City of London Livery Companies Commission. Report; Volume 4. Originally published by Eyre and Spottiswoode, London, 1884.
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In pursuance of a minute of the Board of the 13th day of November 1860 I have inquired into the condition and circumstances of the charities under the management of the Company of Fishmongers of the City of London, and I have stated in the report, under the head of each specific endowment, the result of my investigation.
The prime warden vacates his office annually, and is elected from the court of assistants. The other wardens are also chosen from the court of assistants. All are elected for two years as wardens. The prime warden is elected to be the prime for the first year, and to be the second warden for the second year. The fifth warden also holds the office of renter-warden for the first of the two years, the sixth warden as renter-warden for the second of the two years. On vacancies in the court of assistants the number is filled up by the court from election out of the liverymen. Freemen are nominated by members of the court for the livery on application. The freedom is obtained by patrimony, by servitude, and by purchase. Patrimony requires the parent to be free at the birth of the child. Servitude is seven years' apprenticeship to a freeman. The sum fixed for purchase is 105l., besides the fees; the exact amount, including the stamp of 3l., is 112l. 7s. 10d.
The freemen and freewomen are more numerous, but the Company have no means of accurately knowing their number. On application they produce the certificate of the father and mother's marriage, of their birth and baptism, and two persons attend before the court to vouch for their identity by repute; in case of servitude the master attends and states that the apprentice has duly and truly served him for the seven years, according to the custom of the City of London. The apprentices are previously bound by indentures made out at the hall of the Company. The fee for taking up the freedom is 1l. 12s. 4d., including stamp.
Edward Allen, by his will of the 16th August 1624, gave to the Company 66l. 13s. 4d., to be lent to two young men, each paying at the expiration of every three years 6s. 8d. for the two beadles of the said Company.
Sir John Allott by his will, 17th July 1588, bequeathed to the Company 133l. 6s. 8d., to be lent to four freemen trading in fish, not of the livery, the said four men yearly to provide three loads of charcoal amongst the poor inhabitants of Bread Street Ward.
The sum of 133l. 6s. 8d. forms part of the "Trust Loan" account (see Cecilia Long's Charity). The sum of 4l. 10s. a year is paid by the Company to the deputy of Bread Street Ward, who divides the money among the alderman and common councilmen of the ward for distribution to the poor.
Lady Allott's Charity.
The sum of 1l. is paid to the churchwardens of Sanderstead, and the 3l. to nine poor people dwelling in the lesser almshouses at Croydon, in sums of 6s. 8d. each. This payment is made personally by the clerk of the Company.
Ashton or Aston's Charity.
John Aston, by will dated the 2nd July 1436, gave premises in the suburbs of London, which appear by a document in the Record Office, Guildhall, to have been three messuages and gardens in St. Andrew, Holborn, three messuages and one garden in St. Sepulchre without Newgate, and four messuages and one garden in St. Botolph without Aldgate. It appears by deeds in the Company's possession that the property in St. Botolph and St. Sepulchre was sold in 1551. The property which the Company consider now to belong to the trust (whether owing to any exchange or other transaction is not explained) consists of No. 129, Aldersgate Street, and Nos. 1 and 2, Bowman's Buildings, behind the last-mentioned premises. The will directed that the warders and commonalty and their successors, after that all the said lands and tenements should have come to their hands, annually and for ever, solemnly to celebrate the testator's obit with note and ringing of bells in the said church of St. Sepulchre. By a deed of the 20th August 1447 the wardens of the Fishmongers' Company granted and agreed that the vicar and churchwardens of the said church of St. Sepulchre for the time being should annually, on the conditions therein mentioned, retain in their own hands, for the use and profit of the parishioners of the church aforesaid, 10s. for the fabric of the same church; also, the said vicar and his successors annually shall retain 3s. thereof in their possession, namely, 4d. for himself, being present at the exequies aforesaid and for saying the mass aforesaid himself or by some other chaplain; also, for recommending of the souls aforesaid, amongst others of deceased persons, every Lord's day, as is the custom of himself or some other chaplain, 2s. 8d.; but to distribute the same 2s. 8d. annually in alms to the poor of the said parish church aforesaid every year in which the said vicar shall abstain himself from the recommendation aforesaid.
John A'Wood devised to the Company, by his will of the 2nd December 1524, two messuages in St. Martin Orgar's parish, to distribute yearly 20s. in coal to poor men and women of the Company, and the rest of the said coals (the word in the report of the Commissioners of Inquiry is "the remainder," which was open to the ambiguity of referring either to the remainder of the coals or the remainder of the whole estate), to the poor inhabitants of St. Michael, Crooked Lane, and St. Martin Orgar; also, to the poor of St. Michael, Crooked Lane, in money 3s. 4d. The estate charged is the property of the Company. It is considered to consist of houses Nos. 134 and 135, Upper Thames Street.
The 3s. 4d. a year is paid to the churchwardens of St. Michael, Crooked Lane. The Company credit the charity with an annual rentcharge of 30s., and discharge themselves by the above payments and by 6s. 8d. towards an entertainment to which, under the will, the administrators of the charity are entitled.
Alderman James Bacon, by his will of the 22nd April 1573, bequeathed to the Company 100l., to be lent to two freemen, not being of the livery, to provide yearly two cartloads of coal to be distributed amongst the poorest of the Company.
Bishop Barlow's Charity.
William Barlow, Bishop of Lincoln, by his will of about the year 1690, gave to the Fishmongers' Company 100l., to be lent to four young men of the Company, paying 3l. amongst them, to be distributed as follows:—
The Company subscribe, as is stated in the Commissioners' Report, page 126, 2l. to the amount of 3l.; it is paid on the 22nd March, yearly, at the same time that Sir John and Lady Allott's gifts are, and the clerk of the Company, or some person under his direction, goes to Croydon, previously having given notice through the vicar of Croydon on the Sunday preceding the 22nd March that the annual sum will be given on that day. On the 22nd March, whether it be a Sunday or any other day, the clerk, or some person deputed by him, goes there, hears the sermon, and, after giving the amount of Sir John and Lady Allott's gifts to the Lesser Almshouses, he then proceeds to Archbishop Whitgift's Hospital, and presents the gifts there directed, namely, 13s. 4d. for a dinner to the brethren and sisters, and 10s. to the poor box, the Company adding 2l. to the dinner. Then the 13s. 4d. is paid to the preacher for preaching the sermon in Croydon church, and 3s. 4d. for his giving notice. Then 6s. 8d. is paid to the clerk of the Company or his representative, and 13s. 4d. is distributed among four old men or women; so that that makes up the 3l., exclusive of the 2l. which the Company give.
Mrs. Basden gave to the Company 20l., to be lent out to a young man for the term of two years. This is in the "Loan Trust Fund." No interest is considered to be chargeable, and none is credited. (See Cecilia Long's Charity.)
|To St. Peter's Hospital||4||0||0|
|To Jesus Hospital||4||0||0|
|To the Company's clerk||0||10||0|
|To the beadles||0||10||0|
Peter Blundell, by his will dated the 9th June 1599, bequeathed to the Company 150l., to purchase lands and hereditaments to pay thereout 40s. yearly to the poor prisoners in the Compter, and the residue to the wardens.
It appears that at an early period, probably in or about the beginning of the 17th century, the sum of 100l. was laid out in the purchase of two small houses in Black Raven Alley, Upper Thames Street, and the expense of the conveyance amounted to a further sum of about 10l. The Report of the Commissioners of Inquiry stating that no premises were purchased with these trust moneys is, therefore, inaccurate. At the time of the inquiry of the Lord Chief Baron of the Exchequer into the prison charities the statement was corrected.
|To the poor of St. Nicholas, Cole Abbey||20s.|
|To the poor of St. Peter's Hospital||20s.|
|To the minister of the hospital||5s.|
|To the officers of the Company||5s.|
The 20s. a year is paid to the churchwardens of St. Nicholas, Cole Abbey. 1l. forms part of the Christmas gifts to the almspeople in St. Peter's Hospital; 5s. is paid to the chaplain, distinct from his salary; and 5s. to the clerk and beadle of the Company.
John Carter gave to the Fishmongers' Company 20l., to be lent out to a young man for the term of two years. No interest is chargeable by any original direction, and none is credited. It is part of the "Loan Trust Fund." (See Cecilia Long's Charity.)
|To a poor scholar at St. John's College, Cambridge, not having 4l. a year by exhibitions, or any other ways or means||4||0||0|
|Poor children of Christ's Hospital and the residue to the Company.||2||0||0|
The Company on any vacancy of the exhibition address a letter to the Master of St. John's College, Cambridge, stating the terms of the bequest, and requiring to know if any student in the College comes within the description.
"This is to certify that A.B. entered this College on the day of, and has since conducted himself to my satisfaction, and to the best of my belief has no public exhibition or private income whatever."
The Company were the owners of the estate on which the charge was imposed. It was sold under the London Bridge Acts. The property was valued, without deducting the 6l. a year, and it still remains a charge on the purchase money.
Edward Cawnte, by his will of the 12th October 1591, gave to the said Company 20l., to be lent to young men of the Company. No interest is required to be made on this gift, and none is charged. (See Cecilia Long's Charity.)
Paul Cleater gave the Company 150l., of which 25l. was after his decease to be kept to be lent to some young man at 10s. per annum to be distributed among the almsfolks in St. Peter's Hospital, to whom the 10s. per annum is still given. The 25l. is in the "Loan Trust Fund." (See Cecilia Long's Charity.)
Francis Coling, by an indenture dated the 15th January 1648, gave to the Company 200l., to be lent to four freemen of the Company, each paying yearly 15s., to be distributed amongst 10 of the poorest freemen or their widows on the 17th March.
The sum of 200l. is in the same position as Cecilia Long's Charity in the "Loan Trust Fund." The 3l. a year for interest is given to 10 poor freemen or widows of the Company, in equal sums of 6s. in April, yearly.
William Copynger devised by his will of the 22nd November 1512 his tenement in St. Catherine Coleman and a shop and cellar in Old Fish Street, on condition to pay 10s. yearly to St. Mildred, Bread Street, 6s. 6d. for his obit, and the residue amongst the poor householders of that parish. The Company pay 3s. 10d. a year to the churchwarden of the parish of St. Mildred, Bread Street.
John Cowper, by his will of the 12th August 1584, gave to the Company 20l., to be delivered yearly to one young man dwelling in Old Fish Street. No interest is to be charged, and there is therefore no income. The fund is in the "Trust Loan Fund." (Long's Charity.)
John Crafton, by his will of the 16th October 1585, gave to the said Company 40l., to deliver forth the same to two young men, freemen of the Company. No interest is to be charged, and none is therefore received. The fund is in the "Trust Loan Fund."
Alice Field's Charity.
Alice field, in the terms of an indenture of 28th July 1595, paid to the Company 80l., to be lent to four young men, two of Old Fish Street and two of New Fish Street, they paying each 3s. 4d. yearly, and the money to be distributed in charcoal.
Henry Gardener devised by his will, 31st December 1579, two tenements in St. Andrew, in Hertford Town, to give yearly to 20 poor folks, fishmongers or their widows, two sacks of coal each or 1s. 8d. in money.
Robert Gayer's Charity.
Jesus Hospital, at Bray, Berks.
William Goddard, by his will made in or prior to 1609, gave to the Company, for the purpose of erecting an hospital at Bray for 40 poor people, men or women, certain messuages in the parish of St. Catherine Cree Church, London, and his manor of Crutchfield and land in Bray; the said hospital to be called "Jesus Hospital in Bray, of the foundation of William Goddard," and the testator also directed his wife to convey to the Company a messuage in the parish of St. Dunstan-in-the-West, London.
The testator prescribed by his will the building of the hospital of brick, from the rent of the lands, fit and convenient for 40 poor people to dwell and inhabit in, and that there should be in the said hospital one chapel or place convenient to serve Almighty God in for ever with public and divine prayers and other exercises of religion, and also that there should be provided the domestic offices therein mentioned; and he directed that the brethren and sisters should be appointed and governed as therein mentioned, and that they should have the use, occupation, and profits of the lands in Bray, except the trees and underwoods, to be equally and indifferently divided between them.
The letters patent are dated the 13th August, 14 James 1st, and incorporate the wardens and assistants of the Company as "Governors of Jesus Hospital," &c.; whilst the direction of the will is that the "wardens and commonalty of the Company should be governors." There is a very full entry in the books of the Company of the 19th January 1616, showing that, to obviate the difficulties of a pecuniary sort in the prosecution of the work, Mrs. Goddard gave 100 marks a year during her life, and the Company undertook to finish the buildings within two years after her death.
The present hospital at Bray was erected between 1623 and 1628, and is described by the Commissioners of Inquiry (p. 117, vol. 12) as "a quadrangular building, containing 40 almshouses, surrounding a court divided into gardens, one of which is attached to each house, the whole site covering 2a. 2r. 18p. There is a chapel in the centre of the back of the building. Over the front entrance are apartments occupied by the chaplain."
The will directs that the lands in Bray shall be for the use of the brethren and sisters, but does not make any express limitation with regard to the other lands devised to the Company; but no distinction appears to have been ever made by the Company between the property in London and the Berkshire estate.
The property of the charity is now as shown in the following table, in which the numbers of the several tenements mentioned in the Report of the Commissioners of Inquiry (vol. 12, p. 116) are indicated.
To this income there must be added in respect of the augmentation to the parishionary almspeople under the bequest of Mr. John Hibbert (stated infra, p. 7) annually 85l. 16s., and charged on the property of the Company by their acceptance of the legacies.
It is stated in the report of the Commissioners of Inquiry (volume 12, p. 114) from the ancient records of the Company, that the testator directed his wife, Joyce, to convey to the Company a messuage or tenement in the. parish of St. Dunstan in the West, but on tracing the various steps taken by the Company in relation to the foundation nothing was found concerning any property in that parish. It appears that deeds were given up by Mrs. Goddard to Mrs. R. Sugden, in January 1609, and on the 3rd April 1610. By entries in the books of the Company on the 18th November 1615, it appears that there was then a long time suits in Chancery touching Mr. Goddard's will, and those were not terminated at that time, although it does not appear that any question remained save that of the execution of the specific trusts relating to the building and incorporation of the hospital and governors. The list of the deeds delivered to Mrs. Sugden in 1609 and 1610 appears in the books of the Company, but does not include any instruments relating to the messuage in St. Dunstan's. It does not appear that the Company have ever been in the possession of any ancient deeds. There seems to have been much litigation with Mrs. Sugden, who was the sister and probably heiress at law of the testator, and the first entry in the books of the Company is of obtaining an injunction restraining her from cutting down woods on the estate at Bray.
Courts of the manor are held every four or five years. The fines are the amount of the years quit rent on change of tenants. It is said that Mrs. Sugden, being offended at the gift of the property by Mr. Goddard, destroyed the documents she had relating to the manorial rights, and it is supposed amongst others the books containing the admissions, &c. The Company have followed the custom of the adjoining manors of Cookham. There seem to have been heriots formerly taken, but have not been recovered or attempted to be enforced since the reign of Henry the 8th.
The balance due from the charity to the Company up to the end of 1857 was 449l. 17s. This was explained in the following letter to the accountant of the Charity Commissioners from the clerk of the Company.
"I am desired to inform you that the balance arose by the outlay of upwards of 1,400l. in repairs to the house on Lord's lands farm, and in rebuilding the house and farm buildings at Short Lane farm in 1851 and 1855. Also from the outlay in 1853 of 150l. in building a wall between No. 10, Aldgate and No. 3, Jewry Street, and a further sum of upwards of 100l. in 1854 in draining the lands in Bray. The income of this trust for last year reduced the balance against the trust by nearly 200l., and as the expenditure on account of the almshouses is not likely to be very different from late years except in the thorough repair of the chimnies and repainting the external work this year, which may occasion an outlay of 200l., the Company anticipate in the course of three or four years the balance will be paid off."
The balance was on the 31st December 1860 reduced to 152l. 6s. 2d. The Company have agreed to substitute for the brick floors in many of the houses wooden floors, which will involve some expenditure and probably prevent the reduction of the balance in the present year.
