City of London Livery Companies Commission. Report; Volume 4. Originally published by Eyre and Spottiswoode, London, 1884.
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In pursuance of a Minute of the Board of the 13th day of November 1860, I have inquired into the condition and circumstances of the Charities under the management of the Company of Ironmongers 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 master and wardens pass to their offices by rotation, holding such offices for one year each, the junior warden becoming in his second year the senior warden. The livery are chosen from the freemen. The freedom is acquired by patrimony, actual (and not colourable) servitude of apprenticeship of seven years, and by redemption, at the discretion of the court, which is obtained by payment of 100 guineas.
Thomas Betton by his will of 15th February 1723 devised and bequeathed the residue of his estates whatsoever and wheresoever to the Company of Ironmongers upon trust to pay one full half part of the interest and profits unto the redemption of British slaves in Turkey or Barbary, one full fourth part of the interest, &c. unto charity schools in the City and suburbs of London where the education is according to the Church of England, in which number that of St. Leonard, Shoreditch, to be included, and not giving anyone above 20l. per annum; and the other fourth part in consideration of the Company's care and pains in the execution of the will, to the uses following, viz:—
Ten pounds per annum to such minister of the Church of England as they should from time to time entertain in their hospital for performing divine service; the remains unto the necessitated decayed freemen of the said Company, their widows and children, not exceeding 10l. a year to any family.
The residuary estate of the testator as appears in the Reports of the Commissioners of Inquiry (Vol. 2, page 49, and Vol. 32, part 2, page 450) was laid out in the purchase of real estates in the counties of Middlesex and Essex, and a fee farm rent payable from an estate at Bainbrigge, Yorkshire, excepting a portion of the fund which either originally stood, or was subsequently placed in Bank Stock and South Sea Annuities, and some small portion also in Government funds.
The Charity funds were applied in accordance with the original direction, so far as the circumstances of the times admitted, but a large accumulation arose of the funds applicable to the objects to which the first moiety of the estate was devoted by the will. In November 1829 an information was filed by the Attorney-General, at the relation of D. H. Howlett, against the Ironmongers' Company, stating amongst other things that by certain treaties entered into between this country and Turkey and the States of Barbary all dealings in slaves were prohibited, and, therefore, according to the laws of this country, the said moiety could not be applied according to the directions of the testator; and the information prayed that it might be declared that one moiety of the Charity Estates ought to be applied to the purposes of the Charity, and as near to the intention of the donor as the circumstances of the case would admit; that it might be referred to the Master to take an account of the rents and profits and other revenues of the said Charity; that the Company should account for such part as should appear to have been improperly applied; and that the Master should settle a plan for the future application thereof.
The Company by their answer, the substance of which is set out in the same Report, stated that the accumulations of the surplus income in June 1827 amounted to 81,500l., 3l. per cent. Reduced Annuities, and 3,569l. 18s. 7d. 3l. per cent. Consols, besides a freehold estate at Sible Hedingham, in Essex, which, in 1806, the Company had purchased for 6,191l. 10s. cash, a portion of the then accumulations, and which estate produced a rental of 230l. a year, and the defendants stated the resolutions which had been come to by a special committee of the Company for the application of the annual income of the accumulation towards the other objects to which the second moiety of the testator's estate had been devoted.
An order of the Court of the 19th July 1830 referred it to the Master to approve of a scheme for the administration of the moiety of the estate from which the accumulations had arisen, and to inquire whether such scheme could be carried into effect without the aid of Parliament, and also to settle a scheme for the proper application of the other moiety. The order also directed the defendants to transfer to the Accountant-General one moiety of the stock purchased with part of the testator's residuary estate, to be placed to an account called "The Principal Account," and the stock which had arisen from the moiety of the estates applicable to the redemption of slaves to "The Accumulated Income Account."
The report of the Master of the 20th July 1833 advised that 7,000l. stock should be set apart in order that the dividends and amount of accumulations thereof might form a fund to provide for the redemption of British subjects who might thereafter be detained in Turkey or Barbary, and he approved of a scheme for the application of the surplus income in two moieties; one for charity schools in the City and suburbs of London, and the other for objects connected with the Company, similar to those directed by the will, and as to the second moiety of the estate the Master approved of the application which the Company had adopted.
The Master of the Rolls (Sir John Leach) by his decree 12th November 1833, declared that the Court had no jurisdiction to apply the surplus income of the moiety of the Charity property in question to any purpose inconsistent with the testator's intention, and referred it back to the Master to approve of a scheme to be submitted to Parliament, and his honour confirmed that part of the Report which related to the setting apart of the 7,000l., Bank 3l. per cent. Annuities to "The Redemption Slave Account," and directed the same accordingly.
On appeal from this decree to the Lord Chancellor (Lord Brougham) his Lordship on the 21st November 1834 reversed the declaration as to the want of jurisdiction in the Court, and as to the application to Parliament. The cause was in pursuance of this decree re-heard before the Master of the Rolls (Sir W. W. Pepys) on the 28th of April 1835, who referred it back to the Master to review his report and settle a scheme, having regard as near as might be to the intention of the testator and having regard to the bequest touching British captives, and having regard to the other charitable bequests in the will.
On the 3rd August 1839 the Master made a separate report and certified that there were no direct objects to which the surplus moiety and the accumulations thereof and the dividends and income thereof could be applied, and the Master thereby further certified that if the true construction of the order of the 1st May 1835 should be that he was bound in the first instance to consider the application of the surplus moiety and the accumulations thereof, and of the dividends and income thereof, in reference only to the intention of the testator as to the bequest contained in his will touching British captives, and if the case of "the Attorney-General v. Gibson" cited before him, were a case which should appear to the Court as applicable to the present case, that the application proposed by the scheme therein referred to as having been brought in by the trustees of the Mico Charity was an application as near as might be to the intention of the testator, as to the bequest contained in his will touching British captives, provision being made for the increase of the comforts of such of the pensioners in Greenwich Hospital as were present at the battle of Algiers, and for the education at the school attached to such hospital, and at the Royal Naval School, and at the school attached to the Royal Benevolent Society, all therein mentioned, of the children of such officers and men as were present at the battle of Algiers. But the Master thereby submitted also to the Court whether a portion of the surplus moiety and the accumulations thereof and of the dividends and income thereof might not in such case be properly applied for the benefit of the Seamen's Hospital Society and the Royal Naval Benevolent Society therein mentioned, at least in respect of the last mentioned Charities, so far as respected the officers and men, and their families engaged at the battle of Algiers, but if the case of "the Attorney-General v. Gibson" should not appear to the Court as applicable to the present case, or one that ought to govern it, or if the true construction of the order of the 1st of May 1835, should be that he was bound to consider of the application of such surplus moiety and the accumulations thereof, and of the dividends and income thereof, having regard as near as might be to the intention of the testator as to the bequest contained in his will touching British captives, and having regard also to the other charitable bequests in the will, whether the case of "Attorney-General v. Gibson" should or not appear to the Court applicable to the present case, or one that ought to govern it, then he found subject to the provision being made for the increase of the comforts of such of the pensioners in Greenwich Hospital as were present at the battle of Algiers, and the education of their children at such schools as therein-before mentioned, and also subject to the submission therein-before mentioned, as to the Seamen's Hospital Society and the Royal Naval Benevolent Society, that the proper application of the surplus moiety, and the accumulations thereof, and of the dividends and income thereof, would be for the better support of the Charity Schools in the city and suburbs of London, where the education is according to the Church of England, including the school of the parish where the testator dwelt, and the Royal Naval School, and the school attached to Greenwich Hospital, and he further certified that save as aforesaid, there were no objects to which the surplus moiety and the accumulations thereof, and the dividends and income thereof could be applied, having regard to the directions contained in the decree of the 1st May 1835.
The consideration of the report and exceptions taken by the Company thereto, came on for hearing before the Master of the Rolls (Lord Langdale) on the 13th December 1839, when it was declared that there were no direct objects to which the income of the moiety of the Charity estates and funds mentioned in the pleadings and the accumulations thereof could be applied, regard being had to the bequest in the will of the testator touching British captives. And it was declared that the scheme proposed by the appellants and mentioned in the report, so far as it proposed the appropriation of the income of the moiety and the accumulations thereof to the Charity Schools in the City and suburbs of London where the education is according to the Church of England, and to the necessitated decayed freemer of the ronmongers' Company, their widows and children, was a proper scheme for the application of the income of such moiety and the accumulations thereof, and of the income and dividends thereof, as near as might be to the intention of the testator, having regard to the bequest contained in his will touching British captives, and having regard also to the other charitable bequests in his will; and it was referred back to the Master to review his report and to approve of a scheme for the application of the moiety and the accumulations thereof, and the dividends and income thereof to the Charity Schools in the city and suburbs of London where the education is according to the Church of England, and to the necessitated decayed freemen of the Ironmongers' Company, their widows and children.
