The Royal Greenwich Hospital was founded by Queen Mary, who in 1694 gave the royal estate at Greenwich for a house for pensioned seamen and marines. The foundation stone was laid in 1696 and the first pensioners were admitted in 1705. In 1716 the forfeited estates of Lord Derwentwater were added to the hospitalís endowments.
In addition to the in-pensioners, the hospital also maintained out-pensioners and provided pensions and allowances for widows and orphans of seamen and marines. A school for the sons of seamen was attached to the hospital and in 1939 it absorbed the Royal Naval Asylum for the children of seamen.
It ceased to house in-pensioners in 1869 and in 1873 the building became the home of the Royal Naval College; but the hospital continued to administer the school, and provided out-pensions and allowances of various kinds