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CHAPTER THE TWENTY-FOURTH.
CHARITABLE INSTITUTIONS, HOSPITALS, ETC.
Chelsea Hospital-Foundling Hospital—General Hospitals for Diseases
-St. Bartholomew's—St. Thomas'-University College - Westminster-Charing Cross-Great Northern - St. George's—Guy's - King's College-St. Mary's—Middlesex—Royal Free Hospital -Hospitals for Special Diseases—Bethlehem Hospital — Cancer Hospital - Consumption Hospitals-Fever Hospital-St. Luke'sOphthalmic-Orthopædic-Small Pox-Spinal Hospitals.
CHELSEA HOSPITAL.—Open daily from 10 to 4; it is usual to pay a small gratuity to the pensioner who conducts visitors round.
This hospital, for the reception of old and disabled soldiers, occupies the site of a college commenced in James I.'s reign, for the purpose of maintaining a body of clergy who were “ to answer all the adversaries of religion," and hence Laud nicknamed it Controversy College. That scheme fell through, and in the reign of Charles II. the present establishment was founded. Nell Gwynne it is said used her influence to effect this laudable work. Sir Christopher Wren was the architect. Charles himself laid the first stone, and the buildings were finished in 1690, the cost having been £150,000. They are of red brick with stone dressings, shewing towards the Thames a recessed centre and two wings. The centre forms a square, open towards the river, and a bronze statue of Charles II., executed by Grinling Gibbons for Tobias Rustat, occupies the middle. The north front is long, and has before it an avenue of limes and horse-chestnuts. The RomanDoric portico in this front is four columned. Between the two fronts are two spacious quadrangles. The wards of the pensioners are on the wings of the river front; and the governor's resi nce is at the end of the eastern wing. The state apartment contains portraits of Charles I., Henrietta Maria, and the two sons who
succeeded him, of Charles II., William III., and George III., and
In the chapel is an altar-piece of the Ascension, painted by Seb. Ricci ; the communion plate was given by James II. Here are thirteen French eagles, and many colours taken by our armies. In the great dining hall is an equestrian portrait of Charles II. by Verrio and H. Cooke, and an allegorical picture of the Duke of Wellington's victories by James Ward. Here are more colours captured by our armies in various campaigns, and some staves of the colours won at Blenheim. The Duke of Wellington's body lay in state in the hall. The establishment is managed by a board of commissioners and a governor, under whom are subordinate officers. The resident pensioners are from 400 to 500 in number, and the cost of their maintenance is about £36 a year for each man. Several of them will be seen about Chelsea wearing their hospital costume, a long red coat lined with blue, and a three-cornered hat. There are besides about 70,000 out-pensioners who receive money at various rates, chiefly from sixpence to a shilling a day, though some have as much as three shillings and sixpence a day.
THE ROYAL MILITARY ASYLUM, where the children of soldiers are supported and educated, is to the north of the hospital. Friday is parade day for the boys.
Near Chelsea Hospital, and on the north-eastern side of the road leading to Battersea Park Bridge, new and handsome barracks for 1000 men of the Guards have recently been erected. These barracks are on an improved plan, and have been specially designed by Mr. George Morgan, with a view to the comfort and well-being of the soldiers. They have a frontage of upwards of 1000 feet. There is a detached building for the officers, and one for the serjeants ; a separate house for the married privates, well ventilated quarters for privates, schools, baths, washhouses, reading room and library, lecture room, gymnasium, etc.
THE FOUNDLING HOSPITAL, Guildford Street, bears an incorrect name, for it is a place for the maintenance of illegitimate children, whose mothers are known. When originally established in 1739 by Thomas Coram, it was intended for the reception of exposed and deserted children. So numerous were the children sent hither, and so indiscriminate the admission, that far more infants were received than could be properly attended to. Out of 14,934 received in three years and ten months, 10,389 died. Such wholesale slaughter called for the interference of the legislature, and in 1760 the establishment was placed nearly on its present footing. The site of the hospital was purchased for £5500 in 1741 from Lord Salisbury, who compelled them to buy the whole estate, refusing to sell a part only. It is fortunate they did so, as the rents now produce every year more than the original purchase-money. The building, erected from Jacobson's designs, was opened in 1754. Hogarth was an intimate friend of Coram, painted his portrait, and helped him in carrying out his design. He has recorded that he painted this portrait with more pleasure than any other man's. The painter became a governor and guardian, and presented not only the portrait of Coram, but others of his portraits, viz., the march to Finchley (one of his best works), and Moses brought to Pharaoh's daughter. There are other paintings worth notice, viz., Handel by Kneller, Dr. Mead by Allan Ramsay, Lord Dartmouth by Sir Joshua Reynolds, George II. by Shackleton, views of the Foundling and Guy's Hospitals by Richard Wilson, and the Charter-house by Gainsborough. Here will be seen Roubiliac's bust of Handel, who was a great benefactor to the hospital. He frequently performed his " Messiah ” on the organ in the chapel.
