Hospitals: Hospitals in Norwich

Pages 442-450

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

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Good Bishop Walter de Suffield (1245-57) was the founder of the noble hospital of St. Giles. The foundation charter was sealed, both by the bishop and prior, in the Norwich chapterhouse on 1 April, 1246. (fn. 1) The hospital, which was to bear the name of St. Giles, was founded in honour of the Holy Trinity, the Glorious Virgin, the Blessed Anne, and the Blessed Giles, and was to be built on a prescribed plot of ground opposite the church of St. Helen and under the walls of the priory. In this hospital the founder willed that there should be a master, who was to associate with him four devout chaplains well instructed in the divine offices. All were to rise, both for mattins and at dawn, at the sound of the greater bell, and to proceed together from the dormitory, entering the church in surplices and copes. Mattins and the other hours, as well as the mass of the day, were to be sung cum cantu et tractu moderato. No one was to move about the house or precincts before the early mass, save the master if necessity required it. There were to be three daily masses, (1) of the day, (2) of Our Lady, and (3) for the faithful departed. Once a week, save in Lent, there was to be full service of St. Giles. The master and his chaplains were to live in the same house and to partake of the same food and drink. After dinner, the master, chaplains, and brethren were to proceed to the chapel chanting (psalmodizantes) the Miserere.

Every day of the year thirteen poor men were to have a sufficiency of bread and a good mess of meat or fish, and occasionally of eggs and cheese, with a due supply of drink, in the entrance (ante caminum) of the hospital, or by the fire in winter. Seven poor scholars, apt to learn, were to be chosen by the master from the schools of Norwich to receive their board at the hospital during school term, and those who had been well taught in grammar were to be changed, from time to time, for others, so that the number should always be maintained. There were also to be in the hospital thirty beds, with bedding, sheets, and coverlets, or more if the funds allowed it, where the infirm poor who desired it might be received until they were restored to health. There were to be at least three or four sisters, of honest life and of fifty years of age, who were to take diligent care of the sick and infirm; but all the rest of the work of the house, in the brewery and other offices, was to be done by men. All poor chaplains (that is, unbeneficed clergy) of the diocese of Norwich, broken down by old age or permanent sickness, so that they were not able to celebrate nor to do other clerical work for their support, were to be received into the hospital and to have suitable board and lodging in an honourable part of the house, so far as funds permitted. The hospital was to have a box for God's poor (archa Domini), from which alms were to be given daily to wayfaring poor. From the Annunciation to the Assumption there was to be a free distribution of sufficient bread to stave off hunger to all comers at the sound of the greater bell. The hospital was to be not only God's house, but the house of the bishop of Norwich; and as often as the diocesan passed by he was to descend and to give his blessing to the infirm lying and lodging in the hospital, and on such a day the thirteen poor men were to be wholly fed in the hospital. There were to be four lay brothers to minister both to the residents and out patients of the hospital according to the master's directions. All within the house, brethren, sisters, priests, and clerks, were to be subject to the direction and orders of the master. Every Sunday the master was to hold a chapter, and oftener if necessary, for the correction of offences and the punishment of delinquents. As to fasts and food and refection, the Austin rule was to be followed. In chapel the master and chaplains were to wear surplices and round black copes; they were each to dress in good cloth of some non-prohibited colour. The brethren were to wear white gowns with grey cowls; the sisters, white mantles and black veils. The master, chaplains, brothers, and sisters were never to eat or drink in the town save in the houses of religious. The sisters were to have meals and to sleep by themselves, nor was anyone to enter their apartments save for necessity, leave being first obtained from the master. On the death or resignation of Hamo de Caletorp, the first master, and whenever there was a vacancy, the house was to be under the care of the bishop and one of the chaplains, but all the fruits during vacancies were to be retained for the use of the hospital. On a vacancy, the prior of Norwich and the archdeacons of Norwich and Norfolk, after an interval of three weeks, were to hold an inquisition as to the fitness and suitability of the chaplains of the house and of some outsider, according to their conscience, and to present such a one as master to be immediately admitted by the bishop or by his official in his absence from the kingdom. Immediately on admission the master was to swear to keep the goods of the hospital in a proper state, and to observe the ordinances of the house. If the archdeacons did not appear on the appointed day nor during two days afterwards, the prior was to associate with himself the official of Norwich consistory and the dean of Norwich and proceed to the election.

Provision was also made for any of the three offices being vacant by death, &c.; but if after five weeks no appointment had been made, the bishop was to collate. The master must be a priest, and was to swear to reside, and to hold no other benefice. He was to have no mounted attendant, unless it was one of the chaplains or brethren or clerks of the house. There were to be no esquires or idle youths in the house. The master was to be content with two or three saddle-horses. The common seal was to be kept under two keys, one held by the master and the other by a senior brother. An indulgence of forty days was granted in perpetuity to all aiding the hospital during the feast of St. Giles.

