John Howes.

John Howes' ms., 1582 : being a brief note of the order and manner of the proceedings in the first erection of the three royal hospitals of Christ, Bridewell & St. Thomas the Apostle online

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Online LibraryJohn HowesJohn Howes' ms., 1582 : being a brief note of the order and manner of the proceedings in the first erection of the three royal hospitals of Christ, Bridewell & St. Thomas the Apostle → online text (page 1 of 4)
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158 2.



Being "a brief note of the order and manner of the proceedings
in the first erection of "

Reproduced and Printed at the charges of


a Governor of Christ's Hospital ;

With Introduction and Notes by


Seiiior Assistant Clerk of ChrisVs Hospital,


Secretary of the Benevolent Society of Blues.



1^ f^ ^ 7 i>


Among the ancient Archives of Christ's Hospital are
many interesting Records : —

(i.) The Registers, containing the names of all
Children admitted on the Foundation, and
beginning in 1566.
(ii.) The Court Minutes.

(iii.) The Annual Accounts, showing the yearly
receipts and payments, date back to 1552,
when the Monastic Buildings of the Gray
Friars were litted for the reception of the
'< Blew " Boys and Girls.
But, among them all, the small volume herein repro-
duced is not the least interesting. Not only is it the
earliest History of the Royal Hospitals, but it vividly
portrays the state of the City of London consequent on
the suppression, — contrary to the desire and advice of
Cranmer and Gresham as representing the Church and the
Citizens, — of the Spitals attached to the Monasteries.

John Howes, the writer of the MS., was a Citizen and
Grocer, who had been *" apprentice and servant" (i.e.,
clerk or private secretary) within the Gray Friars to
Richard Grafton, the first Treasurer General.

Richard Grafton, Citizen and Grocer, of London," pp. 75-76, by Mr. John
Abernethy Kingdon, F.E.C.S,, privately printed, 1901.


( 4 )

A Minute of Court, 27 September, 1558, states that :
" There was also assigned to be the Renter for the
" gatheringe and collectinge aswell the rentes of the landes
" in the Citie as also of all the landes in the Countrie John
" House serunt w*'' M'' Grafton at the speciall request of his
" said M"" who also hath promysed to aunswer for his said
" serunts doings from tyme to tyme to whome theare is
" graunted yerely for the doinge thereof vi^' xiii' iiij*^."

Another Minute of 24 July, 1559, orders : " That John
" House serunt wyth M' Grafton shall attende upon the
" Scruteners of Thospitalls for the tyme being who aftre
" knowledge to him Geuen by willm Smothinge aforesaid
" [the Steward] shall enquyer and searche out for the
" payments of all the legacies so geuen and make thereof
" rehearsall to the Scruteners or gatherers of them who
" shall receave the same."

A Minute of 22 August, 1559, adds : " And that John
" House for the collectinge or knowledge geuinge to the
" Scruteners of all the said legacies shall likewyse haue of
" eu^'ye pounde receaued ij*^ and none other fee or wages."

The following entry in the Register of Lands shows
that he remained a resident within the Hospital : " John
" Howe, Grocer, for a Tenement on West side of the
" Great HaU of ye Hospitall, a yaarde and a Quille of
" water yerely x?."

( ^ )

On 22 November, 1565, " John Howe Groc' had
" graunted to him this daie aswell the contynewaunce in
" his dwelling house as also to pay but iij^' rent from
" Mychellmas 1564 notw*''standinge that before this he
" was apoynted to pay iiij^' by the yeare."

Thus he became intimately acquainted with all details
of the foundation and management of the House he loved
so well and served so faithfully.

The MS. itself is bound in white vellum, and the ink is
blacker than most of that of the present day.

The Memo, signed " Kistrode " shows that a century
after the MS. was written its contents were known and
valued, but it appears to have been subsequently forgotten
until 1888, when it was discovered while search was beino;
made for evidence in support of the Hospital's Case before
the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council.

