Hospitals: Sandon

Pages 118-119

A History of the County of Surrey: Volume 2. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1967.

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The hospital of Sandon, in the parish of Esher, dedicated to the honour of the Holy Spirit, (fn. 1) is said to have been founded at the beginning of the reign of Henry II. by Robert de Wateville. (fn. 2) It was augmented early in the reign of Henry III. by William de Percy with an income of 20 marks which Salley Abbey, Yorks, paid him for the manor and forest of Gisburn, and also with 80 acres of land in Foston, Leicestershire. This augmentation was granted to the master and brethren of the hospital for the purpose of supporting six chaplains for divine offices within the house. (fn. 3)

On William de Percy's death his heart was buried before the Lady altar in the church or chapel of this hospital, and here too was interred the body of his wife Joan. Giles, the warden or prior of the house, and the brethren covenanted with Sir Wymond Ralegh to keep a lamp and a taper of two pounds weight burning before the Lady altar whenever masses were said. (fn. 4)

There were further augmentations granted to the hospital during the reign of Henry III. (fn. 5)

License was granted in January 1331 for the warden and brethren of the hospital of Sandon by Kingston to acquire in mortmain land and rent, not held in chief, to the yearly value of £10. (fn. 6) In this year the hospital found itself in such straits that the bishop issued a commission, consisting of Richard, chaplain of Walton, and William de Holton, constable of Farnham, to inquire into the condition and administration of the house, and to provide some remedy for their wants. (fn. 7)

Warden Brounchild resigned on 30 November 1331, when the custody of the hospital was awarded by the bishop to John de Crokford. The wardenship was kept vacant until November 1333, when the brethren were allowed to elect; they chose John de Crokford, and the bishop confirmed the appointment. (fn. 8)

In 1338 the brethren were all dead, save warden Crokford, who was induced to resign. Bishop Orlton collated John Askham to the office; but Crokford refused to give up possession, and both Askham and Crokford were cited to appear before the bishop's commissary for inquiry and judgment. The registers do not record the result. (fn. 9) The terrible Black Death made a clean sweep of the warden and brethren of this hospital in the beginning of 1349, (fn. 10) but the Bishop of Winchester boldly held an ordination that summer in the chapel of the desolated house. (fn. 11)

During the wardenship of William Masse the hospital, as might have been expected, suffered from the non-residence of its warden, and on 27 November 1371 he was cited to appear at the parish church of Waltham to answer interrogatories as to his administration of the hospital and to produce an inventory of the goods. (fn. 12) John Ware, who succeeded Masse, was also a pluralist. The house was visited in November 1374 by William Lozynge, the chancellor of the diocese, and John de Kelsey, under the bishop's mandates. (fn. 13) The usual fault in the smaller religious houses was the improper administration of the property. On this account probably at the institution of John Carles as warden in 1391 he was pledged to keep an inventory of the goods of the hospital, and to return an annual statement of accounts. (fn. 14) Notwithstanding his pledges however he was cited on 15 June 1400 to show cause why he should not exhibit an inventory. (fn. 15)

In May 1396 excommunication was pronounced, at the instance of Warden Carles, against certain persons unknown, who had entered the hospital close, and carried off and concealed vessels, utensils, charters, muniments, and ornaments of the house; at the same time the financial difficulties of the hospital are manifested by excommunication being also pronounced against tenants who were in arrear in their rents. (fn. 16)

Carles resigned in 1401, and on 26 April of that year Hugh Strenger, ' highly commended to us for his virtues and probity,' was instituted as his successor, making oath, like his predecessor, to deliver to the bishop annually a faithful inventory of the hospital goods. (fn. 17) It is strange that so energetic a bishop as Wykeham should have been so unfortunate in his choice of incompetent and scandalous clerks to have the rule in this hospital. On 12 December 1401 Strenger had to be inhibited from felling timber for sale, (fn. 18) and in June 1404 a commission was appointed to receive the warden's purgation on a charge of incontinence. (fn. 19)

The financial position of this hospital came to so low an ebb in the time of Henry VI. that on 13 February 1436 the crown granted leave to the Bishop of Winchester to unite it to the hospital of St. Thomas the Martyr, Southwark. The patent states that the hospital was of the patronage and foundation of the bishop's predecessors, and gives the dedication as that of the Holy Spirit. (fn. 20)


  • 1. In three or four instances of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries the hospital is named as dedicated to the honour of St. Mary Magdalen; but it is termed the hospital of the Holy Spirit in the deed of augmentation of Henry III., and also in the patent uniting it to St. Thomas' Southwark. This may be one of those cases in which the whole house had one dedication, whilst the rebuilt chapel had another.
  • 2. Manning and Bray, Hist of Surr. ii. 749.
  • 3. Dugdale, Monasticon, vi. 676, where this charter is cited in full.
  • 4. Ibid. vi. 676.
  • 5. Feet of F. Surr., quoted by Manning and Bray, Hist. of Surr. ii. 750.
  • 6. Pat. 4 Edw. III. pt. ii. m. 10.
  • 7. Winton. Epis. Reg., Stratford, f. 58.
  • 8. Ibid. ff. 126, 137.
  • 9. Ibid. Orlton. i. f. 123; ii. f. 68b.
  • 10. Lowth's Wykeham, 84.
  • 11. Winton. Epis. Reg., Edendon, i. f. 49b.
  • 12. Ibid. iii. f. 60.
  • 13. Ibid. Wykeham, iii. f. 116.
  • 14. Ibid. i. f. 218.
  • 15. Ibid. iii. f. 321.
  • 16. Ibid. iii. f. 289.
  • 17. Ibid. i. 316-17.
  • 18. Ibid. iii. f. 342.
  • 19. Ibid. iii. f. 365b.
  • 20. Pat. 14 Hen. VI. pt. i. m. 4.