A life of women, drink and gam­bling

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - NOSTALGIA -

Rarely have they re­gret­ted their choice al­though one out­stand­ing ex­cep­tion was Wil­liam Hickey.

Hav­ing led a life of drink­ing, gam­bling and wom­an­is­ing since boy­hood he fell ill in In­dia and ar­rived in Bea­cons­field in about 1808 where he leased Lit­tle Hall Barn in Wind­sor End from the de­scen­dants of Ed­mund Waller the poet.

Whether it was his health or re­stric­tions on his life­style im­posed by the pair of el­derly spin­ster sis­ters, Sarah and Ann who ac­com­pa­nied him, he found Bea­cons­field dis­ap­point­ing and his new neigh­bours un­con­ge­nial.

How Bea­cons­field found him is not recorded but for the next two years he oc­cu­pied him­self by writ­ing the ‘Mem­oirs’ for which he is best known. They cov­ered his ex­ten­sive trav­els which had be­gun as a re­sult of what he him­self had de­scribed as a life of ‘idle­ness and dis­si­pa­tion’.

This had com­menced whilst he was still in his teens when he was ex­pelled from The Royal Col­lege of St Peter in West­min­ster, bet­ter known as West­min­ster School.

He fol­lowed his fa­ther into the law but three years later sailed to In­dia af­ter em­bez­zling money from his fa­ther’s prac­tice. Find­ing that the rate of pay he would re­ceive if he joined the East In­dia Com­pany in­suf­fi­cient to meet his needs he re-em­barked on the ship but fol­low­ing his re­turn to Eng­land his fa­ther sent him to Ja­maica. This too was not to his lik­ing so he re­turned.

Back in Eng­land again Hickey fell in love with a lady shunned by re­spectable cir­cles named Char­lotte Barry. She de­clined to be­come his

The ‘Pre­cep­tor­ship Pro­gramme’ is aimed at new­lyqual­i­fied nurses (NQNs) and pro­vides a year-long struc­tured in­duc­tion and train­ing pro­gramme in pro­vid­ing spe­cial­ist pal­lia­tive care in pa­tients’ homes.

Work­ing along­side mem­bers of the char­ity’s ex­pe­ri­enced 90-strong nurs­ing team, the post hold­ers will gain new skills and knowl­edge in end-of- life care in wife and in­stead re­turned with him to In­dia shortly af­ter which she died and was re­placed by an In­dian lady. Mean­while, and to his credit, Hickey set­tled into lo­cal le­gal of­fices in­clud­ing those of Un­der-Sher­iff and Clerk to the Chief Jus­tice.

The vo­lu­mi­nous ‘Mem­oirs’ are no­table for the in­sight they pro­vide into life in the late 18th cen­tury in the many places where he had lived. The ship in which he had first trav­elled to and from In­dia re­turned to Eng­land by way of China, an ac­count of which he in­cluded in them in ad­di­tion to writ­ing about Lon­don, Cal­cutta, Madras and Ja­maica. Like Boswell’s ‘Jour­nals’ to which they are some­times com­pared, they re­ceived lit­tle at­ten­tion un­til the 1900s. a com­mu­nity set­ting.

They will also work closely with other health­care providers, such as GPs, con­sul­tants, Dis­trict Nurses and clin­i­cians from other hospice char­i­ties.

Ren­nie Grove’s di­rec­tor of nurs­ing and clin­i­cal ser­vices Sue Varvel said: “This is a real de­par­ture for Ren­nie Grove be­cause in over 30 years of car­ing we have al­ways looked to re­cruit nurses with ex­pe­ri­ence in ei­ther pal­lia­tive care or com­mu­nity nurs­ing.

“In the last year or so we have be­gun to see the ef­fects of the na­tional short­age in nurses on our own re­cruit­ment and so we de­cided we must make a bold move to en­sure we are pre­pared to meet fu­ture de­mand for our ser­vices.”

Dur­ing their year-long men­tor­ing process, NQNs or ‘pre­ceptees’ will learn to recog­nise com­mon symp­toms and an­tic­i­pate changes in a pa­tient’s con­di­tion.

Un­der su­per­vi­sion, they will per­form ba­sic clin­i­cal pro­ce­dures and as­sist with de­vel­op­ing in­di­vid­u­alised care plans in con­junc­tion with the pa­tient and their fam­ily.

Ini­tially just two NQNs will be taken on as part of a pi­lot project, but the char­ity hopes to be able to ex­tend its of­fer in the fu­ture.

Suc­cess­ful can­di­dates will work to struc­tured shift pat­terns on a rota ba­sis from Mon­day to Sun­day as part of Ren­nie Grove’s 24/7 re­spon­sive ser­vice, pro­vid­ing care in pa­tients’ homes at any time of the day or night.

They will also join the char­ity’s night team on a min­i­mum of one overnight shift dur­ing their 12-month pro­gramme.

For more de­tails of Ren­nie Grove’s Pre­cep­tor­ship Pro­gramme email jobs@ ren­niegrove.org or call 01494 877 200.

The grounds of Hall Barn and left the en­trance to es­tate in 1928. Be­low, views of Bea­cons­field and Hickey’s fa­mous Mem­oir

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