1571 Leicester Hospital Act
Hospitals were often established by wealthy benefactors to provide care and relief for people in need including the sick and elderly. This 1571 Act of Parliament enabled Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester (1532-1588), to establish a new hospital in Warwick for the care of retired soldiers and their wives. Dudley was a courtier in the royal company of Queen Elizabeth I and was a member of the Privy Council with great personal influence over the queen. Private hospitals owned and established by individuals were a common source of healthcare, in addition to voluntary hospitals, mental asylums and alms houses. When the National Health Service Act was passed in 1946, it aimed to establish a comprehensive health service to provide effective services for the improvement of physical and mental health. The Lord Leycester Hospital in Warwick still cares for and accommodates retired soldiers today.