A History of the County of York: the City of York. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1961.
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PUBLIC SERVICES (fn. 1)
The first known successful attempt to supplement water carriers (fn. 2) and wells by a piped water supply was made in the early 17th century, previous proposals having met with little success. (fn. 3) In June 1616 a Mr. Maltby was reported to have 'begun his works' for supplying water by conduit or pipes. The corporation subsequently secured a quarter share in the waterworks which were apparently not completed in 1620: in that year 300 trees were to be bought and permission was given for pipes to be laid across Ouse Bridge. (fn. 4) The works were ordered to be repaired in 1630 but appear to have been abandoned soon after. The corporation let its share in the works to Thomas Hewley for 21 years in 1633, and soon after the proprietors (Hewley and Anthony Foxcrofte) were ordered to remove the pipes from Ouse Bridge. (fn. 5) It may be significant that later that year the water-carriers were supplemented by William Hall, who was enfranchised 'to lead water with bags on horseback'. (fn. 6)
In 1674 a corporation committee considered proposals made by Messrs. Whistler, Todd and Man, and Whistler, a London merchant, was invited to York. (fn. 7) In 1677 the corporation gave Whistler a 500year lease, at a peppercorn rent, of Lendal Tower on the bank of the Ouse described as 'the Waterhouse Tower . . . heretofore used as and for a Waterhouse and Waterwork': this was presumably the site of the waterworks begun in 1616. He was to complete the work in three years, laying pipes beneath the streets and taking rent from consumers. (fn. 8) Whistler appears to have ceased to take any direct interest in the works after 1682. (fn. 9) In the 18th century the works were bought by a Colonel Thornton, and in 1769 the corporation leased to Mary Thornton additional ground adjoining the tower in return for undertaking to supply the Mansion House, the gaol on Ouse Bridge, and the House of Correction with water. (fn. 10) In 1779 she sold the waterworks to Jerome Dring of York for £7,000; the capital was provided by Dring (12 shares), John Smeaton of Austhorpe, the engineer (7), John Holmes of London (3), and Michael Eastburn and William Clark of York (3 each). (fn. 11)
Whistler's original pump is said to have been worked at first by a windmill and later by two horses. A steam-engine was installed by a son of Colonel Thornton, but greater improvements were made after Dring acquired the works. The tower was raised so that it was 58½ feet above the summer level of the river and a new engine, designed by Smeaton, was set up in 1784. Only a limited supply of water was available from these early waterworks. In the late 18th century each half of the city was supplied for only three days a week, although during raceweek and the assizes a daily supply was maintained throughout the city with the help of water carriers. Elm trunks were not replaced by iron pipes until the early 19th century, and the wooden pipes were frequently blocked by sediment from the unfiltrated water. Pumps were necessary at various points on the mains, three of which were in Stonegate, Petergate, and Coney Street in 1780. Supplies were drawn from turncocks or by private service pipes from the mains. Smeaton's engine, capable of raising over 17,000 gallons an hour from the river, doubtless improved the supply, but in the early 19th century no more than 1,500 families were served, others still taking water from wells and carriers. (fn. 12)
In 1846 the York New Waterworks Company was formed under an Act for 'better supplying with water the city and neighbourhood of York'. (fn. 13) The 'neighbourhood' was Acomb, Holgate, Heworth, Clifton, Dringhouses, Middlethorpe, Gate Fulford, Heslington, and Osbaldwick. The new works were built at Acomb Landing and originally consisted of 2 reservoirs, 3 filter beds, and a supply reservoir at nearby Severus Hill; 2 pumping engines were installed in 1849. (fn. 14) The company was in 1876 empowered (fn. 15) to enlarge its plant, and additions were made in 1878 and 1886. (fn. 16) Expansion was again authorized in 1895 (fn. 17) when the company was renamed the York Waterworks Company, and Earswick, Towthorpe, Huntington, Water Fulford, and Bishopthorpe were included in the area which might be supplied. Numerous extensions were subsequently made to the plant. (fn. 18)
As demand increased, the head of water available was improved in 1850, 1879, 1902, and 1914; on this last occasion, the Severus Hill reservoir was replaced by a water tower. (fn. 19) The amount of water supplied to consumers was steadily increased (see Table 1).
Changes in the company's administration were authorized in 1932 (fn. 20) and the construction of new buildings was decided upon in 1934. (fn. 21) The area which might be supplied was extended in 1939 (fn. 22) to include Knapton, and Nether and Upper Poppleton, and a total of 2,588,000,000 gallons was supplied in 1953-4. (fn. 23) The water continues to be taken entirely from the Ouse, with a catchment area of about 1,200 square miles. (fn. 24) One further improvement was made in 1957 when the Severus Hill water tower was replaced by a large new one on Heslington Hill. In addition to the parishes already mentioned as constituting the statutory supply area, bulk supplies are provided for 26 parishes in the Tadcaster (W.R.), Flaxton (N.R.), and Derwent (E.R.) Rural Districts. (fn. 25) On several occasions it was proposed to remove the city's water supply from the hands of the company, and the corporation unsuccessfully sought powers to purchase the undertaking in 1911. (fn. 26) The company's offices occupy buildings adjoining the now disused Lendal Tower.
The York Gas Light Company was incorporated in 1823 by an Act (fn. 27) which named 104 citizens as the first subscribing members. The company was to supply the city and suburbs, and gas lighting was in use in streets and shops by March 1824; the manufacturing plant occupied a site of about 2 acres near Monk Bridge on the west bank of the Foss. In addition to supplying gas for public lighting, the company had, in these early stages, about 250 private customers: they were charged by contract at half-yearly rates which varied with the daily period of supply, and they could choose from three types of lamp. For some consumers meters were made available in May 1824 at a charge of 13s. for 1,000 cubic feet of gas; all consumers were able to enjoy this convenience in 1827. (fn. 28)
The replacement of 'the dull and murky glare' of oil lamps by 'the brilliant illumination' by gas had been welcomed, (fn. 29) but the cost was high. In 1828 the city temporarily returned to oil-lighting when the company and the city commissioners disagreed about the charges; after the matter had been settled, the commissioners announced that the entire number of winter lamps—250—would be lit during the music festival. (fn. 30) By 1837, however, a rival company had been established to break the Y.G.L.'s monopoly and to lower prices. (fn. 31)
The York Union Gas Light Company was established by a deed of settlement in January 1837; it had already received permission from the corporation to lay pipes but its workmen were hindered by those of the Y.G.L. when work began in February. By October, however, the Y.U.G.L. was able to supply gas from its works adjoining the Foss in Hungate, but it received a setback in 1838 when the Y.G.L. was awarded extensive damages for injury done to that company's mains. Competition was short-lived, however, for the two companies were amalgamated in 1844. (fn. 32)
The York United Gas Light Company thus formed began in July 1844, (fn. 33) with six directors from each of the earlier companies. The Monk Bridge site was extended in 1847, and the Hungate site was in 1850 sold to Henry Leetham, the miller. (fn. 34) The Act of 1844 extended the area which might be supplied to include Acomb, Gate Fulford, Heworth, Heslington, Clifton, Dringhouses, and Holgate.
