City of London Livery Companies Commission. Report; Volume 4. Originally published by Eyre and Spottiswoode, London, 1884.
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PART II. The Mercers' School.
King Henry the Eighth, by his Letters Petent of the 21st April 1542, for the valuable considerations therein mentioned (being a sum of 969l. 17s. 6d.) granted to the Wardens and Commonalty of the Mystery of Mercers, of the city of London, and their successors the church, called the Church of the College of Acon, thenceforth to be called the Mercers' Church, and the church and parsonage of Saint Mary Colechurch, and divers messuages, tenements, shops, and other hereditaments sett, lying, and being in the parishes of St. Olave Old Jewry, St. Mary Colechurch, St. Stephen Walbrook, Saint Martin Ironmonger Lane, and St. Stephen Coleman Street in London, part of the possessions of the said late College of Acon, of London, which parsonage, messuages, tenements, and other the premises at the time of making the said grants were rated to be of the clear yearly value of 66l. 19s. 6d. over and above 7l. 8s. 10d. reserved yearly for the same to the King's Highness for ever, and over and above all yearly charges and reprises.
It appeared to me important to consider the text of this instrument with the view of ascertaining the limits of the trust, if it had that character, or otherwise, the extent of the liability which it created as against the Company. The Company at my request caused a translation of the Letters Patent to be made, which I append to this report.
By an indenture of the same date as the letters patent the Mercers' Company covenanted to keep three priests and chaplains to sing a mass in the said Mercers' church for the soul of the king and all his progeny for ever, and also to find and keep a free grammar school within the said city perpetually, and to find a sufficient master to teach five and twenty children and scholars freely in the same school continually for ever: and the wardens and commonalty are thereby empowered to nominate and appoint from time to time the said three priests and chaplains, and as many other priests and chaplains and other ministers to serve God and to say masses and other divine service in the same church as to the said wardens and commonalty shall seem convenient, and at their will and pleasure to remove the said priests, chaplains, and ministers, and on the vacating of such offices within eight weeks to appoint other priests or chaplains or schoolmaster to serve as aforesaid, so that the same number of priests and chaplains and the said schoolmaster shall be observed and kept.
The property which passed to the Company under this grant consists of what is in the table of the Company's property set forth in another part of this report, described as King Henry the Eighth's estate (see page ), producing at this time an annual rental of 2,845l.
The expenditure of the Company annually on the school has been a subject of an annual return to the Board, accompanied by a note that the Company are only required by their covenant with the Crown to keep and find a free grammar school for twenty-five scholars in London, but they have for many years provided gratuitous education for 70 boys.
The expenditure of the year 1859 is as follows:—
The school is situated in College Hill, on the left side of Queen Street, in the line between Cannon Street West and Thames Street. The school consists of a schoolroom and master's residence, erected on the site of part of the estate of Whittington's Charity. The present school premises were built in 1830 by the Company at an expense of about 4,500l. A rent of 120l. per annum (appearing in the above account) is credited annually to Whittington's Charity in respect of the site.
The school up to 1832 was attended by 35 boys, and the number was then increased to 70. Before this augmentation in number the presentation to the school was by the master and wardens. Theoretically it is still the same, but the master and wardens now appoint boys recommended by the Court of Assistants, who nominate in rotation. I append a copy of the rules and orders adopted by the Company with reference to the scholars. The school is generally full, and the nominations are much sought after. The vacancies are filled up monthly. It is considered to be rather of the character of a mercantile than a classical school, although classical studies occupy the principal part of every morning.
There is no payment as expenditure required from the scholars except for books. The scholars are necessarily the children of persons resident in the City or neighbourhood. None of the masters are permitted to take boarders.
The "Rich" exhibitions are not always full. There is at present but one. The Company have raised the amount from 6l. to 70l. The last year (1859) there were two from the school, and one who had been appointed in 1855 for the exhibition having obtained a fellowship, his exhibition then ceased. None are allowed to hold the exhibitions more than five years.
The first increase of the exhibition by the Company was in 1796, when they were raised to 15l. In 1817 they were augmented to 50l., it being found that the smaller sum was not a sufficient inducement to go to the University. In 1854 the present sum of 70l. was granted.
Richard Morley by his will, 2nd March 1727, devised to the Mercers' Company a messuage or tenement called the "Angel and Crown," near Newbury, Berks, on trust to apply the rents towards the support and maintenance of four poor men.
The house which still bears the same name is letto E. Slocock for 42 years, from Lady Day 1836 at a rent of 55l.
The sum of 137l. 10s. 0d. consols, arises from accumulations beyond the sum of 10l. each which had been paid to the four poor men up to the year 1856. The dividends amounting to 4l. 2s. 6d. per annum, are added to the rent and equally divided among four poor men selected by the General Court and not necessarily mercers. They are generally given to old servants or persons who are not mercers. They have received 13l. 0s. 1d. each for the last five years.
Lady Margaret North's Exhibitions.
Lady Margaret North appears by an indenture of 4th December, 17th Elizabeth to have paid to the company a sum of 500l. to advance learning and provide for the relief of some of her kinsmen, the company agreeing to pay yearly to four male children to be taught first in some grammar school and afterwards at Oxford or Cambridge to each 6l. 13s. 4d.
The four exhibitions amount to 26l. 13s. 4d., which is paid out of the rents of the Chalgrave Estate (see my report on Fishbourne's Charity) and to this there is added the dividends on 1,850l. 3l. per centum consols standing to the account of the company the dividends on which amount to 55l. 10s., making an annual income of 82l. 3s. 4d.
This is disposed of in four exhibitions of 20l. a year each. They are held for five years, and are open to students of either university. They are nominated by the Court of Assistants. The Company require certificates of residence, and it is a rule that they must not have any exhibitions of more than 80l. a year from any other source.
John Rand devised to the Mercers' Company, by his will of 27th August 1706, his moiety of three freehold messuages and premises in Tower Street, on trust to pay out of the rents once a year, for acquiting and discharging out of the prisons of Ludgate, Wood Street Compter, and Poultry Compter, so many poor men and women, not exceeding 40s. a piece to each, so far as the said rents would go, and he gave 20s. a piece to the said master and wardens.
The property of the charity is as follows:—
|The site of No. 44 and No. 46 Great Tower Street, and of Trinity Buildings, now let on building lease to Sylvanus Phillips for 61 years, from Lady Day 1830, at a rent of||£100|
Mr. Phillips is stated to be the proprietor of the other moiety. The lease to him of the 6th January 1832, describes the premises devised as "All that undivided moiety or equal half part of the said wardens and commonalty of and in all those two messuages and tenements situate in Tower Street in the parish of Allhallows, numbered 44 and 46, and also all those eight messuages in the rear of the said messuages called Trinity Buildings, lately erected and built on a site of a messuage lately pulled down by the said Sylvanus Phillips and numbered 45 in Tower Street, all which said messuages and premises were theretofore described as three messuages in the occupation of Benjamin Nichols, John Nanwell, and Samuel Townsend."
