Christ’s Hospital (CH) is one of the famous Royal Hospitals of London, whose foundation marked the beginning of the social services in Tudor England. Inspired by a sermon by Nicholas Ridley, Bishop of London, the young King Edward VI instructed the Lord Mayor, Sir Richard Dobbs, to appoint a committee of leading citizens to consider remedies and relief for the City’s homeless poor. Their work, and subsequently their philanthropy, led to the founding of the five great Hospitals all supporting different needs. CH, established in the monastery of the Grey Friars in Newgate Street, embraced the task of educating and nourishing the destitute children of the City and took children of all social backgrounds and ages.
In November 1552, CH opened its doors to 380 pupils and, within a year, the number had increased to over 500. Many children, including 100 of the first 380, were infants who were sent away to CH Hertford to be looked after. When they reached 10 they returned to CH London.
In 1902 all the boys from both the London and Hertford schools transferred to a new site in Horsham, and the school at Hertford became a girls-only school. In 1985 the Hertford site was closed and the girls transferred to Horsham, once again to form a co-educational school.
Today CH has 830 boarding pupils, with an equal number of boys and girls, and 70 day pupils.