Records and Governance Documents

Blake Society Constitution

2015: Events, Minutes of AGM, Report to St. James’s Church

2014: Events, Minutes of AGM, Report to St. James’s Church 

2013: Events, Minutes of AGMReport to St. James’s Church

2012: EventsMinutes of AGM, Report to St. James’s Church

2011: EventsMinutes of AGM, Report to St. James’s Church

2010: EventsMinutes of AGM, Report to St. James’s Church

2009: EventsMinutes of AGM, Report to St. James’s Church

2008: EventsMinutes of AGM, Report to St. James’s Church

2007: Events, Report to St. James’s Church

2006: Events, Report to St. James’s Church

2005: Events, Report to St. James’s Church

2004: Events, Report to St. James’s Church

2003: Events

2002: Events

2001: Events

2000: Events

1998: Events

1997: Events

1995: Events

1994: Events

1993: Events

A brief history of previous Blake Societies

In 1896, E. J. Ellis first proposed the formation of a Blake Society.  It was intended to be a society of scholars, recovering texts & cataloguing the paintings.  Nothing seems to have come of this proposal.

Around 1900, Richard C. Jackson founded the William Blake Society of Art & Letters.  He attracted a host of prominent individuals as vice-presidents of his Society, though there seem to have been no ordinary members.  Publications include an edition of The Book of Thel (rather oddly printed in capital letters throughout) & Little Tom the Sailor (the illustrations in facsimile, the text in ordinary lettering).

Thomas Wright, of Olney, founded the Blake Society with an initial meeting at “Old Wyldes”, Hampstead Heath on 12 August 1912.  The Society was open to all, held annual meetings, issued numerous publications, & was responsible in 1927 for the memorial stone in Bunhill Fields.  When Thomas Wright died in 1937, Mrs J. O. Cleaves of 28B Belsize Park Gardens, NW3, took over as secretary, but the last publications date to 1939.  The Blake Society had been very much Wright’s creation & though it was kept going for a few years after his death, it did not survive the disruption of the Second World War.

Around 1940, Mrs Laura DeWitt James of Palo Alto, California, founded a William Blake Society on a quasi-Masonic model.  There were three degrees of initiatory membership. What became of the Society was unknown, but Mrs James went on to publish William Blake: the Finger on the Furnace (New York: Vantage P., 1956), later reissued as William Blake & the Tree of Life (Berkeley: Shambala Publications, 1971).

The present Blake Society was founded in 1985 on the instigation of Donald Reeves, the then rector of St. James’s Piccadilly, to honour & celebrate William Blake.  The Society has met regularly in London ever since, with monthly speakers, including many of the most eminent scholars in the field of Blake studies.