Catalogue description Records of the LONDON HOSPITAL, Whitechapel

This record is held by Barts Health NHS Trust Archives

Details of LH
Reference: LH
Title: Records of the LONDON HOSPITAL, Whitechapel

Records of the Royal London Hospital, formerly the London Hospital, 1740-present, comprising administrative records, 1741-2011, including Charter of Incorporation, 1758, bye-laws, 1758-1819, annual reports, 1741-1978, House Visitors, 1750-1924, reports to the House Committee, 1779-1931, including Superintendent's and House Governor's report books, 1811-1830, Physicians and Surgeons report book, 1836-1867; registers and lists of Life Governors, 1841, 1859-1948; register of Medical and Surgical Staff, 1849-1890, registers of appointments of Medical and Surgical Officers, 1888-1954; testimonials and papers of applicants for medical and surgical posts, 1744-1926, registers of lay, domestic and ancillary staff, [1867]-1942;

Records of committees, 1741-1978, notably minutes of the House Committee, 1741-1948, Hospital Committees and Sub-Committees, [1750]-1948, including Accounts Committee, [1750]- 1912, Building Committees, [1751]-1903, minutes of associated bodies, notably Accumulating Fund Society, 1811-1853, Board of Stewards of the Anniversary Feast, 1744-1828; Meetings of Physicians and Surgeons, 1808-1823; Residents' Meetings, 1925-1942; minutes of the Board of Governors Committees and Sub-Committees, 1948-1978; minutes of the Court of Governors, 1740-1953; reports of the House Committee, 1742-1948; minutes of the Board of Governors, 1948-1974;

Correspondence and papers of London Hospital House Governors and Secretaries, 1750-1964, including opinions on the admission of women students to the Medical College, 1876, alteration and extensions to the Medical College, 1882-1885, House Governors' Office files, 1898-1974; papers of Chairmen of the London Hospital House Committee, 1898-1948, principally of Sydney Holland, 2nd Viscount Knutsford, 1898-1931; newsletters of the London Hospital, 1933-1978; copies of The Hospital: a weekly journal of Science, Medicine, Nursing and Philanthropy, 1890-1991;

Title deeds, 1713-1983, notably of the Hospital site, 1755-1927, Red Lyon Farm, 1713-1773, subsequent sales and alterations of the Hospital estate, 1824-1942, agreements relating to the Medical College, 1854-1870, and Hospital Estate, 1780-1916; financial records, 1740-1973, notably Treasurer's ledgers, 1740-1951, Treasurer's cash books, 1749-1968, journals, 1824-1947; House Steward's cash books, detailing daily expenses of the hospital, 1749-1816; House Steward's cash ledgers, 1752-1811; Tradesmen's ledgers, 1751-1814, giving detailed lists of daily supplies and equipment; legacy books, 1743-1947, records of endowments, endowed and named beds and cots, [1880]-1962; hospital estate financial records, 1724-1966, including accounts of rents, 1784-1824; records of salaries and wages, 1742-1958; Trustees' accounts for intended building of the infirmary, 1740-1759; Surveyors and Estate records, 1752-1989, notably estate maps and plans, 1783-1989, plans and drawings of the Hospital buildings, 1752-1983, estate buildings, 1891-1954, estate papers, 1807-1989; records of the Works Department, 1905-1937; papers relating to the use of computer technology at the London Hospital, 1968-1978;

Records of the Public Relations Department of the London Hospital, 1965-1980; photographs relating to the Hospital, [1850-1999], including of Hospital and College buildings, medical and nursing staff, wards, departments and schools, laboratories, treatment of patients, students, war scenes, annexes and convalescent homes, [1940]-1970, Royal visits, staff groups, Pathological Institute staff, 1907-1946; army officers, [1914-1918], Preliminary Training School (Tredegar House) pupils and student nurses and teaching staff, [1896]-1942; records of the Medical Photography Department, 1945-1995, comprising 16 mm films made by the London Hospital Film Unit, [1950-1980]; films made by the London Hospital Dental School Film Unit, [1960-1975]; negatives of clinical photographs, 1945-1974; records of the Chaplain's Department, 1880-1991, including registers of baptisms, 1888-1990;

