Memorials XCIII - CXIII
Charities (1655- )

Sponsor

Centre for Metropolitan History

Publication

Author

C. M. Clode (editor)

Year published

1875

Pages

323-336

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'Memorials XCIII - CXIII: Charities (1655- )', Memorials of the Guild of Merchant Taylors: Of the Fraternity of St. John the Baptist in the City of London (1875), pp. 323-336. URL: http://british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=64143 Date accessed: 02 September 2014.


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XCIII. HENRY COLBORN'S WILL (1655).

Henry Colborn or Colbron, by a Codicil to his Will, dated the 1st August 1655, gave and bequeathed to the master and wardens of the Merchant Tailors Company the sum of 1,000l. upon trust, therewith to purchase lands for erecting a free-school, and the endowment and maintenance thereof, to be kept in Ashwell, in the county of Herts. He gave the master and wardens 100l. for their pains, and the nomination of the schoolmaster there for ever, but no other property.

Mr. Colborn's effects proving insufficient, the company, under a Decree of the Court of Chancery in 1664, were obliged to accept 701l. 5s. in lieu of the 1,000l. from which was deducted 63l. 15s. being their own share of the 1,000l. so left to them, leaving the sum of 637l. 10s. for the purposes of the charity, out of which latter sum the Company purchased land, and thereon a free school was built at Ashwell, which, including the land, cost 290l. the charity being credited with the balance, amounted to 347l. 10s. upon which the company allow interest at 5l. per cent., making the income of the trust 17l. 7s. 6d.

The school for many years has been conducted upon the system of the national schools, but at the expense of the com pany, who, on an average of the last seven years, have expended out of their own funds 120l. a year upon the school. The premises consist of a neat school-house, with a garden and paddock attached, containing together about 1½ acre of land.

When, however, the 33 and 34 Vic., c. 75, declared that the expense of elementary schools should be charged upon the property of the district and be borne by the ratepayers thereof, the company, on the 11th November 1872, came to these resolutions, viz.:—

"The Parish of Ashwell having, with every other parish in England, to provide, under the Elementary Education Act, 1870, an Elementary School available for all children resident therein it was resolved, firstly, that this court does not feel called upon to relieve the parishioners from such obligation otherwise than by assenting to the use (with the sanction of the Endowed Schools Commissioners) of Henry Colborn's Trust School and property for the purposes of the said Act, and, secondly, that a copy of this resolution be forwarded to the Parish of Ashwell."

The Company has no property whatever in the parish, except the school premises and a small piece of land containing 2 roods 23 perches allotted thereto by the Enclosure Commissioners, which is let to the late master of the school (as tenant at will) at the nominal rent of 2s. 6d. per annum, nor has it been a recipient of any benefits under the testator's Will other than of the sum of 63l. 15s. received in abatement for the legacy of 100l.

XCIV. WILLIAM TUDOR'S CHARITY (1655).

William Tudor, in the year 1655, gave to the master and wardens of the Merchant Tailors Company the sum of 50l. in consideration whereof they undertook to pay, for ever, 2l. 10s. the interest, yearly, to the wardens substitutes, to be by them distributed to the poor of the said company by 2s. 6d. per quarter.

This sum of 2l. 10s. is yearly carried to the company's general fund for the relief of the poor, and applied accordingly.

XCV. EDWARD RENNECK'S WILL (1656).

Edward Renneck, by his Will, made in 1656, gave to the master and wardens of the Merchant Tailors Company 100l., to be lent out to two young men free of the company, for two years, paying 20s. per annum a-piece for the same; the 40s. per annum to be distributed to the poor of the company at Christmas, at the discretion of the master and wardens.

This sum of 100l. is supposed to have been lost by the failure of the borrowers and their sureties; but the company have replaced the money out of their own funds, and the interest received thereon is applied annually, as directed for the relief of the poor of the company.

See "Mary Ramsay's Charity," p. 295.

