Report on the Charities of the Mercers' Company
Appendix

Sponsor

Centre for Metropolitan History

Publication

Author

City of London Livery Companies Commission

Year published

1884

Pages

56-67

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'Report on the Charities of the Mercers' Company: Appendix', City of London Livery Companies Commission. Report; Volume 4 (1884), pp. 56-67. URL: http://british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=69703 Date accessed: 30 July 2014.


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MERCERS' COMPANY. Appendix to Mr. Hare's Report.

LADY CAMPDEN'S MONEY LEGACY FOR LOANS.

Vice-Chancellor's Decree.

Vice-Chancellor.

Saturday, the 7th day of May, in the first year of the reign of His Majesty King William the Fourth, 1831.

Between His Majesty's Attorney General at the relation of John Kemble Chapman - Plaintiff and The Master, Wardens, and Commonalty of the Art or Mystery of Mercers in London Defendants.

This cause coming on this present day to be heard and debated before this court in the presence of counsel learned on both sides, the substance of the plaintiff's bill appeared to be, that the Right Honorable Elizabeth Viscountess Campden, by her will bearing date on or about the 14th day of February 1642, gave and bequeathed to the Wardens and Commonalty of the Mystery of Mercers of London the sum of 1,000l., which she directed was to be lent to eight young men free of the said Company in sums of 125l. to each for four years, gratis with good security, to be allowed by the court of assistants, and that the shopkeepers of the mercery were to be first preferred, and next silkmen, all being of the said Company. And if the said Company of Mercers undertook the things by her required she gave them the sum of 300l. That the said Elizabeth Viscountess Campden died in 1646, and that upon her death her will was duly proved in the proper Ecclesiastical Court, and that soon afterwards and in or about the year 1650 the said legacy of 1,000l. so bequeathed as aforesaid was duly paid to and received by the said Mercers' Company, and that the said Mercers' Company have kept a separate and distinct account thereof, and that the same has by interest, dividends, and accumulations thereof considerably increased, and now amounts to the sum of 20,000l. and upwards, which the said Mercers' Company have in their hands in trust for the purposes aforesaid, and that no sums of money whatsoever have at any time been lent or advanced by the said defendants according to the directions contained in the will of the said Elizabeth Viscountess Campden. That in consequence of the circumstances aforesaid a proper scheme or schemes ought to be approved of by one of the Masters of this Court for the due application of the said sum of 1,000l. and the accumulations thereof according to the will of the said Elizabeth Viscountess Campden, or as near thereto as circumstances will admit, and that the said defendants ought to account for the said sum of 1,000l. and the interest and accumulations thereof come to their hands, and that the same ought to be applied as thereinbefore mentioned. That applications have been made to the said defendants to apply the same according to the directions contained in the will of the said Elizabeth Viscountess Campden. And His Majesty's Attorney General at the relation aforesaid well hoped that they would have complied with such requests, but the defendants refuse to comply, alleging that as there have been no applications for many years past made to the said defendants for any loans as thereinbefore mentioned, and that they have applied the said sum of 1,000l. and the interest, dividends, and annual proceeds thereof to their own proper uses, whereas His Majesty's Attorney General charges that the said defendants did from time to time for many years past, as the dividends on the said sum of 1,000l. became due, invest the same in the purchase of Government securities, therefore, that the defendants may answer the matters aforesaid, and that an account might be taken of the sum of 1,000l. and of the interest, dividends, and accumulations thereof received by the said defendants, or by their or either of their order, or for their or either of their use, and of their application thereof, and that the aforesaid charitable gift might be established and carried into effect under the direction of this Court, and that if necessary a scheme may be submitted to one of the Masters of this Court for the due application of the said sum of 1,000l. and the accumulations in respect thereof, and that for such purpose all usual and necessary directions might be given for the benefit of those entitled to the said charitable gift or in such other manner as this Court shall deem meet and the circumstances of the case may require, and to be relieved is the scope of the Plaintiff's bill. Whereto the counsel for the defendants the Wardens and Commonalty of the Mystery of Mercers alleged that they by their answer say they believe that Viscountess Campden did make and publish her will of such date as in the said information mentioned; and that the same, so far as relates to the charitable legacy of 1,000l. as in the said information mentioned, is in the words and figures following (that is to say), "I give and bequeath to the said Wardens and Commonalty of the Mystery of Mercers in London the sum of one thousand pounds of lawful money of England to be lent out to eight young men free of that Company by one hundred and twenty-five pounds in each parcel for four years gratis, upon bond with two good securities for every parcel to be allowed by a Court of Assistants, and so from four years to four years for ever. And my desire is that with this money there may be preferred in the first place shopkeepers of the trade of the mercery, and next silkmen, all of them being of the said Company of Mercers, and such as be not on the livery of the said Company, and if any that shall have the use and benefit of any of the said money be afterwards called into the livery of the said Company, then such to pay in their monies within three months next after they shall be of the said livery, and then the same to be lent out to eight others as aforesaid. And if the said Company of Mercers do undertake to perform these things by me herein required to the intent of this my will, then I give and bequeath to the said Company of Mercers the sum of three hundred pounds of lawful money of England. And my will is that both these two last legacies aforesaid shall be paid to one of the said two Companies within one year next after my decease. Provided always, that if the said Company of Mercers do refuse to perform these my requests, touching the impropriations of the one thousand pounds formerly bequeathed for the use of eight young men of the said Company, then my will is that all my legacies above mentioned concerning the impropriations of the one thousand pounds given for the benefit of eight young men and the said three hundred pounds given to the said Company of Mercers for their care and pains, shall not be paid to the said Mercers, and that then the Company of Merchant Tailors of London aforesaid shall have and receive the benefit and disposing of the said legacy touching the impropriations, and the said one thousand pounds given for the benefit of eight young men, and the three hundred pounds given to the said Mercers for their care and pains, to be paid unto them in manner and form as is before mentioned, if the said Company of Merchant Tailors will perform my request touching the said two impropriations, and the said one thousand pounds shall then be given to eight young men of their own Company in manner and form as aforesaid. And if both the said two Companies shall refuse to perform these my requests before mentioned, then my will is that all those legacies aforesaid touching the impropriations and the one thousand pounds given to eight young men of one of their Companies and the three hundred pounds given unto them for their care and pains, shall be void unto both the said Companies, and shall then go to my executors or executor towards the better performance of this my will." And say they believe the said Elizabeth Viscountess Campden departed this life at the time in the said information mentioned, and that upon her death her will was duly proved in the proper Ecclesiastical Court, and that inasmuch as the earliest mention that is made in any of the accounts of the said Company of the said legacy is in the year 1651, the defendants believe that in or about the year 1650 the said legacy of one thousand pounds so bequeathed as in the said information mentioned was duly paid to and received by the said Mercers' Company. And believe that the said Mercers' Company have not kept a separate and distinct account of the said legacy, or any account except such as in the said schedule appears, but inasmuch as in the year 1666, at the great fire of London, the hall and other buildings of the said Company were destroyed, and it is believed that a great part of their books and documents were lost or destroyed, the defendants say they believe that before that time other accounts may have been kept; and say that except as appears from the extracts set forth in the said schedule they know not what has been the application of the said legacy or what has become of the same, nor do they know whether the whole or any part thereof has been lost by being lent to persons from whom the monies so lent have not been recovered back, but they deny that the said sum of 1,000l. has by interest, dividends, or other accumulations thereof considerably or in any way increased or now amounts to 20,000l. and upwards. And submit that from the nature of the trusts of the said will the said Company could not be required to make or account for interest on the said sum of 1,000l., and deny that they have in their hands any such interest, dividends, or accumulations, nor can they state whether the said sum of 1,000l. or any sum of money now remain in their hands for the purposes in the said information mentioned, but the said Company are now and always have been ready and willing to apply out of their funds the sum of 1,000l. in loans according to the trust and directions of the said will, and say they believe that such sums of money as in the schedule mentioned have been lent or advanced by the said Mercers' Company according to the directions of the will of the said Elizabeth Viscountess Campden, but except as appears in the said schedule the defendants are unable to state as to their belief or otherwise whether any or what sums of money have at any or what times or time been lent out or advanced by the said Mercers' Company according to the directions of the will of the said Elizabeth Viscountess Campden, or how otherwise, and say that the said John Kemble Chapman is not free of the said Mercers' Company, and has not any interest whatever in the said charity, and submit to this Court whether they ought, under the circumstances aforesaid, to account for the said sum of 1,000l., or whether any scheme or schemes ought to be approved in manner in the said information suggested for the application of the said sum of 1,000l. according to the will of the said Elizabeth Viscountess Campden, or as near thereto as circumstances will admit. Whereupon and upon debate of the matter and hearing the will of the said Elizabeth Viscountess Campden read, and what was alleged by the counsel on both sides, this Court doth order and decree that the defendants do account for the legacy of 1,000l. and interest thereon at the rate of 5l. per centum per annum for 20 years. And it is ordered that it be referred to the Master in rotation to compute such interest and to make a separate report thereof. And it is ordered that the Master do approve of a scheme for the application of such legacy and interest according to the will of the testator Elizabeth Viscountess Campden, or as near thereto as circumstances will admit, and he is to state the same to the Court. And it is ordered that he do tax the relator's costs of this suit to this time. And it is ordered that the defendants do pay such costs when so taxed. And this Court doth reserve the consideration of all further directions and the subsequent costs of this suit until after the said Master shall have made his general report, and either of the parties is to be at liberty to apply to this Court as there shall be occasion.

