52 residents in 52 weeks #6 E L Compston

EL Compston was a well known GP and homeopath in the area, probably practising from Springhill House as that address appears on his invoices. He was active in the St John’s ambulance and was the medical attendant at the auxiliary military hospital at Newhall Hey which is said not to have lost a patient during the war - a remarkable record.

His father Samuel also lived at Springhill House during his final illness. Samuel was alderman and JP for many years and Mayor of Rawtenstall who was given the freedom of the borough in 1919. He is commemorated by Compton’s cross, high above Clowbridge. The casket commemorates Samue being given the freedom of the borough.

Compston's cross thumbnail samuel compston thumbnail compston freedom 1919 thumbnail
Compston’s cross Samuel Compston Freedom casket, Samuel

Edmund Leach Compston was born Settle, N Yorks, 3q 1870, the son of Samuel and Mary Ann Compston.

Samuel is listed on the 1881 census as ‘medical practitioner - unregistered’ living at Swinshaw, Higher Booths, Rossendale. As Swinshaw is at the top of the hill it seems a strange place to put a doctor. 1891 has Samuel as a ‘homeopathic practitioner (not registered)’. It is interesting that there was a demand for homeopathy in Rossendale at that time. EL is enumerated as a medical student at his parent’s address.

In 1901 and 1911 he is in Crawshawbooth with his family including daughters Flora (b ~ 1898) and Marjorie (b~1900). He had married Elizabeth Ellis q3 1984 in Prestwich. He was practising from his father’s house in 1901 with Samuel being enumerated as ‘Drs Pharmacist and dispenser’

crawshawbooth compston house thumbnail Lilac House, Crawshawbooth home of EL Compston on right.

EL Compston bought Springhill House in 1934 and set about converting it into a series of dwellings. Springhill house was subdivided into three - Compston’s portion retained the name Springhill House, with Lawn House and Sunset View being formed from the remainder. The Cot was formed from an outbuilding of what is now Sunset View and The Bungalow from the old billiard hall of Springhill House.

Apparently his embarkation details to New York include a description of a ‘cut on nose’ as an identifying feature.

1881 census:
Civil parish: Higher Booths Lancashire Street Address: Swinshaw Registration district: Haslingden Sub-registration district: Rossendale ED, 2 Piece: 4132
Folio: 54 Page Number: 43

1891 census:
Civil parish: Higher Booths Ecclesiastical parish: All Saints Town: Crawshaw Booth Lancashire Registration district: Haslingden Sub-registration district: Rossendale ED, 2 Piece: 3349 Folio: 49 Page Number: 40

1901 census:
Civil parish: Rawtenstall Ecclesiastical parish: Crawshaw Booth St John Lancashire Registration district: Haslingden Sub-registration district: Rawtenstall ED, 6 Household schedule number: 216 Piece: 3846 Folio: 133 Page Number: 33

1911 census:
Civil parish: Rawtenstall Lancashire Street Address: Crawshawbooth Rawtenstall Marital Status: Married Occupation: Physician And Surgeon Registration district: Haslingden Registration District Number: 471
Sub-registration district: Rawtenstall ED, institution, or vessel: 05 Piece: 24699