Our reference in a previous chapter to the singular superstitions

connected with the treatment of the insane in Scotland, renders it

unnecessary to do more than point out in this place the substratum of

popular opinion and feeling, upon which the infusion of new ideas and a

scientific system of treatment had to work. To some extent it was the

same in other countries, but judging from the records of the past, as

given o
brought to light by writers like Heron, Dalyell, and Dr.

Mitchell, no country ever exceeded Scotland in the grossness of its

superstition and the unhappy consequences which flowed from it. When we

include in this the horrible treatment of the insane, from the prevalent

and for long inveterate belief in witchcraft, we cannot find language

sufficiently strong to characterize the conduct of the people, from the

highest to the lowest in the land, until this monstrous belief was

expelled by the spread of knowledge, the influence of which on conduct

and on law some do not sufficiently realize.

The lunatic and the witch of to-day might aptly exclaim--

"The good of ancient times let others state;

I think it lucky I was born so late."

As regards the property of the insane, the Scotch law, from a remote

period, appears to have been that the ward and custody of it belonged to

the prince as pater patriae. In the beginning of the fourteenth

century, the keeping and custody of persons of "furious mind," by a

statute of Robert I., devolved upon their relatives, and, failing them,

on the justiciar or sheriff of the county. The custody of "fatuous

persons" is said to have been committed to the next agnate (nearest male

relative on the father's side), while that of the "furious" was

entrusted to the Crown, "as having the sole power of coercing with


An Act passed in 1585, c. 18, in consequence of abuses in regard to the

nominations of tutors-at-law, provided that the nearest agnate of the

lunatic should be preferred to the office of tutor-at-law. The practice

was originally to issue one brieve, applicable to both furiosity and

fatuity. The statute just mentioned continues the regula regulans, as

to the appointment of tutors-at-law for lunatics.

Passing over two centuries, I must observe that in 1792 Dr. Duncan (the

physician mentioned at p. 122 of this work), then President of the Royal

College of Physicians of Edinburgh, laid before that body a plan for

establishing a lunatic asylum in the neighbourhood of Edinburgh. That

plan, after due consideration, met with the unanimous approval of the

Colleges of Physicians and Surgeons, and a subscription was at once set

on foot to carry it into execution, nearly every Fellow of both Colleges

contributing something. But enough money was not then raised to start

the project in a practical way. Fourteen years afterwards, the attention

of the legislature was directed to the provision for the insane in

Scotland, when (in 1806) an Act (46 Geo. III., c. 156) was passed for

appropriating certain balances arising from forfeited estates in that

country to two objects, not apparently allied--the use of the British

fisheries and the erecting a lunatic asylum in Edinburgh--ichthyology

and psychology. The Act provided, among other clauses, that the Barons

of Exchequer should pay out of the unexhausted balance or surplus of the

moneys paid to them in 1784, by the Act 24 Geo. III., c. 57 (relating to

forfeited estates placed under the board or trustees), the sum of L2000

to the city of Edinburgh towards erecting a lunatic hospital. A royal

charter was obtained in 1807, and subscriptions were raised not only

from Scotland, but England, and even India, Ceylon, and the West Indies.

Madras alone subscribed L1000. The idea of the originators of the

institution was a charitable and very far-reaching one. They made

provision for three classes--paupers, intermediate, and a third in which

the patient had a servant to attend him. It may be mentioned that the

establishment of the Retreat of York and its success were constantly

referred to in appealing to the public for subscriptions. The building

which is now the "East House" was opened in 1813, and the plan of that

building was greatly superior to the prison-like arrangement of some of

the asylums built twenty or thirty years afterwards. From the beginning

the teaching of mental disease to students was considered, as well as

the cure and care of the inmates. The management was a wise one. There

were three governing bodies--the "ordinary managers," for transacting

the ordinary business; the "medical board" of five, consisting of the

President and three Fellows of the Colleges of Physicians and Surgeons;

and the "extraordinary managers," consisting of official and

representative men in and about Edinburgh, who had, along with the

ordinary managers, the election of the board every year. At first there

was a lay superintendent and visiting physicians.

Then there was an Act "regulating mad-houses in Scotland" (55 Geo. III.,

c. 69), passed in the year 1815--that important epoch in lunacy

legislation in the British Isles--brought in by the Lord Advocate of

Scotland (Mr. Colquhoun), Mr. W. Dundas, and General Wemyss, and which

received the royal assent, after several amendments from the House of

Lords, June 7, 1815.

This Act provided that sheriffs should grant licences for keeping

asylums; that no person should keep one without a licence; that the

money received for licences should form part of the rogue money in the

county or stewartry, and that out of it all the expenses required for

the execution of the Act should be defrayed; that inspectors should be

elected within a month after the passing of the Act, and thereafter

should annually inspect asylums twice a year--four by the Royal College

of Physicians in Edinburgh from their ordinary resident members, and

four by the faculty of physicians and surgeons in Glasgow from their

ordinary resident members; that sheriffs should ascertain whether

patients are properly confined; that the sheriff should make an order

for the reception of lunatics, upon a report or certificate signed by a

medical man (no statutory form was ordered for the medical certificates

or the warrants of the sheriffs; a medical man signing a certificate

without due examination of the patient was to forfeit L50); that the

sheriff or stewart might set persons improperly detained at liberty;

that a licence might be recalled upon report made to the sheriff by two

of the inspectors; that the sheriff might make rules for the proper

management of asylums; that the Act should not extend to public

hospitals, nor to single patients; that the Procurator Fiscal should

enforce the Act and recover penalties. The friends of patients were

required to pay an annual fee L2 2s.

Such were the main provisions of this Act, which proved to be an

important advance in the right direction, though far from perfect. It

was amended by 9 Geo. IV., c. 34, and 4 and 5 Vict., c. 60. The three

Acts were repealed and other provisions made by the 20 and 21 Vict., c.

71, an "Act for the Regulation, Care, and Treatment of Lunatics, and for

the Provision, Regulation, and Maintenance of Asylums."

I may add here, though anticipating the future course of events, that

the General Board of Commissioners in Scotland was established by the

Acts 20 and 21 Vict., c. 71, and 21 and 22 Vict., c. 54, both Acts

being amended by 25 and 26 Vict., c. 54, and 27 and 28 Vict., c. 59, the

latter continuing the appointment of Deputy Commissioners, and making

provisions for salaries, etc. The statutes now in force in Scotland are

the 20 and 21 Vict., c. 71; 21 and 22 Vict., c. 89; 25 and 26 Vict., c.

