Sous-fonds NCR 24 - The Great Hospital, alias the Hospital of St Giles, alias God's House or the House of the poor people in Holmestreet in the city of Norwich, foundation, endowment, administrative, accounting and estate records

Zone d'identification

Cote

NCR 24

Titre

The Great Hospital, alias the Hospital of St Giles, alias God's House or the House of the poor people in Holmestreet in the city of Norwich, foundation, endowment, administrative, accounting and estate records

Date(s)

  • nd [c 1249]-1838 (Production)

Niveau de description

Sous-fonds

Étendue matérielle et support

56 boxes of records

Zone du contexte

Nom du producteur

(c 1249-)

Histoire administrative

Established in c 1249 by the then Bishop of Norwich, Walter Suffield and originally known as the Hospital of the Blessed Mary and St Giles, and afterwards, simply as St Giles's Hospital, Norwich, in the parish of St Helen in Holmstrete, now Bishopgate in Norwich.
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.

Histoire archivistique

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Portée et contenu

Held in the Norfolk Record Office (NRO), the medieval records of St Giles's Hospital at Norwich (known the 'Great Hospital'), founded c 1249, have no rival anywhere in the country.

The Great Hospital is still a functioning charitable, residential institution and its archives extend from the thirteenth century to the twentieth century, and include annual account rolls, foundation charters and confirmations, founder's will, appointments of masters, licences in mortmain, cartularies, manoral, estate and medieval title deeds.

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 God's House alias, the Great Hospital (founded as the Hospital of St Giles by Walter Suffield, Bishop of Norwich, in c.1249), whose records are the largest and most complete of any of the City charities.

The Hospital was endowed by the bishop for the support of an establishment of a master, four lay brothers and four sisters (who were to undertake the actual caring and practical work) as well as four chaplains to celebrate divine service for the founder's soul in the chapel at the Hospital, all for the maintenance in the hospital, '...as long as they live...' of poor and infirm priests in the diocese, the feeding and instruction in grammar of seven poor scholars and for feeding 13 other poor people daily. Not long after this, the text of Pope Alexander IV's confirmation in 1255 of the bishop's grants reiterated that they were for the benefit of poor, infirm priests of Norwich Diocese and for a number of poor scholars in the city of Norwich. Within twenty years of the foundation, additional endowments from wealthy men such as William de Dunwich, enabled the hospital to support five sick paupers, and by 1451, a surviving licence in mortmain includes a description of the Hospital's establishment as a master, eight chaplains, two clerks, seven poor scholar choristers, eight disabled poor in beds with 13 poor at the doors fed daily with a meal and warmed before the Hospital's chimney, and two serving sisters.

While most English hospitals were dissolved during 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 immediately surrendered to the new Protestant monarch, Edward VI. The Norwich city fathers, however, were sufficiently astute to recognize the important role 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 granted to Norwich Corporation, by royal charter, dated 7 May 1547, the ownership of the Hospital (then refound under the names, God's House, or the House of the Poor People in Holme Street) along with its possessions, land and property, 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, albeit lost for the years between 1528 and 1547, became part of the city archives.

On its re-establishment in 1547, the Hospital was to employ a master, one chaplain with an assistant curate, four women keepers, a butler and baker and other servants to receive and feed forty poor men and women (for the first time) for their lives, and for a free school for the instruction of Latin to be established under a schoolmaster and usher. Additional bequests from aldermen and others, along with increased rental and farmed income over the next century enabled the hospital to take in additional poor folk, so that by the time of the appointment as master of William Burnham in 1686, his contract specified that he was responsible for the feeding of 75 poor men and women, who were to be cared for by five 'matrons' or women keepers.

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.

Évaluation, élimination et calendrier de conservation

Accroissements

Mode de classement

Formerly NCR Case 24a-i

WARNING - Please note that the records listed here have been re-catalogued and both catalogue descriptions and references have been modified.
Where references have been altered, superseded references may yet be found in NROCAT using the sole dialogue box in the 'Quick Search' option, or the 'Any Text' box in the 'Advanced Search' option.

Current arrangement:
NCR 24a Hospital surveyors and general receivers' engrossed, annual account rolls, with some subsidiary accounts, 1294-1686

NCR 24b Foundation, endowment, and litigation records, with agreements and including letters patents (being royal pardons and licences to alienate), 1250-1838. Also includes early cartularies, later estate records and miscellaneous items.

NCR 24c Manor court rolls and engrossed manor and rectory estate accounts, subsidiary to the engrossed accounts and mainly concerning the country estates (with the addition of the Lathes estate at St Augustine's Gates and Skypwith's estate in Conisford),
c 1287-1779. This section also includes some litigation records (notably concerning its Cringleford estates).

