Old Bethlehem Hospital.-On the east side of Bishopsgate Street, in Bishopsgate Ward Without. Founded by Simon Fitz Mary, Sheriff in 1247, as a Priory of Canons, with brethren and sisters (S. 166) of the Order of St. Mary of Bethlehem.
In 1257 Henry III. granted a protection to the brethren of St. Mary of New Bethlehem to dwell in London without Bishopsgate, 41 H. III. 1257 (Cal. P.R. H. III. 1247-58, p.555).
Nearly a century later, viz. in 1346, Letters Patent were issued under the Common Seal of the City whereby the House and Order of the Knights (fratrum milicie) of the Blessed Mary of Bethleem without Bisshopesgate were, on the petition of Brother John Matheu, called "de Nortone" taken under the patronage and protection of the Mayor and Aldermen of the City (Cal. L. Bk. F. p.154).
From the original deed of grant of Simon Fitz Mary set out in Stow, 1633, p.173, we find that the foundation was made subject to the Bishop of Bethlehem, and that the site extended from Bishopsgate Street to the Deep Ditch west and to the land of St. Botolph's Church south.
The house seems to have been repaired or enlarged in 1361, as it received a bequest under the will of John Nasing to the new work of the church of St. Mary de Bethlem (Ct. H.W. II. 50).
The first reference to it as the Hospital of St. Mary Bethleem is in 1329, 3 Ed. III. (Cal. P.R. Ed. III.1327-30, p.446), and Stow tells us that it was used as an Hospital for distracted people (p.166), but when it was first so used does not appear, except that it was some time prior to 1403 (See Victoria County Hist. I. p.496). Sometimes referred to as the "New Hospital without Bishopsgate,"
After the dissolution of the religious houses, viz. in 1547, the king granted the custody and government of the hospital to the mayor and citizens, 38 H. VIII. (L. and P. H. VIII XXI. Pt. 2, p.416).
After this grant in 1569 Sir Thomas Roe, the Mayor, caused about an acre of land on the bank of the Deep Ditch belonging to the hospital to be enclosed to make a burial ground for such parishes in London as were in want of a burial ground (S. 166).
In 5 Ed. VI. the Court of Aldermen ordered that the inhabitants of the precincts should be united to the Parish Church of St. Botolph without Bishopsgate (Strype, Ed. 1720, I. ii. 95), and in the reign of Elizabeth the church and chapel were taken down and houses built on the site (ib.) forming the street of "Old Bethlem" or " Old Bethlehem," etc., in the 17th and 18th centuries.
The hospital being old and decayed and too closely surrounded by houses was taken down and a new one erected in Moorfields, near London Wall, completed soon after the Fire of 1666 (Strype, Ed. 1720, I. ii. 107-8).
The gate or entry to the house was next to the White Hart north, the site of which is now occupied by the present Court of that name (q.v.).
The hospital was removed to Southwark, 1814.
The site of the Old Hospital is now occupied by Liverpool Street Station, New Broad Street, etc,