The New Poor Law Amendment Act of 1834 led to the admission of considerable numbers of pauper “lunatics, idiots and imbeciles” to parish workhouses. The Stoke-upon-Trent workhouse, erected in 1832, had progressively to increase its accommodation for this class of inmate who, by 1899, numbered about 100. Brief details are given of nursing staff and of improvements in conditions of care following recommendations of the Lunacy Commissioners. Primary sources of information are indicated and emphasis is laid on the importance for the history of English psychiatry of documenting the care of the mentally ill and mentally impaired in Union workhouses.
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