bethlem hospital


The Schizophrenic Murdering Artist

Richard Dadd was a young British painter of huge promise who fell into mental illness while touring the Mediterranean in the early 1840s. He spent over forty years in lunatic asylums, dying at Broadmoor in 1886. During that time he painted, producing mesmerizingly detailed watercolors and oil paintings of which The Fairy Feller’s Master-Stroke is now the most well known.

Among the symptoms of Dadd’s illness – which sounds today like a form of schizophrenia – were delusions of persecution and the receipt of messages from the Ancient Egyptian deity Osiris. Dadd was commanded to kill his father and did so in the summer of 1843. After an equally well planned escape to France, the artist was eventually admitted to the Criminal Lunatic department of Bethlem Hospital in Lambeth (now the Imperial War Museum) and it was here that he painted the Fairy Feller. According to the inscription on the back of the canvas it took him nine years to complete, between 1855 and 1864.

anonymous asked:

Flinthamilton + 8 for the kiss-prompts meme. Thank you.

8. being unable to open their eyes for a few moments afterward


He was touching Thomas Hamilton again.

He knew his hands were trembling as he held the back of Thomas’s head, felt his hair as Thomas’s breath caressed his lips.

Thomas breathed.

James let the smile spread over his face. He felt delirious. Thomas’s hands held his face and though the years had made changes—that beard!—James knew those sapphire eyes, those fingers, the breath from lips that now pressed against his.

In the intimacy of that particular contact James struggled not to collapse then and there. He clung to Thomas, desperate to keep this for as long as he was allowed. Dimly he knew they were standing in a field on a plantation and there were slaves and guards and oh, how he needed to say things and think of things to say, but he simply let it all go.

Thomas’s lips were dry and warm. The tip of his tongue slipped inside James’s mouth, unsure but still somehow urgent, and James imagined stars imploding. Silver had been right.

Only now did he realize that Silver’s promises about Thomas being alive and well had never truly touched him, had never penetrated nearly a decade’s worth of what had been Truth. A truth perpetuated by a letter he’d held in his trembling hands, telling him in no uncertain terms that Lord Hamilton was deceased in Bethlem Royal Hospital. He’d fought that truth, had raged and wept and pillaged and burned and killed against it. Even when exhaustion took its toll and he’d finally accepted it as truth he had raged on. The horrible truth had settled snugly deep inside him, where he knew it would remain until his dying day.

But not true. Not true at all. He had thought that his destination here would be his darkest hour, his defeat, but even in the dark here, there was discovery. Beautiful, miraculous discovery all over again.


His given name from Thomas’s mouth never sounded so good. That voice again, raw and whispered: “James, open your eyes!”

James did so. How long had they been closed? Thomas let out a breathy laugh.

“I’m sorry,” James managed, blinking as the rest of the world came back to him. Thomas shook his head, needing no apology or explanation, the tears still running down his cheeks.

James closed his eyes and kissed him again.


[send me a prompt]

extasiswings  asked:

Friend! Out of curiosity, as Resident Historian, do you have any thoughts on historical ableism and acceptance/non-acceptance of disability? (Ideally especially during the Golden Age of Piracy but I'm also generally fascinated)

Hehe. Of course I have Thoughts. When do I not have Thoughts.

Medieval disability studies have started to become a considerable trend in just the past 10 years or so, and that link above provides a brief overview and several selections for further reading. The medieval era is obviously the one I know most about, and there was – if no form of institutionalized or regularized medical care for the disabled and ill – not total ignorance of it either. Almshouses (essentially charity homes for the sick and disabled) and leper hospitals were increasingly common in Europe from the eleventh century on. Leprosy was associated with the crusades, and the founding of hospitals for them was viewed as both a social necessity, to segregate those with a highly visible, contagious, and debilitating disease from others, and as a charitable duty for the care of holy people (crusaders) who had achieved some virtue by their actions. There was considerable influence in ideas about the holiness of suffering, and that those who did so were closer to God. In fact, medieval care of the disabled was strongly influenced by classical Christian ideas of piety: care for the sick, feed the hungry, etc, and there were orders of monks and nuns dedicated to it. 

