CHARITIES FOR THE POOR
This section was completed in 1958. The charities
described in it have been confined, with some minor
exceptions, to those for the poor, including almshouses and homes, and to endowed trusts for general
charitable purposes. Charitable trusts for specific
objects other than the relief of the poor, such as
those for church purposes, hospitals and dispensaries, and cultural and recreational purposes, are
dealt with where necessary in the sections dealing
with those subjects; so also are charitable institutions
dependent primarily on voluntary contributions.
The charities are those of the ancient parishes of
Aston, Birmingham, Edgbaston, Handsworth, and
Harborne, and of the whole area of the modern city.
The charities of the ancient parishes of Worcestershire, all or parts of which are now in Birmingham,
have been dealt with in the Victoria History of
Worcestershire, iii (1913); charities founded since 1913
and limited to the area of these Worcestershire
parishes are not described. Charities for other
Warwickshire parishes, parts of which are in modern
Birmingham, are dealt with in the Victoria History
of Warwickshire, iv (1947).
References for statements made in the text are
cited in the form of numbers which refer to the
numbered sources in the following list.
1. Charity Commission files (legal and accounts
departments) and Unreported Volumes.
2. Ninth Report of the Commissioners for. . .
Charities, H.C. 258 (1823), ix.
3. Twentieth Report of the Commissioners for. . .
Charities, H.C. 19 (1829), vii.
4. Twenty-ninth Report of the Commissioners for. . .
Charities , H.C. 216 (1835), xxi (2).
5. Digest of Endowed Charities (Warws.), H.C. 243
6. Notes on some of the Charities, Trusts, Institutions,
etc. administered in the City of Birm. publ. by
direction of the General Purposes Cttee. of the City
Council (4th edn. 1952).
7. Hazlemere House of Residence, First and
Eleventh Annual Reports.
8. A. Musgrove, History of Lench's Trust (Birm.
9. Ex inf. the Charity Commissioners.
10. Ex inf. the Clerk.
11. Ex inf. the Secretary.
12. Ex inf. the Town Clerk.
13. Ex inf. the Vicar.
14. Ex inf. the Warden.
Alderson Disabled Ex-Servicemen's Homes
In 1932 Bernard Alderson gave £5,000 to
the corporation for building houses to be let at
nominal rents to Birmingham ex-servicemen or,
failing them, to poor and preferably old people. The
charity was regulated by a trust deed in 1933,
and in that year fourteen houses were built in
Kingsbury Road and Holly Lane, Erdington. Two
more houses were built with accumulated funds in
By a trust deed of 1892 a
sum given by an anonymous donor, now represented
by £732 19s. 2d. stock, was conveyed to the churchwardens of St. Philip's, the income to be used in
general assistance to the poor of the parish. In 1952,
when the annual income was £18 6s. 2d., it was said
that the charity had been distributed in donations to
Emma Ball's Homes of Rest.
In 1901 Emma
Ball gave a piece of land in Handsworth in trust for
the building of almshouses, the administration of
which was to be connected with the New Church
Society, Wretham Road (see p. 480). By her will of
1911 the founder gave £500 for the erection of two
or more homes for aged and infirm people, and
£1,400 to provide for repairs and for the payment
of sums of 7s. a week to the occupants. The charity
was regulated by a Scheme of 1917, and two houses
were built in Charleville Road in 1924-5. The
stipends were increased to 10s. in 1927. In 1952,
when the gross yearly income was £110, there were
two almspeople.(1, 6)
Richard and Samuel Banner's Charities.
trust deed of 1716 it was declared that Richard
Banner had bequeathed £100 with which Samuel
Banner was to purchase land, the income to be used
to buy six alms-coats annually for poor men of
Birmingham, and the residue to apprentice poor
boys. Samuel Banner, with the principal and interest
upon it, and with an additional sum of £29 5s. 9d.,
bought land in Erdington, and directed his son
Richard to put the land in trust, with the additional
provision that 25s. was to be expended annually on
the purchase of alms-gowns and petticoats for poor
women. Richard made these arrangements in 1716.
In 1827 most of the income of £20 was spent on
clothes for from six to ten poor men and ten to 30
poor women. It was later said that at that date no
money was in practice spent on apprentices, and
the last application from an apprentice for a grant
was said to have been in 1862.
By 1931 the income, which was then from
property in Holly Lane and Moor End Lane,
Erdington, and in Caroline Street and Regent's
Place, Birmingham, had greatly increased, and was
expected to be £120 to £130 a year. About £60 was
being spent on clothing for poor people, and there
was an accumulating surplus. By a Scheme of 1932
half the income was to be used in the purchase of
clothing for poor men and widows in the city, and
half in the assistance by apprenticeship, education
and otherwise, of poor boys. In 1956-7 there was
an income of over £94 from rents and £26 from
investments, and sums of £70 were spent on
clothing and £89 10s. on apprenticing and education. (3, 1)
Thomas Birch's Charity.
By will dated 1689
Thomas Birch gave a rent-charge of 40s. to be used
in apprenticing a poor boy of Erdington. The charge
was redeemed in 1928 for £80 stock. By a Scheme
of 1907 provision was made for the income to be
applied for the benefit of deserving and needy boys
of Erdington, by providing the cost of an outfit or
tools and by assisting them to earn their own living.
The income was said to be under £5 in 1952.(9, 6)
John Billingsley's Charity.
Under the will of
John Billingsley dated 1629 property in Deritend
was by deed of 1667 vested in trustees, the income
to be used in buying bread worth 1s. weekly for
equal distribution between the poor of Deritend and
Bordesley and the poor of Birmingham. Very little
money was used for this purpose during the later
18th century, when extensive repairs were being
carried out to the property. In 1804 the trustees
opened a subscription for the rebuilding of the
premises, which realized £180, and the premises
were rebuilt in 1813. The income in 1827 was
£34 1s. 4d., the greater part of which was regularly
distributed in bread. In 1909 the income of £55 was
distributed in bread tickets. By a Scheme of 1910
any residue after a distribution of bread might be
expended on general charitable uses. The property
in High Street, Deritend, was sold in 1919 and the
proceeds invested. The income from £1,885 10s. 7d.
stock was over £47 in 1952, and in 1948-52 was
distributed among a number of Birmingham
charitable societies.(3, 1)
Charity of Richard Bloxwich and Others.
a deed of 1771 it was declared that by will dated
1619 Richard Bloxwich gave £40 to be laid out in
land, one-half of the income from which was to be
distributed among five of the poorest and neediest
in Aston parish and the other half provide for two
sermons to be preached in the parish church. It was
also said that several other people gave sums of
money for charitable uses in the parish: Humphrey
Bloxwich to the poor of Aston hide £20; Clement
Smith to the poor £6; William Booth to the poor of
Aston hide £27; John Shelley to the poor of
Erdington £5; Percival Booth to the poor of Witton
£2 and an unknown donor to the poor £3. These
sums, with Richard Bloxwich's bequest, making a
total of £103, were about 1653 laid out in the
purchase of lands in the manors of Erdington and
Pype Hall, the income to be distributed in a manner
consistent with the intentions of the donors. Some
new land was acquired as a result of the Inclosure
Award of 1804. The land was sold in 1902 for
£2,500 and the proceeds invested.
At some time before 1773 Mrs. Butler gave
property at Fazeley to the churchwardens and overseers of Aston for the poor of Aston. Part of this
property was sold in 1936 for £10. A sum of £10
given by will of Mrs. Devereux, together with
£36 11s. 3d. from the sale of timber from the Poor's
Land, and several other bequests, making a total of
£82, and interest upon this sum, was in 1860
invested in £100 stock.
All these charities were regulated by a Scheme of
1879. After payment for sermons, half of the income
was to be used for the benefit of poor people of
Aston, and half in promoting the education of the
poor of the parish. The income was said to be
£70 18s. 10d. in 1952.(4, 9, 6)
Henry Booth's Charities.
By will proved 1926
Henry Booth gave £1,000 in trust to each of a
number of parishes, among them St. Martin's,
Birmingham, the income to be used for the provision of clothing for poor parishioners during
winter. The sum given to St. Martin's was invested
in £1,003 0s. 8d. stock, and in 1952 the income was
being distributed as directed.(1, 6)
Mary Brigg's Trust.
By will proved 1930 Mary
Briggs gave her residuary estate in trust for the
maintenance of a social worker among the poor of
Birmingham. The charity, with an endowment of
£7,521 5s. 5d., was established by a Scheme of 1932.
In 1955-6 the investments amounted to £9,819 3s.
7d., and from the income of £401, £150 was given
to Birmingham Boys and Girls Union and £200 to
Yardley parish church.(1)
The Brinsley Bequest.
