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Ten years ago I embarked on a project to chart the connections between the “Jack the Ripper” case and my hometown of Kingston upon Hull, or Hull as it is often referred to.  I started out with a single suspect, Robert D’Onston Stephenson, and embarked on planning, researching and writing “Jack the Ripper – From Hell, From Hull.” 


As time progressed my tally of suspects increased, from one, to fourteen!  I also carried out research into the contemporary newspaper articles published in the Hull press between 1888 and 1988, uncovering two giant folders of research. 


So, when it came to writing the book I could no longer fit all the research into one volume, and one volume became two, two became four, and today the current tally stands at

The newspaper reports I had uncovered went into a single volume, however, as the volume was so large they were split into two volumes, resulting in the release of;


“Jack the Ripper” – Newspapers from Hull Vol I, which covers the year 1888




“Jack the Ripper” – Newspapers from Hull Vol II, which covers 1889 – 1988


The material also gave me enough information to write;


Leather Apron, “Jack the Ripper” and the Whitechapel Murders of 1888


I had also been researching the local connection between Michael Maybrick and Florence Maybrick in Hull.  The research from that project went into;


“Jack the Ripper” and the Maybrick Family


Researching the case also gave me lots of information on each victim, I was particularly interested in three non canonical victims, but in researching one I came across a wealth of material that made it into;  


Annie Chapman – Wife, Mother, Victim


Finally I also had enough material on Frederick Bailey Deeming to give him and his criminal deeds a book of their own.  This resulted in the release of;


Frederick Bailey Deeming – “Jack the Ripper” or Something Worse?


“Jack the Ripper” From Hell, From Hull? Was growing so much now that it spawned another spin off,


“Jack the Ripper” – The Black Magic Myth, about the life, career, reputation and suspect candidacy of Robert D’Onston Stephenson.  It was a book that started out a decade ago, working with a pen and paper at our old house in East Hull, and which has finally been completed for publication. 


But wait…….


There are still two more “Jack the Ripper” titles on the way.  As mentioned earlier the suspect tally with links to my hometown was 14!  With that in mind the next two releases will be;


“Jack the Ripper” The Hull Connection,




Edwin Brough, Scalby Manor and the Hunt for “Jack the Ripper.”  


Finally a decade on I can safely say that “Jack the Ripper” The Black Magic Myth is complete and finally the life of Robert D’Onston Stephenson can be recorded. 


Thank you to everyone who helped out, especially Howard Brown for his foreword. 


Thank you to Miika and the Creativia Team, and thank you to my family for their support. 


All the books are available now on Amazon as either kindle or paperback editions.

This past week

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The past week


In the past week I had the opportunity to peruse some old Hull newspapers that covered the years 1889 to 1940.  Among the newspapers were several articles pertaining to Jack the Ripper and the Whitechapel Murders.  I was able to collect copies of articles on the likes of Sir Charles Warren, Sir Melville Macnaghten, and several other police officials, who were in service during the “Autumn of Terror.” 

I was also able to obtain copies of newspaper reports on several suspects, from Frederick Bailey Deeming, James and Florence Maybrick, Charles LeGrand, Francis Tumblety, and several other suspects that are rarely discussed despite their candidacy being much stronger than the likes of some who have been mentioned in the past!

I was also able to collect material, including newspaper reports, and material gleaned from primary sources on the likes of Annie Millwood, Ada Wilson, Emma Elizabeth Smith, Martha Tabram, Mary Ann Nichols, Annie Chapman, Susan Ward, Elizabeth Stride, Catherine Eddowes, The Whitehall Mystery, Mary Jane Kelly, Annie Farmer, Rose Mylett, Elizabeth Jackson, Alice McKenzie, the Pinchin Street Torso, and Frances Coles, as well as several other victims who were killed in the vicinity in the months after the initial “Jack the Ripper” scare! 


This Saturday I had the pleasure of lecturing at the Western Library, on Boulevard, off Hessle-road in West Hull.  The library is opposite the former home of one Frederick Richard Chapman, and close to the site of one of the Hull Dispensary’s that he worked at, and the former church where he was a church warden.  The library itself is an historical gem, built in 1895 and being the first in Hull to be erected using public funding.  The library closed in 2011 and reopened only recently after a £800,000 regeneration project and I must say it is a lovely bright place with many of the historical features kept for future generations to admire.  Among the improvements were the erection of extra meeting rooms, a lift, extra shelving, solar roof panels, and a new IT facility.  The original Victorian counter is still present, and many of the walls have been restored. 

The lecture was arranged by The Friends of Hull Library, who asked that I go along and discuss Hull’s Ghostly Myths and Legends.  It was a lovely atmosphere, and I came away with more bookings for future lectures.  I was also pleased that not only was the room packed, but that the crowd had so many stories and questions in the Q+A session I held afterwards. 

All in all it was a great day, and I hope to return to the library very soon.

Heritage Open Days Hull

As I mentioned in an earlier post, this weekend saw the Heritage Open Days across the UK, and closer to home in Hull.  On Saturday I had the pleasure of visiting Hull’s Neptune Inn, a location that was built in the 1700’s but by the 1800’s had been closed and was sold to the Hull Customs.  It was here, in 1863, that Robert D’Onston Stephenson began working as a clerk of the first class to the Hull Customs.  The property is owned by the Trinity House Corporation, who Robert D’Onston Stephenson’s father worked for in his role as Receiver of Corporation Dues and Receiver of Bouyage.  Two roles that were jointly operated by the Trinity House Corporation, the Hull Customs, the Hull Dock Corporation and the Hull Corporation.  It was also through the same roles and employers that Lewis Carroll’s maternal grandfather worked, albeit in the 1700’s.

The massive awe inspiring building retains many of the original features after it was renovated some years ago and stands opposite the bank that was used by Frederick Bailey Deeming prior to him defrauding Messrs Reynoldson’s!  Deeming arrived in Hull in November 1889 and opened up an account at the bank, and traded with them until he closed his account and wrote three cheques for jewellery at Mr. Reynoldson’s jewellery store, where the current Schue branch is on Hull’s Whitefriargate. 

The bank stands on the corner of Whitefriargate and Parliament-street, another location that appears in Hull’s Ripperological history.  Several people were removed to Parliament-street police station between 1888 and 1900 for “Ripper like conduct” and it acted until the central police station during the period. 

Also on Parliament-street stood what was known as Messrs Tenny and Dawber, a solicitors firm that Joseph Dawber was running.  Joseph was Robert D’Onston Stephenson’s cousin, and would later be locked up in Hull Gaol for fraud.  Curiously, the 1891 Census shows that at the same time he was in prison, Frederick Bailey Deeming, under the alias of Harry Lawson, was also an inmate!  Small world!

Leaving Neptune Inn I paid a visit to the Holy Trinity Church, where William Wilberforce was christened.  It was also here that Robert D’Onston Stephenson’s father was also christened!  The church is always a pleasure to walk about, and features the tombs and remembrance plaques of hundreds of former Hull notables including former Mayors, Alderman, and Merchants.  The tower was open, but with my dodgy ticker and the heat I didn’t risk the climb. 

After Holy Trinity Church I visited the Pacific Exchange, which was advertised as being open 10:00 – 15:00 but at 14:00 was already closed.  Regardless I walked along to Hull’s only National Trust property, Maister’s House.  The house has a magnificent staircase and upper balcony, but it was undergoing structural integrity checks, so scaffold bars and boards blocked much of what was previously on show.  Hopefully they will discover the problem and save this unique location.

From Maister’s House I had a quick look around Hull’s Museum Quarter, where a collection of vintage cars were on display.  Leaving the museums I headed for the Georgian Houses but discovered that the tours needed booking despite the official guide stating that no booking was required.  When I enquired about the time I was told the next available tour would be in a hour and half, so I left for other locations. 

Blaydes House was next on the agenda, a beautiful 18th Century property built and owned by the Blaydes family.  It was the Blaydes family who built a ship named “The Bertha,” which would be later renamed “The Bounty” which was known for its infamous mutiny.    

Leaving Blaydes House my next stop was St Mary’s Church, known to many as St Mary the Virgin.  The church dates from the 14th Century, and is packed with historical features that make it a place to visit over and over again.  Once again, for health reasons, I decided against the tower climb. 

Taking in other locations, such as Ye Olde White Hart, White Hart, Sailmakers, and George Hotel, I finished the day at Hull’s Bob Carver’s fish and chips shop.  A piece of Hull’s history in itself.        

A week in Ripperology.

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Frederick Bailey Deeming

This week I have been busily researching Frederick Bailey Deeming when I came across more articles pertaining to him in the Hull press.  The articles, covering the period of 1894 until 1950, feature a number of local slants on Deeming’s time spent in Hull.  There are retrospectives of his time spent on the run, his time in Hull Prison, and the discovery that he was a murderer.

