City of London Livery Companies Commission. Report; Volume 4. Originally published by Eyre and Spottiswoode, London, 1884.
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In pursuance of a minute of the Board of the 2nd February 1863, I have inquired into the condition and circumstances of the following charities under the management of the Skinners' Company, of the City of London, and I have stated in the Report, under the head of each specific endowment, the result of my investigation:—
The Skinners' Company is composed of the master, four wardens, and court of assistants of about 30 members. The court of assistants are self chosen from the livery. The number of the livery are at present. It is impossible to ascertain the number of freemen.
The Free Grammar School at Tonbridge.
Sir Andrew Judd, by his will of the 2nd September 1558, gave to the Company, for the maintenance of a free grammar school erected by him, several messuages and tenements in the county of Middlesex and the City of London: the said Company to retain for their pains 40s. yearly, and pay to the almspeople of St. Helen's 10l. 8s. yearly, and for coals to such almspeople 1l. 5s. 4d.; the residue of the rents to be employed in needful reparations of the messuages, and the overplus for the use of the Company at their wills and pleasures.
The grammar school referred to in the will was founded by letters patent of the 7th of Edward VI. (1553), whereby it was ordained that there should be one grammar school at Tonbridge, to be called the Free Grammar School of Sir Andrew Judd, for the education, institution, and instruction of boys and youths in grammar, to continue for ever under one master and one usher, and the said Company to be incorporated by the name of the Governors of the possessions, revenues, and goods of "the Free Grammar School of Sir Andrew Judd."
This institution became the subject of the suit which (after the report of the Commissioners of Inquiry, Vol. I., p. 149–156) was instituted by the Attorney General, at the relation of the Rev. Charles Hardinge and others, against the Skinners' Company, which has been reported in the 5th Maddock's Reports, p. 173, and on appeal in Jacob's Reports, p. 629. By the decree, as varied on appeal, it was declared that certain property, described as having been purchased of Gates and Thorogood, was vested in the defendants in their special corporate character as governors of the said grammar school, and not under the effect of the instrument mentioned as the will, but upon a trust previously and duly declared thereof by Sir A. Judd, and it was referred to the master to approve of a scheme for the establishment of the school, having regard to the then annual rents of the said estates.
The estate of the charity consists of the property in the City of London, herein-after mentioned, and the Sandhills estate, on the south side of the New Road in the parish of St. Pancras, extending from Tonbridge Street on the east, to Burton Street on the west, and Leigh Street on the south. It was given under the description of "a close of pasture with the appurtenances called the Sandhills, situate, lying, and being on the back side of Holborn, in the parish of St. Pancras, in the county of Middlesex, being of the yearly value of 13l. 6s. 8d." and it at present includes Burton Street, Crescent Place, Chapel Place, Crescent Mews, south and north, Burton Crescent, Mabledon Place, Leigh Street, Sandwich Street, Thanet Street, Judd Street, Hastings Street, Claremont Place, Bidborough Street, Tonbridge Street, and the houses on the south side of the New Road from Mabledon Place to Tonbridge Street.
The particulars of the property was found and set forth in the report of the master in the above-mentioned cause, dated 13th July 1825. The London property has since undergone considerable change, owing to exchanges with another charity, effected under the order of the court.
By an order in the cause, Attorney General v. the Skinners' Company, of the 4th December 1840, it was referred to the master to inquire whether it would be for the benefit of the school that the exchange of the premises in Leadenhall Market should be carried into effect, and as to raising a fund for re-building certain houses in the market. By the master's report of the 25th January 1841, after finding the respective portions of the property which belonged to the School Charity and to Alice Smith's Charity, and the necessity for the reasons therein mentioned to pull down part of the Herb Market and other buildings therein mentioned, and to dedicate a part of the centre of the said market to the use of the public, he found that the Skinners' Company proposed to give up a portion of income of Alice Smith's estate (therein described as the estate of the Skinners' Company) and he approved of the exchange as therein mentioned. By an order of the 5th February 1841 the report was confirmed, and it was ordered that the Skinners' Company should take for their own use and benefit the plot in the centre of the market therein mentioned, which belonged to the School Charity, and that they should give over to and convey to the School Charity land to the same extent.
This order, in which the Company is expressed to take the land for their own use and benefit, must of course be understood in their capacity of governors of Alice Smith's Charity. The exchange was carried into effect by a deed dated 1st April 1841, made between the Skinners' Company of the one part, and the governors of Tonbridge School of the other part, and which was enrolled in the Court of Chancery the 24th April 1841.
The following tables exhibit the present rental and, lettings of the Charity estates. The first part relates to the property in the parish of Allhallows, Lombard Street, in the City of London, which was apportioned to the Tonbridge School Charity under the decree and master's report referred to above and in my report on Sir A. Judd's Almshouses and Alice Smith's Gift, and the second part consists of the St. Pancras estate.
