Alfred Ridley Bax 1844 – 1918

Alfred Ridley Bax 1844 – 1918 FSA, was a barrister of the Middle Temple, Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, Member of the Surrey Archaeological Society and the Sussex Archaeological Society (Honorary Local Secretary for Streatham), Member of the Ex Libris Society,

Alfred Ridley Bax was a keen advocate and sponsor of homeopathy,

Alfred Ridley Bax lived at The Ivy Bank Estate, Haverstock Hill between 1897 and 1911,

Alfred Ridley Bax was the son of Daniel Bax and he had a brother Ernest. Alfred Ridley Bax was a well educated, serious and reserved man, a ‘dreamer’ who did not practice at law, being far more interested in archaeology and historical research.

In 1882, he married Charlotte Ellen Lea, and they had four children, composer Arnold Edward Trevor Bax, Aubrey (-1895), writer Clifford Bax, and Evelyn.

Alfred Ridley Bax wrote extensively about local history and archaeology, and also on legal matters,

Alfred Ridley Bax was a barrister of the Middle Temple who devoted most of his leisure time to historical research. He transcribed an immense amount of material from original documents, parish and non-conformist registers and monumental inscriptions, mainly in Surrey and Sussex.

His family had been landowners in Surrey during the sixteenth to eighteenth centuries and had been early followers of William Penn. Bax was particularly interested in the history of nonconformists in the area, including his own family, and was himself a Calvinist.

He was a member of the Sussex Archaeological Society from 1891 until his death in 1918.

He bequeathed the bulk of his papers to the Surrey Archaeological Society, but this library has a considerable collection of his manuscript volumes and notebooks. His lists of monumental inscriptions in various parishes appeared from time to time in the Sussex Archaeological Collections between 1886 and 1906.

In our library most of Bax’s notebooks were formerly included with those of E H W Dunkin, his contemporary, whose main collection of literary works was presented to our Society. When the Dunkin Collection was reorganised in 1984 Bax’s material was extracted, and his notebooks are at present housed in three boxes bearing his name.

Of interest:

Arnold Edward Trevor Bax and Clifford Bax were part of the intellectual circle which met at the house of the poet, painter and mystic George William Russell,

Arnold Edward Trevor Bax 1883 – 1953 was the lover of pianist Harriet Cohen, and they were close friends of Arnold Bennett, Edward William Elgar, James Ramsay MacDonald, Eleanor Roosvelt, George Bernard Shaw, Herbert George Wells,

Clifford Bax 1886 – 1962 was the Editor of Orpheus, a theosophical magazine, and The Golden Hind with Austin Osman Spare, and he was involved in the Phoenix Society (1919-1926),

Clifford Bax was a close friend of John Symonds, who was Aleister Crowley‘s literary executor and the author (with Kenneth Grant) of Aleister Crowley‘s autobiography, The Great Beast, (1952), The Magic of Aleister Crowley (1958), The King of the Shadow Realm (1989) and The Beast 666 (1997).

Winifred Ada Bax was a close friend of Kitty Tudor Pole (sister of Wellesley Tudor Pole – who was a life long pursuer of religious and mystical questions and visions), who ‘discovered‘ the Glastonbury Cup, with Christine Allen and Janet Allen,

Kenneth Grant (born 1924) is a British occultist and head of the magical order previously known as the Typhonian Ordo Templi Orientis but which is now referred to as the Typhonian Order. He met and began personal tutelage in magick under Aleister Crowley in 1944, at the age of twenty. Aleister Crowley was sixty-nine.

George William Russell 1867 – 1935 who wrote under the pseudonym Æ (sometimes written AE or A.E.), was an Irish nationalist, writer, editor, critic, poet, and painter. He was also a mystical writer, and a Theosophist, and the centre of a group of followers of theosophy in Dublin, for many years.

George William Russell was a friend of James Joyce, William Butler Yeats,

Austin Osman Spare 1886 – 1956 was an English artist, who was also interested in Magick, and whose work was instrumental in the magical movement loosely referred to as Chaos magic,


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