Our history 1758 – 1869

The Norfolk and Norwich Hospital first opened its doors in 1772.  Here’s a brief history of how we began and how our hospital has developed over the years.

  • 1758 Thomas Hayter (Bishop of Norwich) suggested the founding of a Norwich hospital. He approaches Benjamin Gooch to ask him to study the deisgn and administration of London hospitals to inform design of a hospital in Norwich.
  • 1761 Thomas Hayter is translated to London and plans for a hospital are stalled
    1770 Open meeting organised by William Fellowes at Guildhall in Norwich to discuss hospital project. Committee established and subscription fund set up.
  • 1770 (Aug) Meeting at which it was unanimously agreed to establish a “General Hospital for the County of Norfolk and the City and County of Norwich). Annual Subscriptions are started
    1770 (Sep) Land purchased near St Stephen’s Gates as a site for the hospital on a 500 year lease with annual rent of £6 (details of lease in Eade’s history)
  • 1770 (Sep) First hospital committee appointed. Building committee appointed. Trustees for hospital lands and monies are also selected.
  • 1770 (Oct) Earl of Orford appointed as President of the General Hospital and William Fellowes appointed as treasurer.
  • 1770 (Oct) It is agreed that a weekly board of Governors will meet every Saturday at 11am at the Guildhall
  • 1770 (Nov) (15/11/1770) Weekly board of Governors agrees to adopt the H plan delivered by Moore and Dobson for the building of the hospital
  • 1771 (Oct) First members of medical staff elected. Benjamin Gooch acted as main assessor.
  • 1771 NNH becomes 17th voluntary hospital founded in England (Ref AB Shaw)
  • 1771 (Jan) First report of Governors details that the adopted plan will provide 120 beds but funds would only allow for the building of 2 parts of the H at that time.
  • 1771 (Mar) Foundation stone laid by William Fellowes
  • 1771 (Dec) Hospital completed at a cost of £13,323.8.11
  • 1772 (Jun) Weekly board agrees to meet at hospital in future








The N&N Hospital in 1772

  • 1772 (July) Hospital opened for outpatients and 3 are received
  • 1772 First matron appointed on a salary of £15 per year
  • 1772 (Nov) (7/11/1772) Seven inpatients admitted
  • 1772 (Aug) 20 beds ordered
  • 1773 (Feb) Storage purchased for deposit of the urinary calculi removed at the hospital
  • 1775 Robert Fellowes elected as Honorary Treasurer following death of William Fellowes
  • 1782 First rules of the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital written
  • 1792 Marquis Townshend elected as president following death of the Earl of Orford in 1791
  • 1803 Robert Fellowes resigns as Honorary Treasurer and is succeeded by Thomas Blofeld
  • 1808 William Assheton Harbord elected as President (role now linked to appointment of Lord Lieutenant of Norfolk)
  • 1811 Galvanic battery in use for electrical treatment
  • 1820 Appeal to the public to raise funds for hospital as expenses were higher than income
  • 1821 Hospital rules allow Physicians and principal surgeons to take pupils. Pupils not allowed to prescribe or operate but may dress patients.
  • 1822 Land on the North side of the hospital purchased
  • 1823 Norfolk and Norwich Eye infirmary opened for treatment of the poor
  • 1825 Drying rooms converted into wards and a new laundry and drying rom built
  • 1834 A surgeons’ pupils registration book initiated to record details of pupils and the surgeon that they wish to be placed with
  • 1835 Second galvanic battery purchased for electrical treatment
  • 1839 Surgeon’s pupil pays 50 guineas for 3 years attendance. Half of the fee goes to the Surgeon and half to the hospital.
  • 1840 First WCs introduced for the male wards

Male ward at the N&N Hospital.

  • 1842 Indentures of apprenticeship granted to all pupils of the Hose-Surgeon
  • 1843 First pathology museum opened
  • 1844 Building erected to house the Hospital museum
  • 1848 Building committee appointed to build 2 additional wards
  • 1848 First Annual Report presented to Governors
  • 1849 4 permanent resident night nurses appointed
  • 1859 Administration block and main hall built by E. Boardman
  • 1859 Hospital now reported to house 144 beds for patients and 26 for nurses, servants and officers.
  • 1861 It is agreed to admit probationers to learn Nursing at the hospital. Food and board will be provided but no salary will be given.
  • 1862 2 pupil nurses received to undergo 12 months training with salary of £8 per year.
  • 1864 Rev. W.H. Parker undertook to build a chapel at his own cost.







Senior nurses at the N&N Hospital – 1864

  • 1865 Chapel is built over the hospital board room.
  • 1865 First “Model ward” opened
  • 1865 HRH Prince of Wales becomes a subscriber of the hospital
  • 1866 HRH Prince of Wales becomes patron of the hospital
  • 1868 Meeting held at St Andrews Hall in aid of funds of the Hospital