54; 27 and 28 Vict., c. 59; Act for the protection of property of

persons under mental incapacity, 12 and 13 Vict., c. 51; Act providing

for the custody of dangerous lunatics in Scotland, 4 and 5 Vict., c. 60

(repealed and other provisions made by fore-mentioned Acts); Act to

amend the law relating to lunacy in Scotland and to make further

provision for the care and treatment of lunatics, 29 and 30 Vict., c.

51; Act to amend the law relating to criminal and dangerous lunatics in

Scotland, 34 and 35 Vict., c. 55 (1871).

But we must retrace our steps to pursue the course of legislation a

little more in detail.

On the 3rd of February, 1818, a Bill for the erecting of district

lunatic asylums in Scotland for the care and confinement of lunatics,

brought in by Lord Binning and Mr. Brogden, was read the first time. A

few days after, a petition of the noblemen, gentlemen, freeholders,

justices for the peace, Commissioners of Supply, and other heritors of

the county of Ayr was presented against it, setting forth that the

petitioners, "from the first moment that they were made acquainted with

the principle and provisions of the proposed Bill, were deeply alarmed

for their own interests and those of Scotland in general, by the

introduction of a measure uncalled for and inexpedient, novel in its

application and arrangement, and substituting regulations of compulsion,

to the exclusion of the more salutary exertions of spontaneous charity,

and this, too, at a time when, by the gradual progress of enlightened

philanthropy, so many admirable institutions have been so lately

established in various parts of Scotland by voluntary contributions; and

that the petitioners are most willing to pay every just tribute of

respect to the humane views which may have dictated the proposed

measure, but they are satisfied that it must have owed its origin to

exaggerated and false representations of the state of the lunatics in

Scotland, and an unjust and groundless assumption of a want of humanity

in the people of Scotland toward objects afflicted with so severe a

calamity. The House cannot fail to remark that the proposed Bill

recognizes a systematic assessment, which it has been the wise policy of

our forefathers to avoid in practice, and that, too, to an amount at the

discretion of Commissioners ignorant of local circumstances, and perhaps

the dupes of misinformation; entertaining, as the petitioners do, deep

and well-grounded repugnance to the means proposed for carrying this

measure into execution, partly injudicious and partly degrading to the

landholders of Scotland, for it does appear to be a humiliating and, the

petitioners may venture to say, an unconstitutional Act, which would

place the whole landholders in Scotland in the situation of being taxed

for any object and to any amount at the discretion of any set of

Commissioners whatever; the petitioners therefore, confiding in the

wisdom of the House, humbly pray that the proposed Bill for providing

places for the confinement of lunatics in Scotland may not pass into


Another petition against the Bill, from the magistrates and council of

the royal burgh of Ayr, was presented and read, praying that the same

may not pass into a law; or that if the House should think proper to

pass the said Bill, they would exempt the burgh and parish of Ayr from

its enactments.

Later on, another petition of the magistrates and town council of the

royal burgh of Montrose was presented against the Bill; and subsequently

one from Stirlingshire, Renfrew, Wigton, Edinburgh, Elgin, Glasgow,

Perth, Dumfries, and many other places.

The second reading was again and again deferred until the 1st of June,

when it was ordered "that the Bill be read a second time upon this day

three months." Thus persistent obstruction triumphed.

Sir Andrew Halliday, who took from an early period a lively interest in

the insane, writes in 1827: "I cannot but regret that the public refused

the adoption of a law for erecting district or county establishments,

proposed some years ago by that excellent nobleman, Lord Binning. The

rejection of this Act arose, I believe, neither from the parsimony nor

the poverty of the freeholders, but from a dread of introducing into the

kingdom that system which has been denominated the nightmare of England,

the poor's rates."[228]

How much legislation was needed at this period is well shown by the

description, by a philanthropist, of the condition of the lunatics in

the Perth Tolbooth, for which I am indebted to the late lamented Dr.

Lauder Lindsay, who observes: "Here is exactly what Mr. J. J. Gurney

says, and it is of special interest to us, as showing the sort of

provision made for the comfort of our local insane prior to the

establishment of the Murray Royal Institution in 1877, nine years

afterwards. In all probability Mr. Gurney's report, which was published

in his 'Notes on a Visit made to some of the Prisons of Scotland,' led

directly or indirectly to Mr. Murray's fortune being devoted to the

institution of an Hospital for the Insane. 'The old Jail of Perth is

built over a gateway in the middle of the town. Although this dark and

wretched building had been for some time disused as a prison, it was not

at the period of our visit' (Mr. Gurney's sister, Mrs. Fry, accompanied

him) 'without its unhappy inhabitants. We found in it two lunatics in a

most melancholy condition; both of them in solitary confinement, their

apartments dirty and gloomy; and a small dark closet, connected with

each of the rooms, filled up with a bed of straw. In these closets,

which are far more like the dens of wild animals than the habitations of

mankind, the poor men were lying with very little clothing upon them.

They appeared in a state of fatuity, the almost inevitable consequence

of the treatment to which they were exposed. No one resided in the

house to superintend these afflicted persons, some man, living in the

town, having been appointed to feed them at certain hours of the day.

They were, in fact, treated exactly as if they had been beasts. A few

days after our visit, one of these poor creatures was found dead in his

bed. I suppose it to be in consequence of this event that the other,

though not recovered from his malady, again walks the streets of Perth

without control. It is much to be regretted that no medium can be found

between so cruel an incarceration and total want of care.'"

A return, signed "H. Hobhouse," was made in this year (1818) from the

parochial clergy in Scotland, showing the number of lunatics in each

county, and other particulars, which now possesses considerable interest

historically. The most important figures are as follows:--





Number of insane and idiots.

