- 15th century-1842 (Creation)
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Formerly known as St Giles' Hospital, the Great Hospital in Norwich is still a functioning charitable, residential institution and its archives extend from the thirteenth century to the twentieth century. Prior to the Municipal Reform Act of 1835, the Mayor and Corporation acted as trustees for a large number of City charities. The most ancient was the Great Hospital (founded by Walter Suffield, Bishop of Norwich, in 1249), whose records are the largest and most complete of any of the City charities.
While most English hospitals were dissolved at the Reformation in the sixteenth century, the Great Hospital was one of very few which survived. On Henry VIII's death in 1547, it was surrendered to the new Protestant monarch, Edward VI. The Norwich city fathers, however, were sufficiently astute to recognize the important rôle which the Hospital might play in caring for the city's poor (who then posed a serious social problem). Edward VI succumbed to local pressure and returned the ownership of the Hospital and its possessions, land and property to the corporation, which then used it to prioritise and channel charitable work in the community. Thus, through its acquisition by the corporation, the Hospital continued to function and its records became part of the city archives.
By the terms of Edward VI's charter by letters patent in 1547, forty poor people were to be accommodated in the Hospital (then called 'God's House'), looked after by the keeper of the House and a team of four matrons or women keepers, but by the end of the century, the number had risen to 54. In 1633, owing to increased revenues, the numbers of inhabitants had increased to 86 though there were still only four women keepers. Seven years later, there were 95 inhabitants, looked after by five matrons. Of these inhabitants, the original 40 provided for by charter had been augmented by two paid for by legacies in Francis Rugg's will, two more by the will of Alderman Henry Fawcett and the remainder allowed by the mayor and aldermen because of the increase in revenues. Presumably finances were tight when in 1647, numbers were down to 71 and the team of matrons only four women, but by the early Commonwealth period, there were again 95 poor and five matrons. By 1685, a hundred poor folk were accommodated in the Hospital.
The Charity Commissioners finished their enquiry into the Norwich charities in 1833 and a copy of their printed report is to be found at N/TC 63/2. By a Chancery Order dated 18 March 1837, twenty-six Charity Trustees were appointed, with responsibility to manage the charities formerly in trust with the Corporation. The charities were divided into two lists: the Church List Charities (including the Great Hospital, the Free Grammar School, Archbishop Parker's Scholarships, the Preachers' Fund and various other smaller charities) and the General List Charities (including Doughty's Hospital, the Boys' Hospital, the Girls' Hospital, the Barnham Broom Estate and many other smaller charities).
A considerable number of charity records (many of them pre-1835) were deposited in the Record Office many years after the publication of Hudson and Tingey's Revised Catalogue of the Records of the City of Norwich in 1898. They interrelate with the records in the NCR collection and are listed at N/CCH and N/MC.
The medieval records of the Great Hospital were inscribed in the UNESCO UK Memory of the World Register in May 2011. The UK Memory of the World Register (established in 2010) helps to raise awareness of some of the UK’s exceptional, but lesser-known documentary riches by awarding them globally-recognised Memory of the World status.
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Foundation of Charity at East Harling, 35 Hen VI - missing
NB. Described previously as being in two boxes, but no second box or most of its contents have yet been found.
NCR 12 g/original box 1
Goddard Johnson MSS
(Goddard Johnson Esq. of Marsham, near Aylsham, Norfolk, Bell Cottage, Earlham Road and of Rampant Horse Street, Norwich in 1851)
1 Memoranda from the court rolls of the Master of the [Great] Hospital of Hethel [Manor] re payment of feudal dues by [villeins] Aleander Ulf for the marriage of his daughter, Christiana to John de Ashewelle and for the entry of his son, Thomas Ulf, to a messuage and lands after the death of his father, who married without licence from the lord [of the manor], 4 Edward [?IV], 15th century [?1464/5] Endorsed by Francis Blomefield, 'Brakene & Hethill' and with his crossed-circle symbol. LATIN (1 parchment)
2 North Elmham: Bond by John Edmundson of Stow Bardolf and Elizabeth Everard of Gateley, widow, to indemnify the parish of North Elmham from all epenses relating to John Edmundson, son of the bound John Edmundson, until he be 16 years old, Oct 1593, (1 paper), and annual rental of town lands, collected by the churchwardens, 1620 LATIN (1 parchment)
3 Pulham St Mary Magdalen: Folder of papers, inc. payment accounts of John Randoll, mainly for equipment and travel costs for soldiers, nd [c1588] (1 paper), register bill of baptisms, burials and marriages, 1621-1622 (1 indented paper); Register of briefs collections, Nov 1719-Sep1723 (1 gathering in brown paper covers), Pulham Market constable's payment account, 1708, (1 paper), valued inventory of Pulham resident, Richard Gosling's goods, Sep 1709, (1 paper) and [? Pulham] 3 vouchers or town bills for carpentry and masons work, inc. for erecting rails at Cookstool, 1708 (3 papers).
