A Demented Female and The Marks Tey Spiritualist Circle

by Andrew Clarke
copyright 2002

'The phenomena at Borley are more or less consistent with the actions one would expect from a demented female...
....If the demented nun theory is correct, then the theory of a future life is correct...…'

Deane, Captain V.M. "Borley Rectory Problems." Psychic Science. London. April 1941. pp. 32-5

After the huge hullabaloo over Borley Rectory in the summer of 1929, when the story of the haunting became an international obsession, things began to quieten down. Despite a change in Rector, the phenomena seemed to persist, and there was a stream of interested visitors, features in the local papers, and groups of psychic investigators and spiritualists. Harry Price, and his party, was one of several groups of interested visitors that included the SPR, Professor Cook, and diverse spiritualist 'chapters', who visited the new rector and his wife, the Foysters, at the rectory.

'we had a group of people from Paddington and a group from just outside London. They were spiritualists and although they were kind and helpful, I counselled Lion against having such people in the house, but he persisted.'

(Marianne Foyster Autobiographical notes)

It is not apparent from Harry Price's famous books about the haunting but, almost without exception, these visitors, including Harry Price, concluded with some disappointment  that the phenomena were produced 'naturally'. Indeed, several informed poor Lionel Foyster that his much younger wife, Marianne, had caused the phenomena. Local visitors such as the Braithwaites reacted likewise when phenomena occurred.

'JB (John Braithwaite) had private talk with F (Lionel Foyster). "I told him that his wife was responsible for everything, being both psychic and hysterical."'

Notes made at the time 13/8/31 by Mr John Braithwaite  SPR MS 6/6/17

This advice was consistently rejected by the rector who stuck loyally by his wife's story. Marianne did not appreciate the opinions of these spiritualists either.

'[Marianne said]…I cannot stand much more of these people coming down and declaring that I am doing it. It is bad enough to have to put up with it all without being accused of doing it oneself'

(Typescript- 'Fifteen Months in a Haunted House' Rev Lionel Foyster)

Harry Price had become 'persona non grata' at the Rectory, due to the fact they had pointed out to the rector that his wife was causing all the manifestations. All was not lost, however, as he had Lionel Foyster's 'Memorandum' which he was reading out to audiences, along with slide-shows of  a 'diaphanous nun', at his 'National Laboratory of Psychical Research' in South Kensington. He was unable to visit the rectory again whilst the Foysters were there. However, a medium he had previously investigated, and had known for some four years, lived in the area and was employed as a medium by a local spiritualist circle, the Marks Tey Spiritualist Circle. Apparently out of the blue,  a letter arrived at the rectory addressed to the Foysters, from Mr Warren of Marks Tey arrived.

'January 1932….We receive an offer to come and help us to rid the house of ghosts from Mr Warren of the Marks Tey Spiritualist circle'

(Typescript- 'diary of events' Rev Lionel Foyster)

The Marks Tey spiritualist circle was organized by Mr and Mrs Warren, who were the only members of this august body who actually lived at Marks Tey. Mr Warren was actually the postmaster at Marks Tey who ran the village shop and held sťances in the back room. Marks Tey, at the time was a village of 700 souls that just happened to be near a railway junction at which point the Sudbury and Halstead line branched off. It consisted of a few houses along the A12. This loose-knit group of Spiritualist friends lived all over East Anglia and invited other spiritualists from far afield to see the Foysters.

Although their help was initially turned down when Marianne objected, Mr Warren persisted and finally, on the condition that he should not confront Marianne with any accusation of faking the phenomena, they were given permission to visit…

. He and H. H. Frost come and talk to us.

Marianne was under the impression that there were several visits, not recorded in Foyster's notes, and this seems to be confirmed in the records of the Marks Tey Spiritualist Circle.

