Report on the Charities of the Mercers' Company
Part III


Centre for Metropolitan History



City of London Livery Companies Commission

Year published




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'Report on the Charities of the Mercers' Company: Part III', City of London Livery Companies Commission. Report; Volume 4 (1884), pp. 44-52. URL: Date accessed: 24 November 2014.


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PART III. Money Legacy Charities.

It appears by the Report of the Commissioners of Inquiry (vol. 3, p. 235) that the Company brought before Parliament in 1746 and 1747 the state of its property and liabilities, representing that owing to great expenditure in the erection of the Royal Exchange, on Sir Thomas Gresham's estate after the fire of London (added as they stated to the difficulties occasioned by loans to King Charles the 1st), and also by means of improvident bargains in granting reversionary annuities for the purpose of raising money, the Company had become insolvent in effect, and had been obliged to suspend the payment of the interest on the charitable donations, the capital of which they had applied to the several purposes referred to. Two Acts of Parliament were passed affecting the Company in the 21st year of the reign of King George the 2nd, one of which was entitled An Act for the further Relief of the Orphans and other creditors of the city of London, and other purposes therein mentioned (21 Geo. 2, c.) and the other "for the relief of the annuitants of the Wardens and Commonalty of the mystery of Mercers of the City of London," (21 Geo. 2 c.). By the former Act the sum of 3,000l. a year was granted for a term of 55 years to the Mercers' Company from the duties therein mentioned, towards the payment of their annuitants and other debts. By a subsequent Act of the 4th of Geo. 3rd "for the relief of the bond and other creditors of the Wardens and Commonalty of the Mystery of Mercers of the City of London," the surplus of this 3,000l. a year and the rents and profits of the estate in settlement under deeds therein referred to, which were due upon the 10th October 1763, are directed to be applied to pay the arrears on account of any of the annual donations out of the said charities or money legacies up to that time. The Act contains the following further clauses.

"And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid: That the several surpluses which from and after the said 10th of October 1763 shall arise from the said yearly sum of 3,000l., together with the rents and profits of the estates in settlement to grow due from that time, after due and punctual payment of the several annuities and other sums charged upon their said estates, shall be from time to time applied by the said Wardens and Commonalty, in and for the payment, maintenance, and support of the annual donations out of the said charities or money legacies, in all times to come."

The amount thus charged upon the other estates is defined by a recital in the Act, which states that in consideration of the money legacies therein referred to, the Company had theretofore "annually paid the sum of 548l. 1s." in respect of the charities specified in a table or schedule there referred to, the several particulars of which I have extracted and arranged alphabetically in the following part of this report, and which by the effect of the statutes became thereupon a charge upon the estates of the Company comprised in the deed of settlement therein mentioned.

Sir James Allen's Gift.

Sir John Allen having paid to Mercer's Company 300l. the Company by deed of the 30th June 1521 charged themselves with the uses of the interest of the said sum (chiefly for the maintenance of a priest to say mass for certain souls and for keeping an obit) of which there should go to the 13 almsmen of Whittington College 4s. 4d. a year, to the keeper of the Mercers' Chapel 1s. 4d. a year, and three loads of coal between Hallowside and Christmas amongst poor householders in the parishes of St. Mary Magdalen Milk Street, St. Nicholas Acons, and St. Benet Fink. The parish of St. Nicholas Acon was paid 8l. 8s. 9d. for 18¾ years arrears, and the parish of St. Benet Fink 10l. 13s. 9d. for 23¾ years arrears.

The payments are made by the Company as follows:—

Whittington estate, part of a sum of 25l. 5s. 4d. for annuities048
St. Mary Magdalen (paid to the churchwardens of the joint parish of St. Laurence Jewry090
Ditto St. Nicholas Acons090
Ditto St. Benet Fink090
The under beadle, who is the clerk of of the chapel014

Appowell's Gift.

David Appowell, by his will, 3rd September, 1508, gave to the company 100l. to be lent to two young men who were to provide four sufficient cart-loads of great coals to the poor of St. Laurence Jewry, and to the clerk and beadle 3s. 4d., to be paid by the said young men. The 5l. a year, the original gift, with a portion of the interest of 300l. 11s. 10d. (mentioned in Sir Lionel Duckett's gift) is paid annually to the churchwardens of St. Laurence Jewry. The 3s. 4d. is part of the annual annuities paid to the Company's clerk.

John Bancks, or Banks' Charity.

John Bancks, by his will of the 20th May, 1630, gave to the Mercers' Company 100l. to pay to the use of the poor of St. Michael Bassishaw, 53s. 4d., 40s. for ancient poor householders, and 13s. 4d. for repairing the common pump.

The Company pay annually 2l. 13s. 4d. to the churchwardens of St. Michael Bassishaw, in respect of this gift, together with the interest on the invested arrears which constitute part of the 122l. 11s. 6d. 3l. per centum Reduced Annuities mentioned under Baskerfield's Gift.

Barkley's Gift.

Edward Barkley, by his will, 2nd December, 1601, gave to Company 1,000 marks to be lent to 10 young men without any allowance for the same more than 21s. 4d. yearly for the use of the poor men of Whittington College. The interest annually credited to this account is 10l. 13s. 4d., of which 10l. 8s. forms part of the 25l. 5s. 4d. carried to the account of the college, as mentioned under Elkins' gift. The 5s. 4d. is paid to the clerk as part of the yearly annuities from charities at the end of each year.

B. Barnes' Gift.

Bartholomew Barnes, by his will 1st March 1602, gave to the Company 300l. to be lent to three or six young men of the said Company, with interest at 3l. 6s. 8d. per cent. to be paid to Christ's Hospital, towards the relief of the poor there on Good Friday. The fund (like Hilson's) is not applied for as loans, it being one of those on which interest is demanded. It in fact does not exist, except as a charge on the Company. The 10l. a year is annually accounted for to Christ's Hospital.

Barnes' Gift.

Richard Barnes, by his will of the 7th February 1598, gave to the Company 100l. to be lent to two young men at 6l. per cent. to be paid.

To the poor of Whittington College2120
Renter Warden050
To St. Giles' Cripplegate parish2198

And Edward Barnes (son and executor) in 1607 added 33l. 6s. 8d. to the gift, making altogether 133l. 6s. 8d.

