Historical Account of Newcastle-Upon-Tyne Including the Borough of Gateshead. Originally published by Mackenzie and Dent, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, 1827.
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THE LYING-IN HOSPITAL.
In the autumn of 1760, a subscription was commenced for the establishment of a Lying-in Hospital in Newcastle, for poor married women. A general court of contributors was held on the 26th of November that year; when a physician, surgeon, surgeon extraordinary, man-midwife, and matron, were chosen, A house, taken in Rosemary Lane for the purposes of the institution, was opened on December 3d following, for the admission of pregnant women; and which Mrs. Sarah Hudson was licensed to keep, at the quarter sessions held in the Mansion House January 12, 1774, when she was enjoined to fix and keep up, over the door or public entrance of the hospital, in large letters, the following words:—"Licensed for the public reception of pregnant women, pursuant to an act of parliament passed in the 13th year of the reign of George III." Over the charity-box, within the entrance of the house was the appropriate motto, "Because there was no room for her in the inn." In the first year, the annual subscriptions to this humane institution amounted to 87 guineas, and the benefactions to 69 guineas.
Mr. Thomas Elliott, (fn. 1) surgeon to this hospital, transmitted, on January 1,1819, to the trustees of the charity, a donation of five pounds for the commencement of a fund in aid of the purchasing, constructing, or renting, as the case might require, hospital premises in Newcastle upon Tyne suitable for the reception of poor married women lying-in. At a general and quarterly court of the governors and subscribers, held on April the 7th following, a series of resolutions was unanimously adopted, for the furtherance of the scheme proposed by Mr. Elliott, in honour of whom it was agreed to call the collection of moneys Elliott's Fund. The progressive accumulation of this fund encouraged the subscribers, on receiving notice to quit the premises in Rosemary Lane, to resolve on the construction of an hospital. In order to facilitate the execution of this benevolent design, the corporation granted a most convenient and eligible scite of ground, fronting New Bridge Street, and which had been resigned by the Literary and Philosophical Society. The elevations, details, and specifications of the several works of the new hospital, were all gratuitously supplied by Mr. Dobson, architect. It is a remarkably chaste, plain, and substantial stone building, in the style of English architecture that prevailed about the end of the reign of Henry VIII. The masonry is particularly well executed by the Messrs. Welsh of Gateshead, the two ingenious young men noticed in another place. The ornamented canopy sills are beautiful. The whole length of the building is 56 feet, and the breadth 47 feet. On the right hand side of the entrance is a waiting hall, 16 feet by 12½ feet. This communicates by a door with the committee-room, which is 25 feet in length, and 16 feet in breadth. The next apartment is the surgeon's room. On the opposite side are the matron's sitting-room, a store-room, two kitchens, and a wash-house, which is annexed to the main building. In the upper floor are two large, light, airy wards, which hold four beds each; and two smaller wards, adapted for two beds each; with the matron's bed-room, store-rooms, water-closet, and other conveniences. The gallery in this floor terminates with a projecting window, ornamented with stained glass, manufactured by Mr. Joseph Price. The subscribers directed the arms of the corporation, of the late Mr. Elliott, and of the late vicar, the Rev. John Smith, who was an eminent benefactor of the institution, to be put upon the glass; but, as they hesitated in choosing the fourth coat of arms, Mr. Price inserted his own. There is also a further ornament of a Cupid's head.
Maugre the attempts of Malthus and the Scotch Philosophers to discourage the breeding of the industrious classes, the old English feeling of kindness and benevolence to the poor has been pleasingly evinced in Newcastle, in the support of this charity. (fn. 2) The whole expenses of the building, fitting up, &c. will amount to about £1550, of which sum about £1300 have been subscribed; and, no doubt, the liberality of the ladies and gentlemen of the place will soon enable the treasurer to liquidate the debt that remains due.
Subscribers and benefactors to this charity are entitled to a number of votes in proportion to their benefaction or annual subscription. For every guinea subscribed annually, one woman in the year may be recommended. A general court of governors and subscribers is held four times in the year; and a house committee meet every Wednesday, at 12 o'clock at noon, to admit and discharge women, inspect the diet and provisions, regulate the conduct of all officers, servants, and patients, and to make their reports to the general quarterly court. Two ladies, at the request of the house committee, are desired to visit the house daily during one week.
Every woman desiring admittance into the hospital must produce a certificate of her marriage, including the time and place of marriage, and state the settlement of her husband, and how such settlement was obtained: and to those facts she and her husband must jointly swear. If the husband cannot attend, then the affidavit of the wife singly to the above particulars shall be sufficient. The said affidavit may be delivered to the chapelwardens or overseers of the parochial chapelry of All Saints, Newcastle upon Tyne, if required. If the husband should not have a settlement, but the wife be able to make affidavit to her own settlement, and to give such other proofs thereof as are satisfactory to the committee, she may be admitted. No woman can be admitted labouring under any contagious distemper, or not having a fixed residence, except her husband be a soldier or sailor. Every patient is required to bring a child's dress with her; and if no symptoms of approaching labour appear, the matron may dismiss her at the end of two days, until it be proper to re-admit her. When necessary, a patient is brought in a chair to the hospital; but when that is not practicable or safe, she is carefully attended at her own house. Three skilful surgeons attend the hospital in rotation, each of whom are, if need be, to hold consultation with the other surgeons and with the physician. The matron is to deliver in all natural and easy cases, and to superintend the servants, nurses, and general officers of the house.