The election of the free people of the Company is in the same manner as for St. Peter's Hospital, and the election of the parishioners of Bray is upon a list returned under a printed form signed by the paymaster, describing the condition, age, and character of the applicants, with the observations as to their necessities or infirmities. I append a printed table setting forth the orders for the government of the hospital and the rules to be observed by the inmates. (fn. 1)
Jesus Hospital, at Bray, in the County of Berks.
1609—William Goddard, Esquire, who died in the year 1609, by will gave and devised to the wardens and commonalty of the mistery of fishmongers, of the City of London, all his messuages and lands, situate in the City of London, and the parish of Bray, in the county of Berks, to erect an hospital for 40 poor persons, men or women, to dwell and inhabit therein; whereof six are to be of the poorest, most aged, and decayed persons, free of the said Company, and 34 are to be of the poorest and most aged parishioners of Bray, and such as have been dwelling in the said parish of Bray 20 years next before being elected thereto, and every one of the said 40 persons being of the age of 50 years. And Letters Patent were obtained dated 13 August, 14 Jas. I., granting to the Fishmongers' Company authority to erect and establish the said hospital, upon the trusts of the said will, to be called Jesus Hospital, founded by King James, at Bray, in the county of Berks, at the only costs and charges of William Goddard, Esquire.
20th February 1653.—Randolph Baskerville, by will of the 20th of February 1653, gave 200l., and directed the yearly sum of 4l., part of the interest thereof, to be paid half yearly to the poor in Jesus Hospital.
28th April 1676 and 23rd May 1677.—John Owen, by indentures of these dates, gave 270l., and directed the sum of 20s., part of the interest thereof, to be paid yearly on the 20th of March to six poor almsfolks, free of the Company, in Jesus Hospital.
8th January 1686.—Jeremiah Copping, by will of the 8th of January 1686, gave certain monies for the maintenance of nine or ten poor old almsmen of the Company. Under this benefaction the sum of 36l. is appropriated yearly in the relief of the six almspeople, free of the Company, in Jesus Hospital.
28th March 1810.—Thomas Cooke, by will of the 28th of March 1810, gave 5,900l. Consolidated Three per Cent. Bank Annuities to the Company upon trust, to apply the dividends thereof weekly for ever, for the benefit and relief of the 34 parishionary almspeople in Jesus Hospital.
The paymaster is to attend at the hospital to pay the pensions, to examine into the state of the almspeople, and allow them to have nurses if needful; and if any of them shall offend against the rules and orders, the paymaster shall adopt such measures thereon as he may deem requisite; and in all matters of importance, he shall report the same to the governors.
The chaplain appointed by the governors is to perform divine service in the chapel of the hospital on Tuesdays and Thursdays between the hours of 9 and 12, and to visit the almspeople in sickness, when desired.
The upper keeper, appointed by the governors from among the almsmen, is to take care of the keys of the hospital and of the chapel; to keep clean the chapel; to officiate as clerk, when divine service is performed; to take care of the goods and chattels in the house of any deceased almsman or almswoman, until they are removed by the permission of the paymaster; to see that the almspeople take care of the gardens allotted to them, and that the other parts of the garden and ground, as well as the out-buildings, be kept clean and in good order and condition; to take notice of all offences committed by the almspeople, and acquaint the paymaster therewith.
The under keeper, appointed by the governors from among the almsmen, is to open the gate in the morning and to ring the bell on shutting the gate in the evening; also to ring the bell for assembling in the chapel.
2. All the almspeople (except the almsman attending at the gate, and such of the almspeople as are prevented by sickness) shall both in the forenoon and afternoon of every Lord's day, in due time, repair to some place of public worship, and attend divine service.
3. All the almspeople (except such of them as are prevented by sickness) shall in the morning of every Tuesday and Thursday, at the second ringing of the hospital bell, assemble in the chapel, and join in public prayer, according to the rites of the Church of England.
4. None of the almspeople shall use any blasphemous words or on any occasion be drunk, or at any time make use of any bitter, uncharitable or offensive speeches, or give any blow to any other of the almspeople, or act disorderly or dishonestly, upon pain of being expelled.
5. None of the almspeople shall be allowed to go out of the hospital before the opening of the gate in the morning, or to come into the hospital after the shutting of the gate in the evening, or shall be absent from the hospital during the night, without license from the upper keeper, who is allowed to permit such of the almspeople as he shall see fit, on urgent occasions, to lie out of the hospital; but no permission shall be given to any of the almspeople to lie out more than two nights successively, without the consent of the paymaster.
8. None of the almspeople or any person whatever shall lay or cast any rubbish, dust, or filth, in any part of the hospital, or the grounds, ditches, or drains thereto belonging, or wash fish, vegetables, or any utensils, at or near the pump.
9. The almspeople shall keep clean their dwellings, and the pavement before and behind the same, and the garden allotted to each house; and shall also keep repaired the glass in their windows, at their own charge, or in default thereof, the expense of repairing them shall be deducted out of their pensions.
12. If any almsman shall have a wife, or any almswoman a husband, the wife of the almsman shall be allowed to dwell with her husband, and the husband of the almswoman with his wife; and in every offence against these orders, the offence of the wife shall be deemed the offence of the husband, and the offence of the husband the offence of the wife.
13. Upon the decease of any of the almspeople, none of the goods and chattels in the house of the deceased shall be removed, without the permission of the paymaster; and that care may in the mean time be taken of such goods and chattels, the key of the house shall be delivered to the upper keeper.
14. The badge of the almsman or almswoman that shall die or be removed shall remain to the house for the succeeding almsman or almswoman, also the coat and gown, if such had been received within six months previously to the decease or removal of such almsman or almswoman.
15. These rules shall be read by the upper keeper or the under keeper, in the presence of the paymaster, on every 24th day of June, and every 21st day of December, and at every visitation of the governors to the almspeople, assembled in the chapel for that purpose.
|Thomas Bodley, Esq., Prime Warden.|
|John Towgood, Esq.||Wardens.|
|Samuel Mills, Esq.|
|Evan Edwards, Esq.|
|James Davidson, Esq.|
|James Ebenezer Saunders, Esq.|
Jeremiah Copping, by his will, 8th January 1686, gave the Company 1,800l. to purchase lands for the maintenance of 9 or 10 poor old almsmen of the Company, and also a rentcharge of 50l. a year, payable to the testator and his heirs during the life of Anthony Brown. The Commissioners of Inquiry state that under the above bequest the Company received 2,163l. 9s. 9d., and that until a purchase should be made in land the Company had ordered 72l. a year to be paid to the charity account. On the 22nd October 1838 an information was filed against the Company, at the suit of the Attorney-General, at the relation of Thomas Spencer Hall, charging that some competent portion of the lands or other real estate, public stocks and funds, or other property of the said Company, of which they had a sufficiency for that purpose, ought to be appropriated or otherwise that some adequate purchase or investment of land ought, in performance of the said trust, to be made out of the funds of the Company, as forming the endowment of the said charity, and praying—
That it might be declared that the said Company had made default and acted in violation of the trusts in them reposed in the before-mentioned particulars, and more especially in not having invested the said sum of 2,163l. 9s. 9d., derived under the will of Jeremiah Copping, within a reasonable time after the receipt thereof, and that the said charitable trust of the testator might be specifically performed under the decree of the Court, and that some adequate portion of the lands or other funds of the said Company might be assessed and appropriated, or otherwise that some competent purchase of land might be made out of the funds of the said Company, as the endowment of the said charity upon the principal of compensation in respect of the loss sustained by the said charity by the neglect of the said Company in not having laid out the said sum in due time, and that the defendants might be decreed to account for the difference between the said yearly sum of 72l. and interest on the sum of 2,163l. 9s. 9d. at 5l. per cent., or at such other rate as, having regard to the use of the said charity fund by the said Company, or to profit or interest actually realised, as might be deemed reasonable, and that for the last 100, or at least 50, years before the filing of the information. And that it might be declared that according to the meaning of the will there ought to be established a number of almsmen of the foundation of the said testator, independent and distinct of all other almspeople of the said Company already existing and otherwise established; and that it might be referred to the master to settle a proper scheme in that behalf, having regard to such sum as the defendants should be found liable to pay in respect of the arrears of interest as aforesaid and to the due application thereof in advancement of the said charitable trust.
The case came before the Master of the Rolls on the 16th November 1836. The Master of the Rolls delivered his judgment on the 16th January 1837. After stating the questions raised in the suit, his Honour said:—
"As to the alleged obligation of founding a distinct establishment, it is to be observed that in the will the testator has not directed any separate foundation; he has said nothing about almshouses or about any name to be affixed to his charity, or any scheme of selecting the persons amongst the freemen who were to be the objects of his bounty, or to be distinguished as his almsmen, but he describes the persons who are to enjoy his bounty as poor old almsmen of the Company, not as persons to be made solely the receipt of his bounty; and upon the construction of this bequest I cannot say that I think he meant to direct the foundation of a separate and distinct establishment, or to restrain the Company from applying the income to be derived from his gift to the maintenance of persons already almsmen of the Company in aid of funds previously applicable for their benefit. Therefore I cannot declare that according to the true intent and meaning of the will there ought to be an establishment of almsmen of the foundation of the testator independent from all other almsmen of the Company.
"With respect to the investment, it appears to me that the Company ought, within a reasonable time, to have invested the 1,632l. 17s. 3d. in the purchase of land. They, perhaps, could not do so without a license, to obtain which would have been an expense to the charity; but by incurring the expense the license in all probability might have been obtained, and then the will in that respect might have been strictly performed. But supposing there to have been some insuperable difficulty about the investments in land, there ought clearly to have been a separate investment of some sort of both the 1,632l. 17s. 3d. and the 530l. 12s. 6d. These sums ought to have been distinguished from all other funds, so that it might at all times be ascertained, if necessary, by the Court, and at all times easily proved by the Company, that the full income of the testator's gift was properly applied, and it appears to me that it is now necessary that a distinct investment should be made.
"With respect to the allegations that the defendants have paid to the almspeople, whom they have considered to be the objects of the testator's bounty, less than they ought to be charged with for the interest of the money in their hands, I have very carefully considered the evidence, and upon the result of it I am of opinion that the defendants have satisfactorily proved that for many years past they have for the benefit of these poor people annually paid out of their own funds far more than any specific sum of money with which they could be charged by way of interest. There appears to me to be no reason to presume the case was different in times antecedent to the time to which the evidence relates, and being of opinion that proper objects of the charity have been substantially benefited by the defendants as trustees to the full amount of the income to which they are entitled, I do not think fit to make any further inquiry in that respect; and having regard to what the Company has done, and to what I conceive to be the real interest of the objects of the testator's bounty, it does not appear to me to be proper to direct an inquiry when a proper investment might have been made, and whether any and what loss has been incurred by neglecting to make such investment at such time.
"I have considered this case with reference to the costs. The information as to a considerable part of it fails. As to that which succeeds, I do not think that it will substantially promote the benefit of the objects of the testator's bounty, and it appears to have been filed without any previous application to the Company.
"These and other circumstances have made me hesitate considerably in allowing the relators their costs, but considering that the omission of the Company to invest the legacy affords a substantial ground of complaint, that the meritorious application made by the Company of their own funds for the benefit of the objects of this charity could not in consequence of their omission to invest be ascertained without the sort of investigation which this matter has undergone, and having regard also to the decree made by Sir J. Leach in the case of the Goldsmiths' Company, I think myself bound to say, and I say it with reluctance, that the defendants must pay the costs of the suit as between party and party. At the same time I do not think it is proper in this case to give to the relators what Sir J. Leach gave to the relators in the case of the Goldsmiths' Company, the extra costs out of the fund of this charity.
"The decree, therefore, which I make is that this sum be brought into court and invested in 3 per Cents, that the dividends to arise from it be paid to the defendants, the Fishmongers' Company, on the trusts of the charity, with liberty to any party to apply as to the investment, and that the costs of the suit as between party and party be paid by the defendants to the relators."
The fund was paid into court and invested in 2,367l. 14s. 1d. Consols. It still stands to the credit of the cause, and the dividends amounting to 71l. 0s. 8d. per annum are received by the Company, and the amount is carried half to the account of Jesus Hospital and half to the account of the Harrietsham Almshouses. In both of these institutions the only participants in this charity are the almspeople who are free of the Company.
Thomas Cooke, by his will 28th March 1810, gave to the Company 5,900l. Consols, to apply the dividends for the benefit and relief of the 34 parishionary almspeople in Jesus Hospital for increasing their pensions.
The fund which was transferred to the Company in full stands in the corporate name of the Company in the books of the Bank of England. It seems to have been the subject of an administration suit, Neale v. Day and others, in 1813, and that the transfer was made and the arrears of interest paid under the order of the court. The annual dividends amount to 177l.
Baskerville's and Owen's Gifts.
The sum of 4l. is paid to the account of Jesus Hospital. Owen's Charity is mentioned in a subsequent part of this report, and from that gift 1l. is paid to Jesus Hospital, part of the 12l. a year comprising that gift.
Mr. John Hibbert in 1856, presented to the Fishmongers' Company 500l., on condition that they would increase the pensions of the married parishionary almspeople in Jesus Hospital by 1s. a week; and in 1857 he gave a further sum of 500l. on the Company agreeing to increase the pensions of such almspeople by a second 1s. a week. In 1860 the same gentleman gave 1,000l. to the Company on the further condition of adding 6d. a week to each of the married and single parishionary almspeople in Jesus Hospital. The Company have accepted these gifts on the conditions expressed by the donor, and the payments are made and are included in the amount of the pensions which I have stated in my account of the hospital disbursements.
The Free Grammar School at Holt, Norfolk.
Sir John Gresham, early in the reign of Phillip and Mary, granted to the Company certain estates for the maintenance of a grammar school, established previously by letters patent of the 27th April 1654, whereby it was ordained that there should be one grammar school in Holt otherwise Holt Market, to be called "the Free Grammar School of Sir John Gresham, knight, citizen, and alderman of London," for the education, teaching, and instruction of boys and youths in grammar, with one schoolmaster and one usher; and whereby also "the wardens and commonalty of the mystery of Fishmongers of London, governors of the possessions, revenues, and goods of the Free Grammar School of Sir John Gresham, knight, citizen, and alderman of London, in Holt otherwise Holt Market, in the county of Norfolk," were incorporated by that name and licensed to hold goods, chattels, manors, and lands in mortmain.
Sir J. Gresham, by deed of the 16th October 1656 (recited in an instrument which has been preserved), gave to the Company certain manors, messuages, lands, and hereditaments therein mentioned in the county of Norfolk, to hold to the said Company for the sustentation of the said Free Grammar School.
The statutes for the government of the school, made by the governors at different times, and approved by the Bishop of Norwich, are set forth in the Report of the Commissioners of Inquiry (Fishmongers' Company, vol. 12, p. 106).
The Commissioners state that the school had declined before the appointment of the then head master, but on the gratuitous instruction being extended to English, the school had revived and the increased number of 50 free scholars had been filled up. This report was made in 1823, Subsequently the institution came under the notice of the Commissioners of Inquiry in the county of Norfolk, and by their report, made in 1832 (vol. 26, p. 289), it is stated as follows:—
"In September, when we visited the town, we found that the number of free scholars had been kept up to 50; that 19 of them were receiving classical instruction; and that there were above 20 candidates for vacancies. The master had discontinued taking boarders, but had 10 day scholars receiving gratuitous instruction, or paying from 2l. 2s. to 8l. 8s. per annum, according to the circumstances of their parents. These boys are admitted as candidates, and frequently succeed to the vacancies in the number of free scholars.
"In 1831 the Company agreed to give 5l. a year for prizes at the annual examination of the scholars before the visitors, the master having previously provided prizes for this purpose at his own expense.
"The national system is adopted in the school as far as practicable, and the school appears to be in great repute. The expenditure is nearly the same as it was in 1823, as stated in our former report."