XCVI. WILLIAM TUDMAN'S CHARITY (1657).

William Tudman. in the year 1657, paid to the master and wardens of the Merchant Tailors Company 250l. in consideration of which, the said master and wardens, by deed under their common seal, bearing date the 5th June 1657, covenanted to pay 12l. per annum, for ever, to the parish of St. Mildred, in the Poultry, London; and in consideration of the further sum of 50l. paid by the said William Tudman to the said master and wardens, they further agreed to pay to the wardens substitutes 2l. 10s. yearly, to be distributed by them to the poor of the said company.

The 12l. per annum is paid to the poor of St. Mildred, in the Poultry, on the receipt of the churchwardens, and the sum of 2l. 10s. is yearly carried to the company's general fund for the relief of the poor, and applied accordingly.

XCVII. FOWLK PARRY'S WILL (1658).

Fowlk Parry, by his Will, in 1658, gave to the master and wardens of the Merchant Tailor's Company 50l., the interest whereof he directed to be distributed by the wardens substitutes to the poor of the company yearly, for ever.

This is not specifically applied, but 50s. is annually carried to the company's general fund for the relief of their poor, and applied accordingly.

XCVIII. WALTER BIGG'S INDENTURE (1659).

By an Indenture, dated 6th June, 1659, made between Walter Bigg, of Wallingford, Berks, esquire, of the one part, and the master and wardens of the Merchant Tailors Company, of the other part, reciting that Robert Flood, esquire, by an Indenture of Lease, dated 20th February 1612, had demised, amongst other things, unto John Harman, all that messuage and tenement, with the appurtenances, situate in the parish of St. Giles in the Fields, Middlesex, then in the occupation of Philip Lord Wharton, together with the hereditaments and appurtenances belonging to the same, to hold the same to the said John Harman, his executors, administrators, and assigns, from the date of the said indenture, for the term of 1000 years, which said lease by mesne assignments had come to the possession of the said Walter Bigg; It is witnessed, that the said Walter Bigg, for the nominal consideration therein mentioned, assigned to the said master and wardens and their successors, all the said premises, to hold to them and their successors for the remainder of the said term of 1000 years, upon condition, that they should permit and suffer the said Walter Bigg, to enjoy the same during his life, and after his decease, then in trust, that the said master and wardens and their successors should bestow the rents and profits of the same premises in manner following, viz. 10l. thereof yearly, during the said term, to be paid to four of the poor men which were or should be from time to time of the said company half-yearly, and also one other 10l. by the year to and amongst 10 of such poor persons in the borough of Wallingford, half-yearly, share and share alike, as should receive collections from the churchwardens or overseers of the poor there, which said last-mentioned 10l. should be from time to time distributed to and amongst such poor persons there as the mayor and aldermen of the said borough, and the minister of the Church of St. Mary, in Wallingford, for the time being, or the major part of them, whereof the said minister to be one, should from time to time think fit and convenient.

And also one other 10l. by the year to such person or persons, half-yearly, as should from time to time be elected to be a schoolmaster in a free grammar school thereafter to be erected in Wallingford aforesaid, which schoolmaster should be chosen by the mayor and aldermen of the said borough for the time being, or the greater part of them, out of three such persons as the minister of the said parish-church of St. Mary should nominate to the said mayor and aldermen, and not otherwise; and until the said free grammar-school should be erected the said 10l. should be applied towards the erecting of such free grammarschool; and upon further trust and confidence, that the said master and wardens should lay out all such sum or sums of money as should be from time to time raised and received upon any demise or grant of the said premises as a fine, over and above the said yearly rent, in and above the necessary repairs and building of the said messuage and premises.

The house and premises described in the said deed are now in the possession of the said company, who have demised the premises from time to time, and applied the rents in the manner directed by the above-mentioned deed. No such fines as were contemplated by the deed are taken, but the company keep the premises in repair, or provide for their being so kept, by the terms of the demises.

By a Decree of the Master of the Rolls, dated 26th July 1834, the whole income of the charity property was declared to be devoted to charitable purposes, and by a subsequent Decree, dated 9th July 1835, it was referred to a Master in Chancery to ascertain what proportionate additions ought in consequence to be made to the several payments directed by the aboverecited Indenture.

