For the majority of people in 1777 there was no proper health care. Struggling to simply feed and clothe their children, most families couldn’t afford to see a doctor or buy medicine from the apothecary. This meant that of course there was high infant mortality, and countless families left to rely on the parish for poor relief when the man of the house was taken ill, or died.
In Kelso a group of men and women wanted to change this and they founded the Kelso Dispensary. A charitable institution, it was founded by benefactors and subscribers. Each subscriber could ‘recommend’ people who couldn't afford to see a doctor and they would receive free healthcare.
The records that the institution left behind are fascinating. They record who visited the dispensary, which parish they were from, who recommended them, the date seen, the age of the patient, the disease and the outcome of the case.
We think it is fitting that the records of this charitable organisation are the first to be indexed by our ‘Sponsor an Index’ programme. The first 1,743 entries are now online for you to access for free.
We hope that these prove useful to you. If they don’t cover the period needed get in touch about our ‘Sponsor an Index’ programme and together we can get more of these records online.