Wednesday, 15 February 2017
Friday, 25 November 2016
The successful applicants will act as key intermediaries between the project and relevant partners in the arts and policy, play a lead role in promoting the project through various media outlets and in the planning, organisation and promotion events. They are seeking applicants with previous experience of working in public or policy engagement.
Public Engagement Officer, CHOMI, University College Dublin
Public Engagement Officer, CHM, University of Warwick
This Public Engagement post will be based at the Centre for the History of Medicine, Department of History, University of Warwick. This part-time position will last for 24 months commencing from shortly after 9 January 2017.
Salary: £29,301 – £38,183 per annum pro-rata (0.4 FTE).
Closing Date: 1 December 2016
For further details and to apply, please see: Public Engagement Officer (78714-106)
Tuesday, 6 September 2016
Early Modern Medicine
Viringus and Military Medicine
|Dr Benjamin Hazard (speaker) with Professor James Kelly (chair)|
at the meeting, 'The Sharing of Medical Ideas and Information
among Early Modern Practitioners'
(Dr Steevens' Hospital, 2 August 2016).
Book Merchants, Auctions, and the Medical Mind
Professor Ole Grell
|Dr Benjamin Hazard,|
School of History,
University College Dublin
Dr Benjamin Hazard (School of History, UCD) was born in London in 1971. He specialises in early-modern history. Among other matters, his research and publications deal with medical humanities with a particular focus on military medicine, its interaction with civilian life, and methods of education. In 2009, Benjamin published his monograph Faith and Patronage: The Political Career of Flaithrí Ó Maolchonaire c.1560–1629.
Wednesday, 4 May 2016
Local health authority day nurseries in post-1945 England
In this month's blog Dr Angela Davis (University of Warwick) considers the fate of local health authority day nurseries in England from 1945 to the 1970s. While the national trajectory during this period may have been one of decline, this trend masks considerable local variation with some authorities regarding the day nursery as an intrinsic part of the health service and others considering them, at best, marginal.
|Handing over the Women's Voluntary Service War Nursery,|
Manor House, Wendover, Buckinghamshire, England, UK,
1941, © IWM (D 2424).
From the numerous and widely used local authority administered day nurseries, commonly known as ‘war nurseries’, which were open to all working mothers during World War Two (in 1944 there were around 1,450 full-time nurseries and 109 part-time nurseries), in the late 1970s the day nursery service had become a much more limited form of provision intended to prevent children being harmed by inadequate homes or parents and to avoid the last resort of resort of residential care, including children from difficult family backgrounds, one-parent households, and some handicapped children.
However these national trends figures mask the very real variation at the local level that took place. State-provided day nurseries remained the responsibility of Ministry of Health in the years after the war (responsibility was finally transferred to the Social Services Departments in 1971), and administered through the local health authorities. The local health authority day nurseries were under the ultimate control of the medical officer of health for the area and these medical Officers of Health had very different attitudes about the importance of the provision of day nurseries. While some thought the service was an intrinsic part of the health and welfare provision in their area others were keen to cease providing the service altogether. Throughout the period the provision offered by London Local Authorities was higher than anywhere else in the country. In contrast, the provision offered in rural areas was the most limited. In order to consider these local differences more fully, will look at three case studies – Coventry, Camden (London) and Oxfordshire.
London Borough of Camden
The London Borough of Camden was created in 1965 from the former area of the metropolitan boroughs of Hampstead, Holborn, and St Pancras, which had formed part of the County of London. In 1948 there were 23 day nurseries in the health division area 2, which most closely resembled the later borough of Camden. These nurseries had places for 1,398 children. The divisional health officer explained that many of the wartime nurseries that had been requisitioned for the duration of the war had since been returned to their original uses. As a result, the number of children on the waiting list, which numbered 3,121, far exceeded the number of places available and therefore a scheme of priorities for admissions to day nurseries has been drawn up to take into account of economic and health factors. The cost to parents at this time was negligible. A standard charge of 1s. a day was made for each child placed which covered the cost of the midday meal. However, even the following year, the tone of the reports was changing with the London County Council Medical Officer now stressing that the high cost of maintaining a child in a day nursery caused concern, and attempts were being made to effect economies. Instructions were issued as to economical ordering of supplies and preparation of meals. By 1951 it had become policy that the total day nursery provision should be kept at its existing level, although notably no expansion was planned. Moreover attendances at the nurseries were to be continually under review and closures and amalgamations were to take place when possible. The ratio of staff to children reduced. Nurseries were now to be closed on Saturdays and the priorities for admission were tightened.
