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jackdog
04-07-2007, 4:21 PM
Can anyone help with a query about admissions to this place?
In an earlier thread a while back, thanks to info kindly supplied by 'UK Search' I was directed to Prestwich Asylum Records, kept at Lancs CRO, in trying to find my ancestor Benjamin Beckinsale (born Oxfordshire c.1839 but living in and around Golborne, Lancs., from the 1870s.
No trace of his death could be found, until I stumbled upon a GRO Index reference to Benjamin Bagintail, d. 1884 at Prestwich reg. district. No-one else with the surname Bagintail appears to have existed, so I guessed that this might be my ancestor. UK Search then confirmed that 'Benjamin Bagingtail' was a patient at Prestwich and died in 1884.
At LCRO, I viewed the detailed patient records for Benjamin, and apart from the fact that he had a short and distressing stay at the Asylum and was clearly seriously disturbed, there was a lack of real evidence to indentify him as a Beckinsale.
The main clues are: the similar and unique name; the age was about correct; as was the fact that he was a widower by 1884. No details of address, background or family are given, and the only other possible clues are in a note that there was a family history of intemperance (!) and phthisis (i.e. TB).

Would anyone like to speculate on whether the balance of probabilities is that we have the right man?

Or does anyone know how a person would come to be in such an institution in the 1880s? Would it be the recommendation of a family member, or a doctor, or what?

After all, someone must have provided the info about his age and being widowed, as well as the 'intemperance' and phthisis, and it certainly could not have been the patient himself, judging from the remarks about his mental state in his case notes. Would there be a record of any such recommendation? There seems to be nothing else in the Prestwich Asylum records that I can find.

Sorry to ramble on a bit.
Any opinions/facts gratefully received...!

Cheers,
Jack

Peter Goodey
04-07-2007, 4:43 PM
You mentioned "detailed patient records". What about the Admission Register? Is it extant?

Was he a pauper? Have you checked Board of Guardians records? (if anything relevant has survived)

To the best of my knowledge, admission in those days was always compulsory.

uksearch
04-07-2007, 5:44 PM
http://www.british-genealogy.com/forums/showthread.php?t=9644&highlight=PRESTWICH+ASYLUM


My ggf was a patient there. See the above thread to look at the process in his case.

UK

jackdog
08-07-2007, 11:24 AM
Thanks for your help. I'm not sure if he was a pauper. I will try to check Board of Guardians records. Case notes said he was a labourer.
As far as I could see, the Case Notes included some kind of admission information but nothing with any more ID clues. I don't know if there is a separate Admissions Register. I will ask LCRO. All I got at LCRO was one big book, with entries in date order.
Cheers,
Jackdog

uksearch
08-07-2007, 3:40 PM
At the time he was slammed up, my ggf was certainly not a pauper but neither was he as affluent as he once was. I sometimes wonder if these labels were convenient ways of getting them through the system. So long as someone or the relevant Union coughed the Asylum was happy.

UK

Peter Goodey
08-07-2007, 3:57 PM
The point of asking whether he was a pauper was because people on the books of the Union stood a greater chance of ending up in the asylum. It's just the way the system worked.

uksearch
09-07-2007, 12:22 PM
Jackdog,

Take a look at a copy of the Manchester Genealogist Vol 38 No 2 from 2002. You will find it goes someway to explaining things.

UK

Lottie
09-07-2007, 11:48 PM
Jackdog

My Gt Gt Grandmother died in the Powick Asylum of " Senile Dementia ", having been resident there for some 3 years. She was not poor, ( Noted as Independant Means on 1891 Census ) but did not have any family left in Kidderminster to care for her. One thing that has always puzzled me , was what happened to her money ? No Will, no administration, and no record of her burial kept.
Me thinks either Kidderminster Union or Powick used her money for her care. ad burial.

No wonder people were supicious of the Workhouse ( ie as a hospital ) !

Lottie
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