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Frederick William Lacey

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Kim Farnell

Joined: 18 Dec 2003
Posts: 256

Posted: Wed Feb 22, 2006 10:16 pm    Post subject: Frederick William Lacey Reply with quote

I've recently been contacted by the grandaughters of Frederick William Lacey, he who worked with Alan Leo in establishing The Astrologers Magazine (later Modern Astrology.)

Let me quote from the original email I received:

Frederick William Lacey (Aphorel) was my grandfather, although I never knew him (he died 27 years before I was born). He has always been a very mysterious figure, even to his children, having lived a completely double life, with two wives and two sets of children! Although I have done some extensive research into his life, one thing I have never found, and to my knowledge does not exist, is a photograph of him.

Obviously, I'm in the process of searching for a photo. This was too good a challenge to ignore. But in further correspondence, it's clear that the family know very little about Lacey's life. I'm putting as much time as I can spare into following this up, and have some snippets to hand. Once we've compiled the information we have we'll write up a biography of him - although it looks to be a short one at the moment!

I'm meeting his grandaughters in mid March, and would really like to be able to have collected some good material by then. So here's the plea for help. Have any of you got any little snippets about Lacey that they can pass on? Can you look in the obscure section of your bookshelves and tell me what you know? We'd be very grateful.

Come on clever people....


Last edited by Kim Farnell on Thu Feb 23, 2006 9:04 am; edited 1 time in total
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Joined: 11 Oct 2003
Posts: 3506
Location: New Jersey, USA

Posted: Thu Feb 23, 2006 3:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Kim,

You get to meet the most interesting people! I had a short correspondence with some descendents of Luke Broughton, but one lived in Vancouver, BC and the other in England. I was the midpoint! They had no idea he was an astrologer or that he had achieved a bit of fame. I asked what happened to his library, but that question was ignored.

Anyway I know that you must have a copy of Patrick Curry's A Confusion of Prophets and Lacey is mentioned on pages 128-29 and again on page 133, so I don't have to quote that.

But I also found a reference in an inappropriately named (for this purpose) book; James Holden's Astrological Pioneers of America has a section in the back that gives brief mention of influential non-American astrologers. He says of Lacey:

1854 - ? Berkhamsted, Herts 26 Mar 1854 9:36 pm (data given in The Astrolgoer's Magazine 4:1 August 1893 the chart appears under the name Aphorel as NN 33)

English businessman and astrologer. He formed a partnership with Alan Leo in 1899, and they began to publish The Astrologer's Magazine in London in the summer of 1890. He remained in partnership with Leo until Jul 1894, when his other business interests obliged him to withdraw leaving Leo sole proprietor. In Aug 1895, Leo changed the name of the magazine to Modern Astrology.

Lacey held the post of co-editor of the magazine from 1890 until 1896 accodring to Notable Nativities.

Some additional details are given in Ellic (sic) [perhaps a typo that should be Ellie?] Howe's Astrology, pp57, 60, and 61. For a fuller account see Bessie Leo's The Life and Work of ALan Leo, which was Howe's source.

Astrological Pioneers of America by James Holden and Robert A. Hughes p 199 - 200 AFA 1988.

I hope this helps.

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Kim Farnell

Joined: 18 Dec 2003
Posts: 256

Posted: Thu Feb 23, 2006 8:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Tom,

Yes, I have Curry, and used the same information in the Sepharial book - but although I have Holden, I hadn't thought of looking there. Duh. Thanks for that. The AM reference is particularly helpful.

It is "Ellic" Howe btw. But the book is more commonly known as Urania's Children. And you've reminded me - I have access to Howe's notes but have forgotten to get round to looking at them...

Today's strange facts about Lacey - he was an organist and played at the Royal Albert Hall for Masonic meetings. He was also a songwriter, and wrote the music for a number of songs that were published in the 1880s, with the lyrics being mainly supplied by Claxson Bellamy. (not a typo) He was given the name "Aphorel" by the mystic John Thomas (Charubel) when he joined his Celestial Brotherhood in 1884/5.

I have a number of lines to follow here and will post again should anything exciting turn up. He's already sounding far more interesting than I thought he would Smile

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Kim Farnell

Joined: 18 Dec 2003
Posts: 256

Posted: Tue Mar 07, 2006 1:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very happy to report in that the AM reference led to finding the elusive photograph and I've just emailed Lacey's granddaughters so that they can see what their grandfather looked like for the first time Smile

I managed to collect a few small snippets of info along the way and once I've had time to compare notes with his family, we'll see what we can pull together for anyone who's interested.

However, if you're sitting on any obscure facts about Lacey, please let me know. His family really want to reclaim him Smile

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