Judge, William Q(uan) (1851–1896)
Prominent American Theosophist and one of the founders
of the Theosophical Society along with Helena Petrovna Blavatsky
and Henry Steel Olcott. Born April 13, 1851, in Ireland,
Judge studied occult literature and immigrated to the
United States, where he became a lawyer. After Blavatsky and
Olcott moved to India, Judge became the leader of the American
branch of the society. Following the death of Blavatsky, he
was involved in the case of the Mahatma letters, in which communications
allegedly from the Koot Hoomi, a mysterious
adept, appeared to favor Judge’s taking charge of the esoteric
section of the society, as opposed to Blavatsky’s choice to succeed
her, Annie Besant.
At the 1895 convention of the American section of the Theosophical
Society, members decided to secede from the parent
society. Judge was elected president for life of the Theosophical
Society in America. He died March 21, 1896, and passed leadership
to Katherine Tingley.
Among his various writings Judge produced his own edition
of the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, study notes on the Bhagavad
Gita, and a book, The Ocean of Theosophy (1893).
Sources
Eek, Sven, and Boris de Zirkoff. William Quan Judge Theosophical
Pioneer. Wheaton, Ill. Theosophical Publishing House,
1969.
Judge, William Q. Echoes of the Orient. 2 vols. San Diego,
Calif. Point Loma Publications, 1975, 1980.
———. The Ocean of Theosophy. Reprint, Point Loma, Calif.
Theosophical University Press, 1974.