The property in hand at Tonbridge consists of a chapel recently built by subscription, of the school house, of the date of 1553, and the master's and under master's residences, with dormitories for the scholars. The house of the under master is a detached building, and is adapted for the reception of about 34 or 35 boarders. There are also 12 acres of land. The head master and under master have gardens, which occupy about 2 acres, and the whole of the remainder of the land is play ground. The land has a frontage on the high road to London, which, it is suggested, may hereafter be made advantageous for building purposes.
The whole of the land on the south side of the New Road, part whereof has built upon and let to James Burton, Esq., under an agreement for 99 years, from Michaelmas 1807, at the annual rent of 2,500l., and of such part as hath been built upon, the following leases have been granted:—
Two houses, Nos. 5 and 6, Judd Place, West, on the north side of the New Road, near Judd Place, were given up to the Church Building Commissioners, under the statute enabling them to take such grants from trustees and others, upon which the church of St. Luke, King's Cross, has been built.
This, and the whole of the rest of the property on the North side of the New Road, had been granted upon leases under a building agreement for the term of 99 years, made with James Haygarth, at an aggregate rental of 84l. a year, which was reduced to 76l. by the grant of the two houses to the Church Building Commissioners.
On a petition of the Skinners' Company to the Court of Chancery entitled in the cause of the Attorney General v. The Skinners' Company, an order, dated 13th July 1861, was made by the Master of the Rolls, reciting that the Court being of opinion that it would be fit and proper that the agreement of the 18th June 1861 made between the Skinners' Company and the Midland Railway Company for the purchase by the latter of the whole of the Charity estate on the north side of the New Road at the price of 32,000l. should be confirmed; ordered that the same should be carried into effect, and that the petitioners on payment to them of the purchase money should convey the estate to the Midland Railway Company. The purchase money was paid to the Company in August 1861, and was thereupon under authority given to them in the same order applied in the first place in paying off the 12,000l., owing to George E. Beecham, Esq., which had been some years previously borrowed under the authority of the Court for the buildings and alterations in the school premises, and on which 4 per cent. interest had been paid.
The order expressed that the Company should be at liberty out of the purchase money to pay off all principal moneys, interest, and costs in respect of the said 12,000l. charged upon the school estate. That a sufficient part of the said purchase money be set apart for the purpose of restoring the exhibitions to the original number of four; and that the Company also be at liberty to apply a portion of the said purchase money in repairing and altering the school buildings and premises according to their present exigencies, and that a scheme should be settled for applying the residue of the purchase money for such other purposes for the benefit of the said school, as the judge should think fit.
The Master of the Rolls has recently approved of plans and specifications for altering and rebuilding part of the school premises at an expense not exceeding 14,000l., but the works have not yet been executed.
The school is now governed by the scheme of the Court of Chancery, approved by the order of the Court of the 12th June 1844, and certain additional rules and regulations settled by the governors. I annex copies of the scheme and rules.
The foundation boys are those whose parents or guardians are living in Kent, within 10 miles of Tonbridge, which is the interpretation affixed by the master and the court in the scheme of 1824 on the words of the charter, "in dc'a villa et patria ib'm adjacen."
The non-foundationers, except underspecial circumstances, must be boarders, and may be so either with the masters or with some person licensed by the Skinners' Company. There is at present only one pers on licensed to receive boarders other than the masters. The child of a parent living beyond the area and residing with a relation in the town has been usually admitted as a non-foundationer Many about 30) of the foundationers are boarders.
|German||4 guineas per annum.|
|Drawing||4 " "|
|Music||4 " "|
|Dancing||4 " "|
|Fencing||4 " "|
|Drilling||15s. per annum.|
Some of the parents of the boys (widows and others) who are not qualified to attend to the getting up the lessons of their sons in the evening place them for a couple of hours in the evening under the tutorship of the masters. They make their private arrangements with the master, but a suggested scale is that of 1l. 1s. per term for every evening per week. There are very few boys in the 6th, 5th, or 4th forms who adopt this plan, not more, I am told, than two in each form. In the lower forms there are more boys whose parents avail themselves of such assistance.
The fees above stated, exclusive of such tutorial fees, are received by the head master, who makes himself responsible for the payment the assistant masters to whose stipends vary from 150l. to 300l. per annum, including the 84 allowed by the scheme.
I annex printed forms of notices which are published as to the terms of admission to the school, and I also append a letter from an inhabitant of Tonbridge, which is not of sufficient importance to require comment. The observations which it contains as to the number of assistant masters is answered by the fact that an assistant master is granted for every 20 boys after the first 40.
3. That the exhibitions to the universities being at present too numerous and too large in amount for the school, have the effect of inducing persons to go to the university who are unfitted for it, and tend to diminish effort when they are there. It is proposed that there should be henceforth three in number of 100l., 80l., and 60l. in value.