At the time of the last inquiry (vol. 6, p. 323), a sum of 1,000l. 3l. per cent. consols arising from the accumulations of this charity stood to the account of the Company. This sum of 1,000l. consols was sold out in March 1830 and produced 922l. 13s. 6d. cash. A portion of the amount, viz., 839l. 9s. 10d. was invested in Exchequer bills, which was subsequently sold, to make the payments to Mr. Phillips under the agreement with him.
In January 1832 there was paid to Sylvanus Phillips, for repairs and rebuilding the houses in Tower Street and Trinity Buildings, a sum of 916l. 13s. 4d., and a compensation for extra expenses 45l. It appears that in January 1830, the premises had been represented by Mr. Phillips (upon a report of Mr. Tite the architect) to be in such a dilapidated state that they could not, as to those in the rear, be repaired, but in his (Mr. Tite's) judgment the best plan of occupying the ground would be to repair the front house and rebuild the back, the cost of which was estimated at 1,500l., and the entire annual value, as it then stood, was estimated at 80l. a year. After reports of the Company's surveyor and some negociations it was resolved that the stock before referred to should be sold out. At the same time (February 1830) it was resolved that the premises in Tower Street should be let to Sylvanus Phillips on lease for 61 years at a net rent of 45l., the Company agreeing to expend a sum not exceeding 920l. or such sum as the stock should produce, on the repairs and rebuilding the premises, upon Sylvanus Phillips expending at least an equal sum for the like purpose, under the inspection and to the satisfaction of the Company's surveyor, and paying an additional rent equal to six per cent. upon the amount expended by the Company. The rent during the term is thus made up to 100l. a year, and the accumulated stock is, of course, sunk.
By a bond entered into by the said Sylvanus Phillips, John King, and Charles Phillips, bearing date the 6th October 1842, reciting the lease of the 6th January 1832, and reciting also, another indenture of the same date, between the said S. Phillips of the first part, the company of the second part, and Thomas Watney and others of the third part, for better securing payment of the rent of 100l. a year reserved by the said lease, the said S. Phillips demised all the other undivided moiety of the said premises of which he was seized in fee simple unto the said Watney and others for 61 years, in trust for the said company. And reciting that the said S. Phillips, being desirous that the said last-mentioned undivided moiety should be reassigned to him and released from all claims of the company created by the last-recited indenture, agreed to give to the company the bond of himself and J. King and Charles Phillips, and also the security provided by an indenture of even date herewith which the said company had agreed to accept in lieu of the security provided by the recited indenture without prejudice to any remedy of the said company to enter upon the premises.
It was conditioned, that if the said S. Phillips should, during the said term of 61 years, pay to the said company the said rent of 100l., then the above written bond to be void, otherwise to remain in full force.
The last application of the income for the relief of prisoners was, on an application of the governor of the debtor's prison, in Whitecross Street, in the year 1858, when five prisoners were relieved at an expense of 9l. 10s. (varying from 1l. 10s. to 2l. each), and whose debts varied from 108l. to 22l.
In the year 1857 nine persons were relieved, whose debts varied from 91l. to 13l., at an expense of from 4l. to 5l. each, six by the Insolvent Debtors' Court, and three by arrangement. There appear to be different wards in Whitecross Street corresponding with the names of the more ancient prisons, as Ludgate, Poultry, and Giltspur Street Compter.
There was, up to the 31st December, 1860, a balance of 492l. 6s. to the credit of this charity, of which an investment of a portion in 300l. consols, has been directed by the company.
Thomas Rich, by his will, of the 21st August 1672, devised to the Mercers' Company (after his wife's death) all his tenements and hereditaments in St. Mary Axe, upon condition that the company should pay yearly two exhibitions of 6l. a piece unto two poor scholars taught in the Mercers' Chapel School, and from thence sent to the University; and also to pay to Christ's Hospital annually 12l. for two other exhibitions, and that the residue should be expended by the master and wardens in a collation for their pains.
And the testator gave also to the company (after the death of his wife) all his dwelling house, gardens, orchards and appurtenances in West Ham upon trust out of the rents to pay yearly for ever,
|"To the clerk of the company for going over yearly to see that the two school charities be duly performed||1||0||0|
|"To the wardens and such of the assistants as they should call for a collation or otherwise, to mind the clerk of his duty"||3||0||0|
And to divide the residue into two parts, and pay one moiety thereof to the schoolmaster of the Mercers' Chapel School for his better maintenance in the management thereof, and pay the other moiety for the teaching, educating, and instructing of so many poor men's children, born in the parish of Lambeth, who are not able to maintain them in learning the Latin tongue, writing, cyphering, or reading, as the same will yearly amount unto, at such rates as they should agree upon for their teaching.
And the testator gave to the wardens and commonalty 100l. to be lent to young freemen of the Company from three years to three years, upon security for repayment with interest at 33s. 4d. per annum only, such interest to be divided between the clerk and officers of the Company, as therein mentioned (see Money Legacy Charities. "Thomas Rich's Gift.").
The Company are possessed of a house in St. Mary Axe, No. 52, occupied by George Head, trustee of Dr. Smith, a tenant under the Company, upon a lease expiring in 1871, at a rent which far exceeds the two sums of 12l. charged thereon.
The sums appropriated as exhibitions, the same not having been filled up for many years, were invested in the funds, and are now represented by one year's interest on 5,000l. consols, being part of the sum of 74,121l. 0s. 4d. standing in the name of the Wardens and Commonalty of the Mystery of Mercers of the City of London. £150
|And one year's interest on the 1,000l. Reduced annuities, being part of 27,028l. 16s. 4d. standing in the name of the Wardens and Commonalty of the Mystery of Mercers of the City of London||30||0||0|
The 12l. a year is annually paid to Christ's Hospital.
|The income of the Exhibition Fund for the Mercers' School is therefore||12||0||0|
|The rentcharge for Mercers' School and the dividends||180||0||0|
In addition to the accumulations which have been invested, there was, at the end of 1859, a balance of cash amounting to 474l. 8s. 9½d.
I have mentioned in my report on the Mercers' School, the gradual increase in the amount of the exhibitions which has been made by the Company. They were raised in 1854 to 70l. a year, and it will be seen that the state of the accumulated fund would now admit of a further increase to 96l. per annum, or, which would probably be better, to the establishment of three exhibitions at from 60l. to 70l. a year instead of two.
The choice of the exhibitioner has generally been by the recommendation of the head-master. In any case of competition, the election would be in the General Court, at which the whole of the members of the Company are summoned.
The general body would not, in such case, be controlled in their choice by any report of the master or examiners of the school.
The West Ham estate was in the year 1845 taken by the "Eastern Counties Railway Company" by agreement with the Company, at the price of 1,750l. The sum has been invested in the sum of 1,951l. 2s. 1d. 3l. per centum consols which stands to the account of the Company (being part of a larger sum of 74,121l. 0s. 4d. like stock), the dividends being 58l. 10s. 6d.
