Faringdon Ward within. [Christ's Hospital]131

Faringdon Ward within. [Christ's Hospital]

to have been in his Grace, but that I beheld and heard it in him.

At the last, the King's Majesty much commended him for his Exhortation for the Relief of the Poor.

But my Lord (quoth he) you willed such as are in Authority to be careful thereof, and to devise some good Order for their Relief. Wherein, I think you mean me, for I am in highest Place; and therefore am the first that must make answer unto God for my negligence, if I should not be careful therein; knowing it to be the express Commandment of Almighty God, to have compassion of his poor and needy Members, for whom we must make an Account unto him. And truly, my Lord, I am (before all things else) most willing to travail that way; and I doubting nothing of your long and approved Wisdom and Learing, who having such good Zeal, as wisheth Help unto them; but also that you have had some Conference with others, what ways are best to be taken therein, the which I am desirous to understand; and therefore I pray you to say your mind.

A most Vertuous and Noble Saying of King Edward, to Bishop Ridley.

The Bishop thinking least of that Matter, and being amazed to hear the Wisdom and earnest Zeal of the King, was (as he saith himself) so astonished, that he could not tell what to say. But after some pause, said, That he thought (at this present) for some entrance to be had, it were good to practice with the City of London. Because the number of Poor there are very great, and the Citizens also are many and wise; and he doubted not, but that they were also both pitiful and merciful; as the Maior and hios Brethren, and other the Worshipful of the said City. And that if it would please the King's Majesty to direct his gracious Letters unto the Maior of London, willing him to call in such Asssistants as he should think meet, to consult of this Matter, for some Order to be taken therein; he doubted not but good would follow thereon. And he himself promised the King to be one himself, that should earnestly travail therein.

The Citizens of London moved to be Assistants in this charitable Action.

The King, forthwith, not only granted his Letter, but made the Bishop tarry until the same was written, and his Hand and Signet set thereto. And commanded the Bishop, not only to deliver the said Letter himself, but also to signify unto the Maior, that it was the King's especial Request and express Commandment, that the Maior should therein travel; and so soon as he might conveniently, give him knowledge, how far he had proceeded therein. The Bishop was so joyous of the having of this Letter, and that now he had an Occasion to travel in so good a Matter, wherein he was marvellous zealous, that nothing could have more pleased and delighted him. Wherefore the same Night he came to the Maior of London, who was then Sir Richard Dobbs, Kt. and delivered the King's Letter; and shewed his Message with effect.

The King's Letter sent by the Bishop to the Lord Maior of London.

The Lord Maior not only joyously received this Letter, but with all speed agreed to set forward the matter; for he also favoured it very much. And the next Day, being Monday, he desired the Bishop of London to dine with him; and against that time, the Maior promised to send for such Men, as he thought meetest to talk of this Matter; and so he did. He sent first for two Aldermen, and six Commoners; and afterward more were appointed, to the number of Twenty four. In the end, after sundry meetings, (for by the means and good diligence of the Bishop, it was well followed) they agreed upon a Book they had devised; wherein, first they considered on Nine special Kinds and Sorts of poor People; and those they brought into these three Degrees.

The readiness of the Lord Maior to prefer this good Deed.

Nine Sorts of poor People, distinguished into three Degrees.

Three Degrees of Poor.
1. The Poor by Impotency.
2. Poor by Casualty.
3. Thriftless Poor.

1. The Poor by Impotency are also divided into three kinds; that is to say:

1. The fatherless poor Mans Child.
2. The Aged, Blind, and Lame.
3. The diseased person by Leprosie, Dropsy &c.

2. The Poore by Casualty are likwise of three Kinds; that is to say:

1. The wounded Soldier.
2. The decayed Householder.
3. The visited with any grievous Disease.

3. The Thriftless Poor are three Kinds in like manner; that is to say:

1. The Rioter, that consumeth all.
2. The Vagabond, that will abide in no Place.
3. The idle Person, as Strumpets, and others.

For these Sorts of Poor, three several Houses were provided: First, for the Innocent and Fatherless, which is the Beggars Child, and is indeed the Seed and Breeder of Beggary, they provided the House that was the late Grey Friers in London; and called it by the Name of Christ's Hospital; where poor Children are trained up in the Knowledge of God, and some Vertuous Exercises, to the overthrow of Beggary.

The first beginning of Christ's Hospital.

For the second Degree, was provided the Hospitals of St. Thomas in Southwark, and St. Bartholomew in West Smithfield. Where are continually, at least, Two hundred diseased Persons; which are nor only there Lodged and Cured, but also Fed and Nourished.

The first beginning of S. Thomas and St. Bartholomew's Hospitals.

For the third Degree, they provided Bridewell, where the Vagabond and idle Strumpet is chastised, and compelled to labour; to the overthrow of the vicious Life of Idleness.

The first beginning of Bridewell.

They provided also for the honest decayed Householder, that he should be relieved at Home, at his House, and in the Parish where he dwelled, by a Weekly Relief and Pension. And in like manner they provided for the Lazer, to keep him out of the City, from clapping of Dishes and ringing of Bell, to the great trouble of the Citizens, and also to the dangerous Infection of many; that they should be relieved at Home, at their Houses, by several Pensions.

Relief for decayed Householders and Lazers.

Now after this good Order taken, and the Citizens, (by such Means as were devised) willing to further the same, the Report thereof was made to the King's Majesty; and his Grace (for the Advancement thereof) was not only willing to grant such as should be Overseers and Governours of the said Houses, a Corporation, and Authority for the Government of them; but also required, that He might be accounted as the Chief Founder and Patron thereof.

The King acquainted with the Cities furtherance.

And for the furtherance of the said Work, and continual Maintenance of the same; He, of his meer Mercy and Goodness granted, that whereas, before, certain Lands were given to the maintaining of the House of the Savoy, founded by King Henry VII. for the lodging of Pilgrims and Strangers; and that the same was now made but a Lodging for Loiterers, Vagabonds, and Strumpets, that lay all Day in the

King Edward VI Founder of the Hospitals in London.