The endowments granted by this elaborate charter included the land of Hales, and the churches of Calthorpe, Costessy, Cringleford, Hardley, St. Mary of South Walsham, and Seething. The last clause confers the right of burial in the hospital. (fn. 2)

In 1255 the bishop obtained the assent of Pope Alexander IV to the foundation and statutes of this hospital, which were at that time formally matured and signed by the founder. It was stated in the papal confirmation that the several churches presented to the hospital had been purchased from laymen by the bishop for that purpose, and that they were to devolve to the hospital on the death of their respective rectors; it was further ordered that perpetual chaplains or vicars, with fitting stipends, were to be provided for the churches. (fn. 3)

During the founder's lifetime William de Dunwich, a wealthy burgher of the city, gave for his own soul and that of Katharine his late wife a meadow by Bishopsbridge adjoining the hospital, 6s. 8d. rent in Holme Street, and a great variety of other rents and tenements throughout the city. By his will, dated 1272, he ordered that his body should be buried before St. Katharine's altar in the hospital church, and made bequests to support five sick people in the hospital continually, and to find two chaplains at that altar to daily sing for him and his wife and ancestors. He also made provision for four wax tapers to be always burning at St. Katharine's altar during mass, and gave to the same a chalice and cruets of silver. So great were his benefactions that he was usually regarded as a co-founder with the bishop. In 1260 William de Suffield, archdeacon of Norwich, the founder's brother, gave to the hospital the church of Repps-withBastwick.

The founder died in 1257; by his will the bishop left to the hospital of St. Giles, built as he states for the remission of his sins, 300 marks to be used in any way for its advantage according to the consent of the master and his executors. He commended the hospital specially to his executors, exhorting them to benefit it in any way in their power out of his goods. He also gave to the hospital the silver-gilt cup which had belonged to the Blessed St. Edmund, and the Bible he had bought of Master Simon Blound.

The somewhat cumbersome rules for the appointment of the master were altered, with the archbishop's sanction, by Bishop Roger de Skirning in 1272, so that the chaplains of the house, on a vacancy, were entitled to choose their successor.

By the year 1310 the rents of the hospital had so increased that Bishop John Salmon added four other chantry priests to the foundation, so that there were eight clerical brethren, who were ordered to wear the habits of regular Austin Canons.

The patent rolls of Edward III contain various small bequests to the hospital, (fn. 4) and in 1334 Bishop Ayermin obtained licence to appropriate to St. Giles's the church of Thurlton. (fn. 5) In 1340 Bishop Antony Bek confirmed the appropriation of the church of St. Peter, Mundham. (fn. 6)

In 1409 Thomas Lord Dacre, lord of the manor of Horsford, licensed William Westacre, archdeacon of Norwich, and others, to settle in mortmain on the hospital the manor of Cringleford, on condition of finding a chaplain to live as a brother in the hospital, and to celebrate daily for the soul of John de Dorlington, late archdeacon of Norwich, for Roger Pratt, the late master, and for William Paston of Paston. (fn. 7)

In 1420 Henry VI, for his own soul and for that of his wife Margaret, granted licence to the hospital to hold additional lands to the value of £10. It was therein stated that the house then consisted of a master, eight chaplains, two clerks, seven poor scholars for choristers, eight poor bedridden people, thirteen poor people daily dining there, besides poor strangers passing by who had a night's lodging there, as many as the beds would hold, and all the poor chaplains of the diocese labouring under any constant infirmity, and two sisters to wait upon the poor. (fn. 8)

In 1450 Sir John Fastolf sold the manor of Mundham and the advowson of the church of St. Ethelbert to the hospital for 200 marks. The master and brethren of St. Giles covenanted with the mayor and commonalty of the city, in 1472, to find a chaplain to serve in the chapel of St. Barbara in the Guildhall. (fn. 9)

Bishop Goldwell visited this hospital on 9 October, 1492. Robert Godfrey, one of the brethren, appeared as proctor of Master Oliver Dynham, who claimed to be master of the hospital, but exhibited neither assignment as proxy nor the title of Oliver Dynham to the mastership. Robert Godfrey, together with John Dowe, John Hector, George Vyrly, and William Hadenham, chaplains and brethren of the hospital, were then severally examined. The report of the visitation, as entered by the notary, was simply to the effect that the master of the hospital was absent and non-resident, contrary to the hospital statutes, and that on account of his absence the house was vexed with suits and other serious injuries. (fn. 10)

The executors of Bishop Goldwell settled in 1520, with the residue of his estate, lands to the value of 53 marks a year in mortmain on the master and brethren of St. Giles, on condition of their finding three chaplains to celebrate for the bishop's soul: one at the cathedral church, another at the collegiate church of St. Mary in the Fields, and a third at the hospital church. The hospital assigned salaries of 10 marks a year to each of these three priests, and applied the, remainder to the poor in the hospital. (fn. 11)

On 11 June, 1526, Bishop Nicke visited the hospital and examined severally the staff, which then consisted of a master, three fellows, three stipendiary chaplains, and two chaplains who served for their board and lodging.

