McGilvary to Secretary of State

To the Right Honble The Secretary of State For the Colonies

Would you hav[e] the goodness to inform me what steps it requires to be taken regarding my Son James [who] at Present (I am told) is confined in a Lunatic asylum at Vancouvers Island and i hav[e] not the means at my disposal to bring him home to this Place by doing so you will confer a very great Favour on your Humble Servent.
Mrs J. McGilvary

109 Trongate St. Glasgow
Minutes by CO staff
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Mr Herbert
I fear we cannot render much assistance to this poor woman. We can write to the Governor and ascertain whether her son is in confinement in Vancouver Island, and let her know that we have done so. But even supposing that the Local Government were willing to incur the expense of his passage home in a sailing ship, in order to avoid the permanent charge of his maintenance in the Colony, neither his position nor hers would be improved. He wd have to be sent to a lunatic asylum in this country, becoming a burden on the county rates.
RSM 30/11/70
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I think she might be told that it would be quite impossible to bring him home unless he gets well, even if the great expense of the passage could be met, and that she may rest assured that he is receiving as muchManuscript image care & kindness as if he were in this Country.
At once.
RGWH Nov 30/70
Other documents included in the file
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Kimberley to McGilvary, 2 December 1870, explaining that it would be impossible to bring her son home unless his condition improved.