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Biographies of Honorary (Unpaid) Lunacy Commissioners 1828-1912

Honorary member of the Metropolitan Commission
Click on the index number to see the relation to other commissioners

H1 Francis Thornhill Baring MA MP
Sir (3rd Bt) 1848 1st Baron Northbrook 1865 or 1866
Metropolitan Commissioner 1828, not listed from 1833

Baring was one of the new aristocrat MPs who took part in the Commission's proceedings as part of his training in Parliamentary business. (Compare Ashley (H3) and Grey (H26).

Born 20.4.1796 Calcutta.

Francis Baring was the eldest son of Sir Thomas Baring, 2nd Bt (born 1772, died 1848) merchant banker (Baring Brothers, London) and landed proprietor of Stratton Park, near Micheldever, Hants. Sir Thomas had been a member of the 1815-1816 Select Committee of the House of Commons on Madhouses. He was a member of the Church Missionary Society

Education: 1807-1811: Winchester. 1812 with Rev John Venn, the Evangelical vicar at Clapham. Venn died in 1813. Baring was a life-long friend of his son, Henry Venn (1796-1873). 1813: a private pupil studying mathematics under Professor Farrish at Cambridge. 18.1.1814: matriculated Christchurch, Oxford University 1817 BA (Double 1st) and admitted to Lincoln's Inn. 1821: MA. 1823 barrister LI.

Married 7.4.1825 by special licence in the Dockyard Chapel at Portsmouth, Jane Grey, the 5th sister of Sir George Grey (H26).

Baring was elected Whig MP for Portsmouth in 1826, and remained the MP until 1865. From his edited journals and letters, published by his son in 1905 (NORTHBROOK 1905) it appears that he was very serious and methodical in his approach. In 1826 and 1827 he spoke little in the Commons, but presented two petitions and served on four committees, including the 1827 Select Committee of the House of Commons on Middlesex Pauper Lunatics (membership list).

"In the Sessions of 1826 and 1827 Mr Baring faithfully followed the programme which he had laid down for himself". In his Journal for 5.8.1827 he wrote:

"On looking back at the session I neither think very favourably or unfavourably of my steps. As to speaking I merely opened my mouth twice, and twice presented petitions - nothing of a speech. My committee business was very well adapted: The Reading Committee gave me fair experience of an election Committee. The Droxford Bill Committee initiated me into a County Inclosure Bill, and the Friendly Societies and Lunatic Asylums Committees were very suitable to my pursuits and situation. I have not, I think, to accuse myself of neglecting the business which came on in them, and I trust got some information."

About the 1827 Select Committee of the House of Commons on Middlesex Pauper Lunatics, his son writes:

"Mr Baring worked very hard upon it, examining the books of the different asylums, and made careful notes of the conclusions derived from this examination and from the evidence taken before the committee."

In 1828 he actively promoted Gordon's bills, spoke several times on them in the Commons (none recorded in Hansard) and followed their passage through the Lords carefully. His son writes:

"Mr Baring actively promoted this legislation. He spoke several times in the House of Commons, and when the Bills went to the Lords he was in frequent communication with Lord Malmesbury who had charge of them, beside watching the enquiry before the Select Committee."


His son writes:

"When the Act for the appointment of Commissioners was passed he was requested by Mr (afterwards Sir Robert) Peel to serve as one of them."

Baring was one of the eight unpaid commissioners who signed the Commission's report in July 1829. A relatively frequent unpaid visitor. He visited, on average, 1.75 days a quarter. (3.4.2 table two)

In November 1830 Baring's uncle in law, Lord Grey, formed the first Whig Government of the 19th century. Baring was appointed a Junior Treasury Lord (see Vernon Smith). As well as his Ministerial duties baring had responsibilities as a Hampshire JP. He was active in suppression of the agricultural riots at Stratton in 1830.

Baring is not known to have taken any part in proceedings on the 1832 Madhouse Bill (3.4.5). He was not re-appointed in September 1833, but his brother in law, Sir George Grey (H26), was then appointed for the first time. Perhaps Baring persuaded him to take his place? Both were of a serious religious disposition.

From 1839 to 1841 Baring was Chancellor of the Exchequer and from 1849 to 1852, First Lord of the Admiralty. He died 6.9.1866.

His London address in 1826 was 17 Spring Gardens, Westminster. He later moved to Belgrave Square, Belgravia.


NORTHBROOK, EARL OF (EDITOR), 1905, JOURNALS AND CORRESPONDENCE FROM 1808 TO 1852 OF SIR FRANCIS THORNHILL BARING, AFTERWARDS LORD NORTHBROOK Compiled and edited by his son, Thomas George, Earl of Northbrook. Printed for Private Circulation.

Honorary member of the Metropolitan Commission
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H2 Frederick Gough Calthorpe MP
Metropolitan Commissioner 1828, not listed from 1832

Frederick Gough Calthorpe was born 14.6.1790 and died 2.5.1868. He was the younger brother of the then Lord Calthorp (who he succeded as 4th Baron Calthorpe in 1851) and a brother in law of Somerset (H8).

Lord Calthorpe, older brother of Frederick Gough Calthorpe, was a Vice President of the Church Missionary Society in 1841.

Whig MP for the pocket boroughs of Hindon, Wiltshire (1818-1826) and Bramber, Sussex (1826-1831). Lord Calthorpe was a "prevailing influence" in both (MOLESWORTH 1865 p.113). Both were disenfranchised in 1832 when he ceased to be an MP and a commissioner (n. Sept 1832).

The Calthorpes were to the right of Whigery. Lord Calthorpe was a "waverer" who voted against parliamentary reform in 1831 and for it in 1832. was a JP for Hampshire and Suffolk (PP/1836 JPs). Eltham Park, near Farnborough in North-East Hampshire was one of the principle Calthorpe seats. In 1883 the family owned 1,390 acres in Hampshire (including urban property) and had a total land ownership of of 6,470 acres in various counties. (Only 235 in Sufolk, but 2,559 in Norfolk). Frederick Gough's London address in 1827 was 41 Lower Grosvenor Sqaure, Mayfair (modern map) (IC 1827). (Lord Calthorpe lived at No. 33 in 1840). Calthorpe wealth at this time was largely from urban development. They owned the land on which Edgbaston, "the Belgravia of Birmingham", was built and land near Clerkenwell in London. Thomas Cubitt, the great mass-builder of the 19th century, began his operations by developing the Calthorpe's London estate.

There were two Calthorpe MPs in 1827. One (presumably Frederick Gough) served on the 1827 Select Committee of the House of Commons on Middlesex Pauper Lunatics. (membership list).

His brother, Lord Calthorpe, was on the House of Lords on the Bills relating to Lunatics and Lunatic Asylums.


Calthorpe and his brother in law Somerset were exceptionally regular and frequent visitors. Both visited on average, 3.125 days a quarter, well in excess of most unpaid visitors appointed in 1828 apart from Hampson who visited an average of 4.125 days and Ross who visited an average of 2.375 days. (3.4.2 table two)

not listed from 1832

Honorary member of the Metropolitan Commission and Lunacy Commissionand Lunacy Commission
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H3 Anthony Ashley Cooper BA MP
Known as Lord Ashley until 1851.. Then 7th Earl of Shaftesbury.
Commissioner 1828 to death. "Chairman" about 1834 to death.
died 1.10.1885

Lord Ashley was one of the new aristocrat MPs who took part in the Commission's proceedings as part of his training in Parliamentary business. (Compare Baring and Grey. He does not seem to have been very good at it or notably conscientious (see below - and compare with Baring. Between October 1829 and August 1830 he found only one day for visiting licensed houses! (see table). By about 1834 his attitude had changed. He took over the chairmanship of the Commission and remained its chair for the rest of his life. This biography focuses on his affairs as they relate to the development of the Commission between 1828 and 1845. Extracts from his writing are included in The Ashley File.

Summary: Born 28.4.1801   Oxford University   1826 MP   19.2.1828 "his first important speech"   1829: initial enthusiasm   1830: romantic distraction   July 1830 Dorchester MP   Southey   1832   Ten Hours   1833   1834   religion and chair   1838: diaries   Richard Paternoster?   1839   1840   1841 Statistics and change   1842 Inquiry Commission   1843   1844 Report   Wales   Lunacy Commissioner   1846   Board of Health   April 1884

Born 28.4.1801 at 24 Grosvenor Square, Mayfair (modern map).

The eldest son of Cropley Ashley Cooper, brother of the 5th Earl of Shaftesbury, and Anne, 4th daughter of the 4th Duke of Marlborough. When his uncle died in 1811 his father became 6th Earl and he acquired the courtesy title Lord Ashley.

The Shaftesbury seat was St Giles House, Wimborne St. Giles, Dorset.

His father was temporary chairman of House of Lords committes 1811-1814, then permanent chairman until his death in 1851

1st class honours classics, Christ Church, Oxford University 1822.

1826 entered House of Commons (took oaths 16.11.1826) as Tory MP for the Duke of Marlborough's pocket borough of Woodstock, Oxfordshire. He was returned with the Duke's son, Lord Blandford.

His London address in the 1827 Imperial Calendar was 43 Duke Street, St James.

On 10.4.1827 he refused an offer of a place under Canning.

13.6.1827: Ashley a member of the 1827 Select Committee of the House of Commons on Middlesex Pauper Lunatics

From January/February 1828 to November 1830 a Commissioner of the India Board in Wellington's administration (Appointment: Hodder 1888 1, p.81)

19.2.1828 Made what Hodder described as, "his first important speech", (Hodder 1888 1, p.96) seconding the 1828 Madhouses and County Asylums Bills. It was "nearly inaudible in the gallery" (Hansard cols 583-4). His father was on the 1828 Select Committee of the House of Lords to consider the Lunacy Bills

17.6.1828 Another speech that Hodder said was part of the Lunacy bills debate and which Ashley described (Diary 18.6.1828) as his first attempt to maintain a long and important speech (Hodder 1888 1, p. 102)


The evidence suggests he was a conscientious commissioner during the 1st year. Hodder records the following 3 diary excerpts:

Sunday 24.9.1828. Visiting asylums 11am to 6.30pm. Afterwards studied "a little astronomy".

13.11.1828: "Yesterday at our Lunacy Commission: there is nothing poetical in this duty".

7.2.1829: "Went on a visitation of madhouses. I can do good that way if no other" (Hodder 1888 1 pp 104/5 + 109).

He signed the July 1829 Report and the same month spent five days visiting.

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timeline 1830 Ashley file

After the initial enthusiasm, Ashley, appears to have lost interest for there is only one day recorded visiting during the following two years (3.4.2 table two).

Romance was the most likely explanation of his loss of interest. In the summer of 1829 Ashley diaries were pre-occupied with Emily Cowper, daughter of Lord and Lady Cowper. He married her on 10.1.1830. Between October 1829 and October 1830 he only made one (insignificant) entry in his diary (Best, G.F.A. 1964 pp 25-7)

In July 1830 Ashley was returned as MP for the traditional family seat of Dorchester, but in September/October 1831 there was a by- election for the county (Dorset) and he contested that as the anti-reform candidate. He won, but a petition against his return meant he could not take his seat until March 1832.

On 12.9.1830 Ashley wrote a letter to the poet laureate, Robert Southey, offering to find a son or nephew a post in the East India Company. Southey accepted on behalf of the eleven year old son of his brother, Dr Southey (M4).

During 1831/1832, Ashley was in constant correspondence with Robert Southey. Best suggests this friendship taught him to be a Tory only because his views of society concurred with those of the Tory leaders, instead of out of sheer party loyalty (Hodder 1888 1, pp 114-5 and 125f., Best, G.F.A. 1964 p. 102)

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timeline 1832 Ashley file

Late in 1832, Ashley read about conditions in factories and became interested in the efforts to limit children's working hours to 10 a day. He was persuaded in February 1833 to sponsor the bill to that effect and from then until 1840, when his interests broadened, this was his main political concern.

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timeline 1833 Ashley file

All that Dod's, 1833 said about his politics is that he is a Conservative. Address: 20 New Norfolk St., Park Lane [Mayfair].

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timeline 1834 Ashley file

October 1833 to April 1834 A 6 month tour of Italy with Lord and Lady Cowper.

1834 His biographers refer to a "growing intensity" of religious feeling, or even an Evangelical "conversion", taking place about this time (Hodder 1888 1, p 197, 1892 p. 106.   Best, G.F.A. 1964 p 56). As a result he became active in religious committes.

Diary 2.7.1834:

"Served today for the first time on the committee of the National School Society - education and public worship may set us right, and they will do so, unless 'our iniquity is now full'" (Hodder 1892 p.107)

Diary 3.7.1834:

"To all subjects I prefer theology. Finance, corn laws, foreign policy or poor laws would give me more public usefulness, but they should not give me more private happiness. I shall be content henceforward to float down the stream of time and put ashore at any point whither the Almighty in His wisdom may command me" (Hodder 1892 p.107)

Ashley Chair of the Metropolitan Commission from 1834?

He told the House of Commons in 1845:

"Mr Gordon's Act...and [the] Commission were renewed in 1832, and two barristers were added. ...about 1834, after having been a member of the Commission, he (Lord Ashley), became the chairman of the Commission, which duty he had discharged up to the present day" (Hansard 11.7.1845 col. 398)

Ashley may have succeeded Robert Gordon in the chair. This was not a statutory position on the Metropolitan Commission.

The 1836-1841 Reports were all first signed by him. In 1836, 1839 and 1840 he was the only unpaid commissioner who signed (3.4.1 table one)

26.12.1834 to 8.4.1835 Ashley a Junior Admiralty Lord in Peel's ministry. Annual salary £1,000. Shown as a Wilts and Dorset JP on the 1836 list, but was probably not active for there is an entry in Hodder for 6.1.1840 that indicates he 1st attended a magistrates' meeting on that date.

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timeline 1836 Ashley file

9.2.1836 Ashley chaired the founding meeting of the Church Pastoral Aid Society.

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timeline 1838 Ashley file

30.9.1838 Commencement of Ashley's systematic diaries. Biographical material previous to this point is very patchy. It was in the second half of the 1830s that he began to emerge as a significant political figure, although until 1840 almost entirely as an advocate of factory legislation.

3.10.1838 A Diary Entry: R.P. may be Richard Paternoster

"Gave a decision today along with colleagues, in the commission in Lunacy (upon a division of 6 to 4, the first division that has taken place since the institution of the body, now ten years ago), that one R.P. should be set at liberty. It is an unpleasant and responsible office either to detain or discharge a patient. In the first case you hazard the commission of cruelty to the prisoner; in the second to his friends or the public. We can lay down no fixed rules for decision; we must take our course, according to doctor's prescriptions, pro re nata" [According to the circumstances]. "In the instance before us, R.P. (as he is designated in the correspondence of his relatives) had been seized only a few days when we proceeded to inquire into his alleged insanity and the grounds of his detention; a more heartless ruffian, one more course in language, though a man of talent and education, never entered a prison or madhouse. The opposite party, however, could not prove against him one single act of personal violence; his words, his manner, his feelings, were awfully wicked, but had never as yet (although their charge extended over several years) broken out into action. In fact a decision on our part, that he was rightfully detained, would have authorised the incarceration in Bedlam of seven-tenths of the human race who have ben excited to violence of speech and gesture. Three days sitting, myself chairman, of five hours each, and all "gratis"."

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timeline 1839 Ashley file

7.3.1839: A member of the 1839 Select Committee of the House of Commons on Hereford Lunatic Asylum Ashley's name was listed second to the chairman's (Barneby H34)

1839-1842 Opium War

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timeline 1840 Ashley file

During the 1840s, Ashley's name became associated with a large number of social questions, instead of just the factory question. The Metropolitan Commission was unpopular amongst lunacy reformers. As Ashley acquired his image as the aristocratic champion of the poor, they increasingly blamed the professional commissioners for the deficiencies and appealed to the unpaid chairman to exert a more positive influence. Whilst Ashley clearly responded to these appeals it is impossible to say to what extent the creation of the Inquiry Commission in 1842 was due to his influence.

August and December 1840: Infant Labour

Monday 29.8.1840 "One who stilleth the madness of the people"

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timeline 1841 Ashley file

1841 Address in Dod's : 49 Upper Brooke St. Mayfair.

Statistical Society of London: "Viscount Ashley" proposed a member 15.3.1841, elected 9.4.1841, and a member of its council the following year. (Proceedings of the Statistical Society 1840-1841, 1841-1842) (See 3.11)

Change of political objectives The General Election in August 1841 led to the formation of Robert Peel's Conservative Government. Ashley had hoped for high office, but because of his 10 hours commitment was not offered anything acceptable. He:

"stepped into the curious position he was to continue to hold for the next ten years or so, as a kind of unofficial, part-time member of the administration, working occasionally from the back benches, lending respectability to the administrations he thus supported and saving the, a good deal of trouble by seeing to the introduction and management of motions and Bills they approved. He was pleased to do this, for it fitted his notions of good government and implied the pettiness of party rivalries. But he retained a perfect liberty to judge the governments and measures on their merits." (Best, G.F.A. 1964 1964 p.108)

21.9.1841 Introduced 1841 Madhouse Continuation Bill

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timeline 1842 Ashley file

17.3.1842 Co-sponsor Licensed Lunatic Asylums Bill

Friday 18.3.1842 Diary:

"Spoke again last night on the Lunacy Bill: I seemed to myself to do it without force or point, and with difficulty; half left unsaid and the other half said ill. This is humbling and despairing, because I plough not in hope. How can I look to success in the great measures I propose if I am so weak in the smaller? The House will despise schemes so brought forward". (Hodder 1, p.410) [See also Ashley and Hanwell

During this period, Ashley's main House of Commons preoccupation was the Coal Mines Act. The first report of the Royal Commission on Children's Employment, on the employment of women and children in coal mines, was published in May 1842 and proceedings on the Act continued until August 1842.

Visit to Hanwell Lunatic Asylum

Tuesday 17.5.1842 Diary:

"This day I have visited Hanwell, in company with Serjeant Adams and well may I ... heartily thank God for all that I saw there. Could any man, who has the least regard for his fellow man, as created and redeemed by the same Blessed Lord, behold such triumph of wisdom and mercy over ignorance and ferocity and not rejoice, and give God the glory? These things cannot be expressed, no, nor felt, by any but the spirit of Christian love, of the love of that dearest Lord, whose very essence is the indivisible, necessary, and single principle of goodness itself. What sufferings mitigated, what degradations spared, what vices restrained, what affections called forth!" (Hodder 1, p. 410)

23.5.1842 Revised Bill (The Inquiry Bill) introduced

5.8.1842 Lunacy Inquiry Act received Royal Assent.

23.8.1842 ASHLEY INQUIRY COMMISSIONER (aged 41) Timeline 1842

Ashley was in Dorset in August 1842, on a tour of the factory districts in September, and visiting various places (including "Wilton") in October. He cannot have had a great deal to do with the initial planning of the Inquiry.

11.11.1842 Diary entry:

"Have been to London to transact business in Lunacy. This is a mighty subject, and one on which authority and power could be extensively and beneficially exercised" (Hodder 1, p.410)

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timeline 1843 Ashley file

""I have undertaken", wrote Lord Ashley in 1842, "more than I know how to accomplish". In 1843 three more gigantic questions - National Education - The Opium Trade, and RaggedSchools - were to be added to those which already occupied his time." (Hodder 1, pp 449-50)

20.1.1843: McNaughton

30.1.1843: Ashley wrote to Peel from St Giles's House expressing his condolences at the death of Edmund Drummond:

"He was to you so true a friend and so valuable an assistant... his melancholy end fills me with horror... to fall by the blow that was, no doubt, intended for another. I cannot believe it is a disconnected act; it is the beginning of sorrow. Sursom corda;" [uplift your hearts] "these events must prove to us... that in the everlasting arms is the only safety..." (Hodder 1890, p.241).

31.1.1843: Peel replied from Whitehall:

"What human precaution can be availing? The assassin of my poor friend had no grievance that we ever heard of. He never preferred a complaint. He was ten times more affluent than the vast majority of his class in life" (Hodder 1890, p.241).

Diary 13.2.1843 "On Saturday last Samuel Gurney and Mr Fry" [Quakers] "called on me to lay the state of the Opium Trade with China before me, and request that I would submit it to Parliament, as a grand question of national morality and religion." (Hodder 1890, p.248). [William Fry brother of Elizabeth]

28.2.1843: Address on Education.

4.4.1843 Ashley in the Commons on the Opium Trade. Three hour speech.

10.7.1843 Letter from Elizabeth Fry regretting that Lord and Lady Ashley [she uses their titles] had not been able to keep a dinner engagement with Joseph and herself at Upton. She suggests other times. (Hodder 1890, p.265).

20.7.1843 Ashley drew the Home Secretary's attention to the detention of lunatics in workhouses

27.7.1843 to 20.10.1843. Abroad (Carlsbad) with his wife for the sake of her health (Hodder 1 pp 496-514)

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timeline 1844 Ashley file

July 1844 The 1844 Lunacy Report published. Diary entry 2.7.1844 refers to it being finished "after many sittings" (Hodder 2 p.61).

12.7.1844 Ashley intervened in a debate on the Poor Law with information from the Report on the number of dangerous lunatics not provided for

July 1844 speech

23.7.1844 Ashley moves an Address to the Crown on the Report

"He had been unwilling to bring forward the subject at all, but his colleagues in the Commission had thought that the novelty of the subject, the great expense incurred and the vast numbers who were subject to this jurisdiction, would justify him in calling the attention of the House to it" (Hansard 23.7.1844 cols 1257-1258.)

24.7.1844 Diary:

"Last night motion on Lunacy - obtained indulgent hearing. The speech did its work so far as to obtain a recognition from the Secretary of State that legislation was necessary and should be taken in my sense of it. Sheil made a neat allusion, by way of compliment, to my great grandfather's works. He added, too, `the noble lord's speaking is a sursum corda kind of eloquence'; this is the most agreeable language of praise I have ever received, it is the very style I have aimed at". (Hodder 2 p.66)

Single Lunatics: Ashley said, at the beginning of his speech, that there were three ways in which lunatics were lodged: in single houses, in public or county asylums, or on private asylums (some of which received paupers).

Single lunatics were a (very) minor issue in the 1844 Report. They were really not the commission's business. Pauper lunatics maintained singly (a different issue) were a major issue in the section of the Report on Wales and in the subsequent Welsh Report.

Ashley began with single lunatics, proceeded to public asylums and moved on to private asylums. (The terms being used are ambiguously used by different speakers). Some of what he said about single houses had a strong personal content:

" With respect to the first class there were no returns, the commissioners were excluded by the statute from any interference in such circumstances, and he must take this opportunity of saying that he thought this a most unfortunate enactment, not that he wished to claim for the Board the invidious and burthensome power of examining and censuring the neglect of private families, but because he believed that a power of this kind ought to be confided to some hands that would hunt out and expose the many horrible abuses that at present prevailed. No doubt there were many worthy exceptions, but the House had no notion of the abominations that prevailed in those asylums. It was the concession of absolute secret and irresponsible power to the relatives of lunatics and the keepers of asylums, and exposing them to temptations which he believed human nature too weak to resist. There were many patients in these single houses for whom were paid £500 per annum. This was a temptation to keep such a patient in perpetual confinement, because with the returning health of the sufferer the allowance would be discontinued. So strong was his opinion of the bad effect of this, that, if Providence should afflict any near relative of his with insanity, he would consign him to an asylum in which there were other patients, and which was subject to official visitation." (Hansard 23.7.1844 col 1258)

Single Lunatics was the one major issue on which the Home Secretary said he disagreed with Ashley:

"Though he did not doubt the accuracy either of the statements or of the deductions made by [Ashley]... it was only necessary for him to remind the house of the caution necessary to be exercised in this respect, as the rights of relatives in these matters deserved some consideration, and that secrecy which was occasionally essential, and indispensable, would be violated by the commission having the power to inspect such private houses. He therefore would recommend the House to approach the subject of private treatment of lunatics with great caution; for, notwithstanding the practice was open to abuse, yet it did not appear that such prevailed to any great extent". (Hansard 23.7.1844 col 1274)

Ashley's view was supported by Robert Vernon Smith.

