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5 per cent of all individuals treated at the institution. 6 per cent of patients came from this neighbouring county, whose inhabitants had been supporting a hospital for more than three decades. Those from all other regions in England remained static, comprising 2 per cent of cases, due only to the large numbers of soldiers treated at the General during these revolutionary years. The first set of hospital regulations indicates that soldiers were indeed anticipated at the institution from the charity’s inception.

Waddy, A History of Northampton General Hospital (Northampton, 1974), 154–60. On average, the 90 physicians and 53 surgeons who served at the general hospitals in Bristol, Newcastle, Northampton and Worcester until 1810 and Nottingham and Sheffield until 1820 retained their offices on average for 13 and 24 years respectively. 41 The cost of providing care to nearly 600 patients in the hospital’s first year approached £1,500 and remained at this level for more than a decade. Of this annual expenditure, the largest single sum, approximately £230, or 16 per cent, was spent on food, the hospital’s diet largely comprising, depending on the time of day and year, bread and butter, meat and potatoes and cheese and beer.

16 However, the first cases treated at the Birmingham hospital were not adult workers disabled by their industrial employments, but local children born with malformed limbs. In this respect, perhaps more influential in the charity’s establishment was the work undertaken by Robert Chessher practising some 40 miles outside Birmingham in Hinckley, Leicestershire. 17 By 1810, he was treating the bones and joints of 200 young patients with friction and motion,18 not to mention splints 13 See L. Granshaw, St Mark’s Hospital, London: A Social History of a Specialist Hospital (London, 1985), 1.

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