Of Leprose people and Lazar houses

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Centre for Metropolitan History

Publication

Author

C. L. Kingsford (editor)

Year published

1908

Supporting documents

Pages

145-147

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'Of Leprose people and Lazar houses', A Survey of London, by John Stow: Reprinted from the text of 1603 (1908), pp. 145-147. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=60061 Date accessed: 03 September 2014.


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Now of Leprose people, and Lazar houses.

Leuiticus 15. Numbers 5. Leprose persons to be separated from the sound.

It is to be obserued, that leprose persons were alwayes, for auoiding the daunger of infection, to be separated from the sound, &c. God himselfe commaunding to put out of the Host euery leaper. Whereupon I reade that in a prouinciall Synode holden at Westminster by Hubert Archbhishoppe of Canterbury, in the yeare of Christ 1200. the second of king Iohn, it was decreed according to the institution of the Lateran Counsaile, that when so many leprose people were assembled, that might bee able to builde a Church with a Churchyeared for themselues, and to haue one especiall priest of their owne, that they should bee permitted to haue the same without contradiction, so they bee not iniurious to the olde Churches, by that which was graunted to them for pitties sake. And further it was decreede, that they bee not compelled to giue any Tithes of their Gardens or increase of cattell.

Leprouse persons to be voided the Citty.; Lazar houses builded. The locke in Kentstreet, one other beyonde the Miles end, one other at Kingesland, one other at Kinghtsbridge. W. Dunthorn.; Portars of the gates of London sworn.

I haue moreouer heard, that there is a writte in our Law, de leproso amouendo, and I haue read that king Edward the third in the 20. yeare of his raigne, gaue commaundement to the mayor and Shiriffes of London, to make proclamation in euery Ward of the citty and suburbes, that all leprose persons inhabiting there should auoid within fifteen dayes next, and that no man suffer any such leprose person to abide within his house, vpon paine to forfeite his said house, and to incurre the kinges further displesure: And that they should cause the said Lepers to be remoued into some out places of the fieldes, from the haunt or company of sound people: whereupon certaine Lazara houses, as may be supposed, were then builded without the cittie some good distance, to wit, the locke without Southwarke in Kent street, one other betwixt the Miles end and Stratford Bow, one other at Kingsland, betwixt Shoreditch and Stoke Newington, and an other at Knightes bridge, west from Charging crosse. These foure I haue noted to bee erected for the receit of Leprouse people sent out of the citty. At that time also the cittizens required of the Gardian of saint Giles hospitall, to take from them, and to keepe continually, the number of foureteene persons leprous, according to the foundation of Matilde the Queene, which was for leprous persons of the cittie of London and the shire of Middlesex, which was granted: more, the Wardens or Keepers of the Portes, Gates or Postenes of this citty were sworne in the Mayors court before the Recorder, &c. That they should well and faithfully keepe the same Portes and Posternes, and not to suffer any leprous person to enter the sayde citty.

Portars of the gates and Posterns sworne.

Iohn Gardener Porter of the Postern by the Tower his oth before the Mayor and Recorder of London, on Monday after the feast of saint Bartlemew, the 49. of Edward the third: That the Gates and Posterne be well and faithfully kept in his office and Baylywicke, and that he should not suffer any leapers or leaper to enter the citty, or to remaine in the suburbes, and if any leaper or leapers force themselues to enter by his Gates or Posterne, hee to binde them fast to horses, and send them to bee examined of the superiors, &c.

Lazar house at Holoway.

Finally, I read that one William Pole Yeoman of the crowne to king Edward the fourth, being striken with a leprosie, was also desirous to build an Hospitall, with a chappell to the honour of God and saint Anthony, for the reliefe and harborow of such leprous persons as were destitute in the kingdome, to the end they should not be offensiue to other in their passing to and fro: for the which cause Edward the 4. did by his charter dated the 12. of his raigne, giue vnto the said W. for euer, a certaine parcell of his land, lying in his high way of Highgate, and Haloway, within the Countie of Middlesex, containing 60. foote in length, & 34. in breadth.