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 Medium Lottie Fowler

 

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 Lottie Fowler Medium

(1836-1899)

There is NO Death by Florence Marryat

 

CHAPTER XIX - THE MEDIUMSHIP OF LOTTIE FOWLER

As I was introduced to Lottie Fowler many years before I met Bessie Fitzgerald, I suppose the account of her mediumship should have come first; but I am writing this veracious narrative on no fixed or artificial plan, but just as it occurs to me, though not from memory, because notes were taken of every particular at the time of occurrence. In 1874 I was largely employed on the London Press, and constantly sent to report on anything novel or curious, and likely to afford matter for an interesting article. It was for such a purpose that I received an order from one of the principal news papers in town to go and have a complimentary seance with an American clairvoyant newly arrived in England, Miss Lottie Fowler. Until I received my directions I had never heard the medium's name, and I knew very little of clairvoyance. She was lodging in Conduit Street, and I reached her house one morning as early as ten o'clock, and sent in a card with the name of the paper only written on it. I was readily admitted. Miss Fowler was naturally anxious to be noticed by the press and introduced to London society. I found her a stylish looking, well-dressed woman, with a pleasant, intelligent face. Those of my readers who have only met her since sickness and misfortune made inroads on her appearance may smile at my description, but I repeat that seventeen years ago Lottie Fowler was prosperous and energetic-looking. She received me very cordially, and asked me into a little back parlour, of which, as it was summer weather, both the windows and doors were left open. Here, in the sunshine, she sat down and took my hand in hers, and began chatting of what she wished and hoped to do in London. Suddenly her eyes closed and her head fell back. She breathed hard for a

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few minutes, and then sat up, still with her eyes closed, and began to talk in a high key, and in broken English. This was her well- known control, Annie, without doubt one of the best clairvoyants living. She began by explaining to me that she had been a German girl in earth life, and couldn't speak English properly, but I should understand her better when I was more familiar with her. She then commenced with my birth by the sea, described my father's personality and occupation, spoke of my mother, my brothers and sisters, my illnesses, my marriage, and my domestic life. Then she said, Wait! now I'll go to your house, and tell. you what I see there. She then repeated the names of all my children, giving a sketch of the character of each one, down to the baby with the flower name, as she called my little Daisy. After she had really exhausted the subject of my past and present, she said, You'll say I've read all this out of your mind, so now I'll tell you what I see in the future. You'll be married a second time. Now, at this period I was editing a fashionable magazine, and drew a large number of literary men around me. I kept open house on Tuesday evenings, and had innumerable friends, and I may (I don't say I had), but I may have sometimes speculated what my fate might be in the event of my becoming free. The seance I speak of took place on a Wednesday morning; and when Annie told me I should be married a second time, my thoughts involuntarily took to themselves wings, I suppose, for she immediately followed up her assertion by saying, No! not to the man who broke the tumbler at your house last night. You will marry another soldier. No, thank you, I exclaimed; no more army men for me. I've had enough of soldiers to last me a lifetime. Annie looked very grave. You will marry another soldier, she reiterated; I can see him now, walking up a terrace. He is very tall and big, and has brown hair cut quite short, but so soft and shiny. At the back of his head he looks as sleek as a mole. He has a broad face, a pleasant,

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smiling face, and when he laughs he shows very white teeth. I see him knocking at your door. He says, 'Is Mrs. RossChurch at home?' 'Yes, sir.' Then he goes into a room full of books. Florence, my wife is dead. Will you be my wife?' And you say 'Yes.' Annie spoke so naturally, and I was so astonished at her knowledge of my affairs, that it never struck me till I returned home that she had called me by my name, which had been kept carefully from her. I asked her, When will my husband die?  I don't see his death anywhere, she answered. But how can I marry again unless he dies? I said. I don't know, but I can't tell you what I don't see. I see a house all in confusion, papers are thrown about, and everything is topsys-turvy, and two people are going different ways; and, oh, there is so much trouble and so many tears! But I don't see any death anywhere. I returned home, very much astonished at all Miss Fowler had said regarding my past and present, but very incredulous with respect to her prophecies for the future. Yet, three years afterwards, when much of what she told me had come to pass, I was travelling from Charing Cross to Fareham with Mr. Grossmith, to give our entertainment of Entre Nous, when the train stopped as usual to water at Chatham. On the platform stood Colonel Lean, in uniform, talking to some friends. I had never set eyes on him till that moment; but I said at once to Mr. Grossmith, Do you see that officer in the undress uniform? That is the man Lottie Fowler told me I should marry. Her description had been so exact that I recognized him at once. Of course, I got well laughed at, and was ready after a while to laugh at myself. Two months afterwards, however, I was engaged to recite at the Literary Institute at Chatham, where I had never set foot in my life before. Colonel Lean came to the Recital, and introduced himself to me. He became a visitor at my house in London (Which, by the by, had been changed for one in a terrace), and two years afterwards, in June, 1879, we were married. I have

