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Photo. Bassano, Old Bond Street, London, W. 







M.B.. D.C.L., LL.n. 


(All rights reserved) 

This Book is dedicated to every true Englishman 
who, having the courage of his opinions and 
convictions, is not ashamed to express the same, 
and who in every way acts up to what he thinks 
right, with a view of benefiting humanity and 
doing good in the world by preventing harm, 
heedless of public opinion and the consequences of 
jealousy, and who hits " straight out from the 
shoulder^ as every true-born Englishman should 
do without fear of consequences. 




ALTHOUGH I have breathed the atmosphere of lunacy 
for a period extending over sixty years, and can there- 
fore chronicle events dating from that period, the real 
tragedy of my life, if I may use this expression, com- 
menced from the year of my qualification in 1869 ; thus 
am I able to give a forty years' record of practical 
knowledge of lunacy. Every legal case mentioned by 
me became public property at the time of the trial. 
Certain facts, however, I have given in connection 
with these which have never previously seen the light 
of day. I have been careful to avoid all mention of 
treatment, the book being entirely one of a social 
nature and not a professional record. I have endeav- 
oured to express my views fairly but unflinchingly on 
public matters, and only to condemn where I think such 
condemnation was well deserved. The book is written 
for the world at large ; but at the same time I have 
no doubt in my own mind that many of my own 
profession will benefit by the perusal of its pages, as 
there are certain lessons to be learnt therein. 


Sept. 9, 1910. 




Memory and its peculiarities A few words about my 
family Where I spent my childhood Visit to the 
Duke of Wellington's funeral My first appearance 
before a Medical Society Early school-days The 
first term at Rugby My first appearance in an 
orchestra Cambridge days Steal a march on my 
fellow-students Athletic experiences at Cam- 
bridge How I pass three examinations in three 
months, graduate, and win a bet in consequence 
Interesting experiences with the tutor and Professor 
of Medicine at Downing Leave Cambridge and go 
to St George's Hospital Become qualified at 
Cambridge How my brother, the vicar of St Paul's, 
St Leonard's-on-Sea, gives up the study of medicine 
in favour of myself I become associated with my 
father And join the asylum staff My father dies 
My mother persuades me not to disassociate my- 
self from the asylum My mother dies Heavy 
Chancery suits follow A triumphant result 
Receive D.C.L. from Oxford and LL.D. from Cam- 
bridge Keenness for athletics . . V . 1-27 


Masters in Lunacy Samuel Warren and his pomposity 
Sir Alexander Miller and the Clapham recluse 
case Master Fischer cross-examines me on my 
own book Dissatisfaction expressed on the general 
Control of the office Lord Chancellor's Visitors of 
Lunatics, and personalities connected with them 
Commissioners in Lunacy whom I have met John 
Forster the most severe but the kindest of all 
William Frere learns his business from my book 
How the Commissioners are misled and misguided . 31-42 




My sporting patient Case of feigned insanity through 
love Am asked to give evidence in the Tichborne 
case Visit to eccentric major in Scotland My 
dealings with a homicidal maniac Visit to an asylum 
at Venice, on which I report to the Italian authorities 
How I seize a homicidal lunatic in his own house 
Expose a Spiritualist, and Mr Punch honours me with 
a couplet My adventures at the bureau of police at 
Naples A night with a raving drunkard How an 
English subject is rescued from a Dutch prison A 
mysterious visitor with a metallic band on his head 
The widow, the witch, and the American Governor 
My acquaintance with the " Swami" A gentleman 
highly connected consults me in a mask The com- 
poser of " Alice, where art thou ! " dies A gentleman 
in an asylum near Exeter returns to London a free 
agent Murder committed by a lady whose husband 
acted on his own responsibility 45-84 


Discourtesy and disrespect are to be expected Judges 
support counsel An opinion of justice How medical 
witnesses are treated in Law Courts How the Trea- 
sury experts are treated differently How vital facts 
are suppressed How the prisoner does not have a 
fair trial Examination of prisoners waiting trial for 
murder How medical men decline to go into witness- 
box, and why Trial and execution of Robert King, 
a lunatic How I floored a Q.C. in that case A 
definition: the medical and the legal profession 
-Unfairness of law in England A case where 
soothing" treatment succeeded How I managed 
to get a lunatic legally represented at an inquiry 
An opinion of a British jury in cases where insanity is 
S^Ctt^ffS y ster y-Staunton case - Case 
u Ml ^ Powell Case of Mainwaring Murder 
on the Brighton railway by Lefroy Otley murder 

M 9"32S2? murder b y Ta y' or and Currah 
Mrs Mavbnck's case Mrs Pearcey's case Tread- 
y and Drant: murder by epileptics-The Reading 
r - The P isoned cake 

KA ^ S yer - T , he P isoned cake mur der1 
Mary Ansell-The trunk murder : Devereux-Lady 
shophfte^-A West End club kleptomaniac-The 

rthrrt i ase ~ Case arson -The 

Cathcart lunacy mqu.ry-The Townshend lunacy 

........ 87-247 




Series of murders My views as to the murderer Lunar 
influence on dates of murders Sir Charles Warren 
and the police Wrong persons are accused Numer- 
ous theories are started Defect in the police system 
Take the matter up myself And communicate 
with the authorities Jack the Ripper writes two 
letters to me Date of murder given in letter to me 
proves to be correct Again warn the police Jack 
the Ripper and the lucid interval Receive definite 
clues, and trace the man I have his blood-stained 
rubber shoes in my possession, together with 
ribbons and feathers Offer to catch Jack the 
Ripper on a certain Sunday morning, but the 
police again decline to co-operate with me Publish 
my clue in the New York Herald, then published in 
London No murders committed since that time 
My general conclusions on the case Recent develop- 
ments . . . . ... . . 251-283 


A voyage across the Atlantic Arrival in America An 
experience of American interviewers My supposed 
views on ladies riding bicycles These opinions 
challenged A denial of the same Preside at the 
Congress Instructed to examine David Hannigan in 
the Tombs Give evidence at a commission of 
lunacy Trial of David Hannigan My appearance 
in court My opinion is asked in the cases of Holmes 
and Durrant My opinion is published Examine 
Mrs Fleming in the Tombs charged with matricide 
My opinion is published Mrs Fleming's case dis- 
cussed in full I meet a millionaire at the West- 
minster Hotel He dies suddenly Assist at the 
inquest and post-mortem False rumours relating to 
his will 80,000 dollars cause me a wakeful night 
My visit to the New York World office Dr 
Parkhurst's guns silenced My friend with his loaf 
of bread Experience of a millionaire's dinner 
My daily events are chronicled Adventures with the 
American spiritualist Return to England . . " . 287-350 


Some eminent men I met Sir William Fergusson and 
his fee William Rose Sir Benjamin Ward Richard- 
son An open speaker Propose a toast of the " Fine 
Arts," and get rather involved My first and only 
political speech Dr Farquharson on medical politi- 


cians Dr Winn's lecture before the Victoria Institute 
How his lecture finds its way to Scotland Yard 
Mr Dillwyn, M.P.'s, Lunacy Committee in 1877 My 
opinion of the same Testify and give my views 
on the same My first meeting with Lombroso 
Some of his peculiarities Move a resolution at 
Exeter Hall on over-pressure Some lawyers I have 
met Edwin James and Montagu Williams 
Affectionate remembrances of my father 
Established a British Hospital for Mental Disorders 
in 1890 No lunatic or alleged lunatic has been hanged 
at my dictum The hardness of the world, and the 
inability to convince them Degeneration of the 
human race Alarming increase of insanity during 
forty years Reasons for the same The Lord Chan- 
cellor Sipido attempts assassination of Royalty 
Want of Christian sympathy in the world My opinion 
of the Lunacy Acts, and of those who endeavour to 
force their enactment In this, unfairness reigns 
supreme Still register sixty-six, not out . . . 353-384 


L. Forbes Winslow portrait .... Frontispiece 


Mrs Maybrick before her Trial . .142 

Mrs Maybrick during her Trial . . . . . 142 

Mr Berry (to Dr Forbes Winslow) : "You've always got 

something to say" . . . '. . 155 

Mrs Dyer . . . . . . . 175 

Mary Ansell . *,.'' . . . . . 192 

Mary Ansell's Sister . . . .. . 192 

The Condemned Girl's Hand . . . . . 194 

Mary Ansell's Mother . . . . .194 

Devereux in Court . . . , . ,. . 201 

A Jack-the-Ripper Letter . . . . . 264 

,, ..... 274 

David Hannigan . . . . . . 298 

Hannigan awaiting his Trial for the Murder of Mann . 299 

Hannigan before the Commission in Lunacy . . 300 

Hannigan's Statement . . . . . . 303 

Hannigan's Trial : Scene in Court .... 307 

Hannigan's Father ...... 309 

H. H. Holmes : Some Sketches of his Head, and his 

Letter concerning them . . . -317 

William Henry Theodore Durrant . . .321 

Mrs Fleming .... . 326 

Mrs Fleming consults her Lawyers in the Tombs Prison . 329 



RECOLLECTIONS which are implanted in the mind can 
never be eradicated. As one grows older, so also do 
the events which are chronicled in one's early life 
become more vividly impressed upon one's mind. 
Anything worth recalling we remember, whilst any- 
thing we desire to forget and wipe from the tablets 
of our memory becomes still more in evidence. In 
recalling recollections extending over forty years we 
have the inevitable to cope with. Our memory 
becomes once more vividly active, and it has become 
" wax to receive and marble to retain." 

" Oh, that wretched memory of mine ! " is often 
exclaimed by many of those whose brains are begin- 
ning to show signs of collapse. 

It is a fact that at one time in every one's life the 
memory often begins to slacken, but on the eve of 
dissolution, or as old age is approaching, our memory 
returns with all its wonted vigour. The past stands 
out before us in all its hideous nakedness. The memory 
of the child is more acute than that of the adult ; in 
middle age it is often treacherous ; in old age, except 
for the memory of names, it again becomes acute, 
especially for events long past and gone, but imperfect 


for recent events. This is one of the chief indications 
of loss of memory. In answer to a question comes the 
response, " My memory is splendid. I can tell you 
what I did years ago." " Very well," says the physi- 
cian, " can you tell me what you did yesterday ? " 
The reply is a negative. This is the true test of 

I graduated as licentiate of the Society of Apothe- 
caries, thus enabling me to register as a qualified 
medical practitioner, in 1869, previous to my medical 
graduation at Cambridge. 

Though my experience in detail as a mental expert 
will presumably date from 1869, the year in which I 
became qualified in medicine, nevertheless, from the 
fact that from a year old I have lived among the insane, 
I feel therefore that, previous to the time I received 
my first medical diploma, I had earned sufficient 
experience even at that early age to entitle me to the 
title of a mental expert. 

It is a generally admitted fact that as a rule no one 
learns anything of his profession, be it legal, medical, 
clerical, or any other, until the useless subjects included 
in the schedule of his examinations are wiped out of 
the memory, and room is made for more useful and 
practical subjects bearing directly upon his own 

A few reminiscences of my early life, therefore, may 
not be inadmissible here. 

I was born in Guildford Street, London, on 3ist 
January 1844, and an impression made on my youth- 


ful mind of the Foundling Hospital at that time has 
always existed. 

My father was a physician, struggling to establish 
the recognition of the plea of insanity in criminal 
cases in England, and he lived to see the accomplish- 
ment of his desire. 

My mother was a Miss Susan Holt ; my grandmother 
a well-known mover in the religious world in New 
York, Mrs Mary Winslow, whose life, written by her 
son, the Rev. Octavius Winslow, entitled Life in 
Jesus, is a well-known and well-read book both in 
England and America as a text-book of all that is 
righteous and good. Edward Winslow, one of the 
Pilgrim Fathers who left England in the Mayflower 
in 1620, and who was the first Governor of Massa- 
chusetts, was a direct ancestor of mine. A large book, 
entitled the Winslow Memorial, published in New 
York, traces my lineal descent from him. 

Within a few months of my birth I was taken to 
Sussex and Brandenburgh House Asylum at Hammer- 
smith, founded by my father, and I continued to live 
there, with certain periodical intervals, while at school 
and college, until 1886, when I vacated the atmosphere 
of a lunatic asylum a fact I was extremely delighted 
in doing. 

In 1852, at the age of eight, I was taken by my 
father to see the funeral of the Duke of Wellington, 
and accompanied him to the Conservative Club in St 
James's Street, having passed the previous night at 
his consulting rooms in Albemarle Street. 


In those days clubs were not used on such occasions 
as a means of obtaining money to add to their coffers 
by making their members give a heavy donation in 
order to get a seat or allow a relative to have one. 
This is a great contrast from what takes place nowa- 
days. No ten pounds was then inflicted upon a 
member who was desirous of taking his wife to view 
any royal procession. So far as my recollection goes, 
not only did my father take me with him, but also a 
patient, who was the terror of my early childhood, 
was included in the party. 

My first appearance before any learned medical 
corporation was in 1853, when I was nine years old. 
My father, in the capacity as President of the Medical 
Society of London, was giving his oration, and for 
some reason or other, whether I evinced an eagerness 
at an early age to see what the proceedings of a 
Medical Society were, or whether he wished me to go 
of his own accord, I cannot recollect at this moment, 
but I accompanied him to this meeting. I remember 
the circumstances as though it had only taken place 
yesterday. I was dressed in a black velvet knicker- 
bocker suit, and sat on a chair just in front of my 
father on the platform. It was not to be supposed 
that at such an early age I could really take very much 
interest in an oration, even though delivered by my 
own father. He was not, however, prepared for the 
catastrophe which happened, and one which I have 
often heard him narrate. In the midst of a most 
eloquent sentence, in which the attention of the 


audience was deeply wrapped, the proceedings were 
interrupted by a sudden scream, and it was found that 
I had fallen from my high estate on to the platform, 
whilst my squallings induced him to descend from his 
presidential throne, and for the moment interrupt the 
sanctity of the proceedings. Beyond this I can say 
nothing as to what became of me ; whether I spent 
the rest of the evening in the cloak-room, or whether 
the fall had wakened me up sufficiently to cause me 
to seriously attend to the oration, I am not prepared 
to say. 

I might say, whilst on this subject, that the last 
time my father came to London previous to his death 
in 1874 was to accompany me to the Medical Society 
of London to look at his own picture, which he had 
presented to the Society, and which had just come 
back from being renovated, and is hung in the same 
place now as it was then in the entrance-hall of this 

My early school -days are not remarkable for 
anything in particular. The first school I went to 
was kept by a dame the house is still in existence 
in the Hammersmith Road, between Nazareth House 
and St Paul's School ; from there I went to King 
Edward the Sixth's School at Berkhampstead, and 
then to a school kept by a Baron Andlau at Clapham 
Common, with a view to acquiring a knowledge of 
modern languages, especially German, which language 
all boys were supposed to speak during play hours, or 
pay a penny fine. From Clapham Common I went to 


Overslade, near Rugby, kept by the Rev. Mr Congreve, 
and from there to Rugby to the house of the Rev. 
C. A. Arnold. 

The first experience of my journey to Rugby is 
amusing. I had gone to Euston Station with a new 
" topper," as was the wont of any new boy with a 
view of causing favourable first impressions. In the 
first tunnel we entered after leaving Euston, some boy 
knocked off my hat, the result being that I arrived at 
Rugby minus a hat. My elder brother, who had been 
at the school a year before me, had earned the nick- 
name of " Bags," from the fact that on one occasion 
he arrived with rather a loud pair of inexpressibles. 
I was at once called " Young Bags " in distinction 
to " Old Bags," which was then given to my brother. 
This accompanied him to Oxford and me to Cambridge. 
Nicknames acquired at school often continue through 

I left Rugby in 1861, the year the Prince Consort 
died, and I recollect whilst playing the Old Rugbeian 
football match at Rugby I heard of the decease. I 
made a number of valuable acquaintances at Rugby. 

Arnold was very musical, and at stated periods those 
who were pupils of his, and who possessed any musical 
talents, took part in the Kinder Symphony. A fine 
violinist, Herr Deutschmann, led our orchestra. I 
played a most extraordinary instrument called the 
cuckoo, and two of the other boys but now learned 
judges, whose names I dare not mention, as I do 
not want to be committed for contempt of court 


I think played the triangle and the whistle. The 
performance was in every way a success, and was 
repeated periodically. 

After leaving Rugby School, though it was always 
my intention to follow my father's footsteps as a 
mental specialist, I had not quite decided what course 
of study I should pursue as the modus operandi to 
obtain a qualification. At first I went to read for 
the matriculation examination at the London Uni- 
versity, and I commenced to do so with a Dr Gill, 
who at that time had a class for the matric. During 
the Easter vacation I went to Paris with my father 
and an old friend of his, Dr Waller Lewis, the head 
medical officer of the General Post Office, who, being 
himself a Cambridge man, persuaded me to abandon 
the London University for Cambridge, which I did 

I entered at Caius College, Cambridge, in the 
October term, 1862. My father, I recollect, took me 
up there, and left me in charge of the Rev. C. Clayton, 
the excellent, conscientious, and good tutor of that 
college at the time. 

I was very desirous to begin my medical studies at 
once. Unfortunately, before I could register as a 
medical student at Cambridge, the " Little Go," or 
some recognised educational examination, had to be 
previously passed. The first examination for the 
" Little Go " took place the following March ; but 
unless I was prepared to pass what is called the 
" Honours Little Go," which consists of extra mathe- 


matical subjects, and which is only intended for 
Honours men, a distinction I did not aspire to, I 
should have to wait until the following October, or 
exactly one year from entering. This I politely de- 
clined, and struck out a course which appealed to my 
notions. I wished to steal a march upon those students 
who had entered the same term as I had, and decided 
to let the Cambridge " Little Go " wait and to pass 
some other educational examination. I had been in 
communication with the Royal College of Physicians 
of London, who at that time held a similar examina- 
tion, and entered my name for this, which was to be 
held in March, the same month as the " Honours 
Little Go " would have been held. I kept this 
entirely to myself. 

At Cambridge it is necessary to " keep " so many 
days in each term, amounting to two-thirds of the 
actual number of days to constitute a term. My 
term only expired the very day of my examination 
in London. I had ordered a cab to fetch me from 
the college at 7.30 a.m. to take me to the station. 
None, however, arrived. I rushed from my rooms 
down King's Parade, and, fortunately finding an 
empty conveyance of some sort, galloped down to 
the railway station. The man presiding at the book- 
ing-office told me that I should not have time to 
catch the train, but, rushing over the line, I jumped 
in as it was actually moving out. I arrived in London, 
and, driving straight to the Royal College of Physi- 
cians, I went through the morning examination, and, 


returning home, told my parents what I had been 
doing. I was called foolish, and encouraged by being 
told I should surely be " plucked," and " How could 
I have done such a stupid thing ! " 

Nothing daunted, I continued my examination the 
same afternoon and twice the following day. To my 
satisfaction and relief my name appeared in the list. 
I forthwith registered myself as a medical student, 
and thus gained nine months' start of those under- 
grads who had entered the same term as I had, and 
who were waiting until they had passed the " Little 
Go " in October before registering. The time I thus 
gained was invaluable to me, as I actually became 
qualified in London before I had taken my Cambridge 
medical degree, which is rather a unique experience, 
if not an isolated one. As a number of my medical 
friends were migrating from Caius to Downing College, 
I followed their example. We had more independence 
there ; the college was nearer the Medical Schools. 
At that time it was a small college, but soon the 
numbers gradually began to increase. We put an 
eight on the river, and gained eight places in six 
nights, rowing to the top of our division. 

I rowed number six ; Lord Justice Collins, Professor 
Ray Lankester, and the Rev. Mr Macmichael, a subse- 
quent " blue," had oars in the same boat. 

In addition to a boat-club, the little medical colony 
who had migrated to Downing from Caius founded 
an athletic and a cricket club. I was appointed 
president of these. 


My college days were of the usual humdrum descrip- 
tion, though, like many others, I often look back to 
them with affectionate regret that they are gone for 
ever. Friends made there, never seen since ; but, 
though lost to sight, they still remain to memory dear. 

March 1865 had arrived, and though I had been in 
residence for nearly three years, and was within three 
months of the completion of my residence at the 
university, I had not passed any of my examinations. 
The fact was, having passed the Royal College of 
Physicians entrance examination in 1863, by which 
I became a registered medical student, I was content 
to pursue my medical studies, ignoring for the time 
being the general examinations of the university. 
I was determined, however, to pass these within my 
three years, and made a supreme effort to accomplish 
this. Between March and June I had to pass three 
examinations the previous examination, or " Little 
Go " ; the professorial examination in modern 
history ; and the Bachelor of Laws degree, or LL.B. 
I had decided to graduate both in law and medicine 
in preference to the ordinary B.A. degree a fact I 
have never regretted. 

Though this seemed a gigantic task, I accomplished 
it. The " Little Go " was passed in March. I had 
two weeks intervening between this examination and 
the next. The vacation had just commenced, and I 
came up to London and joined a class of Professor 
Stokes, of memory fame, as the professorial modern 
history examination was replete with dates and other 


facts, which required a gigantic memory to acquire 
in two weeks. I also studied hard at the Reading- 
room of the British Museum. I returned to Cam- 
bridge in April, and was examined by the Professor 
of Modern History, who at that time was Professor 
Kingsley. I had the satisfaction of seeing my name 
in the Times as having passed first class. Then I 
commenced my legal studies, having six weeks before 
undertaking a complicated and difficult examination 
in law. I passed, and took my degree of LL.B. in 
June, thus passing the three examinations in six weeks, 
and winning a bet of twenty to one made with me by 
some titled, conceited undergraduate of the same 
college, who, having expressed his opinion against 
my achieving this, sneered, and offered to back 
his opinion. I was determined to do this, and I 
succeeded, much to the surprise of many. 

There is one thing appertaining to my university 
days which appears worth chronicling, as bearing on 
my first professional experience of uncontrollable 
drunkenness. It was a very strange, at least a very 
unusual, event for any undergraduate to be able to 
narrate. The tutor of Downing was a man of mark 
at Cambridge. He was well known for his responsi- 
bility in ordering the dinners for which Downing was 
then celebrated ; this specially applied to the catering 
for the High Table, at which Sunday dinners were a 
feature of the university, so far as the dons connected 
with the other colleges were concerned, and who used 
to assemble every Sunday to participate in them in 


our Hall. As I was a fellow commoner, this advantage 
I also enjoyed. The association with fellows and dons 
of other colleges raised me rather beyond the pinnacle 
of the ordinary undergraduate. It had the advantage 
of putting me at ease with my superiors, followed by 
an impression of equality with those in authority. 
Our tutor was very hospitable, and he was never happy 
unless surrounded by a number of convivial spirits, 
quite as capable of doing justice to a good repast as 
he was himself. We had a French chef, also the 
nominee of the tutor, and I may say that the dinners 
at Downing in the year 1865 were as good as could be 
found in any restaurant in Paris. 

Except on Sundays, our party at the High Table 
generally consisted of about six, of which the tutor 
was quite the ruling spirit. Downing College pos- 
sessed a considerable amount of property in Croydon, 
Cambridgeshire, and its immediate vicinity. The 
tutor being also bursar, it was his duty to go out there 
to collect the rents. These visits often necessitated 
a dinner with the farmers. I remember one wintry 
night the tutor asked me if I would accompany him 
on one of these missions. I consented, and we drove 
over in a dogcart. On our way back the snow was 
thick on the ground, and as he succeeded in depositing 
the trap on a bank, and having my grave doubts as 
to the sobriety of the tutor, I offered to take the reins 
into my own hands. He consented with a hiccough. 
I shall never forget that journey. My suspicions 
proved correct, and it was with the greatest difficulty 


that I was enabled to keep my tutor from falling out 
of the trap, besides nearly upsetting it. We arrived 
safely at the college, and I took him forthwith to his 
rooms, escorting him upstairs. On opening his door 
I saw to my surprise that the Downing Professor of 
Medicine was in a worse state, so far as sobriety was 
concerned, than the tutor himself. Having put the 
tutor safely to bed and tucked him up, I then woke up 
the professor, who was snoring loudly in an armchair, 
and escorted him safely across the quadrangle to his 
own house. 

Poor old man ! I can see him sitting there now ! 
He used to give the lectures on materia medica for 
medical students. At the first lecture he was quite 
sober, and he impressed upon his class the great im- 
portance of the subject. The second lecture was about 
tasting his wines, also an important one in his own 
estimation, as his cellar contained many fine samples. 
I cannot at this lengthened period recollect in what 
part of materia medica wine-tasting is included. This 
lecture was much appreciated by the students, and 
those who had missed that lecture turned up in a 
large body at the next one, eager for the same to be 
repeated only to find, much to their chagrin, that 
the professor was unwell and unable to lecture. 

One or two more lectures of much the same descrip- 
tion were given during the term, and the schedules 
for attendance at these lectures, as constituting 
a part of the medical student's curriculum, were 
duly signed by him and forwarded by the student 


to the Regius Professor of Medicine. This same 
professor was one of the physicians to Addenbroke 
Hospital, and one of the university examiners for 
the degree in medicine. 

I attended the viva voce examination out of curiosity. 
Whether the Downing Professor of Medicine had in- 
dulged in a quiet nap it was difficult to say, but he 
had always the knack of asking the same questions 
which one of his confreres, assisting at the examina- 
tion, had just previously asked. Sir Richard Dalby, 
the distinguished aural surgeon, who was one of the 
candidates, and who had a keen eye for the ridiculous, 
and who knew the peculiarities of the professor, on 
several times being asked the same question, replied 
that he had just answered it. Things were very lax 
in those days, especially so far as related to the attend- 
ance at lectures. 

After leaving Cambridge I went to St George's 
Hospital, where my medical education was continued, 
returning to Cambridge later on for two years' more 
residence in order to complete my medical terms 
there. The years, therefore, between 1868 and 1870, 
the year of my receiving the medical degree of the 
university, were spent backwards and forwards be- 
tween Cambridge and St George's Hospital ; though, 
as I have previously stated, I possessed the degree 
of licentiate of the Apothecaries' Society, giving me full 
rights to register as a full-blown medical practitioner, 
which I did. 

I had an elder brother, the Rev. Forbes E. Winslow, 


now vicar of St Paul's, St Leonard's-on-Sea, the " Old 
Bags " of Rugby fame. He was originally intended 
for the medical profession, and with this view he 
became a perpetual pupil at St Bartholomew's Hos- 
pital. On the completion of his first year of study he 
was bitten by a mad dog whilst playing in a cricket 
match, and being apprehensive of the result he 
suddenly threw up medicine and began to read for 
holy orders, thus leaving the field open to me so far 
as a successor in the same line of practice to my 
father was concerned. Had this not taken place, 
the writer of this book would doubtless have remained 
in obscurity. 

Upon receiving my diploma from Cambridge, I at 
once became associated with my father, who had the 
enjoyment of the largest practice in lunacy in England ; 
and when I say that at the age of twenty-five I was 
frequently left in entire charge of his practice, and 
managed it exclusively for some years before he died 
in 1874, he being incapacitated from illness, I might 
say that I earned my spurs in this peculiar branch of 
medicine at a very early period of my existence. 

In 1871 I became attached to the staff of the Sussex 
and Brandenburgh House Lunatic Asylums, situated 
at Hammersmith ; but having always regarded this 
as my home since I was a few months old, and having 
lived there, the experience was by no means a novel 
one to me. I felt, however, that I was in authority 
there, subservient to my father and the medical super- 
intendent. The authority I assumed soon became 


developed into one of absolute responsibility ; as my 
father's representative I soon blossomed out into a 
licensee. During the many years I was in residence 
there I was never more than a paid official. 

After the death of my father in 1874, I continued 
to reside at the asylum, having my consulting rooms 
as before in Cavendish Square, my mother's home. 
Everything went on well ; I had her interests at 
heart ; we were a united, happy family. My mother 
was a wonderful woman kind, and beloved by all. 
My eldest sister, who lived with her, married soon 
after my father's death ; her husband came and hung 
his hat up in my mother's house. Things soon 
changed. The freedom one had enjoyed soon dis- 
appeared. I felt like an intruder even in my late 
father's house. This was nauseating to my feelings. 
As month by month went by, this continued and 
increased. One day I went to my mother and told 
her it was my desire to sever my connection with the 
asylums at Hammersmith. Her reply was, " Stick 
to the ship. Your father has left the asylums to you 
in his will." I explained to her my position, the 
restraint that had come over me since another in- 
dividual had been taken into the family. My mother 
then said, " In addition to your stipend you shall 
have one-sixth share in the profits of the asylums." 
As she seemed evidently upset at the mention of my 
dissociation with these asylums, which since my 
father's decease I had been the sole and only prop 
in supporting, I consented to remain. But matters 


did not improve ; I felt as if there was a sort of 
cloud encircling the house. This feeling was also 
expressed by others who previous to the event I 
mentioned were frequent guests at our house. This 
evidently affected my mother's health, who seemed 
much worried and harassed, for which there was no 
excuse or justification. This gradually told upon her 
health, though I did my best to reassure her. Ulti- 
mately I seemed to hate the very house where previous 
to this I had spent such happy days. My mother died 
in 1883. Before the breath was out of her body, my 
brother-in-law came into my study with a paper 
already drawn up by him for me to sign which was 
to give him an equal share in the profits of the asylum. 
This I indignantly repudiated and declined to sign. 
He then replied, " I will make you, or throw the 
estate into Chancery." This was done, and I was 
appointed manager under the court. Interference, 
and no power to do what I liked, associated with 
the fact that nothing could be done without the 
sanction of the receiver, this with the fact that I 
was called upon to pay the beneficiaries a certain 
sum per annum before drawing my own salary made 
me desirous of putting a stop to this unsatisfactory 
business. I became an obstructionist. I felt that, 
as my father had " authorised " the trustees to dis- 
pose of the asylums to me, I was being shamefully 
treated. Quarrels took place, a family feud arose. 
I was then called upon in chambers to vouch all 
accounts kept by me since my mother's decease until 


the hearing of this application in court. The amount 
was close upon eight thousand pounds. I took this 
into chambers myself, vouching every item and show- 
ing a balance on my side. There were about six 
solicitors attending these summonses, and the time 
it took to complete the matter was considerable. 
Ultimately the accounts were closed ; and as I saw 
that every effort was being made to deprive me of 
my inheritance and rights, I put in a claim for my 
sixth share of the profits agreed to between my mother 
and myself, as previously mentioned. During her life 
it only existed on paper, and I never put the agree- 
ment into operation. My brother-in-law, again equal 
to the occasion, opposed this. He stated that, as he 
was living in my mother's house at the time, he well 
knew her intentions. I explained that it was only 
reasonable that, if I received a certain salary during 
my father's lifetime, as an inducement to remain on 
I had the additional offer after his decease. I was 
tired of the whole persecution, and as far as I can 
recollect never pressed the matter. Application was 
made by the beneficiaries to depose me in other 
words, to remove one who had been the sole prop 
for so many years because I would not do what I 
considered unjust. Opposition took place ; a heavy 
Chancery suit then commenced. At the first hearing 
I was represented by counsel, but afterwards I took 
the legal matters into my own hands, appeared in 
person, and argued the case in court. 

The reason I dwell at length upon this matter is 


to remove a misconception which arose at the time 
as to why I retired from asylum practice. In two 
or three public cases I have been in, both in England 
and America, I have often been asked the question in 
a sneering way by the counsel ; but he has generally 
met his match in me by my reply. What I now say 
is in every way substantiated by Mr Justice Pearson, 
who tried the case. 

On 22nd April 1885, in the Chancery Division of 
the Law Courts, the final hearing of the case came 
before Mr Justice Pearson, and learned and strong 
and heavily briefed counsel were arraigned on the 
other side. I had had sufficient of counsel so far as I 
was concerned, and, as I have said before, I appeared 
in person. I said as follows : 

" My Lord, In consequence of your lordship's 
suggestion on Friday last, to the effect that those 
interested in the asylum should meet together and 
discuss the matter, I beg to inform your lordship 
that a meeting was held on Monday last, the 2oth 
inst., at which meeting I resigned of my own 
free will the management, under the court, of the 
asylums at Hammersmith with which my father and 
myself have been connected for upwards of forty 
years. At the same time I refused any remuneration 
which was then offered me to act as consulting phy- 
sician to these establishments. It has always been 
my earnest endeavour to carry on these asylums 
satisfactorily, and to protect the good-will for the 
benefit of the estate. In consequence, however, of 
the furore that has lately taken place in connection 
with lunacy matters, the value of private asylums is 
at a very low ebb at the present moment. For the 


last eighteen months or two years these asylums have 
been financially managed by Mr Booker, the receiver 
appointed by this honourable court, he ordering all 
provisions, receiving and making all payments, 
whereas I have not been empowered to interfere in 
any way in this matter. How, therefore, could I 
have been held responsible for the financial condition 
of the asylums when I have had absolutely nothing 
to do with it ? So far as the treatment of the patients 
and the medical management are concerned, they 
are exactly the same as they have been for years. I 
have it on record, and not long since, that a gentle- 
man came to Hammersmith with a view to placing 
twenty Chancery patients there. Having inspected 
the establishment and grounds, he decided that the 
accommodation offered for the sums paid was inade- 
quate. Again, on another occasion an inmate of 
Sussex House, paying twelve hundred per annum, 
was removed by the Commissioners in Lunacy in 
consequence of the place not being good enough for 
such a patient. This is no fault of mine, my lord ; 
my hands have been crippled and tied for many 
years. I have done my utmost to find a suitable 
place for the transfer of the asylum, but I have been 
powerless to act in the matter, and now it appears 
that I am to be held responsible for the financial 
falling-off of the asylum. 

" MR JUSTICE PEARSON. I do not think, Dr 
Winslow, there is any occasion to go further into this 
matter, as I have previously expressed my opinion on 
your management and I have no reason to alter this 

" DR FORBES WINSLOW. There is one thing, my 
lord, on which I should like to make a few observa- 
tions, especially as much stress has been laid during 
this summons on the matter. I allude to the receipt 
of a supposed salary of 1600 per annum. My lord, 


the agreement was as follows : I was to receive this 
sum, provided the profits of the asylum admitted 
of the sum being paid to me. But before I could 
draw any part of it, the beneficiaries were entitled 
to receive as a minimum charge, whatever the profits 
might be, 100 each per annum. I had to pay, in 
addition to this, 400 per annum to the medical staff, 
and was bound by the order of the court to keep up 
a suitable residence in town. Well, my lord, last year 
the profits, according to the account rendered me by 
the receiver, amounted to 1320, and out of this sum 
your lordship will see it was impossible for me to re- 
ceive the 1600, as agreed between myself and the bene- 
ficiaries. Out of the 1320, therefore, according to 
the agreement, 300 was paid as first charge to the 
beneficiaries, rendering my salary 1000. In addition 
to this, 400 had to be subtracted for the salary of the 
medical officers, and I may put the expense of the 
house for consultations, that I was to keep up, at say, 
at the very lowest, 300 per annum. This reduces my 
salary, which may appear in the first instance a large 
one on paper, to a mere pittance of 300 per annum, 
out of which sum I have to pay for the expenditure 
of certain actions connected with the asylums. I have 
nothing further to add beyond hoping that, under the 

direction and management of Dr , things may go 

amicably with those now interested in the concern. 

" MR ROBERTSON. On behalf of the infants I must 
press for a sale. 

" MR JUSTICE PEARSON. Those interests are very 
remote, and I hope the day is far distant when this 
question will have to be considered. 

" DR FORBES WINSLOW. There is one thing, my 
lord, I had forgotten to say : that I resigned my 
appointment of my own free will and without any 
restrictions being placed on my actions. 

" Judgment. MR JUSTICE PEARSON. In this case 


I am glad to say that an arrangement has been come 
to between the parties, and one which, I think, reflects 
the highest credit on Dr Winslow, who throughout 
this matter has acted as a gentleman in his high 
position would have done. He has volunteered to 
retire, having refused any remuneration which was 
offered to him, also the appointment of consulting 
physician, from an asylum which he has managed so 
satisfactorily for so many years, and which, as I ex- 
pressed myself on a former occasion, he has conducted 
well, and no reflection can in any way be cast on his 
management. I expressed this opinion at the former 
summons, and I hold this opinion still most strongly. 

Dr , who has been chosen as manager, will 

conduct the asylum in the interest of Dr Winslow as 
well as of the others equally interested with himself. 
Were I called upon to make a hostile order, I would 
have taken into consideration Dr Winslow's long 
connection and management of the asylums, and I 
should have ordered him to have received heavy 
compensation on his retirement therefor. Under 
the circumstances, however, I have only now to make 
an order, which has been supported by all parties 
interested, that the agreement as come to by the 
parties should be approved of by this honourable 

Such was the ruling of Mr Justice Pearson. I have 
never availed myself of the ruling as to participating 
in the asylum spoils as yet. I am legally entitled 
to do this, however. My father left the asylum to 
me in his will. The estate was thrown into Chancery 
on the decease of my mother, as previously stated. 
Certain relatives by marriage tried to interfere with 
my management. I carried it on after my mother's 
death, thinking that the provisions of my father's will 


would be complied with. I had, however, been 
deceived, and had wasted my energies and the best 
years of my life in building up an inheritance only 
to be confiscated by others, and not be enjoyed by 
me. It taught me a severe lesson. I was associated 
with these asylums for upwards of twenty years 
in my medical capacity, and I had gained con- 
siderable experience, but I was never more pleased 
with anything in my life than when I severed 
all connection with private lunatic asylums. The 
licence of the Hammersmith asylums was transferred 
to interested members of my family, and I have 
never been asked to enter the doors of that establish- 
ment since, and have never had any desire to do so. 

My association with these asylums in my semi- 
official capacity led to various actions which I have 
no intention of entering into. I might as well state 
that I was in no way responsible for this, but was made 
a cat's-paw of the imperfection of the lunacy law. 

All I was desirous of doing was to wipe my feet on 
the mats of the asylums and say good-bye to private 
lunatic asylums once and for all. At that time, in 
addition to this heavy Chancery suit, I had other 
litigation, but which was all directly in connection 
with the asylums. I had to bear the brunt of this 
without assistance and without any pity. I have 
lived through all my persecution. I might mention 
that, though I retired from the asylums which are 
now carried on at Flower House, Catford, by the 
beneficiaries by the will of my father and by the 


rnling of Mr Justice Pearson I am as much entitled 
to any profits issuing as my relatives are. 

I had always taken a great interest in all matters 
connected with lunacy, as may be inferred in my 
being brought up in its very atmosphere ; and I felt 
it rather a proud day in my life when I received the 
degree of D.C.L. from the University of Oxford for 
my thesis on " The History of Lunacy Legislation." 
It might not be out of place to mention here that 
the reason I felt proud and satisfied with my position 
was from the fact that I obtained this degree at the 
age of twenty-six, and I was the youngest recipient 
of that degree ever conferred by the University of 
Oxford. I subsequently, many years afterwards, 
obtained the degree of LL.D. from the University 
of Cambridge for my researches " On the Criminal 
Responsibility of the Insane." 

It has always been a great satisfaction to me that 
I possessed these degrees. In my opinion they are 
of far more value to me than all the greatest medical 
distinctions that could have been offered to me. My 
father, who had the honorary D.C.L. of Oxford, enter- 
tained the same opinion so far as he was concerned. 

I have always been of a very athletic turn of mind. 
I was a great believer in this. Though I never actually 
excelled to any great extent in anything of that nature, 
nevertheless in whatever form of sport I took part I 
was always well in the front rank. I won sports at 
Rugby, also at Cambridge. There is one thing that 
I am always proud of chronicling, and that is that on 


2ist July 1864 I was one of the M.C.C. team to play 
against South Wales, in which team W. G. Grace, the 
greatest cricketer who ever lived, played his first 
match at Lord's. It is also a sad fact to state that 
I am the only living member of that team. I have 
a copy of this match before me as I write. In the 
same year I represented the Next Eighteen as opposed 
to the First Twelve of the M.C.C. in the jubilee match 
of that year. This was the year that the late R. A. 
Fitzgerald, the Secretary of the M.C.C., asked me to 
captain the first English team that went to America 
and Canada. This I had to decline, as my studies 
prevented it. Leaving Cambridge, I was elected at 
a later period of my life president of the United 
Hospitals Cricket Club, of which W. G. Grace was our 
captain. In this I chose the cup, which is now 
annually contested for by our hospitals, and I was 
also president of the United Hospitals Athletic Club. 
I captained the M.C.C. in many matches, and twice 
again at my old school, Rugby, and in, I believe, the 
only match in which they played against the United 
Hospitals Cricket Club. This match I arranged my- 
self. These are not prominent facts in my career so 
far as my lunacy experiences are concerned, but I am 
proud to chronicle them, and I think they are worthy 
of a space in my life. 

When I had been well launched in my professional 
career I still kept up my regular exercise. I founded 
a lawn-tennis club, one of the first in England, called 
the West Middlesex Lawn-tennis Club. I also played 


for Oxford against the All England Club at Wimble- 
don ; as I was a D.C.L. of Oxford, I had that privilege. 
An unfortunate injury to my knee, however, stopped 
my enthusiasm in the game. I played for the 
championship of England, and my final appearance 
was at Bath, where I played second for the champion- 
ship of the West of England. This was rather more 
than a quarter of a century ago, and with this my 
athletic efforts came to a close. I felt that I had 
done my duty, and the pressure of work, associated 
with the old injury to my knee asserting itself periodi- 
cally, prevented the indulgence further in violent 
exercise. I am still as keen as I ever was, and when 
I go up to Lord's it is with the greatest effort that I 
am able to desist putting my name down, as I used 
to do, to play in matches. But I find that discretion 
is the better part of valour, and a loose semi-lunar 
cartilage, which is liable to slip out when one least 
expects it, renders me in a position to play cricket 
mentally from the pavilion at Lord's. 

I always endeavoured to get my patients to take 
an interest in sports of various descriptions. Cricket 
matches and lawn-tennis tournaments were organised 
by me. The West Middlesex L.T.C., which included 
amongst its members inmates of the asylums and 
officials connected with the place, held its own for 
many years, even daring to compete with the All 
England Tennis Club. Both Oxford and Cambridge 
succumbed to us. The monotony of asylum life is 
of such a nature that there is every danger of those 


who constantly associate with the inmates themselves 
becoming mad, unless they take proper means to try 
and amuse themselves in a way which completely 
takes them out of their routine work and turns their 
thoughts into another channel. I should never re- 
commend anyone to accept the post of medical officer 
to a lunatic asylum unless able to do as I now suggest. 
The constant association with the insane I have found 
terrible to contend with, and my capability to take 
part in sports of various descriptions has been my 
saving clause, I feel sure. I used to take a party of 
my patients out fishing. It was curious to see those 
who were very insane whilst in the asylum, anxious 
as to whether they had got a bite or not, and assume 
a rational state of mind in their anxiety to land the 
fish. Another annual trip was to the Derby. The 
patients went in my private carriages. This was 
always enjoyed by them. Many had their parole 
outside the grounds, and I never knew anyone who 
in any way broke this. 




THE most important official appointments in lunacy 
are the Masters. These are two in number, and their 
duties are to hold commissions of lunacy on those 
persons of alleged unsound mind who possess property, 
and to appoint a committee of the person and estate 
in the interest of those found lunatic by the said 
inquisition. They are usually known by the term of 
' The Lord Chancellor's Arm-chair Appointments," 
and are generally held by his personal friends perhaps 
those whom he wishes to do a good turn to late in life. 
The appointments carry with them a salary of 2000 
per annum. 

Speaking from memory, those Masters whom I have 
met are respectively : Master Edward Winslow, who 
received the appointment in consequence of his rela- 
tionship with the late Lord Lyndhurst, who was a 
cousin of our family. He was Lord Chancellor, and 
my uncle was his secretary. The other Masters were : 
Barlow, Samuel Warren, Nicholson, Graham, Sir 
Alexander Miller, Maclean, Fischer, and Amphlett. 


When at the age of fourteen, I was taken by my 
father to hear an important case of lunacy, in which 
he was the chief witness, whilst my uncle acted in 
the capacity of Master at the inquiry then being held. 

Beyond giving evidence at various commissions, 
there is nothing which has impressed itself in any 
way upon my mind especially with reference to these 
Masters. The only one who distinguished himself in 
the world of letters was the ever-pompous Samuel 
Warren, the author of Ten Thousand a Year and 
The Diary of a Late Physician. He was a good 
Master, but ever conscious of the importance of his 
office and himself. He would not allow a liberty of 
any description to be taken. I recollect that an im- 
portant inquiry was being held which would occupy 
the whole afternoon. The proprietor of the asylum 
where it was being held suggested that the Master 
should participate in lunch. It was brought in 
to him. 

" Take it away at once ! " exclaimed Warren ; 
" remember this is a court of justice." He was no 
doubt right as to the constitution of the court, but 
I question the correctness of his legal opinion so far 
as the lunch was concerned. For even in my experi- 
ence I have been convinced that even judges must 
eat, and that even law cannot sufficiently satiate 
them. The alleged lunatic and witnesses enjoyed a* 
good lunch on that day, and I am sorry that Samuel 
Warren continued his inquiry in the condition he did 
through his own pomposity. Master Francis Barlow 


was associated with Warren and also with my uncle. 
There was considerable bad feeling existing between 
the two, but I have no intention of entering into this. 
I always found him an amiable old gentleman of the 
ordinary type of Master. Sir Alexander Miller I first 
met officially as Master during an inquiry held on the 
mental condition of an old lady at Canterbury. The 
inquiry had been going on for two days when I was 
summoned on the last day to testify. 

Before I went into the witness-box the Master 
commenced the proceedings by remarking that up 
to the present he had not been convinced as to the 
insanity of the lady, but he would wait to hear what 
I had to say before giving any decision. The verdict 
was given on my testimony. The conclusion proved 
in every way correct. The old lady had been under 
the influence of a certain ex-police inspector, who, 
having been commissioned to watch her house at 
Clapham Common in consequence of the many 
robberies committed there, had obtained undue 
influence over her. The case was that of a Miss 
Skinner, and publicly recorded. She was called the 
" Clapham recluse," as she never left her home ; 
it was a well-known fact that considerable property 
was concealed in the house. It became known as a 
good place for periodical robberies to be committed. 
Scotland Yard employed Inspector Badger to guard 
the house. He did this so effectually as to get Miss 
Skinner into his clutches, removing her to his house 
at Canterbury, which was a small public-house, and 


then tried to get possession of her property, until 
some friends of Miss Skinner, living in Canterbury, 
seeing what was going on, intervened and petitioned 
the court for an inquiry hence my appearance at 
Canterbury. The lady was found by the jury to be 
" a person of unsound mind and incapable of managing 
herself or her affairs," and was forthwith removed 
from the influence of Badger, and placed under 
proper care and control, her property being protected 
by the Court of Chancery. 

This was the only time I met Sir Alexander Miller. 
He soon after resigned his official position, being 
appointed as Counsel to the Viceroy in India, which 
was a much more remunerative appointment. 

Master Francis William Maclean became his successor 
in 1891. I knew him well. We were students at 
Cambridge together. He was a moving spirit in the 
Amateur Dramatic Club of that university, which 
is known by the name of A.D.C. He chiefly, whilst 
there, posed for effect. He had a fine presence, and 
he was conscious of this. His impression of his own 
importance evidently did not leave him when he took 
up his appointment at the Royal Courts of Justice 
in the capacity of Master in Lunacy, and I feel sure 
that those permanent officials attached to the office 
were conscious of this. A general satisfaction was 
exhibited when he also vacated his office for that of 
Chief Justice of Bengal in 1896 a position I feel sure 
he was well suited for. 

Masters Fischer and Amphlett were the next 


masters appointed. With regard to the latter, he 
did his best, but was incapacitated by an inability 
to see properly ; this naturally interfered with the 
performance of his duties. He was actually in this 
condition when he received the position. He was 
kind and considerate to all, and did his best. I 
always got on well with him. 

The work devolving on a Master is generally per- 
formed by the clerks. This was especially so in the 
case of the late Master Amphlett, who was nearly 
blind at the time of his appointment. I was informed 
by one of the head clerks at the office that documents 
used to be taken to him to sign ; he asked what he was 
to do, and he was told, " Sign." 

I had the pleasure of presenting Master Fischer 
with a copy of my work, Mad Humanity, and also 
had the satisfaction of seeing the same book on his 
desk during an inquiry held some few years back at 
Teignmouth. In fact, he questioned me out of my 
own book, which I took as a high compliment. Master 
Fischer is eighty years old, and still continues to 
do his work effectually and well, as he always has 

The conclusion I have arrived at which I am 
aware is shared by all who have much to do with the 
Lunacy Office as presided over by the Masters in 
Lunacy is that the delay is unnecessary and con- 
siderable ; the work is really of a very light nature, 
and there is no justification for the inconvenience 
caused to solicitors or to the representative of the 


lunatics found so by inquisition. Everyone at the 
office seems to be a Lord Chancellor in embryo at 
least in his own imagination. 


I have met everyone holding this appointment 
since I commenced the study of lunacy, with the 
exception of Dr Nicholson. In my early days Dr 
Bucknill (as he then was), father to the present Mr 
Justice Bucknill and author of the well-known text- 
book on lunacy in conjunction with Dr Hack Tuke, 
was much in evidence, but I was too young at the 
time to be noticed by him. His confrere was 
Dr Lockhart Robertson. Unfortunately, many years 
ago some dispute arose between my father and himself 
with reference to the alteration of the title of the 
Journal of Psychological Medicine, owned and edited 
by my father, and subsequently by me. Dr Lockhart 
Robertson was editor of the Journal of Mental Science, 
then issued for the first time, and was desirous of my 
father consenting to amalgamate his journal with 
that of the Society. He declined, and a feeling of 
ill-will sprang up, which, after Dr Lockhart Robertson 
had been appointed in an official capacity, had its 
disastrous effects. 

The duties of the Lord Chancellor's Visitors are 
absolute ; they can suggest the removal of any 
patient from an asylum and influence the Committee 
to remove them ; and when it is said that the best- 
paying patients come under their jurisdiction, it can 


be inferred as to what my mind is dwelling upon, 
without entering further into an explanation. 

They are a distinct body from the Commissioners 
in Lunacy. The latter visit and inspect ordinary 
certified lunatics ; the former, only Chancery patients 
with property. 

My father died some time before Lockhart Robertson, 
and subsequently I used to see a good deal of the 
latter at Brighton, and I was always personally on 
good terms with him. The quarrel was not mine, 
and I am the last to bear any enmity to anyone, as 
all my friends know. 

Sir James Crichton-Browne, F.R.S., was appointed 
(1876) after Sir John Bucknill's decease. This gentle- 
man is one of the most distinguished and courteous men 
of the day. He was well known to my father, who al- 
ways entertained the greatest esteem, not only for him- 
self, but for his father, Dr W. A. F. Browne, formerly 
one of the Commissioners in Lunacy for Scotland, 
and himself an eminent authority on mental disease. 

I have the satisfaction of knowing that during the 
later years of his father's life, who was totally blind, 
I had the pleasure of receiving articles from his well- 
known pen for the Journal of Psychological Medicine, 
of which I was then the proprietor and editor. 

Sir James Crichton-Browne is one of the best 
informed men of the day, and one who deserves the 
greatest respect. He is the finest orator we have in 
the medical profession, and always commands a 
hearing. He can debate and discuss every possible 


subject, be it a remedy to destroy rats or one to 
destroy degeneration. I have heard him debate on 
both in such an able manner that it might be suggested 
that either was his own speciality. He is popular 
and liked by everybody, and I have never heard any- 
thing but respect and esteem expressed by anyone 
when discussing Crichton-Browne. 

Mr Ralph Palmer, the legal Lord Chancellor's 
Visitor, I have also frequently met. He does his duty 
also conscientiously, with every kind, good feeling. 

Dr Nicholson, as I have previously stated, I have 
never come across in any way. 


It is only reasonable to expect that during my 
twenty years' residence at an asylum in an official 
capacity, my experience of Lunacy Commissioners 
should be considerable. My memory goes back to 
the days of Mr Lutwidge, a kind old gentleman, 
who was unfortunately stabbed in 1874 during one 
of his official visits to a large asylum I believe 
Fisherton House, Salisbury. A lunatic attacked him 
with a pointed nail and drove it through his skull. 
Then I recollect the severe and blunt John Forster, 
who wrote the Lives of Charles Dickens and Dean 
Swift. Forster was a well-respected Commissioner, 
notwithstanding his blunt manner. He was one of 
the old school. There was a real sympathetic feeling 
in his bluntness. In fact, to use a Rugby expression, 
he " had it down with you " at once. There were no 


sneaking methods here used ; he came out in the open 
and gave you an opportunity of clearing yourself, 
should any reflection be cast upon you. 

Then I well remember dear old Dr Nairne, who 
held on to the last. I recollect on one occasion going 
round the wards with him, and arriving at one of the 
ladies' sitting-rooms. He said in his usual cheery 
manner, nodding his head to one of the inmates of the 
room, " I am so glad to see you looking so much 
better." The answer came : "I am much obliged, 
but I am the matron's daughter." He had evidently 
mistaken her for someone else. 

It is an extraordinary thing to me how these Com- 
missioners can recollect certain cases, considering the 
number they see and interview during the year. 

Then the massive form of Dr Cleaton comes visibly 
before me, associated with Mr Charles Palmer Phillips, 
who for so many years acted as Secretary to the Com- 
mission. Dr Rhys Williams and the Hon. Greville 
Howard did not have a lengthened stay. The former 
had previously been medical superintendent to 
Bethlehem Hospital for many years. He was a great 
friend of mine, was courteous and respectful to all ; 
he knew his work and did his duty, and had great 
experience behind him. He unfortunately yielded 
to a complaint which he had for many years tried his 
best to cure in others. The Hon. Greville Howard 
shared the same fate. 

I then come to Mr William Frere, or " Fat Frere " 
as he was nicknamed at Harrow. He always had a 


seat in my carriage at Lord's during the Eton and 
Harrow match. He was a connection of mine through 
a family marriage. He was the last person whom I 
thought would have been selected for such a respon- 
sible post. The Lord Chancellor, however, decided 
to appoint him one of Her Majesty's Commissioners 
in Lunacy. As soon as he received the appointment 
he wrote me a letter as follows : 

" DEAR WINSLOW, I have just been appointed a 
Commissioner in Lunacy. I know nothing about the 
subject. Send me your book." 

I willingly and gladly complied, especially as my 
book was dedicated to the Commissioners in Lunacy. 
This book was called a Manual of Lunacy, written by 
me in 1874, the preface of which was by my father. 
It contained upwards of 400 pages. It was well 
received by the public and reviewed by the Press ; 
and though some uncharitable and spiteful persons 
remarked at the time that such a stupendous work 
could not have been written by me at the age of thirty, 
which I then was, and that my father really was the 
author, I state emphatically that the only part 
written by him was the preface, and I had the greatest 
difficulty to get him to even write that. He was too 
unwell at the time to have done more. The first chap- 
ter I wrote whilst enjoying the luxury of a Turkish 
bath in Jermyn Street. It became the text-book for 
the time being ; but inasmuch as an analysis of the 
then existing Lunacy Law of 1845 became useless on 
the passing of the 1890 Act, other more recent books 


took its place. However, at the time of which I am writ- 
ing, it was the acknowledged authority on all matters 
appertaining to lunacy, especially from a legal aspect. 

Frere knew this, and desired a copy. He justified 
in every way his appointment, as he was very active 
in organising the erection of proper fire-escapes in the 
various asylums. This was insisted on as a result of 
a most terrible fire which had taken place in one of the 
large insane institutions, where the means of escape 
were so imperfect that many of the inmates were 
burnt to death. 

Sir Clifford Allbutt, now Regius Professor of 
Medicine at Cambridge, then came on the scene. I 
never met him in that capacity, though I had done 
so previous to his appointment in a trial at Leeds, 
known as the Otley murder. 

With regard to the present Board of Commissioners 
in Lunacy, beyond seeing Dr Needham on two occa- 
sions with reference to an important matter, and from 
whom I received the greatest courtesy, I have never 
had the pleasure of meeting any of the gentlemen. 

On one occasion I had to call at their office, 66 
Victoria Street, for information concerning a certain 
lunacy matter. I saw Mr Trevor, then Secretary, but 
now Commissioner ; he also was anxious and willing 
to give me the necessary information, and said to me : 
" Dr Winslow, the great mistake persons make is that 
they act upon their own responsibility in certain 
matters without taking us into their confidence or 
asking our advice." I agree with what he had so 


kindly said to me. It being known on that occasion 
that I was in the office, one of the other Commis- 
sioners, whom I had never before seen, came into the 
room, evidently with the desire of having a look at me. 
I felt that I must have been regarded as a rara avis. 

With regard to the working of the Commissioners, 
I believe that they are eager and ready to do their 
duty ; but they are so confused by the obscurity of the 
Lunacy Act and its proper constructions, but eager 
to comply with it, that they have a difficult task to 
perform. They are also liable to be completely misled 
by the reports sent to them from various asylums, 
written by those in authority at the request of the 
person responsible for the incarceration and detention 
in an asylum of someone from interested motives. 
In other words, they often fail to see the motive 
behind such a report issued by the medical superinten- 
dent and prompted by the petitioner. I speak of 
what I know to be the case, and I have ample evidence 
and opportunity of proving my statement. 

On the whole, my association with the Commis- 
sioners in Lunacy in my asylum days, when I used to 
meet them more frequently in their official capacity, 
was an agreeable one. They knew and recognised 
that I tried to do my duty ; there was no unjust 
prejudice in those days. 

