Sue Young Histories

Thomas Henry Burgoyne 1855 - 1894

June 13, 2009

Thomas Henry Burgoyne (born Thomas Dalton) 1855 - 1894 was a Scottish occultist, who founded the Hermetic Brotherhood of Luxor in Britain and was an editor of the The Occult Magazine. Burgoyne moved to America, wrote The Light of Egypt, and founded the Hermetic Brotherhood of Light in America.

Burgoyne was a staunch advocate of homeopathy, and he was a colleague of William Alexander Ayton, Emma Hardinge Britten, Peter Davidson, Gerard Anaclet Vincent Encausse, Hargrave Jennings, Kenneth Robert Henderson MacKenzie, Paulos Metamon, Paschal Beverly Randolph, Max Theon, John Yarker and many others.

In the nineteenth century, one Max Theon was the head of the Hermetic Brotherhood of Luxor in Europe. He was contacted by T H Burgoyne (1855-1894), a Scot, who originally contacted the brotherhood on the inner plane.

He came to America in the 1880s. Joining him was Captain Norman Astley, a retired British army officer who married Genevieve Stebbins, a member of the Hermetic Brotherhood of Light in New York. Burgoyne, while living with the Astleys in Carmel, California, wrote an original series of lessons, The Light of Egypt, Vol.I.

With the help of Dr. Henry Wagner and Mrs. Belle M Wagner, a branch of the Hermetic Brotherhood of Light, the Hermetic Brotherhood of Light was formed. The Hermetic Brotherhood of Light was always governed by a scribe, an astrologer and a seer. Burgoyne was the original scribe.

From The Hermetic Brotherhood of Luxor, a British occult society, was founded in 1884 by Thomas H Burgoyne (1855-1894) and Peter Davidson.

Burgoyne, born Thomas Dalton, was a grocer in Leeds who as a student of the occult came into contact with Max Theon, a Polish immigrant working in London as a psychic healer. Max Theon was also an occult teacher specializing in teaching his students the means of contacting various preternatural beings, higher adepts similar to the theosophical mahatmas.

Burgoyne began to channel material from these beings, known as the Interior Circle… At some point Peter Davidson and Burgoyne met and with Max Theon and decided to found the Hermetic Brotherhood of Luxor, the first announcement of which appeared in 1884. The following year they began to issue _The Occult Magazine_, through which the Hermetic Brotherhood of Luxor began to grow, both in Britain and France.

The Rev. William Alexander Ayton provided additional leadership in England, and the head of the work in Paris was Albert Farcheux (better known by his pen name F Charles Barlet). Offering itself as a school of Practical Occultism best suited to Westerners, it contrasted itself to the Eastern perspective of the Theosophical Society which by then had moved its headquarters to India.

Much of its teaching came from the clairvoyant contacts Burgoyne had with the Interior Circle, and aimed at placing members in direct contact with the same… The Hermetic Brotherhood of Luxor also quickly grew into the chief rival of the Theosophical Society.

Thus it was that in the spring of 1886, when the Theosophical Society leaders discovered that Burgoyne was the same Thomas Dalton who had been convicted of mail fraud in 1883, they freely circulated the information…

Burgoyne also moved to the United States, but he soon separated from Peter Davidson and moved to the West Coast. There, he operated what amounted to a distinct Hermetic Brotherhood of Luxor.

In 1889, he published a summary of the Hermetic Brotherhood of Luxor teachings in a book, The Light of Egypt, issued under his pen name, Zanoni. A short time later, Dr. Henry Wagner and his wife Belle Wagner put up $100,000, a truly massive sum at the time, to create an organization to perpetuate the teachings of The Light of Egypt. The money led to the founding of two organizations, the Astro Philosophical Publishing Company (which would publish Burgoyne’s subsequent title, The Language of the Stars and Celestial Dynamics) and the Church of Light.

Building on Burgoyne’s base, the Church of Light would become a major occult teaching center and a pioneer structure in the revival of astrology.

In 1900, some years after Burgoyne’s death, the Astro Philosophical Publishing Company issued a second volume of The Light of Egypt, reputedly channeled from Burgoyne through Belle Wagner.

Thomas H Burgoyne, an astrologer and founder of the Hermetic Brotherhood of Luxor, was born April 14, 1855, and grew up in his native Scotland. Spontaneously psychic, he claimed that as a child he came into contact with the Hermetic Brotherhood of Light, a group of discarnate, advanced beings who attempt to guide the destiny of humankind. Today that group continues as the Church of Light.

At a later date he met a Max Theon, purported to be an earthly representative of the Hermetic Brotherhood of Light who taught Burgoyne about the Hermetic Brotherhood of Light.

Burgoyne moved to the United States around 1880 and soon afterward his writings began to appear in various periodicals. He was brought into contact with Norman Astley of Carmel, California, who also claimed to be in contact with the Hermetic Brotherhood of Light.

Astley suggested that Burgoyne write a set of lessons to introduce the Hermetic Brotherhood of Light’s teachings to the public, and Burgoyne accepted Astley’s hospitality at Carmel while he worked on the lessons. They were published in 1889 as The Light of Egypt. The writing of the lessons occasioned the establishment of the Hermetic Brotherhood of Light as an esoteric occult order and outer expression of the Hermetic Brotherhood of Light. The Hermetic Brotherhood of Light was structured with three leaders, a seer, a scribe/secretary, and an astrologer. Burgoyne became the scribe.

As Burgoyne understood it, the Hermetic Brotherhood of Light was an occult order formed to oppose the dominant religious powers of the day in ancient Egypt. As the members died, they continued the Hermetic Brotherhood of Light from their new plane of being.

Burgoyne wrote several more books, including The Language of the Stars (1892), Celestial Dynamics (1896), and a second volume of The Light of Egypt (1900).

He died in March 1894, in Humboldt County, California, still a relatively young man, before the last two were published. Henry and Belle Wagner continued his work. Henry Wagner owned the Astro Philosophical Publishing House in Denver, Colorado, which published Burgoyne’s books. Belle M Wagner succeeded Burgoyne as scribe of the Hermetic Brotherhood of Light.


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