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substituted for epileptics. But if Dr. Radcliffe benefits all his patients, and cures many of them, by a totally different plan, what can we say except that the general system is wrong, for seldom, indeed, does it result in a cure, or even in what may truly be called permanent benefit.

Let us however hope for better things soon. Dr. Andrew Smith is about to be removed from his office, and the enlightened views of Lord Panmure will, when the crisis of more important matters is past, find, I trust, a remedy for Dr. Smith's mismanagement of the Insanity Department of the army. Yours truly, C. L. ROBERTSON, M.D.

If we are unable to agree with the views of Dr. Radcliffe, we must nevertheless thank him for having To the Editor of the Asylum Journal. relieved the dull monotony of despair in seeking for the true philosophy and treatment of this hideous disHis book although it is so much opposed to all received opinions on the subjects of which it treats is both ingenious and interesting.


The Want of a Military Lunatic Asylum, [In answer to our enquires, Dr. Lockhart Robertson has favored us with the following Letter, on the subject of the first Article in our last number. The former position of the writer as Medical Officer of the Military Lunatic Asylum, which once did exist at Yarmouth, adds the weight of experience to his able judgment. ED.]

1, Charles Street, Berkeley Square,
April 27, 1855.

Dear Sir,
I write one line to say how fully I
concur in the sentiments expressed in your Article on
the Military Lunatic Asylum. The case is however
stronger than you have stated it.

Physiological Effects of Haschish.-M. Berthault has written an essay on this subject. He describes from his personal experience, the effects of this singular agent to be distinguishable into three periods, that of excitation, characterised by great intellectual activity, exaggerated ideas and sensations, and acceleration of the pulse to 120 and even to 140; then the period of dissociation of ideas, with the desire of quietude and repose, accompanied by hallucinations and delirium, the pulse being normal; lastly, the period of reaction with an invincible desire to sleep; after some hours of sleep the patient awakes, refreshed and as well as ever. He thinks that the mischievous effects of Haschish are owing to adulteration with Stramonium or Belladonna, which is frequently practised in India. The principal contraindications of its use are an extremely nervous temperament, and diseases of the heart. He thinks that the properties of Haschish are far from being completely known, and that it is Shortly after the publication of the first Report of destined to take a high rank among the therapeutic the present Commission in Lunacy, Parliament ac-agents in common use.―( An. Med. Psych. Jan. 1855.) tually voted £60,000 for the erection of an asylum for the insane soldiers (officers and privates). The then Chancellor of the Exchequer took upon himself, after a site had been purchased near Maidstone and the foundations partly dug, to rescind this vote, and to apply a small sum to fitting up the barracks at Yarmouth, for the reception of the insane patients of the army, and by way of having it conducted on modern principles, Sir James M'Grigor offered me the resident physicianship, and I must say, during the five years I held office, every effort was made by the Secretary at War to place the establishment on the best possible footing. Sir J. M'Grigor, however, retired from the Medical Department, and Dr. Andrew Smith (of sad notoriety) first removed both the medical officers who had conducted this new establishment to the satisfaction of all its official visitors, and replaced them by men who had never seen an insane patient before. He next acquiesced in its entire closure, and reverted to the exploded system of farming out the military lunatics.

Has ignorant routine, one may well ask, the right thus to nullify the vote and intentions of Parliament?

Further, it will hardly be credited that the Yarmouth Hospital has now for a whole year, at least, been fitted up for the wounded from the East; that two medical officers have been residing there; but that no patients have ever been admitted!

I should like to see a return of moneys expended in fitting up first the barracks at Hythe for temporary use of the insane patients of the army; then in adopting the Yarmouth barracks for permanent use; then for altering again the Yarmouth barracks for the purposes of the war,

Chemical Composition of the Substance of the Brain, by DR. SCHLOSSBEYER. (Annalen von Liebig und Wöhler. Band, 90. 3, p., 381.)

The ash of the grey substance of the convolutions has an alkaline reaction, that of the white substance of the commissures is acid, in man and in the higher animals. The mineral constituents also are very different in both. The reaction is very different among different animals, and also among different classes, as to age of the same species. The grey substance burns completely in oxygen gas to a whiteish grey ash, the white substance less completely, probably on account of the residual phosphorous compounds. A very important result is, moreover, made conspicuous, as was already mentioned in the former investigations conducted by Bibra, that among aged people the material in the brain is diminished, which is usually soluble, and the watery parts are increased, and this change proceeds as the years increase. The chemical constitution of the brain of old men gradually returns to a condition resembling that of children.