A number of articles mentioned Deeming in passing, concentrating on Hull crime and criminals in general, with a few looking at the police officers and local government officials involved in the Deeming fraud trial of 1890.    

Jack the Ripper in the Hull and Yorkshire Press 1888 – 1950

This week I searched both The Hull Packet, The Hull Daily Mail, Yorkshire Evening Post, The York Herald, and Yorkshire Gazette for any articles pertaining to Jack the Ripper.  The search resulted in 277 articles featuring Jack the Ripper from the perspective of the Yorkshire press.   Topics include suspects, theories, murders, police officials, and local scares.  There are also a number of articles that look back at the “Autumn of Terror” as well as articles written and submitted to the Yorkshire press by police officials and theorists from the period.  Among some of the most interesting are articles covering Jack the Ripper and the Black Magic theory, but sadly Robert D’Onston Stephenson does not feature!   


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New Finds:

Whilst I have been housebound I had the pleasure of seeking out new articles in the Hull Press via digitisation projects.  This has allowed me to search from the relative comfort of my home and has turned up some fascinating results.

Over the years my scope of work has covered 10 suspects with links to my home town of Kingston upon Hull, so with access to the Hull Daily Mail archives I decided to search for any articles pertaining to any of the 10 suspects, resulting in the finding of numerous articles on the likes of Frederick Bailey Deeming, and even some material from the 1920’s exploring Lewis Carroll’s connections to the city.  Among the articles were many reports on the Whitechapel Murders, many of which I have never seen before, and other similar atrocities and Ripper scares.  There was a fascinating article regarding Jack the Ripper and Black Magic, that appeared in the Hull press in the 1920’s, and some fascinating material on the likes of Betty May and Aleister Crowley.

New Photographic Finds:

In the last 6 years I have searched and searched for a photograph showing the birthplace of Hull born Robert D’Onston Stephenson.  Despite poring over hundreds of books, webpages, and photo archives I could not trace an image, then, within the space of a week, I uncovered not one, but two!!  The images show two different views of the Stephenson family home.  One from the street facing the property from a side and showing the neighbouring houses, the other shows the property from the front, but at a much later date!!  Needless to say I am very excited about these images.


This month marks my third year on social networking site Twitter.  It has seen me post almost 7,000 tweets, and I have a little over 900 followers.  The site has become a useful networking tool for likeminded Ripperologists, Historians, and True Crime followers.  Here is to another 3 years!!

Robert D’Onston Stephenson’s Birthday!

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Tomorrow, April 20th, marks the 171st birthday of Robert D’Onston Stephenson.  Stephenson, who was born at 35 Charles-street, Sculcoates, Hull, was suspected of being Jack the Ripper by George Marsh, an unemployed iron monger, in December 1888. 

 Detective Inspector Thomas Roots of the Criminal Investigation Department, Scotland Yard, did not take the claims seriously and Stephenson was, at the time, ruled out as a suspect.  Despite this numerous books have followed citing him as a suspect. 

 Stephenson worked in Hull at the Hull Customs House, which was situated at the Neptune Inn, on Whitefriargate, Hull.  The site today is occupied at street level by “Boots” and “The Works” but once a year, during the Heritage Open Days, the upper floor is open to the public.

 During a recent research trip I was fortunate enough to uncover a photograph of the birthplace of Robert D’Onston Stephenson, a building that is no longer there.  Sadly Charles-street was partially destroyed during the construction of Freetown Way and his birthplace today is occupied by offices and a car park!!!

Howden Research Trip

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Last week I had the pleasure of visiting Howden, a village approx 26 miles west of Hull and former home of both Robert D’Onston Stephenson’s wife and Frederick Richard Chapman.  The day was dull and damp but being by Annie Stephenson’s grave made up for the wet weather.  I visited the cemetery where the workhouse records claim she was buried, the site of the workhouse were she passed away, the site of the original workhouse, and the site of the family home of Frederick Richard Chapman.  I came away with some new information and some new leads and it was nice to see the Howden Minister and walk among the ancient graves. 

Year in Review 2011

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Every year around this time I always post a Year in Review, showing the books, magazines, articles, TV shows and research that other Ripperologists have done throughout the year, but this past year has seen so many changes and I have been so busy that I have not really kept up with the latest developments.  Plus a major hard-drive explosion and the loss of several files didn’t help.  Luckily much of the material was on pen-drives.  So this year I thought I would write a year in review based on my research, rather than other peoples work, to show what has been done locally and nationally.

In January I was cast head first into the world of Frederick Bailey Deeming when it was revealed that a skull had turned up in Australia and was possibly his.  The find caused mush debate and discussion and was covered in blogs, newspaper reports, and even made its way onto TV.  At the time I was fortunate enough to have quiet a large collection of newspaper articles that showed the passage of Deeming’s skull, from the hanging in 1892, it being buried, dug up, allegedly stolen and through various hands of ownership.  It has to be the most talked about skull in Australian history, second only to Ned Kelly, and I am pleased to say that the skull turned out to be that of Ned Kelly’s and not Deeming as previously thought.  The case did mean that several members of the Deeming family came forward, and I certainly got a lot of messages and emails from people wishing to know more.

February saw me visiting Hedon and Preston in search of material for a book and articles on the murder of Mary Jane Langley.  Mary Jane was murdered in 1891 and at the time Frederick Bailey Deeming had just been released from Hull Prison.  His name actually came to light in relation to the investigation in 1892 when Deeming’s links to Hull and Yorkshire were explored in both the Hull and Beverley press and so it would only be a matter of time that I explored the case.  What was weird about this, is that some of the descendents of Mary had actually previously been in touch and mentioned the case to me, and asked if I knew anything, so it was lovely to be able to send them material and news every time I researched Mary and her family and to be able to answer some of the question and queries they had regarding the case.

March saw a trip to Beverley’s East Riding Archives, where I secured newspaper cuttings on Frederick Bailey Deeming and his frauds in 1890/1891, and the Rainhill and Windsor Murders of 1891/1892.  I also visited several locations associated with Deeming, and Helen Matheson and her family and secured interviews and photos of some of the locations.

April saw the discovery of Frederick Bailey Deeming in the Hull Watch Committee Minutes.  These proved invaluable as it put a price on the manhunt for Deeming after his frauds in 1890 in Hull.  Many of the books and publications mention Deeming in relation to Hull in only a passing manner, many of which erroneously state that he was married in Hull, and stayed at the Station Hotel in Beverley.  The Hull Watch Committee Minutes are a great find as they finally reveal how much was spent on following Deeming to Southhampton and Monte Video, and then returning him to Hull.  With this information I was able to find shipping manifests that showed Deeming on board with Detective Grassby of the Hull Police as well as several other documents that were created at the time and show the events that transpired.

May was filled with another Deeming related file. The Hull Watch Committee Minutes books also helped me discover the massive Hull Trial File, which is packed with primary sources from his time in Hull, and features letters, telegrams, and eyewitness statements.  It also made me realize that as well as Deeming and his alias Lawson, I should be aware that sometimes the authorities get it wrong and can often misspell names!  It also saw an exciting visit to the Hull Prison Exhibition which was fascinating.

June saw some newspaper based research, tackling Frederick Bailey Deeming and Robert D’Onston Stephenson from a different angle and helping me uncover 40 new articles associated with them, their lives in Hull, and the people whose lives they affected.  It also saw me get my hands on another Frederick Bailey Deeming file, the Home Office Files.  These featured 43 pages filled with material on Deeming and his life and the legal wranglings that were going on over his arrest in Monte Video.  This year I visited Whitby with my wife and took in the Lewis Carroll and Bram Stoker/Dracula locations.  I also managed to obtain several books on the duo, including one that links Stoker to the murders!  Stoker, it is claimed, was inspired by the Ripper Murders and stated so in an Icelandic Edition of Dracula.

July saw some research trips to the East Riding Archives in Beverley where I uncovered material on Robert D’Onston Stephenson, Frederick Bailey Deeming, and the murder of Mary Jane Langley.  I was also back in the Hull History Centre and found yet another file on Deeming, this time it was in the Hull Watch Files and covered Thomas Reynoldson and his quest for justice against Deeming.  Also at the Hull History Centre I found several reports on Deeming in the Hull Watch Committee Minutes, and Hull Finances Committee Minutes.  At the Hull Reference Library I discovered information pertaining to the ships that Thomas Sadler had sailed on.  This month saw the discovery that Deeming had been discussed in the House of Commons, and that police officers were sent to Australia from Scotland Yard, and asked to help with the Rainhill Murders.  Despite these snippets being mentioned in the local and national press to date there have been no files that cast any light on who went and why.

