TitleRecords of St Bartholomew's Hospital
DescriptionRecords of St Bartholomew's Hospital, 1137-, comprising records of Committees, 1526-1974, including minutes of the Board of Governors, 1549-1974; Treasurer and Almoners' minute books, 1838-1948; order books, 1653-1739; Finance Committee, 1908-1945; meetings of the Treasurer, Almoners and Medical Council, 1891-1902; papers and minutes relating to Hospital buildings and extensions, 1891-1938; minutes and papers of the Executive and Finance Committee, 1948-1974; minutes of the Joint Pathological Committee, 1952-1970; Planning Committee, 1943-1969; Voluntary Board of Governors, 1952-1973; Estates Committee, 1957-1974; Medical Establishment Committee, 1949-1974; Accounts' Committee, 1948-1970; Joint Research Board, 1961-1968; Treasurers' Post-War Planning Committee, 1943-1955; Research Committee, 1953-1960;

estates records, 1137-[1976], including title deeds and charters, 1137-20th century; letters patent, 1265-1612; papal bulls, [1175], 1306; deeds relating to Hospital property, [1170]-20th century; cartularies of St Bartholomew's Hospital, compiled [1418]-1695, containing copies of deeds of Hospital properties; papers concerning London property destroyed in the Great Fire of London, 1667-1713; rentals, 1758-1932; view and survey books, reports and related papers, 1587-1909; Surveyors' reports, 1841-1936; plans and plan book, 1587-[1990]; manorial court rolls, court books and rentals of the manor of Lovehurst, Staplehurst, Kent, 1579-1815; papers relating to the administration of the Lovehurst estate, [1600-1828]; papers relating to the parish of Christchurch Newgate Street, 1670-1880; papers relating to income from tithes, 1643-1941; records of the Estates Office, [1885]-1975, including papers concerning property in London, Hospital buildings, including plans and maps, renting of properties, minutes of the Executive and Finance Committee (Estates), 1939-1970;

financial records, 1547-1985, including Treasurers' ledgers, 1547-1764; 'rentals' or receivers' accounts, 1551-1827, comprising property rent accounts; rental of property burnt in the Great Fire of London, 1667; Treasurers' cash books, 1642-1658, 1730-1748; general receipt books, 1731-1784; Land tax receipt books, 1733-1749; salary accounts and receipt books, 1645-1729, including inventories of hospital goods, 1557-1558, 1593-1597; provision account books, 1725-1743, 1773-1784; wills and related documents concerning legacies to the Hospital, 1583-1759; abstracts of general accounts, 1781-1904; general account books, 1828-1901; records of the Finance Department, 1791-1972, including papers relating to special funds, grants, bequests, endowments, legacies, prizes and appeals, 1791-1972; papers relating to the Samaritan Fund, 1852-1949; papers concerning property tax and rates, 1804-1941; staff, 1800-1953; rents, 1905-1950;

administrative records 1547-1976, including letter books and correspondence, 1801-1939; papers relating to staff and Governors, 1547-1984; rules and orders of the Hospital, 1557-1971; lists of staff, 1547-1960; lists of Governors, 1827-1946; papers relating to the Second World War, 1927-1943; Buck 'feast books' (Anniversary Dinner), 1684-1903; papers relating to building work on the hospital site, 1713-1771, mainly concerning rebuilding from 1730; papers relating to the treatment of soldiers and sailors, 1666-1719; papers relating to the City of London and the Greater London Council, 1782-1958; papers concerning the 1974 NHS reorganisation, 1965-1970; papers relating to legal case brought by the Churchwardens of St Bartholomew the Less concerning income, 1669-1670; records relating to the legal dispute between St Bartholomew's, the City of London and Christ's Hospital, 1539-1782 (the 'case of the 500 marks'); records relating to other hospitals, 1876-1971;

