Category Archives: Hospitals, Asylums and Workhouses

Spotlight on Staffordshire’s Asylums – Charles Seymour, Highwayman?

Amongst the early cases at Stafford asylum, there are few with details as strange as that of Charles Thomas Seymour. Charles was 25 when he was admitted to Stafford in June 1823, but this new patient was unlike most others. Charles had been tried at Warwickshire Assizes for highway robbery and had been kept in […]

via Charles Seymour, Highwayman? — Staffordshire’s Asylums

Spotlight on Stafford – John Garrett, the first Superintendent of Stafford Asylum

stafford asylum

Stafford Asylum

Staffordshire's Asylums

Finding the right staff to supervise the new asylum was a
major task in 1818. After some debate, 28 year old John Garrett was appointed Superintendent
(full title House Surgeon, Apothecary & Superintendent). He had worked at
Bethlem Hospital, and so was not new to asylums. Another applicant was James
Bakewell, whose brother Thomas was a vociferous opponent of the new county
asylum, and who ran Spring Vale asylum at Tittensor. Edward Knight was
appointed physician to work alongside Garrett.

John Garrett was a qualified surgeon and remained in post
until 1841. He managed the asylum and reported annually to a committee of three
trustees and twelve visiting justices. In the asylum’s early days, John Garrett
fought back against Thomas Bakewell’s anti-Stafford campaign, which went on
into the 1820s. Garrett dismissed Bakewell’s claims that the asylum would be
viewed by the mentally ill and others alike as ‘an object of…

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