A distribution to the poor of corn
from Woolaston Grange was said to have been made
from the time of the foundation of Tintern Abbey. (fn. 17)
No dole was made after 1546 when John Conway,
steward of Henry, Earl of Worcester, obtained a
lease of two-thirds of the Grange and defended
apparently with success an action by the parishioners
to recover the gift in 1559. (fn. 18) Henry Newland, Abbot
of Tintern, gave the church house with a small
piece of village green at the east end of the churchyard as an alms-house in 1501. (fn. 19) It was pulled down
c. 1818 and replaced by a range of five dwellings for
five poor widows, (fn. 20) which became disused in the
later 19th century. The site of the alms-house was
exchanged by the trustees for ½ a. land at Woolaston
Common belonging to Col. P. S. Marling in 1904, (fn. 21)
who conveyed it and neighbouring land for the
enlargement of the graveyard. (fn. 22) A sum of 4d. was
distributed for the relief of the poor c. 1547 from
land left for obits. (fn. 23) Richard and Margaret Clayton
gave an annuity of 20s. for the poor and 2s. to the
churchwardens in 1595. (fn. 24) The charity to the poor
was distributed in bread on Good Friday c. 1958. (fn. 25)
Thomas James of Bristol gave £100 in 1618 (fn. 26)
which was to be lent by the churchwardens to
employ ten poor widows in spinning, each having
the use of £10 interest-free for 12 years. Owing to
the difficulty of carrying out the donor's intention
the money was apparently lent to anyone offering
security and by 1828 £50 had been lost irrecoverably.
The interest at that date was paid for the use of the
school, but it was proposed that it should in future
again be applied for the benefit of the poor. (fn. 27) The
charity could not be traced in 1969. A bread charity
of £1 a year was established by Mary and Elizabeth
Smart in 1685, (fn. 28) and was still distributed in 1969.
The rector, Robert Griffith, is said to have given
another bread charity of 40s. a year in 1719; (fn. 29)
the gift is not recorded other than in the late
18th century, and there may have been confusion
with a distribution of the Clayton and Smart
Valor Eccl.(Rec.Com.), iv.371; Hockaday Abs. ccccxvi.
||C 3/119/5. A dispute occurred in 1564 between
Conway's widow Anne and the tenants of the other onethird of the Grange, about payment of corn-rents, but the
dole to the poor was not mentioned:C 3/65/101.
||Copy deed penes the rector.
19th Rep. Com. Char. 114.
||Glos. R.O., D 262/T 30.
||Vestry min. bk. penes the rector.
||E 301/23 no. 114.
19th Rep. Com. Char. 111-13.
||W.I. hist. of Woolaston.
||Rudder, Glos. 845. Thomas died in 1619 (see above,
p. 65), but the gift is dated 11 Dec. 1625 in Bodl. MS.
Rawl. B.323,f. 128v.
19th Rep. Com. Char. 113-14; G.D.R. Woolaston
terriers, charitable gifts, 1705, when £70 had been lost.
19th Rep. Com. Char. 114.
||Bigland, Glos. iii, no. 310.