BLUNTISHAM CUM EARITH
Bluntesham (x to xiii cent.); Blondesham (xiv
cent.); Bluntysham, Bluntsome, Blunsham (xvi cent.).
Herhythe, Herhethe (xii cent.); Herethe, Erehethe,
Erhuth (xiv cent.); Earette, Earythe (xvi cent.).
The two townships of Bluntisham and Earith, which
are a mile apart, have probably always formed one
ecclesiastical parish. The parish contains 3,354 acres,
of which 1,254 are arable, 1,262 permanent grass
and 484 fruit orchards. Only 10 acres remain of
woodland. (fn. 1) The soil varies; in the gravel area fruit
trees, barley and oats do well, while on the loam and
clay lands wheat prevails. The water supply is
derived from gravel springs in places, but it is chiefly
from wells that are fed by surface water, called
'sock' wells. On the west, near the Somersham
road, is a chalybeate spring, where more than one
attempt was made in the 18th century to establish
a spa, called Somersham Spa. Its waters had a
certain vogue, being recommended by Addenbrooke,
Layard and others.
Evidence of Neolithic and Roman inhabitants have
been found and have already been described. (fn. 2)
The four open fields of the old village can still be
traced. Higham Field lay in the north-western part
of the parish, about 100 ft. above sea level; Gull Field
in the south-western part, gradually sloping down to
the river Ouse, taking its name from the 'gulls'
or water channels. From Higham Field eastward
on the north side was Colneway Field; and between
that and Bury Fen, which lies below the church, was
Old Mill Field or Inhams, stretching from Bluntisham
to Earith. North-west of Higham Field lay Barnfield
Farm and until comparatively modern times on the
declivity facing the south was a large wood which was
probably that mentioned in the Domesday Survey. (fn. 3)
It occurs in old records as the Hangar of Bluntisham
and in 1341 it is given with Warboys as the boundary
of the Bishop of Ely's right of hunting. (fn. 4) All that
remains of this wood now is a group of trees called the
Pingles, past which were the 'Cowgaps' whereby
cows went from Bluntisham Fen on the south to the
cow pastures on the slope. Speed's map of 1610
shows this wood as bigger than the famous Monks
Wood. By the time of the inclosure it was divided
into High Wood and Low Wood, the Pingles being
then distinct by itself. Even in 1843 there were 68
acres of woodland left, but they have gradually
disappeared leaving their names only. On the
northern side of Barnfield lie two small spinneys,
which were no doubt part of Somersham Forest.
The western end of the parish was part of Somersham
Heath, which was inclosed in 1797. There was no
road across it before then. This part of the parish is
still known as Bluntisham Heath.
The western end of the village of Bluntisham is
called Wood End. Eastward is the Colne road,
where are some of the oldest buildings, but the main
part of the village runs straight north and south to
the Rectory corner on the St. Ives road. At this
point stood the village pound, and a small hamlet
known as Little London. At the head of the High
Street stands a barograph, erected as a memorial to
some of the Tebbutt family. On it is recorded the
height above sea level 60 ft., longitude 0° 0' 32" E.,
latitude 52° 21' 14". North of the Rectory stands a
fine meeting-house of the Baptists, originally built in
1787 and rebuilt in 1875.
The Rectory is a large two-storied building with
a square front, built of white brick, concealed by
which are old attic gables. Its present form dates
from 1848. In the middle of the front is an old
doorway, now used as a window, which was brought
from Cromwell's house in St. Ives, when it was pulled
down in 1848. The Rectory stands in a garden of
3 acres. The parsonage house is named in terriers
of the early 17th century, but Dr. Samuel Knight
who died in 1746 built himself an 'excellent house,
and laid out a great deal of money in gardens about
it.' (fn. 5) A remarkable hurricane in 1741 untiled the
roof of this rectory, and destroyed statues and balustrades. About 1800 the Rev. R. Tillard built a new
rectory. The setting of the rectory among groups of
fine trees and flower beds affords an attractive view
to those who pass along the Ely road.
Earith means mud (or more probably gravel),
hithe, a landing place. (fn. 6) It has always had an importance distinct from Bluntisham because of its propinquity to the river. The village lies chiefly along the
road coming from Earith Bridge towards St. Ives,
and extends for about half a mile. A few houses,
including the British School, stand along the road
turning northwards to Colne. Many Quakers had
their home in Earith after 1650, and they still have a
meeting-house in a retired spot at the western end
which was originally built at Bluntisham in 1755.