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so far overcome a natural scruple to make my private affairs public, injustice to Lottie Fowler. It is useless narrating anything to do with the supernatural (although I have been taught that this is a wrong term, and that nothing that exists is above nature, but only a continuation of it), unless one is prepared to prove that it was true. Lottie Fowler did not make a long stay in England on that occasion. She returned to America for some time, and I was Mrs. Lean before I met her again. The second visit was a remarkable one. I had been to another medium, who had made me very unhappy by some prophecies with regard to my husband's health; indeed, she said he would not live a couple of years, and I was so excited about it that my friend Miss Schonberg advised our going then and there to see Lottie Fowler, who had just arrived in England, and was staying in Vernon Place, Bloomsbury; and though it was late at night, we set off at once. The answer to our request to see Miss Fowler was that she was too tired to receive any more visitors that day. Do ask her to see me, I urged. I won't detain her a moment; I only want to ask her one question. Upon this, we were admitted, and found Lottie nearly asleep. Miss Fowler, I began, you told me five years ago that I should be married a second time. Well, I am married, and now they tell me I shall lose my husband. And then I told her how ill he was, and what the doctors said, and what the medium said. You told me the truth before, I continued; tell it me now. Will he die? Lottie took a locket containing his hair in her hand for a minute, and then replied confidently. They know nothing about it. He will not die-that is not yet-not for a long while. But when? I said, despairingly. Leave that to God, child, she answered, and be happy now. And in effect Colonel Lean recovered from his illness, and became strong and hearty again. But whence did Miss Fowler gain the confidence to assert that a man whom she had never seen, nor even heard of, should recover from a disease which the doctors pronounced to be

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mortal? From that time Lottie and I became fast friends, and continue so to this day. It is a remarkable thing that she would never take a sixpence from me in payment for her services, though I have sat with her scores of times, nor would she accept a present, and that when she has been sorely in need of funds. She said she had been told she should never prosper if she touched my money. She has one of the most grateful and affectionate and generous natures possible, and has halfstarved herself for the sake of others who lived upon her. I have seen her under sickness, and poverty, and trouble, and I think she is one of the kindest-hearted and best women living, and I am glad of even this slight opportunity to bear testimony to her disposition. At one time she had a large and fashionable clientele of sitters , who used to pay her handsomely for a seance, but of late years her clients have fallen off, and her fortunes have proportionately decreased. She has now returned to the Southern States of America, and says she has seen the last of England. All I can say is, that I consider her a great personal loss as a referee in all business matters as well as a prophet for the future. She also, like Bessie Fitzgerald, is a great medical diagnoser. She was largely consulted by physicians about the Court at the time of the Prince of Wales' dangerous illness, and predicted his recovery from the commencement. It was through her mediumship that the body of the late Lord Lindesay of Balcarres, which was stolen from the family vault, was eventually recovered; and the present Lord Lindesay gave her a beautiful little watch, enamelled and set in diamonds, in commemoration of the event. She predicted the riot that took place in London some years ago, and the Tay Bridge disaster; but who is so silly as to believe the prophecies of media nowadays? There has hardly been an event in my life, since I have known Lottie Fowler, that ,be has not prepared me for beforehand, but the majority of them are too insignificant to interest the reader. One, however, the saddest I have ever been called upon to

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encounter, was wonderfully foretold. In February, 1886, Lottie (or rather, Annie ) said to me, There is a great trouble in store for you, Florris (she always called me Florris); you are passing under black clouds, and there is a coffin hanging over you. It will leave your house. This made me very uneasy. No one lived in my house but my husband and myself I asked, Is it my own coffin? No! Is it my husband's'' No; it is that of a much younger person. I questioned her very closely, but she would not tell me any more, and I tried to dismiss the idea from my mind. Still it would constantly recur, for I knew, from experience, how true her predictions were. At last I felt as if I could bear the suspense no longer, and I went to her and said, You must tell. me that the coffin you spoke of is not for one of my children, or the uncertainty will drive me mad. Annie thought a minute, and then said slowly, No; it is not for one of your children. Then I can bear anything else, I replied. The time went on, and in April an uncle of mine died. I rushed again to Lottie Fowler. Is this the death you prophesied? I asked her. No, she replied; the coffin must leave your house. But this death will be followed by another in the family," which it was within the week. The following February my next door neighbours lost their only son. I had known the boy for years, and I was very sorry for them. As I was watching the funeral preparations from my bedroom window, I saw the coffin carried out of the hall door, which adjoined mine with only a railing between. Knowing that many prophetical media see the future in a series of pictures, it struck me that Lottie must have seen this coffin leaving, and mistaken the house for mine. I went to her again. This proves how the prediction had weighed all this time upon my mind. Has not the death you spoke of taken place now? I asked her. Has not the coffin left my house?'' No, she answered; it will be a relative, one of the family. It is much nearer now than it was. I felt uncomfortable, but I would

