Halliday Sutherland

"Dr. Halliday Sutherland is a born writer, especially a born story-teller. Dr. Sutherland, who is distinguished in medicine, is an amateur in the sense that he only writes when he has nothing better to do. But when he does, it could hardly be done better” – G.K. Chesterton

St. Marylebone Dispensary for the Prevention of Consumption

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The St. Marylebone Dispensary for the Prevention of Consumption at 15 Allsop Place, N.W. opened on 22nd November, 1910.  The dispensary arose from a meeting of the Committee of the Margaret Street Hospital for Consumption in 1909. What follows is an excerpt from its first annual report on 31st December 1911.

List of Office Bearers


Lord Howard de Walden

General Council

A.G. Auld, Esq., M.D.; Lady Robert Cecil; Mrs. Lawder Eaton; Miss. Greg; Maynard Horne, Esq. M.B.; A. Latham, Esq., M.D., F.R.C.P.; Rev. W.D. Morrison, LL.D.; F.W. Mott, Esq., M.D., F.R.S.; Miss F. Tennant; G. Crewdson Thomas, Esq., M.D.; F.J. Wethered, Esq., M.D., F.R.C.P.

Executive Committee

J. Edward Squire, Esq., C.B., F.R.C.P. (Chairman); The Mayor of St. Marylebone—Ernest Debenham, Esq.; The Medical Officer of Health—C. Porter, Esq., M.D., (Deputy Chairman); The Chairman, Public Health Committee—Rev. J.A. Beaumont, M.A.; The Chairman, Board of Guardians—F. Morris, Esq.; The Chairman, St. Marylebone Charity Organisation Society—Lord Sanderson; J. Brunton Blaikie, Esq. M.D.; Miss. Broadbent; Mrs. Dobell; Councillor Harvey; Miss. E. Maxwell Lyte; Miss. Marsters; Col. Montefiore; Miss. Pocock; Miss. Jane Walker, M.D.; Miss. F.A. Welby.

Honorary Treasurer

The Hon. Sir Eric Barrington, K.C.B.

Joint Honorary Secretaries

Miss. McGaw, 5 Clarendon Place, Hyde Park Gardens; Mrs. George Johnston, 23 Seymour Street, Portman Square.

Honorary Solicitors

Messrs. Rider, Heaton & Wigram, 8 New Square, Lincoln’s Inn.

Honorary Auditors

Messrs. Price, Waterhouse & Co., 3 Frederick Place, Old Jewry.

Report of the Executive Committee—31 December 1911

The St. Marylebone Dispensary for the Prevention of Consumption was opened on November 22nd, 1910, so that the first annual report covers a period of one year and five weeks, but a preliminary statement was issued by the Provisional Committee in March, 1911, and it will, perhaps, make the present Report more complete if part of that is quoted.

The proposal to establish in St. Marylebone a special dispensary for the treatment and prevention of Consumption first took definite form at a meeting of the Committee of the Margaret Street Hospital for Consumption in the early part of the year 1909 and a small Committee was nominated to carry out the scheme, being empowered to add to their number others who were interested in the work.

A sum of nearly £700 was collected, this amount including GBP from Lord Howard de Walden, £100 from the Central Fund for establishing Anti-tuberculosis dispensaries in London, £100 from an anonymous donor, about £80 through Miss Tennant, and 20 guineas from Messrs. Debenham.

After some difficulty, premises were secured at 15 Allsop Place, the rental of £75 being agreed upon in consideration of the fact that the landlord undertook to put the house into thorough repair and to carry out the alterations which were required to adapt it to the purposes of the Dispensary.

The initial expenditure on furniture, instruments, drugs, etc., amounted to £90 8s. 5d., which, with £62 6s. 9d. for salaries, postage, printing and travelling expenses, brought the sum expended up to the 31st of December, 1910, to £142 14s. 5d., leaving a balance in hand of £550 10s. 5d., at the beginning of the year 1911.

A meeting of the Subscribers was called in March, 1911, at which the Provisional Committee reported the results of its work, and the rules and the Constitution of the Dispensary were approved. An Executive Committee was appointed, and the names of those who had shown an interest in the scheme, but who were unable to serve on a Committee, were retained to form the nucleus of a General Council.

