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Rose Champion de Crispigny, born Annie Rose Charlotte Key in 1859 in Kensington, UK, was a daughter of Admiral the Rt. Hon. Sir Astley Cooper Key and Lady Charlotte Lavinia McNeil. She was fortunate to be the daughter of a distinguished sailor who traveled to many foreign countries. Her father also loved science, and the family met many distinguished persons of the day.

Rose married Lt. Philip de Crespigny, R.N. while still a teenager. They had four children, including Frederick Philip Champion de Crespigny, who inherited the baronetcy, from his father’s side of the family. Although she married a man of the sea, the family moved to the countryside of New Forest. Rose took on the role of wife and mother. She also developed her talents in music, art and writing while living there. As an artist, she favored landscapes. Her writing covered genealogical and local history in the beginning, but she eventually turned to popular fiction and detective novels. She published more than 30 books.

Rose found herself unhappy with both Orthodox views of religion in which she had been raised and the materialist view of the universe proposed by science. Theosophy began to pique her interest. It opened to her the concepts of Eastern philosophy and meditation. Her friendship with Mr. A. P. Sinnett, one of the pioneers of the Theosophical Society, was a major influence on her.

After the death of her husband, Rose moved to London in 1914, right at the beginning of WWI.  She had developed a dislike for professional mediums because of her connection with Theosophy but agreed to attend her first séance with “direct voice” medium, Mrs. Etta Wriedt, of Detroit. She described it as the “most marvelous experience of her life.”

She opened her home for seances to help those grieving over the loss of loved ones so they might contact those who had passed on to the spirit world. She investigated all phases of phenomena, including physical, trance, psychometry, clairvoyance, clairaudience and trance speaking. She became one of the organizers of The Lyceum Club in Piccadilly and a member of the British College of Psychic Science.  She had public speaking engagements for large audiences, including the Queen’s Hall meetings.

Rose became one of the earliest members of the British College of Psychic Sciences when it was founded in 1920. She developed into a valued member of its Council under the Presidency of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, whose friendship she cherished. Later, she became Hon. Principal of the College, and Vice-president of the Marylebone Spiritualist Association.

Rose passed on to the spirit world in February of 1935 after a short illness. Her passing was a great loss to members of the College who respected her courage and expertise.

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