Greenwich Hospital and School
Many of the applications in the ADM 29 series are for entry into Greenwich Hospital or for children to be admitted to Greenwich Hospital School.
Greenwich Hospital was created as the Royal Hospital for Seamen as a counterpart for the Chelsea Hospital for soldiers established by Queen Mary II in 1692, originally for injured sailors returning from the battle of La Hogue. Originally it was housed in the only wing of an uncompleted palace at Greenwich. Mary died of smallpox in 1694 and her husband William III took up the cause in memory of his wife. Sir Christopher Wren offered his architectural expertise for free to complete the hospital – incorporating the original wing on Mary’s instruction, the hospital was completed based on four courts. In 1869, the hospital ceased its function and became home to the Royal Naval College, which is why the site is now known as the Old Royal Naval College. The hospital provided a permanent home and healthcare for invalid sailors of the Royal Navy and entry was by application.
In the original charter for the hospital there was also provision for a school and as early as 1715 there were at least 10 sons of sailors living at the hospital and being educated nearby. Education was offered to the sons of out-pensioners as well. By 1800, this included daughters of pensioners (although this ceased in 1841). The Greenwich Hospital School is now home to the National Maritime Museum.
Greenwich Hospital as it would
have looked in 1830