Monday, October 14, 2013

St. Thomas Hospital

St. Thomas the apostle Hospital, located across the Thames in Southward, was founded as a place to tend to the needy and sick of London. It was probably as part of the Priory of St. Mary Overie Southwark.

St. Thomas had been founded around 1106, and was known as The Hospital of St. Thomas the Martyr, having been named after St. Thomas Becket after his death in 1173.

In 1207 or 1212 the priory was destroyed by fire. It was rebuilt and remodeled in 1215 by Peter De Rupibus, Bishop of Winchester, whose foundation was for canons regular.

In the early 15th century Lord Mayor Richard Whittington made a new chamber of eight beds for young women who had done ‘amiss in trust of a good amendment’.

Following the dissolution of the Priory in 1540 the hospital passed to the city of London and soon became independent.

It was reopened as a hospital in 1552, and acquired the new name of St. Thomas the Apostle Hospital, because Becket had been decanonized.

Medical teaching of a sort took place for centuries but it was not systematized until the eight century. The first apprentice to a surgeon is recorded in 1561.

The ancient hospital was rebuilt in 1693 and afterwards so great enlarged and particularly by a splendid new building, in 1732. Florence Nightingale founded the Nightingale School and Home for nurses at St. Thomas’ Hospital in 1860.

A vast new edifice was opened in 1871 thus revolutionized the nursing profession.

The hospital was rebuilt in the 18th and 19th centuries but was forced to move away when the railways were constructed over part of its land.

In 1862 the hospital moved to temporary accommodation, until the present site by Westminster Bridge was opened in 1871.
St. Thomas Hospital

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