Skip to main content

Sketches in Bedlam: Recommendatory Attestations


The Grand Duke Nicholas, accompanied by several officers of distinction, went over the hospital, attended by the Treasurer, Dr. Monro, and the resident officers ; and expressed the utmost satisfaction at every thing which came under their observation.

R. Clark,



The Marquis of Dowtishire and Lord Marcus Hill inspected this hospital, and found it in a satisfactory state, with the exception of the sinksMore info These sinks have been long altered, and no bad smells issue from them them now. in the male galleries, from which offensive smells arose.

Marcus Hill.
28th June 1816



The undersigned visited the hospital this day, and were particularly gratified at the cleanness, attention, and good order which they observed in every part of More infop.293 the building, and which appeared to be most comfortable and well- aired.

&c. &c. &c.
7th March 1817



The Duke of York, accompanied by Sir William Scott and Mr. Pearse, Director of the Bank of England, visited the hospital, and expressed great satisfaction at every thing which they observed in the accommodation and treatment of the patients.

William Scott,
John Pearse
1st March 1817



H. R. H. the Duke of Gloucester, accompanied by the Earl of Lauderdale, Sir John Sebright, and Col. Dalton, visited the hospital, and expressed great satisfaction at every thing which they have seen in the accommodation and treatment of the patients.

William Frederick,
Thos. Dalton.
15th March 1817



The Duchess of York, accompanied by Mademoiselle D'Orleans, visited the hospital, and expressed the highest satisfaction at every thing which they saw, in the treatment and accommodation of the patients.

Louisa A. D'Orleans. More infop.294

Lord Combermere, accompanied by Mr. Manning, visited the hospital, and expressed the greatest satisfaction at every thing which came under their observation.

Wm. Manning.
29th March 1817



Lord Somerville and Lord Grantham visited the hospital, and expressed their great satisfaction at the state of the building and patients, and the attention of the attendants.

Hugh Seymour,
&c. &c.
31st March 1817



Visited the hospital, and were much gratified at the cleanliness, general appearance, system, and management of it.

Matthew White Ridley,
Robert Buxton,
Michael Angelo Taylor,
Charles Wm. Bigge.
14th April 1817



Visited the hospital, and we*e extremely gratified with the accommodation of the patients, the great cleanliness, and general appearance Of every thing belonging to the institution.

2d May 1817 More infop.295



Visited the hospital, and were extremely gratified with the general neatness and cleanliness of every part, and the great attention paid to the health and comfort of the patients.

H. Legge,
Richard Bagot,
J. N. Fazakerley.
21st May 1817



Mr. Baron Garrow visited the hospital with some friends, and found every thing in the most satisfactory and perfect order.

Wm. Garrow,
&c. &c. &c.
19th June 1817



The Duke of Leeds and Lord Templetown visited the several departments throughout the hospital, and were much gratified at the order and general arrangements in which they are conducted.

24th June 1817



Sir James M'Gregor, Director-General of Army Hospitals, visited every part of the establishment, and found it in proper order, receiving the utmost gratification from the visit.

9th August 1817



Lord Harrowby visited, and was highly gratified at observing the great cleanliness and order which appears to prevail.

9th December 1817More infop.296



We have visited every part of this large and well regulated hospital, and have been particularly gratified with the neatness, order, care, and attention paid to the individual patients throughout the whole.

J. G. Ridout, M.D.
&c. &c. &c.
13th May 1818



We have also visited the different apartments of the hospital, and entirely concur in the above report.

Thos. Hooper Morrison,
Wm, Drewe.
13th May 1818



Nothing can exceed the cleanliness and good order of the whole of this establishment, and I conceive it does the highest credit to all concerned with it. I state this after a very minute inspection of three hours.

Edward, (Duke of Kent.)
19th August 1818



We have received the greatest gratification from a minute inspection of this establishment, which appears in every respect to be admirably constructed for its object.

R. Wilmot.
4th February 1819



We have been extremely gratified at seeing the whole of this excellent institution, than which nothing can exceed its cleanliness, regularity, and the apparent attention that is paid to it, in all its departments.

