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[Minutes of the] Committee of Visitors of Pauper Lunatics - To be presented to Exeter Town Council, Wednesday, 13th January, 1886 to 8th December, 1886 THEN City Asylum Committee.............. Wednesday, 9th February, 1887 to December 10th, 1890.

pp. 28, 3, 29-61, 23, 30, 19, 19. Paginated recto only, each year begins a new series of page numbers. Contemporary reversed calf but the front board lacking, the spine and title label present, remainder in very good condition.

*The Exeter Lunatic Asylum, also know as Digby Hospital, was opened on 29th September 1886. The earlier Minutes above deal with the preliminary costings, selection of staff, purchase of equipment and so on - SEE Exeter Memories - digby-asylum.] - 'Although originally estimated to cost £20,000 by the Corporation, the eventual cost was almost £100,000, of which the building was £56,000. The building, of some 237 meters (777 ft) in length, was split into the more utilitarian north-western range containing the service, administration, and laundry rooms, along with accommodation for the laundry workers. The south-eastern range was a series of male and female 'inmates' areas separated by a recreation hall. In the centre of the range was a grand entrance into the main hall, as befits such a building. At one end of each range was a large tower, of differing design. There was also a farm for the asylum, to the south-east of the main block, which provided work for the male patients.' In addition to the Minutes, a folding chart details 'The Applicants for Appointment as Medical Superintendent' giving the names of the 37 applicants, their ages, addresses, years of experience, present occupations. Another sheet describes the Order of Proceedings at the Opening of the Asylum Building on September 28th, 1886 [not the 29th as stated in Exeter Memories] - ''There will be no Luncheon' ! A duplicated typescript from the Asylum Committee, 1887, Resolves, 'That the Medical Superintendent be authorised to inflict at his discretion Fines upon Attendants for minor Offences or neglect of duty, the amount of such Fines to be placed to the credit of the Patient's Amusement Fund' . ALSO that the Medical Superintendent reported that ' H. Edwards, Night Attendant, had left the Asylum last night, having declined to remain any longer, without giving any previous notice........'. ALSO loosely added are 3 autograph letters, two of which relate to a dispute between the Hospital and an Attendant - from R. EAGER - 'Attached letter was received by me today in consequence of which I asked Langdon to come and see me. This he refused to do............'. The said attached letter begins - 'Re. my testimonial, the latter part of which practically amounts to defamation of character...............'. Both 1922. The other, for 1931, is a notice of resignation. AND FINALLY - Just when the country was requiring more food production in 1940, the City Mental Hospital, as it was then named, had a herd of 100 pigs on the farm. It also had a prodigious crop of potatoes, and was self sufficient in oats and barley as animal feed. Digby Hospital was absorbed into the National Health Service when it was founded in July 1948. It became part of the Devon Mental Hospital Group, and eventually it became the Exe Vale Hospital with Exminster and Wonford House. One hundred and one years after it opened, Digby was closed. The land attached to the hospital was divided into a section for residential housing, and the rest for a retail park that would include a large Tesco and PC World, among others. The building, which was Listed Grade II was converted into residential use, preserving the outer facade as much as possible. [See Exeter Memories].

Date Published: 1886-1890. Folio.

Stock No. 62000

Price: 1,500.00