"Suffering from a hopeless form of insanity." - Glamorgan County Lunatic Asylum.

I have been given an original copy of the 'Twenty-Fifth Annual Report of the Glamorgan County Lunatic Asylum, Bridgend – for the year 1889.' At the time of this report Angleton Asylum (now Glanrhyd) was known as the 'Old Asylum' with Parc Gwyllt being known as the 'New Asylum'.

The Glamorgan County Lunatic Asylum was an amalgamation of BOTH asylums. The old and new committees became a joined committee. 

The 57 paged books gives an incredible insight in to the lives of the patients and more so the staff of the Glamorgan County Lunatic Asylum with information regarding:

  • Visiting Committee and Officers
  • Visiting Committee's Report
  • Commissioners' Report
  • Medical Superintendent's Report
  • Chaplain's Report
  • Statistical Tables
  • Ordinary Diet Table 
  • Salaries and Wages
  • Contract Prices
  • Financial Accounts
  • Payments
  • Maintenance Accounts 
  • Work done in Workshops

In this post, I will be sharing some information and extracts from the Report. 

Staff of the Lunatic Asylum, c.1900.

Asylum Staff
(January 1889 - March 1890)

Non – Resident Staff

Thomas Taplin Lewis, Esq – Bridgend: Clerk to Visitors
Thomas George Smith, Esq – National Provincial Bank, Bridgend: Treasurer

Resident Staff

Henry T. Pringle, M.D., - Medical  Superintendent
Robert S. Stewart, M.D., D.P.H., Camb, - Senior Assistant Medical Officer 
David Finlay, M.D., - Second Assistant Medical Officer
John Marshall, M.B, and C.M., - Third Assistant Medical Officer
Rev. James Jones – Chaplain 
William Jenkins – Clerk
John H. Hill – Storekeeper
Annie Pitt – Housekeeper (Angelton) 
Sarah Hunt – Housekeeper (Parc Gwyllt)
William Davidson – Head Attendant 
Catharine Porter – do – (Angelton)
Cecilia David – do – (Parc Gwyllt) 

Staff of the Lunatic Asylum, c.1900.

Interesting Extracts
(January 1889 - March 1890)

  • The number of patients in the two Asylums has risen from 888 to 913.
  • The whole outside wood and iron work of Angelton Asylum has been cleaned and painted (at the cost of £366.)
  • Final arrangements have been made with Garw Water Company for supplying both Institutions with water after the 26th of August, 1890. 
  • Three  thousand trees will be planted along the Northern and Eastern Boundaries of the New Asylum (Parc Gwyllt)  
  • A new mortuary has been erected. The old one has been converted in to a meat store. 
  • Singing class is held every Tuesday evening (attendance being 40)
  • The Asylum Library has 400 books. 
  • The present cost of  maintenance is 7s. 11d. per head.

Staff of the Lunatic Asylum, c.1910.

Medical and Mortality  

Two inquests have been held
One on the body of a gentleman who died of T.B accelerated by a wound in the neck which was self-inflicted before admission.
The second on a gentleman who died in a convulsive seizure occurring in the course of General Paralysis.

Three casualties resulting in fractures of bones appear to have occurred and have resulted from falls.
A man cut his throat with a portion of an iron boot heel, worn sharp, but he recovered. (This was done while the man was in bed in an observation dormitory.

Two males on five occasions and for  20 ¾ hours
Three females on four occasions and for 17 hours.
One female during 73 hours has been mechanically restrained since the last visit. 

Males: 63
Females: 35

37 at the Angleton Cemetery
11 at the Parc Gwyllt Cemetery

"No fewer than 34 were suffering from that hopeless form of insanity, General Paralysis. Moreover, of the 34 cases of this sad disease, 19 were aliens and only 15 Welsh, which illustrates a well-known fact that Celtic races generally are much less liable to suffer from this malady that their Saxon neighbours. " - Henry T. Pringle, M.D.

"No man or woman capable of any intelligent thought and possessed of ordinary self-control would deliberately marry a weak-minded person or an epileptic; and yet many of the class that feeds our Asylums seem to be quite ignorant of the terrible consequences to their children of committing what ought almost to be regarded as a crime. " - Henry T. Pringle, M.D.

Staff of the Lunatic Asylum, c.1890.

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