There is also a Wesleyan chapel and a Mission room
which is used for church services and for Sunday
Earith Bridge has always been important. As
early as 1346 the commonalty of the county complained
to parliament that the bridge which had been used
from ancient time was entirely gone for default of
repair. A commission was therefore issued to William
Moyne and others to inquire into the matter and to
compel those who were liable to carry out the necessary repairs. (fn. 7) The bridge and causeway over Haddenham Fen, then known as 'Earith Causey,' were looked
after by hermits in the 14th and 15th centuries.
Indulgences were granted in 1397 for Richard de
Grymston, a poor hermit, and in 1401 for Henry
Bourne, for the repair of Earith Causeway. (fn. 8) There is
a record also of the 'profession' of John Thomson,
hermit of Earith Causeway. (fn. 9) In 1455 a carpenter
was paid for repairing divers defects in the making of
the roadway of the Great Bridge of Earith which
indicates that the bridge was of timber. (fn. 10) The
question of the liability to repair the Great Bridge
and Earith Causeway was raised about 1638 when it
was stated that the causeway and bridge were anciently
maintained by the Bishops of Ely 'by right of sundry
great manors belonging to the see.' During the
long vacancy of the see, however, in Elizabeth's
reign they were repaired by the crown, and later,
when the bishop surrendered several of the manors of
the see to the crown, the crown grantee became
thereupon liable. About 1613, it is said, the High
Bridge or Great Bridge over the Ouse fell down and
was not rebuilt, but Earith Bridge seems to have
been still in existence in 1637. (fn. 11) This bridge, called
the Great Bridge, was over the West Water, which
dried up after the Bedford Rivers were made, and it
is difficult now to locate its exact position.
The bridge known as Seven Holes over the Old
Bedford River, was erected in 1812, (fn. 12) and the
cast-iron bridge over the New Bedford River was
built in 1826, at the same time as the Hermitage
sluice or 'sasse' was rebuilt. (fn. 13)
The Old Bedford River was declared finished in
1636, and the New Bedford River in 1653. (fn. 14) It
would seem that a loop lying in the curve of the
West Water was cut away from the parish by the
new river, where lay the Hermitage and the chapel
of St. Mary. Earith has always been interested in
the navigation of the River Ouse. John Christine
of Earith was due to deliver 60 tons of wheat at Lynne
to a merchant of Bordeaux in 1425. (fn. 15) From Stuart
times till the middle of the 19th century busy trade
went on with barges or lighters conveying corn,
wood, iron, salt, coal, stone, oilcake, etc. In order
to improve navigation, about 1830 a staunch was made
at the southern limit of the parish between Earith
and Overcote, called Brownshill Staunch. The
improvement of land transport, and especially the
coming of railways, took from Earith many industries
that depended on river carriage. The chief survivor
of Earith industries at the present day is Messrs.
Jewson's Wood Yard, the river serving chiefly as an
attraction for devotees of the art of coarse fishing.
Bury Fen is a name well known in skating literature,
and claims to be the home of 'bandy,' there being
evidence of matches played early in the 19th century. (fn. 16)
The railway from Ely, completed in 1878, now crosses
it, and has spoilt its mile-long course, but it is still
a popular resort, whenever a frost gives a chance of
Earith Bulwarks have already been described.
They probably date from the Civil Wars of the 17th
century. There is mention of Parliamentary forces
holding the 'Hermitage Pass' in 1643. (fn. 17) Camden
has a passage stating that outlaws and rebellious
barons 'built fortresses both at Earith and Aldreth.' (fn. 18)
The history of the manor of
BLUNTISHAM goes back to the
early part of the 10th century, when it
was seized by Toli the Dane, who is said to have been
jarl or alderman of Huntingdon. Toli was killed at the
Battle of Tempsford in 921, when the shire with
Bluntisham returned to the rule of Edward the Elder.
Later Bluntisham, probably by grant from the crown,
became the property of Wulfnoth (Wlnoth) who about
970–75 sold it to Bishop Ethelwold and Brithnold, the
first abbot of Ely, for the endowment of Ely Abbey.