August was the month of Mary Jane Langley, with my article appeared in Ripperologist Magazine, on my blog, and the case attracting attention in the local media.  It also gave me a chance to finally meet Mary Jane’s descendants in a rather touching moment at her graveside.  This month some some material on Annie Deary/Stephenson surface.  I had been researching the events leading up to and surrounding her death and not only traced the location, but several other primary sources from the period.  I also managed to secure a photo of the building in which she died.  David Knott had found Annie Stephenson’s death certificate some years ago, and from the information contained within I was able to search the logs that were written when Annie died.  They proved quiet interesting and showed what she was up to in the latter years of her life in Lincolnshire.  August was also the annual Heritage Open Days and I once again visited the Customs House in Hull, filming and taking photos of the visit.

September saw a visit to London for material on both Frederick Bailey Deeming and Robert D’Onston Stephenson.  I had the pleasure of visiting the British Library and searching numerous books, periodicals and correspondence and came away with pages and pages of new material.  These included material on Robert D’Onston Stephenson and Grant Richards, Robert D’Onston Stephenson and Theosophy, Robert D’Onston Stephenson and the Workhouse, Robert D’Onston Stephenson and Betty May’s Tiger Woman, Robert D’Onston Stephenson and Highgate Hill Infirmary, Robert D’Onston Stephenson and the Islington Board of Guardians,   It was a lovely trip and I also had time to visit the British Museum, Natural History Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum.  This month also saw some fascinating finds on Robert D’Onston Stephenson’s Religion that I posted on jtrforums.com.  Sadly the registers never had him down as a Black Magician!  Despite this numerous books have been released since that still claim he was a black magician!

October was devoted to researching some paranormal material that I had been working on for some time. I was able to secure interviews with key witnesses and appeared on West Hull Radio to discuss some of my research.

November began with an appearance on BBC Radio Humberside discussing the Central Library Lecture.  The interview went really well, and the lecture at the library was packed out.  I also met and spoke to a number of people that helped with my research, and got more bookings for 2012!

Sadly in early November I was back in hospital with my heart, investigations are ongoing, and hopefully next year the cardiologists will get to the bottom of it.

Other projects:
This year has seen Jack the Blogger, in Ripperologist Magazine, go from strength to strength, sadly the computer outage has stopped me for a while, but the column will be back in 2012 bigger and better than ever.  I cannot thank the gang at Ripperologist enough for their ongoing support.
The year also saw some new lectures at both the Hull History Centre and the Hull Central Library, both of which were well filled with every seat taken and great fun.  I have more lectures booked into 2012 so it should prove to be another good year.  I do not charge for any of my lectures and my time is free.
This year also saw me meeting with a film production crew making a documentary on Frederick Bailey Deeming.  Hopefully the show will air soon so I can discuss the matter in detail.  All that I can say it that it was great fun and the team that I had the pleasure of working with were all a lovely bunch and it was nice to have them in Hull and show them the sights.
I have also been approached about other possible future projects but cannot divulge what they are!!!
The books
This year has seen a number of developments with the writing projects, and a number of fantastic names are on board to write the forewords of some of the titles.  The first quarter of the year was devoted to the writing and research on the Mary Jane Langley project, which was a by product of the work on Frederick Bailey Deeming.  The same occurred with the Deeming newspaper book, and the Dawber history book which was created when editing the Robert D’Onston Stephenson book.
The decision to split the paranormal book into three was made when it was discovered that at its present phase it was just too big, so it was split into three.  Earlier this year a lot of the material was lost when a computer outage took over 100 pages of work, luckily I still had the research so it is being typed up again.

Jack the Ripper - From Hell, From Hull? Vol I Robert D’Onston Stephenson 261,423 words over 362 pages

Jack the Ripper - From Hell, From Hull? Vol II Frederick Bailey Deeming 207,113 words over 259 pages

Jack the Ripper - From Hell, From Hull? Vol III 66,493 words over 101 pages

Jack the Ripper - From Hell, From Hull? - Newspapers From Hull 104,379 words over 133 pages

Frederick Bailey Deeming and the Murder of Mary Jane Langley 101,831 words over 136 pages

Frederick Bailey Deeming in the International Press 175,320 words over 200 pages

Mike Covell’s Haunted Hull 133,521 words over 217 pages

Mike Covell’s Haunted Hull - The Press Perspective 31,256 words over 43 pages

Mike Covell’s Haunted Hull - Paranormal Hull 108,087 words over 155 pages

Emily Dimmock Camden Town Murder Project 37,633 words over 35 pages

The History of the Dawber family in Hull 1700-2000 15,296 words over 31 pages

Untitled Fact vs Fiction Project 161,669 words over 165 pages

Thank you for a great year:
All the staff at Hull City Council’s Hull History Centre, including the Local Studies and Archives.  All the staff at Hull’s Central Library, Reference Library and Holderness road Library for putting up with me.  All the staff at Hull Museums and the staff at the East Riding Archives in Beverley. Rob Nicholson of Her Majesty’s Prison, Hull.  Adam Wood and Chris George at Ripperologist.  Howard and Nina Brown at Jtrforums.com.  Ray from the Hedon Blog, All the staff at the Nags Head, Preston, the staff at the Hedon Museum, All the staff at the British Library, British Museum, Natural History Museum, Victoria and Albert Museum, for putting up with my emails and requests and for providing a brilliant service.  And a thank you to all my Facebook and Twitter friends that have supported me through what has been a tough year.  Here is to 2012!!

London Research Trip 2011

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One of the most important aspects of any research trip, other than the research of course, is the planning and preparation that goes on in the days leading up to a trip.  In the past I had thought about spending a day at the British Library in London, but during my previous visits to the Capitol I just didn’t have the time to squeeze in a visit.  This week I was able to plan a day in London and visit the library to spend some time researching certain aspects of the case.  With primary research on Jack the Ripper, From Hell, From Hull? Vol. I coming to a close I thought it would be the best, and probably last time I would get to visit before the final copy was ready.  The trip would be one of both primary and secondary resources, taking in correspondence, financial papers, and articles from the period, coupled with material written after the fact.  Some of these have often been alluded to, but never published and they proved to be quiet interesting.  They would include,

Robert D’Onston Stephenson and Grant Richards

Robert D’Onston Stephenson and Theosophy

Robert D’Onston Stephenson and the Workhouse

Robert D’Onston Stephenson and Betty May’s Tiger Woman

Robert D’Onston Stephenson and Highgate Hill Infirmary

Robert D’Onston Stephenson and the Islington Board of Guardians


With these topics in mind I searched for both primary and secondary sources associated with Stephenson and Co, and my searches came back time and time again with two locations, the most important of these, holding the most information, was the British Library.  I had arranged to see a collection of books and files to cover the majority of the topics above and packed my bag for the trip, booking my tickets online.

 The train journey began from Hull at 7.40 on a very wet Friday morning.  The last time I had taken this journey was the day my father passed away, it felt strange, but at the same time it felt right.  Dad loved history and was the first person I showed my research to. 

 The first stop on the journey was Hessle Station, a place associated with several notable families, and several names that appear in Jack the Ripper, From Hell, From Hull? Vol. III.  The station itself retains much of the Victorian architecture, but now stands in the shadow of the modern monolith that is the Humber Bridge.  The train eventually passes the Hearfield family mill at Little Switzerland.  It was here at the black mill that the Hearfield family crushed chalk, the present day Humber Bridge Country park being the site of their quarry.  Thomas Hearfield was a Hull based Solicitor who was often called in to defend Richard Stephenson Junior in the 1870’s.

 Another station on the way is Goole, a location associated with Annie Deary in the later years of her life.  From the station one can see the cranes that dominate the docks, as well as both the Victorian and more modern water towers. 

 Thorne North is another station stop and another location associated with Annie Deary.  It was in Thorne that Deary was born, and registered in the 1841 Census with her parents.  The station retains much of its Victorian fittings and fixtures, and the main station house dominates the outward bound platform side, albeit with modern automatic doors. 

 A quick change at Doncaster and I was on the much quicker train that sped through the English countryside to London, arriving at 10.45.

 After completing my pre-registration at the British Library I left my belongings at the locker room and with writing pad, laptop, and wish list made my way to the Rare Books Room.  The first thing that strikes you about the British Library is the size, it is essentially a multi-storey building with lifts and stairs and very much reminded me of Relativity by M.C. Escher.  Lifts, stairs and escalators going back and forth and I got lost in the building at least once during the day.

 The Rare Book Room is enormous, and after familiarising myself with the layout and rules I approached the desk and found that my items were ready.  Within minutes I had sat down and found some of the material I was looking for.  These gave new insights into some of the aspects of Robert D’Onston Stephenson’s life and it surprised me that despite the age of the material it had never been published in recent years.  I typed up the relevant passages and sought out some other material.  I spent from 11.00 until 13.00 in the rare book room and managed to come out with a pile of material that I had typed up and written up onto an A4 pad. 

