Joseph Holdsworth

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Pauper Inmate Joseph Holdsworth.

Joseph Holdsworth

No of admission: 1167

Occupation: Spinner/ Overlocker

Admitted on the 3rd Day of August 1891

Facts observed: Is suffering from delusional insanity that men are in the ceiling of his bed room looking down upon him and his wife in bed, that they are following him about to shoot him.

Other facts reported: His wife reports that five years ago, he tried to hang himself and strangle his wife. That he is full of illusions and delusions, that he sees men in the house, that they are after him, that they are going to shoot him. That he refuses his food saying that it is poisoned.

Aged 49

Has been recently talking to me several times about person wetting his bed, he now says that spirits come and “flood him” at night. There is never any indication as one might expect of the patients himself having passed urine in his bed. He is very excitable and believes he is poisoned

The patient is a strong and robust man, resolutely refuses to do any work. Very suspicious, he is fairly quiet and now sleeps in a side room owing to his delusions above his bed.

(Below is the content of the letter he sent to the Medical Superintendent, It is transcribed exactly as written.)

Dear Sir,

I write to inform you how I have been abused with ought any cause whatever. I am very sorry to have to do so I cannot stand it any longer without informing you about it there is someone tampering with the victals that is put on the table by the entrance off the dyninghall I have been on that table for over two years I have complained to the attendants and to Mr Samson on several ocations but it seems to be off no use since I had Mr E Watmough and my brother Mr Wm Holdsworth on a visit I have been abused worse than ever since they was here. They are tampering with the coffee and tea and the bred as well their is something put into it that is not fit for umen bens to drink or to heat at times I have had to doo without on several ocations there is no need for any such thing unless there is rules to that efect when I was brought to this asylum my weight was 10st and 7lbs and at the present time it is only 9st and 6lbs and all that as gone since Mr Watmough and my brother was here I think that showes for itself that their is something wrong going on if I goe on in that way their will be nothing off me left I gave Mr Samson a letter on Saturday 14th July I should be glad to know if you have seen to hit going away it seems to me that their is something that is not wright as soon as I get into the dynninghall their is someone shouting Joseph Holdsworth their is some shit in thy tea or some piss in it there is something in I will assure you that it is not wright it wants a stop put in to it it is two months since I was removed out of a sideroom in to the dawmotory and out of that time I have only had two knights that I can say that I have had a bed fit to ly on without complaining about it it was clean and worth calling a bed when I went for two knights and since then I have had blankets put on with shit on them and I have complained several times about it I have had to take one off them off there I had only one and a sheet to wrap me with I have been complaining about these kind of things for over twelve months I have found the blankets in the side rooms I have been in as been saterated with some kind off lickued smelled most awful and the pilla that I have on my bed at the present time I cannot bear to lay my head upon it for the stench that comes from it I have to put it unhder the end of the mattress I think that there some off the attendents tampering with me from them books in a morning when I get up I am more like a tawney than an english man I shame with myself until I have had a good wash I am a man that as made a practise off chewing tobacco but I have to do so to take the nasty taste out of my mouth I can feel myself smell in a morning when I get up worse than urinal place and for doing anything off that kind myself on to anything belonging to the bed I cannot tell off it nor messing in the poo as there is someone keeps changing my blankets and put in others on that as shit on that is something that is not wright it is something that I would not do to anyone I shall have been in the asylum three years on the third off august I should be glad to hear any one say that I have done a dirty action to them with a cause either the attendents or anyone else their is someone within my hearing at times that keep telling me that they will give me something that will stop me up and then it will cause to have fits and then I shall never get away have not had any medisons since I came here nor had to ly in bed for any sickness I think that their is someone givening you some wrong instructions about me to keep me here it is a good deal of money out of my way been here all this time I cannot tell wat you mean when you tell me that you have nothing to do with me I should be glad if you would explain the matter to me I never was hartor in all my life but what I have to do when I cannot have fit for anyone to heat I have always given the bred a good word but since I had these two friends that I have named it has been most awful I have given them no cause to treat me in the kind off away that I know off it is a shame…………. Abusements as I have menchoned if this kind off work is not stopped I shall certainly let the madgestrates know by Mr E Watmough it would seem you and the guardians much better and be much more honourable to give me my discharge than to keep me here wasting good time for time is money I have a great deal of time wasted here that their as been no cause for I shall be very much obliged to you if you will look into the matter and do as you could like to be done too it is not a very nice thing to be kept away from my wife and family I have always had to work ever since I was able to do anything I have been a worker for over forty years and I have paid rates for thirty years with in a very short time I shall be only 53 years off age next February 18th I am not an old man that broken down I ham as able to work as ever I was but if I have to be here and be abused in this kind off a manner I shall be able to do anything I hope you do oblige me by giving me my discharge and letting me go home as soon as possible to my wife and family I do not want to say any pessnly about any one but I think it is my place to let you know such carryings on it is not some that is compulsory and for that reason I hope you will try and stop such work I cannot see any benefitt by hit to Dr Mack Dewhill Medical Superintendant of this asylum Menston nr Leeds

From Joseph Holdsworth No 4 ward

(Ward 4 at the time being the Acute and recent block.) Known on this website as Stainton – Marrick.