City of London Livery Companies Commission. Report; Volume 4. Originally published by Eyre and Spottiswoode, London, 1884.
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Sir Thomas Kneseworth, by his will of the 13th April 1513, devised all his messuages, lands, and tenements in the parishes of St. Dunstan-in-the-East, St. Margaret, Bridge Street, and St. Magnus—
and the residue to be safely kept to the intent that therewith the tenements and premises might be maintained and repaired, and new built as often as need should be.
The testator also gave to the wardens 100 marks, to be placed in the chest to the intent that the premises should be better performed, and that every honest man of the said fellowship which should borrow 20 marks, or 10l. of the said 100 marks, and of the money remaining of the said issues and profits, for half 'a year, and lay a sufficient pledge for repayment thereof, should have the same; and also there should be said five paternosters and five aves, and a credo for his soul and the souls of his wife, his father and mother, and of their benefactors, and for all Christian souls, and in case the said wardens should make default in performing any of the articles of the said will, then he willed the bequest to the said wardens and fellowship of Fishmongers to be from thenceforth utterly void, and the same to remain to the corporation of the City of London upon the same trusts.
The Commissioners of Inquiry, after stating the seizure of the property by the Crown, and the grant of the same property subsequently by letters patent to certain persons, observe, that "if the Company, as seems to have been the case, took back this estate by purchase, they were entitled to consider it as their absolute property discharged from the trusts of Kneseworth's will, with the exception, perhaps, of the few charitable payments legally charged thereon. They have, however, always appropriated the whole income of the estate to certain specific charities, and therefore, although we do not find that they have bound themselves to this appropriation by any legal instrument, we have thought it right to enter fully into the examination of the state of the property."
After the Report of the Commissioners of Inquiry, and on the 21st November 1833, an information was filed by the Attorney-General at the relation of Thomas Spencer Hall and George Smith against the Fishmongers' Company, stating the will and the purchase of the estates from the Crown, after the Reformation, and stating that under the West India and London Dock Acts, and the Act for the Legal Quays, various parts of the estates had been alienated by the Company. The information states the Act of the 4th James I., and charged that the whole of the said premises devised by the will of Sir Thomas Kneseworth was then vested in the Company under the said Act, subject to the charitable trusts and purposes of the will or like or corresponding trusts. The information charged that the Company had in 1818 laid a statement of the trust before Sir Samuel Romilly, with the draft of a proposed petition to the Lord Chancellor admitting such trusts, and it prayed a discovery of the premises acquired by the Company as therein-before mentioned; and that the said charitable trusts of Sir Thomas Kneseworth might be established and made effectual under the decree of the court, according to the directions in his will, or as near thereto as might be, having regard to the change of circumstances, and in such manner as to the court might seem expedient; and that it might be declared that the whole of the rents and profits of the said estates and property derived from and under the will of Sir J. Kneseworth, then vested in the said Company, were applicable to such charitable trust, or, at all events, that the same were only subject to the said several sums of 53s. 4d., 12s., 10s., and 10s., so purchased or acquired by the said Company under the said letters patent of King Edward VI. so alleged by the defendants with the proper money of the said Company; and further, that an account might be taken of all legacies and other gifts and sums of money theretofore given by any other donors to the said Company in aid or advancement of the charitable trusts of the will of the said Sir J. Kneseworth or otherwise applicable thereto; and that the said defendants might be charged therewith accordingly, and in particular that a due regard might be had to the said disposition of the residue in making loans for the advancement of the members of the said Company in trade; and that the defendants might, if the court should think fit, be charged with the sum of 100 marks, and such arrear of interest thereon as might be deemed reasonable; and that an account of the said rents and profits and income of the said charity estates received by the said Company and the appropriation and application of the same for the last 20 years before the filing of the information or such larger period as might under the circumstances be deemed necessary.
The Company by their answer insisted that the gifts to the two prisons of Newgate and Ludgate were the only charitable gifts in the will, and that the uses in respect of which the other payments were directed were superstitious.
In the course of this suit an application was made by the informant for the production of the title deeds and documents relating to the property mentioned by the defendants in their answer and admitted to be in their possession, and the application having been made before the Vice-Chancellor of England and refused, was brought by appeal before the Lord Chancellor on the 22nd January 1835, and after a lengthened argument his Lordship delivered judgment on the 31st March 1835. This judgment contains some observations on the effect of the statute of the 4th James I. His Lordship said:—"It appears that these estates were appropriated to certain charities, and also to certain superstitious uses, and that a seizure was made either of the estates or of those rents which were appropriated to the objectionable uses in the reign of Edward VI. Afterwards, in the fourth year of that reign, there was a grant which, in terms, applies only to the rents, annuities, and yearly payments without making any mention whatever of the messuages and lands out of which those payments were made, and it would be uncertain upon the construction of that instrument whether there had been an actual seizure of the messuages and lands, or whether the seizure extended only to those rents and annual payments which had been appropriated to the superstitious uses. On looking, however, at the instrument itself, and comparing the consideration which amounts to 18,000l., I am mentioning this instrument as applicable not only to the Fishmongers' Company, not only the grant of the rents and annuities to the Company, but to various other companies similarly circumstanced, of whose property seizures have been made under the statute of Edward VI., the consideration of the re-grant appearing to be a sum as large as 18,000l. and upwards, and on looking at the total amount of the rents that are granted, it is clear upon the construction, I think, of this instrument, and on comparing the one with the other, that the rents so granted by the Crown form no equivalent or anything like an equivalent for the sum that was paid. It does not, however, follow, as it appears to me necessarily that therefore the lands and messuages were seized, but as they were liable to seizure the probability is that this large sum was paid not merely in consideration of the rents as a composition for the receipt of the rents, but also for the quiet enjoyment of the property generally; it was a composition by which the Crown abandoned all its claim which it might have enforced under the statute of Edward VI." Thus the matter rested till the reign of James I., and that doubt appears to have occurred at that period, because in the Act of Parliament to which reference has been made, it is stated in the preamble of the Act: "Nevertheless, His most Excellent Majesty, taking knowledge of the several compositions made and great sums paid, grants" so-andso. Then it goes on and says, "divers doubts and questions had been moved whether the several rents mentioned in those letters patent or the messuages, lands, and hereditaments whereout those rents are mentioned in the same letters patent to be issuing or employed were concealed from the Crown, and both for the one and the other divers compositions heretofore made." The doubts, therefore, to which I am now referring seem also to have occurred at that time, and the Act of Parliament was passed for quieting those doubts and for assuring to the Company the quiet enjoyment of their land. After reciting those doubts it goes on thus: "Therefore, His most Excellent Majesty, for the taking away of all questions or doubts that hereafter might be moved or stirred, either concerning the said rents or messuages, lands, and hereditaments in the same letters patent mentioned and respectively belonging to the same several Companies." Then it proceeds thus: "And it is enacted by the authority of the same that all such rents, messuages, lands, tenements, yearly profits, and hereditaments as had been theretofore devised and assured or are mentioned by any will, letters patent, writings, or conveyances to be conveyed, bequeathed, or assured to any of the said Companies," and so on, "should for ever thereafter be lawfully held, retained, and enjoyed by the said several Companies." So that those doubts existing at that time it appears that Act of Parliament was passed for the quieting of those doubts and for enabling the Companies to retain their messuages and lands, as well as the rents which had been specifically conveyed by the Crown free from all doubts and claim in future.
"Now the question is as to the effect therefore of the whole of this transaction. It appears to me that the substance of it is nothing more than this: that here were certain estates held in trust for certain charitable purposes which the Crown had a right to seize by virtue of the statute of Edward VI., that in all probability the Crown did not seize the lands and messuages, but only those rents which had been appropriated to the superstitious uses, and by way of composition a large sum of money was paid by the different Companies for the purpose of securing to themselves the enjoyment of the property. It appears to me, under these circumstances, that that does not at all affect the trusts under which this property is held. It is held still subject to the same trusts as it was before held, notwithstanding the compositions that have been so paid. Therefore, if it is held subject to those trusts, subject, amongst others to the charitable trusts, which it is the object of this suit to enforce, it appears to me the Company are bound to produce those deeds, documents, and accounts mentioned in the answer. I am of opinion, therefore, that the motion under these circumstances, on these grounds, ought to be granted.
The cause came on to be heard before the Master of the Rolls, and judgment was delivered on the 9th of November 1839. The material part of his Lordship's judgment was as follows:—
" It appears to me that the effect of the statute was to vest in the Fishmongers' Company, for their own use, such lands, or interest in lands, mentioned in the letters patent of King Edward VI., as the Crown was entitled to under the statute of the 1st of Edward VI. By the statute of the 1st of Edward VI.; chap. 14, it was enacted that the king should enjoy it for ever all lands which by any assurance, will, devise, or demise were given to be employed wholly to the finding or maintaining of any anniversary or obit, or other like thing, intent, or purpose, or of any light or lamp in any church or chapel to have continuance for ever which had been kept or maintained within five years next before that Parliament; and also that where but part of the issues or revenues of any lands had been given or appointed to be bestowed or employed to the finding or maintaining of any anniversary or obit, or any like thing, intent, or purpose, or of any light or lamp in any church or chapel to have continuance for ever, that then the king should for ever have and enjoy every such sums of money that in any one year within five years next before that Parliament had been expended and bestowed about the finding and maintaining any such anniversary or obit or other like thing, intent, or purpose, or any light or lamp, to him, his heirs and successors, for ever, as a rentcharge, to be paid yearly, with a power of distress and entry in default of payment. Now one of the purposes for which Sir Thomas Kneseworth directed the rents of his estates to be applied, was the finding and maintaining an anniversary and obit for ever, and it was properly, and indeed necessarily, admitted that this was a superstitious use within the statute; and supposing that any part of the rents was to be applied to purposes not superstitious, the Crown, though it might not be entitled to the land, was, under the statute, entitled in the nature of rentcharges to such sums of money as in any one year during the preceding five years had been applied to purposes deemed superstitious within the statute.
"Other companies of the city were in similar circumstances, and an arrangement took place between the Crown and the companies for the purchase by the latter of the rentcharges to which the Crown had, or was supposed to have, become entitled for the sum of 18,744l. 11s. 2d. and Augustine Hinde, Richard Turke, and William Blackwell appear to have been appointed to carry that arrangement into effect, and by the letters patent, dated the 14th July, in the 4th year of Edward VI., in consideration of the same sum of 18,744l. 11s. 2d., paid to the treasurer of the Court of Augmentation by Hinde, Turke, and Blackwell, the queen granted to them various rents, annuities, and yearly sums issuing out of the lands belonging to the several companies, and amongst other companies the Wardens and Commonalty of the Mistery of Fishmongers, and amongst the rents, annuities, and yearly sums issuing out of lands and hereditaments of the Fishmongers' Company were the following: 'All that our rentcharge, annuity, and annual sum of 53s. 4d. per annum issuing out of two quays called Crown Quay and Quay, and 18 messuages or tenements of the said wardens and commonalty situate and being within the parish of St. Dunstan,' and so on, 'which said yearly sum, rentcharge, and annuity the said wardens and commonalty have lately paid and yearly been accustomed to pay towards the perpetual support of two anniversaries for the soul of Sir Thomas Kneseworth, Knt., late alderman of the City of London, deceased.' And then the letters patent particularly describe three rents, one of 12s., another of 10s., and another of 10s., and then the habendum of those is, to have, hold, and enjoy all the rents therein mentioned, and their appurtenances to Hinde, Turke, and Blackwell, their heirs and assigns for ever for their own proper use without account, rent, service, or other thing for the same to be paid, rendered, or done. It is to be observed that the three rents of 12s., 10s., and 10s. mentioned in this grant are particularly mentioned in the will of Sir Thomas Kneseworth as quit-rents to be paid by the receiver, and that consequently the 2l. 13s. 4d. described as the sum which the Company had been accustomed to pay for the soul of Sir T. Kneseworth is all that in this instrument is described as quay rent or annuity in respect of such application. This was one of the points upon which the relators relied, admitting, as they have done, that the maintenance of the anniversaries and obits was a superstitious purpose, and contending that the king never took, and was not entitled to take, more than was granted by these letters patent.
