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Leadbeater and the Census

Sep 08, 2004 00:40 AM
by gregory

In further response to Daniel's questions:

1. From a research point of view, do you know when the 1847 birthdate 
first surfaced?

I now do know roughly when the change occurred. 

I have before me a copy of the results of the Census Return submitted by 
Leadbeater in 1881.
He stated that he was the Head of the household of Hertford Cottage, 
Headley Road, in the census place of Bramshott, Hampshire in England. He 
gave his marital status as unmarried; his age as 27 (i.e. born in 1854), 
his place of birth as Stockport, Cheshire, and his occupation as Curate 
of Bramshott. We know that he was Curate of Bramshott and living in 
Hertford Cottage at this time from his own writings.
Living with him was his mother: Emma Leadbeater, widow, aged 59, born in 
Liverpool, Lancashire, and Ellen Wigg, unmarried "general servant", aged 
It is worth noting that information provided during a census is declared 
by the provider to be accurate, on penalty of prosecution.

I also have before me a copy of the results of the Census Return 
submitted by A.P.Sinnett in 1891. He stated that he was the Head of the 
household of 27 Ladbrook Gardens, Paddington (? the handwriting is 
indistinct - other sources give 7 Ladbrook Gardens, Notting Hill, 
London). The household included Alfred A. Sinnett, "living on own means", 
his wife, Patience, and his son, Dennis (? the handwriting is indistinct 
- but the son was known in TS writings as "Denny"), aged 13 and described 
as "scholar". Also Charles W. Leadbeater, whose age is given as 44 (i.e. 
born in 1847) and birthplace as Stockport, Cheshire;, relationship to the 
family described as "Tutor", with "Profession" given (very curiously!) as 
"Clerk in Holy Orders." Also "Jinarajadasa", described as "visitor", aged 
15, and "living on own means."
Presumably Leadbeater provided his age to Sinnett who therefore provided 
false information to the census collector.
It should be noted that Leadbeater first met Mrs Besant at a meeting of 
the London Lodge of the TS at the Sinnett's house in 1890.

Presumably, the 1854 to 1847 date change occurred after the meeting with 
Mrs Besant.

2. Did Mr. Leadbeater ever specifically state in writing when he was born?

It can now been said definitely that Leadbeater stated that his birth 
date was 1854 in his census return (as "Head of Household") in 1881.

I suppose it could be argued that the Charles Leadbeater who submitted 
the census return in 1881 was a different Charles Leadbeater who gave 
information to Sinnett for the 1891 census!

Dr Gregory Tillett

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