Joseph St.Patrick Riley was appointed Resident Surgeon at Salford Royal Hospital at the age of 24 and had several interesting roles within Salford.
Joseph was born in Manchester on St. Patrick's day 1842. He was educated for the medical profession and in 1866 he became a member of the Royal College of Surgeons of England. During his time at Guys Hospital, London, he studied under the eminent surgeon Sir William Gull* and also gained a Licentiate in Midwifery. His experience at Guys paved the way for his appointment as Resident Surgeon of Salford Royal Hospital and during this time he lived at number 48, Crescent. When Joseph opened a commercial practice in Cross Lane, Salford, he took the post of Honorary Surgeon of the Pendleton Branch of the Salford Hospital and Dispensary. As his private practice grew he moved to Zetland House, Cross Lane, (corner of West High Street) and later to Richmond House, Cross Lane, (near Windsor Bridge).
Dr Riley also held a number of valuable appointments. He was Surgeon to the Manchester Branch of the Corps of Commissionaires, Medical Officer to a large number of Oddfellows and Foresters Clubs and was the first Surgeon of the Pendleton Provident Dispensary. Perhaps his most fascinating appointment was that of Surgeon to the Manchester Racecourse Company, a position he held until to his death. Dr Riley frequently attended the races and one of his last patients there was the famous jockey Tommy Loates.
Dr Riley was described as an extremely kind and sociable man. He had a deep interest in the Cinderella Clubs, (which supported and entertained under-privileged children), especially the one connected with the racecourse, where he often presided. He attended the Stowell Memorial Church during the time of the first Rector (Rev. William Doyle), and discharged the duties of School Manager in conjunction with Councillor Gray and Mr Bromiley. He was a good friend to the poor in the neighbourhood of Cross Lane for many years.
Two years before he died, Joseph Riley contracted influenza and had failing health ever since. His illness grew worse and at the end of September 1896 he was confined to bed. However, it wasn't until Monday 8th March 1897 that he succumbed to his illness and died at his home, 42, Howard Street, Salford. He was 54 years of age.
The funeral was held on Thursday morning, 11th March. A short and impressive service was conducted at the house in Howard Street, by Joseph's brother, Rev John Riley MA, Vicar of East Thorpe, Yorkshire. The cortege proceeded along Eccles New Road to Weaste Cemetery and many of the blinds were drawn as a mark of respect. The coffin was made of elm with solid brass fittings and placed on a Darley Car. The first carriage contained Joseph's sons Charles and Leonard and brothers Rev. John and Henry. The Racecourse Committee was represented by Mr S Price (Secretary) and Mr J E Davies (Chairman). There were many friends and relatives present. The service at the graveside was taken by Rev John Riley and Rev J W Whitworth, Curate of Stowell Memorial Church.