The issue of crime and insanity in Victorian Britain is dominated by the 1843 case of Daniel McNaughton. Hounded by paranoid delusions, about which he was relatively unforthcoming despite detailed questioning, he succeeded in shooting Henry Drummond, private secretary to the Prime Minister, Robert Peel. Thinking that it was Peel himself he had shot, McNaughton is quoted by the arresting policeman as stating “he shall break my peace of mind no longer”. The furore over his trial and non-execution filtered down the century, via the McNaughton rules. Daniel himself mouldered in Bethlem and Broadmoor for the rest of his days (West & Walk, 1977, esp. p. 93). But much more prevalent in the public's eye were the seven (at least) serious assaults on the Queen. Not only did they bring about a new criminal charge (vide infra) – but their recurrence tended to promote pro-royalist sympathies as well as pro-custodial attitudes towards “the insane”.
Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.