The school continued under the same master, the Rev. B. Pulleyne, until the year 1857. At that time it was found that owing to the establishment of another school in the town, and the age and incapacity of the master, and other causes, the school had fallen in its standing. This was partly also attributed to the introduction of the national system, which had led to the introduction of a lower class of pupils, and persons of a better condition had been prevented from sending their children to it. In 1857 a deputation of the Company visited the school and examined into its condition. I annex to this report a printed extract of the report of the deputation.
In 1858 the Company applied to the Bishop of Norwich for power to alter the statutes of the school, the principal alterations proposed being the introduction of mathematics, geometry, reading, geography, and history, and the abolition of the clause in the statutes of 1821, which left it to the option of the parents or friends of the scholars whether they should or not be taught Latin and Greek. The new statutes also increased the salary of the master from 100l. per annum to 200l. per annum, and empowered him to take 10 boarders, "or such other number as the governors may see fit." The Committee on the 18th May 1858 considered and settled the statutes, and resolved to apply for the consent of the bishop. Slight alterations were subsequently made, and the statutes were finally settled on the 8th September 1858. The statutes thus established are set forth in the book annexed to this report (which also contains an alteration as to the holidays approved by the same authority on the 19th July 1860).
In July 1860 the Company also resolved to increase the salary of the usher (stated in section 3, page 10 of the statutes) from 80l. to 110l. a year. This was done in consequence of a representation being made by the master that a person of sufficient standing could not be obtained for the smaller sum. This also was approved by the bishop.
The court of the Company elected a new master on the 1st July 1858. The appointment was made after advertisement in May 1858 of the intended appointment in July. The qualifications specified in the advertisement were that the candidate must be a graduate of one of the universities.
The master, according to the statutes, appointed the usher. Mr. R. Phillips was appointed to that office, and continued up to Midsummer 1860, when he retired, and Mr. Chas. F. Furbank was appointed from Michaelmas 1860 on the above-mentioned scale of salary. He is a graduate of the University of Cambridge.
The Company were strongly urged by the deputation to take an early opportunity of taking down the old master's house and rebuilding it. In March 1859 a communication on this subject was made to the Commissioners of Charities, and the result is set forth in the order of the board of the 10th May 1859 (under its seal), whereby, upon the statements and evidence therein mentioned, the Charity Commissioners advise the said governors that out of any surplus revenue which might accrue to the said charity, subject to and after answering and satisfying the salaries of the master and usher of the said school as settled by the statutes and orders of the year 1858, and the life pension of the late master, and all other charges and expenses whatsoever of or relating to the said school, as the same is now carried on or conducted, and all costs, charges, and expenses whatsoever of or relating to the management and administration of the said charity, and the property or estate thereof, the said governors might repay to themselves the sum of 1,626l. 3s. 1½d. then due to them in respect of the rebuilding the schoolroom and offices of or belonging to the said school and otherwise, and any sum or sums which the said governors might lay out or expend in rebuilding the master's house (not exeeeding for such lastmentioned purpose 3,000l., exclusive of the architect's commission and payments for the clerk of the works and travelling expenses), with interest on the said several sums respectively at the rate of 4l. per cent. per annum; but so always that if the state of the surplus revenue would permit such principal moneys and interest should be repaid (in manner and subject as aforesaid) within a period of not more than 30 years from the date hereof; and so also that if such principal moneys and interest should not be fully repaid in manner aforesaid within the said last-mentioned period, then and in such case any principal money or interest which might happen to remain due to the said governors should be deemed to be wholly extinguished and discharged in favour of the said charity.
|The master's house was therefore taken down and rebuilt at an expense, including all charges, of||3,528||0||3|
|This amount, added to the former expense of rebuilding the schoolroom,||1,444||8||11|
The sum of 1,626l. 3s. 1d. mentioned in the order of the Charity Commissioners was reduced by the deduction of certain expenses of the deputation, &c., paid by the charity out of their own funds, to the sum of 1,435l. 1s. 11½d., as stated in the accounts for 1859.
In the necessary improvements in the reconstruction of the premises it was thought necessary to purchase some adjoining cottages, which was effected by the Company for the sum of 539l. 9s. 4¾d. This sum, which was paid by the Company, brings up the actual expense of the entire improvements to 5,511l. 18s. 6¾d. The Company, amongst other things, built a tennis court, and levelled a field for a cricket ground, and rebuilt the boundary wall separating the school from the road, and otherwise altering the fences and filling and draining a road-side pond, flowing into the grounds of the school. The prime warden for the time being presented the school with an apparatus for gymnastic exercises.
The Company, in their corporate capacity as governors of the school, have entered into a bond for 6,000l. with the trustees of the Union Life Office in Cornhill, bearing date the 13th October 1859, conditioned for the repayment of 3,000l. and interest at 4½ per cent., and by an indenture of even date the Fishmongers' Company covenant to pay the said debt and interest, but shall not pay off the principal in less sums than 500l., nor in less than three years from the date thereof; and the indenture provides that the possessions, revenues, and goods of the Free Grammar School should be the primary fund for the payment of the said 3,000l. and the interest thereof, and that the said principal sum and interest should not, nor should any part thereof, be deemed to be a charge upon or be levied or recovered out of any other possessions, revenues, or goods vested in or belonging to the said Company unless the said principal and interest, or such part thereof, cannot in due course of law be levied or recovered upon or from the possessions, &c. of the said Free Grammar School.
The examinations of the school take place under the superintendence of the visitors of the school twice a year, in conformity with the fourth section of the statutes. No paid examiners are appointed, but several of the local visitors are believed to be competent examiners, Examination papers have been prepared by the master (one set of which I append), and the answers are made in writing, and in addition to these there is an oral examination in the presence of the visitors. The visitors afterwards make a report on the state of the school and of the scholars, and of those departed and admitted during the preceding half year, and they distribute prizes at both examinations in books of the value of 5l. each time. They also give at Midsummer a prize of 6l. in books to the best scholar in mathematics, combined with general good conduct, and which prize is called the Jodrell Prize. This arises from 2,000l. new 3l. per cent. Annuities, given by Mrs. L. Seale Hayne to commemorate the name of her uncle, the Rev. Sheldron Jodrell, late a visitor of the school, and late rector of Saxlingham; the books (according to the bequest), "Not being novels or other literary trash, to be chosen by the scholar subject to the approval of the governors." And the testatrix provided that the present and future rectors of Saxlingham should be visitors of the school, and entitled to a voice in awarding the prize. The reports made by nine of the visitors since have been favourable as to the progress of the school. The master of the school has made the following report:—
"In February 1859 the school opened with its full compliment of 50 foundation scholars, with the exception of two or three, who were permitted to remain at their previous schools until the quarter. A portion of the boys (34 in number) had attended for three weeks in the preceding December.
"Of the whole 50 boys, I found, on examination, that only 12 had been at school where Latin was taught, and out of this number (12) only four (now in class 5) were sufficiently advanced to read the text-book now in use in class 3. The remaining eight had a most imperfect and inaccurate knowledge of what they professed to have learnt; indeed 12 only out of the 50 had commenced the Latin grammar, the remaining 38 then commenced the elements thereof:
"The ages of the scholars were as follows:—
of these younger boys admitted 21 could barely read an elementary narration of one syllable; not one of the group could write more than the four or five first words of the Lord's Prayer, and seven could not read the first verse in St. John's Gospel without spelling the words, and only four wrote the Lord's Prayer correctly as regarded spelling.
"It will require, I conceive, quite two years to eradicate this defect, which has nearly disappeared in class 5, and in the others the ratio of mistakes to the number of lines of written English is rapidly decreasing; in one class as much as an hour a day is devoted to its correction. I mention this because it would obviously lead to false inferences respecting the boys' progress if their extreme ignorance of their own language, &c. on entering the school be not now taken into account.
"With regard to mathematical knowledge in February 1859, no boy could work a single proposition in Euclid; our present status stands thus: nine have got up (I believe fairly) books 1 and 2; eight have got up book 1; and 14 have advanced some little way in the same.
"In arithmetic, in February 1859, seven boys only could do the simplest form of a rule-of-three sum, in which, however, three were fairly advanced, five only had mastered decimal fractions, and of the remainder 13 could neither get through a numeration sum or the very first steps of the multiplication tables. The lowest boys now are in the compound rule of elementary arithmetic. The examination papers (arithmetical) set at this time were framed for 34 boys, and—
"In Latin 12 only had commenced the Latin grammar, not more than three of the syntax, none the prosody in the present stage; the classical books used in the 5th form have been Livy, Virgil, Cicero's Orations, Greek Delectus; the Greek grammar up to in pu Arnold's Latin composition; Latin versificator, Grecian and Roman history.
"In mathematics, algebra to the end of series, arithmetic generally, Euclid books 1 and 2. In English the text books are Morell's "Analysis of an English sentence," French on the "Study of Words," and for an exercise, Goldsmith's "Deserted Village."
"The boys are accustomed to produce weekly the map of some country which they have prepared the previous week out of school hours. I would call the attention of the governors to some of them, as being finished with much neatness and precision.
"The attendance of the scholars since the opening of the school has been unmarked by a single case of absenteeism, save from illness, or by leave of the master. I have known more than a fortnight to elapse without an instance of one coming in after the doors were closed (at 2 minutes to 9), and in the afternoon such does not occur at the rate of once in two months.
"I am happy to say that in respect of the healthiness of our schoolroom the ventilation is excellent, and by aid of the apparatus which does not get out of order the room is kept at a very even temperature (though at the expense of a large amount of fuel). The health of the boys has been excellent.
"The boys' library is scarcely large enough to afford the necessary variety for the tastes and wants of so many boys, moreover, a higher class of works is needed for the upper lads, the present series having been selected mainly with reference to the younger scholars. There is, moreover, no sufficient room in the closets fixed in the new schoolroom for their reception. The classical works in the schoolroom are of little use for instruction or reference, and they might be advantageously moved to shelves in the master's study, as during the winter holidays the covers attract the mould.
"I would ask the governors to give their attention to the inadequacy of the usher's salary compared with the increasing demands on his attainments, which arise from the alteration of the statutes and the raised standard of the subjects of instruction.
The governors receive half-yearly a statement of the names and ages of the boys on the foundation in each of the five classes, and the books used in each class. The children are the sons of professional men of small means, of farmers, and of respectable tradesmen. The foundation boys are 50 in number; they are admitted on a certificate of two of the local visitors, and deposited with the master, as vacancies occur, in rotation. In addition to 50 foundation boys there are 12 day scholars, who pay the master, but the amount of this payment is not reported to the governors.
The master had not at Christmas 1860 more than one boarder, but his residence had been then very recently completed. The master under the statutes (page 9) receives from the school fund a gratuity for each boy, according to his class. These gratuities in 1860 were as follows:—
|Class 5. 7 boys at 15s.||5||5||0|
|" 4. 9 " 12s. 6d.||5||12||6|
|" 3. 13 " 10s.||6||10||0|
|" 2. 10 " 7s. 6d.||3||15||0|
|" 1. 11 " 5s.||2||15||0|
|Gratuities for stationery, 50 at 7s. 6d.||£18||15||0|
It is obvious that the state of the disbursements and the receipts at present wholly exclude the possibility of paying interest on the debt. The interest therefore is paid by the Company out of their own funds. The capital debt with which the charity is chargeable, as I have before stated, is 4,849l. 12s. 4½d. On this (or on so much of it as had been expended) the interest at 4 per cent. up to 31st December 1859, 83l. 15s. 3d., 1860, 163l. 15s. 5d., and for future years it will be 193l. 18s. 10d.
It is anticipated that the property in St. Giles, Cripplegate, and Barbican will at the expiration of the leases be much more productive, and the governors therefore look to the increased income from these estates as the means of recouping the debt which is thus, at present, rapidly accumulating against the charity.
As a part of the charge of the year 1860 a sum of 11l. 6s. 7d. was expended in the redemption of the land tax on the cottages adjoining the Holt school, removed upon the late improvements. There are also law charges, expenses of the deputations, expenses relating to the woods which have been occasional, and which with the excess of expenditure on the improvements beyond that for which the governors are allowed to charge the property as security with interest, make up a sum of 6,381l. 4s. 3½d. due to the Company on account of the charity on the 31st December 1860.
The rental in 1863, on the termination of Wither's lease, of a part of the property in Norfolk (No. 5) will be increased by the amount of 55l. a year. The annuity to the late master of 100l. a year will, of course, terminate with his life, and Christmas 1871 the present lease of the property in Fore Street will expire, when an increased rental is expected. It is to these several sources that the charity must look for the reduction of the present large deficit of annual income, and for the gradual payment of the advances which have been made for improvements.
Extract from the Report of the late Deputation to Holt, with the Proceedings and Recommendations of the Committee thereon, forwarded by Order of Court, 1st instant, a Special Court being summoned to consider the same on Thursday the 6th instant.
Extract from the Report of John Kynaston, Esquire, Prime Warden, Thomas Boddington, and Western Wood, Esquires, who were appointed by the Court, the 12th of March last, to be a Deputation to visit the Estate and School at Holt, in Norfolk.
We beg to report that on Monday afternoon, the 15th instant, the deputation, accompanied by Mr. Towse, proceeded to Holt, and on the following morning went to the schoolhouse; and on the arrival of the Rev. E. Brummell, the rector of Holt (one of the visitors of the school), the proceedings of the day were commenced by the master reading the rules, &c. of the school. 43 scholars answered to their names. Shortly after the following visitors arrived, viz., the Rev. J. Bulwer, Rev. J. B. Sweet, Jas. Gay, Thos. Boyd, and John Clark, Esquires. Three scholars of the first class were then examined in the Greek Testament, one scholar in mathematics, several in arithmetic, in which branch considerable proficiency was shown, especially by one scholar, who evinced rather unusual quickness and skill. Many produced their writing books. The deputation having remained some time in the schoolroom, requested the visitors would retire with them to a private room, when the prime warden brought the state of the school, and the age of the Rev. Benj. Pulleyne, under their notice, and solicited their opinion thereon, stating that it was the desire of the governors that there should be a greater efficiency manifested in the establishment, that it was considered Mr. Pulleyne had been long enough attached to the school, and that it might be desirable a younger man should be appointed.
Mr. Gay, on the part of the visitors, replied, calling the attention of the deputation to the fact that Mr. Pulleyne had now been master 48 years; that he was now 72; and that, whatever his talents might have been, he could not now be expected to be the most proper party to hold the appointment; that from the manner in which the school had been conducted for several years, the class of boys had been materially lessening in point of rank in life; and that at least the greater number now in the school were only fit to be educated in the national school; that respectable people declined sending their sons to the school, or if they did so, that it was only for a short time; that if fit and proper persons were appointed masters, a greater number of boarders allowed to be taken, the school continued to be a grammar school, as originally intended, that there were quite sufficient persons in Holt and its immediate neighbourhood who would only be too glad to avail themselves of the opportunity of placing their sons at the school, instead of sending them, as they now felt obliged to do, miles away; and that he had no doubt, in time, a class of boys would be raised, equalling those formerly in the school, who were sons of some of the most respectable families in the county; that the townspeople considered the present school only equal to their present national school; that he did not think there was much probability of any subscriptions being made to the alteration of the school premises, which were so much required, as parties in the town, &c. would consider they would not be allowed to participate in the management of the school, or share any of the Company's privileges; that the visitors generally thought Mr. Pulleyne should, if funds for that purpose were available, be now allowed to retire with an allowance of l. per annum; that a new schoolroom should be at once erected, the present being too small and low, and therefore very unhealthy; and that, as funds admitted, a new residence for the master should be erected; but that, whatever alterations might be made, they trusted a good playground would be made, as at present the boys played in the public street with the lowest class of children. Mr. Gay concluded by stating that the visitors would be very thankful if something could now be done, and that they would be ready at all times to give their best advice on the subject.
The visitors then resumed the examination of the scholars, being shortly afterwards joined by the Rev. A. T. Hudson; and the deputation, after viewing the lands, returned in the evening and were present at the distribution of the prizes. On this occasion, as on the last, no scholar was found worthy of the "Joddrell Prize," which was therefore not given.
On the following morning the deputation again visited the school premises, &c. We found the state of the buildings and their general character such as to render any permanent repairs and alterations perfectly useless. If attempted, it would be a rebuilding in a most unsatisfactory manner, and only money thrown away, if reconstruction at a remoter period be contemplated.