records of the Cardiology Department, 1920-1947; Ophthalmic Department, 1917-1921; Radiology Department, previously the Electrical Department, 1897-1961, including correspondence, 1930-1961; papers relating to equipment, 1927-1961; staff, 1923-1961; patients' treatment, 1917-1940; deep x-ray therapy, 1920-1940; records of operating theatres, 1921-1987, including gynaecology registers, 1936-1986; general surgery registers, 1928-1986; registers of orthopaedic surgery, 1931-1986; ear, nose and throat surgery, 1932-1986; gastroscopy and bronchoscopy, 1937-1939; plastic surgery, 1937-1938; ophthalmic surgery, 1937-1986; dental surgery, 1938-1986; daily operating lists, 1921-1935; records of the Pathology Department, 1867-1962, including surgical post mortem registers, 1867-1936; histology and post mortem reports, 1924-1935; registers of complete cases, medical and medical post mortem registers, 1867-1936; surgical pathological registers, 1899-1935;

medical records, 1735-1985, including admission registers for male and female patients, 1818-1971; registers of deaths, 1762-1979; patients' medical and surgical records, including case notes, 1835-1928; midwifery registers, case notes, case books and delivery registers, 1892-1985; records relating to out-patients, 1735-1954; records relating to Casualty patients, 1927-1978; registers of burials of patients in the Hospital burial ground, 1744-1849; papers of the Medical Records Officer, 1827-1951; patients' records relating to radium and X-ray treatment, 1919-1934; records relating to blood donors and blood transfusion, 1938-1951; drawings of eyes from the Ophthalmic Department, 1840-1891; records relating to in-patients, 1821-1961; records of the Department of Anaesthetics, 1917-1939; records of the Cancer Department, 1933-1962; records of the Skin Department, 1907-1924; records of the Patients' Service Department, 1939-1974; ward register books, 1967-1991;

records of the Almoners'/ Social Work Department, 1927-1954; Dietetic Department, 1921-[1980]; Physiotherapy Department, 1912-1973, including patients registers, 1948-1964, papers relating to the development of the Department, 1912-1973, including the establishment of a school for massage, 1912-1918; records of the Dispensary, later Pharmacy, 1836-1960, including account books for drugs, ward stock and drug books; papers concerning penicillin and streptomycin, 1946-1958 and anaesthetics, 1875-1942; pharmacopoeias of St Bartholomew's Hospital, 1768-1953, comprising manuscript pharmacopoeias, 1768-[1930s] and printed pharmacopoeias, 1865-1953; records of the Department of the Curator of Instruments, 1910-1954, including requisition books for supply and repair of equipment and instruments, 1929-1951;

records of the Clerk of the Works, [1730]-1955, including papers relating to the maintenance of buildings, supplies and services; correspondence and claims for war damage, [1945]; records of the Catering Department, 1886-1965; Laundry Department, 1921-1968; records of the Steward's Office, 1894-1968;

records of Matron's Office and nursing, [1800]-1984, including matrons' report books, 1880-1975, containing weekly reports from the Matron concerning the nursing staff; matrons' weekly reports of nursing staff, 1929-1964; records relating to staff, 1877-1939; annual nursing reports, 1911-1956; minutes and papers of the Nursing Advisory Committee, 1948-1972; Nurse Education Committee, 1962-1973; records relating to probationer nurses' training, 1893-1944; office papers and correspondence of Matrons, 1910-1949; registers and records of nurses and probationer nurses, [1862]-1984; records of the Trained Nurses Institution of St Bartholomew's Hospital, 1886-1948, including printed rules for nurses, 1887-1928; registers of nurses, 1886-1899, 1906-1932; registers of employers who engaged nurses from the Institution, 1917-1927; terms of agreement between the Institution and employers of nurses, 1931-[1940s]; letters of appreciation from employers, 1922-1932; financial records, 1886-1948;

records of the Pathology Museum, 1832-1945, including catalogues of specimens in the Museum, 1831-1945; descriptions and case histories of specimens in the Museum, [1832-1945].
Date1137 - 2018
Related MaterialSBHBP includes some miscellaneous records relating to the Priory of St Bartholomew