By his will dated 1902
William Brinsley gave his residuary estate in trust,
the income to be distributed among the charitable
institutions of Birmingham. The amount which
accrued to the trust was £12,364. In 1952 the
income was £434 7s., which was distributed as
Thomas Bromwich's Charity.
By a trust deed
of 1579 Thomas Bromwich gave property, the
income from which was to be distributed to 45
people, fifteen each of Great Barr, Perry Barr and
Handsworth. As part of the Inclosure Award of
1794, the original property was exchanged with
George Birch for land on Handsworth Heath beside
the later Soho Road. The trustees of Handsworth
Poor's Lands believed themselves to have come into
possession of all or part of this property in connexion with gifts of George Birch, and the rent from
part of it was paid to that charity until 1850. In
addition to this land Bromwich's Charity acquired
land between Lozells and Heathfield Roads.
The administration of the charity was regulated
by a Chancery decree of 1850 and Scheme of 1855.
The trustees were to continue to distribute £13 each
year among 'the several classes of the poor who have
lately . . . enjoyed the benefits' and the surplus
income was to be accumulated until another Scheme
should be prepared. As a result of the granting of
building leases on its property between 1855 and
1864 the income of the charity rose to £264 a year
in 1868. The affairs of the charity were at the time
the subject of prolonged controversy; there were
disputes about the claims of the Poor's Lands, the
way in which the income was to be utilized, its
distribution among the three villages, and the
denominational character of the trustees. The
Scheme of 1872, which determined the method of
appointing trustees, still met with some opposition;
by it the income was to be distributed equally
among the poor of the three villages in kind and in
aid to provident and friendly societies. Unexpended
income continued to accumulate until the end of the
19th century. In 1956 the gross income was £279
15s. 3d. from rents and £44 4s. 10d. from £1,264
3s. 3d. stock. Sums of £101 4s. 10d. in Handsworth
and £101 4s. 8d. in Perry Barr and in Great Barr
were distributed to individuals and to charitable
The Eliza Brown Trust.
As the result of a wish
expressed by Eliza Brown in an unproved will of
1923, a sum of £200 from her estate was received
by the Vicar of St. Luke's Church, Birmingham, in
1955. The interest was to be distributed to five poor
widows every Christmas, and the income of about
£5 is distributed as directed.(6, 13)
Alice Carter's Charity.
By will proved 1936
Alice Carter, after a number of charitable gifts, gave
the residue of her estate for the purchase and
endowment of a house for three ex-soldiers over 60,
to be known as the Albert and Myra Carter Soldiers'
Home. A house was bought at 53 Alcester Road in
James Chidlaw's Charity.
By will proved 1932
James Chidlaw gave £1,000 to the Church of the
Messiah Domestic Mission, Fazeley Street (see p.
474), the income to be used in the provision of holidays and of convalescent treatment for poor persons
connected with the mission. The sum was invested
The Church Land and St. Thomas's Dole,
From at least 1652 an annual sum of
6s. 8d. was received from the 'parish' or 'church'
land by the churchwarden of Aston. In the early
19th century it was being paid in respect of land in
Bordesley, but in 1872-4 it was said that the rent-charge was withheld. It is possible that this endowment was connected with the Poor's Land or St.
Thomas's Dole, Erdington. The endowment of this
charity consisted of a piece of land in Gravelly Lane,
Aston, and another awarded in the Erdington
Inclosure to the churchwardens and overseers of
Aston. The latter piece was sold in 1932 and the
purchase money, £600, invested. The income of the
charity, about £40, was formerly distributed to the
poor of Aston, but for many years has been distributed to the poor of Erdington.(4, 9, 5)
Catharine Cornforth's Charity.
proved 1908 Mrs. Catharine Cornforth gave a sum
of £1,140 and rent of £110 a year in trust for the
benefit of aged and indigent persons living in or
near Birmingham. The rent was sold, and in 1909
the investments of the charity consisted of £3,760
9s. 9d. stock. In 1934, when income and expenditure
were about £111 a year, a further £200 of accumulated income was invested. In 1955-6 £108 was
distributed in monthly payments to three poor
George Cox's Charity.
By will proved 1933
George Cox gave £2,000 to St. Mary's Church,
Handsworth, the income to be used for the upkeep
of his grave and any surplus for the sick and needy
of the parish. As the first of these provisions was
void, the whole income became applicable to the
second. The sum was invested in 1933, and the
income is distributed as directed.(1)
Anne Crowley's Charity.
By will dated 1733
Anne Crowley gave in trust her property in Birmingham, from the income of which £1 was to be paid
annually to a dissenting minister of Birmingham,
£5 to poor people of Birmingham, and the residue
to the maintenance of a school for poor children. In
1827 the income was being applied to these purposes; the school had been in existence since before
1779 (see p. 511).
By 1908 the property had been sold and the
proceeds invested, and in that year the endowment
was divided into three separate funds, one of which,
of £200, formed Crowley's Charity for the Poor.
From 1945 to 1948 £5 from this fund was paid each
year to the Birmingham Citizens Society, but from
1949 to 1953 no disbursements were made.(3, 1)
John Crowley's Charity.
By will dated 1709
John Crowley gave a rent-charge of 20s. to be
distributed in bread to the poor of Birmingham at
the parish church. The sum was paid and distributed until about 1825 when the property was sold
to the street commissioners and became part of a
street. In 1827 the former owner, E. V. Wilkes,
undertook to make arrangements for the payment
to be continued, but in 1875 it was said that the
charity was apparently lost. The rent-charge was
however redeemed in 1929 for £30, which were
invested in £54 15s. 1d. stock. In 1952 the income
of £1 7s. 4d. was distributed as part of St. Martin's
Sick and Needy Fund.(3, 5, 1, 6)
Charities of John Dalloway and John
By will dated 1809 John Dalloway gave
£250 in trust, £5 of the income to be distributed in
clothing to five poor men of Deritend and the
residue in bread to the poor. By will proved in 1850
John Worrall gave £100 in trust for the purchase of
food for poor widows of Deritend and Bordesley.
The charities are administered by the Vicar and
churchwardens of St. John and St. Basil, Deritend,
and are distributed at Christmas in food and
blankets for poor and aged persons.(9, 6)
Baron Davenport's Charity Trust.
In 1930 by
a trust deed B. J. Davenport gave £80,000 stock and
£20,000 cash, the income to be paid to charities in
the Birmingham area. Regulations for the utilization
of additional gifts were made by a deed of 1931.
The income was to be divided into £100 a year for
Church of England purposes and £50 a year for the
Hebrew congregation, Singer's Hill (see p. 484).
The remainder was to be divided in the proportions
of 50 per cent. to Birmingham hospitals, 15 per cent.
to institutions and organizations for the benefit of
children, 15 per cent, to almshouses and 20 per cent.
for the relief of middle-class people in reduced
circumstances. In 1939-40 the investments amounted
to £142,108 and the income was £10,054. In 1949,
when the hospitals and most of the children's
institutions had become part of the National Health
Service, the proportions were changed by the
trustees to 30 per cent. for children's institutions,
30 per cent. for almshouses and 40 per cent. for
necessitous middle-class people. A Scheme of 1957
authorized the payment of increased amounts for
Church of England purposes and to the Singer's
Hill congregation, and confirmed the arrangements
for the distribution of the residue. In 1956-7 two
sums of £1,098 10s. 1d. and one of £1,464 13s. 5d.
were distributed; there were also reserve funds of
£10,000 and £105,000.(1)
Frank Davenport's Almshouses.
In 1934 and
1935 Frank R. Davenport erected 20 almshouses in
Tile House Lane, Solihull, and by deed of 1935
put them, together with an endowment of £4,000
and property in King's Norton, in trust for the use
of poor persons of the middle class of Birmingham
and district. By his will proved in 1942 the founder
gave a further £10,000, and residuary sums which
amounted to £3,572 11s. 7d., for the endowment of
The almshouses known as
Dowell's Retreat were built by James Dowell and, by
deed of 1831, endowed by his widow Elizabeth with
property in Bordesley and elsewhere. There were 21
almshouses and a chapel in Warner Street, Bordesley, for the use of poor, aged women, preferably
from Bordesley and Deritend. The income of the
charity in 1952 was about £400 from rents and
stock, which was expended on the maintenance of
the almshouses and the provision of stipends and
fuel for the almspeople.(9, 6)
William Dudley's Trust.
