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Writing desk from the Office of the Metropolitan Commissioners in Lunacy, England, 1828-1914
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Writing desk from the Office of the Metropolitan Commissioners in Lunacy, England, 1828-1914, result 1 of 1

Item Details
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Title
Writing desk from the Office of the Metropolitan Commissioners in Lunacy, England, 1828-1914
Writing desk of the Office of the Metropolitan Commissioners in
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Work Type
Psychology, Psychiatry & Anthropometry
Date
1828-1914
Location
Europe
Material
ivory, glass
wood, leather, paper
Measurements
overall: 155 mm x 500 mm x 360 mm,
Description
Writing desk of the Office of the Metropolitan Commissioners in Lunacy, 1828-1914, containing copies of relevant Acts of Parliament, Oaths, 3 bibles with handwritten oaths, and a seal. Also contains 2 removable glass inkwells, 2 small boxes, curved surface for resting pens (?), 1 ivory stamp, small key. Box lid has two leather inners, one attached and one removable, embossed with crown and floral design.
Writing desks were designed to be portable and to store writing equipment. This example came from the Office of the Metropolitan Commissioners in Lunacy. The Commission was set up in 1828 to inspect private asylums in Middlesex and the London metropolitan area. It granted or revoked licences, and could make unannounced inspections, interview patients and release those it felt had been unjustly placed in asylums. The Commission sought to improve medical treatment of patients and set minimum acceptable standards of accommodation. Every year, the Commission had to submit a report to the Home Secretary of its findings. In 1845, its duties extended to all boroughs and counties of England and Wales.
The desk contains documents such as relevant Acts of Parliament and oaths used for giving evidence. These documents are testament to the treatment and status of mental illness in the 1800s and use terms considered unacceptable today. For example, the category lunacy included Rogues, Vagabonds, and other idle and disorderly persons . If these individuals were considered to have mental illnesses, they could be kept safely locked up in some secure place and if necessary be there chained.
Accession Number
ID Number
co481725
Source
Image and original data from Science Museum Group
Rights
The source metadata displayed in the Description field is released under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license.
All other source metadata is released under Creative Commons Zero.
File Properties
File Name
large_1998_0886__0001_.jpg
SSID
26314707

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