|Annual Report of the Medical Officer of Health|
and Principal School Medical Officer for the
year 1965 by Wilfrid G. Harding (1966). Wellcome
Library, London's Pulse: Medical Officer of Health
So what do these reports from Camden reveal? Firstly, they indicate that provision declined rapidly after World War Two, but mainly from a desire to cut costs. Nowhere is it mentioned that the policy of the council was that the place of young children was to be with their mothers. The priorities for admission reflected this overriding economic concern. Priorities were tightened when the nurseries were over-subscribed and reduced when attendances fell. The authority seemed to be guided above all by a desire for the day nurseries to be cost effective and seemed to view them a worrying expense rather than an essential part of their service.
|Portrait of Sir A. Massey.|
Wellcome Library, London.
It is clear from the outset that Coventry envisaged a wider for their day nurseries than the belief of central government that they should only be for children in ‘special need’. In consequence every effort was made to keep the nine day nurseries that had existed during the war in operation in the years that followed.
Coventry health authority also reacted in a very different way to London in response to Ministry of Health Circular No. 23/52 which increased the daily charges of the nurseries. Like London, Coventry quickly saw a fall in numbers, but unlike London, who responded by opening up the nurseries to non-priority groups, Coventry responded by reducing the charges. Moreover, rather than aiming to simply maintain provision at the level of the early 1950s as London did, Coventry wanted to increase day nursery provision. They were certainly not seeking to reduce their number of nurseries. Indeed the poor state of the current nurseries, the need to build new nurseries, and the increasing demand upon places was a constant refrain in the annual reports. By the mid-1960s, the medical officer reported that they could no longer offer places even to those deemed of high priority. Moreover in his report from 1969 the then Medical Officer of Health Thomas Clayton clearly indicated that he would like to reduce the stringency of the priorities imposed, stating: ‘The slowly declining birth rate has as yet had little effect on the under 5 population and the static day nursery provision is gradually becoming more inadequate. (p. 38). Moreover, unlike in Camden, the Medical Officer could report in 1970 that the number of day nurseries in Coventry had remained at the same level as at the end of the war. In 1948 there were 9 nurseries with 88,650 attendances. In 1970 there were still nine nurseries with 89,437 attendances.
An Essential Part of Health Authority Provision
So from the Coventry experience we can see that some local health authorities took a far more active approach to the provision of day nursery provision than my other case studies. The Coventry Medical Officer of Health saw day nurseries as an essential part of health authority provision in the area. Rather than seeking to reduce the service or being concerned about the cost of providing day nurseries, he was constantly wanting to expand the number of nurseries and places he could offer, and indeed make them available to children without ‘special needs’. Moreover, he was clearly frustrated with the lack of encouragement he received in this ambition from central government.
|A Nursery School: Watlington Park Children|
in Wartime - Five Lithographs by Ethel Gabain.
© IWM (Art.IWM ART LD 263).
The Medical Officer noted that they were ‘primarily intended for mothers who are forced by economic circumstances to go out to work. By 1951, there was only one day nursery provided by the county, in Banbury, accommodating 40 children. In 1960 the Medical Officer of Health was questioning the nursery’s continued existence. While the nursery did stay open, it was clearly not viewed as an essential service.
Better off at Home with Mother
The reason for this ambivalence may be in the Oxfordshire local health authority’s attitude towards the institutional care of children. They clearly felt that young children were better off with their mothers and in his 1966 report stated: ‘attendances under the age of two and a half are discouraged’ (pp. 18-19). However, the annual reports also documented the growing demand for day nursery care in Oxfordshire, which the Medical Officer of Health attributed to the increasing urbanisation of Oxfordshire. However, even in 1970, there remained only one nursery in the County. So it is clear that day nursery provision was considered as being rather marginal to the Oxfordshire local health authority. They were unsure about whether they should provide such a service and indeed whether young children should be in day nurseries at all.
The provision local health authority day nurseries in postwar England was highly variable. It depended on the different material conditions and make-up of the populations in different areas, but also upon on local policies and personalities. For example the Medical Officer in Coventry championed day nurseries in a way that was not seen in Camden and which may account for the continued level of nursery places throughout the decades after the wars.
|Dr Angela Davis, Centre for the|
History of Medicine, School of
History, University of Warwick.
Angela Davis is a Senior Research Fellow (Wellcome University Award) in the Department of History at the University of Warwick. Her research interests concern parenthood and childcare in Britain and Israel and the use oral history. Her book Pre-school Childcare, 1939-2010: Theory Practice and Experience was published with Manchester University Press in 2015.
