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Agency Detail

Agency No. 660
Start Date  1 Jul 1865
End Date  31 Dec 1909
Category  Hospital
Creating Legislation  Lunacy Act 1871
Agency Description  The first mentally ill patients in Western Australia were cared for in temporary accommodation, including the wreck of the Marquis of Anglesey, the Fremantle Round House and in the Colonial Hospital. When convict transportation began in 1850, the numbers of people with mental illnesses in the colony began to increase. Official care began with the transfer of ten convicts from Fremantle Gaol to a new asylum located in Scots warehouse in November 1857.

Fremantle Asylum was completed and occupied in July 1865 and accommodated a wide range of patients. Initially most were male convicts, but gradually more patients were admitted from the civilian population. Common causes of admission were sunstroke, sexually transmitted diseases, alcoholism, delirium and diseases of old age. Patients could be admitted from anywhere in the colony. After proclamation of the Lunacy Act 1871, patients could be admitted by certification.

The Asylum was under the direction of a Surgeon Superintendent, and was administered jointly by the Imperial and colonial governments until 1886 when control was transferred to the colonial government. After the 1890's gold rushes, the Asylum became drastically overcrowded, forcing a reorganisation of facilities (including the purchase of Whitby Falls as an asylum farm in 1897) and plans for a much larger institution. Fremantle Lunatic Asylum was no longer used after 1909 once all patients had been transferred to the new Claremont Hospital for the Insane.

Preceding Agencies 
Succeeding Agencies 
543 CLAREMONT MENTAL HOSPITAL 1 Aug 1903 ~ 31 Dec 1972   Detail
Superior Agencies 
103 COLONIAL SECRETARY'S OFFICE ~ 31 Dec 1909   Detail
Subordinate Agencies 
Functions exercised by this agency 
3 HEALTH 1 Jul 1865 ~ 31 Dec 1909   Detail
Record series created by this agency 
1344 DAY BOOK - MALE 30 Dec 1899 ~ 31 Dec 1906   Detail
2216 OCCURRENCE BOOKS ~ 1 Jan 1903   Detail
2217 DAILY JOURNALS - MALE -  Detail
2218 DAILY JOURNALS - MEDICAL ~ 31 Aug 1903   Detail
2219 CASE BOOKS ~ 31 Aug 1903   Detail
2220 ATTENDANTS' REPORT BOOKS 1 Jan 1901 ~ 31 Aug 1903   Detail

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State Records Office of Western Australia
Last Updated 23 August 2004

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