The Arthur Conan Doyle EncyclopediaThe Arthur Conan Doyle EncyclopediaThe Arthur Conan Doyle Encyclopedia
22 May 1859, Edinburgh M.D., Kt, KStJ, D.L., LL.D., Sportsman, Writer, Poet, Politician, Justicer, Spiritualist Crowborough, 7 July 1930

Witches and Witchcraft

From The Arthur Conan Doyle Encyclopedia

On tuesday 1st april 1890, Arthur Conan Doyle attended and spoke after the lecture "Witches and Witchcraft" by Dr. David Nicholson, at the Portsmouth Literary and Scientific Society (PLSS) meeting held at the Guildhall (Portsmouth).


  • President/Chairman
    • Mr. T. A. Bramsdon
  • Speakers
    • Dr. David Nicholson, F.S.A. (lecturer)
    • Mr. T. A. Bramsdon
    • Dr. A. Conan Doyle
    • Mr. G. G. Hardingham
    • Dr. Ward Cousins
  • Attendees
    • General A. W. Drayson, F.R.A.S.
    • General J. W. Cox, C.B., F.R.G.S.
    • Captain R. Jackson, R.N.
    • Miss Jackson
    • Miss Williams
    • Dr. D. Nicolson
    • Dr. Ward Cousins (Hon. Secretary)
    • Mrs. and Miss Cousins
    • Dr. A. Conan Doyle (Hon. Secretary)
    • Mrs. Doyle
    • Dr. Baker
    • Dr. Manley
    • Dr. T. Austin, R.N.
    • Miss Austin
    • Dr. Nathan Raw
    • Dr. Frederick Pearse
    • Dr. and Mr. Wardrop
    • Dr. and Mrs. Walter Scott
    • Rev. B. D. Aldwell, M.A.
    • Mrs. and the Misses Aldwell
    • Mrs. T. A. Bramsdon
    • Mr. and Mrs. J. Hay
    • Mr. and Mrs. C. Foran
    • Mr. and Mrs. A. Howell
    • Mr. Hugh S. Maclauchlan
    • Mr. J. M. Ollis, R.N.
    • Mr. J. W. F. Allnutt, M.A., F.R.A.S.
    • Mr. S. G. J. Allnutt
    • Mr. E. T. Mayne
    • Mr. F. Aylen
    • Mr. C. W. Ball
    • Mr. J. R. Constantine
    • Mr. W. T. Pover, R.N.
    • Mr. G. A. Cook
    • Mr. W. Inghs, R.N.
    • Mr. J. Watkins
    • Mr. P. Mayston, R.N.
    • Mrs. Mayston
    • Mr. H. C. Goldsmith, R.N.
    • Mrs. Goldsmith
    • Miss Pike
    • Mr. G. G. and Miss Hardingham
    • Mr. A. W. Darley
    • Mrs. F. Lord
    • Mrs. F. Skinner
    • Mrs. Walters and friends
    • Mr. T. L. Reynolds
    • Mr., Mrs. and the Misses Grazeliers
    • Mrs. and Miss Tomlinson
    • Mr. J. Robson, R.N., and friends
    • Mrs. Charles Wolseley and friends
    • Mr. F. J. Thorncliff
    • Mr. G. F. Bell
  • Elected members
    • Mr. George Edmonds

Conan Doyle contribution

Dr. CONAN DOYLE (Hon. Sec.) proposed a vote of thanks to Dr. Nicholson. He thought that where there trues a, widespread belief among many nations, extending over long intervals, they would find some basis of truth if they only searched far enough. Modern science, far from having destroyed the original idea underlying this topic, had gone a long way to confirm it. The original idea in regard to witchcraft was that certain people possessed powers, he would not stay supernatural but preternatural, and as a secondary consideration those powers might be used for a malevolent purpose. In support of the truth of this idea he quoted the investigations of Charcot and other eminent continental scientists into the phenomena of mesmerism and clairvoyance.

Full Report