A fresh dispute over charges between the company and the local authorities was settled by arbitration in 1850 but in 1862 the corporation was considering the construction of its own gasworks. In 1871 there was strong support in the city for the municipalization of the gasworks but the company would not sell, and in the same year considerable additions were made to the works. (fn. 35) Further expansion was authorized by the Act of 1878: (fn. 36) the 3½-acre site on the west bank of the Foss was to be enlarged by the acquisition of 6 acres on the east bank, powers to raise additional capital were bestowed, and the company was in future to extend its supply to Huntington, Osbaldwick, Rawcliffe, Water Fulford, Deighton, Naburn, Bishopthorpe, Middlethorpe, Copmanthorpe, and Upper and Nether Poppleton. The new land was, in fact, bought in 1879 and 1881, and the new works were built in 1880-5; the old and new works were linked by a bridge, and could be operated jointly or separately. One further improvement resulted from the extension: coal had been carried at first by river and later through the streets from the railway depot, but now it was possible to link the gasworks railway with the recently constructed Foss Islands Branch of the N.E.R. (fn. 37)
Additional plant was installed in 1899, 1901, and 1902. (fn. 38) In 1912 the company obtained an Act which changed its name to the York Gas Company and extended the area to be supplied to include all places within a seven-mile radius of Ouse Bridge. (fn. 39) The company's Bill had been opposed by the corporation which proposed to promote its own Bill for the purchase of the company; the proposal was dropped after the citizens had, early in 1913, refused their support for the scheme. (fn. 40) The plant was further extended in 1915-16. (fn. 41)
Changes had meanwhile been made in the method and purposes of supply. The pre-payment meter system was introduced in 1898, and from 1884 gas was supplied for cookers—available on hire from the company—as well as lighting; gas fires were also introduced at about this time. The maintenance of consumer's fittings began in 1901, and a system of house-to-house inspection of apparatus was instituted in 1921. (fn. 42) The Y.G.L. had about 250 consumers at its foundation: by 1923 nearly 22,500 were supplied (see Table 2). (fn. 43)
After the nationalization of the industry in 1948 (fn. 44) the York works came under the control of the NorthEastern Gas Board. The board's offices and showrooms in Davygate are those built for the Y. United G.L. in 1883. (fn. 45) It was announced in 1957 that York was to be connected to the gas grid, with a 32-mile pipeline from Tingley near Bradford (W.R.). The pipeline was completed and in use in 1958 when part of the manufacturing plant at York was closed down. The remainder was expected to be closed in 1959. (fn. 46)
By at least 1891 electricity was generated for private use at The Retreat and by the North Eastern Railway, (fn. 47) but a public supply was not instituted until 1900. The corporation was authorized to supply the city by a provisional order of 1890: (fn. 48) mains were to be laid within two years in the 'compulsory area' of Coney Street, Spurriergate, High Ousegate, and Parliament Street, (fn. 49) but it was not until 1897 that the corporation formally decided that the electricity supply should be a municipal undertaking. (fn. 50) The choice of type of supply and of tenders was eventually made with the help of Professor A. B. W. Kennedy of Westminster as consultant engineer, and after many plants in other towns had been inspected. (fn. 51)
The Foss Islands generating works were opened in February 1900 and current was being supplied in April; heat from the refuse destructor at the adjacent corporation depot was used to supplement coal to raise steam. (fn. 52) Lighting was provided in the streets, in public buildings (the Guildhall, Castle, Assembly Rooms, and Public Library for instance), (fn. 53) and for private consumers; public demand had in 1899 led to a decision to extend the supply to Bootham, (fn. 54) and the number of lamps connected increased from 4,630 in April 1900 to 16,470 in March 1901, 32,760 in March 1902, 43,167 in March 1903, and 53,454 in March 1904. (fn. 55) Several extensions were made to the original plant during these early years when constant efforts were made to keep generating capacity equal to demand. (fn. 56) In the third year of working, that demand was swollen by a large increase in the number of industrial motors using electric power; they increased from 22 in March 1902 to 63 in March 1903 and 110 in March 1904. (fn. 57)
In 1912 steps were taken to develop the heating and cooking branch of supply, and cookers were subsequently hired out by the corporation as electric motors had been previously. (fn. 58) Further additional demand resulted from the electrification of the city's tramways in 1910, (fn. 59) and the corporation's electricity and tramways committees were amalgamated in 1911. (fn. 60)
Increasing demand and the high price of coal after the First World War caused the corporation to consider the possibilities of generating hydroelectric power; a station was built at Linton Lock, about 11 miles from York, and opened in 1923. (fn. 61) In addition, frequent extensions have been made to the Foss Islands plant. In 1932 York was connected to the electricity grid (fn. 62) and a large proportion of the supply came subsequently from this source (Table 3). (fn. 63)
Under the provisional order of 1890 the supply area was the city of York; when residents outside that area requested electricity, the corporation was forced to seek approval from the rural authority and Board of Trade sanction, as it did, for example, in the case of residents in Fulford and Acomb in 1913. (fn. 64) In order to avoid such a procedure, the corporation sought, and obtained in 1914, an order to authorize supply to areas in the rural districts adjoining the city. (fn. 65) In 1929 the area which might be supplied was extended, most extensively in the North Riding, and year by year additional parishes were in fact electrified. (fn. 66) On the eve of nationalization, no further extensions had been made. (fn. 67)
Office accommodation was at first provided in Colliergate but was moved to the Foss Islands works in 1904; for public convenience and to help promote sales, however, showrooms were opened in a central position, in Spurriergate, in 1909. The commercial aspect of the electricity department's work was also being developed with advertising, canvassing, and the maintenance of consumers' lamps. In 1910 both offices and showrooms were moved to Clifford Street; they were extended in 1913 and 1929, and remained in use after nationalization. (fn. 68)
Under the Electricity Act of 1947 (fn. 69) the city became the headquarters of the York Sub-Area of the North-Eastern Electricity Board.
