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'St Luke's Hospital', print, London, England, 1785

This print shows St Luke’s Hospital for Lunatics shortly after a new building was built in 1782 in Old Street, London. St Luke’s was a hospital for the mentally ill founded in 1751 to relieve the pressure on London’s other asylum, Bethlem Hospital. St Luke’s was one of the first teaching hospitals to study mental illness. Unlike other asylums, visitors were not permitted purely to be amused by the plight of the patients. The illustration was engraved by an artist named Deeble for The European Magazine and London Review, which was launched in 1782.

Object number:

A639203

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Glossary:

Glossary: print

Pictorial works produced by transferring images by means of a matrix such as a plate, block, or screen, using any of various printing processes. When emphasizing the individual printed image, use "impressions." Avoid the controversial expression "original prints," except in reference to discussions of the expression's use. If prints are neither "reproductive prints" nor "popular prints," use just "prints."

Glossary: engraving

A technique to obtain prints from an engraved surface. Engraving is the practice of cutting into a hard, usually flat surface.

Glossary: psychiatric hospital

Psychiatric hospital specialising in the treatment of serious mental illness, usually for relatively long-term patients.

Glossary: asylum

A historic term for a psychiatric hospital. The term in this context was common in the 1700s and 1800s, but is no longer in use.

Glossary: mental illness

Who were the `mentally ill’? We use this phrase to reflect the historical descriptions of individuals with a variety of behaviours, mental health problems and pathologies. Historically, the concept of ‘ madness’ or ‘insanity’ was used to describe people who may have had what we would now consider psychiatric disorders. It often also included those showing symptoms of syphilis, epilepsy, depression, or in some cases merely behaviour considered to be eccentric or outside commonly accepted norms.