Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Mosse, Bartholomew

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MOSSE, BARTHOLOMEW (1712–1759), philanthropist, born in 1712, was son of Thomas Mosse, rector of Maryborough, Queen's County. He was apprenticed to John Stone, a Dublin surgeon, and received a license to practise on 12 July 1733. In 1738 he was employed by the government to take charge of the men drafted from Ireland to complete the regiments in Minorca. Wishing to perfect himself in surgery and midwifery by intercourse with the practitioners of other countries, he subsequently travelled through England, France, Holland, and other parts of Europe. At length he settled in Dublin, and, having obtained a license in midwifery, he quitted the practice of surgery.

Struck by the misery of the poor lying-in women of Dublin, Mosse determined to establish a hospital for their relief. With the assistance of a few friends he rented a large house in George's Lane, which he furnished with beds and other necessaries, and opened it on 15 March 1745. This institution is said to have been the first of its kind in Great Britain. Encouraged by its usefulness, Mosse, on his own responsibility, took a large plot of ground on the north side of Dublin, and, with only 500l. in hand, set about the erection of the present Rotunda Hospital on the plans of Richard Cassels [q. v.] The foundation-stone was laid by the lord mayor on 24 May (= 4 June) 1751. By subscriptions, parliamentary grants, and the proceeds of concerts, dramatic performances, and lotteries, the work was pushed on; and the institution was opened for the reception of patients on 8 Dec. 1757, having been incorporated by charter dated 2 Dec. 1756. Parliament on 11 Nov. 1757 granted 6,000l. to the hospital and 2,000l. to Mosse as a reward for his exertions. The house in George's Lane was now closed.

Mosse also formed a scheme, which was partly executed, for nursing, clothing, and maintaining all the children born in the hospital, whose parents consented to entrust them to his care. A technical school was to be opened and provided with able protestant masters, and lie intended to establish a hardware manufactory in connection with it.

Mosse's philanthropic schemes involved him in debt and subjected him to much malicious misrepresentation. Worn out by his exertions he died at the house of Alderman Peter Barre at Cullenswood, near Dublin, on 16 Feb. 1759, and was buried at Donnybrook. By his wife Jane, daughter of Charles Whittingham, archdeacon of Dublin, he left two children. After his death parliament granted at various times 9,000l. to the hospital, and 2,500l. to Mrs. Mosse for the maintenance of herself and her children. Mosse's portrait was presented by William Monck Mason [q. v.] to the hospital in November 1833, and now hangs in the boardroom; it has been engraved by Duncan. A plaster bust of Mosse, probably by Van Nost, stands in the hall. Mosse has been erroneously styled 'M.D.'

[Dublin Quarterly Journal of Medical Science, ii. 565-96 (with portrait); Warburton, Whitelaw, and Walsh's Hist. of Dublin, vol. ii.; Webb's Compendium of Irish Biography.]

G. G.