Tyne and Wear HER(7867): Sheriff Hill, Gateshead High Fell Lunatic Asylum - Details
Sheriff Hill, Gateshead High Fell Lunatic Asylum
Health and Welfare
Known locally as Kent's Asylum. The "mad" brother of John Martin, British painter, was confined here for three years in 1817, after he threatened to shoot the Bishop of Oxford, Edward Legge, who was holding a confirmation for the Bishop of Durham in Stockton Parish Church. Martin escaped from the roof of the asylum in 1820, but was quickly recaptured, only to escape a second time, when he was given his liberty. In February 1829, he set fire to York Minster. He was arrested and tried at York Castle and was declared not guilty on the grounds of insanity. He was sent to St. Luke's Hospital, where he died in 1838.
D. Lumley, 1932, The Story of Gateshead Town - From the earliest age to the mid Victorian, p 125 - 126