was because they were kept occupied, an important feature of the management of those suffering from mental illness of long duration. Such episodic improvements were short-lived but they serve to show what might have been accomplished with a change of attitude. Devoid as it was of every comfort and convenience, apart from one short period, the situation continued to deteriorate. Indeed, the Commissioners report for 1864 shows that they were hardly more impressed with the place than they were at the time of their first visit. By then it was their hope that with the opening of the joint counties asylum at Carmarthen, they would be able to say in a further year that the building in Haverfordwest had been closed. And so it was. At the Michaelmas Sessions of 1866, it was said that the 'inmates had all been removed to Carmarthen and the question now arose as to what was to become of the building. With that there came to an end more than forty years of mismanagement which was never to be paralleled in the history of psychiatry in Wales.9 A comparison might be made between one aspect of the development of nineteenth-century psychiatric services and the present-day situation in health care. There exists a historical precedent for the tendency, so prevalent nowadays, for government-organized services to abdicate their responsibilities to the private sector. It also happened in the nineteenth century that when facilities provided by the State were inadequate, this provided an impetus for expansion in the private sphere. Consequently, pauper patients, whose care should have been undertaken by the Quarter Sessions Courts were not infrequently sent to private asylums. The third and last private asylum to be opened in Wales was also in Pembrokeshire. In September 1851, Dr John Howard Norton (1815- 1874) of Amroth Castle wrote to the Clerk of the Peace at Haverfordwest, saying that he wished 'to give notice for the licencing of this house as a [private] Lunatic asylum'. Writing as he did four days before his wife gave birth to their daughter, he was understandably anxious 'to avoid any chance of forgetfulness on my part' in making this application. A former apothecary's apprentice, he had gone to study medicine at the Universities of Paris and Edinburgh and in 1842 he was highly commended for his MD thesis on Organic Chemistry in its connections with animal physiology. In the same year, he became a member of the Royal College of Surgeons and a licentiate of the Society of Apothecaries. He is also described as a member of the University of