Ref NoPH
Acc No1549
TitleRecords of the Poor's Hospital and United Fund, Aberdeen
DescriptionMinutes, regulations, daily task book, financial records, stent roll, mortification book and lists of donations for the Poor's Hospital, and financial records for the United Fund.

Records of the successor bodies (Boys' Hospital, Girls' Hospital and Boys' and Girls' Hospital) have been catalogued as part of the Aberdeen Endowments Trust collection (reference AET/BGH) which took over the Boys' and Girls' Hospital in 1888. This includes a bound copy of the act of the Burgh Council establishing the hospital in 1739 (AET/BGH/7/1).
Date1739 - 1852
CreatorPoor's Hospital
United Fund
Extent46 volumes, 1 item
​Open or Restricted AccessOpen
Access ConditionsOpen for consultation at our Town House site, open Wed-Fri 9:30-12:30 and 13:30-16:30. It is advisable to make an appointment.
Administrative HistoryAberdeen's Poor's Hospital was first established by the city's Magistrates and Town Council on the 17th February 1739 "to propagate industry and virtue": at that stage it was known as the 'Infirmary and Workhouse'. The Hospital opened on the 31st October 1741, to (in the words of the Old Statistical Account) house idle and strolling vagrants; poor inhabitants with no way of earning their keep; the children of poor inhabitants and destitute orphans. Only those under 12 were supported, with older children expected to work and found apprenticeships and training. Payments were also made to out-pensioners remaining in the community, in addition to receiving inmates to the Hospital.

The Hospital was managed by the town's Magistrates and Council, and initially funded by mortifications and bequests (see PH/4/2), and the proceeds of selling textiles produced by the inmates (see PH/2/2 and PH/3/7). It was originally located behind the Tolbooth on the north side of the Castlegate (it appears in Alexander Milne's 1789 map of Aberdeen), which was sold around 1790 and a new property in the Gallowgate purchased.

In 1768 the United Fund was formed by three public bodies - the kirk session of St Nicholas, the Poor's Hospital and St Paul's Episcopal Chapel - to benefit the poor. The Kirk Session were to contribute £241 annually, the Poor's Hospital £100 and St Paul's £30 and quarterly collections, which was supplemented by donations and bequests. This was "to be distributed among the poor, and applied to all the charitable purposes at present provided either by the session or by the directors of the Poor's Hospital". The Fund was managed by the representatives from the Kirk Session, Town Council and St Paul's. By 1836 a self-imposed assessment on heritors and tenants was agreed to boost the Fund, followed by a legal compulsory assessment of proprietors and occupants of houses, lands and fishing rights in 1838.

A separate Boys' Hospital was founded in 1818 in a building on the Gallowgate, using a legacy given to the Poor's Hospital by Alexander Simpson of Collyhill (see AET/BGH for more information about this institution).
Related RecordAET/BGH/7/1
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