HC Deb 10 July 1879 vol 248 cc19-20

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, Whether his attention has been called to the inquest held on Tuesday last, on the body of Benjamin Harrison, at the South Yorkshire Pauper Lunatic Asylum, who, according to the verdict, Died seventeen days after his admission, from inflammation of the lungs, accelerated or caused by a fractured breastbone and three broken ribs, but as to where or when the injuries were inflicted there is not sufficient evidence to show; and, whether he will cause further inquiry to be instituted to ascertain by whom these injuries were inflicted?


in reply, said, there was no doubt that the affairs of this Asylum ought to be thorougly inquired into, and he had been in communication with the Earl of Shaftesbury and the Lunacy Commissioners on the subject. It was their intention to hold a personal inquiry into the subject; but, as several of the lunatics might have to be examined in their own rooms, it would be impossible to have a public inquiry.

The Lunacy Commissioners had declared that due notice should be given to all the relations and friends of the deceased, as well as to other persons interested, and that a solicitor would be allowed to watch the proceedings on their behalf. When the Report was made the Commissioners stated that they would not have any objection whatever to make it public and if further inquiry should then be considered necessary, he (Mr. Assheton Cross) would take care that it should take place.