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Letter: Derek Jarman's plea to save Bart's hospital

Sir: Derek Jarman's wry and moving letter on your front page today prompts me to make a comment that may rally more people to the Bart's survival cause. In fact, Rahere was not a monk when he founded the hospital about 1123: he was a foreigner, and the king's jester - England's No 1 entertainer. Henry I, the king in question, gave him the land and provided an income.

Rahere founded the project as an Augustinian Priory, the fashionable thing to do at that time. He himself became Prior (and therefore, a priest) and thus continued to bring joy to poor and sick people's lives. Now po-faced native politicians are destroying his work; just killjoys.

Yours faithfully,


London, SW1

5 May