The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository

"Fit objects for an asylum": The Hampshire County Lunatic Asylum and its patients, 1852-1899

Burt, Susan Margaret (2003) "Fit objects for an asylum": The Hampshire County Lunatic Asylum and its patients, 1852-1899 University of Southampton, Department of Sociology and Social Policy, Doctoral Thesis .

Record type: Thesis (Doctoral)


This research uses the records of the Hampshire County Asylum (HCA) between its
opening in 1852 and the end of the nineteenth century to offer a different perspective
on asylum history. Though it discusses the asylum in legal, medical and social welfare
contexts it focuses on the experience of individuals and their families and the part
played by the HCA in their lives. The perspective and methodology of the research
reflect the recognition of the importance of individual experience in the construction
of historical exposition.

In the course of the research a database of patients' personal information was
constructed from asylum records. The resulting analysis of individual experience of
admission to the HCA suggests that, for many patients, admission was short-term and
temporary, caused by a combination of symptoms and events that erupted into crisis.
For others the HCA provided a level of care that could not be sustained at home and
for some an asylum admission was only part of a wider and continuing strategy of care
which enabled troubled families to continue to function.

The thesis concludes that, although the county asylum was a potent symbol of many
aspects of Victorian society, it should be seen, not as defining those who encountered
it, but as a part, sometimes essential but often small, of their personal and family

PDF 00250119.pdf - Other
Download (4MB)

More information

Published date: August 2003
Organisations: University of Southampton


Local EPrints ID: 194555
PURE UUID: 4f7a8581-e013-4cda-835d-53cb2654f5b8

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 29 Jul 2011 15:45
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 11:27

Export record


Author: Susan Margaret Burt
Thesis advisor: Peter Hinde
Thesis advisor: Caroline Knowles

University divisions

Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton:

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.