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Surname Lavina Augusta HENSTREDGE Dates 1845 - 1914 Places HAMPSHIRE , Ringwood, Knowle, County Asylum
 Surname Interests  HENSTREDGE Page  Parish Records  George HENSTREDGE's Will  Sarah HENSTREDGE's Will
 If you require any further info click to E-mail me


Lavina Augusta "Love" HENSTREDGE


This page covers the life of Lavina Augusta HENSTREDGE, She was a patient at Hampshire County Lunatic Asylum and this page displays some of the infomation that I have been able to find, I have split the page into the following sections:

Biography of Lavina Augusta HENSTREDGE
Finding the Records
The Medical Record of Lavina HENSTREDGE
Hampshire County Lunatic Asylum – Knowle Hospital

Biography of Lavina Augusta Henstredge

Lavina Augusta was born in 1845, she was nicknamed Love and is recorded as Love HENSTREDGE in the 1851 & 1861 Census. Lavina’s had a rather sad life, her mother Eliza died when she was 15 years old. Lavina was a Domestic Servant working at South Sea, Portsmouth. At the age of 27, according to records, she left her Job after becoming engaged, but quarrelled with her Fiancée. After the couple parted she moved back with her family in Ringwood.

There seems to have been a falling out between Lavina and her sisters, she accused them of stealing money from her as well as trying to poison her! It is also said that she “went to Church to tell the congregation of her mistreatment”. After several months of this behaviour she was recommended to be sent to the County Lunatic Asylum. The Local Clergy as well as several doctors, signed and officiated for her admission to the Asylum. On admission her Bodily Condition was described as Good, and the mental disorder is recorded as Mania. The Cause is recorded as “Disappointment in Love”.

Lavina spent the next 42 years in the Asylum. Records (available until 1907) describe how she settled into life at the Asylum and in later entries the deterioration of her health, as she aged. Lavina’s father George made the provision in his will dated 1879 : “And whereas my said daughter the said Lavinia Augusta Henstredge is now and has been for some time past of unsound mind and an inmate in the lunatic asylum at Fareham now I hereby direct and my will is that if and in case the said Lavinia Augusta Henstredge shall at the time of my decease shall be of unsound mind and in inmate in the said Asylum that all bequests here in before made by me in favour of her the said Lavinia Augusta Henstredge shall be absolutely null and void”


Biography of Lavina Augusta HENSTREDGE
Finding the Records
The Medical Record of Lavina HENSTREDGE
Hampshire County Lunatic Asylum – Knowle Hospital

Finding the Records

I have been able to locate the Hospital records for Lavina at Hampshire Record Office. There are several types of records containing personal information that can be used to trace a patient’s history. To locate personal records of a patient you first have to find the patients Case number. There is an index of patients but it runs from 1850’s -1922 due to the 100 year closure rule on medical / personal record you can’t look at it yourself. However after explaining who I was looking for and what I wanted to look at I was able to get an archivist to look up the entry for Lavina Augusta HENSTREDGE. They were able to provide me with an admissions date and some other dates in 1877 & 1893 ( I have yet to find out what they are for?). I was then able to look at the Admissions Register cross referencing the date to find Lavina’s entry. The records cover two horizontal landscape pages and include; Case number, names and addresses of the patients, who officiated their admission, the reason for admission and a summary of their health and previous history. It also listed a date for discharge removal or death. The asylum took in a large number and range of people and for numerous reasons including Drunkenness, Religious excitement, epilepsy and old age.

By cross referencing the case number I was able to look in the case histories register there I found more detail. This register constrains a report of the individual on admission as below and a “progress of case” which is a diary of the patents treatment. Those patients who were long term the progress of case diary is continued in further registers.

Whilst going through several case history registers I found many interesting entries – those patients who had illnesses and fevers there were bar graphs of there body temperature, one or two entries had note attached written by the patients them selves. Also later registers had more constructive and detailed information recorded for patients such as weight, heights fitness etc which would again aid a researcher.


Biography of Lavina Augusta HENSTREDGE
Finding the Records
The Medical Record of Lavina HENSTREDGE
Hampshire County Lunatic Asylum – Knowle Hospital

The Medical Record of Lavina HENSTREDGE

Below I have transcribed the case history of Lavina Augusta HENSTREDGE (1845 -1914) of Ringwood Hampshire. I warn readers that it makes for sad reading, I have not transcribed each entry but a selection (about a fifth of the total) highlighting her time at the asylum, nor have I toned down the (in my opinion) less than sympathetic language. We must also consider that Lavina was 27 and remained there for 42 years until her death in 1914! Please treat them with respect, and if you would like to comment on these please email me.

This is a selection from the first page of Lavnias's case record, it records her details, condition and reasons for admission to the Asylum.

Extract from the case History of Lavina Augusta HENSTREDGE on admission to Hampshire County Asylum in 1872

Apart from the extracts above a diary of the patients case was kept. Entries were made several times a year, at times when the patient needed medical care there are more entries. The first entries record how Lavina settled into life at the asylum, later entries describe her medical problems in later life.

The first entry in on 23rd March 1872 a week after her admittance on 16th: “At First obstinant but soon fell into the routine of the house. She is clean and tidy & does needlework. Has the same delusions as on admission. Says she was robbed by a man of three pounds in a railway carriage, who gave her something to make her insensible.”


