28. THE HOSPITAL OF ST. LAZARUS OR THE HOLY SEPULCHRE, RADFORD
BY the mid 13th century there was a leper hospital
at Radford, about 1¼ mile south-east of Stafford. (fn. 1)
The dedication is variously given as to St. Lazarus
and to the Holy Sepulchre. It was probably founded
by a member of the Stafford family, for by the end
of the century the patronage belonged to Edmund
de Stafford. (fn. 2)
Little is known of the hospital's endowments or
privileges, which were evidently meagre. In 1255
Hugh de Doxey granted a moiety of two crofts in
Silkmore (in Castle Church) to Walter, Master of
the Hospital of St. Lazarus, Radford; this land was
to be held in free alms for ever by Walter and
his successors. (fn. 3) In 1258 the master and brethren
of the Hospital of the Holy Sepulchre, Radford,
received from the Crown a grant of protection for
5 years. (fn. 4)
By the end of the 13th century the hospital's
endowments were evidently insufficient for the
support of the warden and brethren. Edmund de
Stafford, the patron, attempted to grant the hospital
to the Trinitarian friars of Thelsford (Warws.), but
his plan seems to have failed, (fn. 5) and the hospital
probably continued independently for a few years at
least. At some time before 1320 William of Madeley,
'Prior of the Hospital of Radford', exchanged a
piece of marsh in Silkmore with Richard, son of
John (fn. 6) de Wenlock, for a messuage in Forebridge.
This exchange was confirmed in 1320 by Edmund
de Stafford's widow, Margaret, and her second
husband, (fn. 7) and in 1321 by Edmund's son Ralph. (fn. 8)
Nothing more of the hospital's history is known,
and its site has not been identified. (fn. 9) There is,
however, some slight evidence to suggest that it was
refounded in the mid 14th century on a new site
and with a new dedication. (fn. 10)
Masters, Wardens, or Priors
Walter, occurs 1255. (fn. 11)
William of Madeley, occurs at some time before
1320. (fn. 12)
No seal is known.
S.H.C. iv(1), 246-7; S.H.C. 1911, 269, 271. Radford
lies on the Stafford-Lichfield road where it crosses the
Penk; the river here forms the boundary between the
ancient parishes of Baswich and Castle Church: V.C.H.
Staffs. v. 1, 2.
S.H.C. iv(1), 246-7; viii(2), 99-100.
Cal. Pat. 1247-58, 653.
||See following article.
||Not Thomas as stated in V.C.H. Staffs. v. 93, 94.
||S.R.O., D.(W.) 1721/1/1, f. 131v. This exchange is
incorrectly stated in V.C.H. Staffs. v. 93, to have been
between Prior William on the one hand and Margaret and
her second husband on the other.
||S.R.O., D.(W.) 1721/1/1, f. 131v.
||L. Lambert, The Medieval Hospitals of Stafford
(Manchester, n.d.), 10, suggests that the hospital stood at
the S.E. corner of the English Electric Co.'s main works,
in the angle formed by Lichfield Rd. and the railway, but
the source quoted (S.H.C. viii(2), 32) gives no support to
this. S.H.C. viii(2), 114 n. 1, suggests that the hospital
stood near the site of the later Hospital of St. Leonard,
Forebridge (see below p. 294); 'Radford', however, suggests
a site near the Penk.
||See below p. 294.