"There is no evidence to show what was the revenue arising from the estates in question, though, from the dis position made by the will, it would seem probable that the income greatly exceeded the three quit-rents and the 2l. 13s. 4d. Neither is there any evidence to show whether King Edward VI. or Queen Elizabeth took any other part of the rents or rentcharges under the statute of Edward IV., although the Act of James I. may afford some reason for thinking that other compositions besides that which was carried into effect by the letters patent may have been made; but on the whole, it appears to me that any rent or payment to which the king was entitled, as concealed under the statute of Edward VI., and the land out of which the same was payable, was assured to the Company by the statute of James; and taking into consideration the effect of this Act, and also having regard to the nature of the present suit, which seeks to establish the trusts of Sir Thomas Kneseworth's will, and to carry those trusts and not any other trusts created in any other manner into execution, I think that the question to be determined in this cause is, whether the trusts of Sir T. Kneseworth's will, or any of them, are good and charitable trusts which have been violated by the defendants, and the execution of which ought to be and is now required to be enforced by the decree of this court.
"The testator, after devising the estates to the Company to the intent that they would perform his will, and after giving directions for repairs, and for the obits and anniversaries with various superstitious ceremonies attending the same, and without having limited any particular sum within which the whole expenses of the obits and anniversaries was to be confined, proceeded to other directions, and willed that the Company should provide four honest priests, studying in art or divinity in the university, to sing and pray there for ever, especially for his soul, the soul of his wife, the souls of his father and mother, and of their benefactors, and of all Christian souls, paying to every of the said priests for their salaries 4l. by equal quarterly payments; and he gave directions for maintaining a perpetual succession of such priests and for securing the payment of their salaries. He next directed the Company to provide 13 poor honest men and women, being of good fame and in poverty, to pray especially for his soul, his wife's soul, and the souls aforesaid, and all Christian souls; and he provided for a perpetual succession of such poor persons, and directed the Company to pay to every of them weekly the sum of eightpence and deliver to every of them yearly a certain quantity of cloth, and the poor persons were to be required to pray daily and to attend to the anniversaries or obits. After having thus provided for the souls of those he mentioned by four priests and 13 poor men and women, he directed the Company to pay to the prior and convent of Royston every year 4l. by equal quarterly payments, on condition that the prior and convent there should find a priest to say mass in his church there every day, and the bell was to be rung. The priest was to have 3l. part of the 4l. given to the prior and convent, and was to pray for Sir T. Kneseworth's soul at the altar, and to say "De profundis" for his soul and all Christian souls, and the bellringer for ringing the bell and assisting the priest was to have a noble, the prior and convent were to have the remaining two nobles for performing the other ceremonies therein directed.
"In the argument for the relators, it was urged that the directions to which I have last referred are only directions to pray for the souls of the dead; that such directions are not unlawful and never have been prohibited by the Church of England, and were not deemed to be superstitious at the time when the statute of the 1st of Edward VI. was passed.
"It does not appear to me to be necessary for the purpose of deciding this case to enter into a minute examination of the doctrine of the Church of England respecting prayers for the souls of the dead. The question is whether the uses to which the testator has directed his property to be applied in perpetuity, are such as to vest the lands or the moneys applicable to the uses directed by the will in the Crown according to the intent and true effect of the statute of King Edward VI., and although prayers for the souls of deceased persons might not according to the doctrines of the Church of England be necessarily connected with the doctrine of purgatory, and although it might not be considered as an ecclesiastical offence to pray for the souls of deceased persons or request others to do so, on which points I do not think it necessary to express any opinion, yet it might nevertheless as I conceive be properly deemed superstitious to create an establishment or endow a foundation to be continued in perpetuity, conducted with certain ceremonies supposed to be religious for the purpose of securing the perpetual continuance of prayer for the souls of the dead either alone or in connection with other observances within the express terms of the statute, and it appears to me that this question has been determined by authority. Soon after the statute of Edward VI., questions arose sometimes upon the uses which were to be deemed superstitious within the statutes and more frequently on the effect of the statute in giving to the Crown either the land, the rents of which were to be applied to the uses, or only the sums of money which had been annually applied to the uses. And on that subject some distinctions which may appear rather nice were made; for it seems to me that the case of Adams v. Lambert, as reported by Coke, and by Moore, and several of the authorities therein stated, and the case of Pitt v. Farmer, as reported by Role, and other cases which are stated in Duke, cannot be read without coming to the conclusion that establishments or foundations for securing prayer for the souls of the dead were deemed to be superstitions and within the statute of Edward VI., and upon those authorities I am of opinion that the directions of the will, to which I have referred, are such, and the payments made in respect thereof became the property of the Crown.
"The next direction in the will is the payment yearly to Newgate and Ludgate of 40s., at the discretion of the wardens of the Company, in such things as the prisoners there should have most need of. To this gift no objection is made, the defendants allege they have performed the trust, and there is no proof to the contrary.
"The testator next directs the Company to appoint a receiver of the rents, who was to oversee the repairs and buildings, and out of the rents to pay for the reparation and other charges, and to keep accounts, and the Chamberlain of London was to attend at the taking of the accounts and to receive 3s. 4d., and on the occasion a breakfast was to be provided at an expense of 13s. 4d., and the receiver was to have 40s. a year, and if the account was not yearly made, the wardens were to forfeit 40 marks, to be levied upon the devised estates to the use of the City of London. The testator then directed that all the rents above the charges and outgoings should be laid in a chest in the treasury house of the Company, to the intent that the lands and messuages should be repaired and new builded when need should be. He then directed that his executor should pay 100 marks to be kept in the treasury house, to the intent that the premises might be the better and more truly performed, observed, and kept; and he willed that every honest man of the Company who would borrow 20 marks or 10l. of the said 100 marks, and of the money remaining of the rents, half-yearly, and lay a sufficient pledge in the treasury for the repayment thereof, and also say five paternosters, and five aves, and a creed for the testator's soul, and the souls above said, should have delivered to him by the said wardens 20 marks or 10l., and on repayment the same money might be re-lent, the party borrowing always saying at the time five paternosters, five aves, and a creed for the testator's soul and the souls aforesaid, and in case the Company of Fishmongers should make default in performing the trusts or any of them, the testator declared the gifts void, and gave the estate over to the City of London, to the intent that the trusts might be performed by them, except the lending any money, and except that the Fishmongers' Company should have no benefit but by the direction of the mayor and aldermen of the city. There is no evidence to show whether the sum of 100 marks was ever paid, but the gift of this sum for the better performance of the trusts above mentioned leads to the inference that at the time the rents were not more than sufficient to answer the purposes to which the testator directed them to be applied. Even in the direction for making and renewing loans out of the reserved fund, the testator has intermixed directions for religious observances to be performed for his soul, and the souls of others, and the only charitable gift unmixed with superstition, which I find in the will, is that to the prisoners in Newgate and Ludgate. This might be sufficient to save the land from vesting in the Crown, but all the other applications directed to be made of the rents appear to me to be either gifts for superstitious uses, or so connected with superstition or contrived for the continuance and perpetuation of a superstitious use, that the rents payable, and paid in that respect, became the property of the Crown under the statute of Edward VI., and under all the circumstances of the case I am of opinion that the estates devised by Sir T. Kneseworth became the property of the Company, subject only to the performance of the trust for the prisoners of Ludgate and Newgate, which trust appears to have been performed. I am therefore of opinion that this information must be dismissed and dismissed with costs."
The suit came before the Lord Chancellor on appeal, and judgment thereon was delivered by Lord Cottenham on the 13th of January 1841, when the following judgment was delivered by his Lordship, after stating the will:—
"It is impossible to attend to the provisions of the will and to entertain any doubt but that according to the principle of the cases of the Attorney-General v. the Corporation of Bristol, 2nd. Jacob and Walker, the Attorney-General v. Smithies, 2nd. Russell and Mylne and the Attorney-General v. the Cordwainers' Company, 3rd. Mylne and Keen, that the gifts and directions in this will, which precede the provisions as to the loans, are merely charges upon the property, and if they had been legal those who have the property so given subject to such charges would be only bound to discharge them as given whatever might be the value of the property.
" I am also of opinion that the same principle applies as to the loans to members of the Fishmongers' Company, though that is less definite as to the amount, and that if there had been no legal objection to that provision, all the Company would have been bound to do would have been to furnish out of the surplus rents the accommodation intended.
"The Company were to have the benefit of the surplus of the property, subject to the observance of the testator's direction, for the benefit of the poor members of it. This, though a charitable provision, was only a mode prescribed by the testator, in which the Company were among themselves to enjoy the gift. So far, therefore, as this information seeks to fix upon the whole of the property devised to the Company by the will of Sir T. Kneseworth, I am of opinion that it wholly fails.
"It has, however, a secondary and a very subordinate object, that is, the establishing and carrying into effect the objects and directions of the will in the several particulars which have been the subject of discussion.
"Much of that discussion has turned on the effect of the letters patent of 1 Edward VI. and the Act of 4 James I. The view I take of this case makes it unnecessary for me to follow that discussion further than to say that the effect of the two was, in my opinion, the gift of the Company for their own benefit (for there was no pretence for the suggestion that what they took from the Crown was subject to any trust) all such interest in the property given by the will of Sir Thomas Kneseworth as the Crown became, or might have become, entitled to under 1 Edward VI. But even that proposition is not very essential to the decision of the present case, for whether the Company so became entitled or not, it is clear that I cannot establish charities or carry into effect directions which are made illegal by the last-mentioned statute. Of the objects attempted to be provided for by the will, these only have been supposed to be free from the operation of the statute: 1st. That for the benefit of the prisoners in Newgate and Ludgate prisons; and 2nd. That for furnishing loans for members of the Company. Of the first nothing need be said, as there is no case established of the provision having been neglected, and as there is no ground for contending that the Company are bound to increase that sum, the only question therefore is as to the second. The gift in the will is that of the funds so to be composed of the surplus rents and of the 100 marks, 10l. should be lent to every honest man of the fellowship for six months, but only upon certain conditions, that is, the laying a sufficient pledge in the treasury for the sure repayment thereof, and also saying five paternosters and 5 aves, and a creed for the testator's soul and the souls before-mentioned, and if at the end of the six months the party borrowing wished to have the loan continued for six months more, he was to have the same for another six months, again laying a sufficient pledge for the sure repayment of the same at the said half year, he saying "De profundis" or five paternosters, five aves, and a creed for the testator's soul and the souls before-mentioned. The 5th of 1 Edward VI. c. 14. gave to the king all lands given to the finding or maintaining of any anniversary or obit, or other like thing or purpose. And by many decisions referred to in Adams v. Lambert, 4th Coke's reports, 102 b, it was decided that praying for souls was a like intent and purpose as an anniversary or obit within the meaning of the Act, although not to be performed by a priest or in any chapel, and that where the gift was for the benefit of the poor, but connected with such superstitious uses as their praying for souls, the whole went to the king. I particularly allude to the case of Adams v. Lambert itself, and to the cases of Cayley, Gregory, Colbourn, and Turner there cited in pages 114 and 115 b. It is, therefore, impossible to maintain that the provisions for loans to the members of the Fishmongers' Company were not within the operation of the Act of 1 Edward VI. c. 14. The king therefore became entitled to the whole estate, this purpose applying to the whole of the surplus rents if required, and there being, therefore, no distinct part or portion which could go to the king, in which case it was early decided that he was entitled to the whole, the authorities for which are also to be found in Adams v. Lambert. the result of which is that the Company by means of the letters patent and the Act of 4 James I. obtained all the title which the Act of 1 Edward VI. c. 14. would have given to the Crown, or even if that had not been so, the gift was superstitious and void under the last-mentioned Act, and the Attorney-General cannot call upon this court to establish it or to carry its provisions into effect.
"I therefore think the decree of the Master of the Rolls was perfectly correct and dismiss this appeal with costs."
The information was accordingly dismissed with costs.
The steps thereupon taken by the Company are stated in the following narrative, printed by order of the court of Company, to be annexed to the Report of the Commissioners of Inquiry:—
"The decree of the Lord Chancellor was communicated to the court of the Fishmongers' Company on the following day, the 14th January 1841. At the Trust Committee, the 7th May 1841, a letter referred by the court the 8th April, from Mr. J. B. Towse, solicitor, was read, and he being heard thereon, the committee directed him to lay before them 'a general report on the situation of the Com'pany in consequence of the late decree;' accordingly Mr. J. B. Towse laid a report before the committee on the 6th July 1841, when he was directed to prepare the draft of a case, to be submitted to the committee previously to Mr. Pemberton's opinion being taken thereon, agreeably to Mr. Towse's suggestion.
