A History of the County of Nottingham: Volume 2. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1910.
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30. THE HOSPITAL OF THE HOLY SEPULCHRE, NOTTINGHAM
Very little is known of this ancient foundation. Bishop Tanner was the first to call attention to its existence in his Notitia Monastica, by referring to a Patent Roll entry of 1267, where mention is made of the brethren of the Holy Sepulchre of Nottingham. (fn. 1)
In 1283 Edward I granted protection for a year to the master and brethren of St. Sepulchre's, Nottingham, for the collection of alms. (fn. 2)
A boundary reference among the town documents of the year 1307 makes mention of the 'land beyond the ditch of the town next the cemetery of Saint Sepulchre.' (fn. 3) The fact of this house possessing a cemetery of its own is sufficient to show that it was at one time a foundation of importance; there are, however, no later references to it.
An undated confirmation by Henry II of the foundation of a hospital at Nottingham, c. 1170, though no name is given, may be taken with virtual certainty to refer to that of the Holy Sepulchre. By this charter confirmation was given to a grant of 3½ acres of land to the palmers of Nottingham, which Robert de Saint Remy had given them to establish a hospital for poor men, for the soul of his brother Richard de Saint Remy. (fn. 4)
The bull of Pope Lucius III (1182-5) to the master and brethren of the almshouse of Nottingham probably refers to this foundation. By this bull the pope placed the house under the protection of St. Peter and himself, ordering that no one should dare to exact tithes from them of their gardens, trees, or fodder of their animals.
There was an early-founded order of canons regular of the Holy Sepulchre, which had several small houses in the British Isles, the first of them being established at Warwick. (fn. 5) This order was specially connected with the pilgrims of Jerusalem, and it can hardly be doubted that the 'palmers' referred to above were the canons of this house of the Holy Sepulchre. After the fall of Jerusalem in 1188, this special order began to decay, and most of their lands and revenues were transferred, in the time of Henry III, to the friars of the Holy Trinity for the redemption of captives. The house at Warwick continued as an ordinary Austin priory. At Stamford a house or hospital of St. Sepulchre is definitely mentioned both in the 12th and 13th centuries; but, as at Nottingham, it afterwards dropped out of notice. (fn. 6) Possibly in both cases it became absorbed into some other hospital. It is clear, however, that at Nottingham, after the order of canons of the Holy Sepulchre had ceased to exist, the inmates were termed brethren, and continued for some little time to carry on hospital functions.