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Bethlem Royal Hospital

Bethlem Royal Hospital (bĕthˈləm), the oldest institution for the care and confinement of the mentally ill in England, and one of the oldest in Europe. A priory in 1247, the building was converted to its later usage c.1400. The hospital moved in 1675, in 1815, and to its present location near Croydon in 1930. The word bedlam, which is derived from the hospital's name, has long been applied to any place or scene of wild turmoil and confusion. Presently, Bethlem Royal Hospital is connected with the Univ. of London's Institute of Psychiatry, and is part of the Maudsley Hospital.
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from Hospital of St. Mary of Bethlehem, former English insane asylum. [Br. Folklore: Jobes, 193]


(Hospital of St. Mary of Bethlehem) first asylum for the insane in England; noted for brutal treatment of its patients. [Br. Hist.: EB, I: 924]
See: Madness
Allusions—Cultural, Literary, Biblical, and Historical: A Thematic Dictionary. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


Archaic a lunatic asylum; madhouse
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
By the time of the great 18th-century cartoonist William Hogarth, Bedlam was the last resting place on the way to the grave.
In his interview, he said: "It was St John's, a few bobbies, it was bedlam.
The dogs of Bedlam Farm are Rose, a sheep-herding border collie; Izzy, a border collie therapy dog; Frieda, a German shepherd/ Rottweiler guard dog; and Lenore, a black Lab who would rather play than work.
Bedlam tells the story of a bored, young slacker scientist from Stirling who gets stuck inside a series of video games from different eras with no explanation and no way out.
crew of helpers sets out to discover the secret behind the walls of Bedlam.
Now, with Bedlam up and running, he's got new sit-com Sex And The Chippy in production in Liverpool.
Summary: Three people were arrested and six others were injured after bedlam broke out while they waited to audition for America's Next Top Model.
The 'Back to Bedlam' singer will be in the city on February 25 taking part in the Dubai Jazz Festival.
With more than two decades of unpublished literary material, Larry Baumhor finally makes his work available to the world with "Gefilte Fish in the House of Bedlam".
On "The Bedlam in Goliath," its fourth studio effort, The Mars Volta aims higher still, with songs that twist dream-language lyrics with striking spiritual, carnal and religious images and themes around monolithic slabs of crazed guitar playing and frenetic drumming.
Dramatic, whimsical and packed with lively humour, this is a story revolving around Tom Bedlam, who grows up fatherless and poor in South London in the 1860s.