On the appeal of the informant and relators against this decision the Lord Chancellor, on the 23rd January 1841, reversed the decree of the Master of the Rolls, except so much thereof as declared that there were no direct objects to which the income of the moiety of the Charity estates and funds mentioned in the pleadings, and the accumulations thereof, could be applied, regard being had to the bequest in the will of the testator touching British captives, and in lieu of the part so reversed it was declared that the half part of the rents, interest, and profits of the testator's property which by his will is directed to be applied to the redemption of British slaves in Turkey or Barbary, and the interest and profits of the accumulations thereof ought to be applied in supporting and assisting Charity Schools in England and Wales where the education is according to the Church of England, but not to an amount of more than 20l. a year to any one school, and it was referred back to the Master to settle and approve of a scheme for that purpose, and the consideration of all further directions and subsequent costs was reserved.
From this decision which negatived the application of a moiety of the moiety in question, to purposes connected with the Company and its freemen, similar to those which the testator had pointed out as to a portion of the other moiety, the Ironmongers' Company appealed to the House of Lords, assigning by their counsel, Sir W. W. Follett, Mr. Sutton-Sharpe, and Mr. Adams, as their principal reasons of appeal:
First. Because in default of the direct objects to which the income of the moiety of the Charity Estates and funds and the accumulations thereof could be applied, regard being had to the bequest in the will of the said T. Betton, touching British captives, the application of the income of the said moiety and the accumulations thereof to the Charity Schools in the City and suburbs of London, where the education was according to the Church of England, and the necessitated decayed freemen of the Ironmongers' Company, their widows and children, was a proper scheme for the application of such income and the accumulations thereof, and the accruing dividends thereof, as near as might be to the intention of the testator, having regard to the bequest in his will touching British captives, and having regard also to the other charitable bequests in his said will.
Second. Because, according to the true construction of the will of the said T. Betton, in default of the direct objects to which, by the said will, the income of the said moiety of the said Charity Estates was given, the income of such moiety ought to be applied to the other charitable objects mentioned in the said will.
Firstly. It is a well-established principle in courts of equity that where a testator has bequeathed property to different definite charitable purposes, some of which have failed, it is to be applied to other charitable purposes as nearly as may be in conformity with the intention of the testator as such intention is to be collected from his will.
Secondly. In the present case by the order of the 1st May 1835, which has not been appealed from, the Master was, in accordance with that principle, directed, in settling a scheme, "to have regard as near as might be to the intention of the testator as to the bequest contained in his will touching British captives, and to have regard also to the other charitable bequests in the will."
Thirdly. The testator in bequeathing a fourth part of his residuary property as he has done. "In consideration of the Ironmongers' Company's care and pains in the execution of his will," has manifested that he had in view rather the remuneration of those on whom he reposed the burden of carrying his will into execution, than the establishment of any particular charity.
Fourthly. The only charitable purposes therefore directly contemplated as such by the will are two, namely, the redemption of British slaves in Turkey or Barbary, a purpose which has wholly failed, and the support of schools in London and its suburbs for education, on the principles of the Church of England; and the bequest to such lastmentioned charitable purposes afford therefore the only guide to be found to the intention of the testator.
Lastly. The application directed by the decree appealed from of the property destined to the purpose which has failed is in conformity with the intention of the testator in so far as it can be collected from such last mentioned charitable bequests, with regard to the latter of such bequests, inasmuch as it provides for the support of schools for education on the principles of the Church of England, and with regard to the former of such bequests, inasmuch as it is extended to the whole of the British community, and as no other application has been suggested more in conformity with such intention, and in particular none suggested more nearly resembling the charitable purposes which has failed.
The cause came on before the House of Lords on the 7th June 1844, and was heard before the Lord Chancellor (Lyndhurst), Lord Brougham, Lord Cottenham, and Lord Campbell, when their lordships dismissed the appeal and confirmed the decree.
The Master then proceeded to make his report, and by such report dated the 23rd December 1845, certified that the income of the funds in court and of the estates, constituting the moiety and accumulations in question in the cause amounted to the yearly sum of 5,000l. or thereabouts, but such amount of income in part arising from Bank stock, rents, and profits of estates might increase or diminish, and he certified that there was then standing to the separate account in the cause, namely, "redemption slave account" 7,916l. 8s. 3d., Bank three per cent. Annuities, including the 7,000l. like Bank Annuities originally transferred and set apart to that account as a fund to provide for any British subjects that might hereafter be detained in slavery in Turkey or Barbary. And the Master certified that it had been submitted to him that in apportioning the said income, estimated at 5,000l. a year, among the 26 dioceses of England and Wales as therein-after mentioned, regard had been had to the population, to the number of parishes or ecclesiastical districts, and to the number of schools most proper to be supported and assisted in each diocese, so that conformably to the decision of the Court the benefit of the Charity might be fairly and equally distributed over the whole kingdom, and he certified that the following apportionment was a fair and just distribution of the income in manner aforesaid.
And the Master thereby approved of the following scheme in lieu of the scheme mentioned in his report of the 21st April 1842, for the purpose of applying the half part of the rents and profits of the testator's property; but the scheme so approved contained directions for the passing of the accounts before the Master, which were not confirmed by the Court, but were expunged from the scheme by the subsequent order, and are not, therefore, stated amongst the following clauses. The clauses approved and adopted are:—
1st.—That the annual sums above mentioned and apportioned, and the sums to be apportioned as herein-after provided, shall be distributed and divided to and among the schools in each diocese that shall be most proper to be supported and assisted, not giving to any one school more than 20l. a year and not less than 5l. a year, under and according to such rules and regulations as are herein-after mentioned and contained.
2nd.—That the Ironmongers' Company shall receive the whole income of the charity funds and estates, and shall keep accounts of all monies received in respect thereof, and of their application of such monies, such accounts to be made up yearly, and shall also keep full minutes of all their proceedings in respect of the Charity
3rd.—That the Ironmongers' Company shall, from time to time, as circumstances may require, alter and vary the sums apportioned or to be apportioned to any diocese according to the population, the number of parishes or ecclesiastical districts, the number of schools proper to be supported and assisted therein, so far as they shall be able to ascertain the same, and shall, within six weeks from the time of making the same, report any such alteration or variation to the bishop of such diocese.
4th.—That notice of all grants proposed to be made to schools shall be given to the bishops of the dioceses in which such schools shall be situate one month before making the same, and in case any bishop shall within such month make any communication to the Ironmongers' Company on the subject of such proposed grant, or any of them, or otherwise relating to the Charity, the Ironmongers' Company, in coming to a determination on the subject of such grants or other communications of the bishops relating to the Charity, shall give due consideration to such communication, and inform the bishops of their determination thereon.
5th.—That in selecting the most proper schools to be supported and assisted, a preference shall be given to the claims of schools that have been recently established where the difficulties incident to a new undertaking are still to be overcome; and that among new schools those be preferred which are connected with new district churches, where the clergyman chiefly depends for his support upon the pew rents, and where the local resources are required for church buildings and other similar purposes.
6th.—That the schools especially preferred shall be those in which instruction is given both on Sunday and on every day throughout the week, and that Sunday schools merely, and schools for infants under seven years of age, shall be excluded from the benefit of the fund.
7th.—That in cases where a boys' school and girls' school are under one and the same management, and are intended for the benefit of the same population, they shall be regarded as one establishment, and one grant only shall be deemed sufficient for both.
8th.—That once in every year the Ironmongers' Company shall require a certificate from the managers or trustees of the schools to which grants shall be made, or if there shall not be any managers or trustees thereof, then from the ministers of the parishes in which such schools shall be situate, a certificate as to the state of the school buildings, the manner in which the schools are conducted, the amount as well as the yearly income, whether derived from subscriptions or otherwise, as also of the yearly expenditure for the preceding year, and the debts or incumbrances (if any) affecting the schools, and the Ironmongers' Company shall give due consideration to such certificate in determining on the propriety of continuing such grants.
By the order of Lord Langdale, the Master of the Rolls, of the 29th July 1846, his Lordship confirmed the scheme mentioned in the Master's report of the 23rd December 1845, with the exception aforesaid, and directed that the same should be established, and the half part of the rents, profits, and interests, applied accordingly.
The costs of these proceedings (except the costs of the appeal to the House of Lords, which were ordered to be paid by the Company), were paid out of the moiety of the Charity estates. The aggregate amount of the costs has not been computed, but I am informed that they were not much less than 10,000l.
