Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Broadmoor Criminal Lunatic Asylum

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Merv Sprague
    replied
    Originally posted by Roy Corduroy View Post
    Broadmoor on the 2011 Endangered List of Victorian Buildings. Plan to demolish part, convert part to a boutique hotel and build homes. (?) That's what it said

    http://www.victoriansociety.org.uk/n...tal-berkshire/

    Roy
    Yes Roy, I have read this too. Although it would in my view be a wanton act to destroy such a magnificent memorial to the Victorian age, there are big issues with safety. Each gallery [corridor] floor was polished with a glutinous wax which seeped into the cavities below. The end result was a massive build up of polish which was a major fire hazard. To convert any block would entail virtually all the existing supporting structures.

    Leave a comment:


  • Merv Sprague
    replied
    Broadmoor Hospital Cemetery

    Originally posted by Archaic View Post
    The Broadmoor Asylum Chapel.

    >A question just occurred to me: Did Broadmoor have a Cemetery?

    Many Asylums did.

    It certainly did. The old Cemetery was located outside the main hospital behind the original terraced staff married staff quarters. I recall that there was a small chapel there too. Demolition took place circa 1972? Up until that time burials were conducted for those patients that had died in non suspicious circumstances.

    Given that the extensive time frame, it is difficult to estimate how many were interred in 'Block 8'. As there were seven blocks in the hospital; a transfer to Block 8' was cynical Staff reference to the final escape to the great asylum in the skies! Unfortunately, I have never seen any photographs of the original site.
    Last edited by Merv Sprague; April 2, 2013, 08:28 PM. Reason: Typo

    Leave a comment:


  • Howard Brown
    replied
    Welcome to the boards, Merv !

    Leave a comment:


  • Merv Sprague
    replied
    Broadmoor Central Hall

    Originally posted by Archaic View Post
    The Broadmoor Asylum Chapel.

    >A question just occurred to me: Did Broadmoor have a Cemetery?

    Many Asylums did.

    This is a photograph of the Central Hall taken from the Terrace. This venue was used for, Church services, Visits and social events eg. visiting entertainers and mixed male/female dances. It was also used for coronial inquests.
    MS
    Last edited by Merv Sprague; April 2, 2013, 01:38 AM. Reason: Typo

    Leave a comment:


  • Roy Corduroy
    replied
    Plans Afoot

    Broadmoor on the 2011 Endangered List of Victorian Buildings. Plan to demolish part, convert part to a boutique hotel and build homes. (?) That's what it said

    http://www.victoriansociety.org.uk/n...tal-berkshire/

    Roy

    Leave a comment:


  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied

    Leave a comment:


  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    The Newgate Calendar: Edward Oxford Trial

    Here's another account of the Oxford Trial with more discussions of how to go about determining Insanity in a Criminal. Because he was found to be Insane, Oxford narrowly escaped being hung for his attack on the Queen- which, by the way, was considered Treason and not just "Attempted Murder".

    I'll post some more of the Newgate Calendar on my 'Bollards' thread soon; there are a number of fascinating stories contained within it... some are rather bloodcurdling!

    The purpose of the Newgate Calendar was "improve the mind" of the reader by showing them detailed examples of exactly what comes of wrong-doing and crime... namely, the gallows!

    The Newgate Calendar- Edward Oxford Trial: http://www.exclassics.com/newgate/ng630.htm

    Leave a comment:


  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Oxford Trial Presented in 1850 Law Book

    If you would like to read a contemporary account of the Oxford case which includes the trial evidence,
    witness testimony, and extensive discussions of how to reliably prove the sanity or insanity
    of the attempted assassin, I found it available for free download on Google Books.

    Modern State Trials by William Charles Townsend, 1850: The Oxford Trial

    http://books.google.com/books?id=Zgi...age&q=&f=false

    Leave a comment:


  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Edward Oxford's Attempted Assasination of Queen Victoria

    This illustration depicts Edward Oxford firing his pistol at young Queen Victoria as she rode in an open carriage with her husband, Prince Albert. Albert is shown throwing himself over his wife to shield her.

    The shots rang out as a little 10-year old boy by the name of John Millais raised his cap to the Queen;
    the boy's father managed to knock the gunman to the ground as he fired his second pistol.
    This little boy grew up to be great English artist John Everett Millais.

