Godfrey Higgins

Godfrey Higgins

Godfrey Higgins (January 30, 1772 in All Saints, Owston – August 9, 1833), was an archaeologist, Freemason and Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, humanist, social reformer, and author of various now-esoteric and rare books. He was remembered by his parish as a "political radical, reforming county magistrate and idiosyncratic historian of religions".

His father and son both shared the same name; neither achieved a similar degree of notability.


Godfrey Higgins was educated at Emmanuel College, Cambridge and later studied law in London; however, he refrained from practice. When Napoleon threatened an invasion of the United Kingdom, Higgins joined the Volunteer Corps and became a Captain in the Third West York Militia. [http://www.theohistory.org/thcovers/thscan103.html#Anchor-of-47942] In 1800, he married Jane Thorpe, who gave birth to his son, also named Godfrey, and two daughters, Jane and Charlotte. After Higgins' promotion to the rank of major in 1808, he resigned from the Volunteer Corps citing a severe fever as reason. Soon thereafter he was appointed as magistrate or justice of the peace in Yorkshire.

Higgins' work as a magistrate was highlighted by reformist campaigns, within which he "courageously exposed the scandalous treatment of pauper lunatics and campaigned for Parliamentary Reform, criticizing excessive taxation, the Corn Laws, and the exploitation of children in factories" [http://www.theohistory.org/thcovers/thscan103.html#Anchor-of-47942] . Meanwhile, he developed a regimen to study the meaning of life and religion, and wrote::"I came to a resolution to devote six hours a day to this pursuit for ten years. Instead of six hours daily for ten years, I believe I have, upon the average, applied myself to it for nearly ten hours daily for almost twenty years. In the first ten years of my search I may fairly say, I found nothing which I sought for; in the latter part of the twenty, the quantity of matter has so crowded in upon me, that I scarcely know how to dispose of it." [http://burghwallis.com/village/articles/higgins.htm]

According to Ross Nichols, Higgins was a "Chosen Chief" of the Order of Druids, founded by John Toland in 1717. Higgins was claimed a member of An Uileach Druidh Braithreaches (The Druid Order), an ancient Druid order that predates the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn; however, these claims are unsubstantiated. Regardless, Higgins demonstrated extensive knowledge and familiarity with the traditions of Druid orders in his work, "The Celtic Druids".

Higgins' wife died on May 18, 1822. Higgins' own death on August 9, 1833, resulted from an illness which overcame him while attending a meeting of The British Association for the Advancement of Science at Cambridge. [http://burghwallis.com/village/articles/higgins.htm]


The main works of Godfrey Higgins have always been rare books and difficult to obtain; however, some continue to be published today, especially "Anacalypsis". [http://www.theohistory.org/thcovers/thscan103.html]

*"Horae Sabbaticae", published in 1826, was a study of the Sabbath. Higgins recommended the Sabbath remain a festival instead of a "gloomy" fast.
*"The Celtic Druids", published in 1827 and 1829 as three parts, was intended as a precursor to "Anacalypsis". "The Celtic Druids" was "an attempt to show that the druids were the priests of oriental colonies who emigrated from India, were the introducers of the First or Cadmean System of Letters, and the builders of Stonehenge, Carnac, and other Cyclopean works in Asia and Europe." Higgins prefaced the 1829 second edition stating that he was preparing a review of "all the ancient Mythologies of the world, which, however varied, and corrupted in recent times, were originally one, and that one founded on principles sublime, beautiful, and true." This review would become "Anacalypsis".
*"An Apology for the Life and Character of Mahommed" was published in 1829.
*"Anacalypsis" was written in 1833 and posthumously published in 1836 as two quarto volumes numbering 1,436 pages with meticulous references to hundreds of books. "Anacalypsis" was initially printed as a limited edition of 200 copies, partially reprinted in 1878, and completely reprinted in a limited edition of 350 copies in 1927. The full title is "Anacalypsis; An Attempt to Draw Aside the Veil of the Saitic Isis; or an Inquiry into the Origin of languages, Nations and Religions". "Anacalypsis" is a review of the history of religions; however, due to his untimely death Higgins was unable to complete the final chapter on Christianity.

ee also

*Gerald Massey
*H. P. Blavatsky
*Kersey Graves
*The Pandeism of Godfrey Higgins

External links

*"Anacalypsis" [http://books.google.com/books?id=udYHAAAAQAAJ Vol. I] , [http://www.archive.org/details/anacalypsisanatt014474mbp Vol. II]
* [http://www.theohistory.org/thcovers/thscan103.html#Anchor-of-47942 "The Anacalypsis of Godfrey Higgins — Precursor of Isis Unveiled and The Secret Doctrine"] ( [http://www.theohistory.org/ Theosophical History] : Volume 1, Issue 3; 1983)
** [http://thenewageobserver.nexuswebs.net/na_timeline_godfrey_higgins.shtml "Timeline of Godfrey Higgins"] ("The New Age Observer"; same information as above)
* [http://www.mandaeanworld.com/mandaean_bibliography_book_11 Mandaean Bibliography: The Anacalypsis]
* [http://www.awitness.org/essays/bkup/16_crucified_saviors/chap16.html The World's Sixteen Crucified Saviors] (Chapter 16, Kersey Graves)
* [http://www.theosophy-nw.org/theosnw/ctg/ctg-hp.htm Collation of Theosophical Glossaries]
* [http://digital.library.villanova.edu/Joseph%20McGarrity%20Collection/Joseph%20McGarrity%20Books/JosephMcGarrityBooks-00005.xml The Celtic Druids] is located at the [http://digital.library.villanova.edu/ Special Collections/Digital Library] in [http://library.villanova.edu/ Falvey Memorial Library] at Villanova University.
* [http://burghwallis.com/village/articles/higgins.htm "Godfrey Higgins"] ( [http://burghwallis.com/ Burghwallis.com] )

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