LONDON (AFP) - Victorian era killer Jack the Ripper has been voted Britain's most hated individual in a poll of 5,000 people published.
"The Victorian murderer remains an iconic figure today, and perhaps is seen by many as the forerunner of the serial killers that society has had to deal with since the Ripper's time," said Dave Musgrove, editor of BBC History which published the findings.
Among those questioned 24 percent voted Jack, the killer of four prostitutes in east London in 1888, the most evil Briton of the past 1,000 years. He was never caught.
Silver medal, and 11 percent of the vote, went to Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Becket, who provoked a religious crisis which split England in the reign of Henry II and was murdered in his cathedral in 1170.
Other favourites were Eadric Streona, advisor to and betrayer of King Ethelred (968-1016), and King John (1167-1210), bosom enemy of Robin Hood.