Colleges: Collegiate chapel of St Mary Magdalen, Kingston

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

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'Colleges: Collegiate chapel of St Mary Magdalen, Kingston', A History of the County of Surrey: Volume 2, (London, 1967), pp. 125-127. British History Online [accessed 12 June 2024].

. "Colleges: Collegiate chapel of St Mary Magdalen, Kingston", in A History of the County of Surrey: Volume 2, (London, 1967) 125-127. British History Online, accessed June 12, 2024,

. "Colleges: Collegiate chapel of St Mary Magdalen, Kingston", A History of the County of Surrey: Volume 2, (London, 1967). 125-127. British History Online. Web. 12 June 2024,

In this section



Edward Lovekin, citizen of London, but a native of Kingston, built a chapel dedicated to St. Mary Magdalen at Kingston in the year 1304. (fn. 1) In conjunction with his brother Robert, he endowed it with ten acres of land, one acre of meadow, and fifteen marks of rent in Kingston, for the support of a chaplain to say daily mass for Edward and Robert and all their relatives and successors and all the faithful departed. License for the alienation of this property was obtained from the Crown in 1309, (fn. 2) and at the same time leave was obtained from the bishop for the appointment and induction of a chaplain. (fn. 3)

John Lovekin, son and heir of Edward Lovekin, soon after this last date, rebuilt the chapel and the priest's house, and in October 1352 obtained license from the Crown for a further endowment up to £12 per annum for the support of an additional chaplain. (fn. 4) For this patent he paid 20 marks into the hanaper. He obtained the sanction for his new scheme of the bishop and chapter of the diocese, of the prior and convent of Merton as rectors of Kingston, and of the vicar of Kingston, and granted to the chapel and its chaplains 9 messuages, 10 shops, a mill, 125 acres of land, 10 acres of meadow, 120 acres of pasture, and 35s. of annual rent in Kingston, and two messuages of the yearly value of £4, in the parish of St. Michael, Crooked Lane, London.

The charter, dated 3 May 1355, provided that there should be two chaplains, one of them being warden, presented to the diocesan by John Lovekin or his heirs; that if two months elapsed on a vacancy without presentation, the appointment should lapse to the chapter of Winchester; that the chaplains, immediately after their institution, should swear to reside continuously and personally minister at the chapel, and not to engage in any other service or office whatsoever; that they should reside together in the appointed houses or manse, and that the warden should pay the chaplain (or chaplains if the number was increased) 40s. yearly in addition to necessary food, and a robe like that worn by the warden every Christmas; that the residue of the income, after deducting the necessary expenses of himself and the household, was to be applied by the warden for the benefit of the chapel and in no other way; that the warden should yearly make an inventory by indenture of the chapel's goods, one part to remain with the warden, and the other (to be exhibited yearly to the diocesan) with the senior chaplain; that the chaplains should have their meals together in the same apartment, and each sleep in his allotted chamber; that the warden should provide a competent clerk to serve at mass and to minister to the chaplains in their chambers; that the warden should supply the chaplains with comely surplices and amices trimmed with black fur for use in the chapel, and should also furnish books, chalices and other necessary ornaments for the chapel; that none of the chaplains, save the warden, should introduce any stranger at the expense of the house, but that threepence should be paid for a stranger at dinner, and twopence for every other entertainment; that the warden and chaplain should entirely abstain from taverns, and that the latter should not visit any house without leave of the warden; and that the diocesan had power to remove any refractory or incorrigible chaplain. An exceptional provision was also made to check any granting of a corrody or parting with any of their property, whereby the house was disallowed any common seal. Full regulations were made for the various daily services which were to be after the use of Sarum: on Monday mass was to be said for the founders: on Tuesday, the mass of Salus Populi, for the welfare of the king and queen and the bishop, and after their deaths the mass of St. Thomas the Martyr; on Wednesday, the mass of St. Mary Magdalen; on Thursday, the mass of the Holy Ghost; on Friday, the mass of the Holy Cross; on Saturday, the mass of our Lady; and on every Lord's Day and other festivals, the mass of the day. There was also a daily Requiem mass.

On 1 June 1355 these ordinances were confirmed by Bishop Edendon, with a certain stipulation in favour of parochial rights, namely, that mass should not be said in the chapel on any Sunday or special festival in the presence of any parishioner not residing in the manse, unless such parishioner had license from the vicar, save only John Lovekin, the founder; that the chaplains should themselves attend high mass at the parish church on the four principal feasts, and make their offerings; that no warden nor chaplain should administer sacraments or sacramentals to parishioners, or accept from them payment for masses; and that the chapel should possess no rights of ecclesiastical sepulture. (fn. 5)

John Lovekin, the refounder, was a fishmonger, a citizen of London: he was lord mayor in 1347, 1357, 1364 and 1365. He lived in the parish of St. Michael's, Crooked Lane, and rebuilt that church shortly before his death, which occurred on 4 August 1368. (fn. 6) William Walworth, sometime apprentice to John Lovekin, lord mayor in 1373 and 1379, who attained fame as the slayer of Wat Tyler, considerably increased the endowments of the chapel in 1371, making provision for another chaplain.