"The Trust Committee, 24th September 1841, approved of the case so drawn, and directed it to be laid before Mr. Pemberton; he, Mr. Pemberton, declining to receive the case without a junior, the court, 11th November 1841, ordered a copy of the case to be submitted to Mr. Romilly, to meet Mr. Pemberton in consultation thereon. The joint opinion of those gentlemen was laid before the Trust Committee, the 31st December 1841, the same being entered in the proceedings of that day. The committee recommended the court to carry out the opinion of Mr. Pemberton and Mr. Romilly by discontinuing the keeping of the account and audit; to cease the payments to the chamberlain, and for the breakfast; to continue the payment of 40s. to the prisons of Newgate and Ludgate, but to cease the increased allowance to them; and that the printed account (made by order of court, 20th July 1826) of the 'benefactions given to St. Peter's Hospital' should be reprinted, omitting all reference to Sir Thomas Kneseworth, which the court the 18th January 1842 agreed to, and ordered accordingly.
"By virtue of the above decree, the estates alluded to in the annexed report as being derived from Kneseworth, are declared as not of his gift, but that they were taken from the Company; that the purchase of them from the Crown was from out of the Company's own funds, and therefore the Company are at liberty to do as they may please with the yearly income, &c.
"This report, therefore, of the Commissioners of Charities, as contained in pages 94, 95, 96, 97, and 98, Rep. 12, is no longer correct in ascribing that the Company hold the property therein described as belonging to Kneseworth's Trust, or that the property is in any way connected with Saint Peter's Hospital, &c. The references to Kneseworth in the account given by the Commissioners of Saint Peter's Hospital, in pages 98, 99, 100, 101, and 102, may therefore be considered erroneous, as even the badges, which are stated in page 102 to represent Kneseworth's arms have been by order of court, 10th February 1842, discontinued, and new badges, with the Company's arms on, substituted.
"By the discontinuing the keeping of the accounts, and from the property being declared to be the Company's own, the income derived from the property is not now appropriated (as mentioned in page 95 of the Commissioners' Report) to certain specific charities, although the Company intend, during pleasure, to support those charities out of their own funds, except as regards the increase made to the prisons, which, as before mentioned, is discontinued, they being entirely unconnected with the Company, excepting the small payment of 40s. annually."
The questions and opinion above referred to were as follows:—
1. Whether the Company is now at liberty to discontinue the keeping the account and audit in the manner as directed by the will of the testator, and bring them into the general accounts of the Company, and cease the payments to the chamberlain, &c., and for the breakfast.
2. Whether the payment of 40s. to the prisons of Newgate and Ludgate is a trust which they are now bound to perform under and according to the directions of the testator's will.
3. Whether the will of the testator was not by the operation of the statutes passed for the suppression of superstitious uses, and relating thereto, or some or one of them made absolutely void and destroyed, and the lands thereby entirely vested in the Crown; if not, to what extent were the same affected, and what is the present position of the Company in respect to the will as regards those statutes, and as regards the judgment of the late Lord Chancellor.
4. And to advise the Company what course of proceedings they should adopt for the silencing of all doubts and for the prevention of future litigation and generally on the case.
1. We are of opinion that the Company is now at liberty to discontinue keeping the account and audit in the manner directed by the will of Sir T. Kneseworth, to bring them into the general accounts of the Company, and to cease the payments to the chamberlain and for the breakfast.
2. The judgments pronounced by the Master of the Rolls and the Lord Chancellor in this case do not decide this point, but we think that the Company cannot safely dispense with this payment, although the doctrines laid down in Adams v. Lambert, 4 Rep., and the other authorities which were cited in this case, if they can be supported to their full extent, decide that this trust is not one which the Company is now bound to perform, according to the directions contained in the testator's will.
3 and 4. We are of opinion that the will of the testator was, by the operation of the statute 1st Edward VI., and the letters patent of 4 Edward VI., and the statute of 4 James I., rendered absolutely void except so far as relates to the payment of 40s. to the prisoners of Newgate and Ludgate, and that by the force of these statutes and letters patent the Company is now the owner of the property devised by this will as purchaser for valuable consideration, and that they have full power and right to deal with it as they may think fit, but considering the great length of time which has elapsed during which the Company has invariably applied a considerable portion of the rents arising from these estates towards certain charitable purposes, a diversion of the whole of the property to other purposes might still create doubts, and give rise to questions which it would be unwise to occasion. We think that if not already done the decree had better be enrolled, which may prevent a rehearing at some distant period; independently of this, we cannot point out any step which can be taken by the Company to silence doubts and prevent future litigation, the decisions which have already been pronounced will, if extensively known, do more than any course which the Company can adopt to effect these objects.
(Signed) Thos. Pemberton.
Lincoln's Inn, 21st December 1841.
The 40s. a year has since been paid to the city officers for the prisons of Ludgate and Newgate, and constitutes the only sum paid in respect of this devise. The accounts laid before the Charity Commissioners under the Charitable Trusts Acts comprise this charge and its annual discharge, and no other account in relation to the estate.
Richard Knight, by his will of the 11th October 1501, gave his messuage or great house and six tenements in Lime Street towards the relief and comfort of the Company.
The sum of 13s. 4d. a year is deemed to be chargeable on this estate, and is carried to the account of the halfyearly poor.
John Larkin, by his will of the 18th November 1656, gave 400l. to the said Company, to be lent to four poor men free of the Company at interest at 3l. per cent. at the end of four years. The fund is part of the "Loan Trust Fund." (See Cecilie Long's Charity.) The sum of 3l. a year is carried from "Loan monies interest" to the credit of the Company.
Cecilie Long bequeathed, by her will of the 8th September 1559, to the Company 150l., to be lent to six poor young men, and paying yearly 3l. for coals amongst poor and needy persons inhabiting the city. This forms part of the "Trust Loan Account," and is administered as stated under the decree of the Court of Chancery. The Company pay in April yearly 7s. 6d. each to eight poor persons, who are members of the Company.
The Commissioners of Inquiry observe in their report:
"Many similar benefactions of money for the purpose of being lent to poor freemen of the Company occur in this report, but no such loans have been made for a great number of years. The present clerk of the Company remembers only two applications for them in the course of 50 years; but neither the parties or the securities were approved of. In all cases, however, where the loans were not to be made gratis, the Company make the charitable payments to which the interest to be received was directed to be applied by the respective donors."
An information was subsequently to the report of the Commissioners of Inquiry filed against the Company at the relation of Edward I'Anson, (fn. 1) and came on to be heard before the Master of the Rolls on the 25th April 1837, when it was declared that the 34 sums therein mentioned, making together the sum of 2,911l. 13s. 4d. then in the hands of the defendants were charitable bequests applicable to the several trusts of the wills or instruments of the several donors in the pleadings mentioned, and it was referred to the master to make the several inquiries thereby directed, and it was ordered that the relator and the said Fishmongers' Company should be at liberty to propose before the master a scheme for the application of the said several sums, or so much thereof as the master should find could not be so applied as directed by the said several wills and instruments, and the master was to settle and approve of a proper scheme for that purpose.
The master made his report, dated the 9th day of July 1841, and therein set forth the dates and particulars of the bequests of 34 endowments for loans, namely:—
An abstract of the terms of each donation is set forth under the head of each charity, and will be found under the alphabetical arrangement.
The master found that the several sums of money were then retained and kept, save as therein-after mentioned, in the possession of the Company for the purpose as they alleged of having the same ready for such applicants as might require the same, and fulfil the conditions necessary for obtaining the loans thereof respectively, according to the several trusts of the wills or investments of the donors. And he found that the persons who according to the directions of the said donors would be entitled to call for and require the said 34 loans had not for the last 50 years called for and required the same, save and except that upon the 1st day of August 1836 the sum of 200l. in compliance with the directions contained in the said will of the said Randolph Baskerville was advanced and lent by the defendants to one Samuel Rutty, who had applied for the same, and who, together with his sureties, executed the necessary bond for the repayment thereof, and for the payment of interest thereon in the meantime as directed by the said will of the said Randolph Baskerville; and also, save and except that since the said application the defendants had received three other applications for the loan of money from the defendants, but with which last applications in consequence of this suit being then pending, and under the various circumstances therein-after mentioned, the defendants had not hitherto complied. And he found that of the said 34 several sums of money amounting together to the sum of 2,911l. 13s. 4d., part thereof consisting of the 18 donations next therein-after mentioned, amounting to the sum of 2,148l. 6s. 8d., were directed to be lent on loan at interest varying from 6s. 8d. to 4l. 10s. per cent. per annum, and from one to four years, with the exception of one, which had no limited time, that is to say, Cicily Long's gift of 150l., at 2l. per cent. per annum, to be lent for three years in sums of 25l. each. Lawrence William's gift of 120l., at 2l. 10s. per cent. per annum, to be lent for three years in sums of 40l. each. Johan Hecker's gift of 100l., at 2l. 13s. 4d. per cent. per annum, to be lent for three years in sums of 50l. each. Dame Anne Allott's gift of 100l., at 4l. per cent. per annum, to be lent for three years each in sums of 50l. each. Alice Field's gift of 80l., at 16s. 8d. per cent. per annum, to be lent for two years in sums of 20l. each. Ann Broomsgrove's gift of 66l. 13s. 4d., at 3l. 15s. per cent. per annum, to be lent for two years in sums of 33l. 6s. 8d. each. John Halsey's gift of 200l., at 1l. 13s. 4d. per cent. per annum, to be lent for three years in sums of 50l. each. Fras. Coling's gift of 200l., at 1l. 10s. per cent. per annum, to be lent for three years in sums of 50l. each. Randall Baskerville's gift of 200l., at 4l. 10s. per cent. per annum, and as to the loan of which no time was limited or sum specified. William Barlow's gift of 100l., at 3l. per cent. per annum, and as to the loan of which no time was limited or sum specified. William Thwaites' gift of 50l., at 2l. per cent. per annum, to be lent for three years in sums of 25l. each. Thos. Palley's gift of 50l., at 2l. per cent. per annum, to be lent for one year in sums of 10l. each. John Haydon's gift of 100l., at 3l. 6s. 8d. per cent. per annum, to be lent for four years in sums of 50l. each. Edward Allen's gift of 66l. 13s. 4d., at 6s. 8d. per cent. per annum, to be lent for three years in sums of 33l. 6s. 8d. each. Magdalene Stoke's gift of 40l., at 2l. 10s. per cent. per annum, to be lent for two years. Paul Cleater's gift of 25l., at 2l. per cent. per annum, to be lent for two years. Jno. Larkin's gift of 400l., at 15s. per cent. per annum, to be lent for four years in sums of 100l. each; and John Owen's gift of 100l., at 2l. per cent. per annum, to be lent for three years in sums of 50l. And he found that the interest to arise from the loan of the last-mentioned donations amounted in the aggregate to the sum of 46l. 4s. 6d. per annum; that, with the exception of the sum of 3l., part thereof the produce of the said Jno. Larkin's donation, and as to the disposal of which no direction was given; by his said will, the same was to be applied as follows (that is to say), the sum of 3l., the produce of the said Cicely Long's donation to the Fishmongers' Company, for the buying of coals to be given at Christmas to poor and needy persons inhabiting in the City of London as the wardens of the said Company think meet; the sum of 3l., the produce of the said Lawrence William's donation, to the churchwardens of Ashwell, Herts, the sum of 2l. 13s. 4d. the produce of the said Johan Hecker's donation, to be divided as to one moiety equally between the poor persons in the King's Bench and common gaols of Surrey, and as to the other moiety to be distributed in coals among poor people of the Fishmongers' Company; the sum of 4l., the produce of Ann Allott's donation, to the poor in the lesser almshouse in Church Street, Croydon, and to the parson and churchwardens of Sanderstead, Surrey, in the sums and in the manner in the will mentioned; the sum of 13s. 4d., the produce of Alice Field's donation to the Fishmongers' Company to purchase charcoal to distribute among the poor of the parish of St. Nicholas Olave in December; the sum of 2l. 10s., the produce of