|Colleges and Hospitals. ||174
Colleges and Hospitals.
Orders for the Government of them.
And the Workhouse in Bishopsgate
THERE are in and about the City of London certain
Houses called Colleges, not so much designed for Learning, as for the common and
comfortable living together of such as are Aged, poor or decayed by Sickness or
Misfortunes, and are mere Foundations of Charity. And therefore such Colleges I
together with Hospitals in the two next Chapters, purposely set apart to give
Relation of them. And First, of such as are erected in the City or Suburbs; and
after taking notice of three or four that are neither in London nor the Suburbs,
bordering within one, two, or three Miles thereof.
Of all these some are more ancient Foundations, some more Modern, but most since
Reformation; and they are these that follow; Christs Church, St. Bartholomew,
Bridewel, St. Thomas, Bethlehem, or Bedlam, the Workhouse in Bishopsgatestreet,
Charterhouse, or Suttons Hospital, St. Katharines, the Savoy; Trinity College or
Hospital near Mile-End; Asks Hospital at Hockston; Chelsey College; Dulwich
Greenwich Hospital; The Hospital at Deptford; Morden College; The new Hospital
What the deplorable Condition of the Poor in London was before Hospitals and
Reception for them, in the Times of Popery, may be known from an Address made to
the Citizens in those Days:
"Oh! ye Citizens, if ye would turn but even the
your Chauntries, and your Obits, to the finding of the Poor with a politick and
Provision; whereas now London being one of the Flowers of the World, and
Worldly Riches, hath so many, yea, an innumerable Number of poor People forced
go from Door to Door, and to sit openly in the Streets a Begging: And many not
do for others, but lye in their Houses in most grievous Pains, and die for lack
of Aid of
the Rich, to the great Shame of thee, O London: I say, if ye would redress these
Things, as ye be bound, and sorrow for the Poor, so should ye be without the
of them, which also have cryed unto God against you."
The State of the Poor in London formerly.
Lamentat. against Lond. Printed at Nuremburgh,
But unto these blind Guides, [a sort of lusty Lubbers, as the Writer called
Chauntry Priests] ye be Maintainers of their Idleness, and leave the Lame, the
and the Prisoner unholpen. Ye will give 6, 7, 8, yea 12l. Yearly, to one of
them to sing
a Chauntry, to rob the Living God of his Honour, &c. And again; I think in
Judgment, under Heaven is not so little Provision made for the Poor, as in
so rich a City."
It was not before the Year 1557, Offley Maior, that wholesome and good Orders
made and agreed upon for the Four Hospitals, by the Maior, Commonalty, and
of London, Governors of the Possessions, Revenues, and Goods of the said
and were to be read in every the said Hospitals at a full Court once every
14 Days before, or after the Quarter Day; Beginning with a Preface, giving
therein of the Royal Founders, and unto whom they had committed the perpetual
of them; and who by that Authority had made the said Ordinances: Which Preface
this Tenor; viz.
Orders for the Four Hospitals, made Anno
"Whereas the most excellent and worthy Princes, our late Sovereign Lords, K.
VIII. and K. EDWARD VI. of their bountiful Benignity, and charitable Devotion,
towards the Succour and Sustentation of the Poor in this City, have given and
by their Letters Patents, with Indentures of Covenants and Bonds, to the said
and their Successors, by the City made for performation thereof, to the Maior
Commonalty, Citizens of this said City; as well Four several Hospitals (that is
by K. HENRY VIII. one Hospital, called St. Bartholomews the Little; and by K.
EDWARD VI. three other Hospitals called Christs Hospital, Bridewell Place, and
Thomas Hospital; as also certain Lands and Tenements, towards the Relief and
Maintenance of such Poor as there are relieved; and have also by their Kingly
Prerogative, granted unto the Maior and Commonalty, for the better Government of
same, amongst other Things in the same Letters Patents, Authority, and Power, to
and chuse Governors and Officers, and also to make and constitute good and
wholesome Ordinances for godly Maintenance thereof: By vertue of the which
Patents, We, the said Maior and Commonalty have made and ordained these Rules
Ordinances in Manner and Form following."
The follow Orders, How many Governors shall be Elected; the Manner of their
Election; and how they shall be divided, and of their continuance; the Charge of
Governor in general; of general Courts, touching the Government of all the Four
Houses, and what in them is to be done; of a full Court in Christs Hospital for
Causes, and what is thereat to be done; what is to be done at ordinary Courts,
two or more of the Governors be assembled, the Treasurer being one; touching the
admitting of Children, and granting of Pensioners, to be either paid in this
House or in
Parishes; for the putting forth Children to Service; for the Examination of
Women being gotten with Child, and the Persons with whom they have committed the
Offence; Governors, viz. a Comptroller, and a Surveyor General; a President; a
Treasurer, three Almoners, two Scrutiners, a Renter, two Surveyors, with an
of the Respective Duties: The Officers, viz. the Clerk, the Matron, the Nurses
Keepers of Wards, the Steward, the Officer appointed to warn the Collectors and
Church Wardens, the Cook, the Butler, the Porter, the Shoemaker, the Chirurgeon,
Barber, the Beadles, with the Charges of each of these Officers.
These Orders were confirmed at a Court held on Wednesday, 28 Sept. An. Ph. and
Mar. 4. and 5. in these Words:
"At this Court it was agreed, that all the several Articles and Ordinances
mentioned and expressed, and openly read to the Court here this Day, concerning
Governance and Ordering from henceforth of the House of the Poor in West
Smithfield, and the Hospitals of this City, lately devised by Sir Martin Bowes,
Rowland Hill, Knights, and divers others of my Masters the Aldermen, and the
Commoners of this City, being Governors and Surveyors at this present of the
Houses, and of all the Lands and other Revenues of the same "