The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 12. Originally published by W Bristow, Canterbury, 1801.
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THE HOSPITAL OF KING'S BRIDGE, ALIAS EASTBRIDGE
IS likewise situated in the same hundred, being exempt from the liberties of the city, and within the jurisdiction of the county of Kent at large. It takes its name from its situation close on the south side of King's bridge. This hospital was formerly called, by both the names of Eastbridge hospital and the hospital of St. Thomas the martyr of Eastbridge; which latter it had, from its being at first erected and endowed by the charity and piety of St. Thomas Becket, in king Henry II.'s reign. (fn. 1) For this we have the testimony of one of his successors, archbishop Stratford; who, upon his new ordination of the hospital, and in the charter of it, acknowledged archbishop Becket to be the first founder and endower of it; besides which, there is no other record extant, or to be found concerning the foundation of this hospital, or the intent why it was erected. (fn. 2) But to look back to the times intervening between these two founders, in which it is recorded, that archbishop Hubert, who sat in this see in king John's reign, was an especial benefactor to it, by the gift of several mills, tithes, and other premises, which were confirmed by the prior and convent of Christ church. In this archbishop's time there was another hospital, neighbouring to this of King's, alias Eastbridge, called Cokyn's hospital, built and en dowed by one William Cokyn, a citizen of Canterbury, whose name in his posterity long survived him, in this city. (fn. 3) This hospital was dedicated to St. Nicholas and the Virgin and martyr St. Catherine; and was situated in the parish of St. Peter, almost directly opposite to the late Black Friars-gate, having had a lane by it, once called Cokyn's lane, though long since shut up, and built upon. This hospital lastmentioned, was built on the scite of a house adjoining to the above William Cokyn's dwelling, or else was turned into one by him. Afterwards, by his charter, he united these two hospitals, and then by another charter, entitled them to all his lands, possessions and chattels, and made them his heirs. This union was confirmed by the bull of pope Innocent III. anno 1203, in which it is called the hospital of St. Thomas of Canterbury; and in Cokyn's grant of union, it is stiled the hospital of St. Nicholas, St. Catherine, and St. Thomas the Martyr of Eastbridge. (fn. 4) Eastbridge hospital becoming thus by union or consolidation possessed of and owners of Cokyn's hospital, it ceased soon afterwards, probably, to be used as one, and was hired or rented out, among the possessions of the hospital of Eastbridge; in which state it continues at this time. (fn. 5)
To return now again to the hospital of St. Thomas of Eastbridge, for which there being no statutes for the government of it, archbishop Stratford, anno 15 Edward III. drew up certain ordinances for that purpose, (fn. 6) the effect of which was, that the hospital being founded for the receiving, lodging and sustaining of poor pilgrims, was then, owing to the negligence of the masters, who had wasted the revenues of it, but meanly endowed, and that the buildings of it were in a ruinous condition: to remedy which, and to continue the charitable intent of it, he decreed, that the church of St. Nicholas, Harbledown, should be for ever appropriated to it; that for the government of this hospital, there should be a master in priest's orders, appointed by the archbishop and his successors, who should keep a proper secular chaplain, or vicar, under him, to be removed at the master's will and pleasure. That such poor pilgrims as happened to die within this hospital, should be buried in Christ church yard, in the place heretofore allotted to them there. That every pilgrim, in health, should have no more than one night's lodging and entertainment, at the expence of 4d. that there should be twelve beds in the hospital, and that some woman, upwards of forty years of age, should look after the beds and provide all necessaries for the pilgrims; that those who were not in health, should be preferred to such as were; that no lepers should be received into it; that if there was a smaller number of pilgrims reforting to the hospital, at any one time, a greater number should be received into it, in lieu of such deficiency, at other times, as far as the revenues of the hospital would allow of it; and further, he inhibited them from having any common seal in the hospital, with several other particular orders and injunction, as may be seen in the instrument more at large.
