Our Idiots And Imbeciles
Attention has of late been freshly drawn to this unfortunate class. We
propose in this chapter to give some particulars respecting their past
history, their numbers, their location, and the claims, not yet
sufficiently recognized, which they have upon the public and the State,
with a few suggestions in regard to the legislation required to meet
The terms "idiots" and "imbeciles" are popularly employed with great
vagueness, and the latter by even medical men in more senses than one.
Among the Greeks an idiot was a private, as opposed to a public or a
professional person. He was unskilled, unlearned; and early English
writers use it in this sense. Thus Wiclif translates 1 Cor. xiv. 16,
"For if thou blessist in speyrit; who filleth the place of an idiot,
hou schal he sae amen on thi blessyng." Chaucer similarly employs the
word. It is easy to understand its gradual transition to the exclusive
sense in which it has for long been employed.
It is not necessary to distinguish between idiocy and imbecility (Lat.,
weakness, feebleness) further than this, that an idiot is at the very
bottom of the scale of beings born with defective mental powers, while
he who labours under imbecility or feeble mindedness is understood to be
one much less completely deprived of power. Strictly speaking, these
terms ought to be rigidly restricted to states of mind at birth, but
this has been found to be practically inconvenient, if not impossible,
because changes occurring in the brain in very early life impair the
functions of that organ so completely as to induce the same helpless
condition which is found in congenital cases. We dismiss now one
distinction which has been drawn between idiocy and imbecility--that the
former is, and that the latter is not, necessarily congenital; one
arising from the supposition that infantile mental deficiency is less
likely to be so grave an affection than that which has been present from
the moment of existence. Besides, the term is constantly being applied
in common parlance to those who, originally of sound mind, have in adult
life lost their faculties.
It is most important that a clear distinction should be preserved
between these adult cases and those which date from birth or childhood.
The former are labouring under dementia, not amentia. They are
demented persons, or, as they are called in our asylums, dements. They
are not always, but they are for the most part, harmless lunatics. It is
confusing to call them imbeciles, now that this term has become
restricted by medical writers to those who are, or once were,
feeble-minded children. There are, of course, all degrees of mental
defect possible at birth or in childhood, between that of the most
degraded idiot and of a child who is said to be not very bright. With a
large majority, however, something can be done to improve the mental
condition, whereas with demented persons there is no ground for
expecting improvement. The past history of the condition and treatment
of idiots differs in some respects widely from that of the insane.
Happily in many countries, especially in the East, they have been
regarded as objects of special affection and care--as sacred beings
possessing a certain weird, if not divine, element in their nature.
Though helpless and involving much trouble, they do not exasperate or
terrify their relations in the same way as the furious maniac. As a
rule, they do not suggest the same exercise of force and use of fetters
as the ordinary lunatic. Still, in many instances, no doubt, weak-minded
and wayward children have been harshly treated and beaten.
But whether regarded as specially favoured by Heaven, or treated as
stupid children, they were never subjected to any special training for
education until recent times.
St. Vincent de Paul is regarded as the first who made any effort to
train idiots. This was in the Priory of St. Lazarus. He failed, however,
as was to be expected, to make much progress in the work. Itard
followed, also a Frenchman. He strove to educate the celebrated idiot
called the Savage of the Aveyron, and by doing so hoped to solve the
problem of determining what might be the amount of intelligence and the
nature of the ideas in a boy who from birth had lived entirely separate
from human beings. Although he regarded his effort as a failure, he no
doubt exerted considerable influence in inducing others to make the same
attempt with a more practical aim, and with a better understanding of
the material upon which it was proposed to work. M. Belhomme published a
work in 1824 on the subject of educating idiots. Four years later some
were taught at the Bicetre, and the school there became famous. Falret,
in 1831, adopted the same course at the Salpetriere, but we believe the
school was not sustained for a long period. Another physician of Paris,
Voisin, taking up the subject as an enthusiastic phrenologist, also
worked hard at idiot-teaching. None, however, devoted themselves so
fully, and for so long to this work as the late Dr. Seguin, who so long
ago as 1839 published, with Esquirol, a pamphlet on idiocy, and has only
recently passed away. For some years he taught idiots in Paris, and in
1846 published a work entitled "Traitement moral, Hygiene, et Education
des Idiots." He resided for many years in New York, and made, while in
America, valuable contributions to the literature of idiocy.
