Newmarket Hospital

Newmarket Hospital up Exning Road was a fully-fledged district general hospital from the 1940s for about 50 years. Since the early 1990s it’s been a small community hospital. Interestingly however, the site has a medical history going back a century before that. In 1837 the Newmarket Union workhouse was opened on the same spot, with small associated infirmary, the building work having started in 1836. The Newmarket Union oversaw the local poor law. Its remit was much broader than medical, but the organisation did have a significant medical element to its role – see the page on The Newmarket Union (and workhouse) for more details on the full breadth of it’s role.

Some 1842 plans for the workhouse, showing the small hospital at the back, and note the separate contagious wards - I presume the pink area represents proposed buildings, so the grey is the workhouse and hospital as it stood in 1842 (see below or click image for source and acknowledgements etc., ref. Image 1).

Some 1842 plans for the workhouse, showing the small hospital at the back, and note the separate contagious wards – I presume the pink area represents proposed buildings, so the grey is the workhouse and hospital as it stood in 1842 (see below or click image for source and acknowledgements etc., ref. Image 1).

The earliest use of the word ‘hospital’ in relation to the site comes from the Newmarket Union minutes of 1838, when they decided to add ‘Water Closets’ to the hospital, which itself would have been part of the original construction a couple of years earlier (see the small hospital marked on the slightly later plan from 1842 on the left). By 1847 four ‘hospitals’ were being described, but by that essentially meaning ‘wards’, which in those days could be quite small (cf. the Rous Memorial Hospital, which in the 1880s had a total capacity of 10 patients but spread across four wards). The numbers in the workhouse hospital wards appear to have been a bit higher than that. In fact some of the plans from 1838 seem to show that the little grey building at the back of the plan on the left likely had four wards, being two stories high, with two 7 bedded wards downstairs and two 10 bedded wards upstairs, so giving a total capacity of  34 beds (for more details on numbers of patients involved see further below). The hospital buildings changed and evolved over the years, such that by 1902 the Newmarket Union minutes were referring to ‘the old Hospital which is now used as day rooms for the old people’. In 1912 there was mention of separate male and female infirmaries, each with two floors (see the 1926 map below, which shows the infirmary as it was then, although as above still at the back of the more generalised ‘Poor Law Institution’ buildings).

The Newmarket Union contracted a medical officer specifically to cover the workhouse and its associated infirmary.

The White Lodge Poor Law Institution on the 1926 OS map, with infirmary at the back (see below or click image for source and acknowledgements etc., ref. Image 2).

The White Lodge Poor Law Institution on the 1926 OS map, with infirmary at the back (see below or click image for source and acknowledgements etc., ref. Image 2).

The workhouse medical officers from the first in 1837 were as follows:-

1837-1837: Walter Norton & John Thomas

1837-1868: Richard Faircloth

1868-1874: George Borwick Mead

1874-1912: Clement Frederick Gray

1912-1922: Ernest Crompton

1922-1932: John Hansby Maund

1932-1939: Norman Charles Simpson*

* The Newmarket Union ceased to exist in 1930, but its functions were taken on by the West Suffolk County Council, including running of the old workhouse, which by that stage was referred to as The Newmarket Institution or Public Assistance Institution. Norman Simpson was last mentioned as medical officer to the institution in 1937, but it’s assumed that he held the role until 1939 (see the major changes that happened then below), although he appears to stop mentioning the role in the Medical Directory from 1938.

As the above shows, the workhouse with its infirmary was covered by just one local generalist medic at a time (aside from in the first year – Norton & Thomas were business partners, see The Edwards-Norton-Taylor-Kendall-Thomas-Bullen practice chain). Moreover, the workhouse medical officer role was just one part of these medics’ wider general medical activities in the town (click on their names above to find out more regarding each individual listed, and their practices). This remained the case after the West Suffolk County Council took over the functions of the Newmarket Union Board of Guardians in 1930, as the Public Assistance Institution, until the Second World War (i.e. the only medics involved at the hospital being Dr Maund followed by Dr Simpson during that period). The 1937 Kelly’s Directory reflects this recording: ‘The Newmarket Institution, White lodge, Exning road, was built in 1836 and will hold 500 inmates; Rev. Ronald Leslie Gardner B.A. chaplain; Norman C. Simpson M.D. medical officer; Ernest S. Heasman, master’ (hence Heasman Close next to the site today – he’d come to Newmarket from London in 1911 as Master of the Workhouse – see the references below).

Richard Faircloth noted in 1842 that out of 240 workhouse ‘inmates’ in a typical week, on average 35 were defined as ‘permanently sick’ (about a seventh). The 1853 minutes noted that ‘at the present time the sick wards would only accommodate 47 patients, while there were 58 sick in the House [i.e. workhouse], and it was resolved That the present sick wards being insufficient be enlarged’. Richard Faircloth submitted a letter a couple of weeks later, perhaps having been requested to do so by the committee that had been set up to consider the matter. His letter included the remarks, ‘The number of sick and infirm persons admitted into the House having largely increased within the last 2 or 3 years renders it necessary to enlarge the Hospital & infirm Wards, taking care to retain the command of the Contagious Wards, in case of anything like an epidemic infectious disease breaking out.’

