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Biographies of Legal Lunacy Commissioners and Secretaries 1832- 1912

Legal member of the Metropolitan Commission and Lunacy Commission
Click on the index number to see the relation to other commissioners

L1 James Williams Mylne MA
Commissioner 1832-1855

Born 20.8.1800 in Glasgow. The eldest son of Rev. James Mylne, Professor of Moral Philosophy at Glasgow University from 1797 to his death on 21.9.1839.

    "The victim of a ludicrous suspicion of disloyalty arising out of a service conducted by him in the college chapel on 26th March 1815, immediately after Napoleon's entry into Paris" (A.Gl.).
Mylne's maternal grandfather was John Millar (1735-1801), Professor of Law at Glasgow and follower of Adam Smith and David Hume. Millar was a radical Whig (DNB).

Early education at Glasgow Grammar School. Glasgow University 1814-1819. Snell exhibitioner Balliol College, Oxford 1819-1829, BA 1824, MA 1826.

Admitted Lincoln's Inn 15.11.1823, barrister 22.11.1827. Practised as a Chancery barrister (A.Gl.). Equity draftsman with chambers successively at 25 Old Square; 59 Chancery Lane; 20 Southampton Buildings and (by 1838) 10 Old Square, Lincoln's Inn (See L4) (Law lists 1829-1844). From 1829 to 1841 reporting cases in Chancery which were published (with co-authors) 1832-1848. He lived at 4 Bloomsbury Place. (1841 Dir. 1846 P.O.G)

Appointed by Broughham. With Bryan Waller Procter, one of the first two legal commissioners

INQUIRY COMMISSIONER 23.8.1842 (aged 42)

18.10.1842 He and Turner (M1) signed a report on the licensed house at Hook Norton, Oxfordshire. Reproduced Parry-Jones, W.L. 1972 pp 144-145.

Timeline 1845

Board attendance 1845- 1848

October 1847: Inquiry into Haydock Lodge

August 1848: Haydock Lodge problems continue

Mylne died in office 24.11.1855 (aged 55) at 27 Oxford Square, Hyde Park, London. He was succeeded as Lunacy Commissioner by the Secretary, Lutwidge

Legal member of the Metropolitan Commission and Lunacy Commission
Click on the index number to see the relation to other commissioners

L2 Bryan Waller Procter
Pen name Barry Cornwall
Professional Commissioner 1832-1861.
Honorary (Unpaid) commissioner to death.

Born Leeds 21.11.1787. The eldest son of Nicholas Procter (died 1816) who moved to London and at some time lived at Gloucester Place, Camden Town. At first a small businessman, he acquired independent means and lived on rents and dividends for many years

Bryan Waller Procter went to school in Finchley and Harrow and was then articled to a Mr Atherton, solictor of Calne, Wiltshire. Returning to London in 1807. Sometime before 1820 he was in partnership with a London solictor.

In more prosperous circumstances, on his father's death (1816), he brought a house in Brunswick Square.

The legal partnership was dissolved in 1820 and financial losses due to it forced him to "live by his pen", which he found "irksome". The same year he was introduced to Mr and Mrs Montagu and Anne Skepper, Mrs Montagu's daughter by a previous marriage. In 1821 he was engaged to Anne, who he married 7.10.1824 (Charles Lamb unable to attend)

Procter had an income (1824) of about £500 a year from houses left to him by his father. After marriage he "returned in earnest" to legal work as a conveyencer. Work "rapidly increased upon him". He shared offices with Montagu at 10 New Square, Lincolns Inn (1829 Law lists) and Armour, R.W. 1935). In 1825 the Procters went to live with the Montagus. Their eldest child, Adelaide Procter was born there that October. Procter became a barrister (Grays Inn) 4.5.1831.

The Literary Gazette was founded in 1817, and Procter became a contributor. About here he also became a a friend of Leigh Hunt and Charles Lamb.

Bryan Waller Procter used the pen name Barry Cornwall. He published Dramatic Scenes and Other Poems in 1819. This was praised by Charles Lamb.

The London Magazine (started 1820) introduced him to a wider literary audience. In 1820 he published two more poetry volumes: Marcian Colonna and A Sicilian Story. The poem Marcian Collona was a verse tale of madness and passion. It was well received by the public.

In January 1822 Mirandola, a tragedy, had a sixteen night run at Covent Garden, somewhat prematurely, to get him out of financial difficulties. It was produced by Macready. His Poetical Works, in three volumes, were published in 1822 and another book of poems, The Flood of Thessaly, in 1823. Portraits of British Poets was published in 1824.

About 1831 the commencement of his friendship with Forster (L6). Both were friends with Charles Lamb, who died December 1834, and his sister Mary Lamb

In 1832, the new publisher Edward Moxon published English Songs and Other Smaller Poems by Barry Cornwall, the preface of which announced his farewell to poetry. The songs, which became very popular and were set to music by Chevallier Neukomm, had mostly been written ten years earlier. In 1832 Procter began a Life of Edmund Keen, which was published inn 1835.

Chevalier Sigismond Ritter von Neukomm, composer (1778-1858) came to England in 1829 and was very popular for a decade.

Appointed by Broughham. With James Williams Mylne, one of the first two legal commissioners

Armour considers the appointment to have been political:

"Procter for the one time in his life accepted a political office. Although he never asserted himself on affairs of state or allowed himself to become entangled in part broils, he was enough aligned with the whigs that, with the return of their party to office, Lord Brougham could appoint him on of the Metropolitan Commissioners of Lunacy." Armour, R.W. 1935 p. 95)

Chambers and home: From January 1834 at least until 1845 he had chambers at 4 Gray's Inn Square. By 1841 his home was 5 Grove End Road, St John's Wood: "a little Gothic cottage, opposite the home of Sir Edwin Landseer". By 1843 the house "had become a veritable salon".

September 1837 In a letter, Charles Dickens refers to a theatre trip with Proctor and others (email from David Parker 30.10.2006)

After October 1837, A.W. Kinglake read for the Chancery Bar with his friend Eliot Warburton, under Bryan Procter. He became a lifelong friend of Bryan Procter and his wife. Anne Procter is in the preface to Kinglake's book Eothen (1844) as the "Lady of Bitterness".

1838 Procter edited The works of Ben Johnson, with a memoir, published in 1838

On Monday 21.6.1841 Procter drove over to Edmonton to visit "Miss L." [Mary Lamb]. He took her for a short ride in the countryside. As a result of this visit, Mary moved to Margaret Parsons house in St John's Wood.

INQUIRY COMMISSIONER 23.8.1842 (aged 54)

Until 1841 Procter and Mylne were working about fifty days a year for the commission. (3.6.2 table). During the Inquiry they probably worked full time.

Armour contains the following suggestively inaccurate paragraph:

"Mr Procter was called to the bar in 1831, and in 1832 he closed his career as a poet, by publishing English Songs. In this year he accepted the office of Metropolitan Commissioner in Lunacy.. his appointment was annually renewed, until he became on of the permanent commission constituted by the Act of 1842. Up to this date his official duties were limited to London, and the terms of his appointment allowed him to continue his private practice as a conveyencer; but from that year.. the work of his office was more onerous, kept him continually travelling about the country, and was legally as well as practically, incompatible with the private exercise of his profession." (Armour, R.W. 1935 p. 95)

Private practice was not legally incompatible with his being a legal commissioner until 1845 (See Lunacy Commission). Although it would have been in 1842 if the original proposal for a Barrister Commission had been accepted (See 4.3.2). His Commissionership was also not formally permanent until 1845 (See provisions of 1832 Madhouse Act).

Nevertheless this passage, and a later one (##INCLUDE: probably one about pensions), suggest that his work was, in practice, full time from 1842. This impression is re-inforced by the way the total cost of Commissioners fees and salaries leapt dramatically at the beginning of the Inquiry, but did not do so again when the Lunacy Commission formally started in 1845 (See Growth in the Commission's Expenditure 1829-1871 (5.3.4b.TA))

An increased income and expectations of greater financial security may also have tempted the Procters to move house. In 1843 the family moved to 13 Upper Harley Street, "closer to the fashionable centre of London" where their large literary parties and "at homes" became famous. Early in 1854 they moved to a house in an adjoining street: 32 Weymouth Street.

