Harry Edwards (healer)

Harry Edwards

Harry James Edwards (29 May 1893 – 7 December 1976) was a spiritual healer, teacher and author who had a career of nearly 40 years.

Early years

Born in London as one of nine children, Harry Edwards was son of printer and a dressmaker. In 1905, aged 12, Edwards joined the London Diocese Church Lads Brigade. In 1907 he left school and began a seven-year apprenticeship to a printer. Dissatisfied with that career, he developed political aspirations and joined the local branch of the Liberal Party, for whom he campaigned.[1]

On the outbreak of World War I in 1914 Edwards enlisted in the Royal Sussex Regiment and by late 1915 he was in Bombay en route for Tekrit, where he worked to build the railway track between there and Baghdad. He was commissioned in the field, and achieved the rank of Captain.[2] In 1921 he returned to the UK and married Phyllis. The couple opened a stationer's shop and printing works in Balham, and Edwards tried to launch himself into a political career, standing for parliamentary and council seats as a Liberal candidate on several occasions, but with no success. By this stage he also had four children to support.[1]

Spiritual healing

The Harry Edwards Spiritual Healing Sanctuary at Shere, Surrey

Edwards became a spiritual healer when he attended a meeting at a spiritualist church in 1936 and was told by the mediums present that he had healing powers. His early attempts at spiritual healing were met with success, and gradually his reputation as a healer spread and his services became more in demand.[2] During the Second World War Edwards served in the Home Guard and continued to run his printing business alongside his now growing practice as a healer. Gradually, as his fame spread, his healing took over from his printing business, which was later to be run by a brother. He moved to Stoneleigh in Surrey just after the war, where he used the front room of his house as a healing sanctuary.

Eventually, because of the increasing number of patients visiting him Edwards outgrew this home, so in 1946 he moved his family and his healing practice to Burrows Lea, a large house with several acres of gardens and woodland in Shere, where he founded the 'Harry Edwards Healing Sanctuary'. As his fame as a healer spread he was receiving 10,000 letters a week asking for help and distance healing.[1]

In 1948 Edwards held a healing demonstration in Manchester which was attended by 6,000 people. In September 1951 during the Festival of Britain he appeared at the Royal Festival Hall in London, where he demonstrated spiritual healing to a packed hall.[2] In 1955 he founded and was the first President of the National Federation of Spiritual Healers (NFSH).[3] Edwards visited the island of Cyprus for his initiation into Daskalos' inner circle "The Researchers of Truth". The ceremony happened in April 1st, 1954.[4]

An 'Archbishops' Commission on Divine Healing' was set up in 1953 to investigate spiritual healing, and Edwards addressed the Commission in 1954, providing it with documentary evidence of a number of cases of successful healing for it to examine. At the same time he held a public demonstration in front of 6,000 people at the Royal Albert Hall to launch the '10 o'clock Healing Minute'. The Commission's report, published in 1958,[5] stated that neither the Church or the medical profession accepted the claims of spirit healers that they were responsible for successful healings. Despite the fact that Harry Edwards had appeared before the Commission he was never sent a copy of the final report.[2]

Edwards claimed that several deceased scientists worked through him, including Lord Lister and Louis Pasteur. The founder of the Aetherius Society, George King was complimentary of his healing powers.[6]

Harry Edwards died in December 1976 aged 83.

Skeptical reception

A study in the British Medical Journal (Rose, 1954) investigated spiritual healing, therapeutic touch and faith healing. In a hundred cases that were investigated, no single case revealed that the healer's intervention alone resulted in any improvement or cure of a measurable organic disability.[7] Edwards claimed he had cured about a hundred thousand people in Britain but Rose could not verify a single cure by Edwards. Rose visited a healing session held by Edwards and observed that an old lady had claimed to have been cured during the session and had walked without her sticks, but by the time the session was over was walking with two sticks out of the hall.[8]


Select bibliography


  1. 1 2 3 Redwood, Dawn ‘’ The Harry Edwards Spiritual Healing Sanctuary’’ – brief biography
  2. 1 2 3 4 Biography of Harry Edwards
  3. Harry Edwards Tribute website
  4. Markides, Kyriacos C. (1985). The Magus of Strovolos. England: Penguin Books. p. 215. ISBN 978-0-14-019034-2.
  5. The ‘Archbishops’ Commission on Divine Healing’ in the National Church Institutions Database of Manuscripts and Archives
  6. Jason-Lloyd, Len ‘’Insight into Harry Edwards’’
  7. Louis Rose. (1954). Some Aspects of Paranormal Healing. The British Medical Journal. Volume 2, No. 4900. pp. 1329–1332.
  8. John Sladek. (1974). The New Apocrypha: A Guide to Strange Sciences and Occult Beliefs. Panther. pp. 120–124.

External links

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