Hospitals: Hull

Pages 310-313

A History of the County of York: Volume 3. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1974.

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In the Letters Patent of Edward III, (fn. 1) granting licence to Michael de la Pole to found the Carthusian monastery outside Kingston-uponHull, provision was made for thirteen poor men and thirteen poor women to be included in the scheme. They might either be a part of the Carthusian monastery or distinct from it, as the founder determined.

It would seem that the Carthusians were established in an already existing 'Maison Dieu ' (fn. 2) or hospital in the manor of Myton, outside Hull, and presumably the monks and the poor brethren occupied the same set of buildings. But apparently in 1383 the two foundations were separated, and Michael de la Pole gave two messuages to the east of the monastery to the master and brethren of the Maison Dieu, with lands in Cottingham and Willerby. (fn. 3)

By his charter, dated at Hull on 1 March 1394, Michael de la Pole founded, adjoining the Charterhouse on the east, a hospital, with 1½ acres of land there, for thirteen poor men and thirteen poor women, feeble and old, which hospital was to be known for ever as ' God's House of Hull.' Richard Killam, priest, was appointed the first master, and every master was to be a priest and thirty years of age and bound to personal residence. The poor folk were to render obedience to him, and he was to have a residence near the hospital and £10 yearly. He was to say mass daily in the hospital chapel, and the poor folk were to resort daily 'before dinner' to hear Divine service, and say their own prayers, and then in the afternoon to betake themselves to some honest occupation. They were to pray for King Richard and the founder and other persons named, and the master was to give them each 40s. a year for their necessaries, viz. 8d. a week to each, and the residue of the 40s. at the four terms of St. Michael, Christmas, Easter, and the Nativity of St. John the Baptist.

Vacancies of the mastership, or among the poor folk, were, during the founder's life, to be filled by the founder, and after his death by his heirs, lords of the manor of Myton, if of full age. If the heir was a minor, and the appointment was delayed for a month, then during the next fortnight the Prior of the Charterhouse was to appoint. If he failed, then the mayor, and again if the mayor failed within his fortnight, then the Archdeacon of the East Riding or his official was to make the appointment.

Provision was made for the annual rendering of the accounts of the house. A chest was to be kept in the treasury of the adjoining priory, into which the founder had placed 100 marks of silver. It was to be under the custody of the master, the prior, and the mayor. The 100 marks was to be lent out, and the interest placed in the chest and added to the capital. By licence of King Richard, the founder gave also 5 messuages in Kingston-upon-Hull, and land and pasture in (Nottingham and Willerby, A considerable addition to the endowment of this hospital of Myton was made in 1408 by Michael de la Pole, Earl of Suffolk, Sir Edmund de la Pole, and Robert Bolton. (fn. 4)

The hospital escaped at the dissolution of the priory, and in the chantry certificates (fn. 5) is described as ' Thospitall of Saint Mychaell, commonlie called Goddes House without the Gates of Hulle.' William Man was then master, and there were only six brothers and six sisters, owing to the decay of the endowment first given at the foundation, which in this case is stated to have been 12 March, 7 Richard II [1384-5]. The hospital was said to be within Trinity parish, and it was needed for the living of the master and relieving of poor and impotent people, with twelve persons then in the house. The goods, ornaments, &c. as by inventory were valued at £4 7s. 8d., and the plate at 42s. The whole of the other tenements and rentals after deducting reprises, &c. amounted to £61 1s. There was the site of the house and houses for sixteen poor people under one roof, the chapel, three gardens separated, with a highway leading to the late Charterhouse, and environed with a brick wall, and containing an acre and a half of ground.

In 1571 (fn. 6) the mayor and aldermen complained to Archbishop Grindal against Thomas Turner that during the thirteen years he had been master he had misused the hospital, ' not only in receiving and admitting thither such as be neither halt, lame, nor blind, but such as are well to live in the world, and have plenty of money, so as to let it out to usury. As also in letting out of leases of such lands and tenements as belong to the hospital, as well in reversion as by surrender of the old leases, and that for many years, and taking great fines, and incomes for the same,' &c.