Of the present Board, beyond Dr Needham and Mr 
Trevor, I know nothing, and therefore I am unable 
to give my personal experiences of them in any way. 



THE number of cases during the many years I resided 
among the insane were numerous and peculiar. Many 
hundreds came under my individual observation. I 
had a busy time. After my rounds were finished in 
the morning, I had to rush off to town to attend to 
my private patients there, returning later in the day 
to the asylum. For fifteen years I did this during 
my father's lifetime, and after his death on my own 
responsibility. From the date of my qualification I 
became his factotum and his representative in every 

Cases of every type and description came under my 
observation, from the comparatively sane individual 
suffering from slight mental depression, to the acutely 
maniacal raving lunatic. The light and shade if I 
can use such an expression in dealing with this subject 
were so variable that I never recollect seeing two 
cases precisely identical. 

I had a number of most anxious patients under my 
care, both homicidal and suicidal, and I can say with 
no small degree of pride that during the whole time I 
was in management I never had a suicide or a homi- 


cide, which to a considerable extent reflects on the 
personal control and tact shown ; at least, I feel 
justified in recording this fact. 

One of the worst cases I recollect was that of a 
member of Parliament, who, strange to relate, had 
consulted me about his own sister a few months 
previous to his breaking down himself. He was a 
most powerful man, and required the attention of 
two attendants with him night and day to prevent 
his committing violence. He had inherited a large 
property. He made a complete recovery, and I had 
an opportunity of seeing him as a friend after his 
liberation, and for many years after he still served 
his constituency faithfully and well. 

I recollect one peculiar case placed there for some 
years, going away and then returning again. He 
was a careful peruser of the sporting intelligence. 
Every morning he would paste on the windows of 
his room the programme of the current day's racing. 
On his going out into the grounds he commenced 
shouting out the odds, placing a newspaper round 
about him to draw attention to himself. He did this 
nearly every day. Some of the patients used to come 
and speak to him ; his reply invariably was : " Go 
away, you fool ! don't come and interfere with a man 
when he is busy with his work. Besides, you are all 
lunatics and have got no money to bet with." He was 
very neat in his bookkeeping, and every night he told 
me what he had won or lost. I never, however, found 
out who were his clientele ; but it amused him, and 


that was sufficient. He appeared happy in his deluded 
state, and many years after, when he had been dis- 
charged, he was a frequent visitor at my town resid- 
ence. His friends had lost all their money, and I 
used to keep my late patient in employment. He 
was a very clever draughtsman, and therefore I had 
no difficulty in turning his services to use. The poor 
fellow died of neglect, as his friends did not supply 
him with sufficient nourishment. Curiously, as soon 
as his relations got into a state of impecuniosity this 
patient had no return of his attacks, but seemed to 
grasp the situation. He was the most witty and 
clever case I can recollect. His repartee was extra- 
ordinary, and he was never at a loss for a reply. His 
last effort was to paint what he called " The Temples 
of Elora," an extraordinary production, which he 
exhibited at one of the suburban theatres. 

Some years ago a gentleman was shown into my 
study, desiring to consult me upon a painful matter. 
It appears that he had received a telegram summon- 
ing him to town in consequence of the sudden illness 
of a young lady, who had run away, having made a 
secret marriage with a friend of his. This gentleman, 
who was apparently about fifty years of age, told me 
that he regarded this young man in the light of a son, 
and took a great interest in him. He had been travel- 
ling all night, and on his arriving at Brixton, where 
they were staying, he found the lady to all intents 
and purposes a raving lunatic. 

A woman was in the room restraining her, assisted 


by the husband, who had wired for him to come up. 
A medical man had been called in, who said that 
there could be no doubt as to her condition, and 
that there was nothing to be done but to send her 
straight off to Bethlehem Hospital. Before doing 
this, however, he wanted my opinion and advice. 
I agreed to meet the medical man in consultation 
at four o'clock. 

Upon my arrival at the house, as is usual in such 
cases, it is the duty of the consultant to have a private 
interview with the medical attendant, which I did. 
He expressed the same opinion to me that he had done 
to his friend, after which I accompanied him into the 
room to examine the patient. The conversation was 
incoherent, the ravings were continuous, and the ex- 
citement was maniacal. I remained there for about 
half an hour in the room with the doctor. After we 
had gone downstairs I told him that in all my experi- 
ence I had never seen a case like that before the 
symptoms were not genuine, and the woman was 

The medical man was evidently not of the same 
opinion as myself, and we agreed to meet the follow- 
ing day at the same hour. 

On my second visit I again expressed myself of the 
same opinion as previously. I then suggested it 
would be advisable for me to send for a mental nurse 
to watch the case. When the latter arrived at the 
house she found the ravings still going on. 

At night the patient was lying in the middle of the 


bed. On the right-hand side was the nurse, outside 
the bed, and on the left-hand side sat the husband. 
The patient got exhausted, as feigners of insanity 
generally do at night, and dropped off to sleep. The 
husband went over to the nurse and began to talk 
to her. 

The patient was awakened by the noise, and a 
sudden fit of jealousy at his behaviour with the nurse 
appeared to restore her to a complete condition of 
sanity. From that moment all the symptoms of in- 
sanity disappeared. The following day, on my visit, 
I was met by my patient with a smiling face. She 
had completely thrown off her " madness," and was 
again a rational being. 

I said to the doctor, " What do you think of your 
maniac now ? " He was astounded. The reason for 
this was apparent. The father of her intended husband 
had threatened to cut him off without a shilling if he 
married her. She thought, therefore, by feigning 
serious illness caused by this threat, that it might 
work upon his feelings and so induce him to change 
his mind when he had heard of what had happened. 
Little did she know what a narrow escape she had, 
through the ignorance of a general practitioner, of 
being incarcerated in a lunatic asylum. 

It was during the hearing of the Tichborne case, 
whilst I was sitting quietly in my consulting room, 
attending to my father's practice, that a gentleman 
straight from the case was ushered into my presence. 

He had called to see my father. 



The question at issue was, what effect upon a man's 
mind would a residence for many years in an uncivil- 
ised part of the world have occasioned ? The lawyer 
who sent this emissary desired this fact cleared up in 
the Tichborne Claimant's case, which then was occupy- 
ing the attention of the courts in London. My father 
was wanted to give evidence on this point. In his 
absence I was asked if I would testify. So far as I can 
recollect this was the first instance of my being asked 
to give evidence in a court of justice. I requested 
time for reflection, and, as there was no immediate 
hurry for a decision, I went on the quiet into court to 
see what ordeal I should have to undergo. This I 
thought too appalling for my youthful mind, and the 
" Would you be surprised to hear ? " hurled at every 
witness by Sir John Coleridge decided me to politely 
decline. I have often, however, regretted this. Per- 
haps I should have experienced a new sensation. I 
have had many worse experiences since then. 

One winter's morning, when my father was on the 
Continent, a lady called upon me with reference to her 
brother, who was described as " eccentric." He lived 
in a remote part of Scotland, and was under the control 
or influence of an upper housemaid. He was very 
wealthy, and was leading the life of a hermit, and 
there was great difficulty, from the way he was 
guarded by the servant, in obtaining access to him. 
His house was surrounded by a number of half-starved 
King Charles spaniels and ravens. 

It having come to the knowledge of his sister that 


he had executed a will leaving all the family property 
to this housemaid and a nephew, I was deputed by her 
to visit her brother in the wilds of Scotland. I agreed 
to do this, but anticipated a certain amount of opposi- 
tion and difficulty in doing so. 

The question was, how to interview him, and on 
what plea ? A letter was obtained by his sister from 
an intimate friend of hers, asking him to show the 
bearer, myself, some courtesy, should I call. I took 
this letter with me, and, first having obtained a 
description of this unseen friend, I started. I had 
to stay at a small Scotch country village the first 
night, but I managed, by interrogating the various 
persons whom I saw, to obtain a complete history of 
the patient's condition. The next day I was ferried 
across the river, and here again pumped the boatman. 
He thought I was the intended heir, the nephew, and 
freely opened his mind to me as to the condition of 
his " uncle." 

On arriving at the house, everything appeared 
perfectly quiet. I knocked at the door, and after 
waiting some time a small aperture in the door was 
opened, and a voice, which was that of the upper 
housemaid, of whom I had been warned, asked me 
who I was and what I wanted ? I replied that I 

desired to see Major S . The answer was that he 

never saw anyone. I persisted most perseveringly. 
I said I had a letter of introduction from a lady who 
was desirous of my seeing the Major. The servant 
hesitated, and, returning in a few minutes, said, " The 


Major will see you." I had not waited very long when 
a thickly-built person opened the door, and I walked 
in. Two seats were then brought, and the Major 
and myself occupied these in the hall. I never got 
beyond this. He then asked to see the letter, which 
was shown him. He said he did not recollect the 
writer in any way. Nothing daunted, I began to 
describe the appearance of the lady (whom I had 
never seen) and her maiden name. Ultimately 
getting into his confidence, and throwing him com- 
pletely off his guard, I managed to elicit what I had 
desired to find out. 

The property he had left, as I understood, to this 
same upper housemaid, who had at first interviewed 
me, and to his nephew. He then got impatient, and 
was apparently anxious for me to take my departure. 
I replied that I was fatigued, having come a long way, 
and asked permission to prolong my visit a short time 
longer. I did not wait for his consent, but continued 
seated. I turned the subject to his half-starved King 
Charles spaniels and ravens. He gave me some 
extraordinary explanation of this. I was evidently 
getting into his confidence, as I at once sympathised 
with him in his reasons as to this and also as regards 
other matters. He then gave vent to his feelings by 
making the most extraordinary remarks. I encouraged 
him in these. I waited until I had completed my 
mission, which consisted in an exhaustive examination 
into his mental state. Having finished my task, I got 
up to say good-bye. As the presumed object of my 


visit was to ask him to direct me to the points of 
interest in the neighbourhood, and as the way he 
pointed out was in the opposite direction to the ferry- 
boat, which was waiting below for me, I had to walk 
stealthily round the garden until I saw the door close, 
when I found my way unobserved. 

I returned to Perth and wrote a long account of my 
visit, giving my professional opinion. On my return 
to town I saw the sister, who had originally instructed 
me. She was more than delighted with the way I had 
done my business, and my report, containing twelve 
sheets of foolscap, was handed to her legal advisers 
in Edinburgh. I was subsequently informed that, 
at the last moment, the sister withdrew from the case 
out of her affection for her brother ; and I also subse- 
quently heard, on his decease, that the property went 
to the housemaid and to the nephew, and that his 
nearest of kin, who was his sister, was completely 
ignored by the testator. This could have been pre- 
vented had she followed my advice. 

The estate was an immense one, and I am positive 
that, had the inquiry been held into the mental con- 
dition of the Major, only one conclusion could have 
been arrived at, viz., that he was a person of unsound 
mind, incapable of managing himself or his affairs. 

This was the first important case I was engaged in, 
hence I give it in full, so far as I can after these many 
years recollect the facts. 

With regard to the powerful influence of the mind 
in subduing mental excitement, I recollect a case to 


which I was called that of a youth, about nineteen, 
who had nearly killed his brother the same morning, 
having made a desperate attack upon him, and would 
have succeeded in so doing, had he not been over- 
powered by those in the house. The attack was a 
sudden one, and had come on apparently without any 
direct cause. 

Upon entering the room I found the boy lying on 
a mattress on the floor, struggling violently, being 
held down by four men. Much to their surprise, I 
went up to the patient, and placed my hand on his 
head. He then turned round upon me suddenly with 
glaring eyes, and I instructed everyone to leave the 
room. They were loth, however, to obey my wish, 
and evidently felt uneasy as to what would be my 
probable fate. I repeated my request that they 
should leave the room, and they did so, still 

I then addressed the patient, whose paroxysms of 
violence immediately disappeared as soon as we were 
alone. I remained with him ten minutes, and during 
this time his condition became one of absolute tran- 
quillity. I requested him to get up and dress, which 
he did. He then sat on a chair opposite me, and we 
began to discuss matters of interest, apparently 
regardless of what had just happened. 

In the meantime those who had taken steps to 
restrain him were in a state of trepidation outside the 
room. I believe that then: ears were glued to the key- 
hole. Not hearing any sounds, however, either of 


groaning or shouting, they became still further appre- 
hensive as to what had become of me, and, opening 
the door with bated breath, saw the late raving lunatic 
and myself indulging in a quiet conversation. 

They were astonished, and could not comprehend 
the powerful influence of one mind over another. In 
fact, they were ignorant of the psychic nature of what 
had taken place. 

There was no return of the seizure, and the boy made 
a rapid recovery. 

In 1875 I was at Venice, and having been informed 
that a large asylum, containing six hundred inmates, 
had been opened at the beginning of 1873 on an 
island situated a short distance from Venice, called 
St Clemente, I determined to pay it a visit. 

It had been erected at the cost of nearly three 
million francs, and I was desirous of inspecting it. 

I went there in a gondola from Venice, and knocked 
at the door. I was looked upon with a certain amount 
of suspicion by the janitor who admitted me. I re- 
quested him to take my card to the director, which 
he did. Soon an old gentleman came down and 
escorted me round the institution. He could not 
speak English, and hardly any French, and I was 
unable to speak any Italian, therefore it was a sort 
of dumb-show entertainment. 

The place was a magnificent establishment so far 
as the structure was concerned, the floors being com- 
posed of handsome tessellated marble. 

I was sorry to see restraint used to such an extent 


there, a large number of the inmates being in chains. 
Some of the wretched patients came to me with their 
manacles and chains on their wrists and legs. One 
poor lady, who was playing the piano with a consider- 
able amount of difficulty, looked at me in an appealing 
way as I went up to the instrument, and showed me 
her poor wrists, on which was a considerable ecchy- 
mosis and swelling, which had been produced by these 
chains. Another one, who was allowed to play the 
harmonium, was similarly restrained. 

On my return to Venice I wrote forthwith to the 
Italian Consul in London telling him what I had seen, 
and suggesting that there should be an alteration so 
far as the restraint used at the asylum was concerned. 
On my return to England I received a courteous 
reply from him, stating that the matter would be 
attended to. 

In 1878, finding myself at Venice again with a con- 
genial companion, I was desirous of once more visit- 
ing the establishment to see whether the alterations 
had been made with reference to the restraint used as 
suggested by me. I was conscious of the fact that no 
one in the asylum could speak a word of English, and 
therefore I took with me a printed and published 
account of my previous visit, which I thought would 
inspire the director and act as a sort of passport for 
my admission. 

I felt that there might be, however, some difficulty 
in obtaining an interview, from the fact that I had 
been informed that my previous report had been sent 


to the director ; and I discussed the situation with 
the proprietor of the hotel. He said, " I will make 
this all right for you. I will write a private latter," 
which he did. 

Armed with this authority, we started off to the 
asylum. As I stated before, I was conscious of the 
fact that no English was understood ; however, I 
took my report with me. Arriving there, I handed 
the letter to the director, who opened it, and to my 
astonishment he welcomed my companion and myself 
as "editor of the Times" and " Queen Victoria's own 
physician." We felt, however, that we must act up 
to this part. I then showed him my printed report 
of the asylum, in which I condemned the restraint 
used. I only wished him to see the heading this 
was " A visit to St Clemente," as I knew perfectly 
well he would not understand what I had said. To 
my horror and astonishment, he called to somebody 
on the first landing to come down. He did so, and 
translated verbatim into Italian what I had written 
in English ; and when he translated, " Never can I 
forget the dreadful aspect of some of the poor wretched 
lunatics bound like felons in some foul, pestilential 
dungeons ! " I wished myself safe and sound at 
Venice again. 

He explained to me, however, that since my previous 
visit things had been altered, and he thanked me for 
what I had written, and we parted good friends, on 
the assurance that, on my arrival in England, I would 
communicate with the Italian Consul as to the im- 


provements that had taken place since my visit in 
1875. This I did, and also published a second article 
describing the altered condition of affairs. 

Those who are called upon to deal with the insane, 
or those alleged to be so, must not know the meaning 
of the word " fear." The fact is, that unless the 
lunatic knows that the doctor, or other individual 
who has to face him, is fearless he will get the better 
of the doctor. There is nothing like self-confidence 
and an air of fearlessness to quell a raving lunatic, 
and it often prevents a calamity from ensuing. I 
have always been imbued with these qualities ; it 
has always been prominent in me as second nature, 
and has served me well during many cases of emergency 
and risk. I was summoned one afternoon to go at 
once to examine a patient who lived in a house in a 
lonely part of Clapham Common. From the descrip- 
tion given to me I came to the conclusion that it was 
a very acute case, and one in which I might experience 
some trouble. I therefore instructed two attendants 
to go on in advance and wait outside the house pend- 
ing my arrival. The man had been throwing a large 
amount of money about the common, and as a con- 
sequence he had drawn attention to himself. He 
was followed by the police, who, finding out particu- 
lars concerning him, forthwith communicated with 
his family, who subsequently instructed me in the 
case. I was just sitting down to dinner when I was 
summoned. I at once ordered my brougham, in- 
structing the coachman to remain outside the gates 


pending my return. On arriving at the house, and 
having alighted from the carriage, I looked round 
in vain for the two attendants. They were nowhere 
to be seen. I decided to try and force an entrance 
myself into the house. I opened the gate leading 
through the carriage drive to the house. Darkness 
reigned around ; everything seemed as still as death. 
I rang the bell. Suddenly a man appeared at the 
window asking the nature of my business. I replied 
that I desired an interview. He forthwith raised his 
arm and, presenting a revolver straight at me, fired. 
Fortunately, he missed me ; but, heedless of what 
might happen, I tried the door, which was locked, 
and, determined to take the house by storm, I forced 
the door, which opened in response to my efforts. I 
then rushed upstairs, and found myself face to face 
with my previous would-be assassin. He was a raving, 
dangerous lunatic, and I closed with him. Though 
lunatics are generally gifted with inhuman strength, 
he found his match with me. He was not the first 
case of a similar nature I had had to deal with. I so 
well knew my man ; there was a desperate struggle, 
during the progress of which he nearly got the better 
of me, as I was gradually getting exhausted with the 
inhuman violence of a madman. Much to my satis- 
faction and delight, the attendants rushed in. They 
had lost their way, but, seeing my coachman outside, 
had been told where I had gone. I left the men in 
charge and returned home, thankful to have escaped 
with my life. The following morning I saw the rela- 


tions, described what I considered should be forth- 
with done, and before many hours had elapsed he 
was safe under lock and key in an institution suit- 
able for such cases. My efforts were only just in 
time, as it was found that he had been robbed of a 
large sum of money, which, being in notes and gold, 
were not traceable. Besides, the additional fact was 
that, suffering from delusions of persecution and 
suspicion, he developed into a dangerous madman 
of the worst description. 

One day I was asked if I would investigate a 
case of a spiritualistic fraud in the neighbourhood 
of Bloomsbury, where a man named Bastian was 
creating a certain amount of excitement in that 
neighbourhood by holding seances, in which he was 
alleged to materialise the spirits of departed relatives. 
This neighbourhood was, and is now, the favourite 
locality for spiritualists. 

It was agreed that three other gentlemen should 
accompany us, and, being convinced as to the fraudu- 
lent nature of the transaction, it was thought advisable 
that we should be armed with squirts containing red 

We entered the room and paid our money. Pro- 
ceedings commenced with a light seance, during which 
nothing very unusual occurred. After this the room 
was darkened. There were two rooms communi- 
cating with each other. Suddenly an apparition 
appeared through the door. One of our party pre- 
tended that he was much impressed and agitated, 


and exclaimed, " Oh, I recognise my dear, darling 
child ! Oh, come nearer, come nearer me ! " The 
medium, evidently not at all suspicious, came a little 
nearer ; but when it had got sufficiently close, so as 
to make sure of my aim, I squirted my cochineal 
straight at it. There was tremendous consternation, 
and the remaining lights were put out. I rushed into 
the adjoining room, the spirit having made a pre- 
cipitous flight. This proved to be a solid spirit with 
a considerable amount of substance. A tussle took 
place between the spirit and myself, aided by others, 
evidently on the spirit's side ; but it ended in my 
bringing it into the room, one of our party turning 
on the gas again. I had hit him on the forehead and 
on his dickey, which was made of paper ; he had 
managed, however, to take this off, but at the same 
time he could not take off his forehead, on which the 
cochineal remained. I brought him into the room in 
full view of the audience and denounced him as a 
fraud. The majority of the audience demanded 
their money back. I went off at once and took a 
letter to one of the leading newspapers, which appeared 
the next morning. Evidently the spirits had not been 
accustomed to squirts of cochineal. The following 
week Mr Punch inserted the following couplet : 

" Bravo, Dr Winslow, you our woes do heal, 
Coch a spirit, coch-an-eel ! " 

Not very long ago I was consulted by an English 
lady of refinement, who had been in the habit of 
spending a considerable time on the Continent. She 


had been subjected to a considerable amount of 
annoyance, which ladies travelling alone in Italy 
are liable to. In consequence of what had taken 
place, she decided to go from Sicily to Naples by 

It was her intention to have stayed at the hotel at 
Naples to which she was accustomed to go, and where 
she knew those who were responsible for the manage- 
ment of the hotel. On her arrival at Naples she at 
once drove to the Grand Hotel, but found to her dismay 
that it was closed for a few weeks pending repairs. 

All this occasioned a great deal of flurry and alarm 
in her, for knowing as well she did the terrible dangers 
to which unprotected ladies were liable at Naples, 
she hesitated for the moment what to do. She 
knew of no other hotel, as she had never stayed 
anywhere else except at the Grand. She carefully 
considered her position and the best course to pursue. 
She decided, inasmuch as there was a hospital in 
Naples called the Continental Hospital, which was 
supposed to receive into its wards persons of various 
nationalities, to go there and ask the medical super- 
intendent in charge to allow her to remain in one of 
the rooms for the night, in order that she might decide 
upon a course to pursue. She explained to him that 
she was not really ill, but only a little agitated and 
flurried on realising her present position, and at the 
same time gave him her views of what had taken place 
at Sicily. The medical superintendent, Dr Scotti, 
apparently regarded her with a certain amount of 


suspicion, and it is much to be regretted that he did 
not use ordinary discretion in the matter. He did 
not hesitate a moment but telephoned to the office 
of the bureau of the police at Naples, who at once sent 
an official down to the hospital. He had a conversa- 
tion with the lady in question. Nothing was said 
during the interview which in any way led her to 
believe what a dreadful future was immediately in 
store for her. After this person had left, a telephone 
message was sent to a private asylum situated a few 
miles from Naples. She was asked, much to her 
astonishment and amazement, to follow two women, 
who went to the room where she was ; one of these 
she suspected to be a man in female clothes. She 
followed them into a carriage which was waiting at 
the door, and they drove off straight to this asylum. 
She was requested to alight, and, to her horror, 
found herself incarcerated in a public lunatic asylum. 
Whilst there she was subject to the greatest insults 
that could be possible to mention. Her trunks were 
ransacked and her jewellery taken out of them, never 
to be seen again. 

The place was a filthy den. I have been there 
myself, and can well describe its condition. Many 
asylums in England are bad enough, but I leave it to 
the imagination to picture the condition of an Italian 
public asylum. She ultimately contrived to com- 
municate with the British Consul, but he did not in 
any way inquire into her case. He sent his own 
doctor, who curiously enough was one I had known 


in England some years before under different condi- 
tions. The lady, having remained a short time in 
the main building of the asylum, was transferred to a 
villa in the grounds, where she received, naturally, 
better treatment. This was done as they discovered 
that she was a lady of position and refinement. They 
had made sure on this point from the nature of her 
dresses which they had seen in her trunk, and from 
the amount of jewellery which they had carefully 
placed in their own pockets. 

Her friends were ultimately communicated with. 
They came to Naples, but instead of removing her at 
once, as they ought to have done, they let her remain 
there a few days, much to her indignation. She ulti- 
mately returned with them by sea to England. In 
addition to the cruelty of the proceedings, and the 
indignity she suffered, and the robbery that had taken 
place, there was a serious wrong done to her, and 
an unjust stigma of lunacy cast upon her, which time 
could not eradicate, or anything ever recompense 
her for. 

She was a lady beloved by all who knew her, chari- 
table, good, generous, a staunch and true friend to all 
whom she respected. 

I was requested to go to Naples to investigate this 
matter, and to find out who was the real mover in 
this sad affair. Fortunately there was a young 
Italian doctor at that moment staying in Naples, who 
was engaged in the steamship service between Naples 
and Alexandria. He had formerly stayed with me 


in London, and had brought a letter of introduction 
from Lombroso. My investigation being of such a 
delicate nature, I was very fortunate in finding a 
faithful and true friend, whom I could trust, to 
assist me. 

We commenced our investigations by first going 
to the Continental Hospital. Dr Scotti, although 
some years had elapsed, recollected the case well. 
After our interview with him, at which we did not 
obtain much information, we went to the asylum, and, 
making use of some excuse, we managed to throw 
them off their guard and obtained an inspection of all 
the documents relating to this lady's admission. 

The medical director of the asylum evidently was 
under the impression that I had been employed by 
the British Government to investigate this matter, 
and I saw no reason why I should undeceive him. He 
evidently regarded me with a certain amount of awe 
and reverence ; little did he know that the object of 
my visit was to endeavour to prove that an injustice 
had been done to this lady by her detention by him 
in this establishment. I saw the order of the police, 
the certificates of the doctors, and the other docu- 
ments. My Italian friend, the doctor, translated 
them to me in English. I did not want the asylum 
authorities to think that I was taking copies of them, 
so, as each one was translated to me, I made mental 
notes concerning it, and on my return to the hotel I 
was able to reproduce, nearly verbatim, each of the 

documents I had had translated to me. This was no 



easy task, but, being blessed with a good memory, 
which I had been taught to use properly, I completed 
my task, not only to my satisfaction, but also to that 
of those whose interests I represented. 

The conclusion I arrived at was that the responsible 
person, in the first instance, was the Consul, for not 
properly protecting the interests of a British subject, 
and for not having himself signed the order for her 
discharge, which it was his duty to have done. I 
also blamed the medical representative of the Consul 
for not having made proper and accurate investiga- 
tions into all the circumstances connected with the 
case. I considered, however, that the one who was 
the most culpable was the chief commissioner of the 
police, as it was he who had really initiated the pro- 
ceedings and put the wheel in motion, without having 
made sufficient inquiries. In other words, he had 
been too premature and too hasty in his communica- 
tions, and I had no intention of leaving Naples until 
I had obtained a personal interview with him and had 
expressed my views on the case. 

The next morning the Italian doctor and myself 
found ourselves at the police bureau. I gave a de- 
scription in English of the object of my mission, this 
being translated into Italian. Each official blamed 
the other for what had happened this is a practice 
common with foreigners ; but I was determined not 
to leave the matter unsifted. I became most emphatic, 
and perhaps it was just as well for me that what I 
really said was not translated verbatim into Italian. 


I listened to what the other side had to say, but I 
expressed my opinion without fear, and the result of 
my interview, as I was informed afterwards, nearly 
ended in my being dragged off to the cells for con- 
demning, in a way they were apparently unprepared 
for, the proceedings which had taken place between 
themselves and my fellow-countrywoman. The chief 
of the police got very angry when he heard what I 
had to say, and ordered me to leave his legal presence. 
Possibly it may be inferred by my readers what the 
usual behaviour of an English police official, standing 
on his dignity, would be, when accused of any irregu- 
larity and illegality in his proceedings. He would 
have ordered the accuser to withdraw from his august 
presence. I suppose he would think that, just as " a 
king can do no wrong," so a police official could not 
do so either. 

I have seen a great deal of excitement in the world, 
mental or otherwise, but I never, in the whole course 
of my career, remember to have seen or heard such 
fierce gestures and gesticulations as those that eman- 
ated from the chief of the police at Naples. 

I remained calm, as I did not understand one single 
word he was saying at the time, though afterwards I 
was told what the significant meaning of his words 
were. The head official jumped up off his seat, shook 
his fist in my face, and gesticulated as only an Italian 
can do. I thought it best to keep calm and collected. 
I did not intend to say anything further, but to await 
the consequences and see what was going to happen. 


I had expressed all I had to say through the inter- 
pretation of the Italian doctor, who had been only 
my spokesman, and therefore he was not held re- 
sponsible for my offence. I was rather inclined to 
laugh at the Italian antics, but the wild and fierce 
aspect of my opponent decided me to keep a 
sober countenance. The conclusion that was passing 
through my mind was, that if the police official 
himself had been incarcerated in the asylum instead 
of the English lady, it would have been safer for his 
own country's sake, for the public at large, and for 
himself in particular. After he had exhausted all 
the epithets that he could think of, and every possible 
gesticulation, he summoned another official. This 
gentleman, being fresh to the work, virtually re- 
peated all the previous statements, accompanied by 
similar movements ; but he was even more energetic 
than his predecessor, this being due no doubt to 
coming fresh on to the field of contest, whilst the 
other, having finished all he had to say, sank ex- 
hausted into his chair. I still held my ground, 
anxious as to the sequel. I left this gentleman 
dancing about the room, and, as he had evidently 
lost complete control over himself, I thought it best 
to leave the office till he had regained his wonted 
condition. Having been informed by the Italian doctor 
of the threats that had been held out against me, I 
made a precipitous flight to my hotel in a cab, and, 
having obtained my carpet-bag, I rushed off to the 
station. I found a train just starting, and at once 


jumped in. This no doubt saved me from having to 
chronicle my adventures in a police cell at Naples. I 
succeeded in my mission, and on my arrival in England 
put myself into communication with the Home Office. 
I requested Lord Salisbury to take the case up and 
investigate the matter with reference to the neglect 
of the Consul. I obtained no satisfaction, however, 
out of this. Apparently they considered that I had 
no justification in daring to impute any wrong in 
connection with this gentleman. The question then 
arose, what remedy this lady had. After a consider- 
able amount of trouble, I found that should an action 
have been brought against any of those who were 
responsible for her incarceration in the asylum and 
subsequent treatment, the case would be tried in 
Italy. This simply meant that, however strong the 
case might be laid before the judicial authorities, 
there would be no chance of obtaining a verdict, as it 
was not likely an Italian jury or an Italian judge 
would give a verdict against Italian officials. 

I have entered into this case at length, from the 
fact that I hope it may be the means of protecting 
other English people who might be travelling on the 
Continent, and may show the dangers to which they 
are subjected when moving about unprotected in a 
foreign land. 

Some time ago I had been attending a man who 
suffered from attacks of inability to restrain himself 
from indulging too freely in alcohol. I had advised 
his friends to place him under proper control. I told 


them that unless some such steps were taken serious 
consequences must ensue. I did not suggest an 
asylum, but simply partial control, where a certain 
supervision would be exercised to prevent him indulg- 
ing in his chronic alcoholism. 

As is often the custom in such cases, the most diffi- 
cult people to convince are the relations themselves. 
In this case, therefore, every possible excuse was made 
by them to postpone what I thought it my duty to tell 
them to do. 

His employment was that of principal agent for some 
margarine merchants living in Rotterdam. He had for 
many years acted in that capacity, and it had come to 
their ears by some means or other that he had had 
a better offer made to him to represent another firm. 
His employers at Rotterdam wrote to him to ask him 
to come over to discuss the matter. His wife foolishly 
allowed him to do so notwithstanding my advice to 
the contrary. 

On his arrival in Rotterdam he went to call direct 
on the firm, and was asked by them to sign a paper. 
He was apparently in a dazed condition, the result 
of indulgence on the boat, and he foolishly did this. 
This document proved to be an admission by him 
that he owed the firm a certain amount of money. 
This was not so in reality, as it was proved after- 
wards that the books had not been properly audited, 
and therefore there was not even a presumable case 
of his indebtedness to the firm. 

By Dutch law it is enacted that if any English 


subject owes a Dutch subject any money he can be 
forthwith imprisoned until that money is paid that 
is to say, if he puts foot in Holland, and is also 
liable to a term of seven years' imprisonment. 

He dined with the firm that evening, and the next 
day he was asked to breakfast to discuss business 
matters, when he found to his amazement two police- 
men waiting there to arrest him. 

He was at once conveyed to a prison in Rotterdam, 
but managed to communicate with his friends. His 
wife, accompanied by his solicitor, called at my house 
to instruct me to go over to Rotterdam and see what 
I could do about obtaining his freedom. His wife 
and myself left the same evening. 

I found out who were the leading authorities in 
mental diseases in Rotterdam, and gave them the 
particulars of the case, should I require their help ; 
I then called upon the officials, describing the nature 
of the patient's malady. I went to see the prisoner, 
but the unfortunate man did not appear in any way 
to recognise the gravity of the situation, and did not 
even remember signing the deed which was the cause 
of his arrest and imprisonment. 

The Dutch authorities declined to deliver him up 
to my custody, notwithstanding that I pleaded very 
hard, not only on his own account but on behalf of 
his relations. I informed the authorities of what I 
had previously advised being done ; the only response 
was, that before he could be transferred to the care 
of his friends, it would be necessary to hold a com- 


mission of lunacy in England pronouncing him to be 
irresponsible for his actions. I was most emphatic 
in what I said to the Dutch officials, and I was de- 
termined upon my return to England to agitate 
in what I considered to be a public scandal in the 
illegal incarceration and detention of a British subject, 
whose brain I considered to have been weakened by 
excessive indulgence in alcohol. 

On the day after my return from Rotterdam I wrote 
a long letter to the Times, and in discussing the com- 
mission of lunacy, which the Dutch authorities held 
over our heads as the only possible way of obtaining 
the freedom of this man, I said : " This is a costly and 
long proceeding, and it appears to me a monstrous 
scandal that an English subject, of whose mental state 
the opinions are voluminous, should be detained as a 
criminal in a prison in Holland without being sub- 
jected to any public trial, either to enable his friends 
to clear him, or to establish that the act was committed 
whilst suffering from mental disorder. The object of 
my visit to Rotterdam was to report on the case to the 
Dutch authorities, who, however, declined to interfere 
until such an inquiry as I have alluded to was held in 
our own country." 

This letter was translated into Dutch, and appeared 
in the leading papers in Rotterdam, and such was the 
weight given to it, that within twenty-four hours after 
the appearance of this letter the gentleman, whom I 
had recently seen in durance vile, in a miserable con- 
dition behind the bars of a Dutch prison, walked into 


my study, accompanied by his wife, with a cheerful 
smile depicted on his countenance. 

Some years ago I was seated in my study, when a 
man came in and took a seat opposite to me. I 
noticed he seemed rather strange in his manner, and 
I asked him what his symptoms were. The man, 
drawing his chair nearer to me and glaring at me, said : 
" The fact is, doctor, that I have a great desire to kill 
everyone I meet." He then took his hat off, and I 
noticed he had got a sort of metallic band round his 
forehead ; he pointed to it and continued : " It is 
only this which prevents me from carrying out what 
I desire to do." 

I asked him to give me a more descriptive account 
of his meaning. He replied : " As I walk along the 
street, I say to myself as I pass anyone, ' I should 
like to kill you ; I do not know why, but I have that 
feeling.' " 

I became very interested in my man, though* 
according to my custom when anyone calls upon me 
in the first instance, I never allow him to approach 
too near me. From the moment a patient enters my 
study it is necessary for me to have my wits about me. 
The first thought that always enters my mind is, does 
this man or woman contemplate doing me any harm ? 
I am always on the qui vive for such an emergency. 
Keeping my eye upon the patient, I said : "I really 
don't know what you are alluding to." He suddenly 
jumped up from his chair, and attempted to seize a 
weapon from his pocket. I seized his arm with one 


hand, whilst with the other I rang the hand bell, 
which was the summons for my man-servant, always 
waiting outside, to come to my room. I said, still 
holding my patient, " Show this gentleman out into 
the street." By that time he appeared to become 
a little calmer, and, being conducted by the arm to 
the front door, turned round and said to me, " Good 
morning, doctor, we shall meet again." I replied, 
" Good morning." I do not know who the first 
person he met was when he got outside. I had not 
the curiosity to watch his movements. 

This was a curious case of homicidal mania and 
homicidal impulses, the latter evincing themselves 
whilst in my study. He was, like all other homicidal 
lunatics, cunning, deceptive, and plausible, nothing 
in his outward appearance indicating insanity ; but 
no doubt there was in his innermost nature a dangerous 
hankering after blood, which was latent when he came 
into my study, and developed in the way I have just 

One day I was summoned to see a lady staying at the 
Midland Hotel. It appears that she was engaged to 
many a late Governor of one of the States of America. 
She was a widow, and, accompanied by her daughter 
and the Governor, she had come to Europe previous 
to returning to America to be married. They had 
just come from Paris, where she had been buying hats 
and dresses for her trousseau. Suddenly her mind 
had become deranged, and she was under the delusion 
that she was pursued wherever she went by a witch. 


Their passage had been taken on board the Baltic, 
a White Star liner, and they were very anxious not 
to be detained, but to get her back to America as soon 
as possible for her to receive treatment in her own land- 

I first saw her two days before they started, and the 
delusion with reference to the witch had then taken 
a firm hold of her. I anticipated, therefore, a certain 
amount of difficulty in arranging matters for their 
departure. I engaged a nurse, however, but she did 
not seem to have any control over her. The only 
controlling power seemed to be myself, as I sympath- 
ised with her with reference to the witch, and she felt 
rather encouraged in her delusions and therefore 
trusted me. I felt that unless I encouraged her there 
would be no chance of their being able to go to America, 
and anyone opposing her wishes would lose all control 
over her. I arranged that I should accompany her 
myself, together with the nurse and the Governor, 
the following morning, from Euston to Liverpool. 

At the last moment she declined to go unless the 
witch accompanied her. I allowed her to believe that 
we had packed the witch up safe and sound in one of 
the trunks, and that we would not leave her on any 
account behind. We engaged a special carriage, and 
she was under the impression that the witch was quite 
safe in the luggage van. We arrived safely at Liver- 
pool and went on board. At the last moment they 
wanted me to accompany them to America, but this, 
as I explained to the daughter, was impossible. 

Some time after, I had a satisfactory letter from the 


Governor, informing me that he was happily married 
and that his wife was perfectly well, but on their 
arrival in America it had been found necessary to 
place her under treatment for a time, as she could not 
rid herself of the belief that she was bewitched, but 
that now she had completely recovered from her 

Some years ago, when in Paris, I was asked to a 
social gathering, where I was introduced to Swami, 
who appeared to me to be a very singular character. 
She was apparently a clairvoyant, and professed to 
be able to look into the future and delineate character 
correctly. She was very much sought after in Paris, 
and was to be found in the drawing-rooms of most of 
the leading psychics living there. I must say that I 
was impressed by what she told me, though at the 
same time I was incredulous, not to say suspicious. 

A few years afterwards the same Swami was in- 
dicted for certain crimes, which sent a wave of horror 
and disgust over the country, and which obtained for 
her seven years' penal servitude. She was sent to 
Aylesbury Prison, where she, no doubt by her person- 
ality, created a certain impression on the officials. 
They called her the " Queen," and she used to preach, 
not only to the inmates, but also to the officials. She 
was a big woman of a striking appearance. 

Whilst at Aylesbury she was the constant com- 
panion of Kitty Byron, who had murdered Reginald 
Baker, a stockbroker, whose case had been also 
submitted to me. 


As far as I recollect, when I met her in Paris she was 
very anxious to discuss with me what she termed the 
" righteous life." She told me that she was a direct 
disciple of Christ's, and that she was destined to play 
a prominent part in the history of the world. 

I have often thought in my mind since, in reviewing 
what has taken place and considering it in conjunction 
with my experience of her in Paris, whether she should 
have been regarded in the light of one absolutely re- 
sponsible for her actions. I must say the woman 
interested me very much, both in her appearance and 
her conversation. 

One day I was seated in my study, when a gentle- 
man came in with a mask on. He said : " Dr Winslow, 
I have come to consult you on a most terrible question 
in connection with myself. I am a well-known man, 
closely related to the highest in the land, and there- 
fore for certain reasons I think it desirable that my 
identity should not be known to you. I feel that I 
am in a position to open my heart out to you, 
tell you the terrible story, and ask your advice con- 
cerning it ; and I can do this with a much more open 
mind, conscious of the fact that you are unaware to 
whom you are speaking." 

I must say that I was a little alarmed at my friend 
and his hideous mask, and I moved my chair back so 
as not to be in close proximity with him. I replied, 
putting my hand on a notebook : "In this notebook 
are contained the names of persons, which, if I divulged 
them, would cause an enormous amount of sensation in 


the world, and would bring misery and ruin to families. 
I do not ask your name ; I simply ask you to continue 
your description of your case, when, after careful con- 
sideration, I will give you my opinion thereon." 

He then unfolded himself to me and gave the most 
extraordinary experience that I have ever heard of. 

After he had finished I then considered what my 
reply to him would be. It evidently had the desired 
effect of restoring him to a more tranquil condition 
of mind. I assured and reassured him that I had 
heard of similar symptoms before, and that I saw no 
reason why, so far as he was concerned, matters 
should not right themselves. 

He seemed grateful, shook me by the hand, and 
placed in it an envelope containing my fee. Rising 
from his chair he said : " Dr Winslow, turn your 
head round while I take off this hideous disguise 
from the face of the man who has had to unfold to 
you such a dreadful history." I turned my head 
away. The door opened ; my friend left the house 
for the outer world again. I did not, however, let him 
know that through his hideous disguise I was able 
to trace the identity of the individual. 

One evening I went through rather a trying ex- 
perience, one of a horrible nature, and which might 
have turned out very serious to me. I was summoned 
to attend a man suffering from mania incidental to 
too much indulgence in alcohol. Upon my arrival I 
found the patient sitting on the sofa, his eyes rolling 
about in a very restless manner. There was a certain 


amount of subdued excitement about him. His wife, 
as is often the case where the husband is an uncon- 
trollable drunkard, was herself rather weak of purpose, 
or she would have taken proper steps to have had him 
taken care of long before I was called in. 

On my entering the room he jumped up from the 
sofa, and, pointing to his wife, exclaimed : " Look at 
the woman I have brought up ! Look at the woman 
I have nurtured ! Look at her now ! There she is ! " 
Having completed his remarks to me, he then left the 
room, evidently with a view of further inspecting the 
cellar. He returned, his eyes glaring worse than ever, 
flourishing a large knife in his hand. I persuaded 
him to make me a present of it, which I kept for 
some time after among my curios. I saw that his 
condition was a dangerous one, and that it was un- 
safe for him to be left alone with his wife ; and as it 
was nearly midnight and no possibility of obtaining 
help, I decided to remain the night on guard. During 
the night his craving seemed to increase, until I de- 
termined to stop it at all risks and hazards. I knew 
that I had the knife safe in my possession ; it was 
only a question of one man's strength against an- 
other's. His mania, by this time, had become so 
violent that, knowing as I did the abnormality of 
this among lunatics, I determined to assert my 
authority and power by my hypnotic influence in 
dealing with the case. I took the key of the door 
away from him by force, so that he could no longer 
obtain access to the alcohol. He then fell back on 


the sofa, and I was enabled, by certain psychic 
influences, to produce in him a deep, and what 
appeared to me a calm sleep. I never left the sofa 
the whole night in case he should have a sudden 
relapse. At seven o'clock a.m. he woke up, the 
attack having absolutely subsided. I feel sure that 
had I not remained with him during the night, murder 
would have been committed by him. This is an 
interesting case from the fact of its being one of a 
class, in which, had something not been done, the 
consequences would have been serious. I think that 
judicious and proper steps in similar cases, taken on 
the part of other doctors called in, might prevent 
many murders, which are now brought to light, 
committed by acute alcoholic lunatics. 

One of the most painful cases I attended was that 
of Ascher, the composer of " Alice, where art thou ! " 
He suffered from a form of paralysis which affected 
his brain. I was at his death-bed, and his poor old 
father said to me : " You see my son there, a pitiful 
object. I have seen the whole of the Berlin Opera 
House rise to him to do him homage. Look at him 
now." There was no one in the musical world who was 
so esteemed or thought so highly of as poor Ascher. 

A few weeks before he died I set him down to the 
piano, placing opposite to him his own song, " Alice, 
where art thou ! " He seemed to revive for a moment, 
and instead of being a poor listless individual his mind 
seemed to respond for the time being as if a sort of 
magnetic spell had been thrown over him by the 


sight of one of his own compositions. He sat down 
impatiently ; his poor fingers, half-paralysed, tried to 
play ; but in the place of the lovely music incidental 
to that piece, apparently nothing but discord eman- 
ated from his fingers ; in fact, he kept touching the 
wrong notes, but, conscious of the fact that he only 
produced discordant sounds, he became very excited, 
and kept shouting out to me, looking round : " Wait 
a minute ! Wait a minute ! It will soon be right." 
I took him from the piano, much to his displeasure, 
as he was conscious of the fact that he had not been 
playing the right notes and was eager to show me what 
they ought to be. Ascher passed away in my presence ; 
another instance of a great genius who had no doubt 
much to thank the attention of the world in general, 
mistaken kindness which generally accompanies a 
musical genius's career, for his dissolution at an early 
age. Whenever I hear that beautiful song, my mind 
always reverts to the closing hours of poor Ascher. 

It does not occur often in the career of a mental 
expert to give evidence in a commission of lunacy in 
the country, and to succeed in bringing back the 
alleged lunatic direct from the asylum with restora- 
tion to liberty. 

A few years ago I had been instructed to examine 
a gentleman who was confined as a person of unsound 
mind in an asylum near Exeter. Accompanied by 
another physician, I made the necessary examination 
and forwarded our report to the solicitor engaged in 

the matter. The question at issue was whether he 



was capable of managing himself and his affairs. With 
regard to the latter point there could be no two 
opinions, as, from what transpired at the trial, it 
appeared that he had been spending his money in 
buying property in a most extravagant way ; but 
whether his condition was such as to warrant his being 
detained in a lunatic asylum and deprived of his 
liberty was another question. I had a very strong 
opinion that this was not so. The inquiry lasted two 
days. The patient was brought to the court-house 
every day, accompanied by an attendant. He waited 
outside, ready to accompany him back to the institu- 
tion. The same counsel was employed in this case as 
in the Townshend inquiry, and I had the conduct of 
the medical part of it. The jury found that he was 
capable of taking care of himself, but incapable of 
managing his affairs. He was forthwith discharged 
from the asylum, and instead of returning to the in- 
stitution he came back to the hotel with me, and re- 
turned to London a free man. 

I was very proud at what had taken place, as I felt 
sure that, if the case had not been presented very 
strongly on our part, he would still have remained in 
durance vile. He had received every possible care and 
kindness from the doctor in whose house he was, who 
was ever ready and willing to furnish me with any 
particulars relating to the case. He had no power to 
discharge him, pending the inquiry which had been 
applied for. Two other doctors had been retained on 
the other side, whose opinions were as strongly opposed 


to his sanity as ours to his insanity ; and though we all 
stayed at the same hotel together, we left them in the 
enjoyment of their own society. 

We did not see them after the alleged lunatic had 
returned to the hotel with us a free man. 

During my experience it has frequently been my sad 
duty to warn friends and relatives as to the nature 
of a case on which I have been consulted. Sometimes 
they follow the advice I give them, but at other times 
they either will not or cannot recognise the gravity of 
the situation. I have a number of these cases as illus- 
trations of what I now say, but the one I give will suffice. 

A few years ago Mrs Louisa Constance Proud came 
under my observation as out-patient at my hospital. 
She suffered from depression, and was apprehensive 
in her statements to me as to what she feared she 
might be tempted to do. I made a careful examination 
of her, as I felt the case was one of great importance. 
Not only did I caution her husband, who brought her 
to me, but I made a special note of her case at the time, 
in which I said, " If something is not done at once, I 
feel sure that serious consequences will ensue." I 
read this over to the husband. I saw the case in the 
month of September, and at my suggestion he took 
her to an asylum, but allowed her to come out at the 
expiration of three days, notwithstanding my strong 
opinion in the matter. He then took her to the seaside 
like an ordinary rational being. 

A short time afterwards she killed her daughter, aged 
sixteen months, by setting fire to the bed in which the 


child was sleeping. There is no doubt whatever that 
the husband was responsible for what happened, for 
on the day this occurred it appears that his wife was 
very despondent, and a few days before she kept asking 
him, why he did not " put her in an asylum and kill 
the children " ! She repeated continuously, " Oh, Jack, 
Jack, you are a fool ! Why do you not put me away ? 
Take some poison and kill the children, and they will 
be angels, and then we shall have no trouble." 

The husband also stated in his evidence : " She had 
frequently threatened to commit suicide, and about 
nine months ago cut her throat with a razor." 

Being asked by the coroner whether he was satisfied 
in his own mind that his wife was at times not re- 
sponsible for her actions, he answered : "I regret to 
say I am. I have had her confined in an asylum, but 
I took her out again." 

It appears that there was insanity in the family. 
At the trial the woman was proved to be of unsound 
mind at the time of the murder. I was asked to give 
evidence in the case, but unfortunately I was away 
from London at the time, but my report was handed in, 
together with the opinion I had originally given and 
what I had recommended should be done in this matter. 

This is an illustration of what serious consequences 
may happen when relatives, who have to deal with 
mental cases, act upon their own responsibility, 
evidently with the hope that the opinion expressed by 
the medical expert, whom they have consulted, may be 




DURING the forty years in which I have been figuring 
in the law courts, I have been professionally connected 
with the leading cases which have taken place during 
that period. It is only my intention, however, to give 
the principal ones. They are all public property, as 
they have all been fully reported in the press. Any 
legal case I have been in of a private nature, which has 
not received publicity, I have no intention of placing 
before the world. What has been made public on one 
occasion can be again reproduced by me. I have given 
evidence before many judges, living and dead, and 
have been subjected to examination and cross-examina- 
tion by many of the legal luminaries, past and present. 
From some I have received fairplay, respect, and con- 
sideration, whilst at the hands of others I have received 
discourtesy, want of respect, and have often been 
handled in a way which I consider to have been un- 
warrantable. It is useless as a rule to appeal to judges 
for protection from the rebuffs of counsel. They are 
conscious of the fact that, having been once in the 


position of counsel themselves, they would have acted 
in a similar way. Forty years' experience in the law 
courts has convinced me that counsel generally have 
too much latitude. This is my personal experience. 
Before certain judges, if the counsel has what is called 
the " ear " of the court, you might as well throw your 
money into the gutter as attempt to instruct your 
solicitor to brief anybody in opposition to him. When 
I reflect on the number of the poor wretches who have 
received gross injustice at the Old Bailey, I always give 
a sardonical grin as I pass there and see the figure of 
Justice with the sword and the scales, which is supposed 
to be the emblem of the purity of English law. 

The public are usually kept so much in the dark 
as to the way criminal matters are conducted, and 
the consequence is that material of vital importance 
is often hushed up in court, that I feel it will be of 
interest to those who remember certain cases, to 
which I am now referring, to enter into them in 
considerable detail. I am thus enabled to produce 
certain facts which as yet have never come before 
the world. Medical witnesses in the box, when testi- 
fying for the defence, have very often a number of 
questions put to them which are ruled off as in- 
admissible. The prosecuting counsel takes every 
opportunity, should he be of opinion that what the 
witness is going to testify to is of importance, to 
raise some sort of objection as to its being irrelevant 
or inadmissible ; he appeals to the judge ; the judge 
upholds him. This has often been so with me. I 


never can understand the reason why medical experts 
are tried to be made either buffoons or perjured 
witnesses, and not desirous of explaining the real 
and true nature of the case as it appears to them. 
I am sorry to say this is so in many trials. The 
more the vital points are put in evidence, so much 
the more they are suppressed. If a case appears one 
of unusual brutality to the public, the defence does 
not receive a proper hearing. It is often quite ignored, 
and those witnesses who are called upon for the 
prisoner are regarded with suspicion. They are con- 
sidered in the light, very often, of traitors in daring 
to oppose the powers that be. The suppression and 
curtailing of evidence raised for the defence is a blot 
on our judicial criminal trials. It appears to me 
very unfair that experts for the Treasury should be 
treated in a different way from those of the defence. 
I have often left the court after giving an honest 
professional opinion to the best of my convictions 
and judgment, being conscious of the fact that justice 
has not been done, and that the prisoner has not had 
a fair trial. The ruling of our judges in instructing 
the jury that if the prisoner knows the " difference 
between right and wrong," by law he is guilty even 
though he may entertain delusions, and so long as 
this distinction exists in his mind he is responsible, 
often gives rise to an agitation after sentence on the 
part of the relatives who are aware as to the insanity. 
After considerable amount of pressure brought to bear 
on those in authority at the Home Office, sometimes 


an inquiry is granted. Medical men nominated by 
the Government are sent to examine the condemned. 
No consultation with those doctors nominated by the 
defence takes place, and often an incomplete history 
is placed before those doctors at the time. This, to 
my mind, is not as it should be. Surely, if a man is 
on the threshold of his fate, the red-tapeism and 
secrecy surrounding the Treasury officials should be 
removed for the time being, and both sides should 
consult together and arguments pro and con be con- 
sidered. The examination is a one-sided affair, and 
it is a blot on our constitution. That the reports 
issued by doctors otherwise than those nominated 
by the Treasury are ignored I feel certain, in the 
majority of instances. 


Though I have been called upon to examine many 
prisoners waiting their trial for murder, I have never 
had any opportunity of being allowed to examine any 
who have been condemned to death ; this for the 
simple reason that the Government, in cases where 
no plea of insanity has been raised at the trial, refuse 
to allow outside interference. They and their medical 
advisers are alone the judges of whether certain 
questions raised after conviction are sufficient to 
justify a reprieve on the ground of insanity. The 
examination of prisoners made by me, except when 
in America, has always been conducted either in the 


infirmary of the prison or in the medical officer's 
private room in each case, however, in his presence. 
It is rather an appalling feeling to be conscious of the 
fact that you are shaking hands with someone who 
in a few days will be launched into eternity, and this 
feeling is uppermost in one's mind as one interrogates 
the wretched individual. I cannot recollect one 
prisoner I have examined, with the exception of a 
boy who escaped from an institution of the feeble- 
minded near Hampton Court, who could be said to 
be objectively insane. I never saw one who was 
shamming or who wanted to be regarded as insane. 

They simply walk from the cell into the doctor's 
room, sit down like any ordinary individual, answer 
my questions put to them. I then read these over to 
them as to their correctness ; they sign what I have 
read. After this my report is sent both to the solicitor 
who is instructing me and also to the Home Office. 

It is my intention to lay before the public some 
of the facts of cases I have appeared in, which the 
curtailing of such evidence has induced me to do. 

Before a case can be properly adjudicated upon, 
it is the duty of the court to hear all the evidence oi 
both sides, medical and otherwise, in extenso, and not 
to withhold any from the court from some legal 
quibble or technical theory raised in the issue. The 
prisoner should have the benefit of a fair trial. On 
this point I desire to be emphatic, and I base my 
assertions on what I have seen and heard in courts 
of law. 


At the present day there are few medical men who 
care or dare to go through the ordeal in the witness- 
box. There is nothing to be gained ; you lay your- 
self open to insult and an imputation of wrong motives ; 
your time is taken up in hanging about the precincts 
of the law courts ; and as a rule, with few exceptions, 
you find that the solicitors have appropriated the fees 
which you are supposed to have received for your 
professional services. I speak of what I know to be 
the case, and what I have myself experienced. I 
have witnessed a most learned and experienced 
physician trembling like an aspen leaf under the 
severe and cruel cross-examination of counsel. 

What strikes me, after an experience of forty years 
in the law courts and I would again make this most 
emphatic is the fact that the evidence called by the 
Treasury always receives more credence than that 
called for the defence. 

It is difficult to convince the Treasury prosecutors 
that there are always two sides to a question, and 
that it does not necessarily follow that the medical 
expert called for the defence is not hi every way 
giving an honourable, true, unprejudiced professional 
opinion. The medical expert often leaves the witness- 
box, having gone through what the French describe 
as a " mauvais quart d'heure " of a very unpleasant 

The jury are more inclined to believe those experts 
appearing on behalf of the Treasury, who receive 
handsome fees, rather than those medical experts who 


oppose the Treasury, and who, as a rule, have to fish 
for their money and get nothing. 

One of the first cases I was called upon to testify 
in, in which the plea of insanity was raised, was that 
of Robert King, the " Old Kent Road murder." 

If ever there was a judicial murder committed, 
and a man hurled into eternity in an unjustifiable 
way, it was in this case. It made a great impression 
upon me at the time, being one of my early cases. 

After the crime, which he committed whilst suffer- 
ing from delusions of a religious nature, and which 
was apparently quite motiveless, he made a desperate 
attempt on his own life. He tried to cut his throat, 
and had the penknife gone but a fraction of an inch 
further, judging from the writing which was found 
in his pocket, containing a number of incoherent, 
nonsensical views on religion, there is no doubt but 
that the verdict would have been one of " Murder 
and suicide whilst suffering from temporary insanity." 
But because the knife failed to do its deadly and 
intentional duty, the poor wretch was taken to a 
hospital, and everything was done which surgery 
could do to patch him up so as to enable him to 
take his place in the criminal dock of the Old Bailey. 

I was requested to examine him in the cell beneath 
the dock in the Old Bailey at the adjournment for 
lunch. The examination was a most painful one. 
In consequence of the aperture in his throat, he had 
to lie down flat on his back whilst partaking of his 
food. The man, in my opinion, was a semi-imbecile. 