John Hekker, the master, presented the inventory of goods and the annual account, and said that the number of fellows was deficient, for according to the foundation there should be six, and there were only three. The house was in debt to a small extent. One of the chaplains complained that divine service was sometimes badly observed in quire, on account of the loud wrangling of two of the fellows. (fn. 12)

At the visitation of 1532 there were four fellows present. One of them, William Hekker, said that he knew nothing, as he was so often absent. The three other fellows, Robert Church, John Fisher, and Edward Osborne, all bore witness to the ruinous condition of the bakehouse, and of a guest chamber over the parlour. Osborne also stated that two of the servants of the house, the butler and baker, were married, which was not seemly, and they ought to be removed. He also complained that the master (John Hekker) had received 26s. 8d. for the obit of Master John Sayle at the feast of Purification, and it was not paid in at the feast of Barnabas. (fn. 13)

The master, Thomas Cappe, and six chaplains or brethren, Robert Church, Edward Osborne, John Blomeville, Robert Dowe, John Browne, and Edmund Frewyll, signed their acceptance of the royal supremacy on 30 August, 1534. (fn. 14) The last two signatures were probably those of two chaplains appointed under some of the chantry bequests, and not under the original foundation.

The Valor of 1535 gives full details of the financial standing of the hospital. The rectories of Costessy, Calthorpe, Hardley, Seething, Mundham St. Peter, Mundham St. Ethelbert, Cringleford, and Repps with Bastwick, yielded an annual income of £54 18s. 10d., and the altarage of the altar of St. Helen within the hospital, £1 6s. 8d. The gross income from several manors and other temporalities was £116 13s. 1d. From the outgoings we find that four brethren each received 36s. 8d. for their food, and the sisters 52s. each for their food and labour in attending on the poor who came to the hospital. The dinner for the seven grammarschool boys, at 8d. each per week, came to £12 2s. 8d. The thirteen poor persons having a daily meal and the six poor persons who had board and lodging at the hospital cost £19 15s. 3d. The 180 poor persons who received a loaf, three eggs, and a piece of cheese on the Annunciation, and the 100 who were similarly fed on St. Dunstan's day, cost 20s. The twentyfour persons who prayed daily for Bishop Goldwell at 1d. a day cost £4 6s. 8d.

The master, Thomas Cappe, for his board and stipend, and for the board of a servant, received £12 1s. 4d. Robert Church, Edward Osborne, John Blomeville, and Robert Dowe, received amongst them £20 8s. There remained of clear annual value, after the payment of all dues, pensions, alms, and salaries, the sum of £58 3s. 0½d.

When the exchange of the bishopric lands and revenues took place in 1535 the advowson of the hospital passed to the king, who, in 1537, granted the mastership to Robert Codde.

In 1546 Nicholas Shaxton, D.D., ex-bishop of Salisbury, was appointed master, but apparently only for the purpose of securing its surrender, for on 6 March, 1547, the bishop of Norwich, as patron of the hospital, Nicholas Shaxton as warden, and John Fisher and Robert Dowe, two of the chaplains or fellows, in the chapter house of the hospital, surrendered the buildings into the young king's hands, in accordance with the intention of his father, Henry VIII. (fn. 15)

The crown transferred the dissolved hospital of St. Giles and its possessions to the mayor, sheriffs, and commonalty of Norwich, for the relief of poor people, to be called ' God's House,' or the ' House of the Poor in Holm Street,' and the office of master now came to an end. The further history of this foundation, the Great Hospital, is to be found in the Charity Commissioners' reports.

Masters of St. Giles' Hospital, Norwich

Hamon de Calthorpe, (fn. 16) c. 1276

Robert, (fn. 17) occurs 1279

Robert Godwin, (fn. 18) 1288

Martin de Brunsted, (fn. 19) 1289

Thomas de Hemmersby, (fn. 20) occurs 1296, 1311 (fn. 21)

