Page:Chronicle of the Grey friars of London.djvu/27

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but no such establishment was as yet in contemplation. The two parishes of Christ church and Saint Bartholomew's the Less were fully constituted by Henry's grant, and so was the control of the city over the hospital of Saint Bartholomew; and the city retained all the estates which the grant conveyed, neither receiving or requiring any subsequent confirmation of them from king Edward the Sixth. Among those estates was the late house of the Grey Friars, but with no specific instructions as to the purposes to which it should be devoted. Its disposal appears to have been left to the discretion of the citizens; by whom the measures proposed for the relief of the poor were kept in view, though possibly they were somewhat delayed in their execution. They in fact required time, and funds; for it was part of the original arrangement that the royal grants should be met by a general contribution from the citizens. Besides, the first measure accomplished was the hundred beds at St. Bartholomew's, [1] though those were soon found to be insufficient.

A commission was appointed by the king, and books were sent round to all the wards of the city, in order to collect contributions. This, as in more modern days, would occupy some time. On the 17th Feb. 1551–2, "the bookes of the reliefe of all the wards of London towards the new Hospitals" were received by the king's commissioners; and on that occasion the council dined with master Cowper the sheriff.[2]

In May 1552 we find bishop Ridley writing to secretary Cecill,[3]

  1. "The ordre of the Hospital of St Batholomews in West-Smythfielde in London" is a curious little 12mo, volume of 70 leaves, printed "Londoni. Anno 1552"—before the institution of the other city hospitals. It may be seen in the City Library at Guildhall.
  2. Stowe's Chronicle.
  3. The bishop's letter is printed in Strype's Stowe, fol. 1720, vol. i. p. 176, and in Trollope's Christ's Hospital, p. 37. At the same time the city presented a memorial to the privy council "to sue for the king's majesty's house at Bridewell," and unfolding the scheme of their proposed charities, which will be found in Malcolm's Londinium, ii. 551.