America has certainly not been behindhand in her efforts to raise the
condition of idiots. In 1818 an attempt was made to instruct them at the
Asylum for the Deaf and Dumb at Hartford. It is said they were taught to
communicate by the sign language.
To George Sumner the credit is due of having called attention powerfully
to the subject in 1845. He had recently visited Paris, and gave a
description of the idiot schools there. Dr. Woodward and Dr. Backus
shortly after took up the question; the latter became in that year a
senator of New York, and in 1846 introduced a Bill providing an idiot
asylum or school. It was five years, however, before one was opened.
This was at Albany, as an experiment; but it was eventually established
at Syracuse, as the New York Asylum for Idiots. In 1855 a new building
was erected in New York, the number provided for being 150. The first to
superintend the institution was Dr. Hervey B. Wilbur. Accommodation was
subsequently made for 225. In 1875 the average attendance at this school
was 210; of these 180 were supported by the State, the remainder paying
altogether or in part. The expenditure was 45,407 dollars; the cost per
head for board and instruction being 200 dollars.
At the same period that New York took the initiative (1846), a
commission was appointed by the Massachusetts Legislature to inquire
into the condition of the idiot population of this state, and to report
as to what was necessary to be done. The report being favourable to
action, a wing in the Blind Institution at South Boston was appropriated
to an idiot training school. This was in October, 1848. In 1850 this
school underwent a transformation, being incorporated as the
"Massachusetts School for Idiotic and Feeble-minded Youth," and placed
under the charge of the well-known Dr. S. G. Howe, the instructor of
Laura Bridgman. "We are happy to say," he observes in a report of this
school, "that in its experience there have been hardly any so low as to
be beyond the reach of some elevating influence, none, or next to none,
so fixed in their degradation as to be unrecoverable."
Dr. H. B. Wilbur states that no provision is made for a large proportion
of idiots in America; the present training institutions being quite
inadequate to the applications made. The consequence is that many are
placed in jails or almshouses. Recommendations have been made that these
custodian cases should have either special asylums provided for them, or
separate departments connected with lunatic asylums or training idiot
institutions. It is calculated that there must be fully 38,000 idiots in
the United States.
It would be wrong to pass over Germany without stating that much
persevering and successful work has been accomplished by Herr Saegert
and others. We were more struck with the results he obtained, when we
visited his school in Berlin in 1853, than with anything we witnessed
elsewhere on the Continent.
In Switzerland there are training schools at Basle, Berne, Zurich,
Lausanne (two), and Etoy. They provide for about eighty cases.
In our own country we believe we must signalize Bath as the first
town in which a school, or rather a home, for idiots was opened.
Established on a very small scale (only four cases in the first
instance) by the Misses White in 1846, it has flourished to the present
day. Two years later, an idiot asylum was established at Park House,
Highgate, whose founders, however, did not know of the home at Bath. It
had its branch at Colchester, and eventually developed into the great
institution at Earlswood, near Redhill, opened in 1855. The Earlswood
report for the past year states that there are altogether 561 inmates,
of whom 400 are supported gratuitously, and of the remainder upwards of
70 pay less than the actual cost of their maintenance. One of the
inmates discharged in May had since held the situation of nurse in a
family; another was becoming an expert shoemaker; and a former female
inmate was employed as a teacher in an elementary school. Earlswood is
under the efficient charge of Dr. Grabham. In connection with Earlswood,
we ought to recognize the considerable influence which a continental
institution exerted in helping to excite that interest in the education
of idiots which, among other influences, induced the Rev. Andrew Reed,
D.D., to urge the erection of a large building for the training of
idiots. We refer to Dr. Guggenbuehl's institution for cretins, on the
Abendberg, near Interlachen, which undoubtedly did more good in this
indirect way than by curing the cretins placed there. At any rate, there
was a certain mystery connected with the work done at this school, which
left an unsatisfactory impression on ourselves when we visited it in
1862, and which struck many others in the same way. At his death, in
1863, the institution was closed. Essex Hall, Colchester, in the first
instance a branch of the Highgate Asylum, ultimately (1859) became the
institution for the eastern counties. Mr. Millard, who has devoted
himself to the arduous work of training idiots for many years, is the
superintendent, and had the original charge (with a matron) of the
idiots when first placed at Park House, Highgate. The inmates number
ninety-seven. In 1864 an institution was opened at Starcross, near
Exeter, through the efforts of the Earl of Devon, for the idiotic class
in the western counties. There are now eighty pupils there.
