REDISCOVERING WILLIAM "HURRICANE" GILBERT:
A LOST VOICE OF REVOLUTION AND MADNESS IN THE WORLDS OF
BLAKE AND THE ROMANTICS
Paper presented at BARS Conference on "Romantic Revelations,"
(c) Marsha Keith Schuchard 2005, all rights reserved
1 In spring l796, while living in
Near where with Tropic heats bright CANCER glows,
And Sun-beams glitter with perennial force;
Girt by the azure wave an Island lies,
Called by Spaniards, ANTIENT.
The balmy East here holds perpetual sway,
And blows salubrious to the toil-worn Slave.
The Eastern Shore receives the welcome Gale,
And leads to Caverns, or the brow of rocks;
To gravel banks with glitt'ring Shell-fish strew'd,
To deep-green Mangrove, or the shadowing branch
Of lofty Cedar, dropping blossoms white,
That tremble as they fall, and meet the wave
Progressive to their root. Here, oft at Eve,
When length'ning shadows to the calmy wave
Shot dubious twilight and alluring gloom,
I've sat contemplative--and viewed the breeze
Checquer the water, with far-streaming light
That glistened as with gems: I've sat and thought
That all the hopes attending various man,
Were robbers of his rest; I've thought that Love
Was all the sum indulgent Heaven e'er meant
To form our Bliss. I thought so and was blest.
Despite the serene eloquence of the passage, Coleridge was troubled by the combination of genius and madness in his friend Gilbert. On 17 December l796, he sent the recently published Hurricane to John Thelwall, with this comment:
--A strange Poem written by an Astrologer here, who was a man of fine Genius, which, at intervals, he still discovers.--But, ah me! Madness smote with her hand, and stamped with her feet and swore that he should be her's--& her's he is.--He is a man of fluent Eloquence & general knowledge, gentle in his manners, warm in his affections; but unfortunately he has received a few rays of supernatural Light thro' a crack in his upper story. I express myself unfeelingly; but indeed my heart always aches when I think of him.
2 As we shall see, Southey, Wordsworth, and Keats also admired
Gilbert's poetic gifts, but they were curiously reticent about Gilbert's life
in London, where he lived between his two residencies in Bristol. It is
possible that they were genuinely ignorant about Gilbert's career as a radical
astrologer and Freemason in London (l788-l795), or they were sufficiently
alarmed by his revolutionary activities to suppress their knowledge of his
other life. However, as the editor of The Hurricane facsimile observes,
"The crack in the poet's `upper story', like that in Blake's more
distinguished cranium, receives its `supernatural light' as a refraction of
In order to rediscover William Gilbert, it will be necessary to dig into the
occultist underworld of Blake's Swedenborgian milieu in Lambeth and
3 Born in Antigua in the
4 In the July l793 issue of Conjuror's Magazine, Gilbert
revealed that he entered the royal navy in February l779 and served nearly
three years, during which he visited
In the year l787, a want of self-control having become painfully evident, he was placed by his friends in the Asylum of Mr. Richard Henderson, at Hanham, near Bristol, when I first knew him. He occasionally accompanied John Henderson into Bristol, on one of which occasions, he introduced him to my brother and myself, as the "Young Counsellor!"... Many and great talkers have I known, but William Gilbert, at this time, exceeded them all. His brain seemed to be in a state of boiling, effervescence, and his tongue, with inconceivable rapidity, passed from subject to subject, but with an incoherence that was to me, at least, marvellous...
He continued in the Asylum about a year, when his mind being partially restored, his friends removed him, and he wholly absented himself from Bristol, till the year l796, when he re-appeared in that city.
5 Cottle's account gives a clue to where Gilbert went in l788, for
John Henderson (who died in November that year) was an ardent student of
Swedenborg and other mystics.