Eventually four of the aldermen with the two chamberlains and the town clerk examined the master's accounts for 1560 to 1571, and found him on various heads indebted to the hospital to the amount of £69 18s. 3d. Turner urged that he had only followed the example of his predecessors, and had not acted mala fide. This excuse was accepted, and it was decided not to compel him to make restitution; but they examined the leases he had let, and as he had granted some for unusually long periods, and others in reversion, these were declared void. All were given up, and fresh leases for twentyone years were granted with the assent of the brothers and sisters of the house. For the better rule of the hospital in future seventeen ordinances were compiled, which can only be briefly mentioned here. In the first place the original ordinances were to stand and be enforced 'so as they be not contrary, varying, or repugnant to the most wholesome and godly laws of this realm now established for the true religion of God.'

There was again to be the full number of thirteen brothers and thirteen sisters with their ancient allowances. The master was yearly to render an account of his administration, with a full statement of all lands and chattels, in writing, to the mayor and two aldermen, and twice a year to make a full survey of the edifices and buildings belonging to the hospital and see to their repair. Daily, or at least thrice a week, the master was tq say divine service, viz., morning and evening prayer from the Book of Common Prayer, and further instruct the brethren and sisters in the catechism, and procure that the brethren and sisters should each communicate at least four times a year. He was not to alienate any of the hospital property without the consent of the brothers and sisters. He was not to dismiss any of the brothers or sisters without the consent of the mayor, and on the death of any brother or sister he was to give notice to the mayor within three days. The master's original stipend of £10 was increased by £3 6s. 8d. a year. Before Pentecost there was to be provided a muniment chest, to remain in the fittest place in the hospital or in the safest place in the town, with three keys of several fashions, one of which the mayor was to have, the second the master, and the third the senior chamberlain. Steps were to be taken to increase the funds so that more poor might benefit from the hospital, and a new seal was to be made to be called the common seal of the Hospital or House of God; it was to be used for leases, and kept in a leather purse in the treasury chest. All the brothers and sisters were to take oath to observe the statutes of Michael de la Pole, not being contrary to the newer statutes or the laws of the realm. The master was at the same time made to take an oath for the due administration of the hospital. By 1624 the revenues had so increased that the full number of thirteen men and thirteen women was restored, the income being then £130, as against something less than £ in Turner's mastership.

During the siege of Hull in 1642 (fn. 7) the buildings of the hospital and several houses in Myton lanes were entirely destroyed by Sir John Hotham, with a view to prevent the besiegers from taking possession of them. The hospital was rebuilt in 1644, (fn. 8) but was soon afterwards in financial difficulties, a sum of £473 15s. 7d. having been expended in rebuilding it; and in 1651, although there were only twelve poor people in it, the house owed more than £100. A vigorous reform was begun, and the revenues gradually increased, so that in 1752 they amounted to over £420, and in 1780 the then master was able to rebuild the hospital with accommodation for forty-four brothers and sisters, there being when Tickel wrote (1793) eighteen poor men and twenty-five women living in separate apartments, and each receiving 3s. 6d. weekly, besides fuel, &.c. The revenues in 1794 were estimated to reach £850, and in 1840 (fn. 9) amounted to upwards of £1,300, and twentyeight poor men and twenty-nine poor women were then housed in the hospital, which in modern times has come to be spoken of as ' The Charterhouse.'

Masters (fn. 10)

Robert de Killam, 1384

Simon Burton, 1428

Robert Pullan, 1448

Henry Paycock, 1468

Thomas Wilson, 1508

John Garton, 1513

Thomas Sotheby, 1514

Robert Walter, 1515

Christopher Richardson, occurs 1527 (fn. 11)