Procter wrote to Carlyle on 20.9.1843 about the Rebecca riots:

"It is not the first time that that unholy Trinity (the Lawyer, the Parson, and the Justice of the Peace) has trod upon the corn or corns of the poor, but it is the first time that the poor have especially given them a kick in return. I do not like Wales. It is a mean country, notwithstanding its high places. There are many hundred lunatics in Wales, who (many of them as helpless as children) are boarded out at various rates, (ranging from one shilling to three !) per week. The gentry will not conspire to build an asylum - and the parish people will not pay enough to keep the poor creatures in decency."

"I shall (this year) have some three weeks of vacation, I believe - a very rare thing"

1843 Procter edited The Works of Shakespeare, with a memoir and essay, published in 1843:

"The Works of Shakespere Revised from the best authorities: with a memoir, and essay on his genius, by Barry Cornwall: also, annotations and introductory remarks on the plays, by many distinguished writers. London: Robert Tyas, 1843. Illustrated with wood engravings from designs by Kenny Meadows (1790-1874). This is the first edition to seriously attempt to integrate the text and the illustrations on the page."   (external link)

On 1.9.1844 Procter wrote to Forster:

"I have been travelling... Liverpool, Lancaster, Preston, Manchester, Leeds... York... I hear nothing - I see nothing, but tunnels and railroad - madmen and chambermaids. None other things interest me - and I have no escapes or perils to speak of. I am sick of travelling. I was made to sit still, and dream, and eat and drink, and go to bed, and wake in the morning, and do the same thing over again"

He noted the enormous number of children swarming like locusts in Manchester and the suburbs leading to Oldham. Each one, he commented, had, philosophically speaking, as much right to live as himself, Forster and Shakespeare. It was a thought worth recording for communicating to the public when the public was ripe for the disclosure.

Procter also communicated the following dialogue between A: "a person of education" (I assume the medical commissioner he was travelling with) and B: "costermonger, thief, drunkard, and of other trades" (whose sanity is clearly being examined):

A: "Do you wish to know the Truth?"
B: "Ay, by God!"
A: "Then look at me. I am the Truth!"
B: "Are you, by God?"
A: "Yes, and we shall meet again on the last day"
B: "Very well: then gi' us two penn'orth o' gin!"

"Should you imagine either party mad?" he asked Forster. "If so, which?"

Timeline 1845

He served fifteen and a half years as a professional commissioner.

August 1848: Haydock Lodge problems

In 1855 Forster was appointed Secretary, and on Procter's retirement in February 1861 he succeeded to his place as commissioner. [See Charts]

22.6.1858 to 17.7.1858 Rosina Bulwer Lytton confined as a single lunatic in Inverness Lodge, the house of Robert Gardiner Hill. I do not think the visit, below, was a Lunacy Commission visit, even though it involved a Lunacy Commissioner. There is no Dr H--- or Dr C--- on the commission at this time. The Dr C-- referred to appears to be John Conolly, who was advising her husband.

"When I had been there about ten days, those patent humbugs the Commissioners made their visit. They were Dr H--- and that vile old Dr C--- ...has he not published some rubbish about 'Hamlet'?... The other Commissioner was Mr Proctor - Barry Cornwall, by far the best and most gentlemanlike of them - and who listened to my statement with marked attention, saying with a shrug of the shoulders 'those letters I confirm startled me'. The letters he alluded to were two I had written to Sir Liar" [Edward Bulwer Lytton] "touching some of his infamies, for there is no vice that he has left unexhausted, and no virtue unassumed. But as I told Mr Proctor, the charges in those letters was no invention of mine..."

She asked that "great walrus", Gardiner Hill, for his opinion on her sanity.

"H--- wagged his head, twirled his thumbs and rolled his poached egg orbs fearful, phantom hunting, as he mumbled in a low voice 'I'd rather not give an opinion'

'Of course not' said I, 'having taken the ghost's word for £1,000 yearly! But pray, if you believe me in any even the slightest degree insane, how can you reconcile in your conventionality towards these gentlemen the Commissioners, to leave your very charming little daughter unguarded with me all day long, and worse still, allow her to drive with me alone! when from one minute to another, I might do her some grievous bodily harm, or make my escape with ease'. At this, without wasting a reply on me, Mr H---... reminded the Commissioners that they would be late for the train" (Bulwer Lytton, R. 1880, pp 39-40)

The Case of Lady Lytton

To the Editor of the Daily Telegraph

Sir, Can you inform me whether Br B.W. Procter, and intimate friend of Sir Bulwer Lytton, is a Commissioner of Lunacy? Can you also state whether Mr John Forster, also an intimate friend of Sir Edward, is Secretary to the Lunacy Commission? Your obediant servant, Doubtful" (Reprinted (Bulwer Lytton, R. 1880, p 90)

Sunday 1.11.1858 Procter to Foster, from the Adelphi Hotel, Liverpool. He and Wilkes are on tour:

"... We were last night at the Liverpool Workhouse and saw some of the preparations that they were making to receive patients.

In the infirmary appropriated to idiots we saw, a the foot of one bed, a coffin - in the bed the poor dead patients, who had escaped from this world - happily. The nurse covered the face at Wilkes' request.

A poor nervous epileptic was in the next bed - within a couple of feet of - the body!

We then went through the ward for children - there were 100 of them (more) - some helpless and almost all deserted. In one large room there was a crowd - 60 or 70 - none of them above 3 years old. The more cheerful the little faces looked the more dismal it appeared. I cannot tell you how affecting I thought it.

My dear Foster, there is not in all England (and I have seen all that is to be seen) such a sight as is to be seen at night in and about Williamson Square, Liverpool. The Saturnalia of Rome and paris are exceeded. Irish and English and Scotch vagabonds - sailors, dockmen, etc, blackguards of all sorts - and women, in crowds.

One pretty looking girl laid hold of a drunken scoundrel who you or I would not have touched with tongs. He thrust her off with a damn...

One girl, about 12 or 13 years of age, spoke to me. I said good night and if there had been fewer people (who would have begged and perhaps hustled me) I should have given her half a crown and told her to go home to bed. Perhaps she had no home.

At the workhouse, in this same ward, there were only three women - one so very like the wife of a young friend of mine, that I enquired particularly about her. She had come in drunk and had, I believe, delirium tremens. She said she was "an unfortunate girl" and would be glad to leave "that life". The master of the workhouse promised me that he would get her into some institution from which she could be transferred into service"

14.8.1860 Three volume book edition of The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins was dedicted:

Bryan Waller Procter
from one of his younger brethren in literature
who sincerely values his friendship
and who gratefully remembers
many happy hours spent
in his house

February 1861: Procter retired (aged 73) because he was no longer able to sustain the strain of travelling. He was, however, so addicted to the commission that a role was made for him as an honorary (unpaid) commissioner and he continued to work, unpaid, for several years. The second professional commissioner to become an honorary commissioner was Forster [See Charts and evidence of Phillips]

From Brighton on Tuesday 6.8.1861, Procter wrote to Forster. Both were on circuit in different parts of the country and Procter sent his letter via Henry Rawlings, a clerk in the Lunacy Commission:

"Yes the Circuits are sometimes fatiguing and always wearying. I used to regret that the pursuits of my colleagues differed so much from my own - but I think I was wrong. One's profession should not absorb too much of the thoughts or of the animal spirits. When you return from your circuit you will emerge out of insanity into the clear light.

It must have been affecting to meet an old acquaintance in the mad house. I have done so several times - and the petitions to help such a patient (who is not to be helped) are painful. Luckily the new delusions usually usurp the place of old recollections.

Did you see the Duke of Normandy, the lover of Lady Ulrice St. Maur, at Brislington? He who wrote those wonderful letters, radiant with hieroglyphics?

Someone says that the Future is no more than the Past. What shall we say of that which is neither - nor even the Present - which we encounter in a mad- house, and lifts the gazer into Elysium?"

2.2.1864 Death, of consumption, of Adelaide Procter

1866 Charles Lamb: a memoir [With portraits] by Barry Cornwall, published by Edward Moxon & Co.

If Lewis Carroll's The Hunting of the Snark relates to the Lunacy Commission, I think Procter is (at least in part) Beaver. He and Lord Shaftesbury were the oldest members of the commission - so this is why the other sailors do not know how Beaver had saved them from shipwreck many times. Wilkes (Butcher) works Procter far too hard - but, eventually, travelling together on the circuits makes them the firmest of friends.