Peter Herringflet, (fn. 22) occurs 1313

Roger de Metyngham, (fn. 23) elected 1360

John de Derbyngton, (fn. 24) elected 1372

Roger de Erpingham, (fn. 25) elected 1375

John son of Robert de Thornham, master of Sparham, (fn. 26) elected 1394

Benedict Cobbe, (fn. 27) elected 1395

Robert Fonline, (fn. 28) elected 1399

Roger Prat, (fn. 29) resigned 1412

Robert Spenser, (fn. 30) elected 1412

William Sepyngton LL.B., (fn. 31) 1431

Roger Pratte, (fn. 32) elected 1431

John Walpool, (fn. 33) elected 1436

Hugh Acton, (fn. 34) elected 1437

John Schott, LL.D., (fn. 35) elected 1464

John Smith, (fn. 36) elected 1479

Oliver Dynham, (fn. 37) elected 1489

Thomas Schenkwyn, (fn. 38) elected 1495

Nicholas Goldwell, (fn. 39) elected 1497

Robert Honywood, (fn. 40) elected 1498

John Jullys, (fn. 41) 1499

William Cooper, (fn. 42) 1513

John Hekker, (fn. 43) occurs 1526

Thomas Cappe, LL.D., (fn. 44) elected 1532

Thomas Simmondes, (fn. 45) 1535

Robert Codde, (fn. 46) 1537

Nicholas Shaxton, (fn. 47) elected 1546, last master

There is a very imperfect seal ad causas of this hospital attached to a charter of 1306, showing the church with central tower. (fn. 48)

A cast of a fine impression of a late thirteenthcentury seal of the master and brethren (13/8 in. × 11/8 in.) bears St. Giles seated, with an arrow-wounded fawn leaping at him. In the base a cross surmounted by a mitre. Legend:—

✠ S'MAGRI . ET . FSM . IBĪ - EGIDII . DE . NORWIC (fn. 49)


This hospital was founded in the ancient parish of St. Edward, at the beginning of the thirteenth century, by Hildebrond le Mercer, citizen, and Maud his wife. The patronage was given to the bishop. The founders also built, for the use of the brethren and occupants, a chapel, dedicated to the honour of St. Mary, adjoining the west end of St. Edward's church; but when this church became wholly appropriated to the hospital, and the parish united to that of St. Julian, about 1269, the chapel was only occasionally used, as the church was served by the hospital chaplain. The hospital was usually known as Hildebronde's, and the various collations by the bishop in the institution books are entered in that name; but it was also termed St. Mary's Hospital, and at a later date was popularly known as Ivy Hall.

In the fourteenth-century register of the archdeaconry of Norwich, known as the ' Norwich Domesday,' is the following entry, cited by Mr. Kirkpatrick:—

' There is in the parish of St. Edward a certain hospital called Hildebronde's Spytelle, lying near the churchyard on the south side, built with houses and a hall, and chambers for the master. In which said hospital, poor people wanting lodging ought to be entertained, and to have a certain quantity of fuel (focalium) from the master.' It is further stated that the master had a chapel annexed to St. Edward's church (the simple inventory is given), where he could celebrate mass at his pleasure. The annual value of the hospital was estimated at 100s.

The infirmarian of the cathedral paid the hospital a rent of 2s. 6d. (fn. 51); the city paid it 7s. 6d. for stalls in the market; and the hospital of St. Giles 2s.

The common fate of so many of these hospitals overtook the one founded by citizen Hildebronde, namely the absorption of the major part of the income by the master. The bishops allowed the mastership to be held with other benefices, and seem to have considered their duties at an end when they had made a collection. That abuses were rampant in 1428 appears from the will of William Setman, some time mayor of the city. He requested that a conference might be held with 'the master of Ivyhalle, late called the Hospital, in Conysford, in Norwich,' and if the master willed for the future to observe the ancient order of the hospital, and discharge its burden, then the rent of two houses was to be restored. (fn. 52)

From subsequent wills, cited by Kirkpatrick, it would appear that some care for the poor was discharged by this hospital later in the century; Thus Robert Steynton, rector of St. Julian's, bequeathed to it, in 1440, a green coverlet and a pair of blankets, and a pair of sheets; a will of 1457 made a bequest to the poor of the hospital of Ivy Hall, and a third will of 1459 left 2s. to the repair of the beds of the same hospital. (fn. 53) Spoliation, however, again set in, for the Valor of 1535 gave the annual value of the messuage, with court and garden, of this hospital, as only 14s. (fn. 54)

Masters of Hildebrond's Hospital, Norwich

Nicholas, (fn. 55) rector of Bernham, 1262

John de Royng, (fn. 56) died 1290

Thomas de Mutforde, (fn. 57) appointed 1290

John de Wykelwoode, (fn. 58) appointed 1320

Robert de Langele, (fn. 59) resigned 1353

Henry de Plumpstede, (fn. 60) appointed 1353

Peter Mighel, (fn. 61) presented by the king, 1385

John Eyr, (fn. 62) presented by the king, 1385

John de Elmham, (fn. 63) appointed 1397

William Friseley, (fn. 64) appointed 1401

John Haukins, (fn. 65) appointed 1405

John Bowd, (fn. 66) appointed 1412

William Hayton, (fn. 67) appointed 1413

William Toby, (fn. 68) appointed 1419

Roger Malmesbury, (fn. 69) resigned 1471

Thomas Massen, (fn. 70) appointed 1471

John Jollys, (fn. 71) 1497

Thomas Deye, (fn. 72) 1504

John Underwood (fn. 73)


The hospital of St. Paul, Norwich, otherwise called Norman's Spital, from Norman, the monk who was the first master, was founded by the prior and convent of Norwich in the early part of the twelfth century in the time of the first bishop of Norwich. It was erected in a place then called Cows Croft, in the north-eastern district of the city.

