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Medieval and Early Modern Theories of Mental Illness

Medieval and Early Modern Theories of Mental Illness Abstract • Historians of medieval and early modern psychiatry have utilized limited source materials in their research. They have focused on printed works, particularly formal treatises by celebrated authors, and neglected manuscript collections. The resulting histories depict early European psychiatric thought as dominated by demonology. Examination of the archives of an early English legal incompetency jurisdiction flatly contradicts this picture. Starting in the 13th century, the English government conducted mental status examinations of psychiatrically disabled individuals, using commonsense, naturalistic criteria of impairment; private, supervised guardians were appointed for such persons. Furthermore, etiological theories entertained by royal officials and laymen relied on physiological and psychological notions of psychiatric illness. These findings raise serious questions about conventional accounts of this period and underline the need for more research using original manuscripts. References 1. Freedman AM, Kaplan HI, Sadock BJ: Comprehensive Textbook of Psychiatry: II , ed 2. Baltimore, Williams & Wilkins Co, 1975. 2. Semelaigne R: Les Pionners de la Psychiatrie Francaise avant et après Pinel . Paris, Baillière, 1930-1932. 3. Zilboorg G: A History of Medical Psychology . New York, WW Norton & Co, 1941. 4. O'Donoghue EG: The Story of Bethlehem Hospital From Its Foundation in 1247 . London, T. Fisher Unwin, 1914. 5. Dain N: Concepts of Insanity in the United States, 1789-1865 . New Brunswick, NJ, Rutgers University Press, 1964. 6. Rothman DJ: The Discovery of the Asylum: Social Order and Disorder in the New Republic . Boston, Little Brown & Co, 1971. 7. Grob GN: Mental Institutions in America: Social Policy to 1875 . New York, Free Press, 1973. 8. Ackerknecht EH: A plea for a "behaviorist" approach in writing the history of medicine . J Hist Med 22:211-214, 1967. 9. Rosen G: Madness in Society: Chapters in the Historical Sociology of Mental Illness . New York, Harper & Row Publishers, 1968. 10. Kolb LC: Modern Clinical Psychiatry , ed 8. Philadelphia, WB Saunders Co, 1973. 11. Alexander FG, Selesnick ST: The History of Psychiatry . New York, Harper & Row Publishers, 1966. 12. Werman D: The teaching of the history of psychiatry . Arch Gen Psychiatry 26:287-289, 1972.Crossref 13. Kroll J: A reappraisal of psychiatry in the middle ages . Arch Gen Psychiatry 29:276-283, 1973.Crossref 14. Hunter RI, Macalpine I: Three Hundred Years of Psychiatry, 1535-1860: A History Presented in Selected English Texts . London, Oxford University Press, 1963. 15. Luders A, Tomlins TE, France J, et al: Statutes of the Realm . London, Record Commission, 1810-1822. 16. Fisher HAL (ed): The Collected Papers of Frederic William Maitland . Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1911, vol 2. 17. Whittaker WJ (ed): The Mirror of Justices . Seldon Society. London, Quaritch Ltd, 1895, vol 7. 18. Cowell J: Ideot , in The Interpreter of Words and Termes . London, 1701. 19. Coke E: The First Part of the Institutes of the Laws of England: or, A Commentary Upon Littleton , ed 19, Hargrave F, Butler C (eds). London, Clarke & Son, 1832. 20. An Exposition of Certaine Difficult and Obscure Words and Termes. London, 1615. 21. Manuscript Collection. Cambridge University Library. Ee.5.22.ff 354r-355r. 22. Manuscript Collection. Cambridge University Library. Hh.2.1.ff 16v-18r. 23. Hunt DG, Phillips JF: Heywood & Massey, Court of Protection Practice , ed 7. London, Stevens & Sons, 1954. 