Govan Poorhouse

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Govan Poorhouse

Post by OzScot » Mon Jul 29, 2013 12:35 pm

Although born, raised and still residing in Sydney, Australia, I have developed a great interest in learning more about my Scottish ancestors.

I have a record of death of my great grandfather, Robert Maxwell (born 1866), who died in 1916. The recorded place of death shows 167 Renfrew Road, Glasgow.

I have since found out that 167 Renfrew Road, Govan was the address of the Govan Combination Parochial Buildings, which included a hospital, poorhouse (simply called the Govan Poorhouse) and mental asylum. Although he died at 167 Renfrew Road, Govan, his former residence is noted as being elsewhere in Glasgow, so he apparently wasn't living in the Poorhouse part of the complex prior to his illness.

Does anyone know whether the hospital was associated with the Poorhouse (and asylum)? That is, would admittance to the hospital in 1916 mean the individual was quite poor?

Also, is there any way in obtaining records associated with his admission to the (poorhouse) hospital?

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Re: Govan Poorhouse

Post by nelmit » Mon Jul 29, 2013 12:54 pm

Hello and welcome to Talking Scot, :D

You could contact the archives

It doesn't sound like he died in the poorhouse but I could check the index next time I'm at The Mitchell if you want to give me his name and place of birth - may not be soon though.


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Re: Govan Poorhouse

Post by Hibee » Mon Jul 29, 2013 1:20 pm

Hi OzScot

There have been several programmes on TV in UK recently, relating to the various (Scottish) poorhouses and (English) workhouses.

It seems that each institution had its own medical facilities, and the poor were inclined to check themselves into the local poorhouse if they fell ill, and to check out again when/if they recovered. The record books showed many of the same people regularly checking in and out.

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Re: Govan Poorhouse

Post by Russell » Mon Jul 29, 2013 1:36 pm

Hi Ozscot

Govan Poorhouse, hospital and Asylum were all within the same grounds and were run by the Govan Parochial Board (later Parish Council) until the formation of the National Health Service when it was renamed Southern General Hospital. The Matron was a Miss Jolly. Anyone in the Poorhouse who fell ill could be transferred to the Hospital and would be transferred back once they recovered. Often the elderly with what we would see as dementia nowadays, would be admitted to the Asylum. More serious mental illness sufferers would be taken to Hawkhead Hospital which was built by the parish in the late 1800's out in what was then the countryside. Govan was an extensive parish stretching from Anniesland on the north side of the river Clyde to the Renfrewshire boundary in the west and to what is now Pollock to the south. When shipbuilding began houses/tenements for the workers were built all the way to the boundary with Glasgow to the East. This meant that there was a large pool of poor workers who were subject to the vagaries of employment associated with ship building (No ships on the slipways meant no work for casual labourers or even the rivetter teams. Tough times if you were already poor.
I have transcribed notes made by Miss Jolly when she took on nursing responsibility so if you want more detail about the associated buildings PM me and I can give you more information.

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Re: Govan Poorhouse

Post by Jeanettem1 » Thu Apr 02, 2020 8:45 pm

My grandmother died there also in 1904. She had a home address as well. She died of pneumonia. There were 2 sites, one at Eglington St and the other was the Merryflats Site which later became the Southern General Hospital. There is a map of the Merryflats Site in the online National Library of Scotland. It is now mostly, rebuilt and renamed as The Queen Elizabeth University Hospital Glasgow.

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