The Oldest Document

The oldest documents we have in the archives are two letters written by John Addenbrooke, but the oldest document we have relating to the hospital is a minute book of the Trustees of Addenbrooke’s Hospital started in 1759.   It also contains the accounts relating to Dr Addenbrooke’s estate, 1740-65.

The Trustees of John Addenbrooke’s will (dated 1 May 1719) set about purchasing the land to build the hospital and appointed builders to carry out the work in erecting the hospital, but as a result of irregularities by some of the trustees and the death of others, progress halted until new trustees could be appointed.  As you can imagine this all took time and it was not until 1759 that the new trustees held their first meeting.  They set about the work of building and furnishing the hospital, but in early 1766 the money had all but run out.

The minutes of a meeting on 9 Apr 1766 of the General Court of the Hospital Trustees listed the general accounts from the death of Dr Addenbrooke.  He left in his will £4676 2s 1d, with interest and other legacies the total of income came to £10140 7s 11d.  The outgoings included £3073 15s 9d for building the hospital AND £3162 15s 9d lost by Edward Green, The Trustee.  With other out goings there was little left to enable the work to be completed.

The Trustees appealed for public subscriptions to help finish the work, an Act of Parliament was passed to allow this and the hospital finally opened its doors on 13 Oct 1766.

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