Infandum regina jubes renovare dolorem
— quaeque Ipse miserrima vidi
Et quorum pars magna fui.------

Aeneid, lib. II. 3.






They can be meek that have no other cause:
A wretched soul, bruited with adversity,
We bid be quiet, when we hear it cry.
But were we burdened with like weight of pain,
As much or more, we should ourselves complain.


THE desire of the author of the present work is threefold:—By showing how inadequate and deficient are the means provided by law for the protection of insane patients under confinement, and for the rescue of persons who may be unjustly confined—he hopes to procure a reform of the law, so that persons who are oppressed by lunatic doctors, or by their relations, from mistake or otherwise, may be able speedily to obtain security and to recover damages, by proceedings under the common or statute law. By describing the brutal and preposterous treatment to which he saw others, and to which he was himself subjected under different lunatic doctors—he hopes to obtain a reform in the management of lunatic asylums. By detailing and explaining his sufferings, and his complaints, and his difficulties— he hopes to teach the wretched and affectionate relations of a deranged person, what may be his necessities, and how to conduct themselves toward him, so that they may avoid the errors which were unfortunately committed by the author’s own family. His publication will probably be condemned by three classes of persons. First, by those who doubt the author’s testimony; to them he disdains to reply; but he may be able to give them references to other gentlemen who, having suffered, in similar distress, outrages similar to those which he describes, bear amazed and indignant witness against them; and he can point moreover to a gentleman of the name of Paternoster, who being undoubtedly of sound mind, was flung into confinement, in Dr. Finch’s, now Dr. Philp’s madhouse, at Kensington, where within six weeks he suffered indignities, and witnessed barbarities as great as, and greater than those which are described in this narrative. The second class are those who being of infirm understanding can believe what the author describes to be true, but do not suffer it to have any effect upon them; they will give credence to his report, but refuse to allow it to operate upon their imaginations in all its dreadful reality. The third class are those who, receiving the facts recorded in these pages, and admitting their weight, still may suppose that they are not general, and, at any rate, conceive that this is not the right way of obtaining redress.
To these he replies that Dr. Fox, and Mr. C. Newington, have both been lauded to the skies, as two of the humanest, cleverest, and most benevolent lunatic doctors breathing; and their asylums and their systems have been trumpeted forth as examples of the most perfect treatment of lunatic patients in England. The author cannot help exclaiming—Ex optimis discite pessimos. Moreover, since his confinement, he has corresponded with several gentlemen, and has seen also communications in the newspapers, from different sources, and heard the report of an inquiry before a committee of the House of Commons, from which he is fully convinced that he is justified (though he himself did not need that justification) in the conclusion he had come to, from the knowledge he has acquired by experience and from the history of human nature, that these abominations must be general.
A power exercising uncontrolled dominion over individuals who are weak and poor, and who have no appeal, or who can only appeal to authorities at long and uncertain intervals, during which they are subjected to that despotic power:—over individuals who, when they come into Court, find their Judges prejudiced against them, and their testimony discredited, even by that of the despot whom they are remonstrating against—a power lodged in the persons of mean-minded upstart adventurers—a power whose interest it is to make a profit by its dungeons, and whose doctrine it is that ill-treatment is necessary,—a power whose deeds are removed from sight and hearing, and which intrusts the execution of its legislature—to wait on the commissioners on lunacy—to look to the judges. But a difficulty stood upon the threshold. How was a man confessing himself to have been a lunatic, mistrusted doubtless, in some degree, even by those who knew him best, to obtain credence from Ministers, from authorities, from strangers, whose characters for sound judgment were at stake, and whose ears were prejudiced like those of all the world—by those utterly false but general presumptions, that lunacy is an unfathomable mystery—a subject too delicate to be handled, that none but lunatic doctors know how to deal with it; that a lunatic’s word is not to be believed; that a LUNATIC ONLY COMPLAINS AGAINST TREATMENT WHICH—HOWEVER CRUEL—WAS NECESSARY! How was he to open the ears and unseal the eyes of those who were poisoned and blinded by his very adversaries? From every person he must have begged a hearing—which he was too proud to do; nay, that was almost impossible to be obtained. In all other cases of oppression, a hearing, at least, is readily granted. He must have proved his case to have obtained a hearing. To every person he must have recounted his long and painful history—with every person he must have gone over the same grounds—have entered into the same incredible and intricate explanations—and in the closet, where, though the conscience might be convinced, the will might be unmoved, because the eye of society was not upon the hearer.
Therefore the author determined to publish a narrative of what he had suffered and seen—and upon the confidence of that publication he afterwards did address the prime minister, from whom he received "good words"—the chancellor, from whom he received no answer; his book was also forwarded to another judge:—he sent it to two prelates—he has received no attention. He petitioned * both houses of parliament—his petition has not been noticed, not even printed. He applied to relations and to friends who are members of the two houses of legislature—they were full of good wishes, and full of business. His mind revolts at the idea of addressing the commissioners in lunacy: two of them did him gross injustice— he knows how others have suffered from their method of discharging their duty—he knows that they are intimately acquainted with the worst abominations of the present system, and knowing that there are among them members of the House of Commons he loaths them as un-English—and as more criminal than the lunatic doctors —being more powerful, more enlightened, more liberal than they, and yet consenting to remain silent spectators of a system of the grossest robbery, treachery, cruelty, oppression and, literally—murder. Let those who direct him to the commissioners in lunacy, go first to the Pope to reform the religion

* Earl Stanhope and Mr. B. Hawes had the moral courage to present his petitions.

of the church of Rome. If they will ever do any thing, it is now that the public eye will be in some sort upon them. It is true that since the present work was placed in the hands of the printer, the noble marquis who is at present at the head of the home-office, has received and attended to the author’s suggestions, with as much courtesy as good will; but as the author could hardly have adventured to address him without the confidence that was inspired in him by his former publication, so he trusts that the additional support of the present volume will not make his appeals in that quarter of less weight, and he acknowledges that he is not satisfied where there is any even apparent dilatoriness on a subject of this nature—and if he has any mistrust, he hopes that such mistrust may be excusable in one who has been used so treacherously by those who at the same time were numbering him with a class which they calumniate as morbidly suspicious—and that he may be justified by the words of the Psalmist—

"Put not your trust in princes or in any child of man."

PSALM cxlvi. 3.

The author therefore again appears to claim the attention of the public—as he foresaw and predetermined that he should do. His former work he published without his name—not willingly, because, whilst he is attacking and exposing others, he does not like to do so like an assassin, but face to face; nevertheless, as he wrote entirely alone—against the remonstrances of all those nearest and dearest to him—relations and friends—be yielded his own judgment, in the fear that he might be misled—knowing that his reason had been, so short a time before, entirely confounded—and that his judgment therefore deserved to be suspected. He afterwards suppressed that work, intending to republish or to continue it; but hesitating to do so, in respect of the beloved and affectionate parent, against whose mistaken and much-regretted conduct towards him, he is compelled so bitterly to inveigh. That hesitation has been removed, by the conduct of the editor of an Edinburgh magazine—who, trespassing upon the bounds of courtesy due to an author who desires to preserve in some sort an incognito, revealed his name, whilst reviewing his publication; and this second volume appears therefore with the author’s name, which he thought it might be a piece of false delicacy to conceal originally—and which he conceives, now to be so generally known, connected with these circumstances of his life, that whilst it would be a weakness and dishonourable, to withhold his hand any longer from a work calculated to benefit so many thousand wretched beings, out of respect to his family and to those relations whom he impugns, so it would be idle to affect any mystery.
The author does not wish to disguise that, however much ashamed of his late calamity, he considers this work, even on account of the painful disclosures he is compelled to make, a worthy and an honourable undertaking. If he fails—

"Magnis tamen excidit ausis."

No one can believe that he has provoked this subject for his own profit—or that for his amusement or for his pleasure, he has tempted again the fires of hell, and descended into that gehenna from which he was raised, after being three years entombed alive therein. He writes under every disadvantage except one, that of poverty. The subject is depressing—composition is painful and difficult to him, or else the nature of the work makes it so. His oldest friends and nearest relations are displeased with his purpose—he is assured that he does it at a risk—and he is anxious whether he may be justifiable in incurring that risk. He is reproached with the consequences to his future prospects and to those of his children—to his family and to his nieces—and his natural affections as a father, as a son, and as a brother, are called in question; but, he sacrifices those affections and other feelings to a sense of duty; believing in God—and fearing, and trusting in his power.
He may be accused of entering with a minuteness which is indelicate into the details of the insults, and of the privations he endured. He answers, that this work is not designed for the amusement of ladies, but for men; as a note-book for philosophers, if there lie hid any, and for men of science. Society has shown itself incapable of anticipating or providing for the wants of lunatics, or he would not have entered into these minute details; and he is compelled as it were "auribus et oculis subjicere fidelibus," to engrave before the eye, and to utter to the ear the savage conduct, the indecency, and the gross language to which he was exposed, as it could not otherwise be imagined by the "innocence" and "simplicity" of society; and even now it will scarcely be credited—but enough on that subject. "The man whose eyes are opened has spoken—those who have ears to hear; let them hear."
With regard to his family, particularly with regard to his mother and his eldest brother, the author begs leave to be allowed to say a few words in his own—and in their defence. He has been educated from his childhood upon the principle that he was to prefer doing his duty to seeking to please himself or others—to tell truth and shame the Devil. At school he was taught to admire and to aspire to the self-devotion of the Decii—of Quintus Curtiusof Mutius Scaevola—of Brutus, the father. Afterwards, he entered a profession in which he considered that he pledged himself to yield his life whenever he might be called upon to sacrifice it; and he subsequently devoted his attention to the study of a religion which teaches the followers of it, that through much suffering they are to inherit the kingdom of heaven, and the Founder of which had thus spoken— "Unless ye hate father and mother for my sake, ye cannot be my disciples." The severe habit of thought thus inspired to the author, may have hardened his feelings, inasmuch as he has found that in every sense it is true that charity begins at home; for how can he show mercy to others, who shows no mercy to himself? But still, although his opinions of the religion of his countrymen have been shaken, he acknowledges the voice of sound sense and of reason in that religion, which teaches a man to prefer his duty to the applause of others—to serve his Creator more than the creature. When he was under confinement, the author was different from what he is now; at Mr. C. Newington’s he was still influenced by fervent religious feelings, as well as by religious principle, and when under the influence of those, he desired to obtain the conviction of his family at law, not only as an example, but to convince their understandings, and to enable them to acknowledge and confess their sins before God ere they should die, to the saving of their souls. But

Long years it tries the thrilling frame to bear,
And the galled soul of one who ne’er was strong,
Long years of outrage, calumny, and wrong;
Imputed madness, prisoned solitude,
And the mind’s canker in its savage mood.
When the desire of friendly forms and fair
Parches the heart, and the abhorred grate
Marring the sunbeams with its hideous shade,
Works through the throbbing eyeball to the brain,

With acute sense of heaviness and pain;—

He must also add the following two lines, they are so perfectly true:

And tasteless food which I have eat alone,
Till its unsocial bitterness was gone.

Three years’ confinement under mad doctors is enough to destroy all feeling, to paralyze the influence of any, EVEN OF SENSUAL PRINCIPLES UPON THE WILL—to destroy the effectiveness of any faith. Still, however, when he was composing his first volume, there remained a slight glow of the same fervent spirit, which, however, vanished before the work was brought to a close. Now he acknowledges that feeling is gone; and, although he is not without enthusiasm, or without religious passion, yet they flow from different principles. The arguments of an eternal state—the hope of future rewards—the dread of future punishments, no longer actuate a living soul—the author listens and obeys, but as without feeling, assenting to a chain of argument in which he does not place willing confidence Formerly he desired to act upon this faith; now he acts with coldness, and without desire, acknowledging the consequence of his premises, but disliking it, and loath to have his indolence disturbed by it.
The error of his family was that which is too common in cases of this nature to the world in general, and springs from the world’s lunacy or sin. Although every person professes to consider lunacy and insanity a mystery—the nature of which they are entirely ignorant of—as, indeed, they are of the proper method of treating it— the author has not yet spoken to any men upon the subject, who have not argued with the like presumption: so, that one would think that THEY knew every thing—the author was the only one who was an ignorant inquirer. The last thing that enters into their thoughts is to pause and inquire of the author, and to profit by his experience. By habit, the author is prompted to say, it is wonderful that it should be so—but in truth, this happens in the common course of the operations of the human mind. The cause of the habitual presumption of the human race in thus prejudging, is worthy of consideration and of investigation. A hint for so doing is given in the following pages. It is a part of habitual irreligion, of irreverence and disrespect of their nature in conducting the operations of the understanding.
The author’s family acted with presumption in a matter in which they were confessedly ignorant, and with which the doctors themselves profess only a practical acquaintance. If they were to blame above others, it was because their means allowed them to have acted differently—because being of a more pious and religious conversation, they might have obeyed feelings and intimations which in them were stronger—and because they afterwards resisted the evidence and the arguments conveyed in so many forms, and so repeatedly in the letters and remonstrances of their relation. Herein the author suspects at times, that they may have been warped by personal feelings, being piqued at, being reproved by a relation whom they considered lunatic. The author might, perhaps, forgive all that happened to him during his first nine months’ confinement at Dr. Fox’s; he cannot hope to be allowed to forgive or to forget the resistance made to his representations, after the commencement of his recovery. It is not whether he wil —he finds he does not and cannot any longer, respect the ties of relationship or of parental authority, as he used to do. He has often thought that he would have been glad, if his calamity had been followed like the plague on the Athenians mentioned by Thucydides, with a total forgetfulness of all who were before so dear to him—with loss of memory of those who begot him to so much suffering.
The piety and simple life of his family, is in his opinion their excuse; they could not conceive any thing so infamous as the neglect and treatment of the lunatic doctor, or that it could be so preposterous. How many will believe it even now?—When, however, his mother was aware of the treatment he had met with at Dr. Fox’s, considering herself compelled to make use of the services of the lunatic doctors, she felt that she was under their power and was afraid to express her feelings to him as warmly as she otherwise would have done, or to take his part in the high tone her spirit prompted to her—for fear of exposing him to their vindictiveness. She confessed this to him after his release. She did not know how capable he was of defending himself, and of making the doctors respect him.
He cannot say how far motives of economy may have prevented her acceding to his wishes when he desired to have a private lodging—or in her original choice of an asylum; and though he cannot admit that an asylum can ever be the place to confine a relative in, where the family have the means to provide a lodging and attendants in a private house—if they will themselves minutely and carefully watch over him;—and although he very much suspects the truth of the position of English and French doctors, that isolation from family and friends, and from early associations, is the first essential to their cure; (he suspects it, if only because the lunatic doctors say so—and he is sure that it is not an universal proposition)—yet he is now arguing from experience; and though he might now be able to treat a patient properly from experience—yet his family were taken by surprise—uninformed, and, which is the case with the greater part of the world, deprived of reason by FEAR. He will not venture therefore to blame them hastily for placing him in the first instance in an asylum—he only laments their choice, and certainly finds fault with them for allowing him to remain so far from them, and for not coming to see him much oftener, seeking to become acquainted with the nature of his disorder.
The management of those places is so deceitful, and the servants and physicians adapt their conduct so without principle to the disposition and degree of convalescence of the patients, that he cannot speak positively; yet he thinks he may say, that had he been placed at first under Mr. C. Newington, he should within three or six months have recovered his understanding; but he doubts if he should have recovered his liberty any the sooner; for that gentleman exercises a somewhat suspicious scrupulousness, and an officious tenderness respecting the too sudden return of his patients to society. But the author hopes he is not deceived, and that he shall not mislead others, in saying, that he gives Mr. Newington credit for humane intentions, and an anxious desire to prevent any gross abuse of their power by his servants; united, however, with a great deal of erroneous conceit. His conduct to the author was unjust—at times ungentlemanly and purposely provoking, ultimately, gross in the extreme—but then it must be remembered that he was opposing the doctor in many of his favourite and infallible dogmas, and actually keeping him in order, instead of being kept in order by him; and menacing and annoying him in his own dominion.
The sum paid for his being manacled and beaten, strangled and insulted, and groomed at Dr. Fox’s. was three hundred guineas. The author does not know much about money matters, but he conceives he might have been taken care of as cheaply and much better in a private family or lodging; including doctors’ fees. In fact he KNOWS he might. Because, in truth, if gentlemen cannot heal the minds of diseased gentlemen, doctors cannot; they have no title to demand any thing more than their fees as physicians, and the author will never allow them to meddle with him or his, beyond feeling the pulse and looking at the tongue. He does not, however, mean to say, that one of them also may not be gifted by God, or to dispute the claims of acquaintance and friendship and well-earned confidence. But his family did not know what he knows—the imposition practised by lunatic doctors.
He acknowledges three hundred guineas appears to his mind a small sum for a wealthy family to afford for the superintendence of a lunatic relation, although a liberal allowance for his maintenance; and proves, perhaps, the want of reflection of his relations—but not his mother’s want of generosity—of which no one can accuse her. Three hundred pounds could scarcely have maintained him in his usual circumstances, with PROPER attendants about him, and he conceives it essentially important, that the circumstances of a lunatic under delusions should be made as much as possible to resemble what they were before—neither more or less—for either may give inlet to false imaginations. Two hundred guineas is surely not too much remuneration for a physician, or a clergyman, who undertakes the superintendence of a violent lunatic patient, and faithfully discharges its important and often disagreeable and thankless duties. The sight of the mental ruin and total degradation of a human being, of any kind, much less that of a man of a respected family—and a young man, and one who had been endowed with, and had enjoyed and had exercised every faculty,—must be very trying to the feelings of a humane person, letting alone the anxiety he must undergo, if he is dealing honestly, and the responsibility he must often lie under. For the same reason, the author thinks the wages given by lunatic doctors to their attendants is entirely out of character with the intention for which they are hired, and can never ensure honest any more than it can decent attendance. For an honest man will NOT UNDERTAKE to do that which he is not, considering all his duties, fairly paid for. *

* The sovereign and the aristocracy of this country are not aware how they are undermining the peace and welfare of the state by their New Poor Law: tampering with the honesty and independence of the English labourers. The author cannot refrain from alluding to that law. He has reason to be grateful to the labouring class — although several lent themselves as instruments to, and behaved to him, like their masters, without much conscience, taking advantage also of his position to neglect and insult him;—and the carrying out of that law grieves him, almost as a repetition of his own sufferings. The system of the Poor Law Commissioners is a system of duplicity and mockery and oppression, similar to that of the lunatic doctors. The same profession of good intentions; the name enforcement of cruel regulations under pretence of them—regulations cruel to the body, mind, and affections; separating parent from child—husband from wife—male from female, by day as well as by night; the same shuffling of responsibility from one to another—similar secrecy—similar chances of justice, and of evidence being fairly obtained in cases of appeal—a similar exactitude in compelling every mind and every constitution to submit to the same laws and to the same diet, without respect to the differences nature makes between individuals; the same denial to the spirit of the refreshment and correction derived from meeting one’s fellow creatures in the exercise of public worship. The same exposure to brutal confinement and punishment at the discretion of the workhouse-keeper—if the prisoner is provoked to any violent language or demeanour—however great may be the provocation. Both the one and the other system are hatched by the devil— the genius of Sodom—the spirit of evil and of cruelty—the infidel spirit of modern "liberality." The author feels assured that some lunatic doctor, or some patron or intimate ally of lunatic doctors, has devised and concocted the New Poor Law and its machinery.

Whilst the author is of opinion that 500l. or say 450l. would not be too much for a family who could afford it to allow for the care of an unfortunate relation so long as there is a prospect of his cure; he considers three hundred guineas quite sufficient for the maintenance of a person of his habits, if the family had given up hopes of his recovery. But, as he has said before, no one who is acquainted with his mother can imagine that improper motives of economy swayed her judgment—on the contrary, she would have refused him nothing to amuse him, or to contribute to his recovery; she offered him masters—she offered him means of taking exercise in carriages. It was the cost of reflection, and of independent judgment, that she shrunk from. She did not grudge any expenses for him—but she did not see that what she expended was faithfully employed; and this because she confided in men unworthy of confidence. She yielded almost implicitly to the dogmas of the lunatic doctors—upon what principle the author is at a loss to imagine: but she did not however do go entirely—fortunately she did not do so entirely. Her own understanding prompted her to recommend to Dr. Fox, his being employed in the garden at Brisslington—and her own understanding gave her firmness enough to refuse the repeated applications made to her by the physicians not to allow him pen, ink, and paper. To these two indulgences he owes in great measure his recovery and his deliverance. Indeed he believes that without the use of pen, ink, and paper, he could never have re-arranged and recollected his ideas—and that when he had recovered, he should have gone mad again—probably he should have become a fool. To the exertion of his mother’s judgment in these two instances he attributes in great measure his recovery; but he knew nothing of her interference in this respect until after his release from confinement.
With regard to his eldest brother, against whom he was more offended—because he is a man—(almost any error of judgment is pardonable in a female that does not betray want of delicacy and want of affection, or which arises from terror,) the author considers that he was made childish by the doctrines of Christianity in which young people are swaddled from infancy, or rather in the habitual one-sided view they imbibe of those doctrines. The deference which he thought he was bound, and which for many obvious reasons it is the habit of the author’s family to pay to his mother, overlaid the sentiments of pity and zealous devotion of a brother for a deranged brother. He forgot that the commandment is two fold—as all wisdom is two-fold—Honour thy FATHER and thy mother. But this was not all. The author’s fellow-countrymen do not know how awfully unjust and cruel the law—or rather not the law, for it cannot be law—but the practice and custom of acting under the statute, is to parties, who being not only relatives, but perhaps dearer to a lunatic than relatives, can have no share in the control and care of him. As a proof of this, Lord de Blaquière and his brother General de Blaquière, have been for many years prevented obtaining any access to their sister, Lady Kirkwall—by the persons entrusted with her care. Had his eldest brother desired to serve him—he had no power: if he had exerted himself, and his mother had refused to attend to him, he had no means of proceeding—in order to assert his title to be attended to, but by threatening to expose the family, or to render her uncomfortable—and this on a venture. For his brother did not err, like his mother, from want of judgment—but from want of a thorough conviction of the correctness and importance of his own judgment. He desired at first to bring the author to town, he was loathe to leave him at Brisslington: he begged afterwards to be allowed to bring him to live near him; but it was refused
—and he thought he was bound to submit to his mother. Nevertheless, he did not inquire into, and interest himself in the nature and treatment of the disorder—as the author thinks a religious, a generous, and even a philosophic mind ought to have done.—This astonishes the author, because to him the study of a mystery like that of insanity—has always seemed one of the most grand and most terrible,—most important, and most instructive. Neither did his brother come to see him so often as he was bound to do. But in this he was misled, because it was contrary to the doctor’s craft: (there is no art, or trade, or business, so deserving of that title, as the business of making and keeping men mad—or restoring them to society—simpletons:) and not only so, during the time that he was at Brisslington, his brother was engaged in combating the principles of the Whig government, and in stemming the overwhelming current of popular opinion in favour of reform, which, however justifiable, without some resistance, might possibly have gone beyond all bounds. There was another reason also that made it particularly difficult in his eldest brother to interfere, he himself embraced the particular opinions of the church of Mr. Irving—which were founded on the supposed miraculous manifestations at Row—to which no doubt the author’s malady was attributed. Therefore his interference would have been particularly objected to. But amongst much which is to be pitied and much which is to be blamed—the author objects chiefly to the principle of a mother or a brother, surrendering up a son or a brother, one too in whose veins not only noble but royal blood flows; one who was of a delicate mind and of a race of the highest antiquity—one too who before had brought no dishonour on his family—he objects to the principle of surrendering up any man, still more one such as he WAS, to be beaten, cuffed, and brutally treated, at the discretion of an upstart lunatic doctor, and his menial servants; he cannot forget and cannot endure it. If it was necessary, then he is a madman still an he hates reason; but he abhors the doctrine, and despises the minds that can so lower their sentiments as to conceive that there is any truth in such a necessity.
The revolutionary and infidel liberal principles of the present day mock at high birth, and insolently sneer at long descent as a mere accident—a matter of chance, endowing men with no distinction. Let a lunatic teach them—for the author learnt to feel it when lunatic—that there is no such thing as chance—no such thing as accident. These terms are terms of folly or of courtesy. Is there any thing swifter than lightning or than thought? And yet He who made the lightning, and who forms thought, is swifter than these, and swift to prevent every will and every undertaking. The God who made man chooses also amongst them his servants, and abides with them; and the continuance of an ancient name is a proof of the continued favour of the Deity. It is that which produces the enmity, and the ignorant ribaldry of "liberal" men. For grace has always begotten envy in evil minds—since Abel was slain by Cain. The author used to consider it a greater honour than man can confer to be descended from an ancient family.

Fortes creantur fortibus et bonis;
Est in juvencis, est in equis, PATRUM
VIRTUS—nec imbellem feroces
Progenerant aquilae columbam.

But "fuimus"—

The hope is gone of former days,
And glory’s thrill is o’er;
The heart that once beat high for praise,
Now feels that pulse no more.


THE course of my life in youth, the causes of my derangement, the melancholy and cruel consequences of that derangement, and the origin of my unfortunate disputes with my family, I have related at large in a former volume: nevertheless, as many may not have had an opportunity of seeing that volume, and many others may have reasonable doubts of the truth of it—not knowing my character and disposition, I shall throw together in the four first chapters of the present book an imperfect recapitulation of that which I have already made public. Premising that of these four chapters the three first were written in May, 1832; and copied out for me in 1833, by a young gentleman in Sevenoaks, and the journal and letters following in 1831. The other was written in Sevenoaks in 1833, and the page preceding them both, in 1834, upon my release from confinement: whilst the whole of the volume already in the hands of the public was written at Paris, in the year 1835, from memory—the papers herein produced having been left in a trunk in England under the care of my solicitor. On referring to them I had only need to make one alteration, as far as I recollect, and that has been noticed.
It was the will of the Almighty Author of good and evil, to deliver me up, at the latter end of December, in the year 1830, to complete derangement of understanding. During the commencement and continuance of that derangement, I was the subject of much mental torture and agony from preternatural causes, and the object of inhuman and cruel treatment, from the ignorance or neglect of the swindlers who undertook my cure. After a period of about fourteen months, I was removed from one of those places called in mockery an asylum, kept by a Dr. Fox, Brisslington parish, near Bristol, to another of humane stamp, kept by a Mr. C. Newington, of Ticehurst, Sussex. In the month of May, 1832, I was to be found in that madhouse, contesting the right of others to treat me as they did—and appealing in vain to the magistrates, Mr. Courthope, of Whiligh, Micklethwaite, and Moreland, of Lamberhurst, against my mother and my physician. In the course of that month I wrote the pages which immediately follow, and form the first three chapters of this volume. I have published what I wrote, word for word, in order that my reader may have such criterion as I can now afford—of the FACT, that I was then of sound mind; which was denied, and no reason given me for the denial—whilst I was left in most unnatural, irreligious, and degrading circumstances, exposed to insult, violence, and oppression; in confinement which was continued in various degrees and situations until the beginning of this year 1834.



Ticehurst, 1832.—As I do not know what may be the effect upon my understanding, in an impaired state of bodily health, from my constant sense of exposure to indelicate and offensive treatment in this asylum, to impertinent observation, sudden intrusion, want of respect, and even ridicule, on the part of the servants; indignation at control, restraint, and confinement, no longer, in my opinion, necessary, AND ABOVE ALL FROM CONTINUED SECLUSION FROM THE SOCIETY OF MY EQUALS, PARTICULARLY PROM THAT OF FEMALES, now going on since December 15, 1830.
As, moreover, I am detained here solely in consequence of Mr. N.’s opinion that I am not fit to be trusted, whereas I have asked for release from his authority on the most reasonable grounds, and chiefly to prosecute a regimen more perfect than his own; and as he appears to consider one proof of my delusions to be this, that I entertain feelings of WRATH against my mother, my eldest brother, my uncle Lord A., and the rest of my family, for their conduct towards me.

I for this reason draw up the following papers, to prove hereafter, if necessary, that I have just and reasonable grounds for indignation against, nay hatred of the conduct pursued towards me, by the parties aforesaid, and by my physicians.
And as from experience I conceive it not improbable that the recollection of all the insults I have received and I am daily suffering from, the sense of irritation produced by constant annoyance from the regulations of this asylum within and without doors, my sense of the illegality and injustice of my detention, my indignant amazement, which baffles all description, at being detained for those very opinions, which I hail as the proofs of a sound state of mind, and that too by Mr. N., one of the parties which they touch most, together with my despair of obtaining any assistance, (having already written fifty-four letters to different friends, without obtaining any answer; having applied to one magistrate without success, and written to Mr. Courthope, one of the visiting magistrates, without being attended to; and having waited for more than a fortnight for an answer to my complaints to Mr. Micklethwaite, magistrate, and Dr. Mayo, M.D., who visited me on the 30th of April, but who did not appear to apprehend my argument).—
Fearing that these causes in process of time may break my spirits and render me foolish, or tempt me to acts of retaliation, and expressions of resentment which may be distorted, and looked upon as additional reasons for persisting in the line of conduct that produces them, or that these and some unsuccessful attempts to effect my own escape, may be followed, as one has already, by unjustifiable and aggravating restraints, which may tempt me to further acts of violence and ultimately terminate in insanity and ungovernable anger, through disappointment and vexation.—

I request that these papers may, if I become insane again, or die, be put into the hands, not of my family or Mr. Newington, for they have already prejudged my case, but into those of my brothers Frederick and Ernest, and of my friends Colonel Woodford, Colonel Lambert, and Captain J. R. Craufurd, of the Ist or grenadier guards; to be by them delivered to be read over to the commissioners, who, as I understand, are appointed to adjust the claims of persons supposed to be lunatics; * —to prove how cruel the situation of a lunatic, and particularly a lunatic gentleman, may be—cruel and perplexing, not only from the purposed malice, but through the obstinate perseverance of his friends in a perverse judgment.
I thank God, that my natural courage, resolution, fortitude, forbearance, slowness to condemn for fear of misjudging, and patience, have enabled me to submit with caution and prudence to all the

* Mr. N. informed me that commissioners were appointed to examine into the complaints of lunatics, and to prosecute those who had treated them unjustly.


regulations imposed upon me; and also to rise superior to the numberless disappointments I have met with; but it is a hard task, and one which has drawn many a deep curse from me upon the individuals from whom I have received injury, as well as upon the institutions and ignorance * of my countrymen. It is such a trial as no one rising up from a ruined state of intellect and body, ought to be subjected to; I have often well nigh sunk under it, and do not doubt but that many, not blessed with the same patience, resignation, and stealthy caution, have, under similar circumstances, sunk entirely.
On Sunday, the 19th of December, 1830, having recovered from my illness, I was taken by Captain H —, my friend, with the consent of Dr. Piel, my physician, and surgeon to the Royal Hospital, for change of air.
I spent the greatest part of that day with Captain H. and his family. Conversation turned, or was directed by me, chiefly to the Row miracles;

* Ignorance which I consider unpardonable, and for which I conceive the magistracy of the country are chiefly to blame! because they are inexcusable. They know what gentlemanly feeling is, and the wants of gentlemen; and yet, year after year they visit the asylums in which patients are, and see the painfully indelicate situation in which they are placed, and yet do not once take the pains to put themselves in the patient’s place and ask themselves how they would like to be treated even for a week or a fortnight in the same manner; or if they do, they flatter the physician, by surrendering their own judgment of the inhumanity and impropriety of parts of his system, or the whole of it, to his opinions and assertions of its advantages!

