Growth and change in the lunacy commission 1774-1849
A Middlesex University resource provided by Andrew Roberts
1842 timeline
1845 timeline
analysis of
legislation may I introduce you? home page to
Andrew Roberts'
web site
mental health
and learning

Growth and change in the lunacy commission 1774-1849

5.3.1 Concluding Summary

The previous part described the Lunacy Commission as a Government Department in the years 1845-1849, but included an overview of the development of its functions from 1828. It focused on the activities of the commissioners.

This part considers the continuous growth and development of the Commission as an organisation from 1774. It focuses on the Commission as an administrative structure, its offices, staff and procedures, rather than on the role of the Commissioners, but begins with an overview of the changing structure from the Physician Commission to the Lunacy Commission (see aims of thesis) and drawing out the change from a Commission that is an adjunct of the legal system to one that is part of the administrative system.

5.3.2 From commission of physicians to clerk's commission and from clerk's commission to government department

The structure of the Physician Commission was the structure of the Royal College of Physicians. The commission did not have a separate identity from the college. It was the college that answered for the commission that was entrusted to it. College officers were commission officers and the college was the commission office, Serving as a commissioner was one of the perks or responsibilities of every Fellow.

We have seen that the reason for this was that the College was serving a function for the courts. It was keeping track of the people who were detained in private houses in the Metropolitan District and collating the records of all who were detained in such houses in England and Wales

The Physician Commission was an aspect of the judicial regulation of lunacy that had developed from the King's prerogative to control the property of the insane. It related to the Lord Chancellor's lunacy jurisdiction which I outline for 1797. The judicial administration of lunacy was consistent with the judicial administration of England by courts and magistrates, which preceded the development of the administrative state in the nineteenth century.

From 1828, the commission had its own identity. The clerk and his office were the regular, visible manifestation of the Metropolitan Commission and the commissioners, who met quarterly for licensing, had collective responsibility for the commission. This Commission had a magisterial function. It was a minor court in its own right and in 1828 it was a collaboration of the Home Office and the Middlesex Magistrates to provide more effective government of (mainly pauper) lunacy in London. The 1828 Commission was rooted in London's local government

The London Clerk was, at first, the solicitor agent of a leading Middlesex Magistrate, and the London Office at 19 Margaret Street was the solicitor's office. The clerk put up the capital and provided for the commission (he was the "treasurer-clerk") and it may have been arguable that the papers and other movable goods of the commission were the clerk's property - until they were legally transferred to the Lunacy Commission in 1845.

The appointment of Barrister Commissioners in 1832 provided the commission with a regular administration and meant that visiting could be maintained by professionals. This was the unintended consequence of a realignment of the commission with the Lord Chancellor's Office that was originally meant to protect the privacy of powerful families and curb any intrusion by the London Clerk or his magistrate patrons.

The appointment of barrister-commissioners coincided with a need to appoint a new Treasurer-Clerk and the Lord Chancellor Brougham appointed Edward DuBois, who combined the clerkship with being deputy judge at the Court of Requests.

Before 1842, the Metropolitan Commission was a minor local government agency that was developing an even more minor function of gathering national information. A function that was putting the Treasurer-Clerk's accommodation under pressure as he tried to find space to store the papers that local authorities sent him.

In the three years from August 1842 to August 1845, this local government unit with part time staff was transformed into a full time central government department. The national inquiry changed the commission, and the 1845 Lunacy and County Asylums Act completed the process by re- structuring the transformed Metropolitan Commission as a national Lunacy Commission.

I have outlined the functions of the Lunacy Commission as ensuring adequate asylums were built throughout England and Wales to which pauper lunatics from workhouses and outdoor relief were moved; regulating the treatment of lunatics in asylums and elsewhere (including those maintained singly) and the conduct of all asylums apart from Bethlem; replacing the courts as the place of appeal for disgruntled inmates and controlling the discharge of patients who might be a public danger; and collating national statistics and information and advising on the development of public policy. At the same time, the commission retained its sole original function of licensing and visiting madhouses in the London area. Apart from this last, residual, function, the commission (as Ashley said) was not the same commission that it had been three years before, when its only national function had been a recent development of some information gathering.

The substantial increase in the functions and powers of the commission was made by the 1845 Acts. But the composition of the commission was not substantially altered, and I show from the data that the change in the size of the commission, the area it covered, and the nature of its organisation, mainly took part after the mid-summer of 1842, and that much of it was completed before the summer of 1845 when the legislation came into force that gave it these new powers and responsibilities. I use four indices to show the change in the commission and when it took place. Expenditure was relatively constant between 1829 and 1842. It leapt during Inquiry years rather than after the establishment of the Lunacy Commission in 1845. Visiting followed a similar pattern. The number of meetings increased dramatically during the Inquiry, but (alone among the indices) much more dramatically in 1845. These are quantifiable indices. More qualitative is the change, between 1841 and 1846, from a commission using offices and staff provided by its Clerk to one employing a hierarchy of staff in Government offices.

Three years is a very short time for such a transformation. Perhaps it was partly because it was so dramatic that it came unnoticed, like the thief in the night. Another reason was that no one plotted or planned it. People rose to circumstances in troubled times, and the commission was transformed in the process. I have shown that this dramatic change took place, and the context in which it happened. I have not explained it, although I have made three suggestions. Such a change was made possible by the railways. It can be argued that the poor law created the need for it, and I have shown how the fear engendered by McNaughton created the political will for it.

Offices and Office Workers 1774-1877

The section starts with a table of the addresses of the commission from 1774-1877. The notes and references to this contain a lot about the people who ran the Commission and their relation to it, and a lot that bears on the structure and development of the Commission. You can move between the main entry and the notes by clicking on the red address link.

The description of the commission's staff from 1828 to 1871, included in this section, is principally based on the provisions of Acts, information from Accounts and Estimates, the Commission's minutes (from 1845 to the spring of 1848) and Procter's letters. The data is open to different interpretations at several points, but I feel confident the general picture is not misleading.


  Address or office
Physician Commission
1774 to 1825 c/o The Beadle, Royal College of Physicians, Warwick Lane, London. (EC4. Near Newgate, the City)
1825 to 1828 c/o The Beadle, Royal College of Physicians, Pall Mall East, London. (SW1. Whitehall-St James)

At the time of the move from Warwick Lane to Pall Mall East, Henry Halford was President of the Royal College of Physicians, Thomas Turner was Treasurer and John Bright was Secretary to the Madhouse Commissioners.

