Evidences, 1882
School Board of London

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Centre for Metropolitan History

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Author

City of London Livery Companies Commission

Year published

1884

Pages

258-262

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'Evidences, 1882: School Board of London', City of London Livery Companies Commission. Report; Volume 1 (1884), pp. 258-262. URL: http://british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=69411 Date accessed: 25 July 2014.


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School Board of London

Mr. Benjamin Lucraft attended as a deputation from the London School Board.

Mr. B. Lucraft. 19 July 1882.

2161. (Chairman.) We understand that you have come here as representing the School Board for London ?—Yes, and partly to express my own views.

2162. Do we understand that you have come here deputed by the Board to state a case on their behalf? —Yes; I come here to state a case on behalf of the School Board for London.

2163. (Sir S. Waterlow.) Do you do that in consequence of a resolution of the Board ?—In consequence of a resolution of the Endowments Committee of the School Board.

2164. Then, in fact, you represent the Endowments Committee of the School Board ?—Just so, but more than that, I represent the School Board because that which I am about to state will be what has been agreed to by the School Board for London. What I have to say is from the Blue Book which is issued by the School Board for London, and refers to cases that have come before them and been decided by that Board, and if there is anything I should have to say of my own unconnected with the School Board I will state that it is simply my own.

2165. (Chairman.) We are not fully acquainted with the case that you propose to lay before us, and therefore it will, perhaps, be more convenient if, instead of putting questions to you, I ask you generally to state what you have to request us to consider ?—In the first place this has been agreed to by the School Board for London, that it is advisable that there should be a public audit for the reason that the accounts of school boards, boards of guardians, and other public bodies are audited by a public auditor, and it is considered likely to keep those public bodies straight with regard to their finances, and that the money is more likely to be spent in a proper way where there is a public audit; and the board agreed with that, and passed a resolution to that effect. I will just trouble you with two cases merely as specimens of the different points that I wish to bring before you. In the case of the trusts of St. Paul's School, St. Paul's Churchyard, under the Mercers' Company, there is an expenditure of over 300l. for a dinner and breakfast every year. It is considered that if there was a public audit that would not be allowed, and that this is expending money in a way that it ought not to be spent. There is another case; and this is all that I will trouble you with. In an action brought against the same Company the costs and expenses ran up to 8,000l. This money was paid in the first place, or was proposed to be paid, out of the trust funds, but the Court of Chancery intervened and declared that it should be chargeable against the corporate funds of the Mercers' Company. Now, if there had been a public auditor, and if there was, as a rule, a public audit for those endowments, this money never would have been spent, perhaps, in the first place. That is all I have to say with regard to the public audit.

Then, with regard to the working members of trades, I am of opinion that as the larger portion of the income for charitable purposes was left for the benefit of members of the companies, and intended, undoubtedly, to serve the interests of trade by supporting actual working and trading members of such trades, the whole of such money is misapplied when given to people merely on condition of their being members of a company, and regardless of the fact that such recipients have no actual connection with the trades represented by the names of such companies.

2166. I do not understand you now to be speaking of the charities of the company but of their corporate income ?—I am speaking of the endowments. It is not conceivable that persons, at a time when the different guilds were composed of persons engaged in certain trades, would leave money for other purposes than that. They left it specially for the purpose of assisting members in the trades whose names the companies bear. To prove this I may state that the Saddlers' and Harness Makers' Guild was so engaged in the trade itself, that all the apprentices when out their time had to submit a specimen of their work for the examination of that guild, and their wages were actually fixed according to the ability that they had shown in the piece of work they produced; so that it was evident at that time, years back, that the guilds were intended for the purpose of encouraging trade and to carry out that object. I have another specimen of those cases here which I need not trouble you with especially as it is getting late and you have been sitting some time.

