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Dr George Edward SHUTTLEWORTH BA (Hons) MD LSA MRCS [558]


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1. Edith Mary HADWEN [2401]

Dr George Edward SHUTTLEWORTH BA (Hons) MD LSA MRCS [558]

  • Born: 16 Nov 1842, Edgbaston Warwickshire
  • Marriage (1): Edith Mary HADWEN [2401] 3rd Qtr 1879 in Lancaster
  • Died: 28 May 1928, Hampstead LND MDX aged 85
  • Buried: All Saints Church Hertford

bullet  General Notes:

George Shuttleworth of Lancaster Place Belsize Park,
was a pioneer in Psychiatric services and legislation in Britain, particularly in respect of differentiating subnormal children and the mentally defective, from the insane. He secured much separate legislation for them and founded "special" schools for the feeble-minded. "He was the greatest friend of the mental (health) nurse and promoted an Act which entitled them to pensions in 1909". A man of extraordinary patience and perseverence and a subtle sense of humour, he was held in the highest esteem by his peers. He is ranked with Seguin of France, and Madam Montessori of Italy as pioneers in his field. A Fellow of Kings College London. He published widely on his subject.

His portrait in the possession of Anna Shuttleworth 2003

Dr G.E. Shuttleworth.
Dr George Edward Shuttleworth, who died on Monday at Hampstead at the age of 86, was known as a specialist in psychological medicine.
Born at Edgbaston, he was sent he was sent to the Philological and City of London Schools, and going on to King's College London, he graduated with honours in physiology, subsequently taking the M.D. degree at Heidelberg. He also qualified as M.R.C.S. Eng., and L.S.A.. From 1870 to 1893 he was medical superintendent of the Royal Albert Asylum, Lancaster, and in 1899 he came to London as medical examiner of defective children for the old School Board. Afterwards he was medical expert of the Rochester House Institution for improvable imbeciles, and was associated with the work of the National Association for the Feebleminded of which he was consulting medical officer and also vice-president, of the Central Association for Mental Welfare, and of the Child Study Society. He was formerly hon. Secretary of the Asylum Workers Association, and helped to secure the Superannuation Act of 1909, and was a member of the Department Committee, on the report of which the Elementary Education (Defective and Epileptic Children) Act of 1899 was based. Dr Shuttleworth was an honorary Associate of the Order of St John of Jerusalem, and a Fellow and honorary associate of Kings College London. He wrote extensively on idiocy, imbecility, and mental deficiency, especially in children. He married Edith Mary, daughter of Mr Henry Hadwen, and had a son and a daughter.

