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William Hardcastle, a patient at West Riding Lunatic Asylum in Wakefield, Yorkshire. Photograph attributed to James Crichton-Browne, 1872.

  • Crichton-Browne, James, 1840-1938.
  • Pictures

Selected images from this work

About this work


A bald man with a beard, identified as William Hardcastle, from Commercial Street, Morley, West Yorkshire. He was admitted to the West Riding Asylum in November, 1871, as a 42 year old married labourer. Several weeks earlier he had been knocked unconscious by a blow to the head from another man. His behaviour since had been erratic but it was his "doing his family duty" by beating his wife "for her own good" that appears to have triggered his committal to the Asylum. He was discharged recovered in June, 1872 shortly after this photograph was taken. -- records in the West Yorkshire Archive Service, Wakefield, Yorkshire, identified by David Scrimgeour, op. cit.


Wakefield : West Riding Asylum, Photographic Studio, [1872]

Physical description

1 photograph : photoprint, albumen ; sheet 9 x 5.5 cm


Mono-mania of pride

Creator/production credits

The photograph may have been taken by James Crichton-Browne (1840-1938), the medical superintendent at West Riding Asylum 1866-1876. Crichton-Browne sent a similar set of photographs to Charles Darwin in or around 1869

References note

David Scrimgeour, 'Wellcome Library's "Anonymous patients" become proper people', David Scrimgeour blog , 22 September 2016

Lettering note

Lettering hand-written in black ink on mount


Wellcome Library no. 35106i


  • English

Where to find it

  • LocationStatusAccess
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    OpenOnline request

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