[John Conolly, psychiatrist who pioneered the humane treatment of the insane.] Autograph Letter Signed ('John Conolly.') regarding meeting in Brighton of Provincial Medical and Surgical Association, with reference to doctors Tuke and Stilwell.

Author: 
John Conolly (1794-1866), psychiatrist and author, resident physician to the Middlesex County Asylum at Hanwell, where he introduced the principle of non-restraint into the treatment of the insane
Publication details: 
Hanwell [i.e. Middlesex County Asylum]. 29 July 1851.
£450.00
SKU: 21533

4pp, 12mo. Bifolium. In good condition, lightly aged, with traces of glue from mount to gutter. Folded twice. The recipient is not named, but is likely to be the secretary of the Provincial Medical and Surgical Association (now the British Medical Association), as the letter concerns the nineteenth annual meeting of that body, held at Brighton, 13 and 14 August 1851. It begins: 'My dear Sir, | Many thanks for your very kind invitation. I have engaged beds for myself, my brother Dr. W. C. [William Brice Conolly (c.1793-1861), M.D., of Castleton House Kings, Gloucestershire], Dr. Stilwell [James Stilwell (1797-1870) of Moorcroft House Private Asylum, Hillingdon], & my friend Dr. Tuke of Chiswick [Thomas Harrington Tuke (1826-1888) of the Manor House Asylum, Chiswick], (who wishes to be a Member), at the Bedford Hotel. I hope to bring with me a very esteemed friend, Monsr. Battelle, who is the Director of all the Civil Hospitals of Paris, and who is to visit me next week.' He is seeing 'many foreign doctors', but does not 'at present know one who will be likely to go to Brighton'. He suggests that 'Mr Propert, the founder of the proposed Medl. Benevt. College for the education of the sons of medical men, &c, would be glad to attend', and gives his address, 6 New Cavendish Street. He ends by stating that his 'party mean to be at Brighton for the Evening Meeting of Tuesday'. From the distinguished autograph collection of the psychiatrist Richard Alfred Hunter (1923-1981), whose collection of 7000 works relating to psychiatry is now in Cambridge University Library. Hunter and his mother Ida Macalpine had a particular interest in the illness of King George III, and their book 'George III and the Mad Business' (1969) suggested the diagnosis of porphyria popularised by Alan Bennett in his play 'The Madness of George III'.