The Bedford Charity or the
See article on the
Bedford Schools. (fn. 1)
The Dame Alice Almshouses consist of forty-five
almshouses for aged couples in Dame Alice Street,
and are maintained out of the income of the Harpur
Trust. The portions of the Trust reserved for
eleemosynary purposes by an order of the Charity
Commissioners, 20 July 1906, are defined to be the
site and building of the existing almshouses, and a
yearly sum of £2,000, less the excess of that sum
over one-eleventh part of the net income of the
charity, together with the amount necessary to keep
in repair the tomb and monument in St. Paul's
Church, Bedford, to the memory of Sir William
Harpur and Dame Alice his wife.
In 1909 the amount applied for the benefit of
the almshouses was £1,203 14s. 8d., of which
£1,000 14s. was paid to the pensioners, £64 16s. 10d.
for rates and insurance, £97 15s. 10d. for repairs,
£40 18s. miscellaneous items, and there was a
balance in favour of the account at date of
The Hospital of St. John the Baptist (fn. 2) is regulated by a scheme confirmed by the St. John's
Hospital, Bedford, Act, 1881. The hospital is
endowed with houses, shops and cottages, mostly in
the parish of St. John, and 280 acres or thereabouts,
the greater part situated in the parishes of Blunham
and Lavendon, of the rental value of £1,450, and
a sum of £20,780 8s. 1d. consols held by the
official trustees on general capital account, producing £519 10s. a year, arising for the most part
from sales of land.
The official trustees also hold (1910) on
recoupment account £2,789 9s. 2d. consols,
£1,847 8s. 9d. like stock, £1,140 13s. 7d. like
stock, and £3,454 5s. 4d. like stock.
In 1909 there was paid out of the net income
£350, a year's stipend to the rector of St. John's,
£100 8s. in donations, £826 3s. 4d. in pensions,
£60 in contributions of £5 each, and £45 in exhibitions.
The Hospital of St. Leonard the Confessor, which
fell into disuse after the Reformation and has since
been revived, has been treated of above.
The municipal charities formerly under the
management of the corporation comprise the following charities, whereof trustees were appointed
19 December 1899, namely:—
Thomas Hawes, will, 16 December 1629, trust
property sale yard in Horne Lane, let on lease for
£100 a year, quit-rent of £1 10s., issuing out of
part of road in Horne Lane, and 5s. as an easement (lights over the sale yard); also £160 11s. 6d.
consols, producing £4 a year. Under scheme of
Charity Commissioners, 7 November 1902, the
income is made applicable in pensions of not less
than 5s. a week for poor persons of good character
who have resided in the borough not less than five
years (with a preference for natives) and not in receipt
of Poor Law relief, who from age, ill-health, accident, or
infirmity are unable to maintain themselves by their
Ursula Boteler, will, date unknown, trust fund,
£40 consols, arising from redemption of annuity of
£1, formerly issuing out of land at Biddenham.
Mary Paradine, deed 1631, trust fund £240
2½ per cent. annuities, arising from redemption of
rent-charge of £6 a year, formerly received from
Christ's Hospital, London; and
Charity of Ann Collins, will, 22 March 1682,
consisting of a rent-charge of £30, less deduction of
£6 for land tax, issuing out of a farm at Covington
belonging to Earl Fitzwilliam, applicable for ten
poor widows equally. The sums of stock are held
by the official trustees. Scheme 7 November 1902.
Thomas Hawes, will, 1 January 1619, trust
property £967 0s. 8d. consols, arising from investment of proceeds of sale of old almshouses, and
£44 4s. 2d. like stock, representing a legacy of £45,
less duty, under will of John Peers, and a yearly sum
of £5 14s. paid by the corporation.
The sums of stock are held by the official trustees.
The annual income, amounting to £30 19s. 4d.,
is, in accordance with a scheme of the Charity
Commissioners, 14 December 1897, entitled 'The
Municipal (Church) Charities,' applied in the maintenance of two pensioners not in receipt of Poor Law
relief, who receive from 5s. to 6s. a week each.
Alderman Newton of Leicester, by deed 15 March
1760, charged certain premises in that town with
£26 a year, which was formerly received by the
corporation of Bedford and applied for educational
purposes. It is now merged in the general scheme
for the Bedford schools.
