The way in which these early Acts worked has been documented by one of thephysicians of Bethlem Hospital, Dr Helkiah Crooke. It concerned one of hisprivate patients, Edmund Francklin, who was found to be unable to manage hisestate in Bedford. In 1630 the responsibility for the estate was handed over tohis brothers, George, Nicholas and John Francklin.Edmund was committed to a house and not to the hospital. During his timethere he was found to have behaved in a violent and outrageous manner over aperiod of two years and was interviewed at home by Doctor Crooke. Havingsatisfied himself that complaints were well founded Crooke transported Edmundto his own house in London and there treated him according to his infirmity.Whilst separated from his estate he took no part in its management norreceived any rents or other moneys from it. The estate did however providetwo hundred pounds a year for the food and care that Edmund receivedincluding the provision of two menservants.
as a product of the pen of Daniel Defoe has survived farlonger than his other writings which had a much more substantial sociologicalimpact at the time. Daniel Defoe is now mainly thought of as a novelist but thisis not how his contemporaries regarded him. His reputation in his lifetime wasas a poet, a journalist, and a polemical writer on political, economic and socialaffairs. The quantity and range of his writings is unparalleled in EnglishLiterature, and few writers have made such a lasting impact in so many literarygenres. Two important areas of reform which he advocated were eventuallybrought into the area of statutory law.One concerned natural fools and idiots, as they were called in his day, whichwere institutionalized together with all types of patients with mental illness.Defoe took a stand on the need to separate them, and house the mentaldefectives separately. He wrote eloquently and touchingly in support of theircare.“I think 'twould very well become this wise age to take care of such; andperhaps they are a particular rent-charge on the great family of mankind,left by the Maker of us all; like a younger brother, who tho' the estate begiven from him, yet his father expected the heir should take some care of him. ““If I were to be asked who ought in particular to be charged with thiswork, I would answer in general, those who have a portion of understanding extraordinary. Not that I would lay a tax upon any man'sbrains or discourage wit, by appointing wise men to maintain fools; butsome tribute is due to God's goodness for bestowing extraordinary gifts,and who can it better be paid to than such as suffer for want of the sameBounty?”
He put forward the unique proposal that such places might be paid for by a 'Taxupon Learning'. This, he suggested, should be a payment by authors from thesale of their books.Another area of concern for Defoe was the way in which the madhouses wereregulated. He pin-pointed this in his periodical,
A Review of the State of theEnglish Nation
, in 1728. He took umbrage at the lack of legal supervision of the