(St.) Anthony, Hospital of
- On the north side of Threadneedle Street (S. 181). In Broad Street Ward. Stow tells us that there was built on the site in 1231 a Jewish synagogue (ib.), but the site before 1254 was granted by H. III. to the brotherhood of St. Anthony of Vienna to be a cell of that house. Mentioned in Bull of Pope Alexander of that year (MSS. D. and C. St. George, Windsor, quoted in Vict. Co. Hist. p. 181).The house consisted of a master, two priests, a schoolmaster and twelve poor men, and was used as a hospital. It came into the possession of the King under the Alien Priories Act 1414, and became a royal free chapel (ib.). Soon after the master and wardens acquired more land and a free school and almshouses were built (Cal. P.R. H. VI. 1422-9, p. 518). The church of St. Benet Fink was appropriated to the Hospital for the benefit of the school (Vict. Co. Hist. 582). The Hospital was annexed by Ed. IV. to the Collegiate Church of St. George's Windsor in 1475 (S. 186). Church rebuilt 1499 (V. Co. Hist. p. 583). After the Dissolution the Hospital was despoiled by one of the prebends of Windsor and the almsmen turned out. The church was let to the French Protestants in Elizabeth's reign, and the school, which had been important and flourishing, fell into decay (S. 186).The French church was rebuilt after the Fire, and is shown at No.51 Threadneedle Street in Horwood 1799. It was pulled down about 1840 for the formation of new approaches to the Royal Exchange.See French Church1 (Protestant).The following remarks of Mrs. Jameson may throw some light on the practice mentioned by Stow as to stray pigs being appropriated to the maintenance of the Hospital. She says she had read somewhere that the hog was given to St. Anthony because he had been a swineherd and cured the diseases of swine. But this was a mistake. The hog was the representative of the demon of sensuality and gluttony, which Antony is supposed to have vanquished by the exercises of piety and by Divine aid. The ancient custom of placing in all his effigies a black pig at his feet, or under his feet, gave rise to the superstition, that this unclean animal was especially dedicated to him and under his protection. The monks of the order of St. Anthony kept herds of consecrated pigs, which were allowed to feed at the public charge, and which it was a profanation to steal or kill ; hence the proverb about the fatness of " Tanthony pigs."
A Dictionary of London. Henry A Harben. 1918.
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