This hospital had several very liberal benefactors in early times. Among others, Hamo de Crevequer gave the church of Blean to it, which gift was afterwards confirmed by archbishop Stephen Langton, and was afterwards appropriated to it by archbishop Sudbury in 1375, Thomas, lord Roos, of Hamlake, in the 33d year of king Edward III. gave the manor of Blean to it, and the year afterwards Sir John Lee, as appears by the ledger of the hospital, gave to it a messuage, with 180 acres of land and divers rents of assize, in the same parish, for the increase of vorks of piety in it. (fn. 7)
In the year 1362, archbishop Islip founded a perpetual chantry in this hospital, and transferred to it, for the benefit of it, at the request of Bartholomew de Bourne, the chantry founded in the church of Livingsborne, alias Beaksborne, by his ancestor James de Bourne. (fn. 8)
By the instruments of the archbishops Islip and Sudbury, dated in the above year, it appears, by the former, that there was founded in this hospital, a perpetual chantry for divine services; the priest of which was to receive a yearly stipend of ten marcs, of the master of the hospital, out of the revenues of it; for which he was to celebrate divine service, and minister the sacraments and sacramentals in it, to such poor and infirm as should resort hither; and that the priest and his successors should possess the mansion, within the bounds of the hospital, between the infirmary and the great gate of it, and the chamber over it. After which king Edward III, having given a messuage, called the Chaunge, at the time almost wholly in ruins, to Thomas Newe de Wolton, then master of this hospital, and his successors, in aid of the maintenance of the priest who should celebrate in it for his health, for his soul afterwards, and that of John at Lee, who in part founded the chantry, &c. and the said messuage having been repaired and rebuilt by the executors, and at the cost, though charity, of his predecessor, the value of the rent amounted to seven marcs yearly, and would, as it was presumed, amount still higher in future; and it being difficult at that time to find a proper priest, who would undergo the duty and residence required in it, for the salary of ten marcs, the king's piety in augmenting the priest's stipend, was as yet frustrated—Archbishop Simon Sudbury, therefore, by his instrument dated in 1375, in which he recited the above ordination of his predecessor, ordained and decreed, in addition to that before-mentioned, and by the consent of the said Thomas, master of this hospital, and the executors of his predecessor, that the endowment of this chantry of ten marcs, should be augmented with five marcs and an half out of the seven marcs of rent of the messuage given by the king as aforesaid, with power of distress, &c. and whereas the presentation of the chantry of Bourne, united to this hospital, as in the ordination of the first chantry aforesaid made by his predecessor, more plainly appeared, belonged to Bartholomew de Bourne, his heirs, or assigns, before the union; he therefore decreed and ordained, that the presentation and collation to be made to the same, when vacant, should belong to him and his successors, and to the said Bartholomew de Bourne, his heirs, or assigns, alternately; the first turn to belong to the archbishop, because the assigns of Bartholomew de Bourne (fn. 9) had presented the then incumbent to it, &c. (fn. 10)
Though the revenues of this hospital lay chiesly in the parish of Blean, yet it was possessed of other rents, lands and tenements in Canterbury, Harbledown, and in Birchington. It was likewise possessed of lands in Herne, Reculver, Swaycliffe, Chistlet, and Bekesborne, belonging to the before-mentioned chantry, which at the suppression of it were seized on, as such.
By a bull of pope Honorius III. this hospital had the privilege of not paying tithes of their gardens. (fn. 11)
By the return made to the king's commissioners in king Henry VIII.'s reign, it appears, that there was here a neat handsome chapel, dedicated to the Virgin Mary, to which had belonged two bells, to ring to service, as was reported to them by the parson and churchwardens of All Saints; who said further, that this hospital was a parish church, in which there was ministred all sacraments and sacramentals, to the poor people resorting thither, and to the keeper of it, and his household, and all others remaining within the precinct of it, by the chantry priest; the matter of fact was, that this chapel was formerly served by the chantry priest of the chantry in it, mentioned before, to have been transferred to it, who had 10l. 6s. 8d. yearly stipend or wages, besides his mansion or dwelling, which was at the west end of the hospital, of all which it was deprived at the suppression of it by the statute of the 1st year of king Edward VI. (fn. 12) when a pension of six pounds per annum was granted to Nicholas Thompson, alias Campion, the incumbent of it, which was remaining anno 1553. (fn. 13)
The value of the revenues of the hospital itself, as returned anno 26 Henry VIII. according to both Dugdale and Speed, were 23l. 18s. 9⅓d. per annum, but this must have been the clear income, for according to Sancrost's manuscript valor, they amounted in the whole to 43l. 12s. 3d. (fn. 14)
