40. THE HOSPITAL OF NEWPORT
The hospital of St. Mary and St. Leonard,
Newport, appears to have been founded about the
middle of the twelfth century. The Pipe Roll
of 3 Henry II (1156-7) records a gift by the
king of 2s. to the infirm of Niweport. It does
not occur on the two earlier rolls, but is repeated
on the following ones; and it is possible that
the first gift may mark the foundation of the
hospital, though this is not certain.
Henry III on 10 October, 1227, granted (fn. 1) to
the brethren a fair yearly on the vigil, the day
and the morrow of St. Leonard; and this
was confirmed by later kings in 1309, (fn. 2)
1386 (fn. 3) and 1472. (fn. 4) John Flambard had licence (fn. 5)
in 1340 to grant land in Newport to the master
and brethren to find a chaplain to celebrate
divine service daily in the chapel of St. Helen in
Wicken Bonhunt; and John Quyntyn like
licence (fn. 6) in 1346 for the maintenance of a
chaplain in the hospital.
The hospital was of the patronage and jurisdiction of the dean of St. Martin le Grand, London;
and at vacancies the priests and brethren had the
right of electing their warden and presenting him
to the dean for admission. In 1344, on the death
of William de Sandon, the dean refused to accept
the election of Simon de Depeden and put in a
nominee of his own; but the king intervened,
and on 22 July committed (fn. 7) the custody of the
hospital to the abbot of Walden and a clerk.
The matter came for settlement to the Chancellor, who on 4 October confirmed (fn. 8) the election
of Depeden; and two days later the king
gave orders (fn. 9) that he should be put in possession.
In 1241 the brethren acknowledged (fn. 10) a rent of
6s. 8d. due to the abbey of Walden for twenty
acres of land in Newport. This remained unpaid from 1400 to 1406, and at Michaelmas,
9 Henry VI, the abbot brought an action (fn. 11) and
obtained judgement against Warden John for the
arrears of 40s.
The Valor gives the net value of the hospital
at £23 10s. 8¼d. yearly and states that two
fellows received £6 each and the master
£11 10s. 8¼d. for their stipend. This leaves
nothing for the maintenance of any brethren,
and it seems probable that they had been squeezed
out and the hospital gradually converted into a
college. It was dissolved on 15 April, 1543.
A detailed rental (fn. 12) of its possessions in the following year gives their gross value as £38 15s. 5d.,
the greater part being in Newport and the remainder in Shortgrove, Widdington, Great
Wendon, Arkesden, Helion Bumpstead, Hempstead, Elmdon, Walden, Wimbish and Wickham.
The profit from the fair of St. Leonard amounted to £5. From this deductions were made of
£1 6s. 8d. for the fee of the bailiff and 12s. 2½d.
in rents, so the net value was £36 16s. 6½d.
yearly. A pension of £6 was granted to Philip
Fawdon, (fn. 13) one of the fellows. The hospital and
the greater part of its possessions were leased (fn. 14) on
22 May, 1543, to Richard Fermour of London;
and on 21 August, 1544, they were sold (fn. 15) to Sir
Ralph Warren and others in fee.
Masters or Wardens of Newport
Miles, (fn. 16) occurs 1284.
Walter de Foxton, occurs 1308. (fn. 17)
Edmund, occurs 1321, (fn. 18) 1331. (fn. 19)
William de Sandon, (fn. 20) died 1344.
Simon de Depeden, (fn. 21) elected 1344.
Richard Barker, (fn. 22) occurs circa 1400.
John, (fn. 22) occurs 1408.
John Spencer, occurs 1439. (fn. 23)