In the parish of Treveglwys, near Llanidloes, in the county of Montgomery, there is a little shepherd's cot, that is commonly called Twt y Cwmrws (the place of strife) on account of the extraordinary strife that has been there. The inhabitan... Read more of The Egg Shell Pottage at Urban Myths.caInformational Site Network Informational
Home - Rules of an Asylum - Insane British - Curious Punishments


In completing the task which the author has attempted in the foregoing
chapters in the History of the Insane in the British Isles, he is only
too conscious that, in the endeavour to be concise as well as
comprehensive, he has made many omissions. With every desire to be fair
to all who have been engaged either in originating or in advancing the
improved treatment of those who, suffering cruelly from a malady
involving their very nature and being, have also been treated cruelly by
their fellows, the writer fears that some names which ought to have been
recorded and some institutions which ought to have been honourably
mentioned, have been passed over in silence. Apart from unintentional
oversight, it is not always easy to find in the Temple of Fame the
precise niche in which to place the figure that would rightfully fill
it, and the consequence is that the pedestal, as in some of our great
public edifices, remains unoccupied. It may be said, however, in
extenuation of any such omission, that it did not fall within the scope
of this book to chronicle all the establishments which, in more humane
methods of treatment, have been in advance of others, still less to
complete the history up to the present day of those which have been
mentioned. As it proceeded, the work has entered more into detail than
was originally designed; thus, in the chapter on Scotland the sketch is
filled in with particulars somewhat out of proportion to that attempted
in the earlier chapters.

Again, in crediting various asylums, as Lincoln, Hanwell, and Lancaster,
with introducing non-restraint, the author has not found space for more
than a reference to the meritorious course pursued at an early period at
the Suffolk Asylum, the Gloucester Asylum, and at Northampton from its
opening (1838), and at the Haslar Hospital.[314]

The writer would have been glad, had the proposed limits of the book
admitted of it, to describe much more fully the rise and growth of those
charitable institutions, the endowed or registered hospitals for the
insane, which have in England formed so important, and, on the whole, so
successful, an experiment in providing care and treatment for the insane
of the poor but non-pauper class, supplemented as they have been by the
payments of the rich. At the present moment, the principle and the
method by which these institutions are governed attract much earnest
attention, and appear to not a few to afford the best alternative
provision for the middle and upper classes, as against asylums carried
on by private enterprise. It may be so. Abuses which in former days were
possible, could not occur under the legislative restrictions of our
time; but it must not be overlooked that their annals have disclosed,
in some instances, abuses as great and inhumanities as shocking as any
that have disgraced the history of private houses. How abominably even
such institutions have been managed, has already been depicted in a
notorious example; how admirably, might have been shown, had space
allowed, as regards the same institution in the hands of men who, like
Dr. Needham, have maintained the reforms previously introduced within
its once dishonoured walls, and carried forward that humane system of
treatment which, Phoenix-like, arose from its ashes. The author would
have liked to do justice to other hospitals--as that at Northampton,
which under Dr. Bayley's remarkable power of organization has proved so
great a success; that at Cheadle, which under Mr. Mould's exhaustless
energy has shown how the various needs of different phases of mental
disorder may be met by various modifications in the provision made for
their care outside the walls of the asylum, thus combining cottage
treatment with the control of the central establishment; and, lastly,
that at Coton Hill, Stafford, which now and for many years has been
superintended by Dr. Hewitson--an institution due to a wave of public
feeling in favour of an institution for those in reduced circumstances,
which bore this practical fruit after some temporary discouragement.

Of the work done by county asylum superintendents it is impossible to
speak too highly; in fact, it would be difficult to know when to stop,
were one to be mentioned. Superintendents of the vast asylums of
Middlesex, Lancashire, and Yorkshire deserve the recognition of
services performed day by day with faithful diligence, not always
sufficiently appreciated, and not always without peril, as instanced in
the case of the late superintendent of Brookwood, Dr. Brushfield.[315]

As of those whose hourly labour is performed in these and other
institutions, so of those who were labourers, however humble, in the
early days of asylum reform at the close of the last and the beginning
of the present century, it must never be forgotten that work unobserved
by the public eye, but conscientiously performed for the unfortunate
class which, to a large extent, is unable to appreciate or thank the
kindly hand which shields them from cruelty or saves them from neglect,
will find its reward in the conscience; and also in the increased
happiness of those whom it benefits, though it may not set the worker on
any pinnacle of fame. It is to such that the author of "Romola" refers
when speaking of the "valiant workers whose names are not registered
where every day we turn the leaf to read them, but whose labours make a
part, though an unrecognized part, of our inheritance, like the
ploughing and the sowing of past generations."


