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The Circulation of Pauper Lunatics and the Transitory Nature of Mental Health Provision in Late Nineteenth Century Cumberland and Westmorland
journal contributionposted on 11.01.2018, 11:29 by Cara C. Dobbing
Following the implementation of legislation in 1845 which required every county and borough throughout England and Wales to build an institution for the treatment of mentally ill paupers, there was a surge in the number of people classed as insane. This created situations of overcrowding, and pauper lunatics were constantly pushed and pulled between the asylum and the workhouse in an attempt to alleviate pressure on accommodation. This paper explores the experience of pauper lunatic patients at the County Asylum of Cumberland and Westmorland, and recounts the experience of its pauper patients as they entered and departed from the institution, thereby portraying the transitionary process of mental health provision in the latter half of the nineteenth century.