STAINTON MOSES - A MEMOIR
WILLIAM STAINTON MOSES
was born in November, 1839. He was educated at the Lincolnshire Grammar
School of which his father was headmaster. Later he attended the Bedford
Grammar School, where his brilliant abilities and his industry gained
him many prizes and an exhibition to Oxford. Here he broke down from overwork on the eve of his final
examination, and was ordered abroad.
He spent nearly a year
traveling on the Continent, and passed several months on the old Greek
monastery of Mount Athos, which, he afterwards learned, he had been
impressed to do as part of his spiritual training.
He returned to England, and, after
taking his degree, was ordained to a curacy in the Isle of Man, where his courage and unselfish devotion during an outbreak
of smallpox endeared him to all.
After a short time in
Stainton Moses took a curacy in
which proved to be his last Church appointment, as throat trouble
developed, and obliged him to give
up all public speaking for a time. He came to London, where he
stayed with Dr. and Mrs. Speer and acted as tutor to their son. About
1871 he obtained the post of English master at University College
which he held till ill-health obliged him to relinquish it in 1889.
As a result of reading
The Debatable Land,
a book lent him by Mrs. Speer, his interest in Spiritualism
was aroused, and a circle was formed at which his mediumship quickly
In early life Stainton
Moses had been fairly well-to-do, having a small estate on the
Lincolndhire coast. By some oversight the maintenance of the sea-wall
was not kept up, and one unusual
tide swept away the best part of his estate.
Once, when staying in the Isle of White, Stainton Moses was
invited to visit Lord Tennyson, who always liked to read
Light. They walked
over the Downs together,
and Stainton Moses wrote a graphic
account of his visit. This was unfortunately lost.
About four years before his passing which took place in September, 1892,
Stainton Moses was thrown from the top of an omnibus and sustained severe
injury. Then, after his recovery, he was attacked with influenza. He
rallied, but never threw off its clutches. Overwork sapped his strength,
and influenza seized him again.
The memorial edition of
contains a biographical notice of Stainton Moses by
Mr. Charlton Speer, and a full account of the wonderful phenomena given
through his mediumship during the circles that were held at Dr. Speer’s
house at Alexandra
Stainton Moses founded the London Spiritualist Alliance, and addressed
meeting on behalf of the committee at the Banqueting Hall of St. James’s
Hall, on May 8, 1884. For some years he contributed frequently to
Light, of which paper he subsequently became the editor.