Thursday, March 22, 2007

mad people

Index of Lunatic Asylums and Mental Hospitals: in England and Wales based on a comprehensive survey in 1844, and extended to other asylums."

The 1844 Report of the Metropolitan Commissioners in Lunacy: "Throughout Wales it was the practice to board idiots and lunatics with a relative, or, if no willing relative could be found, with someone else, usually a peasant or small farmer, who could take charge of the lunatic in return for a weekly allowance. It was a well established agricultural system of community care.

Boarding out for a fee was known as farming out. The fee was negotiated between the Poor Law Guardians and the 'keepers' who took charge of the lunatic. An exceptionally high figure, 7/- a week, was paid to Edward Grey, farmer, for the care of Catherine Williams because she was 'dangerous to others' and 'of dirty habits'. For Ellen Davies, a harmless idiot also boarded with Edward Grey, only 2/9 a week was paid.

The average fee was between 1/6 and 2/6 a week, and in cases where the lunatic or idiot could be put to useful labour, in the house or around the farm, it went much lower., in one case to 4d a week.

Guardians determined where someone should be sent completely on financial grounds. Medical certificates had been signed to say Catherine Williams should be in an asylum, but the English asylums charged three to five shillings more than Edward Grey. In 1844, Haydock Lodge, a cut price pauper house in Lancashire, was opened and offered to take paupe


Post a Comment

<< Home