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 Salters' 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 constitution of the Company is formed of the Master and two Wardens and twenty-four Assistants. One of the Livery not on the Court is nominated Renter Warden. The list of the Livery in the printed book is now 142. Freedom is obtained by patrimony (or birth) and servitude (or apprenticeship). Occasionally freedom is obtained by redemption. The number of the freemen are supposed to be diminishing.
Thomas Beamond's Almshouses.
Thomas Beamond, by his will of the 24th March 1454, gave to the Company the land where there was then lately erected the Salters' Hall and six mansions in Bread Street, also a house called the Chequer in Bread Street, and a tenement in Westcheap.
As to the said six mansions, the wardens should appoint six of the most indigent poor to dwell therein, each inmate to have 7d. a week for his sustentation out of the fines and profits of the tenements, and after giving 6s. 8d. yearly to each warden and 2s. to the beadle, for their pains, he directed that whatever residue there should be of the said rents and profits should be put in a chest, and securely kept by the said wardens and four honest men for the reparation, sustentation, and new building of all the tenements when need should require.
The estate was charged also with superstitious uses, in respect of which the right of the Crown was purchased by the Company, and the purchase confirmed by an Act of Parliament passed the 19th March, 4 James 1st (including also some purchases of the Brewers' Company), which would seem to have been omitted in the Act comprising the purchases of the other City Companies, referred to in my report on the Charities of the Fishmongers' Company.
After the report of the Commissioners of Inquiry, and on the 29th November 1833, an information was filed by the Attorney-General, at the relation of Thos. Spencer Hall and another, against the Salters' Company, stating the will of Thos. Beamond and the residuary gift therein contained, and also stating the other gifts which had been made for the almsmen at the hall, and alleging that the amount paid to the almspeople was and had long been very much less than the annual value of the premises derived by the Company under the said will, and praying that it might be declared that all the rents and profits of the messuages and hereditaments held by the Company under Beamond's will were applicable to the charitable purposes mentioned in the will, and that an account might be taken of the rents and fines received by the said Company in respect of the hereditaments under Beamond's will from such time as to the Court might seem fit, and also an account of the money which during the period had been applied out of the rents for the maintenance of the said almsmen, and that the annual surplus might be ascertained, and the said defendants charged therewith and decreed personally to answer and pay the same, and that an account might also be taken of the annual sums received by the defendants in respect of the several other gifts thereinbefore mentioned to have been made to them for the benefit of the almsmen, and of the sums annually paid by them thereout for the almsmen, and that the surplus if any, might be answered by the defendants personally, and the messuages, &c., held by the defendants might be ascertained by the direction of the Court, and that proper deeds might be executed by the said defendants concerning the said messuages for settling the same, and declaring the trusts thereof according to the scheme to be settled as thereinafter mentioned, and that it might be referred to the Master to settle a proper scheme for the extension of the Charity and the application of such of the surplus rents as should be found liable to charitable purposes.
