Introduction

Below you will find a timeline based upon the Scottish Cure, Containment and Curiosities, from 1800 – 1893.

How to use

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1800

Aberdeen Lunatic Asylum opens and is constituted through a royal charter and an act of parliament. I...
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1802

Birth of Hugh Miller (1802 – 1856) Geologist, Folklorist, Evangelical Christian and Political Refo...
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1804

The Royal Northern Infirmary, Inverness, is opened, whilst in Glasgow the Blind Asylum opens on Cast...
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1805

Birth of Mary Jane Seacole (1805 – 1881) Nurse and Heroine of the Crimean War and the daughter of ...
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1808

The County Asylum Act becomes law. Counties in England and Wales are permitted to build institutions...
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1809

Birth of Louis Braille (1809 – 1852) Teacher....
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1810

Montrose Lunatic Asylum receives a royal charter, whilst the third Royal Charter Asylum for Lunatics...
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1811

Birth of Sir James Young Simpson (1811 –1870) Doctor. In 1847 he discovers the anaesthetic proper...
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1812

William Wull inherits the position of Town Drummer for Prestonpans. ‘The new town drummer was a st...
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1813

Scotland’s fourth royal charter lunatic asylum opens in Morningside, Edinburgh. The first patients...
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1814

The Highland Clearances begin...
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1815

A hostile article by the anatomist John Gordon is published in the Edinburgh Review, denouncing phre...
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1816

There is disquiet about the growing number of private ‘madhouses’ and their variable provision. ...
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1817

A typhus epidemic occurs in Edinburgh and Glasgow, whilst Laurent Clerc, a deaf teacher born in Labi...
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1818

Publication of Frankenstein: or, The Modern Prometheus by Mary Shelley (née Mary Wollstonecraft Go...
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1819

The Glasgow Society for the Education of the Deaf and Dumb is established at Townhead....
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1820

The Royal Lunatic Asylum opens at Stobswell near Dundee. It is the fifth Scottish asylum to be finan...
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1823

Glasgow Blind Asylum states its aim of providing a residential school for blind boys and girls betwe...
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1824

The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner by James Hogg is published anonymously. Th...
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1825

The Royal College of Surgeons in Edinburgh purchases a series of fifteen oil paintings, by Charles B...
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1826

Robert Owen (1771 – 1858) writes The Social System – Constitution, Laws, and Regulations of a Co...
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1827

The eponymous Murray Royal Lunatic Asylum opens in Perth. Although it has a royal charter, the hospi...
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1828

Publication of ‘A general view of the present state of lunatics and lunatic asylums in Great Brita...
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1829

Execution of William Burke (1798 -1829) Cobbler. From November 1827 to October 31, 1828 Burke and hi...
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1831

A cholera epidemic in Paisley causes the deaths of around 450 people....
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1832

Cholera outbreaks occur in Edinburgh, Dundee, Inverness and Dumfries, from which came the Cholera Ac...
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1833

John Alston (1778 – 1846), the Honorary Treasurer of the Glasgow Asylum for the Blind, modifies Fr...
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1834

“A statute of quite uncommon Callousness.” The Poor Law Amendment Act comes into force in Englan...
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1835

Elgin Pauper Lunatic Asylum opens....
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1836

Dundee Eye Institution is established by Dr Cocks, a practitioner in the city, to provide a free ser...
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1837

Five lectures by phrenologist and medical superintendent of Montrose Lunatic Asylum, William A.F. Br...
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1838

Patients are admitted to the Crichton Institution, Dumfries, the first asylum established south of E...
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1839

The Crichton Institution is described by the Saturday Magazine as “surpassing everything of the ki...
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1840

The Scottish economy falters and it becomes apparent that the demand for poor relief is growing and ...
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1841

A Chartist demonstration in Glasgow is addressed by Fergus O’Connor...
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1842

Disabled Trade Unionist and son of a former slave, William Cuffay, is elected to the national execut...
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1843

Scotland’s first ‘Hydropathic’ institution opens. ‘Dr Paterson’s Glenburn House at Rothesa...
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1844

The Poor Law inquiry (Scotland) report notes ‘that in Scotland the people entitled to parochial re...
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1845

The Scottish Poor Law Amendment Act (The Amendment and better Administration of the Laws Relating to...
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1846

James Loch, MP and agent for the Duke of Sutherland, in a letter on the developing potato famine sta...
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1847

There is a Cholera epidemic in Glasgow, and the last ‘Beggars Badge’ is issued in Scotland. Mean...
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1848