The Queen v. Rundle, (see Asylum Journal, p. 191.) The point of law reserved in this case was decided by the Court of Criminal Appeal on the 28th ult., to the effect that a husband ill-treating an insane wife was not within the meaning of "any person having the care and charge of any single patient" (16 & 17 Vic. c. 96, s. 97. Such a party should be prosecuted under the common law.



NOTICE. Those MEMBERS of the ASSOCIATION who have not paid their Subscription for the present year, ending the 24th of June next, are requested to forward the same to me without delay.

Subscriptions have been received from the following Members :

BEGLEY, DR., County Asylum, Hanwell.
BOYD, DR., County Asylum, Somerset.

BRUSHFIELD, N. F., Esq., County Asylum, Chester.
BUCKNILL, DR., County Asylum, Devon.
CAMPBELL, DR., County Asylum, Essex.
CHAPMAN, DR., County Asylum, Wiltshire.
DAVEY, DR., Northwoods, Bristol.

HILL, R. G., Esq., Eastgate House, Lincoln.
HITCHMAN, DR., County Asylum, Derby.
HOOD, DR., Bethlem.

JONES, G. T., Esq., County Asylum, Denbigh.
KIRKMAN, DR., County Asylum, Suffolk.
KIRKMAN, W., Esq., County Asylum, Devon.
KITCHING, J., Esq., The Retreat, York.

LEY, W., Esq.. County Asylum, Oxford and Berks.
MARSHALL, G. W., Esq., County Asylum, Colney

NESBIT, DR., Hospital for the Insane, Northampton.

NIVEN, DR., County Asylum, Essex.

OLIVER, DR., County Asylum, Shropshire.
PALMER, DR., County Asylum, Lincolnshire.

PARSEY, DR., County Asylnm, Warwickshire.

SHAPTER, DR., Exeter.

STEWART, DR., District Asylum, Belfast.

SANKEY, DR., County Asylum, Oxford and Berks.
SHERLOCK, Dr., County Asylum, Worcester.

STEPHENS, R., Esq., St. Luke's.

THURNAM, DR., County Asylum, Wilts.

TUKE, Dr., The Retreat, York.

WALSH, F. D., Esq., Lunatic Hospital, Lincoln.
WILKES, J., Esq., County Asylum, Staffordshire.
WILLIAMS, DR., County Asylum, Gloucester.

THE ANNUAL Meeting of the ASSOCIATION.-It has been proposed that this meeting shall be held on Thursday, the 19th day of July next. Members of the Association are requested to inform me whether any other day will be more generally convenient. When the day has been finally fixed so as to suit the convenience of the greatest number of Members, Circulars calling the Meeting will be issued.

Gloucester, May 12th, 1855.


New Invented and Improved Raising Lever Wrought Iron Bedstead. This excellent invention is admirably suited for Invalids, Bed-ridden Persons, and Persons confined to their Beds from Wounds, Loss of Limbs, and other Accidents. It enables the Attendant to change or alter the Bedding, and to perform all other necessary offices, without removing or disturbing the Patient in the slightest degree.

The New Invented Improved Raising Lever Bedsteads are convenient for carriage, as the head and foot Legs fold up quite close to the Iron Frame, and when required for use they can be opened in two minutes, without the use of any Instrument or Tool whatever.


6 ft. 3 in. long, by 2 ft. 5 in. wide, at 43s. each. 6 ft. 6 in. long, by 2 ft. 8 in. wide, 43s.
6 ft. 6 in. long, by 3 ft. wide, 52s.

Good suitable Millpuff Mattrasses for the Under Frame may be supplied at 18s. each.
Also Thin Quilted Mattrasses with hole and cover to lay on the Sacking of the Upper Frame as described, 8s.
And Canvas Covers to lay on Iron Laths under Mattrass at 2s. each.


FRANCIS A. BARNETT, Nelson Street Iron Works, Bristol.

Manufacturer to the Army and Ordnance Medical Department of Her Majesty's Honorable Board of Ordnance.


CHARLES ROOPE & SON, 144 SLOANE STREET, LONDON, Have always on hand a great variety of Material, specially adapted for the above purposes; and invite the attention of the Medical Superintendents and Governors of Asylums thereto. Tenders given from a single ite:n to the furnishing of an Establishment throughout.

