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Spanish Asylums

  • Donald Fraser
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In the spring of 1878, while travelling in Spain in company with two friends, I took the opportunity of visiting several asylums. Having entered Spain by the north, I made known my desire to see some Spanish asylums, to an influential citizen of San Sebastian, who gave me to understand that I would find them in much the same condition that English ones were in about 40 or 50 years ago.* He furnished me with letters of introduction to friends in Madrid, through whom I became acquainted with an accomplished and enthusiastic alienist, Dr. J. M. Esquerdo, Lecturer on General Pathology in the General Hospital of Madrid, and director and proprietor of a private asylum in the neighbourhood of that city.

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* The Provost of Paisley told me recently that he remembers having seen about the year 1828 a row of cells having straw laid on the floor, and provided with posts, to which the madmen of that day belonging to the town were chained. This place was popularly known as the “shells.”

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The British Journal of Psychiatry
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  • EISSN: 2514-9946
  • URL: /core/journals/the-british-journal-of-psychiatry
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Spanish Asylums

  • Donald Fraser
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