Scheme.

In Chancery.

Between His Majesty's Attorney General at the relation of John Kemble Chapman, Informant, and The Master, Wardens, and Commonalty of the Art or Mystery of Mercers in London Defendants.

In pursuance of the decree made on the hearing of this cause, bearing date the seventh day of May, 1831, whereby it was ordered and decreed that the defendants should account for the legacy of 1,000l. hereinafter mentioned, and interest thereon at the rate of 5l. per centum per annum for 20 years, and that it should be referred to me, as the Master in rotation, to compute such interest, and that I should approve of a scheme for the application of such legacy and interest according to the will of the testatrix, Elizabeth Viscountess Campden, or as near thereto as circumstances will admit, and I was to state the same to the Court, and whereby it was ordered that I should tax the relator's costs of this suit to that time, and that the defendants should pay such costs when taxed. I have been attended by the clerks in Court and solicitors for the relator and for the defendants, and in their presence I have proceeded upon the matters referred to me by the said decree, and I have computed interest at 5l. per centum per annum on the said legacy of 1,000l. for 20 years, and I find that such interest amounts to the sum of 1,000l., the said legacy and interest making together the sum of 2,000l. And a proposed scheme for the application of the said legacy and interest having been laid before me on behalf of the relator, and the will of the said testatrix having been produced and read before me, I find that the Right Honourable Elizabeth Viscountess Campden, the testatrix, by her will bearing date on or about the 14th day of February 1642, thereby gave and bequeathed to the Wardens and Commonalty of the Mystery of Mercers in London the sum of 1,000l. of lawful money of England, to be lent to eight young men free of that Company by 125l. in each parcel for four years gratis, upon bond, with two good securities for every parcel to be allowed by a Court of Assistants, and so from four years to four years for ever; and her desire was that with this money there might be preferred in the first place shopkeepers of the trade of the mercery, and next silkmen, all of them being of the said Company of Mercers, and such as were not on the livery of the said Company. And if any that should have the use and benefit of any of the said money should be afterwards called into the livery of the said Company, then such to pay in their monies within three months next after they should be of the said livery, and then the same to be lent out to eight others, as aforesaid. And if the said Company of Mercers did undertake to perform those things by her therein required to the intent of her said will, then she gave and bequeathed to the said Company of Mercers the sum of 300l. of lawful money of England. And her will was that both these two last legacies aforesaid should be paid within one year next after her decease. Provided always, that if the said Company of Mercers should refuse to perform those her requests touching certain impropriations therein before mentioned, and of the 1,000l. formerly bequeathed for the use of eight young men of the said Company, then her will was that all the legacies above mentioned concerning the impropriations of the 1,000l. given for the benefit of eight young men, and the said 300l. given to the said Company of Mercers for their care and pains, should not be paid to the said Mercers, and that then the Company of Merchant Taylors of London aforesaid should have and receive the benefit and disposing of the said legacy touching the impropriations and the said 1,000l. given for the benefit of eight young men, and the 300l. given to the said Mercers for their care and pains to be paid unto them in manner and form as is before mentioned if the said Company of Merchant Tailors should perform her request touching the said impropriations, and the 1,000l. should then be given to eight young men of their own Company in manner and form as aforesaid; and if both the said two Companies should refuse to perform these her requests before mentioned, then her will was that all these legacies aforesaid touching the impropriations and the 1,000l. given to eight young men of one of their Companies, and the 300l. given unto them for their care and pains, should be void unto both the said Companies, and should then go to her executors or executor towards the better performance of her said will. And I find that the said Elizabeth Viscountess Campden died in the year 1646, and some time after her death the said legacy or sum of 1,000l. was paid to the Mercers' Company, and was, from time to time, lent out by the said Company in pursuance of the trusts of the will until the year 1666, from which time it does not appear that any loans have been made. And I find that the freedom of the Mercers' Company can only be obtained by service to some one free of the Company for seven years or by patrimony, and that the custom of the said Company is, and has been, for a great many years, to call on the livery every person who shall have taken up his freedom, and that such call is almost invariably made within a short interval after such admission to the freedom of the Company, and instances of freemen declining or neglecting to avail themselves of that privilege are extremely rare, by reason whereof there are seldom any persons entitled under the terms of the said will to the benefit of the said charity. And it has therefore been proposed before me on behalf of the relator as a proper scheme for the application of the said sum of 2,000l., that the defendants, the Mercers' Company, should from time to time lend out the said sum of 2,000l. now due from them in respect of the said legacy and interest to young men free of the said Company, whether on the livery or not on the livery, but that such as shall not be on the livery shall be first preferred, in sums not less than 125l. and not exceeding 500l. each, for four years gratis, upon bond with two good securities, for every sum to be approved by the Courts of Assistants; and that the said Company, from time to time, while any part of the said fund shall be in their hands, shall cause due notice to be given to the members of the said Company thereof. I have duly considered such proposed scheme, and do approve thereof as a proper scheme for the application of the said legacy and interest as nearly according to the will of the said testatrix, Elizabeth Viscountess Campden, as circumstances will admit. And I find by my certificate bearing date the 30th day of July 1831, I certified that I had pursuant to the said decree taxed the relator's costs of this suit to that time at the sum of 63l. 12s. 5d., including 19s. 2d. which I had allowed conditionally for a subpœna and service, which costs I find have been paid pursuant to the said decree.

All which, &c.

Order.

In Chancery.

Between His Majesty's Attorney General at the relation of John Kemble Chapman - Plaintiff and The Master, Wardens, and Commonalty of the Art or Mystery of Mercers in London Defendants.

This Court doth order that the Master's report made in this cause bearing date the 22nd day of November 1831, be confirmed. And it is ordered that the defendants the Master, Wardens, and Commonalty of the Art or Mystery of Mercers in London do pass their accounts every three years before the Master of this Court, to whom this cause stands referred or may be transferred. And it is ordered that the said defendants do, before they make any advances by way of loans out of the said legacy and interest in the said report mentioned, according to the scheme approved of by the said Master, cause an advertisement to be pub lished three times in each year in the "London Gazette," and in one of the London morning newspapers, for members of their Company, but giving a preference to such as are not of the livery to make application to them for the advances by way of loan according to the said scheme, and in default of any such members not of the said livery applying to the defendants to make such advances, it is ordered that the said defendants be at liberty to make such advances to members of their Company on the livery according to the said scheme. And it is ordered that the said Master do tax and settle the relator his costs, charges, and expenses of this suit. And it is ordered that the said Master do deduct from what he shall tax and settle for such costs, charges, and expenses the sum of 63l. 12s. 5d., deducting 19s. 2d. allowed conditionally by the said Master for the relator's costs, and which sum, less 19s. 2d., conditional costs for subpœna and service, appears by the said Master's said report to have been paid by the said defendants to the relator. And it is ordered that the said Master do tax the costs of His Majesty's Attorney General in this cause as between solicitor and client, and tax the defendants' costs in this suit subsequent to the said decree as between solicitor and client. And it is ordered that the said defendants do pay and retain what shall be taxed and settled for such costs, and the aforesaid costs, charges, and expenses out of the said legacy and interest; and either of the parties is to be at liberty to apply to this court as there shall be occasion.

Collier's Free School.

Horsham, May 9, 1861.

Dear Sir,

The interview which I had with you was highly interesting, and I have called together a meeting of my most influential neighbours to consider of what you were good enough to suggest. It would, however, materially strengthen my hands if you would have the kindness, and could spare the time, to send me by return of post a few of your principal observations, viz., that with the funds, &c. at command a first-rate institution could and ought to be made here, developed out of the existing institution; that many more scholars might be educated, and a superior education be given to those who required it, without interfering with the rights of the poor; that opportunity might be given for more masters, and that facilities would be given by the Charity Commissioners and the Mercers' Company for the adoption of any well-considered plan for the enlargement, &c. of the institution; but that the initiative must come from us. These were the principles, I think, you laid down, and if you would kindly introduce them, and any other remark you may deem fit in the shape of a letter to me or statement in writing for my use, I shall be in a much better position to meet my friends on Saturday than with merely my own recollections.

Believe me, &c. (Signed) J. F. Hodgson.

Char Common, May 10, 1861.

Dear Sir,

I think you have correctly recapitulated what passed at our interview at the Mercers' Hall on Wednesday. I expressed great concern (as not only in this case, but generally I have to do) at such very considerable educational means being expended in the accomplishment of such limited results. It appeared to me that by a good system of organisation the funds of this school, added to the reasonable quarterly payments of a guinea or so, which the tradesmen and wealthier classes would, I should think, be willing to pay for superior instruction for their sons, would be sufficient, with the existing National and British and Foreign School, to create together a first-rate educational establishment in which the independence and separate constitution of each school might be preserved. A certain number of free scholars might be drafted annually from the other schools to Collier's School, and some free scholars, perhaps, elected directly from that school. All the others in the Collier School might pay, either according to age or objects of study, or according to the condition in life of their parents. Masters of every kind might be provided, and the several schools might provide for all requisite instruction for the 400 or 500 boys of the age to be in school, which I presume are to be found in Horsham and the neighbourhood. I stated, and I think I may safely repeat, that the Charity Commissioners would be glad, under the powers they possess, to sanction a comprehensive scheme for the above purposes; but they could not do so without the application and assent of the Mercers' Company. From what, however, was stated to us at Mercers' Hall, there is no reason to believe that the Company would not assist in the same object.

