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London Metropolitan Archives



Reference code(s): GB 0074 CLC/123

Held at: London Metropolitan Archives


Date(s): 1872-1995

Level of description: Collection

Extent: 85 production units.

Name of creator(s): Metropolitan Hospital Sunday Fund


Administrative/Biographical history:

On 21 November 1872, the Treasurers of London Hospitals met in the London Tavern in Bishopsgate to discuss how the voluntary hospitals in London could find enough money to remain in existence. They decided that the principal of a Hospital Sunday should be adopted and set up a committee chaired by the Lord Mayor of London to carry this out. The Lord Mayor was asked to preside over a public meeting of leading clergymen of all denominations in the Egyptian Hall at the Mansion House in London on 16 January 1873. This meeting adopted the resolution "That the success attending Hospital Sunday in many of the provincial towns makes it desirable that a similar annual collection should be made in all places of worship in the metropolis on behalf of the medical charities". The collections made on Hospital Sunday would be administered by a Fund which soon became known as the Metropolitan Hospital Sunday Fund.

An annually elected Council of both lay and clerical members was established by the meeting and it was given the power to appoint the annual Committee of Distribution. It was also suggested that the Lord Mayor should be the permanent President and Treasurer of the Fund and that Annual Meetings should be convened by him. This has been the case ever since and all Annual Meetings have been held in the Mansion House.

The first Hospital Sunday collections took place on 15 June 1873 and a total of nearly 26,000 was contributed. Each year since then Hospital Sunday has been held on a nominated date, usually the First Sunday after Trinity. Over the years the support from places of worship has decreased. However, the Fund has been able to build up an investment income by capitalising on the many bequests it has received. Street collections were introduced in 1936.

The Fund distributed grants to the voluntary hospitals and dispensaries right up to the time of the foundation of the National Health Service in 1948. Thereafter the Fund felt that it could no longer make grants to hospitals which were financed from statutory sources. However, it decided to continue to make grants to independent hospitals and homes which had not been taken into the National Health Service, and to medical charities and organisations. It also made grants to National Health Service hospitals in the form of Samaritan Funds.

The Samaritan Funds were for the use of Hospital Social Workers in National Health Hospitals to enable them to provide in-patients and out-patients with items not normally available from statutory sources. In 1980 Special Reserve Fund grants were introduced which allowed Social Workers to obtain for patients amounts too large to be met from Samaritan Funds. Longstay/Geriatric Holiday grants were also introduced.

In 1981 the Fund introduced Specific Purpose grants for independent hospitals and homes which enabled applicants to request help with a wide range of requirements. It also enabled the Fund to support a particular project or individual rather than make a grant which was just set against general running expenses.

Until 1974, the official address of the Metropolitan Hospital Sunday Fund was the Mansion House in the City of London, although from 1906 the Fund had had offices at 18 Queen Victoria Street. In March 1974 the Fund moved out of the City to 206B Station Road, Edgware, Middlesex on the demolition of the Queen Victoria Street premises. The Fund moved again in November 1982 to 40 High Street, Teddington, Middlesex.

In 1995, the Fund's administration was reorganised and brought under the wing of the Peabody Trust to whose premises the Fund relocated.


Scope and content/abstract:

Records of the Metropolitan Hospital Sunday Fund. The archive comprises: minutes and meetings papers of the Council, annual general meetings and various committees, 1872-1984 (Mss 30585, 30587-94); annual reports and accounts, 1873-1994 (Ms 30586); other financial records, 1934/5 (Ms 30595); correspondence and papers, including papers concerning bequests, 1871-ca 1989 (Ms 30596-609, 616); posters (Ms 30610); and photographs with associated papers, 1959-95 (Ms 30611-15).


Language/scripts of material: English

System of arrangement:

The records have been sorted into an order which reflects divisions between the different functions and operations of the organisation and its administration.

Conditions governing access:

These records are available for public inspection, although records containing personal information may be subject to access restrictions.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copyright to these records rests with the depositor.

Finding aids:

Please see online catalogues at:


Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Deposited by the Fund in the Manuscripts Section of Guildhall Library on 2 October 1995. The Guildhall Library Manuscripts Section merged with the London Metropolitan Archives in 2009.


DESCRIPTION NOTES 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: June to August 2010.

Budget contributions | Financing | Finance
Charities administration | Charities | Charitable organisations | Associations | Organizations
Charity accounts | Charity records | Documents | Information sources
Fundraising | Financing | Finance
Hospitals | Health services
Medical charities | Charities | Charitable organisations | Associations | Organizations
Fundraising x Budget contributions
Medical institutions
Nonprofit organizations

Personal names

Corporate names
Metropolitan Hospital Sunday Fund

London | England | UK | Western Europe | Europe