The Army Medical Department
And the Malta Garrison

The Malta Garrison – 1835

Malta Garrison

Gonorrhoea was rife among the troops. Assistant Surgeon Thomas Hall 5th Regiment stated that: The Cottonera district was infested with prostitutes of the most abandoned kind, and the houses occupied by them, the constant resort of sailors as well as soldiers. It is a positive fact that 57 of these diseased women were sent in one week by the police to the Civil Hospital for cure.

Surgeon Hall treated the soldiers with nitrate of potash and a few grains of powder Gum Arabic assisted with copious draughts of Barley Water. He claimed that his administration of the Copaiba Balsam with injections of acetate of zinc achieved a cure between the eight and tenth day of admission and that his treatment relieved the symptoms within two or three days.

St Calcedonius Floriana

St Calcedonius
The House of Manresa or St Calcedonius Floriana also known as the Casa Santa.

The House of Manresa, popularly known as St Calcedonius, was completed in 1751 by Pierfrancesco Rosignoli, a Jesuit priest. The inauguration ceremony dedicating the place to Our Lady of Manresa, took place on 16 March 1771. It was used as a centre of retreat by the clergy and laity. Its chapel, with the relics of St Calcedonius, was consecrated by Bishop Labini on 23 July 1786.

St Calcedonius Floriana
Plan of the military hospital at St Calcedonius Floriana
(TNA:MFQ 1/296).

In 1798, the House of Manresa was taken over by the French. Following their expulsion, it was used by the British as a regimental hospital, and in 1813 as a military plague hospital.

Part of the Convent of St Calcedonius was used as a regimental hospital for the Floriana Barracks. On 15 March 1835, the regimental hospital was transferred to the General Hospital Valletta and the Casa Santa reverted to the Civil Government.

Naval Hospital Vittoriosa

Plan of the old Naval Hospital 5 Oct 1835 (TNA:MFQ 1/296).

The Armoury in Vittoriosa was built during the Grand Mastership of Fra Claude de La Sengle (1553-1557). The first floor was added in 1636. It was used as a Naval Hospital and later as a barracks. It reverted to a naval hospital in 1819 and remained in use by the Admiralty until the completion of the Royal Naval Hospital Bighi in 1832.

In Mar 1835, the Naval Hospital was transferred by the Civil Government to the Ordnance Department. It became a regimental hospital for the troops in the Vittoriosa District.

Plague at Alexandria

In Mar 1835, the following instructions were issued by the Postal Services to prevent the carriage of plague to Malta by the Steam Packet:

The mail to be placed in tin cases or wooden boxes, to be sealed so that all the letters may be fumigated at the Lazaretto of Malta. No passengers to be allowed to embark without a certificate that they have had no contact with the population of Alexandria for at least 10 days.

On 2 May 1835, the Russian Brigantine Sofia Elena arrived from Alexandria with plague among her crew.

Baptisms Burials 1835

  • 18 Mar Baptism of Robert Millingate Terry born on 20 Oct 1834, son of Eliza Therould and Lt Col Robert Terry Town Adjutant of Malta since 18 August 1825.
  • 28 May Baptism of Emma Pritchard born on 9 May 1835, daughter of Mary and Barrack Sgt Richard Pritchard.
  • 1 Feb Burial of Cecilia C. Wood aged 17 years, daughter of Lt Gen John Sulivan Wood.
  • 2 June Burial of William Robertson aged 54 years, Assistant Commissary General. W Robertson became ACG on 4 May 1815.
  • 7 Nov Burial of Barrack Sgt Thomas Melven aged 47 years.