By deed of 1875
William Dudley gave £100,000 in trust, the income
to be used to benefit young tradesmen by lending
them money at low interest, and, if any remained,
in pecuniary assistance to aged tradesmen, and to
charitable institutions for the relief of human
suffering. In 1950 it was said that the number of
tradesmen in receipt of pensions had fallen from
172 in 1938 to 52 in 1949; there were then 27 loans
current, and considerable sums were being distributed for the relief of suffering. The trustees were
anxious to include assistance to old people in this
latter category, and in 1951 £8,000 was granted to
the Copec (Conference on Politics, Economics and
Citizenship Home Improvement) Society towards
the provision of a home for elderly poor people of
Birmingham. In 1956 the income from property
was £463, and from £110,705 stock and other
investments nearly £4,000. In addition to loans,
£945 were paid to needy tradesmen in sums of £10
to £30 each, and £1,470 to charitable institutions.(1)
Evans Cottage Homes.
In 1868 a company was
formed to provide cottage homes and annuities for
ladies of reduced circumstances. A site for the
homes on the Bristol Road in Selly Oak was bought
in March of that year and nine cottages were built
there. In September Arthur Evans gave property
worth £78 16s. 4d. annually in trust for the purposes
of the home, which was known as the Evans Cottage
Homes. This property was sold for £5,000 in 1935.
In 1950-1 the income of the charity was £165 0s.
11d. from the Arthur Evans Fund, £137 17s. 2d.
from rents, and £130 from £4,250 stock. After
maintenance of the homes, £193 15s. were distributed in annuities. There were twelve tenants in
John Feeney's Trust.
By will proved 1906 John
Feeney, besides many other charitable bequests,
gave a residuary sum in trust for the benefit of the
public charities of Birmingham, and for the promotion of arts and the acquisition and maintenance
of parks (see p. 233). The fund was £102,547 17s. 3d.
in 1956 and there was also an income of £125 7s.
from rents. The gross income of the charity was
about £3,600. In 1956 £950 were spent on the
purchase of a picture for the Birmingham Art
Gallery and £2,600 were distributed among Birmingham societies.(1, 6)
By will proved 1929 A. H. Foster,
among other charitable bequests, gave the six
cottages called the Gracewell Cottages, Wake
Green Road, Moseley, other property and £30,000,
to be known as the Gracewell Homes Foster Trust,
for the provision of homes for necessitous spinsters
or widows, preferably Birmingham residents. The
building of ten additional almshouses in Gracewell
Road was begun in 1929 and the first almspeople
were appointed in the same year. The trust was
regulated by a Scheme of 1931, when the endowment consisted of £7,200.(1, 6)
C. H. Foyle Trust.
By a deed of 1940 C. H.
Foyle gave £7,000 in trust for general charitable
objects, including medical and educational facilities
and housing for the working classes. Considerable
additions were made to the trust, and in 1952 the
annual income was about £5,500, which was
distributed as directed.(6)
By will proved 1931 G. E. Gee gave
a residuary sum in trust for the benefit of the
deserving poor of Birmingham. The charity was
expected to receive £5,000 to £6,000 immediately
and £8,000 on reversion. A Scheme for the administration of the charity was still in preparation in
1939, and no further information about the charity
has been obtained.(1)
Gilbert and Mansell's Charity.
By will proved
1921 Jane Gilbert gave £2,000 in trust the income to
be distributed in sums of 10s. to deserving poor
persons. The terms of the will were the subject of a
High Court Order of 1929, and after difficulty in
finding people willing to act as trustees the charity
was regulated by a Scheme of 1931. By the Scheme
the income was to be distributed in pensions of
from 4s. to 10s. a week.
By will proved in 1937 Clara Mansell gave her
residuary estate to the charity. In the course of the
prolonged winding-up of the estate, some £13,000
were received in the 1940s. In 1956 the investments
of the charity were £14,679 15s. 11d. stock and the
gross income £514 8s. 10d., and £573 were distributed in pensions.(1)
By deeds of 1824 Sarah
Glover and Elizabeth Mansfield, in accordance
with the wishes of Charles Glover, gave property
around Floodgate Street in trust for a Birmingham
Orphans School Association, if such should be
founded within ten years, and, failing that, to build
almshouses for poor, aged women, and if possible
for poor, aged men, of Birmingham, to be known
as Glover's Charity. The association was not
formed, and a block of almshouses was built near
the Ebenezer Chapel in Steelhouse Lane. Another
20 almshouses were built on a neighbouring site in
1852. The annual income of the charity was £271
in 1858. In 1880 the original building was sold and
the accommodation on the remaining site increased
Property in Chester Road, Sutton Coldfield, was
bought in 1930 and 28 houses were built there. The
old almshouses and their site were sold in 1932 and
the inmates transferred to Sutton Coldfield. (1, 6)
Griffin's Gift Trust.
By will proved 1878
Matthias Griffin gave £1,000 to the trustees of the
Union Chapel in Handsworth (see p. 453), the
income to be used in the purchase of food, clothing,
and fuel at Christmas for distribution among 50
poor persons of Handsworth. The distribution was
in kind until 1939, but because of war-time
shortages was thereafter made in sums of money.
In 1956 the income of £30 from £1,000 1s. 7d. stock
was distributed in 50 payments of 12s. each.(1)
Felix Hadley's Charity.
By deed of 1898 Felix
Hadley gave property in Birmingham in trust, the
income to be used in providing holidays for poor
children, and the lease of a house in Conway for use
as a holiday home was acquired in the same year.
The Birmingham property was sold and the
proceeds invested in 1920. In 1951 when the home
was sold by the trustees it was said to have been
empty for many years. By a Scheme of 1954 the
income from investments of £7,002 0s. 6d. was to be
used in providing holidays and excursions by the
sea or in the country for poor boys and girls of
Hadley Pension Fund.
By deed of 1913 Mary
Hadley gave £700 to the Royal Institution for the
Blind, Birmingham, the income to be used in the
payment of pensions of from £6 10s. to £13 a year,
and other necessary assistance, to blind women of
Warwickshire, Worcestershire, and Staffordshire.
By her will proved 1936 Sarah Hadley gave a further
£2,000 and her residuary estate to the fund. The
fund amounted to £6,200 in 1956.(1)
Emma Hall's Charity.
By will proved 1909
Emma Hall gave £100 to the Vicar and churchwardens of St. Luke's, the income to be distributed
among the poor of the parish. The sum was invested
in 1914. In the 1920s the whole income was being
distributed in bread and coal tickets. The income
was said to be about £3 19s. 6d. in 1952.(1, 6)
John Hammond's Charity.
By will dated 1785
John Hammond gave his residuary estate in trust
for various charitable purposes, among them the
distribution of one-fifth of the income to poor, aged
widows of Birmingham. The residuary estate of £800
was invested and the income regularly distributed
throughout the 19th century. In 1906 the sum of
£160 14s. 5d. was transferred to a separate educational account. In 1942 the investments of £642
18s. 10d. produced an income of £16 1s. 4d., of
which one-half was distributed to poor widows.
Handsworth Bridge Trust.
By a deed of 1612
Nicholas Hodgetts conveyed property in Handsworth, Perry Barr, and Witton in trust that the rents
should be spent on the repair and maintenance of
bridges (see p. 32) and any surplus on 'good and
charitable uses' in Handsworth parish. In several
years between c. 1785 and c. 1800 sums of £20 to
£50 were spent on apprenticing, or on medicines,
coals, and other necessaries for the poor.(2, 1)
In the early 19th century the income of the
charity ceased to be spent on the poor and was
applied only to bridges and later to education (see
pp. 32-33, 516, 533).
Handsworth Parochial Charities.
By a Scheme
of 1890, seven charities for the poor of Handsworth
and Perry Barr, the Poor's Lands and the charities
of Hodgett, Birch, Grice, Huxley and Stubbs,
Osbourne, and Boulton, were united as the Handsworth Parochial Charities. The Handsworth part of
these charities (except Boulton's, founded in 1826)
was in 1823 being administered together with
Bromwich's charity, q.v., through the Handsworth
Distribution Fund, and distributed in sums of 1s. to
3s. The income was distributed in this way until
1890. The Perry Barr part of the charities was
administered and distributed in a similar way by the
Lands in Perry Barr, known as the Poor's Lands,
in 1823 produced rents amounting to £10 17s., of
which two-thirds was distributed in Handsworth
and one-third in Perry Barr, and £2 2s., which were
distributed in Handsworth alone. By 1865-6 the
rents had risen to £14 11s., and by 1917 to £21
13s. 3d. The plot producing a rent-charge of 6s.,
given by Henry Osborn by deed of 1670 for
eighteen poor people of Perry Barr, appears to have
been merged with the Poor's Lands during the 19th
By a deed of 1627 a rent-charge of 40s. from
property in West Bromwich, given by Thomas
Hodgett in his will dated 1625, was vested in
trustees, the money to be used for the poor of
Handsworth. Until about 1871 the rent was received
and distributed; thereafter for some years the tenant
refused to pay, but finally agreed that it should be
redeemed, £67 being invested in 1876.