The sale was confirmed by King Edgar, after whose
death in 975 a claim to it was made by the sons of
Bogo de Hemingford, who said it was the inheritance of Tope their uncle. According to their story
Tope's grandmother in her maidenhood went to the
assistance of Edward the Elder against Toli, the
Danish earl, and consequently Toli seized her lands,
which, as his property, would be confiscated by the
crown after the Battle of Tempsford. In the
pleadings it is stated that throughout the sheriffwick
(vicecomitatus) of Huntingdon there was no land which
was not subject to forfeiture saving two hides in
Bluntisham held by Ælfsicyld and two hides in Spaldwick. The claim by the sons of Bogo was declared
false by the county court and the men of the six
hundreds, numbering over a thousand, testified to the
title of Wulfnoth. The sale
to Ely Abbey was therefore
confirmed. (fn. 19) In the Domesday
Survey (1086) Bluntisham as
the land of the Abbey of Ely
was assessed at 6½ hides, and
is the only manor of the soke
of Somersham for which a
priest and a church are returned. (fn. 20) When the bishopric
of Ely was founded in 1108, a
division of the lands of the
abbey was made and Bishop
Harvey allotted to the prior and convent certain
payments of timber from Bluntisham and a 'mansura'
of land with 5 acres from which the timber
was collected and 8 acres of meadow upon which
the oxen that drew the timber pastured. (fn. 21) This
evidently represented Bluntisham manor which continued to be in the hands of the prior and convent of
Ely until the Dissolution. (fn. 22) In 1541 the manor
of Bluntisham formerly belonging to the prior and
convent was granted to the newly formed dean and
chapter of Ely. (fn. 23) On the abolition of deans and
chapters in 1649 the manor was granted to Valentine
Walton the regicide, as a reward for his services to
Parliament. (fn. 24) At the Restoration it was restored to
the dean and chapter and was owned by them until
1869, when it was taken over by the Ecclesiastical
Commissioners, who are now lords of the manor.
Ely Priory. Or three keys azure.
HINTON'S MANOR in Bluntisham may represent
the two hides held by Ælfsicyld, which about 975
were not subject to forfeiture. (fn. 25) In 1272 Henry
Aucher had a grant of free warren in his lands in
Bluntisham, (fn. 26) and in 1276 Henry son of Aucher and
Ella his wife granted lands in Bluntisham to Ralf de
Hynton. (fn. 27) In 1279 Ralf de Hinton held of Henry
'Auger' and Ella his wife and they held of the Bishop
of Ely a messuage and garden with demesne and other
lands and a windmill in Bluntisham and Earith.
Ralf held by the service of a quarter of a knight's fee
and Henry and Ella by a rent of 3s. to the bishop,
the payment of which rent had been transferred to
Ralf. (fn. 28) What is termed the manor of Bluntisham with
lands in Hinton (co. Camb.) was conveyed in 1307,
probably for a settlement, by Stephen de Offynton
to John de Hynton and Isabel his wife, (fn. 29) who in 1332
settled it on William their son. (fn. 30) William died without
issue, leaving a widow Isabel, who entered upon the
manor apparently as dower. Ralf, brother of William,
sued her in 1350 and obtained possession. (fn. 31) Ralf de
Hynton of 'Thetford next Ely,' and Sir John de
Hynton, chivaler, his son, made a further settlement
of the manor in 1366, (fn. 32) and in 1392 Sir William
Castelacre and others, probably feoffees on behalf of
Sir John de Hynton or his representatives, obtained
licence to alienate the manor in mortmain to the prior
and convent of Ely. (fn. 33) This manor probably became
known as that of STOKKINGS in Bluntisham, which
was held by the prior and convent of Ely in 1539, (fn. 34)
when it was in lease to Thomas Dunholt. It was
granted with the chief manor in 1541 to the dean and
chapter of Ely, (fn. 35) and followed the descent of the chief
manor (q.v.), the Ecclesiastical Commissioners being
the present owners.
A manor called since the 17th century BARNFIELD
MANOR or FARM, belonged to the dean and chapter
of Ely and was sold by the Commissioners for the
sale of Dean and Chapter Lands to Giles Calvert, a
London stationer. It was returned to the dean and
chapter at the Restoration. (fn. 36) A few claims were made
under it at the time of the Inclosure Award, but the
property being mostly leasehold was sold through the
Ecclesiastical Commissioners after the Order in
Council of 1870.
