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Greta Mary Sequeira Valentine

Greta Mary Sequeira Valentine

2023-05-08 00:14:02


Lovely bohemian mystic whose charms mesmerised Aleister Crowley, the
black magician, within the Nineteen Thirties

greta sequera valentine
Greta Valentine, who died aged 91, was one of many final survivors
of the circle round Aleister Crowley,
the black magician and self-styled “wickedest man alive”.
Crowley was not the one older man
over whom she was to train an irresistible fascination. It was as Greta
Sequeira that she entered into London life within the Nineteen Thirties. She quickly plunged
into the noisy Café Royal set of bohemians, loving the corporate of
artists and the joy of party-going. On the Cafe Royal, Crowley
was generally known as The Magus. He quickly grew to become her shut buddy and confidant, overtly
declaring his love for her.
After they met in 1936 she was finding out anthroposophy, the magical teachings
of Rudolf Steiner, whose college she attended. Her personal pursuits stopped
in need of conventional occultism. Nor did she share Crowley’s curiosity in
medication. However she did tease and flirt with him. He was excited by her approaches
however discovered her tough to deal with.
Greta Sequeira was iron-willed, however witty and cultured, and her basic
magnificence ensured that she commanded consideration. She adored quick automobiles – driving
a white Packard convertible – and she or he courted hazard. Aleister
inscribed a e-book of his poems: “To Greta, whom I like,
however I would love rather more if she weren’t so elusive.”
His letters, bearing such sentiments as, “What’s life with out you,
however mud and ashes?” would arrive at her London house in Hyde Park Crescent
bearing the purple wax seal of Ankh-af-na-khonsu. (It was at her home that
Crowley and Greta Sequeira’s buddy
Frieda Harris developed The E book of Thoth, an essay on the Tarot of the
Egyptians revealed in 1944.)
Crowley discovered that a few of Greta Sequeira’s
associates had been extra prone than she to the philosophy he preached and
the joy it supplied. Certainly one of her associates was to bear his baby. Such
relationships left Greta Sequeira bemused and anxious.
In August 1938 Crowley adopted her to Cornwall the place she had already shaped
a heat attachment to Lamorna Birch, the panorama painter and senior Academician.
His look made some impression on the Lobster Pot restaurant in Mousehole.
They sat sharing a bottle of chablis at a desk by the window. She was then
aged 31, wearing a loose-fitting cotton frock, along with her golden hair hanging
at shoulder size. Crowley was 63, tweedy, flabby and really bald.
After lunch they walked within the sunshine alongside the cliff path. “Wooed
Greta on the cliffs,” Crowley wrote in his diary for that day. “She
is a comic. Will come in the future and snatch.”
Greta Mary Sequeira was born on June 27 1907, the daughter of an English
physician of Portuguese descent. She was educated in England and on the Continent.

Her household took holidays in Cornwall the place her friendship with Lamorna Birch
and his spouse blossomed. On the time of their first assembly Birch was in
his mid sixties, and on the peak of his fame. However she was in her twenties,
and Birch had daughters of her age.
Over time Lamorna Birch inscribed footage for her with varied sentiments
of affection, and wrote her letters in extravagant language. She was Birch’s
companion in London through the season, accompanying him at studio events
and on the non-public views of the Royal Academy summer time
Birch would ship her coded messages in his footage. Swans in a portray,
for instance, had been an emblem of his love for her. Greta Sequeira described
their friendship as “a type of Pre-Raphaelite love, by no means bodily
however a love energised by our shared pleasure of artwork and poetry”.
Greta Sequeira’s beneficiant instincts had been demonstrated simply earlier than the Second
World Warfare. She drove to Germany and confronted appreciable hazard making an attempt
to assist Jewish docs escape. She continued this self-appointed process proper
as much as eve of warfare, serving to a number of to a secure refuge in England.
At about this time Birch launched her to Ranald Valentine. When information unfold
a while later that they had been to marry, Crowley was wounded. “Pricey
baby,” he wrote, “I knew you’d be as much as some mischief the
minute my eye was off you. . . . You may need advised me. I should not
have taken any precise measures to cease you. And also you would definitely have
bought a No 1 epithalamium. All the identical, give me every week or so discover and also you
shall have an ode to your divorce.”
The Valentines had homes in London and Coupar Angus, Tayside. She loved
holding events in London a snug distance from “all that ghastly
formality in Scotland”.
Through the non-public views at Burlington Home the Valentines rented suites
for entertaining on the Park Lane Lodge. Ranald Valentine ran an organization
in Dundee making greetings playing cards and calendars, and he was at all times on the
look-out for painters whose work he may reproduce.
Their events had been a energetic combine, and visitors included Alexander Fleming,
the discoverer of penicillin, Willard Garfield Weston, the biscuit magnate,
Barbara Hutton, the Woolworth heiress, Sir Robert Watson-Watt, the inventor
of radar, and Enid Blyton.
Lamorna Birch launched Greta Valentine to George Cross, the property developer
generally known as “Mr Edgware”. Cross additionally owned the Compton Chamberlayne
property close to Salisbury, the place he entertained Birch and such painters as Harold
and Laura Knight.
In her quiet moments Greta Valentine wrote poetry and painted. Inspired
by Birch, a number one fly fisherman of his day, she took up fishing. By 1945
Ranald Valentine had turn into Birch’s patron and his common fishing companion
in Scotland. Birch was given a small studio on the home in Coupar Angus
the place he gave Greta and Ranald portray classes.
Greta Valentine aspired to be a portrait painter and her first sitter was
Birch himself. “He stored leaping up from his chair to take a look at the image,
and grumbling rather a lot,” she recalled. “However actually his solely concern
was that I used to be utilizing the oil paint too thinly.” The reality was that
Birch disliked having his portrait painted, by anybody.
Greta Valentine believed friendship implied full dedication on each
sides, and this generally pushed her relationships to breaking level. At
the top of her life she struggled to deal with blindness and bodily incapacity
however discovered solace within the friendship of a small circle of
associates who shared her religious beliefs.
She co-operated enthusiastically within the writing of a biography of Lamorna
Birch, A Painter Laureate, by Austin Wormleighton (1995). At the moment she
was residing in a studio on a Sussex farm the place she slept in the identical room
as a budget plywood coffin she had commissioned for her
personal funeral.
Ranald Valentine died in 1956.