The state of this hospital, as it stood in the time of cardinal Pole, at archdeacon Harpsfield's visitation in 1557, was, as appears by the entry in the book of it; that they were bound to receive way faring and hurt men, and to have eight beds for men, and four for women; to remain for a might, and more, if they were not able to depart; and the master of the hospital to be charged with their burial, and they had twenty lords of wood yearly allowed, and 26s. a year for drink, that there was 10l. land a year, with a mansion, which the priest always had for officiating in the chapel, taken away by the king, and that it was the head church to St. Cosmus and St. Damian Blean, but that they had no ornaments but organs. (fn. 15)
This hospital, though it outlasted the general suppression of most of the foundations of the like sort in the reigns of king Henry VIII. and king Edward VI. yet in the beginning of queen Elizabeth's reign, the lands and tenements belonging to it, as well as the hospital itself, then converted into tenements, were occu pied and possessed by private persons, until archbishop Parker, in the 10th year of that reign, recovered, by his prudent care, some of the lands and possessions, and restored the house again to pious and charitable uses. He framed new ordinances for the government of it, which he wisely contrived should be suitable to those times, as well as agreeable to the first foundation of the hospital, and the former statutes of archbishop Stratford, as far as might be; reserving nevertheless, a power to his successors, archbishops of Canterbury, to revise, alter, abolish and new make all, or any part of them; they are dated May 20, 1569. (fn. 16)
In them it appears, that in consequence of the ordinances of archbishop Stratford, the master of the hospital might take all the profits of it to his own use, bestowing only for the relief of wandering and wayfaring brethren, and poor, in bread and drink, after the rate of 4d. a day, and one night's lodging for twelve persons, if so many came there at one time, in the whole not above 6l. 2s. 6d. per annum, but the archbishop (Parker) by the authority in the above former ordinance concerning the disposition of the profits of this hospital, to him and his successors reserved, to alter and change the same, did by these ordinances in that behalf made, under his hand and seal, not only increase the above sum, to be from thenceforth bestowed on certain poor inhabiting within the county of the city of Canterbury, but also appointed other sums of money thereout, yearly to be paid towards the keeping of a freeschool, for a certain number of poor children of the county of the said city, to be taught to write and read freely within the hospital.
By the same ordinance, as well as by an indenture, between the master of this hospital and the master of Corpus Christi, or Benet college, in Cambridge, dated May 22, anno 11th Elizabeth, the archbishop founded out of the revenues of this hospital, two scholarships, each of the yearly value of 3l. 6s. 8d. that sum to be paid yearly from thence, by the master of the hospital to the master of the college; the two scholars to be chosen, named, examined and approved by the master of this hospital and the dean of Canterbury, if any such there should be; if not, then by the master only, and to be taken from the free-school in Canterbury, being such of the scholars there as were born within Kent, and being sent to Cambridge, should be called Canterbury scholars; who, after their admittance and receipt there, should remain and continue in that college, according to the orders and statutes of it, and should have of the provision of it, convenient chambers, commons, reading and other necessaries, as other scholars in it, according to common custom, for the term of two hundred years next, from the date of the indenture, with other rules and regulations in it relating to them. (fn. 17)
Not long after this, queen Elizabeth issued a commission of charitable uses, to enquire into the state and condition of this hospital, which was done, and a return thereof made accordingly; and again, soon after the death of archbishop Parker, there was a second commission, directed to Sir James Hales and others, who certisied, that the hospital house stood ruinated, and neither master nor brethren were resident, or dwelling of long time. The house was let out into tenements for yearly rent. The beds that were wont to lodge and harbour poor people resorting thither, were gone and sold, contrary to the old order and foundation of the same; and that the hospital was relinquished and concealed from the queen, &c. Upon which, she granted it, with all its revenues, by letters patent, dated July 20, in her 18th year, to John Farnham, one of her gentlemen pensioners, to hold in see farm for ever. —He soon afterwards conveyed his interest in it for 550l. and the release beside of a debt owing by him, to Geo. Hayes. After this, archbishop Whitgift recovered this hospital, with the revenues of it, from Hayes, and then settled it upon a new foundation, so firm and sure, that it has continued to the present time, and remains a perpetual monument of the archbishop's piety and prudence, who may be justly reputed the sounder and restorer of it; (fn. 18) and he framed new ordinances and statutes, for the better government of it, by which the hospital is now ruled. In these it is, among other things, ordered and decreed, that the archbishop should collate the master, who should be in holy orders, and should be instituted and inducted according to the usual form and custom, who should have the lodging known by the name of the master's lodging, in the hospital; and a yearly stipend of 61. 