Monday, 19 March 2012, 1:00PM
Museum of London

The Lost Hospitals of London: Bethlem Hospital - Worth a Visit?

Colin S. Gale

Bethlem Hospital was an integral part of London’s charitable provision for the poor in medieval and early modern times. Hand in hand with public benevolence went great public interest in the objects of charity. Until 1770, the Hospital was open (at specified times of the week) to any member of the public who wished to see inside, and ‘poor boxes’ were strategically placed near the entrance for donations. Bethlem was by no means the only early modern hospital to permit this level of public access to its inner workings, but it is probably the best known for having done so. The memory of Bethlem’s display of the misery of its patients for entertainment and gain is a powerful metaphor to this day.

Bethlem Archivist Colin Gale will explore the reality behind this metaphor via written and pictorial sources from the Hospital’s own archives and the published writings of visitors.

This is part of 'The Lost Hospitals of London' Mondays at One Series. Other lectures in the series are as follows:
     Leprosaria - Professor Carole Rawcliffe
     Thomas Coram and the Foundling Hospital - Dame Gillian Pugh
     St. Luke's - Professor Nick Black

colin-s-gale

Archivist, Bethlem Royal Hospital.

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19 March 2012

The Lost Hospitals of London: Bethlem Hospital - Worth a Visit?
Colin S. Gale

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