In 1855 Richard Faircloth summarised his role as follows: ‘I consider the duties of Medical Officer to the Workhouse to consist in providing medicine & attendance for such of the inmates as fall sick within the walls of the House, and to give the necessary assistance also to such casual poor (carried to the Workhouse) who may be in a state of sickness & destitution & having neither home nor friends.’ He reported that the average number of permanent sick was 44 at that time (similar to the number above) and that in the previous 6 months there had been 71 patients sent in because they were sick (so about one every 5 days on average – a very low admission rate). Nevertheless, he described himself or his assistant sometimes attending the workhouse several times per day and one of them having attended at least 400 times in the preceding 12 months (so typically once per day, occasionally more). However, certainly at times the official requirement was to attend only three times per week.

In 1869 comments from George Mead, the next workhouse medical officer, give further insight into how the different wards were used, there being ‘upper and lower wards and isolated wards for small-pox and fever, and the upper and lower wards were to suit the different conditions and stages of diseases, and he could bear testimony to the truth of all being most properly and thoroughly cared for in that Institution’. See the pages on The Newmarket Union (and workhouse) and the individual medics concerned for more details about the sort of cases they treated. This could be summarised as pretty much anything and everything medical, surgical or psychiatric, including infectious, traumatic and other cases, as best they could, given the limited options available to them in the 19th century (see also The history of medical treatments, training, qualifications and regulation for a wider view of this subject). Outside opinions and referrals were rare, but did occur, especially to asylums (again, see The Newmarket Union page for details).

Regarding nurses, it’s of note that the workhouse infirmary did not always have a nurse in the early years. When the Poor Law Commissioners suggested they appoint one in 1847, very interestingly the Newmarket Board of Guardians replied that ‘there was an Inmate of the House who had formerly been a Medical Practitioner and who was made useful in administering the medicines supplied for the sick and acting generally as a nurse, that there was an assistant female nurse in each of the four Hospitals, and under those circumstances the Guardians considered the appointment of any other nurse useless’ and that it had been their practice ‘to appoint respectable female inmates as nurses’. Amazingly at that time there were only 6 patients in the ‘hospital’, ‘seldom more that 8’, so presumably not all of the patients defined as sick mentioned above were kept in the more specifically defined hospital wards, perhaps only about a fifth? This is similar to the 10 patients in four wards at the Rous Memorial Hospital mentioned above, so the picture is a little unclear. Likely only the more acute or severe cases were cared for in the ‘hospital’ wards, with more chronic cases living in other sorts of ‘ward’?

The year after the ex-practitioner’s death (who appears to have been there because he’d fallen on hard times, unable to work through sickness) Richard Faircloth pointed out in 1850 ‘the necessity of having a duly qualified and permanently appointed nurse for each Ward in the Hospital’. In the event they advertised for ‘one female nurse capable of reading and writing and whose age should not be less than 40 for both Wards of the Hospital’, so a 45 year old widow named Martha Turner was duly appointed. Later, in 1856, ‘The Workhouse Committee reported that it was desirable to entertain the Plan for the training of nurses as recommended by the Epidemiological society’, but as late as 1895 a proposal ‘that the sick inmates of this Union House shall be attended by trained nurses only’ was rejected. The book listed in the sources below by Dick Heasman, which has a more 20th century focus than this website, mentions eight ‘infirm or sick’ wards that sound more like a nursing home, although he recalls the visiting medic doing some minor surgery etc. The book records that in 1914 the nursing staff consisted of a matron with her assistant, two charge nurses, four assistant nurses, and also there were two ward maids and two infants’ attendants (presumably like nursery nurses?). It’s of note that the matron was the only midwife for the on-site maternity unit at that time (as early as the 1842 reference above midwifery cases were mentioned in the context of Richard Faircloth’s workhouse role, which would have been in his capacity as a man-midwife – see The history of medical treatments, training, qualifications and regulation regarding man-midwives).

In 1939/40 the war resulted in a major change for The Newmarket Institution. It was cleared out, re-developed/extended, and re-named ‘The White Lodge Emergency Hospital’, primarily to receive war casualties. However, the name White Lodge goes back further (as shown already by the 1937 reference above and 1926 map). In fact the earliest known example found so far of the site being called White Lodge comes from 1904, in the minutes of the Newmarket Union. On 15th November 1904 the ‘Board of Guardians’ decided that for the purposes of registering births taking place at the workhouse it should be called ‘The White Lodge, Exning Road’ i.e. presumably so that the registrar could write this on birth certificates instead of ‘workhouse’ (they decided the same for deaths 5 years later). Kelly’s Directory called it simply the ‘Poor Law Institution, Exning’ in 1922, but by 1929 was recording it as the ‘Poor Law Institution, White lodge, Exning road’. Likewise, the 1884 OS map labels the site simply ‘Union Workhouse’, but by the 1926 edition shown above ‘White Lodge (Poor Law Institution)’. So seemingly White Lodge was first named in 1904, the name gradually gaining in prominence, but certainly by the 1920s it was the name used on maps and in directories etc.

