The Doctor That Helped Write the First Dictionary from Broadmoor
Doctor William Chester Minor was an American soldier, whose deteriorating mental health saw him end up in Broadmoor.
One of the best-known Victorian patients at Broadmoor is that artist Richard Dadd. While Dadd was at Broadmoor, another Victorian patient vied for attention. Doctor William Chester Minor has been the subject of many stories, including the best-selling book, ‘The Surgeon of Crowthorne.’
Minor was born in Sri Lanka and graduated from Yale University as a surgeon. During the American Civil War, Minor fought the Unionists. Soon the strain of the war started to show on Minor, and he was sent to America’s equivalent of Broadmoor.
In 1871, he was released from the asylum and the U.S. Army and decided to move to England. His lifelong delusion centred around men entering his room at night through voids in the ceilings and floors and then abusing him.
In February 1872, in Lambeth, London, Minor woke up and believed that he saw an abuser at the end of his bed. He then startled the figure who ran away. Minor followed him into the street, where he observed what he thought was the man enter a brewery nearby.
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