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East Tilbury

Research by John Tilbury of Nottingham

It appears that the poor's hospital of St. Mary, East Tilbury was founded by Geoffrey Fitz Peter, Earl of Essex sometime before he died in 1213.

In the last quarter of 1233 there was a lawsuit in which Henry de Kemeseck claimed the patronage of the Church at East Tilbury. John Fitz Geoffrey, a younger son of the Earl maintained that the church belonged to the hospital which his father had built on land which he had purchased from Clement de Monasterio. Clement was present at the hearing and said that Geoffrey had taken the land from him by force. It was admitted that the land on which the hospital stood belonged to the church, which in its turn, belonged to the ancestral fief of the earls at Pleshey. John lost his case and the patronage passed to Henry de Kemeseck.

At about the same time Geoffrey de Helyun granted to the hospital 8 shillings rent from land in Aveley. Henry de Kemeseck was a witness to the deed. In return the warden of the hospital was to pay Geoffrey one pound of wax each Easter to light the altar of St. Margaret in Tilbury church.

In 1254 Simon de Dunton claimed 80 acres of marshland in 'Little' Tilbury from the master of the hospital of 'Great' Tilbury. The master said that he ought not to be involved because he was removable at the pleasure of John Fitz Geoffrey and held nothing except at the will of the said John.

Some time before 1297 the patronage of the hospital had passed back into the founder's family when it was held by a great-grandson of the founder, Richard Fitz John who died in 1297, passing the title to Joan la Botillere, one of his sisters.

At the end of the 14th century the hospital had become known as the chapel of St. Margaret and the patronage belonged to the earls of Ormond. It was said to have been a free chapel from time beyond human memory and to own land in Aveley, East and West Tilbury and in Mucking. James earl of Ormond granted it to Robert Crull in 1391.

In 1393 Robert Crull had ratification by the King of his estate as warden of the free chapel, otherwise called the hospital of East Tilbury in the diocese of London. Henry Fyfield occurs as warden in 1456.

After this little more is known, although it is possible that it reappears as the chapel of Stonehouse in East Tilbury which owned land in Aveley.

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