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The first medical colleges

The London Hospital Medical College was the first purpose-built medical college in England.

14 May 1796

Discovery of vaccination

Edward Jenner, a British scientist, discovered that vaccinations could be a way of preventing disease.


Apothecaries Act 1815

This Act transferred responsibility of organising medical training to the Society of Apothecaries.


The Royal Free Hospital

In 1828 William Marsden, a surgeon, founded the Royal Free as a hospital free to all.

August 1834

Workhouses and the Poor Law Amendment Act 1834

Legislation limited access to assistance provided outside of workhouses and the government introduced deterrent conditions in workhouses.


1836 Registration Act

Legislation established the General Register Office and a new system of national registration of births, marriages and deaths to take effect from 1837.


The Poor Law Commission's fifth annual report

The report concluded that the prevalence of disease was directly linked to the substandard living conditions experienced by the poor in London.


1840 Act to Extend the Practice of Vaccination

Legislation permitted Poor Law guardians to appoint medical officers to vaccinate people at the public expense.


Report on the sanitary conditions of the labouring population of Great Britain

Renowned as a social reformer, Edwin Chadwick undertook an investigation into sanitation and made recommendations on improving living standards.