Charities in connexion
with congregation of the Bunyan Meeting House
arising from the following benefactions, namely:—
William Nichol, will, 17 June 1707, trust estate,
31a. 2r. in Thurleigh, allotted on inclosure in that
parish in 1806, now let at £20 a year, of which £5
is payable to the minister and the remainder in
distribution of bread to the poor.
John Taylor, will, 30 June 1735, consisting of 22a.
in Colmworth, let at £22 a year, applicable one
moiety for minister and the other moiety in
distribution of money.
Mrs. Mary Baynes, will, proved in the archdeaconry
of Bedford, 23 February 1730–1. Trust property,
72a. in Stagsden, allotted on the inclosure in that
parish in 1811, let at £54 a year, and £1,265 15s. 5d.
India 3 per cent. stock (see below), arising from sale
in 1901 of 5a. 2r. in Eastcotts, in Cardington. The
income is applicable as to £5 for the minister, £5 to
the minister of some one other dissenting congregation
in Bedford, and the remainder among necessitous
persons, and at the discretion of the trustees in
Stephen Odell, will, 15 December 1788, endowed
with 22a. in Goldington, let at £83 a year,
applicable for the benefit of the minister and poor
of the congregation.
Mrs. Martha Furness (wife of Richard Furness), by
will, 21 November 1794, bequeathed £400 Old
Southsea Annuities, the income to be applied for poor
of congregation, who should for a constancy attend
divine worship and take the sacrament. The legacy,
less duty, came to be represented by £385 2s. 9d.
consols, vested in 1886 in the official trustees.
John Costin, who died 18 December 1805,
bequeathed £200, the interest to be distributed to
the afflicted poor of the congregation.
The sum of £180 received in respect of the legacy,
less duty, was applied as to £130 towards the
expenses of the inclosure of the land in Stagsden,
belonging to Mary Baynes' charity, and the balance
of £50 together with £150 derived under the will
of Richard Furness, 20 August 1801, was applied
in the purchase of a cottage and 3a. 20p. in the
parish of Cople. In 1895 this property was sold
and the proceeds invested in Croydon Corporation
stock (see below).
Mrs. Elizabeth Priest, by will, 5 May 1784,
bequeathed £400 consols for providing £4 a year
for minister of the Old Meeting House, £1 for widow
of minister and £1 for poor, and £4 for minister at
Cotton End and £1 for widow of minister there, and
£1 for poor of meeting at Cotton End.
Samuel Whitbread, by will, 13 July 1795,
bequeathed to the trustees, out of respect to the
memory of John Bunyan, £500 to be laid out in
consols, income to be applied in giving bread to
the poor in quartern loaves every Sabbath morning
from October to May. In 1886 the sum of £980
consols, representing the amount of the stock
purchasable at the date of the bequest, became vested
in the official trustees.
Edward Wells, by will, bequeathed £500 to be
invested in government security, and after the
decease of his wife (which event happened in 1806)
the dividends to be applied in the distribution of
bread. In 1886 the sum of £750 consols representing the legacy became vested in the official trustees,
and is now with other funds above referred to
included in some one or other of the securities
Richard Graham, who died in or about 1809,
bequeathed £100 to form a fund for the relief of
widow of officiating minister. The fund was
accumulated for many years. In 1886 the fund
amounted to £652 3s. consols vested in the official
trustees, and is now represented by Croydon
Corporation stock (see below).
The trustees also hold a house in Mill Street,
used as the Bunyan Institute, producing £30 a year,
and cottages in Stagsden purchased in 1896, let on
weekly rents producing £4 2s. a year, and a house
known as 46 De Pary's Avenue, purchased in 1897
for £1,800 as a minister's house, out of the proceeds
of sale of The Manse in Dame Alice Street referred
The official trustees now (1910) hold the following
securities in trust for these charities, namely:—
£1,265 15s. 5d. India 3 per cent. stock,
Mrs. Mary Baynes' charity.
£1,716 8s. 8d. consols.
£1,239 16s. 3d. New South Wales 3 per cent.
£516 9s. 8d. Croydon Corporation 3 per cent.
stock, Richard Graham's charity for minister's widow.
£564 4s. like stock belonging to the charities of
John Costin and Richard Furness.
