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Old September 15th, 2009, 09:57 AM   #21
Silverstealth
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I have a question about Broadmoor that maybe one of you can answer:

The 1867 illustrations show a large female dormitory with a number of beds, whereas the illustration of the "male dormitory" shows a man in his own room with an open window playing a violin.

Dadd's room was very much like the latter; he was even given another room in which to paint, which must have been a mark of special favor because the Asylum was so proud of his artwork.

>My question is, did the patients from wealthier families get the nicer private rooms because their families paid an additional fee? Or were they simply given to higher-status patients, or even awarded on a merit basis?

Thanks, Archaic
Single cells within a ward would be used for segregation, punishment and in the cases of mania a place where they would be safe from harming themselves, a single room having been adapted into a padded cell



A row of Seclusion cells within a male epileptic block.



This is a more modern single room, this room was specially adapted for a "messy" patient who spent 18 years living within these walls.



The padded cell at West Park, Epsom



Companies like Pocock would supply Asylums with flat pack padded cells.



This "Pocock" cell was originally in Rampton.

However single rooms just off the ward would be given to trusted patients who had earned by their behaviour certain privileges. The benefit of this arrangement would be seen to be highly favourable given that sleep within the wards was difficult due to the sheer volume of people living in close proximety.

Dadd would have earned his single room by abiding by the rules over a long period. He may have oiled the machinery too by doing paintings for staff etc.

If you were in the Asylum and solvent or your family had means then you would be charged a £1 a week back in 1888 for your accomodation and given the status of "private patient", this would enable you to have such luxuries as extra butter. You could apply for this amount to be reduced and your circumstances would be looked into, if your funds had run out you would be transferred to the pauper account.

I have heard of some private within Pauper Asylums have an whole suite of rooms but this was both rare and expensive.
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Old September 16th, 2009, 04:17 PM   #22
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Edward Oxford (1822-1900) was a post boy. On June 10th 1840 he attempted to shoot Queen Victoria. He was admitted to Bethlem soon afterwards. While in Bethlem he was very well behaved and ‘devoted all his leisure time to instructive reading and study.

His activities included:
• Learning French, German, Italian, Spanish, Latin and Greek
• Playing the violin
• Knitting
• Playing chess and draughts
• Painting and decorating the hospital

He was transferred to Broadmoor in April 1864. In Broadmoor he said that the pistol he fired at the Queen contained only powder, and that he had not intended to hurt Her Majesty. He had only committed his crime because he wanted to be a celebrity.

The doctors decided he had been sane all along, and discharged him in November 1867. He was told to leave Britain and never return. He sailed to Melbourne, Australia, on the ship ‘Suffolk’. In Australia he changed his name to ‘John Freeman’,got married, and became a successful freelance journalist. He died in Melbourne in 1900.
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Old September 23rd, 2009, 02:42 AM   #23
Archaic
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Default 1950's

A view of Broadmoor in the 1950's, looking very much the way it did nearly a hundred years earlier:

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Old September 23rd, 2009, 03:06 AM   #24
SPE
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Originally Posted by Silverstealth View Post
...
Edward Oxford (1822-1900) was a post boy. On June 10th 1840 he attempted to shoot Queen Victoria. He was admitted to Bethlem soon afterwards. While in Bethlem he was very well behaved and ‘devoted all his leisure time to instructive reading and study.


His activities included:
• Learning French, German, Italian, Spanish, Latin and Greek
• Playing the violin
• Knitting
• Playing chess and draughts
• Painting and decorating the hospital
He was transferred to Broadmoor in April 1864. In Broadmoor he said that the pistol he fired at the Queen contained only powder, and that he had not intended to hurt Her Majesty. He had only committed his crime because he wanted to be a celebrity.
The doctors decided he had been sane all along, and discharged him in November 1867. He was told to leave Britain and never return. He sailed to Melbourne, Australia, on the ship ‘Suffolk’. In Australia he changed his name to ‘John Freeman’,got married, and became a successful freelance journalist. He died in Melbourne in 1900.
I have a hand-written poem by Oxford whilst in 'Bedlam' and I would post a scan of it but the site doesn't appear to be accepting images.
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Old September 23rd, 2009, 06:48 AM   #25
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Dear SPE,all...

That attachment problem has been duly noted and passed on to Tim as of 5:30ish this morning.
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Old September 23rd, 2009, 01:31 PM   #26
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Nice little article I found in an 1970's medical journal.
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Old September 25th, 2009, 03:55 PM   #27
Archaic
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Default 1888 Lancet Article re:Broadmoor Criminal Lunatics

I found the following article in the British Medical Journal 'Lancet', August 11, 1888. I thought it would be of interest here because it discusses a number of weighty topics, including "the relationship of Insanity to Crime" and the necessity of continuing to monitor patients after they are declared Insane and incarcerated at Broadmoor.

The article also raises the issue of the best process by which to determine the mental state of a criminal in cases of suspected Insanity, and whether this process is best conducted by "trained legal minds",
i.e. lawyers, or "trained medical experts", i.e. doctors.

Lord Bramwell had recently argued that simple "common sense" was a perfectly adequate basis for a legal determination of insanity, which greatly alarmed medical experts.



The LANCET August 11, 1888:

Sir Crichton Browne's classical and practical lecture, which appeared in our columns on July 28th and August 4th, cannot fail to attract attention, and excite discussion on the question of criminal responsibility, by members of the legal and medical professions, as well as by the educated public at large.

For our own part, we unhesitatingly adopt the arguments of the lecturer, and support his appeal for the appointment of a "Criminal Lunacy Inquiry Commission," which he proposes for the purpose of making systematic and periodical investigations into the condition of criminal lunatics after their consignment to Broadmoor Asylum.