Shire. +-------+--------+--------+--------

Male. Female. Total. In



Aberdeen 197 226 423 41

Argyle 171 122 293 9

Ayr 110 104 214 14

Banff 62 86 148 6

Berwick 38 28 66 3

Bute 32 27 59 1

Caithness 45 29 74 0

Clackmannan and Cromarty 20 19 39 1

Dumbarton 44 38 82 6

Dumfries 84 79 163 15

Edinburgh 132 153 285 148

Elgin 32 47 79 4

Fife 115 127 242 11

Forfar 122 154 276 37

Haddington 44 36 80 9

Inverness 130 110 240 10

Kincardine 52 58 110 5

Kinross 6 9 15 1

Kirkcudbright 42 35 77 5

Lanark 156 193 349 28

Linlithgow 25 35 60 1

Nairn 4 20 24 0

Orkney and Shetland 67 62 129 0

Peebles 12 16 28 0

Perth 179 134 313 17

Renfrew 94 81 175 24

Ross 107 103 210 4

Roxburgh 52 56 108 10

Selkirk 6 6 12 0

Sterling 58 64 122 4

Sutherland 36 27 63 1

Wigton 30 40 70 4


2304 2324 4628 417


From this table it will be seen that the total number was 4628, of whom

2304 were males and 2324 females. With regard to their distribution,

there were--

In public asylums 258

In private asylums 158

With friends 1357

At large 2855


Total 4628

Two thousand one hundred and forty-nine were maintained wholly or in

part by the parish. Fifty parishes failed to send any return. In one

parish in the city of Edinburgh, from which we have no return, were

situated the "Edinburgh Bedlam" and the Charity Workhouse. In these two

places were confined eighty-eight lunatics and idiots. From Glasgow the

returns did not include ninety-five lunatics and idiots confined in the

Glasgow Asylum and Towns Hospital; 187 patients must therefore be added

to the foregoing, making a total of 4815.

Considering the period at which it was made, this is a very remarkable

return, and was much more complete than some later ones; for instance,

in 1826 the Parliamentary returns were ridiculously below these figures,

and Sir Andrew Halliday could only after diligent inquiry bring up the

number to 3700.[229]

Two years later (1828), a Bill was brought into the House of Commons to

amend the Act 55 Geo. III., c. 69,[230] by the Lord Advocate, Mr. H.

Drummond, and Mr. Robert Gordon. It passed the House of Lords, and

received the royal assent June 27th.

This constituted the Act 9 Geo. IV., c. 34, and reduced the fees paid

for persons confined from L2 2s. to 10s. 6d.; admission and discharge

books were ordered to be kept in every asylum, and an entry made of

every act of coercion; the books of the asylum were to be submitted to

the inspectors; no insane person was to be received into a hospital

without a warrant from the sheriff, who was to inspect hospitals; houses

were to be visited by medical men--those containing less than one

hundred patients, in case such house should not be kept by a physician

or surgeon, were to be visited twice in every week by a physician or

surgeon--signing in a register the condition of the house and state of

health of the patients; a register was also to be kept by the resident

physician or surgeon, and such register was to be regularly laid before

the inspectors, who were required to sign the same in testimony of its

production; ministers were empowered to visit mad-houses in their

parishes; regulations were made as to persons with whom lunatics were

privately confined; the justices might appoint three of their number to

inspect hospitals and private mad-houses; lastly, a weekly register was

to be kept in each house, and to be laid before the inspectors, stating

the number of curable and incurable cases, and the number under

restraint, the necessity thereof being certified by a medical man.

I wish to record here that, so far back as 1838, some of the Scotch

asylums were remarkable for the extent to which labour was introduced.

Being engaged in writing an introduction to Jacobi's work "On the

Construction of Asylums," the editor (Mr. S. Tuke) visited the asylums

of Scotland in that year, accompanied by Mr. Williams, the visiting

medical officer of the York Retreat, and found at Perth, Dundee, and

Aberdeen, the men's wards nearly empty, so large a proportion of their

inmates were in one way or other engaged in labour. "At Perth," he

writes, "more than twenty came in together to dinner from the labours of

the farm; others were employed in the garden and about the premises. At

Dundee at nine o'clock in the morning, out of fifty-seven men patients

of the lower class, twelve were engaged in stone-breaking, eight in

gardening, thirteen in weaving, one in tailoring, two as shoemakers,

whilst a few were engaged in the preparation of tow for spinning, and

several in the various services of the house. In the Aberdeen Asylum, in

which the labour system is extensively introduced, we were particularly

pleased with the state of the lowest class of women patients--chiefly in

an idiotic and demented state. All of these but one, and she was in a

state of temporary active mania, were employed in picking wool or some

other simple occupation. Indeed, in the three asylums which I have just

mentioned, the state of the lowest class of patients offers a striking

contrast to that in which they have been usually found in our asylums.

Those dismal-looking objects, cringing in the corners of the rooms or

squatting on the ground, almost lost to the human form, are here not to

be seen. I must not omit to mention that at Aberdeen the manager had

succeeded in inducing the higher class of patients to engage in

gardening, etc. At Glasgow the governors were contemplating arrangements

for the more extensive introduction of the labour system. In all these

asylums the superintendents expressed their decided conviction of the

benefit which, in a great variety of ways, was derived from the

employment of the patients, more especially in outdoor labour."

In connection with the Dundee and Glasgow asylums, the great services

rendered by Dr. McIntosh ought not to be forgotten, as also those of Dr.

Poole (Montrose), Dr. Malcolm (Perth), and Dr. Hutcheson (Gartnavel).

Scotland south of Edinburgh and Glasgow had not, until 1839, any

retreat or place of confinement for the insane, except six squalid stone

cells attached to the public hospital of Dumfries. Violent or vagrant

lunatics were physically restrained in their own houses, allowed to roam

at large, or incarcerated in prisons or police stations. In the year

mentioned, the Crichton Institution was opened for the reception of

patients of all ranks and means, from the pauper to the peer, in other

words, at rates of board from L17 to L350. In those days the building

was regarded as magnificent, commodious, and much in advance of the

prevalent psychiatry in Scotland, in the provision for the restoration

of mental and physical health, and for securing the comfort and

happiness of the inmates. The funds providing this building and

surrounding fields, had been bequeathed by Dr. Crichton, of Friars

Carse, Dumfriesshire, to his widow, who determined the precise

application of the magnificent legacy, which it is reported amounted to

L120,000. The benevolent foundress caused the structure to have the

Bible as a foundation, instead of a stone, and announced her solemn

intention that the establishment should be conducted, not merely in

accordance with science, but the principles of Christian philanthropy.

The first medical superintendent, Dr. W. A. F. Browne, who had made a

critical examination of European asylums, and had acted as the chief

officer in the Montrose Lunatic Asylum during four years, opened the

Crichton Institution in 1839, with what were regarded as sound but

advanced views, and with the resolution of carrying into effect all

that had been discovered or suggested for the amelioration, cure, and

care of those who might require treatment or seclusion.