In the course of the same year the Northern Counties Asylum for Idiots
and Imbeciles was established at Lancaster. Its origin is thus given by
Dr. de Vitre, the chairman of the committee: "A member of the Society of
Friends, with moderate pecuniary means, but possessing a large amount of
Christian benevolence, offered to give the sum of L2000 for the purpose
of erecting an asylum for idiots in Lancashire. The gift was a noble one
and handsomely offered, but useless standing alone." Donations were
consequently solicited, and they were obtained, the result being the
establishment of the above institution, which now has 445 inmates, and
is under the care of Dr. Shuttleworth.
Dorridge Grove Asylum, at Knowle, was opened in 1866, and, although on
an exceedingly small scale, may be regarded as the institution for the
central or midland counties. Its establishment in the first instance was
due to Dr. Bell Fletcher and Mr. Kimbell.
We have now enumerated the institutions for idiots and imbeciles which
are supported in part or altogether by charity. They were, no doubt,
mainly intended, not for the highest, nor yet for the very lowest class
of society, but rather for the upper lower class and the lower middle
class. This idea has, however, by no means been carried out in practice,
for, in consequence of the State having failed to make provision for the
education and training of idiots and imbeciles, charitable institutions
have become disproportionately filled with persons of a different class
from that for which they are properly designed, and the difficulty
attending admission has acted as a barrier to the latter availing
themselves of the provision intended for them.
There are six of these charitable or voluntary institutions in England
and Wales, the number cared for being as follows:--
Under 20 Over 20
years of years of
Earlswood 295 266
Lancaster 370 75
Essex Hall 57 40
Star Cross 72 8
Bath 30 --
Knowle 45 --
the total being 1258.
For the higher class, an admirable private institution has for some
years been in operation at Normansfield, near Hampton Wick, under the
care of Dr. and Mrs. Down, who were formerly at Earlswood. There are
about one hundred inmates.
Lastly, for the pauper class in the metropolis a school for imbeciles
has for some time been carried on, first at Clapton, and now at Darenth
(Kent), under the superintendence of Dr. Beach. The house will
accommodate five hundred. It should be stated that this institution, as
well as those at Caterham and Leavesden for incurable lunatics,
originated in the Act 30 Vict. c. 6, and that these establishments are
under the Metropolitan Asylums Board, subject to the Local Government
Board. There are sixty members, of whom fifteen are nominated by the
last-mentioned Board, the remainder being elected by the metropolitan
Taking the numbers under training in these three divisions, the
charitable or voluntary institutions, the private institution, and that
for paupers, we find the total to be somewhat about eighteen hundred.
Scotland and Ireland have various institutions for idiots and imbeciles,
which may be briefly enumerated. In the former an idiot school was
established at Baldovan, near Dundee, in 1853. It was on the estate of
Sir John Ogilvie. There are forty-seven inmates. In 1862 an institution
was opened at Larbert, Stirlingshire, by a society formed for that
object, called the "Scottish National Institution for the Education of
Imbecile Children." Dr. Brodie, who now, we believe, has a private
institution at Liberton, near Edinburgh, for ten pupils, was the first
superintendent. It was superintended by Dr. Ireland from 1870 to 1881.
In January, 1881, there were one hundred and twenty-four inmates.
Thus only about a hundred and eighty idiots and imbeciles are in
training institutions in Scotland.
In Ireland the only institution for training idiots was founded in
1868, in consequence of Dr. Henry Stewart handing over his asylum at
Lucan, together with a donation (payable under certain conditions) of
L5000, to certain trustees. It is called the "Stewart Institution for
the Training, Education, and Maintenance of Idiotic and Imbecile
A large mansion at Palmerston, in the neighbourhood of Dublin, was in
1875, when we visited it, being adapted to the requirements of an
asylum, and to it the idiots have been removed from Lucan. It was
recently stated that in Ireland seventy per cent. of the idiots and
imbeciles are at large, twenty-one per cent. in workhouses, and only
seven per cent. in asylums.
