|Birth: ||Mar. 20, 1833|
|Death: ||Jun. 21, 1886|
Medium and spiritualist. Born in Currie, near Edinburgh. When he was nine years old, he was taken with his aunt and uncle to the United States. In 1850, his mother died, and soon after his aunt's house was troubled by rappings and knockings similar to those that occurred two years earlier at the home of the Fox sisters. His aunt, afraid that the boy had called in the Devil, cast Home out. He then lived by staying at the homes of friends who wished to witness his powers as a medium. This way of life lasted for 20 years as he never directly required money for the séances, managing very well on gifts and donations from admirers.
He came to England in 1855 although seriously ill with consumption. Guests there included scientist Sir David Brewster, the novelists Sir Edward Bulwer-Lytton and Anthony Trollope, the socialist Robert Owen, and the Swedenborgian James John Garth Wilkinson. Home seemed to have a talent for converting most sceptics, but Robert Browning, the poet, proved more obdurate. Browning attended a séance and subsequently gave his impression of Home in the unflattering poem Sludge the Medium.
His main claim to fame was his feats of levitation. William Crookes claimed to know of more than 50 occasions in which Home levitated, many of these at least five to seven feet above the floor, "in good light". More common feats were when he rose to around six inches.
In years to come he travelled around Europe as a guest of wealthy patrons. In France he performed Napoleon the Third and also for Queen Sophie who wrote: "I saw him four times...I felt a hand tipping my finger; I saw a heavy golden bell moving alone from one person to another; I saw my handkerchief move alone and return to me with a knot..."
In 1866 he was 'adopted' by a wealthy widow and settled £60,000 upon him, in an apparent attempt to gain introduction into higher society. Finding that the adoption did not change her social situation, she repented of her action, and brought a suit for the return of her money on the grounds that it had been obtained by spiritual influence. The money was returned.
In 1867 it was said he levitated out of the third storey window of one room, and in at the window of the adjoining room.
Home married twice. In 1858 he married Alexandria de Kroll, the 17 year old daughter of a noble Russian family. They had a son, Gregoire, but Alexandria fell ill with tuberculosis, and died in 1862. In October of 1871, Home married for the second time, to Julie de Gloumeline, a wealthy Russian lady, whom he met in St Petersburg.
He died at the age of 38 and was buried along side his daughter at St. Germain-en-Laye cemetery.
Saint Germain-en-Laye Old Communal Cemetery
Departement des Yvelines
Created by: Medora
Record added: Jan 24, 2007
Find A Grave Memorial# 17656501