I first saw this story on Futility Closet’s blog here. The original source was the General Evening Post, 30th January 1790.
“A fellow at Windsor, who lately ate a cat, has given another proof of the brutality of his disposition — an instance too ferocious and sanguinary, almost, to admit of public representation.
“He was at a public-house at Old Windsor, one day in the course of last week, and, without apparent cause, walked out of the house, and with a bill-hook severed his hand from his arm. His brutal courage was strongly marked in this transformation; for the inhuman monster made three strokes with the instrument before he could effect his purpose, and at last actually made a complete amputation. He asigns [sic] no other reason for this terrible self-attack than his total disinclination to work, and that this step will compel the overseers of his parish to provide for him during the remainder of his life.”