Bedford Row Lying-In Hospital, 1868-1971

Reference code: IE LA P5

Extent: 5.00 Boxes

Scope & Content

Annual Reports (1868 - 1971) which provide a useful overview of hospital activities, number of patients treated, and financial position of the hospital on an annual basis. However there are no annual reports in the collection for the first fifty-three years of the hospital, and there is an incomplete set of reports for the years 1868-1971.

 

Management Committee (1927 - 1970) which relates to the administration and financing of the hospital. Includes Management Committee Minute books and correspondence relating to financial matters, repairs and renovations, Irish Sweepstake Fund, and sale of hospital premises to Irish Cinemas Limited

 

Medical Staff and Patients (1904 - 1970) which includes registration of births (1904-1970), minute book of visiting medical staff and physicians (1888-1948), material relating to Limerick Child Welfare Committee, sub-committee for control of mid-wives (1923), annual medical reports (1957-1960) giving statistical returns on numbers of patients treated annually and miscellaneous letters received by medical staff (1921-1942).

Subjects

Bedford Row, Limerick, Bedford Row Lying-In Hospital, Charitable institutions, Child welfare, Health services, Hospitals, Irish Cinemas Limited, Irish Hospitals Sweepstakes, Limerick Corporation, Limerick Regional Maternity Hospital, Maternity, Medical services ,Midwives, Nurses, Physicians

Creator(s)

Bedford Row Hospital

Biographical / Historical Note

The Bedford Row Lying-In hospital was founded in 1812 as a charitable institution to provide maternity care for the poor of Limerick city. The 1868 annual report outlined the important role of the hospital, noting that ‘those who have witnessed the sufferings of the wives and mothers of the poor who meet their hour of trial in a crowded hovel or dreary cellar can alone appreciate the benefits of this Institution, which secures to them safety, comfort and quiet, and in many cases provides clothing for both women and children' (P5/1). By 1898, the services of the hospital had expanded. The hospital acted as a training centre for nurses, a dispensary for treatment of diseases peculiar to women and children had been established, and the Child Welfare Committee operated a clinic for children from the basement of the hospital.

From 1812 until 1960 the hospital was managed by a voluntary Ladies Management Committee, which was elected annually. The responsibilities and concerns of the management committee included the management of medical staff and financial affairs of the hospital, the maintenance of the hospital building, and improving the facilities and services at the Bedford Row hospital. The hospital was financed by fundraising activities of the committee, voluntary subscriptions, and by an annual grant from Limerick Corporation. Physicians gave medical service free of charge for destitute patients. Physicians also used the facilities of the hospital to care for private (fee-paying) patients.

The management committee minute books (P5/26-28) and annual reports (P5/1- 25) frequently recorded the need for building work at the hospital to improve facilities and eliminate overcrowding. Whilst various improvements to the hospital building were carried out in nineteenth and early twentieth century, the financial resources needed to carry out a major building project, were not available to the committee. In 1930 the Public Charitable Hospitals Act established the Hospital Sweepstakes. The Bedford Row hospital, as a charitable institution, qualified for support from the Hospital Sweepstake fund and the financial position of the hospital became sound. The management committee decided to purchase a new site to build a new maternity hospital. In 1935 a site was purchased at Belfield Park, on the north side of the Shannon River. However plans to erect a new hospital were halted by the onset of World War II. In 1949 the Minister of Health announced plans to build a Limerick Regional Maternity hospital to service Limerick city and county, Tipperary and Clare, which was to be operated by Limerick Corporation. Limerick Corporation was instructed to compulsorily acquire the Belfield site for this purpose.

External pressure was then put on for the closure of Bedford Row Hospital. The hospital was excluded from the Hospital Sweepstake funds, and the Corporation grant was withdrawn in 1956. However the hospital continued in operation until 1975. During this time, it mainly provided maternity care for private patients of the physicians rather than for poor of the city.

Adminstrative Information

Access Restrictions: N.A.

Use Restrictions: Restricted access to P5/49-P5/54

Related Materials: 

L/AH/PH Limerick City Council Public Health Records held by Limerick Archives.

 

Department of Health records held by the National Archives of Ireland.

 

Publications: Terry Forristel, 'Bedford Row Hospital' (unpublished article)


Collection Content


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1. Annual Reports, 1868 - 1971:

Printed annual reports of Bedford Row Lying-In Hospital. Reports outline activities of management committee, numbers of patients treated, improvements made to building, annual accounts, list of medical staff, management committee, visiting committee, and of subscriptions and donations received. Reports from 1935 onwards are in booklet form, and from 1936 onwards include a medical report. Annual reports were not published between 1957 and 1960. Incomplete set of annual reports.

