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Categories of Patients

Hosp Rauceby 1-10-1 p35

Pauper Lunatics maintained at the expense of Poor Law Unions (Guardians’ Committees from 1930). In some cases, the patient had been an inmate at a workhouse, whether briefly or long-term, before being transferred to the asylum. The Reception Order for admission of a pauper lunatic had to be signed by a Justice of the Peace, and was accompanied by a Medical Certificate signed by a medical practitioner. This category of patient disappeared with the creation of the National Health Service in 1948.

Private Patients or Boarders (Voluntary Boarders from 1890), paying for their upkeep, could be found in institutions such as the Lawn, which were not pauper asylums. The Lunacy Act, 1890, allowed County asylums to build wards for private patients. This category became Informal Patients in 1959. In contrast to other categories of patients, these were not certified or otherwise compulsorily detained.

Criminal Lunatics was a classification, first introduced by the Criminal Lunatics Act 1800, which enabled prisoners with mental health problems to be detained indefinitely in asylums rather than prisons. Many fell under the remit of the Home Office.

Service Patients. This category, publicly funded, but treated as private patients, was introduced in 1916 at the height of the Great War, to deal with the large number of military personnel with mental health issues caused by the stress of combat, including “Shell Shock”.

As well as the mentally ill, the asylums used to house patients with mental disabilities. The Mental Deficiency Act, 1913, divided these patients into four categories: Idiots, Imbeciles, Feeble-minded People and Moral Defectives. In the 20th Century their distinct needs began to be recognised, and another set of institutions was created in the county, including Caistor Hospital (1931), Harmston Hall Hospital (1935), and St Peter’s Hospital in Bourne (1930) and Holbeach Hospital. These were later replaced by more community based services.

Look Out For


OPEM exhibition at The Collection

28 January - 2 May 2017

Exhibition Opening Times: 10:00am - 4:00pm


OPEM 4 is the fourth biennial open exhibition hosted by The Collection and Usher Gallery, and will showcase the work of local and regional artists who were chosen by a pair of industry experts (writer/curator Elinor Morgan and artist Brian Griffiths) based on the quality and originality of their work. Hundreds of artists from around Lincolnshire, Yorkshire, Cambridgeshire and more entered into the competition, hoping to have their work featured centre-stage at a professional art exhibition.


The winning artists are:

• Reece Straw

• Jake Kent

• Stephanie Douet

• Jake Moore

• Selina Mosinski

• Matthew Chesney

• Ellen Brady

• Colette Griffin


This will be the first time some of these artists have exhibited with a professional institution. By winning the competition these artists will each receive money and supplies to fund the creation of an all-new original piece of work for this particular show. Other prizes include a £3000 purchasing/commissioning prize which has been sponsored by the Heslam Trust, while another artist will receive their own solo exhibition in The Usher Gallery.


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Last updated: 20 August 2014

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