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Ann Druitt's (Montague's mother) Medical Condition in 1890

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  • Ann Druitt's (Montague's mother) Medical Condition in 1890

    Hi all -
    I originally posted this in the General suspects area under Manor House but on another members advice, I'm reposting this here where more Druitt enthusiasts might see it.

    This letter is from her physician in Brighton to her new caregiver Dr. Thomas Tuke of the Manor House in Chiswick. In the below letter to Tuke, her doctor lays out his knowledge of her past medical history up until 1890, the year she enters Manor House Asylum:


    127 Eastern Rd
    Brighton
    June 6th, 1890

    Dear Mr. Tuke,
    I gladly accede to Mr. Druitt’s wish that I should give you a short account of her case, so far as I know it.
    She was brought down to Brighton on leave of absence from Brooke House in the summer of ’88, and placed under my care. I never had any history of her case from the asylum authorities, but I gathered she had an attack of melancholia with stupor, from which she was slowly emerging.
    I was told she had diabetes, and that Dr. Pavy had ordered her a special diet; but the urine, frequently examined since, has never shown more than slight signs of sugar and occasional traces of albumen.
    She slowly improved, and the leave was prolonged from time to time until it was inadvertently allowed to run out in the beginning of ’89. It was then impossible to recertify her, her condition being one mainly of apathy with an unreasonable refusal to spend money; but these symptoms increased, so that she was placed under certificates in April of last year.
    She continued more or less in the same state till this winter when she had, as I believe, an attack of influenza. Her mind was quite clear for some days during the attack; but the symptoms of melancholia and stupor became much worse after. Especially her refusal of food became more obstinate, and for the last two months she has been almost entirely fed with the stomach-tube.
    She has always been very obstinate and latterly has been violent when thwarted. When in this condition, bromides have appeared to suit her; otherwise she seemed to gain most from occasional use of Indian hemp for a week or two. The bowels have been regulated by Jalapine glycerin enemata.
    Last year when she was communicative, she evidently had hallucinations that she was being electrified; latterly it has been difficult to elicit anything, but her refusal of food has been justified by her alleging there is no esophageal passage.

    If there is any other point which you wish me to tell you, I shall be happy to write again, and am,
    Yours faithfully,


    What I find interesting in this report is that her melancholia started in the Summer of 1888 before the killings. So was Montague in his suicide note saying he didn't want end up depressed?
    Last edited by SuspectZero; 12-13-2015, 03:02 PM.

  • #2
    Thanks for that, Suspect. From reading it, William's statement at the inquest that their mother became insane in July 1888 seems to be a case of jumping the gun, though I suppose William wasn't a medical man.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Robert View Post
      Thanks for that, Suspect. From reading it, William's statement at the inquest that their mother became insane in July 1888 seems to be a case of jumping the gun, though I suppose William wasn't a medical man.
      Hi Robert,
      Insane is a matter of definition. Back in 1888, all manner of illness seemed to earn the title of Insane. In this case you can clearly see from the doctors notes that she had a mental illness but a "refusal to spend money" would not be my definition of "insane". I believe what I've posted is the first time this has been listed on the boards here. It makes me question the 'I'm going to be like mother' statement apparently used as an excuse for Montague to kill himself and what would be the motive for saying this, given the woman's real medical condition?
      Last edited by SuspectZero; 12-13-2015, 04:20 PM.

      Comment


      • #4
        I also find it very odd that in Tuke's Druitt family history notes for Ann, there is no mention of Montague's suicide, even though he mentions other family members mental illness. Yet it happened within 2 years after Ann is being checked in and the inquest was in the same town as the Manor House! Odd and a little suspicious to me.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by SuspectZero View Post
          .... It makes me question the 'I'm going to be like mother' statement apparently used as an excuse for Montague to kill himself and what would be the motive for saying this, given the woman's real medical condition?
          For what it's worth, my understanding is that suicide being viewed as a criminal act at the time would reflect poorly on the Druitt name, the family & the legal practice pursued by William.
          It might be justification for William to announce the 'find' of this suicide note to avoid the branding of MJD as a criminal.
          Regards, Jon S.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Wickerman View Post
            For what it's worth, my understanding is that suicide being viewed as a criminal act at the time would reflect poorly on the Druitt name, the family & the legal practice pursued by William.
            It might be justification for William to announce the 'find' of this suicide note to avoid the branding of MJD as a criminal.
            Hi Jon,
            Do you not find it odd that the private medical record for Ann does not reflect Montague's aberration?

