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Stamford, Stoke Newington, Clapton, West Hackney, Kingsland and Dalston Dispensary
Stoke Newington and Stamford Hill Dispensary, 1825-
Transferred from Stoke Newington Referance Library, May 1983. Listed June 1983. Condition of deposit: donation.
Administrative / biographical background:
'Towards the close of the year 1824, Mr James Taylor of Nelson Terrace, Stoke Newington Road, was spending an evening with his friend and neighbour, Mr John James, at that gentleman's house on the north side of Church Street (Stoke Newington), and in the course of the conversation which took place... the absence of any means of supplying medical relief to the sick poor of the neighbourhood was commented on. Both being men of energy and action, they did not allow their chat to end in lamenting such absence, but decided it should have a practical outcome'
That outcome was the founding of the Stoke Newington and Stamford Hill Dispensary, as it was originally called in 1825. The first premises were in a house on the east side of Stoke Newington High Street. Financial support came mostly from subscriptions (mostly a guinea a head), but many subscribers also made additional donations. The officers of the Dispensary consisted of two physicians, two surgeons, a consulting physician, a consulting surgeon and apothecary and a secretary, of which only the apothecary, who was resident at the dispensary, was paid. Persons paying ten guineas a year became Governors for life, 'with the vote at all elections' besides the right to have 'two patients on the Books at any one time'. Full details of officers' duties can be found in the first printed report of the Dispensary, listed below. Treatment for applicants was free.
In 1862 a proposal to build a new dispensary was unsuccesful due to insufficient funds being raised. Instead a house on the west side of the High Street was purchased for £1,200 and opened in 1864 (No 189 High Street). The Dispensary remained active until 1948, when, with the creation of the National Health Service, it closed.
The remaining endowments of the Dispensary were transferred to the newly created Stoke Newington and District Sick Poor Charity in 1952, administered from offices at 501-505 Kingsland Road.