Mrs Thomas Everitt
THE WIFE of a well-to-do Pentonville tailor, one of the earliest and best
British private mediums, the first to produce direct voice in Britain. She began to give
sťances in 1855 but was little known to the public before 1867. She produced a variety of physical phenomena,
raps, movements without contact, psychic lights and direct writing, in addition to the direct voice of "John Watts" and of "Znippy," a South Sea Islander, which was heard through a cardboard tube, the earliest such record dating from 1867 when, at a dark
sťance with Mrs. Guppy, Mrs. Everitt was thrown for the first time into trance.
Many descriptions of Mrs. Everitt's phenomena are published in Morell Theobald's
Spirit Workers in the Home Circle. The two families were close friends. We learn from the book that Mrs. Everitt, on returning to consciousness, frequently told what she had seen in the spirit world, that cool breezes and scents were a frequent phenomenon and that Mrs. Everitt had considerable psychometric powers as, in Cornwall, placing a piece of rock to her forehead, she entertained them by descriptions of antediluvian monsters, boiling mass and upheaving rocks. Morell Theobald compares the sounds which accompanied her direct writing phenomena to a quickly working electric needle. In close and legible characters he has seen five hundred or more words produced in five or six seconds.
Mr. E. Dawson Rogers, in a letter to Mr. E. T. Bennett, says:
"The most completely proven cases of direct writing of which I know are those of Mrs. Everitt. As to many of them I can personally testify their genuineness is beyond dispute. My first
sťance with Mrs. Everitt was on May 3, 1870. I thought I would ask a question which Mrs. Everitt herself could not possibly answer.
'John Watt' spoke, and promised to give us some direct writing and I thereupon said:
'Please give us a definition of the distinction between the Will and the
Understanding.' Paper and pencil had been placed on the table and in eight seconds, or perhaps ten, on lighting up, we found a direct and intelligent answer to the question, containing over 150 words. Its phrasing was peculiar. I afterwards found it was an extract from one of
Swedenborg's writings, with a few slight alterations, and an extract such as it would be extremely difficult for anyone to carry in his memory. Certainly Mrs. Everitt could never do it. One of Mrs. Everitt's spirit attendants is said to be a gentleman who had been a distinguished Swedenborg Minister."
Several other pieces of direct writing proved to be quotations from books, sometimes from ancient ones. Once, in the presence of Sir
William Crookes and Serjeant Cox the following quotation was given in direct writing: "Religentum esse oportet Religiosum nefas. You will find the meaning in Incerti Autoris Aprice Aut. Gell." After considerable search the passage was found in
Autus Gellius, book 4, Canto 9. Gellius was a poet and lived in the reign of Adrian in the second century.
Writing in Light, July 7, 1894, Mr. Everitt speaks of a cold wind and strange sounds which preceded the approach of the "influence" and says:
"Then the paper and pencil are whisked up into the air, a rapid tick-tick-ticking is heard, lasting barely a few seconds, paper and pencil fall to the table, and a light is called for. The writing is done. The speed of production varies from 100 to 150 words a second. The exceeding minuteness of the writing is striking, also the closeness together of the words and the lines. Crookes was the first to draw attention to the fact that no indentation whatever is produced by this writing. Even with the thinnest paper there is not the slightest perceptible mark on the back."
Mrs. Everitt, being a private medium, test conditions were not applied. The sitters' doubts, however, were allayed when direct writing was produced on a marked sheet of paper, breaking off at the end of the page and after the light was once more extinguished, the writing being continued on the back page.
Source (with minor modifications):
An Encyclopaedia of Psychic Science by Nandor Fodor (1934).