Catalogue description Palatinate of Lancaster: Chancery: Commissions and Inquisitions of Lunacy

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Details of PL 5
Reference: PL 5
Title: Palatinate of Lancaster: Chancery: Commissions and Inquisitions of Lunacy

These records relate to those people of unsound mind who had a sufficient amount of property within Lancashire to require the intervention of the monarch as holder of the County Palatine of Lancaster.

The records comprise fourteen commissions and/or inquisitions of lunacy, designed to get information in order to put the administration of the lunatic's lands or property into other hands during the period of insanity. All relate to people living in the county palatine. Most date from the reign of Charles II.

Date: 1672-1834
Related material:

For similar records for the rest of the country, see C 211

Held by: The National Archives, Kew
Legal status: Public Record(s)
Language: English and Latin
Physical description: 1 bundle(s)
Administrative / biographical background:

The custody of the lands and persons of idiots ('natural fools from birth') and lunatics ('sometimes of good and sound memory and understanding and sometimes not') was a royal prerogative. A distinction was made between idiots and lunatics: the King was entitled to administer the lands of an idiot during his life, but of the lunatic only during periods of insanity. The lands or possessions were generally granted out for the term of the lunacy or idiocy to 'committees' (i.e. those to whose care the lunatic or his estate was committed - possibly the next of kin).

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