By deed of 1663 Thomas Birch, for the performance of a gift of 20s. yearly by George Birch, gave
to trustees an annual rent-charge of this sum on
property in West Bromwich; 6s. were to be given
to the parson of Handsworth for a sermon and the
remainder to the poor of Handsworth. The sum
was for some years not paid, but was again being
received in 1823. By 1865-6 the 20s. were divided
equally between the rector and the poor.
By deed of 1806 Joseph Grice gave property in
Birmingham worth £7 16s. 3d. annually, for the
payment of £2 2s. to the Rector of Handsworth and
the remainder to the poor there; he also made provision for the apportionment of the income after the
expiration of the existing lease. In 1823 two-thirds
of the residue was being given to the poor of
Handsworth and one-third to those of Perry Barr.
In 1890 the property, ten houses in Sand Pit
Terrace, Birmingham, was still producing the same
sum, but by 1917 the income, then said to be from
land and buildings in Summer Hill Road, was
£183 15s. 10d.
In deeds of 1819 it was said that, as a result of
bequests by Dorothy Huxley (will dated 1797)
and Joseph Stubbs (will dated 1817), a piece of
land had been bought for £100; of the income of
£4 2s., £2 2s. were to be paid to the choristers of
Handsworth Church in accordance with the instructions of Joseph Stubbs, and the remainder to
the poor of Handsworth in accordance with the
wishes of Dorothy Huxley. A building lease of the
land, at Well Head, Handsworth, was granted in
1865, and the income rose to £34 5s. 8d.
The will of Thomas Osbourne, dated 1739,
referred to land in Handsworth which was 'subject
to the usual and accustomed payment of 20s. a year
to the poor of Handsworth'. Neither the will nor a
number of subsequent deeds mentioned the name
of the original donor. In the early 19th century the
sum was usually given in bread, but the payment
fell into arrears between 1818 and 1823. In 1917 the
rent-charge was said to be from land in Grove Road,
By will of 1826 Ann Boulton gave property in
Sheep Street, Birmingham, worth £4 11s. 8d. for
the poor of Handsworth. The income was increased
to £50 when a new lease was granted in 1892.
By the Scheme of 1890 the charities were to be
administered by a single body of trustees, and the
income, after payments to the rector and the choir,
was to be distributed in donations to hospitals and
provident societies, payments for outfits for young
persons, and grants in kind and in money to the
poor. By a further Scheme of 1917, payments were
also to be made, in accordance with the wishes of
Joseph Grice, to the organist and the beadle of the
parish church and a further payment to the rector.
The residue was to be distributed in pensions of
7s. to 10s. a week to poor, aged persons, for the
general benefit of the poor, and in the ways set out
in the 1890 Scheme. The gross income of the
charities was £327 8s. 9d. in 1917, and £815 11s. 2d.
in 1956, when, after payments to the rector and
others, £600 were distributed in pensions and £72
in other forms to the poor.(1, 2)
Harborne Parochial Charities.
By will dated
1576 Elizabeth Cowper or Piddock gave £40 for the
purchase of land, the income from which was to be
used for charitable purposes. By a deed of 1591 the
land so bought was vested in trustees, the income
to be used in the distribution of 20s. yearly to the
poor of Harborne and Smethwick and the residue
to other poor people. In 1823 the income amounted
to £26. An inscription in St. Martin's Church,
Birmingham, recorded that Elizabeth Piddock had
given by will 20s. yearly to the people of Birmingham, but it was thought in 1827 that this referred
to part of the sums distributed to poor people
without limit of place by the trustees of her Harborne charity.
By a trust deed of 1623 William Cowper or
Piddock gave property in Oldbury (Salop.), 6s. 8d.
of the income to be distributed to the poor of
Handsworth and the residue to the poor of Smethwick and Harborne. In 1823 it was said that no
rent had been received from the property for many
years, but arrangements were then being made for
the occupier to pay it, and for its proper distribution
The first trust deed mentioned of the Parish
Lands was of 1699. The trust deed of 1816 gave
details of lands in Harborne and Smethwick, the
income from which was to be used in the payment
of £10 for apprenticing four poor children and the
residue for the poor. In 1823 the rents amounted to
£143 9s., which were divided equally between Harborne and Smethwick. Of the Harborne portion,
£5 were set aside each year for apprenticeships. The
charity included thirteen cottages, nine in Harborne
and four in Smethwick, occupied by poor people
free of rent and repairs. The residue was distributed
in occasional payments to poor people.
By will dated 1715 William Jephcote was said to
have given an annuity of £2 12s. to be distributed
weekly to four poor people; by deed of 1719,
Dorothy Parkes gave property in Smethwick, part
of the income to be used in buying bread for twelve
poor people and coats for three poor women of
Harborne; and by will of 1819 Thomas Rutter gave
£100, later invested in land, the income from which
was to be distributed to six poor widows at Christmas.
By the middle of the 19th century these charities,
together with those for the parochial school (see p.
535), were being administered by the Vicar and
churchwardens of Harborne as Harborne Parish
Lands. After complaints of maladministration, the
appointment of trustees was regulated by a Chancery Scheme of 1860. In the second half of the
century the income of the charities was considerably
increased by the granting of building leases and the
general development of the estates. By a Scheme of
1885 the charities were formally united; of the
income, £35 were to be used for educational purposes, between £10 and £18 for each of the fifteen
almspeople, and the residue for poor people of
Harborne in various ways. The educational fund
was determined to be a separate foundation by an
Order of 1908.
The almshouses, nine of which were in Harborne,
were declared to be insanitary in 1899, and in 1901
twelve new almshouses were built in War Lane,
Harborne. Three more houses and a matron's house
were added in 1912 and the six almspeople from
Smethwick were moved there. Discussion and
controversy in the parish about the affairs of the
charity continued, and it was found necessary to
make further provision for the appointment of
trustees and to revise the methods of distribution
by a Scheme of 1918. In 1924 it was said that the
income was £1,100 and was increasing so rapidly
that it was likely to double in a few years. In 1927
ten and in 1930 six almshouses, and a matron's
house, were built in Cooper's Lane, Smethwick, for
the charity from a fund founded in memory of
Further sums have been given to the Parochial
Charities by George Moyse (1873, for bread for the
poor), Jane Round (1904, drapery for poor people),
Ellen Wood (1931, clothing, blankets, and coal to
poor widows) and Hannah Long (1937, for the
poor). In 1952 the total income of the Parochial
Charities was £3,300.(2, 1, 6)
Hazlemere House of Residence.
and District Baptist Women's League acquired
Hazlemere, 10 St. Agnes Road, Moseley, after the
Second World War, and in 1946 put it in trust as a
home for elderly women who, because of age,
infirmity or insufficient means, were unable entirely
to support themselves. It was intended that the
women should be of 'the higher income group' who
would be able to pay a charge. Accommodation was
provided for thirteen women, the first of whom took
up residence in 1947. By 1958 there were fifteen
George Hill's Charity.
By a trust deed of 1678
George Hill gave property in Sutton Coldfield, the
income to be used in the distribution of twelve
loaves weekly to the poor of Birmingham, in the
payment of £1 yearly to a person preaching in
Deritend chapel, and the residue to five poor and
learned dissenters, under the supervision of the
governors of the Free School. In 1827 the annual
income was and had been for many years £10, but
might have been £30 or £40; payments to dissenting
ministers from the residue had ceased in 1779 and
those for bread in 1814. New trustees were to be
elected in 1827 and the accumulated surplus invested.
In 1872-4 it was said that £2 12s. were distributed
in bread and £55 6s. 7d. to dissenting ministers.
By a Scheme of 1875 the payments of £1 and
£2 12s. were to continue, but the residue was to be
distributed in pensions of up to £20 a year to
former schoolmasters or mistresses. In 1908 the
endowment was divided, £40 being transferred to
the Ecclesiastical Commissioners for the benefice of
St. John's, Deritend, £106 becoming the endowment of George Hill's Charity for the Poor, and the
residue forming George Hill's Educational Foundation. In 1952 the income of the Charity for the Poor
was £2 13s., which was distributed in bread.
(3, 5, 1, 6)
By will dated 1911 Annie
Hillel gave £2,000 in trust for the provision of free
meals or assistance to needy children or to poor
people of Birmingham. In 1952 the income of
£98 12s. 8d. was distributed as directed.(6)
Mary Hipkins and John Littlehales's Charities.
By will proved 1846 Mary Hipkins gave £100,
the income from which was to be distributed in
coals or blankets to the poor of Erdington. By will
proved in 1911 John Littlehales gave £500, the
income to be distributed to the poor of Erdington.
This legacy was invested in £600 10s. 10d. stock.