SBHX8 includes photographs of and originating in the hospital
SBHX15 includes postcards of the hospital
SBHX11-18 include photographs and postcards of the hospital
SBHX19 consists of newspapers and cuttings concerning the hospital and its surroundings, including reports and advertisements of Bartholomew Fair, meetings of the Governors, staff appointments, sales of property by the hospital etc
SBHX119 - films produced by the Orthopaedic Department, c.1930s-1940s, are held at the Wellcome Library. Contact the Wellcome Library for details.

Records of the Hill End and Cell Barnes Hospitals, to which St Bartholomew's patients and services were evacuated during the war, and which continued to be used by the hospital until the 1960s, are held at Hertfordshire Archives and Local Studies. The catalogues can be searched online through the website
Hill End is catalogued under HM1 and Cell Barnes under HM2.

Item relating to the seizure of lands and endowments of St Bartholomew's Prior and Hospital by Henry VIII in the records of the Chancery Special Commission 'to enter and take seisin of the lands and possessions of colleges and chantries', and returns relating to the same held at The National Archives, reference C 47/7/3/5.

SBHJ/HA/34/2: Papers relating to a teaching hospitals association with St Bartholomew's Hospital, 1966-1969

SBHJ/HA/37/1: Correspondence relating to the proposed extension of St Bartholomew's Hospital Central Sterile Services Department to Hackney Hospital, 1971-1972

SBHMS/SU: Records of the Amalgamated Clubs, Students Union and medical student clubs, societies and recreation

RLHBL/A/20/1/4; 5-7: .Staff records for staff at the Barts NHS Group (1991-1994)
Administrative historySt Bartholomew's Hospital was founded, with the Priory of St Bartholomew, in 1123 by Rahere, a former courtier of Henry I. A vow made while sick on a pilgrimage to Rome, and a vision of St Bartholomew, inspired Rahere to found a priory and a hospital for the sick poor at Smithfield in London. Rahere was the first Prior of the Priory of Austin Canons in Smithfield and supervised the Hospital House. In 1170 a layman Adam the Mercer was given charge of the Hospital as the first Proctor and a certain amount of independence from the Priory was achieved. After 1170 grants were received by the Hospital, which attracted valuable endowments of property. However, relations with the Priory remained problematic throughout the medieval period. There were conflicts over several issues, including the admittance of brethren, lay-brethren and sisters who cared for the sick in the early medieval period. Gradually the Hospital became independent, and was using a distinctive seal from about 1200. By 1300 the title of Proctor used for the head of the Hospital was dropped in favour of Master. By 1420 the two institutions had become entirely separate. As well as caring for patients from the City of London and the country the brethren looked after small children and babies from Newgate Prison, and orphans. By the 15th century a school had been formed with a Latin master, and a night shelter for pilgrims and travellers was provided.

The Priory of St Bartholomew was closed during Henry VIII's dissolution of the monasteries in 1539, and although the Hospital was allowed to continue, its future was uncertain as it had no income. The citizens of London, concerned about the disappearance of provision for the sick poor and the possibility of plague, petitioned the King in 1538 for the grant of four hospitals in the City including St Bartholomew's. In 1546-1547 St Bartholomew's Hospital was refounded as a secular institution and a Master and Vice-Master, Curate, Hospitaller and Visitor of Newgate Prison were appointed. Henry issued a signed agreement dated December 1546 granting the Hospital to the City of London, and Letters Patent of January 1547 endowing it with properties and income, comprising most of its medieval property. Along with Bethlem, Bridewell and St Thomas', St Bartholomew's became one of four Royal Hospitals administered by the City.

