For much of the eighteenth century, conditions inside London’s premier public hospital for the insane were appalling, so much so that a major parliamentary inquiry in 1815 led to the dismissal of some of its principal officers.
Bath and Pyrmont were each renowned for their waters in the long eighteenth century. Bath set up an innovative model of spa sociability that supposedly exemplified the main principles of an ‘open society,’ while Pyrmont also defined a new approach to spa life but along different lines.
Spa towns encompass various sizes and categories in eighteenth-century Britain. The role of health and medicine pervades social interactions in spa towns which abounded in urban spaces dedicated to sociability: the pump-room, the assembly rooms, the walks villas and salons.