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TheWardens: Managing a Late Medieval Hospital
by Alan Rogers
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ISBN: 9781845495992
Format: softback
170x244 mm
(6.69x9.61 inches)
Pages: 300
Imprint: abramis
Cover Price: £25.00
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TheWardens: Managing a Late Medieval Hospital
 
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  • Description

This exceptional account book includes some journal entries of successive wardens of Browne's Hospital, Stamford,1495-1518, revealing their frustrations as they sought to manage far-flung rural estates in Lincolnshire, Rutland and Northants, as well as in the town of Stamford. They faced declining income which led them to leave some places in the Hospital empty (the entries and departures of the bedesmen and women are recorded, thus providing an almost complete register of the Hospital inmates).

Much of the wardens' time and most of the income was spent on 'reparacions' to the scattered properties. The wardens were running a large builders' yard from the Hospital site; materials were purchased in bulk, and tradesmen from the town and surrounding villages were hired. The tenants were involved in a number of disputes, so that the wardens spent much time countering distraints, meeting lawyers, attending courts and taking out writs. Above all, they were in dispute with the gild of All Saints in Stamford over the gild's use of the Hospital as its gildhall, a suit which incurred extended visits to London recorded in detail. The stress on the wardens is clear: two died in office and two resigned after only a few years. The care of the inmates must have been left to the confrater.

The text, written mostly in English with dialect words and idiosyncratic spellings, is a good example of midlands English usage of this date. A substantial Introduction is followed by the text of the account book, and appendices of associated documents from The National Archives and the Hospital archives, summaries of accounts, and a glossary (especially of building terms). There is a full index.

Published by the Stamford Survey Group (Stamford and District Local History Society) in association with abramis academic publishers, with generous assistance from the Lincoln Record Society.

 
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