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HARROGATE  BATH  HOSPITAL

 

This building, noble in object, though humble in appearance, was commenced in 1824, by public subscription, and is intended to accommodate poor people who reside at a distance, and who are afflicted with any disease for the removal of which the waters of Harrogate are recommended. The poor of the immediate neighbourhood are not admissible, for the obvious reason of their having free access to these waters, within reach of their own homes. Before this hospital was built, it had long been the custom of those who had sought and found relief in the healing springs of Harrogate, to show a feeling of thankfulness, by leaving sums of money for the use of poor people similarly afflicted. It was a natural feeling of humanity to be desirous of showing in some way the fullness of their gratitude, after receiving so many benefits themselves. And the wealthy convalescent, after bowing the knee in adoration, thankfulness, and praise to Him who had placed so valuable a remedy for human ills within his reach-not in a region difficult of access, nor in a climate which no invalid could brave; but in a spot where everything is beautiful and bright, and mild enough for the most delicate constitution - would naturally desire under such circumstances to help others to the same blessings, and by contributing of his plenty to place the very poorest within the porches of this temple of healing waters. Hence arose this institution. 

For a number of years, the large sum of money sent in as thank-offerings were given to the poor people who came to seek health at. these springs, and here the charitable intentions of the donors ware supposed to be fulfilled. But active benevolence could not be so easily satisfied, and several meetings were held in 1818, to consider whether any improvement in the application of these funds could be made; and in 1819, at a meeting presided over by the second (and grandfather to the present) Earl of Harewood, it was resolved to erect an hospital as well as baths, that the poor might receive full benefit of the charity, and a subscription was immediately commenced. At a subsequent meeting, the Earl generously gave a piece of ground, measuring an acre and a half, for a site for the building. "I have, on my part, done my best," said his Lordship at the foundation of the hospital, "next to alienating altogether the land, which I cannot do, to make it a permanent possession to the poor ; and I hope I may answer for the benevolence and philanthropy of my descendants." And well have the noble Earl's descendants responded to the call, as at the end of the year 1858 the ground was duly conveyed by the then Earl of Harewood and Viscount Lascelles (now Earl of Harewood), to the trustees for the use of the Harrogate Bath Hospital, for ever.

Subscriptions began to flow in. Royalty itself sent fifty guineas ; Earls Fitzwilliam and Harewood, fifty each: Richard Fountayne Wilson, Esq, fifty; the plisses Ford, twenty-five; the Duke of Devonshire, Montague Burgoyne, Esq, Miss Currer, Rev Thomas Collins, Lord Grantham, Sir W A Ingilby, Bart., and Robert Richardson, Esq, each twenty guineas; Lord Stourton, fifteen guineas, John Watson, Esq, 15; Richard Bethell, Esq, John Blayds, Esq, James Brown, Esq, Colonel Cholmley, E S Cooper, Esq, William Danby, Esq, R 0 Gascoigne, Esq, Benjamin Gott, Esq, the Bishop of Llandaff, the Earl of Scarborough, William Sheepshanks, Esq, the late Archbishop of York, B Thompson, Esq, Sir F L Wood, Bart, and several others, sent ten pounds each. 

The building was soon completed and finished. Patients were admitted by recommendation. of a subscriber, according to the rules, which will be found in another page. The patients are now provided with food and lodgings, and medical advice; and every attention and the most skilful treatment is shown to them. In 1829 the hospital had to be enlarged, and further additions have since been made. The hospital is supported by annual subscriptions, and donations, contributed chiefly by the visitors. In 1826 the number of annual subscribers was fifteen; at the present time the number is about 700. A subscription book is kept at the hotels and principal lodging houses, and is usually presented to the visitors once a week. The visitors residing in private lodgings are also waited upon by some one zealous in the cause of humanity, to receive any sums they may be disposed to contribute. 

A large sum is gathered in by these means, and another source of income arises from legacies. These comprise the late B Clark's legacy of 450 ; the late Mrs Lawrence, the former benevolent owner of Studley Park, 1,000; the late Thomas Clapham, 3,600 ; the late L Brande, 270 ; the late R Richardson, 100 ; the late Misses E and S Cawood, 121 18s 1d ; nine life subscriptions, 125; and the sum of 98 1s.11d from the general funds - malting a total of 5,775, the dividends on which amount, to 167 0s 2d. Upwards of 300 are contributed annually at the hotels ; 100 are contributed at the various lodging houses, and the amount of annual subscriptions reaches to upwards of 600. Mr Palliser, of the Post-Office, who has been connected with the management of the hospital from its commencement, and has rendered it much valuable and gratuitous assistance, will be glad to give any further information that may be desired, and to receive donations and subscriptions for the promotion of this invaluable institution.

The following are selected from the "Rules and Regulations" of the hospital:-

1. That this Hospital, having been built solely with a view to afford to the poor, free of expense, the benefits of the Harrogate Waters, be denominated `The Harrogate Bath Hospital,' and that no patients be admitted therein but such as in the opinion of the medical officers of the establishment are suitable cases.

2. That no person resident in the township of High and Low Harrogate, or within the distance of three miles from the baths, except at the discretion of the committee, no woman far advanced in pregnancy, no person of insane mind, or labouring under any infectious disorder, be admitted into this Hospital.

3. That all applicants for admission be required to produce a recommendation from a trustee, certifying that they are proper objects of charity; and that no person be received into this Hospital except upon the recommendation of a trustee.

4. That all benefactors of fifteen pounds or upwards be trustees of the Hospital for life; that annual subscribers of one pound or upwards be trustees during the payment of their subscriptions; that the medical officers be trustees during their attendance ; that every benefactor be allowed to recommend one patient for every 15 contributed; and that every subscriber of 1 per annum be allowed to recommend one patient ; of 2 per annum, two patients; and so on in proportion, during each season ; and that no trustee whose subscription is in arrear be allowed to recommend a patient.

5. That every incumbent of a church, or minister of any denomination, who shall transmit a congregational collection to the treasurer, shall be allowed to recommend one patient for every 5 so contributed.

6. That every innkeeper, boarding-house keeper, or lodginghouse keeper, in Harrogate, be allowed to recommend one patient annually for every five pounds collected at his or her house during the preceding season.

7. That the annual subscriptions be henceforward considered due and payable on the 1st of March, unless countermanded by letter to the treasurer or secretary prior to that day ; that no trustee whose subscription 7s in arrear, or who has not been a subscriber more than six months, be allowed to vote on any occasion; and that no trustee be allowed to vote by proxy.

8. That the Hospital be opened for the admission of patients on the first Thursday in April, annually; the closing and reopening to be at the discretion of the committee, of which, due notice shall be given in the Leeds, Bradford, Halifax, and York papers.



 
 
 

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