Key made by psychiatric patient

1900-1960 in Haywards Heath

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Key made by patient from spoon at the Brighton County Borough Asylum/St. Francis Psychiatric Hospital, 1900-1960.

A patient at St. Francis Hospital, formerly Brighton County Borough Asylum, carved this small key from a spoon. Details of the patient are unknown. He or she clearly took considerable time to carve the key. We can assume it was for an escape attempt. Before the 1930 Mental Health Act, psychiatric patients in Britain were certified insane and lost their legal rights. However, the Act let patients be admitted to institutions of their own free will and without forfeiting their rights. This included regular reviews into their mental health and the potential for release.

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Science Museum: Medicine: The Wellcome Galleries

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Related people


Psychology, Psychiatry & Anthropometry
Object Number:
key -hardware
  • component - object
  • hardware - component
Princess Royal Hospital

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