George Henry Lamson
George Henry Lamson
|Died||April 28, 1882 (aged 29)|
|Relatives||Robert Schuyler (grandfather)|
|Awards||Legion of Honour|
George Henry Lamson (September 8, 1852 – April 28, 1882) was an American doctor and murderer.
His maternal grandfather was Robert Schuyler (1798–1855), himself the son of U.S. Representative Philip Jeremiah Schuyler, the brother of Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton and brother-in-law of Alexander Hamilton. His uncle was Robert Sands Schuyler (1830–1895), a prominent New York architect.
In his early career he had been a volunteer surgeon in Romania and Serbia, and decorated for his work. He returned to England and practised in Bournemouth. He became addicted to morphine and his financial situation grew desperate.
In 1881, he visited his 18-year-old brother-in-law Percy John, a hemiplegic, at his boarding school and gave him a slice of Dundee cake. He also gave him a capsule from a batch that were later tested and found to contain the poison aconitine, as recorded in the case history at Old Bailey Online.
Lamson was tried in March 1882 with Montagu Williams acting for his defence: he was found guilty of murdering Percy in order to secure a share of the family inheritance. He had poisoned his victim with aconitine in the cake, a substance which Lamson had learnt about from Professor Robert Christison in university. Christison had taught that aconitine was undetectable but forensic science had improved since Lamson's student days.
Lamson's execution was delayed when word came that his family and friends in the United States, including U.S. President Chester Arthur, requested time to send proof of insanity in the doctor's family and in his own life. The evidence was sent but was not sufficient to reduce the sentence.
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- Parry & Wright (2000) p.103
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- Old Bailey Proceedings Online (accessed 2019-01-26), Trial of George Henry Lamson. (t18820227-367, 27 February 1882).