~~~MIDDLESEX HOSPITAL, for the reception of the sick and the lame, and for lying-in married women, is situated in Mary-bone-fields, near Oxford-road, now called Charles - street. . . . Nature and religion teach us to patronize every instance of distress, but most powerfully that deepest of all distresses, sickness in poverty. . . . how much stronger a sympathy must then arise at the idea of sickness aggravated by poverty; or considered in another view, of poverty disabled by sickness! Most men are inclined, but very few, in comparison, have individually the power, to relieve: public contributions, therefore, seem the most likely to effect what the private bounty of individuals cannot. These considerations gave rise, a few years since, to infirmaries, and in particular to this, which has the merit and the honour of being the first hospital in this kingdom for lying-in women, and of setting an example which has been so happily followed.
. . . The patients are attended without fee or reward by three eminent physicians, a man-midwife, three surgeons, and a clergyman. The physicians visit the patients every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, and on intermediate days when particular cases require it. The surgeons attend every day.
Patients are admitted on a letter of recommendation from a governor or contributor, who may recommend in-patients, and have out-patients on the books... and when in-patients are recommended, and there is not room in the house to receive them, they are put on the list, to be admitted on the first vacancy, and in the mean time prescribed for as out-patients.
No security is required for burials. All accidents are admitted without recommendation. Tuesday being the day appointed for the admission of patients, they are expected to be at the Hospital, with their recommendation, at ten o'clock.
The physicians and surgeons meet every Saturday at twelve o'clock at the Hospital, where they give advice gratis to all such diseased poor who shall come, though unrecommended, and require it.
—Rudolph Ackermann, The Microcosm of London: or, London in Miniature, Volume 2, 1808-1810
Rowlandson & Pugin illustration from the book.