'He had some kind of communication with some folks at Marks Tey and they came over to the house. They were pleasant folks who sang hymns and held séances. I refused to sit in with their séances for a long time, and then one day I did so….The chapter, as they called themselves, continued to come on and off'

they were nice. They were a different type of people to Harry Price. They weren't bombastic or horrid in any way

Marianne: Robert Swanson Interview Gladstone Hotel - February, 1958

Finally, they decided to get rid of the cause of the haunting once and for all

January 23-24. Finally they come with a medium on January 23rd suggesting spending the next night in the house. Directly they come, throwing begins, so I suggest their spending that night instead. Warren and Frost go over to get other members of the circle, leaving medium with us. Great demonstrations! Bottles crashing down back stairs; kitchen passage strewn with broken glass etc.; bells ringing. Quieted down for a time, but starts up somewhat when rest of circle returned. Party stays until 5 am,. and then leave with the belief that trouble had been arrested. Next morning, the house was entirely different and demonstrations definitely stop (with two exceptions noted below) until 1935 

(Lionel Foyster 'diary of events')

This summary of what happened coincided closely with the 'official account of the 'Circle' (written by VM Deane). and is considerably amplified in Lionel's later account, 'Fifteen Months in a Haunted House'. This was hardly surprising as Lionel Foyster had the Circle's notes in front of him when he wrote the Typescript of 'Fifteen Months in a Haunted House'. The 'Circle' kept contemporary notes of their experiences and séance material, "I have in addition the entire record of the sittings of the Marks Tey circle for the 12 months of 1932, recorded in shorthand at the time." (Deane, V.M. "Borley Rectory Problems." Light. London. January 2, 1941.) This represents the only contemporary account of any haunting in the Foyster period. We also have an account by Marianne written about forty years later, and the better-known, and more sensational, account that was written by the medium that the Marks Tey Spiritualist Circle had gone to fetch, Guy P J L'Estrange..

Five years later, Guy L'Estrange . participated in a weekly broadcasted Radio Show called " In Town Tonight", about 'a haunted Rectory in Suffolk'. He later wrote up his experiences in the Norwich Mercury for December 24th 1942. An abridged and amended version was then printed in Price's 'The End of Borley Rectory'.

The ten year gap between the visit and the writing of the account had taken its toll, as we shall see. Harry Price, when he first received the manuscript, was worried about the inaccuracies in this account, and even L'Estrange was ashamed enough to say, 'I was simply staggered to learn that I had made so many mistakes in my article about Borley Rectory. It just shows what tricks ones memory can play''  

Guy L'Estrange, in letter to Harry Price Dec 1944. 

The SPR report, which was published in book form as 'The Haunting of Borley Rectory, was not kind to Guy's story. One passage particularly worried them

'As we went out onto the landing again, there was a loud ringing of bells downstairs. The Rector beckoned me to the banisters and, leaning over, I could see that all the bells in the kitchen passage below were clanging wildly at the same time, whilst my hostess and the one maid that had not refused to remain in the house looked on helplessly'

(Guy L'Estrange quoted in End of Borley Rectory p60)

Sidney Glanville, the most diligent investigator of the Borley happenings, pointed out that one could not possibly see the kitchen passage and the bells from the banisters. Actually, they had assumed that Guy and Lionel had been on the front stairs, whereas there were three sets of stairs in all, and one could easily see the bells in the kitchen passage from the back stairs at the far end of the kitchen wing, so long as the kitchen doors were open, and one can even work out where they had been when the clanging started. They had been in the big bedroom above the kitchen that was the location for various odd events such as Frank Peerless's black eye. Surprisingly, it was Adelaide's bedroom (she was staying with the Whitehouses in Sudbury at the time). Mention of the maid is surprising as Foyster , in his 'memorandum', states that she was sent home for the afternoon.

In fact, the errors in this account are far more disconcerting. He seems to suggest that he was the only visitor to the house, on a direct invitation from Rev Foyster, forgets completely about the séance that was held in the Blue Room, and was under the misapprehension that he retired to bed when, in fact, the whole point of the visit was to conduct séances and other spiritualist activities with the five other members of the 'circle'. He also thinks that he witnessed the bottle-throwing incident in the hallway, whereas it was actually in the back stairwell. Whilst describing this incident he gushes '..appearing suddenly in midair, they would hurtle through space and smash to pieces on the floor or against the wall'. The circle's report only admits to them being thrown 'one or two at a time'. He claims that Foyster described seeing actual supernatural incidents whereas we know well that he didn't. The most puzzling aberration is the fact hat he seems to have forgotten the Mark Tey Spiritualist Circle altogether, and the only time they get a mention is when, '..after I retired to my bedroom, accompanied by certain friends of the household'. The book 'Borley Postscript' by Peter Underwood contains a long statement made by Guy L'Estrange some 37 years later. It is rather different in detail from his original statement and even more difficult to reconcile with other accounts. Additionally, it is much more sensational. His account is of a wild night, worthy of a Hollywood film, complete with Marianne in a see-through nightie, bottles exploding like hand-grenades, bells ringing, china smashing, and ghostly figures at the foot of the bed.…….

