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Early hospitals founded during the medieval period

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


Physicians and Surgeons Act 1511

Physicians made petitions for regulation in the 15th century, leading to the Physicians and Surgeons Act.


The College of Physicians of London

The College of Physicians of London (later Royal College of Physicians of London) was established by a Royal Charter from King Henry VIII.


Hospital closures following the dissolution of the monastries

The dissolution of the monasteries had an impact on the network of hospitals, leper houses and almshouses that had developed around religious institutions.


Professional regulation of barbers and surgeons

The Company of Barbers and Surgeons was formed when the Fellowship of Surgeons merged with the Barbers' Company.


Hospitals refounded and a move towards unified administration

The citizens of London petitioned King Henry VIII to allow them to re-establish some hospitals.


The Poor Law 1601

Legislation required parishes to levy a 'poor rate' to fund financial support for those who could not work, dependent on the residential qualification of living locally.


The Worshipful Society of Apothecaries of London

Early regulation and the establishment of a professional body for apothecaries, the forerunners of general practitioners.


The voluntary hospital movement

While the church had driven the establishment of hospitals until the 18th century, thereafter modern philanthropy dominated.