At the time of the Domesday Survey (1086) the
Abbot of Ramsey had half a hide in Bluntisham,
which was assessed to the geld. (fn. 37) This is probably
the land in Bluntisham held by Guy de Auco, a tenant
of Ramsey Abbey, early in the 12th century. It
descended to his son Gilbert son of Guy, the sewer
(dapifer), who was dealing with it in the time of
Reynold, Abbot of Ramsey (1114–30). (fn. 38) Apparently
it followed the descent of Stow Manor in Woodhurst (fn. 39)
(q.v.) until the time of Simon, Bishop of Salisbury
(1297–1315), when the Abbot of Ramsey regained
possession, (fn. 40) and it probably became absorbed into
another of the abbot's manors.
The manors of Colne and Colne Dunholt extended
into Bluntisham, but their descents are given under
Colne parish (q.v.).
The manor of EARITH was probably included in
the early grants of Bluntisham; it is not mentioned in
the Domesday Survey (1086). At the division of the
estates between the Bishop of Ely and the prior and
convent about 1108, Earith seems to have been
retained by the bishop. The bishop was holding in
1279. (fn. 41) The principal profits from the manor were
the fishery and the ferry, for
which returns are made in the
accounts of the bailiff and
other officers of the bishop.
In 1318 the bishop was granted
a weekly market on Wednesdays, and a fair on the vigil,
feast and morrow of St.
James. (fn. 42) King James I confirmed this grant, and added
two other fairs, on St.
George's day and All Saints'
day, 'to the tenants of Prince
Charles in the vill of Earith.' (fn. 43) The manor of Earith
became absorbed into the soke of Somersham (q.v.),
with which it is now held.
Bishopric of Ely. Gules three crowns or.
The Church of ST. MARY consists
of a chancel (37 ft. by 18 ft.), north
vestry (9½ ft. by 10½ ft.), nave (51½ ft.
by 16½ ft.), north aisle (11¾ ft. wide), south aisle
(11¾ ft. wide), west tower (13¼ ft. by 12 ft.), and
north and south porches. The walls are of rubble
with stone and clunch dressings, and the roofs covered
with tiles and lead.
Of the church mentioned in the Inquisitio Eliensis
and in the Domesday Survey (1086) nothing now
remains, the earliest parts of the existing building
being the chancel with its north vestry or chapel
built about 1330, and the west tower built about
About 1450 the nave and aisles were rebuilt, the
aisles being extended to the west wall of the tower,
the side walls of which were pierced with arches; and
the chancel arch rebuilt. The south porch was built
at the same time as the aisle, but the north porch
was added slightly later, as is shown by the plinth
of the aisle running through the porch wall. (fn. 44)
The church was restored in 1850 when the chancel
was much altered, the north wall and the vestry being
largely rebuilt and a gallery removed.
The west tower was restored in 1903–1905, the
south aisle in 1904, and other works in 1912–1913.
The chancel has a three-sided apse, each face of
which is gabled and has a two-light window; in the
north wall is a two-centred arch (modern) and a twolight window, and at its western end a round-arched
wall recess; the south wall has three two-light
windows and a low side window. The 15th century
chancel arch is of two orders.
The north vestry or chapel, now an organ chamber,
largely rebuilt, has an ancient east window and west
doorway. (fn. 45)
The nave arcades are of four bays with two centred
moulded arches, piers having four attached shafts
with moulded caps and bases, and two-light clearstory windows. The weathering of the earlier and
lower roof of the nave remains on the east face of
the tower. The upper door of the rood-stairs
remains in the north-east corner; the stair turret is
on the outside and the lower doorway in the aisle,
but access to it has been blocked by a large red-brick
buttress built to strengthen the corner. The holes
for the front beam of the loft remain on each side.
Three of the lower panels of the 15th-century roodscreen remain, but moved to the west end of the
church; two are painted with figures of St. John the
Baptist and St. George and the Dragon of 16th century
date, painted over earlier pictures of which fragments
may still be seen. (fn. 46)
Plan of Bluntisham Church
The roof is of 15th-century date, with moulded
tie-beams and jack-legs with tracery panels in the
spandrels. The stone corbels are carved with figures
of angels playing musical instruments, etc.
