Royal Hospital for Women Paddington (The Benevolent Asylum) becomes a teaching hospital for Obstetric training in 1888

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In 1820, seven years after the foundation of The Benevolent Society under the approbation of Governor Macquarie, 'a suitable plain building near the Turnpike House' was erected on a portion of the site now occupied by the Central Railway Station, and the inscription on the foundation stone read: 'This asylum for the poor, blind, aged and infirm was erected in 1820, L. Macquarie Esquire being Governor'. A development that was destined to have far-reaching effects on the direction of The Benevolent Society into maternity care was the formation in 1820 of a committee of ladies under the chairmanship of Mrs Macquarie, wife of the then Governor of NSW. The first accouchement under their care took place in October 1820, and by June 1821, six mothers had been confined. In 1866 it was reported that 129 mothers were confined in The Benevolent Asylum where a newly completed northern wing of the building was named the Lying-in Hospital of New South Wales for maternity care for the virtuous poor. A nurse sent by Florence Nightingale from England was appointed Matron in 1870, and by 1877 the institution operated as a teaching school for nurses and midwives. This was to become the first formalised program of education for student midwives in NSW. By 1888, The Benevolent Asylum was recognised as a training hospital for the University of Sydney and the universities in the other colonies of Australia. Among the Medical Officers in the Asylum's early days are several whose names feature prominently in the history of the Faculty of Medicine. These include William Bland, Arthur Renwick, and J. C. Windeyer. Bland was the Society's first Medical Officer (1820–1830) and became its Gratuitous Surgeon (1830–1863). Renwick served as its Honorary Medical Officer from 1862 to 1877. In 1904, J. C. Windeyer was appointed to the honorary medical staff of the Royal Hospital for Women and he later held the first Chair of Obstetrics in the University of Sydney from 1925. He was followed as Professor by B. T. Mayes in 1941, also an Honorary Medical Officer at the Royal Hospital for Women.[1]