PortCities London

The Dreadnought Seamen's hospital

Housing the hospital

First floating home

HMS 'Grampus' as a Hulk.
View full size imageHMS Grampus as a hulk. © NMM
The hospital’s first home was in a vessel afloat on the River Thames. Moored near Greenwich, HMS Grampus took its first patient in October 1821.

Between March and October of that year the vessel had undergone alterations and repairs at the nearby Deptford naval yard. The decks were cleared of their fittings and beds put in place to form wards.

Finally, a ship’s surgeon and a superintendent were appointed to work and live on board the new hospital ship. The surgeon, Dr David Arnott, was paid £150 a year, plus food. The superintendent, an ex-naval lieutenant named William Somerville, was paid £100.

Arrival of the 'Dreadnought'

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