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Barham, Francis Foster [known as Alist Francis Barham] (1808–1871), transcendentalist, was born on 31 May 1808 at Leskinnick, Penzance, Cornwall, the youngest of the five sons of Thomas Foster Barham (1766–1844), musician and writer, and his wife, Mary Ann, daughter of the ...

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Donald, Adam [called the Prophet of Bethelnie] (1703–1780), spiritualist, was born into a poor family of peasant farmers at the hamlet of Bethelnie, 20 miles north of Aberdeen. Despite an extraordinarily large stature and build, which caused him to be regarded as a changeling, ...

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Harris, Thomas Lake (1823–1906), millenarian and mystic, was born on 15 May 1823 at Fenny Stratford, Buckinghamshire, the only son of Thomas Harris, an auctioneer, and his wife, Annie (née Lake), who died when her son was only nine. In 1828 the family emigrated to ...

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Daniel Dunglas Home (1833–1886) by Maull & Co. Mary Evans / Society for Psychical Research

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Home, Daniel Dunglas (1833–1886), medium, was born at Currie, near Edinburgh, on 20 March 1833, the third son of William Home (c.1810–1882), a labourer, and his wife, Elizabeth, née McNeil (c.1810–1850), and was raised as a Presbyterian. He seems to have added his middle name later because of his belief that his father was the illegitimate son of the ...

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Kitson, Alfred (1855–1934), spiritualist, was born at Gawthorpe, Ossett, near Dewsbury, Yorkshire, on 15 February 1855, the son of John Kitson and his wife, Esther (Betty), née Butterfield. His father was a coalminer and his mother a mill worker. The family lived in poverty, owing to his father's poor health and consequent irregular employment. ...

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Maitland, Edward (1824–1897), author and spiritualist, was born on 27 October 1824 at Ipswich, the second son of Charles David Maitland (1785–1865) and his wife, Elizabeth Adye Miller. His father had been a captain, Royal Artillery, serving in battle at the end of the Napoleonic War, a ...

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J. M. Rigg

revised by H. C. G. Matthew

Moses, William Stainton (1840–1892), spiritualist, was the eldest son of William Stainton Moses of Dorrington, Lincolnshire. He was educated at Bedford and at Exeter College, Oxford, where he matriculated on 25 May 1858, graduating BA in 1863 and MA in 1865. During his undergraduate years he suffered a nervous breakdown. He took holy orders, and was curate of ...

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Oliphant, Laurence (1829–1888), diplomatist, traveller, and mystic, the only child of Sir Anthony Oliphant (1793–1859) and his wife, Maria (d. 1881), daughter of Colonel Campbell of the 72nd highlanders, was born at Cape Town. Thomas Oliphant, the musician, was his uncle.

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Laurence Oliphant (1829–1888) by Thomas Rodger © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Owen, George Vale (1869–1931), Church of England clergyman and spiritualist writer, was born at 82 Lady Wood Lane, Birmingham, on 26 June 1869, the eldest son of George Owen, chemist, and his wife, Emma Bradley, née Redding (1845/6–1909). The family moved to Soho Road, Handsworth...

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Rogers, Edmund Dawson (1823–1910), journalist and spiritualist, was born at Holt, Norfolk, on 7 August 1823, the only surviving child of John Rogers and his wife, Sarah, née Dawson. After education at the Sir Thomas Gresham grammar school in his native town, and working for six years as chemist's apprentice and as a chemist on his own account, ...

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Sharp, William [pseud. Fiona MacLeod] (1855–1905), novelist and mystic, was born at Paisley on 12 September 1855, the eldest child of David Galbraith Sharp (d. 1876), textile manufacturer, and his wife, Katherine, daughter of William Brooks, Swedish vice-consul at Glasgow (her family was of Swedish descent). ...

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William Sharp [Fiona MacLeod] (1855–1905) by Frederick Hollyer Royal Photographic Society

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Stead, William Thomas (1849–1912), newspaper editor and spiritualist, was born in Embleton, Northumberland, on 5 July 1849, the son of a Congregational minister, the Revd William Stead (1814–1884), and his wife, Isabella Jobson (1824–1875), both of Yorkshire stock and Scandinavian descent. There were two daughters and, in addition to ...

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William Thomas Stead (1849–1912) by London Stereoscopic Co., 1890 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Arthur Edward Waite (1857–1942) by Alvin Langdon Coburn, 1921 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Waite, Arthur Edward (1857–1942), mystic and historian of occultism, was born on 2 October 1857 at Brooklyn, New York, the son of Charles Frederick Waite, an American merchant marine captain of Lyme in Connecticut, and his common-law wife, Emma Lovell, whose family were involved in the ...