Yarker, John (1833–1913)
British Freemason and occultist, active in Manchester, England.
He was initiated as a Mason at the age of 21 in the Lodge
of Integrity, Manchester, October 25, 1854, becoming master
of this lodge in 1857. He became the first worshipful master of
the Fidelity Lodge of Mark Masters. At the age of 23, he was
installed a Knight Templar in the Jerusalem Conclave on July
11, 1856. There followed various Masonic honors, and in 1864
he was appointed Masonic Grand Constable of England. He
also traveled extensively, visiting the United States, the West
Indies, and Cuba. At a time of Masonic renaissance, he revived
many rites and promoted a number of rites on his own, probably
more for vanity than profit. These included the Rites of Sat
B’Hai, Swedenborg, Mizraim, and the Ancient and Primitive
Rite. The latter was later associated with magicians Theodor
Reuss and Aleister Crowley.
Yarker was thus associated with the fringe Masonic secret orders
that preceded the establishment of the OTO and the Hermetic
Order of the Golden Dawn. The OTO originated in a
charter from Yarker to the German occultists Joshua Klein,
Franz Hartmann, and Theodore Reuss, licensing them to set
up in Berlin a Grand Lodge of the Masonic rite of Mizraim and
Memphis. By 1904, occultist Karl Kellner was also involved.
The August Order of Light, developed by Maurice Portman,
was passed to Yarker circa 1890, who amalgamated it with rituals
from his Sat B’Hai Rite.
Yarker published a number of Masonic works and also an
abridged translation of Louis-Alphonse Cahagnet’s Magie
Magnétique under the title Magnetic Magic (1898). His most wellknown
work is The Arcane Schools; A Review of Their Origin and
Antiquity; with a General History of Freemasonry (1909). He also
edited a periodical, The Kneph (1881–95), concerned with Masonic
matters. He died on March 30, 1913.