As ever, your class was the strongest determining factor of the care you received: if you were wealthy, you could pay for servants to tend your needs, and live fairly comfortably in your own home. Disability and illness was not a disqualifying factor from attaining high office (as you might expect in a world without modern medical care – everyone would be subject to the same things), and there are many representations of disability in medieval manuscripts. But if you were poor, you were reliant on whatever care your family could or wanted to provide for you, or had to hope you could get a place at an almshouse or similar institution. There were superstitions around disability, and if you had to work for your living in any way (aka everyone below the nobility), this seriously disadvantaged you. But the disabled lived fairly freely in their communities, including in positions of power, weren’t an uncommon or unexpected sight by any means, and had some basic (if doubtless not particularly comfortable) system set up for their care, based on religious charity and individual piety.

As leprosy, a visibly disfiguring physical disease, mostly disappeared from Western Europe around 1500, a new focus on mental disability appeared instead, centered especially on the imagery of the “Ship of Fools.” Michel Foucault talks about this in Madness and Civilization, but it was a particular theme in literature and art, based around the 1494 epic poem “Das Narrenschiff” by the humanist Sebastian Brant. It was, once again, a moral commentary on both humanity and, particularly, the corrupt Catholic Church. The “fools” were placed on a ship and ostracized (symbolically) from the body politic; madness was a concerning and troubling political feature among several monarchs (such as with Joanna “the Mad” of Castile and Charles VI of France, as well as Henry VI of England) and it began to be viewed more negatively than it necessarily had been in the medieval era. Aka: as ever, physical disability was easier to understand and to care for, but mental disabilities got the shaft.

In regard to the Golden Age of Piracy (1650-1726, or thereabouts) pirates were, as ever, radical in their social organization and mores. We already know that they were hella queer, had their own form of gay marriage (often shared in a threesome with a woman) and in general were socially liberal, egalitarian, and democratic (honestly, Black Sails is incredibly accurate in capturing the spirit of the historical pirates’ republic and lifestyle, and it was conceived specifically in response to the brutality and oppression of the Navy, which many of them had fled). This extended to their treatment of disability, though medical care and disability had obviously been common to seamen long before pirates. However, while a debilitating injury often meant that a merchant or Navy sailor was turned out with not much option for future employment, pirates established basic workman’s comp and social insurance for everyone aboard a ship. Pirate articles often included specific provisions for disability and loss of limb; Henry Morgan’s in 1671 spell out various sums for the loss of a leg, arm, or eye. Furthermore, disability payments could sometimes continue indefinitely. So a pirate with a peg leg or a hook for a hand or an eyepatch (or all the other pirate trappings, many of which were popularized by Stevenson in Treasure Island) would actually be uncommon. If they got severely or traumatically injured in the line of duty, they could retire with enough money to support themselves, and not need to hazard the dangerous and difficult life of an amputee aboard a traditional sailing ship. (Incidentally, the popular image of a pirate is often how disability began to be represented in the media.)

The excavation and recovery of the Queen Anne’s Revenge has yielded nearly a full kit of medical supplies, and Blackbeard reportedly forced the three surgeons to stay aboard the ship when he captured it. There is some debate about how the image of the “disabled pirate” – Stevenson’s Long John Silver and Blind Pew, Barrie’s Captain Hook, etc – began to be common, and the answer is probably tied to the attitudes of the late 18th and overall 19th centuries, which were absolutely disastrous for disabled people. The rise of the asylums began around now, including the notorious Bethlem Royal Hospital (from where we get the word “bedlam.”) Workhouses were built en masse, where the destitute poor and the actually disabled alike were shoved in indiscriminately and treated abominably, and “asylum tourism,” aka go to the madhouse to admire the architecture (and gape at the patients) was a real and horrifying thing. Thus, disability became tied to immorality, weakness, deficiency, and the need to be publically segregated from society (until then, the disabled had been cared for at home – there were a small number of patients in a few private charity hospitals in 1800, and by 1900, there were almost 100,000 in countless workhouses/asylums/general pits of misery). You have Capitalism! (take a shot) and the Industrial Revolution to thank for that. If you couldn’t work in a factory, and you couldn’t earn a wage, and you were a burden on your family who now would be expected to work for an income to support themselves, yep, it was the madhouse for you. And of course, plenty of totally non-mad people got shipped off as well. As I said. Disastrous.

