Table of Statutes
A Middlesex University resource provided by Andrew Roberts

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    Acts of the United Kingdom Parliament related to mental health policy and to other matters, with links to Andrew Roberts' history pages

    Acts before 1963 are named by the year/s of the monarch's reign for the session of Parliament in which they were passed, plus the number of the Act. The 1959 Mental Health Act is 7 + 8 Eliz, 2 c.72 because it was the 72nd Act in the session of parliament in the seventh and eighth year of the reign of Queen Elizabeth 2nd. Charles 2nd is counted as reigning from 1649: when his father's head was cut off.

    A new series of numbers starts at the beginning of every parliamentary session

    Since 1963 this has been simplified and the year stated is always the calendar year. The name of the Act no longer records the reigns of monarchs or the sessions of Parliament. The 1983 Mental Health Act is just 1983 chapter 20 (or even 1983 c.20), meaning the 20th Act passed in 1983.

    Most Acts listed below are Public Acts. Local Acts have the same form, but they have their own series of numbers: 54 + 55 Victoria c.xx is a Local Act, quite distinct from 54 + 55 Victoria c.20. The Public Acts are numbered by arabic numerals, 1,2,3, etc. The Local Acts by roman, i,ii,iii, etc.


    Common Law: See Henry 2nd, who reigned till 1189
    "Immemorial custom means in theory a custom which predates the accession of Richard I in 1189". Since then is the "time of legal memory". (Law Lords 24.6.1999)
    External link to Mathew Hale's (1713) History of the Common Law of England which deals with statute and common law
    Statute Law

    "Those Laws therefore, that I call Leges Scriptae, or written Laws, are such as are usually called Statute Laws, or Acts of Parliament, which are originally reduced into Writing before they are enacted, or receive any binding Power" Mathew Hale 1713

    De Praerogativa Regis
    The Statute of the King's Prerogative
    Drawn up between 1255 and 1290 according to Walker, N. 1968 p.25
    Chapters 11 and 12 were repealed by 1959 Mental Health Act

    17 Edward 2 c.9 1324 De Praerogativa Regis The Statute of the King's Prerogative (See Blackstone)

    It is believed that the Statute de Prerogativa Regis of 1324 simply confirmed an existing jurisdiction and that there may be a lost statute from Edward 1st's reign

    17 Edward 2 c.10 (See Blackstone)

    Edward 3rd king from 1327 to 1377

    Keely, T.S. 1944: "The history of lunacy administration can be traced back with reasonable certainty to 1339, the assumed date of the Statute de Prerogativa Regis, which limited the King's jurisdiction (already existing) over the estates of idiots or natural fools, whose profits he was to take, but for whom he was to find necessaries. For anyone 'that beforetime hath had his wit and memory' and should 'happen to fail of his wit' ... the King was to keep his estate safe and maintain him and his household competently out of his profits, but the King was to take nothing for his own use"
    mental health

    25 Edward 3, stat.5, c.2 Treason Act of 1351
    (external link)
    P.M. Tiersma suggests "apparently the oldest English statute still in force"
    See trial of James Hadfield 1800

    Richard 2nd king from 1377 to 1399

    12 Richard 2 c.7 1388 Statute of Cambridge

    Regarded as the first English Poor Law Act.
    This is
    Michael Warren's description of it

    "concerning Labourers, Servants and Beggars strengthened the powers of the justices of the peace; distinguished between "sturdy beggars" capable of work and "impotent beggars" incapacitated by age or infirmity; forbade servants to move out of their "hundred" without legal authority; and made each "hundred" responsible for housing and keeping its own paupers, but made no special provision for maintaining the sick poor"
    Henry 4th king from 1399 to 1413

    Henry 5th king from 1413 to 1422

    Henry 6th king from 1422 to 1461

    Edward 4th king from 1461 to 1483

    Edward 5th king for 2 months April to June 1483

    Richard 3rd king 1483 to 1485

    Henry 7th king 1485 to 1509

    11 Henry 7 c.2 1494 Vagabonds and Beggars Act

    Michael Warren's quotes from it

    "Vagabonds, idle and suspected persons shall be set in the stocks for three days and three nights and have none other sustenance but bread and water and then shall be put out of Town. Every beggar suitable to work shall resort to the Hundred where he last dwelled, is best known, or was born and there remain upon the pain aforesaid".

    He adds that beggars too infirm to work were to remain in their Hundred and be permitted continue begging.

    19 Henry 7 c.12

    27 Henry 8 c.26

    32 Henry 8 c.46 1540 Established Court of King's Wards which exercised the royal prerogative over idiots, and subsequently over lunatics, until 1661
    Also required that the residue on the lunatic's death was to be paid over to he executers or administrators.

    Edward 6th king 1547 to 1553

    1 Edward 6 c.3 1547 Statute of Legal Settlement

    1+2 Phillip + Mary c.10: See Blackstone

    Elizabeth 1st queen 1558 to 1604

    39 Elizabeth, c.3 1598 Poor Law Act

    Every parish was to appoint overseers of the poor to find work for the unemployed and set up parish-houses for poor people who could not support themselves.

    43 Elizabeth, c.2 1601 Poor Law Act
    External link to full text on Peter Higginbotham's site

    This is the Act that remained in force until 1834, and is therefore usually referred to as the "old" or "Elizabethan" poor law. By section 17, it replaced the 1598 Poor Law Act, and other sections consolidated it with other legislation, but, according to Michael Warren, it did not introduce new features.

    mental health

    James 1st king 1604 to 1625
    Of "Great Britain" (England, Wales and Scotland)

    Charles 1st king 1625 to 1649

    Feudal tenures were abolished by the Long Parliament in 1645 and the Court of Wards and Liveries also came to an end. The abolition was confirmed by 12 Charles 2 c.24. External link

    Charles 2nd king 1660 to 1685

    12 Charles 2, c.24 1661: The Royal prerogative over idiots and lunatics moved from the Court of King's Wards to the Lord Chancellor. [Until I learn otherwise, I will assume that it was at this time also that the Escheators ceased to be responsible for inquisitions into lunacy and the "a Commission under the Great Seal was directed to five persons, any three of whom could hold the Inquiry" (Keely, T.S. 1944 p.196)

    13+14 Charles 2, c.4 1662 Act of Uniformity
    Required the use of all the rites and ceremonies in the Book of Common Prayer of 1662 in church services.

    13+14 Charles 2, c.12 1662 Act of Settlement

    13+14 Charles 2, c.33 1662 Press Licensing Act

    16 Charles 2, c.4 1664 Conventicle Act

    17 Charles 2, c.2 1665 Five Mile Act

    30 Charles 2, st. 2 c.1 1678 Test Act

    31 Charles 2, c.2 1679 Habeas Corpus Act "you may have the body". A writ of habeas corpus requires someone holding a person in prison to produce the person to a court.

