Hospitals: St Thomas, Sherborne

Page 105

A History of the County of Dorset: Volume 2. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1908.

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Very little is known of this hospital or chapel dedicated to St. Thomas Becket, but commonly known as St. Thomas atte Grene or on the Grene, yet from a reference in a charter (fn. 1) granted by Bishop Richard le Poor of Salisbury in 1228 to his tenants at Sherborne 'between St. Thomas's chapel and the castle,' it appears to have been in existence in the early part of the thirteenth century, and was probably founded during that period when dedication to the honour of that most famous and popular of English saints was high in fashion.

Presentation to the hospital was in the gift of the crown and the custody was usually held by king's clerks together with other benefices; on 20 June, 1395, Richard II ratified the estate of his clerk, John de Wendelyngburgh, as parson or warden of the chapel of St. Thomas on the Grene, (fn. 2) Sherborne, and on 22 September of the same year following the death of John committed the wardenship of the hospital to Nicholas Slake, king's clerk; (fn. 3) both these wardens held the office in plurality with other benefices. In 1405 John Brunyng is given as rector of the Chapel de Grene according to the register of Dean Chandler. (fn. 4)

In the reign of Henry VIII Leland describes 'Thomas Bekettes chapelle by the New Yn' as still standing, but 'incelebrated.' (fn. 5) The college and chantry commissioners of Edward VI reported that it was worth 62s., had no plate or ornaments, but two bells valued at 26s. 8d. (fn. 6) Roger Hord or Horsey, late incumbent, received the whole of the emoluments (fn. 7) to his own use without performing any manner of service in the chapel; 'there is no power (poor) people nor beadmen found nor relieved of the premises.' (fn. 8) The chapel was granted by Edward VI to John Doddington and William Ward. (fn. 9)

Wardens of St. Thomas's Hospital, Sherborne

John de Wendelyngburgh, occurs 1395, (fn. 10) died in the same year

Nicholas Slake, appointed 1395 (fn. 11)

John Brunyng, occurs 1405 (fn. 12)

John Hord or Horsey, last incumbent (fn. 13)


  • 1. By inspeximus of Richard II. Pat. 5 Ric. II, pt. 1, m. 11.
  • 2. Ibid. 18 Ric. II, pt. 2, m. 9.
  • 3. Ibid. 19 Ric. II, pt. 1, m. 18.
  • 4. Hutchins, Hist. of Dorset, iv, 257. The warden is mentioned again as 'rector of the Grene' in a grant of Henry VI in 1454 to the master and brethren of the hospital of St. John the Baptist and St. John the Evangelist of Sherborne, enabling them to acquire thirty-nine messuages in the town, and describing one of these same messuages as situated between the tenement of the rector 'de la Grene,' called the George Inne,' on the north and the king's highway leading from the Grene to the Castle on the south; Pat. 32 Hen. VI, m. 15.
  • 5. Leland, Itin. ii, 49; iii, 110.
  • 6. Chant. Cert. 16, No. 8.
  • 7. Entered again as worth 66s.
  • 8. Chant. Cert. 16, No. 92.
  • 9. Hutchins, Hist. of Dorset, iv, 257.
  • 10. Pat. 18 Ric. II, pt. 2, m. 9.
  • 11. Ibid. 19 Ric. II, pt. 1, m. 18.
  • 12. Hutchins, Hist. of Dorset, iv. 237.
  • 13. Chant. Cert. Dorset, 16, No. 92.