 I still had more material to look at, but it was on order and could take up to 70 minutes for delivery so I went for lunch.  Outside of the British Library is a massive seating area with numerous café’s and coffee houses.  It was a warm afternoon and quiet busy.  After eating lunch I realised I still had some time to spare so visited the Sci Fi exhibition being held at the British Library, entitled Out of this World.  This involved a lengthy timeline, finely illustrated by books, and periodicals, and touched on famous authors, stories, theories, ideas, shows, and comic book heroes.  Sadly photos were not allowed, which is a shame as the exhibition had some amazing set pieces featuring giant flying saucers, talking robots, giant metal bugs, and props from Doctor Who.

 Heading back to library I headed for the Humanities Room where one of the items I requested had been delivered.  I spent some time in here looking for the relevant information before returning the book and heading to the Rare Books Room for the final stint of my research.  I sat here until 5 o’clock and found letters that were pertinent to my research, reading and copying them out.  I didn’t get to see everything I wanted to see, but found some fascinating snippets on Robert D’Onston Stephenson that had never been discussed before and has opened up new avenues of research for the future.

 It is always nice to have direct access to the source material and to not have to rely on others for it.  I also came across several articles on Frederick Bailey Deeming that will come in handy at some point.

 Leaving the British Library I headed for the tube to take a trip to Kensington with a view to visiting a Family History Centre.  Turning up in Kensington the building I sought had closed.  Although this was something of a setback and I was quiet disappointed I decided to visit the nearby museums.  First of all I took in the Victoria and Albert Museum, a building that was so big I got lost and had to ask for directions for the way out.  The museum was packed with some fascinating objects but because of the name I was expecting objects and information about Victoria and Albert.

 Across the road was the Natural History Museum, a location I had longed to go but never made the trip.  I loved it, and spent quiet some time admiring the dinosaurs, animals and displays on offer, and hope to return with the children one day. 

 After leaving the museum I head back via the tube for King’s Cross and my journey home.  It had been a long day but well worth it as I came away with more material that I thought I would get and some information that I had thought might exist, but never imagined that it did, or that I would get my hands on it.  

Robert D’Onston Stephenson - Elementals

Stephenson Family, Theories 1 Comment »

In the June 1896 issue of Borderland Robert D’Onston Stephenson’s wrote an article on Elementals. His article was about the work of Dr Franz Hartmann, and covered the world of vampires and elemental spirits. The article stated,

II-Elementals. Borderland, July 1896. A CORRESPONDENT, signing himself “R. D’O.,” to whom I submitted the foregoing paper, writes me as follows: ” The doctor, in his otherwise very able paper on this subject, makes one great and fundamental error, which to a great extent destroys the value of his communication. He treats of two essentially different classes of beings as being identical, and assumes that the undoubted visitations of elementaries to human beings are made by ‘ Vampires.’ Now ‘vampires’ and elementaries have scarcely anything in common, either in their origin, their nature, or their temperament. They are two absolutely distinct species of spirits. ” But before I proceed to their differentiation, a few words as to these visitations. In the first place there is no doubt that they actually do take place: everyone who has investigated the subject knows instances where women of great intellectual powers, and having no tendency whatever to hysteria or illusions of any kind (being at the same time persons of undoubted veracity), claim that they have been-and are-visited in this manner. ” The immense mass of evidence, collected from many countries, by different scientific observers - medical men and others-cannot be set aside. Doubtless, if only one or two cases existed, we should explain them by the one word-’ hysteria’ ; but the accumulated mass of facts from so many different temperaments cannot be dealt with in this manner. We must accept the facts, though we may differ as to their cause. And as to this there are only three solutions possible :-1. That they are purely the product of a too vivid imagination, probably assisted by hysteria ; 2. That the visitants are, what they usually represent themselves to be, spirits of predeceased lovers ; 3. That they are other spirits, ‘elementaries’ or ‘vampires,’ masquerading as spirits of the dead. ” The answer to the first hypothesis is, that, as a rule, the recipients of these visits are, more frequently than not, people not distinguished for imaginative powers. And the slightest reflection will show that an enormous fund of creative imagination must exist to make a woman absolutely certain that her lover is present with her as tangible as in life. ” And not only do these manifestations take place, but, in many cases, long conversations are held, sometimes for hours together; questions are asked and answered, and replies (sometimes true, but usually false) obtained which could not have emanated from the brain of the querist, being sometimes accurate in-formation of circumstances which could by no possibility have been known to her. Further, these visitations are frequently made to men, when, of course, the visitor is of female form. Another fact, difficult to account for on the first hypothesis, is that these visits have been, paid to people who had never heard of such things, and who were Philistines of the Philistines regarding all, kinds of ‘ spirit’ or psychic phenomena. ” Consequently, we will dismiss theory No. 1 as untenable, and consider No. 2. That is, that the visitants, warm, living, breathing, palpitating, are the spirits of the dead. And here I will quote one who, amidst an enormous farrago of nonsense, self-deception, and false fact, has somehow stumbled on a few truths-Anna Kingsford : ‘There are no such things as “spirits of the dead,” there are only ” shades ” of the dead.’ And these shades are certainly unable to make themselves even audible, much more tangible, palpable, and warm-blooded. We know quite sufficient about them to know that. ” Then there only remains the third proposition, that they are other spirits, who, for their own purposes, assume the shape and verisimilitude of dead persons. ” Is Dr. Hartmann right then in considering them to be ‘ vampires’ ? and, if not ‘ vampires,’ what are they ? ” The learned doctor has evidently thoroughly studied the subject of vampires, enjoying as he does facilities for research in the very country which (if we except the West Indies) has from time immemorial to the present been the scene of their most awful manifestations-Hungary. “And it is quite true what Dr. H. says, that ‘persons obsessed by a vampire are always sensually inclined people ; and usually given to secret vices.’ influences ; nothing more is needed. ” Dr. H. recounts five cases within his personal know-ledge, which he attributes to the action of vampires. But, of these five, only the third and fifth in order were undoubtedly due to vampire action, and the first one is almost more than doubtful. The others were certainly not vampires. There is no reason for thinking that the old lady who undermined the health of her servants was under the power of a vampire : it being a well-known fact that many (in fact most) very old people who sleep with young and impressionable ones, gradually absorb the greater part of their vitality ; and all physicians in this country are very precise in forbidding it. ” The second case shows no trace of a vampire’s presence, of its ‘ devouring’ propensities, or of its horrible hate for the victim from whom it nightly drains the very life-blood. It is simply a case of an ‘ ” elemental ” (as the doctor says) making use of and being aided by the elementary of the suicide.’ But, as before said, an ‘ elemental ‘ is not a vampire. ” The third case, of the millers boy, is a good in-stance of one mode of action of an undoubted vampire. ” In the fourth case the ‘dual,’ there is nothing to indicate a vampire. The idea that the ‘ dual ‘ drew all the woman’s strength from her was most probably not the fact. The fifth case is doubtless a genuine one of vampirism by the living, as Dr. Hartmann asserts. ” Now then, having so far cleared the ground, what are vampires? ” They are not ‘ elementals ‘ but ‘ demons ‘ : there are no ‘demon elementals.’ Demons are differentiated from spirits in possessing souls, and this, while it intensifies their power of malignant hate towards man, renders them, in one sense, superior to sex passion. They have an infinite capacity of hatred and malignity, which they can only gratify at the expense of those who are sensuously inclined. But they have no power-as the elementals have in certain cases-to assume human form : they can give no pleasure, either mental or physical. All that they can do is to absorb, to waste, to madden, and destroy. ” Dr. Hartmann gives very correctly all the recognised symptoms of vampirism. ” The elementals, on the contrary, are in this connection perfectly harmless. So far from bearing any hatred or malice towards the recipients of their favours, they are actuated towards them by (at least so far as they are capable of feeling it) love. This is self-evident by their conduct.”

