Papers relating to the Yorkshire Association for the Mentally Defective

Scope and Content

These are papers which belonged to Dr Bedford Pierce, who was a member, and later Chairman, of the Executive Committee of the Yorkshire Association for the Mentally Defective.
This was originally called the Yorkshire Association for Permanent Care of the Feeble Minded, and it was founded in Leeds in November 1910, with the objects of pressing for legislation to give powers of care and supervision over the feeble minded, and of forming a farm colony in Yorkshire.
After the 1913 Mental Deficiency Act was passed, the Association played a role in ascertaining numbers of defectives, visiting and reporting on cases, and providing for admissions to institutional care; indeed, in the North Riding of Yorkshire, the County Committee for the Care of the Mentally Defective delegated these roles to the Yorkshire Association between 1914 and 1934. There are minute books for the North Riding Committee for the Care of the Mentally Defective 1914 - 1948 in the archive of Claypenny Hospital at the Borthwick Institute, and these detail some of the work done up to 1934 by the Yorkshire Association for the Mentally Defective on behalf of the North Riding. The Yorkshire Association also had similar agreements to do work on behalf of the City of York, and the East Riding, as the correspondence below shows.
The Association was one of a number of such organisations throughout the country. In 1922 it was re-named the Yorkshire Association for Mental Welfare.

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.

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