A photograph taken at White Lodge Hospital in May 1941 (see below or click image for source and acknowledgements etc., ref. Image 3).

A photograph taken at White Lodge Hospital in May 1941 (see below or click image for source and acknowledgements etc., ref. Image 3).

The main change in 1939/40 was not the name but that it no longer functioned as a mixed facility for ‘inmates’ with a spectrum of health and social issues, but entirely as a hospital, for patients. Also it was no longer staffed by just a handful of nurses and one local visiting generalist medic, but for the first time became more like a modern general hospital with a team of specialist consultants and juniors. By 1942 there were 15 hospital doctors involved, with all of the associated medical and administrative staff (380 in total, including 216 nurses), and an amazing 700 beds! However, these beds were occupied overwhelmingly by military patients at that stage (see image on the left) – although some were civilians. After the war the hospital evolved into Newmarket General Hospital, the name officially changing from White Lodge in 1951, although the hospital continues unofficially to be known as White Lodge locally, even to this day, and the old workhouse building, which has now been converted into residential accommodation, is still officially called White Lodge on the street signs and as shown by a sign on the gate in the image below).

The side entrance to part of the White Lodge residential accommodation today, with a 'White Lodge' sign on the railings outside - the street sign nearby also says 'Heasman Close leading to White Lodge' - see also the page on the Newmarket Union and workhouse for a view of this old workhouse building from the front taken at the same time as the photograph above (see below or click image for source and acknowledgements etc., ref. Image 4).

The side entrance to part of the White Lodge residential accommodation today, with a ‘White Lodge’ sign on the railings outside – the street sign nearby also says ‘Heasman Close leading to White Lodge’ – see also the page on the Newmarket Union and workhouse for a view of this old workhouse building from the front taken at the same time as the photograph above (see below or click image for source and acknowledgements etc., ref. Image 4).

Interestingly the Medical Directory does not mention the hospital until 1950, when it introduced a new section called ‘Hospitals Under the Regional Hospital Boards’ – before that hospitals had been listed under counties and White Lodge was not listed for some reason, under Cambridgeshire or Suffolk. In 1950 the directory listed the hospital under the No. 4 Area, East Anglian Regional Hospital Board, as White Lodge Hospital in Newmarket, Suffolk, a General Hospital with 450 beds. The following year it was still listed as White Lodge Hospital, but the consultant staff listed as well, under their specialties (see below). This format continued, except it was called ‘Newmarket General Hospital’ from 1952, reflecting the 1951 name change. Newmarket Hospital continued as a District General Hospital until the early 1990s, when essentially it was closed (but see below regarding the community hospital that sprang up in its place, on the newer southern part of the old hospital grounds, next door to the old workhouse buildings – see the aerial photograph from the 1960s below showing the extent of the hospital grounds compared with the old workhouse and infirmary on the 1926 map above). On its closure the patients and services were transferred piecemeal to Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge and the West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds.

It’s impossible to list all of the medics associated with the General Hospital over the five decades of its existence, but a snapshot every 10 years of those listed in the Medical Directory below gives a picture, naturally highlighting the names of those who served for over 10 years (i.e. they appear at least twice).

According to the book mentioned above by Dick Heasman, the medical staff towards the end of 1940 were: Col. Watson, Prof. Maxwell, Mr. Rowlands, and Drs Arden Jones, Arnott and Berridge. The Medical Directory continues 10 years later (entries edited just to record surnames, and also re-ordered & re-formatted to aid presentation):-

Note: many of these consultants worked in other hospitals outside Newmarket as well.

1951 (450 beds):-

General Medicine: Jones*, Kelly, Martin.

Chest Medicine: Hay.

Dermatology: Griffith, Whittle.

Anaesthetics: Hawes.

General Surgery: Rowlands, Williams.

Orthopaedic Surgery: Butler, Jamieson, Martin.

Thoracic Surgery: Harrison.

ENT Surgery: Walford, Williamson.

Dental Surgery: Geere.

Ophthalmology: Cory, Recordon, Taylor.

Obstetrics & Gynaecology: Bottomley, Lloyd, Maxwell, O’Meara.

Paediatrics: Gairdner.

Pathology: Morrey.

Radiology: Berridge.

* Jones is the same as Arden Jones in 1940 above and 1961&71 below, whose name was R. A. Jones.

1961 (362 beds):-

An aerial photograph of Newmarket Hospital from 1963 - note also, the last house visible on the left hand (lower) side of Exning Road is what was to become Exning Road Surgery in the 1970s (see below or click image for source and acknowledgements etc., ref. Image 5).

An aerial photograph of Newmarket Hospital from 1963 – note also, the last house visible on the left hand (lower) side of Exning Road is what was to become Exning Road Surgery in the 1970s (see below or click image for source and acknowledgements etc., ref. Image 5).

General Medicine: Jones, Martin.

Chest Medicine: Hay.

Dermatology: Whittle.

Neurology: Yealland.

Physical Medicine: Fell.

Anaesthetics: Blackiston, Robertson.

General Surgery: Tagart, Williams.

Orthopaedic Surgery: Butler, Jamieson, Martin.

Thoracic Surgery: Milstein, Parish.

ENT Surgery: Walford, Williamson.