The income tax and the annual charges of 4l. for the Company and the clerk being deducted, left in 1859 two sums or moieties of 26l. 12s. 10d.
Of this, one moiety (or 26l. 12s. 10d.) is paid to the head master of the Mercers' School, in addition to the salary and gratuity amounting to 350l. a year paid to him, as mentioned in my report on that school.
The other 26l. 12s. 10d. is paid by the Company to the master of the Free Grammar School, Lambeth (Mr. Bailey).
Mrs. Robinson's Exhibitions.
Mrs. Mary Robinson by her will proved 26th September 1618, gave to the Company 500l. to purchase land of the yearly value of 25l. for four poor Cambridge scholars, so as they should become students in divinity and preachers of the gospel. The fund standing to the credit of this charity is 1,800l. 3l. per centum Consolidated annuities, and 1,040l. 9s. 3d. 3l. per centum Reduced annuities which arose from accumulations. The sum of 500l., with several other charitable bequests amounting altogether to 6,560l., was laid out in the purchase of the Chalgrave estate in Bedfordshire (see Report on Fishborne's charity). The net rental of that estate was, in the year 1860, 644l. 19s. 9d., of which 49l. 3s. 2d. belongs to Robinson's Exhibition Charity.
The fund therefore consists of—
|Dividends in 1,800l. consols||54||0||0|
|Do. on 1,040l. 9s. 3d. Reduced stock||31||4||2|
The last year's (1860) expenditure was 105l., being for three exhibitions of 30l. a year, and half a year's exhibition, 15l. There are generally four exhibitions of 30l. a year for students at Cambridge at any College. They are elected by the general court, and produce, half-yearly, their certificates of residence. The exhibition is generally retained for five years.
There was at the end of 1860, a balance of cash in favour of this charity of 446l. 4s. 6½d.
Sir Henry Rowe, by his will (date not known) gave to the Company 200l. to be lent to two young freemen at 5l. per cent., and distributed as follows:—
|Poor of St. Martin Outwich, in bread||2||12||0|
|Poor of Hackney (in bread)||2||12||0|
|Beadle of the Company||0||8||0|
This gift formed part of the investment in the "Chalgrave estate" (see Fishborne's charities), and I should apprehend that the objects of the charity are entitled to two sixty-fifths of the rents of that estate, amounting to 21l. The Company, however, only pay the specific sums. Of these 4l. 16s. is paid to the collector for the parish of Hackney, with the interest on a sum of 48l. 3s. consols, accumulations from arrears and producing 1l. 9s. 2d. dividend, making together 6l. 5s. 2d.
The Company, also, pay a like annual sum of 6l. 5s. 2d. for the like rentcharge and accumulations and dividend thereon to the overseer of the parish of St. Martin Outwich. The beadle of the Company receives 8s. a year.
St. Paul's School.
The Commissioners of Inquiry reported on this institution and its endowments at much length (see p. 240–241, Report, vol. 3). Shortly before the commencement of my inquiry, a suit had been instituted by information and Bill (with the previous sanction of the board) by the Attorney-General and Baron Rothschild against the Mercers' Company in respect of certain estates in Buckinghamshire, regarded as forming part of the endowment of the school. In the defence to that suit, the Mercers' Company amongst other points were advised to assert that the estates in question were not the property of the school, but were estates held by the Mercers' Company in their own right, charged only with certain duties in respect of the maintenance of the school. I understand that the same point is insisted upon with reference to the general estates treated by the Commissioners of Inquiry as the property of the Charity. Under these circumstances, as the nature and extent of my inquiry would be necessarily affected very materially by the determination of the question in favour of the claim of the Company, at the request of the officers of the Company attending on the occasion, I have thought it right to defer the investigation as to St. Paul's School until the suit now before the Court of Chancery is disposed of. (fn. 1)
Mrs. Savage's Charity.
Mrs. Jane Savage, by her will (date not known), gave to the Company 2,000l. to be laid out in the purchase of lands of the annual value of 100l., 20l. to the Company for their own proper use, and 80l. for discharging poor prisoners for debt out of Ludgate, Newgate, and the two Compters.
The property of the Charity consists of an income of 60l. 8s. (as stated in the printed reports, vol. 6, p. 321), or four fifths of the income of the entire sum (75l. 10s.), the remaining one-fifth being given to the Company, which constitutes a charge on the property called Henry the Eighth's estate, and also the dividends on 450l, 3l. per cent. consols, producing 13l. 10s. a year. This is applied to the discharge of prisoners for debt in Whitecross Street prison. In the year 1859 the sum of 81l. was applied in the release of 23 prisoners. A list was sent by the governor of the prison (Colonel Hicks), till lately to the Company, and upon that list their order was made. There was, at the end of the year 1860 (31st December), a balance of 178l. 7s. to the credit of the Charity. (fn. 2)
Sermons in Lent.
I have appended to this report a translation of the letters patent of the 21st April 1542 (33 Hen. 8.), whereby the King granted to the Mercers' Company the church and possessions of the college of Acon in consideration of a sum of 969l. 17s. 6d. paid by the Company, and by an indenture of the same date, reciting the grant, and which must be regarded as a part of the same transaction, the Company, besides maintaining the Mercers' school (as to which see the report thereon), was to provide every Sunday, in the time of Lent, a learned man to make a sermon within the said church, thenceforth to be called "The Church of The Mercers."
Six sermons are preached in the six Sundays in Lent in the Mercers' chapel by preachers [appointed by the wardens.
One pound is stated to be now paid to the preacher for each sermon. The former report states the payment for each to have been 2l. 2s.
Trinity Hospital, Greenwich.
Henry, Earl of Northampton, by his will of the 14th June, 1614, ordered his executors to procure that the hospital, begun by him at East Greenwich, should be founded and incorporated and endowed with lands therein mentioned.
And, by Letters Patent, of the 5th June, 1615, King James 1st granted that the said edifice so begun should for ever be an hospital for the support and relief of poor indigent men, to be called "The Hospital of the Holy and Undivided Trinity, in East Greenwich, founded by Henry Howard, Earl of Northampton," and to consist of a warden and 20 poor men, to be nominated by the Mercers' Company.
This charity being, as the Commissioners of Inquiry conceived, under the government of the Mercers' Company as special visitors appointed by the founder was not the subject of inquiry with the other charities of the Company. (See vol. 6, p. 301.) It however, became the subject of a full inquiry and report, at a later occasion, when subsequent Acts had removed the difficulty as to visitatorial jurisdiction.
The Letters Patent and the statutes for the government of the hospital, made and signed by the Earls of Arundel, Suffolk and Worcester, and John Griffith, one of the executors of the Earl of Northampton, are set forth and occupy six folio pages of that report (pp. 5–10), to which I beg to refer:—The estates purchased by the executors were conveyed to Fowke and others, citizens and mercers, as trustees of the endowment, by an indenture of the 27th August 1625, mentioned in the said report (p. 11), and various other premises have been purchased from time to time out of the funds of the hospital. Report (pp. 12, 13, 14.)