Eliz. Darlington.
20th June 1819More infop.297



Having this day (under authority of his Majesty's Secretary of State for the Home Department,) gone over the building attached to this hospital for the confinement of criminal lunatics, I have much satisfaction in recording, that I found every part of that establishment conducted in the same uniform manner as on my last inspection. The prisoners appeared clean, amply supplied with wholesome provisions, and well clothed ; and when I view the nature of the crimes which many of these unfortunate persons had committed, and the terror which had been created in the minds of those persons who formerly had the custody of them, prior to their removal to this establishment, I cannot refrain from noticing, that I did not find one of these prisoners under restraint of either handcuffs or fetters.

John H. Capper.
Bethlem Hospital, 9th June 1818.



We, the undersigned, having visited this establishment, are highly gratified at the order and regularity with which every thing is conducted ; and are thankful for the attention and politeness of Dr. Wright and Mr. Nicholls, who have explained to us the economy and arrangements.

Major M. Hawker.
9th March 1820



I have this day visited every part of this establishment, and have great pleasure in testifying to the excellent management of all its parts.

Chas. Pennington, M.D.
19th May 1820More infop.298



We have had much satisfaction in visiting the whole of this institution, and particularly in observing the little restraint imposed upon the patients, and the watchfulness over them.

Jos. Gurney,
A. R. Barclay.
19th May 1820



We have had the gratification of going round this house, and seeing the patients, provisions, and beds, all which are highly creditable to the country, and the superintending care of their officers.

Alex. Anderson,
Thomas M. Hammond,
&c. &c. &c.
8th June 1820



I have gone through the hospital this day, and found every thing in the best order possible.

Robt. Seymour, Governor.
20th July 1820



I hereby express the gratification which I have felt on visiting this institution, and on the excellent order and arrangements which are apparent in every department of it.

J. N. Joleson, M.D.
21st Dec. 1820



We have visited every part of this great establishment, and have been highly gratified with the order, cleanliness, and regularity by which the whole is eminently distinguished.

M. Bruce, Surgeon to the Royal Military College,
S. Reed, Secretary, Army Medical Department.
R. Dolphin, Solicitor.
25th Jan 1821More infop.299



It is impossible to speak too highly of this institution. The excellence of the establishment is only surpassed by the admirable order and arrangement with which it is governed.

C. Thurlow Smith.
22d February 1821



I have observed every thing to commend in the general management of the wards; but the cleanliness and ventilation exceed all expectation.

W. R. Churchill.
1st March 1821



Well may say Shakespeare, " what a piece of work is man !" But deprive that paragon of animals of its reason, and he is a degree below the brute. Who will see the utmost wretchedness of a rational being, and the methods of relieving it, he must go into Bethlem, and admire the charity and the philanthropy of the English.

Dr. Spasky,
From St. Petersburgh.
3d March 1821



Having seen the whole of this extensive establishment, I record the satisfaction experienced from observing the good order, cleanliness, cheerfulness, and comfort, which pervade every part of it.

Philip Fisher, D.D.
15th March 1821



By comparing this establishment with every other, in this kingdom, France, and the United States, I feel quite satisfied of its superiority in many respects, and more pleased with the appearance of attention and kindness towards the unfortunate patients.

Leonard Stewart, M.D.
23d March 1821More infop.300



We have visited every part of this establishment, and are exceedingly gratified by the admirable arrangements of the whole, on which too much praise cannot be bestowed.

Marquis of Worcester,
Viscount Bury,
G. H. Drummond,
Thos. Duncombe,
E. Drummond.
3d April 1821



Having been one of the Committee of the House of Commons appointed to inspect the mad-houses in the year 1814, and having on that occasion seen the state of old Bethlem Hospital, I have had the greatest satisfaction of going over the hospital this day, and seeing the improvements in the general management, and in the health, cleanliness, and comfort of the patients.

Thos. F. Lewis, M.P.
7th May 1821



After a careful inspection of the hospital, it is impossible to withhold our expression of satisfaction at the order, cleanliness, and arrangement, by which the personal comfort and health of the individuals is secured, with so little personal restraint observed in institutions of a similar nature.