Ann Broomsgrove's donation, in manner following, that is to say, 1l. to Nicholas Cole Abbey, 1l. to St. Peter's Hospital, 5s. to the reader there, and 5s. to the officers of the Fishmongers' Company; the sum of 3l. 6s. 8d., the produce of Jno. Halsey's donation, in manner following, that is to say, 3l. to the Fishmongers' Company to purchase sea coals for the poor of St. Mary Magdalene, Old Fish Street, and 6s. 8d. to the officers of the Fishmongers' Company, for providing and seeing to the delivery, of the same sum of 3l., the produce of Fras. Coling's donation, to 10 poor freemen or widows of freemen of the Fishmonger's Company not receiving a pension at the court next before or on the 17th day of March or the next court thereafter; the sum of 9l., the produce of Randall Baskerville's donation, in manner following; that is to say, 4l. to St. Peter's Hospital, 4l. to Bray Hospital, 10s. to the clerk of the Fishmongers' Company, 5s. to each of the two beadles of the said Company; the sum of 3l., the produce of William Barlow's donation, to be distributed in the hospital of Croydon, founded by Archbishop Whitgift, in sums and manner in the will mentioned; the sum of 1l., the produce of Wm. Thwaites' donation, for the churchwardens of St. Mildred, London, for the poor; the sum of 1l., the produce of Thos. Palley's donation, to the wardens of the yeomanry towards a dinner; the sum of 3l. 6s. 8d., the produce of John Haydon, to be paid to the Mercers' Company; the sum of 4s. 6d., the produce of Edward Allen's donation, to the two beadles of the Fishmongers' Company; the sum of 1l., the produce of Magdalene Stoke's donation, to a discreet preacher for a sermon on New Year's day at St. Botolph's; the sum of 10s., the produce of Paul Cleater's donation, to the parish of St. Mary-at-Hill, and the sum of 2l., the produce of Jno. Owen's donation, to the poor of the Fishmongers' Company at Christmas. And he found that of the said 34 donations other parts thereof, consisting of the two donations next hereafter mentioned and amounting together to the sum of 233l. 6s. 8d., were directed to be lent out upon (among others) the conditions following, that is to say, James Bacon's gift of 100l., to be lent in sums of 50l., for which the borrowers were to provide two cartloads of coals, of 30 sacks to the load, per annum, and to have the loan for two years, and Sir Jno. Allott's gift of 133l. 6s. 8d., to be lent in sums of 33l. 6s. 8d., for the loan of which three loads of great coals called Caroli, three sacks to the load, four bushels to the sack, are to be provided per annum, and the loan to be lent for three years. And he found that the average value of the 240 bushels of coals which were to be provided yearly in respect of the said James Bacon's gift, amounting to the sum of 12l. or thereabouts, being equivalent to interest at the rate of 12l. per cent. per annum for the loan, and that the annual value of the 360 bushels of coals which were to be provided yearly in respect of the said Sir John Allott's gift amount to the sum of 18l., or thereabouts, being equivalent to interest at the rate of 3l. 10s. per cent. per annum for the loan. And he found that the remainder of the said 34 several sums of money consisted of the following 14 donations next thereafter mentioned, amounting together to the sum of 530l., and were directed to be lent out without interest in manner following; that is to say, Owyne Waller's gift of 100l. to be lent for two years in sums of 25l. each. Lawrence Williams' gift of 40l. to be lent out for three years in sums of 10l. each. Richard Turk's gift of 100l., to be lent for one year in sums of 20l. each. John Joy's gift of 20l., to be lent for one year in sums of 10l. each. John Hopkins' gift of 20l., to be lent for one year in a sum of 20l. Henry Walley's gift of 20l., to be lent for two years in a sum of 20l. John Cowper's gift of 20l., to be lent for one year in a sum of 20l. John Crafton's gift of 40l., to be lent for two years in sums of 20l. each. Edward Cawnte's gift of 20l., to be lent for five years in a sum of 20l. Warner King's gift of 40l., to be lent for two years in sums of 20l. each. Leonard Smith's gift of 20l., to be lent for two years in sums of 10l. each. Roger Owfield's gift of 50l., to be lent for one year or more in sums of 25l. each. Mrs. Basden's gift of 20l., to be lent for two years in a sum of 20l., and John Carter's gift of 20l., to be lent for two years in a sum of 20l. And he found that the said defendants by the said state of facts, after alleging to the effect therein-before mentioned, stated that the objects of the charity of the eight several donors therein-after named, as specified by their respective wills or deeds, could not at the present time be found, viz., Alice Field, Ann Broomsgrove, Jno. Halsey, Richard Turk, Edward Cawnte, Warner King, Leonard Smith, and Paul Cleater, and it was extremely doubtful whether the objects of the charity of the said three several donors therein-after named, as specified or referred to by their respective wills or deeds, could at the present time be found, viz., Henry Walleys, John Haydon, and Magdalene Stokes. And further, that the objects of the charity of the 23 several donors therein-after named, as specified or referred to by their respective wills or deeds, might at the present time be found, viz., Cicely Long, Jas. Bacon, Owyne Waller, Lawrence Williams, Johan Hecker, Alderman Jno. Allott, Dame Anne Allott, Fras. Coling, Randall Baskerville, William Barlow, William Thwaites, Jas. Joy, Thos. Palley, Jno. Hopkins, Jno. Cowper, Jno. Crafton, Roger Owfield, Edward Allen, Jno. Larkin, Jno. Owen, Mrs. Basden, and Jno. Carter. And after further stating that although the objects of the several last-mentioned 23 donors might be found, yet by reason of the smallness of the amount of many of the said sums of money for loans, the depreciation of the value of money, the increase in the price of the necessaries of life, the expenses of inquiring into the reresponsibility of the sureties, the preparing and execution of the bonds for repayment of such loans, and the stamp duties imposed thereon. And also by reason of the trade in fish in the City of London being carried on in a manner wholly different from that which prevailed at the respective dates of the said several wills and deeds, and also the conditions necessary to be fulfilled it would not be beneficial to persons standing in need of such assistance to accept any of such last-mentioned 23 loans, the said defendants submitted that, under the circumstances aforesaid, the said 34 several sums of money could not then be applied according to the directions contained in the said several wills or instruments, having regard to the intentions of the said several donors, and that it was therefore expedient that some measures should be adopted so that the charitable intentions of all the aforesaid respective donors might, as far as circumstances and the alterations of the times would permit, be carried out and complied with according to the spirit thereof, and that an increase in the number of the said loans should take place. And the master set forth the following scheme which had been submitted to him by the Company.
1st. That the said before-mentioned several 34 sums of 150l., 100l., 100l., 120l., 40l., 100l., 133l. 6s. 8d., 100l., 80l., 66l. 13s. 4d., 200l., 200l., 200l., 100l., 50l., 100l., 20l., 50l., 20l., 20l., 100l., 20l., 40l., 20l., 40l., 20l., 50l. 66l. 13s. 4d., 40l., 25l., 400l., 100l., 20l., and 20l., amounting to the sum of 2,911l. 13s. 4d., should be amalgamated, and that after such amalgamation the amount of such costs as the court shall direct should be deducted and paid out of the said sum of 2,911l. 13s. 4d.
2nd. That the sum of money till after such deductions should be from time to time lent out by the said court of assistants of the defendants to any of the poor members of the said Company, upon their giving security for the repayment thereof as therein and herein-after is mentioned to the satisfaction of the said wardens or assistants, or the major part of them, and their successors, in several sums of money not less than 50l. each, and not exceeding 300l. each, and for a term not exceeding four years, according to their discretion, at interest after the rate of 3l. per cent. per annum. That the interest arising from the said loans should be applied by the defendants, the said wardens and commonalty, and their successors annually in the first instance in the payment of the sum of 73l. 4s. 6d. in the sums and to the uses following; that is to say,—
To pay (pursuant to the will of Lawrence Williams as aforesaid) to the churchwardens of the parish of Ashwell, in the county of Herts, 3l., 52s. whereof to be employed and bestowed on bread, which should be weekly distributed in the parish church of Ashwell only on every Sunday, one dozen to the poor of the same parish that should have most need thereof, by the discretion and oversight of the vicar and churchwardens there, and the odd loaf to the sexton weekly for his labour about the distribution of the rest; and 2s., another parcel of the same 3l., to the parish clerk of the same parish of Ashwell yearly, for his pains about the premises; and 6s., the residue of the same 3l., to be bestowed and employed for ever towards the reparation of the same church.
To pay (pursuant to the will of Dame Anne Allott as aforesaid) to and amongst the poor almspeople inhabiting and dwelling in the lesser almshouse in Church Street, in the town of Croydon, in the county of Surrey, the sum of 3l., to be equally distributed and paid amongst them upon the 23rd day of March; and also to pay at the times last aforesaid unto the parson and churchwardens of the parish of Sanderstead, in the said county of Surrey, the sum of 20s., which is to be bestowed and laid forth yearly in repairing and amending the parish church of Sanderstead aforesaid, at the oversight of them, who are referred to by the said will of the said Dame Anne Allott, and if the said 20s. a year should be converted to any other use or uses otherwise than to the repairing of the said church, that the said 20s. a year should cease for the next year following and be paid and equally divided to and amongst the poor people inhabiting in the lesser almshouses aforesaid, and so from time to time be withdrawn from the said parish of Sanderstead as often as they neglect the employment thereof to the use intended, provided that the parson and churchwardens should have warning by him or them who had oversight of the repairs as aforesaid to repair the said church within one year, after which, if they should not perform and do it, then the said 20s. to be distributed to the poor almspeople aforesaid.
To pay (pursuant to the will of Anne Broomsgrove as aforesaid) 20s. unto the parson and churchwardens for the time being of St. Nicholas Cole Abbey, London, for the use and benefit of the poor people of the same parish to be distributed to and amongst them where most need is on the feast day of the Annunciation of our Blessed Lady the Virgin, yearly; and also to pay and distribute other 20s. amongst the poor people of St. Peter's Hospital, in the parish of St. George, in the county of Surrey, upon the same feast day last-before mentioned yearly; and also to pay 5s. to the minister or reader of prayers for the time being in the said hospital last mentioned; and also to pay 5s. to the officers of the said wardens and commonalty and their successors.
To distribute (pursuant to the said deed of the said Fras. Coling as aforesaid) the sum of 3l. amongst 10 of the poorest freemen, or widows of freemen, of the said Company, not receiving any pension, at the court next before, on or next after the 17th day of March yearly, as the major part of the wardens and assistants of the said Company present at such court should think most fit.
To pay (pursuant to the aforesaid will of the said Randall Baskerville) to St. Peter's Hospital the sum of 4l., to the hospital of Bray the sum of 4l., to the clerk of the said wardens and commonalty and their successors the sum of 10s., and to their two beadles the sum of 5s. a piece.
To distribute (pursuant to the aforesaid will of the said William Barlow, Bishop of Lincoln) the sum of 3l. for the hospital in Croydon, in the county of Surrey, founded by the most Rev. Prelate Archbishop Whitegift in this manner, viz., 13s. 4d. for one that is a preacher licensed to preach in the parish church there yearly a sermon on the 22nd March, being the day on which the hospital was founded, in which he should make honourable mention of that most Rev. Prelate Archbishop Whitegift, his person and action; 13s. 4d. to make a competent dinner for all or as many of the poor of the hospital as should be at the sermon that day, if not sick or bedrid; 10s. to be put into the common box of the hospital for a dividend among the poor, and 3s. 4d. for the vicar of Croydon to give notice in the church unto the parishioners every year on the Sunday before the day of that sermon; and 6s. 8d. for one of the Company of the said wardens and commonalty and their successors to be sent by the master and wardens on that day every year to see this performed; and 13s. 4d. to be equally divided every year in the Fishmongers' Hall among four poor old men or women of London at the nomination and appointment of the aldermen alone, if there be any, or the master of the Company alone for the time being.
To pay (pursuant to the aforesaid will of the said William Thwaites) 1l. unto the churchwardens of the parish of St. Mildred, London, to be by them distributed and employed to the use of the poor of the same parish.
To give (pursuant to the aforesaid will of the said Thomas Palley) to the wardens of the yeomanry of the Fishmongers towards their dinner, whensoever they shall make it, 1l.
To deliver and pay (pursuant to the aforesaid will of the said Jno. Heydon) the sum of 3l. 6s. 8d. into the hand of the master and wardens of the Company or Mistery of Mercers of London and their successors.
To pay (pursuant to the aforesaid will of the said Edward Allen) 4s. 6d. to the two beadles of the said wardens and commonalty and successors of Fishmongers.
To pay (pursuant to the aforesaid will of the said Magdalene Stokes) 1l. unto a discreet preacher of God's word for one sermon that he shall make every New Year's day, that is, the 1st of January, for ever at St. Botolph's within the City of London.
