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Will was start of it all.

COVENTRY benefactor Thomas Bond died on March 18, 1506, and specifically left farmland and property in his will to pay for the founding of a "bedehouse".

Occupants of a bedehouse had to be "sayers of prayers" and of generally good character. They also had to be members of Thomas's own Trinity trade and craft guild -one of the most important in the Middle Ages.

In another section of this will the former city mayor also left 25 oxen to poor Warwickshire farmers and the same number of spinning wheels to local women.

Thomas asked that the bedehouse, or Bond's Hospital as it became known, be built on the site of Bablake College, which was already owned by his Guild.

The courtyard of Bablake is open to all to see the hospital properly - although not all of it dates back to the 16th century. And not all of the building is exactly how it was in the 16th century. Windows on the ground floor have been altered and the tall chimney pots are accurate reproductions.

On another side of the Bablake College quadrangle lay a "house of correction", the 16th century equivalent of the Victorian workhouse.


D30748_2' BEQUEST... Senior archives assistant Sandra Asquith with Thomas Bond's will.
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Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Feb 20, 2006
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