B. Baurence,
Archibald Hamilton,
Wm. Dodson,
P. T. Mildemay,
&c &c &c



Having had a full opportunity to pervade and explore the whole of this most noble establishment, whichMore infop.301 I had visited twenty- eight years ago, I think it a positive duty of mine to bear testimony of my having been astonished to see how far this hospital has lately been improved, in a great many respects, conducive most efficiently to the noble and generous purpose for which it has been established ; improvements which are mostly due to the actual superintendency of the eminently active, and fully able medical gentlemen who are intrusted with it.

RPH. Duxelhafer,
Conseiller d'Etat, de la Rep. de Berne.
5th June 1821



This is the best establishment of the kind I have seen any where, and comes as near the idea of perfection as I can conceive. I wish it may be taken as a model in foreign countries, and especially in France, where it is much wanted.

L. J. Simond.
6th June 1821



Having visited this establishment, we are desirous of expressing the entire satisfaction which we received from observing the good order, cleanliness, and arrangement, which appears to subsist in the whole establishment.

Thos. Grenville.
20th June 1821



Having been this day favoured with a complete investigation of the interior of this hospital, I have great pleasure in recording the gratification I experienced, in observing the extreme neatness and order of the whole establishment. I cannot help expressing my surprise at the total absence of those disagreeable instances ofMore infop.302 coercion, to which I looked forward with no little impression of fear on my entrance.

R. L. Gwatkin.
28th June 1821



Having visited and inspected this establishment, we feel the utmost satisfaction in seeing the order, cleanliness, and comfort of the patients, which appears impossible to be exceeded.

Hans Sloan,
Wm. Sloan,
Chas. Freeman.
5th July 1821



We are particularly struck with the cleanliness of all the rooms, the excellent food for the unfortunate individuals, and the kindness shewn to them.

Vicountess Middleton,
Maria Middleton.
20th July 1821



I have this day passed through the different apartments of this excellent and magnificent establishment, and am exceedingly pleased with the entire management. To me it appears to do equal honour to the public and private munificence of the nation, and to the talents and industry of those who administer it.

Chas. Caldwell, United States.
27th July 1821



It is impossible to express too strongly the favourable impression which has been made upon us by the view of this establishment.

J. Calcraft,
G. H. Calcraft.
1st August 1821More infop.303



His Serene Highness the reigning Duke of Saxe Meiningen visited, on the 2d August 1821, and expressed himself highly pleased with the establishment.

Edward Hall.



It appears to me that nothing is wanting in the hospital I have just inspected that would be likely to contribute to the comfort of the unfortunate persons who have been placed within it, either in the hope of cure, or for the purpose of keeping them from injuring others or themselves.

Wm. Neck.
23d August 1821



I have visited several hospitals for the same maladyA disease or ailment; or a serious problem., in France and Italy, and have never seen any that equalled this, in perfect cleanliness and arrangement, or came near it in the curative system adopted.

W. Berry.
14th Sept. 1821



It was with extreme satisfaction that I visited the hospital this day, and found many essential improvements since I was last here, well calculated towards assisting the comforts of its unfortunate inhabitants.

Augustus Frederick, Duke of Sussex.

28th Sept. 1821



I have been most highly gratified in visiting this hospital, in which every possible attention is paid to the comfort, security, and the recovery of the patients.

J. Bliss, M.D.
3d Oct. 1821



If ye do not believe, come and see."

George Ling. More infop.304

No institution of this kind can be better conducted than this, nor can greater attention be paid to the comforts and cleanliness of the unhappy patients.

T. I. Waterworth, Surgeon.
4th Oct. 1821



I have just been over this excellently conducted building, and only say, that every thing I have beheld is calculated to delight the beholder, and to impress him with the idea, that those who are living here, must be as happy and comfortable as their misfortunes will allow.

G.N. Mackmurdo.
11th Oct. 1821



It is impossible to pass too high an encomium upon the exemplary and admirable conduct of the governors and officers of this important and highly valuable institution ; and, to a feeling mind, it is delightful to see the comfort and consolation which is administered to the patients. In the names of those who have accompanied me, I beg to subscribe our particular approbation and admiration of every regulation in the establishment, offering our best wishes for the success of its intentions.