The Master made his report thereon on 29th July 1835, expressing his opinion "that one-third part of the surplus rents of the charity estate, after the payment of the three annual sums of 10l. each provided by the said Indenture to be paid as aforesaid, should be added to each of the said several sums of 10l.;" and this report was confirmed by an Order of the High Court of Chancery, dated 29th January 1836.

Under this Decree the company have regularly paid twothirds of the rents of the charity estate to the trustees of the Municipal Charities of Wallingford, to be by them applied to the purpose recited in the said Report and Decree; the company not pursuing the payments any further.

By a "Scheme for the Management of Bigg's Charity in Wallingford," which was approved by the Queen in Council on 9th August 1873, the company are thereafter (and after the appointment of certain governors of the charity as therein provided) to "pay two equal third parts of the net annual income (of the charity estate) to the governing body for the time being acting under this Scheme, or as such governing body shall direct."

A Scheme is about to be established, with the concurrence of the Charity Commissioners, for the enlargement of the scope of the benefactions to the company's poor under this gift, commensurate with the recent improvement in the proportionate income of the charity estate applicable to that purpose.

XCIX. LADY JANE MAYNARD'S WILL (1660).

Lady Jane Maynard, by her Will, dated 14th March 1660, reciting that she was legally possessed of two messuages or tenements, with the appurtenances, and divers lands, containing by estimation, 3 score and 13 acres, lying in the parish of Leicham, in the county of Kent, and divers marsh-lands containing by estimation 138 acres, called Romney Marsh, in the said county, devised the same to certain persons therein mentioned, successively in tail male, and in default of issue as therein mentioned, to R. Thompson, R. Raworth, and Charles Chamberlain, their heirs and assigns, for ever, upon trust (inter alia), to grant to the master and wardens, assistants, and society of the Merchant Tailors Company, and their successors, for ever, one moiety, or yearly rent of 50l. of lawful money to be issuing out of the said marsh-lands and premises, upon trust, to dispose of the same to such honest well-disposed freemen of their company as should have served apprenticeships, and should be about to set up their trades, in such proportions and manner as the master, wardens, and assistants of the said company should think fit, the said annuity to be paid on the 1st day of November and the 1st of May in every year, with full powers of entry and distress.

By an Indenture, dated 20th April 1711, the co-heirs in gravel-kind of the said R. Thompson, the only surviving trustee under the said will, granted an annuity of 50l. to the Merchant Tailors Company, to be issuing out of the premises in the said will mentioned, upon the trusts aforesaid.

The annual sum received by the company is 40l. per annum (10l. being deducted for land-tax), which the company distribute to poor young men about to set up trade. The sum which they give to each is 20l.

C. SIR ABRAHAM REYNARDSONS WILL (1661).

Sir Abraham Reynardson, by Will, dated 10th May 1661, gave to the master and wardens of the Merchant Tailors Company 300l., in consideration of which they afterwards, by deed, dated 6th December 1662, settled an annuity of 16l. per annum, to be issuing out of a house belonging to them in Cornhill, to be distributed as follows,—viz., among six poor women of the company, for ever, 6s. 8d. a-piece quarterly.

The company pay to the above pensioners 10s. 6d. a quarter, instead of 6s. 8d., being an excess of 9l. 4s. per annum beyond the stipulated amount. The company, at their discretion, increase the 12 pensions to 5l. each per annum out of their own fund.

CI. ANDREW DANDY'S WILL (1673).

Andrew Dandy, by Will, dated 29th March 1673, gave and bequeathed to the master and wardens of the Merchant Tailors Company his houses and ground in St. Thomas the Apostle, within the City of London, to hold to them and their successors for ever, upon trust, yearly, to pay out of the rents and profits thereof, to 12 poor men and women in their almshouses on Tower Hill, or where they might judge best, having little or no pension or allowance, 20s. a-piece per annum, towards their maintenance; and farther to pay to six poor men or women, that have been laborious and pious inhabitants of the parish of St. Sepulchre, without Newgate, 20s. per annum a-piece for ever to six poor men or women of the parish of St. Giles, Cripplegate, London, 20s. per annum a-piece, yearly, for ever; and to six poor men or women of the parish of St. Botolph, Bishopsgate, 20s. per annum a-piece, for ever; provided, that should the rent be deficient to pay the said several pensions, the same were to be abated in proportion.