The defendants by their answer set forth the Act of 4th James the 1st for securing to the Company the land given for superstitious uses and purchased by them, and the further Act of the said reign comprised lands omitted in the former Act, and amongst others the land devised by Beamond; and the Company set out the various leases and demises which had been made of the property supposed to be that devised, and subject to the specific gifts to the almspeople, but submitted however that the almsmen were comfortably provided for as therein stated. The suit, I am informed, proceeded no further than the answer, when it was compromised with the consent of the AttorneyGeneral, and a decree made by the Vice-Chancellor of England on the 7th May 1841 to the following effect:—
That the defendants undertaking to continue to make the yearly and other payments of money, and distribution of coals in respect of the charitable gifts thereinafter referred to, being the payments and distribution which as they alleged they had theretofore made in respect of such gifts, and the relators thereupon waiving all further relief in respect of the premises than as thereinafter mentioned, it was ordered that the defendants weekly pay to the six almsfolk of the foundation of Thos. Beamond, 12d., and yearly pay to such almspeople 19s., such weekly and yearly payments being made in respect of the gift of Thos. Salter; and should also weekly pay to the almsmen 12d., such payment being made in respect of the gift of Mr. Scott; and should weekly pay to such almsmen 6d., such weekly payment being made in respect of Thos. Garrett's gift; and should also pay yearly to the almsmen 20d. a piece and 2d. more to the ancientest of them, such yearly payment being made in respect of Thos. Barber's gift; and should also yearly pay to the almsmen in equal divisions 6l., such payment being in respect of Wm. Robson's gift; and should also yearly pay to the almsmen in equal divisions 4l., being in respect of James Smith's gift; and should also yearly pay to each of the almsmen 6s. 8d., in respect of Mrs. Cock's gift; and should also pay yearly to the almsmen 10s. in respect of Robt. Payne's gift; and should also pay to the almsmen yearly 2l. 14s., being made in respect of Sir Jno. Coates' gift, and in lieu of the charitable coals directed by him to be delivered to the almspeople. And it was ordered that the Company should pay the relators their costs.
The almshouses for six poor men are still in Salters' Court, but about to be removed to Watford, in the county of Herts, under the sanction of the Board. (See my report on Sir Ambrose Nicholas' Almshouses infra.) (fn. 1)
Thos. Salter, by his will in 1558, gave to the Company 200 marks, to pay inter alia 52s. a year to the six almsfolk, together with four sacks of coals or 2s. 8d. in money a piece, 3s. on attending St. Magnus' Church, and 1s. to the beadle for accompanying them.
The Company pay 2l. 12s. a year to the account of the Beamond's or the Men's Almshouses. The gift of 3s. to the six almsmen for going to St. Magnus' Church by London Bridge is now converted into a payment of 15s., which they receive without attendance at the church, and the beadle receives 5s. instead of the 1s. in respect of his duty of accompanying them.
John Scott's Gift.
Jno. Scott, by his will in 1578, gave to the six almsmen 52s. a year (12d. a week). The Company now hold a house, No. 47, Friday Street, and pay thereout 2l. 12s. a year towards the maintenance of Beamond's Almshouses. This gift was made one part of the subject of the suit Attorney-General, at the relation of T. S. Hall, versus Salters' Company, mentioned in my report on Beamond's Charity, and is now governed by the directions of the decree there set out.
He also gave 5l. a year from the same source to the poorest of the yeomanry. The latter gift is distributed amongst the almsmen in Monkwell Street. (fn. 2)
John Garratt, by his will of the 19th January 1582, gave to the Company all his lands in London for certain superstitious uses and to pay to the six almsmen a penny a week each. The estate charged with this gift consists of property in Carr Square, Moor Square, and Moor Lane, Cripplegate. It is let to various tenants at a rental of about 270l. a year. The Company pay 26s. a year to the account of Beamond's Almshouses.
This gift was made one part of the subject of the suit Attorney-General, at the relation of T. S. Hall, versus Salters' Company, mentioned in my report of Beamond's Charity, and its administration is one of the matters comprised in that compromise, the liability of the Company under the decree before set out being limited to 6d. a week. The foregoing statement of the payments made to the almspeople shows that they receive far more than sufficient to cover this as well as the other endowments. (fn. 3)
Thos. Barber, by his will of the 14th January 1622, gave 200l. to the Company to be lent to two poor young men at 4l. per cent., and thereout to pay annually to six almsmen 20d. apiece and to the ancientest 2d. more. This gift was included in the suit of Attorney-General versus Salters' Company, and the payments to be made in respect of the capital fund are directed to be made by the Company under the minutes of decree set out in my report on Beamond's Charity.
Wm. Robson in 1633 gave 2,500l. to the Company to pay (amongst other things) 6l. a year to the almsmen. The Company pay 6l. a year from this donation to the account of Beamond's almsmen, the aggregate payments exceeding this and the other charitable funds founded for the purpose.
