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Database: Lambeth Asylum (1868)

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ACS DB Lambeth Asylum

While Bethlem Royal Hospital, also known as Bedlam, is the asylum associated with cruelty towards patients, the institution had largely curbed this behaviour in the early nineteenth century following some shocking exposés. England's other notorious asylum, Broadmoor, opened in Berkshire in 1863, taking some of Bethlem's patients in the process.

Lambeth Asylum, on the other hand, was largely undocumented over the course of its short life. Patients are identified by numbers rather than names, and records of treatment administered there are vague. Letters and contracts of the time suggest the building was designed by the architect Arthur Hayes, his first and only project, in 1850. A newspaper excerpt from 1851 tells us that Hayes was murdered in his bed by his own son, who believed his father to be the Antichrist - a claim later proved to be inaccurate, Arthur Hayes Jr. would later be admitted to Lambeth as a patient.

Lambeth asylum closed its doors in January of 1869 and was demolished later that year, no doubt due to the death of their sole benefactor, Crawford Starrick.

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