The account was continued under the order, and a balance found due from the Company. This fund was invested and added to the fund in court on the accumulated income account. The amount of the stock belonging to this branch of Betton's Charity and standing in the name of the Accountant-General of the Court of Chancery to the credit of the cause, Attorney-General v. Ironmongers' Company, is set out in a later part of this report.
|A fee farm rent, issuing out of an estate called Bainbrigge Park of 68l. 7s. 11d, which, after deducting 13l. 13s. for land tax, leaves||54||14||11|
|Deducting from this amount as the average of three years' expenses and charges||1,020||0||0|
The net income of the three years averages therefore about 1,330l. yearly, which, divided into moieties, makes 665l. annually. It should however be observed that the prospective revenue will be greater as the income of the estate is increasing.
It will be observed that the report of the Master of the 20th July 1833, approved of the application of this moiety of the original estates, and that no directions were given by the Court thereupon. The application has therefore continued to be made substantially in the same manner as before the institution of the suit.
As to the fourth part for the benefit of charity schools in the City and suburbs of London, in the construction of the term suburbs the Company have adopted the signification of parishes actually abutting on parishes in the City of London. A list was settled many years ago in a classification of first, second, and third-class schools, according to the number of scholars and necessity of assistance, rather than what the terms would otherwise imply. The list was revised about 10 years ago, and now stands as shown in the following statement, the balance of the quarter of the income is allotted to St. Leonard, Shoreditch, the school specially referred to by the testator, and the school mentioned in each parish, where not otherwise described, is the parochial or national school of the mother parish or church. The sums appropriated to the schools in the following statement were the sums allowed in the year 1859–60:—
|First class, 15 schools at 10l. 10s. each||157||10||0|
|Second class, 3 schools at 8l. 10s. each||25||10||0|
|Third class, 26 schools at 6l. each||156||0||0|
I have stated the average of the fourth part of the income for the last three years applicable to the schools in the City and suburbs of London at 391l. 4s., but the amount of rental and income received in the year 1859–60 only afforded the above sum of 356l. 7s. It is apparent that several of the schools in the above list do not stand in need of assistance, and none of the poorest establishments are within it. The object of the members of the Ironmongers' Company is to select the most needy institutions within the scope of their powers, and it were greatly to be desired that some method were found of indicating the schools which are situated in the most populous neighbourhoods, and per forming most satisfactorily the business of instruction and at the same time the most in want of aid.
As Betton's Charity will not make up these amounts, the Ironmongers' Company provide the difference from their own funds, which has required from 180l. to 220l. a year. In 1858–9 the Company paid from their own funds 222l. 8s. 0d.
After the final establishment and confirmation of the scheme above stated the following advertisement was issued by the Ironmongers' Company and inserted in every journal in England and Wales. This was done at an expense of about 60l.
The Worshipful Company of Ironmongers, London, as Trustees of Mr. Betton's Charity, hereby give notice that, by a decree of the Court of Chancery, the income arising from the accumulated funds of this Charity is directed to be distributed annually amongst schools in England and Wales, where the education is in accordance with the principles of the Church of England. Parties desirous of obtaining grants must forward their applications, containing particulars of their schools, &c. to the Clerk of the Company at Ironmongers' Hall, London.
The funds are intended for national, parochial, and other schools of a similar nature, where the education is in accordance with the principles of the Church of England, except Sunday and infant schools, which are not within the scope of the Charity.
2. Are there any, and if so, how many, schools in your parish or district for the education of the poor according to the principles of the Church of England, exclusive of Sunday and infant schools, and of the school for which application is made?
By the regulations of the Court of Chancery respecting this Charity, the Ironmongers' Company are bound to require a certificate annually from the trustees or managers of each school, or if no managers or trustees, from the clergyman of the parish, as to the state of the school buildings, the manner in which the school is conducted, the amount of income and expenditure for the preceding year, and the debts or incumbrances, if any, affecting the schools.
|Name of Parish or District.||Name of Cleryman.||Population.||No. of Children.||Income.||Annual Expences.||New or Old District.||Valuation of Parish or District.||Observations.|
The tabular statement was prepared before November
1847. The observations made on each case after perusing
the applications, answers, and correspondence in each case,
were brought before the trustees (a committee of the Company, consisting of 40 in number, of whom about 25
attend) who meet annually in November. At the first
occasion, for acting upon the information gathered as
above, the business occupied several days. The Committee apportioned to the schools of each diocese the sum
specified in the scheme for that particular diocese. This
allotment to each diocese was not strictly persevered in but
for a short time; few applications had proceeded from
Worcester and Carlisle, and some portions of the sums
specified for those dioceses were given to others. The
diocese of Manchester was also subsequently carried out
of that of Chester. After seven years, in 1854, the committee sent a circular to the schools, stating that a revision
was contemplated, and in the result of their new inquiries
they altered the original distribution as to about 60 schools,
without other regard to the diocese than that of considering that the same diocese had the first claim, cœteris
paribus, to any sum which had been originally given. The
chief diminution was in the diocese of Carlisle. At the
first grant to every school, a letter in the following form
The trustees of Mr. Betton's Charity have granted the sum of l. to the school at, and, should the funds permit, the grant will be continued during the pleasure of the trustees and upon the following conditions, vizt.
You will have the kindness to inform me at your earliest convenience whether you are willing to accept the grant on the conditions above stated, and if so a certificate and receipt will be forwarded to you at an early period for signature, and to enable you to receive the money from the bankers of the trustees. It will, however, be necessary that I should previously be furnished with the names of the treasurer and manager.
Herewith I beg to forward you the cheque and certificate to enable you to receive the grant from Betton's Charity for the year ensuing. I beg at the same time to call your attention to the questions on the back of the certificate, and to request that the fullest and clearest answers may be given. The account of income is to include all sums received on account of the school, and the statement of the expenditure is to show the full amount disbursed on account of the school, whether for master's salary or otherwise. Where the expenditure exceeds the income it would be desirable that you should state how the excess is made up, as the trustees are of opinion, from the returns made to them, that the clergyman and treasurers are frequently called upon to pay considerable sums from their own resources which only appear as a portion of the general expenses and not as arising from their private funds.
I must also, in consequence of many parties returning the cheques to me for payment again call your attention to the mode in which payment is to be obtained. The money will be paid on the receipt and certificate being signed and presented for payment at the banking house of Sir Charles Price, Bart., and Company, King William Street, either through your bankers, or by yourself, or some friend personally.
In case any change should have taken place since last year in the clergyman, treasurer, or manager, it will be necessary that I should be furnished with the christian and surnames of the new officer in order that the list, from which the bankers pay the receipts, may be rectified.
Received the day of 18 of the Worshipful Company of Ironmongers (trustees of Mr. Betton's Charity) the sum of pounds, being the amount granted by them to the school at in the county of Signature of treasurer or manager
There has been no general revision of the grants since 1854, but in the year 1861, being the second period of seven years, it is intended by the Company to reconsider the list, and after obtaining such assistance as they can from the inspectors of schools, both general and diocesan, to revise the distribution.
When the subject of this moiety of the Charity was in litigation in the Court of Chancery the costs were taxed. The taxation took place under an order of the Master of the Rolls (I presume an order of course) of the 10th December 1849 and included costs up to that time. The principle adopted by the taxing master was to allow—
The other charges on the fund are only small sums for stationery and 10l. for the committee, in ordinary years. On the septennial revision there may be several committees, and the charge is on that occasion multiplied accordingly. On the last occasion there were three committees.
The distribution to the several charities throughout England and Wales and the short particulars of the application upon which the grant was made, and the educational claims and necessities of each school, as they at present appear, is set forth in an account recently prepared with a view to the revision of 1861, which concludes this report.
|1857–58 (actually paid)||5,258||0||0|
|1858–59 (actually paid)||5,323||0||0|
|(added to schools in the succeeding year)|
|1859–60 (actually paid)||5,688||0||0|
New grant or additional grants to other schools have been made since June 1860 to the amount of 200l. (fn. 1)
Peter Blundell, by his will 9th June 1599, gave to the Ironmongers' Company 150l. to purchase lands, out of which 40s. a year should be paid by the master and wardens to poor prisoners in Ludgate, and the residue for the Company.
Sir James Cambell, by his will of the 1st January 1641, gave to the Company 1,000l. to be lent out to 10 young men of the Company at 4l. per cent., and the interest disposed of towards releasing honest and poor freemen out of the prisons of London, which should be there for their fees and charges and other small sums, not exceeding 5l. apiece; and the testator gave 300l. to the master and wardens to be lent out to six of the poorest sort of young men of the Company at 3l. 6s. 8d. per annum, which interest he gave to the Company. And the testator gave to the said Company 50l. to the end that they should give to their clerk for ever such sufficient recompense for making the bonds for the 1,300l. to be lent as aforesaid, and for giving the notice at every meeting of the yeomanry of such sums as should be then in cash, or soon after due, that the said clerk might hold himself therewith contented and take nothing of the young men either for making the bonds or in any way whatever. And he gave the 10l. arising from the said 300l. to the Company on the conditions that they accepted the trust.
