2. THE HOSPITAL OF TOLETHORPE
A hospital was founded at Tolethorpe in
1301 by John de Tolethorpe for the maintenance of seven poor men, with a chaplain as
warden. (fn. 1) It seems, however, that the original
purpose of the foundation was not long observed,
as in 1359 Sir William de Burton rebuilt the
ancient chapel at Tolethorpe and obtained papal
authority to found therein a college of a master
and six chaplains, for whom the bishops of
Lincoln, London, and Rochester were to draw
up ordinances. (fn. 2) At the same time indulgences
were granted to those visiting the chapel on the
feasts of the Blessed Virgin or St. Anne, further
indulgences being granted the following year. (fn. 3)
By the foundation the master and chaplains were
to support the chapel out of the offerings made
there, but in 1362 the founder sought the royal
licence to appropriate to its support the advowson of the parish church of Little Casterton. (fn. 4)
Either the college was not after all endowed, or
the endowment proved insufficient, for it seems
speedily to have come to an end, surviving only
as a chantry, for which the parish priest of Little
Casterton was apparently obliged to provide a
chaplain to serve the chapel three times a week:
in 1410 he was exonerated from this duty by
Thomas Burton, (fn. 5) and it is probable that the
chapel was not regularly maintained at all after
this date. It is mentioned as appendant to the
manor of Tolethorpe as late as 1496, when there
was still a messuage called the College House,
and a close called the Chapel Close: (fn. 6) but the
chapel itself was probably in ruins by that time.
Richard is entered as master in 1379, with
John as his assistant chaplain, (fn. 7) but no other
names of incumbents of either the hospital or
college are known.
||Blore, Hist. of Rut. 92; from a deed which was
in the possession of the Vicar of Little Casterton in
||a Cal. Papal Pet. 340.
||b Ibid. 353, 360.
||Inq. a.q.d. file 341, no. 8.
||Blore, Hist of Rut. 216. Several deeds mentioning the advowson of the chapel are printed in full by
||a Cler. Subs. bdle. 35, no. 7; ex inf. Mr. V. B.