The interest of the fund is like the other "money legacy charities," a charge on the estates. By the reduction of 1768 58l. 3s. 6d. for 19½ years arrcars were added to the Cripplegate Charity, and the same is now represented by 72l. 14s. 8d. 3l. per cent. Reduced annuities, into which the 64l. 12s. 9d. old South Sea annuities have been converted. The dividend, amounting to 2l. 3s. 8d., making with the rentcharge a total sum of 5l. 3s. 4d.

The 2l. 12s. annually is paid to the Whittington estate. The Warden and the clerk also receive their respective stipends.

Martha Barrett's Charity.

Martha Barrett, by her will 25th September, 1584, gave the Company 100l. to be lent to two young men at 3l. 6s. 8d. per cent.

To the poor of St. Sepulchre1134
To the poor of St. Michael Paternoster and St. Martin Vintry1134

And she gave 100l. to the Company to pay one of the poorest scholars of Magdalen College, Oxford, 5l. a year. The application of the 16s. 8d. a year to each of the Charities of St. Michael Royal and St. Martin Vintry, and the appropriation of a portion of stock, producing an additional annual sum in respect of the arrears, pursuant to the resolution of 1768 is stated on the report on Heydon's Charity.

The sum of 1l. 13s. 4d. a year is paid to the churchwardens of St. Sepulchre. On this account I do not find that any arrears were allowed by the resolution of 1768 before referred to.

The annual sum of 5l. a year for the Student in Divinity at Magdalen College, Oxford, is a charge on the Company's estates, under the deed of 1699 and the stat. 4 Geo. 3. There is at present an accumulated capital of 500l. 3l. per cent. Consols, producing 15l. a year and a balance at the end of 1860 (in consequence of the election of a student having been cancelled) of 63l. 16s. 5d. cash. The studentship is at present vacant.

Baskerfield's Gift.

Humphrey Baskerfield, by his will 1st September 1563 gave to the Company 200l. to be lent to four young men of the Company, each of them to deliver two cartloads of charcoal to the Wardens to be distributed as follows:

To St. Michael Bassishaw2 loads
" St. Laurence Jewry2 loads
" St. Mary Magdalen, Milk Street1 load
" St. Peter's, West Cheap1 load
" Poor beadsmen of Whittington College2 loads

The charges assigned to the several objects of this gift, in the schedule making up the 548l. 1s. a year for the money legacies were as follows:—

Whittington's almspeople2100
St. Laurence, Jewry2100
St. Mary Magdalen, Milk Street150
St. Michael Bassishaw2100
St. Peter, Westcheap150
House Warden034
Renter Warden068
The clerk034

The 2l. 10s. a year appropriated to Whittington's almsmen forms part of the 25l. 5s. 4d. before mentioned carried to the account of the College.

The united parishes of St. Laurence Jewry, and St. Mary Magdalen Milk Street, receive annually 3l. 15s. It is received with the arrears of interest, as stated in Lionel Ducket's gift.

The parish of St. Michael Bassishaw receives an annuity of 2l. 10l. and also the interest on the arrears of this gift and that of John Banks, and which is invested together in 122l. 11s. 6d. 3l. per centum Reduced annuities producing 3l. 13l. 8d. annually. It is received by the churchwardens.

The parish of St. Peter Cheap receives annually 1l. 5s. and the interest on the accumulation of arrears, as stated in Sir Lionel Ducket's gift.

The officers of the Company receive the sums allotted to them on the annual payments of annuities.

Berkenhead's Gift.

Peter Berkenhead gave to the Company 150l. for the following payments:—

Two sermons on 30th January and 29th May400
To the clerk034
For wine and firing0100
Beadle and chapel keeper068

The sermons are preached in the chapel of Mercers' Hall on the days mentioned, and the 4l. is paid to the minister appointed to preach them. The sum, in fact, paid is 4l. 10s., the Company reserving nothing for the wine or firing. The remaining payments are made to the officers at the end of the year, with other gifts of a like kind.

Birkbeck's, Cropley's, and Desbouverie or De Bouverie's Charities.

George Birkbeck, by his will of the 26th October, 1600, gave 50l. to be delivered to a young man at interest at 5l. per centum for coals to the poor.

Edward Cropley, by his will of the 6th March, 1647, gave 200l. to be lent to four young men, 50l. a piece, paying 20s. a year each, to be distributed to the poor.

Sir Edward de Bouverie gave 100l. to the Company, for which they were to pay 4l. per centum to be distributed to the poor.

These sums amount to 10l. 10s. a year.

The Company grant certain annual pensions and other gifts to members of the Company, which enter under the head of "Donations and Charitable Gifts." These comprise altogether sums to the amount of 1,000l. to 1,200l. a year. In the year 1860 there were seven pensions, of which four were of 100l. a year and two 80l., and one of 60l. The pensioners were members of the Company and widows of members. There are also casual gifts, varying from 10l. to 50l., all being made to members of the Mercers' Company or their widows. The fund thus distributed is composed of the 10l. 10s. derived from the above three money legacies, from a large payment out of the Whittington estate, and as to the residue from the proper funds of the Company. In the year 1859 the Company contributed from their own funds 662l. to this head of gift, and in 1858,, 667l. The total distribution in 1859 was 1,122l. 10s., and in 1858 1,009l. 2s. 6d.

A. Blundell's Gift.

Alice Blundell gave to the Company 100l. to be lent to two young men of the Company who were to pay every Sunday 1s. 1d. in bread among 13 poor folks of St. Laurence, Jewry. The sum of 2l. 16s. 4d. yearly paid to the churchwardens of St. Laurence, Jewry, together with the interest of so much of the 300l. 11s. 10d. 3l. per centum Reduced Annuities (mentioned under Sir Lionel Duckett's gift) as is attributable to this Charity.

Brown's Gift.

William Brown having paid to the Company 200l. the Company by indenture of 28th December 20 Hen. 8th, charged themselves with the following payments:

To four poor freemen of the Company in equal portions540
To the Master and Wardens0100
To the Clerk034

The sum of 1l. 6s. is given to each of the four poor freemen of the Company, usually at the October distribution. They are all poor persons who receive a share of other benefactions. The Master and Wardens and Clerk receive their several portions of the remaining 13s. 4d.

