Scope and Content

The Act 53 Victoria c. 5 Sect. 40 (the Lunacy Act of 1845) provided for the controlled use and certification of mechanical restraint which was to be regulated by the Commissioners in Lunacy. The regulations of the Commissioners (later the Board of Control) under Sect. 40 describe in some detail the instruments and appliances which could be used, and copies of these regulations are inserted at the beginning of the registers: RET 6/8/3 contains those for 1895 and 1913 and RET 6/8/4 has those for 1925.
The registers themselves contain the following information: date, name of patient, means of restraint employed, duration in hours, certificate of Medical superintendent or Medical Officer stating the grounds on which the restraint was employed. The format varies slightly between the volumes but with essentially the same detail; from 1925 seclusion is also included
Note that RET 6/8/1 predates the main series and is in the form of a small notebook
Restraint was only used occasionally at the period which is covered by these volumes. Some detail of the use of restraint in the early days of the Retreat can be found in the case notes of individual patients in the early case books. There are actually some surviving leather restraints used by the Retreat in the early 19th century. For bills and receipts for restraints in the early 19th century, see RET 3/3/1. See also John Kitching on mechanical restraint, RET 5/9/6/3.

Access Information

Access to some material is restricted under data protection laws. Restricted items are at RET 6/8/3, RET 6/8/4, RET 6/8/5, and RET 6/8/6.

Additional Information