24. Public Record Office, Chancery Lane Branch, London. Exchequer, King's Remembrancer, Various Accounts, E.101/415/3, memoranda 1 Oct 15 Henry VII. 25. Holdsworth WS: A History of English Law , ed 3. London, Methuen & Co Ltd, 1922, vol 1. 26. Public Record Office, Chancery Lane Branch, London. Wards Archives. 27. Public Record Office, Chancery Lane Branch, London. Chancery Inquisitions Post Mortem, Series II (Henry VII to Charles II). 28. Calendar of Inquisitions Miscellaneous (Chancery) Preserved in the Public Record Office (Henry III-12 Richard II). London, HMSO, 1916-1957, vols 1-4. 29. Calendar of Inquisitions Post Mortem and Other Analoguous Documents Preserved in the Public Record Office (Henry III-15 Richard II). London, HMSO, 1904-1974, vols 1-16. 30. Calendar of Inquisitions Post Mortem and Other Analoguous Documents Preserved in the Public Record Office, Series II (Henry VII). London, HMSO, 1898-1955, vols 1-3. 31. Fitzherbert A: Nouvelle Natura Brevium . London, 1553. 32. Bell HE: An Introduction to the History and Records of the Court of Wards and Liveries . Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1953. 33. Public Record Office, Chancery Lane Branch, London. Wards 9/92. 34. Public Record Office, Chancery Lane Branch, London. Wards 9/86. 35. Public Record Office, Chancery Lane Branch, London. Wards 10/67, Examination of Mrs Katherine Tothill. 36. Public Record Office, Chancery Lane Branch, London. Wards 9/87. 37. Public Record Office, Chancery Lane Branch, London. Wards 10/51, certificates. 38. Public Record Office, Chancery Lane Branch, London. Wards 10/42, pt 2, certificate of Feb 3, 1627. 39. Public Record Office, Chancery Lane Branch, London. Wards 9/93. 40. Public Record Office, Chancery Lane Branch, London. Wards 9/88. 41. Public Record Office, Chancery Lane Branch, London. Wards 10/34, petitions, certificate of Nov 19, 1622. 42. Neugebauer R: Treatment of the mentally ill in medieval and early modern England: A reappraisal . J Hist Behav Sci , to be published. 43. Madge SJ (ed): Abstracts of Inquisitions Post Mortem for the City of London: Tudor Period: II. 4-19 Elizabeth 1561-1577 . Index Library. London, British Record Society, 1901, vol 26. 44. Public Records Office, Chancery Lane Branch, London. Wards 9/214-219. 45. Hatfield House, Cecil Papers, p 227. 46. Public Records Office, Chancery Lane Branch, London. Wards 10/26, pt 1, petition of Feb 12, 1618. 47. Public Records Office, Chancery Lane Branch, London. Wards 10/29, pt 2, petition of Oct 15, 1622. 48. Public Records Office, Chancery Lane Branch, London. Wards 10/23, petition of Oct 25, 1624. 49. Public Records Office, Chancery Lane Branch, London. Wards 10/36, pt 2, petition of Feb 6, 1637. 50. Public Records Office, Chancery Lane Branch, London. Wards 10/43, pt 2, petition of Aug 6, 1629. 51. Public Records Office, Chancery Lane Branch, London. Wards 10/26, pt 1, petition of May 11, 1620. 52. Public Records Office, Chancery Lane Branch, London. Wards 10/36, pt 2, petition of May 9, 1631. 53. Public Records Office, Chancery Lane Branch, London. Wards 10/34, petition of Feb 9, 1622. 54. Public Records Office, Chancery Lane Branch, London. Wards 10/28, pt 1, petition of Nov 29, 1620. 55. Public Records Office, Chancery Lane Branch, London. Wards 9/85. 56. Public Records Office, Chancery Lane Branch, London. Wards 10/26, pt 1, petition of Nov 17, 1617. 57. Murphy JM: Psychiatric labeling in cross-cultural perspective . Science 191:1019-1028, 1976.Crossref http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Archives of General Psychiatry American Medical Association