Wales 25.7.1844 Visiting commissioners "proceeded into North Wales" (1844 Welsh Report p.2).

3.8.1844 Diary:

"hurried up to town to be sworn in as a Commissioner in Lunacy - heard and resolved to expose some shocking Welsh cases". (Hodder 2 p.69)

25.8.1844 Welsh Report published

9.11.1844 Diary:

" Good deal of business. No repose. Sittings renewed in Lunacy. What a scene of horrors! If such be the condition of things under all our inspection, law, public opinion, and the whole apparatus of 'philanthropy' (what a sad word!), what must it have been formerly, and what would it be again in a state of pure principle of non-interference?" (Hodder 2 p.69)

18.11.1844 Diary:

"Visited Peckham Asylum on Saturday last. Long affair - six hours. What a lesson! How small the interval - a hairs breadth - between reason and madness. A sight, too, to stir apprehension in one's own mind. I am visiting in authority today, I may be visited by authority tomorrow. God be praised that there are any visitations at all; time was when such care was unknown.

What an awful condition that of a lunatic! His words are generally disbelieved, and his most innocent peculiarities perverted; it is natural it should be so; and we place ourselves on our guard - that is, we give to every word, look, gesture a value and meaning which oftentimes it cannot bear, and which it never would bear in ordinary life. Thus we too readily get him in, and too sluggishly get him out, and yet what a destiny!" (Hodder 2 p.77)

21.11.1844 Home Secretary asked Ashley to undertake Lunacy Bill


" Graham has asked me to undertake the Lunacy Bill, promising to treat it as a Government measure. Prodigious work! but cannot refuse to lighten the burden on a Minister's shoulders. Agreed on condition of full Government support in every respect. Oh that I might prosper and do something for those desolate and oppressed creatures!" (Hodder 2 p. 78)

28.11.1844 Diary:

"Will it be given to me to prosper in my three works - Time Bill, Print-Works Bill, Lunacy Bill? Shall I by God's blessing, taste the fruit of these labours? I fear not. Thoughts of a great scheme for relief of people pass through my mind. Would it be a measure of relief, or an aggravation of distress? repeal duty on tea to one-sixth of present amount: sugar the same; repeal the malt tax totally, and the Corn Laws at the end of five years; keep on the income tax, raised to five per cent for ten years. I like the scheme very much." (Hodder 2 p. 78)

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timeline 1845 Ashley file

4.8.1845 1845 Lunacy Act receives Royal Assent.

Timeline 1845

Elected Permanent Chairman
Therefore ex-officio Private Committee member (see law)
See attendance at meetings

Friday 8.8.1845 1845 County Asylums Act receives Royal Assent.

On the same day, doctors Turner and Hume, with Mr Mylne, were sworn in before the Lord Chancellor at the House of Lords and (also the same day) they administered the oath to Mr Procter at the Lunacy Commission's office, and the Secretary was also sworn in. (Minutes 14.8.1845)

Thursday 14.8.1845


First Meeting of Commissioners under 8 + 9 Vict. C. 100
12 Abingdon Street
Thursday - 14th August 1845

The Commissioners met by agreement this day for the first time

Lord Ashley
Mr Gordon
Dr Turner
Mr Procter
Mr Mylne
Mr Hall
Lord Ashley, Mr Gordon and Mr Hall were sworn in -

Upon the motion of Mr Gordon, Lord Ashley was elected permanent Chairman of the Commission

20.8.1845 Diary entry:

"Have been reading in snatched moments of leisure, Life of Cowper. What a wonderful story! He was, when he attempted his life, thoroughly mad; he was never so at any other time. Yet his symptoms weer such as would have been sufficient for any 'mad doctor' to shut him up, and far too serious for any 'Commissioner' to let him out, and doubtless both would be justifiable. The experiment proved that Copwer might safely be trusted: but an experiment it was, the responsibility of which not one man in three geerations would consent, or ought, to incur. We should, however, take warning by his example, and not let people be in such a hurry to set down all delusions (especially religious delusions) as involving danger either to a man's self, or to the public. There are, I suspect, not a few persons confined whom it would be just as perplexing, and just as safe, to release as the poet Cowper." (Hodder 2 p.113).

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

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timeline 1846 Ashley file

31.1.1846 to 30.7.1847: Ashley not in Parliament

Lord Ashley resigned his Dorset seat (31.1.1846) because he was convinced that Peel was right to propose repeal of the Corn Laws which he (Ashley) believed he had been elected to defend. To God he would owe a vote for Peel, to his constituents he owed his resignation. Two days before his resignation he re-introduced ten hours (factory) legislation into the House of Commons.

During this period, Ashley continued as Permanent Chairman of the Lunacy Commission, but its spokesman in the House of Commons was Lord Seymour. Whilst Ashley was travelling abroad, Lord Seymour also acted as Chair of the Commission.

Wednesday 18.6.1846: Lord Ashley chaired the memorial meeting for Elizabeth Fry

mental health
timeline 1847 Ashley file

30.7.1847 Ashley elected as MP for Bath

August 1847: Set off on a "round of visits" from which he seems to have returned in late October, although he attended Lunacy Board meetings on Thursday 19.8.1847 and at 12pm on Friday 10.9.1847. This second one was unfortunate "The Medical and Legal Commissioners were all absent on Circuit. No other commissioner being present by 2 o'clock - Adjourned"

6.11.1847, 10.11.1847 and 13.11.1847 Ashley chaired meetings on the sanity of the honourable Mrs Henry Howard, confined as a single lunatic at 16 Addison Road, Kensington. (A relative of Henry Charles Howard, 13th Duke of Norfolk?). Case involved Dr Winslow. This was Private Committee business referred by Ashley to the main Lunacy Board. The Private Committee may have ceased meeting separately in November 1846 - Its last minutes are dated 17.11.1846

This is Hodder's account, presumably based on Ashley's diaries:

"A lady, Mrs H, had been shut up as a lunatic, but, as far as Lord Ashley, and three other Commissioners, could judge, she was as sane as any woman in England; and he was pained and alarmed to find how, with all the safeguards of the law, there were still facilities for incarcerating a victim. He spared no pains in sifting the evidence on both sides, and prosecuted the investigation day by day until he had proof indisputable that the lady was the victim of a cruel conspiracy, and was perfectly sane. It need not be added that she was set at liberty with the least possible delay." (Hodder 2 p.228).

mental health
timeline 1848 Ashley file

September 1848 to 1854 Ashley was a commissioner at the new Board of Health

15.5.1849 (Diary) "Made a night visit to Hoxton Lunatic Asylum, having suspicions of misconduct; found, I rejoice to say, things far better than we expected; our system therefore, of inspection, may be considered successful, and our terrors salutary. Ventilation of apartments very bad..."

25.6.1851 death of his father. Ashley became 7th Earl of Shaftesbury. This meant he moved to the House of Lords and could no longer represent the Lunacy Commission in the House of Commons. The commissioners still MPs were Lord Seymour , who resigned from the commission shortly after this and Vernon Smith. The appointment of Henry Morgan Clifford may have been to provide the Commission with an active House of Commons representative. Dudley Fortesque could have continued this but, from his leaving the House of Commons in 1874, there was no MP commissioner for a few years. [see chart]

16.7.1857 One page letter from Shaftesbury at 24 Grosvenor Square to Dr Browne; informing Browne that he has not been consulted, nor is he likely to be, on the subject of the Scotch Commissionship in Lunacy. (from John Wilson Manuscripts Ltd online catalogue, offering for sale)


mental health
timeline 1868 Ashley file

Ashley's speeches published

1870s If Lewis Carroll's The Hunting of the Snark relates to the Lunacy Commission, Lord Shaftesbury has to be (at least in part) Bellman.

1877: see Phillips on honorary commissioners

1881 Census: Anthony, Earl of Shaftesbury, widower, aged 79, Peer of the realm (No occupation) living with his son Anthony L. Ashley, widower, aged 43, Director of Life Office, and daughter Edith Ashley, unmarried aged 34, plus lots of servants, at 24 Grosvenor Square. [note also ...de KRAUSE Governess, married, aged 61 born Prussia]

April 1884 A motion of Lord Milltown (H41) for an inquiry into the administration of the Lunacy laws was carried in the House of Lords. This lead in 1885 to the introduction of the Lunacy Amendment Bill by Lord Chancellor Selbourne. Shaftesbury tendered his resignation as Chairman:

"I could not go down to the Lords and sit through the passing of such a measure, and be thus a party to its enactment; I could not while holding office under the Chancellor, oppose him by speech and division. He offered me permission to do so, but he knew, as well as I did, the indecency of such a course." (Diary 25.5.85)

In June 85 the Bill was shelved and he consented to resume his office. (Hodder 3, pp 503-4)

died 1.10.1885

Shaftesbury was succeeded as Chair of the Lunacy Commission by Thomas Salt

Honorary member of the Metropolitan Commission and Lunacy Commission
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H4 Robert Gordon MA (Ox) Liberal MP 1812-1841
Commissioner 1828 -1864
Ceased to be a Member of Parliament 23.6.1841
history of the 
lunacy commission mental health
timeline 1827

Born 1786. The only son of William Gordon (born 6.1.1758), the eldest son of a Bristol merchant, who had estates in the West Indies and Scotland; and Anna, the daughter of another Bristol merchant and heiress to the estate of Leweston, Dorset. William died in Bristol 10.5.1802, when Robert was only 16, and was buried in the chapel at Leweston. Anna re-married (29.1.1804) but her new husband, John Berkley Burland, a Somerset JP and MP for Totnes, died the same year (1.11.1804). Anne died 14.3.1809 and Robert inherited Leweston.

Educated at Eton and Christ Church, Oxford. He matriculated 24.10.1804, "aged 17"; BA 1808; MA 1824. Married 11.7.1809 his cousin, Elizabeth Anne Coxe. His father's only sister had married (10.12.1789) Charles Westley Coxe, heir through his father of the estate of Kemble, and through his mother to half the fortune of a Lord Mayor of London. Coxe had died 10.3.1806 and Elizabeth, as the elder of his two daughters inherited his estate. Through his marriage Robert came into a "large fortune" (Dod's, 1833). Their only daughter, Anne, was born in the year of their marriage (Burke, L.G.).

Liberal MP from 1812 to 1841. He represented Wareham in Dorset from 10.10.1812 to 10.6.1818; Cricklade in Wiltshire from from 27.6.1818 to 17.3.1837 and Windsor, Berkshire, from 25.7.1837 to 23.6.1841. A firm supporter of reform (1830-1832) but "a disappointed candidate for office" (Le Marchant, D. 1876 p.-). Although he was Commissioner at the India Board from 28.7.1832, then Joint Secretary at the India Board from 1833 (or 22.4.1834) to November 1834 and again (with Vernon Smith) from 21.4.1835 to 30.9.1839. From 6.9.1839 to 9.6.1841 he was Joint Secretary at the Treasury.


Whilst his friend Lord Lyndhurst was Lord Chancellor (see 3.1.4) Gordon moved for the 1827 Select Committee of the House of Commons on Middlesex Pauper Lunatics and later brought in the 1828 Madhouse and County Asylums Acts. (3.1.2) He did so, it seems, as a member of one of the west London select vestry's that sent paupers to east London madhouses and wanted Middlesex to construct its own County Asylum.


A number of London addresses were given for Robert Gordon from 1827 until his death in 1864 at 32 Hill Street, Berkeley Square, but all were within a quarter of a mile of Berkeley Square, then one of the most exclusive corners of aristocratic Mayfair. (The house he lived in 1827 was later the home of the Marquis of Anglesey, a gentleman in line to inherit 25,,000 acres).

Robert Gordon was a member of the select vestry of St George's, Hanover Square, the Mayfair parish. (Hansard 19.2.1828 col.576). The "parish" had about 60,000 inhabitants. The vestry, which was probably the most powerful in London, was its local government. Until 1832 it consisted of a group of principle inhabitants selected by nomination.

One of Gordon's fellow vestrymen was William Sturges Bourne (1769-1845), who was Home Secretary when Gordon moved for the 1827 Select Committee of the House of Commons on Middlesex Pauper Lunatics. Bourne had been concerned

"at the way in which in neighbouring open vestries, such as that of St Pancras, the many small ratepayers could outvote the large property owners" Sheppard, F.H.W. 1971 p. 29
and so in 1818 and 1819 he had procured two parish vestry Acts, one of which gave electors in open vestries votes proportional to the rates they paid, whilst the other allowed a committee to manage poor relief to be elected in select vestries by the same system. (Redlich, J. etc 1958 1958 p.167)

St George's was one of the West London parishes that sent pauper lunatics to Warburton's private madhouses in Bethnal Green. In moving for the Select Committee, Gordon told the Commons that:

"When the overseers of the parish of St. George visited Dr Warburton's asylum, they found, in a room eighteen feet long, sixteen cribs, with a patients in each crib, some of them chained and fastened down, and all of them in a state of great wretchedness." (Hansard 13.6.1827 col 1262)

Sturges Bourne was in favour of moving for a bill at once, rather than a Select Committee. He said that Gordon's information was "of the best description" and "in fact he could himself confirm part of it". Gordon, however, preferred to pursue his original plan and promised to submit to the Select committee the outline of a bill he wished to introduce. (Hansard 13.6.1827 col 1264)

13.6.1827: Gordon chaired the 1827 Select Committee of the House of Commons on Middlesex Pauper Lunatics

Gordon introduced the 1828 Madhouse and County Asylums Acts. (3.1.2).

9.8.1828: METROPOLITAN COMMISSIONER 1828 aged 42 Timeline 1828

Rose, Ashley, Gordon and Ward are four MP Commissioners who visited - but not very often.

Co-sponsored the 1829 Madhouses Law Amendment Act (see list), brought in a bill in February 1830, brought in 1832 Madhouses Act (see list), served on the committee on the bill and reported from the committee.

Gordon's role: I suggest (See 3.4.8) that Somerset was appointed to manage the Metropolitan Commission in cooperation with Gordon, and that Gordon had an especially legislative role. Gordon was possibly chairman between November 1830 (when Peel left the Home Office and Somerset's suggested role must have altered) and about 1834 when Ashley became chairman. Gordon appears to have been in poor health at about the time that Ashley became chair

28.7.1832 Gordon at the India Board

November 1834 Out of office (India Board) during the Wellington/Peel Ministry

Hansard 10.3.1835 A debate on the repeal of the Malt Tax. Gordon was strongly in favour of repeal as he thought there was a "necessity of doing something for the landed interest". Comments being made on his position by Sir James Graham,

"Mr Roberts Gordon... confessed that he did not expect that any attack on him would have proceeded from a Gentleman with whom he had been in habits of intimacy, and the less so when his present state of health was known" (columns 817-818)

21.4.1835 Gordon returns to the India Board

Gordon was one of the few commissioners to sign a report between 1836 and 1841 - He signed the 1837 and 1841 Reports. (3.4.1 table one)

7.3.1839: Gordon a member of the 1839 Select Committee of the House of Commons on Hereford Lunatic Asylum Timeline 1839

6.9.1839 Gordon moves to the Treasury

9.6.1841 Gordon leaves the Treasury

23.6.1841 Robert Gordon retired from the House of Commons

23.8.1842 GORDON INQUIRY COMMISSIONER (aged 56) Timeline 1842


Timeline 1845
Robert Gordon was the most active honorary commissioner after Ashley, and he involved himself in the practical work of the commission in a way no other honorary commissioner did.

Gordon was present and sworn at the first meeting. He moved the motions for Ashley's election as chairman and, at the adjourned meeting of 15.8.1845 he moved the motion on the Commission's organisation. At the same meeting, Gordon was delegated to procure a letter stamp for the commission and arrangements were made for a night visit:

Saturday 23.8.1845: Gordon, Dr Turner and Procter made a night visit to Kingsdown House, Box, Wiltshire. This had been arranged at the meeting on 15.8.1845, when Hall (not Procter) was to have been the legal commissioner. Procter wrote the report on this visit. Gordon, Turner and Procter also visited Bath to swear in James Cowles Prichard as the new medical commissioner.

March 1847

Gordon brought the Lunacy Act's provisions for visiting workhouses to the board's attention, which lead to the commission reforming its procedures. (MH50 18.3.1847, p.98; 23.3.1847, p.9)

July 1847

Ordered on Gordon's motion that "arrangements be made for procuring and binding up for reference" plans of all asylums, lunatic hospitals and licensed houses. It was referred to Gordon and the Secretary to carry out the arrangement.


16.3.1848 Gordon secured the daily examination of parliamentary papers for lunacy issues by Edward DuBois

17.5.1848 Presented drafts for two circulars respecting the execution of deed etc by patients under certificate.


11.1.1849: Plans for Lincolnshire County Asylum were referred to Gordon, Campbell and the Secretary to examine and report.

1.2.1849: Gordon made a special report on the burial ground adjacent to St Luke's Hospital


Procter 8.11.1861: "We had a Board on Wednesday - a long one, which we were obliged to adjourn to this day. Lord S. was not there - but Mr Gordon (who embroils the fray) - was. We sate till past 5 o'clock"

Mr Gordon died in 1864. In their Report of that year, the Commissioners "deplore the death of their colleague, Mr Robert Gordon, whose name has been prominent, during the greater part of the last half century, in connection with efforts to ameliorate the condition of the insane" and add "Down to the present time, Mr Gordon has given to our labours, constant and valuable personal aid; and his unwearied and disinterested service, closed only by death, we must remember always with respect and gratitude" (Tuke, D.H. 1882 p.203)

Robert Gordon and slavery

Gordon's ancestors had left Scotland (where he still owned estates) to established themselves as merchants in Bristol. His paternal grandfather, who may have been the first to settle in Bristol, was sheriff of Bristol 1757, Mayor 1773 and alderman from 1777 until his death in 1784.

Robert Gordon was described by Stephen Lushington MP (abolitionist) as "a large West India proprietor" (Hansard 21.3.1825 col.1126), but Gordon said he was not one of the "great body of proprietors" connected with the West Indies, although he "possessed some property in them" (Hansard 20.2.1824 col.282).

His property in the West Indies may have been part of a larger family interest. His aunt and uncle, John and Catherine Gordon of Clifton, Bristol, and his cousins, James and Robert William Gordon of Montego Bay, Jamaica, were compensated for over 200 slaves on County Cornwall, Jamaica, after liberation. Philip John Miles, the son of his cousin Catherine, was compensated for over 1,000 slaves in the same county (including the interests of a partner, however). (PP/1838 Slaves See p.303 claim 223; p.68 claim 419; p.71 claim 150; p.306 claims 60, 61 + 86; p.66 claims 28+37; p.67 claim 218; p.68 claims 402+404; and p.69 claim 578)

Robert Gordon was against the immediate abolition of slavery (Dod's1833). In parliament he denied that the West Indian proprietors opposed amelioration of the [conditions of?] slaves in the colonies (Hansard 21.3.1825 col.1126) alleging that the proprietors were the "object of indiscriminate abuse" (Hansard 20.2.1824 col.282). Stephen Lushington commented that

"he could not help doubting the judgement, although he could not suspect the heart, of his hon. friend" (Hansard 21.3.1825 col.1126)

Gordon kept a watching brief over the interests of the colonists during abolition (see Hansard 31.7.1833 col 217) and in 1841 obtained leave for a bill "to make further provision for facilitating and completing the distribution and payments of compensation for claims upon the abolition of slavery (Hansard 27.4.184 col.1165)

Robert Gordon as land owner





Honorary member of the Metropolitan Commission
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H5 Thomas Barrett Lennard MA (Ca) MP
Metropolitan Commissioner 1828, not listed from 1830

Born 4.10.1788. Died 9.6.1856

Eldest son of Sir Thomas Barrett Lennard, first baronett (died 1857) of Belhus, Essex and large estates in County Monaghan, Ireland (Stenton) who was an Essex JP (PP/1836 JPs) and MP for Essex South from 1832 to 1835.

Thomas Barrett Lennard was MP for Ipswich, Suffolk from 1820 to 1806 and for Maldon, Essex from 1826 to 1837 and 1847 to 1852. Ipswich and Maldon had large electorates, so were not pocket boroughs, but they were corrupt. One bought voters directly. Even in 1841, individual votes were sold openly at Ipswich for £15 (Wright D.G. 1970 p.52). Maldon lost no seats in 1832, but was originally on schedule B.

13.6.1827: Lennard a member of the 1827 Select Committee of the House of Commons on Middlesex Pauper Lunatics


No record of activity. (See 3.4.2 table two and 3.4.6)

His London address (IC 1827, RK 1828) was 8 Hereford Street. Had this been the one now called so in Bethnal Green, he would have been the only Metropolitan Commissioner with a home in east rather than west London, and the only one living in the area where the pauper houses were concentrated.

But, on Greenwoods 1830 map, this street east of St Mathew, Bethnal Green is called Abbey Street, but there are two Hereford Streets in St Marylebone, west London. The most likely, south of Portman Square. The other to the west.

He later moved to 9 Hyde Park Terrace, South Kensington (Stenton 1833)

Honorary member of the Metropolitan Commission
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H6 George Henry Rose (Sir) MA (Ca) MP
Metropolitan Commissioner 1828, not listed from 1832

George Henry Rose was the eldest son of George Rose: history of the 
lunacy commission mental health
timeline 1813

George Rose (born 1774, died 13.1.1818) was on the 1807 Select Committee of the House of Commons, co-sponsored the 1808 County Asylums Bill with Wynn (H10), introduced (unsuccesfully) Madhouse Bills in 1813, 1814, 1816 and 1817, and moved for and chaired the 1815-1816 Select Committee of the House of Commons on Madhouses (See 3.1.3).

George Rose was of obscure origin. In 1774 he left the navy, "finding he had no chance of promotion". He was befriended and a place found for him as a clerk in government service. He progressed remarkably rapidly to charge of the records of proceedings in the House of Lords. Offices were created for him rather than him simply filling offices. By 1807 he was MP for Christchurch, Treasurer of the Navy and Clerk of Parliaments. "The profits which he and his sons derived from various offices were large". In Cobbett's reckoning, something over £10,000 a year (DNB).

George Henry Rose (born 1771, died 17.6.1855) was MP for Southampton 1794-1813, British Minister in Munich 1813-1815, Berlin 1815-1818. On his father's death in 1818 he succeded to his estates, clerkship of parliaments, and seat as Christchurch MP (1818-1844). He retired from the diplomatic service to take up his new role, enetering the House of Commons on 6.3.1818.

13.6.1827: a member of the 1827 Select Committee of the House of Commons on Middlesex Pauper Lunatics


He was one of the eight unpaid commissioners who signed the Commission's report in July 1829 (3.4.2 table two) .

Rose, Ashley, Gordon and Ward are four MP Commissioners who visited - but not very often.

