BETHLAM

[George III assassination attempt by James Hadfield in 1800.] Autograph Poem Signed ('James Hadfield'), written in Bedlam by the assailant Hadfield, titled 'Epitaph of my poor Jack Squirrel'.

Author: 
James Hadfield (1772-1841), madman who attempted to assassinate George III in 1800 [Bethlem Hospital (Bedlam)]
Publication details: 
'Bethlem Hospital' (Bedlam). 'Died Sunday Morning | July, 23rd, 1826'. [Paper watermarked 1828.]
£500.00

Hadfield's insanity appears to have been the result of eight sabre wounds to the head sustained in 1794 at the Battle of Roubaix. On his return to England Hadfield fell under the sway of Bannister Truelock's millenarian cult, becoming convinced, as his entry in the Oxford DNB states, 'that his death at the hands of the state would effect the second coming' He conspired with Truelock to assassinate the king at Drury Lane Theatre on the evening of 15 May 1800.

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