Street Lighting, Repair, and Cleansing
For much of the 17th century street lighting remained a matter of individual responsibility, as it had been in the 16th; in 1527, for example, each alderman and member of the 'twenty-four' was directed to hang a lantern above his door; (fn. 70) in 1607 certain citizens in each parish were chosen to do so; (fn. 71) and in 1639 all citizens were ordered to place candles above their doors during a visit by Charles I. (fn. 72) Collective responsibility was introduced in the late 17th century when a special rate was used to meet the expense of improved street lighting. In 1673 each parish was ordered to provide two candlelanterns; twelve lanterns were to be provided at the city's charge, but the candles for them were to be at the charge of the parish and assessments were to be levied on 'such as are in the poor folks bill'. (fn. 73)
Oil lamps were introduced in 1724 when 92 are said to have been placed in the streets: (fn. 74) 98 were, in fact, bought by the corporation that year. (fn. 75) This lighting was in 1763 (fn. 76) made the general responsibility of all householders: special assessments were to be collected in each parish, which was to elect its own surveyors, collectors, and lamp-lighters. In all, 389 'bell' lamps were to be provided in the city, and the parish officials were to contract for their supply. Previously only the oil had been paid for by the parishes. (fn. 77)
Gas lighting was introduced in 1824, (fn. 78) and in the following year the provision of street lighting was made the responsibility of the city commissioners. (fn. 79) Gas was not challenged by electricity until 1900, but although 45 arc lamps were erected during the electricity undertaking's first year, the number remained at 66 for the next three years (fn. 80) and the gas lamps were only slowly replaced. In 1928 gas still outnumbered electric lamps by 1,201 to 912; (fn. 81) in 1958 there were 379 gas and 4,387 electric street lights. (fn. 82)
The repair and cleansing of the streets remained a matter for individual responsibility, under corporation surveillance, throughout the Middle Ages (fn. 83) and Tudor times, (fn. 84) and even long after. The Act of 1763 only confirmed ancient practice in making owners and occupiers responsible for repairing and cleaning the streets in front of their houses. After 1825 the city commissioners shared with the corporation the responsibility for repair and cleansing (fn. 85) until in 1850 it became the sole responsibility of the corporation.
By 1825 nearly seven miles of city streets had been paved and one street—Lord Mayor's Walk— macadamized. Many small courts and streets, however, and some new streets were still unpaved in 1844. (fn. 86) Continual improvements were subsequently made, and by the end of the century extensive macadamization had taken place; between 1884 and 1899, for example, £40,000 was spent on macadamization, wood paving, and other street works. (fn. 87) Extensive reconstruction of roadways was carried out between 1910 and 1928; most roads were finished with tar-macadam or clinker-asphalt, but reinforced concrete was used for some surfaces. (fn. 88)
The disposal of household refuse had, like street cleaning, long been a matter for individual householders before the city commissioners were appointed in 1825; the commissioners were to control refuse disposal by householders. After the corporation had assumed the commissioners' duties, a depot was established in Foss Islands Road and a refuse destructor was erected there in 1900. (fn. 89) As a result of the improved sewerage introduced in the 1890's, night scavenging for the contents of privies and ashpits gradually decreased in importance. (fn. 90) Refuse destruction has since 1955 been supplemented by tipping in the extensive disused brickworks off Lawrence Street. (fn. 91)
No attempt was made until the early 19th century to substitute a co-ordinated system of underground sewers for the privately maintained sewers and drains—many of them open ones—which carried sewage into the city moats and into the Ouse and the Foss. (fn. 92) The failure of the tidal rivers to carry sewage away was realized in the 16th century (fn. 93) and, no doubt, earlier. The problem was aggravated in the 18th century by the construction of Naburn Lock on the Ouse in 1757 and of Castle Mills Lock on the Foss in 1794: (fn. 94) the level of the rivers and of the water-table beneath the city were permanently raised, sewers were flooded, and natural drainage into the rivers was greatly impeded. The prevalence of dung-heaps, pig-styes, and slaughter-houses, even in the centre of the city, the inefficiency of privies and of their cleansing, and the absence of drains on many properties all bred great corruption in the standing water, and disease was rampant.