(fn. 1) Then there are many cases that we think come under the head of misappropriations. In very many cases the founders have expressly stipulated that the money which they devised by will for charitable purposes should be actually laid out in the purchase of lands, houses, &c. The object of the founders must have been twofold,—first, to obtain undoubted security; and second, to realize an augmented income by the increasing value of such property. Many cases can be pointed out in which the companies, in the capacity of trustees, have appropriated the capital sums to their own use, and made themselves responsible simply for the amount of interest on the original sum. I will give some specimen cases, "John Scott; 100l. to be laid out in freehold estate, dated 1717. The object was to benefit the poor. The company still pay only four per cent. on the amount of the original bequest, although the terms were that the money should be spent in freehold estate." Of course having been bequeathed as long ago as 1717, if this money had been laid out on freehold estate, it would have produced more than it does now. Then I will take a case from the Brewers' Company : "Elizabeth Lovejoy, in 1694, gave 180l. to be spent in land. The company has held this money in investment for nearly 200 years and continues to pay only 9l. per annum, as provided originally, whereas the property in which such money has been invested must have multiplied many times. If the money has not been laid out in real estate, the company ought to be required to pay as though it had been so invested, as they were instructed so to do." Then there is another case from the Armourers' Company: "Thomas Dring; original sum 20l., for which the company now grant 4l. per annum to the poor and retain the capital, which they have held for 160 years. The sum of 20l. laid out in property 160 years ago, must yield a very much higher income than 4l. per annum at the present date." The next case cited is from the Barbers' Company: "John Bancks in 1619 gave a house and six acres of land at Holloway, the then yearly rent being 17l. Of this sum 5l. was to be applied to Christ's Hospital, which annuity of 5l. was purchased by the company in 1811. The company were still liable to pay the balance for the carrying out of the purposes named in the donor's will, viz. the preaching of seven sermons annually. The present value of this large estate cannot be ascertained without full powers of investigation; but it must be a very large sum." Six acres of land now in Holloway must be of immense value, therefore we think that there ought to be some strict inquiry into the whole of that case. "And as the income is too great to be applied for the encouragement of preaching sermons in the City of London, and as the company have no title to the estate, I suggest the application of this money to some useful purpose, say to educational purposes, as set forth in the Endowed Schools Act, 1869, section 30. Section 30 is as follows:—In the case of any endowment which is not an educational endowment as defined in this Act, but the income of which is applicable wholly or partially to any one or more of the following purposes, namely; doles in money or kind, marriage portions, redemption of prisoners and captives, relief of poor prisoners for debt, loans, apprenticeship fees, advancement in life; or any purposes which have failed altogether or have become insignificant in comparison with the magnitude of the endowment, if originally given to charitable uses in or before the year of our Lord 1800, it shall be lawful for the Commissioners, with the consent of the governing body to declare by a scheme under this Act, that it is desirable to apply for the advancement of education the whole or any part of such endowment, and thereupon the same shall for the purposes of this Act be deemed to be an educational endowment, and may be dealt with by the same scheme accordingly; provided that in any scheme relating to such endowment, due regard shall be had to the educational interests of persons of the same class in life, or