Any application for a scheme to extend the benefits of the school should, of course, proceed from the governors or inhabitants, who must, of course, be the best judges of the feeling, and best entitled to speak as to the wants of the locality. It will be better for you, first, when your plans are matured, to put yourselves in communication with the Mercers' Company, and prevail upon them to imitate the steps for improvement by laying it before the Charity Commissioners, as the latter must be put in motion by the former.

I am, &c. (Signed) Thos. Hare.

Rev. J. F. Hodgson, Horsham.
Horsham, May 14, 1861.

My Dear Sir,

I have to thank you for your kind, judicious, and prompt attention to my request.

I have lost no time in putting the thing in motion.

I have secured the unanimous co-operation of the existing governors and several other influential inhabitants to the following principles:—

1. Sixty, and not more than 60, free scholars to be retained.

2. Paying scholars to be admitted from one to two guineas per quarter, exclusive of extras.

3. Twenty out of the 60 "free" boys to be chosen out of Collier's School itself promiscuously for merit, who shall enjoy every advantage the school may afford.

4. All children to be dealt with as church children in school; but that no child be compelled to learn the catechism or attend church if the parents express a wish in writing to the contrary.

5. That the best possible masters be obtained.

6. The feeling is, that the privileges of 60 original scholars be provided for, and the other classes stand in great need of such education as such an institution is capable of giving, and that the benefit of any surplus in the hands of the Company might fairly, justly, and with great advantage to society, middle and poor, be applied to them content as they are to pay a reasonable sum.

It will not be prudent, nor is it possible at present, to mix up the two other schools in our plans. They are, in fact, and will doubtless continue to be, the recognised feeders of the free scholarships in Collier's School; but any attempt further to amalgamate them at present in a comprehensive scheme would fail. So you must not be surprised if in our application to the Mercers' Company we do not refer to this any further than that wherever these two schools afford such ample provision for the education of the poor, there is really no ground for extending Collier's School in a pauper direction, beyond the 60 free scholarships originally contemplated.

I have seen and perused carefully Skeat's abstract of the late report, especially that which relates to endowed schools, and I recognise the proposal there to combine schools as you suggest; but I cannot see any way to it here just now, and I think almost the same purpose would be answered without; at any rate, eventually without any definite or acknowledged combination. I trust you will acquiesce in our relinquishing this part of the plan recommended by you for the present, especially as I find our people really enthusiastic about the other; besides, although the two schools in question are the feeders of the free school, they are not and would not be suffered to be made the exclusive ones.

With renewed thanks for the interest you have taken in our affairs, and the readiness of your reply to me, which have been of the greatest service, I remain, &c. (Signed) J. F. Hodgson.

West Lavington, Devizes, April 1, 1861.

Dear Sir,

I return herewith the best replies I can give to the questions you have sent me. Should any additional information or explanation be required, I shall be happy to furnish it if in my power to do so. Education is carried on most disadvantageously in an agricultural district where the children are employed early, and boys of nine and ten years old are much in request. The new poor laws and the allotment system have sent the young children in large families to work at a very early age. When I was first appointed to this mastership, boys remained under instruction till they were 14½ or older. Now, except in a few instances, education ceases before 10½.

I remain, &c. (Signed) Edward Wilton.

Thomas Hare, Esq. &c. &c. &c.

DAUNTSEY'S SCHOOL AND ALMSHOUSES, WEST LAVINGTON, WILTS.

As to the School.

Questions.

How many scholars are at the present time in the school on the foundation?

The general course of instruction?

What is the age of admission and of leaving the school?

By whom are the boys nominated?

Is any payment whatever made by the foundation scholars for stationery or otherwise?

Are there any private scholars, and at what charges?

What is the name of the present usher, and his qualifications?

When and by whom was he appointed?

Answers.

45. Many boys are now at work who return in the depth of winter. The allotment system prevails to a great extent here. Parents have even been permitted to keep their children at home upon any occasions when they are employed in industrial occupations.

The digging season begins in February—

1860. February. Names on books, 60.

1861. February. Names on books, 56.

A plain education as far as time permits for the poor. The few tradesmen's sons who have remained longer have been further instructed. Decimals in arithmetic, English history, a little political economy, oral teaching in matters of ordinary business, &c. Geography classes have not been required in any instance.

As soon as they can read without spelling words of one syllable. The first book of national schools. They leave as soon as their parents can find a place for them as plough boys at about nine years of age or ten at utmost. Boys who are to learn a trade stay till about 13, in one or two cases (yearly) a little older.

The master admits the sons of all inhabitants of the parish, and any parishioner who may apply, though not residing in West Lavington.

They find their own books, slates, and copy books, testaments, bibles, geography books, &c.

No private scholars. The old house did not permit me to take boarders. I now feel too far advanced in years (68) to undertake private tuition. I was given to understand I had liberty so to do. I have stipulated with every usher since my appointment that they should not (as heretofore) take boys from other places on pay.

Henry Dyke, qualified to teach the class of boys composing the school as now existing (see page 9).

By me, about three years since.

As to the Almshouses.

By whom are the almspeople nominated?

What are their qualifications as to age, previous dwelling, &c.

And are the almshouses at present full?

Whether the almsmen or women are necessarily single persons, or whether married couples are admitted?

The date of Mr. Wilton's appointment as master of the school?

A list of applicants is kept, and as a vacancy occurs their names, qualifications, and character are sent to Lord Churchill, the patron. He selects the man or woman as the vacancy may be; the age, and especially the testimony of his Lordship's steward as to their good character, generally direct the choice made.

Inhabitants and parishioners of West Lavington who have lived here and are well known poor aged (60 would be so deemed) or infirm, older people are preferred (other considerations being equal).

Yes, they never remain vacant long enough to allow a lapse in the presentation. Applicants are numerous, and many of them wait years before they can obtain admission.

"Poor, aged, impotent" are the founder's words. Single women are rarely admitted; there is one there now, and I recollect a like case years back. Widows are considered as best entitled of women. If an old married man is elected, his wife goes with him (but without any additional pay, and only for his life). Any feeble person, male or female, is allowed to select a relation or friend, provided they bear a good character, to live with them and take care of them.

June 25th, 1832.

When I advertised for an usher bearing a certificate, offering the stipend of 50l., I obtained no reply, and found that a national school master, certificated, would obtain Government allowances which did not extend to a school like mine, or employment for a wife which would secure some additional income, and which I could not bestow. Henry Dyke is a man of good character and able to preserve discipline and order to a remarkable extent.

He was two years in the Diocesan Training School at Winchester, master of Lyme Regis National School for a time, then for five years at North Sway National School, then elected to mastership of Heytesbury National School. I took him on the testimonial of the vicar of Heytesbury, who would gladly have retained him, but he did not consider himself equal to the certificate examination of first class, and the Government allowance required the master of Heytesbury School to hold a certificate.

Henry Dyke has signified to me his readiness to go in for a certificate if required, but I have not pressed the point for three reasons. 1st. He is, I think, fully equal to the instruction of the class of boys attending this school, and leaving at so early an age. 2nd. He is 31, and an examination upon which so much depends (for did he fail it would necessarily lead to his resignation) may be more than he could be expected to submit to; the expense to a married man with three children is also an objection. 3rd. Should he obtain a certificate I must submit to his leaving me, as in that case he might easily obtain a more lucrative appointment.

He has assisted Dr. Wilkinson, our vicar, in Sunday and evening schools. The Doctor thinks him quite equal to the class of boys the school contains under its present constitution and circumstances. Some of our boys, as pupils of this night school, have gone in for the school prize examinations of the Wilts and Hants National Society. Dr. Wilkinson is on the committee and an examiner for this district. These pupils, therefore, have been under his observation as well as Dyke's conduct of the evening school. I give this opinion of Dr. Wilkinson with his express permission. Were our rustic boys to compete for Civil Service situations, or as University Associates, I might hesitate before I spoke of my present usher as effective, but I do consider him equal to his work as defined by the custom and circumstances I have mentioned, and I do not think I could obtain a better usher at the rate of 50l. without additions.

Sir,

Hexham, April 11, 1861.

In answer to the questions put to me in your letter of the 9th instant, I have to state, first, that the only duty performed by the Fishborne lecturer in the parish or town of Hexham, is the delivery of a lecture on Sunday afternoons. I may add that the present lecturer does not even reside in the parish of Hexham, but in that of St. John Lee, of which he is also the incumbent, though, according to the will of the founder, it is required that the lecturer shall not hold any other benefice or church living, and that he shall reside in the parish of Hexham.

Secondly, that as according to the present arrangement, the lectureship is of little or no benefit to the parish of Hexham, I can have no hesitation in saying that I think it would be highly desirable if, in future, other and additional duties could be assigned to the lecturer, or, if a more adequate provision for the spiritual wants of the parish could be made, for, it may not be irrelevant to mention, the population of this parish is nearly 6,000, and the value of the incumbency not more than 130l. per annum, without a parsonage house, while there is in the town of Hexham a house belonging to the lectureship, in which some of the former lecturers resided.

I am, &c. (Signed) J. Hudson, Incumbent of Hexham.

Thomas Hare, Esquire, Inspector of Charities.

Sir,

Brunton, Hexham, April 11, 1861.

