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Thomas Prichard and the non-restraint movement at the Northampton Asylum

  • Camilla Haw (a1) and Graeme Yorston (a2)

Robert Gardiner Hill, house surgeon, and Edward Charlesworth, physician and governor, at the Lincoln County Asylum are generally regarded as being the pioneers of the non-restraint movement in the UK, having totally abolished the use of mechanical restraints at that institution by 1838 (Lincolnshire Archives, 1838; Smith, 1999). John Connolly introduced non-restraint to the Hanwell Asylum in the summer of 1839, closely following Lincoln (Hunter & Macalpine, 1968). However, Gardiner Hill suggested the credit for introducing non-restraint in its full extent should go to Dr Thomas Prichard of the Northampton Asylum (Hill, 1857).

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Foss, A. & Trick, K. (1989) St Andrew's Hospital, Northampton. The First 150 Years (1838–1988), p.27. Cambridge: Granta.
Hill, R. G. (1857) A Concise History of the Entire Abolition of Mechanical Restraint in the Treatment of the Insane. London: Longmans.
Hunter, R. & Macalpine, I. (1968) Introduction to J. Connolly (1847). The Construction and Government of Lunatic Asylums, reprinted 1968, pp. 2129. London: Dawsons.
Hunter, R. & Macalpine, I. (1982) Three Hundred Years of Psychiatry 1535–1860. NewYork: Carlisle Publishing.
Lincolnshire Archives (1838) Lincoln Lunatic Asylum 14th Report. Hosp/St John's/4/1/2. Lincoln: Lincolnshire Archives.
Lincolnshire Archives (1841) Lincoln Lunatic Asylum 17th Report. Hospl/St John's/4/1/2.
Nort Hampton Record Office (1840) Second Annual Report of the Northampton General Lunatic Asylum. Wellingborough: Westbrook.
Robinson, G. (1859) The Prevention and Treatment of Mental Disorders. London: Longmans.
Smith, L. (1999) Cure, Comfort and Safe Custody, p. 268. London: Leicester University Press.
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BJPsych Bulletin
  • ISSN: 0955-6036
  • EISSN: 1472-1473
  • URL: /core/journals/bjpsych-bulletin
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Thomas Prichard and the non-restraint movement at the Northampton Asylum

  • Camilla Haw (a1) and Graeme Yorston (a2)
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