I asserted as before, my belief in them, I tried to persuade others; I informed the family of many things I had experienced and witnessed in Scotland, and since I was in Ireland. My conversation, and moreover my manners, alarmed them. I passed the night in the Royal Hospital, where Mrs. H had been so kind as to provide me with a bed. It was a night of horrors and alarms.
The next morning I breakfasted with Captain H. I was directed by SOME SPIRITUAL POWER to pray for leave to be left alone in the parlour for half an hour, when the family retired to the sitting-room, and Captain H. went out on business. They objected, but I insisted upon it, and they consented.
I was directed by the spirit I mention, to place myself for a quarter of an hour in a particular position, looking to the clock, if I remember correctly, after that to throw myself on the ground, and to lie with my mouth close to the floor.
I lay there for a quarter of an hour more, supposing it to be at the command of my Saviour; much occurred—but at last I was interrupted by Captain H. ‘s entrance, who found me rising and helped me from the ground; on which I had slobbered from my mouth in my agony. *
My conduct was irregular before him, for I

* Singular it is, that immediately before I heard a voice pray for the Lord to raise me up, and as if in joke, my friend raised me up. 1840.

thought I was to speak before him and his family in an unknown tongue (and to make some confession before them which I was unwilling to do, if I recollect correctly), but which I was about to do, when I hesitated upon Captain H.‘s sitting down to write a letter, as I feared to interrupt him;—we were going into town together in a coach; and he was ready and pressed for time. I therefore determined to defer my confession or utterance with a tongue till the evening, ultimately; but found that Captain H. would not be at home, nor Mrs. H. , but only his daughters, so that I should not be able to call with propriety. I believe I intended to have returned that evening to see them and bid them adieu! to surprise them at the same time, with joyful tidings of our Saviour’s being upon earth, in spirit at least, preparatory to his near and second coming; with an account of his mercies to me in having pardoned and healed me, and restored me to full health, at the same time that I gave proofs of my own divine authority; and to prove that I was not insane, but—

My situation prevents me from going on, as I dare not in a lunatic asylum express my feelings as my nature requires, for fear of misconstruction or calumny, from dread of being called lunatic, and having the period of my dreadful confinement lengthened. For men who do not think of, or believe in the word of life, call the expressions of a believer, in a world and body of sin and death, delusions or madness I drove with Captain H. into Dublin; I had, or believed that I had done something to provoke the Lord. I was ordered to make certain confessions to Captain H. which I shrunk from. (I believe, however, that I attempted to do to, but not in a manner to satisfy the spirit* which commanded me.) I heard audible and articulate voices, though not always. I either met Dr. Piel by appointment at my inn in Frederick-street, or Captain H. asked me to remain in-doors whilst he fetched him, and he called before or with Captain H. I believe I was then left alone for some time, which opportunity I took for prayer and meditation. I know I saw Captain H. a second time.
I then was proceeding out of doors, supposing myself well, to buy a new hat I think, or to do some commissions preparatory to my journey next morning, or in a day or two to England. Earnestly wishing, with or without Dr. Piel’s leave to see my mother at Brighton, and pass the Christmas with her, or to proceed to Oxford: at any rate to proceed to Oxford: but on opening the door, or as I was proceeding down-stairs (if I remember correctly), I found, or met a servant, sent from Dr. Piel to watch me and prevent my going out.**

* SPIRIT. I do not say Holy Spirit.
** The presence of the servant operated on me in this way, that I conceived myself ordered to do many things which I might fairly deliberate upon and defer, which however I do not think would have been right to attempt in his presence at all, now; except I thought them as I did one and subsequently others, absolutely necessary for my souls or spirit’s salvation.

Captain H. I think arrived with him, or soon after, and explained that he was a confidential servant of Dr. Piel’s, whom he had requested the doctor to send to watch me.
From this cause I derive my misfortune. I do not think I should have gone mad if my friend had not done this. I do not think he was justified in doing so, but he acted with promptitude and resolution, and perhaps from experience; for he had himself been delirious once, from the use of mercury. If is true I was in the habit of hearing articulate voices, and of obeying them, but I had not done so yet without judgment and much deliberation; neither had I attempted to do myself or any one else any injury—nor had I done any thing except in my friend’s house calculated to make me seem RIDICULOUS; if I except praying with a loud voice, which is a nuisance to others I know; and now I am sorry for having done it in a crowded city, without respect to my landlord or my neighbours:

But his very presence confused a week, disordered and enthusiastic conscience; for I did not know whether I shrunk from doing things because I feared his ridicule and laughter or condemnation or because it was really my duty from motives of prudence and discretion.
I was therefore ultimately tempted to do before him, by his very presence, things which I should not most likely have been tempted to do in his absence. I did them not out of bravado, but conceiving them my duty, and that my hesitation proceeded from the fear of man.
I could not explain to him my motives, except partially. I was afraid at that time, and thought it profane to mention that I heard voices which directed me to do these things.

but there is nothing really ridiculous in this, unless to the unfaithful, if it be done in time and place. Our Lord prayed with strong cries* (see Hebrews, v. 7), but it is not probable that he did it in cities, for he went into the country, or wilderness with his disciples, and there even retired from them.
It is not improbable also that I might have been tempted to acts from delusion, which might have rendered it expedient for me to be watched, subsequently; not, however, I think at the risk of depriving me altogether of my understanding.
I with some difficulty persuaded my servant to leave me for half an hour to pray in the evening when I went to bed. This, as also his not retiring when I undressed, terrified me. I was before shocked, provoked, and amazed.
Different things occurred, to be mentioned hereafter; ultimately about midnight, or one or two o’clock in the morning, I attempted to throw myself on the back of my head and so to turn round on the back of my head, tilt I had twisted my head in a particular way.

* He prayed also with tears. In this Asylum, I was told not to lend my bible to a gentleman, it excited him; "I found him in tears," said Mr. N.
I expressed my opinion that that could not be wrong! In a lunatic it is surely good for him; "Oh no! It excites him, he was excited!"
The real and the awful truth is that the lunatic physician’s idea of healing a patient is at the expense of his conscience.

I had not courage to do it completely, I feared to break my neck, but I was not sure whether that was not intended; I thought if I broke my neck in one way it would not kill me, but that I should be delivered from various demons; but that if I failed I might break my neck and suffer merely pain, perhaps die; but in either case I expected to be raised to life again, to be the messenger of the Lord’s second coming.
My servant attempted to prevent me from getting from under the bedclothes to do this; but I tore my shirt from him and persisted, earnestly telling him for my soul’s sake, and for motives which I really had, to let me alone: I believe he tarried some time and then went down-stairs for help. Another servant came up, and soon after I was fastened by them in a strait waistcoat with my hands tied over my breast.
Next they tied my feet to the foot of the bed; I now became very feverish and thirsty, I was in a situation of mind bordering on distraction. For I could not tell them, I thought it ungrateful to reveal to them, that my Saviour, as I imagined, was holding communion with me, or rather addressing me. I began to be subject to all kinds of delusions, I dared not open my lips to them, partly through superstition, partly through delusion.
This confinement after about a fortnight’s illness produced not only derangement and delirium, but torpor of blood and loss of moral courage and energy. I lost my reason in a struggle of conscience under delusion afterwards: I am sure I should not have done so if Dr. Piel had done his duty to me, as a brute animal even, needing wholesome air and exercise. I foresaw daily my horrible fate, without being able to redress myself because I could not explain to them my feelings or sentiment. At last I sunk under it. It was like fear in a horrible dream; which one cannot escape from.
I remember hailing the hour when I saw my eldest brother by my bedside; he knew my peculiar turn of mind. He and I also were in some points of the same religious opinions. Dr. Piel was, * I believe, an unitarian; therefore, as I conceived, an infidel concerning the Holy Ghost. My eldest brother had also by letter expressed to me his belief in the Row miracles, though he retracted his acknowledgment afterwards in another letter, I hoped to be able to persuade him to treat me as a reasonable being.
I do not know how these hopes afterwards vanished; I believe some answer he made me showed me that he was futile and vain and presumptuous: he became the object of my hatred and scorn, and, as I conceive, my betrayer; for I trusted, in my imbecility, to him.
I remember now after my brother’s arrival, I

* I ought to say—I had been told, I had no grounds but hearsay for this belief.

was forced, by my physicians, in my brother’s and the servant’s presence, to use a clyster. This disgusting operation I had a peculiar dislike to, from its indecency and indelicacy. My opinion was not asked about it, neither my wishes consulted, and my dumb, mute state of lunacy was considered in this, a reason for making no scruple of offending my feelings of delicacy, as in regard to my other regimen it had been perverted into a reason for treating me without any reference to my wants as a brute.
In this I think my brother neglected his duty towards me; as he should have been my protector in every sense; nay more, there was no more reason then why I should have been forced to undergo any regimen, than for any other person in a sound state of mind. Nothing did I require but wholesome diet, moderate and healthy exercise, and pure air; instead of which I was drenched with the most nauseous medicines against my will and against my conscience: I was fastened in a strait-waistcoat, or huge, hot leathern arm-cases, and compelled to lie day and night in the same bed, and in the same room, and fed on slops of bread in broth.
And all this for what? Because I had attempted one night to injure my person, as they supposed; and had tried it once or twice again. Also because I could not speak from lunacy and from feeling sure that none of them would receive or believe what I said.
For these reasons, they presumed to deal towards me in the brutal way above mentioned, without respect to my wants or feelings, not only as a human being, but even as an animal!!
I mentioned my particular cause of complaint to my brother, against him, in February, when he was bringing me to this asylum. He replied in a scoffing or scorning manner, ridiculing my complaint, and turning it off as if his opinion was infallible and I still a poor lunatic complaining of I knew not what, to I knew not whom.
I therefore replied to my brother, that if such as he described were his feelings and opinions I did not wish to have any more correspondence with him, till he was taught to think otherwise: and that I could not, nor would hold any more communion of spirit with him—I dare not express my INDIGNATION. Neither do I now see any cause for considering it unjust. He must be taught to reason in some other way; by some punishment—before I can call him my friend or honour him as my brother with any attachment any more.
Moreover, when I came over in the steam-boat with my brother from Dublin, he forced me to retire to bed without consulting my inclinations, and again also at Bristol he did the same thing although I did not wish it, nay earnestly desired the contrary, for lying in bed was torment to me. My affliction has made me experience this so repeatedly from my keepers or advisers! that I have now grown accustomed to it, but I expected more consideration from my brother—a man of liberal education, spiritual understanding, and a gentleman.
My brother? also brought me to Dr. Fox’s asylum, and left me there barely taking leave, or warning me of his departure, without warning and without consulting my opinion.


IN this asylum I met with every possible sort of insult, degradation and ill-treatment. In the first place, the rule of the asylum is inhumanly cruel and unchristian, viz., public confinement without any privacy. This is barbarously cruel to a person in affliction, worse when he is in a nervous state of health, still worse when he, under his affliction, has become deranged, and his conduct is often, through derangement and delusion, not only childishly imbecile and ridiculous, but disgusting! Yet for me this system was adopted by my family, and recommended at the suggestion of and put in practice by my physician. To me, a gentleman! But not only under all this accumulation of woe and misery, was I put to this excruciating torture of soul, heart, and spirit, but I was also degraded to keep company with the lunatic, the blasphemous, the indolent, the idle, and the profane! with vulgar persons below me in society, and with menials, to whose entire authority I was intrusted.
For a long time I had literally only two or three hours privacy during the whole twenty-four hours, from half-past eight till my servant came to bed—afterwards the servant, for a month or two, left off sleeping in my room; but there I was, tied down to my bed with my hands muffled in a strait-waistcoat, my feet manacled, and fastenings which were passed round both arms to the sides of the bed!
In this position night after night I lay wakeful and feverish, under pretence of being restored to a sound state of mind! Once or twice, through delusion, I thought myself bound to sing the 100th Psalm, and received in this position violent blows on my face and ear as I turned away from the keeper to receive them, to prevent my singing aloud. This, with other blows I have since received on the same ear, brought on an internal hemorrhage, which made an operation necessary, and this has disfigured the ear for life.
About the time of my brother’s arrival, I was made to sleep in a cell down-stairs, on a course paillasse, with one night a straw pillow; here I was fastened down at night, instead of up-stairs in my bedroom: it was one of a range of cells lighted at the top, with a passage along the doors, and warmed by the flues of the garden-wall in winter. I had the greatest horror of these places in some states of mind. I was placed here, I suppose, because I twice made water of a morning in my bed up-stairs; I suppose my brother was informed of this—but not that I was confined hand and foot, and tied down in my bed, so as to make it impossible for me to use a chamber-utensil, from half-past eight or nine at night, till six or half-past six in the morning.
I used to be plunged into a cold bath during the whole of the cold winter of 1831. I was not allowed to wash after this as a gentleman should; not even my hands, nor frequently to clean my teeth.
Sometimes my hands have gone without any washing a whole day; sometimes I was insulted by being washed out of a bowl or small basin, with a piece of flannel-rag or sponge, and coarse towel, in the room of my unfortunate fellow-prisoners. I have seen another lunatic since, an old gentleman of sixty-nine, treated in the same disgusting and infamous manner.
I had no medical assistance offered me (I except two occasions mentioned below), if I except that
when at last either secondary symptoms, or boils appeared on my legs and feet, I had a black plaster applied to them.
Yet during the whole of this season, I had strong nervous symptoms, and was only lately recovered from a course of mercury—during this time also I continued to be plunged into the cold bath, though the shock was extremely great, and I used to come out shuddering with cold to a room barely warm up-stairs.
I used to be beaten with a stick, I have received a bloody nose, I used to be pulled jocularly by the nose, I used to receive boxes on the ear, I was strangled, I have had my head thrown back with brute violence four or five times against a wall to stun me, and this merely because I thought it my duty to be humbled to submit to all kinds of degradation and insult.
I have had my whiskers cut off, which I had not touched or suffered any one to touch since I grew up; I have also had them shaved nearly off; I have had my hair cut in a ridiculous fashion, long and full behind, and short before; I have had my nails cut close to the quick, so as not to doubt the intention of the person to offend me.
I was never allowed to wash during the day, till I came to exercise my own reason and judge for myself; I never had hot water allowed for my feet which became beastly dirty, neither were my toenails cut for nine or more months, nor till I returned to judge for myself.
Though in a highly nervous and excitable state, I was subjected to witness the insults and cruel outrages practised on other lunatics by the keepers, and from one to another. I have seen two old men thrown on the floor, one of sixty-nine years of age struck a violent blow on the kidneys; he had a complaint there; one insulted and ridiculed by the servants. I saw one young lunatic strangled before my eyes till the face was swollen with blood, and his eyes started out of their sockets; I used to see this same young gentleman daily confined to a small court for exercise, often fastened to a seat out of doors; I know he was not supplied with paper for the privy. I have seen another lunatic strike this young man, and I was compelled to do it in my own defence twice, for which I was applauded! I have seen one of the old gentlemen, who laboured under lymphaticus pavor, terrified often to violence by another lunatic, the servants being in the room! I have been tied up without possibility of making water or going to the privy; but often, as if in revenge fastened on a privy for more than half an hour. I have seen another lunatic in the same predicament; who, when a keeper was in the room, asked me for one of the spitting-boxes (in which those who smoked tobacco spat, in a common sitting-room!) to make water in it. I have given it to him and he has made use of it in the presence of the servant, who was reading a newspaper or playing cards; this same old gentleman was often compelled to make water on the floor, and being abandoned, through the infamous cruelty of his situation to recklessness and helplessness, used to defile his trousers, and I have entered the room, whilst he has been sitting in his stench, to the annoyance of the other gentlemen.
I was for a long time unprovided with any paper for the necessary, and when I used to ask for it, after some hesitation in the presence of the gentlemen, used to meet with inattention and neglect. I have often been obliged to make use of leaves, which I have seen others do; once of my watchpocket; and I know from the filth on the wall that others were as ill provided. One gentleman used to offer me some of his paper.
I had but two towels a week! not always that. One pocket-handkerchief, or two, never more than three, perhaps four; sometimes I have had none and been compelled to walk out of doors with my nostrils running down; sometimes I made use of paper: other lunatics were in much the same predicament. My mother was to blame for this, at least, for she only allowed eight pounds or guineas per annum for my washing.
I used to be shaved in a dirty room belonging to a servant, and in presence of servants and of other gentlemen patients to have my cheeks and mouth washed with the same water they used, and with the servants’ dirty towels.
I used to go to the bath with several other patients of different ages and rank, never alone. In short I had no feeling of modesty, humility, delicacy, or scarcely of a human being consulted or cared for.
My dress I was for a long time ashamed to appear in, the hat and coat were so old.
When there was no more water, by reason of the drought, for the cold bath, I used to be taken to a cell and made to undress there, and to walk in presence of two or three domestics across a small court to a privy, naked and barefooted—here water was poured slowly on my head, with a pewter chamber-utensil, out of buckets brought by another, till about three buckets were emptied. I was once nearly choked, and never endured this without much agony and panting.
This! such was the situation, one enough to have driven two-thirds of the world out of their mind, to which I—partly through the inhumanity of my friends in choosing a place so far off and a system so shocking; partly through the want of faith of Dr. Fox, and their inhumanity in practising such a system; partly, no doubt, through the misconduct and callous cruelty of the keepers—was subjected, in common with others, to heal my understanding! being at the time in delusion unparalleled, in affliction too great to bear, and in a state of bodily weakness I was never in before.
For nearly eight months I may say that I was never out of a strait-waistcoat; I used to be tied up in it, in a recess the whole day, on a wooden seat, for months and months, with my feet manacled to the floor, and in the presence of fourteen other patients. My situation was extremely cold also, my feet got chilled and covered with chilblains. I used also to walk out in it.
In my delusions I twice required two severe operations, or was supposed to require; one, bleeding at the temporal artery; the other, having my ear cut open to let out extravasated blood. I had no warning of either of these operations; only, I knew of the second by having some jam with a strong garlic-like tasting medicine brought to me on a piece of bread—which I had given to me once before, the morning before I had my artery cut; that day I was bled till I fainted! I saw my blood taken away in basins full, and I did not know what to anticipate.
I was afterwards confined in a wicker chair (first being put on a close-stool), and put in a room with one patient only and a servant; here I sat in my strait-waistcoat, and I do not recollect any other care that was taken of me after so severe an operation.
After my ear was opened, I went down as usual to the room with the other gentlemen. On both occasions I attempted, through delusion, to break open or irritate my wounds.
My ear was afterwards opened accidentally, by my servant striking it with a switch, which he did to correct me, for calling out aloud when out walking.
The attendant who used to offer me most violence, Samuel Hobbs, used to insult me publicly, by calling my military trousers opening in front …….or……..
Mr. Charles Fox one morning in the courtyard, before other lunatics, asked, "Was that your father that was shot? " A young lunatic asked me, "Was it you or your father that was shot in the House of Commons? " For this I struck him over his face with a pamphlet I was reading, of my brother’s speech, and on his rising to retaliate, knocked him down.
I was baptized one day when confined in my strait-waistcoat with some beer by one of the old lunatic gentlemen, in ridicule; he so repeatedly struck me, pinched my ear, &c., till I struck him one day over the face at tea, to the great amusement and amazement of those present. This was not my own act, * I ‘struck him once before for flinging stones at me, which was his provocation. Other more shameful outrages I must mention elsewhere.

* I mean that this blow was not struck by my volition; my arm was raised suddenly and swiftly, as by galvanism. 1840.


I WAS left by my brother here entirely to the charge of strangers; although at that time unable, as he must have thought, of judging or acting for myself,—often mute; although in so weak a state of health that my attendant thought I should die; although it was contrary to his own judgment, for he wanted to bring me to Ealing or the neighbourhood of London; and this although he knew that I held peculiar religious opinions, and that I was of a peculiarly and singularly imaginative mind, and that there were few other minds than his own capable of communing with me: although he affects to know the value of the spirit and the soul, and knows how true religion is nowadays made light of;—he left me to the control and management of strangers, merely because it was his mamma’s will ! *
He came to pay me a visit in June or July, 1831, when he found me still a lunatic and imbecile. His conduct on the first day was more natural and prudent than on the second; when he

* Jan. 1840. My brother did not lack affection or judgment, so much as firmness: he conceived himself bound to submit to my mother, who in turn submitted—fortunately not entirely—to the doctors. Of this I naturally wrote with virulence. ‘

appeared by me to have been corrupted in judgment by the advice of those around me. His visit did me much good, and he evidently was greatly agonized at my situation; but he did not attempt to sound me, to find out or dissipate my delusions. He did not come on purpose to see me; it was now at least four months and a half since my confinement, and I had suffered horrors. He came on return from electioneering at Tiverton ! He saw the room in which I sat and my melancholy situation, and yet he left me in it. He only saw me for two days! as if that were enough for a person who wished to inquire into a lunatic brother’s state of mind!
When I began to exercise my own judgment again, according to the laws of God, of the scriptures, of sound reason, and the customs of society, I discovered the cruelty and impropriety of my situation! and as I recovered strength of mind and power to make observations, I observed the peculiarly baneful effects it had, and had had upon my mind, and that of others: I hesitate not to attribute the state of absolute degradation into which I often fell back and back, to this awfully indelicate position.
I became indignant and furious at the conduct which had been adopted towards me, and desiring to know whom I might strictly find fault with, I wrote to my eldest brother, having obtained the consent of Dr. Fox that the letter should be private, to beg him to interfere in my behalf, to think for me, and judge for me. I begged him to observe my handwriting and method, (for which reason I would not send him a fair copy of my letter,) in order that he might have some criterion whereby to judge of my disorder, having left me so far from his own observation; and finding that I digressed beyond proper limits, I resolved at last to finish by writing to him a series of questions, concerning the most important points which affected my mind—concerning all of which my family had kept a complete silence, although they knew that my mind could only be anxious about them—and also questions with respect to the original agreement for my accommodation at Dr. Fox’s house, &c. &c. &c.; that I might know in what position I stood with respect to Dr. Fox.
This letter was detained for above a fortnight, and Dr. Fox to my great agony of mind violated his promises by opening and reading it, also by detaining it. This almost drove me mad! It was sent, however, with another letter written to my eldest brother, in the envelope to a letter from me to my mother; in this envelope I requested him to secure me private correspondence with him and my mother, and also desired him to write to Dr. Fox to demand the first.
My brother answered my complaints by a letter of exhortation and reproof, and a command to me to bear patiently with the cruel situation in which it had pleased my heavenly Father! forsooth, that I should be placed. This blasphemy put me out of all patience; he also put off answering my questions.
In about a month’s time he sent me a letter, containing part of another he had begun about a month previously, with a mere commonplace excuse of procrastination for not having written sooner that answer which, as I wrote to him, and I bad looked for, was the dearest treasure every minute could bring forth; if he would but merely have confined himself even to a simple answer to my queries. But his letter after all did not contain a reply to all my queries, nor to those I deemed most expedient and essential to my peace of mind. In this he acted at the suggestion of my mother and against his own judgment.
Also he took no pains to secure the privacy of my correspondence! although I expressed the acute anxiety it occasioned to me, and three times prayed for it to be secured, and to be assured of it. I reaped the consequences bitterly.
In February he came, at length, with my fourth brother, to remove me from Dr. Fox’s house to Sussex; when my mother had written to me to inform me of her intention to place me in this asylum, I wrote back word to repeat my demand of a private lodging, with a servant of my own choosing. I also requested to be allowed to come up to town to see my dentist, and (in consequence of some further insults and cruel exercise of authority on the part of the Drs. Fox, in forcing me to submit to a regimen which had injured my health extremely) to see a lawyer, with a view after my recovery of prosecuting them; also to see three medical acquaintance in town in order to have their attestations to my actual state of health. This letter I found, with sundry others, had been detained by Dr. Fox; in it also I warned my mother that I could not travel above forty miles a day, meaning six hours, without endangering my health.
When I found that my mother had not received these letters, I communicated part of their import to my eldest brother; and being unable, through grief and lunacy, to speak, I wrote, giving my brother my reasons for, and my necessity for writing on a slip of paper, requesting my two brothers earnestly to attend to my last prayer.
Instead of this, I was in the carriage the second day’s journey, from, I suppose, eleven A.M. to nearly eight P. M., if not nine; neither did they halt on the journey to allow me to DINE—or lie down, although I had now for a year been under strict regimen, dining regularly at one o’clock, and was in such a state of nervous weakness that I was sensible of the least change of temperature around me, and was pained by the slightest sound. A little before Tonbridge Wells, or Tonbridge, my mind gave way under the pain of body,* which I endured

* The pain of my loins was violent.

from the sudden change of my situation, and from the consciousness of the brutality and iniquity of my brother’s conduct. For my eldest brother told me himself that he had wished to bring me up to town—but my mother had desired him to bring me down here. But although he had so good a reason for refusing to accede to my mother, and for acceding to my wants as well as requests, he would not even in this instance do his duty towards me.
I thought that I had no right to be told so, at any rate; but that in my state of bodily health I might have had my alarm consulted.
I complained of their fast travelling and not stopping for dinner.—
My other brother stated "that I was no worse off than they!" They who were in a firm state of bodily and mental health!
I pleaded that I was no longer under the necessity of being controlled or put under restraint, and demanded my liberty to go to town.
The same brother pointed to one of my letters, in which I confessed myself still lunatic—because I was so, and willing to be under observation; but yet (though I could not utter my reasons) unable to explain to him, that I did not for that reason acknowledge that I needed restraint or control.
I had before had occasion, in the morning of the day previous, to give this very brother back a note he had written to me, to expostulate with and rebuke me upon topics concerning which he was ill informed, with a severe rebuke, interlined and written carefully in printed characters. He had visited me in Dr. Fox’s madhouse, about the time of the Bristol riots; but yet, as in the case of my eldest brother, it was but on his road to Sir John T.‘s, at Nettlecombe, near Taunton; and after remaining one Saturday afternoon with me, and a Sunday and a Monday morning about Brisslington, he went on to spend a fortnight there. I saw him on the Saturday forenoon. It was about the time that my delusions were breaking up, and that I was beginning to feel a degree of antipathy and ill-will against my relations for their contempt of me. I remember my brother alluding to my hair, which had been cut ludicrously, on purpose, I suspect, to wound my feelings, very short before and long and bushy behind. I had not noticed it, being absorbed in my own affliction; but when I heard my brother mention it, I understood it was so; as he asked me why I had my hair cut so, in such a ridiculous fashion? if I had ordered it myself. I thought either my brother knows that this has been done to try me, and he is insulting me by conniving at it and trying himself the effect it has upon me, or he is such a fool in believing that I would designedly cause my own person to be disfigured, that it is useless to speak with him, or, to do more than act the fool with him. My brother also observed to me, that I did not speak out loud;—that I kept my mouth shut when speaking, and asked me if I used to do so at Ealing? that he did not recollect it; I had, I think, had this observation made to me before by Dr. F. Fox, but I had paid no attention to it, not understanding it. I was not aware that I spoke imperfectly, and that I did not open my mouth like other people, but on my brothers making the remark, I put my hand up to my mouth to feel whilst speaking; and I was quite astonished to find that my teeth and lips were almost closed. I walked out that afternoon with my brother and keeper, I was still very childish. I dined with my brother at Dr. Fox’s that evening, he talked of Mr. Irving and others. I did not like the style of conversation. I recollect taking him up to my bedroom, that he might see it.
The next Sunday I saw him for a few minutes after church, in the front of Dr. Fox’s house; when Dr. F. Fox spoke to me more than usual, on subjects regarding my returning into the world.
Here ends the manuscript which I wrote at Ticehurst in 1832. My time was afterwards occupied on the same subject in another manner. In drawing up a voluminous series of charges against Dr. Fox, and questions for my solicitor’s guidance; and in like manner a series of charges against Mr. C. Newington, and questions respecting his conduct.


I Now apply myself to the recollection of the commencement of my misfortunes, and of their continuance until the period of my removal to Ticehurst. But, ere I proceed, I will give such a sketch of my character and habits of mind and body, as may prove the wickedness and charlatanism, as well as cruelty of my treatment, under a state of mental and bodily derangement.
Brought up by my father in the love of truth and honesty, and in a strict observance of religious duties, the necessity of which was continually impressed upon my mind during my subsequent education; more, however, morally and outwardly than spiritually, I began to be early of a reflective and conscientious disposition. When I compared the standard of religious conduct contained in the Scriptures, with the maxims and practice of my relations and the world around me, I questioned the reality of the doctrines they professed, or the sincerity of their profession. When I turned to examine my own conduct, and the workings of my own mind, I was still more disquieted and dissatisfied. Religion was not innate,—it was a force, a constraint upon my nature. Christian precepts did not regulate my moral conduct in private; in my deportment towards others I accused myself of insincerity. My whole mind was tortured, and I lived a life of perpetual agony, inward and uncommunicated, because I did not see one being around me on whom I could depend, or who appeared willing to hear, much less to understand, the scruples of my conscience, and the value I attached to them. I was not then acquainted with what is called the religious world.
I applied myself early to the consideration of the evidences of Christianity. But I found my mind incapable of judging; led away by words, and a jingle of sound, and by argument which made no impression. The very difficulty of my task, seemed an argument against the truth of the subject, when I conceived how many millions of my inferiors were unable to allot time, or had not means for this occupation, and must ultimately depend on the authority of their teachers.
If I detected dishonesty and cavil in the arguments and works of infidels, I detected also as much dishonesty and want of candour, in the arguments and writings of Christians. I detected also in my own mind a disposition to dishonesty, to haste, to shrink from deliberation and reflection. Necessity then led me to a habit of thinking and acting for myself.
I saw that others, and I found that I also, could on many subjects, from various principles, keep starting objections, and wasting time by haggling-haggling with doubts, when the understanding was heartily convinced. On a general, though perhaps imperfect view of the evidences of the truth of Christianity, I came to the conclusion that the weight of possibility and probability was in favour of that religion—and more than that, such as the mind could not resist without subterfuge, cavil, and dishonesty. On considering the objections and doubts in my own mind, I thought they were wanton, gratuitous, officious; at the same time I acknowledge, though Christianity be true, yet I do not understand it; and that is not true Christianity which I see around me, but very far from it. My attention was then drawn to the fact, that infidels advanced so many well-timed and plausible arguments against the reality of these doctrines; which I felt I was often unable to answer, and confessed to be perplexing, though not of sufficient strength to shake the solidity of their foundation; that they were not fairly or handsomely refuted, but cried down and persecuted, and became the objects of venom and wrath; proving thereby at least the falseness of the Church, if not that her origin was an imposture.

