1) Literally ‘god’s house’, a hospital or refuge for the old and infirm. Such institutions were in all major towns and cities from the fourteenth century.
1374 in domo Dei super Pontem Use
1398 the Masyndew on Ouse Bridge
1432 to the Goddes house in Paradise a rough felt, Scarborough
1434 et pauperibus in domo dei super pontem Use, York. There were several such houses in York and others in Beverley, Hull, Ripon and Tickhill, and the French word passed into general use, e.g. 1365 in Hospitali meo juxta Kyngeston predictam vocato la Maison Dieu, Hull
1480 octo pauperum in quadam Masyndew, Ripon. In some early references where it has the appearance of a surname it may simply be a way of identifying an old or sick resident: 1553 Alice de Maysyndw, Ripon. Typically spelled 'measondue' later: 1590 agreed that Anne Talor, a poore old woman, shalbe placed in the measondewe upon Owsbrigge in the place which is now voyde by the deathe of Elizabeth Trewe, York.