William Man, 1535

Simon Hemsey, 1552

Laurence Allan, 1555

Thomas Turner, 1558

Griffith Briskin, 1583

Thomas Wincop, 1598

Andrew Marvell, 1624

William Styles, 1641

John Shaw, 1651

William Ainsworth, 1661

Richard Kitson, 1671

John Garnet (pro tem.), 1715

John Clarke, 1716

John Bourne, 1768


Gregg's Hospital.—This hospital was founded in 1414 by John Gregg, (fn. 12) alderman and merchant of Hull. He also founded two chantries in Trinity Church, and endowed the whole with houses, lands, and tenements in the town. In 1445 William Saunderson, chaplain of Gregg's Maison Dieu and chantry, enfeoffed the Mayor and burgesses of Hull and their successors, in trust, of the lands, &c., belonging to the hospital and chantries. Licence having been obtained from the king, the mayor and commonalty bound themselves to maintain them, and to pay to the thirteen poor folk in the hospital £3 0s. 8d., on every Sunday 1s. 2d., for their maintenance, which they were to receive at the altar of St. Lawrence in Trinity Church. Tickell states that in the hospital there ' lately hung two antient tables, in one of which were placed rules and orders appointed by the founder to be observed in this house by such poor as should be admitted unto the same; in the other, before the reformation, were drawn the pictures of the founders, and of Christ, to whom this hospital was dedicated, which in the reign of Queen Elizabeth were effaced, together with some orders in the first table which enjoin the poor of this house to pray for the souls of certain persons deceased, and new rules and orders drawn up by the mayor and aldermen were written in their place.'

Tickell professes to quote verbatim the rules from the founders' table, which begin, ' Thys ys th' ordynaunce and constitucione of John Gregg, of Kingston-upon-Hull, merchant, and of dame Jone his wife, founders and beginners of a mayson dieu yn ye olde Kirk lane, of the said town, ye which ys callyd ye masen dew of Chryste.'

Each brother or sister was to be taken by advice of the mayor and aldermen, and those poor people who had been ' of most worship' in the town, and had fallen into poverty, were to be admitted before others. Every brother or sister might leave at will. The founders willed that every brother and sister should say daily at 6 in the morning, and at 6 at even, fifteen paternosters, fifteen Ave Marias, and three Credos, for the founders' and all Christian souls. If any married they were to leave and take their goods. All goods were to be in common, and the garden ' common to alle the brothyrs and systers both in herbs and dysporting both for ye pottes and ye cuppes, and in dewe tyme yay to manour (fn. 13) and garto set and sow the same garden by yair best avyle for ye welefare of yem alle.' The founders also willed that the 'prayer bell be rongen at 6 atte clok atte morning lasting the tyme of yair prayers,' and at even the same, by a brother or sister.

In 1564 the mayor and aldermen altered various of the rules for the poor ' within Corpus Christi (sic) maison dieu.' The brothers and sisters were to learn the belief, commandments, and Lord's prayer in English, and not to be given to idolatry, or worship or keep images, or practise witchcraft. There was to be no evil living. Those who were in health were to tend the sick. And yearly two among the brethren and sisters were to be chosen who should see to the observance of the rules.

This hospital is still one of the town charities. In Tickell's time the poor were not so comfortably lodged as in the Charterhouse Hospital, the building, as he remarks, being very ancient, and the apartments small. The poor were not then fed in common according to the intent of the founder, but lived separately, and provided in the best manner their allowance and industry would admit for their needs.

The hospital was situated in Postern Gate, and in 1840 (fn. 14) housed twenty widows who received ' 2s. each weekly.' (fn. 15)

Riplingham's Hospital.— According to Tickell, (fn. 16) John Riplingham, D.D., whom he terms ' president of Beyerley College,' soon after 1517 founded a hospital for twenty poor people in Vicar Lane, and also a chantry in Trinity Church, wherein two priests (the last of whom were Laurence Allan and William Parkins) (fn. 17) were daily to pray for his soul, his parents' souls, and the souls of all Christians. He endowed this chantry and the hospital with the rents of eighteen tenements and four gardens within the town, and lands, &c., elsewhere. Tickell says that the hospital was standing in the beginning of the reign of Charles I, but was destroyed during the Civil war. John Riplingham, a son of William Riplingham, merchant of Hull, died in 1518, as rector of St. Martin's Vintry, London. (fn. 18)

Trinity Maison Dieu.—There was a Maison Dieu at Beverley Gate which is referred to in the will of Dame Joan Thurescrosse of Hull, 17 September 1523, where she bequeathed ' To the Trinitie Massendew at Beverley gattes a matres, a coverlett, a paire of blankettes, a paire of hardyn sheittes.' (fn. 19) It may have been that which James de Kyngeston, king's clerk, built for thirteen poor infirm persons, and which he obtained the king's licence in mortmain in 1344 to assign to John le Couper, the master he had appointed of God's House, to provide a habitation for thirteen poor men and women, broken by age, misfortune, or toil, who could not gain their own livelihood. (fn. 20)

