AIM25 : Click here to go back to the AIM25 homepage
Archives in London and the M25 area


Identity Statement

Reference code(s): H33/RCH
Held at: London Metropolitan Archives - click here to see details of the physical location of collection
Date(s): 1825-1940
Level of description: subfonds
View parent record
Extent: 2.45 linear metres
Name of creator(s): Royal Chest Hospital


Administrative/Biographical history:

The Royal Chest Hospital was founded in 1814 as the Infirmary for Asthma, Consumption and other Diseases of the Lungs by Dr Isaac Buxton of the London Hospital, with the support of the Duke of Kent and the Duke of Sussex. It opened in a house, no. 36 Union Street (now Brushfield Street), in Spitalfields, later the Prince Albert Public House. In 1833 the hospital moved to 10 Artillery Street, Spitalfields. The affairs of the hospital reached a low ebb with the resignation of its physician, Dr Francis Ramadge, and lack of money prevented it from admitting in-patients. In 1848 Queen Victoria's patronage was secured whereupon the hospital became known as the Royal Infirmary for Asthma, Consumption and other Diseases of the Lungs. After two or three years in temporary accommodation at 4 Dean Street, Finsbury Square, it moved to City Road in 1850, where it reopened to in-patients under the name of the Royal Infirmary for Asthma, Consumption and other Diseases of the Chest. Its name was shortened in 1859 to the Royal Infirmary for Diseases of the Chest.;In 1863 the hospital acquired its first purpose built premises in City Road. These were extended by the addition of a new outpatients department in 1863, a new ward block in 1886, and a nurses' home in 1900. In 1867 the hospital adopted a new constitution and changed its name again to become the Royal Hospital for Diseases of the Chest. The Department for the Prevention of Consumption was established in 1912. The hospital entered into agreements with the Metropolitan Boroughs of Finsbury, Islington and Shoreditch, whereby a tuberculosis dispensary at the Royal Chest Hospital treated patients from Finsbury, Shoreditch and the southern part of Islington.

The hospital adopted yet another name in 1919 becoming the Royal Chest Hospital. At the same time, constrained by lack of space for expansion and financial difficulties, the governors entered into negotiations with the Great Northern Central Hospital, Holloway Road, leading to the amalgamation of the two hospitals in 1921. The work of the Royal Chest Hospital continued as before in City Road, but the hospital was now administered from the Great Chest (renamed the Royal Northern) Hospital. The intention of moving the Royal Chest Hospital to a separate block of the rebuilt Royal Northern Hospital remained unfulfilled on the outbreak of war in 1939. In 1941 the Royal Chest Hospital was badly damaged by combing. Although outpatient work at the hospital continued, it was no longer able to admit in-patients. In 1948 it became part of the National Health Service as one of the Northern Group of hospitals under the authority of the North West Metropolitan Regional Hospital Board. The hospital closed in 1954.


Scope and content/abstract:

Records of the Royal Chest Hospital, 1825-1940, including minutes, annual reports, registers of sisters, nurses and servants, regulations for staff, registers of subscribers and donors, visitors books and publications.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

The records are arranged as follows: A = Administration, C = Staff Records, D = Finacial Records, Y = Related Documentation.

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:

Acc/2180, Acc/2210, Acc/2934

Allied Materials

Related material:

Publication note:

For further information on the history of the hospital, see articles written by Dr Norah H. Schuster, pathologist to the Royal Chest Hospital 1927-1954, and her copious notes (ref.: Acc/2180).

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

Related Subject Search

* To search for other records with similar subjects, tick any subjects above then click "Run New Search"

Related Personal Name Search

* To search for other records with similar names, tick any names above then click "Run New Search"

Related Corporate Name Search

* To search for other records with similar names, tick any names above then click "Run New Search"