Tag Archives: Tudor ghosts

The Tudor Lady at Glamis: 1880s

At that period the great topic of conversation amongst ghost-hunters was Glamis Castle, the most celebrated of all haunted houses. No ghost book is ever considered complete without reference to this celebrated Castle, and the story usually narrated is, that in the secret room some abnormal horror lived, and that the heir, Lord Glamis, and the factor, had to be told of its existence by the Earl of Strathmore in person. This information was of so terrible a nature that it changed not only the lives of those two men, but even their personal appearance. They grew aged and haggard in a single night.

This story was readily discussed in old days by members of the Strathmore family, who were just as keen as outsiders were to probe the mystery. To-day it is universally believed that the monstrosity is at last laid to rest, and that though other ghosts still walk the Castle, the worst has departed forever.

I went one afternoon to see [Lord and Lady] Wynford in the hotel in which they stayed whilst in Scotland, and found Lady [Fanny] Reay with them. She was a wonderful woman in her way, and preserved her youth up till very late in life. Lord Wynford was not present, and Lady Wynford at once greeted me by exclaiming, “We are going to stay at Glamis next week, and Lady Reay has been there and seen a ghost.”

“But not the ghost,” admitted Lady Reay.

“Then what did you see?” I inquired.

She then told the following story, which has a sequel: —

“I had been in the Castle for three nights and much to my satisfaction seen absolutely nothing. We were a very cheery party, and every one was frightfully thrilled and nervously expectant, but we were very careful not to breathe the word ‘ghost’ before our host and hostess.

“On the fourth night I was awakened by a moaning sound in my room, and I opened my eyes. The room was in total darkness, but I saw something very bright near the door. I shut my eyes instantly, and pulled the bedclothes over my head in a paroxysm of fear. I longed to light my candles, but didn’t dare, and the moaning continued, and I thought I should go quite mad.

“At last I ventured to peep out again. I saw a woman dressed exactly like Mary Tudor, in her pictures, and she was wandering round the walls, flinging herself against them, like a bird against the bars of a cage, and beating her hands upon the walls, and all the time she moaned horribly. I’m sure she was the ghost of a mad woman. Her face and form were lit up exactly like a picture thrown upon a magic lantern screen, and every detail of her dress was clearly defined.

“Luckily she never looked at me, or I should have screamed, and I thought of Lord and Lady I. sleeping in the next room to mine, and wondered how I could reach them. I was really too terrified to move, and the ghost kept more or less to that part of the room where the door was situated.

“I must have lain there awake for two or three hours, sometimes with my head buried under the clothes, sometimes peeping out, when at last the moaning suddenly stopped. I opened my eyes. Thank God, I was alone. The ghost had departed.

“I lay with wide open eyes till daybreak. Then the first thing I did was to run to the mirror to see if my hair had turned white. Mercifully it hadn’t, but I looked an awful wreck.

“I told just a few people what I had seen, and contrived to get a wire sent me before lunch. Early in the afternoon I was on the way to Edinburgh.”

Such was the story Lady Reay related.

Thirteen years later Captain Eric Streatfield, who was a nephew of Lord Strathmore, and an intimate friend of my husband, told me exactly the same story. He was a boy of six at the time, when the lady of Tudor days appeared moaning in his room, and he said he would never forget the misery of the night he passed. He was very much interested in hearing that Lady Reay had gone through the same experience.

Ghosts I Have Seen And Other Psychic Experiences, Violet Tweedale, 1919: pp. 165-168

Mrs Daffodil’s Aide-memoire: Tudor lady ghosts were a staple of the Victorian/Edwardian supernatural scene. Mrs Russell-Davies interviewed the ghosts of Catherine Howard and Jane Seymour, while William Waldorf Astor was snubbed by the ghost of Anne Boleyn when he bought Hever Castle.

There were many ghosts at Glamis. This particular moaning ghost might have been the so-called “Tongueless Woman,” sometimes identified as a wronged servant girl and sometimes as a Countess of Strathmore.