I thought a want of real religion, and a disposition to self-flattery, engendering a hatred of self-examination, occasioned the haste and intemperate anger of these soi-disant Christians, and that they sought rather to browbeat than to refute an antagonist, being more ashamed of exposing their ignorance and want of real understanding, than of being really ignorant. I acquired then a habit of attending to the doubts, scruples, and objections of all parties, whilst I did not hasten to reply, but, trying to see their ideas clearly, I was happy and contented in acknowledging how far I was able, how far not, to comprehend or to answer. Resting confident in time and continued inquiry furnishing me with means to do so. This slow but cautious conduct of the understanding, gave me a solid and unshaken resolution when I became convinced of the truth and of my duty; but, at the same time, from a constant detection of my own errors, and those of the wisest men, arose a diffidence, which unfitted me for action.
I attribute my late recovery to the agonizing exercises of my mind in pursuit of truth, that I entered upon in these early years of my life. I was then in the army, constantly attending to the routine duties of the Church, though without comfort, and scorched as it were, by the knowledge of the inconsistency of my conduct with my profession.
Here ends what I wrote at Sevenoaks, in 1833.

Diary at Dr. Fox’s from the time I began writing home, to my removal.

November 29.—Began writing to my eldest brother my first complaints of the asylum.
December 11.—Began a letter to my mother after my letter to Mr. S. P. was finished and sent in: this letter was finished or altered by December l9th, and sent in an envelope to my eldest brother to be forwarded on Tuesday.
Monday 19.—Wrote home to Ealing.
Tuesday 20.—Sent in my letter to Dr. Fox.
Wednesday 21.—Letter sent with others to my eldest brother.
Thursday 22.—Dr. Fox informed me my letter was at last gone.
Friday 23.—My letter reached my brother.
Saturday 24.— My eldest brother’s letter dated.
Sunday 25.—Christmas-day, my mother wrote:
I received my brother’s letter.
Monday 26.—I received my mother’s letter: date of my third letter to my eldest brother which I delayed sending.
Tuesday 27.—Wrote to my mother.
Wednesday 28.—Wrote to my mother, and
Thursday 29. brother Ernest.
Friday 30.
Saturday 31.—Violence offered me by Hobbs in the parlour.
Sunday, January 1.—Shut out from the parlour, and ordered to attend church, remonstrated with Dr. F. Fox, and sent out of church.
Sunday, January 8.—Shut out from the room upstairs.
Wednesday 11.—Received my brother’s letter.
Saturday 14.—Received my mother’s letter; in which, to my great joy, she told me that I was to be removed from Dr. Fox’s and to have a private room.
Monday 16. —AlIowed to breakfast alone,
Tuesday 17. —pressed for leave to write to my mother.
Wednesday 18.—Finished my letter to my mother. No more paper. In a fit of enthusiasm destroyed my letter in the fire.
Thursday 19.—Saw the visiting magistrates. No letter-paper to write to my eldest brother.
Friday 20.—No letter-paper.
Saturday 21.—No letter-paper.
Sunday 22.—Third application to Dr. F. Fox for letter-paper.
Monday 23.—No letter-paper.
Wednesday 25.—Letter from my mother dated the 23d; wrote my letter to my friend Mr. Drummond respecting prosecuting Dr. Fox.
Thursday 26.—Sent my letter to my brother, and to Mr. Drummond: both detained. Walked alone in the garden for the first time, in obedience to my request to my mother!
Friday 27.—Asked for paper to write to Dr. Fox, being warned that be desired I should again use the cold bath. No paper having been brought, I desired the servant at night, to tell him it was not my intention to use the cold bath.
Saturday 28.—Forced to use the cold bath in the morning: wrote to Dr. Fox and to my mother. A coarse iron poker chained to the wall of my room.
Monday 30.—Received a letter from Dr. Fox, as in Appendix to vol. I., defending himself for not forwarding my letter to Mr. Drummond.
Tuesday 31.—Forced to go to the cold bath again: wrote to my mother: letter again opened by Dr. Fox. Sofa making.
Wednesday, February 1.—Conversation with Dr. Fox; tea-things up-stairs in my private room, received a letter from my sister-in-law, obliged to go to the cold bath in the morning, first day that I had a room alone.
Thursday 2.—Forced again to use the cold bath. Sofa put in my room with new sheeting.
Friday 3.—Forced to use the cold bath: obliged to ask for paper to write again. A frosty morning.
Saturday 4.—Forced to use the cold bath; asked myself why I was barred in?
Monday 6.—Sent my letter to my mother: this was detained by Dr. Fox.
Thursday 9.—Left Dr. Fox’s asylum. Thank God!


[The following Letters will prove the state of my affections at this time towards my family— which my illness at least had not altered. They are also, to those who will credit me, deserving of attention as evidences of the reality of one species of inspiration—I saw, as upon the paper, every word and stroke almost, before I wrote it. I do not contend for the nature of that inspiration.]

S. P. L.

Brisslington, Nov. 29th.

I HAVE many thanks to give you for your last letter to me, and apologies I owe to you for not having replied to it. I wish you, however, to think a little more of my situation here. I wish you to consider my case a little more spiritually. I wish for change of scene, or a change of residence—a change of circumstances. Not * that I

* The Irish Roman Catholics have been often accused, by the Orange party, of their insincerity, in making fresh demands after repeated concessions, with which concessions they have successively said that they would rest satisfied. I have found, by my own experience, that there may possibly be no insincerity in this national phenomenon at all. The Irish Roman Catholics have been treated by the British Protestants much in the manner of lunatics; and Ireland was their prison. Outlawed because of their religion, that is, because they were deemed of unsound mind and dangerous persons, the whole population were deprived of their civil rights, of title to property, to office, or to any consideration. At the same time they were deprived of all means to instruct themselves, and no pains were taken to instruct them; for whereas the papist people in England were enlightened by the reading of the Scriptures in their native tongue, in Ireland the reading was changed to English, a tongue as unintelligible to the Irish as the Latin; therefore they could never come to a right state of mind but by a miracle. Having, like other lunatics, or so called lunatics, no sense of their own deficiencies, and not acknowledging their loss of title to civil privileges, or the rights of those who tyrannized over them, they resisted and rebelled; and each rebellion, the consequence of oppression, was treated as in lunacy, as the evidence of new malignity and fresh evil principles, and a just cause for the chains of slavery being fastened on them more heavily. Thus oppression begot oppression, and with it depression; for, alas! we may boast of the powers of human intellect, but it is in the power of the devil in man, or of an enraged Providence, by continued acts of robbery, contumely, and insolence, to break the spirit, and to wear out the mind. Few, perhaps no minds can bear beyond a certain point; and constant degradation, insult, and cruelty, make the sufferers at last familiar with them, and gradually to know little better, to expect little better, to think themselves deserving of little better. As is now instanced in our soldiery with regard to the excess of severity in flogging them, an excess which future ages will wonder at, as much as we do now at barbarities that the law required, and our enlightened grandfathers and even fathers tolerated, not many years ago. So it was with the Irish—so it is with the lunatic. But with each successive act of reason, with each successive exercise of self-respect, with each successive resolution to die rather than to miss the opportunity of asserting his rights, new light dawns on the mind, and with new light new desires and claims; and new hopes with each concession, because they are an evidence of power respected, and a source of power achieved. These concessions are not received with submissive servility, but accepted, with triumph and joy, as tardily conceded rights, and only by those who reflect, is that honesty acknowledged with gratitude that at last confesses they are due, and surrenders them. And, furthermore, that honesty can only be respected so far as it may be proved to he genuine, and not a semblance, the result of intimidation.
Thus I was reduced to the meanest opinion of myself, of my rights, of my necessities, by the degrading treatment and disgusting exposure I met with, and suffered for a whole year in Dr. Fox’s asylum; and when I essayed to get out of it, when I scarcely ventured to express my suspicions, when at length I claimed humane treatment and more consideration, I was met by slight, discouragement, and browbeating, so that I doubted the intimations of my reason: and in the conflict of mind which succeeded, I ruined my conscience, my affections, my delicacy of feeling; and thus my fellow-creatures have marred the work which God would have restored to them perfect. But God did uphold me in my ideas of justice, and in the long-run I persisted; but not without doubt and suspicion of myself causing cruel suspense and agony of mind, and arising from my consciousness that I had reason myself to mistrust—for I was alone.
When, therefore, I am found thus praising the system of Dr. Fox’s treatment, it is not surprising; though now I wonder, and am puzzled to recollect to what I alluded. But I remember in one particular being very much smitten by the iron veranda blinds, or jalousies, which were attached to most of the windows, so as to give all the security of bars, without the recollection of them; except, to those who knew how heavy, dull, and everlasting they appeared to be: again I admired the cleanliness and order, and decency of appearance maintained, though I am not sure whether I judged rightly; and again the stuccoed floors, and the iron staircase, one step of which jarred horribly, I looked on as a security against fire; and the flues for warming the house by steam as a comfort. There was also a kindness of expression in the Doctor and in his sons; which makes me utterly at a loss to account for the system pursued by them, except that even that tenderness was without reflection. 1838.

am discontented or dissatisfied with the arrangements in Dr. F.’s asylum, though not altogether, for I ascribe them in the greatest part to a most minute and benevolent consideration of our wants, mental and temporal; though I do not subscribe to the judgment that has concluded in favour of their adoption.

I should feel glad for the use of my little Greek Testament,* and Hebrew Grammar, Lexicon, and Bible.

* * * *

I should be glad to hear from you as minute an account as you can give me of all I spoke or wrote (or whether I wrote any thing during my state of derangement in Dublin or Bristol) to you or to others, as far as you know, particularly with regard to my conduct towards you in the chaise as we came along from Bristol here, or in Bristol, or in Dublin; and with regard to any confessions whatsoever, &c., which I may have made to you.
I wish you also to give me as correct an idea as possible of the opinion you entertained respecting me, when you left me here, as to my state of mind; what you thought me to be; as also when you came here in July or June. This in order to further correspondence; and also in order to assist in clearing my ideas in certain moods of mind, and to lead to further disclosures probably towards you and others.
I wish also very much for information with regard to my mother’s and brothers’ and sisters’ opinion of me; as also with regard to their

* I asked particularly for my Greek Testament and a Concordance I had—from a desire to have some object of attachment by me, which I seemed to long for. My brother brought me a new Testament and a new Concordance, but I felt no delight in them, and refused them because of his conduct.

spiritual state at present, particularly with regard to the Row Heresy.
I wish also—to write to me sincerely what he thinks of me, or what he inferred of my condition, mental, spiritual, and religious, from my demeanour, language, and conversation.
I pray you to beseech him to do it, with earnest prayer to be guided by the Holy Spirit.
I received the other day (the 25th) a beautiful and kind letter from poor E. A. Perceval.
The cause of my madness, Spencer, is this: That all things about me do appear to me so beautiful and so lovely, through the Holy Spirit, which is upon me and in me, and through me unto them, and in them or upon them and through them unto me, that I do not know how to behave myself to any thing about me* as I should do, in a reasonable manner: and I have an inward tormentor and an outward tormentor, harassing and tormenting, reproving me for (being a hypocrite) hypocritising before them; for loving them too much, and not reproving them in spirit, or in

* My state of mind was perhaps like that of those of whom we say all their "geese are swans." It may have arisen from a disinclination to acknowledge other realities, besides the beauties of the objects which attracted me; but it appeared to me at the time to be sincere, because I had no quiet and time to reflect, and to detect what I was really thinking about, what were my real feelings.

word, or in demeanour; and at the same time accusing me, and taunting me, and ridiculing me, and agonizing me in a worse manner, for being uncharitable in all my attempts to reason in any way so as to come to any conclusion whatever, with regard to their real worth, merit, or actual spiritual state. Moreover, in attempting to do a duty of any kind, I am immediately assailed with doubts, and fears, and scruples, and anxiety of heart and mind, and body too at times; so that my nature, or a hypocritical fear upon me, makes me find that my nature shrinks from doing it. At the same time I feel it right, and that it must be done; and I can have no peace of mind, or heart, or conscience, unless it is done; at the same time, in doing it, I load my heart and conscience with agonies of mind and spirit. Even as I was writing to you my eyeballs seemed seared, and knives to be in my eyes. I will explain to you the reason of this. Spencer, you might have saved me from much of my agony on board-ship, and on my miserable, melancholy, horrible, agonizing bed, in Dublin and Bristol. You do not know what insanity is; but you are a spiritual man; and you should have weighed every thought, every word, every motion, every feature, and expression of my features, in Dublin. All I remember of you is, that your conduct was most affectionate towards me; but you could have done more for me; for you believed the miraculous power of God Almighty to preserve his elect.
I threw * away the use or exercise of my judgment, or rather power of reasoning, or gave it up, or fancied that, and believed that, I had given it up, through horror (as I believe till this moment in part): a fear, alarm, and terror united, and yielding myself up to sloth. The exercise of my reason, it has now become apparent to me, or, I believe—I should almost venture to say—it has been revealed to me.—Pity me, Spencer, that I cannot write distinctly—my circumstances I feel and find, in the present state of my mind, most cruel. ** ……….

After some delay, I procured paper to write another, a letter which I addressed to my mother. The foul copy runs as follows; but the one sent differed probably in many points:

Brisslington, December 11, 1831.


I was very glad to receive your last letter, as I feared you might have been offended by my last,

* I had written "through" instead of "threw," I observed upon it in the margin thus—"This is LUNACY. Inadvertence. the world calls it.
** The part of this letter from "The cause of," was not sent if I remember rightly; and the beginning of it, perhaps, modified.

or have misunderstood my meaning, when I wrote to say that I found it painful to write.
The smell of your letters * has always brought me to a sound state of feeling, or rather has been a proof to me that I was in as sound a state of mind as that I used to be in at Ealing and Harrow. For often I am miraculously, by which I mean, contrary to the common laws of nature, deprived of all power to smell at all.
I am not at all surprised that I am not yet in a state of mind to write coherently to you; nor have been restored to it, till lately, in any degree; as I have not been in circumstances or in society to which I have been at all accustomed or which have been in any way suited to my habits of feelings or principles, as a gentleman—as a man of education—as a man of feeling—as a member of the outward and visible, or of the inward and spiritual church.
Herein I am compelled, in order to deal frankly and truly, and sincerely, to attribute some culpability to you, and much to poor Spencer; as you have, I conceive, heard, at all events, though you have not been (being afraid to judge for yourself) confessing to yourself, not only that it was materially likely to contribute to my discomfort, to wound and destroy my finest and most delicate feelings, (wherein I suppose you may have been consoling yourselves as a punishment, or

* My mother kept her letter-paper in a drawer with musk.

eventually acure for my former misconduct * in the parlour, the room in which I am now writing,) but that it was destructive in itself to the moral tone and spiritual frame of my mind. I feel confident that if you had confessed this to your Redeemer, you would not have been allowed to continue in error any longer respecting the unsuitableness of the society, manners, and manner of thinking of almost all around me, to the peculiar disposition of my mind, of which you, but still more Spencer Perceval was fully aware.
As far as I can at present understand it, I can hardly conceive any thing more damnable than Dr. F.’s plan in some of the details; at the same time they are to be pitied, for they do not consult scripture, but their own experience alone; and they do not know whose ministers they are when

* After what I have written, I need scarcely observe, that the idea of punishing lunatics is wicked and preposterous. I will not, however, shock the prejudices of humanity, and the interests of a certain class in society, by asserting this proposition too roundly. The idea of punishing all lunatics, then, is wicked and preposterous. I think society will agree with me that it should not be left to doctors and their servants to decide which. I suspect it will be found that women, old men, and children, are the best guards of violent lunatics, if their situation is respected. But if force is necessary, then two or three able men should be at hand to overpower the patient immediately, and to prevent the use of unnecessary violence, arising from the fear or spite of the person resisting him. There is a great difference between force applied to prevent an improper action, and blows given, or language used to correct the patient for doing that which his delusions tell him it is his duty to do.

they depart from the truth, from ideas of meaning well.
[Here the spirit guided my hand to write some characters resembling the Arabic, and the name of one of my sisters, who had studied Persian when a girl; and I find these words interlined.] I may say with Pontius Pilate, "What I have written, I have written."
I have written a more full account of my feelings to Spencer, be will communicate to you my wishes with regard to my removal from hence; also with regard to my request to have a letter in pencil, written to me by Mary Campbell, which I used to carry about my person in Dublin, sought for, and I now earnestly request opened (if he will read it in diligent faith and prayer to understand and respect it), by him or D. alone; and not show it to …. or to …., and then sealed and taken great care of till I can receive it from his own hand, as I hope to see him soon, before I go to E. or to my future abode.
To-day, as I was going to write to you, the domestic came and said to myself and to an old clergyman who was writing with me, "I want the ink, sir, if you please." He took my pen out of …., I naturally, through the goodness of Christ Jesus to me, yielded it instantly, putting my pen into the inkstandish—for it was one of those old leaden things you see in schools, or countinghouses. I was afterwards reproved by my conscience for yielding it prematurely, as, if I was in a right state of mind I should have rebuked him in manner, or by word of mouth. If I understand the system of Dr. Fox’s house now, we are allowed to go on as pigs till we come to a right state of mind. That is to say, the lunatic, under which term is of necessity included the idea of a person unwilling, except at intervals, or unable to judge for himself,—from some infliction of Divine Providence, which he cannot without divine assistance overcome, and therefore under the necessity of having others to think for him,—is at the same time under circumstances of peculiar perplexity to his understanding, because he is treated with a mixture of benevolence and insult at the same time (for I consider outward manner and innuendoes, and deprivation of personal liberty, and conveniences to which one has been accustomed, a more cruel method of insulting even than open violence, and personal rating and abuse)—is, I repeat, at the same time visited with all the consequences of his inability to reason for his own self, or (rather as it appears to me in many instances) for his Maker’s glory, as if he had a finer and superior judgment and discernment than those to whose control and superintendence he is subjected; and this under a state of mind already too heavily laden with sorrow and oppression, and doubts and wounds, and anxieties, to be able to control his feelings amidst the rubs of general society; having usually a nobler mind, probably, than half the world of tergiversant, unreflecting hypocrites around him, he is made a lunatic because he sees consequences or difficulties in actions from which he shrinks, and which he considers himself unprepared to overcome, which the world are lunatically blind to, because they will not reason for their Maker’s honour at all.
I say we are allowed to go on in a state of want even of personal liberty and clothing, till we are sensible of not being treated as we are at least accustomed to be treated; and then—being sensible that we are in a state of mind and body too, which requires some control and some restraint, and some deprivation at least, if not punishment—we are supposed to be capable of reasoning exactly as to how far we may be intended to consider ourselves entitled to those indulgences or necessaries of life, and to that liberty to which we have been born, as well as to find out in what spirit we have been deprived of them. Now pray do consider the blasphemous and damnable way in which you must, and Spencer must, and Dr. Fox must be thinking of lunatics, in considering us and treating us as reasonable beings, and shutting us up and dealing towards us under the idea—a being deprived of the power of reason: when I assure you that for a long time I considered it contrary to my conscience to speak at all, and unable to obey my Maker excepting in making use of the most extraordinary phrases and appellations; and it only just now struck me, with a force of truth, that my duty at least most evidently was to have inquired (supposing my conscience allowed me) of Dr. Fox, what was the intention of their conduct and arrangements towards me.
What led me to this consideration was the fact of having been led by my Saviour to consider whether I and the gentleman who was with me, were not in fact trespassing against good manners in making use of another Christian’s property without considering whose it was (if the old clergyman was not considering it) for I was not; and whether it was not our duty to expect or to request to be provided with other means of writing, as I am in doubt now, whether I am not indebted to the domestic’s bounty for using the ink and inkstand. This is the perplexity of feeling to which I am still, and have been often reduced; murdered as I have been at the same time by the consciousness that I am at intervals capable of judging minutely for mine own wants and those of others, and that I am consequently suspecting others uncharitably, sometimes, in consequence of inability to control my feelings in ill-humour, because in doubt and perplexity, wearied out of all patience: and myself suppose myself to be suspected of an indecent disregard to my own best interests.
This arises from what I consider in the world sinful in a system towards lunatics, who are often simpletons; damnable in the extreme, for it is a contradiction of the first principles of your reasoning concerning lunatics; it is an express violation of that rule, "do no evil that good may come;" and that other word of light to those who will apply it to themselves, "all false ways I utterly abhor." This is communicated to me of the infinite goodness of my God, whose servant I am, though I have been, I know now too truly, delivered over to our infernal enemy—in whose abodes of misery I am confined.*
December 12.

* I allude here to the different kinds of inspiration I was sensible of, and I beg to remark again, that the whole, or nearly the whole of these letters, and those I sent from Dr. Fox’s house, were visibly inspired to me,—that is, I saw on the paper, in different handwritings, the words before I wrote them. This is a fact; modern philosophy—that is, modern infidelity—may disbelieve or reason, as they call it, from this as it will; but I saw on the paper the sentences before I wrote them; and they were prompted so fast, and shifted so rapidly, that I had difficulty to choose which I would write—each spirit prompted me in a different style, and in a different handwriting. I can, therefore, now believe that persons may be able to discover, to a certain extent, the character or disposition of others by their writing. Let me observe that I find these letters, on re-perusing them, much more coherent than I expected; but the handwriting is so minute, feeble, and irregular, that my family might be excusable in disrespecting them; because the world do not respect so much what is written or spoken, as who writes or speaks it. But, whilst from an early age I have been accustomed to doubt the best man’s word—I have always thought it my duty to receive, and examine the word of the humblest individual. A liar may speak truth; a wise man may utter folly—a child or a fool may speak wisdom.

I have written this in hurry and agitation of spirits, and I hope you will excuse my disregard to order, method, and good writing.
I copied out part of this letter, and suppressed a great part of it before I sent it. On being about to send it by the post, I was informed that my first letter to my brother was not yet gone. I was then very indignant; for my circumstances were circumstances of great perplexity and suffering, and I longed to come to an understanding about them, and to be delivered from them. This must have been about the 18th of December, for I enclosed the above in an envelope directed to my eldest brother, with the following lines and date, so that my letter was detained at least three weeks:


I enclose you this letter to my poor mother, and request you to ask her to return it to you to read when she has read it with attention. In it I make allusions to a letter I have written to you, which I intended solely for your private perusal. Dr. F. F. has considered himself authorized to open it without my permission, and in defiance of God Almighty’s appeal to his conscience, which must have made him to consider what relationship he stands in with regard to yourself and me, as also what title he had to do that without my cognizance, which I had twice or three times shown him that I had reason for wishing him not to do. In the hurry of my spirits, not recollecting all that was in the letter, I told him that I was glad—and so perhaps I still might be in part for some reasons—at his having opened the letter, in spite of my having confided in his sense of gentlemanly feeling to do nothing, at least without telling me of it, or preparing me for it beforehand. I have twice since then requested him to forward that letter, for it cost me much to write at all upon the subject on which I have written;* to my surprise and indignation, and mortification, after twice having told me it should go, he has detained it. I am impatient at this state of control and restraint, as also of the society in which I have been forced to remain so long: and I beg that you will write to Dr. F., and desire him to forward my letter to you. I am anxious to have some communication with you by writing, previous to any personal interview consequent upon my removal hence; if not immediate. But I am resolved to send no other letter to you or my mother than the one I enclose to you, unless I am secure of private correspondence, except it be a mere verbal answer to your observations and inquiries.

* I cannot describe the pain of mind, and hand of fire, with which I often wrote. Considering my situation it was not wonderful. The doctors, for these reasons I understand, often refuse pen and ink to their patients: if their treatment was really humane they might have reason; but I should perhaps never have recovered but by the means thus afforded me of controlling and concentrating my thoughts, and exercising my powers of judgment and discrimination.

I am thinking of writing to Edward, to ask him to accompany me abroad to Italy. I cannot express to you at times the acute agony and indignation which I feel, at the thoughts of my letter to you having been opened and read by any one besides yourself or D.
Give my affectionate love to…. and….and to little…. , and…. , and poor little L…., and the other little children, and believe me,

Your very affectionate brother,
Dec. 19, 1831. JOHN PERCEVAL.


I received your letter on Monday afternoon, and I am much obliged to you for having replied to it immediately. I am thankful to God Almighty and to you for your kindness in considering my probable anxiety about receiving an answer as soon as possible; more especially as I had written with much trouble of mind and consumption of time; and had besides given it to be delivered into Dr. Fox’s room, on Tuesday afternoon, before the post left the house. I have reason to believe that he detained it, at least, one day; but I had also hopes that it would have reached you on Friday evening, by his own admission, which he made to me on Thursday, that it was gone. My agony of mind and my indignation is and was great at his having presumed to interfere with my correspondence at all: having previously shown my displeasure concerning this on another occasion. Of course, therefore, I was at times uncontrollably agitated, by the idea and disappointment of not obtaining an answer from you before the ensuing week; not only from your not having time, but perhaps from your thinking it wise and your duty to delay answering me, in obedience to some counsels of his, or hasty impressions of your own. For I have suspicions, I think well founded, that he has tampered with the correspondence of my friends, at least with that of my mother, and my brother with me. At least, I cannot otherwise account for your mockery of me, and total, except in one instance, indifference concerning any communication with me.
I call your letter a reply to mine, as it is not an answer. I am thankful to you for the only communication which has yet been made to me, of, or likely to be of, any real importance or consequence to my tranquillity of mind even and body. I allude to that which regards your state of belief concerning the miracles wrought upon those who are the authors of what is called the Row Heresy. Grieved as I am that you should be doubting their divine source, and conscious as I am that my misconduct may lead you to doubt the sincerity of them, and the holiness of their…..; and that the awful calamity with which it has pleased God Almighty to visit me, may be looked upon as the fruit of enthusiastic blind obedience and adoption of their principles, or to their system of doctrine and practice, instead of disobedience to, and doubtless want of reliance, in the counsel and admonitions of the Holy Spirit, which dwelleth in them and through them, and about them and in me; yea, even to their written exhortations. I—feeling as I do, though not yet as I should do, I—am nevertheless glad to be no longer in suspense with regard to the state of belief on this momentous subject of those who are most dear to me in the flesh. And I should have been glad if your communication had been more particular. It relieves me of a great burden, as I now know how I may account for much of your behaviour concerning me; and can reason with myself and bold communion with my conscience and my Creator in prayer or meditation, concerning your probable motives for silence on these subjects, and on the course which I may have to pursue. I should have been saved from much acute misery and anxiety, and perhaps might have been at E. in a firm state of mind, if you had been allowed to do, as I am confident you or S. would have done, if you had obeyed your own natural impulses of sympathy with, and attachment or tenderness for, the anxieties of an even ordinarily-gifted and religiously-disposed person. I loved your letters as they were—oh! pray consider it—the only tie which kept up any communication of idea, or feeling, or interest with my, excepting S.’s, one visit, and one letter to me early in the year. But it was mockery of me, of your own self and of my understanding, my best feelings—of the only feelings which are really worth considering in the intercourse of—of one professor of Christianity with another, to write to me merely concerning family arrangements, addressing me only as a person clothed with natural affections, and that too, usually, as if I were under all the accustomed circumstances of ordinary society.
I should have been more happy still, if you had been particular with regard to giving me information, as well, concerning my sisters’ individual opinions. I wrote to ask Spencer concerning their belief in the miracles, as well as yours. I fear you may think it unaffectionate in me, that I should not have written to ask you. If I had not previously written to him, and had more thoughts to write about to you than I can arrange or control, I should probably have done so, and preferred addressing the question to you.
My allusion to my sisters, reminds me of a remark I have made on your letter to me, that my sisters, as well as yourself had great pleasure in seeing by my letter that the powers of my mind, &c. are gaining ground. I think this remark proves to me, as I concluded also from other parts of your letter, that you have answered it without consideration. As I made an observation in it with regard to writing to I., which I could wish that you had frankly alluded to and contradicted if not true, I ought perhaps to have asked explicitly a corroboration of it: it was a statement of Dr. Fox to me, that my sisters were not acquainted with my state of mind. I remember now that in a former letter you mentioned the family as participating in your joy and happiness at the receipt of my first letter. I wish to be particularly informed as to the truth of Dr. F. F., having any authority from you to make such an assertion:
considering it contradicted by your expressions in your last letter, I have refused him my hand and my confidence, and all communication with him that is not absolutely necessary, as I think he has been on this; and it leads me to suspect also on other occasions not acting in astraight forward, open, gentlemanly manner towards me; but under pretence, probably, of seeing whether I was exercising my own judgment, or to pry into the state of my feelings; condescending to leave the noble path of truth, by an unmanly, unjustifiable, cruel, and by what, when our relative rank in society is considered, I conceive an uncalled for and impudent falsehood. Nor is the wound inflicted upon the heart the only mischief to which I am exposed; but such untrue conduct is loathsome towards a lunatic, as he is already wounded with doubts and anxieties, which he finds himself often debarred from the means of solving, or relieving, or remedying the causes from which they spring; and I might have had (besides the horror of believing it possible, that my sisters were not prepared for, nor suspecting the awful blow which might come upon them unexpectedly, of hearing that their brother was in a lunatic asylum) not only to have debated with myself under all the disadvantages of a deluded and deranged mind, how far I was entitled, or in duty bound to take steps to inform them of it; but also without sufficient grace to endure the anxieties of all those measures being thwarted, impeded, or put a stop to, by the impertinence of those around me, by the inconveniences of my situation, through suspicion, jealousy, mistrust, contempt, neglect, or what is still more tantalizing, the misconceived prudence and benevolence of my relations, and of those with whom I had to do.
This is one among the number of gross insults and outrages, to which at times my holiest and inmost feelings have been entirely exposed during the state of delusion and lunacy, and perplexing conflicts between contending duties, in which I have been bound down by the Almighty. I am grieved to think that I am obliged to complain to you at all, much more that I should be reduced, by being no longer able to control at times my indignation or impatience of my position here, to complain to you in this manner. But remember I do not condescend to complain to you for your counsel, or advice, or opinion. I am sorry to do so; but after the manner in which you have, together with Spencer, left me, in a state of defenceless and broken-heartedness, to be taken charge of, and to be put under the control of, and associated with persons of a tone of mind less refined than that which I have been accustomed to meet with even in your domestics at Ealing; and as it appears to me habitually deadened to the consideration of respect for age, rank, or misfortune, and brutally ignorant of the habits of a gentleman; after you have left me either in ignorance,—which argues the want of true Christian love, and much want of natural affection,—or in slothful and negligent acquiescence to the counsels of Dr. Fox for a whole year, nearly in constant communication with such persons, as well as with lunatics of every description, but one, perhaps— that is, of high birth and gentlemanly manners and habits;—in constant communication, I say, besides exposure to their observation under every stage of feeling and passion, or apathy, or agitation, in despair or in hope, without permission, (I now have found to my confusion of thought , and amazement of understanding,) even if I had wished it, to have a private room for one moment—after, I say, having permitted me to be the victim of such a system of spiritual treatment, …………..