Now, out of love for his old school, Mr. Septimus
Vauglian Morgan, one of the Governors (and Brother of
Mr. Alderman Walter Vaughan Morgan, the first Treasurer
of Christ's Hospital under the Scheme of 1890), has caused
this facsimile to be produced, — moved thereto by seeing a
similar reproduction of the Archives of the Grocers'
Company, of which Richard Grafton was at one time
Upper Master Warden.

The reading of the Rev. E. H. Pearce's dehghtful

( (^ )

" Annals of Christ's Hospital " (published in 1901) will

give zest to the perusal wz extenso o£ John Howes'


Let us praise God for the good work of

Nicholas Ridley, the Preacher ;

Edward, the Royal Hearer and Doer ;

Lord Mayor Dobbs and the other wise Counsellors ;

" who had one heart to do the commandment of the

King " ; and

Richard Grafton,

the patient and fearless Worker through the early days of

stress and storm. For, at a critical time in the history of

London, they were enabled to start three noble Institutions,

which the munificence of generations of Governors have

built up into the Religious, Royal and Ancient Foundations

of Christ, S*" Thomas and Bridewell.


Christ's Hospital,

London, E.C,
June, 1904.

Note. — His son, Edmund Howes (baptised at Christ Church, Newgate Street,
19 July, 1 562) " set out with enlargements Stow's Chronicle after his death "
as Strype relates ; and was instrumental in persuading John Dow to place
on a permanent footing the Music School of Christ's Hospital.




This paper Book was shewed to W"" Parry Gent at the
time of his exarainacon taken in Chancery on the parte
and behalfe of William Gibbon Esq"" deft, at the suyte of
the Major and Cittizens of the Citty of London Gover-
nours of the S*^ Bartholomewes Hospitall neere Smithfield
London, Comp^'


William Parry was Clerk of Clirist's Hospital from 1653 to 1704 ; and William
Gibbon was Treasurer from 1662 to 167i).

The suit referred to probably related to a claim for 500 marks a year payable
to St. Bartholomew's Hospital by the Citizens of London under the terms of the
Charter of Henry VIII.



Piighte Worshipfull, I have vppon good occasion collected
& gathered together a brefe note of the order & manner of
the proceadmgs in the fyrste ereccon of the Hospitalles of
Chrystes, Brydewell, & S* Thomas the Apostle, wherein
3^ou shall not onlye see the forwarde willing myndes, &
the bountyfull iyberall handes of a nomber of good men :
whoe only spent theire tyme and studie {ad. sumn.) to
advaunce & sette forwarde this famous worcke : But allso
you shall reade of a nomber of notable platts and devyses
layed for the accomplyshing of the same : As allso the
carefull myndes of the Governo"'^ to preserve the state
of these Hospitalles in those daungerous dales of Quene
Marie : when there was nothing ells looked for (but
downe w^^ them, downe w*^ them).

William Norton (Treasurer 1582 to 1593), Thomas Audley, and John Bancks
(Assistant Treasurer) were all considerable Benefactors to Christ's Hospital.

( ii. )

Things wortbie to be bad in memorie & to be knowne
to suche as shall succeade in office. fFor as the phisicon
can never cure his patient excepte he fyrste examyn the
ground of his dissease, — So lykewyse you that ar called
to be governo''' sball never knowe when you doe well
excepte you vnderstande what others have done before
you. I have thoughte good therefore to present vnto
you these brefe notes, not that I meane to have them
publyshed or made knowne to the worlde, for that were
not convenyent. But for that yt bathe pleased god to
calle you to be Governo'^^ of the poore, A worcke no
doubte of greate good service, & a fytte place for men of
good conscience, knowledge, & discrecon : suche as

fcr^^fjoe^ ^Y^ ^vrs=s^ -^/^^ -fyrr^^^y^

( iii. )

beare a mercyfull mynde & will not make theire will a
la we, but have a fatherly care, and seke by all meanes to
contynewe love & peace, & to preserve those good things
w°^ other good men before have gyven gotten & lefte to
the relefe & maintenance of the poore : & not by extreame
dealing to bring in question those things w"^ have bene
longe in quyet, for theire is nothinge gyven to the relefe
& comforte of the poore : but yt fyrst proceadethe of love
& good lyking, & so by wyse discrecon grave and discrete
governement yt male be contynued and augemented.
And for that the things conteyned in this booke dothe
only intreate of matters incident to yo'' governemente I
have therefore for dyvers causes made choyce of yo"" wo'^'^^
vnto whome I will imparte these my traveiles

