London, Bethlem Hospital patient admission registers and casebooks
Lydia Sackett, patient records
“Admitted 2 Dec 1836, Lydia Sackett, Ramsgate, Kent, Securities: John Farley (porter), 11 Adding Place; Henry Hogbin (grocer), High St, Ramsgate.”
“Lydia Sackett, admitted Dec 2nd 1836.
At 46 / A Married Woman, without any Children.
Was Discharged Well from this Hospital 11 July 1822 by the name of Hurst.
This attack commenced six months ago.
Causes / not known.
Remarkable Symptoms / Destroys things, talks of the Planets, Mars & Venus, rages and stamps violently until she exhausts herself perhaps 5 or 6 hours together.
Whether Hereditary / Not.
State of Health / Said to be good.
Sailor’s Wife, No 10 Addington Place, Ramsgate.
Comes from home.
1837 Feb 10th, Disch’d Well
17th, altered to 1 month’s leave of absence
Aug 4th, 1 month’s leave of absence.
Nov 10, Disch’s Well.”
“Admitted 30 Nov 1838, Lydia Sackett, Ramsgate, Kent, Securities: Henry Hogbin (Grocer), John Farley (Porter), Ramsgate.”
“Lydia Sackett, age 49, admitted Nov 30th 1838, married, no children. A Mariner’s Wife, 10 Addington Place, Ramsgate, bodily health good, attack commenced about a month.
Causes and Previous Appearances, remarkable Symptoms, and whether mischievous: Became mischievous about a month ago, having previously been in a low state for several months last winter. She was in an excited state which subsided by treatment at home, has burned part of her dress, swears at her husband, burns a number of candles at once – says hers is a sensible insanity.
Whether Hereditary: Not known.
Whether Disordered before: Disch’d Well from this Hospl Nov 10th 1837.
Discharged: 1839 Feb 15th Disch’d Well.”
“Admitted 10 Sept 1841, Lydia Sackett, Ramsgate, Kent, Securities: Timothy Terry (Court of Request), 10 Harders Street, John Hugin (Smith), Harders Street, Ramsgate.”
“Lydia Sackett, age 51, admitted Sept 10th 1841, married no children. Wife of a Lodging House Keeper, 10 Addington Place, Ramsgate. A Calvinist. Her sister Mrs Parnham, 13 Graces Alley.
Bodily Health: good always forwith. Attack commenced: 3 or 4 wks ago.
Whether Disordered before: 20 yrs ago 1st time, 5 times in this Hospital. Disch’d Well 15 Feb 1839.
Causes and Previous Appearances, remarkable Symptoms, and whether mischievous: Cause of the present attack not known, has separated from her husband for 3 years, been in London 2 months, very irritable, tears her clothes, run away from her sisters in London, well conducted when well.
Whether Hereditary: Not.
Diseased Ideas: “High ideas and never does anything wrong”.
Comes from Ramsgate.
Discharged: 1842 Sept 9th Uncured & fit for the Incurable List.”
“Incurable patients register. Admitted 9 Sept 1842, Lydia Sackett, Securities: Timothy Terry (Court of Request), 10 Harders St, John Hogbin (Smith), 68 Harders St, Ramsgate. 1846 30 Oct 3 mos leave. 1847 29 Jany Disch’d Well.”
“Admitted 14 Sep 1849, Lydia Sackett, Christ Church, Rotherhithe, Surrey, aged 60, Securities: John Hogben (Smith), 15 Hardres Street, David Sackett (Sawyer), 3 Cavendish Place, Ramsgate.”
“Lydia Sackett, aged 60, admitted Sept 14th 1849, born Ramsgate, lives with a sister, at 60 Paradise Street, Rotherhithe, married, present attack commenced: about a month ago, Confined in any Lunatic Asylum: Yes, Bethlem, discharged Jan 29, 1847, after five years on the incurable establishment, Supposed cause of Insanity: not known, Peculiar delusions: Fancies that the stars and planets have some influence on her health and that they are at present in opposition to her, Disposed to suicide: Yes, attempted to cut her throat, Dangerous to other persons: Yes, attempted to injure her sister, Bodily health: before Insanity: pretty good; at present: pretty good, Memory perfect: very, Memory impaired: no, Temper and disposition: Violent at times, Habits: Temperate, Relatives similarly afflicted: none, Education: very good, can read and write: yes, Religious persuasion: Protestant, Independent.
Statement of Medical Attendant: Eccentric and fanciful but very quiet and orderly. There has been no symptom of violence since her admission and though she talks at random now and then her conversation is generally rational.
