Catalogue description St Mark's Hospital

This record is held by St Bartholomew's Hospital Archives

Details of 405 K
Reference: 405 K
Title: St Mark's Hospital

Records of St Mark's Hospital, 1840-[1996], comprising minutes of the General Committee (or Committee of Management), 1857-1948; minutes of the House Committee, 1857, 1876-1974; minutes of the Finance Committee, 1876-1879; minutes of the new Hospital Building sub-committees, 1876-1879; copy minutes of Board of Governors of Hammersmith, West London and St Mark's Hospitals, 1953-1973; minutes and agenda papers of Finance Committee, Hammersmith and St Mark's Hospitals, 1967-1973; agenda papers of Transfer Planning Sub-Committee, 1961-1963; Co-ordinating Committee, Chelsea Postgraduate Medical Centre, 1962-1964; Plans Committee, Hammersmith and St Mark's Hospitals, 1968-1973; minutes and agenda papers of Project Group, 1993; minutes of (Joint) Staff Consultative Committee, 1950-1954; agenda papers of Staff and Patients' Services Committee, 1974; agenda from Annual General Meeting, 1937; Hammersmith and St Mark's Hospitals Postgraduate Teaching Group standing orders, 1959; annual reports, 1840-2000; miscellaneous historical files, 1957-1990, compiled by Chairmen of the Medical Committee, relating to St Mark's Research Foundation, history of St Mark's Hospital, hospital reorganisations; papers relating to the Hospital's 150th Anniversary conference and celebrations, 1985; reports, 1965-1993, including future of St Mark's; programmes and leaflets, mostly for balls and banquets, [1927-1996]; St Mark's newsletters, 1982-1984; miscellaneous historical ephemera, [1896-1985], including history of St Mark's, press cuttings, account of resident staff; patient guides, 1955-1994, including handbook of information, leaflet on nutrition


Financial records, comprising abstracts of accounts, 1962-1965; costs accounts, 1962-1965; receipts for large donations to Cancer Research, 1948-1965; estate management files and bundles, 1972-1992, including correspondence, plans and accounts, relating to hospital buildings, nurses' homes, accommodation for Postgraduate Medical Research, Imperial Cancer Research Fund Colorectal Cancer Research Scheme


Minutes of the Medical Committee, later Medical Executive Committee, 1930-1987; minutes of Heads of Departments, 1972-1987; Surgeons' Sub-Committee, 1972-1987; Planning Committees, 1972-1987; minutes of the Medical Executive Committee, 1987-1988; Surgical Registrars' regulations, [late 1960s]; Honorary Clinical Assistants register, 1950-1980, giving dates and consultants worked under; Surgical Residents book, 1840-1981, giving names, dates and positions; registers of nurses, 1896-1964, including details of training and previous experience and character and ability; register of ward orderlies and non-nursing ward staff, 1950-1964; programmes for ceremonies for building and opening of the nurses' home, 1936-1938


Medical records, comprising admissions registers for patients, 1900-1977; registers of private patients, 1934-1940, 1946-1951, 1961-1969, including fees paid; register of amenity patients, 1943-1967; admission registers of private patients, 1950-1985; in-patients address books, 1913-1962, including admission and discharge dates and addresses; ward registers, 1968-1969; admission books, 1958-1986, giving name, admission and discharge dates; patient register, 1973-1976, giving name and case details; anaesthetics registers, 1918-1978, including nature of operation, anaesthetic and anaesthetist; radium register, 1929-1943, including name, disease and name of operator; registers of daily beds, 1964-1981, giving numbers of full beds for wards; medical reports/books, 1944-1977, including operations and name of surgeons; clinical meeting notebooks, 1973, 1975, giving number and name of patients; out-patient attendance statistic books, 1974-1985, giving numbers of patients seen per day; research files and papers, 1958-1995, on variety of medical matters; case files, 1931-1937


Records of St Mark's Hospital Academic Institute, comprising minutes of the Academic Board, 1963-1985; minutes of the Research Committee, 1967-1970; agenda papers of the Academic Board, 1969-1980; agenda papers of the Research Committee, 1964-1970; lecture room visitors book, 1931-1946; booklets for visitors and postgraduate teaching term, 1994-1995


Records of the Pharmacy, comprising pharmacopoeia, 1921, 1935; records of the League of Friends, formerly the Ladies Association and Samaritan Fund, comprising minutes, 1885-1978; attendance book of the Samaritan Fund, later Ladies Association, 1945-1969; fund accounts, 1943-1972, including rules of the Ladies Association Fund; address book, [20th century]; Friends of St Mark's Hospital leaflet, [1989]; minutes of St Mark's Association Annual Business Meeting, 1986-1987; photographs of William Taylor Copeland, Lord Mayor (1835) and first patron of St Mark's Hospital, 1835; reopening of Allingham Ward, 1979; Annual General Meeting and Lord Mayor's visit, 1980; Annual General Meeting, 1983; files of Henry R Thompson, comprising medical illustrations and photographs, [20th century].


Sources: Wellcome Library and the Public Record Office HOSPREC: On-Line Hospital Records Database. Compiled by Julie Tancell as part of the RSLP AIM25 project.

Date: 1840-[1996]

The records are arranged as follows: Administrative records; Financial records; Estate Management records; Medical Committee records; Medical Staff records; Nursing records; Medical records; St Mark's Hospital Academic Institute records; Pharmacy records; Samaritan Fund/Ladies Association/League of Friends records; St Mark's Hospital Association records; Photographic records; Medical Illustrations.

Related material:

Other records relating to St Mark's Hospital, 1898-1947, are held by London Metropolitan Archives.

