A History of the County of Northampton: Volume 2. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1906.
This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.
39. THE HOSPITAL OF ST. LEONARD, TOWCESTER
A leper hospital dedicated to St. Leonard was founded at an early date on the outskirts of Towcester, by the north bridge. Simon de Pateshull, sheriff of the county, rendered account in the year 1200 of 40s., the gift of the king to leprous brethren (fratres leprosi) of Towcester. (fn. 1)
An early thirteenth-century deed of Robert, son of Roger Forester, conveyed to Lawrence, son of Simon Ters, an acre of land in the south field of Towcester, between the land of Baldwin and the lepers' hospital of St. Leonard. (fn. 2) Another deed of 1286, giving boundaries, mentions the court of the hospital of Towcester. (fn. 3)
In 1384 letters patent were granted by Richard II. in ratification of the estate of John Forster, clerk in the chapel of St. Leonard, Towcester. (fn. 4) In 1387 John Forster resigned, and the mastership of the hospital, with the chapel of St. Leonard's, was granted for life to William de Horbury, king's clerk. (fn. 5) In the following year the mastership was granted to Nicholas Boteway, a clerk of the chapel within the royal household; these last patents state that the wardenship was then in the king's gift by reason of his custody of the land, and heir of John de Hastings, earl of Pembroke. (fn. 6)
The date of the decay of this hospital is not known, but it was probably before 1447, as there is no mention of it in the bequests made by Archdeacon Sponne in his will of that year.
Masters of St. Leonard's Towcester
John Forster, (fn. 7) resigned 1387.
William de Horbury, (fn. 8) appointed 1387.
Nicholas Boteway, (fn. 9) appointed 1388.