Gladstone, William Ewart (1809–1898)
The great Victorian statesman, four times prime minister of
Great Britain, who was interested in psychical research, which
he considered ‘‘the most important work which is being done
in the world—by far the most important.’’ Gladstone came to
that belief rather late in his life. On October 29, 1884, he had
a successful slate-writing sitting with the medium William
Eglinton. After the séance he was quoted as saying
‘‘I have always thought that scientific men run too much in
a groove. They do noble work in their own special line of research,
but they are too often indisposed to give any attention
to matters which seem to conflict with their established modes
of thought. Indeed, they not infrequently attempt to deny that
into which they have never inquired, not sufficiently realising
the fact that there may possibly be forces in nature of which
they know nothing.’’
Shortly after the Eglinton sitting, Gladstone joined the Society
for Psychical Research.
Sources
Feuchtwanger, E. J. Gladstone. Blasingtoke, U.K. Macmillan,
1989.
Tweedale, Violet. Ghosts I Have Seen and Other Psychic Experiences.
New York Frederick A. Stokes, 1919.