Ancestry of James Ingall Wedgwood

This article written and copyright 2014 by Will Johnson,, Professional Genealogist
Since his biography alone, alongside other Theosophists at

1 James Ingall Wedgwood (rcD12E3#18)
The Right Reverend James Ingall "J I" Wedgwood was the first Presiding Bishop of the Liberal Catholic Church.  He was born 24 Mar 1883 in London, the son of Alfred Allen Wedgwood and his wife Rosina Margaret Ingall.  His birth was registered in Marylebone.  His Wikipedia article calls him a "Choirmaster at York Minster", while Krishnamurti's biographer Mary Lutyens says he was a "pupil of the organist".  He joined the Theosophical Society, after hearing lectures given by then-President Annie Besant.  This happened either in 1904, or in 1911.

He served as General Secretary of the Theosophical Society in England and Wales 1911-13, resigning to join the British Jurisdiction of the Co-Masonic Order.  He joined the Old Catholic Church, being ordained a priest of that Church in 1913 in London.  He visited Australia in 1915, where he met the Theosophist Charles Webster Leadbeater. On 13 Feb 1916, in the Co-Masonic Temple on Blomfield Road, London, Wedgwood was consecrated a Bishop in the Old Catholic Church.  Later that same year, he returned to Australia where he consecrated Leadbeater, Bishop of Australasia that July.  He stayed in Australia for some time, working alongside Leadbeater to create the Liberal Rite.  This Liturgy of the Mass was completed in Dec 1916 and submitted to the Lord Maitreya.

He began to travel the world as a missionary bishop,  in 1917 he went to Honolulu, at that time stating that he was a Bishop, that his last permanent residence had been in Sydney, Australia, and that his nearest relative at that time was Mrs M Wedgwood his mother, then living at Hogsthorpe, Alford, England. (Source)  Toward the end of 1917 a Synod meeting in London decided to change the name of the church to the Liberal Christian Church, but then in Sep 1918, they changed it again to the Liberal Catholic  Church and this name stuck.

In 1919, Irving Steiger Cooper was consecrated Bishop for the United States of America.  He then returned to England, and it was at this time that Annie Besant learned that he was under investigation by the police for "sexual perversion", meaning homosexuality.  She wanted Mr Martyn to convey, to Wedgwood, her desire that he resign from all his positions within the T.S.  The charges however were not pressed, according to Mary Lutyens; and Leadbetter told Besant that Wedgwood could not resign as he was now an Initiate.  Many details of his sexual immorality are detailed in Chapter 18 of Tillett.  In 1922, in the face of more accusations, he resigned from the TS, Co-Masonry, and the Liberal Catholic Church.  One particular point that must be stressed is that in his Wikipedia article it mentions him "visiting eighteen public toilets...".  This quote in fact comes from the statement of a private detective who had been hired by E L Grieg to tail Wedgwood, it does not come from Wedgwood himself.  Tillett quoting says "Martyn and his allies soon came to look upon the Liberal Catholic Church as no more than the front for a gang of pederasts."

He was living in either Huizen or Ommen, Holland in 1925, and presiding over the Liberal Catholic Church in Europe when George Arundale and his wife Rukmini visited him there.  Wedgwood began to publish theological works such as "New Insights into Christian Worship and The Presence of Christ in the Holy Communion".  In 1931 he embarked at Southampton to go to Tangier, but stating this his place of "future permanent residence" was to be in Holland. (Source)  Late in life, he developed signs of tertiary syphilis infection which was slowly driving him mad.  At the end of his life he was described as "of Karkhama Tekels Park Camberley Surrey clerk".  He died 13 Mar 1951 at 44 Hale Road, Farmham, co Surrey; from injuries sustained in a fall.  Probate was granted to Gladys Dudgeon Newberry spinster. His effects calculated at 3250 English pounds.

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2 Alfred Allen Wedgwood

Alfred Allen Wedgwood married Rosina Margaret Ingall.  They had a son James Ingall Wedgwood born 24 Mar 1883 in Marylebone, London

3 Rosina Margaret Ingall