To pay (pursuant to the aforesaid will of the said Paul Cleater) 10s. to the churchwardens of the parish of St. Mary at Hill, London, for the use of the poor of the said parish.
To pay (pursuant to the aforesaid will of the said Jno. Owen) the sum of 40s. amongst the poor of the said wardens and commonalty and successors of Fishmongers at Christmas yearly.
To pay (pursuant to the aforesaid will of the said Johan Hecker) the sum of 1l. 6s. 8d. to the relief of the poor prisoners of the King's Bench in Southwark, and the poor prisoners of the common gaols for Surrey, to be divided betwixt them equally amongst them; and also the further sum of 1l. 6s. 8d. for coals to be distributed amongst the poor people of the Company of Fishmongers where need is.
To pay (pursuant to the aforesaid will of the said Cicely Long) the sum of 3l. for the buying of coals, which are to be against the feast of Christmas, given to and amongst such poor and needy persons inhabiting within the City of London as to the wardens of the said Company of Fishmongers for the time being shall be thought meet.
To pay (pursuant to the aforesaid will of the said John Halsey) the sum of 3l. 6s. 8d. which shall be employed and bestowed by the wardens of the said Fishmongers' Company in form following, that is to say, 3l. thereof to be employed and bestowed yearly at such time of the year as they shall think fittest in sea coals to be sent to the parish of St. Mary Magdalen in Old Fish Street, London, and there to be by the churchwardens of the said parish laid up and kept to the use of the poor until winter time, and then to be distributed to amongst the poor of the said parish in such manner as the said churchwardens and overseers of the poor shall in their discretion think most fitting, and the remaining 6s. 8d. to be given to such beadle or other officer of the said Company for his pains as shall be appointed by the wardens of the said Company to provide the said coals and to see the delivery of the same to the churchwardens of the said parish.
To pay (pursuant to the aforesaid will of the said James Bacon) the sum of 12l. in buying and providing two loads of coals called cart coals, amounting to 30 sacks to the load, and the same shall, from time to time as the wardens of the said Fishmongers' Company appoint, be delivered one load between the 1st day of November and the 20th day of December, and the other load between the 1st day of January and the 2nd day of February, and distributed among the poorest of the said Company, according to the discretion of the said wardens.
To pay (pursuant to the aforesaid will of the said Sir Jno. Allott) the sum of 18l. for the buying and providing of three loads of great coals called caroli, every load containing 30 sacks, and every sack containing four bushels, which shall be distributed by the oversight and direction of the wardens of the said Company of Fishmongers every year yearly to and amongst the poor inhabitants within the ward of Bread Street, London, in manner and form following, viz., one load thereof always and somewhat before the feast of Easter, one other load thereof somewhat before the feast of All Saints, and the other always between the feasts of All Saints and Christmas.
To distribute (pursuant to the aforesaid deed of the said Alice Field) the sum of 13s. 4d. either in money or in so many sacks of charcoal as should amount to that sum among the poor people of the parish of St. Nicholas Olave, in the City of London. That in case the said wardens and Company and their successors should not be able to pay the said 73l. 4s. 6d., or any part thereof away annually as before set forth by reason of the failure of the objects to receive the same herein-before mentioned, then it should be lawful for them to pay the said 73l. 4s. 6d. or such part thereof as should remain in their hands or possession unapplied as aforesaid towards the aid, support, and relief of any of the poor members of the said Fishmongers' Company as they the said wardens and commonalty and their successors at a court of assistants of the said mystery or the majority there present should deem proper; that such portion of the said principal sum which at any time should not be out on loan, or should not be required for that purpose, and would otherwise be in the possession of the said defendants, the said wardens and commonalty and their successors should pay into the hands of the bankers of the said wardens and commonalty for the time being to an account in their books entitled the Worshipful Company of Fishmongers' Trust Loan Monies, there to be and remain until application or applications be from time to time made to the said wardens and commonalty at a court of assistants for the loan thereof, or some part thereof. That upon any such application or applications being made to the said wardens and commonalty, such court of assistants or the major part of them shall in their discretion determine whether or not the same is or are fit to be complied with, and if the same shall be complied with it shall be lawful for the said wardens and commonalty and their successors at such court of assistants, or the major part of them, to direct a warrant or check to be issued to such their banker for the time being to pay so much of the said loan monies to the bearer as should be expressed or mentioned in the said warrant or check; that the borrowers together with their sureties (such sureties to be approved of by the said defendants and their successors the wardens and commonalty for the time being of the said mystery at a court of assistants, or the major part of them, to be evidenced by a resolution of that court of assistants, and entered in the book or books of the said mistery from time to time) shall be respectively required to execute a joint and several bond or note of hand as by such resolution shall be directed to the defendants and their successors, the conditions of such bonds or the terms of such notes of hand to be in the form or substance following, viz.: That the borrowers with such sureties should jointly and severally bind themselves, their heirs, executors, and administrators to the said defendants, the wardens and commonalty and their successors, in a penal sum therein to be named, to pay to them the said defendants or their certain attorney at Fishmongers' Hall, in the City of London, the sum borrowed with interest after the rate of 3l. per cent. per annum, either in one sum or by instalments to be therein stated, on a certain day or certain days to be therein named, and in default of payment of the said sum and interest, or any instalment thereof, on the days and times therein-before mentioned, then the said defendants, the wardens and commonalty and their successors, to be at liberty to sue forthwith for the whole sum remaining due.
5th. That the clerk for the time being of the said wardens and commonalty and their successors shall be at liberty to charge the borrowers respectively for the stamps and for the other reasonable costs attendant upon such loans.
6th. That when any portion of the principal monies aforesaid shall be in the possession of the said defendants, the wardens and commonalty and their successors, to be lent out, advertisements shall be inserted twice at the least in every year in two or more of the daily newspapers, at the discretion of the said defendants, the wardens and commonalty and their successors, or the major part of them, at a court of assistants of the said mistery assembled, offering to lend out the same pursuant to the terms aforesaid, and notice thereof in writing shall also be put up in some conspicuous part of the hall or premises of the said mistery.
7th. That a separate account be kept by the said wardens and commonalty and their successors or their clerk, in which shall be entered an account of all the loan monies included in the pleadings of this cause; and in which also shall be entered the names and residences of the respective borrowers and their sureties, with their respective profession or business, the sums lent, the times of making the loans, and when payable, with the interest thereon, and the terms for which such loans were lent, and such further and other particulars as may by the said court of assistants be thought material or necessary.
8th. That in case the said wardens and commonalty or their successors should have any large sum of the aforesaid loan monies standing in the hands of their bankers for want of borrowers, it shall be lawful for them in their discretion to invest the same or any part thereof in the purchase of 3l. per cent. Consolidated Bank Annuities, and there to retain and keep the same until they have applications or application for the loan thereof or of any part thereof, and then to sell the same, and with the produce make the loan upon the terms aforesaid.
9th. That the interest to arise from the said charity funds, whether the same consists of the interest on such loans so to be made as aforesaid or of the interest on such investments as lastly therein-before mentioned, or partly of the interest on such loans and partly of the interest on such investment, shall be applied first towards payment of the said sum of 73l. 4s. 6d. in the several sums, and in the manner herein-before mentioned, and in the next place towards defraying all costs, charges, and expenses which the said wardens and commonalty and their successors shall have paid or incurred, or may hereafter pay or incur, in and about the management of any of the aforesaid matters and incidental to the carrying of this scheme into effect whether they are law proceedings or otherwise, other than the costs, charges, and expenses properly chargeable to the borrowers of the said loans in the manner hereinbefore specified, and the balance, if any, shall be paid to the poor men and women of the said mistery, as the wardens and commonalty and their successors, at a court of assistants, or the majority of them, shall think proper.
10th and last. That the said wardens and commonalty and their successors, and the estates of the said mistery shall not be liable to make good any loss that may arise from the failure of the borrowers of the whole or any portion of the said loan monies or their sureties, or from the failure of the said wardens and commonalty, or in, by, or through any such investment or investments as aforesaid, or in any other manner, unless such loss shall arise from the wilful default or neglect of the said defendants.
And the master certified that upon consideration of the said scheme and of the several matters aforesaid he found that, except as therein-before mentioned, the said 34 several sums of 150l., 100l., 100l., 120l., 40l., 100l., 133l. 6s. 8d., 100l., 80l., 66l. 13s. 4d., 200l., 200l., 200l., 100l., 50l., 100l., 20l., 50l., 20l., 20l., 100l., 20l., 40l., 20l. 40l. 20l., 50l., 66l. 13s. 4d., 40l., 25l., 400l., 100l., 20l., and 20l., could not then be applied according to the directions contained in the said several wills or instruments of the said donors thereof, and the master settled and approved of the said scheme as a proper scheme for the application of the said several sums in such manner as would be most beneficial for the poor members of the said Fishmongers' Company, and as would be most nearly in accordance with the directions contained in the said several wills and instruments, except that he was of opinion that the sums of money in which the said funds were to be lent by the said court of assistants should not exceed the sum of 200l., instead of 300l., as proposed by the said defendants. All which he humbly certified and submitted to the honourable court.
The case came before the court for further directions on the 10th day of August 1841, when it was ordered that it be referred to the master to tax all parties their costs of the information, as between solicitor and client, and that the same when taxed be paid out of the sum of 2,911l. 13s. 4d. in the hands of the said defendants; and that what should remain of the said sum of 2,911l. 13s. 4d. be set apart by the said defendants; and that an account thereof be opened in the book of the said Company to be entitled the "Trust Loan Account;" and it was ordered that the defendants by their court of assistants were to be at liberty and required to lend out to any of the poor members of the said Company, who should apply for the same, sums not below 50l. and not exceeding 200l., for any time not exceeding four years, according to the discretion of the said court of assistants, at interest after the rate of 3l. per cent. per annum, upon the said poor members who should apply for the same giving such security for the repayment thereof as should be deemed satisfactory by the said court of assistants; and that the interest arising from the said loans was to be applied by the defendants, the said wardens and commonalty and their successors, annually, in the first instance, and as far as the same would extend, in the payment of the sum of 73l. 4s. 6d. to the persons and objects and in the manner specified in the scheme herein-before set forth as contained in the master's report; and the court thereby ordered that in case the said wardens and commonalty and their successors should not be able to pay the said sum of 73l. 4s. 6d., or any part thereof, away annually as thereinbefore directed, by reason of the failure of the objects therein-before specified, or of any one or more of them to receive the same, then the said 73l. 4s. 6d., or such part thereof as should remain in their hands or possession unapplied as aforesaid, was to be paid and applied by the said defendants towards the aid, and support, and relief of any of the poor members of the said Fishmongers' Company, in such sums, and in such manner, as they the said wardens and commonalty and successors at a court of assistants of the said mystery or a majority there present should deem proper; and after payment of the said sum of 73l. 4s. 6d. the said interest was to be applied in the next place towards defraying all costs, and charges, and expenses which the said wardens and commonalty and their successors should have paid or incurred, or might thereafter pay or incur, in and about the management of any of the aforesaid matters and incidental to the carrying thereof into effect, whether they were law proceedings or otherwise, other than the costs, charges, and expenses properly chargeable to the borrowers of the said loans, in the manner herein-after specified, and the balance, if any, was to be paid to the poor men and women of the said mystery as the said wardens and commonalty and their successors at a court of assistants should think proper; and it was declared that such portion of the said principal sum which at any time should not be out on loan, or should not be required for that purpose, and which would otherwise be in the possession of the said defendants and their successors, was to be paid by them into the hands of the bankers of the said wardens and commonalty for the time being to an account in their books entitled "The Worshipful Company of Fishmongers' Trust Loan Monies," there to be and remain until application or applications be from time to time made to the said wardens and commonalty, at a court of assistants, for the loan thereof or some part thereof; provided, however, that the said defendants were to be at liberty as their discretion to invest the same, or any part thereof, in the purchase of 3l. per cent. Consolidated Bank Annuities; provided also, that the dividends to arise from such sums so to be invested should be applied in like manner as the interest to be paid by the borrowers of the said sums; and it was declared that upon every such application or applications being made the said wardens and commonalty, at such court of assistants, should in their discretion determine whether or not the same was or were fit to be complied with, and if the same should be complied with, the said wardens and commonalty and their successors at such court of assistants were to be at liberty to direct a warrant or check to be issued to such their banker, for the time being, to pay so much of the said loan monies to the bearer as should be expressed or mentioned in the said warrant or check, or to sell out and apply so much of the said 3l. per cent. Bank Annuities so invested as aforesaid as might be necessary for that purpose; provided, however, that the sureties of such borrowers be approved of by the said defendants and their successors, the wardens and commonalty for the time being of the said mystery at a court of assistants, and entered in the book or books of the said mystery from time to time, and that the said borrowers and their sureties be respectively required to execute a joint and sealed bond or note of hand as by such resolution should be directed to the defendants and their successors, the conditions of such bonds or the terms of such notes of hand to be in the form or substance following: namely, that the borrowers with such sureties should jointly and severally bind themselves, their heirs, executors, and administrators, to the said defendants and their successors in a penal sum, therein to be named, to pay to them the said defendants or their certain attorney at Fishmongers' Hall, in the City of London, the sum borrowed, with interest after the rate of 3l. per cent. per annum, eather in one sum or by instalments, to be therein stated, on a certain day or certain days to be therein named, and in default of payment of the said sum and interest or any instalment thereof on the days and times therein-before mentioned, then the said defendants and their successors to be at liberty to sue forthwith for the whole sum remaining due. And it was declared that the clerk for the time being of the said wardens and commonalty and their successors should be at liberty to charge the borrowers respectively for the stamps and for the other reasonable costs attendant upon such loans. And it was declared that when any portion of the said principal monies aforesaid should be in the possession of the said defendants and their successors to be lent out, advertisements were to be inserted twice at the least in every year in two or more of the daily newspapers at the discretion of the said defendants and their successors, at a court of assistants of the said mystery assembled, offering to lend out the same pursuant to the terms aforesaid, and notice thereof in writing should also be put up in some conspicuous place of the hall or premises of the said mystery. And the said wardens and commonalty and their successors or their clerk were to keep a separate account of such loans and of the expenses relating thereto in the books of the Company, in which was to be entered an account of all the loan monies included in the pleadings of the cause, and in which also was to be entered the names and residences of the respective borrowers and their sureties with their respective professions or businesses, the sums lent, the times of making the loans and when payable, with the interest thereon, and the terms for which such loans were lent; and also the costs charged against the borrowers on each loan, and such further and other particulars as might by the said court of assistants be thought material or necessary. And it was declared that the said wardens and commonalty and their successors and the estates of the said mystery were not to be held liable to make good any loss that might arise by reason of the failure of the borrowers of the whole or any portion of the said loan monies or their securities, or from the failure of the bankers of the said wardens and commonalty, or in, by, or through any such investment or instalment as aforesaid, or in any other manner, unless such loss should arise from the wilful default or neglect of the said defendants.