18th Oct. 1821



I have been much pleased at seeing the mild treatment in this institution, and the regulations as well as the liberal allowance of food for the patients.

Geo. Ainslie.
18th Oct. 1821



I cannot express in adequate terms my admiration of the manner in which this institution is conducted, and never could have conceived it possible to have managedMore infop.305 the subjects of so dreadful a malady with so little restraint.

J. T. Giraud, Surgeon, Feversham, Kent.
T. Greenaway, Jun.
1st Nov. 1821



The extreme order, cleanliness, comfort, and humanity which are evident in every part of this excellent institution, redound very highly to the credit of those who have the management of the patients.

J. C. Badelay, M.B.,
Caius College, Cambridge.
9th Nov. 1821



Having viewed the hospital with attention this day, I offer my humble testimony to the accuracy with which every part of the establishment is conducted, and profess my highest respect for those who give it their care and time.

Henry Halford, M.D.
19th Nov. 1821



We; the undersigned, have great pleasure in adding our testimony of approbation, as to the cleanliness and humane treatment, and great regularity which are so evident through every part of this hospital.

English Dolben, Baronet of England.
John Smale, M.D.
A. Rogge,
Sam. Barr, &c. &c.
6th Dec. 1821



We cannot sufficiently testify the gratification we feel at the comfortable situation in which every person is here placed, and the kindness and attention that are shewn to them. The cleanliness of the whole house, More infop.306 the excellence of their provisions, cannot be too highly approved of.

Fred. W. Campbell,
Arthur C. Onslow.



I have had the pleasure of seeing over this excellent establishment, and it would not be just if I did not record this as a testimony, that it is conducted with the greatest degree of humanity and care, and highly to be praised for the cleanliness of every department of it.

Jonathan Jackson, Retreat, York.
26th Jan. 1822



The institution is in such order as to induce expressions of satisfaction from all those who visit.

T. W. Goodwyn.
9th Feb. 1822



The undersigned this day visited Bethlem Hospital, and not only felt highly gratified at the state in which he found every thing connected therewith, but perfectly astonished at the extraordinary degree of cleanliness which prevails throughout.

Thos. C. Warner.
26th Feb. 1822



Every thing appears to us conducted in the best manner, in cleanliness and in every other respect, and we see nothing on which to suggest an improvement.

H. Neale,
G. T. Staunton.*
* The East-India Company's translator of Oriental languages. More infop.307



I have felt the greatest satisfaction in being permitted to visit this institution, which appears most admirably regulated, and in all its detail quite perfect.

John Tucker, Lieut.-Col.
23d March 1822



I have experienced the greatest satisfaction in my visit through the different wards of this hospital, and am very much gratified by the cleanliness so universally observed.

John A.Paris, M.D.
20th April 1822



I have visited this establishment, and have been struck with the extreme cleanliness, comfort, and attention which pervades the whole, and have in no part of the world ever seen any hospital or establishment which can compare with it in any way.

20th April 1822



We have had great satisfaction in witnessing the high degree of order, cleanliness, and attention that prevails in every department of the establishment of this hospital.

Ralph Woodford,
Stephen Woolriche.
17th May 1822



I have been highly pleased with the cleanliness, attention, and treatment, and with pleasure add my testimony to that effect.

Jas. Adams, Surgeon.
23d May 1822



We, the undersigned, do fully approve of the arrangements of this house, and the treatment of theMore infop.308 different patients, thinking the whole arrangement superior to any other establishment we have seen.

Ben. Ridge, Surgeon.
C.G.Stewart Monteath,
W. F. Bally,
L. H. Lee Michell.
30th May 1822



We have closely inspected every part of Bethlem Hospital on this day, and are quite satisfied with all we have seen and heard.

R. Pole Carew.
30th May 1822



We, the undersigned, have this day visited this Lunatic Asylum, and have been very much gratified indeed, from the high order in which every thing appeared, the general good conduct and cheerful appearance of the patients, and the excellent quality of the provisions, of which we have partaken.

Thos. Beatty, M.D.
E. Saunders,
B. Saunders.
4th June 1822



I have had the pleasure to accompany His Royal Highness Prince Christian of Denmark over the different wards of this establishment, with which His Royal Highness, as well as myself, have been highly gratified.