Medieval and Early Modern Theories of Mental Illness

Archives of General Psychiatry , Volume 36 (4) – Apr 1, 1979

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Publisher
American Medical Association
Copyright
Copyright © 1979 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved.
ISSN
0003-990X
eISSN
1598-3636
DOI
10.1001/archpsyc.1979.01780040119013
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Abstract

Abstract • Historians of medieval and early modern psychiatry have utilized limited source materials in their research. They have focused on printed works, particularly formal treatises by celebrated authors, and neglected manuscript collections. The resulting histories depict early European psychiatric thought as dominated by demonology. Examination of the archives of an early English legal incompetency jurisdiction flatly contradicts this picture. Starting in the 13th century, the English government conducted mental status examinations of psychiatrically disabled individuals, using commonsense, naturalistic criteria of impairment; private, supervised guardians were appointed for such persons. Furthermore, etiological theories entertained by royal officials and laymen relied on physiological and psychological notions of psychiatric illness. These findings raise serious questions about conventional accounts of this period and underline the need for more research using original manuscripts. References 1. Freedman AM, Kaplan HI, Sadock BJ: Comprehensive Textbook of Psychiatry: II , ed 2. Baltimore, Williams & Wilkins Co, 1975. 2. Semelaigne R: Les Pionners de la Psychiatrie Francaise avant et après Pinel . Paris, Baillière, 1930-1932. 3. Zilboorg G: A History of Medical Psychology . New York, WW Norton & Co, 1941. 4. O'Donoghue EG: The Story of Bethlehem Hospital From Its Foundation in 1247 . London, T. Fisher Unwin, 1914. 5. Dain N: Concepts of Insanity in the United States, 1789-1865 . New Brunswick, NJ, Rutgers University Press, 1964. 6. Rothman DJ: The Discovery of the Asylum: Social Order and Disorder in the New Republic . Boston, Little Brown & Co, 1971. 7. Grob GN: Mental Institutions in America: Social Policy to 1875 . New York, Free Press, 1973. 8. Ackerknecht EH: A plea for a "behaviorist" approach in writing the history of medicine . J Hist Med 22:211-214, 1967. 9. Rosen G: Madness in Society: Chapters in the Historical Sociology of Mental Illness . New York, Harper & Row Publishers, 1968. 10. Kolb LC: Modern Clinical Psychiatry , ed 8. Philadelphia, WB Saunders Co, 1973. 11. Alexander FG, Selesnick ST: The History of Psychiatry . New York, Harper & Row Publishers, 1966. 12. Werman D: The teaching of the history of psychiatry . Arch Gen Psychiatry 26:287-289, 1972.Crossref 13. Kroll J: A reappraisal of psychiatry in the middle ages . Arch Gen Psychiatry 29:276-283, 1973.Crossref 14. Hunter RI, Macalpine I: Three Hundred Years of Psychiatry, 1535-1860: A History Presented in Selected English Texts . London, Oxford University Press, 1963. 15. Luders A, Tomlins TE, France J, et al: Statutes of the Realm . London, Record Commission, 1810-1822. 16. Fisher HAL (ed): The Collected Papers of Frederic William Maitland . Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1911, vol 2. 17. Whittaker WJ (ed): The Mirror of Justices . Seldon Society. London, Quaritch Ltd, 1895, vol 7. 18. Cowell J: Ideot , in The Interpreter of Words and Termes . London, 1701. 19. Coke E: The First Part of the Institutes of the Laws of England: or, A Commentary Upon Littleton , ed 19, Hargrave F, Butler C (eds). London, Clarke & Son, 1832. 20. An Exposition of Certaine Difficult and Obscure Words and Termes. London, 1615. 