Madness, Murder and Mayhem: Criminal Insanity in Victorian and Edwardian Britain

· Pen and Sword
Ebook
192
Pages
Eligible
85% price drop on Sep 30

About this ebook

Following an assassination attempt on George III in 1800, new legislation significantly altered the way the criminally insane were treated by the judicial system in Britain. This book explores these changes and explains the rationale for purpose-built criminal lunatic asylums in the Victorian era.Specific case studies are used to illustrate and describe some of the earliest patients at Broadmoor Hospital the Criminal Lunatic Asylum for England and Wales and the Criminal Lunatic Department at Perth Prison in Scotland. Chapters examine the mental and social problems that led to crime alongside individuals considered to be weak-minded, imbeciles or idiots. Family murders are explored as well as individuals who killed for gain. An examination of psychiatric evidence is provided to illustrate how often an insanity defence was used in court and the outcome if the judge and jury did not believe these claims. Two cases are discussed where medical experts gave evidence that individuals were mentally irresponsible for their crimes but they were led to the gallows.Written by genealogists and historians, this book examines and identifies individuals who committed heinous crimes and researches the impact crime had on themselves, their families and their victims.

About the author

Kathryn has had a passion for family and local history all her life and inherited a fascination in Victorian and Edwardian crime from her father. With careers in both the Diplomatic Service and the Security Service, she is an experienced researcher. She holds an Advanced Diploma in Local History from the University of Oxford and a M.Sc. in Genealogy, Palaeography and Heraldry from the University of Strathclyde. Her M.Sc. dissertation looked in detail at the lives of epileptic women in asylums in the nineteenth century.

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