And upon the expiration of the existing lease and improvement of the rent, to pay such improvement to so many poor men and women of the said company, as such future improvement would amount to at 20s. per annum, each man and woman to be elected at the discretion of the master, wardens and court of assistants of the said company.

The sum of 12l. per annum is yearly applied with other funds to the support of the almswomen in the company's almshouses, and carried to that account accordingly.

The company pay yearly 6l. to six poor persons of the parish of St. Sepulchre, by quarterly payments of 5s to each.

In like manner 6l. yearly is paid to six poor persons of the parish of St. Giles, Cripplegate, and 6l. to six poor persons of the parish of St. Botolph without Bishopsgate, recommended to the company by the above-mentioned parishes respectively. Under this gift the company yearly pay 1l each to the poor women in their almshouses, and the residue of the charity income they apply to the relief of their poor.

The charity property, being a house in Tower Royal, has been taken by the City of London under an Act of Parliament for City improvements, and the proceeds have been invested in Consols by order of the Court of Chancery, dated 13th June 1849.

CII. HENRY RICHARDS' WILL (1674).

Henry Richards, by his Will, dated 29th January 1674, gave to the master and wardens of the company of Merchant Tailors 500l. upon trust, that the same should be lent out on good real or personal security, unto young men of the said company, in such manner and during such time as the master, wardens, and assistants of the said company should think fit, at 4l. per cent. interest, payable half-yearly, for their advancement in trade, the interest of the said money to be disposed of amongst so many of the poorest and most importent widows, children, or other persons belonging to the company, or the members thereof, as the master, wardens and assistants for the time being should appoint.

The company received the said sum of 500l., which they apply in loans to freemen of the company. The sum of 21l. is in consideration of the said bequest, applied, yearly, for the relief of 10 of the poorest and most infirm widows or freemen of this company, by 2l. 2s. to each, which is paid quarterly, being 1l. per annum more than the interest of the principal sum given at four per cent. See "Mary Ramsay's Charity," p. 295.

The company, at their discretion, increase the said 10 pensions to 5l. per annum each out of their own funds.

CIII. JAMES CHADWICK'S CHARITY (1679).

An entry in the books of the company is to the following effect:

"James Chadwick's gift to four poor women, widows of freemen, 5s. each, quarterly, 4l.

" 4th April 1679.—By Will gave the company, to pay this sum, 100l."

And the above is all the evidence in their possession to show the origin of this donation.

4l. per annum appears to have been always paid in respect of this charity; and for some time past that sum has been increased to eight guineas per annum, the addition being paid out of the company's own funds. Under this arrangement four poor widows of freemen of the company receive each 10s. 6d. every quarter. The company at their discretion further increase these pensions to 5l. per annum each out of their own funds.

CIV. SIR WILLIAM TURNER'S WILL (1680). (fn. 1)

Sir William Turner, by his Will, bequeathed to the Merchant Tailors Company the sum of 300l. upon the following condition, viz., that the master and wardens should pay 3l. a-piece to three poor clothworkers every year, for ever.

It appears by the pension-book of the company that the sum of 9l. is yearly paid to three poor clothworkers, to each 3l. by quarterly payments. The same persons continue to receive the annual bounty, and as they die off their vacancies are filled up by the company.

The date of the will is not recorded in the said book, but the charity appears to have been in operation for a very long period, and the company at their discretion, increase the three pensions to 5l. per annum each out of their own funds.

CV. JAMES CHURCH'S DEED (1681).

By a Deed Poll, bearing date 16th January 1681, setting forth that James Church, a member of the same company, had given and paid to the master and wardens thereof 500l. upon trust, that they and the major part of the court of assistants of the said company should pay the sum of 20l. yearly to the said James Church during the term of his natural life, and after his decease dispose of the said principal sum of 500l. as follows; viz. 200l., parcel of the said 500l., to be lent to four young men free of the said company, on good security, for two years, gratis, by 50l. to each, and so from two years to two years, and to pay the interest of the 300l., remainder of the said 500l., at four per cent., being 12l. per annum, to 12 poor men and 12 poor women, free of the said company, who had no pension of the said company, and who should frequent the church during Divine Service, which poor persons should be called and paid by the name of Mr. James Church's pensioners, the said master and wardens covenanted and agreed with the said James Church, his executors, and administrators, to perform and execute the said charitable objects and trusts.

