A History of the County of Stafford: Volume 3. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1970.
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27. THE HOSPITAL OR HOSPITALS OF NEWCASTLE-UNDER-LYME
BY 1266 there was a hospital 'without' Newcastleunder-Lyme dedicated to St. John the Baptist: in that year the master and brethren were granted protection for three years by the Crown. The subsequent history of the hospital is obscure, but it may perhaps be identified with the Hospital of St. John situated on the outskirts of Newcastle in 1409. (fn. 1)
This hospital, in the patronage of the Duchy of Lancaster during the 15th and 16th centuries, had probably ceased to serve any eleemosynary purpose before the beginning of the 15th century, perhaps because it was too poorly endowed. An attempt at reform may have been contemplated by the patron when it was granted to Thomas Chamberlayn in 1409: he was given the hospital during pleasure only and apparently on condition that he observed all the eleemosynary obligations 'according to the first foundation'. In fact it is unlikely that any permanent reform was made for Chamberlayn's successors were all granted the hospital for life and they probably enjoyed the whole of its endowment. Nevertheless the hospital's income may be regarded as having afforded some charitable relief while it was enjoyed by Chamberlayn's immediate successor John Ryder. Ryder, probably a retired servant of the royal household, had been disabled in the French wars of Henry V and Henry VI and was unable to support himself. (fn. 2) Little is known of Ryder's successors save that at least two of them were members of the royal household. In 1485 Henry VII gave the hospital for life to John, the son of Henry Badeley, in consideration of his father's good and faithful service. (fn. 3)
There was considerable uncertainty about the correct dedication of the hospital in the 15th century. In 1409 it was said to be dedicated to St. John, and in 1437 to St. Louis. St. John the Baptist and St. Louis were given as alternative dedications in 1454, 1459, and 1460. In 1479 St. John the Baptist and St. Eloy were alternative dedications, but St. Eloy was given as the sole dedication in 1485 and 1546. The hospital was referred to as the Hospital of St. Leo in 1485, 1516, and 1551. (fn. 4)
The chantry commissioners of 1546 reported that the rent of certain lands let for £2 13s. 4d. a year was paid to a priest called the Master of the Hospital of St. Eloy. The incumbent did not know the name of the founder or the purpose of the foundation. (fn. 5) It appears that the hospital was not formally suppressed under the Act of 1547, (fn. 6) for in 1551 Edward VI granted it to Richard Smith to hold for life after the death of John Badeley. (fn. 7) Before the end of the century, however, the hospital was evidently held to have been suppressed, for in 1590 it formed part of a large royal grant of former ecclesiastical property to William Tipper and Robert Dawe. (fn. 8)
The hospital seems to have been situated in the present Newcastle Lane within the ancient parish of Stoke-upon-Trent just over half a mile from the Newcastle borough boundary. (fn. 9)
Wardens or Masters
Thomas Chamberlayn, appointed 1409, died 1437. (fn. 10)
John Ryder, appointed 1437. (fn. 11)
John Crecy, appointed 1454, resigned 1459. (fn. 12)
Master John Carpenter, appointed 1459. (fn. 13)
Nicholas Morley, appointed 1460, occurs 1464. (fn. 14)
Thomas Goship, died 1479. (fn. 15)
Thomas Newark, appointed 1479. (fn. 16)
John Badeley, appointed 1485, resigned 1516. (fn. 17)
John Badeley the younger, appointed 1516, occurs 1551. (fn. 18)
Richard Smith, appointed in reversion 1551. (fn. 19)
No seal is known.