Frances Clarke's Gift.

Frances Clarke gave to the Mercers' Company, as it appears by will (but of which the date is not known), 200l. to pay 10l. yearly towards discharging and succouring poor people at the Poultry Compter. A sum of 182l. 10s. cash for 18¼ years arrears was appropriated to the Charity under the resolution of 1768. It is now a portion of the 279l. 0s. 6d. 3l. per cent. reduced annuities mentioned in the report on Sir Roger Martin's Gift. The rentcharge of 10l., and the interest on the 279l. 0s. 6d. Reduced annuities are paid to Mr. Temple on account of the City Prisons.

Damsell's Gift.

Sir William Damsell, by his will 1st June 1582, bequeathed to the Company 240l. to distribute 5l. to the poor and other godly uses, and residue of the interest to the Company. At the July distribution the sum of 2l. 10s. cash is given to the widows of liverymen of the Mercers' Company. This, and a portion of the Charity of Ann Duckett, constitute the only benefaction which the Company regarded as positively restricted to widows.

Dauntsey's Coal Charity.

Alderman William Dauntsey, by his will 10th March 1542, gave to the Company 200l. to be lent to four young men, 50l. a piece, each of them giving every year one load of coals, whereof two loads for the poor of St. Laurence, Jewry, and two for the poor of St. Antholin.

The sum of 2l. 10s. was charged on the estates of the Company for each of the above parishes. The portion of St. Laurence parish, with the interest on the 300l. 11s. 10d. mentioned in Lionel Duckett's Gift, which comprised the arrears on the Charity, is paid to the churchwardens.

The sum of 2l. 10l., and the interest on 58l. 12s. 3l. per cent. Reduced annuities producing 1l. 15l. 2d. respectively, the arrears are paid annually to the churchwardens of St. Antholin.

Ann Duckett's Gifts.

Ann Duckett, by her will (date unknown), gave to the Company 100l. to be lent gratis to freemen, and the further sum of 400l. to be lent to four young freemen at 2l. 13s. 4d. per cent. and the interest given

To six poor widows of St. Giles, Cripplegate, 20s. each600
To four of the poorest widows of freemen, 20s. each400
To the Company for a collation0100

The application of the 100l. to be lent free is stated in the Report on the Money Legacies for Loans.

The 400l. and the interest thereon is charged with the money legacies on the Company's estate. There were 18 years arrears added.

The stock now standing to the credit of this gift in respect of arrears is 240l. 18s. 5d., 3l. per cent. Reduced annuities producing 7l. 4s. 8d. annual dividend.

The Cripplegate widows are taken three from the parish of St. Giles, and three from St. Luke's. They are selected by the officers of the several parishes, and are brought to the Mercers' Hall at Easter by the beadles of each parish. They receive 1l. 13s. 7d., and the two last 1l. 13s. 6d. each, making 10l. 1s. 4d.

The four widows of the Mercers' Company are selected by the Master and Wardens, and are on the Company's Donation List, and generally the poorest on that list are taken. They each receive 1l. 15s. 10d., making 7l. 3s. 4d.

The Wardens 10s. is always given to the porter, and the 3s. 4d. is paid to the beadle.

The 10l. 13s. 4d. original charge, and 7l. 4s. 8d. interest are thus disposed of.

Duckett's Gift.

Sir Lionel Duckett, by his will 21st March 1585, gave to the Company 200l. to be delivered to four young men at 4l. per cent., and the profits given yearly to the poorest and oldest persons in the parishes of St. Lawrence Jewry, St. Mary Magdalen, and St. Peter in Cheap, and the renter Warden retaining four nobles (1l. 6s. 8d.).

The parishes of St. Laurence Jewry, and St. Mary Magdalen, are united parishes since the fire of London. These parishes receive in respect of this Charity an annual sum of 4l. 9s. together with the interest on a portion of 300l. 11s. 10d., 3l. per cent. Reduced annuities, the investment of a sum of 233l. 8s. 9d. in respect of the arrears of the above Charity, and the gifts of Alice Blundell, David Appowell, Humphrey Baskerville, William Dauntsey, John Marsh, and John Allen. The original gift is received by the churchwardens and their collector. In pursuance of a resolution of the Court of the Company of the 31st July 1767, "that the yearly interest and produce arising from the said sum of 233l. 8s. 9d. to be laid out in the Old South Sea annuities be applied proportionably to the augmentation of the donations given by the wills of the donors above mentioned," the 9l. 0s. 4d. the dividends on the stock are certified to have been laid out in coals, under the direction of the churchwardens, and the bill for the coals is produced.

The sum of 2l. 4s. 4d. the original gift of the above donor, and interest on the 80l. 11s. 2d., 3l. per cent. Reduced annuities, the arrears of this gift and of Baskerville's, producing 2l. 8s. 4d. are paid annually to the vestry clerk of St. Peter's Cheap, for the churchwardens.

Elkeyn's Gift.

William Elkeyn, or Elkin, an Alderman of London, by his will 22nd August, 1592, gave to the Company 100l., to be delivered to two young men, they paying to the poor almsmen of Whittington College 6d. weekly. The sum of 5l. 4s. yearly forms part of 25l. 5s. 4d. carried to the credit of Whittington College in respect of the gifts of Haydon, Barnes, Goldsworth, Barclay, Baskerville Allen and the above.

Ferrers' Gift.

William Ferrers, by his will (date not known) gave to the Company 200l. to be lent to three young men at 3l. 6s. 8d. per cent. interest, of which,

To the treasurer of Christ's Hospital600
" the two Under Wardens0100
" Clerk034

The Company pay 6l. annually to Christ's Hospital, and the officers of the Company receive their allowances.

Floyer's Gift.

Francis Floyer appears to have given by some instrument or form now unknown, an annual sum of 7l. 16s. per annum for the poor of Brent Pelham in Hertfordshire, which was computed in the charge on the Company's estates at 30 years purchase, or 234l. Arrears for 18 years and a quarter were allowed by the resolution of 1768, amounting to 142l. 7s., now represented by 177l. 19s. 2d. 3l. per cent. Reduced annuities. The dividends and the original gift, amounting together to 13l. 3s. 4d. are annually paid to the churchwardens of the parish.