Dr James Wilkes (M12) became a close friend of Procter, and his medical adviser. Procter suffered from depression. The headstone erected on Procter's grave in Finchley cemetry read:-

Bryan Waller Procter (Barry Cornwall). Born Nov. 21, 1787. Died Oct. 4 1874. His widow and children have given glad assent to the erection of this monument by his old friend James Wilkes esq. knowing the great love he bore him

Some descriptions of Bryan Waller Procter:

"Procter's disposition is one of the most amiable recorded in the history of literature. Carlyle called him, 'a decidedly rather pretty little fellow, bodily and spiritually'... His secret good deeds were innumerable. His chief intellectual endowment was an instinctive perception of novel merit, which embraced the most various style of literary excellence, and which, combined with his frankness of eulogy and his wide social opportunities, enabled him to be of great service to young genius... his own claims as a poet cannot be rated high" (Richard Garnett in DNB)

"At one asylum a patient was described to him as incurably violent, continually tearing up her clothes, and the like. Something in Mr Procter's manner and look must have gently touched her, as he told her he would give her half-a-crown on his next visit, if he found she had been 'good', for when the following month with its visit came, she hastened to claim the faithfully earned reward, and was eager to show the clothes which she had made in the interval." (Patmore, C. 1877 p.99)

The Procters had three daughter and three sons. Adelaide Anne Procter (born 30.10.1825, died 2.2.1864) became a Roman Catholic. From 1853, Charles Dickens published her poems in Household Words. They were published as Legends and Lyrics in 1858. In 1859 she served with Shaftesbury on a Women's Employment Committee.

Procter's Letters. A selection, mainly written to Forster, was published in Armour, R.W. 1935. I have drawn on these extensively in compiling other biographies: See Dr Gaskell, Dr Wilkes, Dr Nairne, Lutwidge (L4), Forster (L6), Spring Rice (L7) and Robert Gordon (H4).

Legal member of the Inquiry Commission and Lunacy Commission
Click on the index number to see the relation to other commissioners

L3 John Hancock Hall LL.B.
Commissioner 1842 died in office 29.10.1845

Born 26.12.1797. Eldest son of the Reverend John Hancock Hall (born about 1769, Rector of Risley, near Derby, from 1811, died 2.4.1859)

He entered Rugby School 26.12.1809, Trinity Hall, Cambridge in 1815. Scholar 1816. LL.B. in 1820. From 1822 to 1841: Fellow and sometimes Bursar of Trinity Hall.

Admitted Middle Temple 20.11.1817. Barrister 11.11.1825. A conveyancer with chambers at 3 Essex Court, Temple (1828 to 1845 Law lists). He lived (1846 Post Office Guide) at 67 Upper Berkley Street, Portman Square, St Marylebone, where he died.


Timeline 1845

Only attended four Board meetings as a Lunacy Commissioner

Died 29.10.1845. His succesor, William George Campbell, first attended a Board on 3.12.1845. Lutwidge, who had been an Inquiry Commissioner, remained as Secretary until 1855

Legal member of the Inquiry Commission. Secretary, then Legal member of the Lunacy Commission
Click on the index number to see the relation to other commissioners

L4 Robert Wilfred Skeffington Lutwidge BA
Inquiry Commissioner 1842. Secretary 1845-1855 Commissioner 1855- 1873

Robert Wilfred Skeffington Lutwidge was born London 17.1.1802. Second son of Charles Lutwidge (Collector of Customs, Hull, born 15.6.1768 died 1848) and Elizabeth Anne Dodgson (died 17.4.1836). His sister, Frances Jane, married (5.4.1827) the Rev. Charles Dodgson, a cousin. Their eldest son (born 17.1.1832) was Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, who wrote Alice in Wonderland under the pen name Lewis Carroll. In the rest of this biography I have referred to him as Lewis Carroll.

The Dodgsons and the Lutwidges were a close family. Skeffington's sister Lucy was "nanny" to the Dodgson children after sister, Frances Jane Dodgson, died in 1851. After the Rev. Charles Dodgson died in 1868, Carroll's diaries suggest that the house of "Uncle Skeffington" became a very important family centre. Skeffington was then 'father' of the family, for his only brother, Rev. Charles Henry Lutwidge, died in Hastings in 1843. This brother had married a grand-niece of Robert Raikes, founder of Sunday Schools. He published polemic sermons such as The Church of England Can Take No Middle Stand Between Protestant Truth and Papal Error (1842). Skeffington's youngest sister, Henrietta, also lived in Hastings and wrote devotional works for children. The whole family appears to have been very religious, talented, and perhaps rather eccentric.

Admitted pens at St John's College, Cambridge 9.7.1818. Matriculated Michaelmas 1820, Scholar 1820, BA (18th Wrangler) 1824. Admitted Lincoln's Inn 12.6.1822, barrister 3.2.1827. An equity draftsman (1842 Law lists) with chambers in Old Square, Lincoln's Inn (18- to 1846 Law lists). Between 1834 and 1846 he was at number 10, where Mylne (Law lists) also had chambers.

21.9.1841 Ashley (H3) wrote to Peel in support of the appointment of Rev. Charles Dodgson, to the crown living of Croft, Yorkshire (Clarke, A. 1979 pp 27 + 31). The Croft rectory was the family centre from 1851 to 1868.

INQUIRY COMMISSIONER 23.8.1842 (aged 40)

If Lewis Carroll's The Hunting of the Snark relates to the Lunacy Commission, Robert Wilfred Skeffington Lutwidge has to be (at least in part) Thing-um-a-jig the baker. If so, there was something about him that disappointed Lord Ashley:

He came as a Baker: but owned, when too late-
And it drove the poor Bellman half-mad-
He could only bake Bridecake-for which, I may state,
No materials were to be had.

In February 1844 the Lunacy Commission moved its office
from 6 John Street to 12 Abingdon Street

Timeline 1845

In December 1845 the Lunacy Commission moved its office
from 12 Abingdon Street to 19 New Street

In June 1853 Lewis Carroll visited Skeffington and was shown "many new acquisitions", including a lathe, refrigerator, telescope stand, and a large microscope.

20.8.1853 Royal Assent to the 1853 Lunacy Amendment Act, section 39 of which ensured that the "the present or any future Secretary to the Commissioners" could replace a barrister commissioner if, when he was appointed secretary, he was, or had been, a practising barrister of five years standing.

In January 1854 the Lunacy Commission moved its office
from 19 New Street to 19 Whitehall Place.

When Lewis Carroll visited Skeffington in June 1855, Skeffington was "laid up with an injury to his leg, improperly treated". Skeffington acquired a camera, which he took to Croft in early September and took several, not very successful, landscape pictures. There were other photography trips with Lewis Carroll.

December 1855 LUTWIDGE LUNACY COMMISSIONER (aged 53) in Mylne's place Timeline 1845

The Asylum Journal of Mental Science No.16, January 1856, pointed out that the promotion had been envisaged by the legislature - Nick Hervey (1987), who says Lord Shaftesbury "wanted to create a precedent that the Commission's Secretary could be promoted, thus guaranteeing a future supply of legal Commissioners, who would be au fait with the intricacies of their job, from the moment they started work." His source for this appears to be letters of John Forster, who was seeking the commissionership, but was appointed Secretary. Another contender for the post was William Cecil Spring Rice, the Lord Chancellor's Secretary

In January 1856, Lewis Carroll and Southey (M16) visited H.W. Diamond, the superintendent of the female wing of Surrey County Asylum who was also Secretary to the London Photographic Society. Diamond gave Carroll a full length photograph he had taken of his uncle, Skeffington Lutwidge.

On 1.8.1856 the asylum doctors' association passed "amidst applause" a vote of congratulations on his appointment. His "firmness, prudence, good temper, and gentlemanly feeling" as Secretary had "elicited the most sincere respect and esteem". Dr Bucknill moved the motion and Forbes Winslow, seconding, "bore cordial testimony to the uniform courtesy and urbanity, which all... had uniformally received on personal and general grounds from Mr Lutwidge" (AJ vol.3, p.11)

September 1856: Lutwidge and Wilkes (M12) were appointed Commissioners of Inquiry into the State of Lunatic Asylums in Ireland. Procter 16.10.1856:

"Wilkes and Lutwidge started... for Ireland - the first in a state of melancholia - the second in a state of excitement - Dangerous to himself and others".

1.8.1859 and 4.8.1859 Evidence of Lutwidge to SCHC


Q.2211: The honorary commissioners were Shaftesbury, Gordon, Lyvedon, Clifford and Barlow. Barlow, who very seldom attended, had not attended that year (click name for more evidence)

Q.2215: There had been 38 board meetings since 1.1.1859, of which Shaftesbury "as chairman" had attended 34, Gordon 24, Clifford 20, and "I am not aware that Lord Lyvedon has attended more than about four or five"

Q.2208: Honorary commissioners "very seldom" went on visits to licensed houses.

