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Understanding the Lunacy Register

Admission / Discharge Book

Header information for Lunacy Patients Admission Register
  • Ancestry Link straight to searching the Lunacy Admission Register
  • Note: The Lunacy admission books for 1895/1896 and 1903 are missing from the collection.
  • Note: If a patient is discharged Rel’d/Not-Imp’d then you should find a matching admission record on same day (or day after) where they have been admitted to another asylum.

Column 1: No. In order of Admission

This was simply the order the patient came through the door and became their patient number ‘for this stay’. Upon Re-admission, a patient would be issued a new patient number.

Column 2: Name

Self explanatory. Listed in the admission books alphabetically by first initial of Surname.

Column 3: Pauper M./F.

An indication of sex. Note that some records also have a Private M./F. column for private admissions. Sometimes the ‘pauper’ column is completed for Private patients too if the Private column doesn’t exist and a note is written underneath.

Column 4: Date of Admission

The date on which the patient was admitted in to an Asylum.

Column 5: Asylum

The name of the Asylum to which admitted. Sometimes this will be scribbled out and replaced with a replacement Asylum – this replacement Asylum name refers to this patient only. Be AWARE: Any record underneath using a ” to indicate ‘same as above’ will refer to the original scribbled out Asylum, not the replaced name.

Column 6: Date of Discharge or Death

The date when discharged, or date when they died depending on next column indicators.

Column 7: Discharged

Discharge reasons: Recovd. / Reld. / Not Impv.
Very often patients are moved between asylums, this is a very common occurrence.

  • Recovd. = Recovered – Usually means re-entering society (free of asylum system).
  • Rel’d. = Relieved (Does not mean Released)
    • Relieved means the patient is on a road to recovery and behaving acceptably.
    • Patients are often relieved to another Asylum or Workhouse (not into public).
  • Not Imprv. = Not Improved
    • Patient still requires care, maybe violent or troublesome
    • This often indicates a move to another Asylum.

Column 8: Death

An indicator in this column simply states the patient DIED and the Discharge date is date of death.

Handwritten Notes

Sometimes you will see hand written notes within the records. It is common for notes to be written BELOW the patient entry, any notes above the name will belong to the patient above.

For example: The note “Private 13 Nov 07” refers to Dedman, Charles Moreton Thomas -NOT- Henry Dexter

Charles Dedman became a private patient, indicated by “Private 13 Nov 07”

Something else that may be seen (this is not a hard rule) a ‘c‘ in the M/F column means that the patient is still a criminal. The example below is for Tottie Fay, who was a criminal declared insane whilst still in prison.


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