Bust: Keats House at Guy's - bust 4 - unknown
Erection date: 1863
Apologies for the lack of focus on this one - partly due to the carving being so weather-worn that our camera had trouble focussing (when in doubt blame your tools).
Site: Keats House at Guy's (4 memorials)
SE1, St Thomas Street, 24-26, Keats House
The ground floor of the right-hand side is used as a doctor's surgery and we asked at reception for information about the building. A lady there was very helpful, telling us that it was built in 1863 as part of nearby Guy's Hospital. However, they have tried and failed to discover the identity of the busts. And we've struggled.
These busts are displayed in the arches above the first floor windows. On the second floor the same spaces above the two outer windows carry a shield device with a circular belt "dare quam accipere" - Guy's Hospital's motto, "it is better to give than to receive".
We'd expect the heads to show men either connected with Guy's Hospital and/or medicine more generally, with Thomas Guy and John Keats being very likely candidates. Bust 2 could be either of them but Keats is consistently shown with a centre parting which suggests number 2 represents Thomas Guy, but we are not certain.
The last two seem to be in Greek-Roman togas. In images Hippocrates is almost always bald and bearded so he could be number 3. And so we expected number 4 to represent Galen but he is never shown with such wild hair so we are stumped.
Surprisingly the building does not seem to be Listed, so no help there. Assistance needed.