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Western Dispensary

Western Dispensary

Group  From 1789  To /12/1949

Categories: Medicine

From AIM25:
"The Western Dispensary was founded in Charles Street, Westminster, in 1789, 'for gratuitously administering advice, medicines and attendance to the poor inhabitants of the City of Westminster and places adjacent'. From 1822 it also undertook maternity cases 'for the delivery of needy lying-in married women at their homes'. It moved to Tothill Street, Westminster, in 1850, to Broadway, Westminster, in 1858, and to Rochester Row, Westminster, in 1878-1879. A subsidiary organisation, the 'Marie Celeste Convalescent Branch', was established in 1888 with the object of sending patients of the Dispensary to suitable convalescent homes for recovery. The Dispensary was closed in December 1949 and its funds were handed over to the United Westminster Almshouses in 1952."

It was of course the 1946 creation of the National Health Service which rendered this Dispensary redundant.

The man who produced the standard translation of Wagner's prose works, published in 1895, was, twice, the Resident Medical Officer of this Dispensary.  William Ashton Ellis was born in 1823 in Wales.  Qualified as a doctor in London in 1844.  Around 1875 became a devotee of Wagner’s works.   Became the Resident Medical Officer at the WD in 1878.  In 1886 he unsuccessfully applied for the post of Secretary at the Dispensary which would have meant a reduction in salary – perhaps he hoped to work fewer hours and thus free up time for his real love.  The successful candidate was Morgan.  Ellis resigned as Medical Officer in 1887.  In 1915 he returned to his post at the Dispensary and died in his rooms there on 2 January 1919.  During the period 1887 – 1915 he produced the Wagner translations.  We found all this at Faithful, All Too Faithful, By David Cormack, 2002 – a fascinating story that involves Theosopy and other such features of the period.  

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This section lists the memorials where the subject on this page is commemorated:
Western Dispensary

Information Commemorated at

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