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 small-pox endeared him to all. After a short time in Dorset,
Stainton Moses took a curacy in Salisbury, 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 School, which he held till ill-health obliged him to relinquish it in
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 developed.
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
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
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 Spirit Teachings 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. Speerís house at Alexandra Road, N.W.
Stainton Moses founded the London Spiritualist Alliance, and addressed the
inaugural meeting on behalf of the committee at the Banqueting Hall of St.
Jamesís Hall, on May 8, 1884. For some years he contributed frequently to
Light, of which paper he subsequently became the editor.