Gibson's Gift,

Robert Gibson, by his will of the 1st May, 1637, gave to the Company 50l. to be lent at 5l. per cent., and the interest bestowed in coal to the poor of Kirkheaton and Huddersfield, Yorkshire. Arrears for 19¼ years were added by the resolution of 1768, and are now invested in 60l. 3s. 3d. 3l. per cent. Reduced annuities. The charge of 2l. 10s. a year and the dividends 1l. 16s. 2d., making together 4l. 6s. 2d. are equally divided and paid annually upon the joint receipt of the vicar of Hudderfield and the rector of Kirkheaton and one churchwarden of each parish. The payment for the year ending October 1860 had not been made at the time of my investigation (30th January 1861).

Goldsmith's Gift.

Samuel Goldsmith, by his will 4th July 1647, gave to the Company 100l. to pay yearly amongst the almsfolk of Whittington College 20s.

The one pound a year is paid to the account of the Whittington estate.

Heydon's Charity.

John Heydon, by his will 6th March 1579, gave to the Company 300l. to be lent to six young men of the Company at 3l. 6s. 8d. per cent., and the interest applied as follows:—

To 13 poor almsmen of St. Michael, Paternoster Royal, coals, 1l. 10s.; money, 1l. 16s. 8d.368
To three poor people of the same parish weekly, 9d. in money and 3d. bread2120
To the Wardens of Company0120
To clerk and beadle028
To poor of Woodbury, Devon368

Testator also gave to the Company 300l. to be lent to six other young men at 3l. 6s. 8d. per cent. to be applied as follows:—

To the poor of St. Michael, Paternoster300
" St. Martin Vintry300
" St. James, Garlickhithe200
" St. Thomas Apostle200

Testator also gave to the Company 400l. to be lent to eight young men at 3l. 6s. 8d. per cent., and the interest applied to maintain yearly a divinity lecture at St. Michael, Paternoster.

He also gave 100l. to each of eleven companies to be lent to young men at 3l. 6s. 8d. per cent., and the interest paid to the Mercers' Company and applied as follows:—

To St. Thomas's Hospital6134
" Bartholomew's Hospital6134
" Bridewell Hospital6134
Poor prisoners in Newgate500
" Ludgate300
" two Compters800
Wardens of Company0100
The Company pay as follows:—
Churchwardens of St. Michael, Paternoster Royal1116
Which comprises the following items:—
To the poor under the second donation above300
For three poor people in money and bread under the first gift2120
For Martha Barrett's charity to the same parish0168
For interest on 154l. 16s. 5d. 3l. per cent. Reduced annuities, the appropriated arrears under the resolution of 1768 to Heydon's and Barrett's charities41210
To the churchwardens of St. Martin Vintry, for the poor under the second donation above300
For Martha Barrett's charity to the same parish0168
For interest on 87l. 9s. 2d. 3l. per cent. Reduced annuities, appropriated arrears as above2126
To the churchwardens of St. James, Garlickhithe, for the poor under the second donation200
Interest on 48l. 2s. 6d. like stock appropriated as above1810
To the churchwardens of St. Thomas Apostle under the second donation on which there does not appear by the resolution of 1768 to be any appropriation for arrears200
To the churchwardens of Woodbury for the poor under the first gift368
Interest on 76l. 17s. Reduced annuities applied for arrears as aforesaid258
To the divinity lecturer in St. Michael, Paternoster Royal, under the third gift. The present lecturer is the Reverend Thomas Hill, who is not permitted by the rector to deliver the lecture in the church, and who therefore delivers it at the Whittington Chapel, Upper Holloway1368
With reference to the question of the propriety of thus substituting a lecture in a distant place to one directed to be given in the parish church, it may be observed that the almshouses formerly were adjacent to the church, and the almspeople had access to the church by a separate door, and the assumption on which the Company acts is that the lectures were at least in part intended for the benefit of the Whittington poor.
The resolution of 1768 directed that the arrears of this annual payment for one year due Lady-day 1746 should be paid to the representatives of the late Robert Drew, but it made no provision for any subsequent arrears, and the probability is that during the intervening period no lecturer had been appointed.
The payment directed under the first gift to 13 poor almspeople of St. Michael, Paternoster Royal, forms part of the Christmas gifts to the Whittington almspeople, and is divided amongst them with other characters at that time, amounting altogether to 25l. 5s. 4d.368
The payments for the benefits of the wardens, clerk, and beadle are made to these officers respectively together1100
The Mercers' Company receive under the fourth bequest the sum of 3l. 6s. 8d. from each of the other eleven greater companies, making together 36l. 13s. 4d., which the Company administer as follows:—
To St. Thomas's Hospital6134
To St. Bartholomew's Hospital6134
To St. Bridewell Hospital6134
To the city prisons (by Mr. Temple)1600
The wardens and beadle are also credited with the yearly 13s. 4d.0134

Hilson's Gift.

Robert Hilson by his will dated the 15th March, 1582, gave to the Company 400 marks (266l. 13s. 4d.) to be lent to four young men of the Company at 5l. per cent., and out of the interest to pay—

To Christs Hospital10148
To the churchwardens of St. Michael Crooked Lane, for bread2120

Publication is given to the following notice by its being suspended in the General Court Room at the Hal of the Mercers' Company.

"Notice is hereby given that a sum of money being legacies bequeathed by Robert Hilson and others is vested in the Mercers' Company, in trust from time to time to be lent out to young men free of the said Company in sums not less than 50l., and not exceeding 100l., from three to seven years with interest at various rates from 1l. 12s. to 5l. per cent. upon bond with two good sureties for every sum to be approved by the Court of Assistants of the said Company. Application by parties duly qualified to be made at the Clerk's Office, Mercers' Hall."

This being one of the loan funds on which interest is required, is, as elsewhere stated, not applied for as loans (see my Report on money legacies for loans).

The Company pay to Christ's Hospital 10l. 14s. 8d., and to the churchwardens of St. Michael, Crooked Lane, 2l. 12s. annually.

