Londina Illustrata. Graphic and Historical Memorials of Monasteries, Churches, Chapels, Schools, Charitable Foundations, Palaces, Halls, Courts, Processions, Places of Early Amusement, and Modern Present Theatres, in the Cities and Suburbs of London and Westminster, Volume 1
A short Account of Lazar Houses in and near London.
A short Account of Lazar Houses in and near London.
The separation of leprous persons from their fellow-creatures, has been an established rule from the earliest antiquity. Thus, among the Israelites, during their pilgrimages through the Wilderness, it was a solemn command, as mentioned in , xiii. , ,
The same precautions seem to have been continued among the Christians; and with respect to those afflicted in England, it is recorded, that
And, further, it was decreed,
So cautious, indeed, were our ancestors in their care to remove the infectious, that it is said a writ is among our ancient law-books, entitled,
King Edward III. in the year of his reign, gave commandment to the Mayor and Sheriffs of London, to make proclamation in every Ward of the City and Suburbs
Lepers about this period were very frequently in the city; and the disease of leprosy was so infectious, that as there were many separate houses for these people to dwell by themselves, they had their overseers and keepers; there were also certain laws and regulations formed by the corporation for their government. Among these were,—
St. James's Hospital; Now the Chapel Royal, .
of the most ancient foundations for lepers seems to be that dedicated to St. JAMES, near , now the Royal Palace, which, according to Leland and Stow, was founded by citizens of London before the Conquest, for leprous virgins, living chaste lives; to which foundation, in the reign of Edward I., the citizens gave lands in Hendon, Caldecot, and Hampstead. That monarch also, in the eighteenth year of his reign, granted and confirmed, for the benefit of this Hospital, a fair to be held on the Vigil of St. James and the next days. And thus St. James's Hospital continued till the dissolution of religious houses, when it was suppressed by Henry VIII., being then valued at Henry, approving of the situation, rebuilt the whole for his residence, and formed the land around it into a park and honour. It has ever since continued to be a Royal Palace.
The next ancient foundation was that of in the Fields, by Queen Maud, consort of Henry I. in the year ; and she endowed it with yearly rent, out of Queen-Hythe, to provide food for the lepers. This was afterwards a cell to the Hospital of Burton Lazars, in Leicestershire; and thus it continued till its dissolution by Henry VIII. At this Hospital the prisoners conveyed from London to Tyburn for execution, were presented with a great bowl of ale to drink at their pleasure, as their last refreshment in this world.
This estate, with its appurtenances, were granted by Henry VIII. to Viscount Dudley, afterwards the ambitious Duke of Northumberland, during the reign of Edward VI. He was attainted in the next reign, together with his sons, John, Sir Ambrose, Sir Guildford, and Henry. The son of Ambrose became afterwards Earl of Leicester, and married, for his wife, Douglas, daughter of William Howard, Baron of Effingham, and widow of Jonn, Lord Sheffield, in whose lifetime he married her; consequently the issue was considered illegal. This issue, that considered himself legitimate, notwithstanding his father's opinion, was Robert, who having pursued his suit at law, and was nonsuited, in disgust retired to Italy, where he became so famous, that he was created a Duke of the Empire, by the title of Duke of Northumberland. His widow, Alice, daughter of Sir Thomas Leigh, Bart. of Stonely, in the county of Warwick, was, by Letters Patent of Charles I. created Duchess Dudley, during her life, which was confirmed by Charles II. She was a lady of great piety; and when the parish church of St. Giles in the Fields was rebuilt about that period, the Duchess, whose residence was in the parish, on the site of the Hospital (probably the avenues which now go by the name of Dudley Court, &c.), gave towards the rebuilding that structure besides the organ, hangings, bells, &c. She died at her house, near St. Giles' Church, . Her daughters were Lady Frances Kniveton, and Lady Holbourne, for whom jointly a stately monument was erected, part of which is at present situated in the north aisle of this church.
Great Ilford Hospital, Essex.
The Hospital at Great Ilford, in Essex, miles from London, was erected and liberally endowed by Adeliza, Abbess of Barking, in the reign of King Stephen, for a prior, warden, priests, and poor leprous brethren. She endowed the Hospital with forest-land brought into tillage, and denominated , in Essholt; and also other lands in Upminster, Aveley, &c. in the same county.
Ralph de , Bishop of London, in , during his visitation in this part of his diocese, observing several abuses in Ilford Hospital, caused the following statutes to be made for its better regulation:
The establishment was governed by these statutes till the dissolution, when its revenues, according to Speed, were valued at
The site of the Hospital and chapel were granted to Thomas Fanshaw, Esq. Remembrancer of , and his heirs, with all its lands and tithes, upon condition that they should keep the whole in repair, appoint a Master, and allow each of the paupers a pension of and that a chaplain should be provided to perform Divine service.
Thomas Fanshaw, Viscount Dromore, granted, in , a lease of the whole estate for years to Mr. Thomas Allen; and it was, in , purchased by Crispe Gascoigne, Esq. Alderman, and afterwards (Sir Crispe Gascoigne, and) Lord Mayor of London, whose descendants are the present holders.
The Hospital stands on the south side of the road, and occupies sides of a small quadrangle, the centre of which is the chapel, which seems to have been built about the century. In the east window are several armorial bearings; and on the floor are memorials for some of the chaplains. The whole has a neat appearance from the road, but is considerably out of repair; and the revenues of this foundation are at present very inconsiderable.
The Rev. Mr. Allen is chaplain, and lives at . Mr. Glover, who does the duty, preaches every Sunday morning at o'clock in the forenoon, and the sacrament is administered times in the year, viz. at Easter, Whitsuntide, Michaelmas, and Christmas.
The almshouses are at present appointed for a man and his wife for each, and are held as long as the husband lives; but his widow is to quit the house in months after his decease. The allowance for the poor is,
They have neither clothing, firing, nor any other support, , from the charity. They are said to be chosen out of the poor of the parish or district. of the poor acts as clerk, and of the women as sextoness.
, , .
The next structure, in point of antiquity, that we shall notice, is the Hospital in , , denominated
This Hospital, situated without Saint George's Bars, in , , called The Loke, was a Lazarhouse, or Hospital for leprous persons, dedicated to the Virgin and to Saint Leonard. The period of its foundation is not discoverable; yet there is reason to conclude it had existed long anterior to the reign of Edward II., inasmuch as in the year of that King there is extant on the patent roll, a writ of protection, not very unlike the briefs of the present date, at which time the revenues of the Hospital were insufficient for its support. In this writ, after reciting, that , had not wherewith to support themselves, unless other relief was afforded them by the faithful and devout; and, in order to prevent their being oppressed by injuries, and for their more quietly serving God, the King granted his protection for years to them, and their men, and possessions; prohibiting all persons, during that period, from doing them any wrong, molestation, or damage; and, further, beseeching all his loving subjects (as they should look for favour from God and thanks from the King) piously and mercifully to aid the said master and brethren, by charitable donations, whenever they should ask alms at their hands.
Strype's Stow, vol. ii. p. , edit. , states, that
We have preserved in the plate given of this Hospital the only remains of it before it was finally demolished a few years since. Over the chapel, which forms part of the view, was affixed a stone, of which Aubrey, in his History of Surrey, vol. v. p. , gives the following description: