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Archives in London and the M25 area

London Fever Hospital

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0074 H71/LF
Held at: London Metropolitan Archives
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Full title: London Fever Hospital
Date(s): 1801-1975
Level of description: Sub fonds
Extent: c20 linear metres.
Name of creator(s): The Institution for the Cure and Prevention of Contagious Fevers
London Fever Hospital
Royal Free Hospital, Liverpool Road Branch


Administrative/Biographical history:

The London Fever Hospital (LFH) was founded in 1802 at 2 Constitution Row, Gray's Inn Lane, just north of Guilford Street, under the official title of The Institution for the Cure and Prevention of Contagious Fevers. It had 15 beds, and was staffed by three nurses, a medical officer, an apothecary and a porter. Typhus was the main disease treated, but smallpox and scarlet fever were also prominent. The Hospital admitted 550 patients in its first two years, and also cleaned and fumigated their homes. In 1815 the Hospital moved to take over a parochial smallpox hospital on the site of what is now King's Cross station. At that time it had 60 beds, and 60 more were added later. By 1842 the hospital was admitting about 1500 patients a year with typhus and malignant scarlet fever. The fee for treatment was 2 2s, unless the patient had a subscriber's letter, in which case it was free. Admission was restricted to servants and the 'decent poor', paupers were sent to the workhouses and houses of recovery. The wealthier patients were nursed in their own homes. In 1849 the hospital moved once more, to its permanent site, a 200 bed building with over four acres of land in Liverpool Road, Islington. A succession of well known physicians were on the staff, including Sir William Jenner, who was assistant physician from 1855-1861 and the epidemiologist, Charles Murchison was successively assistant physician, physician and consulting physician from 1856-1879.

In the twentieth century, as many of the infectious diseases of the past began to pose less of a threat to public health, the LFH took on more of the work of a general hospital. By 1938 the isolation block was no longer required and was replaced by a private wing, raising the number of beds to 209. During World War Two beds at the LFH were allocated for casualties from hospitals that had been damaged in air raids. The Royal Free Hospital was allocated 100, and the City of London Maternity Hospital was given 30. In 1948 the LFH joined the Royal Free Group and became the Royal Free Hospital, Liverpool Road Branch. It contained 130 beds for general cases, though the wards were actually used for obstetric, gynaecological and pediatric cases, apart from 23 additional beds in the private wing. In order to perpetuate the name of the LFH, the remainder of the hospital's funds, about 10,000 was used to establish the London Fever Hospital Research Fund, used specifically for research into the prevention and treatment of infectious diseases. The Liverpool Road site was closed in 1974, but the Royal Free still has a Liverpool Road Division, on the Pond Street site, specialising in women and childrens' services.


Scope and content/abstract:

Records of the London Fever Hospital, Islington, latterly the Liverpool Road branch of the Royal Free Hospital, 1801-1975 comprising:

Administrative records, 1801-1948; notably Annual Reports, 1815-1931; Committee Minutes, 1801-1947 (volume for 1815-1818 lost); Sub-Committee minutes, 1835-1847, 1880-1929; Secretary's letter books, 1914-1920 and correspondence files, 1937-1956, register of employees, 1917-1924, 1936-1939; House Director's minutes, 1858-1940; Visitor's Book, 1928-1940.

Financial records, including Capital Dividend Accounts, 1887-1921; records of Monthly expenditure, 1918-1949; salaries, 1932-1944; papers on legacies and bequests to LFH, 1880-1947, including copies of wills in which there were bequests to the Hospital; Subscriptions and Donations Register, 1932-1937 and papers of Development Committee on appeal for funds, 1936-1939

Nursing records, including Trained Nurses Registers, 1920-1945; Register of Probationers, 1920-1939; Register of voluntary and part-time staff, 1939-1945; inventory of linen and bedding, 1881-1907

Patient records including reports of Resident Medical Officer, 1824-1825, 1875-1886, 1928-1934; Patients Admission and Discharge Registers, 1837-1874, 1880-1888, 1896-1911, 1916-1938; Death Registers, 1849-1853, 1864, 1867-1869; Consultant's books, 1921-1938, containing patient notes organised by Consultant, Dr Charles Box, Sir John Broadbent, Dr William Hunter, Dr C Lakin, and Sir William Willcox; Anaesthetic registers, 1955-1975

World War Two records including Air Raid Casualty Records, 1943-1944; Casualty List, 1940; Operating Theatre Record Books (air raid casualties), 1940-1944

Press Cuttings, 1882-1948 (4 vols)

Albums (2 vols) containing blocks and photographs, 1934-1942;

City of London Maternity Hospital: correspondence, accounts, minutes of finance committee and weekly board, including details of proposed 'regionalisation' of London maternity services, 1941-1948.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

Papers are arranged according to originating department.

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 is held by the depositor.

Finding aids:

Please see online catalogues at:

Archival Information

Archival history:

The original collection of records was transferred from the hospital in 1974, and an additional selection added in 1987 from the London Metropolitan Archives following the demolition of the Liverpool Road building. The records were transferred along with the Royal Free Hospital and associated collections from the Royal Free Hospital Archives Centre to London Metropolitan Archives in 2013.

Immediate source of acquisition:

Deposited in December 2013.

Allied Materials

Related material:

National Register of Archives: Click here to view NRA record

Publication note:

An Illustrated History of the Royal Free Hospital by Lynne A Amidon, published by the Special Trustees of the Royal Free Hospital, London, 1996, contains material on the other hospitals in the Royal Free Group.

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Compiled, Jan 2001, revised by Alan Kucia as part of the RSLP AIM 25 Project.

Rules or conventions:
General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), 2nd edition, 2001. National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:
Created 30 Jan 2001, revised Nov 2001 and May 2014.

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