[quote] [R274] mentally ill people and criminals were shipped over to the American colonies by the British.
The British wouldn’t bother paying for the passage of mentally ill people to America. It was expensive and what were they going to do with them once they got to america? They were farming, fishing, fighting Indians. Mentally ill people would be in the way & totally useless. They were shut up in asylums in England. Imagine sending people who can’t do any kind of work to the Americas during colonial times,
King James I (1603-1625) instructed the court that 'lunatics be freely committed to their best and nearest friends, that can receive no benefit by their death.' The care of the mentally ill was essentially a domestic matter and on the whole, it seems that people were not exploited by the system.
The level of specialist institutional provision for the care and control of the insane remained extremely limited at the turn of the 18th century. [bold] Madness was seen principally as a domestic problem, [/bold] with families and parish authorities in Europe and England central to regimens of care. Various forms of outdoor relief were extended by the parish authorities to families in these circumstances, including financial support, the provision of parish nurses and, where family care was not possible, lunatics might be 'boarded out' to other members of the local community or committed to private madhouses. Exceptionally, if those deemed mad were judged to be particularly disturbing or violent, parish authorities might meet the not inconsiderable costs of their confinement in charitable asylums such as Bethlem, in Houses of Correction or in workhouses.
Due, perhaps, to the absence of a centralised state response to the social problem of madness until the 19th century, private madhouses proliferated in 18th century Britain on a scale unseen elsewhere. References to such institutions are limited for the 17th century but it is evident that by the start of the 18th century, the so-called 'trade in lunacy' was well established. Daniel Defoe, an ardent critic of private madhouses, estimated in 1724 that there were fifteen then operating in the London area.
When the ruling monarch of the United Kingdom George III, who suffered from a mental disorder, experienced a remission in 1789, mental illness came to be seen as something which could be treated and cured. The introduction of moral treatment was initiated independently by the French doctor Philippe Pinel and the English Quaker William Tuke.
Britain only sent healthy people to America because they had a lot of work to do.