In August 1861, after Procter's retirement, Wilkes and Lutwidge visited him in Brighton whilst they were on circuit. They dined with him three days in succession.

21.6.1862 Skeffington visited the Horticultural Gardens with Lewis Carroll. Skeffington was a forty guinea life member of the Horticultural Society.

Summer 1865: moved from 4 Alfred Place West, Thurloe Square, to a house nearby at 101 Onslow square (Brompton, South Kensington). At this period he became, increasingly, Lewis Carroll's confident.

On 22.4.1867 Procter (an active honorary commissioner) wrote: "Poor Wilkes is going to travel with Lutwidge. He does not like it - and I quite feel his distaste for his colleague".

August 1871 Carroll found him at home having "received a blow on the head from a stone flung at the train he was in". In September they had a long holiday together in Scotland

January 1872 Carroll wrote "I am still staying with Uncle Skeffington, as I can be useful in reading and writing for him, and also as an invalid he needs company".

In May 1873 Wilkes and Lutwidge were on circuit in Wiltshire. On Wednesday the 21st they were just leaving a ward of Finch's Fisherton House, Salisbury, when William M'Kave, a patient who had been pretending to be asleep, leapt forward a struck Lutwidge in the temple. M'Kave had been concealing a large nail with a cloth wrapped round its head in his right hand, and the point penetrated Lutwidge's brain. He was taken to the White Heart Hotel, Salisbury and attended by Wilkes and a Salisbury surgeon, Mr Coates. Carroll was telegraphed and rushed down, bringing with him Sir James Paget of St Bartholemew's, but Lutwidge died on 28.5.1873. He was buried in Brompton Cemetery. M'Kave had been detained as a criminal lunatic for about 27 years. His assault was motivated by a desire to have himself transferred to Broadmoor. On July 19th a jury found him not guilt of wilful murder on the ground of insanity and he was ordered to be detained during Her Majesty's pleasure.

References: Boase; A.Ca.; Burke L.G. 1850; Clarke, A. 1979, British Library catalogue; Green, R.L. 1954; Times 30.5.1873, p.5, col.6; 24.5.1873 p.11 col.6; 31.5.1873 p.11 col 6; 31.7.1873 p.13 col 6 and 22.7.1873 p.11 col 3.

In July 1874, Lewis Carroll began writing The Hunting of the Snark. At the time, Carroll was helping to nurse his twenty-two-year-old nephew and godson, who was dying from tuberculosis
E. Fuller Torrey, M.D. and Judy Miller argue (external link) that The Hunting of the Snark commemorates Uncle Skeffington and contains a description of the Lunacy Commission.

Torrey and Miller say that "In the years immediately preceding Skeffington Lutwidge's death, the commission consisted of ten members: Francis Barlow, William Campbell, John Cleaton, M.D., Colonel Henry Clifford, John Forster, Skeffington Lutwidge, Robert Nairne, M.D., Bryan Procter, Lord Shaftesbury (Anthony Ashley Cooper), and James Wilkes, M.D.. They could have added Dudley Francis Fortesque and the Secretary (Commissioner in place of Forster): Charles Palmer Phillips

Legal member of the Lunacy Commission
Click on the index number to see the relation to other commissioners

L5 William George Campbell
Professional Commissioner 1845-1878 Honorary (Unpaid) Commissioner to death

Born about 1810. The only son of George William Campbell of Inverary, esquire. Admitted Inner Temple 19.11.1832. Chambers at 9 Inner Temple Lane (1841 Law lists), a special pleader, practised on the northern circuit (1842 Law lists).

Campbell's wife, Maria, was the eldest daughter of Thomas Arthur Stone, surgeon of 16 Curzon Street (died 1868), who may have been related to one of the Physician Commissioners.


Campbell attended his his first board on 3.12.1845. He was the youngest professional commissioner (Ten years younger than Mylne). Due to Dr Southey's resignation and Hall's illness, the Commission's complement was not practically complete until he joined.

October 1847: Inquiry into Haydock Lodge

Maria and William had no children. He died 13.6.1881 at his home, 50 Ennismore Gardens, South Kensington.

Times obituary 14.6.1881 (p.10 column 5):

"A valuable public servant and accomplished gentleman". For nearly thirty three years actively engaged as a visiting commissioner, "by his zeal and great ability assisted materially in promoting... numerous important reforms". In 1855 requested with Dr Gaskell to act on the Royal Commission into the State of Lunatic Asylums in Scotland, "and devoted much time and labour to the subject". The result was the establishment of the Board of Lunacy in Scotland. "Retiring in consequence of failing health in 1878" he was appointed, at Lord Shaftesbury's request, an honourary commissioner, "in which capacity he continued to render valuable assistance up to within a short period of his death".

Secretary and then legal member of the Lunacy Commission
Click on the index number to see the relation to other commissioners

L6 John Forster
Secretary 1855-1861 Professional Commissioner 1861-1872 Honorary (Unpaid) Commissioner to death

John Forster was born in Newcastle 2.4.1812

Forster was the son of a cattle dealer. An uncle paid for his education. He went to Newcastle Grammar School, where he did well, and in October 1828 was sent to Cambridge University. Within a month, however, he decided to move to London, where he was admitted to the newly formed University College.

Entered as a law student at the Inner Temple 10.11.1828 (DNB) but not called to the bar until 27.1.1843 (1844 Law lists), although shown as a barrister in commercial directories from 1838 (Piggots and 1841 Court Guide). In view of his literary activities (see below) it is difficult to believe he ever seriously practised law. However, it was as a lawyer that he qualified to become a Lunacy Commissioner in 1861

1831 Charles Lamb wrote to Forster: "If you have lost a little portion of my good will, it is that you do not come and see me oftener".

"Talfourd informs us that Forster had become to Charles Lamb as one of his oldest companions, and that Mary also cherished a strong regard for him." (Field, J.T. 1876 p. 91)

Forster's friendship with Bryan Waller Procter (L2) began about 1831.

"In 1828 Forster travelled south, to London with the intention of becoming a lawyer; however, after attending University College and the Inner Temple, in 1832 he elected to become a journalist instead." (Victorian Web)

In December 1832, both Charles Lamb and Leigh Hunt were contributing to The Reflector, a short lived series of weekly essays that Edward Moxon had just commenced under Forster's direction.

Foster was Dramatic Critic on the True Sun in 1832, and, by 1833, also writing busily for the Courier and Athenium. He was chief literary critic on the The Examiner from 1833 until 1847, when he became its editor. His position as literary editor brought him into contact with many authors, including Charles Dickens

Published a series of biographies 1833-1839.

In 1834 he moved into "his thenceforth well-known chambers" (DNB) at 58 Lincolns Inn Fields.

31.3.1836 First issue of The Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens. 1/-. 400 copies ample. August 1836 Sales of Pickwick pushed up with a great leap by the appearance of Sam Weller (chapter 10). In chapter eleven, Dickens told the story in "A Madman's Manuscript", containing the image of secret hereditary madness. At this time, Dickens probably did not know the story of Mary Lamb. Of her friends, he may have known Procter, but had not yet met Forster (see below) or Talfourd (see below).

In December 1836 Forster met Charles Dickens, whose biographer he later became.

"The first letter I had from him [Charles Dickens] was at the close of 1836 from Furnival's Inn, when he sent me the book of his opera Village Coquettes... this was followed, two months later, by his collected Sketches... I had met him in the interval at the house of our common friend Mr Ainsworth" (Forster's Life: 2.1)

June 1837: 15th edition of The Pickwick Papers. 40,000 not enough to supply the demand.

"From no. 15 of The Pickwick Papers onwards, Forster saw all proofs of Dickens' writing, and for later novels was consulted by the novelist during planning, writing, and revision; on occasions when Dickens was absent from London, he usually deputed decisions about proof corrections to Forster" (Phillip Allingham: Victorian Web

The Pickwick Papers finished publication about November/December 1837. Copies of a dedication to "Mr Serjeant Talfourd, M.P. ..." were distributed with the final double monthly number, and bound into the first volume edition. Dickens had been introduced to Talfourd in the summer of 1837. (David Parker)

13.2.1841 First installment of Charles Dickens' Barnaby Rudge

Forster editor 1842 to 1843 of the Foreign Quarterly Review.

