Census returns for Newport, Knowle & Whitecroft Asylums

It can be problematic trying to identifiy patients at Knowle and Whitecroft Asylums from the census returns as individuals were generally only identified by initials in the 1861 to 1911 censuses, but looking at the 1851 and across the 1861 to 1911 census can provide a number of 'clues' which may help.
Initial of first name (optional)  
Initial of family name  
Born:
Isle of Wight only
Isle of Wight and undefined
Everywhere
Sex:
Both
Male
Female
Birth year
(leave blank for all dates)
 
 

In the mid-19th century the County Asylums Act and Lunacy Act (1845) required that each English County provide a Mental Hospital, as the Island was part of Hampshire at that time, patients were sent to the Hampshire County Mental Hospital at Knowle outside Fareham which opened in 1852.

The 1851 census has the Island Lunatic Asylum recorded on its own (ie not part of the House of Industry) in the Hunnyhill area of Carisbrooke; patients appear to have been moved to Knowle once it was opened.

When the Isle of Wight became a separate county in 1890, it ceased to have any proprietary rights in the Hampshire County Mental Hospital at Knowle and the Isle of Wight had to pay for each patient housed at Knowle.

The Isle of Wight County Mental Hospital at Whitecroft was opened in 1896 and the Isle of Wight patients at Knowle were transferred to Whitecroft - although it appears that some remained there after 1896.

Any patient who died at Knowle would have been recorded at Fareham district and could have been buried in the Knowle Mental Hospital graveyard - although some families would have made their own arrangements in local churchyards/cemeteries.

Whitecroft Mental Hospital did not have a burial ground; any death would have been recorded at Newport district and typically would have been buried at Carisbrooke Mountjoy Cemetery although, again, some families would have made their own arrangements in local churchyards/cemeteries.


© antony barton 2015