On the 8th November 1832, an information was filed by the Attorney-General, at the relation of Benjamin Holman and Edmund Cuttriss (two of the poor men in the hospital) against the Corporation of the Hospital of "The Holy and Undivided Trinity in East Greenwich, founded by Henry, Earl of Northampton," and William Smith, the then warden of the hospital, and the Mercers' Company, for an account of the hospital estates, both originally and subsequently acquired, and of the receipts and expenditure for the preceding 30 years, "and a true account of the sums paid, laid out, and expended in, and about the entertainment and expenses of, and attending the visitation of the said Mercers' company, or visitors yearly, and every year during the same period," and that it might be referred to the master to take the accounts of the estate, and he might be directed to enquire what balances of the rents and income of the said hospital had been from time to time, and how long in the hands of the warden thereof, and that the said defendants William Smith and the Mercers' Company, or some of them, might be charged with interest on such balances so suffered to remain in the hands of the warden, and that the master might also be directed to take an account of all sums of money paid, laid out and expended, out of the moneys belonging to the said hospital, for or upon the entertainment of the said Mercers' Company, or the visitors elected therefrom at their visitations of the said hospital, and that all such sums as should be found to have been so expended above the sum of 5l. per annum might be decreed to be answered and paid by the defendants William Smith and the wardens and commonalty, some or one of them. And that the said master might also be directed to enquire whether some and what augmentation or increased allowance ought not to be made to the pensioners of the said hospital, and to approve of the same, and also to settle and approve of a scheme for the application of what should be found to be the surplus income of the said hospital above the just expenditure thereof in the augmentation and increase of the said charity.
The information was amended by stating that the pensioners had been excluded from the management of the estates, and that leases had been granted without their assent. The defendants in their answer on the question of law, whether such assent was required, set forth the accounts asked for by the ex-governor, and submitted that under the 24th and last of the statutes and ordinances of the hospital (see report, p. 10), that the sum of 5l. named in the said statutes and ordinances as the limit to the expense of the said visitation on Trinity Monday, was wholly inadequate to pay the necessary expenses of such visitation, or to provide what the said statutes direct, and that the intention of the framers of the said statutes and ordinances could not be effected for any such sum, and that under the last statute thereinbefore set forth, an increase of such expense was contemplated, and was under the circumstances justifiable.
The statute referred to is not fully set forth in the report, as stated in the answer of the defendants. It is as follows:—
"Lastly, notwithstanding these foresaid rules and ordinances, we reserve to ourselves power and authority, according to His Majesty's said Letters Patent, at all time and times during our natural lives to add, to take away, to declare, direct, and change any of the said rules and ordinances; and because no present wisdom can foresee and provide for all future events, that time may produce in change of prices both of land and of victuals, We do also ordain and do give power and authority to the Mercers' Company, whereof the 2 senior wardens and 6 of the assistants, to be always 8; and the heir of the said Earl of Northampton for the time being at all times and from time to time after our decease for the better government of the hospital, or disposal of the lands to greater profit, to alter or change any of these ordinances or rules, and new statutes to ordain, as in their judgment and discretion shall seem most convenient, so the said statutes be not repugnant to the will of the founder nor to the power given to us by His Majesty's said Letters Patent, and we do further ordain that the founder's heir for the time being (if he be free of the said Mystery of Mercers), shall always be one of the 12 to be yearly nominated and approved as aforesaid to be one of the visitors of the said hospital."
It appears that at this stage of the cause considerable discussion took place between the solicitors of the relators and those of the Mercers' Company on the terms of the decree. The following correspondence has been referred to. On the 2nd March, 1835, Messrs. Yates and Turner sent to Messrs. Croft and Whiteside the proposed terms of the decree, as follows:—
"Refer it to the master to inquire of what the charity estates consist.
"Take an account of the rents and profits received by the defendants for 20 years, or for 6 years prior to the filing of the information, as counsel may agree on, and of the application thereof.
"Refer it to the master to approve of a scheme for the appropriation of the balance, if any, due from the defendants on the said account, and of the future surplus income for the augmentation and increase of the said Charity and for the benefit of the objects and purposes of the said Charity.
"Costs of the parties as counsel may agree on."
On the 13th March 1835 Messrs. Croft and Whiteside replied, that they could not advise their clients to agree to minutes at all similar to those contained in the letter of the 2nd March.
The discussion was re-opened on the 25th March, 1836, by a letter from Messrs. Yates and Turner (the suit having on the 20th January 1836 come on and been ordered to stand over that the corporation of "Trinity Hospital" might be added as a party), referring to their letter of the 2nd March 1835, and the minutes thereby proposed, and adding, that such minutes might possibly be reduced into a reference for a scheme only if it should be considered that that would meet the justice of the case, and to state that if they were not such as Messrs. Crofts could advise their clients to adopt Messrs. Yates and Turner would thank them to make any specific objections or alterations they might be advised, and they added, "that if the spirit of this "communication be recognised by your clients, the suit may be cheaply and speedily disposed of."
The defendants solicitors replied on the 24th May 1836, that "the terms hitherto proposed are such as they could not afford any facility for obtaining; it is evident that no scheme is requisite, full powers being vested in the visitors and the heirs of the founder, and indeed the only point on which the opinion of the court is required, is the amount proper to be allowed the defendants for the expenses of the annual visitation."
The relator's solicitors replied, "We should be well pleased if we could adopt the proposition contained in your letter of the 14th inst., but we are advised that the court will not determine the amount proper to be allowed the defendants for the expense of the annual visitation without the usual reference to the master. If, however, your counsel differs in his opinion, we submit the least expensive and most expeditious course would be for them to meet in conference and settle the proper minutes. We beg that this communication may be received, as it is made, without prejudice."
Counsel appear to have been consulted, and to have expressed great doubts whether the Attorney-General or the court would permit the proceedings on behalf of the charity to be confined to such a result as that which was proposed. It seems, however, that the parties succeeded in obtaining the decree, getting rid, in fact, of the suit, and at the same time paying all parties their costs.
The Company appear to have felt a doubt how far they might properly submit to so limited a decree, even with reference to their own duties to the charity: and they therefore submitted the case to Mr. Jacob and Mr. Lowndes, who gave the following opinion, which I extract, as explaining the terms of the decree.
"We are of opinion that the Mercers' Company, and the heir of the founder, have the power in themselves to make new ordinances and statutes, and to frame a scheme for the future management of the charity, provided the same be not repugnant to the will of the founder, or to the power given by the letters patent of James 1st, but, if any object the company may have in view for the future management of the charity, should not be consistent with the will of the founder, or, it should be doubtful whether that object were, or not, consistent therewith, the company might then, for their protection, have recourse to the Court of Chancery by a summary application on petition, by which there would be less expense and more facility than by any proceedings in the existing information.
"We, therefore, think that the decree to be made on the hearing, may prudently be restricted to the terms proposed, but we should recommend either that the bill should be dismissed as to its other objects beyond the inquiry as to the expense of the annual visitation, or that there should be added to the proposed minutes a direction that the warden shall be at liberty in future to expend an annual sum not exceeding what the master shall certify to be a proper allowance in defraying the expenses of the annual visitation, and in this latter case, the reservation of further directions shall be struck out of the proposed minutes."
