Published by Blavatsky Study Center.  Online Edition copyright 2003.

Some Testimony Concerning
Mr. Judge's Close Relationship with Mrs. Tingley

Julia Keightley

It is well known to members of the Inner Council in America and Europe that the present Outer Head [Mrs. Tingley] has for two years past assisted Mr. Judge in the inner work of the School as his associate and equal. Some of these Councillors were doing important work under her directions, and by the order of Mr. Judge, for some time before he passed away. The present Outer Head had the entire confidence of Mr. Judge and has that of the Council.. . . . For myself, I may say that as early as June, 1894, Mr. Judge told me of the standing of the present Outer Head in the school, and spoke of her work at that time and for the future.  I am one among several to whom he so spoke himself.  . . . .  [Italics added.]

Claude Falls Wright

. . . I met this Chela - "Promise" [Mrs. Tingley] - several times in 1894 and 1895.   Mr. Judge introduced me at a meeting of the Aryan T.S. in 1894, saying to me beforehand:  "Here is some one I want you to look at closely; it is a particular person."  He afterwards told me that "Promise" frequently was in touch with the Lodge [of the Masters].  Later he sent me to a house where "Promise" was staying, and there this chela went into a trance and told me much of the future - more particularly of the founding of a great school of occultism in the West - the revival of the ancient mysteries - which was afterwards embodied by W.Q. Judge in the E.S.T. Circular of November 3d, 1894. . . .   [Italics added.]

Alice Leighton Cleather

When I first met Mrs. Tingley she was known only to a few of Mr. Judge's intimates. . . . He introduced me to her at the Boston [Theosophical Society] Convention of [April] 1895, a year before his death, as a very special and mysterious person. . . . On our return [from Boston] to New York he requested me to visit Mrs. Tingley and report to him everything she said. . . . Mrs. Tingley then told me, among other things, that Mr. Judge was really the Master K.H.; and Mr. Judge did not discourage this idea when I gave him my report of the interview. . . . It was she herself [Mrs. Tingley] who told me, personally, that she dictated the famous E.S.T. Circular headed "By Masters's Direction," and signed by Mr. Judge, deposing Mrs. Besant from her position as joint Outer Head. . . .   [Italics added.]

Cyrus Field Willard

[To Albert E.S. Smythe, editor of The Canadian Theosophist:]

Now I happen to have been at that Boston [Theosophical Society] Convention [of April 1895], as you will remember.  I was there in the capacity of a member of the Boston Branch and as a friend and pupil of Wm. Q. Judge since 1886, as well as a representative of the Boston Globe on which I held an editorial position. . . . 

At that [April 1895] convention Mrs. Tingley was present and you no doubt rubbed shoulders with her.  Brother Fussell started to introduce her to me but was cut short by Judge sternly reminding him he had instructed him not to introduce her to anybody. . . .  [Italics added.]

Louis Hamon ("Cheiro")

. . .  I was living in New York, when, one afternoon William Q. Judge, accompanied by a remarkably handsome woman appeared in my waiting room and requested an interview. . . .

"She is a year younger than I am," he [Judge] said.  "What do you see for her future?"

"The year we are in (1896) will be one of the most important of her life," I answered.  "If it should be that this lady is in any way associated with whatever your work is, she will take your place and carry on that work to even greater success that you could do. . . ."

I was so struck by the woman's strong personality that I asked if I might make some impressions of her hands.  She willingly assented and signed the copies "Katherine A. Tingley, 30th May, 1896."

It was then the man said, "It may interest you, 'Cherio,' to know that I am William Q. Judge and that you have predicted for this lady that she is destined to follow me as the head of the Theosophical Society of New York. . . ."

Emil August Neresheimer

Shortly after his return to New York City from the "Parliament of Religions" at the Chicago World's Fair, in the Fall of 1893, Mr. Judge mentioned casually an invention made by an acquaintance of his, Mr. Philo B. Tingley.  He said he would like me to look at it and, if agreeable, he would introduce me to Mr. Tingley.   Accordingly, we called at Mr. Tingley's home in 95th Street where I was introduced to both Mr. and Mrs. Tingley. . . .

