Stornoway Hospital(s)

These are the census records that include the word ‘hospital’:

1871
Peggy Macdonald, 50, Hospital Keeper, 14 Keith Street, b. Stornoway

1881
Mary Sharpe, 26, Housekeeper, Hospital, b. Stornoway

1891 – None Listed

1896 – Lewis Hospital opens on the 1st February

1901
Easthill Road, The Louis Hospital

Marion Macdonald, 38, Matron of Institution, b. South Uist
Jessie Macrae, 42, Head Hospital Nurse, b. Strath, Inverness-shire
Jessie Macrae, 22, General Servant, b. Barvas

Catherine Macleod, 24, Patient, Fishworker (Unemployed), b. Stornoway
Ann Macleod, 16, Patient, Crofter’s Daughter, b. Uig
Katie M Maciver, 14, Patient, Scholar, b. Stornoway

Murdoch Murray, 20, Patient, General Labourer (Unemployed), b. Barvas
Alexander Macmillan, 13, Patient, Scholar, b. Stornoway

Mossend Fever Hospital

Catherine Mackenzie, 49, Hospital Nurse, b. Stornoway
Sophia Mackenzie, 20, Assistant Nurse, Daughter, b. Glasgow

Malcolm Macleod, 39, Patient, Coachman (Not Domestic), b. Lochs
Mary Macleod, 36, Patient, b. Scalpay

It is interesting that the records of 1871 and 1881 indicate the presence of a hospital in the town well before the opening of Lewis Hospital in 1896, but in ‘The Soap Man’, Roger Hutchinson mentions that Stornoway had a hospital in 1884 when the young William Lever first visited the island.

Several things interest me from the 1901 Census (apart from the spelling of ‘Louis’!).

We see that the Matron and Head Nurse are resident along with their five patients. This being a Sunday evening, I wonder if the other nurses would have been scattered throughout the town in their own homes? Unfortunately, if this was the case, they neglected to identify themselves as hospital nurses. It is also striking that all five patients are between 13 and 24 years of age.

Mossend Fever Hospital or, to give it its full title, the Infectious Diseases Hospital is thankfully low in patients but it is interesting to contrast the ages of the two patients, in their mid to late thirties, with the youthfulness we saw in the Lewis Hospital.

I have been unable to learn anything more about the Mossend Fever Hospital apart from this mention of the ‘Old Fever Hospital’ that also locates ‘Widow’s Row’, an address that I have given in other pieces but only now know the location of:
http://www.stornowaygazette.co.uk/letters-to-the-editor/Information-on-Widows39-Row.1177076.jp

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2 thoughts on “Stornoway Hospital(s)

  1. The Mossend Fever Hospital was built in 1876; well at least the site was conveyed to the Stornoway Burgh commissioners by the estate on the 15th August of that year. In 1866 there was an outbreak of cholera on the outskirts of the town and in 1872 an outbreak of smallpox. The Public Health (Scotland) Act of 1867 had laid new reponsibilities on local authorities and the Stornoway councillors response was to build a temporary wooden structure at Stewarts Field (bottom of Anderson Rd) in 1872. The Mossend hospital’s first medical officer was Dr. Roderick Millar (1804-89). By the 1920’s the County Hospital (built in 1920)had taken on most of Mossend’s remit but it continued on until the late 1930’s although I don’t know the exact year it closed.

    As regards your census researches on earlier hospitals in Stornoway, all I can tell you is that in 1856, Sir James Matheson donated a ‘tenement’ in Stornoway for the use of local doctors in treating people, especially those from the country districts. I don’t know if the Keith St house was that tenement but it could well be.

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