"Now gentlemen, I want to found a hospital for the treatment of cancer, and for the study of the disease, for at the present time we know absolutely nothing about it." - Dr William Marsden - 1851.
The Royal Marsden was the first hospital in the world dedicated to the study and treatment of cancer. It was founded as the Free Cancer Hospital by Dr William Marsden at 1, Cannon Row, Westminster, following his wife's death from cancer.
Outgrowing those premises the hospital needed a permanent site. Angela Burdett-Coutts stepped in and loaned funds to purchase the Fulham Road site where the hospital opened in 1862. Its name changed: 1910 to the Cancer Hospital (Free), then 1936 ‘Royal’ was added, then in 1954 it settled on the Royal Marsden Hospital. In 1963 a second hospital was opened by the Queen in Sutton.
The ever-interesting Library Time Machine have a post on this hospital.