Clutterbuck, Dorothy

Clutterbuck, Dorothy (1880-1951)

(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

High Priestess of the coven of Witches into which Gerald Gardner was initiated in 1939. The coven was located at the edge of the New Forest, in England. The group was associated with The First Rosicrucian Theatre in England, and its operating body, the Fellowship of Crotona.

"Old Dorothy," as she was known, was in fact Dorothy St. Quintin Clutterbuck, spinster daughter of Captain Thomas St. Q. Clutterbuck of the 14th Sikhs, and Ellen Anne Clutterbuck, neé Morgan.

For many years there was controversy over whether such a person as "Old Dorothy" really existed. Gardner's references to her were vague, and some Wiccan detractors insisted that he had made up both this High Priestess and, indeed, the whole of Wicca. Thanks to detective work by Doreen Valiente, one of Gardner's early Initiates and the co-compiler of the Gardnerian Book of Shadows, the details of Old Dorothy's life were finally revealed.

The Witch Book: The Encyclopedia of Witchcraft, Wicca, and Neo-paganism © 2002 Visible Ink Press®. All rights reserved.