Iconic Photos

Famous, Infamous and Iconic Photos

Lord Combermere

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Lord Combermere, while governor of Barbados, had ordered a professional investigation of “Moving Chase Coffins” of Barbados. The coffins inside the sealed vault are said to have been moved about by unnatural forces. The above photo of Lord Combermere’s library was taken in 1891 by Sybell Corbet while Lord Combermere’s funeral was going on a few miles away. If you look at the left chair you can allegedly see Lord Combermere setting there.

Lord Combermere was a British cavalry commander in the early 1800s, who distinguished himself in several military campaigns. Combermere Abbey, located in Cheshire, England, was founded by Benedictine monks in 1133. In 1540, King Henry VII kicked out the Benedictines, and the Abbey later became the Seat of Sir George Cotton KT, Vice Chamberlain to the household of Prince Edward, son of Henry VIII. In 1814, Sir Stapleton Cotton, a descendent of Sir George, took the title “Lord Combermere” and in 1817 became became the Governor of Barbados. He died after being struck by a horse drawn carriage.

The photographic exposure, Corbet recorded, took about an hour. It is thought by some that during that time a servant might have come into the room and sat briefly in the chair, creating the transparent image. All members of the household claimed that they were attending Lord Combermere’s funeral.

Written by Alex Selwyn-Holmes

October 8, 2009 at 12:37 pm

Posted in Society

Tagged with ,

2 Responses

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  1. […] Frederick Hudson in London and E. Buguet in Paris followed Mumler’s footsteps. In 1891, when the famous Combermere photo was taken, Alfred Russell Wallace, one of the fathers of the theory of evolution) reflected that […]

  2. Hello! I’ve just written about this photograph too (http://forteancake.wordpress.com/2010/08/20/lord-combermere-fades-away/). The Viscount Combermere who was buried in 1891 wasn’t the Governor of Barbados (he died in 1865) but his son, Wellington Stapleton-Cotton. That said, this is a well-known ghost photograph so I’ll give it a thumbs-up.


    Martin Bizarro

    August 20, 2010 at 9:38 pm

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