The Royal Hospital for Seamen, Greenwich: 'A Refuge for All'
|The decline of the Hospital|
However, despite the Hospital’s growing income, extra government funding was still needed. Although it was a modernizing trend, out-pensions became a financial burden. There were some 30,000 such men on the books by 1820, costing more than £300,000 a year. In 1829 the costs were taken over entirely by government.
Beginning of the decline
When the Navy was enforcing the 'Pax Britannica' on the world's oceans, there were fewer candidates for Greenwich, and being an out-pensioner was more attractive.
The end of in-pensioners
In 1860 a Royal Commission proposed the end of in-pensions in exchange for an annuity to all existing inmates. In October 1865, under a new Act, 987 of the 1400 remaining in-pensioners left the Hospital.
Wren's great complex closed and stood empty until the Royal Naval College moved in from Portsmouth, in 1873.
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