Religious houses

Pages 333-335

A History of the County of York East Riding: Volume 1, the City of Kingston Upon Hull. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1969.

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The institutional history of the religious houses of Hull has been described elsewhere. (fn. 1) The following account is concerned chiefly with their sites and buildings, and with their fate after the Dissolution. In no case do any remains of the buildings survive. At least two of the lesser hospitals, as well as the Charterhouse hospital, continued as post-Reformation almshouses, and their later history is considered in another section. (fn. 2) So, too, is the entire history of the Trinity House hospital. (fn. 3)

The Carthusian Priory and Hospital. The history of the religious foundations which may have preceded the Carthusian Priory, founded in 1378, is uncertain, (fn. 4) but probably all stood on the same site, to the north of the town, on land which was formerly part of the manor of Myton. (fn. 5) At its foundation by Michael de la Pole the priory consisted of a messuage, called the maison dieu, and 7 acres of land. It housed not only the monks but also thirteen poor men and thirteen poor women. (fn. 6) In 1383 the priory and hospital were separated: the hospital had a grant from Michael de la Pole of two messuages containing 1½ acre, lying to the east of the priory, (fn. 7) and the government of the hospital, to be known as God's House of Hull, was laid down in 1384. (fn. 8) The hospital and priory walls and certain gardens belonging to the prior are mentioned in 1450. (fn. 9) At the Dissolution the hospital had accommodation for sixteen poor persons under one roof, a chapel, and three gardens, all contained in 1½ acre of land surrounded by a brick wall and separated from the Charterhouse by a road. (fn. 10) The hospital was not dissolved and its government passed to the Corporation of Hull. (fn. 11)

The priory itself was dissolved in 1539: its site was valued at £1 a year and consisted of about 3 acres of land enclosed within a pool called 'le mote', with orchards, applegarths, and gardens. (fn. 12) In 1550 the site was granted to the Protector Somerset. (fn. 13) Later in the same year it was in the possession of Sir Michael Stanhope, then Governor of Hull and brother-in-law to Somerset, and was tenanted by Ralph Constable. (fn. 14) On the fall of Somerset the site passed to Edward, Lord Clinton and Say. (fn. 15) At an unknown date it came into the possession of John, Duke of Northumberland, (fn. 16) and on his attainder was granted in 1554 to John Green and William Jenyns, Ralph Constable retaining the tenancy. (fn. 17) In 1558 it was granted to Sir Henry Gate and Thomas Dalton. (fn. 18) By 1605 the site appears to have been owned by Roger, Earl of Rutland. At least some of the buildings were then in good repair; the windows of the great chamber, the wardrobe, the drawing chamber, the matted chamber, the little gallery, and elsewhere had been recently glazed and leaded. (fn. 19) Nothing further is known of the buildings or site. It is possible that some of the buildings were razed at the time of the Dissolution and that the remainder were destroyed, together with the hospital buildings, during the siege of Hull in 1643. The last remnant, the east gateway, is said to have been demolished about 1805. (fn. 20)

The Augustinian Friary. The Augustinian friars held property in Hull from at least 1303. (fn. 21) In 1317 Geoffrey de Hotham and John de Wetwang obtained licence to alienate to the friars a messuage and a plot of land, measuring 205 by 115 feet, for the building of an oratory and living accommodation. (fn. 22) In 1402 the friary garden adjoining 'the flesh market' (i.e. Butchery, later part of Queen Street) is mentioned. (fn. 23)

The friary was dissolved in 1539, when the site consisted of a house and a garden in Blackfriargate measuring 49 by 33 yards; (fn. 24) in the previous year the church and part of the cloisters were described as covered with lead. (fn. 25) The friars' former property was leased to Robert Kemsey in 1540. (fn. 26) In 1544 the house, site, and garden were granted by the Crown to John Broxholme, but Kemsey retained his lease. (fn. 27) In 1608 Edward Scales, a lunatic, was said to have been seised of six messuages in Hull called 'le Freers'; this may have been the Augustinian Friary. (fn. 28) About 1796 the remaining parts of the friary buildings were demolished; these comprised a square, six-storied, tower with Gothic windows, on the east side of Market Place near the old Guildhall, and a long range of buildings lying north-south which had been converted into the Tiger Inn. (fn. 29) In 1806, when the old Guildhall was demolished, part of the cloisters of the friary were found to be incorporated in it. (fn. 30) The main friary buildings seem to have been situated to the east and south of the Guildhall, with a garden fronting on Blackfriargate. (fn. 31)