Though begun in the time of Bishop Herbert, it was not finished until the days of Bishop Everard (1121-45). That bishop, Ingulf the first prior of Norwich, and Richard de Beaufo, bishop of Avranches, were jointly responsible for the completion of the work of building the hospital and the church, which was consecrated by Theobald, archbishop of Canterbury, in honour of St. Paul the apostle, and St. Paul the Hermit. The church was made parochial, but was appropriated to the hospital in 1198.

Bishop Beaufo gave the hospital the churches, glebes and tithes of the four churches of SS. Michael, Peter, Andrew, and Margaret at Ormesby, which he had of the gift of Henry I; and the prior and convent of Norwich bestowed on it tithes at Marsham and Blickling, and lands at Sprowston and Thorpe. Morel de Morley and Emma his wife, who were received into the fraternity of the priory of Norwich, gave in return for that favour the tithes of Filby to the hospital. Various confirmation charters of the early beneficiaries are set forth in the Monasticon. (fn. 75) Bishop Everard (1121-45) granted forty days' pardon to all who came to the church and offered there during the octave of St. Paul's Day in the summer, that is the Commemoration of St. Paul on 30 June. The hospital maintained fourteen poor men or women, who were impotent through old age or chronic illness. The master or warden was to be always a monk of Norwich in priests' orders, and was appointed by the prior and convent.

In the time of Master Walsham, appointed 1429, the scheme of the hospital was changed. No more men were admitted, and the benefits were reserved for fourteen sisters, seven of whom were termed whole sisters and received board, lodging, and clothing in the hospital; whilst the other seven half-sisters had no lodging assigned them. A wardeness or mistress was at the same time appointed to overlook the sisters; her appointment rested solely with the master. The master served the church and exercised general oversight concerning the hospital and its property. The hospital buildings were repaired directly by the priory.

The account rolls of the hospital of St. Paul's preserved in the treasury of the cathedral are seven in number, and are for the years 1423, 1430, 1431, 1436, 1441, 1443, and 1509. The average receipts were about £65 and the expenditure was somewhat in excess of the income.

To each of the full sisters, thirteen in number, in 1436 the sum of 8d. a week was paid. Of the less favoured sisters who were apparently on an out-relief list (mediis sororibus), eleven received 3d. a week for 39 weeks, and ten the same for 13 weeks. There were also small gifts made to the sisters and to the poor in God's House on Christmas Day, whilst the oil for a lamp in each of the resident sisters' houses or rooms cost 2s.

Bishop Goldwell visited the hospital on 9 October, 1492. The master, Denis Hyndolveston, eight full sisters, and seven half-sisters were in attendance. Their several examinations are not given, but the report states that the sisters' stipends were not paid at the right time, and this because the rents of the houses were very often considerably overdue; that the stipends were frequently delayed in payment for eight weeks, and sometimes for ten; and that no sister was admitted into the house save on payment of ten marks or more, which was contrary to the foundation. The bishop adjourned the visitation till the morrow of the feast of St. Clement; but the continuation is not on record.

On 8 June, 1532, Dr. Miles Spenser visited the hospital as the bishop's commissary, Henry Manuel was then master. The names of Margaret Dyver, gardiana, and nine other sisters are given; but no injunctions or report are attached to this record.

When the Valor of 1535 was drawn up, £20 7s. 1d. was named under the alms of Norwich Priory that went yearly to the support of divers women lodging in the hospital of St. Paul, and of other poor women coming daily to the hospital. It is stated that they prayed daily for the soul of Richard, formerly archdeacon of Norwich (Bishop of Avranches) there described as the founder, and for the souls of Henry I, Stephen, and Matilda.

On the dissolution of the priory, no more masters were appointed, but the hospital escaped Henry VIII's clutches, and remained as heretofore under a wardeness. Henry Manuel the last master, was made third prebend of the cathedral church by the charter of 1533, and the hospital and revenues were assigned to the new dean and chapter.

On the death of Margaret Dyver, Agnes Lyon was appointed wardeness and the sisters reduced to twelve. On the death of Agnes in 1545, the dean and chapter granted to the corporation of Norwich at 1d. a year, a lease of the hospital ' theretofore used for the relief and lodging of poor strangers and sick impotent persons,' on condition of its being used for like purposes. But after litigation, this condition fell through in 1571, and this ancient hospital was turned into a bridewell, or house of correction for idle and lazy beggars.