The Executive Committee meets once a month and has appointed two Sub-Committees, one for Finance and the Management of the House, and the other for Cases, which are summoned as often as necessary.

The money received during 1911 amounts to £933 12s. 4d. and the Committee thank an anonymous donor for a second donation of £100; Mr Francis Tennant for one of £200; The Central Fund for the Promotion of Tuberculosis Dispensaries, £200 ; Mrs Asquith, £50; and numerous others. In addition to subscribing, Lord Glenconner kindly gave a Christmas Tree and Tea to the children in the Open Air School.

The amount being expended has come very close to the estimate of £750, being actually £760 17s. 11d., but with increasing work there must be increased expenditure, and the Committee hopes to make a special appeal for an Open Air School to extend the excellent work being done by the Class carried on in Regent’s Park.

The sincere thanks of the Committee are due to those who have helped make the work of the Dispensary known, and to provide the necessary funds by lending the ir houses for meetings. Very successful meetings have been held; the first in St. John’s Wood, through the kindness of Lady Robert Cecil, when Lord Robert took the chair and Sir Shirley Murphy spoke; and the second in Portland Place, by the invitation of Mrs. Francis Tennant, Lord Glenconner being in the chair, and Dr. Acland being the principal speaker. A large gathering of working men was organised by Mr. Harvey and Mr. Alderman Anglim, in The Portman Hall, Carlisle Street, kindly lent by Mr. Marshall, at which the Mayor presided and Dr. Sutherland gave a lecture illustrated by lantern views. A cinematograph demonstration of the work of the Dispensary was also given in the Marylebone Institute, Paddington Street, and was very well attended.

The Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Porter, has on every occasion been willing to speak and has supported the movement with the whole weight of his authority.

The Committee makes every effort to ensure that no patient under a private practitioner is treated at the Dispensary unless at the request of the doctor and, since the homes are visited and the circumstances of every patient are reported by the Nurse there is a safeguard against any mistakes being made.

In every case where a patient is known to have been under a doctor, the following letter is sent and whenever circumstances seem to make it desirable, patients are told that they cannot be treated at the Dispensary and must consult a private practitioner.

St Marylebone Dispensary for the Prevention of Consumption.

15 Allsop Place,

London, N.W.

______ 19 ___

Dear Sir,

A patient………………………………………………………………………………………………..

…………………………………………………………………………..presented h…….self today

with evidence of………………………………………………………………………………………..

Ascertaining that ……he had been under your care, I should be glad to know if you have any objection to h…… attending at this Institution.

Yours faithfully,


Medical Officer.

A letter similar in form is in use in all the Anti-tuberculosis Dispensaries in London which receive grants from the Central Fund.

In many cases discovered among the contacts, the patients would not otherwise have sought medical advice and it is often extremely difficult to get them to attend anywhere unless they are conscious of being acutely ill. Twenty-two cases have been sent to the Dispensary by general practitioners and the Committee is anxious in every way to encourage this co-operation.

The Medical Officer of Health has from the beginning taken an active part in the initiation and management of the Dispensary, and has encouraged his staff to co-operate in every way possible. The Lady Sanitary Inspectors, when visiting the cases notified by Hospitals, have recommended other members of the family to go to the Dispensary to be examined, unless the Hospital has already made some arrangements for the examination of contacts. When cases are notified from the Dispensary, the Inspectors call to see the Nurse’s schedules to that there may be as little duplication of visiting and inquiry as possible. Some modification may be necessary in view of the compulsory notification introduced in January, 1912,  and the Committee, heartily welcoming this step as one in the right direction, will do all in their power to carry out the wishes of the Local Authority.

The National Insurance Act, with its special provisions for the treatment of tuberculosis, will undoubtedly influence the position of the Dispensary, and its future developments will be awaited with interest.

In addition to the treatment of patients at the Dispensary and the visits to their homes, arrangements are made for suitable patients to be sent to such institutions for treatmetn as may be applicable to the case—Hospital, Sanitoria, Convalescent Homes, etc.

Advanced Cases.—We may especially note that the organization of the Poor Law Institutions in the Borough facilitates the…


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Centenary of the Stopes v. Sutherland libel trial

February 21st, 2023
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