Both charities are applied as directed.(9)
James Hirons Memorial Convalescent Home.
By will proved 1941 James Hirons gave his residuary
estate in trust for the establishment of a convalescent
home for poor men of Birmingham or Coventry, to
be known as the James Hirons Memorial Convalescent Home. The charity held £191,140 stock in 1952,
when a house in Leamington Spa was acquired for
conversion into a convalescent home. After being
modernized and enlarged, the home was opened in
1954. In 1958 there were 20 beds.(1, 14)
C. B. and A. B. Holinsworth Fund of Help.
By will proved in 1933 C. B. Holinsworth gave a
residuary sum to be divided equally between the
Birmingham Citizens Society and the Birmingham
New Hospital Council (from 1936 onwards the
Birmingham Hospitals Council), the income to be
used for charitable purposes. Each fund ultimately
received more than £21,000 stock. The Birmingham
Council of Social Service has administered the
Citizens Society fund since it succeeded that body
in 1947 and has applied the income to its general
charitable work. The hospitals' fund was administered by the Hospitals Council until 1946, when the
council came to an end as a result of the National
Health Service Act, and then by a body of trustees
appointed by a Scheme of 1951. A Scheme of 1955
defined the objects of this fund as the furtherance
of the work of any voluntary hospital in or near
Birmingham, the relief of the sick, and the benefit
of poor people recovering from an illness or in need
of rest and a change of air.(1, 6, 11)
Under the will of Elizabeth
Hollier dated 1790 land in the parish of Aston was
by deeds of the same year vested in trustees, the
income to be used in the purchase of clothing for
twelve or more poor people of Birmingham and
eight or more of Aston. In 1827 the income was
£52 10s., which was being used to buy 16 coats, 40
gowns, 40 shifts, and some other clothing. In 1862
the income was said to be £66, and 10 coats, 50
gowns, and 50 petticoats were being bought.
From 1862 to 1876 there were continual appeals
by petitions and by public bodies in Birmingham
for the utilization of the charity's land for a park
and for other public purposes. The trustees were
inclined to sell the land for commercial development. In 1873 the town clerk wrote 'the charity
land . . . is situated on the slope of a hill, being the
highest point on the southern side of the borough,
and commands an extensive prospect over the town
and neighbourhood; and the council view with
apprehension the proposal to cover it with buildings
as the only opportunity of preserving an open space,
and of obtaining a place of exercise and recreation
in the midst of this densely populated neighbourhood would be lost for ever'. The land was sold to
the corporation in 1876 for £8,100; the greater part
of it became Highgate Park, and part was acquired
by the school board for the site of Moseley Road
Board School (see p. 524).
By a Scheme of 1875 the income of the charity
was to be expended in fixed proportions on clothing
for twelve poor persons of Birmingham and eight
of Aston, on assistance to former lunatics, and on
the support of dispensaries, hospitals, and sanatoria. In 1918 the proportions in which the increased
income was to be distributed were revised. The
income in 1956 was £295 13s. 2d. from investments
of £11,826 11s. 7d., and it was expended in £29
11s. 8d. for clothing and in donations to five
hospitals. What changes had been made necessary
by the National Health Service and National
Assistance Acts were being considered by the
trustees in 1957.(3, 1)
The Holte and Bracebridge Almshouses.
will dated 1650 Sir Thomas Holte directed his
trustees to erect an almshouse near Aston Vicarage
for ten poor, old people, five men and five women,
of the parish of Aston. He also gave a rent-charge
of £88 for the endowment of the almshouses and
for the payment of 2s. 6d. a week to each almsperson. The almshouses were built as directed. By
a deed of 1860 W. H. Bracebridge and his wife, and
C. H. Bracebridge, descendants of the Holte family
(see p. 60), gave property adjoining the almshouses
to augment the original endowment and to increase
the weekly stipend to 3s. The rent-charge of £88
was redeemed in 1865 and ground rents in Birmingham bought in 1866. The old almshouses were sold
and new almshouses erected in Erdington in 1930.
In 1958 the annual income was about £800, and the
weekly stipends were of 5s. (4, 9, 10)
The Hook Memorial Homes.
By deed of 1928
Maria Hook gave £100 to create a trust fund for the
building of almshouses in Birmingham, to be known
as the Hook Memorial Homes, for spinsters of the
labouring classes of Birmingham, provision being
made for the payment of stipends. By her will of
1936 she gave the residue of her estate, which
amounted to some £20,000, to this fund. A suitable
site was not found in Birmingham, and the ten almshouses were built in Whitehouse Common Road,
Sutton Coldfield, in 1939-40 and opened in 1940.
In 1952 the income of the charity was £530, and
weekly stipends of 6s. were paid to the almswomen.
By deed of 1691 property in
Sutton Coldfield, bought with £200 given to the
poor of Birmingham by will of Joseph Hopkins,
dated 1681, was vested in trustees, the income to be
used in the purchase of coats and gowns for four
poor men and four poor women annually, and the
residue to be distributed in money and bread to the
poor. This deed apparently never came into effect,
but it was said in a trust deed of 1746 that the
income had always been used in the purchase of
clothes for poor people. In 1827 the income was
£37 10s., and it was regularly used in the purchase
of some sixty gowns for women. The income was
£44 in 1902. Between about 1928 and 1934 the
income was increased to about £240 by the granting
of building leases, and was normally used in the
purchase of clothing. In 1957 the income was
£25 1s. 10d. from stock and £316 3s. 4d. from rent;
£180 were spent that year in the purchase of
clothing, and there was an accumulated surplus of
£316 10s. 11d.(3, 1, 6)
Joshua Horton Fund.
By will proved 1893
Joshua Horton gave £1,000 for the benefit of
widows over 60 in the parish of St. James, Handsworth, in money, clothing, food, or otherwise. In
1927 the income from £919 10s. stock was £32 3s.
4d., and 25s. were given to each of 25 widows.(1)
Thomas Ingram's Trust.
By a codicil to his will
dated 1816 Thomas Ingram gave in trust £600, the
income to be used in payments for sermons or
lectures to be given in Birmingham setting out the
arguments for merciful treatment of animals,
especially horses; any residue was to be distributed
to societies or institutions for the welfare of animals.
The income was £21 6s. 10d. in 1827, and it was
regularly applied to the purpose of the charity,
twelve such sermons being preached in 1825. In
1933 when the income from £680 8s. annuities was
£14 17s. 4d., £20 were given in donations to
charitable societies.(3, 1)
Joseph Isaacs's Charity.
Joseph Isaacs (d. 1949)
by will gave £100 to Birmingham Corporation, 'the
interest of which is to be devoted to such charitable
purpose as the Lord Mayor for the time being may
decide'. The annual income of £3 is distributed to
charitable institutions.(6, 12)
George Jackson's Charity.
By will dated 1696
George Jackson gave property in Deritend in trust,
the income to be used in putting out poor boys of
Birmingham as apprentices. In 1827 the property
was held at an annual rent of £6 and this income
was regularly applied in apprenticing about two
boys each year. By a Scheme of 1885 part of the
income might also be used in providing scholarships
for technical and industrial instruction to Birmingham boys; by an Order of 1906 this part was to be
known as 'George Jackson's Educational Foundation'. In 1942 more than £1,285 of accumulated
income were also determined to be applicable for
educational purposes. Because of continued difficulty in finding applicants for the scholarship the
income of the whole charity was in 1950 made
applicable to the provision of exhibitions to enable
students of the Birmingham College of Arts and
Crafts to travel abroad. In 1958 the income was
£102 7s. and two exhibitions of £50 each were
provided annually.(3, 6, 10)
The James Charities.
By a deed of 1869 Elizabeth
and Emma James gave in trust land next to St.
Clement's Church, Nechells, on which almshouses
were built, and other property, the income from
which was to provide for a scholarship to a university, for annuities to five poor gentlewomen, weekly
payments to the almspeople, and the residue to be
used to enlarge the almshouses. Another piece of
land was given in 1875 and six more almshouses
were built on it. The site was further extended in
1876; in 1886 part of it was given for the building
of St. Clement's Church Hall. In 1897 the income
was £695 2s. 8d., of which £451 4s. 8d. were distributed in allowances to 39 almspeople and £40 in
two annuities; it was proving difficult to provide
adequately for both purposes. By will proved in 1897
Elizabeth James gave on reversion £5,000, the
income to provide annuities for widows with
children or for aged or invalid women, £2,500 in
trust for the almshouses, and other residuary sums
for these purposes.
In 1900 the two charities were amalgamated in a
single Scheme. The income was to be expended on
the maintenance and administration of the almshouses, weekly stipends to the almspeople, grants
of £12 a year to not more than ten poor women or
widows, and £20 a year to not more than five poor
gentlewomen. The scholarship trust was determined
to be a separate educational endowment in 1908.