James Smith in 1661 gave 4l. a year to the six almsmen. The rent of the premises charged with this gift having increased, the amount of the payments for the benefit of the almsmen has been doubled, and the Company now carry 8l. per annum to the account of Beamond's almsmen.
This gift was one of the subjects of the decree before referred to (see Beamond's Charity). The increase of the payment to the almspeople appears to have been made under a scheme of the Court of Chancery settled in 1825, and referred to in my report on Smith's Almshouses (infra).
Sir John Coates' Gift.
This was the subject of an information filed the 11th
December 1833 by the Attorney-General at the relation of
John Edwards and another, stating the gifts of—
200l. by Sir John Coates,
100l. " Thos. Payne,
100l. " Sir Ambrose Nicholas,
100l. " Henry Plumpton,
200l. " Lady Nicholas,
and praying that an account might be taken of the several principal sums or of such parts thereof as should appear to have come to the hands of the defendants, and that they might be personally charged with and declared liable to raise and pay the same with interest at 5l. per cent. from such time as the Court should think fit, and that it might be referred to the Master to settle a scheme for the future application of what should be found due from the defendants to such charitable purposes as would best effectuate the intentions of the donors of the several sums aforesaid.
The defendants put in their answer, and stated to the effect that all such monies had been lent out and ultimately lost, and the relators thereupon proposed and obtained the assent of the Attorney-General to a decree which was made by the Vice-Chancellor of England on the 31st May 1839, which was as follows:—
"The defendants, the Salters' Company, undertaking to continue the several annual payments directed by the wills of the several donors in manner set forth in their answer, it was ordered that the defendants should pay to the Master and Wardens of the Company the sum of 10s. to the renter of the Company 6s. 8d., and to the beadle 3s. 4d., and to the almsmen founded by Thos. Beamond the annual sum of 2l. 14s., and the annual sum of 2l. 12s. to the officers of the ward of Dowgate for the poor of that ward, such several yearly payments being made in respect of Coates' Gift; and the two latter thereof in lieu of coals by him directed to be delivered amongst such almsmen and poor, and should also pay to the clerk of the Company 5s., to the beadle 2s., and amongst the almsmen 10s., such several yearly payments being made in respect of Robert Payne's gift; and also distribute amongst the almsfolk of the Monkwell Street Almshouses of Sir A. Nicholas 12 chaldrons of coal in respect of Sir A. Nicholas' Gift, and in lieu of charitable coals by him directed to be distributed; and should also pay to the Company's use 20s., and to the clerk and beadle in equal division 10s., and to the poor box towards the relief of the poor 10l., such several yearly payments being made in respect of Henry Plompton's Gift; and should also pay to the poor of the parish of Saint Mildred, Poultry, 20s. in respect of Lady Nicholas' Gift."
The Company give credit for 1l. 7s. for coals in December and at Easter, making 2l. 14s. a year in respect of the four cartloads of charcoal, and the Master, Wardens, and beadle receive the 20s. a year.
Mrs. Cock's Gift.
Sir Ambrose Nicholas's Almshouses.
Sir Ambrose Nicholas, by his will of the 28th April 1578, gave to the Company 12 small tenements or Almshouses in Monkwell Street, and also all other his messuages and lands in St. Alphage and St. Olave; to pay weekly to the 12 almspeople 7s., and provide 300 faggots yearly for them, and to employ the residue for the poor of the Company.
The Almshouses in Monkwell Street are still occupied by the almspeople, but are on the point of being removed to the country. The property devised by the testator forms nearly a square plot, bounded on the north by Hart Street, on the west by Monkwell Street, and on the south by Fell Street. The eastern boundary is at the back of the premises north of Wood Street.
A projected hotel company has proposed to take the whole of this property at a rent far exceeding the present income. I am informed that 1,200l. a year has been offered, and that the Company has demanded about 1,500l. per annum. The expenditure has immemorially exceeded the income of the endowment. The excess since the year 1845 appears by the following statement:—
|To which the Company add, to make up the amount||2||0||0|
The authority for this reconstruction was issued by the Board, dated in 1862, upon the Report of Mr. Simons. (fn. 4)
Mrs. Cock's Gift.
