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have remained Incumbent of Barnwell all his life. The statutes in my possession are dated March 27th, 1620the very year of Lathom's death—and are, I believe, a few years older than any copy in the possession of the hospital, although it is possible that an older copy exists in the Parliamentary Records of the Elizabethan period, as the document in my possession at the commencement alludes “to the Stattute mayd in the Sessiones of Parliament begonn and holden at Westmynster the 24th day of October, in the 39th yeare of the rayne of our Late Soverayne Ladye of famious memory, Queene Elyzeabeth.” This would fix the date of the foundation of the hospital by Parliament at 1597, twenty-three years before the date of the statutes in my possession. The founder
apoynts that from time to time there shalbee in the sayd Hospitall to the number of sixteene poore lame or impotent peepell, which shallbee,” in his quaint phrase. ology, “ of itselfe a bodye corporat pollitick and shall consist of A Warden as head of the same howse, and fifteene other sole wemen or widdowes being poore peepell, as members of the same. The Warden superintending the hospital was to choose another woman from those in the house to assist her as Sub-warden.
The inmates were to be " no Drunkerd or common begger, nor so lame as not to be able to help themselves, nor Luinticke or madd,” or that “hath any infectious disease," and must be “no common swarrer or profaine Athist,” but must be “ of good and honest conversatione.” With regard to their pay or allowances, the Warden received “tow shillinges a weeke,” the Sub-warden “twenty and tow pence a weeke, and twelve other poore in the howse that are seniores” received “twenty pence Apeese.” The two remaining “juniores” got “sixteene pence Apeese paid to them every Saboth day.” Two “Baylifes” were to be appointed to manage the “Expences, Lands, Teinments and Rents belonging to the Institution, and to keepe the Stockes of mony belonginge to the house, because I thinke the Warden for most parte wilbe simple wemen not fit for that charge.” Then we come to a regulation regarding the management of the finances, which is somewhat singular and remarkable : “once a
yeare on the counte daye which is the first Sayboth in March or within five dayes after, hee or theay shall bring a trewe accounte in wrighting of all such monye as hee or theay haue receaved, or layde out conserning the Hospital Affaires ;” also, on the “counte daye theay shall reade and cast upp theire accountes oppenly in the Hospitall Hall, afore and in the heareing of divers of theire honest nighbours and the wardenes, and for theire paynes theay shalbe alowed to spende on themslues, theire nighbours that hereth the accounts, and the poore in the Howse, and the Scolemaster to make mery att A dinner fifty Shillinges :” a considerable sum in those days.
There are very precise rules laid down regarding necessary repairs to the house, and it appears that there was provision to be made for retaining always a “full stocke of fifty poundes” in hand, and if the stock got too low vacancies in the establishment were to remain in abeyance until the necessary amount accrued. now, again, to a rather quaint regulation. Lathom says : " that by experience I haue founde sum poore peepoll placed by me in Barnwell Hospital, doe not care of themselves how sluttishly they lodge and goe Apareled, but will
spare from there owne Backes and Boddeys to maintayne there Children or Kindred in pride or idelness," therefore he ordains “that the Warden or her Baylifes shall admonish them thereof, and looke certayne times in the yeare into there Lodging Chambers, that etch one of the poore in the Howse haue tow paire of sheets at lest, sufficient bedding, apparrill and other clothes to keepe them clenly and warme.” The worthy Parson enacts a stringent rule, disqualifying for ever any candidate for admission to the hospital seeking to obtain entrance thereto through bribery. There appears to have been a school- of thirty scholars attached to the hospital, and the Bailiffs were directed to pay the Schoolmaster yearly £3 6s. 8d. Lower down this page it seems that “the Warden shall alow the aforesayd xxx Scollers in that Scole xv poundes a yeare to by them cotes of Blewe cloth against Whitson Sonday.”
Next we come to a rule regarding two women to look
after the sick, obviously a very necessary statute.