Bearing in mind the suggestions of the court, we devoted our best attention to the consideration of the distribution and condition of the building, the former standing of the school and its future prospects, the intention of the founders, and what we believe to be the earnest desire of the governors; and we think that the time has now arrived for the total reconstruction of the buildings, taking down all the present ones, as well as the unsightly cottages on the road-side purchased by the Company.
We would suggest that a plan and estimate for the whole construction be obtained, to consist of a schoolroom, residence for the master, with sufficient accommodation for boarders and necessary offices; that it should occupy a site further back than that on which the present building now stands, affording a good playground for the boys in front of the building, to be enclosed by a dwarf wall with rails.
The building, which we submit should be in the style of the period of the foundation of the school, to face the town (as the present one does), thus becoming a great ornament to the street and a fit monument to the liberality of the founder and the Fishmongers' Company.
The deputation earnestly suggest that the Company should advance to the trust upon loan, without interest, the funds necessary for the new buildings; and should the court consider it better to spread their advances over a wider surface, we suggest that the new schoolroom only should be built according to the general plan adopted, and that the new master should continue to reside in the present house until further funds could conveniently be spared.
We regret that the visitors could not hold out any hopes to us of pecuniary assistance from the neighbourhood towards the expense of rebuilding the school. We are happy, however, to add, that the rector of Holt, and many of the visitors, appear to take a very zealous interest in the renewal of the school, and expressed their desire to see its character restored to the position which it maintained when some of them were themselves amongst its scholars.
We are decidedly of opinion, and which is shared unanimously by the visitors, that the present master of the school, at his advanced age of 72, should be replaced by a young and more efficient one. We think that, after so lengthened a period of service as 48 years, during which, we have every reason to believe, Mr. Pulleyne has faithfully devoted his best energies to the school, he has a strong claim to the acknowledgment and liberality of the court, and is entitled to such a retiring pension as may prevent his feeling too keenly his removal from his accustomed dwelling and his old habits, and the loss of the privileges of his position, and of the income he derived from it, averaging probably from 150l. to 200l. per annum.
A less pension than that suggested would not, we think, adequately provide for his few remaining years, and give him that comfort to which the court would consider him entitled after a service of nearly half a century.
From a private conversation with Mr. Pulleyne, we found him quite willing to place himself in the hands of the court, and that, while he would prefer being released from his duties, if some adequate provision could be made for him, he was quite ready to continue his services, though he admitted that they were becoming onerous to him, especially in summer, when the low and ill-constructed schoolroom became very oppressive.
We submit that the new master should have the selection of the "usher," and that the present one be retained or changed by the governors at the master's recommendation; and that, in the event of his being discharged after giving him due notice, he be presented with a gratuity of 20l. to 30l.
It is the opinion of the deputation and of the majority of the visitors that, if the character of the school were raised by the appointement of a fit and proper master, and a greater number of boarders allowed to be taken, and the school continued (as originally intended) as a grammar school, there is every reason to believe that it would be amply attended by the sons of the respectable families of Holt and its neighbourhood, and obtain a reputation in the county.
The opinion of the visitors, and of such residents as we had an opportunity of conversing with, is strongly in favour of the present system of education being continued and that classical classes be maintained; which appears also the opinion of the neighbourhood, from the fact that the largest proportion of even the present lower class of scholars is entered for classics, there being now only four boys who are not learning Latin. The Greek and Latin languages would, however, continue to be taught (according to the present statutes) only to those scholars whose parents or friends desire it.
We agree with the visitors in their views, that the larger the number of boarders allowed, the greater would be the efficiency and higher the standard of the school; and we recommend that the present rules and orders of the school be reconsidered; and we think that the selection of fit and proper persons as master and usher would be extremely limited, unless the master be allowed to take more boarders than 10, as at present sanctioned by the statutes.
We are bound to add, that there was not an unanimity of opinion amongst the visitors as to the supply of candidates for the school from that class of society by which we believe the court would wish to see it filled, as it was stated by some of them that at the neighbouring school of North Walsham (even with a good master), the numbers, from some cause or other, had dwindled from a hundred to about one dozen boys. This we have heard attributed to the indiscriminate introduction into the school of boys of all classes.
We feel much satisfaction in thinking that we have a very efficient visitor in the Rev. E. Brummell, the rector of Holt, who feels a strong interest in the school, and whose attainments in mathematics and the classics peculiarly qualify him for the examination of the scholars, which he chiefly conducted on the present occasion.
In conclusion, we would assure the court that we have devoted our best attention to the objects of our visitation, and recommended a course which, in our judgment, while it is best adapted to meet the requirements of the case, would also reflect the greatest credit on the governors, and we trust that the court will consider the matter in that spirit of liberality which characterises the proceedings of the Fishmongers' Company.
That such gratuities and yearly annuity be from time to time carried to the debit of the school and trust accounts, but that the trust account be afterwards credited with the amounts, and that the same be placed to the debit of the Company's "general account."
The committee having, agreeably to the directions of the court, taken into consideration the remainder of the report of the late deputation, beg to refer to their minutes of the 16th inst., as to several recommendations upon certain masters contained in such report. As to the larger question relating to the school itself, the committee had hoped that an experiment might have been made with a new master, retaining the buildings in their present state, thereby ascertaining whether the educational demands of the neighbourhood were such as to justify the Company in incurring such large expense as the rebuilding of the master's house and school would demand; but the deputation report that these buildings are in such a defective state as to render the experiment wholly impossible. This being the case, your committee inquired anxiously of the gentlemen forming the deputation whether they had made inquiry of the inhabitants of Holt, as well as of the visitors, as to the wants of the town as well as neighbourhood, of such a school as would be established with a new master and new buildings. It appears that such inquiry was made, and that an anxiety was expressed, both by the inhabitants and the visitors, that the Company would supply the want which they said certainly does exist.
Upon reference to specifications and plans for a new schoolroom, made in 1850, the committee find that the estimate for a new schoolroom was 500l.; and in referring to Mr. Suter as to the cost of a master's residence, with accommodation for 20 boarders, and the alteration of ground consequent upon both, his opinion is that the expenditure of at least 5,000l. would be incurred to complete these works.
The committee, in the event of the court determining upon erecting a new building, beg to recommend the suggestion of the deputation, viz., that the Company should advance the necessary funds, without interest to the trust, to be repaid as the funds of the trust will permit.
The commitee beg to state the above facts to the court; but as so large a sum is involved in the ultimate decision of this question, they think that it ought to be for the court at large to determine, rather than any small section of their body.
In order to adjust the present state of the trust account, the committee recommend that the account be credited with the charge made for members attending committees since August 1836, and that in future such charge be not carried to the debit of the trust.
The committee also submit to the consideration of the court, that, in the event of the school premises being entirely rebuilt, the cottages now standing to the south thereof, which were purchased by the Company, and for which a sum of 508l. 19s. 5¼d. was due to the Company at Christmas last, would have to be taken down, and consequently that sum would have to be written off to the debit of the Company.
The Statutes and Orders of the Free Grammar School, founded by Sir John Gresham, Knight, at Holt, in the county of Norfolk,
made and ordained by the Court of Assistants of the Worshipful Company of Fishmongers of the City of London, Governors of the said School, the 2nd day of August 1858; and consented to and approved by the Hon. and Right Reverend the Lord Bishop of Norwich, the 8th day of September 1858.
The statutes and orders of the Free Grammar School, founded by Sir John Gresham, knight, at Holt, in the county of Norfolk, in the year 1554, were revised by the governors and sanctioned by the Hon. and Right Reverend the Lord Bishop of Norwich, 8th September 1858.
|Edward Edwards, Esq.||Assistants.|
|William Flexman Vowler, Esq.|
|John Towgood, Esq.|
|James Weston, Esq.|
|Samuel Smith, Esq.|
Section I. Of the Scholars.
They shall be called Sir John Gresham's scholars, and shall be instructed, free of expense, in reading, writing, arithmetic, English grammar, history, geography, and latin; and at the discretion of the master, in mathematics, geometry, and Greek.
Scholars (being of the age of 7 years or upwards, and able to read) shall from time to time, as vacancies occur, be admitted by order of the governors, or by the master, with the approbation in writing of at least two of the visitors, the master in the latter case being satisfied as to the eligibility of the scholar; and a scholar may in like manner be dismissed from the school.
The name and age of each free scholar, and the names of the visitors with whose approbation he is admitted, together with the dates of his admission and final departure from the school, shall be registered in a book to be kept for that purpose by the master, or by the usher under his direction.
Every scholar at his admission shall be accompanied by a parent or friend, who shall pay to the master 1s. for entering such scholar's name in the register, and shall sign an engagement that the scholar shall not be detained from school except on account of sickness, nor removed without one calendar month's notice in writing being given to the master, and that he shall attend at the school, clean in his person and neatly clothed, at the appointed hours, viz., from 9 to 12 in the forenoon, and from 2 to half-past 4 in the afternoon; (fn. 2) or at such other hours as the governors may from time to time order and direct.
One week at Easter, Five weeks at Midsummer, One week at Michaelmas, Five weeks at Christmas, And every Wednesday and Saturday afternoons. (fn. 2)
For the encouragement of the scholars, the governors have founded an exhibition of 20l. per annum, to be held (subject to conditions) for four years by a free scholar removing from the school to any university of the United Kingdom, upon proper certificates and good recommendation of the visitors and the master. (fn. 3)
Section II. Of the Master.
Upon any vacancy of the mastership, every candidate, before his name be put on the balloting list, shall produce satisfactory certificates of his qualifications for the office, and shall engage, in writing, to sign (if elected) a bond, in which the terms of his appointment to the office shall be expressed, and by which he shall bind himself to resign the same whenever called upon by the governors so to do.
The master shall have the superintendence and management of the school; direct the usher in, and take care that he performs his several duties. He shall appoint the books to be read in the different classes, and personally instruct the scholars, more especially the higher classes, in Latin, Greek, mathematics, and geometry; he shall read prayers once a day in the school, or cause them to be read by the usher; during school hours he shall constantly wear a gown, to be provided by the governors; and shall not be absent from his duties except on urgent occasions.
He shall be allowed 15s. per annum for each of the free scholars, for which he shall provide writing books, pens, ink, and paper for their use. He shall also be allowed the sums of 10s., 15s., 20., 25s., and 30s., annually, for each boy in the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th Latin classes respectively.
Section III. Of the Usher.
He shall teach reading, writing, arithmetic, geography, history, and English grammar, and be qualified to assist, if necessary, in the instruction of the lower classes in Latin, under the direction of the master; be shall direct the opening, shutting, and cleansing of the school, and not be absent from his duties without leave of the master.
He shall be allowed a salary of 110l. (fn. 4) per annum, providing his own board and lodging.
Section IV. Of the Visitors.
There shall be an examination of the free scholars publicly in the school immediately before the Midsummer and Christmas vacations respectively, in the presence of the visitors; on which occasions the statutes shall be audibly read by the master.
The master shall give to the visitors 10 days' notice of the day appointed for each examination; and notice thereof shall be put upon the church door on the preceding Sunday by the parish clerk, who shall receive 2s. 6d. for his trouble.
The visitors shall certify the number and names of the free scholars, the dates of their admissions, and the names of the visitors with whose approbation they were admitted, distinguishing their several classes and the books read by each scholar; and shall report generally on the state of the school, which report is to be transmitted by the master to the governors.
A Catalogue of Books given to the Library of the Free Grammar School at Holt, in the County of Norfolk, by the Worshipful Company of Fishmongers, London, Governors of the said school, founded by Sir John Gresham, Knt.
An Account of the Re-opening of the Gresham Free Grammar School, at Holt, Norfolk, on the 3rd of November 1858; including the Address delivered by Thomas Boddington, Esq., Prime Warden of the Fishmongers' Company; with Extracts from the Report of the Deputation appointed by the Court of the 2nd August 1858; also, an Account of the Proceedings on that occasion, collected from the "Norwich Mercury," the "Norfolk News," and "Norfolk Chronicle"; followed by a Biographical Sketch of Sir John Gresham, Knt., Founder of the School.
In pursuance of the above order, the deputation, consisting of Thomas Boddington, Esq., Prime Warden, William Edwards, Esq., Second Warden, Joseph Underwood, Esq., Renter-Warden, and John Towgood, Gilbert W. Mackmurdo, James Spicer, George Moore, and Sidney Gurney, Esqrs., Assistants, accompanied by Mr. W. B. Towse, and Mr. Suter, assembled in Holt, on Tuesday, the 2nd November.
The room is 57 feet long, by 20 feet wide, and 18 feet high, and Mr. Suter seems to have carefully studied the important matters of light and ventilation, whilst the exterior of the building, which is constructed of red and black brick (although at present but a wing of the old building), presents a pleasing feature, and promises to be a great improvement to that part of the town of Holt. The room is divided by a partition with folding doors, so arranged as to unite the advantage of two separate class rooms, and on occasions to enable the whole interior to be thrown into one. Two bookcases at the west end of the room have been made for the valuable Greek and Latin books presented by the Company in 1729, and for the small library of English works presented in 1844, as well as for other books which may be added to the collection. Between the east end of the school and the barn a playground has been formed, the north side thereof being appropriated to a play shed, a washing place, and other conveniences for the master and the scholars. The ground however, being very confined, directions were given to the Rev. C. A. Elton to have the small meadow immediately connected with the playground levelled and appropriated as a cricket ground for the recreation of the scholars.
Invitations (in pursuance of the orders given by the committee of the 27th of September last to the Prime warden and renter-warden) were sent to the visitors of the school and to the Honourable and Right Reverend the Lord Bishop of Norwich, to the Marquis of Lothian, Earl of Orford, Earl of Leicester, Lord Hastings, and Lord Sondes, also to the Dean of Norwich, and several Clergymen, noblemen, and gentlemen of influence, resident at Holt and its neighbourhood, to meet the deputation in Holt. The Bishop of Norwich and Lord Hastings were prevented attending in consequence of illness; and from different causes many others were unable to be present.
It having been arranged that the re-opening of the school should be celebrated, first, by an attendance in Holt church, as on the occasion of the appointment of the late master, the Rev. Benjamin Pulleyne, in 1809, application was made to the rector, the Rev. E. Brumell, to read the afternoon prayers, and afterwards to give a short address upon the interesting event. That gentleman, however, being but recently married, was unavoidably absent, and the Rev. J. Bulwer, of Hunworth, one of the visitors of the school, kindly undertook to perform the duties.
Most of the visitors assembled in the church about twelve o'clock, when prayers were read and an appropriate discourse delivered by the Rev. J. Bulwer, taking his text from the fourteenth chapter of Proverbs and the thirteenth verse. The deputation walked from the school to the church in their livery gowns, preceded by two mace-bearers, the Company's beadle, the clerk, the Rev. J. Bulwer, and the chaplain to St. Peter's Hospital (the Rev. G. W. Cockerell), and, after service, returned in the like manner to the school.
About two o'clock the guests invited on the occasion assembled in the schoolroom, to partake of a cold collation, laid on long tables down each side and across the top and bottom of the room. The walls had been decorated the day before with festoons of evergreens, mixed with flowers, and hung with various flags, including the banner of the Gresham family, and at each end of the room that of the Fishmongers' Company, the whole producing a lively and agreeable effect.
After the substantial part of the déjeûner was over, the prime warden gave the health of Her Majesty, after which that of the Bishop of Norwich, regretting the unavoidable absence of his Lordship, expressed in a note, which he read to the company. The prime warden then addressed the meeting on the subject of the school, and introduced the newly elected master, the Rev. C. A. Elton. Several other toasts were afterwards given by the prime warden. The whole of the proceedings of the day are reported in the "Norwich Mercury," and other Norfolk papers of the 6th instant.
The entertainment seemed to give great satisfaction. Dr. Buck, the celebrated organist of Norwich Cathedral, feeling deeply the kindness done to him by the governors in partly educating his nephew (now the Rev. F. Buck) in Holt school, and afterwards granting him an exhibition of 20l. per annum, which he has lately resigned, requested that his nephew, as well as himself, might be present on the occasion.
