Inventory of the Archives of the Registrar and Guardian of
1717 - 1848
The slaves belonging to the Government were housed in the Slave
Lodge, which was under the management of a Director. The medical care of the
slaves was entrusted to a surgeon to the lodge. The organisation of this
institution is reflected in the Instructions for the Director dated 17 March
1820: - "It is his particular duty to watch over the conduct of every
individual commited to his charge" - both slaves and apprentices. He had to see
to their food and habitation, and keep a general supervision. Although the
hospital was not actually under his charge, he had to inspect it daily.
He had as assistent three white overseers, a Porter and a
The Director's "most particular duty" was to see that children of
competent age attended school regulary. He had to watch the education and
morals of the slaves. The schoolmaster had to see to the general as well as
religious instructions of the inmates (Inst. 17.3.1820).
In 1826 Major Bourke submitted the following plan to the Secretary
of State in connection with the Lodge: - "I submit to your Lordship the
propriety of giving freedom to all those who are able to earn their own bread
and of confirming the use of the Lodge as a hospital of Charity to those sickly
and worn out individuals who are not capable of labour".
This plan was realised in 1828, when "the Hospital for Infirm
Government Slaves and Government Apprentices" came into existence.