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A History of Horncastle by James Conway Walter

The first anniversary of the Dispensary's formation


In July, 1834, a resolution was passed that doctors attending patients at the Dispensary, might introduce pupils, to study cases under their treatment; and, in one case, a lady applied for permission to attend a course of instruction, in order that she might be enabled to assist her husband in making up medicines. From 1840 to 1894 drugs were supplied by Messrs. Herring & Co., of London, but since that they have been supplied by local chemists, who are subscribers.

In the autumn of 1840 there was an epidemic of scarlatina, and of the 237 patients on the books, 50 were suffering from that complaint. In consequence of the additional work thus caused, the salary of the dispenser was raised from 40 to 60 pounds a year.

Again, with regard to a new source of income, among early notices we find the following: that on Sept. 29th, 1790, the first anniversary of the Dispensary's formation, a sermon was preached, on its behalf, at a service in the parish church, by the Rev. John Dymoke, Rector of Scrivelsby, and Chaplain to his grace the Duke of St. Albans. This became an annual observance, and has continued so ever since, the preachers being selected with special care, and often from a considerable distance. For instance, at the following anniversary, in 1791, the Rev. Everard Duckworth, LL.D., Prebendary of Canterbury, was invited to preach, and he being unable to undertake that office, the Rev. Peter Bulmer, Vicar of Thorpe, officiated in his stead. Among other preachers named we find the Rev. Basil Beridge, well-known for his works of charity, Rector of Algarkirk, near Boston; the Rev. W. Goodenough, Archdeacon of Carlisle; the Rev. E. R. Mantell, Vicar of Louth, and other prominent clergy of the county.

How widely the institution was appreciated is shewn by the number of leading persons who gave it their patronage. Sir Joseph Banks was its warmest supporter, through life, regularly attending the committee meetings, either as a Governor or President, until his decease, June 19, 1820; and his example brought to the meetings members of the Chaplin, Massingberd, and Heneage families, Lord Yarborough, and others, at no small inconvenience, from considerable distances.

[Picture: The Bull Ring]

Among other Presidents have been the widowed Lady Banks; Lord Yarborough, on several occasions; the Honble. and Rev. John Dymoke; to whom succeeded the Honble. Henry, afterwards Sir Henry Dymoke, Bart.; Lord Worsley; the Right Honble. E. Stanhope, M.P.; J. Banks Stanhope, Esq. After the death of Mr. Stanhope, Jan. 18th, 1904, it was resolved, at a special meeting of the Governors, Jan. 28th, that the Secretary should record, among the minutes, their regret at his death, and their high appreciation of his long and generous support. The chairman was requested to send a copy of this to the Honble. Mrs. Stanhope; and at a meeting held on March 31st, following, a very kind letter in reply was read from Mrs. Stanhope, promising her support in the future, in lieu of that of the deceased gentleman. The chairman was again requested to convey to her the thanks of the Governors, and Mrs. Stanhope was elected and continued to be President until her death, October 25th, 1907.


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