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Madam Home - D D Home his life his mission – The letter sent by Sir David Brewster to his daughter giving his own account of the séance he and Lord Brougham attended



Type of Spiritual Experience


A description of the experience

Madam Home - D D Home his life his mission

Mrs Gordon the daughter of Sir David Brewster included this letter to her in her book The Home Life of Sir David Brewster:  Written with no idea that it would ever see the light, this letter undoubtedly contains Sir David Brewster's true impression of the phenomena he had witnessed. He could not explain them: he could only see that they were not, as he subsequently and dishonestly suggested, due to trickery on the part of Mr. Home.

Last of all, I went with Lord Brougham to a séance of the new spirit rapper, Mr Home, a lad of twenty.  Mr Home lives in Cox’s Hotel, Jermyn street and Mr Cox, who knows Lord Brougham, wished him to have a seance, and his lordship invited me to accompany him in order to assist in finding out the trick.

We four sat down at a moderately sized table, the structure of which we were invited to examine. In a short time the table shuddered, and a tremulous motion ran up all our arms; at our bidding these motions ceased and returned. The most unaccountable rappings were produced in various parts of the table; and the table actually rose from the ground when no hand was upon it.

A larger table was produced, and exhibited similar movements. ... A small hand-bell was laid down with its mouth on the carpet; and after lying for some time; it actually rang, when nothing could have touched it. The bell was then placed on the other side, still upon the carpet, and it came over to me and placed itself in my hand.

It did the same to Lord Brougham.

These were the principal experiments. We could give no explanation of them, and could not conjecture how they could be produced by any kind of mechanism.

Mrs Gordon the daughter of Sir David Brewster then says:

It should be added, with regard to Sir David's "conjecture" that the table might have been lifted by the feet of Mr. Home, that at the Ealing séance, the table used was a dining-table twelve feet long; that Sir David Brewster, Mr. T. A. Trollope, I and Mr. Rymer did, as a matter of fact, experiment on it after the séance to see whether it were possible to move the table or to raise it with their feet, and that it could not be stirred by the united efforts of the feet of all three.

The source of the experience

Home, D. D.

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Science Items

Activities and commonsteps