Such was the condition of the city in 1844, (fn. 95) despite the efforts of the city commissioners since 1825; in that period the commissioners had constructed about 3½ miles of drains but these were inadequate in size, strength, and depth, and they still drained into the rivers within the built-up area of the city. (fn. 96) Among the reports submitted about the middle of the century was one by Robert Rawlinson in 1852; his recommendations included the purchase of the Foss Navigation Company by the corporation, the drainage of Foss Islands, the construction of intercepting sewers to prevent sewage from reaching the rivers, and the disposal of collected sewage away from the vicinity of the city. (fn. 97) The corporation was empowered to purchase the navigation company in the following year, (fn. 98) and after a Mr. Wicksteed of Leicester had submitted plans, Foss Islands were drained and sewers constructed—among them the all-important intercepting sewer along the Foss. Even then the old surface sewers were not removed but only connected with the new ones. (fn. 99)
In 1886 the first step was taken towards a substantially improved sewerage scheme: James Mansergh, by then well known as a designer of sewerage and waterworks, was asked to prepare a scheme for York in accordance with the Improvement Act of 1884. (fn. 100) Mansergh's report was submitted in 1887, work was begun in 1890, and the new scheme was opened in 1895. For the chief part of the scheme, nearly 22 miles of sewers were constructed between 1892 and 1895, and intercepting sewers on either side of the Ouse prevented sewage from reaching the river. A pumping station was built beside the Ouse near St. Oswald's Church, Fulford, and sewage was pumped to purification works at Naburn. (fn. 101)
Frequent improvements have been made to the Naburn works, (fn. 102) and the original pumping works have been replaced by a new station on the same site, serving the north and east of the city, opened in 1955, and a second station at Middlethorpe, serving the west of the city, opened in 1950. (fn. 103)
The organization of fire-fighting on other than an individual and parochial basis was not attempted until the late 17th century. When the waterworks was re-established in 1677 (fn. 104) provision was made for the corporation to fix public cocks to the water mains for use in case of fire, and in 1694 the corporation was purchasing its first fire engine—'a leather engine for fire' must have been no more than a simple hand-pump. (fn. 105) This engine was supplemented by three others in 1712, one being kept and maintained in each ward. (fn. 106)
By 1720 the corporation had four large and four small engines. Firemen had been appointed, and the corporation was inviting the Sun Fire Office to contribute towards salaries and the costs of repair and maintenance. The firemen were unable to handle the engines alone, however, for a scale of rewards was established for those who appeared on the scene of a fire and pumped. (fn. 107) By 1724 a new supervisor was appointed together with twelve firemen; the Sun Fire Office contributed one-third of the cost. (fn. 108) Even this improved brigade needed irregular help: in 1738, for example, sixteen men who helped to play the engines at a fire each received a reward of 2s. (fn. 109)
In 1754 the corporation decided to buy new engines and detailed regulations were issued in the following year. (fn. 110) The nature of the new arrangements suggests that the earlier brigade had ceased to exist before that date. Two engines, one large and one small, were provided for each ward. No firemen were appointed but a scale of payments was laid down for citizens who fetched and played the engines. The corporation alone met the cost of these rewards. and of placing fire-plugs on the mains. Additional engines were bought in 1760, among them 'a perpetual-stream engine of the first garden size', and an engineer was appointed. The Sun Fire Office then resumed its contribution to the upkeep of the fire establishment. (fn. 111) At this period it appears that the corporation's engines were still being supplemented by private and parochial equipment. (fn. 112)
A professional brigade was once again established in 1781 when 24 enginemen and firemen were appointed to operate the three large and three small engines. The corporation agreed to pay two-thirds of the cost if the Sun or any other fire office would contribute one-third. (fn. 113) The brigade proved inadequate, and in 1821 a committee of inquiry reported to the corporation and disclosed that only old and infirm men had been prepared to become firemen at the low rate of pay offered, and that of the six engines, only that presented by the Royal Exchange Assurance Office in 1801 was of recent construction. (fn. 114)
The committee's recommendations for improvement were not acted upon and the corporation unsuccessfully sought a scheme of joint management of the fire establishment with the insurance companies. The city's engines were still being maintained in 1825, (fn. 115) but in 1830 the corporation decided to transfer the establishment to the Yorkshire Insurance Company. (fn. 116) The Yorkshire had acquired a fire engine soon after the company's foundation in 1824, and a brigade of twelve men was established in 1825. (fn. 117) The company's engine was housed in Eyre's Coach House, Petergate, until 1826 when a house capable of accommodating two engines was bought in New Street. (fn. 118) The brigade was augmented in 1829 by the appointment of 60 assistants to help at fires. (fn. 119)
When the corporation's fire establishment was taken over in 1830, the company increased its fulltime brigade and improved its equipment. In 1854 it acquired a new and larger engine station in St. Andrewgate. (fn. 120) The corporation made an annual contribution of £20 towards the company's expenses from 1830 until 1835; the contribution was then withdrawn and the corporation engines in use by the company were recovered and sold. (fn. 121) One member of the corporation gave as the reason for this step the presence of two well-equipped fire offices in the city; (fn. 122) one was the Yorkshire, the other the North of England Assurance Company which procured its fire engines in 1835. (fn. 123)
Dissatisfaction with the companies' fire service increased during the third quarter of the 19th century. Attention was attracted by two fires which were poorly tackled by the brigade in 1863, (fn. 124) and the corporation immediately resolved to consider the establishment of its own brigade. (fn. 125) Further action was forced upon the corporation in 1875 when the Yorkshire announced that it intended to disband its brigade but would give its engines and an annual contribution towards a municipal brigade. After making inquiries from more than 50 cities and towns, the corporation constituted the whole of its police force a fire brigade; the Yorkshire offered an annual contribution of £120 for seven years, free use of the St. Andrewgate station, and its three engines. These engines were now very old and the corporation acquired the first steam fire engine used in York, together with a new manual engine. Although primarily intended to serve the city, the brigade was to deal with fires within a 10- to 12-mile radius of York and might go even farther at the discretion of the chief constable or mayor. (fn. 126) In subsequent years experiments were made with fire hydrants to replace the inefficient plugs on the mains, and by 1879 60 hydrants had been provided. (fn. 127) The fire brigade was reduced to 25 members of the police force in 1889. (fn. 128) A new fire station, in Clifford Street, in a building which also contained the police station and law courts, was opened in 1892. (fn. 129) In 1938 a new station was opened in Peckitt Street and Clifford Street, adjoining the building which had contained the old station and incorporating the former Trinity Chapel. (fn. 130)
The establishment of a professional brigade under the Fire Brigades Act of 1938 (fn. 131) began in 1940. (fn. 132) Having been part of the National Fire Service throughout the war, the fire brigade was returned to the corporation's control in 1948. (fn. 133) By agreements made before the Second World War, the brigade served the country districts around the city. (fn. 134) By 1948 the rural area thus provided for amounted to over 177 square miles; conversely, the brigade had arranged for the assistance of the three ridings and of the Rowntree's works brigades at city fires. In 1948, of the 273 calls answered, 236 were in the city and 37 in the Ridings. (fn. 135)
A unified police force was formed in 1836. The corporation appointed a watch committee as required by the Municipal Corporations Act of the previous year, and the committee reported that the city's police were divided into three: William Pardoe and two assistants appointed by the magistrates; an inefficient body of 54 parish constables similarly appointed and who could be discounted; and Daniel Smith and eight constables appointed by the city commissioners. Despite the recommendation of a metropolitan police officer that the number of constables should be increased, the corporation instructed the watch committee not to exceed the existing number of twelve. The new force consequently appointed consisted of Pardoe as superintendent, Smith as inspector, and ten constables. (fn. 136)
By 1855 the force had been increased to 29 officers and men, and in addition, the first detective had been appointed. (fn. 137) The strength in 1885 was 54, and an increase of 12 men was authorized in 1886 as a result of the boundary extensions under the Act of 1884. (fn. 138) An increase from 70 to 72 followed the boundary extension of 1893, (fn. 139) one from 101 to 105 that of 1934, (fn. 140) and one from 109 to 129 that of 1937. (fn. 141) The strength in 1957 was 179 men and 8 women. (fn. 142)
The first police station was that of the city commissioners' patrol, situated in St. Andrewgate; it was taken over by the new force established in 1836 and not replaced by a more commodious building until 1841 when a new station was built on ground adjoining the fish market (now Silver Street). (fn. 143) The station was enlarged and improved in 1858-9 and in 1878. (fn. 144) The present station in Clifford Street was opened in 1892. (fn. 145)
Cemeteries and Burial Grounds
By the early 19th century the city's burial grounds were recognized as both overcrowded and a threat to public health. (fn. 146) The York Public Cemetery Company was founded in 1836 and an 8-acre cemetery opened in the following year. (fn. 147) The old burial grounds remained in use, however, until 1854 when all were closed and it was ordered that no new grounds should be established in the city or within 2 miles of the city boundary. (fn. 148) By 1904 the cemetery company had extended its ground to 13 acres and this was more than half-filled; (fn. 149) despite extension to nearly 30 acres, the cemetery was nearly full in 1958.