Before the close of the first year of his management, there would appear

to have been about a hundred individuals, of various stations and in

various mental conditions, consigned to his charge. For these and the

gradually increasing numbers of the population, he instituted daily

exercise, amusement, occupation in the open air and in the grounds of

the establishment, and during winter or inclement weather, billiards,

bagatelle, "summer ice," and walking in the protected balconies

connected with every ward or gallery in the house. Collections of books

were contemporary with the laboratory, and the medical officers

invariably carried a catalogue, along with a prescription book, in their

daily medical visits to every patient. As a rule, remuneration was

ordained for every description of labour, whether it was mental or

manual, and might take a pecuniary or honorary form. From the

commencement no personal restraint was resorted to, although the medical

director did not bind himself either by rules or avowed opinions to

prohibit mechanical resources, should they appear to be demanded for the

preservation of life or strength, or quiet, or in any respect as a

remedial agent. In 1840 a medical assistant or pupil was appointed. The

experiment proved eminently successful, and the course thus foreshadowed

has been universally adopted, and improved upon by increase in the

number of such fellow labourers, by the addition of clinical clerks, and

so forth. The next advance was in instituting recorded observations of

the state of patients during the night as well as the day; in the

addition of carriages as a means of enjoyment and distraction, one of

these being an omnibus, so that groups of the inmates might be conveyed

to distant parts of the surrounding country; and in the multiplication

of hygienic and moral influences, music, painting, translation, study of

medicine, acquisition of languages, teaching, reading prayers, etc. The

next stage of development may be described as the separation of

different classes of patients; provision for the agitated, for

abstainers; mental culture for all capable of receiving impressions,

lectures, public readings, the production of a monthly periodical which

is still continued. Of this institution we shall have to speak again.

An Act to alter and amend certain Acts regulating mad-houses in

Scotland, and to provide for the custody of dangerous lunatics, was

passed in June, 1841 (4 and 5 Vict., c. 60). It amended 55 Geo. III., c.

69, and 9 Geo. IV., c. 34. A penalty of L200 and the expenses of

recovering the same might be imposed on persons sending any lunatic to a

mad-house without a licence; persons convicted of receiving lunatics

without a licence, or the required order, might be imprisoned in default

of penalty; the sheriff on application of the Procurator Fiscal might

commit dangerous lunatics; the expenses were to be defrayed out of the

rogue money, if the person had not the means of defraying, or if it

could not be recovered out of his estate, then the same was to be

defrayed by the parish which would be liable for the maintenance of

such lunatic if he or she were a pauper; lunatics might be removed on

application by the Procurator Fiscal; parish pauper lunatics were to be

confined in public hospitals; if no public hospital in the county, the

sheriff might send lunatics to an adjoining county; the death of a

lunatic was to be intimated to the sheriff in writing by the person

keeping the licensed mad-house; fees of licences might be diminished if

the moneys received exceeded the sums required for carrying this Act

into execution.

A form of register was to be kept in all licensed mad-houses in

Scotland, indicating the house; where situated and kept; names and

designations of individuals confined; date of reception; at whose

instance confined, and on whose medical certificate; whether curable or

incurable; date of removal or discharge, and authority for either; date

of death; disease or cause of death, and duration of disorder; name of

medical practitioner; when first called to give special attendance, and

how often he afterwards visited the deceased, with the place of burial.

We must not omit to mention that in 1848 further legislation was

attempted--an attempt, the failure of which was frequently deplored in

the debates of succeeding years. A good Bill designed to amend the law

of Scotland relative to the care and custody of the insane, and to

regulate existing asylums, and to establish asylums for pauper lunatics,

was brought in by the Lord Advocate (Lord Rutherfurd), Sir George Grey,

and the Secretary at War. After the second reading it was referred to a

Select Committee, which included the names of the Lord Advocate, Lord

Ashley, Sir James Graham, Mr. E. Ellice, Mr. Stuart Wortley, and Mr. H.

Drummond. Petitions now poured in from almost every shire in Scotland,

and the Bill had unfortunately to be withdrawn. Undaunted, the Lord

Advocate made another attempt in the following year, but with the same


It is not necessary to dwell longer on the condition of the insane, or

the legislation adopted on their behalf, till we come to the year 1855,

which proved to be the commencement of a new departure in the care taken

for them by the State. Unfortunately, in spite of legal enactments, the

state of the insane in Scotland, at this time, outside the asylums was

as bad as it could be, and even in some asylums it was deplorable. At

this period a well-known American lady, Miss Dix, who devoted her life

to the interests of the insane, visited Scotland, and the writer had the

opportunity of hearing from her own lips, on her return from her

philanthropic expedition, the narration of what she saw of the cruel

neglect of the pauper lunatics in that country. She caused so much

sensation by her visits and her remonstrances, accompanied by the

intimation that she should report what she had witnessed at

head-quarters in London, that a certain official in Edinburgh decided to

anticipate "the American Invader," as Dr. W. A. F. Browne called her.

Miss Dix was, however, equal to the occasion, and, hurriedly leaving the

scene of her investigations, she took the night mail to London, and

appeared before the Home Secretary on the following day, when the

gentleman from Edinburgh was still on the road, quite unconscious that

the good lady had already traversed it.[231] The facts she laid before

the Home Office were so startling that they produced a marked effect,

and, notwithstanding counter allegations, the conclusion was very soon

arrived at that there was sufficient prima facie evidence to justify

an inquiry. A Royal Commission was appointed, dated April 3, 1855, "to

inquire into the condition of lunatic asylums in Scotland, and the

existing state of the law of that country in reference to lunatics and

lunatic asylums."

The statutes forming the code of lunacy law for Scotland at that period

were, for all practical purposes, the 55 Geo. III., c. 69; 9 Geo. IV.,

c. 34; and 4 and 5 Vict., c. 60.

The number of ascertained patients at this period (1855) amounted to

7403. The classification was as follows:--Private patients, 2732;

paupers, 4642; criminals, 29 = 7403. Curable, 768; incurable, 4032;

congenital idiots and imbeciles, 2603 = 7403. Males, 3736; females, 3667

= 7403. The proportion of the insane and idiots to the population was 1

in 390. The number of congenital idiots was greatest in proportion to

the population in those counties remote from influences that incite to

mental activity--the Highland population containing more than three

times the number found in an equal Lowland population.

The 2732 private patients were thus distributed: In chartered asylums,

652; licensed houses, 231; poor-houses, 9; reported houses, 10; school

for idiots, 12; unlicensed houses, 18; with relatives, 1453; with

strangers, 297; not under any care, 50; total, 2732.

The 4642 paupers were thus distributed: In chartered asylums, 1511;

licensed houses, 426; poor-houses, 667; reported houses, 31; school for

idiots, 3; unlicensed houses, 6; with relatives, 1217; with strangers,

640; not under any care, 141; total, 4642.