Rose visited on 6 days in 1829-1831. (3.4.2 table two). At least three of his visits were to large pauper houses in Bethnal Green and Hoxton. On each of these visits he appears to be the senior commissioner. On 26.5.1830 he visited the White House with (Drs) Bright and Southey and a young MP, Francis Baring. On 13.7.1830 he visited Hoxton House with (Drs) Hume and Bright. On 14.7.1830, with Byng, Hume and Bright, he visited Bethnal House. On these visit the entry on religious observance appears more positive and more searching than is usual. There is a contrast, for example, between the entry when Rose visits Bethnal House and finds in the surgeon's report that patients "are very quiet while it lasts and more so than at other times and behave very well during the service so that it appears for a time to have a calming effect" and the other entries, including those when Ashley visits: "No effect beneficial or otherwise seems as yet to have been produced by it", and the entries when the Reverends Campbell and Shepherd are present: "Divine service is performed regularly twice a week but with no apparent effect" ... "without advantage".

He was on the committee on the 1832 Madhouse bill. One of the group of MPs not re-appointed in September 1832.

Religion: "In his later years.. actively interested.. in evangelical and missionary work" (DNB). In 1823 he published A LETTER ON THE MEANS AND IMPORTANCE OF CONVERTING SLAVES IN THE WEST INDIES TO CHRISTIANITY. (His mother was from Antigua and he may have had property there). In 1836 he was a Vice President of the Prayer Book and Homily Society at Exeter Hall (IC 1836) and, along with other commissioners and ex-commissioners, a Vice President of the Church Missionary Society

Honorary member of the Metropolitan Commission
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H7 Charles Ross MP
Metropolitan Commissioner 1828, not listed from 1833

Born 1799. Died 21.3.1860

The only son of a General Alexander Ross.

He married, 1825, the daughter of Charles, 2nd Marquis Cornwallis. Later, Ross edited the correspondence of the 1st Marquis (3 volumes 1859)

Residences at Lamer, Hertfordshire; St Germans Cornwall; and 60 Portland Place, St Marylebone. This was his London residence from 1828 or before. He died there.

Tory MP 1823-1826 for Orford, Suffolk and from 1826 for St Germans. Both of these were pocket boroughs dienfranchised in 1832. Orford belonged to the Marquis of Hertford (nephew of Robert Seymour (H14), St Germans belonged to Earl St Germans. These two Tory peerages weer recently created (1793 and 1815) as a reward for party services through the control of such boroughs. (See Annual Register 1820, pages 591, 594 and 596)


Ross was one of the eight unpaid commissioners who signed the Commission's report in July 1829. (3.4.2 table two)

He was one of only three of the MP Commissioners who had not been on the 1827 Select Committee of the House of Commons on Middlesex Pauper Lunatics (The others being Bouverie, who was a Middlesex magistrate, and a Ward, who was a London MP. See 3.3.6)

I could trace no interest in lunacy before or after 1828-1833, but as a commissioner he was exceptionally active. In one quarter he enabled the visiting to take place in the absence of most of the other visitors (3.4.2 table two) and he was also active in the House of Commons where he co-sponsored the 1829 Madhouses Law Amendment Act, (see list). In 1832 he served on the committee on the 1832 Madhouse bill.

I suggest that Ross, Somerset and possibly Freemantle had a special responsibility to Robert Peel for the commission.

Party organiser: As an assistant whip, Ross visited Peel at Drayton in 1831 (Gash, N. 1976 pp 144 + 88).

Political Office: A Junior Admiralty Lord 31.7.1830 to 25.11.1830.

Ross was not re-appointed as a Metropolitan Commissioner on 12.9.1833, the year after Somerset and Freemantle ceased to be commissioners. (See Brougham's changes)

Tory MP 1832-1837 for Northampton (borough). He contested the borough in the autumn of 1832. There were two Tory and two Whig candidates in a close contest. Ross and one of the Whigs was elected - The Whig being a sitting member, Robert Vernon Smith (H22). The same happened in 1835.

Political Office: A Junior Treasury Lord 26.12.1834 to 18.4.1835.

Ross was a West India Proprietor (slave owner) and would have been compensated for the emancipation of slaves in 1833

He voted against the 1834 Poor Law and made opposition to the new poor law part of his platform at Tiverton (below) (Ridley, J. 1970 p.279)

In July/August 1837 Ross lost Northampton to two Whigs. He contested Tiverton, Devon, in 1841, but withdrew at the hustings.

Honorary member of the Metropolitan Commission
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H8 Granville Charles Henry Somerset (Known as Lord) MA (Ox) MP
Metropolitan Commissioner 1828, not listed from 1832

Somerset and his brother in law Calthorpe (H2) were exceptionally regular and frequent visitors. Both visited on average, 3.125 days a quarter, well in excess of most unpaid commissioners appointed 1828 apart from Hampson (H15) who visited an average of 4.125 days and Ross (H7) who visited an average of 2.375 days. Somerset was one of the eight unpaid commissioners who signed the Commission's report in July 1829. (3.4.2 table two)

Born 27.12.1792, died 23.2.1848. The 2nd of two sons of Henry Charles, 6th Duke of Beaufort. The elder, Henry (known as the Marquis of Worcester) succeeded as 7th Duke 23.11.1835 and died 17.11.1853. The Beaufort estates in 1883 totalled 51,085 acres in Monmouthshire, Gloucestershire, Breconshire, Glamorganshire and Wiltshire. (EVANS 1909 p.264) The family were noted for the extent of their inter-marriages with other noble families (EVANS, J. 1853 p. 7) Somerset had 8 sisters. The eldest married Calthorpe (H2) and another Farquhar (H33). A cousin was aunt of G. Clive (H25) and sister in law of E.B. Clive (H30) and a great aunt had been 1st wife of the father of Wynn (H10). Somerset married (27.7.1822) Emily, 5th daughter of 1st Baron Carrington (uncle of John Smith H28) whose 4th daughter was married (1813) to the younger brother of Wynn (H10) (BURKE and BURKE L.G.)

Educated at Christ Church, Oxford. BA 4.11.1813 (2nd Class Classics). MA 29.3.1817. DCL 10.6.1834

Town address: 8 Clarges Street, Picadilly, Mayfair. (IC 1827; 1846 Post Office Guide) and he had a home in Monmouthshire (Stenton), but died in London (DNB)

His father was Lord Lieutenant of Monmouthshire, Breconshire (from 1803) and Gloucestershire (from 1810) (GEC).

He was JP for these counties, and also for Lancashire. Rather a lot of his relatives were on the bench with him.

Tory MP from 25.5.1816 to his death. (Stenton). A Junior Treasury Lord (*) under Liverpool 25.3.1816 to 3.4.1827, under Wellington 26.1.1828 to 24.11.1830 (Stenton?).

A PARTY ORGANISER. Gash to him as the "brusque but efficient aristocrat who had served his apprenticeship under Lord Liverpool", who was now Peel's "unofficial chief of staff".. "a party manager".. the chief of the party's small staff of organisers". (GASH 1976 pp 164, 180 and 209).


Somerset's first involvement in lunacy matters seems to have been in 1827, possibly as the agent of Peel. I could trace no participation in the attempted Madhouse legislation of 1816-1819. He was one of thirty-one MPs on the 1827 Select Committee of the House of Commons on Middlesex Pauper Lunatics along with the then Home Secretary (Sturges Bourne) and his Under Secretary (Perceval H21) and George Dawson who had been Peel's Under Secretary at the Home Office from 1822 to April 1827. Robert Peel was not a member. (membership list)


Somerset was 35 when Robert Peel, once more Home Secretary, appointed him a Metropolitan Commissioner. As I have said, he was an exceptionally regular and frequent visitor. The evidence (3.4.4) suggests that he was Chairman of the commission. In 3.4.4. I give reasons for believing that he was appointed to manage the Commission in co-operation with Gordon and that he and Ross were responsible to Peel for seeing that it worked.

In March 1829 Somerset, assisted by Gordon and Ross, brought in and carried through the Commons the 1829 Madhouses Law Amendment Bill. (See list)

Peel left the Home Office in November 1830

Gordon brought in a bill in February 1830 and was the main sponsor of the 1832 Madhouses Act. Somerset was his co-sponsor (see list) and served on the special committee on the bill. (See 3.4.5)

Somerset was not re-appointed after the passage of the 1832 Madhouse Act. (3.5)

However, he appears to have remained Peel's specialist for attending to lunacy issues, serving on the 1839 Select Committee of the House of Commons on Hereford Lunatic Asylum and bringing in the 1842 Licensed Lunatic Asylums Bill


When Peel returned to England in December 1834 to become Prime Minister (for a few months), he saw only two people before he attended on the King: Wellington, who had been holding the fort for him, and Somerset. (GASH 1976 pp 164). Somerset's importance was as a party organiser, but he was also a junior minister. He was sworn is as a Privy Counsellor on 20.12.1834 and was Chief Commissioner of Woods and Forests (*) until 7.5.1835 (Stenton, M. 1976). In 1835 a small permanent committee was set up under his chairmanship to supervise elections, provide money and candidates, and collect information on the state of registration in the constituencies (GASH 1976 pp 164).

(*) Two Commissioners were appointed in 1810 to regulate Crown lands exchanged by George 3rd for the King's Civil List. They were responsible for works and public buildings from 1832 to 1851 when a separate Board was established.

7.3.1839: Somerset was member of the 1839 Select Committee of the House of Commons on Hereford Lunatic Asylum

PEEL's SECOND MINISTRY. Somerset was Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster 3.9.1841 to 6.7.1846 (Though not in the Cabinet until May 1844). (COOK)

Somerset (with Ashley) brought in the 1842 Licensed Lunatic Asylums bill (4.3.1). The Home Secretary, Graham, had promised to assist such a measure (4.2) and Somerset said he brought in the bill in consequence of communications with the Home Secretary and the Lord Chancellor (Hansard 20.4.1842 col 888). Any doubts that he was acting as a government minister seem to be removed by a procedural dispute recorded in Hansard. Before going into Committee on the Bill, two MPs objected to proceedings on government measures on an evening the previous administration had left free for private members bills. One referred to the Licensed Lunatic Asylums Bill as "virtually a government Bill". Somerset said he could not agree to members of the Government taking their chance with other members and proceedings on the bill continued (Hansard 20.4.1842 cols 885-886)

After 1842 I can trace no activity in relation to lunacy legislation apart from a vote in the committee on the 1845 Lunacy Bill (Hansard 11.7.1845 col 417).

Somerset voted with Peel on the Repeal of the Corn Laws in 1846. He died in London on 23.2.1848.

Honorary member of the Metropolitan Commission
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H9 William Ward MP
Metropolitan Commissioner 1828, not listed from 1831

Born July 1787. Died 30.6.1849

The second son of George Ward, a London merchant who died in 1829. William Ward was a financier and, from 1817, a Director of the Bank of England.

His mother and his wife were also from City families. His mother's grandfather and father (Henry Sampson Woodfall, 1739-1805, printer journalist) were masters of the Stationers's Company. Alexander Cruden, alleged lunatic, had been employed by Henry Sampson Woodfall. Her grandfather had been a common councilman of the city for many years. His wife's father was a city alderman.

William's uncle, Robert Plummer Ward (1765-1846), as well as being a lawyer was a novelist and a Tory politician. He had been on "intimate terms" with Spencer Perceval, the Prime Minister assassinated by an alleged lunatic in 1812.

Tory MP City of London 9.6.1826 to 1831

London addrsss (1827/1829) 40 Bloomsbury Square, Bloomsbury

The other three City MPs elected in 1826 were Whigs.

Tory predominance in the representation of the City of London was "finally broken" in 1826 and from then until 1874, the city was as "overwhelmingly" Whig or Liberal as it was thereafter Conservative. (Sheppard, F.H.W. 1971 p.305)

William Ward was not on the 1827 Select Committee of the House of Commons on Middlesex Pauper Lunatics, but William Thompson, a Whig member for the City who became Lord Mayor in 1828, was (membership list).

As Elaine Murphy has shown, City of London parishes (like West London parishes) were major clients of the East End madhouses. We can surmise that some City MPs, like West London MPs, would have personal knowledge of the houses. In the debate on the Select Committee:

"Mr Alderman Thompson" [City MP] "was desirous, if possible, that the report of the committee might be made in the present session. The rumours afloat, many of which, he had no doubt were exaggerated, demanded inquiry"

"Mr S. Bourne" [St George's vestryman] "believed that some of the reports respecting Mr Warburton's establishment were much exaggerated"

"Mr R. Colborne" [Financier Nicholas William Ridley Colborne 1779-1854] "while he admitted that some of the reports in circulation were perfectly true, must say that others were much exaggerated. Mr Warburton had always been ready to give every information in his power. He believed the only effective way of remedying the evils complained of would be by building a county lunatic asylum"

"Mr M.A. Taylor" [Middlesex magistrate who gave his name to an Act providing for paving London streets] "declared that, in his opinion, there was not a chance for an individual confined in these asylums becoming convalescent. Many of them were sent to them by overseers of parishes, who bargained for the cheapest terms: and in some cases gave only 8 shillings a week. The hon. gentleman" [Robert Gordon] described the state of destitution in which some of these unfortunate creatures were left. A more horrible sight he had never witnessed. He trusted that some humane legislative provision would be adopted with a view to remedy the evils"

(Hansard 13.6.1827 cols 1264-1265)


Rose, Ashley, Gordon and Ward are four MP Commissioners who visited - but not very often.

Ward's only recorded activity (3.4.2 table two) was three visits:

9.10.1829: Ross, Ward, Dr Turner and Dr Hume to Hoxton House

2.11.1829: Ross, Ward, Dr Turner and Dr Southey to Bethnal House

All of these were houses just outside the City of London, to the east and north. Hoxton House and Bethnal House were pauper houses with many paupers from London parishes. Sidney House and Pembroke House were high class private houses, where Ward might even have met personal acquaintances.

5.11.1829: Ward, Dr Turner and Dr Southey to Pembroke House and Sidney House

July 1831 General Election: "discontented at the spirit of reform, he declined to stand again for parliament" [He stood unsuccessfully in January 1831]

Not re-appointed a Metropolitan Commissioner in August 1831.

A main source of background information above is his entry in (DNB).

Honorary member of the Metropolitan Commission
Click on the index number to see the relation to other commissioners

H10 Charles Watkin Williams Wynn MA (Ox) MP
Metropolitan Commissioner 1828, not listed from 1833
history of the 
lunacy commission mental health
timeline 1808

Family roots in Wales and London
The Grenvilles
Spencer and Wynn at the Home Office
County asylums and madhouses
Politics in opposition
1822: Back in government

Born 9.10.1775, died 2.9.1850.

Family roots in Wales and London

Charles Watkin Williams Wynn was the second son of Sir Watkins William Wynn, 4th baronet of Wynnstay, Denbighshire, who died in July 1789. His older brother, also Sir Watkin Williams Wynn (5th baronet), (born 1772, died 1804), became head of the most powerful family in North Wales when their father died.

He was nephew (through his mother) of Lord Grenville (born 1759, died 1834); the Duke of Buckingham, Earl Fortesque Earl Fortesque (died 1841) and other peers raised to or within the peerage after 1760 as a result of political services, the influence of wealth or fortunate marriages.


"From 1779 to 1783 Robert Nares was tutor to Wynn and his elder brother, living with them at Wynnstay and in London. On 23 March 1784 Wynn was admitted at Westminster school, and in 1786 Nares, then an usher at the school, resumed his tutorship of the brothers" (DNB)

A fellow student at Winchester and at Oxford, was Robert Southey

"Wynn matriculated at Christ Church, Oxford, on 14 December 1791, graduated BA in 1795 and MA in 1798... His rooms as an undergraduate were in 'Skeleton Corner' where Southey, who had made his friendship at Westminster in 1788 and kept it throughout his life, used often to visit him. Wynn, though not a rich man, made Southey an allowance of £160 per annum, beginning with the last quarter of 1796 and ending in 1807, when, through the same friendly influence, a net pension of £144 a year was bestowed on him by the government. In 1801 Wynn hoped to obtain for his friend the post of secretary to some Italian legation, but was disappointed. Southey in 1805 dedicated to him the poem of 'Madoc'" (DNB)

Member of Parliament

Charles Watkin Williams Wynn was MP for Montgomeryshire from 1779 to 1850. The seat was uncontested (at least from 1832) as it was in the family's control. Influence over the seat was shared between his father-in-law, the Earl of Powis, and Sir Watkin. In 1850 his nephew succeeded to the seat and in 1862 his son.

His brother, Sir Watkin, was the Denbighshire MP. Some member of the family had been MP for county for over a century. Sir Watkin was Lord Lieutenant for both counties, Colonel of the Denbighshire militia (1827) and JP for Denbighshire, Montgomeryshire, Caenarvonshire, Flintshire, Merioneth and Shropshire. Charles W.W. Wynn held the command of the Montgomeryshire Yeoman Cavalry from 1803 to 1804. He was JP for Denbighshire, Montgomeryshire, Caenarvonshire, Shropshire, Lancashire and Bedfordshire (PP/1836 JPs). He also became a Middlesex JP, but his name does not appear on the IC list until 1835. His younger brother, Henry W.W. Wynn is also shown as a Middlesex MP from 1848.

The principle family residence was Wynstay, near Wrexham, Denbighshire. Charles W.W. Wynn had his seat at Llangedwyn in south Denbighshire and on the border with Montgomeryshire. His London addresses were: 1827: 6 Whitehall Place, Whitehall; 1829: 6 Clarges Street, Mayfair (Somerset, H6, lived at 8 Clarges Street); By 1832: 20 Grafton Street, Mayfair, where he died in 1850. He was buried in a family vault at St George's Chapel, Bayswater (DNB).


Charles W.W. Wynn was "so distinguished for his unrivalled knowledge of the law of parliament, its precedents and journals, as to have acquired the somewhat vulgar soubriquet of "smell-journal Wynn" ((Dod's, 1833) under Montgomeryshire). He

"was fond of parliamentary life and took an active part in debate, being considered a great authority on points of procedure. He was proposed for speaker on 2 June 1817, and in the opinion of Sir samuel Romilly was eminently qualified" [being] " by long attention.. completely master of the law of parliament and the forms of parliamentary proceeding."

But Manners-Sutton was supported by the government and won by 312 votes to 152 (DNB).

The Grenvilles

Wynn was neither a Whig nor a Tory, although in the post 1832 world he was undoubtedly a Conservative. Earlier in the century, however, his family (the "Grenvilles") were a political faction in their own right and Wynn retained an independence of party on can describe as either place hunting or principal.

Lord Grenville, his uncle and William Pitt's cousin, was Foreign Secretary under Pitt from June 1791. Wynn (aged 21) entered the House of Commons for Old Sarum in July 1797. In March 1801 Grenville resigned with Pitt over the King's refusal to countenance removal of political bars against Roman catholics in Ireland. The Grenvilles shared with the Foxite Whigs support for Catholic relief and opposition to the King's "prerogative" to dictate terms to his ministers, but opposed parliamentary reform.

Spencer and Wynn at the Home Office

On Pitt's death in January 1806, Grenville and Fox formed a coalition "ministry of all talents", with Grenville as Prime Minister and Fox (until his death in September 1806) as Foreign Secretary and leader in the Commons. The Whig George John Spencer (1758-1834), second Earl Spencer, was Home Secretary (in the Lords) and Wynn was his Under Secretary (in the Commons). Spencer was Home Secretary from 5.2.1806 to 25.3.1807. Wynn was "non-permanent" under-secretary (the permanent under secretary is a civil servant) from 5.2.1806 to 5.4.1807. (Not to October 1807 as stated in DNB) The ministry fell in the spring of 1807 when it refused to undertake never to press catholic relief on the King.

The Ministry of All Talents was one of two shifts in the relevant political landscape in the early 19th century that allowed lunacy legislation to pass. The other was when Lord Lyndhurst succeeded Lord Eldon as Lord Chancellor in 1827.

A letter from a county JP (G.O. Paul) in 1806 suggests that from 1791 to 1806 Home Secretaries, pre-occupied with war and Irish affairs, were "insensitive" to the problems of county JPs. Earl Spencer was the first break in this landscape of indifference. G.O. Paul wrote (October 1806) that there had been

"a ministerial insensitivity to interior regulations"

at the Home Office for fifteen years, [i.e. 1791 to 1806] but Earl Spencer was

"distinguished for his attention to provincial evils" (1807 Select Committee of the House of Commons p. 18).

The Spencers were known for their interest in and concern for maintaining their estates (principally 17,000 acres in Northants) (EVANS, J. 1853). I assume from Paul's remark that they were equally involved in county affairs.

The first of the "insensitive" Home Secretaries would be Dundas (see below). The two Home Secretaries before him were Townshend and Grenville. Thomas Townshend, who had brought in the 1774 Madhouses Act, was Home Secretary and chief Government spokesman in the Commons under Shelburne from 1782 to April 1783. Created Lord Sydney in 1783 he was Home Secretary (in the Lords) under Pitt from December 1783 to June 1789. Sydney, Australia is named after him because he was Home Secretary when transportation of convicts to Australia was developed to relieve English prisons. When he resigned in 1789 he was succeeded by Wynn's uncle, William Grenville (Created Lord Grenville in June 1789) who was Home Secretary from June 1789 to June 1791.

The first "insensitive" Home Secretary, Henry Dundas (June 1791 to July 1794) "though Home Secretary had responsibility within the cabinet for the conduct of the war" (EMSLEY, C. 1979 p.22) France declared war in February 1793. Dundas was succeeded by Portland (1794-1801), Pelham (July 1801), Charles P. Yorke (August 1803) and Lord Hawkesbury (later Lord Liverpool) (May 1804).

County asylums and madhouses

Wynn had first raised the inconvenience of detaining lunatics in gaols in the House of Commons in 1805 (see chronological bibliography).

In 1806 Lord Spencer sought returns from local authorities and asked a Gloucester JP, Sir George Onesiphorus Paul (1746-1820), for detailed suggestions on problematic points of law arising out of the 1800 Criminal Lunatics Act and its relation to established practice under the 18th century Vagrancy Acts. Paul replied "on the part of" the Gloucester JPs.

The 1800 Criminal Lunatics Act was passed in a panic after Hadfield, who had shot at George 3rd, was found insane. (Roberts, V. 1978)

The Act provided for the detention of criminal lunatics until the crown allowed release. Paul said that he had not observed many lunatics in confinement before 1800.

As the Act contained no financial provisions the County JPs who maintained the prisons found they had to meet the whole cost of maintaining criminal lunatics, potentially for life. Gloucester gaol had two, one of whom was costing £25 a year.

Under the Vagrancy Acts. parish officials were responsible for controlling lunatics (or so Paul argued the law) and had to meet the costs of detention. The new Act gave them an devious opportunity to shift the costs onto the county:-

Under the new Act, Paul argued, parish officials were induced to

"rather encourage than prevent an outrage that may bring a man to trial and thus effect this important saving to the funds of his parish"

Paul's reply (printed in the 1807 Select Committee of the House of Commons Report) included a plan for co- ordinated provision by the government, county and parish authorities of special institutions for the insane, so that they could be removed from prisons, workhouses etc. He proposed that national and county authorities would pay for the construction and establishment of the lunatic asylums, but the parishes would be charged for the maintenance of those whose relatives could not pay. [By s.17 of the 1808 County Asylums Act, the county JPs charged the maintenance of pauper lunatics to their parish]

In January 1807 Wynn presented to the House of Commons an account based on the returns Lord Spencer had secured. At the same time he moved for a Select Committee on criminal and pauper lunatics. Sir Watkin Wynn and GeorgeRose were on the Select Committee with him.

Out of office (in April) Wynn continued with the Select Committee and delivered its report in July. In April 1808 he moved for a bill to effect the Committee's recommendations and this became the 1808 County Asylums Act.

