Hospitals: St Mary Magdalene, St Margaret & St Edmund, Leicester

Pages 44-45

A History of the County of Leicestershire: Volume 2. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1954.

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In 1312 Bishop Dalderby issued a licence for an oratory to be built for the leprous brethren in the parish of St. Margaret at Leicester, (fn. 1) and in the same year he granted an indulgence to them. (fn. 2) The brothers to whom these grants were made were almost certainly those of the Hospital of St. Mary Magdalene and St. Margaret. In 1334 the king granted protection to the leprous men of the Hospital of St. Mary Magdalene and St. Margaret at Leicester, and their messengers, collecting alms for their house, which was stated to depend on charity. (fn. 3) As no other institution in Leicester is certainly known to have succoured lepers, references in the early 13th century to the leper brothers of Leicester (fn. 4) may perhaps apply to this hospital, but such a suggestion is conjectural. Henry of Knighton refers to a leper house existing near St. John's Chapel in 1382; (fn. 5) this house may have been the Hospital of St. Mary Magdalene and St. Margaret, since the site indicated would have been within St. Margaret's parish as it later existed. (fn. 6) The leper house in St. Margaret's parish, mentioned in 1550, (fn. 7) is probably also the same foundation as this hospital. No seal is known.


In the 13th century Geoffrey, Abbot of Croxton, (fn. 8) granted certain lands in Galby and Frisby on the Wreak to the house of St. Edmund, Archbishop and Confessor, at Leicester, and to the poor brethren there. (fn. 9) The house cannot have been founded before the death of St. Edmund Rich in 1240. Nothing further is known concerning this foundation, and no seal has been found.


  • 1. Linc. Reg. Dalderby, Memo., f. 236a.
  • 2. Ibid., f. 221b.
  • 3. Cal. Pat., 1334-8, 32.
  • 4. They are said to have received a charter from the 1st Earl of Leicester, i.e. probably Robert de Beaumont, who d. 1118: Hist. MSS. Com., Hastings, i, 336; Pipe R. 1209 (Pipe R. Soc., N.S. xxiv), 26.
  • 5. Hen. Knighton, Chron. (Rolls Ser.), ii, 182.
  • 6. See map in Leic. Boro. Rec., 1103-1327, facing p. 1.
  • 7. Cal. Pat., 1549-51, 122.
  • 8. Occurs from 1241-2 to 1268: Rot. Roberti Grosseteste, ed. F. N. Davis, 416; Farnham, Leics. Notes, i, 214.
  • 9. Hist., MSS. Com., Rutland, iv, 180.