Catalogue description EASTBRIDGE HOSPITAL

This record is held by Canterbury Cathedral Archives and Library

Details of U24
Reference: U24

Records of Eastbridge Hospital, Canterbury, comprising


Title deeds to its properties, 12thc to 14thc bundles A to P


Ordinances and rules for the Hospital's governance


Admission registers (1585-1593 & 1819-1879) and admission papers 18th - 20thc


Hospital accounts




Leases of the Hospital's property




Manorial court rolls (principally Blean/Hoath Court)


Estate Papers


Books, including a 1687 Chaucer, a 1740 Account of the SPCK, 1740 catalogue of Edwin Belke's library, 1667 Prayer Book, 17thc Bible, account of Canterbury Charities


Plans and drawings including P A I Clarke's 1920 sketch book of All Saints and Eastbridge


St Alphege Sunday School papers


Service register 1927-1951

Date: c1200-1978
Related material:

Residents indexed: see card catalogue


For title deeds, see 491/325 and cc/S 24


See also LitMS/B14 and B15, 1174x1180, per earlier evidence of Eastbridge Hospital's existence

Held by: Canterbury Cathedral Archives and Library, not available at The National Archives
Language: English

Eastbridge Hospital

Physical description: 18 Boxes and 2 rolls
Access conditions:

Records are open for consultation

  • Canterbury, Kent
  • Land tenure
Administrative / biographical background:

Background historical notes on the history and development of Eastbridge Hospital, extracted from William Somner's and Nicholas Batteley's publications


Somner, William - "Antiquities of Canterbury"; First published in 1640 - unfinished. Completed and edited in 1703 by Nicholas Batteley, reprinted 1977 by E P Publishing Ltd. Ref. DA 1041


p.60: Gives brief history of the hospital, stating its foundation and endowment by Thomas Becket. This confirmed by Archbishop Stratford's new foundation of the hospital in 1342, which acknowledged Becket as the first founder and endower of it


Mentions lack of evidence or records for the foundation, or why it was erected


Gives some details of the intervening times between the two founders


- Hubert, archbishop in King John's time, gave tithes of Westgate Mill, a mill and 2 saltpits at Herewic (nr Whitstable), a windmill at Raculfre (Reculver?) and another windmill in Westhalimot in Thanet


These were confirmed by the prior and chapter at Christchurch


- Cokyn's Hospital, ded. to SS Nicholas and Katherine. Details of the sale to William Cokyn, with its position in St. Peter's street


p. 61: Building of new hospital, which was later united with the Eastbridge by Hubert, and confirmed by Pope Innocent


Eastbridge's ownership of Cokyn's Hospital - confirmed by charter from Priory of St. Gregory


Cokyn's Hospital ceased to function as such soon after merger


Some details of patrons and acquisition of lands


Stephen Langton confirms patronage of Blean Church, as given by Hamon. (see Crevequer deeds (U24, series B) p.)


p. 62: Arch.Bp Sudbury founded a perpetual vicarage for the Master of Eastbridge at Blean


Other Eastbridge lands at Blean


c. 1360, Manor of Blean given by Thomas de Roos de Hamlack


c. 1361, Sir John Lee (knight) gave 180 acres of land in the village of Blean, 27 s. rent of assises, 9 cocks and 21 hens "for the increase of works of piety in said Hospital"


With leave of Arch.Bp. Islip, revenues from a chantry in Livingsbourne (Bekesbourne) went to Eastbridge, given by Bartholomew of Bourne, c. 1362 (confusion as to which Bishop - could have been Langham.) {Batteley claims that it was Sudbury - see p. 344}


Windmill near the nunnery near Ridingate - charter confirmed transferral of ownership to the Eastbridge. Nuns kept 4th part of the profits from the mill and could grind their own corn


Papal Bull from Honorius exempting the Eastbridge from paying tithes on their gardens


p. 63: Record from City Chamber c. 1384 - Master has to "repair, erect and sustain the Kingsbridge". Accounts of the Hospital Estate c. 1546 also charge the Master with paving the street there