The eulogist at
6 In July l791 various newspapers reported that Ebenezer Sibly had defeated the government's effort to suppress his astrological and occult publications. On 4 July, The Gloucester Journal expressed its pleasure that the second edition of Sibly's New and Complete Illustration of the Occult Sciences would now be printed in sixty weekly numbers:
...the cabal, formed on purpose to cry down this interesting
book, hath been defeated, and driven from every argument set
up against it.--The Act of Parliament, by which the work was
at first suppressed, has since been repealed.
The Journal subsequently explained that "the work was at first suppressed, under an idea that it discovered secrets dangerous to be known." Sibly's book was dedicated to the Grand Master of the Freemasons and it revealed his friendship with John Henderson, the abolitionist Methodists (including James Gilbert), and the Swedenborgians. It was his radical interpretations of the astrological charts of George Washington and the American and French revolutionaries that alarmed Pitt's government.
7 Sibly's success in defeating the attempted suppression inspired his occultist friends to launch the Conjuror's Magazine in August l791. Published by Henry Lemoine, a French Huguenot and self-educated hack writer, the magazine catered to the growing demand for anti-government, astrological, magical, and millenarial literature. Lemoine persuaded (or was persuaded by) Henry Fuseli to reprint Lavater's Essays on Physiognomy in a cheap, serialized edition. Fuseli's motives are obscure, but it seems likely that he hoped to sabotage Thomas Holcroft's rival edition. Blake had worked closely with Fuseli on his translation of Lavater's Aphorisms on Man (1788), and he engraved a plate for the Fuseli-supervised edition of Hunter's translation of the Essays on Physiognomy (1788). Thus, Blake must have been aware of and sympathetic to Fuseli's "public-spirited" gesture of making Lavater available to a popular audience. However, in order to save money, Fuseli's designs of Lavater's physiognomic heads were engraved by Barlow, the most mediocre of the artists who worked on the deluxe editions. Among contributors to the magazine were Lemoine's friend Richard Cosway ("R.C."); the Swedenborgian Masons Ebenezer Sibly, his brother Manoah Sibly, and George Adams; the Masonic magician Katterfelto; the Rosicrucian Francis Barrett ("F.B."); and--most importantly--William Gilbert ("B.").
8 In the September issue, the frontispiece was Fuseli's "Head of Satan," while Gilbert announced his forthcoming "Essay on Magic." In October, Fuseli contributed a "Head of St. John," while Gilbert presented Agrippa's chart of Hebrew names (from which Blake had earlier taken the names Tiriel, Zazel, and Bne Seraphim). As a preface to the chart, Gilbert expounded learnedly on the theory and practice of magic--in a discourse that sheds light on Blake's own "illuminated" theories. Because the Conjuror's Magazine has become a rare work, it will be useful to give a lengthy extract of Gilbert's theosophy:
...The macrocosm, or great
world, corresponds, nerve to nerve, and joint to joint, with the microcosm or
little world... This is answer enough for all the impudent trash and lies of
the Hemi-encyclopedias on the present subject [magic and magnetism], for this
wise century past. "Seeking to be wise, they
...No divination is perfect without astrology...But astrology has of late been considered merely as giving an intimation of future events; so, that her grand office of gate-keeper or usher to magic, (viz. the action of the mind, as walking, speaking or embracing, is the action of the body) has been forgotten.
...Now, there arises another distinction, spiritual magic and natural magic...no part of a man, internal or external, can exist without its own proper spirit. ................................................
...It must be remembered that as man is three-fold, so are his members; that is, there is a spiritual, innermost, or remotest, a natural or external, and a medium between these two extents, viz. an internal... Mr. Swedenborg, before me, has very elaborately explained this in his "Treatise of the Holy Scripture."
...The ancients felt the seat of their strength to be in mind; they invigorated as they spiritualised; they expressed their idea of strength by the seat of the most subtle spirits, the nerves; they enlarged, they grew firm as they approach divinity...