John Wicks, by his will of the 24th February 1727, gave to the Company an acre of copyhold land in Plaistow Marsh for the poor of the Almshouses. And he also gave 5l. a year charged on land at Westham for the poor of the Almshouses.
The land at Plaistow or Britty Mead is let to John Lowe at 2l. 10s. a year, and 4l., after deducting 1l. land tax, is received from Messrs. Carruthers in respect of the property at Westham. The total for this gift is 6l. 10s. a year.
Thomas Salter gave to the Company 200 marks, and directed them to pay (inter alia) 1l. 6s. to the sisters of the late Norman's house at Norwich. The sum of 1l. 6s. a year is paid to the churchwarden of the parish of St. Paul in Norwich, as at the time of the last inquiry.
John Scott's Gift.
John Scott, by will of the 3rd July 1578, gave to the Company two houses in the parish of St. John the Evangelist to provide yearly one cartload of coals for the poor of Allhallows and St. Margaret Moses.
|Six almsmen in Beamond's Almshouses||2||12||0|
|Twelve almswomen in Monkwell Street Almshouses, given away on the distribution day||5||0||0|
|The churchwardens of the parish of St. Margaret Moses||0||18||0|
There is also a charge for the officers of the Company of 6s. 8d. for their pains, making together 8l. 16s. 8d. (fn. 5)
John Garratt's Gift.
|The Company pay to Beamond's almsmen yearly||1||6||0|
|To the City prisons, on the receipt of the Keeper of the Queen's Bench Prison||6||8|
|And in respect of Newgate and Ludgate, to Mr. Temple, by the authority of the Court of Aldermen||13||4||1||0||0|
|2||6||0 (fn. 6)|
|To the churchwardens of St. Botolph, Bishopsgate||6||18||6|
|To the Master of the Company||0||3||4|
|To the Wardens||0||5||0|
|To the clerk 2s., to the beadle 1s.||0||3||0|
|To six almsmen (Beamond's)||0||10||2|
William Robson's Gift.
A portion of the 5,000l. was invested in the purchase of premises in Lombard Street and Birchin Lane, and the will of Robson directed that when the rents and profits of the houses should be settled in perpetuity on the said charitable uses, that then the indenture he had from the Company for that purpose should be cancelled.
An information was filed in July 1833 by the AttorneyGeneral, at the relation of the Rev. Wm. Sandford and another, against the Salters' Company, setting forth the fact of the aforesaid deposit and the trust as to the 2,500l. the purchase of the said premises in 1634, the will of W. Robson, that the rents of the said premises then amounted to 788l. 9s. 4d. a year, and alleging that the defendants appropriated the greater part of the said rents and profits to their own use, and had made very small additions annually to the charitable gifts, and that after making the payments before mentioned the Company wrongfully claimed the whole of the surplus, and praying that an account might be taken of all sums received by the defendants in respect of the rents of said messuages, &c., and of any fines received by them on granting leases, and also an account of all monies paid by the Company towards the charitable uses aforesaid during the period for which the aforesaid account of rents should be taken, and that the Company might be decreed to answer and pay the balance which should appear to be due on such account, and that the same might be invested for the benefit of the Charity; and that it might be declared that the interest thereof and all yearly profits of the said messuages which should remain after the payment of the several sums mentioned, and directed by said Wm. Robson to be paid by the Company, ought to be applied towards the proportional augmentation of the same Charities respectively, and that it might be referred to the Master to approve of a scheme for the proper application thereof.