See also:
NCR 25a Title deeds, with some estate records, for the Hospital's country manors, rectories and other estates, including those for Alderford and Swannington and Haveringland, Bixley and Trowse, Burlingham, Limpenhoe and the hundred of Blofield, Calthorpe, Erpingham, Ingworth, Belaugh by Coltishall, Costessey and Ringland, Cringleford, Haddescoe, Hardley and Hales, Hethel and Carleton, Horsford, Horsham, Horstead and Hackford, Itteringham, Hardley and Langley, Loddon and adjoining parishes, Mundham, Reedham, Repps and Bastwick, and the Hundreds of Flegg, Salhouse, Seething and Sisland, Shropham, Sprowston, South Walsham and Upton, Thurlton and Thwait, Wicklewood, Wickmere and Wolterton, Wroxham, Wymondham, Kimberley, and Fobbing and Vange in Essex, East Winch, and the Free School.

NB. Medieval title deeds and some medieval counterpart leases to the Hospital's city estates, including to the site of the Hospital itself in the parish of St Helen, Norwich, are currently listed in NCR 4a. Other counterpart and draft leases, dated 1543-1806, are listed in NCR 22d/4-5 and 22e/1-7.

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  • latin
  • anglais

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Unités de description associées

All the records listed below are also held by the Norfolk Record Office:
Foundation:
For Pope Innocent IV's ratification, dated July 1251, of the foundation of the Hospital, see COL 5/2.
See also DCN 40/7 for another medieval copy of the foundation charter in the registrum septum of the Norwich priory.
For another copy of Edward VI's grant of the Great Hospital to the city in 1547, see the Liber Ruber Civitatis, NCR 17b/7.

Administrative and Finance:
For hospital rents memoranda, nd [? 1290-3], see PHI 519, 578X2
For Hospital Committee minutes (Trustees of Great, Boys', Girls' and Doughty's Hospital and Free School), 1708-1835, see N/MC 2/3-8.
For Church List Charities (including Great Hospital) minute books and accounts from 1837, see N/CCH/109 and N/MC 2-5.
For records of inmates, 1794-1952, see N/MC 11.
For an order for God's House [the Great Hospital] with a dietary for inhabitants, being the weekly bill of fare for morning, afternoon and night meals, account of coals used in winter and summer and a copy of the regulations of the [Great] Hospital, February 1766, see the draft assembly minutes in NCR 16c/9a, and for a contemporary printed copy of this order, see MS 453.
For further annual accounts and other financial records, 1687-1985, see N/MC 6-10 and 17.
For invoices of William Jackson, keeper of the Hospital called God's House, 1618-1619 in a bundle of city chamberlain's vouchers, NCR 21b/1.
For the will of Fayrefaxe (Fairfax), John, master of Hospital called God's House, of Norwich, 1612-1615, see Dean and Chapter will, PRDC 1/2/5 fo. 150 (on microfilm MF 474).

Estate and Title:
For further medieval and later title deeds relating to the Hospital's city and country estates see N/MC 19.
For later manorial court records, see N/MC 18.
For lease books and related indexes, see NCR 20d/1-10.

For many 'out of custody' medieval title deeds and other records relating to the Hospital's estates, see the Phillips collection, particularly PHI 25-44, 73-79, 94-103, 140-145, 168, 174-175, 197-201, 223-245, 249, 260, 263, 292-293, 306-313, 324-357, 378-383, 412-415, 423, 510-526, 621.

Also see MS 12044-12114 for further out-of-custody medieval and early modern title deeds and litigation records relating to the Hospital's country estates. These appear to have been received by the Norwich Public Library in November 1952, but their provenance before that date is unrecorded.

Descriptions associées

Note de publication

Carole Rawcliffe, 'The Hospitals of Medieval Norwich', Centre of East Anglian Studies (Norwich, 1995).
Carole Rawcliffe, 'Medicine for the Soul: the Life, Death and Resurrection of an English Hospital: St Giles's, Norwich, c 1249- 1550' (Stroud, 1999).
Ellie Phillips, 'Account rolls of the Great Hospital, Norwich 1549-50 and 1570-71' in 'Health and Hygiene in Early-Modern Norwich', NRS vol Lxxvi (2013).
See also: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/norf/vol2/pp442-450
fnn1 for a summary of antiquary, Francis Blomefield's description of the foundation and administration of the hospital prior to its dissolution.

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9440666c-5b63-43b7-b4b4-ae89ab94ce8d

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Created 25/10/2007 by Droip. Modified 01/11/2019 by Droip.

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