Bamburgh Infirmary in the 18th Century

A further installment of Carol’s archive research, with thanks to the Woodhorn Archive:

Dr Cockagne was a Surgeon at the Infirmary established at Bamburgh Castle, by the Lord Crewe Trustees, led and inspired by the most famous of them all, Dr John Sharp. Dr Cockagne lived initially in Wooler, but due to the difficulties of travelling to Bamburgh during severe winters, was provided with accommodation at “Bambro Fryers”, from where he wrote in a beautiful copperplate hand on April 4 1786 to Dr Sharp-

“I have to acknowledge the Honour of receiving two letters which gave me great pleasure on more accounts than one they Reliev’d me from an Anxiety that I had offended you unknowingly, or that your silence might be occasioned by some Domestick Distress the [missing] of which I Pray may be at a Great Distance..

..The Child of John Carr’s Died apon the Eleventh Day- I saw him every day-he had the true Confluent chryolalline Kind and I had no hope for him from the beginning-His youngest child is now ill of the Smallpox but likely to do well-of a very fine sort, and I expect to get some Good Matter to inoculate those who chuse to Accept of your kind offer I took the Liberty (which I hope will meet Your approbation) of having the offer of Inoculation Gratis to all the Poor of Bambro and the Neighbourhood made publick at the Church Door on Sunday last by the Clerk and I hope it will have a proper effect- The Country People have been much diseas’d this winter and Spring, We had 150 Patients at the Surgery the Saturday before last, which is the greatest number ever got on one day- Joseph Thew’s Child is inoculated George Hall’s little boy has got over it very well indeed- Mr Watson’s Child of Glowerorum is going to be inoculated and several peoples children at Glowerorum- I shall not neglect any Part of my Duty with regard to Attendance and willingly leave the consideration to the Trustees of whose kindness I have no reason to doubt-

Mrs Cockagne thank God continues a better state of Health than formerly and joins me in every good Wish for the Health and Happiness of Dr Sharp and family and am, Dear Sir, Your Respectful and obliged Humble Servant….”

With thanks to Woodhorn Archive-ref NRO452/C/3/2/15/77




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