Thomas Charles Lethbridge
|Thomas Charles Lethbridge|
|Other names||T. C. Lethbridge|
|Education||Wellington College, Cambridge University|
|Occupation||Explorer, Archeologist and parapsychologist|
|Known for||The Power of the Pendulum|
Thomas Charles Lethbridge (3 March 1901 – 30 September 1971) was a British explorer, archaeologist and parapsychologist. According to the historian Ronald Hutton, Lethbridge's "status as a scholar never really rose above that of an unusually lively local antiquary" for he had a "contempt for professionalism in all fields" and purported theories that were never accepted by the mainstream archaeological community.
Lethbridge was educated at Wellington College, before attending Trinity College, Cambridge, Cambridge University at the age of eighteen, where he discovered an interest in archaeology. Once he had completed his degree, he began working as a voluntary digger for Louis Clarke, the curator of the Archaeological Museum in Cambridge. Although he had a private income, Lethbridge became the keeper of Anglo-Saxon antiquities at the museum. He remained in Cambridge until 1957, bored with what he called “the academic trade-unionism” that existed within his profession. During this time he wrote a series of books about Early Medieval Britain. These, however, are generally eclipsed by the much more famous and controversial series of books he wrote at his home, Hole House, in Branscombe, Devon between 1961 and his death in 1971. Lethbridge claimed there is a link between the length of a pendulum and the object being dowsed for (see 'external links' below).
In May 1957, the Egyptologist Margaret Murray involved herself in the Gogmagog debate, championing Lethbridge's ideas against the academic fraternity in a letter which she sent to The Times. W.F. Grimes responded to her letter by claiming that she was out of touch with contemporary scholarship.
Lethbridge was a dedicated researcher who considered matters known as "the occult" with what he considered to be a scientific approach and put forward theories on ghosts, witchcraft, dowsing, psychokinesis and even aliens. His book The Power of the Pendulum, documents his research into dowsing by means of the pendulum. Lethbridge died while the book was still in draft form.
The book is a conclusion to the author's lifelong study of the worlds of the unexplained and the occult. Through his experience with the pendulum and his work with dreams, Lethbridge concluded that there are other realms of reality beyond this one and that the soul is probably immortal.
In her monograph Anglo-Saxon Amulets and Curing Stones (1981), the archaeologist Audrey Meaney noted that Lethbridge's "observations on features in the cemeteries he excavated around Cambridge were perspicacious but in advance of his time".
Whilst Lethbridge and his theories were largely ignored by the archaeological community following his death, interest in him and his parapsychological ideas has been maintained within the esoteric community. In 2003, a group of admirers of his work calling themselves "The Sons of T.C. Lethbridge" (Doggen Foster, Kevlar Bales and Welbourn Tekh), with the aid of Julian Cope and Colin Wilson, released A Giant: The Definitive T.C. Lethbridge, a set containing a booklet and two CDs containing music accompanying discussions of Lethbridge's work. Terry Welbourn's (Welbourn Tekh) biography entitled T.C. Lethbridge: The Man who Saw the Future is to be published by O-Books on 27 May 2011.
- Recent Excavations in Anglo-Saxon Cemeteries in Cambridgeshire and Suffolk (1931)
- Umiak: The European Ancestry of the 'Women's Boat'. (1937) Self-published.
- Merlin's Island: Essays on Britain in the Dark Ages. (1948) London: Methuen & Co.
- Herdsmen and Hermits: Celtic Seafarers in the Northern Sea. (1950) Cambridge: Bowes and Bowes.
- Coastwise Craft. (1952) London: Methuen & Co.
- Boats and Boatmen. (1952) London: Thames & Hudson.
- The Painted Men: A History of the Picts. (1954) London: Andrew Melrose.
- Gogmagog: The Buried Gods (1957) London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.
- Ghost and Ghoul (1961) London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.
- Witches: Investigating an Ancient Religion (1962) London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.
- Ghost and Divining Rod (1963) London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.
- ESP: Beyond Time and Distance (1965) London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.
- A Step in the Dark (1967) London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.
- The Monkey's Tail: A Study in Evolution and Parapsychology (1969) London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.
- The Legend of the Sons of God: A Fantasy? (1972) London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.
- The Power of the Pendulum (1976) London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.
- Hutton, Ronald (1999). The Triumph of the Moon: A History of Modern Pagan Witchcraft. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-820744-3.
- Meaney, Audrey (1981). Anglo-Saxon Amulets and Curing Stones. Oxford: British Archaeological Reports. ISBN 978-0-86054-148-6.
- Welbourn, Terry (May/June 2010). "The Buried Gods of Gogmagog". British Archaeology (York: Council for British Archaeology). pp. 38–41. ISSN 1357-4442.