William Alexander Ayton 1816 – 1909

William Alexander Ayton 1816 – 1909 was a British Anglican clergyman, with an interest in alchemy and  homeopathy.

Ayton was a friend of William Butler Yeats.

William Ayton BA Cambridge 1841 the son of William Capon Ayton was the Vicar of Chacombe in Oxfordshire. He joined the Golden Dawn as an old man of 73 with this wife in 1888.

Ayton had been fascinated by alchemy and the Occult most of his life, able to read original texts in Latin, he became a Freemason in 1866, and Master of the Cherwell Lodge no. 599 in 1878 and he also attended other Lodges in the area.

Ayton was a follower of Madame Blavatsky, and he may have met Eliphas Levi in the 1860s. Ayton was obsessed with the idea that the Black Brethren were abroad, with nefarious plans to damage England. Ayton was a fount of alchemical knowledge for the Golden Dawn, and his advice was regularly sought by the members.

Ayton translated from Latin the life of John Dee. He is generally thought to have been a member of the shadowy Society of Eight, the precursor of the Golden Dawn, founded in 1883.

Ayton became a member of the successor Order of the Golden Dawn. He was a supporter of the reforms of Arthur Edward Waite, which split the Order as the Holy Order of the Golden Dawn and the Stella Matutina.

Of interest:

Secret Society of Eight Boarding Schools in America.

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