The P and the M - Week 1

George Merrett

George and Eliza Merrett

December, 1871

Lived at 24 Cornwall Cottages, on Cornwall Road;
6 children, ranging from Clare (nearly 13) to Freddy (12 months); George brought home 24 shillings a week working as a stoker at the Red Lion Brewery.

W. C. Minor


June, 1834

Asylum in U.S.

1868 - 1870

Retired from army


Moved to Britain


His motivation in coming to England was to quiet a mind that had become "inflamed."

Moved to Britain: settles at Radley's Hotel in West End

September 1871

Moved to Lambeth

December 1871

41 Tennison Street; living alone in a simple furnished upstairs room.

Complains to Scotland Yard

January 1872

As testified by Scotland Yard detective named Williamson.

Another complaint to Scotland Yard

January 12, 1872

Minor wrote that he had been drugged and was afraid that the Fenians were planning to murder him and make it look as though his death had been a suicide.

William Dennis (Bethlem watcher)

February 15, 1872 - March 10, 1872

William Dennis was seconded to the Horsemonger Lane Jail to watch the nocturnal activities of Minor.

Murdered George Merrett

February 17, 1872

Murder trial

April, 1872

Found not guilty; sentenced to Broadmoor Asylum for the Criminally Insane

April 6, 1872

Found not guilty on grounds of insanity.


March 26, 1920

Eliza Merrett

James Augustus Henry Murray


February, 1837

In Hawick, in the Scottish Borders.

Pursued the vita diligentissima

1851 - 1854

Digs at archaeological sites all over the Borders; made attempts to teach the local cows to respond to calls in Latin; read out loud the works of Theodore Agrippa D'Aubigne, translating for his family. he memorized hundreds of phrases in Romany; learned bookbinding; taught himself to embellish his own writings with elegant little drawings, flourishes, and curlicues.

Left school


Employed as assistant headmaster in his hometown


Presented to Hawick's Literary and Philosophical Society


First lecture: "Reading, Its Pleasures and Advantages".
Papers on phonetics, the origins of the pronunciation and the foundations of the Scottish tongue, the magic of Anglo-Saxon.

Employed as headmaster of the local subscription academy


Became a leading member of the Hawick branch of the Mutual Improvement Institute


With his brother Alexander.

Met Maggie Scott


Married Maggie Scott

August 12, 1862

Birth of daughter Anna

January 1864

Daughter Anna died

August 1864

Maggie fell gravely ill with consumption

August 2, 1864

Moved to London with wife Maggie

October 1864

Modest lodgings in Peckham.

Clerk at the Chartered Bank of India, in London

1865 - 1870

Wife Maggie died

September 1865

Engaged to Ada Ruthven


Applied for position with the British Museum, but was turned down.


Married Ada Ruthven

August 17, 1867

Alexander Graham Bell was the best man!

Schoolmaster at Mill Hill School


Published "The Dialect of the Southern Countries of Scotland"


First meeting with the Delegates of the Oxford University Press

April 26, 1878

Lambeth Marsh

George Merrett leaves for work

February 17, 1872 1:45 am

Three revolver shots rang out

February 17, 1872 2:15 am

Minor taken to Horsemonger Lane jail; charged with murder

February 17, 1872 6:00 am

Oxford English Dictionary

First Edition completed



1933 - 1986

Second Edition completed


Integrated the first edition and all the subsequent supplementary volumes into one new 20-volume whole.

Modern English Usage

First edition published


By Henry Fowler

Simon Winchester


September 28, 1944

north London

Master of Arts


Oxford University, England

Frederick Furnivall

Alexander Ellis

Henry Sweet