An invitation having accordingly been sent, he attended, bringing with him a pianist, and three choristers of his cathedral, who first sang in the church, and added much to the enjoyment of the day by singing some admirable glees and songs after the repast. He also presented to each guest a small printed book of the musical performance during the entertainment.
On the following morning, the deputation (with the exception of George Moore and Sidney Gurney, Esqrs., who were obliged to leave Holt) attended in the schoolroom, to receive (in pursuance of notice given) the applications from parents for the admission of their children into the school. The deputation, having first agreed to the form of a document for parents to sign on the admission of their sons into the school, by which they agreed to conform to the statutes as lately revised, examined a report submitted by the master, the Rev. C. A. Elton, as to the circumstances and respectability of the candidates, and as to their educational wants and future prospects.
As the candidates appeared before the deputation, the prime warden informed them that their applications and references had been duly considered (together with those of every candidate submitted to them), and that the nomination should be announced at the end of the meeting, upon which they retired in succession.
The whole list of candidates having been gone through and considered, the deputation decided upon electing 34 scholars, who, with their parents or friends, were then called in, and addressed by the prime warden.
The deputation conclude their report by praying that the step taken by the Company, in building a new schoolroom, and in the selection of a new master, may prove as conducive to the benefit of the future scholars of Sir John Gresham's school, as every one connected with its future prosperity seemed to expect, and as the governors can desire, and by strongly recommending to the consideration of the court the completion of the building as soon as it may be deemed reasonable to carry it out.
The interest created by the revival of the Gresham Free Grammar School was evident by the notice taken of the looked-for occurrence by the local papers. The following appeared in the "Norfolk News" of Oct. 30:—
"We are glad to learn that the ancient Free Grammar School in this town, founded by Sir John Gresham, is about to be re-opened, and that it is arranged for a deputation of the governors—the Worshipful Company of Fishmongers of the City of London—to come down on Wednesday, the 3rd of November, to open the schoolroom, which has recently been rebuilt, and to introduce the newly appointed master. The gentleman selected is the Rev. Charles Allen Elton, late Lecturer and Fellow of Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, where he obtained a high position in the mathematical Tripos. He is well known as a distinguished scholar, and has been chosen on more than one occasion by the master and fellows of his college to examine the cathedral school at Gloucester. Mr. Elton, we understand, has recently been residing at Willingham, in Cambridgeshire, where he officiated for upwards of six years as curate, with full charge of that important parish, and where, from his devotion to his clerical duties, and the ability and address exhibited in school management, he gained the general respect and affection of his parishioners. We hope we may accept as an auspicious augury of the success of the Holt school the appointment of the present master, who is well known to have given much of his time and energies to the theory and practice of education. From all that we can learn there is every ground for confidence that the re-establishof the school under such auspices will be beneficial not only to the town of Holt and its neighbourhood, but to the county generally."
Three hundred years ago Sir John Gresham founded in this town a Free Grammar School, and endowed it with certain property to be held in trust by "the Wardens and "Commonalty of the Mystery of Fishmongers" in London. The school has educated 50 boys at a time, chosen from the town and neighbourhood, besides others not on the foundation, but taken as boarders by the master. The structure is Elizabethan, and afforded accommodation not only for the school, but also for the master's residence. At Christmas last the Rev. Benjamin Pulleyne, who had presided over the establishment for nearly 50 years, tendered his resignation in consequence of his advanced age and his increasing desire to be more closely united with his parishioners at Weybourne. The rev. gentleman's withdrawal was of course accepted, but not without regret, for few who have occupied a position of such responsibility have discharged their duties with so much satisfaction, and have, on surrendering office, carried with them a more sincere respect and esteem than is entertained for Mr. Pulleyne by those who, as youths, received their education under his care and direction. Mr. Pulleyne's resignation was deemed by the Worshipful Company of Fishmongers a fitting opportunity for imparting fresh vigour to the institution by the erection of a new and more commodious schoolroom, and the election of a younger and consequently a more active master. The old school-house, which bore marks of the destroying hand of time, could not be properly repaired or extended so as to suit the exigencies or requirements of the present day; and a new room has therefore been built on a plan furnished by Richard Suter, Esq., of London, who has on other occasions acted as the Company's architect.
The new schoolroom is erected on the left-hand side of the old building, and abuts upon the road leading to the parish church. The contrast between the new and the old structures is as marked as it well could be, the deep red colour of the brickwork throwing the dirty gray of its plaster-covered companion completely in the shade, and presenting anything but an agreeable and harmonious who'e. It is, however, we believe, the intention of the Company hereafter to confirm their right to be remembered with gratitude in Holt, by a residence which shall render the work complete, and worthy the founder and renovators. The interior of the school is spacious and lofty, and calculated to afford accommodation for a large number of scholars. It is an oblong room, 57 feet long, by 20 feet in width, and 18 feet high, lighted by several lofty windows. An apparatus is fixed by which abundant ventilation may be obtained. For several feet from the ground the sides of the room are boarded with stained pine, having a flat panelled ceiling of the same material, with provision for dormitories over the school, if required. Upon the walls are tablets emblazoned with the arms of the Fishmongers' Company, and bearing the names of the deputations who have visited the school at various periods since its foundation. The new building, which is about twice the size of the original structure, is of red and black brick, in the style of the period in which the whole was erected; and we think that the governors have shown good taste in restoring the school very nearly to the form in which the trust was originally committed to them by Sir John Gresham. The style has been carried out plain, but not niggardly, and the few parts which may be thought to claim any attention, would, we think, bear comparison—as far as they go—with similar features in the several superior examples of brick Tudor buildings with which our own and the neighbouring county of Suffolk so richly abound.
The inaguration or reinvigoration of a school in a district like that of Holt, and particularly at a time when the feeling for an enlarged system is so universally prevalent, would naturally be a matter of considerable interest to all who have been scholars or who have children to educate. The great name of the founder of this school, and its connexion with a Company, whose liberality and wealth are equally known, would also create a further interest in the neighbourhood and in the town, since to both the quality of the education, as well as the mode by which access to the school was to be obtained, was of considerable importance. In this case the Worshipful Company of Fishmongers apparently have placed the school on a liberal foundation, while they have guarded the selection of free scholars by very proper, yet not stringent, restrictions. Fifty are to be the number of free scholars; they can be admitted from seven, as vacancies occur, by order of the governors, or by the master, with the approbation in writing of at least two of the visitors, who are selected from the nobility, clergy, and gentry of the neighbourhood, and who may therefore be supposed to have competent means of knowing the character of the parties who may apply. The hours of school are from nine to twelve, and from two to four; the holidays are one week at Easter, five weeks at Midsummer, one week at Michaelmas, five weeks at Christmas, and every Saturday afternoon. An exhibition of 20l. a year can be held for four years by a free scholar removing from the school to any university upon proper certificates from the master and the visitors. The governors pay two thirds of the cost of all books (except writing-books), the free scholars paying the remainder.
The master is to be elected every second year, and to engage in a bond, in which the terms of his appointment are expressed, to resign whenever called upon by the governors so to do. He is to take no cure without leave, and his salary is 200l. per annum, and a further sum in case a residence be not provided for him. He is allowed 15s. per annum for each free scholar, he providing writingbooks, pens, ink, and paper; and he is also to be allowed 10s., 15s., 20s., 25s., and 30s. annually for each boy in the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th Latin classes respectively. He has the privilege of taking 10 boarders, or such other number as the governors may see fit; and seven tons of coals are allowed annually for the use of the school.
The usher's salary is 80l. An examination is to take place before the visitors at Midsummer and Christmas, of which notice is to be given on the church door the preceding Sunday. The visitors to report generally on the state of the school.
Such are in brief the outlines of the statutes of the school, which the prime warden of this company, Thomas Boddington, Esq., and a number of its members, opened on Wednesday, first by divine service, and immediately after by a déjeûner in the newly-erected schoolroom.
The prime warden and the members of the deputation, accompanied by the clerk of the Company, attended at the school-house, where, having robed, they proceeded to church, preceded by their mace-bearers, officials, and chaplain, and took their seats at the entrance of the chancel. The service commenced by an anthem, sung, without accompaniment, by four of the cathedral choristers in a manner that did them much credit, although the effect of Mendelssohn's music was greatly marred by the want of the organ. Prayers were read by the Rev. J. Bulwer, in the absence of the Rev. E. Brumell, the rector. The sermon was preached from the 4th chapter of Proverbs, 13th verse—"Take fast hold of instruction; let her not go; keep her; for she is thy life." The rev. preacher said it was his intention to take a short general view of education, as it affected man's position in this and the future life. It was a trite illustration which likened the mind of man to the soil he was appointed to cultivate. "Man's nature," said the great Lord Bacon, "runs either to herbs or weeds; therefore let him seasonably water the one and destroy the other." If the soil were neglected it became a rank and foul mass, overrun with noxious and offensive weeds, and the abode of hurtful reptiles; but if cultivated with care, and prepared to receive and extract the blessings of heaven, it presented a prospect grateful to the senses, and fertile in whatever was good and useful. Just so if the human mind were left to itself, without direction or control, the reason lay in darkness, the appetites and passions became inflamed, and evil habits became permanent, until at length wickedness tyrannised over the whole man, and he became lost both with regard to this and the future world. But if early and wholesome instruction were given, if the young mind were taught to value the objects on which true happiness depended, and to thirst after knowledge, thence would proceed the dutiful and affectionate child, the useful member of society, and the hopeful candidate for a happier estate hereafter. Looking at instruction as regarded the understanding, there was nothing which more strongly impressed the mind of the thinking man than the prodigious contrast between the lowest state of uneducated nature, and the highest state of mental culture or civilization. The untutored savage, ignorant of nature and the use of everything around him, roamed the shore or the woods in search of whatever accident might present to his wants. He might succeed, and, having satisfied the cravings of hunger, he sank into a state of torpor, until, once more aroused by the wants of nature, he again sought for the means of satisfying them, and if they could not be found, even his poor life could not be saved. Such had been the state of existence on both the continents of America, and in other regions of the globe, where life had been without enjoyment, and existence a burden. But of what was man capable? In the gradual progress of society, from the humblest beginnings, observation grew on observation, the aged communicated knowledge to the young, one generation helped the next, and as circumstances occurred, the reason was strengthened, new combinations arose and experience put them to use, the mind learnt to reflect on what passed without, the likeness of one state of things to another taught men to foresee the future, and thus gradually man became a highly intellectual creature. As the principles and uses of things were from time to time discovered, the blessings of earth, air, fire, and water were extracted, nature was made to bestow her treasures on all that lived, and things of beauty and perfection gladdened the heart of man; cities were built, ports were opened, commerce connected distant lands, and the knowledge, as well as the products of nations, were mutually interchanged; hence, arts and science arose, knowledge begat knowledge, the human mind became enlarged, man became a wonder in his attainments to himself, and his achievements raised his nature, and reflected glory on his Maker. Herein the wisdom of God seemed more admirable than if man had been at once formed in the full vigour of his faculties. But man was not furnished with reason and understanding alone. There were also implanted in his nature, and for the wisest and best purposes, affections and passions. All were conscious of desires or dislikes, of gratitude or resentment, of self-love or sympathy, of approving or disapproving tendencies, and of the more intense feelings of joy or sorrow, friendship or hatred, admiration or depreciation. These things gave energy and effect to human life, but, permitted to become unruly, to operate as mere impulses that sway the mind, every evil that rendered an individual wretched and disturbed society, arose uncontrolled. Here instruction, the dictates of wisdom, the lessons of a well-conducted education, converted into blessings those lively affections which, if not controlled by education, and not directed by religious and virtuous motives, impelled all the excesses that poisoned human happiness. When the motive was good, when the object to be gained was praiseworthy, then these lively feelings, this warmth of heart, rising to virtuous enthusiasm, gave energy to those worthy exertions in the cause of benevolence, both public and private, which seemed to ennoble our nature; but when reason and religion were not the guides, when ambition, vanity, avarice, or other selfish passions ruled the heart, then were to be noted the fatal consequences on families, communities, and nations. We had heard of tremendous examples in our own time in the various revolutions on the continent, and the troubles of more distant lands, where the bonds of society were broken, the domestic ties violated, public institutions demolished, the wise, the good, and the moderate sacrificed to ambition, and vice inflamed into madness. We, thank God! had been preserved from these calamities, our public or private institutions had given instruction to every class, and taught us to value the blessings we enjoyed. Wholesome instruction had been early imbibed, we had been taught what miseries followed in the end of the tyranny of our passions, what happy effects followed from the direction of our affections to worthy purposes; and when we at the same time had been so guided by precept and example as to feel in our own conduct the blessing of instruction, the whole course of life took its tone and colour from such guidance, and our friends in society, as well as ourselves, reaped the substantial and lasting benefits of it. Even with respect to the present life, were we so devoid of reason, independently of revelation, as to consider it our only portion, even then instruction would be a blessing. But when an educated man had been taught the higher lessons of revelation, then truly instruction, as the text declared, became life indeed, and the lessons of the Bible sowed the seeds of eternal life. Having dwelt upon the blessings of religious instruction, the rev. preacher went on to observe, that those who were in the possession of education, should the more earnestly desire it for those who needed it, and whom Providence had made the objects of their care. There was abundant testimony as to the opinions of the most enlightened characters in England on this great question; and whatever difference of opinion might prevail on minor points among those who were benevolently carrying out the important work—thanks to their efforts thousands were from day to day growing in useful knowledge, religion, piety, and virtue. He did not address any one present who thought that a humble position in life ought to be denied a better education, lest it should tend to make them scorn their proper duties, and thus render them bad members of the community. Unless indifference to religion and morals were instilled, instead of the pure principles of Christianity, that could not happen. In every human breast God had implanted, in some degree, the seeds of every talent and every virtue, and they were met that day to ask God's blessing on efforts to expand the blossom and produce the fruit for the benefit of society and the glory of the Almighty. Might God grant to this school His abundant blessing; might He direct and guide the minds of those who set over it to that course which should most conduce to the benefit here and hereafter of those committed to their charge; and might all who were privileged to attend this school be esteemed for their virtues as well as for their endowments; and, after a useful and Christian life, he made happy with Christ in the glory of his heavenly name!
At each end a purple banner displayed the arms of the Company, bearing the Company's motto, "All worship be to God only;" the walls were festooned with flowers and evergreens, and numberless flags and banners formed a gay canopy above the heads of the company.
|John Towgood, Esq.||Assistants.|
|G. W. Mackmurdo, Esq.|
|James Spicer, Esq.|
|Geo. Moore, Esq.|
|Sidney Gurney, Esq.|
The Lord Bishop, the Very Rev. the Dean, the Marquis of Lothian, Earl of Orford, Earl of Leicester, Lord Hastings, and Lord Sondes, Sir John Boileau, Bt., J. Scott Chad, Esq., Col. Fitzroy, Gurney Hoare, Esq., and othe gentlemen of the county were invited, but were unable to be present. Masters Smith, Mann, and Baldry were in attendance, and sang some choice selections during the evening to the evident gratification of the company.
The déjeûner comprised all that the good taste of this celebrated Company could suggest or procure, and the wines, which were brought down expressly from their own cellars, were of the very finest quality. The substantials were provided by Mr. Parke, of the Feathers, and were first rate, while the arrangement and attention did both himself and his establishment great credit.
The prime warden presided, and was supported on the right by Sir Willoughby Jones, Bart., and on his left by the Rev. J. Bulwer. When this large company was seated, the appearance of the school was exceedingly brilliant.
The Prime Warden first proposed "The health of the Queen," a sovereign who not only possessed the entire confidence and the sincerest affections of her people, but who also claimed the admiration and esteem of the world. She had already reigned many years over us, and he would express the hope that her reign might be prolonged for many years to come, and insure to us a continuance of those blessings of peace and of liberty which we had hitherto enjoyed.