The Commissioners of Inquiry report that the payment in respect of the interest of the 1,000l. was discontinued by an order of the Court of Chancery in 1741, on the allegation that the fund had been authoritatively appropriated by Parliament, during the civil wars. (Vol. 10, p. 238.)
By subsequent inquiries it appeared that, although there was no doubt that the Company and its members had been compelled to make large contributions to the Parliament about 1642, 1644, and 1645, yet there was no reason to suppose that this particular sum had been specifically taken.
On the 15th October 1833 an information was filed by the Attorney-General at the relation of William Everett, against the Company, praying that it might be declared that the Company were chargeable with and bound to provide out of their general funds the said two several sums of 1,000l. and 300l. to be applied on the trusts of the will as the Court should think necessary, and that the same might be set apart and invested as to the said 1,000l. so as to yield an income of 40l. to be applied for the release of poor prisoners. And that the defendants should account for the arrears of the said yearly sum of 40l. from the year 1770 down to the time of the resumption of the yearly payments. And that it might be referred to the Master to take such account accordingly, and that the defendants might pay the amount when so ascertained, and that such arrears should be invested to form a fund yielding interest to be applied to the trusts to which the same ought to have been applied either with reference to making loans or otherwise as the Court might direct, and that it might be referred to the Master to settle a scheme.
By the decree of the 30th of November 1836 the Master of the Rolls ordered that the Ironmongers' Company should be charged therewith accordingly, and that it should be referred to the Master to settle a scheme for the lending out of the said two sums of 1,000l. and 300l., and for the application of the interest thereof, having regard to the will and intentions of the testator, with directions to tax the costs of all parties, and reserving the consideration of all further directions.
The Master made his report dated the 20th March 1837, and found that it had been alleged on the part of the relator that since the gifts were made the value of money had greatly decreased and the prices of the necessary articles of life had greatly increased, so that 100l. was at that time of more value than 300l. at the present time, and that it was believed that if the loans be restricted to 100l. there would not be any applications from freemen of the Company for the same, nor would such a sum be deemed sufficient benefit as to produce freemen to procure two or three sureties, to give a bond, or to grant a mortgage for the same, but if the loans should be increased, or a discretion given to the Company to increase them to 300l., the same would be applied for and would be considered a benefit by poor freemen of the Company, the relator had therefore proposed as a proper scheme for the lending out of the said 1,000l. and 300l. or so much thereof as would remain after payment thereout of the said extra and subsequent costs, and for the application of the interest thereof, regard being had to the said will in certain articles.
That so much of the said sums of 1,000l. and 300l. mentioned in the said decree as should remain after payment of the relators' extra costs, and the subsequent costs of this suit, be set apart as a fund, to be called the "Loan Fund," bearing interest; and that the management of the said fund, and all matters incidental thereto, be vested in the Company for the time being.
That the residue of the said sums of 1,000l. and 300l. after payment of the said costs be lent or advanced as or by way of loans to young freemen of the said Company, in sums of 100l. and upwards, but not exceeding the sum of 300l to each freeman, for five years, bearing interest at 4 per cent. per annum, upon bond with two or three good sureties for the repayment, to be approved of by the said Company for the time being.
That each applicant for such loans shall at the respective times of the same being made give a bond with two or three sureties, as may be required, whereby they shall become jointly and severally bound to the master and wardens of the said Company for the time being in a penalty of double the amount of the sum borrowed and conditioned for the repayment of the said principal sum within three calendar months from the lending thereof; but that the calling in of the said loan is not to be made, nor the said bond put in force, until the expiration of five years from the date thereof, unless it shall be manifest to the said Company upon good grounds that any of the obligators or sureties are not responsible and are unable to satisfy the same, in which case it shall be lawful for the said Company to call in the money, and in case of nonpayment to put the said bond in force, unless the borrower, being and continuing solvent, can procure another surety or other sureties of substance as the case may require and the Company shall judge necessary; and in the event of the borrower becoming insolvent or in distressed circumstances, or, in the opinion of the Company, unable to discharge the said loan, that then it shall be lawful for the said Company immediately thenceforth to put the said bond in force against the said borrower and his sureties, or such of them as the said Company shall think fit.
That on the death of any borrower before the said five years shall expire, the said Company shall call in the money, and in case of non-payment put the bond in force against his representatives and sureties and all persons liable thereon, if they shall think fit.
That in case the whole or any part of the said sums applicable to loans shall not be required, nor be advanced by way of loan, on bond as aforesaid, then the Company may lend out the same in sums not exceeding 300l. to any one freeman on mortgage of freehold, leasehold, or other property of ample value, without sureties, at 4 per cent. per annum for five years.
That the respective borrowers shall bear and pay the charge for the stamps only on the bonds, and all proper and necessary charges and expenses of and attending the making and executing of the mortgages, and all other matters relative thereto, and the Company shall bear and pay the residue of the charge for the said bond out of their own funds.
That in a book to be provided and kept by the clerk of the Company shall be entered the names and residences of the respective borrowers and their sureties, their profession or business, the sums lent, the times of making the loans, and when payable, and any other particulars which may be thought material or necessary.
That once at least in every year, and also from and immediately after any of the moneys called in shall be received, notice shall be posted up in the common hall of the said Company, and advertised in two or more of the London daily newspapers of the greatest circulation, that such moneys are ready to be advanced on loan to such freemen of the said Company, and in manner as hereinbefore mentioned.
That notice of the said funds, or such parts thereof as are now in hand, shall be immediately in like manner posted up and advertised as ready to be advanced on loan to freemen of the said Company, at the rate of interest aforesaid.
That when the whole or any part of the residue of the said sum of 1,000l. shall be in hand, and not immediately required for loans, the same shall be invested in Exchequer bills, or some other convenient or tangible security, and the interest made therefrom, as also the interest to arise from the said loans, shall, when, and as the same shall be received be paid and applied to, and for the charitable objects and purposes herein-after mentioned as far as the same will extend.
That the interest of the loans and investments of the said sum of 1,000l., when, and as the same shall be received, be paid yearly and every year for ever, for or towards the releasing of such honest poor freemen of London out of some or all the prisons as shall have most need, and who shall be confined therein for their fees and charges, or other small debts or sums not exceeding 15l.
That all reasonable and necessary expenses incidental to carrying this scheme into effect, except such as are herein-before provided to be paid by the borrowers and the said Company, shall be borne and paid out of the said trust funds, or out of any interest to be made therefrom.
By an order of the Court on further directions of the 27th May 1837 it was ordered that the scheme for carrying the Charity into effect be carried into execution, and that the Master was to tax all parties their costs of the suit as between solicitor and client, and that such costs be paid out of the Charity fund.
The sum of 852l. 6s. 6d. which appears to have been the amount of the balance of 1,000l. after paying the costs which amounted to 147l. 13s. 6d., was in 1837 invested in the purchase of 907l. 18s. 9d. 3l. per cent. Consols.
In February 1838 the Company sold out 218l. 11s. 7d. 3l. per cent. Consols, part of this fund producing 200l. cash, to lend to a freemen named Playfair. In 1842 324l. 15s. 3d. further stock was sold out to lend 300l. to a freeman named Smithson, which left 364l. 11s. 11d. like stock of the original fund. In 1845 the Company bought 100l. 5s. stock with 100l. repaid by Playfair; in the same year 457l. 7s. 3d. stock was sold out for loans of 300l. to Radford, and 150l. to Woodin, both freemen.
In April 1846 the Company bought 103l. 7s. 2d. stock with 100l. received from Playfair. Both these sums were received from Playfair's sureties. In December 1846 the Company purchased 52l. 4s. 5d. stock with 50l. received from Smithson's sureties. In July 1847 they purchased 56l. 7s. 8d. stock, with 50l. received from Smithson's sureties. In August 1848 a further purchase of 57l. 17s. 1d. stock was made with 50l. received from Smithson's sureties. In October 1849 the Company purchased 53l. 13s. 2d. stock with 50l. received from Smithson's surities. In August 1850 they purchased 103l. 1s. 10d. stock with 100l. received from Woodin's sureties. In February 1851 they purchased 51l. 15s. 6d. with 50l. received from Woodin's sureties. The loans to Playfair and Woodin were thus recovered and part of Smithson's.
