See also

Lydia WENSLEY (c. 1838-1896)

Name: Lydia WENSLEY1
Sex: Female
Father: James WENSLEY (c. 1801-1881)
Mother: Mary WALLER (c. 1802-1851)

Individual Events and Attributes

Birth c. 1838 Cheriton Fitzpaine, Devon, England
Death Q4 1896 (age 57-58) Puddington, Devon, England

Individual Note

Record of Lydia's admission Lydia Wensley to St Thomas's Asylum,


Order For The Reception of a Pauper into An Asylum


Mr Ferguson Davie has called upon my assistance as surgeon to personally examine Lydia Wensley, a pauper, and satisfied that she is a person of unsound mind and a proper person to be taken charge and detained under care and treatment hereby direct you to receive the said Lydia Wensley as a patient into your Asylum


Signed Mr Ferguson Davie

JP County of Devon

John Wellacott

Receiving Officer Crediton Union 17th March 1881

Dr Sanders

Superintendent County of Devon at Exminster


Statement for Admission No 5768


Name of Patient: Lydia Wensley

Age: 43 years Single Femail

Occupation: Domestic work and farmers Daughter

Address: Bamson, Puddington

First Attack No

Age at First Attack 28 years

Where Treated St Thomas's Asylum Exeter 1866

Duration of Attack: Many years

Danger to Others: Yes

Parish to be Charged: Puddinton in the Crediton Union

Name and place of

Abode of nearest

Relative: James Wensley, Bamson Puddington



Signed: John Wellacott

Receiving Officer Sandford Crediton Union


Medical Certificate


I the undersigned being a member of the College of Surgeons and being in actual practice as a Surgeon in the County of Devon hereby certify that I on the 14th day of March 1881 at Bamson, Puddington in the County of Devon personally examined Lydia Wensley Employed in Domestic Work and Daughter of a Farmer and that the said, Lydia Wensley is a person of unsound mind and a proper person to be charged of and detained under care and treatment, and that I have formed this opinion upon the following grounds via


Facts indicating insanity observed by myself: On presenting myself to her she seemed to regard me with the greatest suspicion and distrust. Her general appearance showed great negligence and of something wrong. She was only partially dressed and in this state wandered about the house. On being spoken to she seemed quite at a loss as to what reply to make. An important fact noticeable was her great dislike of her father and she informed me that she heartily wished him dead and several times she spoke as if she considered that he ought to die and as his time was coming, infact I considered his life to be quite in danger from her hands


Other Facts (If Any) Indicating Insanity Communicated to Me By Others

The sister of Lydia Wensley corroborated the intense hatred of the woman to her father and she quite expected that some violence might be enacted and she also informed me that in every way Lydia Wensley acted in the most extraordinary manner and in church she was sometimes quite out of control. Her Father stated his own apprehension of danger from his daughter at all times. In Church she endeavoured to snatch the chalice from the hands of the Clergyman, (The Rev'd Fell) and behaved in the most unseemly manner.


Unable to read signature

Place of Abode: Cheriton Fitzpaine

Date the 14th day of March 1881.


Case Record


History of the Disease

She was a patient in St Thomas's Hospital, Exeter for six months in 1866: she was removed on the request of her friends, but has never been well since: Lately she has become more troublesome, and her friends have been unable to control her or to induce her to ? annuities of life ( her father is 80, and it appears that he has not of late had the necessary supervision)

General State of Mind

She is demented, quiet and apparently harmless; habits clean: refuses to work

General Physical Appearance

A fairly nourished woman of average height, hair brown, eyes grey, pupils normal

State of Tongue




Functions of Stomach, Bowels and Kidney


Pulse and Circulation


Voice and Respiration


Functions of Uterus




Progress of Case After Admission


April 2nd 1881 No change mentally or bodily

July 10th 1881 No mental improvement since her admission: Bodily health good

August 10th 1881 No change

January 10th 1882 No change

April 14th 1882 No change

July 16th 1882 Demented, quiet and harmless, does not want to communicate with

the other patients. Bodily health good

October 17th 1882 No mental change to record

April 21st 1883 Demented and unmanageable. In good bodily health

July 22nd 1883 No change

October 31st 1883 No change

January 30th 1884 She is now more troublesome and always attempting to escape

April 30th 1884 No change to record

July 21st 1884 No mental change to report

October 18th 1884 There is no mental change and she is always attempting to get away She does not work or communicate with others, she is in fair health

January 17th 1885 No mental change: bodily health fair

April 17th 1885 No change


Discharged not approved

13th May 1885


1"Nick Heard". This GEDCOM is predominantly the work of Nick Heard, but it incorporates the collaborated work of many other family historians. You are welcome to use the information herein but please acknowledge the source. Every effort has been made to ensure the data is accurate, but any use you make of it is entirely at your own risk. (c) Nick Heard 2009