    "roughly speaking the result is this - any person who stands committed for any crime except for treason or felony plainly expressed in the warrant of commitment, is to have the writ. He is to be able to get it in vacation time as well as term time. The chancellor or any judge to whom he applies must grant it, or incur a penalty of £500. The gaoler must make the return within a very brief time, or incur a penalty. No person is to be sent into prison out of the kingdom; anyone who breaks this rule is to incur the penalty of a praemunire and be incapable of pardon. Prisoners who are committed for treason or felony are to have the right to a speedy trial. The heavy penalties which judges and gaolers incur if they break this act are given to the injured person, may be sued for by him as debts; this scheme makes it impossible for the king to protect or pardon them, for the king has no power to forgive a debt due to his subjects." (Maitland, F.W. 1963 p.315)

    James 2nd king 1685 to 1688

    1688: William 3rd and Mary, king and queen. Mary died 1694, William died 1702

    1 William and Mary, c.18 1689 Act of Toleration An Act for Exempting their Majesties Protestant Subjects, Dissenting from the Church of England, from the Penalties of certain laws. Royal Assent 24.5.1689

    1 William and Mary, session 2, c.2 1689 Bill of Rights An Act Declaring the Rights and Liberties of the Subject and Settling the Succession of the Crown. Royal Assent 16.12.1689

    Anne queen 1702 to 1714

    12 Anne c.23 1714 Vagrancy Act
    An Act for reducing the laws relating to rogues, vagabonds, sturdy beggars, and vagrants, into one Act of Parliament...

    contains a section: "And whereas there are sometimes in parishes, towns and places, persons of little or no estates, who, by lunacy, or otherwise, are furiously mad, and dangerous to be permitted to go abroad, and by the laws in being, the Justices of Peace and officers have not authority to restrain and confine them; be it therefore enacted by the authority aforesaid, that it shall and may be lawful for any two or more of the Justices of the Peace of any county, town or place in England, Wales or Town of Berwick upon Tweed, where such lunatic or mad person shall be found, by warrant under their hands and seals, directed to the constables, church-wardens, and overseers of the poor of such parish, town or place, or some of them, to cause such person to be apprehended..."

    mental health

    9 George 1 c.7 Knatchbull's Act (The Workhouse Test Act) 1723
    for amending the laws relating to the settlement, employment and relief of the poor Allowed parishes, singly or as unions, to set up workhouses.
    Peter Higginbotham describes as "the origin of the workhouse test - that the prospect of workhouse should act as a deterrent and that relief would only be available to those who were desperate enough to accept the its regime."

    1724 State Trials) Volume 8: Edward Arnold's trial. Columns 886 following

    17 George 2, c.5 1744 Vagrancy Act

    23 George 2,c.26 1750 Middlesex County Court Act

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    mental health
history timeline
    14 George 3, c.49 1774 Madhouses Act Royal Assent 20.5.1774.
    Some versions of the Act do not have section numbering.
    Full analysis of the Act
    Background to the Act

    19 George 3, c.15 1779 Madhouses Law Continuation Act

    26 George 3, c.91 1786 Madhouses Law Perpetuation Act

    19 George 3, c.74 1779 Hard Labour Act or 1779 Penitentiary Act - authorised the building of one or more national penitentiaries with strict discipline and hard labour - also a regime of hard labour for prisoners in the hulks (prison ships), commencing with dredging the Thames.

    21 George 3, c74
    Gloucester Gaol and Improvement Act

    22 George 3, c77
    1782 An Act relating to the management of Bethlem and the Bridewell

    22 George 3 c.83 Thomas Gilbert's Act - 1782 For the Better Relief and Employment of the Poor   Peter Higginbotham says this aimed for county organisation, with counties divided into unions of parishes, possibly corresponding to the old Hundreds, to provide workhouses for the old, the sick and infirm, and orphan children. "Able-bodied paupers were not to be admitted but found employment near their own homes, with land-owners, farmers and other employers receiving allowances to bring wages up to subsistence levels"

    24 George 3, c.25
    1784 East India Company Act
    (external link) (sunrise)

    25 George 3, c.10
    Gloucester Gaol Act

    1790 State Trials (Howell's Series) Volume 22: John Frith's trial. (Regina v. Frith) The addenda to the trial is column 1254

    34 George 3, c.54 1794 Habeas Corpus Suspension Act Royal Assent 23.5.1794, suspended Habeas Corpus until February 1795. Act introduced after the arrest of leaders of the Constitutional and Corresponding Societies. It was renewed repeatedly until 1801 - with a possible hiatus in the period 1795/1797.

    35 George 3, c.3 1795 Habeas Corpus Suspension Act Royal Assent 5.2.1795. 5.2.1795 Habeas Corpus suspended until 1.7.1795.

    36 George 3 c.23 William Young's Poor Law Amendment Act 1795 See Peter Higginbotham

    37 George 3, c.1 1796 Habeas Corpus Suspension Act Royal Assent 26.10.1796

    Following two from different sources:

    38 George 3, c.14, 1798 Habeas Corpus Suspension Act Royal Assent 24.3.1798. Continued previous to 1.6.1799

    38 George 3, c.36, 1798 Habeas Corpus Suspension Act Royal Assent 21.4.1798.

    Following two from same source:

    39 George 3, c.15, 1799 Habeas Corpus Suspension Act Royal Assent 9.1.1799.

    39 George 3, c.44, 1799 Habeas Corpus Suspension Act Royal Assent 20.5.1799.

    1800 State Trials (Howell's Series) Volume 27: John Hadfield's trial starts column 1281 and concludes column 1354.

    39+40 George 3, c.20, 1800 Habeas Corpus Suspension Act Royal Assent 28.2.1800.

    39 + 40 George 3, c.93:
    Act for Regulating Trials for High Treason and Misprision of High Treason in Certain Cases
    This Act and the following began life as the same Bill. The Treason Act removed the privileges of a Treason trial from anyone attempting to assassinate the king.
    crime and
timeline 39 + 40 George 3, c.94 1800 Criminal Lunatics Act
    Royal Assent 28.7.1800
    An Act for the Safe Custody of Insane Persons Charged with Offenses
    mental health
    Content of the Act
    1800 Criminal Lunatics Act leads to 1808 County Asylums Act

    41 George 3, c.32, 1800 Habeas Corpus Suspension Act Royal Assent 31.12.1800.

    41 George 3, c. 26, 1801 Habeas Corpus Suspension Act Royal Assent 18.4.1801. Expired "six weeks after the commencement of the next session", which commenced on 29.10.1801. The Act was not renewed and, for a period, habeas corpus was restored.

    42 George 3, c.73, 1802 Health and Morals of Apprentices Act Children's work in textile mills limited to twelve hours a day, and night work prohibited. Required minimum standards of accommodation and the provision of some elementary education.