resident within the same particular area as that of the persons who at the commencement of the Act are benefited thereby. Then the next case is—" Robert Ferbras, in 1470, devised two freehold houses in Dowgate Hill for the benefit of poor members of the Company. For nearly 400 years the Company applied the income to their own corporate funds; and they appear to have been ignorant of the fact that the property was left for charitable purposes, until in the year 1848 the fact was revealed on their being required to give a title for the sale of the property to the Corporation." I contend that the money thus applied to the Company's funds for a period of 400 years ought to be restored to the trust, and be applied in support of actual barbers, not merely for nominal ones. Then I come to a specimen case taken from the Clothworkers' Company. "Samuel Middlemore in 1647, gave 800l. to purchase lands. After possessing this money for over 230 years, the Company continue to contribute only 70l. per annum out of their corporate funds. If such money were actually laid out in lands, it must be now worth more than 70l. a year; if not so invested, the Company should be required to pay the penalty of neglect." Then taking a specimen case from the Fishmongers' Company: " Jeremiah Copping, in 1686, gave 1,800l. to be laid out in lands. Had such money been laid out in lands 200 years ago as directed by the founder's will it would now have yielded an enormous rental. The Company now pay from Consols 71l. per annum only." The Embroiderers' Company furnishes the following case. "Mark Howse, in 1629, left 140l. with which lands were to be bought. After possessing this sum of money for over 250 years the Company continue to pay only 7l. per annum; and four years later a sum of 400l. was given by the same benefactor to be spent in real estate, then estimated to be worth only 20l. per annum, for which the Company now pay 14l. only. A further grant was made in 1635; and for all these only 26l. a year is paid, 4l. to the parish of St. Thomas the Apostle, 2l. to the Governors of Christ's Hospital for apprenticeship, and 20l. among the poor and officers of the Company." Then we come to the Grocers' Company, " Humphry Walwyn, in 1612, left 600l. to be spent in houses, the rents of which were to be applied to charitable purposes. The Company pay a rentcharge of 30l. per annum, but retain all benefits which may arise from augmented value. William Robinson, in 1633, left 400l., to disburse the sum in purchase of lands and houses; but the Company pay four per cent. on the original capital, and claim all benefits obtainable from the increased value." Then there are two specimen cases from the Mercers' Company. "Hugh Perry, about 250 years ago, left 270l. in lands to yield 13l. per annum. The Company pay the original value of 13l., and keep the benefit of the increased value for their own use. Dame Joan Bradbury, in 1523, left lands then worth 20l. a year. The object of the trust was for carrying out certain superstitious uses " (I do not know what those uses are), " and to pay 30s., a year for coal to the poor of St. Stephen, Coleman Street. The Company hold a block of buildings on ground measuring 8½ acres in Long Acre, which I believe to yield over 27,000l. a year. The accounts show that they still pay the sum of 30s. to the poor of St. Stephen, Coleman Street." This, I think, is one of the cases that ought to be inquired into. In the case of the Merchant Tailors' Company, " Sir John Hanbury, in 1639, gave 500l. to be laid out in lands, but the Company have invested the money as they thought fit, and continue to pay less than four per cent. on the original value." (fn. 2) In the case of the Skinners' Company, " Margaret Audley gave 700l. to be spent in lands, the income to be applied to charitable purposes. No lands appear to have been purchased, or at any rate, the benefits of such purchase have never been given to the trust, inasmuch as the original annuity of 35l. only is still paid, notwithstanding that the Company have held the capital for nearly 170 years."

