The Ancient Brothers and the Nurse.

A pride to the dwellers in West Retford Town, Is a Hospital Brother arrayed in his gown, Provided for life by the good Doctor Darrel, With house, coals, and garden; with food and apparel. In a mansion embellished with beautiful trees, Where the Brothers—old gentlemen—free and at ease, To the Hospital roll-call should answer sixteen. And o'er them as Master, presides the Sub-Dean Of Lincoln's fair Minster, the Governor still, In accord with the terms of the good Founder's Will.

When an old Brother dies, other applicants pour, By the dozen and score, to the Hospital door, With papers, provided, which Parson must witness, And vouch for good character, conduct and fitness, A Darrel, or Denman proved true Founder's kin, And character worthy—he must be put in.

And when the good Master the best has selected, And after enquiry, declared him elected, Visitation he notifies—with solemn prayers, And laying his hands on his aged grey hairs, He solemnly makes him of Hospital Trinity, A much envied Brother; exhorts him that in it he, Remember his life:—diligently prepare For a mansion provided above in the air.

In Chapel, each morn, prayers are said by the Rector, The Hospital Chaplain, and spiritual director; The "Reader" each evening, from portions selected, Gives praise, prayer, and lesson, as duly directed.

When a Brother's " took worse," At the Trinity Feast,
The Matron or Nurse, As provided by Founder,
Is there to look after With currants and raisins,
Both him and his purse, And good things around her,
Sole Sister provided She makes them plum puddings,
For Brothers sixteen, Spiced veal and ham pies,
She rules them by gentleness, Which made their mouths water,
Just like a Queen. And sometimes—their eyes.

It has been the policy of the successive Master Governors to appoint decayed gentlemen, farmers, trades­men, and also better-class artizans, foremen, parish clerks, and employees, who have had some education, and can take their turns as overseer, porter, and reader of evening prayers: and they have fixed the age of 70 from which to select candidates, of whom there are generally twenty or thirty whose names are on the application rolls. Some Brothers have attained the age of 90, and have therefore received a thousand pounds each, at least, in the payments and benefits of the Hospital, which with residence and money exceeds .£50 per annum to each Brother.

By the Founder's express directions, the inmates are to be of the Church of England. It must be remembered that his own relatives had been persecuted and forced into exile, and his brother ejected from his fellowship at Oxford by Cromwell's Independents, Presbyterians, and Ana-Baptists, who had also judicially murdered his Archbishop, Laud, and his King, Charles I, so that no doubt exists as to the Founder's intentions on that point; but an exception has been made occasionally, as in the case of the late Brother Hindley, a Town Councillor, and once prosperous tradesman of Retford, and who was a Wesleyan Methodist. The Bailyffe, on personal application, will always provide a printed form to be filled up in favour of any deserving case. The Master Governor will exercise his discretion and his right, in selecting from the numerous applications; and the Parish Clergy and others in the North Notts. District, are desired and requested to make known deserving cases to the Bailyffe.

In the middle of the last century sobriety was a virtue not prevalent. Edward Beckett was the gardener who laid out the grounds and the gardens of the then newly-built Grammar School of King Edward VI. in East Retford: he was appointed a Brother, and he was a teetotaler; the others all allowed themselves (a minimum of) a pint of ale daily, costing 3d., and they jeered at the new comer as a semi-lunatic, and monstrosity; but Edward the sober re­garded them not, but he went into the market on Saturday, and bought him a brown crock, and instead of imbibing a daily pint, he put the cost thereof (3d.) into his crock, and when three years had elapsed, he said unto the Bailyffe, "I be grateful for the benefits I enjoy in this Hospital, and I wish to put a stained glass window into the Chapel as my thank-offering." So the window was designed, with an angel holding a scroll with the word "Gratitude" on it, and with three other figures "Faith, Hope, Charity"; and a carved inscription on the stone window-sill records, "Edward Beckett, Grateful, gave it," 1876.

Then Edward arose, and spake unto his Brethren, "Now then you, there's t'other winder, and there be 15 o'yah; I dares ye to put him in." So the 15 Brothers bought brown crocks, and put in 6d. a week, and "T'other winder" was soon filled in with stained glass, with figures of the Four Evangelists; and the carved inscription beneath it records, "15 Grateful Brothers gave it," 1877.