17.1.1842 to 7.6.1842: Charles Dickens in America, where he visited asylums

27.1.1843 "In 1843 Forster was called to the bar" [see above] "but he never practised as a lawyer". (1911 Encyclopedia). Some doubt must be cast on this statement by his appointment as a Lunacy Commissioner in 1861, which required him to have practised as a barrister at some time.

Forster editor February 1846 to October 1846 of the Daily News (in succession to Charles Dickens).

Forster editor from 1847 to 1855 of the The Examiner, or which he was previously the chief literary critic.

12.3.1851 Wilkie Collins and Charles Dickens met after Collins accepted a part in an amateur production of Bulwer Lytton's play Not So Bad as We Seem. "A lifelong friendship followed. They dined together, took holidays together, and visited the less reputable parts of London and Paris together". For more than five years Collins was employed on Household Words and then All The Year Round. (external link). Collins was, or became, a close friend of Charles Reade, author of Hard Cash. Collins own mystery in which characters are confined in asylums The Woman in White was dedicated to Procter.

LUNACY COMMISSION SECRETARY Appointed December 1855, aged 43
In the place of Lutwidge, who became a commissioner

... "with an income of £800 a year. He withdrew at once from the editorial chair of the Examiner, for which he never afterwards wrote a line, devoting his leisure from that time forward, exclusively to literature."

24.9.1856 He married Eliza Ann, daughter of Captain Robert Crosbie RN and widow of Henry Colbourne, a well known publisher. Elizabeth was about forty years old and John was 44.

Campbell and Procter took turns as Secretary whilst John and Eliza were on honeymoon.

"I first saw Procter's friend, John Forster... in his pleasant rooms, No 58 Lincolns Inn Fields. He was then in his prime and looked brimful of energy... . His voice rang loud and clear... everywhere throughout his premises. When he walked over the uncarpeted floor, you heard him walk, and he meant you should (*)... . Procter and he were in the same Commission, and were on excellent terms, the younger officer always regarding the elder with a kind of leonine deference." (Field, J.T. 1876 pp 91-92)

* Charles Kent, in DNB, wrote that because Forster had a loud voice, decisive manner and, in any serious mood, rather stern and authoritative features as well as an "unflinching firmness and honesty of purpose", he was thought by "outsiders" to be obstinate and overbearing: "but in reality he was one of the tenderest and most generous of men. A staunch and faithful friend, he was always actively zealous as the peacemaker".

The relationship between Procter and Forster is manifest in Procter's letters.

    In April 1856 Procter chided Forster gently for using the post to reply to a telegraph communication and so disrupting the circuit schedule of himself and Wilkes.

    In August 1856 he sympathised with him for being "so hardly worked", but reminded him that he would soon be married and on honeymoon: "so take your swing among the nightingales freely. I hope they will sing in September - and October".

    In 1861, when Forster became a commissioner, Procter teased him about his circuitous routes: ("I see that you want Geographer B.W.P. with you"), agreed that the circuits were wearying, and agreed that it was affecting to meet an old acquaintance in a madhouse. He had done so himself, several times.

Hard Cash: A visit to the office of the Lunacy Commissioners by Julia and Mrs Dodds who are carrying a message from a patient, written in his own blood, that has been smuggled out of an asylum:

"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 to 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 piece 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... 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".

Reade adds "Their friend at the office was a man of another stamp than Alfred had fallen in with". (Chapter 43)

1858 Dickens separated from his wife, Catherine. Forster advised him legally. (Phillip Allingham: Victorian Web)

To be appointed commisioner, Forster should have been a "practising" barrister at the time of his appointment as secretary.

From 1856 to 1862 the Forster family lived at 48 Montagu Square, St Marylebone [Barlow (H36) lived at number 46], but as a commissioner he built Palace Gate House in Kensington, and moved there in 1862.

Whilst Secretary and legal Commissioner he published: in 1858: Historical and Biographical Essays (two volumes of essays from reviews); in 1860: Arrest of the Five Members by Charles 1 and The Debate on the Grand Remonstrance.

In 1860 he was working on a biography of Jonathan Swift (Procter's Letters).

In 1864 Forster published Sir John Eliot: A Biography, which Procter commented must have cost him "a load of labour", and Nairne found "very interesting".

Forster's intimate friend Walter Savage Landor (1775-1864) died in September 1864, and he published his biography in two volumes in 1869.

In June 1870, Dickens died. Forster, an executer, began work on his biography, The Life of Charles Dickens, which was published in three volumes in 1872, 1873 and 1874, after his retirement.

11.7.1870 Forster to Carlyle, quoted by Nick Hervey (1987)

"an assault was made upon me, by one of a very dangerous class of men - an insane Indian soldier whose delusion was that I had ordered his food to be poisoned. I had reason to complain of the authorities and attendants of the Asylum - but the terrible suddenness of the frenzy was some excuse....there is now no external mark of the injury. Unfortunately however there was 'effusion' in some of the small vessels of the eye & brain - and I have ever since had the sense of a film or veil passing almost continually over the left eye, the opposite side to that on which the blow was struck."

About April 1872 "fading health" induced him to retire, but he became an honorary (unpaid) commissioner. (chart) This may have enabled Henry Morgan Clifford to retire as an honorary commissioner.

Forster died 2.2.1876, only 16 months after Procter.

6.3.1879 Gloucester Place. Wilkie Collins "Introductory Words" to A Rogue's Life refer to a "suggestion of my old friend, Charles Reade"

1881 Census: Eliza Forster living at Palace Gate House, Palace Gate, London. (modern map) On the online census this appears to be between 1 Palace Gate, where Robert and Charles Drummond, bankers, live and 5 Palace Gate (servants). At 2 Palace Gate (opposite) are John Millais (1829-1896), who had just painted Gladstone's picture, and Geoffrey Millais, his brother artist. However, 3 Palace Gate was the home and property (from about spring 1879) of Mrs Agnes Dove. She is not shown on the online census.

1882 Post Office London Directory: Palace Gate, Kensington, (W.) WEST SIDE: 1 Mrs Robert Drummond - Charles Drummond - Mrs Forster (Palace Gate House) - 3 Mrs Dugald Dove - 5 Charles Scarisbrick - 7 Henry Moser - 9 Lady Bisshopp - 11 Unoccupied - 13 T. Gurney Little - 15 Herbert de Renter - 37 Sir Edward Robert Sullivan, bart (The Red House) - EAST SIDE 2 John E. Millais, RA artist - 4 Paul Hardy - 6 Hon. John Fiennes Twistlton W Fiennes, and Lady Augusta Fiennes - 8 Henry Francis Makins, FRGS

Palace Gate House was reconstructed in 1899

The West Side numbering in 1977 is: 1A Strollers Club - 1a New Fourth Bridge Club - 3 and 5 Ismailia Cultural Centre - 15 St Thomas's Hostel....

Today: 1 Palace Gate is flats and shops. 1a is Maxim's Casino Club, 3 is flats, and there is a 3-5. Maxim's Casino Club is in Palace Gate House. There is a map with a drawing.

Information and advice given relating to 3 Palace Gate by June Bridgeman

Secretary of the Lunacy Commission
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L7 William Cecil Spring Rice MA (Oxford 1845)
Secretary 1861 "Retired" (aged 42) 1865.

Born 1.11.1823 Fifth son of Thomas Spring Rice, a Whig politician and Irish landlord who was created 1st Baron Monteagle in 1839. A barrister admitted to Lincoln's Inn 24.1.1845. Sometime Register of the Court of Bankruptcy.

LUNACY COMMISSION SECRETARY Appointed about February 1861 in place of Forster.


"I read what you say about Ireland with interest. I read two of your sentences to Spring Rice, whose ideas on Ireland and other subjects often require consideration. All his views I think (on men, women and Ireland) are official. This is the vice of his mind."

Spring Rice "retired" (aged 42) in 1865 and was made an honorary member of the asylum doctors' association in 1866.

24.11.1865 A two and a half page letter from Lord Shaftesbury to W Spring-Rice from 19 Whitehall Place, 24 November 1865; regretfully accepted his resignation on behalf of the Commission, and congratulated him on his promotion. They "are gratified to hear that so much ability, judgement, ... and kindness are still retained for the Public Services". (from John Wilson Manuscripts Ltd online catalogue, offering for sale)

died without issue 11.8.1880

Secretary and then legal member of the Lunacy Commission
Click on the index number to see the relation to other commissioners

L8 Charles Palmer Phillips MA (Oxford 1845)
Secretary December 1865 Commissioner 1872 died in office 27.9.1895

Born 1822. Died 27.9.1895

Second son of William Edward Phillips (sometime Governor "Prince of Wales Island" - the name the British gave to Penang, Malaysia (see external link). Winson Saw of Penang tells me that William Edward Phillips was Governor of Penang from 1819 to 1824.