   P5/1.  (DjVu - pending Mb)
    Annual report of Bedford Row Lying-In Hospital 1868
Extent: 2pp
Access Rules: N.A.


   P5/2.  (DjVu - pending Mb)
    Annual report of Bedford Row Lying-In Hospital 1879. Includes handwritten alterations to accounts
Extent: 2pp
Access Rules: N.A.


   P5/3.  (DjVu - pending Mb)
    Annual report of Bedford Row Lying-In Hospital 1898
Extent: 2pp
Access Rules: N.A.


   P5/4.  (DjVu - pending Mb)
    Annual report of Bedford Row Lying-In Hospital 1916. Includes handwritten alterations
Extent: 2pp
Access Rules: N.A.


   P5/5.  (DjVu - pending Mb)
    Annual report of Bedford Row Lying-In Hospital 1927
Extent: 2pp
Access Rules: N.A.


   P5/6.  (DjVu - pending Mb)
    Annual report of Bedford Row Lying-In Hospital 1935. Photocopy
Extent: 8pp
Access Rules: N.A.


   P5/7.  (DjVu - pending Mb)
    Annual report of Bedford Row Lying-In Hospital 1936. Photocopy
Extent: 8pp
Access Rules: N.A.


   P5/8.  (DjVu - pending Mb)
    Annual report of Bedford Row Lying-In Hospital 1940
Extent: 18pp
Access Rules: N.A.


   P5/9.  (DjVu - pending Mb)
    Annual report of Bedford Row Lying-In Hospital 1941
Extent: 18pp
Access Rules: N.A.


   P5/10.  (DjVu - pending Mb)
    Annual report of Bedford Row Lying-In Hospital 1942
Extent: 18pp
Access Rules: N.A.


   P5/11.  (DjVu - pending Mb)
    Annual report of Bedford Row Lying-In Hospital 1943
Extent: 18pp
Access Rules: N.A.


   P5/12.  (DjVu - pending Mb)
    Annual report of Bedford Row Lying-In Hospital 1944
Extent: 18pp
Access Rules: N.A.


   P5/13.  (DjVu - pending Mb)
    Annual report of Bedford Row Lying-In Hospital 1950
Extent: 18pp
Access Rules: N.A.


   P5/14.  (DjVu - pending Mb)
    Annual report of Bedford Row Lying-In Hospital 1952
Extent: 18pp
Access Rules: N.A.


   P5/15.  (DjVu - pending Mb)
    Annual report of Bedford Row Lying-In Hospital 1953. Includes handwritten alterations
Extent: 17pp
Access Rules: N.A.


   P5/16.  (DjVu - pending Mb)
    Annual report of Bedford Row Lying-In Hospital 1955 and 1956. Includes handwritten alterations
Extent: 27pp
Access Rules: N.A.


   P5/17.  (DjVu - pending Mb)
    Annual report of Bedford Row Lying-In Hospital 1961 and 1962
Extent: 18pp
Access Rules: N.A.


   P5/18.  (DjVu - pending Mb)
    Annual report of Bedford Row Lying-In Hospital 1963 and 1964
Extent: 26pp
Access Rules: N.A.


   P5/19.  (DjVu - pending Mb)
    Annual report of Bedford Row Lying-In Hospital 1965. Includes handwritten alterations
Extent: 12pp
Access Rules: N.A.


   P5/20.  (DjVu - pending Mb)
    Annual report of Bedford Row Lying-In Hospital 1966
Extent: 11pp
Access Rules: N.A.


   P5/21.  (DjVu - pending Mb)
    Annual report of Bedford Row Lying-In Hospital 1967
Extent: 11pp
Access Rules: N.A.


   P5/22.  (DjVu - pending Mb)
    Annual report of Bedford Row Lying-In Hospital 1968
Extent: 11pp
Access Rules: N.A.


   P5/23.  (DjVu - pending Mb)
    Annual report of Bedford Row Lying-In Hospital 1969
Extent: 11pp
Access Rules: N.A.


   P5/24.  (DjVu - pending Mb)
    Annual report of Bedford Row Lying-In Hospital 1970
Extent: 11pp
Access Rules: N.A.


   P5/25.  (DjVu - pending Mb)
    Annual report of Bedford Row Lying-In Hospital 1971
Extent: 11pp
Access Rules: N.A.


