Laurence Shirley, Earl Ferrers, in his Coffin at Surgeons Hall
© Museum of London
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Laurence, Earl Ferrers succeeded to his title on the death of his uncle. His uncle had been confined as a lunatic, and Ferrers suffered from periods when he became disturbed and paranoid. His wife separated from him on grounds of cruelty and Ferrers shot his steward dead after becoming suspicious of him. On trial for murder, Ferrers tried to avoid the death sentence by claiming that he was insane at the time of the shooting. Dr. John Monro, who worked at Bethlem Hospital for mentally ill patients, gave evidence in his favour. However, Ferrers was found guilty of murder and hanged at Tyburn. His remains were dissected by anatomists before burial.
1760 AD - 1770 AD