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not allow it to make me unhappy. Annie had said it was not one of my own children, and so long as they were spared I felt strong enough for anything. In the July following my eldest daughter came to me in much distress. She had heard of the death of a friend, one who had been associated with her in her professional life, and the news had shocked her greatly. She had always been opposed to Spiritualism. She didn't see the good of it, and thought I believed in it a great deal more than was necessary. I had often asked her to accompany me to seances, or to see trance media, and she had refused. She used to say she had no one on the other side she cared to speak to. But when her young friend died, she begged me to take her to a medium to hear some news of him, and we went together to Lottie Fowler. Annie did not wait for any prompting, but opened the ball at once. You've come here to ask me how you can see your friend who has just passed over, she said. Well, he's all right. He's in this room now, and he says you will see him very soon. To which Medium shall I go? said my daughter. Don't go to any medium. Wait a little while, and you win see him with your own eyes. My daughter was a physical medium herself, though I had prevented her sitting for fear it should injure her health; and I believed, with her, that Annie meant that her friend would manifest through her own power. She turned to me and said, Oh, Mother, I shall be awfully frightened if he appears to me at night; and Annie answered, No, you won't be frightened when you see him. You will be very pleased. Your meeting will be a source of great pleasure on both sides. My daughter had just signed a lucrative engagement, and was about to start on a Provincial tour. Her next request was, Tell me what you see for me in the future. Annie replied, I cannot see it clearly. Another day I may be able to tell you more, but today it is all dim. Every time I try to see it a wall seems to rise behind your head and shut it out. Then she turned to me and

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said, Florris, that coffin is very near you now. It hangs right over your head! I answered carelessly, I wish it would come and have done with it. It is eighteen months now, Annie, since you uttered that dismal prophecy! Little did I really believe that it was to be so quickly and so terribly fulfilled Three weeks after that seance,. my beloved child (who was staying with me) was carried out of my house in her coffin to Kensal Green. I was so stunned by the blow, that it was not for some time after that I remembered Annie's prediction. When I asked her why she had tortured me with the suspense of coming evil for eighteen months, she said she had been told to do so by my guardian spirits, or my brain would have been injured by the suddenness of the shock. When I asked why she had denied it would be one of my children, she still maintained that she had obeyed a higher order, because to tell the truth so long beforehand would have half-killed me as indeed it would. Annie said she had no idea, even during that last interview, that the death she predicted was that of the girl before her. She saw her future was misty and that the coffin was over my head, but she did not connect the two facts together. In like manner I have heard almost every event of my future through Lottie Fowler's bps, and she has never yet proved to be wrong, except in one instance of time. She predicted an event for a certain year and it did not take place till afterwards; and it has made Annie so wary, that she steadfastly refuses now to give any dates. I always warn inquirers not to place faith in any given dates. The spirits have told me they have no time in the spheres, but judge of it simply as the reflection of the future appears nearer, or further, from the sitter's face. Thus, something that will happen years hence appears cloudy and far off, whilst the events of next week or next month seem bright and distinct, and quite near. This is a method of judging which can only be gained by practice and must at all times be uncertain and misleading.

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I have often acted as amanuensis for Lottie Fowler, for letters are constantly arriving for her from every part of the world which can only be answered under trance, and she has asked me to take down the replies as Annie dictated them. I have answered by this means the most searching questions from over the seas relating to health and money and lost articles whilst Lottie was fast asleep and Annie  dictated the letters, and have received many answers thanking me for acting go-between, and saying how wonderfully correct and valuable the information Annie  had sent them had proved to be. Of course, it would be impossible, in this paper, to tell of the constant intercourse I have had with Lottie Fowler during the last ten or twelve years, and the manner in which she has mapped out my future for me, preventing my cherishing false hopes that would never be realized, making bad bargains that would prove monetary losses, and believing in apparent friendship that was only a cloak for selfishness and treachery. I have learned many bitter lessons from her lips. I have also made a good deal of money through her means. She has told me what will happen to me between this time and the time of my death, and I feel prepared for the evil and content with the good. Lottie Fowler had very bad health for some time before she left England, and it had become quite necessary that she should go; but I think if the British public had known what a wonderful woman was in their midst, they would have made it better worth her while to stay amongst them.  

 

Professional name of Charlotte Connolly, American clairvoyant and medical diagnoser. While biographical details are scarce, Fowler attained brief fame during a trip to England in 1872. During this tour, in April 1872, she initially introduced Stainton Moses to Spiritualism. Florence Marryat often acted as transcriptionist for Fowler in taking down trance answers to letters as dictated by "Annie," her German guide. According to Marryat, Fowler was consulted by physicians of the court at the time of the Prince of Wales's dangerous illness, and from the beginning predicted his recovery.

It was through her mediumship that the body of the late Master of Lindsay of Balcarres, which had been stolen from the family vault, was eventually recovered. She predicted a London riot and the Tay Bridge disaster. Among her more unusual stories, in Medium and Daybreak (1872), is her claim that on February 17, 1872, she was paranormally transported from a bus near Oxford Circus, London, to an apartment in Bloomsbury, about three miles away.


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