The Maltonian Web

Robert Holgate 1481-1555

Archbishop of York 1545-1554

There is an Archbishop Holgate Society, founded in 1947, and from this we have a number of items in our archive.  Mr Taylor appears to have been a member of the society, and we have some menus from the annual dinner, and various other documents in our archive.  The menus usually had a photograph on the front, and some interesting information on the back.  These are available in the table below.  David Houseman contributed a very informative and interesting article on the society in 2003 - available here.

Robert Holgate Archbishop of York
Portrait of Robert Holgate

The founder of Malton Grammar School.  His will is available on the site, taken from a foolscap pamphlet produced by the Archbishop Holgate Society (Record Series No.2), which also includes a facsimile of a handwritten biography by Walter Consitt Boulter.  The portrait is in the care of the Hospital at Hemsworth.

Robert Holgate Coat of Arms Mike Thorley in 2006
The Holgate Coat of Arms

Some details of the Coat of Arms are to be found on a 1947 menu for the Holgate Society. A colour picture of the coat of arms is to be found in Holgate Hospital, Hemsworth.

Archbishop Holgate Hospital Hemsworth
Archbishop Holgate Hospital

Unlike his three Free Grammar Schools at York, Old Malton and Hemsworth, which Robert Holgate founded during his lifetime, the Archbishop Holgate Hospital at Hemsworth was a posthumous foundation established under the terms of his Will, proved December 5, 1556. Letters Patent for the incorporation of the Hospital were granted on 17th March 1557.  Under its Master, the Hospital provides homes for twenty-four old folks drawn from the parishes of Hemsworth, Felkirk, Kirkby, and Wragby.

Archbishop Holgate Hospital Hemsworth

I visited Archbishop Holgae Hospital in 2006, when the "porter", Mike Thorley, took me round the buildings, church and small museum there. Some pictures and further details are available.


Watton Priory
Watton Priory Oriel window

Robert Holgate was for several years Prior of Watton in the East Riding. This Priory was one of the houses of the Order of Sempringham of which Order Holgate was Master. Illustrated here is the Oriel of the Prior's Lodging.

Darrington Church
Darrington Church

Illustrated here is the church at Darrington, near Pontefract. Archbishop Holgate's heir was his nephew, Thomas Holgate, who acquired the manor of Stapleton in the parish of Darrington. Several Holgate tombstones are here.

St Sepulchre
St Sepulchre Church

ROBERT HOLGATE died on 15th November, 1555 at the Headhouse of the Master of Sempringham, a Gilbertine Order of which he had himself been Master. In his Will he asked that his body should "be buried in the parish church within the parish whereof it shall please Almighty God to take me out of this transitory life".  The Headhouse stood in Cow Lane, Smithfield, and within the parish of St. Sepulchre. " The bells of Old Bailey" are the bells of this Church which stands at the junction of Giltspur Street and Holborn Viaduct.

William Petre
William Petre

Sir William Petre was one of the four executors of Holgate's will. He was born c.1505 at Torbryan, in Devon, and educated at Oxford of which university he became Doctor of Law in 1533. For a time he was tutor to a brother of Anne Boleyn.  By 1544 Henry VIII had made Petre a knight, a privy councillor, and one of his two Principal secretaries.  He served Henry, Edward, Mary and Elizabeth. The original painting is at Ingatestone Hall in Essex.

Malton Free Grammar School
Advert for Malton Free Grammar School

An illustration of a bill advertising the Grammar School at Old Malton. The illustration is taken from a book by Dr J S Purvis, Director of the Borthwick Institute of Historical Research in 1960, entitled "Historical Records"

The illustration was on the front of the menu for the Holgate Society dinner at Brown's Hotel, 28th October 1960.

A transcription:

This is to give NOTICE,That at Old Malton Free Grammar School, YOUTH are completely qualified for any manner of Bufinefs, in Latin, Greek &c.  Alfo Arithmetic in all its Parts, Navigation, Menfuration, Merchants Accompts &c. and Writing in very Perfection, by JOSEPH KERR, Mafter. WILLIAM HALL, Affiftant.

N. B. Old Malton is pleafantly fituated upon the River Derwent in the North-Riding of the County of York, in a fine plentiful Country: Board at Seven Pounds per Annum; Board and Learning, at Nine Guineas; Learning, Board, and Cloaths, found in a neat decent Manner, at the Expense of Twelve Pounds.

Thofe who are pleafed to encourage this SCHOOL, may depend upon fuch Exactnefs and Care, as will, in every Refpect, be confiftent with this publick Notice