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by SuspectZero View Post
              Hi Jon,
              Do you not find it odd that the private medical record for Ann does not reflect Montague's aberration?
              I'm not sure, not being a doctor myself I can only assume Dr Tuke's concern is for his patient, and only Ann Druitt is his patient.

              Dr. Tuke will therefore have an interest in the mental state of Ann's parents, and the mental state of Ann's siblings. As their mental condition may have a bearing on how susceptible Ann is for any particular mental disease.

              The mental condition of Ann's children have no bearing on his patient's susceptibility.

              That said, did Dr. Tuke mention the mental state of any other member of the Harvey or Druitt families?
              Regards, Jon S.

              Comment


              • #8
                To Suspect Zero

                I agree. The medical notes on Ann Druitt do not reflect either "insanity" at the time of her second son's suicide, nor that her symptoms were so hideous that they would cause the same son to panic and kill himself prior to any diagnosis, let alone prior to treatment.

                At the inquest, William Druitt was arguably exaggerating his mother's illness to procure a quick and tidy verdict of self-murder, e.g. due to a history of mental instability.

                The summary of the note -- whomever wrote it -- meant that Montague feared going into an asylum like his mother (which I think was true).

                Behind all these machinations Montague John Druitt killed himself because he was "in all probability" the Ripper, a belief adopted posthumously about him by members of his family and, a few years later, also by a police chief and a famous writer -- a pair of pals who had their own personal bias/reasons for not agreeing and yet did:

                http://www.amazon.co.uk/Jack-Ripper-...=UTF8&qid=&sr=

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by SuspectZero View Post
                  Hi Jon,
                  Do you not find it odd that the private medical record for Ann does not reflect Montague's aberration?
                  In short no.

                  I'd find it strange if anyone's medical notes referred to someone else's condition bless the two were directly related, ie if Ann had. Turn for the worse after being told of lung Montie's death.
                  G U T

                  There are two ways to be fooled, one is to believe what isn't true, the other is to refuse to believe that which is true.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by SuspectZero View Post
                    I also find it very odd that in Tuke's Druitt family history notes for Ann, there is no mention of Montague's suicide, even though he mentions other family members mental illness. Yet it happened within 2 years after Ann is being checked in and the inquest was in the same town as the Manor House! Odd and a little suspicious to me.
                    Only if Ann had been told of it. And if he depression was bad enough she may not have been told.
                    G U T

                    There are two ways to be fooled, one is to believe what isn't true, the other is to refuse to believe that which is true.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Wickerman View Post
                      I'm not sure, not being a doctor myself I can only assume Dr Tuke's concern is for his patient, and only Ann Druitt is his patient.

                      Dr. Tuke will therefore have an interest in the mental state of Ann's parents, and the mental state of Ann's siblings. As their mental condition may have a bearing on how susceptible Ann is for any particular mental disease.

                      The mental condition of Ann's children have no bearing on his patient's susceptibility.

                      That said, did Dr. Tuke mention the mental state of any other member of the Harvey or Druitt families?
                      Hi Jon,
                      Yes he did. In many of his patients notes he lists the relatives who may have had a mental problem. In Ann's case he listed 2. One was her sister and the other was another female relative whose family relationship escapes me at the moment. I will need to look it up tomorrow.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by SuspectZero View Post
                        Hi all -

                        This letter is from her physician in Brighton to her new caregiver Dr. Thomas Tuke of the Manor House in Chiswick. In the below letter to Tuke, her doctor lays out his knowledge of her past medical history up until 1890, the year she enters Manor House Asylum:


                        127 Eastern Rd
                        Brighton
                        June 6th, 1890

                        Dear Mr. Tuke,
                        I gladly accede to Mr. Druitt’s wish that I should give you a short account of her case, so far as I know it.
                        She was brought down to Brighton on leave of absence from Brooke House in the summer of ’88, and placed under my care. I never had any history of her case from the asylum authorities, but I gathered she had an attack of melancholia with stupor, from which she was slowly emerging.
                        I was told she had diabetes, and that Dr. Pavy had ordered her a special diet; but the urine, frequently examined since, has never shown more than slight signs of sugar and occasional traces of albumen.