You can listen to a podcast below of a talk by Angela, 'Developing Bodies and Minds: Children's Experiences of Preschool Childcare, Britain c.1939-1979', given as part of the CHOMI Seminar Series, 29 January 2015.
Monday, 11 April 2016
The Cost of Insanity: Public, Voluntary and Private Asylum Care in Nineteenth-Century Ireland
The Evolution of Asylum Care
|Paying patients in the Richmond District Asylum (1885-1900).|
Pictures courtesy of the Grangegorman Community Museum
The Road to Committal
|Advertisement for Farnham House, Private Asylum and|
Hospital for the Insane, Finglas Dublin.
Source: Medical Directory (London, 1899), p. 1616.
The Case of John D
|Entries in Casebook 2, c.1898.|
Source: St John of God's Hospital,
Says if he doesn't marry her his soul is lost and that he'll burn in hell ... he is very supple and has often tried to take away across the country to get to this girl ... Son says he won't allow bedclothes to be changed or bed made since the girl left, as he says no one can make it but her.2While John was a patient in the asylum, this girl visited him disguised as his niece. Following this, John's sons told Drapes to prevent any further communication between the pair. They were very much against the proposed marriage, insisting that 'she and her family are a designing lot' and 'all encourage her to get him to marry her'. One son informed Drapes that in his opinion his father would have married '"anything in petticoats" for past two years or so'. Allegedly, the girls he proposed to were 'not at all suitable, and "strealish" in appearance and habits'.
Underlying this narrative were anxieties about John's property. A farmer and a shopkeeper, John was certainly not a pauper. His maintenance in the asylum was £18 per annum and while he was in the asylum, John presented Drapes with a further £16 'to keep for him'. The sons made clear their anxieties about the family business. On one visit they stated that lately, their father 'was not capable of properly doing business in his shop'.
The real motivation for committing John, however, became clear when the patient later informed Drapes that 'he gave his sons up his land, but wished to retain his shop for himself and get a wife to mind it for him'. John also gave what Drapes termed a 'rational explanation' for his romance with the servant girl, explaining that:
the girl had been so spoken of in connection with him that her character had suffered, and that if he did not make her the only reparation he could by marrying her, he would suffer in the next world.3
Just two months after his committal Drapes discharged John. In his notes he wrote that this was 'greatly against the wishes of his sons, but I have not been able to find any distinct evidence of his insanity'.4 By 1901, John, now aged 87, had married a woman of 27, possibly the servant girl. However, ten years later, it was his son who resided at this address with his own wife and six children suggesting that he had ultimately inherited the property.5 The most plausible explanation for this outcome was that John's young wife had not borne him any children, which would have prevented her from being entitled to property rights following his death.
Dr Alice Mauger
1 Fears of poverty and unemployment among pauper asylum patients are discussed by: Akihito Suzuki, 'Lunacy and labouring men: narratives of male vulnerability in mid-Victorian London' in Roberta Bivins and John V. Pickstone (eds), Medicine, Madness and Social History: Essays in Honour of Roy Porter (Basingstoke, 2007), p. 118; and, Catherine Cox, Negotiating Insanity in the Southeast of Ireland, 1820-1900 (Manchester, 2012), pp 59, 121.↩
2 Clinical Record Volume No. 3 (Wexford County Council, St Senan's Hospital, Enniscorthy, p. 264)↩
5 Census of Ireland 1901.↩
6 David Fitzpatrick, 'Marriage in post-Famine Ireland', in Art Cosgrave (ed.), Marriage in Ireland (Dublin, 1985), pp 116-31; Timothy Guinnane, The Vanishing Irish: Households, Migration, and the Rural Economy in Ireland, 1850-1914 (Princeton, 1997).↩
7 Cox, Negotiating Insanity, pp 108-9; Guinnane, The Vanishing Irish, pp 142-43, 230-35.↩
8 Oonagh Walsh, 'Lunatic and criminal alliances in nineteenth-century Ireland' in Peter Bartlett and David Wright (eds), Outside the Walls of the Asylum: The History of Care in the Community 1750-2000 (London and New Brunswick, 2001), p. 145.↩
Friday, 18 March 2016
Wellcome Trust Master's Award Scheme
Application Process: Step 1
- 750-word statement outlining your relevant experience to date and your priorities for future research. If you have already developed a more concrete research proposal, please describe it here.
- Current CV, 1 to 2 pages in length
Application Process: Step 2
Friday, 4 March 2016
About the MA
|Dr Catherine Cox, Director and |
Co-Founder of the UCD Centre for
the History of Medicine in Ireland