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Bethlem Royal Hospital

Bethlem Royal Hospital (bĕthˈləm) [key], 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.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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