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to his neighbourhood. Discerning and upright as a magistrate, his judgment was always revered, and he was greatly beloved by his tenantry. In short, perhaps the character of this amiable gentleman cannot be better told than in the words of Sir William Young, Bart.—the historian of Athens, and M.P. for Buckingham—who tenanted Hartwell House for a few years, previous to 1807, during which the calamity below alluded to (verse 5) happened ; he was afterwards appointed Governor of the beautiful island of Tobago. The following lines were written there by the ci-devant tenant, in April, 1814, and transmitted to England :
Overseers and way-wardens to hear and direct,
Their Worships a worthy and pleasant old set.
Some years were thus busily, happily past,
When sudden-on one hapless day-
What from Hartwell then forc'd us away.
King Louis of France, then taking my lease,
To its poor good and kind as could be:
'Twas enough to have known SIR GEORGE LEE.
Sir George Lee having, as above shewn, died without issue, the title expired: but by his own holograph will he bequeathed the mansion, furniture, books, pictures, plate, wines, and estates to the next heir male in blood, the present Lord of the Manor, Dr. John Lee, LL.D., a Member of the College of Advocates, and Fellow of the Royal, the Antiquarian, the Astronomical, the Geographical, and various other learned and scientific societies. The Doctor, indeed, is the representative of both branches of the Lee family, and is seized of the estates of Hartwell, Totteridge in Middlesex, and Colworth in Bedfordshire: and, although I am determined to advance nothing in this sketch that could be misconstrued into mere panegyric, yet justice to facts imperatively demands that the family summary should not be closed without a word or two upon the conduct of this gentleman. In this I shall necessarily be brief; and
can, of my own personal knowledge, declare to the substantial truth of all that shall be stated.
On his accession, Dr. Lee made no alteration whatever in the establish
ment, retaining the tenants, followers, servants, and even animals, of his predecessor : but he commenced the required work of repairing cottages, improving grounds, portioning allotments, and looking generally to everything except game; insomuch that in no parish are the labourers better off than in Hartwell. Economical and prudent in his private expenses, he is yet liberal enough in his expenditure upon objects and ends of public utility; in which spirit he patronises every charitable, literary, and moral institution of a generous tendency, steering equally clear of exclusiveness, intolerance, and bigotry. But his grandest exploit in the cause of suffering humanity is unquestionably the establishment of the County Infirmary, of which benevolent institution he must be truly called the FOUNDER, without any disparagement to his excellent colleagues. Most truly did Dr. Johnson observe—but the apophthegm is not quoted as uttering the absolute truth — “ Though many men are nominally intrusted with the administration of hospitals and other public institutions, almost all the good is done by one man, by whom the rest are driven on; owing to confidence in him and indolence in them.
Dr. Lee had for some years witnessed the beneficial working of that noble establishment, the Bedford Infirmary, under the able superintendence of my late friend, the amiable Dr. Joseph Thackeray, really one of nature's best men. On succeeding to Hartwell, and finding the county was destitute of so unequivocal a stamp of Christian benevolence, he bestirred himself with untiring activity in canvassing far and wide. From personal visitation to the hovels of the sick and maimed, he could well set forth and describe the direful consequences of protracted disease and accident among cottagers and the poorer classes, whose maladies are aggravated by the want of regular attendance, befitting treatment, and nutritious diet; and he earnestly represented the helplessness of their condition when, with other sad results of poverty, it was coupled with incapacity for labour or other employment. This great object seemed to be more appropriately his aim, inasmuch as his two predecessors—Sir William Lee and his son Sir George—were eminently beneficial to the distressed of their neighbourhood, in assisting them with sound medical advice, and supplying them with drugs: and the cures performed by them are still remembered.
After well beating the bush, a formal public call was made on the 19th of October, 1830, and so promptly responded to by the nobility, clergy, and gentry of all classes, that the BUCKINGHAMSHIRE INFIRMARY was opened amid universal plaudits on the 11th of September, 1833. In the mean time, the worthy Doctor had purchased an eligible property situate at the angle of the two roads leading out of Aylesbury to Buckingham and Bicester, with the express object of securing it as the most eligible site for the proposed institution ; and it was very thankfully re-purchased from him when the Committee of Management were able to act. Besides his general exertions, he made the munificent donation of one thousand guineas to the Infirmary, with other small sums, and a contribution of five guineas per annum.
Under such fostering treatment the Buckinghamshire Infirmary struck root, and has proved a substantial blessing to the neighbourhood. It spreads thirty-six beds; and, on an average of several years, relieves annually upwards of one hundred and forty in-patients, and four hundred out-patients, under a care and administration universally approved of. This is the front of the building
Before quitting the Infirmary, I should mention the excellent Dietary which has been drawn up for general observance there; and as it may, perchance, meet the eye of some of those over-fed idlers who groan under dyspepsia, I here insert it as an antidote :
* I feel some little pleasure in recollecting that I presented the first bedstead to this excellent establishment. It is of iron, and principally sent as a model.
The Allowances of Meat are weighed from Joints after they have been dressed: and consist of Mutton and Beef boiled. Roasted Meat when expressly ordered. The Broth is made from the whole quantity of Meat used, with Vegetables.
All Patients on Admission into the Infirmary are put on Half Diet, unless ordered to the contrary; and any subsequent alteration is allowed only by the advice of the attendant Physician or Surgeon.
Patients are expressly forbidden from making use of other Liquors or Provisions (Tea and Sugar excepted) than such as are ordered for them or allowed by the Medical Officers of the Infirmary; and if Patients or their Friends shall violate this Rule, such Persons shall be forthwith excluded from the Infirmary.
Patients are enjoined to preserve the strictest Regularity, Decorum, and Cleanliness at their Meals; and the Nurses will be held responsible for the due observance of these various Rules.
By Order of the Committee,
(Signed) HARRY VERNEY, Chairman. General Infirmary, Aylesbury, Nor. 4, 1833.