Now we arrive at the last regulation, which begins with the following prudent heading : “An order to avoide Inconveniences yf any arise. Then its opening words run thus: “There is no man that can set downe things so playnely but that questiones and contentiones may arise ; therefore,” when such matters come to pass they are to be referred to the Parson of Barnwell St. Andrew, for his decision. It probably would not be very long before this salutary rule would have to be brought into play. Then, in the same statute, Parson Lathom gives full powers to “the Warden and her Baylifes,” to “make any other orders and Stattuts,” but, “ alwayes provided that those there orders mayd by them bee not contrary to God his Holy Lawes, the lawes of this Land, or the Orders and Stattuts mayd by me.” A short supplemental proviso finally enacts that, “ for the better continuance of these Stattutes” the founder enjoins “the Warden for the time being, at the cost and charges of the howse, shall once in xxx or xl yeares cause these Stattuts to be newly written out;” and, “that one booke of Stattuts fairly written shall alwayes remayne in a Deske in the Hall window, to the end, that they that will may reade them.” Further on, this volume contains seven short statutes, "chefly for the direction of them that dwell in the Hospittall.” The first provides that they “shall every Saboth and weeke day com to the Church yf the Bell doe ring or tole to prayer, on payne to forfeit for every defaulte 1 peny.” The third paragraph deals with offences committed by the inmates ; among which I find, in accordance in all probability with the ideas entertained by Royalty at that period, the crime of “Sossery” included. For such an offence, along with other grave misdemeanors, the women in the Hospital were to lose their place for ever. Number four has a curious regulation, not without considerable interest even in these times.
“None shall gather pease or other grayne in any manes landes, ether in the parish or out of the parish w'hout leave of the owner, except when the owner having caried first awaye his sheaves, uppon payne to forfeit for every default iji
penc. Next, when any of the “Inmates departs this life or be expelled, shee shall leaue her Bedstead, Coffer, Chare, and skole (stole ?) shelves, and her Gowne for them that succede her.” The next regulation provides that they shall warm in turns at the fire, which shall be kindled at the “descressione" of the Warden. The last of these regulations directs that a register shall be kept with the names of the inmates, and the periods they remained in the hospital.
The statutes with regard to the hospital itself have now come to an end, and are followed by certain rules and regulations to be observed by the Schoolmaster and scholars, who appear to have been under the charge of the “ Warden and her Baylifes.” Rule 4 says, the "Scolmaster shall not be absent from his scollers above ii working dayes in one quarter of the yeare ; except twelste dayes Easter weeke, and Whitson weeke.” Then the Schoolmaster was liable to be dismissed by the Warden and her Bailiffs “ yf he prove a rioter or drunkerd, a swarrer or live in any notorious vice, or use too much riger to his scollers, or profet not there children in his Scole.”
In conclusion, I may perhaps be permitted very briefly to allude to a curious table of qualifications for recipients of a charitable donation, ordered by the indefatigable parson to be given “ to vi poore folkes in Owndell, and iiii in Polbroke, xl shillings, to viji in Kerton xl shillings." The preamble declares “what manner of peopell they must bee.” “They must be such as have been hurte or hindered by warfare, or had his house Burned or Blowne downe-or, hath sum infectious or lothsum disease--or, hath been long sicke or lame-or had but one or ii Beastes, and one of them stolen or deade, and hee not able hym selfe to buy another.”
I have now run over the principal items of interest in this curious MS. Book of Regulations for the Hospital, established upwards of two centuries and a half ago; and I hope that some lesson may be gleaned in the charities founded and dispensed by men belonging to generations long since passed away. It has been too often the fashion in modern days to scoff and sneer at the charitable
organisations of past times, as the works of “the pious founder,” and of the “ dead hand;" but when confronted with the original documents themselves establishing such institutions, most right-minded persons will scarcely withhold their meed of admiration at works of men who have left their “footprints on the sands of time,” and traces of which still remain amongst us.