4. That instead of such abolished university exhibitions, certain minor exhibitions of 50l., 40l., or 30l. a year should be held by scholars, during their residence in the school, and awarded upon a competitive examination to boys showing classical and mathematical talent.
6. That in all examinations, whether for the university exhibitions or the proposed minor exhibitions, mathematical should be placed on an equal footing with classical learning, and the Clause XXXVII. should be amended by adding after the word classical the words "and mathematical learning combined or separately."
8. That the restriction of 84l. per annum by Clause XLVII. as the salary of the assistant master be abolished, and that the mathematical and French masters be recognised as a part of the school staff, with assistant masters for other modern languages and subjects of study as occasions and the progress or means of the school should present.
9. That the limitation of the assistant masters to 20 borders each by Clause XLVI. be extended to 30, it being practically found that boarding schools with so small a number as 20 boys are not remunerative.
I think that these suggestions deserve the serious attention of any authorities having power to amend the scheme. They seem to me in every respect judicious and desirable improvements. As to Nos. 3 and 4, the reduction of exhibitions which tempt people to go to the universities without any special adaptation for the life for which such an education should qualify them, and the establishment of minor exhibitions, which, as in cases of Bangor and Sevenoaks grammer school schemes, might afford means for educating children of the really poor at the school, would be but measures of prudence and justice.
On the 30th April 1833 an information was filed by the Attorney General at the relation of Dr. Knox, the then master of Tonbridge school, and Samuel Forbes Auchmuty, a student of Brazenose College, the exhibitioner elected by the Company under the foundation (an infant by his next friend), against the Skinners' Company and the principal and scholars of Brazenose College, Oxford, to determine the question of the right of the exhibitioner to the entire rental of the estate, and on the 30th April 1833 upon the hearing it was declared that according to the true construction of the deed of gift the Company were beneficially entitled to the surplus rents and profits of the messuages and hereditaments after providing for the payments directed to be made by the said H. Fisher by the said deed of gift. And it was ordered that the information should stand dismissed with costs.
Prior to the foregoing suit, the sum of 2l. 13s. 4d. a year for the scholar having been some time in arrear was augmented to 20l. a year by agreement between the Company and Brazenose College, and the 13s. 4d. per annum for the tutor was augmented by like agreement to 4l. 6s. 6d., and the 1l. 13s. 4d. to the college was augmented to 2l. 16s. 8d.
The Company now elect an exhibitioner from Tonbridge school, who is at the same time a scholar at Brazenose, to whom they pay 20l. a year so long as he is at college. The exhibition is generally full; if not, the fund is to be accumulated to increase the exhibition. There is not at present any accumulation.
And he directed the Company to permit certain persons to occupy tenements in Harrow Alley, 10 paying yearly for the same 6s. 8d. each, and after their deaths to bestow the same upon decayed men and women of the Company, at their discretion, paying such yearly rents, and using and behaving themselves in a quiet manner.
Nothing is known of the tenements in Harrow Alley. The site of the locality is, in fact, unknown. One sermon is preached in St. John, Walbrook, on the Thursday of Corpus Christi, and for this the Company pay the preacher 2l. 2s. a year (who is generally selected by the master of the Company), the pulpit being allowed to be so used by the rector of the parish.
Sir Thomas Smith's Charity.
Sir Thomas Smith, by his will of the 18th April 1619,
gave to the Company several messuages in the City of
London, upon trust, out of the rents to make the payments
and the residue to the Company to be disposed of in exhibitions from Tonbridge school.
The devised property consists of the following particulars:— (fn. 1)
There is also a sum of 1,000l. 3 per cent. Consols standing in the corporate name of the Company, with other funds of their own, which had accumulated in respect of unappropriated exhibitions, on which a dividend of 28l. 17s. 6d. a year is received, and is added to the annual income out of which exhibitions have been increased.
The collection of the rents, receipt stamps, &c. amounted in the year 1861 to 25l. and is carried, as in other cases in this Company, to the general account of the Company, out of which the payment to the committees, the salary to the clerk, and other incidental expenses are paid.
The disposition of the residue under the last clause of the will, which gives the increased rents of the houses and premises to the poorest people of the parishes mentioned in that clause, is an unfortunate bequest, having regard to the existing state of the law, as it causes the distribution of a continually increasing fund in a manner which cannot but be injurious. It is impossible to suppose that the testator ever contemplated that the income would become so enormous. He had regulated his gifts to the parishes just named at from 5l. to 10l. each, and it is reasonable to suppose that he calculated the possible increase at a sum which would afford something less. The rents mentioned at the former inquiry as having been received before the then existing rents would have sufficed to give about 5l. or less to each parish, they were by increased rentals produced after 1820, raised to 20l each. By the subsequent increase of income they have been brought to 35l. in each parish, and will hereafter be far more. It is obvious that some legislative remedy should be applied to such a state of things.
|Parish of Bidborough||35|
In June 1862 there was a balance of 590l. 11s. 6d. cash. (fn. 2)
The sum of 2l. 13s. 4d. a year is payable out of an estate at Lamberhurst, Kent. About six years ago it ago it was apportioned by the vicar and churchwardens to a boy of the name of Nottidge. It is suggested that it would be better to vest the nomination of the scholar in the governors of the school rather than in the vicar and churchwardens, for the present method of election discourages the parents of youths in the school from making application, and it is therefore but rarely paid. Abstractedly there would not seem to be any reason why it should not afford an opportunity of helping a boy of poor parentage through the Grammar School.
Thomas Hunt's Charity.
Thomas Hunt, by will of 1st July 1557, gave all the rest of his goods not before bequeathed to the Company to be bestowed upon lands, and the rents thereof delivered to young men, 20l. each for three years, paying 10s a year as interest, viz., for the Company, 6s. 8d.; clerk, 2s.; and beadle, 1s. 4d.: and that when the rents should amount to 400l. that thenceforth the rents should be bestowed towards the relief of five poor men.
The charge for collection of the rent is 5l. per cent. A committee of the Company attend quarterly to receive the rents which are paid by the tenants at the Hall, and the per-centage for collection is carried to the account of the Company. The members of the committee attending to receive the rents are paid 1l. 1s. each for their attendance at the committee. The sum charged for collection, stamps. &c., in 1861 was 50l. 10s. 4d. The law charges in the same year were 11l. 17s. 2d. The net income is therefore about 1,000l. In 1861 the land tax was redeemed on the Fenchurch Street property comprised in the lease to Edwards, on which it had not been previously redeemed, at an expense of 474l. 17s.
The scheme directed the accumulation of 4,000l. to be lent to freemen of the Company in the manner specified in the first seven clauses of the scheme; and, second, the application of a sum of 150l. a year for the relief of five decayed freemen and householders until the 4,000l. should be accumulated; and, third, that the residue amounting to 69l. 16s. should in the meantime be retained by the Company to defray their costs and charges; and, fourth, when the 4,000l. should be accumulated, then the whole residue of the rents and profits, after payment of the costs and charges, should be given towards the support and relief of as many decayed freemen of the Company and their widows so that no freeman or his widow should be entitled to receive more than 70l. per annum.
First, the accumulation of 4,000l. took place and forms a separate account; I annex a copy of the account made up to June 1862. The sums marked X are supposed to be irrecoverable, and if that be so the fund is now reduced by nearly the sum of 900l.
The residue is now administered according to the directions given under the fourth head; namely, in pensions to freemen and their widows, after payment or deduction of 5l. per cent. for stationery, collecting rents, and management generally, and also law charges. These deductions were, in 1861, 5l. per cent., for management 50l. 10s. 4d., and law charges 11l. 17s. 2d.
The residue was, in 1861, divided between 18 pensioners, male and females receiving pension, varying from 25l. to 70l. They have been occasionally as low as 20l., the total amount of the pensions being 750l.
Sir Andrew Judd's Almshouses and Alice Smith's Gift.
|Occupied by Judd and Jackson, of the value of||7||0||0|
|Occupied by Smyth, of the value of||8||0||0|
|Occupied by Pepp, of the value of||2||13||4|
|Occupied by Peterborough of the value of||2||0||0|
|Making together the annual value of||19||13||4|
And he directed that 4s. a week, or 8d. each person, should be paid by the renter warden to six poor almsmen inhabiting the almshouses in the close of St. Helen, and also 1l. 5s. 4d. annually for coals for the said almspeople, and that the renter warden should have for his pains 10s. yearly out of the rents and profits of the premises.