Here are some further extracts; many entries besides these record “no change”

Entry on 20th May 1872
“Still believes that before she came here poison was put in her food. She declares she will be revenged on the people she supposes seat her here. She is well conducted at work in the laundry.”

June 20th 1872
“She has been sent into the wards having refused to go to work in the kitchen, She is very self willed, the same delusions. “

11th December 1873
“Very Excitable, Incoherent, Refuses to work says she is staved”

30th Jan 1877
“Very flighty in her conduct; At times talkative & abusive Is very thin in bodily condition”

The entries between 1878-1885 mostly record no change. Many of the entries are not very constructive.

March 30th 1887
“Laughs and talks to herself; never associates with the others, she assists in the work room”

11th December 1888
“At times troublesome; obstinate & violent; talking to her self”

22nd December 1888
“Appears worse today and very stupid; with loss of suppression on side of face”

29th March 1889
“Laughs and talks to herself; does not employ herself in any way; more demented with the heart pounds there is a mitial systolic bruit .

The entries then carried on in another register, the next entry not being for another year:
8th April 1890
“In 13 .3 Has not spoken for nearly 12 months and will do nothing for herself. Health fairly good.”

1st July 1890
“Will not speak but evidently understands fairly, In good Health . H Shaw”

Until 1895 the registrar notes much the same behaviours, with “Alternations of silence and talkativeness”

14th Jan 1896
“At times Noisey and Violent – H Abbott”

13th January 1898
“No Change. Has Chlordelgr 20 Brgr 30 Hypozeyeum 8/12 receptively which quites ber for several hours H Abbott ”

2nd April 1898
“Often requires medicine as above H Abbott”

11 November 1899
“Still Often noisy and violent Health Poor H Abbott”

Entries carried on in another register:

16th February 1901
“No Mental Change, Suffers From Odem of feet at times from Heart Failure H Abbott.”

29th April 1901
“This Morning Slipped & fell in 7B3. She Had a good deal og swelling of right wrist but I could not get any crepitas & there was obvious displacement So U put it up in two straight splints H Abbott”

3rd May 1901
“The splints are keeping in good position & she seems quite comfortable, she seems to have no pain A J Abbold”

26th May 1901
“She managed to get the bandage off but there did not appear to be any displacement of the parts & it is now put up in splints again, Health Delicate A J Abbold”

15th June 1901
“The Splints were removed to day & there is good union and mobility A J Abbold”

12th August 1901
“She is now in her usal condidtion A J Abbold”

1st November 1903
“Noisier than ever lately & now in L Ward A J Abbold”

24th September 1904
"She does not alter appreciably A J Abbold”

The entries then continued on in a further book that covered the Years 1904-1912, due to privacy laws I could not see any later entries as they have to be more than 100years old. I assume there is a further register that shows the entries until 1914. Deaths are marked in the register with a white slip of paper that details the cause of death. I believe these were a copy of the record sent to coroner who recorded the deaths of those in care. The admissions register detailed that Lavina died on 1st March 1914.


Biography of Lavina Augusta HENSTREDGE
Finding the Records
The Medical Record of Lavina HENSTREDGE
Hampshire County Lunatic Asylum – Knowle Hospital

Hampshire County Lunatic Asylum – Knowle Hospital


Ariel view of Knowle Hospital c1980's

The asylum was located at Knowle near Fareham Hampshire. The 100 acre site was largely self contained, besides the hospital facilities; the estate had farms, laundries, workers cottages, a chapel, cemetery and even its own rail station “Knowle Halt”. The Hospital was opened in 1852, as Hampshire Lunatic Asylum, under the provisons of the Pauper Lunatic Act. Over its long history it was enlarged and modernised, as a long stay institution it was designed to hold up to 1000 inmates from all over Hampshire. In 1923 it became Knowle Mental Hospital and in 1948 Knowle Hospital. It was Closed in 1996, and the site has since been developed into Housing and Industrial Estate.

Memorial at Knowle Hospital Cemetery : Five and a half thousand people were buried in this woodland between 1852 - 1971 , May they Rest in Peace and Rise in Glory The Hospital’s Cemetery was consecrated in 1856, and remained in use until 1971. Over the 120 year period 5878 people were buried there, including patients, hospital staff and some local people. Many of the graves are unmarked some have headstones but the majority are unmarked. A number of more modern graves are marked by concrete markers, with some older graves marked by Iron crosses. After years of neglect the Cemetery has become overgrown and wooded, and in 2004 was given to Wickham Parish. There is now a memorial at the entrance to the site. I believe Lavnia was buried there after her death on 1st March 1914.

Some Links

Knowle Halt - the Hospital's own railway Station
Knowle Hospital Cemetery
Wikipedia Page for Hampshire County Lunatic Asylum
Hospital Records Database Entry for Knowle Hospital


Biography of Lavina Augusta HENSTREDGE
Finding the Records
The Medical Record of Lavina HENSTREDGE
Hampshire County Lunatic Asylum – Knowle Hospital

Surname Lavina Augusta HENSTREDGE Dates 1845 - 1914 Places HAMPSHIRE , Ringwood, Knowle, County Asylum
 Surname Interests  HENSTREDGE Page  Parish Records  George HENSTREDGE's Will  Sarah HENSTREDGE's Will
 If you require any further info click to E-mail me