The cemetery company's ground was supplemented by another, in Fulford parish, opened in 1915. This was established to replace the filled churchyard of St. Oswald's Church, and included a military section to meet the needs of the barracks. Military and civil sections together amounted to 4 acres in 1915; the military section has not been increased in size but by 1958 the civil section covered about 20 acres. The cemetery is administered by the parish council but most of the burials are from York. (fn. 150) Despite many proposals for the establishment of a municipal cemetery, only a small burial ground at Dringhouses is administered by the corporation, and the Fulford cemetery is the principal one for the city.
A small cemetery for Dringhouses parish was opened in 1927, (fn. 151) and since 1937 has been administered by the corporation. Small extensions have been made, but in 1958 burial space remained for only a few years' interments.
A cholera burial ground was established outside North Street Postern during the epidemic of 1832. (fn. 152) It remains as a small open space adjoining Station Road.
A number of small and ephemeral baths were constructed in the city during the 18th and early 19th centuries. Hot and cold baths were built at the waterworks at an unknown date in the 18th century; (fn. 153) a cold bath was in use at Lady Well near the New Walk in 1749; (fn. 154) medicated baths were opened in the Old Judges' Lodgings, Coney Street, in 1779, (fn. 155) and others were in use in High Petergate in the 1790's; (fn. 156) and hot, cold, vapour, and shower baths were opened in Blake Street in 1827. (fn. 157)
The first baths of greater size and permanence were those constructed in 1836 at the bottom of Marygate, adjoining the Ouse, on ground belonging to the Yorkshire Philosophical Society. (fn. 158) The baths appear to have become disused in 1923 when the society received its last annual rent from a tenant. (fn. 159)
Other baths which have ceased to exist were those constructed by the corporation at Acomb Landing in 1899, and abandoned in 1912 because of the deposition of silt from the Ouse. (fn. 160) Similarly, the corporation opened Old Yearsley Baths on the Foss in 1860 and closed them in 1931. (fn. 161) Both were open baths.
Four indoor baths are still maintained by the corporation. Those in St. George's Field were opened in 1880; Yearsley New Baths were built and presented to the corporation by Rowntree & Company Ltd. in 1909; Rowntree Park Baths were opened in 1924; (fn. 162) and slipper baths in Salisbury Road were opened to serve the Leeman Road district in 1935. (fn. 163)
With the establishment of the National Health Service in 1948, 13 institutions serving the city came under the control of the York 'A' and Tadcaster Hospital Management Committee. They comprised 2 general hospitals (the County and the City), 2 mental hospitals (Bootham Park and Naburn), a maternity hospital (at Acomb), an infectious diseases hospital (Yearsley Bridge), a tuberculosis sanatorium (Fairfield), and a geriatric hospital (the Grange Hospital). One old-established institution, the York Dispensary, ceased to exist under the Health Service. (fn. 164)
Several changes have been made in these services since 1948. The general hospitals were in 1950 supplemented by a civilian wing at the military hospital; (fn. 165) in 1952 Bootham Park and Naburn were amalgamated as a single mental hospital; two new hospitals were opened in 1954—Fulford Hospital (general) and the adjacent Maternity Hospital; and in 1955 the Grange Hospital was renamed St. Mary's Hospital to avoid confusion with the Grange, the city institution whose buildings it shared. (fn. 166)
Under the National Health Service Act, (fn. 167) the corporation was bound to provide, and has provided, child welfare, midwifery, health visiting, home nursing, vaccination, immunization, ambulance, and other services. (fn. 168) Local authority health centres have not been established in the comprehensive form contemplated by the Act. These services, however, with the exception of the ambulance, are all available at the Duncombe Place Health Centre—the former York Dispensary (see below)—and some also at the Gale Lane Health Centre (Acomb), as well as at seven clinics in the case of child welfare services. (fn. 169) The corporation maintained a mental welfare department after 1946 for various aspects of the community care of psychiatric illness, and also ran an occupation centre for mentally handicapped persons. In 1953 the activities of the management committee and the local authority were combined under the York Mental Health Service. There is a mental health centre in St. Saviourgate. (fn. 170)
Outstanding among the remaining private institutions is the Friends' Retreat, one of the first hospitals in the world to employ humane methods of mental treatment. It was excluded from the National Health Service as an Independent Registered Mental Hospital. Mention may be made of one remaining private nursing home: that taking its name from Dean Purey-Cust.
York County Hospital.
