OCTOBER 20th 1927: At the Bedfordshire Assizes

Yesterday Mr Justice Rigby Swift sentenced Issac Mitcham, 43, an Inmate of Three Counties Mental Hospital, Arlesey,

To two months imprisonment for assaulting Dr. Finiefs, a member of the hospital staff,

He was also charged with threatening to assault Dr. Fuller.
It was stated that the accused rushed out of the bathroom threatening to kill with a wooden plunger anyone who approached.
Dr. Finiefs endeavoured to pacify him,but Mitcham struck him on the head with the plunger.
The defence as put forward by Mr J. Cremlyn was that Mitcham failing to ventilate a grievance and establish his sanity by other means, took this course. The Judge said he assumed the accused to be sane, and treated the case as an ordinary common assault.


This is a very bizarre accident, March 26 1906: On this date the asylum brewer was found dead in a vat of beer,

Mr Prime the asylum brewer, was a reclusive type of man who worked independently of his supervisor,

Perhaps because he lead a secluded life is one of the reasons he was not missed even at mealtimes,

Sometimes took his meals with the hall porter so it was not unusual that he was not at the meal table,

Mr Prime the brewer often took leave with permission so it was not totally surprising that the brewery workers did not miss him, strange that they carried on their normal working duties between the death and the discovery of the body, some 40 hours later!

The brewers body was discovered when Mr Thompson, an engineer, wanted to use the brewery engine,

He tried to find the brewer but could not find him, the porter suggested that Mr Prime the brewer must be on leave

But he was told by the Steward that the brewer was not on leave, the brewery was searched

The body of Mr Prime was found.

Mr Primes body was found in vat three, the steward noticed what he thought was a sack floating in the vat,

When he lifted it he found it was a mans leg, after draining the 400 gallons of beer from the vat they found Mr Prime’s body,

Hs head was trapped under a coil and his leg trapped under another coil.
The medical officer examined Primes body and found no signs of fowl play, he concluded that the brewer had drowned

He must have been overcome by laughing gas fumes and simply fell into the vat.

Here's a bizarre case for you....

A Curious accident happened to a patient on the 25th July 1870 at 4pm,

As he was returning from work he was struck by lightening, His clothes were set on fire,

both legs were deeply burnt, all his hair was singed, and his shoe blown off his foot,

He survived the shock for two months.


                           This is a short story from the Bedfordshire Mercury dated 1887.

                                                                              Suicide of a LUNATIC....

On Friday Mr Whyley, County Coroner, held an inquest at the Three Counties Asylum, on the body of one of the inmates Mr Alfred Kendall, who had cut his throat the day before with a plane iron. The deceased,was a middle aged married man He was a carpenter by trade, When admitted he was reported "Suicidal"

On the 2nd inst he attempted to escape, and, when found out, he said he wanted to "see the Clergyman."

On Thursday morning, at 9.30, he was at work with two or three other patients in the work-shop with the head carpenter

 He was noticed to go across the yard to the closet.

A minute afterwards, the assistant went to the bench where he had been working and missed the iron from the plane.

Following the deceased, he found him lying in a pool of blood, his throat cut from ear to ear and almost to his spine.

He was quite un-conscious, and died in a few minuets. The jury returned a verdict of "suicide whilst of unsound mind".

                                          Here is a very odd case, make of what you will...

John Hackett was sent from Bedford Prison to the Three Counties Asylum on the 31st March 1891,

He was a 19 year old plumber who had sustained an injury to the head at birth, this had led him to be mischievous if  left unattended and not under strict supervision , because of this he had been in prison three times before, once for indecent assault.
He was sent to the asylum because he had committed an offence which only someone of an unsound mind could have considered doing. Assistant warder Arthur Abbot tells us that John Hackett was very childish , mentally weak and suffered from incapacity,

He is dirty and very indecent in his habits, exposes his person anywhere in public places.
His Crime? Attempting to commit an unnatural offence with a sheep!


 September 21st 1870

    An Escaped lunatic Killed On The Great Northern Railway


Last night about eleven o’clock the driver of an up goods train reported to the officials at Hitchin that there was something on the down line near Arlesey It had the appearance of human remains,

Mr Watkins, the clerk in charge, at once started on the pilot engine, and near the thirty-four and a half mile post from London found the remains

It was of  a man in a fearfully mutilated condition. From inquiries made in the neighbourhood it transpired that the deceased was a lunatic. He had made his escape from the Three Counties Asylum Arlesey.

The remains were taken at once to the Lamb Inn to await an inquest.

{the Lamb Inn was not only a pub, It doubled up as the local mortuary!}


Strange deaths And Bizarre Cases

Back To The Wards