A St Thomas's Pastoral
Hospitals, Health, Sanitation, Environmentalism, Medical Practitioners, Patronage
Subtitled 'Apropos of the Removal of an Hospital to the Suburbs, as proposed by the Grand Committee under the auspices of Messrs. Tite and Baggallay', this comprises a dialogue between the new hospital's architect William Tite and its treasurer Richard Baggallay, both of whom attempt to defend the new location and design of the hospital. Tite begins by noting Baggallay's calmness in the face of criticisms by medical practitioners of the design and suburban location of the new hospital. Baggallay draws attention to those who oppose the move—those who sing of the 'sanitary slough that claims / The patients of St. Thomas by the Thames'. Tite stresses that despite the fact that patients will suffer more injuries on the bumpy journey to the new site, they will benefit from the 'azure of unclouded sky' and should they die, they will 'sleep beneath a sod of growing grass'. Baggallay anticipates that surgeons and physicians will no longer worry about the time of the journey when they enjoy the 'pure oxygen' and green hedgerows. Tite then turns to patients' relatives who, despite not being able to enjoy weekly 'free access' to the building, can enjoy the thought of the patients' fortifying pastoral surroundings. Baggallay shares Tite's opinion that patients would willingly endure the rough journey to the hospital in order to inhabit Tite's 'Palladian hall'. The poem concludes with Tite and Baggallay exchanging glutinous complements about each other's skill.
© Science in the Nineteenth-Century Periodical Project, Universities of Leeds and Sheffield, 2005 - 2020
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