The cause came on to be heard on the 29th June 1836 before the Vice-Chancellor of England, when it was referred to the master to state what would be a fit and proper allowance to be made to the defendants for the expense of the annual visitation of the hospital for the future, regard being had to the founder's will and the altered circumstances in the value of money, and of the charity property and income therein also mentioned and it was ordered that the information with respect to all matters and questions, other than the future expense of the said annual visitation, should stand dismissed out of the court, and that it be referred to the master to tax all parties their costs of and relating to the suit, as between solicitor and client, to be paid and retained by the defendant William Smith out of the charity funds who was also to pay to the defendants the Mercers' Company all proper costs charges and expenses incurred by them as trustees, or visitors in relation to the suit, to be taxed and settled by the said master.
The master, by his report of the 2nd May 1837, set forth so much of the second ordinance (see vol. 28, p. 6) of the hospital as prescribed the number of members of the company, who were to be chosen visitors, and that the total annual rental of the property of the said hospital at the time of the endowment thereof, amounted to the sum of 400l. or thereabouts, and that the then annual rental of the hereditaments with which the said hospital was originally endowed, amounted to the sum of 1,850l. or thereabouts, and the master found that having referred to the founder's will and the altered circumstances in the value of money, and the charity property and income, that an annual sum of 50l. would be a fit and proper allowance to be made for the expenses of the annual visitation. The cause was heard, on further directions, on 26th May 1837, and the report having been confirmed, it was then declared that the said sum of 50l. would be a fit and proper allowance to be made accordingly.
The costs which, up to the first report, had amounted to 756l. 13s. 4d., and the further costs were taxed and paid out of the charity funds. It thus appears that the only benefit of the suit was to settle the visitation allowance, which was thus reduced to 50l. from 89l. 11s. 8d., which it had been in 1833 (see report, p. 17) at an expense not much short of 1,000l., the interest of which would nearly have produced the difference.
The portion of the estate of the charity which lies in the parishes of Greenwich, Lewisham, and Bexley, in the county of Kent, consists of various detached properties. Upon this portion of the estate no building operations have been carried on, owing to apprehensions entertained by the Company, in consequence of legal advice they received, that they had no power to advance any moneys for the purpose of making roads or facilitating the improvement of the estate and buildings.
Trinity Hospital Estate.
The sum of stock has been produced by the addition of the surplus income from time to time, to the 8,500l. Consols, which stood to the credit of the Charity at the time of the last report (Vol. 28. p. 15). The Commissioners then stated that the Hospital was in such a bad condition that it would be necessary to rebuild it in the course of a few years, and that the accumulation then made had been with that view. The intention of rebuilding has not yet been carried out.
I. The charges on the estate are as follows:—
II. The expenses of the establishment of the hospital, at this time, are as follow:—
III. Occasional and other charges and disbursements, on account of the hospital and inmates:—
It appears by the foregoing tables that the income of the hospital is 3,164l. 0s. 1d.
The expenditure is as follows:—
|1st. The charges on the estate||436||15||5|
|2nd. The expenses of the establishment of the hospital||1,427||15||10|
|3rd. Occasional and other charges and disbursements on account of the hospital||193||17||0|
The surplus income above the expenditure of the charity, on its present footing, may be therefore stated at about 1,100l., although upon a computation of six years the accountant of the company informs me that he does not calculate the annual income at more than 2,965l., nor the annual expenditure at less than 2,224l.; and therefore the annual surplus at more than 741l. The accumulations up to this time are represented by the stock invested to the account of the charity, as above-stated. The last three years the investment has been 700l. stock annually. The number of inmates continue the same as at the foundation, namely, twelve poor men out of East Greenwich, and eight from Shottisham. The form of notice sent by the company to each parish, on the occasion of a vacancy, is appended to this report, as also the statement of qualification which accompanies. The parishes propose two persons, in the form pointed out; and in the case of East Greenwich both of the nominces attend the general court of the company, and one of them is selected. In the case of Shottisham, personal attendance is dispensed with, and the election is made commonly of the first of the two names appointed. They are all at present necessarily single men.
The Mercers' Company have solicited a Bill, to be intituled, "An Act for the rebuilding of Trinity Hospital, East Greenwich, and for the better leasing of the Estates of the Hospital, and for other Purposes," which Bill is now before the House of Lords.
On the subject of this Bill, an application was made to the Charity Commissioners by the Mercers' Company at the beginning of the year 1861, to which a reply of the Board was transmitted, dated the 17th April, 1861, to which I beg to refer. (fn. 3)
Whereas there is a place now void in the Hospital of the Holy and Undivided Trinity in East Greenwich (of the foundation of Henry Earl of Northampton) by the death of, late one of the almsmen there, which is one of the eight places limited by his Lordship's will to Shottisham. These are to will and require you, or so many of you that can attend this work of charity, the next Sunday after the receipt hereof, to meet together after evening prayer, in the parish church of St. Mary's, where having first taken view of all the poor inhabitants of your parishes that are by statute capable of places in the Hospital, to nominate to such of the said poor inhabitants as in your consciences you think (without particular respect, reward, meed, or affection) to have most need, and be fittest for the place, and make certificate thereof unto us in writing under your hands and seals, that we may make choice of one of those two by you to be nominated into the room now void, and give warrant to the Warden of the Hospital to receive and admit him a member of the house.
Given under our hands, at Mercers' Hall, this day of , 186 ,
— — — — —
To our loving friends the ministers, churchwardens, side-men, overseers of the poor, and constables of the parishes of St. Mary's, St. Martin's, and All Saints in Shottisham
To the Right Worshipful the Wardens and Commonalty of the Mystery of Mercers of London, Governors of the Hospital of the Holy and Undivided Trinity in East Greenwich.
According to the late directions we received by letters from your worships for the nomination of one almsman to be placed in the said hospital in the room of deceased, we met together on, and after view and examination taken of the poor inhabitants, that are by the founders' institution capable of places in the hospital, we have nominated these two whose names are here under written. We know them both to be of honest life, and persons in all points qualified, according to the founders' institution, and meet to receive that honourable relief and charity that his Lordship provided for them, and therefore humbly pray you to give present order that one of them may be admitted into the place now void.
(Names of the two candidates with their ages.)
Signed by the vicar, churchwardens, overseers, and three inhabitants of Shottesham.
In reply to the notice of my inquiry forwarded to Shottesham parish, I have received the following letter
"Shottesham Rectory, March 11, 1861.
"In accordance with your request, I caused the notice paper you sent us to be affixed on the church door of each of the parishes of Shotesham yesterday. previous to divine service, but I have not received any information to forward to you on the subject of the notice. I have ventured to inclose a copy of the qualification, which is always sent down with the notice of a vacancy. It has been ever the custom to act on the impression that the persons nominated must be legally settled in Shottesham, whereas the terms of the qualification would only seem to require that they should have been inhabitants of the parish for four years immediately previous. If a legal settlement is necessary, might not the residence be extended to the limits of the Union? Might not, also, a person who is irremoveable, be fairly made eligible? There are other parts of the qualification quite antiquated.
