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.
39. THE HOSPITAL (fn. 1) OF LITTLE MALDON
By an inquisition (fn. 2) taken in 1402 it was found that the hospital of St. Giles by Maldon was founded by one of the kings of England for the maintenance of a chaplain to celebrate divine service daily there and of the leper burgesses of the town, and that the master should have in aid of the maintenance of the lepers all forfeitures of unsound bread, ale, flesh and fish in the town. The brethren at one time had the right of electing the master at each voidance; for a deed (fn. 3) is preserved by which, somewhere about the middle of the thirteenth century, the master and brethren released this right to Rose de Fanecourt and her heirs, so that these should present as chief lords, notwithstanding the grant of Matthew Mauntel or any ancestor of his. Accordingly the advowson appears afterwards as appurtenant to the manor of Little Maldon, except when it was seized by the crown. It would seem also from this that one of the lords of the manor was the real founder.
The date of the foundation is not known, but it may very likely have been in the spring of 1164. The Pipe Roll of 10 Henry II records an allowance of 15s. 2½d. made to the infirm of Maldon for half a year, and in the succeeding years the allowance is 30s. 5d. yearly. If then the king's first grant was coincident with the foundation, it is easily seen that he might be considered the nominal founder, while the advowson belonged to the lord of the manor, who had probably granted the site.
In 1320 (fn. 4) the manor of Little Maldon and the advowson of the hospital passed from John de Grey, who had previously acquired them from Thomas Filiol, to John Amory; and a few years later the king presented to the hospital during the minority of an Amory heir. From this the subsequent attempts of the crown to obtain possession of the advowson probably originated. Edward III made grants of the hospital to Almaric Shirlond and William Hannay; and when Sir John Bourchier, the lord of the manor, presented his clerk John Ive to it, the latter could not obtain execution of the presentation because of the king's letters. Commissions were issued on 3 December, 1381, (fn. 5) and 12 February, 1382, (fn. 6) to inquire whether the advowson belonged to the manor, whether the manor was held of the king in chief as of the crown or as of the honour of Peverel, whether the hospital was of royal foundation or always appendent to the manor and of the patronage of the lords of the manor, what were the circumstances of the presentation of the last five incumbents, whether all masters or wardens were instituted by the diocesan at the presentation of the patrons, and whether William Hannay, the present incumbent, had any right of occupation except by letters patent of the late king, and whether he had been so instituted. The question of the tenure of the manor and the patronage of the hospital was discussed at considerable length. (fn. 7) Finally Bourchier failed to appear, and the patronage remained with the crown for several years. It was found, however, that the incumbent should be presented, instituted and inducted, and Hannay found his collation of no effect and obtained a presentation (fn. 8) from the king on 13 May, 1382. The same matter came up again twenty years later.
Richard II on 27 April, 1396, promised (fn. 9) the reversion of the hospital to the prior and convent of Bicknacre, whenever it should be vacant by the death of William Nortoun, warden; but nothing came of this grant.
During the wardenship of Robert Manfeld the inquisition mentioned above was taken in April, 1402, before Helmyng Leget, escheator, and it was found that for the last three years and more he had altogether withdrawn the customary maintenance of the chaplain and lepers, and that in consequence of this the hospital should revert to the king to dispose of the wardenship. The hospital was said to be worth beyond reprises 10 marks yearly. The king accordingly on 13 April, 1402, granted (fn. 10) the hospital to Roger Wodehele; but Manfeld immediately appealed, and the case was tried in the King's Bench, (fn. 11) the point at issue being whether the warden or master should be presented, instituted and inducted by the bishop as to a benefice, or whether the king had the right of collation. Wodehele argued on the lines of the inquisition, saying that the hospital had been founded by Henry II, and cited the collation of William Hannay by Edward III. Manfeld answered that the hospital was founded that the warden or master should find one chaplain to celebrate divine service in the chapel of the hospital on three days in the week at the choice of the warden, and that there had been no leper burgesses for twenty years and more. It had been found by the commission of 5 Richard II that all wardens were presented, admitted, instituted and inducted; and Hannay renounced his collation by advice of the king's attorney because it could have no effect, and was then presented. The hospital had never been taken into the king's hands, and no collation had ever been made except in the case of Hannay. Judgement was given in favour of Manfeld, and the king on 9 November ordered (fn. 12) the escheator to restore the hospital to him if it had not been seized for any other reason.
Edward IV on 18 February, 1481, granted licence (fn. 13) for the patrons, Henry Bourchier, earl of Essex, and the king's aunt Isabel, his wife, and others, and the warden, William Aspynalght, to grant the hospital and everything belonging to it to the abbot and convent of Beeleigh, and for the bishop of London to appropriate it to the abbey. The grant was made accordingly on 17 May, 1481; and later (fn. 14) the bishop formally sanctioned the union, arranging that it should take place on the death or resignation of the present warden. The abbot and convent were to undertake all the burdens of the hospital, and by one of their brethren to say mass at least once every week in the chapel of the hospital, and also on every sixth holy-day in the year; and they were to pay pensions of 20d. to the bishop and 12d. to the archdeacon of Essex yearly at Michaelmas, and 12d. to the dean and chapter of St. Paul's at each vacancy of the bishopric. The archdeacon certified on 5 July, 1484, that the appropriation had been accomplished; and from thence till the dissolution the hospital remained in the possession of the abbey.
In the rental (fn. 15) of the abbey, taken soon after the dissolution, the 'Spittellands' in Maldon, including probably the site of the hospital, are said to be demised to William Stokes at a rent of £6 1s. 0d. yearly.
The possessions of the hospital known as 'Jenkynmaldons,' lying in Hazeleigh, Purleigh, Woodham Mortimer and Maldon, were held on lease by John Throstyll, of Danbury; and the rent reserved and the reversion of the premises were granted (fn. 16) by the king on 12 April, 1539, to Thomas Dyer and Frances his wife in fee.
Priors, Masters or Wardens of Maldon
Thomas, occurs 1221. (fn. 17)
John, occurs 1255. (fn. 18)
Thomas, occurs 1285. (fn. 19)
Roger de Harewolde, instituted 1322. (fn. 20)
John Pavy, occurs 1346. (fn. 21)
John de Codyngton, presented 1349. (fn. 22)
Richard de Wynwyk, presented 1350. (fn. 23)
John de Wynwyk, presented 1350. (fn. 24)
Richard de Thoerne, presented 1351. (fn. 27)
Robert de Naylinghurst, died 1369. (fn. 28)
John Bosard, presented 1373. (fn. 33)
Roger Wodehele, collated 1402. (fn. 39)
William Boston, collated 1419. (fn. 40)
John Hunt, presented 1430. (fn. 43)
William Aspynhalgh, presented 1481. (fn. 44)