Charities for the poor


Victoria County History



A F Wareham, A P M Wright

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'Teversham : Charities for the poor', A History of the County of Cambridge and the Isle of Ely: Volume 10: Cheveley, Flendish, Staine and Staploe Hundreds (north-eastern Cambridgeshire) (2002), pp. 187. URL: http://british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=18845 Date accessed: 30 October 2014.


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In 1729 it was found that Lady Joan Jermy, then and later believed to Edward Jermy's daughter Joan (d. 1663), wife of John Rant, but more probably her grandmother Joan, lady Jermy (d. 1649), had given a cottage and land in Teversham in trust for the church and village. All the trustees were long since dead in 1729, when the churchwardens managed the land and spent its income. The resulting decree of 1729 assigned the income, after allowing £1 yearly for the church, to school poor children and to relieve those Teversham poor not given parish alms. (fn. 49) In the 18th century the land came to 17½ a., (fn. 50) for which 11 a. in the north-west corner of the parish were allotted at inclosure in 1815. (fn. 51) The rent obtained steadily rose from £7 in the 1730s to c. £13 in the 1790s, £22 from 1830, (fn. 52) and c. £48 by 1861. (fn. 53) Before 1800 the tenant had also had to keep a parish bull and, when the parish bounds were 'processioned', to provide 1 bu. wheat, commuted for cash by the 1790s. (fn. 54) The charity, town, or poor house, erected on the village green, was a one-storeyed, timber-framed, thatched cottage, which survived, mostly brickcased, in the 1960s. (fn. 55) It had been regularly repaired, often in brick, in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Though occupied in 1806 by two paupers rent free, from the 1830s it was also rented for £6 10s. (fn. 56)

In the 18th century the poor's share of the net charity rent was largely given in turf for fuel, bought in thousands, (fn. 57) but also occasionally in clothing or coal, and to widows and the sick, (fn. 58) or used for putting out children. (fn. 59) From the 1790s it was also given in cash doles by families, numbering up to 23 in 1795. (fn. 60) Such doles, distributed by 1837 equally among the poor, including also people working for the parish, but not those formally on parish relief, (fn. 61) averaged 10-15s. a family in the mid 19th century. Doles had been paid to 36 families in 1826, but were given to 56 by 1861, costing £28, and still to 40-50 households in the early 20th century. (fn. 62) In 1895 the parish was still maintaining the charity cottages. (fn. 63) The charity was regulated by a Scheme of 1860. After its land was sold in the 1930s for the airport, the capital received, £3,100 of 3½ per cent stock, was in 1940 divided, apart from £40 assigned to maintain the church's annual £1, equally between the educational and eleemosynary charities distinguished since 1907. (fn. 64) In the 1950s and 1960s Lady Joan Jermy's poor charity, worth £65 a year, was given, mainly at Christmas, to c. 50 people in groceries and coal. (fn. 65)

Laurence Moptyd, master of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, and rector from 1554 (d. 1557), (fn. 66) bequeathed 10s. a year for the poor of Teversham, with his college as trustee. It was paid out on St. Thomas's day. That legacy, given in 1789, with the year's sacrament money, in bread and cash, was still distributed in the 1830s. (fn. 67)

John Johnson, a local yeoman, by will proved 1609, devised £5 as a stock for Teversham's poor, Robert Olyver in 1613 another £5, (fn. 68) and Richard Rose of Dry Drayton (fl. 1650) £4, yielding c. 1718 4s. interest. (fn. 69)


49 P.R.O., C 93/56/19; cf. C.R.O., P 153/25/1, s.a. 1729; Camb. News, 19 Oct. 1963; cf. above, manors (Warbletons).
50 C.R.O., P 153/25/1 (terrier 1794); ibid. P 153/25/12 (terrier before 1753); cf. C.U.L., Add. MS. 6079, f. 13v.
51 C.R.O., Q/RDz 8, pp. 31-2; ibid. Q/RDc 22; ibid. P 153/25/21.
52 C.R.O., P 153/25/1, passim; 31st Rep. Com. Char. 119.
53 C.R.O., P 153/25/2, s.a. 1861.
54 Ibid. P 153/25/17-18.
55 R.C.H.M. Cambs. ii. 137; cf. C.U.L., Add. MS. 6079, f. 13v.
56 C.R.O., P 153/25/6, s.a. 1798-1802; B.L. Add. MS. 9412, f. 179; 31st Rep. Com. Char. 119.
57 e.g, C.R.O., P 153/25/1, s.a. 1735-6, 1779, 1792, 1795; P 153/25/6, s.a. 1804.
58 Ibid. P 153/25/1, s.a. 1736; P 153/25/6, s.a. 1757-9, 1773.
59 Ibid. P 153/25/1, s.a. 1734, 1736.
60 Ibid. s.a. 1795, 1806.
61 31st Rep. Com. Char. 119.
62 C.R.O., P 153/25/2, s.a. 1826, 1841-2, 1900, 1920.
63 Ibid. P 153/8/1, p. 86.
64 Char. Com. file 202300, Schemes 1938, 1940; cf. Camb. Ind. Pres, 22 Apr. 1960.
65 Char. Com. file 202300, accts. 1956 sqq.
66 Alum. Cantab. 1500-1751, iii. 139.
67 31st Rep. Com. Char. 119; C.R.O., P 153/25/1, s.a. 1789; cf. B.L. Add. MS. 5807, f. 22v.
68 P.R.O., PROB 11/113, ff. 201v.-202; PROB 11/122, f. 72v.
69 C.R.O., P 153/1/1, p. 33; cf. V.C.H. Cambs. ix. 89-90.

Teversham :
Staine Hundred