The new hospital was opened on October 4,1826, since which time it has contained as many as seven patients at one time. From the commencement of this charity on October 1,1760, to the 30th of September, 1825, there were—.
|Poor married women discharged in health,||3193|
|—died in the hospital,||22|
|—remained on the books,||10|
|—never appeared after being entered on the books,||225|
|Subscribed during that period,||10,646||7||3¼|
|Due by the treasurer,||1||9||0|
The following is a statement of the accounts for the 65th year of this institution, ended September 30, 1825:—
In the last printed report, the establishment stood thus:—
President, Sir Matthew White Ridley, Bart. M. P. Vice-presidents, The Right Honourable the Lord Ravensworth; The Master of the Trinity House; The Right Worshipful the Mayor of Newcastle; Cuthbert Ellison, Esq. M. P. Chaplain, The Rev. Moses Manners, M. A. Physicians, Dr. Smith; Dr. Bulman. Surgeons, Mr. Greenhow; Mr. Frost; Mr. Hardcastle. Secretary, Mr. Hardcastle. Matron, Mrs. Mary Jeffrey. Treasurers, The Rev. John Smith, Vicar of Newcastle (D.); The Rev. John Collinson, Rector of Gateshead.
THE CHARITY FOR POOR MARRIED WOMEN,
Lying in at their own houses.
This charity commenced in the winter of 1760, with the intention that each poor married woman, or widow pregnant at her husband's death, in Newcastle and Gateshead, should be attended and delivered by an experienced midwife; or, if necessary, by a surgeon expert in midwifery; and, in difficult cases, by a physician; and supplied, during the month, with proper medicines and suitable provision. (fn. 3) From the time that the charity was finally organized in 1761, to January 1, 1826, 8739 patients have been admitted. During the last year, 192 women were delivered; 109 males and 86 females were born; one woman and three children died; and two children were still-born. In the former year, 229 patients were admitted. Were an account taken from the books of this institution, of the number of patients delivered in each month since its commencement, of the number of boys and girls born in each year, and of the patients and children that died, it would form a very curious and important document. From the reports which the writer has seen, the males born each year exceed the females in number. It is scarcely necessary to remark, that this charity is chiefly supported by ladies, some of whom are at the trouble of conducting a penny a week subscription for its support. The lady visitors shew the greatest attention to, and care of, the patients. The following is an abstract of the accounts from January 1,1825, to January 1,1826:—
|Balance remaining with the treasurer, January 1, 1825||79||19||7||192 patients, at 9s. 6d. each||91||4||0|
|Annual subscriptions received this year||128||10||6||187 midwives, at 2s. 6d. each (fn. 4)||23||7||6|
|May. A donation from Mr. Hurry, of London||5||5||0||Jan. Paid Ann Tallentyre, in addition, per Miss Atkinson||0||2||6|
|A do. from Mr. Powell, of do.||5||5||0||Do. in addition, to a patient, per Miss Robertson||0||3||0|
|June. Do. anonymous, per Mrs. Priestman||2||2||0||Do. Margaret Bragg and Son||1||13||5|
|Sept. A lady's penny-a-week subscription||0||4||6||Do. Tweedy, in addition, per Mrs. Gibson||0||0||9|
|Dec. Collected by a lady from various friends, being their penny-a-week subscription||2||2||3||April, Do. the Dispensary servants||0||6||0|
|Left in a shop in Pilgrim Street, by a woman detected in the act of stealing||2||0||0||Do. Mrs. Affleck, for washing and making linen||1||3||5|
|Three ladies' penny-a-week subscription||0||13||0||May, Do. E. Ferguson, in addition, per Mrs. Robson||0||2||6|
|Donation from Matthew Bell, Esq. of Woolsington||20||0||0||June, Do. Jane Cooper, do. per Mrs. Dobson||0||3||6|
|Do. anonymous, E. W.||1||0||0||Aug. Do. Forsyth, in consequence of having twins||0||2||6|
|Mrs. Affleck's annual salary||5||0||0|
|Mrs. Watson, for a year's rent of room||5||0||0|
|Dec. Mr. Paget, surgeon, his bill for the year||8||0||0|
|Mr. Greenhow's do. do.||1||14||6|
|Paid Mr. Bragg and Son, for linen, &c.||15||0||0|
|Do. Mr. Walker, for a year's advertisements||1||10||0|
|Do. Messrs. Hodgson's, for advertisements and printing annual report||4||16||0|
|Balance remaining with the treasurer, January 1,1826||87||12||3|
|L 247||1||10||L 247||1||10|
Over and above the balance, viz. 87l. 12s. 3d. there remains in the Newcastle Savings Bank 220l. 11s. 11d.
The present establishment is as follows :—
President, Isaac Cookson, Esq. Treasurer, Mr. Joseph Morton. Secretary, Rev. W. Turner. Physicians, Dr. M'Whirter; Dr. Weightman. Surgeons, Mr. Greenhow; Mr. Paget. Lady Visitors, Mesdames Weightman, Coward, Priestman, Bragg, Joplin, Hotham, Dobson, Featherstone, G. Hodge, Currie, and Liddle; and Misses Croser, Bainbridge, Potts, Beaumont, Turner, Hunter, Angas, Pearson, and Robertson. Midwives, Mesdames Ellis, Rutherford, Laing, Hill, Atkinson, Richardson, Walker, M'Kenzie, Thompson, Pringle, Stonehouse, Brown, Sewell, Wilson, and Brunskill.