Nellie Brennan’s House: Source F

Source F: From Labours of Love - A Memorial of Eleanor Brennan by Bellanne Stowell, 1859


In 18– an Hospital was added to the Dispensary, and Miss B. was requested to take charge of the inmates; not relinquishing her other duties, but with an additional salary of £30. Here she was in her element; but the duties proved too onerous, and at the end of a year and a half her health so suffered that she had to leave the Hospital.

Those medical men who were fellow-labourers in that blessed work of relieving pain and removing the diseases of the afflicted poor, can best tell with how much regret her resignation was accepted. One physician, who at first was not very favorably disposed towards Miss Brennan, afterwards acknowledged, that when he saw her devotion to the sufferers, sometimes performing offices the most revolting with patience, even cheerfulness unexampled, he could no longer feel anything but admiration and respect. the very looks of the patients when she approached their beds was sufficient to make any one aware that no on smoothed the pillow, or administered the potion as she did. A visitor at the Hospital gives this testimony – “Words are not adequate to describe her work and labours of love in this hospital. no money could have remunerated for all she went through there. daily did she wash with her own hands the deeply afflicted inmates of that asylum. Her sympathy for the suffering body was only equalled by her anxiety for the soul. Love to the Saviour was the constraining motive, and praying with all, until her health gave way, and she was obliged to resign, to the sincere regret of both the clergy and the medical men of the town.”

Questions to consider:

  1. What roles did Nellie play at the Fort Street Hospital?
  2. Do you think that this is an entirely accurate account of her time there? Why or why not?


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