Domestic care and parish poor relief

      No Comments on Domestic care and parish poor relief

The building of asylums did not begin in any numbers until the early nineteenth century – prior to that time, care of the mentally ill or handicapped was generally provided in some kind of domestic setting – in their families, boarded out with another family, or perhaps supported in their own homes as individuals.  They might also be maintained in workhouses, poorhouses, or jail, housed temporarily in the infirmaries of the larger cities, or placed in private madhouses.  They might also simply be left to their own devices, looking after themselves either in a house or on the streets, with or without some kind of charitable support.  Where provided, care or support could come from a wide range of people, not all of them medical practitioners, and these might include friends and neighbours, clergy, charity volunteers, commercial providers of residential care, and local government officials such as parish overseers of the poor and county Justices of the Peace.

Image of the week: alms boxes from Bethlem Hospital, c. 1700
Full Bibliographic Record: Wellcome Library Catalogue L0065138
Copyrighted work available under Creative Commons Attribution only licence CC BY 4.0

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *