Bethlem Hospital. 196

Bethlem Hospital.

pable of Cure; or if not, yet are likely to do mischief to themselves or others; and are Poor, and cannot be otherwise provided for. But for those that are only Melancholick, or Ideots, and judged not capable of Cure, these the Governors think the House ought not to be burthened with.

As to the Care and Cure of the Patients, here is undoubtedly the greatest Provision made for them of any publick Charity in the World; each having a convenient Room and Apartment to themselves where they are locked up a Nights; and in it a Place for a Bed; or, if they are so sensless as not fit to make use of one, they are every Day provided with fresh and clean Straw. Those that are fit for it, at convenient Hours, have liberty to walk in the long Galleries, which are large and noble. In the Summer time, to air themselves, there is two large Grass Plats, one for the Men, and another for the Women. And in the Winter a Stove for each apart, where a good Fire is kept to warm them. In the Heat of the Weather, a very convenient Bathing Place to cool and wash them, and is of great Service in airing their Lunacy; and it is easily made a hot Bath for restoring their Limbs when numbed, or cleaning and preserving them from Scurvey, or other cutaneous Distempers. Their Diet is extraordinary good and proper for them, which every Week is viewed by a Committee of the Governors.

The Care and Cure of the Lunaticks.

And though the Friends that put in the Patients are obliged to provide Cloaths, yet it being observed, that for want of a timely Supply they have often suffered, there is a Wardrobe erected, from whence they are furnished. For though when raving and furious they do not suffer much from the Weather, yet in the Intervals they are liable to it, and often contract other Distempers, care of which is likewise taken as well as of their Lunacy.

A Wardrobe for the Lunaticks.

Several that have come into the Hospital with Loss of Limbs, and not able to go, have recovered them, and been sent out perfectly well. Others that have been, to the greatest Extremity, over-run with the Scurvey, with Ulcers in their Mouths, with Hydropical Swellings in their Limbs, with Mortifications of their Toes, with Herpes exedens in large Blotches over great Parts of the Body, and Variety of other Distempers: have been (thanks be to God) recovered and set well, as likewise such as have been taken with the Small Pox.

Other Distempers of the Lunaticks.

So that by God's Blessing for Twenty Years past, ending 1703, there have been above two Patients in three cured, as the Physician hath told me. Which Number of Patients recovered is the more considerable, because many, or most that come there, have been under Cure before; and being thought incurable are thrust into the Hospital to avoid their Charges of keeping elsewhere. Many of which Patients, by finding a greater Kindness, and better Usage here than in their other Quarters, with a great deal of Acknowledgment, have confessed their Sense of it. And many, though restored to Health, have rather desired to continue there than to be turned out; the Kindness of the Hospital being greater to them than of their Friends and Relations; for there is nothing of Violence suffered to be offered to any of the Patients, but they are treated with all the Care and Tenderness imaginable. If raving and furious, they are confined from doing themselves or others Mischief. And it is to the Credit and Reputation of the Hospital, that in so great a Number of Lunaticks that are constantly kept there, it is very rare, and in many Years, that any one Patient makes away with himself.

Gentle Usage practised towards them.

And not only Provision is made, and Care taken for these Patients, whilst in the Hospital, but likewise when cured and discharged, there is an Obligation in the Bond given, when they are admitted, whereby they are required to take them out in order to provide for them. But where they are destitute of Friends, and unprovided with common Necessaries, a Charity was given by a Person unknown, at the Physician's Discretion, to give what he shall think convenient for their present Subsistence, or to provide them with Cloaths for the present till they shall fall into Business: And likewise Provision is made to furnish any Patient that hath been in the Hospital with Medicines gratis, for the preventing of any Relapse; which hath been of great use to these poor Creatures, and so necessary a Charity and useful, that 'tis hoped both will be supplyed when the Sums given are expended.

How discharged when Cured.

When a Patient is cured and to be discharged, he is called before the Committee of the Governors and Physician; who examine him, and being found fit to be discharged, the Physician gives a Certificate of the same; and then the Steward of the House takes care to see him delivered to his Friends.

The Number of Patients, since the Charge of 5s. per Week was taken off, and that they have been taken in, and maintained free of Charges, was seldom less than 136, namely, as many as there were Rooms and Conveniences for them, so that the Hospital was always crowded and full: And usually the Names of a great many were taken before- hand, to be admitted as soon as Room should be made by the Discharge of any Cured, or by their Death.

Number of Patients.

But now it must not be omitted to be mentioned, that as the House will contain 150 Patients, so there are lately finished certain Chambers sufficient to make up the Number. And so many Patients they now have.

150 Patients now in Bethlem.

The Time of Cure is uncertain: Some have been cured in a Month, Two or Three: Some continue distracted many Years.

How long in Cure.

To the Question, Whether there be more Men or Women Lunatick kept here, the Answer was, there have been no Inequality of Number observed as to the Sexes.

And to all this let me subjoin the Weekly Food and Diet provided for these Lunaticks.

Sunday. Boiled Beef and Broth, and Bread for Dinner. And a Mess of hot Broth and Bread for Supper.

Their Weekly Diet.

Monday. Bread, Cheese, and Butter for Dinner. Milk Pottage, and other Pottage, with Bread for Supper.

Tuesday. Boiled Mutton or Veal, and Broth for Dinner. And hot Broth for Supper.

Wednesay. Bread and Cheese, or Butter for Dinner. And a Mess of Milk Pottage, or other Pottage for Supper.

Thursday. Boiled Beef, Broth and Bread for Dinner. And a Mess of hot Broth and Bread for Supper.

Friday. Bread and Cheese and Butter for Dinner. Milk Pottage or other Pottage for Supper.

Saturday. Pease Pottage, Rice Milk, and Furmity. Or other Pottage and Bread for Dinner. And Bread and Cheese and Butter for Supper.

And such Fruit is given them as is most seasonable.