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Workhouse or asylum: the nineteenth century battle for the care of the pauper insane

  • E. D. Myers (a1)
Abstract

Throughout the 19th century some 20–25% of all known pauper lunatics in England and Wales were accommodated in workhouses. Early on, the lunacy commissioners considered that all pauper lunatics should be admitted to asylums and were highly critical of the conditions under which they were kept in workhouses. As the century progressed the lunacy commissioners were forced to compromise because of the lack of space in asylums and diminishing confidence in the results of asylum treatment. By the end of the century the lunacy commissioners were reconciled to the accommodation of feeble-minded, imbecile, idiot, chronic psychotic and demented paupers in workhouses, but held to the view that the acute pauper insane should be admitted to asylums.

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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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Arlidge, J. T. (1859) On the State of Lunacy and the Legal Provision for the Insane, p. 102. London: Churchill.
Boyd, R. (1870) Presidential address. Journal of Mental Science, 17, 315320.
Bucknill, J. C. (1880) The Care of the Insane and their Legal Control p. 114. London: Macmillan.
Commissioners in Lunacy (1859) Supplement to the Twelfth Report of The Commissioners in Lunacy, p. 36. London: HMSO.
Commissioners in Lunacy (1864) Eighteenth Report of the Commissioners in Lunacy, p. 77. London: HMSO.
Commissioners in Lunacy (1891) Forty-Fifth Report of the Commissioners in Lunacy, p. 81. London: HMSO.
Commissioners in Lunacy (1910) Sixty-Fourth Report of the Commissioners in Lunacy, p. 64. London: HMSO.
Hodgkinson, R. G. (1966) Provision for pauper lunatics 1834–1871. Medical History, 10, 138154.
Jones, K. (1993) Asylums and After, pp. 8991 London: Athlone Press.
Maudsley, H. (1871) Presidential address. Journal of Mental Science, 17, 311334.
Metropolitan Commissioners in Lunacy (1844) Report of the Metropolitan Commissioners in Lunacy, p.98. London: HMSO.
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BJPsych Bulletin
  • ISSN: 0955-6036
  • EISSN: 1472-1473
  • URL: /core/journals/bjpsych-bulletin
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Workhouse or asylum: the nineteenth century battle for the care of the pauper insane

  • E. D. Myers (a1)
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