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

these claims.

The terms "idiots" and "imbeciles" are popularl
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.[224]

In our own country[225] 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

age. age.

Earlswood 295 266

Lancaster 370 75

Essex Hall 57 40

Star Cross 72 8

Bath 30 --

Knowle 45 --

---- ----

869 389

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.[226]

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.



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.



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.

Medical Superintendent,

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

special privileges.

Medical Superintendent,

Dr. Shuttleworth.

Secretary, Mr. James

Diggens, Lancaster.

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

special privileges.

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

Government. privileges.

Superintendent and

Secretary, Mr. W. Locke,

Asylum, Starcross,


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

payment. Leicestershire,



Warwickshire, or

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


Superintendent, Miss

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

other asylums.

Superintendent, Miss



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.


[224] Particulars respecting Switzerland and Germany were obtained for

the Charity Organization Committee by Drs. Ireland and Beach.

[225] 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.

[226] Dr. Ireland has now removed from Larbert to Preston Lodge,

Prestonpans, near Edinburgh, and receives imbeciles into his house.