Besant, Annie, 1847-1933

Alternative names
Birth 1847-10-01
Death 1933-09-20

Biographical notes:

Theosophist and political leader in India.

From the description of Autograph letter signed : London, to Mr. Crowther, 1888 Oct. 1. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270623129

Annie Wood Besant was born in London to Irish parents. An early marriage to a young clergyman ended in divorce, as Annie's increasing progressivism led to social activism. She renounced the Church, and became one of the most formidable and sought after writers and lecturers for such causes as the Freethinkers and Fabian Socialism. Among many activities, she led the 1888 Match Girls' Strike, sought to liberalize birth control, and campaigned for India Home Rule. Later in life, she embraced Theosophy, and spent her last years in India with her son and daughter.

From the description of Annie Besant letters and essay, 1877-1914. (Pennsylvania State University Libraries). WorldCat record id: 55850190

1872 published On the Deity of Jesus of Nazareth; 1873 deed of separation; 1874 moved to London; 1875-1888 co-editor, the National Reformer; 1877 co-founder, the Freethought Publishing Company; 1884 founder and editor, Our Corner; 1885 executive member of the Fabian Society; 1887 joined the Law and Liberty League; 1888 helped organise the women's match factory strike, East London; c 1888 editor, The Link; 1889 joined the Theosophical Society; 1889-1890 elected to the London school board; 1893 arrived in India; 1893-1907 administered Theosophical affairs in India; 1897 founder, the Central Hindu College Monastery and English public school; 1904 founder, Central Hindu Girls’ School, Benares; 1907-1929 president, the Theosophical Society; editor, The Commonweal and New India; 1913 joined the Indian National Congress; 1916 established the Indian Home Rule League; 1917 interned at Ootacamund; 1917 president, the 32nd Indian National Congress, Calcutta; 1928 member of the Nehru committee.

Epithet: educationist, theosophist and politician in India

British Library Archives and Manuscripts Catalogue : Person : Description : ark:/81055/vdc_100000001026.0x000354


Loading Relationships


Ark ID:


  • Theosophy
  • Ciegos--Libros y lectura
  • Women social reformers--Correspondence
  • Theosophists--Correspondence


not available for this record


  • Mustagh Pass, Kashmir (as recorded)
  • Colworth House, Bedford (as recorded)
  • South Africa, Africa (as recorded)
  • Rhodesia, Africa (as recorded)
  • Srinagar, Kashmir (as recorded)
  • Chesterfield House, London (as recorded)
  • Gulmarg, Kashmir (as recorded)
  • Hunza, Kashmir (as recorded)
  • North-West Frontier, India (as recorded)
  • Indore State, India (as recorded)
  • Lodi, Italy (as recorded)
  • Pamir, India (as recorded)
  • Manchuria, China (as recorded)
  • Turkestan, Asia (as recorded)
  • Abu, Rajputana (as recorded)
  • Canada, North America (as recorded)
  • India, Asia (as recorded)
  • Tonk State, India (as recorded)
  • Bundi State, India (as recorded)
  • Mount Everest, Tibet (as recorded)
  • Worthenbury, Flintshire (as recorded)
  • Bhutan, Asia (as recorded)
  • Chitral State, India (as recorded)
  • London, county of, England (as recorded)
  • Gobi Desert, China (as recorded)
  • Central Asia, Asia (as recorded)
  • Afghanistan, Asia (as recorded)
  • Himalaya Mountains, Tibet (as recorded)
  • Tibet, Asia (as recorded)
  • Ireland, Europe (as recorded)
  • Gilgit, Kashmir (as recorded)
  • Croatia, Europe (as recorded)
  • Russia, Europe, Asia (as recorded)
  • India, Asia (as recorded)
  • United States, North America (as recorded)
  • China, Asia (as recorded)