Dr Lush of Market Lavington
John Selfe Lush was born in the third quarter of 1852. His birth was registered in the Warminster district of Wiltshire.
It is possible that John was born into a moneyed family, but his father died when he was aged about 4. In 1861 John lived with mother, Anna and younger siblings James and Walter at West Lavington where Anna was described as the occupier of a farm of 800 acres, employing 20 men and 11 boys. Walter, aged 5, was born in West Lavington in 1855 but James, aged 7 was born in Warminster so it would seem the family moved to West Lavington in about 1854/5. None of the three lads would have had much first hand knowledge of their father.
In 1871, John’s older sibling, Edward, had taken over the farm, assisted by sister, Anna. John lived in the house but was described as a medical student.
In 1881 Edward, now married, had the farm (Number 16, West Lavington). John lived at Townsend in Market Lavington where he was described as an MRCS practising as a surgeon. A couple of doors away he had an older brother, William with an identical job description. Townsend was adjacent to the privately run asylum at Fiddington House.
Soon after the census John Selfe Lush married Mary Neate. In 1891 the couple, still living at Townsend, had two sons. Like his brother William, living in an adjacent property, John was described as a medical practitioner.
The two brothers remained neighbours in 1901 when John was described as a physician and surgeon.
A photograph at Market Lavington Museum shows Mary and John Lush, plus the dog, at their home, Ivy House in 1910.
In 1911 John and Mary were living at an institution, presumably Fiddington House. John’s elder sister was there as well and John was still a doctor.
In fact John remained a village doctor until he retired in 1921 when grateful locals presented him with a certificate and silver salver to thank him for his work for the community. Market Lavington Museum now has the certificate.
The museum has other memories of the life and times of Dr Lush. Why not pay us a visit to see his rather gruesome surgical kit?