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Home, Daniel Dunglas

HOME, DANIEL DUNGLAS (1833-1886), Scottish spiritualist, was born near Edinburgh on the zoth of March 1833, his father being said to be a natural son of the loth earl of Home, and his mother a member of a family credited with second sight. He went with his mother to America, and on her death was adopted by an aunt. In the United States he came out as a spiritualistic medium, though, it should be noted, he never sought to make money out of his exhibitions. In 1855 he came to England and gave numerous seances, which were attended by many wellknown people. Robert Browning, the poet, went to one of these, but without altering his contempt for spiritualism, and he subsequently gave his impression of Home in the unflattering poem of "Sludge the Medium" (1864); Home, nevertheless, had many disciples, and gave seances at several European courts. He became a Roman Catholic, but was expelled from Rome as a sorcerer. In 1866 Mrs Lyon, a wealthy widow, adopted him as her son, and settled 60,000 upon him. Repenting, however, of her action, she brought a suit for the return of her money, on the ground that it had been obtained by " spiritual " influence. It was held that the burden of establishing the validity of the gift lay on Home, and as he failed to do so the case was decided against him. He continued, however, to give seances, mostly on the Continent, and in 1871 appeared before the tsar of Russia and two Russian scientists, who attested the phenomena evoked. Returning to England he submitted to a series of experiments designed to test his pretensions before Professor (subsequently Sir William) Crookes, which the latter declared to be thoroughly genuine; and Professor von Boutlerow, of the Russian Academy of Science, after witnessing a similar series of experiments, expressed the same opinion. Home published two volumes of Incidents of my Life and Lights and Shadows of Spiritualism. He married successively two well-connected Russian ladies. He died at Auteuil, France, on the 21st of June 1886.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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