Home Secretary's Metropolitan Commission
1830 map
August 1828 To February 1833
19 Margaret Street, Cavendish Square, St Marylebone, W1.

Clerk: August 1828 to 1.11.1832: Robert Browne, solicitor. The office belonged to his firm. Rent (£50) was included in his bill.

Lord Chancellor's Metropolitan Commission 1832-1842
National Inquiry Commission 1842-1845
1830 map
February 1833 to February 1844
No 6 John Street, Adelphi, WC1 (Charing Cross end of the Strand). Chambers in, not the exclusive use of the building.

Clerk: February 1833 to August 1845: Edward DuBois barrister. Rent was included in his bill. Before August 1842 the rent remained £50 as at St Margaret Street. From August 1842 to February 1844 rent was charged at about £85 a year. The higher rent probably indicates that extra rooms were rented.

February 1844 TO 12.12.1845 12 Abingdon Street, Westminster, SW1
(Opposite the House of Lords)
The commission had exclusive use of the building. No rent is shown on the Accounts, presumably because the building was provided by the government.
Lunacy Commission from August 1845
12.12.1845 to 23.1.1854 19 New Street, Spring Gardens, SW1
(The Trafalger Square end of Whitehall) Premises provided by the Ministry of Works.
23.1.1854 to (at least) 1877 19 Whitehall Place, SW1
(The Trafalger Square end of Whitehall)

By 1912 the offices of the Commissioners in Lunacy were at 66 Victoria Street. The address of The Board of Control in 1914 was 66 Victoria Street, Westminster.

The address of The Board of Control in 1940 was "The Board of Control (Lunacy and Mental Deficiency), Hobart House, Grosvenor Place, SW1" (Whitaker's Almanack for 1940 p.391). (See staff 1940)



In 1518 the meetings of the Royal College of Physicians held at the house of Dr Linacre, physician to Henry 8th, at 5 Knightrider Street, Doctors' Commons. They then moved to Amen Corner. Then to "Wren's College", Warwick Lane. (opened about 1679). However, the building was not designed by Wren, but by Robert Boyle, who was also the architect of the new (1676) Bedlam

The site is now occupied by the Cutlers Hall - Warwick Lane EC4M 7BR. (map) (external link)


Corner of Trafalgar Square. Built by Sir Robert Smirke at a cost of £30,000. Opened 25.6.1825, with an inaugural oration in Latin by Sir Henry Halford, Bart., M.P.

MARGARET STREET The 1828 Law List included a firm of "certified attornies" (solicitors): "Robert Browne, William Seymour and Ralph Wilson". Seymour's address was 19 Margaret Street with his "office door" at 12 Little Portland Street (which runs parallel to Margaret Street). [See south west corner on 1830 map] Browne and Wilson were only shown at 12 Little Portland Street. In 1829 Seymour was not listed and Browne's entry read:

Browne, Robert, clerk and treasurer to the Metropolitan Commissioners in Lunacy, 19 Margaret Street, Cavendish Square, and Ralph Wilson (office) 12, Little Portland Street, Cavendish Square.

19 Margaret Street was the commission's office on the first Accounts (Account 1829) and September 1832 appointments notice signed by Browne.

Dubois' first Account (Account 1832/1833) contained the entries:

"By salary due to the late Clerk and Treasurer, to the 1st November 1832.. £200"

"By assistant clerk's salary, subsequent to decease of late Clerk and Treasurer.. £41..13/6d"

Law Lists and other directories show that 19 Margaret Street continued as a solicitor's office after 1833.


6 John Street is the commission's address on appointment notices from September 1833 to August 1843 (inclusive). These (and the August 1844 notice of appointment) were signed by Edward Dubois.

I date the move from John Street around February (1833) because the Account for 3.7.1833 shows half a year's rent on each office. The same account shows half a year's salary due to Du Bois. I assume he was sworn in at the February Quarterly Meeting and proceeded to move the Commission's papers to the new office. This would mean that there was a gap from November 1832 to February 1833 when the Commission was without a Treasurer-Clerk.

Boyle's Court Directory for January 1835 has the entry:

"John St. Adelphi, 6+7 Adelphi Chambers: E.H. Cox, surv., W. Davidson, J.I. bullock, sol., South Australian Association, Robt. Gouger, Metropolitan Commissioners in lunacy Office: Edward Du Bois, sec., F. Savery, R.O. Banks, sol."

So it appears the Commission had chambers in a sub-divided building.

The London County Council's Survey of London: Vol 28, The Strand (Parish of St Martin-in-the fields) Part 2, (County Hall, 1937) says about numbers 6 and 7 John Street:

"These two house were from 1834 onwards known as Adelphi Chambers. They had during the term of their existence a large number of residents, among whom journalists and artists predominated. Edward Du Bois, wit and miscellaneous writer, was at No. 6 in 1833-44."

[This information was drawn to my attention by D.G.C. Allan, Curator- Librarian at the Royal Society of Arts]

The yearly rent charged in the Accounts to August 1842 was £50. In the Account to August 1843 the rent charged was £85. (Account 18) (Account 1832/1833 to Account 1843)


Gazette notices through to 1.8.1843 are addressed from 6 John Street. The address on the 1844 Report, published in July 1844, is the "Office, 12 Abingdon Street, Westminster. The Account to 1.8.1844 charged "Half a year's rent: £40", which is why I date the move from John Street to Abingdon Street about February 1844.

Accounts after 1844 do not contain an entry for rent. I assume because the property was owned or rented by the Government and the Commission were not charged rent.

Abingdon Street is directly opposite the House of Lords. Boyles Court Directory for 1845 and 1846 shows that most other houses in the street were occupied by solicitors. The commission, however, unlike its solicitor neighbours, no longer occupied part of a house. The entry for number 12 is simply "12, Metropolitan Commissioners in Lunacy. E. Dubois. sec."


A diary cutting inserted into the minutes of the Commissioners in Lunacy reads:

"Monday 22nd December 1845 Weekly Board - The last held in Abingdon Street, Commenced this day the removal to new House 19 New Street, Spring Gardens"

19 New Street had been occupied by "Sir Fitzroy Kelly, Solicitor General" (Boyles, January 1846). After the Lunacy Commission, it became the offices of the "Indian Law Commission" (Boyles, January 1855)

From the minutes it is clear that the Lunacy Commissioners had hoped to take over 5 Whitehall Place from the Ecclesiastical Commissioners (Lord Ashley, by the way, being one of the Ecclesiastical Commissioners). This was dependent, however, on the Ecclesiastics being able to move to 9 Whitehall Place.