It has been claimed that Robert D’Onston Stephenson was writing in response to the following article, entitled, Seelenbraute und Vampirismus, and was written by Franz Hartmann, featuring in Lotusbluthen, Vol. 6 in the year 1895. It has been claimed that this article was the inspiration behind Robert D’Onston Stephenson’s 1896 article in Borderland entitled Elementals. This is, however, false,

Souls of brides and vampirism

Under a vampire is defined as a spirit, by which a person is possessed and the life force of that which he possesses, emaciated, exhausted his nervous energy and eventually drives him to madness and death in the arms. But what is meant by spirit? One need not like a ghost, wandering around the outside of man and in the air, thinking. The word “spirit” in German means many different things from each other, that one has the choice to mean whatever you want. It states: “Anyone who still believes in ghosts and spirit?” - And yet we are all spirits in a material itself visible envelope, for a man without spirit is a corpse, even if he is otherwise a good appetite, but spiritually dead under spirit, we understand, a unity of will and imagination, with In other words, a bustling through the thoughts and become self-confident willpower. The idea stems from the feeling and the strength of these two, which creates in the soul of human forms, whether this happens intentionally or unintentionally and intentionally and instinctively, the result remains the same. The materialist “talk a big word for left” when he says that ghosts exist only in our imagination, but it is a mind that the works of the imagination be a nothingness and that he had destroyed with his oracle, the spirit world, while but the imagination is a force which causes substantial real phenomena in our mind, and she imagines in our souls, making them suitable for our internal perception just as essential, as is an external object is to our physical senses. The stronger the imagination, the stronger occur objectively in the mirror of the soul imagined performances in front of introspection, be it through the inner face or inner feeling, and under certain circumstances, to every metaphysician are known, particularly in nerve weakness and mediumistic persons, not the so-formed shapes only for the person who created them, but even for all those present are outwardly visible and tangible objective, which is already widely known through the so-called “ghost materializations” found art. It would be a great mistake to think that were active in the creation of such “ghost” no external influences. A seed, be it physical or psychological, is developing and does not grow without a supply of nourishment and stimulation from the outside. The water and earth lead to the plant food, and the light and heat, they stimulate the growth of, to that of the delicate seed becomes a tree, finally, on which depend the skeptic who does not believe in trees, can. Similarly, by the thought that springs from the sensation, appropriate ideas from the “astral plane” dressed in the mind enter the people, get him to consciousness, and the idea may eventually become the “obsession” over which the reason and take what the government loses possession of the whole inner nature of man. Lovers and fools and fanatics of all kinds could tell them if they had sense enough to see their own state. The lover is in love with the idea, which he makes from the object of his infatuation, he creates for himself an image in his soul of his beloved, and this image is through his senses by the sight of his lover and the sound produced her voice and nourished. Another creates in his imagination, without outside help the object of his adoration, but he pulls through his lust corresponding influences, larvae, animals, monsters of all kinds, ghosts and devils from the underworld. Me into being trampled in a thought is not one of me physically different thing, and yet this idea is not “I”, I still thought of, but he is a part of my nature, which arose out of my will and my imagination, and insofar as this essence or the “spirit” of confidence in me has become, and from my own self is different, he is my other, my false ego, alterego, “dual” or like how you call it, he is into me and on my own born, alive in me “incarnate” thought of my will, a part of my nature, the lives of me and in me, and die in me or I can survive. The man is sprung from a desire and imagination “materialized” spirit, he is a composition of a sum of forces and qualities which constitute his personality is always changing. Arises in him an obsession, which gained the upper hand over his reason, so we have a special group of properties in this sum, an individualized notion within this product from idea, one to the contrary has become will within the will, from which he is born , a “spirit” in the spirit. Sun arise from the different emotions, feelings, desires and instincts of people different ideas, thoughts and spirits that get in it an individual consciousness and its false “selves” can be just as many people on Earth just wrong ” egos “of the deity, ie, self-conscious, individual, physical manifestations of a world soul. The person dies, it dissolves into its constituents on its composition, the truth in it goes into the truth, the qualities which he has borrowed from nature, are not destroyed thereby, but are returning to nature and be back by other corresponding organisms attracted to them in return to the consciousness and enter into the circle of life. This is not just with his physical, but also with his mental components of the case, everything returns to its origin, but the body of matter, spirit to spirit and passion to the source from which they originated. Thus, for example, the sexual impulse in man is no man and no flying in the air, ghost, but one will form in nature, which manifests itself in humans and animals as sex drive, it can in man be so severe that he in his reign gained over his reason. It is then a force of nature personified in man, in his mind into being trampled, a false ego that drives him to all sorts of unreasonable actions and the imagination can be any shape. Dying man hears, so that this force of nature, which was revealed to him as a sex drive and is called Kama, not to exist, but when she finds a favorable soil in other places, so diet and develop the Convention therein mental germs and reappears in other people and animals as their sex drive to the stage of their existence. In this way, the passion that has created a living person into the life and possessed him to influence even after his death to another person or take possession. Not the deceased person is, who poses as “soul groom”, but the psychic energy, which has left the deceased and which of them possessed, according to the play of his imagination and designed clothes. The dead know nothing. Similarly, among the living. Only a very ignorant man still doubted that the feelings of another human being in one can cause the same feelings and influence the thoughts of one another without the former is aware of. Death of a man who has put his life during a certain type of energy in kamischer activity, then there is still the same and then continued as a natural force, such as leaving the body heat as the heat continues to exist and reheated another body. That is why the death penalty one of ignorance springing mistake if we think that to have a detrimental effect rendered harmless. They destroyed the form, the tool, but not the driving spirit. Such forces of nature or “spirits” have no individual consciousness, no discernment or ability to think, they are influences, which become individual consciousness again until the person in whom they are revealed, and through it. These “ghosts”, which is a perverted sexual instinct in humans may give life to include the “Incubi” and “succubi” the metaphysician of the middle ages, which correspond to our modern “soul brides” and “soul grooms,” and that is meant by a ” Incubus “one in the fantasy of a sensual female form, and people created by a” Succubus “one of the female imagination sprung male form. In India the same “Mohinis” and “Pisachas” are mentioned, and Theophrastus Paracelsus called “phantoms, dragons, monsters,” etc. They are really existing being, by the concerned people themselves created and nourished by spiritual influences, they are states of mind of affected by them and prove their existence only too clearly by the disruption caused to them by the nervous system and the disintegration of the physical forces. That of knowing nothing and knowing nothing unending scholarly conceit with the exclamation “Superstition!” will answer and to have explained everything thinks does not matter. This is the most convenient way to give yourself a reputation among the ignorant and to eliminate questions about things of which you understand nothing. The vampirism is an unfortunate fact that one can not eliminate through denial. Who is it accessible, not only of influences that emanate from the remnants of the dead but also of his fellow human beings living vampirized and drained, mentally, morally and physically. To eke out in the physical as well as looking into the mental world of one at the expense of the other his existence, whether it is consciously and intentionally or unintentionally, done instinctively. Influence the thoughts of one another, without the familiar and the other where the origin, and if the ideas that the people that lived before us called into existence, could have no influence on us, there would be in the world at no progress. The spirit of a Goethe or Shakespeare lives and works today, though the personality has long since dissolved into its elements, and no one will understand by this spirit, a ghost flying around in the world. The ideas, which called into being great minds, nourish the seeds in the hearts of those who are receptive to great ideas. The same is the case with the passions. Man is an embodied spiritual strength, he disappears from the phenomenal world, but the force remains there. He is like a cloud in the sky, which comes and goes, but the air and water, they have made persist, and bring forth new cloud formations. Anyone who has studied the literature of the occult and metaphysics, where there will be no shortage of material to think about vampirism. There is a lot of events described in relation to the vampirism of the dead and the living, which may be mentioned here, but I prefer to speak from my own experience: In G. .. is a woman, in which a young man was in love. Because the same was a drunkard and vagrant, however, they scorned him, although had a great affection felt for him, and married another. From injured vanity shot the young man, and soon afterwards the young woman was attacked by an Incubus, which she visited with her at night and indulged in sexual intercourse. She could not see the “spirit”, but feel and felt about the same as would be if a person living with her. These visits were repeated very often, especially in the absence of her husband, and shattered her nerves, so that the husband himself was finally forced to seek medical advice. By strengthening the moral force of the woman was healed.