1858 Published The Law concerning Lunatics, Idiots, and persons of unsound mind, Butterworths, London, (504 pages) [Also published by James Wildy, London, 1858) [Statute List]

February 1859: Chief Secretary to Lord Chancellor Chelmsford.

1863: Published The Law of Copyright in works of literature and art and in the application of designs. With the statutes relating thereto London.

1864: A revising barrister for the City of London

December 1865 PHILLIPS LUNACY COMMISSION SECRETARY (aged 43) Timeline 1865

He replaced Forster as a professional commissioner and was succeed as Secretary by Perceval [Boase says Phillips was made commissioner in April 1872 and a source I did not note said Perceval was appointed secretary in May 1872]
Timeline 1870

3.7.1877 Gave evidence to the 1877-1878 Select Committee of the House of Commons relating to the Honorary Commissioners:

There were only three honorary commissioners: Shaftesbury (chairman), Dudley Francis Fortesque and Francis Barlow ("the Master in Lunacy").

The legislation did not require honorary commissioners to be kept up to a stated number. The vacancies had not "recently occurred", but had been "some time vacant"

Barlow did not attend Board meetings. Shaftesbury attended "pretty regularly"; Fortesque "occasionally". Shaftesbury and Fortesque "occasionally" visited.

A Dr Lush questioned Phillips closely about retired professional commissioners becoming honorary. It was recalled that, of the professionals who had retired, the two legal commissioners (Procter and Forster) were appointed honorary commissioners, but not the medical ones. (Gaskell was cited). Lush asked if there was any reason for not appointing honorary medical commissioners. Phillips said there was "a question on the Act" (not stated, but see law) but he thought there was no "substantial objection"

Dr Lush:

"I believe one or two of your medical commissioners [have?] served the full time, entitling them to retire if they please? Dr Nairne and Mr Wilkes have served the fifteen years?"

(Phillips: "Yes")

"You think in the event of their retiring, which, of course, I do not contemplate, there is a legal reason acting on the Board why they should not be appointed?"

Phillips thought that although "the construction of the Act is not free from difficulty" they might be appointed. He also thought it would be very useful if they were. He had previously said both Procter and Forster had for many years remained active Board members in a consultant and advisory capacity.

1881 Census: Charles P. Phillips, aged 59, born Prince Of Wales Island, East Indies, a Barrister At Law not in practice, living at Berkeley Cottage Aldenham, Hertford with Anna Lowndes, aged 51, his deceased wife's unmarried sister (born Bloomsbury) and his unmarried children: William, aged 33, born Bloomsbury, a clerk; Alice aged 30, born Binfield, Berkshire; Clara, aged 28, born Bloomsbury; plus Edith A., aged 26; Janet, aged 24; Ellin, aged 23 and Eliza G. aged 22, all born Aldenham in Hertfordshire, plus three female domestic servants.

Secretary of the Lunacy Commission
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L9 Charles Spencer Perceval LL.B. (Ca.1853)
Secretary 1872 died in office 29.1.1889

Information corrected June 2013 with the assistance of email correspondent Sue K. (first wrote 27.8.2010) and Gault, H. 2010. Much of the information taken from Cambridge Alumni

Born 11.2.1829. Died 29.1.1889

The eldest son of Dudley Montagu Perceval (1800-1856), a son of Spencer Perceval (assassinated 1812 and Mary Jane Perceval (previously Bourke) (1802-1888). Dudley Montagu (Christ Church, Oxford, 1819) was of 16, Wilton Street, Grosvenor Place, London, and of Lincoln's Inn. Mary Jane was the daughter of General Sir Richard Bourke, K.C.B., Governor of New South Wales.

Charles Spencer's uncles (other sons of the assassinated Spencer) included Spencer Perceval junior (1795-1859), who had been an honorary Metropolitan Commissioner, and John Thomas Perceval (1803-1876), secretary of the Alleged Lunatics Friend Society.

Trinity Hall, Cambridge: from Michaelmas term 1848 (Admitted as a fee paying student 15.9.1845. Did not reside) Scholar, 1849; (Civil Law Classes, 1st Class, 1850-1851); LL.B. 1853; LL.D. 1858.

A barrister Lincolns Inn 17.11.1853. He had been a student at Lincoln's Inn from 22.11.1847 and at the Inner Temple from 12.11.1851.

Fellow of Trinity Hall, Cambridge, 1855-1857 (1855-1868?).

F.S.A., 1860; Director, 1867-1872; Treasurer, 1874-1889. As a Society of Antiquaries Fellow he catalogued Rolls of Arms and Works of Pageantry. (Edited a catalogue of a collection of works on pageantry bequeathed to the Society of Antiquaries by F. W. Fairholt.)

From 1866 to 1868 Principle Secretary to Lord Chancellors Chelmsford and Cairns

2.1.1868 Married, Mary Elinor Vere, eldest daughter of the Hon. Robert O'Brien.


Appointed Secretary in succession to Phillips who had become a commissioner. He served as Secretary for twenty-seven years. His period of office is unusual in that he was not promoted to Commissioner. Twelve months after his appointment, legal commissioner Lutwidge was murdered. Greville Theophilus Howard was appointed in his place. Bagot and Frere were also appointed legal commissioners whilst Perceval was secretary. The size of Perceval's family (below) may have given him reason not to want to travel as a commissioner.

Gave evidence to the 1877-1878 Select Committee of the House of Commons

1881 Census: Charles S. Perceval, Civil Service Secretary to Commis[sion] in [Lunacy] Barrister not [practising] aged 52, born St George's, Hanover Square. Living at 64 Eccleston Square, London, Middlesex, with Mary Elizabeth Perceval, his wife, aged 41, born Limerick, Ireland and Mary J. Perceval, his mother, aged 79, born Coleshill, Hertford, England, a widow of independent means, plus two daughters and two sons: Margaret aged 10, Edith aged 9, Dudley aged 6, Edward aged 4. Also a niece, Cecilia Armitage, aged 10, and lots of servants.

Of 64, Eccleston Square, London, S.W., in 1885.

This information (previously given) is incorrect:

The son of Rev Arthur Philip Perceval, Rector of East Horsley, Surrey. Both his parents were related to peers. His father, a royal chaplain and writer of high church tracts, died 11.6.1853 after taking laudanum. A verdict of "temporary insanity" was returned

Sue K. states: "The Rev Arthur Philip Perceval, who was a cousin of Dudley Montagu, had a son called Charles John Perceval who went to New Zealand and was the father of the 8th and 9th Earls of Egmont"

Arthur Philip Perceval's wife was called Charlotte.

Legal member of the Lunacy Commission
Click on the index number to see the relation to other commissioners

L10 Greville Theophilus Howard
Commissioner 1873-1877

Howard is the family name of the Dukes of Norfolk, Carlisle, Effingham, Suffolk and Berkshire and Wicklow. The Suffolk Howards are descended from Thomas Howard, second son of the 4th Duke of Norfolk, who was created Earl of Suffolk in 1603.

Born 22.12.1836 Died 28.7.1880.

The second son of Charles John Howard (7.11.1804-14.8.1876 born and died Charlton), 17th Earl of Suffolk and Isabella Molyneux-Howard (1806-1891). Related to the Duke of Norfolk by his mother. The seat of the Earls of Suffolk was (is?) at Charlton Park, Malmesbury, Wiltshire.

External Link: Norfolk Genealogy
Modern map link Castle Rising
Castle Rising Hall, Castle Rising, (demolished 1940), stood just north of the castle ruins and south of the church of St Lawrence

10.11.1844 Lady Audrey Townshend, his future wife, born Raynham Hall, near Fakenham, Norfolk. (modern map)

A barrister 17.11.1863.

17.6.1873 HOWARD LUNACY COMMISSIONER (aged 36) Timeline 1873

Howard was appointed in place of the murdered Lutwidge. Lutwidge was stabbed 21.5.1873 and died seven days later on 28.5.1873. The date of Howard's appointment (17.6.1873) is given in Boase

Torrey and Miller say

"Greville Howard, a lawyer who replaced Lutwidge on the Commission in 1873, ... become insane shortly after being appointed."

If Howard was ill during his commissionership, the other legal commissioners, Campbell and Phillips probably took on his workload

18.9.1873: Married Lady Audrey Jane Charlotte Townshend , the youngest daughter of the Fourth Marquis of Townshend. Their first son was born 25.6.1877.