One other intersting slant to Gretas Life – her father Dr. G. W. Sequeira was the primary physician to attent the physique of Jack the Ripper sufferer Catherine Eddowes
AKA Kate Kelly


Day 2, Thursday, October 11, 1888

(The Each day Telegraph, October 12, 1888, Web page 2)

Yesterday [11 Oct], on the Metropolis Coroner’s Courtroom, Golden-lane, Mr. S. F. Langham resumed the inquest respecting the demise of Catherine Eddowes, who was discovered murdered and mutilated in Mitre-square, Aldgate, early on the morning of Sunday, Sept. 30.

Mr. Crawford, Metropolis Solicitor, once more watched the case on behalf of the police.

Dr. G. W. Sequeira, surgeon, of No. 34, Jewry-street, Aldgate, deposed: On the morning of Sept. 30 I used to be known as to Mitre-square, and I arrived at 5 minutes to 2 o’clock, being the primary medical man on the scene of the homicide. I noticed the place of the physique, and I solely agree with the proof of Dr. Gordon Brown in that respect. 

By Mr. Crawford: I’m nicely acquainted with the locality and the place of the lamps within the sq.. The place the homicide was dedicated was most likely the darkest a part of the sq., however there was enough mild to allow the miscreant to perpetrate the deed. I feel that the assassin had no design on any specific organ of the physique. He was not possessed of any nice anatomical ability. 

[Coroner] Are you able to account for the absence of noise? – The demise will need to have been instantaneous after the severance of the windpipe and the blood-vessels. 

[Coroner] Would you could have anticipated the assassin to be bespattered with blood? – Not essentially. 

elieve life had been extinct whenever you arrived? – Only a few minutes – most likely no more than 1 / 4 of an hour.

(The editor writes)
I met Greta Valentine on a number of events – as soon as in her small studio
in Sussex(1996), and later in an previous peoples house(relaxation house 1997). She was
nearly blind, however lucid and proud. I heard that way back she had given all
her cash and property away (3 homes), so now lived on this tiny “studio”.
I might describe it extra as a chalet, such as you would discover on a 60’s vacation

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She was blissful and pleasant, and talked enthusiastically about her life,
present affairs, and artwork. Her coffin doubled as a espresso desk, and was
stuffed with books, as was the small attic. She insisted that I take some
books, and work, I felt fairly embarrassed at this generosity. Many
portray the place scattered about, none signed, however all with there personal historical past,
the one I selected (to the left). Painted in 1940, presumably in Latin America.Gretta
advised me enigmatically that it was of a Polish depend. She was notably
pleased with the eyes. She insisted I take extra, however I refused.

I had the impression
she was eliminating every thing, in order to not trigger to a lot inconvenience
to the homeowners of the chalet when she died. I requested her to signal the portray,
this she did willingly, with a faint marker pen down the left lapel, solely
seen in angled mild. On the again, in Gretas hand writing it states CIRCA

I’ve solely recenty found the Greta hyperlink to the “wickedest man
alive” Aleister Crowley, additionally her many famouse shut associates, together with
Fleming(penicillin), Watt(Radar), and Inid Blyton, to call however a couple of. Then
there may be her exploits saving Jewish docs from the Nazis in pre warfare Germany.
Smuggling them out of Germany within the boot of her Packard convertible.
She additionally had a detailed friendship with panorama artist
S. J. Lamorna Birch who inspired her to color, and gave her lesson in portray,
and fly fishing.

Oil on board –

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