Arthur Colman,

 Medium Arthur Colman 

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 Arthur Colman Medium



It recalled to my mind how once, long before, when Aimee (Mr. Arthur Colman's guide), on being questioned as to her occupation in the Spirit Spheres, had said she was a little nurse-maid, and that Florence was one too, my daughter had added, Yes! I'm Mamma's nursemaid. I have enough to do to look after her babies.

Arthur Colman. English medium for materialization, known in London for some years between 1870 and 1880. Florence Marryat the considers "the most wonderful Materialization Mediums I've ever met in England," and refers to a session in which five ghosts materialized manifested simultaneously and appeared with him. On this occasion, the Medium was literally sewn into his attire and tied with white thread and seals of hard wax as used in legal documents fixed to each node. When he appeared with the five ghosts, Arthur was perfectly free, but soon after the seance was finished, he was found on the toilet with all psychic ties and seals still intact. He had to retire after a few years of activity, both because disgusted by allegations of fraud that were made, and because of doing physical phenomena; the excessive fatigue had severely compromised his health. Arthur Colman was led by a female control, "Aimee", which he seems to have inherited from Craddock. He was also remarkable to medium personification.

(U.D.) Source: The Man and the unknown: an encyclopedia of parapsychology and the directed by Ugo Dettore - ARMENIA PUBLISHER (pages 287/288).



Florence Marryat


ARTHUR COLMAN was so intimate a friend of Mr. Eglinton's, and so much associated with him in my thoughts in the days when I first knew them both, that it seems only natural that I should write of him next. His powers were more confined to materialization than Eglinton's, but in that he excelled. He is the most wonderful materializing medium I ever met in England; but of late years, owing to the injury it did him in his profession, he has been compelled, injustice to himself, to give up sitting for physical manifestations, and, indeed, sitting


at all, except to oblige his friends. I cannot but consider this decision on his part as a great public loss; but until the public takes more interest in the next world than they do in this, it will not make it worth the while of such as Mr. Colman to devote their lives, health and strength to their enlightenment.

Arthur Colman is a young man of delicate constitution and appearance, who was at one time almost brought down to death's door by the demands made by physical phenomena upon his strength; but since he has given up sitting, he has regained his health, and looks quite a different person. This fact proves of itself what a tax is laid upon the unfortunate Medium for such manifestations. Since he has resolved, however, never to sit again, I am all the more anxious to record what I have seen through him, probably for the last time. When I first knew my husband Colonel Lean, he had seen nothing of spiritualism, and was proportionately curious, and naturally a little sceptical on the subject, or, rather let me say, incredulous. He was hardly prepared to receive all the marvels I told him of without proof; and Mr. Colman's guide, Aimee, was very anxious to convince him of their truth. She arranged, therefore, a seance at which he was to be present, and which was to be held at the house of Mr. and Mrs. George Neville. The party dined there together previously, and consisted only of Mr. and Mrs. Neville, Arthur Colman, Colonel Lean, and myself. As we were in the drawing-room, however, after dinner, and before we had commenced the seance, an American lady, who was but slightly known to any of us, was announced. We had particularly wished to have no strangers present, and her advent proportionately annoyed us, but we did not know on what excuse to get rid of her. She was a pushing sort of person; and when Mrs. Neville told her we were going to hold a seance, as a sort of hint that she might take her leave, it only made her resolve to stay; indeed, she declared she had had a premonition of the fact. She said that whilst in her own room that morning, a figure had appeared standing