Then there are what we consider to be impracticable trusts. I suggest that all trusts which have become impracticable should be diverted in accordance with the spirit of the Endowed Schools Act of 1869; and that the nature of the education to be given should partake largely of the technical character. I would like if you will allow me just to say a word or two with reference to technical education. Everybody is talking about technical education. I look at it from a workman's point of view, and the technical education that I wish to see brought about, is technical education for the workman; the technical education for professors and the like is quite another thing to technical education for the workmen. And technical education for middle class education is all very well for persons of leisure, but for a workman it is only advisable that he should be instructed in that which he is to get his living by, not the general scope of technical education required to enable a man to become a professor or a teacher. If a man is intended to be a carpenter or an engineer the technical education that I want him to have is that which appertains to the trade that he is to get his living by. He has no time to go into all the subjects of technical education and become acquainted with everything of the kind; and this, if it is to be done well, should be done while he is learning a portion of his trade, and while he is actually at work. When our boys leave the primary schools, say at 13 or 14 years of age, they may have passed, if clever boys, through the Sixth or Seventh Standards; they have got the education then that fits them to understand things. Now if a boy or a girl is to get a technical knowledge of a trade it is necessary that they should go to work at once to get that knowledge, but if for two or three years they are kept to the learning of the technical part of their trade, the science of their trade, and are not at work at it with their hands, then by that time many of them will have got too old to go to work; they will have got beyond that stage. What I should like to see is this, and it is in fact that which brings me here more than anything else—if anything can be got from these funds that the technical education of the working classes of London should be attended to in this way:—If a boy when he leaves school has to learn the science and the theory of the trade, apart from the actual working of it, and has to learn those before he commences, then you see he takes up at any rate two or three years of his time; but if we could have institutions (now that the apprenticeship system is done away with in a great measure) where a boy could be, say, half his time at school properly learning the theoretical part of his trade, and in the same building the other part of his time working with his hands at that trade for two or three years, then we should raise up by that means a number of skilled artisans who would be capable of carrying out work as foremen and clerks of works, and of becoming employers and the like of that. That is the technical education that I am anxious to see brought about. As a workman I speak. I am a cabinet maker myself, and for many years (that is since people have talked about art workmanship and so on, and since the taste has spread amongst people who can afford to pay for and who desire to have things beautiful) I have felt vexed myself that I have never had the opportunity of obtaining the technical training which is necessary to enable one to produce those works. That technical training would be a blessing to those who desire it. My desire is not alone for our boys, but I am anxious for girls also, in relation to many things, embroidery and the like of that, that we have at the present time; and a technical knowledge of the particular trade that either a man or a woman gets his or her living at must be a great benefit to the persons so instructed and a great benefit to the nation at large. My opinion is that in the future the nation whose artisan class is best instructed will be the nation which will take the lead amongst the nations of the earth. It is upon those grounds that I desire to put this question before you in a different way to what our professors put it. I desire simply education for the boy or the girl in the trade that they have to learn. This could be easily given, I think; and without any desire to detain you any length of time or any longer about it, I may say that I have as chairman of the Endowments Committee of the London School Board gone through the whole of these matters and thought a good deal about them from my own point of view, that is as a workman; and it is on that ground that I am here. We have examined 1,028 trusts in 78 livery companies, and found two years ago that the then total income amounted to nearly 186,000l. a year. If anything can come from this inquiry that will enable the artisans of the future to become the workmen they were when the guilds taught them their trades and insisted upon it that the trades should be properly taught by the masters who professed to teach them; if something of that sort can be done out of some of those funds which were intended originally for that purpose, it would be a great benefit to the country. The division of labour is one of those things that makes it necessary that something of this sort should be done, or else in the course of a very few years old men, or men of my own age, will die off, and we shall leave in the trades those who have been taught a very small portion of the trades. That which they do know and practise they do well, but very few men understand a trade altogether. A boy who has had two or three years' training as an engineer, spending part of his time in the theory and part of it in the practical work, will at the end of that period be enabled to obtain a situation as an improver in a first-class factory, and after a few years actual work be capable of supervising the whole work all the way through, from the beginning to the end. I am sorry to detain you, but there is just one more thing I should like to mention. We have scholarships; and some of the city companies have been very generous indeed in giving scholarships for boys and girls in our elementary schools. I know of an institution established similar to that which I have been speaking about where instead of scholarships the purpose is merely to carry on the education of children somewhat higher than it generally is for two or three years. Scholarships should be attached to the technical school where they would learn the handicraft at which they will have to get their living, or else I am afraid that many of those boys that get a scholarship for three years in a higher school without any family to back them, and without any influence at all, will have lost three years when they should be at work; then they will not be inclined to go to work, and many of them, or most of them I am afraid, will simply become poor clerks. But if we had an institution of this kind I think the scholarships might be made very numerous, and that we might be enabled by them to train up the artisan class that will be required for the future; and I feel confident that a technical system is fitted to take the place of the apprenticeship system which seems at any rate for a time to have died out. I am reminded that the Mercers' Company have expended some very large sums of money in a manner which I think is wasteful. The annual expense of maintaining 28 inmates, a tutor, a matron, a gardener, and nurses of the Mercers' Company called the Whittington Charity is 1,570l. or nearly 50l. each. I do not think it was ever intended by the mercer who gave that money that Jane Parker should receive 140l., that Maria Parker should receive 125l. and Joseph T. Parker 40l. Six persons bearing the name of Collyer received 270l. (or an average of 45l. each); six persons bearing the name of Totton receive 250l. (or an average of nearly 42l. each); two persons bearing the name of Heslop received 105l. (one of them 75l. and the other 30l.); three persons named Barnes receive 200l.; one person named Julia Green receives 115l. 15s., and two women receive 300l. (or 150l. each). I do not think that such was intended. If some of those funds can be used for the purpose I have just named I think it will be a benefit to those who receive them and to the nation at large. I thank you for listening to what I had to say, and shall be willing to answer any remarks or questions that may be put to me.