The famous, the fierce, and frowning northern stronghold of the Lords Strathmore is Glamis Castle (pronounced Glams), and while it may seem flippant to say so, Glamis has ghosts from ‘way back, from the time of King Duncan and bloody Macbeth, from before the coming over of William the Norman.

The Ghost of Glamis.

Beside them those of Leap are just tricksome brownies Nobody in England but takes Glamis seriously and nobody disputes the existence of some frightful mystery hidden for generations in the dungeons or the secret tower chambers of the brutal looking pile of masonry. Even Dean Stanley acknowledged a feeling for Glamis’ ghost. He wasn’t so sure it was a fake. The dean had a way of digging up the royal folk and others who sleep in Westminster Abbey, just to see if they were all there and doing comfortably, and he was not a nervous foolishly credulous person. He got a shock, however, when he happened to blunder into the tomb of that Lady Strathmore of whose fatal inquisitiveness a grim Bluebeardish tale is told.

She tried to see the Glamis mystery which was supposed to be secreted in a portion of the castle to which only the earl and his heir had access.. Yet a more dreadful fate than that Bluebeard prepared for prying Fatima befell this poor lady who suddenly disappeared. Her husband announced her death, but the gossips said he had had her tongue out out, her hands cut off, and placed her in exile in a remote town in the Italian mountains.

At Midnight in the Cemetery.

This, of course, was to prevent any revelation as to the nature of Glamis’ awful secret, and when at last the wretched woman really died she was smuggled into a tomb in Westminster Abbey. As this tragedy took place at least 100 years ago, it sounds like a fairy tale to modern ears, nevertheless, Dean Stanley did unearth the remains of a Countess of Strathmore, a pathetic skeleton without any hands.

The Washington [DC] Post 21 April 1907: p. 4

The Countess of Strathmore who lies in Westminster Abbey was Mary Eleanor Bowes [1749-1800], who led a startlingly scandalous life rife with infidelity on all sides, illegitimate children, and a fake duel to trick her into marriage. It is doubtful that she was the skeleton unearthed by the ghoulish Dean Stanley.

The second part of Mrs Tweedale’s stories of Glamis ghosts will appear Friday next.


Mrs Daffodil invites you to join her on the curiously named “Face-book,” where you will find a feast of fashion hints, fads and fancies, and historical anecdote

You may read about a sentimental succubus, a vengeful seamstress’s ghost, Victorian mourning gone horribly wrong, and, of course, Mrs Daffodil’s efficient tidying up after a distasteful decapitation in A Spot of Bother: Four Macabre Tales.




The Unwilling Ghost of Jane Seymour Summoned by Mrs Russell-Davies: 1897

Jane Seymour, portrait by Hans Holbein, Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna

Jane Seymour, portrait by Hans Holbein, Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna


Mrs. Russell Davies received the story of Jane Seymour in the same way from the ghost’s own lips, but there is a difference. In both cases the ghosts were invoked by Mrs. Davies, but, in the case of Jane Seymour, the apparition came unwillingly, of compulsion. Mrs. Davies had previously seen her on the evening in which I accompanied her to the palace. She saw the apparition seated before a fire in the fireplace in a large bare room, having a heavy tapestry. She heard in the distance the sound of many feet, and above all the loud, coarse laugh of a man. Then everything faded, but Mrs. Davis knew that she had seen the ghost of Jane Seymour, and was naturaliy much interested. The sequel is told in the following story :—

In spite of the feeling of repugnance which Jane Seymour inspired in me, I determined to follow up the experience as far as I could. On my return home I was excited, and could not sleep. The recollection of what I had witnessed tilled my mind, and the question how I could communicate with these spirits engrossed me. At last the idea of invoking the spirit of Jane Seymour occurred to me. Such things had been done, and were constantly being done in the present day.

In the stillness of the night I called her name through the silence. I waited and listened, but no sound broke the stillness. I exerted all the will-force at my command, but no sign or sound was given. It was now nearly 3 A.M. No sleep came to me. I was hopelessly wide awake. All at once my hea t began to beat heavily, a sure sign, known to me by long experience as indicating that my spiritual powers were being used. There was a rush of icy cold air through the room, and then, close to my side, I saw again the form of the woman I had so lately beheld at Hampton Court Palace.