1.3.1875 Dorothy Elizabeth, their first child, born in London

2.5.1876 Joyce Ethelreda, their second child, born in London

25.6.1877 Henry Greville, their third child, born

1877: Succeeded by Bagot. [The various sources I consulted only gave the year, no month or closer date. Prior to reading Torrey and Miller I had noted "Illness seems the most likely reason for Howard's retirement"

29.7.1878 Charles Alfred, their fourth child, born

28.7.1880: Died (aged 43) at Castle Rising

1881 Census: Lady Audrey J.C. Howard, aged 36, widow, born London, Middlesex was the head of the household at The Hall, Castle Rising, Norfolk. The household: Lady Elizabeth C. St Aubuyn, her sister, (married), aged 46, born Brighton, Sussex - Charles C. Clifford, M P For Newport Isle of Wight, her cousin, unmarried, aged 60, born London, Middlesex, England. Plus her children, servants and some visitors.

20.7.1899: Henry Greville died

20.2.1926: Lady Audrey died in London.

The castle at Castle Howard remained with the Howard family until 1968 when custody was passed to the State. In 1998 it was managed by Mr Greville Howard.

Legal member of the Lunacy Commission
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L11 Charles Samuel Bagot Sir (Knight) 1903
Professional Commissioner 1877-1902 Honorary (Unpaid) Commissioner to death

Born (Ireland) 29.7.1828. Died 21.7.1906

The son of Charles Hervy Bagot of South Australia.

"Emigration to South Australia only began in the 1840's and was much encouraged by Charles Bagot, land agent for Bindon Blood who lived at Rockforest, Kilkeedy and who was supervisor of the Burren road system. He chartered a boat, the Birman, which arrived into Adelaide in 1840! His son discovered copper at Kapunda. Several North Clare families, probably prompted by Bagot, settled in the district" (external link)

"In 1842, two squatters, Francis Dutton and his neighbour's son Charles Bagot came across copper outcrops while searching for stray sheep

The opening ceremony of the Kapunda Mine was on 8.1.1844. Under the management of the principal owner, Captain Charles Hervey Bagot, the Kapunda Mine was developed from the wilderness to produce the richest and purest copper ore the world has ever seen" (external link) -

Charles Bagot junior went to Trinity College, Cambridge.

In 1851 he married Lucy Francesca, daughter of the late E.G. Hornby.

A barrister of the Inner Temple 1853

Secretary 1868 to 1869 to Lord Justice Selwyn

Charles Jasper Selwyn (1813-1869) was MP for Cambridge University 1859 to 1868. Appointed solicitor-general and knighted in 1867; He was made Lord Justice of appeal and Privy Councillor in 1868. Died 1869

Secretary 1870 to 1872 to Lord Justice Hatherley

William Page Wood (29.11.1801-1881) became Liberal MP for Oxford in 1847. He became a judge as one of the Vice Chancellors of England in 1853. In 1868 was made a Lord Justice of appeal. Made Lord Chancellor later in 1868. He retired in 1872 owing to failing eyesight.

Previous to becoming commissioner: Barlow was Secretary to the Lord Chancellor

1877 BAGOT LUNACY COMMISSIONER (aged 49) Timeline 1877
Bagot was appointed by Lord Chancellor Cairns at the time of the 1877-1888 Select Committee of the House of Commons into the operation of the lunacy laws with respect to personal liberty. He replaced Howard. The murder of Lutwidge in 1873 followed by the illness of his successor (Howard) must have placed the legal commissioners under some strain. The health of William Campbell, who had served since 1845, was failing and he was replaced by Frere in 1878 (Though continuing as an unpaid commissioner). The core of the legal team at this time must have been commissioner Phillips and secretary Perceval. With Bagot they served for many years until Perceval (in 1889) and Phillips (in 1895) were both replaced by Urmson

1881 Census: Charles S. Ballard, Commissioner in Lunacy, was staying at The Royal Oak 17 & 19 South Street, Leominster, Hereford. Note married and born Ireland. I think he was on circuit with Cleaton, but I cannot find Cleaton

1881 Census: Lucy F. Bagot, wife of Commissioner in Lunacy, was at The Gables, Upper Sheen, Mortlake, Surrey with two young great nieces, Beatrice and Caroline Bagot, born in India, the daughters of a Captain in the Royal Engineers.

Retired as a professional commissioner late 1902 or early 1903?

The original hand list in MH51/737 says Bagot retired in 1903. The typed list says 1902. Who Was Who? says he was a commissioner to 1903. His successor was Inderwick

1902 BAGOT UNPAID LUNACY COMMISSIONER (aged 74) Timeline 1902

As "late" legal and "now" honorary commissioner he was knighted at Buckingham Palace on 18.7.1903. (Shaw)

Legal member of the Lunacy Commission
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L12 William Edward Frere BA
Commissioner 1878-1900

Born Poona 12.11.1840. The only son of William Edward Frere, writer (lawyer) in the Bombay Civil Service and Eliza, daughter of General H.S. Osborne. William, the father, became an Indian Judge in 1846 and died at Littlehampton 23.3.1880 aged 69.

William (Commissioner) was at Harrow 1855-1859 and won the first fencing prize awarded there. He matriculated 1859 Trinity College Cambridge. BA 1863. Admitted Lincoln's Inn 16.11.1861, barrister 17.11.1865. From 1877 Revising barrister for North Wiltshire.

1881 Census: with Nairne at Baileys Hotel, Layton With Warbreck, Lancashire.

Died unmarried at F2, Albany, Picadilly 11.12.1900.

Sources: Boase and BURKE L.G. 1937 under Frere late of Roydon Hall.

Secretary and then legal member of the Lunacy Commission
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L13 George Harold Urmson
Secretary 1889 Commissioner 1895 died in office 22.9.1907

Born 1851. Died 22.9.1907

Eldest son of George Urmson of Canton, China.

Went to Eton and Oxford

A barrister in 1876

1881 Census: George H. Urmson, aged 30 British Subject born in China, a barrister living at Harestone Valley Alleyne, Caterham, Surrey, England with his wife, Annie F. Urmson, aged 29, born Tonbridge Wells, Kent, and three female servants.

1889 URMSON LUNACY COMMISSION SECRETARY (aged about 38) Timeline 1889

1895 URMSON LUNACY COMMISSIONER (aged about 44) Timeline 1895

Urmson died in office (MH51/737) 22.9.1907 (Who Was Who?)

Trevor was promoted to commissioner in 1907 (MH51/737). Wilberforce was appointed secretary and resigned in the same year. (MH51/737). Hodgson was appointed secretary in 1908 according to the original hand list in MH51/737 and (Who Was Who?). The typed list MH51/737 says 1907.

His club was United University

Secretary and then legal member of the Lunacy Commission
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L14 Hardinge Frank Giffard MA
Secretary 1895 Commissioner 1901 died in office (aged 48) 11.10.1908

Born 1860. Died 11.10.1908.

Son of John Walter de Lonqueville Giffard (1817-23.10.1888) whose younger brother Hardinge Stanley Giffard (3.9.1823-11.12.1921) as first Lord Halsbury was Conservative Lord Chancellor first in 1885.

1881 Census: Aged 20: living with his family at Manor House, North Huish, Devon.

An MA of Merton College, Oxford

A barrister Inner Temple 1887

Halsbury was Lord Chancellor secondly from 1886 to 1892. His nephew Hardinge Frank Giffard was his private secretary.

Halsbury was Lord Chancellor again from 1895 to 1905. Hardinge Frank Giffard was his private secretary in 1895.

Autumn 1895 GIFFARD LUNACY COMMISSION SECRETARY (aged 35) Timeline 1895
Halsbury became Lord Chancellor on 29.6.1895. The lists in MH51/737 just say that Urmson was appointed commissioner and Phillips secretary in 1895. We can fix Giffard's appointment in the autumn because Phillips died in office on 27.9.1895. Urmson was promoted to commissioner in his place, thus creating the vacancy for secretary.

1901 GIFFARD LUNACY COMMISSIONER (aged 41) Timeline 1901

Giffard died in office (MH51/737) 11.10.1908. (Who Was Who?). Macleod was appointed in his place.

Secretary and then legal member of the Lunacy Commission
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L15 Lionel Lancelot Shadwell BA
Secretary 1901 Commissioner 1908 Retired 1920

Born 1845. Died 2.12.1925

A granson of Sir Lancelot Shadwell (1779-1859) last Vice Chancellor of England. The Vice Chancellor's court sat in Lincoln's Inn (See external link)

A son of Lancelot Shadwell, barrister. The Register of Lincoln's Inn (1869) notes "dead"

An older brother, Charles Lancelot Shadwell (16.12.1840-13.2.1919) lectured at Oxford and was a college archivist (DNB).

