Medium Emma Hardinge Britten.  UK.

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 Emma Floyd Hardinge Britten Medium,  England,  UK.



Emma Hardinge was born in 1823 in the East end of London. As a child, Emma could predict coming events and often saw the Spirits of dead relatives and family friends.

In 1855 Emma first visited America and, at the boarding house where she was living, she met a Spiritualist couple with whom she visited a Medium. The Spirits communication Emma received there was an experience that changed her entire outlook on life. Emma discovered that she had a mediumship ability for table tipping and wrapping, where Spirits made themselves known by table movements and noises.

In 1856, Emma held a table seance that spelt out a message from a friend who had died in the ship ‘Pacific.’ However, this ship had only recently sunk and at the time no one knew. Following this message Emma became well known as a Medium and demonstrated several forms of Mediumship. She practised her Mediumship in the same building along with Miss Kate Fox who was one of the ‘Fox’ sisters from Hydesville.

After a while Emma gave up platform Mediumship and seances to concentrate on inspirational speaking about spiritual matters; she would take the platform, pass into a light trance and knew little of what then happened until she again came to herself. Emma travelled throughout America and to many parts of the world giving lectures and inspired addresses on the subject of Modern Spiritualism. By public speaking and prolific writings Emma help to encouraged the formation of many Spiritualist groups, societies and churches throughout the world.

The concepts and original wording of the Seven Principles came through Emma's mediumship as she was inspired in 1871, by the communicating Spirit of Robert Owen, to summarise the philosophy of Spiritualism in principles that all Spiritualists would agree. These have since become know as the Seven Principles of Spiritualism.

In Britain, attempts were made to bring together the various individuals, Spiritualist churches, groups and societies. The concept of a national federation of Spiritualist churches was discussed and written about in 1889 by Emma Hardinge Britten in the ‘Two Worlds’ magazine, a publication she had launched in 1887. Emma arranged a meeting in Manchester of interested Spiritualists to discuss the formation of an organisation that could unite Spiritualist churches throughout the United Kingdom. The meeting held on 1st April 1890 agreed to issue a circular giving information and requesting comments from Spiritualist churches, societies and individuals. And in July 1890 a first national conference of Spiritualists was held in Manchester.

It seems that Emma Hardinge Britten played a pivotal role in organising and bringing together Spiritualists both by her powerful inspired speaking and her ability to communicate by pen and publish to a wider audience. At the first National Conference in 1890, Emma advocated her concept for the fundamental basis of Spiritualist philosophy which later became the Seven Principles of SNU Spiritualism. Resolutions were carried unanimously that have since shaped the direction of Modern Spiritualism.

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Emma Hardinge Britten is, perhaps, the most renowned and most respected advocate and proponent in the early Modern Spiritualist Movement.

She was the daughter of Captain Floyd Hardinge, whom writers call a seafaring man. Early in her life, she had shown gifts as a musician, singer, and speaker. In fact, at age 11 she was earning her living as a music teacher.

Under contract with a theatrical company, she went to America in 1856 where, through the mediumship of Miss Ada Hoyt (Mrs. Coan), she became converted to the Spiritualist philosophy. There, she began developing her own abilities as a Medium and sat publicly for the Society for the Diffusion of Spiritual Knowledge of New York (what a wonderful name).

As a young Medium, she furnished one of the best attested cases of early Spirit return. A member of the crew of the mail steamer, Pacific, which had sunk in the ocean, controlled young Emma and, in trance, disclosed the facts of the tragedy. Because of the nature of the details given through her mediumship, Emma Hardinge was threatened with prosecution by the owners of the boat when the story was made public, but all the details were found to be true and accurate.

Her mediumistic gifts embraced automatic and inspirational writing, psychometry, healing, prophecy, and inspirational speaking. She was best known for her inspirational addresses, which were very eloquent, inspiring, and informative. They were given completely extempore, and the subject was generally chosen in the auditorium by a committee from the audience.

Most historians agree that, as a propagandist for Spiritualism, she was unequaled in her zeal, commitment, and enthusiasm. For years she traveled all over the United States, Canada, England, Australia, and New Zealand, expounding the truths of Spiritualism and related areas of thought.

Emma Hardinge Britten founded and edited for five years the Two Worlds of Manchester. She was also among the founders of the Theosophical Society in New York, in 1875. However, she soon severed her connections with Madame Blavatsky.

Although she was not alive to see this happen, her dream of establishing a proper and formal "school of prophets" (training school for mediums) was realized in 1900, with the founding of the Britten Memorial Institute and Library, in Manchester, England.

Emma Hardinge Britten's writings include: Modern American Spiritualism, New York, 1870; Nineteenth Century Miracles, New York, 1884; Faith, Fact and Fraud of Religious History, Manchester, 1896; Extemporaneous Addresses, London, 1866. She was editor of the American periodical, The Western Star, 1872, and the British The Unseen Universe, 1992-1893.