There is further outbreak of cholera in Dundee whilst 59,465 people are recorded as being in receipt...
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1849

The outbreak of cholera in Dundee continues....
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1850

Birth of Robert Louis Stevenson (1850 – 1894)...
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1851

Donaldson’s Hospital for the deaf is founded in Edinburgh by James Donaldson (1751–1830), publis...
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1852

Whilst confined in Broadmoor Criminal Lunatic Asylum artist Richard Dadd completes a portrait of Sir...
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1853

Sir John and Lady Jane Ogilvie establish “an orphanage or hospital for orphans and imbecile childr...
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1854

The American social reformer, Dorothea Lynde Dix (1802-1887), known as ‘the champion of the insane...
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1855

A Royal Commission is appointed to enquire into ‘The Asylums and Lunacy Law of Scotland’, whilst...
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1856

The Parochial Board of Dundee opens the East Poorhouse on a five-acre site acquired from the Craigie...
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1857

The Lunacy and Asylums Bill Scotland establishes a General Board of Commissioners in Lunacy for Scot...
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1858

A ‘Communication addressed to the Secretary of State’ raises concerns about ‘the treatment of ...
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1859

A survey by the Edinburgh Review finds that the single biggest cohort in ‘Female Lunacy Wards’ i...
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1860

Two-fifths of all deaths in Glasgow are due to respiratory diseases and tuberculosis. The Hospital f...
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1861

The American Civil War results in widespread physical impairment on a massive scale. During the war ...
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1862

The Lunacy in Scotland Act is passed, regulating the care and treatment of lunatics, and the provisi...
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1863

Dr Henry Littlejohn becomes Glasgow’s first medical officer, and the Scottish National Institution...
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1864

The Morayshire Combination poorhouse is built at Bishopmill to the north of Elgin. The two wings of ...
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1865

One of the most physically remote asylums in Britain opens at Ladysbridge, Banffshire and an ‘Inst...
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1866

Opening of an asylum for the Haddington district. “Near the town stands the County Lunatic asylum,...
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1867

The Anatomical Museum is transferred to Edinburgh University, whilst the Public Health (Scotland) Ac...
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1868

Edinburgh’s St Cuthbert’s parish opens a new hospital and a poorhouse with separate sections for...
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1869

Sophia Jex-Blake is in the first group of female medical students to attend Edinburgh University, an...
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1870

Edinburgh Royal Infirmary is built on Lauriston Place, whilst Alexander Drysdale provides funds to b...
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1871

The national census now includes a column about impairment and also asks if an individual is a “lu...
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1872

Govan Poor House is extended to include a new 240 bed general hospital and 180 patient lunatic asylu...
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1874

Attendance Officers report that many disabled children rarely if ever go to school. In response, Wil...
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1875

Opening of the Barony Parochial Asylum for ‘pauper lunatics’ on the Woodilee estate near Lenzie ...
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1876

Poor Relief Applications for 1876 include: Mary-Ann MCKARDLE Record No. 163. Applied on 27 Mar...
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1878

One of the worst outbreaks of anthrax in Scotland occurs at the Adelphi horse-hair factory in Glasgo...
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1879

James Paul (1848 -1919) a former pupil at the Glasgow Institution for the Deaf founds the National D...
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1880

First Boer War. The Army Medical Corps discovers that a high proportion of men presenting for servic...
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1881

In this year, the Report of The General Board of Commissioners in Lunacy for Scotland in the Journal...
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1882

The last of the patients from the old Royal Asylum in Stobswell are moved to a new purpose-built a...
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1883

In the Barony Parish, Glasgow, the occupants of wards 141 (skin diseases) and 142 (sexually transmit...
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1884

A new medical school is established at Edinburgh University....
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1885

Anna Adler establishes a printing house in Moscow which produces the first-ever Russian language Bra...
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1886

This year saw the publication of Robert Louis Stevenson’s best-selling novella, The Strange Case o...
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1887

This year saw the birth of Edwin Muir (1887 – 3 January 1959) Poet, Novelist and Translator....
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1888

‘Colonies for epileptics’ begin to be established in different parts of Scotland and England in ...
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1889

In this year, a House of Lords debate proposes notices of rights for people detained in asylums and ...
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1890

In this year, the British Deaf Association is formed by Francis Maginn to protect sign language and ...
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1891

A Grand Christmas Bazaar raises £6,000 to build an ‘Institute for Adult Deaf’ in Glasgow and th...
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1893

A Departmental Committee is established “to enquire into the best mode of dealing with habitual dr...
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