The property of the charity in 1900 included the
Atlas Works in Paradise Street and Edmund Street,
the Woodman Inn, Easy Row, and other shops and
houses in the same area, with a total annual value of
£920; there was also an income of £238 16s. from
£8,684 6s. 2d. stock. There was an accumulated
surplus of £2,317 10s. 5d. by 1909, and 4 more
almshouses were built. There were 33 almspeople
The Howell James Charities.
By a deed of 1869
it was declared that the income from a sum of £300,
known as the Howell James Charity, should be
distributed in money or in bread to the sick or aged
poor of the parish of St. Clement, Nechells. The
charity is distributed as directed.
By deed of 1893 Elizabeth James gave £305 9s. in
trust for the sick and poor of the parish of St. Mary,
Birmingham, the income to be distributed on 23
January each year; the charity was also to be known
as the Howell James Charity. In 1925 the income
was being distributed in money, food and medical
assistance at Christmas. By a Scheme of 1926 the
charity was to be administered for the inhabitants
of the area of the former parish by the Vicar and
churchwardens of Bishop Ryder's parish, in which
St. Mary's had been merged.(1, 9)
Richard Kilcuppe's Charity.
By will dated 1610
Richard Kilcuppe or Field gave property in Bordesley in trust for charitable uses. By deed of 1613 the
property was settled in trust so that from the income
10s. should be paid towards the repair of bridges
and roads in Bordesley and the residue used for the
relief of poor, old people. In 1835 10s. were paid to
the surveyor of the highways and most of the
remaining £26 distributed to the poor. A Scheme of
1872 authorized the expenditure of the income upon
contributions to various hospitals and to the General
Dispensary. In 1952 grants were being made to the
General Dispensary and to other charitable bodies;
the annual income was then about £141.(4, 9, 6)
Alfred Leadbeater Trust.
By will proved 1923
Alfred Leadbeater, in addition to gifts to various
hospitals, gave residuary and reversionary sums, the
income to be distributed to medical institutions or
charities and to children's homes, in Birmingham
and elsewhere. Payments were made from 1926
onwards, but the principal reversionary sums did
not accrue to the trust until 1943. There was then
a total of £25,146 14s. 2d. stock and an income of
£1,427 19s. 7d. from stock and rents, of which, after
certain other payments, £944 9s. were available for
distribution. In 1952 the trust fund amounted to
about £45,000 and the income was distributed to
charities primarily connected with the welfare of
By a trust deed of 1526 William
Lench gave his property, later known as Lench's
Lands, in Birmingham, Aston, Bordesley, Little
Bromwich and Saltley, the profits to be devoted
after his and his wife's deaths to charitable purposes.
By a trust deed of 1540 made after their deaths, the
income was to be devoted to the repair of ways and
bridges in and about Birmingham (see p. 31) and
the residue to the poor.
By will dated 1566 William Colmore gave a
rent-charge of 10s. from a messuage in Birmingham
to the trustees of Lench's Lands, 5s. of which were
to be used in the repair of roads and 5s. for the poor.
By a trust deed of 1584 John Vesey added to
Lench's Lands a close called Loveday Croft in
Birmingham, the income to be used for the same
purposes. By will dated 1568 William Wrixam
gave to trustees a tenement in Birmingham, the
income to be distributed to the poor; the trustees
were apparently also the trustees of Lench's Trust.
By deed of 1518 Thomas Redhill and Henry
Shilton gave a croft called Woodcock's Croft in
Duddeston to William Colmore and others. No
purposes were mentioned but the gift was called a
charity, and by trust deed of 1554 William Colmore
arranged for the income to be distributed in the
same way as Lench's Trust.
As the result of an inquisition taken in 1628, a
Commission of Charitable Uses ordered that a
single body of trustees be enfeoffed with the five
properties, the income to be distributed in accordance with the terms of the grants.
By a trust deed of 1573 John Ward gave his
property in Bickenhill, the income to be distributed
to the poor of Birmingham. By will dated in 1610
Richard Kilcuppe, q.v., gave in trust land in Bordesley for charitable uses in Birmingham; by a deed
of 1612 the income was to be devoted to the relief
of the poor of Birmingham, and the repair of the
parish church. As the result of charitable gifts by
John Shelton and others, property in Moor Street
and Walmer Lane was acquired by a deed of 1654,
the income to be disposed of for the benefit of the
poor of Birmingham.
By a trust deed of 1668 the lands of Lench's Trust
were vested in new trustees, and to them were added
the lands of Ward's and Kilcuppe's charities, the
charity of John Shelton and others, an almshouse
and its appurtenances, and a croft called Bell-rope
Croft. No earlier deeds of the two latter properties
have been recorded; the almshouse, probably that
at Digbeth, had been first mentioned in the accounts
of the trust in 1639, having apparently come into
the hands of the trust since 1628. In 1789 it was
said that the income from Bell-rope Croft was to be
paid to the churchwardens of St. Martin's for the
purchase and maintenance of the bell-ropes of that
By a deed of 1808 it was said that property in
Whittall Lane, or Steelhouse Lane, and Upper
Priory had been purchased by the trustees with a
sum of £630 given by Ann Scott, the income to be
distributed to the inhabitants of the almshouses
administered by the trust. By a deed of 1821, the
property of the trust together with that purchased
with Ann Scott's gift was vested in new trustees.
A second set of almshouses was built by the trust
in Steelhouse Lane in 1688. Both this and the
Digbeth set were abandoned, and new almshouses
built on a site adjoining the old one in Steelhouse
Lane in 1764. Further almshouses were built in
Dudley Street in 1801 and in Park Street in 1815
In 1827 the trust paid an average of £8 13s. 4d.
in respect of the Bell-rope and Kilcuppe's charities
to the churchwardens of St. Martin's, £6 to the
overseers of St. Martin's (a payment which the
commissioners recommended should be discontinued), £227 14s. for repair of the streets, £140 to
the almswomen and £70 for the maintenance of the
almshouses, leaving a regular surplus which had
until 1824 been spent on repaying the loans on
almshouses and improving the property of the trust.
The surplus of 1824-7 was to be spent on building
another set of almshouses in Hospital Street; these
were completed in 1829 with the help of the legacies
of Judith, Mary and Sarah Mansell. Distributions
of money to poor people, other than the almswomen,
had not been made since 1802.
In 1846-8 the Dudley Street almshouses were
sold to the London and North-Western Railway and
new almshouses were built in Ravenhurst Street;
in 1859 the Park Street almshouses were replaced
by those in Ladywood Road; and in 1880 the
Steelhouse Lane almshouses were replaced by a set
built on a more ambitious scale in Conybeare Street.
As the result of the renewal of leases the income
of the charity was increased by £1,500, and in 1882
it was found necessary to embody general regulations
for the administration of the charity in a Scheme.
By it the many charities administered by the trust
were consolidated under the name of Lench's Trust.
The street repairing functions of the trust had disappeared and the bell-rope charity became a
separate endowment in 1881. Though the objects
of most of the original charities had not been so
limited, the beneficiaries of the trust were to be poor
necessitous women of Birmingham. The stipends
paid to the almswomen were to be 4s. to 8s. weekly.
A Scheme of 1915 made possible the payment of
pensions of 4s. to 10s. a week to poor women other
than the almswomen, and in 1921 the upper limit
of stipends and pensions was raised to 10s. 6d. and
In 1936 there were 185 almswomen, 52 permanent
and 38 temporary pensioners. It was considered
that the provision of almshouses was a more satisfactory form of assistance to poor women than
pensions, and it was decided to build two new sets
of almshouses. By a Scheme of 1939 the Hospital
Street almshouses were to be sold and replaced by
new almshouses in Ridgeacre Road. The beginning
of the Second World War however prevented the
proper execution of the Scheme. In 1940 the
Hospital Street almshouses were bombed and only
half the almswomen evacuated could be accommodated at the partially completed Ridgeacre Road
premises. Both the Conybeare Street and the Ravenhurst Street almshouses were also bombed, one
almswoman being killed in each. The Hospital
Street site was sold in 1943, and the Ridgeacre Road
almshouses were completed. In 1947 there were 180
almshouse places, and it was said that the trust was in
a difficult financial position. In 1952 the income was
£8,500 and there were 192 almswomen.(3, 8, 1, 6)
James Lloyd Almshouses.
By deed of 1869 Mrs.
Elmira Lloyd gave £1,000 and certain property for
the endowment of the almshouses which she was
proposing to build. The almshouses, for 25 almswomen, were shortly after erected in Belgrave Road,
Balsall Heath, and were named in memory of the
benefactress's husband. They were to be for needy
women of Birmingham and district not of the
pauper class. By deed of 1889 Mrs. Lloyd added a
further £750 to the endowment. In 1928 the income
from rents was about £160 and from stock £70.