Politics in opposition

From 1807 to 1822 the Grenvilles were out of office and for about a decade seem to have acted in general alliance with the Whig opposition. They parted in their response to the growing popular agitation for parliamentary reform. The Whig families went along with this to some extent, the Grenvilles did not: They supported the Government over Peterloo, the six Acts in 1819 and the King against Queen Caroline in 1820 (See Halevy, vol 2, pp 73 + 143). W.P. Courtney in DNB said Wynn "strongly objected" to the conduct of the King and his ministers to Caroline, but the 1820 Annual Register records him voting on 6.2.1821 against a motion criticising the Government's conduct.

During the county asylum proceedings of 1805 to 1808, the Royal College of Physicians approached Wynn about the deficiencies of the 1774 Madhouses Act. Wynn referred this issue to Rose (see H6). He served on Rose's 1815-1816 Select Committee of the House of Commons on Madhouses, was a sponsor of the 1817 Madhouses Bill and, on Rose's death, picked up the issue and brought in the 1819 Madhouses Bill (See 3.1.3).

1822: Back in government

External link: The Grenvillites withdrew from Brooks's (the Whig Club) in 1822, when the first Duke of Buckingham gave his support to Liverpool. Wynn had joined in July 1804.

In 1822 Wynn was taken into the cabinet as President of the India Board; Buckingham was raised from Marquis to Duke and Wynn's brother Henry sent as ambassador to Switzerland. The Grenville's, with the exception of Lord Nugent, were now part of Lord Liverpool's coalition of conservative factions. (Halevy, vol 2, pp 73 + 143). From this date we should probably not regard the family as a political faction. Wynn remained at the India Board until January 1828, serving under Canning and Goderich. When Wellington became Prime Minister, he moved into opposition.

13.6.1827: Wynn a member of the 1827 Select Committee of the House of Commons on Middlesex Pauper Lunatics


He was one of the eight unpaid commissioners who signed the Commission's report in July 1829. There is no record of his ever visiting (3.4.2 table two).

In November 1830 Grey appointed Wynn to a non-cabinet post as secretary at war, but the Whig reform proposals were too radical for him and he only held office to March 1831.

He was on the committee on the 1832 Madhouse bill. One of the group of MPs not re-appointed in September 1832 (see 3.6).

From December 1834 to April 1835 he was Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (without a place in the cabinet) under Peel. He never again held office (DNB).

In 1842 he was in the House of Commons when Somerset (H8) presented the Licensed lunatics Asylums Bill. He

"thought the measure did not go far enough, but that what it did would be of considerable benefit to the community. The bill, on the whole, had his approbation, and he would give the measure his best attention, so as to render it as beneficial as possible" (Hansard 17.3.1842 col 807. See also col. 797)

Honorary member of the Metropolitan Commission
Click on the index number to see the relation to other commissioners

H11 Bartholomew Bouverie MP Middlesex JP
Metropolitan Commissioner 1828, not listed from 1833

Born 1753, died1835. Younger son of William Bouverie, 1st Earl of Radnor (died 28.1.1776) and brother of Jacob Playdell Bouverie, 2nd Earl (died 27.1.1828 aged about 78). His nephew William Playdell Bouverie, "Lord Folkestone", succeeded as 3rd Earl. The Earls were Wiltshire magnates with interests in Berkshire. Bouverie was MP for Downto(w)n, Wiltshire (A rotten borough in the Earl of Radnor's complete control) 1790-1796; 1806- 1812, 1819-1830.

Via Lord Folkestone Bouverie was related to Lord Robert Seymour (H14). He and Folkestone were both residents of St Marylebone where Robert Seymour was a Director of the Poor.

Lord Folkestone was a friend of William Cobbett and himself a radical, but Bouverie's three recorded votes in the 1820 Annual Register were against radical proposals (Queen Caroline's defence, Catholic relief and economic reform) two of which Folkestone, MP for New Sarum, voted for (no vote recorded on Catholic relief).

Bouverie was sworn a Middlesex JP on Wednesday 1.7.1812 He was one of the sub-committee of three on the Middlesex County Inquiry of 1827 and appointed to the Hanwell Committee in November 1827. He was not on the 1827 Select Committee of the House of Commons on Middlesex Pauper Lunatics (membership list).


Only one recorded visit: On 25.7.1829 he, Clitherow and Drs Turner and Southey visited Ayres', Flemming's, and Jackson's, three small West London houses.

London address (IC 1829-1835 sub JPs) 21 Edward St., Marylebone. His family had strong London links. His father was born (1724/5) in Red Lion St., Holborn and Folkestone (1779) at 4 Grafton St., Marylebone. (Though both were buried in Wiltshire). Folkestone married in 1800 by special licence at 34 Portland Place, London, Catherine Pelham Clinton, a niece of Seymour (H14), who lived in Portland Place. She died in childbed in Paddington 17.5.04. Bouverie took the Middlesex oath by virtue of "Freehold Rent Charges on Land and tenements" at Folkestone, Kent. His three daughters were married into the St John Mildmay family and Folkestone also married into that family after Catherine's death.

Honorary member of the Metropolitan Commission
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H12 George Byng MP Middlesex JP and Deputy Lieutenant
Metropolitan Commissioner 1828, not listed from 1833

Byng was one of the eight unpaid commissioners who signed the Commission's report in July 1829. (3.4.2 table two)

Born 1764, died 10.1.1847. Eldest son of George Byng (died 1789). Of Wrotham Park, Barnet, Middlesex (on Hertfordshire border) and 5 St James Square, St James (1827 IC without number, 1842 with; (Stenton, M. 1976 for 1846). He married Harriet, 8th daughter of Sir William Montgomery Bt. They had no children. Harriet died in 1845.

He was related to the Viscount Torrington's (who were also Byngs), but I am not sure how closely (see H14).

John Byng, George's younger brother, as Major General, had in 1815 "headed the advance on Paris occupying the heights of Montmarte". John was Commander in Chief of the Forces in Ireland 1828-1831; Whig MP for Poole 1831-1835; created Baron Strafford 12.5.1835; and succeeded to Wrotham Park when George died in 1847.

George Byng was MP for Middlesex (one of the most democratic consttuencies) from 1790 to his death. He was a close friend and political associate of Fox (died 1806), the Whig leader. In the 1840s, he opposed the ballot and short parliaments.

A Middlesex JP (IC 1827 + 1842) and Deputy Lieutenant (Mx RO/MJP/P28 for 1834-1835), he was also JP for Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire (PP/1836 JPs).

George Byng was on the Middlesex County Inquiry of 1827 and appointed to the Hanwell Committee in November 1827.


He signed the 1829 Report, but only made two recorded visits(3.4.2 table two). Both were to Warburton's pauper houses in Bethnal Green. On 14.7.1830, with Rose, Hume and Bright, he visited Bethnal House. On 19.2.1831, with Clitherow, Turner and (Dr) Seymour, he visited the White House.

Honorary member of the Metropolitan Commission
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H13 Colonel James Clitherow Middlesex JP and Deputy Lieutenant
Metropolitan Commissioner 1828, not listed from 1838

Born 6.2.1766, died 12.12.1841

James Clitherow lived at Boston House or Manor, Hanwell, Middlesex, close to where the first Middlesex County Asylum (Hanwell) was opened in 1831.

His ancestors, a line of James Clitherows, had owned the Jacobean manor since 1670: "few others" in Middlesex could "boast a continuance of half the extent" (Faulkner, T. 1845). The house was "not large" (WHITE 1902) and the estate in 1923 was only 40 acres (Dutton and Holden 1934), but the Clitherow's were very important in local politics.

Clitherow's father, James Clitherow LL.D (b 24.10.1731 died 9.5.1805) was the biographer and brother-in-law of Sir William Blackstone. He was a Middlesex JP from 1760 (Mx RO/MJP/Q2).
A monument in the parish church says he was "an active magistrate and was universally beloved and respected". It is also clear from the monumental inscriptions that he and his son were deeply religious and of an evangelical disposition. This is particularly marked in the farther's inscription:
Who died... in firm expectation of the joyful resurrection, and trusting solely in the merits of Jesus Christ, for pardon of his sins, and for a happy eternity
His son's reads Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord, even so saith the Spirit, for they rest from their labours, and their works do follow them. Rev. xiv 13
(Inscriptions in Faulkner, T. 1845 p.45).

Before James was born his parents had four daughters. He was an only son, being followed by two more daughters. His mother, Anne, died on Christmas day 1801, aged 71, and his father in 1805, aged 73. James, at 39 years of age, inherited the manor and the role. He took the oath as a Middlesex JP on 13.7.1808. He was already a Colonel in the local militia. Five of his sisters married (one to a brother of R. Seymour (H14), but Mary, who was just a little older than James, remained a spinster and lived with Col. Clitherow and Jane, his wife, at Boston House. There were no children.

A "staunch and consistent conservative" he was for many years the Chairman of the Middlesex Conservative Registration Committee. He was a firm member of the "Established Church" and a Vice President of a "lay union" for its defence. He was "for many years most prominent to maintain the established institutions of the country, and in his endeavours to ameliorate the conditions of the poorer classes, as well as promoting the interests of suffering humanity". Although a JP for Surrey and Sussex as well as Middlesex (PP/1836 JPs) it seems his interests and activities were first and foremost in the affairs of his locality. He was chairman of the Middlesex Deputy Lieutenants for his hundred and chairman of the Petty sessions for his District. When the 1834 Poor Law Act came into operation he became chairman of the local Board of Guardians. He was on the committee of the National Society in London, but also treasurer of the National Schools of New Brentford, treasurer of Brentford Dispensary for the Relief of the Sick Poor, President and treasurer of the Brentford and Ealing Savings Bank, etc. He was at some time a Governor of Bethlem Hospital, and this and the number of organisations to which he was treasurer suggest he had interests in the City.

Colonel and Mrs Clitherow and Mary were on unusually intimate terms with the Duke of Clarence (William 4th from 1830) and his wife Adelaide. They "became acquainted with the Duke" about 1824 when he was resident at Bushey. The editor of Mary's letter says that: "Although the Clitherow's were frequent guests at Windsor and St James's they were not courtiers.. Miss Clitherow never even attended a Drawing Room, and the Colonel and his wife only appear to have done so on one occasion". On at least one occasion (23.6.1834) the King and Queen dined at Boston House.

1827 MIDDLESEX COUNTY INQUIRY (Clitherow Chairman)

The Middlesex County Inquiry was established six months before the Select Committee of the House of Commons on Middlesex Pauper Lunatics

At Middlesex General Quarter sessions on 18.1.1827 "pursuant to the notice given by him at the last County day" Col. Clitherow successfully moved that a committee be appointed to enquire into the present state of the pauper lunatics of this County. (Mx RO minute 18.1.1827)

The JPs who formed the committee were:
Lord Robert Seymour (H14), Bartholomew Bouverie (H11), George Byng (H12), Sir Peter Laurie, Edmund Henry Lushington, Lancelot Bough Allen, James Clitherow (H13), Charles Nicholas Pallmer (H16), Michael Angelo Taylor, Sir James Williams and William Flower. (Mx RO minute 18.1.1827)

Clitherow was the committee chairman and with Bouverie and Henry Lushington formed "a sort of sub-committee to furnish a report for the session" (1827 Select Committee of the House of Commons on Middlesex Pauper Lunatics, Evidence of Emanuel Allen, Esq).

HANWELL COMMITTEE (Clitherow Chairman 1827-1839)

Quarter Sessions resolved to build a County Lunatic asylum on 15.11.1827 when it elected a committee of "Visiting Justices.. to superintend the building, erection and management"

All the JPs on the County Inquiry were elected except for Pallmer and L. B. Allen who were disqualified because they had no assessable property in Middlesex. Added in addition were Sir George Francis Hampson Bart (H15); Robert Hodgson, Dean of Carlisle; Albert Pell, Seargent at Law, Thomas Hood Junior and Sir John Gibbons. (Mx RO minute 15.11.1827)

15.7.1828 1828 Madhouse and County Asylums Acts received Royal Assent. The Acts and the local government of London's pauper lunatics were closely related issues. The recorded parliamentary debates on the Bills do not include reference to religion, but this was a feature of the Acts, which required a chaplain to be appointed to County Asylums and enquiries to be made in private asylums about religious observances. (see law). This was a focus of medical complaint by Haslam in 1830


He did not sign the 1829 Report, but he was a relatively frequent unpaid visitor. He visited, on average, 1.5 days a quarter, which was far in excess of any of the other Middlesex JPs apart from Hampson. (3.4.2 table two). Most of his recorded visits were to small houses in West London, fairly near to where he lived, or to large pauper houses to the east of London.

Wednesday 25.8.1830 Colonel Clitherow was an active member of the Board of Governors of Bethlem Hospital. In August 1830, he came into conflict with the Apothecary Superintendent, Edward Wright MD, when complaints were made to Clitherow that at about 10pm on Wednesday 25.8.1830, Wright was in "the female basement... in a very intoxicated state". Wright was accused of being there in the dark, with his clothes dishevelled. Clitherow and the Chairman of the Governors visited Bethlem to investigate the allegations and suspended Wright. The subsequent inquiry included investigation of Wright's failure to keep case books and his practice of removing the heads of dead patients. Wright was President of the Phrenological Society of London and the removal was for anatomical purposes. The inquiry resolved that Wright had forfeited the confidence of the Governors and should be dismissed. The minutes of the inquiry, which Wright published, show that he retained the confidence of the physicians at Bethlem, who he called in his defence. The dismissal of Wright as superintendent of Bethlem took place just before the appointment, in January 1831, of William Ellis, founder of the Wakefield Phrenological Society, as superintendent of Hanwell. Phrenology, as such, is therefore unlikely to have been an issue of conflict between Clitherow and Wright. Political differences, on the other hand, may have been.


Hanwell asylum was built on land close to Boston House. It was opened on 16.5.1831 for 300 pauper patients. Colonel Clitherow was Chairman of the Hanwell Committee from 1827 to 1839.

The superintendent and matron of Hanwell through most of Clitherow's chairmanship were William and Mrs Ellis, previously at Wakefield County Asylum. They were appointed in January 1831. Their relationship with the Clitherow's was, or became, close. Their management of Hanwell was described by Harriet Martineau in an 1834 article that stresses the role of Mrs Ellis.

"Mrs Ellis" appears to be Jane Mildred Ellis, but she did not use the name Jane. She was the daughter of John Wood of Louth, in Lincolnshire. She was born about 1785/1786 and died 25.5.1879. William Charles Ellis was born 10.3.1780 and died on 24.10.1839. His parents were William and Sarah Ellis. William Charles was christened on 9.9.1782 at Alford, Lincolnshire, which is south of Louth. They were married on 13.2.1806 at Louth, and both of them are shown as "of Louth". In other records they are both shown as "of Wakefield". Mildred had a brother, Thomas Wood, who was a surgeon and whose widow, Susan Wood, ran a small private asylum. William and Mildred's only son was William Robert Ellis (born 1807, Yorkshire?). William Robert Ellis married Harriet Warner Elliott (born about 1820, died 21.6.1901). Harriet Warner Ellis was a missionary writer who also wrote (1868) a memorial of William Charles Ellis. William Robert Ellis died 13.9.1883. [Family sources] There may also be a relationship to Sarah Stickney Ellis (1812-1872). Sarah Stickney, born about 1816, married a William Ellis on 23.5.1837. He died 9.6.1872. A book called The Melville Family and their Bible readings was published with Sarah Stickney Ellis as the author in 1872, but Harriet Warner Ellis in 1885.

William and Mildred Ellis had worked as superintendent and matron of the West Riding Pauper Lunatic Asylum at Wakefield from its opening in 1818. Wakefield was built under the guidance of Samuel Tuke, grandson of the founder of the York Retreat of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) - a man in the forefront of the movement for the moral reform of asylums.

The Ellis's were devout Methodists, taking part in many of the activities of the Methodist community in Yorkshire. William Ellis, who thought his asylum work was divinely inspired, tried to bring Christian principles into the heart of asylum management. From 1818 to 1828 he personally conducted prayers every morning for patients and staff and ran Sunday services. He was relieved of these responsibilities by the 1828 County Asylums Act, section 32, which required the asylum management to appoint an official asylum chaplain. (See law).

(1835) Colonel Clitherow was the Originator and Treasurer of Queen Adelaide's fund for the benefit of those Patients who have been discharged cured from Hanwell Asylum. (Faulkner, T. 1845 p. 99/100). This was established in 1835.

In 1835 Clitherow drew the attention of William 4th to the merits he saw in Ellis and, as a consequence, the King decided to make him Sir William Ellis.

In 1838 Ellis published A Treatise on Insanity which he dedicated to Clitherow. Hunter and MacAlpine quote the following from the dedication:

"You have long stood forward as the benefactor, and unflinching protector of the Insane. To your influence and unwearied exertions is mainly to be attributed this spacious building for their reception.. By your having kindly allowed this humble effort.. to be introduced into the world, under your auspices, you have added another to the many obligations I have already received from you." (H + M's Conolly , Vol.1 p.19)

Ellis resigned from Hanwell early in 1838, when he became Director of a private asylum, Denham Park, before establishing his own asylum, Southall Park, in grounds to the north west of the Hanwell County Asylum.

Dr Gideon John Millingen was chosen as the replacement for Ellis in preference to John Conolly. The decision against Conolly was made on the casting vote of the Chairman, Colonel Clitherow. Some time after, Colonel Clitherow told Conolly that his exclusion was occasioned by his politics. (H + M's Conolly , Vol.1 p.19)

In the spring of 1839, because of illness, Colonel Clitherow retired from public life by resigning the Hanwell Chairmanship and other offices he held in the neighbourhood. (Faulkner, T. 1845) p. 100) He had ceased to be a Metropolitan Commissioner in 1838

The report of the Asylum Committee on 25.4.1839 recorded Clitherow's resignation and the election of Charles Augustus Tulk in his place. (H + M's Conolly , Vol.1 p.21)

Charles Augustus Tulk, (born 2.6.1786, died 1849), friend of Coleridge and Flaxman and patron of Blake, was a founder member of the Swedenborg Society (1810). Tulk owned one of the original copies of Blake's Songs of Innocence and Experience, which he lent to Coleridge (about 1818). A man of independent means, Tulk was independent MP for Sudbury from 1820 to 1826 and Poole from 1835 to 1837. He was a friend of Joseph Hume and supported radical/liberal causes such as Roman Catholic emancipation, the reform of Parliament, reform of the penal system and the abolition of capital punishment. He was also a phrenologist, being President of the London Phrenological Society in 1827 (Lancet 21.4.1827) at a time when Dr E. Wright, the Superintendent of Bethlem, was also an active member. Colonel Clitherow was instrumental in Wright's dismissal from Bethlem in 1830. Tulk became an active Middlesex Magistrate in 1837. He was Chairman of the Hanwell Asylum Committee from 1839 to 1847.

John Conolly (born 1794, died 1866) was appointed Superintendent on 2.5.1839. (H + M's Conolly, Vol.1 p.21)

Colonel Clitherow died on 12.12.1841 and was buried in the parish church.

Honorary member of the Metropolitan Commission
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H14 Robert Seymour Conway Middlesex JP
Known as Lord Robert Seymour. Metropolitan Commissioner 1828, not listed from 1830

Lord Robert Seymour was a Middlesex JP and Director of the Poor for St Marylebone who, as an MP, was active between 1814 and 1816 in trying to secure tighter regulation of private madhouses. In 1827 he gave evidence to the Select Committee of the House of Commons on Middlesex Pauper Lunatics and was a member of the Middlesex County Inquiry. His agent, Robert Browne, researched the new county asylums for him, and became the first clerk to the Metropolitan Commission. His political and family interests were close to those of Colonel Clitherow (H13).

Born 20.12.1748, died 23.11.1831. The 3rd son of Francis, Earl (Marquis from 5.7.1793) of Hertford and Isabella, youngest daughter of the 2nd Duke of Grafton. His eldest brother, Francis, succeeded as 2nd Marquis 14.6.1794 and his nephew, Francis Charles as 3rd Marquis 23.6.1822. The 2nd and 3rd Marquis were central figures in Tory politics who owned many pocket boroughs which they used in the party's cause.

Through a younger brother, Robert Seymour was related by marriage to Colonel Clitherow (H13), who was Chairman of the Hanwell County Asylum Committee from 1827 to 1839. Seymour's younger brother, William (born 29.4.1759, died 31.1.1837) married 10.11.1798, Martha a sister of Clitherow. Their sons were amongst the relatives at Clitherow's funeral.

Politics and office

1771-1784: MP for Orford, Suffolk. (a pocket borough of the family). 1784-1790: MP for Wooton Bassett, a seat bought from Henry St John, who was managing the borough for Lord Bolingbrooke (his brother).

Seymour's behaviour in the House of Commons "followed the family pattern". He supported North's administration (The King's Friends, January 1770-March 1882), opposed Shelbourne (July 1882-April 1883), and supported the coalition (North-Fox, April to December 1883). He "does not appear to have spoken in the House" Namier, L. & Brooke, J. 1964.

1790-1830: Joint (with his brother Henry) Clerk of the Crown and Hanaper, King's Bench, Ireland. Sole Clerk from Henry's death in 1830.

1.7.1807: Took oath as Middlesex JP "by virtue of freehold lands and tenements Llandilo, Caemarthan" (Mx RO/MJP)

1807-1820: MP for Carmarthenshire.


On 11.7.1814 he made a long speech in favour of the third reading of the 1814 Madhouse Bill. He was not on the select committee on the 1814 Bill. He was a member of the 1815-1816 Select Committee of the House of Commons on Madhouses. He delivered a statement of evidence to the committee on 22.5.1815. On On 17.6.1816 he made another long speech, on the report on the 1816 Bill. In 1817, he was one of those who, with Rose, brought in the 1817 Bill. He left Parliament in 1820 (aged over 70), but remained active in local affairs. He continued to make his views known in Parliament.

1814: encouraging London parishes to send pauper lunatics to madhouses:

Robert Seymour Conway lived in Portland Place, St Marylebone (IC 1827). As well as being a Middlesex JP, he was Director of the Poor for the parish of St Marylebone and at some time a Governor of Bethlem Hospital (1827 Select Committee of the House of Commons on Middlesex Pauper Lunatics p.96).

In 1814 Robert Seymour told the House of Commons that he was "personally much connected" with the management of the parish and had had "much communications with the licensed Madhouses of this town".

Those that had "come within his observation" treated their patients with the utmost tenderness and humanity. But, not being purpose built, the buildings were "little calculated to promote the health or comfort of their inhabitants".

Marylebone sent its insane poor to one of these houses [to Warburton's, in fact] and the medical staff of the [St Marylebone] Infirmary, a physician, surgeon and an apothecary, visited the house every month and reported in writing to the Directors on the state of body and mind of the patients.

He told the House of Commons this, not to do honour to himself and his parish, but to encourage other London parishes to send pauper lunatics to madhouses, instead of confining them in workhouses, where:-

"the unfortunate lunatic is generally... confined in a straight waistcoat... being much aggravated, and more unskilfully treated than he would be in a madhouse, he becomes less likely to be restored to sanity"

"... maintenance... in a London workhouse... costs... six shillings weekly - in a madhouse... ten shillings; it appears to me, that to the small difference between these two sums, the interest of one-half, at least, of the insane poor of London, is perfectly sacrificed." (Hansard 11.7.1814 col 662)

He told the Select Committee he was in the practice of visiting Warburton's and had a favourable opinion of the servants, but considered the house unfit for the great number of patients it then contained. Thomas Warburton had, however, been responsive to some suggestions for improvement. Conway had induced him to fix a pump in each airing ground, and only wished he could prevail on him to enlarge the airing grounds. (1815 Select Committee of the House of Commons on Madhouses in England, pp 918-919).

