The Hobart Branch of the Theosophical Society was formed in June 1889 at the instigation of author William Henry Dawson. Other original Hobart members included John Beattie, established colonial photographer; Henry Gill, parliamentarian and newspaper proprietor; and political reformer Edward Ivey. The Society operated out of various rented premises until 1994 when it established its present headquarters at 13 Goulburn Street. This building also houses the Branch's extensive library of theosophical, religious and philosophical books and publications. The Launceston lodge was chartered in January 1901 and occupies 54 Elizabeth Street, one of the oldest buildings in Launceston. Smaller unchartered groups have operated periodically, the Devonport group being a current example.
Further reading: M Powell, Manual of a mystic, Canberra, 2001; K Bowd, 'The masters are close to an isolated lodge', MA qualifying thesis, UT, 1993; www.austheos.org.au.