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Guilty but Insane: J. C. Bowen-Colthurst – Villain or Victim? Taylor, James W.

ISBN: 9781781174210

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Captain J.C. Bowen-Colthurst, originally from Cork, served with the British Army in the Boer War, in Tibet and in the Great War. Having been wounded, he returned to Ireland and was caught up in the 1916 rebellion when he was responsible for the deaths of six unarmed civilians, including the pacifist Francis Sheehy-Skeffington. The resulting outrage was one of the key factors in turning the tide of Irish public opinion towards independence. Having been tried for murder, he was deemed 'guilty but insane' and spent eighteen months in Broadmoor Criminal Lunatic Asylum before being released under medical supervision for another year. He was then allowed travel to Canada on condition that he not return to Ireland. This has been portrayed as a perversion of justice perpetrated by the British authorities but Taylor's unprecedented access to both army and Bowen-Colthurst's personal papers have revealed that he was probably suffering from what we now know as PTSD. This book corrects many published errors, debunks some myths and reveals the personal side to a much-maligned historical character.He has also worked with the family of both Bowen-Colthurst and Sheehy-Skeffington who have praised his unbiased research.

  • Guilty but Insane: J. C. Bowen-Colthurst – Villain or Victim?