Records of London Linden Hall Association Ltd, 1950-1979, including memorandum and articles of association, 1950, minutes, 1950-1977, register of members, 1950-[1975], annual accounts, 1952-1975; records of The London Hospital (Ligature Department) Ltd, 1920-1970;
records of the Pharmacy, previously Dispensary, 1897-1986, including drug purchase ledgers, 1897-1914, pharmacopeias and formularies, of the London Hospital, 1842-1986; records of the Cardiac Department, comprising visitors' book, 1913-1958; Dermatology Department, comprising descriptions of clinical cases with photographs, 1959; Department of General Medicine, 1968-1985; Neurology Department, 1947-[1975], comprising case summaries, 1947-1968, post mortem reports, 1954-1966; Obstetrics and Gynaecology Department, 1949-1992, including annual obstetric reports for Whitechapel and Mile End, 1974-1985, Proceedings of The London Hospital Obstetrics and Gynaecology Society, 1955-1964, case notes and medical photographs of gynaecological patients, [1940s]; records of the Orthopaedic Department, comprising case studies, 1953-1954; Radiotherapy Department, 1903-1961, notably x-ray case book, 1903-1906, registers of patients, 1943-1961; Radiology Department, 1924-1959;

Patient records, 1760-1991, including registers of in-patients, 1760-1805, registers of Physicians' and Surgeons' in-patients, 1883-1947, diagnostic indexes, 1893-1949, to post mortems, case notes and patient registers; Orthopaedic and Accident Department case notes, [1945]-1950; surgical registers of death, 1902-1924; registers of deaths, 1958-1994; post mortem reports, 1893-1921, with diagnostic indexes, 1893-1901; records of the Receiving Room, later the Accident and Emergency Department, 1924-1955, comprising registers of cases, 1939-1947, registers of death, 1914-1958; analyses of out-patient attendance, 1924-1955; patient records of private wards in Fielden House, 1942-1985; admission registers for Zachary Merton Home, Banstead, 1968-1977; admission and discharge registers for the "Marie Celeste" Home, Woodford, 1965-1973; paediatric cases, 1928-1938; case notes, 1889-1944; case summaries, 1916-1951; patient records of the Light Department, 1900-1952, notably Finsen Light registers, 1900-1950, radium treatment registers, 1909-1952, patient case notes, [1903]-1919, X-ray Department registers, 1905-1943;

maternity records, 1893-1991, including maternity and midwives' registers, 1893-1983; Maternity Department in-patient registers, 1905-1957, maternity and midwives' registers recording home births, 1905-1957; maternity wards' in-patient registers, 1938-1957, 1973-1991; Woolmer Park Maternity Home midwives' registers of cases, 1939-1945;

Records of the London Hospital School of Physiotherapy, 1933-1989;

London Hospital Nursing Service records, 1880-1989, including registers of nurse probationers and pupil midwives, 1880-1944; registers of sisters and nurses, 1880-1946; ward books, 1901-1941; registers of nurses and cases treated under the London Hospital Private Nursing Institution, 1886-1946; correspondence and papers of London Hospital matrons, 1884-[1950s], including annual letter to nurses, 1894-1931, correspondence concerning private nursing staff, 1884-1915; letters and papers from Edith Cavell to Eva Lückes, 1901-1913; correspondence of Eva Lückes, 1895-1919; papers concerning state registration of nurses, 1904-1916; papers concerning the Preliminary Training School, Tredegar House, 1894-[1950s]; Matron's office staff files, 1948-1990;

Records relating to Nursing Education, 1882-1995, including records relating to nurse tutors and teachers, 1954-1987, College staff, 1941-1993, Princess Alexandra School of Nursing, [1960s]; brochures and prospectuses, 1882-1979; Preliminary Training School records, 1938-1965, including attendance registers, 1955-1964, student records, 1950-1965; records relating to examinations, 1895-1990; papers concerning community nursing experience, 1954-1989; pupil nurse schemes, 1967-1987; records relating to in-service education and training, 1959-1985; papers relating to the mergers of the nursing schools of London Jewish, St Matthews, Bethnal Green and Mildmay Hospitals with the Princess Alexandra School of Nursing, [1970s]; records of Mile End School of Nursing, 1959-1971; photographs, 1946-1986; 16mm and 8mm films used for teaching nurses, [1960s-1972];

Records relating to Princess Alexandra & Newham College of Nursing & Midwifery, 1989-1995; records of the London Hospital Social Society, 1936-1990.