Fellow of King's College, London.
An Appreciation by Sir ROBERT ARMSTRONG-JONES, C.B.E., D.SC., F. R. C. P.
It is especially befitting that our journal should express its appreciation of the great services rendered by the late Dr. Shuttleworth to the welfare of the mentally afflicted and to those who tend them.
He was born on November 16, 1842, at Edgbaston, and his long and useful life of 86 years is the history of the care of the feebleminded in this country. It was his skilful and expert guidance which secured for them the first separate legislative enactment, viz., the Idiots Act, 1886, since replaced by the Mental Deficiency Act, 1913, and its subsequent amending Acts. This Act first made it possible to place mentally defective children under special educative methods of training, and it also for the first time distinguished the care of the weakminded from that of the insane. By its authority it was no longer necessary to describe backward children as lunatics or persons of unsound mind in the medical certificate-an injustice to them and a deep and cruel wrong to their parents and guardians.
The life of Shuttleworth may also be described as the period of history covered by the pioneer establishments in this work, the Royal Earlswood Institution, then the Earlswood Asylum, and the Royal Eastern Counties Institution, then Essex House, first founded in 1848, at Park House, Highgate, through the efforts of that noble and large-hearted divine Dr. Andrew Reed.
Dr. Shuttleworth's first appointment in mental diseases was as Assistant Medical Officer to Earlswood, then under the superintendence of Dr. G. W. Grabham (afterwards Inspector of Asylums and Hospitals in New Zealand, and a brother of the well-known Dr. Michael Grabham, of Madeira), and the present writer in later years was fortunate in being the successor to Dr. Grabham and Dr. Shuttleworth.
From Earlswood Dr. Shuttleworth was promoted to become the first Medical Superintendent of the newly-founded Royal Albert Institution at Lancaster, where for 23 years he carried on the traditions of Earlswood. It was a Lancaster man, Mr. Samuel Gaskell, F.R.C.S. (in whose memory the Gaskell Gold Medal and Prize were founded), Resident Surgeon and Superintendent of the Lancaster County Asylum-and afterwards a Lunacy Commissioner who was the originator of the care of the mentally defective in this country, for in 1847 he contributed three articles to what was then called Chambers's journal, calling attention to the work carried on by Sequin at Bicetre for the defective, and urging that the same guiding principles should be adopted in England.
This led through the Earl of Shaftesbury-the great philanthropist and "friend of the insane " to the first constructive policy in this direction. It was Dr. Shuttleworth's life-work to press on with success, earnestness and expert knowledge towards this great ideal.
Just as the humanity of Pinel and Esquirol in France and the genius of Tuke and Conolly in England created an epoch in the treatment of the insane, so it may be claimed the teaching of Sequin in France and America, Shuttleworth in England and Madame Montessori in Italy also created a new departure in the care of the mentally defective, and it is not too much to say that the first modern principles in the education of the backward child were promoted and pursued by Shuttleworth. It is to his influence that "special" schools were instituted for subnormal children, and is to him in a great measure that we are indebted for their subsequent success.
After twenty-three years as head of the Royal Albert Institution, Dr. Shuttleworth moved to London, where his great knowledge and wide experience of mental defect soon brought him into fame as a reliable consulting physician and a recognized authority on the education, training and care of the feebleminded. It is the writer's experience in his official visits that the great help, sympathy and expert advice given by Dr. Shuttleworth are not infrequently referred to with gratitude and affection, not only by parents and friends who have sought his advice, but also by those who have themselves been under his care, those who, through his help, have gained a measure of economic independence and social stability, and are able to take their part in social life or to earn their own livelihood in remunerative occupations. He was a great upholder of manual training as an aid to intellectual development, and often pointed out that those with defective articulation and impaired graphic language may yet be most highly endowed with manual dexterity, as the celebrated case of Pullen at Earlswood clearly demonstrated.
Shuttleworth possessed a mind of extraordinary patience and perseverance, and he had "the infinite capacity for taking pains," which enabled him to overcome most obstacles. In action he was deliberate and perhaps slow, but he was impressive and was never ruffled, presenting what has been well described as the "aristocratic calm," and being of the type of "absolute imperturbability," even in a highly charged and conflicting atmosphere. Once his mind was "set," he could not be deflected from his purpose, yet he was large-hearted and generous, and his kindly sympathy was never denied to those who sought his help.
Shuttleworth may be well described as indefatigable. He was a worker all his life, and to the last he was keen to follow up investigation and research into mental problems. He had the advantage of an unusually sound early training at King's College, London, of which he was a Fellow and Hon. Associate, for he graduated B.A. with honours in physiology at London University before taking up his medical career-an exception then as now at this University-and his writings in consequence always showed a studied diction.
He contributed extensively to the literature of his special branch, yet he had many interests and diversions outside his purely professional work. He took an active part in ambulance work, and was an Honorary Associate of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem. He served upon many Boards, Councils and Committees, and he was a member of the Departmental Committee of the Board of Education, upon whose report the Elementary Education Act (Defective and Epileptic Children) was framed and passed in 1909.
He was the greatest friend of the mental nurse, and for years he undertook (with his friend and secretary Major Bargrave Wilson) the laborious task of organizing the Asylum Workers' Association, whose interesting little journal he edited ; as a small tribute of acknowledgment for his devotion a presentation was made to him by its members. In no previous account of Dr. Shuttleworth's life have his great services to asylum workers been referred to, viz., in promoting the Act which entitled them to receive pensions. Yet this was his greatest public work. It may be recalled that through the efforts and interest of the distinguished ophthalmic surgeon, Sir William J. Collins, an Honorary Member of our Association and formerly Chairman of the London County Council, the Asylums Officers' Superannuation Bill became law in 1909. This is an Act for which all who have spent their lives in the care of the mentally afflicted must be deeply grateful. Formerly pension for long and meritorious service was an act of grace, and bestowal was within the discretion of the Visiting Committee of each asylum, but Sir William Collins considered that faithful public services should be adequately recognized as a matter of right, and his views were, after much discussion, accepted by the Legislature. The part that Dr. Shuttleworth played in this work is best described by the following words in which Sir William Collins himself very generously expressed his appreciation:
"With Dr GE Shuttleworthen I introduced the Asylums Officers' Superannuation Bill in the Commons in 1909 and piloted it through all its stages in that House, no one could have had a more active coadjutor or a more resourceful lobbyist than I had in Dr. Shuttleworth. Whenever the Bill was on the agenda, and all through the Committee stage, he was in attendance and available for counsel and suggestions. When, to secure its passage in the House on the Report stage, I had to accept certain amendments, I reassured him that in another place matters could be put right ; and in the Lords Dr. Shuttleworth rendered similar aid to Lord Monk Bretton, who kindly shepherded it there.
Lastly, on the return of the Bill to the Commons with certain financial amendments which transgressed the prerogative of the Commons, I remember Dr. Shuttleworth's eager anxiety as he sat in the front row of the gallery, when, after 11 o'clock, I moved and carried, time after time, that this House doth agree with the Lords in the said amendment, thus waiving the Commons rights in regard to money Bills.
It is not too much to say that but for Dr. Shuttleworth's vigilance, energy and all-round knowledge of the subject, the Asylums Officers' Superannuation Bill, 1909 would never have reached the Statute Book."
His widow is the daughter of the late Henry Hadwen, of Lancaster, and was a sister of the late Mrs. Fletcher Beach. A son in the Indian Civil Service and a daughter share the loss of a man who loved his home, and of a father who always felt a deep affection for his family.
Dr. Shuttleworth was one of the oldest members of our Association which is the poorer by the loss of this great man.
Ref: Journal Of Mental Science.