Reference kindly permitted to the Hanwell and Colney Hatch Asylums, Which they have supplied since their foundation. Private Asylums treated with on favourable terms.

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general questions of the nature of illusions and de

The Trial and Conviction of Luigi Buranelli for lusions, and the value of these and other phenomena

Murder. Plea of Insanity.

as marks of cerebro-mental disease. The fact that the man respecting whom these questions arose has been executed, does not diminish the necessity of ascertaining their true answer. He, it is true, is no longer stretched upon the rack of this rough world, but the very feeling that if his presumed responsibility was a mistake, and his death a judicial blunder, it is now irrevocable; adds weight to the importance of an enquiry, having for its object a more clear comprehension of the grounds upon which future cases must be decided.

The execution of this unhappy man for the murder of Joseph Latham has strongly excited the attention of the medical profession, and has been the cause of much animated discussion in the medical journals. The conviction was obtained in opposition to the evidence of at least one medical witness, the value of whose opinion as a mental pathologist is second to that of no man in this or in any other age or country; and the extreme penality of the law was finally inflicted, notwithstanding the strenuous exertions of several medical men, who were highly com- While medical men are ever striving to fathom the petent, either from personal knowledge of the con- mysterious depths of psychological speculation, the vict, or from their high standing in the profession more practical men of the law are deciding and as mental pathologists, to form a trustworthy judg-disposing of their actual cases, and going on to new ment upon the soundness or unsoundness of the pri- ones; disposing of them too often in a manner which soner's mind. The action of the executive was indeed supported by the opinion of two physicians of reputation, so that it may possibly have been held that the evidence of the skilled witnesses on each side neutralized each other, and thus left the guilt of the accused to be decided upon principles of common sense, unaided by any rays of light shed from the lamp of science.

This trial has presented the painful and humiliating spectacle of mental pathologists differing entirely in their judgment, not only upon the particular question of sanity or insanity of the accused, but also upon the

admits of no reconsideration, which, adding precedent to precedent, adds nothing to wisdom, and leaves each new case to be decided on the shallow experience which precedents without broad and true principles are alone capable of supplying.

The result of Buranelli's trial has illustrated the existence of a wide chasm between the opinions of medical men and the existing state of the law. It has been assumed, not only at the trial itself, but still more explicitly in the able articles which have appeared upon it in the Lancet, and in the letters of Mr. Henry,

exists. Such opinions, if they are sound and just, are at least in advance of legislation, and are therefore out of place in the deliberations of a court of justice.

We trust, that the thorough discussion which the case of Buranelli has been the occasion of, may result in a nearer approximation of the criminal law, as it relates to the partially insane, to the most enlightened doctrines of mental pathology. No truly humane person can fail deeply to regret the execution of any one whose mental faculties have been in the slightest degree warped by disease, however unconnected the motive of the crime may have been from the mental aberration. Nor on the other hand can any sensible man refuse to admit the danger of granting complete immunity from punishment to all offenders, whom the fine-drawn distinctions of modern science are able to recognize, as presenting instances of aberration however slight from the standard of cerebral health displayed in the integrity of the intellectual and moral functions. The only practical solution of the difficulty appears to be in the judicious employment of secondary punishments; a course which has for many years been adopted in Ireland, the Lord Lieutenant having in many instances upon the recommendation of the Inspectors of lunatic asylums, commuted the sentence of death to that of transportation. An institution like that recommended many years ago by Dr. Forbes Winslow, "between a prison and an asylum," would undoubtedly afford a much more appropriate means of disciplinal correction, than the ordinary convict establishments; and the establishment of some such institution we confidently predict, since it appears to be a necessity of the age, arising not less from increased knowledge of the nature of modified crime and of partial insanity, than from increased pity for the unhappy beings who commit the one under the influence of the other.

