"like soiled inmates wandered from some ultimate Bedlam"
Scene of Bethlem Hospital from William Hogarth's A Rake's Progress (1735)
Public DomainScene of Bethlem Hospital from William Hogarth's A Rake's Progress (1735) - Credit: Sir John Soane's Museum, London

Bedlam was the name given to the Bethlem Royal Hospital, the psychiatric hospital which gained notoriety for the cruel and inhumane treatment of its patients.

It is most famous as the place where the members of late 18th and early 19th century fashionable society would pay to watch the inmates of Bedlam for entertainment.