A History of the County of Somerset: Volume 2. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1911.
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35. THE HOSPITAL OF ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST, REDCLIFFE
This hospital, of which one John Farcey or Farceyn was traditionally regarded as the founder, (fn. 1) was apparently established about the beginning of the 13th century, as a deed of the time of King John granting a well to the church of St. Mary Redcliffe stipulated that the hospital should have its water supplied therefrom by a pipe. (fn. 2) As a result of this stipulation we find that in 1320 the workmen of St. John's were allowed to enter the chapel yard of St Mary's to mend a broken pipe. (fn. 3) Several deeds of the first half of the 13th century refer to the 'brethren and sisters ' of the hospital, (fn. 4) but the deed by which the chapel of the Holy Spirit in the cemetery of St. Mary Redcliffe was made over to the hospital speaks only of brethren, (fn. 5) and the same is the case with the grant of a portion of the rectory of Backwell made by Bishop Walter de Hasleshaw in 1306. (fn. 6) The sisters, however, reappear in 1322, (fn. 7) and in 1317 Bishop Drokensford requested the master of St. John's to receive as a secular sister Alice, niece of Edmund de Wyntereshall. (fn. 8) On admission the inmates were required to take an oath to follow the rule of St. Augustine as observed in the hospital. (fn. 9)
In 1286 Stephen, Master of the hospital of St. John, was fined 20s. for obstructing a public road by erecting a gate. (fn. 10) John Monington, Master or Prior of St. John's, resigned in 1348, retaining a room in the hospital and enjoying for life the manor of Bishopsworth. (fn. 11) Later in this century, in 1383, the chapel of the Holy Spirit was made over to the fraternity of the Holy Spirit, (fn. 12) and it would seem that the hospital was dwindling into insignificance, as in 1442 there was only one brother resident. (fn. 13)
In 1534 the Mayor and corporation of Bristol granted the next presentation to the hospital of St. John the Baptist in Redcliffe Pitt, at the request of Queen Anne Boleyn, to Sir Edward Beynton and Dr. Nicholas Shaxton, of the Queen's household, and David Hutton, grocer of Bristol. (fn. 14) Their nominee was probably Richard Bromefield who surrendered the hospital in March 1544. (fn. 15)
Masters of St. John's, Redcliffe (fn. 16)
Stephen, 1286 (fn. 17)
Edmund le Thyelare, 1292
John de Monington, (fn. 18) occurs 1344, resigned 1348
Lawrence Cocele (fn. 19)
William Topesleye, 1383
Nicholas Sterr, 1430
John Hall, appointed 1442
William Prowse, appointed 1467
Richard Collins, S.T.P., appointed 1504
Richard Bromefield, surrendered 1544
The early 13th-century seal of the Hospital of St. John Baptist at Redcliffe (fn. 22) is a vesica, 3 in. by 21/8 in., and has a representation of the baptism of Our Lord. The legend is:—
✠ SIGILL' HOSPITAL' S[ANCT]I IO[HANN]IS BAPTISTE DE REDECLIVIA.
The seal of Roger the Procurator, used as a counterseal to the above, is a vesica, 1½ in. by 1 in., with a three-quarters' length figure of the Baptist holding a scroll inscribed: ECCE AGNUS DEI. On the left is the Lamb. The legend is:—✠ SIGILL' PROCURATORIS HOSPITAL S[ANCTI] IO[HANNI]S DE RADECLIVIA.