Mr. WILLIAM MORGAN, formerly Clerk and Steward to the West Ham Mental Hospital, in a letter to Sir Robert, writes:
"From a sense of duty and with a sincere desire to pay a tribute of profound respect to his memory I will endeavour to comply with your request for a few recollections of the late Dr. Shuttleworth.
From 1901 until 1911 it was my privilege to be in close and constant touch with him, chiefly in connection with the interests of the Asylum Workers' Association, of which I became, by his wishes and encouragement, a fairly active member. On my first acquaintance with him I was greatly impressed by his zeal for the welfare of the mental hospital worker, and it was therefore only natural that I should catch his enthusiasm and do what I could to support him. Only a few of us can have realized the extent of the work which he carried on for a great many years as Secretary of this Association and as Editor of the Asylum News.
He had to deal oftentimes with a heavy mail-bag, but he was ever attentive and considerate to his numerous correspondents, always giving them the fullest of any information required. It was inexplicable to me how he found time to deal with it all, and why he should have worked so assiduously and made so many sacrifices for the benefit of others without any hope of fee or reward. And when one remembers that writing was to him a slow and painful business, it is truly wonderful that he was able to get through so much, for he had many other interests and activities besides those pertaining to the Asylum service.
For years Dr. Shuttleworth and others had struggled on with various schemes to get assured pensions for asylum workers. It often seemed as if we were ploughing the sands, for in the absence of Government support we could not make any appreciable progress. Still he kept plodding on, patiently, and with a great optimism, until eventually he made his great achievement of discovering Sir William Collins and prevailing upon him to become President of the Association. Then came far greater activity. Various conflicting interests within the asylum service had to be reconciled ; the sympathy and support of public men secured ; a practical Bill on a contributory basis had to be prepared, and evidence had to be submitted to the Select Committee.
In these matters Dr. Shuttleworth's wisdom and tact were prominent. The Bill was pushed through Parliament under Sir William's skilful generalship in that memorable session of 1909.
All ranks in the service were naturally delighted at the result, and grateful. A few-only a very few-dared to criticize, but they were among the foremost to fight for the preservation of the Act when, about two years ago, a suggestion was officially made for replacing it by some other Act.
Everyone in the mental hospital service to-day has reason to be thankful for the existence of such a wise and beneficent Act, but as time goes on those who can remember the energy and sacrifice that brought it about are getting fewer and fewer.
In saying so much about that Act, therefore, I need not make any excuse, for no tribute to Dr. Shuttleworth's memory would be complete without reference to the great part he played in this matter, and it is only fitting that we should place on record again our sense of gratitude to him. Truly one can say that to know him was to love him, for he was always so kind and considerate, without an atom of malice, sham or insincerity in his nature. In all my experience I have never met a more kind-hearted man. In closing I would like to make an appreciative reference to the kind and charming lady, Mrs. Shuttleworth, who, by her cheerful devotion, helped him so much in all the good work that he undertook."

