A History of the County of Kent: Volume 2. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1926.
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64. THE HOSPITAL OF STROOD
The hospital of the New Work of St. Mary of Strood by Rochester was founded by Gilbert de Glanville, bishop of Rochester; and must date from the years 1192-3, for the bishop states in his foundation charter that he has in mind the restoration of Christianity in Jerusalem and the liberation of King Richard. He granted to it the churches of Aylesford, St. Margaret (Rochester), and Hailing, a small prebend from the tithes of his knights in Hailing, Holborough, and Cuxton, the church of St. Nicholas, Strood, tithes in Dartford and Wilmington and other possessions; and these were confirmed by a charter of Hubert, archbishop of Canterbury, and a charter of Richard I dated at Worms, 14 August, 1193. The same king also on 20 April, 1194, granted to the hospital two parts of the wood by Mailing pertaining to the manor of Aylesford. All these charters were confirmed by Edward III in 1332. (fn. 1) Confirmations were also granted by Popes Celestine [III] (fn. 2) and Innocent [III]. (fn. 3)
The monks of Rochester strongly resented the foundation of the hospital and its endowment out of the revenues of the see; and in 1239 a dispute about the churches of Aylesford and St. Margaret's was referred to arbitrators, who decided that the monks should have the church of St. Margaret and 18 marks from the church of Aylesford in addition to 2 marks which the sacrist of Rochester already had. (fn. 4) But this did not settle the matter, and in 1256 Pope Alexander IV ordered that the prior and chapter should have the church of St. Margaret and the hospital should be free of the payment of 20 marks out of the church of Aylesford. (fn. 5) In 1291 some of the brethren of the hospital resented the passage through the grounds of the hospital of a procession of the chapter, and a fight followed. (fn. 6)
In 1277 it was found by inquisition. (fn. 7) that the founder granted to the master and brethren some houses next the bridge of Rochester for the repair of the west end of the bridge and that they received the rents from the houses and repaired that end of the bridge until the siege of Rochester, when part of the houses were burnt, and afterwards they carried away the unburnt timber to their own house. They also received the wharfage from a quay at the west end of the bridge.
The hospital was allowed exemption from taxation on several occasions (fn. 8) in the fourteenth century, on the alleged ground of poverty.
Bishop Hamo de Hethe visited the hospital on 18 September, 1320, (fn. 9) when several documents belonging to it were exhibited to him and transcribed in his register. He made new ordinances (fn. 10) for it on 4 July, 1330, in consequence of its depression and the neglect of the masters. The master was to be professed of the rule of St. Benedict and appointed by the bishop, from the college if possible or else from another college of the same order; and was to have with him four brethren, priests professing the same rule. They were to have a common chest in which the muniments and precious goods of the house were to be kept under three keys, and the common seal was also to be kept under three keys. They were to give no corrodies or pensions and cut down no trees except for necessary repair. The details of their clothing and daily life were also prescribed.
In 1402 the bishop took the administration of the goods of the hospital into his own hands, on account of the neglect of the master and brethren, and committed the same to John Hoke, his registrar. (fn. 11) The hospital was again sequestrated in 1443 on account of dilapidations and because no accounts were forthcoming. (fn. 12)
In the Valor (fn. 13) of 1535 the spiritualities of the hospital, consisting of the rectories of Aylesford and Hailing, the vicarage of Strood and the chapel of St. Blaise, Mailing, were valued at £40 9s. and the temporalities, including the manor of Hawkyns in Strood, at £22 4s. 6½d. yearly; and deductions of £9 13s. 8d. brought the net income down to £52 19s. 10½d.
The hospital and its possessions were surrendered by the master and brethren on 8 July, 1539, to the prior and convent of Rochester; (fn. 14) and they were granted in June, 1541, to the dean and chapter of the cathedral on its re-foundation. (fn. 15)
Masters of Strood
Thomas, occurs 1243 (fn. 16)
Edmund, occurs 1267 (fn. 17)
John de Hallingeberi, occurs 1293 (fn. 18)
Roger Wygayn, occurs 1306 (fn. 19)
John Blondell, occurs 1318 (fn. 20)
John de Rodeswelle, appointed 1318 (fn. 20)
Richard de Novo Castro, appointed 1319, (fn. 20) resigned 1322 (fn. 21)
Robert de Thorpe, appointed 1322, (fn. 21) resigned1323 (fn. 22)
W. de Langeford, appointed 1323 (fn. 23)
John de Raddeswell, appointed 1323 (fn. 24)
Roger de Stowe, appointed 1325, (fn. 25) died 1345 (fn. 26)
Richard de Strode or Scheftling, appointed 1345, (fn. 27) deserted 1352 (fn. 28)
William de Basynges, appointed 1361, (fn. 29) died 1383 (fn. 30)
Thomas Bromlegh, appointed 1383, (fn. 31) occurs 1390 (fn. 32)
John Swan, occurs 1391, 1395 (fn. 33)
John Longe, appointed 1397 (fn. 34)
Philip Mongomery or Morgan, (fn. 35) appointed 1399, (fn. 36) resigned 1403 (fn. 37)
William Batteford, appointed 1403 (fn. 38)
John Marcham, occurs 1418, (fn. 39) resigned 1425 (fn. 40)
William Hebbeng, appointed (fn. 40) and resigned 1425 (fn. 41)
John Gorewell, appointed 1425, (fn. 41) occurs 1434 (fn. 42)
Thomas Thowe,occurs 1444, (fn. 43) resigned 1465 (fn. 44)
Richard Brakynburgh, appointed 1465, (fn. 44) occurs 1470 (fn. 45)
Edmund Lychefeld, occurs circa 1480, (fn. 46) resigned 1493 (fn. 47)
William Barker, appointed 1493, (fn. 48) deposed 1507 (fn. 49)
Robert Aunger, appointed 1507, (fn. 49) died 1508 (fn. 50)
Richard Cotenden, appointed 1508, (fn. 50) resigned 1512 (fn. 51)
Thomas Hobson, appointed 1512, (fn. 51) resigned 1517 (fn. 52)
John Wilbore, appointed 1517, (fn. 53) surrendered 1539, (fn. 54) the last master
The seal (fn. 55) of the hospital (1400) is a pointed oval of red wax, measuring about 1½ by ⅞ in., representing the Virgin crowned, standing on a carved corbel in a canopied niche, pinnacled and crocketed with tabernacle work at the side, holding the Child on the right arm and in the left hand a sceptre fleury. The Child carries an orb and cross in the right hand. Legend:—
SIGILL' CÕE OSPIT de MARIE DE STRODE