Mr. Thompson, the clerk to the Salters' Company, informs me that in August 1834 he reported to the Court of Assistants of the Company that the Company's answer had been put in to the information, and that since then he had been in communication with the Attorney-General's solicitors in consequence of their intended application to the Court of Chancery to inspect all books, &c. of the Company in anywise relating thereto, in the course of which they admitted that the Company's answer was so full that they did not consider there was any strong ground for proceeding with the information, and suggested that an application might be made to the Attorney-General for his opinion whether under the circumstances all further proceedings should not be abandoned. Mr. Thompson further reported that he had declined being a party to such a reference, as partaking of a species of compromise. And for the same reason he could not assent to any such plan upon any understanding that the Company were to pay costs; if the Court considered that there was a sufficient case to warrant costs it would be a different thing. It was arranged that the subject should be mentioned to the Court of Assistants, and if sanctioned by them the application should be made to the Attorney-General on the part of the relators alone, and that afterwards the Court should be applied to for sanctioning the abandonment of the information. The matter was fully discussed, and it appears by a minute of the 7th August 1834 that it was finally resolved that the Court of Assistants concurred as to the propriety of agreeing with any reasonable suggestion for staying further proceedings in the information in question, so that it should not involve any possibility of charging the Company with compounding the subject matter of the information, and that the clerk of the Company be authorised to agree to the proposed manner of bringing the question before the Court.
" On receipt of your letter of the 13th November I made further inquiry on the subject, and having learnt that the index only had been searched which did not extend so far back as 1833, when the suit was filed, I have had further search made during the earlier period, but no trace of any decree can be found."
There is not I apprehend any doubt that the suit entirely failed to charge the Company with any greater sum than the specific payments which they had undertaken by their agreement with the donor to make. The 20l. "to be expended yearly by the Company about the "time of his decease," being excluded, the total charge under the foundation is the sum of 107l. 10s. a year, which (with the exception of the 2l. 10s. for a sermon after mentioned) is appropriated as follows:—
The sermon to be preached on the day of the decease of the founder has not been preached for many years, nor as it appears since the feast was discontinued, and the 2l. given for that purpose, as well as the two sums of 5s. each to the officers of the church have not been appropriated. It has been suggested that a sum in respect of the arrears of this payment for a certain period should be set apart with the accruing payments for some other charitable purpose. (fn. 7)
Mrs. Cock's Gift.
|To the poor of St. Martin, Ludgate||0||15||0|
|" prisoners in Ludgate||0||5||0|
|" poor of Bread Street Ward||1||6||4|
The payment is made to the churchwardens of St. Martin, Ludgate, and the City prisoners 2s. 6d. a year (as at date of fast inquiry), on the receipt of Mr. Temple, the officer of the Court of Aldermen.
The Deputy of the Bread Street Ward receives a sum of 1l. 6s. 4d. annually, and gives a receipt for it, for the poor of his ward. (fn. 8)
Robert Harding, by his will of the 20th November 1568, gave to the Company a yearly rent of 40s. out of two tenements in Crooked Lane, for 36 poor men 12d. each, to the Wardens 3s. 4d., and the beadle 8d.
Peter Blundell's Gift.
The sum of 2l. a year is paid, on the receipt of Mr. Temple, the officer of the Court of Aldermen. (fn. 9)
|To the Company's use||20|
|To the clerk and beadle||10|
|To the poor-box||10|
David Cock's Gift.
David Cock gave 100l., to be lent to two young men, each paying yearly 23s. 4d., of which 40s. should be paid to the parson of Allhallows for the repair of the church, and 6s. 8d. to the Master and Wardens.
|To the Master and Wardens||1||0||0|
|To the poor's-box||2||13||4|
|To the clerk and beadles||0||6||8|
|To the parish of St. Mildred, Bread Street||4||0||0|
|Towards the account dinner of the Company||6||0||0|
|To the poor of St. Mildred's, Bread Street||1||0||0|
|To the town of Marshfield, Gloucestershire||4||0||0|
|To the Company's officers||1||0||0|
The Company pay to the churchwarden of St. Mildred, Bread Street, a sum of 1l. a year, and to the vicar of the parish of Marshfield, Gloucestershire, 4l. a year, upon the certificate referred to in the former report.