£3,310 8s. Midland Railway 2½ per cent. stock,
treated as a general fund, and £414 8s. like
railway stock, treated as a repair fund arising from
the investment of the balance of proceeds of sale in
1897 for £5,500 of The Manse in Dame Alice Street
The annual dividends of these securities amount
together to £243 11s. 10d. and the rental from the
real estate to £213 2s. a year.
The accounts for 1909 show that out of the net
income a sum of £130 was paid to the minister,
£57 14s. applied in the distribution of bread,
£62 15s. in grants to sick and infirm, and £23 12s. 9d.
paid to widow of minister fund.
The chapel known as Howard Chapel, deed of
trust, 29 July 1833.
The official trustees also hold a sum of £2,027 16s. 7d.
India 3 per cent. stock, annual dividends £60 16s. 8d.,
arising from the sale in 1901 of No. 23 St. Peter's
Street, formerly used as a residence for pastor of the
congregation of Protestant Dissenters. The charity
is regulated by a scheme of the Charity Commissioners
of 17 May 1901.
Particular Baptist chapel founded by deeds, 1833
and 1879, is endowed with a house of the rental
value of £15, and with £500 consols bequeathed by
a codicil to will of Elizabeth Stewart, proved at
London, 14 May 1849. The old chapel was sold in
1894, and the proceeds of sale applied with the
authority of the Charity Commissioners towards the
cost of the new chapel.
St. Cuthbert's Parish:—Church Estate.—This
parish has been in the possession of three houses in
Newnham Street from time immemorial, the rents of
which are applied in repairs, &c., of the church. The
official trustees also hold a sum of £605 3s. 9d.
consols, representing a moiety of the proceeds of sale
in 1903 of land and buildings in St. Cuthbert Street,
in which this parish and St. Paul's were jointly
interested, and the rector and churchwardens hold a
sum of £129 7s. 8d. consols, arising from sale in 1889
of two cottages in River Crescent. The income,
amounting in the aggregate to £70 17s., is applied
towards the church expenses.
This parish is also entitled to participate in the
benefits of the charity of Martha Leith. (See under
parish of St. Paul.)
St. John's Parish.
In 1716 Robert Welbourne,
by will dated 31 August, devised 3a. 2r. 22p., known
as Burgend Close, in the parish of Barton, the rents
and profits to be distributed yearly on New Year's
Day amongst the poor. The yearly income of £6 is
The Church Estate consists of a house and garden
opposite the west end of St. John's Church, stated in
the benefaction table to be appropriated towards the
repairs of the church. The rental value is about £10
a year, of which £2 is allowed to the parish clerk.
St. Mary's Parish.
Thomas Christie, by his will,
10 May 1697, directed (inter alia) that 52s. a year
should be applied in the purchase of bread for distribution every Sunday morning among thirteen of the
poorest inhabitants of the parish, who by reason of
age and infirmities should be unable to work.
Thomas Hawes, by deed dated 28 July 1688,
gave £150 upon trust to be laid out in the purchase
of lands, the rents whereof he directed to be applied
to the use of the poor of this parish and St. Paul's in
bread in the proportion of one-third and two-thirds
respectively. The endowment now consists of
£2,199 11s. 9d. consols with the official trustees, arising
from the sale in 1864 of 6a. 2r. which under the
Inclosure Act of 35 Geo. III had been awarded to
the then trustees of the charity in lieu of land in
Trumpington Meadow originally purchased. The
sum of £18 6s. 6d., being one-third of the dividends,
is duly applied in the distribution of bread on
St. Thomas' Day.
Two houses in the Cardington
Road and four houses in Cauldwell Street, producing
about £40 yearly, are in the possession of the churchwardens. The income is applied towards church
St. Paul's Parish.
In 1606 Thomas Paradine, by
deed dated 19 November, charged certain property at
Broken Wharf in the city of London with an annuity
of £5, of which 48s. was directed to be paid to the
vicar of St. Paul's for preaching eight sermons upon
the feast days in the deed mentioned, the remainder
to be distributed every Sabbath Day among the poor
and needy in bread.
In 1627 Jonas Andrews, by will dated 3 February,
gave 20s. a year for the use of the poor at Lady Day.
