Victoria County History



W.G. Hoskins (editor) assisted by R.A. McKinley

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'Hospitals: Lutterworth', A History of the County of Leicestershire: Volume 2 (1954), pp. 42-44. URL: Date accessed: 26 November 2014.


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The Hospital of St. John the Baptist (fn. 1) at Lutterworth was built in or shortly before 1219, when Bishop Hugh of Lincoln permitted divine offices to be celebrated at the newly erected hospital. (fn. 2) Its foundation has been attributed to Rose de Verdon (fn. 3) and her son Nicholas, (fn. 4) but there seems to be no reliable evidence for this statement. Under Henry VIII the founder was said to have been Nicholas de Verdon, (fn. 5) and although not proved, this may well be true. About 1220 the hospital was receiving a yearly pension of 4 marks from the parish church of Lutterworth, (fn. 6) but in 1221 or 1222 the pension was only 3 marks. (fn. 7) The hospital is said to have obtained a grant of seven yardlands from Nicholas and Rose (fn. 8) de Verdon. (fn. 9)

Very little is known of the internal affairs of the hospital. Early in the 14th century Bishop Dalderby drew up regulations for the hospital, ordaining that the brethren there should obey the Augustinian rule, and that no women should be admitted as sisters without the consent of himself of his successors. (fn. 10) The altar of St. Mary in the hospital church is mentioned in 1350. (fn. 11) In 1436 it was said that there had been no brethren at the hospital for fifty years, and that the revenues had so declined that they amounted to not more than £20 a year. The Pope decreed in consequence that the mastership of the hospital might be held with any other benefice. (fn. 12) It seems probable that by 1400 at the latest the hospital had ceased to relieve the poor or sick, and that the office of master had become a benefice with few duties attached to it. In 1518 it was found that the master was not serving the hospital as he should. (fn. 13) The clear yearly income of the hospital was assessed at £29. 9s. 5d. in 1535. A sum of £4 was distributed in alms annually for the founder's soul. (fn. 14) In the certificate returned under Henry VIII's Act for the Dissolution of Chantries the hospital's net yearly revenue is given as £33. 7s. 4d., derived from lands at Lutterworth, two watermills there, and property at Bitteswell, Cadeby, Aston Flamville, Sharnford, Shawell, Frowlesworth, Cottesbach, and Walcote (Leics.), Long Itchington and Hillmorton (Warws.), and Haselbech (Northants.). The hospital was said to have been founded to maintain a priest and six poor men, and to provide hospitality for poor wayfarers, but in 1546 there were no poor in the hospital, the master was not resident, and the buildings, including the chapel, were greatly dilapidated. (fn. 15)

The hospital survived the seizure of chantry lands by the Crown, and in 1556 its net annual revenue was estimated to be £26. 9s. 5d. The master at that time was an absentee. He should have provided a priest for the hospital, but had not done so for three years before 1556. There were then no poor in the hospital, and the buildings were again said to be ruinous. (fn. 16) A master was presented as late as 1672. (fn. 17) It is not known when the hospital came to an end. It seems probable, however, that its property Was disposed of by the Crown, to which the patronage had fallen, (fn. 18) and that the institution thus ceased to exist.

Masters Of Lutterworth Hospital

Simon of Asfordby, occurs 1218-19. (fn. 19)
Peter of Stanford, admitted 1242-3. (fn. 20)
G., resigned 1262-3. (fn. 21)
Hugh, admitted 1262-3. (fn. 22)
Geoffrey, resigned 1275. (fn. 23)
Godfrey, admitted 1275. (fn. 24)
John of Hathern, died 1299. (fn. 25)
Robert of Billesdon, admitted 1299, (fn. 26) resigned 1319. (fn. 27)
Adam of Bagworth, admitted 1319, (fn. 28) died 1321. (fn. 29)
William of Cotgrave, admitted 1321, (fn. 30) died 1329. (fn. 31)
Robert of Newbold, admitted 1329, (fn. 32) died 1331. (fn. 33)
Thomas of Lutterworth, admitted 1331, (fn. 34) died 1335. (fn. 35)
John of Rokeby, admitted 1335, (fn. 36) died 1338. (fn. 37)
Thomas of Peatling, admitted 1338. (fn. 38)
Thomas of Schrugton, died 1349. (fn. 39)
John of Lutterworth, admitted 1349, (fn. 40) resigned 1377. (fn. 41)
William Odde, admitted 1377, (fn. 42) deprived 1379. (fn. 43)
Elias of Wythyford, admitted 1380, (fn. 44) resigned 1386. (fn. 45)
William Wandesford, admitted 1386, (fn. 46) resigned 1390-1. (fn. 47)
Robert Leche, admitted 1391, (fn. 48) resigned 1392. (fn. 40)
Thomas Basford, admitted 1392, (fn. 50) died 1412. (fn. 51)
Stephen Brackley, admitted 1412, (fn. 52) resigned 1414. (fn. 53)
John Cryspe, admitted 1414, (fn. 54) died 1431. (fn. 55)
William Vesey, admitted 1431. (fn. 56)
Simon Smith, admitted 1434, (fn. 57) resigned 1454. (fn. 58)
Richard Wolsi, admitted 1454, (fn. 59) resigned 1475. (fn. 60)
Hugh Lewys, admitted 1475, (fn. 61) resigned 1504. (fn. 62)
Stephen Curteys, admitted 1504, (fn. 63) resigned 1510. (fn. 64)
Humphrey Knottesford, presented 1510, (fn. 65) died 1536. (fn. 66)
Robert Broke, presented 1536, (fn. 67) occurs 1546. (fn. 68)
William Rustat, presented 1577. (fn. 69)
Michael Hudson, presented 1640. (fn. 70)
William Hoare, presented 1672. (fn. 71)

No seal is known.