“Who are you? Why do you call me? Wh:it have you to do with me?”

These words seemed to be breathed, not spoken. That is the only way in which I can describe the manner of communication. A voice disturbs the atmosphere by its vibrations. But no sounds could be detected in any way, and yet I heard distinctly every word that was said. This puts me in mind of the voices which Samuel heard calling him aloud, but which were unheard by others near him.

I replied aloud, “I have nothing to do with you, but I wish most earnestly to hold communication with yourself and others. Others besides myself wish to know the meaning of the strange sounds which have been heard at Hampton Court, and whether so-called ghosts have been seen there. Will you answer my questions? I called you because I wished to leam and to know.”

“I am here,” she replied, “because you called me, not of my own will, but against it. The spirits who brought me here are those in whose power I am, and must continue to be, until such time as by my own efforts I shall have repaired the wrongs I did to them when on earth. Oh, how long will this be? When will it end?”

“Are you the Queen, Jane Seymour?”

“I am Jane Seymour, but no Queen. I was the wife of Henry, King of England, but Queen in name only. He had only one, and she was Queen Catherine. Anne was no more queen than I was, and none knew this better than herself. It was this fact which influenced me so far, that when Henry turned his attention to me I saw no reason to reject his advances. That he was unprincipled, licentious, and cruel was well known to me and to all who ever came in contact with him, but I never dreamed that he would execute Anne in order to make me his wife; at least, not until it was too late, and I was committed to him.”

“Yes, but there was no compulsion used. You need not have gone so far as you did.”

“You do not understand. You must have lived in those times and in my surroundings to comprehend fully the position of things. Have you never realised that the unhappy women of history have all been more or less the unwilling victims to the ambitions of others? I am here to confess my sins. I was ambitious. My kith and kin were also ambitious. I had seen what Henry had done for the Boleyns. Why should he not do the same by me and mine? Anne and I had been educated under almost the same conditions. Both went early to France. Both very early in life were thrown into surroundings such as you in your conditions cannot even imagine. Debauchery of every kind was openly carried on around us. Religion was a greater farce in those days than now. Neither Anne nor I had any real religion in us, no matter what cither of us may have professed. Who was there to care for our morals, our health, or anything else which is or should be sacred to youth? Our parents had done all they considered could be required of them. We were at the court of a great Queen, and we were being educated for court life. We found all we were sent there to find. I had no compunction then about Anne’s happiness. I hated her and her family. Her father, a treacherous and scheming old man, was the first to find out Henry’s attentions to me. He it was who prompted Anne to spy upon us.”

Here I interrupted. “I have read that Anne found the thing out through a jewel you were wearing.”

“No, the jewel only confirmed her suspicions. Her father had bribed my attendant to tell him whence came the new and valuable ornaments I wore. The wench took his bribe and satisfied him that they came from his royal son-in-law. Anne snatched at my neck without asking me one word about my brooch, and as she broke it off she tore her fingers with the pin. From that day we were open enemies, and I did not trouble to conceal my malice any more. I cared not what became of her. Day after day I repeated to Henry gossip which I knew to be untrue, and now I know that he knew as well as I that these tales of mine were hideous lies. Anne was as faithful a wife to Henry as the purest wife in the world could be. I saw her day by day worn with grief, anxiety, and illness, and if I ever prayed at all in those evil days of mine I prayed that both she and her child might die. And at last the day came when a dead son was bom to her. I saw Henry’s fury and disappointment. If Anne had not been well watched and protected by her own people, he would have poisoned her. He was capable of any villainy. She recovered, and I watched the net closing round her, and one day Henry told me she was to die, and that her death would be my triumph. We pretended to cool towards each other. I went frequently from court. But my family was busily preparing for my marriage. At last the fatal day came round. I was at my father’s house, Wolf Hall—a good name, was it not? Even my callous heart was touched, and in imagination I saw the tragedy being enacted.”