13s. 4d. and twenty loads of wood from the lands belonging to it, to be delivered cost free. That the master should appoint a school-master, who by himself or deputy, should freely instruct twenty poor children of this city, above the age of seven years, to write, read and cast accompts, and to have books, paper, &c. provided for them, out of the prosits of the hospital, and not to remain in the school above three years. The school-master to have a lodging in the hospital, and a stipend of four pounds, and for his further relief, if the master approved of it, to be receiver of the rents, &c. of the hospital; for which he should receive 26s. 8d. and two loads of wood yearly, to be delivered cost free, and one summer livery cloth. That out of the prosits of the hospital, there should be paid for ever, to the two scholars to be taken out of the common school at Canterbury, commonly called the mynte, by the master of the hospital, with the consent of the archbishop, and placed in Benet college, 3l. 6s. 8d. each, according to the former ordinances made of it. That whereas by former ordinances, the master of the hospital was only tied to pay in time of peace, unto the poor passengers, or to such other poor people as the master should think good, thirty pence a week; and in time of war that payment ceasing, to provide twelve beds for the lodging of poor soldiers, passing through this city, within the hospital, for the space of one night only, which is now grown wholly out of use, especially since the loss of Calais; therefore, for the better relief of the poor inhabiting within this city and the suburbs of it, it was ordered, that the former last recited orders should cease, and instead of them, there should be five inbrothers, and five in-sisters, to be permanent and have their habitation in the hospital; and after the space of twenty years next ensuing, there should be five other out-brothers, and five others called out-sisters; each of the said in-brothers and in-sisters to have a several dwelling and lodging within the hospital, and 26s. 8d. by the year, and one load of wood to be delivered cost free, between Midsummer and Michaelmas; and each of the out brothers and out-sisters to have 26s. 8d. by the year only; that the mayor of this city should from time to time, nominate to the master of the hospital for every of the brothers and sisters rooms, when they should be void and unfurnished, two poor persons, men or women, as the places should require, being lame, impotent, blind, or aged, above fifty years of age, who should have inhabited within the city, of suburbs, seven years before; of which two, the master should chuse and admit one; and in default of the mayor's nomi nating for the space of three months, the master to make choice, and admit any, qualisied as above-mentioned. That in the room of every out-brother and sister, the mayor should nominate such persons as above specisied, whereof one at least should be such as had dwelt in the city or suburbs, by the space of three whole years at least, to the end that such as dwelt there, and not within the county of the city, should receive the whole benefit of these ordinances. That the master, out of the profits of the hospital, should repair and sustain it, and every part within the precincts of it, and also sufficiently sustain and maintain the bridge, called the king's bridge, alias Eastbridge, within the city of Canterbury; (fn. 19) and pay to the queen, her heirs and successors, 7l. 10s. yearly, due to her for the pension of a chantry, sometime within the hospital, and all other dues and payments going out of it. That the master should not let for years or lives, the lands or tenements, nor make any woodsales of the wood, without the express consent, in writing, of the archbishop, and should yearly make an accompt to him, if demanded, so that of the surplusage all charges deducted, the portions of the brethren and sisters might be increased at the will of the archbishop, as theretofore had been used. That the in-brethren or sisters, master or schoolmaster, who should die within the precincts of the hospital, might be buried within the church-yard of the cathedral, according to a former agreement made between the archbishop, his predecessor and the then prior and convent of Christ church, with many other orders and re gulations mentioned in them, (fn. 20) all which were confirmed and ordered to be inrolled in chancery, by an act passed in the 27th year of that reign, (fn. 21) by the means of which, the rights of this hospital have been preserved to this time.
