Annual report for 1871

1871 Report headingThe following is an extract from the annual report for the year 1871 which was published in January 1872. The original report is at the Dorset History Centre (reference number D.1156/1). Transcripts of the subscriber list and the balance sheet (which both form part of the annual report) are also available on this site (click on the red links).



In presenting their 32st Annual Report, the Cm are at once constrained to confess that, in a financial point of view, it is not  of so satisfactory a character as they have almost invariably had the pleasure of submitting to the Governors.

In order to meet the deficiency of the two previous years, announced in the last Report (£403 5s. 7d.), it will be recollected that they sought and obtained permission to appropriate a Legacy, which had been notified to them by the Executors of the late Mrs Balston’s Will, instead of funding it according to the usual practice. The Legacy, amounting to £450, has been received ; the whole of it absorbed in the payment of the above debt, and in the expenditure of the year ; and still the Treasurer’s Report records an unfavourable Balance of no less than £363 17s. 6d.

In explanation of this discouraging and somewhat unexpected result, the increase of about £100 in the Butcher’s Bill, of more than £10 in Wine and Spirits, and some £60 in Drugs, besides an additional expenditure of £65 in Linen, Bedding, Clothing, Furniture, and Repairs, will account for a very considerable part of the sum.

Whilst meat has been at a higher price, a larger quantity has been consumed, although the average number of patients per week has been 3 less–viz., 55 against 58 ; and this circumstances may be perhaps attributable to the unusual influx of heavy Accidents and Emergencies. It is not impossible that the establishment of smaller Hospitals in other parts of the County may tend in this direction, the more trifling cases being frequently dealt with nearer home, whilst only the more aggravated and expensive ones are still sent here. At any rate the average weekly cost per head has advanced from 13s. 3½d., which was itself rather above the average, to no less than 16s. 2½d. The actual number of In patients has been 508 against 416 last year.

Two other Legacies, each of £100, from the late Rev. George Goodden and Mrs. James Michel have been received and funded, so that the actual excess of the expenditure over the receipts of the year may be so far reduced ; but, after making every deduction, it will be seen to be impossible to carry on the Hospital on the same scale, without either larger Funds, or greatly increased economy.

The Donations of the year include £20 from our old friend and benefactor, Dr. Bisset Hawkins, and £25 from our good Honorary Secretary, Mr. J. R. Tooze, but still fall short of their average amount : but the Congregational Collections have reached an almost unprecedented amount, except under peculiar and authoritative appeals, and have realized £464 5s. 6d., being some £150 above the average of the last 10 years. No source of income is more gratifying than this, because it shews a wide-spread appreciation of the advantages of the Institution ; and the most cordial thanks of the Governors are due to those Clergy and their Congregations from whom such essential and seasonable assistance has been received.

The Governors will have already heard of the sad loss, which the Institution has sustained, during the last few weeks, in the removal by death of their talented and respected Physician, Dr. Charles Cowdell, who, for nearly 23 years, has discharged the duties of his honorary office with such unvarying ability, kindness, and courtesy. The subject of filling up the vacancy, thus unhappily created, will be for the consideration of the Governors to-day ; and the Committee only trust that a successor will be found, who will devote himself with as constant zeal and fidelity to the best interests of the Hospital and to the benefit of the Poor.

A special debt of gratitude is due to the Surgeons, who have kindly consented to add to their own labours, already sufficiently onerous, by treating all the Medical patients, that may present themselves in the interim.

The House Surgeon and Matron continue to possess the entire confidence of the Committee ; and nothing appears to be wanting to secure the efficiency of the charity, and to enable it satisfactorily to meet all probable demands upon it, except a small and permanent addition to its existing Income.

Those, who have enjoyed the opportunity of marking its gradual growth and development from small beginnings, will not fail to recognize the unquestionable marks of the Divine favour, which have hitherto been vouchsafed to it ; nor do the Committee doubt that He, who hath hitherto helped, will still help, and permit it to maintain its course of usefulness in ministering to the wants and woes of the sick and suffering Poor.

C. W. BINGHAM, Chairman.



During the past Year. From the com-mencement.
In Patients. Out Patients. In Patients. Out Patients.
On the Books 1st January, 1871 54 61
ADMITTED since, viz.–
On Recommendations 366 631 7654 11083
Household Servants 7 182
Freely as Accident cases 58 1245 54
Emergencies 23 177

 508  692  9258 11137
RENEWED TICKETS–In-Patients 56. Out-Patients 211. Casual Cases 724. From commencement 24507
Cured 253 261 4065 4593
Relieved 85 157 2599 3200
Supplied with Trusts 17 4 202
Made Out-Patients 56 1139
Made In-Patients 13 554
At their own request 20 7 468 83
For misconduct 1 35 6
Not relieved 1 1 116 47
Incapable of further Relief 16 6 309 156
Improper Objects 21 54
Non attendance 6 1674
Tickets unrenewed 19 22
Died 18 375 135
No Report 50 187

450 468 9200 10913
Remaining on the Books 58 224 58 224

Weekly average of Patients, 55.




The Report was adopted, and ordered to be printed and circulated.

Resolved unanimously,–

That the Right Hon. the President be requested to convey a vote of congratulation to H. R. H. the Prince of Wales on his progress towards convalescence.

That the Vacancy occasioned by the lamented death of Dr. Cowdell be filled up, and that Advertisements for a Physician be inserted in the usual Medical Papers. That Mr. J. T. Shorto be elected Auditor, in the room of Mr. A. S. Mason.

That a vote of thanks be given to the Medical Officers, and to the Chairman, Vice-Chairman, and Committee of Management, for the efficient discharge of their duties during the past year.

Also to the noble President of this day for his kind conduct in the Chair.