Mid 16th century - Hospital has "neat handsome Chappel with two bells" ded. to Mary (no firm date). Hospital effectively functioning as a parish church. Mention of Chantry priest ministering to the poor, the Keeper and the household of the hospital. Apparently this priest was paid £10, 6s & 8d. yearly, plus a "mansion or dwelling at the west end of the hospital." later taken away by a statute of Edward VI, c.1549 (This section unclear as to the content of the statute, what was taken away and the precise role of this chantry priest)


Mention of Cressy the Jew and the "Charta Remissionis" - partial transcript. (See p. 3, and p. 316 of Batteley


Memorandum of 1557 gave precise instructions as to the function of the hospital - to take in wayfarers, and the sick, 8 beds for men and 4 for women, to stay for one night. The Master is charged with burial, and granted 20 loads of wood and 26s. for drink annually


p.64: Information about the Royal Exchange: - given by Edward III to augment Eastbridge's endowment to Thomas New of Wolton (the then Master) for life and to his successors in perpetuity


Thomas New divided it into tenements and hired them out. Exchange situated near certain shops which belonged to the hospital. Reference to the rooms within the Exchange - a storehouse, 2 solars, a hall and a garden. (cf. William Silkenden? Master?)


[Describes the prohibition passed by Henry III forbidding any foreigner from changing plate or silver mass except at the Royal Exchanges at London and Canterbury]


Batteley, Nicholas - "Histories and Antiquities of Three Archiepiscopal Hospitals" 1785 (Vicar of Bekesbourne, 1685, ed. Somner Antiquities of Canterbury 1703, d. 1704)


p. 297ff - Mentions the lost ledger book of the Eastbridge hospital, which is also mentioned by Somner. Batteley's commentary also indicates the possibility of other lost accounts and records, often through the bad record keeping of past Masters


p.298 According to Batteley, the hospital originally known as the Hospital of Eastbridge, only later titled with "St. Thomas the Martyr"


Print of the Kingsbridge and Mill, 1790


p.299 - 300 Backs up Somner in suggesting that the hospital was built prior to Becket's death. Two possibilities given - either it was endowed by Becket and therefore named for him, or gained the name after his death in 1170


Batteley is fairly confident that it was built contemporary to this period, if not prior to it. However, there isn't any firm evidence either way to date the foundation of the Hospital, and there are no records to place the foundation with any of the subsequent archbishops until Hubert. Batteley stresses this by the fact that Lanfranc founded both the hospitals of St. John and St. Nicholas at Harbledown, but there are no records to show that he founded the Eastbridge as well. Neither are there any records of the hospital being founded by any of the subsequent four Archbishops - Anselm, Ralph, William and Theobald


p. 301 Batteley thinks it likely that Becket founded the hospital, but concedes that there are no records of it by biographers, and in addition to this, doubts whether Becket would have had the time to found and build a hospital, given long periods of absence and his banishment from the country


p.302 Batteley mentions that Whitgift amended the records to show that "certain" Archbishops had a part in the foundation, rather than specifically Becket, but also that this may well have been for political reasons


Reference to the Register of Arundel, which cites Becket as the founder of Eastbridge


p.304-6 Confirmation of Somner's work, particularly regarding Cokyn's hospital. Stronger evidence for the unification with Eastbridge - consented to by Arch.Bp Hubert and confirmed by Papal Bull of Innocent III (16th feb 1203)


p.307 Mention of Radulphus, one of the first Masters of Eastbridge, as a witness to a charter regarding Cokyn's hospital prior to the merger


p.308-310 References to endowments made to the hospital (NB - Hamon de Crevequer, p.309)


p.311 Various charters and grants, mostly made prior to the unification with Cokyn's hospital


p.312 More confirmation of the agreement reached between the Eastbridge and the nuns of St. Sepulchre: the nuns would hold the land and mill and pay 6d every Mid-lent Sunday. The Prioress was to pay the 4th part of the upkeep and receive the 4th part of the profits, and the nuns would continue to grind their own corn for free


p.314 A reference made to the charter of John of Adisham, who gave two and a half acres of land to the hospital. In exchange they were to provide him with a chamber, food, clothes and shoes for life


p.316 Reference to Maynerius le Wayder, whose house backed on to the east side of the hospital, and was bound to maintain the waterspout that ran from his house to the river over the hospital kitchen. He and his heirs and future owners of the house had to pay 12d yearly on the feast of St. Michael. 1234