July 1817: asking about religion in asylums:

Robert Seymour Conway wrote to St Thomas's Hospital, Exeter (and, probably, to other hospitals and asylums) "enquiring about religious provision; and was told that the only real religious instruction was received at the parish church, which only the apothecary, matron, servants in rotation and a few patients went to." (Hervey, N.B. 1980 p.34)

1827: pauper lunatics need a county asylum:

Referring back to his 1814 evidence on Warburton's in 1827, Robert Seymour Conway wrote that, with few exceptions, no improvements had since been attempted. After a visit in June 1825, having observed the very overcrowded appearance of the yards and the continued practice of sleeping two female patients to a bed, he had published an open letter to the magistracy on the subject, in which he recommended building a County Asylum.

Circumstances were unfavourable to his prosecuting the subject that year, so he set on foot enquiries about the advantages of a public asylum. Through "Mr Robert Browne" he obtained accounts from the County Asylums and hospitals of Bedfordshire, Cornwall, Gloucestershire, Lincoln (hospital), Lancashire, Nottinghamshire, Norfolk, Staffordshire, and York (hospital):

"which exhibited a comparison of cure, greatly exceeding that effected in the licensed houses of Middlesex" (1827 Select Committee of the House of Commons on Middlesex Pauper Lunatics p.96).

As a member of the Middlesex County Inquiry of 1827, he visited Warburton's on 26.7.1827. The publicity about his visit led to improvement (Hansard 13.6.1827 col 1262).


There is no record of any activity. (3.4.2 table two)

Honorary member of the Metropolitan Commission
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H15 Sir George Francis Hampson (8th Bt) Middlesex JP
Metropolitan Commissioner 1828 - 1833

Born 22.10.1789 Died 8.5.1833. The only surviving son of Sir Thomas Philip Hampson (7th Bt. died February 1820) His mother had died in 1791.

Educated at Eton; admitted Lincoln's Inn 1.11.1806 (GEC).

He married (26.8.1822) Mary Foreman (died 15.9.1875) the eldest daughter of Admiral William Brown and in 1828 they had a young family of one son and two daughters.

Hampson took the oath as a Middlesex JP at the Quarter sessions held at Clerkenwell Green on Saturday 14.7.1827 (Mx RO/MJP). This was six months after the appointment of the Middlesex County Inquiry. In November 1827 he was appointed to the Hanwell Committee (Mx RO/ minute 15.11.1827)


The most frequent and regular visitor of the unpaid commissioners during the two years the records cover (3.4.2 table two). He remained a commissioner until his death (died 8.5.1833, not reappointed 12.9.1833). Hampson was one of the eight unpaid commissioners who signed the Commission's report in July 1829. (3.4.2 table two)

It is possible that Hampson was a departmental link with the Lord Chancellor's Office during the period that the commission was appointed by the Home Office: In the 1828 Law list shown as a barrister with chambers at 19 Old Square, Lincoln's Inn, practising at Kent sessions and on the Home and Chester circuits. Also listed as one of the (Court of Chancery) Commissioners of Bankrupts.

This would be a lawyer appointed to act in bankruptcy cases by the Lord Chancellor. In 1831 a special court of bankruptcy was established, of six commissioners with four judges as a court of review, and official assignees attached to the court for the purpose of getting in the distributing the bankrupt's assets (1911 Encyclopedia). The development of the commissioners/court that dealt with Chancery Lunacy followed a similar pattern (see below).

Addresses and Connections: "Of Taplow, Buckinghamshire" (since the 17th century). His greatgrandfather died in Jamaica and his gradndfather married the eldes daughter of Thomas Pinnock of Jamaica. He took the oath as a Middlesex JP "by virtue of leaseholds, messuages and tenaments in St Marylebone". His father died in Marylebone Square, Marylebone. His first son was born (1823) in Hertford Street, Mayfair. His third sone was born (1833) in Bolton Street, Picadilly, where Hampson died less than two months later. (GEC, The Gentleman's Magazine March 1833, p.254 and June 1833 p.560)

Honorary member of the Metropolitan Commission
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H16 Charles Nicholas Pallmer MP for Surrey Middlesex JP
Property in Kingston on Thames, Surrey, but not Middlesex
Metropolitan Commissioner 1828, not listed from 1830

Born ? Died 1830

The date of death is from Judd, G.P. 1955. Assuming it is correct, this Charles Nicholas Pallmer probably had a son of the same name, because "Pallmer, C.N. esq. Kingston" was first listed a Middlesex JP in the 1832 (Imperial Calendar) and "Charles Nicholas Pallmer" was a Surrey JP in 1836 (PP/1836 JPs)

Judd has a reference to Lincoln's Inn Register. So he may have been a barrister. He also has a reference to "Cobbett's Rural Rides edited by Cole. 3, 1016", which I have not been able to follow up yet.

MP for Ludgershill, Wiltshire (A rotten borough losing both its seats in 1832) from 1815 to 1817. He was one of the two county MPs for Surrey from 1816 to 1830.

Mitchell's West Indian Bibliography lists a scarce 1816 pamphlet by R. Da Pena The Penal Enactments of the Slave Registry Bill Examined, in a Letter to Charles N Pallmer, Esq, MP (London: Richardson) 56 pages 8vo pamphlet, 1816. [Slavery and the slave trade. A pro-slavery tract. A Jamaican objects to Parliamentary interference. Scarce. Cu.W, Rag, Sab 59634]

On 11.7.1828 he took the oath as a Middlesex JP "by virtue of freehold houses and land... Kingston upon Thames, Surrey" (Mx RO/MJP). His London address (IC 1827, RK 1828) was 60 St James Street, which is and was Brooks' Club, the leading Whig Club in the 18th century. (external link)

He served on the Middlesex County Inquiry, but was not elected to the Hanwell Committee on the objection that he had no assessable property in Middlesex (Mx RO/ minute 15.11.1827)

13.6.1827: a member of the 1827 Select Committee of the House of Commons on Middlesex Pauper Lunatics


Probable reason for appointment
It seems to me, from the above information, that the reason for Pallmer's involvement in the Middlesex Inquiry, the Select Committee and the Commission would be related to his being MP for Surrey, which included the southern part of London. Surrey did not have its own County Asylum until 1841. In 1826, it had newly acquired a private pauper house at Peckham, but many patients from Surrey were sent to Bethnal Green (see parish list 1829/1830) and probably also to Hoxton House.

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H17 Reverend Archibald Montgomery Campbell MA
Metropolitan Commissioner 1830, not listed from 1833

Born about 1790. Died 23.5.1859. The son of Archibald Montgomery Campbell of Wimpole Street, London (died between 1807 an 1812? See A.Ca.)

He was the brother of Charles Montgomery Campbell, who may have been a Hertfordshire and Shropshire JP (PP/1836 JPs)

MA St John's College, Cambridge, 1816

In the Clerical Guide (but not the next one, in 1836) Archibald Montgomery Campbell is incumbent of the National Society's Chapel, Ely Place, London.

He was Rector of Little Steeping, Lincolnshire (parish population 315) from 1818 to his death. (A.Ca.)). I assume he left the care of this little village church to a curate - at least after 1829.

1829 Perpetual Curate of St James', Paddington (parish population 14,540) from 1829 to his death. (Clerical directories) His address in 1846 was Rectory House, Park Place, Paddington and he died at Sussex Gardens, Hyde Park. St James Church is in Sussex Garden [W2]. (modern map). mystery worshiper at today's church

This area, just north of Hyde Park, is now dominated by Paddington Station. The Great Western Railway from London to Bristol was completed in 1841, but Paddington Station was not opened until 1854.

The land in this area of Paddington (Tyburnia - now Hyde Park) was largely owned by the Bishop of London (in whose gist was the perpetual curacy of the parish church). About 1816 the Bishop obtained a Building Act that enabled the land to be cleared of the shanty cottages of about six hundred people, mostly journeymen artificers working in London. In their place were built houses for the "rich" or "the very wealthy". "Land in this neighbourhood, which was let for £12 per annum in the early part of the eighteenth century, was producing a rental of £12,000 a year by 1845" (Clunn, H.P. 1962 p.459). The net value of the living of St James in 1831 was £930 plus a "Glebe House attached for residence". The church which seated 500 in 1831 was rebuilt in 1843 to seat 1,000 (1836 Clerical Guide and (Clunn, H.P. 1962 p.459)

7.8.1830: REV CAMPBELL METROPOLITAN COMMISSIONER aged about 30. Not re-appointed 1833

In the October 1830 Quarter and the January 1831 Quarter he made a total of four visits (two per quarter) (3.4.2 table two)

The "Rev. A.M. Campbell" was Secretary to the Society for the Propogation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts (Imperial Calendar 1836-1842)

Note on religious leanings: The associations with Rev Campbell (some not listed) suggest that he was not part of the evangelical wing of the anglican church and may have been part of the movement that became anglo- catholic. The Church Missionary Society list may indicate commissioners with an evangelical bent

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H18 Reverend Doctor George Shepherd DD
Metropolitan Commissioner 1830, not listed from 1839

Born about 1767. Died 3.9.1849. A son of "John Shepherd of Faversham, Kent".

MA University College, Oxford, 1790. A tutor there from 1798 to 1808. Bachelor of Divinity 1807. Doctor of Divinity 1820

Rector of St Bartholomew by the Exchange from 1820 to his death. The church was in Threadneedle Street. The living was in the gift of the Lord Chancellor. Its net income by 1831 was £657 (1836 and 1837 Clerical directories). The parish was one of eight now combined as St Margaret's, The Bank of England parish Church. St Bartholomew's church was demolished in 1840

In the clerical directory for 1836, St Bartholomew's was said to have church room for 350, but the Parish had a population of only 345. In 1847 the Parish was said to have a population of 307 - but no church. Either way, it appears to have been a clerical sinecure.

George Shepherd was select preacher at Cambridge (University College) in 1808, 1814 and 1825. He was appointed Preacher to the Honourable Society of Grays Innn (a life appointment) on 12.11.1817.

website of the Honourable Society of Grays Inn. See also Law Inns. The only other commissioner I have found with a link to Gray's Inn was Procter. The main legal association of commissioners was with Lincoln's Inn, where the lunacy offices of Chancery were

At some time, George Shepherd was chaplain to Charles Abbott (born 1762, died 1832), First Baron Tenterden (1827), Lord Chief Justice of Kings Bench from 1818. Robert Peel, the Home Secretary who appointed George Shepherd a Metropolitan Commissioner, used to refer Bills to Tenderton for advice and assistance (Gash, N. 1976, p.102).


In the October 1830 Quarter and the January and April 1831 Quarters he made a total of six visits (two per quarter) (3.4.2 table two)

Between 1833 and 1841 George Shepherd was proctor (a representative of the clergy) to the Convocation of Canterbury.

Honorary Treasurer to the Clergy Orphan Society which ran schools at st John's Wood for the children of deceased clergymen. (Imperial Calendar 1841-1847)

London address: 14 Russell Square, Bloomsbury (1841-1847 directories)

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H19 John Edmund Dowdeswell MP Master in Chancery
Metropolitan Commissioner 1830, not listed from 1832

Born 1772, died 1851. Son of William Dowdeswell who was briefly Chancellor of the Exchequer in 1776, and the House of Commons spokesman, with Edmund Burke, for the Whig interest against the King's.

Of Pull Court, Bushley, near Tewkesbury, on the Gloucestershire/Worcestershire border. He and other Dowdeswell's were JPs for Gloucestershire and Worcestershire. (PP/1836 JPs).

MP for Tewkesbury from 1812 to 1832. Some member of the borough had represented the borough "for many years" ((Dod's, 1835).

In 1820 he was voting with the Tories. He voted for the King against the Whigs respecting Queen Caroline, against catholic Relief and against repeal of the additional malt tax.

John Edmund Dowdeswell was a Master in Chancery - The only one who was an MP in 1829. Until 1842, when someone was found to be a lunatic or idiot by inquisition in the court of Chancery, it was the practice to pass the responsibility for supervising the estate and person of the lunatic to a Master in Chancery. The Master appointed the committee (person) that administered the lunatics property and/or controlled where he or she lived. John Edmund Dowdewell's "clerks" in 1829 were a Mr Drake and Mr MacDonald. In 1832, only Mr Drake.

Dowdeswell's business address was the Master's Office, Southampton Buildings. (1846 Post Office Guide). This is close to Lincoln's Inn (1830 map).

Charles and Mary Lamb lodged in
Southampton Buildings on a number of occasions.

He and his son William had the same London address at 7 Park Place, St James's (1829-1846 directories)


I have no record of his visiting. (3.4.2 table two)

not listed from 1832

John Edmund Dowdeswell retired as MP for Tewkesbury in 1832. His eldest son, William Dowdeswell, contested the seat but was unsuccessful. [William was elected in 1835 and retired in 1847] Dowdeswell ceased being a Metropolitan Commissioner even though he continued to be a Master in Chancery. No one else from chancery appears to be have been appointed a Metropolitan Commissioner before Francis Barlow in 1842.

Honorary member of the Metropolitan Commission
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H20 Sir Thomas Francis Freemantle (Bt) BA MP
Metropolitan Commissioner 1830, not listed from 1832

Born 11.3.1798. Died 3.12.1890. The eldest son of Vice-Admiral Sir Thomas Francis Freemantle, a Trafalger hero, who died 19.12.1819. On 14.8.1821 he was created Baronet "out of respect for the memory of his father" (DNB)

19.3.1819: BA Oriel College, Oxford. (Mathematics 1st, Classics 2nd)

Freemantle's country seat was at Swanbourne, Buckinghamshire (much of which is still owned by his descendants). He "drew £5,675 a year from his 2,683 acres" (Thompson, F.M.L. 1963 p.61) and was a county JP (PP/1836 JPs).

On 24.11.1824 he married the eldest daughter of Sir George Nugent Bt, also of Buckinghamshire and an MP for Buckingham Borough. Freemantle was Conservative MP for the borough from the next General Election (1826) to February 1846.

"In the session of 1829 he made some strong speeches condemning the pauperising influence of the poor laws... and giving instances of the degradation that sprang from the existing mode of paying the wages of labourers" (DNB)
He was said to have had "liberal shadows" on his conservatism, "which some of his friends deplored" (DNB)

He was an Anglican churchman and, in later life, Patron of the Church Missionary Society. His sisters, however, were Roman Catholics Ward, J.T. 1967 p.22)

London addresses: 59 South Audley Street, Mayfair (Imperial Calendar 1828), Portugal Street near Lincoln's Inn (Imperial Calendar 1832),


One day's visiting in his first 9 months (3.4.2 table two). He served on the committee on the 1832 Madhouse bill. (See 3.4.5)

not listed from 1832

Freemantle was a Tory Chief Whip by 1837 (Gash, N. 1976 p.?). Treasury secretary December 1834 to April 1835 and September 1841 to 1844. He was then Secretary at War.

In February 1845 Freemantle was appointed Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. In May he introduced the bill that became the 1845 Irish Lunatics Asylums Act, under which a Central Criminal Lunatic Asylum was established in Ireland.

He resigned from the House of Commons in February 1846 to become Deputy Chairman, later Chairman, of the Board of Customs from February 1846 to January 1874.

By 1845 he was a Director of the London and Westminster Joint Stock Bank (Stenton, M. 1976)

In 1874 Freeman was made First Baron Cottesloe, taking the name from the Hundred in which Swanbourne is situated.

Ian Duncan Smith married Elizabeth Wynne Fremantle in 1982. He was elected Conservative MP for Chingford in 1992 and leader of the Conservative Party in September 2001. He and his family moved to Swanbourne in 2002.

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H21 Spencer Perceval MP
Metropolitan Commissioner 1830, not listed from 1832

Spencer Perceval junior was the most active of the unpaid visitors amongst the 1830 appointments, probably due to personal interest as his father had been murdered by an alleged lunatic in 1812 and his younger brother was admitted to an asylum in 1831. Perceval ceased being an MP in 1832 and became an apostle of Catholic Apostolic Church in 1833.

Spencer Perceval junior was born 11.9.1795 and died 16.9.1859. He was the eldest son of Spencer Perceval senior who was Prime Minister from 1809 to 1812 and who successfully conducted the war with Napoleon in the light of the book of Revelation (see Gray, D. 1963), but was assassinated in 1812 by John Bellingham, an alleged lunatic. A lump sum of £50,000 was voted for the benefit of his children and Spencer Perceval junior (aged 17) was appointed to a sinecure office as one of the four Tellers of the Exchequer on 15.2.1813. The office, worth £2,700 a year, was abolished 10.10.1834.

Spencer Perceval junior was MP for Ennis, Co. Clare, Ireland 1818-1820; Newport, Isle of Wight (a purchasable pocket borough) 1827-1831; Tiverton (a rather corrupt borough even after the 1832 Reform Act) 1831-1832.

He was Under Secretary at the Home Office from 30.4.1827 to 16.7.1827 under Sturges Bourne with whom he served on the 1827 Select Committee of the House of Commons on Middlesex Pauper Lunatics (membership list).

7.8.1830: Perceval METROPOLITAN COMMISSIONER aged 34

The most active unpaid visitor amongst the 1830 appointments (3.4.2 table two).

Perceval provide the bulk of the unpaid component on visits in October 1830 (just as Ross had provided the bulk in October 1829). There was a visit on 7.10.1830 without him (Somerset went). On 9.10.1830 Perceval and Drs Southey and Turner visited the White House, Bethnal Green. On 12.10.1830 they visited Castle Bar, Ealing; Pope's, Hanwell; Moor Croft House, Hillingdon and Mary Douglas's house in Ealing. On 19.10.1830 Perceval and Drs Bright, Turner and Seymour visited Cowper House, Old Brompton; Finch's in Kings Road, Chelsea and Blacklands House, Chelsea. A visit to Hollywood House Chelsea, on the same day, was made by the same doctors but with Somerset instead of Perceval. There was a visit on 21.10.1830 without Perceval (Hampson went). On 23.10.1830 Perceval and Drs Bright, Hume and Seymour visited Northumberland House, Stoke Newington and Jane Holmes in Winchmore Hill. Finally, on 30.10.1830, there was a visit without Perceval (Somerset went).

In November and December 1830 and January and February 1831 other unpaid commissioners (a mixture) made the visits. The same pattern of different unpaid visitors joining the doctors continued in March 1831, with Perceval making two visits. On 13.3.1831 Somerset, Perceval and Drs Bright and Hume visited Hollywood House Chelsea, and Mary Flemming's on the Fulham Road. On 31.3.1831 Perceval, the Rev Campbell and Drs Hume and Seymour visited Melina Place St. John's Wood; James Pall's in Camden Town and London House in Hackney.

Not re- appointed 1832 when he ceased to be an MP.


In 1828 Edward Irving (1792-1834), a Presbyterian preacher of Hatton Garden, London, began to announce the imminent second coming of Christ. He developed the theory that Christ was one with us in all respects. This was interpreted as one with us even in sin and Irving was convicted of heresy by the London Presbytery in 1830, evicted from his church in 1832 and deposed in 1833. As a result the Catholic Apostolic Church (or Irvingites) was formed. [External Link] [another] [another] [another]

Hazlitt contrasted Edward Irving, who was tall, with William Johnson Fox, who was short.

From 1826 to 1830 Perceval attended Irvingite meetings held by Henry Drummond, a London banker, sometime a Tory MP, in his house at Albury Park, Surrey. He made embarrassing religious speeches in the House of Commons and Greville (in March 1832) referred to him as having "gone mad" in the Commons. He was nicknamed "Saint Perceval". In the winters of 1830-1831 and 1831-1832 he called for a government backed national day of public fasting and humiliation. Due to the cholera epidemic in 1831-1832 his second request was granted. (Molesworth, W.N. 1865, Halevy, E. 1949, vol 3, pp 51-52).

Perceval became an "apostle" of the Catholic Apostolic Church on 18.12.1833, representing the tribe of Manassah and taking Italy as his sphere. He was a compiler of "The Testimony" which he delivered to William 4th and all the Privy Councillors in 1836 and in July 1838 he and Drummond delivered a testimony to the Pope (Boase).

John Thomas Perceval (1803-1876), a younger brother of Spenser, was confined as a lunatic in Brislington House near Bristol in 1831 and transferred to Ticehurst Asylum Sussex in 1832. In 1838 and 1840 he published an account of his treatment. (see book list and extracts). He helped to found the Alleged Lunatics Friend Society in 1845 and was its honorary secretary from 1846. His campaigning was the major cause of the Parliamentary opposition to the 1845 Acts (4.11.3)).

Honorary member of the Metropolitan Commission and Lunacy Commission
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H22 Robert Vernon Smith MP 1859: First Lord Lyveden
By Royal Licence 1859, permission to use the surname Vernon only. Commonly called Vernon before that.

Commissioner 1830 to 1861

Born 23.2.1800, died 10.11.1873.

The only surviving son of Robert Percy ('Bobus') Smith and Caroline Maria Vernon. Through her he was related to the Leveson Gowers, Marquis of Stafford, Earl of Upper Ossory, Marquis of Lansdowne and Lord Holland. That is, to the Whig aristocracy. He married the illegitimate daughter of an Earl of Upper Ossory.

Bobus Smith (born 1770, died 10.3.1845) was the brother of Sidney Smith (born 1771, died -.-.1845), the writer and canon of St Pauls. In 1803, through the influence of Lansdowne and Sir Francis Baring (grandfather of H1), he was made Advocate General of Bengal. About 1810 he returned to England with a fortune and settled in London. As MP for Grantham from 1812 to 1818 and Lincoln City from 1820 to 1826, he was said to have been a "diligent and painstaking member of committees", but these did not include the 1815-1816 Select Committee of the House of Commons on Madhouses. He retired in 1826 and "spent the remainder of his life in comparative retirement"

Robert Vernon was educated at Eton and Oxford. He graduated, second class classics, in 1822. Studied at the Inner Temple, but never called to the bar.

A Whig, he was MP for Tralee in Kerry 9.6.1829 to 1831 and for Northampton Borough from 31.5.1831 to 1859 (when he bacame a peer)

A Junior Treasury Lord November 1830 to November 1834 (see Baring). Secretary to India Board 1835 to 1839 (with Gordon). Under Secretary of State for the Colonies 1839-1841. Sworn Privy Councillor 21.8.1841.


One day's visiting in his first 9 months (3.4.2 table two). On 18.11.1830 Vernon Smith and Drs Bright and Seymour made special visits to Surrey House, Battersea and Sleaford House, Battersea Fields

He signed none of the 1836-1841 Reports (3.4.1 table one)

7.3.1839: Vernon Smith a member of the 1839 Select Committee of the House of Commons on Hereford Lunatic Asylum

In 1841 the London address of both R.V. Smith and his father was 20 Saville Row, Burlington Gardens.

On 20.4.1842 (Hansard col. 886) he said he would reserve any observations on the Licensed Lunatic Asylums Bill until the Report stage. He neither spoke nor voted in the debate (17.3.1842) on whether the Inquiry Commissioners should be legal or medical.

23.8.1842 VERNON SMITH INQUIRY COMMISSIONER (aged 41) Timeline 1842

Signed 1844 Report. (3.4.1 table one)

Vernon Smith's July 1844 speech
Treatment of Lunatics - 1844 Report

On 23.7.1844, Robert Vernon Smith made a long speech in the debate on the 1844 Report, in which he began by responding to the Home Secretary with respect first to pauper lunatics and then single lunatics.

The Home Secretary had disagreed with Ashley on single houses. In responding to this point, Vernon Smith spoke of "private asylums" as distinct from public ones. In context, it is clear that by "private asylums" he means ones that are not visited, and by "public", ones that are. Quoted out of context, some of his statements could be taken to mean that he and Ashley were calling for the abolition of the private (profit) sector of lunacy provision, whereas they were calling for single patients to be visited (and so become "public").