On 3.9.1845 the Commissioners advised the Board of Works that they had inspected 5 Whitehall Place and thought it suitable. By 19.11.1845 they were advised that "17 Stratford Place" (off Oxford Street) "could be procured immediately". The Commissioners preferred "the locality of Whitehall Place", but if number 5 could not be obtained, they would take Stratford Place.

By 3.12.1845 it was certain that the Ecclesiastics could not move, and the Lunacy Commission had themselves written to the Board of Works requesting that 19 New Street, Spring Gardens, might be taken for them. On 4.12.1845 the Board of Works ware only awaiting Treasury answer to take 17 Spring Gardens and by 17.12.1845 Sir Fitzroy Kelly had promised to vacate by Monday 22.12.1845.

19 WHITEHALL PLACE 1854 - 1863 - 1877 -

The following advertisement was posted in the Asylum Journal for 15.2.1854 (page 48):

Commissioners in Lunacy - Notice is hereby given that the office of the Commissioners in Lunacy will, on and after Monday 23rd of January instant be at No. 19, Whitehall Place
R.W.S. Lutwidge Secretary. 17th January 1854

From Boyles Court Directory 1855:
1+2 Offices of Woods, Forests and Land Revenues
4 Metropolitan Police Office
5 Ecclesiastical Commission for England
  French and Spanish Claim Office
12 Board of Works Office
15 Royal Geographical Society
19 Commissioners of Lunacy
22 Metropolitan Roads Office

In Boyles for January 1846, 19 Whitehall Place is shown as address of the Earl of Lincoln

In 1829, organising Robert Peel's New Police Force was entrusted to two Commissioners who occupied a private house at 4, Whitehall Place. The back premises of 4 Whitehall Place, in Great Scotland Yard, were used as a police station. By 1887 the Metropolitan Police Head Quarters was using numbers 3, 4, 5, 21 and 22 Whitehall Place, as well as part of Great Scotland Yard.
External link: Police history

This description of a dramatic visit to the office is given in Charles Reade's novel Hard Cash published in 1863

"She stopped the cab at her door, and asked the driver if his horse was fresh enough to carry her to the Board of Lunacy: "It is at Whitehall, sir," said she. "Lord bless you, ma'am," said the cabman, "Whitehall? Why, my mare would take you to Whitechapel and back in an hour, let alone Whitehall.
At this conjuncture, or soon after, Mrs. Dodd came in with her paper in her hand, a little flurried for once, and after a hasty curtsey, said--

"Oh, Doctor Sampson, oh, my dears, what wickedness there is in the world! I'm going to Whitehall this moment; only look at what was pinned on my parasol at Drayton House."

The writing passed from hand to hand, and left the readers looking very gravely at one another. Julia was quite pale and horror-stricken. All were too deeply moved, and even shocked, to make any commonplace comment; for it looked and read like a cry from heart to hearts.

"If you are a Christian, if you are human, pity a sane man here confined in, fraud, and take this to the Board of Lunacy at Whitehall. Torn by treachery from her I love, my letters all intercepted, pens and paper kept from me, I write this with a toothpick and my blood on a rim of The Times. Oh God, direct it to some one who has suffered, and can feel for another's agony."

Dr Sampson was the first to speak. "There," said he, under his breath: "didn't I tell you? This man is sane. There's sanity in every line."
Two ladies carried a paper to Whitehall out of charity to a stranger.

They reached Whitehall, and were conducted upstairs to a gentleman of pleasant aspect but powerful brow, seated in a wilderness of letters.

He waved his hand, and a clerk set them chairs: he soon after laid down his pen, and leaned gravely forward to hear their business. They saw they must waste no time; Julia looked at her mother, rose, and took Alfred's missive to his desk, and handed it him with one of her eloquent looks, grave and pitiful. He seemed struck by her beauty and her manner.

"It was pinned on my parasol, sir, by a poor prisoner at Drayton House," said Mrs. Dodd.

"Oh, indeed," said the gentleman, and began to read the superscription with a cold and wary look. But thawed visibly as he read. He opened the missive and ran his eye over it. The perusal moved him not a little: a generous flush mounted to his brow; he rang the bell sharply. A clerk answered it; the gentleman wrote on a slip of paper, and said earnestly, "Bring me every letter that is signed with that name, and all our correspondence about him."

He then turned to Mrs. Dodd, and put to her a few questions, which drew out the main facts I have just related. The papers were now brought in. "Excuse me a moment," said he, and ran over them. "I believe the man is sane," said he, "and that you will have enabled us to baffle a conspiracy, a heartless conspiracy."

"We do hope he will be set free, sir," said Mrs. Dodd piteously.

"He shall, madam, if it is as I suspect. I will stay here all night but I will master this case; and lay it before the Board myself without delay."

Julia looked at her mother, and then asked if it would be wrong to inquire "the poor gentleman's name?"

"Humph!" said the official; "I ought not to reveal that without his consent. But stay! he will owe you much, and it really seems a pity he should not have an opportunity of expressing his gratitude. Perhaps you will favour me with your address: and trust to my discretion. Of course, if he does not turn out as sane as he seems, I shall never let him know it."

Mrs. Dodd then gave her address; and she and Julia went home with a glow about the heart selfish people, thank Heaven, never know.

From Hints on insanity and signing certificates by John Millar. Second (enlarged) edition 1877

Commissioners in Lunacy
Office: 19 Whitehall Place, London, SW
Chairman: Right Hon. the Earl of Shaftesbury
Commissioners: Francis Barlow Esq; Hon. Dudley Forteque MP; James Wilkes esq. MRCS; Robert Nairne esq. MD; John D. Cleaton, esg MRCS; William George Campbell esq; Charles Palmer Phillips esq; Hon. Greville T. Howard.
Secretary: Charles Spencer Perceval esq.
Office Hours: 10 till 4; Saturday, 10 till 2

Other Offices

The reason why the Lunacy Commission wanted an office near Whitehall was probably the vicinity of the Home Office, the Poor Law Board and other departments of administrative government:

Home Office "Secretary of State's Office for Home Department" shown in Boyle's for 1845 and 1855 as on the West Side of Whitehall between the Treasury and the Horse Guards.

Poor Law Commission/Board Boyle's 1835-1846 gives the Poor Law Commission address as "1 + 2 Somerset House, Somerset Place". In 1855 it gives it as "Gwydyr House" on the east side of Whitehall

The legal departments, that it also related to, were situated further away:

The Lord Chancellor Boyle's in 1855 gives him as "Law Courts, Court of Chancery, Lincolns Inn and Westminster Hall".