|For the almspeople in Great St. Helen's||10||8||0|
|For three poor women of Allhallows, Lombard Street||1||16||0|
|For two poor women of St. Gabriel's, Fenchurch||1||4||0|
In the course of the suit of the Attorney General at the relation of the Rev. C. Hardinge against the Skinners' Company, in which a decree was made on the 16th of March 1820, and on appeal on the 22nd November 1821, the defendants the Skinners' Company either admitted or proved that they held under the will of Alice Smith property in the parish of Allhallows immediately adjoining the premises comprised in the said will and statutes of Sir A. Judd; and the master by his report of the 10th March 1823 certified that he had directed inquiries and surveys to be made with a view to distinguishing the two properties so as to enable him to comply with the directions in the decree, and to state the particulars whereof the same messuages and lands devised by Sir Andrew Judd consisted, and what were the then present rents thereof. And the master certified that it having been proposed before him, on behalf of the said parties, as the only means of dividing the estates held by the governors of the Free Grammar School from those which they acquired under the said will of Alice Smith, to have the whole of the property, then in the possession of the said defendants, situate in the said parish of Allhallows, and which it was admitted comprised no more than what the defendants, held as such governors and under the said will as aforesaid, valued by competent persons and then divided in the proportion of 19l. 3s. 4d. and 15l., being the respective values of the said several properties in the said 16th century, and apportion the said messuages or tenements and hereditaments according to such values respectively having regard to the situation of such respective properties as far as the same could be defined or made out. But inasmuch as by the said decree the said master was not authorised to make such valuation and apportionments, but required to set forth the particulars of the said property, he could not act in the same without the authority of the Court; that, by an order made in the cause dated the 13th March 1823, it was referred to the master to apportion the respective messuages, lands, tenements, and hereditaments held by the defendants respectively as governors of the said Free Grammar School of Tonbridge and under the will of Alice Smith, having regard to the respective values thereof as stated in his said report of the 10th March 1823, and the situation of such several properties so far as the same could be defined, and made out, that the said master, by his report dated 10th July 1823, made in pursuance of the lastmentioned order, certified that having considered the evidence laid before him, and having had regard to the respective values of the several messuages and hereditaments held by the said defendants respectively as governors of the Grammar School and under the will of Alice Smith, as stated in his said report, and to the situation of the same as far as they could be defined or made out he found and apportioned the several messuages, lands, and hereditaments, mentioned and comprised in the first schedule to his report, to be held by the said defendants in respect of the messuages and hereditaments devised by the will of Alice Smith as aforesaid.
By an order made in the cause of the 26th July 1823 it was ordered that the said last-mentioned report be confirmed, and it was declared that the several messuages and hereditaments mentioned in the first schedule to the said report were held by the said defendants in respect of the messuages and hereditaments devised by the will of Alice Smith in the said order named as therein mentioned.
The whole of this estate was rebuilt under the arrangements stated in the report of the master in The Attorney General v. Skinners' Company of the 25th January 1841, mentioned in my report on the property of the grammar school, the expenditure being out of the funds belonging to the Company, which were thus dedicated to the charitable trust, and Nos. 1 and 2 Skinners' Place, which had formerly been allotted to this charity under the apportionment above stated, were given up in exchange to the Tonbridge School, and rebuilt at the expense of the charity.
The Court, by the decree of the 11th August 1826, declared that according to the true construction and effect of the will of the said Sir A. Judd the Skinners' Company became and were entitled for their own use to the rents of such of the messuages, &c. devised by such instrument as consisted of the several particulars set forth in the fourth schedule to the master's report, subject to the payment thereout of such one of the several specific sums in the said will mentioned as thereafter set forth, viz., 4s. to be paid weekly to the six almsmen of St. Helen's as in the said will directed, the yearly sum of 10s. to the renter warden of the Company, and the annual sum of 1l. 5s. 4d. for coals to be distributed among the six almsmen as in the said will directed, and also subject to a contribution out of such rents towards reparations since the filing of the information of such part of the messuages used as the school premises at Tonbridge as was originally erected for such purpose, and also subject to a contribution towards the 150l. annually allowed to the defendants in taking their accounts in the cause for the expenses of visiting the school at Tonbridge for the time past, and also towards the 200l. allowed for that purpose by the scheme for the establishment of the said school, such contributions for repairs and for the past and future expenses of visiting the said school to be apportioned and made according to the relative annual value of the messuages devised by the will of the said Sir A. Judd with the annual value of the messuages, &c. purchased of J. Gates and T. Thorogood, such annual values to be ascertained by the master.
The effect of the decree in the suit Attorney General v. Skinners' Company (referred to more particularly in the report on the Grammer School) was to exonerate the whole of the devised property of Sir A. Judd from any charitable trust, except the sums before stated as expressly directed to be paid by the renter warden, viz.:—
|1. The sum of 4s. a week to the six almsmen in St. Helen's almshouse||10||8||0|
2. The contribution towards the repairs of the ancient part of the school house at Tonbridge. This contribution has to be calculated by the relative annual value of the devised premises and the annual value of the school estate.
|The repairs were||275||2||8|
|The school estate||3,615||10||0|
|The devised estate||689||12||6|
|To the churchwardens of All Saints, Lombard Street||1||16||0|
|To the churchwardens of St. Gabriel, Fenchurch Street||1||4||0|
A charge of 5l. per cent. is made by the Company and carried to their own account for collecting rents, and taxes and incidental expenses. This has been about 38l. a year for some years past. In 1861 it was 38l. 19s. 0d. The net income is then applied to the benefit of the almspeople and for the general poor of the Company.
The almshouses in St. Helen's on the left hand after passing the gateway and entry into Crosby Square, consist of a building with one outer door and six apartments for almsmen, which were founded by Sir A. Judd in his lifetime.
I have calculated the present or prospective income at 788l. per annum and the present rate of disbursement for the almspeople at about 680l. per annum, including the small gifts of Sir A. Judd, leaving a surplus of about 100l. a year. The rent of the Leadenhall Market property is, however, very variable, and depends greatly upon the personal circumstances and success of the tenants in their trades.
