Who was Evelina? The people who lent their names to Guy’s, King’s College and St Thomas’ buildings

Guy's Campus, Photograph by Paul Grundy

Who was Evelina? Why do we have a campus named after St Thomas Becket? We did some digging to find out about some of the people who have had building named in their honour at Guy’s, King’s College and St Thomas’.

St Thomas’ Campus

St Thomas Aquinas

St Thomas Aquinas by Carlo Crivelli (1476)

St Thomas' Campus takes its name from the hospital the original medical school grew up around. Both it and Becket House are named after the 12th century Archbishop St Thomas Becket. It is believed the hospital was named after Becket was canonised in 1173, but it is possible it was only renamed at that time having been established as part of the St Mary Overie Priory in Southwark as early as 1106. The hospital was briefly closed in 1539 as part of the Reformation. It was reopened in 1551 and rededicated to Thomas the Apostle.

Evelina London Children’s Hospital was established in Southwark in 1869, which was then one of London's poorest boroughs. It later merged with Guy's hospital before moving to St Thomas’ in 2005. It was founded by Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild and named after his wife, Evelina, who sadly died in child birth.

Also at St Thomas’ is Gassiot House, named after the 19th century wine merchant Charles Gassiot who left £400,00 to St Thomas’ on his death in 1902. Finally there is the Prideaux Building, which we believe was renamed after Sir John Prideaux who was treasurer and chairman of the governors of St Thomas’ Hospital from 1964-74. If you were around at the time it was named and can offer more insight on the matter, please do get in touch.

Guy’s Campus

Thomas Guy

Statue of Thomas Guy at Guy's Campus

Thomas Guy (1644-1729) was a bookseller and the founder of Guy’s Hospital. Before founding Guy’s Hospital he was also a supporter and governor of St Thomas’, where he had contributed to the building of three wards. Opening the hospital in 1725 cost Guy £18,793 and he left the hospital over £200,000 in his will.

Henriette Raphael House was opened in 1902. It is the first purpose built nurses' home in London. The house was named after Henriette Raphael, and was funded by donations from her merchant banker husband Henry Louis Raphael.

Hodgkin building
Hodgkin Building

The Hodgkin Building was named after the 19th-century pathologist Thomas Hodgkin, former curator of the museum at Guy's Hospital Medical School, who is best known for the first account of Hodgkin's lymphoma. The building is the original medical school building of Guy's Hospital.

Shepherd’s House is named after William Sheppard, a wealthy benefactor. It was the School of Nursing from 1921 to 1994 and now hosts the Chantler Clinical Skills Centre.

Denmark Hill Campus

Maudsley Hospital is named after the Victorian psychiatrist Henry Maudsley, who offered London County Council £30,000 to help found a new mental hospital that would also provide teaching and research.

Cicely Saunders

Dame Cicely Saunders

The Cicely Saunders Institute is the first purpose built institute for research into palliative care. It is named in honour of Cicely Saunders, the pioneer of palliative care and double alumna of GKT.

The James Black Centre is named after Sir James Black, who was appointed as professor of pharmacology at King’s in 1984 and retained connections with the college for the rest of his life. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1988 for the development of two major families of drugs: beta blockers for the treatment of coronary heart disease, high blood pressure and heart failure, and anti-ulcer histamine receptor blocking drugs.

The Rayne Institute was funded by a grant from the Rayne foundation, founded by property developer and philanthropist Lord Rayne. Lord Rayne believed it was important to build bridges between medical research and hospitals where researchers and doctors could work alongside each other. Similarly the Maurice Wohl Clinical Neuroscience Institute is named after businessman and philanthropist Maurice Wohl who supported many medical projects and had a long association with King’s.

Read about the names behind the buildings at Strand and Waterloo campuses.