Masters and Visitors in Lunacy 45 Lincolns Inn Fields (Address noted from 1842 to 1877. Heywood and Massey say the Masters were there from 1845 to 1880

There was a concentration of the Lord Chancellor's officers in Quality Court Chancery Lane. [Present day: "Quality Court is off Chancery Lane between Cursitor Street and Southampton Street. You enter Quality court through an archway" multimap]

Chancery Chambers, 1 Quality Court, Chancery Lane

2 Quality Court, Chancery Lane

3 Quality Court, Chancery Lane
1855: Office of Registrar in Lunacy, C. Norris Wilde.
1865: J.F. Miller, Chief Registrar in Lunacy

Dickens's Dictionary of London, by Charles Dickens, Jr., 1879 - "Lunacy Commissioners" (external link)

Lunacy Commissioners, 19, Whitehall-place, SW. - The office of the Masters in Lunacy and of the Lunatics' Visitors is at 45, Lincoln's-inn-fields, W.C. The office of the Registrar in Lunacy is at 3, Quality-court, Chancery- lane. Hours of business generally from 10 till 4, but fewer in the vacation. NEAREST Railway Stations, Charing-cross (S. E. and Disc.); Omnibus Routes, Whitehall and Strand; Cab Rank, Horse Guards.

From Heywood and Massey's Court of Protection Practice (an early footnote). Extract provided by Denzil Lush:

From 1842 to 1845 the Masters' office was in Southampton Street, Bloomsbury;

From 1845 to 1880 at 45 Lincoln's Inn Fields;

From 1880 to 1939 in the Royal Courts of Justice.

During the Second World War it was evacuated to Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge.

From 1946 to 1986 the Court of Protection was housed at Staffordshire House, Store Street, London WC1,

From January 1987 until January 2002 it had accommodation in the office of the Public Trustee at Stewart House, 24 Kingsway, London WC2.

The Court of Protection relocated to Archway Tower on 18 January 2002.




The clerk and his office were the regular, visible manifestation of the Commission. All correspondence was sent to him, and one imagines he would have dealt with a large number of enquiries between Quarterly Meetings.

In that he kept the records, managed the finances and enforced the Acts, he preformed functions separately performed in the Physician commission by the Secretary, Treasurer and President. Unlike the Physician Commission's Secretary, however, he did not visit, but was responsible only for the office side of the Commission.

The 1828 Madhouse Act explicitly compares the roles of County Clerks and the London Clerk. The County Clerk was generally to be the Clerk of the Peace, and, at this time, the Clerk of the Peace was usually a local solicitor whose official role was just one aspect of his legal practice. The first London Clerk was a very similar person.

The two clerks between 1828 and 1845 were both practising lawyers. The first (Robert Browne) was an "attorney" (solicitor), the second (Edward DuBois) was a barrister.


Robert Browne was the London Clerk until his death in the winter of 1832. He was an attorney of the firm of "Browne, Seymour and Wilson", whose office in Margaret Street, St Marylebone, was the commission's office from 1828 to 1832/1833.

In 1827 he was agent for Lord Robert Seymour (H14), who lived in Portland Place, just round the corner from Browne's office.

[ Click 1830 map link.
Regent Street is south from Portland Place. Move map east one square to see Margaret Street, which crosses Regent Street]

As agent for Lord Robert he gave evidence to the 1827 Select Committee of the House of Commons on Middlesex Pauper Lunatics of accounts he had obtained from County Asylums about their effectiveness 1827 SCHC pp 88 + 96).

It was common practice at this time for the nobility to employ attorney's to manage their public and private business:

"Did a landowner find the personal management of his farms irksome and difficult? He made a solicitor his agent. Or did he find a difficulty in performing his duties as a magistrate? He made a solicitor his salaried clerk, who prompted him and did all the work.. Thus all the solicitors grew wealthy while the great families.. were impoverished." Halevy, E. 1949 Vol.1 p.21)

It seems this was how, ageing and ailing, Lord Robert still managed to be a force in London affairs.

I do not know if Browne's partner, William Seymour, was any relation to Lord Robert Seymour, but there seems good reason to believe he was related to Dr E.J. Seymour who was a medical Commissioner from 1830 to 1839

Appointment and salary

Legally the Clerk was appointed and his salary fixed by the Minister. Peel, however, may have left such matters to the Commission. Browne was paid £400 a year "as recommended by the Commissioners, and approved by His Majesty's Secretary of State" (Account 1829).

£400 remained the Clerk's salary until 1844, when it was increased to £500 (Account 1828 to Account 1845). It was a good income, especially considering it was additional to other professional earnings, and even though the Clerk may have had an assistant's wages to pay out of his own salary (####). In about 1846, another lawyer, in his third year as a barrister, considered he had achieved financial independence when he earnt over £100 a year. (Hawkins, H. 1904, but not p.40, which is what I have written)

Clerk's Finances

The Treasurer-Clerk was not simply responsible for all the business and office affairs of the commission: He was its business and office arrangement. His "salary" was a professional man's fee for providing the Commission with everything necessary for its operation.

The following few points illustrate the closeness of the "commission" to the person of its clerk.

  • When the commission changed Clerk's in 1832/1833, from Browne to Dubois, it had to change its office.

  • Dubois had to bill £40 in his first account to:

    "costs of levy on the late Treasurer's effects for money received from licences" (Account 1832/1833)

  • The papers etc of the Commission were not clearly the Commissioner's property until 1845 when, under the Lunacy Act, the commission's effects became the property of the "commissioners.. for the time being". In order that the Lunacy Commission could take over the Metropolitan Commission's affairs, Dubois was required by the Act to "deliver up every book, paper, and document and all goods, property and effects" in his possession by virtue of his office. (1845 Lunacy Act s.13).

  • Until 1842 the clerk provided the capital for the commission (See law and 3.10.2). His annual accounts were his bills for what he had spent on it, plus his fee ("salary"), less the part he had recovered himself through Licence Fees.

  • The Clerk provided and equipped the Office, in as far as it was not equipped by the Government. Browne was paid a gratuity of £100 "on account of extra labour attending the first establishment of the office" and billed £68..2/- for "printing, stationery, maps, pamphlet, cases etc. not supplied from His Majesty's Stationery Office" (Account 1829) .

  • The Treasurer Clerk managed the office, appointed and employed everyone required for the commission's work apart from the commissioners and himself, and paid everyone: including the professional commissioners.