BA (First class) New College Oxford 1868

Admitted Lincoln's Inn 25.10.1869. Barrister 1873


Appointed by Halsbury

1908 SHADWELL LUNACY COMMISSIONER (aged 63) Timeline 1908

1912: Author of a work on Acts of parliament concerning colleges and schools

1913: Lunacy Commission became Board of Control Timeline 1913

1920: Author of a verse translation of the Odes of Horace

Legal member of the Lunacy Commission
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L16 Frederick Andrew Inderwick QC Commissioner 1903 died in office 18.8.1904

Born 23.4.1836 Died 18.8.1904

Queen's Counsel 19.3.1874. He specialised in probate and divorce.

Liberal Mp for Rye, April 1880 to December 1885. In 1883 he suggested the appointment of female asylum visitors (Hansard 12.7.1883 cols 1246 following).

Mayor of Winchelsea 1892-1893

Author of historical and antiquarian works

August 1903? INDERWICK LUNACY COMMISSIONER (aged 67) Timeline 1903

Appointed by Halsbury

"His elevation to the bench was confidentially predicted, but promotion never came, and in August 1903, in the full enjoyment of a highly lucrative practice, he accepted the post of a commissioners in lunacy. He was then suffering from a painful malady of which he died just a twelvemonth later" (DNB)

Both lists in MH51/737 say Inderwick was appointed in 1902. His predecessor (Bagot) was knighted as "late" legal "now" honorary commissioner in July 1903

Sometime in 1903, Inderwick was part of a visit to St Andrew's Hospital, Northampton. A visiting commissioner to a Metropolitan Asylums Board asylum sometime in 1904

Both lists in MH51/737 say Inderwick died in office in 1905. Who Was Who? agrees with DNB (above) that he died in August 1904 but says that it was 18.8.1904.

Secretary and then legal member of the Lunacy Commission
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L17 Arthur Hill Trevor
Secretary 1904 Commissioner 1907 died in office 27.9.1924

Born 1858 Died 27.9.1924

The only son of Charles Binning Trevor, sometime of the Indian Civil Service.

Educated Winchester and Corpus Chrisiti College, Oxford.

A barrister Inner Temple 1884. He practised on the South Eastern Circuit and at Sussex sessions.


Appointed by Halsbury

Trevor is shown as a visiting commissioner to a Metropolitan Asylums Board asylum in 1904

1907 TREVOR LUNACY COMMISSIONER (aged 49) Timeline 1907

1913: Lunacy Commission became Board of Control Timeline 1913

Secretary of the Lunacy Commission
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L18 Ernest Wilberforce
Secretary 1907

Autumn 1907 WILBERFORCE LUNACY COMMISSION SECRETARY (aged about ?) Timeline 1907

Wilberforce was appointed secretary following the death of Urmson on 22.9.1907, but he resigned the same year. (MH51/737). Hodgson was appointed in his place.

I have not been able to find out who Ernest Wilberforce was.

Secretary and then legal member of the Lunacy Commission
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L19 Barnard Thornton Hodgson
Secretary 1908 Commissioner 1912 retired 1936

Born 14.9.1863 Died 27.9.1939

The eldest son of Barnard Becket Hodgson, Bolney, Sussex and his wife Mabel Gertrude (married 1839) the fourth daughter of Joseph Godman of Park Hatch, Surrey. They also had three daughters.

1881 Census. Shown as Barnard A. Hodgson in house run by Edward Austen-Leigh at Eton College Common Lane Eton, Buckingham. Shown as born Brisiton, Surrey.

Went to Trinity College Cambridge

1882 to 1921: Held a commission in the Volunteer and Territorial Forces. Lieutenant Colonel in the (late) fourth battalion of the Royal Sussex Regiment.

Sometime JP for Sussex

Barrister of the Inner Temple 1886

Went South-Eastern Circuit and Sussex Sessions

A member of Chelsea Borough Council from 1900 to 1924 (Alderman from 1922 to 1924).

January? 1908 HODGSON LUNACY COMMISSION SECRETARY (aged 45) Timeline 1908

Hodgson was appointed in place of Wilberforce who resigned the same year (1907) that he was appointed. Hodgson was appointed secretary in 1908 according to the original hand list in MH51/737 and (Who Was Who?). The typed list MH51/737 says 1907.


Hodgson was the fourth legal commissioner. Bond was the fourth medical commissioner.

1913: Lunacy Commission became Board of Control Timeline 1913

(Who Was Who?) says "Commissioner of the Board of Control 1914-1936". It may be that the Board of Control came into effect in 1914.

Address in (Who Was Who?): Highlands, Bolney, Sussex. Telephone "Bolney 4". Club: Junior Carlton

1936: Retired

Died 27.9.1839

Legal member of the Lunacy Commission
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L20 Simon John Fraser Macleod
Commissioner 1908 retired 1936

Born 29.8.1857 Died 7.9.1938 The second son of Inspector General William Macleod, MD, CB, RN.

Student Middle Temple 1878
Barrister 1881

Married Catherine Florence Nelson, daughter of (late) William Nelson, Salisbury Green, Edinburgh. They had one son and two daughters.

November? 1908 MACLEOD LUNACY COMMISSIONER (aged 51) Timeline 1908

Giffard died in office 11.10.1908. Macleod was appointed 1908 (MH51/737). The MH51/737 list gives him as "K.C." [King's Counsel], at the time of his appointment.

1912 Catherine, his wife, died

1913: Lunacy Commission became Board of Control Timeline 1913

1931 Appointed Senior Commissioner, Board of Control.

1936 Retired

Address in Address in (Who Was Who?): 26 York House, York Place, Church Street, W8. Telephone: Western 8308
Clubs: Conservative and Ranelagh

Secretary of the Lunacy Commission
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L21 Oswald Eden Dickinson
Secretary 1912 retired 1931

An 1881 Census: Oswald E. Dickinson, aged 11, was at school at Pembroke Lodge, Christchurch, Hampshire. He was born Beckley, Somerset.

1912 DICKINSON LUNACY COMMISSION SECRETARY (aged about 42?) Timeline 1912

1912 (MH51/737): Appointed Secretary in place of Hodgson who was promoted to commissioner just before the Commission became the Board of Control

1913: Lunacy Commission became Board of Control Timeline 1913

Served as Secretary to the Board of Control until 1931 when he retired. There was a major re-organisation of the Board of Control in 1931. Dickinson was succeeded by Percy Barter (who may previously have been a clerk in the Ministry of Health). Percy Barter was Secretary until 1939 when he was seconded to the Ministry of Health for the duration of the war. In 1945 he returned to the Board of Control as its chairman (and a commissioner). He later became Sir Percy Barter, CB. He retired in 1952.


1913: The Chair of the new Board of Control was a full time paid official. The first was Sir William Patrick Byrne, KCVO, CB, previously Assistant Secretary at the Home Office: Under Secretary for Ireland. [1901: Principle Clerk at the Home Office, aged 42, born Ireland, living Paddington]. Later The Right Hon. Sir William P. Byrne, P.C. (Ireland) KCVO, CB. Form 1916 to 1918 Edward Marriott Cooke was Acting Chairman "during the absence of Sir William Byrne in Ireland". Byrne retired in 1921.

1921: The Chair was appointed by the Minister of Health after 1920. Byrne was succeeded by Sir Frederick James Willis, KBE, CB, previously Assistant Secretary, Local Government Board and the Ministry of Health. He retired in 1928.

1928: Willis was succeeded by Laurence George Brock CB, previously Principle Assistant Secretary at the Ministry of Health (later Sir Laurence Brock, CB), who retired in 1945.

Born 1879. Died 29.4.1949. Married Margery Williams 1917. Knighted 1935.
Brock Report (Sterilisation) 1934
Wrote "Psychiatry and the Public Health Service" in the Journal of Mental Science, vol. 92, 1946
Sometime Eugenics Society Fellow on its Consultative Council.

1945: Brock was succeeded by Percy Barter, previously Secretary, who retired in 1952

1952: The last chair of the Board of Control was Isaac Frederick Armer CB, MC. Previously Deputy Secretary at the Ministry of Health. (Later Sir Frederick Armer, KBE, CB, MC) who retired on the dissolution of The Board of Control



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