At this point of the story I seemed to feel the sickening horror of the whole crime. I can hardly describe my feeling. I felt as though every drop of blood in my body rushed into my head and face, and would burst out at my eyes and ears. Then I broke out into a violent perspiration, grew cold as ice, and sat and shivered.

Jane Seymour sat by my side with her hands held over her face in an attitude of abject fear. I asked myself whether it was wrong to recall this woman to earth. Presently she uncovered her face, and I heard her voice again.

“Were you right in calling me? you ask. How am I to answer? I certainly did not come here of my own will or by my own desire. I do not know you, but I was compelled to come. I heard a voice, loud, distinct, and imperative, and I was forced by an unknown power to obey. You are a woman, and can judge from a woman’s standpoint. Is my punishment what it should be? Is it too heavy or too light? Will Anne Boleyn’s blood-stain ever be washed off my unhappy soul? Not Anne’s blood alone, but that of those martyred gentlemen who shared her cruel fate is there to haunt me. There is a sea of blood through which it is my fate to wade before I can once more clasp to my bosom the child for whose life I gave my own. It is in the undying hope of regaining my son that I wander perpetually through Hampton Court in the spirit. He was born there, and is there still, but between us there rolls a sea of blood. My child, my child, can I never atone?”

The voice here rose in a loud, wailing cry. I threw myself back on my pillow. I could endure it no longer. “Go,” I said, “go, and never return. Surely such suffering as this is punishment enough.”

When I opened my eyes again the dawn had appeared, but the recollection of my ghostly visitant remained vividly in my mind, and will remain there for many a long day. Borderland: A Quarterly Review and Index, Volume 4,  edited by William Thomas Stead, 1897

Mrs Daffodil’s Aide-memoire: Last week Mrs Daffodil gave Mrs Russell-Davies’ account of her meeting with the late Catherine Howard. It is interesting that while Catherine is viewed by history as a wanton and Jane Seymour as a meek and modest young woman, the stories elicited (or imagined) by the clairvoyant are quite the reverse. Jane Seymour’s son was, of course, the short-lived King Edward VI. Once again the story is briefly introduced by Mr Stead, the editor of Borderland.

Mrs Daffodil invites you to join her on the curiously named “Face-book,” where you will find a feast of fashion hints, fads and fancies, and historical anecdote

You may read about a sentimental succubus, a vengeful seamstress’s ghost, Victorian mourning gone horribly wrong, and, of course, Mrs Daffodil’s efficient tidying up after a distasteful decapitation in A Spot of Bother: Four Macabre Tales.

The Ghost of Catherine Howard Interviewed by Mrs Russell-Davies: 1897

A portrait believed to be of Katherine Howard

A portrait believed to be of Catherine Howard

This is the first of two of Mrs Russell-Davies’ seances with royal ghosts. The second will appear Friday next.

