Victorian London - Health and Hygiene - Hospitals - Middlesex Hospital

MIDDLESEX HOSPITAL, CHARLES STREET, BERNERS STREET, originated in the year 1745, in the benevolent exertions of a few individuals, and in two small houses, communicating by a doorway, in what was then a country road leading from the suburb of St. Giles's to the fields beyond the Pound. Originally, the funds could only support 18 beds; but their means increasing, in 1800 they made up 70; in 1815, 170; in 1824, 200; and in 1845, (the first centenary), 250. It now (1850) receives 285 in-patients, and the annual number of out-patients is 9,316. A distinct ward was endowed for the cure of cancer, by Samuel Whitbread in 1792. "Sr John Murray's Ward" (so called from a legacy of 10,000l. left for the purpose by Lady Murray) was built in 1848, by Mr. T.H.Wyatt. There is a school of medicine attached.

Peter Cunningham, Hand-Book of London, 1850


MIDDLESEX HOSPITAL, Charles Street, Berners Street, was founded in 1745 for sick and lame patients, with accommodation for only eighteen in-patients, and incorporated in 1836. Since that period it has been greatly enlarged, and two new wings have been added, so that it now contains 310 beds. Annual number of cases, 21,000 ; annual income, 7000l.

Cruchley's London in 1865 : A Handbook for Strangers, 1865


MIDDLESEX HOSPITAL, Charles-street, facing Berners-street, was established 1745: the present building was commenced in 1755, then in Marylebone-fields; and much enlarged and improved in 1848; the baths, cooking apparatus, laboratory works, ventilating shaft, and laundry, are supplied with steam-power. The Cancer-ward, a special addition in this Hospital, was made in 1792, upon a plan by the benevolent John Howard, at the sole expense of Mr. Whitbread, M.P., who endowed the ward with 40001., that cancer-patients might, if necessary, remain here for life.
    In the Council-room is a large vellum Benefaction-book, wherein are beautifully written the names of the Benefactors to the Hospital, from its foundation. The binding is elaborately carved oak, by W. G. Rogers; and the clasps, corners, and bosses are rich ormolu. This sumptuous volume is protected by an ornamental iron stand; it is intended to supersede the large black benefaction-boards which cover the hospital walls.
    One day a lady, being permitted to visit the wards, went from bed to bed, and in the most quiet and gracious manner presented half-a-sovereign to almost every one of the patients as a New Year's gift, and as a thanks-offering for her recovery from a dangerous illness. The number of patients so relieved amounted to nearly 300.

John Timbs, Curiosities of London, 1867