    46 George 3, c.156 1806 "An act for appropriating certain balances... and the erecting a lunatic asylum in Edinburgh" Royal Assent 23.7.1806

    48 George 3, c.96 1808 County Asylums Act
    Royal Assent 23.6.1808
    An Act for the better Care and Maintenance of Lunatics, being Paupers or Criminals in England

    "Whereas the practice of confining such lunatics and other insane persons as are chargeable to their respective parishes in Gaols, Houses of Correction, Poor Houses and Houses of Industry, is highly dangerous and inconvenient", County JPs were given powers to construct asylums.

    crime and
timeline   mental health

    Background to 1808 County Asylums Act

    51 George 3, c.79 1811 Marriage of Lunatics Act
    Repealed by
    1959 Mental Health Act

    51 George 3, c.79 1811 County Asylums Amendment Act

    55 George 3, c.46 1815 County Asylums Amendment Act

    55 George 3, c.194 1815 Apothecaries Act

    55 George 3, c.69 1815 Scottish Madhouses Act

    55 George 3, c.107: 1815 grants made for building an asylum in Dublin called The Richmond Lunatic Asylum. It was opened in 1815. Also House of Industry Lunatic Asylum (Tuke, D.H. 1882 pp 400 + 406)

    56 George 3, c.117 1815 Criminal Lunatics Amendment Act

    59 George 3, c.127 1817 Irish Lunatic Asylums for the Poor Act

    "What England saw only in 1845, or France in 1838, Ireland had already witnessed in essentials in 1817: the legislative provision of public asylums for the entire country_' (Finnane (1981) quoted by Patrick O'Sullivan, Head of the Irish Diaspora Research Unit)"

    59 George 3, c.66 1819 Cotton Mills and Factories Act prohibited children under nine from working in cotton mills, and restricted those over nine to a 12 hour day.

    59 George 3, c.127 1819 Pauper Lunatics Act

    State Trials (New Series) 1820-1858

    1+2 George 4, c.33 1821 Irish Lunatic Asylums for the Poor Act "An Act to make more effectual Provision for the Establishment of Asylums for the Lunatic Poor, and for the Custody of Insane Persons charged with Offenses in Ireland" Tuke, D.H. 1882 (p.103) says this was "the first really effective Act directing the erection of asylums for the insane poor in Ireland"

    crime and
timeline 4 George 4, c.64 1823 Prisons Act

    5 George 4, c.71 1824 County Asylums Amendment Act

    6 George 4, c.133 1825 Apothecaries Amendment Act.

    7 George 4, c.133 1825 "An Act for consolidating and amending the Laws relating to Prisons in Ireland" - section 55 provided that the Inspector General of Prisons should visit and inspect (amongst other places) every madhouse and place where lunatics or idiots are confined. (Tuke, D.H. 1882 (pages 404 and 418-419) says this was the first statute respecting private asylums in Ireland, and did not apply to public asylums. It remained in force until 1.8.1845.)

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    mental health
    9 George 4, c.40 1828 County Asylums Act

    9 George 4, c.41 1828 Madhouses Act

    Royal Assent for both on 15.7.1828

    9 George 4, c.68 1828 Chancery Lunatics Property Act
    "An Act for extending the Acts passed in the forty-third and fifty- ninth years of the reign of his late majesty King George the third, for the sale of mortgages of estates of persons found lunatics by inquisition taken in England and Ireland, so as to authorise such sale and mortgage for some purposes; and for rendering Inquisitions on Commissions of Lunacy taken in England available in Ireland, and like Inquisitions taken in Ireland available in England"

    10 George 4, c.18 1829 Madhouses Law Amendment Act Royal Assent 14.5.1829 [See the crisis in The Commission's Finances]

    10 George 4, c.49 1829 Metropolitan Police Act

    11 George 4, c. ? "An Act to authorise the transfer of certain balances in the hands of the Clerks of the Peace of the several counties of England and Wales on account of Lunatic Asylums licences". [Royal Assent 4.3.1830]

    This related back to the 1774 Madhouses Act which, it said, had made provision for Clerks of the Peace to collect fees for licences, but not for the appropriation of surpluses after the payment of expenses. As a result "considerable sums arising from the said balances are now in the possession of Clerks of the Peace for several counties of England and Wales"

    11 George 4, c. 22 1830 Richmond Lunatic Asylum Act "An Act for appropriating the Richmond Lunatic Asylum in Dublin for the Purposes of a District Lunatic Asylum"

    1 William 4, c. 65 1830 Property Act
    "An Act for consolidating and amending the Laws relating to property belonging to infants,
    femes covert, idiots, lunatics, and persons of unsound mind". Royal Assent 23.7.1830

    Henry Brougham, Lord Brougham, was Lord Chancellor from 22.11.1830 to 21.11.1834. He had ambitions to reform the English legal system on Benthamite utilitarian principles. Under him, commissions enquired into the operation of the common law courts and the law of property, and he brought in legislation to carry through their recommendations.

    1 + 2 William 4, c. 35
    substituted fixed salaries for fees in
    Westminster Courts

    1 + 2 William 4, c. 56
    established Bankruptcy Court

    2 + 3 William 4, c. 39
    establishing uniform procedure for
    Westminster Courts

    1832 Parliamentary Reform Act/s Royal Assent 7.6.1832:

    2 + 3 William 4, c. 45 Act to amend the representation in England and Wales
    2 + 3 William 4, c. 65 Act to amend the representation in Scotland
    2 + 3 William 4, c. 88 Act to amend the representation in Ireland

    2 + 3 William 4, c. 51
    substituting fixed salaries for fees in courts

    2 + 3 William 4, c. 75 1832 Anatomy Act
    Allowed workhouses and hospitals to sell unclaimed bodies to accredited anatomy schools. Put a stop to the trade of the "resurrectionists" who robbed graves.

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    mental health
timeline Private mutilations by Peers 
unintentionally place the Commission 
in the hands of a reforming Lord Chancellor
    2 + 3 William 4, c. 107 1832 Madhouses Act
    Royal Assent 11.8.1832

    Click on the book to read how private mutilations by Peers unintentionally put the Commission into the hands of a reforming Lord Chancellor

    2 + 3 William 4, c. 111 1832 Chancery Sinecures Act
    "An Act to abolish certain sinecure offices connected with the Court of Chancery, and to make provision for the Lord High Chancellor on his retirement from office" [enacted that (amongst other offices) the Office of the
    Clerk of the Custodies of Lunatics and Idiots should cease and determine after 21.8.1833 - but holders of office appointed on or after 1.6.1832 should not be affected until their decease or resignation] (see below)

    2 + 3 William 4, c. 116
    substituting fixed salaries for fees in courts

    2 + 3 William 4, c. 122 "An Act for making further provision for the Lord High Chancellor of England in lieu of fees heretofore received by him"

    Chancery Visitors 3 + 4 William 4, c. 36 1833 Chancery Lunatics Act
    "An Act to diminish the inconvenience and expense of Commissions in the Nature of Writs De Lunatico inquirendo; and to provide for the better care and treatment of idiots, lunatics, and persons of unsound mind found such by inquisition" Royal Assent 24.7.1833. [This Act added to by 1842 Chancery Lunatics Act, repealed by 1853 Chancery Lunatics Act]

    Section two: Lord Chancellor could appoint "Visitors": two physicians and a barrister of 5 years standing: salaries not above £500 a year (physicians); £300 a year (other visitor). Section three: Chancery Lunatics to be visited once a year by a physician visitor. Section seven: A Secretary (£300) Offices and expenses (£30)

    3 + 4 William 4, c. 64 1833 Madhouses Law Amendment Act
    Royal Assent 28.8.1833.

