Norwich, Norfolk, England - 1713 - Bethel Hospital built in Norwich
The Bethel Hospital in Norwich, founded by Mary Chapman, was opened in 1713 and was the first purpose-built asylum in the country. In 1712, the site, a 'wast peece of ground,' in Committee Street (later re-named Bethel Street, because of the hospital) near to St. Peter Mancroft Church, had been leased to Mary Chapman for one thousand years at a peppercorn rent. Carpenter Richard Starling and mason Edward Freeman were contracted to build the hospital... From 1713 to 1814 (when the local county asylum was opened), the Bethel was the sole public facility for the mad or insane in Norwich...
'This house was built for the benefit of distrest Lunaticks Ano Dom. 1713 and is not to be alienated or employed to any other use or purpose whatsoever. Tis also requir'd that the Master, who shall be chosen from time to time, be a Man that lives in the Fear of God and sets up true protestant Religion in his Family and will have a due Regard as well to souls as bodies as those that are under his care.'...
www.heritagecity.org/ research-centre/ social-innovation/ the-bethel-hospital.htm
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