The class I am now with, Magicians, do not in religion as chymists in spirituals, speculatively deny its possibility or sneer at its principles...As a parallel to these, are those mystics, nay even receivers of Swedenborg, whose practice has been hugging the ground like a worm, while their intellect has been basking in some of the brightest beams of divine splendours.
The putting of the mind of man into motion by the deepest or most efficacious or most mental means, which the person can devise, is spiritual Magic Practical; the devising or knowledge of these means is spiritual Magic Speculative or Scientific.
As man embraces in his form (that of God)
the forms, and consequently the principles or spirits of all creation, it follows
that, when these springs are touched in him, they are touched in all creation.
Hence at his fall, at the moment that his mind ceased to be the
9 In the same issue, Gilbert contributed a politically daring account of "the singular life and fate of Count Cagliostro," who was currently suffering in an Inquisition prison in Italy. I argue elsewhere that Blake admired Cagliostro, who was currently the subject of vicious attacks from the conservative press. Under the title "Rosycrucian Philosophy," Gilbert asserted that "it is well known" that Caglistro was the friend of a German Count who was a Rosicrucian (evidently the Comte de St. Germain, a crypto-Jewish alchemist), and that the fraternity is also called the Illuminati. (p. 85). Since Edmund Burke (whom Gilbert later scorns), had warned about Illuminatist infiltration of English Freemasonry, this identification was risky for an avowedly Rosicrucian magazine. Even worse for the conservative faction of Swedenborgians, Gilbert claimed that "the society forming this branch of the sect is now held at Avignon." This revelation of links between the Swedenborg society in London and the lodge of Illuminés at Avignon would provoke government suspicion about the loyalist group at Eastcheap as well as the more radical Swedenborgian Masons. In November, the magazine featured a biography of "the Celebrated Mystic, Emanuel Swedenborg" (CM,130).
10 However, by January l792, Gilbert was skirting close to the limits of seditious publication, when he wrote "Cagliostro to Triumph as a Freemason." After painting a sympathetic portrait of the Cabalistic magician who was charged with fomenting the French Revolution, Gilbert concluded:
The Freemasons are the only
Corporation, whether under the name of a church, a nation, or a society, who
have melted the knowledge of God the Creator possessed by the
Ancients into the same fire with the knowledge of a Redeemer given to Christians.
May they shine with invigorated glories! They shall! And shall give
Gilbert defended Cagliostro's system of Egyptian theosophy and brandished the capitalized slogan, "LIBERTY IS SOLIDITY." That this issue featured Fuseli's design of "The Magician Balaam," which was "purposely engraved for this work," suggests Fuseli's continuing interest in Cagliostro, whose occultist collaboration with Lavater had received wide publicity.
11 Becoming increasingly reckless, Gilbert predicted in February the coming downfall of European kings, and he pointed especially to Gustav III of Sweden, who planned to lead the counter-revolutionary armies against France: "The Head of Sweden [will be] drowned cruelly"(CM,144). After Gustav was assassinated in March, it was widely speculated that the Swedenborgian Masons--including the Swedes who were then resident in London--had collaborated in the plot. In fact, the inside knowledge revealed by an April article on the Swedish assassination, coupled with Gilbert's description of the damned Gustav in Hell, suggests his contact with those Swedish Illuminés accused of conspiracy (CM,382,396-97). Gilbert also mocked Pitt, the Duke of Richmond (later Blake's great enemy), Sir George Yonge, and "any tottering German despot" who opposed the French--thus risking prosecution for insulting King George III.
12 During this month of radical pronouncements, Gilbert moved from Blake's neighborhood in Lambeth to #11, Devonshire Street, Queen-Square. He apparently sought a more convenient address to accommodate his plan to establish a secret occult society, which he announced in February l792:
I have for a considerable time, had it in contemplation to establish a Weekly Lecture or Conversationi for the occult sciences and true philosophy; but the want of a proper basis in the public mind has delayed it.