We are now in a position to estimate the opportunities afforded in
England for the systematic training of a class of unhappy beings, unable
to help themselves and calling loudly for help from both men of science,
philanthropists, and legislators. Let us see how far these opportunities
meet the want, and what becomes of those idiots and imbeciles for whom
no distinct provision is made. Unfortunately, the statistics of idiocy
are very imperfect, partly owing to the reluctance of their relatives to
acknowledge such a defect in the family, and partly from there being no
distinction made in the annual Report of the Lunacy Commissioners
between idiots and lunatics.
Taking, however, the census of 1871, in which a return of idiots was
made, as the basis, we find the number in England and Wales to be at
that time 29,452. Inquiry of the parents of known idiots has so often
resulted in the discovery that they had not been returned, that it has
been considered fair to add one-fourth to the above figures, thus
bringing them up to 36,815, of whom 14,162 would be under twenty years
of age, and therefore suitable objects for training, and 22,653 twenty
years old and upwards. To these should be added five per cent. for
increase of population since 1871, making the numbers, respectively,
14,869 and 23,786, or a total of 38,655, or 1 to 616 of the population.
Of these, then, 1147, or about three per cent., are in training schools
provided by charity. The remainder are either at home, in lunatic
asylums, workhouses, or boarded out. We have found it impossible to
arrive at any satisfactory result in attempting to apportion them to
these various allotments. We know, however, that the census of 1871
gives 3456 as the number in asylums, and 7976 as the number in
workhouses, including in the term the metropolitan district asylums.
This would leave, out of the number of idiots reported by the census,
about 18,000 with their friends or boarded out, or 18,900 at the present
time, in consequence of the increase of population. We have, however,
but scant faith in the correctness of these relative amounts. All we
really know is the number receiving definite teaching or training, and
an approximation--nothing more--to the gross number of idiots and
imbeciles in the land. The next point is to determine the number who
belong to the class, already indicated, which we have to legislate and
provide for--the poor and the class immediately above them. The wealthy
can send their children to private institutions; those who belong to an
intermediate class to voluntary establishments, which would, in the
event of the proposed legislation being carried into effect, be
sufficient. It appears that about two-thirds of the idiots and imbeciles
were chargeable to the poor rates, according to the census. Two-thirds
of 38,655 yield 25,776. It is estimated that one-fifth of the remainder,
that is to say 2176, may be added to comprise the class just above
paupers and needing public help in the way proposed. Adding these
figures together, we get in round numbers 28,000, for whom it is
desirable for the State more or less to provide, in the way of training
schools and custodial establishments. Those who are now in workhouses
and in lunatic asylums would be removed from them, and so far would
relieve the latter from their present crowded condition. This object
would be still further gained if harmless lunatics, as proposed by the
Charity Organization Committee, should be legislated for in the same way
as idiots and imbeciles, and removed from asylums to separate
institutions, as has been done at Caterham and Leavesden. The number of
this class needing public administration is calculated at 7615.
Confining still our attention to England and Wales, where, as we have
seen, voluntary effort has only succeeded in providing training schools
for about three per cent. of the idiot and imbecile class, we desire to
draw attention to the action taken by the Charity Organization Society
of London, arising out of a consciousness of the inadequacy of this
provision. In the summer of 1877 a sub-committee of this Society entered
very fully into the consideration of this subject in all its bearings,
and continued week by week, for some months, to discuss the various
questions which presented themselves. Sir Charles Trevelyan, who
originated the inquiry, observed that "he had rarely, if ever, known a
subject so completely threshed out."
The most important conclusions arrived at were--that a small proportion
of idiots and imbeciles can be so far improved as to support themselves,
that a larger proportion may be trained to do some useful work, and that
the remainder can be rendered happier and not so burdensome to others.
On inquiry, it was found that about two per cent. of the cases admitted
at Earlswood were cured so as to be able to support themselves. At one
period in the history of this institution, when certain very
unfavourable classes were rejected, as many as ten per cent. were so
trained and improved. That this should be the maximum proportion will
surprise those who have been misled by the ad captandum statements
sometimes put forward to the public, no doubt with laudable and
benevolent motives. This amount of success, disheartening as it seems at
first, is not to be despised; but the strength of an appeal, whether to
the charitable public or to the State, to provide for the training of
idiots, lies in elevating them to the highest level of which their
organization admits, curing them of offensive habits, affording them
some positive happiness, and shielding them from unkind and irritating
It is the judgment of the above-mentioned Committee that idiots ought to
be treated distinctively from other classes, whether the blind, or
lunatics in asylums and workhouses, or children in schools, and that
they should not be boarded out.