  • The form that the Clerk's accounts took (until 1842) was that he had paid all the commission's bills, collected all its Licence Fees, and was now billing the Commissioners for the balance due him.


    Most of the Metropolitan Commissioners in 1828 had homes in the fashionable areas surrounding Browne's office. The medical commissioners (M1 to M5) all lived in Mayfair, Marylebone or Bloomsbury, close to their rich and nobel clients; and nearly all the honorary commissioners (H1 to H16) had town residences in the same areas - or, perhaps, St James's.

    The way that the Commission's office was rooted in West London society is symptomatic of the Commission being a part of London's local government. The commission was linked to the Middlesex Bench through its JP members, to Marylebone vestry through Lord Robert Seymour and to the Mayfair (St George's) vestry through Gordon. Other commissioner's were probably also vestry members - Seymour and Gordon just happened to record their membership in Hansard! The commission's office was situated in the area these vestries ruled and it had Lord Robert's agent for its Clerk. The impetus for the commission had largely come from the parishes of Marylebone and St George, and a major objective of the 1828 Madhouses Bill had been to subject madhouses to the superintendence of parish overseers. (3.3.2)


    Ashley wrote to Brougham on 18.7.1845, that Brougham had been the first to determine the barristers should sit on the Commission, "I do not hesitate to assert that without the aid of legal persons the Doctor would have been nearly powerless and the whole Commission would have stagnated" (Brougham MSS, 33, 670, 18.7.1845, quoted Finlayson, G. 1981 p.237)

    The Barrister Commissioners, as we have seen, were appointed under peculiar circumstances. The re-structuring of the Commission after their appointment was, however, probably the most significant development in the administrative history of the Commission before 1842.


    Edward Dubois (1774-1850), lawyer, writer and editor, was Treasurer Clerk to the Metropolitan Commission from 1833 to 1845.

    He was the son of William Dubois, a London merchant originally from north- west France. Born Love Lane (City of London) 4.1.1774. Art Critic for the Observer newspaper throughout his life. Regular contributor to the Morning Chronicle, especially under James Perry (Proprietor/editor 1789-1817). Sometime editor of the Monthly Mirror, the Lady's Magazine and the European Magazine.

    DuBois' books include: A Piece of Family Biography Three volumes 1799; The Wreath (selections, translations, remarks etc) 1799; The Fairy of Misfortune (a translation) (also 1799); St Godwin 1800 - a skit on Godwin's novel St Leon; Old Nick 1801; and The Decameron (a revised translation with remarks) 1804. In 1805 he edited Hayley's Ballads with plates by William Blake.

    Dubois edited Robert Burton's Anatomy of Melancholy. DNB says he did this in 1821, but there is an edition at Glasgow dated 1806

    Dubois became a barrister (Inner Temple) on 5.5.1809. He was married at Bloomsbury Church in August 1815 to Harriet Cresswell, daughter of Richard Cheslyn Cresswell, Registrar of the Arches Court of Canterbury. Harriet survived him.

    For at least 20 years (1830 to 1850?) DuBois was assistant to Serjeant Heath, judge of the Middlesex Court of Requests (DNB). The 1846 Post Office Guide shows him as "Du bois, E. Middlesex Court of Requests" (King Street. Holborn). Courts of Requests or Conscience were set up in various towns in the 18th century to hear cases under £2. (Curzon, L.B. 1968 p.182). The Middlesex County Court Act of 1750 reorganised the old Middlesex County Court (with the High Sheriff as judge), so that a lawyer sat as the Judge, with a jury. The success of this Court (the Middlesex Court of Requests) led to the system of County Courts under the 1846 County Courts Act. The existing local courts were later fitted into the general system. Kiralfy, A.K.R. 1960 p.161)

    Lord Chancellor Brougham appointed him to the vacant post of Treasurer- Clerk to the Metropolitan Commission in 1833 (DNB), probably in February. He was then 59 years old. From 1833 to 1845 he was both the deputy judge at the Court of Requests and Treasurer-Clerk to the Commission.

    In 1845 (aged 71) he ceased being Treasurer-Clerk, as a result of the 1845 Lunacy Act, but was re-employed, without specific duties, by the Commission on 4.9.1845. In 1846, when County Courts were established generally, he was offered a judgeship, but preferred to continue as the Middlesex deputy. He kept both posts going until his death (aged 76) in January 1850. (DNB).

    In 1844 he lived at 16 Sloane Street. As well as his address as Clerk of the Metropolitan Commission at 12 Abingdon Street, Westminster. He died at Sloane Street, Chelsea on 10.1.1850 (DNB)


    The Clerk could employ an assistant to do the routine work, and both Browne and Dubois appear to have done so.

    Browne's clerk: Dubois billed an assistant's salary "subsequent to" Browne's death. (see above) I interpret this as wages due to Browne's assistant for work before Dubois was appointed.

    Dubois' clerk: Normally, the assistant's salary was not an item in the accounts, but we know one was employed because commissioner Sykes told the London Statistical Society in 1840 that:

    "The Board has a treasurer and clerk (combined) and an assistant clerk, both of whom are upon oath." (Sykes 1840 p.144)

    The assistant may have been Robert Masters senior

    I think it most likely that Dubois paid his assistant from his own salary - without billing the Commissioners in any way. There is another possibility, however. The assistant's salary may have been included in a regular annual item of £50 for "rent of office and attendance". If so, the wording suggests a copy clerk who kept the office open whilst he worked. The figures could be consistent with this interpretation, especially if the office was only open on a part-time basis. Henry Hawkins only paid £12 a year for his rooms in the late 1840s (Hawkins, H. 1904 p.29) and, in the late 1860s, the Lunacy Commission paid £100 a year for a full time "Office keeper and assistant copying clerk" .

    Pressure for more space

    The concluding paragraphs of the 1838, 1839, 1840 and 1841 Reports all dealt with the need for:

    "more spacious apartments, and the exclusive use of them for the purposes of the Commission" (1838 Report).

    "Owing to the small allowance made for that purpose", the apartments were "confined and insufficient" (1840 Report).

    This subject first arose in 1838 when they found there was not enough room to file county returns accessibly. In the same Report they also mentioned that "complete privacy" was "obviously essential" for their proceedings" (1838 Report). This was the main issue in 1839, when they advised the Lord Chancellor that during the year:

    "one case of great difficulty and delicacy occurred, in the course of which it became necessary to enter into the most minute inquiries, and to examine numerous witnesses." [Probably that of RichardPaternoster]. "In cases of this kind, which assume almost the character and importance of a regular judicial investigation, it is scarcely possible to proceed with reasonable facility, and.. the privacy.. desirable, owing to the very indifferent accommodation." (1839 Report).

