The St. Bernard Hospital

Asylums was a place where people would be sent when they were considered “insane” and in too many cases if you were admitted to an Asylum, you very well could never leave because you would never be considered “cured”. In the 1800s there were several Acts that had been passed regarding building Asylums and in 1808 there was an Act passed which gave county’s the ability to start building Asylums from financing from the local rates (so like taxes). One of the Asylums from this time was known as the St Bernard’s Hospital (also known as Hanwell Insane Asylum and the Hanwell Pauper and Lunatic Asylum) and in 1831 was opened to be the first Asylum in Middlesex County. One of the first superintendents was Dr. William Charles Ellis who had been known for his work of “great principle of therapeutic employment” an many thought his type of therapy was resulting in a supposed speedy recovery for the patients. Due to this speedy recovery they were having, this pleased the Justices of the Peace because is was cutting the cost of having long term patients, which one of the biggest problems with Asylums was patients checking and there was no telling when they were going to check out because they “never get better” only worse dude to conditions. When the third superintendent became to authority he made in the institution famous for having all mechanical restraints (which I don’t even know if that sounds completely safe to me? However what do I know).

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