Masters of St. Paul's Hospital, Norwich (fn. 76)


Geoffrey, 1190

Reginald de Pantesford

Robert de Stokesley, 1266

John de Plumstede, died 1283

Nicholas de Yarmouth, 1357

Ralph de Filby, 1370

Thomas Lynne, 1398

John de Hasyngham, 2411

William Silton

Richard Corpusty, 1418

Richard de Walsham, 1429

Robert Bretenham, 1470

Denis de Hindolfstone, 1492

Simon de Lenn, 1493

William Manuel, 1497

Brother Castellyn, 1504

John Sibley, 1513

Henry Manuel, 1532.

Mistresses of St. Paul's Hospital. (fn. 77)

Mary Green, 1443

Cecily Mortimer, 1452

Margaret Puregold, 1513

Margaret Dyver, 1532

Agnes Lyon


A hospital under the rule of a master, was founded by Bishop Herbert, in honour of St. Mary Magdalen, before the year 1119. It was built nearly a mile to the north-east of the city out of the Fybridge or Magdalen gate. This is disputed by the present officials. It had a chapel on the north side. Blomefield gives a long list of thirteenth-century benefactors. The master and brethren obtained a royal permit, in 1334, to collect alms in churches for the space of two years. (fn. 79)

In 24 Henry VIII, this hospital was united to that of St. Giles, but they were again speedily separated. The appointment of the master was in the hands of the bishop.

The Valor of 1535 returned the annual value of what was then termed the chapel of St. Mary Magdalen juxta Norwich at £10. Here again the whole funds seem to have been absorbed by the chaplain or master. (fn. 80)

Masters of St. Mary Magdalen's Hospital, Norwich

Adam de Schotesham, (fn. 81) 1288

Nicholas Banningham, (fn. 82) resigns 1291

Peter de Dallyng, (fn. 83) appointed 1291

Ralph de Baketone, (fn. 84) appointed 1315

William de Merle, of Blickling, (fn. 85) appointed 1324

Nicholas atte Briggs, of Gamingham, (fn. 86) resigned 1328

Adam Wombe, (fn. 87) appointed 1328

Robert de Crapeton, (fn. 88) appointed 1332

Peter Alleyn of Morningthorpe, (fn. 89) appointed 1334

Peter de Attlebrok, (fn. 90) appointed 1336

Martin de Sandryngham, (fn. 91) appointed 1341

John de Bromholm, (fn. 92) appointed 1342

Roger de Nafferton, (fn. 93) appointed 1345

Thomas de Cloxton, (fn. 94) appointed 1350

John Multon, (fn. 95) appointed 1367

Richard, son of Thomas atte Townende of Eton, (fn. 96) appointed 1393

Geoffrey de Tanyard of Higham, (fn. 97) appointed 1407

Thomas Bontemps, (fn. 98) appointed 1416

John Thornegg, (fn. 99) appointed 1436

Simon Thornham, (fn. 100) appointed 1444

William Stillington, (fn. 101) 1503

Thomas Brerewood (fn. 102)

William Leveson, (fn. 103) 1528

John Sampon, (fn. 104) 1530


In addition to the most important lazar or leper-house of Norwich, namely, that of St. Mary Magdalen, at the same distance from the city, there were five other small houses, originally designed for leprous sufferers, making one for each of the chief gates. In pre-Reformation wills, small bequests to the leper-houses at the five gates were frequent.

I. The leper-hospital of St. Mary and St. Clement, usually called St. Clement's, without St. Austin's gate. It was of early foundation and supposed to be founded by one of the first bishops of Norwich. It had no endowment, and the burial place was in St. Clement's churchyard. There was a master, and leprous brethren under him. (fn. 105)

II. Outside. Westwick and St. Benet's gate was a leper house, long continued as a poor-house after the dissolution. It must have had property, for it had a common seal. The dedication is said to have been the same as the adjacent parish church, namely, to St. Benedict. (fn. 106)

III. On the outside of Needham or St. Stephen's Gate, was the leper-house of St. Stephen. The master or guardian, who officiated daily in the chapel, was nominated by the prior of. St. Faith s, Horsham, as the house was built on the priory fee, and admitted by the bishop and mayor. It continued a hospital after the dissolution. (fn. 107)

IV. Immediately outside Fybridge or Magdalen gate, there was a lazar-house of some size, on the east side of the way, with a chapel attached. In 1448. the chapel was rebuilt with a graveyard attached, for hitherto the inmates had been buried in the neighbouring churchyard of All Saints. (fn. 108)

The dedication of this hospital and chapel is not given by any Norwich historian, and it seems probable that this was the hospital of St. Leonard (the commonest dedication of a lazar-house) referred to in the Close Rolls of Edward III, who in 1335, instructed the chief forester of Sherwood to permit Robert de Stanford, keeper of the hospital of St. Leonardwithout-Norwich, to fell four oaks in any wood of the abbot of Rufford within the forest, and to carry them away where he wishes as the abbot had given these four oaks in aid of the repair of the houses of the hospital. (fn. 109) It is possible, however, that this may have been the hospital next mentioned.

