Hospitals: Hautbois

Page 439

A History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 2. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1906.

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The hospital of Hautbois or Great Hobbesse, commonly called God's House, was founded at the head of the causey in this parish by Sir Peter de Altorco, knt., early in the thirteenth century. It was founded to receive both wayfarers and poor of the locality. The house was dedicated to the honour of St. Mary, and the founder assigned its chief governance to the almoner of the abbey of St. Benet, Holm, enjoining him to commit the custody of it to the master of St. James's Hospital on the abbey causeway at Horning. The master of Horning Hospital was in his turn to appoint a deputy master or warden for the immediate rule of God's House, Hautbois. Sir Peter endowed this house with various lands in Great and Little Hautbois, Worstead, Swannington and Banningham, which were released to Peter Olive, the first chaplain and master of St. Mary's, Hautbois.

Pope Alexander IV, in 1257, licensed the house to have a chapel, bell and chaplain for the use of the poor inmates, the revenues being sufficient. Roger, the then master or warden, certified this licence to the bishop of Norwich. (fn. 2)

The survey of 1535 enters this house as the chantry of the Blessed Mary de Alto Boscd, in Great Hautbois, of which John Potter was chaplain. The old hospital had apparently by that date been reduced to a mere chapel, and the once considerable revenue had dropped to 25s. 11½d. per year. (fn. 3)


  • 1. Blomefield, Hist. of Norf. vi, 299-301; Tanner, Notitia, Norf. xxxil.
  • 2. Cott. MS. Galba E, ii.
  • 3. Valor Eccl. (Rec. Com.), iii, 356.