Records for Lunatic Asylums

Discussion in 'Institutions' started by Sheryl B, Apr 5, 2016.

  1. Sheryl B

    Sheryl B Member

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    Hi Everyone,
    I have been blessed to be researching a clergyman with the totally searchable name of Robinson Shuttleworth Barton! I have traced him in the records to having been admitted to three asylums from 1846 - 1854, multiple times in one case. I am interested in finding out if there are admission records for the following "private" asylums: Kensington House, London; Moorcroft House at Hillingdon near Uxbridge and Hayes Park Asylum in Middlesex. I would appreciate any and all information that people may have about the availability of records of any kind about his admission to these hospitals.
    Regards to you all,
    Sheryl Baron
     
  2. Daft Bat

    Daft Bat Administrator. Chief cook & bottle washer! Staff Member

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    Hi Sheryl,

    It looks like the London Metropolitan Archives would be your best bet for a starting point.

    However, when it comes to Asylums, the studymore website is a fantastic resource and I found the following:

    Kensington House -
    Code:
    http://studymore.org.uk/3_06.htm#KensingtonHouse
    Moor Croft House -
    Code:
    http://studymore.org.uk/3_06.htm#StilwellHouses
    Hayes Park -
    Code:
    http://studymore.org.uk/3_06.htm#Hayes
    I hope that these help. :)
     
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  3. MollyMay

    MollyMay Knows where to find the answers!

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    Moorcroft house is still standing (and was converted to flats in the last 5 or so years). The Stilwell family owned Moorcroft house and originally opened for female patients. The Stilwells are still remembered around here and had operated a benevolent 'care' system.
    Hayes Park (and large Estate, including a muntjac deer colony) is also still around and is the Headquarters for Heinz (of beans and soup fame).

    Next time I am in Uxbridge, it will not be for a week or so, (or you can email them archives@hillingdon.gov.uk) I can ask if they have any info on the residents of the two asylums.
     
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  4. Sheryl B

    Sheryl B Member

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    Thanks so much Jan, this will provide some excellent reading for me!
     
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  5. Sheryl B

    Sheryl B Member

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    I will take a look at this and maybe let you know if there is anything that you could take a look at for me! Thanks so much for your help!
    Regards
    Sheryl
     
  6. MollyMay

    MollyMay Knows where to find the answers!

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    If there is anything local or at the library/archive let me know and I will go and look (do not pay for the archive to send anything, as I can go and do it for you):).
     
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  7. Sheryl B

    Sheryl B Member

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    Hi again Mollymay! I have found a book in the local library in Hillingon that it might be good to get a look at:
    Uxbridge Library Reference book 30112011835318 MD14:MS HISTORIES
    on shelf in Local Studies Room. This book is called "Moorcroft: the history of the house and its inhabitants" and is written by Ian C. Davis. This may lead off into some detail about where archival material might be held??
    This reference, which is photocopied, might also hold some leads:
    Uxbridge Library Photocopy 30112023992065 HILLINGDON
    on shelf in Local Studies Room. This reference is called
    "A short account of Moorcroft, past and present" Author: Cole, R.H.
     
  8. MollyMay

    MollyMay Knows where to find the answers!

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    I will try and get to the library on Saturday (I know the study room is open then) and have a look for you - thanks for the references it will make it simpler to locate them.
     
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  9. MollyMay

    MollyMay Knows where to find the answers!

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    Ancestry have UK Lunacy Patient Admission Register (from the LMA)

    Robinson Shuttleworth Barton has these entries

    5/9/1846 - 4/11/1846 Kensington House (dr Philp) on discharge 'relieved'
    26/4/1848 - 31/8/1848 Moorcroft (A Stilwell) on discharge 'cured'
    28/5/1852 - 9/7/1852 Moorcroft on discharge 'cured'
    9/1/1853 - 18/2/1853 Hayes Park on discharge 'cured'
    26/7/1854 - 18/9/1854 Moorcroft on discharge 'cured'

    Hopefully we can find out more details.
     
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  10. Sheryl B

    Sheryl B Member

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    This was the detail that I had uncovered and there is more in newspapers to suggest that there were serious mental health issues -- swearing and profanity towards workmen working on the Rectory during renovations, 2 X fires in the rectory -- all prior to his first admission to Kensington House in 1846. As early as 1841 there are signs that all is not well. It would be excellent if there were any patient records still in existence to see what was going on for this man of the cloth!!
    Incidentally, added in to the list of five admissions that you located above there is another from 21/4/1849 - 26 July 1849 Moorcroft "cured", so there are six separate incidences of admission and discharge. This might just be useful as you search for any further details.
    Thanks so much for your interest in piecing together life for this man!
     