    3 + 4 William 4, c. 84 "An Act to provide for the performance of the duties of certain offices connected with the Court of Chancery which have been abolished"

    "enacted that from and after the death, resignation, or removal of the person then holding the office of Clerk of the Custodies of Idiots and Lunatics, the duties of such office should be performed by the Secretary of Lunatics"...and fees etc should be paid into the Exchequer to become part of the consolidated fund of the United Kingdom. [quote from 1842 Chancery Lunatics Act section 10] See also 1832 Chancery Sinecures Act

    3 + 4 William 4, c. 85 Act 1833 Government of India Act As a result of which the company became only a governing and not a trading company. (external link) (sunrise)

    4 William 4, c. 67
    establishing uniform procedure for
    Westminster Courts

    4 + 5 William 4, c. 76 1834 Poor Law Amendment Act
    Royal Assent 23.8.1834

    External link to full text on Peter Higginbotham's site

    The Act enabled the government to set up a "Poor Law Commission for England and Wales", with three commissioners to "carry this Act into execution". The Commissioners could "appoint... Assistant Commissioners for carrying this Act into execution, at such places and in such manner as the said Commissioners may direct" (section 7) and could also "appoint a Secretary, Assistant Secretary or Secretaries, and all such clerks, messengers, and officers as they shall deem necessary" (section 8?)

    section 15: ".. the administration of relief to the poor throughout England and Wales, according to the... laws, shall be subject to the direction and control of the ... Commissioners; and ... the ... Commissioners shall ... make and issue ... rules, orders, and regulations for the management of the poor, for the government of workhouses and the education of the children therein, and for the management of parish poor children under the provisions of an [existing] Act... Provided always, that nothing in this Act ... shall be construed as enabling the ... Commissioners ... to interfere in any individual case for the purpose of ordering relief."

    section 16: any general rule was subject to a forty day delay during which a Secretary of State could disallow it. section 17: general rules were laid before Parliament.

    section 23: If the majority of guardians in any union, or voters in a parish, wished it, the Commission could "direct the overseers or guardians of any parish or union not having a workhouse... to build a workhouse"

    section 26: The commissioners could order the union of parishes to make common use of a workhouse

    section 27: JPs could order relief of "any adult person who shall from old age or infirmity of body be wholly unable to work, without requiring that such person shall reside in any workhouse"

    section 45: "nothing in this Act contained shall authorize the detention in any workhouse of any dangerous lunatic, insane person, or idiot, for any longer period than fourteen days; and every person wilfully detaining in any workhouse any such lunatic, insane person, or idiot, for more than fourteen days, shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanour: Provided always, that nothing herein contained shall extend to any place duly licensed for the reception of lunatics and other insane persons, or to any workhouse being also a County Lunatic Asylum."

    4 + 5 William 4, c. 24 1834 Civil Services Pensions Act

    5 + 6 William 4, c. 22 1835 Madhouses Law Continuation Act

    crime and
timeline 5 + 6 William 4, c. 38 1835 Prisons Act

    5 + 6 William 4, c. 76 1835 Municipal (Reform) Act

    6 + 7 William 4, c. 86 1836 Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Act "introduced registration of births, deaths and marriages but contained no penalties for refusal to register; established the General Register Office; and divided the country into registration districts. Registration became effective from 1.7.1837. T.H. Lister (1800-1842, novelist and dramatist) was appointed the first Registrar-General" (Michael Warren)

    6 + 7 William 4, c. 116 1836 "An Act to consolidate and amend the Laws relating to the Presentment of Public Money by Grand Juries in Ireland" enabled them to support lunatic wards attached to houses of industry.

    1 + 2 Victoria c. 73 1838 Madhouses Law Continuation Act

    1 + 2 Victoria c. 56 1838 Irish Poor Law Act extended the principles of the English New Poor Law to Ireland.

    1 + 2 Victoria c. 73 1838 Irish Criminal Lunatics Act

    1839 Custody of Children Act (external link to Spartacus schoolnet)

    crime and
timeline 3 + 4 Victoria c. 54 1840 Insane Prisoners Act
    Allowed the transfer of prisoners to asylums, including prisoners sentenced to death

    5 Victoria c. 4 1841 Madhouses Law Continuation Act
    Royal Assent 5.10.1841

    crime and
timeline 5 + 6 Victoria c. 29 1842 Pentonville Prison Act
    An Act for establishing a Prison at Pentonville
    about eight pages
    section 23 said that commissioners were to report insane convicts for removal

    crime and
timeline 5 + 6 Victoria c. 51 1842 Treason Act

    5 + 6 Victoria c. 57 1842 Poor Law Continuation Act

    5 + 6 Victoria c. 84 1842 Chancery Lunatics Act An Act to alter and amend the practice a courses of proceedings under commissions in the nature of writs de lunaticao inquirendo Royal Assent 15.8.1842. Eight pages. Provided (section 1) for the appointment of two "Commissioners in Lunacy" who were to be Serjeants or Barristers of not less than ten years standing. By section four, the commissioners were to be ex-officio Visitors under the 1833 Act. They were to be paid a yearly salary of £2,000 (section 13) and had the possibility of a pension (section 15). By section ten, the office of Clerk of the Custodies of Lunatics and idiots was abolished. The duties were to be performed by the Secretary of Lunatics. By Section nine, Officers, clerks and messengers were to be determined by the Lord Chancellor and the Treasury, and by section 14, wages were fixed by the Lord Chancellor. [This Act added to the 1833 Chancery Lunatics Act. All except sections 10, 12 and 16 repealed by 1853 Chancery Lunatics Act]

    "the Lord Chancellor was authorised to appoint two barristers called "the Commissioners in Lunacy" to whom all writs de lunatico inquirendo were to be addressed, and who should perform the duties then performed by the Commissioners named in commissions in the writ... It was previously the practice to refer all matters connected with the persons and estates of the lunatic, after he was found so under commission, to the ordinary Masters in Chancery. All inquisitions were still held before a jury." (Tuke, D.H. 1882 p.291)

    By a General Order under this statute, dated 27.10.1842, Lord Chancellor Lyndhurst "abolished the office of Clerk of the Custody and transferred his duties and also those the duties as to lunatics of the Masters in Ordinary in Chancery to the two newly established Commissioners". (Keely, T.S. 1944 p.196)

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    mental health
timeline backbench criticism leads 
to a national enquiry into the 
condition of lunatics
    5 + 6 Victoria c. 87 1842 Lunacy Inquiry Act

    Click on the book to find out how a radical doctor's backbench criticism of the Metropolitan Commission led to the conversion of its chairman in Hanwell asylum, a national enquiry into the condition of lunatics, and the foundation stones of a network of asylums throughout England and Wales.

    Click on the lion for a summary of the Act

    crime and
timeline 5 + 6 Victoria c. 98 1842 Prisons Act
    Royal Assent 10.8.1842 "An Act to amend the laws concerning prisons... Whereas it is expedient that the laws concerning prisons should be amended and that greater facilities should be given for building prisons..."