2. Management Committee

 

A  Management Committee Minute Books, 1927 – 1941


Minute Books containing minutes of management committee. Meetings were generally held monthly. Minutes of 'special meetings' held intermittently to discuss issues needing immediate attention, and minutes of sub-committees also occasionally recorded. Minutes record date, attendance, details of correspondence received, matters discussed, and resolutions passed. Committee membership consisted entirely of ladies until 1961, after which management committee was composed mainly of doctors. Entries relate to topics such as fund-raising activities including flag-days, bridge drives and dances; hospital accounts and investments; hospital staff recruitment, salaries and duties; repairs and extensions to hospital building; proposed hospital building at Belfield, Ennis Road; hospital sweepstakes. Entries generally signed by chairman.
Extent: 3 volumes

   P5/26.  (DjVu - pending Mb)
    Management Committee Minute Book 2 March 1927 - 8 June 1932
Extent: 156pp
Access Rules: N.A.


   P5/27.  (DjVu - pending Mb)
    Management Committee Minute Book 6 July 1932 - 11 December 1936. Includes index
Extent: 222pp
Access Rules: N.A.


   P5/28.  (DjVu - pending Mb)
    Management Committee Minute Book 14 January 1961 - 1 March 1969 (4 May 1974). Includes financial report for each month. Includes minutes of annual general meetings held between 1961 and 1974.
Extent: 228pp
Access Rules: N.A.


B. Letters relating to financial matters, 1890 - 1969
   P5/29. Letter to Harriet O'Brien (President, Ladies Management Committee) from William Syndey Cox (insurance agent), 30 September 1890 (DjVu - pending Mb)
    Letter to Harriet O'Brien (President, Ladies Management Committee) from William Syndey Cox (insurance agent) requesting cheque for insurance policy on furniture in Lying-In hospital.
Extent: 1 Item
Access Rules: N.A.


   P5/30. Letter to Harriet O'Brien from James Welply (agent), 3 October 1896 - 19 October 1898 (DjVu - pending Mb)
    Letter to Harriet O'Brien from James Welply (agent) enclosing statement of account and vouchers for Bedford Row and Henry Street properties. Credit entries on statement of account have been numbered to correspond with enclosed receipts, and include entries for items such as 'P. Morony repairing roof and new trap door', 'Sun Fire Insurance policy' and 'poors' rate made April [18] 97'. Receipts not included for entries'1', '2', '3', '6' and '7'.
Extent: 7 Items
Access Rules: N.A.


   P5/31. Letter to Harriet O'Brien from John Dundon, (solicitor), 12 May 1900 (DjVu - pending Mb)
    Letter to Harriet O'Brien from John Dundon, (solicitor) discussing Ffelan V Russell, which relates to the administration of the will of Mary McMahon (deceased). Also encloses copy of draft scheme to be put before the Master of the Rolls, High Court of Justice, Chancery Division. By this scheme the residue of the personal estate of Mary Mahon will be administered by the commissioners of Charitable Donations and Bequests. The commissioners will pay two thirds of dividends arising from 'Mary Mahons Bequest' to the treasurer of Barrington hospital, and one third of dividends to the treasurer of Bedford Row, Lying-In hospital.
Extent: 7pp
Access Rules: N.A.


   P5/32. Circular memorandum received from Commissioners of Charitable Donations and Bequests for Ireland, 29 October 1915 (DjVu - pending Mb)
    Circular memorandum received from Commissioners of Charitable Donations and Bequests for Ireland regarding conversion of new consoles held by them into £4 ½ per cent war stock, and new dates for payment of dividends.
Extent: 2pp
Access Rules: N.A.


   P5/33. File of letters and copy letters relating to fees payable to hospital, 26 July 1912 - 13 February 1920 (DjVu - pending Mb)
    File of letters and copy letters relating to fees payable to hospital for attendance on wives or other dependants of the military. Includes letters to Dr. Every Massey from J. Rowan (S. Q. M Seargent) disputing £1.1.0 fee for attendance on his wife; letters between secretary, Bedford Row hospital, Lieutenant Colonel Ford (medical officer in charge, military hospital Limerick) and Dr. Every Massey (acting secretary, visiting medical committee) relating to quotation for lowest daily rate chargeable for soldiers wives admitted to hospital
Extent: c 15 Items
Access Rules: N.A.


   P5/34. Letter to Limerick Lying-In Hospital from M. Stewart (district valuer, Commissioners of the Inland Revenue), 23 April 1914 (DjVu - pending Mb)
    Letter to Limerick Lying-In Hospital from M. Stewart (district valuer, Commissioners of the Inland Revenue) enclosing amended provisional valuation of land occupied by Limerick Lying-In hospital in Bedford Row
Extent: 3pp
Access Rules: N.A.


