The majority of records for these are kept in their own archives. Lincoln, such children often ended up in the care of the parish and parish records may include details of churchwardens putting them out to nurse and later arranging apprenticeships. References can also turn up in other locations such as court records. Hospital administrative records are closed to the public for thirty years, while patient records are usually closed for 100 years. Although many older records have been destroyed there are still some wide-ranging collections relating to hospitals, asylums and sanatoriums in Lincoln map local record offices, including those of staff and patients. The National Archives and the Wellcome Institute have collaborated on a hospital records project to build a database cataloguing the records of over 1,000 hospitals since 1660 at: www.nationalarchives.
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gov.uk/hospitalrecords. There are a few indexes and transcripts to hospital records for this region. One example is an index to women from Huntingdonshire and Cambridgeshire in the British Lying In Hospital in London. This was produced by the Cambridgeshire Family History Society and a copy can be seen in both record offices. An example from this is the reference to Antonnetta Mayes of Manley in 1803, who was aged 37, and the wife of William, a labourer. This hospital was established in 1749 to cater for distressed and poor women, especially the wives of soldiers and sailors.
The original records are now held at the London Metropolitan Archives and include particulars of patients from 1749-1868 and birth and baptismal registers from 1749-1830 (Ref. H14/BLI). The Discovery catalogue website has listings for local archives of hospital records, some of which include some details of individuals. When looking for information on the Warley Hospital for the mentally ill in Essex, for example, I found a list of records held at Essex Record Office. These provide summaries of some entries in the minute books such as expenses relating to the escape of patients in 1879, payments from the benevolent fund, staff being fined or fired, advertisements for staff, reports into patient deaths and inquests, and correspondence regarding inmates. One of the most useful series of records is the admission registers and case files, some of which include photographs. An entry in the admission registers for Thorpe St Andrew Hospital in 1873 for Susanna Cage, for example, tells us that she was aged 25 and a maltsters wife from Diss.