Author Topic: Died in asylum: mentally ill?  (Read 520 times)

Offline Davedrave

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Died in asylum: mentally ill?
« on: Thursday 07 January 21 18:18 GMT (UK) »
I have a relative who I have discovered died in Derby borough asylum in 1916. He was 51 years old and died of pneumonia, but seems to have also had a heart condition (noted as “old date”, which I assume means he’d had it for a while).

I’m just wondering, given that this happened during the Great War, whether the asylum might have been used as an overflow hospital for non-psychiatric cases, due to possible pressures on the normal hospital from war casualties.

I wonder if there is any way I could find records with reason for admission?

Incidentally I was also surprised to find that his son notified the registrar of his death. I would have expected the hospital authorities to do that.

Dave :)

Offline Rena

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Re: Died in asylum: mentally ill?
« Reply #1 on: Thursday 07 January 21 18:32 GMT (UK) »
Here's a description of the life of that building, which I found interesting.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kingsway_Hospital

I know that we used to be able to obtain hospital records but things have changed and databases moved since I made my enquiries.
Here's link to follow:-

https://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/aboutapps/hospitalrecords/default.htm

Aberdeen: Findlay-Shirras,McCarthy<br />MidLothian: Mason,Telford,Darling,Cruikshanks,Bennett,Sime, Bell<br />Lanarks:Crum, Brown, MacKenzie,Cameron, Glen, Millar
Ross, Urray:Mackenzie<br />Moray: Findlay; Marshall/Marischell<br />Perthshire: Brown Ferguson<br />Wales: McCarthy, Thomas<br />England: Almond, Askin, Dodson, Harrison, Maw, McCarthy, Munford, Pye, Shearing, Smith, Smythe, Speight, Strike, Wallis/Wallace, Ward, Wells<br />Germany: Flamme,Ehlers, Bielstein, Germer, Mohlm, Reupke

Offline Davedrave

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Re: Died in asylum: mentally ill?
« Reply #2 on: Thursday 07 January 21 19:03 GMT (UK) »
Here's a description of the life of that building, which I found interesting.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kingsway_Hospital

I know that we used to be able to obtain hospital records but things have changed and databases moved since I made my enquiries.
Here's link to follow:-

https://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/aboutapps/hospitalrecords/default.htm

Thanks for this.

Dave :)


Offline Elwyn Soutter

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Re: Died in asylum: mentally ill?
« Reply #3 on: Thursday 07 January 21 19:15 GMT (UK) »
I have no experience of obtaining medical records in England but I have obtained them in Scotland and Northern Ireland. Both operate a 100 year closure rule, but outside that time limit they are available and I have been able to get copies from the relevant repositories. One was for a mental asylum, so they are apparently just as accessible.

Patients with mental illness mostly die of the same causes that the rest of the population face eg cancer, heart failure, respiratory problems, pneumonia etc. So their death certificates rarely reveal anything about other conditions that they may have suffered from.
Elwyn

Offline Pennines

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Re: Died in asylum: mentally ill?
« Reply #4 on: Thursday 07 January 21 19:35 GMT (UK) »
My Gt Grandfather died in Lancashire Asylum in 1896 -- I was able to get a copy of his admission records from Lancashire Archives.
 
I would certainly check with the local Archives for records from that Asylum. You have passed any 100 year closure date which may have applied.
 
In addition -- I was also surprised to discover that his death was registered by his son, as opposed to a Doctor. (In this case it was definitely a mental case - cause of death 'Paralysis' - which I have subsequently discovered meant Paralysis of the Insane' and was caused by Syphilis!!)
West Yorks; ---- Illingworth, Marshall, Muffit/Muffett/Murfitt, Barber, Sanderson, Townend, Barraclough, Lister -- and lots more. Locations mainly in Birstall parish - Hartshead-- Drighlington --Adwalton --Mirfield - Heckmondwike --Kippax - Sherburn in Elmet.

Ireland ------Cleary, Whelan - Nenagh.
Dowling - Monasterevin
Daly - Westmeath

Lancashire ---- Smith from Alston , Johnson and Fairclough---- Tarleton and loads more from Tarleton and Accrington areas.

Offline Davedrave

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Re: Died in asylum: mentally ill?
« Reply #5 on: Thursday 07 January 21 20:29 GMT (UK) »
Many thanks for your help.

Dave :)

Offline Rosinish

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Re: Died in asylum: mentally ill?
« Reply #6 on: Thursday 07 January 21 21:16 GMT (UK) »
I have no experience of obtaining medical records in England but I have obtained them in Scotland and Northern Ireland. Both operate a 100 year closure rule

I think in your case it may have depended on where you were ordering from & your relationship?

When I made enquiries about obtaining the records of my g/uncle (1894 - 1934) who'd been in Craig Dunain Asylum, Inverness, Scotland, I was sent a form to fill in 'Access to closed records request' & I think from memory the fee was £30.

Annie

Add...I've found the doc. which requests ID (attached)
South Uist, Inverness-shire, Scotland:- Bowie, Campbell, Cumming, Currie

Ireland:- Cullen, Flannigan (Derry), Donahoe/Donaghue (variants) (Cork), McCrate (Tipperary), Mellon, Tol(l)and (Donegal & Tyrone)

Newcastle-on-Tyne/Durham (Northumberland):- Harrison, Jude, Kemp, Lunn, Mellon, Robson, Stirling

Kettering, Northampton:- MacKinnon

Canada:- Callaghan, Cumming, MacPhee

"OLD GENEALOGISTS NEVER DIE - THEY JUST LOSE THEIR CENSUS"

Offline Colin Cruddace

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Re: Died in asylum: mentally ill?
« Reply #7 on: Thursday 07 January 21 22:42 GMT (UK) »
Workhouses and Asylums had their own medical facilities, and these were generally the only hospitals available to the general public. From the few death/burial records that I have seen I noticed that patients had their usual address included, usually under their name. Inmates, by definition, do not have an alternative address.

Since it was his son who registered death (present at death?) also suggests that he was admitted as a patient.

Colin

Offline Davedrave

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Re: Died in asylum: mentally ill?
« Reply #8 on: Friday 08 January 21 08:49 GMT (UK) »
Workhouses and Asylums had their own medical facilities, and these were generally the only hospitals available to the general public. From the few death/burial records that I have seen I noticed that patients had their usual address included, usually under their name. Inmates, by definition, do not have an alternative address.

Since it was his son who registered death (present at death?) also suggests that he was admitted as a patient.

Colin
Thank you Colin for clarifying this.
Certainly the death reg gives his home address. The informant, his eldest son, is not stated to have been present at death. (Incidentally this record is also interesting because it seems to suggest that this son did not go to war. I hadn’t found any military record for him and he was clearly at his Ilkeston home at this time. The next two sons were serving abroad at the time, the elder only just back with his regiment having been badly wounded in May 1916.)

It doesn’t seem worthwhile pursuing the records in view of the fact that his admission was most likely an acute medical rather than a psychiatric matter. Incidentally this happened at the end of December 1916, so there were probably winter pressures even pre-dating the well-known NHS problem with this time of year.

Dave