   P5/35. Statement of accounts of Bedford Row hospital, 31 December 1927 (DjVu - pending Mb)
    Statement of accounts of Bedford Row hospital for year ending 31 December 1927.
Extent: 2pp
Access Rules: N.A.


   P5/36. Letters from Desmond F.Wallis, (charted accountant) to Dr. John A. Holmes, [] January 1967 - 21 March 1969 (DjVu - pending Mb)
    Letters from Desmond F.Wallis, (charted accountant) to Dr. John A. Holmes, relating to extra charges on patients, and salary scale for midwives. Includes incomplete letter.
Extent: 3 Items
Access Rules: N.A.


     C. Letters relating to repairs and renovations, 1899 - 1970
   P5/37. Letter to Harriett O'Brien from Robert Fogarty (engineer and architect), 7 December 1899 (DjVu - pending Mb)
    Letter to Harriett O'Brien from Robert Fogarty (engineer and architect) enclosing specifications for building new parapet wall and railing outside hospital. Also enclosed is tender for work amounting to £195 received from John Ryan and Son.
Extent: 3 Items
Access Rules: N.A.


   P5/38. File of letters from The Thomand Building and Joinery Works to Brian E. F. Sheehy (architect to Bedford Row Hospital), 2 April 1928 - 19 July 1928 (DjVu - pending Mb)
    File of letters from The Thomand Building and Joinery Works to Brian E. F. Sheehy (architect to Bedford Row Hospital) with estimates for carrying out repairs to hospital. Proposed repairs include general repairs to doors, windows, floors, external cement, plastering, roof slating, and repairs to Sanitary annex.
Extent: 5 Items
Access Rules: N.A.


   P5/39. Copy of tender, [] June 1930 (DjVu - pending Mb)
    Copy of tender amounting to £461 received by Edward [] Ryan, architect from H. Leahy, builder for carrying out plastering work at Bedford Row hospital
Extent: 1p
Access Rules: N.A.


   P5/40. Letter from John Thompson and Partners, 6 April 1970 (DjVu - pending Mb)
    Letter from John Thompson and Partners, architects and consulting engineers, 65 O' Connell street, Limerick relating to various tenders received for external painting to hospital. Also encloses copy of specifications
Extent: 5pp
Access Rules: N.A.


D. Irish Sweepstakes Fund, 1930 - 1960
   P5/41. File of letters relating to correspondence with the Associated Hospitals' Sweepstake Committee, 19 August 1930 - 28 August 1930 (DjVu - pending Mb)
    File of letters relating to correspondence with the Associated Hospitals' Sweepstake Committee discussing the eligibility of Bedford Row-Lying in Hospital to participate in the Sweep, and requesting representatives of hospital to attend meeting in Dublin.
Extent: 8pp
Access Rules: N.A.


   P5/42. Agreement between Jervis street Charitable Infirmary, Bedford Row Lying-In hospital, and others in 1st part, and Hospital Trusts Limited in 2nd part, [] 1931 (DjVu - pending Mb)
    Agreement between Jervis street Charitable Infirmary, Bedford Row Lying-In hospital, and others in 1st part, and Hospital Trusts Limited in 2nd part amending the terms of the 14 October 1930 agreement for conducting a sweepstake upon the Grand National race 1931. discussing the eligibility of Bedford Row-Lying in Hospital to participate in the Sweep, and requesting representatives of hospital to attend meeting in Dublin
Extent: 6pp
Access Rules: N.A.


   P5/43. Memorandum to Hospitals Commission from the management committee, [] 1960 (DjVu - pending Mb)
    Memorandum to Hospitals Commission from the management committee, petitioning the Commission to reconsider their decision to exclude the Bedford Row hospital from receiving Irish hospital sweepstakes funds. Memorandum gives brief outline of financial position of hospital since its foundation, and of medical staff currently employed. Includes copy of memorandum with handwritten alteration to numbers of nurses employed by hospital from 5 to 10.
Extent: 2 Items
Access Rules: N.A.


   P5/44. Handwritten notes titled 'history of Lying-in hospital, Bedford Row, Limerick', undated (DjVu - pending Mb)
    Handwritten notes titled 'history of Lying-in hospital, Bedford Row, Limerick', relates mainly to financial position, services provided by the hospital, numbers of patients admitted, and request to Hospitals Commission and Board of Health for funding c.1812-1974
Extent: 8pp
Access Rules: N.A.