When I found that my family were still blinded by the Doctor, and did not respect my remonstrances as they ought to have done, I thought that it would be right to communicate with some mutual friend, who might convince them of and reprove them for their error; and turning about in mind whom to address, the spirits directed me to write to Mr. R. Ryder, my father’s dearest friend: at the same time they intimated to me, to lose no time, as though they foresaw his approaching death, which took place, indeed, in the ensuing year. I wrote the following notes, but I doubted if it would be right to send the letter; shrinking also from exposing myself.

"I have been now a whole year nearly Mr. R., under circumstances of the most painful and trying nature, and such is my sense of them, that although I do hope to be delivered from them immediately, at least through your interference, I still think the persons who exposed me to them should receive, from some person to whose authority they may defer, rebuke and well deserved reproof. In a state of such extraordinary superstitious delusion and credulity, in a fancied spirit of inspiration from the Lord and from God Almighty, as to worship a common lunatic attendant, or keeper, of the most reckless, and to say the least of him, thoughtless character, publicly and privately, and throughout the fields and villages of this neighbourhood, as the Lord Jesus; and to adore another lunatic as the Lord Jehovah supremely omnipotent; besides committing a thousand other more foolish extravagancies; I have been deserted without compassion by my mother and brother to the control and surveillance of common lunatic keepers, and physicians, (Dr. Fox a converted or relapsed Quaker,) and I have been confined, under their system to a gloomy room, for a whole year, in the company of twelve or more lunatics, individuals, for the most part, of no rank, no birth, little education, no manners, and thoroughly dead to all gentlemanly and moral feelings, and I may say moral habits, to which I have been accustomed, to which I have been educated, and to which I have clung from my father’s cradle until now.
I have been exposed, sir, I say, to this state of things, now nearly a whole year, continually, (without leave, or liberty, or permission to retire, even in my moments of acutest agony and consciousness of despair and degradation and lost station in society, to a private apartment:) to the insults of low vulgar keepers, and the mockery and derision of lunatic infidels and atheists. Had I been raving mad, or guilty of acts of malice, and unprovoked violence, extraordinary indignation against myself or my maker, or my attendants, I could have borne to have been treated with much more restraint if it were possible, and more personal violence than I have been. But a state of unparalleled delusion, and abominable hypocrisy, sottishness, stupidity, idiotcy, under which I groaned and struggled, and loathed and hated and abhorred my own soul; and panted and fainted, and struggled against the impressions of a horrible dream, against a something, nothing, a fanciful fear, which appeared to bind……..
I write to you not only for my own sake, but in hopes that you may yet have time spared to you by the Almighty to take into consideration and lay before a member of either House of Parliament, the….
Mr. R…r, I have had my head I assure you struck against the wall by one of the attendants here, and that repeatedly, with such violence as I should have been afraid to make use of myself towards a person in a sound state of mind for fear of driving him into a state of derangement and delirium, and on two occasions but on one especially with such force, ßιά τοσαυται, that I believed at the time that I could only be healed of a broken and fractured skull by divine and miraculous power. You may conceive our, or at least my state of helplessness and delusion, and simple humility, and obedience, which you will call lunacy and idiotcy, when I acknowledge to you, that though surprised at the time at such violence being offered to my person, I yet endured it patiently and thankfully, not only without a murmur or complaint, as wholesome perhaps to my mind, as the duty of the person who used it, in respect of his situation towards me and his employer—and as a thing to which my lunacy exposed me; and never dreamt of its being my duty to complain of it to young Dr. Fox or old Dr. Fox. It was done to me I remember on two several occasions against the wall of a dark cell which served as the antechamber to two baths, and to which it was their custom in a morning to take me, and throw me in head foremost, during the cold winter months of last year. I was then as far as I can remember accurately, in the habit of resisting the men who came to take me to the bath every morning, as I believe in order to punish me. If they had struck me then, I could have accounted for their conduct, I thought I was obeying a fancied, nay a positive command from God Almighty to do so, in fear of the wrath of God, in fear otherwise of becoming deranged, in other words of hell-fire, if I did not do it—a command given me by inspiration, that is, I mean by the hearing of an audible and beautiful, and articulate voice sometimes about me, or within the room, sometimes by my bedside, sometimes in my head or skull. (In order that you may receive what I say as at least astonishing, for I can hardly expect you to believe it as yet; and that you may understand perhaps scripture more fully, and me too, or believe what I tell you to be possible and probable by comparing my words together, I refer you to those passages in scripture, where it is written that the word of the Lord came to Isaiah and Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Amos, and other prophets,) I say although I was obeying often, I may, in one sense say always, this voice, in seizing and wrestling with the persons who came to me, yet I could have borne with violence if they had resisted me then with ßιά, with force, for that was intelligible, and I could understand men punishing the absurdities and apparently unreasonable conduct of a mistaken and misguided conscience; but usually, though overpowered by numbers, I was not struck on those occasions.
It may be that I was quietly refusing to put on my stockings in obedience to some spirit of delusion, of fun and frolic, or good humour; for I loved him with a love that I cannot express; for this too I used often to do in obedience to the word of God, as I supposed, to learn to be beautified by God’s salvation, in obeying the spirit of agility and activity and lightness at the same time. I used to do it partly understanding and having heard from the same voice, that it was agreeable to and expected by my keeper of me or from me; supposing him also to be inspired, and to know my inmost thoughts: but I could hardly believe this delusion, though through fear of God’s wrath and of hell-fire I acted upon it—for I feared Hobb’s wrath and anger, and impatience and impenitence, (and malice too, though I was not aware of this until now). I feared his impatience because I did not believe that he could bear patiently with conduct, which to me was worth the value of my soul and salvation at the time; nor consider for a moment that it ought to be borne with, and that however apparently wilful and unreasonable, and done on purpose to irritate or provoke, it might be reasonable in a lunatic; it is reasonable for me or a lunatic to say, that such patience, such consideration is due from a lunatic attendant on his patient.
It may be, that I was about in fact, or according to his suspicions, to have proceeded to an act of resistance in raving madness, or derangement; but was he entitled to proceed immediately against me, even if I were so, without first attempting patient or mild measures.
It may be that he was conscious that I was hypocritising before my maker—Was he to be my castigator morum.
It may be that he knew, or thought, I was affecting to do it in obedience to my conscience, but in order really to annoy and vex him;—but was he not to use reproof, or earnest exhortation, or persuasion, or entreaty?
Persuasion! I have hardly heard a note of persuasion unaccompanied with authoritative, insulting, or sarcastic reproof, and that from inferiors, since I have been in this house.
You may consider in the first place what is my indignation, now I am come to a more sound state of mind, at having been left under a state of things in which such treatment should have been possible or probable. What it might have been, to have been enduring the probability of such treatment from my superiors, or equals even from gentlemen—from my brother…., or uncle…., much more from my inferiors, and inferiors of the lowest description. But what am I to conceive of a system of treatment which could expose me, me a man of honour and a gentleman, to the possibility, nay, more than that, the probability of such treatment? I add more, me, or any other human being, under a state of delusion and confusion of conscience, intellect, and judgment, under a state of complete destitution of religious feeling, at times, and of gross irritation, and want of all comforts. My lunacy was of a kind perhaps that tempted cowards to offer me this insult; and now when I look back upon it, I feel indignant and surprised that I did not, in my state of lunacy perpetrate, as I might have done, the murder of the individual who offered it to me."
From the above letters *, it is evident that my mind was still deranged when I wrote them; but there is no symptom of want of affection to my family, although that indignation which I felt at my exposure and betrayal to such treatment, occasionally

* In a letter to one of my sisters I suggested, by command as I thought of my Saviour, that the drama at home should be cleaned, as a security against infection from the cholera morbus. I wrote also concerning some books I wished to be made a present of; and suggested that my netting-needles, &c., should be sent to me.

finds vent, which, perhaps, even then ought to have overborne all other considerations; but which afterwards certainly broke out into expressions of hatred and revenge, when I found my remonstrances slighted, my word disrespected; a preference given to the opinions of those who had ill-treated me, and under whose power I was, whilst impugning their characters; and my person exposed to fresh violence and insult. It will be seen also from these letters, that in spite of the powers of mind I had, I was unable to come to any thing like a correct conclusion of the intention of the treatment used towards me; looking still on the result of a coarse and severe regimen applied heedlessly to all characters, as on a punishment to my individual case. The effects also of my seclusion and want of employment may be remarked in my minute attention to trifling matters.
In answer to these letters, I received kind but short and commonplace answers from my mother. In the first or second of these, she refused me a private room, stating that the doctor’s suggestions were to be attended to; this drove me in one sense mad, and filled me with alarm. From this commenced my violent and insolent demeanour to my family. In the next, a private room was ordered for me, and hints that other plans were being thought of: but by that time I was standing out on other rights, and so, unfortunately, I continued being irritated by the refusal of every successive demand, till it was too late to receive it as an obligation, and then I was taunted with being never satisfied.
These letters wounded my feelings by their style, which was such as might be addressed to a person in ordinary circumstances; by their neglect of passages in my letters, and particular remonstrances, and by their complete silence on any of my arguments: dealing with me as with a child, who had no option but to obey. But in this respect I learnt not till after my release, that my mother was bound down by her credulity in the opinions of the doctors; and even at times, by her fears of irritating them to do me a mischief, by expressing her opinions too openly whilst I was under their power. Had I known any of this, had any of these excuses been made to me, I should have been saved from much painful intercourse and altercation.
On the expressions used by my servant, respecting my trousers, I find the following notes and deliberation, written about this time.

— trousers, or hedge —

Did he mean to insult me as a gentleman, under his power and control?
Did he mean to insult me as a lunatic, deeming me a hypocrite or coward, irresolute and despicable?
Did he mean to insult me as a lunatic, to try me, to wound my feelings as a gentleman, or as a minister of the word of God? believing it his duty.
In the first place, how could I proceed? Could I complain to Dr. Fox and expose myself to his revenge and cruelty.
I had to condemn you (my brother) before Dr. Fox and Dr. F. Fox, for putting me under such control. Such a scoundrel about me.
Was it my duty to rebuke one, who was only tempting me to reprove him, and so spend my breath in vain?
How could I bear it; yet how could I endure it unrebuked?
I believe it was because he saw that I disliked it, and loved to hurt those feelings of delicacy which I have yet remaining?
I should have reproved him, and warned him of complaining to Dr. Fox.
Why did I not?
1st. How could I reprove, having been a gross sinner and idiot here, and being in punishment for my offence; knowing too that I was a disgusting object of compassion for hypocrisy.
2d. I was in delusion, and thought him to be the Lord Jesus Christ, and how could I rebuke the Lord?
If I had acted as a man of courage, I should have forbidden him to make use of such language again. If as a natural man and a true Englishman I should have knocked him down. This was my real duty perhaps. Then I should have been respected by God Almighty, but strangled by the man, or put into a madhouse for ever and ever.

Brisslington House, Jan. 30.


I would not have troubled you with writing had not age by interfering with my powers of speech prevented me from expressing myself as clearly as I could wish; and from uttering those feelings that your recently excited state would naturally elicit.
If you have any power of reminiscence, consider to what a degraded condition of mind you were reduced only a few weeks ago. Should I at that time have been justified in allowing a correspondence with persons not of your own family? Many of your companions, like you give me letters addressed to people whom they had never

* I do not know to what period Dr. F. alluded: unless it was a time when I ate my bread and butter with pepper, &c.; but I think this was a long time previous to my writing at all. This remark is directed to a complaint I had made concerning letters to very intimate friends, whom, I think, at the age of twenty-seven, I was fully at liberty to write to, and they competent judges of whether I wrote improperly, without a lunatic Doctor’s interference, and much more fit to be entrusted with my opinions. Upon this pretence a lunatic is deprived of all assistance: and the more surely the more he has cause to complain of his relations, whose delicate feelings are not to be wounded by the suspicion that they are doing wrong, though they are murdering him by inches. I never gave Dr. F. a letter but to my earliest friends. Lastly, supposing it to be true, as the Dr. so absurdly assumed, that his patients were satisfied at their letters being received, though they received no answer; yet that was no argument that I should be satisfied, who was exercising my reason.

known. I receive such letters and they are satisfied. But it would be worse than madness in me to suffer them to proceed except to their friends. This rule therefore is not confined to your case. I told you however that I was glad to consider your state of mind improved, which enabled me to address you more as a reasonable being; therefore to deal candidly with you, I must without any judgment on its contents, send every thing you write for your mother and brother’s approbation. Could any thing be fairer? but you give it a different interpretation and allow your mind to run into a state of exasperation badly according either with a soundness of understanding, or with the christian principle of humility and forbearance.
What you mean by reviling Hobbs I don’t understand—he was placed to wait upon you because he was gentle and considerate. Has he at any time been obliged to resort to power: I believe it will be found that violence and erroneous obstinacy on your part first provoked it. I must own that it not a little surprised me, that you, as a humble follower of Christ, would think of him, or any other as your inferior. Do we not know that God is no respecter of persons? [yet I never saw Mr. Hobbs sitting at Dr. F.’s dinner table.] The apostle declares in the seventeenth chapter of Acts, that "he has made all nations of one blood."
"Though owing to the accident of birth, the artificial state of society and the advantages of a more refined education, you may think yourself his superior, you must not forget that we shall all be called to give an account of the talents committed to us."
The effect of this letter on me at the time, in consequence of the subtlety and cunning mockery which runs throughout it, gave rise to the suspicion, that the doctor intended to provoke me to acts of violence, by puzzling and by innuendo, and by showing how he could blind others. There is so much religion and plausibility in it, and at the same time so much contradiction and clever confusion. Even now that suspicion still affects me, whether I am to consider that Dr. Fox was acting wittingly, or that from the habitual and unchecked practice of imposture he knew not what spirit he was of. He who pretended to be preaching on the ways of providence, talking on the accident of birth—he who refers to the New Testament, casting reflection on the artificial state of society, when in the same Testament we are informed, all authority is from God—and whilst he clung to all the personal advantages of that state.
He again, respecting my education, or pretending to do so, and yet confounding my ideas as if refinement of education made distinction between individuals only in thought and not in reality. He officiously reminding me that I was to give an account of my talents at the judgment-seat, when all I had then to do was with his lunatic asylum; as if one of the talents I had to give an account of was not my judgment, and God knows a mild and temperate judgment it then was, considering my state—of his horrible system of treatment. Let them who are interested in being deceived, be deceived. The letter goes on….." In respect of your threats of revenge, I am not the least afraid of it; although I do not wonder that you consider those as your enemies from whom proceed any repression or control." (This was NOT the case, for I supposed myself to need repression and control for a long time after this.) "But religion will be a mere mockery if you can profess to retire and wait upon your Maker in prayer, when destitute of that love which betokens a disciple of Christ." (This is in allusion to my having remarked on the inconsistency of his system with the duties of meditation and prayer; in which, by my plainness, I took Satan in his own net.) "If however, you shall continue to view us in as your enemies, still ‘fas est et ab hoste doceri,’ I recommend you therefore, to cultivate the fear of God, which will so influence all your thoughts, words, and actions, that you will think more favourably of all mankind, and of your sincere well wisher,

Edw. Long Fox.

The men under whose authority I was placed, both this year and after, have ruined my temper and mind; so that I appear against them even in my writings at fearful odds! for they have all the composure of secure duplicity and cold blooded malignity, of sound skins, and of sound humors— whilst I am full of sore and angry feelings, and bear the marks of their ill conduct about me; but if the fear of God ought to make me think more favorably of Dr. Fox, I am indeed a lost soul and spirit: once I scarcely knew what it was to utter an oath, but these men made it familiar with me to curse and to blaspheme. He ought to have written—the fear of the devil—which will so influence all your thoughts, as to make you speak more favorably of all mankind, and of your sincere well-wisher—whatever may be your opinion. To the above letter I began to write the following reply. It was written according to inspiration, that is, I saw the words on the paper before I wrote them; they appeared in capital letters, but much more beautiful than I could print them. Also, if I recollect right, they did not change so swiftly as on other occasions; so that I had more time to copy them down: whether this was owing to my having more confidence in my cause, and more practice in seizing them, or to my being now in a private room—at any rate it was owing to more quiet and confidence of mind, so that the mirror was not so ruffled or so broken.—


I have received a letter from my mother this afternoon, in which she notifies to me her intention to have me removed to another asylum. I write to you, therefore, a few words, in answer to your letter to me, which I should otherwise have delayed doing to another day. I shall prosecute my appeal to the laws of my country for personal liberty from that asylum also, if God permit; or, at the least, for leave to choose my own physician—unless— I acknowledge, sir, that my sense of the injuries which my person has suffered under your treatment, which now that the cloud of delusion is burst through, under which God Almighty confounded my judgment, I know to be unlawfully inhuman! together with a daily further discovery of the awful consequences which your course of management has produced upon my everlasting happiness, has excited in my mind not only wrath, but fury. But if you use the word excited to hint that my indignation is lunatic or unjust, I deny it—I deny that I could be in a sound state of mind without feeling and expressing it; though, being a lunatic, I dare not—for fear of misconstruction, and often feel that I cannot express it through the control of a superior power, I cannot express myself as I should, as I can when I have time in seclusion to reason with myself.
I regret and ask your forgiveness for having uttered my sentiments to you in an unmanly, malignant, and I fear disrespectful way. But I wished to be upright and sincere, and that you should not leave my presence without knowing that revenge is my object, which I mean by all lawful means to pursue. I hope the Lord would punish me if I shrunk when called upon to do so, from confessing one of the attributes of human nature to be mine also."
This letter I had not time to finish. I told Dr. Francis Fox, however, that I would write from my new abode; this was the only promise I made that I remember breaking; but during the next year I had enough to do, and I reflected—that advantage might be taken of my expressions, and that it was not fair that I should be writing, in my state of excitement and agitation to men, who take advantage of every violent expression and of every singularity to alarm a patient’s relations, and to keep him in a situation from which they ought to take every fair opportunity of releasing him, by reason of the very nature of his disorder; whilst in the eyes of society, and in their own eyes, I doubt not, to a certain degree, they are acting for the security of society, and for the individual’s security.


WHEN I entered the carriage with my brothers at Dr. Fox’s door, I was delighted at the prospect of leaving that horrible abode—though I did not know whither I was going. I had had no information, except perhaps the name of the county, of the situation of my next place of confinement; and having received no answer to my two or three last letters, in which I had stated to my mother my reasons for wishing to come up to town; I was not sure whether I might not be proceeding thither. The resolution I had taken to keep silence toward my brothers, imagining the, each to have received my letters to them, in which I had explained my motives for so doing—which motives I supposed they were treating with contempt, precluded me from addressing them, or communicating my suspicions that I was being taken across the country to the place alluded to in the letter, in which my mother first mentioned her resolution to remove me from Dr. Fox’s control. At last, however, I found out, by reference to two road books in the carriage, and by the pages and routes referred to and marked down, with notes in the handwriting of one of my sisters, remarking on two lines of route, that my destination was to a place near Tunbridge. I was alone with my brothers in the carriage—but an attendant from Dr. Fox’s rode outside—the same whom I had called Wynn, and appealed to on a former occasion as evidence against Dr. Fox’s conduct towards me that year.
In the afternoon, my brothers offered me some cold chicken for luncheon—I had already passed, I suppose, the time of my regular dinner—for I was beginning to feel faint, and shocked that they had not the consideration to reflect upon the regular manner in which I had been living lately, and to propose a halt. I observed, whilst I was eating, one of my brothers leant back, put his hands to his face, and looked at me through his fingers; I could not help smiling, for I recollected my former delusions and difficulties at meals, and supposed they had been reported to my brother. During the journey, I amused myself with singing to myself in an unknown tongue, or otherwise as the spirits enabled me; and with admiring the scenery. I sang also in a strange utterance, in order, as I thought, that my eldest brother, who I understood believed then in the doctrines of Mr. Irving’s church—might know who and what he had to do with. The scenery at one time was a succession of low undulating hills and valleys—and being reminded of the deluge, I suddenly saw them in a vision overwhelmed by immense waves of water. My eldest brother I remember, complained of having a severe toothache; and talked of stopping to have the tooth taken out. I did not know whether he was not feigning, in order to see if I was sincere in my desire to see a dentist—but I did not need to have my tooth drawn, but to be properly stopped; which in my opinion Mr. Cartwright in London was the only person I could depend upon doing.
Towards the evening we alighted at a village or small town, the inn was on the right hand side. Here I came to an understanding with my eldest brother respecting the letter I had sent to him. I forgot how the conversation began, but I think I saw him opening and reading my letters, as if he had never before seen them; he read them rapidly, and too much as if he thought his time was taken from his book. I then learnt that they had been put into his hands at Dr. Fox’s, two or three together; consequently that he knew nothing of my solemn resolution not to speak to him—neither did my mother know any thing of the letter I had written, in which I desired for three reasons to be removed to town—if only previous to my removal again into the country. The ludicrous sensation, and the surprise that this discovery occasioned to me, changed for a time my whole demeanour—I no longer thought my eldest brother treating my reproof with contempt, and united with others in slighting my request to be brought up to town, or in trepanning me across the country. I began to talk with him, walked out and explained as well as I could my desires, and pointed them out to him in the letter—because often I could not speak. I also, with a pen, wrote on a slip of paper my request not to be allowed to travel too far every day—explaining my reason for writing to be; that I found I could not speak. This I placed in their hands.
I should have been glad to retire to my room then for the day; but we mounted the chaise again, and during the next stage, I think, I heard my brothers discussing where they would halt: one wanted to stop at Overton, the other at Andover: one desired to have his tooth examined, the other thought of saving Saturday to get to town in time for church. I was not referred to. At last, I broke in upon their conversation, and having told them that since the journey was undertaken principally upon my account, and since I was an invalid, I thought that my desires ought to be attended to; I added that I already required rest, and that I should not proceed beyond the next stage without resistance. During the conversation that ensued, I was offended by their tone and argument, and I was on the point of striking one of them, when suddenly I saw their faces shining like gold, and a voice cried to me, "Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm."
I was subdued, and resumed my silence, wondering at the ways of divine Providence, that should allow his prophets to be so blinded, and to be guilty of such injustice, yet happy to think, that in spite of their errors, which deserved punishment, my brothers were vessels chosen by the Almighty for his salvation.
At Andover, I think, in the evening, finding that I was still to be carried across the country, instead of to London, and finding that we were to proceed in spite of my remonstrances, I resisted being placed in the carriage, and appealed to the innkeeper and to the bystanders; but I was forced in, and no one interfered to rescue me, and to detain me until I could be heard before the magistrates.
The next day, suffering greatly from the pain in my loins, occasioned by being seated in the carriage during the whole journey, I again in the evening insisted upon halting; but I was carried on to the place of my destination; which I did not reach without my mind giving way a second time to much exasperation. Before I arrived at the asylum to which I was being conveyed, I desired my brother to let the owner of it know that I entered it against my will, that I considered I had been restored to so much judgment as to be able to use my own discretion as to where and how I was to be confined and observed; that I insisted on being confined in a private lodging; that I had particular reasons for desiring to go to London, and a particular object in view; and that if I was detained I should hold him responsible to me at law, and should endeavour by all means to leave his asylum, in which he would detain me at his peril. I further desired that my arguments for proceeding to town should be communicated to the doctor, and that my correspondence should go safely. Flaving done so I resumed my silence and indifference towards my two brothers. They told me, if I was of opinion that I was treated with injustice, I might appeal to the magistrates; and to the magistrates I determined to appeal. I did not forget it; and I swore, that whether by fair means or by foul, I would not owe my escape to them.*
On arriving at Ticehurst, I was ushered into my room in the madhouse there, and soon after introduced to Dr. Newington. He asked me if I wanted any thing, and I replied to be allowed to go to bed immediately. I noticed that in the same manner I was all along treated, as if I never

* I do not relate these minute details now from ill-will to my brothers, but in order to prove that my resentment against them was not without reason, though it may, in the opinion of those uninjured, be deemed extreme: for it must be recollected the lunatic doctors detained me as insane, because I was offended with my relations; but I consider that my anger was reasonable, and that I had been greatly exasperated; and that my bold resolution to include them in my proceedings against the doctors, was strictly just and honourable, nay more, necessary.

could have any sound reason for any demand, however simple; I was pressed very much to stay up and have some supper: I declined it, and sat down to rest. My brothers shortly after took their leave, and offered me their hands, which I refused. Doctor Newington tried to prevail on me to shake hands with them, but I said quietly, "No, sir, never mind; I am acting on determined principles as well as they;" and he desisted. Before their departure, I ascertained that they had made known my resolutions to the doctor, and soon after I went up-stairs to bed.
The asylum of Dr. Newington is situated upon a bold round hill in the parish of Ticehurst, in Sussex. The building is white and nearly square, two stones high, with a hall-door on the south side, in the centre, dividing the eastern end, in which the female patients were confined, from the western, in which were the gentlemen. The windows of the western wing looked out upon a small and pretty lawn, surrounded by a shrubbery and evergreens, and enclosed on the north by a paling, on the south, towards the drive that led up to the asylum, by a post and chain fence. In the eastern wing, about four rooms from the halldoor, a small glass door opened into a passage, which ran through the whole building to another glass door; on the left hand side of this passage there were seven or eight rooms; in one of these I was confined; and above these as many bedrooms. The windows looked out upon a field, at the extremity of which the building was situated, upon the thin fir-plantation, which screened Mr. Newington’s cow-yard and pig-stye from the house of Mr. Newington; and to the right, upon a fanciful building, called the aviary, in front of which there was a bowling-green, with a light iron-wire fence, dividing it from the meadow.
The drive from the gate at the eastern end of the premises, towards the village, after passing in front of the asylum, led up to the Doctor’s house, and there turning down the hill to the south, re-entered the road, which skirted the Doctor’s plantations on that side, by another gate. Immediately behind the Doctor’s house and between the house and the bowling-green a broad path left the drive, and this path fell again into a broad walk, which was continued between young and scanty plantations of firs and evergreens, along the northside and round the western end of the meadows, and back along the southern side, until it reached the drive at the eastern end. At that end of this broad walk there was also a small fruit-garden enclosed in thick hedges; and from the gate towards the village, a lane and public footpath passed close along the north side of the madhouse and that of the aviary, dividing one part of the field, and a pretty pond form the rest of the estate. To these limits I was confined for my promenade the greatest part of the year, till December—but at first, I was allowed to walk in any direction about the country, until I attempted to make my escape. Confinement, even of this kind, to a man of my disposition is very wearisome and painful— but I was grateful that I had no worse. The prospect that we commanded from the hill on all sides, was beautiful and diversified; but from my room-window, unless I stood close to it, the view was scanty and barren of all but a painful interest to me. Nevertheless, I was contented with it, and delighted to compare it with the walls of the courtyard to which I had been accustomed for twelve months at Brisslington, and the trees, peering over them, upon a distant hill. In the summer time I usually confined my walks to the little kitchen garden mentioned above, or to an alley between two plantations at the western end of the meadow, where there was most seclusion.
From each end of the passage, into which the doors of the rooms on the ground floor of the western wing of the Asylum opened, two others branched off along the north and south fronts of the same wing, with chambers opening in the same manner into them. In the centre of the long passage, a door opened opposite the chambers into a large hall; which was called and had the appearance of an unfinished chapel; on the left hand corner of this hall another door opened into the northern passage. In each of these passages there was a cupboard, a stove and a door leading into the water-closet; and a staircase descended into each from the bedrooms above, which were arranged in the same manner as the rooms below.
I found the change of my situation so great in this new place of confinement, that in respect of Dr. Fox’s I likened it to Heaven in comparison of Hell. In the fullness of my heart I unfortunately used this comparison to Dr. Mayo, the visiting physician; it was duly taken advantage of. The room in which I was placed below stairs, had the walls papered, the floor carpeted, a sofa in it, a small book-case, mahogany table and chairs, a marble chimney piece, a large sash window; a cheerful fire in the grate without a wire guard; and although there was an appearance of shabbiness and hardness, there was nothing unnecessarily coarse to remind me of my situation, excepting a wooden stake for stirring the fire; which, however, was meant to supply the place of the fire-irons. The absence of these, and of any look to the door, and the heavy perpendicular iron bars at the window, alone recalled to me, in my room that I was a prisoner, and an object of suspicion. Although I knew that I did not then merit that mistrust, or these precautions; I did not, at first, find fault with them, since others had not my consciousness; but I regretted my having ever needed to be placed under such subjection, and that through barbarous treatment it had been continued so long, that I was in a manner callous to it; and that now, through misunderstanding, it was likely to be continued so much longer. I also felt inward ridicule at such vigilance being exercised against me, knowing my own habits and principles, and that it was my desire to be under observation, if in humane and respectful circumstances. In the end, my mind became jaded, disgusted, and irritated at the continuance of it; and my temper and fortitude to bear injustice and cruel imprisonment, without recrimination, and violent language towards my relations as the authors of it, often gave way; when I knew that I had given abundant proof of my being a quiet and reasonable being; when I was alarmed at finding myself without help of any kind, confined for no given reason, when I reflected that circumstances cast suspicion, and shameful and false aspersion on my character; and when I found also that the intersection of the view from my window by the iron bar, caused to my eyesight physical pain.
But the article of furniture for which I felt most grateful, was, oh! mirabile dictû, a desk with a key in it, which Mr. C. Newington provided for me until my own portfolio should arrive. In the end, I suspected this was lent more as a snare than a kindness, when I found afterwards that my own portfolio was opened behind my back. But at Dr. Fox’s I had no place to put any private papers in, but carried my letters about my person—which now resemble the papers of a poor beggar. Soon after, at my own request, I was provided with a pianoforte—with the hopes of having perseverance to learn it alone, in which I failed completely. I also sent home for several books. Some time after my arrival, I discovered that there was a small sliding bolt hidden in the panel outside the door, and a small slide in the door for my attendant occasionally to look through: this was a very painful part of the details of my prison arrangement, because it destroyed at once my idea of seclusion and privacy. There was an appearance also of cunning and deceit, mixed with distrust, in it—which, reminding me of the representation of the doctors, that lunatics are cunning and deceitful, suggested the idea

Dat veniam corvis, vexat censura columbas.

