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The Death of Edward Druitt

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  • Phillip Walton
    replied
    Edward Druitt was something of a high flyer. He became one of HM Inspectors of Railways and in that postion most notably presided over the report of the Quintishill disaster. Some symptoms of diabetes can give the appearance of mental illness and if it was only diagnosed four years prior to his death it could be type 2 diabetes.

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  • Mark Kent
    replied
    Originally posted by Joanna View Post
    For those who are unfamiliar with the Druitt family Edward Druitt (1859-1922) was Montague's younger brother and served as a Lieutenant-Colonel in the Royal Engineers. According to Farson, when writing about the family history of mental illness in 1972, “Edward Druitt, however, was absolutely ‘normal’…he was married on 19 February 1889 at the Manor House, Chideock in Dorset to Christina-Mary-Filumea, the eldest daughter of Sir Frederick Aloysius Weld. There were four children, all diabetics…” (Farson, 1972: 141) These statements are puzzling as they seem out of place in a discussion of the prevalence of insanity in the Druitt family. However, Farson was mistaken; while Edward Druitt did have four children, they were not diabetics-- he was.

    I have managed to access this information since Edward died in Scotland and copies of Scottish death certificates are available via the Scotland's People website. Although I can't post the actual copy right now, I have made a transcription of it:

    Name/Surname: Edward Druitt, Lieutenant Colonel Royal Engineers, Retired. Married to Christina Mary Filumena Weld

    When/Where died: 1922 July twenty-fifth
    5 hr 45 m at the Craig House Edinburgh, usual residence 91 Iverna Court London

    Sex: M

    Age: 63 Years

    Father & Mother: William Druitt, Doctor of Wimborne deceased Anne Druitt, b. Harvey deceased

    Cause of death/duration: Diabetes Mellitus, 4 years Cert. by W.W. Alister, MD

    Informant: Arthur Druitt, brother 19 Inverleith Place

    When/Where Registered: 1922 July 26 at Edinburgh


    Edward Druitt died at the Craig House in Edinburgh, Scotland on 25 July 1922. According to his death certificate he had been suffering from diabetes for four years at the time of his death, and the authorities were informed of his passing by his brother Arthur. Interestingly, the Craig House was at that time more familiarly known as the Royal Edinburgh Asylum.

    In other words, Edward Druitt died in a mental hospital of diabetes just over 30 years after his mother had suffered the same fate in 1890. Given that the symptoms experienced by Ann Druitt were most likely exacerbated by diabetes, it perhaps no surprise that Edward also most likely died insane. The discussion in Farson quoted above occurs in reference to information he received about the ‘strong streak of melancholia in the family probably due to diabetes’ (Farson, 1972: 140) from Montague’s niece. To me, this evidence appears to suggest that Montague's niece was trying to persuade Farson that the family madness took the form of depression and diabetes rather than some kind of psychosis. Any other perspectives on this information are more than welcome.

    Finally, some more information about Craig House can be found here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Craig_House,_Edinburgh
    In Ann Druitt's case, she was not insane in the sense of running around threatening people.. From what I read of her case notes, her problems centered around refusing to eat and basically was in a state of stupor most of the time. This can be a symptom of depression.
    Last edited by Mark Kent; November 26, 2015, 07:46 PM. Reason: additions

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  • Jonathan Hainsworth
    replied
    I would argue that the significance of Edward Druitt is that he too looked like Sims in that 1879 picture on "The Social Kaleidoscope", though with his parted from the side.

    Edward married the daughter of a Catholic Big Shot right around the time of Montie's disappearance, and did not attend his older brother's funeral.

    This wedding was blessed by the Pope, something unimaginable if it had got out that he was the brother of Jack the Ripper, or even hard to conceive of the marriage going ahead at all.

    We know that Macnaghten and Sims knew there was hereditary mental disease in the Druitt family because how could they not know? Confirmation is supplied in Guy Logan's serialised version of the Druitt solution in 1905, the Montie figure, Mortemer Slade, has an uncle who drowned himself -- in 1879.

    If the family, or the police chief, or the famous writer, or the MP, or the Vicar could have got the surgeon's son off the hook -- especially as there was never going to be a trial -- because he was suffering a progressive mental disease that rendered him delusional, they would have happily done so. They all judged that they could not.

