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Colleges and Hospitals. 174

Colleges and Hospitals.

Colleges and Hospitals. Orders for the Government of them. Christ Church. St. Bartholomew. St. Thomas. Bridewell. Bethlehem. And the Workhouse in Bishopsgate Street.

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 put together with Hospitals in the two next Chapters, purposely set apart to give some Relation of them. And First, of such as are erected in the City or Suburbs; and then after taking notice of three or four that are neither in London nor the Suburbs, but near bordering within one, two, or three Miles thereof.


J. S.

Of all these some are more ancient Foundations, some more Modern, but most since the 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 College; Greenwich Hospital; The Hospital at Deptford; Morden College; The new Hospital near Shoreditch.

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 Profits of your Chauntries, and your Obits, to the finding of the Poor with a politick and godly Provision; whereas now London being one of the Flowers of the World, and touching Worldly Riches, hath so many, yea, an innumerable Number of poor People forced to go from Door to Door, and to sit openly in the Streets a Begging: And many not able to 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 Clamour of them, which also have cryed unto God against you."

The State of the Poor in London formerly.

Lamentat. against Lond. Printed at Nuremburgh, 1545.

" But unto these blind Guides, [a sort of lusty Lubbers, as the Writer called those Chauntry Priests] ye be Maintainers of their Idleness, and leave the Lame, the Blind, 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 my Judgment, under Heaven is not so little Provision made for the Poor, as in London, of so rich a City."

It was not before the Year 1557, Offley Maior, that wholesome and good Orders were made and agreed upon for the Four Hospitals, by the Maior, Commonalty, and Citizens of London, Governors of the Possessions, Revenues, and Goods of the said Hospitals; and were to be read in every the said Hospitals at a full Court once every Quarter, either 14 Days before, or after the Quarter Day; Beginning with a Preface, giving Account therein of the Royal Founders, and unto whom they had committed the perpetual Care of them; and who by that Authority had made the said Ordinances: Which Preface ran in this Tenor; viz.

Orders for the Four Hospitals, made Anno 1577.

"Whereas the most excellent and worthy Princes, our late Sovereign Lords, K. HENRY 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 granted by their Letters Patents, with Indentures of Covenants and Bonds, to the said Princes and their Successors, by the City made for performation thereof, to the Maior and Commonalty, Citizens of this said City; as well Four several Hospitals (that is to say) 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 St. 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 the same, amongst other Things in the same Letters Patents, Authority, and Power, to elect and chuse Governors and Officers, and also to make and constitute good and wholesome Ordinances for godly Maintenance thereof: By vertue of the which Letters Patents, We, the said Maior and Commonalty have made and ordained these Rules and 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 every 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 weighty Causes, and what is thereat to be done; what is to be done at ordinary Courts, when 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 single 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 Account of the Respective Duties: The Officers, viz. the Clerk, the Matron, the Nurses and 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, the 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 hereafter mentioned and expressed, and openly read to the Court here this Day, concerning the 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, and Sir 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 said Houses, and of all the Lands and other Revenues of the same "


© hriOnline, 2007
The Stuart London Project, Humanities Research Institute, The University of Sheffield,
34 Gell Street, Sheffield, S3 7QY