Administrative / Biographical History

Also known as Samuel Silvanus Bailey. Bailey was born in Wiltshire on 5 November 1778. He was educated at Manchester Grammar School and articled to Mr Daniel Lynch, a surgeon at MRI. When he was 22 he joined the Royal Navy as assistant surgeon on the HMS Thetis. After qualifying in 1804 he was appointed to the HMS Raven. In Janury 1805 the HMS Raven was wrecked off Cadiz. Bailey survived but was taken prisoner by the Spanish. After he was released, Bailey was appointed to the frigate Juno and was present at the Battle of Trafalgar. Bailey joined a number of boats over the next few years. In January 1914 he was licensed to practice as a surgeon. In 1820 he was appointed surgeon to the household of the Cape Governor, Lord Charles Somerset. Bailey was instrumental in founding and building the Old Somerset Infirmary (Cape Town Infirmary). He built the hospital at his own expense, but was forced to sell it at great loss. In 1828 he was appointed surgeon to the Somerset Hospital, a position he retained until 1845. Bailey died at Wynberg on 20 March 1864.