25 THE HOSPITAL OF ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST, BATH
The hospital was founded in 1180 by Bishop
Reginald of Bath (1174–91) for the sick and
poor of the city in order that they might have
the benefit of the waters. It was endowed with
lands and tenements in Bath and with a tithe of
hay from the bishop's demesne lands, and in
1331 (fn. 1) Bishop Ralph of Shrewsbury granted to
the warden and brethren a rent-charge of 100s.
in lieu of the sheaves which they were wont to
receive from the bishop.
There is a ratification by the Dean and Chapter
of Wells (fn. 2) of a confirmation by Bishop William
Button given at Dogmersfield 15 July 1260 of
the act of the warden, Master Adam, and the
brothers and sisters of St. John the Baptist's
Hospital establishing a special service for their
benefactor Canon William de Wethampsted,
provost of Combe, to take place in the chapel
of the hospital.
Hugh of Wells who died Bishop of Lincoln
in 1235 left the hospital 7½ marks. (fn. 3)
On 9 June 1336 (fn. 4) Bishop Ralph granted an
indulgence to all, otherwise qualified, who should
aid the hospital of St. John the Baptist.
In 1417 Canon Richard Benton of Wells left
2s. 6d. to each brother being a priest of the
hospital of St. John at Bath. In 1496 Thomas
Chaunceler, citizen of Bath, left ' one torche '
to the hospital of St. John in Bath. (fn. 5)
In the Valor of 1535 the hospital of St. John
the Baptist, with the chapel of St. Michael
attached, was valued at £22 16s. 9d. John
Symonds was the warden or master. (fn. 6) The
hospital escaped the dissolution of monastic
foundations, and in 1578 Queen Elizabeth
gave the advowson of it to the Mayor and
commonalty of Bath.
Leland says ' There is a Hospital of St. John
hard by the Crosse Bathe of the foundation of
Reginalde, bishop of Bathe.' (fn. 7)
In the Inventories of Chantries 1546, (fn. 8) the
contents of the chapel of the hospital of St.
John the Baptist, Bath, were valued on 17 March.
' John Symons, incumbent of St. John's chapel
in the hospital of Bath.
'First a mass book valued at 8d. Item a pair
of vestments valued at 8s. Item two bells
valued at 6s. 8d. Total 15s. 4d.'
In the Survey of 1548 (fn. 9) the following account
of the hospital is recorded.
'There is a hospital called St. John's Hospital
within the said parish (i.e. St. Michael's), having
lands, tenements, etc. thereunto belonging of
the clear yearly value of £25 13s. 8d.
'The hospital was erected as it is said for the
relief of six poor men, and one priest or master
to serve them, having their continual living
upon the same. This hospital is annexed to
the parish church of St. Michael aforesaid,
and the parson of the said church is master of
the said hospital. The residue of the profits
are employed and received by the said master.
'The ornaments of the hospital are esteemed
worth 15s. 2d. No foundation deeds were
shown, neither would the master appear.'
The hospital survived the Reformation, and
some account of its later history may be found
in the Report of Commissioners for enquiring into
Charities, v, 283–92.
Masters of the Hospital of St. John the Baptist, Bath
Adam, occurs 1260 (fn. 10)
Thomas Gosmale, appointed 1343 (fn. 11)
John Ashmeek, died 1398 (fn. 12)
John Shaftesbury, resigned 1428 (fn. 13)
Peter Byryman, appointed 1438, (fn. 14) resigned
1457 (fn. 15)
John Vobe, appointed 1460 (fn. 16)
Thomas Cornish, appointed 1483 (fn. 17)
John Symonds, occurs 1535 (fn. 18)
26. THE HOSPITAL OF ST. MARY MAGDALEN, BATH.
The hospital of St. Mary Magdalen of Holloway near Bath appears to have been founded
before 1212, in which year Hugh, Bishop of
Lincoln, made a bequest to the lepers outside
Bath. Nicholas, master of this hospital, occurs
in 1263 and an undated deed in the Bath Cartulary
(fn. 19) records a grant of land by John Wyssy
to the master, brethren and sisters on condition
that their chaplains should celebrate in his
private chapel at Bath. Bishop Ralph in 1332 (fn. 20)
granted an indulgence to those who supported
the hospital of Holy Cross and St. Mary Magdalen
at Bath, and it occurs from time to time as the
recipient of legacies, Margery Brokworth in
1407 (fn. 21) desiring to be buried within its chapel.
The hospital survived the Reformation, but
gradually became a sinecure, its endowments
being diverted from their original purpose. (fn. 22)