HC Deb 11 April 1878 vol 239 cc1094-5

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, If he would explain to the House why, after the reports made to him by Dr. Forbes Winslow, in consultation with Dr. Gibson and Dr. Winn, which declare the perfect sanity of the Rev. Mr. Dodwell, now in Newgate for a common assault, he still detains that gentleman in custody as a criminal lunatic, to be confined during Her Majesty's pleasure; and, whether he will recommend his release without further delay?


Sir, I think that the terms of the hon. Member's Question might lead some hon. Members to suppose that I had called for a Report from the gentlemen named; but that is certainly very far from being the fact—I merely having received certain letters from them in reference to the case in question. I have this morning received a letter from two of these gentlemen, stating that Notice of the Question had been placed upon the Paper without their sanction and against their wish. In reply to the Question of the hon. Member, I have to state that it has been found by the verdict of a jury that this unfortunate gentleman committed the act constituting the offence for which he was indicted when insane, and he has, therefore, in accordance with the usual practice, been sent to the Criminal Lunatic Asylum at Broad-moor. In accordance with the invariable practice of my Predecessors, I shall allow him to remain there until I am advised by the proper authorities that it will be safe to the public and to himself to release him.