The receptacles for the insane were thus distributed:--

A. Chartered asylums. The Royal Asylums at Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh,

Glasgow, Montrose; the Crichton Institution, Dumfries, including the

Southern Counties Asylum; James Murray's Royal Asylum, Perth.

B. Public asylums not incorporated. The only institution of the kind,

that of Elgin, was exclusively for paupers.

C. Poor-houses with separate wards for the insane (twelve given in the


D. Prisons. The only one specially adapted for the reception of the

insane was the lunatic department of the general prison at Perth.

E. Poor-houses without separate wards for the insane (fourteen given).

F. Private asylums (twenty-three in number).

G. Private houses reported to the sheriff.

H. Houses of relatives and strangers.

I. Schools for idiots. Baldovan, near Dundee; and Gayfield Square,


This Commission did not report until 1857, and unhappily the evidence

more than justified the necessity of the appointment of the Committee,

and of a sweeping measure of reform. The difficulty in selecting

passages from the Report is to know where to stop. We shall restrict

ourselves within moderate bounds; and first let us cite the reference to

the condition of the insane and idiotic not in asylums. "It is obvious,"

says the Report, "that an appalling amount of misery prevails throughout

Scotland in this respect. When estimating the condition of the insane

not in establishments, it should be remembered that the details

furnished by us give only an imperfect representation of the true state

of matters. They form only a part of the picture of misery; and, had we

been able to extend our investigations, it would, we are convinced, have

assumed a much darker shade.

"A practice prevails in some workhouses, as in a few of the licensed

asylums, of fastening the hands behind the back, by which much

unnecessary pain is inflicted on the patient."

Of the methods employed in asylums to repress violence, etc., the

Report thus speaks:--

"Instrumental Restraint and Seclusion.--Personal restraint by the

application of the strait waistcoat, or of the straps or muffs, is

almost entirely banished from the chartered asylums; but we have reason

to think that seclusion for long periods is frequently used. This remark

applies more especially to the asylums of Montrose, Glasgow, Aberdeen,

and Edinburgh. In Montrose we found, on one occasion, eleven patients in

seclusion out of a population of 174, several of them having been so

secluded for considerable periods, and one woman for several months; and

it is to be observed that the seclusion rooms in this asylum are mere

cells, with stone floors and darkened windows, and that the patients

who are placed in them are frequently allowed no other covering than

blankets, and no other bedding than loose straw cast on the floor."

Here is a picture of the way in which one asylum was conducted: "We have

grounds for fearing that the patients suffered from cold. The house is

carelessly conducted and the state of the patients very unsatisfactory.

The bed-frames, which are about the ordinary size with only spars of

wood at the lower part, were dilapidated and saturated with filth; and

the quantity of straw in them was very scanty and mixed with refuse; it

was wet, offensive, and broken into small portions, and had clearly not

been renewed for a considerable time. A certain number of the patients,

males as well as females, were stripped naked at night, and in some

cases two, and in one case even three, of them were placed to sleep in

the same bed-frame, on loose straw, in a state of perfect nudity." The

proprietor in his evidence says, "I never go into the rooms at night.

The floor is constantly soaked with wet. There is an epileptic lad who

is frequently fastened to the rings in the wall. The nurses keep the

muffs in their custody. I dare say half of the dirty patients would

sleep naked; seven would, therefore, sleep with others, I cannot say

that more did not sleep together in a state of nudity. I consider the

treatment is proper for them."

Again: "The bad treatment of the patients, and the very unsatisfactory

treatment of the patients, are not fully known to the official

inspectors. Indeed, it would appear that in some houses the instruments

of restraint are systematically removed from the persons of the patients

after the arrival of the sheriff at the asylum, for we find in Dr.

Renton's evidence that, speaking of L---- Asylum, in which two male

patients are kept constantly in restraint by means of handcuffs, he

says, 'There are not many patients under restraint at L----.' And,

further, in reference to Mrs. B----'s house at N----, he states, 'In

Mrs. B----'s house I don't think there are many cases of restraint.

There is a Miss W---- lately come, and a Miss M----. I don't think

restraint is used to them.' We have ascertained, however, that these two

patients were frequently restrained. These instances might be


"Rent is saved by placing patients in small houses, making them use

the same rooms both as day and sleeping accommodation; they are also

crowded into small airing-courts, inadequate to afford proper exercise

and a proper separation of the sexes. The inmates during the winter

months pass the greater part of each twenty-four hours in their bed,

whereby candle-light is saved. In L---- Asylum, the patients are not

allowed candle-light at any season.

"We cannot doubt that in many instances practices obviously wrong, and

detrimental to the patients, have been adopted in licensed houses,

because an increased profit would thereby be obtained by the


In short, both as regards licensed houses and unlicensed houses, the

Report winds up by giving a dismal picture; for, as to the former, "they

are crowded in an extreme degree, profit is the principal object of the

proprietors, and the securities against abuse are very inadequate;" and

as to the latter, they "have been opened as trading concerns, for the

reception of certain classes of patients who are detained in them

without any safeguard whatever against ill-treatment and abuse." Strange

to say, the persons properly authorized to inspect, did not avail

themselves of the powers of inspection granted them by law; and the

officials chose to interpret the law "in conformity with their

respective views." Such was the unfortunate condition into which Scotch

lunacy had drifted, at so comparatively recent a date as 1857, and out

of which those who drew up the Report--Alexander E. Monteith, James

Coxe, Samuel Gaskell, and William George Campbell--proposed to deliver

it by the following remedial measures:--The erection of district or

county asylums for pauper lunatics, including accommodation for the

insane belonging to the labouring classes, who are not strictly

paupers. Likewise, more suitable accommodation for criminal lunatics.

Means for insuring greater caution and discrimination as regards the

licensing of houses for the reception of the insane; for imposing some

check upon the licensing of new houses; and for conferring powers to

close those already opened for paupers so soon as public asylums shall

be erected, or at any other time, if not properly conducted. Regulations

by which all pauper lunatics not in asylums shall be brought under

proper visitation and care, and periodical reports be made as to their

condition by medical men, so as to afford a safeguard against abuse and

ill-treatment, and secure the ready and careful transmission of all

proper cases to asylums. An accurate definition of the powers and duties

of sheriffs in reference to the insane, so as to secure a more uniform

practice and united action amongst them. Rules for the guidance of the

Board of Supervision, parochial boards, inspectors of poor, and district

medical officers in all matters relating to the management of the

insane. More complete regulations in reference to medical certificates;

to prevent interested parties signing them; to specify the length of

time the document shall remain in force; and to require a statement of

the facts or evidence upon which the opinion as to the patient's

insanity is founded. Also a limitation of the time during which the

sheriff's order shall remain in force, previous to the admission of the

patient, and also in case of escape. The formation of a complete system

of schedules and returns, together with full records of all admissions,

discharges, deaths, and accidents. Also the institution of registers

and case-books, showing the medical treatment pursued in each case, and

whether, and to what extent, restraint and seclusion were employed.

