#OnThisDay 19 November 1838 the Tarban Creek Lunatic Asylum was opened when the first patients were transferred from Liverpool Asylum and the Female Factory, Parramatta. By 1869 Tarban Creek had become the Gladesville Hospital for the Insane.
On 13 January 1835 Governor Bourke sent a despatch to Britain stating "A lunatic asylum is an Establishment that can no longer be dispensed with. In this Colony, the use of ardent spirits induces the disease called delirium tremens, which frequently terminates in confirmed lunacy. The present asylum is a wretched hired Building without outlet of any kind." (1) In his reply dated 3 August 1835, Lord Glenelg conveyed the British Government's authorisation for expenditure of NSW Colonial government funds for this project. (2)
On 24 April 1837 Governor Bourke reported that the new asylum was approaching completion, and since he considered it impossible to find persons qualified for its superintendence in NSW, he requested that a married couple be engaged and sent out from England as Keeper and Matron. (3) The new Superintendent and Matron, Mr and Mrs Digby, took up residence at Tarban Creek Lunatic Asylum on 18 August 1838, with the first patients transferred from Liverpool Asylum and the Female Factory, Parramatta, arriving on 19 November 1838. (4)
Extract from the Administrative History note for Gladesville Mental Hospital (formerly Tarban Creek Lunatic Asylum)