Part of the property was sold in 1938 for £610 and
a sum of £400 of accumulated surplus income
invested at the same time. The income was being
fully expended on the maintenance of the almshouses in 1957.(1)
The Lord Mayor's Benevolent Fund.
dated 1902 Thomas Evans gave his residuary estate
in trust, the income to be distributed annually by
the Lord Mayor of Birmingham to charitable
societies and institutions in Birmingham. In 1952
the income of the charity was £725, which was
distributed as directed.(6)
The Magdalen Asylum And Mrs. Lloyd's
An association for the establishment of a
Magdalen Asylum was formed in 1828 and premises
in Islington were acquired in 1829. It was 'to be a
temporary asylum for women, fallen into habits of
vice, who profess themselves penitent'. A new site
was bought at Rotton Park in 1861 and the new
buildings opened in the following year.
By a deed of 1869 Mrs. Elmira Lloyd (see above)
gave £2,000, the income to be used for the benefit
of the inmates of the refuge and probationary ward
of the home. In 1920 the Magdalen Home Trust
amalgamated with the Association for the Rescue
and Training of Young Women to form the Birmingham Association for Unmarried Mothers and
their Babies, and the home (formerly known as
Kirkholme) became, as Hope Lodge, the principal
home of the new association. Hope Lodge was
closed in 1954 but the work of the association continued, and by a Scheme of 1954 Mrs. Lloyd's
charity was to be used for the benefit of poor,
unmarried women of Birmingham before, during
and immediately after childbirth.(1)
Sir Josiah Mason's Almshouses And School.
By deed of 1868 Josiah Mason endowed with
property the almshouses and the orphanage which
he had built in Erdington for poor women and poor
children of the district (see p. 49). By a Scheme of
1910 separate trusts were created for the two
institutions; of the annual income, £400 were to
form the endowment of the almshouses, £75 the
endowment of a fund to assist former female inmates
of the orphanage, and the remainder the endowment of the orphanage. By a Scheme of 1937 the
trustees of the orphanage were directed to transfer
to the almshouse trustees a site and the money
necessary to rebuild the almshouses, and the endowment of the almshouses from the annual income
was increased to £700. The orphanage is run as a
boarding school for orphans and for children with
unsatisfactory homes (see p. 546).(9, 6)
The Muntz Trust.
By deed of 1890 G. F. Muntz
gave £21,000, the income to be distributed among
voluntary hospitals and medical institutions. As a
result of the National Health Service Act the
institutions which had been benefiting from the
charity became public, but discussions on revising
the objects of the charity had come to no conclusion
by 1950. In 1956 the income from investments of
£19,881 17s. 4d. was £616 5s. 10d., and £650 were
distributed to six voluntary charitable organizations.
Eliza O'Neill's Charity.
By will proved 1847
Eliza O'Neill gave £50, the income to be used for
the poor of the parish of St. James, Edgbaston. The
legacy was invested in £44 5s. 7d. stock and the
income is distributed as directed.(9)
W. F. O'Shaughnessy Rest Home For Nurses.
By deed of 1928 Fanny O'Shaughnessy gave to
Birmingham Corporation the house called Tower
House, Barnt Green, and other land, to be used as a
rest home for nurses. The home was maintained by
the corporation until 1939 when it was closed
because it was being run at a loss. The house was
requisitioned during the Second World War and
was sold in 1947. By a Scheme of 1950 the proceeds
of the sale, £6,374 9s. 8d., were to form W. F.
O'Shaughnessy's Rest Fund for Nurses, and the
income was to be used in assisting nurses to obtain
the benefits of a home of rest or of convalescence.(1)
John Palmer's Bequest.
By will of 1871 John
Palmer gave £1,000 to Birmingham Corporation to
be invested and used in whatever manner the
council might think fit. In 1872 the council decided
that the income should be expended in purchasing
articles for poor, old people of Birmingham. The
annual income was about £51 in 1952.(6, 12)
Eliza Perryman's Charity.
By will proved 1909
Eliza Perryman gave £1,000, the income to be used
for the relief of old people of Harborne. In 1952
the income was £35 11s. which was distributed as
By will proved 1864 R. G.
Reeves gave £300, the income to be used in the
payment of £5 to the incumbent of St. Luke's and
the remainder to the poor people of the district of
St. Luke's. In 1936 the investments were £335 4s.,
and of the income £5 5s. were paid to the vicar and
£3 2s. 4d. to the poor.(1)
The Rhodes Almshouses.
By deed of 1873
Matilda Rhodes gave a piece of land in Soho Road
on which were to be built fifteen almshouses and a
matron's house, and a piece of land adjoining worth
£43 6s. 10d. as an endowment. The almshouses were
to be for poor, aged women of Birmingham. In 1931
the income of the charity and donations were
expended on the upkeep of the almshouses and the
payment of £1 to each of 16 almswomen. In 1952 the
income from stock and rents was £78 18s. 6d. (1, 6)
Emily Ridell's Charity.
By will proved 1924
Emily Ridell gave residuary sums for the poor of the
dioceses of Worcester and Birmingham. After prolonged disagreement about the terms of the will a
Scheme of 1935 established two charities, Ridell's
(Worcester), and Ridell's (Birmingham) Charity for
the Poor, each with an endowment of £1,252 17s.
11d., the income from which was to be distributed
in money or kind to poor persons of the dioceses.
A further sum of £162 9s. 3d. was received from
the testator's estate in 1939. In 1954 the income of
the Birmingham charity was £46 17s. 2d., and was
distributed in grants to two old and infirm church
William Riley's Charity.
By will proved 1904
William Riley, after a number of charitable gifts,
gave his residuary estate for the purchase of land in
Birmingham and Leamington for the erection of
almshouses, or for the poor. Between 1907 and 1926
sums amounting to more than £11,000 accrued to
the charity. By a Chancery Scheme of 1930 the
almshouses were to be for residents of Birmingham
and Leamington over 60, and weekly or monthly
payments might be made to the almspeople. Four
almshouses were then being built in Maas Road,
Northfield, and two in Leamington. In 1955 the
income of £331 16s. 3d. was not being fully expended on the maintenance of the almshouses and
payments to the almspeople, and there was a considerable surplus in hand.(1)
Julia Saunders's Charity.
By will proved 1904
Cornelius Saunders gave £200 to be known as the
Julia Saunders's Charity, the income of which was
to be distributed to twelve poor widows of Handsworth who were members of the Church of England.
The sum was invested in £266 17s. 7d. stock. In
1925 the income of £6 13s. 8d. was distributed as
H. J. Sayer Trust.
By will proved 1944 H. J.
Sayer gave his residuary estate in trust for charitable
institutions and objects in Birmingham. The estate
had not been fully realized in 1958 but sums had
been distributed to charitable societies for some
years, £500 being distributed in 1950-1.(1)
By will proved 1910 Morris
Schwerin gave his residuary and reversionary estate
in trust for the benefit of the Jewish poor of Birmingham in coal, blankets, bread, and rice. The
estate did not revert to the charity until about 1940,
and in 1951 the trustees held £3,617 5s. 10d. stock.
Richard Scott's Charity.
By will dated 1694
Richard Scott gave £100 in trust, the income to be
disbursed in annual payments of £2 to the nonconformist minister or ministers of the Old Meeting
House, Birmingham (see p. 476), or to their widows,
and the residue in apprenticing poor boys of Birmingham. No trust deed was made until 1752, when
it was said that one of the trustees had kept the
money without observing the provisions of the will,
and that the principal and interest had only recently
been recovered from his executor. Between 1788
and 1820 the sum of £3, and after 1820 of £2, was
paid to the ministers, and the residue to apprentices.
In 1823 the endowment with accumulated interest
By a Scheme of 1927 the endowment, together
with further large sums of accumulated income,
was divided into separate funds for ministers and
apprentices, £765 4s. 9d. forming the apprenticing
charity. The terms of this charity were at the same
time enlarged to give poor boys general assistance
in earning their living. In 1934 £19 10s. was distributed in this way. The apprenticing charity was
transferred to the jurisdiction of the Ministry of
Education in 1951.(1, 3)
Mary Sheldon's Charity.
By will proved 1826
Mary Sheldon gave £1,000, the income to be distributed to ten single women of Birmingham. The
income in 1827 was £35 16s., and in 1879 £3 10s.
was given to each of ten women. It was determined
in 1860 that widows as well as spinsters might be
eligible for the charity. In 1924 the income was
£30 2s. 8d., and £30 were distributed.(3, 1)
William Stevenson's Fund.