"I am, &c. "C. Fellows."
"T. Hare, Esq.
To the foregoing letter I have transmitted the following reply: "Charity Commission, March 12, 1861.
Trinity Hospital, Greenwich.
In reply to your inquiry as to whether legal settlement in Shottesham is a necessary qualification for a person to be presented to this hospital, it will be satisfactory to you to be informed that no such legal settlement is necessary. The laws of settlement have an entirely different object, and although the habit has, in many cases, grown up to confine such benefactions to persons legally settled, that habit is in fact an abuse, having its origin, I believe, in many cases from a desire less to relieve the most deserving objects than to relieve the poors' rate, in the parish.
I have, &c. Thos. Hare.
"Rev. Charles Fellowes, Shottesham."
Sir Ralph Warren gave the Company 100l. for the maintenance of 20 nobles (6l. 13s. 4d.) per annum towards a dinner on Midsummer day.
This is stated to have been a portion of the purchase money of the Chalgrave estate. The share of the rents, in the proportion which 100l. bears to the entire purchase money, is applicable under this gift to the disposal of the Company.
Sir Richard Whittington, Knight, citizen, mercer, and alderman of London, and oftentimes mayor of the same city, by his will of the 5th September 1421, proved in the Court of Hustings at Guildhall on Monday next after the Feast of All Saints, and first of Henry 6th, 1423, bequeathed to his executors, John Coventre, John Carpenter, and three others, a tenement in which he dwelt in the parish of St. Andrew, near Castle Bay nard, and his lands and tenements in the parish of St. Michael Bassinghall, and St. Botolph-without-Bishopsgate, and elsewhere in London, with a direction to sell the same and distribute the money for his soul and the souls of his father, mother, Alice his wife, and all of those to when he was under any obligation, and of all faithful souls deceased, and he bequeathed the residue of his goods to his executors to be disposed of in charitable works for his soul, as they would do for their own souls in like case.
The proceedings taken on the Foundation of Whittington College appear by the following:—
10 Henry 6th, May 1432.—Extract of a Charter granted by Henry 6th, respecting the will of Sir Richard Whittington.
The charter, dated May, 10th Henry 6th, recites by Inspeximus Letters Patent, 18th November, 3 Henry 6th, of license of founding a certain college in the Church of St. Michael Rial, London, and one almshouse near the same, by the executors of the testament of Richard Whittington, late citizen and mercer of London, which license is to the effect following:—Henry, &c. Know ye, that we of our special grace, &c., have given license to John Coventre, John Carpenter, and William Grove, executors of the testament of Richard Whittington, that they might found a certain college to consist of five chaplains, one whereof to be master in the parish church of St. Michael Paternoster, in the Riol, London, and one almshouse near the same to consist of 13 poor persons, one whereof to be tutor; and that they might give and assign to the said master and chaplains one messuage, with the appurtenances, to dwell in, situate near the said church; and to the said tutor and poor persons the said almshouse to dwell in, which are held of us in Burgage, to have and to hold to the said master and chaplains, and their successors, celebrating Divine service there, for the souls of the said Richard, &c., according to the ordinance to be made therein; and the said almshouse to the said tutor and poor persons, and their successors, according to like ordination of the said executors to be made, &c., saving to us the services due and accustomed.
In witness, &c.
The charter next inspects letters of Henry, Archbishop of Canterbury, of like license to found, &c. to the said executors, dated at Lambeth, 1424. It then inspects the counterpart of an indenture by the Prior and Chapter of Canterbury, at the instance of the sam executors, made to the Wardens and Commonalty of the Mystery of Mercers, London, and their successors, of the nomination and disposition of the said Church of St. Michael, when vacant, for ever, dated 8th December, 3 Henry 6th. It then inspects other Letters Patent of confirmation of the said indenture by King Henry 6th, dated 12th February, 3rd of his reign. It then inspects the erection, foundation, and ordinances of the said college, made by the aforesaid executors in virtue and authority of the letters of license and writing aforesaid, made in these words:—To all the faithful in Christ, &c., John Coventre, John Carpenter, and William Grove, executors of the will of Richard Whittington, late citizen and mercer of the city of London, and ofttimes mayor of the said city, send greeting, &c. This deed of foundation then proceeds to declare the several articles to be ordained. 1st. That there shall be in the Church of St. Michael a perpetual college of five chaplains, secular men, and not elsewhere beneficed nor having any patrimony of their own whereupon they can subsist, one whereof to be called master of the said college, and of two clerks besides the parish clerk of the said church; as also of four choristers to reside in a collegiate manner, which master and chaplains we will to be perpetual (that is to say) the master in manner and form within written elected, and the chaplains, unless for certain causes specified within, are not to be removable, but the clerks, choristers, to be removable at the pleasure of the executors whilst they live, and afterwards at the pleasure of the master and chaplains; it then gives the names of the first master and chaplains; it then directs the mode of election of the master, &c. and, for non-appointment within a certain time, to devolve to the wardens of the Mystery of Mercers, who are to elect within a month.
It then proceeds to the declaration of divers other ordinances, as to forfeiture of money in case of neglect of duty, &c. &c., there are then articles respecting the audit of accounts in November, and taking an inventory of the College, stock and treasure, and that the College shall have a common chest and common seal, &c. Item, we ordain that the wardens of the Mystery of Mercers and their successors, shall for ever have the care and custody of the small house which we have lately built at the east end of the chancel of the said church, to keep all the evidences and writings touching the lands, tenements and rents to them given, or to be given for the support of the College and almshouse aforesaid. We will, also, and appoint that the survey and conservation of the College aforesaid, and the state of the same shall belong to us during our life, and afterwards to the Mayor of London, and the wardens of the Mystery of Mercers for the time being shall appertain and devolve, so that the same Mayor and his successors, and the said wardens and their successors shall be deemed and called conservators or advocates of the College aforesaid for ever, and all the plate and books of the said College are always to remain to the use of the same.
And, these ordinations so by us made, we will, always to be observed, saving to us the power of altering and changing the same, and after our decease power to the Mayor of London and the Prior of the Carthusians of explaining and declaring the doubtful passages thereof dated 18th December, 3 Henry 6th.
It then inspects certain other ordinances of the College made by the said executors, which first declares the founding of the College, but, inasmuch as it is not sufficiently endowed, it grants to the master and chaplains, as well in money as in lands and tenements of Richard Whittington, being in their possession 63l. per annum for the support of the charges incumbent on the said College, until by the lands, rents or tenements then belonging thereto, or by any gift of any honest citizen, or by the King's license or otherwise, the said College shall have so much per annum.