    5 + 6 Victoria c. 99 1842 Coal Mines Act Royal Assent 10.8.1842
    click for background
    click for summary

    5 + 6 Victoria c. 123 1842 Irish Lunatic Asylums Act "An Act for amending until the 1st Day of August 1845 and until the End of the then next Session of Parliament, the Law relating to private Lunatic Asylums in Ireland." 20 pages. Royal Assent 12.8.1842 [The Act was continued in 1846, 1847, 1849 (cap.41 28.7.1849), 1851, 1855 and 1861...]

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    mental health
timeline centralised government comes
like a thief in the night
    8 + 9 Victoria c. 100 1845 Lunacy Act Royal Assent 4.8.1845.

    8 + 9 Victoria c. 126 1845 County Asylums Act Royal Assent 8.8.1845.

    If you click on the book you will just catch centralised government coming like a thief in the night. The lion will take you to a legal summary.

    8 + 9 Victoria c. 107 1845 Irish Lunatics Asylums Act 16 pages. Royal Assent 8.8.1845. "for the Establishment of a Central Asylum for Insane Persons charged with offenses in Ireland" and to amend 1+2 Victoria c.27 and 1+2 George 4 c.33 and "for appropriating the Lunatic Asylum in the city of Cork to the Purposes of a District Lunatic Asylum" (See timeline)

    9 + 10 Victoria c. 84 1846 County Asylums Amendment Act

    9 + 10 Victoria c. 95 1846 County Courts Act

    10 + 11 Victoria c. 43 1847 County Asylums Amendment Act

    11 + 12 Victoria c. 63 1848 Public Health Act

    created a new central department, the General Board of Health under a nominated president, and provided for local boards of health to be set up; in municipal boroughs these were to be the town councils, elsewhere they were to be special boards elected by the rate payers on the same footing as the election of boards of guardians. Each board of health was empowered to appoint a surveyor, an inspector of nuisances, a treasurer, a clerk and an "officer of health" who had to be a legally qualified medical practitioner. The appointment of the officer of health and his removal was subject to the approval of the General Board of Health. The Act contained numerous sanitary clauses including the cleansing of sewers, sanitation of houses, supervision of lodging houses and slaughter-houses, and maintenance of pavements. The General Board had no system and no powers to enforce effective local action where the clauses of the Act were not adopted locally. This is the first act in which the term "public health" appears. The act did not cover London or Scotland; London operated under the Metropolitan Commission of Sewers Act (Michael Warren)

    1850 State Trials (New Series) Vol.8 Case of Robert Pate.

    15 + 16 Victoria c. 84 Metropolis Water Act 1852

    "by the year 1866, from the observation of three great plagues, we had learnt enough of the causation of cholera to justify us believing that in London it could be confined within narrow limits, in the first place, by preventing any extensive distribution of the cholera-stuff through water, as the companies, in compliance with yhe Water Act of 1852, had, it as believed, since 1854 carried out all their purifying filtering works; and in the second place by the organisation of Health Officers, who could secure attention to the early treatment of premonitory diarrhoea, and to the destruction by disinfections of the cholera flux" (Farr, W. 25.7.1868, p.ix)

    15 + 16 Victoria c. 87 1852 Court of Chancery Act
    Repealed by
    1959 Mental Health Act

    16 + 17 Victoria c. 70 1853 Chancery Lunatics Act
    Established the Board on a statutory basis. It repealed the parts of an 1833 Act (cap.84 relating to the office of The Secretary of Lunatics. Section 10 refers to "Masters and the Registrar" continuing to perform duties previously entrusted to Clerk of Custodies.

    "A Registrar in Lunacy had been established between 1845 and 1853. His appointment was legalised by the Act of 1853 (s. 10). The Registrar had offices in Quality Court and a separate staff; it was his duty to attend the hearing of cases in Court, to register reports and to draw orders; he was the successor to the Secretary to Lunatics, and, as such, had to deal with the correspondence arising from periodical reports. He also took over from the Clerk of the Custodies a large mass of old papers in Lunacy matters, some of which, as was stated by J. Lowry Whittle, the Registrar in 1882, went back to the days of Lord Clarendon. As a result of Sir George Jessel's Committee in 1882 the office of Registrar was abolished by the Orders of 1883, and from that time Orders in Lunacy have been drawn by or under the directions of the Masters in Lunacy. The Registrar's salary was £1,500 a year, which was this saved to the State. ... Upon the abolition of the Registrar's Office his clerks were transferred to the Office of the Masters." (Theobald, H.S. 1924, pages 111 and 112. Quotation supplied by Denzil Lush)

    16 + 17 Victoria c. 96 1853 Lunacy Amendment Act An Act to amend an Act passed in the ninth year of Her Majesty, "for the regulation of the care and treatment of lunatics" Royal Assent 20.8.1853. Thirty nine sections plus schedules. Amended the 1845 Lunacy Act
    see boarders and Secretary

    16 + 17 Victoria c. 97 1853 County Asylums Act Official short title (section 136): The Lunatic Asylums Act, 1853. An Act to consolidate and amend the laws for the provision and regulation of lunatic asylums for counties and boroughs, and for the maintenance and care of pauper lunatics in England. Royal Assent 20.8.1853. One hundred and thirty six sections plus schedules. Repealed and replaced the 1845 County Asylums Act, the 1846 County Asylums Amendment Act and the 1847 County Asylums Amendment Act.

    20 + 21 Victoria c. 71 1857 Lunacy and Asylums Act, Scotland
    An Act for the Regulation of the Care and Treatment of Lunatics, and for the provision, Maintenance, and Regulation of Lunatic Asylums in Scotland Royal Assent: 25.8.1857.
    Established the Board of Commissioners in Lunacy for Scotland (with W.A.F. Browne as its first medical commissioner) and made other provisions in line with those already existing in England.
    (Hunter, R.A. and Macalpine, I. 1963 p.912)

    1857 Matrimonial Causes Act provided for divorce through the law courts. Previously divorce required a private Act of Parliament. (external link to Spartacus schoolnet)

    21 + 22 Victoria c. 106 1858 Government of India Act (external link) (sunrise)

    23 + 24 Victoria c. 75 1860 Criminal Lunatics Asylums Act
    Repealed by
    1959 Mental Health Act

    25 + 26 Victoria c. 86 1862 Chancery Lunatics Act
    "Lord Westbury's Chancery Lunatics Act"
    The official short title is Lunacy Regulation Act 1862
    Royal Assent 7.8.1862
    mental health
    section 23: "The Lord Chancellor may, if he shall think fit, on a petition presented to him for that purpose, order annuities, not exceeding one half of their respective salaries, to be paid to the present medical visitors or either of them, in case they or either of them shall be desirous of retiring from the offices held by them, they having already attained the respective ages of seventy-eight and eighty-one years, and having served as such medical visitors for twenty-eight and twenty years respectively"

    25 + 26 Victoria c. 111 1862 Lunacy Amendment Act
    Amongst other things
    (see boarders), appears to have aimed at the movement of chronic patients out of crowded asylums into workhouses to make room for others. It gave the Lunacy Commission power to order the transfer of lunatics from workhouses to asylums at the same time as giving local asylum visitors and poor law guardians the power to provide for a limited number of chronic lunatics in workhouses. (Hodgkinson, R. 1967 p.586)

    27 + 28 Victoria c.85 1864 Contagious Diseases Act
    Allowed for the compulsory medical examination of "common prostitutes" in garrison towns and ten miles around, in an attempt to contain venereal diseases.