The Prime Warden said—Before he had the honour of addressing them on the subject of their meeting to-day, he must express the regret of the deputation at the absence of the Bishop of Norwich, which they regretted the more, as his lordship, to whom the statutes of the school had been submitted for his sanction and approval, had been willing to show great interest in the success of the foundation. He knew he was speaking the sentiments of all present when he said that no bishop ever entered more thoroughly into the interests of his diocese, or considered with more zeal, care, and solicitude the position as well as the wants and requirements of the various churches under his charge than the present Bishop of Norwich. (Hear, hear.) He trusted that health and strength would be given to his lordship equal to the vigour of his desire to promote in all things the glory of God, and to fulfil those arduous duties which attached to his sacred office. (Hear.) In the absence of his lordship, which they all regretted exceedingly, he begged to propose his health, and he begged to couple with that toast the name of the Rev. J. Lee Warner. (Applause.) Before he sat down, it might be satisfactory to the meeting to hear him read a note which the bishop had been pleased to address to the deputation. It was dated from the Palace, October the 27th. In it his lordship said—"I beg to acknowledge your kind letter accompanying a copy of the revised statutes of the Holt School. I much regret that my engagements will not allow me to meet you at Holt on the 3rd of November. I should have been truly glad to have been present on so interesting an occasion. I trust that it may please God to prosper the efforts made by your honourable Company to make this grammar school a sound and an efficient means of education in the town and neighbourhood of Holt." (Applause.)
The Rev. J. Lee Warner, in responding, said, when he entered this noble room and looked round under the evergreens and flowers with which it was so tastefully decorated he imagined that he noted the absence of his very worthy friend, the rector of this parish. The occasion of that absence was shortly afterwards hinted to him, and it was to that circumstance that he believed he was indebted for the honour of being called upon to address the company on this occasion. With respect to the absence of their friend, all he could say was, that he wished him a pleasant excursion and a speedy and safe return—(hear, hear)—and he was sure that his friend would have performed the task which now devolved upon him (Mr. Lee Warner) much better than he could expect to do. With respect to the bishop of this diocese, he was so well known to them all, and so justly valued, that he was sure it would be unnecessary for him to say anything in his behalf, saving and excepting, that he, in common with the clergy, felt, and must necessarily feel, proud of the honour done to him on this occasion, and of the terms in which the prime warden had introduced the toast. With respect to the clergy generally, he thought he might say, without arrogance, that they were the friends of education. (Hear, hear.) If he were called upon to produce proof of that assertion, he would appeal to the list of subscriptions to any national school in this kingdom. (Applause.) The clergy were undoubtedly the friends of education. They did not, of course, arrogate this title exclusively to themselves; on the contrary, they rejoiced to think that the cause of education was being extended and promoted in every way. It had been mentioned to him, and if he were wrong there were those here who were able to contradict him, that the wish of the patrons and supporters of this school was to throw the doors of education as widely open as possible—in fact, to open them a little wider than they had hitherto been opened. (Hear, hear.) He confessed that he was of those who rejoiced in this. (Hear, hear.) They had been very properly reminded, in the admirable discourse they had heard this morning, that they were working to educate men for eternity. (Hear.) Strange, then, would it be if they did not rejoice in every opportunity of beginning the education of those immortal beings as early as they could obtain them; for this life was the portal to eternity. (Hear, hear.) He believed there was on this point some little difference of opinion, but he was going to say that he rejoiced that the doors of education were thrown open, and about to be thrown open more than ever, to their dissenting brethren. (Hear, hear.) It was the case in the universities, and he had been told that it was likely to be the case here. (Applause.) When he looked back to the founders of this school, he looked to Sir John Gresham, and the times in which he lived. He knew that the statutes of many of these schools were based on rather a restricted foundation, but he imagined that it was the privilege of posterity to supplement the good deeds of their worthy ancestors—(hear, hear)—and had Sir John Gresham lived in the present day, he imagined he would have thrown his school open to every Englishman. (Applause.) They were all assembled here by the invitation of a guild of the city of London, which dated (he believed) from the days of Edward III. Now, if Sir John Gresham had lived in those days, instead of being the munificent founder of everything great as connected with the trade and commerce of his native city, we should have seen him walking about in a suit of chain armour, and dreaming of the fields of Cressy and Poictiers, while we should have seen those arts which had now raised our country to the highest pinnacle of glory thrown in the shade and background by the warlike spirit of those early times. (Hear, hear.) Therefore, he said, Sir John Gresham was a man far in advance of that period, and that it was our duty in the present day to carry on the institutions of our country and advance them so as to render them as universally beneficial as it was possible for them to be. (Applause.) The rev. gentleman concluded by again thanking the meeting for the honour done to the bishop and clergy of the diocese.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The deputation of the Fishmongers' Company feel highly gratified in meeting you here to-day, and I beg to thank you for so numerous and influential an attendance on this occasion, one of great interest, not only to the governors of this school and to the town of Holt, but to the county in general, as it has for its object the promotion of education—a subject which now occupies so much the thought and wisdom of the country. (Hear, hear.) I need scarcely tell you that this ancient school was founded in the reign of Philip and Mary, in the year 1554, by Sir John Gresham, Knight, citizen and alderman of London. The name of Gresham is handed down to us as an ornament to the commerce and enterprise of England—one of which this county, as well as London, may be well proud, as so eminently connected with acts of munificent charity and foundations of religious and practical education—a name reminding us of the ancient prince-merchants of Florence, with this difference, that I doubt whether Italy can boast of liberal and philanthropic institutions founded by the Medici, such as in this country bear the name of Gresham. (Cheers.) Although, when abroad, we stand in admiration before the central establishments raised by regal power for public and philanthropic purposes, we are not the less proud of those innumerable proofs of individual energy at home, exemplified in the educational and charitable institutions—nowhere more numerous than in this county—and which are inscribed as "supported by voluntary contributions." I trust such institutions will long exist amongst us, stand upon their own merits alone, and continue to be supported on religious and constitutional principles, according to the free wisdom and discretion of their benevolent patrons. (Applause.) It is the boast of England that we have not waited until now for compulsory measures of state to rouse our sympathy on behalf of the poor and the uninstructed, or to enforce on us the duty of every one to take by the hand the children of the destitute, and to reform the vicious; but we have, on that characteristic and wholesome principle of local self-government and self-assistance, ever been voluntary labourers in the great cause of general education in this country. It must be remembered that, at the period of the foundation of this school, education was but glimmering in the horizon, and but in its dawn, when compared with the height it has now reached, and the blaze of light it now throws into the dwellings of our remotest villages, and into the darkest corners of our manufacturing towns, formerly so corrupt with ignorance and vice. It may be interesting to you to know that on this very spot, where, upwards of three centuries ago, stood the old manor house of Holt market, supposed to have been originally built about 1483, in the reign of Richard III. (but since reconstructed), lived John Gresham, of that ancient family who derived their name from the village in this neighbourhood, father of Sir John Gresham, founder of this school. You will find in Mr. Burgon's interesting "Life and Times of Sir Thomas Gresham," that Sir John Gresham was born in this house. He afterwards bought the family mansion of his brother, William Gresham, in 1546, and in 1554 he converted it into the present Free Grammar School for the inhabitants of Holt and the whole neighbouring county, and endowed it in 1556 with the manor of Holt Pereers and a grove called Prior's Grove, and other property, together with certain freehold estates in the City of London, to be held in trust and managed by the wardens and commonalty of the "Mistery" of Fishmongers of London: the total rental of these now amounts to about 450l. a year. It will perhaps be as well to inform those who have not seen the account of the Fishmongers' trusts, published in the report of the Commissioners of Charities, wherein the expenditure is shown to surpass the income derived from the estate, that, although every part of that income is devoted to the sole objects of the trust, the governors have been obliged to make advances out of the funds of the Company to meet the necessary expenses, without any participation whatsoever in the benefit of this school by themselves or by the children of their own freemen. (Great applause.) Three centuries have passed since that time, and many masters, as you may imagine, have succeeded each other in teaching rising generations in this school. It is not known who was the first master of the school, but Christopher Williams was master in 1594, and from that period 20, I believe, are counted to the present time, none, however, of historical repute, excepting John Holmes, to whom a monument is erected in the church of Holt, and save one Thomas Cooper, who probably would have preferred not being an exception, as he was so unlucky as to be hung before the school door, during the civil wars, for his adherence to Charles 1. (Laughter.) To see the vestiges of so old a building about to pass away, and to be replaced by a new structure, however much in the character of a remote period, is a painful sight to the lover of typographical antiquity. The arms of the Greshams, and those of the Fishmongers' Company, are still over the arched doorway; but the altered state of the building, and the modernised and patched-up interior, scarcely speak of the real antiquity of the foundation. Such as it is, however, with its gray walls, with its moss, with its time stains, it finds itself in its old age out of place next to the newly erected schoolroom, and with a good grace sooner or later must yield to its successor; and when it shall have disappeared altogether, probably many an aged inhabitant of this town will regret the absence of the familiar old school front, and the substitution of a modern structure. (Cheers.) When the building arrived at the period of its natural decay, it became a matter of consideration with the governors how far its reconstruction, and the appointment of a young and energetic master, would ensure the full benefit of the objects of the trust; and the income of the endowed estate being, as I told you, unequal to meet such an expenditure, it was decided to advance the necessary funds to rebuild the schoolroom alone, leaving the completion of the remainder of the building to depend upon the position of importance and usefulness the school might attain in future. (Hear, hear.) It is not to be forgotten, that, at the period of the foundation of this school, no national free school existed at Holt, as at present, and that probably this foundation offered the only opportunity of instruction for the inhabitants. Considering, therefore, that such effective elementary instruction, based upon popular and systematic principles, is now offered by the free schools of Holt and the neighbourhood, the governors are desirous of raising this school to a more advanced standard of education, and the late revision of the statutes has been made with the object of obtaining that end, and restoring the school to what was probably the intention of the founder. (Cheers.) It has been thought desirable that the selection of scholars be made as far as possible from that class to whom, from their position and probable future calling, such education would be suitable and advantageous; for it is evident that the talents of a master such as the one recently appointed would be thrown away in imparting the mere rudiments of primary instruction so admirably taught in national schools. With such an object in view, the choice of a master has occupied the closest attention of the governors, and the election has not been the result of private interest or party influence, but has been dictated by the degree of excellence and qualifications of the numerous candidates who sought for the mastership of Holt School, advertised for public competition. (Cheers.) And here I must be permitted to express a hope that parents whose children enter this school will appreciate the value of what is now offered them, and I especially trust that boys will not be taken away before the needful time has been allowed them for the full development of the benefits of a sufficient course of study; for nothing is more distressing to a master, more injurious to success, than that children, reared to a certain point with so much care in the principles of religion, habits of industrious application, and, above all, in that knowledge of God which alone is understanding, should be prematurely stopped in their course, and taken away, too often on vague pleas of usefulness at home. Although, fortunately, not applicable in this case, I cannot help alluding to those poor children, who, in crowded cities, are taken away too soon from all moral training, and thrown into mental idleness and temptation, and too often exposed to contact with vice and to scenes of practical immorality, before which, still weak, still wavering at that early age, they lose all the good sown in the school, and we see vanish, one after the other, the wholesome impressions we had endeavoured to foster, the simple faith, the sensitive conscience, and that saving spirit of religion and virtue which we had hoped to establish. The interval between childhood and apprenticeship of the young is the most precarious period for the morality of this country, where, especially in factory districts, children are taken from the salutary discipline of the school to live in the overcrowded dwellings at home, in which there is no escaping the sight of injurious examples and the contamination of close habitations, in which both sexes are heaped together, and the frailties of human nature brought before their view. I have now the pleasure of introducing to you the newly elected master, the Rev. Charles Allen Elton, of Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, whose long and tried abilities and practical experience in teaching render him so eminently suited to the task. He enters upon his important situation under the auspices of the best wishes of all those who have known him for years past, not only as an active labourer in the vineyard, but as a vigilant guardian of the interests here and hereafter of the numerous parishioners confided to his charge. I need scarcely refer to his acquirements as a teacher or a scholar, which his position at Cambridge sufficiently testifies. He brings not only his heart, but his head and shoulder to the work, with an ardent desire, as well as hope of success. His exertions, I trust, will be assisted by all those present, and we sincerely hope that this ancient school of Holt will rise to that reputation which, in institutions such as this, the talents, the energy, and the popularity of the master can alone insure. (Great applause.)
The Rev. C. A. Elton, in returning thanks, said he was afraid, if he did not make a better schoolmaster than he was a speaker, the encomiums which the prime warden had passed upon him would have been somewhat misplaced. He could assure them that he considered it both a privilege and a pleasure to be called upon to respond to the good wishes of the friends of the Gresham Grammar School, who had so kindly expressed themselves in reference to its future usefulness and stability. He need not tell them that in the action of every new piece of machinery, let it be adjusted as nicely as it might, there must, at the outset, be a very considerable amount of friction to overcome. (Hear, hear.) From his own experience of schools and school matters, and especially of new schools, he must expect this law to prevail on the present occasion. He trusted, however, that, by bringing to his new duties a sincere desire to devote what faculties the Almighty had given him to the conscientious discharge of the duties he had undertaken, a blessing might rest upon his endeavours, and that they might result in a good issue to His glory. With regard to the education to be pursued in this school he had only to ask one thing, and that was, that parents who confided their boys to his charge would place them with him early, and continue them with him late, not only that they might derive the full benefit from their privileges as Gresham scholars, but that they might give that scheme of liberal and generous instruction, which he hoped would be pursued here, a fair chance. Thus, when the pupils were sent forth into the battle of life, to move in that groove for which Providence had destined them, they might not only leave this place as young men of cultivated minds, refined tastes, and humanised manners, from the training they had received, but, what was still more impor tant, that they might have fixed and rooted in them those good moral and religious principles, without which all instruction was nothing but a simple curse. (Hear and applause.) It was a legitimate ambition of the master to turn out good scholars—to the man who had been educated at Cambridge, perhaps, it was even a higher ambition to turn them out good reasoners—but to the man who, with the profession of a schoolmaster combined that of minister, there could be nothing higher than to train up, not only good scholars, but, above all, good Christians. (Applause.)
The Prime Warden, in proposing the next toast, said—"Having introduced to you the new master, the Rev. Charles A. Elton, who represents the rising hopes of this foundation, I cannot delay expressing the thanks of the Fishmongers' Company to the excellent and esteemed late master, the Rev. Benjamin Pulleyne, whose valued services for nearly half a century in this school will continue in their recollection, as they ever must in that of the inhabitants of Holt. (Applause.) We had wished at the same time we rebuilt and renewed the old school that we could also have restored that bodily house in which he lives, and have imparted fresh vigour and new youth to his frame, worn by length of service. Probably, however, he would not have been desirous to recommence his course of arduous duties, and to again enter the field of laborious action. Indeed, it is not the intention of Providence that such a desire should prevail in any of us when we arrive at that period, when our task is almost accomplished. It is, therefore, only left to us to thank him for his long services, and to express a hope that he may in his retirement continue to enjoy the comforts of peace and health as fully as he possesses the esteem and consideration of the Fishmongers' Company." (Loud cheers.)
