Combermere Abbey Photograph
In December 1891, Sybell Corbet took an interesting photograph of the library at Combermere Abbey. When the film was developed the ghost like image of a figure could be seen sitting in one of the chairs. This figure was tentatively identified as Lord Combermere who’s funeral was taking place at the time the photograph was taken.
Wellington Stapleton-Cotton, 2nd Viscount Combermere was born 24 November 1818 and passed away 1 December 1891 after being hit by a horse drawn carriage. Lord Combermere had been a Member of Parliament for Carrickfergus and a Colonel in the Life Guards. His father, Field Marshall Stapleton Stapleton-Cotton, 1st Viscount Combermere, Governor of Barbados and commander of the West Indian forces also had a brush with a famous ‘paranormal’ case and in 1820 ordered an investigation into the moving Chase family coffins in Barbados.
I think some websites confuse these two Viscounts when discussing this photograph.
Combermere Abbey dates from 1133 and was originally founded by Hugh de Malbank for the Cistercian order. All but the Abbots House was destroyed in the 1538 Dissolution of the Monasteries and the estate came into the hands of the Sir George Cotton, Esquire of the Body to King Henry VIII and Vice-Chamberlain of the Household of Edward, Prince of Wales and his family retained the estate until 1919.
Sybell Corbet stated the expose took roughly one hour and was obviously unmonitored as it was suggested that perhaps someone may have entered the room and sat on the chair whilst the photograph was being taken. However, everyone was supposed to be at the funeral. Given that it was not taken in controlled conditions some ones presence cannot I feel be ruled out entirely.