The total fund in the loan account is declared in the suit to be 2,911l. 13s. 4d., out of this the costs were ordered to be paid. The costs were taxed at 619l. 13s. 5d., which left 2,291l. 19s. 11d. The sum has been lent out in conformity with the scheme from time to time in sums varying from 50l. to 200l., at 3l. per cent. per annum. The fund at present (January 1861) out on loan is 1,436l. 17s. 10d. to nine different persons, all members of the Company. The money is lent on bonds with two sureties, but in some cases security on property has been taken. The loans are for the most part of the larger sum. The balance of the fund, which has not been applied for or taken upon the conditions required pursuant to an order of the court of the Company of the 8th May 1845, is deposited in the London Joint Stock Bank, and at the present time (14th January 1861) amounts to 855l. 2s. 1d. The bank allows interest as upon deposit accounts, which varies; it is now 5l. per cent.
It has been the habit to insert advertisements annually in July according to the decree, but the court of the Company have recently directed that such advertisements be inserted four times a year.
The existence of a fund for loans to freemen is made known by being suspended on the notice board in the entrance hall. The Company have lately considered the practicability of devising means for rendering the loan monies more useful. The loans are made for the term of four years.
The interest is placed to a "Loan Monies Interest Account," and the interest is then appropriated to the several objects expressed in the decree. A copy of the account is annually laid before the Commissioners of Charities with the other accounts of the Company.
The specific application of the interest of each portion of the fund is mentioned under the head of each of the several charities in this report.
James Martyne, by his will (date unknown), gave to the poor of the Company 50l., to remain in the Company's hands as stock to distribute 50s. yearly to their poor at Christmas. This is annually given to the "Half-yearly Poor." (See Trumball's Charity.)
John Mougeham, by his will of the 20th May 1514, directed his executrix to purchase lands of the yearly value of 50s. to the use of the Company for making certain payments at the celebration of his obit in the church of St. Mary at Hill, London.
In a book recording the benefactions entrusted to this Company, and prepared by a committee some years back, there is the following note on this bequest.
"Premises in Salutation Alley, St. Mary's at Hill, sold in 1551 for 120l., see paper entitled,
"'Rents of Fishmongers' Company given to superstitious uses,'
To pay 3s. to the parish of St. Mary at Hill, and 10s. to the wardens."
The sum of 3s. a year is paid to the churchwardens of St. Mary at Hill. I have perused the ancient copy of the will of the testator in the book of records of the Company, and I find a detailed direction for the singing the mass at the obit or anniversary of the testator's death, but I am not able to ascertain the principle or manner in which this gift came to be commuted into a payment of 3s. a year to the churchwardens. It may probably be in performance of that part of the gift which directed a certain distribution of bread and ale at the anniversary. A rentcharge of 20s. for sustaining the anniversary of the testator arising out of the messuage in "Salvation Alley," was granted to Hynde and others as trustees for the Company by the letters patent of Edward VI., a copy of which is appended to this report.
Arthur Mowse granted to the Company, by indenture of the 1st June 1638, all those four messuages in Do-Little Lane, St. Mary Magdalen parish, out of the rents to pay as follows:—
The property consists of a warehouse in Knightrider Court, let to a Mr. George Bowles for 21 years, from Michaelmas 1841, at 25l. per annum. The St. Peter's Hospital account is credited with 19l. 11s. 2d. in respect of the 9s. 2d. a week for 40 weeks (18l. 6s. 8d.) directed by the will to be given to the inmates, and a proportion of the residue.
The churchwardens of St. Michael, Crooked Lane, receive 2l. 12s. a year, together with 3s. 5d. as their proportion of the residue.
The prisoners in the three prisons receive for each prison 13s. 4d., according to the will, and 11d. to each as their proportion of the residue. The Marshalsea and Queen's Bench are paid to Mr. Colville, and the other to Mr. Keene for the Surrey County Gaol. The renter-warden receives his 10s., and 8d. for his proportion of the residue. The whole of the rent is thus disposed of annually, leaving no balance in hand.
|St. Peter's Hospital||19||11||2|
|St. Michael, Crooked Lane||2||15||5|
John Owen, by an indenture of the 28th April 1676, gave to the Company 270l. for the several uses following:—
The sum of 12l. a year is appropriated annually as follows:
The sum of 9l. 12s. is paid to Mr. James Hill, the treasurer of the Barnet Grammar School, under the proviso of a second deed of the 23rd May 1677, in which the donor declared that if the physic well should be obstructed or be disused, the gift for that object should go to the school. (See printed reports vol. 12, p. 125.) Mr. Hill informed me by letter that 2l. 12s. is expended in bread and given to the poor every alternate Sunday at Barnet Church, and the remainder is applied in aid of the payment to the master of the school for teaching eight boys on the foundation, and for the repairs of the school and the physic well. 1l. is carried to the credit of the Bray Hospital, and 1l. to the Harrietsham almshouses, and 8s., the remainder, is given to the clerk of the Company.
Roger Owfield, by his will of the 26th November 1668, gave to the Company 50l. to be lent forth to two young men of the Company freely. This was to be lent without interest, and it now forms part of the Trust Loan Fund. No interest is credited.
Thomas Palley, by his will of the 22nd October 1558, directed his executors to deliver to the said Company 50l., to be yearly delivered unto five honest young men of the Company, and to occupy the said 50l. each of them 10l. for their advantage, they and every of them putting in sufficient pawn of good security for the repayment of the money at the year's end, and then the said money to be delivered to other five young men of the Company for one other year, and so to change every year, so that every person having the money should not have it again until three years more be past. And he willed that the persons occupying the money should pay from time to time all sums of money due to the King or Queen's Majesty in that year that any of them should occupy the same money; and also the said five persons should amongst them all give yearly to the wardens towards their dinner 20s. And the said testator bequeathed to the Company 10l. upon condition that the wardens should be bound under the common seal to his executors to see the aforesaid 50l. to be bestowed yearly for ever according to the true meaning of his will, if the law of the realm would suffer it to continue so long; and if they would not be bound so to do, then he willed that his executors should see the same 50l. to be put by them to the use above written so long as they should live, and that before their decease they would set such order for it might continue for ever if the law of the realm would suffer it; and if such order cannot be firmly made, then he willed that the said 50l. should be bestowed in making and mending the highways between Rye and Tonbridge by the oversight of the wardens of the said Company.
This fund is in the "Trust Fund Account." The sum of 1l. is charged to the loan moneys interest, and carried to the credit of the Company annually.
Nicholas Pendlebury, by his will (date unknown), gave to the Company 20 marks and the profit thereof, bestowed yearly in coals and faggots amongst the poor of the Company. 1l. a year forms part of the gift to the half-yearly poor. (See Trumball's Charity.)
St. Peter's Hospital.
Letters patent of King James I., dated the 2nd October 1618, reciting that the wardens and commonalty of the mystery of Fishmongers had represented that there were many aged poor and indigent persons, being freemen and freewomen of the Society, and who were destitute of houses for dwelling, and of competent means, and for whom the said wardens and commonalty were willing in some convenient measure to provide, and reciting also the gift of Thomas Hunt, hereafter stated, enabled the incorporation thereby created and their successors to hold the lands of Hunt to the value of 20l. a year, and other lands to the yearly value of 80l. a year, and to found, erect, and establish within the parishes of Newington and St. George, in the county of Surrey, or one of them, one hospital or almshouse for the abiding, habitation, and relief of such and so many poor people, men and women, of the Company of Fishmongers, to be sustained and relieved in the same, with such other persons and officers as the Company and their successors should think fit; and the said letters patent incorporated the wardens and assistants of the Company and their successors to be governors of the same.
The almshouses were erected in Newington-Butts, and remained in that situation until 1851, when in pursuance of an application to the Court of Chancery, by an information instituted, at the instance of the Company, in which the Company (not the governors of the Hospital) were defendants, on the 27th March 1849, and of the report of the master therein of the 20th July 1849, which set forth the letters patent of 1618, and that the Company purchased a piece of ground in the parish of Newington and erected thereon 12 buildings, which were called St. Peter's Hospital, and also referring to the bequests of Richard Edmonds and James Hubert, and that out of the trust funds accruing to the Company under the said will of the last-mentioned donor 20 other almshouses had been built on land belonging to the Company in Newington, adjoining the Old Hospital. The report also stated that it had been deposed before the master that it would be greatly for the benefit of the inhabitants of the almshouse not to rebuild the same on the then site, which was close, confined, and unhealthy in consequence of the great increase of buildings in the neighbourhood, but to remove them to a more healthy situation, and that the Company had lately purchased for the sum of 4,050l. a piece of ground at East Hill, in the parish of Wandsworth, and that the same was larger and more open and elevated than the piece of ground on which the almshouses then stood; and the master found that the premises at Newington being released from the charitable trusts to which the same were subject, the Company were willing at their own expense to pull down the 42 almshouses then existing, and at their own expense to rebuild 42 new almshouses on the said piece of ground at East Hill, Wandsworth, of equal or greater dimensions, and in every manner as suitable for the accommodation of the inhabitants thereof as those standing on the premises at Newington aforesaid; the almshouses when so built to be held by the defendants on the same trusts and subject to the same requirements as the then existing almshouses were subject unto; and the master found that by the affidavit of Richard Suter the value of the land, and of the almshouses standing thereon, at Newington was estimated at 13,530l., and that the expense of erecting 42 almshouses and a chapel and rendering the same fit for habitation and use would amount to 20,000l. at the least; and the master found that the plans and specifications of such almshouses and chapel had been laid before him, and he allowed the said proposal and approved thereof, and of the drawings, plans, and specifications therein mentioned. The cause came on, upon further directions, and the Master's report, on the 27th July 1849, when the court ordered that the wardens and commonalty of the mystery of Fishmongers should be at liberty at their own expense to take down the 42 almshouses at Newington, and erect an equal number of new almshouses in lieu thereof upon the piece of ground belonging to the said defendants at Wandsworth, upon the terms of the said defendants being allowed to appropriate to their own use the materials of the almshouses so to be taken down, and to appropriate and hold the site thereof discharged from the charitable trusts to which the same were then subject, and which last-mentioned terms were assented to by the said defendants.