The sum of 60l. 2s. 7d. 3l. per cent. Reduced annuities purchased with a sum of 48l. cash in pursuance of a resolution of a sub-committee in 1768 is appropriated to this portion of the Charity in respect of the arrears during its suspension, and the interest of that sum amounting to 1l. 16s. is annually paid to the churchwardens of St. Michael in addition to the 2l. 12s. The 60l. 2s. 7d. stock is part of a sum of 27,028l. 16s. 4d. like stock standing in the corporate name of the Company.

There does not appear to be any appropriation of the stock to Christ's Hospital, and the probability therefore is that there were not any arrears due to that body.

Langham's Gift.

Thomas Langham gave the Company 400l. for the payment of 11l. per annum to the churchwardens of Clapham, Surrey, for 4s. a week in bread to the poor, and 12s. per annum to the churchwardens. Arrears for 18½ years were added to this donation, under the resolution of 1768, which are now represented by 254l. 8s. 3d. 3l. per cent. Reduced annuities, producing 7l. 12s. 8d. dividends, making together 18l. 12s. 8d. This sum is paid yearly to the rector's churchwarden of the parish of Clapham.

Sir Thomas Leigh's Gift.

In the schedule of the charges forming the 548l. 1s. 0d. is comprised a sum of 4l. a year to be paid towards the repairs of the Mercers' Chapel from this gift. The Company keep an account which is called "incidentals," and to that account they charge all the repairs of their hall, chapel, clerk's house and beadles houses and offices; and the 4l. a year is brought to that account in aid of such expenditure.

Marsh's Gift.

John Marsh by his will of the 7th July, 1557, gave the Company 200l. to be lent to five poor young men at 5l. per cent., and out of the interest to pay—

To the curate and churchwardens of Uxbridge for 2s. of bread on Sunday to 24 poor people, and 2s. 8d. to the churchwardens568
To poor prisoners350
To poor householders of St. Laurence Jewry in coals0150
To the wardens0100
To the person distributing the monies034

On the Uxbridge gift 18½ years of interest were capitalized by the Company, and is now represented by 123l. 7s. 3l. per cent. Reduced annuities, producing 3l. 13s. 10d. interest, making with the original gift 9l. 0s. 6d. which is annually paid to the churchwarden of Uxbridge.

The prisoners gifts received the following additions in respect of arrears:—

The Queen's Bench1001140
Interest on 23l. 8s. 8d. 3l. per cent. Reduced annuities0140
The Marshalsea101148
Interest on 24l. 13s. 9d. 3l. per cent. Reduced annuities0148
Ludgate, 5s.And interest on the share of stock which forms part of the dividend accounted for under Sir R. Martin's Charity, the amount of which is not divided.150
Wood Street, 5s.
Poultry, 5s.
Newgate, 10s.

The gifts to the Marshalsea prisoners are paid to Mr. Colwell, the chief turnkey, and the remainder to Mr. Temple for the other prisoners.

The 15s. a year is paid to the churchwardens of St. Laurence Jewry as their collector.

The master and warden take annually 10s., and the clerk is paid 3s. 4d., which is included in the annual annuities.

Martin's Gift.

Giles Martin, by his will of the 1st August, 1630, and a codicil of the 22nd May, 1631, gave to the Company 450l. on condition to pay 10l. a year to the poor of the parish of Yarcombe, Devon, and he also gave to the Company 125l. to purchase land of 5l. a year to be paid to the parson and churchwardens of Mamhead, in the county of Devon, for binding out poor apprentices, setting the poor to work, or relief of the poor of the parish as the parson and churchwardens should think fit.

On the Yarcombe gift there were 19 years arrears or 190l., and on the Mamhead gift 18½ years or 92l. 10s. These sums are invested in 237l. 10s. 8d. 3l. per cent. Reduced annuities for Yarcombe, and 115l. 12s. 9d. like stock for Mamhead. The payments, including the respective dividends, are annually made, viz. 17l. 2s. 6d. to the rector of Yarcombe and 8l. 9s. 4d. to the rector of Mamhead.

Sir R. Martin's Gift.

Sir Roger Martin, by his will dated 8th September, 1573, gave to the Company 200l., to be lent to poor young men at 4l. per cent. and the interest given to poor prisoners. The capital is not lent and exists only as a charge. The 8l. a year is paid to Mr. T. Temple, in respect of the prisons of Ludgate and Newgate and the Wood Street and Poultry Compters. There is also paid to the same account interest on 144l. cash, which pursuant to a recommendation of the sub-committee of the 4th May, 1768, was invested in Old South Sea annuities, and was subsequently converted into and is now represented by a portion of 27,028l. 16s. 4d. Reduced annuities. The exact sum of stock applicable to this Charity has not been separated, but with the arrears on Marsh's and F. Clarke's Charities is appropriated as follows:—

Ludgate501733l. per cent Reduced annuities.
Newgate56145" "
Wood Street Compter50173" "
Poultry27906" "
43795like stock.

The dividends on this stock, amounting to 13l. 2s. 6d. annually, are also paid to Mr. Temple on account of the said City prisons.

As to the estates upon which this annual charge of 8l. is secured (see Hilson's Charity).

Lady Mico's Almshouses.

Dame Jane Mico, by her will dated the 1st July, 1670, gave the Company 1,500l. to build almshouses for 10 poor widows of the age of 50 years or upwards, and with the rest land should be bought for a yearly revenue to be equally divided among them yearly. The fund and interest received in respect of this charity had in 1692 amounted to 2,980l. 5s. 9d. Of this 780l. 5s. 9d. was laid out in building almshouses at Stepney, upon land legally vested in the Company. The Company are possessed of a large estate at Stepney, either as belonging to the estate of Dean Colet or in their own right, or partly in the right of one and partly in that of the other. The almshouses, consisting of 10 houses of one storey, were built on a plot of ground at the back of the parish church, affording considerable space in the front and rear of the houses. These houses the Company have recently rebuilt entirely at their own expense (each house having two rooms and a kitchen) at a cost of 2,945l. 10s. 11d.

The endowment fund consists of 2,200l., the residue of the original bequest, which by order of the Court of the Company of the 20th April and 1st September 1692 "was to lie on the Company's hands at interest at 4l. per cent," producing 88l. a year. This 88l. a year forms part of the 548l. 1s. "Money Legacy Charities."

