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18 June 2014
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Myths and Legends
William Chester Minor
© Reprinted by permission of the Secretary to the Delegates of Oxford University Press
Broadmoor’s word-finder

Opened in 1863, Broadmoor Criminal Lunatic Asylum, as it was then known, has been home to some of England's most notorious criminals. In 1872 it admitted one of its most famous patients ever: Dr William Chester Minor, an American surgeon. Suffering from delusions and paranoia, Minor was committed to Broadmoor after murdering a man in London, and remained under lock and key for 38 years, before being transferred to an asylum in America.

For around 20 years, Minor dedicated his life to collecting quotations for the first Oxford English Dictionary. His work led to a lasting friendship with one of the dictionary’s editors, Dr James Murray, however, the story of their first meeting has been shrouded in myth, until very recently, when new research exposed the tale as "an amusing and romantic fiction". More...

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