My bedroom up-stairs, was in like manner cheerful, airy, and respectable; the walls were papered, at Brisslington they were white-washed—a chest of drawers stood in it, with a looking-glass, a washhand-stand and basins, &c. &c.; only the beds were without curtains or hangings of any description. The attendant’s bed was in the right hand corner by the window, mine near to the door, and opposite to the window; the window, like the fellow to it in my room below stairs, had perpendicular iron bars to it, through which I used to observe the beautiful motion of the stars, night after night in fine weather, until my servant came to bed; when he unlocked a shutter that slided from one side to the other, and locked it to, having strict orders so to do, for what reason I cannot understand: occasionally, however, he left a small part of it open, at my request. The first night, on my asking for my pocket handkerchief to be put under my pillow which had been left me at Dr. Fox’s, there was some demur, as it was contrary to the orders of the Asylum; but, on my remonstrating upon the absurdity of it, and saying that I was allowed to have it at Dr. Fox’s, I was permitted to have mine. My other clothes were all taken out of the room every night; when my servant locked the door upon us, which was bolted also by the butler outside.
My meals were always served in a respectful manner, in the morning, the afternoon, in the evening, and again at supper; I was not, however, allowed to carve anything, and the knives were metal knives, without any edge, which I noticed, because at Dr. Fox’s we had used in worse circumstances the common steel knife. I never ate my meals here with any relish—partly on this account, the meat seemed unusually pale and sodden, the bread and pastry were often mouldy, the beer bad—we were, however, allowed a glass or two of sherry.
With regard to exercise, I was allowed to leave my room whenever I pleased, and to walk in the passage, where the servants of the patients, who sat alone, had chairs provided for them, or in the hall; I also walked out in the forenoon, and in the afternoon. On these occasions, I usually met with one or two patients who could converse with me in a reasonable, though childish manner.
In a barrack, a museum, a university, or an observatory, the situation of the Asylum would have been admirable, but knowing its destination, it rose upon me as a scandal on the surrounding scenery, and I was shocked at the ostentation of it, and shrunk from the exposure of the seat of my imprisonment in so prominent a manner. The winds also made it very cold; and the soil being of a fataluminous day, caused me much pain, and gave ground for serious complaint—my sitting room being on the ground floor. But it is of little avail for a lunatic to complain. *
Nevertheless, I soon felt the benefit of my comparatively cheerful circumstances. I will mention the effects of it which were very rapid, in a future chapter. A few days of tranquillity, of ease, and tolerable security, with the power of going out at my own will, not at the will and by the order of the servant, soon restored to me so much confidence, and self-possession. that I felt no doubt of being able to undertake a journey to London. Encouraged

* I alluded to these things in different ways; I remarked in my letters, that the crocuses and snowdrops which I left blowing near Bristol, did not appear here for full a fortnight after my arrival, in hopes of drawing attention; I made direct complaints, but it was fated that in these, as in other matters, my family should not respect my word—or give heed to my representations.

by the happy results of my being treated in some degree, as I had desired, more conformably to the dictates of sound reason, I resolved to prosecute my appeals to my family aid to the magistrates for treatment still more reasonable—and to insist upon my original demand for a private lodging: I thought it my duty to persevere in my applications for such treatment, and I was proud that the improvement of my health was the result of my own suggestions, when recovering from insanity—and the fruit of energetic perseverance in those suggestions in spite of the opposition and dullness of my relations, and of the doctors, who where so called, of sound mind. Nevertheless, the credit was given by the justices to my relations. Having thus gained a confidence in my own judgment, which made it impossible for me to submit to the will of my family—and to the blind and interested prejudices of the doctors; I felt also a resentment against my family, which I could not suppress, not only for the unnatural cruelties I had undergone in Dr. Fox’s Asylum through their credulity or neglect, but for their injustice in delaying to comply with the reasonable demands I made from that asylum, in not taking my part against the doctors there, instead of telling me that when I came to my senses I should approve of their conduct; and in contriving to meet all my requests, except one, however important, or however trivial, at first with decided denial. Whether I asked for a private room, or for my netting-needles, for leave to write to friends, or to be allowed to drink ale or porter, the refusal was the same. The disrespect with which my arguments and remonstrances were treated, the apparent contumely with which they were silently slighted, made my resolution the more stubborn; and alarm at the manner in which my family seemed blinded to the real merits of the case, for I could not suspect them of dealing dishonestly, compelled me to fly to this resolution as my only hope. To it, and to the exercise of mind it occasioned me, I am persuaded I owe my deliverance. Not that I was successful;—the magistrates took care of that, but, because, if I had surrendered myself up the passive and confiding tool of the doctor, out of his very tender care, and disinterestedly scrupulous precaution he would, I conceive, have enslaved me there to this day.
I found, moreover, that I had not patience to withstand the irksome sense of confinement and observation, which became every day more painful and galling, as I acquired sense to perceive that it was unnecessary and hurtful. I could not endure continued separation from my friends and from females, nor can I express the sensation of terror conveyed by the prospect of a confinement to which I saw no end, no probable limit, and for which I could discern no further reason. Therefore, I was never for a moment turned away from, but rather daily strengthened in my original resolution—to appeal against, and escape if possible from all confinement, which was not carried on in a respectful manner in a private lodging, and at last when I became sure that I was of sound mind, I unhesitatingly demanded either my restoration to liberty, or a trial by jury, to determine whether I was or was not still insane. In every respect, as I had begun at Dr. Fox’s, so now, I flung the gauntlet in the face of those confining me; and although some who do not know the subtlety of these men, may question the prudence of such a course, there is no man of an independent spirit, who will not do justice to those motives which made me prefer it, to hanging upon the breath of arrogance, hypocrisy, pomposity, and deceit, for my daily hope of restoration to liberty.
I was induced also to adopt and to adhere to this resolution from my estimation of the character of Mr. C. Newington. At first this gentleman appeared struck by my demeanour, to suspect that I had not been properly treated, and that I might have fair grounds of complaint against my family. He went so far as to assure me that I should receive justice from him; and that he would not allow my relations to confine me if there was no necessity. I marvelled. Knowing my desire to proceed by easy journeys to town, he begged me to stay quietly in his asylum for a few days. To this I consented; but gaining confidence from increase of strength, I again applied for leave to go to town. He then told me that he thought I was not strong enough for the journey, that if I went up to town to see my friends, or to transact business, the shock would be too great for me—be had known a gentleman who had been restored to health, but who had become ill again by meeting his mother. He was sure that the agitation of a lawsuit would quite overpower me. He could not trust me in town with any one: his attendants were not to be depended upon. To this, I replied by word and by letter, that if I had been deemed well enough to travel a hundred and forty miles across the country, contrary to my will, in two days, I might presume that I could well travel forty miles to town in one, or in the same number of days, with my will, safely—having rested some days in his asylum.—That my object in going to town was, to see a dentist as well as to see my friends;—that it was not my desire to commence legal proceedings at this moment, but to have my state of mind and bodily health attested by a surgeon I had known from my infancy, and by a surgeon of my acquaintance, in the Guards;— that it was my desire to stay three weeks under their inspection, in order that they might say whether or not Dr. Fox was justified in applying to me, in such a state of bodily convalescence, the regimen he had forced upon me, or in forcing me to submit to it against my will, in such a state of mind. * For, I argued, the lunatic doctors have no

* I allude to the use of the cold bath in winter and to that of he shower-bath, which twice caused me the most horrid pain in my head.

right to abuse their power to compel patients to submit to treatment against their conscience, and against their judgment in things indifferent, and merely because such treatment made a part of their empirical system: that a lunatic was not a doctor’s child and plaything to practise experiments upon—that it was cruel and oppressive in them to do so; particularly where a patient was exercising, in some degree at least, a sound judgment, and gave reasons for his refusal, besides complaining of the suffering such regimen caused him—that it was shameful to do so; because thereby, they who were supposed to be his protectors from violence and insult, were provoking, aggravating, and exasperating the patient in a precarious state of health. I added, that having resolved to prosecute Dr. Fox for conduct such as that, it was my desire to see and be under the observation of surgeons acquainted with my habits and constitution, in order that they might judge and give evidence on these matters; and to see my friend Mr. Drummond, who was a lawyer, in order that he might take down that evidence, and take proper steps to secure my right of appeal to the law for redress; not immediately, but whenever the physicians should say that I was able to endure such exertion; for that I understood, unless I gave legal notice of my cause within a given time, and periodically applied for leave to delay it, I forfeited my right to be heard. I added, that I desired to see my friend, to know if my grounds were tenable in law; and, if he was of opinion that they were, that he might likewise take steps to secure the evidence of Dr. Fox’s servants and others who might die naturally, or leave the asylum, or be cut off by the cholera morbus. I told him that I did not expect or desire to go up to town alone, but that if I did I would return to him after the three weeks were expired, if I went up on parole: that I was not afraid of going up with any one of his servants, because I knew I could command myself if they insulted me, and make them respect me: that there was a wide difference between a lunatic who was helpless, and one who was so far restored to health as I was; but that if his attendants were not trustworthy, surely his butler was, who superintended them: that he might lodge me in safe hands and return for me—that if not, surely Mr. C. Newington might accompany me to town himself. Besides I pointed out the absurdity and indelicacy of such a regulation as that whereby he never depended on his servants; observing that necessity might arise for sending a patient either home, or to a watering-place, or to private lodgings. That it was founded on a sound principle, but carried to extremes. That gentlemen might request to be supplied with trustworthy persons to keep their relatives at home. That humanity and interest dictated the provision of such a means of safe conduct, or safe control, in his absence.
I examined next the case of the gentleman he alluded to, and that of another, and found that they did not agree with my own. His illness had arisen from family matters, mine had nothing to do with them; I had been deluded by religious fancies, which were vanishing, and on recovery had so much fault to find with my relations that I felt little compunction towards them. That moreover, it was not necessary for me, nor did I desire to see them; because the recollection of what I had suffered from their misguided confidence in the physician who had the care of me, made it requisite that I should be very guarded in my conversation with them, on account of the emotions which might be excited, unless they admitted their error, and asked my pardon for the consequences of it. I promised, moreover, to be guided by the opinion of my physicians in town, and to break off all intercourse with them and Mr. Drummond if they thought it injurious to me. Furthermore, I spoke, and I wrote a letter to Mr. Newington, explaining that I had discovered, in a great degree, the source of my delusions; so that it was impossible, humanly speaking, that they should regain dominion over me so as to justify alarm.
That I had been in the habit of hearing, and did still hear voices ordering me to do different strange things; that during my illness I had obeyed these voices implicitly, however absurd or dangerous were their commands: but that I had found out that I had mistaken the spiritual instructions I had received; obeying commands literally, which were meant spiritually or metaphorically— and mistaking for sincerity, what was intended as humour. That being now conscious of my error I exercised my judgment, and did not feel obliged to obey these voices contrary to reason or to common sense. A great part of my first conversations with Mr. C. Newington I was compelled to carry on by writing—for I could not speak.
Mr. N. also objected that he dared not let me go up to town, because he was responsible to my family. To which I replied that I was of age—and reminding him of his own argument, that he had a duty to perform to me as well as to my family, I told him that he had no need to give, and they had no right to require any information on the subject (having forfeited by their neglect all claim to take charge of me),—that he was responsible to the magistrates and civil authorities, not to them.
These arguments I found had no effect. Mr. N. first began to put me off, then to shuffle, at last he refused me positively all that I desired. He mistook, or pretended to mistake my object in prosecuting Dr. Fox: he proposed to substitute his own attorney for my friend (which I declined, seeing through his intention), and the opinion and evidence of the visiting doctor of the asylum, in lieu of the two surgeons I knew in town. I said that I should be glad to see him, and to secure his evidence rather than none; but that I begged him to distinguish between two objects that I had in view. The one was, that a surgeon, who had known me from my childhood, should see the state in which I came out of Dr. Fox’s madhouse and from that state judge how improper the general treatment I had been submitted to there had been, both from its results and from his knowledge of my previous habits and constitution. The other, that from my actual state of bodily and mental convalescence, with a knowledge of my previous habits and disposition, he might judge how cruel, unjust, and dangerous it was to compel me to submit to a certain part of that general treatment against my will, and to my great suffering. That Dr. Mayo, the visiting surgeon of this asylum, could not give the evidence I wanted, not knowing any thing about my constitution or habits. That I could not have the same confidence in him as in a friend. Dr. Mayo, however, came. He fell, or pretended to fall into the same error that Mr. C. Newington fell into, and mistaking my views, together they proposed to me a course which I was disgusted at, and resented as dishonourable, at the same time that I saw through their hollow-heartedness. "Stay," said they, "a little longer here; the longer you stay the stronger you will become in mind and body—the stronger you are, the more favourable will be the evidence of your friends in your behalf." But I wished my friends to see my actual state and give evidence upon that; not to trump up a false case, even against Dr. Fox. The proposition to do which was so insulting to my feelings that, as I wrote to Mr. C. Newington, had I been at liberty, I should have desired both those gentlemen to leave my room and never to enter it again. Finding that Mr. C. Newington could not, or would not argue with any discrimination, confounding cases and positions very dissimilar, and making no distinction between the intentions he imputed to me, and those I avowed myself; in the one case I suspected his honour, in the other, I contemned his judgment; and saw how desperate it was, how degrading, how terrible to be under the charge and dominion of such a man. For the practice, if not the principle of the lunatic doctor, where he is not afraid of his patient’s power of mind, or watched over, is that of absolute dominion; to which they expect implicit submission—rebellion, against which is accounted insanity. Now this principle and pratice I was determined in every respect to combat and overturn. I was determined that I would submit to nothing, without force being used to prove an assault. Therefore, I repeat that my situation was terrible; for, whilst I was shocked and awed at the recollection of the terrors and horrible conceptions of a deranged mind, whilst I cherished the newly-restored and yet imperfect gift of a sound understanding, conscious of my bodily weakness, I saw that almost my only hope of freedom, of that freedom and real retirement which I required to restore me to a state of composure and sound health, was rested on this man; a man whose honour I more than suspected, whose judgment I despised, whose principles and prejudices, perhaps even his interests I resolutely opposed. I could only otherwise get my release by an appeal to the law, which I put little reliance upon, which at least would bring a tardy—not what I desired and needed, an immediate relief; and which would entail upon me, in circumstances in which I could so little bear with them, so much anxiety and trouble. In this also I had no dependence on any one but on the magistrates, in whom I knew that I could place no confidence.
Mr. C. Newington, I repeat, would not argue honestly, or could not reason without confusion; I believe I can safely say, that he never spoke three sentences together to me on any disputed question, without stammering. Moreover, he appeared to be of a minute and finicking mind, a coxcomb about his ideas of treating his patients, and such a man as would split every straw with a patient and his friends, with regard to the propriety of discontinuing his confinement. Now it was, and is my opinion that the bias of a physician’s judgment should be just the other way: it is his duty to discern every hope, and seize every opportunity of relaxing the severity of the confinement and discipline of his unfortunate patients; for no physician prescribes as a remedy for nervousness, irritation, and melancholy, confinement, scrutiny, interference, and the placing around him of distressing sights and associates; but, when once such a patient is confined, they deal with him as if they thought such confinement, with all its deplorable circumstances, were essential to his cure, instead of the very obstacle that makes his care difficult. The duty of the physician is one—the duty of the magistrate is another. I do not mean that a physician is to have no regard to the safety of society, or to his own reputation as a prudent man, or that he should not respect the fears of relations as well as their affections—that he should risk a return of the disorder, by too early exposing his patient to temptation to excesses. But that he should have an overpowering interest in the real welfare and profit of his patients, regulating his conduct towards them by their previous character, as well as by their present derangement, and adapting his treatment of a surveillance over them to the different stages and phenomena of their disorder—not reducing all to one system as Procrustes did every traveller to one bed.
Influenced by these considerations and views of Mr. C. Newington’s character, when he at length flatly refused me leave to go to town, I told him that I should consider him responsible to me at law for my detention, and for every impediment that was put in my way of obtaining justice. I told him that in the first place I considered that I no longer needed forcible confinement, for that although I could not call myself of sound mind, I had no disposition to do injury to myself or others, and it was my desire to place myself under observation: this I desired, because I was afraid of exposing myself to ridicule. But, I argued, even if I did require confinement, I was restored to a sufficient degree of reasoning power to have my judgment respected as to the nature of that confinement, particularly as my demands were consistent with what nature, religion, and reason dictated. That I objected to the place and manner of confinement at Ticehurst; thinking it right, from experience, to be nearer not only my family, but my friends—and magistrates, who might respect my name and my connexions. That if he continued to confine me, I should hold him responsible to me at law, and that I should endeavour to escape from his control by hook or by crook—by fair or by foul means; and that I would make his house too hot to hold me, all which came to pass. Mr. C. Newington then replied, that I had nothing to do with him, but with my family—that he acted only by their orders. I do not know whether it was my imagination or not made me suspect that he was jeering me. The sophistry was evident I availed myself of it, however, to write to my family, who replied in an equally evasive manner, that they could not interfere in my behalf, without the assent of the physicians; and in this manner I was banded about between my family and the physicians for nearly two years.
I think it right to repeat here what I have mentioned in a former volume, that ere I left Dr. Fox’s, at Brisslington, I foresaw the dispute that would arise between my family and me, and my difficulties in consequence. I foresaw that I should have to apply to my family, to my friends, and to the magistrates in vain, and that my only hope was in appealing to the Lord Chancellor. I did trust in him, that he, being a liberal man, would understand and attend to my case, and procure me a hearing before a jury of my fellow-countrymen. In this, however, I was deceived; and recollecting afterwards the estimation I had formerly made of the public characters of the age I live in, I wondered that I had been so misled—but, I thought it merciful that those principles had been taken from my memory, which would have made me less sanguine in my expectation of assistance from the Lord Chancellor, for this hope buoyed me up, and cheered me on; without which I should have sunk into despair, and abandoned myself to apathy, or broken out into violence. The great men of the present day are not men of philosophic minds—of enlarged understandings and of sound principles— they are not men elevated above others by sterling wisdom—but they are men of great talent and acuteness, who have excelled in one line, and have risen by attaching themselves to one party, which shows narrow-mindedness and prejudice, or want of honesty and principle. Out of their own line of thought they cannot, or will not acknowledge any plan to be reasonable: by chance, as it were, one is an absolutist—by chance another is a friend to freedom: but if any subject is brought under his cognizance to which his mind is unused, and to which no public emolument is attached, his unexcited zeal slumbers over acts of the grossest oppression, and neglects complaints, touching to the ear of benevolence even in the most selfish and obdurate bosom.
Foreseeing that my appeals to my family, to my friends, and to the magistrates would be in vain, I yet determined to proceed in them, on the principle that it was my duty to do so—that it was my duty to neglect no means of procuring justice from my family first, before I exposed them; through my friends, in case I might so avoid an appeal to the law; from the magistrates—before I appealed to the Lord Chancellor. I wrote, as the subjoined diary will show, to my family, to my relations, to my friends, even to my godfathers; and in the absence of the magistrates I prepared applications to the High Sheriff of the county, and to the justices of the circuit. Many of my letters, however, were written solely from a sense of compunction towards intimate friends, who I thought would be surprised at so long a silence on my part, and with the longing desire of the consolation of hearing again from any living being in society, whom I had formerly been acquainted with,—that they still took an interest in me, and letting them know that I was alive, and that I also felt for them. My spirit fainted for communion with a friend, and my heart searched after objects of attachment in former days to dwell upon. But this could not be in my family, for I had suffered too acutely through their want of sense and misconduct—and far from seeking my forgiveness, they appeared rather to doubt the truth and justice of my complaints, and to justify the abominable treatment I had received from the doctor.
When I wrote home to press for leave to come up to town, to take steps for prosecuting Dr. Fox, and to see a dentist, they told me they could allow no such thing: that I might see a London dentist at Tunbridge Wells, when the season came round—or send for a country one; and that I should change my mind respecting the treatment I had experienced at Dr. Fox’s, to which they insinuated that I owed my cure. I remonstrated, I complained, I argued, I was furious, I was sarcastic—it was of no use, my arguments were usually passed over in complete silence. I said that this was treating me with contempt, and contumely—I was told at length the doctors enjoined them not to agree with me, and it was insinuated that I was of unsound mind to think it possible that they could intend to treat me with contumely and disrespect. I replied that contumely and disrespect were the more felt, and more real, when they were not intended. That I would rather be treated with intentional disrespect, as that would prove that I was in some sense or other not made light of: that to pass a man’s arguments over in silence, and not even to allude to them and to his questions, was contumelious and disrespectful. I was disgusted and affronted at them also for not respecting my word; of which I received many and serious proofs—and that they should prefer the assertions of Mr. C. Newington and his representations to those of one of my father’s sons. I was offended also at their complete disregard of my judgment and opinion, in every particular, as if I was incapable of manly thought, of any thing but childish and mistaken notions, although in my letters I proved how capable I was of reasoning; for it is a strange example of perverted understanding in well-intentioned people, that, except in one or two instances, literally the smallest, as well as the most important of my petitions was always met with obstinate refusal; and I could gain nothing but by threatening and by violence—and then even, not my authority was acted on, but that of a neighbouring physician. Whence comes this besotted and worse than papist trust in the members of a profession so unworthy of it? I was told that I was mistaken, that they did not disrespect my word. I was left to guess what they meant. In vain I applied for explanation. I did not expect my word to be implicitly believed, but to be respected. Did they, when they read my complaints of Dr. Fox’s asylum, believe that I was deluded—and not think it worth while to inquire further? Did they, knowing the facts that had occurred there, some of which I had mentioned to them, doubt these facts, and think my account a delusion—or did they believe my word, but presumptuously conclude that the ill treatment I received there was necessary; that, however apparently unreasonable or inhuman my exposure had been, yet my circumstances rendered it applicable to me; at any rate, that I should, after recovering my senses, no longer complain of having been subjected in common with others to the doctor’s system, however barbarous, unfeeling, and degrading,—because, forsooth, it so happened that I had been placed under it, and it came to my share?—So at least one of my sisters wrote, and that I was to be satisfied because there were no other means of classification; and that, however sensibly I might argue, yet—that THEORY MUST YIELD TO PRACTICE.
My readers will see the dreadful situation I was placed in, and the guilty course into which my family felt. Restored to my sound senses, I resented naturally—I could not help resenting—the preposterous, the insulting, the beastly, the brutal treatment I had been exposed to. I was declared to be of unsound judgment for so resenting it; the very predicament I was in—that of an insane and nervous patient—the very predicament which made such treatment tenfold absurd, infamous, and revolting, was held up to me as an argument for acknowledging it to have been necessary and becoming—and to have any hope for obtaining my liberty—I was required to deny the right mind to which I was restored, to deny my right senses; I was compelled to question and to overhaul, and to examine and re-examine the dictates of a perfect intellect, in order to see where I was wrong—what flaw my family found in me. No one can know the tortures of such a state of mind who has not endured them. They have ruined my intellect, they have rendered me sceptical, hesitating, doubtful, where others see no room for cavil. They have made me "doubt truth to be a liar." I was wellnigh browbeaten out of a right state of mind, to save my family from the fear of, and the lunatic doctors from the consequence of exposure, and both from the pusillanimous and groundless dread of incurring responsibility. But, thank God, my love of truth, my indignation against oppression, and my sense of honour prevailed; and that sweet spirit of ambition to deserve the favour of and to be worthy of taking pleasure in female society, to dwell in their love, and to be beloved of them, by suffering with the unfortunate and the weak, in affliction, and under the yoke of the oppressor, rather than by denying their cause to gain release for myself, enabled me to bear up. For the joy that was set before me, I endured the cross, despising the shame; yea, rather, I feared the shame of regaining my liberty whilst there was any hope—by the sacrifice of my rights, and the loss of my reputation. Because I knew that God dwelt in me and judged me, and that though man might be deceived—I could not cloak myself from him.* Moreover, I reflected how many were in the same predicament as myself—how many of the weaker sex, whose ears were offended by the same coarse language, their eyes by the same loose demeanour of the servants—their bodies by the same brutal treatment I had in spirit died under—whose spirits were in continual terror for their safety if their consciences dictated to them any line of duty opposed to the interests and practice of their keeper: how many of my own sex, helpless through idiotcy, or hoodwinked by hypocrisy, or not blessed like myself—by the consciousness of deserving no wrong from my fellow—by the powers of mind I had acquired, through study and exercise,—by the support of powerful connexions, and by confidence in wellchosen friends; and I said, who shall speak for

* Ease and pleasure have, I fear, damped that zeal, and relaxed those energies, which under durance I then exercised, and I may have sacrificed to self-indulgence, and to forgetfulness, what tyranny and cruelty could not overcome.

these if I do not—who shall plead for them if I remain silent? How can I betray them and myself too by subscribing to the subtle villainy, cruelty, and tyranny of the doctors? How can I ever believe myself again, if I suffer my understanding to be so confounded, as to deny the resentment of an honest and honourable mind—arguing upon every principle of religion, of humanity, and of constitutional right recognised by my fellow-countrymen—to be just, against treatment by which justice, benevolence, and religion are alike trampled under foot and set at defiance? Thus, on the one side necessity, on the other the hope of glory—and the love of my country, I cannot say enabled me to endure my imprisonment with patience, but cheered and refreshed my agitated and exasperated spirits after every discomfiture, and encouraged me to continue struggling against hope, and to submit to disappointment. And had the authorities of my country and my countrymen, been as true to me as I was to them, I should have triumphed. But the doctors, who, whatever they may be in society, dealt towards me as if they had no spark of spirit or honour, no idea of generous feelings, laid to my charge the fortitude with which I met my sufferings. For after the injuries and insults I had received at Dr. Fox’s, I wore my beard and my hair long; and I was given to understand in the end, that that was the chief ground of my detention: this Dr. Southey and Dr. Bright, when sent to me next year by the Lord Chancellor, told me, and that they could not conceive my retaining such a costume, unless through delusion—when by relinquishing it I might so much sooner obtain my liberty. But I replied, "I appeal to a jury, and will give no account for that which I have, as a British subject, a right to do."—So they too, in their minds, condemned me—an Englishman, to continual loss of liberty so long as I wore this costume; and that upon presumption without evidence. But I am anticipating a future part of my narrative.



THURSDAY, Feb. 9.— Insisted on halting at Andover, that I might have a regular dinner and go to bed in good time, being under strict regimen. Carried by my brothers to Overton, without halting for rest or dinner: dined on the wing and leg of a cold chicken. The same day desired Mr. S. P. to let me not travel more than six hours per diem, and repeated my prayer in writing to my other brother.
Friday, 10.—Carried from Overton to Ticehurst between eleven o’clock and half-past eight, without halting to dine or repose.
Remonstrated with Mr. S. P., as well as my sufferings permitted me, and desired of him to be taken to town to see my dentist. My brother refused, because "Mamma ordered him not," and told me I might employ a country dentist.
Desired of my brother a private lodging in the neighbourhood of London, as my place of confinement: refused for the same reason.