He did not know the difference between right and 
wrong, which was the test of sanity in the English 
courts. It was a Treasury prosecution, and for some 
reason best known to themselves they wanted a 
conviction and succeeded in obtaining one. 

Sir Henry Poland appeared for the Treasury, but, 
being unable to weaken my cross-examination, just 
before I left the box addressed me as follows : " Dr 
Winslow, I presume you get a good fee for coming here 
to-day." To which I replied, addressing him by name: 
" A doctor has as much right to his fee as a barrister 
has to his." " Ah, you think so," he replied. " Yes, 
I do," and down sat the big luminary of the law. 

The wretched man was hanged, and a gross injustice 
chronicles the British calendar. The impression I had 
of my first appearance in court was, that a mental 
expert's position was not a happy one, and after many 
years' experience I abide by the same conclusion. 

I remember many years ago, when my father was 
giving evidence in a case, a young barrister, evidently 
new to the business, suddenly jumped up from the well 
of the court, and addressing my father, remarked to 
him : " Dr Winslow, give us a definition of this in- 
sanity, which you have so frequently alluded to in this 
case." My father answered : " It is impossible to give 
one definition of insanity which will include all the 
varieties of this disastrous and dreadful malady." 
This did not satisfy the budding Q.C. He thumped 
his fist on the desk. " I insist on a definition." My 
father hesitated for a moment, and then, giving vent 


to all the longest psychological words he could think of, 
and which he knew were beyond the comprehension of 
the learned barrister, completely floored him and was 
asked to desist, the barrister exclaiming : " Dr 
Winslow, please do not continue further, for if you do 
we shall all become examples of that terrible complaint, 
which you have so eloquently described." 

A short time ago I was giving evidence before Mr 
Justice Sutton in a case of slander. The counsel who 
cross-examined me, probably with a view of being 
facetious or funny, raised the question of my profes- 
sional fee. In this case it was nil. He put his question 
in a similar way to that put by Sir Henry Poland in the 
case of the Old Kent Road murder. 

My reply was : " The difference between us is as 
follows : your profession always receive their fees in 
advance, we doctors rarely receive them at all." In 
this case it was perfectly true, as also in the Old Kent 
Road murder and many other cases I could mention. 
It is a monstrous thing that those professional men, 
who give up their time to testify in law courts, should 
not receive their honorarium, whereas the counsel, 
giving but such a short time to the consideration of the 
case, decline to go into court unless they have received 
their fees previous to the commencement of the pro- 
ceedings, and go in with well-greased palms. 

A medical expert, opposing the Treasury, has a 
great deal to contend with. The Treasury have not 
only all the money they desire at their back, but the 
advantage of having the highest legal opinion and 


advocacy in the case. The poor wretch struggling 
against the Treasury has a poor time indeed. 

I have come to the conclusion that those cases in 
which the plea of insanity is raised do not get a fair 
hearing in England. The suggestion of guilt and 
responsibility is hammered into the jury by the pro- 
secuting counsel, and those who are convinced that the 
man is not criminally responsible, and who are giving 
evidence to that effect, have to take a back seat. It 
is rather an heroic statement to make, but I do so with- 
out the least hesitation, and that is, that I conscien- 
tiously believe that I have had right and justice on my 
side in every case I have been called in to testify as to 
the irresponsibility of the accused person. I remember 
giving evidence in the case of Nunn v. Hemming at 
Westminster Hall. An action was brought by a 
patient who had been confined in Munster House 
Asylum in the neighbourhood of Fulham. Whilst an 
inmate there he had made his escape and had been 
recaptured. His allegation was that, on being taken 
back to the asylum, he had been drugged with chloro- 
dyne, put into a bath, and subsequently, to use his own 
expression, he had been " thrown into a padded room." 
He brought an action against the proprietor of the 
asylum for this treatment. The reason that I was a 
witness was that a few years previously he had been a 
patient in the asylum over which I had exercised my 
medical supervision. In fact, he used to dine at my 
table like one of the family, and was always treated in 
a proper and humane way. The counsel for the prose- 


cution, Serjeant Parry, made a great deal out of the 
comparison between the treatment the patient re- 
ceived at my hands and that which he received at the 
hands of the other asylum authorities. The constant 
allusion to my " soothing treatment," and his impress- 
ing on the jury the fact that when my patient he was 
always treated as a visitor, dining at my table, and 
that I never drugged him with chlorodyne, rather 
stirred up my poetical spirit. I was very young in 
those days, and youth must be my excuse, but I sent 
up to the learned Serjeant the following impromptu 
verse : 

" If you are asked to treat the poor insane, 
To ease their anguish, pacify their brain, 
The padded room or bath you must not use, 
Or you'll be blamed and also get abuse. 
You must not give your patients chlorodyne, 
But if excited ask them up to dine ; 
And one safe medicine all the rest will beat 
It's Winslow's soothing syrup given neat." 

The soothing treatment had inspired me, and I could 
not resist giving vent to my poetical feelings. 

During my career I have testified in commissions of 
lunacy innumerable, and these have been held before 
various Masters, and, so far as I can recollect, I have 
never testified in any case which has not been decided 
according to my testimony, with one exception. In 
this case the patient was confined in an asylum in the 
neighbourhood of London. He was a wealthy man, 
and whilst in the asylum he was allowed to drive about 
in his carriage and pair wherever he wished to go, and 



whilst there, by his request, I visited him. Being 
transferred to another institution, his son desired to 
hold a commission of lunacy on him, and to place his 
affairs under the protection of the Court of Chancery. 
The gentleman in question made every possible effort 
to communicate with me and get me to stop the pro- 
ceedings if possible. In vain he tried ; he was behind 
the four walls of a lunatic asylum, and all communica- 
tion with the outside world was debarred him. One 
evening there was a theatrical performance given at 
this asylum, and the patient, being of a theatrical turn 
of mind, got into conversation with one of the per- 
formers, unnoticed by the attendants. He gave him a 
letter to post to me. This informed me of the fact 
that he was to be brought to town on a certain day, and 
that an inquiry was going to be held into his mental 
condition, without any opportunity being given him 
of being represented or of defending himself in the 
matter. In other words, it was to be an ex-parte trial. 
Solicitors had been engaged, counsel had been briefed, 
witnesses had been summoned on one side ; but he, 
the interested party, was left out in the cold with no 
one to represent him. In this letter he requested me 
to take what steps I thought advisable to protect his 
interests. The day of the trial had arrived, and, 
accompanied by a solicitor, whom I had nominated, I 
was waiting at the door of the court for the patient and 
his attendants to arrive. The solicitor had already 
written out an authority, to be signed by the patient, 
which would legally empower him to represent the 


alleged lunatic. On reaching the court I introduced 
the solicitor to the patient, and after he had signed the 
document we all went into court. This step was done 
unknown to the other side, who had got everything 
ready and had anticipated that the trial would go 
through undefended. On the case being called, the 
solicitor rose, and, addressing the Master, requested an 
adjournment, on the ground that he had only just been 
instructed. The representatives on the other side 
were apparently staggered, but they had no alternative 
but to abide by the ruling of the Master in granting an 
adjournment of the case. The case was heard in the 
High Courts of Justice a few months later. It was a 
good illustration of what often takes place where a 
wretched man is imprisoned in an asylum and is unable 
to communicate with the outside world, and is in the 
hands of those who are desirous of depriving him of his 
liberty and of the management of his property, without 
being given the right which every Englishman demands 
of defending himself. 

Though it was thought advisable in the interest of 
the patient that his property should be protected, 
nevertheless he had the advantage of a fair and proper 
trial, in consequence of his being personally represented. 
This no doubt satisfied him. 

As a result of forty years' experience as a witness 
in many commissions of lunacy held before a jury, 
I have no hesitation in pronouncing the whole thing 
a farce. 

I was giving evidence before Master Fischer at 


Teignmouth in Devonshire. The jury were of the 
usual intelligent nature found in country villages. 
They had been summoned to hear evidence, and to 
decide whether a certain gentleman was of sound or 
unsound mind and capable of managing himself and 
his affairs. 

I will give one illustration as proof of my justification 
in regarding commissions of lunacy, as at present 
conducted by juries, as a farce of the worst description, 
and I desire in every way to justify this opinion from 
a remark I overheard made by one of the jury in this 

I sat immediately under the jury-box, and upon 
the Master asking the jury if they would like to make 
a personal examination of the alleged lunatic, one of 
them remarked to his neighbour, but not hi the hear- 
ing of the Court, " What do we know about lunatics ? 
We could not tell 'em." This in broad Devonshire. 
And here was a jury summoned to adjudicate on a 
matter of which they were in baneful ignorance of 
anything connected with the subject. It is not for 
me to suggest anything in place of trial by jury in 
alleged cases of insanity ; but the longer I have lived, 
and the more experience I have obtained in this 
subject, proves to my mind conclusively that some 
other plan ought to be adopted in such cases. This 
is not only so in commissions of lunacy, but also in 
murder cases when the plea of insanity has been 
raised, and in fact every case where the soundness 
or unsoundness of a person's mind has to be decided. 


It is amusing to see the persuasive methods adopted 
by counsel in addressing these gentlemen, apparently 
regarding them as intelligent members of the com- 
munity, instead of, as I have often met them, just 
the opposite. I have had many opportunities, after 
the decision of a case, of hearing what the jury have 
had to say in the matter as to what was passing 
through their minds during the trial. Of course 
among twelve men there may be one or two with a 
fragmentary amount of intelligence. I have generally 
regarded a country jury in the light of the celebrated 
Cornish jury with the same amount of brain, one of 
the members of which, on being asked after the trial, 
why he did not find the person guilty, replied : " If 
you hang him to-morrow, it would not bring the old 
woman to life again, so I gives him the benefit of 
the doubt ! " 

Another member of the same jury replied as follows : 
" All I can say is that he saved two of my children 
from the small-pox, and putting one and two together 
I should not go to find him guilty " ; the case at 
issue being that of a doctor who had been tried for 
the alleged administration of arsenic in a dish of 
rabbits smothered in onions. It is authenticated, and 
is often quoted to show the absurdities of complicated 
cases with scientific issues being left to the judicial 
opinion of a number of ignorant men. 

In cases where guilt or innocence is simply to be 
decided they are quite as competent to deal with 
the matter as the most cultured people in the land, 


and often much better ; but when an abstruse subject, 
involving scientific and psychological investigations, 
occurs, and where the objective and subjective state 
of the mind has to be dealt with, and where the 
question of madness or rationality is the one under 
consideration, then, as I said before, the tribunal to 
decide this should not be a number of ignorant gabies. 
At least this is my experience, and after forty years 
I feel in every way justified in expressing my 


My opinion was asked in 1876 with reference to 
the case known as the " Balham mystery." 

The history of the case is as follows : Florence 
Campbell, an accomplished girl, married Captain 
Ricardo in 1864. Three years after marriage he 
became addicted to habits of drunkenness, which 
increased to such an extent as to end in delirium 
tremens. Subsequently Captain and Mrs Ricardo 
separated. Captain Ricardo died, and his body 
being exhumed, antimony was detected. The allega- 
tion at the time was that it had been administered 
by his wife, but this was only slander, as they had 
not then been under the same roof together for 
many years. After the separation Captain Ricardo 
went to Germany, whilst his wife visited Malvern. 
She there became acquainted with Dr Gully, super- 
intendent of a Malvern hydro, whom she had known 


for years. The only obstacle, on his death, to Mrs 
Ricardo marrying Dr Gully was that he had a wife of 
his own still living. This state of affairs continued for 
a few years, when, in consequence of an estrangement 
with members of her own family, due to her clandestine 
intrigue with Dr Gully, she determined to give up his 
society in order to be received into the family circle 
once more. About this time she made the acquaint- 
ance of a young barrister of the name of Bravo, and 
within six weeks of this, though he knew her past 
life, he married her. 

Four months after the marriage Mr Bravo came 
home in his usual state of health, and sat down to 
dinner with his wife and her companion, Mrs Cox, 
at 6.30. At 10.30 he was seized with a violent attack 
of vomiting. An alarm was raised that Mr Bravo 
was ill. He rushed to the door of his room, shouting 
loudly for hot water and help. Mrs Cox, accompanied 
by the housemaid, ran upstairs, to find him standing 
by the window, out of which he had been sick. In a 
short time he became unconscious, and continued 
more or less in that condition. It was thought 
necessary to summon two medical men from London. 
He had glimpses of rationality between his attacks, 
and in answer to a question Bravo stated that he 
had rubbed his gums with laudanum. 

The first doctors found him dying of collapse and 
heart failure. He had moments of consciousness, 
during which they recognised symptoms of poisoning 
by some metallic irritant, which, though at first were 


nearly sufficient to produce an almost fatal collapse, 
had not done so, but allowed the patient to rally 
in great agony, but with his brain unaffected. 

The following day Sir William Gull was sent for ; 
the letter, sent by hand, was as follows : 

" DEAR SIR, My husband is dangerously ill. Could 
you come as soon as possible to see him ? My father, 
Mr Campbell of Buscot Park, will feel very grateful to 
you if you could come at once. I need not say how 
grateful I should be. Faithfully yours, 


Upon the arrival of Sir William Gull that evening 
Bravo was pulseless but not insensible, and he asked 
Sir William Gull to read him the Lord's Prayer, which 
he did. 

Sir William Gull left the house stating that Bravo 
would riot live the night. He could elicit nothing 
from him as to the nature of what he had taken ; 
but he made the following statement upon being told 
that he was dying of poison : "I took it myself 
laudanum." He died the same day, within sixty 
hours of his attack. A large amount of antimony 
was found in the body, and the question was, Who 
administered this antimony ? Was it taken by the 
deceased hi order to commit suicide ? The coroner's 
jury gave a verdict that the antimony had been 
administered with murderous intent by some person 
or persons unknown, and negatived the suggestion 
of suicide. To the last Bravo asserted that anything 
he had taken was administered by himself. 


I expressed my firm conviction that Bravo com- 
mitted suicide during temporary insanity, and that 
it was not a case of murder ; and I was not alone in 
my theory. I was present at the trial, and was sub- 
sequently consulted in the matter, the whole facts 
of the case being submitted to me. Bravo was a 
man of excitable temperament, liable to sudden out- 
bursts of passion without any adequate cause. He 
was morbidly jealous, and he vented his suspicions 
at every opportunity on his wife ; his mind became 
absorbed with the one train of thought, relative to 
certain events previous to his marriage, to which I 
have already referred. The public from the outset 
were determined not to accept the theory of suicide, 
let the evidence be ever so strong or substantiated 
by convincing facts. On my part, I was equally 
determined to make them recognise the contrary, and 
I did my best, and I think successfully, to accomplish 
what I intended to convey. One strong reason for 
his committing suicide was his mental depression at 
his wife's infidelity, of which they had absolute and 
abundant proof, and also the taint of hereditary in- 
sanity in his family ; but this latter evidence carried 
no weight at the inquest, and was hardly in any way 
considered or dealt with. In a case like this, where 
there was unfortunately so much which is theoretical, 
I am strongly of opinion that there ought to have 
been a medical as well as a legal assessor, as the 
question at issue was whether the matter was one of 
murder or suicide. In this case I must confess that 


even the Treasury were desirous of sifting the matter 
to the very utmost. 

The jury having sat for twenty- three days, the 
following verdict was given : " That Mr Charles 
Delauney Turner Bravo did not commit suicide, that 
he did not meet his death from misadventure, that 
he was wilfully murdered by the administration of 
tartar emetic, but that there is not sufficient evidence 
to fix the guilt upon any person or persons." The 
father in his evidence stated two most important 
facts. When interrogated he said : " I can say he 
was not a man likely to commit suicide " ; and again, 
when expressing his views on his son's ideas respect- 
ing suicide, the father said : "I know that he always 
held a theory that a man who took his own life was 
a coward." When asked whether there was any 
evidence of jealousy between husband and wife, he 
replied in the negative, stating that " they were 
always most affectionate towards each other." 

An open verdict was given in the way I have men- 
tioned, without fixing the guilt upon anyone. By this 
verdict an indelible stigma was cast upon certain 
individuals. I did not think at the time that there 
was any justification for that verdict. One witness 
who testified at the inquiry stated that after Mr Bravo 
was seized with his illness he said to her, " I have taken 
poison for Dr Gully. Do not tell Florence." The 
mystery was that either Bravo committed suicide or 
was poisoned by his wife, Mrs Cox, or Dr Gully. Of 
course, everybody was prejudiced against the wife. 


Her past conduct was brought forward ; the ingenuity 
of her intrigues was raked up against her, and there was 
not a vestige of mercy or consideration shown her. Her 
detractors stated that "she dyed her hair," but they 
did not prove she poisoned her husband. Evidence on 
her behalf at the trial had no effect, for they were bent 
on blasting her character, so that nothing bad enough 
could be said against her. It was a parody of legal 
proceedings. Everything that could be possibly 
alleged against the woman was said, her character was 
blackened, and she was held up to ignominy and scorn ; 
but in spite of a prolonged public investigation, held 
in the most unscrupulous way, nothing was adduced 
against the widow to bring the crime home to her. 

With regard to Dr Gully, the fact that the only 
evidence they had was the purchase of antimony by his 
coachman two years previously will suffice to show how 
weak the direct evidence was. It was evidently lost 
sight of that, supposing a conspiracy had existed 
between Gully & Co. to murder Bravo, it must have 
been of very short duration ; and it is not likely that 
Gully carried antimony about with him, whilst he was 
in the good books of Mrs Bravo, in order to poison any 
man who might marry her. 

The whole conflict of evidence and deliberate perjury 
on one side or the other was so terrible that it hid from 
the light of day the possible theory of suicide and 
evidence in support of the same, but which subse- 
quently I was able to bring home and prove without 
a shadow of a doubt. 


The opinion that I gave on the case was one of 
suicide, and that a verdict of wilful murder had been 
arrived at without one tittle of evidence to justify such 
a decision. I was convinced of the fact, well known 
and admitted by all psychologists, that suicidal 
insanity is an impulsive act, whilst homicide is premedi- 
tated. The jury lost sight of this important point 
in considering their verdict. One curious argument 
which was urged against the verdict of suicide was that 
evidence was given hi court that Mr Bravo had met 
some friends the day previous, who reported that, from 
his general demeanour, conduct, and appearance, he 
was of sound mind, thus considering the case objectively 
not subjectively. Such conclusions are worthless ; 
they may convince an ignorant British jury, but they 
have no weight otherwise. I considered that there 
was a strong exciting and predisposing cause, as pre- 
viously mentioned, from the evidence placed before 
me with reference to the general behaviour and conduct 
of Bravo upon many occasions, which was not consist- 
ent with sanity : his violent fits of temper impulsive, 
no doubt, and his mind absorbed by one predominant 
thought as to the intrigue still existing between his 
wife and someone else, were prominent features in the 
case. A strange fact worthy of comment was the fact 
that Mrs Bravo after her marriage consulted Dr Gully 
with regard to certain medical treatment. Unfortun- 
ately, the indiscreet way in which he acted, which was 
quite unnecessary and unusual, was surrounded with 
suspicions ; but having so acted, he must have felt, 


however innocent he might have been, that he could 
not have committed such indiscretions without in- 
curring grave risk and suspicions. 

On one hand we have an excitable man, madly 
jealous, impulsive, unreasonable, and of a highly insane 
temperament, unable to restrain his feelings. On the 
other hand, a wife possessed of the power of deception 
and intrigue, and who might have had a motive for 
getting rid of Bravo. We have to weigh them equally 
in the balance. Bravo's death was not accidental, and 
it was not conceivable that misadventure was respon- 
sible for the tragedy. It was either a case of self- 
destruction or murder. 

During the sixty hours he lived after taking the 
poison he frequently rallied, but he never made any 
allegation against anyone whom he suspected of 
administering the poison. It would be contrary to 
all instincts of human nature that a man should believe 
himself to be poisoned by either someone he cared for 
or someone hateful to him, and yet make no charge of 
incrimination. In his moments of complete sensibility 
he never made use of the word murder, or gave any 
verbal intimation that any other than himself was 
responsible for the abrupt termination of his young 
life. I know of no instance on record of such a 
metaphysical anomaly. Our knowledge of human 
nature forbids its possibility. With all his faults, 
though conscious in his heart of the knowledge that he 
was probably passing through his last moments, he was 
not base enough to bring a charge of murder against 


others, for the simple reason that he knew so well that 
his death could only be laid at his own door. He died 
commending his wife to the care of his friends and 
relations. Bravo had taken antimony by his own 
hand in consequence of insane jealousy, which rankled 
in his bosom, and I again maintain that there was no 
justification for the jury returning an open verdict of 
wilful murder. 

The case being surrounded by so many intricacies, 
which one had to analyse carefully, it is no wonder that 
there was found a certain class always ready to give an 
opinion in a case of which they knew nothing, and who 
pointed the finger of guilt at his wife and her lover as 
the aiders and abettors, if not the actual perpetrators 
responsible for the death of Mr Bravo. 


The first case in which I became what might be 
called an agitator, or, in other words, in which I was of 
opinion that justice had miscarried, was in 1877. It 
was known as the " Penge mystery," where Louis 
Staunton, Patrick Staunton, Mrs Patrick Staunton, 
and Alice Rhodes were indicted for the murder of 
Harriet Staunton, wife of Louis Staunton, at Penge, by 
starvation. Mr Justice Hawkins was the judge; the 
Old Bailey was the scene of this sensational drama. I 
was a spectator of what took place. The facts are 
shortly these. Harriet Staunton was of weak mind, 
and it was arranged for her to stay with Patrick 


Staunton and his wife, the payment being at the rate 
of one pound a week. Louis Staunton, the husband of 
Harriet Staunton, was in the meantime carrying on an 
intrigue with Alice Rhodes, aged twenty, and the sister 
of Mrs Patrick Staunton. It was also alleged that both 
Louis Staunton and Alice Rhodes used to visit the 
house together, and were parties to the charge of 
starvation which was brought against the four unhappy 
persons. Mrs Butterfield, the mother of Harriet 
Staunton, had been unable to trace her daughter, but, 
having heard certain rumours, was suspicious. One 
day, whilst in a very weak state, Harriet Staunton was 
removed by Patrick and his wife to a lodging at Penge, 
where she died the following day under circumstances 
which caused suspicion. A post-mortem examination 
disclosed evidence of starvation, as stated by the 
doctor in his death certificate. The body of the 
deceased woman only weighed five stone instead of 
nine, and was most emaciated, without any fat ; but 
there were tubercles found in the brain. This opened 
my eyes to an important fact elicited during the trial. 
The allegation was that, to enable Louis Staunton to 
carry on his intrigues with Alice Rhodes, his brother 
Patrick and his wife, cognisant of the fact that Harriet 
was of weak mind, aided and gave their services to 
bring about what they thought Louis desired. This 
disclosed a motive which made it so difficult to dispute. 
In sentencing the prisoners to death on 26th September, 
Mr Justice Hawkins, who had been unusually severe 
during the hearing of the case, said as follows : " You 


have been found guilty by a jury of your countrymen 
of a crime so black and hideous that I believe in the 
records of crime it would be difficult to find a parallel." 

The questions the agitators had to decide were as 
follows : 

ist. What did Harriet Staunton die of ? 

2nd. If from any specific disease, might that disease, 
as found by post-mortem examination, be the result of 
starvation ? 

3rd. Would such disease of itself account for part or 
all of the emaciation ? 

4th. Inasmuch as there were tubercles in the brain, 
might there not be the same in the intestine, and, if so, 
is it not a fact that food would not properly assimilate 
under these conditions ; hence the emaciation found 
after death ? 

These were my questions, and I agitated as a 

The murder created much sensation, and, as is often 
seen in such matters, it was prejudged previous to the 
trial, and the moral grounds were allowed to overweigh 
the real facts of the case. 

I was convinced of the innocence of these people, and 
I also believed that death was due to natural causes. 
Harriet Staunton suffered from tubercular disease of 
the brain, and my theory was that inasmuch as there 
were tubercles found in the brain, so also were there 
tubercles in the intestines, to such an extent that the 
food would not properly assimilate. 

Immediately after the trial I helped to organise a 


preliminary public meeting at the Cannon Street Hotel. 
This was held on 3rd October, and was influentially 
supported. We decided at this meeting to prepare 
five thousand copies of the petition to circulate far and 
wide for signatures. 

In the course of my remarks at the meeting I said 
that I was able to affirm that often, in the case of a 
diseased brain, the patient died from exhaustion and 
inanition, in consequence of the food not affording 
sufficient nourishment and the non-absorption of it 
in the system. I criticised the post-mortem examina- 
tion made by the doctor, in which he had stated that 
the condition of the lungs and the brain as found 
after death by him was proof of starvation. The 
examination, however, not being made until six days 
after death, I challenged the conclusions arrived at 
by him, and expressed my opinion that the changes 
which were found so many days after death were 
due to post-mortem changes and not to natural 
causes, and that, had this post-mortem been made, 
as it ought to have been, within twenty-four hours 
after death, no such indications would have been 

I concluded by saying that " all the post-mortem 
indications in the case of Harriet Staunton pointed 
to a brain diseased and not to starvation. It would 
be a disgrace to England and an outrage upon 
humanity to allow these four poor wretches to be 

A few days after this a great public meeting was 



called together by the committee who previously 
organised the meeting at Cannon Street Hotel to con- 
sider what further steps should be taken with regard 
to the reprieve of the Stauntons and Alice Rhodes. 
The following petition was then agreed to : 

" To the Queen's Most Excellent Majesty. 

" The humble petition of the undersigned, your 
Majesty's loyal subjects, showeth that Louis Staunton, 
Patrick Staunton, Elizabeth Anne Staunton, and Alice 
Rhodes have been found guilty of the wilful murder 
of Harriet Staunton, and are now lying under sentence 
of death ; that your petitioners, having regard to the 
conflict of medical evidence and opinion as to the 
cause of death of the said Harriet Staunton, and to 
the character of the evidence as to the treatment she 
received during her life, feel a strong conviction that 
the crime of wilful murder has not been so proven as 
to remove all doubt ; and they humbly submit that 
the convicts should likewise receive the benefit of 
that doubt." 

I was entrusted by the committee to obtain the 
signatures of the medical profession to the petition 
in favour of the prisoners, and within a few hours 
of my organising this petition I was inundated with 
letters from a number of medical men, all eager to 
sign ; and with one or two exceptions (as is always 
found in a case of this kind), it was generally agreed 
that the symptoms of the deceased and the post- 
mortem examination proved that she suffered from 
brain disease of a long standing, and that death arose 
from natural causes. 


My petition was signed by the leading pathologists, 
coroners, medical inspectors of health, surgeons, and 
physicians of all the London hospitals. At this 
meeting there were upwards of 2000 people present, 
and when the resolution was put to the meeting as to 
the petition there were only two dissentients. 

Mr Justice Hawkins, together with many others, 
had formed a very strong opinion on the case, and 
after his expression of opinion on passing sentence 
there was a great difficulty in obtaining a reprieve. 
Our efforts, however, succeeded. This was granted 
on the Saturday evening previous to the execution, 
which had been fixed for the Monday. Instead of 
Alice Rhodes walking to the scaffold, she walked into 
my study herself to thank me for the efforts I had 
taken to prove her innocence. 

This was the first case in which I took a prominent 
part, and the experience I gained has been very 
valuable to me in after life, and I was much en- 
couraged by the result. Alice Rhodes was the only 
one of the four who received a free pardon. The 
others were sentenced to imprisonment for life. 

Nothing could have been otherwise expected after 
the severe remarks of the judge. Patrick Staunton 
and his wife, I believe, died in prison. Louis was 
ultimately reprieved, and called at my house some 
years ago. A subscription was got up, headed by 
Sir Edward Clarke, who had eloquently defended 
them, it being one of the cases which brought this 
celebrated advocate into notice. 



In 1878 the Rev. Mr Dodwell, formerly a master of 
Cheltenham College, was arraigned at the Old Bailey 
for an assault on Sir George Jessel, the Master of the 
Rolls, " with intent to murder him " by discharging 
" a deadly pistol at his lordship." The charge of the 
attempt to murder was not substantiated, and he 
was only found guilty of an assault. He refused all 
assistance from counsel, and defended himself. This 
case occupied much of my attention, as I was called 
in to examine him on several occasions. Apparently 
he had a grievance to the effect that in certain personal 
litigation connected with the Chancery Division he had 
not received justice. Notwithstanding that he made 
many attempts to get his case reheard, he failed in 
getting another hearing ; so a happy thought came 
to him of buying a shilling toy pistol at a second-hand 
shop and firing off an empty cartridge in the vicinity 
of the judge, so that he might be taken up and charged, 
and consequently public attention would be drawn to 
his case. This " deadly weapon " for many years 
formed one of the curios in my study. I should 
think the inside of it had never seen powder, and the 
astonishment to my mind was that when the percus- 
sion cap was discharged it was not shattered to 
smithereens. I mention this to show the nature of 
the wonderful weapon employed. The great injustice 
to the unfortunate clergyman was the fact that he 
was found at the trial to be of unsound mind, and he 


was sent to Broadmoor Criminal Lunatic Asylum 
without one single medical witness being called to 
support the theory of insanity. I visited Mr Dodwell 
on two occasions in Newgate, accompanied by another 
mental expert, Dr Winn, at the request of both 
his friends and himself, and the report was sent to 
the Home Office, the result being that certain questions 
were asked in the House of Commons with reference 
to the sanity of Mr Dodwell. It appears that at the 
time Parliament took the question up the medical 
officers at Broadmoor, where he had been sent, had 
issued no report as to his state of mind. As he still 
lingered on in " durance vile," a sane man apparently, 
detained in a lunatic asylum, and one who had been 
sent there on no medical testimony whatever, I was 
asked to visit him at Broadmoor. I did so, and I 
again forwarded my report, by request, to the Home 
Office, and the question was revived in the House. 

The press were indignant at the secrecy with which 
the official reports were kept. The session ended with 
nothing being done, or the public enlightened in the 
matter. I think it advisable, perhaps, to give in 
detail the copies of the reports of Dr Winn and myself 
in the case. 

As I have said at the commencement, the question 
at issue was whether Mr Dodwell had a grievance in 
reality, or whether it only existed in his imagination. 
The case created a. furore at the time from the fact of 
the possibility of a man being incarcerated in a 
criminal lunatic asylum without any medical testi- 


mony being called to substantiate the accusation. 
When I mention that Dr Gibson, the surgeon of 
Newgate, also supported our views as to the sanity 
of Mr Dodwell, the importance of the case and the 
injustice done will appear obvious to all. 

The following is a copy of my report forwarded to 
the Home Office : 

" I have on two separate occasions, in consultation 
with Dr Gibson and Dr Winn, had lengthy interviews 
with the Rev. Mr Dodwell, now in Newgate. 

" Alleged Grievances. 

" i. He described in detail his alleged grievances : 
his dismissal from the Brighton Industrial Schools, 
inability to obtain a rehearing of his case, and the 
treatment he received from the governors of a school 
in Devonshire to which he had been appointed master. 

" Actions in Court of Law. 

"2. He gave a very lucid description of the course 
of action pursued by him in courts of justice, and its 
result ; of his endeavouring to obtain what he con- 
sidered to be his rights, and his failure in every instance 
to obtain a proper hearing. 

" Acutely conscious of his Grievances. 

"3. He gave an accurate description of the various 
petitions he had presented. He appears acutely con- 
scious that he possesses a grievance for which he can 
obtain no redress. He believes in consequence that 
his family and himself have been brought to the brink 
of ruin. 


" Inability to earn a Livelihood. 

" 4. He informed me that, having failed in obtaining 
a rehearing of his case, he had made fruitless attempts 
to obtain clerical duty. He had applied for such to an 
agency, but without success. He had also endeav- 
oured to get pupils, but in this he had also failed. 

"Proof of non-murderous Intent. 

"5. The act for which he is now in Newgate had 
been premeditated for the last six months. As a proof 
of this he read me an extract from a letter written by 
him to the Lord Chancellor, in which he stated that it 
was his intention to break the law in order to obtain a 
hearing. His first idea was to fire off a pistol in Vice- 
Chancellor Malin's court, but he found by so doing he 
would simply be committed for contempt of court, and 
the purpose he had in view would remain unaccom- 
plished. He was anxious to impress on me that he 
never had the intention of committing a murder. To 
prevent or rebut a charge of so serious a character, he 
purchased a pistol, and not a revolver, as he only in- 
tended to fire once. He also informed me that a few 
weeks previous to his attempt he read of a man who 
was injured by the discharge of a pistol containing 
blank cartridge. This accident would have been 
avoided had not the pistol been close to the injured 
man. To avoid any possible injury being incurred by 
the Master of the Rolls, he, the prisoner, stood at what 
he considered to be a safe distance from his Lordship 
before discharging his pistol. 

" State of his Affairs One Month previous to Assault. 

" 6. A month previous to the assault he met a friend 
in the Strand. At that time he considered that he was 
suffering from gross injustice, and, having failed in 


obtaining clerical employment, he had only a few 
shillings in the world left with which to support a wife 
and four children. On this occasion he exclaimed : 
' I will not go to the workhouse except through the 
gate of the dock ; and if by so doing my case is placed 
before reflecting people of England and I sink, I must 
sink ! ' He is a man apparently of determined purpose, 
and this seems to have been his character through life. 
I have carefully inquired into the history of his ante- 
cedents, and can detect no evidence of hereditary 

" Opinion of Case. 

" 7. During the whole of my conversation with him 
he was calm and collected ; there were no symptoms 
indicative of a morbid impulse. He appeared to be a 
man driven to desperation and ruin by circumstances. 
He did not labour under any delusions. He declared 
that he had only acted unlawfully with a view to 
securing the attention of his countrymen to the subject 
of his alleged wrongs. He gave clearly and distinctly 
an account of his previous history. His memory 
seemed to be excellent. His conversation, manner, 
and general demeanour were most rational in every 
respect ; and I was unable to detect any symptoms 
indicative of mental disorder. I am of opinion, from a 
careful and anxious consideration of the case, that he 
is of sound mind, and there is nothing to justify his 
detention as a criminal lunatic. 


"M.B.Camb., M.R.C.P.Lond., D.C.L.Oxon., LL.M.Camb, 
" Lecturer on Mental Diseases, Charing Cross Hospital. 

March 1878." 

Dr Winn's Report. 

" During a long interview with the Rev. H. J. 
Dodwell, on Thursday, 20th March, and another on the 


2ist, I could not discover the slightest indication of 
insanity. He was neither excited nor depressed, and 
his manner throughout both visits was calm and self- 
possessed. His conversation was perfectly coherent, 
without any inconsequence of words or thoughts. 
There was not a trace of a delusion, and his memory 
was never at fault. In all he said he gave unmistakable 
proof of his being a man of great ability and learning, 
and having feelings keenly sensitive to the least doubt 
thrown on his honour or truthfulness. His general 
health was good, and he stated that he never had had 
any serious attack of illness, and that there was no 
hereditary taint of insanity in his family. He gave a 
clear and logical account of the motives and circum- 
stances which led him to commit a breach of the peace. 
" He stated that six years ago he held the appoint- 
ment of chaplain to the Industrial Schools at Brighton. 
From this office he was dismissed in consequence of his 
having complained of the conduct of some of the 
officials, thereby giving offence to some members of the 
Board of Guardians. He demanded a full and fair 
inquiry into all the circumstances of the case ; and 
although he was supported by seven clergymen and 
other members of the Board, his reasonable request 
was not granted, nor could he get any redress for the 
grievous wrong and ruinous loss he had sustained. 
Since that time he had made repeated efforts to get 
justice done him, in vain. He says that if he can only 
get his character cleared he would be satisfied. Fifteen 
months ago he applied to the Court of Chancery, but 
was told by Vice-Chancellor Malins that he had no 
jurisdiction in the matter. On asking him what 
induced him to fire a blank cartridge at the Master of 
the Rolls, he said it was from no vindictive feeling or 
murderous intention, but with the hope that it might 
be the means of bringing his case before the public, 
being driven to it by extreme poverty, and that, if he 


must go to the workhouse, he preferred that it should 
be through the criminal dock ; that he did not fire 
from sudden impulse he had for months previously 
contemplated doing something to force himself on the 
attention of the public, having on his mind the example 
of the officer who struck the Duke of Cambridge in 
order to get himself heard. 

" Mr Gibson, the surgeon of Newgate, informed me 
that during his imprisonment his conduct has been most 
exemplary, his manner and habits perfectly rational, 
and he has never complained of the prison diet. 

" From a careful consideration of all these facts, I 
have come to the conclusion that the Rev. H. J. 
Dodwell is not insane. 

" J. M. WINN, M.D., M.R.C.P., 

" Member of the Medico- Psychological Society, etc." 

Joint Report of Drs L. S. Forbes Winslow and Winn. 

" On the 2ist inst., and at the request of the friends 
of the Rev. Mr Dodwell, and with the special sanction 
of the Home Secretary, we visited this gentleman, now 
confined as a criminal lunatic in Broadmoor Asylum. 

" We found him calm, collected, and perfectly 
rational. He alluded, as he had done on our two 
previous visits to him in Newgate, to his alleged 
grievances, and to the motives which induced him to 
commit a breach of the peace. 

" He admitted that it was an unwise course of action, 
but contended that he was driven by circumstances to 
commit the act. 

" We were unable to detect, either from his de- 
meanour or conversation, any symptoms to justify his 
detention as a criminal lunatic. 

" J. M. WINN. 

une 1878." 


The result of this agitation, public and political, 
which was incidental to the incarceration in a lunatic 
asylum of an Englishman in whose case no such evi- 
dence of insanity had been raised at the time of the 
trial, and in spite of the opinion of the surgeon of New- 
gate, where he had been confined at the time, was to 
obtain an official medical examination on the part of 
the Treasury. This was in every way ex parte no 
consultation with the prisoner's medical advisers. A 
conclusion was doubtless arrived at, as was desired, 
with an imperfect knowledge of the true history and 
facts of the case. The secrecy here adopted in the 
Government examinations stood out in strong evidence. 
The reports of these medical gentlemen nominated by 
the Government differed, as I knew would be the case, 
from the opinion expressed by doctors in favour of 
DodwelTs sanity. 

After our reports had been sent in, Mrs Dodwell, his 
wife, sent a letter to the Queen, which was answered 
from the Home Offices : 

" To the Queen's Most Excellent Majesty. 

" I have taken the great liberty of writing to your 
Majesty to make an appeal on behalf of my husband, 
the Rev. Henry John Dodwell, who is detained during 
your Majesty's pleasure at Broadmoor Lunatic Asylum. 
I humbly submit to the general opinion that he deserved 
some punishment for his unwise act ; but the long and 
happy married life we have lived, his uniform kindness 
to his children and myself, his calmness and persever- 
ance for five years under the irritating difficulties ex- 
perienced in endeavouring to obtain redress for the 


wrongs that had been done to him, is not to me con- 
sistent with his being branded as a lunatic. And as 
the eminent medical men who have examined him are 
divided in opinion, I humbly and earnestly pray that 
your Majesty will give him the benefit of the doubt and 
liberate him, so that he may return to protect our four 
children and release me from the helpless position I am 
in, and save me from my only resource, the workhouse. 
I beg to remain, your Majesty's most humble and 
obedient subject, 


"Wife of H. J. Dodwell. 

"6/A March 1879. 

" To Her Majesty Queen Victoria, Windsor Castle." 

The reply to her letter is as follows : 

March 1879. 

" MADAM, In reply to your application to her 
Majesty, praying the release of the Rev. Henry John 
Dodwell from Broadmoor Asylum, I am directed by 
Mr Secretary Cross to acquaint you that the same 
has been laid before the Queen, who was not pleased 
to give any instructions thereon. I am, madam, your 
obedient servant, 

" (Signed) A. F. O. LIDDELL. 

" Mrs Dodwell, 
" 77 Great College Street, N.W." 

The case was considered again in the House of 
Commons, when it was stated that the medical men 
who had been appointed to visit Mr Dodwell had 
reported " that the safety of the public still required 
that he should be detained at Broadmoor as a 
dangerous lunatic." I beg to challenge that opinion. 
I say that there was nothing in Mr Dod well's conduct 


or career which justified the statement that he was 
a dangerous lunatic. He had a reason for what he 
did, and it might be said, therefore, that a man who 
might break a window in his desire to draw public 
opinion to his wrongs ought to be included in the 
same category. This has often taken place. 

The facts on which we founded his sanity were as 
follows : 

1. That he gave a clear and correct account of the 
grievances which induced him to commit a mis- 
demeanour, having failed in every other attempt to 
get a hearing in courts of justice. 

2. That he did not fire a blank cartridge at the* 
judge from an insane impulse, but had been pre- 
meditating the act for six months, and was so deter- 
mined to avoid any possible injury to his lordship that 
he stood at a safe distance from him before discharg- 
ing the pistol. 

3. All the medical men who saw him, six weeks 
before he was sent to Broadmoor, found him perfectly 
coherent in conversation, and they could not discover 
the least trace of a delusion. 

4. From what he said it was evident that he was 
a highly honourable, truthful, and religious man, with 
strong reasoning powers and a highly cultivated in- 
tellect ; possessing also great determination of will, 
and feelings keenly sensitive to insult or injury. 

5. It has been assumed that Mr Dodwell had a 
morbid sense of his ill-treatment by the Brighton 
Guardians. Can a man be said to have a morbid 


sense of an injury which has reduced him and his 
family to beggary ? 

Dodwell lingered and died in Broadmoor Criminal 
Lunatic Asylum. He had been driven mad by the 
environment of the place, and whilst suffering in- 
dignities he made an attack on Dr Orange, the medical 
superintendent. Dodwell was a man of impulse, fiery 
disposition, inability to restrain his temper, as many 
of his late pupils at Cheltenham College informed me. 
He was not insane, and there was no justification for 
a life-long residence in Broadmoor. 


In 1879 Gerald Mainwaring, aged twenty-eight, was 
charged with the wilful murder of Joseph Moss, a 
policeman at Derby. The act was committed whilst 
he was suffering from alcoholic indulgence. I was 
consulted with reference to the case, and the point 
raised was, whether criminals were responsible for 
acts committed whilst under the influence of drink. 
It is a well-known fact, and laid down in our Code, that 
" drunkenness aggravates the offence." In the case 
of Mainwaring his brain had become temporarily 
affected with alcoholic poisoning, so as to render him 
in a state of irresponsibility and unconsciousness at 
the time of the commitment of the act. There was 
no malice or premeditation. His brain was on the 
verge of delirium tremens, and no doubt the indulgence 
and constant debauchery rendered him in a state of 


irresponsibility for his actions. It was urged by the 
prosecution that because he was able to walk com- 
paratively straight when he got out of the cab, he 
could not have been sufficiently intoxicated to be 
held irresponsible for his acts. It was urged on his 
behalf, and in an eloquent way, that the drunkenness 
might have affected his mind to such an extent as to 
reduce the crime from murder to manslaughter. The 
jury thought otherwise. He was condemned to death, 
but they recommended him to mercy. 

The only public interest in this case is the question 
as to how far a criminal who is intoxicated is re- 
sponsible for any crime committed whilst in that 
state. Of course, it is a dangerous dogma to allow 
a drunken murderer to escape the scaffold ; but each 
case ought to be considered, if one may use the 
expression, " on its merits." Mainwaring's crime 
was motiveless, but the unfortunate part of his 
history was his association with public-houses, where 
he used to spend the greater part of his time. This 
is a typical illustration of the effect drink may have 
on the brains of those who indulge too freely in it. 
During my career I have had many patients who 
have committed crime whilst under its influence. 
Since the period of which I am now writing crime 
has increased in the same way as alcohol has. Where 
drinking exists, crime is also to be found ; and I 
think I am not far wrong in stating that more than 
two-thirds of the murders are committed either by 
uncontrollable drunkards or by absolute ones in 


other words, by people suffering from the influence 
of drink. I made a statement once whilst discussing 
this subject, and which after many years' experience 
I am prepared to emphatically substantiate, to the 
effect that I have never seen a man in a perfect 
condition of sobriety go into a public-house, and I 
am sure I have never seen a man in an absolute state 
of sobriety come out of one ; the former statement is 
accounted for from the fact that I am never up early 
enough to see him go in for his first drink. Not only 
is drink responsible for a large proportion of crime, 
but for more than a quarter per cent, of the lunacy 
in all parts of the world ; and it is a terrible thing 
to have to state, but I do so without fear of con- 
tradiction, that more crime, more drink, and more 
lunacy are to be found in the City of London than in 
any other city of the universe. More shame to our 
authorities ! More shame to our Government ! The 
terrible social blot is at their door. 


In 1 88 1 all London were startled by a murder 
committed on the Brighton line by Percy Lefroy 
Mapleton. The victim was a Mr Gold, who had 
been in the habit of travelling every week from 
Brighton to London on business, with usually a 
large amount of money in his possession. The 
murderer adopted the name of Lefroy. a name he 


was known by in the theatrical profession. The case 
was one which caused considerable doubt in my mind 
as to his responsibility. The day previous to the 
termination of the trial I was consulted by his relatives 
as to his mental condition, and by their instructions I 
attended the trial, which was being held at Maidstone 
before the late Lord Coleridge. I did so, not as a 
witness, but as a spectator, with a view of observing 
the demeanour of the prisoner. The trial commenced 
in November, and it caused a considerable amount of 
public excitement, as is always the case in a " train 
tragedy." The general public, as a rule, for the time 
being imagine that they might meet a similar fate. 

Mr Gold resided at Preston Park, near Brighton, 
and Lefroy knew perfectly well that the habit of this 
gentleman was to pay weekly visits to London, and 
to carry a large amount of money about with him. 

Having completed his plans, Lefroy arranged to 
leave London in the same railway carriage as Mr Gold 
on the 27th of June. On the arrival of the train at 
Preston Park, where tickets are collected, Lefroy was 
found to be the sole occupant of the carriage, with 
his coat off, his collar missing, and himself besmeared 
with blood. His explanation of being in this condition 
was that he himself had been attacked by a man in 
the train. He was taken forthwith to the hospital 
and his wounds attended to. There was, however, 
observed a watch-chain dangling from one of his boots. 
Upon being interrogated upon this subject, he said 
that he had put the watch there for safety's sake 



when attacked, and that it belonged to him. The 
number of the watch was 16,261, and made by 

Subsequently, at 3.45 the same day, the body of 
Mr Gold was found in Balcombe Tunnel. On the line 
near Burgess Hill a collar was found, which was traced 
as belonging to Lefroy, and in Clayton Tunnel, near 
to Preston Park, was an umbrella belonging to Gold. 
There were bullet wounds found on the body. Lefroy 
was not suspected at the time, but was allowed to 
return home to Croydon where he lived. A detective 
called on him shortly afterwards, and took the following 
statement from him : 

" I took a first-class ticket in the two o'clock train 
from London to Brighton. Two other passengers 
were in the compartment, one younger and one older. 
On arriving at the first tunnel after passing Croydon 
I saw a flash and heard a report of firearms. I re- 
ceived a blow on the head from one of the men and 
became insensible. I recovered consciousness at 

It was proved that Lefroy had taken a pistol out 
of pawn, which was the one subsequently found ; and 
upon investigation it was discovered that the watch 
which Mr Gold had purchased at Griffiths corresponded 
with the number of that found on Lefroy. 

The case presented itself to me as one of absolute 
guilt, though in addressing the jury the late Mr 
Montagu Williams, Lefroy 's counsel, said : " This is 
no ordinary case of murder, and there is no question 


of sanity or insanity." This question was only raised 

The trial having lasted some days, the late Lord 
Coleridge, in pronouncing sentence, remarked : " You 
have been convicted on the clearest evidence of a 
most ferocious murder, a murder perpetrated on a 
harmless old man, who had done you no wrong ; he 
was perhaps unknown to you. You have been rightly 
convicted, and it is right and just that you should die." 
To which Lefroy replied : " The day will come when 
you will know that you have murdered me." I heard 
the sentence and I heard the reply of Lefroy. 

A petition was got up, and I interviewed several 
people in reference to the case. One of his friends 
told me that Lefroy " was amiable, kind, even- 
tempered, and of a lovable disposition, and that 
he had ever displayed this from a child." On i6th 
August Lefroy wrote the following letter, which was 
shown me : 

" Possibly from my past life I may have deserved 
this awful punishment ; but, after all, my sins have 
been more omission than commission. My years 
are but a boy. Annie, dearest, shall I ever see the 
silver lining of the clouds again ? " 

Previous to the trial he had suffered, as was to be 
expected, from an enormous amount of anxiety. 
On 3ist October he wrote to a friend as follows : 

" Now that the trial is approaching I feel no fear ; 
on the contrary, however strange it may appear, I 
am a happier man than I have been in a good many 


epochs of my life. Thank God, my health is quite 
up to the average, and ready and wishful for the 

I was so convinced from the study of the case that 
Lefroy was not responsible for his actions, that, after 
another conference with his relations, I decided to 
agitate in this matter. 

Certain documentary evidence was placed in my 
hands, together with a complete history of the accused. 
The conclusion I arrived at was that there were 
sufficient grounds for petitioning the Home Secretary 
to grant a medical examination of the condemned 
man. I was informed that I had been appointed 
to visit Lefroy at the Lewes Gaol, and I immediately 
telegraphed to the Home Secretary consenting to 
make the examination, should my request be complied 
with, in conjunction with a medical Government 
official appointed by himself. I felt that all England 
was up in arms against Lefroy, and that public opinion 
was so great against the plea of irresponsibility that 
I did not care to take upon myself the sole responsi- 
bility of acting as his mental adjudicator in a case of 
so much public importance and interest. Permission, 
however, was not granted for me to visit Lefroy. The 
custom exists in England that, after condemnation, 
no outside medical interference is permitted, though 
previous to the trial, had his friends approached me, 
I should have been able to have examined him and 
testified in court as to my opinion upon his mental 


I obtained a petition signed by upwards of a hundred 
medical men, asking for a reprieve. One of the 
principal medical men who signed it was a consulting 
physician living in Brook Street, whom Lefroy had 
himself previously consulted. Upon reference to his 
diary the following entry appeared, attached to the 
name of the prisoner : " This person is evidently 

My medical petition, together with the general 
petition, was signed by two thousand people. 

The history of Lefroy was a peculiar one. He in- 
herited insanity, both on his father's and mother's side, 
and he commenced his career with anything but a 
hopeful future. His mother died before he had reached 
the age of five, while his father suffered from softening 
of the brain some years previous to his death. 

Lefroy was absorbed in theatrical matters, and 
was abnormally conceited. Very often he used to go 
behind the scenes, and sometimes got an engagement 
as super. His natural disposition was described to 
me as being one of gentleness, abhorring all crime, 
but ever conscious of his imaginary importance. 

I was not able to get any full details of the early 
career of Lefroy. He was sent, however, later on to 
Australia, but did not remain there long. During 
the home voyage he conducted himself in such a 
strange manner as to necessitate his being placed 
under absolute restraint. The evidence of the captain 
and the officers on the ship, which I heard, testified 
as to this. I always entertained an opinion that, if 


his real state of mind had only been recognised by 
his relations at this period of his career, the terrible 
calamity would have been averted. I was informed 
that he had gone into theatrical speculations with 
an imaginary opera-bouffe, which was supposed to 
have been written by Offenbach, but which he called 
Lucette. This had no reality beyond his own morbid 
imagination. This was only one of his many extra- 
ordinary statements, and founded on fabrication, 
which from time to time existed in his own imagina- 
tion ; some people were wont to call them lies, but 
in my opinion they were delusions, the result of a 
diseased mind. 

I had a letter placed in my hands by his relations, 
in which he stated that he had come into a property 
of ten thousand pounds per annum for life, and that 
he was going in for Parliamentary honours. The 
letter was a comparatively recent one, and was 
written in May; within a few weeks of this epistle 
he committed the murder for which he was ultimately 
held responsible at the hands of the executioner. 

Lefroy was cunning, as most lunatics are, and 
this quality was observed throughout the whole of 
his transactions. His conduct was very peculiar 
after the murder, but the fact that it was apparently 
premeditated strengthened the case for the prosecu- 
tion. But it might be as well to state that most 
murders committed by lunatics are premeditated, 
and that insanity and cunning go hand in hand. 
Whilst in prison he made a number of extraordinary 


confessions, which proved to be nothing more nor 
less than a tissue of crazy incoherences. He admitted 
the commitment of one crime after another, and the 
murder of a Lieutenant Roper. The explanation 
given by those opposed to the plea of insanity was 
that he did this in order to obtain a respite for the 
moment, to gain time for them to investigate the 
truth of his statements, with the chance of this ad- 
journment being followed by a reprieve. Information 
reached me from the precincts of the prison that 
Lefroy was " raving like a lunatic and foaming at 
the mouth." This information, I had reason to 
believe, as is usual in such cases, was suppressed by 
the authorities from the general public. There is 
no evidence that any mental expert was called in to 
examine him after condemnation. 

I entertained a very strong opinion that Lefroy 
was not only insane, but was subject to paroxysms 
of homicidal impulse. He had some imaginary love 
affair, without the slightest foundation it was purely 
the delusion of a disordered fancy. I worked very 
hard in this case to induce those in power at the Home 
Office to grant a medical examination into the mental 
condition of Lefroy, but without avail. The red- 
tapeism behind the Office was very prominent in 
this case. It was a popular murder, if I may use 
the expression one in which, from the fact of the 
murder taking place in a railway train and one to which 
anyone might be subjected, the public thought that 
an example should be made. The spoil found on 


Lefroy amounted to an old watch belonging to Mr 
Gold, and some Hungarian sovereigns were also found 
on him. 

The great mistake the family made in this case was 
not consulting me previous to the trial instead of 
after it had commenced ; also in not raising the plea 
of insanity at the time. If there ever was a case in 
which the plea of irresponsibility should have been 
raised it was in the case of Lefroy. 

Having, as I generally do in these cases, got behind 
the scenes and investigated everything, I was informed 
that so great was the prejudice at the Home Office 
towards Lefroy and against listening to the plea of 
insanity raised, that the officials connected with the 
prison, on pain of dismissal, were not allowed to 
divulge anything that occurred within the precincts 
of the gaol for twenty-four hours previous to his being 
hurled into eternity ; this was with special reference 
to the prisoner's conversation and demeanour. 

The case from first to last was a very sensational 
one, and the attention of London was absorbed in 
it ; but under no pretence whatever was the public 
executioner to be deprived of his victim. 

After these years, and reviewing the case calmly 
and deliberately, and taking into consideration the 
history of the case and all the concomitant facts, I 
am very strongly of opinion that it would have been 
to the interests of intelligence, humanity, science, 
civilisation, Christianity, and justice if a deaf ear had 
not been turned to the prayer of the unhappy man's 



family and medical petitioners, simply begging that 
the Home Secretary would grant them an inquiry 
into the mental condition of the youth standing on 
the precipice of his fate. We asked no more than 
this, and were refused. 


I was summoned in 1888 to examine a man named 
Taylor, who had committed a double murder at Otley, 
but from no appreciable reason. He shot his own 
child, which his wife was carrying in her arms, and 
subsequently a policeman who came to arrest him. 
With regard to the murder of the child, this was ap- 
parently motiveless, though it may be said that the 
assassination of the policeman was evidently done with 
a motive. 

I examined the murderer on two occasions, whilst 
incarcerated in Wakefield Gaol. He suffered from 
religious insanity, associated with auricular hallucina- 
tions which urged him to commit acts over which he 
had no control. 

In the same year I had examined a man named 
Richardson, who shot several persons at Ramsgate. 
This was also a motiveless crime. He was arrested 
and placed in Canterbury Gaol, where I saw him. This 
trial took place on the i6th of February 1888. The 
jury found he was of unsound mind and unable to 
plead. Curiously, the case of Taylor commenced at 
Leeds the very same day. I wired to the solicitor, Mr 


Gledstone, conducting the defence, as to my position 
in the matter, but informed him that I would come 
direct from Maidstone to Leeds, and I hoped to arrive 
in time, Richardson having been tried at Maidstone. 

On my arrival in Leeds the same evening I was met 
at the station by the solicitor and some of the wit- 
nesses, who appeared to be in a terrible condition of 
distress. The case had occupied the whole day, and 
the jury had come to the conclusion that the prisoner 
was of " sound mind and able to plead " at the time of 
the trial. 

The other question was, what was his mental con- 
dition at the time of the murder ? This was to be 
decided by the same jury on the following day, with 
the same witnesses, with one exception myself. 
Everybody had made up their minds that the man 
would be convicted. The public regarded the case, 
especially as far as the assassination of the policeman 
was concerned, as a terrible one, and one for which no 
excuse could be given. The next morning arrived, 
the same witnesses were called, the jury apparently 
were yawning during the time of their evidence, 
having heard it all the day before. Immediately I 
stepped into the box a change came over the spirit of 
their dreams they apparently began to listen at- 
tentively ; and though some junior counsel tried to 
trip me up, I held my own. Taylor was found to be 
of unsound mind at the time of the murder. The 
foreman of the jury and several members of the same 
told me afterwards that had it not been for my evi- 


dence they would have given the same opinion as 
they had given on the previous day. 

I was nearly lynched on my way from the court- 
house to the station ; in fact, I was followed by a big 
crowd and hooted. It was with a certain amount of 
satisfaction that I found myself in a sound condition 
comfortably seated in a smoking carriage on the 
London and North- Western Railway, en route for home. 

