St. Mildred

In 1666 the Records of the Hospital were in London and were burned during the great fire


"Maynard and Cotton's Hospital, in Castle-street*, is for aged men and women, under the patronage of the Mayor."

From 1858 directory of Kent, Melville & Co. *should read Hospital Lane



Catherine Benskin's Gift - Extract from the Will of Catherine Benskin, of Saint Mildred's dated 19th August 27th Elizabeth.

"Item: I will that my executors shall pay to the Maior and Cominaltie of the said cytty of Canterbury for the time being twenty pounds, of good and lawful money of England, within one yere next after my decease; and my will is, that the said Maior and Cominaltie of the same citty for the time being shall with the said money, within one year next after the receipt thereof buy one tenement within the said citty of Canterbury, or within the liberties of the same, and that the yearly profits and revenues of the said tenement shall be and remain to the use of the brothers and sisters of the hospital commonly called Mainard's Spittle, set and being within the said parish of Saint Mildred for ever; and my will is, that the said Maior and Cominaltie of the said city of Canterbury for the time being shall, upon the receipt of the said twenty pounds, be bound in writing obligatory to my executor, his heirs and assigns, in double the value thereof, either to bestow the same twenty pounds in manner and form as is aforesaid, and to the use as is aforesaid, or else to repay the same twenty pounds to my executor, or to his assigns to the use of my said executor, his heirs and assigns, within one yere and a quarter next after the said receipt thereof."


Purchase Deed - 1588. By Indenture, dated 28th August, 30th Elizabeth, made between Thomas London, of the city of Canterbury, shoemaker, on the one part, and the Mayor and Commonalty of the said city of Canterbury, on the other part;

Reciting the above bequest of the said Catherine Benskin, and that the said Mayor and Commonalty intending the true performance of the said testament according to the true meaning of the said Catherine, had for the consideration of 27l. to the said Thomas London paid, agreed with the said Thomas for the purchasing of a messuage and premises thereinafter described.

Then the said Thomas London did for the consideration of the said 27l. to him paid, give, grant, bargain and sell unto the said Mayor and Commonalty - "All that messuage, garden and other the appurtenances to the same belonging, situate in the said city, in the street there called Castle Street, in the parish of St. Margaret's; to the messuage and yard and garden of William Bixe towards the south; to the orchard of the said William Bixe towards the west; to the tenement and garden of our sovereign lady the Queen, north, and to the said Castle Street, east.

To hold unto the said Mayor and Commonalty and their successors for ever.

This estate forms part of the possessions of the Brothers and Sisters of Maynard's Spital, and is leased by them by Indentures under their common seal, the same as their other estates, and they receive the rents and profits thereof.

March 1833, John Nutt, Town Clerk


Noisome way in Stour Street between Mr. Roderam and Maynard Spetyll. CC/JQ/352/5



James Clarke, Prior

John Fill, Brother

Sarah Stacey, Sister

Wilmot Hayward, Sister

Katherine Foord, Sister

Ann Gore, Sister

John Masters, Brother

Thomas Saffery, Brother

Sarah Thwaites, Sister

Sarah Dane, Sister

Ann Thwaites, Servant



Leonard Cotton Esquir some time maire of thes citye did place in this hospital .. Brother and .... Sisters W yearly stipend forever according to his last will & testament made in y yeare 1609? whose charity is here rememberd by Joseph Colf .. of this spital.


The Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald, Saturday, April 12, 1879 - County Intelligence - We understand that the Mayor (C. Goulden, Esq) has presented the almshouse in Hospital Lane, vacant by the death of Mrs. Bettsworth, to Mrs. Stone, widow of the late Mr. George Stone, who was for many years governor of the city goal.


Kentish Gazette & Canterbury Press, July 26, 1902 - "In the Matter of Maynard and Cotton's Hospital, in the City of Canterbury, in the County of the same City. The trustees give notice that they will on Thursday, the 28th day of August, proceed to let the undermentioned Dwelling House and Shop, Garden, Yard, and Cottage being part of the property of the Charity, as from the 11th day of October, 1902, for the term of 7, 14, or 21 years. Applications from persons desirous to become tenants of this property must be made in writing to the Trustees or their Clerk at his office, 38 St. Margaret's Street, Canterbury, on or before the 25th day of August 1902. Particulars and Conditions of Letting may be had on application at the Clerk's office. The Trustees reserve the right of rejecting any tender. Description of the Property. House, Shop, Yard, Garden, and Cottage, Nos. 56 and 57, Castle Street, Canterbury, in the occupation of Mr. George COLE. Dated this 15th day of July 1902. John Plummer, Clerk to the Trustees."




