The regulation of madness in England from the 17th century to the early 20th century: Part 1

by Dr Lisetta Lovett

 

Last reviewed: October 2017

 

The Enlightenment was a period when philosophy and science rapidly progressed, leading to ground-breaking ideas which were to influence how society thought about mental illness, its causes and treatment. 

 

This module is the first in a two-part series reviewing major concepts of madness throughout history, placing particular emphasis on developments during the Enlightenment period. 

We will describe: 

 

  • how the poor, vagrant and criminally insane were disposed of in society up until 1800, with reference to judicial decisions about the definition of insanity.  

 

  • significant legislation up to 1800, including that which was introduced to regulate private madhouses.   

 

Start the module

 

 

Image source: Wellcome Library, London

 

 

If you like this module, you may also be interested in:

 

The regulation of madness in England from the 17th century to the early 20th century: Part 2 by Dr Lisetta Lovett

 

The Mental Health Act 1983: Criteria for detention and Safeguards by Dr Tim Branton, Dr Guy Brookes and Dr Nick Brindle

 

The Irish Mental Health Act 2001 by Dr Larkin Feeney and Dr Brendan Kelly

 

Human rights and the Human Rights Act 1998 – implications for psychiatrists by Dr Martin Curtice and Dr Richard Symonds

 

 

Download take-home notes to print and annotateDownload take-home notes to print and annotate

 

In the second module in this series, The regulation of madness in England from the 17th century to the early 20th century: Part 2, we look at the reform movement of the 19th century which led to significant statutory changes, as well as the major changes in mental health act legislation during the early part of the 20th century.

 

 

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