1 It is described as the hosp. of SS. John and Antony in 1436 (Cal. Papal Letters, 1431-47, 553), but this is the only reference to St. Antony in connexion with the hosp.
2 Rot. Hugonis de Welles, ed. W. P. W. Phillimore, i, 152.
3 D. in or before 1216: Rot. Lit. Claus., 1204-24 (Rec. Com.), 184.
4 Nichols, Leics. iv, 259; J. Tanner, Notitia Mon. (1744), 243; Dugd. Mon. vi (2), 765; Rotha M. Clay, Medieval Hosp, of Engl. 301.
5 A. Hamilton Thompson, 'The Chant. Cert, for Leics.', Assoc. Arch. Soc. Rep. and Papers, xxx, 498.
6 Rot. Hugonis de Welles, i, 243.
7 Ibid, ii, 284, 287.
8 Possibly Nicholas's dau, and heiress, who d. 1247: Excerpta e Rot. Fin. (Rec. Com.), ii, 7, 11. But possibly his mother.
9 W. Burton, General Description of Leics. (1777), 169.
10 Linc. Reg. Dalderby, Memo., f. 140b; Linc. Reg. Buckingham, Memo., f. 197a.
11 Cal. Pat., 1348-50, 552.
12 Cal. Papal Letters, 1431-47, 553.
13 Visitations in Dioc. Linc., 1517-31, ed. A. Hamilton Thompson, i, 17.
14 Valor Eccl. (Rec. Com.), iv, 184.
15 The identification of Sharnford and Shawell, amongst the places where the hosp. held property, is uncertain: Assoc. Arch. Soc. Rep. and Papers, xxx, 496-8.
16 Nichols, Leics. iv, 261, citing the return made by the Bp. of Line, to Cardinal Pole, 1556.
17 Cal. S. P. Dom., 1671-2, 138.
18 Nichols, Leics. iv, 260-1; Assoc. Arch. Soc. Rep. and Papers, xxx, 498. The hosp. mills had been granted away in fee farm by 1631: Nichols, op. cit. iv, 253.
19 Rot. Hugonis de Welles, i, 152.
20 Rot. Roberti Grosseteste, ed. F. N. Davis, 419; Mon. Franciscana (Rolls Ser.), i, 173, 254.
21 Rot. Ric. Gravesend, ed. F. N. Davis, 142.
22 Ibid.
23 Ibid. 158.
24 Ibid.
25 Rosalind Hill, 'Bishop Sutton and the Inst. of Heads of Religious Houses in the Dioc. of Linc.', E.H.R. lviii, 209.
26 Ibid.
27 Linc. Reg. Dalderby, Inst., f. 220a.
28 Ibid.
29 Linc. Reg. Burghersh, Inst., f. 114a.
30 Ibid.
31 Ibid., f. 126a.
32 Linc. Reg. Burghersh, Inst., f. 126a.
33 Ibid., f. 135a.
34 Ibid.
35 Ibid., f. 143b.
36 Ibid.
37 Ibid., f. 152d.
38 Ibid.
39 Linc. Reg., Gynewell, Inst., f. 334b. Possibly the same person as Thomas of Peatling.
40 Ibid.
41 Linc. Reg. Buckingham, Inst., i, f. 268a.
42 Ibid.
43 Ibid., f. 272a.; Linc. Reg. Buckingham, Memo., f. 196a. Deprived for non-residence.
44 Linc. Reg. Buckingham, Inst., i, f. 272a.
45 Ibid, ii, f. 202b.
46 Ibid.
47 Cal. Pat., 1388-92, 373-4. Resigned on exchange of benefices.
48 Ibid.
49 Cal. Pat., 1391-6, 125. Resigned on exchange of benefices.
50 Ibid.
51 Linc. Reg. Repingdon, Inst., f. 171b.
52 Ibid.
53 Market Harborougk Par. Rec., to 1530, ed. J. E. Stocks and W. B. Bragg, 125. Resigned on exchange of benefices.
54 Ibid.
55 Linc. Reg. Gray, Inst., f. 37b.
56 Ibid.
57 Linc. Reg. Alnwick, Inst., f. 145a.
58 Linc. Reg. Chedworth, Inst., f. 92b.
59 Ibid. He was also Bp. of Down and Connor.
60 Linc. Reg. Rotherham, Inst., f. 69b.
61 Ibid.
62 Linc. Reg. Smith, Inst., f. 281a.
63 Ibid.
64 Ibid., f. 296b.
65 Ibid., f. 297b. Wm. Shepeston, Prior of Ulvescroft, is stated in another entry (ibid. 296b) to have been admitted as master, but this is probably an error.
66 Linc. Reg. Lonigland, Inst., f. 144a.
67 Ibid.
68 Assoc. Arch. Soc. Rep. and Papers, xxx, 498.
69 Rymer, Foedera (3rd ed., 1740), iv (4), 176.
70 Cal. S.P. Dom., 1639-40, 532.
71 Ibid. 1671-2, 138.