Monthly Archives: July 2018

The notable art of watercolours

Redhill, August 1876 by Sissy Waley [MS 363 A3006/3/5/4 page 37 1]

Redhill, August 1876, by Julia Matilda Cohen [MS 363 A3006/3/5/4 page 37 number 1]

For any young woman to consider herself accomplished, according to the snobbish Caroline Bingley in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, she required the following skills:

“…a thorough knowledge of music, singing, drawing, dancing, and the modern languages….; and besides all this, she must possess a certain something in her air and manner of walking, the tone of her voice, her address and expressions…”

Such accomplishments marked out women as belonging to a certain class and were part of what made them marriageable. Drawing and embroidery were part of a conventional education for young women in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and manuals such as Bowles’s Drawing Book for Ladies were produced to provide images for copying.  It has been suggested by some critics that encouraging women to copy from already-existing works of art was a way of constraining originality, thus ensuring that women artists remained amateurs rather than professionals.

Watercolour of view in the garden at Northcourt, 18-- [MS 80 A276/5]

View in the garden at Northcourt, 18–, by Lady Gordon [MS 80 A276/17/5]

As July is World Watercolour Month, we look at some examples of watercolours produced by women held within Special Collections.

Watercolour of garden just made at Northcourt, 1843 [MS 80 A276/17/3]

Garden at Northcourt, 1843 [MS 80 A276/17/3]

The Gordon family collection (MS 80) contains some fine examples of watercolours of the family home and garden, Northcote on the Isle of Wight. These are the work of Julia Isabella Louisa Bennett, Lady Gordon (1775-1867) and possibly also by her daughter Julia Gordon. Lady Gordon was an accomplished artist, remembered as one of J.M.W.Turner’s few known pupils, who also studied with David Cox and took lessons from Thomas Girtin. Other examples of her work are held at the Tate in London and in National Trust collections.

Pride of India, Cape Province, 1932, by Charlotte Chamberlain [MS 100/1/3]

Pride of India, Cape Province, 1932, by Charlotte Chamberlain [MS 100/1/3]

Charlotte Chamberlain was a member of the Chamberlain family of Birmingham, one of seven daughters of the industrialist Arthur Chamberlain. She was a graduate of Newham College, Cambridge, and of the University of Birmingham, the foundation of which her uncle, the politician Joseph Chamberlain, had played a leading role. On the death of their father in 1913, Charlotte and her sister Mary moved to the New Forest and they both became closely involved with the development of and notable benefactors of what was later to become the University of Southampton.

Red gum, Cape Province, 1932 [MS100/1/3]

Red gum, Cape Province, 1932, by Mary Chamberlain [MS100/1/3]

A member of one of the prominent Anglo-Jewish families, Julia Matilda Cohen née Waley (1853-1917) married Nathaniel Louis Cohen in 1873 when she was 20 years of age. The Waley Cohen collection (MS 363) includes Julia’s sketchbooks for the period 1874-81 and 1895.

From Beddgelert [MS363 A3006/3/5/4 page 37 number 2]

View from Beddgelert, June 1875, by Julia Matilda Cohen [MS363 A3006/3/5/4 page 37 number 2]

The earlier sketchbook was an album given to her as a repository for her sketches by her Aunt (Elizabeth) and Uncle (Jacob Quixano Henriques) in September 1874 to mark her reaching her majority. It contains sketches of places she visited around Britain and Europe including: Perthshire, Scotland; Windsor Castle, Chichester and Bournemouth, England; North Wales; and Simplon, The Tyrol, Domodossola, Venice, Verona and Lake Como, Italy.

View from Cricceth Castle, 1878, by Julia Cohen [MS 363 A3006/3/5/4 page 45 number 2]

View from Cricceth Castle, 1878, by Julia Matilda Cohen [MS 363 A3006/3/5/4 page 45 number 2]

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Isaac Watts (1674-1748) Son of Southampton, Father of English Hymnology

On the 17th July, 1861 – the anniversary of his birth – a crowd gathered in a Southampton park to witness the inauguration of the statue of Isaac Watts, one of the town’s most famous sons. Financed by public subscription, the statue was the work of Richard Cockle Lucas, the eccentric sculptor of Chilworth and depicted Watts facing towards the town in the attitude of a preacher, with basso- relievos on the sides of the pedestal recording his activities as teacher, philosopher and poet.