"...an appalling series of crashing sounds took them back to the hall. When they opened the door, an astonishing sight met their eyes: bottles were being hurled about in all directions although no human person was to be seen and the other doors leading into the hall were closed. L'Estrange and the Foysters stood and watched in astonishment as bottles would suddenly appear in mid-air, then hurtle space and smash in pieces on the floor or against the wall...."

'Borley Postscript' by Peter Underwood p115)

Well, actually the incident happened in the back stairwell, in the presence of The Foysters, Mr Warren and Mr Frost.

Guy also relates a strange occurrence in the library

L'Estrange was making notes of the evening's events when he heard cautious but distinct footsteps enter the room. He told us that he felt a chill run down his spine but he did not turn round. He heard the footsteps approach him and then pause.. He turned quickly but there was nobody there'...

'Borley Postscript' by Peter Underwood p115)

An event is described that is not in the previous account.

"Soon after one o'clock in the morning, he saw Marianne Foyster pass the open door. She seemed to glide rather than walk and wore a diaphanous night-dress that reached to the ground. When he asked her where she was going she replied 'to-make-some-tea' very slowly, almost trance-like."

'Borley Postscript' by Peter Underwood (p117)

One's first reaction is disbelief, but this incident is, in fact, corroborated by Captain V.M. Deane's account of these events. Marianne was acting very oddly that night.

The occupants of the house showed signs of nervous tension throughout the night, especially the lady, who went downstairs at about 3a.m. and closed doors etc. Several bolts and locks were heard to be operated during he visit below.

(The Circle's report, quoted in 'Fifteen Months in a Haunted House' Rev Lionel Foyster)

Guy L'Estrange said he thought Marianne was very highly strung. He was alone with he for some time and she opened her heart to him and told him things he would never repeat to anyone. Once, during his visit, Marianne seemed to have a fit of hysterics- laughing and crying together. She recovered after a while. Her husband took no notice so L'Estrange did nothing either.

'Borley Postscript' by Peter Underwood (p117)

In Guy's later account he states that he is alone in the house with the Foysters. The L'Estrange account ends when the rest of the 'Circle' turn up at the house at 3 in the morning (They'd actually been in the house since 10pm and could be heard 'going round the house and singing hymns, saying prayers and talking in different rooms') and, according to L'Estrange, the Foysters turn them out of the house as Lionel 'had a sermon to write'. (all other accounts say that they stayed until 5 in the morning and then left, on good terms with their hosts, as they'd had not slept since the previous night, and Mrs Warren had children to look after).

One other curious aspect of this statement is the parts of dialog attributed to Lionel Foyster. for example, when confronted by the wreckage of his best crockery, he says .These things come from the Kitchen dresser,..'You can see how impossible it would have been for anyone to fling them down here and get out of sight so quickly'. A masterly analysis, but not something you or I would say at the time. When bottles are thrown, his reaction is portrayed as being an explanation, incorrect as it happens, that bottles were not stored in the house and both doors and windows were bolted. it smacks of an amateurish attempt by the writer to bolster the impression of a supernatural causation

So who was this strange and rather erratic medium? L'Estrange, Guy P. J. ( 1898-1973 ) was a Psychic Artist, Medium & Healer. He was one of the better known Physical Mediums in the 1930's, and was mentioned several times in 'Psychic News'. He is probably best known for his erotic dark sťances, including one called 'the French Dancer', a  girl who would jig around the room, topless. Harry Price recalls this in his book 'The Search For Truth', writing , 'A friend who witnessed this phenomena in his own house declared that the girl's entire leg from her thigh to the toes could be seen, by means of luminous plaques as she pirouetted around the room.' Price decided to investigate L'Estrange and paid L'Estrange the equivalent of a days  wages for L'Estrange's sťance 'but it was all negative, which is not surprising. Dennis Bradley (the spiritualist) annoyed the medium and he annoyed us. I was glad when the sťance terminated, I was especially sorry for L'Estrange.'  (Dennis Bradley was drunk, and wrote a scurrilous account of the proceedings)  Erotic Sťances not his only trick. Under psychic influences he was evidently able to complete "intricate psychic drawings ". The drawings , done at speed, had elaborate Chinese designs. Some included what seemed to be Chinese characters and symbols, yet he said he knew nothing about Chinese art or lettering. Photographs of the artwork was shown to experts at the British Museum. They said "the drawings were typical Chinese art and very fine", strangely enough one official announced he knew who the artist was, and turning to some lists he pointed to the name, Guy L'Estrange, born 1854 and described as an authority on Chinese and Mongolian matters. This story was told to the editor of the Yarmouth Independent, by L'Estrange on an interview, who liked it so much he asked L'Estrange to write for the newspaper. He contributed a weekly feature entitled " Psychic Corner " for the Yarmouth Independent for 13 months. Most if not all were then reprinted in the Psychic News. His final contribution was early May 1934, after which many articles appeared directly in the Psychic News for around 3 years.