" By wige discretion, grave and digereet gm-ernment it may be continued and
augmented."— The present rent roll of Christ's Hospital, £G9,000 a year, is the best
testimony to the judicious care of the Governors in the i>ast, and had they not
been obliged to sell many of their properties in London and elsewhere, under
compulsory powers, the Hospital's income would be very much larger.

fW2^ Q^ofU- Q.K,h£i^ yXj^^irir- xj^c^ ^^^tT" fo ^^ Gtj^tt-

( 4 )

& Yorke. At w"'' tymc yt appearethe by o' histories
that the people gave themselves to faccous warres &
ydellnes & to lyve vppon spoyles. These warres
contynued many yeres by reason whereof there was suche
a nomber of ydell pylfering Roges that yt was many
yeres before these owtlawes & Rogyshe })eople could be
reduced to conformetie.

Thirdly, in the Latter tyme of that moste famous &
worthie prynce king Henry the eighte after y® Wynning
of BuUaigne & ending of the king's warres yt appeareth
that there were greate nombers of poore lame ydell &
maysterles men dispersed into dyvers parts of this Realme,
but cliiefely aboute this Cittie of London, tfor w""^ cause
that moste noble prynce gave order to the Lords

" Qreate nombers of poore," Jf-c. — "Through some causes not now thoroughly
" understood, the City of London had, about the reigns of Henry VIII. and
"Edward VI., become the receptacle of thousands, whose idleness, want of regulai-
" employment or oilier means had made them fit objects for relief or coiTectiou." —
Malcolm's Loudinium II., p. 554,


i?«.re ^(A.^^^^^T^^^^.'Sx,.^ . ^^J^.'K^.;

^^-^ 7



C 5 )

Maior & Cyttezens to provide that the wounded souldiers
& disseased wand ring people mighte be cured and releved.
And the better to encourage the Cyttezens to proceade in
this accon the king gave vnto the L. Maior Comunalltie &
Cyttezens the mansion house of S* Bartholomewes to be
made a house to harbour & cure the lame & disseased
people & gave w*^'''" 380''' 4'- 2^'- yerely to the relieie &
comforte of the said poore.

Dignitic. This was a noble foundacon of this wortliie king in

the latter ende of his raigne his fame shall never die so
longe as the worlde endurethe.

Dutie. I^ w^s & ys a goodly foundacon & did greate good

"St. Bartholomewes" — v. Rev. E. H. Pearce's "Annals of Christ's Hospital,''
pp. 11-13. — The Hospital of St. 13artholoincw-thc-Less, originally f()un(leT.^y— WS -H*/^

( fi )

in the Cyttie During the greatest parte of king Edwards
raigne, but in the latter yeres of king Edwarde the
officers began to be necligent and chefely the bedells so
that the streates & lanes in London began to swarm e w*''
beggers & roges for nothing can be so suerly establ3^shed
but that tyme maie alter & chaunge the good entente
& meaning of the fyrste ffounders, as hereafter shall
appcare wherein the lyke occasion is offered. Butt this
was not only y* cause at that present, for at that tyme y^
nomber of the poore did so encrease of all sorts, that the
churches, streates and lanes Were fylled daylye w*^ a
nomber of Loathsome Lazars botches & sores so that
St. Bartholomewes hospitall Was not

