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Doctor Frank Husband-Clutton

Andrew Smalley writes –

Throughout this coming month, we will be focusing on Doctor Frank Husband-Clutton, particularly on his story, his life in Crowland, and how later in his life he helped out in the Abbey, specifically the Nave.

Born on the 11th of February 1871, Frank arrived in Crowland in 1896. He came from a long line of doctors; he was the third generation to do so.His father, Willian Dalla Husband, was a highly skilled surgeon in York and was for a time President and Treasurer of the British Medical Association and Lord Mayor of York.

Frank met his wife Emily in Bristol when he was training, she was a ward sister in the Bristol Royal Infirmary. He finished his training at Guy’s Hospital in London, and he qualified in 1894. In his early years as a qualified doctor, he was a ships doctor on a voyage to India. He married Emily in 1896.

Why he chose to settle in Crowland isn’t clear, but in those days, you bought and sold a doctors practice, so maybe the price was right, and the area suited him. He had a great love of sailing, and rough shooting, so Crowland would have been an ideal place for him to settle. Back then the population of the village and surrounding area, (six-mile radius), was about 2,400 people.

At first, he rented the house the previous doctor had rented, owned by a local farmer. After a short time, the farmer decided he wanted the house for his son, so the good doctor looked for alternative accommodation. He found nothing suitable in the village, so decided to build a house. The picture on the previous page shows the front of the house and Dr.Husband-Clutton is seated on the large horse, called ‘Tommy’.

Credit: Mike Hutchinson.


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