Old Cogan's Hospital in St. Peter's Street up until it was sold prior to 1870


"Died at Canterbury, in Cogan's House, Margaret, widow of the Rev. Thomas Johnson." MM1817


Mr. Cogan, of the city of Canterbury, gave by will, dated July 27, 1657, his mansion house in St. Peter's, Canterbury, in trust to the mayor and corporation, for the habitation of six poor widows of clergymen of the diocese of Canterbury, and endowed it with the lands of the late archbishop lying in Littlebourn; but these being resumed at the restoration, the house only remained unendowed. This was, however, in 1696, in some measure compensated by the benefaction of Dr. Aucher, a prebendary of the Cathedral, who vested an estate in trustees for the payment of ten pounds a year to six clergymen's widows, giving preference to those in Cogan's house. This house was, some time since, put into substantial repair from private subscriptions. WG


A view of the lovely wood paneling in the first floor of the building c. 1903


"In St. Peter's Street, on the south side, is Cogan's Hospital, which had been the residence of Mr. John Cogan, of this city, who, on his decease, in 1657, bequeathed it for the habitation of six poor widows of clergymen, whose maintenance is provided for by various small legacies, and donations from different persons. Some other Alms-houses have also been established in this City; and various donations of different descriptions given or bequeathed for the benefit of the indigent, have been connected with the respective parishes, though the management of these charities is principally directed by the Mayor and Aldermen."

Topographical, Historical, Descriptive, and Literary, Delineation's in Kent, E.W. Brayley, October, 1807


COGAN'S HOSPITAL, situated on the south side of St. Peter's-street, almost opposite to the late gate of the Black Friars, was founded by Mr. John Cogan, of this city, who by his will proved in 1657, gave his mansion, wherein he then dwelt in St. Peter's, Canterbury, together with his moiety of the manor of Littleborne, late the archbishop's, which he had purchased, and such lands and tenements, which should be purchased with his assets, after his debts and legacies were first paid, to his executors, to be settled on seoffees; his house, for the habitation, and the lands and tenements, for the support and maintenance of six poor widows of clergymen, who had lived in Canterbury, in Kent, or in London, to be nominated and approved of by the mayor of Canterbury, and five senior aldermen, or the greatest part of them, according to the regulations mentioned in the will; and he orders in it, that the sixth woman placed in the house, should be some poor widow or maid, who should attend on the other five widows, and keep clean the house, &c. for them; but his circumstances being perplexed and involved in difficulties, and the manor of Littleborne, for there seems to have been no other lands purchased, being again resumed by the archbishop at the king's restoration, this house was left alone without any endowment whatever for this charitable purpose; this was, however, in some measure compensated by future benefactors; the first of whom, Mr. Barling, by his will proved in 1670, devised one annuity or yearly rent of three pounds to be paid to the mayor and chamberlain of this city for ever, on September I, yearly; one moiety to the six poor widows inhabiting this house, and the other moiety towards the repair of the house and premises, as the mayor and six widows judged fit, the same to be paid out of his lands in Dering March for ever, with power of distrait, &c. Another and more efficient benefactor was Dr. John Aucher, one of the prebendaries of the cathedral, who vested an estate in trustees, for the payment of ten pounds each, to six clergymens' widows, with a preference to those in Cogan's hospital.

After which, Mrs. Elizabeth Lovejoy, by her will in 1694, among other charitable legacies, gave out of her personal estate, four pounds per annum, to be paid to Cogan's hospital, to be equally shared and divided among such poor as should inhabit and reside in, and receive the alms of the hospital, by equal half-yearly payments, without any deduction, on any pretence whatsoever. For this purpose, and to pay her other charitable legacies, she devised to the mayor and commonalty of the city of Canterbury, her leasehold estate, called Callis grange, in Thanet, in trust, to perform the purposes of her will. In addition to these gifts, the poor in Cogan's hospital are entitled to receive from Mrs. Masters's legacy, who died in 1716, yearly, the sixth-part of the interest due from one hundred and sixty-three pounds sixteen shillings and three pence, old South-sea annuities, being the sum vested in the mayor and commonalty of this city, in trust, for the several hospitals in Canterbury; of which a full account will be given hereafter, among the several benefactions made to this city. Besides which, the society established for the relief of the widows and orphans of the clergy, within this diocese, usually add ten guineas more yearly to each of these widows; which, with what little matter they have of their own, makes a comfortable retreat for them. But there being no sufficient fund left for the repair of the house, it became ruinous and would soon have been uninhabitable, had not the benevolence of private persons, by a handsome subscription, afforded a sufficient sum to put it in complete and substantial repair.*