    30 + 31 Victoria c.6 1867 Metropolitan Poor Act "An Act for the establishment in the Metropolis of Asylums for the Sick, Insane, and other classes of the poor, and of dispensaries, and for the distribution over the Metropolis of portions of the charge for poor relief, and for other purposes relating to poor relief in the Metropolis" Royal Assent 29.3.1867
    See Metropolitan Asylums Board
    mental health
    "One result of the Act was not contemplated. Because the cost of lunatics not retained in workhouses was to be paid out of the new Common Poor Fund, Guardians transferred every lunatic, for whom they could get a Medical Officer to certify, without thought of expense or propriety. When the London asylums were filled, the local Poor Law authorities sent their cases to other towns often very far away, so that the cost of removal was great. Injustice was inflicted on Poor Law Unions which had provided special accommodation for imbeciles and were keeping them at their own expense. The Poor Law Board realised that the metropolitan cases were being sent into other counties and that real supervision was out of the question. Legally however, the Board could do nothing to control or prohibit the development. They hoped that the completion of the two new asylums would enable lunatics to be brought back to the London neighbourhood so that costs might be reduced and the patients be more accessible to their relatives and friends." (Hodgkinson, R. 1966 pp 151-152)

    30 + 31 Victoria c.102 1867 Representation of the People Act
    (Second Reform Act)

    32 + 33 Victoria c.55 1869 Municipal Franchise Act
    Amongst other things, gave some unmarried and widowed women the right to vote for municipal councillors in some towns

    33 + 34 Victoria c.75 1870 Elementary Education Act An Act to provide for public Elementary Education in England and Wales Royal Assent 9.8.1870. Permitted school boards to be set up where voluntary school places were insufficient.

    33 + 34 Victoria c.93 1870 Married Woman's Property Act An Act to amend the Law relating to the Property of Married Women Royal Assent 9.8.1870. First breach in the institution of coverture [See Blackstone] (Coverture is the legal convention that a married woman, being assumed to be under the protection of her husband, was without legal existence). The Act gave women the right to possess their own earnings after marriage. [Note how coverture put married women in the same category respecting property as children and lunatics]

    33 + 34 Victoria c.107 1870 Census of England Act

    section 4 "Schedules shall be prepared... with particulars of the name, sex, age, rank, profession or occupation, condition, relation to head of family, and birthplace of every living person... and also whether any were blind, or deaf and dumb, or imbecile or lunatic;..." (See 1871)

    39 + 40 Victoria c.79 1876 Education Act "Placed a duty on parents to ensure that their children received elementary instruction in reading, writing and arithmetic; created school attendance committees, which could compel attendance, for districts where there were no school boards; and the poor law guardians were given permission to help with the payment of school fees" (Michael Warren)

    42 + 43 Victoria c.19 1879 Habitual Drunkards Act
    subsequent Acts were known as Inebriates Acts
    section 3(b) defined an habitual drunkard as a person who, not being amenable to any jurisdiction in lunacy, is notwithstanding, by reason of habitual intemperate drinking of intoxicating liquor, at times dangerous to himself or herself or to others, or incapable of managing himself or herself or his or her affairs. It made control easier and allowed local authorities to set up retreats.
    Jones, K. 1960 p.68 and (Michael Warren)

    43 + 44 Victoria c.23 1880 Elementary Education Act "Extended the provisions of the 1876 Act regarding compulsory school attendance for children aged five to ten years." (Michael Warren)

    1882 "Sir George Jessel's Committee". Sir George Jessel (1824-1883) was Master of the Rolls from 1873 (External link to
    Wikipedia article)

    45 + 46 Victoria c.82 1882 Lunacy Regulation Amendment Act

    45 + 46 Victoria c.38 1883 Trial of Lunatics Act
    A minor modification by the
    1959 Mental Health Act

    47 + 48 Victoria c.64 1884 Criminal Lunatics Act
    Repealed by
    1959 Mental Health Act (with respect to England and Wales)

    48 Victoria c.102 1884 Representation of the People Act
    (Third Reform Act)

    48 + 49 Victoria c.52 1885 Lunacy Act

    49 + 50 Victoria c. 16 1886 Lunacy (Vacation of Seats) Act
    Repealed by
    1959 Mental Health Act

    49 + 50 Victoria c.25 1886 Idiots Act

    51+52 Victoria c.19 1888 Inebriates Act
    Amended and renewed the
    1879 Act indefinitely.

    51+52 Victoria, c.41 1888 Local Government Act
    County and County Borough Councils were created to take over local administration (apart from justice) from the
    justices of the peace. Amongst other matters, they became responsible for asylums under the lunacy and county asylums Acts. The Act introduced local democracy at county level, in that the councillors were elected by ratepayers. Unmarried women who were ratepayers were allowed to vote. The Act came into effect in 1889 (April?).

    52 + 53 Victoria c.41 1889 Lunatics Law Amendment Act
    "An Act to amend the Acts relating to Lunatics" Royal Assent 26.8.1889. 48 pages
    This Act brought in the changes (see
    1888 Lunacy Acts Amendment Bill) that were incorporated in the 1890 Act.

    53 Victoria c. 5 1890 Lunacy Act
    Entirely a consolidation Act, but it incorporated changes to the law introduced by the
    1889 Lunatics Law Amendment Act, which I have outlined under the 1888 Lunacy Acts Amendment Bill)
    Repealed by 1959 Mental Health Act
    mental health

    54 + 55 Victoria c.56 1890 Elementary Education Act Grants available to all schools to enable them to cease charging for basic elementary education. (Michael Warren)

    54 + 55 Victoria c.57 1891 Lunacy Act
    Repealed by
    1959 Mental Health Act

    54 + 55 Victoria c.xx Lancashire County (Lunatic Asylums and other Powers) Local Act
    Repealed by 1902 Lancsashire County (Lunatic Asylums) Local Act (c.lvi), s.4(1) and the County of 1984 Lancashire Local Act (c.xxi), s.146(2)(b), schedule 8 part I.

    This Act was taken through Parliament following a conference (at Preston) of Lancashire County and the fifteen Lancashire County Boroughs. It defined the membership of the new Lancashire Asylums Board and the formula for levying the rate precept. It sets no significant boundaries to the Board's work beyond its responsibilities under the Lunacy and Idiots Acts. Due to Lancashire's special provision, some subsequent Public Acts (such as the Asylums Officers' Superannuation Act, 1909 and the Housing Act, 1936), required special clauses legislating for Lancashire. (Information from Bob Hayes 22.12.2003)

    56 + 57 Victoria c. 42 1893 Elementary Education (Blind and Deaf Children) Act: enabled the provision of special schools for blind and deaf children. (Michael Warren)

    56 + 57 Victoria c.51 1893 Elementary Education (School Attendance) Act Raised the school leaving age (from 10) to 11 years. (Michael Warren)

    61+62 Victoria c.60 1898 Inebriates Act
    Allowed local authorities to establsh reformatories.

