Auntie Bette goes mad

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There have been a lot of nutters in my family, but only Mad Auntie Bette (Birth 1924 in Leith, Midlothian, Scotland, Death 29 Jan 1996 in Edinburgh) actually got certified.

“Elizabeth Robinson), sister of mum, who married young becoming Bette Wiltshire, moved to America, begatting my late cousin Edward, before abandoning him in Edinburgh with my Mum, heading back to the USA, before coming back to Scotland. She then went officially mad, ending up in a mental institute after trying to burn our house down, before causing a scene at my Dads funeral when she claimed that she’d been having an affair with him. This despite him being bedridden and on 4 hourly morphine injections for a fair while. There’s a soap opera in there somewhere.”

You’ll be glad to know it runs in the family, as both my Mum and my Gran spent some time in the hospital with their “nerves”.

And here’s the actual letter from the asylum, confirming that she’d been taken away in the white van.

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The Thomas Clouston Clinic was at the forefront of mental health treatment for almost a century until its closure in 1993, due to spiralling maintenance costs. It pioneered the treatment of ‘shell-shock’ following the First World War, and the development of nursing homes in the 1930s. Today, its legacy is preserved through a number of commemorative exhibits as well as in the building’s construction: New Craig features ‘hidden’ staircases and disconnected floors, designed to allow doctors to circulate separately while limiting access to patients’ wards.

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