Mr. Avery Sabin, sometime an alderman of this city, by his will in 1648, gave a rent charge out of his estate at Monkton, in Thanet, of 20l. per annum, for charitable uses to the poor of this city, of which, ten marcs were assigned yearly to be paid to the five in-brothers and five in-sisters of this hospital. (fn. 22)
Mrs. Elizabeth Lovejoy, widow, by her will in 1694, gave, out of her personal estate, the sum of five pounds yearly to this hospital, to be shared and divided among the poor of it, in like manner as her gift to Cogan's hospital, above-mentioned. Besides which, this hospital receives yearly the sixth part of the interest, due from 1631. 16s. 3d. being the sum due from Mrs. Masters's legacy, who died in 1716, which is vested in the mayor and commonalty, in trust, for the several hospitals in Canterbury, of which a full account may be seen among the charitable benefactions to this city.
In 1708 John Battely, D. D. archdeacon of Canterbury, and master of this hospital, new built three of the sisters lodgings, and did several other great repairs, and at his death left by his will, to the in-brothers and sisters, one hundred pounds, the interest of which he ordered should be proportioned by Mr. John Bradock, of St. Stephen's, and Mr. Somerscales, vicar of Doddington.
In 1768, Thomas Hanson, esq. of Crosby-square, London, gave by will, the interest of 500l, for ever, to the in brothers and sisters of this hospital; which being now invested in the 3 per cents. reduced Bank Annuties, produces 17l. 1os. per annum.
Besides these, the hospital had many temporary benefactors, as well towards the repairs of it, as in money; among which were, the archbishops Juxon, Sheldon and Sancrost. The yearly tenths of this hospital amounting to 2l. 7s. 10d. are payable to the archbishop.
In 1691, the yearly revenues of this hospital amounted in the whole to 101l. 5s. 9d. besides which were the fines upon the renewals of the leafes, and alderman Sabine's gift of 13s 4d. a piece, by the year, which came not into the master's hands, but was paid by one of the aldermen of the city.
The present building is antient; it has a decent hall and chapel, where the schoolmaster, who has a good apartment in the house, and is called the reader, instructs twenty boys gratis, in reading, writing, and arithmetic. There are rooms also for five in brothers, and five in-sisters, but some of these rooms are subject to be flooded in a very wet season. (fn. 23) The master has a neat handsome house, sitauted in a court near the hospital, but on the western or opposite side of the river.
The south side, or part of King's bridge, as far as the middle of it, from end to end, adjoining the front of the hospital, is esteemed exempt from the liberties of the city, and within the county of Kent at large, and is repaired and maintained by the master of it. The north or opposite side is esteemed within the city and its liberties, and is repaired and maintained by the corporation; this arises from the bridge having been widened to double its former width, within these few years. (fn. 24)
Names of the Masters of King's Bridge, alias Eastbridge Hospital.
1. RALPH was the first master, or custos of this hospital, whose name is to be found in the most antient charters of this house. He is called custos, sometimes procurator, and sometimes master of the hospital; he was witness to an antient charter of the hospital of St. Nicholas and St. Catherine, founded by William Cockyn, before that hospital was united to this of Eastbridge.
11. ROGER DE RONDES was master at that time when archbishop Stratford framed the statutes for this hospital, viz. September 23, 1342. He is mentioned in the registers of Christ-church in the years 1344 and 1348.
14. THOMAS DE WOLTON was collated on Dec. 18, 1351. He is called Thomas de Wilton and Thomas Newe de Recolore. He was rector of Aldington and vicar of Recolure; he founded and endowed a chantry in the church of Reculver, anno 1354. He was an eminent man, and in his time great benefactions were conferred upon this hospital, as has been already mentioned before.
18. WALTER CAUSTON, monk and precentor of the church of Canterbury, was admitted on Nov. 25, 1383; he continued in that office in 1392. He was constituted prior of St. Martin's, in Dover, by archbishop Arundel.
24. THOMAS CHICHELEY occurs again. He was archdeacon of Canterbury, prebend of St. Paul's, provost of Wingham college, prothonotary to the pope, and was inducted to this mastership on July 30, 1445; (fn. 25) he died on Jan. 26, 1446.
