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Identity Statement

Reference code(s): H05/M
Held at: London Metropolitan Archives
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Date(s): 1783-1955
Level of description: Collection
Extent: 5.5 linear metres
Name of creator(s): Miller General Hospital


Administrative/Biographical history:

The hospital later known as the Miller General Hospital was founded in 1783 as the Kent Dispensary, and housed initially in a house in the Broadway, Deptford. In 1837, at an Anniversary Dinner presided over by the Duke of Wellington, it was announced that Queen Victoria had agreed to become the patroness of the dispensary, and the name was accordingly changed to the Royal Kent Dispensary. In 1851 the dispensary was given notice to quit the house in Deptford. A site in Greenwich Road was purchased, and the new building was completed in 1855.

In 1883 the Governors of the Charity decided that it would be fitting to celebrate the centenary of the dispensary by the addition of hospital accommodation, which was badly needed in the area. This scheme was amalgamated with that of the Miller Memorial Committee, who had combined on the death of the Rev. Canon Miller, founder of Hospital Sunday, to institute a fitting memorial to him. He had, at the time of his death, been Vicar of Greenwich, and had worked hard in support of the dispensary. The foundation stone was laid in August 1883, and accounts of the occasion published in 'The Times' and 'The Kentish Mercury' can be read in H05/M/Y/02/1, page 171 ff., and in the Minute Book H05/M/A/01/3. The ceremony was followed by a dinner at which a collection was taken which was to form the basis of an endowment fund for the hospital.

The new hospital, built in the grounds of the dispensary, and known as the Miller Memorial Hospital, was opened in 1884. It was the first hospital in Great Britain to have circular wards. These were supposed, among other things, to allow for better ventilation, there being no corners for harbouring stale air and germs. Their cause was championed by Professor John Marshall, President of the Royal College of Surgeons, who had studied the phenomenon abroad. In 1908 the hospital became known as the Miller General Hospital for South East London. In 1912 a surgical block was started, in 1929 the Robinson wing was founded and in the 1930's the outpatient department. In 1928 there were 151 beds, 167 in 1935, 172 in 1937 and 180 in 1947. After 1948 the hospital was taken over by the National Health Service. It was closed at the end of 1974.


Scope and content/abstract:

Records of the Miller General Hospital, including Governors and Board of Management minutes, 1828-1948; Medical Council minutes, 1913-1928; Nursing Committee minutes, 1928-1948; annual reports, 1870-1948; file of correspondence and administrative papers relating to the purchase of 4 St. Johns Park, Blackheath, and its conversion to a Preliminary Training School for Nurses, 1945-1948; registers of patients, 1904-1945; Matron's report book, 1927-1948; staff registers, 1933-1951; salaries and wages books, 1921-1944 and history of the hospital, 1893.

Also financial accounts of the Kent Dispensary, 1783-1856.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

These records are arranged according to a classification scheme for hospital records: General Hospital Administration (A), Patients' Administration (B), Finance Office (D), Endowments (E), Related Documentation (Y) and Prints and Photographs (PH).

Conditions governing access:

These records are open to public inspection, although under section 5(4) of the 1958 Public Records Act administrative records are closed for 30 years and patient records for 100 years.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copyright: Depositor

Finding aids:

Please see online catalogues at:

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

AC/74/085, ACC/3720

Allied Materials

Related material:

For further details on the early history of the hospital the reader is referred to H05/M/Y/02/1. Among the records of the King Edward's Hospital Fund for London, A/KE/253 BOX 9 (5) is a file on applications to the fund for money by the Miller General Hospital between 1907 and 1926. The material includes reports on conditions and facilities at the hospital; the proposed extension of the hospital in 1907; discussion of the possibility of amalgamation with the Dreadnought Hospital, Greenwich, and a study of hospital accommodation in South East London with special reference to the Miller General Hospital.

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:

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

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