For those idiots and imbeciles who have been trained up to a certain
point, beyond which it is impossible to advance them, suitable
institutions or departments of institutions--adult custodial
asylums--are suggested. Those idiots who are young, and can be taught,
should be kept, as a general rule, distinct from adult idiots, in
training schools. These two classes of institutions should be united, if
possible, under the same superintendence.
The action to which we have already referred as having been taken by the
Metropolitan Asylum Board, arising out of the Act of 1870, forms a
useful experiment for the consideration and possible guidance of those
engaged in endeavouring to provide for the training and custody of
idiots and imbeciles, not in the metropolis alone, but the country.
After full discussion, the Charity Organization Committee resolved "that
the arrangement which has been made for idiots, imbeciles, and harmless
lunatics in the Metropolitan Asylum District is applicable in its main
principles to the rest of England, viz. that they should be removed from
workhouses and county lunatic asylums, and that young persons of those
classes should be suitably educated and trained." Seeing that experience
clearly proves that the voluntary principle is a failure, or at least
wholly inadequate, for it only touches the fringe of the difficulty, it
becomes absolutely necessary that the State should step in and
supplement charitable effort. The Acts at present in force are possibly
sufficiently elastic to provide for the want, if there was a
determination on the part of the authorities in the various counties to
avail themselves of them; but it is quite certain that no steps will be
taken to do so, unless a new Act makes a distinct and special provision
for the education and training of the idiot classes.
It appeared just to the Committee that not only should the local rates
provide, as they do at the present time, for the charge of this class,
but that assistance should be granted out of the public revenue; the
best mode for such assistance being in the form of advances for the
buildings required on easy terms, liberal capitation grants for young
people under training, and grants of less amount for adults.
It is obvious that an idiot, while under the process of education, is at
least as much entitled to the capitation grant allowed by the Education
Department as the school children of the non-idiotic class.
A certain sum would also be received from the families of some of the
inmates of the training schools and custodial institutions. It is
proposed that those families which, although able to pay their way under
ordinary circumstances, could not possibly defray the entire cost,
should pay according to their means. As in the case of the blind and the
deaf and dumb, it is considered that the relief given to children should
not be counted as parochial relief to their parents.
The question arose in the Committee whether those who are able to pay
for the whole of their maintenance should be admitted, but no definite
opinion was arrived at; there being much to be said on both sides of the
question. No doubt such a course might interfere with private
institutions, and might in some instances lead to filling up the room of
an asylum which ought to be occupied by the needier classes--a complaint
frequently made (whether justly or unjustly) against the lunatic
hospitals of America. At the same time, the principle of making the
payments of the higher supplement those of the lower classes is a sound
one, and has been found to answer in such institutions as the York
Retreat. But those who have had most experience of the friends of idiots
know that they are much less willing to pay handsomely for their
training or care than they would be for an insane member of the family.
The occurrence of insanity in a family, especially if manifesting itself
in the form of outrageous violence or of suicide, alarms the relatives,
and forces them to place the patient in an asylum at almost any cost. In
the case of idiotic or imbecile children, they are easily secluded, or
placed with some one willing to take charge of them, without
necessitating the restraint of an asylum.
Idiot establishments, supported by the weekly payments of the rich, are
not therefore proposed; and although there may be cases in which the
cost of training and maintenance may be properly paid, this course would
not be allowed to wealthy persons, who are really able to pay higher
terms in a private asylum.
With regard to a very important aspect of the subject--the governing
bodies of these asylums for idiots--it is not proposed that they should
be the same as in the case of county asylums, but that they should
consist of representatives of the local magistrates, representatives of
the local guardians, and, thirdly, of persons appointed by the Crown.
Following the example of the Metropolitan Asylums Board, it is proposed
to erect large institutions capable of accommodating not more than two
thousand adults, and schools containing not more than five hundred
children, that is to say, idiots and imbeciles up to twenty years of
In this large number of adults, however, is included the proposed
provision for harmless lunatics, for whom it is desired to legislate at
the same time. With these we are not concerned in the present chapter.