( 7 )

able to receyve the ten the parte of those that then were to
be provided for. Wherevppon the preachers in theire
pulpitts moved tlie people to provide & to gyve lyberally
to the relefe of those poore people. But espeaciallye that
worthie Bysshoppe Rj^dley whoe in a sermone before the
kings ma"® did so zealouslye move the king to have a care
for the relefe of the poore that the king after the ende of
the sermone sent for the Bysshoppe & conferred w*'' him
What course mighte best be taken for the relefe of the
poore. After w'''' conference the king Wrotte his Ires to
the L. Maior, and willed the Bysshoppe to signefie so
muche to the L. Maior that yt was the kings pleasure
that he should e be the

'' The L. Maior" — r. "Annals of Christ's Hospital," p. 16,— Sir Richard Dobbs,
Lord Mayor, 1551-2. His Portrait hangs in the Court Room of Christ's Hospital,
London, and is reproduced, from a photograph by Mr. Charles E. Browne, B.Sc,
in " Annals of Christ's Hospital." Al his funeral in May, 1556, all the Governors
attended " with ther gren stayffes in ther handes." (Machyn's Diary, pp. 105-6).
r. Ridley's farewell letter to the Citizens of London in Trollope's " History of
Christ's Hospital." p. 46 ; and "Bridewell Royal Hospital," by Colonel A. J.
Copeland, F.S.A., p. 25.


J. l^^tr^M—

( 8 )




brynger of the said Ires to the ende that the L. Maior
shoulde be the more carefull to accomplyshe the kings

What good successe followed of the kings Ires.

These gracious Ires of the king and good motion of the
Bysshoppe tooke very good effecte.

I praie you lett me heare what followed.

I shalbe over tedious vnto you, the discourse is longe &
the matter intricate.

My desyer is to heare the whole discourse & therefore

" King's letters."— Endeaynarsi have been made to trace the original letter,
but in vain. At that time such documents were regarded as private, and not
oflBcial, so were retained by the Lord Mayor.

^l(V*ih'«: p^^yvxrt^tiX>^



V. A -^ At'l|p/^;0^.v*4^y» ^o-Mk-tf^—

( y )


I praie you leave no parte vntouched.

I will accomplyshe yo'" request so farre foorthe as my
knowledge & memorie will penny tt mee,

Dignitie. Proceade.

Dutie. After the L. Maior & his bretheren had well consydered

of the kings Ires they thoughte yt very convenyent to
calle tenne or twelve of the wysest cittezens & to appoynte
certaine Aldermen to mete & conferre w*'' them what were
best to be done. And to sette downe in wrijrhtinoj some
plattforme w'^'' waie these greate nombers of ydell rogishe
wandring beggers mighte be removed oute of the streates &

^,j^/t^]r ^^^^,.^^ / ^w^^y-j^.a:^2^^^^


( 10 )

every sorte placed in sundrie houses the younge the aged
the sore & the lustie roge & every of these to be made
proffitable members in the comon wealthe.

Difrnitie. I lyke very well of yo'* begining. I praie you goe on.

Dutie. This worthie Bysshoppe Mr. Docto' Rydley whoe was

the fyrste begetter of those good beginings did not cease,
but effectually followed the L. Maior that then was
Sr. Richarde Dabbes whoe was a verye earnest man in
setting forwards of this worcke. So that after dyvers
meetings of the Byshoppe & other wyse Cyttezens they
devysed a booke wherein they had sette downe in what
sorte & manner they woulde have these poore





( 11 )

provided for.

Dignitie. Can you sette downe brefelye to wliat efFecte that booke


Dutie. I will Doe my good will. fFyrste they devysed to take

oute of the streates all the fatherles children & other poore
mens children that were not able to kepe them & to bringe
them to the late dissolved house of the Greie ffryers w*'*'
they devysed to be an hospitall for them Avhere they
shoulde have meate drincke & cloths, lodging and learning
and officers to attende vppon them. They allso devysed
that there should be provysion

'''•Late dissolved house'' 4"

1 3 4

Online LibraryJohn HowesJohn Howes' ms., 1582 : being a brief note of the order and manner of the proceedings in the first erection of the three royal hospitals of Christ, Bridewell & St. Thomas the Apostle → online text (page 1 of 4)