I would indeed establish two societies--one more open, the other more consolidated: the last should be of renovated, purified, and invigorated Free Masonry, from which I will not exclude women... Mr. Locke will keep a book for subscribers (CM,220).
Unfortunately, Locke's register has not been located, but it is certainly possible that Blake was associated with Gilbert's secret society. By this time, Conjuror's Magazine had developed an enormous circulation, which meant that it fell under the same kind of scrutiny given to Paine's Rights Of Man and other "seditious" publications aimed at a popular audience.
13 In March l792, while the editor boasted of his collaboration with a French occult journal, Gilbert referred to his plans to organize "county societies" (which would sound ominously like corresponding societies to the government). In April he gave a detailed plan for his network of magical societies:
Proposals for instructing Pupils in Spiritual Knowledge, including a Plan for commencing Societies or Colleges for receiving instruction.
Mr. William Gilbert will teach Astrology and Spirit, with the nature and use of Talismans...
As there are many excellent treatises in the Latin tongue on Astrology and Magic, Mr. Gilbert will also instruct any Lady in that language, in order to promote her better knowledge of Spirit and Astrology...
Societies.--To accommodate the lowest class, Mr. Gilbert will instruct any number of persons from three to twelve... (CM,404)
By the word "Spirit," Gilbert probably meant necromancy or evocation of the spirits of the dead--a magical art practised by Blake since the death of his brother in l787.
14 Gilbert's radicalism now caused increasing alarm among the more moderate Swedenborgians who contributed to the magazine. In May the editor announced, "We esteem ourselves highly favored by Mr. Adams; his observations and strictures shall be attended to... proper attention has been paid to his remarks" (CM,400). George Adams, who served as mathematical instrument maker to the Prince of Wales, was a Swedenborgian and student of the occult, but he shared the growing political conservatism of the Eastcheap faction. From this point forward, though the magazine maintained its Whiggish perspective, its astrological predictions would favor George III. In August the editors praised Adams as a "mathematician in Fleet Street, who is a great admirer of the Theosophists" (CM,70). However, by November, even the moderate Adams became an object of government suspicion, for the magazine reported that he was examined, with eighteen others, at Bow Street.
15 Meanwhile, a former neighbor of Gilbert began a friendly rivalry in
astrological interpretations. William
Elder ("W.E.") of "22 Kendall Place, near Lambeth Walk,"
was praised in June as "our worthy friend at Lambeth" (CM,404,432-33).
It is possible that Elder was the "W.E." for whom Blake later colored
a copy of Night Thoughts in l797.
Another neighbor and friend of Blake, John Augustus Tulk (of
16 Though the editors continued to complain about shackles on the press, government placemen and spies, and the folly of going to war against France, Gilbert went beyond their parameters of dissent. In May l793 he claimed that the Duchess of York, daughter of Frederick William II of Prussia and wife of George III's second son, had a passion for chiromancy or divination by hand:
...Her royal father has been celebrated as an illuminé, and there is great affinity between the characters.
The Princess Royal is said to be a deep student in astrology; in which she perseveres, notwithstanding the advice of Mr. Best to the contrary (CM,404).
George Adams and the conservative Swedenborgians had earlier lamented the influence of the radical prophet, Samuel Best ("Poor Help") on the royal family. At a time when the Duke of York was back-pedaling from his earlier radicalism and association with illuminist Freemasonry, the characterization of his wife as an Illuminé and astrologer would have greatly annoyed George III and Prime Minister Pitt.
17 By July l793, Gilbert's revolutionary predictions and political indiscretions went too far--even for the Whig editors. In that month, he lamented the apparent betrayal of his former friend William Elder: "how came W.E. to be my open enemy in this Magazine, both personally and as to France?" (CM,518). As Michael Phillips shows, the inhabitants of Lambeth were now subject to intense pressure to spy on their neighbors and report any radicals to the government. In a defensive move against Elder's criticism, Gilbert revealed biographical details of his earlier service in the royal navy and hinted at his friendship with the Duke of Gloucester, brother of George III and uncle of the Duke of York:
...[Prince William of
18 Though Gilbert's characterization of the Duchess of York as an Illuminé
was certainly reckless, his claim that the Duke of Gloucester currently
maintained his friendly attitude to France was asking for trouble.
