Of the many services required of monasteries and other religious houses by the English Crown, perhaps the most onerous was the provision of corrodies for the king’s servants, men-at-arms, relatives and other favorites. Between the mid-thirteenth century and the Dissolution, these houses were besieged by a veritable army of such people seeking lodging, food and drink, clothing, and sometimes even a sum of money. Many scholars have suggested that these corrodies were earmarked primarily for superannuated servants who had outlived their usefulness. However, a closer examination of the evidence, especially from the reign of Edward III on, reveals that the crown sometimes requested corrodies to either sustain younger servants in the performance of their duties or for intervals between service. These corrodies were used not so much as a hedge against the perils of old age and retirement as benefices from which the holder could draw sustenance and wages in his continued service to the king. One of the earliest representatives of this group was John de Stratford who, over a period of about twenty years, served two kings in a variety of positions and, in recompense, was nominated for at least six—and possibly as many as eight—corrodies. Stratford’s assignments took him to widely scattered houses in Leicestershire, Somersetshire, Norfolk, Kent, and at the end of his life, Essex. Within two weeks of his death in 1345, the crown confiscated all of his corrodies and doled them out to other faithful servants.
"John de Stratford and His Corrodies,"
Medieval Prosopography: Vol. 31
, Article 8.
Available at: http://scholarworks.wmich.edu/medpros/vol31/iss1/8