by her bed, dressed in blue and white, like the pictures of the Virgin Mary, and that all day she had had an impression that she must spend the evening with the Nevilles, and she should hear something more about it. We could not get rid of the lady, so we were obliged to ask her to remain and assist at the seance which she had already made up her mind to do, so we commenced our preparations. The two drawingrooms communicated by folding doors, which were opened and a portiere drawn across the opening. In the back room we placed Mr. Colman's chair. He was dressed in a light grey suit, which we secured in the following manner: His hands were first sewn inside the sleeves of the coat, then his arms were placed behind his back, and the coat sleeves sewn together to the elbow. We then sewed his trouser legs together in the same way. We then tied him round the throat, waist and legs with white cotton, which the least movement on his part would break, and the ends of each ligament were sealed to the wall of the room with wax, and stamped with my seal with Florence Marryat on it. Considering him thus secure, without any possibility of escape unless we discovered it, we left him in the back room, and arranged ourselves on a row of five chairs before the portiere in the front one., which was lighted by a single gas-burner. I sat at the head of the row, then the American lady, Mrs. Neville, Colonel Lean and Mr. Neville. I am not sure how long we waited for the manifestations; but I do not think it was many minutes before a female figure glided from the side of the curtain and took a vacant chair by my side. I said, Who is this? and she whispered., Florence, and laid her head down on my shoulder, and kissed my neck. I was turning towards her to distinguish her features more fully, when I became aware that a second figure was standing in front of me, and Florence said, Mother, there is Powles": and at the same time, as he bent clown to speak to me, his beard touched my face. I had not had time to draw the attention of my friends to the Spirits


that stood by me, when I was startled by hearing one exclamation after another from the various sitters. The American lady called out, There's the woman that came to me this morning. Mr. Neville said, That is my father, and Colonel Lean was asking some one if he would not give his name. I looked down the line of sitters. Before Colonel Lean there stood an old man with a long, white beard; a somewhat similar figure was in front of Mr. Neville. Before the dark curtain appeared a woman dressed in blue and white, like a nun; and meanwhile, Florence and Powles still maintained their station by my side. As if this were not enough of itself to turn a mortal's brain, the portiere was at the same moment drawn aside, and there stood Arthur Colman in his grey suit, freed from all his bonds, but under the control of "Aimee," who called out joyously to my husband, Now, Frank, will you believe? She dropped the curtain, the apparitions glided or faded away, and we passed into the back drawing-room, to find Mr. Colman still in trance, just as we had left him, and with all the seals and stitches intact. Not a thread of them all was broken. This is the largest number of spirits I have ever seen at one time with one medium. I have seen two materialized spirits at a time, and even three, from Mr. Williams and Miss Showers and Katie Cook; but on this occasion there were five apparent with the medium, all standing together before us. And this is the sort of thing that the majority of people do not consider it worth their while to take a little trouble to see. I have already related how successfully Florence used to materialize through this Medium, and numerous friends, utterly unknown to him, have revisited us through his means. His trance mediumship is as wonderful as his physical phenomena; some people might think more so. Amongst others, two spirits have come back to us through Mr. Colman, neither of whom he knew in this life, and both of whom are, in their way, too characteristic to be mistaken. One is Phillis Glover the actress; the other my


stepson, Francis Lean, who was drowned by an accident at sea. Phillis Glover was a woman who led a very eventful life, chiefly in America, and was a versatile genius in conversation, as in everything else. She was peculiar also, and had a halfYankee way of talking, and a store of familiar sayings and anecdotes, which she constantly introduced into her conversation. She was by no means an ordinary person whilst in this life, and in order to imitate her manner and speech successfully one would need to be as clever a person as herself And, without wishing to derogate from the powers of Mr. Colman's mind, he knows, and I know, that Phillis Glover was cleverer than either of us. When her influence or spirit therefore returns through him, it is quite unmistakable. It is not only that she retains all her little tricks of voice and feature and manner (which Mr. Colman has never seen), but she alludes to circumstances that took place in this life and people she was associated with here that he has never heard of More, she will relate her old stories and anecdotes, and sing her old songs, and give the most incontrovertible tests of her identity, even to recalling facts and incidents that have entirely passed from our minds. When she appears through him, it is Phillis Glover we are sitting with again and talking with, as familiarly as we did in the days gone by. Francis, in his way too, is quite as remarkable. The circumstances of his death and the events leading to it were unknown to us, till he related them through Mr. Colman; and he speaks to us of the contents of private letters, and repeats conversations and alludes to circumstances and names that are known only to him and ourselves. He had a peculiar manner also---quick and nervous---and a way of cutting his words short, which his spirit preserves to the smallest particular, and which furnish the strongest proofs possible of his identity to those who knew him here below.


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