Decr. She is very quiet orderly and industrious, has no delusions and is perfectly rational in her conversation.
Discharged: 21 Dec 1849, Well.
“Admitted 13 May 1850 (Well, 21 Decr 1849), Lydia Sackett, Christchurch, Rotherhithe, Surrey, aged 61, Securities: John Hogben (Smith), 15 Hardres Street, David Sackett (Sawyer), 3 Cavendish Place, Ramsgate.”
“Lydia Sackett, 61, admitted 13 May 1850, born Ramsgate, wife of a Pilot, res. 71 Paradise Street, Rotherhithe, married, no children, previous attacks: 10 or 12, present attack commenced early part of April, Confined in any Lunatic Asylum: yes, Bethlem Hospital, at different periods, supposed cause of Insanity: Grief, way Insanity manifested: Excitement, Disposed to suicide: No, Dangerous to others: No, Bodily Health: Before Insanity: tolerable; at present: ditto, Memory: perfect, Temper prior to Insanity: Mild, Habits: Sober, Relatives similarly afflicted: No, Education: moderate, can read and write: Yes, Religious persuasion: Independent.
Statement of Medical Attendant: Flighty.
Excepting what now appears to be natural flightiness of manner and which is increased from time there is nothing very remarkable in her conduct and her conversation is for the most part rational.
July. She has gone on very quietly without any particular indication of mental disturbance and there seems no reason for keeping her in confinement. Her peculiarities are very harmless and she is generally busy in household work or in making little dolls of coloured rags. Her conversation is perfectly rational and she is quite and orderly in her conduct.”
“Admitted 15 Jan 1851 (Well, 9 Aug 1850), Lydia Sackett, St Georges, Southwark, Surrey, aged 62, Securities: John Hogbin (Smith), 15 Hardres Street, David Sackett (Sawyer), 3 Cavendish Place, Ramsgate.”
“Lydia Sackett, 61, admitted 15 Jan 1851, born Ramsgate, occ: not any, res: 4 Henry St Kent St Georges Southwark, married, no children, previous attacks: 13 or 14, the first in 1815 and at periods since, present attack commenced a week since, confined in any Lunatic Asylum: yes, Bethlem, May 1850 to Aug 1850, Supposed cause of Insanity: any kind of excitement, Peculiar Delusions: says that she is born under the same star as our Saviour, and is an Astrologer & is very violent and mischievous, Disposed to suicide: no, Dangerous to others: no, Bodily Health: before Insanity: good; at present: good, Memory: very good, Temper and disposition: Good natured and tractable, Habits: sober & temperate, Relatives similarly afflicted: not known, Education: moderate, Can read and write: yes, Religious persuasion: Independent.
Discharged: Well 12 Sep 51, returned 28 Nov 1851, 1852 Jan 16 uncured.
Statement of Medical Attendant: ”Mania. Restless excitable and very discontented, rambles in her conversation and talks in a very unreasonable manner but is not at all incoherent and can always talk reasonably and rationally enough when in the mood. She has no particular delusions but talks at random about the bad conduct of her family towards her but this it appears is only the control that they have thought it necessary to exercise over her strange vagaries and occasionally violent conduct. She is at times very flighty, will dance and sing, and if remonstrated with will say that there is no harm in it. If not closely watched will steal food from the other patients who have not sense enough to take care of themselves and when detected will be very abusive occasionally noisy at night.
June. For some weeks there was considerable depression. She continued very silent and unsound scarcely speaking and affording a remarkable contrast to her former state of garrulity and restlessness.
Sept. A nearer approach to a happy medium has been made and she is now orderly cheerful and well conducted. It is however a question whether her mind is not to some extent permanently weakened.
Nov 28th. Since she left the hospital she has been getting into numerous scrapes quarrelling with the people with whom she lodged continually changing her lodgings pawning her clothes and getting into debt in all directions. At last she became violent and disturbed the neighbourhood so much that it became necessary to call in the police. She is now very much excited and threatens her friends who have brought her here declaring that there is nothing the matter with her.
Decr. She continues very much excited and mischievous tears her clothes and dresses herself up in a strange manner but still her conversation is rational and she gives a plausible excuse for her violent and mischievous conduct.
1852 Jany. She has been going on tolerably quietly for some weeks past and though the experience of the past forbids the hope that this would continue if again at liberty an unwillingness was felt to discharge her uncured without at any rate giving her another three months residence but her husband has made terms for her being taken care of in another asylum and does not therefore wish for the time to be extended.”