Monro Way, E5


Dr John Monro (November 16, 1716 – December 27, 1791), one of the key figures of early British psychiatry, who in 1781 took over a local private mental asylum which once stood on modern Upper Clapton Road north of the junction with Kenninghall Road. Dr John came from a long line of medical men specialising in the field of psychiatry. Following in his father’s footsteps be became principal physician at Bethlem hospital, popularly known as ‘Bedlam’, however went one step further than his father by actually acquiring two mental institutions, this one in Hackney, the other being at Wood’s Close. Upon his death he left explicit instructions that his three sons should continue to run the asylum after his death. After Thomas Munro’s death in 1891, while the family continued to own the asylum, its management was left to a resident superintendent. The property started life as Tudor mansion belonging to Henry Percy, the 6th Earl of Northumberland and survived up until 1954, never reopening after the War. This is one a small group of local streets, including Brooke Road and Worsley Street which are named either after the house or its Tudor occupants.

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