Lewis Hutchinson

Lewis Hutchinson (1733-1773), a Scottish immigrant to Jamaica, was the first recorded serial killer in Jamaica's history and one of its most prolific.[1]

Lewis Hutchinson
Cause of deathHanging
ResidenceEdinburgh Castle, Jamaica
Other namesMad Master
Mad Doctor of Edinburgh Castle
OccupationEstate manager
Years active1760s-1773
Known forSerial Killer
Criminal chargeMurder
Criminal penaltyDeath by hanging

Early life

Hutchinson, better known as the Mad Master and Mad Doctor of Edinburgh Castle, was born in Scotland in 1733 where he is believed to have studied medicine.[1]

Criminal career

In the 1760s, he came to Jamaica to head an estate called Edinburgh Castle. He was said to have legally obtained the house (now a ruin) but to have maintained his group of cattle through the theft of strays from neighbors. This would not be the only accusation made of Hutchinson.[1][2]

Shortly after Hutchinson's arrival in Jamaica, travelers began to disappear, and suspicion started to mount. For many miles, Edinburgh Castle was the only populated location on the way from Saint Ann's Bay, and, not knowing that they would become the target of Hutchinson's rifle, travelers would rest at the castle, only to succumb to the Mad Doctor's attack. Hutchinson murdered for pure sport, what may be described as a thrill killing, as passers-by from all races, shapes, sizes, and incomes were fair game.[1][3]

What is true about Hutchinson's killings is debatable. He would shoot lone travelers and was said to feed on the flow of his victims' blood as well as dismember them. He or, according to some sources, his slaves would then toss the remains in a cotton tree or a sinkhole for animals to feast on. That sinkhole became known as Hutchinson's Hole. At the height of his villainy, he would invite guests to his castle to be entertained before killing them.[1]


Hutchinson's reputation for debauchery made him notable as many would avoid him out of fear. His slaves' tales of terrible treatment and the gruesome details of the murders made him legendary. This is why he was allowed to roam free for a time, until he shot an English soldier by the name of John Calendar, who attempted to apprehend Hutchinson. After Hutchinson shot Calendar, he bolted south to Old Harbour and boarded a ship. The Royal Navy, commanded by Admiral Rodney, caught Hutchinson before he could escape.[1][2]

Trial and execution

Shortly after being caught, he was tried and found guilty. In 1773, he was hanged in Spanish Town Square. Although the final toll is unknown, upon searching his home after his arrest, approximately 43 watches and a large amount of clothing was found. The records of his trial stand in the National Archives and in the Jamaican Archives.[1][3][4]


During the trial, slaves' stories revealed he did not act alone. Planter James Walker and Roger Maddix were sentenced to death for participating in the murder of farmer William Lickley and schoolmaster Timothy Cronin. Maddix's wife, Dorcas, Miss Susanna Cole and Miss Elizabeth Thomas watched schoolmaster Cronin's death by strangulation while pinioned in stocks. Cronin's watch and seal were found in Thomas' possession. Miss Thomas was found not guilty.[1]


  1. Tortello, Dr. Rebecca (6 November 2002). "Lewis Hutchinson: The Mad Master". Jamaica Gleaner. Pieces of the Past. Archived from the original on 27 January 2015. Retrieved 13 November 2012.
  2. "Edinburgh Castle". Jamaica National Heritage Trust. 2011. Retrieved 13 November 2012.
  3. Gilman, Dennis (23 October 2009). Jamaica's Count Dracula. Gather Inc.
  4. C.V. Black, "History of Jamaica" (London: Collins, 1975), p. 115.
  5. "Naval mission - The Mad Doctor Castle | Captain Kidd's treasure". Game Pressure. Retrieved 19 December 2017.
  6. "Mad Doctor's Castle Mission". IGN. 18 June 2013. Retrieved 19 December 2017.
  7. Bowden, Oliver (8 November 2012). Assassin's Creed: Forsaken. Penguin UK. p. 496. ISBN 9780718193690.
  8. "Le château du médecin fou". Super Soluce (in French). Retrieved 19 December 2017.
  9. Assassin's Creed III - Strategy Guide. Gamer Guides. 28 October 2015. p. 73. ISBN 9781621545316.


  • Cundall, Frank, 1915, Historic Jamaica p. 295ff, Institute of Jamaica. Archive.org
  • Black, C.V., 1966, Tales of Old Jamaica, Longman Caribbean Ltd.
  • Black, C.V., 1983, The History of Jamaica, Longman Caribbean Ltd.
This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.