St. Luke's Hospital (Lock Hospital)

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 133 MMC/9/25
  • Former Reference
      GB 133 J b 20
  • Dates of Creation
  • Physical Description
      36 items

Scope and Content

Note: the Medical Collection does not include any official records of this hospital. This includes any records relating to patient admissions, treatment and discharge. The location of the hospital's archives is not known.

The collection comprises: 

  • /1 Annual reports
  • /2 History
  • /3 Appeals
  • /4 Medical Board

Administrative / Biographical History

In 1818, the Manchester and Salford Lock Hospital and Dispensary was founded for patients with venereal disease. It was founded chiefly through exertions by Joseph Jordan of the Manchester School of Medicine, who became honorary surgeon at the hospital. MRI would not accept venereal cases as in-patients, citing moral and financial objections, despite pressure from medical staff. The medical staff had established a lock hospital in Manchester in 1774 but this closed due to lack of funds in 1777. Despite continuing pressure from medical staff, the Infirmary continued to refuse to provide for venereal cases, so an independent voluntary hospital was opened in 1818. The Lock Hospital occupied two houses in Cumberland Street. At first the hospital had very few beds, and these were taken by female in-patients. However, there were large numbers of out-patients. The Hospital lacked popular support due to the nature of the cases it took, and often struggled financially. The Hospital saw itself as providing for the moral welfare of patients, a role which somewhat mitigated the controversial nature of the Hospital. A Ladies Committee was established, the committee talked to the women and tried to find them employment when they left the hospital. However, attempts to establish an asylum for prostitutes failed, and the Ladies Committee established the Manchester and Salford Asylum for Female Penitents. This was an independent asylum, but the two charities collaborated closely.

The Manchester and Salford Lock Hospital and Dispensary changed its residence many times due to continuing financial difficulties. In 1823 the Hospital moved to cheaper premises in Bond Street, then to Lloyd Street in 1832, and again in 1843 to premises on Deansgate. In 1873 the Hospital finally acquired a large site in Duke Street off Liverpool Road, where it remained. There was a slight improvement in the financial position in the 1850s when an appeal resulted in the opening of a convalescent ward and workroom for female in-patients. This possibly reflected changing public attitudes, particularly with regard to prostitution. The Hospital continued to concentrate on out-patients and admissions rapidly increased in the new building. In an attempt to increase public support, the name of the Hospital was changed to Manchester and Salford Lock and Skin Diseases Hospital in 1878. Separate premises were taken for the treatment of skin diseases in Dale Street in 1884, and four years later the two branches separated completely. The Hospital reverted to its original name in 1890. The Hospital remained a small institution, and could not address satisfactorily the huge problems of venereal disease in an ever increasing population. In 1916 the hospital became an approved institution under the Public Health Regulations of 1916. This development supported the work of the Hospital and enabled it to build a male inpatients ward in cottages on Stone Street. The name of the Hospital was changed again in 1920, to St Luke's Hospital. No reference to venereal disease remained. It had accommodation for 22 female and 17 male inhabitants. The Hospital also provided daily clinics and modern treatment, and 1919 saw the employment of a female physician. The Hospital closed in 1974.