34. THE HOSPITAL OF BOCKING
John Doreward, the son, had licence (fn. 1) on
14 May, 1440, to found a house or mansion, to
be called the Maison Dieu of the town of Bocking, on two acres of his own land within the
town, for seven poor men to dwell in, of whom
one was to be called the provost of the town and
to have the governance of the house and the
poor men; and to grant to them in frankalmoin
the manor of Tendring, and £10 rent from
his lands in Essex for their maintenance, that
they might pray for the good estate of the king
and the founder, and for their souls after death
and the souls of the king's mother Katharine and
John Doreward the father. (fn. 2) As a contribution
towards the endowment the king granted to
John Doreward a vacant plot of land in the
parishes of St. Mary, Stanyng Lane, and St.
Olave, London, on which a tenement and five
other messuages had lately been built, the plot
being valued at 10s. yearly. This plot was
excepted from the operation of the Act of Resumption passed in Parliament in 34 Henry VI;
and it is stated in the Act (fn. 3) that John Doreward
had founded the Maison Dieu and given the
plot to it, and that the plot was then worth
at most 40s. yearly.
Nothing is known of the intermediate history
of the house; but it appears to have survived
the dissolution. Morant mentions it as being
in existence in the middle of the eighteenth
The commissioners appointed to inquire into
charities in 1837-8 reported (fn. 4) that the premises
were then and had been from time immemorial
used as an almshouse. They were then occupied
by thirteen poor persons of both sexes, the
inmates being generally selected by the dean of
Bocking with the concurrence of the parish
officers. Attached to the house was about half
an acre of garden ground let at a rent of £3
yearly, which was paid to the dean and applied,
with other funds, in repairing the premises and
furnishing coals to the inmates. The house and
land were worth about £16 yearly.
||Pat. 18 Hen. VI. pt, 3, m. 2. Printed in
Dugdale, Mon. vii, 718.
||The elder John in 1397 founded a chantry at
Bocking, his elaborate charter being given in full in
Litterae Cantuarienses (Rolls Ser.), iii, 52–8.
Rolls of Parl. v, 315.
Char. Commrs. Rep. xxxii, pt. 1, p. 771.