City of London Livery Companies Commission. Report; Volume 4. Originally published by Eyre and Spottiswoode, London, 1884.
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ERRATA AND ADDENDA.
Observations by the Armourers' and Braziers' Company on the Evidence of Mr. Lucraft, inadvertently omitted from Vol. I.
Armourers' Hall, 81, Coleman Street, London, E.C., 16th February 1883.
I am instructed by the Company of Armourers and Braziers to call the attention of the City of London Livery Companies' Commissioners to certain inac- curacies and omissions in the evidence given before them by Mr. Lucraft with reference to this Company, which raise the inference that he has given his evidence without having informed himself as to the terms of the instruments creating the charities, the administration of which he calls in question. The only deduction which can be drawn from Mr. Lucraft's evidence as to Thomas Dring's Charity is that the bequest of 20l. was given to the Company upon trust to invest that sum in the purchase of land; but on reference to the will of the testator it will be found that he expressly gave the Company the option of either laying out the money in the purchase of some freehold estate, or otherwise employing it at interest. Mr. Lucraft is also in error in stating that the objects of the testator's bounty were "the poor," as the gift in the will is expressly, limited to the "poor of the Company." He adds that the Company now grant 4l. per annum to the poor, wholly ignoring the fact, which appears on their returns, that the Company voluntarily augment the income of the charity by the sum of 58l. per annum.
It may be remarked that one reason which would probably have been sufficient in itself to prevent the Company from investing this money in the purchase of freehold land was the difficulty which they must un- doubtedly have encountered of finding any profitable investment in freehold land for so small a sum as 20l., bearing in mind the fact that the costs of the purchase would, strictly speaking, have to be first deducted from that sum. The attention of the Commissioners is called to the fact that the Company have, ever since the testator's death, paid interest on the amount of the bequest at the rate of 20l. per cent. per annum, not taking into account the amount by which they have voluntarily augmented the income of the charity; and it is submitted that they have done far more than they were under any legal obliga- tion to do.
In his evidence as to John Scott's Charity also, Mr. Lucraft states that the object of the charity was to benefit the poor; but this statement is inaccurate, as the gift in the will is to the poor of the Company only, and not to the poor generally. He further states that the Company still only pay 4l. per cent. on the amount of the original bequest, making no reference whatever to the fact shown by the returns of the Company that the income of the charity is voluntarily augmented by the sum of 80l. per annum.
The Company cannot but regret that the Commis- sioners should have felt themselves justified in publish- ing this evidence, which, on the face of it, is at variance with the returns sent in by the Company, without having first given them an opportunity of contradicting or explaining it; and I have to request, on their behalf, that this letter may be published, with the evidence taken by the Commissioners.
I am, &c.,
(Signed) Marshall Poxtifex,
H. D. Warr, Esq., Secretary,
Livery Companies' Commission.
City of London Livery Companies Commission, 2, Victoria Street, Westminster, S.W., 24th February 1883.
I beg to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 16th inst., which shall be laid before the Com- missioners in due course.
I am, &c.,
(Signed) H. D. Wake,
Marshall Pontifex, Esq.,
Wherever it is not stated as a heading to the returns of any Company contained in Vols. 2 and 3 that "the returns were delivered under protest," these words are to be considered added. All the Companies protested against the inquiry as illegal.
[Omitted inadvertently from Vol. II.]
Pabt IV.—Return H.
Return of the Income of the Mercers' Company for the years 1871 to 1879 inclusive.
Return of the Corporate Expenditure of the Mercers' Company for the years 1871 to 1879 inclusive.
The following sums have been expended in and about the enlargement of the Hall and rebuilding the premises in Cheapside. They are not included in the above account, being expenditure from capital:—525l., 6,639l. 13. 5d., 27,934l. 3s. 10d.
Against these sums the Company received from the Commissioners of Sewers for a strip of frontage in Oheapside purchased by them to widen the street, 22,000l., and for sale of old materials and sundries 1,599l. 19s. 2d., together 23,599l. 19s. 2d., and by which the amount paid by the Company in the above years was reduced to 11,528l. 18. 1d.
The whole of the Company's Charity income for the above years was expended in various ways, and practically m vety much the same way as mentioned in the returns originally sent by the Company to the Boyal Commission, with the exception of the balances which were in the Company's hands at the end of each year.