2167. (Mr. Alderman Cotton.) Technical education as it is followed at the present day you consider to be a misnomer or a mistake, I understand ?—It is not followed for people at work. There is no such thing that I know of. There are art classes and science classes and the like of that, and they are very well and have done good service, I think.

2168. A few years ago when technical education was first spoken of, it was intended to educate the artisan in the manner that you have yourself spoken of, was it not ?—Yes, but it is not done.

2169. You object to the technical education so far as regards the building colleges for professors and people of that stamp ?—I would not object to anything and do not object to anything; I simply want that done which is the best for those who actually work, because we may have a nation of professors, and still our artisans may not be at all skilled.

2170. In the case of moneys that have been left, suppose the case of a father dying and leaving a meadow to his eldest son, and 50l. a year from the proceeds of this meadow to two younger sons; and iron was discovered, or copper was discovered underneath this meadow, and instead of being worth what it was when the father died it should be worth 20,000l. a year, would you increase the sum bequeathed to the younger sons ?—I would rather answer that if the case was before us. This is only a case that you have just conjured up.

2171. I put such a case to you hypothetically?—If we had such a case I would consider it.

2172. My object in putting it to you was to ascertain whether you think it is to be expected that corporations should do otherwise with property left to them than individuals would be expected to do with it ?—I should think not; but where it was intended for the benefit of a trade, I rather think, since the guilds have given up trading in any way or teaching trades, that that which was given for the teaching of the trades originally really should be given for the teaching of the trades now.

2173. (Mr. Pell.) I did not quite understand what your idea was of technical education for the working classes; was it to train them to merely the mechanical part of their calling?—No, not entirely that, but the theory as well as the practice. I want the theory and the practice in the case of young people to be carried on at the same time, because if we wait until they have the theory we lose the time when they should be at work.

2174. (Mr. James.) I presume when you say that you desire a public audit of the accounts, you desire an audit conducted by Government?—Just so, we find that the wardens say "we have examined the accounts and find them correct"; they are the very persons who have spent the money, and would be sure to find their own expenditure and their accounts correct.

2175. (Mr. Pell.) I see here, though you do not state it, you are inclined to admit that alms, doles, &c., are demoralising "and calculated to weaken the spirit of self-dependence"; is not that part of your view?—

Yes, I am not alone in that opinion. I think it is a general opinion.

2176. Because I suppose they do for people what they ought to be able to do for themselves; is that your view ?—Yes, in a great measure.

2177. Do you think that that applies to the case of the School Board finding education out of other people's pockets for those who are to pay for it themselves, supposing that to be the case; I do not want to argue that?—That is not the case.

2178. Supposing it to be the case I say ?—It is not the case. I refused a supposititious case just now; and there is a mistake here because those people who pay but a small fee pay in taxes and rates the other portion.

2179. (Chairman.) I understand generally that your view is this; that in the event of a redistribution of the property of the city companies some proportion (you do not define how much) ought to be allotted to purposes of technical education, and that I suppose I may take it includes the School Board work also ?— I am not particular whether it is the School Board or what it is so long as it is the technical education that is necessary for the artisan class; that is what I want.

2180. The question I put to you is this; in the views that you have put forward are you expressing the opinion of the School Board ?—Yes, I have stated nothing but what will appear in our Blue Book as being agreed to by the members of the School Board as a Board.

Adjourned sine die.

Appendix to Mr. Lucraft's Evidence.

The following statement had been handed in by the clerk to the Educational Endowments Committee of the School Board :—

Endowments.

Need of Public Audit.