In reply to the letter which I had the honor to receive from you yesterday, I beg leave to say that the lectureship in question was bestowed on me, as on my predecessors, without any duty being expressly imposed beyond the delivering a lecture every Sunday afternoon in the parish church at Hexham, to which I was licensed 26 years ago, as appears by a copy here enclosed of the license granted to me by a former Archbishop of York, Hexham being at that date a peculiar of York. But, from my first appointment, I have administered every Sunday a full morning service in the churches of that parish from which the principal portion of the endowment accrues, in addition to those accustomably performed by the parochial incumbent, and which, together, provide all those services to which your letter refers.

I have, &c. (Signed) Charles Lee.

Thomas Hare, Esquire, Charity Commissioner, Saint James' Square, London.

Copy of the License of the Lecturer at Hexham.

Edward, by divine permission, Lord Archbishop of York, Primate of England, and Metropolitan to our well-beloved in Christ Charles Lee, clerk, master of arts, greeting. We do, by these presents, give and grant to you, in whose ability and morals we do fully confide, our license and faculty to perform the office of a lecturer according to the canons and constitutions of the Church of England in the parish church of Hexham, in the county of Northumberland, within our diocese and jurisdiction, to which lectureship or lecturer's place you have been duly elected by a general court of the Worshipful Company of Mercers, London, held at their hall on Thursday the thirteenth day of January one thousand eight hundred and twenty-five, as appears by a certificate thereof (you having first before us read and subscribed the thirty-nine articles of religion of the Church of England, agreed upon in the convocation holden at London in the year of our Lord 1562, and made such other subscriptions and declarations, and taken such oaths as are by the laws, statutes, and canons of this realm or any of them in such cases required. And we do by these presents invest you with all the rights and profits to the said lectureship or lecturer's place in any wise belonging, and do authorise you to receive the same so long as you shall continue lecturer thereof. Given under our hand and archiepiscopal seal this eighteenth day of February in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and twenty-five, and in the eighteenth year of our translation.

(Signed) G. Ebor.

The gross annual amount of the tithes of the lectureship at Hexham, drawn from Swinburne, Keepwick, Errington, Bingfield, and Calwell, is commuted at 563l. 7s. 8d.

In re Mercers' Company.—Fishbourne Lecturer, Berwick-upon-Tweed.

The Vicarage, Berwick-upon-Tweed, April 18, 1861.

Sir,

I have to thank you for your communication of the 9th instant, inquiring about the Fishbourne lectureship in this parish, which is in the gift of the Mercers' Company.

In reply, I have the honour to send herewith (1) a statement of all the facts of the case, and (2) the draft of a scheme for rendering practically useful this endowment, which is at present of but little advantage to this parish.

It will give me very sincere pleasure to be allowed to co-operate with you and the Mercers' Company in their known desire to carry out this very important improvement.

If any point in the statement or scheme requires explanation, I shall be most happy to do all in my power to make these things more easily understood.

I have, &c. (Signed) Geo. Hans Hamilton, Vicar of Berwick and Rural Dean.

Thos. Hare, Esq., Inspector Charities.

Doddington, near Wooler, April 17, 1861.

Sir,

I have answered your three questions fully and freely, hoping that the Mercers' Company may be able, with the aid of the Charity Commissioners, to accomplish their wish of assigning duties to future lecturers of Berwick, which shall be "for the greater benefit of "the established religion." But at my time of life, 70 years of age, I cannot undertake any additional duties, and I am under no apprehension of being required to do so by my considerate patrons.

I am, &c. (Signed) Wm. Procter.

Question I.

"What ecclesiastical duty is at present performed by the Fishbourne lecturer in the parish or town of Berwick-upon-Tweed?"

Answer.

As Fishboure lecturer I perform Divine service and preach in the parish church of Berwick-upon-Tweed in the forenoon every Thursday on which I can claim by prescription the use of the church and the necessary accompaniments of Divine service. Immediately upon entering on the duties of the lectureship, A.D. 1824, I found that long usage had established the custom of discontinuing the lecture for four months in every year, and that the attempt to depart from that custom would meet with opposition and probably issue in a failure, which would impair my usefulness as lecturer. This difficulty I stated by letter to the Court of the Mercers' Company, who instructed their secretary, William Edward Ward, in July 1824, to inform me that the discontinuance of the lectures during four months was left to my discretion."

Question II.

"Whether in consequence of local changes, increase of population, or any other cause, a more beneficial assignment of duties for the lecturer may in future be made?"

Answer.

Twenty years ago I originated a movement for the erection of a new church in Berwick, expecting to be charged with the duties thereof by the Mercers' Company, according to the conditions of my appointment. After obtaining considerable promises of aid from the inhabitants of Berwick and others, I wrote to the Mercers' Company on the subject, who replied that on consulting their lawyer they found they had no legal power to convert the lectureship of Berwick into an endowment for a new church. On this, seeing no prospect of raising funds both for the building and endowment of a new church, I ceased to exert myself in the cause. About five years ago, however, Captain Gordon, one of the present members of Parliament for Berwick, having nobly offered 2,000l. for the building a new church in the parish, the new church of St. Mary has been completed, and is now in full operation under an able pastor, endowed with 100l. a year by the Dean and Chapter of Durham, who are also the patrons of the old church. This endowment is sadly insufficient, and I think it would be very beneficial if, at the next avoidance of the lectureship, the tithes of Chollerton and Barrasford could be assigned in perpetuity to the incumbent of St. Mary's, Berwick, with an amicable arrangement between the Mercers' Company and the Dean and Chapter of Durham as to the patronage.

Question III.

"What is the present net annual amount of the tithes of Chollerton and Barrasford?"

Answer.

The net annual amount of the tithes of Chollerton and Barrasford has been—

£s.d.
For A.D. 185426137
1855265011
185627164
185729970
185832945
185935198
1860357148

Witness my hand this 17th April 1861.

(Signed) Wm. Procter, Lecturer of Berwick.

CHARITY COMMISSION.

In re an Inquiry into the Charitable Endowments under the management of the Mercers' Company of the City of London, as to whether any and what Improvements may be made in the Management or Application thereof.

THE FISHBORNE LECTURESHIP, BERWICK-UPON-TWEED.

Thomas Hare, Esquire, Inspector of Charities, having, in a letter dated the 9th April 1861, addressed to the Reverend G. H. Hamilton, Berwick-upon-Tweed, stated with reference to the above lectureship as follows:—

"It appears that the lecture is endowed with the tithes of Chollerton and Barrasford, in the county of Northumberland, and that at the last appointment of a lecturer the duties assigned to him were 'to perform Divine service and preach in person in the church of Berwick-upon-Tweed in the forenoon of every Thursday, and that in the event of a new church or chapel being built in Berwick, the lecturer shall, if required by the Mercers' Company for the greater benefit of the interests of the established religion, take upon himself the duty of the new church or chapel upon such conditions as the Company shall appoint or vacate the lectureship.'

"In order to ascertain the present operation of the endowment and the possibility of any improvements, either on the occasion of a vacancy or otherwise, I shall be glad if you will favour me with an answer to the following questions:—

"1st. What ecclesiastical duty is at present performed by the Fishborne lecturer in the parish or town of Berwick-upon-Tweed?

"2nd Whether in consequence of local changes, increase of population, or any other cause, a more beneficial assignment of duties for the lecturer may in future be made?"

The Reverend George Hans Hamilton, vicar of Berwick, has the honour, in reply to the inquiries thus put to him, to submit to the Charity Commissioners, through their inspector of charities, the annexed statement of the whole present circumstances of the ecclesiastical arrangements of the ancient parish of Berwickupon-Tweed, including the newly-created parish of Saint Mary, and the duties at present performed by the Fishborne lecturer; and he would very earnestly urge upon the Charity Commissioners the great importance of their exercising their powers in furtherance of the objects which were evidently contemplated by the founder of the lectureship, and were kept in view by the Mercers' Company on the occasion of their last exercising their patronage over it.

Mr. Hamilton has further the honour to submit the draft of a scheme framed so as to carry out the arrangements suggested in the annexed statement, and which is founded on a precedent furnished by an Order in Council dated the 26th October 1860, proceeding on a recommendation of the Ecclesiastical Commissioners dated the 28th day of June of the same year, effecting the union of the offices of lecturer and incumbent of the parish of Saint Nicholas or the city of Durham, and he prays that the Charity Commissioners will recommend the Ecclesiastical Commissioners for England to exercise their powers in co-operation with the Charity Commissioners towards the union of the Fishborne lectureship with the incumbency of Saint Mary's, Berwick, which will convert to purposes of great practical utility the endowment of that lectureship, and largely promote the spiritual interest of the populous parishes of this town.

(Signed) Geo. Hans Hamilton,
Vicar of Berwick.

April 18, 1861.

Statement.

The district chapelry of Saint Mary, Berwick-uponTweed, was assigned out of the parish of Berwickupon-Tweed by an Order in Council dated the 6th day of July 1859, proceeding on a representation by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners dated the 3rd day of June of the same year. It comprises a population of about 2,000 souls, a large proportion of whom are fishermen and persons in a humble position of life, and amongst whom the labours of the incumbent are trying and onerous.