According to the theory of the spiritualists would be here now, the specter of suicide, the cause of this phenomenon. Thus would the suicide, after he had discarded his physical body, to go personally to his former lover, to have fun with it. Who knows but the laws of the mind, the matter looks quite different. The incubus was created by the imagination of the woman himself, and the still formed in her mind retarded love for the suicide of the seed from which grew the Incubus, and the food that he got his growth, consisted in the influence which of the serial killer during the life evoked passion had on her mind. From their own inner desire the idea in question, which holds their memories with the figure of the spurned lover arose was, and became her “other self”, which was an objective and tangible for them. But that the force-fed these vampire who really went out the remnants of a suicide, but says the fact that the proximity of these women exercised a depressing effect on sensitive individuals. Not only they wore themselves with thoughts of suicide, but many of their visitors if they knew anything about the whole thing were infected by their presence with a bad mood and suicidal thoughts, which often lasted for weeks. Similar cases are by no means rare, but the effect of these vampires is different for different people in their nature. Some would like to get rid of these influences, but have not the moral strength of these influences to keep at bay, while others welcome of the same and refer to the handling of these invisible “husband” and “wives” to their highest enjoyment. After all, however, is the victim of such Vampires through the continuing excitement of his or her nerves weakened, sensitive, irritable, prone to tears, suffering from exhaustion, despite the much increased appetite and is vampirized not only themselves but vampirized others and deprives its proximity the persons part of their life force. These are my various old ladies are known which seem the only way to keep it alive, that they have consistently young maid around, are by their “vital magnetism” they consume, and not a few such servants, without knowing it, the victim of such Vampires and fall of emaciation and pulmonary tuberculosis. Who is not much of it knows what is going on in the world who might think that cases of vampirism, incubus and succubi are rare things that happen only very occasionally, but who has given these things some attention knows that they are surprisingly numerous . Among the Spiritualists are thousands who are possessed by a vampire, they consider their soul bride or groom, and even those who maintain that kind of embodied phenomena such dealings, are not rare. There are men and women who tell with delight of the pleasure which they give the meetings with their “dual”, and old women, who believe that they selflessly sacrifice themselves to him in which they have with him sexual relations because they believe that this way his “spiritual progress” was being promoted. It seems that human folly is no limit. Some are content to dream about their “dual”, others feel his presence and lead his touch, and still others see it while they are still conscious, and enjoy the amusements of marital life without the physical inconvenience of sharing the same. Can assume that an incubus or succubus, under certain circumstances, a physical, visible and tangible form, is for the metaphysician, who knows the relevant laws of nature, not a secret. Goethe has described in his “Bride of Corinth” one such case. Washington Irwing tells a similar, and the literature of occultism and spiritualism is full of such facts, and the history of the Middle Ages provides countless examples. That all of this but do not make any immediately comprehensible, and the “how” and “why” especially one loaded with prejudices scholars can not make understandable a few words without saying, of itself, because such persons are not the initial reasons for understanding this laws of nature possess. Eduard von Hartmann says in his brochure on spiritualism: “The audience is practically a right to know it, what is it with these things.” Well! Preached and explained these things were long, but not understood by the audience. “The metaphysician should have practically a right to demand it, to think scientifically to be the audience itself-meaning and understand the explanations given to learn.” We therefore want to turn around and say the sentence. Which of the rudiments of metaphysics does not know is capable of a farmer who imagines himself to know that hidden in the moving locomotive his horse, causing the movement. To convince such a farmer would have him until the construction of the locomotive and the effect of steam power to explain why he had neither understanding nor the patience to listen to the explanation. To the physicist, who knows nothing of metaphysics and all the wrong ways seeks to explain the laws of “materialization,” he would have the actual first word of “matter” and learn to understand the occult constitution of man. Between mind and matter is not insurmountable gap in living humans. Spirit, soul and body are connected by intermediate links, the higher impact on the lower, the spirit on the mind, the mind on the body, which eventually finds its spiritual expression in the material, which is a symbol of the spiritual. The key to this mystery lies in the knowledge of the characteristics of the “astral body” or that part of the human organism, which the Indians’ Linga Scharira “calls, which is but for the whole of European science is still a terra incognita, of which our philosophers still long to break their heads if they by the ancient Indian sages who have all this long ago described scientifically accurate, want to know absolutely nothing. Should the audience but has the right to demand that our physicians and doctors, if they want any longer to preserve the aura of omniscience, step out of its stagnation and, instead of settling for mere “observation”, learn about the psychological causes, arise from which most physical illnesses. There is no outward appearance without inner cause. There will be no spirit out of the man who has not previously occurred to him. Without form and shape is the light, which builds the plant and is embodied in it. Without reason and without form, the psychological factors which enter into the unguarded mind of the people who come to consciousness in him and accept him into shape and form can. Such figures may occur objectively and physically, so that they are experienced with all five senses, the case involved organ is the spleen, the occult, as well as that of the pineal gland function of the current, official medical science is unknown. Who, as the author, such materializations to dozens of times seen, they felt and talked with them, has to have all of the known alleged revelations of fraud are no longer interested, even less than those Debunking usually nothing more than their own ignorance. The “soul brides” and “grooms soul” of which we are speaking, are therefore not in the hereafter existing persons, but are consciously or unconsciously produced products of one’s own desires and ideas, nurtured by the streaming from the spiritual world influences. An old Egyptian proverb says: “How is it down so it is up, and there is nothing so insignificant to the world that it would not be dependent on something his superior superiors, so that when the lower moves, the Upper him excited to meet “, and in the Bhagavad Gita says:” He who offers himself to the gods, who goes to the gods, who sacrificed himself to the demons, who is one of the demons.” What are these demonic influences and what are the demons? In the physical world we perceive different forces in which we know of no kind of consciousness may be found, then, were the heat, light, electricity, etc. On the psychological level, however there are similar forces, in which consciousness exists. There is the desire which manifests itself in people and animals depending on their condition as this or that passion. A person who develops a certain amount of any passion, creates a stove by kamischer of energy, like a flame of an accumulation of heat generated by radiation and this has again to other people. Such power herd of demonic desires are the demonic influences, and the demons themselves are organisms in which it embodies and symbolizes influences are. Since, on the astral plane each form the character she represents equal, so there an ugly passion otherwise represented as in an ugly shape, and if our spiritualists soul brides and grooms, for which they are so very excited, in could see their true form, they would avert full horror and disgust of it. It is not because of “deceased persons,” but the remnants of their kamischen speech. The heat, which has lost a dead man is no longer the man, and the perverse will of forms and mental images that generated it and deposited by him are not more in him, but they are the filth that he has left, fatten themselves with the demons. Of such demons, half animal and half-devilish creatures, but there are many different types, which, although they are not perceived through the physical senses, but nevertheless are present, even if the supposed “enlightened” can know nothing of them, because they possessed by the spirit of self-conceit and are therefore seen with spiritual eyes anything more than your own self and its chimera. Unconcerned about the circumstances that led him on earth troubled and pleased at rest, the human spirit in Devachan, but the passions, animal instincts and inferior intellectual powers, which he left in the world of desires persist, until their activity is exhausted. This sum of his desires are left behind kamischen remains. You are on the astral plane is an energy that is attracted to it, where they found organisms that correspond to their own nature, just as the magnet attracts the iron itself. Such a sum of energy is an “Elemental” called. It is without reason, understanding and discernment. But it occurs in the sphere of consciousness of a human one, she takes part in his consciousness and is a part of his consciousness. It is in him and he in her. In a letter from an Adept it says: “Every outgoing thought of a man arrives in a different world and gained there an individual existence, as he speak with an elemental, that is one of the semi-intellectual forces that exist there, combines a. Such an idea lives on as an actual thinking power, a creature that has created the mind, and the duration of its existence depends on the inherent energy. A good idea lives on as a benevolent force, a malicious thought evil as a force, and man populated resistant to this kind of his own intellectual sphere with the products of his desires, instincts and fantasies, which in turn act on other minds, according to their degree of receptivity. ” Ideas are things which actually exist, their producer is now dead or alive. Every sum of ideas, animated by the will, whether good or evil, is a star in heaven at the thought that sends its rays into susceptible souls. The slumbering instinct in the mind is awakened by the corresponding properties with its influences, the seed grows and develops, and there is a second self, which can be depending on its origin, an angel or a devil. To detect such a “spirit”, one must ask, not phenomenon, but one’s own conscience. One of the greatest gifts of the Spirit is to distinguish between the spirits to. Who does not have this power and influence surrenders, he does not know floats in great danger. Who wants to get closer to the spirit world and communicate with her, should have a pure heart, which is nothing unclean included. He should be more self-confidence by forming a circle around him, get into what can no impure thought. Then the eternal truth is reflected in his soul, and he will recognize in themselves the antithesis of God, who is Lord of all spirits. The spirit of truth in the hearts of the people met with force, but the spirits of lies live on his life. Who lives in the consciousness of the truth that lives in his true self, he is independent and free, it is in giving, however, crushes and fantasies, who lives outside himself, he loses himself in the moonlight of his imagination, and dispersed in space, the power given to them its growth is given. In itself, enter into and to recognize themselves in the sunlight of wisdom is better than all the theory and science, whose ultimate aim is the satisfaction of curiosity. The pure soul is the true bride and the spirit of wisdom, she illuminates the groom. By this alone the true union which arises from the sense of light is born in man.

