First matron appointed
In the archives there are 16 letters and papers relating to the recruitment of the first matron at Salisbury Infirmary. Incredible that they have survived, they provide a unique insight into the views of women, matron and their role in the hospital.
From the final 3 candidates for the position, at a meeting on November 1st 1766, Mrs Causeway received 14 votes to become the first matron. Below is a copy of a letter, dated October 29th 1766, from Winchester Hospital relating to Mrs Causeway who took up the position as first matron.
As well as letters of reference, the archive holds copies of the applicants’ handwriting. It was expected that the candidate would be literate and able to write. Below is an example from Susanna Westcott. She writes:
As you asked to see my writing Saturday last, I humbly beg leave to lay before you a few lines which I hope I shall mend every day. when I come to an application as I formerly had, at the same time humbly request your favours on the occasion, which if I should be so happy as to succeed in, Doubt not of Giving a General Satisfaction through the whole bussiness, I am with the utmost respect your most
obliged Humble Servant