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The area was London's first municipal burial ground and was named after the nearby Bethlem Royal Hospital or "Bedlam" -- the world's oldest psychiatric institution, which became a byword for all mental institutions and has since relocated outside London.
The gallery of cats herein, by Louis Wain (1860-1939), a patient at the Bethlem Hospital for almost two decades, is to be found in the Bethlem Royal Hospital Archives and Museum, Beckenham, Kent, UK.
Hers was an era in which the mad were confined to horrendous asylums--for example, London's Bethlem Royal Hospital, whose nickname, Bedlam, would become a synonym for uproarious confusion--and put on display for a penny, a fee said to have been periodically waived because the sight of the mad was considered instructive.