Hospitals: Hospitals in Sandwich and Sevenoaks

Pages 226-227

A History of the County of Kent: Volume 2. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1926.

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The date of the foundation of this hospital is not known, but one grant of rent to it belongs to the year 1227, and some others may be earlier. It appears to have been from an early date under the governance of the mayor, jurats, and commonalty; and according to the customal of the town they visited it every year oh the feast of St. Bartholomew. The master rendered an account before the mayor and jurats whenever they thought proper. Three priests should officiate constantly in the chapel, with a stipend of 5 marks each; and the allowances of food and lodging for the brothers and sisters were prescribed in detail. (fn. 1)

Edward III on 9 July, 1349, granted all manner of profits of the passage over the water between Sandwich and Stonar to the brethren of the house of St. Bartholomew, Sandwich, in aid of the alms of the house. (fn. 2) It was found in 1537 (fn. 3) that they had neglected the maintenance of certain groynes, which was probably a charge in connexion with this.

In the certificates of colleges and chantries the gross income of the hospital, including profits from the ferry, amounting to £16, was returned at £42 0s. 4d., and the net income as £39 19s. 1d. yearly. (fn. 4) The hospital survived the Dissolution, and Archbishop Parker says of it in his return (fn. 5) of 1562

It is of the first foundation of one Sir John Sandwich, knight, and now of the foundation of the mayor and commynaltie of the town of Sandwich. And by the said mayor ther are placed from time to time the number of twelve brothers and four sisters, who are releaved only of the revenues of the said hospitall, amounting to the yerely value by estimation of £40. The said hospitall is charitably used to God's glory, and the same surveyed from tyme to time by the mayor of Sandwich and kept in godlie order. It is not taxed to the perpetuall tenth.

The state of the hospital, however, does not seem to have been entirely satisfactory in 1587, when several persons deposed that although the number of brothers and sisters was maintained, and most were old and impotent, still some were young, some had property outside, had paid large sums for their places, or had let put part of their lodgings. (fn. 6)

King James I in 1620 at the suit of James, Viscount Doncaster, made a grant of the hospital and all lands belonging to it to Sir John Townsend and others; but the corporation successfully resisted this. (fn. 7)

The Charity Commissioners reported in 1837 that there were in the hospital a master and sixteen brothers and sisters, and described its property in detail. (fn. 8)

Masters of St. Bartholomew's, Sandwich

John Coperland, occurs 1347 (fn. 9)
Richard Pyneham, occurs 1383 (fn. 10)
John Herdeman, occurs 1402 (fn. 11)
Richard Delver, occurs 1408 (fn. 12)
Thomas Cryhton, occurs 1418 (fn. 13)
Thomas Parker, occurs 1437 (fn. 14)
John Dowle, occurs 1445 (fn. 15)
John Harnes, occurs 1550 (fn. 16)
Robert Kite, occurs 1552 (fn. 17)
John Terry, occurs 1553 (fn. 17)
John Jarman, occurs 1557 (fn. 17)
Francis Hook, occurs 1696 (fn. 16)


This hospital, like that of St. Bartholomew, appears always to have been under the governance of the mayor and jurats, but the year of the foundation is not known, though one deed belonging to it is dated 1287. The customal of the town describes the regulations for the brothers and sisters in detail.

In the certificates of colleges and chantries the gross income of the hospital is given as £5 1s. 7d., and the net income as £5 1s. 3d. yearly. (fn. 19) It survived the Dissolution, and Archbishop Parker reported (fn. 20) of it in 1562

This house is charitablie founded, maynteyned and provided by the mayor and jurates, and they have no possessions, and there are releaved twelve poor people.

In 1837 the Charity Commissioners reported (fn. 21) that there were there a master and six brothers and sisters, and the right of appointment belonged to the mayor and jurats, but had long been given up to the mayor. The property was described in detail.

Masters of St. John's, Sandwich

John Baker, occurs 1371 (fn. 22)
John Wilkins, died 1516 (fn. 23)


Richard II on 28 June, 1392, granted licence for Thomas Rollyng and William Swan, clerks, John Godard and Richard Benge to grant a messuage and 132 acres of land in Woodnesborough to twelve poor inmates of a hospital to be founded by them at Sandwich in honour of St. Thomas the Martyr. (fn. 24) It appears from the deeds of the hospital that they were the feoffees of Thomas Elys of Sandwich, the real founder, and so the hospital is sometimes known by his name. Its property and management have always been vested in trustees.

In 1481 it was found by inquisition that Henry Grensheld, then deceased, on 12 January, 1471, enfeoffed Herman Riswyk of 15 acres of land in Wobdnesborough, and the latter on 3 May, 1472, enfeoffed John Aldy, John Swan, Thomas Norman, chaplain, and Nicholas Burton, wardens of the hospital of St. Thomas the Martyr, Sandwich, of the same to the use of the twelve poor persons in the hospital, and these received the issues, contrary to the statute. (fn. 25)

In the certificate of colleges and chantries the gross income of 'Ellys hospitall' is given as £13 6s. and the net income as £12 0s. 4½d. yearly. (fn. 26) It survived the Dissolution, and Archbishop Parker reported (fn. 27) of it in 1562

It is first founded by one Thomas Ellis, and yt is now of the foundation and patronage of the mayor and jurates of the same. Ther be placed, for tyme of life, eight brothers and four sisters, and they are releaved by almes and the revenues of the said hospitalls, amounting to £12 by yere. The hospitall is very charitablie ordered, and serveyed by the mayor. It is not taxed to the tenth.

