Monday, June 8, 2015

The Illness of George III

From Madame Gilflurt:
 If all else failed, the patient would be controlled by fear. Dr Willis, who came from his Lincolnshire asylum to attend George, believed this was instrumental to recovery. He first had the King separated from his family and all looking glasses removed. The keepers were instructed to return George’s blows and abuses, like for like. Willis then became a kind of harsh schoolmaster, punishing George if he refused to eat or became unmanageable. The greatest punishment, it seemed, was confinement. They started off by “sheeting” George; swaddling him tightly like an infant of the period to prevent movement. When it became clear mere linen would not do the trick, they progressed to a “strait waistcoat” made of a resilient striped material called “tick”, which was tied up with tapes much in the manner of a modern straightjacket. Clearly, George remained unruly, for Willis introduced a bulky chair with restraints on the arms and legs. Too heavy to be thrown down, the chair would hold George captive for hours. He resentfully called it his “Coronation Chair”. (Read more.)
Tiny-Librarian has portraits of George III, Queen Charlotte, and all of their children, HERE.


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