This record is held by London Metropolitan Archives: City of London

Details of H01/ST/NTS
Reference: H01/ST/NTS
Description: Class A. Administration: Agreements with the Nightingale Fund Council; Regulations; Reports; Matron's Correspondence etc.; Matron's Correspondence relating to the Nightingale Collection; Matron's Papers relating to the British Nurses Association, the College of Nursing, and the British College of Nurses; Staff Administration; School Buildings. Class C. Probationers: Registers of Probationers; Prospectus; Syllabus of Training; Probationers' Duties and Timetables; Memoranda and forms re admission of Probationers; Lecture notebooks; Ward Diaries; Examination papers; Gratuities; Certificates; Florence Nightingale's addresses to Probationers; Address to Probationers by Mrs Wardroper. Class D. Accounts: [not listed]. Class Y. Miscellanea: Special Occasions; Letters, Diaries etc. of Nightingale nurses; Papers relating to Matrons of St Thomas' Hospital; Papers relating to Old Nightingales; Nightingale Fellowship Papers; Miscellaneous. Additional Deposits: [not listed]. Class Y. Miscellanea (Cont'd): War Medals; Papers and Files relating to former Nightingales; Miscellaneous Files; Printed Material; Special Occasions; Papers relating to former Nightingales; Miscellaneous. Appendix A: Records of the Nightingale Fellowship. Index: [not listed].
Related material:

The records of the Nightingale Fund Council have also been deposited in the Greater London Record Office. Reference: A/NFC, and Nightingale Collection, Bonham Carter Papers.

Held by: London Metropolitan Archives: City of London, not available at The National Archives
Language: English

St Thomas' Hospital Nightingale Training School

Access conditions:

Records in the following groups less than 70 years old may net be consulted until permission has been obtained from the Matron:


Key: *Items marked with an asterisk are stored at St. Thomas' Hospital in Matron's office.

Immediate source of acquisition:

Deposited in the Greater London Record Office. 1967/8

  • Nursing
Administrative / biographical background:

On Nov. 9th, 1855 a public meeting was held in Willis's Rooms, King Street, St. James to inaugurate a public subscription in gratitude for Florence Nightingale's work in the Crimean War. £44,000 was raised, a committee was set up to administer this fund, and on March 13th, 1860, A.H. Clough wrote on behalf of the Nightingale Fund Council to the President, Treasurer and Governors of St. Thomas' Hospital about the possibility of founding a training school for nurses at the Hospital. This was Florence Nightingale's idea as to how the fund could best be used and she was particularly attracted to St. Thomas's because Mrs Wardroper, the Matron, had already initiated a programme of reform in 1855. Mrs Wardroper became the first Superintendent of the Training School, remaining at the hospital until 1887 and it was largely due to her efforts that the school was such a success in the early years.


The first fifteen Probationers arrived on July 9th 1860. They were paid a salary of £10 during the one year's course, with board and lodging provided. At the end of the year, if they were approved, they were entered on the Register of Certified Nurses, and employment was found for them. If they stayed in employment at least a complete year following their training they could earn gratuities of £3 and £5. Instruction during the course was mainly practical, with the Probationers working in the hospital wards under close supervision. Considerable emphasis was placed on high moral character.


From 1867 there were two classes of entry to the school:


One of the particular features of the Nightingale Training School was that nurses were trained not merely for St. Thomas' Hospital, but with the clear intention that they should be sent out in groups to other institutions to undertake nursing reform. The school had only been open two years when the first group went to the Liverpool Royal Infirmary, and subsequent groups went as far as Canada and Australia, as well as to many hospitals in this country.


Another important and distinctive feature of the Nightingale system was that the Probationers were provided with board and lodging. When the new hospital opened at Lambeth in 1871, special provision was made for the Nightingale Home and in 1872 a Home Sister was appointed for the first time. She undertook part of the tuition, a Sister Tutor not being appointed until 1913. In 1937 Riddell House was opened as a new Nurses' Home, a present to St. Thomas' Hospital and the School by Lady Riddell, as a memorial to Lord Riddell.

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