    Furthermore, Mac and Sims had a private motive, we know now, to clear the drowned barrister so that a close friend's family was not in danger from being tarnished (a danger Sims reportedly mentioned candidly and directly in 1905).

    They judged they could not, because the evidence of guilt was overwhelming.

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  • Anna Morris
    replied
    In times past there were a lot of metabolic diseases that could not be well diagnosed and certainly could not be treated. Keep in mind President John Kennedy suffered all his life from Addison's disease and treatments were just beginning to be effective while he was in the White House.

    Even a decade later a writer said mental asylums could be "emptied" if diseases of thyroid, adrenals, etc. would be adequately diagnosed and treated.

    I have long wondered if there was a genetic, metabolic disease that was prevalent in the Druitt family. I would suggest it would be a disease that was heterozygous, needing only one copy of the gene, since so many were affected. (I am over simplifying genetics here as I well know multiple genes or parts of genes can be involved, as in the case of severe migraine which I have. It seems a crumb of a gene from one parent will pass this horror.)

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  • Robert Linford
    replied
    Interesting post, Joanna. The electoral registers seem to give Edward's last London address as 9 Bullingham Mansions (1918) after which he appears to have left London. That would tally with a four year illness until his death in 1922.

    In 1922 the hospital superintendent said that one half of the patients admitted in 1921 were voluntary patients.

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  • Howard Brown
    replied
    Thanks for yet another valuable post, Joanna.
    Its much appreciated.

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  • Joanna
    started a topic The Death of Edward Druitt

    The Death of Edward Druitt

    For those who are unfamiliar with the Druitt family Edward Druitt (1859-1922) was Montague's younger brother and served as a Lieutenant-Colonel in the Royal Engineers. According to Farson, when writing about the family history of mental illness in 1972, “Edward Druitt, however, was absolutely ‘normal’…he was married on 19 February 1889 at the Manor House, Chideock in Dorset to Christina-Mary-Filumea, the eldest daughter of Sir Frederick Aloysius Weld. There were four children, all diabetics…” (Farson, 1972: 141) These statements are puzzling as they seem out of place in a discussion of the prevalence of insanity in the Druitt family. However, Farson was mistaken; while Edward Druitt did have four children, they were not diabetics-- he was.

    I have managed to access this information since Edward died in Scotland and copies of Scottish death certificates are available via the Scotland's People website. Although I can't post the actual copy right now, I have made a transcription of it:

    Name/Surname: Edward Druitt, Lieutenant Colonel Royal Engineers, Retired. Married to Christina Mary Filumena Weld

    When/Where died: 1922 July twenty-fifth
    5 hr 45 m at the Craig House Edinburgh, usual residence 91 Iverna Court London

    Sex: M

    Age: 63 Years

    Father & Mother: William Druitt, Doctor of Wimborne deceased Anne Druitt, b. Harvey deceased

    Cause of death/duration: Diabetes Mellitus, 4 years Cert. by W.W. Alister, MD

    Informant: Arthur Druitt, brother 19 Inverleith Place

    When/Where Registered: 1922 July 26 at Edinburgh


    Edward Druitt died at the Craig House in Edinburgh, Scotland on 25 July 1922. According to his death certificate he had been suffering from diabetes for four years at the time of his death, and the authorities were informed of his passing by his brother Arthur. Interestingly, the Craig House was at that time more familiarly known as the Royal Edinburgh Asylum.

    In other words, Edward Druitt died in a mental hospital of diabetes just over 30 years after his mother had suffered the same fate in 1890. Given that the symptoms experienced by Ann Druitt were most likely exacerbated by diabetes, it perhaps no surprise that Edward also most likely died insane. The discussion in Farson quoted above occurs in reference to information he received about the ‘strong streak of melancholia in the family probably due to diabetes’ (Farson, 1972: 140) from Montague’s niece. To me, this evidence appears to suggest that Montague's niece was trying to persuade Farson that the family madness took the form of depression and diabetes rather than some kind of psychosis. Any other perspectives on this information are more than welcome.

    Finally, some more information about Craig House can be found here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Craig_House,_Edinburgh
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