"The principle doubts expressed by [the Home Secretary] on the statement of [Lord Ashley] were first as to the prohibition of private asylums. Upon that point he was inclined to agree with [Ashley] that it was desirable to prohibit, if not to prevent, private asylums. He thought that, in this unfortunate condition of man, as in other evils to which he was subject, publicity was one of the means of cure, and he believed that that opinion was gaining ground amongst the public in general. He fully admitted that the subject was one of the greatest delicacy, and he quite understood the feelings of [the Home Secretary]. It must to a certain extent be known if a person were confined in a public asylum; but he must say, that if any man maturely considered this with reference to the case of his relative, rather than to the concealment of the misfortune which had befallen his family, he would have no doubt that a public asylum was infinitely preferable to a private one" (Hansard 23.7.1844 col 1281-1282)

Vernon Smith thought it was mainly due to expense that lunatics were severely or incorrectly treated. He hoped the Home Secretary would fully understand the distinction that was being made between asylums for curable and asylums for incurable patients. Small asylums would be more expensive than large ones. According to Dr Conolly "asylums for curable patients should be small", but Vernon Smith did not think the same applied to asylums for incurable lunatics. The scheme to provide separately for curable and incurable patients, which he understood the Home Secretary was proposing, "would procure a diminution of expense".

"...expense occurred at every turn. It applied to the question of a mild or severe treatment. The latter was much more economical, and more he believed on that account, than for from any regard to the sufferings of the patient, that system was adopted.

Mild treatment was more expensive, it was carried on by the supervision of others, and when they considered what was required for the supervision of lunatic patients, how much temper, firmness, and vigour of frame, not for the purpose of violence, but to inspire awe in the patient, they would see how difficult it was to provide keepers for asylums where mild treatment was adopted."

However - on the issue of non-restraint - he thought "permanent coercion" preferable to "great violence occasionally"

He considered professional commissioners much more effective than JPs and suggested County asylums could effectively be brought under the control of the Metropolitan Commissioners.

The growing expense of the commission concerned him and he thought it could only be controlled if professional commissioners were employed full-time, but he thought unpaid commissioners should be retained as patients had confidence in them.

Vernon Smith regretted his inability "heretofore" to pay much attention to his duties as a commissioner, and thought it impossible to overestimate Ashley's services. (Hansard 23.7.1844 cols 1281-1285)

Vernon Smith co-sponsored 1845 Lunacy Acts

Vernon Smith co-sponsored the 1845 Acts. On 2.7.1845 (Hansard col. 1416) and again on 11.7.1845, he spoke (and voted) against Duncombe's efforts to delay the Lunacy Bill, arguing that it was not proposed to continue the commission under which the evils Duncombe complained of existed, but to create a new one with new powers, duties and salaries.

Of all the Bill's propsals, he thought that for a permanent commission ought the most readily to receive the House of Common's approbation. An admixture of medical and legal officers was the best course that could have been adopted. Again, he praised Ashley, who he hoped would continue as chairman under the Lunacy Commission. (Hansard 11.7.1845 cols 416-418)

On 15.7.1845 (Hansard cols 526-527) he spoke twice in defence of the commission. He:

"defended the appointment of the unpaid commissioners. His duites as a commissioner weer so onerous that he was sure that it would be difficult, if not impossible, to induce the same number of gentlemen to supply their place if they were now to resign"

Timeline 1845

Although appointed in August 1845, he first attended a board on Thursday 12.2.1846 attended by James Wilkes, superintendent of Staffordshire County Asylum, with others, to discuss the construction of certain sections of the 1845 Lunatic Asylums Act. This was after the start of the parliamentary session. He then attended a special meeting on the Saturday which met the Treasurer of Guys Hospital and the Mayor of Birmingham, and the regular board on the following Thursday. His board attendance was lower than the other honorary commissioners apart from Barlow. He attended 14 meetings in 1846, 14 in 1847, and then dropped to three in 1848. All but one of the meetings attended in 1846 and 1847 was during the period it was fashionable to be in town, and almost all the meetings he attended were ones of special political interest.

Secretary at War 6.2.1852 to 28.2.1858
President of the India Board 3.3.1855 to 21.8.1858, under Prime Minister Palmerston. He was a "steady supporter" of Palmerston.

1859: Vernon became First Lord Lyveden

see Lutwidge on honorary commissioners Of thirty eight Board Meetings in the first seven months of 1859, Lord Lyveden may have attended three or four. Henry Morgan Clifford, who was now the only member of the House of Commons on the Commission, had attended twenty.

Lord Lyveden retired from the Commission in 1860 or 1861. (aged 60 or 61) and was replaced by the retired legal commissioner Bryan Waller Procter

Lord Lyveden died 10.11.1873.

Honorary member of the Metropolitan Commission
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H23 George Acklom, R.N. (Retired) Middlesex JP
Metropolitan Commissioner 1833, not listed from 1838

Gazetted alternatively as Acklom or Acklem

I think this is George Acklom of Sculcoates (Hull, East Yorkshire) who died at Wassand (near Hornsea, East Yorkhire) on 15.9.1837. He entered the navy in 1788, retired December 1813. Became a Middlesex JP 19.3.1823.

A George Acklom took the oath as a Middlesex JP on Wednesday 19.3.1823 "by virtue of copyhold lands in Hockley, Glou [?] Freehold tenement in S**lcoates East Riding of York" (Mx RO/MJP/Q6). Same name listed as Post Capt, R.N., 10 Cadogan Place, West in Mx RO/MJP/R 3/1-2

Geo. Acklan "of Sculcoates" was an East Riding of Yorkshire J.P. (PP/1836 JPs)

A Capt. Acklom, East Riding Yorks J.P., died at Wassand 15.9.1837 (The Gentleman's Magazine October 1837, p. 438) and "Achlom, Capt. R.N. Cadogan Place, Sloane Street" disappeared from the Imperial Calendar list of Middlesex J.P.s in 1838

John Marshall's Royal Naval Biographies part three, pages 11 to 12 is the naval biography of "George Acklom, Esq... a Magistrate fro... Middlesex" who entered the navy as a midshipman in 1788, commanded "the Ranger sloop" for nearly six years in the Baltic, was knighted by Alexander Tsar of the Russians and "gave up the Ranger on account of ill health in December 1813; since which he has not been employed".

In Hunter and MacAlpine's Conolly volume two, p. - they refer to a "George Acklom... a member of the committee of Visiting Justices" who Dr Alexander Morrison solicited for his vote (1831 and 1832) when desirous of being appointed Visiting Physician to Hanwell

Honorary member of the Metropolitan Commission
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H24 Edmund (Starr) Halswell MA FRS(34) Middlesex JP + Deputy Lieutenant
Metropolitan Commissioner 1833, not listed from 1841.

Born 28.2.1790, died 1.1.1874. The second son of Henry Halswell of Radnors, Wales. He married 31.1.1818, Carloine Spiller of Christchurch, Surrey. Their son and heir, Edward Darnley Halswell, was killed in the Afghan War in 1842.

Admitted Fellow Commoner St John's College, Cambridge, 16.2.1818. MA 1830.

Took oath as a Middlesex JP 20.1.1831 by virtue of "freehold messuages and land in Fulham, St Mary Islington, St George the Martyr (Middx)"

In 1831 he lived at Newlands Terrace, Brompton; later at Gore Lodge, Old Brompton (1835-1834 directories) and by 1855 at 35 Hereford Square, West Brompton.

Admitted Middle Temple 21.6.1831. Barrister 6.6.1834. Practised as an equity draftsman and conveyencer from 24 Old Square, Lincoln's Inn.

METROPOLITAN COMMISSIONER 1833 (aged 43). Not re-appointed 1841.

He signed the 1838 Report (3.4.1 table one) and the Accounts for 1838/1839 (Lancet 6.6.1840)

On 10.4.1834 made a Fellow of the Royal Society

By 1836 he was Deputy Lieutenant for Middlesex and Vice President of the Royal Institution

From 1837 to 1842 he was Kings Counsel for the Duchy of Lancaster.

He appears to have been in New Zealand from 1841 to 1844 (Law list addresses)

On 11.1.1849 the Lunacy Commission received a communication via the Secretary from "Mr Halswell a Middlesex Magistrate" respecting Charlotte Swabey and twenty other lunatics in St Luke's workhouse, found there by him on a visit three weeks before. Robert Gordon and Bryan Procter were appointed to visit the workhouse.

Honorary member of the Metropolitan Commission
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H25 George Clive MA
Metropolitan Commissioner 1833, not listed from 1835.

Born October 1803. Died 8.6.1880. The youngest son of Edward Bolton Clive

MA Brasnose College Oxford, 1829.

Barrister Lincoln's Inn 29.6.1830 [I have assumed he was an unpaid commissioner as Mylne and Procter were already occupying the paid legal posts (see law).

METROPOLITAN COMMISSIONER 1833 (aged 32). Not re-appointed 1835.

On 2.2.1835 he married Anne Sybella Martha (died 16.2.1907) sister of Farquhar

In 1836, George Clive was appointed an Assistant Poor Law Commissioner. He was in Wales 1836-1837

From 1839 to 1847 he was a police magistrate (Kensington and Wandsworth area). In 1847 he became a Judge of the Southwark County Court.

MP for Hereford Borough from February 1857 to March 1869 and February 1874 to March 1880.

On 14.2.1859 he asked a question about nepotism in the appointment of a Master in Lunacy. (Hansard). He was Under Secretary at the Home Office from June 1859 to June 1866.

Honorary member of the Metropolitan Commission
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H26 Sit George Grey, Bt MA MP
Metropolitan Commissioner 1833, not listed from 1835.

Grey appears to have been one of the new aristocrat MPs who took part in the Commission's proceedings as part of his training in Parliamentary business. (Compare Baring (H1) and Ashley (H3). The appearance is that he took over from his brother in law, Baring, who had moved on to higher things. Baring and Grey were from Evangelical backgrounds.

Grey's uncle, Earl Grey, was Whig Prime Minister 1830-July 1834.

Born 11.5.1799 died 9.9.1882. The son and heir of Sir George Grey, naval Captain and, from 1804, Superintendent of Portsmouth Dockyard. His mother, Mary, was the daughter of Samuel Whitbread, brewer and Whig MP. She "was of a strongly religious character, a friend of William Wilberforce, and impressed upon her son in early days a fervent and simple piety which never left him" (DNB). At first he intended to be a priest - but decided he was not temeramentally suited. He married in 1827 Anna Sophia Ryder, the eldest daughter of Henry Ryder, evangelical Bishop of Lichfield and younger son of the 1st Earl of Harrowby. Wilberforce considered Bishop Ryder a "prelate after his own heart" because he was both zealous and polished.

MA Oriel College Oxford University 1824. A barrister Lincoln's Inn in 1826, but he retired from legal practice when his father died in 1828. In 1832 he became the Whig MP for Devonport - a new constituency with two seats, created by the 1832 Reform Act.

METROPOLITAN COMMISSIONER 1833 (aged 34) in 1833.

He was made Under Secretary for the Colonies in July 1834 and not re-appointed as a Metropolitan Commissioner in 1835.

Later in his career he was Home Secretary (July 1846-February 1852; February 1855-February 1858; July 1861-June 1866) and as such and as an opposition expert when out of power, he had a great deal to do with the development of the Lunacy Commission.

He was a member of the Church Missionary Society

His London address in 1833 was 1 New Burlington Street, Mayfair and, from 1835, 14 Eaton Place, Belgravia.

Honorary member of the Metropolitan Commission
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H27 Sir Robert Harry Inglis (2nd Bt) MA MP
Metropolitan Commissioner 1833, not listed from 1836.

Born 12.1.1786, died 5.5.1855. Of Milton Bryant, Bedfordshire. His father, the first Baronet (died 22.8.1820) was an East India Company Director who acquired the Bedfordshire estate by marriage.

A Bedfordshire and Surrey JP (PP/1836 JPs). As well as Milton Bryant he had houses at Battersea Rise, Clapham, Surrey and in London at 11 Manchester Buildings, Westminster in 1833, and from 1835 at 7 Bedford Square.

MA Christ Church Oxford University 1809. A non-practising barrister. For some time private Secretary to Lord Sidmouth (Henry Addington. Home Secretary 1812- 1824). At a by-election in May 1824 he was elected Tory MP for Dundalk (to 1826. MP Ripon 1828-1829). His House of Commons speeches against Catholic relief were published as pamphlets. When Peel changed his views on the subject in 1829 Inglis contested his Oxford University seat and won against his own party leader by 755 votes to 609. He remained MP for the university until he retired in 1854. In 1832 he opposed any parliamentary reform, even if carried through by Wellington, in 1833 Irish Church Reform, in 1834 Jewish relief.. he was "an old fashioned Tory" (DNB). He was also (with the Liberal reformer Buxton) one of the leading opponents of the slave trade, and he supported Ashley's (H3) factory legislation.

METROPOLITAN COMMISSIONER 1833 (aged 47). Not re-appointed 1836.

He was a member of the Church Missionary Society

Honorary member of the Metropolitan Commission
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H28 John Abel Smith MA MP
Metropolitan Commissioner appointed (aged 34) 1835, not listed from 1842.

Born 1801, died 7.1.1871. Eldest son of John Smith of Blendon Hall, Kent and Dale Park, Sussex. A member of the family bank: Smith, Payne and Smith. Nephew of Lord Carrington (*), the head of the firm, and through him related to Somerset and Wynn (See H8). Several close relatives were East India Company directors. MA Christ's College, Ca. 1827 after which he joined the bank, later becoming chief partner. Elected MP for his father's pocket borough, Midhurst, in 1830 he transferred to Chichester at the 1831 general election. MP for Chichester until 1859 and again 1863-1868. "A staunch liberal, he took an active part in the first Reform bill, and was one of the leaders of the party that advocated the admission of Jews into Parliament. (DNB)

He and his father were Sussex JPs. His father was also a JP in Buckinghamshire and Nottinghamshire (PP/1836 JPs). Although sometime a Middlesex JP he was not so whilst a commissioner. (Directories to 1848) His London address to 1832, 15 Portland Place, was also that of his cousin Abel. From about 1833 he was at 47 Belgrave Square. The bank's London HQ was at Mansion House Place and then Lombard Street. Its county HQ (it was the oldest English county bank) was at Nottingham.

He married Anne Grey, a widow, on 26.12.1827. His cousin Abel was a Vice President of the Church Missionary Society in 1836, and, in the 1840s, one of the leading bankers involved in the fund for the relief of the distress in Ireland.

(*) Robert Smith, banker, was created 1st Baron Carrington by Pitt

Honorary member of the Metropolitan Commission
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H29 Colonel William Henry Sykes FRS
Metropolitan Commissioner 1835-1845
A statistician

Born 25.1.1790, died 16.6.1872 Only son of Samuel Sykes (born 17.3.1738, died 20.12.1819) of the West Riding of Yorkshire (of Friezing Hall, near Bradford. died Farnley near Leeds), "a gentleman of literary attainments", who married in 1788: Elizabeth, daughter of - Dench Esq of London.

He entered the Bombay army 1803 (aged 13) and was active in India as a soldier until 1820. It was possibly during this time that he laid the basis of his fortune, but his biographical notices are silent about the origins of his wealth. In 1820 he returned to Europe passing the four following years in continental travel, scientific study and acquiring modern languages.

In 1824 he married Elizabeth, the youngest daughter of William Hay, Esq of Rennistoun and in October (Capt Sykes) returned to Bombay where the Governor, the Hon. Monstewart Elphinstone, appointed him Statistical Reporter. The office was abolished December 1829, but he carried on working gratuitously until January 1831. He completed a census of the Deccan, two statistical reports and a complete natural history. He retired (Col.) on 18.6.1833.

A founder of the Statistical Society of London (See 3.11) on 15.3.1834. A Vice President and council member on the 1837-1838 list. (The Hon. Monstewart Elphinstone was a trustee).

He was also made a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1834.


Ashley, Gordon and Sykes, with the legal commissioners (no doctors), were the signatories of the 1837 Report (3.4.1.TA1). This report was the first (extant) to mention returns from county authorities, which, it said, were needed to "secure a complete general registry in lunacy". (See 3.12.1).

In June 1840 Sykes presented a paper on the statistics of the London licensed houses, which was published in the Society's Journal and used by the Lancet to criticise the Metropolitan Commission (See 3.11).

In 1840 he became an East India Company Director (along with Martin Tucker Smith, younger brother of John Abel Smith (H28).

23.8.1842 SYKES INQUIRY COMMISSIONER (aged 52) Timeline 1842

Sykes was chairman of the East India Company from 1856 to 1857 and MP for Aberdeen from 1857 to his death.

His London address, at least from 1831, was 47 Albion Street, Hyde Park

Honorary member of the Metropolitan Commission
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H30 Lieutenant Colonel Edward Bolton Clive, MP
Metropolitan Commissioner 1836. Not re-appointed 23.8.1842

Possible mis-identification I have identified with the MP, but the appointment could have been his eldest son, Edward Clive. "Bolton" was not used in the appointment notices, but Edward Bolton Clive was a Lieutenant Colonel in the Grenadier Guards and his son Edward was a Colonel. Both titles were used in the notices.

His parents married 1.6.1763 and Edward Bolton was born 1765. He died 22.7.1845 having been MP for Hereford Borough from 1826 to his death.

Edward Bolton's father was a cousin to Clive of India, whose son was made Earl of Powis. The Powis Clives were Tories, but the Herefordshire Clives were Whigs. Edward Bolton voted for the Reform Bill and considered its principles could, with advantage, be carried further, but was not in favour of the ballot or shorter parliaments. He was in favour of the immediate abolition of slavery and he voted against the corn laws.

Edward Bolton married in 1790. In 1796 a relative died without issue and he inherited the Herefordhsire estate of Wormbridge. The mansion being "in a very decayed state" he bought the adjoining Whitfield property, moved his family into its mid-18th century mansion, and demolished the Wormbridge house. He fought at Waterloo. He, and Edward his eldest son, were Herefordshire JPs and he was High Sheriff of Hereford in 1802.

Edward Clive, his eldest son, was born 14.11.1793 and died unmarried 14.4.1845, three months before his father. Archer Clive, his second son was born 1800, became Rector of Solihull, Warwickshire in 1829 and succeded to the Whitfield estate in 1845. The youngest son, George Clive (H25) purchased an estate for himself in Herefordshire (Perristone) in 1865. His daughter, Harriet Maria Clive, married Henry Wetherel, the Archdeacon of Hereford.


7.3.1839: Edward Bolton Clive a member of the 1839 Select Committee of the House of Commons on Hereford Lunatic Asylum

Honorary member of the Metropolitan Commission and Lunacy Commission
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H31 Edward Adolphous Seymour MP
Known as Lord Seymour until 1855. The 12th Duke of Somerset.
Commissioner 1836 - 1852 or 3 Acting Chairman in the House of Commons 1846-1847

Born 20.12.1804. Died 28.11.1885. The eldest son of the eleventh Duke of Somerset. Somerset stands next in precedence to Norfolk, the premier English Dukedom. His father carried the orb at the coronations of William 4th in 1831 and Victoria in 1838.

The lands of Somerset in the nineteenth century included 8,138 acres in Devon, where they owned an old castle and mansion at Berry Pomeroy, near Totnes, and Stover Park, Torquay; plus 12,377 acres in Somerset and Wiltshire where they owned the manor of Maiden Bradley, near Warminster; plus 1,641 acres in Buckinghamshire where they owned Bulstrode Park near Gerrard's Cross. They also owned Wimbledon Park "within a mile of London".

In 1836, the Duke and Lord Seymour were both JPs for devon, Somerset and Lincolnshire, and the Duke for Buckinghamshire and Wiltshire.

The eleventh Duke was devoted to science and mathematics, an historian and an antiquarian. Lord Seymour was sent to Eton and Christ Church, Oxford (matriculated 11.10.1823) in his footsteps, but left without a degree and travelled abroad, visiting Russia among other countries.

On 10.6.1830 Lord Seymour married Jane Georgina Sheridan, the grandaughter of Richard Brinsley Sheridan (1751-1816) the dramatist, theatre owner and Whig MP. In 1835 Seymour fought a duel over a society scandal involving her, and in 1839 he and other rich aristocrats organised a notoriously expensive tournament at Eglinton, Scotland, in which she was "Queen of Beauty"

Lord Seymour's passion apears to have been long Mediteranean yachting cruises. He had, however, a serious interest in penal affairs although the passing references to it do not tell one much. In 1832 he was reading and commenting on a Howard Society pamphlet, and in December 1848, the Home Secretary (Grey H26) asked his help "in some inquiry about the prisons".

Whig MP for Okehampton 1830, for Totnes 1834 to 1855. His father bought land and established dependant tenants on it to ensure his regular election.

A Junior Treasury Lord, April 1835 to September 1839, then Junior Secretary at the India Board to June 1841 when he became Under Secretary at the Home Office under Normanby until August 1841.


I am inclined to believe that Lord Seymour was appointed as a Whig counterbalance to Lord Ashley

14.11.1839 Seymour wrote to Jane:

"I had no time to write to you yesterday. for I went to see some lunatics, and, happy to say, I found a few returned to their senses, and fit to be let out. Examining these people took the whole afternoon. In the evening I went with M. Stanley and Byng to the Adelphi, where we saw the latter part of Jack Sheppard, and then a piece called the Tournament"

7.3.1839: A member of the 1839 Select Committee of the House of Commons on Hereford Lunatic Asylum

23.8.1842 SEYMOUR UNPAID INQUIRY COMMISSIONER (aged 40) Timeline 1842

The inquiry took place under a Tory government and it is unlikely that Seymour was much involved as, without Government responsibility, he was out of London much of the time:

From October 1841 to after Easter 1842 he was paired and had leave of absence from the House of Commons whilst he and Jane toured Italy.

In July 1843 he was in Norway and from August to September in Scotland.

From October 1844 to March or April 1845 he was on a yachting cruise.

Timeline 1845

Whilst Lord Ashley was not an MP (February 1846 to July 1847) Seymour acted as representative of the Lunacy Commission in the House of Commons place Hansard 26.8.1846 col 1051). During that time had to be abroad for some time, and Seymour usually chaired meetings in his absence. During this period, Seymour's attendance at the Lunacy Board was high - (see table). Generally, however, Lord Seymour's attendance was desultory.

26.8.1846 Even as acting chairman, Lord Seymour failed to attend the House of Commons for the important debate on Haydock Lodge in which the Lunacy Commission was severely criticised. The following list links to the history of Haydock Lodge - one of the major issues during Seymour's period of activity.

Pattern of chairing and parliamentary representation:
August 1845 to 4.7.1846: Ashley in the chair
February 1846: Ashley leaves Parliament
12.6.1846: Petition of Owen Owen Roberts
25.6.1846: Haydock Lodge on the agenda
4.7.1846: Ashley chaired
a special meeting he had summoned respecting Mott and Haydock Lodge
10.7.1846 to 20.8.1846: Seymour in the chair
25.8.1846 on: Ashley in the chair
26.8.1846Haydock Lodge debate (Seymour absent)
July 1847: Ashley returns to Parliament

Board of Health

The General Board of Health was established by the 1848 Public Health Act. This also enabled districts to set up local boards of health (they were not compulsory) with a medical officer of health whose appointment or removal had to be approved by the General Board. The Boards endeavoured to establish a clean environment that would not spread disease. Different clauses of the Act dealt with cleaning sewers, the sanitation of houses, supervising lodging houses and slaughter-houses and maintaining pavements. It was the first Act in which the term "public health" appears.

