Market Lavington Museum

Medical Costs


Yesterday we looked at a Hospital Week event – designed to raise money so that poorer people could receive health care on a charitable basis. Today we are l;ooking at a couple of bills for health care, issued to members of the local, Market Lavington Community.

The first dates from 1864 although it wasn’t paid until 1865.

A receipt from Dr Hitchcock for services in 1864

This bill, for professional attendances and medicines for the first five months of 1864 came to £5.10/- – five pounds and ten shillings or £5.50 in present money. That represents something between £400 and £3500 in today’s terms, depending on how you do your calculation.

Dr Hitchcock would have been a fairly new arrival in Market Lavington at the time. He lived in a house known as ‘The Doctor’s House’ which stood at the back of the Market Place. He bought and managed Fiddington House asylum and this must have made him a well to do man.

The Gyes who received the bill were ancestors of Gyes who still live in the village.

Our second bill dates from 1903.

Receipt from Dr Lush in 1903

This was for more than a years-worth of treatment and medicine and the bill was 18 guineas. That’s worth between  £1500 and £8000 in today’s terms.

Doctor Lush was a very popular doctor in the village. You can read more about him here.