Hospitals: St Mary Magdalen, Southwell

Pages 175-176

A History of the County of Nottingham: Volume 2. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1910.

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As to the hospital of St. Mary Magdalen without Southwell, hardly anything is known save that the mastership was in the patronage of the Archbishop of York. Several collations by respective archbishops to this benefice occur in the York registers.

The earliest of these is of the year 1313, when Henry de Hykeling, master of the Southwell Grammar School, (fn. 1) acolyte, was appointed warden of the hospital of St. Mary Magdalen extra Southwell. (fn. 2)

An exchange was effected in 1361 between Richard de Otteringham, prebendary of Parva Pipe, Lichfield, and Henry de Barton, warden of the Southwell Hospital. (fn. 3)

On 30 October 1399 an exchange was effected between Alexander Herll, warden of St. Giles Hospital, Little Maldon, and Robert Manfield, warden of St. Mary Magdalen's Hospital, Southwell. (fn. 4)

Roger de Newbold was collated to this wardenship in 1456. (fn. 5)

From the relevant entry in the Valor of 1534 it would appear that this small mediaeval hospital, like the majority of its fellows throughout England, had by that time ceased to do any service for the poor or infirm, and simply found a salary for a master or chaplain. The clear annual value was but 44s. 11d., and the chaplain, one John Bulle, was also one of the vicars choral of the collegiate church of Southwell in receipt of a stipend of £7 4s. 8½d. (fn. 6)

The 1545-6 commissioners of Henry VIII made the following enigmatical entry with regard to this hospital, of which apparently only the chapel survived:—

'The Chapelle called Marie Magdaleyn Chappell in Estthorppefeldes in the parisshe of Southewell by whome or to what intente and purpose ytt was founded no man answerithe.' (fn. 7)

The commissioners of 1547 also left the question of the founder of 'the frechapell called Mawdeleyn capell' unsolved, but stated its intent to be the support of a chaplain to sing divine service. The name of the incumbent was unknown, and the clear value was returned as 45s. 6½d. (fn. 8)


  • 1. It may be noted that this is the earliest extant reference to the Southwell Grammar School.
  • 2. Harl. MS. 6970, fol. 240.
  • 3. Ibid. 6969, fol. 51.
  • 4. Pat. 1 Hen. IV, pt. ii, m. 36.
  • 5. Harl. MS. 6969, fol. 46.
  • 6. Valor Eccl. (Rec. Com.), 195–8.
  • 7. Cert. Coll. and Chant. Notts. xiii, 40.
  • 8. a Ibid. xxxvii, 4.