Francis Perry (1814 – 1892) community worker
In 1856, a group comprising the wives and daughters of Melbourne’s leading clergy and businessmen met with Charles and Francis Perry to discuss the establishment of a lying-in (that is, midwifery) hospital for women who could not afford private medical treatment and care. The hospital was also intended to cater for sick children. Frances Perry was the wife of the first Anglican Bishop of Melbourne. From 1856 to 1876, Mrs Perry was the President of the Royal Women’s Hospital.
“Fanny” Perry, as she was known to family and friends and as she signed her name in adulthood, was born in June 1814 at Tranby, near Hull, Yorkshire, one of several daughters of Samuel Cooper, a merchant, and Dorothy, née Priestley.
She met her husband-to-be Charles Perry (1807-1891) through his friendship with her brother, John, when both men were studying at Cambridge University, 1825-1830. She and Charles shared an interest in Biblical scholarship and missionary activities, including a willingness to break new ground in familiar or foreign lands. They married in 1841, eight years after Charles was made a deacon in the Church of England and five years after his ordination as an Anglican priest.
The couple moved to Australia early in 1848, following Charles’ appointment the previous year as Bishop of the newly created diocese of Melbourne.
In 1856, a group comprising the wives and daughters of Melbourne’s leading clergy and businessmen met with Charles and Fanny Perry to discuss the establishment of a lying-in (that is, midwifery) hospital for women who could not afford private medical treatment and care. The hospital was also intended to cater for sick children. The Perrys agreed to join the group which was attempting to interest the Melbourne Hospital in establishing a midwifery section.
When the Melbourne Hospital declined to become involved, the group met with two young doctors, Richard Tracy and John Maund, who had similar aims to their own and who had already leased a large house for use as a midwifery hospital in Albert St, Eastern Hill (later, East Melbourne). A merger resulted, with both groups pooling their ideas and resources to establish the Melbourne Lying-In Hospital and Infirmary for Diseases of Women and Children. At the same meeting on 14 August 1856 a Ladies Committee was elected (later known as the Managing or Providing Committee and the forerunner to the Board of Management), as well as a smaller Gentlemen’s Committee established to provide advice to the Ladies Committee. The meeting also elected Fanny Perry the hospital’s inaugural President, a position she was to hold until early 1876.
A religious or secular institution?
Events moved quickly after this vital meeting, with the first patient admitted to the hospital within a week and the first management “Rules” of the hospital devised by the Ladies Committee within a month. This first version of the rules stated an intention to run the hospital according to “the principles of the Christian Religion as these are received by the various Evangelical branches of the Protestant Church”.
The process by which the Rules were devised are lost in the mists of time. It would seem, however, that the strong evangelical leanings of at least some of [Ladies and Gentlemen’s] Committee members influenced their tone. The Rules included morning and evening prayers to be read by the Matron, which contained appeals to the Creator for mercy, pity and forgiveness for suffering which was viewed as a consequence of sin. Other rules dealt with interviews and assessments of prospective patients by members of the Ladies Committee and a requirement that women seeking admission provide references in support of their good character.
Complete article : http://www.thewomenshistory.org.au/biogs/e000091b.htm
Frances Perry House – Womens Hospital Melbourne
Frances Perry was the wife of the first Anglican Bishop of Melbourne. From 1856 to 1876, Mrs Perry was the President of the Royal Women’s Hospital. Frances Perry House first opened in 1970 as the Private Wing of the Royal Women’s Hospital. In 1997 Health Care of Australia was awarded the tender to redevelop, lease and operate Frances Perry House as an independent private hospital, co-located with the Royal Women’s Hospital. In 2005 Frances Perry House became part of Ramsay Health Care family.
We are a warm and friendly hospital which continually strives to provide a high quality and consistent service to the patients in our community. This is underpinned by the caring values of its outstanding staff.
Frances Perry House is owned and operated by Ramsay Health Care – a publicly listed company. Ramsay Health Care is the largest and most respected private hospital operator in the country. Ramsay Health Care has a high quality portfolio of hospitals and an excellent record in hospital management and patient care, features that combine to attract Australia’s leading practitioners.
George Simpson (1899 – 1960) obstetrician and gynaecologist, Womens Hospital Melbourne
Charles Perry (1807-1891) Anglican archbishop
John Maund (1823 – 1858) doctor, women’s hospital founder
Leave a Reply, comments are welcome.