Lady Nicholas' Gift.
Barnard Hyde's Gift.
By Indenture of the 12th December 1630, between Barnard Hyde of the one part and the Master, Wardens, and Commonalty of the Salters' Company of the other part, in consideration that Barnard Hyde had given to the Company certain sums of money, they covenanted to purchase lands of 62l. a year, to be bestowed as follows:—
The sum of 3l. is distributed amongst the Officers of the Company, making an entire distribution of 57l. 10s. (fn. 10)
James Smith's Almshouses at Maidenhead.
James Smith, by Indentures of the 22nd and 23rd July 1661, after reciting that he had then lately erected at Maidenhead eight tenements or Almshouses for eight poor men and their wives, conveyed to the Company a messuage and land in the parishes of Bray and Cookham upon trust to pay—
|Insurance on farm and buildings||4||11||6|
|(In the last six years about 125l. has been spent on the farm property.) Quitrent to Earl Somers||0||4||4|
A deputation of the Company visits the almshouses about every second or third year. In 1860 the expenses charged in respect of this deputation was 14l. 14s., and a sum of 4l. 18s. was at the same time distributed amongst the almspeople.
Under a petition presented to the Master of the Rolls, Sir Thomas Plumer, in February 1823, a new Scheme was prepared and confirmed by the Order of the Court of the 17th March 1825. The effect of this Scheme was to double the amount theretofore paid to the almspeople out of the charity estate of James Smith, and also to double the sum paid to each of the other charitable objects.
The minister, churchwardens, and other inhabitants of Cookham, assembled in vestry, nominate two married men and their wives, both being of the age of 50 years, inhabiting within the parish of Cookham, (of whom six according to the 23rd rule should be out of the street of Maidenhead). These names being certified to the Company they choose one of the married couples thus nominated to the vacant rooms. The 2nd rule requires that each nominee should have been twenty years in the parish, and should be approved by four of the principal householders of the parish. The officers of the Company suspect that the selection is not unfrequently made less with the view and benefit of the objects selected than the interest of the parish by the diminution of the rates. (fn. 11)
Parkhurst and Smith's Charities.
Mary Parkhurst and Elizabeth Smith, by Indenture of the 16th May 1764, granted to the Company a rentcharge of 50l. a year issuing out of land in St. Mary, Rotherhithe, Surrey, upon trust to pay to the eight almsmen and their wives 41l. 12s.
Sir Timothy Waldo's Charity.
Sir Timothy Waldo, by will of the 26th October 1784, gave to the Company 100l., the interest to be given to two poor persons, being Protestants. And he also gave to the Company 500l. Consols, to apply one moiety of the dividends in apprenticing a poor boy of Hever, Kent, and if no such boy could be found, the said moiety should be given to the poor of Hever, and the other moiety to be expended in clothing the poor of Hever.
A sum of 7l. 10s. is appropriated to the clothing of the poor of Hever, with respect to which an application for trustees and a Scheme is now before the Board, and the Company has intimated their concurrence in the proposal.
The sum of 7l. 10s. for apprenticeship is generally accumulated until sufficient is raised to amount to a premium. The last apprentice was bound on the application of the churchwardens in October 1859, at a premium of 20l. There is now a sum of 30l. in hand on this account.
Richard Chawry's Gift, otherwise known as Sir Wm. Horne's Gift. (fn. 12)
Richard Chawry, by his will dated 13th February 1504, gave to the Company certain hereditaments in the City of London, charged with the payment of 5s. per annum to the prisoners of each of the prisons of Newgate, Ludgate, Marshalsea, and King's Bench.
This Charity is now administered by the Trustees of the Prison Charities, acting under the provisions of a Scheme approved by an Order of the High Court of Justice (Chancery Division) dated 8th December 1876.