The Rev. B. Pulleyne, in returning thanks, said, he had met with a thousand difficult tasks in his life, but he had never met with one that was more difficult than the present. Those who had known him for many years in this town, knew that he had laboured long and anxiously, and most conscientiously, in the discharge of his duties as master of this school—(hear, hear)—and he wished he could find words adequate to the expression of his feelings on the present occasion. When he remembered the number of years he had been connected with this Company, and the uniform kindness and attention he had always received from them; and when he also considered that they had this day invited him to have the honour of meeting them on this interesting and important occasion, and that the prime warden had expressed himself in such kind and commendatory terms towards himself, and, above all, when he considered that it was owing to the bounty of the governors of this school that he had been able to retire from his laborious duties as its master, to his own parish, where he might contribute, so far as in him lay, to the spiritual and temporal wants of those committed to his charge, he could not but say that they had conferred on him more than he had language to express. He was scarcely 24 when, in September 1809, he was elected to the mastership of this school, and he was now in his 74th year, having only ceased his labours in that capacity during the past year. He had laboured long, and he hoped diligently in the service of the Company, and from the manner in which his health had just been proposed, he thought he might confidently say that he had redeemed the pledge he had made at the commencement—namely, that he should endeavour conscientiously to discharge his duties, whatever might be the result of his efforts. (Hear, and applause.) He had reason to hope that the young people who had gone from the school had fully borne him out in saying that they had received the greatest benefit from their connection with this institution as Gresham scholars. The education that had been given in that school was a happy mixture of the profane and religious, but he would also state that during the whole of the time he had held the mastership he had endeavoured to impress on the minds of the youths that their duty to their parents and themselves was always the primary and first consideration, and he hoped it would continue to be so. As might be supposed, during the period he had been connected with the school—nearly 50 years—he had seen many and affecting changes, for there was not one now alive on the list of the wardens or assistants who was alive when he was elected master of this school. The clerk who was present when the school was opened at that time was no more, and had been succeeded by his son, and those by whom he had been surrounded had also passed away. It had happened to him, as had happened to most men who lived beyond the usual limits of life, that he had outlived his contemporaries. All the sweet companions of his youth were gone, and he alone remained; but he had the satisfaction to know that he had done his duty so far as he was able. It had been well said by Mr. Gay, on a recent occasion, that those who departed were not missed. He had outlived a great many who were useful and valuable men, but they were not missed. Others had come in their steads, and they were no longer wanted. The prime warden, and those by whom he was surrounded, had arisen to fill the places of those who had lived before them, and who had done their duty with an ability and zeal fully equal to that of their successors. He (Mr. Pulleyne) had ceased to occupy the position of master of this school, and he, likewise, should not be missed; for they had elected in his stead one who he trusted came to the school with abilities more cultivated and with greater energy than he could claim, for Mr. Elton was a young man whose mind was active while he was physically strong. He (Mr. Pulleyne) had seen many and wonderful changes in this town. When he first came here there was only this school and a mixed day-school. Now they had, in addition, a national and British school, very large Sunday-schools, and an excellent grammatical dayschool. When he was young the school was most limited in its capacity, but now they had for the Gresham scholars a noble and excellent building, well lighted and ventilated, and suitable in every respect to the objects intended. (Hear, hear.) The rev. gentleman concluded by again returning his sincere and heartfelt thanks for the honour that had been done to him in drinking his health.
Sir Willoughby Jones next rose and said, the prime warden had given him leave to propose a toast, and he was about to propose one which he was sure would be drunk with the utmost enthusiasm and cordiality by every one present. He considered it an honour as well as a pleasure to be allowed to propose the health of the prime warden of the Worshipful Company of Fishmongers. (Loud applause.) Those great London Companies were an honour to England, and there was none that knew better that property had its duties as well as its rights than the Worshipful Company of Fishmongers. (Hear, hear.) The occasion that had this day brought among them in Norfolk the prime warden, who was now sitting at the head of this board, and the deputation who had kindly accompanied him from London to open this schoolroom, was one of the utmost interest to all in this neighbourhood, and in their behalf he begged to return to the prime warden and the deputation their thanks for the noble and munificent liberality of the Company of Fishmongers. (Applause.) The Fishmongers' Company showed themselves worthy descendants of that Sir John Gresham, so aptly styled the merchant prince, compared to the merchant princes of Florence by the worshipful prime warden. (Hear, and applause.) It was not for him (Sir W. Jones) to enter into any of the antiquities of this foundation, for he remembered that next him there sat an Astley, of Melton Constable, and that the Astleys of Melton Constable were living there when the Greshams were living on the spot where the company now met. (Hear, hear.) He would, therefore, leave it to Colonel Astley to lay before them the antiquities of this noble old foundation, nor would he detain them by following the prime warden through any of the topics of the very admirable address he had given them in proposing the health of the new head master; but there was one point of the prime warden's remarks on which he would express his cordial sympathy and approbation, and that was the hope the prime warden had enunciated, that the voluntary system and the local system of education in England would long last, and would never be merged in any government or centralised system. (Hear, hear.) He did most cordially re-echo this sentiment, for he believed they were none of them aware how much of their character as Englishmen they owed to the fact that in their early years they were not under the thumb and screw of any government whatever. (Hear, and applause.) Long might the education of this country be based on the voluntary system for the different classes that required it; might it go through the various gradations of the national school, the middle-class school, the grammar school, and our noble old universities, which were the head of all. He would remind them, and the worthy head master, Mr. Elton, whom he remembered at Cambridge, where they were together in former years, that the universities were now placing themselves in the position they ought to occupy at the head of the education of the middle classes, and that those examinations, which would be initiated this year at Norwich, would be the most potent means of enabling any young man to distinguish himself, by obtaining a certificate of knowledge, which might be of use to him in after life. (Hear, hear.) The master of this school would, therefore, have the great moral power of the university to back him, and the object to place before the boys of obtaining the certificate, which would be a real, a high, and a true reward of industry and application. (Hear, hear.) Therefore the present master was in a far better position than the previous master had been in; and feeling as he (Sir W. Jones) did a deep interest in these middle-class examinations, he had felt bound to mention here how powerful a support they would be to the new head master in raising the intellectual level of the school. (Hear, hear.) He had detained the meeting as long as he felt justified to offer the thanks, not only of the inhabitants of Holt, but of the gentry of the county, among whom the invitations of the Worshipful Company had been most liberally sent, to the prime warden of the Company for the handsome entertainment to which they had been invited, and for the munificent and liberal spirit in which everything had been done—a spirit that reflected honour on the Company, and which was one of the principal characteristics of those bodies, among which the Company of Fishmongers occupied so distinguished a position. He gave "the health of the prime warden and the deputation of the Fishmongers' Company." (Repeated applause.)
The Prime Warden, in acknowledging the toast, assured all present that nothing could be more gratifying to the Fishmongers' Company than the interest they had taken in the object of their visit. To minister to the wants of the poor, to assist the aged, and to promote the education of the young were among the highest privileges possessed by them, and he really believed that the trust which the confidence of their ancestors had placed in the Company's keeping had been fulfilled, and would continue to be fulfilled to the utmost of their power. (Applause.) He had only to hope on the part of the deputation, that when they had again the honour of meeting those present it would be to celebrate the completion of a still greater work than that which they had seen brought to so happy a termination to-day, and that according to the success which the revival of the school would obtain, they might ere long be in a position to restore the whole of this ancient building. (Applause.)
The Prime Warden then rose and said—"I now beg to propose 'the health of the visitors of the school,' for whose superintendence and assistance the Fishmonger's Company are so much indebted. We look forward with confidence to a continuation of their support, and we feel assured that as far as lies in their power the interest of the scholars of the Holt School will be promoted. (Applause.)
In acknowledging their services, I beg to express the thanks of this deputation to the Rev. Mr. Bulwer for his assistance to-day, in the absence of the rector, the Rev. Mr. Brumell, and for officiating for us on this interesting occasion. (Applause.) It would be superfluous in me to add any remark concerning a gentleman so thoroughly respected and esteemed as the Rev. Mr. Bulwer, who is so well known to you. We thank him personally for the great interest he takes in the object of this meeting, and I beg to propose his health with that of the other gentlemen who have accepted the office of visitors of the school of Holt." (Applause.)
The Rev. J. Bulwer replied—The prime warden had referred to the absence of the rector of the parish, and this was a circumstance which he (Mr. Bulwer) had occasion to regret, for he had discharged duties to-day at a very short notice, which would otherwise have been performed by the worthy rector. He was glad to see that the interests of the school were likely to be advanced, from the fact that the examinations would in future become more competitive than hitherto, as the Fishmongers' Company had endowed a scholarship of 20l. a year, and there were also the prizes given by the late Rev. Mr. Jodrell. Mr. Bulwer then referred in marked terms to the valuable assistance rendered to the school by Mr. James Gay, one of the most active and energetic of the visitors, and concluded by proposing the health of that gentleman. (Applause.)
Mr. J. Gay, in returning thanks, stated that he had himself been educated at this school, and having derived great benefit from it, he could not do otherwise, when he came to reside in this neighbourhood, than give it such assistance as it was in his power to afford. (Hear, hear.) It was now 65 years since he had entered this school as a scholar, and it was to the education he had received here that he was indebted for the advancement he had been fortunate enough to make in life, and for those high appointments that had been conferred upon him while residing at Ceylon. (Applause.) It was consequently a source of much gratification to him to see the school put in such a state as would confer a great and lasting benefit on those residing in the neighbourhood. At the time he came to the school it was frequented by the sons of all the gentry in the neighbourhood; but from circumstances which it was difficult now to enter into, the school had drooped by degrees, until at last he believed scarcely a gentleman's son entered it. He had no doubt that the liberal course pursued by the Fishmongers' Company in erecting this noble building, and in having appointed to it a master of such eminent talents as were possessed by Mr. Elton, would raise it to be a credit to the county of Norfolk. (Applause.) It gave him great pleasure to see such an assembly on the present occasion, for the numbers present convinced him that the gentry of the neighbourhood felt a great interest in the school. He should have great satisfaction, should he live long enough, in seeing the house restored, as he was happy to hear from the prime warden was likely to be the case. (Applause.)
The Prime Warden—"I now beg to propose 'the health of the architect of this building, Mr. Suter,' a gentleman whose talents and whose great practical knowledge of his art, though perhaps not known to all here present, are sufficiently exemplified in the various structures he has erected in different parts of England. It is difficult to estimate the many obstacles an architect has to contend with in the construction of buildings of a public or parochial character, especially when acting under boards composed of numerous members. The variety of tastes—the internal accommodation—the external appearance of the building—the material to be used—and especially the frequent insufficiency of funds to insure perfection, are obstacles which all architects have to overcome. (Hear.) The present school, although it is but a part of a whole, speaks for itself. (Applause.) I cannot, however, do better justice to the talent of Mr. Suter than by referring you to the extensive structure of St. Peter's Hospital he erected for the Fishmongers' Company at Wandsworth, and which I hope you may all have an opportunity of seeing, when I am sure it will convince you of the taste and the skill displayed in his works." (Applause.)
The Prime Warden—"I now beg to offer the last toast, one which I always feel proud to give—'The health of the ladies'. (Applause.) It is no commonplace compliment I wish to pay to their attractions, which we all sufficiently acknowledge, but I am glad of every opportunity of expressing my conviction that much of the comfort, the peace, and the morality of this country is due to their exertions and their influence. (Hear, hear.) When I see in this county and elsewhere the daughters of the highest families occupied in the education of the young—occupied in the Sunday-school, teaching infant lips to lisp the praises of their Creator—when I see sisters, real sisters of mercy, carrying comfort, food, and raiment into the lowly habitations of the destitute, I am proud of a country where such devotion constitutes the real value of woman, and where men seek her co-operation and assistance in all great works of philanthropy and moral good. (Applause.) I could not undertake to enumerate the many examples of devotion, sacrifice, and love known to you all as well as to myself. I cannot, however, refrain from paying a tribute to the memory of that admirable woman, Miss Gurney—(applause)—whose acts of philanthropy and benevolence scarce yield to those of the inestimable Mrs. Fry. (Applause.) Nor can I help adding the name of Miss Stanley—(applause)—who joined that glory of her sex, Florence Nightingale—(loud cheers) in the relief and rescue of our suffering soldiers in the Crimea. (Prolonged applause.) Ladies, I thank you for your attendance here to-day. In your hands I leave the interests of the children who now enter upon the foundation of this school. (Hear.) You are best enabled, if acquainted with any of their parents, to impress upon their minds the inestimable blessing of early education, and the benefits we have endeavoured to prepare for them to-day." (Cheers.)
Col. Astley having been called upon to respond for the ladies, said he had a most delicate task to perform, and he was quite satisfied that there were many ladies in the room who could return thanks for the toast in a far more able manner than he could. When he entered that room he was not at all aware that he should be called upon to return thanks for that sex which as men they must all respect; and considering that they were the comfort of their homes, and that whenever they pleased to take an interest in any work prosperity must follow, he thought that the thanks of the neighbourhood and of the gentlemen present were due to the prime warden and the deputation for having kindly invited the ladies to join in the opening of that school. He could only say that he trusted that every benefit that had been wished for might arise in that school, and that intelligence and education might flourish in that town and spread over the country but, particularly in the neighbourhood of Holt. (Applause.) They wanted very little to keep them moving, and he was happy to say that the Company of Fishmongers had given them the opportunity of bringing education and enlightenment into the neighbourhood at a cheap rate. There were men of a certain station who could afford to educate their children in what manner they pleased; but there were a vast number who could not, and it was through this charity, founded by Sir John Gresham, and carried out by the Worshipful Company of Fishmongers, that education was brought within the reach of all. He expressed the regret of his brother, Lord Hastings, who as the representative of a family who had held possessions in this part of the county as long back as the time in which Sir John Gresham founded this institution, naturally felt a great interest in everything which affected the welfare of its inhabitants, was not able to be present; and concluded by simply returning thanks for the ladies, whom no people valued more than Englishmen. (Applause.)
The proceedings were brought to a close by Masters Mann and Baldwin singing "My pretty Page," which they did with an effect that elicited the loud applause of the company. The same young gentlemen with Master Smith also sang several other pieces in the course of the evening, including a very pretty duet "Merry gipsies all are we," composed by a pupil of Dr. Buck—Mr. Atkinson. The musical part of the entertainment was under the direction of Dr. Buck, and the selection appeared to give great satisfaction.
The Worshipful Company of Fishmongers of London, Governors of the Free Grammar School, Holt, founded by Sir John Gresham, Knt., A.D. 1554, rebuilt this schoolroom and formed a playground for the recreation of the scholars A.D. 1858.
|John Towgood, Esq.||Assistants.|
|Gilbert W. Mackmurdo, Esq.|
|James Spicer, Esq.|
|George Moore, Esq.|
|Sidney Gurney, Esq.|
|Richard Suter, Architect.|
|W. Beckwith Towse, Clerk.|
APPENDIX. Being a Biographical Sketch of Sir John Gresham, Kt.,
The family from which Sir John Gresham was descended, like most other Norfolk families, derived its name from a little village where it had been settled for many generations. One John Gresham resided at Gresham during the latter part of the fourteenth century, in the reigns of Edward III. and Richard II.
His son James appears to have been clerk to Sir William Paston, the judge. He was lord of East Beckham, and is said to have settled at Holt, which is only a few miles from the village where his father resided.
James Gresham was succeeded by his son John, who married Alice, daughter of Alexander Blythe, Esq., of Stratton in Norfolk; this lady brought her husband an ample fortune, and by her he had four sons—William, Thomas, Richard, and John; the two younger of whom had the honour of knighthood conferred upon them by Henry VIII. Richard was father of the celebrated Sir Thomas Gresham. John, the youngest son, was born at Holt; he was a merchant of great importance, and admitted a member of the Mercers' Company in 1517. We may infer from various accounts that he was held in high consideration, and lived, as our ancestors would have said, "in great worship."
Liberality and benevolence appear to have been qualities inherent in the Gresham family. In 1546, Sir John Gresham, having purchased (fn. 5) of his elder brother William the mansion house at Holt, he converted it by letters patent, dated 27th April, 1 and 2 of Philip and Mary, 1554, into a free grammar school, which he endowed by deed of gift with the manor of Pereers and Holt Hales, in Norfolk, and a grove called Prior's Grove, and certain freehold estates in London. The master was to have a salary of 30l. per annum, and the usher 20 nobles; and the government of the school was left to the wardens and commonalty of the Mistery of Fishmongers, London; who were to make statutes and ordinances concerning the governance and direction of the master, usher, and scholars of the school, subject to the approval of the bishop of the diocese.
It is stated by Mr. Burgon that the school was endowed by its founder with demesnes sufficient, had they been properly managed, to set it on a level with the first establishments of a similar nature in England; but there is no record of any demesnes excepting the property now constituting the endowment having ever come into the possession of the Fishmongers' Company.
There remain at present about 165 acres of land, and the total revenue of the school amounts to not quite 450l., about two thirds of which arise from the rents of the estates in London. A large increase of revenue is expected on the leases of the London estates falling in, but which will not be till the years, 1871, 1877, and 1899 respectively.
