William Chester Minor was born in June 1834 to Congregationalist Church missionaries from New England in Ceylon (Sri Lanka). When he reached the age of 14 he was sent to the United States where he finished his education in medicine at Yale in 1863. Minor joined the Union Army at the height of the Civil War as a surgeon right after his graduation from Yale Medical School, which turned out to be a commission that unnerved him. By 1868, there were already signs that his mind was going and after having treatment in a Washington D.C. asylum, he was allowed to resign his commission from the Army and take retirement pay. In 1872, while traveling in London, he shot and killed an innocent man, George Merrett, father of six children, with a wife and another baby on the way, under the delusional belief that Merrett was there to persecute him. He was arrested, tried, and found to be mad. He was sentenced to imprisonment in Broadmoor Asylum for the Criminally Insane at Crowthorne, Berkshire, never to be released. Being an educated and wealthy man, Minor was allowed a pair of private rooms in Broadmoor, to keep and add to his library of books. Soon he amassed hundreds of volumes, mostly from the 16th and 17th centuries. Minor was visited often by the widow of the man he had killed, and she added to his book collection. In 1880, Minor saw James Murray's invitation to readers worldwide to submit annotated citations of word usage to the Oxford English Dictionary. Most of the rest of Minor's life was devoted to that work. He became one of the most effective volunteers contributing over 12,000 quotations - sometimes at the rate of over a hundred a week. Murray considered Minor to possess great lexicographical skills. Minor's condition deteriorated in 1902 and his health began to fail. He was permitted to return to the U.S. to St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in 1910. Minor died in New Haven in 1920. William Chester Minor is resting at Evergreen. /div>/div>

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