Annual report for 1847

The following is an extract from the annual report for the year 1847 which was published in January 1848. The report is amongst uncatalogued material at the Dorset History Centre (temporary reference number NG/HH/DO(C)/Accession 4898).



The Committee of the Dorset County Hospital have much pleasure in meeting the Governors at the end of another (the seventh) year of its existence; and, whilst they cannot deny its financial prospects have been such as to cause them some disquietude, they would humbly desire to record their thankfulness to Almighty God for that measure of usefulness and general prosperity which He has been pleased to vouchsafe to its proceedings.

The following is the House Apothecary’s


During the past Year. From the com-mencement.
In Patients. Out Patients. In Patients. Out Patients.
On the Books Jan. 1, 1847 33 71  –  –
     On Recommendations 149  365  896  2319
     As Household Servants  3  –  36  –
     Freely as Accident cases  66  2  218  2

Renewed Tickets In-patients … 39. Out-patients … 31  251  438  1150  2321
Casual Cases (1847) 963 (From commencement) 3423
Cured 95 122 580 1141
     Relieved 50 57 260 561
     Made Out-Patients 47 132*
     Made In-Patients 36 112
     At their own request 4 5 32 11
     For misconduct 1 1
     Not relieved 3 1 11 15
     Incapable of further relief 3 1 27 13
     Improper objects 2 8 41
     Absconded or non-    attendance, mostly cured 2 64 10 217
     Died 12 4 52 49
     No report 11 48 13 62

    . 227 340 1126 2223
Remain on the Books 24 98 24 98

*In last year’s Report this item was accidentally printed 62 instead of 85.

It will be seen by the foregoing table, that the admissions have been in a trifling degree more numerous than in the previous year, but very largely above the amount of any preceding one.

The Annual Subscriptions have increased by 49l. 14s., after deducting lost Subscribers.

The Parochial Collections have amounted to 108l. 7s. 5d., being a very considerable decrease upon the preceding year. It is proposed to make some alteration in the privileges accorded to the Clergy for their collections.

The Donations received during the year will be found appended to the last page [not included in this extract]. They amount to 143l. 16s. 6d., exclusive of 40l. 2s. 4d. especially paid in as thank-offerings.

The Legacies received during the year amount to 1360l,. viz. :-

Mrs. M. Frampton……… £ 10

Rev. W. R. Churchill……. 300

Mrs. Floyer ………………..   50

Besides the Legacy of ….. 1000 (free of duty) with which the late Robert Williams, Esq., of Bridehead, closed his many acts of munificence towards the Hospital, already so abundantly indebted to him.

The Committee have much satisfaction in announcing the acceptance by his son of the office of Trustee, rendered vacant by his lamented decease.

Exclusive of the above the funded property of the Institution now amounts to the sum of 1384l., 19s., together with an assignment of ten 10l. shares in the Blandford Gas Company, made to the Hospital in the past year by W. C. Heywood, Esq. M.D., and now paying 8 per cent per annum.

It will be in the recollection of the Governors, that the last Report of the Committee invited their serious  attention to the state of the finances, and added that, unless from unforeseen sources large additional donations or legacies should come, or the price of provisions fall, either the number of patients admitted gratuitously must be limited, or the powers of recommendation; nor did they conceal their expectation, based on the extensive public works in progress in the neighbourhood, that during the coming year an increase of accident cases must be anticipated.

The price of provisions, as is well known, has been by no means diminished through a part of the year, and the accident cases have considerably increased in number, being many of them of a very dangerous and lingering character, so as to draw heavily upon the funds; consequently, by a reference to the appended Treasurer’s account, it will be seen that the expenditure of the past year has exceeded the income, including all the donations, by no less than 199l. 5s., for which sum the Hospital stands indebted to him.

The increase in expenditures over the preceding year amounts to 107l. 14s. 10d., the principal items of which will be found to be in articles of food (although in some of these, a well as in the drug bill, a considerable saving has been effected), and in the somewhat unexpected call of nearly 100l. for repairs.

Nevertheless, it is with the utmost unwillingness that the Committee advert to the possible necessity for adopting either of the above-mentioned expedients for diminishing expenses, being most unfeignedly anxious, on the contrary, rather to enlarge the number of gratuitous admissions, so as to render them adequate to the wants of the county, and feeling that a reduction of the privileges allotted at the foundation of the Institution to the Subscribers would on every account demand a most careful discussion, and their own very general acquiescence.

The considerable decrease of expenditure which has been effected in the two latter quarters of the year, as compared with the preceding ones, encourages the Committee in the hope of being able to carry on the present condition of things at a much less cost than heretofore; but they will not conceal the probable difficulties they will have to encounter in this attempt, unless increased exertions be made among the kind of friends and supporters of the Institution.

The Committee venture to suggest, that it would be a great satisfaction if any means could be adopted for wiping out the debt incurred in the very pressing year now past, so as to begin the present with a clear income at their disposal.

Through the very attentive and valuable aid of the Clerk (Mr. John Brown), whom they were authorised to engage at the last Annual Meeting, very marked improvements have been made in the books of the Hospital; and, by a more watchful system of management, the daily and weekly consumption of provisions has been more carefully economised and accounted for. The Committee are bound to express their conviction of the high importance of possessing such a paid officer, and to tender him their public acknowledgements for the manner in which he has discharged his duties, which as being especially onerous in their commencement, have been somewhat inadequately remunerated.

The Governors are aware that a change in the resident officers has taken place by the resignation of the late matron and house apothecary; Miss Wood has been replaced by Mrs. Dancy, and Mr. Eastcott by Mr. R. C. Shettle, who were both duly elected, and have hitherto given entire satisfaction to the Committee by the quiet and efficient discharge of their respective dutie. Another pupil (Mr. W. Firth) has been entered, though not as a boarder in the establishment.

The Committee beg to express their renewed obligations to the physician and surgeons, for the skill and attention with which their voluntary services have been rendered for another trying year, and not less for the kind assistance they have uniformly afforded in all that concerns the interest of the Hospital.

By a simple alteration in the apportionment of medical and surgical patients, founded on observation of the usual ratio of applications, it is believed that much less delay in their admission has taken place than heretofore.

Amongst the discouragements of the past year, the Committee will be excused for mentioning the prolonged indisposition of their Chairman; and they feel confident that the Governors will heartily join with them in the fervent hope that it may please God soon to restore to them that intelligent and energetic aid which has been so eminently instrumental, under the Divine blessing, in establishing and fostering this Institution.

C. W. BINGHAM, Vice-Chairman




The above Report was adopted, and ordered to be printed and circulated. – Ordered that Copies of it be sent to the Clergy, earnestly requesting them to make Parochial Collections for the Institution.

Resolved, that all collections of 2l. 12s. 6d. and upwards shall entitle the Clergyman of the Parish within which they are made to the privilege of recommending one in-patient, or three out-patients, from amongst his own parishioners; and so on for every additional 2l. 12s. 6d. collected.

The Committee were authorised to sell the Shares in the Blandford Gas Company, presented by Dr. Heywood.

The thanks of the Governors were voted to the Treasurer and to the Vice-Chairman of the Committee, also to the Chairman of the Meeting for his kindness in taking the Chair.