The north aisle has a three-light east window; the
north wall has four three-light windows each set in an
internal wall recess with a two-centred arch, a doorway with jamb-shafts and moulded arch, and a small
doorway to a turret staircase; the west wall has a
window and wall recess similar to the others. The
roof is of flat pitch and of 15th-century date.
The south aisle is similar to the north, but the east
window has a niche on each side, and there is no
turret doorway. At the eastern end of the south wall
is a cinquefoiled ogee-headed piscina with a quatrefoil
drain, and adjoining it is another small recess; immediately above these two is a low and broad cinquefoiled ogee-headed recess, of 14th-century date.
A few 15th-century floor tiles remain at the east
end. The roof is modern. The slopes of the earlier
aisle roofs are indicated on the fragments of the old
west walls which flank the north-east and south-east
angles of the tower.
The west tower is of three stages with a moulded
plinth and embattled parapet. The eastern arch is
original, two-centred and of three orders. The north
and south arches are of clunch and were inserted in the
15th century, and the west door and three-light
window are of the same date. The second stage has a
single pointed light on each side, and the belfry
windows are two-lights with restored mullions and
tracery. The octagonal spire rising from within the
parapet is 122 ft. high from ground to the top; it has
three tiers of lights, the first and third on the cardinal
faces. The stair turret at the north-east corner is
finished at the top with a stone vault.
The north porch has a moulded arch, cinquefoiled
and subcusped, inclosed within a segmental pointed
arch, and above it is a cinquefoiled niche with crocketed ogee canopy. The side walls each have a twolight window. The porch formerly had a chamber over
it, the weathering of the roof still remaining on the
aisle wall; but the chamber has been removed and the
porch reroofed lower down. The stair-turret remains
and is finished with a pyramidal capping above the
coping of the aisle parapet; the lower part of the doorway into the chamber may still be seen in the west
wall. There is a stoup in the south-east corner of the
The south porch has a moulded arch with a niche
over it, and two-light windows in the side walls. On
the parapet is an inscription—1656, T.D.—G.P.:
T.S.—c., doubtless the date of repairs.
The font is octagonal, the bowl of stone, of about
1500, with quatrefoil panels, grotesque faces, leaves
and flowers; the stem of clunch with panelled sides
and moulded base, somewhat earlier.
On the walls of the chancel are monuments to the
Rev. Samuel Saywell, S.T.P., rector, 1708, and his
sister Sara, wife of Andrew Mieres, 1720; the Rev.
Samuel Knight, S.T.P., rector, died 1746, aged 72;
Margaret (Smelt), wife of the Rev. Richard Tillard,
died 1841, aged 60; a window to the Rev. Richard
Tillard, M.A., rector 45 years, died 1850, aged 85. On
the floors are traces of two incised crosses, matrix of
brass to civilian and wife, c. 1460, and slabs to Th- - - - arrington, 1713, aged 76; Richard Drury, of Colne,
d. 1738, aged 64, and Joyce, his wife, d. 1752, aged 78,
parents of Sir Thomas Drury, of Overstone, Northts.,
bart.; Ratford Grimditch, d. 1748, Elizabeth his
wife, d. 1747, and Thomas their eldest son, d. 1780;
Robert Grimditch, d. 1792, aged 57; the Rev. John
Jacob Oakes, M.A., rector, d. 1796, aged 72;
Dorothy, his wife, born 1730, d. 1780; Dorothy, his
daughter, d. 1826, aged 69. In the churchyard is a
table-tomb to Adrian Lucas, 1672, with curious
There are eight bells, inscribed: To the Glory of
God and in loving memory of Thomas Edwards,
MCMX; Quinque natu majoribus sum addita,
MCMX, John R. Wormsley and Alfred King,
Churchwardens; Willm. Dobson, Founder, Downham, Norfolk, 1832; Miles Graye made me, 1632;
Thomas Newman made me, 1717, recast MCMX;
Thomas Skeeles, Tho. Hovson, Churchwardens, 1716;
Geo. Key and Aron Brown, juner, Churchwardens,
1801, Robt. Taylor, St. Neots, Founder; Gloria in
excelsis Deo. Henry Sayers, Rector, and Arthur
David Godfrey, sometime warden, gave me, MCMX.
In 1552 there were three bells. All were repaired in
1910, but they have no wheels and are only chimed.
