HC Deb 04 June 1874 vol 219 cc964-5

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, If his attention has been drawn to the case of Daniel Norley, a labourer in the parish of Burnham in Kent, who at the end of last year was summoned to the County Court at the suit of a tallyman, for a debt of 12s. 6d.; and on the hearing of the judgment summons Norley's wife appeared and told the court her husband was confined to his house by severe illness, and was then and had been for some time supported by the parish and attended by the parish doctor; that, nevertheless, an order was made for payment of the debt in two instalments; in default of payment whereof, Norley was in February last taken from his sick bed to Maidstone Gaol; that he only remained there two days, was sent home, and died a few days after; and, how far this statement is consistent with the declaration "that no debtor is imprisoned unless he was then, or had been since the issue of the summons, able to pay the debt sued for?"


, in reply, said, he had, upon a former occasion, stated most of the details of the case. He had subsequently inquired into the question of the ability of the man to pay the debt, and he found that the order was first made on the 25th October, 1871, for 12s. 6d., and the judgment summons was not made out until the 2nd April, 1873, when no one appeared on his behalf. It had been proved to the satisfaction of the County Court Judge that his wife had admitted, in his presence, that he earned 18s., and sometimes a guinea a-week.