By Dale Peterson
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Extra info for A Mad People’s History of Madness
Liveth one who by the blessing of God cures all Lunatick, distracted, or mad people; he seldom exceeds three months in the cure of the Maddest person that comes in his house; several have been cured in a fortnight and some in less time; he has cured several from Bedlam, and other mad-houses in and about the city, and has conveniency for people of what quality soever. 5 For a long time, the status and power of madhouse keepers remained pretty much undefined in the law. A law passed early in the eighteenth century said that two or more justices of the peace could authorize the arrest by local authorities of any person deemed "furiously mad, and dangerous," and could order his or her incarceration, "safely locked up," where chains could be used for restraint if necessary.
Methought all about me were Devils, and he was Beelzebub. I was taken off my Horse, and expected immediately to be cast into intolerable Flames and Burnings, which seem'd to be before mine Eyes. The Carrying me into the House, and into an Inner and an Under Room appointed for my Lodgings, I thought to be a Casting me into Utter Darkness. Here I was committed to a Person who came to be my Guardian, to watch me, that I might not destroy my self. And in this Room and House I continu'd several Weeks, nay, as I take it, Months.
And all attended with great Temptations to undo my self. Sometimes I continu'd in the Bed all the Day: Sometimes they put Bolts upon my Hands and Fetters on my Feet, when I prov'd violent and unruly (which I often did); for I would often strive and fight, contending with my utmost Strength, to get away from them, and so to free my self from that Place, which I thought to have been Hell, and from those Persons whom I thought to have been Tormentors. When I was thus outragious at any Time, then would they throw me upon the Bed, and thus put Bolts upon me; and there should I lie in great Pain and Weariness 'till I could well endure it no longer; then should I desire to be releas'd and promise to be quiet.
A Mad People’s History of Madness by Dale Peterson