HAMPTON COURT PALACE is far and away the most famous ghost house in Southern Britain. Leap Castle, in Ireland, is no doubt more full of gruesome ghosts, but for the historical interest the ghosts of Hampton Court take the palm. Mrs. Russell-Davies, I am glad to say, has been visiting the Palace for some time past, and has accumulated the material for a book which ought to rank high among the Classics of Ghostland. On one occasion I had the pleasure of accompanying Mrs. Davies to the Palace, dining there at what I believe was the first visit she paid to the haunted pile. Although I was never able to return to the Palace at the witching hour of night, Mrs. Davies kindly kept me informed of her investigations, and hearing that the last number of BORDERLAND was to be issued before the publication of her book, she was good enough to allow me the sight of two chapters, one of which appeared a year ago in a weekly paper, the second has not yet seen light. These two chapters tell the story of two Queens, of Jane Seymour and Catherine Howard. The tradition which can connect Catherine Howard with the Hampton Court Palace is of old standing, and many residents tell of the sight of the ghost Queen, flying shrieking through the corridors on the eve of All Souls’ Day. I.—THE STORY OF CATHERINE HOWARD. Mrs. Davies, like every one else, had heard the story, and seated herself in the dead darkness on the eve of November 2nd Iast year waiting for the grim rehearsal with which the residents of the Palace are so familiar. Instead of expectation bringing the vision which was anticipated, Mrs. Davies’s experiences were quite different. They are told as follows in the chapter entitled “Catherine Howard,” from which it will appear that nothing happened as it was expected, and Mrs. Davies was able to interview the ghost of the unfortunate Queen at much greater length than people are allowed to interview Royalties to-day. There seemed a strange stillness in the air, but a feeling of restlessness came over me which I could not understand. Mentally I was invoking the spirit to appear. In thought I said “If the spirit of Catherine Howard ever does return to earth will she appear to me, here and now? Will Catherine Howard speak to me, if only one word?” I should like it to be understood that up to this time I had always believed that this lady was all that a woman should not have been. That she was abandoned, depraved, and wicked to the last degree. I was, therefore, prepared to see one in spirit life surrounded with all the evidence of being on a low plane of existence, and bearing signs of suffering and punishment for her crimes. My surprise was, therefore, great indeed when suddenly I felt the touch of soft fingers on my cheek, such a tender, caressing touch it was too! and, on turning my head, perceived one of the most radiant beings it had ever been my lot to see. She stood by my side smiling in the most friendly way, and all I could do for a time was to sit still and gaze on my visitor. I cannot describe her face as being exactly beautiful, but it was very fair to look upon. A high forehead, with prominent broad, large blue, wide-open eyes, like those of a child. A small nose, rather peculiar in shape, the end ” tip tilted.” like the petals of a rose; and a mouth, a perfect “cupid’s bow.” The lips even, red, and slightly full and opening, snowed two row s of beautifully even white teeth. The chin was round, with a pretty dimple. I thought this is a child’s face, not a woman’s, and then I noticed the tiny form. Many girls of twelve are taller than this lady was, who stood at my side in response to my unspoken call for Catherine Howard, once Queen Consort of England. Was it possible that time and life in the world beyond the grave had wrought such changes? Surely it was impossible that this little lady could be the spirit of so vile a person as certain historians had painted the fifth wife of Henry VII. The thoughts were scarcely framed in my mind when my visitor commenced to speak. Immediately I heard the tone of the voice the thought again recurred. This is a child—a young girl—not a woman. The spirit answered my thought, and as nearly as possible for my memory to give, the following is the communication made to me :— “Alas, yes. I am that most unhappy being Katherine Howard, whose memory on earth is infamous, and whose cruel death has never evoked more than a contemptuous expression of pity, whilst truly my earthly existence was one long misery. Picture to yourself my early life, my babyhood indeed! A poverty-stricken home, where even food was scarce. My childhood passed in the house of a relative, who, from charitable motives, had taken charge of me, fed, clothed, and made me the playmate of his own child, but who thought nothing further was required of him, so that I passed my days without teaching of any description, running wild with my beloved boy-companion, until at length, even in those days of ignorance and semi-barbarity, my neglected condition became a scandal. Then was I transferred to the tender (!) care and mercy of my step-mother, who from the day of my introduction into her household, appeared to forget my very existence, except indeed at those times, when by accident, she caught sight of my forlorn and ragged figure wandering aimlessly through rooms and passages of  her