Ophthalmology: Cory, Monkton, Taylor.

Obstetrics & Gynaecology: Bottomley, Hesketh, Lloyd, O’Meara.

Paediatrics: Gairdner.

Pathology: Dean, Harris, Morrey.

Radiology: Berridge, Williams.

1969: perhaps the most extraordinary event in the history of Newmarket General Hospital took place in February 1969, when Prof. Calne of Addenbrooke’s Hospital performed a liver transplant there. In those days the liver transplant team came to the hospital of the donor patient (in this case the victim of a Road traffic accident who’d been admitted there with terminal brain damage).

1971 (285 beds):-

General Medicine: Avden Jones [sic – should be Arden, see above], Evans, Martin.

Geriatrics: Davison.

Chest Medicine: Hay.

Cardiology: Evans, Fleming.

Dermatology: Roberts.

Neurology: Yealland.

Physical Medicine: Fell.

Anaesthetics: Hayes, Pearce*, Stead and vanden Brul.

General Surgery: Tagart, Williams.

Orthopaedic Surgery: Jamieson, Mangnall.

Thoracic Surgery: Milstein, Parish.

ENT Surgery: Wilsden.

Dental Surgery: Varley.

Ophthalmology: Cairns, Monkton, Scott, Watson.

Obstetrics & Gynaecology: Hesketh, Lloyd.

Paediatrics: Gairdner.

Psychiatry: Zeitlyn.

Pathology: Dean, Gobert-Jones.

Radiology: Berridge, Woods.

* It’s of note that Dr Pearce lived in part of William Sandiver 2’s old house, and also in common with him rode in the Newmarket Plate race, two centuries later (see the page on William Sandiver 2 for details).

1981 (288 beds):-

General Medicine: Evans, Kerrigan, MacKenzie, Shneerson.

Geriatrics: Coni.

Dermatology: Pye.

Neurology: Wilkinson.

Rehabilitation & Rheumatology: Hazleman.

Anaesthetics: Maher, Pearce, Stead and vanden Brul, Watsham.

General Surgery: McBrien*, Tagart.

Orthopaedic Surgery: Dandy, Scott.

ENT Surgery: Moffat.

Dental Surgery: Varley.

Ophthalmology: Monkton.

Obstetrics & Gynaecology: Bright**, Martin.

Paediatrics: Robertson.

Pathology: Gobert-Jones.

Radiology: Hatcher, Steel, Woods.

* It’s of note that at the time of this research Mr McBrien lived in the house where Woodward Mudd was an apprentice (see the page on Woodward Mudd for details, including about the old drawer that still exists two centuries later with his name written on it).

** Mr Bright was the husband of Dr Abel of the Rookery Medical Centre.

1991 (275 beds):-

General Medicine: Kerrigan, Shneerson, Siklos.

Geriatrics: Coni.

Neurology: Wilkinson.

Rehabilitation & Rheumatology: Crisp, Hazleman.

Anaesthetics: Maher, Pearce, Stead and vanden Brul, Watsham.

General Surgery: Lawrence, McBrien, Rolles.

Orthopaedic Surgery: Constant, Dandy, Scott.

ENT Surgery: Moffat.

Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery: Adlam.

Ophthalmology: Lamb.

Urology: Kennedy.

Obstetrics & Gynaecology: Bright, Martin.

Histopathology: Cooper, Al-Rufaie.

Haematology: Vacant.

Radiology: Pulvertaft, Steel.

As mentioned above, the closure of the General Hospital did not end the medical history of this site. After a significant local campaign it was agreed to build a new community hospital in part of the grounds, which is still open today (see image below). It has a small number of rehabilitation beds, with support services such as OT and physio, an X-ray dept. (which the local GPs can use), and phlebotomy. Visiting consultants come from Addenbrooke’s and the West Suffolk hospitals to hold outpatient clinics, and at times GP out of hours services have used the building as a base as well. Parts of the old workhouse buildings still survive, having been converted into housing (see image above, and on the page about the Newmarket Union and workhouse).

Newmarket Community Hospital in 2019 (see below or click image for source and acknowledgements etc., ref. Image 6).

Newmarket Community Hospital in 2019 (see below or click image for source and acknowledgements etc., ref. Image 6).

Oakfield Surgery recently moved to the Newmarket Hospital site (on 23rd March). It will be working out of rooms in Newmarket Hospital until a new building under construction at the back becomes ready (currently expected to be mid-June). Further updates will appear here after that’s happened.

 

Image sources and acknowledgements:-

Image 1: 1842 plans for the Newmarket Union Workhouse, reference ADA500/33 (cropped); image ©, reproduced with kind permission of the Suffolk Record Office, Bury St Edmunds and the West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust.

Image 2: Map of Newmarket. Southampton: Ordnance Survey; 1926 (revised 1925), sheet 42.6 (cropped); image © Crown Copyright 1926, used under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0, reproduced with kind permission of the National Library of Scotland and the Ordnance Survey. [Note: click here for the source.]

Image 3: From a private collection (cropped); image ©, reproduced with kind permission of the Gray family descendants. [Note: this photograph is from an album that belonged to Catherine Gray, who worked as a physio at White Lodge.] 