    The Queen was pregnant with her first child, the Princess Royal, but the baby was unharmed.
    The nation and in fact the entire world were deeply shocked by this event.

    Oxford was tried but found mentally incompetent and sentenced to Bethlem Royal Hospital.
    Later he was transferred to the new Broadmoor Asylum.



    NOTE: The attempted assassination was dramatized in the excellent BBC series "The Young Victoria".

    Leave a comment:


  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    1862 Poem Eulogizing Prince Albert By Inmate Edward Oxford

    Here is an exceedingly rare document,
    an original hand-written poem by the 'failed assassin' of Queen Victoria, Edward Oxford.

    The 2-page poem has been made available to us courtesy of Stewart P. Evans.
    (Thanks, Stewart!)

    The poem is titled "Steadfast and True" and eulogizes the sudden and untimely death of Prince Albert which occurred one month previously in December 1861. Prince Albert died of of Typhoid Fever at the very young age of 42, leaving his wife Queen Victoria utterly bereft. In addition to being the Queen, she was the mother of 9 children, the eldest of them just 19 years old.

    It's very interesting that Oxford wrote this poem, and couched it in such "High Victorian" romantic terms, as he was living in a Criminal Lunatic Asylum for having attempted to assassinate Queen Victoria and Prince Albert!
    He actually fired 2 pistols at them as they rode in their open carriage. Prince Albert instantly flung himself over his wife to protect her, and the crowd wrestled the gunman to the ground.

    Oxford wrote this poem while incarcerated at Bethlem Royal Hospital (Bedlam).
    Like his fellow patient Richard Dadd, Oxford was transferred to Broadmoor when the new facility opened.


    Edward Oxford Poem, Page 1:



    Edward Oxford Poem, Page 2:


    (Thanks to Rob Clack for helping to make the above images more distinct.)


    Prince Albert, 1842 Portrait By Winterhalter:

    Leave a comment:


  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Thanks, Roy, I'm glad you enjoyed it.

    And thanks for the book suggestion; I already added it to my Amazon 'Wish List'.
    I'm glad you didn't give the "secret twist" away.

    It just occurred to me that Minor's story could make an interesting film or documentary; it seems like the BBC would have done one by now... but if they have, I haven't yet come across it.

    Even the fascinating Richard Dadd got only 7 minutes in that series "The Victorians"... sigh.

    Leave a comment:


  • Roy Corduroy
    replied
    Thank you Ms Archaic, that is a good writeup on Minor in the link.

    The BBC article at the end mentions the book about this - The Surgeon of Crowthorne.. by Simon Winchester, published in America as - The Professor and the Madman.. I had the pleasure of reading it.

    There are several extra twists to his story, including one very bizarre one. But I won't give it away here, you would need to read the book.

    Roy

    Leave a comment:


  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Dr. Wm. Minor, Criminal Lunatic & Oxford English Dictionary Compiler

    I highly recommend this BBC article from their "Legacies, Myths and Legends: Berkshire" series.

    It's about Dr. William Minor, a scholarly man who labored for over 20 years to supply material for new Oxford English Dictionary which was then being compiled. He was a brilliant and prolific researcher, slaving away unpaid, and held in great regard by the scholars he corresponded with...

    What nobody knew for many years was that Dr. Minor was an inmate in the Broadmoor Criminal Insane Asylum the entire time!! While Murray and the other Dictionary organizers had seen Minor's return address was "Broadmoor", they assumed he was either a Staff Doctor or even the Director of the Asylum! Murray and Minor became close friends, and Murray protected Minor's reputation among the other Dictionary scholars by concealing the fact that Minor was an Asylum INMATE, not its Director!

    It's a fascinating story; Minor was an American who had been an Army Surgeon during the American Civil War, where he witnessed such horrific suffering that it seems to have unhinged his mind. Today his illness would probably be diagnosed as Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome.
    After he moved to Lambeth in London, Minor unfortunately killed a man during one of his PTSD paranoic episodes and was committed to Broadmoor.

    Minor devoted the rest of his life to scholarly studies and was known as a very gentle and peaceful man. I believe he is considered the single greatest contributor to the Oxford English Dictionary.