There are small traces of wall paintings over the
north door and at the east end of the south aisle.
The church plate consists of: A chalice and cover,
of 1569, with incised ornament and egg and tongue;
a standing paten inscribed 'Bluntisham in Coun.
Hunt. Ex Oblationibus, 1693'; a plate of 1702
is inscribed 'Bluntsham in comitatu Huntingdoniensi ex Oblationibus'; a flagon, of 1705, inscribed 'Bluntsham Ex Oblationibus'; a plain
The registers are: (i) Baptisms, marriages and
burials, 1586 to 1649, some leaves lost; (ii) copy of
(i); baptisms, marriages and burials, 1538 to 1641;
(iii) baptisms, marriages and burials, 1649 to 1650
and 1705 to 1767, marriages ending in 1754; (iv)
marriages 1754 to 1801; (v) marriages 1801 to 1812;
(vi) baptisms and burials 1768 to 1812. Also the
usual modern books.
A church and a priest are returned under Bluntisham on the
land of the Abbey of Ely in the
Domesday Survey (1086). The church continued to
belong to the abbey until the creation of the Bishopric
of Ely in 1108, when it passed to the bishop. The
advowson continued to belong to the Bishops of Ely
until 1653, when, on the sale of the bishop's lands by
the commissioners under the Commonwealth, it
passed to Robert Blackborn, (fn. 47) who sold it to Valentine
Walton, the regicide. (fn. 48) At the Restoration the advowson was returned to the bishop. The Bishops of Ely
held it until after the readjustment of the dioceses in
1836, when the Ecclesiastical Commissioners arranged
a redistribution of patronage. The presentation in
1852 came into the hands of the Bishop of Peterborough. Under an Order in Council of 1879 he exchanged Bluntisham cum Earith for five livings in his
diocese (Daventry, Market Harborough, Great Bowden, Ravensthorpe and Badby-cum-Newnham) which
belonged to the dean and chapter of Christ Church
Cathedral, Oxford. The dean and chapter of Christ
Church are the present owners of the advowson.
There was a chapel of St. James at Earith which is
described as in Earith Fen, (fn. 49) no doubt somewhere on
the site of the yard of the Anchor Inn on the east side
of Chapel Way between the north side inn and Chapel
Pond. It was associated with a 'Boyes Guild.'
Somewhere near Earith Bridge was another chapel
also called Capella de Erythe, dedicated to St. Mary,
which was known as the Hermitage, or Armitage. (fn. 50)
This latter chapel was used for ordinations as late as
1569. (fn. 51) It would seem that both these chapels were
sold in 1571. (fn. 52) Stones that evidently belonged to the
chapel of St. Mary were removed in 1925 by the
County Council and used to repair bridges. They had
been built into a farm house.
Thomas Beldam by his will proved
in the Principal Registry on 1 March,
1918, gave to the rector and churchwardens of Bluntisham Church the sum of £250
to be used by them for the restoration or upkeep of
the church as they may in their discretion think fit.
The Pindard and Processioning Charity. Out of
this charity the pinder or keeper of the pound or the
haywarden was paid and refreshment for those who
beat the bounds was supplied until about 1825. The
endowment of this charity consists of 4 acres of land
let to Mr. C. Godfrey for £4 per annum. Of this
amount a yearly sum varying from £1 to £2 10s. is
paid to the trustees of St. Thomas's Charity for distribution to the poor, and the remainder, after payment of land tax and tithe, was applied towards the
crier's retaining fee of 5s. The charity is administered by the rector and one other.
The Rev. Samuel Saywell by his will dated 1708
devised land called the Three Acres to the minister
and churchwardens of Bluntisham and Earith; the
rents and profits to be employed on mending and
repairing Church causeways belonging to the parish.
The land, containing 2 a. 3 r. 17 p. of pasture land,
situate at Holme Drove, Earith, is let for £9 5s.
yearly, which, after paying land tax and tithe, is
expended in road repairs and hedge trimming. The
rector and two trustees administer the charity.
The same donor by his will as above devised to the
poor of Willingham and Bluntisham with Earith a
droveway in the parish of Willingham; the rents to
be equally divided between the poor of the two
parishes. The herbage of the droveway, which
passed over an estate called Queens Holme and extended over about six acres of land, was let, and the
rent was divided into four shares, two of which were
appropriated to the poor of Wellingham, one for the
poor of Bluntisham, and one to the poor of Earith.
