People who possessed property were not subject to the usual certification process but a commission de lunatico inquirendo. (27) Assessment by a Commission in Lunacy gave the alleged lunatic the opportunity to plead sanity, to rebut evidence of insanity, and to present oneself.
Richard has arranged an Order and Medical Certificates for Alfred's committal and, once he voluntarily steps into the asylum, he can no longer claim a commission de lunatico inquirendo. Thus, his father's cunning reduces Alfred in status and rights to the position of a married woman: he must appeal to the visiting Lunacy Commissioners for his freedom.
His father's chicanery relegates Alfred to the asylum without appeal to a commission de lunatico inquirendo. The weight of medical opinion against the foibles, follies and frailties of the female sex, however, make Alfred's position better than that of an equally sane and situated woman.
In this way, Weldon appropriated the privilege of a commission de lunatico inquirendo retroactively.
The legislation also made it possible for married women to request commissions de lunatico inquirendo to assess their sanity.