Augustus Frederick, Duke of Sussex.
Christian Frederic, Prince of Denmark.
10th June 1822



It is impossible that any institution can be better arranged and conducted, in all its parts, than this thatMore infop.309 we have just had the satisfaction of seeing, and we conceive that every one must be highly gratified with the appearance of comfort conveyed to the unhappy inmates.

George Talbot,
Charles Talbot,
J. Baron, M.D.
13th June 1822



Nothing could have been more gratifying to us than our visit to this excellent establishment.

James Ewing,
Robert Dalglish,
James Dennistoun.
29th June 1822



It is with great pleasure we add our opinion of the admirable system adopted in this institution, which appeal's to be conducted in a manner most conducive to the restorationThe restoration of the monarchy and the return to a pre-civil war form of government in 1660, following the collapse of the Protectorate., ease, and comfort of the unhappy objects who are placed here.

J. H. Dulles, Philadelphia, U. S.
George Dillwyn.
10th July 1822



Having visited very many of the lunatic establishments, and particularly well remembering the old Bethlem, which has been so happily superseded by the present hospital, I with the greatest pleasure take this opportunity of expressing the satisfaction which my visit hither has now afforded me, from witnessing the excellent state of every part, both of the building and the management of the patients.

Wm. Smith, M.P.
17th July 1822



Having visited most of the establishments in Europe, More infop.310 as well as in this country, which are intended for the recovery or confinement of lunatics, I feel the greatest pleasure in stating, that I consider this hospital as one of the very first class, and as combining all the essential requisites for such unfortunate people.

Alex. Crichton.
22d July 1822



If you would see true Christian benevolence, actively and nobly exerted in the cause of suffering humanity here it is seen in perfection. I never saw any thing more gratifying to the feelings than this admirably conducted charity presents to view.

W. G. Hubt.
17th August 1822



With great satisfaction I visited this asylum, and consider it conducted with the greatest degree of humanity, and cleanliness, and the patients appear as happy as they can well be, under the peculiarity of their situation.

Charles White.
17th August 1822



This is an object of admiration throughout all its parts. August 1822. Charles Bauden. I find the establishment in the same excellent order as last year.

J. Calcraft, M.P.
23rd August 1822



We, whose names are herewith signed, beg to express the high satisfaction with which we have witnessed every thing connected with the economy and management of Bethlem Hospital.

T. Wynne,
John Ryley,
David Ur.
10th Oct. 1822More infop.311



Should I ever be so unfortunate, as to render it necessary to be placed under restraint, I hope and trust my friends would select this place.

J.S.Peyton, Capt. R.N.
John Bramston.
17th Oct. 1822



Having viewed the various departments of this hospital, we do consider it far surpassing all expectations, in cleanliness, order, and decency ; and it would be exhibiting an attempt at ignorance to find the least fault.

John Leach,
John Freeman,
&c. &c. &c.
7th Nov. 1822



 We, the undersigned, this day visited this hospital; through the various wards, and found every department conducted in cleanliness, &c. &c. far beyond our most sanguine expectations.

James Dean,
John Eden,
&c. &c
19th Nov. 1822



I have visited hospitals on the Continent, and none meets my approbation so much as Bethlem in all its forms.

Thomas Greening.
5th Dec. 1822



I fully concur with the above statement.

Wm. Wordford.
5th Dec 1822



I have been struck with the highest admiration on viewing this establishment, as being more perfect than I could have considered possible.

George Mead.
2d Jan. 1823 More infop.312



Having visited the greater part of the public establishments upon the Continent of Europe, as well as in our own country, I hope it will not be thought presumptuous to declare my opinion of the excellence of this, and to assert, that none other can be placed in competition with it, for its admirable and extensive distribution, as well as for the abolition of such dreadfully coercive measures as are constantly and generally adopted in other lunatic asylums, its cleanliness, airiness, &c. &c.

Julius Griffith.
&c. &c. &c.
2d Jan. 1823





Just Published, Price Is. 6d.




CHRONOLOGYThe arranging of events in the order they occurred in time.,