Institution Information - Seabank House

Town/Parish/County: Musselburgh, Inveresk, Midlothian

Alternative Names: [none]

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Locating Records for this institution

For people admitted to Scottish Mental Health institutions from 1 January 1858 a record usually survives in the ‘Notices of Admissions by the Superintendent of the Mental Institutions’ which are held by the National Records of Scotland. We are creating an index to these records and can assist you in searching the unindexed period. Search our index here or read more about the project here.

Records kept by this private institution do not seem to have survived. If you learn of anything concerning the survival or whereabouts of these records, please contact us.

Text from 1857 Royal Commission Report

“SEABANK HOUSE, MUSSELBURGH; Alexander Moffat, Proprietor; Visited 3d May 1855.

This house is situated near the race-course of Musselburgh.

At the date of our visit it had been opened only about a fortnight, and already contained two patients. The proprietor had been for many years a baker in London. About four years ago he returned to Musselburgh, his native place, and entered upon business on his own account. Not being successful in trade he resolved on opening a house for lunatics; and, having received the promise of a license from the Sheriff, he rented this house for the purpose. Neither he nor his wife had any previous experience in the treatment of the insane.

Seabank house is a cottage, which, it is calculated, will afford accommodation for about twelve patients. Possibly this number might be received without crowding; but there are no proper means of separating the sexes either in the house or garden, and the house is, therefore, fitted for the reception of patients of one sex only.

The present patients consist of a man and girl; the latter is affected with hysterical insanity, and the former is in a maniacal state, and suffering from an acute affection of the brain. Both are paupers. The man was shut up in a small room, and was lying in bed in a state of great exhaustion from long-continued excitement. Owing to Mr. Moffat's absence from home we could obtain no information as to whether any records were kept.

There is only one servant girl, and as Mrs. Moffat has two or three children to look after, and is far advanced in pregnancy, it is evident that the patients must be very imperfectly attended to.

The rent of the house and garden is £30 a year.”

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