I am of opinion that there should be a public audit in the same sense as there is for boards of guardians and for school boards.

Report of School Board for London, pages 9, 72, 73, 209, 210 (for specimens of Auditing).

The trustees of the charities, i.e., the companies themselves, spend the money, and then audit their own accounts.

In the case of school boards and boards of guardians, when any wrong or extravagant or illegal expenditure has been incurred, the persons authorising such expenditure are liable to be surcharged with the amount.

There have been many cases of illegal and extravagant expenditure in connexion with public trusts which appear to me ought to be surcharged.

Accounts furnished Company to Charity Commissioners, quoted on page 207. Ditto.

In the case of the trust for St. Paul's School, St. Paul's Churchyard, under the Mercers' Company, there is an expenditure of over 300l. for a dinner and breakfast every year.

In one case of an action being brought against the same company, the expenses, amounting to nearly 8,000l., were in the first instance charged to the trust. This is a specimen of cases in which a public audit is required to prevent the wrong expenditure of trust money. But for the Court of Chancery having intervened, this sum of money, spent to assert the improper action of the trustees, would have been taken from the trust fund, whereas it was afterwards declared to be chargeable against the corporate funds of the Mercers' Company.

Working Members of Trades.

I am of opinion that as the larger portion of the income for charitable purposes was left for the benefit of members of the companies, and intended undoubtedly to serve the interests of trade by supporting actual working and trading members of particular trades, the whole of such money is misapplied when given to people merely on condition of their being members of a company, and regardless of the fact that such recipients have no actual connexion with the trades represented by the names of such companies.

I am of opinion that the funds which were left at the times when the companies were actively engaged in promoting the interests of their several trades should be applied to further their original objects or some kindred objects.

Some of the wills of founders express the donors' intention to benefit actual operators; others appear to make no mention of militant traders; but the fact that the companies were in all cases founded to promote trade interests is, in my opinion, evidence of the intention of founders to encourage and support actual masters and workmen. It is inconceivable that men who left funds to their several companies, while the trades of such companies were the sole object of benefaction, could have desired to maintain merely nominal members, such as now constitute the companies.

Misappropriations.

In very many cases the founders have expressly stipulated that the money which they devised by will for charitable purposes should be actually laid out in the purchase of lands, houses, &c.

The object of the founders must have been twofold, viz.:—to obtain undoubted security and to realise an augmented income by the increasing value of such property.

Many cases can be pointed out in which the companies, in the capacity of trustees, have appropriated the capital sums to their own use, and made themselves responsible simply for the amount of interest on the original sum.

The profits in such cases have been claimed by the companies, instead of being given over in the interest of the trust; whereas, in the event of such funds being lost by misadventure, the companies have, in many cases, allowed the charities to die; and I am sorry to say that the law has not stepped in to compel the companies to refund in such cases.

Specimen Cases.

Reports of Commissioners for Inquiring concerning Charities, vol, 7, page 193.

(fn. 3) Armourers' Company.—Thomas Dring: original sum 20l., for which the company now grant 4l. per annum to the poor, and retain the capital, which they have held for 160 years. The sum of 20l. laid out in property 160 years ago must yield a very much higher income than 4l. per annum at the present date.

Vol. 7, page 194.

John Scott gave 100l., to be laid out in freehold estate, dated 1717. The object was to benefit the poor. The company still pay only 4 per cent. on the amount of the original bequest, although the terms were that the money should be spent in freehold estate.

Vol. 8, part II., page 300.

Brewers' Company.—Elizabeth Lovejoy, in 1694, gave 180l. to be spent in land. The company has held this money in investment for nearly 200 years, and continues to pay only 9l. per annum, as provided originally, whereas the property in which such money has been invested must have multiplied many times. If the money has not been laid out in real estate, the company ought to be required to pay as though it had been so invested, as they were instructed so to do.

Vol. 32, part II., page 463.