. . . [Later] I received a polite note from Mrs. Tingley inviting me to call on her as she wished to speak to me of something that would be of great interest to me.  Not knowing what to make of this invitation, I spoke of it to Mr. Judge, and he simply said "Go and see what she has to say."  I further asked him "What kind of a woman is Mrs. Tingley?" and he replied "Oh! she is all right, you can trust her."  . . . .

. . . Mrs. Tingley received me quite cordially and almost immediately proceeded to speak of her close association with Mr. Judge in theosophical matters.   She spoke sympathetically of the bad state of his health, his almost austere mode of living and of his strenuous work. . . . Her warrant for her unusual interest, she said, was that she was bound up with Mr. Judge in an Occult way from the remote past, and her present duty was to render him assistance and protection in all critical matters connected with his position as one of the chief supporting pillars of the Theosophical Movement. . . .

. . . Mr. Judge's health . . . was greatly broken down.   Something had to be done to secure rest and relaxation from the terrific strain of the continual pressure of events besides the heavy burden of his daily work.  Mrs. Tingley proposed to me that Mr. Judge be induced to go to Mineral Wells, near San Antonio, Texas, where she offered to go, and, if possible, nurse him back to health.  This was early in 1895 . . . . Mrs. Tingley went direct to Mineral Wells in order to make the necessary arrangements before Mr. Judge arrived.  She rented a small, poorly-furnished house from a German woman.  Mrs. Tingley rendered invaluable service, both by her devoted care of Mr. Judge and by acting as his amanuensis when he was too ill to write himself.  Occasional long typewritten letters were sent by Mr. Judge himself to me, containing instructions and suggestions in elucidation of the various matters alluded to in Mrs. Tingley's letters, which were in her own handwriting. . . .

Coming now to the series of events whereby Katherine Tingley became the head of the new society and in its "Esoteric Section" or "School", immediately following the death of Mr. Judge, it should be borne in mind that up to that time, she was unknown to the Society at large, excepting to a very few members at the headquarters in New York, whose acquaintance came about by the carrying of messages to and fro' from her to Mr. Judge. . . .

We went through all Mr. Judge's private papers. . . . Among all the papers and other documents left by Mr. Judge, we found nothing whatever in his handwriting bearing upon the future conduct of the Society after his death.  Nor did we find anything in his writing naming Mrs. Tingley, or anyone else, either directly or indirectly, as his successor in the affairs of the Theosophical Society in America or in the Esoteric Section, or any directions of any kind to be followed in the event of his death.  But, on the second evening our our examination (i.e., on Tuesday night, March 24th) we came across a blank book of some 150 pages, containing ten pages of various private notes and memoranda in the handwriting of Mr. Judge, and dated at various intervals in 1894. . . .

. . . [In one of the notes] is included a sign [] which occurs also in two places on Page 18. . . . The sign [] to which the three references mentioned occur, was one I was acquainted with as designating Mrs. Tingley, as Mr. Judge had pointed it out to me as being his sign for Katherine Tingley.  It was well-known among his intimates that Mr. Judge used various signs to designate his collaborators and also that he had a sign of his own which he often used for a signature when writing to those close to him.

The references in the notes to this sign for Mrs. Tingley bore in no way upon the question of leadership or successorship, but I pointed out the sign to Messrs Hargrove and Griscom as being that of a "Chela" with whom Mr. Judge had been associated for several years past. I did this, because my experience with her had led me to believe that this term was applicable to her, and because I thought it best not to mention her name at that time. . . .

. . . [Later] I told the party [consisting of Hargrove, Griscom, Patterson, Fussell and Pryse] that Mr. Judge had left no special instructions for the future, either by word of mouth or in his Will, and had nominated no successor to carry on this Theosophical work.  I added, however, that Mr. Judge had been closely connected in active collaboration during the last four years of his life, with one who was apparently a "Chela" of the Masters, and resident of New York City.  I then spoke of my own association with this "Chela" and said that Mr. Judge had been fully cognizant of it.  I stated that at the request of this "Chela" I had called them together to acquaint them with the situation, and to invite them to meet at the "Chela's" residence that evening at 8:30. .  . . [Italics added.]

(1)  See also A Letter from W.Q. Judge to Katherine Tingley and Some Judge Letters to Tingley.   These letters show Mr. Judge's "intimate friendship with and confidence in Mrs. Tingley." 

Return to Table of Contents of H.N. Stoke's
"William Q. Judge and Katherine Tingley" series of articles