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Darwin Correspondence Project

William Fletcher Barrett


Jamaica-born physicist and psychical researcher. Brought to England, 1848. Assistant at the Royal Institution of Great Britain, 1863–7; science master at the International College, London, 1867–9; lecturer on physics at the Royal School of Naval Architecture, 1869–73. Professor of physics at the Royal College of Science, Dublin, 1873–1910. Investigated mesmerism and poltergeists. Founded the Society for Psychical Research in 1882. Experimented on thought transference. Knighted, 1912. FRS 1899.




ODNB: Oxford dictionary of national biography: from the earliest times to the year 2000. (Revised edition.) Edited by H. C. G. Matthew and Brian Harrison. 60 vols. and index. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 2004.