The Carmelite Friary. In 1289 Robert of Scarborough, Dean of York, applied for a licence to grant a messuage in Hull to the Carmelite friars; this is the first mention of the friars in Hull. (fn. 32) In 1293 they had a messuage on the south side of Monkgate (later Blackfriargate). (fn. 33) By 1304 the numbers in the friary had so greatly increased that Edward I granted them 3 acres of land in Milncroft, outside the town, in exchange for the land the friary held within the town. The friary was to keep its church and houses, removing them to the new site. (fn. 34) In 1307 papal authorization was given for the friary buildings to be transferred, and in 1311 the archbishop granted a licence for the consecration of the friary church. (fn. 35) The new site lay within the town walls when they were built in the 1320s: it was on the south side of Whitefriargate, near Beverley Gate. (fn. 36) Some small additions were made to the friary's property in the 14th century, including one by William de la Pole in 1352. (fn. 37)

The friary was dissolved in 1539; a year earlier the chancel of the church and part of the cloisters were said to be roofed with lead. (fn. 38) In 1540 John Hennage was granted the friary property; this comprised the house and gardens (½ acre in 1539), a close of pasture (1 acre), three more gardens, property outside Beverley Gate, and 1s. annual rent from Trinity House. (fn. 39) Hennage granted this holding to Henry Thurscross in 1541, and the Thurscross family held it until 1614 when another Henry granted the site, cottages, gardens, and orchards to Thomas Ferries. (fn. 40) In 1621 Ferries granted the property, both within and without the town walls, to Trinity House, although his family retained some interest in it. (fn. 41) In 1830 human bones were found buried on the south side of Whitefriargate; these may have marked the site of the friary burial ground. (fn. 42)

The Dominican Friars. There is no conclusive evidence of a Dominican friary in the town, (fn. 43) but in 1291 the Dominicans of Beverley had a preaching station to preach the Crusade in Hull. (fn. 44)

Adryanson's Hospital. A hospital, the site of which is unknown, was probably founded about 1485 by Brand Adryanson, a Hull brewer. It consisted of a house, chapel, and garden for four old men; according to the terms of the founder's will, proved in 1503, his wife was required to provide the men with a specified amount of coal. (fn. 45) No more is known of it.

Aldwick's Hospital. John Aldwick of Hull, by his will proved in 1444, provided for masses to be sung according to the terms of an agreement to be made between himself and the corporation. (fn. 46) The corporation in 1448 undertook to provide fees and a house for a chaplain from the revenues of Aldwick's property. The chaplain's house was to be built on a piece of land in Marketgate (i.e. Lowgate); it was to contain the chaplain's room and underneath it a hospital for two poor persons, who were to have a garden and a path leading into Marketgate. Vacancies in the hospital or chaplaincy were to be filled by the corporation. (fn. 47) The room and hospital were built the same year, (fn. 48) and in 1455 the corporation placed a married couple in a hospital in Lowgate which was described as newly built and belonging to the town. (fn. 49) Nothing more is known of the hospital, which reputedly had a considerable revenue. (fn. 50)

Bedforth's Hospital. This almshouse is said to have been founded in 1412. (fn. 51) It may be the hospital which Tickell describes as founded by a 'Mr. Bedford', whom he identifies with John Bedford, mayor of Hull and founder of a chantry in Holy Trinity Church. The large endowments of this chantry, which was in the corporation's charge, may have been used in part for the upkeep of the hospital, (fn. 52) about which nothing further is known.

Gregg's Hospital. A maison dieu for thirteen poor people was established in Aldkirk Lane (i.e. Posterngate) by Joan Gregg, some time before 1438. It continued, under the corporation's control, after the Dissolution. (fn. 53)

Holy Trinity Maison Dieu. A hospital was built in Holy Trinity churchyard some time before 1445. In 1453 and 1463 there were twelve poor men and women there; vacancies were filled by the mayor. Bequests were made to the house in 1455 and 1460, (fn. 54) but nothing further is known of it. (fn. 55)

Kingston's Maison Dieu. In 1344 James de Kingston, king's clerk (otherwise James Hellward), was licensed to grant to John le Couper, warden, a house which he had built for thirteen poor and infirm persons. It stood in Aldgate (now Whitefriargate), on a plot extending back to Beverley Street. (fn. 56) The house may have been dissolved about 1540. (fn. 57)