By will proved 1908
William Stevenson gave his reversionary and residuary estate in trust, the income to be used to
provide pensions of £10 a year for poor blind
widows in Handsworth. Sums amounting to £1,700
had been received by the charity by 1914 and the
sale of property produced a further £1,223 3s. 9d.
in 1919. There were thirteen pensioners in 1932
and eighteen in 1942. By a Scheme of 1923 pensions
of from £10 to £25 might be given, and if sufficient
widows could not be found might be available to
blind spinsters and married women. Nevertheless
£1,450 of surplus income was invested between
1925 and 1955, and the normal pension was still £10
in 1955. In 1956 the pensions were increased to £25,
but only four women were found with the necessary
qualifications. The investments of the charity then
amounted to £4,903 7s. 11d. and the gross income
to £159 14s.(1)
Sir John Sumner's Trust.
By trust deed of 1927
Sir John Sumner gave over £125,000 and further
reversionary sums for general charitable and educational purposes, 'especially for the benefit of
deserving persons who, through the handicap of
circumstances may possess no adequate provision
against infirmity and old age'. The charity is administered in Birmingham. The Colehaven Homes
in Coleshill, founded by Sir John Sumner in 1930,
are associated with the trust.(6, 11)
By will proved 1928 F. D.
Tippetts gave £4,000 in trust, half the income to be
used in providing nourishment, nursing and comforts in their own homes for consumptive persons
resident in Birmingham, and half similarly for
persons suffering from cancer, and £2,000 in trust,
both income and capital to be for the benefit of
Birmingham ex-servicemen. The latter sum was
exhausted in 1940. In 1958 the income from the
former sum was £140, which was expended in
providing assistance, usually in the form of clothing,
for the objects of the charity.(1, 6, 12)
Mary Upfill's Charity.
By will dated 1901
Mary Upfill gave a sum for the foundation of a
convalescent home for Birmingham children. The
sum of £300 was set aside for this purpose under a
deed of arrangement and trust in 1912. By a Scheme
of 1939 the trustees were to be appointed by the
Birmingham Citizens Society and the income to be
used for the provision of convalescent treatment for
Birmingham children. The sum then invested was
£430. The Birmingham Council of Social Service
became the trustees in 1950.(1)
Thomas Warren's Charity.
By will proved 1874
the Revd. Thomas Warren gave £200, the income
to be used in repairing his family tomb in St.
Bartholomew's Church and the residue in supplying
warm clothing to the poor members of the congregation. The first provision was void, and no
distribution was made until 1877. In 1923 the income
was £5 6s., and, with the addition of accumulated
income, £8 2s. 6d. were spent on the purchase of
clothing. By a Scheme of 1941 the charity was
transferred to Bishop Ryder's parish, in which part
of St. Bartholomew's had been merged, for the
benefit of the poor of the area of the old parish.(1)
Thomas Welch's Charity.
By will proved 1858
Thomas Welch gave £200, the income to be used
for the benefit of the poor of the congregation of St.
Luke's in bread or coal. In 1936 the income of
£5 1s. 8d. was spent as directed.(1)
John Whittingham's Charity.
By will dated
1846 John Whittingham gave £2,000, the income
from which was to be distributed in bread and
clothes to the poor of Duddeston and Nechells. By
a Scheme of 1880 the income might be applied in
general assistance to poor people of those districts.
The income of about £75 was applied as directed in
Sir William Whorwood's Charity.
dated 1611 Sir William Whorwood was said to have
given £6 12s. each year for ten years, and thereafter
£10 yearly out of the tithes of West Bromwich, for
distribution to 33 poor persons of West Bromwich
and Handsworth. In 1823 the charity was being
distributed in sums of 6d. each to 100 poor persons
of West Bromwich and 1s. each to 50 poor persons
of Handsworth. In 1919 the charge was redeemed
for £400, half of which was invested in the name of
Sir William Whorwood's Charity in Handsworth
and half in that of West Bromwich. By a Scheme of
1920, the trustees of Handsworth Parochial Charities became the trustees of Whorwood's Charity;
the income was to be distributed to between 10 and
20 poor people of the parish of St. James, Handsworth, in kind or by temporary relief in money. The
average yearly income in 1958 was £5.(2, 1, 10, 6).
Wiggin Cottage Homes.
By deed of 1899 Sir
Henry Wiggin gave six cottages off Margaret Road,
Harborne, for use as cottage homes for aged and
infirm people of Harborne and district, and ground
rents for their endowment. By deed of 1900 he gave
a further £2,000 for their endowment and for the
payment of 5s. a week to each inmate. Walter
Wiggin, by will proved 1937, also gave £500 for the
endowment of the cottages. A sale of ground rents
in 1950 produced £2,200. In 1955 the income from
rents was £18 17s. and from stock £182 19s.(1)
Anne Wilkinson's And Julia Baker's Charities.
Anne Wilkinson (d. 1829) by will gave a sum
now represented by £144 stock, the income to be
divided among twelve poor widows who usually
attended service at St. Philip's Church. Julia Baker,
who died in 1881, by will gave a sum represented
by £190 1s. 5d. stock, the income to be distributed
among the poor of the parish of St. Philip. The
income of the two charities was about £8 in 1952
and had been distributed for many years to widows,
spinsters and poor families of the parish in sums of
5s. to 12s. 6d.(6)
Lost Charities: Aston.
By will proved 1738 the
widow of Sir Charles Holte, Bt., bequeathed £400
in trust for the income to be distributed in bread
for twelve poor people and for other purposes, as
set out in a deed of 1736. No trustees were appointed and it was said in 1835 that the sum seemed
never to have been set apart or applied for these
purposes, though regular sums were devoted to
charitable purposes by the owner of the Aston and
Erdington estates. In 1872-4 it was said that the
income had once been £20, and was then £44 17s.
3d. from rent-charges, and that it was distributed
in bread and clothes.
In a deed of 1771 it was said that Sir Walter
Devereux had in 1623 granted to trustees a rent-charge of £4 to be distributed to the poor or their
children. The rent-charge was paid to the overseer
of Bordesley until 1827. Sir Edward Devereux (d.
1622) gave by will an annuity of 10s. for distribution. The sum was paid until the early 19th century,
but in 1875 it was said that no payments were made
on behalf of either of these charities.
Sarah Dallaway, by will dated 1820, put in trust
all her pews, sittings, and kneelings in the chapel
of St. John, Deritend, the rents to be used in
providing gowns for poor widows of Deritend. In
1835 24s. were received from the rent of one pew,
and were regularly used in the purchase of gowns.
In 1872-4 it was said that nothing was apparently
then received in respect of the charity.(4, 5)
Lost Charities: Birmingham.
In 1722 Joseph
Pemberton is said to have given rent-charges of 40s.
from Tamworth and 20s. from Harborne, to be used
to buy coats annually for four poor men of Birmingham. In 1827 the payment of 20s. was in
arrears but the 40s. were being used to buy two
coats. In 1872-4 it was said that nothing was
apparently received in respect of either rent-charge.
An inscription in St. Martin's Church recorded
that John Cooper gave a croft for charitable purposes in Birmingham. In 1827 it was thought that
this might be the Loveday Croft added to Lench's
Trust by John Vesey, who was perhaps only a
trustee. Other inscriptions recorded that Edward
Smith gave £20 in 1612 for the poor, Barnaby
Smith gave £20 in 1633 for loans to poor tradesmen,
Catherine Roberts gave £2 10s. in 1642 for the poor,
John Jennings in 1651 gave £2 10s. annually for
coats and 20s. annually for the poor, and Richard
Smallbrook gave 10s. annually for the poor. In 1827
it was thought that the first three or four of these
charities might be included with that of Shelton in
Lench's Trust.(3, 5)
Lost Charities: Handsworth.
It was said in
1823 that Elizabeth Piddock in her will of 1576 had
given £40 for the poor of Handsworth and that
William Piddock distributed 20s. annually there,
but it seems probable that there had been confusion
with Elizabeth Piddock's Harborne charity, q.v.,
and with the sum of 20s. distributed by it to poor
people without limit of place.
By deed of 1612 William Lane gave property in
West Bromwich and Handsworth worth 10s. yearly
for the poor of Handsworth. In 1823 the property
could not be identified.
By will dated 1617 William Hodgetts gave a rentcharge of 6s. 8d. for the poor of Handsworth; Harry
Cooke, by will dated 1637, gave 40s. annually for
distribution in Handsworth; Henry Willies, by will
dated 1659, gave £4 for the poor of Handsworth
and Perry Barr; Henry Brown, by will dated 1681,
gave 10s. annually to be distributed to 20 poor
families of Handsworth. None of these charities was
in existence in 1823, but some of them may have
been merged with the Poor's Lands.(2)