This house was apparently the same as that mentioned by Somner (p.120) as the house of Cressy the Jew, who built the forepart of it against the head of the Eastbridge chapel. A charter, "Charta Remissionis", dated 1236, "suffering the house to stand" in this position was located in the ledgerbook of Christchurch Cathedral and detailed the agreement reached between Peter the rector, and Cressy


317-327 Copies in Latin of charters/grants made to the Eastbridge from individuals in Canterbury, Harbledown and Bekesbourne


p.327 Re-iteration of the fact that there is no evidence to the intent of Eastbridge's foundation, nor any rules of statutes by which the hospital should be run


Archbishop John Stratford's charter of 1342 which prescribed laws and a form of government to the hospital, and also restored the foundation


p.328 Later commissioners of Henry VIII saw this as so important that they mistakenly identified Stratford as the original founder of the hospital, Batteley here states that the hospital was definitely founded by Becket, was endowed and augmented by Archbishops Hubert Walter and Stephen Langton, and refounded and restored by Stratford


Stratford's statutes continued in place until Parker's changes in the 16th century


p.329-331 Details of Stratford's statute, including further mention of Becket's founding of the hospital, instances of neglect by previous masters, and the annexing of St. Nicholas at Harbledown for the use and revenue of the hospital. Also rules for the running of the hospital; its function and that of the master


p.331-335: Details of grants made to the hospital in the Blean area, including further mention of Thomas Roos de Hamlack, c. 1358, and the appropriation of the church of SS Cosmus and Damian to the hospital


p.335-344: Details of other lands and chantries given to the hospital. P.343, Mention of the Royal Exchange given to the hospital by Edward III. Cf Somner, p.63-64


p.344: Charter for the vicarage of Blean, stating the duties required of the priest and the tithes due to the hospital


p.346-9: Lists of the vicars of Blean, 1560-1784, including details of the more interesting ones


p.351: Accounts from an "old account book of the hospital", including the Lordships of Blean and Hoath, and rents due from various other villages and parishes, c. 1506-1529


p.361-5: Accounts of out-going rents


p.366: An inventory of goods belonging to the hospital


p.368-370: Accounts of rents due


p.371: Lists of the Masters, with notes


p.376-381: Benefactors of the hospital, with detailed notes, beginning with Becket and ending in 1768


p.381: Reference to Archbishop Parker's re-founding of the Hospital


Cites Parker and Whitgift as the "greatest benefactors, and founders, and restorers of this hospital."


p.387: Hospital in severe disrepair at the beginning of reign of Elizabeth I (c.1558) - it was being converted into tenements and let out to private individuals. Parker restored it to "pious


p.412: Details of an order allowing the brothers and sisters of the hospital to worship at All-Hallows church, 1584


p.413: Hospital rules concerning locking up and the burning of wood in the correct place


p.414-415: Confirmation of the burial site for residents of the hospital in the area east of the cloisters; lists of accounts, leases and papers relating to the hospital


p.416-417: Accounts and leases relating to the hospital, 1691


p.418: Indenture, relating to the foundation of two scholars by Archbishop Parker, 22nd May, 11th year of the reign of Elizabeth I


The agreement was between William Morphet, the master of the hospital, and Dr. John Pory, keeper of Corpus Christi, Cambridge


Morphet, with the consent of Parker, granted Pory a payment of £6, 13s and 4d for the next 200 years, made yearly at the quire door of Westminster on the feast of St. Michael Archangel. If it was unpaid, then the sum of £3, 6s and 8d was due for every year that it remained paid, in addition to costs incurred


In return, Corpus Christi admitted 2 scholars chosen by the master, and the dean of Christ Church. These were called Canterbury Scholars


All expenses were paid for, and if the college refused to admit a scholar they were bound to pay the master 20s and costs


If a scholar was expelled or left the college, the college authorities had to inform the hospital within six weeks

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