Grace’s palace, or mingling with the crowd —a very mixed one—of men and women which, in those days, filled the houses of the nobility. What surroundings and what associates for a child—for any girl! Even taking into consideration the times, my grandmother’s house was one of the worst. Morality in any form was unknown. True, there were the priests but what were they? Drunken, debauched, when they were not scheming, plotting spies of other priests in higher places!” Here I ventured to remark. “This is rather a strong denunciation from a Howard and a Papist. You were a Catholic, I believe?” “Yes, I suppose I was. I knew nothing different. I had never been taught, and could neither read nor write. Amidst all, there was one special thing in which I delighted, and that was music. How I loved it in any form! To steal at nighttime along the corridors and down the narrow staircases into the servant’s and scullions halls and kitchens, to listen to their rude music and songs was more to me than all else in life. Often I joined them, and being lifted on to a bench or table, would sing in my childish voice such songs and ballads that nowadays no street woman would sing. Do you wonder how I could escape contamination? I, a girl strong and healthy—precocious to a degree, amongst a set of lawless men and women, spending their days in idleness, and (for those days) luxury? Amongst them was one man, a musician, and he I sought before them all, begging him to teach me to play even as he himself did, upon the “virginals.” Alas, alas, my fate was sealed. Almost from the very commencement, this creature made me the victim of his passion. I, but a child not yet twelve years of age! And worst of all, the women who for pity’s sake, because I was but a child, should have saved me were his willing abettors. History does not tell all this, you say. No, but you will find records of the so-called designs upon me by this man. Marry! they were more than designs. At fourteen I was a woman, small in stature, but well developed. Truth, religion, or morality did not exist for me. I knew them not: lying, intrigue, and deceit were my only accomplishments, and around me on every side were creatures who had trained and led me into every abomination. My grandmother fed and sheltered me. My lovers clothed me, and provided whatever pleasure I sought. Amongst them was one, Francis Derham—a man of illegitimate birth, and a sort of cousin on the Howards’ side. Francis truly loved me, and to him did I plight my troth. Did I love him, you ask? Aye, that I did, dearly, deeply, truly! I loved him then and I love him now!” “Now?” I exclaimed. “Yes, now; we are together at last. As on earth in the midst of my loneliness and neglected youth we loved each other, and were true, so here in eternity, Francis Derham and Catherine Howard are one in spirit.” “But what about the king and your marriage” “Wait, I am coming to that. My connection with Derham had continued for perhaps three years. According to the manner of those days, persons plighting troth, as we had done, were regarded as man and wife, and a wife I held myself to be. In any lower station of life we should have been left in peace. But the Howards were ever courtiers, intriguers, and place-seekers, with the blood of Charlemagne and the Plantagenets in their veins, no Howard could tolerate obscurity, and they ever sought the highest and proudest position. To attain these, no means were spared, their women were bought and sold like cattle, and blood was held as water in the spilling. Though very small for my age, I had grown fair to look upon, and was held to be witty, bright, and gay; and my kinsfolk one day awoke to the fact that I could be used by them in their political and religious intrigues. The Howards had ever been fanatics in religion, and the blind willing tools of Romish priestcraft even to the present day. Henry the King had thrown off the bonds of the Pope. His divorce from Catherine of Aragon had been the first outward and visible sign of his rebellion. His marriage to my most excellent and well-beloved cousin, Anne, had brought on to her devoted head the vengeance of Rome. Henry was now the husband of a Protestant Princess. Again the Catholics were alert, and I was put forward as the bait to lure him back into the Mother Church, and once more the Pope was to rule England behind Henry’s throne. My intrigue or liaison with Derham was now discovered. He was sent abroad, and I was introduced to the King. My grandmother and all my kindred knew perfectly well that I was to all intents and purposes the wife of Derham. But what to them was our love or happiness? Power, place, and blind fanaticism was their motto, and I, young, helpless, and ignorant, was led like a lamb to the slaughter. Henry the licentious laid claim to me, and on the day he made me his wife, my death warrant was to all intents signed and sealed!” Here I ventured to say: “There is a mystery respecting your marriage ceremony. No record exists of it, whether there was never one at all, in fact?” “Oh, yes, there was. You know enough of Henry’s character to make it easy for you to believe me, when I say that I had been his mistress for some weeks previous to his divorce of Anne of Cleves. But my proud and powerful relations had been busy protecting my honour, and succeeded in their efforts