Online Encyclopedia

BEDLAM, or BETHLEHEM HOSPITAL

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V03, Page 622 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
Spread the word: del.icio.us del.icio.us it!
BEDLAM, or BETHLEHEM HOSPITAL, the first English lunatic asylum, originally founded by Simon FitzMary, sheriff of London, in 1247, as a priory for the sisters and brethren of the order of the Star of Bethlehem. It had as one of its special objects the housing and entertainment of the bishop and canons of St Mary of Bethlehem, the mother-church, on their visits to England. Its first site was in Bishopsgate Street. It is not certain when lunatics were first received in Bedlam, but it is mentioned as a hospital in 1330 and some were there in 1403. In 1547 it was handed over by Henry VIII. with all its revenues to the city of London as a hospital for lunatics. With the exception of one such asylum in Granada, Spain, the Bethlehem Hospital was the first in Europe. It became famous and after-wards infamous for the brutal ill-treatment meted out to the insane (see INSANITY: Hospital Treatment). In 1675 it was removed to new buildings in Moorfields and finally to its present site in St George's Fields, Lambeth. The word " Bedlam " has long been used generically for all lunatic asylums.
End of Article: BEDLAM, or BETHLEHEM HOSPITAL
[back]
BEDFORDSHIRE [abbreviated Beds]
[next]
BEDLINGTON

Additional information and Comments

There are no comments yet for this article.
» Add information or comments to this article.
Please link directly to this article:
Highlight the code below, right click and select "copy." Paste it into a website, email, or other HTML document.