The Army Medical Department
And the Malta Garrison

The Malta Garrison – 1826

Malta Garrison

Francis Rawdon Hastings
General Francis Rawdon Hastings was interred in St John's Bastion Valletta.

The Marquess of Hastings General Francis Rawdon Hastings died at sea off Naples on 28 Nov 1826 and was succeeded by Sir Patrick Cavendish Ponsonby, who took office in Feb 1827. Ponsonby, however, only became a Lieutenant Governor, as following the death of Hastings, Malta was placed on the establishment of a Lieutenant Governorship.

On 12 May 1826, the British Government decided that as the Maltese were subjects of the Crown, they were entitled to volunteer for military service. Those regiments stationed at Malta, the Ionian Islands, and Gibraltar were to enlist men in the proportion of 5 Maltese for ever 100 men present on the regimental establishment.

Commanding officers had to apply to the Secretary at War for authority to charge from time to time the established rate of bounty for such Maltese recruits as were enlisted.

Floriana Map
Map of Floriana

In Dec 1826, the regimental hospital of the troops in the Cottonera District was moved from Fort Ricasoli to the Inquisitor's Palace Vittoriosa. The hospital from Fort Ricasoli was moved to the barracks at the Isola Marina.

Floriana Officers' Mess

Officer's Mess
Floriana Officers' Mess
Floriana Officer's Mess
Plan of the Floriana Officers' Mess
Officer's Mess
Brass plaque showing the expenditure involved in the conversion of Floriana Market into an officers' mess

On 1 Jan 1826, work commenced on converting the Floriana Market into an Officers' Mess. The market covered an area of 145 by 105 feet, and overlooked the granaries.

The Floriana Officer's Mess was completed on 31 July 1826. The work was superintended by Col George Whitmore RE, and was completed on budget. Its estimated expense was £1300 9s 10d; its actual expense £1301 4s 6d.

Board of Health

The Board of Health, which had been suppressed by the first Colonial Governor Sir Thomas Maitland, was re-established on 28 Feb 1826.

On 5 Apr, the Government vested the exclusive control of the Sanitary Laws of Malta in the Board of Health, which met for the first time on 6 Apr 1826.

In 1826, the old burial ground on the Floriana Parade was broken up. It had been closed for over 20 years, and the few British tombs were taken to the lower burial ground which was then in use.

Baptisms and Marriages 1826

  • 1 Apr Baptism of Anne de Valletta Fidler born 2 March 1826, daughter of Anne and Deputy Commissary General William Fidler.
  • 7 May Baptism of Elizabeth Melvin born 17 March 1826, daughter of Jane and Barrack Sgt Thomas Melvin.
  • 1 Aug Baptism of Conrad Bingham William Rains born 6 March 1821, son of Ann Eve and Brevet Major William Kingdom Rains 38th Regiment.
  • 5 Dec Baptism of John William Gordon Woodford born 23 November 1826, son of Charlotte Mary Ann and Maj Gen Alexander Woodford CB Lieut Governor of Malta.

  • 24 Dec Baptism of Charles Graham Bowman born 19 November 1826, son of Eliza and Deputy Commissary General William Flockhart Bowman.
  • 15 July Marriage of Richard Eaton Inspector of Ordnance Accounts for the Mediterranean and Elizabeth Saunders, a spinster of Ivinghoe in the County of Buckinghamshire.