In fact, we have Nellie Bly (aka Elizabeth Jane Cochran, a reporter at the New York World, who I wrote about in my first Timeless historical companion piece) to thank for starting a conversation around asylum reform. In 1887, in a groundbreaking piece of undercover journalism, she got herself committed to Blackwell’s Island asylum in New York and then wrote Ten Days in a Mad-House, revealing both the nightmarish conditions and how every doctor who examined her instantly declared her insane with no hope for recovery. It caused such an uproar that there finally started to be some attempt at oversight and reform for mental hospitals (although there is obviously still a long way to go, yeah – the nineteenth century was The Worst for this.)

So yes. As ever, that was probably more than anyone wanted to know, but the Golden Age of Piracy was particularly focused on social and financial care for members of its community who became disabled, paid pensions, and actually would not have needed to have too many walking wounded seamen/sailors, because there was no incentive to have to keep earning a wage by physical labor when you would be supported from the communal treasure chest. Aka yes, the pirates’ republic of the 17th and 18th centuries was light years more politically and culturally progressive than 21st century America (/stares at the latest Trumpcare bill/Obamacare repeal up in the Senate) and it ain’t close.

On Location in 2007, Part 1/3

In May 2017 me and @7-percent, accompanied by @anyawen, had the privilege of doing some location research together – on site In the London suburb of Bromley in Bethlem Royal Hospital, which is the main stage of the “On Pins and Needles” prequel “2007″.  

This series of photographs were taken by yours truly, and they have been divided into 3 posts according to their relevance in the course of the story.
Since the hospital is very much a working one, care has been taken to avoid patients, staff members or identifying features of individual vehicles being visible in the photos.

The closest train station is Eden Park. It takes about 30 minutes to get there from central London.

From the station the hospital can be reached by bus, by taxi or by foot (the latter takes about 15 minutes).

Main entrance gates along Monks Orchard Road.

That’s SevenPercent doing some pointing. 

The hospital’s extensive grounds are well-maintained.

Aerial photograph from the hospital’s museum. The below image can be used as a legend. Significant locations, story-wise, are: the main entrance gates and a tree just inside them (photo to follow in part 2), the main (administrative) building (photos below; in the aerial photo it’s in the middle of the lower half, just above a round shape that’s a water fountain), Gresham House (photo below), Fitzmary House (photos in part 2) and the walled vegetable garden (in the aerial photo it’s just below the windmill-shaped building; photos to follow in part 3).

Gresham House is the location of several acute crisis wards, which are the first stop of many patients after being admitted.

The hospital’s main building, which now houses (among other things), the Bethlem Museum of The Mind (photos in part 2), an art gallery and administrative offices (some interior photos to follow in part 2).


Where’s Thomas? They took him. Took him? Took him where? Bethlem Royal Hospital. We’re gonna get him out of there. We can’t. You watch me.


Liverpool Street Station (Bedlam Asylum) - 

Liverpool Street Station is one of the most busy stations in London but it is also built over one of the most famous locations in London’s dark history. Liverpool Street Station stands on the grounds of the first and most notorious Bethlem Royal Hospital, that was also known as Bedlam Asylum. 

