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The Royal Free Hospital

The Royal Free Hospital was founded in 1828 by William Marsden, a surgeon.

Allegedly, he had discovered a young girl dying on the streets because she could not afford medical attention and did not have a letter of recommendation which would allow admittance. The experience prompted him to open a hospital based on need, which would be free to all.

The hospital was originally called the London General Institution for the Gratuitous Cure of Malignant Diseases and opened as a dispensary without inpatient beds. Its name changed to the London Free Hospital and then later the Royal Free in 1837 when Queen Victoria became a patron.


The National Archives.
Royal Free Hospital: The archives of the Royal Free Hospital, London.
The National Archives; nd.