[314] See Report of the Metropolitan Commissioners. 1844.

[315] Since the above was in type, another example has occurred in the
case of Dr. Orange, who has been assaulted by a criminal lunatic, and
narrowly escaped serious injury.


(Page 61.)

In addition to the maps of Ralf Agas (cir. 1560?) and Braun and
Hogenberg (1572), there is an earlier view of London and Westminster by
Anthony van der Wyngrede, 1543, in the Bodleian Library, Oxford, but it
is worthless for the purpose of tracing the outline of Bethlem. No
additional light is thrown on the buildings by the view of London and
Westminster in Norden's "Speculum Brittanniae," engraved by Pieter van
dem Keere, 1593. It appears to be agreed that, whatever the date or
designer of the so-called "Agas" may be, it is "the earliest reliable
survey of London." Virtue's reprint is dated 1737. Mr. Overall's
"Facsimile from the original in the possession of the Corporation of the
City of London" was published in 1874. It is, however, only by a careful
study of the original with a magnifying glass and a good light, that the
outline of the Bethlem buildings can be made out.

Smith, in his "Topography of London" (1816), p. 36, says that the only
plan of London showing the first Bethlem which he had been able to meet
with is that by Hollar. This map showed Moorfields divided into
quarters, with trees surrounding each division, the site of the second
Bethlem being then an uninterrupted space, and a cluster of five
windmills standing on the site of the north side of Finsbury, a part of
which in Mr. Smith's memory was called Mill Hill. Hollar's rare map
(1666 or 1667) is so much later than Agas, that we have not followed its
distribution of the buildings. In Faithorne's map, published a few years
earlier (1658), from a survey in 1640, "Bedlame" is represented as a
quadrangle, with a gate in the wall on the south side. There is a very
clear outline of the first Bethlem in Lee and Glynne's map of London (in
Mr. Gardner's collection), published at the Atlas and Hercules, Fleet
Street, without date. This map is also in the British Museum. Mr. Coote,
of the Map Department, fixes the date at about 1705. Rocque's map of
London (1746) shows Bethlem distinctly. This map, and Ogilby's, formed
the basis of Mr. Newton's "London in the Olden Time," 1855.

With regard to the story of the skeleton in irons and Sir T. Rowe's
burying-ground, mentioned at p. 49, it is not disputed that he was
concerned in the burying-ground of Bethlem; but the skeleton appears to
have been found some distance from this spot. What is stated in Strype's
"Stow" (Bk. ii. p. 96, edit. 1720), is that in 1569 "Sir Thomas Rowe
caused to be enclosed with a wall about one acre, being part of the said
hospital of Bethlem, to wit, on the west, on the bank of Deep Ditch,
parting the hospital from Moorfields. This he did for burial in case of
such parishes of London as wanted ground convenient within their
parishes. This was called New Churchyard near Bethlem."

There are some very fine prints of the second Bethlem Hospital in the
Print Room of the British Museum. Of these (to which Mr. Crace's
collection is a recent valuable addition), and the prints in Mr.
Gardner's private collection and the Guildhall Library, the following
list has been prepared. I have again to thank Mr. Gardner and Mr. Coote
for their assistance. I have also to thank Mr. Crace for allowing me to
see his prints before they were removed to the British Museum.


1. Inscribed "Hospitium Mente Captorum Londinense. Frontispicium
Hospitii (vulgo Bedlam dicti) mente captis destinati, sub auspiciis
colendissimi viri Gulielmi Turner Equitis aurati Senatoris non ita
pridem Praetoris Londini Praesidis dignissimi nec non Beniamini Ducane
Armigeri Thesaurarii fidelissimi; caeterorumque ejusdem Hospitii
Gubernatorum A.D. MDCLXXV mense Aprili fundati, anno sequento mensi Juli
consummati." R. White sculp. Printed by John Garrett, 1690. 47 in. by
22-1/2 in. Crace Collection, 26/3; Guildhall Library.

2. A New Prospect of y{e} North Side of y{e} City of London, with new
Bedlam, and Moorefields (showing New St. Paul's). 1710. 58 in. by 22-1/2

This print is a later edition of one by J. Nutting, 1689, in which old
St. Paul's is shown. Crace Collection, 26/1.

3. On a scroll, "Hospitium mente captorum Londinense." New Bedlam in