High Wycombe


Victoria County History



William Page (editor)

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'Hospitals: High Wycombe', A History of the County of Buckingham: Volume 1 (1905), pp. 394-395. URL: Date accessed: 28 November 2014.


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The hospital of St. Margaret is mentioned first in 1229, when a yearly fair was granted to the master and leprous brethren on the vigil of the feast of St. Margaret. (fn. 1) Richard, master of 'the hospital for the sick' at Wycombe, jointly with the master of the hospital of Crowmersh, sued Walter Champion for tithes in 1268 (fn. 2) ; and the same two masters claimed a tenth sheaf in the fields of Wigan de Wallingford in Oving, after the church tithes had been collected. (fn. 3) These suits may refer either to the hospital of St. Margaret or to that of St. Giles, the hospital of St. John being apparently for the poor.

An indulgence was granted in 1368 to the hospital of 'St. Gilbert and St. Margaret next Wycombe' by Bishop Bokyngham. (fn. 4)


The hospital of St. Giles, High Wycombe, was founded for the reception of lepers before 1229, when letters of protection were issued to these. (fn. 5) In 1389 John Skefthyng was appointed warden, (fn. 6) but shortly after this date it was dissolved. It was granted early in the reign of Henry V. to a certain Thomas Giles, and its endowments were finally bestowed upon the college of Windsor. (fn. 7)


This hospital was certainly in existence early in the thirteenth century, if not in the twelfth. In an inquisition taken in 1245, it was found that the brethren and sisters of this house were bound to distribute annually on Lady Day to the poor who should ask alms at their gate bread to the amount of two quarters of wheat, and also to pray for the soul of Adam Walder, who may have been the founder. (fn. 8) A fragment of a charter exists which must have been made out between 1235 and 1241. (fn. 9) In 1236 the master of the hospital gained the day in a suit with Richard of Rouen concerning a carucate of land in High Wycombe. (fn. 10) In 1239 the brethren received a grant of a yearly fair on the vigil of the Translation of St. Thomas of Canterbury. (fn. 11)

In 1548 the commissioners found that there was a master in possession of the hospital, but no brethren. The original purpose of the foundation was quite forgotten, and the charter had been burnt. It was still however a part of the master's duty to find three beds for poor and infirm persons coming through the town. (fn. 12)

After the Suppression of Chantries the house was sold to the mayor and burgesses, and converted into a grammar school. (fn. 13)

In 1302 and 1346 the master of St. John's Hospital held one-fifth of a knight's fee in Wycombe. (fn. 14) Its clear value at the suppression was £8 10s. (fn. 15)

Masters of the Hospital

Gilbert, (fn. 16) occurs 1236

Robert, (fn. 17) occurs 1265

Adam, (fn. 18) instituted 1277

Geoffrey, (fn. 19) died 1304

Richard de la Raye, (fn. 20) Instituted 1304, resigned 1310

John Outrel, (fn. 21) instituted 1310

John de Martham, (fn. 22) died 1344

Hugh of Newton, (fn. 23) instituted 1344, resigned 1344

Michael of Northburgh, (fn. 24) instituted 1344, resigned 1354

John of Hale, (fn. 25) instituted 1354, died 1355

John atte Corner, (fn. 26) instituted 1355, died 1361

Hugh of Bridham, (fn. 27) instituted 1361

William of Lokington, (fn. 28) instituted 1369

John Talworth, (fn. 29) instituted 1382

John Dede, (fn. 30) instituted 1440

John Benet, (fn. 31) instituted 1456

Hugh Clay, (fn. 32) resigned 1471

William Blackpoll, (fn. 33) instituted 1471, died 1474

John Wykes, (fn. 34) instituted 1474, died 1478

Edmund Hampden, (fn. 35) instituted 1478, resigned 1484

Geoffrey Hemmysby, (fn. 36) instituted 1484, died 1493

Edward Wellesbourne, (fn. 37) instituted 1493

William Trew, (fn. 38) instituted 1522, resigned 1541

Charles Chalfont, (fn. 39) instituted 1541


1 Cal. of Chart. R. i. 96.
2 Feet of F. 52 Hen. III. No. 10.
3 Ibid. 54 Hen. III. No. 3.
4 Linc. Epis. Reg. Memo. Bokyngham, 57.
5 Pat. 13 Hen. III. m. 11.
6 Pat. 13 Rich. II. pt. ii. m. 28.
7 Parker, History of Wycombe, 138.
8 Ibid. 140.
9 Ibid. It has the names of Bishops Grosstête and Gregory IX.
10 Feet of F. 20 Hen. III. n. 23.
11 Cal. of Chart. R. i. 244.
12 Chant. Cert. 4, No. 4.
13 Parker, History of Wycombe, 142.
14 Feud. Aids i. 92, 117.
15 Chant. Cert. 4, No. 4.
16 Feet of F. 20 Hen. III. n. 23.
17 Parker, History of Wycombe.
18 Linc. Epis. Reg. Rolls of Gravesend.
19 Ibid. Inst. Dalderby, 177d.
20 Ibid.
21 Ibid. 184d.
22 Ibid. Inst. Bek, 109.
23 Ibid.
24 Ibid.
25 Ibid. Inst. Gynwell, 256d.
26 Ibid. 258.
27 Ibid. 275.
28 Ibid. Memo. Bokyngham, 85.
29 Ibid. Inst. Bokyngham, i. 457d.
30 Parker, History of Wycombe.
31 Ibid.
32 Linc. Epis. Reg. Inst. Chadworth, 159.
33 Ibid.
34 Ibid. Inst. Rotherham, 96.
35 Ibid. 102.
36 Ibid. Inst. Russell, 119.
37 Linc. Epis. Reg. Inst. Russell, 128d.
38 Ibid. Inst. Longland, 186.
39 Ibid. 209.