Mystery of the Dead Spinsters' Time Machine; WEEKEND WORLD Helen Smith Tries to Uncover the Secrets of a Cemetery's Egyptian-Style Mausoleum

The Birmingham Post (England), October 24, 1998 | Go to article overview

Mystery of the Dead Spinsters' Time Machine; WEEKEND WORLD Helen Smith Tries to Uncover the Secrets of a Cemetery's Egyptian-Style Mausoleum


Shrouded by trees in the middle of London's Brompton Cemetery stands a strange, imposing structure carved with elaborate Egyptian-like figures that has been exciting the interest of writers and researchers.

The 150-year-old mausoleum is the only one in the sprawling cemetery for which no plans can be found and its occupants are a mysterious trio of spinsters about whom almost nothing is known.

Intrigued by the unusual tomb, writer Howard Webster began researching its origins and now believes the 20 feet tall building was a time machine built by a maverick Victorian genius, Samuel Warner, who also invented the first torpedo.

Warner is buried in an unmarked grave about 70 feet away from his creation and in another nearby grave lies his likely collaborator, a renowned architect and Egyptologist called Joseph Bonomi.

Warner apparently died in poverty, despite claiming to have invented a sea mine the size of a duck egg and an aerial bomb which he called the "long range" that could be dropped from balloons onto naval targets.

The inventor even demonstrated his weapons, blowing up ships to the amazement of government officials who hoped to buy the plans.

Parliamentary records of the time show that the Duke of Wellington, commander in chief of Britain's armed forces, was involved in the negotiations.

Warner was demanding pounds 400,000, around pounds 14 million at today's prices, for his designs and the talks eventually collapsed in acrimony.

Government officials branded Warner a fraud and he died a few months later, leaving a wife and seven children.

The cause of his death is not known, but Webster is convinced that he was killed to prevent the plans for his weapons, which were never found, from falling into enemy hands.

"I definitely think he was murdered because they couldn't remote-detonate in 1848 - there's no other way to do it (but to use a torpedo)... then he was dead within six months," said Webster, whose interest in the mausoleum was aroused when he visited the cemetery while researching an unrelated film project. The austerity of the structure is startling amid the rows of elaborate carved angels and stone lilies.

The trapezoid of dark, polished granite is decorated with bands of carved hieroglyphics and has a huge bronze door for which there is no surviving key. It has not been opened for more than 120 years.

Twenty yards away, Bonomi's gravestone bears similar hieroglyphic carvings including the Egyptian god of the dead, Anubis, sitting on what appears to be a replica of the mausoleum. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Mystery of the Dead Spinsters' Time Machine; WEEKEND WORLD Helen Smith Tries to Uncover the Secrets of a Cemetery's Egyptian-Style Mausoleum
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.