Comprehensive regulations applicable to licensed houses and poor-houses,

while continuing to receive lunatics, for securing to the patients

sufficient medical and other attendance; kind and appropriate treatment;

proper diet, clothing, bedding, exercise, and recreation; and adequate

means of religious consolation. A requirement that, on recovery,

patients shall be discharged by the medical attendant of the

establishment. Restrictions on the removal of pauper patients by

inspectors before recovery. Precautions for preventing injustice in

transporting aliens. Better regulations as to dangerous and criminal

patients. Measures by which persons labouring under insanity may

voluntarily place themselves under care in an asylum. Special

regulations for prolonging control over cases of insanity arising from

intoxication. Enactments for extending further protection to the

property of lunatics, and for insuring the proper application of their

funds. The imposition of suitable penalties for infringement of the law,

and power to modify them according to circumstances. Powers to raise

sufficient funds for the purposes of the Act. The creation of a

competent board, invested with due authority, to whom the general

superintendence of the insane in Scotland shall be entrusted, including

power to license houses for the reception of the insane; to visit all

asylums, licensed houses, poor-houses, and houses containing only single

patients; to order the removal of patients to or from an asylum, or

from one asylum to another; to give leave of absence to convalescent

patients; to regulate the diet in asylums and licensed houses for pauper

patients; to make regulations for their management, etc., etc.; with

direction to report to the Secretary of State for the Home Department.

The formation of local boards for the management of individual asylums,

which shall act in conjunction with the general board.

Legislation followed in due time.

On the 29th of May, 1857, Mr. Ellice,[232] the member for St. Andrew's,

asked the Government what steps they intended to take for securing to

pauper lunatics in Scotland proper protection and maintenance, in order

to alleviate the sufferings of the persons to whom the recent Report of

the Commissioners of Inquiry into the state of Lunatics in Scotland

related. He was ashamed to have to admit that in that country,

unfortunately, the state of things had been lamentably different from

England and Ireland, where boards had been appointed under which,

generally speaking, the law for the protection of lunatics had been

satisfactorily administered. In Scotland, instead of a Board of

Commissioners specially appointed to take care of lunatics, the charge

had devolved upon the sheriffs of counties and the Board of Supervision,

which latter body stood in the place of the Poor Law Board in this

country. He charged the Scotch authorities with an almost total neglect

of the duties which were incumbent upon them under the law, which "in a

great measure was very ample for the protection of the great proportion

of the pauper lunatics in Scotland, if it were properly administered."

The powers and duties of the sheriffs, as laid down in the Act, were

amply sufficient. Yet the granting of licences, which was their duty,

formed the exception, and, in fact, houses were opened generally without

any licence whatever; the patients were detained without any order, or

without even any medical certificate; if they died, their friends were

not informed of their deaths, which were not reported to any constituted

authority, "the unfortunate persons disappearing in that mass of misery

and filth which he should shortly depict." The pauper lunatics were

under the charge of the parochial boards. These were under the control

of the Board of Supervision, sitting in Edinburgh, and similar to the

Poor Law Board in London. The statute enacted that whenever any poor

person chargeable on the parish should become insane, the parochial

board should, within fourteen days of his being certified, take care

that he was properly lodged in an asylum. The Board of Supervision had,

under the same Act, peculiar power with respect to lunatics, and it was

competent for them to dispense with an asylum, and allow the patient to

remain with his friends under due inspection.

The Board of Supervision had absolute powers to dismiss any inspectors

of the poor neglecting their duty to pauper lunatics. They acknowledged

their obligation. In their first Report (1847) they, among other

positive statements, affirm that they, in all cases in which they

dispensed with the removal of pauper lunatics to asylums, were careful

to preserve the necessary safeguards against abuse, by requiring a

satisfactory medical certificate as to treatment, and so on. Mr. Ellice

then showed that "these statements had no foundation in fact; that they

were positively untruths, and entirely deceptive, year after year, as to

the real state of the lunatics in Scotland." In subsequent Reports the

Board boasted that it had endeavoured, not unsuccessfully, to improve

the condition of the insane, but Mr. Ellice showed that "the condition

and treatment of the pauper lunatics was diametrically opposite to what

was there stated." He knew that more legislation would be promised by

the Government, but the thing was to see that the law was enforced, and

that due notice should be taken of the conduct of the authorities who

had neglected their duties. He asked that a direct condemnation should

be passed upon them, and that they should be compelled, as in duty

bound, to protect pauper lunatics from continued neglect and abuse. The

member for Aberdeen characterized the Report of Commissioners regarding

the state of the insane in his county as "one of the most horrifying

documents he had ever seen."[233] It was "a state of things which they

could not before have believed to prevail in any civilized country, much

less in this country, which laid peculiar claims to civilization, and

boasted of its religious and humane principles."[234] "Distressing as

were the cases which he had mentioned, there were others ten times worse

remaining behind--so horrible, indeed, that he durst not venture to

shock the feelings of the House by relating them."[235] Sir George Grey,

after saying that the Report on the treatment of lunatics in Scotland

contained statements of facts calculated to cast very great discredit

upon that portion of the United Kingdom, admitted that the Board of

Supervision was not free from blame, but thought the Report proved that

the guilt must be shared by the parochial boards, the inspectors of the

poor, the sheriffs, the clergy, the justices of the peace, and by the

Commissioners of Supply. By this ingenious homoeopathic dilution of the

blame, it was easy to show that individual responsibility was

infinitesimal, and could not, therefore, be detected and punished in the

way it so richly merited. Sir George Grey promised to introduce a Bill

calculated to remove the defects in the law established by the Reports,

and deplored the fate of the Bill brought in by Lord Rutherfurd,[236]

when Lord Advocate, which would, in his opinion, have remedied all the

evils now complained of. It was "referred to a Select Committee, but the

opposition roused to it in Scotland, on the miserable ground of the

expense it would incur, proved fatal to the measure. I trust the

disgrace that now attaches to Scotland in this matter will be removed,

and that this and the other House of Parliament will cordially

co-operate with the Government in the adoption of those measures that

are necessary for the relief and protection of the unfortunate class of

persons referred to in the Report."[237] Mr. H. Drummond, who said he

had assisted Lord Rutherfurd to pass his Bill, also deplored its

rejection. "Both he and the Lord Advocate were beaten by the systematic

opposition of every single person who was connected with the

administration of the system in Scotland. They would not give the

returns sought for ... and the ground of the opposition was the dread of

the dirty expense which might be incurred. From one to the other it

appeared that the object of care in Scotland was property, not persons.

