Hospitals: St John Baptist, Toddington

A History of the County of Bedford: Volume 1. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1904.

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, 'Hospitals: St John Baptist, Toddington', in A History of the County of Bedford: Volume 1, (London, 1904) pp. 402-403. British History Online [accessed 19 May 2024].

. "Hospitals: St John Baptist, Toddington", in A History of the County of Bedford: Volume 1, (London, 1904) 402-403. British History Online, accessed May 19, 2024,

. "Hospitals: St John Baptist, Toddington", A History of the County of Bedford: Volume 1, (London, 1904). 402-403. British History Online. Web. 19 May 2024,


The hospital of Toddington was founded by Sir John Broughton in 1433, (fn. 1) for the support of a chaplain, who was to be warden, and three poor men; they were to pray for King Henry VI., for the founder, and for Thomas Peyvre and his wife Margaret. (fn. 2) It was still in existence in 1538, (fn. 3) though its funds were not applied at that time quite in the way that the founder had intended; the Valor Ecclesiasticus gives the names of a warden or master, and three chaplains instead of poor men. (fn. 4)

The name of Thomas Grenefeld, the warden in 1454, is found in a document relating to some property in the neighbourhood. (fn. 5) The last warden, Sir John Mylward, was the compiler of a book called De potestate Petri, a collation from the Fathers of the Church in defence of the papal supremacy; it was several times mentioned at the trial of the monks of Woburn in 1538. (fn. 6) Mylward himself was examined at the same time as the monks, and acknowledged that he had made the book, and also that he had not set forth the royal supremacy in his sermons, but had only read a printed schedule before the bidding prayer. Being further asked what he would do if the law against the pope were yet unmade, and which he would then think better—that the law should be made, or that the pope's power should remain—he very discreetly answered that he doubted what he would then think; he would like in that case to consult with learned men on the subject. (fn. 7) Articles were appended to the depositions taken by the king's commissioners, in which Mylward's name had a prominent place; (fn. 8) but he was probably never brought to trial. (fn. 9) The Chantry Certificate of 1546 (fn. 10) states that the hospital was 'dissolved already without the king's majesty's license, by the Lord Warden and Sir George Shefford, gentleman'; and that 'the said hospital and the use thereof ceased immediately after the death of Sir John Mylward, late parson thereof.' It would therefore appear that Sir John held his benefice until his death, which was soon after that of the abbot of Woburn. The Chantry Certificate goes on to state that no money had been paid to the poor since the dissolution; and that one half of the property of the hospital was held by the lord warden by title of Anne, elder daughter of Sir John Broughton, and a half by Sir George Shefford by title of Katherine, the younger daughter. (fn. 11)

The original endowment was only a certain messuage and garden of 2 acres in Toddington; and for divers lands and tenements in Chalgrave, Grove, Broughton and Mentmore (Bucks) the founder assigned a rent of £8 to the prioress of Dartford, with the intention that they should be given to the hospital. (fn. 12) In the Valor Ecclesiasticus the stipend of the warden is valued at £8 13s. 2d., and those of the other priests at £5 13s. 4d., £5, and £8 12s. 4d. respectively. (fn. 13) The Chantry Certificate of 1546 gives the clear value of the warden's stipend as £13 2s. (fn. 14)


  • 1. Pat. 21 Hen. vi. pt. 1, m. 10.
  • 2. Ibid.
  • 3. L. and P. Hen. VIII. xiii. (1), 981.
  • 4. Valor Eccl. (Rec. Com.), iv. 211.
  • 5. Beds N. and Q. i. 261.
  • 6. L. and P. Hen. VIII. xiii. (1), 981.
  • 7. Ibid. Deposition of Sir John Mylward.
  • 8. Ibid.
  • 9. See 'Ecclesiastical History,' 330–1.
  • 10. Chant. Cert. (Beds), 4.
  • 11. Ibid.
  • 12. Pat. 21 Hen. VI. pt. 1, m. 10.
  • 13. Valor Eccl. (Rec. Com.), iv. 211.
  • 14. Chant. Cert. (Beds), 4.