Council Of Nine

Council Of Nine

The Council of Nine was founded in 1929 in Edinburgh. The founder was Hugh Mackay. The Honorary President was Dr.A.M.Wilson who died in 1930 and was succeeded by Sidney Wrangel Clarke. Membership of the nine was by invitation only.

The club was so secretive that the membership list was only published in 1957. Hugh Mackay had placed a list of the members with the Magic Circle in London with a request that it be opened on 5th of May 1957. The membership list was: Graham Adams, Clinton Burgess, Hubert Lee, Sidney W.Clarke, Will Goldston, Wilfred Hutchinson, Alan Jamieson, George Johnson, Harry Leat and Director Hugh Mackay.

The Council’s objectives as set out by Hugh Mackay were for “the purpose of research and discussion of other subjects related to the art of Magic”. Although Hugh was already publishing The Outlook on Magic himself he changed this on October 1927 to be the official organ of the Council of Nine.

First Honorary President, Dr.A.M.Wilson
He took over the Editorship and ownership of the Sphinx in 1904 and continued this until his death in 1930. He had a short unsuccessful magical career but gave this up to become a Doctor.

Hugh Mackay, Director
Hugh was a prolific producer of magical leaflets. His titles included The Outlook on Magic, A Transmitter for Telepathists, Magical Criticisms, The Magical Observer, A System of Card Signals, The Controller, Transmission with Six Cards, to mention but a few.

Sidney Wrangel Clarke. Second Honorary President,
Sidney was editor of the Magic Circular 1910 / 1915 . He was the author of Annals of Conjuring and co-authored the Bibliography of Conjuring with Adolph Blind. A fuller appreciation of Sidney W. Clarke can be read in “The Barrister in the Circle” by E.A.Dawes in the Magic Circular.

Horace Goldin born Hyman Goldstein in Poland. His career in magic took him from busking, vaudeville and touring Britain with his magic show. He invented the sawing a Woman in half (inspired by P. T. Selbit’s Sawing through a woman). He also invented Film to life.

Stanley Collins was invited to join in 1932.

It is thought that the club ceased to exist by 1933.

Scottish Conjuring Bibliography (J.B.Findlay)
Appendix 2 page 32
The Magic Circular ”The Barrister in the Circle” author E. A. Dawes. 1983
“A Rich Cabinet of Magical Curiosities”
7.10. 87 no 81 H. Mackay by E.A.Dawes
Magic and Magicians T.A.Waters