Ravenser's and Selby's Hospital. In 1375 Robert de Selby, his wife, and Richard de Ravenser, obtained licence to grant lands in Hull worth £10 a year to the priory of Guisborough. In return the priory was to maintain a chantry priest in Holy Trinity Church, and twelve poor men, each of whom was to receive ½d. a day. (fn. 58) Licences to give lands outside Hull to the hospital were granted in 1380 and 1392. (fn. 59) In 1385 it was stated that at Whitsun and Martinmas £9 2s. 6d. was to be distributed to the inmates, and the hospital was described as being next to Holy Trinity churchyard. Guisborough Priory was responsible for the upkeep of the house and for the annual rent of 8s. payable to the king. Vacancies were to be filled by the priory, the Vicar of Hessle, or the chaplain of Ravenser's chantry, with the consent of the mayor and bailiffs of Hull. (fn. 60) The hospital probably stood on the north side of the churchyard. (fn. 61) Nothing further is certainly known of it. (fn. 62) It was possibly this hospital, however, which continued after the Reformation and was later rebuilt as Bishop Watson's Hospital. (fn. 63)

Riplingham's Hospital. An almshouse for 20 poor people is said to have been established in Vicar Lane by John Riplingham in 1517. It continued, under the corporation's control, after the Dissolution. (fn. 64)

Other Maisons Dieu. A maison dieu dedicated to St. James is mentioned in 1455, 1456, and 1513. A bedehouse was given by Richard Doughty to the Carmelite friars by his will of 1513. The site of neither house is known. (fn. 65) In 1455, 1456, and 1460 bequests were made to the Corpus Christi maison dieu in Whitefriargate, and to the Glover maison dieu, founded by Richard Pountefrette. (fn. 66) In 1460 a bequest was made to another maison dieu in Whitefriargate. (fn. 67) Other maisons dieu of which little is known were in Scale Lane, mentioned in 1455 and 1456; (fn. 68) in Chapel Lane, next to St. Mary's Church, mentioned in 1518; (fn. 69) and at Beverley Gate, mentioned in 1455, and again in 1523 when it was called Trinity maison dieu. (fn. 70)

College of St. James, Sutton. The college was founded in 1347. The chapel of Sutton was appropriated to it and the chapel was apparently rebuilt during the next two years. The warden and chaplains lived in the rectory house. After the Dissolution this house was granted along with the tithes. (fn. 71)