The way in which they treated the poor in Scotland was perfectly

scandalous, and in nothing did the system appear so bad as in the

treatment of pauper lunatics, the rich lunatics being sufficiently well

taken care of." Mr. Drummond asked how it was "that throughout the whole

of Scotland there was not one clergyman who could find time to visit

these poor creatures? True, there was one, but when he went to the

asylum he was refused admittance; and why? Because he was a Papist. The

Poor Law, as managed by the Board of Supervision, had been well defined

to be 'a law for depriving the poor of their just rights.'"[238] Sir

Edward Colebrooke, as one of the members for Scotland in the previous

Parliament, took his share of the blame that attached to the House in

reference to Scotch asylums. In the Report issued in 1844, it was

recommended that more stringent provisions should be introduced into the

law, but they had not been attended to. Mr. Kinnaird, the member for

Perth, thought that the Scotch members owed a debt of gratitude to Mr.

Ellice for the manner in which he had laid the disgraceful feature in

the administration of the Scotch Poor Law before the House. He was glad

to find that the Perth Asylum was not one which had disgraced

Scotland.[239] The Lord Advocate rejoiced at the publication of the

Report, and the statements of Mr. Ellice, from the bottom of his heart,

because the state of things had for a long time been a disgrace and a

scandal to Scotland. "The people of that country had known that it was a

disgrace and a scandal, and he regretted to add that it was not the

first time that statements had been made similar to those to which they

had just listened. Had Lord Rutherfurd's Bill of 1848 been passed, this

disgraceful state of things would have been put an end to. But not a

single petition was presented in its favour, while twelve of the largest

and most important counties of Scotland petitioned against it! That

noble-minded lady, Miss Dix, went to Edinburgh and visited the asylums

at Musselburgh. After seeing them, she said there was something wrong,

and she wished to be allowed to visit them at the dead of night, when

she would not be expected. He felt a difficulty about giving a

permission of that kind to a non-official person, and accordingly she

applied to the Home Secretary. When asked by him his opinion of the

subject, he at once stated that the whole system with regard to the

treatment of lunacy in Scotland was utterly disgraceful, and that the

evil could only be reached by a Commission of Inquiry. The facts were

now so clearly proved that if he proposed the very remedy which was

rejected in 1848, it would be adopted by both Houses of Parliament

without any important opposition."

A Government Bill was brought in by the Lord Advocate, June 9, 1857, "to

alter and amend the laws respecting lunatics in Scotland." In

introducing it, he summarized the then law as follows:--The sheriffs of

the counties, the justices, and some other parties had the power and

duty of inspection once or twice a year; certain registers were ordered

to be kept and certain regulations made. But there was no uniformity;

every sheriff might interpret the Act as he pleased, and there was no

obligation to erect asylums for the maintenance of lunatics. The duty

was thrown on the Procurator Fiscal of seeing the Act executed, but no

power was given him to ascertain whether it was executed or not, and

there was no power of visitation. He need not say that these safeguards

entirely failed, and the remedy he now proposed was that there should be

appointed a Commission, an inspector-general who should be a medical

man, a secretary, and a clerk; and that these should constitute the

Lunacy Board for Scotland, though not under that name. They would have

the power of granting and refusing licences for asylums. The sheriffs

and the justices would retain the powers conferred on them already.

Scotland would be divided into districts, in which asylums would be

erected by an assessment laid on for the purpose. The Lord Advocate made

a sort of formal defence of the Board of Supervision, of which he

himself had been a member, and pointed out that in their first Report

they had stated that the accommodation in the asylums was not equal to

that required for one-tenth of the number of pauper lunatics. Sir John

McNeill, who presided over the Board, when examined before the Select

Committee on Miscellaneous Expenditure in 1848, stated this fact

strongly. Mr. Ellice, however, adhered to the remarks he had previously

made, reasserted his accusations, and repeated that if the question were

put to a jury, they would come to no other decision than that gross

culpability existed on the part of the authorities, and he only

regretted that the Government had not had the courage to say that the

Board of Supervision had deserved the condemnation of the House. Leave

was given to bring in the Bill.[240]

On the second reading[241] (June 9, 1857) no serious opposition was

offered to the Bill, although an attempt was made to show that the

Commission had been carried away by exaggerated statements. Mr. Bruce,

the member for Elginshire, who alleged this, hoped the Bill would not be

hurried through the House that session. Mr. Blackburn, the member for

Stirlingshire, said he agreed with every Scotch member that a permanent

board would be of no use; it would be coercing the people by

centralization. Mr. Cowan, member for Edinburgh, said that he had been

requested to present a petition, signed by the Lord Provost and

magistrates of Edinburgh, seeking for delay, but he did not like to

incur that responsibility, and would therefore support the second

reading. Mr. Dunlop, the member for Greenock, assumed, for the sake of

argument, that all persons in Scotland had done their duty; but even if

this were so, it was impossible but that cruelty and ill-treatment must

have taken place when they considered the way in which pauper lunatics

were treated, and he rejoiced that another session was not likely to

pass over without something being done to remove what was at once a

national calamity and a national crime, from Scotland.[242] Mr. Mackie,

the member for Kirkcudbrightshire, protested against the creation of a

new Board and the expensive machinery contemplated by the Bill. Sir

William Dunbar, the member for Wigton, agreed, and maintained that the

existing system was sufficient to insure all that was required. Sir John

Ogilvy, member for Dundee, said a strong feeling existed in Scotland

that the Board of Supervision furnished an efficient machinery capable

of supplying all the defects of the present system, without the creation

of a new Board. Mr. Hope Johnstone, member for Dumfriesshire, enforced

these remonstrances, by stating that he had representations made to him

from every quarter in opposition to the appointment of a new Board. Mr.

Drummond hereupon made an observation, greatly to his credit, which

deserves to be remembered. He said that the question was not so much

what would be the most expensive as what would be the most efficient

machinery. There were plenty of representatives of the ratepayers in

that House, but no representatives of the lunatics of Scotland. They

seemed to have no friends there, while really they were the persons who

stood most in need of being represented.