The endowment of the charity for Bluntisham and
Earith now consists of £178 16s. 1d. Consols with the
Official Trustees, producing £4 9s. 4d. annually in
dividends, which are distributed with other charities
known as St. Thomas's Charity, to the poor of Bluntisham and Earith.
St. Thomas's Charity, The Dole money, etc. The
following annual sums arising under the following
charities are distributed by the rector and churchwardens on St. Thomas's Day to the poor of Bluntisham in doles.
The sum of £2 4s. 8d. received in respect of Saywell's Charity representing the moiety for Bluntisham.
An annuity of £1 17s. out of land at Bluntisham,
being the amount of certain rent charges given by
The yearly sum of 13s. 4d. payable to the poor on
the 21 Dec. under the will of Bennett Skeeles dated
21 July, 1710, out of a cottage and garden.
St. Thomas's Charity, Dole money, etc. The funds
arising under the following charities are distributed
on St. Thomas's Day to the poor of Earith in doles.
The sum of £2 4s. 8d. received in respect of
Saywell's Charity, representing the moiety for Earith.
The rent of two acres of land at Earith let to Messrs.
A. and L. Beldam for £23 per annum.
The rent of 4 acres of copyhold land in the parish
of Sutton in lieu of which land in the Medlands in
Sutton containing 1 a. 3 roods, was awarded by the
Commissioners appointed for inclosing lands in the
parish of Sutton. The land was sold in 1919 and
the proceeds invested in the purchase of £93 15s.
4 per cent. Funding Stock with the Official Trustees
producing £3 15s. annually in dividends.
An annuity of 6s. 8d. per annum payable out of
copyhold land at Sutton Medlands now in the occupation of Mr. Fitch. This annuity is supposed to have
been given by the Rev. Samuel Knight for the poor
Earith Town Estate. This estate comprised in
deeds dated in 1608 and 1659 is vested in trustees
upon trust to apply the rents for the sole benefit of
the inhabitants of Earith, as the trustees should
deem most expedient. The property consists of
9 a, 3 r. 34 p. of heathland—the Town Wash containing
5 a. 1 r. 17 p., Coronation Field containing 4 a. 3 r. 30 p.
the Chapel Close containing 2 r. 4 p. and two dwellinghouses; the whole producing £78 (approx.) annually.
The income is expended in town lighting, subscriptions to the Nursing Assocn., Huntingdon Hospital
and Addenbrooke's Hospital, together with the yearly
sum of £20 towards the replacement of £400 borrowed from Margaret Brown's Charity.
Margaret Brown by her will proved in the Principal
Registry on the 25 Nov. 1910 gave a sum of £400 to
the feoffees of the Earith Town Charities, the income
to be applied in or towards keeping up the public lamps
in Earith and for keeping in good repair the shelter
in the allotments which abut on the St. Ives Road
between Earith and the Church. The said sum of
£400 has been advanced upon loan to the Trustees
of the Earith Town Estate towards the purchase of
4 a. 1 r. 5 p. of land in East End, Earith, upon the
security of an order of the Charity Commissioners,
dated 24 Oct. 1911. The loan is being repaid by
annual instalments of £20.
William Maile by an indenture dated 9 May 1885
directed that the rents arising from the land and two
cottages situate in High St., Earith, together with the
land and cottage at Bridge Hill, Earith, be distributed
in equal shares between the Baptist Meeting House at
Bluntisham, the Wesleyan Chapel at Earith and
poor widows of Earith. The property was sold in
1916, and the proceeds invested in the purchase of
£300 5 per cent. War Stock, 1929–47, in the name of
the Official Trustees. The income, amounting to £15
annually in dividends, is distributed by ten trustees in
accordance with the directions contained in the Deed.
Blanche Prentice by her will dated June 1807
gave a rent-charge of £2 per annum issuing out of
4½ acres of land in Earith Fen, which is distributed
on Good Friday to 24 poor widows of Earith.
The Wesleyan Methodist Chapel comprised in a
surrender dated 11 Oct, 1828, an indenture dated
24 April, 1861, is regulated by a scheme of the Charity
Commissioners dated 19 April, 1905. ('The Wesleyan Chapel Model Deed.')