Date: 1713-2011
Related material:

For general histories of the London Hospital, see: The London (2 vols., published by Pitman Medical, 1862, 1963) and London Pride (published by Hutchinson Benham, 1979), both by A. E. Clark-Kennedy. See also A brief history of the Royal London Hospital by Sheila Collins, (RLH Archives & Museum, 1995).

Held by: Barts Health NHS Trust Archives, not available at The National Archives
Language: English

London Hospital (Whitechapel)

Physical description: 97 series
  • Stamford Hill, Middlesex
  • Clapton, Middlesex
  • Hackney, Middlesex
  • Shoreditch, Middlesex
  • Stoke Newington, Midlesex
  • Dalston, Middlesex
  • Homerton, Middlesex
Administrative / biographical background:

The London Infirmary, as it was originally called, was established in the Autumn of 1740 and received its first patients on 3rd November, in a rented house in Featherstone Street. In the following May the Hospital moved to rented premises in Prescot Street. It was soon apparent, however, that converted houses were not adequate and the search began for a site on which a new building could be erected. In 1752 the foundation stone of the present building was laid. The first patients were admitted in 1757 and the building of the front block was completed in 1759. There have been many subsequent alterations, developments and extensions, but parts of the original building are still in use.


In 1755 and 1772 the Governors of the Hospital were able to purchase the two moieties, or halves, of Red Lyon Farm, which lay immediately behind the Hospital, between Whitechapel Road and Commercial Road. Many of the Hospital's departments are built on parts of the former London Hospital Estate.


Management of the Charity was originally in the hands of all the subscribers but, as they increased in numbers, this became impracticable. As early as April 1741 a Grand Committee was appointed to meet weekly, to transact the general business of the Hospital; this Committee developed into the House Committee, which exercised effective control, until its abolition in 1948. The subscriber's meetings became the Court of Governors, which normally met quarterly, and to which the House Committee reported. In 1758 the Hospital was granted a Royal Charter, which gave the Governors corporate status. Under the terms of the National Health Act, 1946, the Court of Governors and the House Committee were replaced by a Board of Governors in 1948. This Board was itself dissolved in 1974, when the Hospital became a part of the Tower Hamlets Health District in the City and East London Health Authority (Teaching).


Executive authority was at first split between several officers: the Secretary, the Steward, the Apothecary and the Chaplain; all exercised varying degrees of authority at different times. In 1806 a Superintendent was appointed and thereafter this officer, later called the House Governor, was the principal Executive Officer.


The original object of the Hospital was the "The relief of all sick and diseased persons and, in particular, manufacturers, seamen in the merchant service and their wives and children". The London Hospital has always been a general one and, by the end of the nineteenth century, was the largest voluntary, general Hospital in the United Kingdom. In the early years of this century the number of beds passed 1,000 on several occasions.


From the 1740's pupils had been taken on by members of the medical staff to "Walk the wards". In 1783 William Blizard and Dr. James Maddocks sought the Governors' support for the erection of a Lecture Theatre, so that both practical and theoretical education could be received on the same site. As a result a Lecture Theatre, which later developed into the Medical College, was opened in 1785. Until 1854 it remained largely independent of the Hospital but, from then until 1948, the Hospital House Committee exercised ultimate authority over the College. The College's records are listed seperately.


For many years the London Hospital had a number of Annexes and Convalescent Homes associated with it. At various times the Hospital managed the Zachary Merton Home, Banstead; the Brentwood Annexe; the Herman de Stern Home, Felixstowe; the Catherine Gladstone Home, Mitcham; the Croft and Fairfield Annexes in Reigate and the Hore and Marie Celeste Homes in Woodford. There was also Hayes Grove, a Home for Sick Nurses.


From 1945 until 1972 Queen Mary's Maternity Home, Hampstead, was managed by the Hospital. Its records are in the Royal London Hospital Archives, but are listed separately.


In 1968 Mile End and St. Clement's Hospitals were transferred to the management of the Board of Governors and were designated to the London Hospital (Mile End) and the London Hospital (St. Clement's). Some records of both these Hospitals are in the Royal London Hospital Archives, but are listed separately.


The "Marie Celeste" Samaritan Society was founded in 1791 to provide for London Hospital patients various welfare benefits, such as artificial limbs, periods of convalescence or special diets, which were beyond the resources of the Hospital. The records of this Society are in the Royal London Hospital Archives, but are listed separately.


Records received from various smaller departments, such as the Chaplains', Radiology, Public Relations, etc., and from sources outside the Hospital, are not included in this list.

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