    In 1840 they said that instances where it was necessary to examine a variety of witnesses were a "not unfrequent occurrence". (1840 Report)


    From the elements of the Metropolitan Commission the 1845 Lunacy Act formally created a national Lunacy Commission. A local government unit with its professional members paid by the hour was transformed into a full time central government department. The real change in the commission's organisation, however, took place over the period 1842-1845. The Inquiry Act engendered the transformation, the Inquiry changed the Commission, and the 1845 Lunacy and County Asylums Act completed the process.

    Four indices that can be used to chart the process are


    Total expenditure (see table) seems the simplest measure of the commission's growth.

    Expenditure was relatively constant, at £2,000 to £3,000 a year, between 1829 and 1842 when the Metropolitan Commission was mainly the London licensing authority. It leapt to almost £9,000 in the first year of the Inquiry, £10,000 in the second and £12,000 in the final year.

    The big leap in expenditure took place in these Inquiry years, not after the establishment of the Lunacy Commission in 1845. In debate on the 1845 Bills, Ashley estimated that the expenses of the Lunacy Commission "for many years would be £12,583" if commissioners were paid fixed salaries instead of fees. (Hansard 11.7.1845. col 403) - only £500 more than the last year of the inquiry! The actual figures were higher - but not much. They were below £14,000 a year in 1850, and still below £15,000 in 1868, although they leapt to over £20,000 in 1871.

    Growth in the Commission's Expenditure 1829-1871 (5.3.4b.TA)

    Gaps in the table are because I could not find figures. I have used all the relevant figures for these years that I could find.

    Metropolitan Commission Total
    Year ending August 1829 £2,246 £1,154  
    Year ending August 1830 £2,036 £1,050  
    Year ending August 1831 £2,536 £1,244  
    Year ending August 1832   £1,027  
    Year ending August 1833   £969  
    Year ending August 1839   £2,151  
    Year ending August 1840 £2,952 £1,921  
    Year ending August 1841   £1,942  
    Year ending August 1842 £2,777 £1,993  
    Inquiry Commission Total
    London area
    fees and
    Year ending August 1843 £8,900 £2,761 £5,230
    Year ending August 1844 £9,947 £3,059 £5,850
    Year ending August 1845 £12,057 £3,820 £6,310
    Lunacy Commission Total
    and Secretary's
    Travel etc,
    London and
    Ashley's estimate £12,580 £9,800 £2,150
    Year ending August 1849 £13,747 £9,800 £2,355
    Year ending August 1850 £13,747 £9,800 £2,355
    Year ending August 1868 £14,605 £9,800 £2,120
    Year ending August 1871 £20,490 £9,800 £2,140

    The Inquiry Commissioners' fees were the sum of the last two columns less County travelling expenses. This expenses figure is not known, but would have been less for the Inquiry Commission than the Lunacy Commission.

    I have including the Lunacy Commission Secretary's as he (Lutwidge) was a commissioner during the Inquiry and I have guessed that he (and/or other legal commissioners) performed some Secretarial functions during the Inquiry.

    The large 1871 total expenditure was largely due to abnormally high legal fees.


    Between 1841 and 1846 the commission changed from one with offices and staff provided by its Clerk to one employing a hierarchy of staff in Government offices (See table).

    Until the 1842 Inquiry Act the commissioners had no money to rent an office, employ staff or purchase anything. The Clerk collected licence fees, paid all expenses, and at the end of each quarter presented his bill (via the commissioners) to the Treasury, which was technically always in debt to him. According to the accounts, for example, in 1839 DuBois advanced between £300 and £600 a quarter. Although in practice the actual payment of some items shown, particularly his own salary, was probably deferred until the money was in hand. (See law)

    Under the 1842 Inquiry Act, however, the Treasury was able to advance money to the Commissioners (see law). Sufficient was advanced that Dubois' Accounts, instead of showing several hundred pounds due, credited balances carried forward each year. His accounts ceased to be bills and became accounts of how he had spent the commission's money.

    Part of the extra money made available appears to have been used to rent extra office space for the Inquiry at 6 John Street. (See table).

    Then, about February 1844, the Commission moved out of the Clerk's chambers altogether into Government Offices at 12 Abingdon Street, opposite the House of Lords. (See table).


    Dubois was London clerk from 1833 to August 1845. From June 1840, and probably from 1833 (see clerk's finances), he employed an assistant at a salary of £80 a year, who was not shown on his Accounts. This assistant was, possibly, Robert Masters senior.

    From some time before August 1845, Dubois also employed the son of Masters senior. Robert Masters junior was employed as a messenger and copying clerk at a weekly salary of about £1 with possible additions for porterage.

    By 1848 Masters senior was a widower. Masters junior was married and had a daughter before 1845. He was fond of beer and had a round, glowing face.


    For the year ending 1.8.1845 (his last Account) Dubois was paid £500 salary, instead of £400. This is the only indication that his work for the commission increased during the Inquiry.

    During the Inquiry, for the first time, however, an assistant was recorded on the accounts. This was probably Mr Barlow. (Masters senior, and possibly junior, continuing to be paid by Du Bois). Barlow may have been taken on in October or November 1842, because the Account to 1.8.1843 says "By assistant clerk, three quarter year's salary" £60. He received the full year's salary of £80 in 1843/1844, and in the last year of the Inquiry his salary was increased to £100. (Which is the amount Mr Barlow was paid as a clerk for the Lunacy Commission from August 1845, and the reason I identify the new Inquiry Clerk as Barlow).

    The Account to 4.8.1845 also shows £20: "By assistance preparing Statistical Tables".


    Some extra work from Du Bois, a new Assistant Clerk and assistance with the statistics hardly seems adequate to the additional paperwork that the Inquiry must have engendered. It seems likely to me that the employment of extra professional commissioners in August 1842, especially the extra legal commissioners, was as much a contribution to the office work of the Inquiry as it was to the visiting.

    On the basis of a calculation by Somerset in 1842 that the two barristers, as full time commissioners, could visit all London houses four, and county houses three, times a year (Hansard 17.3.1842 col 802), we can make a good guess that a full-time commission of two medical and two legal commissioners could have comfortably carried out the minimum visiting requirements of the 1842 Act, given some supplementary medical visitors to meet the London quorum requirements .

