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THE FIRST ORDER AND MANNER

OF THE ERECTION OF CHRIST'S

HOSPITAL

Christ's Hospital erected was, a passing deed of pity,
What time Sir Richard Dobbs was mayor of this most famous

city;

Who careful was in government, and furthered much the same ;
Also a benefactor good, and joyed to see it frame ;
Whose picture here his friends have set, to put each wight in

mind,
To imitate his virtuous deeds as God hath us assigned.

-Lines written under an old Portrait.

THAT learned and pious child, Edward VI., being, in the year of our Lord 1552, much moved by a "fruitful and godly exhortation” of Master Ridley, “to the rich to be merciful to the poor, did suddenly, and of himself, send for the said Bishop as soon sermon was ended, willing him not to depart until that he had spoken with him.” The King, thereupon, in earnest and simple words, declared his zeal to be careful in obeying “the express commandment of Almighty God to have compassion of His poor and needy members ;” bidding the Bishop instruct him “what ways are best to be taken therein.”

as his

“This worthy Bishop, Master Doctor Ridley, who was the first begetter of those good beginnings, did not cease, but effectually followed the L. Mayor, that then was, Sir Richard Dobbs, who was a very earnest man in setting forwards of this work. So that after divers meetings of the Bishop and other wise citizens they devised a book wherein they had set down in what sort and manner they would have these poor provided for.

“ First to take out of the streets all the fatherless children and other poor men's children that were not able to keep them, and to bring them to the late dissolved house of the Greyfriars (granted by Henry VIII. to the city for the relief of the poor], which they devised to be a Hospital for them, where they should have meat, drink, and clothes, lodging and learning, and officers to attend upon them.

“ To be taken out of the streets all the lame and aged people such as had not any place to go unto. And they should be conveyed to the Hospital of St. Thomas in Southwark, when they should have meat, drink, and lodging, Chirurgeons and other officers to attend upon them.

“That all the idle and lusty rogues, as well men as women, should be all taken up and be conveyed into some house [Bridewell], where they should have all things necessary, and be compelled to labour. “ I will show you

what sums of

money were raised, and by what means, if it please you to attend the hearing.

“Thirty persons did commonly meet every day in the inner chamber in the Guildhall, where they first thought good to begin with themselves, and agreed to press upon every one of themselves a several sum of money, according to his calling and ability, some £20, some £10, some more, some less. All preachers, ministers, churchwardens, and sidesmen, with three or four of the better sort of every parish, were set to draw on

.

the rest of their parishioners to

a frank benevolence and weekly pension. Boxes were also provided, and there was delivered to every Innholder one, to the end that they might gather of their guests their benevolence to that good work. There were also boxes delivered to the Wardens of every company. There was further a device that every honest householder in London should have a bill printed wherein there was a glass window left open for his name, and for his sum of money.

“The virtuous prince King Edward, did of himself command warrant to be made whereunto he set his hand, that all the linen belonging to the churches in London should be brought and delivered to the Governors for the use of these poor, reserving sufficient for the communion table, with towels and surplices for the ministers and clerks.

“After all these their meetings, toils, pains, and travails taken, the houses grew now to be in readiness, and furnished with all manner of necessaries, meet and convenient.

“ They ordered that Christ's Hospital should

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