A History of the County of Essex: Volume 2. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1907.
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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)
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)