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Lynsey Black

This chapter examines discourses of insanity, particularly focusing on the 12 cases of women found unfit to plead or guilty but insane, as well as the cases of Elizabeth Doran and Mamie Cadden, who were found insane following their conviction for murder. The chapter considers the meanings of insanity, both ‘popularly’ and in the criminal trial. I outline some ‘common-sensical’ approaches to determining insanity, such as heredity and the importance of situating the defendant within the wider family, alongside the

in Gender and punishment in Ireland
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Magistrates, doctors and families, 1840–70
Catherine Cox

4 Insanity on display: Magistrates, doctors and families, 1840–70 In May 1849, Mathew W. appeared before a Carlow petty session hearing charged with seriously assaulting his stepdaughter, Eliza B. Eliza was attacked while trying to protect her mother from Mathew. Evidence of Mathew’s ‘dangerous character’ was provided by several witnesses and during the hearing it emerged that he had been previously confined in an asylum. William Duckett, the presiding magistrate and a governor at Carlow asylum, informed the court that Eliza had called upon him six weeks earlier

in Negotiating insanity in the southeast of Ireland, 1820–1900
Melbourne and Auckland, 1850s-1880s
Catharine Coleborne

.’ 10 For surgeon John Murray Moore, grateful to New Zealand for the ‘renovation’ of his health, this was a ‘Neapolitan-like city’, a ‘balmy Eden of the South Pacific’. 11 In order to understand insanity as one aspect of the imperial age, this chapter takes urban Melbourne and urban Auckland as two sites of imperial and colonial connection. Represented through

in Insanity, identity and empire
Steve Poole

3 Monarchy and the policing of insanity ‘It is remarkable’, observed the Morning Chronicle in 178e, ‘that most of the miscreants who either murdered or attempted to murder their monarchs were insane’.1 Regicide, it was often suggested in the eighteenth century, could be a product only of insanity, for who but a lunatic would compass the death of the king? But the casual association of regicide with madness is not confined to the ill-considered judgements of contemporary polemic. ‘Most would-be assassins are mentally ill’ was Nigel Walker’s considered twentieth

in The politics of regicide in England, 1760–1850
Immigrants and institutional confinement in Australia and New Zealand, 1873–1910

This book examines the formation of colonial social identities inside the institutions for the insane in Australia and New Zealand. Taking a large sample of patient records, the book pays particular attention to gender, ethnicity and class as categories of analysis. The book reminds us of the varied journeys of immigrants to the colonies: and of how and where they stopped, for different reasons, inside the social institutions of the period. It is about their stories of mobility, how these were told and produced inside institutions for the insane, and how, in the telling, colonial identities were asserted and formed. Having engaged with the structural imperatives of ‘Empire’ and with the varied imperial meanings of gender, sexuality and medicine, historians have considered the movements of travellers, migrants, military bodies and medical personnel, and ‘transnational lives’. This book examines an empire-wide discourse of ‘madness’ as part of this inquiry. (148)

Author: Catherine Cox

Historians of asylums in India, South Africa and Australasia have stressed the importance of 'colonialism' as an analytic tool in the assessment of the activities of asylum officials and doctors. This book explores local medical, lay and legal negotiations with the asylum system in nineteenth-century Ireland. It deepens people's understanding of attitudes towards the mentally ill and institutional provision for the care and containment of people diagnosed as insane. The book expands the analytical focus beyond asylums incorporating the impact that the Irish poor law, petty session courts and medical dispensaries had on the provision of services. It builds on 'Mark Finnane's study of the origins and subsequent development of the asylum system. The national context to the introduction of asylum legislation is presented and the Carlow asylum district within the topography of institutional provision is situated. The focus is also on local actors in civil society - patients, families, poor law guardians, magistrates, police and doctors - and their interactions with asylums and with each other in responding to and managing the insane and insanity. Asylums and certification procedures and the lunacy inspectors' drive to publicly and practically place medical certification, and establish medical rather than legal actors as asylum gatekeepers is discussed. Irish families invoked certification to impose normative roles and to resolve conflict. The book emphasises the degree to which the asylum 'was a contested site, subject to continual negotiation amongst different parties'.

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Lunacy investigation law and the asylum reconsidered
James E. Moran

Insane from June 1842 to July 1843. At the asylum, superintendent Thomas Kirkbride considered George W. to be ‘laboring under that form of insanity known as dementia or weakness of mind and afforded but little reason for hope that he would ever recover’. 9 Between 1843 and 1850, George W. was once more in the care of his sister, after which time he was committed to the New Jersey State Lunatic Asylum, where superintendent Horace Buttolph arrived at the same diagnosis. Henry C. experienced a remarkably similar multi-institutional confinement, being cared for by his

in Madness on trial
Women in the public asylums, 1860s-1900s
Catharine Coleborne

, also taking the stated causes of mental illness into account as a way of understanding the gendered dimensions of these diagnoses. How did women’s mania and melancholia manifest as symptoms, and who noticed these? The diagnoses of puerperal insanity, and the problem of female imbecility, are addressed here to show that concerns over women’s sexuality took different forms in the institution. Finally

in Insanity, identity and empire
Mourning and Melancholia in Female Gothic, 1780–1800
Angela Wright

Wright explores how novels by Eliza Fenwick, Sophia Lee, Maria Roche, and Ann Radcliffe critique, via their fascination with portraiture, eighteenth-century consumerism. Wright argues that this engagement with image-making indicates late eighteenth century concerns with fashion, opulence and consumerism which become relocated in women‘s Gothic writing through the correlated issues of female insanity, desire and loss.

Gothic Studies
The trial in history, volume II
Editor: R. A. Melikan

Lawyers had been producing reports of trials and appellate proceedings in order to understand the law and practices of the Westminster courts since the Middle Ages, and printed reports had appeared in the late fifteenth century. This book considers trials in the regular English criminal courts in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. It also considers the contribution of criminal lawyers in developing the modern rules of evidence. The book explores the influence of scientific and pseudoscientific knowledge on Victorian insanity trials and trials for homosexual offences, respectively. The British Trials Collection contains the only readily accessible and near-verbatim accounts of civil trials from the 1760s, 1770s, and 1780s, decades crucial to understanding how the rules of evidence developed. It might be thought that Defence of the Realm Acts (DORA) or its regulations would have introduced trials in camera. The book presents a comparative critique of war crimes trials before the International Military Tribunals at Nuremberg and Tokyo and the International Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and for Rwanda. The first spy trial by court martial after the legal change in 1915 was that of Robert Rosenthal, who was German. The book also considers the principal features of the first war crimes trial of the twenty-first century in terms of personnel and procedures, the alleged crimes, and issues of legality and legitimacy. It also speculates on the narratives or non-narratives of the trial and how these may impact on the professed aims and objectives of the litigation.