With the consent of the vicar of Berwick-upon-Tweed the district of Saint Mary has been endowed by the Dean and Chapter of Durham with 100l. per annum out of the tithes of the parish of Berwick, this sum having originally been intended as an additional endowment for the said vicarage. The only other source of income for the incumbent of Saint Mary's, Berwick, consists of certain pew rents, surplice fees, and a stated portion of the Sunday offerings, the whole income derived from which several sources may be reasonably estimated at 150l. per annum.

A handsome and commodious church has been erected in the district at a cost of 3,239l. 15s. 2d.

A valuable site of three-quarters of an acre immediately adjoining the town has been presented by a lady for a parsonage house, which is now in the course of erection, the necessary means having been raised by public subscription and by grants obtained from church funds.

The estimated value of the parsonage and the site is about 1,500l.

The perpetual right of presentation to the incumbency of Saint Mary is vested in the vicar of Berwick for the time being.

There is a lectureship attached to the parish church of Berwick-upon-Tweed, the presentation to which is vested in the Mercers' Company of London.

The present lecturer is the Reverend William Proctor, incumbent of Doddington, who was appointed about 20 years ago, when the following duties were assigned to the office:—"To perform divine service and preach in person in the church of Berwick-upon-Tweed in the forenoon of every Thursday, and that in the event of a new church or chapel being built in Berwick, the lecturer shall, if required by the Mercers' Company for the greater benefit of the interests of the established religion, take upon himself the duty of the new church or chapel upon such conditions as the Company shall appoint or vacate the lectureship."

In accordance with the conditions of his appointment the present lecturer continues to perform weekly service in the parish church on each Thursday morning, from the 1st of March to 31st of October, but at the time of the formation of the district of Saint Mary and of the erection of the church thereof it was not considered expedient to require the present holder of the lectureship to undertake the duties of the new parish, nor to induce the Mercers' Company to exercise the discretion they had reserved to themselves in this matter. At that time, however, the vicar of Berwick waited upon the Court of Assistants of the Mercers' Company in London, and urged upon them the great importance of taking such steps that at the next avoidance of the lectureship the endowments thereof should be made available for the augmentation of the newly-created benefice of St. Mary's. The Reverend John Irwin, M.A., was presented by the Vicar of Berwick as first incumbent of the new parish, and still holds the cure.

The present holder of the office of lecturer resides at a distance of several miles from Berwick-upon-Tweed, and having moreover a separate cure of his own he is unable further to assist in the performance of the clerical duties of the parish of Berwick than by officiating in the parish church of that parish at the periods before mentioned.

The lectureship is endowed under the will of the late Richard Fishborne, with the tithes of Chollerton and Barrasford, in the county of Northumberland, which produce a net income of about 300l. per annum.

The populous district chapelry of Saint Mary's, Berwick, greatly requires an addition to its present endowment, the present income being inadequate for the position of the incumbent and the requirements of so poor a parish, nor is the incumbent with his present means able to secure the assistance of a curate.

It is proposed that on the occurrence of a vacancy in the Fishbourne lectureship the office of lecturer, with its emoluments and endowments, shall thenceforth be and become permanently united to the said parish of Saint Mary, so that the incumbent of the said parish shall on the occurrence of such a vacancy in the lectureship be and become fully entitled to the said office of lecturer, with all its emoluments and endowments, and so that thereafter the exercise of the right of patronage, presentation, or nomination to the said parish and parish church of Saint Mary's shall operate as a presentation or nomination to the said office of lecturer, and so that the avoidance either by death or resignation or otherwise of either one of the said offices of lecturer of the parish of Berwick-upon-Tweed and incumbent of the said parish of Saint Mary's shall operate as an avoidance of the other.

In order, however, fully to meet the objects of the charitable founder of the lectureship, and also the known desire of the Mercers' Company to promote the interests of the established religion, it is proposed that the following conditions should be imposed on the union of the lectureship with the said parish, namely,

1st. That the incumbent of Saint Mary for the time being shall perform divine service and preach in the parish church of Berwick-upon Tweed on some one week day in every week, such day and at such hour to be arranged by the Vicar of Berwick, subject to the sanction and approval of the Bishop of Durham.

2ndly. That the incumbent of Saint Mary shall from the date of his coming into the enjoyment of the emoluments and endowments of the said lectureship provide in perpetuity a stipendiary curate for the said parish of Saint Mary's, Berwick.

In this way the parish of Berwick will be secured a continuance of all the benefits which it now derives from the lectureship, while the ministrations of another clergyman in the parish of Saint Mary will greatly strengthen the hands of its incumbent and benefit that district in particular, while the interests of the established religion over the whole parish of Berwick-uponTweed will be promoted by the co-operation of the incumbent of Saint Mary's in the services of the parish church, and the constant and friendly intercourse that will thus be perpetuated amongst those having spiritual charge in the two parishes of the town.

In order also to meet the just claim of the Mercers' Company to consideration in respect of the patronage it now possesses over the lectureship, it is proposed that in future the right of presentation to the incumbency of Saint Mary (carrying with it the presentation to the lectureship), shall be vested alternately in the Mercers' Company and the Vicar of Berwick.

Such an arrangement would, it is submitted, not be unfair towards the rights of the present owners of the separate rights of presentation, and would assuredly operate largely for the promotion of those objects which ought to be considered paramount. As the present incumbent of Saint Mary's was presented by the Vicar of Berwick, the latter is willing, in pursuance of the arrangement now suggested, that the first presentation to the united benefice on a vacancy occurring therein subsequent to the avoidance of the said office of lecturer by the present holder thereof, should be vested in the Mercers' Company, and so on alternately thereafter.

It is hoped that the Mercers' Company will concur in the scheme now submitted, and the Vicar of Berwick has every confidence, that so far as it may be necessary it will receive the cordial confirmation of the Bishop of the Diocese and the Dean and Chapter of Durham, who are patrons of the mother church.

Geo. Hans Hamilton, Vicar of Berwick.

April 18, 1861.

We, the Ecclesiastical Commissioners for England, in pursuance of the Act of the third and fourth years of Her Majesty, chapter 113, have prepared and now humbly lay before your Majesty in Council, the following scheme for uniting the office of lecturer of the parish of Berwick-upon-Tweed, with its emoluments and endowments, to the district chapelry of Saint Mary, Berwick-upon-Tweed, within the said parish, and for regulating the future right of presentation to the incumbrancy of the said district and to the said office of lecturer.

Whereas the perpetual right of patronage, presentation, or nomination to the said district chapelry of St. Mary is duly vested in the Reverend George Hans Hamilton, M.A., vicar of the parish, and his successors in such vicarage of Berwick-upon-Tweed, and John Irwin, M.A., is now the incumbent of the said district chapelry, and the right of patronage, presentation, or nomination to the office of lecturer of the said parish of Berwick is duly vested in the Mercers' Company of London, and the Reverend William Proctor, M.A., now holds the office of lecturer aforesaid:

And whereas the emoluments and endowments of the said district chapelry consist of 100l. per annum out of the rectorial tithes of the parish of Berwick, together with certain pew rents, surplice fees, and a stated portion of Sunday offerings, the whole income derived from which several sources may be reasonably estimated at 150l. per annum, and the emoluments and endowments of the said office of lecturer consist of the tithes of Chollerton and Barrasford in the county of Northumberland, which are commuted at 350l., producing a net income of about 300l. per annum.

And whereas the said George Hans Hamilton, vicar of Berwick-upon-Tweed, and the said Mercers' Company as such patrons as aforesaid, are desirous of uniting the said district chapelry and office of lecturer, with all emoluments and endowments to the same respectively belonging on the terms hereinafter mentioned, and have also proposed that the perpetual right of patronage, presentation, or nomination to the said united district chapelry and office of lecturer should vest in the said Mercers' Company, and the said George Hans Hamilton, vicar of Berwick-upon-Tweed, and his successors in such vicarage, so as the same should be exercised by the said Mercers' Company and their successors, and the said George Hans Hamilton, vicar of Berwick-upon-Tweed, and his successors alternately in succession:

And whereas we are of opinion that the arrangements and conditions hereinafter submitted by us would, if carried into effect, conduce to the better cure of souls within the said parish of Berwick-upon-Tweed, and the said district chapelry:

Now, therefore, with the consents of the Right Reverend Henry Montagu, Bishop of Durham, as bishop of the diocese, the said George Hans Hamilton, as vicar of Berwick-upon-Tweed, and the said John Irwin, as incumbent of the said district chapelry of St. Mary, Berwick-upon-Tweed (testified by their respectively having signed and sealed this scheme), and who with the consent of the said Mercers' Company, testified by their common seal being attached hereto, we humbly recommend and propose that without any other conveyance or assurance in the law the said office of lecturer of the parish of Berwick-upon-Tweed, with all the emoluments and endowments thereto belonging or in anywise appertaining or usually heretofore held, used, or enjoyed therewith, shall be and become permanently united to the said district chapelry of St. Mary, Berwick-upon-Tweed, so that on the first vacancy which shall happen in the said office of lecturer, the incumbent of the said district chapelry for the time being shall, without any further presentation or nomination, be and become thenceforth the holder of the said office of lecturer, with its said several emoluments and endowments, and so that in perpetuity thereafter the exercise of the right of patronage, presentation, or nomination to the said district chapelry of Saint Mary, Berwick-upon-Tweed, shall operate as a presentation or nomination to the said office of lecturer, and so that the avoidance either by death or resignation or otherwise of either one of the said offices of incumbent of the said district, parish, and lecturer of the said parish (save and except an avoidance of the said office of lecturer by the said William Proctor), shall operate as an avoidance of the other: Provided that the union of the said district chapelry and office of lecturer shall not in any way affect the rights of the said William Proctor to execute the duties and to receive the emoluments and endowments incident to the said office of lecturer by virtue of his present tenure thereof:

And we further recommend and propose that the incumbent of the said district chapelry for the time being shall, so soon as he shall become holder of the said office of lecturer, be bound thenceforth in perpetuity to perform divine service and preach in the parish church of Berwick-upon-Tweed once in every week on a week-day, and at an hour to be fixed by the vicar of Berwick-upon-Tweed with the sanction and approval of the bishop of the diocese; and further, that such incumbent shall likewise from the date of his entering into the enjoyment of the said emoluments and endowments of the said office of lecturer of the parish of Berwick-upon-Tweed, provide in perpetuity a stipendiary curate to assist in the performance of all clerical and spiritual duties within the said district chapelry of St. Mary's, Berwick:

And we further, with the several consents aforesaid (testified as aforesaid), recommend and propose that the perpetual right of patronage, presentation, and nomination to the said district chapelry of St. Mary, Berwick-upon-Tweed (in union as aforesaid with the said office of lecturer of the said parish of Berwickupon-Tweed and its said emoluments and endowments) shall, from and after the avoidance of the said office of lecturer by the present holder thereof without any assurance in the law other than this scheme, and any duly gazetted order by your Majesty in Council ratifying the same, be assigned to and be absolutely vested in the said Mercers' Company and their successors, and the said George Hans Hamilton, vicar of Berwick-uponTweed and his successors in such vicarage, and shall and may be exercised by the said Mercers' Company and their successors, and the said George Hans Hamilton, vicar of Berwick-upon-Tweed aforesaid and his successors alternately in succession, the first right of choice and presentation under such order as aforesaid to belong to and be exercised by the said Mercers' Company or their successors.

And we further recommend and propose that the several recommendations hereinbefore submitted by us shall take effect and come into force upon and from the day of the date of the publication in the "London Gazette" of any order of your Majesty in Council ratifying this scheme.

And we further recommend and propose that nothing herein contained shall prevent us from recommending and proposing any other measures relating to the matters aforesaid in accordance with the provisions of the said Act or of any other Act of Parliament.

We therefore humbly pray that your Majesty will be graciously pleased to take the premises into your Royal consideration, and to make such order in respect thereto as to your Majesty in your Royal wisdom shall seem meet.

Mercers' Hall.

In answer to your letter, I enclose you a printed form of petition for one of Lady Hungerford's Apprentice Fees, which must be filled up and returned to me before , that our Master and Wardens may have time to make such enquiries as they may deem necessary, previous to, when the disposal of the fees (of which there are only three annually) usually takes place; care must be taken in filling up the blanks in the petition, and which should be accompanied by a statement setting forth the pecuniary means of the parents and if any other children than the one for whom the petition is intended, their number and ages, whether any of them are able to assist in the support of the family, and if so, to what extent, and, in short, any circumstances that may assist the Master and Wardens to make a proper selection out of the many applicants for these fees. This statement should be certified by the clergyman of the parish. Previous to the fee being paid a declaration will be required to be signed by the master of the apprentice and the parent or guardian of the child, stating that no other consideration has passed between them except the premium stated in the body of the indenture.

To the Master and Wardens of the Worshipful Company of Mercers, London.

The humble petition of of in the county of Sheweth,

That your petitioner has a son named, aged years, whom is desirous of binding out apprentice for the term of seven years, to, of in the county of, and who willing to take him, if your petitioner could raise the sum of fourteen pounds to pay with him as a premium, which is unable to do.

Your petitioner, therefore, humbly prays that you will be pleased to grant one of the gifts left by Lady Hungerford, for apprenticing poor boys of the counties of Wilts and Gloucester.

And your petitioner will ever pray.

We, the undersigned minister and churchwardens of the parish of in the county of do certify that we well know the said. and do recommend as a proper object to receive the benefit requested.

Minister. Churchwardens.

Rules and Orders to be observed in Mercers' School.

I.

That no boy be admitted a scholar in Mercers' School until the order for his admission be registered at Mercers' Hall.

II.

That no boy shall be admitted a scholar who cannot read English correctly, and write sufficiently to perform his Latin exercises.

III.

That every scholar be supplied, at his parents' expense, with books, and all other things necessary to his learning, as the business of the school requires, and the master prescribes.

IV.

That no boy shall be eligible to petition for Rich's Exhibitions, unless he shall have entered the school previous to his twelfth birthday.

V.

That the school hours be from nine to twelve every morning, and from one to four in the afternoon, with the exception that on Wednesdays and Saturdays there shall be a half holiday.

VI.

That no scholar absent himself on any pretence whatever (sickness only excepted), and any scholar absenting himself three several times, or three several days, except on account of sickness, to be no longer of the school.

VII.

That every parent be particularly careful to send his child neat and becoming in his person and apparel.

VIII.

That no deviation be made from the rules and studies of the school to gratify any parent whatever; but each scholar shall conform to the regulations of the school in every particular.

Sir, Mercers' Hall.

I am directed to inform you that you have the nomination of a poor man or woman, not under the age of 55 years, to a pension upon Whittington's fund of 30l. per annum.

The person you may nominate must fill up the enclosed petition, and transmit the same to this office on or before the day of next; after which time a day will be appointed for his or her attendance at Mercers' Hall, for the purpose of answering such questions as the Master and Wardens may deem it expedient to put to the petitioner.

The pension will be voted annually, and continued only during the pleasure of the court.

No servant will be admitted a pensioner during the time that he or she may be in regular service.

Should any charge be hereafter imputed that the pensioner either was or has become an unfit object of the Charity, the pension will be suspended until a satisfactory inquiry into the circumstances shall have taken place.

If money or anything in the nature of pecuniary consideration be given to obtain the pension, or if it be sold, mortgaged, or any way incumbered, it will immediately cease and become forfeited.

No person who has an income of 20l. per annum arising from real property, or 30l. per annum arising from any source whatever will be admitted as a pensioner.

The person nominated must be resident within 30 miles of London.

When appointed, the pensioner must annually deliver into the clerk's office an affidavit, of which you have herewith one of the blank forms.

The certificate at the foot of the petition you will be pleased to sign yourself.

I am, &c.

The King's Letters Patent of the purchase of the Church under our Hall, and the Land above the same.

Of a Grant to the Wardens and Commonalty of the Mercers of London and their Successors.

