Leather truncheon used at Narborough Mental Asylum

1901-1930 in England

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Truncheon, leather covered spring, reputedly used at Narborough Mental Asylum, early 20th century

This leather truncheon appears to have seen some use. It was reputedly used at Narborough Mental Asylum in Leicestershire, England, during the early 20th century. It is made of a leather-covered spring and is broken near the handle. The warden, probably male, inserted his hand into the leather strap. He used the weapon to subdue asylum inmates. Other behaviour-control measures included physical restraint, seclusion, and sedation. Few other treatments for mental health issues were available during this period. Government acts passed during the early 1900s improved the medical care and welfare of people with mental health issues. Narborough Mental Hospital, formerly Narborough Mental Asylum, closed in 1996. This was due to the ‘care in the community’ policy.

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Science Museum: Medicine: The Wellcome Galleries

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Psychology, Psychiatry & Anthropometry
Object Number:
cover, leather, spring, steel and strap, leather
strap: 270 mm
  • furnishing and equipment
  • tools & equipment
City of Leicester Museum

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