HC Deb 25 February 1879 vol 243 cc1748-9

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, If his attention has been drawn to the statements that have appeared in the medical newspapers, respecting the mental condition of the Rev. H. J. Dodwell, who is now confined as a criminal lunatic; and, if it would be safe to order his release?


Sir, I wish that I could give a favourable answer to this Question; but I am afraid it is not in my power to do so. I had this gentleman examined on the 31st of May by one medical officer, who certainly decided that he was insane. He was again examined in June by two other medical officers, when the same answer was returned. In consequence of a report which appeared by Dr. Winn and Dr. Forbes Winslow, I thought it better that he should be examined again by two perfectly independent gentlemen. I wrote to the Lunacy Commissioners asking thorn to name two gentlemen to undertake such an inquiry. They did so, and those gentlemen examined him on the 18th of September, and their opinion was that he was decidedly insane, and that it would be unsafe to liberate him. I gave instructions that information should be sent to me of any improvement in his condition; but I am sorry to say that I have received no report.