Governor Macquarie's Rum Hospital

1850s sketch of the Rum Hospital

The rum trade was influential in the new colony. When government funds were insufficient to build a new hospital, Governor Macquarie persuaded a consortium of businessmen to undertake the task. In return they were granted a monopoly on rum imports. The contract allowed them to import 45,000 gallons of rum, later increased to 60,000 gallons. Convict labour was also provided for the building works. The Rum Hospital, in Macquarie Street, accepted its first convict patients in 1816.