It is a morbid gratification for me to have to record 
that a short time afterwards Taylor plucked out both 
his eyes whilst confined in Broadmoor Asylum, and 
while suffering from the same delusions and hallucina- 
tions as those he had when he was placed on his trial at 
Leeds, and on which I based my opinion and evidence. 

Sir Clifford Allbutt, who was one of the leading 
physicians in the North of England, testified on the 
day previous to the one on which I had given my evi- 
dence ; but even the weight of his testimony did not 
convince the jury. 

I was also retained the same week in a case of murder 
at Weston-super-Mare. So there was the Ramsgate 
shooting case in the extreme south-east, the Otley 
tragedy at Leeds, and the Weston-super-Mare case in 
Somersetshire. Rather a unique experience to be 
retained in three murder cases in one week. I think 
the annals of medical jurisprudence do not chronicle 
a similar instance to this. 

In 1889 I was called upon to examine in St Thomas's 
Hospital a man named Currah, who had murdered 
Letine, proprietor of a troupe of acrobats. 


Currah had a daughter, Beatrice, who had been 
engaged by Letine as one of his troupe. Shortly after- 
wards Beatrice was discharged from the troupe. As 
a result of this there were various actions for wrongful 
dismissal and for ill-treatment to the girl on the part 
of Letine ; in each of these the acrobat came off 
victorious, and this apparently affected the mind of 
Currah. One day he waited at the stage door of the 
Canterbury Theatre of Varieties and stabbed Letine 
as he came out. I may here say that Beatrice had 
died, and her death was supposed by Currah, whose 
mind was affected, to have been accelerated by Letine. 
He made a dreadful attempt upon his own life after he 
had stabbed Letine. In consequence of this he was 
taken to St Thomas's Hospital, where I examined him 
in conjunction with the house surgeon ; this examina- 
tion was made in July 1889. 

Currah suffered from mental prostration, the result 
of the tribulation he had passed through, and he 
became haunted with auricular and visual hallucina- 
tions to the effect that he was pursued by the spirit of 
his dead daughter Beatrice, urging him to kill Letine. 

I was summoned to give evidence at the trial, and 
the man was acquitted on my evidence. 


On nth May 1889 Mr James Maybrick died in 
Liverpool under certain suspicious circumstances 
which apparently justified an investigation. It was 


alleged that Mrs Maybrick had systematically mixed 
arsenic with his food and also in his drinks. He had 
suffered from bad health for some time, but the acute 
and baneful symptoms only developed a few weeks 
before his death. 

The trial created an enormous amount of sensation 
in England. It commenced 3ist July 1889 before Mr 
Justice Stephen. The case was a most obscure one, 
surrounded by a purely scientific issue, which only 
those learned in such investigations could in any way 
comprehend. It will be interesting, therefore, to give 
the constitution of this learned jury who had been 
summoned to adjudicate upon an abstruse toxico- 
logical question. Mr Timothy Wainwright, plumber, 
was the foreman ; the others were : one wood-turner, 
one provision dealer, a glazier, two farmers, a grocer, 
an ironmonger, a milliner, a baker, and another 
plumber. With regard to the mental equilibrium 
of the jury, a letter written by a gentleman living at 
Southport is rather significant. He wrote : " Until 
I had read the names of the jury in the Maybrick case 
I agreed with the verdict ; but being acquainted with 
three of them, I must say they are not fitted to ex- 
press an opinion on such an important subject, being 
men of the poorest education, and I can vouch that 
one cannot read his own name." 

The most direct way of giving the defence, as pre- 
sented by Mrs Maybrick, will be to give in detail a 
statement made by her in court on 6th August 1889. 

The prisoner, at a sign from Sir Charles Russell, 


rose to make her statement. She had some diffi- 
culty in beginning, and clung to the front of the dock 
for several moments, swaying to and fro, endeav- 
ouring to restrain her tears. She said she wished 
to make known something in regard to the charge 
made against her of the deliberate poisoning of her 

Mrs Maybrick before her trial. 

Mrs Maybrick during her trial. 

husband, the father of her dear children. She went 
on to say that the use of fly-papers was for the com- 
plexion. Her mother knew for years past of her 
custom in this respect, and she (the prisoner) had 
followed a prescription she had obtained from a doctor. 
In April last she had lost the prescription, and thought 
of replacing it by a substitute of her own, being 
specially desirous of getting rid of an eruption on the 


face before going to a ball on 3oth April. Mrs May- 
brick went on to explain the soaking of the fly-papers 
by saying that " scent was used in the soaking, and 
it was necessary to exclude the air as much as possible, 
hence the covering over by a plate and two towels." 
Mrs May brick proceeded : 

" My lord, I now wish to say a word about the bottle 
of beef essence. On Thursday night, gth May, when 
Nurse Gore had given my husband the meat juice, I 
went and sat down by his side. He complained of 
feeling very sick and very oppressed, and he implored 
me then again to give him his powder. I declined to 
give it him, but I was overwrought, terribly anxious, 
miserably unhappy, and his distress utterly unnerved 
me. After he had told me the powder would not harm 
him if I put it in his food, I consented. My lord, I 
had not one single honest friend in the house. I had 
no one to consult. I was deposed from my position of 
mistress and from attendance on my husband, not- 
withstanding, on the evidence of the nurses, he wished 
to have me with him and he missed me whenever I 
went out of the room. For four days before he died 
I was not allowed even to give him a piece of ice 
without it being taken out of my hand. 

" I took the white powder. I took it in the inner 
room with the meat juice, and pushing the door I 
upset the bottle, and in order to make up the quantity 
of fluid spilled I added a considerable quantity of 
water. On returning to the room I found my husband 
asleep, and I placed the bottle on a small table. When 


he awoke he had a choking sensation in his throat and 
vomiting. As he did not ask for the powder, and as 
I was not anxious to give it him, I removed the bottle 
from the small table where I had put it, on to the 
washstand, behind the basin, where he could not see 
it. There I left it until Mr Michael Maybrick took 
possession of it on Tuesday, I4th May. After my 
husband's death, until a few minutes before the 
terrible charge against me, no one in the house had 
informed me as to the fact that a post-mortem ex- 
amination had taken place, or that there was any 
reason to suppose my husband had died from other 
than natural causes. It was not until Mrs Briggs 
alluded to the presence of arsenic in the beef juice 
that I was made aware of the nature of the powder 
my husband had asked me to give to him. I then 
attempted to explain to Mrs Briggs, but the police- 
man interrupted the conversation and stopped it. In 
conclusion, my lord, I have to say that from the love 
of our children, and for the sake of their future, a 
perfect reconciliation had taken place between us, 
and that on the day before his death I made a free 
confession to him of the fearful wrong I did him." 

The jury retired to consider their verdict at 3.13 
on 7th August 1889. They returned to court at 3.56 
with a verdict of " Guilty." When asked if she had 
anything to say why the sentence should not be 
carried into effect, Mrs Maybrick replied as follows : 
" My lord, evidence has been kept back from the 
jury which, if it had been known, would have altered 


their verdict. I am not guilty of this offence." 
Having said this, Florence Elizabeth Maybrick left 
the fatal dock. 

The opinion in Liverpool was nearly universal as 
to the acquittal of the lady, and the precincts of the 
court were thronged with thousands waiting for the 
issue. An angry murmur which was universal in 
fact, it was described on that occasion by one of the 
newspapers as a " great, angry howl " went up 
from the crowd. Mr Justice Stephen, whose attitude 
throughout the case was antagonistic to Mrs May- 
brick, was subjected to the most determined hostile 
demonstration. At one time it was even considered 
he might have been lynched. He succeeded in getting 
to his carriage, and drove off followed by the howling 
and shrieks of " Shame ! " The sentence was given 
just before four p.m., and it was nearly six before 
Mrs Maybrick was driven out in the prison van. She 
was cheered and cheered by thousands of people ; in 
fact, all Liverpool was up in arms at the cruel and 
unjust verdict. Not a single member of the jury 
belonged to Liverpool ; the foreman came from St 
Helens, whilst the others resided in the West Derby 
Hundred of the county. On leaving the court they 
were also subjected to serious demonstration. Mrs 
Maybrick, interviewed after the sentence was passed, 
was firm in her conviction that had it not been for 
the judge's severe comment and lengthy allusion to 
her wicked immorality the jury would have acquitted 

her, but from the nature of the summing-up of the 



judge the jury had no alternative but to arrive at 
the conclusion they did. She held a strong belief 
that when the court adjourned for lunch, before the 
judge concluded his address, the jury were all in her 
favour, and this opinion was held by others as well 
as by herself. On the following morning Mr Justice 
Stephen, in order to prevent a repetition of the 
demonstration against him and the mobbing, was 
guarded by a hundred and fifty constables on his 
arrival at the court. The feeling against him in 
Liverpool was most pronounced, as his charge to the 
jury was considered to be unjust and prejudiced. 
The following day, from far and wide came the uni- 
versal cry that an injustice had been done, and that 
the verdict must be condemned and Mrs Maybrick 
saved from a criminal's death. 

Immediately after her conviction, becoming con- 
vinced that it was a most unjust verdict, I determined 
to do my very best to agitate in the matter, and to 
obtain a reprieve for this lady. 

On the Qth of August I commenced to agitate in 
the press on the case, and in a letter of that date I 
said : " Seldom has a case caused so much public 
excitement as that of Mrs Maybrick. It is discussed 
far and wide, and only one opinion appears to exist 
that she has been convicted on insufficient evidence. 
The medical experts for the defence have been appar- 
ently ignored. The jury have posed as moralists and 
ignored the vital issue as to the poisoning by arsenic." 
I concluded this letter as follows : " It is the duty 


of every Englishman to agitate forthwith to save a 
woman convicted without one tittle of evidence from 
the hands of the public hangman." 

Mr MacDougal and myself were most vehement on 
the matter, and, having worked together in a similar 
case known as the " Penge mystery," which created 
nearly as much excitement as the Maybrick case, 
we decided to adopt a similar plan here. It was 
stated at the time that the only chance Mrs Maybrick 
had of a reprieve was in the Queen's deep aversion 
to the infliction of capital punishment on a woman. 
Petitions were at once commenced, not only in Liver- 
pool, but in all parts of the country, to which thousands 
of signatures were attached, and which were prepared 
for the then Home Secretary, Mr Matthews. A report 
was current at the time that the costs of the defence, 
which amounted to upwards of four thousand pounds, 
had been paid by Mr Brierley ; also that a jury of 
matrons had been sworn to decide another issue, 
which might postpone the execution should the 
efforts to secure a respite prove ineffectual. It was 
proved, however, that there was no possible ground 
for either of these rumours. Her mother visited her 
on the Saturday subsequent to the trial, and found 
her in a complete state of collapse, mental and bodily. 
In addition to the special petition to which I have 
alluded, the Licensed Victuallers drafted one on their 
own account, the chief clauses of which were that 
there was no direct evidence of the administration 
of arsenic by Mrs Maybrick to her husband ; that 


the case against her was unduly prejudiced by the 
evidence of motive, and that there was grave doubt 
whether the circumstantial evidence relied on by the 
prosecution was weighty enough to justify conviction : 
that there was a strong body of medical testimony on 
behalf of the defence ; that death was ascribable to 
natural causes, and that there was not sufficient evi- 
dence relied on by the prosecution that it was due to 
arsenical poisoning : this together with the fact that, 
having regard to the conflicting nature of the medical 
evidence, there was a very widespread doubt as to 
the propriety of the verdict on general grounds, and 
that it would be in the highest degree unsafe to 
permit an irrevocable sentence to be carried out. It 
was pointed out by one of the correspondents that 
the term " sick unto death/' stated to have been 
used by Mrs Maybrick with reference to her husband, 
was a common American phrase daily met with 
throughout the States, and did not deserve the 
gravity and importance placed upon it by the judge. 
The execution was fixed for Tuesday, 27th August, 
within the precincts of Walton Gaol, Liverpool, at 
8 a.m. In the meantime public opinion ran very 
high. Mr Justice Stephen had returned to London, 
and had an interview with Mr Matthews of an hour's 
duration. The evidence was reviewed in considerable 
detail, and I was led to understand that Mr Matthews 
was very much impressed by the arguments submitted 
to him. The judge was reported to have expressed 
not only his entire concurrence in the verdict, but 


also his appreciation of the careful way in which the 
jury had performed their long and arduous duties. 
From a careful study of the judge's attitude through- 
out the case, this is not to be wondered at. In the 
same persuasive way as he succeeded in convincing 
the jury, he so convinced the Home Secretary, who 
became for the moment adamant. Memorial after 
memorial poured into the Home Office, and one from 
Liverpool containing over twenty thousand signa- 
tures, the signatures of the ladies predominating 
over the males in numbers. At Cardiff five thousand 
residents signed the petition. In fact, petitions were 
got up all over England to the same effect, most of 
them being worded alike. Thousands and thousands 
of names became attached, and I do not exaggerate by 
saying that more petitioners signed the prayer for a 
reprieve in the case of Mrs Maybrick than has ever 
been previously known in any other case. One and 
all proclaimed Mrs Maybrick was innocent, that Mrs 
Maybrick had not received a fair hearing, that the 
judge was prejudiced in the case, and that public 
opinion would prevent an unjust sentence from being 
carried out. It was apparently a mob agitation based 
on justice, versus a cruel, unjust verdict. 

A number of letters from the public, mostly of an 
indignant character, flooded the newspapers. 

On 1 3th August a gigantic public meeting, convened 
by Mr Alexander W. M'Dougall, was held in the great 
hall of the Cannon Street Hotel, City, for the purpose 
of considering the summing-up of the judge and the 


verdict of the jury. The large hall was crowded. 
The chairman opened the meeting and proposed that 
a memorial be presented to the Home Secretary pray- 
ing for a reprieve for Mrs Maybrick. 

In addressing the meeting I informed the audience 
that there were few cases in forensic medicine where 
such grave doubts occurred as in the present one. I 
told them that Mr Maybrick had administered to him- 
self in a very short time a number of poisonous drugs ; 
I asked why no antidotes had been administered by the 
medical men ? I next drew attention to the apathy 
of the jury, who during the whole trial had not asked 
a single question ; and further stated that among the 
many medical men whom I had canvassed for an 
opinion I had only received one expression of guilt. 
On I3th August I wrote a letter to the press agreeing 
to take charge of any communications or letters which 
might be sent to me to be attached to the petition. 

The petition read as follows : " The petitioners pray 
that a reprieve may be granted in Mrs Maybrick's case 
in consequence of insufficient evidence, and in the light 
of scientific knowledge." 

Within a short time thousands of additional signa- 
tures were obtained and added to the original petition. 
Not only did these petitions come in from all parts of 
the country, but a special memorial was drawn up by 
the members of the House of Commons, and especially 
one by Mr M'Donald, the blind member, and Colonel 

A sub-committee was appointed at this meeting, of 


which I was appointed chairman, and a further meeting 
was held at Cannon Street Hotel on i5th August. I 
informed the audience of some very important facts 
relative to the case, one of which was that I had found 
the actual medical man who had originally prescribed 
arsenic for Mr May brick, and acting under whose advice 
he had continued to take the same up to the time of 
his fatal illness. 

" DEAR SIR, I should be obliged by your placing 
my name on your list as one who believes in Mrs May- 
brick's innocence. A few days ago, while taking my 
early morning walk along Park Road, I inquired for 
Wellington Mansions (a house mentioned very often 
as the residence of Mr Maybrick). I was told it was in 
a street called North Bank a rather notorious place. 
A Liverpool gentleman used to say that he put all his 
money in North Bank. I went, and the fact brought 
to my mind the incident of a Liverpool stockbroker 
whom I came across several times while acting surgeon 
to the Skin and Cancer Hospital. He called upon me 
several times. He was suffering from psoriasis of the 
feet. I prescribed a solution of arsenic, and very 
distinctly told him that if he did not continue the 
medicine he might have paralysis." 

The writer of this letter had recognised a picture of 
Mr Maybrick in the newspapers as being that of the 
Liverpool man alluded to in this letter. 

I stated that I had received that day five hundred 
telegrams from various persons asking that their names 
might be placed on the medical or general petition. 
Many of my medical correspondents had asked why 
during the illness of Mr Maybrick, if poisoning had 


been suspected, no attempt had been made to 
administer an antidote. 

The Lancet devoted five columns to a review of the 
Maybrick case, and, after analysing the medical and 
other evidence, said as follows : " We can have no 
desire that the Royal prerogative veto should not be 
exercised in this case ; but as a duty to the living 
relatives of the deceased, to a painstaking, fearless, and 
honest jury, and to one of the greatest ornaments of the 
English Bench, we solemnly assert as an unbiassed 
opinion that the verdict arrived at at Mrs Maybrick's 
trial was warranted by the evidence." 

This opinion, however, carried but little weight, as 
subsequently, after they saw I had my petition in hand, 
they also started a similar one in fact, were made 
to eat their own words. On igth August, when Mr 
Matthews arrived at the House of Commons, three 
petitions were presented to him in favour of a reprieve. 
I believe this is the first instance on record where such 
an unusual proceeding has taken place. I allude to 
it to show the interest the public took in the matter. 
I am not prepared to state the number of signatures 
which were attached to the various petitions they 
could be counted in ten thousands ; suffice it to say 
that my own medical petition, presented in person 
immediately previous to the reprieve, contained the 
signatures of 499 medical men, all of whom, with one 
solitary exception, on scientific grounds opposed the 
verdict. As to the number affixed to the Lancet 
memorial I never troubled to inquire, especially after 


the tone of their leading article to which I have already 

Conference after conference took place at the Home 
Office, but nothing definite was arrived at, and the 
day for execution drew nigh. The medical opinion in 
London was unanimous as to the un justness of the 
verdict. A final meeting was held at Olympia, and 
it was fully expected that Mrs Maybrick would be 
released and present herself on that occasion. 

The foreman of the jury, in consequence of various 
statements and reflections which had been made 
upon them arriving at their decision in such a rapid 
manner, granted the following interview in order to 
justify their conduct, as they thought : 

" Was it the judge's summing up which influenced 
your verdict ? " 

" It was not the judge's summing up which influenced 
us so greatly ; it was the evidence given in the whole 
case. I see it stated that one of the jurymen told a 
barrister we considered that the medical evidence for 
the defence had been bought. That is a very grave 
statement, and I have thought of writing to each of the 
jurors individually to ask them if they did say so, 
for I think such a He ought to be contradicted. It 
certainly is a very remarkable statement, and it is not 
the fact. We considered all the medical evidence on 
both sides." 

Asked whether the statement volunteered by Mrs 
Maybrick had not principally influenced the jury in 
bringing in a verdict of guilty, the foreman replied : 


" It was certainly impossible to say what would have 
occurred if certain portions of the case had not been 

" Possibly you thought that statement broke down 
the medical evidence for the defence ? " 

" Well, it was rather a foolish thing. You see that 
it was very improbable that she put it in the meat juice 
in powder, because it would not have time to dissolve 
so. It does not dissolve easily even in water." 

" You imply from this that she put in a solution, 
which accounts for the difference in the specific gravity 
of the drugged bottle or an ordinary bottle ? " 

" That of course suggests itself. If she spilled it, 
that was a thing of no consequence, and did not require 
filling up." 

" If it was proved that she made a similar statement 
soon after she was first charged, would that have made 
any difference in your minds ? " 

" I could not say. But why did not she call wit- 
nesses to prove it ? " 

" Sir Charles Russell offered to do so, and wanted to 
do so, but the judge stopped him." 

" Oh, he offered to call them, did he ? " This 
seemed strange to Mr Wainwright, who, however, 
continued : " Then Sir Charles Russell should have 
cross-examined on the point before." 

" The learned judge, if I remember rightly, did not 
refer to the box of pills found by Michael May brick ? " 

" The American pills ? He had got these, according 
to the name on the box, in America four years ago, and 



the box was very nearly full ; so he had evidently not 
taken many of them lately. We considered every 
point we could, and were very sorry that we could not 
do otherwise than we did. I am sure everyone on the 

Mr Berry (to Dr Forbes Winslow) : " You've always got something to say." 

jury sympathised with her. I would have given any- 
thing not to have been on the jury, and twice as much 
to be able honestly to find another verdict. But, being 
there, we all had to do our duty conscientiously and 
to the best of our ability." 


" No doubt you did sympathise with her, and the 
people of Liverpool appear to do so very strongly ? " 

" So I believe ; but I think in a few days, when the 
people of the country look at the case fairly and calmly, 
they will see that we could not have arrived at any 
other conclusion." 

" Many people are very sorry for her, despite her 
terrible offences in another direction, and petitions are 
being got up for her reprieve." 

" We knew nothing of what the opinion of the people 
was, and had nothing to do with it even if we did. 
But, personally, I would not be at all sorry if she were 

The only evidence apparently called forth to prove 
that Mr Maybrick took arsenic was : first, the purchase 
of fly-papers ; second, the presence of arsenic in the 
bottle of meat juice and in the saucepan in which his 
food was warmed. As to the fly-papers, this was 
explained by Mrs Maybrick on the ground that she 
used them as a cosmetic. One of the leading skin 
specialists asserted that arsenic is commonly used by 
ladies for the complexion, especially in the United 
States. This was also corroborated by many others. 

I proved that twenty-one irritant poisons were 
administered within six days before death such 
drugs as nux vomica, henbane, jaborandi, cocaine, 
morphia, and others. With such a combination it 
is not surprising that symptoms of gastro-enteritis 
were present. As to the practice of Mr Maybrick of 
taking repeated doses of arsenic, I have already 


shown this to be the case as stated in the doctor's 
letter who so advised. I also discovered that Fowler's 
solution of arsenic had been prescribed for him, which 
would have more than accounted for the morbid 
appearances found, within a few days of his death. 
If there ever was a case of wrong and cruel convic- 
tion this one stands out prominently in history. 
In England a Government mistake is not usually 
admitted or rectified. 

It was on the 22nd of August, late in the evening, 
that the decision of the Home Secretary was made 
known to the world. The wording of the reprieve 
was as follows : " The Home Secretary, after the 
fullest consideration, and after taking the best medical 
and legal advice that could be obtained, has advised 
her Majesty to respite the capital sentence of Florence 
Maybrick, and to commute the punishment to penal 
servitude for life, inasmuch as, although the evidence 
tends clearly to the conclusion that the prisoner 
administered and attempted to administer arsenic to 
her husband, yet it does not wholly exclude a reason- 
able doubt whether his death was in fact caused by 
the administration of arsenic." 

The question in the minds of all reasonable people 
was whether such a decision, which expressed grave 
doubts as to " whether his death was in fact caused 
by the administration of arsenic," was sufficient 
justification for keeping Mrs Maybrick in prison. I 
think not, and it is a difficult thing to know on what 
grounds this was done. It is another instance of a 


refusal on the part of officials to acknowledge a 
mistake and rectify the same, as they ought to have 
done in this case. 

It was two o'clock in the morning when Mrs May- 
brick received the news of her reprieve. Already 
Berry, the hangman, had been in the precincts of 
the prison erecting the scaffold so I was informed 
by the Baroness de Roque, Mrs Maybrick's mother. 
She gave me a pathetic account of what took place 
in prison that evening. 

The final decision had been expected to reach 
Walton Prison, where Mrs Maybrick was confined, 
before midnight, and both the governor of the prison 
and the chaplain had remained up in expectation of 
a message one way or the other, when it would have 
been their duty to communicate to her that a re- 
prieve had been granted or that she must prepare for 

Midnight had struck, and all hope of receiving a 
reprieve had been given up. At 1.30 a.m. the bell 
of the prison sounded loudly, the door was thrown 
open, and the special messenger entered, the delay 
having been occasioned by the distance between 
Walton Prison and Lime Street station, where the 
messenger had arrived, and the inability to obtain a 
conveyance. On the arrival of the messenger a few 
members of the press had been waiting outside 
eagerly to hear the latest news. The officials, with 
the exception of the turnkey, had retired to rest, 
having given up all hope more or less ; the latter, 


being on night duty, opened the door of the prison 
and admitted the special messenger bearing the news 
of Mrs Maybrick's reprieve. 

The governor of the prison summoned the chaplain, 
who had retired for the night, and they at once 
proceeded to Mrs Maybrick's cell. She was very ill 
and prostrate in bed, half dozing, half dreaming, 
ignorant of what her fate might be, conscious of the 
fact of her innocence, that she had not received a 
fair trial, and apprehensive that the result might be 
that she would be launched into eternity within 
twenty-four hours. Her thoughts waking, her dreams 
sleeping, were not of a happy nature. 

Upon entering the cell, Mrs Maybrick appeared 
more or less in a state of stupor. She had not moved 
from the position in which she had been left by the 
chaplain a short time before. The sound of the 
turning of the key in her door made her start up. 
She was half dazed, and was not certain as to whether 
or not it was a sign for the executioner to come in and 
bind her. She instinctively realised that something 
unusual had occurred, of the nature of which she 
was in ignorance. It glanced through her mind that 
to be disturbed at such an hour, and to be stared at 
by two men who entered her cell, was, to say the 
least, not what she had experienced during her 
residence in prison ; whether it was a message of 
life or death she was unable to say. The governor, 
desiring at once to assure her, remarked : " Mrs 
Maybrick, I have received a communication from 


the Home Secretary, which I think it my duty to 
read to you at once." He did so. She appeared 
stunned, and at first was unable to realise what had 
taken place. She then burst into tears, and in a low 
voice whispered, " I thank you ! It is hard to 
bear ! " 

Baroness de Roque visited her daughter at twelve 
o'clock the following day. She found her still in 
bed, and mentally depressed, quite broken down ; the 
reaction had been too much for her. 

The Maybrick Committee met in London the 
following day, and it was decided that every legiti- 
mate means should be taken to get the verdict 
quashed, in order that Mrs Maybrick might receive a 
free pardon. This was in consequence of the decision 
of the Home Secretary, in which he expressed doubts 
as to the death by arsenic. Agitation after agitation 
took place, but still no pardon came. Mrs Maybrick 
lingered in prison for fifteen years after this. I always 
look upon the Treasury as being, so to speak, the man 
in possession ; when they are in possession of any 
poor individual, they have the entire reins in their 
own hands. 

Mrs Maybrick was removed from Walton Prison. 
Mr Brierley departed for America on board the Scythia, 
and left the shore unnoticed save by two relatives. 
The Baroness de Roque returned to Paris. Mrs 
Maybrick remained an inmate of her Majesty's prison, 
an innocent woman wrongly and unjustly condemned ; 
and, in spite of the new evidence which had been 


brought forward from time to time, and the opinion 
as expressed in America and England, she was allowed 
to serve what really amounted to the full time of her 
conviction, viz. fifteen years. 

During Mrs Maybrick's incarceration in prison many 
applications were made for me to visit her. 

Sir Charles Russell, Lord Chief Justice, sent the 
Baroness de Roque to my house, asking me to make 
application to visit Mrs Maybrick. 

I heard on good authority that no one was offered 
the post of Home Secretary, during the life of her 
late Majesty the Queen, if he was what was termed 
a Maybrickite ; so convinced was her late Majesty 
the Queen of the guilt of Mrs Maybrick, that these 
were the conditions on which the Home Secretary 
was appointed to that office. I received this informa- 
tion from the mouth of the Baroness de Roque, who 
heard it from the Lord Chief Justice. 

In response to my application to visit Mrs May- 
brick I received the ordinary official reply acknow- 
ledging the receipt of my letter, and stating that the 
same would receive consideration. This was subse- 
quently followed by a further letter stating that the 
authorities were satisfied with the opinion and treat- 
ment of the prison surgeon. 

The insomnia and nervous prostration to which 
she was liable whilst in Walton Prison followed her 
after she had gained her freedom in July 1904. 

Considering the trouble I had taken in this matter, 

and the fact that, had it not been for my exertions, 



she would have suffered the full penalty of the law, 
it was a surprise to me that she left England for 
Rouen without calling at my house. 

On the 23rd of July 1904 I wrote as follows to her 
mother : " I am delighted to hear of your daughter's 
release, and trust that her health has not suffered 
from the cruel incarceration." In this letter I also 
offered to see her, understanding that she was suffering 
from mental collapse, the result of her unjust im- 
prisonment. I received a reply from the Baroness 
de Roque, dated 3ist July, from Rouen ; in which 
she wrote : " We much appreciate your kind efforts 
on her behalf, but she is prohibited from seeing 

Mrs Maybrick, I believe, is now in America. She 
has never even thanked me personally, or written to 
me, for my gigantic efforts made on her behalf. I 
agitated in what many considered to be an unwhole- 
some case, as I often have done ; but I conscientiously 
believed that she was innocent, and I spared no time 
and relaxed no efforts to endeavour to establish what 
I knew to be the truth. It was a case in which 
opinions were much divided. Those who considered 
the case, as I understood her late Majesty the Queen 
did, from a moral point of view, had no hesitation 
in pronouncing Mrs Maybrick guilty ; those who had 
weighed carefully in the balance the pros and cons 
as far as the question of arsenical poisoning was 
concerned, thought otherwise. 

The case was surrounded from the very commence- 


ment with a certain mystery, which Mrs Maybrick 
alone is able to solve. 

In 1890 I was consulted with reference to the mental 
condition of a woman named Pearcey. She was 
charged with the murder of Mrs Hogg, who was stunned 
by her and finally mutilated, and the body, cut into 
pieces, was placed in a perambulator. The cutting 
up of the body indicated the brutality of the murder, 
the head being nearly severed from the trunk. The 
part of the body found was conveyed to the police 
station ; the other was found in a baby's carriage 
in St John's Wood. This was a murder of the most 
revolting description, and she was committed for trial. 
The actual barbarity shown previous to the murder 
led many to believe that the act could not have been 
done by a sane woman, and the suggestion was prima 
facie for investigation as to her mental condition. 
Her quiet demeanour and behaviour in court created 
quite a sensation. It was argued that her conduct 
was inconsistent with that of a murderess, and it 
was difficult to imagine that anyone who behaved 
herself so quietly and with so much propriety could 
have been guilty of such a heinous offence. 

No plea of insanity was raised at the time, for 
reasons best known to those advising, and she was 
condemned to death. After the verdict I was con- 
sulted by her solicitor, and he had all the documents 


placed before me relating to the prisoner's history, 
previous and subsequent to the murder. My 
written opinion was asked for and forwarded to 
the authorities. 

Of course, when giving an opinion in these cases, 
it is much more satisfactory to have made a personal 
examination of the alleged lunatic, but, as I previously 
stated, this the authorities do not allow after con- 

With reference to her general comportment at the 
trial someone interested in the case informed me as 
follows : " I had several opportunities of conversa- 
tions with her solicitor and herself. I think it was 
difficult for a person of good sense to sit there without 
being stirred by a profound pity for the wretched 
young woman, around whom the meshes of the law 
were being drawn so relentlessly without the faintest 
hope of mercy. Yet all whom I heard discussing the 
case were convinced that this young woman had 
actually been guilty of a premeditated, craftily 
planned murder of the most ferocious description. 
Everyone must have pitied the miserable woman, 
but her crime hardened one's heart, and enabled one 
to entirely assent to the severe remarks of the judge 
in pronouncing her sentence." 

This was an opinion of one of the public in court, 
and expressed, no doubt, the view of all the others 
who were at her trial. The opinion I gave was 
apparently uncontradicted, that the woman was 
of a low order of intellect. She was subject to severe 


attacks of epilepsy. This was proved to me by the 
evidence of her friends and relations whom I saw. 
I also had evidence to the effect that on other occasions 
after these epileptic seizures manifestations of violence 
ensued, and absolute loss of memory of what had 
happened during her paroxysm. From my experience 
in cases of epilepsy I can in every way endorse this. 
I also was informed that she had made several attempts 
at suicide, once by hanging and twice by taking poison, 
whilst in one of these epileptic trances and labouring 
under this influence. Previous to the second attack 
upon her own life she was seized with an epileptic fit, 
in which she continued for some time. Her mother 
also suffered from fits before her daughter was born. 
To my mind this was the cause of the mental weak- 
ness in Mrs Pearcey. 

On the Sunday previous to the murder she had been 
complaining very much of headaches, and stated that 
she felt she was going out of her mind. The brutality 
of the murder and the violence used strengthened my 
opinion as to the probability of the crime being com- 
mitted whilst in a condition of acute, violent epileptic 
trance, of which I had seen many similar cases. 

An application was made for me to examine Mrs 
Pearcey, but on I7th December I received a reply 
declining any interference. However, she was ex- 
amined by certain medical gentlemen attached to 
the Home Office, who possibly had not the same 
interest in the case that I had, and, secondly, 
were not so cognisant of the actual facts, and who 


had not been visited by her relations and friends, or 
knew the history of her case, or perused any documents 
bearing on it. They were simply sent to form an 
opinion as to the objective, not the subjective, condi- 
tion of the prisoner ; and on 2Oth December a letter 
was received declining to interfere with the due course 
of the law. 

The public mind, which was at first so prejudiced 
against the woman, after my efforts had been made 
and the true facts of the case published in the press, 
veered round. 

One gentleman from Teignmouth wrote as follows : 
" I will be glad to do six months' hard labour in any 
prison in England for the respite of Mary Eleanor 
Pearcey, now under sentence of death. I do not 
know the prisoner, but this comes from a heart 
of pity." 

The number of people who called at the office of her 
solicitor, anxious to sign the petition, proved beyond 
a doubt that they very gravely doubted that the case 
was one in which the law should be allowed to operate. 
Public meetings were held in reference to the matter. 
Medical evidence was also tendered to the solicitor to 
the effect that Mrs Pearcey had been of weak intellect 
from birth ; this was evidence which could not have 
been disputed. 

Whilst in prison, from information which reached 
me, I learnt that she was very listless and heedless of 
what was going on, being more or less in a condition 
of mental and physical collapse. One thing I have not 


the least doubt about is, that in such cases it is an 
injustice that those medical men who are cognisant 
with the facts of the case, and in whose hands docu- 
ments have been placed, in the same way as is done in 
obtaining counsel's opinion, should have been pre- 
vented from being present at any medical examination 
in prison conducted by officials nominated by the 
Treasury. It only shows to me the biassed way in 
which such matters are conducted, and what applied 
to Mrs Pearcey's case is equally applicable in a number 
of similar cases. 

The ordinary letters passed between the Home 
Office and myself of the usual official nature. The 
authorities were in possession of the wretched woman, 
and her friends were denied every possibility of having 
her properly represented at the medical examination, 
when the question of life and death was at stake. 

At the commencement of this agitation the public 
opinion was dead against Mrs Pearcey, in consequence 
of the brutal nature of the crime, and it took a short 
time, even with all the evidence at our disposal, to 
remove this impression or to get up an agitation in her 

One deposition which was sent to the Home Office 
related to an incident which took place in 1886 ; it was 
obtained from one of the witnesses who gave evidence 
at the trial, relating to an attempt she made at suicide, 
and is as follows : 

" I spoke sharply to her ; she rushed to a bottle of 
lotion marked ' Poison/ and drank some. I wrenched 


it from her hand, and gave her salt and water. After- 
wards she cried bitterly, and went to sleep. When she 
awoke she complained of a pain in her head. I remon- 
strated with her about what she had done, and she then 
stated that she remembered nothing about it, and I had 
difficulty in convincing her that it had happened." 
This was not stated at the trial. About three months 
later, the same deponent stated, they had another 
disagreement in the rooms which they occupied. 
" She then rushed upstairs," he continued, " and I 
followed, and was just in time to prevent her swallowing 
the contents of a bottle labelled ' Poison.' Again with 
great difficulty, I produced sickness, which was 
followed by a very severe fit, and her hands bled from 
the pressure of the nails upon the palms of her 
clenched fists. On her recovery she noticed this blood, 
and had another fit." Subsequently she had, it seems, 
an attack of hysteria, crying and laughing, which was 
succeeded by violent pains in the head. Upon her 
complete recovery the statement is that " she remem- 
bered nothing of what had taken place, nor of her 
attempt to poison herself." 

Mrs Pearcey's father died in August 1882, and a few 
months after this she made the first attempt on her life. 
She was then fifteen years of age, and appears to have 
taken the loss of her father to heart very much. She 
was found one day in the garden suspended by a rope. 
She had stood on a basket and then kicked it away, and 
was black in the face. 

The full history of her case and all the documents 


were submitted to two leading specialists besides my- 
self. We all expressed the same opinion in this case, 
so I did not stand alone, as I have often done before. 

The medical petition, presented to the Home Office, 
based its plea for mercy on the following grounds : 
First, the behaviour and demeanour of the condemned 
woman, and her protestations of innocence and forget- 
fulness of the crime charged to her ; secondly, the 
absence of all corroboration of premeditation ; thirdly, 
the indisputable fact, as testified by many witnesses, 
of her mental condition, her liability to epileptic fits, 
and various attempts at suicide; and, fourthly, her 
remarkable hallucinations. 

From what I heard, she conducted herself in a quiet, 
rational manner in prison, as such cases generally do, 
especially those who suffer from epileptic insanity, when 
the condition only asserts itself during the epileptic 
paroxysm or immediately previous or subsequent to 
it. In other words, there were no objective signs 
purely subjective ; and the medical officers attached 
to the prison dwelt a good deal on the "quietude 
and tractability of the prisoner's demeanour." 

Every effort, however, proved unavailing, and on 
2oth December 1890 a letter was received as follows : 

" SIR, With reference to the representations and 
memorials which you have submitted on behalf of 
Mary Eleanor Pearcey or Wheeler, now under sentence 
of death in Newgate Prison for murder, I am directed 
by the Secretary of State to say that after medical 
inquiry and the most careful consideration of all the 
circumstances in the case, he regrets that he has been 


unable to discover any sufficient grounds to justify him 
in advising her Majesty to interfere with the due course 
of the law. I am, sir, your obedient servant, 


In consequence, Mrs Pearcey met her fate in Newgate. 
She was only the fifth female prisoner who was hanged 
in Newgate during the fifty years immediately preced- 
ing her trial. This is satisfactory to show that there 
still does exist, to a certain extent, a strong public 
feeling against any woman being hanged. Previous 
to Mrs Pearcey's execution in 1890 there was an inter- 
val of sixteen years between her execution and the last 
woman hanged, named Frances Stewart, who was 
sentenced to death for the murder of her grand- 

Of course, it was only to be expected that after Mrs 
Pearcey's death a full confession would be circulated 
far and wide. This is always done to justify carrying 
out the last operation of the law. 

In this case, however, the result of my agitation had 
the effect of inducing the Home Office to order a 
medical examination an ex parte and one-sided one ; 
whereas in the case of Lefroy no opportunity was 
given to the wretched man to have his mental condition 


In 1877 I was consulted in two cases in which murder 
had been committed by epileptics the Pimlico murder 


committed by Drant, and the Chelsea murder com- 
mitted by Treadaway. 

They were both found guilty and sentenced to death, 
but subsequently reprieved in consequence of the 
liability to epileptic seizures. It was proved in 
evidence that Drant at the time he committed the 
murder was actually in a condition of maniacal excite- 
ment and violence, whilst under an actual epileptic 
paroxysm. Treadaway was twenty years of age, and 
the eldest of nine children. He murdered a Mr John 
Collins. One of his sisters suffered from brain fever ; 
his father was a melancholic ; his aunt an epileptic ; 
and both his grandparents were of an unstable mental 
condition. For some time previous to the murder he 
had suffered from the marked aura incidental to 
epilepsy, and attacks of giddiness. 

This culprit, according to evidence adduced in 
court and substantiated by many witnesses, was 
a man in whose family hereditary tendencies to 
cerebral disease had been manifested in varied and 
numerous forms, fourteen individuals in three genera- 
tions having suffered either from depression, eccen- 
tricity, insanity, or from epilepsy and paralysis. 
Treadaway himself, after indulgence in excessive 
intemperance, became affected with permanent head- 
ache, and had sustained during its continuance and 
for two years repeated seizures of unconsciousness, 
which he called " fainting fits." The attacks took 
place while otherwise in sound health, lasted a few 
minutes, and were marked by a severe shooting and 


throbbing pain in the head, vertigo which made him 
clutch at some support, the sensation of a black cloud 
coming over him, and finally entire oblivion of what 
was passing in himself and around. The recovery of 
his senses did not at once dispel the cephalalgia and 
mental confusion, but he was able to walk onward, 
and felt quite well in an hour or two. He was like- 
wise subject to severe pains in the face and the cardiac 
region, where a cord seemed to be tightly pulled round 
his chest. Loss of employment induced depression, 
which was not relieved by the kindness of his family ; 
and under the pressure of these circumstances he 
meditated suicide, first by drowning and then by 
shooting himself, and for that purpose bought a 
revolver. While conversing with his victim he ex- 
perienced the first signs of an approaching fit, which 
had been preceded by headache, etc., and from the 
moment when the dark cloud seemed to brood over 
him he lost all knowledge and recollection of his 
doings, or of the discharge of the pistol bought for 
his own destruction, until he found himself in the 
street, and did not fully realise his position until 
next morning, although he seems then to have taken 
some precautions in order to conceal his connection 
with the deed. Most fortunately, he became con- 
vulsed while in the dock, and was declared to have 
had a fit of genuine epilepsy, the last of a series 
which had occurred during his examination in the 
police court. As to the perpetration of the homicide 
by the prisoner there was no doubt, and a sentence 


of death was passed. More fortunately still, certain 
misgivings having arisen, prompted in all probability 
by the healthy comments of the press, as to the 
verdict, the Secretary of State directed further 
examination, in such a manner that execution was 
stayed, and the epileptic sent not to Broadmoor, but 
to a penitentiary. Had such a commission exercised 
their functions previous to the trial, or, what would 
have been better, had the law required as it does 
in France and in one American State that the 
accused, in whose favour it was known mental im- 
pairment would be pleaded, should be consigned to 
observation in an asylum, such a painful and dis- 
creditable dilemma would have been eschewed. Like 
some of the parallel lines which run through the 
history of great events, it is curious to find that in a 
similar case in America, where a paroxysm took place 
during the trial, conviction was followed by a deferred 
sentence, a medical inquiry, and ultimate seclusion in 
an asylum. This was the first occasion on which a 
plea of epileptic insanity had been successful. 

The sentence was commuted in both cases to penal 
servitude for life. I did not admit at the time in any 
way the legality of this decision. It was either one 
of two things ; the man was responsible and guilty, 
or he was not guilty on the ground of insanity. If 
the former, he should have been sent to prison ; if 
the latter, Broadmoor Criminal Lunatic Asylum was 
the proper place for him. 

The subsequent reprieve, as issued from the Home 


Office after our medical report, was : " Dr Crichton- 
Browne, Dr Forbes Winslow, Mr Erichsen, and others, 
having shown Edward Treadaway to be subject to 
epileptic fits, during which he was practically irre- 
sponsible for his acts, her Majesty has been advised 
to respite the capital sentence passed on him to 
penal servitude for life." 


The Reading mystery in 1896 created much excite- 
ment. Mrs Dyer managed a baby-farm near Reading. 
She was charged with drowning a number of children 
entrusted to her care. The trial was heard before 
Mr Justice Hawkins. I once more found myself in 
the unsatisfactory position of being an expert witness 
in a case of a most unsavoury nature, and one which, 
in all probability, had been prejudged, not only by 
the public, but also by the jury, if they had read 
anything about the case previous to its hearing. I 
visited her twice in Holloway Prison. She gave me 
the impression of a good old carefully attired monthly 
nurse, but not of the murderess type. It appeared 
from what I gathered, not only from my examination 
of her, but from what I heard in court, that she had 
been confined on several occasions as a person of un- 
sound mind in two asylums, whilst suffering from the 
very same hallucinations of hearing voices which she 
had when I saw her in Holloway ; and this I testified 
to at the Old Bailey. 



I was endeavouring to graphically describe to the 
court what she had told me, " that she had visions 
of animals and worms all crawling over her, eating 
her very vitals " ; and whilst I was continuing my 
evidence as to this, suddenly I heard one of the jury 
say to his next-door neighbour sotto voce, but within 

Mrs Dyer. 

my hearing : " She may perhaps have dreamt this, 
but it will soon be a reality." I was staggered for 
the moment, and, had I not been convinced that Mr 
Justice Hawkins was so prejudiced against the woman, 
and probably would have said to me, " Dr Winslow, 
it is no business of yours," or something to that effect, 
I should have drawn his lordship's attention to what 


I considered to be a monstrous remark on the part of 
any member of the jury to make previous to the 
hearing of the case. I knew at once it was a fore- 
gone conclusion they meant to hang the woman, but 
it nevertheless seemed to take the sting out of the 
concluding part of my evidence. I take this oppor- 
tunity, however, of chronicling the fact. 

Mrs Dyer was found guilty, but of sound mind at 
the time of the murder. It was also stated that on 
each occasion when she had previously got into a 
lunatic asylum, it was after another dead child had 
been found in the river. Of course, I had no evidence 
to prove this. I was simply called to substantiate 
my views, based upon my examination of her. 

I saw the lunacy certificates on which she had been 
previously incarcerated ; but as in these certificates 
she had the same delusions which she had when I 
examined her, the conclusion I arrived at was that, 
if she was of unsound mind during the time she 
was confined in the asylum as a lunatic, she was of 
unsound mind then. 

It having come to my knowledge that Mrs Dyer 
had been examined by a physician appointed by the 
Treasury on nth May, I thought it only fair 
that the wretched woman should have the benefit of 
someone on her behalf, and on the I3th inst. I wrote 
as follows to the press : " From a long experience in 
such cases, I desire to express my strong opinion that 
the defence should also be represented by its own 


I was nominated, and, though I was instructed by 
the prisoner's solicitor, I received my fee from the 
Treasury rather a unique position. 

The following is an extract from the Government 
expert's report, which was forwarded to me. I 
entirely disagreed with what was stated. I con- 
sidered that the defence had a very strong case. The 
result was apparently a foregone conclusion. Of this 
I felt certain, but was determined to do my best 
according to my strong convictions that Mrs Dyer 
was of unsound mind : 

" Having to-day, nth May 1896, seen and examined 
the above prisoner at Holloway Jail in the presence of 
Dr Scott, medical officer of the prison, and having 
seen the newspaper reports of the trial and the various 
reports as to her life history, and her conduct before 
and after the trial, also the reports of her family 
history, I have come to the following conclusion : 
That there is no evidence of insanity in her of any 
kind whatever ; that she has been in several asylums 
as a patient, but the symptoms were always of a 
transient nature and such as might be explained by 
her then circumstances, or (she having been an asylum 
attendant) might have been simulated. 

" There seems to be no doubt that her mother was 
insane, and it is likely that she (the prisoner) is of 
defective power of self-control, and might be induced 
to do wrong more readily than the majority as a 
consequence of such hereditary taint. Though the 
prisoner denies recollection of her acts, yet there is not 
sufficient evidence of defect of memory to make me think 
the prisoner is in any way irresponsible for her acts." 

Upon this report being submitted to me, I prepared, 



as I always do in these cases, questions which were 
given to the solicitor to place in the hands of the 
counsel conducting the defence, for the medical wit- 
ness to be interrogated on who had issued reports : 

" Hints for Cross-examination of Medical Experts. 

"i. From your experience in the study of insanity, 
would you expect that anyone labouring under a 
monomania of hearing imaginary voices would be 
insane on the surface ? 

"2. Have you not frequently known such cases 
where the patient was perfectly calm and seemingly 
rational, though entertaining delusions inwardly but 
not apparent to the outward view ? 

"3. If you were consulted about a patient who 
entertained delusions that she heard voices telling her 
to do certain things, and confessed that she was not 
able to resist, also that her mother had died in a lunatic 
asylum, and that she herself had been confined in 
several, and had made many attempts to commit 
suicide, would you think that there was a prima facie 
reason for again placing her under restraint should she 
suffer from these ideas ? 

" 4. If you think so, how does Mrs Dyer's case differ, 
in your estimation ? 

"5. Is it not the rule that cases of homicidal or 
suicidal monomania are free from outward excitement ? 

"6. If Mrs Dyer is feigning insanity, would it not 
be expected that she would have made some efforts to 
make this visible in some way to the warders or doctors ? 

"7. Did you form any opinion before you saw the 
accused, as I gather from your report that you had read 
the newspapers on the subject, and especially men- 
tioned this ? 

" 8. You also say that her conduct before the trial 
had guided you : do you mean by this that you think 


that she was illegally confined in the various lunatic 
asylums ? 

" 9. You also mention that her symptoms were of a 
transient nature when placed in the asylums. Might 
not similar symptoms, which justified her being 
placed in consequence of her conduct at Gloucester, 
have become again suddenly developed so as to 
deprive her of reason, during which period she might 
have committed the crime ? 

" 10. You say that she is defective in the power of 
self-control and might be induced to act accordingly 
in consequence of the insanity inherited from her 
mother. By this you seemingly contradict your 
former opinion. Is not want of self-control a symptom 
of insanity, and one which, in a case like this, should 
receive grave consideration, taking into account all the 
surroundings of the case and the history of the accused? 

"ii. Would you in such a case, with a history 
similar to Mrs Dyer, sign a lunacy certificate or advise 
the friends to place such a one in a lunatic asylum ? " 

Perhaps it would be of interest if I gave the notes I 
made at the two interviews, on i5th and igth May, that 
I had with Mrs Dyer, taken verbatim from my note- 
book : 

Q. How long have you been here ? 
A. Three weeks. 

Q. Do you remember coming here ? 
A. I do not know how I got here, but I remember 
coming on a Saturday. 

Q. Do you know why you were brought here ? 

A . I believe it is because of those children. 

Q. What children ? 

A. Those children who were found. 

Q. Where were they found ? 

A. At Reading, I believe. 


Q. How many children were there ? 

A. Can't tell. I try to think about it. It feels like 
a dream. 

Q. How many asylums have you been in ? 

A. Only two, Gloucester and Wells. I can't re- 
member the dates, but I can remember when I left, as 
it was my son's birthday, i8th February 1894. 

Q. Who put you into these asylums ? 

A. I do not recollect going, but I know now. The 
first time I went to Gloucester my daughter took me. 
I believe it was Mr Beard [Mr Beard, the relieving 
officer]. I can't tell how long I was there. I do not 
think I was spoken to officially at my visit. 

Q. What had they put you in the asylum for ? 

A . I was depressed and low, and I know I did things 
I ought not to. 

Q. What do you mean by that ? 

A. I have attempted to destroy myself and tried 
every way to do so, but they won't permit me. 

Q. When did you make the first attempt, and where ? 

A. When I was living at Gloucester House, Bristol. 
I can't remember the year, but I have a letter in my 
pocket, if you will let me refer to it. It was in June 
1894 that I attempted to drown myself. 

Q. Were you taken to the hospital ? 

A. Yes, at Bristol. My daughter promised to look 
after me. She did not want me to return home. 

Q. How is it that you did not succeed in your 
attempt to cut your throat ? 

A. My daughter was too quick, and snatched the 
knife away. I cannot remember dates, and I wrote 
to my daughter at Reading, and I have her reply. I 
do not know that I ever hurt anyone but myself, and 
I often hear voices telling me to go and do certain 
things, and I go and do it. 

Q. What have they told you to do ? 

A. To kill myself, frequently. I feel I am bound 


to do it, and therefore I want to do it. At the asylum 
at Gloucester they beat and cruelly ill-treated me, and 
put me in a padded room, and I felt it would be no sin 
to destroy myself. My knuckle was put out of joint, 
but at the same time I know I was very troublesome 
and naughty. 

Q. What about the children in the river ? 

A. I can't recollect anything about these children, 
but I hear voices every night, and I do not know what 
to do. 

Q. How are you feeling at the present moment ? 

A . I have a headache now, but I am much better of 
late. Sometimes I remember being at my daughter's ; 
at other times I feel dazed, and I can't know or under- 
stand anything about it. 

Q. How is your memory ? 

A. I can remember things that happened in my 
childhood better than recent events. I have lived in 
Reading. I am the only one of my family living ; all 
the others are dead. I am not sure what my relations 
died of, but one sister died of cancer. My mother was 
in two asylums, the last one being Brislington House. 
She died there. Her name was Sarah Hogley. 

Q. Have you had any trouble during your married 

A . My husband was cruel to me, and I worried over 
his treatment very much. My father left me a good 
deal of money, but my husband spent it. I left him 
three times. 

At the subsequent examination on igih May the 
conversation was as follows. In answer to my ques- 
tion as to whether she had seen me before : " I think 
I have seen you before," replied Mrs Dyer. 

Q. When did you see me ? 

A. 1 think the day before yesterday. 


Q. Where did you see me ? 

A. Here. 

Q. How have you been getting on ? 

A. I slept last night, but not the night before. 

Q. What kept you awake ? 

A. I had a curious sensation, and thought I was 
going down through the floor, bed and all. 

Q. Did anything trouble you, especially last night ? 

A. I heard a voice that night. I am only waiting 
to do the one thing which I know is wicked. May I 
be allowed to ask you one question ? The other day 
after you had gone I felt very much worried. 

Q. With what ? 

A. The voices. 

Q. What did the voices say ? 

A . I must not tell you all they said. Why is all this 
fuss made over me ? Everyone knows I have been in 
an asylum ; my mind always dwells on it, and really 
I can't help it. 

Q. How many times have you been in asylums ? 

A. Twice at Gloucester and once at Wells. I was 
sent back the second time on leave of absence, and I 
really do not know why. It is only low-spirited I get. 
I am sure no one could say I ever tried to hurt anyone 
except myself. 

Q. When did you first take it into your head to 
adopt children ? 

A . I am sure I can't tell now. 

Q. Did you put an advertisement in the papers as 
to these ? 

A. Yes, I believe I did. 

Q. How many children did you have charge of ? 

A . I can't tell how many. 

Q. When did you first take to this business ? 

A. Ten years ago. 

Q. Have you continued it ever since ? 

A. Yes. 


Q. What about the two children found in the river ? 
A. I can't recollect anything about it. When I 
begin to think I get mystified. 

Q. What were the names of the children ? 

A. I am sure I do not know. I can't tell now. 

Q. When did you first hear about what had 
happened ? 

A. On Good Friday or Easter Sunday. 

Q. Who told you ? 

A. No one. Someone came to my house. It was 
not a policeman, but I could not say who for certain. 

Q. What were you doing at the time ? 

A . Getting the dinner ready. 

Q. Had you not missed the children ? 

A. I could not tell. I never thought about them. 

Q. When had you seen them last previous to their 
being found in the river ? 

A. I am sure I do not know when I saw them 

Q. Now to come back to the asylum. When were 
you there ? 

A. I cannot tell from memory when I went there. 

Q. What was the longest stay ? 

A. I was not long in either. 

Q. Why did they put you in a padded room ? 

A. Because I was troublesome in my bath. 

Q. When were you last in a lunatic asylum ? 

A. It may be two years, more or less. 

Q. What do you think about all day ? 

A. I can't think of anything ; that is where I am 

Q. Do you ever see any visions ? 

A . Pray do not ask me [looking very terrified at me]. 

Q. What do you see ? 

A . I can't tell you ; that is why I keep awake at 
night. The sounds I hear and the sights I see are 


Q. Do you ever mention this to anybody in the 
prison ? 

A. No, I keep it to myself. 

Q. Can you give me any idea of what you see ? 

A . I see my poor boy Willie and my mother. 

Q. Do they ever speak to you ? 

A. Frequently. I hear them talking and telling 
me to come to them. The spirit of my poor boy, 
Willie, seems to be with me all night. I fancy I could 
handle his bones, and that I was picking them out of 
the ground. When my poor boy enlisted and went 
away I was very ill for three weeks, and when I came 
to myself I was beating the rats off, who were all 
gnawing on my body, and the worms were eating 
me up. 

Q. Have you written to your daughter since I last 
saw you ? 

A . I write nearly every day. 

As I have said before, a medical expert opposing 
the Treasury is always placed in a false position. It 
is my intention, however, in this case, to justify 
my position in the matter. The public are very 
eager to condemn any doctor who dares to interfere 
in what is called a popular case, and in what is 
supposed to be a revolting murder, which shocks 

Mrs Dyer's daughter, whilst under cross-examina- 
tion, informed the court that her mother had been 
in several lunatic asylums between the years 1891 and 
1894, and that her grandmother had attempted 
suicide. Mrs Dyer had been detained for three months 
in one of the asylums. Evidence was given by Dr 
Frederick Logan of Bristol, who on 24th December 


1893 had been called in to examine the prisoner at 
Bristol, and found that she was very violent with 
delusions. She picked up a poker and rushed at him 
and threatened to break his skull, and had aural 
hallucinations, the voices telling her to destroy 
herself. He came to the conclusion that Mrs Dyer 
was of an unsound mind, and gave a medical certificate 
to that effect, upon which she was sent to an asylum. 
He had not seen her since that date. Dr Firth of 
Bristol stated that in July 1894 Mrs Dyer was ad- 
mitted into the Bristol General Hospital, of which 
he was the house surgeon, having attempted to drown 
herself. Another doctor was called as a witness 
who had also certified, in 1894, as to her mental 

When these doctors had testified, my evidence was 
to the effect that on the I5th May I had examined 
the prisoner in Holloway Gaol. Dr Scott of Holloway 
was also present, and I had a long interview with her. 
I had not read much about the case before I saw her, 
and I had not formed any opinion before I went to 
see her. I asked her a great many questions, and I 
considered that she was a person of unsound mind, 
suffering from delusions and hallucinations. She was 
suffering from melancholia and delusional insanity. 
There was no excitement, but there was depression and 
there were delusions. The prisoner made no attempt 
to feign insanity. I examined her to see whether 
she was shamming insanity. I came to the conclusion 
that she was not. She said that very often she got 


into a depressed condition, and that voices spoke to 
her and told her to take her own life, and that she had 
made several attempts to do that, but had been 
prevented. She told me she had been in Gloucester 
Asylum and had been cruelly ill-treated and placed 
in a padded room, and in consequence of that treat- 
ment she thought she had a perfect right to take her 
own life. I asked her if she had any recollection 
of the crime. She said she had not ; she tried to 
recollect, but became mystified. I also stated that 
I examined her again on igth May, and asked her 
whether she still heard the voices speaking to her, 
and she replied, " Yes, every night." She also said 
that she was visited by the spirit of her mother and 
her little boy. I went on to detail the statements 
made by the prisoner with reference to the visions 
which she said she saw. My opinion was that the 
prisoner was of unsound mind. 

