A History of the County of Nottingham: Volume 2. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1910.
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36. THE HOSPITAL OF ST. LEONARD, STOKE
Much confusion has been made by Thoroton, Tanner, and others between the hospital of St. Leonard, Newark, and the hospital of the like dedication at Stoke juxta Newark. It is, however, certain that there were two separate establishments, and it may safely be assumed that both were primarily intended for lepers. Tanner's statement (fn. 1) that the Stoke Hospital is mentioned in Ralph d'Aincourt's foundation charter of Thurgarton Priory, though often repeated, goes beyond the warrant of the text; all that is therein stated as to this place has reference to a charge of 10s. infirmis de Stokes. (fn. 2)
In 1315 licence was granted for the alienation in mortmain to the master of the hospital of St. Leonard, Stoke by Newark, by Henry de St. Lis of 10½ acres of land in Elston and Stoke, and by William le Venur of 3 acres of land in the same towns, and by Henry de Sibthorpe of 1 a. 3½ r., also in the same towns. (fn. 3)
In 1332 William de Melton, Archbishop of York, sanctioned a reordination of this hospital (founded originally to further the worship of God and to sustain the poor), as requested by John Chanson, the master, Robert de Bilbrough and Robert de Donham, chaplains, and Simon de Botelsford, clerk, the brethren of the hospital. These officials of the hospital had at that time, through exertion among their friends, increased the endowments by 40 acres of land and 30s. in rents, for the celebrating of sixty masses annually by the chaplains or brother associates; thirty of these masses on the principal feasts, and the other thirty during Lent. In recompense for this trouble the master, or whoever celebrated these masses, was to receive 5s. out of the rent of a certain tenement in the town of Stoke. (fn. 4)
In August 1332 licence was obtained for the alienation of various small plots of land to the hospital of the yearly value of 10s. (fn. 5) There was a further alienation of other small plots of the annual value of 13s. 4d. in 1339, (fn. 6) and again in 1347 of others worth 13s. 6d. a year. (fn. 7)
Richard II in 1392 licensed the alienation by Thomas Angle, clerk, and Alice Porter of a messuage and half an acre of land in Stoke, and by John Coney and Alice his wife of another messuage in the same place, to the master and brethren of St. Leonard's Hospital, Stoke by Newark, in full satisfaction of a licence granted them by the late king to acquire lands, tenements, or rents to the yearly value of 6 marks. (fn. 8)
A grant was made in 1477 by Edward IV to Laurence Duckworth, rector of Iden (Sussex), of the mastership of the Stoke Hospital, which was in the king's gift by reason of the custody of the lands of Francis Lord Lovell, a minor, on an exchange of benefices with Richard Sharpuls. (fn. 9)
At the time of taking the Valor of 1534 it appeared that the prior and convent of Thurgarton paid yearly 24s. to the master of Stoke Hospital for certain tenements in that town, and also a further annual sum of 16s. in lieu of fifteen cart-loads of wood. (fn. 10)
The commissioners of 1545-6 reported of the 'Spittle of St. Leonard and St. Anne in Stoke,' that it had been founded by the ancestors of the Lyndecortes 'for the relief of poore people and now the Kinge is patron by reason of the attainder of the late Lord Lovell.' The annual value was declared to be £8 13s., and the income for the support of three poor people and for the repair of the hospital and property; but at that time there were only two poor women resident. (fn. 11)
The commissioners, however, of Edward VI two years later returned the income as £10 19s. and stated that the whole of it went to the then master, William Burden, who held 'other great livings.' (fn. 12)
The hospital was suppressed by Edward VI, but refounded by Philip and Mary. (fn. 13) It was again suppressed under Elizabeth, and the site and lands were granted in 1576 to John Mersh and Francis Greneham. (fn. 14)