In 1546 four Aldermen and eight Common Councillors of the City of London became the first Governors of the Hospital. They administered the Hospital and appointed paid officials, including a Renter-Clerk, Steward, Porter and eight Beadles. The Board of Governors also divided work amongst themselves. Four were Almoners with responsibility for admitting and discharging patients, ordering stock and checking bills. They worked closely with the Treasurer, responsible for Hospital finances. The weekly meetings of the Treasurer and Almoners developed into an executive committee in the 19th century, reporting to General Courts of the Governors, and became the Executive and Finance Committee in 1948. Other Governors were Surveyors of the Hospital buildings and property. The first professional Surveyor was appointed in 1748. Some Governors had responsibility for inspecting financial statements, and worked closely with the Treasurer and Almoners. Their meetings developed into the House Committee in the 18th century, dealing with leases, appointments and reports of the Hospital Surveyor. The House Committee met frequently and eventually came to manage the routine running of the Hospital. The General Courts of Governors were held two or three times a year. The basic constitution of the Hospital remained the same until the establishment of the National Health Service in 1948. The Medical Council was formed in 1842 to give expert advice to the Governors, and comprised all physicians and surgeons serving the Hospital.

The nursing staff on the Hospital's re-foundation consisted of a Matron and twelve Sisters, and there were also three Surgeons who had to attend the poor daily. Nurses, or "Sisters' helpers", were first recorded in 1647. Although a Physician had been provided for in the Agreement of 1546, the first Physician was not appointed until 1562. A Medical School was gradually established from the end of the 18th century, but its foundation is generally attributed to the efforts of the surgeon and lecturer John Abernethy, who in 1822 persuaded the Hospital Governors to pass a resolution giving formal recognition to the School. Bart's was one of the first hospitals in the 19th century to encourage the use of anaesthetics, making a great many more kinds of operation possible. Understanding of infection and the importance of antiseptic procedures in surgery were only gradually accepted at Bart's, but once adopted did a great deal to reduce patient mortality. The development of medical science, particularly in pathology and bacteriology, led to an increased knowledge of disease. X-rays were first used in the Hospital in 1896 and by the end of the century the first specialised departments had been established. A School of Nursing at St Bartholomew's was founded in 1877. A notable early Matron was Ethel Gordon Manson, better known as Mrs Bedford Fenwick, who encouraged a high standard of training and campaigned for the state registration of nurses.

All the medieval hospital buildings were demolished during the 18th century rebuilding programme, carried out to the designs of architect James Gibbs. The staircase leading to the Great Hall in the North Wing is decorated with two huge paintings by the artist William Hogarth. Other buildings have continued to be added as the need has arisen, including Medical College buildings, nurses' accommodation and new ward blocks.

The Hospital remained open throughout the World Wars, although during World War Two many services were evacuated to Hertfordshire and Middlesex. In 1954 it became the first hospital in the country to offer mega-voltage radiotherapy for cancer patients. Cancer services remain a speciality today. Other notable medical specialities are endocrinology and immunology (particularly HIV/AIDS), while a Day Surgery Unit and state-of-the-art operating theatres were opened in 1991 and 1993. In 2004 a dedicated Breast Care Centre opened in the refurbished West Wing and in 2007 construction of the new Hospital at Barts began. A Cancer Centre opened in 2010. In 2014 the hospital had 338 beds.

In 1948 St Bartholomew's became part of the National Health Service, within the North-East Metropolitan Region. Rather than being grouped with other hospitals within a local Hospital Management Committee (HMC), the hospital continued to be managed by a Board of Governors, sometimes known as the 'new' board of governors (not to be confused with the 'Voluntary Board' of Governors, also formed at the creation of the NHS (see SBHB/VB). The new board of governors was wound up in 1974, and some of their duties passed to the newly formed Special Trustees, while the hospital became part of the ewly-formed City and Hackney Health District.