Image 4: Photograph taken in 2019, by the author of talkingdust.net.

Image 5: From a 1963 (21st October) aerial photograph of Newmarket, reference RAF/58/5988/F21/0038 (cropped); image ©, reproduced with kind permission of the Historic England Archive.

Image 6: Photograph taken in 2019, by the author of talkingdust.net.

Note: see comments regarding images and copyright © etc. on the Usage &c. page as well. 

Relevant references in chronological order

1836, 10th May: The parish of Newmarket St Mary applied to the poor law commissioners to sell various properties, including ‘the old workhouse situate in the High Street’, some of the proceeds going towards ‘the contribution of the parish to the union workhouse about to be erected’. Reference: an image of the original document in the research notes of Peter May, HD1584, (Suffolk County Record Office, Bury St Edmunds), which he appears to have obtained from the National Archives at Kew, referencing it as PRO (Kew) MH12/1684. [Note: see the page on The Newmarket Union (and workhouse) regarding how numerous parishes came together to form the Union.]

1836, 15th July: ‘The architect and the clerk of the works reported to the Board that the Building of the new workhouse was progressing favourably’. Reference: 611/11, Newmarket Union minutes, (Suffolk County Record Office, Bury St Edmunds). [Note: see the page on The Newmarket Union (and workhouse) for more details.]

1837, 17th March: ‘Resolved that the Guardians meet at the new Workhouse next Board day’. Reference: 611/11, Newmarket Union minutes, (Suffolk County Record Office, Bury St Edmunds). [Note: it had been meeting in Kingston House – see the page on The Newmarket Union (and workhouse).]

1837, 25th March: ‘Messrs Norton and Thomas were elected Surgeons to the new workhouse’. Reference: 611/11, Newmarket Union minutes, (Suffolk County Record Office, Bury St Edmunds).

1837, 5th December: Following the deaths of John Thomas then Walter Norton in quick succession, Richard Faircloth took on the workhouse role. Reference: 611/12, Newmarket Union minutes, (Suffolk County Record Office, Bury St Edmunds). [Note: this role required daily attendance at the workhouse, evidenced by a requirement to sign in daily noted in the minutes of 12th November 1839 (in 611/13), however, in 1855 Richard Faircloth noted that the regulations in 1845 had been to attend three times per week (16th March 1855 – 611/20), which was the case (8th July 1845 – 611/16).]

1838, 9th October: the ‘Hospital’ mentioned with regards to ‘building Water Closets’, which presumably therefore were not part of the original design, and they were ‘ordered to be carried into Execution’. Reference: 611/12, Newmarket Union minutes, (Suffolk County Record Office, Bury St Edmunds). [Note: see also comments under the Heasman reference below regarding some 1838 plans.]

1842, 15th March: In a letter in the minutes regarding remuneration, Richard Faircloth revealed that out of typically 240 ‘inmates’ in the workhouse in a given week, on average 35 were defined as ‘permanently sick’ and his work involved ‘severely acute diseases others of the chronic form… medicines and appliances’ daily visits ‘and frequently twice in the day (in dangerous illnesses)’. It notes that his work also included midwifery cases. Reference: 611/14, Newmarket Union Minutes, (Suffolk County Record Office, Bury St Edmunds).

1847, 30th March: ‘A letter from the Poor Law Commissioners was read suggesting the appointment of  a nurse under the Workhouse Regulations, and the Clerk was instructed in reply to state that there was an Inmate of the House who had formerly been a Medical Practitioner and who was made useful in administering the medicines supplied for the sick and acting generally as a nurse, that there was an assistant female nurse in each of the four Hospitals, and under those circumstances the Guardians considered the appointment of any other nurse useless.’ Reference: 611/17, Newmarket Union minutes, (Suffolk County Record Office, Bury St Edmunds). [Note: the Poor Law Commissioners did not accept this arrangement and urged they appoint a paid nurse, although specifically a female nurse for the female side of the hospital (4th May minutes 611/17). The Newmarket Union replied (minuted 11th May – 611/17) that it had been their practice ‘to appoint respectable female inmates as nurses’, at that point there were only 6 patients in the hospital, ‘seldom more that 8’ and that such an appointment was not necessary ‘while the reduced Surgeon, Mr Hancock, continued an Inmate of the House, and to act as Nurse’. The Commissioners wrote back accepting this (minuted 1st June – 611/17).], [Note also, this was likely the Charles Handcock of Burwell mentioned in the 1830 Pigot’s Directory. Reference: Pigot and Co.’s national commercial directory. London & Manchester: J. Pigot & Co.; 1830 (see an image of this on the page about the Edwards-Norton-Taylor-Kendall-Thomas-Bullen practice chain). A Charles Hancock, surgeon, aged 59 died in the ‘Union House’ of ‘Exhaustion from Debility’ on 12th June 1849. Reference: Certified copy of an entry of death, given at the General Register Office, 9th June 2015.]