V. The fifth of these gate lazar-hospitals was on the outside of Newport or St. Giles's Gate. According to Blomefield, it was founded in 1343 by Balderic de Taverham, an astonishingly late date for a leper foundation. But a reference given by Tanner shows that this was a blunder; Walter Knot, in 1308, granted to Richard de Ely ' his seven cottages in which leprous people dwell, lying together without St. Giles's Gate, on the north side of the king's highway.' (fn. 110)


Licence was obtained in 1305 by the master and brethren of the hospital of St. Saviour, Norwich, to hold a messuage, ten shops, and 2s. rent in Norwich, the gift of Richard de Breccles, chaplain. (fn. 111)

Blomefield states that this hospital was founded earlier in the reign of Edward I, and that in 1297 Richard de Coselany, fishmonger, conveyed to the founder (Richard de Breccles) a stall in the bread-market. (fn. 112)

Nothing further is known as to this hospital, or when it was dissolved.


Blomefield makes mention of several other small hospitals or almshouses of pre-Reformation date within the city.

In the parish of St. Benedict was an almshouse given very anciently by Hugh Garesohn or Garzon. (fn. 113)

Danyel's almshouses in St. Stephen's parish, were founded in 1418 by John Danyel, merchant, and by Walter his brother. (fn. 114)

God's House, St. Giles, was a hospital or almshouse for the poor, founded by John le Grant in Lower Newport, in the reign of Edward I. It was rebuilt by Bishop Lyhart in 1472. The nomination of the inmates rested with the bishop. The house was confiscated at the dissolution. (fn. 115)

God's House, St. Margaret, was founded for the benefit of the poor, by Robert de Aswardby, in 1292. It stood on the west side of the churchyard of St. Margaret Westwick. (fn. 116)


