Tag Index: Joseph Mason

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‘No Cure, no Pay, Boarding excepted’

‘Mason’s Madhouses’ in old Fishponds

Front cover shownig a head with a plan of the mad house projected onto it.
Long before the NHS, those who did not fit ‘the norm’ were consigned to workhouses or to private lunatic asylums. The latter provided a profitable business opportunity, as the wealthy were only too keen to offload family members whose behaviour was inconvenient. It was a system open to abuses that Daniel Defoe and others were keen to expose. In the Fishponds area of Bristol, one family lived off the proceeds for more than a century. The revealing tale of ‘Mason’s Madhouses’ explains what life […]

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