The musical performance of divine service has always been a source of revenue, as a collection is made at the door, and the good singing attracts a large number of persons. The altar-piece, Christ presenting a little child, is by West. After service visitors may inspect the building; this may also be done on Mondays from ten to four. From three to four a band, formed of boys belonging to the establishment, executes pieces of music. It is an interesting sight to witness the children, of whom there are 500 of both sexes, in the act of dining. Coram lies in the chapel vaults, as well as Chief-Justice Tenterden, whose bust will be seen near the eastern entrance of the chapel. Preachers of celebrity are selected to deliver sermons here. Sterne preached in this chapel in 1761 ; Sydney Smith, another humourist, was also a preacher. The children are well cared for, and their general health is very good. At a proper age the boys are put out to trades, and the girls to service. The donation of £50 qualifies for a governor.
HOSPITALS FOR THE TREATMENT OF DISEASES.
No application of money is more to be commended than that which attempts to relieve the poor when suffering from disease or accidental injury. London may boast not only of having numerous institutions for this object, but of their magnificent scale. The twelve principal hospitals of the metropolis possess a permanent annual income of £110,000, exclusive of voluntary contributions. They have upwards of 3500 beds, and the outpatients attended to in the course of a year are not far short of 400,000. We have only space to mention the chief institutions of this nature, which the benevolence of the rich has founded for the relief of the needy ; but it may here be stated that, in addition to the hospitals about to be noticed, there are upwards of thirty dispensaries where medical assistance is afforded to applicants. The art of nursing has been much improved of late years. In the larger hospitals a sister” takes charge of each ward, and sees that the nurses do their duty, besides exercising a vigilant superintendence over the patients themselves, the result of which is communicated to the medical officer.
St. BARTHOLOMEW's HOSPITAL, Smithfield, occupies the site of part of the ancient priory of St. Bartholomew, whereon Rahere founded an hospital. At the Dissolution, Henry VIII, refounded it, and gave the charge of it to Thomas Vicary, his serjeant-surgeon, who wrote the first anatomical work published in English. Harvey was physician to the hospital for many years, and lectured in it on his discovery as to the circulation of the blood. The buildings having become much decayed were taken down, and the great quadrangle was built in 1730, the architect being Gibbs, who built St. Martin's-in-the-Fields. The entrance had been erected nearly thirty years previously. The new surgery was built in 1842, and the year after, a collegiate establishment for the abode of students within the walls was founded, and is placed under the superintendence of a warden. This hospital is under the management of the Corporation, and the president is an alderman who has served the office of Lord Mayor. Persons who present 100 guineas become governors.
Dr. Radcliffe, Queen Anne's physician, gave a considerable sum towards the building; he also bequeathed to the hospital £500 a year, to aid in improving the diet of patients, and in addition £100 a year to be laid out in linen. The income of the hospital is about £35,000 a-year. Cases of all kinds are treated at this hospital, and patients are admitted on presenting a formal petition. In urgent cases, such as accidents, the patients are admitted at once, either in the day or at night, the resident medical officers being on the spot to attend to such cases. There are 650 beds, and a large number of out-patients. The inpatients treated in the course of a year are between 6000 and 7000 ; whilst the out-patients during the same space amount to more than 70,000. Destitute patients are relieved from the “ Samaritan fund." The annual expenditure in an establishment of this magnitude is of course very large ; about £2600 being laid out on drugs alone. With regard to the education of students, clinical lectures are delivered, and other lectures in the theatres on the various branches of medical science and art. Several scholarships have been founded with the view of encouraging and assisting students. Prizes are bestowed on those who best acquit themselves at the annual examinations. The library is large, and there are museums containing anatomical preparations and specimens of materia medica. In the great staircase are some pictures painted by Hogarth in the grand historical style. The work was gratuitous, and he was made a lifegovernor in return. In the court-room is an old portrait of Henry VIII. ; Dr. Radcliffe, by Kneller ; Percival Pott, by Reynolds; and Abernethy, by Lawrence.
St. Thomas' HOSPITAL, Wellington Street, Southwark, near the London Bridge railway stations, opened in 1552 ; rebuilt, 1701-6. Guy the bookseller, who founded the hospital that bears his name, built and furnished three wards of this hospital ; he also gave the large iron gate and the house on each side, which cost him £3000. In the first court is a bronze statue of Edward VI. by Scheemakers. The income of the hospital is about £25,000 a-year, and between 50,000 and 60,000 patients are annually treated. An arrangement has been made with the authorities of this hospital by the committee of the “ Nightingale fund” for educating women as hospital nurses, who, on the satisfactory completion of one year's training, will be considered eligible to receive appointments as nurses in other hospitals. As shewing the value of land in this part, it may be mentioned that? the hospital sold the site of two houses to the city at the rate of £70,000 an acre. This hospital has lately been sold to the Charing Cross Railway Company, which required part of the site, but was obliged to take the whole. It will be pulled down and