March 1850 to February 1852: Lord Seymour was Chief Commissioner for Wooods and Forests and, therefore, President of the Board of Health, on which Ashley, Chadwick and Southwood Smith were the active commissioners. Ashley promptly resigned

"they have put a man my junior in everything over my head and me second to him in the House of Commons"

but was persuaded to withdraw his resignation. Seymour rarely attended the meetings of the Board of Health, but when he did there were heated conflicts with Ashley.

Seymour opposed and ridiculed the Board of Health in the House of Commons and played an important part in its downfall. (See Battiscombe, G. 1975, chapter 15)

Lord Seymour resigned from the Lunacy Commission (1852 or 1853) about the same time as the Board of Health was discontinued - but this may have been a coincidence. He was succeded on the Commission by Henry Morgan Clifford

Biography. Mattock, W.H. and Ramsden, G. 1893. DNB. See also Southgate, D. 1962 pp 153-154.

Honorary member of the Metropolitan Commission
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H32 Captain (Major in 1841) Henry Jelf Sharp Middlesex JP
Metropolitan Commissioner 1838. n. 23.8.1842

A "Sharp, H.J. es. Twickenham" was shown as a Middlesex JP on the Imperial Calendar list of Middlesex J.P.s in 1837, but not before. The 1846 Post Office Guide has a "Major Jelf Sharp" at Twickenham Meadows, Twickenham, Middlesex. The appointment notices (1838, 1837, 1839, 1840) give his rank as Captain. He was raised to Major in 1841:

London Gazette Tuesday 28.12.1842 p. 3348: "War Office, 28th December 1841... BREVET... Captain Henry Jelf Sharp of the 86th Foot to be Major in the Army. Dated 23rd Nov. 1841"

Honorary member of the Metropolitan Commission
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H33 Sir Walter Rockliffe Farquhar (3rd Bt) Middlesex JP
Metropolitan Commissioner 1839. n. 23.8.1842

Born 4.6.1810, died 15.7.1900

Eldest child of Sir Thomas Harvie Farquhar (27.1.1775-12.1.1836), second baronet and Sybella Rockliffe (1786- 20.4.1869). Through his mother he may have traced descent from Princess Pocahontas (1595-1617), the American Indian who is buried in buried in St. George's church, Gravesend [external link]

Sir Thomas's father, Walter Farquhar (LRCP) had been a Scottish doctor practising in London who had been physician to Wellington's wife and to the Prince Regent and had been created baronet 1.3.1796 and died 21.3.1819.

In 1799 the title of a bank established in 1770 by Mr Robert Herries became Messrs Herries, Farquhar and Co. I think the Farquhar was Walter Farquhar (LRCP) who died in 1819. In succession, Sir Thomas Harrie Farquhar and Sir Walter Rockliffe Farquhar became leading partners in the bank. Sir Walter Rockliffe was senior partner from 1846 until his death in 1900. About 1890 the five partners were three Farquhars a Lucas and a Ponsonby.

Walter Rockliffe's father (Thomas) took the oaths as a Middlesex JP "by virtue of freehold house and stable in St Micahel Basinghill, City of London and St James, Westminster". In the Imperial Calendar list of Middlesex J.P.s, Walter Rockliffe was first listed in 1836.

He was born at 16 St James Street (Boase), a street consisiting otherwise almost entirely of clubs. By 1836, this was the bank's address, and his parent's "residence" was number 18 in adjoining King Street, whilst Walter Rockliffe lived in St James's Square, a continuation of King Street (modern map).

On 28.11.1837 he married Lady Mary Octavia, a sister of Somerset (H8) and by 1841 they had moved to 41 Grosvenor Street (modern map), Mayfair, which was also the London address of her mother, the Dowager Duchess of Beaufort

The "country seat" of the Farquhars (Sir Thomas and Walter Rockliffe) was Granard Lodge, Roehampton.

Granard Lodge (or Granard House) has long since disappeared. The arrow on this map points to the church of St Margaret, which was built in its grounds (under later owners). Putney Park Lane was a formal tree-lined avenue laid out in the early 18th century, originally serving Putney Park House, built on the site of the Archbishop of Canterbuty's hunting lodge in Putney Park. Later it served as the access to a number of large houses, including Granard House, Putney Park House and Dover House.

Walter Rockliffe was sometime JP, Deputy Lieutenant and (1857) Sheriff for Surrey (Boase)

He was educated at Eton where I presume he met William Ewart Gladstone who wrote (relating to the period 1837-1838)

"I had no low churchmen among my near friends, except Walter Farquhar" (Morley's Life, Volume 1, p.119)

In the spring of 1835, Gladstone met his eldest sister, Caroline Farquhar, at a ball.

"She was an attractive girl, high spirited and popular but not untinged with the more solemn attitude which was enveloping society"

I think society has the connotation here of "high society". The more solemn attitude is often associated with Queen Victoria, but pre-dates her. Perhaps it was a response to the radical changes in society connected with the political reforms of 1832? Ashley's post 1834 earnestness was something he shared with many others in high- society. See also Spencer Perceval.

Gladstone became a frequent visitor to Roehampton "then deep in the country outside London", but his proposal of marriage was rejected. The communications on the subject were via her parents [Marlow p.16]. Joyce marlow suggests that "the son of a Liverpool merchant" was an unsuitable match. Caroline, in fact, married (26.7.1836) Charles Grey, a son of the Earl and cousin of H26


He was one of the commissioners who signed the Accounts for 1838/1839 (Lancet 6.6.1840). He was the only one of the three honorary commissioners appointed in 1839 who did not serve as an Inquiry Commissioner. Barneby and Milnes Gaskell were MPs and had interests in the regulation of provincial asylums.

In 1842 he was treasurer and banker to the Royal Institute of British Architects

By 1852 he was treasurer of the Naval and Military Bible Society and The Foreign Aid Society, based at Exeter Hall. The Foreign Aid Society sought to convert roman catholic christians to protestant christians

"Established in 1841. For promoting the objects of the European Societiés Evangeliques in France, Belgium, Geneva, Lisbon and Piedmont. For the last two years the committee had been under the apprehension that persecution was about to commence in France; and that apprehension has been increased by recent events. The absolute dominion of Rome has been strengthened, and with it the power of opposing efforts to evangelise. The income of the society in the past year exceeded that of any previous year, being upwards of £3,500" (Low's Charities of London 1852- 1853

In 1857 he "originated" a "scheme for utilising cathedrals for popular services" (Boase).

Honorary member of the Metropolitan Commission
Click on the index number to see the relation to other commissioners

H34 John Barneby MP
Commissioner 1839-1845

Chair of Herefordshire Quarter Sessions. Deputy Lieutenant and a Captain in the Herefordshire milita. Conservative MP for Droitwich (Worcestershire) 1835. For Worcestershire 1837 to his death.

Droitwich, his first constituancy, was within fifteen miles of his Herefordshire seat.

Born 20.11.1799. died December 1846.

The Barnebys were an old Herefordshire family, "gentry at Brockhampton" (subject to the usual kinks in such family histories) since the 17th century. They dominated the County's North East corner.

The Whig Clives, H25 and H30, were in south-west Herefordshire. See county map

His father, also John Barneby, was baptised in 1757, married on 17.7.1792 Elizabeth Bulkeley, the daughter and sole heir of Robert Baulkeley of Bulkeley in Cheshire. John Barneby senior was High Sheriff of Herefordshire in 1797. He died 11.2.1817, when John Barneby junior was only 17. John inherited Brockhampton House near Bromyard in North East Herefordshire and became one of the chief landowners of the district. His mother, Elizabeth died 18.1.1833.

John Barneby (H34) married 24.7.1838, Susan, the eldest daughter of Henry Elwes of Colesborne, Gloucestershire. Their eldest son and heir, John Habington Barneby was born 2.5.1840. He changed his surname to Lutley in 1864. Susan died 18.12.1850.

The Barnebys and north east Herefordshire

The seats of the gentry around the market town of Bromyard were

Brockhampton House was John Barneby's seat "pleasantly situated on an eminence" near Clater Park, about two and a half miles south-east, which belonged to he younger brother William.

Buckenhill House was inherited from her mother by his sister Elizabeth, wife of Robert Bidulph Phillips.

Saltmarsh Castle, a medieval castle, was inherited from great uncle William Higginson by the youngest brother, Edmund, on condition he changed his name to Higginson. By 1856, only a portion remained in its primitive state as Edmund renovated it "from time to time" to "a more modern style of architecture, with towers and battlements".

John Barneby, Phillips and Higginson were the chief landowners of the district.

Amongtst Barneby JPs for Herefordhsire were Rev Thomas Barneby of Whitborne (five miles north east of Bromyard)

7.3.1839: Barnaby was chair of the 1839 Select Committee of the House of Commons on Hereford Lunatic Asylum


23.8.1842 BARNEBY INQUIRY COMMISSIONER (aged 42) Timeline 1842

Honorary member of the Metropolitan Commission
Click on the index number to see the relation to other commissioners

H35 James Milnes Gaskell MP
Commissioner 1839-1845

Born 19.10.1810, died 5.2.1873

Only son of Benjamin Gaskell and Mary, eldest daughter of Dr Joseph Brandreth of Broad Green Hall, Liverpool.

Elizabeth Fry was amongst his mother's "wide circle of friends".

An ancestor bought Clifton Hall, Lancashire, in 1652 and it was the family seat until 1805. A Lancashire Gaskell was Clive of India's mother and great aunt of E. B. Clive (H30)

His grandfather married (1744) into the Wakefield family of Milnes and, as an eventual consequence, his father inherited Thornes House, Wakefield, Yorkshire an eighteenth century mansion, in 1805.

"The house stood above the River Calder with a wide and pleasant view over country then unspoilt by mines and factories"

His parents married in 1807 and he was born at Thorne's.

From 1805 "until a century later" Benjamin Gaskell "and his descendants played a full and active part in the social and political life of the West Riding". This possibly included lunacy affairs for his eldest son, Charles George Milnes Gaskell (1842-1919) was the author of Passages in the history of the York Lunatic Asylum, 1772-1901 (78 pages) which was published in Wakefield in 1902 by W. H. Milnes. [British Library copy destroyed. There is a copy at Manchester]

James Milnes Gaskell was at Eton from 1826 to 1829 and Christ Church, Oxford from 1829 to 1831. At both he showed a keen interest in politics. He left Oxford without a degree.

16.5.1832 Married Mary Wynn, the second (but eldest surving?) daughter of Charles Watkin Williams Wynn

James Milnes was seeking a seat in the House of Commons. His father had been MP for Maldon from 1812 to 1826, and James first thought of trying to recapture that seat, "but without success". Wakefield became a parliamentary borough with one seat in 1832 and he was adopted as the Tory candidate, but the Whigs adopted his radical uncle, Daniel Gaskell or Lupsett Hall, and "finding the position a painful one", he withdrew.

Tory MP for Wenlock, Shropshire 1832-1868

Sir Watkin Wynn procured him a Tory candidature of Wenlock, Shropshire. He came second of the two Tory candidates, only defeating the one Whig candidate by 330 votes to 308. Future elections were uncontested and he remained a Wenlock MP until he retired in 1868.

He appears to have belonged to the same moderate wing of Toryism as his father-in-law, C.W.W. Wynn. He was in favour of "the basis of our representative system being extended", but opposed to "any sudden or sweeping alteration"; in favour of complete "religious freedom" (1867), but "opposed to the admission of dissenters to the universities" (1836).

7.3.1839: A member of the 1839 Select Committee of the House of Commons on Hereford Lunatic Asylum


Junior Lord of the Treasury

His only period of government office was as a Junior Lord of the Treasury from 1841 to 11.3.1846 He was committed to agricultural protection and resigned over Peel's repeal of the corn laws in 1846.

23.8.1842 MILNES GASKELL INQUIRY COMMISSIONER (aged 31) Timeline 1842

Town and country So many London addresses, all in or near Mayfair, were given for him (1833 to 1847) that it would seem almost certain he took a town residence for the parliamentary season.

Thornes House, Wakefield is given as his country house in the 1830s. It was there that Gladstone, a lifelong friend, visited him in the Autumn of 1832 (Morley volume one, page 71). At some time he acquired Wenlock Abby, Shropshire.

James Milnes Gaskell, his father and his uncle (Daniel Gaskell) were West Riding of Yorkshire magistrates (PP/1836 JPs). He and his uncle were, at some time, Deputy Lieutenants of the county.

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

H36 Francis Barlow
Commissioner 1841 - 1886 Master in Lunacy 1842 - 1879

Francis Barlow was a close friend and political adviser of the Tory Lord Chancellor Lord Lyndhurst who appointed him to an honorary post on the Commission on 10.9.1841 and made him a Master in Lunacy (at £2.000 a year) in 1842. From evidence before a Select Committee in 1859/1860 it appears his only purpose on the Commission was to safeguard the interests of the Masters in Lunacy - He very rarely attended. The role of Masters in Lunacy is explained under Chancery Lunatics (1.3.4) and Chancery Visitors (5.4)

born 26.1.1799, died 1.2.1887

Eldest son of Rev. Francis George (or George Francis) Barlow (b.c. 1769, died 24.3.1850) Rector of Burgh, Suffolk from 1814 to his death.

Went to Charterhouse School. Admitted pens at Trinity Hall, Cambridge 23.3.1817. BA 1821. Fellow 1823-1828. MA 1824. Admitted Middle Temple 20.6.1820. Barrister 11.11.1825. An equity draftsman at 4 Old Square, Lincoln's Inn (1828-1843 LL). Barrister incorporated at Lincoln's Inn 1837.

Married a relative, Laura Sarah Mount, at Marylebone on 7.6.1828. (She was born 1802 and died 1867)

1827 (or earlier) to 1830 Secretary of Bankrupts to the Lord Chancellor (Lyndhurst was Lord Chancellor from 10.4.1827 to November 1830)

September 1836-1837. Lord Lyndhurst in Paris. "His friend Mr Francis Barlow fed him with such of the political news of the day as the newspapers did not supply" (Martin, T. 1883 p. 370)

1836 or 1837 to 1846 (or later) Secretary of Presentations to Lord Chancellors. (The Whig Lord Cottenham was Lord Chancellor from 1836 to 1841. Lyndhurst from 1841 to 1846 and Lord Cottenham again from 1846 to 1850).

October 1840: Lyndhurst wrote to Barlow from Bohemia asking him to act for him in a matter requiring political discretion. (Martin, T. 1883)

Barlow does not seem to have been one of the Commissioners for Lunatics before 1842. This is my list of those commissioners based on the entries in the Imperial Calendar, plus the "Secretary of Lunatics" in square brackets.
For 1827 to 1828:
[Secretary 1827 to 1836: L.A. Lowdham esq.]
Thomas Evance esq., Belmont House, Vauxhall [also 1832 to 1833 or 1834]
W. Wolfitt esq.
William Phillimore esq., 6 Stone Buildings, Lincoln's Inn [also 1832 to 1844]
Fras Whitmarsh, esq. 7 New Square, Lincolns Inn [also 1832 to 1839]
There was no list in 1829 and the Imperial Calendar for 1830 to 1831 was missing. The lists from 1832 are longer. New commissioners are:
Edward Jacob esq. 4 New Square, Lincolns Inn [1832 to 1833 or 1834]
Edward Winslow esq. 16 York Street, Portman Square [1832 to 1842]
J. E. Blunt (no address given) [1832 or 1834 to 1842]
C. K. Murray (no address given) [1832 or 1834 to 1842]
[Secretary from 1837: T. Cartledge esq. An assistant of the same name is also shown until 1842.]
M.J. West (no address given) [1840 to 1842]

1.9.1841. Lyndhurst Lord Chancellor for the third time.


1842 Lyndhurst took the Chancery Lunacy Bill through the House of Lords. (Royal Assent 15.8.1842). Barlow was appointed a Commissioner in Lunacy at £2,000 a year.

1842 FRANCIS BARLOW (aged 43) and Edward Winslow became the two Commissioners in Lunacy under the 1842 Chancery Lunatics Act Timeline 1842

"Commissioners in Lunacy Offices: 45 Lincolns Inn Fields"

Commissioners: Francis Barlow and Edward Winslow

Visitors: William Phillimore, Henry Herbert Southey, John Bright

Chief Clerk to Commissioners and Secretary to the Visitors: Mr Henry Enfield"

Lord Chancellor's Officers 1841 (Imperial Calendar), 1842 (Law list) and 1843 (Law List)

Principal Secretary had his office in Quality Court (See p.445 1843 law list) H.J. Perry 1841, 1842, 1843

Assistant Secretary: H. Haines 1841, 1842, 1843
"Purse Bearer" also shown as H. Haines in 1842

Secretary of Bankrupts: Edward Winslow 1841 and 1842, Richard Clarke in 1843

Secretary of Presentations: Francis Barlow 1841, 1842, 1843 ("F. Barlow" in the 1842 and 1843 Law lists)

Secretary of the Commissions of the Peace and Secretary of Degrees and Injunctions: Richard Clarke 1841, 1842, 1843

Secretary of Lunatics: T. Cartledge 1841, 1842, 1843

Imperial Calendar 1841 also lists Assistant Secretary of Lunatics, Usher of Court of Chancery, Deputy Usher and Door Keeper, Sergeant at Arms (Sir G.F. Seymour), Deputy Sergeant at Arms, Messenger or Poursivant. two Gentlemen of the Chamber, an Usher of the hall, Door Keeper, Crier of the Court, Court Keeper, Tipstaff, Running Porter.

1842 (but not 1843) Law Lists:

Commissioners of Lunatics: W. Phillmore, E. Winslow, J.F. Blunt, C.K. Murray, M.J. West

Clerk of Custody of Lunatics: H.J. Shepherd, esq.

23.8.1842 BARLOW INQUIRY COMMISSIONER (aged 42) Timeline 1842

Sometime between 1842 and 1846, Barlow acquired 48 Montague Square, St Marylebone where he died in 1887. Forster (L6) was at number 46 Montague Square from 1856 to 1862.

Timeline 1845


Minutes of the Board - In possession of the Lord Chancellor's Office at the time that I saw them:

L.C.O. 9/1 Board Minutes Commencing 1856. Ending 18-
Index: Minutes 2nd February 1856 to 6th June 1864

L.C.O. 9/2 Draft Minute Book 17th April 1861 to 4th July 1873. No Index.

[Nick Hervey (1987) has a reference "PRO/LCO9/1, Masters Minutes 1856-1864", so presumably now in the Public Record Office]

2.2.1856 [a Saturday]
William Phillimore Esquire in the Chair
Doctor Southey and Bright
Masters Barlow and Winslow

Following meetings were on Friday (not every one): 8.2.1856: only Barlow absent; 22.2.1856: all present; 29.2.1856: all present; 7.3.1856: all present; 4.4.1856: Barlow and Winslow absent; 18.4.1856: only Southey absent; 2.5.1856: only Barlow absent; 23.5.1856: all present;... and so on...


January 1859: Edward Winslow resigned as Barlow's fellow Master. Henry Theobald says:

"It is said that Master Winslow had peculiar views as to the proper destination of committees' balances in which the Lord Chancellor did not concur. Master Winslow resigned." (Theobald, H.S. 1924 p.99)

Winslow was succeeded by William Frederick Higgins, but Barlow did not have his company for long. Henry Theobald says:

"Master Higgins held his office for two months only. He was a clerk in the Colonial Office, without legal experience, but he had married the Lord Chancellor's daughter. The appointment was questioned in the House of Commons, and Disraeli was unable to defend it. Sydney Herbert, in a letter to Mr Gladstone on February 19th, 1859, makes the following comment: 'Poor Thesiger has got into a dreadful mess in appointing his son-in-law (little Higgins) a Master in Lunacy. At the eleventh hour, and after being installed, he was obliged to resign.' (Memories of Sydney Herbert, Vol.2, 162)" (Theobald, H.S. 1924 p.99)

Samuel Warren (23.5.1807-29.7.1877) the author (1855) of an abridged and updated edition of Blackstone's Commentaries on the Laws of England, and a writer of popular fiction, was appointed Master in Higgins place. He was Master from 1859 to his death in 1877. He may have been the father of Sarah Warren, a Chancery lunatic.

13.2.1859 Letter from Lord Chancellor Chelmsford to Solicitor General, Cairns, quoted by Nick Hervey (1987):

"I thought we were agreed that we would keep our inspection in Lunacy distinct from that of the Commissioners, at the same time that we would permit the Commissioners' inspectors to visit the Chancery lunatics in the same asylums with their own and to report to the Lord Chancellor."

Evidence of Lutwidge, Barlow and Shaftesbury and Southey to the Select Committee of the House of Commons 1859/1860 bearing on Barlow's role:

Evidence of Lutwidge on 4.8.1859:

Q2212 Re Mr Barlow: "it was thought desirable to have one of the Masters of Lunacy on the Board, with reference to communications between the two Boards: but Mr Barlow having a great deal to do in his own department, very seldom attends"

Q2216 Mr Barlow "scarcely ever comes; he has not attended this year: but he would attend in cases in which there was any special matter which particularly called for his attention"

Evidence of Barlow on 21.3.1859:

Q925 "I have the power of joining the Commissioners whenever I think fit, but my time is so fully occupied, that I do not think it necessary, unless the Commissioners send for me."

Q927 "I may state, that I never attend the Commissioners, as I am not paid for that duty, and my time is fully occupied by the duties I am paid for."

Evidence of Shaftesbury on 25.5.1860:

Asked by Sir George Grey (H36) and J.H. Walpole (Chair) about the desirability or necessity of having Masters in Lunacy as ex-officio Commissioners if the Commission were to take over the duty of visiting Chancery Lunatics.

Q414 "I do not see any possible good that could arise from the presence of the Masters in Lunacy at the Board. I do not believe that they would never come except in an antagonistic sense. I believe that they would never come for the purpose of assisting the ordinary operations of the Board, and that we should not require them"

Q415 Shaftesbury said that the only way in which the Commissioners would interfere in the jurisdiction of the Masters in lunacy would be "if the property of a Chancery lunatic was ill taken care of, we should report to the Lord Chancellor".. "and the only instance in which the Masters in lunacy would come to our Board, would be, no doubt, for the purpose of preventing such resolution.. to prevent our doing anything that should trench upon their rights.. they would only come to swell inconveniently the Commission, which is already large, and they would come without any knowledge of our habits, and without any experience of our mode of proceeding, and, probably, introduce a great deal of schism and division. I cannot see the use they would be, but I can see a great deal of disuse in their appearance there"

Evidence of Henry Herbert Southey cited by Nick Hervey (1987):

"He intimated that the Medical Visitors in Lunacy were afforded a less powerful role within the Lord Chancellor's Board, than that of Barlow and Winslow, the Masters in Lunacy or even of the Lord Chancellor's Registrar of Lunatics who acted as Chairman of that Board. PP 1859 1st Sess III, p.130."


4.7.1873   as minute book ends here, it may indicate a change in arrangements


Alumni Cantabrigienses says that Edward Charles Russell Ross was "Chairman of the Lord Chancellor's Board of Lunacy" from 1874 to 1877.


18.11.1875 Letter from Shaftesbury to Cairns cited by Nick Hervey (1987):

"When Cairns attempted to appoint Edgar Sheppard, the superintendent of Colney Hatch, as one of his Visitors, Shaftesbury immediately protested, stating that Sheppard had been responsible for the re-emergance of mechanical restraint at Colney, and had persisted in lecturing students from Kings College in favour of this. It is significant that in attempting to alter the Lord Chancellor's mind, Shaftesbury felt obliged to provide Cairns with a potted history of the non restraint movement, suggesting that the latter was unfamiliar with it. Once again his point was that the Chancellor would be sanctioning a huge reversal of official policy. In the event Cairns backed down and appointed J Crichton Browne with Shaftesbury's approval."