On 11 January 1372, the bishop issued a commission for the due auditing of the accounts of this foundation, (fn. 7) and notice was served on Reginald Jurdan, warden of this chapel, on 11 September 1401, that the bishop would visit the house in the following month. (fn. 8)

In 1535 the Valor Ecclesiasticus (fn. 9) returned the clear annual value of this foundation as £34 19s. 6½d. From an inquisition, cited by Manning, it appears that Charles Carew, the last warden, forfeited this chapel with its possessions to the Crown in March 1540, through being attainted of felony, though the nature of the felony is not stated.

In April 1547, the site and appurtenances were demised by the Crown to Richard Taverner for twenty-one years, at a reserved rent of £12 1s. 0d. The particulars contained bear out the idea that this establishment was something more than a chapel and house for a warden and two chaplains. Twelve lots are mentioned, namely: (1) the site of a free chapel of St. Mary Magdalen, with garden; (2) a small chapel called St. Anne's adjoining, with chambers and study over it; (3) an inner chamber, with a hawk's mew over it; (4) a small chapel called St. Loy's on the south side of St. Mary Magdalen's with a little place under it; (5) an old kitchen, with chamber adjoining, and a solar or lost over both; (6) a chamber under the kitchen, to the west of St. Mary Magdalen's; (7) a house next to the said kitchen; (8) yards on the north and west of St. Mary Magdalen's chapel; (9) a gallery over the said yards, leading from St. Anne's chapel to a small place and to two chambers called the master's lodgings; (10) a cellar and four small chambers under the master's lodgings; (11) a granary; and (12) a stable and dovecote. (fn. 10)

Probably there was an old hospital here for the poor, to which the chapel of Edward, and subsequently of John Lovekin, formed an adjunct. When Queen Elizabeth, in 1561, founded a free school here, it was said to be founded on the site of the old chapel and hospital. The chapel was turned into the schoolroom.

The Collegiate Chapel of St. Mary Magdalen, Kingston.

Chaplains (First Foundation)

Ralph de Stanle, instituted 1310 (fn. 11)

John de Fre, instituted 1326

Peter de Lincoln, instituted 1331

Stephen de Stoke Goldington, resigned 1335

Robert de Fekenham, instituted 1335

John de Witham, instituted 1337

Walter Cok of Fenny Stratford, instituted 1344

Wardens (Second Foundation)

Elias de Bodeland, (fn. 12) resigned 1367

Robert Simonde of Bikenore, instituted 1367, (fn. 13) resigned 1394

Reginald Jurdan, instituted 1394, resigned 1403

John Hals, instituted 1403, (fn. 14) resigned 1404

John Scarburghe, instituted 1404 (fn. 15)

Richard Bowden, instituted 1405 (fn. 16)

John Gorsuch, died 1448

William Sharp, instituted 1448

William Frome, instituted 1451

Peter Baxter, instituted 1464

Edmund Hampden, instituted 1476

Hugh Meredith, instituted 1485

William Carpenter, instituted 1485

William Kyrkeby, resigned 1522

Edmund Thurland, instituted 1522

Charles Carew, instituted 1535-1540


  • 1. Bishop Tanner, in his Notitia, terms this foundation a hospital, and says it was for the support of certain poor men as well as a warden and chaplain; but there is no reference to the poor men nor to the term hospital in the elaborate ordinances of John Lovekin, the refounder, and in the Valor Ecclesiasticus (ii. 47) this house is called the chapel of the Blessed Mary Magdalen in Kingston. There was apparently at an early date a hospital for lepers at Kingston, said to be of royal foundation. Manning and Bray (Hist. of Surr., i. 343), quoting what they call 'Escheators Rolls,' state that in 1316 the lepers quitted the house, pulled down the buildings and carried off the materials; the escheator thereupon seized the site for the king and accounted for 10s. for a year's rent. It is possible that the college of St. Mary Magdalene may have been built upon the site of this leper hospital.
  • 2. Pat. 2 Edw. II. pt. ii. m. 4.
  • 3. Winton. Epis. Reg., Woodlock, f. 112b.
  • 4. Pat. 26 Edw. III. pt. iii. m. 13.
  • 5. The foundation charter ordinances and stipulations are set forth at length in Wykeham's Registers (Hants Record Society), ii. f. 445-451.
  • 6. Newcourt's Report, 415, 483. His epitaph is given in Weever's Fun. Mon., 410.
  • 7. Wykeham's Reg. (Hants Rec. Soc.) iii. f. 62b.
  • 8. Ibid. iii. f. 337.
  • 9. Val. Eccl. (Rec. Com.) ii. p. 47.
  • 10. Letters patent 26 April 1547, cited by Manning and Bray, Hist. of Surr.
  • 11. All the chaplains of the first foundation are taken from Manning and Bray, Hist. of Surr., i.351, quoting from the Winchester Registers.
  • 12. Winton. Epis. Reg., Wykeham, i. f. 6.
  • 13. Ibid. Simonde became one of the chaplains of the house. Ibid. 228.
  • 14. Ibid. i. f. 341.
  • 15. Ibid. i. f. 348b.
  • 16. The names of the following wardens are taken from Manning and Bray, Hist. of Surr., i. 355.