Plans and Drawings by William Williamson, 1857-1869

Scope and Content

William Williamson was a joiner and attendant - described as joiner and overlooker by 1861 - who joined the Retreat staff in January 1855 (See RET 5/9/15 for instructions on his work with the patients). He was also made useful in preparing plans of the drainage etc at the Retreat and in making plans for John Kitching, the Medical Superintendent in order to illustrate how the Retreat might be extended to increase the accommodation for patients. In January 1869 the Committee presented Williamson with the sum of £20 in consideration of his having prepared for the Retreat plans of the drains, gas pipes etc. For Kitching's suggestions on expansion see RET 2/2/7/1 Williamson was critical of building work being done at the Retreat, and he offered much advice on sanitation - see papers in RET 2/2/6
The following plans and drawings are of two types: those relating to drains and sanitation are an accurate contemporary record; the plans relating to buildings are speculative representations and do not show additions which were actually built. Williamson's drawings do however include much interesting information about the Retreat land and buildings of his time, noting functions of the different parts and rooms.
In 1864 Williamson wrote a small volume:
William Williamson, Thoughts on Insanity and its Causes and on the Management of the Insane to which are appended a few hints on the Construction of Asylums (2nd edition, London, 1864).

Alternative Form Available

Much of the Retreat Archive has been digitised with funding from the Wellcome Collection. Copies of digitised records can be viewed online where available by following links provided within the catalogue.

Related Material

See also papers at RET 2/2/6. See also RET 2/2/5/2 and drawing at RET 2/1/2/3.

Additional Information