1857 Institutions Legislation and Policy

Announcement Date: 20th August 1857

Institution News

The 1857 Lunatic Asylums (Scotland) Act, 20 & 21 Vict. Cap. 71.formulated on the same basis as the 1853 English act..

 

The 1857 Lunatic Asylums (Scotland) Act, 20 & 21 Vict. Cap. 71.formulated on the same basis as the 1853 English act.. It established the General Board of Commissioners of Lunacy: “It was their responsibility, as civil servants, to ‘provide for the building of district asylums for the reception of pauper lunatics, and to insure the proper care and treatment of lunatics generally, whether placed in asylums or left in private houses under the care of relatives or strangers’. A ‘district’ for this purpose was a group of parishes controlled by a Poor Law Board; the finance came from the poor law provisions made in the Act of 1845. The state was thus moved to set up basic minimal provision for the working-class and pauper mentally ill.” [Checkland 174]. The Act came into force 1st January, 1858.
The term ‘lunacy’ was defined as meaning and including any mad, furious or fatuous person so diseased or affected in mind as to render him unfit in the opinion of competent medical persons to be at large either as regards his own personal safety and conduct or the safety of persons and property of others or of the public