Gruesome murder-suicide revealed in National Portrait Gallery archive

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The director of the National Portrait Gallery seemed preoccupied with the cleanliness of his parquet flooring after a gruesome murder-suicide there in 1909, according to archive papers being put online.

Returning from lunch, James Milner was told that an elderly man had "shot himself and a woman in the East Wing," he wrote in a typed report dated 26 February 1909.

The tale is from the gallery's archive, dating back to its founding in 1856, which have until now only been available to view by appointment.

It is being catalogued to be put online thanks to an £18,000 public grant. A third of the archive has been catalogued so far and work continues on the rest.

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