Asserted my right to have my liberty, to proceed where I liked, not where my mother liked: not thinking it safe to be confined forty-eight miles from town. Mr. S. P. again refused, because "Mamma didn’t like it." My other brother pointed to my letter, in which I confessed that I was lunatic. I could not speak.
Desired of my brothers to be taken to town for medical certificates, and to have legal advice. This was refused in like manner; and I was handed over to the visiting magistrates and my physician, of whom they knew no more than I did, except my younger brother, from one day’s visit at Ticehurst.
Sunday, 12.—Wrote to my mother, chiefly to know, whether, having read the letters detained by Dr. Fox, she would consent to my removal to town.
Tuesday, 14.—Wrote a letter to my favourite cousin H, and to her husband, to let them know how I was, and to hear from them. I was with them in Ireland, shortly before my illness. They were the only two of my relations who sent me any kind message during my confinement at Dr. Fox’s; therefore also I was grateful to them. Sent my letter, under cover, to my uncle Lord A., this letter received no answer. Wednesday, 15.—Received my mother’s letter. About this time I wrote my first letter to Mr. Newington, and began a series of conversations with him, of which I find I have taken notes, as follows
—at Ticehurst:
I.—I desired to proceed to town to have private lodgings near town.
1. For decency’s sake.
2. Because in affliction and under indelicate exposure, at Ticehurst.
3. For more tranquillity.
4. For security.
5. For peace of mind.
Evidence of care taken for me.—The above requests refused, because it was dangerous—
1. For me to travel;—after a journey from Bristol in two days!
2. To be in any other asylum than Mr. C. Newington’s.
3. To see my family in town.
II.—Wrote to my mother concerning regulations and items of Dr. Newington’s establishment which, I had supposed, had been neglected at Dr. Fox’s, through ignorance or carelessness.
Proof of the care taken of me.—After the experience of Dr. Fox’s infamous treatment, if my word was believed—. "My mother, of course, could know nothing of the details of Mr. C. Newington’s asylum."
III.—Wrote to desire to be taken to town to see a dentist. Care taken for me.—Ordered to employ a country dentist, or to wait for chance of one coming down from London to Tunbridge Wells at the season.
IV.—Wrote for leave to go to town, to be visited by three surgeons of my acquaintance, to procure their certificates for a legal purpose.
Care taken of me.—Leave refused on the advice of Dr. Mayo. Reasons given by the doctors, that it was dangerous for me to see friends!
V.—Wrote for leave to go to town to see a friend studying the law, to procure legal assistance through him.
1. To warn Dr. Fox of my intention to prosecute him, but of that prosecution being delayed of necessity through ill health.
2. To lake steps to secure evidence of Dr. Fox’s servants, who might, firstly, die naturally; or, secondly, die of cholera morbus; or, thirdly, leave the establishment.
Care taken of me.—Leave refused, by advice of the doctors. Reasons given by the doctors.
1. That my family would be offended with Mr. C. Newington.
2. That it was dangerous for me to see my friends.
3. That business was dangerous.
VI.—Wrote to Mr. C. Newington, and told him that I did not expect it to be so painful to be with physicians, who knew me and my character, as with physicians who were perfect strangers to me and I to them.
Demanded an apology, and remonstrated against the dishonest advice offered to me by Dr. Mayo and Mr. C. Newington.
Explained to Mr. C. Newington the origin and dissipation of my disorder, which made it impossible for me to fear a relapse, except from some extraordinary affliction, like palsy, &c.
Warned Mr. C. Newington, as an English gentleman, restored to reason, that I desired him to respect my rights, and therefore to recollect that I should hold him responsible to me hereafter.
Answered his arguments of fear to offend my family, that I was of age—that my family had no right over me, being restored to the exercise of my reason—that they had forfeited all claim and right to my esteem and confidence—that, therefore there was no moral obligation for me to let them know of my journey to town, nor need he inform them of it if he did not choose, as I was of age, and claimed the protection of the law; that I did not wish them to know it, or care about it one way or the other.
Mr. C. Newington replied, that if I fell ill again he would be responsible to my mother and family, and that my eldest brother would certainly see me in town.
I replied, that there was no chance of my falling ill again; that if I did, I would guarantee him against all responsibility, by my handwriting, as having ordered him to do so, in obedience to my rights. That, as for my eldest brother, he had told me that he had wished to bring me to town originally, so that Mr. C. Newington could have nothing to fear from him; that as to my seeing him, whether I went to town with or without my family’s approbation I did not wish him to call upon me. That at any rate I prayed to go to town for three days to see my dentist. That I promised I would return after that. That I would go with him, or with any one of his servants; that if he saw any symptoms of ill-health in me, I would return immediately, and leave of all business in town whatever.
Mr. C. Newington replied, that Dr. Mayo agreed with him it would be dangerous; that he never trusted his patients away with servants—any more than his wine-cellar key to his butler. But I must remain with him, and be quiet. I replied that I would not remain, if I could help it; and that, if they wanted me to be quiet, they would find it was the very way to make me otherwise. Therefore, because certain lunatics, in certain states, are dangerously affected by seeing relatives, I, without any distinction, was to be dealt with in like manner as they are, though having a reasonable object, through the ignorant presumption of Dr. Mayo and Dr. Newington. And, although I had travelled nearly 150 miles in two days with two brothers, yet now forty-five miles’ journey in one or two days, and the sight of friends, was considered highly dangerous. And the cruel result was, that the treatment of lunacy was continued to one, in all his desires, at least, of a sound mind; and requests were refused which concerned even his bodily necessities, and that immediately and seriously. They have ruined me in soul, and they caused me even bodily tortures, which my providence would have prevented.
Friday, 17.—Wrote to my friends, the Rev. Mr. S…d, Captain C…d, and Mr. D…d. These letters received no answer.
Monday, 20.—Part of a long letter to Mr. J….n, sent under cover to my uncle, Lord A. Received no answer whatever; Mr. J….n was the surgeon I desired to see in London.
Tuesday, 21.—Received my mother’s letter of Saturday. Wrote in answer.
Wednesday, 22.—Sent my letter to my mother.
Thursday, 23.—Continued my letter to Mr. J….n.
Friday, 24.—Wrote to Mrs. F….e, to Mr. D….d, and to Captain C….d. Not answered. Magistrates in Sussex—by what magistrates visited?
Sunday, 26.—Letter to Dr. Newington. About this time, he offered to send me his attorney instead of my seeing my friend, Mr. D….d. This offer I declined, not thinking it sincere, and not liking to consult a stranger. In this letter to Mr. C. Newington, I thanked him for, and returned the desk he had lent to me, declining to receive any favour from him. I also explained to him that I did not intend to prosecute legal measures immediately, for my liberty, or for any other purpose, but only to take measures to secure my right of proceeding against Dr. Fox, when I was able, and had the means of doing so. This day I also sent a letter to my mother. My letters at this time contained many allusions to the cholera morbus—partly from anxiety lest it should invade my prison.
Monday, 27.—This day I wrote the following letter to the High Sheriff of the county.


In the absence of any of the neighbouring or visiting magistrates of this asylum, I have the honour to apply to you for such information as your situation enables me to expect from you; and for that assistance which may be necessary in order to my proceeding, by legal measures, to procure my removal from this asylum, under the care of Mr. Newington, to London, under the following circumstances of oppression and injustice.
I was removed about the 10th of this month from an asylum in Somersetshire, where, under the management of a Dr. Fox, at Brisslington, near Bristol, I endured such inhuman treatment, that I am resolved in order to expose their system, and obtain their punishment, to prosecute them by law; * but more especially for their having

* In prosecuting Dr. Fox, I intended partly, as I openly declared, to be revenged for the ill-treatment I had received, by his punishment; partly to procure compensation by damages, expecting to be cut off, by my conduct, from the favour of my family, and to be turned adrift on the world, under every disadvantage; but of this I had no defined ideas, nor was I sure that it would be gentlemanly and honourable to prosecute with this view. But my chief object was to procure a judgment against the ill-treatment of the doctor, and so to establish a precedent in favour of the lunatic. I conceived, in my own mind, without legal advice, that whatever might be the custom and habits of thought of the world, the physician was liable to be prosecuted, for following a system detrimental to the health and security and recovery of the patient, when it could be proved such a system was contrary to the rules of common sense, and to the established law of medical and surgical science. I reasoned thus,— that if the contrary was the practice, it only arose from no one having yet had understanding sufficient to explain the evident absurdity of such a system as had been adopted towards me, and to set forward the arguments of his cause in a court of law; and I thought I should be doing a great service to my country in undertaking this. I felt, and do still imagine, that I was acting on just, sound, and honourable principles; and I have since learnt, that in ordinary cases of treatment of bodily diseases, physicians are liable to prosecution for damages received through improper advice. I did not expect, however, my family, and still less the doctors, who think and act by routine, to understand me; and I longed to gain the attention of an impartial and enlightened man, such as I conceived the Lord Chancellor (Lord Brougham) to be, in order that he might comprehend me. This is an example of the just grounds I had for alarm, and dread that I should be confined for a madman, when acting upon the enlarged views of a correct understanding even because I was acting upon them

compelled me, at a period when I was restored to a right use of my reason, and able to expostulate with them, to make use of a regimen which has produced the worst effects on my health of body and mind generally, and which was both unreasonable, inhuman, and unseasonable, and accompanied with degradation to my person, and contumely. This took place in the three weeks previous to my removal here.
In order to sustain the first part of my charge against them at law, I deem it almost indispensable to have the attestations of three medical men—in London—acquaintances of mine own; for which purpose I wish, as I also consider it not unreasonable, to be under their observation in or near town for three weeks; I also wish to obtain legal advice at the same time—as far as is necessary to prove that I have taken all possible measures to warn the Drs. Fox of my intentions, as soon as I could obtain the assistance of my friends studying for the bar.
I have besides requested Dr. Newington to allow me to proceed to town for a day or two, upon trial, to have my teeth examined by a skilful dentist in London; as they have suffered much through my not being allowed proper time or means of cleansing them at Dr. Fox’s.
My mother and brothers, under whose guardianship I naturally came, when first deranged in December, 1830, refuse to accede to my demands and prayer, to give directions to Dr. Newington to remove me to town for the above-mentioned objects; not choosing to weigh the force of my reasons sufficiently; and supposing, with the nursery-maids of the world, that lunacy implies incapability of arguing on any topic whatever; and Dr. Newington considers it his duty, although agreeing with me in the solidity of my argument, if the facts narrated be true, that he is to attend to their fancies rather than to my reasons. Although I appeal to him, as an English gentleman of twenty-nine years of age. He also acts in fear of my understanding being unsettled again by the sight of my relations and friends, or by the exertions requisite to prosecute legal measures in town; which abuse of a system intended for my personal protection tends rather to retard my care by provoking and irritating my mind; as motives of prudence, justice, and economy, as well as of necessity, require my immediate presence in London, as well as my desire to set my legal advisers on the alert as soon as possible, in order that I may be at liberty to go abroad for a time for the benefit of my health, both of body and of mind.
His objections, also, are of little force; as I am willing to return to Ticehurst, or, at any rate, to break of all legal measures immediately, if they should appear to affect my reason; neither do I wish to prosecute my appeal to the law now, unless absolutely necessary, but only to commence it, and to procure those medical attestations which I deem essential, or nearly so, to the success of my future prosecution.
Under these circumstances, I have the honour of writing to you, sir, as to the authority to which the law bids me look for assistance and protection, in the absence of the magistrates of the neighbourhood, to direct your attorney, or the law-officer who transacts your country business, to inform me of, and also, if my reasons appear to be sound, to take for me, at my expense, such legal steps as may be required by the law, to compel Dr. Newington to cause me to appear in London as soon as he conveniently can, as I deem it necessary to have the attestations I speak of as immediately as possible.
I also intend, ulteriorly, to prosecute Dr. Newington, and my mother and brother, in order to obtain recovery of my personal liberty; being now as I conceive fully restored, by the power of the Lord, to such a state of reason as enables me, though slowly, to judge reasonably for mine own self. But, at present, I shall be contented, if the law requires it, to proceed to any lunatic asylum in town, to remain there, during my sojourn there, for the purposes detailed above.
Praying, sir, for your interest in my favour, and your attention to my argument, I have the honour to be

Your afflicted appellant,


Ticehurst, near Lamberhurst, Monday, Feb. 1832.

P.S.—I write, sir, to add, that I should not trouble you with this letter, if I did not suppose it my duty, as I have already written to my friends, from whom I can get no answer, on account, as I fear, of their having misdirected their letters, or having left London, or being abroad.

Tuesday, 28.—Wrote to the Rev. Mr. S…d, to Mr. J….n, and delivered my letter to the sheriff — to Dr. Newington, to be forwarded. These letters received no answer.
Wednesday, 29.—Wrote to my mother—to my eldest brother—to Mrs. G….s, in Ireland, apologizing for my behaviour in her house. Enclosed this letter, under cover to, and with another letter, to my uncle, Lord A…. These two last letters received no attention. Wrote also, to Dr. Newington, arguments to prove that I could journey to town with safety—in answer to his arguments of precaution.
Thursday, March 1.—Letter to Dr. Newington. This day I wrote the following letter to the magistrates against their arrival.

Thursday, March 1, 1832.


It is with the greatest pain that I have been compelled to write to the High Sheriff of this county in your absence, to obtain that advice, assistance, and protection, which extremely delicate and unfortunate circumstances compelled me to seek from the recognised authorities of the land, and out of the bosom of my own family.
In order to acquaint you with my object more fully, and to shew you that I have neglected no means during your absence to persuade or constrain Dr. Newington to do me justice, as also to show you the reasonableness of my wishes, and to give you a criterion whereby you may judge of the state and powers of my mind, I refer you to a series of letters which I have written to Dr. Newington.
In doing so, I beg earnestly to call your attention to the particular inhumanity with which I was treated in Dr. Fox’s asylum at Brisslington, near Bristol, during the latter weeks of January, and the first weeks in February, by being compelled to give up my own understanding in order to submit to a regimen, which my delicate state of health, as well as the season of the year, prompted me to reject as unreasonable and cruel. This you will find mentioned in my first note to Dr. Newington, still further explained in a subsequent letter.
It is my intention to prosecute the managers of the asylum I was last at, for that specific act of inhumanity; for this purpose I need the attestations of medical men to my actual state of bodily health, in order to secure by all possible means my success at law.
I presume, as an English gentleman, that lunacy does not deprive me of those civil rights, which are compatible with my own wellbeing and that of others; and that my affliction should rather make me an object of compassion, than expose me to the dangerous excitement of opposition in the path of duty, and in the pursuit of a reasonable, natural, and lawful object, I conceive I am entitled to demand permission to go to town for the sake of consulting any experienced physician, whom I may prefer. But I would willingly waive this right, and rest contented with the opinions and attestations of Dr. Newington, and a gentleman of the name of Mayo, whom he summoned to attend me from Tunbridge Wells, were I not dissatisfied with their confusion of ideas, and had I not what appears to me a sober, natural, and sensible reason for proceeding to town; which is, that I may be for three weeks under the observation of an old apothecary, who has been for years acquainted with my constitution and my family—and that of two other gentlemen, surgeons in the battalion of guards to which I belonged.
Their valuable attestations I conceive to be absolutely necessary to my success at law for three reasons: First—they are acquainted with my habits of mind. Secondly—because they are acquainted with my previous delicate system.
Thirdly—because they knew my character and dispositions; and I consider their attestations absolutely necessary to my actual state of bodily health, that they may be enabled to judge of the cruelty, inhumanity, and risk of compelling me to undergo the cold and shower bath during the late cold winter, in my actual delicate situation.
For these reasons, I wish to go up to town immediately; having already, partly through weakness, partly in obedience to Dr. Newington’s advice, partly in waiting for replies to two letters which I addressed to my mother, remained here nearly three weeks: and considering delay prejudicial to my interests as an appellant at law, as the more I recover health, the less can my medical acquaintance form an idea of the weakness which I was affected with, when forced to submit to the regimen I speak of, whereby to judge of the barbarity of compelling me to undergo it.
I hope I have expressed this first reason to your satisfaction. I now come to my second reason, on which there is a misunderstanding between myself and Drs. Mayo and Newington.
I am resolved to prosecute the Drs. Fox in a second indictment for the inhumanity of their treatment generally, for which purpose I intend first to solicit the affidavits of my medical acquaintance, to my habits of mind and constitution generally, previous to my having become deranged, as proving hypothetically, that such treatment as Dr. Fox’s must have necessarily had a dangerous and highly pernicious consequence upon my general system of health of body and of mind: for this object I need not go up to town. But secondly—I intend to ask them for their affidavits to my actual state of mind and bodily health, in order that they may be enabled to testify what pernicious consequences have accrued to both, and be enabled to make affidavit how far they attribute these to the system of treatment, from the effects of which I am still suffering.
Dr. Newington considers this unreasonable, or rather imprudent, from having conceived a view of my object, in conjunction, as I understand him, with Dr. Mayo, which, at the same time that it proves to me their want of patience and discrimination, makes me suspect and mistrust their judgment; he also would persuade me to what I consider a mean and dishonest course: viz.—to remain here till I had so far recovered my health as to be able to mislead my medical advisers’ judgments in London, by leading them to suppose, that I was in a better state of mental discipline than I actually was, previous to the insulting and inhuman conduct adopted towards me in the months of January and February.
I guard you, gentlemen, particularly against their error, by calling your attention to my second letter to Dr. Newington.
Dr. Newington’s third and only reasonable grounds for refusing to take me to town are, I think, ably and handsomely refuted by the conditions I have imposed upon myself, of desisting from even seeing my medical friends, and returning here immediately, if my nerves received too severe a shock.
Besides the above-mentioned legal and medical reasons, I have another, which I consider really to be of more weight, which is, that my teeth need being examined by a careful dentist, and I have particular objections to employing a country practitioner.
Under these circumstances, having also demanded of and prayed of my mother an order to Dr. Newington in three letters, without any success, to allow me to go to town—I avail myself of this opportunity to pray you, gentlemen, if you have authority—to give the necessary instructions to Dr. Newington to send me to town under the care of his attendants immediately, as I do not expect that you will disallow my argument. But if you should, I then pray you to point out to me, and to aid me in pursuing by law, the paths which reason, common sense, justice, and humanity combine in persuading me to persevere in.
Praying your consideration as gentlemen, as well as magistrates,

I have the honour of remaining

Your obedient petitioner,


P.S.—I have applied to my eldest brother, but, besides his having already treated me with neglect and inhumanity, without having expressed himself sensible of it, he considers it his duty to leave me entirely to the care of my aged mother.

P.S. 2.—I pray you also, gentlemen, to pardon the imperfections of this letter, which it occasions me much trouble and pain of mind to write. I will also request you to return it, or preserve it for me, as I may have need of referring to it hereafter, if God gives me grace and time; as I purpose to lay my case before the public hereafter, in order to open the eyes of the world to the brutal and inhuman outrages and perils to which lunatics are exposed, and to which English gentlemen and parents hesitate not to expose the bodies and souls of their nearest relations, by delivering them entirely into the hands of strangers, at a time when, incapable of defending their own feelings, and when needing more than ever the advice and sympathy and careful attention of friends, on whom they place confidence, they are more helpless than children, and more comfortless than the condemned felon.
Friday, 2.—Wrote to my eldest sister, and to the post-offices at Hastings and Tunbridge Wells, to inquire if any letters had arrived there misdirected.
Saturday, 3.—Wrote to my youngest brother.

Sunday, 4.—Lay in bed till a quarter to one o’clock. Saw Dr. Newington; asked him to give me his reasons in writing for delaying my journey to town any longer. N.B.—Dr. Newington never committed himself by writing a single line to me.
Monday, 5.—Sent my letter to my youngest brother, and wrote to the post-office at Lamberhurst. Saw Dr. Newington at my dinner, and in the afternoon out walking. The following are notes of my letter to my brother:
"You will scarcely believe me when I tell you that the few lines you wrote to me from Nottingham, though late, they were to me the most valuable present that God Almighty made me through my relations during the period of my wretched confinement and calamity at Dr. Fox’s house. You have all of you shown little sympathy with, and compassion for, my melancholy, and, as I thought, desperate situation. I would not have left a dog in such circumstances—the cruel circumstances in which reasonable beings left me—a reasonable being. I confess I am struck dumb with astonishment at the simplicity, the thought-lessness, the inhumanity of you all; and in doing so I am not using vain words; I am expressing the suffocating sense of my feelings—deserted, to be controlled by brutish ruffians!—to be comforted by strangers. In fourteen months I have not seen the face, nor heard the voice, of a friend, except Spencer, when the sight of him was likely to deprive me of self-command for a season, and—who in three days did me no civil thing. They were not friends or brothers to me when they came to bring me here; for they came to do me injustice; they contemned my reproof; they made me no apology for former transgressions.
Neither can I pardon you without an apology. I invent excuses for you. Why did you not even write to me? Did you think I would write to you? This was both improper and impossible. How great has been your folly; I would not have left my servants in such circumstances, much more would I have done for you. You have betrayed the trust I reposed in you, and I write to rebuke you; but I forgive you freely, for I know you loved me; but I need an apology. Could you know me as your most truly-attached brother, and not inquire what lunacy was? Could you know me to be a lunatic through grief, and yet not write to comfort or arouse me? What were your feelings towards me—what your fears? What your opinion of lunacy in general—what of my particular case? When did you first hear of my illness, and from whom? Did you even ask, or think of asking me to come and live with you, or near you? What, if you thought of asking, prevented you—what, if you asked, hindered you? What reasons were given, and by whom? Did you wish to write to me that you had desired it? If so, what prevented you? Did you expect me, as an elder brother, to write first—forgetting my state? If so, say so candidly, and confess your folly." This letter concluded with directions respecting the preservation of his health, and contained questions relating to a vision I had seen respecting a favourite dog my sisters had informed me he had lost, and an observation concerning the prophecies of Nixon, which I bad made inquiry into, in 1830, previous to my illness.
Tuesday, 6.—Wrote to Mr. G….
lst, Concerning the cause and origin of my complaint.
2nd, Asking his aid and sympathy, he having encouraged me to hope for the later, by a conversation in Dublin in 1830.
3rd and 4th, Narrating facts of a preternatural kind, praying for him to send a letter to my friend, Colonel E….ce, which Colonel E….ce was to read to him.
5th, On second thoughts, defer sending this letter till I know where Mr. G…. is, and will not detain my present letter.
6th, Pray him not to prejudge my case, and relate part of what I conceived to be my eldest brother’s contemptuous treatment.
Wednesday, 7.—Mr. Newington had not forwarded my letter to the High Sheriff, nor informed me of it, or that Major Weatherell was at Ticehurst, a— magistrate. Received this day a letter from home, mentioning the death of a distant relation, and my mother’s resolution to keep me here. On the receipt of this letter, I had the following conversation with Mr. C. Newington, which I made notes of on the back of it.
My mother, sir, has not received my letters?
Mr. N.—No; they were sent under cover to your eldest brother.
My mother did not receive your letters, either, sir?
Mr. N.— I have directed them to your eldest brother, who has written to the general post-office concerning them, as I also have you sent my letter to the High Sheriff? Mr. N.—Oh! the High Sheriff is abroad travelling; the letter is not likely to find him; so, as a letter of some importance, I have kept it. N.B.—
This letter was written on Feb. 28; this conversation took place on March 7.
Mr. N.—I have sent to Mr. Weatherell; he says he does not know where he is.
Is that Mr. Weather ell the magistrate, sir?
Mr. N.—Yes, sir, it is.
I thought I asked you to let me know when Mr. Weatherell arrived in the neighbourhood. How long has he been here?
Mr. N.—He only came the other day. Then, sir, you have not sent my letter to the High Sheriff?
Mr. N.—No, sir; I have not.
Then, sir, I pray you to return it to me. Have you written to my mother anything concerning detaining me here?
Mr. N.—No; I stated your object in proceeding to town as fairly as I could, and made use of no argument for your detention; nor indeed for your removal, or going to town.
Then, sir, you do not consider my mother justified in a remark, that it was not suited to my recovery that I should proceed to town.
Mr. N.—No, sir, certainly not; not from any thing that I have said. Then, sir, may I write to my mother to tell her so?

Mr. N.—Yes; only add that I advise you to remain here, that our letters may tally.
Thursday, 8.—Wrote to Mr. C. Newington, complaining of the above neglect; also to Major Weatherell; also to one of my sisters; and to the sister-in-law of my second brother, under cover, to the Steward of the Guards’ Club, endeavouring to find out my brother’s direction.
Friday, 9.—Wrote to Mr. J….n, also to my uncle, Lord A…; to Mr. Newington, to complain of my servant; to my friend, Mrs. F….e; also a note to my letter to the High Sheriff. Had a dispute with my servant, Christmas, concerning the water in my bedroom.
Saturday, 10.—Rode in a carriage with Mr. C. Newington to Paixley, and left my note on Major Weatherell.
Sunday, 11.—Wrote to Colonel W….d.

Monday, 12.—Captain Weatherell called on me. During my conversation with him, after mentioning my two objects in sending for him, which were—first, to obtain leave to go to town; and, secondly, leave to place myself under a physician who would place me in a private lodging—I explained, that I feared delay had completely baffled the main object of my summoning him to my assistance: it being now five weeks since the treatment had terminated under which I had suffered, and six weeks since its commencement; my health also and strength having been so much restored to me by the comparative quiet and more reasonable treatment of this asylum, that the evidences of the effects of Dr. Fox’s regimen and system upon my health had greatly disappeared.
That, however, I still wished to proceed to town urgently, for the purpose of seeing my dentist.
Captain Weatherell informed me that he could do nothing for me; but let one of the visiting magistrates, whom he should see probably in two or three days, know my situation: that they alone could assist me—that they were appointed expressly to visit the asylum. This is the strangest doctrine I ever heard, and nothing can prove more strongly how unfit gentlemen of such a pusillanimous character are to be intrusted with the protection of the liberties of the subject; but the truth is, the magistrates are little better than the mere executors of the laws that confine the liberty of the subject, or punish crime; beyond that they seem to have no understanding: and in the iron coldness of official strictness, they forget the mutual duties and primary obligations of good and faithful countrymen.
Captain Weatherell next observed, in an interrogative tone of voice, that I had nothing to say against this asylum, but only against Dr. Fox? I told him, not in respect of Dr. Newington’s humanity towards me particularly; but that I considered myself able to do without control. I was proceeding to complain of particular grievances, when he interrupted me by saying—" Of course, being under restraint, you naturally feel it irksome, and wish to be emancipated; but I recommend you to bear it patiently; "adding words to that effect. He treated me as one to be encouraged and sympathized with but to be looked down upon, rather than attended to. Presuming, or prejudiced against me, that my complaints might be natural, but must be unreasonable. I likened the place to a barrack or large hospital, and observed that a gentleman could not like to be confined in one or the other, in a state of such affliction.

He bid me adieu: I saw no more of this gentleman.
Tuesday, 13.—Wrote to my second brother’s sister-in-law, and a letter to a Captain W…., in Dr. Fox’s asylum, to whom I had promised to send a letter.
Wednesday, 14.—Wrote to my fourth sister, and to my mother.
Thursday, 15.—Received my youngest brother’s letter.
Friday, 16.—Wrote to my mother, and to my youngest brother: or about this time.
Sunday, 18.—Walked with my servant Christmas to Lady Oak.
Monday, 19.—Wrote to another sister.
Tuesday, 20.—Complained of Christmas’s insolence. This alludes to the following scene:—One of these days, when I came in from walking, being on the ground floor, and the doors not fitting closely, I found my feet very cold, and removing the fender to the other side of the room, I sat with my feet before the fire. Christmas, my attendant, suddenly entered my room, and exclaiming, "You know better than that, at any rate; " rudely replaced the fender, and as suddenly departed. I rose up quietly, and removed the fender again; he returned as suddenly, and violently replaced it. I said nothing; but, as he went out of the room, I called him back; and, taking the stake from the chimney-corner, which was given to mend the fire, instead of an iron poker, I delivered it into his hands; as a hint, that it certainly was not safe to leave such a weapon in my room, if I was to meet with such behaviour from my servant. He looked very foolish. This man was not removed from waiting upon me, after my complaining of him, for a month afterwards; and then I was told that he had gone to wait on his former master—not that he had been taken away from respect to me. Such facts may appear trifles to those who have not been confined under power; but they are little lights into the darkness of the lunatic’s prison; that show what is the nature of the care taken of him, of the respect shown to him—of the position in which he stands, and of his consequent security and peace of mind, upon which depend the hopes of his probable recovery.
Wednesday, 21.—Wrote to my second brother.
Thursday, 22.—Wrote to my youngest sister.
Friday, 23.—Dr. Newington informed me that my parcel was on the road, and of my mother’s resolution to keep me here—in disregard of my further remonstrances with her.
Saturday, 25.—A very slight brick-wall, which Mr. C. Newington had built on the top of the hill, at the back of his famous aviary, was blown down last week. Dr. Newington called on me this day, and alluded to the occurrence with affected jocularity. This accident had excited in my mind satirical remarks on the sanity of the doctor, in building any wall so slight in so exposed a situation. Wrote a letter to my aunt, Lady M…W….
Sunday, 26.—Parcel came with my portfolio, and a letter from my fourth sister, to whom I wrote in reply, and to Mr. G…. In her note, my sister apologized for the delay in sending me what I had requested, owing to my brother having mislaid another parcel, in which I had forwarded my letter to her. I had requested my portfolio to be sent to me, in hopes of finding in it a letter written to me in pencil by Mary Campbell, when I was at Row, in Scotland, which I greatly prized, being then still a believer in the miracles of the Row heresy. But all the papers were taken out before the portfolio was sent to me, under pretence of fear, lest they should be lost; but I suspected what I conceived to be an officious and vexatious interference with my feelings: at any rate, I was greatly disappointed. On recovering from my illness at Dr. Foxs, I remember I sent for several books I had been accustomed to carry about with me, gifts from friends and relations, for my mind searched for objects of attachment being entirely among strangers, and new scenes and faces; every thing struck coldly upon me, and I thought that these books would warm the fancy with the recollection of former times, and former occupations, and happy associations; but my brother brought me new books of the same kind, the others not being handy, and thinking to show me attention, but I did not value or accept them. The attention I required was to have my trifling wishes complied with without question, which quickened my sorrows; and to be left in peace, till my mind gradually regained its tone, and my spirits tranquillity. Oh! how far were they from understanding what I needed.*
Tuesday, 27.—My youngest brother’s letter came. Began to write to him. First heard of my cousin Alfred’s death. **

* To avoid tedious repetition, I shall omit for the future the notice of the letters I wrote, observing here that I wrote none but to friends or relations, or to persons on business. I wrote in all upwards of 89, and I was unfortunate at first in having several delayed by means of the post, and others by being mislaid by those to whom they were forwarded. I found, at the end of the year, that none of my letters were sent, but those to my relations.
** I had written for my dressingcase at the same time that I did for my portfolio—it was not sent; and, on inquiry I was told that my sister, after removing the razors and knives. which she did not mean to send (that was the expression), found that there was nothing left in it that could be of any use to me, and therefore did not send it. By this means I obtained en insight into one of the causes of apprehension upon which I might be hereafter, if not now, detained—namely, that I might attempt self-destruction, and this appeared to me painfully unfair; for it was an evidence of the manner in which they judged to my condemnation, upon a general supposition, without inquiry or explanation. At the same time a bottle of aromatic vinegar was sent to me, at my request, as a defence against the cholera. I kept this during the whole of my confinement. I imagine, if I had had any designs upon myself, I might have effected them with this strong acid.

Wednesday, 28.—Mr. C. Newington’s wall rebuilt.
Wednesday, April 4.—Walked to Hawkhurst, of which Mr. Cleaver is the clergyman, to see an epitaph on the tomb of his lady.
Thursday, 12. —Wrote to Mr. Courthope.
Friday, 13. visiting magistrate, and to A. Z., in answer to an advertisement in a newspaper. Received a letter from my second sister.

Letter to G. Courthope, Esq.

Dr. Newington’s asylum, Ticehurst, April I2, I832.

I have been waiting for the last two months in anxious expectation for your arrival with the visiting magistrates of this asylum, in order to ask your assistance and advice in taking legal measures for leaving this establishment; in which I object to some of the regulations, as being highly indelicate, irksome, and disagreeable, and also as rendered unnecessary in my case, by my present re-establishment in good health, and in a sound state of mind.
I object also to the nature of this asylum as too public for a person in affliction, even if a jury of my fellow-countrymen should consider confinement any longer necessary. I mean by public, that it is one in which I am constantly exposed in going out and in coming in, to the gaze of many other different individuals, patients and servants, besides females and others, whom I accidentally meet out walking. I came here, sir, unwillingly in February by order of my mother, whom I in vain requested even then to find out a private lodging for me. But being more than of age, I consider myself entitled to act and judge for my own self, and called upon to do so.
Under these circumstances, I take the liberty, sir, of writing to you, having, as I say, already waited two months for your arrival, and having heard, moreover, that during that time you have been in the neighbourhood, which you have again left; and I pray you, sir, to put yourself in my situation, and to consider whether you would not be anxious, after having recovered from severe illness, and from a blow such as had deprived you of your understanding, to seek some more private and retired establishment, than you must know this to be.
I feel as capable of taking the entire management, and care of my own person, as I ever was; far more so than I used to be, for I have gained experience by more than a year’s severe affliction. But if it should be thought necessary to keep me still under observation, my wish is to enter into a private family of respectability, where patients are received and taken care of.
I am unfortunately unacquainted with any lawyer, except one to whom I have twice written, without success, so that I fear my letters have miscarried; otherwise I should not be compelled to address a stranger, which, I am sure, you will acknowledge with me, must be extremely painful; and I therefore request your indulgence and attention.

