4 Annotations

dirk  •  Link

From the above: Pepys in "Bedlam"...

"In England, the priory of the Order of St Mary of Bethlehem was founded in London in 1247 and used for lunatics from 1377. [...] It remained the only specialised institution for housing the mad until at least the 17th century. Bethlem, or 'Bedlam' as it became popularly known, was controlled by the Crown until 1546 when it was passed (along with St Thomas's and St Bartholomew's Hospitals) to the Corporation of the City of London. [...] By 1632, Bethlem housed 27 inmates which grew to 44 within 10 years. Following its destruction by fire, the hospital was moved, in 1676, from its old site (the present-day Liverpool Street Station) to a palatial building at Moorfields which could accommodate 130-150 inmates.

'Bedlam' became a byword for man's inhumanity to man despite insistence by the hospital authorities that inmates were not beaten, abused or forcibly restrained unless it was necessary to maintain order and control. The hospital also became a world-renowned ‘showcase' for the mad and attracted hundreds of visitors who turned up, paid the required fee, and either gawped at or taunted the inmates to near riot. The diarists, Samuel Pepys (1633-1703) and John Evelyn (1620-1706), were regular visitors."


Terry Foreman  •  Link

Bethlem Royal Hospital, also known as St Mary Bethlehem, Bethlehem Hospital and Bedlam, is a psychiatric hospital in London, United Kingdom....Originally the hospital was near Bishopsgate just outside the walls of the City of London. It moved outside of Moorfields in the 17th century. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bethlem_Royal_Hospi…

Terry Foreman  •  Link

In Our Time
Listen in pop-out player -- 43 minutes

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the early years of Bedlam, the name commonly used for the London hospital of St Mary of Bethlehem outside Bishopsgate, described in 1450 by the Lord Mayor of London as a place where may "be found many men that be fallen out of their wit. And full honestly they be kept in that place; and some be restored onto their wit and health again. And some be abiding therein for ever." As Bethlem, or Bedlam, it became a tourist attraction in the 17th Century at its new site in Moorfields and, for its relatively small size, made a significant impression on public attitudes to mental illness. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0739rfg#play

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