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I. Charities, Hospitals, &c.

I. Charities, Hospitals, &c.-The charities of London are on a scale commensurate with the size and population of the great city, being not less than 2000 in number. The institutions and societies of a philanthropic character may be classified into general medical hospitals, special medical hospitals, residential hospitals, general dispensaries, almshouses for the aged poor, homes for the aged, asylums for orphans, societies for relieving general distress and destitution, societies for relieving specific distress, societies for aiding cases of emergency or for preserving life, institutions for reforming offenders or reclaiming the fallen, societies for the ameliorating of public morals, societies for aiding the resources of the industrious, provident societies, charitable pension societies, Bible societies, religious book and tract societies, missionary societies, and many institutions or associations of mixed or miscellaneous character. Many of these societies are well and carefully administered under the guidance of responsible and trustworthy committees, and the expenses of management bear only a fair proportion to the sums expended and distributed, all accounts being carefully audited and published; but there are others, unhappily, which seem to exist rather for the benefit of the officials who manage them than for those whom they profess to assist. In a place so huge as London, where appeals for assistance and charity are delivered with every post, it is easy for designing persons to make philanthropy a successful trade, and they often do so for years without exposure or detection. More attention, however, is being devoted to this matter than formerly, and some of the London newspapers are doing good work in exposing sham philanthropists. The Society for the Suppression of Mendicity also aims at the detection of the tricks of begging-letter writers and professional mendicants, while the Charity Organization Society not only inquires into individual cases, but gives confidential Information as to the good faith or otherwise of the numerous charitable societies which appeal for public support. It has been computed that the total annual income in the form of voluntary subscriptions, donations, and bequests which is received by the charities of London amounts to about £5,000,000, or more than £1 for each man, woman, and child in the metropolis, and this is quite independent of the huge sums levied in the form of rates for the relief of the poor and care of the sick and insane. Wisely and economically distributed, this sum ought to suffice for the need of the "submerged" section of the population, but it is a painful fact that in spite of all that is done there are multitudes in the great city whose lives are embittered by extreme penury, and that suicides caused by distress and deaths from actual starvation are of almost weekly occurrence. Turning to the consideration of the charities which exist, it may be noted that the hospitals of London are numerous and important. Among these St Bartholomew's Hospital, in Smithfield, dating from 1102, and refounded in its present form in 1547, is one of the largest and wealthiest. It contains between 600 and 700 beds, and gives relief to about 150,000 out-patients. A celebrated medical school is attached, and there are also museums of anatomy and botany, a chemical laboratory, and a good library. Guy's Hospital, in St Thomas's Street, Southwark, was founded in 1721 by Guy the bookseller, has an income of about £40,000 a year, contains about 650 beds, and is attended by over 50,000 outpatients annually. St Thomas's Hospital, an old monastic institution refounded by Henry VIII., and formerly near London Bridge, is now housed on the Albert Embankment, in a large building which was erected in 1868-71 at a cost of about £50,000: It consists of seven four-storeyed buildings in red brick, united by arcades, and is in all 590 yards long. The hospital enjoys an annual income of about £40,000, and treats about 5000 in-patients and over 60,000 out-patients every year. The London Hospital, in Whitechapel Road, originally founded in 1740, contains nearly 800 beds, treats an immense number of out-patients, and its expenses amount to about £55,000 per annum, raised by voluntary coutributions. Its buildings include operating and clinical theatres, each 40 feet long by 23 wide, and a chapel 80 feet in length, filled with a gallery at the west end. Being situated close to the chief Jewish quarters of the metropolis, it has special wards for Jews, where the requirements of the Jewish law can be observed. St George's Hospital, at Hyde Park Corner, was founded in 1733, and its present building was erected in 1831. It is one of the best medical schools in the metropolis, and is noted as the place where the great surgeon, John Hunter, practised and died. It contains over 350 beds, and has a country branch at Wimbledon, with 100 beds. Westminster Hospital stands upon part of the site of an ancient sanctuary or place of refuge for criminals, debtors, and political offenders, and was founded in 1719, greatly through the exertions of Mr Henry Hoare, a London banker. It was one of the first of the hospitals of London to be supported by voluntary contributions, and has over 200 beds. The Royal Free Hospital, in Gray's Inn Road, was founded about 1828 for the free admission of the sick poor. It receives about 2000 in-patients, and ministers to about 25,000 out-patients annually. University College Hospital, in Gower Street, was founded in 1883 as a general hospital, with separate departments for diseases of women, children, the skin, the ear, the eye, the throat, and the teeth. It is connected with University College, to which it serves as a school of instruction