In August 1851 there remained as the result of the transaction 485l. 16s. 6d. stock, with the outstanding loans. In January 1855 the Company sold out 111l. 7s. 6d. stock for a loan of 100l. to Gorton, and in September 1856 a sum of 317l. 6s. 9d. stock for a loan of 300l. to Raven. In January 1860 the Company bought 226l. 12s. 6d. stock with 150l. received in full from Radford (the principal) and 67l. 1s. 8d. from his sureties.
In 1859 4l. 10s. 4d. was paid for a like purpose. Printed applications are left with the Governor of White Cross Street, and in filling them up it is expected that he will state that the prisoner is confined for debt and can be released for the sum of 15l.
The Governor, Colonel Hicks, brings the receipt from the plaintiff's attorney and certifies the discharge. The acceptance of the 15l. is usually a compromise of a larger debt, which the detaining creditor consents to receive in satisfaction of his demand. I need not remark on the fraud to which this is open if the administration be not carefully guarded and great care exercised by the Governor of the prison in the cases he selects.
There are law charges in the recovery of the sums due from the borrowers. I find that in some cases there have been law charges for the preparation of the bonds, which according to the sixth clause of the scheme are to be borne by the Company. The clerk of the Company will examine the past accounts and extract such charges and bring them to the credit of the income account of the Charity. In some cases expenses have been incurred in the discovery of an attempted fraud or concealment on the part of the borrowers, and allowances have been made to persons who have assisted in getting in funds by such means. In the year 1859–60, the sum of 7l. 10s. was paid as commission for the recovery of Radford's debt which had theretofore been considered lost.
The balance in hand on the income account (i.e. the dividends on the stock, and interest on the loans) in June 1860 was 83l. 5s. 7d. To this will be added the charges for the preparation of the bonds which up to this time have been erroneously made.
William Chapman by his will of the 8th August 1579 gave to the Company 200l. for maintaining in Oriel College, Oxford, two poor scholars 5l. a piece, until they should be of the age of 30 years: a further sum of 100l. to pay to 24 poor householders of Cookham, Berks, 5l. 4s.; every Sunday in bread and money, 2s. to be paid to 12 of such householders on one Sunday, and to the other 12 on the next Sunday.
The books of the Company state that the students are elected by the college under a decree of the Court of Chancery of the 18th of James I., but of which the clerk of the Company has never seen any copy. The Company receive nominations of the dean and provost and senior tutor of the college, and pay the 5l. to such nominees, who are always fellows of the college.
Margaret Dane, by her will of the 16th May 1579 gave to the Company 2,000l. to lend the same to 20 young men of the Company for three years at 5 per cent. interest and the Company to pay 100l. yearly for the same as follows:—
The sum of 2,000l. is stated to have been lent out according to the will for many years, but by an entry in the books of the Company it appears that the money was taken by the Parliament sometime in or after 1640 and never repaid. The payment in respect of the interest continued to be made by the Company, until a suit was instituted in the Court of Chancery in 1833.
On the 3rd December 1833 an information was filed by the Attorney-General at the relation of William Everett against the Ironmongers' Company, praying that the defendants might be declared to be accountable and liable to pay or otherwise chargeable with the said 2,000l. of the gift of the said several yearly sums in the will mentioned to the several charitable uses in that behalf, as the interest thereof, and that the said defendants ought, under the circumstances, and that they be decreed to provide or apply some specific fund in respect of the said 2,000l., yielding a clear yearly income to the amount of the said several yearly sums or otherwise as might under the circumstances appear proper either by way of investment or otherwise.
By the decree of the 30th November 1836, the defendants submitting to be charged with the said principal sum of 2,000l., the Court declared them charged therewith accordingly and referred it to the Master to settle a scheme for the lending out of the said 2,000l., and for the application of the interest thereof to the several charitable trusts and purposes in the said will expressed as soon as might be having regard to the will, save as to the 10l. for a dinner which was to be in the discretion of the said Company.
The Master by his report of the 20th March 1837 approved of a scheme for the administration of the fund, which was directed to be invested, after the payment of costs directed to be taxed and paid. The sum invested was 1,855l. 5s. 3d. which purchased 1,997l. 11s. 9d., 3l. per cent. Reduced Annuities. The scheme is appended to this report.
The sum of 1,997l. 11s. 9d. stock was first reduced by the sale of 323l. 6s. stock for the purpose of a loan of 300l. to James Imeson, according to the scheme. It was lent upon bond with two sureties. Imeson became insolvent, one of the sureties also became insolvent, a sum of 50l. 3s. 9d. was recovered and invested in 53l. 8s. stock, making then altogether 1,727l. 14s. 3d. The other surety paid 10s. in the pound on the debt, which was invested in the sum of 152l. 5s. 3d. like stock, making it a fund of 1,879l. 19s. 6d.
That so much of the said sum of 2,000l. mentioned in the said decree, as shall remain after the payment of the relator's extra costs and the subsequent costs of this suit, be set apart as a fund, to be called the "Loan Fund," bearing interest; and that the management of the said fund and all other matters incidental thereto, be vested in the said Company for the time being.
That the residue of the said sum of 2,000l. after payment of the said costs be lent or advanced as or by way of loans to young freemen of the said Company; but that poor young freemen of the said Company, occupiers and inhabitants of the City of London or the suburbs thereof, and such who may be retailers of linen cloth, are to be preferred in sums of 100l. and upwards, (but not exceeding the sum of 300l. to each freeman), for five years, bearing interest at five per cent. per annum upon bond with two or three good sureties for the repayment, to be approved of by the said Company for the time being.
That each applicant for such loan shall, at the respective times of the same being made, give a bond with two or three sureties, as may be required, whereby they shall become jointly and severally bound to the master and wardens, and six others of the said Company by name, for the time being, in a penalty of double the amount of the sum borrowed, conditioned for the repayment of the said principal sum within three calendar months from the lending thereof; but the calling in of the said loan is not to be made nor the said bond put in force until the expiration of five years from the date thereof, unless it shall be manifest to the said Company, upon good grounds, that any of the obligors or sureties are not responsible or are unable to satisfy the same, in which case it shall be lawful for the said Company to call in the money, and in case of non-payment to put the said bond in force, unless the borrower, being or continuing solvent, can procure another surety or other sureties of substance as the case may require and the Company shall judge necessary; and in the event of the borrower becoming insolvent or in distressed circumstances, or in the opinion of the said Company, unable to discharge the said loan, that then it shall be lawful for the said Company immediately thenceforth to put the said bond in force against the said borrower and his sureties or such of them as the said Company shall think fit.
That on the death of any borrower before the said five years shall expire, the said Company shall, if they shall see fit, call in the money, and in case of non-payment, put the bond in force against his representatives and sureties, and all persons liable thereon.
That in case the whole or any part of the said sum applicable to loans shall not be required nor be advanced by way of loan on bond as aforesaid, then the Company may lend out the same, in sums not exceeding 300l. to any one freeman, on mortgage of good freehold, leasehold, or other property of ample value, without sureties at five per cent. per annum for five years.
That the respective borrowers shall bear and pay all proper and necessary charges and expences of and attending the making and executing the bonds and mortgages and all other matters relative thereto.
That in a book, to be provided and kept by the clerk of the said Company, shall be entered the names and residences of the respective borrowers and their sureties, their profession or business, the sums lent, the times of making the loans, and when payable, and any other particulars which may be thought material or necessary.
That once at least in every year, and also from and immediately after any of the moneys called in shall be received, notice shall be posted up in the Common Hall of the said Company, and advertised in two or more of the London daily newspapers of the greatest circulation, that such moneys are ready to be advanced on loans to such freemen of the said Company, and in manner herein-before mentioned.
That notice of the said funds or such part thereof as is now in hand shall be immediately in like manner posted up and advertised as ready to be advanced on loan to freemen of the said Company, and at such rate of interest as aforesaid.
That when the whole or any part of the said trust fund shall be in hand and not immediately required for loans, the same shall be invested in Exchequer bills or some other convenient and tangible security, and the interest made therefrom, as also the interest to arise from the said loans when and as the same shall be received, be paid and applied to or for the charitable objects and purposes hereinafter mentioned so far as the same will extend rateably and in due proportion.
That a fair proportion rateably of the yearly sums of 10l. bequeathed to each of the said hospitals, viz.:— Christ's Hospital, St. Bartholomew's, and St. Thomas' Hospital, be paid to them respectively.
That a like fair proportion rateably of the yearly sum of 10l. be paid and distributed at the discretion of the said Company for ever to 20 poor maids, within every year, at or on the respective days of their marriage.
That a like proportion rateably of the yearly sum of 10l. be paid to and equally between the two Universities of Oxford and Cambridge for ever, in or towards the relief and bringing up in learning of two poor scholars, the one to be in Oxford and the other in Cambridge, but so as that he that hath the benefit the one year should not have it the next year, but to come through the whole or as many number of poor scholars as may be, and when all the poor scholars shall have partaken thereof, then to revert again, in due order and regularity.