The annuity is received from the borough fund and
distributed in sums of 6d. among forty poor widows.
In 1658 Sarah Paradine, by will dated 21 August,
bequeathed £50 as a stock to set the poor on work.
The trust property now consists of 5a. 3r. in the
parish of St. Peter of the rental value of £24, allotted
under the Inclosure Act of 1795 in lieu of land
originally purchased. The income is carried to the
account of the poor's rate.
In 1720 the Rev. Robert Bamford, by will dated
24 October, gave £5 a year for apprenticing a boy or
girl of this parish or of St. Peter's, also 40s. a year to
the poor of this parish and 20s. a year to the poor of
St. Peter's. The sum of £8 a year is duly received
Charity of Thomas Hawes (see under parish of
The sum of £36 13s., being two-thirds
of the dividends of £2,199 11s. 9d. consols held by
the official trustees, is duly applied in the distribution
of bread on St. Thomas' Day.
In 1697 Thomas Christie, by will dated 10 May,
founded almshouses for eight poor unmarried persons,
to each of whom should be paid 1s. a week, which
the testator charged upon the rectorial tithes of
St. Paul, together with 52s. a year for bread for poor
of St. Paul's and 52s. a year for bread for poor of
The testator further directed that the residue of
the clear profits of the said rectory should be paid to
the vicar of St. Paul's for the time being. The trust
properties now consist of 60a. or thereabouts in the
parish of St. Paul allotted under an Inclosure Act of
35 Geo. III in lieu of the rectorial tithes of the
parish of St. Paul and £1,743 11s. 6d. consols held
by the official trustees, arising from sale of land in
Clapham Road, Bedford.
In 1909 the net income, amounting to £226 9s.,
was applied as follows:—£20 16s. for providing 1s.
a week to each of the eight poor women in the almshouses, £5 4s. for loaves for the poor, £10 for repairs
to the chancel and the residue £190 0s. 9d. to the
In 1735 Mrs. Martha Leith by deed in confirmation of the will of her husband, the Rev. Alexander
Leith, settled certain lands in Cardington and Great
Barford upon charitable uses. The endowment consists of 14a. or thereabouts with buildings thereon at
Harrowden in Cardington, allotted on the inclosure
in 1802 in lieu of the open field-land in Cardington
mentioned in the deed and 19a. 2r. in Great Barford
allotted in or about 1821 on the inclosure in that
parish, producing an income of about £50 a year.
The charity is regulated by a scheme of the Charity
Commissioners whereby the income—subject to a
yearly payment of 40s. to the vicar for sermons on
certain days—is made applicable in prizes to children
in public elementary schools, in aid of provident
clothing clubs for benefit of poor children and in
maintenance of evening classes in the proportion of
two-thirds to St. Paul's parish and one-third to
The Church Estate Trust is endowed with two
cottages in Castle Hill, two houses in Mill Street and
two houses in Midland Road, rental value £129 15s.
a year, also a sum of £605 3s. 9d. consols held by
the official trustees, representing a moiety of the
proceeds of sale in 1903 of land and buildings in
St. Cuthbert Street, in which this parish and
St. Cuthbert's were jointly interested, producing
£15 2s. 4d. in annual dividends. The net income
is applied in repairs of church.
Samuel Cooper, by will proved at London 1 July
1861, bequeathed £50 consols, now represented with
accumulations by £53 13s. 8d. consols, producing
£1 6s. 8d. a year to be applied by vicar in rewards
to twenty poor children of the Church of England
for the best answers to questions on the Catechism.
St. Peter's Parish.
Charity of Robert Bamford.
(See under parish of St. Paul.)
This parish is in possession of the
following properties, namely, No. 8 Tavistock Street,
let at £40 a year, gateway, &c., 22 St. Peter's Street,
let at £10 a year and ground rents of £3 and
£3 of Nos. 10 and 12 Kimbolton Road, the income
being applicable in repairing and beautifying the
The officials also hold a sum of £1,890 4s. 10d.
consols, producing £47 5s. a year, arising from
the sale in 1907 of land and buildings in St.
Peter Merton, and a further sum of consols in
course of accumulation amounting in May 1910 to
£196 12s. 6d.
The church is in course of being restored and
improved, and in 1909 there was a balance in hand
of £123 14s. 9d.