It may be remembered, however, that by adopting the "block" system of
construction of asylums, harmless lunatics can be placed with facility
in one department, and adult idiots in another.
It is very desirable that these new institutions should be inspected,
like other asylums, by the Commissioners in Lunacy; they should be
inspected and reported upon to the Local Government Board.
Among the advantages likely to result from the adoption of the scheme
thus briefly sketched out, may be mentioned that those institutions
which, like Earlswood, have been founded by benevolent individuals for
the middle class and the stratum beneath it, will have much more room
for the class intended, and that the troublesome and expensive canvass,
now become such an intolerable nuisance, will in all probability be
done away with.
The Act 16 and 17 Vict., c. 97, defines "lunatic" to include "every
person being an idiot," and the second section obliges justices to
provide accommodation for pauper lunatics. Section 30 of the same Act
empowers justices to build additional asylums where necessary, and
should they fail to do so, the Home Secretary, on the recommendation of
the Commissioners, may enforce it. Further, the Act 25 and 26 Vict., c.
43, empowers boards of guardians to send pauper children to schools
certified by the Local Government Board, and the word "school" is
defined by section 10 to extend to any institution for the instruction
of idiots. Lastly, the Act 31 and 32 Vict., c. 122, permits guardians,
with the consent of the Local Government Board, to send an idiotic
pauper to an asylum or establishment for the reception and relief of
idiots maintained at the charge of the county rate or by public
These enactments, however, do not oblige the justices to provide
training schools for idiots, or to make distinct provision for them and
lunatics. They are, no doubt, permitted to do so, but the expense
involved would be so great that it can hardly be expected such a course
will be pursued, unless assisted by grants from the imperial exchequer.
The permission to send idiots to idiot schools supported by the rates or
by charity, amounts practically to nothing, because they are so few in
number, and are crowded already.
Legislation, therefore, is required to substitute "shall" for "may,"
and to lessen the burden which would fall upon the rates, if the right
course for the good of the idiots and imbeciles is to be thoroughly
carried out in England and Wales.
We cannot close this chapter without remarking on the satisfactory
change of sentiment which has taken place in regard to this deplorable
class. There may be times when, desiring to see "the survival of the
fittest," we may be tempted to wish that idiots and imbeciles were
stamped out of society. But, as Mr. Darwin has somewhere said, there is
a compensation for the continued existence of so pitiable a population
in our midst, in the circumstance that our sympathies are called forth
on their behalf; a commentary on the precept that those who are strong
should help the weak. The change in feeling above mentioned cannot be
more strongly illustrated than by imagining for a moment that, at the
present day, any leading divine should give utterance to the following
sentiments uttered by the great German Reformer. "Idiots," says he, "are
men in whom devils have established themselves, and all the physicians
who heal these infirmities as though they proceeded from natural causes
are ignorant blockheads, who know nothing about the power of the demon.
Eight years ago, I myself saw a child of this kind which had no human
parents, but had proceeded from the devil. He was twelve years of age,
and in outward form exactly resembled ordinary children.... But if any
one touched him, he yelled out like a mad creature, and with a peculiar
sort of scream. I said to the princes of Anhalt, with whom I was at the
time, 'If I had the ordering of things here, I would have that child
thrown into the Moldau, at the risk of being held its murderer.' But
the Elector of Saxony and the princes were not of my opinion in the
Mr. Millard has prepared the following tabular statement, which shows at
a glance the information a reader is likely to require in recommending
asylums for this unfortunate class.
ASYLUMS FOR IDIOTS AND IMBECILES.
Name and Cases How Conditions,
place. admitted. admitted. remarks, etc.
Leavesden, }Adult idiots, Through the }
Herts. }imbeciles and boards of }Residence in Middlesex.
Caterham, }harmless guardians. }
Surrey. }lunatics. }
Darenth, Youthful idiots Ditto. Ditto.
Dartford, and imbeciles.
VOLUNTARY INSTITUTIONS FOR IDIOTS AND IMBECILES.