E. Sale of Premises to Irish Cinemas Ltd, 1961 - 1970
   P5/45. Typescript letter signed by trustees of Bedford Row, Hospital consenting to sell plot of ground situated in Bedford Row, Undated 1961 (DjVu - pending Mb)
    Typescript letter signed by trustees of Bedford Row, Hospital consenting to sell plot of ground situated in Bedford Row, the property of the hospital in order to reduce overdraft and defray expenses of renovation.
Extent: 1p
Access Rules: N.A.


   P5/46.  Handwritten legal note relating to sale of hospital, Undated (DjVu - pending Mb)
    Handwritten legal note relating to sale of hospital, proceeds to go to the Department of Health to build maternity block at either of regional hospitals.
Extent: 1p
Access Rules: N.A.


   P5/47. Opinion of Counsel J. McMahon, 32 Orwell Park, Dublin, 28 January 1963 (DjVu - pending Mb)
    Opinion of Counsel J. McMahon, 32 Orwell Park, Dublin, on issue of loss of light caused by construction of new building by Irish Cinemas Limited on site adjoining the hospital premises. Counsel of opinion that there was definite loss of light and that legal action should be taken if no settlement could be reached.
Extent: 5pp
Access Rules: N.A.


   P5/48. Letter to Dr. John Holmes (management committee) from D. J. O'Malley & Co., (solicitors to hospital), 20 January 1967 (DjVu - pending Mb)
    Letter to Dr. John Holmes (management committee) from D. J. O'Malley & Co., (solicitors to hospital) relating to the use of hospital premises to lay two-inch gas pipe to the Irish Cinemas Limited building. Also encloses copy of letter received from L. Sherin, City Gas Engineer (17 January 1967) and rough sketch of proposed work
Extent: 3pp
Access Rules: N.A.


3. Medical Staff and Patients

 

 

     B. Visiting Medical Staff Minute Book, 1884 - 1948

 

   P5/55. Minute book containing minutes of the Visiting Medical Staff meetings, 15 April 1884 - 23 August 1948 (DjVu - pending Mb)
    Minute book containing minutes of the Visiting Medical Staff meetings which were held intermittently. Entries generally record date, and attendance, resolutions passed, and summarises correspondence. Entries relate to activities such as admission and training of pupil nurses, rules for management of the hospital, patients fees, hospital extension, and child welfare clinic. Entries from 8 July 1903 generally signed by chairman. May be incomplete as period between entries occasionally several years.
Extent: 64pp
Access Rules: N.A.


   P5/56. Handwritten notes outlining the disciplinary decisions of the medical staff in the case of probationary Nurse Kennedy, undated (DjVu - pending Mb)
    Handwritten notes outlining the disciplinary decisions of the medical staff in the case of probationary Nurse Kennedy who failed to notify staff nurse when patients came into labours, and when temperature of patient was considerably above normal
Extent: 2pp
Access Rules: N.A.


C. Sub Committee (of Limerick Child Welfare Committee) for Control of Midwives, 1923
   P5/57. Minutes of two meetings of the Limerick Child welfare sub - committee, 10 August 1923 - 17 August 1923 (DjVu - pending Mb)
    Minutes of two meetings of the Limerick Child welfare sub - committee for control of midwives to discuss the appointment of a qualified midwife as inspector of midwives for Limerick county borough. Committee formed as result of memorandum from CMB and letters from Ministry of Local Government and Limerick Corporation. Meetings held at Bedford Row hospital.
Extent: 3pp
Access Rules: N.A.


D. Annual Medical Reports, 1957 - 1960
   P5/58. File of typescript annual medical reports, 31 December 1957 - 31 December 1960 (DjVu - pending Mb)
    File of typescript annual medical reports which contain summary information regarding number of patients admitted to hospital and babies delivered during twelve-month period. Reports arranged under various headings such as 'abnormal presentations', 'operative procedures' and 'maternal diseases during pregnancy' and 'infant section.' Includes general report reviewing the medical reports from 1957 to 1960. See also P1/7-25
Extent: 10pp
Access Rules: N.A.


E. Letters to Medical Staff, 1921 - 1942
   P5/59. File of miscellaneous letters received by medical staff of hospital from patients and management committee of hospital, 6 December 1921 - 7 October 1942 (DjVu - pending Mb)
    File of miscellaneous letters received by medical staff of hospital from patients and management committee of hospital. Topics discussed include hospital building, patient fees, and staff rotations. Includes letter from Denis A. Carey (husband of patient) to matron of hospital praising the 'long visiting hours, the reception desk courtesy and the good humoured nurses' of Bedford Row Hospital (undated).
Extent: 6 Items
Access Rules: N.A.


Last update:22/02/2013

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