    62 + 63 Victoria c.13 1899 Elementary Education (School Attendance) Act (1893) Amendment Act

    62 + 63 Victoria c.32 1899 Elementary Education (Defective and Epileptic Children) Act

    section 1: "A school authority..may..make such arrangements..for ascertaining (a) what children in their district, not being imbecile, and not being merely dull or backward, are defective, that is to say, what children by reason of mental or physical defect are incapable of receiving proper benefit from..instruction in the ordinary..schools

    8 Edward 7 c.47 1908 Lunacy Act
    Repealed by
    1959 Mental Health Act

    8 Edward 8 c.40 1908 Old Age Pensions Act

    1 + 2 George 5 c.55 1911 National Insurance Act "An act to provide for insurance against loss of health and for the prevention and cure of sickness and for insurance against unemployment, and for purposes incidental thereto" - extracts at

    3 + 4 George 5 c.28 1913 Mental Deficiency Act
    Repealed by 1959 Mental Health Act
    mental health
    Analysis based on
    Jones, K. 1960 pages 67-71 Section one defined grades of mental defect. section two defined who would be "subject to be dealt with". Sections 3+4 dealt with medical certificates and orders required to place in an institution or under statutory guardianship. Sections 5+6 with the duration and effect of orders. Sections 21 to 26 established the Board of Control as the central authority and defined its membership and functions. Sections 27 to 33 required all County and County Borough Councils to establish a Mental Deficiency Committee for ascertaining all the people in the area needing to be dealt with, providing and maintaining suitable institutions, providing care for mental defectives in the community. Section 61 transferred the powers and duties of the Lunacy Commission to the Board of Control. Section 71 defined a certified institution.

    4 + 5 George 5 c.45 1914 Elementary Education (Defective and Epileptic Children) Act

    5+6 George 5, c.83 1915 Naval and Military War Pensions, (etc), Act
    Purposes included making better provision for the care of naval and military officers and men disabled in consequence of the First World War.

    "by the War Pensions Act 1915, the local war pensions committees were set up, under a statutory central committee " for the purpose of administering supplementary assistance in case of hardship and providing for the after-care of disabled officers and men." These committees were appointed under schemes of local authorities, more than half the membership being nominated by these authorities. The Ministry of Pensions was subsequently set up by the Act of December 1916" (Love to Know Encyclopedia - clearly not 1911 Britannica!)

    7+8 George 5, c.64 1918 Representation of the People Act "An Act to amend the Law with respect to Parliamentary and Local Government Franchise and the Registration of Parliamentary and Local Government Electors, and to provide for Redistribution of Seats at Parliamentary Elections, and for other purposes connected therewith" [Royal Assent 6.2.1918] - external link to picture

    Established a common franchise for parliamentary and local government elections. The Act enabled all men over 21 to vote. Women were allowed to qualify if they were local government voters, or the wives of local government voters provided that they were over 30. (Women over the age of 30 who were householders, the wives of householders, occupiers of property with an annual rent of £5 or graduates of British universities). -

    "A woman shall be entitled to be registered as a parliamentary elector for a constituency (other than a university constituency) if she has attained the age of thirty years and is not subject to any legal incapacity and is entitled to be registered as a local government elector in respect of the occupation [*] in that constituency of land or premises (not being a dwelling-house) of a yearly value of not less than £5 or of a dwelling-house, or is the wife of a husband entitled to be so registered."
    "I think 'occupation' in this context means someone with a legal right to occupy ie as owner or tenant, and not merely being part of the household of an 'occupier'" [Christopher Vincenzi, 18.8.2007] - See how this may have affected Charlotte Mew

    9+10 George 5, c.21 1919 Ministry of Health Act
    Section one: A Minister of Health to be appointed "for the purpose of promoting the health of the people throughout England and Wales". Section two: steps to secure the health of the people to include measures for the prevention and cure of disease, the avoidance of fraud in connection with alleged remedies, the treatment of physical and mental defects, the treatment and care of the blind, research, information and statistics, and training people for the health services.

    It was to be lawful for the Crown to make Orders in Council to transfer powers from other departments to the Minister of Health. Specified amongst these were all or any of the powers and duties under the enactments relating to lunacy and mental deficiency. By the Ministry of Health (Lunacy and Mental Deficiency, Transfer of Powers) Order, 1920 (S.R.O. 809) most of the powers of the Home Secretary in regard to lunacy and mental deficiency were transferred to the Minister of Health.

    8+9 George 5, c.47 1918 Parliament (Qualification of Women) Act gave women the right to sit and vote in the House of Commons.

    9+10 George 5, c. 71 1919 Sex Disqualification (Removal) Act provided that a person was

    "not to be disqualified by sex or marriage from the exercise of any public function, or from being appointed to or holding any civil or judicial office or post, or from entering or assuming or carrying on any civil profession or vocation, or from admission to any incorporated society,..."

    1922 Infanticide Act: (amended 1938) created the offence of infanticide in the case of a woman who caused the death of a child under twelve months while:

    "the balance of her mind was disturbed by reason of her not having fully recovered from the effects of giving birth to the child or by reason of the effect of lactation consequent upon the birth of the child"

    Previously the possible verdicts were murder or manslaughter.

    12 + 13 George 5 c. 60 1922 Lunacy Act
    "In 1922 the number of Masters in Lunacy was reduced from two to one and the post of Assistant Master created by s1(1) of the Lunacy Act 1922. The office of the Master in Lunacy was subsequently constituted an office of the Supreme Court by s.124 of the Supreme Court of Judicature (Consolidation) Act 1925."
    1.11.2005 Re MB (a patient)
    Repealed by 1959 Mental Health Act

    15 + 16 George 5 c. 53 1925 Mental Deficiency (Amendment) Act
    Repealed by
    1959 Mental Health Act

    16 + 17 George 5 c.29 1926 Adoption of Children Act

    17+18 George 5, c.33 1927 Mental Deficiency Act
    Repealed by
    1959 Mental Health Act

    18+19 George 5, c.12 1928 Representation of the People Act Also known as 1928 Equal Franchise Act: "An act to assimilate the franchises for men and women in respect of parliamentary and local government elections, and for purposes consequential thereon" Royal Assent 2.7.1928 - extracts at

    19 George 5, c.17 1929 Local Government Act
    An Act to amend the law relating to the administration of poor relief, registration of births, deaths, and marriages, highways, town planning and local government...
    Royal Assent 27.3.1929
    Functions of poor law authorises (part one) and registration authorities (part two) to be transferred to county and borough councils on the appointed day. County councils to be the highway authority with respect to main roads and councils to be able to work together with respect to town planning (part three). For most purposes the appointed day was

    19+20 George 5, c.25 1929 Local Government (Scotland) Act

    20+21 George 5, c.23 1930 Mental Treatment Act
    Repealed by 1959 Mental Health Act
    mental health
    The British Journal of Nursing, in January 1930, summarised the bill as it left the House of Lords:

    The Mental Treatment Bill

    Earl Russell's Mental Treatment Bill has passed its third reading in the House of Lords.