Dr. Aucher's deed is dated anno 8 W. III. The revenues consist of the rent of a messuage or farm-house, with 55 acres of land in Worde, and 32 acres of marsh land in Burmarsh and Eastchurch, in Romney Marsh

*A public subscription in 1772 raised £343-13s: Hasted XI, p. 184 - this is likely the one they talk about used to repair the house


"Dr. (John) Aucher Preb. of Cant. (who died March 12, 1701) left an Estate of abt 90£ a Year for 6 poor widows of Clergymen in this Diocese. Each hath constantly 10 Guineas a year, & commonly 2 Gs more, & sometimes a Ch. of Coals. Each hath also 2Gs yearly from the (Canterbury) Society for Orphans & Widows of Clergy. (They dwell in a House called Cogans Hospital, because) given by Mr. Cogan, who gave also an Estate, which is lost; but the Mayor & Ald. who are his Trustees, let Dr. Auchers Widows live in the House. His Trustees are Dr. Geekie5, Walwyn, Randolph Pr. of Corpus; Mr. Taylor8 of Bifrons, & ADn Head, who agree to nominate by Turns. This from the ADns Letter Sept. 25. 1760. His Grant was made Dec. 8. 1696 & is in a Box in the Audit House, Cant. See an abstract of it.

Inst. to St. Peters on pres. by the K. patron thereof 1672 Entry B. III. 163. Collation to Westgate Holy Cross V. 1679 IV. 78 & on the next vacancy 87.

John Cogan founded the hospital in 1657. He was in charge of the sequestration of royalist and ecclesiastical estates in Kent, and endowed the hospital with lands which, in 1660, were returned to the original owners, leaving the hospital on a precarious financial footing. A public subscription in 1772 raised £343-13s: Hasted XI, p. 184"


In St. Peter's is an ancient institution called Cogan's Hospital, from its founder Mr. John Cogan, who, by will, dated 1567, devised his mansion here, and other estates, for the residence and support of six poor widows of clergymen. This endowment has been greatly improved by good stewardship, and increased by the liberality of other benefactors. On the site of this hospital was the principal gateway to a convent of Grey Friars or Franciscans, which anciently stood behind it. Some remains of this Abbey may still be traced by the curious antiquary, but no vestige remains of the church which was attached to it. 1837



Cogan's House/St. Aucher's Charity c. 1840's

Mary Wilson

Elizabeth Warbuton

"January 25th, 1845, death at Canterbury, Elizabeth, relict of the Rev. W. P. Warburton, Vicar of Lydd. GM 1845

Elizabeth Mary Moore Warbuton

Sarah Keith*


*Patrick Keith, M.A. 1816,.....died 25 Jany 1840, aged 70 years...Mrs. Keith lived for some years in Cogan's Hospital at Canterbury, where she died. Their beautiful but unfortuante daughter is understood to have been the heroine of a book published some twenty years ago, in which reference was made ot persons and scenes in Ashford and the neighbourhood. ACvo.16 1886

"Also in St. Peter's Street, on the south side is Cogan's Hospital, founded by Mr. Cogan, 1657, for the habitation of six poor widows of clergymen. The right of parsonage is now in dispute between the trustees and corporation." FS 1843


"Cogan's Hospital was founded in 1657, and endowed with an estate, by John Cogan, for six clergymen's widows; but the only property derived from his bequest was the site of the hospital, and the institution is indebted to subsequent benefactions for the whole of its income. John Aucher, D.D. by deed in 1696, gave a rent-charge of £60 for six clergymen's widows; with preference to those in Cogan's Hospital; and a society raises annually by subscription £36, which is divided among three widows of clergymen."