That a like proportion rateably of the yearly sum of 10l. be paid for ever to the governors, keepers, or wardens of the several prisons of Newgate, Ludgate, Giltspur-street, Whitecross-street, Tothill-fields, Marshalsea, the Borough Click in Tooley-street, and the King's Bench, in such proportions as the said Company shall think fit, to be laid out in the purchase of bread and meat, to be distributed emongst the poor prisoners in the said prisons, once in every year.
That a like proportion rateably of the yearly sum of 5l. be paid for ever to one of the churchwardens of Bishop Stortford, in the county of Herts, to be applied towards the maintenance of the school there; or such school failing, then to the relief of the poor people of the same parish not receiving parochial relief.
That a like proportion rateably of the yearly sum of 25l. be paid for ever in equal shares to the respective officers of 24 of the wards of the City of London, to be laid out in the purchase of fuel to be distributed among the poorest people of the said wards once in every year at Christmas.
That a like proportion rateably of the yearly sum of 10l. given to the said Company in or towards a dinner to be made at their hall on the day of the said testatrix's death, in every year, be retained by them or applied at their discretion for charitable purposes.
That all reasonable and necessary expenses incidental to the carrying this scheme into effect (except such as shall be properly charged to the said borrowers) shall be borne and paid out of the said trust funds, or out of any interest to be made therefrom while in hand and until the same shall be so lent out as aforesaid.
Anthony Gamage by his will, 15th December 1771 bequeathed to the Ironmongers' Company 400l. to be lent to young men, freemen of the Company, in different sums as directed by the will, rendering to the wardens of the Company 30s. for every 100l., the sum to be:—
The capital sum of 400l. is not distinguished from the other funds of the Company. A general notice of moneys to be lent to the poor freemen of the Company is occasionally advertised; but no loans have been made or applied for on this account since the last inquiry. The want of applications is supposed to be on account of the small sums directed by the will to be lent to each freeman, namely as to 300l. in sums of 50l. each and as to 100l. in sums of 25l. each.
In respect of the interest account, the sum of 2l. a year is paid to the Grocers' Company, and 2l. is paid to four pensioners in Lewin's Almshouses. The payments to the officers of the Ironmongers' Company are not made.
Sir R. Geffery's Charity.
Sir Robert Geffery by his will of the 10th February 1703 bequeathed to the Wardens and Commonalty of the Mystery or Art of Ironmongers of London a legacy of 400l. to be laid out in lands for certain charitable uses in the parish of St. Dionis Backchurch, London. And a further sum of 520l. to be laid out in lands for charitable uses in the parishes of Landrake and St. Erney in Cornwall; and the residue of his real and personal estate to be paid to the said Company for the erection of almshouses for poor people near London and the maintenance thereof.
The accounts of the testator's estate appear to have been taken in the Court of Chancery in a cause the Ironmongers' Company v. Roberts, which by its decree of the 9th July 1708 reciting that the residue of the estate amounted to 1,534l. 13s. 9d. in the hands of the executors, directed the application of the two legacies of 400l. and 520l. to the several uses prescribed by the will, and as to the residue that the plaintiffs should be at liberty to propose to the master a convenient piece of ground in or near London, not exceeding 10 miles, in fee simple for the building the almshouses on, and that the purchase should be effected out of part of the residue of testator's estate, and the other trusts of the will be carried into effect with the approbation of the Master, who should take an account of the rents of the premises purchased, and of the interest of the money not so employed, and that such rents and interest should be applied in the first place in building the almshouses.
The testator after directing that his body should be buried within the parish of St. Dionis Backchurch in London where he had lived many years, as near the communion table as may be, and giving numerous personal and charitable legacies bequeathed the 400l. to the Company to be laid out as above stated, and the same lands, houses, and ground rents being so purchased should settle the same in such manner as the council should advise for an allowance to some person to read and celebrate divine service in the parish church of St. Dionis Backchurch twice every day in the week yearly for ever except Sundays and such holydays when the said service and preaching should be appointed and had in the said church at the hours and times theretofore used in the said church according the rubrick and liturgy of the Church of England; and his will was that the rents of the said lands, &c., so to be purchased, as aforesaid, should be by the said Company as the same should be by them received, paid to the minister or curate of the said parish of St. Dionis Backchurch who should take upon himself or should be appointed for the reading and celebrating of divine service in manner as aforesaid, allowing thereout 50s. per annum to the clerk of the said parish for officiating there: Provided that in case there should be any neglect in reading prayers at any time for more than three days together then the rents and profits of the said premises to be purchased as aforesaid should go and be paid to the hospitals of Bethlem and Bridewell for ever.
By a deed of the 5th February of the 10th Queen Anne (1711) John Hilton and Mary his wife, in consideration of 2,730l. conveyed to the Company the property therein mentioned in the Strand and St. Martin's Court. To hold the same in trust to the uses of the will of the said Sir Robert Geffery, viz., as to and for the before mentioned parcel of ground and messuage erected thereon being the part or passage called St. Martin's Court, in the possession of Thomas Jones, being the third house from the north corner of the said court, and fronting west at the yearly rent of 6l., and also that other parcel of ground and messuages fronting west to St. Martin's Court and Church Lane on the north-east in the occupation of James Baber at the rent of 9l., and also the other parcel of ground and messuage in the occupation of Charles Mathews, being the fourth house from the north corner of the said court, and fronting west thereto, at the yearly rent of 5l., that the yearly rents of the said three several parcels of ground and messuages amounting to 20l. a year be paid to some person to read and celebrate divine service in the parish church of St. Dionis Backchurch according to the will, such person allowing thereout 50s. a year to the clerk with a declaration of trust in case of failure as in the will mentioned: And the deed proceeds to declare the trusts of the other portions of the property conveyed by the deed for the two other branches as therein mentioned. The deed as appears by a note in the margin was approved by the Master of the Court (R. Eyre) by the executors of the testator are parties to it.
The houses and premises in the Strand and in Church Court were in or about 1826 or 1827 taken by the Commissioners of Woods and Forests under the powers of an Act of the 7th George 4th intituled, "An Act to extend to Charing Cross, the Strand, and parts adjacent, the powers of an Act for making a more convenient communication from Marylebone Parish, &c." The purchase money was settled at 11,000l. This sum was paid into Court and invested in 12,716l. 15s. 3d. consols. The sum was appropriated between the three Charities in the following proportions:—
In 1838 the Company purchased an estate in the parish of East Ham, in Essex, from Lord Henniker for the sum of 9,250l. cash. This sum was produced by the sale of the 1,811l. 10s. 3d. Consols, the St. Dionis part of the fund, and the 2,404l. 10s. Od. like stock, the Landrake part of the fund, and 5,703l. 11s. 3d. like stock, part of the 8,500l. 15s. Od. Consols belonging to the almshouses. The estate was conveyed to the Company by a deed of the 28th March 1838, which recites the apportionment of the stock towards the purchase money, and is approved by the Master. The deed declares that the master and keepers or wardens and commonalty of the mystery of Ironmongers and successors shall hold the said lands on the trusts of the will of Sir Robert Geffery (that is to say) as to the part or parts of the said lands and hereditaments and the rents and profits thereof which should bear the same proportion to the whole thereof as the said sum of 1,811l. 10s. 3d. Consols should bear to the whole of so much as should be sold to produce the said sum of 9,250l. of the said sum of 12,716l. 15s. 5d. like stock upon and for the charitable uses and trusts in and by the said will of the said Sir R. Geffery, and the said indenture of the 5th February 1711 expressed or declared of or concerning the said messuages and hereditaments purchased with the said 400l. And as to the part or parts of the said lands and hereditaments and the rents and profits thereof which should bear the same proportion to the whole thereof as the said sum of 2,404l. 10s. 0d. like stock should bear to the whole of so much as should be sold to produce the said sum of 9,250l. of the said sum of 12,716l. 15s. 5d. like stock, upon and for the charitable uses, trusts, and purposes in and by the said will and indenture of 1711 declared concerning the messuage and premises purchased with the said 520l. And as to the residue of the said lands and hereditaments and the rents thereof, together with the residue which should remain of the said 12,716l. 15s. 5d. like stock and the dividends thereof, upon the trusts in the said will and the said indenture of 1711 declared of and concerning the said hereditaments purchased with the said sum of 1,810l.
The dividends on the 1,811l. 10s. 3d. stock belonging to this branch of the Charity before its sale were 54l. 6s. 10d. a year, and the same sum has, notwithstanding the declaration of trust in the deed, ever since continued to be paid over to the rector of St. Dionis Backchurch for the time being.