  • 1. See V.C.H. Yorks. iii.
  • 2. See p. 341.
  • 3. See pp. 345, 398 sqq.
  • 4. V.C.H. Yorks. iii. 190.
  • 5. Cal. Close, 1377–81, 229.
  • 6. Ibid.; Cal. Pat. 1377–81, 318; V.C.H. Yorks. iii. 190–1.
  • 7. Cal. Pat. 1381–5, 305; V.C.H. Yorks. iii. 310.
  • 8. J. Cook, Hist. God's House Hull, 30 sqq. Not 1394 as in V.C.H. Yorks. iii. 310–11.
  • 9. Stanewell, Cal. Hull Deeds, D.385.
  • 10. V.C.H. Yorks. iii. 311.
  • 11. See p. 341.
  • 12. Miscellany, iii (Y.A.S. Rec. Ser. 80), 135.
  • 13. Cal. Pat. 1550–3, 8.
  • 14. Yorks. Deeds, v. 92; Acts of P.C. 1550–2, 102; D.N.B.
  • 15. Cal. Pat. 1550–3, 372.
  • 16. John, Duke of Northumberland, was uncle to Clinton's second wife: Complete Peerage.
  • 17. Cal. Pat. 1553–4, 505.
  • 18. Suppression of the Monasteries (Y.A.S. Rec. Ser. 48), 120.
  • 19. Hist. MSS. Com. Rutland, IV, 458.
  • 20. Cook, Hist. God's House Hull, 19, 153–4; illus. in Tickell, Hist. Hull, facing p. 746.
  • 21. Hull Corp. Rec., B.B. 2, p. 23.
  • 22. Cal. Pat. 1317–21, 22; Mon. Notes, ii (Y.A.S. Rec. Ser. 81), 19.
  • 23. Stanewell, Cal. Hull Deeds, D.193.
  • 24. V.C.H. Yorks. iii. 270.
  • 25. Hull Corp. Rec., M.112.
  • 26. L. & P. Hen. VIII, xv, p. 563.
  • 27. Ibid, xix (2), p. 76.
  • 28. C 142/310/62.
  • 29. Tickell, Hist. Hull, 20, 924.
  • 30. Sheahan, Hist. Hull, 622.
  • 31. Ibid.; L. & P. Hen. VIII, xix (2), p. 76; Hull Corp. Rec., B.B. 2, p. 45.
  • 32. Yorks. Inq. ii. 91; V.C.H. Yorks. iii. 269.
  • 33. T.E.R.A.S. xxvi. 104 and map.
  • 34. Cal. Chart. R. 1300–26, 48; V.C.H. Yorks. iii. 269.
  • 35. V.C.H. Yorks. iii. 269.
  • 36. L. & P. Hen. VIII, xv, p. 479; Hull Corp. Rec., B.B. 2, p. 54; Leland, Itin. ed. Toulmin Smith, i. 50.
  • 37. V.C.H. Yorks. iii. 269.
  • 38. Ibid. 270; Hull Corp. Rec., M.112.
  • 39. L. & P. Hen. VIII, xv, p. 479; V.C.H. Yorks. iii. 270.
  • 40. L. & P. Hen. VIII, xvi, p. 244; Yorks. Fines, 1603– 14, 158; 1614–25, 2; C 60/377, m. 73.
  • 41. C 142/527/39; /554/57; C 60/541, no. 67.
  • 42. Sheahan, Hist. Hull, 427.
  • 43. D. Knowles and R. N. Hadcock, Med. Religious Houses, 188.
  • 44. Y.A.J. xxxii. 388.
  • 45. Knowles and Hadcock, Med. Religious Houses, 282; Test. Ebor. iv. 16n.
  • 46. Test. Ebor. ii. 105; R. M. Clay, Med. Hosp. of Eng. 333, gives the foundation date as 1439.
  • 47. Hull Corp. Rec., B.B. 3, ff. 71v.–73v.
  • 48. Stanewell, Cal. Hull Deeds, D.361, 362.
  • 49. Hull Corp. Rec., B.B. 3a, f. 47v.
  • 50. Sheahan, Hist. Hull, 431.
  • 51. Clay, Med. Hosp. Eng. 333.
  • 52. Hull Corp. Rec., B.B. 3, ff. 79v., 90–92; Tickell, Hist. Hull, 191.
  • 53. See p. 343.
  • 54. Hull Corp. Rec., B.B. 3a, ff. 28, 85v.; York Dioc. Regy. (St. Ant. Hall), Prob. Reg. ii, ff. 327v., 433.
  • 55. This is perhaps the maison dieu referred to by Sheahan as 'Jeffray's House': Hist. Hull, 431.
  • 56. Cal. Pat. 1343–5, 239; Stanewell, Cal. Hull Deeds, D.132A; Hull Corp. Rec., B.B. 2, p. 58.
  • 57. Knowles and Hadcock, Med. Religious Houses, 282.
  • 58. Cal. Pat. 1374–7, 167; the gift included 7 messuages in Hull worth £8 10s. a year: ibid. 258.
  • 59. Cal. Pat. 1377–81, 561–2; 1391–6, 153.
  • 60. Hull Corp. Rec., B.B. 3, ff. 47v.–50v.
  • 61. Leland, Itin. ed. Toulmin Smith, i. 50.
  • 62. Knowles and Hadcock, Med. Religious Houses, 282, state that it was dissolved c. 1556.
  • 63. See p. 346.
  • 64. See p. 345.
  • 65. Test. Ebor. v. 48; York Dioc. Regy. (St. Ant. Hall), Prob. Reg. ii, ff. 327v., 334v.
  • 66. Prob. Reg. ii, ff. 327v., 334v., 433.
  • 67. Ibid. f. 433.
  • 68. Ibid. ff. 327v., 334v.
  • 69. Hull Corp. Rec., B.B. 3, f. 103; D.596A. This was apparently Harrison's Hospital: see p. 343.
  • 70. York Dioc. Regy. (St. Ant. Hall), Prob. Reg. ii, f. 327v.; V.C.H. Yorks. iii. 313.
  • 71. See p. 306.