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Margaret CHAINEY 1848-1910

Charles Lambert CHAINEY and Ann LAMBERT were married at St Marks Church, Myddleton Square, Clerkenwell in December 1844.  They had 4 children: Harriott, Anne Maria, Margaret and Walter Jesse.  This case study centres on their second child, Margaret.

Margaret was born on 15 October 1848 at 45 Rosoman Street, Clerkenwell.  Sadly, she was born with severe physical and mental disabilities.  Nevertheless, she was looked after in the family home for many years.  This must have put a great strain on her parents.

The following census returns list Margaret as follows:

1851: living 45 Rosoman Street, Clerkenwell
1861: living 5 Thurlow Place, Walworth
1871: living 20 Thurlow Street, Newington
1881: living 85 South Street, Newington – noted as an imbecile

In January 1884, Margaret’s father Charles Lambert CHAINEY dies of 9-day paralysis.  Probate records show that his estate of £498.0s.0d. [Equivalent today of £38,500] was left to his widow and relict Ann CHAINEY.

1881: Margaret’s mother Ann is living at 85 South Street, Newington with her son Walter and his wife Mary.  [See case study for Mary Smith LANE].  Margaret was not living here.

1881: Margaret is listed as an inmate in Darenth Asylum, Dartford

1891: Margaret is still an inmate in Darenth Asylum, Dartford – noted as an imbecile                                                                                                         
1894: Margaret’s mother Ann dies of Senile Decay, Bronchitis, Heart Failure.
1901: Margaret is still an inmate in Darenth Asylum

At some point between 1901 and 1904, Margaret was transferred from Darenth to the Tooting Bec Asylum.

In November 1904 Margaret was transferred from Tooting Bec to the Caterham Asylum where she remained until her death on 5 April 1910.

The following information has been obtained from the London Metropolitan Archives and is transcribed here as accurately as possible.  [We have made no attempt to transcribe illegible medical terms]:

CASE BOOK, Caterham Asylum

Name of patient: Margaret Chainey
Age:   56
Register No:  4387
Religion:  Baptist

Union or Parish to which chargeable: Southwark Union

Name and address of nearest known relative: Mother, Ann Chainey, 50 Inville Road, Walworth [this is incorrect as Ann died in 1894 and shows that occasionally, records are not updated]

Whether subject to Epilepsy: YES

Date of Admission: 24 November 1904
Date of Death: 5 April 1910

History of the case:

On admission: Transferred from Tooting Bec Asylum.  Is stated to be an imbecile unable to give any account of herself.

Mentally: Mentally co-deficient as to be unable to answer any questions even as to her name.  She tried to articulate but the sounds produced are unintelligible

Physically: Suffers (?) due to some chronic condition of (?) (?).  Stunted growth, chest narrow, rickety, and spinal curvature.  Is an ill developed imbecile.  There are indications of left afical (?) phlebitis (?).  Heart sounds infuse but no definite murmur.   (?) left thigh, both wrists and nose.


November 28, 04 Has restless nights, much troubled with a cough, (?) well.  Endnote to this page: “Imbecility (? Epilepsy)”

December 19, 04 Has not given any trouble, suffers from a bad cough, unable to do anything for herself.

January 18, 06 Health indifferent, suffers from rhino…..?

January 27, 07 No improvement

November 26, 07 Very liable to fall from feebleness and is getting very weak.

November 29, 08 No improvement

January 20, 10 Much more feeble mentally and bodily.  Requires a wheel chair.

April 5, 1910 Confined to bed last 24 hours, very feeble, gradually sank.  Died today of exhaustion from pulmonary tuberculosis.

Register of Deaths, Caterham Asylum

Date of death: 5-4-10
Date of last admission: 24-11-1904
On admission: I1b (= without epilepsy)

Principal Cause: Pulmonary Tuberculosis

Contributory:  Chronic Nephritis [inflammation of one or both kidneys]
   Organic disease of the brain

Burial Register, Caterham Asylum

No. of Interment: Southwark
Date:   8.4.10
No. of Grave:  565 [at least 7 other people are in this grave]
Name of Deceased: Chainey, Margaret
Age:   51 [this entry is incorrect - Margaret was 61 years]
Officiating Minister: C A Greenland

Further Information:

Darenth Asylum, Kent [Formerly Darenth Schools & Training Colony]

Tooting Bec Asylum

The Imbeciles Asylum, Caterham

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