17. THE HOSPITAL OF ST. MARY MAGDALEN, WITTON GILBERT
This hospital was founded by Gilbert de la
Ley, lord of Witton (c. 1154-80), who granted
to the almoner of Durham 60 acres of arable
land in Witton field, a rent of 30s., free multure, and common of pasture for the support of
five lepers therein. On the death of any inmate
the almoner was to appoint another sufferer to
fill the vacant place. (fn. 1) This grant was subsequently confirmed by Philip son of Gilbert, and
in 1351 by Philip's granddaughter (sic) and her
husband. (fn. 2)
There exists an undated list of the names of
the brethren and sisters of the house at Witton,
with particulars of their allowances. The names
are as follows:—John Stele; John Binchester,
chaplain; John Marshall; John Short; Jane
Partrike; Jane Wharram; Alice Waynfleet, and
Margaret Lesshmaker. The brothers had for
their corrodies one bushel of wheat every three
weeks; 4s., pro namiis suis, at Christmas; and
for 'soul silver' 8s. 8d. per annum. Those
brethren who lived in the house had two chalders
of coal for fuel. The sisters had a similar supply
of wheat and coal, and in addition four oxen
were divided amongst them, and they each had
200 red herrings. (fn. 3) They also received 1s. for
'egg silver'; and two whole loaves 'at the cove'
every week. (fn. 4)
Apparently the hospital was no longer in
existence at the time of the dissolution. (fn. 5)
||Chart. ex Orig. 2b, Spec.
||Chart. Surt. Hist. Dur. ii, 370.
||Surtees thought there must have been some clerical
error here, as it was unlikely that the provision for the
women should exceed in quantity that for the men.
||Surt. Hist. Dur. ii, 370.
||In Hunter's MSS. No. 37, occurs the following
list: 'Fratres et Sorores Hospitalis Sti. Petri juxta
Witton, 1532.' The names of 13 men and 12 women
are given. Some are described as 'de Maison Dieu,'
and some as being in the infirmary. The above dedication is probably a mistake, as there is apparently
no mention elsewhere of a hospital of St. Peter.