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Thomas Monro

(1759-1833), Physician and patron of the arts

Regency Portraits Catalogue Entry

Sitter in 1 portrait
Monro's post at Bethlem, the nation's most prominent madhouse, made him a recognised expert on insanity. He was one of the physicians who attended the king, George III, during his second bout of madness in 1811-12. Monro was most notorious, however, for his testimony in 1815-16 before the House of Commons committee on madhouses, concerning scandalous abuses at Bethlem. He was accused of lacking humanity in his dealings with his patients, and of pursuing a course of medical treatment that was cruel, useless and injurious. In his defence, Monro confessed that patients received little medical treatment and he defended the use of chains to keep patients under control.

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