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Author Topic: Religious Skirmish Between the Monks of Rochester and the Brethren of Strood  (Read 4704 times)

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  • Guest
I shouldn't worry about that at all smiffy.

Although I recently did a Guess The Place on the hospital subject I had to think where I had put my

The thing is with members on here history is re-written every day so we can learn more  :)

Offline smiffy

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Thank you both for your replies. I actually have The History of Strood on my E-Book reader so perhaps in future before I ask a question it might be advisable to check first to see whether I've already got the answer!


  • Guest
This is also a good read:

This is a better to navigate History of Strood and can be downloaded as a .pdf
Do a full screen view then the pages can be turned like a book. It is the same as Longpockets but further on?

Page 129 a picture of a room with a similar roof structure.

Don`t know if this is the correct thread but it is still all religious.....there were two other hospitals in Strood one of which was an ancient Lepers hospital on Strood Hill called the Whyte Ditche Hospital and the other in Frindsbury road the VAD hospital although this was later used as the Working Mens Institute and still stands the buildings were much older and the King Post could have been used at either of these hospitals also as it was then building construction.

Offline Longpockets

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Does anyone know when Newark Hospital was demolished? This is said to be a roof truss supporting the roof at Newark Hospital in the 1920's. Was there another (later) Newark Hospital?

In Google, search for Newark Hospital and in images it returns a Alamy image from a drawing (in Rochester Museum) showing this portion of the roof structure positioned on a beam, it is labeled Newark Hospital. The reference is "Image taken from page 153 of 'History of Strood' "

I believe it is termed a King post.

Found this here -

History of Strood

Page 142

The king-post of Newark Hospital, shown in the illustration at the head
of this chapter, was discovered on iqth February, 1899, by Mr. C. A. Cobb,
of Strood. In pulling down an old lodge, formerly the property of the late
Mr. Humphrey Wickham, this post came to light. Mr. Cobb has now pre-
sented it to the Rochester Museum. In addition to the identity afforded by
the sketch, it has been also identified by Mr. George West, who personally
presented it to Mr. Wickham on the demolition of the old building many
years back.

There are many references to Newark in the book.

I hope this helps.

Offline smiffy

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Couldn't have been taken in the 1920's then, unless it was rescued and relocated somewhere?


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Newark Hospital in Strood was demolished around 1874.

Offline smiffy

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Does anyone know when Newark Hospital was demolished? This is said to be a roof truss supporting the roof at Newark Hospital in the 1920's. Was there another (later) Newark Hospital?

Offline scintilla

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Samuel Ireland in his Picturesque Views On The River Medway (1793) says of the old custom; "on May-day the boys of Frindsbury, and the neighbouring town of Stroud [Strood] met on Rochester Bridge, where a skirmish ensued between them."


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Gilbert de Glanvill, Bishop of Rochester, founded Newark Hospital, Strood, in 1193. The hospital, a religious establishment, was to receive the poor, weak and infirm, as well as providing beds for travellers. The monks of St. Andrews Rochester objected to the hospital, partly because the building and its upkeep was paid for out of their revenues. Likewise the hospitallers disliked the monks.

Things came to a head in 1291.

From 'Perambulation of Kent' by William Lambarde, 1570, spelling updated.

It befell in the reign of King Edward the first, by occasion of a great and long drought of the air that the Monks of Rochester were agreed among themselves to make a solemn procession from their own house in the city, and so to Frindsbury, on the other side of the water, of a special intent and purpose to pray to God for rain.

And because the day of this appointed journey happened to be vehemently boisterous with the wind, the which would not only have blown out their lights and tossed their banners, but also have stopped the mouths of their singing men, and have toiled themselves in their heavy and masking attire, they desired licence of the Master of Strood Hospital to pass through the Archyard of his house, whereby they might both ease their company, and save the glory of their show, which otherwise through the inirie? of the weather must needs have been greatly blemished.

The Master assented easily to their desire, and (taking it to be a matter of no great consequence) never made his brethren of the house privy thereunto. But they, so soon as they understood of this determination called to mind that their Hospital was of the foundation of Gilbert Glanville, between whom and the predecessors of these monks, there had been great hatred for the erection of the same: and therefore, fearing that the monks (pretending a procession) intended to attempt somewhat against their privileges they resolved with all their might to resist them.
And for that purpose they both furnished themselves and procured certain companions also (whom the History called Ribalds) with clubs and bats to assist them, and so (making their ambush in the Archyard) they awaited the monks coming. It was not long, but the monks (having made all things ready) approached in their battle array, and with banner displayed, and so (minding no harm at all) entered boldly into the house, and through the house passed into the Archyard, merely chanting their Latin Letaine. But when the brethren and their Ribalds had espied them within their daunger?, they ran upon them, and made it rain such a shower of clubs and coulstanes? upon the monks copes, cowls and crowns, that for a while the miserable men knew not which way to turn them. After a time the monks called their wits and spirits together, and then (making virtue of the necessity) they made each man the best shift for himself that they could: some traversing the ground declined many of the blows, and yet now and then bore off with the head and shoulders: others used the staves of their crosses, behaving themselves like pretie? men: others made pikes of their banner poles: And others (flying in to their adversaries) wrested their weapons out of their hands: among the rest, one laid lode? upon a married priest, absolving him A culpa, but not A pena. Another drove one of the brethren into a deep ditch: and a third (as big as any Bull of Bashan) espied the postern, or back door of the Archyard, whereat he ran so vehemently with his head and shoulders that he bore it clean down before him and so both escaped himself, and made the way for the rest of his fellows who also, with all possible haste conveyed themselves out of the jurisdiction of the hospital, and then (shaking their ears) fell a fresh to their Orgia, I should have said to their former Orisons.

The Church sided with the monks. As a penance, each Whit-Monday the men of the hospital had to go in procession to Rochester, while begging forgiveness and carrying their clubs.
This may have led to the custom of 'Frindsbury Clubs' where the boys of Frindsbury and Strood would meet each May Day for a skirmish on Rochester Bridge.  It is unclear whether the boys fought amongst themselves or against boys from Rochester.
The custom died out in the late 1700s.


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