Alfred Percy Sinnett

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Alfred Percy Sinnett
BornAlfred Percy Sinnett
(1840-01-18)18 January 1840
London, England
Died26 June 1921(1921-06-26) (aged 81)
Period19th century
Literary movementTheosophy

Alfred Percy Sinnett (18 January 1840 – 26 June 1921) was an English author and theosophist.


Sinnett was born in London. His father died while he was young, as in 1851 Sinnett was listed as a "Scholar – London University", living with his mother Jane Sinnett, an author and translator,[1] who is listed as a widow and whose occupation is listed as "Periodical Literature"; his older sister Sophia, age 22, was a teacher. Jane's sister Sarah, age 48, was also a teacher.[2]

In 1870 Sinnett married his wife Patience, probably in the London area. He is listed in the 1871 England Census at age 31, as a Journalist, born in Middlesex. His wife Patience is 27, and her mother Clarissa Edenson a "Landowner", is living with them.

By 1879, Sinnett had moved to India where he was "... the Editor of The Pioneer, the leading English Daily of India..."[3] He relates in his book, The Occult World that: "...on the first occasion of my making Madame Blavatsky's acquaintance she became a guest at my home at Allahabad and remained there for six weeks..."[4]

In 1880 Helena Blavatsky and Henry Steel Olcott visited the Sinnetts at their summer home in Simla. The Mahatma Letters, which generated the controversy that later helped lead to the split of the Theosophical Society were mostly written to Sinnett or his wife Patience. The letters started at this time when Sinnett asked Blavatsky whether if he wrote a letter to her Mahatmas, she could arrange to have it delivered.

By 1884 Sinnett was back in England, where that year Constance Wachtmeister states that she met Blavatsky at the home of the Sinnetts in London.[5]

Sinnett asked Charles Webster Leadbeater to come back to England to tutor his son Percy and George Arundale. Leadbeater agreed and brought with him one of his pupils Curuppumullage Jinarajadasa. Using "astral clairvoyance" Leadbeater assisted William Scott-Elliot to write his book The Story of Atlantis, for which Sinnett wrote the preface.

Sinnett was later president of the London Lodge of the Society.

By 1901 Sinnett is listed as an author. His son Percy is also listed as an author and born in India.[6]

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  1. ^ Curthoys, M. C. (2023). "Sinnett [née Fry], Jane (1804–1870), translator and author". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. doi:10.1093/odnb/9780198614128.013.90000382460. ISBN 978-0-19-861412-8. Retrieved 29 August 2023.
  2. ^ 1851 England Census
  3. ^ "Combined Chronology of The Mahatma Letters – Preface".
  4. ^ The Occult World,p42
  5. ^ Wachtmeister, Constance (1 January 1976). "Reminiscences of H. P. Blavatsky and The secret doctrine". Wheaton, Ill. : Theosophical Pub. House – via Internet Archive.
  6. ^ 1901 England Census



  • Autobiography of Alfred Percy Sinnett, Theosophical History Centre Publications, London 1986 ISBN 0-948753-02-1


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