As nothing appears in the books of the company respecting the 200l. to be lent out as above-mentioned, the probability is that it has been lost by the insolvency of the borrowers and their sureties.

In reference to the sum of 300l., the remainder of the sum of 500l., the company pay 12 guineas annually to 12 poor men and 12 poor women, freemen, and their widows, being half a guinea each, on every Good Friday, who are required to attend at the Company's Hall on that day, and to follow such of the company as go church, attended by the company's beadles.

CVI. CHRISTOPHER PITT'S DEED (1683).

Christopher Pitt, by Deed, gave to the master and wardens of the said company the sum of 300l., in consideration of which, the company, by indenture, dated 16th August 1683, covenanted to pay to six poor men or women free of the company, 10s. quarterly, each, for ever.

The company pay 12l. 12s. per annum, to six poor women, each 2l. 2s. by quarterly payments of 10s. 6d., being an overpayment of 12s. per annum.

The company, at their discretion, increase the said six pensions to 5l. each per annum out of their own funds.

CVII. JUDITH ALSTON'S CHARITY (1687).

It appears from an entry in the books of the company that Judith Alston, in the year 1687, gave the sum of 300l. to the company, upon condition to pay 5l. a year to the vicar of St. Giles, Cripplegate; 5l. a year to the rector of St. Andrew, Holborn; and 5l. a year to the rector of St. Mary, Whitechapel; which said several sums were to be applied to the use and benefit of the poor of those several parishes.

And it further appears from the same entry that a security was given under the common seal of the company to the donor, and that three several bonds were given to the incumbents of the above-mentioned parishes to pay the annual interest aforesaid.

These sums are annually paid by the company to the respective incumbents of the said parishes; but the company do not interfere with the application of the money.

CVIII. JOHN WILLIAMS' WILL (1712).

John Williams, by Will, dated 12th November 1712, gave to the master and wardens of the said company 50l. which was owing to him by the company on bond, upon trust, to pay certain annuities to six persons therein named of 10s. to each, and after their decease to pay 3l. yearly to six poor cuttingtailors of the said company, or their widows, being real objects of charity.

The sum of 3l. is carried to the company's general fund for the relief of the poor, and applied accordingly.

CIX. ABIGAIL SOLLY'S WILL (1719).

Abigail Solly, by Will, dated 9th July 1719, gave and devised to the master and wardens of the same company all her lands and estate situate at Godstone, in the county of Surrey, to hold to them and their successors for ever, upon trust, to pay and apply so much of the rents as might be necessary in keeping clean and repairing the tombstone set up by her over the vault where her late brothers, Joseph and Nathaniel Solly, lay interred, in the burying-ground in Bunhill-fields, and to apply the surplus of the rents and profits of the same among the poor men and women that receive alms of the company, in such proportions as they should think fit, yearly in the month of December for ever, deducting thereout the reasonable charges of receiving the rents and keeping the premises in repair.

The rent of the charity-property, which is situate at Godstone, and consists of pasture and woodland, is 20l. per annum. The company keep the said tombstone in repair, and carry the surplus rents to the general fund for the relief of their poor, and apply them accordingly.

CX. WILLIAM MOORE'S WILL.

William Moore, by his Will, an extract of which appears in the company's books without date, gave to the master and wardens of the Merchant Tailors Company, an annuity of 20s. for ever, to be issuing out of a tenement lying in the parish of St. Andrew Undershaft, in London, and payable by the churchwardens of the same parish, which annuity he directed to be yearly paid and distributed amongst such of the company as had been wardens substitutes in decay.

This annuity, less 4s. for land-tax, is duly paid by the churchwardens of the parish of St. Andrew Undershaft, and is carried to the general fund for the relief of the poor of the company and applied accordingly.