Held by: St Bartholomew's Hospital Archives, not available at The National Archives
Language: English

St Mark's Hospital for Fistula and other Diseases of the Rectum, 1854-1896

New St Mark's Hospital, 1896-1909

St Mark's Hospital for Cancer, Fistula etc, 1909-1948

Physical description: 187 volumes; 18 boxes; 23 files
Restrictions on use:

Photocopying is not permitted. However, single sheets dated after 1850 may be photocopied at the discretion of the Archivist. Photographs of items are obtainable, subject to copyright regulations, from the Department of Medical Illustration at St Bartholomew's Hospital. Arrangements can be made via the Archivist. Outside photographers and researchers' own cameras are not permitted.

Access conditions:

Researchers wishing to consult the archives should first contact the Archivist, St Bartholomew's Hospital, for an appointment.

Immediate source of acquisition:

The estate management files and bundles, 1972-1992, were transferred from the City and Hackney District Health Authority's Estate Management offices.

  • Health services
Unpublished finding aids:

A list is available at St Bartholomew's Hospital Archives.

Administrative / biographical background:

The beginnings of St Mark's Hospital were in a small room at No 11 Aldersgate Street where, in 1835, Frederick Salmon opened 'The Infirmary for the Relief of the Poor afflicted with Fistula and other Diseases of the Rectum'. There were just seven beds and in the first year 131 patients were admitted. Frederick Salmon was born in Bath in 1796 and served his apprenticeship in medicine there. He qualified at St Bartholomew's Hospital in 1817 and subsequently became a house-surgeon. In 1827, he was elected to a Surgeon's post at the Aldersgate Street Dispensary. However, Salmon resigned five years later, along with the rest of the medical staff, because of a dispute with the Management Committee about the method of choosing new staff. Tired of the restrictions of working within the establishment, Salmon decided to found his own institution to provide treatment for those conditions which were regarded as 'the most distressing that can afflict our common nature'. So the 'Fistula Infirmary', as it came to be known, was started. Much of the financial support came from the City of London. The Lord Mayor, William Taylor Copeland, was a grateful patient of Salmon's and became the first President. Another benefactor was Charles Dickens, who blamed his need for Salmon's surgical attentions on 'too much sitting at my desk'! There was an overwhelming need for such an institution giving specialist treatment free of charge to London's poor. Therefore, in 1838, when the number of patients had trebled, Salmon moved to larger premises at 38 Charterhouse Square, where there were fourteen beds and more space for treating out-patients. Thirteen years later, a site in City Road was purchased from the Dyers' Company and the almshouses that occupied it were converted to a twenty-five bed hospital. This was opened on St Mark's Day, 25 April 1854, and took the name of St Mark's Hospital for Fistula and other Diseases of the Rectum. The staff consisted of a surgeon, a Matron, a dispenser, nurses and servants. St Mark's was unique in not employing a physician until 1948. In 1859, Frederick Salmon resigned from his post as Surgeon. He is said to have performed 3,500 operations without a single fatality, a remarkable feat in an age when anaesthetics were only just beginning to be used and antiseptics were unknown. The Governors commissioned a portrait of him which was displayed in the entrance hall until the closure of the Hospital in 1995.


By the 1870s, ever-increasing demands on the Hospital caused rebuilding to be considered. The adjacent site, occupied by rice mills, was acquired but could not be developed for some years due to lack of funds. Eventually, building began and in January 1896 the 'New St Mark's' was opened. There was considerable difficulty in meeting the costs of maintaining the new building and it was the entertainment industry that finally came to the rescue. Lillie Langtry organised a Charity Matinee at her theatre in Drury Lane and the Hospital was saved. In 1909, the name of the Hospital was changed for a second time to St Mark's Hospital for Cancer, Fistula etc., reflecting the work and interests of J P Lockhart-Mummery, who was a pioneer in cancer surgery. The First World War seems to have made little direct impact, although ten beds were given over to servicemen. Despite the stringency of the times, the Governors purchased more land on the east side of the Hospital which gave room for expansion after hostilities had ceased. An Appeal Fund launched in 1920 was very successful and, in 1926, work began on a large extension which gave the Hospital a new appearance and provided two new wards, as well as new Out-Patient, X-ray, Pathology and Research Departments. A nurses' home was also provided for the first time. This was replaced by a self-contained home in 1936, when the former accommodation became a private wing named after Lockhart-Mummery, who had retired the previous year. A Samaritan Fund was established to assist patients, and meetings ceased in May 1949 when administration of the Fund officially passed to the Ladies Association. The Ladies Association became the Friends of St Mark's in June 1971.


St Mark's was taken over by the new National Health Service in 1948. It was administered jointly with Hammersmith Hospital until the NHS reforms of 1972, when it became attached to St Bartholomew's Hospital. After 1974, St Mark's was part of the newly-established City and Hackney Health District, which also included Hackney General, the Mothers', the German, the Eastern and St Leonard's Hospitals. During the 1980s, many of the hospitals in the City and Hackney District were closed and their services transferred to the new Homerton Hospital. The government introduced self-governing NHS Trusts and in 1992, Sir Bernard Tomlinson's Report of the Inquiry into the London Health Service proposed radical changes to the hospital groupings then in place. St Mark's remained part of the Barts NHS Shadow Trust (later Barts NHS Group) until April 1994, when the changes envisaged by the Tomlinson Report came into force. At this point, Bart's joined with the Royal London and the London Chest Hospitals to form the Royal Hospitals NHS Trust (later Barts and The London NHS Trust), while St Mark's became part of Northwick Park and St Mark's NHS Trust, based in Harrow. All services from St Mark's were transferred to Northwick Park in July 1995, and the Hospital closed.

Have you found an error with this catalogue description?

Help with your research