Her classic, Modern American Spiritualism, is still considered the finest and most complete analysis of the early American Movement. We remember her as a true pioneer and dedicated advocate of Spiritualism.

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Due to the publication of her speeches and writing on the spiritual movement, and an incomplete autobiography which was edited by her sister, much of Emma’s life and work is publicly recorded. She is remembered as a writer, orator, and practitioner of the movement. Her books, Modern American Spiritualism (1870) and Nineteenth Century Miracles (1884), are some of the greatest records of the history of early modern spiritualism movement in America.

Ms. Hardinge was born in London, England in 1823 under the name Emma Floyd. She developed a reputation for apparent abilities as a spiritual medium during her early years. As a child, Emma had a habit of predicting the futures of people she encountered, relating to them what she had seen in visions, along with information about their deceased relatives of whom she had no prior knowledge.

According to her autobiography, Emma's clairvoyant tendencies drew her into participation with a secret London occult society which used magnetics and clairvoyant techniques for experimental purposes. During this period, she was also exposed to sexism and economic discrimination through her involvement with a manipulative member of the society whom she later termed “a baffled sensualist.” Although there is little reliable information on this London occult group, it is suspected that Emma received the name Hardinge from this society, the surname she kept throughout her adult life.

In 1855, Emma moved to New York to pursue a career in acting. One year later, she was launched to fame as a psychic medium, having accurately predicted the disappearance of the steamship Pacific. Emma had been haunted by feeling of cold and wetness, and a visit from a supposed passenger on the steamship. After the New York Times published an article describing the incident, Emma was invited by the famous Spiritualist, Horace Day, to host spiritualist séances in the Society for the Diffusion of Spiritual Knowledge. She deepened her involvement in the Spiritualist movement as a "trance lecturer" and delivered speeches across the country. Lecture topics included “The Discovering of Spirits,” “The Philosophy of the Spirit Circle,” “Hades,” and “What Is the Basis of the Connection of the Natural and Spiritual Worlds?”

Hardinge also became involved in the campaign efforts of 1864 in support of Abraham Lincoln’s re-election. After delivering a highly successful lecture titled, “The Coming Man; or the Next President of the United States,” Emma was invited to continue her political work on a thirty-two lecture tour.

Perhaps the culmination of her oratorical career was a speech delivered on April 14, 1865, as a response to President Lincoln’s assassination only thirty-six hours prior. Her speech was widely acclaimed by the journalists of the age as her greatest achievement. Still, not all of her spiritual lectures were so well-received. In 1866, The Saturday Review wrote a satirical critique of Ms. Hardinge’s speeches, describing her style as “bloated eloquence” and her content as “bunkum.”

As a chronicle of her active religious participation, Hardinge published the book Modern American Spiritualism (1870), a huge "encyclopedia" of the people and events associated with the early days of the movement. That same year, Emma married an ardent spiritualist, William Britten, from Boston. Emma continued to publish under the surname Hardinge, however, since her professional career was well-developed before this late-life marriage.

In 1872, Emma attempted to start a magazine, The Western Star, however, after a series of devastating fires in Boston, her impoverished clients dropped their subscriptions. The magazine failed after only six issues. Emma then moved back to New York, where she became involved in theosophy. She was also one of six founding members of the Theosophical Society with Helena Blavatsky until they had a falling out.

She also edited a book called Art Magic or Mundane, Sub-Mundane and Super-Mundane Spiritism: A Treatise in Three parts and Twenty Three Sections on the subject of Theosophy. It was written anonymously and published in 1898 by Progressive Thinker Publishing House, Chicago. There remains a strange mystery regarding its authorship. In addition, in 1887 she founded The Two Worlds, a weekly Spiritualist newspaper.

From 1878 to 1879, Emma and her husband worked as Spiritualist missionaries in Australia and New Zealand. After returning to New York, she wrote her greatest chronicle of the spiritualist age--Nineteenth Century Miracles (1884).

Emma Hardinge died in Manchester, England in 1899.

She is credited with defining the seven principles of Spiritualism which, with minor changes, are still in use today by the Spiritualists' National Union in the United Kingdom. They are:

The Fatherhood of God.
The Brotherhood of Man.
The Communion of Spirits and the Ministry of Angels.
The Continuous Existence of the Human Soul.
Personal Responsibility.
Compensation and Retribution hereafter for all the good and evil deeds done on earth.
Eternal Progress open to every human soul.

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From Leslie Flint tapes, more on the Direct Voice page 4

With this communication so began for George Woods, Betty Greene and their reel to reel tape recorder a 15 year series of regular sittings with the independent direct voice Medium Leslie Flint that culminated in over five hundred recorded first hand accounts from those passed on to the next stage of existence beyond the grave referred to by most as 'death.'

As a reward for her efforts Betty Greene presents these recordings to the world to enlighten mankind :


Emma Hardinge-Britten - 4178K - 22 minutes - recorded 1969
the renowned advocate and proponent in the early Spiritualist movement returns to encourage the advancement of spiritual knowledge

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