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London Metropolitan Archives



Reference code(s): H09/GY

Held at: London Metropolitan Archives


Date(s): 1617-1996

Level of description: sub-fonds

Extent: 285.23 linear metres

Name of creator(s): Guy's Hospital


Administrative/Biographical history:

Guy's Hospital was the result of a project developed by Thomas Guy, a Governor of Saint Thomas' Hospital, between 1722 and 1724. His intention was to build a hospital for 'incurables'. A lease was granted to him by Saint Thomas', for land on the south side of St. Thomas' Street, and the original building was completed by the time that Guy died on 27 December 1724.

The new hospital was provided for in Guy's will, proved on 4 January 1725. It named nine trustees for the bequest, who were to be incorporated by Act of Parliament together with fifty one others as the Governors of the Hospital.

Accordingly, "An Act for Incorporating the Executors of the Last Will and Testament of Thomas Guy, late of the City of London, Esquire; Deceased, and others, in Order to the better management and Disposition of the Charities given by his said Last Will" was passed in 1725. The corporate body of Governors was established, to be known as 'the President and Governors of the Hospital founded at the sole costs and charges of Thomas Guy Esquire', in which was vested the property which Thomas Guy bequeathed in his will.

The first sixty patients were admitted to the Hospital on 6 January 1725. The hospital originally had capacity for 435 patients, but the need for more space quickly arose. Consequently, the original buildings were added to after 1738, when the East Wing was begun. The West Wing, containing the chapel, was built between 1774 and 1780. Hunt's House, funded by a bequest, was built in 1852 and added to in 1871.

A Committee of Governors was appointed by the General Court to report on the management of the Hospital in June 1896. The subsequent report, produced on 28 October 1896, recommended the establishment of the House, Estates, Finance and Staff and School Committees.

An Act for conferring further powers on the President and Governors of Guy's Hospital, known as the Guy's Hospital Act 1898, amended the Act of 1725. It empowered the General Court to make bye-laws fixing the number of Governors and to elect new governors.

The National Health Service Act was passed in 1946, and Guy's was transferred to the possession of the Ministry of Health on 5 July 1948. The administration of the Hospital was transferred from the General Court to a new Board of Governors, appointed by the Minister for Health.


Scope and content/abstract:

The records of Guy's Hospital document the administration of the Hospital from its foundation in 1725, but also include personal papers of the founder, Thomas Guy, and items relating to endowments and estates some of which predate the foundation of the Hospital. The general administrative records include minutes, reports, correspondence and architectural plans and there are also extensive records relating to patients' administration. In addition, there are staff records, finance, library and museum items, photographs and some more miscellaneous series, such as documents used by H.C. Cameron for his book Mr Guy's Hospital 1726-1948 and the records of the chaplain.


Language/scripts of material: English

System of arrangement:

This collection is arranged in ten sections according to a classification scheme for hospital records: minute books and general administration (A), patients' administration (B), matron's office and nursing staff (C), finance and accounts (D), endowments (E), the Cameron portfolios (T), clinical records (W), library list (Lib), photographs and prints (ph) and miscellaneous (Y).

Conditions governing access:

These records are available for public inspection, although records containing personal information are subject to access restrictions under the UK Data Protection Act, 1998.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copyright: Depositor

Physical characteristics:


Finding aids:

Please see online catalogues at:


Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information:


Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:



Existence and location of originals:

Existence and location of copies:

Related material:

Guy's Hospital Medical School records are held by King's College London and include prints, registers and other historic material.

Publication note:

Mr Guy's Hospital 1726-1948 by HC Cameron (London: Longmans, Green and Co, 1954).



Rules or conventions: Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions: February 2009

Charitable foundations | Charities | Charitable organisations | Associations | Organizations
Hospital administration | Hospitals | Health services
Hospital finance | Hospitals | Health services
Hospital patients | People by roles | People
Medical education | Higher science education
Medical history | Personal history | History
Public hospitals | Hospitals | Health services
Medical institutions
Nonprofit organizations

Personal names
Guy | Thomas | 1645?-1724 | Founder of Guy's Hospital

Corporate names
Guy's Hospital

Hertfordshire | England | UK | Western Europe | Europe
Southwark | London | England | UK | Western Europe | Europe