CXI. WALTER HULL'S WILL.

Walter Hull, by Will, an extract of which appears in the books of the company without date gave to the master and wardens of the same company, an annuity of 2l. 4s. per annum, payable by the parish of St. Olave, Hart-street, out of certain property bequeathed to the said parish by the said Walter Hull, upon trust, to be disposed of to two poor members of the company, by 5s. the quarter, and to the clerk of this company 4s. for receiving and disposing of the same.

The company pay two poor members 10s. 6d. per quarter each, and 4s. to the clerk, making an annual payment of 4l. 8s., which payment is referred to the charity of Walter Hull, in the account, being an excess beyond the receipt of 2l. 4s. per annum, and the company, at their discretion, further increase the two pensions to 5l. per annum each out of their own funds.

CXII. THOMAS ROBERTS' WILL (1824).

Thomas Roberts, by his Will, dated the 14th day of April 1824, gave to the masters and wardens of the said company 2,000l. three per cent. consolidated annuities, upon trust, to distribute the interest and dividends thereof annually, at their discretion, among the poor almswomen of the company, at their almhouses near Tower-hill.

The testator before his death wrote in the margin opposite to this bequest South Sea Annuities, and his executors, upon his decease, which took place about the month of June 1825, applied to the company to know which stock they would prefer; the company however having referred it to the executors, the sum of 2,000l. old South Sea annuities was transferred into the names of the master and wardens of the company.

On the paying off the South Sea annuities on 28th October, 1854, the 2,000l. received was invested in the purchase of 2,108l. 0s. 9d. Consoles, the dividends on which are applied in payments of 2l. per annum to each of the company's almswomen, and the residue is appropriated towards their general support.

CXIII. THE PRISON FUNDS.

1. One of the benevolent objects for which money was bequeathed to the Company, was that of releasing or discharging poor persons incarcerated for debt. Hyde (27), Dowe (28), and Vernon (34) being the principal, and Blundell (24), Parker (36), and Wooller (35) the smaller benefactors.

2. The Company applied this fund, in default of small debtors for sums under 4l. and 5l., to pay the legal fees of poor debtors unable to pay these on their being otherwise discharged from prison, and in this manner, from 1799 to 1814, the Company paid out of their corporate funds 331l. 16s. over and above the Trust monies.

3. In 1815, the payment of fees was abolished by Statute, and the funds were accumulated until 405l. 11s. (plus the 331l. 16s., which was not claimed from the trust) was in hand. Application was then made to the Court of Chancery, under the 52 George III., c. 101, and the funds given by Hyde, Dowe, and Vernon, were consolidated into one account by an order made " In the matter of the Debtors in the Prisons of the City of London," on the 31st July 1820, and were ordered to be applied to the release of debtors confined for 5l., and (by a later order of 23rd November 1850) for 30l.

4. The smaller benefactions were disposed of to the Corporation Hall Keeper and the Keeper of the Queen's Prison, and applied by them to the relief of poor prisoners.

5. As imprisonment for debt gradually became abolished, the demands on the fund fell off, and the income was invested for accumulation in Government securities. When the Company originally proposed the establishment of a Convalescent Home to the Charity Commissioners, the appropriation of these funds was included in the proposal. The consent of the Commissioners was however withheld, on account of a suggestion made at the instance of the City of London, that these and other funds, held by other Guilds for a similar object, should be applied, with the sanction of Parliament, to the establishment of an Industrial and Reformatory Institution for Boys of the Metropolis. Accordingly, in the session of 1870, the Corporation promoted a Bill, which was successfully opposed by this and other Companies, and thrown out.

6. The matter was then taken up by the Attorney-General, with the view of obtaining a scheme from the Court of Chancery, but this (being also opposed) failed of success, the ViceChancellor, Sir James Bacon, deciding that the doctrine of cypres would not justify his adoption of the Attorney-General's scheme for applying the funds to a school for criminal children. (fn. 2)

7. The fund was ultimately applied, with the sanction of the Charity Commissioners, to the increase and sustentation of the Bognor Home.

Footnotes

1 It is presumed this testator was Lord Mayor in 1669, and the Treasurer of the fund raised in 1671 for rebuilding the Company's School after the Fire in 1666.
2 See Case of "The Prison Charities," vol. xvi., Eq. Cas., p. 145.