Wyggeston’s Hospital, Leicester

Wyggeston Hospital in Leicester was founded by William Wyggeston the Younger in 1513. It was licensed by King Henry VIII and originally funded by the income from Wyggeston’s lordships, manors and lands. In letters patent in 1572 it was stated that the hospital should be for ever called “Wyggeston’s Hospital”, and that the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster should appoint the Master and be a Visitor.

The Master was empowered to create leases, and the rents were used to fund the hospital. In 1857 the management of the hospital was vested in twenty Trustees, who were required to erect a building for 25 residents. Presently 18 Trustees, or Governors as they are now known, manage the hospital and are either co-opted or appointed by various other bodies.

The Trustees established a school for 200 boys and 100 girls, between the ages of 7 and 17. This resulted in the foundation of Wyggeston Grammar School for Boys and Wyggeston Grammar School for Girls. The schools are now co-educational sixth form colleges, named Wyggeston & Queen Elizabeth I College and Regent College respectively. Wyggeston’s Hospital makes an annual grant to the Trustees of the Wyggeston Schools Foundation who distribute this money with other income by making grants to students at the colleges.

A new hospital with a chapel dedicated to St. Ursula was erected in 1868. The present Hospital built in 1966 occupies a position on the same site. The present Hospital offers 54 warden assisted flats, each suitable for a married couple.

The Scheme governing the Charity sets the qualifications of residents as “…poor persons of good character of not less than 60 years of age who are resident in the City of Leicester at the time of appointment”. Residents must be able to look after themselves on appointment, but if through infirmity they are unable to cook, a meal may be provided for them by the Hospital. Residents pay a weekly contribution towards the upkeep of the Hospital. In 1992 a Residential Home known as Agnes House was built which is registered with the Care Standards Commission for Residential Care. No nursing care is available on site.

The Duchy of Lancaster’s connection remains strong. The Chancellor appoints the Master for a term of five years (renewable). The Trustees of the Duchy Benevolent Fund donate £500 per annum to the Hospital to pay for the annual tea held after the Founder’s Day service.

Present Master :
The Reverend Anthony R. Leighton, BA (Hons)