HC Deb 18 March 1875 vol 223 cc30-1

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, Whether the attention of the Government has been called to the re-arrest of Miss Wood, a member of the Shaker community, and whether they considered that the fact that she was arrested, set at liberty, and re-arrested within a few hours, was in accordance with the law?


Sir, I am glad to have the opportunity of making some explanation as to the re-arrest of Miss Wood, because out-of-doors the case seems to have been misapprehended. There has been no interference on the part of any one in order to secure her release. Miss Wood was put into confinement on the report of certain medical persons. When the medical certificate was examined in the first instance it was found defective. It was therefore sent back with the request that it might be amended in accordance with the statute, and in the course of time an amended certificate came. That amended certificate was also found defective, and thereupon Miss Wood was discharged. Afterwards certain other medical men examined Miss "Wood and signed a strong certificate as to her insanity, and under that certificate, as to the validity of which there is no dispute, she is still confined. But the attention of the Commissioners in Lunacy has been specially called to her case, and I am promised that a report respecting it will be made in a few days. As to the question whether I considered the law which authorized her re-arrest satisfactory, I should like to reserve my opinion.