Article ID: CBB775412770

Yorkshire’s Influence on the Understanding and Treatment of Mental Diseases in Victorian Britain: The Golden Triad of York, Wakefield, and Leeds (2018)


In the late-eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, a more humane approach to the care of the insane in Britain was catalyzed in part by the illness of King George III. The Reform Movement envisaged “moral” treatment in asylums in pleasant rural environments, but these aspirations were overwhelmed by industrialization, urbanization, and the scale of the need, such that most asylums became gigantic institutions for chronic insanity. Three institutions in Yorkshire remained beacons of enlightenment in the general gloom of Victorian alienism: the Retreat in York founded and developed by the Quaker Tuke family; the West Riding Lunatic Asylum in Wakefield led by Sir James Crichton-Browne, which initiated research into brain and mental diseases; and the Leeds Medical School and Wakefield axis associated with Sir Thomas Clifford Allbutt, which pioneered teaching of mental diseases and, later, the first Chair of Psychiatry. Three other Yorkshiremen who greatly influenced nineteenth-century “neuropsychiatry” in Britain and abroad were Thomas Laycock in York and Edinburgh, and Henry Maudsley and John Hughlings Jackson in London.

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Authors & Contributors
Stone, James L.
Finnegan, Diarmid A.
Baur, Nicole
Holdorff, Bernd
Dening, Tom
Kragh, Jesper Vaczy
History of Psychiatry
Social History of Medicine
Journal of the History of the Neurosciences
Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
Endeavour: Review of the Progress of Science
History of the Human Sciences
University of Portsmouth (United Kingdom
Open University (United Kingdom)
University of London, University College London (United Kingdom
W. W. Norton & Co.
McGill-Queen's University Press
Princeton University
Mental disorders and diseases
Therapeutic practice; therapy; treatment
Psychiatric hospitals
Burckhardt, Gottlieb
Oppenheim, Hermann
Clark, David
Roth, Martin
Ribot, Théodule Armand
Charcot, Jean Martin
Time Periods
19th century
20th century, early
20th century
20th century, late
21st century
18th century
Great Britain
Devon (England)

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