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Victorian asylum records released

Jack the Ripper suspect among the inmates

RECORDS of hundreds of thousands of people sent to Victorian asylums are to be published online for the first time.

The Lunacy Registers and Warrants 1820-1912 collection has been digitised by family history website ancestry.com.

Among the records to be published are those of Aaron Kosminski, a Polish Jew who worked as a barber in London's East End, a suspect in the Jack the Ripper murders, and Roderick McLean, who attempted to assassinate Queen Victoria in 1882.

Genealogical website Ancestry spokeswoman Miriam Silverman said: "Although this collection shows that the Victorians made great progress in their efforts to better understand and regulate how they dealt with the issue of mental health, it's clear that the mental institutions of the 19th century were truly terrifying places by today's standards."

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