The donations and incidental expenses of the almshouses and almspeople have considerably exceeded the amounts charged in the account of the Company, it being the habit to charge only so much as the fund will bear and so as exactly to balance the account.
The actual endowments possessed by the Skinners' Company in trust for charitable purposes amount to about 2,575l. a year, and in addition to this sum the Company give away ordinarily upwards of 1,000l. per annum in other annual payments in relief of members of the Company and in general donations and contributions to public charities. Two freemen of the Company in decayed circumstances receive each pensions of 150l. a year, and large donations are occasionally made to individual freemen or pensioners on especial exigencies.
Lewis Newberry, by his will of the 20th February 1683, gave to the Company 100l. to be lent gratis to two young freemen; and also 50l. to the Company to be employed by them as they should judge most to conduce to their public benefit.
And he directed the residue of his estate to be laid out for the use of six poor widows by purchasing some small piece of ground and building so many houses for them, and endowing the said houses with the remainder of his estate.
It appears by the report of the Commissioners of Inquiry (Vol. 8, page 351, and Appendix, p. 757) that the Company received from the executors of Mr. Newberry the sum of 1,851l., and that the executors built the almshouses at Mile End as directed by the will. By an agreement between the executors of Mr. Newberry and the Company, the latter seems to have bound itself to pay 5l. per cent. on the 1,851l. for the support of the almspeople.
The almshouses consist of two rows of tenements, one end of which abuts on the Mile End Road and adjoining Trinity Almshouses, with a considerable garden at the rear. There are 12 doors, each opening into one room on the ground floor, occupied by twelve women. They are maintained by the Company principally from Alice Smith's Gift (as to which see my report on Sir Andrew Judd's Almshouses and Alice Smith's Gift). It does not appear that the interest on the 1,851l. at 5 per cent. has been brought into the account of the almshouses or of the other charity funds of the Company. The officers of the Company approve of my suggestion that the interest on this fund should be brought into account as a permanent endowment of the Mile End Almshouses, which will then have the effect of enlarging the balance of Alice Smith's Gift applicable to the general poor of the Company.
Henry Spurling, by his will of the 1st October 1730, directed his executors to purchase 200l. Bank Stock upon trust to pay the dividends amongst the poor persons in the hospital at Mile End belonging to the Company.
The bank stock was sold out in 1801, and from that time the Company has charged its funds with an annual sum of 12l. a year, which is given in equal portions to the 12 almspeople at the Mile End Almshouses (see my report on these almshouses in the account of Sir A. Judd's and Alice Smith's charities).
M. Awdeley's Gift.
Margaret Awdeley, by her will of the 18th November 1716, gave the Company 100l. to be lent to poor young beginners, and she gave 700l. to the Company to purchase lands to pay to the churchwardens of Hackney 35l. a year to be employed as follows:—
|To the poor in bread||5||4||0|
|For repairing the parish church||5||16||0|
|For repairing the bridges, &c. between Clapton Street and Shoreditch||4||0||0|
|Towards the maintenance of a school||20||0||0|
Peter Blundell, by his will of the 9th June 1599, gave to the Company 150l. to purchase lands to pay 40s. to the poor prisoners of the Wood Street Compter, and the residue for the benefit of the Company.
Sir James Lancaster's Charities.
Sir James Lancaster, by his will of 18th April 1618, reciting that he had levied a fine of his manor of Maidenwell and of other lands in the parishes of Somercotes, Abie, Claythorpe, Farford, and Pamber, and that he bargained and sold to certain trustees an annuity of 100 marks issuing out of lands, which were the Lord Wattall's, declared that the said fine should enure to the use of the said trustees, and that they should stand seized of the said yearly rent to the intent that the rents of the lands and the said yearly rent should be paid over to the Company to be bestowed as follows:—
By a decree of the Court of Chancery of the 10th July 1713, made in the cause of the Attorney General v. The Skinners' Company. Upon the undertaking of the corporation of Basingstoke to pay the charities in full, it was ordered that the four poor scholars studying divinity at Oxford and Cambridge, and the four poor widows and preachers named by the Skinners' Company, should be entered in a book and notice given to the town of Basingstoke, who were to pay the Company the charities given them by the will, and it was ordered that two of the scholars should be sent to Oxford and two to Cambridge; and the Company were to be allowed 3l. 6s. 8d. per annum for a dinner in place of the gift of the 35l. given to the Company.
|Two poor unbeneficed preachers||10||0||0|
|For coals to the poor of the Smithfield quarter of the parish of St. Sepulchre||4||10||0|
|To the poor of St. Bartholomew the Less||1||0||0|
|For coals to poor prisoners in London||4||8||0|
The last-mentioned gift of the residue has not, so far as I can discover, been the subject of any suit or judicial construction, and I assume there is no doubt it must be taken as an absolute gift to the Company. They, however, deal with it as a fund for general charity at their discretion.
