Ashwell Doctors 1700s - 1890

Early Doctors

During the 18th century, doctors named Kintish, Savage, Webster, Barnby, Ellard, Nunn and Hix were called in from Royston, Baldock, Potton and Hertford.  it was not until 1820 that a doctor took up his practice in the village.  This was Dr Charles Woodford (no known connection to the later Dr Robert Woodforde although I suspect there is). It is said that he went to India where he was eaten by a tiger.

The year before this, 1819,  Dr Hicks of Baldock had made an agreement with the Gentlemen of Ashwell to attend to the Ashwell poor for £22 annually, he is probably related to the earlier Dr Hix mentioned above.

Dr Laroux came followed by Dr Tindale in 1829.

Dr George Henry Hicks MD – qualifications unknown

Born about 1790 Baldock.  Baptised 3rd September 1790, St Mary’s Baldock.

Father George (1762-1829) and Mother Ann Jermyn (1767-1836) both of Baldock. George had 4 sisters and 4 brothers – George Henry, who died age 2 – Robert, MRCS practicing in Hoddesdon and London – Thomas, a Dr practicing in St Paul’s Walden, Hertfordshire and William, who died before the age of one.

George married Sarah Herbert (1800-1833) at St Mary’s Baldock on 23rd January 1821.

George and Sarah had 4 daughters and 3 sons – George Herbert, died aged 20 –  Robert, a Surgeon and GP living in White Horse Street, Baldock (1881 census shows Robert as GP MD St Andrews MRCS Licentiate Apothecary’s Hall)  – William, a Solicitor.

Census: 1841 shows George living in Hitchin Street, Baldock  – a Medical Doctor  (Interestingly enough Alexander Balderston (19) a Legal Practitioner is living with George who is now a widower age 51 – was Alexander the founder of Balderston Warren Solicitors, Baldock?).

George’s wife Sarah Herbert died in 1833 – George died in 1849.There is a strong Quaker connection with a number of family records showing ‘buried in Quaker Burial Ground Baldock’.  Also quite a number were buried at St Mary’s Baldock where their grave stones are still visible.

It would appear that the medical profession was very strong in the family, George’s granddaughter Katherine was recorded in 1901 census as a hospital nurse living at home with her parents in White Horse Street, Baldock.


Dr Edward Tindale MRCS LSA – 1829 – 1880

Edward Tindale was born in January 1807, his Father, Edward (Tobacco Manufacturer) and his Mother, Priscilla Williams lived in Stepney, London. His Grandfather also Edward was a Victualler in Stepney, London.

Edward was baptised 6th January 1807 at St Dunstan’s, Stepney.  His Maternal Grandfather Revd Thomas Williams officiated.

Edward married Emily Bowman (1773-1847) on 15th March 1838 at St Mary’s Ashwell, Hertfordshire.

Emily Bowman was the daughter of Samuel Bowman (1760-1832 Publican at the Three Tuns Ashwell) and Nancy (Ann) Westrope (1773-1847) Nancy’s brother John Westrope was a shopkeeper.  Both Nancy and Samuel were buried at St Mary’s Ashwell.


1841:  Spring Head Hall, Ashwell  –  Surgeon.

1851:  Spring Head Hall, Ashwell  –  Medical Practitioner

1861:  Spring Head Hall, Ashwell  –  Surgeon

1871:  Spring Head Hall, Ashwell  –  Surgeon – General Practitioner

1881:  Camberwell, London  –  Retired Medical Man MRCS – Widower living with Daughter Emily Sophia (Locke).

Edward and Emily had two children, Edward (1839 – ) and Emily Sophia (1846-1941) both born in Ashwell.

Edward died on 15th February 1883 at 277, Cornwall Road, Notting Hill, London, having lived a long life of 76 years. He is buried at St Mary’s Ashwell, so it would appear his connection to Ashwell was very strong.

Dr George Newton Swinson MRCS LRCP

General Medical Practitioner and Surgeon – 1880 – 1890

Born April 1833 Bordesley, Warwickshire.  His Grandfather George Swinson and Father George Newton Swinson were also Surgeons in the Staffordshire/Warwickshire area.

His Mother was Anne Morgan of Portland Place, London. Baptised 2nd May 1833 Bordesley, Warwickshire.  George had one Sister and four Brothers,  Henry and Thomas were also Surgeons, while Joseph was a Dentist, uncertain what Samuel was as it just says ‘independent means’.

George married Lucy Dorothy Edwards (1832, Solihull -1899) In October 1853, Essex.  Lucy’s Father owned property. They had seven Daughters and four Sons.

Before moving to Ashwell they lived at Turvey, Bedfordshire from 1869 – 1880. Moving to Ashwell about 1880 the 1881 census records the family living at Spring Head Hall, High Street, Ashwell.

The family emigrated to Australia in September 1896.  Dr George Swinson died 28th January 1919, Manildra, New South Wales, Australia

Comments about this page

    • From Trove
    • Bowral Free Press and Berrima District Intelligence newspaper, New South Wales, 21st. Jun. 1899 p.4
    • Lucy Dorothy Swinson nee Edwards, dau. of Joseph Holbeche Edwards R.N. of Solihill, Warwickshire, died at the residence of her son-in-law Dr. George A. Marshall, 30 College Street, Sydney. Buried at Waverly Cemetery, Sydney, Jun. 17th. 1889 
    By Geoffrey Frogley (02/05/2021)

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