If there ever was a prima facie case, notwithstanding 
the revolting method of the crime, which required 
careful consideration, it was Mrs Dyer's case. I have 
no hesitation in saying that she did not have a fair, 
unprejudiced trial, which has often happened in a 
good many of the Treasury murder cases that I have 
been in. 

I justify in every way my appearance on her 
behalf in court from the fact that the statements 
she told me, whilst I examined her in the prison, were 
the same as she told the other doctors who certified 
her in 1893 and 1894 ; and the conclusion I arrived 


at was, that if she was insane then, she was so at the 
date of my examination and at the trial. 

Mr Justice Hawkins was unusually severe in this 
case. He had evidently made up his mind at an 
early period. This was so in similar cases ; his re- 
marks were generally of great severity, which no 
doubt influenced the minds of the jury. 

It occurs to me that most prison officials, especially 
surgeons, look more for the objective signs of insanity 
than for the subjective. In Mrs Dyer's case, to all 
outward appearances she was of sound mind ; it 
was only when examining the subjective mind that 
the hallucinations became evident. It was stated 
by some witnesses for the prosecution that her 
symptoms were feigned. I take this opportunity 
of condemning this in toto. I have not the least 
hesitation in saying that had the question of her 
mental condition been considered apart from the 
evidence of the history of her crime, no expert would 
have been found who would have failed to arrive 
at the conclusion that she was of unsound mind. It 
seems, however, incredible to me that anyone could 
have committed the crimes, which were in every 
way so horrible, and yet be in her sane and sober 

Whilst in prison she made several attempts to take 
her life, and five days before her death she wrote the 
following letter to an old friend. It will be noticed 
that there is a reference to her daughter, Mrs Palmer, 
whom she addresses as Polly : 



"Friday, ^th June 1896. 

" MY DEAR SIR, Many thanks for your kind letter, 
also for the visit your wife paid me yesterday. Yes, 
I have made a will in favour of my dear child, Polly. 
I am thankful to say that I have seen my dear child 
now this morning. God only knows how thankful 

I was, but oh, Mr , the parting is more than I 

can bear. I was glad to see her looking so well, dear 
child. I am sure God will bless her. She, like my- 
self, could not talk much of business matters. God 
only knows how grieved I am to know she is suffering 
for no fault of her own ; she did nothing, she knew 
nothing, neither did Arthur. I am speaking truth- 
fully ; the girl is innocent of the charge against 
her. I only wish it could be managed that she could 
have the same counsel I had. The home, I believe, 
is not yet sold up at Reading. It is kind of your wife 
wishing to take care of my clothes for Polly, but I 
am afraid Granny is not keeping things together. 
Each time I saw her at Reading she was wearing my 
clothes, and as she had her own she need, not to wear 
mine. I have sent Polly my wedding ring and a few 
other small things I had here ; and all I can say is 
I am truly grateful for all your consideration of me, 
and let me beg of you do all you can for my dear child 
Polly ; you won't go unrewarded. I wish I could 
write properly, but I feel I can't, somehow, to-day ; 
indeed, I will be glad to see you to-morrow. Poor 
Arthur, I have troubled about him a great deal, but 

I will say what Mrs told me yesterday have taken 

a great weight off my mind. Now, my dear sir, all 
I can now say is you have been a friend to me ; the 
same also to my dear child. I am expecting some 
letter daily from Willie. Polly and Arthur will see 
all about that. Kindly write to Arthur. I am 


speaking truthfully ; both of them are innocent of 
any crime. What can I say more ? Only God bless 
you and yours. Mr Scott will see you are admitted 
when you come. I am, yours sincerely, 


Mrs Palmer, Mrs Dyer's daughter, who was in prison 
in Reading waiting to be tried also for murder, was 
brought to London to say farewell to her mother. 
The grand jury had, however, thrown out the bill, 
and Mrs Dyer heard that her daughter would not be 
proceeded against, the evening before her execution. 
The last letter she wrote in prison was to her daughter, 
in which she said : 

" My child, my dear child, may God Almighty bless 
you and keep you. It was a great relief to me to 
know that you would not be prosecuted. I knew it 
yesterday. Now, my child, for Willie's and Annie's 
sake, don't go abroad. You will have a letter from 
our chaplain. I, myself, can say no more now, only 
God bless and keep you both. 

' My hope is built on nothing less 
Than Jesus' blood and righteousness.' 


Mrs Dyer also remarked : "My only wonder is I 
did not murder all in the house when I have had all 
these awful temptations on me." 

The execution of Mrs Dyer took place on loth June 
1896. With regard to the public feeling in the matter, 
a paragraph which appeared in one of the newspapers 
shows how the case had been regarded. It was as 


follows : " Not a voice was raised for her. The 
utterly despicable character of Mrs Dyer's crime may 
be judged from the fact that not a single word has 
been raised by the public or the press on behalf of a 
commutation of her sentence to penal servitude on 
the ground that she is a woman. She has gone to 
the gallows unpitied and hated. For Mrs Dyer no 
one ever asked for mercy, and no hope has been held 
out since her plea of insanity failed." This expresses 
well the usual feeling when a terrible outrage has 
been committed, and how difficult it is to remove from 
the public mind that which has been engendered by the 
atrocity of the crime, and to substitute for it a merciful 
consideration of the plea of irresponsibility. There 
was never a shadow of a doubt in anyone's mind 
but that Mrs Dyer was guilty, and the remarks made 
by Mr Justice Hawkins, so far as that part was con- 
cerned, were justified. 

The chief question at issue was whether throughout 
the chapter Mrs Dyer was a feigner of lunacy, or an 
absolute lunatic. From the previous history of the 
case, and from what I myself observed, I have no 
hesitation in pronouncing Mrs Dyer a lunatic. It is 
a very easy thing to say that people are shamming 
insanity. From the very commencement the Treasury 
were determined to hang the wretched woman, and she 
therefore met her fate. 

There was an interval of five years between the 
execution of Mrs Dyer and Mrs Pearcey, making an 
execution of two women in the last half-century. 



I now come to the case of Mary Ansell, who was 
tried for the murder of her sister, an inmate of Leaves- 
den Asylum, in 1899, by sending her some cake 
which contained phosphorus. Mary Ansell was 
eighteen years of age, whilst her sister was twenty- 

In September she had insured her sister's life for 
22, and on the death of her sister Caroline, in the 
following March, from the effects of the cake, she 
immediately applied for the insurance money, which 
was refused. This caused suspicions to be aroused, 
and in consequence Mary Ansell was arrested and 
tried. Her sister died at the asylum. She had not 
only partaken of the cake herself, but handed it 
over to some of the other inmates of the asylum, 
who became very ill ; but her sister was the only 
one that died from the effects. The Home Office 
took the matter up, and a post-mortem examina- 
tion was made and the presence of phosphorus 
detected. There was evidently a motive in this 
case. I approached it with a certain amount of 

I was instructed to examine her with a view of 
reporting on her mental condition. I had all the 
affidavits and statements placed before me, and I 
came to the conclusion that Mary Ansell was a mental 
degenerate, and ought not to be held responsible in 
the eye of the Law. 


Mary Ansell. 

Mary Ansell's sister. 


My report, as forwarded to the Home Office, was 
as follows : 

"i. Hereditary Insanity. Of this there is not the 
slightest doubt. She is a mental degenerate so often 
seen in families where insanity exists, as in hers, to 
any great extent. Such an individual is allowed her 
freedom, being simply regarded by her family and 
neighbours as a weak-minded, poor fool, but harm- 
less ; and there being nothing objective in her condi- 
tion, she is not, like her sister, incarcerated in a 
lunatic asylum. There are two insane sisters, and 
insanity inherited both on the father's and mother's 

" 2. Motive. There is generally ' method in mad- 
ness,' and often motive is an act of insanity. I think 
that too much has been laid on the insurance policy. 
At the time she was contemplating the deed, very 
possibly some insane idea was passing through her 
so-called mind. 

"3. Behaviour during Trial. This is, in my opinion, 
most important. There was an absence of excitement 
or emotion during the whole proceedings, and an in- 
ability to realise her condition or the gravity of the 
act. The summing-up of the judge and sentence of 
death did not in any way affect her. This is most 
unusual, even in the hardened criminals. 

" 4. Indications of Insanity. Intense passion and 
love alternating with each other. Frequent attacks 
of mental vacancy. Talking to herself in an inco- 
herent manner, strange hallucinations, loud fits of 
laughter for no reason. 

" I am of opinion that if the question of her in- 
sanity had been raised at the trial, no jury could 
have convicted her upon the evidence which might 
have been adduced. In order for a person to be 
legally responsible, she would be supposed to know 



the difference between right and wrong and the nature 
and gravity of the act committed by her. 

" That she did not know this difference I have not 
the slightest doubt. This is confirmed by what the 
chaplain of the prison has stated, that ' she can't be 
made to understand what murder is.' If a person 
commits a murder and at the time is unable to dis- 
tinguish between right and wrong, be the crime ever 
so revolting, by the law of our country that person 
is not a responsible individual. 

The condemned girl's hand. 

Mary Ansell's mother. 

" I state without fear of contradiction that Mary 
Ansell would come under the category of persons 
unable to so discriminate, and I am of opinion that 
if the question of her being able to plead had been 
raised at the commencement of the trial, and the 
fact had been placed before the jury that she could 
not distinguish between right and wrong, she would 
not have stood in the position we find her to-day, 
regarded as a responsible person with a complete 
knowledge of her acts, and, as such, to undergo the 
full penalty of the law." 

Sir Matthew White Ridley was the Home Secretary 


at the time, and Mr Justice Mathew was the 

A big petition was prepared by the Daily Mail. 
I had evidence placed before me from her school 
teachers, her neighbours, her employers, the prison 
chaplain, and others. Her employers said : " We are 
convinced that this unfortunate creature is mentally 
deficient and childish, and never seemed to have the 
least idea of moral responsibility." 

The Rev. H. Fowler, chaplain of St Albans Gaol, 
stated : "I have seen Mary Ansell and talked to her 
every day, and I cannot say that she comprehends 
the terrible nature of her position. She grasps the 
fact that she may be hanged, but she does not seem 
to comprehend the serious nature of the crime." 

The coroner's jury, on which she was committed, 
found a verdict " that Caroline Ansell died at Leaves- 
den Asylum, I4th March 1899, and that her death 
was caused by eating a piece of cake on loth March, 
containing phosphorus poison, such cake having been 
received by her through the post on gih March, and 
having been sent to her by her sister, Mary Ansell, 
for the purpose of obtaining the insurance money, 
payable on the life insurance policy on the life of 
Caroline Ansell." 

Mary Ansell's portrait, together with those of her 
father, mother, and sisters, were submitted to me. 
The following is my description of the same : 

" A typical specimen of a mental degenerate of 
the lowest order. The whole features point to a 


condition of irresponsibility. I should think that, in 
addition to the irresponsibility, there must have been 
a moral perversion. Our county asylums contain 
many of these persons similarly afflicted. I should 
think, judging from the formation of the head and 
face, that there is absolutely no power of mental 
concentration or of analysing in her mind the nature 
of any act she might contemplate committing. 

" Her whole type appears to be between a criminal 
and a lunatic, but one where the criminal line has 
been overstepped and the lunatic mind developed. 
Insanity, passion, and crime are so closely connected, 
that it is a very difficult matter to know where one 
begins and the other ends. From the description I 
have received of the unfortunate girl, I consider this 
to be a very good likeness, and illustrates the type of 
degenerates to which she belongs. 

" With regard to Mary AnselTs hand, there is an 
absence of any marked head-line, and the weak and 
indistinct finger form and the general indecision of 
character are to be observed." 

Mary Ansell was a woman of very weak mind. 
Her appearance was that of an imbecile. 

The case created a great stir in Parliament. The 
jurymen were nearly all unanimous in signing the 
petition for a reprieve, and the foreman of the jury, 
Mr Frank Cusworth, took a very prominent part in 
this agitation. 

Much indignation was caused by the announcement 
that a great public meeting, which was to have been 
held at Cannon Street Hotel, had been prohibited by 
the proprietor from taking place. I was summoned 
to act as chairman, but when I arrived there I was 


informed of the prohibition. This was a curious 
thing, considering meetings with regard to the 
Staunton case and the Maybrick agitation had both 
taken place there. A meeting, however, was held 
outside, and the following resolutions were passed : 
' That the case of Mary Ansell, now awaiting execu- 
tion, is one which urgently calls for a second revision 
of the Home Secretary's decision on the following 
grounds : ist, new facts brought to light since the 
conviction ; 2nd, her youth ; 3rd, the difference of 
medical opinion ; 4th, her defence at the trial being 
only half prepared and weakly put before the jury ; 
5th, the statement of the foreman and other jurymen 
as to the plea for mercy." 

The foreman of the jury was there, and stated that 
he was led to understand, and that the jury were 
decidedly of the same opinion, that, whatever the 
verdict would be, the convict would not be hanged, 
in consequence of her mental condition. 

A crowd gathered, including myself, at the Home 
Office in favour of a reprieve for Mary Ansell. We 
were met by an official, who explained that the Home 
Secretary was not in, but we were told that if a 
communication was left it would be handed to him. 
We left, having expressed our determination to 
petition Parliament. This petition, which was signed 
by one hundred members of Parliament, was drawn 
up, I may say, after the Home Secretary had given, 
so to speak, his final decision that the law must 
take its course. Exciting scenes were witnessed in 


the lobby of the House of Commons, and a large 
body of people, headed by the foreman of the jury, 
came to the House to intercede on behalf of Mary 
Ansell, so convinced were they of the imbecility of 
the woman, their object being to make a final effort 
on her behalf. In a short time one hundred signatures 
of members were obtained, and ultimately many more 
followed. This was the text of the petition of the 
members of Parliament presented to the Home 
Secretary : 

" We, the undersigned members of the House of 
Gommons, respectfully suggest to the Right Honour- 
able Sir Matthew White Ridley the desirability of 
postponing the execution of Mary Ansell for at least 
a week, to enable further inquiry to be made into her 
mental condition, seeing that a great diversity of 
opinion exists on the question." 

This was signed by one hundred Liberal members, 
but I regret to say that it became a political question, 
whilst the Conservative members, for some reason best 
known to themselves, supported their Home Secretary. 
This petition was handed to the Home Secretary at 
a late hour in the evening. Shortly after one o'clock 
the Home Office informed the press " that the Home 
Secretary was unable to alter his decision." 

Mary Ansell was hanged on the following morning 
at St Albans Gaol. To the last the condemned girl 
did not realise her position until the procession to the 
scaffold was formed, when she was in a condition of 
collapse. I do not recollect in the whole course of my 


experience such strenuous and influential efforts being 
made on behalf of any condemned prisoner as in the 
case of Mary Ansell. One would have thought that 
the foreman of the jury, evidently regretting the 
verdict, and taking the prominent part he did in 
endeavouring to obtain a reprieve, together with the 
medical opinions and the fact of Parliament taking 
the matter up, would have been sufficient at least to 
get a commutation of the sentence for a week to 
make further inquiries. 


One of the few so-called " trunk tragedies " took 
place in 1905. I allude to that of Arthur Devereux, 
accused of poisoning his wife and twins, and secreting 
their bodies in a trunk, which was placed in a luggage 
depository. It was called " the trunk poisoning 
mystery." I am absolutely positive, beyond any 
shadow of a doubt, that Devereux was an innocent 
man, and I believe that his solicitor entertained the 
same opinion. The history of the case is a very 
simple one. Devereux had been looking out for 
employment and was unable to find any. Being a 
chemist by profession, he had in his house a number 
of drugs. He was very anxious to obtain work, as 
he had another little boy named Stanley, whom he 
had to support, and who was then at a boarding- 
school. He knew how difficult it was for anyone to 
obtain an appointment as an indoor assistant if a 


married man, and therefore he answered an advertise- 
ment in a paper entitled the Chemist and Druggist for 
a post as an indoor assistant for an " unmarried man " ; 
he also sent a telegram to the same effect. Unfortun- 
ately, this telegram, having been sent the day immedi- 
ately previous to the bodies of his wife and children 
being found, was used as strong circumstantial 
evidence in the eyes of the jury that at the time 
Devereux sent the telegram he was premeditating 
committing the crime. The telegram, sent in answer 
to an advertisement, ran as follows : " Would a 
widower suit, aged 34, qualified extractor ? One 
child aged six, boy at boarding-school." 

Sir Charles Mathews, who represented the Treasury, 
made much of this. In answer to his question when 
giving evidence, Devereux replied : " It was a device 
he had used before to obtain a temporary situation 
rather than be out of employment." On the day 
following this telegram, which was sent on I3th 
January, the bodies of his wife and children were 
found by him dead so he alleged. 

I might as well mention that Mrs Devereux came of 
a family of suicides, as also did Devereux. The theory 
I have always entertained, and which I still entertain, 
is that the day of the tragedy was washing day, and the 
wife was occupied in this, and that the children got noisy 
and troublesome, and in order to quiet them she went to 
the cupboard and got some drugs ; she intended to 
give them only a small dose to keep them quiet. She 
unfortunately overdosed them, and as they got into 



a condition of narcotism and ultimately coma, and she 
was unable to waken them, she realised the gravity of 
the situation, and then the suicidal predisposition 

Devereux in Court. 

which she had inherited came uppermost in her mind, 
and she destroyed herself. Devereux came in, and, 
finding what had happened, was at a loss to know what 
to do. He also inherited insanity, his mind for the 
moment became unhinged, and suddenly it reverted 


to a similar case which had happened a few years ago, 
called the " Grossman case." He followed the example 
of this man, and, putting the bodies in a trunk, he 
deposited them in a warehouse. Being charged at 
Harlesden police-station on I4th April, he made the 
following statement, which was submitted to me by 
his solicitor : 

" \$th April 1905. 

"I, Arthur Devereux, hereby declare that one 
evening towards the end of January or beginning of 
February last, after having been out for a few hours 
with my child Stanley, I returned to find my wife and 
twins lying dead in their beds, evidently, to my mind, 
having died from poison taken or administered. 
Rather than face an inquest I decided (with a recent 
trial fresh in my mind) to conceal the bodies in a trunk 
which I had in my possession for about two years. 
This I proceeded to do at once. I missed some poisons 
(chloroform and morphia) which I always kept in my 
writing-desk after leaving my last situation, in the 
event of my wishing to end my own life rather than 
face starvation. The room smelled strongly of 
chloroform, so I concluded that my wife had adminis- 
tered it to herself and children ; probably also the 
morphia. I had had a violent quarrel with her 
previously to going out ; also many times quite 
recently and during the last twelve months. 

" I make this statement quite voluntarily without 
any threats having been made or promises held out to 
me. I wished to make it when first detained at 
Coventry, but was advised not to do so. 


" Witness, GEORGE COLE, P.S., 
" 14/4 April 1905." 


On the evening of 28th January 1905 Mrs Devereux 
and her mother, Mrs Gregory, were out shopping. 
They parted about 11.15, Mrs Devereux going in the 
direction of Milton Lane. Mrs Devereux was never 
seen by anyone outside the flat until her body and the 
bodies of the twins were found in a tin trunk on I3th 
April at a warehouse in Kensal Rise. At that time 
the prisoner had obtained employment at a chemist's 
at Coventry. Circumstantial evidence was so strong 
as to prove beyond all possible doubt that the trunk 
had been removed from Devereux's lodgings by a 
carman on his instructions. The police, who had been 
in communication with Mrs Gregory since I4th March, 
as she was unable to find traces of her daughter, 
ultimately investigated the affair. It appears that 
on 7th February Devereux removed five boxes, 
including the trunk which contained the bodies. 
This latter, which was very heavy, was warehoused. 
This was found and opened by the police on I3th April, 
and Devereux was arrested at Coventry on the charge 
of wilful murder. When charged he made the state- 
ment just quoted. 

The following was the history of the case submitted 
to me : 

"Family History. Grandfather in 1860 attempted 
suicide by hanging in consequence of business troubles. 
He was found suspended, but cut down and life saved. 

"Father in 1891 attempted suicide by taking poison. 
He was a chemist. His life was saved by the stomach- 
pump. He was charged at the Hamersham Petty 
Sessions with attempting suicide, convicted, bound 


over to come up for judgment when required, and 
given over to the care of his friends. 

" Mother was Cicely Jenny Louis, a daughter of 
Major-General Louis. His maternal grandmother, 
Lady Louis, was mentally afflicted and under the care 
of two doctors for treatment, but, being well-to-do, 
was not placed in an asylum. 

" Aunt. His mother's sister, Maud Louis, who lived 
at Regent's Park, committed suicide by throwing 
herself out of a high window. An inquest was held, 
the verdict being ' temporary insanity.' 

"Great-uncle. Caleb Devereux, his father's uncle, 
ten years ago, on 2oth May 1895, was certified as a 
person of unsound mind by Dr Wheeler, the parish 
doctor of High Wickham. He was sent to Stone 
Asylum, Aylesbury, and there detained for twelve 
months. This attack was caused by financial diffi- 
culties. He was depressed, and made various attempts 
on his life. 

" Wife a very reticent person, at times melancholic, 
and it is asserted that she threatened to commit suicide. 

" Previous History. Born December 1870, married 
November 1898. Considered to be very fond of his 
child Stanley. About ten years ago, whilst staying 
with his brother at Highbury, he disappeared in a 
strange manner, sleeping in parks, etc. When he 
returned to his brother's house his manner was so 
strange that his brother took him to Dr Swan of High- 
bury, on whose advice he was sent away to a farm for 
care and treatment. It appears, so far as I can gather, 
that he had become irritable and quarrelsome of late, 
during the last twelve months, with his wife, 
though previous to this I believe they had lived 
on good terms. 

" Behaviour of the Prisoner after the date of the 
Tragedy. After the murder there was no apparent 
change in his condition. He continued cheerful, 


warehoused the trunk, wrote business letters, and 
appeared quite rational. He then moved to the 
Harrow Road, where he was arrested, and wrote out 
his own statement, dated I4th April 1905, which was 
witnessed by George Cole, P.S. At the next hearing 
of the case at the police court after the first adjourn- 
ment, he showed utter indifference with regard to his 
position, and entertained no possible fear of being 
convicted. This state lasted for about five weeks, and 
during this time, beyond treating the matter with the 
greatest amount of levity, laughing and joking, there 
was nothing of a maniacal tendency to be observed. 
At the end of this time, however, he commenced to 
behave in an extraordinary manner, writing a number 
of strange and incoherent epistles, one being to the 
press, which he was persuaded not to send. He talked 
and mumbled to himself, and said he was Jesus Christ, 
and made a number of erratic statements. After this, 
whilst in prison, he had exaltation of ideas and began 
to regard himself as a hero, and frequently stated that 
his fellow-prisoners should treat him with respect, as 
being ' the hero of the trunk tragedy.' At this time 
he was reported to have been absolutely indifferent as 
to the issue at stake, and had an utter disregard for 
guilt, laughing incoherently, and failed to realise his 
position in any way, the very mention of the tragedy 
producing hilarity in him." 

Dr Maudsley's Report. 

He was seen and examined by this gentleman on 
2oth June, and the following was the report sent to 
me : 

" I have read the depositions and statements in 
the case of Rex v. Devereux, and seen many of the 
numerous elaborately concocted scrawls which the 


prisoner has written in prison, as well as the medical 
reports of his behaviour there. Neither in the ex- 
aggerated absurdities of these scrawls nor in his 
extravagantly perverse conduct do I find evidence 
of insanity. Both seem to betray the deliberate 
use of a cunning intellect to invent nonsense of speech 
and writing and perverse folly of conduct. 

" That insanity, coming on suddenly, should so 
soon reach a degree of degeneration which, were it 
genuine, would mean the mental destruction of 
dementia, is contrary to experience. Moreover, his 
noisy, dirty, obscene, and viciously perverse doings, 
energetically and consistently continued, are not 
such as I have ever observed in any form of insanity, 
and are inconsistent with the mental imbecility which 
he apparently feigns. 

" The opinion suggested to me by the prisoner's 
nonsensical scrawls and doings was confirmed by 
the interview which I had with him at Brixton Gaol 
on Tuesday, 20th inst. He refused to answer any 
question rationally, but giggled, grimaced, and 
mumbled, humming the words of the question dis- 
connectedly and grinning in an aggressive and insolent 
manner. There was evidently no incapacity to grasp 
the meaning of the question, but a consistent de- 
termination to turn its words into nonsensical gabble 
not in the least like the incoherence of true mania. 
An actual lunatic I should have expected either to 
take no notice of the question, being self-absorbed 
in his delirium, or to make it the starting-point of 
incoherent remarks, or perchance even to give an 
occasional answer to the point. He, on the contrary, 
was careful to answer nothing rightly. Two or three 
extravagant statements which he interpolated into 
his gabble that he had lived to the end of the world 
and before the world began, and had helped God to 
create it ; that he had written all the books in the 


world were made evidently without belief in 
what he was saying, and are quite inconsistent with 
the mental disorder which he affects and with the 
precision and alertness of his bodily movements. 

" Twice during the interview he seemed for an 
instant unconsciously to let the mask fall : once 
when, Dr Scott abruptly and sharply asking a question, 
he said, ' I beg your pardon,' losing his silly giggle 
and showing a quite natural and serious look, and 
again when, being told that he might now leave the 
room, and not at once understanding what was said, 
he similarly said, ' I beg your pardon,' rising from 
his chair and walking away with quite a natural 
expression and carriage. 

" There seems to be a history of some mental 
disorder in his family, which may have affected his 
mental constitution badly. 

" I should attach more importance to his personal 
history up to the time of his committal than to such 
possible hereditary influence ; and that seems to 
show that he has always known, as I think he still 
knows, what he is doing. 


This report of Dr Maudsley, if considered literally, 
opens up to my mind a serious vista to the effect 
that evidently a doubt existed in Dr Maudsley's 
mind as to the absolute responsibility of Devereux. 
I especially allude to what he says : " There seems 
to be a history of some mental disorder in his family, 
which may have affected his mental constitution badly. ' ' 

Permission having been obtained from the Home 
Office in conformity with the usual custom, for 
Devereux to be examined by medical experts, ac- 
companied by Dr MacCarthy and Dr Armstrong 


I examined him on two occasions, on the I7th and 
2ist of July, at Brixton Prison. I again did so in 
the cells at the Old Bailey on the day of his trial. 

I think it may be of interest in the furtherance of 
my contention as to Devereux's innocence, and in 
justice to the case, to give in extenso my report based 
on the result of my examinations of him. This has 
only been previously seen by the solicitor acting for 
the defence and the representatives of the Treasury. 
And as an additional proof of my contention as to 
the righteousness of my conclusions I also give Dr 
MacCarthy's report, who was appointed with me to 
examine Devereux. 

I examined Devereux in Brixton Prison on iyth 
July, and issued the following report : 

" This is to certify that-, acting on the instructions 
of Mr Pierron, I visited Arthur Devereux at Brixton 
Prison, accompanied by Dr MacCarthy and Dr 
Armstrong, to-day. 

" We had a long interview with him in the presence 
of Dr Scott. I had previously been supplied with 
a copy of Dr Maudsley's report of his examination 
made on 2Oth June, in which Devereux's condition 
is described as being one of nonsensical excitement 
and general incoherency. I found him, to my sur- 
prise, in a comparatively quiet and lucid mental 
state, so far as incoherency and excitement were 
concerned, though his mind was considerably un- 
hinged. I was informed by Dr Scott that the ' lucid 
interval ' which now exists commenced on Thursday 
the I3th instant by the disappearance of his insane 
conduct and delusive conversation. 

" The history of the case as furnished to me shows 


that Devereux has conducted himself in a very extra- 
ordinary way whilst in prison ; that he has been 
dirty in his habits, noisy, flippant in conversation, 
restless and talkative. None of these symptoms 
were apparent at my examination of him to-day. 
In reply to my question as to why he had conducted 
himself so badly in prison, he replied that he ' was 
annoyed because they had stopped his papers, which 
were paid for.' He accounted for his bad memory 
by informing me that he had lost his memory from 
2Qth May to 2Oth June, being unable to recollect 
anything ; and he told me that at that time he slept 
for days and nights without having anything to 
eat or drink, and consequently could not recollect 
anything which had taken place during that interval. 
I took him seriatim through Dr Maudsley's report, 
which described his peculiar conduct at the time of 
his visit, on the 2oth June, but he could recollect 
nothing of what had happened at the interview. 
He told me that he felt very well and strong, never 
better in his life. In reply to my question as to 
what he was going to do when he left prison, he 
answered, ' Follow my own employment.' I then 
questioned him as to the charge upon which he was 
to take his trial. He told me that he adhered to his 
original statement. He also told me that it was his 
intention to have taken a bungalow in the country and 
to take the trunk with him and bury it there in a garden. 
I questioned him further as to the tragedy, but he 
was apparently unable to realise the gravity of the 
situation. In reply to my question he informed me 
that he read the newspapers. I asked him if he 
could tell me anything which was going on at the 
present moment. He hesitated for some time, and 
then told me as to the appointment of Dr Osier as 
Regius Professor of Medicine to the University of 
Oxford. This he gave me as a bit of recent news, 



though it took place some months ago. I pressed 
him further on this subject. He then said he had seen 
a paragraph in a magazine, but could not say in which, 
where it was stated that the King was going to ab- 
dicate in favour of George V. In the same magazine 
the coronation of George V. was discussed, and the 
paraphernalia connected with it, and who was to 
be invited to the same. In reply to my question 
he informed me that he was not worrying about 
anything, and that he slept well. 

" Objective Symptoms observed during Examina- 

" Facial muscles slightly puffy and tremulous. 

" Sensation : diminution of feeling, as indicated 
by tickling the soles of the feet. 

" Gait : rather uncertain and unsteady. 

" Speech : thickness in articulating, slow and 

" Knee-jerk : exaggerated in left knee. 

" Ear : marked ' aura haematoma/ viz. the 
' lunatic's ear,' most pronounced. This 
latter is a most important symptom as a 
diagnosis of the complaint from which he 
is suffering. I have been informed by Dr 
Scott that he has only observed this of late, 
and this symptom was not in evidence at 
the time of Dr Maudsley's visit. 

" Opinion. All the symptoms above mentioned 
are consistent with general paralysis of the insane, a 
complaint which in its early stages is characterised 
by frequent lucid intervals. 

" I am of opinion that Arthur Devereux is at the 
present moment a person of unsound mind, suffering 
from well-marked and defined symptoms of general 
paralysis of the insane, the result of heredity as a 


predisposing cause and worry as an exciting cause, 
this complaint being associated with certain objective 
symptoms of an important character, especially the 
' aura haematoma,' which is generally seen in such 
cases, and is one of the most important indications 
of this malady. When the absence of all feeling, 
the indifference as to the issue, the exaltation of 
ideas, together with his behaviour in prison as de- 
scribed by Dr Scott, are taken into consideration, 
the diagnosis, to my mind, is complete. To this I 
would add his extraordinary scrawls and words 
nearly all underlined, so symptomatic of the com- 

" Dr Maudsley, in the latter part of his report, 
says as follows : ' There seems to be a history of 
some mental disorder in his family, which may have 
affected his mental constitution badly.' This opinion 
I desire in every way to confirm, but would go even 
further than Dr Maudsley does, by stating that he 
is suffering from mental degeneration of an incurable 
nature, characterised by the symptoms previously 
mentioned, and associated with a disease which has 
frequent exacerbations and remissions during its 
progress in other words, the patient is sometimes 
worse and sometimes better. 

" From a careful consideration of the case, I am 
of opinion that Devereux is not in any way feigning 
lunacy, for at my interview to-day he tried very 
hard to behave like a rational person ; and even if 
he were considered to be so acting, he could not 
feign the serious objective symptoms which at the 
present time exist in him. 

" (Signed) FORBES WINSLOW, M.B., D.C.L., LL.D." 

I again examined Devereux on 2ist July : 

" This is to certify that I made a second examina- 
tion of Arthur Devereux at Brixton Prison to-day, 


in conjunction with Dr MacCarthy, Dr Armstrong, 
and Dr Scott. Devereux informed me that he felt 
much better. He told me that a doctor had visited 
him on the day previous and had said ' that he was 
much more satisfied with his condition/ I asked him 
how he had been occupying his time since my last 
visit. He replied, ' Talking to my fellow-prisoners 
about their offences, but I have given up reading as 
it appears to try my eyes so much.' This, he in- 
formed me, was not the case until he came into the 
prison hospital. I asked him whether he could re- 
collect what our conversation was about at my last 
visit. He replied, ' I told you as to the coronation 
of George V., but I have found the magazine in which 
I thought I had read an account of it ; but as I could 
not find it there, it must have been my imagination.' 
He still adheres to the fact that he must have been 
in a deep sleep from May 2Qth to June 2oth, during 
which time his memory was a complete blank. In 
reply to my question as to whether he had any fears 
with regard to the issue of the trial, he replied that 
he had none. I asked him whether he had anything 
to complain of during his incarceration in the prison. 
He replied, ' I have no complaint of any description 
to make, but what I want to know is, what has been 
the matter with me, as I have been informed that I 
have been laughing, singing, and feeling quite jolly, 
but I have no recollection of it.' He was asked 
whether he remembered, on I4th July, teasing a 
prisoner and trying to climb up a lamp-post. He 
said he had some very vague recollections of the fact. 
He told me that he had a slight relapse yesterday, 
and that his headache was so excessive he had to sit 
down. I then referred to a very important point 
connected with his case. It refers to a telegram he 
sent two days previous to the tragedy, offering his 
services for some position, stating that he was a 


widower with one child. He told me that he had 
often written letters describing himself as such, and 
that he recollected one year ago he had written a 
letter to a person at Eccles (which letter could be 
traced), in which he stated that he was a widower. 
He said he had done so for the simple reason that he 
thought it would be much easier to obtain a situation 
should he be deemed to have no special encumbrances. 
Upon using a very strong electrical current upon him 
I found that he could feel it in the hands, but hardly 
at all in the feet. On putting a metallic slab on the 
ground and placing his right foot on this and passing 
a very strong current of electricity through the slab, 
he hardly, if at all, felt the least sensation in the 
lower extremities. This is what I should expect to 
find in cases of paralysis of the nature from which I 
consider he is suffering, and where the loss of sensa- 
tion is first observed in the lower extremities. Through 
the courtesy of Dr Scott we were allowed to interview 
and question one of the warders, who had been fre- 
quently in attendance on him. He simply confirmed 
Dr Scott's statement as to Devereux's loud talking, 
shouting, and silly conversation, which had occurred 
periodically since his admission into the prison ; also 
as to his having given prisoners certain nicknames, 
making grimaces, and turning somersaults. The 
warder told me that he had never seen Devereux in 
the least dejected. 

" From my experience in the examination of 
persons alleged to be insane, previous to holding a 
commission in lunacy, I have always laid much 
stress on an expression of an opinion given by an 
attendant who has been constantly with the patient ; 
and so much importance is attached to their evidence 
that they are generally subpoenaed and examined at 
these commissions as to any impression they may 
have arrived at as to the mental state of the individual. 


Following out my usual custom, I was about to put a 
direct question to this warder with regard to the 
mental condition of Devereux, but as Dr Scott 
objected to this I did not press the matter. 

" During the whole of my conversation with 
Devereux there was not the slightest evidence of his 
feigning insanity ; in fact, his whole desire appeared 
to be to answer every question to the best of his 
ability, and with no view of deception. 

" In conclusion, I have not altered my opinion as 
expressed in my first report, viz. that Devereux is 
suffering from incipient general paralysis of the 
insane, though he still remains in the same lucid 
interval, so far as the excitement is concerned, as he 
was on the I7th July when I first examined him. 

" (Signed) FORBES WINSLOW, M.B., D.C.L., LL.D." 

In support of the case I think it advisable to also 
give the reports of Dr MacCarthy instructed on the 
prisoner's behalf, also in extenso. 



"July ijth, 1905. 

" Report as to the mental condition of Arthur Devereux, 
a prisoner at Brixton Gaol, awaiting trial on a 
charge of murdering his wife and two children. 

" I examined the above-named prisoner on 
inst. at Brixton Gaol, in the presence of Dr Forbes 
Winslow, Dr Armstrong, and Dr Scott, and questioned 
him at considerable length on matters relating to 
himself, the trial, and other matters. 

" I had previously been informed that he was in 
a bad mental state, and that he was behaving like a 
lunatic. I found him in a lucid state, evidently one 


of these lucid intervals occurring in his complaint, 
and he conversed with me in a rational manner, 
excepting one occasion, when he stated he had read 
in some magazine that preparations were proceeding 
for the coronation, and, when asked whose coronation 
he referred to, he replied George the Fifth's, and that 
Edward the Seventh had abdicated in favour of his 
son, and that the report referred to the ceremonial 
to be adopted at the coronation. When further 
questioned as to what he had read of recent date 
in the papers he was unable to recollect, and seemed 
to be losing his memory. 

" He denies that he has behaved in a foolish, noisy, 
or maniacal manner whilst in gaol, but states that 
he has no recollection of events which happened from 
May 29 to June 20, and that he was in a dazed state 
between these dates, and that he believed that he 
slept for days and nights without eating or drinking. 
He had a dim recollection of Dr Maudsley visiting 
him, but did not recollect anything about his examina- 
tion by that gentleman. 

" He was also hazy about his last appearance at 
the Old Bailey, and could dimly remember some 
warders being present, and looking up a long spiral 
staircase. Whilst conversing with him I noticed a 
slurring of articulation, the voice dropping and be- 
coming indistinct. He informed me he did not call 
in the police when he found his wife and children 
lying dead because he knew he would be arrested 
and charged with the murder ; that he was very 
frightened when he discovered the tragedy ; and that 
he put the bodies in the trunk, intending when he got 
his holidays about July or August to take a secluded 
cottage and dispose of the remains by burial in the 

" In reply to the question if he suffered from fits, 
he informed me that he did not suffer from fits him- 


self, but that his brother Louis suffered from fits 
from childhood onwards. 

" I put him through various physical tests. 

" On examining his eyes I found the pupils were 
rather contracted, that they did not readily respond 
to the reaction of light after darkness and dilatation 
of the pupil ; the eyelids were puffy ; and the eyes 
themselves moved slowly showing paresis of the 
muscles of the eye, and were watery showing 
paresis of the orbicular muscles. 

' There was marked loss of sensation, or I should 
say diminution of sensation, as no shrinking or 
drawing up of the feet was observed on my roughly 
tickling the soles. The knee-jerk was increased, 
especially in the left knee, though I was informed 
the knee-jerks were absent by Dr Scott. His gait 
was slow and measured as if he required to concen- 
trate his mind on his walking to ensure steadiness, 
and he seemed unsteady in turning round. He 
swayed when asked to put his two heels together 
and look upwards. His speech was slow and the 
words slurred over, and an over amount of salivation. 

" There was well-marked aural haematoma of both 
ears, which is almost pathognomonic of his complaint, 
and I carefully examined both ears with a lens and 
could not detect the faintest marks of abrasion which 
would be present if self-induced. 

" I am of opinion the exaggeration of the knee- 
jerks and the aural haematoma are of recent appear- 
ance, as the exaggeration of the one had not been 
evident to Dr Scott previous to our examination, 
and the aural haematoma had not been referred to 
by Dr Maudsley in his report of June 2Oth, and if 
present would surely have been commented on. 

" The prisoner seemed to be in good spirits and not 
at all affected by his awful situation, and seemed to 
have lost all sense of responsibility. 


" I heard from Dr Scott that he began to improve 
in his behaviour on the Wednesday previous to our 
visit, and regard his present condition of lucidity as 
one of those intervals of sanity occurring in general 
paralysis of the insane which appear at increasing 
periods of time, the duration of the lucid period be- 
coming shorter and shorter, till the attack ends in 
continuous and drivelling idiocy. 

" I have noticed Devereux's handwriting bears 
several likenesses to one suffering from general 
paralysis, especially in his writing being on every 
available scrap of paper, in the writing being scattered 
about over the paper, in the frequent and useless 
underscorings, without any relevancy to importance. 

" I am definitely of opinion that the prisoner, 
Arthur Devereux, is genuinely insane, and that the 
malady is not assumed. On reviewing the family 
history one cannot come to any other conclusion but 
that his present condition has been greatly affected 
by heredity, and possibly youthful excesses and in- 
discretions, and that trouble and worry has been the 
exciting factor, and that he is now of unsound mind 
and not responsible for his actions. 


L.R.C.P.L., L.M.R.C.S." 

" Second Report as to the mental condition of Arthur 
Devereux, a prisoner at Brixton Gaol, awaiting 
trial on a charge of having murdered his wife and 

two children. 

"July 2ist y 1905. 

" I further examined Arthur Devereux on this date, 
in the presence of Dr Forbes Winslow, Dr Armstrong, 
and the doctor to the prison, Dr Scott. 

" I found Devereux in pretty much the same condi- 
tion as he was in when I first examined him on the 
1 7th of July, and Dr Scott informed me he had been 


conducting himself rationally and intelligently since 
that time, and that he had been visited by Dr Maudsley 
the previous day, that being the first time he had seen 
him in a lucid state. 

" Devereux stated he had felt quite well, with the 
exception of a headache the previous day, which was 
severe. He has not been reading lately, as his left 
eye became very tired and strained, and then the 
headache came on, and he complains that he has not 
got the same field of vision with the left eye that he 
has with the right, and further complained of seeing 
black spots. I endeavoured to examine his eyes with 
the ophthalmoscope, but the illumination was in- 
sufficient. I expected to find some atrophy of the 
optic disc which might account for the ocular symptoms 
complained of. 

" In answer to the question why he had sent a 
telegram a few days before the tragedy applying for 
a situation and stating he was a widower with one 
child, in answer to an advertisement appearing in 
the Chemist and Druggist, he replied that little 
quarrels occurred between himself and his wife with 
regard to his mother-in-law, and that he threatened 
to go away with his child and take a situation ; that 
about a year before he had answered a similar advertise- 
ment in the same paper for a position, representing 
himself as a widower, and that if the files of the paper 
were searched the advertisement could be found. He 
also informed me his wife had also declared she would 
go away and take a situation. 

" I inquired of him why he was in hospital if he felt 
quite well, and he said he felt as strong as a lion, and 
boasted of his strength, which is a common boast with 
people suffering from general paralysis. He also told 
me he always feels jolly, and that he has no fear about 
the result of the trial, but that he feels a bit light- 
headed at times. 



" Dr Forbes Winslow applied a strong current of 
electricity with the object of testing Devereux's 
sensation. I saw he was strongly affected by the 
current in the hands, but that in the feet the sensation 
was so much diminished that it was scarcely apparent. 

" Dr Scott kindly consented to our seeing one of the 
warders in attendance on Devereux, named Ernest 
William George, who informed me he had seen a good 
deal of Devereux since his admission, and that his 
condition varies very much latterly ; that he was 
noisy when he first came, talking loudly and shouting ; 
that he called him ' Mr Bodkin,' and nicknamed the 
other prisoners ; that he had seen him turn somer- 
saults and make grimaces ; and that the prisoner had 
struck him. I inquired of the warder if he had ever 
seen Devereux in a dejected mood, or even thoughtful, 
and he replied that he never had ; that he was quiet 
and well-behaved now, and even assisted in keeping 
the ward clean. 

" I am still of opinion that Devereux is not 
responsible for his actions, and that he is suffering 
from general paralysis of the insane. He did not in 
any way sham insanity, or pretend foolishness in any 
way, and seemed perfectly straightforward during the 
whole period of both examinations, as was admitted 
by Dr Scott. 


"L.R.C.P.L., L.M.R.C.S." 

Everyone with an open mind, having read what has 
just been stated, can come to no other conclusion but 
that the man was innocent, and that his actions, 
subsequent to the murder, were those of a person 
temporarily deprived of his reason. It was a Treasury 
case, and everything was done to convict him, and the 
medical witnesses had a difficult time. At first the 


judge, Mr Justice Ridley, who tried the case, objected 
to the medical evidence being given, especially as the 
defence was not one of insanity that is, he was not 
considered to be in an unfit state to plead. Ultimately 
the evidence was admitted, and I stepped into the 
witness-box, and was rather thankful to leave it again. 
I was apparently an unwelcome witness, and one 
always feels it so in such a case. Nothing could remove 
from the jury's mind the conviction that the telegram 
sent by Devereux, previously alluded to, was sent 
with a view to his committing the murder ; and this 
sealed his fate. 

Medical experts in this case were not fairly treated. 
A great deal of importance was attached to the fact 
that, unfortunately, having been asked by a member 
of the press, who saw it reported that I had examined 
Devereux, I expressed my views on the matter, 
although I stated in court that " I was not responsible 
for what the press put in." 

The poor man was not allowed a loophole to escape. 
He was doomed from the very moment of his arrest, 
but I conscientiously believe, from the facts that came 
to my knowledge, that he was innocent of the crime, 
and his actions subsequent to the death of his wife and 
children were those of a lunatic. I made every effort 
to get a reprieve. One newspaper remarked that 
" the persistent efforts made by certain medical 
witnesses to force on the court that Devereux was 
innocent approached very nearly to a public scandal." 
Even this did not deter me from trying my very best 


up to the last to get the man reprieved. It was not 
a case as to whether he had committed the act whilst 
in a condition of insanity, but whether he was innocent 
of the crime, and that the children died unfortunately 
through an extra dose of some narcotic administered 
to them by their mother, who committed suicide when 
she saw what she had done, and that, when Devereux 
returned home and found what had happened, his 
reason for the moment left him, and he acted without 
sound or sane judgment. 

Mr Justice Ridley, in summing up, stated that " he 
wanted to say a word or two about doctors' evidence. 
A doctor was of great value in giving evidence before a 
jury as to whether or not a person was insane. From 
his medical knowledge he was able to assist a jury in 
coming to a conclusion whether a man was responsible 
for his actions or not ; but it was for the jury to 
determine the question it was the jury who gave the 
decision, not the doctor. If there was no question of 
insanity a doctor could not give evidence about what 
his opinion was as to the conduct of a particular 
individual he was no more entitled to do that than 
anyone else, for the person's conduct must be tried by 
the jury and by no other. Dr Forbes Winslow was 
asked what his opinion was about the prisoner's 
condition on 3ist January. That was an improper 
question, and Dr Forbes Winslow very properly 
declined to answer it." 

What was uppermost in the doctors' minds was not 
the question of insanity, but that the man was wrongly 


accused, and that at the time his mind was unhinged by 
the aspect of the tragedy as presented to him that his 
behaviour was only consistent with one not then 
responsible for what he did ; because, from the evidence 
placed before us, we were convinced that no terrible 
crime was committed by Devereux, but that he was 
guided by insane stupidity and ignorance in acting 
as he did after finding the bodies in his room, and in 
putting them in a trunk instead of forthwith communi- 
cating with the police. 

The last letter Devereux wrote just previous to his 
execution, in reply to one written to the prison urging 
him to confess, is as follows : 

" Re exhortation. 

"As far as the actual charge made against me is 
concerned I have a perfectly clear conscience, so would 
reply to your communication, for which I thank you, 
with a quotation from the Psalms of David, ' that the 
Lord is on my side, therefore shall I fear nothing.' I 
have already confessed to the public all there is to 
confess. May God and man forgive me. Yours 


A postscript to this letter was as follows : 

" My spare time on all holidays and Sundays was 
spent almost entirely in one of two ways either look- 
ing out for a suitable place for Stanley, or else in the 
cemetery, communing with the dead. I love to think 
of them as being in a place of departed spirits. Laurie, 
the younger and favourite twin, ' Mama's baby ' as 


Stanley called him, on his mother's bosom, clasping his 
arms around her neck and smiling, while Evelin, 
' Granny's baby,' lies at his mother's feet, suppliant 
and grieved." 

They had thus done all that could possibly be done 
to endeavour to wring a confession out of him, but to 
the end he remained steadfast to the truth when he 
said, " I have nothing further to add but what I have 
already stated." I am convinced more than ever that 
Devereux was innocent, and that another judicial 
murder has been committed. 

It was a case of great popular interest, and one 
of the greatest repugnance, surrounded by revolting 
details, and there was the difficulty with the Treasury, 
which is often found, to approach the subject with 
an unbiassed mind. 

As the case is of comparatively recent date, and 
from the fact that it was surrounded by great brutality 
and devilish cunning should Devereux have been 
the actual murderer, and as most people, with an 
imperfect knowledge of the facts, incline to that belief, 
it has been my desire to endeavour to remove such 
an impression from the public mind, and to show 
that there was every justification for the prominent 
part I played in this most unsavoury drama sur- 
rounded by theories and complications. I in no 
way regret the part I took, acting on the honesty 
of my convictions that Devereux was innocent and 
had not received a fair trial or a proper hearing. 

The trial commenced on 25th July ; it concluded 


3ist July. The execution took place I5th August. 
The judge said in passing sentence, " I concur in that 
verdict ; I am convinced by the evidence of your 
guilt." The jury were thirteen minutes in consulta- 
tion ; hence my statement as to it being a foregone 
conclusion. I was convinced up to the last that 
Devereux was innocent, and, understanding that 
the Home Office were finally considering the question 
by perusal of certain documents, in case they had 
lost sight of my original reports, I enclosed the same 
with the accompanying letter. The answer to this 
is appended. 

" bth August 1905. 
"To the Right Honourable the Home Secretary. 

" SIR, 

" Re Arthur Devereux. 

"As I understand that certain depositions have 
been placed before you for consideration re the above, 
I beg to enclose for your perusal copies of the two 
original reports I made on the case, and which were 
forwarded to the solicitor conducting the defence. 
The opinion I expressed in the witness-box, and which 
I have always held, was to the effect that Devereux 
knew the difference between right and wrong, and 
was therefore legally responsible for his actions. 
He is, I believe, nevertheless, in the condition as 
described in my two reports, suffering from incipient 
mental disease in its early stage. The medical men 
were consulted not as to the innocence or guilt of the 
accused, for with this they had nothing to do, but as 
to whether, in their opinion in the event of the case 
being one of murder and suicide by his wife, the 
after behaviour of the accused might not be attributed 


to an abnormal mental condition, the result of strong 
hereditary taint, as set forth in my reports and corro- 
borated by the evidence in court. I was asked in 
court what my opinion was as to the prisoner's mental 
condition on 3ist January. This question I declined 
to answer, as I had no means of forming an opinion 
on the matter, and in Mr Justice Ridley's remarks, 
in summing up, his lordship remarked that I had very 
properly declined to answer that question. 

" I feel it my duty to lay these facts before you 
for your merciful consideration. I have the honour 
to be your obedient Servant, 

" (Signed) FORBES WINSLOW, M.B., D.C.L., LL.D. 

" P.S. I also enclose history of case furnished 
by the solicitor to me." 

" WHITEHALL, nth August 1905. 

" SIR, With reference to your letter of the 6th 
instant relative to the case of Arthur Devereux, now 
lying under sentence of death in Pentonville Prison, 
I am directed by the Secretary of State to inform you 
that he has given careful consideration to all the 
circumstances, and I am to express to you his regret 
that he has failed to discover any sufficient ground to 
justify him in advising His Majesty to interfere with 
the due course of law. I am, Sir, Your obedient 

" C. E. TROUP. 

" Forbes Winslow, Esq., M.B." 


I have been engaged in a number of kleptomaniac 
cases, chiefly " shoplifting " by ladies of position. 
I had a number of these cases in succession, and I was 



called in court by the counsel, in one in which I was 
giving evidence, " the thief's friend." The majority 
of these were women who have " method in their 

One case, that of Mrs Eliza Leutner, which occurred 
in 1892, impressed itself on my memory, as I took 
a great deal of trouble but received no remuneration 
for my pains. 

This woman, together with her sister, Julia Salomon, 
was charged with larceny before Sir Peter Edlin. 
The two sisters entered Messrs Crisp & Co.'s, in Seven 
Sisters Road. As each of them was attired in a very 
large cloak, the attention of one of the shopwalkers 
was attracted, and having his suspicions aroused, 
he kept them under observation for about half an 
hour. He saw them take up a pair of gloves, a night- 
dress, and various articles from different parts of the 
shop and secrete them under their cloaks, in con- 
sequence of which he had them arrested. It appears 
that the defendant Leutner had been tried a few 
months before for taking an umbrella from another 
shop, and had been acquitted. At this trial the 
defendant Salomon was called as a witness to her 
sister's character. 

I was informed that there was insanity in the family, 
and that she had been subject to epileptic fits. Upon 
my evidence Sir Peter Edlin discharged Leutner on 
her finding two sureties of 100 to come up for judg- 
ment if called upon. This was only on the under- 
standing that the measures suggested by me for her 


supervision would be carried out. Her sister, Salomon, 
was sentenced to ten weeks' imprisonment with hard 
labour. Leutner was placed by me under certificate 
as a private patient. I had taken a great deal of 
trouble in the matter, and, though the husband 
was a wealthy man of the Jewish persuasion, he 
showed his gratitude to me for saving the family 
from ignominious disgrace by not paying me my 

I wonder I did not learn a lesson by this case not 
to give evidence in a court of law without having first 
received my fee, as the lawyers do ; but unfortun- 
ately I have not done so, and what happened in 
Leutner's case, so far as my professional fees are 
concerned, has been repeated in many others. 

From my subsequent experience of that woman 
I am convinced that my opinion was justified. I 
was so convinced of her insanity that I signed the 
necessary lunacy certificate in court. 

Another case I was engaged in in 1895 was that 
of Margaret Lemon, who was charged before Mr 
Loveland-Loveland with stealing property from the 
shop of John Lewis, drapers, in Oxford Street. The 
evidence for the prosecution was that the prisoner 
called at Messrs Lewis's, and raised the suspicions of 
one of the lady shopwalkers, who watched her and 
saw her take certain goods and secrete them about 
her. On being searched she said, " Keep it quiet. 
I am going to give them to a coachman for his 


It appeared in the evidence that six years previous 
to this she had been convicted of shoplifting at Leeds. 
The same defence of kleptomania was raised, but she 
was sentenced to four months' imprisonment. There 
was evidence in this case that the woman's mind 
might have been unhinged in consequence of the fact 
that her mother had committed suicide, and the 
prisoner, who had undergone a severe nervous shock, 
had become mentally unbalanced in consequence, 
whilst shortly afterwards her only boy had been run 
over and taken to a hospital, which had preyed upon 
her mind and unhinged it. 

My opinion as to her mental condition was supported 
by Dr Walker, the medical officer of Holloway Prison. 
The evidence was without doubt very strong, but the 
judge, having adjourned the case, decided otherwise, 
and sentenced her to nine months' imprisonment with 
hard labour. 

I might mention that, after the first hearing of the 
case, which was adjourned for one month, I placed 
her under observation, and her conduct in every way 
justified the plea of an impaired intellect which was 
raised by the defence and supported by myself and 
the surgeon of Holloway Prison. 

It is a significant fact in this case that the prison 
surgeon had himself communicated with the magis- 
trate, giving his opinion as to impairment of intellect. 

I have no desire of commenting on this case ; let 
the facts speak for themselves. 

In 1902 a boy named William Home was brought 


to my hospital suffering from a form of moral insanity. 
His family had not apparently recognised the gravity 
of the situation. On my advice he was sent to the 
infirmary, where it was my intention to keep him 
under observation for fourteen days, instead of which 
they only kept him three. The medical man con- 
nected with the infirmary did not regard him as a 
person of unsound mind, but in the light of a re- 
sponsible criminal. 

A few months after this he was tried at the Newing- 
ton Sessions for thieving, and a sentence of six months' 
hard labour was passed. Home was seventeen years 
of age, and his people were most respectable and held 
in the highest esteem. He was charged with stealing 
cheques and money from his employers, auctioneers 
and estate agents at Clapham. In my opinion his 
behaviour subsequent to his theft did not receive 
proper recognition on the part of the court who tried 
him. After he had stolen the things he tore one 
cheque in half and buried another in the garden. 
His conduct had been very strange for some time. 
He ran away from school when a boy, and he was 
frequently absenting himself from home without his 
father's knowledge. He had a mania for travelling, 
which increased during the last two years, and when 
employed by the London, Brighton, and South Coast 
Railway he was frequently found travelling without 
a ticket. 

He made every effort to obtain money by borrow- 
ing. He had been in more than a dozen situations 


previous to the one he was in when he was placed on 
his trial. Not only had he stolen money, but he had 
also taken things from the rooms of a lodger who was 
living with his father. Altogether it was a case of 
moral insanity in its worst form. He used to circulate 
most extraordinary stories about himself and his 
family, declaring that he was very ill-treated at 
home, which had not the least foundation of 

He was considered, however, by the court to be of 
sound mind, and as he was guilty he had to surfer the 
consequences of his act. 

I have come across many judges during my career 
who are loth to recognise any form of kleptomania. 
The judge who tried this case, I believe, had several 
similar ones brought to his notice, but it was a very 
difficult matter to bring such a case home to him. 