                        What I find interesting in this report is that her melancholia started in the Summer of 1888 before the killings. So was Montague in his suicide note saying he didn't want end up depressed?
                        Good evening SZero,

                        This would have been a letter from Dr. Joseph Raymond Gasquet. Notice he wrote "I never had any history of her case from the asylum authorities," that being Brooke House, where she was from July 5 until September 1888, when she was transferred on leave to St George's Retreat, Burgess Hill, a private licensed house near Brighton, where he lived and kept an office. Gasquet was the consulting medical officer at St George's although not the licensee, who would have been the mother superior.

                        So he, Gasquet actually has no written record of her case previously. In summer 1888. Only what he "gathered."

                        Yet a quick check of JtR A-Z shows she "suffered depression and paranoid delusions (that she was being electrocuted) following the death of her husband in 1885. Attempted suicide in 1888, and in July was sent to Brooke Asylum Clapton, where she was attended by Dr. Williamn Pavy and certified insane."

                        So yes, Robert, William Harvey Druitt spoke the truth at Montague's inquest when he said "His mother became insane July last."

                        In any case, thank you for posting this, Zero. Seems like I heard that David Andersen has transcribed all of the Tuke's records in his new Druitt book, but I haven't read it so I can't say. Or maybe what you posted came from his book already.

                        Roy
                        Last edited by Roy Corduroy; 12-13-2015, 08:05 PM.
                        Sink the Bismark

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by SuspectZero View Post
                          Hi Jon,
                          Yes he did. In many of his patients notes he lists the relatives who may have had a mental problem. In Ann's case he listed 2. One was her sister and the other was another female relative whose family relationship escapes me at the moment. I will need to look it up tomorrow.
                          Right, so our doctor appears to be following procedure.

                          Interesting find, thankyou.
                          Regards, Jon S.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Ann Druitt's mother committed suicide while insane (might she also have had diabetes) her sister attempted it and spent time in an asylum. Monty's sister killed herself in old age of course, I believe by jumping from an attic window.

                            Ann's death certificate states 'melancholia' and 'brain disease, 21 months'. She died in November 1890, didn't she, six months after arriving at Manor House Asylum?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Roy Corduroy View Post
                              Good evening SZero,

                              This would have been a letter from Dr. Joseph Raymond Gasquet. Notice he wrote "I never had any history of her case from the asylum authorities," that being Brooke House, where she was from July 5 until September 1888, when she was transferred on leave to St George's Retreat, Burgess Hill, a private licensed house near Brighton, where he lived and kept an office. Gasquet was the consulting medical officer at St George's although not the licensee, who would have been the mother superior.

                              So he, Gasquet actually has no written record of her case previously. In summer 1888. Only what he "gathered."

                              Yet a quick check of JtR A-Z shows she "suffered depression and paranoid delusions (that she was being electrocuted) following the death of her husband in 1885. Attempted suicide in 1888, and in July was sent to Brooke Asylum Clapton, where she was attended by Dr. Williamn Pavy and certified insane."

                              So yes, Robert, William Harvey Druitt spoke the truth at Montague's inquest when he said "His mother became insane July last."

                              In any case, thank you for posting this, Zero. Seems like I heard that David Andersen has transcribed all of the Tuke's records in his new Druitt book, but I haven't read it so I can't say. Or maybe what you posted came from his book already.

                              Roy
                              Hi Roy,
                              No I have not seen David's book. I took this directly from Tuke's patient records. Thanks for the name of the Brighton doctor as I could not make out his signature.

                              Comment

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