Guide to the St. Katherine's Hospital Records, 1849, 1865-1875


St. Katherine's Hospital was founded in 1147 in London, England. Originally situated near the Tower of London, it was relocated to Regent's Park in 1825 and became a residential almshouse for the poor. Collection consists primarily of draft account books and rent account books for tenants of St. Katherine's, and two reports by Royal Commissions about St. Katherine's Hospital.

Collection Details

Collection Number
St. Katherine's Hospital records
1849, 1865-1875
Royal Hospital and Collegiate Church of St. Katharine by the Tower (London, England)
0.2 Linear Feet, 22 Items
David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
Material in English

Collection Overview

The St. Katherine's Hospital records consist of account books and other financial, administrative, and legal records for the Royal Hospital of St. Katherine's of London during the last half of the 19th century, that offer many details on its properties, tenants, staff, grounds, and expenses. The draft account books itemize the rental of properties to tenants and the rent charged and received, as well as stipends paid to staff and other expenses. Other financial and legal records include a will, various internal reports, and the earliest item, a receipt (1849) from the Sailor's Home for a certain individual's upkeep and allowance. The rent account books cover items such as rent, taxes, and construction supplies for material upkeep, among others. Also included are two reports published in 1866 and 1871 by Royal Commissions who conducted an assessment and audit of St. Katherine's Hospital, with detailed reports on the condition and extent of its tenant farms, gardens, school, and buildings, and with maps of the hospital grounds. Finally, three pieces of correspondence from the 1870s pertain to financial and legal transactions.

Acquired as part of the History of Medicine Collections at Duke University.

More Biographical / Historical Info

Using These Materials

A majority of collections are stored off site and must be requested at least 2 full business days in advance for retrieval. Contact Rubenstein Library staff before visiting. Read More »

warning Access to the Collection

Collection is open for research.

Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection.

All or portions of this collection may be housed off-site in Duke University's Library Service Center. The library may require up to 48 hours to retrieve these materials for research use.

Please contact Research Services staff before visiting the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library to use this collection.

warning Use & Permissions

The copyright interests in this collection have not been transferred to Duke University. For more information, consult the copyright section of the Regulations and Procedures of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library.

More copyright and citation information

How to Cite

[Identification of item], St. Katherine's Hospital Records, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.

Contents of the Collection

Correspondence, 1871-1875
(3 items)
Box 1
Draft account books, 1869-1872
(5 bound manuscript accounts)
Box 1
Financial and legal papers, 1849-1894
(6 items)
Box 1
Rent account books, 1865-1870
(6 items)
Box 1
Reports (official publications), 1866, 1871
(2 items)
Box 1

Historical Note

St. Katherine's Hospital was chartered in Queen Matilda's reign in 11, and established near the London Tower. Its primary mission was to lead divine services in its church, educate poor children, and provide living quarters and medical care for a group of poor adults. According to reports in the collection, in the 19th century it was located in Regent's Park, County of Middlesex. It had a chaplain, a master, a small group of brothers and sisters, and 20 each of bedesmen and bedeswomen, a sexton, an organist, gardeners, other supporting staff, and tenants. Hospital staff performed various charitable support for the poor and led services in its chapel. They also administered a day school, which consisted of about 36 boys and 24 girls, who "were clothed but not fed." These children came from the households near St. Katherine's.

Related Material

  • Bibliotheca topographica Britannica. No V. Containing the history of the Royal Hospital and Collegiate Church of St. Katharine, near the Tower of London, from its foundation in the year 1273, to the present time. Imprint:London : printed by and for J. Nichols, printer to the Society of Antiquaries; and sold by all the booksellers in Great-Britain and Ireland, MDCCLXXXII. [1782] (British Library (Internet resource available))

Click to find related materials at Duke University Libraries.


The St. Katherine's Hospital Records were received by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library as a transfer from the History of Medicine Collection in 2011.

Processing Information

Processed by Willeke Sandler, January 2012

Encoded by Willeke Sandler, January 2012