FIVE FACTS ABOUT ... Beatrice Clugston

Ev­ery week we’ll high­light fa­mous Glaswe­gians

Evening Times - - TIMES PAST -


Beatrice, who was born in the Cal­ton, was the daugh­ter of a wealthy Glas­gow busi­ness­man, the trea­surer for a lo­cal bank. She may have been well off, but cared deeply about the health and well­be­ing of poorer pa­tients in the city’s hospi­tals.


In 1863, she founded the Dor­cas So­ci­ety of Glas­gow Royal In­fir­mary (The name comes from the New Tes­ta­ment story of dress­maker Ta­batha or Dor­cas, who had made gar­ments for the wid­ows of Joppa). The or­gan­i­sa­tion pro­vided warm cloth­ing for im­pov­er­ished pa­tients and or­gan­ised vis­i­tors for those who had none. It also pro­vided pa­tients with small amounts of money once they had been dis­charged, help­ing them to buy clothes and food.


She was a fundrais­ing supremo. At one bazaar she or­gan­ised at the Kib­ble Palace in the Botanic Gar­dens, she raised the in­cred­i­ble to­tal of £24,000 – a huge sum in those days. She was a big sup­porter of other char­ity projects in Glas­gow, in­clud­ing the Mag­da­lene In­sti­tu­tion in Mary­hill, the Sa­mar­i­tan So­ci­ety of the Western In­fir­mary and the Sick Chil­dren’s Hos­pi­tal.


Beatrice also vis­ited in­mates in prisons, and raised funds to es­tab­lish the Glas­gow Con­va­les­cent

Home in Both­well, the first in­sti­tu­tion of its kind in the west of Scot­land. She went on to found a sec­ond home in Dunoon, which was at the time the big­gest in the coun­try; and set up the Broomhill Homes For In­cur­ables in Kirk­in­til­loch in 1876.


Beatrice died in 1888 but the Dor­cas So­ci­ety lives on at the Glas­gow Royal In­fir­mary, where it also runs Ma­bel’s tearoom. The project also sup­ports a range of ini­tia­tives at the hos­pi­tal, in­clud­ing the chap­laincy, the med­i­cal so­cial work team and a cloth­ing room, which pro­vides new clothes, shoes, toi­letries and other es­sen­tials for pa­tients who do not have ac­cess to these items.

At one bazaar she raised the in­cred­i­ble to­tal of £24,000

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