How were the Seven Principles received and by whom?
Emma Hardinge Britten was born in 1823 in the East End of London. She is one of the most renowned and respected advocates of Spiritualism working in the early Modern Spiritualist Movement.
Emma was a spiritualist medium who travelled the world giving public talks on the philosophy of Spiritualism. She was often in a light trance state; she allowed her spirit guides to inspire her words or even to speak directly through her.
In 1855 Emma first visited America, it was in that year that she met a Spiritualist couple who persuaded her to have a sitting with a medium. This experience changed her life and Emma discovered she had a mediumship gift.
In 1856 Emma held a table séance that spelt out a message from a friend who had died on the ship ‘Pacific’. At that time the ship had just sunk so no one was aware of it at the time. From then on she became well known as a medium and practised along with Miss Kate Fox who was one of the famous ‘Fox’ sisters from Hydesville. It was in 1848 when Modern Spiritualism first came to the attention of the public.
In 1871, by which time Emma Hardinge Britten was one of the founders of the SNU, she received a message through mediumship from Robert Owen who was a well known Welsh philanthropist, social reformer and one of the founders of socialism and the co-operative movement in the UK and America.
Robert Owen had passed to spirit in 1858; his message was given to Emma some years later, and contained 5 Principles of Spiritualism. It was the SNU who revised them for better understanding into the Seven Principles we have today.
Emma Hardinge Britten died in 1899; most historians agree that, as a propagandist for Spiritualism, she was unequalled in her zeal, commitment and enthusiasm.
Her dream of establishing a proper and formal ‘School of Prophets’ training school for mediums was realised in 1900, with the founding of the Britten Memorial Institute and Library, in Manchester.
Sadly Emma was not a citizen of this world when this happened, although
we are sure she was witnessing it from the next. In his early life, Robert Owen preached and taught socialism and atheism, the latter being the forerunner to the Secularist movement.
Owen became a Spiritualist around 1853. He died in 1858 in Newtown, Wales, having been a great humanitarian and an inspiration to many.