ellic Howe, Fringe Masonry in England, 1870-1885 Holmes Publishing Group, 1996.
  5. 1901 England Census.
  6. George E. Linton and Virginia Hanson, eds., Readers Guide to The Mahatma Letters to A. P. Sinnett (Adyar, Chennai, India: Theosophical Publishing House, 1972), 244.
  7. A. Trevor Barker, The Letters of H. P. Blavatsky to A. P. Sinnett Letter No. 10c (Pasadena, CA: Theosophical University Press, 1973), 15.
  8. First Report of the Committee of the Society for Psychical Research, Appendix XIV at Published by The Blavatsky Archives Online