23. THE HOSPITAL OF ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST, GREAT BEDWYN
Walter le Bret of Crofton, in Great Bedwyn,
by an undated deed, granted for an annual rent of
4s. 1d. to the brethren and sisters serving God in
the house of St. John the Baptist, Great Bedwyn,
a messuage with croft, meadow, and wood and 6
acres of land in Crofton. (fn. 1) The formalities of mortmain were not observed, so that the gift may have
been made before 1279. A Walter le Bret of
Somerset died in 1279, and another was alive in
1302-3; the family was established at Stratton
St. Margaret in Edward I's time. (fn. 2) It seems probable that this deed was the hospital's foundation
The master of the hospital had a grant of protection for five years in 1264. (fn. 3) Philip of Upton
died in 1360 holding 1½ acre of arable in Crofton
at 3d. a year of the warden of the hospital. (fn. 4) There
is no further record of the hospital, but the 18thcentury vestry minute books witness to leases of
'St. John's' at 2s. 6d. a year. (fn. 5) In 1790 among the
church property were three cottages at Wilton
(now in the parish of Grafton but close to Crofton)
which were used as a poor-house; (fn. 6) and in the early
20th century a house called St. John's was demolished to make room for The Lodge. (fn. 7)
Cat. Anct. D. iii, C 300. The deed has been transcribed
in W.A.M. xxxix, 380–1.
Cal. Inq. p.m. ii, p. 94; Cal. Genealogicum, 646; Aubrey,
Topog. Coll. ed. Jackson, 161.
Cal. Pat. 1258–60, 306.
Wilts. Inq.p.m. 1327–77 (Index Libr.), 264.
Char. Com. Rep. H.C. 273, p. 37 (1908), lxxx.
||Ex inf. Mr. E. R. Pole, Great Bedwyn.