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Colney Hatch Photographs/ Records/ etc.

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  • Colney Hatch Photographs/ Records/ etc.

    I had a visit to the LMA to look at some records there pertaining to Colney Hatch and Kozminski, and just thought I would post some stuff. Since these fall under a few categories, I will put them in different posts all in this thread. I could have made a separate threads, but.... decided to do it in one thread.

    See below...

  • #2
    First, I had never in fact seen Kozminski's Colney Hatch asylum records in person... I only had access to transcripts. So I saw all the records there, and I will post them here. This includes Aaron's Casebook entry which contains most of the relevant information. First, Here are the casebook entries.
    Attached Files


    • #3
      Here is the entry in the Colney Hatch Admission register:
      Attached Files


      • #4
        He is Aaron Kozminski's entry in the discharge register... (on microfilm)
        Attached Files


        • #5
          Thanks for posting this lot Rob...great to see the entries many of us have only heard about to date

          All the best



          • #6
            There was also a photo album showing patients admitted and discharged. The album had admissions on one side, then if you flip it over and start from the back, it was discharges on the other side.

            The photos seem to have started in 1893, and I got the impression that at first they may have been taken informally, or on an irregular basis. By 1894 it seems that the photos were taken more or less as a matter of procedure on admission and discharge. The dates listed next to the photos DO NOT correspond to the actual dates of admission or discharge apparently, but instead are the dates the photos were taken (presumably). Also, not all patients who were discharged had a photo taken, as I compared the ones listed on one page to the actual discharge register, and many more patients were discharged than actual had photos taken. Unfortunately, Aaron did not have his photo taken on discharge, and his admission date of 1891 was before they apparently started taking patient photographs.

            That said, it is likely in my opinion, that Aaron would have had his photo taken on admission to Leavesden asylum, although the LMA has no record of such a photo album existing for Leavesden.

            The following photos are mainly just a random selection to give a sense of what the album was like. There are a couple interesting examples (including a guy named James Bond). I have included an image of the page Aaron Kozminski should have been on in the discharge side of the book. You see dates from April 18 1894, which is the day prior to his release. And he is just not there.

            There are also a couple interesting photos included in the album somewhat randomly, including a group shot of patients, with their names written over it; a group shot of four rather miserable patients, and written next to it "To Leavesden, Oct. 28, 1895"; and finally, a photo of a patient up a tree, with a bunch of asylum attendants standing around... they have attached bedsheets to the tree with ropes in case the patient jumps.

            There was also a page showing "Criminals" and "Escapes." I found this a bit odd, as I was unaware that Colney Hatched housed criminals who were insane. But presumably, these were convicted of low level offenses, and were not dangerous enough to be in Broadmoor.

            The photo labelled H. Hyams... I thought this might have been Hyam Hymas, but I do not now think it is. It does not match the known image of Hyams, and it was under Admissions 1896 I believe.
            Attached Files


            • #7
              This is my last post. I was flipping through the Male Patients Casebook (that contained Kozminski's entry) and quite randomly came across this:

              A handwritten letter from Robert Anderson from the Convict Supervision Office, dated March 7 1891 (interestingly, this is exactly 1 month after Kozminski was admitted to Colney Hatch on Feb 7, 1891).

              The letter concerns a patient named George Hall:


              I have been informed that George Hall, who is subject to Police Supervision, has been admitted into the Colney Hatch Lunatic Asylum. I shall therefore feel obliged if you will cause me to be informed in the event of his discharge from your care.

              I am
              Your obedient servant
              R Anderson (signature)
              Assistant Commissioner"

              It is addressed "To the Medical Superintendant, Lunatic Asylum, Colney Hatch"

              This letter is, in my opinion, very interesting, as it confirms, if nothing else, that Robert Anderson was in direct correspondence with the Superintendant of Colney Hatch at the time Aaron Kozminski was a patient there. In my opinion—as I stated previously on several occasions—if the police informed the asylum that they believed Kozminski was the Ripper (which I assume they did), this would have been communicated to the head officers at the Asylum under strict orders of maintaining secrecy... hence there would not have been such a letter attached to Kozminski's file as there is here.

              So this (to my mind) supports such a conjecture, as it shows that Anderson was in touch with the Asylum only shortly after the time Kozminski was admitted there. And he surely would have been informed of Kozminski's release or transfer.

              Attached Files


              • #8
                Fascinating stuff, Rob!

                Re Hall, I believe Chris Scott transcribed the patients' census info about 10 years ago. Maybe he still has it.


                • #9

                  Hello Rob. Nice work. Thanks for sharing.



                  • #10
                    Thanks for sharing these, and for a great talk at York. I'm re-reading your book, which is extremely well written (not to mention researched!).
                    Managing Editor
                    Casebook Wiki


                    • #11
                      Thanks for the kudos Robert. It was nice meeting you at York, and I very much enjoyed your talk also.

                      Rob H