Keys to the Past


Greenwich Hospital

A major landowner in Northumberland and Cumbria (especially) since 1735AD. At the end of the 1715 rebellion the lands of James, Earl of Derwentwater, were confiscated. These were administrated for the Earl's son, John, after their restoration in 1720AD. However, since John died in 1731 without heir the estates passed back to the government. The government passed the lands to the Greenwich Hospital Commissioners of London in 1735AD - this was a almshouse/hospital for pensioned Royal Navy men.

Lands owned by Greenwich included much of North and South Tynedale (where the Radcliffes had been barons and lords of the manor), around Amble, Blyth, Hartburn, Rothbury, Tynedale, Scremerston and Wooler areas in Northumberland. In these areas Greenwich Hospital over time erected houses, (often with anchors on - as near Langley), churches, (see Seward, H.H.), as well as carried out agricultural improvements and industrial ventures, (such as Thornborough planned farm, in 1816AD and Langley smelt mill around 1770AD. There are many hospital place-names - e.g. Hospital Plantation, west of Hartburn, Northumberland.
Greenwich Hospital Commissioners still own much of Northumberland - particularly around the Scremerston area, though they sold much in throughout the 19th century.

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