Wednesday, 11 July 2012

11th July 1812: The Leeds Mercury carries a report about Joseph Barrowclough

On Saturday 11th July 1812, the Leeds Mercury carried a report about the confession of Joseph Barrowclough. Although the details were clearly wrong, they correctly reported on the mental health problems that were by now obvious to those who had seized and questioned him:
A person of the name of Barrowclough, of Holmfirth, a Corporal in the Upper Agbrig Local Militia, has been apprehended, charged on his own confession, with having been concerned in the murder of Mr. Horsfall, and with having assisted in the attack on the Shearing Mill of Mr. Cartwright, at Rawfolds; but it appears, on investigation, that Barrowclough was at York with the regiment at the time the murder took place.—This singular infatuation of accusing himself of crimes of which he is not, and could not be guilty, is attributed to a mental infirmity under which he is said to labour when he has "put an enemy in his mouth to steal away his brains."

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