John Haslam (physician)

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John Haslam (1764–1844) was an English apothecary, physician and medical writer, known for his work on mental illness.

John Haslam, engraving by Henry Dawe after George Dawe.


He was born in London, and received his medical education at the United Borough Hospitals and in Edinburgh, where he attended medical classes in 1785 and 1786. After acting for many years as apothecary to Bethlehem Hospital, London, and obtaining a practical knowledge of diseases of the brain, he was created a doctor of medicine by the University of Aberdeen, 17 September 1816.[1]

Haslam established himself as a physician in London. To comply with the regulations of the College of Physicians in London, he entered himself at Pembroke College, Cambridge, and kept some terms there, but took no degree. He was admitted a licentiate of the College of Physicians, 12 April 1824.[1]

Haslam was distinguished in private practice by his prudent treatment of the insane, while his scientific publications and his contributions to periodicals gave him a good reputation. In an 1809 edition of a work on insanity he included a detailed description of a case which, some argue, is one of the earliest and clearest recording of what would be called schizophrenia in the 20th century.[2] He died at 56 Lamb's Conduit Street, London, 20 July 1844, aged 80.[1]


Haslam wrote:

Haslam read three papers—‘On Restraint and Coercion’, 1833, ‘An Attempt to Institute the Correct Discrimination between Crime and Insanity’, 1843, and ‘On the Increase of Insanity’, 1843—before the Society for Improving the Condition of the Insane; these were printed with others by J. C. Sommers in 1850, in A Selection of the Papers and Prize Essays on Subjects connected with Insanity.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d Boase 1891.
  2. ^ Yuhas, Daisy (March 2013). "Throughout History, Defining Schizophrenia Has Remained a Challenge (Timeline)". Scientific American Mind. Retrieved 2 March 2013. 

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainBoase, George Clement (1891). "Haslam, John". In Stephen, Leslie; Lee, Sidney. Dictionary of National Biography 25. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 

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