19 Gilbert linked his Swedenborgian commentary with a proud assertion that he had earlier sent the editor a prediction that 14 July would mark the end of counter-revolutionary victories. Now, as reports reached London of the assassination of Marat on that day, he was triumphantly proven right. Though Gilbert admired Marat as an enlightened republican, he argued that his former hero had achieved too much power:
His death bears thus; the French have lost their
With a prediction that "the allies will not continue to triumph till September; their neck is broken already," Gilbert sang his swan song in the Conjuror's Magazine. In August l793, the title was changed to The Astrologer's Magazine and the editor Lemoine evidently sold it to another publisher. Though the magazine continued to praise the English reformers--such as Priestley, Walker, Eaton, Muir, and Palmer--it no longer catered to the Swedenborgian Illuminés.
20 Once Gilbert disappeared from the occultist magazine, little is known
of his activities until he appeared in
21 However, it is his continuing praise of Swedenborg and his
utilization of Swedenborg's belief in "illuminated" Africans that
suggests the possibility that Gilbert was in contact with Blake in the lost
years of l793-95. Like Blake, Gilbert was struck by Swedenborg's argument that
there was an interior community of Africans, whose virile potency made them
capable of spiritual influx and angelic communication. Gilbert followed the
efforts of the Swedish abolitionists to found a Swedenborgian colony in Africa,
and he was aware of the timidly compromising changes made by the Sierra Leone
Company to the original illuminist proposals (CM,383). Blake drew on
Swedenborgian themes in "The Little Black Boy" (1789), and he
addressed the slavery issue in Visions of the Daughters of Albion
(1793), as well as in his engravings for John Stedman's narrative of his
experiences with slavery in the
22 In l796, after Coleridge printed fragments of The Hurricane, he persuaded Gilbert to publish the whole. In his Preface, Gilbert explained that the poem "is grounded on, a Theosophical view of the relation between America and Europe; but concatenated, because necessary for illustration, with the two old Quarters of the Globe" (H, iii). He then extended the theosophical principles he had earlier enunciated in his "Essay on Magic" to the spiritual principles that rule different continents. The poem itself retraces his love for a beautiful young woman, who is washed up on shore by a violent hurricane. Like Stedman, he describes an idyllic scene of innocent love and sensuality. The atmosphere of timelessness and retreat from the turbulent world also pre-figures that created by Byron in the Haidee episode in Don Juan. Like the Swedenborgians, Gilbert searched for the proper mental mate with whom he could achieve "conjugial love," as Southey ruefully noted:
Poor Gilbert is
deplorably in love with one of the daughters of
Wainhouse whose poems are to be found in Burnetts Library; he says "she
has a greater compass of mind than any woman he ever conversed with." She
ridicules him I understand. A debating
society meet every Saturday night at the Red Lodge, the members are
respectable, and Gilbert the
23 However, it is the bizarre series of notes to The Hurricane that both enraptured and embarrassed Gilbert's friends. Southey tried to get his review of the poem published in the British Critic:
It is upon a strange poem with still stranger notes, written by a man of brilliant genius and polished manners who is deranged. It is easy to imply this without doing it in terms as would wound his feelings... I know him and pity him.