1850, 21st June: ‘A Letter was read from Mr Faircloth the Medical Officer of the Workhouse pointing out the necessity of having a duly qualified and permanently appointed nurse for each Ward in the Hospital, male and female. / The Board were of the opinion that the suggestion of the Medical Officer ought to be as once complied with…’ Reference: 611/18, Newmarket Union minutes, (Suffolk County Record Office, Bury St Edmunds). [Note: on 28th June they decided ‘to appoint one female nurse capable of reading and writing and whose age should not be less than 40 for both Wards of the Hospital’ (611/18).], [Note also, in the event they had only one applicant, Martha Turner, a 45 year old widow, who they appointed on 26th July (611/18). – she left in 1853.]

1853, 4th March: It was noted in the minutes that ‘at the present time the sick wards would only accommodate 47 patients, while there were 58 sick in the House, and it was resolved That the present sick wards being insufficient be enlarged’. Reference: 611/19, Newmarket Union minutes, (Suffolk County Record Office, Bury St Edmunds). [Note: Richard Faircloth submitted a letter a couple of weeks later, perhaps having been requested to do so by the committee that had been set up. It included, ‘The number of sick and infirm persons admitted into the House having largely increased within the last 2 or 3 years renders it necessary to enlarge the Hospital & infirm Wards, taking care to retain the command of the Contagious Wards, in case of anything like an epidemic infectious disease breaking out. / Several cases of fever have originated in the House, and the symptoms have been aggravated, if not actually induced, by local circumstances, such as bad drainage, imperfect ventilation and overcrowding’ (18th March) – this was supplemented by some similar comments in another letter the next month, on which occasion he had ‘ordered the inmates and nurses to be removed from the infirmary & lying in wards and would suggest that immediate steps be taken for the purification & thoroughly [sic] cleansing all sewers, drains, water closets, privies’ etc…. (611/19).]

1855, 16th March: In another letter in the minutes regarding remuneration, Richard Faircloth described his role: ‘I consider the duties of Medical Officer to the Workhouse to consist in providing medicine & attendance for such of the inmates as fall sick within the walls of the House, and to give the necessary assistance also to such casual poor (carried to the Workhouse) who may be in a state of sickness & destitution & having neither home nor friends.’ He reported the average number of permanent sick to be 44 at that time and in the previous 6 months there had been 71 patients sent in because they were sick. He described himself or his assistant sometimes attending several times per day and one of them having attended the workhouse at least 400 times in the preceding 12 months. Reference: 611/20, Newmarket Union Minutes, (Suffolk County Record Office, Bury St Edmunds).

1856, 4th July: ‘The Workhouse Committee reported that it was desirable to entertain the Plan for the training of nurses as recommended by the Epidemiological society’. Reference: 611/21, Newmarket Union minutes, (Suffolk County Record Office, Bury St Edmunds). [Note: as late as 1895 (30th July minutes) a proposal ‘that the sick inmates of this Union House shall be attended by trained nurses only’ was rejected (611/36).]

1868, 9th June: ‘A letter from Mr. Richard Faircloth resigning the Office of Medical Officer for the Workhouse…’ Reference: 611/26, Newmarket Union Minutes, (Suffolk County Record Office, Bury St Edmunds).

1868, 23rd June: Dr. G. B. Mead elected Medical Officer to the Workhouse and it was minuted ‘Upon the retirement of Mr. Richard Faircloth from the Office of Medical Officer to the Union Workhouse the Guardians… unanimously res-olved to record on the minutes of their proceedings their appreciation of the very valuable services rendered by Mr. Faircloth in the attentive and skilful discharge of his duties, his uniform kindness to the sick poor under his charge, and his respectful and courteous demeanour towards the Board during the time he has held the appointment = a period of upwards of 30 years’. Reference: 611/26, Newmarket Union Minutes, (Suffolk County Record Office, Bury St Edmunds).

1869, 12th March: In a discussion about the pros and cons of establishing a cottage hospital in Newmarket, George Mead commented regarding the ‘Union Hospital’ that ‘the arrangements therein were admirably carried out. There were upper and lower wards and isolated wards for small-pox and fever, and the upper and lower wards were to suit the different condi-tions and stages of diseases, and he could bear testimony to the truth of all being most properly and thoroughly cared for in that Institution, to which any case of the neighbourhood might be admitted, and here was at once a hospital for the lower, and even the middle, classes.’ Reference: The Bury Free Press. Saturday Mar 20 1869: 7.

1874, 6th October: Dr Mead resigned as medical officer to the workhouse. Reference: 611/29, Newmarket Union minutes, (Suffolk County Record Office, Bury St Edmunds).

1874, 27th October: Clement Frederick Gray elected ‘Medical Officer of the Workhouse’, apparently unopposed. Reference: 611/29, Newmarket Union minutes, (Suffolk County Record Office, Bury St Edmunds).

1884:Union Workhouse’ shown on the Ordnance Survey map of Newmarket. Reference: Map of Newmarket. Southampton: Ordnance Survey; 1886 (surveyed 1884), sheet 42.6. [Note: the outline looks virtually identical to that on the 1901 OS map, except for the addition of St Etheldreda’s Church on the latter – see image of the 1901 map on the page about the Newmarket Union (and workhouse).]

1902, 17th May: ‘the old Hospital which is now used as day rooms for the old people’ referred to. Reference: 611/39, Newmarket Union minutes, (Suffolk County Record Office, Bury St Edmunds).