The Names of the present Brothers (1908) are shewn
on engraving as follows:—                  

Left The Bailyffe 75  
1 Brother Stokes 76 of Clarborough
2 " Pickard 80 " East Retford
3 " Cordal 86 " East Retford
4 " Simpson 77 " Barnby Moor
5 " Darby 77 " Tuxford,
6 " Bedford 84 " Ordsall
7 " Fairbanks 88 " Treswell
8 " Nicholson 79 " West Retford
9 " Etches 78 " East Retford
to " Easton 78 " South Leverton
11 " Spray 76 " West Retford
12 " Wagstaff 86 " Boughton
13 " Cobb 76 " West Retford
14 " Johnson 73 " Sutton
15 " Denman (absent) 81 " East Retford
16 " Blagg (absent) 72 " Ordsall
Right Nurse Horsfield, Matron   " Blyth

The Names of the Nurses, from the foundation, as far as known:—

1671 Unknown    
17— Mary Theaker died 1795
1795 Sarah Priest died 1800
1800 Mary Wilson died 1822
1822 Mary Baker resigned 1833
1833 Sarah Millhouse died 1837
1837 Elizabeth Temporal resigned 1853
1853 Mary Ayre resigned 1864
1864 Ann Clayton (age 93 in 1908) resigned 1899
1899 Sarah Elizabeth Horsfield (acting)
" Sole Sister provided for Brothers Sixteen."

The Scholarship.

My task is ended—yet remains Another noble deed by Founder wrought, Who, like his Master, loved both old and young, And when West Retford street you chance to pass, Observe, in gabled roof, the stone which tells "Ex-dono Scolastici"—so the script records; These messuages, and lands adjacent, still Stand and fulfil the Founder's noble quest, And yet on banks of Isis (where he quaffed Full deep the cup of knowledge), still maintain "Puer ingenius," some likely youth, Who lives his College to adorn, And lustre add to Darrel's honoured name.

Founded in 1671.

1694 Gervis Raynes, son of Edward, of Ordsal (pleb), Notts.
1729 George Widdowson, son of George, of Tuxford (pleb), Notts.
1740 John Frost, son of George, of Granby (pleb), Notts.
1754 Edmund Brown, son of Paul, of Butterwick, Linc.
1762 Joshua Sampson, son of Rev. Joshua, Retford, Notts.
1793 Henry Moon, son of Rev. Peter, of Lincoln, Linc.
1801 John  Hewes, son of Rev. James, of Woodborough, Notts.
1803 Francis Swan, son of Rev. Francis, of Lincoln, Linc.
1815 Robt. Hodgson Fowler, son of Rev. Charles, of Southwell, Notts.
1823 Charles Wollaston, son of Rev. John, of Scotter, Linc.
1840 Charles Garvey, son of Rev. Richard, of Lincoln, Linc.
1852 Morgan G. Watkins, son of Rev. Morgan, of Southwell, Notts.
1871 Francis E. Pitman, son of Rev. Henry, of Basford, Notts.
1875 Raymond M. Latham, son of Rev. Mortimer, of Tattersall, Linc.
1878 Thomas J. F. Haskoll, son of Rev. James, of Retford, Notts.
1881 Gerard C. Bailey, son of Rev. Anthony, of Panton, Linc.
1885 Ernest A. Glover, son of Rev. Frederick, of Withern, Linc.
1889 William G. Cruft, son of Rev. William, of Edwalton, Notts.
1893 J. E. Langdon, son of Rev. Alfred, of Sleaford, Linc.
1897 J. C. Hamilton, son of Rev. John, of W. Leake, Notts.
1900 Arthur T. Williams, son of Rev. Charles, of Scrimby, Linc.
1904 Lawrence F. Harvey, son of Rev. Frederick, of Egmanton, Notts.

The value of the Darrel Scholarship at Exeter College, Oxford, is at present £10 per annum, and the tenure generally for three or four years. The endowment consists of four houses and two cottages, with gardens behind, form­ing the "Scholar's Court, in West Retford Town," and in the central gable of the houses, facing the street, is a stone, carved with the following Latin inscription:—

Scholastici Usui, anno domini mdclxxii.
"The Gift of John Darell, M.D., for use of the Scholars,
A.D. 1672,"
and there are also two scholar's fields on the Great North Road.
(The Scholarship Accounts are kept separately.)

A  Benefaction is also charged  on the  Estate, payable to a Charity at Gainsborough for the benefit of eight poor boys who get 5/- each. It is called Wharton's Charity.

It may be noticed that at the death of the Founder in 1665, the receiver of the rents is named in the list of Bailiffs, as Mr. Wharton, of Retford; and that a Mr. George Wharton gave a field in Dominie Cross to the Head Master of the Grammar School, that he should read Common Prayer in the Church of East Retford every Sunday Afternoon; and, earlier, his Uncle, William Wharton, Gentleman, gave a benefaction to the poor of East Retford—still existing.

The Hospital for married couples, was also founded in East Retford, opposite West entrance of S. Swithun's Church, by another benefactor, Richard Sloswick, in 1675, an oval stone in gable of which has the following inscription:—

Mease-di-dieu, Ex Dono
richardi sloswicke generosi.

Re-built 1806.