I have the honour to be, Sir,

Your obedient humble servant,


P.S.—I hope you will excuse my requesting you to acknowledge the receipt of this letter by return of post, as I am in some doubts as to whether it will reach you or not.
I received no answer to this letter from Mr. Courthope.
I have preserved the following notes of my letter to A. Z., from which I gather that the advertisement was for the care of a person of unsound mind:
1 and 2.—That I should require a private sitting-room and bedroom.
3 and 4.—To breakfast and dine alone occasionally.
5.—A private garden to walk in, or, 6th, a retired neighbourhood.
7.—That I desired to know the occupations of the master of the family.
8.—His religious opinions.
9.—Leave to sit alone in my room.
10.—Whether there were any grown-up children.
11.—The medical degree and name of his physician.
12.—If he would be allowed to attend upon the writer of these lines.
15.—Attendance of places of worship.
14, 15, &c.—The nearest post-town?—how far off?—and the terms of board?


BEFORE I proceed further, I think it right to give extracts from the letters which I sent up to this time. I will do this for several reasons. I would willingly give the letters of my family also, if I thought I were at liberty to do so, I cannot refrain from giving one or two of them—first, because I desire to prove that my family were not guilty of malicious motives, at least not confessedly so, in their perverse conduct towards me. They were deceived, but very much to blame in allowing themselves to be so deceived. In the second place, because I desire to justify myself before many of my readers, who will hardly conceive it possible that my family were deceived, or that I am honest or straightforward in so judging of them. I wish to show, by an example of my own style of writing, the state of my mind from the first day I commenced my complaints and remonstrances, until the time that I considered myself to be of sound mind; for many will scarcely understand or believe that I could have been of unsound mind, whilst even at Dr. Fox’s, arguing and reasoning so accurately, so justly, and so minutely; many on the other hand will adopt the false impression, that because I was then of unsound mind, that unsoundness was of a nature to render restraint and confinement necessary; or, they will hastily conclude—that if, when I exercised such powers of mind as I appeared to exercise already at Dr. Fox’s, I was still by my own confession of unsound mind; I might have been so, also, even under Dr. Newington, when I claimed to be considered as of sound mind, in spite of the evidence I may here give of my intellectual powers at that time; to which I reply, let any one give me evidence of my declaration having been untrue, and I will acknowledge it to have been so. I wish my reader to observe the style of my letters at three different periods: first, when I was recovering at Dr. Fox’s; secondly, when I arrived at Mr. Newington’s; thirdly, when I claimed to be considered as of sound mind. They will then see that my mind was at first, in December 1831, not defective, but clouded by errors through delusion—and that when those errors were removed, the delusions being dissipated, my judgment remained and shone forth, troubled indeed by resentment, but firm and consistent. In the last place, I desire, by the publication of part of this correspondence, to prove how false, how groundless, and how unjust, nay, how cruel, was the accusation made against me, and repeated, although once or twice expressly denied, that my affections were estranged from my family, and that I regarded them with suspicion, imagining, by reason of my disorder, that their affections were estranged from me. The artful and interested conduct of the Doctors thus sowed dissension between my relations and me, and deprived me of my rights, whilst they enjoyed the fruits of my relations’ credulity. They thus avenged themselves on me for, and protected themselves from, my accusation, and from that condemnation of their empiricism and of their false systems which my accusation would have procured had it been believed. This calumny of theirs was so contrary to the truth, so contrary to reason, probability, and evidence, that I almost doubt my existence when I mention it, except that I know their spirit and their conceptions of morality who invented it.
My affections ever remained towards my family such as they previously were. If by this term is meant an honest desire to serve them, to meet them on friendly terms, to hear of their being well and happy, they ever have done so; but I resented the ill-treatment and barbarous usage to which I had been exposed through their neglect of me; and to which, in spite of my remonstrances and my appeals to their affection, I was still subjected. This breach became widened by continued injustice, and this resentiment naturally found expression. Moreover I considered it my duty, if religion be true, to convince them of their error, that they might acknowledge it to the saving of their souls. It gave me agony of mind to reflect, that if there is an hereafter, they might die unconvinced, and in an hereafter alone first acknowledge when it was too late to repent, the extent of their iniquity. If I could not convince them by argument, I conceived it to be my duty then to procure their correction by the judgment of a court of law: and I conceived this to be a duty I owed to my countrymen, and to myself for my future protection. If I considered this my duty in order to obtain their correction for the injuries I had sustained, still more did I recognise it as such, and as the only path left for me to pursue in order to recover my rights; yet, God knows, how my heart ached and my spirits sunk, in spite even of my desires of vengeance, to be at variance with my relations, and to think of being compelled to prosecute my own mother. Here, too, I was in a straight. The doctors gave me no credit for having any feeling, nay, they spoke evil of me, saying my feelings were perverted—then—that agitation, that suffering, that disorder produced by the conflict of different feelings, those of duty—and those of affection—of love to others, and of self-respect and fear for my safety, must necessarily be attributed to a deranged intellect; since they took no account of the proper and true causes of it. How cruel it is to be exposed to the judgment of such infidels; how shameful of the legislature, of an aristocratical legislature to allow of it!
But of what avail is it for a man charged with insanity to argue against any calumnies; however gross, however absurd, they are believed of him, even because they are contrary to reason. Their calumny was also very prejudicial, and acted very cruelly upon me, because I am of a turn of mind, that whenever ill is spoken of me I always direct my thoughts inward, to examine my disposition if it be so or not, and to try my feelings. Thus I lived continually suspecting and watching over myself
—weighing my emotions on the recollection of my home, my friends, and my family; and, although I found kindly and affectionate feelings arise, almost doubting the reality of them, through the bold lies told and accredited of me, till my patience was exhausted, and perhaps passion, anguish, and perplexity, triumphed over every respect and every attachment, and all decorum in my manner of thinking.
But although my affection, at least my affectionate disposition, still remained the same to my family, I do not deny that my writings often broke out into very sarcastic and violent expressions. I could not always overcome my exasperation. But even then I was frequently influenced by a spirit of bravado and defiance of the doctors, to whom I knew my letters were subjected for inspection; I was determined, if they declared that my anger at being confined, and at my treatment, was a proof of my madness, that they should have evidence enough of it. I was incapable of truckling to any system so detestable, to any power so hideous, as their power. Even a deeper motive lay hid under all this violence of expression; and this may perhaps by many be deemed an insane motive: I knew that, of all the torments to which the mind is subject, there is none so shocking, so horrid to be endured as that of remorse for having injured or neglected those who deserved our esteem and consideration. I felt for my sisters, my brothers, and my mother: I knew they could not endure to look upon what they had done towards me, to whom they were once so attached, if they rightly understood it; that they could know no relief from the agony of that repentance which comes too late, gnawing the very vitals, but in believing me partly unworthy of their affection; and therefore I often gave the reins to my pen, that they might hereafter be able to justify themselves, saying he has forfeited our respect, he has thrown aside the regard due to his parentage and to his kindred—he has deserved our contempt, and merited our abandonment of him. I state my feelings as I recollect them; I do not pretend to justify them. It is impossible to suppose that recovering from severe illness, after revolting treatment, in shocking circumstances with every spiritual and moral and mental want, recreation, and amusement neglected—passion may not have broken through; but it is difficult to say, whether or not in allowing it I did not act wisely: where nothing was to be gained by other behaviour—however decorous and respectful.
So far, therefore, was it untrue that my affections were alienated from my family—except by the immediate sense of wrong—that I regarded them almost with a romantic attachment, at the same time that I considered it to be my duty to stand up honestly and independently in defence of my rights, and in claiming the attention nature pointed out as due to and required by my situation. In like manner the charge was equally false—that I ever doubted the affections of my family to me: I felt deeply the very great injustice and absurdity of this charge. It was very unjust because, although recovering from delusions, although without scarcely any evidence of real care and true affection on the part of my kindred, I did not hesitate to ascribe all their neglect to misconception—to impotence of mind—and to credulity; I never questioned, before or after my removal from Brisslington, that my family maintained the same honest affection for me that they ever did, and that I did to them; only at Brisslington I conceived that I was looked upon as worthless—having deserved it. It was absurd, because if I disbelieved my family’s affection towards me, to what end could I be writing to them. That the doctors invented this of me is not surprising or astonishing; it was their interest so to do. I might wonder at their impudence as my letters were certainly full of testimony of my real feelings in this respect, whatever might have been their virulence and violence in one particular; but their success shows that they have not learnt the trade of dupery for nothing, and that they know the extent of human folly only too well. That my family should adopt the delusion they thrust upon them surprises, I acknowledge, and continually perplexes me; for, although I repeatedly denied it, in express terms rejected it, and carefully explained that redress for my sufferings was all that I desired—that I respected and loved them still, and that my anger against them arose solely from my treatment, not from my attributing false motives to them—the charge was constantly repeated. Did they not read my letters, or did they deny my words to be true, though they repeatedly deprecated the idea of questioning my honour? Or did they suppose that I was deluded, and did not know my own sentiments; ready to believe all evil of me, but no good? Or did they, as I imagine, read my letters indeed, but with no attention, alarmed at my accusation, and piqued by my addressing them in a tone of superiority, whilst attacking their judgments, seize only on those passages which justified, in their opinion, my continued confinement? Did they, with all their affection and all their attachment to me, seldom or never let that affection and that attachment have fair away over their conduct and upon the operations of their minds, when reasoning and acting in my behalf? This is my suspicion. I should think that my letters could never have been read by them: certainly they could not have been read with due attention.
Here again let me assert, that even the violence of my language, which was seized upon as evidence of my distrust of their affections continuing the same towards me, was often indulged in, actually with a view to wounding and exciting those affections to make some exertion on my behalf; because I found that there was no chance of success in addressing their reason: I thought they might do from passion and resentment of my condemnation of them, and apparently cruel rebuke, what their spell-bound judgments would not consent to; that they might risk, for the sake of proving that the stigma they supposed I cast upon them was undeserved—what their own fears, and the whisperings of the doctors would not otherwise have allowed to them. So far was I from doubting their affections, that I relied upon them to the uttermost; confiding in them, and as far as my family were concerned, in them alone; and trusting that they would endure through all the expressions of my contempt and aversion, on account of their dealings with me.
I also found it a relief to my mind, to be able to say that there was some excuse for my relations’ conduct towards me; for that which I found most insufferable, was the sense or the idea that I was treated with complete injustice, and without any cause of offence. Here again I state my feelings, that others may benefit from my experience. I do not justify them. It appears to me, and it appeared to me even then singular, that the foresight of disappointments and contradictions should not enable me to bear them with fortitude when they came; and that the consciousness of a good cause, and of a perfect heart, should not be a better defence against oppression, than the idea of having in some degree retaliated. But, without deciding the great question, I recollected that the scripture speaks of God himself as mad, at the rebellious conduct of his people; although he foresaw that rebellious conduct. I reflected therefore that I ought not to be surprised, but that had my foresight been perfect, I should have foreseen not only the sufferings I should be exposed to, but the feelings that they would excite in my bosom.
I am far from pretending that I am more than a man—or that I have any pretension to be a perfect man, in the regulation of my passions and of my desires; on the contrary, I despise myself. If I often cursed the hour in which I was born. If often bowed down with grief—with pain of body, and pain of mind—I blasphemed the very nature of God in my affliction, hating reason; not merely because reason was against me, but because I could see no reason for it. If I felt, at times, that the Almighty and man and the devil were against me, and that I struggled alone and hopeless, against the powers of goodness and of evil, and man their instrument—if I was desperate enough to offer my soul to Satan, to escape from that horrible confinement and seclusion into which I had fallen, by my credulity, and the abuse of my faith in the gifts of inspiration, still less can I pretend to say, that there were not moments when I hated and devoted to destruction all those who were bound to have protected me, and through whose abandonment of me and cruel neglect, I had forfeited my self-respect, in falling out with my Creator and in rebelling against the desire to love his holy name. But these were moments, moments of conflict in privacy; and to these feelings I seldom gave vent, in my correspondence with my family. And whatever they were, they arose from my confinement, and the arbitrary and insolent manner I was dealt with, not from the disease that was pretended as a cause for that confinement.
I have a further remark to make, that had it been in my power, I would have steadfastly declined altogether corresponding with my family.
I protested repeatedly against being compelled to carry on my correspondence with them, and desired that I might be allowed to communicate with my friends, in order that one of them might act as a mediator between us. I knew that I could not avoid being guilty of many inconsistencies, writing to them familiarly at one moment in respect of our relationship and mutual affections, and with coldness and indignation at another, in respect of their conduct towards me, so contrary to such affections. I expressly remonstrated against the unfairness of my being forced to write to them, because I knew that I could not avoid using strong language in declaring my resentment against them, and that that language would be produced as evidence against me. In like manner, and for the same reasons, I did not wish to see them.


HERE it may be useful to make an observation which regards lunatic patients generally. The doctors generally say that the presence of their friends is hurtful to them. I am informed this is often the case at the commencement of the disorder; and if the disease is connected with remorse of conscience, or with dread of ruin being brought upon the patient’s family, nothing is more probable; for then the bewildered conscience finds the objects of its care and duties changed at times into tormentors. Thus in a splendid passage of one of the Greek plays, Orestes exclaims to his sister, "μεθες με’ ουσα των εμων Βρεννυων"
Even without any ostensible cause, this may take place; because lunacy being the perversion of the understanding, it is possible that this perversion may take place in the apprehension of the objects of our affections. It may arise, not from any particular repulsion of the relations, but from a general repulsion of what is evil in mankind, or even of what is good; for the mind sometimes—I hazard the conjecture—repels what is beautiful in the creation, and endeavours to destroy all traces, and to refuse all impressions of it, touched with a remorse at its disobedience to the mild government of the Creator: so it is written in Revelations, that the wicked will cry to be saved from the wrath of the Lamb. This arises, I have found, not from dislike to, or want of desire towards what is beautiful, but from the pain of body which accompanies the mental conflict on seeing it, which springs from a complication of feelings,—desire, regret, hopelessness, remorse—I cannot at present define. Ingratitude, I suspect, is at the root of all. Sometimes the mind repels and dislikes that excellence which, without being beautiful, corrects the passions and self-will. Now whether there is manifested a repulsion of any particular excellence, or of evil, whatever contention of mind may arise thereupon, may be supposed in many instances, to be aggravated by the presence of relations, especially by such excellence or evil being recognised in them. For, however faint, the honest sense of duty remains which commands as to respect our parents and their connexions, and, unfortunately, in ill-regulated minds, the command to obey frightens and agitates—and passion once ahead, scared and wounded by what violence it has already exercised —exasperated with itself—desperately and blindly dashes on. This too is often to be attributed to apathetic or disrespectful behaviour on the part of the persons who are being addressed. Now, whether a lunatic expresses his predilections or his dislike, whether that dislike is of disrespectful conduct towards himself, or only of an evil disposition, discernible in the individuals addressing him, we must recollect that they are often unable to control their passions, and give way to exaggerated feelings. Their condemnation or their approbation may be just, and yet their language and manner exceed the bounds of temperance and decorum. The world, on meeting any one to whose character of countenance, or to whose demeanour they have a particular aversion, can control or disguise their feelings, their sense of fear, if not of duty and forbearance, their hypocrisy, if not their modesty and long-sufferance, check their utterance—their action—the expression of their features;—but the lunatic cannot perhaps do this, he has no sense, or little sense of prudence, or of duty, or a false or true idea of God’s wrath may prevail, and he hazards at once the open and decided avowal of his disgust and abhorrence. If for this reason alone, how evident is the impropriety of confiding them in any way to any man, or set of men so unreservedly as to enable them, if tempted, malignantly to punish them with impunity for a merited rebuke. But to the point on which I am writing how evident also is it that they should not be exposed to express these violent and condemnatory emotions, disrespectfully against the faint remonstrances and leadings of a better and a gentler feeling, towards those to whom they owe particularly affection and regard. Nevertheless, let it be remembered, the separation of a lunatic from the objects of his natural duties and affection, can never be justified unless proof has been obtained that the disorder is connected with them — or unless the relations should use too much indulgence, or in their exercise of kindness, and in their benevolent conduct forget self-respect, and the respect due to the misfortunes and character of the wretched being they have to deal with. For kind language and demeanour are often repulsed by the lunatic—because they are offered in a manner which compromises the dignity of those who would show it, and that of him who is expected to receive it. BUT NO PLEA BUT NECESSITY WILL EXCUSE THE ENTIRE ABANDONMENT OF A RELATION BY HIS FRIENDS; they cannot be excused for not going OFTEN to see and look after him although he may be unable to bear the sight of, or to express his gratitude to them; still more should they visit and stay with him when he is recovering.
But when the lunatic doctors say that the presence of friends is hurtful to lunatic patients, they are not aware of one fact,—at any rate they do not acknowledge it,— that the violent emotions, ad disturbance of spirits, which take place on their sudden meeting with them MAY arise from their being overcome by a sense of their relations’ conduct towards them, in neglecting and abandoning them to the care and control of strangers, and from the treatment of the Doctors themselves. The doctors naturally do not acknowledge this, for if they are acting from stupidity, their pride refuses correction, and will not admit the suspicion of being wrong; if they are acting with duplicity and hypocrisy, they necessarily preserve their character, and cannot in consistency confess that there is any error on their part—who can expect it of them? You cannot gather grapes from thorns. Nevertheless, it is true. There is, also, another truth the doctors are not aware of, which again is not surprising, for they are ignorant of every knowledge that ought to make them fit for the office they presumptuously or covetously undertake—namely, that lunatics often do not know their own minds; and when their simplicity or imbecility has allowed them to be placed in circumstances for which they are not prepared, nature struggles with or breaks through the films of stupidity and delusion, and entirely deranges them, or finds utterance in vehement. and uncontrolled, and unexpected language. Thus it is, that the doctors may be deceived and mistaken in their calculations. They talk to a lunatic of his mother, his brothers, and his sisters; they tutor him into the idea of his being right-minded when he hears of them with unmitigated pleasure and satisfaction; they neglect the man, and only think of the relation; his simplicity and imbecility adopts their views, and echoes their sentiments; his weakness yields and submits; they suppose now that he can endure the sight of his friends who are longing to see him, they write to say so; the sorrowing but unreflecting relations eagerly come down—the afflicted object of their concern is ushered into their presence, and then ensues a dreadful scene of disappointment, agitation, and perplexity. The outraged feelings of the patient either find vent in a sudden torrent of menace, of sarcasm, and of abuse, or, unconscious himself of the cause, he finds his self-possession give way, and he rambles away incoherently, mingling expressions of wrath, terror, pity, and affection, running upon all subjects disorderly, and dwelling upon none.
Even if the patient were then able honestly and decorously to express his feelings in intelligible language, and with becoming dignity, his frame, shaken by violent emotion—his broken speech— his pathetic action, the vein of poetry that would run through his discourse, would cause him to run the risk of being condemned, and hurried out of the room as a confirmed and raving madman: much more his violence or his incoherence. The friends stare at the doctor, and say—how is this? The doctor replies, he was mistaken in the lunatic’s being able to bear the sight of his family, and ascribes all to delusion. They are too willing to admit this apology, rather than incur self-condemnation, and, perhaps, admit their error, conscious, at the same time, of their helplessness, which, by the deficiency of their property, may be irretrievable.
These reflections I made first at Dr. Fox’s, in 1832, upon observing the conduct of a tall, middleaged, black-whiskered male patient, who was walking, at the time, a short way from me, in the kitchen-garden, when the young doctor or the servant told him in a very coaxing manner, that he brought him a letter from his mother, or that his mother was coming to see him. The impropriety of the style of approach to a grown-up man of about thirty years of age, and the imbecile, childish grin of delight with which the patient received the information struck me, the more particularly as I was at that time in a state of great indignation at the conduct of my mother and of my family towards me, and I knew that the doctor insinuated in consequence that I was, for that reason, not of sound mind. I perceived that the patient was not exercising self-respect. All the conduct of the same kind that had been pursued towards me rapidly passed over my mind, and I saw that the system of the doctor was, as he would express it to win the attention, or touch the mind through the affections, but in reality to entangle the patient in a snare; to make him confess, by thinking only on his parents, that he was satisfied with his treatment, and so to get him quietly out of his wretched abode, and ensure his silence on the enormities practised in it, or his being disbelieved, and treated as a madman, being contradicted by his own words—if ever he ventured to utter the resentment of a correct understanding. I saw that the doctor was the dupe of his own system. He was overlaying the sentiments of manhood and of justice, in the bosom of the person addressed, by undue appeals to his tenderness and to his filial duties; he had thrown the meshes of affection and of a superstitious sense of a child’s obedience and respect to his parents, over the honour, the honesty, the fortitude, and the resignation of the man. I saw that if the individual in question was restored to society, he must re-enter it as a simpleton, but that, probably, the force of his character, and the voice of nature would tear asunder the false ties by which he was being bound down, and these not being under the control of what men call reason, that he ran the chance of being confined for life as a madman.
This may appear an extraordinary digression, but I introduce it to show, that many persons confined as lunatics are only so because they are not understood, and continue so because they do not understand themselves. Acknowledging their affections, and palavered over to obey their affections, they yield themselves up wholly to them; not discriminating, not listening to the inward monitor, which commands them to recollect what is due to their own rights, and to their own independence, and to their own honour. By this means their conduct is inconsistent; and when they are admitted into the presence of the relations who have neglected them, they become deranged and disordered through contending feelings. My case was different from this: the doctors would fain have made me, or have found me such a simpleton as one of these. But I knew my rights; and I did not know how to lie. There was no danger to be apprehended to my understanding from my meeting my relations. I understood my position too well: but knowing that position, and my correct feelings in consequence, knowing also that my family were blind to their real position in respect of me, and could not make allowance for these feelings; whilst I was not afraid to meet them, I expressed my reluctance and my indifference to do so, previous to their having made me any apology. This I felt due to myself, on account of the embarrassing position in which I knew I should find myself if they came to see me, full of their wonted cordiality, unable, through reflection, to believe that I could really be offended with them, and finding me stern as a rock, and cold to their addresses. I felt this also due to them, to prevent any indecorous language on my part, to which I might be provoked by the cruelties and the difficulties of my situation, and give way through the weakness of my health of body and of mind. For I knew my strength, and did not wish to try it beyond its power; and though, willing if necessary, to meet my relations (and to embrace them if they admitted their error), I could not do so, so long as they disrespected my complaints; and I thought it imprudent to allow, and unjust, that I should be tempted before them to abusive language, by their callousness and unbelief, when I was certain such language would be converted into a justification for further confinement. This state of mind I often expressed in my letters to my family; and upon the same principles, I often deprecated and remonstrated against being compelled to correspond immediately with them. And I declare to God that I was of sound mind in this respect, for no man is fit to correspond with persons he is offended with, upon the topics of complaint, but through a third person, particularly not one so cruelly confined as I had been and still was. It was unhandsome and unjust in my family not to attend to these remonstrances. Of Dr. Newington’s conduct I cannot speak with becoming dignity. He knew that he was sowing the seeds of discord between son and parent, brother and sister, and brother and brother, and yet he continued to degrade himself to accept office as the restorer of peace between us, on grounds incompatible with my religion, my honesty, ad my honour, or to be as my gaoler for life if I did not accept them. Surely there is no villainy greater than that of these men. Yet, "who hath believed our report?" to whom is the iniquity of this system revealed?
Begotten in love to woman, and not to man, I have great difficulty in arranging my ideas, to confess that I felt excessive embarrassment in commencing my first letters with my family and my friends, and to explain how this was occasioned. But I found it painful, not to know how I was looked upon; not to have any light from which to judge in what tone, or with what expectations, I might properly address them. This may have been a morbid feeling, but I was ashamed of the origin of my disorder, and felt that I deserved condemnation, and it was extremely painful. Suspicion haunted me that my family had not abandoned me without a cause— that I had not been treated in so cruel and abasing a manner, but from contempt; and my respect to them revolted from the idea that they had neglected me as they had done, to save themselves from the trouble of self-examination, and of inquiry and reflection as to the best manner of dealing with me: as well as from the perplexity they might be under in attempting to take care of me themselves. Besides, my habit of mind was one of self-accusation, in a great degree a diseased habit of mind, which has been increased by the severe mental conflict, and inward suspicion, and investigation of myself, occasioned by a long denial of justice to me. For it was difficult for me to be satisfied that I, recovering from lunacy, could be right, and my relations and those in authority over me entirely wrong. More especially when I reflected upon the character of my relations, and knew how they had loved me. Low-spirited originally, and now from illness, I lived self-condemned, and self-despised, and conceived that others thought of me in like manner: I was encouraged in these thoughts by my circumstances, and by the ferocious conduct of the keepers. Could any people have subjected one whom they respected and valued to the brute force of such ruffians? Could any beings have deserted one whom they loved, to be tied up hand and foot, day after day, in such society? When, too, my judgment had been corrected, there still remained a doubt on my mind, whether a just God could have dealt with me so, or allowed me to be so dealt with, without himself despising me; for indeed letting alone my bodily injuries, I have been used mentally and morally very cruelly. I am afraid no man will give credence to my sufferings, for my character and my dispositions have been so marred and so changed, I have now so little resolution that I hardly know myself. Heu! quantum mutatus ab illo. Now, according to a man’s character the generality of men adopt their behaviour and think nothing wrong to those—who shew no seriousness, no reflection, no sense of decency, no piety, no self-respect. But I was not such a one when I was placed under the sole charge of lunatic doctors, by the religion of my family and of my countrymen. But my experience has necessarily engendered levity and fitfulness.
This entire ignorance of the opinion others might entertain of me became the more painful when I knew that the style of my letters might be weighed as a proof of my state of mind. So that, if I addressed others too confidently I might disgust them, as unconscious of the discredit I had brought upon myself, and of my circumstances; if l was too lowly in my appeals to them, I might appear weak, unable to control my feelings, and of unsound judgment. But this uneasiness on my part was unnecessary. My letters to my friends never reached them—I was cajoled, they never went further than Mr. Newington’s house—and my relations seemed to exercise as little reflection in their style and demeanour to me, as they had done in the selection of my treatment. Whilst outwardly manifesting nothing but pity, and commiseration, and hopes of my being again soon with them, and regret that my state only rendered it impossible; they took no pains to inquire whether that was true, and to give me a fair hearing before unprejudiced persons; they followed the steps the least likely to restore me to them, and such as rendered it impossible for me to be with them again upon an honourable footing; and, at length, I so despised them, that I grew reckless as to how or what I wrote to them, or what they might think of my writings.
I cannot say what I feel at my correspondence having been always left subject to the inspection of my physician; I am astonished, I speak as a man, at the indelicacy of my family—at their want of respect to my honour and to their own; I am astonished that I, recovering from derangement, should have been more sensible and reasonable in this respect than they were, who quenched sound feeling in obsequiousness. But I desire others to reflect how disgusting it is for lunatic doctors to challenge, and for relations to allow them this title. What! Mr. Newington to be the keeper of my conscience— to be the meddler in secrets between my Maker and myself—which I might feel compelled to divulge and yet only confide with propriety to a minister of religion, or to relations, or to friends! I obliged to confide my feelings and desires to a stranger—feelings which it required even great delicacy to communicate properly to my nearest connexions!—or to be compelled to hold my peace in doubt, mistrust, or difficulty! By what authority do these men exercise this power—a power which even a clergyman, if he were a patient’s guardian, would not be entitled to; on what grounds can they claim a confidence, which ties of kindred, or of friendship and respect, can alone confer? What is the result of their so doing? * That a patient cannot return to a really sound state of mind; or else he must forego all useful communication by letter with his relations: since the very conditions these men force their patients to submit to, they can only be excusable in submitting to from insanity or dullness equal to their doctor’s stupidity. These are like owls set to judge over the sanity of larks

* I had reason bitterly to deplore this system of meddling with correspondence on a late melancholy occasion. Being compelled to submit to it, I remonstrated against it. The consequence of it was, that one of my cousin’s letters to me, and one that I had accidentally sealed and forwarded, did not reach their destination; and two letters I afterwards wrote were detained and returned, for reasons, in my opinion, very inconsistent and contemptible, considering the urgency of the occasion. Thus a delay of three weeks took place at a distance of fifteen miles; and not being able to come to a decision, from want of information, I was restrained from repeating a visit which, if made in time, might have strengthened and encouraged my relation to have still endured his confinement. On receiving, also, the last letter he wrote, my mind very much misgave me, and I was tempted to write back immediately, that I was determined to get him removed to another dwelling; but I feared no such letter would be delivered. I was to blame in putting any trust, and in deferring too long my return to see him.

and nightingales. These are like swine or sloths set to judge over the manners of greyhounds and fleet coursers. The reasons given for this interference are, that the patient may write something improper to his relations; but since highly important letters may be destroyed, who is to be on this plea the judge? and if he does, is it not equally improper for the doctor to see the writings? Therefore on this plea the letters should be burnt without reading. This is absolute prudery—an affectation of delicacy, and of respect for the feelings, on the part of men who prove that they have little or none. Surely, as far as the patient is concerned, he should be saved from the apprehension of having exposed himself before a stranger. The second reason is, that the doctor may know the state of the patient’s mind, and require some clue to his disorder; and it is of a piece with all their charlatanry, to affect a great care where they have no business to meddle, and to take the very course to disturb the peace of their patient’s mind under pretence of restoring it.
In addressing my friends, I was under another difficulty, besides that of not knowing in what attitude I ought to approach them: I feared to let them know too much of my situation, lest, even if they were disposed to communicate with me, or to come and visit me, whilst under the charge of a doctor—they might feel it too delicate a matter to interfere in, if they were at once informed of my dispute with my relations, and abandon me to my fate, without inquiry, except from those whose judgments were perverted.

Part of a letter to Lady C…. , from Ticehurst.


I had determined not to remain here at all. But though nothing will administer true comfort to my mind, but consciousness of being no longer under control and observation, I am content to remain here until I am admitted to be of sound mind by Dr. Newington, or till he at least can remove your anxieties for my personal safety—provided I have permission from Dr. Newington, through or without your consent, to proceed now to London, in order to take legal advice as to proceedings against the Drs. Fox, and to have the opinions of medical practitioners who are acquainted with my former state of mind, as to my actual —or —.

Part of another letter to the same, not sent.


