Speaker: Dr Catherine Cox (University College Dublin)

This talk explores the migratory patterns of Irish patients into and through the Lancashire asylum system in the later 19th century. Asylum medical superintendents referred specifically to the pressure placed by the Irish on what were to become severely overcrowded institutions.

Many Irish migrants ended up in asylums after periods spent ‘wandering’ across England or the globe. Pressure on the asylums was exacerbated by the intake of lunatics returned from North America to Lancashire.

This talk couples the big picture of the impact of the Irish on asylums and their management to individual stories of movement through migration, the search for work, destitution and confinement.