Barbers' Company—John Banks, in 1619, gave a house and six acres of land at Holloway, the then yearly rent being 17l. Of this sum 5l. was to be applied to Christ's Hospital, which annuity of 5l. was purchased by the company in 1811. The company were still liable to pay the balance for the carrying out of the purposes named in the donor's will, viz., the preaching of seven sermons annually.

The present value of this large estate cannot be ascertained without full powers of investigation; but it must be a very large sum. And as it is too much to be applied for the encouragement of preaching sermons in the City of London, and as the company have no title to the estate, I suggest the application of this money to some useful purpose, say to educational purposes, as set forth in the Endowed Schools Act, 1869, section 30. (fn. 4)

Vol. 32. part II., page 463 and Unreported Charities (in hands of Charity Commissioners), Vol. 36, page 383.

Barbers' Company.—Robert Ferbras, in 1470, devised two freehold houses in Dowgate Hill for the benefit of poor members of the company. For nearly 400 years the company applied the income to their own corporate funds; and they appear to have been ignorant of the fact that the property was left for charitable purposes, until in the year 1848 the fact was revealed on their being required to give a title for the sale of the property to the Corporation.

I contend that the money thus applied to the company's funds for a period of 400 years ought to be restored to the trust, and be applied in support of actual carpenters, not merely of nominal ones.

Vol. 6, page 236.

Clothworkers' Company.—Samuel Middlemore, in 1647, gave 800l. to purchase lands. After possessing this money for over 230 years the company continue to contribute only 70l. per annum out of their corporate funds. If such money were actually laid out in lands, it must be now worth more than 70l. a year; if not so invested, the company should be required to pay the penalty of neglect.

Vol. 12, page 116.

Fishmongers' Company.—Jeremiah Copping, in 1687, gave 1,800l. to be laid out in lands. Had such money been laid out in lands 200 years ago, as directed by the founder's will, it would have now yielded an enormous rental. The company now pay from Consols 71l. per annum only.

Vol. 22, page 70.

Embroiderers' Company.—Mark Howse, in 1629, left 140l. with which lands were to be bought. After possessing this sum of money for over 250 years the company continue to pay only 7l. per annum. And four years later a sum of 400l. was given by the same benefactor to be spent in real estate, then estimated to be worth only 20l. per annum, for which the company now paid 14l. only. A further grant was made in 1635; and for all these, only 26l. a year is paid—4l. to the parish of St. Thomas the Apostle, 2l. to the governors of Christ's Hospital for apprenticeship, and 20l. among the poor and officers of the company.

Vol. 6, page 272.

Grocers' Company.—Humphry Walwyn, in 1612, left 600l. to be spent in houses, the rents of which were to be applied to charitable purposes. The company pay a rentcharge of 30l. per annum, but retain all benefits which may arise from augmented value.

Vol. 6, page 273.

William Robinson, in 1633, left 400l. to disburse the sum in purchase of lands and houses; but the company pay 4 per cent. on the original capital, and claim all benefit obtainable from the increased value.

Vol. 6, page 315.

Mercers' Company.—Hugh Perry, about 250 years ago, left 270l. in lands to yield 13l. per annum. The company pay the original value of 13l., and keep the benefit of the increased value for their own use.

Vol. 4, page 148.

Dame Joan Bradbury, in 1523, left lands then worth 20l. a year. The object of the trust was for carrying out certain superstitious uses and to pay 30s. a year for coal to the poor of St. Stephen, Coleman Street. The company hold a block of buildings on ground measuring 8½ acres in Long Acre, which I believe to yield over 27,000l. a year. The accounts show that they still pay the sum of 30s. to the poor of St. Stephen, Coleman Street.

Vol. 17, page 450.

Merchant Taylors' Company.—Sir John Hanbury, in 1639, gave 500l. to be laid out in lands; but the company have invested the money as they thought fit, and continue to pay less than 4 per cent. on the original value.

Vol. 8, page 363.

Skinners' Company.—Margaret Audley gave 700l. to be spent in lands, the income to be applied to charitable purposes. No lands appear to have been purchased, or, at any rate, the benefits of such purchase have never been given to the trust, inasmuch as the original annuity of 35l. only is still paid, notwithstanding that the company have held the capital for nearly 170 years.

