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Featured Article Of The Week

Auckland Lunatic Asylum

Unitec Campus Carrington Rd.jpg

Financial backing to build the hospital came from the provincial government. In September 1863, architectural plans by a Mr. Barrett from England were submitted to the Auckland architect James Wrigley who adapted them. Henry White was the builder. John Thomas of Oakley Creek was awarded a brick contract for the building materials, but being unable to complete the contract, it fell on Dr. Pollen to supply the rest of the bricks. Some of the bricks were produced on-site while others were produced at Dr Pollen's Avondale brickyard. After the building was gutted by an 1877 fire, Philip Herapath supervised the reconstruction. From 1869 to 1879, Dr. Thomas Aickin served as medical superintendent. In 1891, Dr. T. R. King, Medical Superintendent, resigned because of ill-health, and was succeeded by Dr. Gray Hassell, who had been an administrator at the Wellington Hospital and Wellington Asylum.

In December, 1900, there were 494 patients—306 males and 188 females. The staff included 31 males and 21 females. The average net cost per patient was, in 1898, £19 13s, and, in 1899, £20 8s. The average number of patients sent out cured in 1898 was 51%, and in 1899, 38%; average deaths, 1898, 7.5; in 1899, 8.8. The officials of the institution at the time were Dr. Robert Martin Beattie, medical superintendent; Dr. William Webster, assistant medical officer; Edward Newport, head attendant; Sophia Campbell, matron; and J. D. Muir, farm manager. Religious service was held on Sunday by ministers of the denominations of which patients are members. Click here for more...