He retired early even before Aleister was born because of the business. He was also a radical preacher who travelled across Britain, writing pamphlets and bible study guides. His mother, Emily Bertha Bishop, came from the Devon and Somerset lineage. Both of his parents subscribed to the Brethren faith, which was a lot more conservative variant of the Plymouth Brethren. With this background Aleister was only allowed to play with children from similar backgrounds (Poem Hunter 5-7).
His father’s death on March 5th 1887 from tongue cancer proved to be a turning point in young Aliester’s life having been very close to him. He turned rebelliously against the Christian faith as his mother’s attempts to keep him in the faith turned into a desperate futility. This never went well with the mother who labeled him a “beast”. This rebellious nature was the beginning of a life mainly characterized by extremism in diverse forms such as occultism, pansexuality, magic, drugs, poetry and mountaineering. On 1st December 1947 he died of respiratory infections that developed from his addiction of heroin. The addiction developed after he went on prescription for his asthma and bronchitis (Poem Hunter 11-13. Open Culture 1).
In his early days, he was home schooled until the age of eight when he move to an evangelical run private preparatory – an experience which ended up with the young boy being bullied because he was not used to such a setting of education, he was a bit chubby, and fat and vulnerable such treatment (Golden Dawn Pedia 2). He later joined the Moral Science Tripos at Trinity Collegein in 1895 to study philosophy but late switched to English literature. It is at Cambridge that he developed an interest in alchemy as he interacted with Julian Baker who later introduced him to George Cecil Jones of the Hermetic order of the Golden dawn. He later left Cambridge as he almost graduated with a degree