The Old Dispensary Church street :erected 1781, demolished 1823
From Picture of Liverpool: Strangers Guide, written in 1834
The first Dispensary in Liverpool was established in John-street, in the year 1778, but was afterwards removed to Church street in 1781, where a handome edifice, with a circular stone portico in front, was erected for this purpose, but which has recently been taken down. At present there are two of these institutions, one situate in Vauxhall-road, a neat structure, decorated in front with a lofty stone portico of the Ionic order of architecture: and another on Upper-Parliament-street
Three physicians, three surgeons, and an apothecary attend each of these establishments, at which medical advice and surgical assistance are given every day, except Sunday, at the hours of nine, ten and eleven in the morning. a president and two auditors superintend the management of each dispensary.
The object of these charitable institutions is to afford medical and chirurgical aid to poor persons, being in want thereof, who have obtained a note of recommendation, from any of the magistrates, clergy, churchwardens, or subsribers. One of the medical attendants visits such of the patients unable to come to the dispensary.
Snippet from Liverpool Mercury June 1820
The Liverpool Dispensary
We have in a former paper stated that there was a considerable defalcation in the funds of this valuable charity in the last year: and we now respectfully beg leave to direct the public attention to the following report of the institution, which has just been published:
"The committee of the Dispensary in presenting their annual report to subscibers and the Public, consider it a first duty to solicit particular attention to the state of the finances of the Institution, and earnestly to urge it's claims upon the regard of all who have the power of enlarging and confirming it's resources.
"It will be seen by reference to the statement of the years accounts that even if the whole of the arrears of subscriptions should be received, the expenditure of the Institution will exceed it's income by upwards of £450. There are two principal causes of this deficiency: the extraordinary decrease of donations and legacies and the want of collections in places of worship. In the year 1816 the collections produced £319, in 1817 £217, and in 1819 only £9! The committee are aware of the many important claims on the benevolence of the Clergy: they trust however that the great and manifest usefulness of the Institution and the depressed state of it's finances will induce Ministers of every denomination to embrace the first opportunities of appealing from the pulpit to the charity of their respective congregations.
"The Committee gratefully acknowledge the promises they have already received of this most desiarble and efficient sort of aid, and in the midst of threatening difficulties indulge a cheering confidence, that such endeavours to excite and keep a more active interest in the well being of the Institution, will be duly seconded by the public: and that the neccessity of ever contracting the hitherto unconfined operations of the Charity will consequently be altogether obviated"
" In the course of the year upwards of fourteen thousand medical and six thousand surgical patients have been admitted. Compared with the preceeding year there has been a decrease of one-eleventh in the total of diseases, and of one-third in the number of cases of common fever: there has been a smaller proportion of typhus, of pulmonary consumption, and of diseases of the liver, but there has been an increase of inflammatory affections of the lungs , of severe bowel complaints, of infantile disorders, and of feverish colds and sore throats. The expenditure of medicines has been neccesarily great: although by strict economy in the dispensing department the amount in some of the more costly articles has been considerably reduced. The advantages expected from the appointment of a third Visiting Surgeon-Apothecary have been fully obtained and by the present establishment, prompt and regular assistance is secured to all who seek it properly"
"The Committee are sorry to observe that many instances have occurred , where persons have been recommended to the dispensary without any previous enquiry into their real condition. They entreat the subscribers to consider the abuses that must neccessarily arise from such a practice, and beg that they will in future assure themselves, as far as possible that those whom they recommend are really "poor and unable to pay for medicines""
"Since the publication of the last report, the Dispensary has been deprived by death of the services of two highly valuable officers:- Assistant Surgeons Critchley and Beaumont have both fallen victim to the deadly contamination of typhus. They were alike distinguished by zeal and industry in the cultivation of their talents, and by diligence and humanity in the discharge of their official duties"
More snippets will be added when I come across them....