Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 60.djvu/46

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in this field. The first is that the oldest lunatic asylum in the metropolis of Catholicism was that erected by the Spaniards in 1548. The second is, that, when at the close of the eighteenth century, Pinel began his great labors in this sphere, he pronounced Spain to be the country in which lunatics were treated with most wisdom and most humanity."

In the twelfth century madmen were taken to St. Bartholomew's in London and, according to the monkish narratives many wonderful cures were effected. Up to the sixteenth century monasteries and prisons and ecclesiastical hospitals contained cells into which lunatics were received, but it is probable that they were given little care or treatment and that the public at large was the chief beneficiary by their incarceration. In 1547 the first lunatic asylum not under ecclesiastical administration was established in England. The priory for the order of St. Mary of Bethlehem founded by Simon Fitzmary, a sheriff of London, in 1247, in St. Botolph's without Bishopsgate, London, had for a century and a half been used for the reception of lunatics. In this year the institution, for long before called Bedlam, was transferred by Henry the VIII. to the authorities of the city, with an order that it be converted into a house for the reception of lunatics. It stood in an out of the way place, close to many common sewers and accommodated but fifty or sixty patients. For very many years, however, the place remained a 'horrible prison,' says Sibbald, 'and not a hospital in any sense of the word.' "Up to the year 1770 the patients were exhibited to the public like wild beasts in cages, on payment of a penny, and they are said to have afforded much sport to the visitors who flocked to see them in numbers estimated at not less than 48,000 annually. Some whose condition was so ameliorated that they were no longer considered dangerous to the public were licensed to go begging. On their left arm was placed an armilla—an iron ring for the arm about four inches long, which they could not get off'." "They wore about their necks," says Aubrey, as quoted by Disraeli, "a great horn of an ox in a sling or bawdry, which when they came to a house they did wind; and they put the drink given them into this horn, whereto they put a stopple." In a Tom of Bedlam song which dates from the first part of the seventeenth century, the comforts of his asylum life are thus alluded to by the licentiated beggar:

In the lovely lofts of Bedham
In stubble soft and dainty,
Brave bracelets strong.
Sweet whips ding dong,
And a wholesome hunger plenty.

About 1675 when the licensing of beggar lunatics was stopped by law, a new Bedlam three times the capacity of the old was erected in