The arrears of interest which accumulated on this gift was invested in 1,879l. 2s. 8d. South Sea annuities, and is now represented by 2,114l. 8s. 6d. 3l. per cent. Reduced annuities.

The interest charged on the Company, including rent and repairs, but excluding the clerk's allowance8600
The dividends on the stock6386

The expenditure in respect of the almshouses and their inmates is about 400l. per annum. The particulars of this outlay in 1859 was as follows:—

Cash paid 10 poor widows, 30l. each30000
" " apothecary, 1 year31100
" " nurses attending inmates3360
" " water rate7100
" " gardener500
" " insurance376
" " poor rates, sewer, and general rates2468

The sum of 2l. a year is paid annually to the clerk of the Company on account of his allowance out of the 88l. charged as above stated. The 1l. 5s., formerly taken as rent and carried to Dean Colet's estate, has not been appropriated for half a century. I presume the Company has treated the site of the almshouses as belonging to the Charity.

In the year 1859 nothing was received in respect of Mrs. Fermor's estate, and the Company vested 255l. 18s. 7d. from their own funds. There is always an excess of expense thus provided for.

The almshouses are occupied by ten poor widows, none of whom are widows of liverymen as freemen of the Company, but all are widows of freemen of London, and, according to a rule laid down by the Company, must be about 55 years of age, and not possessing an income of 20l. in real property, or of 30l. from all sources. They are chosen by the General Court of the Company. (fn. 1)

Perry's Gift.

Hugh Perry, by his will of the 20th April 1630, gave the Company 200l., to be lent to two young men, paying 3l. apiece yearly for six morning lectures at St. Antholin's 20s. apiece yearly for ever, and also a further sum of 270l. to purchase lands and hereditaments of 13l. a year for a weekly lecture at St. Bartholomew's, Royal Exchange, viz., 12l. to the lecturer, and 1l. to the clerk and sexton.

The sum of 6l. a year is paid by the Company to Robert Miller, "receiver of St. Antholin's rents for the feoffees." On referring to my report on that parish it will appear that a scheme for the lecturer's fund was settled in the Court of Chancery in 1841, including this payment. The 12l. a year for the lecture on every Saturday immediately preceding the Sunday on which the monthly communion is celebrated at Bartholomew, Royal Exchange, is paid to the Rev. Charles Marshall. The 1l. a year is paid to the sexton.

Thomas Rich's Gift.

A portion of the benefaction of this donor was 100l., to be lent to young freemen of the Company, and the interest thereon at 33s. 4d. a year to be paid.

To the clerk and register of the Company134
The beadle0100

The annual sums are paid accordingly.

Sir T. Rivett's Gift.

Sir Thomas Rivett, by his will, 1st October 1582, gave to the Company 200l., to be lent to four young men, who should distribute every Sunday, in St. Margaret, Lothbury, London, and Chippenham, Cambridgeshire, 13 penny loaves to 13 poor. The sum of 2l. 12s. a year is paid to the churchwardens of St. Margaret, Lothbury, and another sum of 2l. 12s. a year is paid to the churchwardens of Chippenham, together with the produce of an investment of 47l. 9s. cash, for 18½ years arrears, invested in 59l. 6s. 5d. Reduced annuities, producing a further sum of 1l. 15s. 6d. per annum, making together 4l. 7s. 6d.

Statham, or Slatham's Gift.

Michael Slatham, or Statham, by his will of the 2nd October 1538, bequeathed to the Company 500 marks (333l. 6s. 8d.), to be disposed of at the appointment and oversight of the Master and Wardens amongst young men at interest at 5l. per cent., and the interest to or for the relief and sustentation of poor people in such hospital or place in England where the King would give license.

The sum of 16l. 13s. 4d. in respect of interest is annually paid to St. Bartholomew's Hospital.

Symond's Charities.

Peter Symonds, by his will of the 24th April 1586, directed, under an indenture by which the Mercers' Company had covenanted to pay an annuity of 10l. a year for ever, after the death of himself and his wife, that the following payments should be made:—

To Allhallows, Lombard Street328
To poor people in the Mercers' Chapel, every Friday, 12 penny loaves, and, if not distributed, the benefit of one half to Christ's Hospital, and the other to the city of Winchester2120
To the city of Winchester420
To two clerks at the Hall034

The payment made to the churchwardens of Allhallows annually is, besides the original gift of 3l. 2s. 8d., the sum of 1l. 14s. 4d. for interest on the sum of 57l. 4s. 9d., 3l. per cent. Reduced annuities, which represent now the 45l. 15s. 8d. cash, for the arrears under the resolution of 1768 before referred to. This makes together the annual payment of 4l. 17s. for the benefit of the parish of Allhallows, Lombard Street.

Bread Distribution.

The Commissioners of Inquiry say (p. 297) that the "distribution of bread in Mercers' Chapel has not taken place for many years. The accumulation of the money destined to that purpose from the year 1763 to 1818 has been laid out in the purchase of 250l. consols, producing a dividend of 7l. 10s. The immediate cause of the suspension of this distribution seems to have been the discontinuance of any service in the chapel on Fridays, and a further reason appears to exist in the inconvenience which would arise from the assembling of paupers therein. It is stated that the Company do not well know how to dispose of the money, as they cannot strictly adhere to the directions of the will. It appears to us that no great difficulty could exist in adopting some plan of distribution which might effect the intention of the donor as nearly as the alteration of circumstances will admit. With respect to the accumulated arrears, we would observe that, as by the terms of the will the benefit of the Charity, if not distributed by the Company, is to be divided between Christ's Hospital and the city of Winchester, those two bodies appear to be entitled to the accumulations already invested, and to all that may accrue, until the Company have devised some means of recommencing the distribution."

It appears that the accumulation of stock on this account in 1824 had amounted to 300l., and this, in conformity with the recommendations of the Commissioners of Inquiry, the Company transferred in equal moieties to Christ's Hospital in London and Christ's Hospital in Winchester, together with 8l. 17s. 3¾d. to each institution for uninvested arrears. Since that period the 2l. 12s. per annum has been equally divided between the same two establishments, 1l. 6s. being paid to each annually. The receipts are given by the Treasurer of Christ's Hospital, London, and by the Steward or Secretary of the Hospital in Winchester.

City of Winchester.