4 Warrant from the Mayor to the constables of Hellesden to provide a return of all inhabitants between the ages of 16 and 60 able to serve and of those able to find arms, endorsed with the muster return of 17 names, Sep 1615 (1 paper)
5 Treasury orders to pay Sir Thomas Osborne, treasurer of the Navy, twenty thousand pounds, Jan 1671/2, and for the repayment of government loans, 1707-1747, and annuities, 1781. (5 papers, 2 of which are UFP)
6 Bawburgh cum Bowthorpe: Churchwardens' accounts, 1680-1685 and overseers' account, 1680-1725. (On microfilm MF/X 246B). (1 gathering, binding loose, no covers)
7 Gresham and Bassingham: Register of briefs collections, drawn up by the churchwardens, Mar 1707-Sep 1732. with, enclosed, printed Directions to ministers... for eecuting the late Act for the better collecting of briefs..., 1707, (1 gathering in several parts, with no covers and the binding broken, and also 1 paper)
8 Final concord re a messuage and lands in Wendling, Dated the morrow of the feast of the purification of the BVM, 11 Anne [3 Feb 1713] LATIN (1 parchment, tet worn and partly illegible)
9 Buton, Norfolk: Vicar's certificate of burial of Richard Spooner of Brampton in wool, nd  (1 paper)
10 Draft deed of incorporation of the Charity for the Relief of Poor Widows and children of Clergymen in Norwich and Norfolk, nd [c1740] (1 paper file-torn along folds)
11 Roydon. Certificate of reading in and assent to the prayer book and 39 articles by rector, Henry Loftus, May 1740. (1 paper, frail in part)
12 Account of the income or annual value of the rectories of Rising and Roydon for the year, 1753, etracted from the books of the late, Mr Loftus, the previous incumbent, nd [c1755] (1 paper)
13 Invoice from [painter and engraver] Arthur Pond to the [soon-to-be opened] British Museum for his work gilding, cleaning and varnishing pictures and other ehibits, March -Aug 1758. (1 paper) and list of original pictures and their dimensions in feet and inches, nd [late 18th century] (1 paper, torn)
14 Agreement to sell house in the stableyard of St James' Palace, London, Sep 1761. (1 paper)
15 Copy of brigade, regimental and general orders to 2nd Battn of H.M. 1st Regiment of Foot Guards re treatment of French deserters whilst campaigning in Germany, Oct 1760-Sep 1761. Copied by the regimental adjutant, Feb 1765. (1 paper)
16 Printed orders from Frederick Cornwallis, the Archbishop of Canterbury re the admission to holy orders and conduct of clergy sent to diocesan bishops, forwarded by the Bishop of Norwich to his diocese, June 1770. (1 paper, torn along folds)
17 Questionnaire re the nature, value and current service of the benefice of Flitcham with answers completed by the curate there, Anthony Carr, on proposed augmentation of the benefice, Dec 1771. (1 paper)
18 Miscellaneous papers, mainly letters, from Jacob Astley of Maidstone to Sir Jacob Astley at Melton Constable Dec 1780 and to Mr Burleigh in Norwich, May and Sep 1781 on estate matters, note from Thomas Kirkpatrick to his brother, John Kirkpatrick, merchant in Norwich, June 1728, a torn address from a letter to Francis Gardner, Mayor of Norwich, nd [1685-6] letter from [?] Rudd to John Howard in chambers at the Inner Temple, Nov 1732, family and banns certificates, 18th century and 1811, and memorial by Sir Edward Astley of Melton Constable, Bart. of his eligibility to vote for Norwich's parliamentary burgesses through his ownership of an annual rent charge of 40s from tenements in the parish of St Peter Parmentergate, Dec 1771, addressed to Francis Wright, Town Clerk of Norwich (1 file of 10 papers (some frail) and 1 parchment)