Coleridge and Southey evidently showed the poem to Wordsworth, who was much impressed by the prose in one of Gilbert's notes. In his own notes to The Excursion, Wordsworth remarked: "The reader, I am sure, will thank me for the following quotation, which, though from a strange book, is one of the finest passages of modern English prose." He then quoted a passage from The Hurricane:
A man is supposed to
improve by going out into the world, by visiting
That Keats found
inspiration in this passage for his brilliant image of "Stout
Cortez...upon a peak in
24 The note that really distressed Gilbert's romantic friends, however,
was his claim that he was related to a tribe of "Gibberti" in Africa,
who acted as merchants and emissaries for the Abyssinians, who in turn
inhabited the original Garden of Eden (H, 73-83). That Gilbert's family
really had intermarried with Africans meant that there was some plausibility in
his belief of kinship--a point never mentioned by Cottle and Southey, who also
never mentioned the Swedenborgian origins of Gilbert's African theosophy.
Cottle later wrote that Gilbert disappeared in l796, but Southey was still in
touch with him in March l798.
According to Southey, after Gilbert published The Hurricane, he
"placarded the walls in
25 Were Gilbert's Bristol friends aware of his activities as a radical,
illuminist Freemason in London? Southey, whose uncle was a prominent Mason in
A little of what
was ascribed to them [the Illuminists] had really occurred, but the whole plot,
colouring, and costuming of the book [Barruel's Memoirs] were
fictitious. It was a work written to
serve the purposes of a party, with the same spirit and same intent as those
which in old times led to such absurd and monstrous calamities against the
Jews; and, had its intent succeeded, there would have been a Saint
Bartholomew's Day in
Southey may have feared being tarred with Barruel's broad brush, if he revealed anything about the revolutionary Masonic activities of Gilbert.
26 Coleridge was also familiar with Illuminism and with Barruel's accusations of Masonic conspiracy. However, as late as June l800, Coleridge could proudly accept Southey's charge that he "illuminized" in his political attitudes:
You say I illuminize--I think that Property will some time or other be modified by the predominance of intellect...but first those more particular modes of Property itself must be done away, as injurious to Property itself--these are, Priesthood and too great Patronage of Government. Therefore if to act on the belief that all things are process and that all inapplicable Truths are more Falsehoods, be to illuminize, why, then I illuminize! 
These words would have been applauded by Gilbert, whose peculiar economic theories in "The Commercial Academic" had earlier impressed Coleridge. In l815, as Coleridge struggled with opium addiction and political confusion, he remembered his old friend. After jotting down his thoughts on "Community with nature; + the Eye & Heart intuitive of all living yet One Life in all; + the modifying Imagination, the true creative...robur intellectuale," Coleridge noted:
The preceding Mem. reminds me of poor Gilbert's--No one will understand me...I understand myself...We all love to be a little mad, when we are certain that there is no Witness or Noticer of our madness. Two master feelings are gratified--Freedom & Dependence.--Who can be himself, who does not at times prove to himself that he is free?
Perhaps Coleridge envied the reckless Gilbert, who always confidently affirmed his freedom--even when confined for lunacy or persecuted by government spies.
27 Though Southey and Coleridge gave partial witness to Gilbert's radical esprit, Wordsworth never mentioned any personal information about the poet, whose prose he so admired. Was he too aware of the political hazard in public association with Illuminism? During his youthful residence in France, Wordsworth may have attended lodge meetings, as suggested by the Masonic affiliation of several of his French friends and the oblique wording of his tribute to the revolutionary officer Michel Beaupuy:
By birth he ranked
With the most noble, but unto the poor
Among mankind he was in service bound
As by some tie invisible, oaths professed
To a religious Order. Man he loved
But, like much else of his revolutionary activity, Wordsworth quietly buried his possible "illuminist" past.
28 Byron saw the extract from Gilbert's poem in Wordsworth's Excursion, and he may have read the whole Hurricane. Though he was possibly influenced by Gilbert in the Haidee episode in Don Juan, he ridiculed the type of millenarian enthusiasm espoused by Gilbert. In fact, Byron's description of Wordsworth's unintelligibility in the Excursion could well have applied to Gilbert: "--who can understand him?...Jacob Behmen--Swedenborg--& Joanna Southcott are mere types of this Arch-Apostle of mystery & mysticism." Unlike Gilbert and the theosophical, "illuminist" Masons, Byron participated in rationalist, "illuminatist" lodges in Italy, whose members struggled to implement on earth--in defiance of heaven--their revolutionary vision. In the process, he became the object of police surveillance over the radical Carbonari.
