This record is held by Berkshire Record Office

Details of D/H 6
Reference: D/H 6

Records of Windsor Dispensary, Infirmary and King Edward VII Hospital, 1818-1978


ADMINISTRATION: weekly board minutes, 1858-1863, 1880-1883, 1889-1894, 1904-1948 (incomplete); weekly board agendas, 1931-1933; monthly committee meetings, 1818-1919 (incomplete); annual meeting minutes, 1876-1947; finance committee minutes, 1909-1918, 1946-1948; medical committee minutes, 1937-1948; general committee minutes, 1946-1948; miscellaneous committee and sub-committee minutes, 1899-1948; report of subscription organisation committee, 1924; meeting attendance register, 1916-1921; report on conference with Maidenhead Hospital, 1921; Windsor Group house committee A minutes, 1948-1951; medical staff/advisory committee minutes, 1963-1973.


ACCOUNTS: general accounts, 1818-1832; cash accounts, 1879-1890; petty cash expenditure accounts, 1884-1907; subscription and donation accounts, 1913-1917; cash payments ledgers, 1937-1949 (incomplete); bank pass book, 1926-1930; Contributory Scheme annual statements and reports, 1946-1948.


ANNUAL REPORTS: 1818-1947 (incomplete).


RECORDS OF PATIENTS: admission register, 1913-1917.


STAFF AND TRAINING RECORDS: registers of nurses, 1906-1954; register of Sisters, staff nurses and other nursing staff, 1938-1972; registers of part-time nurses and nursing auxiliaries, 1948-1968; register of temporary nurses and auxiliaries, 1939-1941; registers of pupil midwives, 1955-1967; register of pupil housekeepers, 1935-1939; papers re same, 1939-1940; theoretical training registers, 1946-1963; reports on candidates for nursing, 1953-1958; staff magazine, 1949-1950 (incomplete).


MISCELLANEOUS: almoner's reports, 1940-1960; scrapbooks and press cuttings, 1948-1973; copy charter, [c.1910-35]; account of war work, c.1919; ordinances, 1939; history, 1960.

Date: 1818-1978
Related material:

For a more detailed history, see J E McAuley,' The Hospital at Windsor (Windsor 1960), available in the BRO library or as D/H 6/22/5.


Illuminated address presented to the Revd J H J Ellison on his resignation as the vice-chairman and chaplain, with photographs of the hospital, 1913. D/EX 768/1


MF 94002 Register of baptisms, 1943-1947. D/P 149/1C/1

Held by: Berkshire Record Office, not available at The National Archives
Language: English

Windsor Dispensary, Infirmary And King Edward VII Hospital

Physical description: (77 vols, 13 bdls, 9 docs).
Immediate source of acquisition:

Deposited in July 1997 (acc. 6075).


Acc. 6075: 1/1-16; 2/1-4; 3/1-2; 4/1-2; 5/1-2; 6/1-4; 7/1; 8/1-2; 9/1-2; 10/1-8; 11/1-19; 12/1; 13/1-7; 14/1-2; 15/1-2; 16/1-2; 17/1; 18/1-3; 19/1-3; 20/1-3; 21/1-7; 22/1-5

  • Health services
Administrative / biographical background:

The institution was founded in 1818 as Windsor General Dispensary, a charity offering medical treatment to the sick poor of Windsor, Eton and the vicinity, based from a house in Church Street, Windsor. The first patrons were Queen Charlotte, wife of George III, and the Princesses Augusta, Elizabeth and Sophia. The charity was financed by subscribers from the local gentry and nobility, who were entitled to recommend one patient to the dispensary for each annual guinea subscribed, and were given the rank of governor. Only those unable to pay for private treatment were eligible objects of the charity, although smallpox vaccination was offered free to all-comers and in the 1820s it was encouraged by the offer of a shilling to each person vaccinated. There was a resident surgeon-dispenser, and consulting honorary surgeons, often distinguished men who attended the Royal Family; home visits were made up to 1901. In 1821 George IV became a patron, and authorised the use of the name of the Windsor Royal General Dispensary. Succeeding monarchs followed him as patron, with other members of the Royal Family as President, including Prince Albert (1850-1861). the first to visit the Infirmary in 1859, and Prince Christian of Schleswig-Holstein (1888-1917).


In 1833-4, a new dispensary was built on the corner of Bachelor's Acre and New Road (later Victoria Street), and numbers treated more than doubled to over 4000 a year.


In 1857, following the receipt of a legacy, an Infirmary was built, allowing patients to be treated overnight. In c.1864 the adjoining premises of Windsor Savings Bank were acquired, initially being let to the Vicar of Windsor as a school. In 1873, however, the building was converted to provide two convalescent wards. Extensions continued to be made to the building in the 1880s and 90s, including a children's ward in 1892 (children under 6 had hitherto not been admitted). The Infirmary began to train nurses in 1895. From the turn of the century serious cases increased in number, and the need for a proper hospital became clear.


The King Edward VII Hospital opened in 1909 at the corner of St Leonard's and Frances Roads, Windsor. The patients and assets were transferred from the old Infirmary, which was finally sold in 1930 and demolished in 1973. A horse ambulance was acquired, also in 1909. The new premises soon proved too small, and building work began as early as 1912. In 1914 many of the medical staff volunteered to serve at the Front. The hospital immediately began to treat locally-billeted Service patients and Belgian refugees, and from 1916 wounded soldiers were brought from overseas. The shortage of staff led to the matron acting as anaesthetist in 1917-18. Work rehabilitating wounded soldiers led to the establishment of the Physiotherapy Department.


The immediate post-war period saw financial difficulties, with a large deficit, rising prices and salaries, the departure of wartime voluntary workers, and a rising local population. The subscription organisation committee was set up in 1920 to encourage a new form of subscription from the working classes, as a form of health insurance. An almoner was appointed to recoup costs from better-off patients, and to assist poorer patients leaving hospital, for instance sending convalescents to the seaside. A paying ward was introduced in 1925. An insulin clinic was founded in 1923, one of the first to offer a then new and expensive treatment for diabetes.


In September 1939 the hospital became part of the Emergency Medical Service, and the regional headquarters of the pathological service. Patients were evacuated from London hospitals. In 1948 the hospital was incorporated in the National Health Service, under the administration of the Windsor Group. It was later amalgamated with Old Windsor Hospital, the two sites acting as the Windsor and Old Windsor Units of the King Edward VII Hospital. Other hospitals in the Group included St Mark's and St Luke's, Maidenhead, Pinewood Hospital, Wokingham, Heatherwood Hospital, Ascot, Cliveden Hospital, Taplow, Wexham Park Hospital, Slough, and other hospitals in the area.

Link to NRA Record:

Have you found an error with this catalogue description?

Help with your research