Association of Progressive Spiritualists of Great Britain

Association of Progressive Spiritualists of Great Britain

(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

This was the first representative organization of Spiritualists in Great Britain. It was founded in 1865 and held its first convention in Darlington, Yorkshire. The members were later attacked by other Spiritualists and charged with being “anti-Christian.” The organization suffered to the point where it died out after only three years. In 1873 the British National Association of Spiritualists formed in the London area as another attempt at a national organization, but that too had a difficult beginning, eventually reforming in 1883 as the London Spiritualist Alliance.

There is little record of other “Progressive Spiritualist” groups today. There was the Portsmouth Progressive Spiritualist Church in Portsmouth, Hampshire, and there are a few groups scattered across the United States. In San Francisco, the Society of Progressive Spiritualists was incorporated in 1883 under the leadership of H. C. Wilson and with financial backing from Mrs. Eunice Sleeper. There were also the People’s Progressive Spiritualists’ Society of Hollister, the First Progressive Spiritual Society of San Francisco, and the First Society of Progressive Mediums, also of San Francisco. Meanwhile, on the east coast there was the Working Union of Progressive Spiritualists in Boston. An impressive temple was designed by Hartwell and Richardson in 1884 and built on Exeter Street in Boston. In 1885 this group was renamed The Spiritual Fraternity.

Sources:

Ephemera—SpiritHistory.com: http://www.spirithistory.com
Fodor, Nandor: Encyclopedia of Psychic Science. London: Arthurs Press, 1933
Nelson, Geoffrey K.: Man, Myth & Magic: Spiritualism. London: BPC Publishing, 1970
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