Staffing the new hospital

Following on from the weekly meetings held in July on the 4 August 1766 a General Board meeting was held. This was a very busy meeting and amongst the items discussed were the appointment of the apothecary, Mr Lefebvre.  His salary was to be £25 a year with a gratuity of £5 if he behaved well the highest salary of all the staff at the time.  They also decided that there should not be a surety taken for the burial of patients.

They decided that the Matron’s Salary should be £10 and a gratuity of not more than £5 be given her and advertisement be placed in the Cambridge paper,‘ denoting the salary’.

This was followed with a lot of discussion on the lease of the hospital being made to the Earl of Hardwicke being the first President of the Hospital, the secretary Mr John Haggerstone was elected with a salary of £10 and finally they agreed that the Weekly Board ‘should proceed to furnish the Infirmary!’

One thought on “Staffing the new hospital

  1. Hari Om
    Clearly, they aimed for worthy staff. Between four and ten shillings a week was pretty decent! I came across this interesting take on what shillings and pence could buy in the 18th century…

    2s 6d (2/6)
    A whole pig.
    A tooth extraction
    Dinner sent in from a tavern
    A chicken at Vauxhall gardens
    A ticket to hear the rehearsal of the music for the royal fireworks at Vauxhall

    2s 10d (2/10)
    1lb of candles.

    3s 2d
    A pair of men’s yarn knitted stockings (knitting was fairly new)

    3s 3d
    A barrel of Colchester oysters.

    4s 6d
    A petticoat for a working woman.

    5s (5/-)
    A pound of Fry’s drinking chocolate.
    A bottle of claret at Vauxhall.
    A box at Drury Lane Theatre (1763).
    A workman’s secondhand coat.

    4s 9d – 6s
    1lb of coffee (but tea was more expensive!)

    5s 2d
    A pint of lavender water.

    Entertaining reading (and choices of goods), but gives a good indication of how far that money could go! The full list can be viewed at

    Liked by 1 person

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