J. Draper's Gift.
The Company hold property in Budge Row and the neighbourhood, in the parish of St. Antholin, which having been devised for superstitious uses, forms, I presume, part of the estate purchased and confirmed to the several companies respectively by the Act of James 1st referred to in my report on the Fishmongers' Company.
N. Jennings' Charity.
Nicholas Jennings by his will (date unknown) founded an obit to be kept on the day of his death for ever, and devised for that purpose a tenement called the Ram's Head in Eastcheap, giving over either the residue of the estate or the residue of the 2l. a year, appointed for the obit, to the poor of Barking.
The Company have not at present any property in Eastcheap. The premises belonging to them in that locality were taken for the purpose of the improvements at the foot of London Bridge. This estate was probably included in the re-purchase by the Company of the estate held by them for superstitious uses and confirmed by the Act of James 1st mentioned in my report on the Fishmongers' Company. Nothing is now recorded with respect to this estate as a charity.
Laurence Attwell gave by his will of the 6th November 1588 to the Company his messuages in Fenchurch Street, his house in St. Thomas the Apostle, his lands, &c. in Godalming, also his interest in tenements at Christchurch, London, upon trust, with the profits thereof to make a stock, whereby poor people might be set on work, reserving only 20l. a year for a dinner.
The Commissioners of Inquiry in their report (Vol. 8, p. 375) stated that the rents and profits were received by the Company and carried to the general account without any particular application thereof being made of them for charitable purposes, and they appear to have certified the case to the Attorney General.
An information ex-officio was therefore filed by the Attorney General, praying that the Company were mere trustees for the application of the rents and profits of the messuages, &c. to the charitable purposes mentioned in the said will; and that it might be declared that the whole of such rents ought to be distributed accordingly and an account might be taken of the rents and profits of the said messuages, &c. which have been received by the defendants from such time as the Court should think fit to direct and of the application thereof by the Company, and that what upon such account appeared to have been received by the Company might be answered and paid by the Company; and that, if necessary, it might be referred to the master to approve of a scheme for the application of such arrears and of the future rents thereof; and that a proper person might be appointed to receive such rents with the usual directions.
After hearing the cause on the 3rd February 1825, the Court ordered that it should be referred to the master to take an account of the rents, &c. received by the defendants since the filing of the information, and that he should inquire and state in what manner such rents had been applied since that time. And it was ordered that the, master should approve of a scheme for the application of the income of the charity estates and state the same to the Court.
The master made his report dated the 12th February 1827, whereby he found that the defendants had received on account of the rents of the said messuages, &c. since the filing of the information 1,067l., and that the defendants had disbursed thereout 67l. 3s. 3d. for taxes and repairs, leaving 999l. 16s. 9d.; and he found that the defendants stated that the surplus of the said rents had been applied generally in objects of charity and had been added to and mixed up with the surplus of the general funds of the Company, which were appropriated more particularly as follows:—
And he found that the property possessed by the Company under Attwell's will, consisted of certain houses in the City of London and a house and land at Godalming, the whole income of which amounted to 533l. 10s. And he certified that there had been laid before him on the part of the Company a scheme to the effect following:—
That in submitting the scheme therein-after mentioned for the appropriation of the annual income of the charity, it was material, in the first place, to advert to the peculiar objects of charity within the literal meaning expressed in the will, namely, that the residue should be lent as capital to be employed, whereby poor people might be set at work, and yet this capital should be kept whole and increased yearly with the revenues, so that according to that method, if it should be strictly followed, it would amount to perpetual accumulation of capital, the testator's will being made long previous to the statute, which prohibits a perpetual accumulation of capital, such mode cannot be objected to as illegal, though it is submitted that it would be impolitic from the vast accumulation which must in time accrue from the funds and by the employment of it to the purposes of trading and working companies, it would become extremely injurious, and prejudicial to individual traders working upon their own capital, and moreover it was further submitted that the accumulations if suffered to go on in perpetuity, would eventually arrive to such an extent as must render it absolutely impracticable to apply the fund in the manner before alluded to; and the scheme went on to propose the establishment of almshouses for poor freemen of the Company, and to allow them certain stipends as therein mentioned.
That instead of the 20l. allowed by L. Attwell towards a dinner at the Company's Hall on the election day, taking into consideration the difference in the value of money at that time and at the date of the will, there should be allowed for that purpose 100l. out of the rents of the Charity estate.
That the residue of the said rents after the payment of all outgoings should be lent out in sums not exceeding in any one case 200l. by the Company to young men of good characters, beginners in trade, without interest, taking security by bond from the borrower and sufficient security or securities.
That the amount of the loans, the period of repayment, and the security to be taken should be settled by the Company according to the circumstances of the applicants for such loans, that members of the said corporation when they should be proper objects, should have the preference.