21. Manuscript Collection. Cambridge University Library. Ee.5.22.ff 354r-355r. 22. Manuscript Collection. Cambridge University Library. Hh.2.1.ff 16v-18r. 23. Hunt DG, Phillips JF: Heywood & Massey, Court of Protection Practice , ed 7. London, Stevens & Sons, 1954. 24. Public Record Office, Chancery Lane Branch, London. Exchequer, King's Remembrancer, Various Accounts, E.101/415/3, memoranda 1 Oct 15 Henry VII. 25. Holdsworth WS: A History of English Law , ed 3. London, Methuen & Co Ltd, 1922, vol 1. 26. Public Record Office, Chancery Lane Branch, London. Wards Archives. 27. Public Record Office, Chancery Lane Branch, London. Chancery Inquisitions Post Mortem, Series II (Henry VII to Charles II). 28. Calendar of Inquisitions Miscellaneous (Chancery) Preserved in the Public Record Office (Henry III-12 Richard II). London, HMSO, 1916-1957, vols 1-4. 29. Calendar of Inquisitions Post Mortem and Other Analoguous Documents Preserved in the Public Record Office (Henry III-15 Richard II). London, HMSO, 1904-1974, vols 1-16. 30. Calendar of Inquisitions Post Mortem and Other Analoguous Documents Preserved in the Public Record Office, Series II (Henry VII). London, HMSO, 1898-1955, vols 1-3. 31. Fitzherbert A: Nouvelle Natura Brevium . London, 1553. 32. Bell HE: An Introduction to the History and Records of the Court of Wards and Liveries . Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1953. 33. Public Record Office, Chancery Lane Branch, London. Wards 9/92. 34. Public Record Office, Chancery Lane Branch, London. Wards 9/86. 35. Public Record Office, Chancery Lane Branch, London. Wards 10/67, Examination of Mrs Katherine Tothill. 36. Public Record Office, Chancery Lane Branch, London. Wards 9/87. 37. Public Record Office, Chancery Lane Branch, London. Wards 10/51, certificates. 38. Public Record Office, Chancery Lane Branch, London. Wards 10/42, pt 2, certificate of Feb 3, 1627. 39. Public Record Office, Chancery Lane Branch, London. Wards 9/93. 40. Public Record Office, Chancery Lane Branch, London. Wards 9/88. 41. Public Record Office, Chancery Lane Branch, London. Wards 10/34, petitions, certificate of Nov 19, 1622. 42. Neugebauer R: Treatment of the mentally ill in medieval and early modern England: A reappraisal . J Hist Behav Sci , to be published. 43. Madge SJ (ed): Abstracts of Inquisitions Post Mortem for the City of London: Tudor Period: II. 4-19 Elizabeth 1561-1577 . Index Library. London, British Record Society, 1901, vol 26. 44. Public Records Office, Chancery Lane Branch, London. Wards 9/214-219. 45. Hatfield House, Cecil Papers, p 227. 46. Public Records Office, Chancery Lane Branch, London. Wards 10/26, pt 1, petition of Feb 12, 1618. 47. Public Records Office, Chancery Lane Branch, London. Wards 10/29, pt 2, petition of Oct 15, 1622. 48. Public Records Office, Chancery Lane Branch, London. Wards 10/23, petition of Oct 25, 1624. 49. Public Records Office, Chancery Lane Branch, London. Wards 10/36, pt 2, petition of Feb 6, 1637. 50. Public Records Office, Chancery Lane Branch, London. Wards 10/43, pt 2, petition of Aug 6, 1629. 51. Public Records Office, Chancery Lane Branch, London. Wards 10/26, pt 1, petition of May 11, 1620. 52. Public Records Office, Chancery Lane Branch, London. Wards 10/36, pt 2, petition of May 9, 1631. 53. Public Records Office, Chancery Lane Branch, London. Wards 10/34, petition of Feb 9, 1622. 54. Public Records Office, Chancery Lane Branch, London. Wards 10/28, pt 1, petition of Nov 29, 1620. 55. Public Records Office, Chancery Lane Branch, London. Wards 9/85. 56. Public Records Office, Chancery Lane Branch, London. Wards 10/26, pt 1, petition of Nov 17, 1617. 57. Murphy JM: Psychiatric labeling in cross-cultural perspective . Science 191:1019-1028, 1976.Crossref

Journal

Archives of General PsychiatryAmerican Medical Association

Published: Apr 1, 1979

References