Victorian London - Crime - Violence, murders and assaults - Murder in Lambeth (George Merritt)

The Times, Monday, Feb 19, 1872


Early on Saturday morning an atrocious murder was committed in Belvedere-road, Lambeth, near Hungerford-bridge, George Merritt, a stoker, employed at the Lion Brewery, in the Belvedere-road, was proceeding to his work when he was a shot by a man named William Chester Minor, described as an American physician. It is stated that just before Merritt came to the gates he was stopped by Minor, who presented a pistol at him and at once fired it. He managed to turn his head from the assassin and the shot missed him. He then ran and called for assistance, when a second shot was fired after him, which also missed. While still running a third shot was fired after him which struck him in the neck. The assassin then came up to him, and attacking him with a knife, stabbed him several times. The reports of the pistol attracted the attention of the police, who hastened to the spot, whence the reports proceeded. They found Merritt lying dead, removed the body to St. Thomas's Hospital, and took into custody the murderer, who is a tall, well-dressed, military-looking man.

The Times, Tuesday, Feb 27, 1872

Mr. Frederick Williamson, superintendent of Detective Police, said, - I first knew the prisoner on the 27th of December last, when he came to me at Scotland-yard, and told me he was staying at Vidler's Hotel, Holborn, and that he had just come from America. He said he left there to avoid persecution by the Irish and he appeared to me to be under a delusion. Between that and the 31st of January last he called on me several times. One of his statements was that when he awoke in the morning he had burning sensations in the stomach, which he believed was caused by some person who was invisible to him coming into his room in the night time and putting some kind of poison in his mouth. . . . He had never considered him to be dangerous, but he thought he was subject to delirium.

Times, Feb, 1872