    It is intituled :-

    "An Act to amend the Lunacy Acts, 1890 to 1922, and such of the provisions of the Mental Deficiency Acts, 1913 to 1927, as relate to the constitution and organisation of the work of the Board of Control, the exercise of the powers of the Board and the protection of persons putting those Acts into operation."

    It includes some important provisions.

    It provides for the reception of voluntary boarders, and for treatment without certification of persons temporarily incapable of volition, under certain safeguards :-

    (i) In an institution provided by a local authority ; or
    (ii) In a registered hospital ; Or
    (iii) In any such other institution, hospital or nursing home as may be approved by the Board of Control for the reception of such temporary patients ; or
    (iv) With the consent of the Board of Control, in single care.

    Provision is made for the re-organisation of the Board of Control, which it is proposed shall consist of the chairman (who shall be a paid commissioner) and not more than four other commissioners, all of whom shall be paid commissioners.

    Of the members of the Board of Control other than the chairman one at least shall be a legal commissioner, one at least shall be a medical commissioner, and one at least shall be a woman.

    The members of the Board of Control shall be styled senior commissioners and shall be appointed by His Majesty on the recommendation, as regards the legal commissioners, of the Lord Chancellor and, as respects the other commissioners, on the recommendation of the Minister of Health, and shall hold office during His Majesty's pleasure.

    The Board may make rules prescribing the books and records to be kept in any institution, hospital, nursing- home or house which receives any patient under this Act or any boarder under this Act or any local Act and prescribing in relation to such institutions, hospitals, homes or houses any of the other matters with respect to which rules map be made under subsection (I) of section 335 of the principal Act.

    It is also provided that Asylums provided or to be provided under the Lunacy Acts, 1890 to 1922, by any local authority in England shall hereafter be called, and are in this Act referred to as, mental hospitals.

    The Bill is Mental Treatment (No. 60) H.L. Price 6d.
    Obtainable from His Majesty's Stationery Office, Adastral House, Kingsway, London, W.C., or through any bookseller.

    1+2 George 6, c. 43 1938 Mental Deficiency Act

    7+8 George 6, c.31 1940 Mental Deficiency (Scotland) Act

    7+8 George 6, c.31 1944 Education Act

    9 + 10 George 6, c.81 1946 National Health Service Act

    10+11 George 6, c.27 1947 National Health Service (Scotland) Act

    11+12 George 6, c.3 1948 Health Services Act (Northern Ireland)

    11+12 George 6, c.17 1948 Mental Health Act (Northern Ireland)

    11+12 George 6, c.29 1948 Education (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act

    11+12 George 6, c.58 1948 Criminal Justice Act

    7 + 8 Elizabeth, 2 c.72 1959 Mental Health Act
    An Act to repeal the Lunacy and Mental Treatment Acts 1890 to 1930, and the Mental Deficiency Acts, 1913 to 1938, and to make fresh provision with respect to the treatment and care of mentally disordered persons and with respect to their property and affairs; and for purposes connected with the matters aforesaid. Royal Assent 29.7.1959
    mental health

    8 + 9 Elizabeth, 2 c.61 1960 Mental Health (Scotland) Act
    An Act to repeal the Lunacy (Scotland) Acts
    1857 to 1913, and the Mental Deficiency (Scotland) Acts, 1913 and to 1940; to make fresh provision with respect to the reception, care and treatment of persons suffering, or appearing to be suffering, from mental disorder, and with respect to their property and affairs; and for purposes connected with the matters aforesaid. Royal Assent 29.7.1960

    10 Elizabeth, 2 c.15 1961 Mental Health Act (Northern Ireland)
    An Act to repeal the
    Mental Health Act (Northern Ireland), 1948, and to make fresh provision with respect to persons suffering from mental disorder; to amend the criminal law with respect to those persons; and for purposes connected with those matters. Royal Assent 19.7.1961

    1967 Sexual Offences Act legalised homosexuality

    1967 Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act legalised abortion

    1968 Race Relations Act outlawed discrimination in housing and employment

    1968 Theatres Act abolished Lord Chamberlain's censorship of plays

    1969 chapter 15 1969 Representation of the People Act

    1969 chapter 45 1969 Matrimonial Proceedings and Property Act guaranteed a wife's right to assets upon break-up of a marriage by establishing that her work, as housewife or wage earner, should be considered an equal contribution to creating the family home.

    1969 chapter 55 1969 Divorce Reform Act simplified divorce proceedings and made "irretrievable breakdown of the marriage" the only grounds for divorce.

    1969 Abolition of the death penalty

    1970 chapter 44 1971 Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act

    mental health
timeline 1971 chapter 52 1970 Education (Handicapped Children) Act

    1983 chapter 2 1983 Representation of the People Act
    [From memory] I think this allowed patients in mental hospitals to vote using an address that was not the hospital. The address requirement was to avoid having large mental hospitals like those in Hertfordshire deciding who the local MP was.

    1983 chapter 20 1983 Mental Health Act
    "An Act to consolidate the law relating to mentally disordered persons". Royal Assent 9.5.1983

    Online Guides: "I was wondering why you have a link to Nigel Turner's website as Nigel has now gone off to do other things (walking round mountainous areas of the world for charity among them) and has not been adding to the site for some time? I usually send folks of to Mark Walton's page these days." (Email from Jess Knowles, Southampton University 22.2.2005, for which, my thanks)

    1986 chapter 33 1986 Disabled Persons Services Consultation and Representation Act.

    1990 chapter 19 1990 National Health Service and Community Care Act

    1990 chapter 23 1990 Access to Health Records Act
    Includes: Section 3.-(1) "An application for access to a health record, or to any part of a health record, may be made to the holder of the record by ... (a) the patient; ... (f) where the patient has died, the patient's personal representative and any person who may have a claim arising out of the patient's death.

    1995 chapter 12 1995 Carers (Recognition and Services) Act

    1995 chapter 25 1995 Mental Health (Patients in the Community) Act 52_en_1.htm

    1996 chapter 30 1996 Community Care (Direct Payments) Act

    2000 chapter 2 2000 Representation of the People Act
    Section 4 modifies section 7 of the 1983 Representation of the People Act so as to allow patients in mental hospitals to be registered to vote with the hospital as their address. The Liberty Guide to Human Rights: (quoted on Mark Walton's message board) says it " enables both voluntary and detained civil patients to register either at that address or another address with which they have a local connection. However, the Mental Health Act 1983 introduced a ban on voting for those detained in hospital via the criminal courts."

    2000 Act of Scotish Parliament 5: Abolition of Feudal Tenure etc (Scotland) Act 2000

    Some explanation   See feudal on this site.

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