The Act (20 and 21 Vict., c. 71) was passed August 25, 1857. It was

entitled "An Act for the Regulation of the Care and Treatment of

Lunatics, and for the Provision, Maintenance, and Regulation of Lunatic

Asylums in Scotland." It repealed the Acts 55 Geo. III., c. 69; 9 Geo.

IV., c. 34; and 4 and 5 Vict., c. 60.

To give a complete analysis of this most valuable Act, which consists of

no less than 114 sections, would be wearisome to the reader. Its chief

provisions were these:--

A Board of Commissioners in Lunacy for Scotland was to be appointed,

consisting of three unpaid and two paid Commissioners; the Secretary of

State was empowered to appoint one or two medical men as Deputy

Commissioners; public asylums founded after the passing of this Act were

to be subject to it; the duties of the Commissioners as to inspection

were laid down; the sheriff was to visit and inspect asylums; private

asylums were to be licensed by the Board; the patient was to be admitted

by order of the sheriff on medical certificates; five shillings were to

be paid for the sheriff's order for the admission of a patient not being

a pauper, and half that sum for a pauper; the medical certificate was to

specify the facts on which opinion of insanity was founded; no

certificate was to be granted without examination, under penalty not

exceeding L50, and if falsely granted, under a penalty not exceeding

L300; houses where lunatics were detained under the order of the

sheriff might be visited by the Board; one medical man was to be

resident in every asylum licensed for a hundred patients or more, and a

physician was obliged to visit daily those for more than fifty patients;

those for fifty or less were to be visited at least twice in every week.

Scotland was divided into districts, set forth in a schedule, and a

district board was to be appointed within six months, which should

inquire into the necessities of the district; the Board was to require

the district boards to provide district asylums; the provisions of 2 and

3 Vict., c. 42, were to be applied to this Act; district asylums were to

be vested in district boards, and district inspectors were to be


Power was given to Public Works Loan Commissioners to lend money for

purposes of the Act, provision being made for the money borrowed being

paid off within thirty years.

In case the district asylum could accommodate more than the lunatics of

the district, other lunatics, it was enacted, might be admitted.

Whether the property of a lunatic was or was not under judicial

management, if it was not property applied for his benefit, application

was to be made to the Court of Session.

Provision was also made for cases where insanity stands in bar of trial;

the finding of the Court that the prisoner cannot be tried, to be

followed by an order to be kept in strict custody during her Majesty's

pleasure; a lunatic acquitted of a criminal charge on the ground of

insanity, to be kept in custody by order of court in such place as it

may see fit, during her Majesty's pleasure; prisoners exhibiting

insanity when in confinement to be removed to an asylum, to remain there

until it should be certified to one of her Majesty's Principal

Secretaries of State by two medical men that such person has become of

sound mind; whereupon the Secretary of State was authorized, if such

person's term of imprisonment had not ended, to issue his warrant to the

superintendent, directing that such person should be removed back to

prison, and if no longer subject to imprisonment, that he should be


With regard to the liberation of patients from asylums, the certificates

of two medical men approved by the sheriff were required, eight days'

notice being given to the person at whose instance such lunatic was

detained; the patient released to be entitled to a copy of order,

certificate, etc., on which he was confined.

The punishment of maltreating any lunatic was a fine not exceeding L100,

or imprisonment for any period not exceeding six months, without

prejudice to action for damages.

Power was granted to the Secretary of State to order a special

visitation of any place where a lunatic was represented to be confined.

The inspectors of the poor were to give intimation of pauper lunatics

within their parishes.

The importance of this Act is enhanced by the fact that its framers had

the advantage of a knowledge of the working of the great Acts of 1845

and 1852 in England and Wales.

Availing ourselves now of the first Report of the Commissioners[243]

who were appointed under the foregoing Act, we shall present a statement

of the number and distribution of the insane in Scotland on the 1st of

January, 1858.


Location. Males. Females. Total. Private. Paupers.


In public asylums 1226 1154 2380 786 1596

In private asylums 330 415 745 219 526

In poor-houses 352 487 839 6 833

In private houses 810 974 1784 -- 1784


Total 2718 3030 5748[244] 1011 4739


The above table does not include private single patients; their number

could not be accurately ascertained.

The Commissioners, as might be expected, report the state of the insane

to have altered little since the Report of the Royal Commission. In the

pauper licensed houses, if not in others, the overcrowding was great,

though diminishing. "The patients, when within doors, are generally

found sitting in cheerless rooms, ranged on benches, listless and

without occupation; and when out of doors, they are usually lounging

sluggishly about the airing-courts, or are crouching in corners." Among

favourable indications noted by the Commissioners it is pleasant to read

the following:--"Mechanical restraint has been entirely banished from

the licensed houses, and patients who are recorded in the Report of the

Royal Commissioners as almost always under restraint, are now habitually

free from their bonds. The improvement in the condition of these cases

under the more humane treatment now in use has been most remarkable, and

is especially exemplified in the case of A. S----, a patient in M----


Subsequent Acts were passed, called for by the experience of the

Commissioners in regard to the working of the Act of 1857, some

imperfections in which were naturally discovered in the course of years.

The Lord Advocate and Sir George Grey brought in a Bill in 1862 to make

further provision respecting lunacy in Scotland, which received the

royal assent July 29 (25 and 26 Vict., c. 54).

By this Act, consisting of twenty-five sections, the Board was empowered

to license lunatic wards of workhouses; to sanction the reception of

pauper lunatics in workhouses; to grant special licences for reception

in houses of not more than four lunatics; to grant licences to

charitable institutions for imbecile children without fee; to sanction

detention of pauper lunatics in asylums beyond the limits of their

district; to take such steps as the Board may consider requisite towards

providing accommodation for the district, etc., etc. Not to cite other

sections, certain provisions of the recited Acts as were inconsistent

with the Act were repealed, and the General Board of Commissioners was,

of course, continued.

In their Report of this year (1862) the Commissioners observe, relative

to the supposed increase of insanity, "Judging from the evidence which

the tables afford, the increase is almost entirely due to the

accumulation of the numbers of the insane, and certainly not, to any

marked degree, to a greater disposition in modern times to mental

disease; for while in the years 1858, 1859, 1860, and 1861, the

admissions into asylums scarcely varied in number, the patients

resident in such establishments showed every year a large and steady

increase. Thus, on January 1, 1858, t