Following agitation for the establishment of an infirmary for the poor, Lady Elizabeth Hastings, the philanthropist, offered £1,000 towards its cost; no progress had been made when she died in 1739 and she left only £500 for this purpose. Her bequest was, however, supplemented by a subscription and the hospital was opened in a house in Monkgate in April 1740. By 1745 this house had been replaced by a new hospital fronting upon Monkgate; the building and site were then valued at nearly £2,300—the money which had been expended on them. In the year 1745-6 benefactions and subscriptions brought in about £600. The estate was vested in a body of trustees and a court of governors. (fn. 171)
The scope of the hospital's work was limited by its inadequate income, but after an appeal made in 1818 the situation had so much improved by 1824 that £12,000 was then invested in land. In 1840 the charity's real estate comprised the hospital and a nearby 3-acre close, a quarter share in the York Festival Concert Room, a house in Monkgate (probably that in which the hospital had been founded), and 4 farms—3 in Bainbridge (N.R.) and 1 in Wigginton (N.R.); personal estate comprised 22 shares in the York Assembly Rooms together with a variety of other stock, and totalled about £14,200. In the same year, the income from all sources was about £2,400. (fn. 172)
The present hospital building, designed by Messrs. Atkinson of York and costing £11,000, was opened in 1851: the cost was met by £7,000 from subscriptions and £4,000 from the charity's funds. The new building stands behind the site of the old, on ground between Monkgate and Foss Bank. (fn. 173) The hospital's income increased only slowly during the later 19th century, and was still drawn largely from subscriptions, church collections, donations, legacies, dividends, and rents. The average annual income was about £4,100 in the years 1858-67, and about £6,450 in 1890-9. Additions to the hospital during this period were the Watt Wing, built from a bequest of £5,000 from William Watt of Bishop Burton (E.R.) and opened in 1884, and a children's wing opened in 1899. (fn. 174) In 1887 the York Institution for Diseases of the Eye was amalgamated with the County Hospital; it had been established in the Merchant Tailors' Hall, Aldwark, in 1831 for poor patients. (fn. 175) A similar service for diseases of the ear was provided by an institution opened in 1851; it was said to be in the Merchant Adventurer's Hall in 1855 and may have been amalgamated with the County Hospital together with the eye institute. (fn. 176)
Additional funds were raised in the early 20th century by a number of voluntary bodies, among them the York Workpeople's Hospital Committee, founded in 1901. This committee ceased to exist in 1933, but the York County and District Hospital Contributory Scheme began in 1932 and subsequently provided a large part of the hospital's income. The average annual income was about £46,750 in the years 1938-47. (fn. 177) Additions to the hospital during this century have included a nurses' home, opened in 1905 and extended in 1940; and in 1947 an annexe for convalescent patients was opened at Deighton Grove—a country house in Naburn (E.R.). (fn. 178) In 1955 this annexe became known as Deighton Grove Hospital. (fn. 179)
Among charitable gifts made to the hospital were those of W. F. Rawdon (1895), C. C. Walker (1907), Mary Routledge (1911), J. Noble (1916), J. D. Smith (1927), Emma Chatwin (1929), T. R. Kitching (1929), and Elvira Halliday (1938). (fn. 180)
City of York General Hospital.
Work on the City Hospital was begun by the corporation in 1938, but suspended during the war; the building, comprising half of the intended scheme and costing about £100,000, was opened in 1941 and stands between Huntington Road and Haxby Road. The hospital adjoins the Grange (the old-established 'City Institution') and shares certain of its facilities, including a nurses' home. Two annexes, Poppleton Hall and Poppleton Gate, were established in 1942 for con valescent patients but were subsequently used for general purposes to relieve pressure on the parent hospital. In 1955 both were designated 'hospitals'. (fn. 181)
York Lunatic Asylum (Bootham Park Hospital).
An asylum for the city and county, to accommodate 'either parish poor, or [those] belonging to distressed and indigent families', was established by Archbishop Drummond and 24 gentlemen of Yorkshire (including a Dr. Hunter) in August 1772. There were at the time only four asylums in the country—2 in London and 1 each in Manchester and Newcastle upon Tyne. A sum of £2,500 was immediately subscribed, and John Carr was asked to design a building for 54 patients; it was completed in 1777 only after additional funds had been subscribed (see plate facing p. 408). By September of that year the asylum contained 10 patients, each paying 8s. a week. (fn. 182)
The promoters of the asylum emphasized that the surplus from subscriptions and donations, after building costs had been met, would be used to relieve those patients who could not afford the charges, but no surplus was available. A fund established in 1778 to relieve poor patients was of little use and in 1784 the governors decided to admit a small number of wealthy patients to provide funds for the poor. In the following year Dr. Hunter, the asylum's only physician, began the practice of accepting fees from the new class of patient; the poor, in fact, received little benefit. Hunter dispensed with the committee appointed to limit the number of wealthy patients, and the governors made no attempt to uphold the charitable objects of the institution. (fn. 183)
A further effort to provide for poor patients was made in 1789: the executors of a Mr. Lupton gave £400 and William Mason (1724-97), the Precentor of York and an ardent critic of Dr. Hunter, gave £100 to establish Lupton's Fund for the maintenance of parish pauper and other indigent lunatics of the city, county, and The Ainsty. The governors, however, altered the wording of the donation so that it appeared not to be for the sole benefit of the poor, and for various reasons the fund long remained untouched. Hunter, moreover, advertised his own private 'house of retirement for persons of condition only' in 1790. The mismanagement of the asylum probably accounts for the increased number of private madhouses in this period: twelve, among them the Friends' Retreat, were said to exist in 1815. (fn. 184) The Retreat had, in fact, been established as a direct result of suspected maltreatment of patients at the asylum. (fn. 185)
Mason and others strove to improve conditions at the asylum until 1794; thereafter Hunter was unopposed and no official visitors were appointed. A new wing was added in 1795 and by 1808 the number of patients had increased to 188. Hunter died in 1809 and an unsuccessful attempt was made to enforce the true objects of the asylum; by 1813 the new physician, Dr. Best, groomed by Hunter himself, was in full control; the body of governors had been greatly reduced in number, and even private visitors had been forbidden. (fn. 186)