The statue of Isaac Watts in Richard Cockle Lucas’ studio (Rare Books Cope 73 LUC)

The events of the day are recorded in the Cope Collection’s copy of Memorials, Historical, Descriptive, Poetical & Pictorial, Commemorative of the Inauguration of the Statue to Dr Isaac Watts in the Western Park, Southampton (1861), which also noted that the area around the statue would in future be known as Watts’ Park. A procession which began at 2 o’clock was followed by poetry readings, hymn singing and an inaugural address given by the Earl of Shaftesbury, the proceedings being concluded by a soirée at the Royal Victoria Rooms at which ‘a large assemblage of persons of all ranks, parties and denominations’ enjoyed refreshments at moderate charges.

Memorials … Commemorative of the Inauguration of the Statue to Dr Isaac Watts (1861) [Rare Books Cope SOU 96 WAT]

Born into a nonconformist family in 1674, Isaac Watts was educated at the free grammar school until the age of sixteen when he left Southampton to attend the dissenting academy at Stoke Newington. His life as an Independent minister was greatly influenced by these early years during which his father, also named Isaac, was imprisoned for his beliefs and was, for two years, forced to live away from the family. Two Bibles which belonged to the Watts family at this time are now in the University Archives, the family Bible which belonged to Isaac Watts senior which records his marriage to Sarah Taunton and the birth of their children, and a smaller pocket Bible, passed from father to son, in which the younger Isaac added his own contemplations and acrostic petitions.

An acrostic by Isaac Watts in his copy of the Bible [MS 52]

Southampton also played a part in Isaac Watts’ career as a hymn-writer. It was on a lengthy visit after he had finished his education, that he began composing many of the hymns for which he became famous. The story was told that after accompanying his father to a service at the Above Bar Independent Church, he complained about the quality of the hymns (the texts, not necessarily the singing) and was told to mend the matter himself. This he did and in 1707 published his Hymns and Spiritual Songs. In 1719 The Psalms of David Imitated in the Language of the New Testament followed, in which Watts interpreted the Psalms in a way which reflected Christian worship. The town has also been suggested as the inspiration for some of the lines in Watts’ hymns, particularly those in ‘There is a land of pure delight’.

Memorials … Commemorative of the Inauguration of the Statue to Dr Isaac Watts (1861) [Rare Books Cope SOU 96 WAT]

Today the links between Isaac Watts and Southampton are clear to both see and hear as the tune ‘St Anne’, commonly used for one of his best known hymns, ‘Oh God our help in ages past’ (a paraphrase of Psalm 90), rings out from the Civic Centre clock tower overlooking Watts’ Statue in the centre of Watts’ Park.

The Home and Hospital for Jewish Incurables, Tottenham

130 years ago this month, the Home and Hospital for Jewish Incurables, Tottenham was founded. To mark this occasion we take a look at the material we hold relating to the institution  (MS 284).

Minute Book, 1889-1891 [MS 284 A978 1/1]

Male patients’ room, c.1900s [MS 284 A978/7/1]

The establishment and running of the Institution

In 1888, there were few places Jewish immigrants could go to spend their remaining years if suffering from incurable diseases. The main option was local authority infirmaries, which lacked “a Jewish atmosphere and the facilities for religious observances.” [MS 284 A978/6/2]

This struck a chord with Morris Barnett, who wrote to the Jewish Chronicle in October 1888, asking for those interested in “founding a home for incurables” to contact him. This led to a meeting held at his house in February 1889, where a public meeting was arranged to inform the community of the creation of the Society for the formation of a Jewish Home for Incurables. At the public meeting, a committee was elected and over 400 people promised to be subscribers.

The first Home opened in 1891 at 49-51 Victoria Park Road, E9, with nine patients. Its object was the care, maintenance and medical treatment of United Kingdom residents of the Jewish faith with a permanent disability. Under the rules of the Home, patients had to be of the Jewish Faith, who had resided in England for 5 years, and it was open between 11am to 6pm for the inspection of the public. In the early 1890s the average weekly cost was 21/ per patient. Concerts, annual poultry dinners, were provided for patients, as well as lectures and film showings.

