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Mrs. Smedley's Ladies Manual

Caroline Smedley

Matlock Bath from Cat Tor

New Bath Hotel Stereoview

New Bath from Cat Tor

Woodland House

This is another of C. Bailey's engravings that is published in books written by the Smedleys. It was first published by them in the first edition of Mr. Smedley's "Practical Hydropathy" of 1857 although it probably dates from the early 1850s. It shows, bottom left, some of the houses on New Bath Road close to the bottom of the Wapping and Woodland House. The New Bath Hotel, Richard Walker's Bath Terrace Hotel and Holy Trinity Church are also in the foreground.

There are a clutch of houses on the lower slopes of the Heights of Abraham, but it is quite difficult to know which properties the small rectangular boxes are supposed to be. The enlargement below helps. Just above Walker's Hotel is a part of Museum Parade and North Parade, with the stable blocks and other buildings behind the latter. Above what must be Hodgkinson's Hotel in the Old Bath /House, later the Villa and then Ashfield. Interestingly, the slopes of the Heights of Abraham have some trees on them, but there are far fewer than there are today.

Woodland House, in the centre foreground, was enlarged shortly before 1855.
It was the Post Office for about 30 years and was owned by Miss Frances Shore[1].
It was also a boarding house[2]. Mr. Boden's petrifying well was to its right.
The New Bath Hotel, with no main entrance facing southwards, was also smaller
than in the days of Ivatts and Jordan.

Arthur Jewitt described the hotel's surroundings in 1835. "Betwixt this [Walker's Hotel] and the New Bath, lies a beautiful lawn, round which is a gravel path, and an extensive garden belonging to the New Bath, and appropriated to the accommodation of the inmates"[3].

The 1847 the Trustees of the late John Saxton owned the New Bath, which was then occupied by George Withers Saxton, advertised the hotel for sale[4].

The above 19th century engraving has been taken from:
Smedley, Mrs. (1878/9) "Ladies' Manual of Practical Hydropathy (Not the Cold Water System), 16th ed.", James Blackwood & Co., Lovell's Court, Paternoster Row, London, p.159
By the time this edition was published Mr. John Smedley, Mrs. Smedley's husband, had been dead for some years and the business had been taken over by Smedley's Hydropathic Company (Limited)
Caroline Anne Smedley wrote in her preface:
"After reading many works on hydropathy in conjunction with my husband, I consider that they are written too scientifically for Ladies who have not studied Medical and Anatomical Works, and who are therefore ignorant of the many terms made use of only in such works, and which are not at all necessary to be known by the generalities of our sex in the ordinary duties of life. This little Manual will therefore be entirely free from such terms ... "
This book is in the collection of, the information is provided by and images scanned by and © Ann Andrews. Intended for personal use only
The engraving was also published in Smedley's "Practical Hydropathy"


[1] "Derbyshire Advertiser and Journal", 9 March 1855. Sale of the ... "substantially built and commodious messuage or dwelling house ... late in the possession of Miss Shore, deceased" who had died i 1854 and was buried at St, Giles'. Miss Brace (the Wirksworth Postmistress) was one of the those who supplied the particulars of Woodland House. She was Frances Shore's executrix and sole beneficiary. See Pre 1858 Wills & Administrations in various UK archives, Surnames S - V.

[2] Henricus (1838) "The Matlock Tourist; and Guide through the Peak, embracing Matlock Bath, Haddon, Chatsworth ...".

[3] Jewitt, Arthur (1835) "The Matlock Companion; and visitor's guide to the beauties of Matlock ..., including also a brief sketch of Buxton". Second edition. Duffield, Derby.

[3] "The Derby Mercury", Wednesday, October 13, 1847. It was being sold by Mr. R. E. Saxton, a Matlock Bath jeweller, and Messrs. Hubbersty and Hodgkinson. These were executors of the Will of John Saxton of Crich (d. 1942) who owned the New Bath Hotel.