Determined efforts to reform the administration of the asylum began in 1813. A long and bitter controversy raged between Best and Samuel Tuke, grandson of the founder of The Retreat, who worked closely with Godfrey Higgins, a West Riding magistrate whose suspicions had been aroused by the condition of a discharged West Riding patient. Tuke engineered a successful coup by persuading thirteen men, among them S. W. Nicholl, the Recorder of Doncaster, and Daniel Tuke, to present themselves at a governors' meeting with the requisite donations to qualify them as governors. The new party was admitted and secured the establishment of a committee of inquiry into the alleged abuses. At this point the asylum gained further unfavourable publicity as the result of a fire in which the detached wing was destroyed and four patients died. (fn. 187)
A full inquiry into the rules and management of the asylum revealed gross maltreatment, differentiation between rich and poor patients, bad accommodation (the building designed for 54 patients contained 160), the acceptance of excessive emoluments by the physician, who regarded wealthy inmates as his private patients, and the falsification of accounts. Among the reforms introduced in 1814 were the appointment of a committee of management, a reduction in the physician's responsibilities, the appointment of visitors, the right of all patients to be attended by private physicians, and the replacement of the physician's fees and emoluments by a fixed salary. The governors resisted the dismissal of Dr. Best but after he and others had given evidence about the asylum before a select committee of the House of Commons in 1815, he is heard of no more; a Dr. Wake was physician at the asylum from 1815 until 1839. (fn. 188) Throughout the controversy four men had been especially prominent: Higgins (17711833), who guided the establishment of the Wakefield asylum in 1818 and whose benevolent work extended to many fields; Gray (1779-1837), Undersheriff of Yorkshire in 1807, solicitor to the see of York, founder of the Yorkshire Gazette, and author of the History of the asylum; Nicholl; and Samuel Tuke. (fn. 189)
The charges for indigent patients at the asylum were reduced in 1816 and parish paupers of the city, county, and The Ainsty paid 8s. a week in 1817; and in the latter year a separate building for female patients was opened. The number of patients increased to 179 by 1828, and of 157 resident in 1844, 52 were paupers. Patients' charges continued to provide most of the asylum's income: in 1833 they amounted to £5,414 out of £5,880. The number of patients admitted, however, fell sharply: from 1777 to 1814 an average of 94 had been admitted annually, but from 1815 to 1833 the average was only 48. The presence of paupers was thought to deter wealthier patients and in 1844 paupers were excluded in view of the imminent establishment of the North and East Riding asylum at Clifton. (fn. 190)
In 1861 the Clifton asylum announced that city paupers could no longer be accepted and the mayor sought their readmission to the York asylum. He was successful only after twelve city councillors had presented themselves as governors after the manner of the coup of 1813. In 1900 the city took steps to build its own asylum for paupers. One notable addition to the Bootham asylum during this period was the church, opened in 1865. (fn. 191)
The number of private patients gradually increased after the removal of paupers and remained relatively stable during the 20th century: 113 were resident in 1910 and 99 in 1929. Patients' charges continued to provide the greatest proportion of the income: £9,635 of £11,220 in 1910 and £25,165 of £27,174 in 1929. (fn. 192)
York City Asylum (Naburn Hospital).
The need to provide accommodation for city paupers led to the corporation's purchase of Acres Farm in Naburn and Fulford in 1899. The completed building was opened in 1906 and in March that year 24 patients were moved from the York Lunatic Asylum; by December 297 were in residence. Between 1907 and 1940 the number of patients was always between 300 and 400. In addition to city paupers, lunatics from other parts of the country have also been accommodated from time to time. The hospital was extended by the purchase of Naburn Lodge Farm in 1914. So-called 'relief patients' provided the greater part of the hospital's income: of a total income of £29,007 in 1940, for example, £24,187 was provided by York Public Assistance Committee and by other borough and county councils, with only £2,689 contributed by private patients and those from the armed services. (fn. 193)
The Maternity Hospital (Acomb).
Acomb Hall was bought by the corporation in 1920 and opened as a maternity hospital in 1922. It was administered by a joint committee of the corporation and the Dispensary. After the opening of the Maternity Hospital at Fulford in 1954, the Acomb building was reopened for geriatric patients, in association with St. Mary's Hospital. (fn. 194)
Yearsley Bridge Hospital.
Construction of the 'Fever Hospital' by the corporation began in 1879, and it was in use by June 1881. It was extended in 1932. The Bungalow, a smallpox hospital in Huntington, was opened as an annexe in 1902; under the Health Service it became associated with the Grange Hospital. (fn. 195)
Fairfield Sanatorium (Skelton).
The corporation bought Fairfield House in 1918 and opened it as a tuberculosis sanatorium in the following year. Associated with the sanatorium is a tuberculosis dispensary in Castlegate, established in 1913. (fn. 196)
The Grange Hospital (later St. Mary's Hospital).
The York Workhouse on Huntington Road (fn. 197) later became a city institution for the aged poor, and the institution included an infirmary; it was this infirmary which came under the control of the hospital management committee in 1946 and was known as the Grange Hospital.
In 1788 a public dispensary for the poor was established in a room in the Merchant Adventurers' Hall, Fossgate, by a group of medical practitioners, among them a Dr. Withers who had conducted a small private dispensary for several years previously. The Dispensary was governed by a board of directors and offered free attention to poor patients. An initial capital of £160 was provided in donations and subscriptions; voluntary payments remained the chief source of income throughout the Dispensary's existence. Because its doctors were willing to visit patients in their homes and because it served the many sick poor in the city, the Dispensary supplemented rather than conflicted with the work of the County Hospital. During the first 20 years of its existence about 17,000 patients were admitted. (fn. 198)
In 1806 improved premises were secured by the purchase of a house in St. Andrewgate which was opened to patients in 1808. By the end of 1826, about 34,000 people had been treated there. Still better accommodation was required and a new building, designed by Hansom and Welch and costing over £1,900, was built in New Street and opened in 1829. A further expansion took place in 1899 when a new building was opened in Duncombe Place; it was designed by Edmund Kirby of Liverpool and cost nearly £6,000. (fn. 199)
A separate Homoeopathic Dispensary was established in 1851 in Little Blake Street; dependent upon subscriptions, it had received 1,095 patients by 1861, (fn. 200) but nothing is known of its later history.
