Francis Ward Monck

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Francis Ward Monck (born 1842) was a British clergyman and spiritualist medium.[1]


Monck was born in Portsmouth, Hampshire. He claimed to have psychic experiences as a child. He was a clergyman who began his career as a minister of the Baptist Chapel in Earls Barton, he was interested in spiritualism and became a medium.[2] On November 3, 1876 in Huddersfield a sitter H. B. Lodge stopped the séance and demanded that Monck be searched. Monck ran from the room, locked himself in another room and escaped out of a window. A pair of stuffed gloves was found in his room, as well as cheesecloth, reaching rods and other fraudulent devices in his luggage.[3] After a trial Monck was convicted for his fraudulent mediumship and was sentenced to three months in prison.[4]

William Barrett also caught Monck in fraud with "a piece of white muslin on a wire frame with a black thread attached, being used by the medium to simulate a partially materialised spirit."[5] In his séances Monck placed a musical clock on a table, covered it with a cigar- box, and claimed spirits caused it to play. It was exposed as a trick as Monck had hidden a small music box that he would play in his trousers.[6]


  1. ^ Antonio Melechi. (2008). Servants of the Supernatural: The Night Side of the Victorian Mind. Random House. p. 229
  2. ^ Raymond Buckland. (2005). The Spirit Book: The Encyclopedia of Clairvoyance, Channeling, and Spirit Communication. Visible Ink Press. p. 264
  3. ^ Lewis Spence. (1991). Encyclopedia of Occultism & Parapsychology. Gale Research Company. p. 1106
  4. ^ Adin Ballou. (2001). The Rise of Victorian Spiritualism. Routledge. p. 16
  5. ^ Arthur Conan Doyle. (1975). The History of Spiritualism. Arno Press. p. 305
  6. ^ Walter Mann. (1919). The Follies and Frauds of Spiritualism. London: Watts & Co. pp. 40-41

Further reading[edit]

Hereward Carrington. (1907). The Physical Phenomena of Spiritualism. Herbert B. Turner & Co. pp. 246-247 reveals the materialized "spirit hand" trick that Monck used in his séances.

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