In 1934, whilst residing at Beresford Road, Great Yarmouth, he was appointed "Life President" of the Great Yarmouth Spiritualist Church. He resigned two years later because "business pressure" necessitated him leaving that town for short periods.

In his professional life, L'Estrange started out working in a local Bank, but eventually became a journalist. He was described by Daniel Parson in his autobiography in 1944 as 

"He as old, very old, with pale rheumy eyes, a weak voice though a strong sense of humour and a trembling hand. He dressed immaculately, if verging on the music-hall concept of the toff, with a white snowfall of cigarette ash on his lapels, and high wing collars."
"..he resembled a desiccated matinee Idol, with his upright stance and his translucent skin"

Peter Underwood says, that L'Estrange was a a town councillor, a county councillor and a Justice of the Peace, as well as holding other responsible positions. He doesn't mention the topless ladies.  Although his importance as a witness relies more on the quality of his evidence, rather than his civic dignity, it is puzzling that we cannot find corroboration for this. The Suffolk and Norfolk directories of 1925 or 1937 have no mention of him. I cannot find him in any of the Essex Directories. If he was such an eminent person, it must have been after the 1930s or outside East Anglia, though we know he was in Gt Yarmouth, in Suffolk, in the 1930s. He apparently owned a public house in Yarmouth called the Golden Fleece.

What can be the explanation of Guy L'Estrange's attempt to write the Circle out of the record of that extraordinary day? One answer was provided in the writings of Captain VM Deane, as well as private correspondence with Harry Price. Guy L'Estrange quarrelled with the Circle on the night he was invited in, and tried to conduct the whole sťance himself. The Warrens and other members of the circle were understandably annoyed by this and  felt that their contribution did as much as Guy's to cause the haunting to cease. They carried on conducting subsequent séances at Marks Tey, and believed they they deserved credit for causing the phenomena to stop. Mr Warren soon submitted to illness that he attributed to evil spirits from Borley. There was a further spat, and Guy felt he had to try to make out that he alone had been responsible for the day's events by painting them off the record .

...the trouble more or less ceased for nearly two years at Borley Rectory, but broke out to a lesser degree at Marks Tey, where the health of Mr Warren changed (he eventually died) while that of Mrs Foyster, who was an invalid, was restored.

Deane, Captain V.M'

The waters are muddied by the fact that L'Estrange and Harry Price were already acquainted, and it could well be that the only purpose of the Circle in L'Estrange's eyes had been to make initial contact with the Foysters at the rectory and allay any suspicions. Harry Price was entirely unwelcome at the Rectory at the time.  Once they had achieved their purpose they became only an embarrassment to him. 

Such is the confusion of L'Estrange's account of the evening that we need to work out what happened .

'There is not the slightest shadow of doubt but that in full lamp-light showers of bottles and stones fell amongst batches of from three to five participants, who saw the phenomena with their eyes, heard them with their ears, and handled the apported objects with their hands; and, though two of the participants are now dead, there are still six alive whose evidence cannot be shaken."

Deane, Captain V.M'

As far as one can tell, the following  is a reasonable summary of what happened, based on the accounts of the participants.

