1811 – 1888
A great example of Victorian philanthropy, St Marks Hospital Church is one of John’s many gifts to Maidenhead.
John was a local magistrate who lived in Braywick Park with his wife Charlotte. He was one of the most generous benefactors of Victorian Maidenhead, and whenever a charitable cause needed sponsorship he was always one of the first to offer support.
He was a benefactor of Windsor hospital, which he had helped establish, but he is best remembered in Maidenhead for his gift to the town of St Marks hospital church, which was built in the grounds of the workhouse. John paid the entire cost of the building, and also of the organ.
The church was designed by the local architect Charles Cooper, and was opened in 1873. A brass plaque below the west window commemorates Hibbert’s generosity. In 1878, the east window was given by the Hibbert family in honour of Matron Mary Malyon and Sister Lydia Hibbert of the workhouse. St Marks hospital church is a Grade 2 listed building and still in use, and, since 1954, under the chaplaincy of the vicar of St Peter’s, Furze Platt.
In the 1870s, a man was seriously injured while working on the railway; as there was no hospital in Maidenhead, the man was taken to the workhouse where he died the next morning. Maidenhead then had a population of 7000, and the residents clamoured for a hospital to be built in the town. John was one of the leading figures, and a major donor, in the fundraising, alongside the Astor’s and the Grenfell’s. He laid the foundation stone to the cottage hospital in St Luke’s Road in 1879. (This hospital closed in 1977.)