The Commissioners of Inquiry say (p. 298) that "the annuity of 4l. 2s. to the City of Winchester had not been paid for many years. In the year 1813, a claim was presented purporting to be on the behalf of the conservators and gubernators of Christ's Hospital in Winchester, founded by Peter Symonds, for 164l. for 40 years rentcharge at 4l. 2s. per annum, from the year 1774, and the Court of Assistants made an order that their clerk should pay these arrears on receiving a proper discharge, which order was communicated by letter to the person who presented the claim, but nothing further has been heard of it. The Company declare themselves ready to pay the arrears to the present time, whenever a proper authority to receive them is produced."

It appears that in the year 1824 the arrears of the payment to the Mayor and Corporation of Winchester amounted to 342l. 10s. 1d. 3l. per cent. consols, an uninvested sum of 84l. 7s. 6d. up to the 11th October 1824, and half year's dividend on the stock, 5l. 2s. 9d. The stock was transferred in that year to the Mayor of Winchester for the time being, and the two sums of cash, and the annual charge of 4l. 2s. paid to him. The like sum of 4l. 2s. has been ever since paid.

The clerk of the hall receives the 3s. 4d.

Walthall's Gift.

Alderman William Walthall bequeathed by his will of the 16th July 1608, to the Company the sum of 500l. to be put out to ten young men of the Company, 50l. to a man, each paying 40s. a year, of which interest,—

To the poor children of Christ's Hospital, 10l.

To three of the poorest scholars of Cambridge, 9l.

To the wardens, 1l.

The 10l. per annum is regularly paid to Christ's Hospital, as well as the 1l. to the wardens.

With regard to the payment to the poor scholars, the Commissioners of Inquiry (Vol. 6 page 229) remark, that they "have not been applied for for many years," and add that, "the accumulations thereof had been invested in the purchase of 900l. 3l. per cent. consols." The Commissioners further say "the nonapplication of this benefaction appears to have arisen in a great measure from a difficulty felt by the Company in ascertaining who were entitled to receive it under the description of persons 'commencing 'master of arts.' It appears to us that the intentions of the donor would be sufficiently complied with by paying the money to poor scholars on taking their master's degree towards defraying the expense thereof."

After this report, and as it appears in or about October 1824, the stock was increased by a further investment of cash, making together the sum of 1,100l. 3l. per cent consols, the cost of which was 830l. 9s. 8d. cash. In 1826, the Company began to grant allowances to poor members of the University of Cambridge, in aid of the expenses of taking their master of arts degrees.

The Company now receive more applications than can be supplied yearly. They are generally from poor curates or other clergy. There are at present seven applications, of which the master and wardens select the poorest. The payment is made on the production of the University Calendar, or the College Certificate, showing that the degree has been taken. The dividends and charge make 42l. a year, or three allowances of 14l. each.

Westall's Gift.

Daniel Westall, by his will 26th October 1717, gave to the Company 100l. to pay 40s. per annum for two sermons at the Mercers' Chapel on Christmas and the following Sunday; and he gave 3l. per annum to 12 poor members of the Company, viz., 5s. apiece on Shrove Tuesday, and he bequeathed the residue of his estate to the poor children of Christ's Hospital, with power for the Mercers' Company to nominate four boys to the hospital.

And by a deed of the 28th March 1721 between Christ's Hospital of the one part, and the Mercers' Company of the other part, the governors of the hospital covenanted to pay 3l. a year to 12 poor members of the Company, and to admit into the hospital yearly four boys, children of the members of the Mercers' Company nominated by the said Company.

The 2l. a year which forms part of the 548l. 1s. charged on the Company's estates are paid to the preacher of two sermons in the Company's chapel.

The Governors of Christ's Hospital pay to the Mercers' Company under the above indenture 3l. a year, which is given in sums of 5s. apiece at Easter to 12 persons either members of the Company, widows, or daughters of members The same persons also receive other benefactions both from the charities and the bounty of the Company.

The number of presentations to Christ's Hospital is rarely full, as there are not sons of members of the Mercers' Company requiring them. There are now seven boys in the school on this foundation, the Company claiming under this endowment the right to nominate four boys yearly to remain eight years, being 32 on the books at the same time.

The following Table exhibits the amount of the foregoing "money legacy charities," arranged in three columns; the first column showing the interest payable in respect of the original endowment, and forming the amount of the present charge on the estates of the Company; the second column showing the amount of additional capital stock held by the Company on account of the several charities arising from accumulations; and the third column the additional income of each charity as the produce of such accumulations:—

Donors.Charges.Stock from Accumulations.Interest on Stock.
Sir John Allen1130
D. Appowell534
John Banks21341221163138
(including Baskerfields.)
Edward Barkley10134
Bartholomew Barnes1000
R. and E. Barnes60072148238
Martha Barrett868500001500
H. Baskerfield10134
P. Berkenhead500
Birkbeck and others10100
Alice Blundell21643001110904
William Brown5174
Frances Clarke1000
W. Damsell500
W. Dauntsey500581201152
Ann Duckett10134240185748
Sir L. Duckett80080112284
W. Elkeyn540
W. Ferrers6134
F. Floyer7160177192574
R. Gibson210060331162
S. Goldsmith100
J. Heydon336836694101910
R. Hilson136860271160
T. Langham1100254837128
Sir Thomas Leigh400
John Marsh100017195526
Giles Martin150035335101110
Sir R. Martin800437951326
(including F. Clarke's.)
Dame Jane Mico88002,114866386
Hugh Perry1900
Thomas Rich1134
Sir Thomas Rivett54059651156
N. Statham16134
Peter Symonds100057491144
William Walthall20001,100003300
Daniel Westall200

In addition to the above charges the interest of two other money legacies are mentioned and included in the schedule of the deeds of 1699 and in the statute of the 4 Geo. 3rd.

The gift of Lady Campden for the purchase of two impropriations, in lieu whereof the Company have paid

A lecturer at Grantham75
A lecturer at Wakefield75

This charge has been subsequently provided for in part by a sum of 4,095l. 13s. 10d. consols appropriated by the Company in 1838 to meet the lectureships, but the dividends of which amount only to 122l. 17s. 4d. The residue of the stipend, which the Company have fixed at 100l. a year each, is made out of the Company's own property. Their liability as trustees is in this matter somewhat undefined. (See my report on Lady Campden's Charities.)