That a register should be kept of the sums of money lent out and the security taken for the same with all the particulars of the loans, and all proper and necessary caution should be used to prevent the money from being lost for want of timely application for the same when the period of repayment should arrive.
That before any money should be lent by the said Company on account of the said charity, all proper and due inquiry should be made into the circumstances and character of the borrowers and their sureties.
That the estates and property of the charity shall be duly managed and let to the best advantage under the superintendence of the said Company and their officers, and that a regular account of the receipts and expenditure in respect of the said estate should be kept and the sum made up and audited by the Company once in every year.
And the master further certified that he had considered the said two several schemes laid before him on the part of the Company and of the Attorney General, and the several facts and circumstances respectively stated. But inasmuch as the scheme of the Company appeared to him to go to a greater extent than under the decree he should be authorised to sanction without the authority of the Court, the said master certified that he had not thought fit to allow the same, and therefore he approved of the lastmentioned scheme, except so far as regarded the proposed allowance of 100l. per annum for a dinner which the master did not feel himself authorised to allow, the founder having limited the amount to 20l., without the sanction of the Court for that purpose.
The operation of this scheme has been to accumulate a constantly increasing loan fund of which advertisements are published, and which is lent out in sums of 200l. without interest, and without any expense in preparing the security, the whole cost being borne by the fund. A stamped bond is given with two securities for each loan.
The money is lent for three years, but it is often impossible to recover it punctually, and then it is received by instalments. The charges of the management of the loan, including bonds and attendances for receiving of instalments amount to about 150l. a year.
The fund has accumulated to the sum of 11,165l. 7s. 6d., of which 8,255l. is now out on security to about 46 persons, of whom seven are freemen of the Company. It is not believed that any very considerable portion of this is irrecoverable.
Sir Wolstan Dixie's Charity.
Sir Wolstan Dixie, by his will of the 15th May 1592, gave to the Company 500l., of which 200l. was to be lent to four poor young men, 50l. each, and 300l. to be lent to ten poor young men, 30l. each, they to pay for every 50l. 1l. 13s. 4d., and for every 30l. 1l., whereof the wardens should have 1l. and the clerk and two beadles 6s. 8d. each, and for coals to the poor of St. Michael Bassishaw five marks (3l. 6s. 8d.).
The Company has no account of the 500l., nor was any such account rendered at the time of the last commission of Inquiry, it is supposed to be lost, and I do not find that any legal proceedings have been taken with reference to this charity. The Company receive 10l. a year from the Merchant Taylors' Company for the rentcharge, which they pay over to the lecturer appointed by the parish of St. Michael Bassishaw, and they pay also 3l. 6s. 8d. to the churchwardens of the same parish.
Mrs. F. Clark's Gift.
Frances Clark, by her will (date not known), referring to a payment of 200l. made in her lifetime to the Company, and to an indenture whereby they covenanted to pay 10l. a year to the poor and lame of St. Thomas' Hospital, directed that the Company should see the same performed.
And by such indenture they were directed to sell the copyhold and purchase freehold lands, &c. of 100 marks a year, and pay thereout for two dinners yearly for the and the residue for the poor children of the hospital.
|Poor children of Christ's Hospital||4|
|To the resident officers of the hospital||1|
|To the Skinners' Company for the relief of their poor||6|
The governors of Christ's Hospital pay 6l. a year to the Skinners' Company, who have two presentations to Christ's Hospital, which are confined to sons of freemen of the Company. The Company always inquire into the means of the parents to advance their children in life after the education given in the hospital, and give the advantage to those who have the better means of so doing.
Joan Bush's Charity.
The Company appear to have given a bond to the Corporation of London for the performance of this trust, and they pay annually 16s. a year to the churchwardens of St. Margaret Moses, and the same sum to each of the churchwardens of St. Giles, Cripplegate, and St. Sepulchre.
Edward Lewis's Exhibition.
Randal Manning's Gift.
|To the poor of St. Swithin's, London||2||0|
|For a sermon in the parish church||0||10|
|For the Company's officers||0||10|
Their is no loan fund in respect of this charity, but the Company continues to pay the 2l. 10s. per annum to the churchwardens of the parish of St. Swithin's, and the 10s. to the officers of the Company.
|To the schoolmaster at New Woodstock||4|
|To five sermons there (16s. each)||4|
|To the almspeople there||4|
The Company pay 9l. 12s. a year to the Corporation of Woodstock, Oxfordshire, deducting 2l. 8s. for land tax. There is, however, no record of any investment of the fund. It is suggested that some investment was made upon which the land tax has been redeemed by the Company. The charge of 9l. 12s. seems, however, to have been the payment constantly made and accepted, as evidenced by receipts expressing the deduction for more than 30 years past.
Mary Wilkinson's Gift.
Sir William Alleyn's Charity.
|For bread to 12 poor householders||5||4|
|For the repair of the parish church||0||7|
|To the parish clerk||0||4|
|To the churchwardens||0||5|