THE BIOGRAPHICAL DICTIONARY OF PARAPSYCHOLOGY
J(AMES) HEWAT MCKENZIE
Engineer, psychic researcher. B. November 11, 1869, Edinburgh, Scotland; d. August 29, 1929, London. M. 1895, Barbara Hendry (d. 1963): 1 d., 2 s.
McKenzie's interest in psychical research, or psychic science, as he termed it, began in 1900. In 1915 he began lecturing extensively on the subject and a year later he published a pamphlet, "If a Soldier Die," which, as an effort to assure the bereaved of the survival of bodily death, had a wide circulation. From 1917 to 1920, McKenzie tourned the United States in search of psychic phenomena. In 1920, with his wife, he founded the British College of Psychic Service, London, as a center for psychical investigation and experiment. In 1922 he commenced publication of the quarterly Psychic Science, and in the same year made a tour of Europe, sitting with a number of continental mediums.
McKenzie brought Frau Silbert, a famous Austrian "materializating" medium, to England for investigation, and studied trance mediumship, in which he was particularly interested, with such famous sensitives as Mrs. Eileen J. Garrett and Mrs. Osborne Leonard (qq.v.). His chief interest was in evidence of survival, in which he himself was a firm believer. He developed the British College into a leading center for the demonstration of mediumship and the dissemination of knowledge on the subject. After McKenzie's death the College continued under the chairmanship of Sir Aurthur Conan Doyle (q.v.), with Mrs. Champion de Crespigny (q.v.) as principal, and with the collaboration of Mrs. McKenzie. In 1939 the College was amalgamated with the International Institute of Psychical Research. This society was closed down in 1946, and the name "College of Psychic Science" was taken in 1956 by the former London Spiritualist Alliance.
McKenzie was author of the book Spirit Intercourse: Its Theory and Practice (1918), and of numerous contributions to Psychic Science.
Taken from Helene Pleasants (1964) Biographical Dictionary of Parapsychology with Directory and Glossary 1946-1996 NY: Garrett Publications