London, Bethlem Hospital patient admission registers and casebooks
Elizabeth Sackett, patient records
"Elizabeth Sackett admitted 15 Jun 1832, age 27.
A Married Woman with 1 Child who was never disordered in her mind before.
This attack commenced 2 months ago. Began with lowness after the birth of her child, had p... peritonitis .. subsequent debility expected her speedy dissollution, sometimes unmanageable, took 2py worth of Arsenic.
Her Mother said to have been in a similar state destroyed herself.
State of Health / Very tolerable.
Wife of a Baker 43 Queen St Ramsgate.
Diseased Ideas / Very despondent."
Medical Statement / From Mr T Rhodes Surgeon Ramsgate June 6th 1832. Gentlemen / "Respecting the Case of Elizth Sackett, I was first consulted by her friends on the 1st of April of this year. I then found her in an extremely low state approaching in some degree to Hypochondriasism; from the particulars I then rec'd was that she was confined of her first child sometime about Christmas, and had a very favourable time, but subsequently she was seized with p... peritonitis which she had in a very violent degree the debilitating effects of which she was lingering under when I first saw her and also a consciousness of her speedy dissolution. During the short time of my attendance, which was about a few days, I put her upon some treatment by which her health was much improved but I suppose, dreading the expenses of a Doctor's bill, she did not wish me to continue my visits any longer. On the 12th of April I was again requested to see her and then found my patient in a state of Melancholy Insanity with occasional moments of reason, and from that time to the present she has been getting worse and on one occasion swallowed two pennyworth of Arsenic, but full vomiting immediately taking place it did not appear to leave any traces of derangment. I have this day understood that this patient's Mother was in somewhat a similar state, brought on by excessive grief by her husband being killed by a Waggon going over his body; and also other family misfortunes occurring that she committed suicide."
[List of medications dated 15 Jun, 1 Jul, 22 Aug, 19 Sep, 6 Nov]
"1832 Dec 25 Disch'd Well."
"Admitted 1844, [? date; ref. to "21 Dcbr 1832"] Elizabeth Sackett, 39, of St Johns, Margate. Securities: Thomas Scott, grocer, 2 Bridge Street; James Sisley, builder, 23 King Street, Margate."
"Elizabeth Sackett, 39, admitted Aug 30, 1844, born parish of Elam, Kent, wife of a Baker, 21 King St, Margate, 2 ch. dead, last child 12 years old when it died. First attack: no. Previous attacks: Delirium about a week after the child died. Present attack: two months since. Confined in any Lunatic Asylum: yes, Bethlem Hospital, about 12 yrs since, for about 7 months. Supposed cause of insanity: Death of a Child. Peculiar delusions or way in which Insanity manifested: Always naming the Child she has lost, stopping people in the street, questioning them as to their name and abode, turns everything in the house upside down. Disposed to suicide or self-injury: If opposed says she will cut her throat or hang herself. Dangerous to other patients: Not in the least. Bodily health: before Insanity: Good; at present: Quite so. Memory perfect: Yes. Temper and disposition prior to Insanity: Affectionate and liberal. Habits of Life, Sober, Temperate: Perfectly so. Relatives similarly afflicted: Yes. Her Mother committed suicide through the conduct of a Daughter. Her father was killed by accident, their circumstances depressed her. Education: Plain. Can read and write: Yes. Religious persuasion: Protestant – Church of England. Statement of Medical Attendant: Margate 22 Aug 1844. Dr Doctor / I understand Elizth Sackett was under your care about 12 yrs since, at that time the Insanity followed her confinement, now there is no apparent cause, the first attack (about 2 months since) was attended with severe pains in the head, probably some inflammatory ..tism as it gave way to Leeches, Blisters & Purgations, but the disease still exists with short rational intervals. I am Dear Doctor, your ... servant, Wm Case.
Discharged: 1845 Jan 24th. Well. E T Monro."
"Admitted 1845, 13 March. [Previous] 24 Jany 1845. Elizabeth Sackett, St Johns, Thanet, Kent, 39. Securities: James Sisley (builder) 3 King Street; James Scott (grocer), 2 Bridge Street, Margate, Kent."
"Elizth Sackett, 40, admitted March 13th 1845, born Elam or Lyminge, Kent, Baker's Wife, 21 King St, Margate. Had two children, both dead. Previous attacks: Two, the first about 12 or 13 years back. Present attack commenced on her return home a few weeks ago. Confined in Lunatic Asylum: Yes, Bethlem Hospital, from 21 Aug 44 to 24 Jan 45, five months. Supposed cause of Insanity: At first from the loss of her child. The present from the fear of embarrassment in circumstances. Peculiar delusions or way Insanity manifested: In constant talking & hollering, tearing her hair out of her head, destroying her clothes, wringing her hands, & fancying people are coming to take her away. Disposed to suicide or self injury: Talks of hanging, has asked her husband sometimes to destroy her. Dangerous to others: No. Bodily health: before insanity commenced: Good; at present: Good. Memory impaired: Yes. Temper and disposition prior to Insanity: Always good disposition. Habits: Sober & temperate. Relatives similarly afflicted: Yes. Her Mother hung herself. Education: Plain. Read & write: Yes. Religious persuasion: Dissenter, Wesleyan. Statement of Medical Attendant: I am sorry to return your old patient (Mrs Sackett) so soon. Her health is I think tolerably good, but her mind is now much in the same as when she first left home, except that her recollection is not so good. I do not think she has any chance of getting better at home. Wm Case. Margate, 6th March 1845. To Dr Monro.
Discharged: Uncured 5 June 46, E T Monro."