Lepers in the city

THIS WEEK IN 1993: Gift of life put on ice – surgeon preserves transplant organs

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In the Patent Rolls reference was made to a small hospital for lepers at the eastern end of St Michael’s Road, Portsmouth.

On this day in 1253 protection was granted for 10 years to ‘the Master and brethren of the Hospital of St Mary Magdalene without Portsmouth’.

· The Patent Rolls are a record of the King of England’s correspondence, starting in 1202.

They were started under the chancellorship of Hubert Walter during the reign of King John.

The patent roll was started in order to keep track of letters that had been issued by the government.

Instead of keeping the records in a register or book form, they were written on sheets which were stitched together into long rolls to form a roll for each year – from John Sadden’s The Portsmouth Book of Days.