19 Letter to Henry Cartwright of Norwich, with an account of Madam Booty's action in 1686 at the King's Bench, Westminster against Captain Barnaby, a witness of her husband's death running into the volcano at Stromboli , etracted from court records there, June 1791. (1 paper, torn and stained)
20 Mss description or catalogue by an unidentified author, of over 230 paintings and statuary of 'Lord Orford' at Houghton Hall, including discursive notes on provenance, influences and similar works elsewhere, nd [mid-late 18th century]. (1 note-book with paper covers)
21 Johnson's mss extracts from Loddon town book (churchwardens' accounts), 1554-1677, nd [c 1850] (1 gathering)
22 Pulham St Mary Magdalen: Johnson's mss etracts from five town reeve/churchwardens' account books, (including collections for the parish poor and accounts for the hire of the town herd of cows with churchwardens' receipts and payments accounts), 1557-1620, nd [c 1850]. [See also original account books, 1563-1620 in DN/PRG 14/1-3.] (1 volume with damaged calf spine and one loose folio)
23 Nineteenth-century copy of Bardwell, Suffolk., Town wardens' account of charges, 1588, including many entries relating to the supply, equipping and training of local men as soldiers, nd [? 1850s] (1 paper)
24 Draft dictionary of terms and notes re hagiographical and ecclesiastical iconography by Goddard Johnson, nd [mid-19th century] (1 volume)
NCR 12 g/box 2 NOT FOUND
25 Bundle of Goddard Johnson MSS local history and antiquarian notes on both gatherings and scraps of paper (mostly re a glossary of obsolete or antiquated words) and slips (in envelopes) including: reused printed adverts from Norwich tradesmen, 1849, nd, and with draft parts of an inde to law terms, pencil notes on memorials and fitures in various Norfolk churches, etracts from Norwich bishops' registers, city rolls and accounts and parish registers, including printed plates of four botanical and one heraldic engravings and also including a piece cut from the head of a folio (28.5cms wide) of city ?treasurer's accounts with reference to the allowances from the farm of John Lovel of the poultry market in the time of city treasurers, Henry Maister and Thomas Veil [1432-3]
Rough piece of paper with draft memorial - brass in Heydon church of Robert Dynne, gent., 1498, cloth mark with note, acknowledgement of debt and court pleadings, c 1500. NOT FOUND
Part of instructions re collection of the subsidy (printed), nd. Used as cover for Norwich chamberlains' accounts, 1531-1537. NOT FOUND
Lease for 7 years by Phillipp Woodehouse of Kimberley, esq., to Edward Mynnes of Litcham, husbandman. Land in Litcham, 1590. NOT FOUND
Town account, unlocated, 1625. NOT FOUND
Account for work done on a house in ?Wendling, 1688. NOT FOUND
Page from town book, unlocated, with appointment of churchwardens and overseers, allowance of accounts etc., 1724-1727. NOT FOUND
Order to distrain for poor rate in Shipdham, 1774. NOT FOUND
'An address on the design of the Norwich Mendicity Society', (printed) 1819. Tied round a bundle of notes. NOT FOUND
Goddard Johnson correspondence used for notes, c 1830s. Including printed advertisements for A. Paul, hairdresser, Aylsham, Miss Lawrence's establishment for the education of young ladies, the 'Vocabulary of East Anglia' by Revd Robert Forby, and J. Diey's list of prices for spectacles. NOT FOUND
Notebook mainly re Richard Beals' estate at Guestwick with some information re crops etc. given 1842.
Notes mainly glossaries and bibliographies also a few re city records. NOT FOUND
Settlement bond, 1593. NOT FOUND