The Working Women's Club

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The Working Women's Club was a Home for working women at the East End of London, established by H. P. Blavatsky and others.

The Club, which worked as a refuge for homeless factory girls, was started with a donation of one thousand pounds given by a wealthy Theosophist who wished to conceal his identity. It was opened on August 16, 1890, in the presence of Mme. Blavatsky. She wrote:

Still in London, in the very centre of the most luxurious materialism, we have founded in the East End the first Working-Women’s Club, wholly free from theological creeds and conditions. Hitherto all such efforts have been sectarian, and have imposed special religious beliefs; ours is based on brotherhood alone, and recognizes no difference in creed as a barrier. When the club opens, a few weeks hence, the members will find themselves in a bright and pleasant home, with books, papers and music at hand, and a band of their better-educated sisters will take in rotation, night after night, the duty of helping and guiding—not controlling—the evening recreation. Only those who know the dreary lives of our poor East-End girls, with temptation lurking in every form of amusement within their reach, will understand the brotherly nature of the service thus rendered to them. We (the cultured classes) make outcasts of these less fortunate members of our family, set them in a special part of the town, amid squalid surroundings and coarsening influences; and we then complain that their roughness shocks our refinement, their brutality jars on our delicacy! Here, then, against class division, as in India against caste division, the Theosophical Society proclaims the Brotherhood of Man.[1]

Laura M. Cooper and Annie Besant were placed in charge.

The Club was eventually closed in 1894, as costs became too heavy.


  1. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, Collected Writings vol. XII (Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1980), 306.