Hunter Valley Colonial Medical Practitioners

George Bridge Mullins & Daniel Mullins

West Maitland

 

George Bridge Mullins was the only son of Mary and Daniel Mullins, surgeon of London. In 1841 when George was 14, the family lived together at 10 Bouverie Street, Whitefriars London. Their neighbours included a coal merchant, solicitor and clergyman. (8)

George became involved in the Chartist movement and was arrested for his activities as an agitator. It seems his parents tried desperately to save him, however he was arrested for conspiring to levy war against the Queen and her Government and sent for trial along with other Chartists. Read about his arrest and trial here. He was convicted of the crime and sentenced to transportation for life.

George Bridge Mullins arrived as an exile on the Adelaide in 1849.  His father and possibly his mother made arrangements to follow him to Australia soon afterwards.

Find out more about George Mullins' activities as a Chartist at Chartist Ancestors.

George Mullins received a ticket of leave in June 1850. (9)

Soon after this a practice was commenced by Daniel Mullins in Dieckman's cottage opposite the Presbyterian Church.

Mr. Mullins gave his advice gratis to those purchasing medicine. In his advertisements he stated that he was late surgeon to the Hospital for Secret Diseases and West London Dispensary for Treatment of Rheumatism, Diseases of Joints etc. He had been employed by the firm of Messrs Cooper and Co of London for over 18 years. He offered to refund money if a cure was not effected and to correspond with patients from the bush who forwarded details of their cases, until their recovery.

In January 1851 George Bridge Mullins was elected (by a large majority) to be resident medical officer at the Maitland Hospital. (10)

He thanked his supporters and promised to 'endeavour by diligence and a careful exercise of his abilities to promote the interests of the Institution'.

On the 27th April 1851 George Mullins married Isabella Caroline, the youngest daughter of Lieut. James Y. Jones, of Gurteen, County Kildare at St. John's Church, West Maitland

In November 1852 a Special meeting held at Maitland Hospital to investigate the circumstances of William Rigby making a Will in favour of George Mullins.

 

Mullins was exonerated from any charge of using unfair or improper means of inducing Rigby to make the Will however he resigned from his position at Maitland Hospital soon after 'owing to the many annoyances after the Will of Rigby was left in his favour.' He announced he would commence private practise in Mr. Lockart's Cottage. The following notice was then placed in the Maitland Mercury the next week:

'Mr. Mullins, Senr., M.R.C.S.L., begs to inform the public generally that he has resumed the Practice of his Profession, at his residence, opposite Mr. Solomon's Stores, West Maitland, assisted by his son Mr. G.B. Mullins, late Resident Medical Office to the Maitland Hospital.'(11)

In August 1854 the following Wollombi news appeared in the Maitland Mercury -  - There is hardly any news interesting to the public worth forwarding from this quarter unless it be that a few days ago a meeting of the inhabitants was held at the Wollombi hotel for the purpose of securing the services of a medical gentleman to the district, in the room of the late and much lamented Dr. Du Moulin. An invitation having been previously sent from several of our residents to Mr. Mullins of Maitland, that gentleman accordingly presented himself to the meeting and stated his willingness to acceded to the wishes of the people by becoming a resident medical practitioner in the district, and also the manner in which he meant in such case to regulate his practice. On the whole his views and intentions were deemed highly satisfactory and it was unanimously resolved that immediate measures should be taken tending to the establishment of Mr. Mullins in the Wollombi. (5)

By April 1856 George Mullins was in financial difficulties. He had outstanding debts of 100. (12) The house and premises he had occupied at Wollombi were advertised for sale or lease in July 1856 and a description was included in the advertisement....the house was built of stone with two stories, six rooms on the ground floor and six on the first and included stables (6)

By March 1860 George Bridge Mullins was again employed at the Maitland Hospital. His appointment was confirmed at a meeting in March (7)

In the Maitland Hospital report of January 1862 the following references to Dr. George Bridge Mullins were made....Committee members all felt that during the time Mr. Mullins had been in the hospital he had devoted himself to the utmost to the discharge of his duty. The visiting surgeons had seen him daily, and the consulting surgeons of whom he (Dr. Scott) was one, had seen him very frequently, and they all concurred in this opinion. The very favourable report of the number of patients treated, and the small amount of cost was due to his care and attention. Mr. Lee said that the building had before been painted by contract, and between the amount it then cost, and the expense under Mr. Mullins' management, there was a difference of 35 in favour of the institution - Mr. Capper said that during the last six months he had frequently passed through the various wards, and he had always heard the patients speak of the kindness of Mr. Mullins. His economy and management were also the cause of the funds being in such a prosperous condition. It would but be an encouragement to him to give him such a sum as a bonus, as would show that both the acting committee and the subscribers appreciated the great care and assiduity with which he had done everything in connection with the institution. The garden under Mr. Mullins management was the means of saving a considerable amount at the cost of only one man's rations, and all the fish that was used was caught by Mr. Mullins and the man of the hospital. He therefore moved that a bonus of 25 be awarded to Mr. Mullins for his care and extreme exertions.(2)

George Bridge Mullins died in 1863....At the Maitland Hospital, on the 8th April, George Bridge Mullins Esq., resident surgeon of that institution, aged 37 years, after a short illness, greatly regretted by his numerous friends. (1)

In May 1863 Mrs. Mullins was appointed matron and housekeeper of the Maitland Hospital (3)

 

Notes & Links:

Political Prisoners

Other convict surgeons in the Hunter Valley included Patrick Montgomery, Henry Turner Harrington, John Waugh Drysdale, Thomas Parmeter, William Whitelaw and Henry White

For more information see Australian Pioneer Medical Index

 

(1) Maitland Mercury 9 April 1863

(2) Maitland Mercury 18 January 1862

(3) Maitland Mercury 16 May 1863

(4) Maitland Mercury 6 October 1852

(5) Maitland Mercury 2 August 1854

(6) Maitland 3 July 1856

(7) Maitland Mercury 29 March 1860

(8)  Census Returns of England and Wales, 1841. Kew, Surrey, England: The National Archives of the UK (TNA): Public Record Office (PRO), 1841. National Archives, London, England.

(9) Maitland Mercury 12 June 1850

(10) Maitland Mercury 18 January 1851

(11) Maitland Mercury 10 November 1852

(12) Maitland Mercury 17 April 1856

(13) Maitland Mercury 1 June 1850

 

 

 

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