It will be seen, by a reference to my report on this Charity made on the occasion of my inquiry into the endowments for the benefit of the parish of St. Dionis Backchurch, that the practice is merely to ring the church bells without performing any service, in consequence, as it was stated, of the non-attendance of any congregation. The circumstance of the practical desuetude of the Charity probably led the Company to consider this branch of the endowment of less importance, and therefore to appropriate a larger share of the income to the almshouse branch of the Charity than it was entitled to.
A portion of the estate at East Ham is required for the main drainage of the metropolitan sewer. This consists of about four acres, for which 2,575l. has been claimed by the Company for value and severance. The rental of the four acres is about 18l., and if the compensation money which may be received shall produce only 70l. a year there will be an income of about 50l. It is suggested that as the third branch of the endowment, the almshouses, has since the purchase of the estate been in receipt of more than its share of the income, the increase about to be obtained shall be divided according to their proportions between the two first branches, the St. Dionis and the Landrake; that is to say, three-sevenths to the former and foursevenths to the latter, until the rights of the respective Charities shall have been adjusted.
It will be seen that in default of the prayers being read this gift passes over, according to the will, to the Christ's and Bethlehem Hospitals. No demand has, however, been made on the part of those institutions for the execution of this direction of the will, although I am informed that it is not unknown to the officers of those institutions. (fn. 2)
The testator directs that the 520l. for this branch of his charity should be paid to the Company and laid out as above stated, and that the investment being so made that they should settle the same in such manner as council should advise to the intent that out of the rent and profits thereof, in the first place, 2s. a week weekly for ever might be paid and laid out in bread for the poor inhabitants of Landrake and St. Erney in Cornwall aforesaid, and distributed to them by the churchwardens of the said parish of Landrake for the time being on every Sunday in the forenoon, after divine service, and the rest and residue of the rents of the said lands &c. to be purchased with the said 520l. should be paid from time to time as the same should be received, unto the schoolmaster of Landrake aforesaid, or to some other person that should teach the children of the poor inhabitants within the parishes of Landrake and St. Erney aforesaid to write and read English, and to learn and be instructed in the catechism then used and appointed in the Church of England.
In the deed of 1711, before mentioned, the trusts are declared of the land purchased of Hilton and wife. As to the plot or parcel of ground and messuage thereon on the north side and fronting the Strand, in the occupation of Rebecca Church, being the corner house on the east side of the passage entering into the court from the Strand, at the yearly rent of 26l., to pay and apply the rents and profits as follows, viz., for bread, and for teaching the children in the parishes of Landrake and St. Erney according to the trusts of the will.
It will be seen by the former part of this report that on the sale of the estate at Charing Cross, of which the above formed a part, 2,404l. 10s. Consols, part of the purchase money was appropriated to this Charity, and that on the reinvestment of the fund in 1838 trusts were declared of a portion of the purchased estate equivalent to the several proportions of the purchase money. The dividends on the 2,404l. 10s. Consols, before its sale, were 72l. 5s. 8d., and the same sum has still continued to be paid quarterly to the schoolmaster at Landrake (now Mr. Robert Forman.)
The schoolmaster produces quarterly a receipt from the churchwardens for the 2s. per week for bread, and a certificate from the minister of the parish that the school is properly conducted. I append the Rules adopted by the Company in concurrence with the clergyman about 12 or 15 years ago. These rules were made in consequence of complaints of the irregularity of attendance and apparent disregard by the inhabitants of the benefits of the school.
It appears that the fund now applicable to the school is considerably larger than has hitherto been applied. The rental of the estate at East Ham is 450l. a year, of which the parish of Landrake would, according to the purchase deed and the trusts thereby declared, be entitled to about two-ninth parts. I have pointed out the propriety of an accurate apportionment of the income so that this educational institution may receive its due share, and in a former part of this report I have stated the suggestion which has been made of the manner in which the relative claims of the several charities may be adjusted out of a prospective increase of revenue. The school is not visited by the Company, which has no funds applicable to such visitation. (fn. 3)
The testator directed that the residue of his real and personal estate should be paid to the said Company to purchase a piece of ground near London for an almshouse for so many poor people as the money arising by the residuary estate at 6l. per annum each person, and 15s. a piece yearly for gowns, might extend to, and should employ the overplus and remainder of his residuary estate in the purchase of lands, houses and ground rents in London in fee for building and repairing the almshouses and maintenance of the poor therein.
The hospital or almshouse in the Kingsland Road, which consists of 14 houses and a chapel under one roof, each house containing four rooms, was built about the year 1715, at an expense of nearly 4,500l. upon two pieces of ground conveyed to the Company by indentures of lease and release, the releases dated respectively the 2nd March 1712 and 29th March 1716. The cost of the building being defrayed out of the surplus in the hands of the trustees, and such rents and interests as had accumulated according to the decree in Chancery of 1708.
It appears by the Report of the Commissioners of Inquiry that a scheme was settled in 1808 for the government of this Charity. This scheme which was in force and acted upon at the time of the Commissioners' Report, continued in operation until 1834. In that year the Ironmongers' Company presented a petition to the Lord Chancellor, stating the alteration which had taken place in the estate and circumstances of the Charity, and praying that a further scheme might be settled for its administration.
By an order of the Court of the 24th December 1834, it was referred to the Master to make the inquiries and approve of the scheme as therein mentioned. The Master by his report of the 2nd December 1835, set forth the scheme which he had considered and approved, and which was as follows:—
1st. To apply yearly so much of the said surplus income as with the sum of 175l. 10s. allowed by the Master for pensions and gowns will be sufficient to pay to each of the inhabitants of the said almshouses, who shall from time to time be elected to receive the benefit of the said Charity, not less than 6l. and not more than 12l. for a pension and 15s. for a gown.
4th. To apply yearly out of the said surplus income in payment to the said clerk of the said trustees the sum of 30l., to the matron 34l., to the apothecary 5l. 5s., to the chapel clerk 7l., to the ground keeper 8l., in addition to the salaries allowed to them respectively by the Master.
6th. To apply in the common and ordinary repairs of the almhouses and chapel so much as with the 50l. per annum allowed by the Master will be necessary for the purpose, but such repairs not in the whole to exceed 130l. per annum on an average.
No person is elected as an almsman or almswoman under the age of 60, except free persons, with regard to whom there is no restriction as to age. No person has been elected under 40, and then only under peculiar circumstances. There are more almspeople who are not free than free, but those having the freedom of the Company are preferred. They are not permitted to have children or families, but an aged person is refused liberty to have the company of a daughter. At present all receive the same allowances excepting the additions made in respect of the offices they hold in one or two cases. (fn. 4)
Thomas Hallwood, by his will, 20th April 1622, gave to the Company 400l. to pay such rents and profits as should grow half-yearly for the maintenance for three years of four poor scholars, two of Maudlin College, Oxford, and two of Christ's College, Cambridge, being divinity students, the donor's kindred to be preferred.
The fund is not distinguished, but the Company pay four students 4l. a year each. They are nominated by the Company, on application, with certificate of residence and good conduct. New nominations are made every three years.
Mary Hanbey by her will, 16th February 1796, gave to the Company 300l. Reduced Annuities upon trust every four years to paint and repair the monument of her husband at St. Luke's, and distribute the remainder to the poor freemen of the Company.
The Company hold the stock in their corporate names, and apply so much as is necessary in repair of the tomb, and distribute the residue to poor freemen every four years. On the last occasion, the 6th July 1858, 19 pensioners received amongst them 34l. 13s., the indoor pensioners receiving 1l. 10s., and the outdoor pensioners 1l. 19s. 6d. each.
Thomas Hanbey by his will, 12th January 1782, gave 2,000l., 3l. per cent. Consolidated Bank Annuities, to Christ's Hospital, on condition that they should maintain and educate two boys, the sons of freemen of the Ironmongers' Company. The Hospital accepted the bequest, and the Company nominate sons of freemen, of whom two are always on the books.
Ralph Handson by his will, 9th January 1653, devised
to the Ironmongers' Company his messuages and tenements
in Crutched Friars, to pay out of the rents the following
and the residue of the rents for reparations and other necessary occasions and the relief of the poor of the Com pany, in their good discretion, as the Court of Assistants should think requisite.
The Commissioners of Inquiry, after stating the then income of the property, add, "The residue of the rents of the property has never been specifically applied, but has been carried to the general account of the Company, and out of their general funds the Company have been in the habit of giving and continue to give large sums of money in charity every year, partly in purchasing coals, partly in money to pensioners, being poor freemen of the Company, and partly in other charitable donations. The value of coals yearly given is about 150l., and the sum of 240l. a year is regularly given in pensions. Upon an average a sum exceeding 500l. a year is given out of the general funds in charities beyond what is specifically directed by wills, or other instruments of donation."