From A Topographical Dictionary of England 1848




Susannah BIRT

Elizabeth WEBSTER


"Cogan's Hospital in St. Peter's Street, was founded in 1199, and maintains six poor widows of clergymen. Within the hospital are the remains of some walls of the Grey or Franciscan Friars." 1858


"Cogan's Hospital. Founded 1657. Income derived from funded and landed property. Apartments for 6 Clergy Widows, each receiving (including Dr. Aucher's bequest) 40l. per annum.

Trustees, Archdeacons Croft and Harrison, Revs. W. J. Chesshyre, Hon. D. Finch, and Rev. R. Moore." List of Charities, 1859


"Also, in St. Peter's Street, on the south side, is Cogan's Hospital, founded by Mr. Cogan, 1657, for the habitation of six poor widows of clergymen. The right of patronage was for a time in dispute between the trustees and the City Corporation." COT 1860


"Mr. Cogan, of the City of Canterbury, by his will, dated 27th of July, 1657, gave his mansion house in St. Peter's, Canterbury, in trust to the Mayor and Corporation, for the habitation of six poor widows of Clergymen of the diocese of Canterbury. The Hospital was without endowment; but in the year 1696 Dr. Aucher, a Prebendary of the Cathedral, vested an estate in Trustees for the payment of 10 pounds per annum each to six widows of incumbents in the diocese, with preference to those in Cogan's house.

By the improvement of the property, and by later benefactions, the income has been increased, so that of late each widow has received 50 pounds yearly. They have also an allowance of coals, and generally receive 5 pounds a year from the Diocesan Society for the relief of Clergymen's Widows and Orphans, with smaller gifts from other sources.



The old house has lately been sold, and new buildings, which bear the name of Aucher College, have been erected (1870) in the parish of St. Dunstan-without-the-Walls. These buildings consist of six villa residences, of which three only are at present occupied. The Trustees would be glad to receive applications for the vacant houses and pensions from ladies properly qualified (who must be not under fifty years of age); but, in consequence of the expenses lately incurred in building, they cannot a present offer to new inmates the same amount of income which has hitherto been enjoyed by those already on the foundation.

The Trustees are, Archdeacon Harrison, the Rev. J. C. Robertson, Canon of Canterbury, John Starr, Esq., and Montague Kingsford, Esq., the last-named gentleman acting as secretary."

From the Ecclesiastical Gazette, 1870-71 - March 14, 1871


"Canterbury - Cogan's Hospital, Aucher's Charity and Sykes' Benefaction. Six Villas; 25l. Pensions."1878


"Cogan's Hospital now devoted to the widows of clergymen, exists in a series of handsome villa-like semi-detached houses on the London Road, just beyond Saint Dunstan's." COT1879


"Cogan's Hospital, founded in 1657, in St. Peter's Street, as an alms-house for poor widows of clergymen, has of late years been removed to new buildings in the London Road."

Rambles Round Old Canterbury, 1882

Map from J.Charles Cox, Canterbury; A history of the Ancient City, 1905



"Cogan's Hospital on the London road, but originally in St. Peter's street, was founded in 1199 for six poor widows of clergymen; within the old buildings are the remains of a dwelling belonging to the Grey or Franciscan Friars, who were settled here in 1224 by Henry III; the premises, now occupied by Mr. A.Wells, contains some very good old oak carvings; the six houses now forming this hospital stand on the London road, near St. Dunstan's church; each inmate receives 25 pounds yearly and a house rent free."

From Kelly's 1903 directory of Kent



Mrs. KEARNEY, Aucher Villas, London Road, Canterbury, member of the East Kent Natural History Society



Mrs. SMALLWOOD, 1 Aucher Villas, London Road



1. Mrs. JONES

2. Mrs. GILDER


4. Mrs. AMIES


Occupants - Margaret Johnson (St. Peter's Parish)

A Mr. Barling left legacies in 1670 to Cogan's Hospital, Canterbury

Mrs. Keith (widow of Patrick Keith, M.A., 1816, d. Jan 25, 1840, aged 70) lived some years in Cogan's Hospital at Canterbury, where she died.



© T. Machado 2007