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Lord Combermere

Another old Classic: Sybell Corbet took this photo of the magnificent Combermere Abbey Library in 1891. Located in Chesire, England the abbey was founded by Benedictine monks in 1133 and later became the Seat of Sir George Cotton KT, Vice Chamberlain to the household of Prince Edward, son of Henry VII. Sir Stephen Cotton, a descendant, took the name "Lord Combermere" and after distinguished military service ended up being the Governor of Barbados. He died in 1891 after being hit by a horse drawn carriage.

While everyone was at Lord Combermere's funeral, Corbet thought she'd take the opportunity to photograph the abbey after learning that except for a servant or two, it would on this rare occasion be "people free" and she'd be uninterrupted. She set up a camera and took photos; this one being of the library taken over an hour's time exposure.

When the photos were developed, Miss Corbet was surprised to see Lord Combermere sitting in his favorite chair. Or I should say the face and arm of his ghost, since the human version of Lord C. was laying in his coffin at his funeral four miles away at the time. When this image was found in the photo, Corbet once again checked with the household staff and was again assured that everyone had been away at the funeral - the house was empty except for 2 staff who knew she was working and knew not to walk into the rooms where cameras were set. Even if, somehow, a servant had sat in the chair for the few minutes it would have taken to make a dim impression on the print, none wore a proper gentleman's suit, white shirt, tie and high formal collar. Nonelooked exactly like Lord Combermere.

It seems that he stopped by to sit in his favorite chair in his favorite room, one final time.

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