- Museum number
Bronze pointed oval seal-matrix of the Leper Hospital of St. Leonard, Northampton. It has a high pierced projection for handle at the back. In a niche with Gothic canopy and tabernacle-work at the sides St. Leonard, standing, facing, with a crozier in his left hand and a chain in his right. Below, a shield of arms, on a mount a barbican gateway between in chief a crown and in base five trefoils three and two. Legend, within cabled borders with a spray in the middle and at the end. With plaster impression.
- Production date
- 1450 (circa)
Length: 6.40 centimetres
Width: 4 centimetres
- Curator's comments
- Text from 'Catalogue of British Seal-Dies in the British Museum', A.B. Tonnochy, London 1952, cat. no. 848.
Oppenheimer Collection, Christie's, July 15, 1936, lot 252. Previously in the Dimsdale Collection.
B.M. 'Cat. of Seals', no. 3754.
The earliest evidence for the hospital is a charter dated about 1150, which is a grant from Adam, the son of Mervin, to God and the hospital of St. Leonard of Northampton and the sick men serving God there.
In Elizabeth's reign the corporation pulled down the chapel and hospital, and built a small tenement on the site called the Spittle or Lazarhouse, occupied by a single poor man, termed the lazar-man, rent-free; there is a reference in the town accounts to the lazar-man as late as 1740.
The gateway is thought to represent the town gate on the south bridge, close to the hospital, the crown indicating the royal foundation ('V.C.H. Northampton', ii. p. 159).
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Britain, Europe and Prehistory
- Registration number