Henry the Eighth, by the grace of God of England, France, and Ireland, king, defender of the faith, and on earth the supreme head of the English church, to all to whom the present letters shall come greeting: Whereas by our letters patent made under our great seal of our court of augmentation of the revenues of our Crown, bearing date at Westminster the 20th day of June in the 32nd year of our reign, amongst other things it is recited that whereas Laurence Gopferler, master of the late house or hospital called Acon, in London, and the confreres of the same place by certain their indenture made between them on the one part, and Ambrose Barker, citizen and grocer of London, on the other part, bearing date the 29th day of September, in the 29th year of our reign, did give, grant, and to farm let to the aforesaid Ambrose Barker, his executors and assigns, all that their great messuage, with the chapel, cellars, solars, shops, warehouses, and other its appurtenances, situate, lying, and being in the parish of St. Martin Pomeres, in Ironmonger Lane, London, in as ample manner and form as on the day of the date of the said indenture or any other time theretofore they were in the occupation and tenure of the said Ambrose Barker, with all commodities and appurtenances to the same or any parcel of the same belonging or in anywise pertaining. And also the aforesaid master and confreres did give and by the indenture aforesaid to farm let to the aforesaid Ambrose Barker, one shop in the parish aforesaid, then in the occupation of one John There, leatherseller, to have and to hold all the aforesaid great messuage, cellars, solars, shops, warehouses, and other the premises, with the appurtenances to the aforesaid Ambrose Barker, his executors or assigns, from the Feast of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary then last past before the date of the said indenture until the end and term of 99 years then next following and fully to be completed, rendering therefor yearly during the term aforesaid to the aforesaid late master and confreres, and their successors, one hundred shillings of lawful money of England, at the four terms of the year, that is to say: At the Feast of the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist, Saint Michael the Archangel, the Nativity of our Lord, and the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, by equal portions to be paid, as by the indenture aforesaid, amongst other things fully appears: And whereas the said late master and confreres of the said late hospital by a certain other indenture made between them on the one part, and the aforesaid Ambrose Barker on the other part, bearing date on the 1st day of June in the 30th year of our reign, did give, grant, and to farm let to the aforesaid Ambrose Barker, all that their tenement with shops, cellars, solars, and other its appurtenanoes, wherein William Foster, citizen and brewer, of London, lately did dwell, situate and being on the south side of the great gate of the messuage wherein the said Ambrose then did dwell in the parish of Saint Martin's, in Ironmonger Lane, London, to have and hold the aforesaid tenements with shops, cellars, and solars, and other its appurtenances to the aforesaid Ambrose, his executors and assigns in as ample manner and form as the said William lately held, the same from the Feast of the Nativity of our Lord then next coming after the date of the same indenture to the end and term of 99 years then next following and fully to be completed, rendering and paying yearly therefor during the term aforesaid to the aforesaid master and confreres and their successors or assigns twenty shillings sterling at the four terms in the year usual in the city of London, by equal portions to be paid as by the same indenture among other things it more fully appears: And whereas also the said late master and confreres by a certain other their indenture made between them on the one part, and William Barker, gentleman, of the other part, bearing date the 4th day of October in the 29th year of our reign, did give, grant, and to farm-let to the aforesaid William Barker all that his house, tenement, or messuage, with cellars, solars, and other its appurtenances which Henry Fitzharbard lately had and occupied, situate and being in the parish of Saint Martin Pomeres, in Ironmonger Lane, London, between the tenement of the said late master and confreres on the north and south parts and the house or tenement pertaining to the Society of Mercers, London, on the east part and the high road on the west part. To have and hold the whole aforesaid tenement or messuage, cellars, solars, warehouses, and other the premises to the aforesaid William Barker, his executors or assigns, from the Feast of Saint Michael the Archangel then last past before the date of the said indenture to the end and term of 30 years then next following and fully to be completed, rendering and paying therefor yearly during the term aforesaid to the aforesaid late master and confreres, and their successors, sixty shillings of lawful money of England at the four terms of the year, that is to say at the Feast of the Nativity of our Lord, the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist, and Saint Michael the Archangel by equal portions as by the indenture aforesaid among other things more fully appears, we for certain causes and considerations, us at the time specially moving of our especial grace, and of our certain knowledge and mere motion did give and by the letters patent aforesaid did grant to the aforesaid Ambrose Barker, all the aforesaid annual rent of one hundred shillings, the aforesaid annual rent of twenty shillings, and the aforesaid annual rent of sixty shillings, to have, enjoy, perceive, and in his own hands yearly to retain the said several yearly rents, and every of them of the aforesaid messuages and other the premises then in the tenure and occupation of the said Ambrose and also to have and perceive the yearly rents of any other persons soever then occupying any parcel of any of the premises by whatsoever rights, titles, or interests they have had, and held them or hereafter shall happen to have the said messuage or tenement or any parcel of the same from the Feast of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary then last past during the residue then to come of the said several terms of years in the aforesaid several indentures as is aforesaid expressed if the same Ambrose Barker should so long live without rendering, paying, or making therefor account or any other thing to us our heirs or successors in anywise as by the same letters patent among other things more fully appears: And whereas, furthermore, we by certain other our letters patent made under our great seal of our said Court of Augmetation of the Revenues of our Crown, bearing date at Westminster, the 12th day of August, in the 31st year of our reign, did give and grant to our beloved servant, George Harper, one of the esquires of our body, all that our messuage and tenement with the appurtenances demised to Thomas More and Alice his wife, situate and being within the Barge in Bucklersbury, London, that is to say, in the parish of St. Stephen, in Walbrook, London; and all that our great messuage with all gardens, cellars, solars, and other its appurtenances situate, and being in the parish aforesaid, within the Barge in Bucklersbury aforesaid, demised to Ralph Warren, citizen and alderman of the city of London, which said tenement, messuages, and other the premises with the appurtenances lately belonged and pertained to the said late House or College of Acon, within our city of London dissolved; to have, hold, and enjoy the tenement and messuages aforesaid, and other the premises with the appurtenances to the aforesaid George Harper, and his assigns for term of the life of him, the said George, without in anywise rendering, paying, or making account or any other thing to us our heirs or successors as by the same letters patent among other things fully appears: And whereas, furthermore, we by a certain indenture under our great seal of the Court of Augmentation of the revenues of our Crown made between us on the one part, and Benjamin Gunson of London, on the other part, bearing date at Westminster, on the 8th day of November in the 33rd year of our reign, among other things did give, grant, and to farm let to the aforesaid Benjamin, all that the rectory and church of the Blessed Mary of Colchurch, within the city of London, to the said late House or College of Acon, London, sometime belonging and pertaining together with all tithes, oblations, obventions, profits, and emoluments whatsoever, to the same rectory in anywise belonging or pertaining, to have and to hold the rectory aforesaid, and other the premises with the appurtenances to the aforesaid Benjamin and his assigns, from the Feast of Saint Michael the Archangel, then next coming after the date of the same indenture to the end and term and for the term of 21 years then next following, and fully to be completed, rendering therefor yearly to us, our heirs and successors, 15l. 3s. of lawful money of England at the Feast of Saint Michael the Archangel, or within one month after the said feast at the Court aforesaid, to be paid during the term aforesaid as by the said indenture among other things fully appears. Know ye that we to the praise of God and for the increase of Divine worship, and the better maintenance of the men of the Mystery of Mercers of our city of London, and also in consideration of 969l. 17s. 6d. sterling, paid to the hands of the treasurer of the revenues of the Augmentation of our Crown to our use by our beloved the wardens and commonalty of the Mystery of Mercers of the city of London, of which said sum of 969l. 17s. 6d. we acknowledge ourselves by these presents to be fully satisfied and paid of our special grace, and of our certain knowledge and mere motion have given and granted and by these presents do give and grant to the said wardens and commonalty of the Mystery of Mercers of the said city of London, the reversion and reversions of the aforesaid messuages, rectory, tenements, cellars, shops, and all and singular other the premises above expressed and specified, and all the yearly rent aforesaid of 100s., and all the aforesaid yearly rent of 20s., and all the aforesaid yearly rent of 60s., and all the aforesaid yearly rent of 15l. 3s., and also the reversion of all and singular the rents aforesaid when they shall happen. And also all and singular the aforesaid messuages, rectory, tithes, lands, tenements, shops, cellars, solars, and all and singular other the premises above expressed and specified with all their appurtenances. We do give also and for the considerations aforesaid by these presents do grant to the aforesaid wardens and commonalty of the Mystery of Mercers of the said city of London, all that our church within our city of London, sometime called the church of the said late College of Acon, of London, now dissolved which said church we will and ordain by these presents to be henceforth called and ever hereafter named the Church of the Mercers of our city of London, dedicated and founded in the honor of God and the the Blessed Virgin Mary. We do give furthermore, and for the considerations aforesaid by these presents do grant to the aforesaid wardens and commonalty all our cloister of the late House or College of Acon aforesaid, within our said city of London; and also all that the house lately called the vestry of the said late college, and all that the house lately called the Chapter House of the same late college to the said cloister adjacent; and also one chamber or house lately called the Sexton's Chamber, near the church aforesaid to the same late college adjacent; and also all that our land called the Churchyard, of the said late College to the same late College adjacent and belonging, and also all and singular the buildings, ornaments, and implements of the said church and cloister aforesaid, and also all our lead being upon the said church and cloister and the buildings of the same, and all the land and soil within the precincts of the cloister aforesaid, and also all those our four messuages and tenements, together with all shops, cellars, solars, and other their appurtenances now or late in the several tenures of Robert Bevycote, Richard Boymingham, William Towers, and Thomas Forge, or their assigns situate and being in the parish of Saint Olave in the Old Jewry in London to the said late house or College of Acon, London, lately belonging and pertaining and being parcel of the possessions thereof, and also all that our messuage and tenement with the appurtenances now or late in the tenure of Thomas Adames or his assigns situate and being in the parish of the Blessed Mary of Colchurche in the Old Jewry, London, to the said late House or College of Acon, London, sometime belonging or pertaining and being parcel of the possessions thereof, and also all those our four messuages and tenements, and all curtilages, shops, cellars, solars, and other buildings to the same adjacent or belonging with all and singular their appurtenances late in the several tenures of John Holben, tailor, Joan Swygnell, otherwise called Joan Swygnell widow and William Trinne, otherwise called William Tryme, and afterwards demised to Stephen Cobe, situate and being in the said parish of the Blessed Mary of Colchurche in the Old Jewry, London, to the said House or College of Acon, London, sometime belonging and pertaining and being parcel of the possessions thereof, and also all that our messuage and tenement and all shops, cellars, solars, and other buildings to the same adjacent or belonging with all their appurtenances late in the tenure of Joan Hill, widow, and our two shops with the