In the year 1833 an information was filed by the Attorney-General at the relation of Daniel Humphreys Howlett against the Company, praying that it might be declared that the warehouses and tenements erected on the site of the messuages, &c., devised by the will of R. Handson were vested in the Ironmongers' Company upon trust as to the residue of the yearly rents after making the specific payments for the relief of the poor of the said Company or other charitable uses, so that the Company should not apply the sums to their own uses, and that the execution of the trust might be enforced by the decree of the Court according to a scheme to be settled by the Master, and that it might be declared that for the future separate accounts ought to be kept of the yearly rents of the said Charity estate and the surplus thereof; and that, in case it should appear necessary, an account might be taken before one of the masters of such surplus and of the fines received by the said Company on the renewals of leases, and in particular of the said three fines of 500l. each and of the application of the same by the Company for such period before the filing of the information as might appear necessary, and that such declarations might be made by the Court touching the manner of taking such accounts as the case might require; and that the particular tenements and premises of the said Charity might be ascertained, and that it be referred to the Master to inquire respecting the validity of the lease to the East India Company and the propriety of such lease, and in case it should be invalid whether any proceedings should be taken for the purpose of impeaching the same.
On the 9th May 1834 the parties having the conduct of the suit obtained an order of course to amend the information by adding relators or otherwise as they might be advised, and shortly afterwards amended the same by adding the name of William John Hall as a relator, and striking out the description of Howlett as a freeman of the Ironmongers' Company, but the fiat or sanction of the AttorneyGeneral for the amendment was not obtained until the 23rd June 1834. On this ground the Company moved the Vice-Chancellor (Sir Lancelot Shadwell) that the amended information should be taken off the file for irregularity with costs, which was ordered on the 23rd November 1834. The suit was in this manner disposed of and the proceedings were not again revived.
The property in Crutched Friars remains as stated by the Commissioners of Inquiry. It consists of extensive warehouses, the interest of the East India Company in which has been purchased by the East and West India Dock Company, who pay the Ironmongers' Company annually the rent of 300l., deducting only property tax.
The Company have raised the gift of 5l. to the 20 poor widows of the Company to the sum of 40l., 2l. each being given. They are generally the same persons as are outdoor or indoor pensioners of Betton's Charity.
The 2l. a year to the clerk forms part of a sum of 6l. 16s. 8d. paid to him in respect of particular estates, including this and that of Sir James Cambell (probably in respect of the 50l. specifically assigned as remuneration for his duty in respect of the preparation of the bonds for loans).
The residue the Company regard as being, by the terms of the devise, under their own absolute disposition. They have, however, for very many years appropriated considerable sums out of it annually (except in some years in which they take them from other funds to guard against any assumed right that the practice might create) in aid of the funds arising from Betton's Charity for pensioners, when that fund is not sufficient to provide the sums voted by the Company to that class of recipients.
The assigned pension to Betton's pensioners is outdoor 10l., and indoor 6l., but that fund being always insufficient (except in the last year under special circumstances) to pay pensions to such an amount, the deficiency has been, in the manner above stated, provided out of Handson's estate. The coals given to Sir R. Geffrey's almshouses exceed the 100l. allowed, and the Company make up the excess out of their own funds. (fn. 5)
John Haydon, by his will, 11th March 1579, gave to the Ironmongers' Company 100l. to be lent to two young men of this Company trading over the seas, paying yearly to the master and wardens 3l. 6s. 8d. to be paid over to the master and wardens of the Mercers' Company.
The interest amounting to 3l. 6s. 8d. is paid to the Mercers' Company, but the capital is not set apart, nor is the sum lent. The reasons are probably the same as those which operate in Gamage's Gift.
Thomas Lewin, by his will, 20th April 1555, devised to the Ironmongers' Company several messuages and appurtenances in the parish of St. Nicholas Olave, for certain superstitious uses, and to find a priest for saying masses at St. Nicholas Olave, at a yearly salary of 10l., and to permit four honest and sad, impotent, poor, aged, and decayed men of the Company to inhabit four tenements which testator intended to erect in the churchyard of St. Nicholas, and to pay to every one of the said four persons quarterly 20d., and also to pay to two poor scholars of Oxford and Cambridge (50s. each) 5l.
The Company are possessed of five houses in Bread Street Hill, in the parish of St. Nicholas Olave, on which a very large sum of money has lately been expended, and from which a rent of 455l. a year is derived.
The four almshouses erected by the Company in 1785, in Brick Lane, St. Luke's, Middlesex, are the present habitations of the four almspeople, who are free of the Company, and are nominated by the Court of Assistants. They are comfortable houses.
The almspeople receive 10l. a year each. They may be married couples, but in that case one only is nominated as pensioner. They are regarded also as Betton's indoor pensioners, in which character they receive 6l. a year They also have other donations mentioned under the head of the respective givers, and coals which are paid for by the Company. The entire value to the occupier or occupiers of each tenement is about 18l. a year.
The scholarships are applied for by students, and the payments are generally added to Hallwood's gift of 4l., making together 6l. 10s. It is made on a certificate of residence and good conduct from the tutors.
Nathanial Loane, by his will, 22nd July 1625, devised to the Company a rentcharge of 52s. out of houses in the Little Old Bailey, to pay to seven of the poorest people, men or widows of the Company, 7s. apiece, and to the two beadles and porter 1s. apiece. And by an indenture of the 10th August 1768, the houses were conveyed to trustees for the parish of St. Sepulchre upon trust to divide the rents in the following proportions:—
The premises are situated in the Old Bailey, and are under the management of trustees appointed by the parishes of St. Sepulchre and Islington. The 1/12th of the Company now amounts to 15l. a year, and deducting property tax, leaves 13l. 10s. 11d. It is divided amongst seven poor freemen of the Company, with Riggs' gift. Thirty-six outdoor pensioners receive 25s. a year each, and 27 indoor pensioners 23s. each. The Company, however, insist that this, so far as the gift in respect of Loane's Charity exceeds the 52s. annually, is of their own bounty.
Randall or Randolph's Charity.
It appears from an entry in an old account book of the Ironmongers' Company that in 1585, 480l. was received by the wardens from the executors of Mr. Justice Randolph, to which the Company added 20l., and the money was invested in the purchase of two rentcharges, together amounting to 25l. a year. The rentcharges arise out of property of this Company in Bread Street Hill. The Company deduct 4s. in the pound for land tax, which thus reduces the annual payment to 20l. a year.
The sum of 10l. a year for Castle Barnard Ward is paid to the churchwardens of the parish of St. Bennet Paul's Wharf, and the 10l. for Queenhithe Ward is paid to the churchwardens of St. Michael, Queenhithe. These churchwardens distribute the several sums amongst the other parishes in each ward.
William Riggs, by his will, 21st November 1814, bequeathed to the Ironmongers' Company 2,000l. Reduced Annuities, to pay (subject to certain annuities) the dividends for the benefit of the poor members of the Company.
The annuitants are all deceased, and the dividends on the fund which stands in the corporate name of the Company are divided amongst the poor freemen of the Company at the same time with Loane's gift. In December 1860 36 out-pensioners received 1l. 5s. each, and 27 inpensioners received 1l. 3s. each, including both Charities.
John Sampson by his will, 22nd October 1691, devised to the Ironmongers' Company a rentcharge of 6l. payable out of a messuage and premises in Marlborough, Wilts, for four poor widows, pensioners in Old Fish Street, London.
The rentcharge is received (deducting land tax of 4s. in the pound, and leaving, therefore, 4l. 16s.) from the Marquis of Aylesbury, and the Company divide the amount amongst the four pensioners in Lewin's Almshouses.
William Wild, by his will of the 9th July 1846, bequeathed to the Ironmongers' Company 3,500l. Consols. Upon trust, nevertheless, and for the purposes therein-after mentioned, that is to say, upon trust out of the dividends thereof to pay unto Eliza Yeatherd an annuity of 60l. during her life, and thereout to pay to his servant, Alice Weston, an annuity of 30l. during her life, and thereout also to pay to the clerk of the said Company for ever an annuity of 5l., and upon trust to pay and distribute all the residue and remainder of such dividends during the lives of the said Eliza Yeatherd and Alice Weston, and after their respective deceases then the whole of such dividends after deducting the 5l. a year to the clerk as aforesaid unto and among the non free poor inhabitants of Sir Robert Geffery's Almshouses, Kingsland Road, Middlesex, share and share alike for ever, such distribution to be made half yearly when and as such dividends should from time to time become due and payable, or quarterly at such times as the said Ironmongers' Company should think fit.