HARTWOOD BADGE

HARTWOOD BADGE


 

 

linen, and set for four with condiments, utensils and fashionable crockery. At teatime, each table had its own enamelled iron teapot which was in contrast to the practice in other asylums where tea was prepared in a general infuser that invariably rendered it devoid of its pleasing aroma.

The physical health of the patients was a major concern during these early years as epidemics such as scarlet fever and influenza, often with high death rates, were frequent occurrences. In 1899, an influenza epidemic swept through the hospital. Three males and five females died as a consequence, and a further 201 patients and staff were affected. In 1901, all patients, officials, nurses, attendants and persons resident on the Asylum estate were vaccinated against the smallpox epidemic that was sweeping through Glasgow. All patients being admitted at this time were quarantined for fourteen days. These precautions proved to be successful in preventing a similar outbreak within the Hospital community. Consumption was a particular cause of morbidity and mortality. Hartwood was a pioneer hospital in providing special facilities for the isolation and treatment of patients suffering from pulmonary tuberculosis, and the Sanatorium was opened in 1906. Within twelve months a marked reduction in the number of infectious and active cases of tuberculosis was noted.

 

HARTWOOD CEMETERY

 

In a secluded enclosure within the grounds of Hartwood Hospital there is a cemetery where there are interred 1,255 bodies, all but three of whom were patients of Hartwood Hospital. Some were private patients, but the overwhelming majority are recorded as being pauper lunatics. Each lair is five feet deep and holds two bodies, and it is perhaps a reflection of Victorian attitudes that males and females were never interred in the same lair. The use of Hartwood Hospital Cemetery ceased in 1952 when the burial ground reached its full capacity.

 

Each grave tells its own tragic story, but there is one in particular that holds a desperately sad yet romantic tale. It was reported at the time under the headlines;

 

SAD ROMANCE OF BARONESS AND SCOTS MUSICIAN

 

'The curtain rang down on one of life's tragedies in Hartwood Asylum this morning (Monday 21 May 1922)

when Lady Felice Kennedy Piaseski' in her own right Baroness Wielobysci, passed away at the age of 83 years. Daughter of Marshal Piaseski, she was born at Byten in 1839. Poland at that time had come under the yoke of the Russian, and the Piaseskis were a family of great importance in the country. Lady Felice was educated under private tuition, and celebrated masters of Paris and Vienna. The war of the '60's saw her father leading the Polish armies against the hereditary foe, and in one engagement the Marshal and his only son were killed."

 

Lady Felice was compelled to leave her country as a result of the Russian's victory. She eventually settled in Edinburgh where she married a compatriot Count Wielobysci and where she is known to have lived in great style. At one time her wealth was "almost beyond computation", and she remained a lady of great fortune and an associate of the nobility of all Europe. Following the death of her husband the Count, she married a young Scottish musician and composer of rising fame, Robert MacHardy (later Dr MacHardy, Teacher of Music), whom she met when he was the organist in Edinburgh Cathedral. The fortunes of the family suffered considerably as the income from the Polish estates diminished under the Czar's oppressive regime, and the couple moved first to Lesmahagow and then eventually to Strathaven. They lived in a timber hut of their own construction in the centre of a field and surrounded by a barbed wire fence, within which several savage dogs roamed at will. Rightly or wrongly, the couple believed themselves to be under the surveillance of the Russian Secret Police, and indeed claimed numerous attempts were made on their lives. The outbreak of the Great War, in 1914, brought complete financial catastrophe as the scant income from her Polish estates entirely ceased. On the 8th of July 1921, Dr MacHardy died. Using part of the trust funds raised by acquaintances, the Baroness had her husband interred in grand style in Warriston Cemetery in Edinburgh. When the trust funds ran out, she applied for the old age pension but this proved woefully inadequate for her needs. She eventually came under the care of the Parish Council of Avondale and less than a fortnight before her death she was removed by them to Hartwood Asylum. She is interred in lair 185 and is recorded in the cemetery records as a pauper lunatic.

In lair 306; an unmarked paupers grave, are interred the remains of an unnamed child. She was the infant daughter born to a female patient of the Asylum in July 1920. It has been claimed that this

 

 

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