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Barham, Francis Foster [known as Alist Francis Barham] (1808–1871), transcendentalist  

Anne Taylor

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 ...

Article

Cook, Florence Eliza (1856–1904), spiritualist and medium  

Alex Owen

Cook, Florence Eliza (1856–1904), spiritualist and medium, was born on 3 June 1856 at Cobham, Kent, the eldest of the four children of Henry Cook (d. 1879), a compositor, and his wife, Emma Till. The Cook family moved from Kent to London...

Article

Duncan [née MacFarlane], (Victoria) Helen McCrae (1897–1956), medium  

Malcolm Gaskill

Duncan [née MacFarlane], (Victoria) Helen McCrae (1897–1956), medium, was born on 25 November 1897 at 96 Main Street, Callander, Perthshire, the fourth child of Archibald MacFarlane, slater, and his wife, Isabella Rattray. As a child she earned the nickname Hellish Nell for her tomboyish exploits, but alienated her peers with hysterical outbursts and sinister predictions. Fearing shame for their Presbyterian family, ...

Article

Gardner, Gerald Brosseau (1884–1964), publicist of the Wicca religion  

Ronald Hutton

Gardner, Gerald Brosseau (1884–1964), publicist of the Wicca religion, was born on 13 June 1884 at Serpentine North, Great Crosby, Lancashire, the third of four sons of a Liverpool timber merchant, William Robert Gardner (d. 1938), and his wife, Louise Barguelew Ennis (...

Article

Gregory, William (1803–1858), chemist and psychic investigator  

W. H. Brock

Gregory, William (1803–1858), chemist and psychic investigator, was born at St Andrew's Square, Edinburgh, on 25 December 1803, the fourth son of James Gregory (1753–1821), professor of medicine in the University of Edinburgh, and his second wife, Miss McLeod. He was descended from a long line of '...

Image

Cover Guppy, (Agnes) Elisabeth (1838–1917)

Guppy, (Agnes) Elisabeth (1838–1917)  

Maker: Frederick Augustus Hudson

In 

(Agnes) Elisabeth Guppy (1838–1917) by Frederick Augustus Hudson, 1872 [right, with Mrs Tebb (left), Miss Georgiana Houghton (seated), and a manifestation] © National Portrait Gallery, London

Article

Guppy [formerly Nicholl; other married name Guppy-Volckman], (Agnes) Elisabeth (1838–1917), medium  

Richard Noakes

Guppy [formerly Nicholl; other married name Guppy-Volckman], (Agnes) Elisabeth (1838–1917), medium, was born Agnes Elisabeth White at 1 Gloucester Crescent, Regent's Park, London, the daughter of Charles Taylor White. Her parents died when she was eleven months old and she was raised by her maternal grandfather, the ...

Article

Harris, Thomas Lake (1823–1906), millenarian and mystic  

Timothy C. F. Stunt

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 ...

Article

Home, Daniel Dunglas (1833–1886), medium  

Alan Gauld

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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Cover Home, Daniel Dunglas (1833–1886)

Home, Daniel Dunglas (1833–1886)  

Maker: Maull & Co.

In 

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

Article

Leo, Alan [formerly William Frederick Allen] (1860–1917), astrologer  

Patrick Curry

Leo, Alan [formerly William Frederick Allen] (1860–1917), astrologer, was born William Frederick Allen at 6.10 a.m. on 7 August 1860 in Great College Street, Westminster, the only son of a Scottish ex-soldier, who disappeared when Allen was about nine, and a member of the ...

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Cover Leo, Alan (1860–1917)

Leo, Alan (1860–1917)  

Maker: unknown photographer

In 

Alan Leo (1860–1917) by unknown photographer, c. 1895 Heritage Images Partnership

Article

Maitland, Edward (1824–1897), author and spiritualist  

Rosemary T. Van Arsdel

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 ...

Article

Mathers, Samuel Liddell (1854–1918), occultist  

R. A. Gilbert

Mathers, Samuel Liddell (1854–1918), occultist, was born on 8 January 1854 at 11 De Beauvoir Place, Hackney, Middlesex, the son of William Mathers, a merchant's clerk, and his wife, Mary Ann, formerly Collins (d. 1885). From 1866 to 1870 he received a classical education at ...

Article

Moses, William Stainton (1839–1892), spiritualist  

J. M. Rigg

revised by H. C. G. Matthew

Moses, William Stainton (1839–1892), spiritualist, was born at Dorrington, Lincolnshire, on 5 November 1839, the eldest son of William Moses, schoolmaster, and his wife, Mary, née Stainton (b. 1801/2). 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 ...

Article

Myers, Frederic William Henry (1843–1901), psychical researcher and essayist  

Alan Gauld

Myers, Frederic William Henry (1843–1901), psychical researcher and essayist, was born on 6 February 1843 at St John's parsonage, Keswick, Cumberland, the eldest son of Frederic Myers (1811–1851), perpetual curate of St John's, and his second wife, Susan Harriet Marshall (1811–1896). The mathematician ...

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Cover Myers, Frederic William Henry (1843–1901)

Myers, Frederic William Henry (1843–1901)  

Maker: Eveleen Myers

Frederic William Henry Myers (1843–1901) by Eveleen Myers © National Portrait Gallery, London

Article

Podmore, Frank (1856–1910), writer on psychical research  

Alan Gauld

Podmore, Frank (1856–1910), writer on psychical research, was born at Elstree, Hertfordshire, on 5 February 1856, third son of the Revd Thompson Podmore (1823–1895) and his wife, Georgina Elizabeth, daughter of George Grey Barton and Sarah Barton. After attending Elstree Hill School from 1863 to 1868, ...

Article

Rogers, Edmund Dawson (1823–1910), journalist and spiritualist  

W. B. Owen

revised by Alan Gauld

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, ...

Article

Sanders [formerly Carter], (Orrell) Alexander [Alex] (1926–1988), promoter of the Wicca religion  

Ronald Hutton

Sanders [formerly Carter], (Orrell) Alexander [Alex] (1926–1988), promoter of the Wicca religion, was born Orrell Alexander Carter, at 56 Church Road, Tranmere, Birkenhead, on 6 June 1926, the son of Orrell Alexander Carter, labourer and musician, and Hannah Jane Bibby, a domestic servant who later became a professional foster mother. Although his parents never married, ...