There are then some further ordinances and regulations, chiefly regarding the internal rules, &c. of the College; this is dated 13th February, 3 Henry 6th. The charter then inspects the erection, foundation and ordinances of the almshouses by the said executors of Whittington, this is dated 21st December, 3 Henry 6th. The charter then inspects other ordinations of the said almshouse granting per annum, out of Whittington's effects, the annual sum of 40l. as well in money as in lands and tenements, this is dated 10th February, 3 Henry 6th. It then inspects a grant from the said executors to the master and chaplains of the College aforesaid, of a house and land late purchased of Henry Jolyate, this is dated 19th December, 3 Henry 6th. The charter then inspects another deed of the said executors touching the almshouse, dated the 22nd December, 3 Henry 6th. It then inspects the will of George Gerveys, late citizen and grocer of London, of a competent endowment as well to the College as almshouse, wherein the first devises to the master and chaplains of the College of St. Michael Riall, a tenement with a garden in the same parish, and then a messuage to the tutor, five poor men of the almshouse which he had by feoffment of John Carpenter. He then leaves to the said master and chaplains an annual rent of 63l. which he purchased of John Carpenter, arising from lands and tenements in the parishes of St. Michael Riall, St. Lawrence Old Jewry, St. Mary Magdalen, Milk Street, All Saints Barking, St. Dunstan East, St. Leonard Eastcheap, St. Margaret Bridge Street, St. Stephen Coleman Street, St. John Walbrook, St. Michael Basingshaw, St. Gregory near St. Paul's Chain, St. Botolph Bishopsgate, St. Bartholomew the Little, St. Benet Fink, St. Michael Cornhill, St. Martin Outwich, St. Mary Bow, and St. Lawrence Pountney. He then leaves an annual rent of 40l. lately purchased of John Carpenter, to the tutor and poor persons of the almshouse, this will is dated 7th May, 10 Henry 6th.
It then inspects the will of William Sevenoke, whereby he leaves his lands and tenements in St. Martin Outwich and St. Mary Bow, to the said wardens, and of a chaplain to celebrate Divine Service according to the ordination of the said wardens and their successors in aid of the poor men of the said mystery, and of a chaplain to celebrate Divine Service according to the ordination of the said Wardens and their successors, paying thereout 2l. quit rent for the support of the College and almshouse. He also leaves all his remaining lands and tenements to John Carpenter, junior, for his life, and afterwards to the said wardens, under certain restrictions, viz.: 1st. The payment of the said 2l. yearly; next, as to their faithful execution of the trusts of the College and almshouse, and then that all manner of issues and rents of the lands and tenements, &c. shall be deposited in a chest, called "Whittington's chest," to the care and administration of the wardens to be used towards the aiding and assisting the poor and indigent men and women of the same commonalty and mystery, and especially in loans (apprestes) for a year or within, at the discretion of the said wardens, under surety, and not otherwise. This legacy he makes conditional, provided the said wardens repair the houses, and make the appointments requisite and keep the anniversary, &c., otherwise he declares his bequest of no validity. This is dated "10th Henry 6th." The whole is confirmed by the King, by petition in Parliament, in the 10th year of his reign.
It thus appears that in obedience to the will of Richard Whittington, the executors purchased lands and tenements in the city of London, in their own names, for the execution of the trusts, that John Carpenter, who was the last survivor of the executors, conveyed the estates to William Sevenoake, subject to two rentcharges of 63l. and 40l. per annum, which he conveyed, together with the then almshouse, to George Gervyse; that George Gervyse devised the almshouse and the rent of 40l. to the tutor and poor persons of the almshouse, and the rentcharge of 63l. to the College and chaplains of St. Michael Royal. The Mercers' Company are, by the ordinances, made the conservators of the college and almshouse, but the estates they derive under the will of William Sevenoake. It would seem that William Sevenoake being possessed of the estates under the conveyance of John Carpenter, subject to the rentcharges, devised them by his will to John Carpenter, junior, citizen and town clerk of the city of London (whether the same Carpenter who was the executor, or his son or heir, or some other person I cannot ascertain) for his life, and after his decease to the Warden and Commonalty of the Mystery of Mercers aforesaid, to hold to them and their successors in fee, under "the modes, forms, and conditions underwritten. . . . . . . Imprimis, to wit, that the same Wardens and Commonalty, and their successors for ever, shall pay well and faithfully the said two annual quit rents of the lands and tenements aforesaid to the sustentation of the said college and almshouse, as is afterwards bequeathed, and shall be present at the anniversary of Richard Whityngton, every year, the last or last day but one of July, within the aforesaid college to be celebrated, and rightfully and indifferently, as after and when time and affairs shall require, do and execute all manner the nominations and presentations of the Master and Fellows of the same College, and also the provisions and substitutions of the tutor and poor persons of the said almshouse when the places thereof shall be vacant, according to the modes and forms in the said statutes and ordinations of the same college and almshouse by the aforesaid made and confirmed, as is aforesaid. And further diligently ordain that all the aforesaid lands and tenements, with their appurtenances, be duly sustained, and as often and when it shall be needful or necessary, repaired; and that all manner the issues and profits of the same lands and tenements beyond the rents aforesaid, and the other reasonable charges of the same, in a certain chest, called 'Whityngton's 'chest,' for this purpose by the said executors put and ordained in a certain house or treasury near the vestibule of the said College situate, appertaining to the care and administration of the wardens and Commonalty of the mystery of the Mercers aforesaid, to sustain and aid the poor and indigent men and women of the same city and mystery, and especially in loans for one year, or within, at the discretion of the said Wardens under sufficient pledge of silver or gold, and not otherwise to be done; so that always a condition sealed by the receivers of the loan be made upon the deposit of every pledge so pawned, that if they, at the end of the said year, or at any term within the year to them limited, the said loan shall not have paid or redeemed the pledge, that the same pledge, without impeachment of the debtor, shall be sold, aud the sum which beyond the clear debt shall arise to the debtors shall fully be restored."
Whittington College, which is now situated in the North Road, near Highgate, and in the parish of St. Mary, Islington, consists of 30 houses, in a centre and two wings, and two detached houses. The tutor, who is the chaplain, and is in holy orders, occupies the front house in one of the wings, and the other house in the front of the wing is occupied by the matron. The 28 remaining tenements by 28 women. Each house has two rooms and a kitchen. The two detached houses are occupied by the gardener and nurse. The inmates were formerly both men and women, but the almspeople have been women only for many years past, a fund for out-pensioners having been created, to which both sexes are eligible.
The fee-simple of the premises which had been demised to the Company by the lease of 1823 (mentioned in the report of the Commissioners of Inquiry, p. 456) for 999 years, were in December 1838, conveyed to the Company by Frederick Cowper, William Nash, and the Highgate Archway Company in consideration of 6,060l. (part of a sum of 6,600l., the purchase money in the Court of Exchequer for premises belonging to this estate in King's Arms Yard, and forming now part of the site of Moorgate Street), and the conveyance and the same consideration also included a parcel of ground on the south side of Thomas Street, and five messuages erected thereon, and two other plots of ground on the east side of the Highgate Archway Road. This purchase was made, and the conveyance approved under the authority of the Court of Chancery. The houses are subject to building leases, of which the Charity is at present only entitled to ground rents. The meadow behind the College is occupied by the tutor free of rent. A plot of ground opposite the college is vacant, and has been offered for building. The residue of the 6,600l. remained invested in consols in court until the year 1842, when it was laid out in purchasing two slips of ground in Moorgate Street.
