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200 Years Ago Today 8

19 May 2015

The Committee on Madhouses questioned Dr Thomas Monro, physician to Bethlem Hospital, about his use of restraints. He told the Committee: “They are fit only for pauper lunatics; if a gentleman was put into irons, he would not like it.” He said that at Bethlem restraints were used but in his private practice they were not. When asked why not, he replied: “There is such a number of servants, there is no sort of occasion; I have forty odd patients, and as many servants.” He added: “Pauper lunatics of course cannot pay for the regular attendance to prevent their doing mischief; and there are so few servants kept for the purpose.”

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