  • 1. The year is not given in the charter; the hospital is usually said to have been founded in 1249, but this charter is more likely of the year 1246 or even 1245.
  • 2. Norw. City Mun. Press G, shelf 6, parcel 1. For a MS. copy of this charter I am much indebted to my friend Mr. Tingey, F.S.A., hon. archivist of the city. The wealth of documents pertaining to this hospital is very great, including account rolls beginning in 1306. The mere enumeration of them extends from pp. 68 to 72 in the privately printed catalogue of the city records. In the same parcel with the foundation charter are the founder's will, William of Dunwich's will, and other early bequests down to 1313.
  • 3. Cal. Pap. Reg. i, 312.
  • 4. Pat. 5 Edw. III, pt. ii, m. 33; 8 Edw. III, pt. i, m. 35; pt. ii, m. 27; 9 Edw. III, pt. i, m. 13.
  • 5. Norw. City Rec. 71.
  • 6. Cal. of Bodl. Chart. and R. 199.
  • 7. Pat. 11 Hen. IV, pt. ii, m. 24.
  • 8. Ibid. 22 Hen. VI, pti ii, m. 1.
  • 9. Liber Albus (City Rec.), 53.
  • 10. Jessopp, Norw. Visit. (Camden Soc.), 12.
  • 11. Blomefield, Hist. of Norf. iii, 541; iv, 178.
  • 12. Jessopp, Norw. Visit. (Camden Soc.), 206.
  • 13. Ibid. 271.
  • 14. Dep. Keeper's Rep. vii, App. 2, 94.
  • 15. Ibid. vii, App. 2, 35; Liber Albus (City Rec.), 20, 21.
  • 16. Found. Chart. (City Rec.), 69.
  • 17. Add. Ch. 14784.
  • 18. Blomefield, Hist. of Norf. iv, 400.
  • 19. Ibid.
  • 20. Add. Ch. 14785.
  • 21. Blomefield, loc. cit.
  • 22. City Rec. 69.
  • 23. Norw. Epis. Reg. v, 43.
  • 24. Ibid. vi, 16.
  • 25. Ibid. vi, 42.
  • 26. Ibid. vi, 197.
  • 27. Norw. Epis. Reg. vi, 208.
  • 28. Ibid. vi, 251.
  • 29. Ibid. vii, 49.
  • 30. Ibid.
  • 31. Ibid. ix, 44.
  • 32. Ibid. ix, 46.
  • 33. Ibid. ix, 88.
  • 34. Ibid. x, 7.
  • 35. Ibid. xi, 7.
  • 36. Ibid. xii, 68.
  • 37. Ibid. xii, 138.
  • 38. Blomefield, Hist. of Norf. iv, 400.
  • 39. Ibid.
  • 40. Ibid.
  • 41. City Rec. 70.
  • 42. Norw, Epis. Reg. xiii, 44.
  • 43. Blomefield, Hist. of Norf. iv, 400; Add. Ch. 14793.
  • 44. Norw. Epis. Reg. xiv.
  • 45. Blomefield, Hist. of Norf. iv, 400.
  • 46. Ibid.
  • 47. City Rec. 70.
  • 48. B.M. Top. Ch. 52.
  • 49. B.M., D. C. F. 39.
  • 50. Kirkpatrick, Refig. Ord. of Norw. 230-6; Dugdale, Mon. vi, 768; Blomefield, Hist. of Norf. iv, 71-2; Taylor, Index Monasticus, 56.
  • 51. Infirm. R. 34 Hen. VI.
  • 52. Reg. Surflet, f. 124.
  • 53. Kirkpatrick, Refig. Ord. of Norw. 234.
  • 54. Valor Eccl. (Rec. Com.), vi, 292.
  • 55. Kirkpatrick, Refig. Ord. of Norw. 235.
  • 56. Ibid.
  • 57. Ibid.
  • 58. Norw. Epis. Reg. i, 84.
  • 59. Ibid. iv, 150.
  • 60. Ibid.
  • 61. Ibid. vi, 110; Pat. 8 Rich. II, pt. ii, m. 34.
  • 62. Norw. Epis. Reg. vi, 113.
  • 63. Blomefield, Hist. of Norf. iv, 71.
  • 64. Norw. Epis. Reg. vi, 273.
  • 65. Ibid. vi, 320.
  • 66. Ibid. vii, 48.
  • 67. Ibid. 74.
  • 68. Ibid. viii, 43.
  • 69. Ibid. xi, 182.
  • 70. Ibid.
  • 71. Blomefield, Hist. of Norf. iv, 7.
  • 72. Ibid.
  • 73. The last master, prior of Bromholm and suffragan bishop (Chalcedon) of Norwich.
  • 74. Kirkpatrick, Relig. Ord. of Norw. 194-239; Blomefield, Hist. of Norf. iv. 430-3, Dugdale, Mon. vi, 698-700; Taylor, Index Monasticus, 57.
  • 75. There is a transcript of a confirmatory bull of Pope Gregory in Cott. MS. Jul. E. vii, 22b.
  • 76. This list is taken from Kirkpatrick, Relig. Ord. of Norw. p. 214. John Kirkpatrick, treasurer of the Great Hospital of Norwich, wrote this work, having full access to all chapter and episcopal documents, about 1725; it was not published until 1845. Simon de Lenn and William Manuel are added on the authority of Blomefield (Hist. of Norf. iv, 433).
  • 77. Kirkpatrick, Relig. Ord. of Norw.
  • 78. Blomefield, Hist. of Norf. iv, 440; Dugdale, Mon. vi, 768; Taylor, Index Monasticus, 56-8.
  • 79. Pat. 8 Edw. III, pt. i, m. 13.
  • 80. Valor Eccl. (Rec. Com.) iii, 368.
  • 81. Blomefield, Hist. of Norf. iv, 440.
  • 82. Ibid.
  • 83. Ibid.
  • 84. Norw. Epis. Reg. i, 63.
  • 85. Ibid. 107.
  • 86. Ibid. ii, 25.
  • 87. Ibid.
  • 88. Ibid. ii, 50.
  • 89. Ibid. 69.
  • 90. Pat. 10 Edw. III, pt. i, m. 12.
  • 91. Norw. Epis. Reg. iii, 49.
  • 92. Ibid. 55.
  • 93. Ibid. iv, 51.
  • 94. Ibid. 129.
  • 95. Ibid. v, 76.
  • 96. Ibid. vi, 184.
  • 97. Ibid. vii, 4.
  • 98. Ibid. viii, 9.
  • 99. Ibid. ix, 85.
  • 100. Ibid. x, 58.
  • 101. Blomefield, Hist. of Norf. iv, 441.
  • 102. Ibid.
  • 103. Ibid.
  • 104. Ibid.
  • 105. Ibid. 460-1; Taylor, Index Monasticus, 57.
  • 106. Blomefield, Hist. of Norf. iv, 350; Taylor, Index Monasticus, 58.
  • 107. Blomefield, Hist. of Norf. iv, 166-7; Taylor, Index Monasticus, 58.
  • 108. Blomefield, Hist. of Norf. iv. 438; Taylor, Index Monasticus, 58.
  • 109. Close, 9 Edw, III, m. 9.
  • 110. Blomefield, Hist. of Norf. iv, 245; Taylor, Index Monasticus, 58; Tanner, Notitia, Norf. 1, 8.
  • 111. Cal. of Pat. 33 Edw. I, pt. i, m. 1.
  • 112. Hist. of Norf. iv, 500.
  • 113. Blomefield, Hist. of Norf. iv, 250.
  • 114. Ibid. 164.
  • 115. Ibid. 245.
  • 116. Ibid. 259.