Hospitals: Radford, St Lazarus or the Holy Sepulchre

A History of the County of Stafford: Volume 3. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1970.

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'Hospitals: Radford, St Lazarus or the Holy Sepulchre', in A History of the County of Stafford: Volume 3, (London, 1970) pp. 289-290. British History Online [accessed 12 April 2024]

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BY the mid 13th century there was a leper hospital at Radford, about 1¼ mile south-east of Stafford. (fn. 1) The dedication is variously given as to St. Lazarus and to the Holy Sepulchre. It was probably founded by a member of the Stafford family, for by the end of the century the patronage belonged to Edmund de Stafford. (fn. 2)

Little is known of the hospital's endowments or privileges, which were evidently meagre. In 1255 Hugh de Doxey granted a moiety of two crofts in Silkmore (in Castle Church) to Walter, Master of the Hospital of St. Lazarus, Radford; this land was to be held in free alms for ever by Walter and his successors. (fn. 3) In 1258 the master and brethren of the Hospital of the Holy Sepulchre, Radford, received from the Crown a grant of protection for 5 years. (fn. 4)

By the end of the 13th century the hospital's endowments were evidently insufficient for the support of the warden and brethren. Edmund de Stafford, the patron, attempted to grant the hospital to the Trinitarian friars of Thelsford (Warws.), but his plan seems to have failed, (fn. 5) and the hospital probably continued independently for a few years at least. At some time before 1320 William of Madeley, 'Prior of the Hospital of Radford', exchanged a piece of marsh in Silkmore with Richard, son of John (fn. 6) de Wenlock, for a messuage in Forebridge. This exchange was confirmed in 1320 by Edmund de Stafford's widow, Margaret, and her second husband, (fn. 7) and in 1321 by Edmund's son Ralph. (fn. 8)

Nothing more of the hospital's history is known, and its site has not been identified. (fn. 9) There is, however, some slight evidence to suggest that it was refounded in the mid 14th century on a new site and with a new dedication. (fn. 10)

Masters, Wardens, or Priors

Walter, occurs 1255. (fn. 11)

William of Madeley, occurs at some time before 1320. (fn. 12)

No seal is known.


  • 1. S.H.C. iv(1), 246-7; S.H.C. 1911, 269, 271. Radford lies on the Stafford-Lichfield road where it crosses the Penk; the river here forms the boundary between the ancient parishes of Baswich and Castle Church: V.C.H. Staffs. v. 1, 2.
  • 2. See below.
  • 3. S.H.C. iv(1), 246-7; viii(2), 99-100.
  • 4. Cal. Pat. 1247-58, 653.
  • 5. See following article.
  • 6. Not Thomas as stated in V.C.H. Staffs. v. 93, 94.
  • 7. S.R.O., D.(W.) 1721/1/1, f. 131v. This exchange is incorrectly stated in V.C.H. Staffs. v. 93, to have been between Prior William on the one hand and Margaret and her second husband on the other.
  • 8. S.R.O., D.(W.) 1721/1/1, f. 131v.
  • 9. L. Lambert, The Medieval Hospitals of Stafford (Manchester, n.d.), 10, suggests that the hospital stood at the S.E. corner of the English Electric Co.'s main works, in the angle formed by Lichfield Rd. and the railway, but the source quoted (S.H.C. viii(2), 32) gives no support to this. S.H.C. viii(2), 114 n. 1, suggests that the hospital stood near the site of the later Hospital of St. Leonard, Forebridge (see below p. 294); 'Radford', however, suggests a site near the Penk.
  • 10. See below p. 294.
  • 11. See above.
  • 12. See above.