Scope and Content

The Act of 9 Geo.IV, c.40 (1828) to 'amend the laws for the erection and regulation of county lunatic asylums, and more effectually to provide for the care and maintenance of pauper and criminal lunatics' required overseers of the poor to annually make out returns listing all insane persons chargeable to their parishes, specifying the name, 6ex and age of each lunatic, whether dangerous or not, where confined and at what expense. The returns, accompanied by a certificate from a physician, surgeon, or apothecary as to the state of each lunatic, were to be sent to the clerk of the peace, who in turn sent annual abstracts of the returns to the secretary of state and the commissioners in lunacy.

The Act of 5 & 6 Viet., c.57 (1842) for continuing the Poor Law Commission and for the amendment of the laws relating to the poor, and later legislation, required the clerk to each board of guardians, instead of overseers to make out annual returns to the clerk of the peace of all the lunatics chargeable to parishes within his union. The details given on the returns are the same as on the returns of the overseers.