Monday, 28 May 2012

William James Ball and the Glamorgan Asylum, 1902 - part 2

From the time of his admission to the Glamorgan Asylum on 18 November to late December 1902, William's condition showed little improvement. His medical notes throughout the period show him to be quiet, tearful and irritable. One entry notes his state as "peevish", and prone to thoughts of persecution. The doctor's late December entries noted that William felt that he had been systematically persecuted for 6 years by two men, and that his own brother "was wishful of murdering him". As for the episode with the horse prior to his arrival, William defended himself by telling doctors that he horse was his own property, and that he was going to take it to his home in Devon, just to show his people how well off he was and then return it.

The entry for 6 February 1903 states that William's mental and physical health was improving steadily. His feeling of persecution, while still present, were less firmly held. In the mornings, he suffered from cough and breathlessness.

The 4 Mar 1903 entry confirms his continued improvement, and loss of "deluded ideas". On 6 May 1903, the doctor noted that "the satisfactory progress has been fully maintained" and by 13 June 1903, William left the care of the hospital on a four week trial. On 11 July 1903, William James Ball was discharged as "Recovered".

I have always wondered about the conditions under which William was treated. He seems to have gained weight during his stay in the asylum, which would have been a result of his improved physical health.

I read with interest that William's height was 5'2". Dad had told me that his grandfather, Thomas was only 5' tall (Annie Amelia, affectionately known as "Budgie" in the family, was 4' 10"). I am 5' 2" and the shortest in my immediate family. Dad, Bill and Grandad were around 6' in height. Dad always said that I inherited my height from Thomas and Annie - may it was more of a family trait that we had known.

Cheers, K.

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