In his article Stephenson mentions the following,

. ” Dr. H. recounts five cases within his personal know-ledge, which he attributes to the action of vampires. But, of these five, only the third and fifth in order were undoubtedly due to vampire action, and the first one is almost more than doubtful. The others were certainly not vampires. There is no reason for thinking that the old lady who undermined the health of her servants was under the power of a vampire : it being a well-known fact that many (in fact most) very old people who sleep with young and impressionable ones, gradually absorb the greater part of their vitality ; and all physicians in this country are very precise in forbidding it. ” The second case shows no trace of a vampire’s presence, of its ‘ devouring’ propensities, or of its horrible hate for the victim from whom it nightly drains the very life-blood. It is simply a case of an ‘ ” elemental ” (as the doctor says) making use of and being aided by the elementary of the suicide.’ But, as before said, an ‘ elemental ‘ is not a vampire.
” The third case, of the millers boy, is a good in-stance of one mode of action of an undoubted vampire.
In the fourth case the ‘dual,’ there is nothing to indicate a vampire. The idea that the ‘ dual ‘ drew all the woman’s strength from her was most probably not the fact. The fifth case is doubtless a genuine one of vampirism by the living, as Dr. Hartmann asserts.

But in the article by Hartmann above, there is no mention of these five cases to which Stephenson alludes to, thus making it the wrong article. If we check earlier editions of Borderland, however, we find the following,

Vampires by Franz Hartmann, M.D.
From Borderland: a quarterly review and index, Volume 3, edited by William Thomas Stead, 1896

Everyone who, for a long time, in a rational manner and without prejudice, investigates the phenomena of spiritism, will, sooner or later, meet in them some perplexing element, which cannot be explained by the theory of “departed spirits,” nor by the “sub-conscious” mental action, nor by “telepathy,” nor by any other of the manifold theories that have been invented for the purpose of explaining these phenomena by the conscious or unconscious action of powers inherent in the constitution of man; there always comes in at a cetain period a foreign element which seems to have a will, if not an intelligence of its own; such as does not naturally belong to the “medium,” and which cannot be an angel, nor a “departed human spirit,” but which rather seems to belong to some fool or idiot, playing pranks on the astral plane. In fact, we may say, that while upon the terrestrial plane, in our daily life, we continually are surrounded by a multitude of illusive appearances, errors, and falsehoods, each containing a kernel of truth, on the astral plane we meet with an endless array of undeniable facts and apparent truths, each of which, if closely examined, is found to be based upon a kernel of truth.

Let me explain what I mean. There is, for instance, Mr. H. B. Foulke, of Philadelphia, who receives oil-paintings that have been undoubtedly produced in an occult manner through the mediumship of Mrs. Betse; they are well excecuted, but they never are what they claim to be, for there is one representing the “wife of Pythagoras,” who presumably was never married, another represents “Jacob Boehme in his college costume,” while it is certain that Boehme was a poor shoemaker, who never went to college; there are “Mahatma letters” that are perfectly “genuine,” except in so far as they have never been written or even indicated by a Mahatma; there are innumerable tests of spirit identity, absolutely satisfactory to a superficial observer, but found to be sadly wanting in truth, when closely examined. In most instances it seems as if a host of lying spirits were assuming the true masks of known persons; the act is often perfect, but the actor behind the mask is not what he represents himself to be, although many a deluded person, being delighted with the idea of communicating with a beloved friend or relative, is most unwilling to incur the risk of finding himself deceived. Whenever the communicating spirit represents himself in the garb of a spirit-lover or spirit-bride, human vanity becomes excited to the highest pitch, and a cure is almost impossible. Such persons regard doubts about the identity of their “spirits” as being blasphemy and herresy of the worst kind.

All these perplexing things, however, become plain if we accept the doctrine of mischievous elementals inhabiting the astral plan, of whom the occultists of the middle ages have written a great deal, whose nature H. P. Blavatsky has more clearly explained than any other writer, and who have also been referred to in Mr. Leadbeater’s rehearsal of occult teachings concerning the inhabitants of the astral plane. The acceptance of that doctrine makes at once explainable many otherwise “unexplainable” facts, such as the exhibitions of superhuman strength by Miss Emma Abbott, &c., in regard to which H. P. Blavatsky says:-
“They have no forms, and in trying to describe what they are, it is better to say that they are ‘centres of force,’ having instinctive desires but no consciousness, as we understand it. Others, of certain elements and species, change from under a fixed law which Kabalists explain. The most solid of their bodies is ordinarily just material enough to escape perception by our physical eyesight, but not so unsubstantial but that they can be perfectly recognized by the inner or clairvoyant vision. They not only exist and can all live in either, but can handle and direct it for the production of physical effects, in which occupation they are readiliy helped by the ‘human elementaries’ or ’shells.’ More than this, they can so condense it as to make for themselves thangible bodies, which by their protean power they can cause to assume such likeness as they choose, by taking as their models the portraits they find stamped in the memory of the persons present.”
And again, H. P. Blavatsky says in regard to those elementals who exhibit great physical strength:-
“Poruthu Madon is the ‘wrestling demon,’ he is the strongest of all, and whenever there are feats shown in which physical force is requried, such as levitations, or by taming wild animals, he will help the performer by keeping him above the soil, or will overpower the wild beast,” &c.
But it is of another kind of “spirits” that I wish to speak, and which are the more dangerous as they appear under the alluring mask of “spirit-brides” and “spirit-lovers” but which are nothing else but vampires, extracting vitality from those whom they obsess, and through them, from all with whom they come into contact. These vampires are exceedingly numerous, and I have had ample opportunity to observe during a twenty years’ investigation of spiritism the detrimental effects of vampirism. If, in the following pages, I do not give the exact names of the person referred to, it is for obvious reasons; but I am willing to reveal these names confidentially to anybody, provided that it is of importance that he should be made acquainted with them.

I am not the only person to whom a great many spiritually-inclined people are known to claim to live on most intimate terms of soul communion and even bodily intercourse with their “duals.” They are always in communication with their unseen friend, and it would be useless to attempt to persuade them that they are labouring under an hallucination, and that the “spirit” is a creation of their own fancy. They feel the presence of that “spirit,” they ask him questions and he answers them, they converse with him, and many instances are known in which such “spirits” have “materialized” and been seen objectively, not only by the mediums themselves, but also by other persons present. In olden times such observing elementals, if male and attached to a woman, were called “incubi,” if female and attached to a man they were called “succub.” The history of mediaeval witchcraft is full of accounts of their doings; neither can any intelligent reader studying that history set down all the reported cases as being lies and superstitions due to ignorance. There were as intelligent men at those times as there are now, and on the whole there was more known at those times about the occult laws of nature than is known at present, and if our modern investigators would take the trouble to study the works of Theophrastus Paracelsius, they might find many a problem already solved, over the solution of which they are vainly breaking their heads.
Persons obsessed by a vampire may be very intellectual and refined, but they are always sensually inclined people, and usually given to secret vices. To a sensitive person the shake of their hands feels clammy and cadaverous. If you are for a long time in their presence you will feel exhausted; it is as if they were drawing strength from you. It is also very likely that after you leave them you will be for a few days in a very bad humour, liable to quarrel and to find fault, and not unfrequently it happens that a person having been in company of such a “medium” will feel strongly inclined to commit suicide. Many are even driven to suicide by such vampires, without knowing the source of that influence. Moreover, the abstraction of vitality does not necessarily cease upon leaving the presence of the “medium”; the connection once formed the vampire will follow you to any distance and abstract life from you. A case is known to me in which a previously healthy young lady, after visiting such an obsessed person, experienced a continual loss of vitality, causing a waste of flesh amounting to about three pounds per week.

The vampire draws strength from its medium. For this reason such mediums usually have a voracious appetite, they sleep a great deal; but, nevertheless, they do not grow strong, but are always exhausted and unfit for fatiquing or continuous labour. They are irritable, highly emotional, ready to shed tears for insignificant reasons, loving solitude, and finding their greatest comfort in the intercourse with their duals. Being continually vampirized they in their turn unconsciously vampirize every sensitive person with whom they come into contact, and they instinctively seek out such persons and invite them to stay at their house. I know of an old lady, a vampire, who thus ruined the health of a lot of robust servant girls, whom she took into her service and made them sleep in her room. They were all in good health when they entered, but soon they began to sicken, they became emaciated and consumptive, and had to leave the service. Two of them died shortly after.

A young lady at G– had an admirer who asked her in marriage, but as he was a drunkard she refused and married another. Thereupon that lover shot himself, and soon after that event a vampire, assuming his form, visited her frequently at night, especially when her husband was absent. She could not see him but felt his presence in a way that could leave no room for doubt. The medical faculty did not know what to make out of the case, they called it “hysterics” and tried in vain every remedy in the parmacopoeia, until she had at last had the spirit exorcised by a man of strong faith. In this case there is an elemental making use of, and being aided by, the elementary of the suicide.

A miller at D__ had a healthy servant boy, who, soon after entering service, began to fail. He had a ravenous appetite, but nevertheless grew daily more feeble and emaciated. Being interrogated, he at last confessed that a thing which he could not see, but which he could plainly feel, came to him every night and settled upon his stomach, drawing all the life out of him, so that he became paralyzed for the time being, and could neither move nor cry out. Thereupon the miller agreed to share the bed with that boy, and proposed to him that he should give him a certain sign when the vampire arrived. This was done, and when the sign was given the miller grasped an invisible but very tangible substance that rested upon the boy’s stomach, and although it struggled to escape, he grasped it firmly and threw it into the fire. After that the boy recovered, and there was an end of these visits. Those who, like myself, have on innumerable occasions removed “astral tumors,” and thereby cured the physical tumors, will find the above neither “incredible” nor “unexplainable.” Moreover, the above accounts do not refer to events of the past, but to persons still living in this country.