Trinity House Hospital.—The gild of the Holy Trinity of Kingston-upon-Hull was formed in 1369, (fn. 21) and in 1441-2 Henry VI granted Letters Patent constituting the gild a body corporate. In the king's grant provision was made towards the building of an almshouse, founded for thirteen persons, who by misfortune of the sea shall happen to fall into poverty, and a chapel annexed thereto.

On All Saints' Day (1 November) 1457 certain of the masters and owners of ships by advice of the merchants and others established as part of the gild of the Holy Trinity, in honour of the Holy Trinity and our Lady, 'an house of alms within the said Kingston-upon-Hull for mariners that be impotent and of no power of goods, in the said house to be sustained and charitably relieved and continued of and with lowage and stowage, that is to say, all profits in money that shall hereafter grow or be taken of every ship of the said port,' &c.

The hospital thus founded in connexion with the corporation of Trinity House, Hull, has been so intimately connected with and managed by that corporation that its history is part of the history of Trinity House.

Selby's Hospital.—This hospital seems to have been founded by Richard de Ravenser, Archdeacon of Lincoln, and Robert de Selby, his brother, for twelve poor men, each of whom was to receive one halfpenny a day. (fn. 22) In 1392 (fn. 23) lands in Lund were conveyed to the Prior and convent of Guisborough for its support and the maintenance of a chantry for a canon regular in Trinity Church, Hull, at that time a chapel in the parish of Hessle, the church of which belonged to Guisborough. Leland says that Selby's Hospital stood on the north side of the church. (fn. 24)


  • 1. Pat. 51 Edward III, m. 10.
  • 2. Pat. 2 Ric. II, pt. ii, m. 36; Dugdale, Mon. Angl. vi, 21.
  • 3. Pat. 7 Ric. II, pt. i, m. 32.
  • 4. Pat. 9 Hen. IV, pt. ii, m. 14; 10 Hen. IV, pt. i, m. 3; Anct. Pet. 12517.
  • 5. Yorks. Chant. Surv. (Surt. Soc.), 338.
  • 6. Tickell, Hist, of Hull, 227-37. The mayor and aldermen describe themselves as the patrons of the hospital ' of the Holy Trinity nigh Kingston-uponHull aforesaid, otherwise called God's-house, or the Hospital of St. Michael.' The true invocation would therefore seem to be that of the Holy Trinity.
  • 7. Tickell, Hist, of Hull, 424.
  • 8. Ibid. 741.
  • 9. White, Hist. Gaz. and Dir. of the E. and N. Ridings (1840), 124,
  • 10. Tickell, op. cit. 745.
  • 11. Cler. Subs. 64, no. 303.
  • 12. Tickell, op. cit. 756, whose account has been followed.
  • 13. i.e. 'manure.'
  • 14. White, Hist. Gaz. &c. 124.
  • 15. Dame Joan Thurescrosse of Hull bequeathed, 17 September 1523, ' To Gregge's Massendew xxs.'; Test. Ebor. (Suit. Soc.), v, 172.
  • 16. Tickell, op. cit. 146.
  • 17. William Parkyn was incumbent of the ' Stipendiarie or Salarie' at St. Mary's altar in St. Mary's Church, but that was of the foundation of one 'Jeffrey Thuriscrosse' and in another church. Neither the chantry alluded to by Tickell nor the hospital is mentioned in the Chantry Certificates. Yorks. Chant. Surv. (Surt. Soc.), 346.
  • 18. See a note, Test. Ebor. (Surt. Soc.), iii, 22 5, which refers to Atbenae Cantab, i, 20, for an account of him.
  • 19. Test. Ebor. (Surt. Soc.), v, 172.
  • 20. Cal. Pat. 1343-5, p. 239.
  • 21. Tickell, op. cit. 704.
  • 22. Dugdale, Mon. Angl. vi, 275, no. xxxiv.
  • 23. Ibid.
  • 24. Ibid. 781.