to keep secret the existing state of affairs. On the evening of August 1st, at five o’clock, in the presence of my grandmother, my uncle, the Duke of Norfolk, Bishop Gardiner, and others, Henry plighted his troth to me whilst Gardiner gave the benediction, and poor little Catherine Howard became Queen of England! What a tragedy, you say! Yes, truly! I was no plotter or schemer; mine was not the ambition which sought a sham crown. I was a mere child so far as courtly schemes and plots were concerned. All I wanted was to be happy and loved. I could not be a queen. My lover had gone from me, my brothers and sisters were almost strangers. I was not even a clever girl— only young, bright, and ignorant. Such Henry found me, and it was this freedom from courtly wiles which won his genuine love for me.” “His genuine love.” I exclaimed in astonishment. “Yes, his genuine love.” “But he never had any; he was only a sensualist so far as women were concerned, with a mania for sons!” “You are wrong, and right. Henry had an affectionate nature, but this had been warped, and sensuality had taken the place of all that originally had been good. His amour propre was unbounded; his self-esteem engrossing. His one wish was to appear surrounded by stalwart sons, whose presence would prove their father’s manhood and glory. Henry really loved me, and I early learned to appreciate his kindness to myself. I neither assumed nor presumed. This characteristic my friends quickly perceived, and they awoke to the fact that I was too great a fool to be of any service. Neglected now by my Catholic relations, the Protestants determined upon my removal. Before my honeymoon was over, proofs were collected of my past history, and when we were happiest the storm burst. Henry was surrounded by men who, knowing his weak vanity and self-esteem, played upon these, and I in my horror and despair knew this, feeling also certain that if only he and I could meet, his love would outweigh his anger. But my enemies knew this too. The low-born scullions, who had risen to power, kept us apart, perjured their black souls by bearing false witness. Wriothesley, the brutal, tortured and tormented miserable beings into swearing that which had not been, and could never have been, until he had obtained sufficient evidence to paint me one of the blackest characters in history. All but Francis Derham swore my life away. He to the last, through pain, the rack, and torture, gave no word that could injure me. He suffered for my sake martyrdom—my beloved Francis! -and in less than two years after the King’s marriage my head fell on the block; but not a victim to Henry, but victim to the war between the Pope and the Protestants. You can learn for yourself that my death warrant was never seen or signed by the King. Against him I have no thought. Long ago I forgave my enemies, for I have learned that from all time sacrifices must be made, and only through such murderous scenes as my death can peace be brought upon earth. But so long as a single Howard remains a Roman Catholic, my spirit on All Souls Day will return to the scene of its earthly sufferings, until by fire Hampton Court Palace shall become a ruin. After that I shall appear in the homes of my people to foreshadow death, and to warn them against the machinations of the priests. Adieu.” “Haunted Hampton Court: A Story of Two Queens,” Mrs. Russell-Davies, Borderland: A Quarterly Review and Index, Volume 4, edited by William Thomas Stead, 1897 Mrs Daffodil’s Aide-memoire: Mrs Daffodil takes great pleasure in opening the new year with a royal ghost story. This revisionist history of the late Queen was introduced by Mr W.T. Stead (who went down with the Titanic) and written by Mrs Russell-Davies, known before her marriage as the clairvoyant Bessie Williams. She was a “clairvoyant diagnostician,” who said that she could see through patients’ bodies as if they were glass and diagnose sickness. It was exhausting work, perhaps because the clairvoyant believed she “absorbed” the patients’ ills.  Weakened by her healing work, she retired, married Spiritualist R.H. Russell-Davies, and spent the rest of her life writing on Spiritualism in a similarly florid vein. Hampton Court Palace is, of course, one of the most haunted of royal residences. Mrs Daffodil knows a modern young woman who visited the palace as a tourist and experienced a ghost in what is called The Queen’s Apartments, built for Queen Mary II. This person had walked through the long suite of rooms to the exit door leading to the state staircase. As she touched the door handle, the door was flung violently open from the other side. She was thrown off balance, but righted herself and assumed that there was a guide outside who had opened the door. However, there was no one on the landing and no one on the long stairs and no other place for someone to hide. She wondered if some ghostly footman was still at his post, opening the door. Mrs Daffodil invites you to join her on the curiously named “Face-book,” where you will find a feast of fashion hints, fads and fancies, and historical anecdote You may read about a sentimental succubus, a vengeful seamstress’s ghost, Victorian mourning gone horribly wrong, and, of course, Mrs Daffodil’s efficient tidying up after a distasteful decapitation in A Spot of Bother: Four Macabre Tales.