Impracticable Trusts.

I suggest that all trusts which have become impracticable should be diverted in accordance with the spirit of the Endowed Schools Act of 1869; (fn. 4) and that the nature of the education to be given should partake largely of the technical character.

The following are specimen cases:—

Vol. 8, page 308.

Brewers' Company.—Samuel Whitbread, in 1794, bequeathed a farm for the relief of master brewers. Even 60 years ago the Inquiry Commissioners reported the great dearth of applicants with the qualification stated.

Vol. 32, part II., page 476.

Felt Makers' Company.—Philip Macham, in 1692, left 43 acres of land to yield payments for the benefit of master hat makers. There was a dearth of qualified applicants, and the company absorbed 2,000l. of the money of this trust up to the year 1838. I contend that the company should be called upon to refund the money thus improperly absorbed.

Vol. 6, page 276.

Grocers' Company.—John Wardall, in 1656, left rents of the value of 4l. a year to provide a lantern in Billingsgate. The parish authorities claim this 4l. a year in easement of their rates, now that candles are no longer required to light the streets.

I suggest that these charities, and all others which are found to be impracticable, or whose objects are obsolete, should be diverted to more useful ends, for which there are many precedents.

Extravagant Doles.

Companies' Accounts, furnished to the Charity Commissioners as required by law.

Doles of food, money, coals and elothing are distributed annually to the amount of 108,498l. 2s. 3d. (see Grand Summary at end of Analysis in the School Board's Blue Book on the Charities administered by City Livery Companies). The greater portion of these are given to poor members of companies; some of the recipients have also free residence in almshouses held as trust property.

Specimen Cases.—Mercers' Company.—Whittington's Charity.

[Accounts, 1878.]

£s.d.
There is an annual expense of maintaining 28 inmates, a tutor, a matron, a gardener, and nurses, amounting to (Or nearly 50l. each.)1,570128
One person, Jane Parker, receives14000
" Maria Parker "12500
" Joseph T.Parker "4000
Six persons, bearing the name of Collyer, receive (Or an average of 45l. each.)27000
Six persons bearing the name of Totton receive (Or an average of nearly 42l. each.)25000
Two persons bearing the name of Heslop receive (One of them 75l. and the other 30l.)10500
Three persons named Barnes receive20000
One person, named Julia Green, receives115150
Two women each receive 150l.30000

I contend that the payment of such large individual sums is a species of gross, extravagance which cannot be defended morally, and which never could, have been intended by the founder of the trust, whose principal provision was to provide for 13 poor persons in almshouses.

Footnotes

1 Several of the companies in question have communicated with the Commission denying the accuracy of these statements, and referring to their returns and to Mr. Hare's reports.
2 See the letter of the Skinners' Company, infra, p. 357.
3 Several of these companies have communicated with the Commission respecting these "cases." They allege that they are inaccurate, and refer to their returns and to the reports of Mr. Hare.
4 Section 30 is as follows:—"In the case of any endowment which is not an educational endowment as defined in this Act, but the income of which is applicable wholly or partially to any one or more of the following purposes—namely, doles in money or kind; marriage portions, redemption of prisoners and captives, relief of poor prisoners for debt, loans, apprenticeship fees, advancement in life; or any purposes which have failed altogether or have become insignificant in comparison with the magnitude of the endowment, if originally given to charitable uses in or before the year of our Lord 1800, it shall be lawful for the Commissioners, with the consent of the governing body, to declare, by a scheme under this Act, that it is desirable to apply for the advancement of education the whole or any part of such endowment, and thereupon the same shall, for the purposes of this Act be deemed to be an educational endowment, and may be dealt with by the same scheme accordingly; provided that in any scheme relating to such endowment due regard shall be had to the educational interests of persons of the same class in life, or resident within the same particular area as that of the persons who at the commencement of this Act are benefited thereby."