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Religion as an index of the rise and fall of ‘moral treatment’ in 19th century lunatic asylums in England

  • Henry R. Rollin (a1)
Abstract

“…; and the tone of the chapel bell, coming across the Valley of the Brent, still reminds me, morning and evening, of the weft-remembered and mingled congregation of the afflicted, and who are then assembling, humble yet hopeful, and not forgotten, and not spiritually deserted.”

As a function of the Christian ethic, monasteries in Britain from the Middle Ages onwards set aside a section for the care of the sick. The monastic tradition ensured that the spiritual needs of the physically sick were well taken care of: chapels formed an integral part of the building complex and chaplains were, of course, constantly on tap. The mentally sick were less well served, however. For example, the second building to be occupied by St Luke's Hospital, London, opened in 1787, did not even boast a chapel, a distinction shared with Bethlem, the other major charity asylum, then occupying a purpose-built structure in Moorgate in the City of London.

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Copyright
This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
References
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Burdett, H.C. (1891) Hospitals and Asylums of the World, Vol II. London: Churchill.
Conolly, J. On the Treatment of the Insane without Mechanical Restraints: London 1856. Reprinted 1973. by Dawsons of Pall Mall with an introduction by Richard Hunter and Ida Macalpine.
Crammer, J. (1990) Asylum History. Buckinghamshire County Pauper Lunatic Asylum: St John's. London: Gaskell (The Royal College of Psychiatrists).
Hindle, R. Lancashire Record Office Expenditure, Preston, 1843, pp. 238–39 quoted in Walton, J.
Report on the Metropolitan Commissioners in Lunacy to the Lord Chancellor, 1844. London: Bradbury & Evans, Printers, Whitefriars.
Uwins, D. (?1780–1837) In: Hunter, R. & Macalpine, I. (1963) Three Hundred Years of Psychiatry 1535–1860. London: Oxford University Press, p 834.
Walton, J. The treatment of pauper lunatics in Victorian England: the case of Lancaster Asylum, 1816–1870. Chap. in Mad Doctors and Madmen. (ed. Scull, A., 1981) London: The Athlone Press.
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BJPsych Bulletin
  • ISSN: 0955-6036
  • EISSN: 1472-1473
  • URL: /core/journals/bjpsych-bulletin
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Religion as an index of the rise and fall of ‘moral treatment’ in 19th century lunatic asylums in England

  • Henry R. Rollin (a1)
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