25. JOHN BOURCHIER, LL. D. archdeacon of Canterbury, was collated on April 20, 1467; he was provost of Wingham, and prothonotary likewise to the pope; he died on Nov. 6, 1469, and was buried in the cathedral of Canterbury. (fn. 26)
28. PETER LYGHAM, LL.D. was collated in 1538, and was dean of the arches at that time. (fn. 27)
29. WILLIAM SWORDER was admitted on April 27, 1538. (fn. 28)
31. THOMAS LAWSE, LL. D. was admitted on Feb. 18, 1569, being canon of Christ-church, Canterbury, which he resigned, but continued master of this hospital until his death, which happened on August 9, 1595. (fn. 29)
32. RICHARD ROGERS, S. T. P. bishop suffragan of Dover, and dean of Canterbury, was collated on August 25, 1595; he died on May 19, 1597. (fn. 30)
33. ISAAC COLE, A. M. was inducted master of this hospital on June 18, 1596. He was the fourth son of Amandus Colf, alias Colt, of Calais, in France, and afterwards of the city of Canterbury, was born in Kent, and educated at Oxford. He died on July 15, 1597, and was buried in the chapter house of Canterbury cathedral. (fn. 31)
34. JOHN BOYS, S. T. P. dean of Canterbury, was inducted on August 14, 1597, and died on Sept. 28, 1625. (fn. 32)
35. ROBERT SAY, S. T. P. was inducted on Oct. 26, 1625. He was rector of Harbledown, and dying on April 8, 1628, was buried in the chancel of Mongeham church. (fn. 33)
36. JOHN SACKETTE, S. T. B. rector of Great Mongeham, was inducted on May 27, 1628, and dying on August 24, 1664, was buried in the chancel of Mongeham church. (fn. 34)
37. EDWARD ALDEY, A. M. canon of Christchurch, in Canterbury, was collated on October 20, 1664. He died on July 12, 1673, and was buried in the chancel of the late St. Andrew's church, in Canterbury, where he had a monument erected to his memory.
38. SAMUEL PARKER, S. T. B. archdeacon and prebendary of Canterbury, was inducted September 10, 1673. He was rector of Chartham and Ickham, in this county, and continued master of this hospital after he was bishop of Oxford, to his death, which was on March 20, 1687.
39. JOHN BATTELY, S. T. P. archdeacon of Canterbury, and prebendary of that church, was inducted on Sept. 1, 1688, who is recorded as having been a good and generous benefactor to this hospital, as well in the extraordinary reliefs, which he afforded to the poor of it, as in the repairing and beautifying the buildings, chapel, and hall of it. (fn. 35) He died in October 1708. (fn. 36)
40. JOHN PARIS, A. M. was admitted that same year; he was rector of the united parishes of St. Mary Bredman and St. Andrew, in Canterbury, and vicar of Bekesborne, in this county. He died on November 5, 1709, and was buried in St. Andrew's church.
41. JOHN BRADOCK, A. M. was collated to this mastership in January, 1709. He was vicar of Hackington, alias St. Stephen's, near Canterbury, and dying on August 14, 1719, was buried in the chancel of that church.
43. JOHN SACKETTE, A. M. was admitted master on March 14, 1746. He was minister of Folkestone, and rector of Hawking, in this county, and is well known by his publications as an antiquary and a poet. He died in 1753. (fn. 37)
44. HENRY HEATON, B. D. was the next master collated to it, being admitted on July 2, 1753. He was a prebendary of the church of Ely, rector of Ivychurch, and vicar of Boughton Blean, in this county. He died on July 7, 1777, and was buried in the latter church.
45. WILLIAM BACKHOUSE, S. T. P. was admitted on Sept. 23, 1777. He was archdeacon of this diocese, and rector of Deal, in this county, before which he had various preferments in it, which he either resigned or exchanged at different times for others. He died Sept. 29, 1788, at his parsonage-house at Deal, and was buried in the chancel of that church. (fn. 38)
46. WILLIAM GREGORY, A. M. was inducted in 1788. He was one of the six preachers of this cathedral, and is now rector of St. Andrew's, in this city; and has been collated to the vicarage of Blean, of which he himself is patron, in right of his mastership. He is the present master of this hospital.
THE SEVERAL PRECINCTS AND VILLES without the walls of the city, in the suburbs of it, which are exempt from the liberties of it, being usually called extraparochial, and esteemed within the hundred of Westgate, and within the jurisdiction of the county of Kent at large, come next, in turn, to be described.