Mr Warren and Frost arrived unannounced after midnight on Jan 22nd, (after some preliminary visits?) saying that the leader of their band of helpers 'on the other side' had warned that Marianne's band of spirit protectors could not hold out much longer. The Foysters, despites some scepticism, agree to a séance in which a medium will materialise each spirit in ectoplasm and deal with them one at a time. Mr Warren and Frost agree to return following day with the medium

The children go over to Sudbury Hall to stay with Lady Whitehouse for the afternoon, and the maid is sent home. They receive a telegram from Mr Warren saying that the sitting had to be postponed, but they would come anyway to explain

Mr Warren and Frost arrived with the medium, L'Estrange, at the Rectory at 5pm. L'Estrange said that the materialisation strategy was too risky. They suggested an 'all-night' sitting instead in two days time. They were briefed by the Foysters about the phenomena, over Tea. Suddenly there was a crash in the kitchen passage, followed by a second. Then, one of the bells rang. Rev Foyster suggested that the sitting should be done that night. There was a third crash and they got up to investigate. There was a quantity of broken glass and bottles at the foot of the 'back staircase'. As they watched, more bottles were thrown and bells rung.. Two seemed to materialise in mid-air and crash to the ground. They came on two at a time. Mr Warren and Frost left to fetch the rest of the circle. More bottles and glassware were thrown down the back stairs, with much debris in the kitchen passage. A while later, a number of bells were rung at the same time. L'Estrange tried to communicate with the spirits via the ringing bell and got Ref Foyster's dead father. Rev Foyster stopped the session. Rev. Foyster left on an errand , and returned an hour later. Meanwhile, L'Estrange heard footsteps in the library as he wrote up his notes, and with Marianne, heard panting sounds on the main staircase. Also, Marianne poured out he heart to L'Estrange, and was very tearful and highly-strung. The Marks Tey Spiritualist Circle returned at 10 pm, and 'the phenomena was intensified'. They noticed that Marianne was very tense,, strange, A porridge-bowl is thrown at Ref Foyster's head, a saucer was broken, and bottles were thrown about. Rev Foyster has a prayer in his chapel. Phenomena then practically stop. The Foysters retire to bed. A séance is held in the Blue Room. Marianne gets up in the night, wandering about downstairs She seemed to be 'under an influence'. At 4am the Marks Tey Spiritualist Circle moved to the library to discuss what had happened. Party left at 5 AM.

'In the night, it began to rain, torrents of it. When we got up in the morning it was like a new world all washed clean.
The mediums told us that we would not be really bothered again. We might have little happenings, but that there would never in our time be much trouble'

.Marianne Foyster- Autobiographical notes

The next question that one has to come to grips with was who caused the 'phenomena'. This was referred to with some delicacy in the Circle's account of the night's happenings as the strict condition they were allowed in was that Marianne was not to be accused of faking the phenomena.. After their séance, they met in the library to warm up and eat some food that had been left for them. They must have had doubts about what they'd witnessed as they immediately set about discussing various natural explanations for what they had experienced the previous night. Marianne, who had been very wakeful, heard them in the library and rightly guessed they had finished their nights work so she dressed, got out of bed and went downstairs. The assembled company hurriedly changed the subject of their conversation. One can only speculate as to their conclusions, but even Guy L'Estrange was moved to write to Harry Price and mention 'one or two disquieting factors in connection with the business'. When Harry Price wrote up the whole business, he carefully excised all references to Marianne's odd demeanour, and obvious signs of disturbance. He also left out any references in the various accounts that might imply that she was being suspected of causing the various incidents. 

Captain VM Deane was convinced that they had all experienced phenomena, caused by 'a demented female', probably a nun who, in a séance, identified herself as Evangeline Westcott. (not Marie Lairre, a later creation from a sťance in Streatham).

Marianne says that Lionel threw objects many times, especially when the group of spiritualists from Marks Tey were present. He threw things in order to observe their reactions and to note what they would say. She says the minute these people left the house, all such throwing of objects stopped. The phenomena ceased completely when Lionel became confined to a wheelchair.

Marianne's Story by Iris Owen and Pauline Mitchell.

they had this medium who did produce manifestations that were not easy to explain.

The Marks Tey Circle was unaware of other members of the household who were present in addition to the Foysters. Most important of these was what the Bull Sisters called 'A most extraordinary man', who liked to be known as Francois D'Arles (his real name was Frank Peerless) who lived, on and off, in the rectory cottage and insinuated himself into the household until it eventually became a ménage a trois. Of all the unpleasant people in the Borley story, Frank was the worst.