29 In 1820, when Southey praised the "passages of exquisite beauty" produced by Gilbert, "whose mind was in ruins," he also noted, "I have among my papers some curious memorials of this interesting man."  One can only hope that the increasingly reactionary Southey did not destroy those memorials--and that the rediscovery of William "Hurricane" Gilbert will continue.
. Samuel Taylor Coleridge, The Watchman, ed. Lewis Patton (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, l970), 168-72, 350-51.
. Ibid., 350-51.
. Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Collected Letters, ed. Earl L. Griggs (Oxford: Clarendon Press, l956), I, 164.
. Introd. to William Gilbert, The Hurricane: a Theosophical and Western Eclogue (Bristol: R. Edwards, l796). Facsimile Rpt. (Oxford and New York: Woodstock Books, l990), [ii].
. "William Gilbert," DNB. Supplement I.
. Robert Southey, The Life of John Wesley (New York: Evert Duyckinck, l820), I, 210-11.
. On Ann Hart Gilbert, see Mona Ferguson, ed., The Hart Sisters: Early African Caribbean Writers, Evangelicals, and Radicals (Lincoln: University of Nebraska, 1993), 5-14.
. The Conjuror's Magazine, or Magical and Physiognomical Mirror (London: W. Locke, l791-93), 517. Henceforth cited in text as CM.
. Joseph Cottle, Reminiscences of Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Robert Southey (New York: Wiley and Putnam, l847), 31-32; see also, Early Recollections; Chiefly Relating to the Late Samuel Taylor Coleridge, During His Long Residence in Bristol (London: Longman, Rees, l837), I, 62-69.
. Cottle, Reminiscences, 361-68; "John Henderson," DNB; Astrologer's Magazine (November l793), 156.
. "William Agutter," DNB. In May l797 Southey urged his friends to "get Agutter's papers" in order to write "a full life of John Henderson"; see New Letters of Robert Southey, ed. Kenneth Curry (New York: Columbia UP, l965), I, 127.
. On the activities of Ebenezer and Manoah Sibly, see J.C. Brookhouse, "The Good Samaritans or Ark Masons in Politics; with a Note on Some of Their Members," Ars Quatuor Coronatorum, 24 (l911), 81-106.
. Minet Library: Parish of Lambeth, Poor Rates (l788-1792).
. For background, see my article, "The Secret Masonic History of Blake's Swedenborg Society," Blake: An Illustrated Quarterly, 26 (l992), 40-51.
. Gloucester Journal (l9 January l792).
. "Henry Lemoine," DNB. Lemoine was friendly with Richard Cosway, Isaac Disraeli, David Levi, and the Goldsmid brothers. His research on the history and techniques of engraving may have led him to contact with Blake. He also became London's greatest expert on Jewish literature and printing.
. For the identification of Gilbert as "B.," see Ellic Howe, Urania's Children: The Strange World of the Astrologers (London: William Kimber, 1967), 23-24.
. David Erdman, Prophet Against Empire, rev. ed. (Princeton: Princeton UP, 1969), 137-38.
. I have put together a complete run of the magazine from the incomplete holdings at the British Library, Bodleian, and New York Public Library.
. See my articles, "William Blake and the Promiscuous Baboons: A Cagliostroan Sèance Gone Awry," British Journal of Eighteenth-Century Studies, 18 (1995), 185-200; and "Blake's Tiriel and the Regency Crisis: Lifting the Veil on a Royal Masonic Scandal," Blake, Politics, and History, eds. Tony Rosso, Jackie Di Salvo, and Christopher Hobson (New York: AMS, 1998), 115-35.