in medicine and surgery, and from 30,000 to 10,000 patients are annually treated by the medical professors of the college. King's College Hospital, in Portugal Street, Lincoln's Inn, is in like manner attached to King's College. It was established in 1839, and is now one of the most important hospitals in London. Other large general hospitals are the Charing Cross Hospital, in Agar Street, Strand; the Great Northern Central Hospital, in Holloway Road, N.; the Middlesex Hospital, Mortimer Street, W.; St Mary's Hospital, in Cambridge Place, Paddington; and the West London Hospital, in Hammersmith Road, W. There is also a large general Homœopathic Hospital, in Great Ormond Street, Bloomsbury, with a nursing institute attached, and a branch convalescent home at Eastbourne; and there is a general Temperance Hospital for the non-alcoholic treatment of disease, in Hampstead Road. There are several hospitals specially devoted to children, among the more important of which are the Belgrave Hospital, in Gloucester Street, Pimlico; the Cheyne Hospital, in Cheyne Walk, Chelsea; the Evelina Hospital, Southwark Bridge Road; the hospital in Great Ormond Street which enjoys royal patronage, and has about 250 beds; the North-Eastern Hospital, in Hackney Road; Paddington Green Hospital, and the Victoria Hospital, in Queen's Road, S.W. The foregoing are exclusively for children, but there are in addition several which are devoted to women and children, the more important being the East London, a large institution in Glamis Road, Shadwell; the Grosvenor, in Vincent Square, Westminster; the Royal, in Waterloo Bridge Road; and the Samaritan, in Marylebone Road, N.W. Of hospitals devoted to women only, there are the lying-in hospitals known as the British, in Endell Street, St Giles's; the City of London, in City Road; the General, in York Road, Lambeth; and Queen Charlotte's, in Marylebone Road; and the general hospitals of Chelsea, in Fulham Road, of St John and St Elizabeth, in Great Ormond Street, W.C.; the New Hospital for Women, in Euston Road; and the Women's Hospital of Soho Square, W. There are also one special hospital for accidents, two for the treatment of cancer, seven for the treatment of consumption and diseases of the chest, three for fever, two for fistula and diseases of the rectum, six ophthalmic, four orthopædic, five for paralysis, epilepsy, and other diseases of the nervous system, six for diseases of the skin, one for the treatment of stone and urinary diseases, five for diseases of the throat, nose, and ear. The Lock Hospital for males is in Dean Street, Soho, and the hospital for females, to which an asylum is attached, is in the Harrow Road, W. There is a special hospital for sailors at Greenwich, with nearly 250 beds, entirely free to sick seamen from all parts of the world, irrespective of race, colour, or creed, with a branch at the Royal Albert and Victoria Docks, and dispensaries in the East India Dock Road and at Gravesend. The French Hospital is in Shaftesbury Avenue, W.C., the German Hospital is in Dalston Lane, Dalston, and there are Jewish hospitals in Spital Square, Spitafields, and in the Mile End Road. The chief hospitals and homes for incurables are the British, in Clapham Road, S.W.; the Royal, at Streatham; and the Children's, in Maida Vale, W. The asylums belonging to the metropolitan parishes and unions are- Caterham, Darenth, and Leavesden, for imbeciles and imbecile children; and Haverstock Hill, Homerton, New Cross, Seagrave Road, Fulham, St Ann's Road, N., Stockwell and Winchmore Hill, for fever. The small-pox hospital ships are situated in Long Rench, off Dartford, and the Exmouth training ship for 600 pauper boys is moored off Gray's Thurrock. The workhouse infirmaries are those of Chelsea, Central London District, Kensington, Lambeth Mile End Old Town Poplar and Stepney, St George's Union St Marlebone St Olave Union, St Pancras, and Shoreditch. The chief luntic asylums of London, to which admission is obtained by election or payment, are the Bethlehem and St Luke's Hospitals. Bethlehem Hospital (popularly corrupted into Bedlam) is situated in the Lambeth Road, S.E. It was originally founded as an hospital in Bishopsgate Street by Sheriff Simon Fitz Mary in 1246, but was presented by Henry VIII. in 1547 to the city of London, and converted into a madhouse. In 1675 the asylum was removed to Moorflelds, and about 1814 it was again removed to St George's Fields, Lambeth. The main building has a façade about 900 feet long, and cost about £122,000. A new wing was added in 1888. It is fitted up with every modern convenience, and it can accomodate about 400 patients. St Luke's Hospital is a large building in Old Street, E.C., affording accommodation to about 200 patients. The asylums for pauper lunatics from the poor-law unions of the county of London are those of Banstead, Cane Hill, Claybury, Colney Hatch, and Hanwell. The City Pauper Lunatic Asylum is at Stone, near Dartford. In connection with this it may be mentioned that London has to provide for about 11,000 pauper lunatics, and the sum required for their care and maintennnce averages about £900 per day, There are also several large private asylums for insane patients of the better class. The charitable societies and asylums, like the hospitals, are both numerous and extensive, and they include sixteen associations for the relief of the blind, five for the deaf and dumb, twenty-seven orphanages, and about 160 working schools, homes, and refuges. A large number of richly-endowed charities are also administered by the Livery Companies of the City of London, but the benefits are bestowed almost entirely upon the members of the different companies. A useful institution also exists in the form of a temporary home for lost and starving dogs in Battersea Park Road, South Lambeth.