John Maund

John Maund (1823 – 1858) doctor, women’s hospital founder
 There is ample evidence that John Maund was a man of the first quality, who brought to the Antipodes qualities of honesty, sincerity and Christian faith which provided a splendid heritage on which the future Commonwealth of Australia could be soundly built.

John Maund, a native of Bromsgrove, Worcestershire, was born on 12th March 1823, 12 years before Melbourne was founded. At Bromsgrove, a small market town 13 miles N.E. of the county city of Worcester, is a well known Public School dating from 1527, which Maund’s brothers attended, but he himself received tuition in the nearby larger town of Kidderminster, with his early education receiving many interruptions because of – in the medical idiom of the day – a delicate constitution.

In June 1847, he received the Diploma of the Apothecaries’ Society, London, and soon afterwards started private practice at Harlow, Essex, having just taken the Degree of Doctor of Medicine, University of St. Andrews.

Never robust, ill health caused the sale of this East Anglian practice, and in 1851, the first year of Victoria’s gold rush, Dr. Maund, then aged 28, decided to emigrate to Victoria. Before doing so, he was awarded the certificates of the Royal College of Chemistry, London, as well as that of the Polytechnic Chemical School. At this time his inclination was to follow the practice of analytical chemistry in Victoria, feeling this would be more suited to his health than the rigours of colonial medical practice.

Dr. Maund developed a large private practice, especially in the newer suburbs rapidly growing around Melbourne. Cases that came to his notice aroused an ambition to establish an institution where the poorer women of the community could be confined in hygienic conditions, and in this aspiration he found a ready supporter and an enthusiastic sympathiser in Dr. Richard Thomas Tracy, practicing not far away in Brunswick St., Fitzroy. Maund was 33 at the time, Tracy 29. The first hospital was known as “The Lying-In Hospital” in leased premises at 41 Albert St. East Melbourne, prior to the opening of the permanent hospital in Carlton in 1858. The situation of this 41 Albert St. lies a little to the right of the Baptist Church House and about opposite the rear of St. Peter’s Church of England.

The sound establishment of this Lying-In Hospital was greatly furthered by the interest and collaboration of the then Anglican Dean of Melbourne – Dr. Macartney.

During the interval between the first and second meetings, it became known to some of the ladies that Dr. Maund and Dr. Tracy, having also felt the great need for a Lying-In Hospital, were then in treaty for a what was described as a commodious and well-situated house in Albert Street, East Melbourne, and these gentlemen were determined on their own responsibility to set such an Institution on foot, trusting to the support of the public to maintain so necessary a project when its benefits became apparent. Maund and Tracy were accordingly invited to attend the second meeting at the Deanery. They did so, and the Dean reporting that the Melbourne Hospital was not at present able to help, it was agreed that the object in view would best be achieved by co-operating with Maund and Tracy.

So a third meeting was held at the Deanery on 11th August and another on 14th August at the house which had then been hired by Maund and Tracy, to judge the suitability of this building, and to further consider the undertaking. A new Committee of 20 ladies was then formed, a President was chosen, and an Honorary Treasurer and an Honorary Secretary appointed. Mrs. Perry, wife of the Bishop of Melbourne, was the first President, Mrs. Jennings, of Alma Road, St. Kilda, the first Honorary Treasurer, and Mrs. Tripp, of Gertrude Street Collingwood, the first Honorary Secretary.

Maund and Tracy were thus the medical founders of our Women’s Hospital and were its first honorary Medical officers – the Hospital Committee granting the appointments for the lifetimes of these two gentlemen. Not until 1884 was the title changed from Lying-In Hospital to Women’s Hospital, and to Royal Women’s Hospital 70 years later.

Complete article :

Mrs Francis Perry

Charles Perry, Anglican archbishop

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