Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia
The Rosicrucian Society of England, organized in 1865 by
Robert Wentworth Little (who claimed to have found some old
Freemasonry rituals) and Kenneth R. H. Mackenzie (who
claimed to have received Rosicrucian initiation in Austria). The
Metropolitan College was founded in London in 1865 with Little
as supreme magus, and a Societas Rosicruciana in Scotia was
started soon afterward, followed by provincial lodges.
Some famous names associated with the Societas Rosicruciana
in Anglia include Sir Francis Burdett (vice president) and
author-occultist-politician Lord Edward Bulwer Lytton (grand
patron 1871–73). Kenneth Mackenzie became an honorary
magus. William Wynn Westcott was supreme magus in 1916.
The aims of the society were
‘‘. . . to afford mutual aid and encouragement in working out
the great problems of Life, and in discovering the Secrets of
Nature; to facilitate the study of the system of Philosophy
founded upon the Kabala and the doctrines of Hermes
Trismegistus, which was inculcated by the original Fratres
Rosae Crucis, of Germany; and to investigate the meaning and
symbolism of all that now remains of the wisdom, art and literature
of the ancient world.’’
In spite of these resounding aims, the society confined itself
mainly to lectures and Freemasonry rituals.
In 1887, Westcott, Mackenzie, and W. R. Woodman were
concerned in the formation of the Isis-Urania Temple of the
Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, in which the esoteric
Freemasonry of the Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia was expanded
into a more complex occult system. The Societas Rosicruciana
in America was modeled on the Societas Rosicruciana
in Anglia.
Sources
King, Francia. The Rites of Modern Occult Magic. New York
Macmillan, 1970.