Holt School is not altogether destitute of historical interest, for in the year 1650 a few loyal inhabitants of Norfolk having agreed to adventure their lives and fortunes in the service of their royal master, we are told that one Mr. Cooper, a minister and schoolmaster, was apprehended and sentenced by the minions of Cromwell to be tried on Christmas day, "partly to show their dislike of the observance of that day, and partly to add to his affliction, whom they knew to honour that festive day; and although they had no evidence against him that he was privy to the plot, yet they condemned him and . . . . he was executed at Holt, before his schoole-house doore." (fn. 6)
Sir John Gresham succeeded in obtaining from Henry VIII. the hospital of St. Mary Bethlem, which has continued ever since in the hands of the corporation of London as an asylum for lunatics. He was sheriff of London, 30 Henry VIII., 1537, his brother Richard being then lord mayor. In 1547, 2 Edward VI., Sir John Gresham being lord mayor of London, he revived the splendid pageant of the Marching Watch—a ceremony which had been practised from time immemorial by the citizens of London at Midsummer, till the year 1539.
Sir John was repeatedly employed as agent in Flanders, to Henry VIII.; nor did his commission cease with that monarch's reign, as appears from the council book of his successor, Edward VI., where he obtains frequent notice as a financial agent.
After having amassed a considerable fortune in trade, by which he was enabled to purchase many estates in Norfolk, besides the manor of Titsey, in Surrey, he died of malignant fever, on the 23rd of October 1556, in the reign of Queen Mary, seven days after he had made final dispositions for the government of Holt School, and he was interred in the beautiful church of St. Michael Bassishaw, London, in which parish he resided at the time of his death.
"He dwelt," says Stowe, "where Sir Leonard Halliday, who was mayor anno 1605, afterwards dwelt." Strype has given us a list of several worthies who, in a short space, fell victims to the same pestilential malady; and he does not omit to mention Sir John Gresham amongst the number.
The day of his interment happening to be a fast day, says Strype, an extraordinary fish dinner was provided on the occasion, at which were admitted all that came; and the funeral sermon was preached by the celebrated Dr. Harpsfeld. The ceremonial of his interment is one of the proofs of his having been a personage of great consideration. "He was buried," says Stowe, "with a standard and penon of armes, and a coat armour of damask (Damascus steel), and four penons of arms; besides a helmet, a target and a sword, mantles and the crest, a goodly hearse of wax, ten dozen of pensils, (fn. 7) and twelve dozen of escutcheons. He had four dozen of great staff torches and a dozen of long torches..... The church and the streets were all hung with black, and arms in great store; and on the morrow three goodly masses were sung; one of the Trinity, another of Our Lady, and the third of Requiem."
Many were his charitable bequests. Besides 100l. to poor maids' marriages, and considerable sums to the different prisons and hospitals of London, he left to sixty poor men and forty poor women, as many black gowns of the value of 26s. 8d. and 20s. each, respectively.
He was twice married: first to Mary, daughter and coheiress of Thomas Ipswell of London, Esq.; 2ndly to Katharine, daughter of —Sampton, Esq., and widow of Edward Dormer, of Fulham, Esq. By his first wife he had eleven children, from the eldest of whom was descended Sir John Gresham, the representative and last baronet of the family, who died at Titsey, on 20th of October 1801.
Here lyeth buried vnder this tombe the body of Sir John Gresham, knight, sometime alderman and lord mayor of this City of London, who had two wives, dame Mary, his first wife, by whom hee had issue five sonnes and sixe daughters. By dame Katharine, his last wife, no issue—which Sir John deceased the xxiii. day of October, Anno Domini MDLVI., and dame Mary died the xxi day of September, MDXXXVIII. Dame Katharine died.....
Gresham Grammar School. Examination Papers, December 1860.
2. How were criminal offences punished under the Mosaic code? Give instances of the considerate temper of the Hebrew law. What were the regulations relating to slavery? What were the political benefits of the year of Jubilee?
Quem vocet Divom populus ruentis Imperi rebus? prece quâ fatigent Virgines sanctæ minus audientem Carmina Vestam? To what event does this Ode allude? Who were the "Virgines sanctæ," and what was their usual employment? Explain the peculiarities in "Divom" and "Imperi."
8. A rifleman shoots at a target under the following conditions; each time he hits the bull's eye he receives half-a-crown; each time he misses it he forfeits sixpence. After he has finished shooting he receives three shillings. If out of the same number of shots he had put twice as many balls into the bull's eye, he would have received 12s. How many shots did he fire?
9. At half-past eleven A sets out from his own house to walk at the rate of 4 miles an hour to B's house, which is 8 miles off. In the meanwhile B sets out from home with a carriage which travels 7 miles an hour to meet A; and as soon as he meets him he takes him up, and they reach B's house at one o'clock. When did B leave home? and how far did A walk?
2. Prop. vii. Upon the same base, and on the same side of it, there cannot be two triangles which have their sides terminated in one extremity of the base equal to one another, and also those terminated in the other extremity.
6. Book ii. Prop. vi. If a straight line be bisected and produced to any point, the rectangle contained by the whole line thus produced and the part of it produced, together with the square of half the line bisected, is equal to the square of the straight line which is made up of the half and the part produced.
2. Prop. iv. If two triangles have two sides of the one equal to two sides of the other, each to each, and have also the angles contained by those sides equal to one another, they shall also have their bases, or third sides, equal, and the two triangles shall be equal, and their other angles shall be equal, each to each, viz., those to which the equal sides are opposite.
5. Prop. xxi. If from the ends of a side of a triangle there be drawn two straight lines to a point within the triangle, these shall be less than the other two sides of the triangle, but shall contain a greater angle.
3. If a number of labourers can reap a field in 25 days, in what time will 12/3 of that number reap a field 24/5 times as large, supposing that 2 of the first set can reap as much in an hour as 5 of the second set in 2 hours, and that the second set work 7/8 as many hours per day as the first set?
5. A merchant bought 150 quarters of wheat, of which he sold 50 at 45 shillings per quarter, and found that he was thereby gaining 7½ per cent.; at what price per quarter must he sell the remainder so as to clear 10 per cent. upon the whole ?
7. A passenger train leaves Wells for London, a distance of 148 miles, and travels uniformly 25 miles per hour; at what time must a luggage train, which travels at the rate of 15 miles in 50 minutes, have left the first station in order that they may both reach the second at the same instant ?
4. If 8 men dig a trench 100 ft. long, 3 ft. wide, and 4 ft. 6 in. deep, of five degrees of hardness, in nine days, working 10 hours per day, how many will be required to dig a trench 80 ft. long, 5 ft. wide, and 2 ft. deep, of 6½ degrees of hardness, in 5⅓ days, working eight hours per day ?
|For the relief of the poor prisoners of the King's Bench and of the common gaol for Surrey, equally||1||6||8|
|For coals to the poor of the Company||1||6||8|
Robert and Simon Harding's Charities.
Robert Harding devised by his will, 20th November 1568, a rentcharge of 3l. 6s. 8d., issuing out of tenements in Pudding Lane, and Simon Harding, his son, by deed of 7th September 1576, confirmed the grant to pay 3l. to poor inhabiters and artificers of Old and New Fish Street, compelled by necessity to repair thither to buy the cuttings of fish and refuse of fish, and the residue to the wardens. The 100l. New 3½l. per Cents received by the Fishmongers' Company from the Butchers' Company, in satisfaction of these charges, has been since reduced to 100l. New 3l. per Cents. It forms part of the distribution to the "halfyearly poor." (See Trumball's Charity.)
Robert Harding granted, by deed of 1st May 1564, a rentcharge of 40s. a year out of two tenements in Crooked Lane, to the intent to distribute 36s. amongst poor fishmongers in the parishes of St. Magnus and St. Margaret, and the residue to the wardens. The identity of the property charged became questionable in 1815, as mentioned in the Report of the Commissioners of Inquiry, and the Company have not since recovered the charge. It is therefore lost.
John Hayne devised, by his will 13th May 1682, a rentcharge of 40s., out of his tenement in Creed Lane. for the relief of the poor of the Company. The sum of 2l. a year is received from Mr. J. E. Craney, of 52, Fore Street, being payable out of No. 18, Creed Lane. It is given to the halfyearly poor, as described under Trumball's Charity.
John Heron, by his will of the 19th March 1510, after reciting that he had purchased of the Fishmongers' Company for 320l. a messuage in Friday Street, and three messuages adjoining. let for 12l. a year; a tenement and shop in Bridge Street let for 7l. a year; a messuage in Finch Lane let for 40s. a year, ordained that the said Company should pay yearly to the parson of Little Ilford, Essex, 5 marks (3l. 6s. 8d.), in augmentation of the profit of his benefice; and that the wardens of the said Company should divide amongst themselves 13s. 4d. for their labour.
The sum of 3l. 6s. 8d. is annually paid to the rector of Little Ilford, and the 13s. 4d. paid to the wardens of the Company. The property originally derived under this will were premises in Bread Street, Friday Street, Pudding Lane, and the Salmon in Bridge Street, the latter being now part of No. 21, Fish Street Hill. The property was by the testator subjected to obits, and it was therefore seized by the Crown, and was, as it is alleged, repurchased by the Company, although the Company have only to pay 4l. per annum, which they consider as a rentcharge upon them, yet for the purpose of showing the manner in which their title to each estate is derived, the Company since Midsummer 1835 have credited the account with the full rents, including a third of the rent of the house No. 21, Fish Street Hill, carrying off the balance to their own account at the end of each financial year.
John Hopkins, by his will of the 27th December 1558, directed his executor to pay to the wardens 20l., to be put into the hands of young men of the Company. No interest is directed to be made or is credited on this account.
And by his second will, 31st March 1579, of a rentcharge of 40s. to Christ's Hospital out of two tenements, which he gave to the Fishmongers' Company, to pay 6l. 13s. 4d. towards the relief of the poor of Braughing, Herts; also—
|To the poor of New Fish Street||2||0||0|
|Ditto of Old Fish Street||2||0||0|
|Ditto of Braughing||2||0||0|
|To the Chamberlain of London for overseeing the accounts||0||3||4|
|To the clerk of the Company||0||3||4|
The Company hold a house, No. 27, Fish Street Hill (the Commissioners stated No. 26 erroneously), let to Evan Evans for a term of 21 years, from Lady-day 1858, at a rent of 75l. Of these premises the Company consider that a portion equal to about 8/30ths of the entire site constitutes the property charged with the gift. The payments of 13s. 4d. each are made to the seven different parishes above stated, in the month of December of every year.
The property called the Chequer and the Horse Head, near London Bridge, was part of 121, Upper Thames Street, and part of Nos. 26 and 27, Fish Street Hill, which still remain, and other property which was sold under the London Bridge Act for 6,387l. 12s. cash, which produced 7,638l. 7s. 9d. 3l. per cent. Consols. Part of the latter sum was laid out in February 1858, namely, 2,628l. 2s. 5d. Consols for the purchase of the freehold of No. 28, Fish Street Hill, and a further portion of 527l. 0s. 2d. Consols was laid out in February 1860 in the purchase of the interest of the Corporation of London in a small part of the said premises, No. 121, Upper Thames Street. The account of the estate is audited according to the direction of the will annually by the Chamberlain of London.
|To the poor dwelling in and about Old Fish Street (4 persons selected by the beadle) 10s. each||2||0||0|
|The same to poor dwelling in and about New Fish Street||2||0||0|
|The clerk of the Company||0||3||4|
|To Christ's Hospital||2||0||0|
|The wardens of the Company||1||0||0|
|The parish of Braughing, Herts, by payment to the churchwardens||8||13||4|
|The chamberlain, 1l. 1s. 0d. is usually paid and returned by him as a donation for the poor||0||3||4|
Henry Jordeyn, by his will dated the 15th October 1468, gave all his lands and tenements in St. Catherine Cree Church, and the messuage and garden in the said parish, and all his tenements in St. Bridget parish, for certain superstitious uses, and for buying and delivering 138 quarters of coal or money to buy the same at 8d. per quarter, as follows:—
and to pay to the mayor 10s. yearly, to the common clerk 3s. 4d., and the residue of the rents to the Company; and the testator provided that if the coals be bought for less price than is aforesaid, that then there should be delivered and given more coals after the good discretion of the wardens for the time being.
The Commissioners of Inquiry stated that the Company were possessed of a house in Leadenhall Street, and one in Billiter Lane, under this devise, but of no houses in Fleet Street, and that the Company made certain small annual payments to the poor members of the Company for coals, and to the churchwardens of the three parishes, and the Founder's Company.
In 1832, Thomas Marks, of the Minories, publican, on behalf of himself and all other the inhabitants of the parish of St. Botolph without Aldgate, and George Smith, of Salisbury Square, Fleet Street, on behalf of himself and all other the inhabitants of the parish of St. Bride, presented their petition to the Lord Chancellor, alleging that the whole of the rents and profits devised by the will were intended and ought to be applied for the charitable purposes therein declared, and praying that it might be referred to one of the masters of the court to take an account of the rents and profits of the messuages, &c. subject to the devise received by them in respect of any lettings of the said premises; and that the said master might also be directed to compute the value, year by year, of the coals bequeathed or directed by the testator's will to be annually provided and distributed by the said Company; and that the said Company might be charged with and ordered to pay the full value and amount of such coals, and interest thereon; and that it might be declared that the quantity of coals bequeathed by or which ought to be distributed under the said will ought to be increased proportionably to the increase of the rents and yearly value of the said devised estates; and that it might be referred to the master to ascertain the same, and also to fix the sum to be annually paid by the said Company out of the rents of the estates in respect of the aforesaid bequests of coals, and to approve of a proper scheme for distribution of the same with all usual and necessary directions respecting the same; and that the costs, &c. of and attending the application might be ordered to be paid by the said Company.
The petition was heard before the Vice-Chancellor, Sir Lancelot Shadwell, on the 22nd December 1832, and was dismissed with costs, his honour holding that the testator meant to give the option to the Company of either giving coals or sums of money not exceeding 138 eightpences, that is, 4l. 12s., and he had provided for the benefit of the poor to this extent, namely, that if the coals were less in price than 8d. a quarter that still they should have more coals, so that at all events they should have up to the value of 4l. 12s.; but the vice-chancellor saw nothing at all in the will which at all indicated an intention on his part that against the will of the Fishmongers' Company they should have more in value than 138 eightpences.
It appeared to the vice-chancellor that the testator did not mean here that the whole of the land should go for charitable uses, but meant that certain specified objects of charity should receive certain definite sums only, and that the surplus should go to the Company as a benefit to them. But then he said if the mayor of London sees that they do not give those specific sums which he had appointed, and giving them warning for two or three years, and they do not comply with that, then that all those charities so firstnamed should cease so far from being permanent objects of the bounty of the testator, and the land should be given to the commonalty of London for different charitable purposes, and the ultimate residue applied to the reparation of London Bridge. The vice-chancellor's opinion, therefore, was that the Company as against the persons who were called the poor and who were entitled to a certain quantity of coals were entitled to keep the surplus of the estate beyond the 4l. 12s. for their own benefit.
The petitioners appealed to the Lord Chancellor, and the petition was heard before Lord Brougham on the 25th and 31st May 1833, when his lordship affirmed the vice-chancellor's order and dismissed the petition with costs as well on principle as on the ground of the last clause in the will above stated.
The headle endeavours to find out whether there are persons of the craft of fishmongers' coming under the denomination of 16 householders of Old Fish Street, 10 of New Fish Street, and of 8 of Thames Street, standing in need of the gift, and if there are not, the amount of 2l. 5s. 4d. is added to other small gifts and distributed in money amongst the half-yearly poor on the third Thursday in December, yearly. The 1l. is paid to the churchwardens of St. Botolph, Aldgate, 13s. 4d. to the Founder's Company, 6s. 8d. to the churchwardens of St. Catherine Cree, and 6s. 8d. to the parish of St. Bride.
John Joye, by his will of the 6th June 1556, directed his executors to sell his two houses in Shoreditch, and the money to be delivered to two of the poorest men of the Company, and to have the advantage thereof for one year. It does not appear that the Company received more than 20l. on this account, which forms part of the "Loan Trust Fund." No interest is credited on this account.