1904, 15th November: ‘The workhouse Committee reported that as the workhouse was not numbered in the census returns but was a separate institution and described as the workhouse they had again considered the question of the name to be given for the purposes of the Registration of births therein and recommend that the workhouse be called “The White Lodge, Exning Road.”’ Reference: 611/39, Newmarket Union minutes, (Suffolk County Record Office, Bury St Edmunds). [Note: the reasons for their decision are not recorded. It might be that they chose the name from some earlier historical reference to the site, but to date this is the earliest use of the name that I have found.]

1911, 14th February: Ernest Stephen Heasman from St Marylebone workhouse appointed Master of the Workhouse. Reference: 611/42, Newmarket Union minutes, (Suffolk County Record Office, Bury St Edmunds). [Note: interestingly there were 43 applicants for the job, from which four were selected for interview; Ernest Heasman won the first round of voting 13:12:4 (one was not proposed for the vote), the 12 going to John Starke from Paddington workhouse. Since it was very close they had a second round of voting for Heasman vs. Starke, which Ernest Heasman won 15:14. So if just one person had voted differently Newmarket’s history would have changed and perhaps Heasman Close might have ended up as Starke close!]

1912, 13th February: A minute about fire hydrants reveals that there was a female infirmary with two floors and likewise a male infirmary with two floors on the site at this time. Reference: 611/42, Newmarket Union minutes, (Suffolk County Record Office, Bury St Edmunds).

1912, 22nd October: Clement Gray resigned from his Newmarket Union roles (including the workhouse). Reference: 611/42, Newmarket Union minutes, (Suffolk County Record Office, Bury St Edmunds).

1912, 17th December: Ernest Crompton appointed medical officer to the workhouse. Reference: 611/42, Newmarket Union minutes, (Suffolk County Record Office, Bury St Edmunds).

1919, 19th August: ‘A letter was read from the Registrar General stating that he had received the sanction of the Ministry of Health to alter the regulations with regard to recording deaths in Institutions and asking for the alternative address the Guardians would propose for the description of the workhouse when it was resolved that the description of the work-house for the purpose of recording deaths be the same as that for recording births namely “The White Lodge”’. Reference: 611/44, Newmarket Union minutes, (Suffolk County Record Office, Bury St Edmunds).

1922: ‘Poor Law Institution, Exning…’ listed in Kelly’s Directory. Reference: Kelly’s directory of the Counties of Cambridge, Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex. London: Kelly’s Directories Ltd.; 1922, pg 192.

1922, 23rd May: ‘A letter was read from Messrs Rustons & Lloyd on behalf of Dr E. Crompton resigning his appointment as Medical Officer of the Workhouse as from 30th June next when it was resolved that such resign-ation be accepted and that the clerk write to Dr Crompton and express the regret of the Guardians at his continued ill health and the hope that he will soon recover.’ Reference: 611/45, Newmarket Union minutes, (Suffolk County Record Office, Bury St Edmunds).

1922, 20th June:Dr John Hansby Maund’ was ‘appointed as Medical Officer of the Institution’. Reference: 611/45, Newmarket Union minutes, (Suffolk County Record Office, Bury St Edmunds). [Note: he was the only applicant.], [Note also, ‘the Institution’ was a term for the workhouse in use by this time – see the 1922 Kelly’s Directory entry above also for its more formal use.]

1925, 11th August: An early typed set on minutes from the finance committee pasted into the Newmarket Union minute book under some hand written notes is headed ‘At a [lower case m crossed out with an x] Meeting of the FINANCE COMMITTEE of the Newmarket Union held at the White Lodge Newmarket on Tuesday the 21st day of July 1925.’ showing that the name White Lodge was by this time not just used for the registration of births and death. Reference: 611/46, Newmarket Union minutes, (Suffolk County Record Office, Bury St Edmunds).

1925: ‘White Lodge (Poor Law Institution)’ with infirmary at the back marked on the Ordnance Survey map. Reference: Map of Newmarket. Southampton: Ordnance Survey; 1926 (surveyed 1883, revised 1925), sheet 42.6. [Note: see above for an image of this.]

1929: ‘Poor Law Institution, White lodge, Exning road…’ listed in Kelly’s Directory. Reference: Kelly’s directory of the counties of Norfolk & Suffolk. London: Kelly’s Directories Ltd.; 1929, pg 357. [Note: this appears under the ‘NEWMARKET UNION’ section, where it’s also noted that the Board meets ‘at The White lodge, Exning road’.]

1930, 18th March: ‘The Chairman referred to the fact that this was the last meeting of the Board of Guardians previous to the duties being taken over by the County Councils and he had made arrangements for a photographic group of the Board and its officers to be taken and hung in the Board room’ Reference: DC1/4/1, Newmarket Union minutes, (Suffolk County Record Office, Bury St Edmunds). [Note: this was approved and paid for by the members of the Board; it’s not known what became of the photograph; if anyone knows, please get in touch using the contact details via the footer below.]