James Crichton Browne was medical superintendent
of the Wakefield County Asylum
(external link about his period as Chancery Visitor) - (archive)

1877: see Phillips on honorary commissioners

29.7.1877 Death of Samuel Warren.

William Norris Nicholson, the Lord Chancellor's Legal Visitor, was appointed Master in Lunacy in his place. Edward Charles Russell Ross was appointed as Legal Visitor. [1881 Census records for households of William N. Nicholson and Edward Ross]

According to Boase, Barlow retired as Master in Lunacy in 1879 "when granted pension of £1,333..6..8". On 26.1.1879, Barlow was eighty years old. Theobald, H.S. 1924 says that he retired in 1880 and that after that his name does not appear in the Law lists. He was replaced as Master by Henry Shore Lowndes Graham who "had been Lord Cairns' private secretary, and resigned his Mastership upon his promotion to be Clerk of the Parliaments to the House of Lords" [in 1886]

11.1.1879 Letter from Shaftesbury to Lord Chancellor Cairns quoted by Nick Hervey (1987) accepting that the Commission would not investigate further in the case of a single lunatic Captain Hope Johnstone, but arguing that the Lord Chancellor's manifest lack of confidence in them would

"stir up, for a time at least, much opposition to our movements and greatly abate our power of relief and protection."

1881 Census: Francis Barlow (82), widowed, barrister out of practice and late Master in Lunacy, at 48 Montague Square with a widow aged 33, Harriett (Lady) Barlow, born Kolapore, East Indies, daughter of a Peer: "Resident" and servants. [My guess is that Harriett Barlow is his daughter in law]

1881 Census: John Stewart: Master in Lunacy Chief Clerk

Barlow resigned as a Lunacy Commissioner in 1886 (MH51/737). Robert Nairne died in office the same year. Replacements were not made until 1889 when Miltown and Davenport were appointed.

1.2.1887 Barlow died at 48 Montague Square. He was buried at Highgate. (A.Ca.). Boase gives the same date and includes a reference to the London Gazette 11.3.1887 p.1477

Honorary member of the Inquiry Commission
Click on the index number to see the relation to other commissioners

H37 James Robert Gowen
Inquiry Commissioner 1842-1845

The only unpaid commissioner appointed only for the Inquiry years.

Born about 1784, died 26.5.1862. "an amateur gardener of independent means interested in Orchids and Rhododendrons". A director of the New Zealand Company.

J.R. Gowen was one-time owner of a five volume set of "Hortus Kewensis, or, A catalogue of the plants cultivated in the Royal Botanic Garden at Kew by William Aiton (1731-1793), second edition, enlarged by William Townsend Aiton, gardener to His Majesty. Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, and Brown, 1810-1813

Orchidaceae: "Govenia Lindley" 1832. [For J. R. Gowen, English collector in Assam]

1839 New Zealand Association re-named the New Zealand Company

"In England the breeding of deciduous Azaleas started already very early. Before 1842 `Altaclarense' was introduced by Lord Carvanon in Highclere. The hybridiser was J.R. Gowen, who crossed A. viscose with A. sinensis" (external link)

23.8.1842 GOWEN INQUIRY COMMISSIONER (aged about 61) Timeline 1842

Re-appointed 1843 and 1844 but not made a Lunacy Commissioner in 1845. His address at this time was 41 York Chambers, St James's Street (1841-1846 directories)

He was Secretary of the Horticultural Society (21 Regent Street) from 1845 to 1850 and Treasurer from 1850 to 1855.

1851 Census: "James Robt Gowen", 65 years old, unmarried, born in Bath, is shown as a visitor at Conholt House (home of Henry Manvers Pierrepont) in Wiltshire. His occupation is given as "Director of N. Zealand Company"

In 1855 and 1856, but not 1857, Gowen was recorded as living at 187a Picadilly (Boyle's).

1858: Melville's Directory and Gazeteer of Sussex has nine houses in Codrington Place, Western Road, Sussex. J.R. Gowen esq is living at number 4.

A New Zealand link: Henry Aglionby Aglionby, Alexander Currie, James Robert Gowen, George Lyall, and Jeremiah Pilcher shown as financial sponsors of Nelson College - New Zealand

Gowan features in the Nelson Lakes area are named after James Robert Gowen (despite changed local spelling)

In a List of the Fellows of the Horticultural Society. Corrected to 1862, he is listed as a 40 guinea life member living at 4 Codrington Place, Western Road, Brighton.

The Times, 31.5.1862: "Deaths... On the 26th inst., J. R. Gowen, Esq. of 4, Codrington Place, Brighton, aged 78". (Information provided by David Hollombe)

The Gowen Cyprus, a rare Californian tree, is named after him (external link) (another)

"Cupressus goveniana ssp. goveniana and its close relative C. goveniana ssp. pigmaea (Mendocino cypress) were historically distributed along the coast from Mendocino County to the mountains of San Diego County and were discovered in 1846 by Karl Theodor Hartweg. Cupressus goveniana ssp. goveniana was named "Gowen cypress" to commemorate the services to horticulture of James Robert Gowen (Sargent 1896). [from a pdf file found online]"

The National Library of New Zealand has notes relating to Joseph Somes (1787-1845), James Robert Gowen, (flourished 1816-1848) and Horace Edward Manners Fildes (1875-1937) donated by Professor Joan Stevens in 1971.

Sources: Gowen was identified as Secretary of the Horticultural Society by a study of Post Office Guides and other directories. The then secretary of The Royal Horticultural Society provided me with additional information in 1979.

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

H38 Henry Morgan Clifford MP
Lunacy Commissioner 1853-1872.

"a branch of the ancient family of Morgan of Tredgar". Henry's grandfather. William Morgan, assumed the name Clifford in 1760

Only son of Morgan Morgan Clifford of Perristone, Herefordshire (died 1814). His mother, Sophia, was the second daughter of Jonathan Willington of Rapla, County Tipperary, Ireland.

Perristone was sold to George Clive (H25) in 1865

Educated at Eton and Christ Church Oxford, but did not graduate. He studied law for some time, but was not called to the bar.

1834 Married Catherine, only daughter of Joseph Yorke of Forthampton Court, Gloucestershire, the granddaughter of Bishop York of Ely

MP for Hereford July 1847 to 1865

"A member of the advanced section of the Liberal Party; in favour of extension of the franchise, the ballot, retrenchment, removal of Church rates, abolition of capital punishment, etc." (Stenton, M. 1976 for 1865)

1845: Chairman of Herefordshire Quarter Sessions

Appointed in the place of Lord Seymour (chart)

23.6.1857 Moved printing of the 11th Report

11.6.1858 Moved printing of the 12th Report

A member of the 1859/1860 Select Committee of the House of Commons

1865 Defeated in the election, he ceased being an MP, but continued as a lunacy commissioner. In 1867, the Liberal MP for Andover, Dudley Francis Fortesque was appointed a Commissioner.

1872 Clifford resigned from the Lunacy Commission (aged 66). This may have been because the legal commissioner Forster was retiring as a professional commissioner and willing to continue unpaid.

12.2.1884 died St Ronan's, Torquay, aged 78

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

H39 Dudley Francis Fortesque MP
Lunacy Commissioner 1867-1882

Born 4.8.1820. Died 2.3.1909

Third son of the second Earl of Fortesque, by his first wife, Lady Susan who was the eldest daughter of the first Earl of Harroby. His grandfather, Hugh (b.12.3.1755, died 16.6.1841) the first Earl of Fortesque has been mentioned as a relative, by marriage, of the Wynns.

Dudley Francis Fortesque married into a family with a well known insane mamber. I have assumed this was one of the reasons for his interest in the Lunacy Commission. Much of the history of the Wallop family (below) is based on an email (7.8.2003) from David Rymill, archivist at Hampshire Record Office, outlining the contents of some newly acquired records.

Hampshire Record Office website

24.6.1820 Newton Fellowes Wallop (26.6.1772-9.1.1854), Dudley Fortesque's future father in law, married Catherine (died 17.4.1854) the second daughter of the first Earl Fortesque. Catherine Eleanor was their third daughter.

1823 Newton Fellowes Wallop involved in issuing a Writ de lunatico inquirendo with respect to his brother, John Charles Wallop 3rd Earl of Portsmouth (born 18.12.1767, died 14.7.1853) who "was declared, by the verdict of an inquisition to be in a state of mental derangement". J.Duncombe, a popular publsher, brought proceedings out as a book in 1823. It had already been widely read about. William Cobbett, descending the river Bourne on the evening of 9.11.1825, wrote "here it crosses Lord Portsmouth's outpark, and our road took us the same way to the village called Down Husband, the scene (as the broad-sheet tells us) of so many of that Noble Lord's ringing and cart- driving exploits" [Down Bottom is Hurstbourne Priors - see modern map]

1828 The marriage (7.3.1814) of the Earl of Portsmouth was annuled by a decree of the Lord Chancellor, on the grounds of the Earl's lunacy

Educated at Trinity College Cambridge (MA)

His father, Hugh Fortesque, was Lord Lieutenant of Ireland from April 1839 to September 1841. His grandfather, the first Earl, died 16.6.1841 and his father became the second Earl.

His oldest brother, also Hugh, acquired the courtesy title Viscount Ebrington. Hew became Whig MP for Plymouth 1.7.1841 "A social reformer of much earnestness" his publications included Unhealthiness of Towns a lecture delivered to the Mechanics Institute at Plymouth. David Roberts referred to Ashley wanting the "sympathetic Viscount Ebrington" at the Board of Health but Russell insisting on Lord Seymour. (Roberts, D. 1960 p.142) 1849 Dudley Fortesque appointed Deputy Lieutenant Devon

Married 8.6.1852, Lady Camilla Eleanor Wallop (died 5.8.1920), daughter of Newton Fellowes Wallop and Catherine, his wife.

14.7.1853 John Charles Wallop 3rd Earl of Portsmouth died without issue. Succeeded by his brother Newton Fellowes Wallop (Dudley Fortesque's father-in-law) who became 4th Earl of Portsmouth but died on 9.1.1854. The fifth Earl of Portsmouth was Isaac Newton Wallop

1854-1874 Liberal MP for Andover, Hampshire

Appointed, after a gap of a few years, in the place of Gordon (chart). When he joined the unpaid commissioners were the chairman, Shaftesbury, Clifford, Procter (ex- professional) and the absent Barlow. The reason for his appointment was probably that Clifford had ceased being a member of parliament and the Commission needed a representative in the House of Commons.

1870 Appointed Deputy Lieutenant and High Sheriff County Waterford

1872 Clifford resigned and his place was taken by the ex- professional Forster

May 1873: Murder of Lutwidge

1874 Fortesque retired as an MP. There was now no member of the Commisison to speak for it in the House of Commons. (chart). This remained the situation until Thomas Salt replaced him in 1882.

4.10.1874 Procter died - No appointment in his place

2.2.1876 Forster died - No appointment in his place. Fortesque was now the only unpaid commissioner apart from the chairman and the absent Barlow.

1877: see Phillips on honorary commissioners

1881 Census: Dudley James Fortescue, Honourable Justice of the Peace in Ireland, aged 60, born St Georges, Middlesex and his wife, Camilla Eleanor Fortescue, aged 51, born Wembworthy, Devon, shown living with their servants at 9 Hertford Street, London, Middlesex. This is the same London address given in Stenton for 1873. The other Stenton address is Summerville, Tramore, County Waterford.

1881 Census: Hugh Fortesque, widower aged 62, Earl, JP, Deputy Lieutenant, born London, living with daughters and servants at Castle Hill Mansion, Filleigh, Devon

1881 Census: Isaac Newton (Earl of Portsmouth) Wallop living with his family and servants (click "next household") at Eggesford House, Wembworthy, Devon, England

1882 Resigned from the Lunacy Commission (aged 62). He was succeeded by Thomas Salt

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

H40 Thomas Salt
Lunacy Commissioner 1883-1892 Chairman 1886-1891.

Born 1830. Died 8.4.1904

Son of Thomas Salt senior of Weeping Cross, Stafford (20.1.1802 - 21.3.1871) and Harriet Letitia Petit (28.7.1803-26.4.1833) of Little Aston Hall, Shenston (near Lichfield) Staffordshire. Thomas Salt senior's parents were John Stevenson Salt (25.6.1775-18.8.1845) and Sarah Stevenson. His brother was Joseph Salt (11.10.1810-5.7.1862)

John Petit (b 1714) of Little Aston Hall, Shenstone, Staffordshire had a son John Lewis Petit (1736-1780), a London Physician who married November 1769 Katherine Laetitia Serces. Their eldest son was (Rev) John Hayes Petit, Staffordshire JP, born 3.5.1771. Died 26.7.1822. He was the father of John Louis Petit (1801-1868) who sketched Staffordshire churches and Harriet Laetitia Petit

Thomas Salt married Harriet Laetitia Petit on 12.8.1829 (or 17.5.1829) at Aston Hall.

Stafford Asylum Reports 1851

The subscribers representatives on the Committee of Visitors listed in the Report for 1851 were "Lord Bishop of Lichfield, Duke of Sutherland, Lord Hatherton, Thomas Salt, esq., C.B. Adderley, esq, MP. The "Treasurers" were "Messrs Stevenson, Salt and Webb, Stafford". T. Salt was on one of the quarterly House Committee rotas.

Thomas Salt is not listed as a Visitor in 1854, but "Thomas Salt, Jun. esq" was on the Visitors Committee in 1858 and on the House Committee Rota, and still on in 1867.

On a list of Benefactions by Donations there is "Salt, J.S. Esq. deceased £25.00" ... Benefactions by Legacies Salt, J.S. Esq... £100.00

The annual subscriptions (£1..1/-) included: Thomas Salt of Weeping Cross and Rev Joseph Salt of Standon, Eccleshall. And the following Salts in London: John, William, George, Miss, Miss Elizabeth and Miss Emma.

Salts also contributed substantial sums to appeals respecting the erection of new asylums. [I think this mainly relates to Coton Hill]. Others who made donations were "Mr Wilkes, £21..00; S. Gaskell Esq £5..5..0; Lord Calthorpe £100; Dr Conolly £5..5..00; Mr Sergent Adams £5..5..0

Thomas Salt (junior) was educated at Rugby and Baliol College, Oxford, graduating BA in 1853

Thomas Salt (junior) was a banker from 1855 to 1865 in the firm of Stephenson, Salt and Company, Stafford, and subsequently sleeping partner in the firm of Messrs Bosanquet, Salt and Company, Lombard Street. He was sometime President of the Institute of Bankers (Stenton, M. 1976 for 1892)

1861 Married Helen, youngest daughter of J.L. Anderdon esq of Chiselhurst. (Emma Helen Mary Anderton born about 1843)

"a moderate Conservative"

MP Stafford April 1859 to July 1865 (retired)
MP Stafford June 1869 to April 1880 (defeated candidate)

Parliamentary Secretary to the Local Government Board. January 1876 to April 1880

Appointed a second Church Estates Commissioner 1879
Appointed an Ecclesiastical Commissioner 1880

MP Stafford November 1881 to April 1885 (General Election defeated candidate)
MP Stafford November 1866 to 1892 (retired)

Appointed in the place of Fortesque (chart)

1.10.1885: Death of Earl of Shaftesbury, long time chair of the Lunacy Commission. Salt succedes. The other honorary commissioners at this time (chart) were Wilkes and Nairn, retired medical commissioners. Nairne died the same year. The inactive Barlow left the commission (either just before his death or because he died) and a new honorary commissioner Viscount Emlyn was brought in. The secretary was Carles Spencer Perceval and the legal commissioners were Phillips, Bagot and Frere. The medical commissioners were Cleaton, Rhys Williams and Reginald Southey

1891 Census
Thomas Salt aged 60 born Berkswich
Emma H.M. Salt - Wife aged 51 born London St Pancras
Helen F. Salt, daughter, aged 21, born Walton [Helen Francis born 10.12.1869]
Herbert Edward, son, aged 20, born Walton [George Herbert born 20.12.1870]
Walter P. son aged 12 born Berkswich [Walter Pelit born 6.10.1878]

Thomas Salt resigned from the Lunacy Commission in 1891 or 1892 and was succeded by Lord Hatherton. Salt resigned as an MP in 1892

Baronet 1899

Lieutenant George Edmund Stevenson Salt - 1st Royal Welsh Fusiliers Died of enteric at Modder Spruit 3rd April 1900. Aged 27. Son of Sir Thomas Salt, of Stafford. Born February 1873.

8.4.1904 death of Sir Thomas Salt

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

H41 Frederick Archibald Vaughan Campbell Known as Viscount Emlyn (3rd Earl Cawdor 29.3.1898)
Lunacy Commissioner 1886-1892

Eldest son of the 2nd Earl Cawdor. Born 13.2.1847 at Windsor. Died 8.2.1911. Conservative MP Carmarthenshire 1874-1885 (defeated). A Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire JP. An Ecclesiastical Commissioner 1880. From 1890 a director of the Great Western Railway Company (Chairman 1895).

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

H42 Edward Nugent Leeson 6th Earl of Milltown
Appointed Lunacy Commissioner 1889. Died in office 30.5.1890

Born 9.10.1835. Barrister of the Inner Temple 1862. Representative Peer of Ireland (Conservative) 1881-1890. Moved a motion highly critical of the lunacy laws in 1884.

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

H43 Harry Tichbourne Davenport Changed his name to Hinckes 12.11.1890. MP

Born 31.10.1833, died 19.3.1895.

Youngest son of John and Charlotte Davenport of Leek in Staffordshire

Barrister Inner Temple 1860.

Sometime Staffordshire JP. County Councillor and chairman of local school board. Sometime of the Wood House, Tettenhall, Staffordshire

27.10.1868 Married Georgina Henrietta Curtis, eldest daughter of Sir William Curtis, third baronet.

Conservative MP for North Staffordshire April 1880 to November 1885

1881 Census: Living with his wife, Henrietta, at 14 Walton Street, London

Conservative MP for Leek Division of Staffordshire April 1880 to November 1885

1889: Appointed Lunacy Commissioner

12.11.1890 became Harry Tichbourne Hinckes

June 1892 Ceased to be an MP. Henrietta died in 1892.

Retired as a Lunacy Commissioner 1893

19.3.1895 died. He had no children, and was succeeded by his nephew, Ralph Tichborne Davenport, who assumed the name of Hinckes by Royal Licence in 1895

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

H44 Edward George Percy Littleton - Lord Hatherton (1888).
Appointed Commissioner 1890 Chairman 1892. resigned 1898

Born 15.8.1842, died 24.8.1930. In the Grenadier Guards 1865 to 1883. Family estates (1883) 14,901 acres in Staffordshire. JP

Summer 1890 HATHERTON UNPAID LUNACY COMMISSIONER (aged about 58) Timeline 1890

Milltown died in office (MH51/737) "somewhat suddenly" on 30.5.1890. (Gibbs). Hatherton appointed commissioner 1890 (MH51/737) and (Gibbs)

The Hatherton family, like the Salt family were supporters of the Stafford asylums. As Davenport (Hinckes) was a Staffordshire MP there were a few years in which three out of six of the unpaid lunacy commissioners were from Staffordshire.

1892 HATHERTON LUNACY COMMISSION CHAIRMAN (aged about 60) Timeline 1892

"Lord Hatherton succeeded Mr Salt as Chairman" in 1892 according to the original hand list (which also says Salt resigned in 1892) in MH51/737, but according to the typed list, both events took place in 1891. According to Gibbs, Hatherton succeeded in 1893

Chairman of Quarter Sessions 1894-1924.

Honorary member of the Lunacy Commission
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H45 Sir John E. Dorrington (Bt) MP
Appointed Commissioner 1890 died in office 5.4.1911

Born 1832. Conservative MP Gloucestershire (Tewkesbury Division) 1886 to 1906 (retired). He had been Chairman of Gloucestershire County Council and Quarter Sessions from 1878 to 1889.

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

H46 Victor Alexander Williamson
Appointed Commissioner 1893. resigned 1894.

Born 26.6.1838. Died 16.9.1924. Barrister Inner Temple 1865. Colonial service in Mauritius 1872-1873, Fiji 1879-1882.

1893 WILLIAMSON LUNACY COMMISSIONER (aged about 55) Timeline 1893

Honorary member of the Lunacy Commission
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H47 William Frederick Waldegrave 9th Earl Waldegrave
Chairman 1899? to 1913

Nephew and son in law of Lord Selborne (Lord Chancellor 1872-1874, 1880-1885) who introduced the Lunacy Bills of 1883 and 1885

He married, 5.8.1874 at St Mathew's, Blackmoor, Hampshire, his first cousin, Mary Dorothea, second daughter of Roundell (Palmer), first Earl of Selbourne and his wife Laura, a daughter of William Waldegrave, eighth Earl Waldegrave.

Chief Conservative Whip in the House of Lords 1896-1911.


Appointed by Halsbury

"Earl Waldegrave ceased to be Chairman in 1913 when the Lunacy Commission became the Board of Control"

1913: Lunacy Commission became Board of Control Timeline 1913

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

H48 Henry David Green KC
Appointed Commissioner 1908. died in office 1915


1913: Lunacy Commission became Board of Control Timeline 1913

Honorary member of the Lunacy Commission
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H49 Sir Edward Stanley Hope
Appointed Commissioner 1908. r. 1913

Born 1.2.1846. Died 15.2.1921. Barrister Inner Temple. Charity Commissioner 1879-1899. Registrar of Privy Council 1899-1909

1908 HOPE [ADDITIONAL] UNPAID LUNACY COMMISSIONER (aged about 62) Timeline 1908

1913: Lunacy Commission became Board of Control Timeline 1913

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

H50 Charles Henry Roberts MP
Appointed Commissioner 1908. r. 1913

Born 22.8.1865. Died June 1959. Son in law of 9th Earl of Carlisle. Liberal MP for Lincoln 1906-1918 (Derby 1922, 1923). Under secretary of State for India 1914-1915. Chairman National Insurance Joint Committee 1915- 1916. JP Cumberland 1900-1950. Address: Boothby, Brampton, Cumberland.


1913: Lunacy Commission became Board of Control Timeline 1913



Society for the Propogation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts
Founded in 1701. See
Anglicans Online

Church Missionary Society The Church Missionary Society was founded by Anglican Evangelicals in 1799. (see short history) The Vice Presidents of the Church Missionary Society in 1836 included Grey (H26); Inglis (H27); Rose (H6) and Abel Smith, cousin of (H28). By 1841 Ashley (H3); Sir T. Baring, father of (H1) and Lord Calthorpe, older brother of (H2) had been added to the list.

National Society The National Society for promoting the Education of the Poor in the Principles of the Established Church, throughout England and Wales was founded in 1811. (Victorian London)

Master in Chancery Twelve assistants to the Lord Chancellor (the chief of whom was Master of the Rolls) were known as Masters in Chancery or just Masters until 1852

fellow commoners [Abbreviations like Fell. Com.] A term used historically for a privileged class of undergraduates at Oxford, Cambridge or Dublin Universities who were entitled to dine at the fellows' table.

pensioners [Abbreviation pens] An undergraduate (Cambridge University)_ without financial support from his college

commoners students without financial support from their college: paying for their own "commons".

Monopoly The board game, Monopoly sets relative values on property in different districts of London. The most expensive is Mayfair at £400, followed by Park Lane at £350. The risk of putting a foot wrong in this area is having to pay SuperTax


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