Knock-on effects

This guide was last updated in 2009

Consider the repercussions. How did one member of the family being admitted to an asylum affect contemporary and future generations of the family?

You may find that the stigma affected the employment or marriage chances of other members of the family, and that their economic circumstances declined.

You may find that later members also ended up in an asylum or receiving poor relief – might they have suffered from the same condition? They might have moved away to an area in which their relative’s misfortune was unknown. Or perhaps other family members were the objects of good fortune or charity, which provided educational or other advantages that they might not otherwise have known.

Have a look at The National Archives’ guides Lunatic Asylums, 18th-20th Centuries, which includes a further reading list, and Lunacy and the State, both available to view through the National Archives.

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