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A Romance of a Lunatic Asylum.

A petition signed by Mr John Chalk, of Melbourne, containing some startling statements, was presented to the Legislative Assembly last week. Mr Chalk states that he was arrested on the 7th December, 1885, and brought before Mr Call, P.M., upon a charge of insulting behaviour. The charge not being sustained Mr Chalk was dismissed, On leaving the Court, however, ho was re-arrested, and interviewed by Drs Le Fevre and Ford, and about half an hour afterwards Mr Chalk was set at liberty, two of bis friends having become bondsmen. On the 14th of December, 1885, the petitioner was again brought before the Court and discharged a second time. He was then subjected to a further medical examination, with the result that the police conveyed him to the Yarra Bend Lunatic Asylum. Dr Dick, the medical superintendent of the asylum, issued strict orders that none of his friends should be admitted to see him. None of the many letters which the petitioner wrote to the members of his family and to friends while detained in the asylum were forwarded. No answer was received by him from the Master in Lunacy, to whom he had also written, relative to the government of his estate. At length, realising that there was but one course by which ho could be relieved from his condition, Mr Chalk escaped from the asylum on the 31st January, 1880, Two days afterwards he had an interview with Mr Daakin, who requested him to state his case in writing, which was done, but no answer or acknowledgment was received to it, and on the following day, at the instance of a debtor to whom Mr Chalk had applied for payment of money due, he was again arrested and conveyed back to the asylum, where ho was detained for two years and four months, the strictest precaution being

taken to prevent him communicating In any way with his friends. On the 22nd March, 1899, he was transferred to the Beeohvorth Asylum as an incurable lunatic, and " there I might have remained,” continues the petitioner, " for the term of my natural life, but that two gentlemen who knew me happened to pay a visit of inspection to the asylum. They saw me and speedily effected my release. I came forth on the 29fch May, 18S8. In the meantime my estate, of the value of several thousand pounds, had apparently disappeared. Under the provision! of the Lunacy Statute, the Master ia Lunacy becomes trustee in such circumstances as I have narrated.” Mr Chalkseeks investigation into the matter, as one not only, affecting his own interests, but at. touching the general administration of the law relating to the property of persons under' control as lunatics. He asks for a board of inquiry, and states he is prepared to substantiate every particular of hie grievance with the testimony of reputable, impartial, and disinterested witness*.— ‘

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Bibliographic details

A Romance of a Lunatic Asylum., Issue 7994, 24 August 1889, Supplement

Word Count

A Romance of a Lunatic Asylum. Issue 7994, 24 August 1889, Supplement

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