Hospitals: Castle Hedingham

Page 184

A History of the County of Essex: Volume 2. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1907.

This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.



Hugh de Vere, earl of Oxford (1221-1263), founded a hospital outside the gate of the castle for the celebration of divine service for the souls of himself and his wife, ancestors, and heirs, and the lodging and refection of poor and impotent persons. The prioress and convent of Hedingham at first opposed the foundation, fearing that it would be prejudicial to them, being within the limits of the parish church, which belonged to them; but afterwards an agreement was come to. The earl and his heirs were to have two or three chaplains, more or less, to celebrate divine service in the hospital, but none of the parishioners were to be admitted to any sacrament. The chaplains should have their own cemetery in the soil of the hospital for themselves and the clerks, lay-brothers and infirm, and these should be exempt from parochial charges, though other laymen serving the hospital should not be. They might have two bells in or by their chapel. Any offerings in the hospital should go to its use. But nothing should be to the prejudice of the customary right of the parish church, and the hospital should pay tithes to it from its goods, except its garden produce and other things growing there and offerings; and the chaplains before celebrating divine service were to take oath to the prioress and convent to keep this ordinance.

Nothing is known of the end of the hospital, but it is likely that it was absorbed by the priory.


  • 1. Dugdale, Mon. iv, 438.