Henry Onequi, Broadmoor patient and dastardly villain

My book on Victorian Broadmoor will feature the life stories of many individual patients, some well-known, others less so. But there are some patients that I just can’t squeeze into my book, so I will give you their stories here instead.

This week I present to you Broadmoor patient and dastardly moustache-twirling villain Mr Henry Musgrave Onequi. Continue reading

Mediums, mesmerism and the magic circle

Senate House Library has just completed a project to catalogue the papers of Eric Dingwall.  This remarkable gentleman, who died in 1986, was an eccentric polymath.  He debunked mediums, investigated psychic phenomena and was an honorary Vice-President of the Magic Circle.  Sort of an intellectual Derren Brown, but without a TV show. In fact, I’m not sure Dingwall would have liked Derren Brown, as he was a confirmed sceptic and rationalist.  He poured scorn on those who tried to promote mystical, magical and occult beliefs while supposedly investigating them.  Dingwall also conducted academic studies of sexuality, collected erotic literature and was the Honorary Curator of the British Museum Library’s infamous ‘locked case.’

Senate House library has another fascinating blog post about him here.

I’m sure his archive is an incredible treasure trove just waiting to be researched!

Bedlam’s dead uncovered…

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As the epic Crossrail tunnelling machines were burrowing their way across London last week they uncovered a mass grave.  More than 4,000 skeletons have been discovered, coming from a plague pit and Bedlam’s (Bethlem Lunatic Asylum) graveyard.  London’s archaeologists are … Continue reading