Thou usedst not to leave thy carriage beasts to the uncontrolled care of thy servants; not even thy cattle to that of thy gardener and thy cowherd: thou deliveredst up thy son, in heart—spirit—soul and body, to strangers, and thou commitdst him, even as other parents have also their children, the noble and the delicate of mankind, to the entire management and brute authority of binds. Can I pardon Sp…r? Can I pardon you? Even a sportsman keeps his racehorse with its kind tenderly, and the drayhorse with its kind; neither is a strange dog turned on a sudden into a kennel with other hounds. I, because I was unable to judge or act for mine ownself—because I was deprived through lunacy of power to articulate—and by the hand of Almighty God of command over my spirits, even in private, was, and am still degraded to fellowship and company with the low—the profligate—the infidel and the profane. I, a gentleman! Childish imbecility has been made the excuse for treating me with indignity, contempt, and oppression; and as though I was devoid of all feeling, I have been compelled to witness the mental and bodily agonies of those whom I could not relieve. Ay—I have seen them strangled, shaken, and beaten by ruffians, whom, if it had pleased Almighty God that I should have had at that time half the reason and determination that I have now —as Moses slew the Egyptian—I would have prayed for courage and strength to cast them with violence on the stones, to rise up again no more: except that prudence restrains me, because I cannot fly like him from the wrath of man, nor escape perpetual imprisonment. I say, I was given over in weakness, in helplessness, and in nervousness, to be harrowed by the sight of a menial attendant throttling a poor young lunatic gentleman till his face was bloated with blood, and his eyes started from their sockets; whilst a humane butcher spares even the cattle appointed for the knife, the sight of their fellow creatures agonies.
Again, I repeat, can I pardon you and my sisters—my elder brother—no!
I had my head thrown back against a wall with such force as made me imagine my skull was split cross-wise. A farce which no man would have dared to use to one who could apply to the law for protection against assault with intent to stun or render lifeless, with reasonable hope of being relieved: and such as I should have feared of making use of towards a sane man, for fear of deranging his reason. Such is the treatment the son of a noble family is subjected to in a lunatic asylum. These are the hands his mother’s affection delivers his soul and person into. You plead example, and call that an excuse. I mentioned ……‘s conduct as an instance of similar cruelty negligence, selfishness, and oppression; but neither are the cases parallel, for he knew the state of his daughter’s mind by experience, and had I believe attempted to heal and reclaim her. Thou wast content to banish me from town upon hearsay; and abborredst the idea of Sp…r bringing me up to Ealing, and lately to town: and prevaitedst on him not to write to me those communications which alone could relieve my heart, and bring any comfort to my love. My misery might have been alleviated by your affectionate compassion, indulgence, and consideration—and by the solicitude of my sisters, and my confidence in them—in their attachment, secrecy, and deliberation. C…. being a lunatic, could not, I conceive, endure her mother’s preciseness and scrutiny, nor perhaps her father’s severe authority.
I am not now surprised at accounts I have heard, if I remember correctly, of lunatics living at variance with their relations and friends. Can I return to my mother—can any christian gentleman return to his relations—after they have proved by their actions, their no less hatred for their son’s spiritual glory, than contempt for his personal comfort, and neglect of his bodily welfare? consigning him from their immediate superintendence to the care of, and control of, ay, intercourse, ay, continual intrusion and company, of menials. I say, can I associate with my mother after this? If I value the blood that was poured forth for my soul’s salvation, can I have sympathy with any of them?—unless you all acknowledge to me personally, your deep sense of shame at the enormous guilt you have incurred by such reckless indifference, I cannot. My affection must yield to higher considerations. Nay, the good of her own soul, my duty as faithful witness of awful truths, prevents it; and I conceive where a lunatic has not those or better motives, a sense of his own natural dignity, and the duties he owes to his Creator, to assert his claim to respect, as any authority in society, and—

God forgive thee, my dear mother, God forgive thee; even the share of guilt thou must have had in those awful expressions of my wrath and indignation, which were torn out of my heart by the cruelty of my situation, which I pray you to forgive me for as disrespectful to you, to your infirmities of age, and to your authority; though in doing so, I caution you not to mock at yourself as doubting their sincerity (they are fearfully true), on that they are fully justified by my torture. The Lord commanded me to write many of them; most of them I saw written on the paper, in faith, for me to copy, and the Holy Spirit, in whom I have hoped and trusted…………

In a paper written about this time, I find the following reflections on the illness of my cousin…….above alluded to:…….
I used to think of …..as older than me—as one to whom I could be of no service—of whose disease I knew nothing—of whose disposition I knew or remembered very little (query—cared to remember?)—of whose mental affliction I knew nothing.
I had want of hope to be of service to any lunatic. I said to myself, disease is beyond my power to cure or heal; and I did not know how far ……was affected by disease, or ill-health. I did not think, I believe, of delusion; or, if I did, conceived, from ridiculous stones and exaggerations, that they were incurable but by accident.
I had fear of, or respect for, or reverence towards, my uncle. I knew the family and he had wished to conceal it from me altogether; therefore I suspected ill-will towards any inquirer, or feared to wound his feelings.
Delicacy also prevented me. I knew some part of the disorder—apathy, and deadness to shame, or contumely…… might be one. I feared. . . . . and brokenheartedness about some misdemeanor, which her friends might not trust to me.
But when I came to a right state of mind, and sound state of feeling, and wished to be of use, and to use reason with myself how to be so, I conceived her delusions might be healed by remonstrance and reason, and attention to the word of the lunatic, and belief of his word, and of the reality of the delusion to him; and by not calling it imagination.

Ealing, March 5th, 1832.

Dearest John,

Your letters make me quite miserable. It is most painful to me to be obliged to refuse you what you so earnestly desire, and which yet it is my duty to you not to grant. You are not in a fit state to be allowed to come to London. Your wish of prosecuting Dr. Fox for his conduct to you is a sufficient proof of it—if there was no other. Believe me, my dear child, I can have no wish to detain you an instant longer in your present situation than is necessary for your recovery. It will be our greatest happiness to have you well and able to come amongst us again: and you will then be the first to acknowledge what erroneous views your illness has made you take of our conduct to you. You are evidently so much improved lately, that if you can but make up your mind to remain quietly in your present situation, and dismiss as much as possible all irritating subjects, I cannot but hope, by the blessing of God, that we shall have you restored to us in a few months time. But at present, as it is evident that all I can say in reply to your letters only tends to irritate you the more, I must decline after this making any answer to any letters of reproach that you may address me, and I beg that you will not write to me any more till you feel more kindly disposed to me.
I am afraid from what you say, that I must have missed a letter, in which you asked me to send you something," &c. &c. The remainder of the letter was on family topics.


Part of a letter begun in answer to the above.


In your letter to me, you say, that I am not in a fit state to be allowed to come up to London; "your wish of prosecuting Dr. Fox for his conduct to you is a sufficient proof of it, if there was no other." This makes me hope that you are acting under a mistaken view of my case altogether, and indeed no wonder. If you will refer to my letters you will see that I do not wish to come up to town to prosecute Dr. Fox: it makes me fear that you have not received a letter which I wrote to F…. , nor read my other letters with attention. In my letter to F…., I expressly…….

But the longer I dwelt on the above letter of my mother to me,—her summary decision that my desire to prosecute Dr. Fox was a proof of continued insanity; her assuming that I had no cause for irritation, and declining to write to me any more until I wrote without irritation; her presuming that my views of her conduct were erroneous— when I recollected all I had already gone through, from her neglect, when I looked upon the horrible consequences of such a resolution of her mind—a long, perhaps a perpetual imprisonment—or my being obliged to deny the truth, and to lie against my conscience, I could not keep patience—her expressions of sorrow for my situation, or of a desire to see me restored to a sound mind, &c. &c., came to my understanding as the keenest and cruellest mockery—though I willingly believed she did not know whose instrument she was in so writing—and I reflected even on her addressing me as her dear child, instead of her dear son; considering it a proof that she did not respect my character. I then wrote in the following style—if not the following letter verbatim. Soon after this, feeling that I could not command my feelings respectfully towards her—I declined corresponding with my mother directly, and as I could not procure the mediation of any friend, I addressed my sisters:—

March 6 or 7, 1832.


I received your letter this afternoon; It is dated March 5, Ealing. I will answer it seriatim. In the first place, my letters must make you miserable, and in the second place, I am glad of it, and of your confession—because either you are lunatic and made miserable by nonsense, or they carry weight, argument, and terror with them.
Time will show whether or not I am a lunatic in wishing to prosecute Dr. Fox. I will not waste argument with you on this subject. You have succeeded in preventing me coming to London; whether or not now it would be of use to my lawsuit to come, I do not know; I have been delayed now come Friday four weeks since I left Dr. Fox’s; and four weeks and three days since that treatment was left off for which I intend to prose to Dr. Fox; of course, therefore, the attestation of my medical friends, to my state of health and of mind, such as it then was, can no longer be so valuable as it was.
How far the law may require such attestation I do not know; but if I fail in my law-suit through want of it, I shall certainly make the punishment of the law fall upon you, or Sp…..r, or Dr. Newington, whichsoever it may concern, if I can: and not only so, but even if I succeed in my prosecution of Dr. Fox, I will endeavour to make you sensible—all three of you, in the legal way— that I am not to be mocked at; unless I receive an apology.
I AM a lunatic. But for that very reason I will make you wince at daring to oppose me in a legal, reasonable, natural, and consistent course to obtain lawful and just ends. You do not respect my disease. This I ought to expect from you, but you add oppression and injustice to one whose illness makes him prone to suspicion: whose illness!— no—but whose sense of the unnatural behaviour of his family, has at last made him prone to suspect evil even in good.
Since I have been a lunatic, I have not dared to make an appeal to my Maker in prayer, for fear of mocking; four times I have endeavoured to do so, and one of them is for your death by the cholera morbus; or for your more confirmed lunacy. Any tidings by which I may hear of the authority you abuse, being conveyed even to S….r’s indolent, self-sufficient, and superstitious hands, I may add, hypocritical, will delight me; but I revoke my prayer, for I can wait for an opportunity with patience, in hopes of a bitterer revenge, and of making you taste more deeply what it is to have mocked at the voice of reason and the word of life in a lunatic and contemned son. In fear you should wrest these words to my temporal hurt, I explain them again, by repeating, that I will seek no means of revenge but what the law makes secure or lawful, and human nature certain.
I will teach, you one day or another, if God spares you or me, to know that it was your duty to have attended to my first demand for a private lodging; and that ever since I made it, you have known no other duty in respect of me, except to mourn over your whole conduct towards me in placing and leaving me in a lunatic asylum.
Gray hairs are an honour if found in the way of righteousness. I would respect your age if I could—but I cannot—and yet I hope I do in some sort.
As far as any thing in my disease hinders me from coming amongst you; you all know that nothing at all has ever prevented that, but your own unwillingness to bear that load which you, to whom it was natural to endure it, cast-off to be borne by strangers: nothing, I say, has prevented it but that, from the commencement of my illness; and now, you know also, all, that nothing in me prevents it but your own unwillingness to acknowledge your own brutal hypocrisies and my reasonableness. You fear the word of God in me— "Dear Mother "—too much, I know, to bear my person in a sound state of mind.
I shall probably still endeavour, if I can, during the next fortnight, to obtain by law what you refuse— leave to go to town for legal and surgical purposes—though, as I have said, I fear that my legal object is defeated by the obstacles which you have thrown in my way, besides others. If it is, I shall then wait, in the patient hope of future satisfaction, till I either obtain my release through the condescension of Betty Newington and Dame….. ,* and then avail myself of their own sagacity and sense of duty for their brilliant manifestation before the legal and public tribunals of my country, as a pair of the wisest old women breathing; or, till I have sufficient courage to appeal to the law for my final emancipation:—but enough; I am losing self-possession.
As far as I can see—I mean, if I do not succeed in the course I am pursuing, in arousing some of

* I do not think it right to publish this language without an apology. May God pardon those whose cruel treatment and neglect exasperated me to make use of it, and him who indulged in it. I must observe, the letters I sent were very much altered from these foul copies.

spiritual or other friends to a sense of their duty to me;—I shall probably be compelled to go to Ealing, or to Sp….r’s house. If so, I must endure it patiently, till the wisdom of the age are satisfied at last that I have determinate principles of thought and action. I hope you understand my words, but I fear not. But I can’t help that, you know; it is your own fault.

Reflections written about the same time.

Because I became a lunatic, the persons around me threw aside consideration, all gentlemanly, all humane feelings. I was not treated with common civility or humanity, or common equity.
God b—t their souls.
God d—n their eyes.
God confound their judgments, for ever and ever.
I was not considered to have the wants and common feelings of a brute beast—no—or to need the necessary sustenance even, or exercise, or use of my bodily limbs; neither was I washed or cleaned, or allowed to dress myself, or dressed by others.
Neither have I since been treated as I deserved. I have been treated with inhumanity, want of consideration, misplaced severity and laxity.
For the inhuman, the unchristian, the barbarous, the disgusting, the degrading treatment which I have seen English gentlemen endure in that asylum, and which I have endured in my own person, would have made me melancholy.—

I publish this fragment as a specimen of the exasperation produced by my treatment. I have a few other fragments as passionate, but I need not shock my readers unnecessarily. I wrote them down to preserve them as memoranda of my state of mind. I am confident that no honest man will pretend, as the doctors do, that passion and violence as a justification for confinement, which were produced by confinement and contradiction.

Part of a Letter from my youngest Brother.

Tuesday, March, 1832.


I must apologise to you for not having answered your letter yesterday; I got it on Sunday afternoon, but I was so much engaged, &c. &c. &c.
I was very much pleased at receiving your letter, though I was grieved to think you should have thought that we had acted unkindly to you. You little know, my dear John, how much we have all been afflicted at your dreadful calamity, and though the measures taken by your family may not appear the best, and what you would have wished, still I think that the event has proved, that they were not altogether to be condemned, as, with the blessing of God, you have, under them advanced most considerably to your recovery: * which, I am sure, it is the earnest prayer of all of us, may be speedily accomplished.
If you knew the anxiety of my mother and my sisters, as well as of Sp…r and the rest, about you, you would not accuse any of them of apathy and want of compassion; and I must say, that, as far as I am able to judge, I do not see that there is any just ground for your accusations.
I remember hearing at the time, that the presence of relations was of all things to be avoided, as being very prejudicial to the recovery of a person in your state, and the same objection was offered to letter-writing; and that opinion coming from persons skilled in the care and remedies necessary for your malady, it would have been wrong, I think, you must allow, to have acted against it. I just offer these remarks in great haste, to show you that, under these circumstances, I, for one, never felt it necessary or proper to go to see you or to write, which latter I most likely should have otherwise frequently done; and

* This passage whilst it was a proof of the simplicity of my family, and of their innocence in one sense, in another sense proved to me the indolence of their minds in reasoning concerning me. They took the first thought that came to them without examination; it was very difficult for me to bear and to unravel their sophisms. The spirit of the passage is false, not the letter. I did recover under Dr. Fox’s management, but it was through the mercy of God and a strong constitution, in spite of their barbarities.

knowing that Sp…. went down occasionally and as often as was conceived good for you, to see that you were comfortable, &c., which I always then understood you were, I did not feel the same anxiety of looking after you myself which I otherwise should have done. You have put a number of questions to me, which if you think necessary after this, I will answer; but I hope you will see from what I have said, that though you were placed with Dr. Fox, you were still anxiously regarded and felt for by all of us.
I cannot recollect any place like that you describe about Slut.* I have no more time, no must conclude, with best love from Beatrice, and hoping and praying that you will continue recovering till you are quite restored, which God grant.

Believe me, dearest John,

Your affectionate Brother,



Extract from another letter from the same, dated March 23.

In answer to your letter I received the other day, the first time I received the sad news from

* My brother had lost a favourite terrier bitch, named Slut, and I took a great deal of interest in his loss. Whilst thinking of his loss I saw two or three visions as of inns or turnpike-gates, at which I was made to understand he might have lost her, or might find her. I wrote to my brother to ascertain if there was any truth in these visions. His answer helped to cure me of my delusion.

Ealing of your great calamity was at Birmingham, and I was a little prepared for it, having been told by my sisters that they anticipated something of the kind; and I attributed it to your excitement of mind on religion, and I was not acquainted till afterwards, when I was in London, that you had been ill in Dublin before, which Sp…r gave as the immediate cause. I then also heard that Sp….r had heard of Dr. Fox’s establishment, which was strongly recommended; and at the same time heard that those asylums were reckoned more favourable to cures than private ones: and I trust, my dear John, that it will prove so in your case. I never thought of proposing your removal to a place near Nottingham, as I never for a moment supposed you could be under better care; and the moment I heard from Ealing that through your letters you complained greatly of the treatment you received, I at once said that you should be removed, as I conceived anything that would fret or give excitement to a person in your unhappy state must be injurious. If I continue writing I shall lose two days post, so must conclude, my dearest brother, hoping soon that it will be in my power to see you, which I shall certainly take an early opportunity of doing, if I hear from you that you wish it, and I can get leave to go down to you. May God bless you with speedy recovery, and that you may be once more able to join us, is the sincere prayer of your very affectionate brother.

Of all the letters I received, these showed the best feeling. Still I thought they were not conceived as they ought to have been. I think I did not express any wish for my brother to come and see me; but I let him know that I considered it his duty to come and look after me; that if he did not consider it his duty of himself to come and look after a lunatic brother who needed protection, and to have his treatment by strangers superintended, I could not wish to see him as far as I was concerned, though to see him well and happy would give me pleasure. There was nothing at this time to prevent me joining my family, but their not acknowledging that they had done wrong; so that I might live honourably with them, and honestly.
About this time I wrote certain questions in a letter to my mother, which were unattended to; this and the delay of several of my letters, by neglect, for about a fortnight, caused me much impatience and anxiety. I subsequently addressed the same questions to my second sister, who replied to me as follows:—

March 26.


Your letter to me came by the evening post on Saturday, under the same cover with the one to F…. about Nixon (the Cheshire prophet). I could not begin to answer it on Saturday evening, because Lady N……was with us, and I was obliged to put it off till today. And first I must assure you that my not writing to you before did not proceed from either indolence or apathy; but it was thought * better for you to have but few correspondents, as writing seemed to agitate and excite you; ** so mamma decided on being your sole correspondent from this house, in which decision, as in every other that she has made concerning you, she was guided only by an anxious wish to do what was best for you *** I gave her your message about answering her letter when you had time. [Here follow notices of several articles I had desired to have sent to me—amongst others the dressing case, by the refusal to send which, I ascertained that my family apprehended I might be guilty of self-murder. It was partly with a view to ascertain this awful truth that I sent for it. My family had no just grounds for such a suspicion.] I now come to those questions to which you desire to have positive and plain answers. First, as to the private sittingroom at Dr. Fox’s. There was no stipulation made for one originally; but Sp….r says, that his impression was that you would have the use of your bedroom for that purpose—and D…. says that from the appearance of the room he should have judged that it had been fitted up and furnished

* Without reason.
** This conclusion was adopted without inquiry or judgment, as to the nature of the writing and the cause of excitement.
*** She appeared to herself only to be so guided.


with that intention. * At the same time I should say that Dr. Fox expressly told S…. , an opinion which I know is not only his, that mixing ** with other patients was very beneficial; so of course, mamma’s knowledge that you did so—would not have occasioned any remonstrance on her part, as long as you expressed no dissatisfaction on your part with the arrangements; in fact it was no subject of discussion between them till your letters complaining of it arrived about christmas. She then went to Dr. Fox to beg that you might have

* Can any one believe that a gentleman—and my brother is truly a gentleman—would so treat a gentleman grown up, and of the habits of society and of conduct such as were mine, in so absurd and puerile and degrading a manner? Can any one believe that the room thus spoken of, was a room with bare white-washed walls and scanty bed room furniture! Yet how many do the same?
** I cannot understand, nor do I believe this. I have found the occasional sight of a lunatic patient’s errors have corrected me, or set me on my guard against similar ones: but if "mixing" be advantageous, surely the doctor and my friends should have distinguished between that and constant communication and society.
*** Therefore, as long as I was stupid enough to continue in unbecoming and unhealthy circumstances, for aught those guardians of mine, who were of sound mind, reflected about it, I might have been allowed to continue. But when I began to exercise sound judgment, that is, when I needed their care no longer, I with difficulty obtained a hearing to my complaints. My mother’s first letter to me informed me that Dr. Fox refused me even a private sitting-room, and that she must be guided by his judgment.

a private sitting-room if he saw no objection to it, and also, as she I believe explained to me some time ago, took other advice as to the expediency of removing you from Dr. Fox’s establishment. This answer to your first question, answers also your second as far as relates to her knowledge of your being all the year exposed to the company of lunatics. But you say, a set of vulgar lunatics and servants. Now with respect to the lunatics— Sp…r was told by Dr. Fox that they were classed in three sets according to their rank, and that the different classes though they mixed among themselves, which, as I said before, was considered beneficial, did not mix with one another excepting sometimes one of the second class, if a good player, joining with the gentlemen in games of skill—bowls, billiards, &c. &c. Of course the first class accommodation was engaged for you— but it was never said that that class did not admit persons of lower rank than grandsons of Earls or members of noble families in any degree, or even than the élite of the gentry. And as you know that in society you are liable to meet people by no means your equals in rank, and still less, perhaps, in cultivation and refinement of mind, whom yet you could have no possible right to object to meeting and receiving as gentlemen, so of course that distinction between the degrees of gentility and of refinement could still less be made in an establishment like Dr. Fox’s, where the line can only be drawn between the higher, the lower, and the middle classes, and he could not refuse to admit as gentlemen, those whose friends were willing to pay for the accommodation of gentlemen; though at the same time the difference between individuals, especially in refinement of mind and of feelings, must be still more perceptible under their unfortunate circumstances than in the ordinary intercourse of society. Then with respect to the servants, their attendance of course * was indispensable, and it

* I observed my family whenever they asserted a proposition against me which was not true in letter or in spirit, always introduced it with the words "of course;" this style of speech I know to be a proof of want of reflection; and I recommend all those who reason with such phrases to examine the sentences to which they attach them. I replied to this letter, sentence by sentence, but all in vain, as follows:—The attendance of Dr. Fox’s servants was indispensable, but it was not "of course" indispensable that I should have had their society all day, if I had been placed in proper circumstances: the servants were ne-necessarily vulgar, but it was not "of course," that they should have been so low and vulgar as they were, even if no gentleman could have been prevailed on to accept the situation. Being subjected to the regime of Dr. Fox’s first-class patients, "of course" I was treated like them, but it did not follow, that "of course" I was to be contented with the wisdom of these who subjected me to that regime, without inquiry, and kind consideration of my particular disposition and habits. Being in the world, I did mix "of course" with many men of uncongenial habits and education; but there is a wide difference between the occasional intercourse and interchange of respects and civilities with such gentlemen, when duty or unity of pursuits, or feelings of gratitude, bring us together, and the being huddled with them in one prison for fourteen months, without distinction, or were distinction in one’s favour is painful; and it did not follow "of course," that because I might be thrown during a voyage into the heterogeneous society of a steamer’s cabin, that I was to submit to such society, as my drawing-room and dinner companions for a whole year, without just complaint.

was equally of course that they must be vulgar. Your next question is marked "two," respecting an operation performed on you by Dr. Fox’s orders; whether it was with or without her sanction, with or without her knowledge? previous or subsequent to the performance of it? also what cause was assigned for it by Dr. Fox? This question my mother answered in one of her letters to you; but F…. says it had been forgotten, and the answer was inserted in a little corner of the letter, where it may have escaped your notice. Mamma never heard of any operation from Dr. Fox, except once bleeding from the temporal artery when you were considered to be in a state of plethora, of which by the way Sp….r, when he had visited you in the spring, mentioned that you had the appearance—a more than usual redness and fullness about the face. Mamma did not hear of the operation from Dr. Fox till after it had been performed, and was then told by him, that though more painful than bleeding from the arm, you had borne it patiently, and that it had so beneficial an effect at the time as to be followed by a lucid interval, in which you expressed a strong hope of your recovery. We afterwards heard from D…. when he had seen you in the autumn, of an operation which had been performed on your ear, and which was rendered necessary by blows, which you had given yourself in chapel. This second operation I think you alluded to in one of your letters to mamma after Christmas, as you mentioned one which had been rendered necessary by blows received. To this day mamma has not heard of any other operation whatever having been performed on you, either from Dr. Fox or from any one else. [The rest of this letter was on many family matters.]

I find the following fragments of letters I wrote about this time, or perhaps later. I retained these sheets because I did not think them of a proper nature to send to my sister.

* The conduct of Dr. Fox in proceeding to this operation without my mother’s approval was very improper. If, too, I had attempted resistance, as I was tempted to do it, it might have been highly dangerous. I feel much offended at the separation of the temporal artery, but my objections would be treated as prejudices. I recollect on one occasion after an operation, saying quietly, that I hoped I should recover, but with no distinct idea of what I meant; on the contrary, I leant my head on this occasion in the bosom of my servant, calling him my saviour. I cannot help thinking this to be a very unfit operation to be performed on lunatic patients: as the operations of the mind depend upon the regulation of the breathings and of the pulses, and on the wholesome flow of the blood through the system, which must be for a time impeded, till nature has re-formed a channel.

These are some of the principal injuries I received, and I cannot wonder at any inhumanity which might occur in that asylum, when the very basis of the treatment consists in the very cruellest and blackest cruelty which can be adopted towards human nature, whilst it is forced upon the objects as solicitude and anxiety for their lives and their eternal welfare. God knows, as I lift my hand and my eyes now to Heaven, I would rather have perished with your tender leave, by my own hands, by cutting my throat, by hanging, by drowning—in any way—than have gone through the fearful ordeal; which, whilst it exposed my body to insult and injury, and my person to degradation, hardened my heart, and ruined my soul. I know no other possible excuse for confining me in a public lunatic asylum, but fear for my own personal safety, or for that of some other. God knows I never attempted to do myself any injury, but under the fullest impression that it was for the benefit of my soul, and in expectation of being raised to life again, if I should accidentally happen to kill myself. Was then the care of my soul or body your object in selling me to strangers of no worth, and of whom you knew nothing. My body as well as my health has received injuries from neglect and violence, and mistreatment, of which the effects are still felt by me, are outwardly visible, and are preying upon my frame; but enough—I cannot write for very indignation.

Here, too, what am I doing? Whilst my brothers are living with their wives in town, I have not for a year and two months seen a woman’s face with whom I could converse freely. If my brothers choose to wear the mask of Christianity in town with their wives, whilst they have treated me as they have done—let them. But then let them, whilst praying, I suppose, with their wives at home, remember that very word of life they prate so wonderfully about; which at the beginning declares that man was not made to be alone; and not expect me to endure unjust imprisonment with patience—and let me tell them that excommunicated from Christian society, and from Christian consolation and advice, I have human passions and human feelings; and let me tell my family too, that if they in their compassion for my soul, have thought fit to banish me from their bosoms, and to prescribe to me retirement, under pretence of management, I consider it much like preserving lobsters alive to put them into boiling water; and with my mother’s kind leave, I would rather take cake care of my soul and body my own way, in obedience as far as I can to the light which the word of life throws upon the path which is conducive to the well-being of my life (which you all seem to have made wondrous light of indeed); and as I am neither enabled or willing to obey the precepts of St. Paul, or St. Peter, St. James, or St. Jude, for the sake of the branch! I will obtain that society by money which has been refused to blood! If so be that she will be so kind as to write to Dr. Newington to let me go about my own business. If she does not, God knows if I can wait in patience; but if I can I will—but in hopes of other things than you all expect for.
I am no madman now, though I may be a fool for writing so freely. If I am no Christian, you may, as I said before, thank yourselves, whilst I laugh at you, and ask after your progress in Divine grace! Thank God, I know now a little who is who? and what is what.
Farewell poor F…. ,—God grant you and all good sense; and preserve me in a good understanding, which having been restored to me—I hope not to throw lightly away. Give my love to my mother and sisters, and believe me

Your truly affectionate brother,


I send you enclosed the flower—but I believe you know it. I wish I was a good botanist.

Part of another letter to my family, full of remonstrances.

What prevented me from enduring HERE what I endured at Brisslington? Only that, thanks be to God! I was not in the state you supposed me to be in. Thanks be to God! I was then in the same capable state of protecting myself as I am now! though not so strong, and able to make myself feared and respected by the servants and manager of this asylum. Had it not been for this I should not probably have escaped from Bristol usage here, which I have seen myself employed to another (elderly) gentleman, and know by the handwriting of another lunatic gentleman that he has either endured or witnessed.
What thanks then do I owe to you? or where are your proofs of anxiety and kindness? None, and no where. I demanded a private lodging, and a servant of my own choosing? You go to the expense of 300 guineas for another lunatic asylum, and leave me to have any rough ostler Dr. Newington chooses to put about me.
I told you I was able to take care of myself— what do you do? You show my letters to Dr. this, that, and t’other, in London, who know nothing of me or you.
What did you reply to Spencer, who originally wished me to have been brought to Ealing? That you would not hear of it, it was quite out of the question.
Was it not your duty then to have seen in what state I was, your ownself? It was.
Was it kind to refuse it? No, it was not.
Was it not Sp….r’s duty to have travelled with me by easy stages up to town, and to place me in your neighbourhood? It was.
Was it not your duty in December to have sent down Sp….r or D…. to me, and for me, to bring me to town, that you might see yourself in what state I was? It was.
Has it not been your study to do so all along, since my dispute with you? Yes, it was, but not altogether. Because why? Because I have shewn you that I have great indignation against you all, for your conduct towards me; and you might reasonably think it indelicate to force me into your presence, or perhaps dangerous to my feelings.
What, however, is my demand now? Not to return to my family, for I say the truth, that I hardly care a curse if I never see the sight of you any more, excepting E…. and poor F…. ! but I wish for a private lodging—and, so long as you choose to pretend that I need confinement— confinement IN PRIVATE.
And what is your duty now? To desire E…. to obtain leave of absence, or to make F…. call upon me to travel up to town, to be reconciled with you all, if you will confess yourselves sinners against my saviour who desired me at Dr. Fox’s to think of you; and to command your cleaning out the garden drains, * for your own safety and security—and to suggest schemes for improving your idea of a crane at the lodge

*This alludes to imaginations I had at Dr. Fox’s respecting preserving my family from the cholera morbus, on which I thought earnestly, and in which I still believed as a species of inspiration at this time.

gate, to prevent infection. Of whose kindness and goodness you took no account, nor did you relieve me by one prayer or one note of thanksgiving, in reply to him as the author of my care, but only to me; neither did you try from thence to draw out the cause and motives of my delusions, in order to heal me if possible. But you left me, a prophet of the Lord, bound by his affliction, amongst blaspheming and infidel lunatics.


Part Two