Library: British Library, London

Manuscript: Sloane MS 4041

Folio: ff. 255-256

Microfilm: The History of Science and Technology Series One: The Papers of Sir Hans Sloane, 1660-1753 From the British Library, London Part 1: Science & Society, 1660-1773 Reel 3 Sloane Mss. 4040, 4041 98462

Language: English

Letter Categories:
Curiosity Reports

Letter Subject:
Haunted House

Date of letter (as written): December 13, 1708 (Gregorian)

Standardised date: 1708-12-13

Letter Origin (as written): Upm'r

Letter Destination (as written):

William Derham

Sir Hans Sloane

Others Mentioned:
Ned Lucking

Letter written about self or others: N/A

Single or Multiple Sufferers: N/A

Patients Mentioned in Letter:
No Patients Attached to this Letter


[fol. 256] Sr Upmr Dec: 13 1708 Last night Ned Luckin (the man yt lives next your House at Orset) lay here, & tells me an odd story of your House in Rotten-row, wch I cant forbear but tell you of, viz That it hath been for divers years haunt- ed, & that he himself hath heard the noises therein when no body lived in it. The people that live in it now, & yt lived therein before receive disturbances constantly every night by great rumbling in the chambers, dashing the Doors open, & shutting them wth me, that the womans Spinning-wheel (standing by her [bed]-side in the room they ly) is whirled about as if they spun, yt the warming-pan hanging by her bed-side is rattled & rung; that a woman who lay in the one of the Chambers lately had the clothes pulled off her bed perpetually, & putting out his hand to pull them on, she felt a cold hand take her by her hand, as she hold Lucking, with a great deal more to this purpose, too much to be now related, by reason the P. Post stays for me. You being a very curious man, I wish you would come, & we would go, & ly there a night When I see you (wch not till Xmas is past) I will tell you more unless you will be persuaded to come in the holydays & hear & see what your house affords our curiosity. In greatest hast Sr Your most obliged humble servt Wm Derham

Other Notes:
Derham was a Church of England clergyman and a natural philosopher, interested in nature, mathematics, and philosophy. He frequently requested medical advice from Sloane, and likely served as a physician to his family and parishioners (Marja Smolenaars, "Derham, William (1657-1735)", Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004 [, accessed 7 June 2011]).