    Dr William Minor at Broadmoor:


    Here's a link to the article; when the attachment issue is sorted I'll try to post the text.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/legacies/myths_...rticle_1.shtml

    Leave a comment:


  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    1888 Lancet Article re:Broadmoor Criminal Lunatics

    I found the following article in the British Medical Journal 'Lancet', August 11, 1888. I thought it would be of interest here because it discusses a number of weighty topics, including "the relationship of Insanity to Crime" and the necessity of continuing to monitor patients after they are declared Insane and incarcerated at Broadmoor.

    The article also raises the issue of the best process by which to determine the mental state of a criminal in cases of suspected Insanity, and whether this process is best conducted by "trained legal minds",
    i.e. lawyers, or "trained medical experts", i.e. doctors.

    Lord Bramwell had recently argued that simple "common sense" was a perfectly adequate basis for a legal determination of insanity, which greatly alarmed medical experts.



    The LANCET August 11, 1888:

    Sir Crichton Browne's classical and practical lecture, which appeared in our columns on July 28th and August 4th, cannot fail to attract attention, and excite discussion on the question of criminal responsibility, by members of the legal and medical professions, as well as by the educated public at large.

    For our own part, we unhesitatingly adopt the arguments of the lecturer, and support his appeal for the appointment of a "Criminal Lunacy Inquiry Commission," which he proposes for the purpose of making systematic and periodical investigations into the condition of criminal lunatics after their consignment to Broadmoor Asylum.

    There are some prisoners and convicts concerning whose insanity no doubt can arise, even in the mind of the laity, but there are others whose crimes, although apparently— that is, to the ordinary observer— committed whilst in full possession of will power, are yet traceable by the expert to diminution of voluntary control. If happily these latter escape with their lives to be "detained during Her Majesty's pleasure," it is obvious that a complete record of their acts and demeanour during their incarceration should not only be preserved, but published, in confirmation of the grounds upon which they were sent to enforced confinement instead of to the gallows.

    If this were done, there would be less disposition than there is at present to hesitate to accept the opinion of expert medical witnesses upon the relationship of insanity to crime. Whilst, however, the recorded history of so-called criminal lunatics ends with their public career, there will necessarily be a great tendency to regard with distrust the plea of irresponsibility set up in answer to a charge of wilful murder.

    Perhaps the most cogent remarks in Sir J. CRICHTON Browne's lecture were those in which he attacked and demolished the tenets held by Lord BRAMWELL upon the most fitting jury— lay or medical —to decide upon a man's insanity. As is well known, his Lordship holds the opinion that "common sense " is sufficient to determine the question at issue, and that there is no necessity for special expert knowledge. Nor is Lord Bramwell singular in this opinion, for not long since we had occasion to contest the " common-sense " ruling of one of our judges, "that the question of a prisoner's insanity was one for the jury, and not for the medical witness."

    As our readers will have observed; Sir J. Crichton Browne proposes that the suggested Criminal Lunacy Inquiry Commission should consist of lawyers and medical men. One's first impression would be that so apparently incongruous an admixture of legal and medical minds would be unlikely to yield useful practical results, but such preconception must give way before the assurance vouchsafed that both in the case of the Lord Chancellor's Visitors and in that of the Board of Commissioners in Lunacy—each of which has its legal and medical representatives — the lawyers, with striking aptitude, adopt the scientific standpoint when brought Into contact with their medical colleagues.
    It must not be gathered from this statement that the lawyers are mere servile puppets, and that their pay is an "unearned increment" to their means, since "the severe intellectual training which a barrister goes through, the art which he acquires in his profession of sifting evidence and of concentrating his attention upon minute details, as in reading judicial decisions, prepares him to look with insight and judgment upon cases of Insanity when they are brought under his personal notice."

    We have over and over again in these columns declaimed against the existing legal test of criminal responsibility— vie., the knowledge of right and wrong, or of the nature and consequences of a criminal act. It is long since such test was proved by medical science to be unreliable, since it is so often fallacious. Such a commission as Sir J. Crichton Browne requests would tend by its investigations and reports to move the lethargic legal mind toward the advisability—nay, the necessity—of reform in this important matter, and thus to force the Legislature to substitute proved scientific data for the so-called "common sense" as adopted by Lord Bramwell and others.

    In conclusion, we would suggest that the Criminal Lunacy Inquiry Commission should not confine its labours to investigating the cases of the Broadmoor prisoners, but should act as assessors to the courts appointed to determine the mental condition of persons alleged to be insane.

    Leave a comment:


  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied


    Nice little article I found in an 1970's medical journal.

    Leave a comment:

Working...
X