"A remarkable instance of the endurance of our institutions is shewn in this charitable foundation, which has for 700 years afforded a retreat for aged poor citizens, and which still happily fulfils its pious intent.

Maynard's Hospital, or Spital, is situate in a small lane leading out of Stour-street. The founder of it was one Mayner, a citizen of Canterbury, dwelling in St. Mildred's parish in the time of Henry II., according to Somner, although the inscription on the Hospital says Edward II. He was a man, it seems, of noted wealth, and was as such surnamed Mayner le Rich. Ethelstane and Winulphus his sons, and afterwards Maynerus, probably his grandson, lived in the reigns of Richard I. and King John. In the first year of John, Winulphus was one of the praepositi of the city; and Maynerus, in 13 Hen. III., was governor of the city. The Spital, together with the small chapel belonging to it, was dedicated to the Virgin Mary; the possessions are settled on the prior, brethren, and sisters for the time being, in whose name all leases are granted under the ancient seal.



The mayor and corporation appoint the master, (which office is honorary,) who is generally the senior alderman. The mayor has the nomination of brethren and sisters, who must be upwards of fifty years of age, of good and honest conversation, unmarried, and have resided for seven preceding years in the city.

In 1617 the house and chapel were repaired by Joseph Colf, Esq., alderman, and master of the Hospital. In 1666 the records of the Hospital being sent to London on a suit then depending, were destroyed in the Great Fire. In 1703 the buildings of the Spital and chapel were blown down by the Great Storm, when they were rebuilt from the foundation with brick.

The Hospital has a common seal, on which is the representation of the Virgin and Child.

Cotton's Hospital adjoins to Maynard's, and is, indeed, part of it; it consists of three additional lodgings, which were erected for one brother and two sisters, by Leonard Cotton, of St. Margaret's, alderman, and mayor in 1580. The buildings are very small and mean in appearance, but they have good gardens attached.

I fear I have rather trespassed on your space, but hope your antiquarian readers will find something to interest them in the account of our quiet parish.

I am, &c., William Welby*, Churchwarden of St. Mildred, Canterbury

Gentlemen's Magazine 1860 *A William Welby, was also High Baliff of County Court, living at 18 Bridge Street in 1851



A Book Entitled: "The History and Antiquities of the Three Archiepiscopal Hospitals at and near Canterbury; viz. St. Nicholas, at Harbledown; St. John's, Northgate; and St. Thomas, of Eastbridge; with some Account of the Priory of St. Gregory, the Nunnery of St. Sepulchre, the Hospitals of St. James and St. Lawrence, and Maynard's Spittle. By John Duncomb, M.A., Vicar of Herne, and Master of the Hospitals of St. Nicholas and St. John; and the late Nicholas Battely, M.A. Vicar of Beaksbourn, and Editor of Somner's Antiquities of Canterbury." "...Juvat antiquos accedere fontes, Atque haurire......." London, printed by and for J. Nichols. MDCCLXXXV.

Plates, W. View of St. Nicholas Hospital, Harbledown. Arthur Nelson del. 1766, 2 - Curious Maple Bown at Mapledown, W. View of St. John's Hospital, Canterbury, J. Raymond, del. 1784, Seals of Harbledown and St. John's Hospital. N. View of Eastbridge Hospital, Canterbury, taken from King's Mill, Raymond del. Cook sc. South View of Kingsbridge and Mill, and of the Church of All Saints at Canterbury, according to the late improvements taken (from the Parlour Window of the King's Head Inn), March 11, 1780. J. Pridden del. Seals of Eastbridge Hospital, &c. View of St. Gregory's Priory, Canterbury. Ruins of St. Thomas's Chapel, Canterbury, as they appeared in 1781. F. Perry del. W. View of St. Sepulchre's Nunnery, and N.E. View of Maynard's Spital, Canterbury. W. Groombridge del. 1785. Seals of St. Gregory's Priory, St. Maynard's Spital, &c.



© T. Machado 2007