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In a room, entirely lined with stone, are kept the records, deeds, and other writings, of the hospital. One of the books is a curious piece of antiquity. It is the earliest record of the hospital; and contains an anthem sung by the first children, very beautifully illuminated, according to the custom of the time.
The writing-school is a handsome modern building of brick, supported on pillars, forming a spacious covered walk. The grammar-school is a plain brick building, more recently erected.
This hospital originated in the following manner: The convent of the Grey's-friars, on the site of which it rose, being surrendered to Henry VIII. that monarch, a little before his death, founded Christ's-church Hospital, granting the monastery to the City for the relief of the poor. Other lands were granted to the City for the same purpose by Henry. But the object being neglected, Edward VI. at the instance of Ridley, Bishop of London, sent a letter to the Lord Mayor, inviting his assistance in relieving the poor; and, shortly afterwards, a regular system of relief for the metropolis was formed, of which this hospital made one principal part. The poor were distinguished by classes. St. Bartholomew's and St. Thomas's Hospitals were destined to relieve the diseased; Bridewell to maintain and correct the idle; and Christ's Hospital to maintain and educate the young and helpless; and the King incorporated the governors of these several hospitals by the title of The Mayor, Commonalty, and Citizens of the City of London, Governors of the Possessions, Revenues, and Goods, of the Hospitals of Edward VI. King of England.
This Monarch also granted Christ's Hospital lands to the yearly value of 600l. belonging to the Savoy, and added other benefactions, the last being his license to take lands in mortmain, to the value yearly of 4000 marks.
In 1552, the house of the Grey-friars was first prepared for the reception of the children; and in November, in the same year, nearly 400 were admitted.
Charles II. founded a mathematical school in this house for forty boys, to which he granted 1000l. per annum, payable out of the exchequer for seven years. Of these boys,
ten are yearly put out apprentices to the sea-service, and in their places ten more received on the foundation.
Another mathematical school, for thirty-seven other boys, was afterwards founded by Mr. Travers; but these boys are not obliged to go to sea.
There are at present about 1200 children on this foundation. The boys wear a very ancient dress: it consists of a blue cloth coat, close to the body, having loose skirts of the same; yellow under coats, and yellow worsted stockings, and a flat, round, worsted, black bonnet, with the hair cut short. Their fare is plain and wholesome they sleep in wards, kept in a very cleanly state.
The governors have established a school at Hertford, to which they send the younger part of the children, generally to the number of 500; who are taken into the house, as room is made by apprenticing the elder. All the girls are educated at this school.
The education given to the boys of this hospital is excellent of its kind, consisting chiefly of writing and arithmetic, fitting them for merchants' counting-houses or trades. One boy is sent annually to Cambridge, being properly educated for the church; and every seven years one is sent to Oxford. This is one of those institutions which do good in the best way to the country.
The permanent revenues of Christ's Hospital are great, arising from royal and private donations in houses and lands; but, without voluntary subscriptions, are inadequate to the present establshment.
By the grant of the City, the governors licence the carts allowed to ply in the City, to the number of 420, who pay a small sum for the licence; they also receive a duty of about three farthings upon every piece of cloth brought to Blackwell Hall, granted by acts of Common Council.
The expenditure of this Hospital is immense, being at present about 30,000l. per annum, of which about 13001. is paid in salaries to the officers and servants of the foundation.
The governors, who choose their own officers and servants, male and female, are unlimited in their number, being usually benefactors of the hospital, or persons of con
siderable importance, associated with the Lord Mayor and Citizens, Governors by the charter. A donation of 4007. makes a Governor: formerly the sum was less, but the office of Governor being one of the greatest trust, and of great importance in its effect to the public, enlarging the sum was wisely adopted.
The Governors of Christ's Hospital have been made trustees to several other extensive charities, by their founders. Amongst the rest, is one of 10l. a year each for life, to 400 blind men. This ought to be made known, because these funds have been often confounded with those of Christ's Hospital, which they do not in the least augment, the Governors not being at liberty to apply those new funds to any of the uses of the Hospital.
The greater part of the buildings belonging to this noble institution beng, through age, in a state of irreparable decay, the Governors have lately resolved to rebuild the whole.
In 1814 this institution put 207 children apprentice, bu< ried 7, and had under their care at Hertford and in London 1060. Vacant for presentation 118.
The Charter House.