In 1895 the York Dispensary revived the maternity service which it had provided from 1788 until 1801, and in 1897 it took over the work of the York LyingIn Society which had existed since at least the early 1880's. A maternity home was opened in Ogleforth in 1908 and administered by the Dispensary until 1922; the corporation then opened a maternity home at Acomb which was operated jointly with the Dispensary. (fn. 201)
The Dispensary's income was not substantially increased during the 20th century; the average annual income rose from about £1,470 in the years 1890-9 to about £2,150 in 1930-9. The Dispensary was declared redundant when the National Health Service was introduced in 1948, and the premises were in 1949 purchased for £16,500 to become a corporation Health Service Centre. (fn. 202)
After winding up, the Dispensary trustees were left in 1955 with an endowment of £67,962 stock and £2,353 cash, which was regulated by a Charity Commissioners' Scheme. By the terms of this the income was to be administered for the sick poor of York and district, and applied for the provision of bedding, comforts, food, fuel, and medical aids, of convalescence or domestic help, or of grants to institutions for care and relief. (fn. 203)
Fulford Hospital and the Maternity Hospital (Fulford).
These hospitals were opened in 1954 on ground adjoining Naburn Hospital; the site had formerly been occupied by a war-time temporary hospital. Certain departments are common to both the maternity and the general hospitals. (fn. 204)
The Friends' Retreat.
The establishment of a mental hospital in which humane methods of treatment would be used was prompted by the death of a Friend in the York County Asylum in 1791 in circumstances that aroused suspicions of maltreatment. William Tuke, a York Friend, helped by his son Henry and by Lindley Murray, sought local support for the erection of a 'retired habitation'; by June 1793 donations, annual subscriptions, and payments for annuities amounted to only about £1,160, but 12 acres of land in Fulford were acquired later that year for £1,357. It was necessary to seek loans before The Retreat was completed and opened in 1796. The architect was John Bevans of London and the Atkinsons supervised the construction. (fn. 205)
Ownership and control of The Retreat were vested in an annual General Meeting consisting of 40 directors, agents representing Monthly Meetings of the society, and a committee of management; the committee, at first with eight members, was chosen by the society's Yorkshire Quarterly Meeting. In the early years, voluntary payments formed a large part of the income, but from the first, patients paid for their accommodation and treatment. Charges were modest: of the fifteen patients accommodated in 1797, seven paid 4s. and eight 8s. a week, and in 1799 these sums were reduced for residence of up to six months, the poorest patients paying nothing at all. In 1802 income from patients' charges for the first time exceeded expenditure and voluntary payments thenceforth formed a progressively less important part of the hospital's income. Between 1797 and 1811 149 patients were admitted and 66 were resident in 1812. (fn. 206)
Additional accommodation was provided as the number of patients increased. A wing was added in 1796 and new buildings erected in 1799 and 1803. In 1810 a house near Walmgate Bar was purchased and named The Appendage; it remained in use until 1823 when it was sold to the Yorkshire Quarterly Meeting as a boys' school. A house on Garrow Hill was acquired and in 1816 The Lodge was built to accommodate the 'higher class of patients'; soon after 1824 7½ acres of land adjoining the hospital were bought, and a new wing was built in 1826. (fn. 207)
By 1828 The Retreat was capable of accommodating about 100 patients, and 94 were in fact resident that year. The hospital's financial position improved after 1818 when patients not connected with the Society were first admitted and offered their own apartments and attendants. Of the residents in 1828 8 were wealthy non-Quaker patients, 74 were Friends, and 12 were 'in profession' with Friends; and while 34 paid only 4s. a week and 36 from 4s. to 8s., 18 patients then paid between 1 and 5 guineas. Between 1812 and 1828, 230 patients were admitted. (fn. 208)
Extensions to the building later in the 19th century included a new wing in 1854 and a nurses' home in 1899; the Villa System was introduced and separate accommodation provided in Belle Vue (a house acquired in 1879), the East Villa (built in 1880), the West Villa (built in 1891), and the Gentlemen's Lodge. Bleasdale Fields, facing The Retreat, were bought in 1884, and in 1886 Gainsborough House, Scarborough (N.R.), was leased as a holiday house. Throxenby Hall, near Scarborough, replaced Gainsborough House in 1903, but in 1924 it was decided to lease seaside houses for short periods and the lease of the hall was not renewed. The superintendent's house was built in 1909, and a new nurses' home in 1926. (fn. 209)
Patients' charges have continued to provide most of The Retreat's income which increased from an average of £1,345 a year in 1798-1802, to £4,485 in 1824-8, £8,832 in 1863-7, £23,580 in 1900-4, and £64,229 in 1928-32. The number of patients resident had increased to 226 by 1946, when only 10 per cent. were connected with the society. In that year it was agreed that The Retreat should remain outside the National Health Service, and an appeal was launched for £120,000 to cover the costs of development and modernization. (fn. 210)
Prominent among the Friends connected with The Retreat were the Tukes, a long-established York family several of whom were wholesale tea and coffee merchants. William (1732-1822), the prime mover in the foundation of The Retreat, became its treasurer and was prominent in the society's Yearly Meetings in London. His second wife established a girls' school in 1784, its lineal descendant being the Mount School. Henry (1755-1814), William's son, was a prominent member of the society. Samuel Tuke (1784-1857), Henry's son, took a great interest in medicine and wrote a number of books and articles, including his Description of the Retreat. He played a leading part in the reformation of the York County Asylum, and did much work for the society and for education. He was also a designer of asylums James Hack Tuke (1819-96), Samuel's elder son, was closely concerned with the management of The Retreat until he left York in 1852; Daniel (1827-95), his younger son, entered the medical profession and carried out much work on mental diseases. (fn. 211)
Purey-Cust Nursing Home.
The work of the York Home for Nurses in Monkgate, established in 1870, was greatly improved in 1915 with the opening of its successor, the Purey-Cust Nursing Home in Precentor's Court. It was erected as a testimonial to Dean Purey-Cust who in 1913 completed 25 years' service as dean; the architect was W. H. Brierley of York and the cost nearly £10,000. The New Residence (fn. 212) was used as part of the home until 1953 when it was given up as the result of a decreased demand for accommodation consequent upon the introduction of the National Health Service. (fn. 213)