Bedlam was built in 1247 and was the first hospital to specialize in treating the mentally ill. During the centuries that it functioned as a hospital doctors had little knowledge of how to properly treat the mentally ill. Patients who were considered dangerous were chained to walls and while other patients were free to wander around the building as they liked. Patients were treated by being dunked in cold water and beaten by the hospital staff when they misbehaved. Some patients starved while staying that the hospital and most patients had a bed of straw to sleep on. To raise money for the hospital the public was allowed to visit the patients for a small fee. This meant that the patients at the hospital were treated as a freak-show for the general public, and in some cases the patients were encouraged to fight or act out for the entertainment of the visitors. The hospital was shut down in 1815 after complaints about the treatment of patients and it moved to a better and more caring location. 

To this day the patients of Bedlam still linger around Liverpool Street Station. They have been spotted a few times on CCTV footage, mainly on the platform of the underground station. This confuses security staff as they appear late at night when the station is supposed to closed, so when security mistakes them for a person they go to tell them to leave but find the platform empty. 

The only named ghost in the station is that of a woman called Griffiths. She was an inmate in Bedlam in the early 19th century and used to compulsively hold onto a single coin but when she died, she was buried without the coin and because of this her screams are often heard by passengers and staff at the station.

In 2013 a mass grave containing the skeletons of 20,000 inmates was discovered under the station. 

picture taken from @prettylittlenope

I just saw this. I have never heard of this word because english is not my mother tongue.

So I look at the word and instantly thought of EDDIE LAMB!!!!

Oh good Lord!!
just place the B to the end and you will get ED LAMB!!!!


so totally freaking out all alone I started to google the meaning of this word. It’s basically another word for crazy, a mess and/or mixed up.

*cough* mixed up letters *cough*

Also, which is a bit too obvious for PLL, there is a mental hospital called the Bethlem Royal Hospital in London, which led me to Wren and his Dad and then back again to Eddie Lamb.

So either way in this episode there has to be something with Wren, Eddie Lamb and maybe Wren’s unknown father who was/is in a mental hosptial.

Side note:
When Emily’s Mom worked at the police station, Emily tried to look for Eddie Lamb in their database, but I think she was never able to finish her work or even look at the picture that was loading. I dont remember but were we able to see some clues there? Maybe a part of the skin?
Imagine!! Maybe Eddie Lamb is not the Eddie Lamb and is someone else?!😭😭 Maybe Eddie is Mary’s little lamb.

Lost Boy (Nostelle) Part 19/19

Pairing: Nosty + Belle

Start from the beginning or Back to Part 18

A/N: This final chapter is dedicated to itschippedcup, who made a beautiful Nostelle gifset. Thank you everyone from the bottom of my Nosty-loving heart for taking this strange, rainbow-sanctioned journey with me.

And remember—someday someone you love may get lost. Go and find them.

Keep reading

The #DuchessofCambridge strummed out some chords on a ukulele during a visit to a hospital school yesterday. Kate was taught to play the instrument by a boy at Bethlem & Maudsley Hospital School in Beckenham, Kent, headmaster Dr John Ivens said. Dr Ivens praised Kate’s ukulele playing. “She kept up with them,” he said and joked: “There’s a career there.”
—  @PARoyal

one gifset per appearance → visit to bethlem and maudlsey hospital school, beckenham (10/02/2015)

The Duchess of Cambridge visited pupils and staff at Bethlem and Maudsley Hospital School in Beckenham. The visit was private and was not publicised in advance. A Kensington Palace spokeswoman said: “This visit was arranged through Place2Be, of which Her Royal Highness is Royal Patron, after learning about their work during the Place 2 Reflect conference last year to further develop her knowledge of the sector.“

The Duchess listened to the school’s head teacher Dr John Ivens, an educational psychologist; speak at the Place2Be conference on children’s mental health in June. Dr John Ivens said: “The Duchess’ visit went exceptionally well… The visit came as a result of a talk given last summer on the work that goes on both in the hospital and the school. The Duchess’ three hour visit showed this was of keen interest to her.”

Whilst at the school the Duchess recorded a video message to support the UK’s first Children’s Mental Health Week (16 – 22 February 2015).