1932, 28th May: A report on some West Suffolk County Council meetings noted that ‘Dr. J. H. Maund, of Heath Cottage, Newmarket tendered his resignation through ill-health as District Medical Officer for the 1st New-market District and as Medical Officer for the Newmarket Institution, and Dr. Nor-man Charles Simpson, of Heath Cottage Newmarket, applied for the posts’, which he obtained. Reference: The Bury Free Press. Saturday May 28 1932: 12. [Note: it’s odd that ‘ill health’ was given as the reason, given that he left to become a ship’s surgeon, and also it’s not entirely clear whether he left in late 1931 or early 1932 – see the page on John Hansby Maund for further details.]

1937: ‘The Newmarket Institution, White lodge, Exning road, was built in 1836 and will hold 500 inmates; Rev. Ronald Leslie Gardner B.A. chaplain; Norman C. Simpson M.D. medical officer; Ernest S. Heasman, master’ listed in Kelly’s Directory. Reference: Kelly’s directory of Suffolk. London: Kelly’s Directories Ltd.; 1937, pg 363. [Note: this appears under the ‘NEWMARKET GUARDIANS COMMITTEE OF THE WEST SUFFOLK COUNTY COUNCIL’ section, starting on page 362, where it’s also noted that the Board meets ‘at The White lodge, Exning road’.], [Note also, the commercial section (on page 367) records ‘Simpson Norman Chas. M.D.Aberd. surgn. & certifying factory surgn. & medical officer of health to the Newmarket Institution & medical officer & public vaccinator No. 1 district of Newmarket Guardians Committee of the West Suffolk County Council & medical officer to Jockey Club, Lincoln lodge, Rayes la. TN 14’.

Some other sources consulted include:-

Heasman D. 160 years of service to the community. A history of Newmarket General Hospital. Mid Anglia Community Health NHS Trust; 1996. [Note: on page 36 this book mentions, ‘The first local doctors who attended the sick and infirm patients were Dr. Clement Gray, father of Drs. Norman and Gilbert Gray, and Dr. CromptonDr. Maund and, later, Dr. Norman Simpson were the later doctors’, seemingly unaware of the history before Clement Gray (i.e. George Mead, Richard Faircloth, Norton & Thomas), despite the name of the book. This entry does however seem to confirm that Dr Simpson succeeded Dr Maund in a role that crossed into successor institutions. In general the focus and remembrances of this book are very much 20th century, with some earlier chapters touching on the 19th century], [Note also, on page 26 there is a diagram labelled a ‘Plan of the Newmarket Union Workhouse 1836’. It appears this plan should be dated later, which is perhaps implied by comments made on page 35 of the book. It resembles the 1926 OS map, not the 1885 map, which shows a much smaller complex of buildings, as does even the 1901 OS map – see an image on the page about the Newmarket Union and workhouse. The notes used to write the book are still in the Suffolk County Record Office, Bury St Edmunds (see the bottom of page 4 of the book), and a version of the plan from page 26 appears in there labelled ‘Public Assistance Institution of the 1930s’ not 1836. The notes include another plan of the much smaller original workhouse. Reference: HD2187/11036, (Suffolk County Record Office, Bury St Edmunds). Also, this smaller version is consistent with original plans regarding alterations to the early workhouse. Reference: ADA500/31-39, (Suffolk County Record Office, Bury St Edmunds) – see image above.], [Note also, this ADA500/31-39 collection of early plans continues beyond 39, but many of the plans are not dated and it’s not entirely clear from most what was actually built and what was simply proposed. However, some proposals regarding the hospital from 1838 are marked as approved, and seem to show the hospital with two floors, each with two wards. The diagram shows seven beds in each of the two ground floor wards, and ten in each of the upper floor wards, so 34 beds in total at that time.]

Calne RY. The History of Liver Transplantation. Chapter 5 in: Hakim NS, Papalois VE. History of organ and cell transplantation. London: Imperial College Press; 2003. [pgs 107-111 for an account of the Newmarket patient and how liver transplants were done in those days.], [Note also, this happened on Thursday 6th February, the day that the Newmarket Journal is published; so they reported the transplant the following week as their main front page story.]

The Medical Directory. London: Churchill; 1938-1995. [Note: The Medical Directory first lists Newmarket Hospital in its reduced form as a Communuty Hospital in 1995, with 30 beds, still with a list of the visiting consultants under their specialties.], [Note also, this publication has been known by various titles over the years. Initially it just covered London, but from 1847 it had a wider remit, being variously known as the London and Provincial Medical Directory, The Medical Directories, The Medical Directory, etc., essentially the same work with minor variations and developments. It is usually referred to as The Medical Directory (as opposed to The Medical Register), so that is how it’s consistently referred to on talkingdust.net.]

Note: For published material referenced on this website see the ‘Acknowledgements for resources of published material’ section on the ‘Usage &c.’ page. The sources used for original unpublished documents are noted after each individual reference. Any census records are referenced directly to The National Archives, since images of these are so ubiquitous on microfilm and as digital images that they almost function like published works. Census records are covered by the ‘Open Government Licence’ as should be other such public records (see the ‘Copyright and related issues’ section on the ‘Usage &c.’ page for which references constitute public records, and any other copyright issues more generally such as fair dealing/use etc.).