The above charges comprise the entire interest account, making up the annual sum of 548l. 1s., and representing a capital fund of 14,769l., being the amount stated in the schedule as the total capital of the various donations from which that interest is derived.

The schedule contains also the following additional capital sums not described as bearing interest.

200l., the gift of John Banks, to be lent to young men at 2l. 13s. 4d. per cent., for the better performance of the uses for which he gave the lands at Holloway.

1,000l., the gift of Thomas Papillon, to afford such charitable relief as the Company shall find convenient to any person or persons lineally descended from him as shall be in want.

The estates and funds on which the "Money Legacy Charities" are secured are described in the deeds of settlement referred to in the statute 4 Geo. 3rd, above mentioned. The principal deeds are dated the 3rd and 4th of October 1699, and made between the Company of the one part, and Sir William Hedges and 20 other persons, trustees, of the other part. The schedule to this deed sets forth the estates thereby charged in detail, specifying every tenement and the lease under which it was held and the rent which it yielded, occupying several skins of parchment. I have thought it necessary that a record of the property charged with this annual sum should appear in this report; but instead of taking the descriptions as they are contained in the schedule, which would not in many cases (perhaps scarcely in any) afford the means of identifying the property at this day, the clerk of the Company has at my request furnished me with the present description and rental of the property to which the charge extends, and which are as follows:—

Browne's Estate. Premises

72 and 73, Tower Street. Vaulted cellars and ground in the rear.—All let on leases.

Gross rental 160l.

Blundell's Estate.

Purchased by the City of London for the site of the New Royal Exchange, the consideration money being invested in 9,511l. 9s. 6d. 3l. per cent. consolidated annuities in the name of the Accountant-General of the Court of Exchequer, the dividends on which amount to 285l. 6s. 10d.

Chertsey's Estate. Premises.

5 to 7, Garlick Hill.—Let on lease.

Gross rental 200l.

Collier and Mallory's Estate. Premises

3 to 5, Queen Street; 68, Cheapside.—Let on lease.

Gross rental 726l.

Dauntsey's Estate. Premises.

3 to 6, Gracechurch Street; 1, 3, and 7 Corbet Court; 4 to 6, St. Peter's Alley; 8 to 10, New Cannon Street; 41 to 43, Watling Street; 74 and 75, Queen Street.— All let on leases.

Gross rental, 1,462l. 10s.

Eastfield's Estate. Premises

18 to 20, Bread Street, and premises in the rear of 18 and 19; 34, Cannon Street, West.—All let on leases.

Gross rental, 605l.

Henry VIII.'s Estate. Premises.

35 to 37, Old Jewry; 44, Poultry; 81 to 89, Cheapside; 7, Ironmonger Lane; 3 and 4, Church Passage; 5, 36, and 37, King Street.—All let on leases.

The Company's hall and offices.

Gross rental, 2,845l.

Rental of Mercers' Company's Irish Estate, 1861.

Granahan, Land20780
" Tenements1500
Kilrea, Land505170
" Tenements597196
Swatragh, Land20560
" Tenements5440
Freeholds, quit rents,—
Moletra Toy0186

Bradbury's Estate. Premises

78 to 143, Long Acre; East side of Upper St. Martin's Lane; Mercers' Street; Langley Street; King Street; Hanover Street; Charles Street; Brokers Alley; Wilson Street; south side of Charles Street; 25 to 40, Drury Lane.—All let on leases.

Gross rental, 8,709l. 10s.

7,911l. 7s. 11d. consols in the Court of Chancery, 237l. 6s. 8d.

Sir Thomas Gresham's Estate.

One moiety of the rents of the shops, &c. at the Royal Exchange and vaults.—All let on leases.

Ambulatory and an annuity for site of premises in Old Broad Street.

1859, gross rental, 12,240l. 19s. 9d.

Lady Gresham's Estate. Premises

Five houses in Gresham Street; 20 and 21, Milk Street.—All let on leases.

Gross rental, 678l.

Lakin's Estate. Premises

15, Cannon Street, West; Aldermary Churchyard.— Let on lease.

Gross rental, 360l.

Whittington's Estate. Premises

1 to 9, Gresham Street; 18 and 19, Lawrence Lane; 1 to 4, Mumford Court; 13 and 14 Milk Street; 8 and 9, Wood Street; Mitre Court, Milk Street: 23, Addle Hill, and stables; 20 to 23, Great Knightrider Street; Old Swan Lane; College Hill; 2 to 12, Basinghall Street; 48 and 49, Coleman Street; 63 and 64, Moorgate Street; 9 to 13, and 17 to 20, King's Arms Yard; 13 to 21, Trinity Square; 8 to 10, Barking Alley; Highgate Archway Road; Lothbury Churchyard.—All let on leases, except College Hill and a small part of the premises at Highgate.

Gross rental, 6,212l. 12s. 6d.

Windout's Estate. Premises

54, Watling Street; let on lease.

Gross rental, 100l.

Widowson's Estate.


144, Leadenhall Street; let on lease.

Gross rental, 315l.

Yarford's Estate.


107 and 108, Cheapside; let on lease.

Gross rental, 442l.

It appears, therefore, that the interest of the money legacies, which under the deeds of 1699 and the statutes of the 22 Geo. II. and 4 Geo. III. is made a charge on the estates of the Company, and also on the trust estates (subject to prior charges and trusts), is secured upon property that now produces a gross annual income of about 40,000l., from which, however, there must be taken the trusts and charges to which the several estates are subject prior to the charge created in favour of the interest of the money legacies.


1 Lady Mico's Charity.
A scheme was established under the authority of an order of the Board dated 10th July 1874, by which it was directed that in consideration of the investment by the Mercers' Company out of the then corporate funds of the sum of 1,120l. in the name of the Official Trustees of Charitable Funds in trust for Dean Colet's estate, the almshouses and their site and appurtenances used and occupied by the inmates of Lady Mico's almshouses should be settled in perpetuity in trust for the purposes of that Charity.
This arrangement was carried out by the Company, and the consideration money of 1,120l. was invested in the purchase of 1,207l. 11s. consols in the name of the Official Trustees in trust for Dean Colet's estate.