The Theosophical
Society in Australia

With International Headquarters at Adyar, Chennai, India.

Birth of Clara Codd

Anniversary, 10 October 2020.

clara codd (10 october 1876 - 3 april 1971)

Clara Codd was an English Theosophist, a feminist, lecturer, teacher and popular author.  She was the oldest of 10 sisters and loved to read in her father’s library. Her half Italian mother would take her to see plays and concerts and she became a proficient pianist and violinist who also enjoyed singing.  Clara's father died in 1901 and the family moved to Switzerland where she worked to support the family by teaching English, music and posing as a costume model for artists.  She became acquainted with Theosophy through her contacts in Geneva and met Colonel Olcott at a talk given in a private home.  When he described his knowledge and interactions with the Adepts, Clara became interested in Theosophy and at the age of 27   became a member of the French section.  Clara’s mother and all but one of her sisters became Theosophists and when they moved back to England, they often hosted visiting Theosophical lecturers and Clara began to give lectures herself.  She became involved with the suffragette movement and  was jailed for one month after helping Christabel Pankhurst with a planned raid on the House of Commons.  After her release Clara was offered a position as an organiser for the Bristol district of the Women’s Social and Political Union but she decided to work for the Theosophical Society instead. 

She spent a year living at Adyar and became acquainted with many senior members including C.W. Leadbeater and Annie Besant.  She toured India as a lecturer and became acquainted with Indian life and customs.  On her return to England she was a popular and hard-working lecturer and in 1921 became the General Secretary of the English Section.  She often travelled and spent weeks in various industrial areas of England giving lectures to increasing numbers of attendees. 

Adapted from 


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