There are some prisoners and convicts concerning whose insanity no doubt can arise, even in the mind of the laity, but there are others whose crimes, although apparently— that is, to the ordinary observer— committed whilst in full possession of will power, are yet traceable by the expert to diminution of voluntary control. If happily these latter escape with their lives to be "detained during Her Majesty's pleasure," it is obvious that a complete record of their acts and demeanour during their incarceration should not only be preserved, but published, in confirmation of the grounds upon which they were sent to enforced confinement instead of to the gallows.

If this were done, there would be less disposition than there is at present to hesitate to accept the opinion of expert medical witnesses upon the relationship of insanity to crime. Whilst, however, the recorded history of so-called criminal lunatics ends with their public career, there will necessarily be a great tendency to regard with distrust the plea of irresponsibility set up in answer to a charge of wilful murder.

Perhaps the most cogent remarks in Sir J. CRICHTON Browne's lecture were those in which he attacked and demolished the tenets held by Lord BRAMWELL upon the most fitting jury— lay or medical —to decide upon a man's insanity. As is well known, his Lordship holds the opinion that "common sense " is sufficient to determine the question at issue, and that there is no necessity for special expert knowledge. Nor is Lord Bramwell singular in this opinion, for not long since we had occasion to contest the " common-sense " ruling of one of our judges, "that the question of a prisoner's insanity was one for the jury, and not for the medical witness."

As our readers will have observed; Sir J. Crichton Browne proposes that the suggested Criminal Lunacy Inquiry Commission should consist of lawyers and medical men. One's first impression would be that so apparently incongruous an admixture of legal and medical minds would be unlikely to yield useful practical results, but such preconception must give way before the assurance vouchsafed that both in the case of the Lord Chancellor's Visitors and in that of the Board of Commissioners in Lunacy—each of which has its legal and medical representatives — the lawyers, with striking aptitude, adopt the scientific standpoint when brought Into contact with their medical colleagues.
It must not be gathered from this statement that the lawyers are mere servile puppets, and that their pay is an "unearned increment" to their means, since "the severe intellectual training which a barrister goes through, the art which he acquires in his profession of sifting evidence and of concentrating his attention upon minute details, as in reading judicial decisions, prepares him to look with insight and judgment upon cases of Insanity when they are brought under his personal notice."

We have over and over again in these columns declaimed against the existing legal test of criminal responsibility— vie., the knowledge of right and wrong, or of the nature and consequences of a criminal act. It is long since such test was proved by medical science to be unreliable, since it is so often fallacious. Such a commission as Sir J. Crichton Browne requests would tend by its investigations and reports to move the lethargic legal mind toward the advisability—nay, the necessity—of reform in this important matter, and thus to force the Legislature to substitute proved scientific data for the so-called "common sense" as adopted by Lord Bramwell and others.

In conclusion, we would suggest that the Criminal Lunacy Inquiry Commission should not confine its labours to investigating the cases of the Broadmoor prisoners, but should act as assessors to the courts appointed to determine the mental condition of persons alleged to be insane.
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Old September 26th, 2009, 01:47 PM   #28
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Thumbs up Dr. Wm. Minor, Criminal Lunatic & Oxford English Dictionary Compiler

I highly recommend this BBC article from their "Legacies, Myths and Legends: Berkshire" series.

It's about Dr. William Minor, a scholarly man who labored for over 20 years to supply material for new Oxford English Dictionary which was then being compiled. He was a brilliant and prolific researcher, slaving away unpaid, and held in great regard by the scholars he corresponded with...

What nobody knew for many years was that Dr. Minor was an inmate in the Broadmoor Criminal Insane Asylum the entire time!! While Murray and the other Dictionary organizers had seen Minor's return address was "Broadmoor", they assumed he was either a Staff Doctor or even the Director of the Asylum! Murray and Minor became close friends, and Murray protected Minor's reputation among the other Dictionary scholars by concealing the fact that Minor was an Asylum INMATE, not its Director!

It's a fascinating story; Minor was an American who had been an Army Surgeon during the American Civil War, where he witnessed such horrific suffering that it seems to have unhinged his mind. Today his illness would probably be diagnosed as Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome.
After he moved to Lambeth in London, Minor unfortunately killed a man during one of his PTSD paranoic episodes and was committed to Broadmoor.

Minor devoted the rest of his life to scholarly studies and was known as a very gentle and peaceful man. I believe he is considered the single greatest contributor to the Oxford English Dictionary.

Dr William Minor at Broadmoor:


Here's a link to the article; when the attachment issue is sorted I'll try to post the text.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/legacies/myths_...rticle_1.shtml
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Old September 27th, 2009, 12:51 AM   #29
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Thank you Ms Archaic, that is a good writeup on Minor in the link.

The BBC article at the end mentions the book about this - The Surgeon of Crowthorne.. by Simon Winchester, published in America as - The Professor and the Madman.. I had the pleasure of reading it.

There are several extra twists to his story, including one very bizarre one. But I won't give it away here, you would need to read the book.

Roy
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Old September 28th, 2009, 12:04 PM   #30
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Thanks, Roy, I'm glad you enjoyed it.

And thanks for the book suggestion; I already added it to my Amazon 'Wish List'.
I'm glad you didn't give the "secret twist" away.

It just occurred to me that Minor's story could make an interesting film or documentary; it seems like the BBC would have done one by now... but if they have, I haven't yet come across it.

Even the fascinating Richard Dadd got only 7 minutes in that series "The Victorians"... sigh.
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