This is only one of a class of cases I have had of 
moral insanity existing among boys. It is a most 
difficult form of lunacy to realise or to recognise, and 
most difficult to deal with. The chief feature of such 
a case is the plausibility of the patient, with a desire 
to regard himself of sound mind, indignant at any 
plea of irresponsibility which may be raised on his 
behalf ; he believes in his innocence though guilty, 
and in every way he opposes any theory to the 

I was engaged in a curious case in 1888 that of 
a civil engineer living at Great Amwell. He was 
charged with committing a number of criminal 


assaults. Before the trial took place I had examined 
him in consultation with some other doctors, and it 
was found advisable to incarcerate him in a private 
lunatic asylum. A petition was presented to the 
Court of Chancery to hold an inquiry into his mental 
condition. It was thought a wise step for the family 
to take, as evidence was so much against him, and 
it was also thought a humane step to take in the 
interests of the prisoner. 

The evidence I gave was that I had been instructed 
by the defendant's family to examine him, and that 
I found he was suffering from incoherent conversation, 
indicative of insanity. He rambled and was generally 
irrational, and his serious position did not appear to 
trouble him. I was informed by the son that for 
three years he had been most strange in his behaviour, 
at times becoming very much excited, whilst at other 
times he would lead the life of a hermit. His memory 
was very defective, and he had suffered from great 
exaltation of ideas, and neglected his professional 
work. He was brought up for trial, and returned 
to the asylum at the conclusion of the case. 

I was asked some time ago to give an opinion on a 
gentleman on whom it was proposed to hold a lunacy 
commission to protect his estate. He had been suffering 
for some time from mental derangement, and was in 
the habit of going about the streets all night, looking 
round him, and bringing home persons indiscrimin- 
ately, under the delusion that they had been connected 
with his past history. He went out of doors on one 


occasion with a waste-paper basket on his head 
instead of a hat. His habits were most peculiar 
burning his clothes, destroying the furniture and 
books for no reason. It was difficult to persuade 
him to go outside the house, and he would sit in a 
chair in a thick overcoat and a muffler round his 
neck during the hot weather. He would stand for 
hours in one position in a room covered with news- 
papers arranged in a fantastic shape. He was liable 
to fits of mental excitement, during which he became 
excited and noisy, and he would rave in a foreign 

I was called in to examine him and testify at the 
inquiry that was held before Master Bulwer, who, 
having heard my evidence, pronounced him as being 
a " person of unsound mind and incapable of managing 
himself and his affairs." 

A few years ago I came across a number of cases of 
nervous breakdown, the result of influenza, which was 
not only responsible for insanity, but many cases 
of suicide from that cause took place. When the 
epidemic was raging I was consulted about a rather 
peculiar case. It was one of impulsive mental break- 
down occurring in a gentleman who had recently gone 
through a severe attack of influenza. He was a pro- 
fessional gentleman with the highest connections, 
belonging to many learned societies. He was also a 
member of one of the leading West End clubs. 

For some time complaints had been made that 
certain things belonging to members had been missed 


from the club. This had especially taken place in the 
cloakroom, where the coats were hung up. In order 
to fix the guilt upon the one responsible for this, a few 
marked coins were placed in an overcoat in the cloak- 
room, next to the person's upon whom suspicion had 
been aroused. From certain actions and certain 
peculiarities in the demeanour of the patient the finger 
of guilt had pointed to him. Within half an hour of 
the marked money being placed in the room the gentle- 
man went to the cloakroom, put on his coat, and left 
the club. 

The hall-porter, who had placed the money in the 
coat, then discovered that the money had disappeared 
from the coat in which he had placed it. He went 
after the member and found him in a restaurant close 
by. The amount of marked money was a few shillings. 
He was at once given into custody and searched. The 
marked money was in his pocket, in addition to five 
pounds in gold which was his own property, which 
showed that he was not in want of money at the 

The police officer who arrested him went afterwards 
to his house, and there found two pairs of opera- 
glasses, one box of cigars, seven match-boxes, eleven 
cigarette-cases, fifteen cigar-cases, seven card-cases, a 
cigar-holder, and one tobacco-pouch, all of which were 
identified as being the property of members of the club. 
The accused was a non-smoker. 

In addition to these, a number of old used cheques 
were found which had passed through the bank and had 


been returned to the owner, and consequently were of 
no value. The manager of the club prosecuted the 
gentleman with great reluctance, saying that he 
believed there was no felonious intent. Several 
witnesses of great repute testified as to his character, 
but I was the only medical expert called. 

I informed the court that, in my opinion, he suffered 
from melancholia, the result of repeated attacks of 
" la grippe," acting upon a highly sensitive constitution 
inherited from his father, and that it was necessary, in 
my opinion, that he should take a sea voyage and have 
complete rest. The jury, having heard my evidence, 
found a verdict of " Not guilty," as the act was com- 
mitted whilst suffering from temporary insanity and 
therefore there was no felonious intent. 

I examined this gentleman whilst on bail and under 
remand, pending his trial. Being a well-educated man, 
he was able to graphically describe his case, which was 
very peculiar from the fact that, though many cases 
of temporary insanity have been traced to " la grippe," 
I have never come across a more complete one of that 

My patient, in describing his symptoms, said : 

" I had an attack of influenza four years ago. I 
suffered very much, and was sent to the south of France 
for two months. Since then I have had repeated 
attacks of the same malady. One month before this 
terrible thing happened I had suffered from great 
mental depression and anxiety. I imagined that the 
whole outside world was unreal and was simply a 


projection, and that I only existed by its volition, and 
there seemed to be no joy or delight in anything. I 
tried to examine and investigate everything. This 
feeling has really been coming on for the last eighteen 

" I am not a smoker, and yet I had this strong desire 
to examine everything that I came across, and it was 
this idea which led me to the cloakroom at the club 
my desire to so examine things. When I had them in 
my hand I had a joyful feeling for the moment, but 
when I arrived upstairs in the smoking-room I 
realised what I had done, but could not in any way 
recollect from whom I had obtained the articles. I 
did not have the mental power to endeavour to find 
the owner, and therefore took them to my own house." 


In 1888 I gave evidence before Mr Justice Field 
at the Bristol Assizes. The case was known as the 
" Clifton lunacy case," and the action was brought by 
a lady against two doctors and also against the mother 
superior of a Roman Catholic convent in Clifton, the 
allegation being that they had illegally incarcerated her 
in a lunatic asylum. 

I was called in for the prosecution, but I distinctly 
made it a condition in giving evidence that, so far as 
the doctors were concerned, I considered that they 
were justified in every way, but so far as the authorities 
of the convent were concerned, in what they did 


previous to the certification of the lady, I considered 
that the plaintiff had grounds for her action. 

She was the daughter of a clergyman, and had been 
sent to various Catholic schools. In 1883 she went of 
her own accord as lady boarder to a convent at Clifton, 
and remained there for ten months. As she noticed 
there was certain unpleasantness in the demeanour of 
the mother superior and the nuns, she decided to leave 
the convent and take rooms outside. They, however, 
persuaded her against this, and she consented to remain. 

On one occasion, being requested by the nuns to take 
her meals upstairs, being of a quick and proud temper, 
she promptly retired to her own room and remained 
there. She noticed that her food was inferior to that 
previously supplied to her ; she declined to eat it and 
put it outside. On one occasion she was so disgusted 
with her food that she threw it downstairs. Shortly 
after this the mother superior, accompanied by some 
nuns, came into the room, seized her by the wrists, and 
took the key of her room forcibly from her. She 
became indignant and struck the nurse in the face. 
Two nuns were placed in charge of her, and she was 
ultimately locked in her own room. Not long after 
this a doctor was sent for and arrived on the scene. 
Upon his having completed his examination he locked 
the door and another doctor came. The result of this 
was that she was sent to Brislington House Asylum, 
where she remained a few months and was then 
liberated. She considered her treatment to have been 
in every way unjustifiable, and in fact she was per- 


suaded to commence an action against the two doctors 
and the mother superior. The plaintiff gave evidence 
in a very lucid way and supported the charge. I con- 
sidered that she had a good action for false imprison- 
ment and assault against the authorities of the convent, 
but not against the medical men, who, I thought, were 
justified in signing the certificates. This opinion was 
supported by a verdict being given in favour of the 

Mr Justice Field, who at that time was nearly stone 
deaf, for some reason or other best known to himself 
was very angry with me. This, no doubt, was because, 
being more or less an unwilling witness, though not 
opposed to the doctors, I had to fence with the ques- 
tions put to me by our counsel, Sir W. Phillimore. 
One question was, " Do you consider that ' rambling, 
incoherent conversations, refusal to answer questions, 
and vague statements of ill-usage ' are sufficient to 
justify the certificate ? " My reply was, " Rambling 
and incoherent conversations are certainly signs of 
insanity." I was then asked by the judge to answer 
the whole question as to whether the certificates 
justified inferences of insanity. I replied that I could 
not do so without analysing them. 

As I previously had a considerable amount of 
argument with the learned counsel, the judge got 
very indignant at my audacity in doing so, and I 
felt for the moment that this irate, deaf old judge 
was about to commit me for contempt of court, but 
for what reason I am at a loss to understand. Surely 


if a witness does not comprehend the meaning of a 
question there is sufficient justification in his asking 
for an explanation of the same. 

I had previously met Mr Justice Field at dinner, 
and he seemed a kind old gentleman ; but the defects 
of his aural apparatus were so evident to me that it 
seemed strange that he should still preside in a judicial 
capacity on the Bench. I say this without any dis- 
respect to the learned judge, but state simply the 
impression on my mind, which I believe was enter- 
tained by many others. I found, however, that a 
quiet chat I had with Mr Justice Field over a glass 
of port wine was a different thing from what I experi- 
enced when I gave evidence in a case over which he 

The opinion I originally gave to the solicitor, and 
one upheld by the judge, was that there was a distinct 
action to be tried against the convent authorities 
previous to the certificate of lunacy being signed. 
On this point Mr Justice Field, alluding to the locking 
up of the plaintiff, remarked, " This was no doubt an 
interference with her liberty, and he would tell the 
jury that this entitled her to a verdict, unless circum- 
stances justified it." 

I had been called in to advise on purely ex parte 
statements, and not on any other evidence, which I 
was unaware of at the time, and which only came to 
light subsequent to the trial. It was, however, sufficient 
to show that the learned judge entertained the same 
opinion as I originally held. 



Some years ago I gave evidence at the Bedford 
Assizes in the case of Dr Story, who was formerly a 
medical practitioner at Leighton Buzzard. He was 
accused of arson. It appears that he sent his medicine 
boy out on a message, and then went out himself, 
having piled a lot of papers and wood in the hall, 
which he previously ignited. The premises were 
burnt down, and upon his making a claim to the 
West of England Insurance Co., investigations were 
made and the case was brought home to him. 

I had previously attended him professionally, and 
it had been necessary to have an attendant with him 
on four different occasions. It had been found 
necessary to certify him as a lunatic, as he was found 
walking about the house without any clothes on. 
There was a strong predisposition to insanity in the 
family. He had three sunstrokes and three attacks 
of epilepsy ; the result of this was that his brain was 
affected by the smallest amount of alcohol imbibed 
by him. 

Contrary to my advice, his wife took him out of 
the asylum where I had placed him, and what sub- 
sequently happened the friends were alone responsible 
for. His various attendants who were placed to look 
after him in his own house had no authority over him. 
When I examined him at the time of the trial I con- 
sidered him to be a person of sound mind, but the 
disease which had previously existed in him was latent 

and liable to recur at any moment. In fact, it was 
not safe to leave him alone even when presumed to be 
of sound mind. I was pressed for a further opinion. I 
replied that he was in every way accountable for his 
actions unless he had been seized with an attack 
immediately previous to the act for which he was 
charged. They failed in proving this, however, and 
the judge sentenced him to five years' penal servi- 
tude, the jury giving a strong recommendation to 

I believe he did not continue long in prison, but 
was drafted on to a lunatic asylum, which in my 
opinion was the proper place for him, and from which 
he never ought to have been removed in the first 
instance after I had advised his wife to place him 
under proper care. I have always held a very strong 
opinion that many persons who have suffered from 
sunstroke have their brains very often so affected as 
to be unable to resist indulging freely in alcohol. 
Whilst in this condition they are apt to commit 
crime, and even murder ; but I consider that drink in 
these cases, as in that of Dr Story, is the effect, not 
the cause, of brain mischief ; the brain being weakened 
by disease prevents them acting like an ordinary 

It would have been more humane if the judge in 
this case had considered these questions and acted 
accordingly. He should have known that in sentenc- 
ing Dr Story he was not dealing with an ordinary 
prisoner, but with one whose mental system had 


become disorganised from the effect of sunstroke, 
followed by epileptic fits. 

It is a maxim in the law courts that drink is no 
excuse for crime ; in other words, it aggravates the 
offence. I quite agree with this dictum, but at the 
same time this should not be the ruling when drink 
becomes the effect of a weakened intellect and is not the 
direct cause of the mental excitement and irresponsi- 
bility of the individual. 


In 1902 I gave evidence in a commission of lunacy 
held on Mrs Mary Cathcart. This lady, a prominent 
lady litigant, was well known in the proximity of the 
Law Courts. In May 1901 it was found necessary to 
send her to Holloway Prison for contempt of court. 
Whilst there she threw a piece of paper out of her cell 
saying, " I have heard whispering, and this paper will 
be wanted upstairs." A few days afterwards she rang 
her bell and told the wardress that there was somebody 
secreted under her bed pricking her feet. 

The case came on before Mr Justice Grantham. 
Evidence was given that she was suffering from 
chronic mania. She suggested that all her troubles 
were due to a solicitor whom she had consulted. 
She had ideas of greatness, and made allegations 
that many influential people had called upon her. 
Whilst in Holloway she used to hold imaginary con- 
versations with persons, giving their names, one of 



them being Sir Edward Clarke. I had come across 
her previous to the inquiry. She was a most extra- 
ordinary, eccentric-looking individual, and anybody 
who used to pass her in the corridors of the Law 
Courts she would turn round and imitate. She did 
this whilst in prison. 

One doctor stated that during his examination he 
put his finger in his mouth, and she immediately 
followed his example ; then he stroked his beard, 
and she, being unable to do this, put her hand under 
her chin as a makeshift. She always had imaginary 
grievances, and suffered, no doubt, from the delusions 
of suspicion and persecution a well-known form of 
lunacy, which is characteristic of many of the self 
litigants, especially of the female gender, who go 
about the Law Courts eager to get their grievances 
righted. I think it would be far better if some more 
of these were safe and sound under lock and key. 

She was a woman possessing a large amount of money, 
and the case occupied a very considerable time. 

During my examination I was asked to define the 
difference between the words eccentric and insanity, 
to which I replied, " An eccentric person has always 
been so from birth. Eccentricity cannot be acquired ; 
in fact, it is innate in one. If anyone who has been 
in a normal condition suddenly becomes in a state 
which people call eccentric, that is insanity." 

At this trial, beyond having seen Mrs Cathcart in 
the proximity of the Law Courts, I did not examine 
her with a view to testify. I was called in as a sort 


of mental assessor to give an opinion on the facts as 
they were elicited in court. The gist of my evidence 
was, whether I considered anyone who had a grievance 
with reference to litigation and solicitors was of un- 
sound mind. I replied, " Certainly not." I was very 
decided in this, inasmuch as I entertained then, and 
still entertain at the present time, the idea that I have 
suffered serious loss in a similar way as complained of 
by Mrs Cathcart. I was then asked whether I con- 
sidered that all those who heard voices and held 
conversations with imaginary people should be con- 
sidered of unsound mind. There was a time in my 
early professional career when I might have been 
tempted to answer in the affirmative ; but inasmuch 
as since then I had taken a prominent part in a case 
where the chief allegation was whether hearing voices 
constituted insanity, and from the fact that many of 
the learned judges not only ruled otherwise, but gave 
well-known examples to show that those who did 
hear voices were not always of unsound mind, I did 
not commit myself to answer in the affirmative. I 
replied, " It was not of itself a sign of insanity. Hallu- 
cinations of sight, sound, and smell might arise from 
some disease of the brain, and yet people possessing 
this might not be of unsound mind. The lady might 
have delusions and yet be capable of managing herself 
and her affairs." I was then asked in general cross- 
examination, If Mrs Cathcart had kept up a continuous 
conversation with the voices, would that be a symptom 
of brain disease ? I answered that it might be only 


eccentricity. My examination concluded by being 
asked whether a long period of confinement in her 
case might not have affected her mind ? I replied 
in the affirmative. As I had not previously examined 
her I was not required to state whether I considered 
her as a person of unsound mind or not, being simply 
retained as a medical assessor. 

Mrs Cathcart was found of unsound mind and 
incapable of managing herself and her affairs. 


In April 1906 I was instructed by the Dowager 
Marchioness of Townshend to visit her son, who was 
certified as a single patient, in his house in Brooke Street. 

In conformity with that request I did so. I antici- 
pated a certain amount of difficulty in obtaining an 
interview with him, but this was not the case, and I 
was at once shown up into a bedroom, where a gentle- 
man was lying in bed with his head encircled in a wet 
towel. I went up to him and began to interrogate him, 
imagining it was the Marquis I had the honour of 
speaking to ; but I found that it was his father-in-law, 
who was apparently taking an afternoon siesta, not 
feeling very well. 

I came to the conclusion, from the lengthy examina- 
tion I made of the Marquis, that there was no reason 
for his being any longer certified and deprived of his 
liberty as a " single patient." The facts of the case 
are briefly these : 


Lord Townshend was stated to have been under the 
influence of a Mr Robins, with whom he had resided at 
Brighton, and whom he had known some years and had 
every confidence in. By some it was alleged that he 
had a sort of hypnotic power over him, and that even 
after his marriage Lord Townshend had suddenly run 
away from his wife back to the house of Mr Robins. 
It was also affirmed that he was parting with his money, 
and had given Mr Robins control over it. To prevent 
a continuation of this, it was thought advisable to 
certify him as " a person of unsound mind." This 
was accordingly done. His mother, the Dowager 
Marchioness, considered that this step had been taken 
with a motive and was in no way justifiable ; hence my 
instructions to investigate matters, as they then stood 
in April 1906. 

Shortly after this, by my advice, the certificates 
were cancelled and he was a free agent. Application 
was then made to the Court of Chancery for a com- 
mission of lunacy. 

I was requested to go to Calais to visit him, and he 
then appointed me his medical attendant. 

" CALAIS, April 2u/, 1906. 

" This is to appoint Dr Forbes Winslow to act in the 
capacity of my medical adviser, and at my special 
request he visited me to-day. 

" (Signed) TOWNSHEND." 

With regard to Lord Townshend's case, it is satis- 
factory for me to know that it was through my in- 


strumentality that his certificates were cancelled. I 
worked very hard in the case, and went to Boulogne 
on several occasions to see him. 

It was a great satisfaction for me to feel that no slur 
was cast upon his mental condition so far as his own 
controlling power was concerned ; and it is also 
a pleasure to know that, as a proof of the gratitude of 
the family for the trouble I had taken in the matter, 
he appointed me his medical adviser. 

I think so far as his case was concerned the decision 
was for the best. 

The case commenced on 24th July, and on 22nd July 
I was sent to Boulogne to try and persuade him to 
appear before the commission. He declined. On my 
asking him to place his reasons on paper, he wrote as 
follows : 

" I absent myself from the inquiry on the ground 
that I regard the inquiry, or the very suggestion of such, 
as an insult. I am, and intend to be throughout my 
life, the controller of my own body and of my actions 
and plans. Therefore I refuse to be dictated to or 
ordered about by any person or persons. If I require 
a doctor it will be to look into my physical condition, 
and in such a case I will send for one. 


"BOULOGNE, July 22nd, 1906." 

" This was written by Lord Townshend, in the 
presence of Dr Forbes Winslow and myself, of his own 
free will and without any dictation or suggestion. 
" (Signed) WM. HY. WILLIAMS." 

During the whole of the first day of the case Lord 
Townshend was not represented legally by solicitor or 


counsel. I was asked to take notes of the medical 
witnesses for cross-examination, for anyone who could 
be found to conduct the case. It was quite ex parte, 
and the official solicitor had it quite his own way and 
had the field to himself. The solicitor who originally 
instructed me, having retired before the money was 
found for his defence, could not have been very pleased 
on hearing the following morning that Lady St Leven, 
Lord Townshend's sister, had advanced 1000. 

Counsel were instructed by a solicitor who came into 
the case at the eleventh hour. New doctors were called 
in. All the previous ones, who had given up so much 
time to the case, and who were cognisant of every 
possible item connected with it, were not only not 
called, but not remunerated for their past services. 
I had been four times to France. As my name was 
mentioned so often, previous to the hearing of the case 
in the press, it is well for me to be able to state the real 
reason why, though Lord Townshend's medical adviser, 
I was not called. The solicitor in possession never 
even had the courtesy to in any way communicate 
with me. The whole case showed me how easy it was 
to pick up a case piecemeal, ignoring the experience 
of others. One K.C. was briefed, and a junior who 
was the son of the solicitor, who, being a personal 
friend of the father-in-law, had been nominated 
by him. 

Up to the present my claim remains unpaid. The 
other medical and legal luminaries received their 



DURING the years 1888 and 1889 all England was 
horrified at the perpetration of a series of terrible 
crimes committed in the East End of London, which 
were called at that time " the Whitechapel murders." 
I became convinced from the very first that they were 
the work of one man, and he a madman not a wild- 
eyed maniac, but an insane monster, possessing both 
shrewdness, caution, and intelligence, yet alert to 
the consequence of being captured, and cunning as all 
lunatics are. I became intensely interested in the 
field of research before me, and gave my whole heart 
and soul to the study of the mystery ; and as each 
fresh victim was discovered I strengthened and com- 
pleted my theories as to the fact that it was a madman 
who had perpetrated the butcheries. But I became 
more than a builder of scientific theories I found my- 
self pursuing clues and searching for facts to prove my 
scientific deductions. I was at once a medical theorist 
and a practical detective. 

Day after day and night after night I spent in the 
Whitechapel slums. The detectives knew me, the 
lodging-house keepers knew me, and at last the poor 



creatures of the streets came to know me. In terror 
they rushed to me with every scrap of information 
which might to my mind be of value. To me the 
frightened women looked for hope. In my presence 
they felt reassured, and welcomed me to their dens and 
obeyed my commands eagerly, and found the bits of 
information I wanted. 

It is not, therefore, surprising that it was I and not 
the detectives of Scotland Yard who reasoned out an 
accurate scientific mental picture of the Whitechapel 
murderer, and then stamped beyond a doubt, if not the 
actual identification of the monster himself, neverthe- 
less the ability to capture the same. 

To recall the history of the famous Jack-the- Ripper 
murders in London slums, it should be remembered 
that there were in all eight victims. This frightful list 
began at Christmas 1887, and the monster laid down 
his knife in July 1889, after the eighth victim. There 
is good reason to believe that the hand of the murderer 
was stayed by my revelations before I had finished 
my contemplated crusade. 

The following are the dates of the crimes, with the 
names of the victims, which were perpetrated by that 
mysterious individual, Jack the Ripper, whom Scot- 
land Yard failed to capture. 

In 1887, Christmas week, an unknown woman 
was found murdered near Osborne and Wentworth 
Streets, Whitechapel. 

On the 7th of August 1888, Martha Turner was 
stabbed in thirty-nine places, and the body was 


found on a landing in the model dwellings known as 
George Yard Buildings, Commercial Street, Spitalfields. 

The 3ist of August 1888, Mrs Nicholls was murdered 
and mutilated in Bucks Row, Whitechapel. 

The 8th of September 1888, Annie Chapman was 
killed and mutilated in Hanbury Street, Whitechapel. 

The 3Oth of September of the same year, Elizabeth 
Stride was murdered in Bernard Street, Whitechapel. 
Her throat was cut, but the body was not mutilated. 
It is assumed that in this case the murderer was 
disturbed before he had completed his work. 

The 3Oth of September, the same day as Stride's 
murder, Catherine Eddowes was murdered in Mitre 
Street, Aldgate. I always thought that, inasmuch as 
the murderer of Elizabeth Stride was stopped before his 
work was finished, the mania was so strong in him 
to mutilate in the way he had been accustomed to, 
that he ran out and killed the first woman he met 
after murdering Stride. 

November gth, 1888, the body of Mary Anne Kelly 
was hacked to pieces in 26 Dorset Street, Spitalfields. 

July I7th, 1889, Alice M'Kenzie was murdered in 
Castle Alley, Whitechapel. In this case also the 
murderer had been disturbed in his work. 

The public had been raised to an abject state of 
terror, inasmuch as six murders had been committed 
of the Jack-the-Ripper type during the four months 
extending from 7th August 1888 to gth November 
of the same year. 

The panic had quietly subsided, when suddenly 


the crime to which I am alluding, of I7th July 1889, 
was perpetrated, and stirred up public excitement 

I always entertained the same opinion that one 
man committed all these crimes. Some argued other- 
wise against the murders being all committed by one 
man ; the fact was raised that the force of imitation 
is very strong in the insane, and that a murder com- 
mitted in a terrible way often has its imitators. As 
a proof of what I say, I was visiting a prison some 
time ago, and in the course of a conversation with 
the chaplain he informed me that a youth had been 
executed the previous week, in whom he took much 
interest in so far as his spiritual welfare was concerned. 
He had been convinced that the boy was really 
repentant, and the following Sunday he alluded to 
the case in the pulpit as an example of repentance 
at the eleventh hour, and how gratifying the result 
was to him. The murder was a very revolting one. 
His sermon was very impressive, but before the week 
was out one of his congregation committed a murder 
in a similar way to the one he had alluded to. Some 
years ago I had brought to my knowledge the fact 
that a lunatic had jumped from the Duke of York's 
column, and a few days afterwards others followed 
his example. One insane person is seen flourishing 
a knife in the street ; the power of imitation is so 
great that others follow the example. With the 
acknowledgment of such facts before the world, a 
possible allegation in Jack the Ripper's case was that 


the first murderer had his imitators. I always dis- 
agreed with this, and considered that the crimes were 
committed by one and the same person ; that he was 
a homicidal monomaniac of religious views, who 
laboured under the morbid belief that he had a 
destiny in the world to fulfil ; and that he had chosen 
a certain class of society to vent his vengeance on. 

Religious homicidal monomania is always of a most 
obstinate description, and no doubt the desire to wipe 
out a social blot from the face of the earth, being, so 
to speak, his destiny, was the cause of the crimes. 

An interesting fact about these murders was the 
influence which the moon apparently appeared to 
exert upon them. The theory is that lunatics are 
strongly influenced at the various periods when the 
moon changes. I have often noticed this myself, and 
in tracing the dates in which these respective murders 
were committed one cannot but be impressed by the 
fact that they were either committed when the new 
moon rose, or when the moon had entered upon its 
last quarter. In only one murder was this proved 
to be incorrect that is, the murder of Qth November 
1888, the one in which I received a letter warning me 
of what would happen. The murder was just one day 
beyond its time, and, to accord with the theory I am 
now stating, the murder should have been committed 
on the 7th of November ; but I will draw attention 
to the fact that it was evident that the murder was 
contemplated about that time, as in the letter I 
received in October 1888 the writer told me that the 


murder would be committed either on the 7th or the 
gth. This will establish to a certain extent the theory 
that lunatics are subject to lunar influences. 

Sir Charles Warren was Chief Commissioner of 
Police at the time, and I am afraid his position was 
not a very happy one. Every sort of clue was sent 
to him, and he always had the courtesy to acknowledge 
those sent to him by me in an official way. From my 
experience of the police, however, it is not easy to 
persuade them to accept suggestions from outside 
sources. As an instance of this, during the time that 
the Whitechapel scare was on, a man, dressed in a 
brown pea-jacket and cap, fell on his knees before my 
daughter and another lady, who were at Brighton. 
Producing a large bowie-knife, he commenced to 
sharpen the same. Fortunately, the ladies were 
able to take refuge in their own house. From the 
description given to me by those who witnessed the 
act, I thought I was justified in communicating with 
the Brighton police ; the result was to cause a " scare 
at Brighton." But when I made some important 
statements to the police in London, they treated 
it with a certain amount of levity. It is this way 
in dealing with certain important clues which eman- 
ate from outside sources that renders our police so 

One of my ideas at the time was that the police 
should have been supplanted, and attendants experi- 
enced in dealing with lunatics placed about White- 
chapel. They would have been in a position, in many 


instances, to have noted whether anyone was of 
unsound mind or not, which certainly the police, 
inexperienced in such matters, would be unable to 
detect. This suggestion was also sent by me to Sir 
Charles Warren, but the usual printed acknowledg- 
ment was all I ever heard of it. 

Every possible theory had currency. One was that 
the murder was performed by an escaped gorilla. At 
one time there was a rumour current that the murderer 
was a Russian suffering from homicidal insanity, who 
had been discharged from a lunatic asylum in Paris 
as cured. So far as my experience goes, homicidal 
lunatics are never cured ; the symptoms are always 
latent, and are liable to be stirred up at any moment, 
though they appear perfectly normal to the outside 

Also, in addition to this, a good many people who 
had committed crimes were at once associated with 
the Jack-the-Ripper murders. A man who had 
recently come from Vienna attended one of the 
London hospitals, making a statement that he had 
been robbed of a large sum of money by the women 
in Leicester Square, and in order to revenge himself 
he was determined that this class of individuals 
should be killed. He asked permission to see various 
operations, but was evidently of unsound mind. The 
fact was communicated to me, and I immediately put 
myself into communication with the authorities in 
London, and also in Paris, as it appeared that he had 
been first confined in an asylum in Vienna and later 



on in Paris. I asked for particulars as to the ad- 
mission and discharge and other facts relating to his 
case. At that time I thought perhaps that this might 
be the individual wanted, and I considered the clue 
of such importance that I determined to follow it up. 
I received no answer to my communications whatever 
from Paris, and I presume the same reticence goes on 
in Paris as is found in London, where those officially 
engaged are bound by the sanctity of their oath not 
to reveal to the outside world what goes on in the 
precincts of their office, or comes within their know- 
ledge whilst in the performance of their functions. 

The theory that Jack the Ripper was suffering 
from masked epilepsy received a certain amount of 
credulity. I thought so until after the third murder, 
and I imagined that Jack the Ripper suffered from 
this malady, and that, during the seizure, he might 
perform the most extraordinary and most diabolical 
actions, and upon his return to consciousness would 
be in perfect ignorance of what had transpired when 
the attack was on him, and would conduct himself 
in an ordinary manner before people. 

I have known several of these cases myself : one a 
lady, who whilst in conversation with other people 
would become deadly pale, and to the horror of her 
visitors would pour forth a volley of profane oaths. 
In a few minutes she would resume her conversation 
as though nothing had happened. 

I have been consulted in many such cases ; among 
those previously mentioned are Drant, Treadaway, and 


Pearcey, who were all epileptic maniacs, and who 
committed murders, the plea being raised that the crime 
was committed during a masked epileptic condition. 

What is always characteristic of this form of insanity 
is the brutality of the crime and the cunning shown by 
the murderer ; and yet, should the epileptic be taken 
red-handed, he would be in ignorance of the fact, so 
that there was a certain amount of justification for 
the suggestion. 

The butchers came in for a good deal of attention, 
and it was considered a significant fact that there 
always existed a slaughterhouse in close proximity 
to the scene of the murders. Detectives disguised as 
slaughtermen obtained work in several of these houses 
in order to keep a sharp eye on what was going on. 
It was stated that the murderer might be a woman 
in disguise of a slaughterman. 

In fact, the police authorities, from Sir Charles 
Warren downwards, were engaged in looking for a 
murderer who might be anything, from a well-dressed 
man in his brougham to a coster in his donkey-cart. 
The rich were equally suspected as the poor, the 
educated and refined man as well as the opposite. 
The unfortunate man who carried a small brown bag 
had a bad time, and this bag was good ground-bait 
for the police to bite at. They were evidently very 
much at sea ; and in the whole course of my experi- 
ence of them, and the interviews I had with repre- 
sentatives of Scotland Yard, I came to the conclu- 
sion that if the capture of Jack the Ripper was 


in the hands of the police it was indeed a forlorn 

What appears strange to me is the fact that they 
did not realise their incompetency, and still more I 
was astonished that important clues which were 
placed in their hands were ignored simply on the 
ground of nothing more or less than that they alone 
were the persons who should detect the crime and 
bring the murderer to book. If nothing more was 
required to show the imperfection of the London 
police system at the time, the Whitechapel murders 
stand out in evidence. There seemed to be an 
absence of coherent system of local government in 
the Metropolis. The individual members of the police 
force were left to the guidance of their instincts. The 
secrecy indulged in by Scotland Yard, and the 
repugnance to take anyone into their confidence, 
except directly or indirectly connected with the 
police force, appears to me to be a blot on our consti- 
tution. Surely in this case it would have been far 
better to have admitted the inability of the police 
to trace the murderer, and allowed others, who were 
apparently more able to deal with the matter, to 
assert themselves. 

The police were completely dazed, and, despite the 
precautions taken and the traps laid, the murderer 
escaped them all. 

To recapitulate: I formed the theory that the 
first two murders had been committed by an 
epileptic maniac. I still held to my theory until the 


third murder, basing my conclusions upon the fact 
that in this disease the paroxysms only occur at 
intervals, and that they leave the person subject to 
them in full possession of his faculties. He would 
thus be able to control his diabolical impulse until 
a safe opportunity presented itself. Moreover, epi- 
leptic seizures of this description are frequently 
accompanied by a form of erotic frenzy, and this 
would account for the particular class of women 
which the murderer selected for his victims. 

After the fourth murder public opinion became 
intensely excited over the Whitechapel murders, and 
little else was talked about for days after each 

I determined to throw myself heart and soul into 
the matter, and wrote a letter to the press in which 
I set forth my theory that a dangerous homicidal 
lunatic was prowling about London. 

Arrests were made by the score, principally of 
people of a low class who inhabited the locality 
where the murders were committed. I, however, 
refused to believe that the murders were committed 
by one of the lower classes. 

I gave it as my opinion that the murderer was in 
all probability a man of good position and perhaps 
living in the West End of London. When the 
paroxysm which prompted him to his fearful deeds 
had passed off, he most likely returned to the bosom 
of his family. 

After the fifth and sixth murders, however, I 


changed my views. The exact similarity in the 
method of murder and the horrible evisceration of 
the body showed too much of a methodical nature 
ever to belong to a man who committed the deeds 
in a fit of epileptic furor. Considerable anatomical 
knowledge was displayed by the murderer, which 
would seem to indicate that his occupation was that 
of a butcher or a surgeon. 

Taking all these things into consideration, I con- 
cluded that the perpetrator was a homicidal lunatic 
goaded on to his dreadful work by a sense of duty. 
Religious monomania was evidently closely allied 
with his homicidal instincts, because his efforts were 
solely directed against fallen women, whose extermina- 
tion he probably considered his mission. Many homi- 
cidal lunatics consider murder to be their duty. Jack 
the Ripper possibly imagined that he received his 
commands from God. 

I communicated my ideas to the authorities at 
Scotland Yard, and expressed my opinion that I 
would run down the murderer with the co-operation 
of the police. I explained that lunatics can fre- 
quently be caught in their own trap by humouring 
their ideas. If opposed, however, they bring a 
devilish cunning to bear which effectually frustrates 
all efforts to thwart their designs. 

I proposed to insert an advertisement in a prominent 
position in all the papers, reading something like this : 
" A gentleman who is strongly opposed to the presence 
of fallen women in the streets of London would like 


to co-operate with someone with a view to their 

I proposed to have half a dozen detectives at the 
place of appointment, and seize and rigidly examine 
everyone who replied to the advertisement. Scotland 
Yard, however, refused to entertain the idea ; and as 
it was quite impossible for me, as a private citizen, to 
seize and detain possibly innocent persons, the idea 
was abandoned. 

I concluded that a simple expedient like this would 
be more likely to entrap the murderer than anything 
else, for the diabolical cunning of a homicidal lunatic, 
who conceives he has a mission, renders his capture 
red-handed extremely problematical. I claimed that 
a man of this nature would be sure to read the 
newspapers carefully and gloat over the result of 
his crime. The savage hacking and cutting of 
some of his victims showed that he was under the 
influence of a religious frenzy, and every horrible 
detail he probably considered redounded to his 
credit and proved that he was performing his mission 

About this time rumours grew into loud complaints 
against the inefficiency of the London police, and 
scores of private citizens disguised themselves and 
patrolled all night the streets of Whitechapel, hoping 
to catch the murderer. Among them was no less a 
personage than a director of the Bank of England, 
who was so obsessed by a special theory of his own 
that he disguised himself as an ordinary day labourer 


and started exploring the common lodging-houses in 
the East End, clad in heavy boots, a fustian jacket, 

Sb *., 



with a red handkerchief around his head and a pick- 
axe in his hand. 

During the month of August 1888 a man was seen 


whose description, as then given me, corresponded 
with the man who was found writing on a wall under 
an archway. The inscription read : " Jack the 
Ripper will never commit another murder." 

On 4th October I received a letter purporting to 
come from Jack the Ripper, and expressing an insane 
glee over the hideous work he was carrying out. This 
letter was in the same handwriting as the writing 
found under the archway. Another letter was re- 
ceived by me on igth October, also in the same 
handwriting, which informed me that the next murder 
would be committed on gth November. 

November Qth, being Lord Mayor's Day, is generally 
kept as a holiday, and the usual crowd had assembled 
to view the procession. While the throng was at its 
thickest the yells of the newsboys were suddenly 
heard : " Another Whitechapel murder ; horrible 
mutilation," etc. The murder had been foretold in 
the letter to me, but no clue could be obtained as to 
the writer. 

The police worked night and day, originated 
theories, acted upon all sorts of official suggestions, 
but all without avail, ignoring, however, private clues. 

The thought of the fiend silently carving up his 
victim in the midst of a crowded neighbourhood, 
reflecting with joy upon the righteousness of his 
work, when the whole city was engaged in feastings 
and processions of the Lord Mayor's Day, caused 
almost a panic in the City. The mutilation of the 
corpse surpassed in brutality, and presented a more 


sickening spectacle than any of the rest. The murder 
this time was committed in a room on the ground 
floor, with a window in front by which any passer- 
by might have seen the mangled body lying upon 
the bed. 

No more murders occurring, the excitement gradually 
died away, until on I7th July 1889 a woman named 
Alice M'Kenzie was found mutilated in the usual 
manner in a dark Whitechapel alley. 

The body, when found, showed that the fiend had 
been disturbed in his work, and the policeman who 
discovered it blew his whistle, and every constable 
in the neighbourhood blocked up every opening, thus 
forming a cordon through which no one was allowed 
to pass. All contained in the cordon were examined 
and a house-to-house search was conducted. It was 
all in vain. The murderer had disappeared as com- 
pletely as though he had vanished from the earth. 
Letters had been received by the police in the early 
part of the year warning them that the murderous 
work would be resumed in July. 

No clues, however, were obtainable from them, and 
this murder remained shrouded in mystery, like the 

The long interval between the murder of gth 
November 1888 and I7th July 1889 I accounted for 
by the fact that the lunatic had undoubtedly had 
a " lucid interval," during which he was quite un- 
conscious of the horrible crimes he had previously 
committed. After each murder had been carried out 


and the lust for blood appeased, the lunatic changed 
at once from a homicidal religious maniac into a 
quiet man with a perfect knowledge of what he was 
doing, oblivious of the past. 

This is what rendered his capture so difficult. A 
man who was afflicted with permanent homicidal 
mania, and who was always in the same frame of 
mind as the murderer was when he so wildly and 
savagely slashed the bodies of his victims, would have 
been soon found out. Jack the Ripper, however, in 
his lucid intervals, was a man whom no one would 
suspect of the fearful crimes he had committed. This 
is very common among lunatics of this description. 

I still held to my theory that the assassin was a 
well-to-do man suffering from religious mania. Many 
theories had been started and met with more or less 
favour. The general opinion was that the murderer 
was a cattle-butcher visiting the slums of Whitechapel 
and committing a murder every time his ship came 
in. On the body of Mary Jane Kelly, who was 
murdered on gth November 1888, a woman's hat 
was found in addition to her own. Everybody then 
said that the " Ripper " was a woman. 

Nothing was proved, however, and the police were 
still in the dark, though working assiduously. 

The first definite clue was obtained on 30th August 
1889, when a woman with whom I was in communica- 
tion (for I had never stopped working on the murders) 
came to me and said that a man had spoken to her in 
Worship Street, Finsbury, who wanted her to go down 


a court with him. She refused to do so, but, together 
with some of the neighbours whom she told, followed 
him, walking a little way behind. They saw him go 
into a house in Finsbury out of which she had seen 
him coming some days before. 

On the morning after the murder of I7th July she 
saw him washing blood off his hands in the yard of 
the house referred to. She particularly remembered 
the occurrence because of the peculiar look on his face. 

When the house was searched the man was gone. 
Nothing was better known about him except that the 
description of him given by the other tenants tallied 
with that given by a lodging-house keeper with whom 
he lived a year before. This lodging-house keeper 
called on me several days afterwards and gave me 
some very important information. 

He said that in April 1888 a gentlemanly-looking 
man called in answer to an advertisement. He 
engaged a large bed-sitting-room in his house, and 
said that he was over on business, and might stay 
a few months or perhaps a year. Before he came 
there he told them that he had occupied rooms in the 
neighbourhood of St Paul's Cathedral. 

The proprietor and his wife noticed that whenever 
he went out of doors he wore a different suit of clothes 
from that which he wore the day before, and would 
often change them three or four times a day. He had 
eight or nine suits of clothes and the same number 
of hats. He kept very late hours, and whenever he 
returned home his entry was quite noiseless. In his 


room were three pairs of rubbers coming high over the 
ankles, one pair of which he always used when going 
out at night. 

On yth August, the date of the second murder, the 
lodging-house keeper was sitting up late with his 
sister, waiting for his wife to return from the country. 
She was expected home about 4 a.m., and the two sat 
up till then. A little before four o'clock the lodger 
came in, looking as though he had been having rather 
a rough time. When questioned he said that his 
watch had been stolen in Bishopsgate, and gave the 
name of a police station where he had lodged a 

On investigation this proved to be false, as no com- 
plaint had been lodged with the police. The next 
morning, when the maid went to do his room, she 
called the attention of the proprietress to a large 
bloodstain on the bed. His shirt was found hanging 
up in his room with the cuffs recently washed, he 
having washed them himself. A few days later he 
left, saying that he was going to Canada, but he 
evidently did not go, because he was seen getting 
into a horse car in London in September 1888. 

While he was in the lodging-house he was regarded 
by all as a person of unsound mind. He would fre- 
quently suddenly break out into remarks expressing 
his disgust at the number of fallen women in the 
streets. He would sometimes talk for hours with the 
proprietor of the lodging-house, giving his views upon 
the subject of immorality. During his leisure time 


he would often fill up fifty or sixty sheets of foolscap, 
writing upon religious matters connected with morality. 
These he would sometimes read to the proprietor, 
who told me they were very violent in tone and 
expressed bitter hatred of dissolute women. 

At eight o'clock every morning he attended service 
at St Paul's Cathedral. 

All this information I gathered privately, and added 
to the clues I had already obtained. As soon as I 
heard the description of the habits of this man, I said 
instantly : " That's the man." 

If I had constructed an imaginary man out of my 
experience of insane people suffering from homicidal 
religious mania, his habits would have corresponded 
almost exactly with those told me by the lodging- 
house keeper. 

The conception that I had formed of the way the 
whole series of murders had been committed was 
corroborated almost exactly by the evident propen- 
sities of the mysterious lodger. I have said that the 
murderer was one and the same person ; that he had 
committed the crime suffering from homicidal mania 
of a religious description, and labouring under the 
morbid belief that the delusion entertained by him 
had direct reference to the part of the body removed. 
That under that delusion, and desiring to directly 
influence the morality of the world, and imagining 
that he had a certain destiny to fulfil, he had chosen 
the immoral class of society to vent his vengeance 


As soon as my clue became certain I told the police 
all I knew, and suggested a plan whereby the lunatic 
could be captured upon the steps of St Paul's 

To my great surprise the police refused to co- 
operate. The rubber shoes, which I took possession 
of, were covered with dried human blood. They had 
been left behind by the murderer in his rapid departure 
from the lodging-house. In addition to the rubbers 
there were three pairs of woman's shoes and a quantity 
of bows, feathers, and flowers, such as are usually worn 
by women of the lower class. Some of the latter were 
stained with blood, and were in my possession. 

I was severely criticised for informing the New York 
Herald, then published in London, of my clues. The 
publication of my information, showing how closely 
hemmed in the murderer was, and how dangerous, if 
not impossible, any more murders would be, evidently 
frightened Jack the Ripper. 

No more murders were committed after the news 
of my researches. I think that the maniac most pro- 
bably left the country for a time. The murderer was 
described as being of slight build, active, with rather 
a small head, delicate features, and a wealth of light 
brown hair. He frequently boasted of his knowledge 
of anatomy, and said that he had achieved consider- 
able distinction at college. Several months after the 
publication of my discoveries a young man was 
arrested for attempted suicide, and when examined 
by the police surgeon was proved to be hopelessly 


insane. He was committed to a Government asylum. 
The terrible Whitechapel murders were still fresh in 
people's minds. The asylum authorities noticed that 
his description tallied with that of Jack the Ripper 
in my published statements. He suffered from a 
despondent madness, breaking out at times into 
violent homicidal mania. 

Investigations were at once set on foot, and a theory 
started that the mysterious lodger, Jack the Ripper, 
and the unfortunate inmate of the asylum were one 
and the same man. This man was found to come of 
a well-to-do and respectable family, and evinced 
considerable ability in his college career. His speci- 
ality was anatomy, and he studied so hard that his 
mind, never very strong, gave way under the strain. 
Always of a religious turn of mind, he became afflicted 
with religious mania. But it was found that he was 
not Jack the Ripper. Lunatics often act up to the 
Scriptural maxim, " If thine eye offend thee, pluck 
it out." This was Jack the Ripper's idea, and he 
imagined it was his destiny to wipe a social blot from 
the face of the earth. 

Now that the facts concerning his methods are 
known much of the speculation concerning the 
marvellous way in which he escaped arrest is set at 
rest. He was a young man of quiet appearance and 
not likely to attract any undue attention, while his 
constant change of clothing would prevent the remote 
contingency of anyone becoming familiar with his 
appearance in Whitechapel. He was extremely active, 


and when shod with the noiseless rubbers could make 
his escape, when another man less adapted for the 
work would have been caught. 

A sane man, however active, would have been 
captured very soon. Constant experience has con- 
vinced me that a lunatic's cunning and quickness of 
action cannot be equalled by a man in the full posses- 
sion of his mental faculties. 

The peculiarity of my correspondence with Jack 
the Ripper was that his letters were never stamped. 
One was written on half a sheet of cheap notepaper ; 
it was in a round, upright hand, and evidently written 
by someone who was not accustomed to using the pen. 
The writing is distinct, with an absence of flourish, 
but written with deliberation and care. The scrawl 
is not a hurried one ; the address on the envelope is 
even more hurriedly written, with less care, than the 
letter. It bears the postmark of the Western district, 
whereas the previous letter I received was from the 
Eastern. There was a smudge upon it which I was 
always under the impression was blood, and which, 
by the use of a magnifying glass, proved to be 
the case. 

The other letter I received was signed P. S. R. 
Lunigi, giving his address as " Poste restante, Charing 
Cross " ; this is the one in which my correspondent 
informed me that a murder would take place on the 
8th or gth of November. He requested the reply to 
be sent to the Charing Cross post-office, giving his 

address as 22 Hammersmith Road, Chelsea. On 



Oct- e- 


Av *Ao>- 



& 04 14'? 


making inquiries, however, I found that no such road 

In my opinion, there was no doubt the murderer 
was the one who, on quitting his lodgings in Finsbury, 
left behind him a pair of silent rubber shoes, stained 
with blood, which I had in my possession for a con- 
siderable period. The landlord subsequently called 
upon me and asked me to return them, which I believe 
he then handed over to the police. 

The results of my conclusions were as follows, and 
they have never been challenged or upset : 

First, that the murders were committed by one man 
unaided and unassisted, and who suffered from 
religious monomania, and had lucid intervals during 
which he was in every way unconscious of what had 
taken place. 

Second, that Jack the Ripper changed his lodgings 
after each respective murder, and that I had been able 
to trace him from these. 

Third, that the lodging-house keepers, on the next 
morning after the commitment of each murder, found 
stains of blood in the house, pieces of ribbon and 
feathers strewn about the room which had been 
occupied by their late lodger. 

Fourth, that in some of these lodgings he left behind 
him written scrawls bearing directly on the subject 
of his supposed mission. 

Fifth, that I was in communication with those 
persons who possessed these writings. 

Sixth, that I interviewed the woman at whose 


house he lodged on the night of one of the murders, 
when he was seen to come home at 4 a.m. and wash 
his hands in the yard. 

Seventh, that I made myself thoroughly conversant 
with his habits in every way. I also knew his haunts, 
how he spent his Sundays. 

Eighth, that I knew that every Sunday at n a.m. 
he went to St Paul's Cathedral. 

Ninth, that I also knew that on a certain Sunday 
he could be arrested there. 

Tenth, that having completed my clue, which, on 
my giving full particulars to one of the chief judges 
in New York, was described as the most convincing 
and comprehensive he had ever heard, I endeavoured 
to once more take the police into my confidence and 
get their co-operation. They declined. 

Eleventh, that I warned the police that unless they 
assisted me in the capture of Jack the Ripper on a 
certain Sunday morning, and if they allowed the 
mysterious red-tapeism and jealousy surrounding 
Scotland Yard to interfere, I should publish my clue 
to the world. 

Twelfth, that after having given the police this 
notice, and after they had declined to adopt my 
suggestions, I published the whole of my carefully 
worked-out clue, and from that time up to the present 
no more murders of the Jack-the-Ripper type have 
been committed. 

Some time after I was travelling in a train. There 
were two strangers engaged in conversation. The 


topic of the Whitechapel murders cropped up. One 
said, not knowing who I was, to his friend, " At all 
events, if Dr Forbes Winslow did not actually catch 
Jack the Ripper, he stopped the murders by publishing 
his clue." I felt I had done this myself, and I should 
like to have said, " Hear, hear " ; but my companions 
alighted at the next station. I felt that what they 
said was the general opinion in England expressed by 
everyone except the Scotland Yard authorities, who 
would have deemed such an expression of gratitude 
towards me as unworthy of the great dignity of their 
office. I should like, in conclusion, to ask them one 
question, and that is : " If I did not arrest the 
murderous hand of Jack the Ripper, who did, and 
what part did they play in the transaction ? " 

The latest development in connection with Jack 
the Ripper I received in the shape of a communication 
on igth July of the current year. It was in conse- 
quence of certain articles of mine which had been 
appearing in the press on the matter, and with refer- 
ence to a statement made by Sir Robert Anderson. 
This letter was signed by a lady, and sent to the 
Postmaster-General to be forwarded to me. The 
names are given in full, but I have thought right to 
suppress the same, though the matter has been 
handed to the police for further investigations. It 
seems in every way to corroborate my views on the 
matter, and may possibly lead to an arrest of the right 
man. At all events, I consider it to be of sufficient 
interest to appear here. 


" 10/6/1910. 

" Your challenge is more than justified re ' Jack 
the Ripper.' You indeed frightened him away, for 
he sailed away in a ship called the Munambidgee, 
working his passage to Melbourne, arriving here in 
the latter part of 1889. He is a native of Melbourne, 
Victoria, but before his return had been in South 
Africa for several years. He was educated at the 
Scotch College here ; the late Dr Blair was a great 
friend of his family, and it was from him he gained 
his surgical knowledge, the doctor taking him with 
him to post-mortems. When he arrived in Melbourne 

he married a Miss , who lived only a little over a 

year, but she died from natural causes ; she was only 
dead a short time when I met him. He told me he 
had a hard time in London, and he was always 
buying sensational newspapers. I said to him, 
' Why do you buy those horrid papers ? They are 
only full of police reports of terrible crimes.' He 
said, ' I want to see how things are in London.' Then 
he commenced reading the trial of a man named James 
Canham Reade. This man married and deserted 
several women, and finally killed one, for which he 
was hanged. When he had finished reading, I said, 
' What a fearful fellow ! ' He said, ' Yes.' I then 
said, ' What about Jack the Ripper ? ' He said, 
' Strange those crimes ceased once I left England.' 
I was astounded at his remark, and said, ' My God ! 
Jack, I believe you did those crimes,' he having told 
me about living in that part of London previously. 
I tried to banish the thought from my mind, as I 
loved him ; but I referred to it many times after, 
and finally he told me he did do them. I said, ' Why 
did you do those crimes ? ' He first said, ' Revenge,' 
then said, ' Research.' I said, ' But you never 
made use of the portions you removed from those 


women ; what did you do with them ? ' He said, 
' Oh, there are plenty of hungry dogs in London.' 
I wrote to Scotland Yard telling them all. Sir Robert 
Anderson answered my letter ; but as I had told him 
all I had to say, I did not write again till last year, 
but have heard nothing from them. It is my opinion 
they all bungled this matter up and do not like owning 
up to it. I even gave him up in Melbourne in 1894. 
The police examined him ; he told them he was in 
Melbourne in 1890, so they found this was true, and 
without asking him where he was in 1889 they let him 
go. He laughed, and said, ' See what fools they are. 
I am the real man they are searching the earth for, but 
they take me in one door and let me out of the other.' 
I even gave one detective a letter of his, but he only 
laughed at me. I asked him to have the writing 
compared with that at home signed ' Jack the Ripper,' 
but he did nothing. Now I have burnt his letters 

long since, but the monster's name is , called Jack 

by relatives and friends. His brother told me he is in 
Durban, South Africa, employed by the South African 
Railway Co. He left here for South Africa about six 
years ago. Your plan is to get a sample of his writing 
and compare with yours. If you cannot find him 
there, cause an advertisement to be put in the papers 

purporting to come from his brother , who has 

been lost sight of for many years and has never 
claimed money left by his father to him. Advertise, 
and Jack will soon answer this, but to some address 
in London or South Africa. However, get his writing. 
He was a very good writer. He often used to attend 
St Paul's here, and I would tell him what a hypocrite 
he was. I only wish I could see you. 

" I am certain as I am writing this he is your man. 
If only to prove how wrong they were to accuse that 
poor Irish student, I would be pleased if the charge 
was sheeted home to the right man, when I think of 


the suffering it has caused his people. As to Sir 
Robert Anderson saying it was a Jew, he must be a 
dreamer of the dreamiest sort, for he was the man 
who answered my letter years ago ; but they served 
me as they served you, with too little consideration, 
for I am certain we are both right. He always 
carried an ugly sheath-knife in his belt. When you 
frightened him away he came straight to Melbourne, 
and remained here till six years ago. What I regret 
most is that that poor demented Irish student should 
suffer for this man's crime. I did not know till this 
week that anyone was charged with those crimes, or 
I should have made a great deal more noise than I 
have done, knowing as I do the real culprit. Since 
starting this letter I have ascertained his proper 

" You ought to have no difficulty in getting a sample 
of his writing. Go very careful about all inquiries, as 
he always told me he would never be taken alive, but 
would kill himself on the first inkling of being captured. 
That is all I can say at present till I hear further from 
you. I am sending this letter c/o P.M.G. to insure 
its safe delivery, as I only got your name and opinions 
from a newspaper cutting ; but you are quite right. 

' Wishing you success with this, and hoping to 
hear from you soon." 

The day following the publication of the letter I 
received from Melbourne I managed to unearth the 
Irish medical student mentioned in this letter, and 
who was stated by the solicitor who defended him in 
1895 at the police court when charged with stabbing 
a woman in a court at Whitechapel, to be Jack the 
Ripper. He said to me : 

" I swear solemnly that I was wrongly accused 


and sentenced by Sir Charles Hall, the Recorder, 
on 27th March 1895, at the Old Bailey. I was set 
upon in Whitechapel by a lot of hooligans and robbed. 
I took out a knife I had in my pocket to protect 
myself. These hooligans then absconded, having 
wounded me. The police came down the court ; 
there happened to be a woman also in the court at 
the same time, and the supposition was I had attacked 
her. I deny it on my soul that I did anything : the 
hooligans had done this. A solicitor was asked to 
defend me at the preliminary proceedings at the 
police court. He did so, but threw up my case at 
a later date, leaving me to the tender mercies of an 
English court of justice, undefended. This solicitor 
informed the police that I was Jack the Ripper ; 
they made many investigations, and were convinced 
otherwise. Ever since then this same solicitor has 
been publishing letters in the press to the same effect ; 
also stating that ' his client ' died in prison, but was 
the veritable Jack the Ripper. Seeing that you had 
received a letter from Australia, I have been brought 
to see you, asking you to take up my cause and have 
me reinstated. I was lately studying for the same pro- 
fession as yourself, and was an Irish medical student." 

I in every way believed in the genuineness of his 
story, and I took further steps in the matter. I 
interviewed one who had known this man (whose 
name was Grant) for some years before he was 
sentenced to ten years' penal servitude for " illegally 
wounding," as stated in the indictment. I saw and 
examined his credentials, proving that this was the 
very man who was sentenced, and who was stated 
by his solicitor, notwithstanding his denial, to be 
Jack the Ripper, " since dead " ; and I decided to 


make an application before Mr Marsham at Bow 
Street to get him righted and to make public what 
I considered to be a great injustice so far as Grant 
was concerned. 