Regulations (fn. 28) for the management of the hospital were drawn up by the governors and trustees on 17 July, 1725, because they could not find any then existing. The twelve persons were to be eight men and four single women.

The Charity Commissioners reported (fn. 29) in 1837 that there were in the hospital eight brothers, one of whom was annually appointed master by the trustees, and four sisters; and described its property in detail.


Peter de Crouland, vicar of the church of Sevenoaks, had licence (fn. 30) on 16 April, 1338, to grant 100s. of land and rent to a chaplain to celebrate divine service daily in the free chapel of St. John, Sevenoaksy for the soul of Thomas de Somerset, chaplain, deceased; but he died before doing so, and his kinsman, Peter son of Walter de Crouland, had a similar licence (fn. 31) on 26 January, 1340. This chapel appears to be the same as the hospital of St. John the Baptist, Sevenoaks, the wardenship of which was granted in 1349 to John de Tamworth by the king, into whose hands it came by the vacancy of the archbishopric. (fn. 32) In the archiepiscopal registers it is sometimes called the hospital of St. John the Baptist of 'Quenebroke,' in the parish of Sevenoaks.

The advowson of the hospital, chantry, or chapel of St. John in the parish of Sevenoaks was granted in exchange by the archbishop of Canterbury to the king in 1538; (fn. 33) and the hospital was dissolved soon afterwards, a pension of £8 2s. 10d. being granted to John Cleyton, master, on 10 March, 1540. (fn. 34)

Masters or Wardens of Sevenoaks

John de Tamworth, appointed 1349 (fn. 35)
Ralph Leghton, resigned 1383 (fn. 36)
Robert Toller, appointed 1383 (fn. 36)
Reginald Brita, appointed 1385 (fn. 37)
Robert Cokeyne, appointed 1386 (fn. 38)
John Kyngman or Kyneman, appointed 1412, (fn. 39) died 1434 (fn. 40)
Robert Toft, appointed 1434 (fn. 40)
James Radich, resigned 1454 (fn. 41)
John Eylmer, appointed 1454 (fn. 41)
William, died 1517 (fn. 42)
Thomas Baschurche or Bastlet, appointed 1517, (fn. 42) resigned 1523 (fn. 43)
John Roydon, appointed 1523 (fn. 43)
John Cleyton, the last master (fn. 44)


  • 1. A long account of the hospital is given by William Boys in his Hist. of Sandwich, 1-102, where a chartulary and several other documents are set out in full or in abstract.
  • 2. Pat. 23 Edw. III, pt. 2, m. 22.
  • 3. L. and P. Hen. VIII, xii (2), 136.
  • 4. Chant. Cert. 29, No. 51. Printed in Boys, op. cit. 90-4.
  • 5. Cant. Archiepis. Reg. Parker, fol. 237b.
  • 6. Exch. Dep. Easter, 29 Eliz. No. 20.
  • 7. Boys, loc. cit.
  • 8. Charity Com. Rep. xxx, 566-9.
  • 9. Boys, op. cit. 37.
  • 10. Ibid. 44.
  • 11. Ibid. 45.
  • 12. Ibid. 50.
  • 13. Ibid. 52.
  • 14. Ibid. 40.
  • 15. Ibid. 54.
  • 16. Ibid. 75.
  • 17. Ibid. 81.
  • 18. A long account of the hospital is given by Boys in the Hist. of Sandwich, 119-45, where abstracts of a register and other documents are given.
  • 19. Chant. Cert. 29, No. 56; Boys, op. cit. 137-8.
  • 20. Cant. Archiepis. Reg. Parker, fol. 237b.
  • 21. Charity Com. Rep. xxx, 569-71.
  • 22. Boys, op. cit. 133.
  • 23. Arch. Cant. Wills, 296.
  • 24. Pat. 16 Ric. II, pt. 1, m. 32. A detailed account of the hospital is given in Boys, Hist. of Sandwich, 149-71, with abstracts of several documents relating to it.
  • 25. Inq. p.m. 21 Edw. IV, No. 27.
  • 26. Chant. Cert. 29, No. 54; Boys, op. cit. 156-8.
  • 27. Cant. Archiepis. Reg. Parker, fol. 237b.
  • 28. Boys, op. cit. 161-4.
  • 29. Charify Com. Rep. xxx, 571-3.
  • 30. Pat. 12 Edw. III, pt. 1, m. 13.
  • 31. Pat. 14 Edw. III, pt. 1, m. 47.
  • 32. Ibid. 23 Edw. III, pt. 2, m. 14.
  • 33. L. and P. Hen. VIII, xiii (1), 1519 (68).
  • 34. Ibid. xv, 555.
  • 35. Pat. 23 Edw. III, pt. 2, m. 14.
  • 36. Cant. Archiepis. Reg. Courtenay, fol. 251.
  • 37. Ibid. fol. 259.
  • 38. Ibid. fol. 264
  • 39. Ibid. Arundel, ii, 64.
  • 40. Ibid. Chicheley, fol. 204b.
  • 41. Ibid. Bourchier, fol. 59.
  • 42. Ibid. Warham, fol. 363.
  • 43. Ibid. fol. 377b.
  • 44. See above.