1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Conolly, John

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CONOLLY, JOHN (1794–1866), English physician, was born at Market Rasen, Lincolnshire, of an Irish family, on the 27th of May 1794. He graduated M.D. at Edinburgh in 1821. After practising at Lewes, Chichester and Stratford-on-Avon successively, he was appointed professor of the practice of medicine at University College, London, in 1828. In 1830 he published a work on the Indications of Insanity, and soon afterwards settled at Warwick. In 1832 in co-operation with Sir Charles Hastings and Sir John Forbes, he founded a small medical association with a view to raising the standard of provincial practice. In later years this grew in importance and membership, and finally became the British Medical Association. In 1839 he was elected resident physician to the Middlesex County Asylum at Hanwell. In this capacity he made his name famous by carrying out in its entirety and on a large scale the principle of non-restraint in the treatment of the insane. This principle had been acted on in two small asylums—William Tuke’s Retreat near York, and the Lincoln Asylum; but it was due to the energy of Conolly in sweeping away all mechanical restraint in the great metropolitan lunatic hospital, in the face of strong opposition, that the principle became diffused over the whole kingdom, and accepted as fundamental. In 1844 he ceased to be resident physician at Hanwell, but remained visiting physician until 1852. He died on the 5th of March 1866 at Hanwell, where in the later part of his life he had a private asylum. His works include Construction and Government of Lunatic Asylums (1847); The Treatment of the Insane without Mechanical Restraints (1856); and an Essay on Hamlet (1863).