By an Order of the Board of 13th July 1877 the abovementioned charge, amounting in all to 1l., was redeemed by the transfer into the name of the Official Trustees of Charitable Funds of the sum of 33l. 6s. 8d. Consolidated 3 per cent. Annuities.
In pursuance of an Order of the Board, dated 19th March 1862, I have inspected the Almshouses under the management of the Salters' Company, founded by Sir Ambrose Nicholas, Knight, and Thos. Beamond; also the site proposed for building Almshouses at Watford for the reception of the almsmen and almswomen now inhabiting the same, and have to report as follows:—
The Salters' Almshouses in Monkwell Street, Cripplegate, were founded by Sir Ambrose Nicholas, Knight, who by his will, dated 28th April 1578, gave his 12 small tenements situate in Monkwell (then called Mugwell) Street, within Cripplegate, London, in the occupation of seven men and five widows therein named, and intended as Almshouses for 12 poor men or women being free of the City of London (Salters always to be preferred), to live free of rent during their lives, and to be admitted by the appointment of the Wardens and Commonalty of the art or mystery of Salters and their successors for the time being; and he bequeathed the said 12 tenements with the appurtenances to the said Wardens and Commonalty and their successors for ever for this purpose.
A large stone tablet on the present building bears this inscription:—"These Twelve Almshouses were founded in " the year 1578 by Sir Ambrose Nicholas, Knt., Citizen and Alderman of London, in the Gift of the Worshipful Company of Salters, who rebuilt them after the Great Fire of 1666, and who have been and are considerable benefactors to the Charity."
These Almshouses, situated in a narrow street in Cripplegate, are very old, small, low, and ill-arranged; the large chimney-breast and staircase rendering the lower or sitting room exceedingly narrow. The bedroom over is rather better in this respect, but this is also narrowed by a staircase leading to a little useless garret, or rather loft, in the roof.
The four houses next Hart Street are exceedingly bad, and in addition to their being smaller than the rest they are nearest to a furnace belonging to a steam engine used on the manufacturing premises immediately in the rear, and stated by the almswomen to be a serious nuisance and inconvenience, especially in the summer.
A more material objection, in which all the occupants share, is that there is but one watercloset in the centre of the Almshouses. Each almswoman has a key, but the inconvenience of going along the street to this place, where the receptacle for the dust, ashes, &c. of all the houses is situated, and from whence also every drop of water has to be carried, is very great. The state of substantial repair appeared to me better than might be expected from such old tenements.
The Salters' Almshouses in Bow Lane were founded by Thomas Beamond, who by will dated 1454 bequeathed a considerable estate to the Wardens and Brethren and Sisters of the said fraternity and guild, and as to six houses, part of the devised property, the testator willed that the Wardens and their successors should receive and order six of the most poor and indigent of the art to dwell therein.
Six almsmen of the Salters' Company now dwell in apartments arranged for the purpose in two houses belonging to the Company in Salters' Court, Bow Lane. Five of the number are married. To each two rooms are appointed. These houses are supposed to have been built immediately after the Fire of London, and although there were complaints of some of the rooms being damp, cold, and dark, they are immeasurably better than the Monkwell Street tenements. The houses are of course very old, and the arrangement of the basement is bad—low, dark, damp, and confined.
The repairs appear to have been constantly attended to, and the substantial state of these two houses (with the exception of the windows or, rather, casements) was better than from their great age would be expected.
The proposed new Almshouses are intended to be erected on a portion of the field called Butt Field, which is situated within a quarter of a mile of the railway station at Watford. They will be bounded by the Parsonage House at one extremity, which is now in progress, and at the other by new boys' and girls' schools, which are in full operation. How far the noise during certain times proceeding from the playgrounds attached to the schools, in exchange for the constant sounds of factories and metropolitan traffic to which the inmates are now subject, would be agreeable or otherwise will vary in different individuals.
The site is a desirable one, and so situated that drainage to any extent can be had. It is stated that the main sewer will be continued beyond the Salters' Company's ground, all proprietors paying their proportion.