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  11. Sheryl B

    Sheryl B Member

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    I have now had a reply for the Hillingdon Archives and the archivist indicates that they do not hold any "diaries" which I take to be the records about the patients and their care and treatment. The archivist who replied was mot helpful and shared the pages from Ancestry which we have now seen already! Anyway it is Saturday morning here, already, so I am most interested to see what your visit, MollyMay, will bring once your Saturday dawns and I am most appreciative of your help on this.
     
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  12. MollyMay

    MollyMay Knows where to find the answers!

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    Still Friday night here, will let you know if I find anything after my visit tomorrow morning. The library staff are a lovely bunch and always willing to help if they can, glad that they got back to you.
     
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  13. AnnB

    AnnB Editor in Chief who is Hot off the Press!

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    I've been reading the newspaper accounts of the Rev Barton's 'outbursts' and there is quite a lot of references to him being 'not quite sober' and appearing 'intoxicated'. So, was he, perhaps, an alcoholic and when he had really bad episodes he was admitted to one asylum or another until he had sobered up?
     
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  14. Ma-dotcom

    Ma-dotcom A Bonza Little Digger!

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    He may also have been the unlucky owner of a brain tumour or similar, who would know? Some things are hard enough to diagnose even now, imagine back then!!
     
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  15. MollyMay

    MollyMay Knows where to find the answers!

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    I am back from the library, although I have learned a lot about something so local to me there is nothing new to add about your Robinson:(

    A few interesting and relevant notes:-
    From Ian Davies Book (dated 1992)
    1853 - Patients were still largely from middle - upper classes with the same blend of clergy, barristers, farmers and even an earl an a baronet.

    By 1845 Lunacy Commissioners required each institution to keep numerous books relating to admissions, medical visits, medial cases, visitors and patients. No such material has been traced in relation to Moorcroft.

    Moorcroft closed in 1947 and was sold to the then Middlesex County Council in 1953.


    I think the records were probably lost when the council used the house for Children's services after they purchased it.

    The R H Cole account (which confirms the existence of records in 1908), I have had photocopied and make really interesting reading. As it is a chapter from a book I am not sure about copyright issues, so will not post here, plus there are 6 pages of it. So Cheryl if you would like me to email them to you pm me your address and I will pass them on to you.
    One quote which might have relevance -
    We do not propose to discuss etiological factors, but we would like to mention that alcohol, in our opinion, plays a but a small part as a causative agent in our cases. This we believe to be in accord with the experience of most private asylum medical officers.

    As a total aside - I was at the old Moorcroft farm yesterday, it is now Rural Activities Centre, managed by the local council and run by local handicapped adults as a garden centre, so the land is still being used agriculturally - I even bought eggs from their chickens:).
     
  16. Ma-dotcom

    Ma-dotcom A Bonza Little Digger!

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    Tourette's Syndrome comes to mind in the Reverend's case.
     
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  17. Sheryl B

    Sheryl B Member

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    I now have access to his death certificate and find that he had had "paralysis" for 13 years and "serous apoplexy" when he died 4 June 1858, so perhaps his stays in the asylum were to give his long suffering wife a chance to get a break from caring for him? His Will also leaves a sum of money to a servant who cared for him when they "were in France" so, perhaps, he went to warmer climes for the good of his health? There is so much more to uncover in this fascinating journey! Thanks for this thought as I had wondered if he was alcoholic??
     
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  18. Sheryl B

    Sheryl B Member

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    Wow, I have been so busy with sending for death certificates and Wills that I have taken some time to get back to this site!! You are amazing what you could uncover!! I am so keen to see what you have found. You will see in my reply to Ann that there do seem to be other health issues in the case of this ancestor!! I deeply appreciate your help and will PM you my e-mail address for the detail that you have uncovered!!
     
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  19. Sheryl B

    Sheryl B Member

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    Sounds like he certainly may have suffered a stroke or similar that could explain the paralysis. These "old" illnesses are hard to work out!! Thanks for sharing your thoughts!! I just LOVE how people are so happy to help with even quite complex queries!!
     
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  20. Sheryl B

    Sheryl B Member

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    My "research partner" suggested exactly the same thing! Maybe this poor guy had it?? I note, but can find nothing more on it, that he was promoted to Captain in the Lancashire Militia in 1814, so perhaps, he saw service somewhere and had ongoing issues with Post traumatic stress disorder? So many things could contribute to this bizarre behaviour!!
     
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