Whilst it has been impossible to verify that he was there on the day, it is very likely. The bell-ringing episode was easy to fake. The bell-wires had not been cut next to the bells: we learn from Harry Price's notes that this had been done at the bell-rope ends, in each room, presumably to facilitate their reconnection. The wires passed through the pantry, and Mrs Smith, the previous rector's wife, discovered that one could ring them from there. Ian, Marianne's oldest son, stayed at the Rectory for some time, being passed off as a younger brother and he related to Trevor Hall that he found, concealed in the ivy in the wall of the courtyard, a piece of string that passed into the house and was attached to these bell-ropes. When pulled, they rang all the bells. ....

Frank would have found it easy to go straight from the cottage into the cellars and thence into the house: There was an external trapdoor which led straight into the cellars from the courtyard near where the piece of string was placed. This was spotted by several of the Price's "official observers" such as Ryberg and his companion on 8 December 1937, and M. G. Knox and Colonel Westland who reported on 11 July 1937 '...Whilst prowling round. ..I discovered that the cellar trapdoor [in the courtyard] is not secured and can be easily opened so that anyone can get into the house that way provided the cellar staircase door is left unlocked.'
Once in the cellars, Frank could play all sorts of pranks on the company above, and he had a perfect exit-route if they became suspicious. The effect of the footsteps in the library was easy to produce. This as one of the few rooms with a cellar underneath, and the cellar was hardly seven foot in height. One could gain the effect of a ghostly walk merely by pressing up on the floor of the library from below. I've done it myself in a similar house with an immensely satisfying effect.

The original account of the 'exploding bottles' mentions that they were thrown 'two by two'. If 'exploding bottles' happened on the 'back stairs' off the kitchen passage, they could have been conveniently thrown, one in each hand, from just outside the cellar door (the cellars had an infinite supply of wine bottles). If they happened on the servants staircase, then one would be able to engineer the entire effect by tossing bottles, one in each hand, from the attics above or through the first-floor window in the courtyard. It is amusing to note how close this window was to the string, and the cellar stairs. Ian Shaw also gained the confidence of Frank Peerless (self-styled Francois D'Arles) , and Frank confessed to having caused much of the haunting, and also told Ian that he'd advised Marianne that things had got out of hand and that the visit of the Marks Tey Circle should be used as an excuse to stop the haunting.

For Frank, who was a confidence trickster playing a long game; the haunting had outlasted its purpose. He was soon to enter negotiations with Lionel about 'a joint business venture', a flower shop on London that was rapidly to part the poor old chap from the last of his inherited capital. Marianne was soon to disappear off for several weeks and return with a baby that Frank seemed to believe was his. Within a year, Marianne was living with Frank in London as man and wife, seeing Lionel only at occasional weekends. A year later, the money was all gone, Frank had disappeared with a teenage flower girl from the shop, threatening black mail and lawsuits, and eventually married her (not bad for a man who was the same age as Lionel). Marianne was back at the rectory, which had been curiously free of haunting in their absence. Lionel's health was deteriorating fast, 'he had horrible palpitations and his rheumatism was increasing', He was suffering worse and worse fits of depression. The money was gone, and he was at the point of having to give up his job. Things for the poor Foysters were soon to get much worse, but then, that's a different story.

Manuscript 'Fifteen Months in a Haunted House' by Lionel foyster quoted from FIFTEEN MONTHS IN THE MOST HAUNTED HOUSE IN ENGLAND by Vincent O'Neil

BORLEY POSTSCRIPT Peter Underwood 2001 White House Publications

Guy L'Estrange THE END OF BORLEY RECTORY by Harry Price. London: Harrap.

Biography of Guy L'Estrange from the L'Estrange family website

Deane, Captain V.M. "Borley Rectory Problems." Psychic Science. London. April 1941. pp. 32-5

Material from THE GHOSTS THAT WILL NOT DIE by Vincent O'Neil. 2001. ISBN 0-9644938-4-5.

THE MOST HAUNTED HOUSE IN ENGLAND by Harry Price. Longmans, 1940

Marianne Foysters Autobiographical note quoted from THE MOST HAUNTED WOMAN IN ENGLAND by Vincent O'Neil. . BGS-004. ISBN 0-9644938-5-3.

Material from THE Trevor Hall's research, taken from WIDOW OF BORLEY by Robert Wood. Duckworth Publishing, 1992.