The Institution was managed by a Committee of Management consisting of the President, Vice-Presidents, Treasurers, Honorary Secretary, Honorary Solicitor, Honorary Medical Staff, and other Honorary Officers deemed necessary. The Committee met once every quarter, and were responsible for receiving correspondence from medical staff, approving accounts and purchase orders, appointing a matron, nurses and servants; and regulating the household management of the institution and the patients. The latter was done through the appointment of a House Committee that consisted of ladies annually elected, who met once a month and visited the Home periodically to inspect the interior management and domestic arrangements. They were also responsible for checking that patients were receiving adequate treatment, and reported their observations and suggestions in a book laid before the Committee of Management.

Responsible for the entire charge of the home, the Matron kept accounts, appointed or suspended nurses of domestic servants, and arranged leave of all staff. Menus of the day were arranged with the Housekeeper and medicines ordered by the doctor were dispensed with the Assistant Matron. The Matron was in charge of receiving all visitors, and in general, carried out the instructions of the Board of Management and Medical Officers. The Institution’s first matron was Esther Goldberg.

Staff at Home and Hospital for Jewish Incurables, c.1900s [MS 284 A978/7/1]

Staff, c.1900s [MS 284 A978/7/1]

How the institution was funded

Funding for the institution was achieved by subscriptions, donations, and payments made by patients and members of the public. In the beginnings of the institution, “the first funds were raised in London’s East End Streets by carrying a mock patient in a bed around in a cart and appealing for subscriptions of one penny per week.” [MS 284 A978/6/2] Events were also organised to raise funds for the institution, such as annual balls, garden fetes, and dances.

Funding Advertisement, c.1940s [MS 284 A978 6/1]

Funding advertisement, c.1900s [MS 284 A978/6/1]

Development of the Institution

The institution moved to a larger house sufficient for 20 patients in Wood Street, Walthamstow in 1894 and again in 1896 to High Road in Tottenham. The Tottenham and Edmonton Weekly Herald described the building as being “built in the Elizabethan style of architecture” and being “placed on the site so as to afford the maximum amount of sunshine to the patients.” [Tottenham and Edmonton Weekly Herald, April 1901]

After building work at this site, the Home was formally opened on 3 July 1903 by Princess Louise, Duchess of Argyll (sister of King Edward VII). Up to 80 patients were admitted, with male patients on the ground floor, where there was also a concert hall and access to a garden, and the female patients were on the first floor. Staff and kitchen quarters were located on the third floor.

A new wing was completed at the Tottenham Home in 1913 and a new synagogue was opened in 1914. In 1918, the Home was approached by the Ministry of Pensions seeking to use the new wing to accommodate Jewish soldiers. A scheme was agreed whereby twenty-eight soldiers were admitted for twelve months.

In 1939 fear of air raids led to the evacuation of the Home to Chesterfield House near Saffron Waldon. The accommodation at Tottenham was taken over by Middlesex County Council in May 1940 to accommodate refugees.

Common Room, c.1970s MS284 A978/7/5

Common room, c.1940s [MS284 A978/7/5]

The Institution as the Jewish Home and Hospital

In 1963, the institution’s name changed to Jewish Home and Hospital. With 114 patients in 1974, the Jewish Home and Hospital provided a much-needed service in north London. Patients who came in chair-bound were helped to walk again, and other patients who would otherwise be home alone suffering the expense of nurses coming to wash and feed them, could be somewhere where they could make friends and be cared for at the same time.

Physiotherapy and occupational therapy was provided, as well as facilities such as dentist and a hairdressing salon. Rooms were provided for crafts, and prayer and meditation. Being in a home where you could mix with Jewish patients and practise religious activities was of pivotal importance for the patients. “When you’re not well, you like to be near God, like a child. They haven’t got a cure yet, so you want to die in a Jewish place.” (Judith, Jewish Chronicle Supplement, 20 September 1974 [MS 284 A978/7/6]).

In 1992, the Home merged with Jewish Care. By the late 20th century, Tottenham’s Jewish population had largely moved away and the building became obsolete. The Home closed in 1995.

Consisting of 24 boxes and 5 volumes, the MS 284 collection contains minute books; annual reports; legal and financial papers; correspondence; and photographs. The material provides a valuable resource for research into nineteenth and twentieth century Jewish community services for the disabled.