"As I remember him on the Parliamentary Committee he was hard-working and painstaking; he knew his subject from A to Z, his subject being the Asylum Workers' Association, of which he was the Honorary Secretary. He had high ideals, and shared with some of us the hope that mental nurses might be welded into a powerful association on professional lines, and it was a great blow to him when the Asylum Workers' Association went smash. His great work was the promotion of the Asylums Officers' Superannuation Act, 1909 He inspired the whole movement, and most unselfishly devoted himself body and soul to the cause of his fellow-workers. He was indefatigable in his efforts, and spent much time in lobbying' members of Parliament and convincing them of the justice of his cause. Belief in the righteousness of his cause rather than his eloquence brought the matter, after many years of strenuous work, to a satisfactory conclusion. The humblest of men, he did what he did because he believed it to be right, and not in order to be seen and applauded of men."

Dr. G. E. Shuttleworth was educated at the Philological and City of London Schools and afterwards at King's College, London.
From 1870-1893 Medical Superintendent of the Royal Albert Institution.
From 1899-1901 : Medical Examiner of Defective Children to the London School Board.
From 1901-5 : Medical Expert to Rochester House Institution for Improvable Imbeciles.
From 1900-1910 : Consulting Medical Officer, National Association for Feebleminded.
Other posts: Medical Officer for Schools for Mentally Defective Children, Willesden Education Committee; Member of the Departmental Committee, Board of Education, which gave rise to the Elementary Education (Defective and Epileptic Children) Act of 1899.
He was for years on the Council and Parliamentary Committee of the Royal MedicoPsychological Association.
His British Medical Association activities included: Member of Council, 1899-1903 ; Member of the Parliamentary Committee ; President of the Lancashire and Cheshire Branch of the Association; Vice-President of the Hampstead Division ; and Secretary 1883, and Vice-President in 1885 and 1906 of the Section of Psychology.
Principal Publications - Mentally Deficient Children: Their Treatment and Training, 1895, fifth edition, 1922, and articles in the Encyclopedia Britannica, Allbutt's New System of Medicine, Hack Tuke's Di ary of Psychological Medicine, Teachers' Encyclopadia and Encyclopedia of Education on Idiocy, Imbecility, and Mentally Defective and Backward Children.