I wrote a letter to this solicitor informing him that 
I had unearthed Grant, and asking him to call at 
my house and I would bring him face to face with 
his late " client," who was still asserted by him to be 
Jack the Ripper he will not be convinced otherwise. 
He replied he could not come to my house, concluding 
his letter : ' With great respect, I believe your 
information and conclusions generally to be very 
incorrect." This made me indignant, and I was 
determined to prove my point, and succeeded. I 
attended at Bow Street the next day, with Grant in 
attendance, and made an application to the presiding 
magistrate to stop this unjustifiable cruelty in stating 
that Grant was Jack the Ripper. The magistrate 
said it was actionable, and, having fully informed him 
of the circumstances connected with my application, 
I withdrew. 

In order to still further confirm his identification, 
I accompanied him to Scotland Yard to examine his 
photograph and to verify the statement which I had 
been upholding that the man defended by this 
solicitor in 1895 was not dead but very much alive, 
and that his name was William Grant, present with 
me then in the flesh. The usual red-tapeism still 
surrounded Scotland Yard. After a great amount 
of preamble and secrecy, my application to examine 


this man's photograph and compare it with the 
original was taken up to the presence of the Assistant 
Chief Commissioner of Police. The usual answer 
against precedent, and that it was against custom 
to show a prisoner's photograph unless for extra- 
ordinary reasons, but I might make an application 
in writing. I should have thought that if there was 
ever an extraordinary reason for so being obliged 
officially, the application made by me was one. It 
mattered but little to me, as the man was well known 
there as W. Grant and addressed as such, and in 
every way corresponded with the man to whom I 
have been alluding. No Scotland Yard secrets are 
given away, but there is a way of reading between 
the lines, a gift I have often enjoyed and made use 
of, and on this occasion I did so. " Hullo, Grant } 
how are you ? " asked by an official, sufficed. 

That Jack the Ripper is the man in South Africa, 
who left London after I drove him away by publishing 
my clue in 1889, I believe ; and, to complete this 
weird account of him, I have every reason to hope 
I shall be the means of bringing his capture about. 
On the evening of my application at Bow Street 
Grant called upon me to tell me that he had just run 
into the very arms of the solicitor who says he is dead 
and that he is Jack the Ripper. He rushed over to 
him saying, " See, I am not dead yet, but very much 
alive." Grant says the solicitor threw up his arms 
in amazement and bolted to the other side of the 



PERHAPS the experiences I went through in America 
may be described as being unique in their nature. 
It was in 1895 that I received an invitation from Mr 
Clark Bell, President of the Medico-Legal Congress, 
to act as chairman in the branch relating to mental 
diseases in connection with the International Medico- 
Legal Congress, which was then being held in New 

The Atlantic Ocean liner in which I chose to convey 
myself to the other side of the " herring pond " to 
comply with this request was the St Louis of the 
American line, a twin vessel to the St Paul, which 
was then making her initial voyage. As always 
happens on these occasions, every possible berth had 
been secured by rich Americans, with many of whom 
I became on friendly terms before the end of the 
voyage, and who individually handed me their cards 
with pressing invitations to stay at their various 
houses as their guest. It might be as well to add 
here that although I accepted with pleasure most 
of their invitations, neither any of these rich Americans 

nor myself have ever met again. I have often pondered 



at the astonishment which would have been occasioned 
had I turned up at their houses with all my luggage, 
including my Remington and a large tin box of books 
which always accompanies me on my travels. I pre- 
sume that friends made on an American liner are 
similar to those one meets at hotels on the Continent 
warm friends for the moment ; a friendship, 
apparently, which would appear to strangers to have 
been one of lasting duration, which, however, is 
conspicuous by the fact that when saying good-bye 
we part never to meet again. I was delighted to 
find among my fellow-passengers the English team 
of cricketers sent out by the M.C.C. under the 
captaincy of Mr F. E. Mitchell, who subsequently 
became captain of the Cambridge University eleven. 
Being a cricketer myself, I very soon became on 
friendly terms with each member of the team. I 
may say that I took special interest in this eleven, 
inasmuch as over forty years ago Mr R. A. Fitzgerald, 
hon. secretary of the M.C.C., had asked me to captain 
the first team of English cricketers that ever went to 
America. Unfortunately, my medical studies pre- 
vented my accepting his invitation. I verily believe 
that had I suggested it I should have played in one 
of the international matches over there in Mr Mitchell's 
team ; but inasmuch as such conduct might have been 
considered frivolous in the eyes of the Americans on 
the part of the President of the Lunacy Department of 
the International Congress, I was content with acting 
the part of a spectator and not of an active participator 


in the game. Nothing of a very momentous nature 
occurred during the voyage. There were the usual 
concerts on board, over which Senator Gray, one of 
the members of the American Senate, acted as chair- 
man, whilst I was elected to the post of vice-chairman. 
The onerous duty of this post consisted in proposing 
a vote of thanks to the chairman. These entertain- 
ments, which were got up periodically during the 
voyage, helped to kill time and do away with the 
constant monotony of an ocean voyage. The daily 
routine on board an Atlantic liner has often been told 
in far more eloquent words than I can describe. 
Suffice it to say that the St Louis steamed into New 
York harbour about 10 a.m. on 3ist August, the 
Saturday following its departure from Southampton. 
I forgot to mention that the usual number of poetical 
geniuses were on board, who one and all testified, in 
a verse regardless of metre, the excellency of the St 
Louis and the ability of the captain in managing the 
ship during the voyage, especially in foggy weather. 
I was a prominent poet on this occasion, though 
unfortunately the poetical effort only lives in memory 
dear, being lost in substance. On arrival at the docks 
in New York, and my luggage placed in the depart- 
ment lettered " W," and whilst waiting to be sub- 
mitted to the tender mercies of a Custom-house 
officer, I had my first experience of the American 
interviewer, a genus of its own kind. I was honoured, 
whilst my box was being opened, by cross-questions 
from both sides by two of these gentlemen, the chief 



questions being : Why I had come to America ? 
What I was going to do there ? How long I was 
going to remain ? To the first of these questions I 
was able to reply, but not to the others. The results 
of this interview were long columns in the evening 
papers, together with my picture, which, being the 
only one given of any passenger on board the St 
Louis, was to a certain extent gratifying. 

The Custom-house examination having been con- 
cluded, and no opportunity given to the officials to 
pronounce me a smuggler, I handed my luggage over 
to the tender mercy of one of the numerous carriers 
and, having been warned previously to avoid all 
American cabs, I deposited myself in a car. I ulti- 
mately alighted at I7th Street, Irving Place, near 
the Westminster Hotel, which was the house where 
Charles Dickens used to stay during his many visits 
to New York. Upon my arrival at the hotel I found 
other interviewers in waiting for me. 

As I have previously stated the sole object of my 
visit was, so far as I knew when I left England, to 
preside at this Congress, I was therefore a little sur- 
prised at the various adventures I went through and 
the cases I became engaged in previous to my return 
to England. Some of these experiences might suffice 
a man's lifetime. On the third day after my arrival 
in New York the Congress commenced, and on the day 
when my department met I was very busy in my 
capacity as chairman of that section in reading a 
paper on " Suicide as a Mental Epidemic " and on 


" The Progress of Lunacy." In my position as chair- 
man I had to lead the discussion on every paper that 
was read before the section on lunacy. Some of these, 
however, were rather abstruse, so that there were 
certain difficulties to contend with ; for when a certain 
subject is sprung upon one suddenly, it is often diffi- 
cult, however one may be versed in it, to have it com- 
pletely at one's finger-ends, and to be able to deal with 
all the lights and shades in connection with it. I 
managed, however, to get through the ordeal to my 
own satisfaction, and at the end of the sitting I pro- 
ceeded, mentally tired and weary, to my hotel. 

On arriving at the hotel I found a gentleman in the 
hall whom I had no difficulty in recognising as belong- 
ing to the press. I gave him an hour's interview on 
Jack the Ripper. At the conclusion of this I felt 
rather fatigued, what with the interview and the duties 
involving on me in reference to the Congress. I 
started to go upstairs to dress for dinner. I had 
only gone up a few steps when suddenly I heard 
a voice exclaim : " Dr Winslow, one word, if you 
please ! " 

I turned round to face him. 

He continued : "I want to ask your opinion upon 
a most important subject." 

" Will you kindly call to-morrow ? " I replied. " I 
am too tired to give any more interviews to-day . 
besides, I am just going to dress and to attend the 
first dinner of the Congress." 

He was not to be shaken off so easily, and replied : 


" Do grant me an interview, Dr Winslow ; it is a 
subject of vital importance, and one upon which all 
New York are crazy." 

This to a certain extent excited my curiosity, and 
I came down into the hall, saying : " What is the 
special question that I should enlighten New York 
upon ? " 

From his manner I gathered it was one, not only of 
vital importance to mankind in general, but of great 
international interest, as he seemed so eager to hear 
what I had to say. 

In reply to my remark he answered : " The im- 
portant question, which at the present moment is 
absorbing public interest in New York more than 
anything else, and which is a most debatable one, 
is : What is your opinion about ladies riding 
bicycles ?" 

I must confess I was rather amused, for at that time 
the elegant exercise of ladies riding bicycles was not 
universally adopted, as it is at the present moment, 
in England. 

I replied : "Do ladies ride bicycles in New York ? " 
I had not seen any. I continued : " All I can say on 
the matter is, that I should not like to see my own 
daughter riding a bicycle, and that the proper place, 
in my opinion, for a woman was the nursery. I 
remember some years ago being present at a dinner, 
shortly after the time when ladies were first admitted 
to the medical degrees, and I recollect the following 
refrain, which was sung at the dinner : 


'Some ladies are ambitious now to practise as M.D., 

To grace our Universities by taking our degree ; 

But the place in which they're wanted, and where I hope 

they'll stay, 
Is at home to nurse their babies in a quiet sort of way.' 

I am sorry I can give you no further information." 
I then went upstairs to dress for dinner. 

The following day a long article appeared in the New 
York World, headed 


The next day there was an article in the opposition 
journal, the Herald, entitled : 


Three or four days afterwards another article 
appeared in one of the New York papers giving the 
views of the lady doctors of Chicago, in which they 
said : " Dr Winslow is an old woman, and had better 
go home in the Valkyrie." 

I suppose this was the greatest condemnation that 
could be rendered to an Englishman at the time. The 
Valkyrie was a yacht belonging to Lord Dunraven, 
which had been beaten by the American yacht the 
Defender ; and apparently my destination, according 
to the lady doctors of Chicago, was to return home 
also beaten in the yacht. 

Scarcely a day passed but one newspaper or the 
other kept alluding to this subject, which was nothing 


more than an imaginary interview. After a few weeks, 
however, I got rather indignant with its constant 
repetition. The more I denied it, the more often it 
was repeated. 

Being annoyed I went to the office and asked to see 
the editor of the New York World. I explained the 
position to him, and he promised to put in a contra- 
diction of the report. I returned to the hotel, and 
shortly afterwards the same reporter called on me to 
express his regret for what he had done. He said he 
had been sent to get " copy " from me, and he had no 
alternative but to draw on his imagination. I ex- 
plained the position it had put me in, and, though I 
did not care in the least, nevertheless it was unpleasant 
to be misquoted. He asked me to write a letter to the 
editor to prevent his being discharged from the office, 
which I did ; this letter appeared in the paper. 

Some time had passed, and I had forgotten the 
incident ; as my attention was absorbed in the 
investigations of four homicides and the mental con- 
dition of the alleged murderers, the subject of ladies 
riding bicycles took a back place in my thoughts. A 
short time afterwards, taking up by chance a paper 
called the Evening Telegram, published at the same 
office as the New York World, I was rather astounded 
at seeing an article headed : 


I felt, therefore, that it was not much good for me to 


trouble or further interfere with the publication of my 
supposed views. 

When I went to New York, it was my intention to 
remain there only one month ; but finding that some 
of these murder cases in which I was called upon to 
testify would not come into court for several weeks, 
and being retained in them, I had no alternative but 
to remain. Having a certain amount of time on my 
hands, in addition to writing an article every week on 
the " progress of women " one way or another in the 
New York World, I decided to write a small book on 
Youthful Eccentricity a Precursor of Crime. 

I put myself into communication with a firm of 
American publishers, Messrs Funk & Wagnall, and 
on their invitation to grant me an interview and 
examine my MSS. I went there one day, and was 
shown into their literary sanctum in other words, 
their anteroom, where budding and anxious authors 
waited the ultimatum of the firm as to whether their 
productions were to see the light of day or to be 
consigned to the waste-paper basket. 

On the table were a number of journals, evidently 
of a highly literary nature. My eye fell upon one of 
these, called The Literary Digest, apparently of the 
same nature as the Athenceum or Saturday Review. 
I gave a sigh of relief, and said to myself that here 
at least I should be able to read something which was 
not sensational. 

I took the paper up, as I felt sure I should have to 
wait some time before entering the sacred presence of 


the publisher. I sat down to enjoy a healthy half- 
hour's Digest. I opened the paper at random, and the 
first thing that met my gaze was : 


Had it not been for my desire to get my book 
received by the publisher (which it was), I should 
have fled in horror from that dreadful, hideous night- 
mare which was apparently haunting me wherever 
I went. I have no recollection, however, of coming 
across this interview again until I returned to London, 
where I was shown copies of extracts which had 
appeared in the London papers. 

As I have previously stated, after my first interview 
re ladies riding bicycles, I had gone upstairs to dress 
for dinner, the first dinner of the Congress, where I 
met many of the members of the medical and legal 
professions whom I had seen at the session during the 
day. What made a great impression on my mind 
was the amount of intoxication existing at that dinner. 
It was a curious type of alcoholic excitement, 
characterised by shouting and a tendency to violence 
and destruction. Previous to the dinner I had 
regarded these gentlemen from a highly scientific 
point of view, and looked upon them with a certain 
amount of awe and reverence ; but the sequel of the 
dinner rather had a tendency to remove this im- 
pression from my mind, though the next day they 
turned up smiling as if nothing had happened, equally 
grave and learned. I suppose it was a usual thing 


in such festivities in New York. I have never come 
across the same in England, and it was a revelation 
to me. 

I had only been in New York a few days when one 
morning about 9 a.m., before I had gone downstairs, 
a gentleman knocked and entered my room. 

" Good morning, Dr Winslow. I am Doctor ," 

then giving his name. 

I replied, " Good morning ; I do not recollect you." 

He then told me that he had just made a capital 
breakfast at the Westminster, and asked me when 
I dined. I did not at the moment, however, grasp 
the situation. It appeared that he had been taking 
his meals at my expense. I had not quite become 
used to New York customs, so that I was rather 
inclined to put it down to the habits of the country. 
On going to the bureau I gave distinct instructions 
that no one was to be supplied with refreshment 
or meals at my expense without first obtaining my 
authority and permission. The same doctor turned 
up at dinner, only to find me out and the free meals 
suspended. On the day following my arrival, whether 
I was regarded as a Rothschild or moneylender it was 
difficult to exactly say, but I was asked by some of 
my medical confreres to cash their cheques, which 
I did ; one came back dishonoured. I was also 
approached to lend money to other members of my 
profession. This I politely declined. I felt like a 
stranger in a foreign land, and I considered that if 
this was one of the duties and privileges of the chairman 


of a department in the Medico-Legal Congress, it was 
a duty which did not exist in England. One of these 
borrowers haunted me for days, and I could not shake 
him off ; he evidently was in pecuniary extremis. 


David Hannigan. 

The Congress lasted for about six days. On the 
second day I was approached and asked to examine 
David Hannigan, then confined in the Tombs. This 
was on gth September. It was a very sensational 
case. He was charged with murdering a New York 



merchant, who had wronged his sister. His sister 
died, and wherever Hannigan went he was pursued 
by the spirit of his sister ordering him to kill ; her 

Hannigan awaiting his trial for the murder of Mann. 

voice haunted him with one refrain : " Kill Solomon 
Mann ! " his sister's betrayer. 

The case was very much on the same lines as that 
of Thaw, and the latter used to base his case upon the 
defence there raised. It was a case of justification 
by the unwritten law, and therefore justifiable homi- 


cide. It was described by the press as a case which 
" appealed to the emotions." 

I might say here that in America all prosecutions 
are conducted by the Government authorities on 
behalf of what is called " the people." The more 

Hannigan before the Commission in Lunacy. 

convictions they get the more likely the District 
Attorney and the Assistant District Attorney, who 
conduct these prosecutions, are of getting promotions. 
It is not a question of innocence or guilt in America. 
Everyone who is innocent is tried to be proved guilty 
in consequence of this reward they look for. Criminal 
trials in America are therefore very difficult matters to 


get proper justice or investigations upon. Our defence 
was that, at the time of the murder or "slaying," 
as they call it out there, Hannigan was so unnerved 
by what he had gone through that his mind was 
subject to hallucinations, and he could not be held 
responsible for his actions. We contended that he 
was therefore of unsound mind at the time of the 
slaying, but at the present moment he was of sound 
mind and able to plead. 

When I arrived at New York, much discussion had 
been going on in reference to this case. The pro- 
secutors for the people had been working hard with 
the one idea of obtaining a conviction. They engaged 
the principal lunacy experts in the city to support 
them. The fact that I had examined Hannigan and 
had given an opinion prejudicial to their view took 
them by surprise and stirred them up with indignation > 
and, knowing that my stay in New York was limited, 
a plan appealed to their imagination namely, to try 
and make Hannigan insane when I visited him in the 
Tombs, and then, having held a commission of lunacy 
upon him, put him in the lunatic asylum and thus 
gain time to get me out of the country, and then bring 
him out of the asylum, try him for murder, prove his 
responsibility at the time of the slaying, and hand him 
over for electrocution. They found their match in me, 
however. We had a commission in lunacy, at which 
I testified, and fought and beat them with their own 
weapons. This was held on nth October 1895. The 
object of the commission was, as I said, to prove him 


of unsound mind at this time. I visited Hannigan 
on gth October in the Tombs, in conjunction with 
Mr Ellgood, an English barrister-at-law whom I met 
at New York ; and, knowing how important it is in 
England in similar inquiries to get something in writing 
from the alleged lunatic, Hannigan of his own free will 
wrote as follows : 


" October <)th, 1895. 

" I, the undersigned, feel as if I am in my sound mind, 
and realise I am placed in a very serious position, 
about to go on trial for the murder of Solomon Mann, 
and write these lines without any dictation from any 
other person. 


" Dr WlNSLOW. 

"E. ELLGOOD, Barrister-at-Law." 

I gave evidence at this inquiry, and was associated 
with two other doctors ; and notwithstanding the 
prodigious efforts made by the prosecution to prove 
Hannigan a lunatic, I registered my first success in 
New York by obtaining a verdict of an opposite 
nature. At this inquiry there were three commis- 
sioners appointed. They made a special examination 
of Hannigan privately, and a thorough investigation 
into his mental condition. Every question put by 
them he answered in an intelligent manner, and after 
having done so he was conveyed back to the Tombs. 
The commissioners stated that, in their opinion, he 
was of sound mind. 



-Piddle /@kaiiLA and 

Office of Oljr ft-tton, Garner of franJUtn and Centre Stnett 


New York., L 

/ J 



Hannigan's Statement. 


Now for the great ordeal ! On 24th October 
Hannigan was placed on his trial, and proceedings 
were commenced to empanel the jury. It took 
some days before the jury were selected. The elec- 
tion of a jury in America is peculiar. Each one has 
to be submitted to a thorough cross-examination on 
what is called the " witness-stand," which corresponds 
to our witness-box. The object of both prosecutors 
and defenders is to try to prove collusion of some of 
the jury with friends of either party ; if it can be 
proved that one of the jury has read anything of 
the case, it is enough to exclude him. On this occasion 
two hundred jurymen were summoned. 

Previous to the commencement of the case, one 
of the papers wrote : 

" The trial promises to be of exceeding interest. 
Coroner O'Hanlon will give his opinion as to the 
cause of death. For the defence, Lawyer Charles 
W. Brooke will, it is said, admit the killing, but will 
claim that it was done by Hannigan while insane. 
Dr Forbes Winslow, the English alienist, who has 
made several examinations of Hannigan, will testify 
for the defence. Several other insanity experts 
will follow Dr Winslow. The Assistant Attorney, 
M'Intyre, will place Dr Robert Safford Newton, the 
leading alienist in this country, on the stand to 
combat Dr Winslow's evidence." 

I have no intention of discussing this case in full. 
It lasted for six weeks, and was associated with many 
tragic events. Hannigan's father, who had been 
watching the case so eagerly on his son's behalf, died 


in court. Hannigan, when the trial commenced, was 
in a sound mental condition, but when it concluded 
his reason had left him, driven mad by the ordeal. 

Charles W. Brooke, the eminent lawyer, who 
defended Hannigan, and who considered the case to 
be one of emotions, expressed his views, believing 
Hannigan to have been irresponsible at the time of 
the murder, as follows : 

" During my long career at the Bar I do not recall 
a single case that has appealed so to my own emotions 
as that of David F. Hannigan, whom I am now 
defending. The entire surroundings of this trial are 
deeply affecting and impressive, and everyone in the 
court-room, including the presiding judge and the 
prosecuting officers themselves, has been moved by 
the pathetic incidents connected with the tragedy. 
It was the hand of destiny that brought Solomon 
Mann to his death in the late afternoon of last 
May 23. David Hannigan was simply the hand of 
vengeance. He had no will in the matter ; Fate 
seems to have sent forth her fiat that Solomon Mann 
must die for the wrongs committed towards Loretta 

" Hannigan had no intention of killing Mann on 
that day. A score of incidents brought the tragedy 
about. Had any one of these incidents been missing, 
Solomon Mann would not have died on that day. 
The circumstances are so extraordinary, they are 

" Hannigan left home in the early morning without 
a weapon and without a thought of taking Mann's 
life that day. He was engaged in doing plumbing 
work for the Health Department. He went to the 
Criminal Court Building for instructions. In crossing 
Chambers Street he passed a gun-shop. He owned 



no pistol, since his revolver was taken away from 
him when he attempted to shoot Mann on the day 
of the inquest as to his sister's death. He stepped 
in and bought a revolver. Possessing the weapon, 
he did not go to seek Mann. He went on about his 
work, carrying the deadly firearm with him. Toward 
evening he remembered he had promised to do some 
plumbing work at Forty-third Street and Sixth 
Avenue. He took a Sixth Avenue car to go there. 
His attention was attracted at Forty-second Street 
by the passing of a parade down Fifth Avenue. He 
got off the car to look at the parade, and came face 
to face with Solomon Mann. If the Knights of 
Pythias had not paraded that day, Solomon Mann 
would have been alive on the 24th of May, for David 
Hannigan would have gone on to Forty-third Street 
to do his work. 

" Who can say that a superhuman power did not 
select David Hannigan as the instrument of its 
vengeance ? If so, is there any human law that 
would punish him for his irresponsible act ? God 
knows, the poor fellow to-day needs consolation 
rather than punishment." 

The verdict, given on 25th November, after I had left 
New York, was that the murder was committed by 
Hannigan whilst in an insane state of mind. On the 
conclusion of the verdict the accused was committed 
to the Hudson River Insane Asylum at Poughkeepsie. 

In addition to Hannigan, several of the jury them- 
selves collapsed, and were also taken off to asylums. 

The case was most sensational and painful, and no 
mercy was shown to the witnesses or experts by the 
prosecution. I was a day and a half on the witness- 
stand ; and as a final bomb, when I was getting into 



rather an exhausted condition, a hypothetical question 
of 10,000 words was fired at me. 

My appearance in court created a considerable 
amount of jealousy among the profession over there, 
but this made no impression upon me, notwithstand- 
ing the great latitude given to the counsel and the 
numerous innuendos and statements they were allowed 
to make uncontradicted by the presiding judge, who 
on this occasion was Judge Ingraham. I had gone 
through the most disagreeable experience I had ever 
been subjected to. My cross-examination only con- 
cluded at six o'clock in the evening ; and as my 
departure from New York had been arranged for the 
following day, if my cross-examination had been 
extended beyond that evening I should have had 
to forfeit my passage. 

I was in a state of exhaustion when I left the 
witness-stand, and on my way out of court Mr Brooke, 
the leading lawyer for Hannigan's defence since dead, 
I am sorry to say, came to me and shook me by the 
hand, exclaiming, " Dr Winslow, they have not singed 
a hair of your head ! " 

My reply was, " I did not intend they should." 

The trial continued several weeks after I had left 
New York, but I had all the particulars and details 
sent me. There is only one comment I would make, 
with reference to the evidence of Dr Newton, the 
pompous New York physician engaged to refute my 
evidence. On being asked by the counsel how he 
had formed his opinion on Hannigan's sanity at the 



time, he replied, " By his pulse." He was asked how 
he felt his pulse ; his reply was, " When I shook 
hands with him I passed my thumb over it." It is 
just as well that such wisdom should be chronicled 
among my reminiscences. 

As to Hannigan's ultimate future, he completely 

Hannigan's father. 

regained his reason, and is now in enjoyment, I 
believe, of a mens sana in corpore sano. 

The family were very grateful to me, as I stood to 
my guns manfully, with a determination that I would 
not leave New York until I had testified in the case. 

Though the various advocates engaged for the 
people or for the defendants are at daggers drawn 


when engaged in court, they have what I might call 
lucid intervals when not professionally in antagonism. 
As soon as the court rises they all rush to some re- 
freshment bar and fraternise with each other as if 
they were the best of friends. I had a curious experi- 
ence. One of the leading advocates engaged in the 
defence of Hannigan was unfortunately a dipsomaniac. 
He knew this too well. He was powerless to combat 
with the misfortune. After the case had commenced 
an application was made for an adjournment on some 
plea, the real reason being to gain time so that the 
advocate should recover from his alcoholic bout, in 
order to be able to properly grapple with the case. 

In America there are no counsel as opposed to 
solicitors. The latter conducts the case in court and 
takes up the same position as the counsel do in 
England. This is as it should be in our own country. 
It is only reasonable that, after a solicitor has been 
working up the case for months, and has every point 
at his finger-ends, he should be able to do justice to 
his client's case more than a barrister who has been 
briefed at some enormous fee at the last moment 
with an imperfect knowledge of the case that is pain- 
ful often to witness. Not so in America. The solicitor 
has grasped every small detail, and the defendant has 
the benefit of his experience in dealing with the case. 
The solicitor may have the assistance of an advocate, 
but their duties are identical during the progress of 
the case. 

I was in no way favourably impressed by the delay 


in American courts of justice. In England this is bad 
enough ; in America it is much worse. In England 
there is a prospect of the case being heard after a 
certain amount of preliminary inquiry, during which 
the pockets of the solicitors grow fat, and the one 
cry is " Costs ! costs ! " " Something on account ! " 
But in America the hearing of it may not be reached 
for years. 

Every possible excuse is made for adjournments. 
I used to spend much of my time, when in New York, 
in the Tombs. I had copious opportunities of studying 
criminology in all its phases. There was a gallery 
there called the " Homicide Gallery." In this were 
wretches waiting for their trial for murder, walking 
up and down the corridors like caged lions. Many 
had lingered there for years in suspense ; they may 
possibly be there now. I found the majority of these 
agreeable companions. It was a difficult thing for 
me to realise that they were real criminals. I was 
convinced that many were not responsible at the time. 
Amongst them was the hardened criminal, a well- 
known type of offender. I had a sort of season ticket 
to the Tombs ; in other words, permission to go in 
whenever I liked to examine the prisoners. There 
is no red-tapeism out there ; there is no Home Office 
or Treasury, one supporting the other. Justice is 
looked for in America, though the way to arrive at it 
is tardy, but they may get it in the end ; whilst 
justice is often difficult to obtain in England. We 
look for it in vain, and are often misjudged. Solicitors 


and counsel get fat, but in the meantime the wretched 
client, who is entitled to justice, on the other hand is 
often mined. I think any member of the legal pro- 
fession would be the last to advise his nearest and best 
friend to engage in litigation with all its terrible 
sequels, such as worry, publicity, financial extortion. 
He would say, " Submit to be wronged, but on no 
consideration go to law." This opinion of mine is 
based upon sad experience. 

A few days after the Hannigan case commenced 
I was seated in court listening to the proceedings, 
when a newspaper man came up to me and said : 

" Dr Winslow, this is a picture sketched in court 
to-day, by our artist, of Holmes the Philadelphian 
murderer, alleged to have murdered women and hidden 
their bodies in subterranean passages. We want you 
to work up a thousand- words article for our journal 
to-morrow morning, and to give an opinion, based on 
the formation of his cranium, as to whether he is a 
responsible person or not." 

The sketch was handed to me. At that time I had 
been so absorbed in the case I was engaged in that 
I had no time to study the Philadelphian murderer. 
I promised that I would do what I could, and took the 
picture back with me to the Westminster Hotel, and 
carefully studied the peculiarities in the formation of 
the cranium, from which I could deduce my facts. I 
had seven different positions of his head to guide me. 

H. H. Holmes, who was considered to be the 
greatest criminal of the century, was tried and con- 


victed in Philadelphia of murder. For some time 
he had invented a scheme for insuring a number of 
people, and then for murdering those he had insured. 
It was proved in evidence that he had slain at least 
twelve human beings. His victims included people 
of all ages and of both sexes helpless children, young 
women, old women and men, all, in fact, who stood 
between him and the wealth he anticipated he would 
possess by their death. He was a most plausible 
individual, like most insurance brokers. His manners 
were very enticing, and so alluring that he succeeded 
in obtaining many dupes to insure their lives in his 
favour. After the policy had been issued, Holmes 
deliberately murdered these unfortunate individuals, 
collected the policies, and pocketed the proceeds. His 
operations were not confined to one city alone ; his 
worst crimes emanated from Chicago. He erected 
there on the southern part of the city a building 
known as Holmes' Castle. He was the architect, 
and planned the rooms with one object in view that 
of murder. It was tunnelled with secret passages, 
and fitted with furnaces and acid tanks, in which the 
bodies could be disposed of and destroyed. When 
Holmes was arrested it was found that in the cellar 
the bodies of four people were secreted, but the police 
were unable to say how many more were cremated 
in the various furnaces. 

The way in which many of these people insured 
their lives was in what is known as " graveyard 
insurances," and he had collected a fortune of many 


thousand dollars from this. Upon his arrest, and 
after his scheme had been found out, three women 
came forward, each declaring herself to be his lawful 
wedded wife ; but how many other wives he may have 
done away with it is difficult to say. 

Nine names were handed to me of women who had 
been destroyed by him, and the assumption was that 
they had been killed, from the fact that they had been 
known to have had transactions with him. 

Two sisters, named Williams, inherited fifty thousand 
dollars' worth of property. Holmes induced one of 
the girls to act as his typist, and at a later date the 
other sister went to live in the Chicago castle. This 
was the last ever heard or seen of these two girls. 
Another girl employed as his typist also met with the 
same fate. The man in appearance was very mild 
and lovable. He had perfect manners, like all arch- 
swindlers, and was the last person one would have 
deemed capable of such enormities. He was five feet 
seven in height, and weighed eleven stone. 

Outwardly he was not an unattractive man, but 
inwardly, apparently, he appeared to be a perfect 
Don Juan. In his early life he taught in a school 
in his native town. The actual murder which was 
brought home to him was that of a man named Pitezel, 
whose body was found in an upper story of a house in 
Philadelphia. He had apparently been killed by an 
explosion of benzine. A contract had been entered 
into between this man and Holmes to perpetrate 
a swindle. Pitezel was to insure his own life, with 


the understanding that a dummy corpse would be 
produced at the proper time and palmed off as that of 
Pitezel. Holmes was too shrewd for this, and did not 
go to this trouble, but having got the policy in his own 
possession, which his victim gave him under the 
impression that he was going to share the spoil, Holmes 
killed Pitezel in order to obtain the money. After 
having done this, Holmes informed the wife of his 
victim, who did not know what had taken place, that 
her husband would have to remain in hiding for some 
time, and that it would be necessary for her to go to 
Philadelphia to identify the remains of the dummy. 
Instead of going herself she sent her daughter, who 
recognised the body of her father. Holmes, dreading 
that this information would lead to his arrest, killed 
her, and also took possession of the other two children 
and destroyed them. 

He then informed the mother that they must have 
been kidnapped, and induced her to travel all over the 
country with him to find her children. The culminat- 
ing point was when he tried to kill their mother with 
dynamite. The murder of this man Pitezel was the 
one upon which Holmes was tried and convicted. 

With regard to the sketch of Holmes which was 
handed to me containing various positions, it was 
shown to him, and this hard-hearted criminal re- 
marked : "I like this picture better than any I have 
seen. The others were not strong enough. You have 
got my nose and mouth, but I did not think I looked 
so stern." 


The following was my description of Holmes's 
cranium : 

" There is such a distinct connection between the 
study of criminology and lunacy that it is often a 
difficult thing to decide, especially when there are 
certain features present in the craniums of both. I 
remember, many years ago, during the Franco-German 
war, I collected a series of photographs taken of the 
leading ' petroleuses ' in Paris, and I also had a like 
series of photographs taken of the same number of 
lunatics whose maladies were chronic in their nature. 
The similarity between the two divisions, the criminals 
on the one side and the lunatics on the other, was 
very remarkable, not only in the shape of the cranium, 
but in the general facial expression. 

" It is an admitted fact that the two halves of the 
skull are rarely, if ever, symmetrical. This is well 
marked in Holmes, as far as I can judge from the 
position of the head. The unsymmetrical form of 
the two sides of the skull exists in murderers from 
premeditation to the extent of 32 per cent. From 
an examination of the form of the head, I notice a 
condition which I designate as vertex-steepness, 
rising up from before backward. This has been 
observed among criminals to the extent of 56 per cent. 
The frontal diameter on the top of the crown is appar- 
ently broad, and more so than that of the forehead, 
and the highest protuberance of the two parietal 
bones lies in such an oblique horizontal line that one 
end of it lies before and the other behind the ear. 
This form of skull is rarely seen except in the case of 
habitual criminals. 

" What I especially notice, as a brief summary of 
Holmes's skull, is the brachycephalia, the flatness of 
the occiput and the want of prominence of the pro- 
tuberance to a marked degree. Now, let us consider 


the importance of these cranial irregularities, and 
what inference we can deduce from our knowledge 

H. H. Holmes : Some sketches of his head, and his letter concerning them. 

of these anatomical abnormalities. There is no doubt 
but that psychical functions are located in the brain. 
Murder is a complicated psychical function. Some- 


times it is committed from an overpowering sensitive- 
ness, such as inflicting death from an excessive sense 
of honour. At another time it is allied to an ethical 
weakness or imbecility, because the materials for the 
formation of the nobler feelings, especially of com- 
passion and justice, are wanting. In robber-murderers 
there is an excess of the feeling of strength, which 
develops the sensation of pleasure in their own power, 
a certain horrible feeling of delight in contrasting it 
with the weakness and the deficient feeling of strength 
in other people. 

" Besides, according to our experience, murder is 
connected with a defect of intelligence, which is 
unable to foresee the consequences of the deed to the 
perpetrator ; while in other cases there is the satisfac- 
tion in the cunning of a premeditated plan correspond- 
ing with a pressing impulse toward the act. The 
factors of such an act are therefore composed of 
intellectual, motor, and sensory impulses, both positive 
and negative, or, in strict language of cerebral-patho- 
logy, of impulses which find their expression in the 
function of the anterior lobe for intelligence, of the 
middle lobe for the motor part, and of the posterior 
part for the sensory. Now, as these parts of the 
cranium are badly developed, we may naturally 
assume that the brain is prevented from fulfilling its 
proper part in the performance of its duties, and con- 
sequently the mental powers became deranged. 

' The conclusions to be arrived at from a careful 
consideration of Holmes's head appear to me to be 
as follows : Complete want of all moral power and 
control. Acts of an impulsive character, which 
would lead him to commit certain crimes, heedless 
of all consequences that must ensue. An acute, 
cunning nature, much prone to deception, a deficiency 
in the power of reflection, restless plotting without 
considering the consequences. The anatomical state 


of his brain leads me to the notion that the condition 
was innate in him born to commit a crime, unable 
to resist doing so. In ordinary murderers, and I 
should think in Holmes's case, criminal covetousness 
was the first and chief desire, the impulse to obtain 
possession of what was not lawfully his. Covetousness, 
ethical weakness of mind, pleasure in the imaginary 
or actual power of obtaining what he desires, are the 
factors in Holmes's case. 

" The pathological indications, if one can use such 
an expression, to the visible eye denote, to my mind, 
covetousness, ethical weakness of mind, pleasure in 
the actual obtaining of or in the desire so to obtain 
large sums of money in an artful fashion. His 
countenance denotes a violence of temperament. 
The continuance of a strongly excited feeling of power, 
and of the pleasure in exercising strength over relative 
weakness of intellect and of ethical development, form 
the psychological basis of Holmes's case, as depicted 
in the portrait shown to me. 

" The knowledge of the complicated nature of the 
psychology of such criminals is very important. When 
we see anyone with a fierce temperament and an 
arrogant consciousness of strength like that seen in 
Holmes, we ask ourselves the question whether, if 
placed under different circumstances and in different 
positions, the more serious traits of his character 
would have shown themselves. The answer appears 
to me to be as follows : If he had been properly and 
morally educated he might have become a useful mem- 
ber of society. Of this I have not the slightest doubt, 
but I am clearly of opinion that one with the bad ab- 
normal formation of the cranium, the peculiarities of 
which I have described, would never, unless he had 
been properly taken care of, become anything else than 
he unfortunately is at the present moment. 

" He appears a typical example of the habitual 


criminal. Set him free, and he will continue to 
commit crime. As to whether the man can be con- 
sidered quite a responsible agent, I am not prepared 
to argue ; but, as I said at the commencement of this 
article, the cranial anatomy is so similar in many 
criminals and lunatics, that in such a grave case as 
the one under consideration I would hesitate to express 
any positive opinion with the present imperfect facts 
before me." 

As soon as I had completed my examination of 
Holmes's cranium and written my report concerning 
the same, which I considered by no means an easy 
task, I was just on the way to post the same when 
another reporter attached to the same journal handed 
me a picture of Durrant, a medical student, the San 
Franciscan murderer, convicted of the murder of 
Miss Blanche Lament. This sketch contained seven 
different aspects of his physiognomy. He said, " We 
want the same length article to appear side by side 
with the one of Holmes in to-morrow's journal." 
I felt overwhelmed by my task. It takes a good deal 
to puzzle me, however, and I at once set to work, and 
having completed my heavy task, I took them forth- 
with to the office of the paper. They appeared the fol- 
lowing morning, both of them as now produced here. 

Early in 1895 all San Francisco was shocked by 
finding the remains of a young girl, terribly mutilated, 
in the library of a Baptist church. The murdered 
lady, Miss Minnie Williams, was killed within sight 
of the altar. The body was found by a number of 
ladies who were decorating the church with flowers 


preparatory for Easter. The awful crime came as 
a terrible shock to the city, but before they had time 
to recover themselves another body was found in the 

William Henry Theodore Durrant 

belfry of the same church. This was that of Miss 
Blanche Lamont, who ten days previous to the murder 
of Williams had disappeared, and her body was only 
discovered the morning after the murder of Miss 
Williams. The body of the ill-fated girl was found 



high up in the wind-swept belfry. The ruthless 
assassin had enticed the two innocent girls to enter 
the church (where they worshipped) with him. 
Durrant was considered to be a model young man, 
and as assistant superintendent of the Sunday School 
he was regarded as a good and righteous individual 
in every way. As he attended the same church as 
the two murdered girls, he was able to get into their 
confidence ; besides which, he was in the confidence 
of the pastor of the church, and was well known and 
esteemed by the congregation. It was powerful 
circumstantial evidence, from which there could be 
no dispute, which forged a chain of guilt around him 
and rendered his arrest in every way justifiable. 

His defence was an alibi ; but in spite of his denials, 
many witnesses were called who swore that they saw 
the monster and Miss Blanche Lamont on several 
occasions together, driving about in cars near the 
school in which she was a pupil, and the last that 
was seen of the poor girl alive was by a witness who 
was watching from a window near the church, and 
saw the prisoner lead the girl into the sanctuary by 
a side door, from which she never returned alive. 
In fact, Durrant was the last man seen with her, and 
within an hour after having entered the church with 
his victim he was seen coming out from the direction 
of the belfry by the organist. He was in his shirt- 
sleeves, his hair disarranged, with an excited appear- 
ance on his face, and pale and sick. Upon being 
interrogated as to his extraordinary appearance he 


explained that he had been overcome by the gas whilst 
fixing the burners in the dome of the church. But in 
spite of his denial the circumstantial evidence was so 
strong as to convict him of the murder of the two girls. 

" Here we have a different formation of cranium 
and brain from that met with in Holmes. The whole 
features and development of the skull point to a 
condition of irresponsibility. There is an immense 
development of the frontal protuberance, which gives 
to the skull a strange and uncanny appearance. 
There seems to have been a complete moral perver- 
sion existing in the subject under discussion, the 
intellectual powers at the same time being apparently 
unimpaired. He appears to have attended his hospital 
studies and medical classes without causing any special 
suspicion as to his condition, which, to my mind, must 
have been developing for some time. There is in- 
domitable determination on the face, and the appear- 
ance of the eyes conveys to me the same impression. 
His conduct originally at the inquest was not that of 
a responsible individual. He seemed, instead of being 
engrossed in what was going on about him, to be 
recognising his various friends and greeting them in 
a most familiar manner. His utter indifference and 
callousness throughout the primary proceedings and 
subsequent ones point to a mental condition far from 
normal. From a study of his physiognomy I should 
say that he is a youth of a determined character, and 
one of a class frequently met with, whose parents 
and friends have been loth to recognise him as being 
of unsound mind until some crime has been com- 
mitted which brings his real condition before the 
world. In Durrant there is a diseased perversion of 
the moral powers, and the consciousness of right and 
wrong appears to have been lost. His whole inward 


state seems to have undergone a change, and, like all 
such moral cases of insanity, to be quite dead to the 
calls of social affection, of honour, or of duty, to all 
of which he might, had he received proper disciplinary 
training, have become a different person. 

" His conversation and, as I have said, his general 
behaviour were not of that nature to especially attract 
attention ; but if a strict scrutiny had been made 
into his actions by anyone skilled to deal with such 
cases, there is no doubt but that his notions of right 
and wrong would have been found much perverted, 
and that his own social position, if viewed through a 
medium, would give a false colour to the whole aspect. 

" The absence of all feeling of shame and reproach 
is often met with in cases similar to Durrant's, 
especially when there is moral insanity existing in 
the individual. Crime and insanity often associate 
together. Many of the dreadful tragedies which dis- 
turb society are the result of such association. They 
may be the natural manifestations of disease en- 
gendered by or associated with dissolute habits, 
brutal appetites, and violent passions, as is often 
the case. There is a class of persons in which 
category I would place Durrant who cannot, in 
the ordinary sense of the word, be regarded as 
criminally responsible ; but they would, to the 
outward world, be regarded as being mentally sound. 
This class consists, I might say, chiefly of youths 
between the ages of thirteen and twenty-five, who 
combine an ordinary education and intelligence, yet 
nevertheless, under certain favourable circumstances, 
commit acts which outrage decorum and virtue. These 
are inconsistent with the knowledge and position of the 
perpetrator, and are subversive of the best interest 
of the individual and of the community, and which, 
although voluntary, deliberate, and avowed, evidently 
flow from perverted affection and debased propensities, 


and which, temporarily at least, obscure, if they do 
not suspend, the influence of the judgment, moral 
sense, and selfish considerations. 

" The frenzy of feebleness in the common phases 
of insanity are readily recognised. It is difficult, 
however, to trace in the recklessness of the spend- 
thrift, in the excesses of the voluptuary, in the callous- 
ness of the murderer, the fruits of sufficient disease 
as to admit of the acceptation of the words ' moral 
irresponsibility,' yet to all experienced in the subject 
it is known to largely exist. That derangement does 
affect the sentiments is shown when the whole mind 
is involved in general mania and the dictates of 
conscience are as absurd as those of reason ; but 
while history abounds in illustrations of this form of 
disease, it has only recently been suggested that the 
emotions and passions might be subject to special 
disease, and might be affected independently of the 
intellect, while all the other faculties remained appar- 
ently active and unimpaired. 

" Of such a type is Durrant, I have but little doubt 
in my own mind. If we were to examine into his 
history more closely we should in all probability find 
that previous to the crime his character and dis- 
position had undergone great alteration, and also in 
his gradual mental degeneration. The form of mental 
disorder from which, in my opinion, Durrant is suffer- 
ing may occur suddenly or may become irresistible, 
or the passion may have been nursed for some time 
until it obtains a dominion over everything else. His 
facial expression, contour of skull, physiognomy, and 
general conditions lead me to regard this youth as one not 
altogether to be regarded as a responsible individual." 

On I3th September I was requested to examine 
and report on the case of Mrs Fleming, charged 
with matricide. It appeared that her mother, Mrs 


Bliss, came to stay with her, and after dinner, not 
feeling very well, she went upstairs, and was seized 
with symptoms of irritant poisoning, from which she 

Mrs Fleming. 

never recovered, ultimately dying from its effects ; 
the allegation being that Mrs Fleming poisoned her 
mother with antimony, disguised in Clam chow soup. 
Mrs Fleming by the death of her mother inherited 
a large fortune, and suspicions being aroused led to 


her arrest, incarceration in prison, trial, and subse- 
quent acquittal. I may say that the case created an 
enormous amount of sensation in New York, as every- 
body considered her guilty. Unfortunately they al- 
ways prejudge cases in America, which interferes 
with the proper trial. After my interview with her, 
on the following day it was prominently stated by the 
press that I doubted her guilt, and that in my opinion 
she did not act like a criminal. The following is my 
official report, which described the exact position I 
took in the matter, and upon which her subsequent 
acquittal was based. She offered me a fee of 6000 to 
return to America and defend her ; but there was no 
occasion for this, as those defending her made use of 
my written report, which had its desired effect without 
summoning the author of that report to New York. 

As the case was one of such extraordinary interest, 
I think it best to give the whole of my report in 
extenso as handed to the authorities : 

" I visited Mrs Fleming at the Tombs on Friday, 
1 3th September 1895. She received me very pleasantly 
and agreeably, and in a very cheerful manner. She 
did not in any way know the object of my visit, and 
chatted on in ordinary conversation. I naturally 
conversed with her upon the death of her mother, 
but she informed me that she had in no way formed 
a conclusion on the subject, and was at a loss to 
comprehend or explain it. She told me that she had 
always been on good and affectionate terms, and that 
on the Wednesday previous to the death her mother 
had dined with her at her hotel, and appeared in her 
usual bright spirits. 


" At that visit, as I understood from the conversa- 
tion I had with Mrs Fleming, Mrs Bliss was com- 
plaining of not feeling well, having a rather severe 
abdominal pain. This was apparently a common 
symptom, from which she had periodically suffered, 
and which had caused the daughter considerable 
anxiety ; and at this visit she felt unusually anxious, 
and urged upon her mother the desirability of seeing 
a doctor forthwith. 

" In addition to the abdominal pain there was con- 
siderable distension of that organ. Her mother, in 
reply to her repeated desire that she should see a 
doctor, replied, ' Oh, well, it will be all right.' 

" Mrs Fleming informed me that in addition to the 
symptoms stated her mother often complained of a 
weakness of the heart and a sort of throbbing sensa- 
tion around that organ. She did not hear anything 
further of her mother until told of her death by Mr 
Bliss. She told me that upon being so informed she 
went immediately to her mother's house, and on 
reaching the flat found a man who had been sent to 
arrest her by the police. In reply to my question, she 
replied : ' Had I known that my poor mother was 
ailing I would have summoned the first medical 
authority in the world to attend upon her. Of course, 
I did not know who the strange man was, and I 
remarked to the nurse, ' What is this man doing ? ' 
The man replied that he was in charge. 

" During the whole of my conversation with Mrs 
Fleming she was quite composed, looked me directly 
in the face, there was no appearance or indication of 
any mental derangement and she comported herself as 
one innocent of the charge made against her. Cer- 
tainly, if she had been guilty, she could not have 
realised her position or the gravity of the act. Neither 
do I think that her manner was at all assumed, but 
quite natural. I think it would be impossible for a 



guilty person, and one mentally responsible, to have 
comported herself in the manner Mrs Fleming did 
during the whole of my interview and examination. 

Mrs Fleming consults her lawyers in Tombs Prison. 

" I formed a strong opinion as to the innocence of 
the lady. Whatever might have been the actual cause 
of her mother's death, it was certainly not, in my 
opinion, to be laid to the charge of her daughter. 

" There is no possible doubt but that the mother 
suffered from gastrodynia, associated with severe 
gastric symptoms, the abdominal distension and 


' throbbing ' at the heart being characteristic indica 
tions of that malady. Dr Bullman, I believe, enter- 
tained this view when first called in. His first visit 
was made at half-past six o'clock on the afternoon of 
Thursday, the day following the dinner at Mrs Flem- 
ing's. A mixture containing bismuth and bicarbonate 
of soda, with other similar drugs, was prescribed by the 
doctor, such medicinal remedies being common in 
cases of chronic gastritis, and, so far as I could gather, 
no antidote was administered or poison suspected. At 
his next visit he found her very much relieved. 

" Of course, it is a most important thing to dis- 
criminate between what is known as acute gastritis 
and poisoning by antimony. The symptoms are very 
similar, both having indications of an inflammatory 
character. In cases of acute gastritis due to an 
irritant poison there is a feeling of increasing burning 
at the pit of the stomach. This is much aggravated 
by pressure, and there is a distressing feeling of nausea 
and terrible retching. In addition to this there is the 
fact that the pulse is accelerated, and also the breath- 
ing. Great thirst is present, and everything taken by 
the mouth is at once vomited. Extreme prostration 
sets in quickly, and death usually takes place from 
exhaustion. Now, apparently we have a distinct 
remission in the symptoms, as Dr Bullman after his 
first visit pronounced Mrs Bliss as having considerably 
improved, and the final relapse was quick in the 
extreme. He was summoned at eleven o'clock on the 
evening of her death, but before his arrival she had 
expired. Now, it appeared strange to me that there 
should have been such a marked improvement in the 
condition of the deceased, even of a temporary nature. 
This is by no means usual in the case of an irritant 
poison, the symptoms gradually increasing in their 
severity without any amelioration. 

" That Mrs Bliss had been a sufferer from gastritis 


in one form or another there did not seem to be the 
slightest doubt. There have been so many fatal 
mistakes made in alleged cases of poisoning by antimony 
in my country, that I was led to regard the matter 
as one complicated and difficult to bring home to the 

" The ordinary criminal would not, in my opinion, 
have behaved in the same way as Mrs Fleming did. 
It sometimes happens that after a crime has been 
committed the criminal is never penetrated by a 
feeling of guilt or of repentance in any way whatever. 
In such cases, especially in females, I should consider 
with the gravest doubts the probability of their 
sanity. The hardened and responsible female criminal 
is a rara avis at the present time. In such cases there 
may be a deficiency in the feeling of moral guilt, though 
they may dread the consequence of the crime. 

" Murder by such persons is connected with a defect 
of intellect, which renders it unable to foresee the 
consequences of the deed to the perpetrator. One 
important factor of crime is its hereditary character. 
There is substantial proof of this. It is like insanity 
and sometimes skips one generation and appears in the 
next. So far as I could gather from information I 
received, Mrs Fleming came of a stock which bears 
an unimpeachable history, and thus an important fact 
to my mind was removed. 

" In order to study the psychology of criminals it is 
necessary to pay periodical visits to some of the great 
prisons when an opportunity arises of studying crime. 
The peculiarity of many is the entire absence of all 
shame or repentance, and there is a harshness in tone 
and a bravado in manner which demonstrate that they 
do not realise the depth of degradation to which they 
have sunk from their own misdeeds. Among these are 
to be found, as a contrast, those who may be perfectly 
innocent, waiting their trial. Criminals as a class should 


be regarded as imperfect men or women, whose minds, 
from a deficient and imperfect education generally, 
have led them to follow blindly their strong inclinations. 

" Criminals may be divided into : first, those who 
possess hereditary tendencies as I have previously 
said, this is very common ; second, ill-balanced 
organisations, which are easily influenced by evil 
associates ; third, adolescents, who have, with good 
or bad tendencies, been subject to neglect and poverty. 
It is a curious thing to examine carefully into the 
history of a family in which crime exists as hereditary. 
There will be lights and shades of various nature, and 
gradations of the malady will be easily perceptible. 

" In order to convict anyone of the administration 
of poison a great many things have to be carefully 
considered. The history of the accused and the 
motive must be made evident. This must be a strong 
one, and in these cases is an important factor. Cir- 
cumstantial evidence plays but a secondary part in 
such inquiries. 

" Now, Mrs Fleming did not in any way suggest 
to me the ordinary criminal. A consideration of crime 
is deeply important to the ordinary moralist. The 
incentives to crime are many. I have examined a 
great many persons waiting their trials on the charge 
of murder. In each one there have been certain 
indications which, to my mind, convey an important 
impression as to their innocence or guilt. In the case 
of Mrs Fleming I could not realise that the cheerful 
demeanour, and other features in her case observed by 
me at the time of the examination, were compatible 
with those of a murderess. In many such cases the 
consciousness of crime is the first step to repentance. 
Silence and solitude in the prison cell will often induce 
reflection and tend to this result. Like all potent and 
powerful remedies solitude reacts frequently upon the 
guilty conscience. 


" The degradation and shame act upon the mind 
of the individual, and often there is an impossibility 
to keep up even a semblance of innocence. The human 
mind is never in a state of absolute repose ; its natural 
tendency is one of great activity. In seclusion 
impulses from within and without disturb its equani- 
mity ; our appetites and desires, our affections and 
passions, our hopes and fears, are constant sources 
of emotion resembling the natural springs and under- 
currents which unceasingly agitate the surface of a 

" These impulses originate in the mind itself ; they 
are emanations, strictly speaking, from within, giving 
rise to a succession of thoughts and feelings variously 
modified, according to the peculiar idiosyncrasy of 
each individual. Such feelings excited in one of a 
highly-strung neurotic temperament are difficult to 
suppress. The lights and shadows of guilt which 
must flit across the mind while in the prison solitude 
excite or depress the energies of the nervous system, 
rendering it impossible to bear up physically or other- 
wise against the terrible mental strain going on within 
the human economy. 

" To establish the presumption of poisoning there 
ought to be, if possible, direct proof. The whole of 
the danger in such cases, both to the community and 
the profession, lies in the tendency of the medical man 
to attach overwhelming importance to certain morbid 
indications which might be accounted for by natural 
causes. He must be guided by his own judgment, 
and consider carefully what salient facts can be brought 
forward which may further the view of death from 
unusual causes. 

" The physician must not act the detective in such 
cases. The public, as a rule, are ill-informed as to 
what testimony it is proposed to establish in the 
question of poisoning. In most cases the symptoms 


of felonious poisoning are impossible to be detected 
from those of natural causes. In some cases, where 
death has taken place from the effects of a poison that 
has unmistakably its own individual morbid symptoms, 
the cause of death may be shrewdly predicated by 
an intelligent individual. In some cases on record, 
and especially that of Dr Smethurst, tried for the 
murder of Miss Banks in 1859, death was attributed 
in the first place to arsenic not, however, on the 
symptoms evinced, but on the chemical analysis, and 
to the fact that arsenic was stated to have been found 
in the possession of the accused. Had the chemical 
evidence remained unaltered or unchallenged by those 
representing the accused, he would have been executed. 
But it happened to transpire that the accused had 
never had any arsenic in his possession, and that the 
poison had crept in with the test of the analyst. 

" Thus in every case of poisoning by antimony, 
arsenic, or similar irritants, there is always a likelihood 
of the very poison being used in conducting the analysis 
which may inadvertently find its way into the very 
substance being thus analysed, and may itself be the 
only possible toxicological proof of the existence of 
a poisonous drug, the finding of which may be con- 
clusive to those desiring a conviction. 

" Also in the vessels used to conduct the examina- 
tion the reactions given may be due to the composi- 
tion of the vessels themselves. I mention all this to 
show, in trying to fix guilt by poisoning on any person, 
how easy it is, unwittingly, to mislead the court. I 
say, therefore, that, standing alone, chemical analysis 
is of itself insufficient to decide anyone's fate. 

" In the case of Dr Smethurst, to which I have just 
alluded, the analyses of the toxicologists materially 
differed. One detected antimony, another arsenic, 
while a third could not decide which of these existed. 
After the trial was concluded this analyst wrote a long 


letter explaining that the poison found was mercury. 
A fourth, who gave a decided opinion at the trial that 
arsenic had been administered, apparently repented 
of what he had said and acknowledged that death 
might have taken place from natural causes ; and still 
a fifth expert stated that a mineral poison of some sort 
or other had been administered, but he could not name 
which. He ultimately altered his view, alleging that 
death was due to the performance of some illegal 
operation upon the woman. Here is an extraordinary 
difference of opinion between the leading toxicological 
experts of Great Britain. The accused obtained 
an acquittal. So much for toxicological experts' 

" I am absolutely opposed to secrecy in such matters. 
A case of poisoning is before the world ; let the public 
know what poison it is proposed to try the accused 
on as having been administered ; and, as I have said, 
before a conviction can be sustained it is not sufficient 
to state that death has ensued from an irritant poison, 
but from what poison and by whom administered. 
I asked in Mrs Fleming's case : Might not the attack 
of sub-acute gastritis from which the deceased suffered 
periodically, and from which she was suffering at the 
time, have culminated in an attack of acute gastritis 
which would have given rise to all the morbid appear- 
ances found in the body after death ? " 

This was the report I issued as a result of my 

Mrs Fleming's statement to the officials was as 
follows : "I did not poison my mother. Her death 
was the greatest loss to me. What motive could I 
have had ? " To which the State replied : " You did 
poison your mother. We can prove that poison killed 
her. We shall bring proofs against you with the most 


convincing item, namely, a motive. You were poor. 
Your mother's death meant that you would get more 
than 80,000 dollars from the City Chamberlain." 