that it is sufficient to prove that a man is insane in | the real question at issue is whether a particular instance order to purge him of guilt in the eyes of the law; falls within or without the limits of the law as it actually that insanity, without reference to its degree or kind, implies legal irresponsibility. This however is an assumption utterly without foundation. Whatever opinion may be held by metaphysicians respecting the intimate nature of the bond which unites insanity and irresponsibility, the law of England is positive in its requirement of a certain amount and kind of insanity to exonerate a criminal from the consequences of his act. From the time of Coke to the present time the English judges have been unanimous in requiring, that to exempt from punishment, proof must be given of the existence of insanity from which irresponsibility can be reasonably inferred, either from its destroying the power of distinguishing between right and wrong, or from its having been accompanied by delusion; which resulted in the overt act; or in some other manner. Sir Matthew Hale explained that the reason the plea of insanity needed this limitation was, because a great number of real criminals might be said to be in some sort insane, and that partial insanity of this indistinct kind was never intended by the English law to serve as an excuse for crime. The law of England in regard to the plea of insanity is the same at the present day as it was in the time of Elizabeth and Charles II., inasmuch as it does not recognize any slight deviation from mental health to be a valid excuse for crime, but that it requires proof of the existence of disease which has assumed a definite character. Mental physicians on the contrary have assumed, that any degree or kind of insanity is sufficient to exonerate from the punishment due to crime. They have fallen into the common logical error of shifting the premises a dicto secundum quid, ad dictum simpliciter. The irresponsibility which is predicated by the law of England of insanity secundum quid, medical men have assumed to be predicated of all kinds and degrees of insanity whatsoever, which is an obvious fallacy. The law exempts the decided idiot from punishment as completely as the decided lunatic; but if we apply to the former the reasoning which medical men assume to hold good in its relation to the latter, the absurdity of the proposition will at once appear; thus: Some persons of weak intellect are incapable of crime and exempt from punishment; A B is not quite so sharp as he should be; therefore he is incapable of crime and exempt from punishment. A conclusion which would prostrate society under the donkey hoofs of vicious and brutal stupidity. This fallacy is one from which those who use it cannot escape by asserting, or even proving, that any kind or degree of insanity ought to exempt from capital punishment. For the question is not as to the justice of this opinion (one in which we entirely agree), the question is not as to what ought to be the law of England, but as to what is the law. We entertain a strong conviction that the law needs modification and relaxation to admit the influence of real extenuating circumstances, of whatsoever kind; an opinion which we doubt not prevails widely among those who have reflected upon this subject. [See an excellent Paper on Crime and its Excuses, by the Rev. W. Thompson; Oxford Essays, 1855.] But opinions of this kind are out of place when

The story of Luigi Buranelli may be told in few words, for the facts of the case were simple and undisputed. He was an Italian, and had formerly been in the service of the Abbé Stewart. His master was assasinated while bathing, and after this event Buranelli came to London, in the hope of recieving from the executors, a sum of money which his master had promised him as a legacy, but which the untimely death of the latter had not allowed him to bequeath. He entered the service of a Mr. Crawford, and won the good opinion of all who knew him, by his amiable temper and cheerful manners. In 1850, his first wife, an Italian, died; on which occasion his master, Mr. Crawford, stated, that his grief was most exaggerated. He was inconsolable, was continually weeping, said his sufferings were greater than he could bear, and that he thought he must destroy himself. In 1851, he married again. His second wife was a native of Penshurst in Kent, at which place he worked as a tailor. He was a very sober, quiet, inoffensive person. In 1854, his second wife died in childbed; and after this he exhibited great depression and melancholy. He used to say "Poor Louis, poor Louis, many troubles, many troubles," often said he should throw himself into the river. He would not be left alone, and a little boy was em