The conveyance of the site of the almshouses at Wandsworth was made to the Company on the 29th January 1849, and was approved by the master, whereby the land was declared to be held by the Company upon the same uses as certain estates of the Company taken under the London Bridge Acts and which were not charitable trusts. This approbation of the master had no reference to the charitable trusts, nor was it made under the information. It was a proceeding under the London Bridge Acts or the Land Clauses Act.
It will be seen that the decree omits to declare that the Company shall hold the premises at Wandsworth upon the trusts for St. Peter's Hospital, but such was evidently the basis of the transaction and the terms of the master's report, and the decree adopting and confirming that report imply such a dedication of the property. It will be observed also that the corporation created by the letters patent of King James as governors of the hospital was not a party to the suit, except as their members were included in the Company at large, and from the form of the conveyance of the present site of the almshouses, as above stated, it will be seen that the new almshouses and premises are not vested in the governors of the hospital but in the Company without any express declaration of trust for the benefit of the Hospital except by inference from the whole transaction of the transfer of site.
|The almshouses at East Hill were subsequently built. The cost of the site was||4,050||0||0|
|The buildings, planting, &c. cost upwards of||24,000||0||0|
The almshouses are occupied by 42 persons, men and women.
A chaplain performs divine service in the chapel of the hospital on the mornings of Tuesdays and Thursdays. There is also a full service on the evening of Sundays in the same chapel, the almspeople not being then compelled to attend. The almspeople have the option of attending divine service on Sundays at such place of public worship as they may individually select. The duty of the chaplain is also to visit the almspeople in sickness.
The medical attendant of the hospital resides at Walworth. He is the same person who attended the almshouse before its removal and since 1823. He attends at the almshouse daily and visits such of the people as may be ill. He finds the medicines which may be necessary without charge to the almspeople.
The rules of the Company require that every man or woman should have been free of the Company five years and shall be 50 years of age at the time of their election, or that they should be widows of freemen, and of the same age. The rules contain no other qualification.
One of the almsmen is chosen by the Company as the upper keeper, and receives 16l. a year extra, and another is chosen as under keeper, and receives 12l. per annum extra. The wife of the upper keeper or some other almswoman is appointed matron, receiving 5l. per annum (extra if she be an almswoman). I append a printed copy of the rules of the almshouses, and also an address delivered by the prime warden of the Company, William F. Vowler, Esq., on the laying of the foundation stone of the new almshouses.
The annual disbursments of the Company on account of St. Peter's Hospital for the last 10 years were as follows.—
|To Midsummer 1850||1,661||19||5|
|To Christmas 1854 (1½ years)||3,742||10||9|
|To Christmas 1858||2,351||19||1|
The allowances of the almspeople are:—
The regular allowance is for each single person 9s. per week, and to each married couple 14s. Additional allowances are made at the discretion of the Company to persons of greater age. The salary of the chaplain, and all other expenses as well as allowances of coals, clothes, &c. are set forth in the Report of the Commissioners of Inquiry (vol. 12, page 102), but some additions have been made.
It will be found that the annual payments on account of St. Peter's Hospital, far exceed the income of the special charities and donations received by the Company for the use of that institution.
The eight auxiliary charities which follow, as well as some small payments out of Baskerville's, Broomsgrove's, and Mowse's Charities form portions of the fund constituting the endowments of the hospital.
The Address delivered by William Flexman Vowler, Esquire, the Prime Warden of the Fishmongers' Company, on laying the first stone of the New Almshouses, called St. Peter's Hospital, Wandsworth, Surrey, on the 23rd June 1849.
The Prime Warden's Address.
Having been deputed by the court, in virtue of the office of prime warden of the Company, which I have held during the last 12 months, to lay the first stone of the almshouses we are about to erect in lieu of the old and decayed buildings at Newington, known as St. Peter's Hospital, I cannot but congratulate you upon our having thus auspiciously commenced so good a work, and express my own earnest hope, a hope in which I am sure we are all united, that the building we have this day commenced may progress without interruption to its completion; that it may reflect credit alike on the architect and the contractor, may give entire satisfaction to the court and the Company, may afford great and increased comfort to those poor but respectable members of our brotherhood for whose benefit it is intended; and that while it adds to our credit and renown with our fellow citizens of the present time, it may prove to distant generations an evidence and a memorial of the liberal spirit in which the fishmongers of the nineteenth century receive and execute the trusts which have been handed down to them.
The occasion of our meeting here to-day is, indeed, a most interesting one; and it cannot, I think, at such a moment be unseasonable to call to mind the time and circumstances under which this hospital was founded, which has been for more than two centuries a subject of congratulation and of thankfulness in our fellowship, and which I look upon as a proof not only of the piety and benevolence of our forefathers, but also of the strong faith they had in the brotherhood, of their conviction that there never would be wanting among us men of honourable and upright character to fulfil the trusts confided to them, and of like charitable minds with themselves to protect and take charge of their less fortunate members. And it is with a like faith and conviction that we are now laying the foundation of this new home for our poor, which may be expected to endure for centuries to come.
It was about the year 1615 that Sir Thomas Hunt, in anticipation of the erection of some such building, bequeathed to the Company an annuity of 20l. for the support of six of the poor occupants thereof, and from this small beginning ultimately arose the extensive charity in the promotion and support of which we are now engaged.
Having reference to this bequest, the court, in 1617, came to a resolution to build 12 such houses; a piece of ground at Newington been offered to them at that time for 110l., the whole cost being estimated at 400l.
In 1633 a resolution was come to, to build six additional houses, and in the following year a dining hall.
Subsequently, a Mr. Edmonds added two houses, and two more were afterwards superadded to these.
Then came that noble bequest of Mr. Hulbert, who, in 1721, gave the residue of his estate, amounting to more than 9,000l., for the purpose of building and endowing 20 additional houses, making the number altogether 42, as they now are.
In consequence of the building of the hospital thus brought about, several benevolent members of the Company were induced to make bequests towards its support, of annual sums varying in amount, many of them very small, but in the whole not exceeding 350l. or 360l., including the income arising from the residue of Hulbert's estate, after the building of his 20 houses.
The amount we now annually spend in its support is not less than 1,700l., or thereabouts; and whereas the entire cost of the old hospital did not exceed 3,000l., the entire cost of the new one will probably be 25,000l.
Such is the liberal and munificient spirit in which we are carrying on the good work handed down to us; and in the selection of a site for the building, we have also borne in mind the example of the founders, and have chosen an open, airy, and, we believe, very healthy spot, remembering that two centuries ago Newington was a place in the country, and not what we now see it, a noisy, crowded, smoky place, in the very heart of a dense population.
And now a few words to the expected occupants. I trust it is unnecssary to point out to the present inmates of St. Peter's Hospital the many and great advantages they enjoy in consequence of their connexion with the Fishmongers' Company, and the gratitude which should daily fill their hearts for the mercies they enjoy. And I hope they will evince this by their kind and charitable feelings towards each other, by the sober and orderly course of their lives, by the cleanliness and tidyness of their dwellings, and by their careful preservation of everything connected with the hospital. But I am very anxious they should impress upon their families and connexions, that, although it is a creditable and desirable thing to be selected on account of past good conduct as a fit occupant for one of these houses, it is a much better and more creditable thing to have made provision for declining years by one's own exertions, and by the industry and prudence, and forethought of our manhood; and, therefore, that no fishmonger should allow the existence of this asylum to relax in any degree the exertions every man is bound to make, not only for his present support, but for his future provision also.
I have now only to express the gratification I feel at the presence of so many of our body to take part in this interesting ceremony, thereby evincing the interest they take in whatever concerns the honour and reputation of the Company, and the welfare of all who belong to it.
Permit me to add that it is very gratifying to me also that this event which had been so long looked forward to has occurred during my year of office, and it is especially so, that it happens during the reign of our present most excellent Sovereign, who is, by descent, a daughter of the Company, and I therefore propose that we now conclude the business of the day by giving three hearty cheers for Her Majesty, and then singing the National Anthem.
St. Peter's Hospital, at Wandsworth, in the county of Surrey.
The Wardens and Assistants of the Mistery of Fishmongers of the City of London.
Orders for the Government of the Hospital.
The renter-warden is occasionally to visit and to examine the state of the almspeople, and to give such directions as he may deem requisite.
The paymaster, being the clerk of the Company, is to attend at the hospital to pay the pensions monthly, and is from time to time to examine the state of the almspeople, and allow them nurses if needful. If any of the almspeople 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 shall submit the same to the consideration of the renter-warden, and if necessary report thereon to the governors.
The chaplain is to perform divine service in the chapel of the hospital, on Tuesdays and Thursdays, in every week, between the hours of 10 and 11 in the forenoon; he is to visit the almspeople in sickness, and on every occasion to enter in a book to be kept at the hospital for that purpose the exact time of his arrival and departure.
The medical attendant is to visit the almspeople daily, to supply and deliver to them such medicine as may be needful, and to make daily entries in a book to be kept at the hospital for that purpose, of the names of the almspeople under treatment, and the nature of their several sicknesses or diseases.
The upper keeper is to have charge of the keys of the entrance gates of the hospital and of the chapel, hall, and the rooms adjoining, to open the gate of the hospital at six o'clock in the morning, and lock the same on the bell ceasing to ring in the evening, to see that the chapel, hall, and rooms adjoining are kept clear; to summon the medical attendant when requisite, to officiate as clerk when divine service is performed, to prevent the removal of the goods and chattels from the house of any deceased almsman or almswoman until the removal is sanctioned by the paymaster, to see that no damage to the trees, shrubs, or fences about the grounds of the hospital is committed, and that the several drain-grates in the walks and about the houses and the gutters of the houses are kept clear and unobstructed, to take notice of any offence committed by the almspeople, and report the same to the paymaster forthwith. The upper keeper with his wife (or with an almswoman to be appointed by the governors) shall, on the day next preceding the holding of every general court of the governors, inspect every apartment in each house in the hospital; and the upper keeper shall enter in a book to be kept for that purpose, a report upon the state of cleanliness and order of the several houses and premises, and of the furniture and bedding thereof; and shall attend at the Company's Hall with such reports at every general court.
The under keeper in addition to the duties herein-after prescribed, is to perform those of the upper keeper during his absence, or while the office of upper keeper shall be vacant. He shall be allowed duplicate keys of, and shall keep clean the chapel, the hall, the two rooms adjoining, and the closets, and also keep clean the passage and stairs leading to the chapel; and the passage way from the front to the back grounds, to light and attend the fires when required in the above apartments; and keep the grates clean and in good order, to superintend the supply of water to the almshouses, to see that the cisterns are kept clean, and to ring the bell for a quarter of an hour previously to the locking the gate in the evening, and for ten minutes for assembling the almspeople in the chapel or hall.
Members of the Company who have been free five years, being 50 years of age, are eligible to the hospital.
The widow of an almsman, or of a freeman, who has been free five years, is eligible, being 50 years of age.
The almspeople are elected to hold their almshouses during the pleasure of the governors only.
Rules to by observed by the Almspeople.
1. The almspeople shall behave peaceably and quietly, and be helpful to each other.
2. None of the almspeople shall use any blasphemous words, or at any time be drunk, or make use of any bitter, uncharitable, or offensive speeches, or give any blow to any other of the almspeople, or act disorderly or dishonestly.
3. The almsmen, except the upper and under keepers, shall, unless prevented by sickness, attend by turns at or near the entrance gate, according to such directions, as shall from time to time be given by the paymaster, to prevent improper persons from coming into the hospital.
4. All the almspeople, excepting such as are prevented by sickness, shall every Tuesday and Thursday, at the ringing of the hospital bell, assemble in the chapel, and attend there during the performance of public prayer, according to the rites of the Church of England.
5. All the almspeople, excepting such as are prevented by sickness, shall on every Lord's day repair to some place of public worship and attend divine service.