    [I assume here that the reduction of visits to county houses from three to two a year would more than compensate for the addition of one annual visit to each county asylum. In 1844 there were 139 county houses, but only seventeen county asylums]

    The biography of Procter suggests that he and Mylne were, in practice, full time commissioners from 1842. Why, then, were two extra legal commissioners (Hall and Lutwidge) employed? In a large part, the explanation I would give is that they were required for the administration of the Inquiry. It would seem particularly likely that Lutwidge (6BIOL6) worked as de-facto Secretary to the Commission during the Inquiry years - the office that he held formally under the Lunacy Commission.

    The management of the office was considered a particular responsibility of the legal commissioners. At the second Board of the Lunacy Commission, the three legal commissioners were made a committee to draw up and submit to the Board a scheme of regulation for the conduct of the office and transaction of business (see below) and Somerset in 1842 had spoken of the legal commissioners as men of business ("the habits of business that these gentlemen would have acquired would be found most valuable" (Hansard 17.3.1842 col. 799)


    An aspect of the Commission's activities that increased dramatically during the Inquiry, but not much more dramatically in 1845 was the number of visits that had to be made. The only substantial addition made by the 1845 Acts to the Commission's visiting load (and it was substantial), was a statutory annual visit to every workhouse containing a lunatic.

    In 1845, Ashley argued that the 1842 Inquiry Act, and especially its visiting provisions, had necessitated the eventual establishment of a full- time commission:

    "So long as the duties were confined.. to London and seven miles round it, it would have been much easier for the commission, as now constituted, to meet and discharge their duties, although they too were in a great degree increased; but the moment the county duties were super-added, and it became necessary that the barristers and medical men should be absent from their private practice in London for whole days together in the provinces, it was perfectly clear, that then the proper discharge of the duties could only be secured by having persons altogether devoted to this work, and no other." (Hansard 11.7.1845 cols 401-402)

    Before 1842, the Commission had to make a minimum of four visits a year to about 38 London houses. Because these were often close together, several could be visited in a day and the quarterly circuit could be completed in thirteen or fourteen days (3.4.2).

    The 1842 Act dramatically altered this. It added an annual minimum of two visits to 139 county houses, and one to seventeen County Asylums. These were scattered between Bodmin in Cornwall and Newcastle in Northumberland. It authorized the commission to visit thirteen hospitals, and the commissioners chose to visit several workhouses as well as making a tour of Wales.

    The only substantial addition made the 1845 Lunacy Act was a statutory annual visit to every workhouse containing a lunatic.

    Ashley attempted to quantify the Lunacy Commission's additional workload in terms of distinct visits and numbers of miles commissioners would travel in a year. Using the same idea with additional figures from other sources suggest the following pattern:-

    Minimum before 1842: 136 visits All in the London area
    Minimum under 1842 Act: 349 visits Through England and Wales
    Actual, August 1844
    to August 1845
    404 visits 15,000 miles travelled
    Estimate for Lunacy Commission 560 visits 16,500 miles travelled
    1849 971 visits 25,000 miles travelled

    The actual for August 1844 to August 1843 and the estimate for the Lunacy Commission are Ashley's figures in Hansard 11.7.1845. There is some ambiguity about the period covered by the 1844-1845 figures.

    The figure for 1849 is an estimate for the year based on the figures for half a year. (reference)

    Travelling was the major consumer of professional time when the commission became national.


    One aspect of the Commission's activities that increased dramatically during the Inquiry, but much more dramatically in 1845 was the number of Board meetings held.

    The Curve of Meeting Numbers 1842-1848

        1842 1843 1844 1845 1846 1847 1848
    70           68    
    40         *      
    30       31        
    0   1842 1843 1844 1845 1846 1847 1848

    * Ashley's estimate for Lunacy commission Boards was 40

    The number of meetings the Metropolitan Commission held each year, before 1842, is not known. Four Quarterly Meetings had to be held. Sometimes special meetings considered a complicated release case and there may have been other occasions for special meetings. I do not think, however, that there would have been many more meetings than the statutory four a year.

    Prior to August 1845, costs may have inhibited the number of Board's held. Before the Lunacy Act, professional commissioners were paid by the hour. The increase in meetings during the Inquiry was responsible for a large part of the increased expenditure. In debate on the Lunacy Bill, Ashley stressed to the House of Commons that, if the commission's structure and payment system remained unaltered, total costs would continue to rise:

    "See how many meetings of the board took place. In 1842.. fifteen, in 1843.. twenty-four, and in 1844.. thirty-one.. Now the sittings averaged at the very least four hours each, and were attended by eleven paid members. At this rate they cost in 1842, £660, in 1843, £956" [I make it £1,056] "and in 1844 £1,364, thus showing an increase in two years of £704 for expenses of the boards alone." (Hansard 11.7.1845 col.402)

    Later in this debate Ashley said that commissioners were currently attending 34 boards a year, and had calculated only six extra board days for the Lunacy Commission (40 meetings). But, he added, there was such a growing pressure of business that they ought to have at least two a week. (Hansard 11.7.1845 cols 403-405)



    It would appear that the pressures to increase the number of meetings were present before the 1845 Acts: which added to them.

    The Lunacy Act came into force at the beginning of the summer season, a time when we would not expect many meetings. In the early year's of the Metropolitan Commission we saw that houses were never visited in August or September (3.4.2). The Metropolitan Commission met for the last time on 1.8.1845 and "by agreement" the commissioners met as the Lunacy Commission on Thursday 14.8.1845. There was so much business for the first meeting that much of it was adjourned to Friday 15.8.1845, when the Commission decided the pattern of its meetings and office organisation:

    Resolved on the motion of Mr Gordon, that a Board be held at least every Wednesday -

    That on the first Wednesday of every month the Reports and entries of the visiting Commissioners and Justices respectively as to County Asylums, Hospitals and Licensed Houses generally be read -

    That the office hours be from 10 oclock till 5 daily and that the clerks were to give their continuous attendance during those hours -

    The three Barrister Commissioners be a Committee to draw up and submit to the Board a scheme of regulation for the conduct of the office and transaction of business.

    MH50, 15.8.1845 Those present were the same as on Thursday 14.8.1845

    In the remaining five and a half months of 1845, 28 meetings were held, slightly more than one a week. In 1846 there were 68; in 1847, 86, but in 1848 only 54.


