Annie (Wood) Besant

Annie (Wood) Besant (1847 - 1933)

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Dr. Annie Besant formerly Wood
Born in London, Englandmap
Ancestors ancestors
[sibling(s) unknown]
Wife of — married in St. Mary, Lambeth, Surrey, Englandmap
Died in Adyar, Indiamap
Profile last modified | Created 29 Jun 2016 | Last significant change: 2 Dec 2018
12:02: Martin Allen edited the Biography for Annie (Wood) Besant. [Thank Martin for this]
This page has been accessed 393 times.

Categories: England, Post-1700 Managed Profiles | Fabian Society.

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Leader of the famous match-girls' strike. She was not, however, a match-girl.

An associate of Herbert Burrows and Charles Bradlaugh.

  • Birth: 1 Oct 1847,[1] reg. City of London[2]
  • Marriage: 15 Dec 1867, Lambeth, to Frank Besant[3]
  • Death: 20 Sep 1933, Adyar, Madras, India[4][5][6]

In the Forward to her book on Jiddu Krishnamurti-1[7], Mary Lutyens wrote "My regret is that there is no scope here to portray the quality that Mrs Besant must undoubtedly have possessed to inspire as she did such devotion in thousands of people all over the world. Loyalty was perhaps her most outstanding characteristic and it was a clash of loyalties that darkened the last years of her life and makes her appear here more as a dupe than as a force in her own right. Krishnamurti’s love for her, which comes out so clearly in his letters, must be the best tribute to her at that time in her life when she had relinquished her own psychic powers and come to rely on the powers of others whom she trusted." After the early death of Sri Krishna's own mother, when he was only 10 years old, Mrs Annie Besant was the first Mother figure that he had when he met her at Adyar in 1909. In fact his own mother had talked "to him about Mrs Annie Besant, one of the leaders of Theosophy who was greatly beloved in India because of the work she had done for Indian education." Sanjeevamma even had a photograph of Annie in her Puja room.

The second chapter of Mary Lutyens book has a brief summary of Annie Besant's life from the age of 20 when she married Frank Besant.


  1. England, Select Births and Christenings, 1538-1975, Annie Wood, Birth Date 1 Oct 1847, Baptism 13 Nov 1847, Saint Benet Gracechurch and Saint Leonard Eastcheap, London, England. Father: William Burton Purse Wood. Mother: Emily Mary Roche. FHL Film Number 535720
  2. England & Wales, Civil Registration Birth Index, 1837-1915, Annie Wood, Oct-Nov-Dec 1847, City of London 2 130
  3. England, Select Marriages, 1538–1973, Annie Wood, 15 Dec 1867, St. Mary, Lambeth, Surrey, England. Spouse: Frank Besant. FHL Film Number 1041669
  4. England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1966, 1973-1995, Annie Besant, widow, died 20 Sep 1933, India, probate 3 Jan 1934, London, England
  5. New South Wales, Australia, Index to Deceased Estate Files, 1859-1958, Annie Besant, widow, resident of India, died 20 Sep 1933
  6. "Annie Wood Besant", Find A Grave, accessed 2017-07-22
  7. Mary Lutyens, J Krishnamurti Years of Awakening (London: John Murray, 1975)

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No known carriers of Annie's mitochondrial DNA have taken an mtDNA test and no close relatives have taken a 23andMe, AncestryDNA, or Family Tree DNA "Family Finder" test.

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Images: 2
Annie Besant in black standing
Annie Besant in black standing

Annie Besant, Henry Steel Olcott, and William Quan Judge
Annie Besant, Henry Steel Olcott, and William Quan Judge


Annie is 26 degrees from George Bush, 27 degrees from Rick San Soucie and 17 degrees from Victoria of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

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