ployed to be with him. He asked a woman named Simmons, to buy laudanum for him. At this time he came under the notice of Dr. Baller, who treated him for congestion of the liver, and operated upon him for a small fistula in ano. After the operation he was violent and unmanageable, and tore the bandages away. Dr. Baller thought him suffering from melancholia. "He had many extraordinary delusions on the subject of his malady, and from all the facts which were within Dr. Baller's knowledge, the latter came to the conclusion that his mind was affected." He left Penshurst in the summer of 1854, and came to London, where he entered the Middlesex Hospital, to be treated for the remains of the fistula, upon which Dr. Baller had operated. What remained of this fistula was of a very trifling character, and Mr. Henry, the assistant surgeon, told him so; but found that he had extraordinary opinions respecting it, especially that it was connected with the bladder, and that his bed was flooded with urine which ran from it. Mr. Henry endeavoured to convince him that these opinions were erroneous, and passed a catheter for that purpose; "but what he said had no more effect on the patient than if he had spoken to a stone wall. He was decidedly of opinion that the prisoner's mind was not in a sound state." When in the Hospital, he was in a very low and desponding state, and would frequently cry for hours together. When he left the Hospital, last autumn, he went to live with the man who went by the name of Lambert, but whose real name was Latham, whose life he subsequently took. At this time he cohabited with a fellow lodger, named Jane Williamson. This person thought him a man of great imagination, but did not think him insane. He went to theatres with her, and he read operas very much. She thought herself in the family way by him, and spoke of it to Latham, saying, she wished him to leave the house. Latham made him leave on the 28th of December last. He wrote to Williamson, entreating interviews, which she refused. The landlady of the house in which he lodged, after leaving Latham's house, stated that for two or three days before the murder was committed, he was in a very excited state, and she heard him on one occasion, talking very loud, and she thought some one was with him; but upon going to his room, she found no one was there but the prisoner, who was walking about and gesticulating with violence, as though he had been addressing some one. On the 7th of January, having previously bought pistols, under the pretence they were for a friend going to Australia, he made his way to Latham's bedroom, and shot him dead, he also wounded the woman who lived with Latham as his wife, but not fatally, he then rushed up stairs to the bedroom door of Jane Williamson, which was fortunately fastened, said Latham was dead, and that he was an assassin; went into an adjoining room, reloaded a pistol and shot himself, but the ball did not take a fatal direction, and lodged in the posterior nares. He lay on the floor when the police serjeant came, crying, "I shall die, I am a murderer, I am an assassin." On being removed to the Middlesex Hospital, he there made a clear statement of the manner in which he had committed his crime, to the police serjeant and the inspector: he said, moreover, that Latham had threatened to strike

him; that when he did not get answers to his letters to Jane Williamson, he became desperate, and bought pistols for the purpose of shooting the whole of them. He was removed from the Middlesex Hospital to Newgate Goal. While in the latter place, he was under the frequent observation of Mr. Macmurdo, the surgeon to the gaol, who never saw anything in his conduct to justify him in coming to the conclusion that he was of unsound mind. He thought him suffering from hypochondriasis, which would account for the opinions he entertained respecting the fistula. The prisoner complained of having passed blood from the rectum which Mr. Macmurdo attributed to internal hæmorrhoids, but did not ascer tain by examination whether such were the case or no. Dr. Mayo had had an interview with the prisoner of an hour and half in duration, on the day preceding the trial. His opinion coincided with that of Mr. Macmurdo. He had examined the prisoner at the desire of the goverment. Dr. Sutherland had also had his attention called to the case by the government. He had conversed with the prisoner for an hour and a half on different subjects, and he did not observe any symptom of aberration of mind. He had heard the evidence relating to the delusions of the prisoner on the subject of his malady, and he was of opinion that they were merely illusions, the result of hypochondriasis, and not delusions that were the result of insanity. Dr. Conolly had heard all the evidence, and the result he he had arrived at from all the facts was, that the mind of the prisoner was in an unsound state. The jury brought in a verdict of guilty; sentence of death was passed; and, notwithstanding a petition to government, praying for commutation, and signed by Dr. Conolly, Dr. Forbes Winslow, Dr. Bailey, and other medical men, this sentence was carried into execution.

Taking for granted the truth of all the above facts given in evidence (of which indeed there is no reason to doubt), it is evident, that the question of the sanity or insanity of this unhappy man at the period of the commission of the crime, was one of considerable difficulty.

On the side of the prisoner's insanity, the facts of greatest importance were, the change of habits and of feelings which took place after the death of his second wife, the mental depression and disposition to suicide, the absurd opinion respecting the nature of a trivial disorder, and the unreasonable and excitable behaviour which led him to tear off surgical bandages—after his admission into the Middlesex Hospital, the continuance of depression of spirits, and of the absurd opinion respecting the fistula; (which was then absolutely healed,) that it was connected with the bladder, and that his bed was swimming with water which ran from it: and finally, the violent gesticulations, and loud and excited talking, which, according to Mrs. Gurney, existed two or three days before the murder.

A great change of disposition following the death of a beloved wife, displaying itself by deep mental depression, with tendency to suicide, and accompanied by a delusion, present a train of circumstances for which it is extremely difficult to account, except upon the supposition of insanity. Upon the violent excitement of manner and language immediately preceding the murder, little stress ought to be laid because it is


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