Friday 20 May 2016

Surprises from the archives

The Case Notes for former patients of the West Riding Pauper Lunatic Asylum continue to throw up surprises.

Last week, the final week of public access to the records ahead of the transfer of the archives to their new building in Kirkgate, Wakefield, I was browsing through some early 1870s admission registers.

The mental illness of Sarah Jane RAWNSLEY admitted in 1873 was attributed to an "overtaxed brain". The cause of John SHEPPARD's illness in 1872 was succinctly put as "women".

The biggest surprise was an entry for Margaret Bryan BELL admitted to the Asylum in April 1872. She was only three years old.  Earnest SHEARD admitted in 1873 was a seven year old.

Perhaps more about them in a later post.