appurtenances late in the several tenures of William Burkefield and John Lewes, and afterwards demised to Stephen Cobe, situate and being in the said parish of the Blessed Mary of Colchurche, London, that is to say next the tavern called the Mitre in Cheapside, to wit, between the same tavern on the east side, and the said church lately called the Church of the College of Acon aforesaid on the west side to the said late House or College of Acon, sometime belonging and pertaining and being parcel of the possessions of the same late house or College, and also all that our messuage and tenement and our two shops and all curtilages, shops, cellars, solars, and other buildings with their appurtenances now or late in the tenure or occupation of John Syrcoke or his assigns, situate and being in the said parish of the Blessed Mary of Colchurche, London, to the said late House or College of Acon, London, sometime belonging and pertaining and being parcel of the possessions thereof, and all those our two shops with the appurtenances now or late in the tenure of Robert Downe and his assigns situate and being in the said parish of the Blessed Mary, Colchurche, London, to the said late House or College of Acon, London, sometime belonging and pertaining and being parcel of the possessions thereof, and also all that our messuage and tenement called the Mitre, together with all shops, cellars, solars, and all other its appurtenances and our four shops beneath the same messuage and tenement with the appurtenances late in the several tenures of William Vere, leatherseller, Robert Lewes, wireseller, Robert Dower and Thomas Mychell, ironmongers, and afterwards demised to John Sandell, situate, lying, and being in the said parish of the Blessed Mary of Colchurche, London, to the said late House or College of Acon, London, sometime belonging and pertaining and being parcel of the possessions of the same late House or College, and also all those our two messuages and tenements with all their appurtenances late in the tenure of Thomas Barrett, and afterwards demised to Robert Dowen situate and being in the said parish of the Blessed Mary, of Colchurch, London, to the said late House or College of Acon, London, sometime belonging or pertaining and being parcel of the possessions thereof, and all and all manner of rents, reversions and yearly profits of all and singular the premises and every parcel thereof, and the rents reserved on any demises and grants of the premises or any parcel thereof. We do give also and for the considerations aforesaid by these presents do grant to the aforesaid Wardens and Commonalty all our Rectory and Church of the Blessed Mary of Colchurche, within our said city of London to the said late House or College of Acon, London, sometime belonging and pertaining and being parcel of the possesions thereof, and also the advowson, donation, free disposal and right of patronage of the rectory and vicarage, and the parish church of the Blessed Mary of Colchurche, London, and all houses, buildings, tithes, oblations, obventions, rights, profits, commodities, and emoluments whatsoever to the same rectory and church of the Blessed Mary of Colchurch, London, in anywise belonging or pertaining, and also all that our messuage and tenement, together with all shops, cellars, solars, and other its appurtenances late in the tenure of Thomas More, Knight, or his assigns, situate, lying, and being in the parish of Saint Stephen in Walbrook, London, to the said late House or College of Acon, London, sometime belonging and pertaining and being parcel of the possessions thereof, and also all that our great messuage, together with all shops, cellars, solars, and other its appurtenances now or late in the tenure of Ralph Warren, Knight, or his assigns, and the reversion of the same situate and being in the said parish of Saint Stephen in Walbrook, London, to the said late House or College of Acon, London, sometime belonging and pertaining and being parcel of the possessions thereof. We do give furthermore and for the considerations aforesaid by these presents do grant to the aforesaid Wardens and Commonalty all that our great messuage or tenement and all curtilages, shops, cellars, solars, houses called warehouses and other buildings whatsoever to the same messuage belonging or pertaining now or late in the tenure or occupation of Ambrose Barker or his assigns, and our one shop late in the tenure of John There otherwise Shere, and afterwards demised to the same Ambrose, situate, lying and being in the parish of Saint Martin in Ironmonger Lane, London, to the said late House or College of Acon, London, sometime belonging and pertaining and being parcel of the possessions of the same late house or college, and one other our messuage and tenement and all shops, cellars, solars, and other buildings to the same adjacent or belonging now or late in the tenure of the said Ambrose Barker or his assigns, situate and being in the said parish of Saint Martin, Ironmonger Lane, to the said late House or College of Acon, London, some time belonging and pertaining and being parcel of the possessions thereof. And also all those our three messuages and tenements, and all shops, cellars, solars, and other buildings to the same messuages and tenements belonging or pertaining now or late in the several tenures or occupations of Thomas Sterkey, William Barker, and Thomas Manne, or their assigns, or either of them, situate and being in the said parish of Saint Martin in Ironmonger Lane, London, to the said late House or College of Acon, London, sometime belonging and pertaining and being parcel of the possessions of the same late house or college. And also all that our messuage and tenement called Le Bell, and all that our parcel of land called a yard, with all and singular their appurtenances now or late in the tenure or occupation of John Fisher or his assigns, situate and being in the parish of Saint Stephen, in Coleman Street, London, to the said late house or college, sometime belonging and pertaining and being parcel of the possessions of the same late house or college, and all the rents, revenues, and yearly profits of all and singular the aforesaid messuages and tenements, and all and singular other the premises above expressed and specified, and every parcel thereof, as fully and entirely and in as ample manner and form as the last master and the late confreres of the said late House or College of Acon, London, or any of their predecessors in right of the said late house or college at any time before the dissolution of the same late house or college, or before the said late house or college came into our hands had held or enjoyed, or ought to have had held and enjoyed the aforesaid churches, messuages, tenements, rectory, advowson, and all and singular other the premises above expressed and specified, with the appurtenances or any parcel thereof, and as fully and entirely and in as ample manner and form as they all and singular came, or ought to have come into our hands by reason or pretext of the dissolution of the said late House or College of Acon, or by reason or pretext of any charter, gift, grant, or confirmation by the said last master and the late confreres of the said late house or college under their common seal made to us, or in any other wise whatsoever, and which in our hands now are or should or ought to be. To have, hold, or enjoy the said church lately called the church of the College of Acon, London, and hereafter as is aforesaid to be called and named the Church of the Mercers of our city of London and the aforesaid cloister, and also the aforesaid rectory and church of the Blessed Mary of Colchurch, London, and the aforesaid advowson of the same church of the Blessed Mary of Colchurch, London. And also all and singular the aforesaid messuages, houses, tenements, shops, cellars, solars, buildings, rents, lands, and all and singular the premises other above expressed and specified, and the reversion of the same with all and singular their appurtenances to the aforesaid Wardons and Commonalty of the Mystery of Mercers of the city of London and their successors and assigns for ever To hold to us our heirs and successors in chief by the service of the 20th part of one knight's fee and rendering therefor yearly to us our heirs and successors 7l. 8s. 10d. sterling at our Court of Augmentation of the revenues of our Crown at the Feast of Saint Michael the Archangel in every year to be paid for all manner of rents, services, and demands therefor to us our heirs or successors in anywise to be rendered, paid, or made. And furthermore of our more abundant grace we do give and by these presents do grant to the aforesaid wardens and commonalty all issues, rents, revenues, and profits of the aforesaid churches, messuages, rectory, lands, tenements, and all and singular other the premises above expressed and specified, with the appurtenances from the Feast of Saint Michael the Archangel last past up to this time arising or growing. To have to the same wardens and commonalty of our gift without in anywise rendering, paying, or making account, or any other thing therefor to us our heirs and successors. And furthermore of our more ample grace we will and by these presents for us our heirs and successors do grant to the aforesaid wardens and commonalty and their successors and assigns that we our heirs and successors will for ever, yearly, and from time to time discharge, acquit, and save harmless as well the same wardens and commonalty and their successors and assigns as the aforesaid messuages, and also all and singular the premises by us above granted against us our heirs and successors, and against any other person or persons whomsoever in respect of all and all manner of rents, fees, annuities, and yearly rents, pensions, portions, and sums of money and charges whatsoever of the premises, or any parcel thereof in anywise issuing, or to be paid, or thereupon charged, or chargeably other than of the rents and service above by these presents reserved to us our heirs and successors as is aforesaid. And other than of 8l. yearly for the stipend of a chaplain and priest to celebrate divine service yearly in the Church of the Blessed Mary of Colchurch in London aforesaid. And also other than of 3s. yearly for procurations and synodals of the same church. Willing, moreover, and by these presents strictly enjoining and commanding as well our Chancellor and Council of our said Court of Augmentation of the revenues of our Crown for the time being as all our receivers, auditors, and other officers and ministers whomsoever that they and every of them on the sole showing of these our letters patent without any other writ or warrant from us our heirs and successors in anywise to be got, obtained, or sued forth do make and cause to be made on payment of the said yearly rent of 7l. 8s. 10d. full, entire, and due allowance, abatement, deduction, and clear discharge in respect of all and all manner of the like rents, fees, annuities, and sums of money of the premises as is aforesaid issuing or to be paid, or thereupon charged or chargeable to the aforesaid wardens and commonalty, and their successors and assigns as often as the like allowance or deduction shall be necessary or ought to be made. And these our letters patent shall be yearly and from time to time as well to our said Chancellor and Council of our said Court of Augmentation of the revenues of our Crown for the time being as to all receiver, auditor, and other officers and ministers whomsoever sufficient warrant and discharge in this behalf. And moreover of our more ample grace we will and by the Royal authority which we discharge by these presents do grant to the aforesaid wardens and commonalty and their successors and assigns for ever that the same wardens and commonalty and their successors and assigns shall and shall be able for ever to have and enjoy and turn to their own uses our said rectory and church of the Blessed Mary of Colchurch within our said city of London, and all the houses, buildings, tithes, oblations, obventions, rights, profits, commodities, and emoluments whatsoever to the same rectory and church as is aforesaid belonging and pertaining as fully and entirely and in the same as ample manner and form as the said last master and late confreres of the said late House or College of Acon, or any of their predecessors in right of the said late house or college at any time before the dissolution of the same late house or college have had, held, or enjoyed, or have turned or could have turned to their own uses, any reason or any law, statute, act, ordinance, provision, restriction, prohibition, or custom to the contrary hereof heretofore had, made, published, ordained, used, or provided, or any other thing, cause, or matter in anywise notwithstanding. We will also and by these presents do grant to the aforesaid wardens and commonalty that they shall and may have these our letters patent under our great seal of England in due manner made and sealed, without fine or fee, great or small, to be in anywise rendered, paid, or made for the same to us in our hanaper or elsewhere to our use. Albeit express mention is not made in these presents of the true yearly value or of the certainty of the premises or of any of them, or of other gifts or grants by us made to the aforesaid wardens and commonalty and their successors and assigns, or any of them before these times, or any statute, act, ordinance, provision, or restriction to the contrary thereof made, published, ordained, or provided, or any other thing, cause, or matter whatsoever in anywise notwithstanding. In witness whereof we have caused these our letters to be made patent. Witness ourself at Westminster on the 21st day of April in the 33rd year of our reign.