    Before 1845 it is difficult to quantify the clerical staff of the Commission. There is poverty of data before then, and, before and after, we do not know how much time DuBois and the professional commissioners spent on clerical work. From 1845, however, there is a clear picture of a steadily increasing clerical establishment. this was where the Lunacy Commission expanded its personnel. The number of professional commissioners and the secretary were fixed by law. As their salaries were the major commission expense, gross expenditure was only 17% more in 1868 than it was in 1845. Expenditure on the lower levels of staff more than trebled over the same period.


    LUTWIDGE. Full time Secretary at £800 a year.

    MR BARLOW. Clerk at £100 a year.

    ROBERT MASTERS, SENIOR. Clerk at £80 a year.

    Barlow and Masters senior were required to be at the office from 10am to 5pm, Monday to Saturday.

    ROBERT MASTERS, JUNIOR. Messenger and clerk. paid £1 a week with no addition for porterage.

    Mr Barlow fell into disgrace in August 1845, when it was discovered that he had been claiming false expenses. His permanent appointment was stopped and he was employed on a temporary basis whilst his case was properly considered. After a suitable letter to Lord Ashley, he regained his permanent post on 5.11.1845 - but at a reduced salary of £80 a year.

    MR MARTIN was appointed clerk (£80 a year) on 3.9.1845. After his appointment he worked overtime and on 15.10.1846 he was granted £20 in consideration of his extra work. On 16.3.1848 his salary was raised to £120 a year, and he was the highest paid clerk apart from DuBoisagain.

    Procter in 1856 referred to him as our: "excellent Martin", in 1857 as: "peerless Martin (far beyond Day)". Apparently he polished the commissioner's boots very brightly for them. On 15.10.1860 Procter wrote: "The office goes on as usual, Martin (the Steady) keeps things in order".


    The office of Treasurer Clerk ceased with the Metropolitan Commission, but on 4.9.1845 a "Mr Dubois" was appointed an "additional clerk" by the Lunacy Commission at £200 a year. Unlike other clerks, DuBois appears to have come into the office rather than keeping office hours, yet his salary was over twice that of the others.

    On 16.3.1848 it was:

    "Ordered upon the motion of Mr Gordon that it be referred to Mr Dubois to examine the Votes and Proceedings of both Houses of Parliament from day to day and draw the attention of the Board to any matters therein contained relating to Lunacy."

    With the appointment of DuBois, the salaries paid exceeded the £400 maximum provided for in the Act. Amounts over this were voted for annually in Committee of Supply.


    When the commission moved to New Street, The Masters family were provided with rooms in the basement and Mrs Masters appointed Housekeeper at 10/- a week plus coals. Robert Masters Junior, Mrs Masters and their daughter may have been the "Hall Porter and Messenger", "Housekeeper" and "Housemaid" who in 1867-1869 were being paid £75 (Robert?); £24 plus £26 "board wages" (Mrs?) and £14 plus £26 "board wages" (Miss?). Procter in 1856 (acting as secretary) referred to Masters bringing the post to him and Mrs Masters, "the samaritan!", making him a cup of tea for a cold he had caught on circuit.

    MR (WILLIAM F.?) MITCHELL was appointed "additional clerk" on 21.5.1846. He started on Monday 25th and was paid one and a half guineas a week until 13.1.1848 when it was raised to £90 a rear (£100 on 2.2.1848). He was referred to be Procter in April 1861.

    MR JOHN MAULE (aged 54) was appointed clerk in August 1847. His salary was raised to £90 (the lowest apart from Masters Senior, see below) on 2.2.1848. By this time, Masters Senior had become a pensioner at the Charter House. In view of this provision and the amount of his future duties at the office, his salary was reduced in 1848 to £25 a year. When Maule retired (aged 69) on 1.6.1862 he was still a "third class clerk" earning (due to annual increments) £160 a year. Procter asked Foster if he had heard that the Treasury had agreed to grant "poor Maule" £40 a year as a pension.


    LUTWIDGE. Full time Secretary at £800 a year.

    DUBOIS Senior Clerk

    MR BARLOW Clerk

    MARTIN Clerk

    MITCHELL Clerk

    MAULE Clerk

    The Clerks were required to be at the office from 10am to 5pm, Monday to Saturday.

    ROBERT MASTERS, JUNIOR. Messenger and clerk

    MRS MASTERS. Housekeeper

    ROBERT MASTERS, SENIOR. Role uncertain.



    MH51/737 (the lists of commissioners and secretaries) includes a single sheet headed Office of Commissioners in Lunacy. Estimate of Salaries and Contingent Expenses This has figures for 1867/1868 and 1868/1869 [There are no significant differences respecting staff]. This table of staff in 1867-1869 is based on that.

    Six Commissioners at £1,500 a year

    One Secretary at £800 a year

    Seven Clerks:

    One on a scale starting at £300 a year and rising by annual increments of £15 to £500 a year

    Two on a scale starting at £200 a year and rising by annual increments of £10 to £300 a year

    Four on a scale starting at £100 a year and rising by annual increments of £10 [£5?] to £180 a year. One of these "has reached his maximum and another attains his next year by the addition of £5"

    One Office Keeper and assistant copying clerk £100 a year

    One Hall Porter and Messenger £75 a year

    One Housekeeper at £24 a year plus Board Wages at 10/- a week

    One Housemaid at £14 a year plus Board Wages at 10/- a week

    Next part: Chancery Visitors

    © Andrew Roberts 1981-

    Citation suggestion


    My referencing suggestion for this page is a bibliography entry:

    Roberts, Andrew 1981- The Lunacy Commission <>

    and references in your text to

    (Roberts, A. 1981 section -)

    Contents page The the web address above is the book's contents page, not this page. Your reader can use the sections index on the contents page to find the section of the book you have referenced.

    To avoid confusing sections of Acts with sections of my book, I have listed the section numbers for legal summaries on the contents page and not in the legal summaries.

    See ABC Referencing for general advice.


    Study Link
    Andrew Roberts' web Study Guide
    Picture introduction to this site
    Top of Page Take a Break - Read a Poem

    Andrew Roberts likes to hear from users:
    To contact him, please use the Communication Form

  • mental health
timeline Citation: see referencing suggestion

    Click for:



    Barlow, the clerk

    Robert Browne

    chancery lunatics

    county asylums

    criminal lunatics

    licensed houses


    Justice of the Peace (JP)

    London Clerk

    mad houses


    Marylebone office

    Masters family


    Metropolitan Commission

    Offices and office workers:


    pauper lunatics

    Quarter Sessions

    single lunatics


    Timeline 1845.


    workhouse asylums

    There are map links from this page to Greenwoods 1830 map on the Motco web site