6. None of the almspeople shall be allowed to go out, or come into the hospital except when the gates are open between the following hours, viz.—from 1st of March to 31st of October from six o'clock in the morning to ten at night; and from 1st of November to 28th of February from seven o'clock in the morning to nine at night, or to be absent from the hospital during the night without license from the upper keeper, who is hereby authorised to permit such of the almspeople as he shall see fit, on urgent occasions, to remain out of the hospital, so as no such permission be given to any one of the almspeople for more than two nights in any one calendar month, without the consent of the paymaster. Almspeople not sleeping on the premises are required to leave their keys with the upper keeper for him to use, but only in cases of necessity.
7. No almsman or almswoman shall have any person to reside with or attend upon him or her without the permission of the governors, but in case of sickness, the paymaster may appoint a woman as nurse, of the age of 50 years.
8. The almspeople shall not damage any of the houses, break down any of the fences, or destroy or injure any of the trees or shrubs.
9. The almspeople shall not lay or cast any rubbish, dust, or filth in any part of the hospital, or the grounds, ditches or drains thereto belonging.
10. The almspeople shall keep clean their respective dwellings, and the pavement before and behind the same, and shall also keep repaired the glass in the windows thereof, at their own charge, or in default thereof, the expense of repairing them shall be deducted out of the pensions respectively.
11. If any almsman shall have a wife, the wife shall be allowed to dwell with her husband, and in every offence against these orders, the offence of the wife shall be deemed the offence of the husband.
12. No almsman or almswoman shall marry without the consent of the governors.
13. None of the goods or chattels in the house of any deceased almsman or almswoman shall be removed without the permission of the paymaster, and if needful for the security of such goods and chattels, the upper keeper is hereby authorised to take charge of the key of the house until the order of the paymaster shall be received.
14. Every offence committed against any of these rules shall be from time to time reported by the upper keeper to the paymaster, and shall subject the almspeople so offending to be expelled from the hospital, at the sole discretion of the governors, or of the major part of such of the governors for the time being, as shall be present at any of their meetings.
15. Every person who shall be elected to any almshouse, shall before being admitted thereto sign an acknowledgement of being admitted; to hold the almshouse during the pleasure of the governors only, and subject to the above orders and rules, and such other orders and rules as the governors, or the major part of such of the governors, for the time being, as shall be present at any of their meetings, shall from time to time make or ordain.
These orders and rules were revised in the wardenship of—
|James Weston, Esq., Prime Warden.|
|Sir John Easthope, Bart.||Wardens.|
|Henry Wilson, Esq.|
|Samuel Smith, Esq.|
|Robert Graham, Esq.|
|William Abbott Kent, Esq., Renter-Warden.|
And ordained at a court holden on the 12th of February 1852.
William Beckwith Towse,
Clerk to the Company.
Sir Thomas Hunt gave by his will, dated the 28th April 1615, out of his land in Kent Street, 20l. a year to the poor of the Company, to build an hospital containing houses for six men free of the Company, each man to have yearly 40s. and a gown, and 6s. in money to make it up, the wardens to have 10s. a quarter and two capons to recreate them. The Company receives from the family or executors of Mr. Whittle the sum of 19l. 8s. 8d., the lan tax of 1l. 1s. 4d. being deducted. The account is balanced by carrying 18l. 8s. 8d. to the disbursements of St. Peter's Hospital.
William Hippisley, by his will in 1766, bequeathed 500l. South Sea Annuities for the maintenance of the almsman or woman of St. Peter's Hospital who had not then had any particular donor as the other almspeople.
On the 12th October 1792, the stock which had been transferred to the Company in the shape in which it was bequeathed, was sold by the direction of the Company, and produced 441l. 17s. 3d. cash. The account was not kept distinct from other like stock belonging to the Company, and the sale took place in conjunction with other such stock amounting in the whole to 5,000l. stock. Nearly the whole of this fund remained in cash in the hands of the Company. It was then the habit of the Company to keep the balance in their hands, and it was appropriated in this case by the clerk for the time being to his own use. The fund was recovered from his sureties in the year 1809. It has not been subsequently traced. On the 3rd May 1793, the term of years under the dean and chapter of St. Paul's, in property adjacent to property of the Company, was purchased, and is still held by the Company. The amount of this investment was 457l. 17s. 6d. cash, and it now forms part of No. 130, Upper Thames Street, and 18 and 19, Miles Lane. It is renewable every 14 years. Whether this purchase should be considered as an investment made for the benefit of the charity, following as it did so soon after the sale of the stock, and corresponding so nearly in amount with the value of that portion of the South Sea Annuities then sold out, is a question of some difficulty, and would, perhaps, be of some importance if the payments in support of the almspeople did not so far exceed the endowments with which they are chargeable.
The premises referred to are let together at a rental of 325l. a year, but the value of the property comprised in the term has not been apportioned, and the clerk of the Company states that he is unable to apportion it. The ground rent paid to the dean and chapter is 15l. 11s., including the land tax. The last fine was 192l. 17s. 6d. The Company have entered into an agreement to enfranchise this property and acquire the fee simple from the dean and chapter for a sum of 1,833l., and all the expenses of the enfranchisement.
The Company since Midsummer 1835 have continued to credit the trust with the 15l. per annum presumed to be the original dividend of the South Sea Annuities, and the account is balanced by debiting St. Peter's Hospital with the same annual amount.
One of the almsmen is always considered to be on the Hippisley foundation. The house appropriated to this pensioner is No. 1, which is inhabited by the upper keeper. He receives 14s. a week as the almsman. As upper keeper he has an additional salary of 20l. per annum. As the total charge of the hospital was 2,200l., the average of cost would be about 50l. attributable to this appointee.
James Hulbert bequeathed, by his will of the 14th August 1719, the residue of his personal estate to the Company on trust, to lay out so much as was necessary in erecting an almshouse for maintaining 20 poor men and women, and to lay out such further part in purchasing lands for the yearly maintenance of such 20 poor men and women.
The Commissioners of Inquiry state (vol. 12, p. 101) that the residuary estate of the testator amounted to 9,467l. 2s. 5d., and that the expenditure in erecting the 20 additional almshouses was 1,928l. 4s. 5d., being 7,538l. 18s. applicable to the maintenance of the almspeople and the hospital, and that this had not been invested in any purchase of land, but remained in the Company's general stock.
On the 22nd October 1833 an information was filed at the relation of Thomas Spencer Hall and another against the Company, praying that it might be declared that the Company of Fishmongers ought, in the due performance of the trusts in them reposed, to have invested the said sum of 7,538l. 18s. (being the residue of the estate of James Hulbert) in the purchase of some specific lands or other real estate or specific funds, and to have distinguished, appropriated, and set apart the same from their general property so specifically constituting the property and funds applicable to the said charitable trust, and that they had made default and acted in breach of the said trust, and that the said trust might be specifically performed under the decree of the Court, and that the Company might be decreed to be answerable in that behalf, and to make such compensation to the said charity in respect of such breach of trust as under the circumstances might be found expedient, and that some competent part of the estates then vested in the defendants as part of their general corporate property might be set apart and appropriated in that behalf, or otherwise that some investment or purchase of real estate or of other funds or property might be made by the defendants out of the general corporate property of the said Company.
The cause came before the Court on the 30th Juue 1834, when the Master of the Rolls (Sir J. Leach) directed that the suit should be brought to the attention of the AttorneyGeneral, and that the proceedings should be laid before him in order that he might form an opinion whether with a view to the benefit of the charity it was expedient that he should in this case call for the interference of the Court. The matter was again mentioned to the Court on the 6th November 1835, when the Master of the Rolls made an order to the effect suggested at the previous hearing. The Attorney-General, Sir John Campbell, was attended upon the suit and made an order of the 22nd September 1837, as follows:—
"In pursuance of an order made in this cause of the 6th November 1835, whereby it was ordered that the proceedings in the cause should be laid before me in order that I might form an opinion whether, with a view to the benefit of the charity, it was expedient that I should call for the interference of the Court, and it was ordered that the cause should stand over; in the meantime I have been attended by the counsel and solicitors for the relators and for the defendants respectively, and the proceedings in this cause have been laid before me for the purpose mentioned in the said order, and having heard what has been alleged before me by the respective counsel and solicitors, and on conside ration thereof and of the proceedings in the cause, and the terms herein-after mentioned having been agreed to between the parties, I am of opinion and do humbly submit that the defendants ought to make a distinct and separate investment of the sum of 7,538l. 18s., admitted by the defendants' answer as a balance of the residuary estate of the testator left in their hands, applicable to the performance of the trusts for the maintenance of the said charity or of the stocks, funds, or securities in or upon which the said sum of 7,538l. 18s. may have been laid out or invested so as to constitute a fund set apart and appropriated as a trust fund belonging to the said charity, and that the defendants ought to pay to the relators their costs, to be taxed as between party and party, but that no extra costs be allowed to the relators out of the charity fund, and that on such terms being complied with all further proceedings should be stayed."
The suit came again before the Master of the Rolls on the 8th November 1837, when the following order was made.
"It appearing that the defendants have invested the sum of 7,538l. 18s. in the purchase of 8,161l. 4s. Reduced 3l. per cent Annuities. It was ordered that the defendants should make a distinct entry of the same in the books belonging to them under the head of Hulbert's Charity, as part of the charity property in the pleadings mentioned, and that the defendants should keep separate accounts thereof; and it was referred to the master to tax the relators their costs of the suit, not including their costs before Her Majesty's Attorney-General, and that such costs when taxed be paid by the defendants."
The fund stands to a separate account in the books of the Company, but forms part of a larger sum of like stock standing in the Company's corporate name in the books of the Bank of England.
The dividends amounting to 244l. 16s. 8d. are received and form part of the disbursements of St. Peter's Hospital
Richard Edmonds devised, by his will of the 29th December 1620, his freehold tenement in St. Michael, Crooked Lane, with the first five years' rent, to build two almshouses to adjoin St. Peter's Hospital, and to place two widows of freemen, or two poor men of the Company, to dwell there and to have 2s. weekly, and once a year a black cloth gown.
The houses erected under this gift formed part of the hospital at Newington, which has been pulled down and rebuilt at Wandsworth, as before stated. The premises form part of the house in No. 133, Upper Thames Street, the whole of which belongs to the Company. Out of the rent the Company appropriate a sum of 14l. 8s., as a rentcharge, or 4s. a week in money for each of the two poor men in the hospital, and 4l. for the two coats or gowns.
Richard Poyntall, by his will dated the 31st January 1621, gave the Company the sum of 120l. for supplying half a chaldron of coals yearly to each of the 12 almshouses then built. The Company credit the trust with the income of 9l. per annum as the presumed value of six chaldrons of coals, and the sum is discharged as a payment to St. Peter's Hospital.
Sir John Leman devised, by his will of the 8th July 1681, a rentcharge of 12l. issuing out of his messuage in Thames Street, and out of his two messuages adjoining, for purchasing sea coal for the poor in the almshouses. The sum, deducting land tax, now reduced from 2l. 8s. to 18s., and therefore leaving in the last year 11l. 2s., is annually paid to or on account of the proprietor, Mr. Rawlins, to the Company, and debited to the charges of St. Peter's Hospital.
John Harper, by his will of the 10th July 1682, bequeathed to the Company 100l. for purchasing 6 chaldron of sea coals for the poor of St. Peter's Hospital. The sum of 9l. a year is credited by the Company in their accounts, and the same amount is debited to St. Peter's Hospital.
Sir John Gayer's Gift.
Sir John Gayer bequeathed, by his will of the 19th December 1649, the sum of 100l. to buy lands therewith, the rent thereof to be employed in coals or wood, to be yearly given in December to poor people of St. Peter's Hospital. The question whether the Company committed a breach of trust in omitting to obey the direction of the trust to invest in land would seem to have been raised by the analogous case of Hulbert's Charity, in which the Master of the Rolls considered that there was so little apparent cause for the suit that he directed the matter to be brought before the Attorney-General for his especial consideration, and the suit was ultimately disposed of by a mere direction to keep a separate account of the fund. This decision will probably be considered as applicable to the same suggested duty in reference to this charity.
The Company credit the charity with 5l. a year, and discharge the account as by a payment of the same sum to St. Peter's Hospital.
John Fletcher, by his will (date not known), bequeathed to the Company 120l. to pay 10s. for a dinner every month for the poor in St. Peter's Hospital.
The Company allow 6l. a year as the interest of this donation, and send monthly between 1st and 7th of every month 10s. to the upper keeper, who divides it amongst 22 of the almspeople, who are considered as especially representing the occupants of the houses on the old ground at Newington (the block containing the 22 houses).