Spotlight on Guy’s Hospital

By Ginny A. Roth

A collage of illustrations depicting holiday events at Guy's Hospital.

A Christmas Entertainment at Guy’s Hospital, 1888
National Library of Medicine #A024108

This festive print by H. Johnson, published in the January 28, 1888 issue of The Graphic, features Christmas scenes at Guy’s Hospital, London, England, including “Decorating the Tree,” “Christmas Morning,” and “Prizes from the Christmas Tree.”

Thomas Guy, a British bookseller and publisher, founded Guy’s Hospital in 1721. Guy’s intention was for the hospital to treat “incurables” who would not be admitted into St. Thomas’ Hospital, also in London, and for which he was a governor and benefactor. The hospital doors opened in 1725, a year after Guy’s death, and Guy’s Medical School would later attract the talents of future physicians Thomas Addison, Richard Bright and Thomas Hodgkin. John Keats, the English poet, was also registered as a medical student at Guy’s Hospital and qualified to become a surgeon, but would eventually give up medicine for writing.

Today, Guy’s Hospital is a National Health Service (NHS) teaching hospital which, along with King’s College Hospital and St. Thomas’ Hospital is the home of King’s College London School of Medicine.

portrait of Ginny outside Ginny A. Roth is the Curator of Prints & Photographs in the History of Medicine Division at the National Library of Medicine.