The condition of the estates, of which the Mercers' Company are possessed under the endowments, and which is generally described as the "Whittington estate" has, since the report of the Commissioners of Inquiry (vol. 6, p. 284, and vol. 32, Pt. 2, p. 453), been much affected by the extension, alterations, and improvements that have taken place in the city of London, the new buildings in Gresham Street, and Cannon Street in particular, having crossed the property of the Charity estate. Owing to this cause, and also to other local improvements, the tabular account of the estate hereafter given does not, therefore, in all points correspond with the tables given in the reports of the Commissioners of Inquiry (vol. 32, part 2, p. 455).
The building of the new almshouse near the Highgate Archway had been made before the last inquiry, and the building fund provided, as stated by the Commissioners at that time, exhibited a balance of 1,421l. 19s. 4d. as due to the Company. The Company did not diminish or so frame their subsequent donations and pension list, which were provided for out of the income of the estate, so as to leave any balance applicable to the reduction of the above balance, and the same continued in the books of the Company as a charge against the Charity until the year 1847, and in that year the Company closed the account by transferring the sum from the building fund to the estate as a payment in that year.
The property of Whittington's estate is now as follows:—
|There is, also, a sum of 508l. 14s. 7d. consols, the remainder of the purchase money of the property in Budge Row, taken by the city, invested in 7,411l. 8s. 10d. consols, of which 6,902l. 14s. 3d. consols were laid out in the purchase of premises in Lawrence Lane, city of London, now belonging to the charity, which 508l. 14s. 7d. consols stands in the name of the Accountant-General of the Court of Chancery, ex parte the Mayor and Commonalty of the City of London; in the matter of the City of London Improvement Act, 1847, and the Wardens and Commonalty of the Mystery of Mercers of the City of London"||15||5||2|
|The several annuities mentioned under the head of the charities of—|
|Sir John Allen||0||4||8|
|The particulars of which will be found in the Report on the Money Legacy Charities.|
|£6,572||13||0 (fn. 4)|
A report of a committee of the Company made under an order of the Court of Assistants on the 1st December 1803, found that the sum of 63l. per annum for the uses of the college, which was abolished in the reign of Edward 6th, and the stipend seized by the Crown, was in the year 1549 sold by the Crown to the Company, with other stipends of the same nature, at 20 years purchase, and therefore so much of the rents of the said estates must belong to the Company. That the committee did not find that from the commencement of the receipt of the rents in 1442 to the year 1564 any augmentation of payments took place, or any other payment made therefrom, except the 63l. and 40l., as recited in the will above mentioned, but that in 1564 the sum of 3l. 18s. was added to 39l. 17s. 4d. originally paid, as directed by the will, being the nearest sum which the 40l. so directed could be divided as weekly payments to the tutor and 12 almsfolks. By reference to the reports of the committee, as before mentioned, it will also appear that from 1564 to 1672 the same was augmented to 130l., at which sum it remained until 1786; and from 1786 to 1798 it was further augmented to 437l. 17s., which was the sum then annually paid; and the committee did not find that from 1442 to the present time the surplus arising from the said estates was otherwise applied than to the uses of the Company, which application appeared sanctioned by Parliament in 1747, when it was enacted that the same, together with other properties in possession of the Company, should be applied to the payment of their debts.
The permanent charges on the estate, and expenses of management are:—
The Court of Assistants, by a resolution of the 15th November 1804, resolved that the surplus from the estates of Sir Richard Whittington, after the payment of the 63l. per annum, was applicable to charitable uses only, but they do not appear to have considered themselves bound to establish a loan fund, which seems to have been the only specific purpose mentioned in the will of William Sevenoke.
I entirely concur with the Company in this conclusion, so far as it may have proceeded from a view of the inexpediency and mischief of such an appropriation. The disbursements of the various charitable objects, to which the fund is now dedicated, are:—
I.—"Whittington College." Disbursements.
There have been lately large expenses at the almshouses for draining. It was found necessary to open a drain from the college to the main sewer. The contract for this work was 1,043l. 1s. 6d. The surveyor's commission and other charges raised this expense to about 1,100l. The last payment on this contract account was made in June 1860.
With reference to the application of the surplus income of the estates, after the payment of the charges thereon, and the expenses of management, and the support of the college, I have already referred to the direction in the will of William Sevenoke, under whom the Company derive their title, which points out how the money beyond the rentcharges and the other reasonable charges are to be applied, and I have also stated the report of the Company's committee of 1803, and the resolution of the Company in 1804 thereon. The Company have created a fund called the "Whittington Fund," and have also carried over a considerable portion of the surplus to a fund not distinctly named, but which is distributed as "donations and charitable gifts."
II.—The "Whittington Fund" is the form of distribution of 900l. a year to 30 poor persons of both sexes who are elected for life, and receive each 30l. a year. This fund and distribution have been the same for many years.
III.—The charitable bequests and donations were,—
|In the year 1858||2,019||10||7|
|They were made, in 1858, to||52 persons.|
|in 1859, to||57 "|
|and in 1860, to||54 "|
The amount of each gift has varied from 10l. to 70l. The entire distribution under the head of "Charitable Donations and Bequests" may therefore be represented as 2,000l. a year.
The four heads of expenditure from the college estate are, therefore—
|Deduction from the gross income for permanent charges and management, say||800||0||0|
|I.—"Whittington College," say||1,800||0||0|
|III.—Charitable donations and gifts||2,000||0||0|
The excess of the receipts over the expenditure amounts to about 1,100l. a year. I have mentioned the recent extraordinary charge for drainage in the two or three past years. The balance of cash in hand at the end of the year 1860 (31st December 1860), supposing all the rents to have been received, would have been 4,662l. 4s. 4d. This does not correspond with the books of the Company as it has been the habit of the accountant to treat stock as cash and enter it as the sum of cash which the investment cost, and in this view the 508l. 14s. 7d. stock in the Court of Chancery is represented as 200l. cash, making the balance appear to be 4,862l. 4s. 4d. The rents had, however, not then been all received, and the actual cash in hand was 1,325l. 13s. 1d.
The out-pensioners who are paid out of the "Whittington Fund' are persons of both sexes, not under 55 years of age, nor possessing incomes of 20l. from real or 30l. from any property. I annex a printed statement of the qualifications. They are not connected with the Company.
The charitable gifts and donations are made to persons connected with the Company, as being freemen, or widows, or children of freemen. There are no specific qualifications, each case being decided on its own circumstances. The sum granted is generally continued for the life of the person to whom it is given. The selection is in all cases by the court of assistants, the members of which commonly exercise powers of selection in rotation.