Lawrence J. Jones


          SIR LAWRENCE J. Jones joined the SPR in 1888, and though the date of his birth is not recorded, he must have been in his eighties when he died. He had two spontaneous extra-sensory experiences of his own, and engaged in a number of sittings with a non-professional medium, Miss Kate Wingfield, which convinced him that the dead survived and that it was possible to get into touch with them. His Presidential Address described Miss Wingfield's progress (she seems to have been distinctly versatile). 'Clairvoyance and automatic writing (which, assisted by taps and table tilting, had been the means through which communications were received) developed into trance mediumship', in which state she delivered messages from various people including an ancient Egyptian medical man who 'became the family doctor'. Luckily his advice was full of ordinary commonsense. This medium also levitated a table and produced 'apports'. Though she had no Control of her own, she allotted a different Guide - as it were a guardian angel - to each sitter. She also showed what may have been a curious telepathic or precognitive awareness of a murder and its circumstances before anything had been reported.

Sir Lawrence did note however that not all spirit messages were trustworthy, in that Frederic Myers for instance (who told him about it) had been informed that he was to die in February 1902 and actually died in January 1901, while Richard Hodgson had been misled in the same way.

Source (with minor modifications): The Society for Psychical Research, 1882-1982: A History by Renée Haynes (1982, Macdonald & Co (Publishers) Ltd, London).



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