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Bloomsbury Project

Bloomsbury Institutions


Private Spinal Institution

Also known as Hospital for Spinal Deformities


It was established by Joseph Amesbury some time before 1850 as a private institution employing his own method of treatment of spinal injuries (Sampson Low, Charities of London, 1850)

Amesbury was a surgeon and author on orthopaedics, married with a large family by the time of the 1841 census, when he was living near Cavendish Square; he later moved to Fitzroy Square

But earlier in his life, Amesbury lived at 54 Burton Crescent, from where in 1837 he took out patents on “certain apparatus for the relief, or correction of stiffness, weakness, or distortion in the human spine, chest, or limbs”

He subsequently founded the Spinal and General Orthopaedic Association to treat spinal disease with his machines and with a medical staff paid for by the sufferers themselves

The BMJ criticised him for running what they called a “joint stock company”, a charge he indignantly rebutted (British Medical Journal, 3 January 1857)

It no longer exists

What was reforming about it?

Amesbury seems to have based his practice on extensive clinical experience of a particular kind of fracture

His was actually the first of the many (and much more famous) hospitals to be established in Queen Square and its environs, before the National Hospital opened in the Square in 1860

Where in Bloomsbury

It was at 31 Queen Square until about 1850, when it moved to 26 Judd Place West and changed its name to the Hospital for Spinal Deformities (Sampson Low, Charities of London, 1850)

It was, however, still listed at 31 Queen Square in the Post Office Directory of 1851

Website of current institution

It no longer exists

Books about it

None found


None found

This page last modified 13 April, 2011 by Deborah Colville


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