This benevolent institution is situated at the top of Charter House Lane, Smithfield. It was formerly a priory for monks of the Carthusian order; but, in the year 1611, it was converted, by Thomas Sutton, Esq. into a magnificent hospital, consisting of a master, a preacher, a head schoolmaster, and a second master, with forty-four boys, and eighty decayed gentlemen, who had been merchants or military men. The boys are instructed in classical learning; and the pensioners are allowed 141. per an◄ num, besides a gown, provisions, fire, and lodging. This foundation also supports twenty-nine students at the Universities.
The priory was alienated by the rapacious Earl of Suffolk, for thirteen thousand pounds, to Mr. Sutton, who made the above dignified use of his purchase. In one of the great apartments is a half length portrait of this good He was descended from a good family in the county of Lincoln, and became an eminent London merchant in
the reign of Elizabeth. Great as his wealth was, he was more distinguished by his integrity, generosity, and true charity, than by his riches, which were all gained by fair trade, by honourable posts under government, and even by deeds of arms. In a letter of marque he took a Spanish prize, worth twenty thousand pounds. He commanded the bark called the Sutton, as a volunteer against the Spanish armada. In years of scarcity he bought corn, in great quantities, and caused it to be retailed at low prices to his poor neighbours. Beside the purchase-money, and the expence of fitting up the premises, for the reception of his pensioners and scholars, he endowed the hospital and school with fifteen manors, and other lands, to the value, at that time, of more than four thousand four hundred and ninety pounds per annum, which charitable and noble rental is at present greatly increased. He died in December, 1611, aged 79; his body was embalmed, and kept in his own house till the following May, when it was deposited with great pomp in Christ Church, whence it was again removed, on the shoulders of the poor, to the chapel in his own hospital, which was then finished. His figure, in a gown, lies recumbent on his tomb; on each side is a man in armour erect, and above, a preacher, addressing a full congregation.
St. Bartholomew's Hospital.
This royal hospital consists of a magnificent building of stone, situated between Christ's Hospital and Smithfield, from which last it has an entrance, under a spacious arched gateway, which leads into a square court, surrounded with four noble buildings, of very good architecture. The grand stair-case was painted by Hogarth, without pecuniary reward. Among the paintings arethe good Samaritan; the Pool of Bethesda; and Rahere (the original founder of the hospital) laying the foundations; with a sick man carried on a bier, attended by Monks. The great hall is at the head of the stair-case, in which is a full length portrait of Henry VIII. the royal founder of the present institution; and a full length portrait of Dr. Ratcliffe, who left 100l. per annum to this hospital, for the improvement of the diet; and 100l. per annum for pro
viding linen. In this room also is a fine picture of St. Bartholomew, with a knife (the symbol of his martyrdom) in his hand. On one of the windows is painted Henry VIII. delivering the charter to the Lord Mayor. There is also a very fine portrait in this room of Percival Pott, many years surgeon of this hospital. It was painted by Sir Joshua Reynolds; and is esteemed a striking likeness of that eminent surgeon.
The present building was erected in the reign of George II. in 1730, Sir Richard Brocas, Knight, being Lord Mayor, and President of the hospital. There belong to the establishment of this hospital three physicians, three surgeons, three assistant surgeons, and an apothecary, sides dressers, &c.
All indigent persons, maimed by accident, may be taken into St. Bartholomew's Hospital at all hours of the day and night, without previous recommendation." Diseased persons are received only on petition, signed by a Governor, a Committee of Governors sitting every Thursday, to determine on petitions.
There are always a number of out-patients relieved with medical aid, and other assistance.
Poor persons mangled in body or limb, by accident, and without means, in themselves or friends, of procuring medical aid, are relieved without reserve or delay, and are as skilfully treated as though they commanded wealth. With respect to the diseased poor, a form precedes relief; but it is only to secure the best application of the funds which, without precaution, might be wasted on less pressing cases. The hospital is attended by the most eminent medical men, physicians, and surgeons, in the metropolis; and it not only affords a solace to the poor in sickness, or on being maimed, but is a most excellent medical school for young men who attend the hospital, in the course of their studies in medicine and surgery.
In 1814 there were admitted 3909 in-patients, and 4176 out-patients! buried but 274.
St. Thomas's Hospital.
This edifice, situated in the Borough of Southwark, a little to the south of London Bridge, being another royal