Following re-organisation in 1974, Bart's became the teaching hospital for City and Hackney Health District, which included several other hospitals. In the late 1980s, Bart's was planning to set up a self-governing hospital trust when its future was called into question by the publication in 1992 of the Tomlinson Report of the Inquiry into the London Health Service. Bart's was not regarded as a viable hospital and its closure was recommended. The Government's response to this report (Making London Better, 1993), laid out three possible options for Bart's: closure, retention as a small specialist hospital, or merger with the Royal London Hospital and the London Chest Hospital. This produced an intense public debate and a campaign to save the Hospital on its Smithfield site.

In April 1994, after public consultation, the three hospitals merged to form the Royal Hospitals NHS Trust. In 1996, Queen Elizabeth Hospital for Children (QEH) joined the Trust and in 1998 the services of the QEH were transferred to the Royal London. The same year, the Medical Colleges of St Bartholomew's Hospital and the Royal London Hospital merged with Queen Mary and Westfield College, and as the Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry, are now part of Queen Mary University of London. In 1999, the Royal Hospitals NHS Trust was renamed Barts and The London NHS Trust, and in 2012, when Whipps Cross and Newham University Hospitals joined the grouping, the new trust became known as Barts Health NHS Trust. Supported by general medicine and community services provided by its sister hospitals, St Bartholomew's Hospital today is a specialist cardiac and cancer care centre, a recognition of its continuing innovation in these fields.

The Medical Colleges of St Bartholomew's Hospital and the Royal London Hospital merged with Queen Mary, University of London in 1989, to form the Central and East London Confederation (CELC). Following the recommendations of the Tomlinson Report (1992) and the governmental response to it (Making London Better, 1993), the colleges united with Queen Mary & Westfield College in December 1995, to become known as St Bartholomew's and The Royal London School of Medicine & Dentistry, now Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry. The records of St Bartholomew's Hospital Medical College prior to the merger are catalogued as SBHMS.
Access statusRestricted
Access ConditionsSome material is restricted. This is noted at file or item level in the catalogue.
Arrangement of the recordsThis fonds has been arranged into the following subfonds:
SBHB/AD Almoners/Social Work Department
SBHB/CA Catering Department
SBHB/CD Cardiology Department
SBHB/CI Curator of Instruments
SBHB/CR Patient Services and Medical Records Department
SBHB/CW Clerk of the Works
SBHB/DD Dietetic Department
SBHB/DI Dispensary (Pharmacy)
SBHB/EO Estate Office
SBHB/EY Ophthalmic Department
SBHB/HA Administrative
SBHB/HB Finance
SBHB/HC Estates
SBHB/LD Laundry
SBHB/MC Medical Committees and Medical Staffing
SBHB/MO Matron's Office and Nursing
SBHB/MR Medical Records
SBHB/MU Pathology Museum
SBHB/ON Cancer Department (Oncology)
SBHB/PA Pathology
SBHB/PH Physiotherapy
SBHB/PY (Radiation) Physics Department
SBHB/RD X-Ray and Radiotherapy Department
SBHB/SA Abernethian Society
SBHB/SC Cambridge Graduates Club
SBHB/SD Decennial (Contemporary) Clubs
SBHB/SF Fountain Club
SBHB/SG Nurses Games Club
SBHB/SL League of Nurses
SBHB/SN Student Nurses Association
SBHB/SO Steward's Office
SBHB/SP Paget Club
SBHB/SU Students' Union and Amalgamated Clubs
SBHB/TA Territorial Army Nursing Service, 1st London General Hospital (St Bartholomew's)
SBHB/TH Operating Theatre registers
SBHB/TN Trained Nurses Institution
SBHB/TS Speech Therapy Department
SBHB/WO Works Department/Superintendent of Works
SBHB/XT Copies and extracts of archival material held elsewhere
ExtentApproximately 2108 volumes, 202 boxes and 10 map drawers
LanguageEnglish; Latin
Add to My Items

    Showcase items

    A list of our latest and most exciting new items.