. On the Jewish origins of St. Germain, see Raphael Patai, The Jewish Alchemists (Princeton: Princeton Univeristy Press, l994, 463-587. It is also possible that Gilbert referred to Swedenborg, who was sometimes described as a German baron in London newspapers.
. In November l790, in his Reflections on the Revolution in France, Burke instructed the reader to "See two books intitled Einige Originalschriften des Illuminatenordens.--System un Folgen des Illuminatenordens. Munchen, l787." Reprinted in Two Classics of the French Revolution (New York: Doubleday, l989), 169.
. A possibility first presented by Mark Perugini, "Blake's Prophetic Books," Times Literary Supplement (29 July l926), 512.
. Howe, Urania's Children, 24 n.1; G.E. Bentley, Blake Records (Oxford: Clarendon, 1969), 32-33.
. Adams initially supported the illuminist activities of the Duché family and the foreign Masons who visited them at the Lambeth Asylum; however, he became increasingly conservative. See George Adams, Lectures on Natural and Experimental Philosophy, 5 vols. (London: Robert Hindmarsh, l794).
. CM, 402.
. See Gerald Bentley, Blake Books (Oxford: Clarendon Press, l977), 645.
. See William Spence, Essays in Divinity and Physics (London: Robert Hindmarsh, l792), 47-53. Blake's friend Cosway owned multiple copies of this book.
. For the Duke of York's changing politics and Masonic associations, see Schuchard, "Blake's Tiriel."
. Michael Phillips, "Blake and the Terror, l792-93," The Library, 6th s., 16 (l994), 263-97.
. For Gloucester's illuminist career, see Schuchard, "Blake's Tiriel," where I argue that Blake portrays the prince in the guise of Ijim, brother of Tiriel.
. By February l796, Coleridge refers to Gilbert as a friend; see Coleridge, Collected Letters, VI, 1004.
. Gilbert, Hurricane, 51 n.A. Henceforth cited in text as H.
. Barlow, the engraver for Conjuror's Magazine, also contributed to Stedman's work.
. Robert Southey to Henry Southey (7 March l798); in New Letters of Robert Southey, ed. Kenneth Curry (New York: Columbia UP, l965), 162.
. Southey to Williams Wynn (26 January l797); New Letters, 120.
. Quoted in Cottle, Early Recollections, 67-68.
. Introd. to Hurricane, [iii]; "Gilbert," DNB.
. Southey, New Letters, I, 161-62.
. Southey, Wesley, 211.
. Southey, New Letters, II, 442.
. W.J. Williams, "Was Robert Southey a Freemason?" Transactions: Lodge of Research, #2429 Leicester (l926-27), 68-76. Also, see Southey's Masonic emblem and allusions in The Doctor (London: Longman, Rees, l834), I, title-page, 136, 165.
. See the long extracts from Barruel's Memoires pour servir a l'Histoire du Jacobinisme (Londres, l797-98), in Southey's Common-Place Book, ed. J.W. Warter, 4th s. (London: Longman, Brown, Green, l851), 380-83.
. Robert Southey, Letters from England by Don M.A. Espriella, 3rd, ed. (l807: London: Longman's, l814), III, 196.
. Southey, New Letters, I, 215.
. The Notebooks of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, ed. Kathleen Coburn (London: Pantheon, 19--), II, 4244 and note.
. The Prelude, Book IX, ll. 309-13; in William Wordsworth, ed. Stephen Gill (Oxford: Oxford UP, l989), 516.
. See Kenneth R. Johnson, The Hidden Wordsworth: Poet, Lover, Rebel, Spy (New York: W.W. Norton, 1998).
. See Byron's Letters and Journals, ed. Leslie Marchand (Cambridge: Harvard UP, l975), IV, 324.
. Richard Lansdown, "Byron and the Carbonari," History Today, 41 (l991), 18-25; Zambelli Papers, British Library: Add. Mss. 46,878.ff.142-46.
. Southey, Wesley, 211.