Minute Book, 1889-1891 [MS 284 A978 1/1]

Minute book, 1889-1891 [MS 284 A978/1/1]

Celebrating 70 years of the National Health Service

On 5 July 1948 the Minister of Health, Aneurin Bevan, launched the National Health Service.  2018 marks 70 years since its establishment and during this time it has become the world’s largest publicly-funded health service.

The NHS was created out of the ideal that good healthcare should be available to all, regardless of wealth, and at its heart remain the same 3 core principles:

  • that it meet the needs of everyone
  • that it be free at the point of delivery
  • that it be based on clinical need, not ability to pay.

The Hartley Institution, the first incarnation of the University, long pre-dates the founding of the NHS but not, of course, the provision of healthcare.  In 1894, the Institution was recognised by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons as a place of instruction for students preparing for their first medical examination.

The Hartley Institution in the High Street, Southampton, below the Bargate

Prior to this, Albert Temple Patterson, author of The University of Southampton, reports that local medical students attended lectures at the infirmary or in the “private residence of our medical men.”  A few students received instruction at the Institution with some winning scholarships to London hospitals.

The Hartley Institution became the Hartley College in 1896; Hartley University College in 1902 and the University College of Southampton in 1914.  The College calendars give details of the instruction offered for those students wishing to prepare for the medical profession.

Timetable from the Hartley University College Southampton Prospectus of day classes suitable for medical and dental students, session 1905-1905 [Univ. Coll. per LF783.5]

Courses for training health visitors were instituted in 1948-9 with Miss P.E.O’Connell appointed tutor-in-charge.  The venture was a  successful piece of co-operation between the University College and local authorities who were finding it difficult to secure qualified individuals for the new health service.

The establishment of a medical school was considered in 1950 but the University Grants Committee considered the current provision for medical education to be adequate.  However, two appointment were made for lecturers in medically related biological studies in the later 1950s, once the institution had received University status.

In 1967, the Royal Commission on Medical Education advised the Government that there was a strong case for establishing a new medical school in Southampton.  The previous year it had established that there needed to be an immediate and substantial increase in the number of doctors.

Professor Donald Acheson, Foundation Dean of the new Medical School, University of Southampton, 1968-78

Sir Kenneth Mather, (Vice Chancellor 1965-71) whose specialism was genetics, had been an enthusiastic supporter of the project.  Professor Donald Acheson arrived in October 1968 to be the foundation Dean and the first intake of students arrived two years later, in 1971.  Acheson was later appointed Chief Medical Officer under the Thatcher administration.

The nursing degree course was launched in 1982 with some 20 students.  This was greatly increased in 1995, the result of the Government’s recognition that most nurses should have degrees, and its decision to hand over training of the nurses from the NHS to the universities.

Planting a tree in honour of the first nursing graduates, October 1986 [MS 1/Phot/1/26/1]

A new school of Nursing and Midwifery was formed in 1995 by the amalgamation of the NHS College of Nursing and Midwifery with the exiting nursing group in the Faculty of Medicine.

The university maintains a presence at Southampton General in partnership with the NHS trust operating the hospital. It is home to some operations of the Faculty of Medicine and the Faculty of Health Sciences, although these two faculties have bases on Highfield campus. As a teaching hospital, it is used by a range of undergraduate and postgraduate medical students, research academics and clinicians.

Aeriel view of Southampton General Hospital, 1996 [MS 1/Phot/13/1]

The General Hospital is the biggest site of the University Hospital Southampton which also manages the Princess Anne, Southampton Children’s Hospital, Countess Mountbatten House, Royal South Hants and the New Forest Birth Centre.

In 2007, the University chose to venerate Professor Dame Sally Claire Davies, DBE, FMedSci, FRS with an honorary degree.  She is the current Chief Medical Officer for England (appointed in 2010); the first woman to be appointed to the post which has substantial de facto influence over NHS policy.

Professor Sally Davies with the Chancellor, Sir John Parker in 2007 [MS 1/GR1/18/21]

From humble beginnings, the University is today a national leader in medical education.  Working in collaboration with the NHS, the Faculty of Medicine has trained thousands of doctors and scientists.  Nursing at the University is ranked ninth in the world and the Faculty of Health Sciences also provides a first-class environment for cutting edge research to prepare tomorrow’s physiotherapists, midwives, occupational therapists, clinical phycologists and podiatrists.