ASYLUM FOR Idiots and By votes of Election cases must be
IDIOTS, imbeciles abovesubscribers at under 16 years of age and
Earlswood, the pauper half-yearly unable to pay 50 guineas
Redhill, class. elections. per annum. There is a
Surrey. By payments special election list for
commencing at cases paying 15 guineas
50 guineas per per annum. The term of
annum, election is for five
exclusive of years; afterwards cases
clothing. may be re-elected, some
for life. Cases admitted
at high rates of payment
have special privileges.
Dr. Grabham. Secretary,
Mr. W. Nicholas. Office,
36 King William Street,
London Bridge, E.C.
ROYAL ALBERTIdiots and Private cases Cases elected, or
ASYLUM, imbeciles, bothby votes of admitted upon payment at
Lancaster. private and subscribers L21 per annum with L5 5s.
pauper cases, without per annum for clothing,
the latter not canvassing; and pauper cases, must
to exceed or at belong to the seven
one-tenth of reduced northern counties, viz.
the whole payment. Also, Lancashire, Yorkshire,
number in upon high ratesCheshire, Westmoreland,
the asylum. of payment. Cumberland, Durham, or
Pauper cases Northumberland, and be
through the hopeful of improvement.
boards of The term of election is
guardians, who for seven years. No
obtain the canvassing allowed. The
Government charge made for pauper
allowance of cases is the sum charged
4s. per week for admission into the
towards the County Lunatic Asylum,
payment. with 3 guineas extra for
clothing. Full payment
cases are admitted at 50
guineas per annum and 10
guineas extra for
clothing. Cases admitted
at higher rates have
Secretary, Mr. James
EASTERN Idiots and By votes of Election cases must
COUNTIES imbeciles subscribers reside in Essex, Suffolk,
ASYLUM FOR above the at Norfolk, or
IDIOTS AND pauper half-yearly Cambridgeshire. The term
IMBECILES, class. elections. of election is for five
Colchester. By payments years. Cases may be
commencing re-elected, some for
at L50 per life. Charge for payment
annum, cases, admissible from
exclusive of any locality, L50 per
clothing. annum and L10 for
clothing. Cases admitted
at higher rates have
Superintendent, Mr. W.
Millard. Secretary, Mr.
J. J. C. Turner. Offices
of Asylum, Station Road,
WESTERN Idiots and By payments Private cases that are
COUNTIES imbeciles, of 5s. or admitted at 5s. per week
IDIOT both private 10s. per and pauper cases must
ASYLUM, and pauper week. Pauper belong to the counties of
Starcross, cases. cases 5s. Devonshire, Dorsetshire,
Exeter per week, Cornwall, or
towards Somersetshire. Cases are
which 4s. admitted also upon a
per week is higher rate than 10s. per
allowed by week and have special
Secretary, Mr. W. Locke,
MIDLAND Idiots and By election Cases admitted by
COUNTIES imbeciles with payment election with L10 per
IDIOT belonging to the of L10 annum, or upon the
ASYLUM, lower and per annum. reduced rate of payment,
Knowle, higher By reduced L27 per annum and L5 for
Birmingham. middle and full clothing, must belong to
classes. rates of the counties of
Worcestershire. The full
rate of payment is L54
per annum and L10 extra
for clothing. Cases are
also admitted at higher
rates, with special
privileges. Cases may be
Stock. Secretary, Mr. W.
G. Blatch, Knowle,
THE BATH Youthful By payment The ordinary rate of
INSTITUTION idiots and of L25 or payment is L25 per annum,
FOR imbeciles L50 per exclusive of clothing.
FEEBLE- under 15 annum, Cases paying L50 per
MINDED years of exclusive of annum have special
CHILDREN, age. clothing. privileges. No medical
35, certificates are required
Belvedere, within seven days of
Bath. admission, as needed for
In two or three counties there are branch asylums connected
with the county lunatic asylums, where pauper imbeciles and
harmless lunatics are placed; but training schools for pauper
idiots are not provided, except in Middlesex.
 Particulars respecting Switzerland and Germany were obtained for
the Charity Organization Committee by Drs. Ireland and Beach.
 It is due to the late Dr. Poole, of Montrose, to state that so
early as 1819 he drew attention to the education of idiots in an article
in the Edinburgh Encyclopaedia.
 Dr. Ireland has now removed from Larbert to Preston Lodge,
Prestonpans, near Edinburgh, and receives imbeciles into his house.
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