William H. Terry

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William H. Terry

William Henry Terry (1836–1913) was an Australian shopkeeper and Spiritualist. He was the founder and editor of the Spiritualist magazine The Harbinger of Light, published in Melbourne. He was a member and Councillor of the Theosophical Society in Australia, and received a note from Master Morya.

Early years

William H. Terry was born at Islington, London in 1836. He went to Melbourne in 1853 with his father, a brother and a sister.



Theosophical involvement

William H. Terry

In March 1880, Mr. Terry became an inaugural member and Councillor of the Theosophical Society in Australia and showed great interest in The Theosophist. He sent three letters to the Editor of the latter with inquiries concerning theosophical ideas. These were considered important and A. O. Hume was persuaded to answer them at length in the series of articles entitled "Fragments of Occult Truth".[1][2]

Mary K. Neff wrote of how Terry corresponded with Madame Blavatsky, and how "he made his magazine the mouthpiece of Theosophy in Australia, by publishing the 1880 Rules of the Society, advertising The Theosophist in his Harbinger, quoting articles from it, encouraging discussions in his columns on the relative merits of Spiritualism and the new movement, Theosophy, on Reincarnation, etc.[3]

On December 12, 1881, he received a note from Mahatma Morya precipitated on a letter that Mme. Blavatsky had sent him, asking for his address.[4] It was published as Letter 80 in Letters from the Masters of the Wisdom Second Series.

Final years

Mr Terry died on October 27, 1913, at Malvern, Victoria, aged 77. He was buried in Melbourne cemetery.

Online Resources



  1. 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.
  2. Sven Eek, Damodar and the Pioneers of the Theosophical Movement (Adyar, Madras: The Theosophical Publishing House, 1965), 164.
  3. "Mary K. Neff, "Letter from Miss Neff," The American Theosophist 31.2 (February, 1943), 40.
  4. Curuppumullage Jinarājadāsa, Letters from the Masters of the Wisdom Second Series No. 80 (Adyar, Madras: The Theosophical Publishing House, 1977), 152-153.