British Medical Journal.
Pg. 1004 JUNE 9, 1928.
Formerly Medical Superintendent, Royal Albert Asylum, Lancaster.
It is with great regret that we have to announce the death, on May 28th, at the advanced age of 86, of Dr. G. E. Shuttleworth. Although he retired from practice several years ago, he was for so many years the leading authority in this country on mental deficiency, and the author of such a widely read book on this subject, that there can be few psychiatrists throughout the civilized world to whom his name is not familiar. To many members of the medical profession in this country, even the junior ones, he was a well-known and revered figure, for, although he had outlived most of his contemporaries, he continued, long after his retirement to attend and speak at meetings relating to the subject to which he had devoted- his life. By his passing the medical profession, and psychiatry in particular, have lost a member of outstanding prominance; while his character and personality were such that those who know him mourn the loss of a warm hearted friend and a sage counsellor, who was ever ready to give his services in the cause of the needy and distressed. George Edward Shuttleworth was born at Edgbaston on November 16th, 1842. He went to the City of London School, and on leaving there proceeded to King's College, London, where he graduated B.A. with honours in physiology. He subsequently obtained the M.R.C.S. and L.S.A. diplomas, and the M.D. degree of Heidelberg. After working for a time at the Kilburn Dispensary he was appointed assistant medical officer to the Earlswood Institution for Defectives, the superintendent being the well known Dr. J. Langdon-Down. Here he remained until 1870, when he was chosen, out of a large number of candidates, to be, medical superintendent of the Royal Albert Asylum at Lancaster. He occupied this position for twenty-three years, and his intense keenness in his work his wide knowledge and outstanding ability, his skill in originating and applying methods of training, brought that institution into the first rank of establishments for the care of the mentally defective, and gained for it a reputation which attracted visitors, not only from all parts of the United Kingdom, but from distant parts of the world. In this work Shuttleworth's knowledge of physiology stood him in good stead, and his methods of training were based upon sound physiological principles which received the warm approval of the great Dr. Seguin when he paid a visit to the institution Although some improvements have naturally been made in the apparatus used for teaching, the principles adopted and described at that time by Seguin in America and Shuttleworth in England are those which are in use at the present day. On leaving the Royal Albert Asylum, Dr. Shuttleworth came to London and took up consulting work. His reputation caused him to be at once accepted as the leading, authority regarding mental defectives. But he did much more than consulting work. He had long realized that the unfortunate mentally defective section of the community had claims to consideration and to care and training which, in the great majority of cases, were denied them, and he spent his tinme and energy unsparingly in arousing professionial and public interest on their behalf. In his work of advocating their claims, of organising and speaking at meetings, and instructing and training teachers, he had the enthusiastic support of a little band of devoted workers, chief among whom were Miss Ethel Dixon, Miss Bertha James, and Miss M. McDowall. In time each of these disciples became a new centre for the training of those who proposed to undertake the care of defecties, and there is no doubt that a very large proportion of such teachers owe their knowledge, directly or indirectly, to the work which was initiated by Dr. Shuttleworth. From 1899 to 1901 he was medical examiner of defective children under the London School Board, and from 1901 to 1905 medical expert to Rochester House Institution under the Metropolitan Asylums Board. His unique knowledge of the subject made him a most valuable member of the Departmental Committee of the Board of Education, the report of which led to the passing of the Defective and Epileptic Children Act of 1899. He also took a leading part in securing the passage of another valuable measure namely, the Asylum Workers Superannuation Act of 1909. Dr. Shuttleworth was a member of the British Medical Association of over sixty years' standing. He served on the central Council from 1899 to 1903, and had been President of the Lancashire and Cheshire Branch in 1892. He was honorary secretary of the Section of Psychology at the Annual Meeting in 1883, and Vice-president of this Section in 1885 and again in 1906. He was a member of the Medico-Psychological Association from 1877, and a constant attendant at its meetings. He did a large amount of work for the St. John Ambulance Association, and in 1892, in recognition of this, he was made an honorary associate of the Order. Long after he was 60 years of age his energy and love for the work were such that he continued to take an active part in the affairs of many societies of which he was a highly valued member. One of those in which he was especially interested, and where his knowledge and advice were highly esteemed, was the Central Association for Mental Welfare, of which he was for many years a vice-president. Another, in which he held a similar office, was the National Association for the Feeble-minded. He was also an active vice-president of the Child Study Society and the Society for the Studv of Inebriety. King's College, London, elected him a Fellow, and in 1909 he was given the Freedom of the City of London. While perhaps Dr. Shuttleworth's chief work was that of a teacher. and exponent of methods of trainiing, he nevertheless wrote important articles in the Encyclopaedia Medica, Allbutt's System of Medicinie, Hack Truke's Dictionary of Psychological Medicine, and numerous journals. His most important contribution however, was his exceedingly valuable book on Mentally Deficient Children, the first edition of which was published in 1895, and the fifth edition, in conjunction with. Dr. W. A. Potts in 1922. To those who did not know him this account will give some idea of Shuttleworth's ability and energy. It is no exaggeration to say that the whole of his professional life was one of untiring devotion in the cause of mental defectives. In this work he was a pioneer, and he maintained his interest in it almost up to the end. The writer visited him only a short time before he died; in spite of his manifest feebleness his thoughts were still on his lifes work, and he expressed his satisfaction at the recent passing of the amended Mental Deficiency Act. To those who were fortunate enough to know him, however, will remember him for something more and perhaps even greater. They will remember his complete lack of ostentation, at times almost amounting to self-effacement, his never-failing sympathy, his charitable judgement, his great kindness of heart, and his nobility of character. His book on mental defectives ended with the quotation "lateat scintillula forsan," but it was no small spark that lay hidden behind the unobtrusiveness of Shuttleworth. He married Edith Mary, the daughter of Henry Hadwen of Lancaster. His widow and a son and daughter survive him.
A. F. T.


bullet  Other Records

1. Census: England, 3 Apr 1881, Royal Albert Asylum Scotforth Lancashire. George is recorded as head of home married aged 38 Medical Superintendant of the Institution BA London MD Heidelberg MRCS Lon. LSA born Edgbastion WAR

2. Census: England, 5 Apr 1891, Royal Albert Asylum Scotforth Lancashire. George is recorded as head of home married aged 48 the Medical Superintendant of the Asylum MD duly registered Medical Practitioner born Edgbastion WAR

3. Census: England, 31 Mar 1901, Ancaster House Richmond SRY. George is recorded as head of house married aged 58 MD Surgeon Practising as a Specialist in the treatment of mentally defective children born Edgbaston WAR


George married Edith Mary HADWEN [2401] [MRIN: 165], daughter of Henry HADWEN of Lancaster [2529] and Elizabeth BARTON [18908], 3rd Qtr 1879 in Lancaster. (Edith Mary HADWEN [2401] was born about 1857 in Luddenden Lancashire and died in Jul 1947.)

bullet  Marriage Notes:

Births Deaths Marriages Index England & Wales Ref: Marriage July - Sept Lancaster 8e 937

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