Hospitals and Healthcare Providers

Event

The first hospitals emerged following the Norman conquest in 1066

It has been traditionally thought that the first hospitals in England emerged following the Norman conquest.

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Event

St Bartholomew’s Hospital was founded in London – this hospital was one of the first to be established in Europe in 1123

Rahere, a courtier of Henry I, established the Priory of St Bartholomew and St Bartholomew’s Hospital for the sick poor in Smithfield, London in 1123 following a pilgrimage to Rome.

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Event

St Thomas’s Hospital was named for Thomas the Martyr in 1173

An infirmary attached to the Augustinian Priory of St Mary the Virgin assumed the name of St Thomas the Martyr after his canonisation in 1173.

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Event

England’s first hospital for those with mental illness was established in 1247

In 1247, the Priory of St Mary of Bethlehem was founded to deal with sick paupers. The hospital would become the first hospital for the mentally ill in England, becoming known as Bedlam.

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Legislation

The Suppression of the Monasteries Act was passed in 1539

Following the refusal of the Pope to grant Henry VIII a divorce from Catherine of Aragon (his first wife), Henry created the Church of England through the Act of Supremacy in 1534.

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Event

The citizens of London petitioned Henry VIII to give them permission to re-establish hospitals in London and in 1544 St Bartholomew’s hospital was refounded

Following the dissolution of the monasteries, the sick and disabled people who had been housed and helped by the church lost their support structure.

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Event

Additional hospitals were refounded under Edward VI and the City of London moved towards unified administration of the Royal Hospitals

St Thomas’s Hospital was refounded in 1551 by Edward VI and two new hospitals were opened, including Christ’s Hospital in 1552, for orphan children of poor Londoners, and Bridewell Palace

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