A woman in this vicinity has an incubus, or, as she calls it, a “dual,” with whom she lives on the most intimate terms as wife and husband. She converses with him and he makes her to the most irrational things. He has many whims, and she, being a woman of means, gratifies them. If her dual wants to go to see Italy “through her eyes,” she has to go to Italy and let him enjoy the sights. She does not care for balls and theatres; but her dual wants to attend thm, and so she has to go. She gives lessons to her “dual,” and “educates” him in the things of this world, and commits no end of follies. At the same time her “dual” draws all her strength from her, and she has to vampirize everybody with whom she comes into contact to make up for the loss.

But how do such vampires grow, or how are they attracted? In the human system are contained all the seeds for good and for evil, and those that are cultivated grow by attracting the elements corresponding to their own nature from the astral plane, in the same way as a seed in the earth attracts its appropriate elements from the earth. The power that stimulates the seed of a plant to grow is the sunshine, the power that causes a psychic germ to develop is thought. If the sexual instinct of a person is very strong and cannot be gratified or overcome, the mind rests upon it, until the thought causes it to grow. It attracts from the astral form corresponding elemental forces, which take shape in the organism of the medium, are supplied with his own vitality and assume a form according to his own imagination. Thus the form of the elemental may be a product of the patient’s fancy, but its substance is real; it is like every other creature, a manifestation of individual will and thought.

But there are also other cases of vampires, and space permits me to mention only typical ones as samples of certain cases. In Vienna a certain lawyer became very much incensed against another lawyer on account of the loss of a lawsuit. The second lawyer, whom I will call T., was a very strong and healthy man, but at the beginning of December, 1888, he suddenly began to grow more and more feeble, day by day, nor could the doctors find out any cause for it; while he himself said he felt as if every day a portion of blood were drawn from him. During the month of December, the other lawyer, his enemy, whom I will call H., and who had previously been in feeble health, grew daily more strong, and went on a pleasure trip to Meran. On December 20th, 1888, Mr. T. died from exhaustion, after asserting that he had been vampirized by H. From that day Mr. H.’s health began to fail, and on January 1st, 1889, a telegram came from Meran announcing his death. As a matter of course, in this case the scientific proof, such as the sceptic wants, is missing, but to those present all the little details and circumstances connected with the case, and which cannot here be entered into, were sufficient to convince them that it was a case of vampirism by the living.
All such things become very easily explainable as soon as we accept as a working hyphothesis the sevenfold classification of the principles of the constitution of man as taught by H. P. Blavatsky, and previously to her, although not so plainly, by Theophrastus, Paracelsus, and others. A knowledge of the odic odor, “ethereal body,” solves many a problem; but if we wish to explain such phenomena while we ignore all that is not already accepted by official science, we will never find our way through the mysteries presented by the “nightside of nature.” Mere external observation does not go to the root of a thing, and a science that is proud of ignoring is no science at all.

But there are also vampires of the grave. They used to be known by the name of “ghouls.” H. P. Blavatsky calls such beings the “Shudala Madan,” and says that “he delights where crimes and murder were committed, near burial places and places of execution.” It may be this demon elemental that sucks the vitality of living people and feeds the corpse in the the grave to which he is attached, thus keeping up an appearance of life in the corpse. This is rather a disgusting subject, but, for all that, this does not prevent the facts being true. This vampirism of the grave became, at one time, of such an epidemic character, and so many people became victims of it, that it was made the subject of an official investigation by the authorities in Kisolova, in Hungary, also in Meduegga, in Servia, and other places, on which occasion the most horrible details were brought to light. Those interested in such things may find ample material for investigation in Professor Maximilian Perty’s book Mystiche Erscheinungen in der Natur. Some cases are also described in H. P. Blavatsky’s Isis Unveiled.

Elementals are semi-intelligent forces of nature, which may become personified in man, and a person obsessed by such an elemental is himself, to a certain extent, that elemental personified. The elemental having originally no individual life of its own, in becoming individualized in man, absorbs from his life, and is endowed by him with his own consciousness. In this way another centre of conciousness, besides his own, is called into existence in a person, and thus may arise many of the perplexing cases of double consciousness which have not yet been satisfactorily explained, and which never will be fully understood as long as we leave out of consideration one of the prominent factors in the production of physical phenomena, namely, the elemental spririts of nature. The proper place to study the nature of obsessing spirits would be within the precincts of insane asylums, and if their nature were known a most important factor would be added for the treatment of insanity. At present the principal cause of insanity is ignored by medical science, and thus medical science deprives itself of some of the means of accomplishing the object of its existence.
Hallein, Austria. Feb. 14th, 1896.

This includes all five cases that Robert D’Onston Stephenson alluded to, and is therefore the correct text.

Richard Stephenson Snr.

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It seems like an eternity since I last discussed Robert D’Onston Stephenson or his family.  Here is a post about Stephenson’s father, Richard Stephenson Senior.

There has been some discussion of late regarding the role of Richard Stephenson Snr, Robert D’Onston Stephenson’s father, whilst in Hull with several sources claiming that Stephenson was the “Treasurer for the Hull Corporation.” This is misleading and quiet frankly a load of rubbish.

To fully understand the role of Water Bailiff’s in Hull one must look back at Hull’s history. Hull during the 1700’s and 1800’s had a dock system that was expanding at an incredible rate. As such the old harbour was no longer fit for purpose, and several inland docks were created around the old town of Hull. Because of this move there was quiet a shift in taxatation and how the local organisations could take advantage of this. This resulted in the Hull Corporation, Hull Docks Committee and Hull Guild of the Holy Trinity taking a slice of the taxes that were obtained from ships coming into Hull. Any finances paid were split three ways and as such all three organisations had their own collecters. Richard Stephenson Senior, Robert D’Onston Stephenson’s father was employed by the Hull Corporation to be their collector. He was never in the role of the Treasurer.

1866 The Hull Packet and East Riding Times features the following advertisement,

WATER BAILIFF. THE TOWN COUNCIL will on the 12 of January, 1866, proceed to Elect a WATER BAILEIFF and Receiver of the Corporation Dues, who shall make that his sole business a Salary of £120 per annum, with a further [illegible] of One percent upon the total amount of [illigble] received by him. Additional information may be known at the Clerk’s Office, where written applications for the role will be received up to noon on Saturday the 6th of January 1866, By Order- Robert Wells, Town Clerk.

1866January 12th Richard Stephenson becomes Water Bailiff for the Hull Corporation. He receives a quarterly wage of £30 plus commission and expenses. A letter held at the Hull History Centre reads,

Sculcoates 12th. Jan 1866. Gentlemen, I beg to thank you for the honour you have done me in electing me to the office of Water Bailiff and Receiver of Corporation Dues. It will be my constant endeavour to merit the confidence thus reposed in me. NB. My sureties are, Mr. Robt. Dawber, Linnaeus Street. “ J. Shirley Richardson, Parliament Street. I am Gentlemen, Your most ob. Svt. Richard Stephenson. To The Mayor
Aldermen and Councillors Kingston Upon Hull.

1866 January 12th The Hull Packet and East Riding Times carries the following,

TOWN COUNCIL MEETING YESTERDAY. ELECTION OF WATER BAILIFF. The first business of the meeting was the election of a water bailiff to collect the corporation’s port dues. The salary is £120, with 1 per cent on the amount collected. 50 voted. Mr. Richard Stephenson, broker, was elected, having 26 votes.

Over the years I have read through the Hull Committee Meetings Minute books which features a quarterly rundown of the finances that Richard Stephenson collected, the money that he was paid, and the expenses that he was eligible for, including coal and stationary.

Furthermore, the following names can be found in the Hull and East Yorkshire Trade Directories of this period,

White’s Hull and District Trade Directory 1867
Water Bailiff Richard Stephenson
Borough Treasurer William Bolton Esq
William Bolton, Borough Treasurer, 4 Victoria Terrace.

Field’s 1876 Trade Directrory of Hull
Treasurer George Cobb
Receiver of Dock Dues for Hull Dock Company Mr. J. Wright

Kelly’s North and East Riding of Yorkshire Directory 1879
Town Treasurer Edward Headley Witty

White’s 1882 Hull Directory
Town Treasurer Mr. E. H. Witty
Water Bailiff Richard Stephenson

Kelly’s 1885
Town Treasurer Edward Headley Witty

Atkinson 1888
Borough Treasurer Mr. J. Thelwall

Images of the 1866 Minutes of Committee Meetings by the Hull Corporation can be seen here,


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