Tuesday, 29 May 2012

William James Ball and the Glamorgan Asylum, 1907

On 2 July 1907, William James Ball was re-admitted to the Glamorgan Asylum. Now aged 49, his readmission was labelled "chronic mania". William had continued to reside at 2 St. George's Terrace, Reynoldston, Gower, with wife, Mary.

The doctor noted that William talked incessantly, "rambling on about the salvation of the world, the devil, his departed friends, removing mountains in the sea, his own posessions of great wealth and property, his elevation to the Bench, and his taking Stouthall or Cyfarthfa Castle to reside in."

His physical exam revealed that he was "fairly nourished". His hair was grey, irises light blue, but the left pupil was larger than the right. Both eyes were regular and reacted normally. It was noted that William frequently mistook the attendant to be his cousin. He was restless and unable to sleep. He talked of how he was closely related to royalty, and how he would distribute his great wealth "for the good of widows and orphans."

His medical notes from mid July to mid October describe his unchanged state of restlessness and agitation. However, on 15 October 1907, it is noted that William is "considerably improved, quiet & makes himself useful, somewhat childish, irresponsible & doesn't seem to trouble much about his position." The entry for 1 Jan 1908 says that he "continues as at last note".

The last entry, dated 15 Feb 1908, states "Was today discharged as Recovered". Presumably, he went home to Reynoldston and his wife Mary.

Cheers, K.

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