HC Deb 10 March 1887 vol 311 cc1734-5
MR. W. J. CORBET (Wicklow, E.)

asked the President of the Local Government Board, If he has made inquiries regarding the alleged confinement, for several years, of a woman stated to be of sound mind, and now an inmate of the Paddington Workhouse, in the Asylum at Darenth; and, what is the result?

THE PRESIDENT (Mr. RITCHIE) (Tower Hamlets, St. George's)

I have made inquiry respecting the case of the woman referred to, who was for a considerable time an inmate of the asylum of the Managers of the Metropolitan Asylum District at Darenth. This asylum is intended for the reception of imbecile persons of the harmless and chronic class, who do not require treatment in a lunatic asylum, and who may lawfully be retained in a workhouse. The woman was first received in May, 1880, from the parish of St. Pancras, on a certificate of the medical officer of the St. Pancras Workhouse. After two months' residence in the asylum she improved, becoming quieter and less excited in her manner, and she was discharged at her own wish. After an absence of about eight months she was again admitted on an order of the Paddington Board of Guardians with a certificate of the medical officer of the Paddington Workhouse to the effect that she was under strong delusions. She had been brought to the Paddington Workhouse by the police, who had found her in a field adjacent to Kensal Green Cemetery, where she had been wandering all night, and she was soaked in mud from head to foot. She subsequently improved, and the medical officer of the asylum states that if any friends could have given satisfactory assurances of their desire and their means to take charge of her under proper supervision and control, he would not have hesitated to discharge her from the asylum. No friends appeared to be willing to aid her; and having regard to all the issues and circumstances of the case, and to the age of the woman, he deemed it desirable that she should be retained in the asylum. The Guardians of Paddington have now undertaken the responsibility of looking after the woman, and she has been removed from the asylum.