The New York journals gave long descriptive 
accounts, as they always do in similar cases, of 
Mrs Fleming's personal appearance. After a long 
description of the formation of her ears, nose, mouth, 
eyelashes, colour of hair, and other minute details, 
which I fail to see were relevant to the matter, they 
summarise as follows : " There is but little in Mrs 
Fleming's appearance to act as guide to the crimino- 
logical theorist, but it must be remembered that no 
man or woman could escape should the rules by which 
scientists pretend to detect criminal or degenerate 
traits be applied wholesale." 

According to the Lombrosian theory, the fact that 
Mrs Fleming possessed a narrowness of face, sloping 
forehead, extreme development of chin, which accord- 
ing to Lombroso marks more than 33 per cent, of 
criminals among women, was not in her favour. Some 
of the statements issued by the New York press in 
this case, had they appeared in England, would have 
amounted more or less to contempt of court, but 
there is no such thing as contempt of court in 

I paid several visits to Mrs Fleming whilst in the 
Tombs, and instead of finding her an agitated, weary- 
looking individual, I found her cheerful and pleasant, 
though her eyes looked dull and heavy from crying, 
no doubt, when left in the solitary cell ; she also 


complained to me of headache. She took an interest 
in everything going on in the world, and she had 
heard of my efforts in the Maybrick case. She told 
me she was looking forward with pleasure to reading 
an account of it in the Sunday edition of the New 
York World. During my conversation with her I 
tried my best to distract her thoughts from the death 
of her mother. For a time I succeeded, but her 
mind suddenly reverted to the subject ; she said : 
" How hard men are to women ! I wonder why they 
are so hard on them ? Women are not hard on men. 
But I am glad I came here. I have been treated 
very kindly, and I have learnt a great deal about 
what other people suffer. It is a good thing to know 
what others suffer don't you think so ? I have seen 
a great deal of suffering here." I was absolutely 
positive that the death of Mrs Bliss could not be laid 
to the hands of her daughter. After each of my 
periodical visits to her, during my stay in New York, 
I was more and more convinced of the un justness of 
the charge. The result of the case in every way 
proved the correctness of my conclusions. 

Whilst staying in the Westminster Hotel in New 
York I came across a quaint individual, David 
Gardner Thompson, a New Yorker of the old type. 
Mr Thompson had resided for ten years in an apart- 
ment-house connected with the Westminster Hotel. 
His friends were few and far between. He had picked 
up an occasional one in the lobby of the hotel. He 
kept himself as a rule to himself ; he was quiet and 



reticent. In his rooms the furniture was of remark- 
able beauty, and arranged with great taste. The room 
contained many valuable things. He was known to 
belong to a famous old family, and was spoken of 
as a millionaire. In the morning he was always very 
quiet, but towards evening he became rather loqua- 
cious, and was a victim of alcoholic inspiration. He 
seemed to enjoy having conversations with me in the 
morning ; he was a well-informed man, and our con- 
versation extended generally over a wide range of 
subjects, chiefly pertaining to literature and science. 
Mr Thompson had reached his sixty-third year. It 
might be mentioned that he had expended close upon 
70,000 dollars in furnishing his suite of rooms. The 
bedstead was of pure marble, the parlour was furnished 
in ivory. In his sitting-room was a genuine Raphael. 
In various parts of the room were various statuettes 
one of Agamemnon valued at 10,000 dollars ; and 
a watch, set in large diamonds, which was valued at 
10,000 dollars. Mr Thompson had let into his walls 
in one of the rooms a small steel safe ; this contained 
a number of valuable securities and other personal 
property. In addition to this he possessed a large 
amount of real estate. 

One evening Mr Thompson, as was his wont, was 
seated round a table with some of the other visitors 
belonging to the hotel, and evidently a heated dis- 
cussion had been going on concerning the question 
of the immortality of the soul after death. The clock 
had struck twelve when Mr Thompson rose from the 


table to retire to his room. He had his hand on the 
handle of the door as I entered the hall. 

" Oh ! " exclaimed Mr Thompson, " here is Dr 
Winslow. We will ask him the question. You 
doctors are all very well in your way, but none of 
you have yet discovered how to bring a man to life 
again after he is dead, so that we might learn the 
great secret. But never mind ! good night ! " He 
opened the door, and, looking round, repeated the 
well-known refrain of an American ditty incidental 
to the Civil War 

" John Brown's body lies mouldering in the ground, 
As we all go marching along " 

when he bade us good night. The conversation 
had evidently been on death, and, considering most 
of the gentlemen seated round the table were more 
or less in a state of conviviality, no doubt the 
opinions would have been interesting to have 

Early next morning I was summoned to the apart- 
ment-house occupied by Mr Thompson, the messenger 
stating that he was found dead in his bath. I went 
to his room forthwith, and found him half dressed 
in an empty bath, with his head down and his feet 
raised. I was called upon by the New York coroner 
to assist him in making a post-mortem examination 
and to testify as to the cause of his death. This was 
any one of three things : he had been murdered and 
robbed ; he had fallen into the bath in a condition of 
semi-intoxication and dislocated his neck ; or he had 


been attempting to get into bed, and, having half un- 
dressed himself, some artery in the brain gave way, 
causing sickness ; immediately rushing to the bath- 
room, the artery further emptied itself, and caused 
instant death. From the fact that his bed was partly 
occupied I was led to the latter conclusion, and so 
testified at the coroner's inquest, the verdict being 
given according to my theory. 

About a week afterwards we were all seated round 
the same table the chair occupied by Mr Thompson 
being vacant, discussing his memory, when suddenly 
a man burst in saying : " Oh, Doctor Winslow, I 
congratulate you ! " 

" Do you ? On what ? " I asked. 

" Have you not heard the news ? " 

I confessed I had not. 

" Mr Thompson took a great fancy to you, and left 
to Dr Freeman and yourself 80,000 dollars." 

I must say I was a bit surprised at this, but my 
surprise was doubly increased when another man 
rushed in shortly afterwards and repeated the same 
statement. I began to think there was some truth 
in it. 

I had a terribly restless night. I was never very 
good in turning English money into foreign, or foreign 
money into English, but I tried my best to find out 
how much English money 80,000 dollars represented. 

I went to sleep towards early morning, having 
completed my calculations only to wake up to find 
the whole thing a fabrication. 


I was asked one day by the editor of the New York 
World if I would like to go to see his office. I called, 
and was shown into the editor's room. 

He informed me, pointing to a pigeon-hole lettered 
" W," that it contained my obituary notice already 
written ; and also said that, during the whole of his 
experience, no Englishman, as far as he could re- 
collect, had ever received a more public reception or 
welcome than had been bestowed upon myself. I 
felt to a certain extent flattered, as the observation 
was quite unexpected and uncalled for. 

There was a well-known reformer, Dr Parkhurst, a 
prominent man in New York at the time of my visit. 
His opinion carried a considerable amount of weight 
among some, whilst others regarded it of slight im- 
portance. He interfered with everything which was 
not exactly to his own way of thinking. He was an 
agitator, like myself, but as a consequence he had 
been the means of obtaining the suppression of many 
terrible dens of iniquity and vice, which existed to 
a large extent in New York. 

As an agitator he apparently found his rival in 
me, as I had been interviewed on every possible and 
impossible subject during the time I had been in New 
York, and consequently for the moment Dr Park- 
hurst's guns had been silenced. 

After I had been in the city for about a week, the 
following paragraph appeared in one of the New York 
journals : " There are two persons at present residing 
in New York, evidently rivals in the way of talking 


Dr Parkhurst and Dr Forbes Winslow. I do not 
know who talks the most, but we should give the 
palm to the latter. We wonder how they are getting 
on in England without Dr Winslow. We imagine 
that the Prince of Wales can now hear the wind 
whistle through his whiskers at last." 

Whilst in New York I came across an English 
friend of mine, a bit of a crank in his way. He always 
carried in his pocket samples of food, containing 
flour for bread, and a loaf of bread made out of the 
same, which he was always anxious for me to analyse 
and taste. Wherever I met him the same thing 
occurred out came his loaf of bread. I did not 
know what his idea was in reference to the matter, 
but he had evidently some strange notions concerning 
it. What he was doing in New York I had not the 
slightest idea, or what was his profession. He called 
upon me the day after my arrival in New York, and 
was very anxious to discuss the loaf of bread. He 
went to Staten Island, where the cricket match 
England v. New York was going on ; and whilst the 
team were indulging in their lunch, out came the sample 
of flour in the one hand and the loaf in the other 
he evidently wished them to taste his bread instead 
of the bread provided. 

When the cricketers left New York I went to see 
them off, and on the boat too was the same old crank 
with his loaf of bread. I could not shake him off, 
try as I would ; he was always there with his famous 
loaf. The last that I saw of him was when the 


City of New York left the quay on my return to 
England. The crank was there on the quay as usual, 
waving his bread and flour-packet at me as a sort of 
au revoir or " Please remember me." He gave me 
his photograph, and whenever I look at it I think of 
his loaf. 

During my stay in New York I came across a number 
of interesting acquaintances, some of whom I have 
met again on their visit to England. I had heard a 
great deal of American millionaires, and it was with 
a certain satisfaction that I accepted an invitation 
to dine with one of them at his house in Brooklyn. 
I expected a magnificent repast, but I was to a certain 
extent disappointed, and I have often wondered 
whether the millionaire's hospitality which I experi- 
enced was typical of dinners given by such. On my 
going into the dining-room I was rather astonished at 
not seeing any wine on the table. This did not matter 
to me, as during my stay in New York I was content 
to partake of ginger ale, being more or less a 
total abstainer. We had commenced dinner, when 
my host was evidently struck by a happy idea. He 
jumped up from the table and, looking at me, said : 
" Dr Winslow, we know that Englishmen are fond 
of claret, so we have got you a bottle." I must 
confess I was rather amused, for, had I not been an 
abstainer, I should have expected at least champagne, 
hock, port, and everything which money could buy ; 
therefore an eighteen-penny bottle of claret was 
rather staggering. I replied, mentioning him by 


name : "I am much obliged for your kindness, but 
I never drink claret." 

I mention this little incident to show that it does 
not follow that, when dining with a New York million- 
aire, one's expectations are always realised, for a more 
miserable or wretched dinner I have never sat down 
to in my life, and I made up my mind that I would 
think twice before accepting another invitation of a 

What struck me about many of the people I met was 
that they made profuse promises as to what they were 
going to do one way or the other, but these promises 
were never fulfilled. 

On the second day of my arrival in New York I 
had two interesting visitors. One was a lady, a Mrs 
Bell, who was apparently interested in Mrs Maybrick's 
case. She made me a present of her photograph, 
attired in a bloomer costume, and she told me she was 
the instigator of this custom among women in New 
York. The other visitor was a representative of the 
press. He said to me : " Dr Winslow, I represent 
a journal in New York, and I have been asked to follow 
you about wherever you go and chronicle your daily 
movements." I thanked him for his kindness, but 
at the same time I informed him that I could take 
care of myself. 

Evidently I was being watched, for one evening 
I was anxious to see a piece at one of the theatres, 
and, as all the seats had been booked, I decided to 
go into the gallery, thinking that nobody knew me 


and that it did not matter. The following day a 
paragraph appeared in one of the papers : " Dr 
Winslow was seen in the gallery last evening" 
mentioning the theatre by name. 

The weather was very close in New York, and 
Dr Shepherd of Brooklyn was very anxious for me 
to take a Turkish bath in an establishment he had 
opened. I consented to do this, and was much 
gratified ; but the inevitable paragraph appeared 
in the papers the next morning. " Dr Winslow had 
a Turkish bath yesterday." 

Whatever I did, or wherever I went, I was 
watched and all my actions reported, though I failed 
to see how such events could interest the general 

Of course, whilst in New York I visited all the great 
hospitals and asylums, and I formed an opinion that 
they were as well managed as any in our own country, 
if not better. 

A curious fact, which impressed itself on my mind, 
was that all the medical officers connected with 
asylums had to wear an official uniform. No one is 
eligible to act in that capacity unless he is a naturalised 
American subject, whilst all institutions are under 
the control of the Government. 

The " sanatariums," as they are called, are a sort of 
private asylum, in which are confined not only lunatics, 
but borderland cases, and those suffering from general 
nervousness. There are no private asylums in America 
which are carried on in a precisely similar way to those 


in England in other words, exclusively for persons 
of unsound mind. 

I was elected an honorary member of most of the 
leading clubs in New York. I lunched with a friend 
on one occasion at what is supposed to be the million- 
aires' restaurant in New York, " Delmonico's " ; but 
in my opinion it is inferior to Lyon's Popular in London. 

I was taken to several spiritualistic seances, but 
only on the distinct understanding that I would not 
jump up and make a speech in the middle. A wealthy 
man, Mr Newton, living in New York, was head of the 
Spiritualists there. Unfortunately, he was killed a 
short time after I left America, being run over by a 
tramcar. He was an enthusiast so far as Spiritualism 
was concerned, and did a great deal to bring it to the 
notice and recognition of the public. 

I recollect one afternoon going to the Carnegie Hall, 
where these meetings were held, to witness what was 
stated to be spiritualistic writing on a typewriter. 

A typewriting machine was placed in a cabinet, 
with a medium who was blindfolded and his hands 
tied. A piece of paper, foolscap size, was fixed in the 
machine, at the bottom of which was Mr Newton's 
signature ; this was done to prevent the possibility 
of any deception or fraud. The cabinet was then 
closed. After a short time we heard the tick-ticking 
incidental to a typing machine ; shortly afterwards 
the cabinet was opened and certain spiritualistic 
messages appeared on the foolscap paper, much to 
the astonishment of many of the audience. 


I said to the lady who accompanied me, " Oh, 
please let me get up and tell them how it is done ! " 
But she pulled me down by the coat-tails and pre- 
vented me, which was perhaps just as well. 

The explanation which occurred to me was as 
follows : Mr Newton, a poor kind old gentleman, 
who was quite unsuspicious, had been asked to sign 
a blank sheet of foolscap paper on the day previous 
to its being used at the meeting, it being pointed out 
to him that if he signed all suspicions would be re- 
moved ; and no doubt at the same time he was asked 
to sign one or two more for future experiments. 
What happened was this, that previous to the blank 
paper being put in the machine the message had been 
written already on one of the other sheets. It was 
clear to me that the audience had not grasped the 
facts of the case as they presented themselves to me. 
Inside the pocket of the medium was a small electric 
battery, which, by pressing a small button, caused 
the ticking noise to emanate from it, similar to that 
of a typewriter. I realised the situation at once, 
and had it not been for my lady friend I should have 
exposed the whole fraud before the audience in 
Carnegie Hall. 

It is a great pity that in America they make a 
financial business of Spiritualism, as it prevents any 
real investigations being made, and increases the 
incredulity of many. I went to nearly every 
spiritualistic meeting in New York, as I was very 
anxious to become a convert ; but so far as America 


is concerned, I never saw anything that I could not 
account for, and the fact, no doubt, of paying a 
dollar for each admission to the seances induced 
those who were responsible for them to give those 
who paid their money's worth. 

Spiritualism in America is a different thing from 
Spiritualism in England. Boston is the great centre 
of all Spiritualists in America ; many of them are 
conscientious, hard workers and honest believers, and 
there is a very large circle of them ; on the other 
hand, there are a still larger number of charlatans, 
who make capital out of imposition and fraud, which 
they impose on a certain class of society. I have 
met the same in England. 

As a rule, I generally got fatigued at the close of 
the day ; considering the amount of work which I 
was usually called upon to perform, it was hardly 
to be expected that in the evening my brain would 
be in a condition to be further exercised. But one 
evening, when invited to dine at the Union League 
Club to meet some American authorities, I had to 
answer a series of abstruse psychological questions 
which were fired at me from all sides continuously 
till the conclusion of the dinner. This not only 
interfered with my temper, but brought on an acute 
attack of dyspepsia the following morning. As soon 
as I had finished a discussion with one guest, another 
would commence ; and so this went on during dinner, 
until I took refuge in my hotel. 

I left New York on i3th November, as I have said 


previously, the day after I had concluded my cross- 
examination in the Hannigan case, in the City of 
New York. It was the same ship in which Sir 
Henry Irving and Ellen Terry had often crossed. 

The doctor attached to the ship was an Irishman, 
who had become a naturalised American subject, as 
this ship was bound to carry at least forty American 
subjects. He presided at the table at which I sat, 
and I had the seat of honour on his right. The 
conclusion I arrived at was that it was a great tempta- 
tion for anybody connected with the American liners 
to take stimulants in excess, and I was not surprised 
when eight or nine years later the same doctor called 
at my house, looking rather out-at-elbows. He had 
become a victim to alcoholic excess, lost his position, 
arrived in England penniless, and asked me if I would 
pay his fare to get back to Southampton, where he 
thought he might be able to find some work. I might 
mention that Southampton is the port where the 
American liners start from. It was very sad indeed 
to see one, whom I had known in better circumstances, 
fallen so low, from the active young man in the uni- 
form of an officer on a ship to a degraded, penniless, 
out-of-employment, alcoholic degenerate. I gave him 
what he asked for, and I have never heard of or seen 
him since. 

There was nothing special to chronicle on my 
voyage back to England. I was not sorry when, at 
7.30 a.m. on 2ist November, I left Southampton for 


I often think of my experiences in America and the 
kind friends I met there ; and the desire of many of 
them to give me a welcome to their country, where 
I can claim, through family ties and relationship, a 
close kinship. 



IT seems but yesterday since I received my first 
medical qualification and saw my first patient on the 
following day. Forty years have, however, passed 
and gone since then. There is an old song I remember: 

" Where are the friends of my youth, 
Oh, where are those cherished ones gone ? " 

I answer, " Alas ! where ? " Most of them have 
gone to join the great majority. Some have left 
behind them records which will never be eliminated, 
and will live for ever in posterity ; whereas in the 
case of others a small earthly grave, perhaps marked 
with a tombstone to signify that they ever had an 
existence, will be all that the world has been called 
upon to remember concerning them. 

I see before me the portly form of Sir William 
Fergusson, Surgeon to the Queen, one of the greatest 
surgical lights of the last century. He was a great 
friend of my father's, and we were all socially 
acquainted with the other members of his family. 

Then poor old William Rose, Emeritus Professor 

of Surgery of King's College Hospital, himself 

353 23 


Fergusson's favourite house surgeon and assistant. 
It was only a year ago I spent a very happy time 
with him at his chateau at Boulogne, assisting him 
in the removal of a cerebral tumour from the head 
of a resident. Rose was a friend of mine of forty 
years, but he had sadly changed. He was sorely 
wronged and misjudged during the last few years 
of his life. I fought his battles for him and earned 
his thanks and gratitude. Rose used to tell a very 
characteristic story of his connection with Fergusson. 
The latter had performed an operation, and left Rose 
to complete the work incidental to it. He said that 
he had a special appointment, but would be back 
shortly, asking Rose to wait. On Fergusson's return, 
Rose asked if he had finished his business, to which 
Fergusson in broad Scotch exclaimed, " Eh, mon, I 
cashed the cheque all right." There had been a doubt 
existing in Fergusson's mind as to this before the 
operation was completed, whilst the man was still 
under the anaesthetic and before a possible dissolution 
as a result of the operation, when all cheques would 
have been null and void ; and therefore he wanted 
to make himself sure on this point, probably from 
past experience. 

I gave Rose his first fee ; at least, he told me so, 
and also how acceptable it was at the time. 

Sir G. E. Paget, Fergusson's rival at the time, I 
also frequently met. I shall never forget taking one 
of my boys to see him, who had injured his ankle- 
joint. Paget said, " I don't want to see the joint ; 


I know the nature of the complaint." I might say 
that Fergusson had been attending the boy up to 
the day of his death. Sir Thomas Smith, of " Bart's," 
wanted to amputate. I declined with thanks. My 
opinion proved correct. 

Sir Erasmus Wilson, of Cleopatra Needle fame, was 
an intimate friend of both my father and myself. I 
recollect when he was President of the Medical Society 
I had charge of the musical arrangements at the annual 
dinner. It was just about the time when Cleopatra's 
Needle had been brought to London (1877) that I 
sang a topical verse apropos of this, much to his 

Sir Benjamin Ward Richardson was a staunch 
friend of mine, and he supported me in more ways 
than one in fighting that popular questions should 
receive their proper recognition. He was, like myself, 
one who had the courage of his opinions, and was not 
afraid to come forward in the open, as was seen in 
his views on " Hygeia," which were freely circulated 
and quoted far and wide. Richardson was one of 
the pioneers of the tricycle, and he had a dummy one 
in his room on which he used often to exercise himself. 
It was all very well in its way, but a poor apology for 
the real thing. 

Talking of Benjamin Ward Richardson reminds me 
of an incident of an amusing nature. He was presid- 
ing at the annual Shakespearean banquet of the Urban 
Club. I had received an invitation to attend the 
same, and during dinner Richardson sent a note to 


me to propose the toast of " Success to the Fine Arts." 
I was a little bewildered, as I was not in a position, 
from an imperfect knowledge of the subject, to do 
justice to the toast. I looked round the festive board, 
and, beyond seeing the illustrious George Cruikshanks, 
I failed to recognise any distinguished persons who 
might have been said to have earned immortal fame in 
the Fine Arts. Most of the guests were of a literary 
turn of mind, the dinner being of that type, and not 
of an artistic nature. I had noticed that immediately 
opposite to me was a very irascible, peevish, old 
gentleman, with very long hair, who had gone through 
many a battle with an unfortunate waiter during the 
repast. He was evidently of foreign extraction. I 
had been on friendly terms with my neighbour, and I 
asked him if he could enlighten me as to any especially 
distinguished guests in the Fine Art line. He 
whispered that the irate old gentleman opposite me 
was, as I understood him to say, a very illustrious 
German painter of a name something like Herr 
Golopsky. This seemed to be sufficient for my purpose. 
I arose to address the company when named by the 
toast-master. I said in the course of my speech, that 
" in an assembly like the present, when we could boast 
of the presence of the illustrious George Cruikshanks 
as representing English Fine Art, and the world- 
renowned Herr Golopsky as representing Continental 
painting, whose pictures adorned most of the foreign 
galleries, that no words of mine were necessary to 
further dilate on the subject " when I was suddenly 


stopped by my friend opposite, who, rising, said in 
very broken English, but in a subdued, angry tone of 
voice : " I am not a painter ; I am a sculptor ! " I 
made up my mind that never again would I consent 
to propose a toast on a subject of which I was in perfect 

I was once asked at a public dinner to propose 
" The House of Commons." This was another matter 
of which I knew absolutely nothing. I said that I 
thought the reason why the toast had devolved itself 
upon me was the fact that I was an unbiassed orator, 
inasmuch as I had never read a political speech in my 
life, neither had I ever heard one delivered. My father 
had been offered two safe seats many years ago ; but 
so far as I was concerned, I have never in any way 
mixed myself up with or taken the slightest interest in 
politics of any description. I have always regarded 
politics as simply a question of self-glorification on the 
part of members. If my life depended upon it I could 
not tell you the difference between a Liberal and a 
Conservative ; and I am sure I do not care it matters 
not to me. All that I can say is, that Parliament 
seems to be made up of one continuous quarrel and 
duel between two parties, to the exclusion of every- 
thing else of vital and public importance. This is how 
I should define Parliament. 

The Right Hon. Robert Farquharson, late M.P. for 
West Aberdeenshire, who was an intimate friend of 
my family for many years, and when he was attached 
to the Coldstream Guards, as surgeon, used to 


spend a great deal of his time at our house, once told 
me, in discussing the question of medical men entering 
Parliament, that if a doctor chose to do this he must at 
once give up his medical career, as the two were in- 
compatible ; and so, I should think, hence the un- 
desirability of any of my own profession wasting their 
time by dabbling in its intricacies, its absurdities, and 
its jealousies. 

Then I remember old Dr J. M. Winn, a valiant 
fighter for what was right and good. He was a great 
opposer of the materialistic school, and fought a great 
battle against the views of Professor Tyndall, Herbert 
Spencer, Huxley, and others. Dr Winn was appar- 
ently so obsessed by the very mention of the name of 
Professor Tyndall, with whom he was in bitter an- 
tagonism so far as his materialistic views were con- 
cerned, that I am reminded of a rather amusing 
incident relating to this. One day I had called Dr 
Winn into consultation with reference to a young 
Cambridge student of the same name as Tyndall, but 
spelt in a different manner. Dr Winn had examined 
the young man in my study whilst I was occupied in 
the drawing-room in discussing the case with the father 
of the patient. Suddenly Dr Winn burst into the 
drawing-room exclaiming, " I have given Tyndall such 
a doing he will never recover from ; I have floored him 
without any shadow of a doubt." I was dreadfully 
perplexed and horrified at this, as the father of my 
patient naturally imagined that his own son had been 
" floored," and it was with difficulty I quieted Dr 


Winn and convinced the father that the gentleman 
" floored " was not really his own son, but a distin- 
guished professor of the same name with whom Dr 
Winn was in antagonism. 

In 1877 ne was requested by the Victoria Institute, 
which is a society only second to the Royal, to read 
a paper on " Materialistic Physiology." His mind was 
completely absorbed in this matter for weeks and weeks 
before the lecture was to be delivered. He used to 
call upon me at all hours and read me extracts of his 
paper. On one occasion he remarked to me, " Ah ! 
at 2 a.m. I had a brain wave. I got up and I wrote 
as follows : ' But it is not by club phrases, sophistical 
arguments, and ad captandum rhetoric that this new 
system can be circulated, and it may be held that ere 
long materialistic physiology will be sent to that 
limbo which already engulfed so many systems of false 
philosophy." Dr Winn condemned all the present 
school of free-thinkers, which I in every way agreed 
with, and I do not think that anyone could have been 
more energetic and emphatic than he was during the 
latter part of his life in agitating on this subject. 

The eventful night arrived for the lecture. I think 
that if I had been called upon to deliver the same 
address I should have experienced no difficulty in so 
doing ; this was from the fact that I had heard it and 
discussed it so often with Dr Winn that I was nearly 

Dr Winn had requested me to go on in advance to 
the hall to see that all the necessary arrangements 


were satisfactory, and I awaited his arrival in the 
vestibule. I shall never forget that night. It snowed 
heavily, but, notwithstanding the condition of the 
outside elements, guests continued to arrive, eager to 
hear the views of Dr Winn in opposition to the 
materialistic theology, if such an expression can be 
used. Some of the guests were conspicuous by their 
long hair, which in those days was a mark of highly 
scientific origin, and was a passport into any scientific 
discussion. Some of these long-haired gentlemen, as 
they arrived on the scene, shook off the snow from 
their hoary locks and outer garments. One old 
professor, whom I never thought would have turned 
out on such a night, exclaimed with a shiver : " Oh, 
what a dreadful night ! If it had not been for the 
great interest I have anticipated in hearing Dr Winn's 
paper, I should never have ventured out." This was 
a weird old man with sallow cheeks and prominent 

Eight o'clock struck, the time for the lecture, but 
alas ! Dr Winn had not put in an appearance ; when 
suddenly Dr Winn rushed upstairs, throwing his 
hands about in a frantic state, and, seeing me, gave 
vent to his feelings, exclaiming : " Oh, for the fruit 
of my brain ! Oh, for the work of my lifetime ! 
I have left my lecture in a hansom cab, and, what 
added insult to injury, I ran after the wrong cabman 
by mistake and stopped him, and he demanded his 
fare." By this time he had regained his breath, and 
I told him that this was a most terrible calamity, and 


that so many people had come, not only at great 
inconvenience to themselves, but with the danger of 
pneumonia staring them in the face, to listen to his 
lecture. Indeed, I said I thought I saw some already 
with one foot in the grave. 

" What shall I do ? " replied poor Dr Winn. 

" Never mind," I said ; "I will stand by you. 
You tell them exactly all you remember of your paper, 
and what you forget I shall no doubt supply." I had 
entered my name down among the visitors at the 
meeting, and as soon as he got through his task 
which he did in a very able manner, though leaving 
out some of the most important and salient facts 
which I made a mental note of I was called upon to 
address the meeting. It seemed rather an unkind 
thing to do, but I could not let the opportunity slip 
of expressing my astonishment to the meeting that so 
eloquent an address should not have contained certain 
facts, which I then began to place before them, but 
which were originally in Dr Winn's paper. After the 
meeting which passed off very well, a learned dis- 
cussion having taken place on the subject Dr Winn 
and myself left the hall together. He was more then 
satisfied with the result of his efforts, and also thankful 
to me for having drawn the attention of the meeting 
to the important part of his address, which he had 
forgotten. The original paper turned up ultimately 
at the lost-property office in Scotland Yard, and was 
published by me in extenso in the Psychological 
Journal in 1877, of which I was then the editor. 


Dr Winn lived till over ninety, and was the oldest 
member of the Royal College of Physicians. He was 
certainly a staunch fighter against the materialistic 
doctrine of the day, then more prevalent than it is at 
the present time. 

In 1877, on the application of Mr Dillwyn, M.P., 
a Lunacy Committee was granted to inquire into the 
working of the Lunacy Law of 1845, then existing. 

I gave evidence before this Committee, consisting 
of fifteen members ; and the result was the issue of 
a voluminous report of 582 pages, containing 11,645 
different questions and answers of sixty-three different 
witnesses. I had seen an advance copy, which en- 
abled me to publish an article in the Psychological 
Journal entitled " Ex nihilo nihil fit." 

Amongst the witnesses were motley groups of Lunacy 
Commissioners, ex-lunatics, titled nonentities, and 
other people of equal importance. Every imagin- 
able form of complaint was ventilated, and many 
extravagant theories were raised, whilst plenty of 
opportunities were given for those who had a grievance 
to air the same. 

It was the only Parliamentary Committee I have 
ever attended, and I was not very much impressed 
by the sanctity of its surroundings. The result of 
this wonderful inquiry led to absolutely nothing ; 
much public money was expended in printing and 
much time wasted in attendance at the same ; for 
it was not until thirteen years afterwards that the new 
Lunacy Act of 1890 was passed by Parliament. 


It was like all Parliamentary Committees : it was 
called together in order to stop public agitation and 
the mouths of those who felt that they had a public 
grievance, either in imagination or reality. The 
Parliamentary Committee was appointed with a view 
of staying the hands of the agitators. I spent many 
afternoons of amusement listening to the witnesses 
and observing the lamentable ignorance of the members 
who formed the Select Committee. 

Some distinguished witnesses were heard, amongst 
whom I would include Sir James Crichton-Browne 
and Mr Charles Palmer Percival, secretary to the 
Commissioners in Lunacy, by whom some sense, 
discrimination, and direct wisdom were brought to 
bear on the subject. 

After having given my evidence and listened to the 
evidence of others, I arrived at one conclusion that 
the whole thing was a farce from beginning to end ; 
and since then every justification for my conclusion 
has been arrived at. 

In 1897 I met a great personality in Lombroso. 
I had been summoned to Milan to see a lady suffering 
from a form of mental disease called " folie de doute." 
I decided, as I was so near, to ask Lombroso to see the 
patient in consultation with myself. I accompanied 
the patient to Turin. Lombroso was a wonderful man. 
I dined with him, and had the benefit of several con- 
ferences with him. He had a magnificent museum 
of criminology, which he was much interested in 
describing to me. He was the first scientist to bring 


to my knowledge the wonderful power of suggestion 
in combating nervous disorders. He allowed me to 
dedicate my work, then in the press, Mad Humanity, 
to him. He acknowledged the dedication in the 
following words : 

" J'accepte avec une grande satisfaction, de Her 
mon nom au votre, bien connu depuis un siecle par 
vous et par celui de votre pere, qui premier a inspire 
mes pas dans la psychiatric et dans la pathologic, 
ou vous avez laisse des traces si profondes. 


"9 Mars 1898." 

On his last visit to England he was staying in the 
Isle of Wight, and asked me to be his guest whilst 
there. On his return to Italy he brought out his 
latest work, which he did not live to complete. There 
was very much in common between Lombroso and 
myself ; we were both students of crime. His works 
on Criminal Man and Criminal Woman are standard 

He presented me with a copy of his private Atlas 
on Criminology, which I value very much. He had 
a wonderful personality. He was a kind-hearted man, 
though he was dreaded by students when undergoing 
examinations for their degrees at the University of 
Turin, in consequence of his manner not being properly 
understood, which frightened the timid examinee ; 
but behind his brusque demeanour was a capacious, 
kind heart, and a mind open to conviction. 

He would say to the student with a small and badly 
formed head : " You have mistaken your calling ' 


you are a degenerate." To another he would say : 
" From the formation of your head, you are an 
epileptic." Whilst to a third he would remark : 
" From your general aspect, demeanour, and sly 
appearance, you are a moral pervert." Unless the 
students agreed with all Lombroso said, they were 
sure to be plucked. One doctor of medicine at Turin, 
who had gone through the ordeal, told me about this. 

My reflections during forty years of my literary 
labour cause me a certain amount of wonderment 
how I could have gone through so much. In 
addition to being the author of many articles bearing 
on my own speciality, which have been published in 
many of the leading magazines in England and 
America, I have granted interviews on every subject 
of public interest in which my opinion would carry 
weight. I am not alone in this, however, I am glad 
to say, for other medical authorities have done the 
same. I always have contended that if anyone has 
a special knowledge of a subject of public interest, 
there is no reason why it should be kept to himself. 
I do not agree with discussing medical subjects in the 
lay papers. The interest of such cannot be one for the 
public. Psychological matters however are different. 
I have kept a tabulated list of my various interviews 
which gives me plenty of scope for reflection. 

During forty years I have published the following 
works : Manual of Lunacy, Mad Humanity, Eccen- 
tricity of Youth leading to Crime, Fasting and Feeding, 
Aids to Insanity, Uncontrollable Drunkenness, Hand- 


book for the Attendants on the Insane, A Lunacy 
Chart, Spiritualistic Madness. This latter was pub- 
lished in my early days, and I had a hard battle to 
fight in consequence of my views. Lombroso and 
myself both entertained the same opinion as to 
Spiritualism. We both changed our views, however. 
I also wrote a Codified Epitome of the Lunacy Laws 
in England, which was published in French for one 
of their standard legal works. My father was editor 
of the Journal of Psychological Medicine for sixteen 
years, having started it in 1848. I was editor of the 
same for eight years from 1875. My most recent 
book is The Suggestive Power of Hypnotism. 

I knew the Earl of Shaftesbury very well, and it 
was in 1884, by his request, that a deputation of the 
School Board waited upon me to ask me if I would 
move a resolution on the over-pressure going on in 
the elementary schools. I had been writing a good 
deal on the subject and making investigations, and 
it was no doubt in consequence of this that I was 
requested to move the resolution. The meeting was 
held at Exeter Hall on 24th March, and five thousand 
people were present. It was of interest to me from 
the fact that it was the last meeting at which Lord 
Shaftesbury presided. My resolution was : " That 
in the opinion of this meeting a serious amount of 
over-pressure, injurious to the health and education 
of the people, exists in the public elementary schools 
of the country, and demands the continued and 
serious attention of her Majesty's Government ; and 


that this meeting, while cordially recognising the 
earnest efforts of Mr Mundella, the Vice-President 
of the Council, to remedy the evil complained of, 
believes that the recent changes in the Education 
Code may alleviate but will not remove this over- 

My resolution was seconded by Mr Stanley Leighton, 
M.P., and was carried unanimously. It was then for- 
warded to the Prime Minister and the President of the 
Council. Dr James Crichton-Browne (as he then was) 
was authorised to investigate the facts as stated by 
myself and others, and to consider the whole question 
of over-pressure ; and his report was so exhaustive 
and so conclusive that, as a result, he received a 
knighthood ; and there was never one in my opinion 
more richly deserved or bestowed upon a more 
worthy recipient. 

Among some of the principal barristers, now dead 
and gone, I might mention Serjeant Parry (who was 
the Charles Russell of his day), Ballantine, Edwin 
James, Montagu Williams, and Douglas Straight ; all 
of these I knew intimately. I shall never forget an 
important consultation which took place between 
Serjeant Ballantine, my father, and myself, with 
reference to the examination of a witness moving 
in high circles of society, in a divorce case of a lady 
of title, which at the time created a great deal of 
excitement in London. The question was whether 
Serjeant Ballantine should cross-examine the said 
witness or leave him alone. The conference took 


place at Evans's Supper-rooms in Covent Garden, 
which in those days was often the meeting-place for 
personalities to assemble. Ballantine decided he 
would ask no questions. I attended the court the 
following day, and he carried out faithfully the 
arrangements agreed upon. 

With regard to Edwin James, he had the largest 
practice in London. He was imprudent, however, 
and, being disbarred, left England for America, 
where he enjoyed a good practice, returning to 
England subsequently. 

The first case I ever heard him cross-examine in 
was a commission in lunacy in which my uncle was 
the Master. Some timid medical man had been 
quavering under his cross-examination, when Edwin 
James asked him how it was he had made an affidavit 
that he had retired from practice. The doctor replied 
in a trembling voice, " This was a mistake." Edwin 
James, equal to the occasion answered : " Now, 
doctor, it is one of two things : either you have 
retired from practice or practice has retired from 
you. Which is it ? " 

Nearly every important and sensational case of 
interest, during the epoch in which Edwin James 
reigned supreme in the law courts, he figured in. 
Poor Edwin James ! I can see him now, calling upon 
me in London a few years before he died, a dejected 
and unhappy man. His wife had taken a bonnet- 
shop in Bond Street, and he had become a sort of 
private detective, and had called to consult me upon 


a certain lunacy matter in which he was interested. 
The only thing which reminded me of the great 
advocate of yore was an old snuff-box, which he 
still carried with him, and which he used continually 
whilst in my presence. 

Montagu Williams had a great criminal practice. 
I recollect one celebrated case, in which a Wiltshire 
magistrate was prosecuted for sending a postcard to 
a lady of title, addressed to her husband, who was a 
member of the Turf Club. The defence was that he 
had so narcotised his brain by taking a large quantity 
of zoedone as to render him irresponsible. This was 
an anti-alcoholic drink, which came into existence at 
the time. I remember a consultation was arranged 
between Sir John Holker, Montagu Williams, and my- 
self, as to the way of procedure. I was convinced that 
the man was suffering from temporary insanity caused 
by this fluid which he had taken, and that the best 
thing to do would be to plead guilty and then put in 
a plea of temporary insanity. Montagu Williams 
argued that it could not be done. I said otherwise, 
and gave cases to illustrate what I was saying. My 
plan was adopted, and a verdict according to my 
testimony followed, and he was handed over to his 
friends. I was associated with another doctor at the 
time in this case, who was rather a theorist and 
localiser of cerebral centres. He told me that he 
was going to explain to the jury the part of the brain 
which was affected by zoedone. I advised him to 

abstain from this as the question before the court 



would be whether he was of sound or unsound mind 
at the time he committed the libel. I am not 
at all certain whether my confrere was given the 
opportunity of airing his views as to the action of 
zoedone on the brain centres before the jury ; but 
I think not. 

I cannot allow these reminiscences to close without 
chronicling my affectionate reflections with reference 
to my late revered father. 

My father received the great distinction of the 
honorary degree of D.C.L. from the University of 
Oxford. I believe he was the only English physician 
of his day who had that honour. It is the highest 
distinction that can be obtained by anybody. Besides 
this he had many other offers of still further distinction, 
which he declined. He was thus honoured for his 
investigations and researches in psychological medi- 
cine, which placed him on the top of the pinnacle 
of fame of any medical man of his time in that 

My father, following in the steps of Pinel and the 
Tukes of York, was, with the late Dr Conolly, one 
of the first to systematise a gentle, persuasive, and 
loving treatment of the insane, who had hitherto 
been regarded in the light of wild beasts to be curbed 
and restrained by bolts, bars, and keepers' whips, 
rather than as human beings, fallen indeed from their 
high estate, but amenable to tenderness and judicious 

He it was who created the science of psychology, 


and gave to it a local habitation and a name, at least 
so far as this country is concerned. He was the first 
physician who urged the plea of insanity in criminal 
cases ; a plea which has outlived the assaults of 
popular prejudice and ignorance, and which is now 
accepted as valid in the courts of law. He likewise 
contributed largely to the literature of his country, 
his magnum opus, The Obscure Diseases of the Brain 
and Mind, being one of the scientific classics of the 
English language. 

These achievements, combined with his successful 
ministry to the " mind diseased," and his unvarying 
kindness, generosity, and deep religious feeling, have 
earned for him a world-wide reputation a reputation 
which, I confidently predict, will shine with purer 
and clearer lustre as time allows of full justice being 
done to the great work he has accomplished. 

He wrote the first book on suicide published in the 
English language ; the object of this work was the 
abolition of the verdict of felo-de-se. It was at the 
trial of Macnaughten (1845) for the murder of Mr 
Drummond, who was shot in mistake for Robert Peel, 
in which my father may be said to have made his first 
success in a law court. He was in attendance in court 
as a spectator, and was asked by the judge to enter 
the witness-box. Previous to this he had been writing 
a number of articles on insanity in criminal cases. 
The case was stopped after his evidence, and from 
that date he became an authority in all criminal- 
lunacy cases. 


With regard to the subject which I have often 
alluded to in my book, where a popular case has not 
received proper recognition from the jury, and where 
the Treasury are eager for a conviction ; and as a con- 
sequence the prisoner has not obtained a proper 
hearing, the same was in existence in his days. 

Talking about the evidence of a medical expert using 
his best endeavours on behalf of a poor, wretched man on 
his trial, whom he believes to be irresponsible, he says : 

" A man commits a murder. He is tried for the 
crime. The plea of insanity is raised in his defence, 
upon what is conceived to be sound evidence of the 
existence of mental derangement at the time of the 
murder. The attempt thus made to protect the 
criminal immediately rouses public indignation. Such 
an excuse is not in many instances listened to, and the 
unfortunate medical witnesses who have been called 
upon to exercise an important and often thankless 
duty, in support of the plea, are exposed, for giving 
an honest expression of opinion, to the most un- 
measured ridicule and vituperation. In defending 
the memory of the suicide from the disgrace that 
would accompany a verdict of felo-de-se the evidence 
of the medical man proving insanity is regarded with 
great respect, and treated with profound deference ; 
but in his efforts to save a lunatic from the agonies 
of a painful death upon the scaffold, on evidence that 
was adduced before the previously mentioned court, 
the expert is exposed to unmitigated abuse. Instead 
of being considered as an angel of mercy engaged in 
the exercise of a holy and righteous mission, he is 
viewed with suspicion, and often treated with contumely 
as if he were attempting to sacrifice instead of to save 
human life. 


" Again, the attempt to prove sanity and mental 
capacity at a commission in lunacy, with the object 
of preserving intact the liberty of the subject, and 
establishing his right to an unfettered management 
of his property, is applauded to the very echo ; but 
any endeavour to excuse, on the plea of insanity, the 
crime of some unhappy wretch alleged to be an irre- 
sponsible lunatic, in order to rescue him from penal 
servitude or from the hands of the executioner, is 
denounced in unqualified language as a most monstrous, 
unjustifiable, and iniquitous interference with the 
course of justice. The excuse of insanity will not, 
in many cases, under these circumstances, be tolerated 
by a portion" of the press. The public mind is violently 
shocked at the commission of a horrible and brutal 
murder. The act is viewed as one of great and bar- 
barous atrocity, apart altogether from its concomitant 
extenuating medico-psychological considerations. The 
cry is raised for vengeance ! The shout is, ' An eye 
for an eye ! a tooth for a tooth ! blood for blood ! ' 
forgetting, in the paroxysm of indignant emotion 
and frenzy of excited feeling engendered by the 
contemplation of a dreadful violation of the majesty 
of the law, that justice must be tempered with that 
divine mercy which sanctifies and enshrines 

' The throned monarch better than his crown, 
And is the attribute of God himself.' " 

I was associated with my father for many years 
before his death, as I have previously mentioned. 
His works live after him. It was in March in the year 
1874 that he succumbed to Bright 's disease at Brighton, 
having earned for himself an imperishable memorial 
in the love and gratitude of his countrymen, having 
acted up to the spirit of those memorable words with 


which he concludes his great work : " The spirit of 
love, tender sympathy, Christian benevolence, un- 
wearying kindness, and warm affection should influence 
every thought, look, and action of those engaged in 
the responsible treatment of the insane. It is the 
special province of the psychological physician to 

' Fetter strong madness in a silken thread, 
Charm ache with air, and agony with words.' 

What a holy, honourable, and sacred occupation is 
that in which he has the privilege of being engaged ! 
Angelic spirits might well envy him the ennobling 
and exalted pleasures incidental to his mission of 
benevolence and love." 

It was always my father's wish to establish a hospital 
for mental disorders where the poor could be treated 
as out-patients, to give them an opportunity of 
recovering without the necessity of being placed in 
lunatic asylums. I was determined to carry out this 
plan, and in 1890, unaided, I established a hospital 
in London. It is called " The British Hospital for 
Mental Disorders," Forbes Winslow Memorial, at 
which there have been 60,000 attendances already 
registered; thus showing the need of it. Four physicians 
are attached to it. Of course, it has been the means 
of creating a certain amount of professional jealousy, 
but at the same time I let those scowl and sneer as they 
like, I care not. The fact remains the same, that 
the hospital has done and is doing an enormous amount 
of good. It is well to do something in the world, so 


that when you leave it you may feel that your efforts 
have not been in vain. Let those who sneer attempt 
to do likewise before they dare to sit in judgment upon 

I remember shortly before my father died he said 
to me, " Thank God, I can lay my head on my pillow 
and say that I have not been in any way instrumental 
in hurling a fellow-creature into eternity." In other 
words, what he meant to imply was that, should he 
have been called upon to testify in a case in which his 
opinion was adverse to a prisoner charged with murder, 
and consequently responsible for his acts, he would 
ask permission to withdraw from the case. He would 
not let it be said that the death of any human being 
could be placed indirectly at his door. I am pleased 
to be able to say the same has existed so far as I am 

There are a certain number of hard-hearted people 
in the world who would condemn anyone to death, 
and the next hour would go and enjoy themselves as 
if nothing had happened. Of course many cruel 
crimes have been committed, but in every case where 
the sanity of the individual has been in question, in 
which I have been called in, there always has been, 
in my opinion, a loop-hole to enable the authorities 
to temper justice with mercy. I could be more em- 
phatic and more personal, did I care, on this subject. 
So far as I am concerned, I have never feared anybody 
in the whole world, and I am sure I never shall. It 
is the independent position I have taken up which 


leads me to be able to chronicle my forty years' 
experiences without any apprehension or dread, and 
with the consciousness that it is the personal experience 
of one who, through life, has had the courage of his 
opinions and convictions, and who has acted according 
to these principles. 

On comparing the human race during the past 
forty years I have no hesitation in stating that it 
has degenerated and is still progressing in a down- 
ward direction. It is not difficult to account for this. 
The youths of the present age are much more insipid 
than formerly, less manly, and insufficiently developed. 
Cigarette-smoking in excess has a good deal to do 
with this, whilst also alcoholic indulgence has much 
increased of late. Many of these aborted youths are 
the progeny of parents who are, on the one side or 
the other, addicted to this, or are the victims of 
secret drug-drinking. Just as alcoholic excess is the 
cause of more than twenty-five per cent, of the insanity 
in the whole world, so must it be the absolute cause 
for the degeneration in many of those whose parents 
have become so addicted. Where are the manly 
broad-shouldered youths who could be seen forty 
years ago ? They are few and far between. They 
have been displaced by a narrow, limp, badly formed, 
weak young man, slouching along the street with 
that cursed cigarette never out of his mouth. Let 
us compare, as an example, the pavilion of Lords in 
1870 on a great match day with what is seen to-day. 
The ordinary healthy, fine-looking youth, smoking 


his pipe in the enjoyment of perfect health, has been 
displaced by the puny, half-developed, degenerate 
youth, weak in mind as well as weak in body. A 
pipe in the morning and one at night used to suffice ; 
now the cigarette, poisonous in its nature, is never 
out of the mouth. 

We are gradually approaching, with the decadence 
of youth, a near proximity to a nation of madmen. 
By comparing the lunacy statistics of 1869 with those 
of 1909, forty decades having intervened. The 
statistics being so taken, my reflections are sad 
indeed. A terrible but real curse is in store, and 
an insane world is looked forward to by me with a 
certainty in the not far distant future. 

In 1869, out of a population of 22,223,299 there 
were 53,177 registered lunatics in England and Wales, 
there being one lunatic in every 418 of the total 
population ; whereas, in 1909, out of a population 
f 35756,6i5, the number of registered lunatics was 
128,787, making on an average one lunatic in every 
278 of the population. So that in forty years an 
enormous increase in lunacy is seen. Every year 
this increase progresses, and by a simple arithmetical 
calculation it can be shown the exact year when 
there will be more insane persons in the world than 

Surely a dreadful future for nations still unborn 
to have to cope with. These are facts, and sad 
to reflect upon. They must be accepted ; they 
cannot in any way be challenged. In addition to 


alcoholic excess, and cigarette-smoking, I place the 
marriage of degenerate youths, of whom the world 
is full, as also among the principal causes. Strong 
athletes are few and far between nowadays. Let the 
present race grasp these facts. Let them analyse 
these, and they will find I am not far wrong in what 
I state. And yet it is sad for me to reflect that, 
notwithstanding all the advances made in the treat- 
ment of the insane in the past forty years, neverthe- 
less circumstances which ought to be controlled, and 
which amount to actual suicide, are causing an 
increase, not a decrease, in lunacy. 

This book would not be complete without some sort 
of reference to the Lord Chancellor, under whose juris- 
diction all lunatics are placed, and to whom is issued 
the annual report of the Commissioners in Lunacy, 
as being the official year-book of the Commissioners, 
who owe their actual position to the said Lord 
Chancellor, and who apparently is supposed to 
exert his personal jurisdiction in all matters per- 
taining to the condition of the insane in England 
and Wales. 

Though it is graphically immortalised in Gilbert and 
Sullivan's lolanthe what the varied duties of a Lord 
Chancellor are, it has not, so far as I can recollect, been 
therein stated that he is the legal guardian of all persons 
of unsound mind. He has the nomination of every 
appointment connected with the care and supervision 
of lunatics. I allude to the official appointments of 
Masters in Lunacy, Commissioners in Lunacy, and 


Lord Chancellor's Visitors of Lunatics. The power of 
his name and his authority reign supreme, and he is 
mentioned in official documents, though of course he 
is probably in ignorance of the actual case of any one 
person who is confined under his jurisdiction. Lord 
Lyndhurst, a near relation of my family, who died in 
1863, was four times Lord Chancellor. He was a 
distinguished man, and kind to his relations. My 
father's brother, who became his secretary, obtained 
the appointment of Master in Lunacy, and other 
members of the same family also participated in his 
generosity. Lord Halsbury, as plain Mr Hardinge 
Giffard, was a great friend of my father, and I also 
knew him intimately, though my best acquaintance 
with him was when I used to wince under his severe 
cross-examination. The present Lord Chancellor, 
Lord Loreburn, I knew well as Bobby Reid. He used 
to keep wicket for Oxford University, and many 
matches in the early seventies I have played with him 
for the Incogniti Cricket Club, of which I held the best 
bowling analysis at the time. I always regarded 
Bobby Reid with a certain amount of awe and 
reverence, whether from the fact that he used to 
look severely at me for my repeated wides, or 
whether I always considered him as one beyond 
the comprehension of my mental capacity, I cannot 
say. However, I always was under an impression, 
which has now been realised, that in the person 
of the great wicket-keeper of that time was one 
destined to become great in whatever calling he 


entered into. The justification of my impressions has 
come true. 

The late King, when Prince of Wales, had a narrow 
escape from assassination at the hands of a madman 
named Sipido at the Brussels station. Luckily, no 
harm came of the escapade. Facts were brought to 
my knowledge, and I issued a report to the authorities 
which showed clearly and convincingly that Sipido 
was a lunatic. He was not treated as a criminal, as a 
consequence, but as a lunatic. He was detained for 
some years and liberated about two years ago. I was 
subsequently in personal communication with his 
late Majesty on this matter, as to the inadvisability of 
this proceeding, and as a consequence, after personal 
interviews at the Home Office and Foreign Office, 
representations were made on my advice as to the 
safe-keeping of Sipido, and the danger of allowing a 
homicidal lunatic from being at large. I understand 
that the report furnished by me to the English author- 
ities was sent to Belgium. I considered that, as the 
general opinion is that homicidal insanity is never 
curable in England, and those who have suffered 
from such are generally taken care of for their natural 
lives, the same might be said in Sipido's case. I 
believe my advice was followed out, so that steps 
were taken to prevent a repetition of Sipido's dastardly 
attack, which was made in 1899. 

My task is now completed. There are certain 
matters upon which my pen has been burning to 


write ; my discretion perhaps prevents this. It 
partly refers to the unchristianity existing among a 
certain number of nonentities in the world, who are 
always ready to pronounce judgment on matters with 
an imperfect knowledge of the truth. It is not a 
case of " Audi alteram partem " with many. Let 
them pass along, let them pass by ; I care not. 
" Judge not, that ye be not judged," I would remark 
to them. 

A public personage is always liable to miscon- 
ception. This especially refers to those who have 
tried to do their duty, surrounded by difficulty 
at times. Jealousies will arise, and then the so- 
called " would-be judges," themselves so pure, so 
immaculate, will often step in and, casting their 
eyes up to Heaven, will shrug their shoulders. In 
this jealous and unjust world of ours, deficient in 
Christian sympathy, everyone has to try to hold his 
own, conscious of the fact that " to err is human, to 
forgive divine ! " I would impress this very much 
on many of those whom I know, who may be reading 
what I am now saying, and who will find the cap fits. 
I speak with the absolute power of my own knowledge 
and convictions, and from what I know to be a fact. 
What I have just said, I regret to say, especially refers 
to some members of my own profession. I desire to be 
most emphatic upon this matter. Before anyone 
dares to judge another, let him make himself master 
of the situation and not be prejudiced by only hearing 
one side. 

Misfortune, the result of non-compliance with the 
Lunacy Act, is apt to occur with those who dabble in 
its intricacies. If a man commits an irregularity in 
an unfortunate non-compliance with any Parliamen- 
tary Act, he must bear the consequences of his im- 
prudence. It ought not to be in the hands of anyone 
to show favour, or to decide who is to be proceeded 
against or who is to be left alone. 

The Lunacy Act of 1845 was so obscure and incom- 
prehensible that it was impossible to construe its real 
meaning. The interpretation of certain sections con- 
tained in it came before various judges on a memorable 
occasion, in which I was concerned. One gave one 
opinion, another a different one, whilst a third varied 
from the two others ; in fact, the density of the Act 
was of such a nature that no one was safe who was in 
any way called upon to put its enactments into opera- 
tion. I was a victim to this, and as a consequence 
the Act of 1890 was passed, the one which at the 
present time is in existence. This is nearly as dense 
and confusing as the other, and, as I said once when 
discussing the matter publicly, " It is generally stated 
that a coach-and-four can be driven through any Act 
of Parliament, but I affirm that the whole Coaching 
Club could be driven through the present Lunacy Act." 
I am not far wrong, as in a recent case, in which I was 
interested, both the counsel for the prosecution and 
defence openly stated in court that they did not know 
the meaning of a certain section, which could be con- 
strued in two different ways, provided stops were 


inserted in the section. The presiding judge, now 
gone to join the majority, confessed that, mirabile 
dictu, even he was puzzled as to its meaning. I 
mention this simply to illustrate how obscure is the 
present Lunacy Law, which is supposed not only to 
look after the interests of those alleged to be insane, 
but also to protect those who have to put its sections 
into operation. 

At the present time the same chaos exists among 
asylum committees and those officials who are called 
upon to carry out the provisions of the Act. One 
body overrules the other, and no one apparently 
knows anything about its real construction. 

A technical breach of the Lunacy Act is liable to be 
.made every day by those engaged in lunacy responsi- 
bilities. One escapes with a warning, whilst another, 
especially should he be a big gun, has to answer for 
anything he may have unconsciously and unwittingly 
done. He is generally misjudged, and is prosecuted 
with all the rigour of the law and with all the force 
and power of money behind a Treasury prosecution. 
This is not justice. The lesser luminaries get off with 
a caution. It matters not, however. Jealousy is a 
green-eyed monster, and it "is cruel as the grave ; 
the coals thereof are coals of fire, which hath a most 
vehement flame." 

I now put down my pen at least, retire with my 
bat to the pavilion of criticism, conscious of the fact 
that I have striven to do my best, and also with the 
knowledge that there is nothing in my professional 


career that I in any way regret. I have endeavoured 
to do my duty, and I am thankful that, with all the 
anxiety, trouble, unjust persecution, and at times 
misjudgment, that I have passed through, I am never- 
theless able to register a good old score of sixty-six, 
not out. 


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