XCIII. HENRY COLBORN'S WILL (1655).
Henry Colborn or Colbron, by a Codicil to his Will, dated the
1st August 1655, gave and bequeathed to the master and wardens of the Merchant Tailors Company the sum of 1,000l. upon
trust, therewith to purchase lands for erecting a free-school, and
the endowment and maintenance thereof, to be kept in Ashwell,
in the county of Herts. He gave the master and wardens 100l.
for their pains, and the nomination of the schoolmaster there
for ever, but no other property.
Mr. Colborn's effects proving insufficient, the company, under
a Decree of the Court of Chancery in 1664, were obliged to
accept 701l. 5s. in lieu of the 1,000l. from which was deducted
63l. 15s. being their own share of the 1,000l. so left to them,
leaving the sum of 637l. 10s. for the purposes of the charity,
out of which latter sum the Company purchased land, and
thereon a free school was built at Ashwell, which, including the
land, cost 290l. the charity being credited with the balance,
amounted to 347l. 10s. upon which the company allow interest
at 5l. per cent., making the income of the trust 17l. 7s. 6d.
The school for many years has been conducted upon the
system of the national schools, but at the expense of the com
pany, who, on an average of the last seven years, have expended
out of their own funds 120l. a year upon the school. The
premises consist of a neat school-house, with a garden and
paddock attached, containing together about 1½ acre of land.
When, however, the 33 and 34 Vic., c. 75, declared that the
expense of elementary schools should be charged upon the
property of the district and be borne by the ratepayers thereof,
the company, on the 11th November 1872, came to these resolutions, viz.:—
"The Parish of Ashwell having, with every other parish in
England, to provide, under the Elementary Education Act,
1870, an Elementary School available for all children resident
therein it was resolved, firstly, that this court does not feel called
upon to relieve the parishioners from such obligation otherwise
than by assenting to the use (with the sanction of the Endowed
Schools Commissioners) of Henry Colborn's Trust School and
property for the purposes of the said Act, and, secondly, that a
copy of this resolution be forwarded to the Parish of Ashwell."
The Company has no property whatever in the parish,
except the school premises and a small piece of land containing
2 roods 23 perches allotted thereto by the Enclosure Commissioners, which is let to the late master of the school (as tenant
at will) at the nominal rent of 2s. 6d. per annum, nor has it
been a recipient of any benefits under the testator's Will other
than of the sum of 63l. 15s. received in abatement for the legacy
XCIV. WILLIAM TUDOR'S CHARITY (1655).
William Tudor, in the year 1655, gave to the master and
wardens of the Merchant Tailors Company the sum of 50l. in
consideration whereof they undertook to pay, for ever, 2l. 10s.
the interest, yearly, to the wardens substitutes, to be by them
distributed to the poor of the said company by 2s. 6d. per
This sum of 2l. 10s. is yearly carried to the company's
general fund for the relief of the poor, and applied accordingly.
XCV. EDWARD RENNECK'S WILL (1656).
Edward Renneck, by his Will, made in 1656, gave to the
master and wardens of the Merchant Tailors Company 100l., to
be lent out to two young men free of the company, for two
years, paying 20s. per annum a-piece for the same; the 40s. per
annum to be distributed to the poor of the company at Christmas, at the discretion of the master and wardens.
This sum of 100l. is supposed to have been lost by the failure
of the borrowers and their sureties; but the company have
replaced the money out of their own funds, and the interest
received thereon is applied annually, as directed for the relief of
the poor of the company.
See "Mary Ramsay's Charity," p. 295.
XCVI. WILLIAM TUDMAN'S CHARITY (1657).
William Tudman. in the year 1657, paid to the master and
wardens of the Merchant Tailors Company 250l. in consideration of which, the said master and wardens, by deed under
their common seal, bearing date the 5th June 1657, covenanted
to pay 12l. per annum, for ever, to the parish of St. Mildred, in
the Poultry, London; and in consideration of the further sum
of 50l. paid by the said William Tudman to the said master
and wardens, they further agreed to pay to the wardens substitutes 2l. 10s. yearly, to be distributed by them to the poor of
the said company.
The 12l. per annum is paid to the poor of St. Mildred, in the
Poultry, on the receipt of the churchwardens, and the sum of
2l. 10s. is yearly carried to the company's general fund for the
relief of the poor, and applied accordingly.
XCVII. FOWLK PARRY'S WILL (1658).
Fowlk Parry, by his Will, in 1658, gave to the master and
wardens of the Merchant Tailor's Company 50l., the interest
whereof he directed to be distributed by the wardens substitutes
to the poor of the company yearly, for ever.
This is not specifically applied, but 50s. is annually carried
to the company's general fund for the relief of their poor, and
XCVIII. WALTER BIGG'S INDENTURE (1659).
By an Indenture, dated 6th June, 1659, made between Walter
Bigg, of Wallingford, Berks, esquire, of the one part, and the
master and wardens of the Merchant Tailors Company, of the
other part, reciting that Robert Flood, esquire, by an Indenture
of Lease, dated 20th February 1612, had demised, amongst other
things, unto John Harman, all that messuage and tenement,
with the appurtenances, situate in the parish of St. Giles in the
Fields, Middlesex, then in the occupation of Philip Lord
Wharton, together with the hereditaments and appurtenances
belonging to the same, to hold the same to the said John Harman, his executors, administrators, and assigns, from the date
of the said indenture, for the term of 1000 years, which said
lease by mesne assignments had come to the possession of the
said Walter Bigg; It is witnessed, that the said Walter Bigg,
for the nominal consideration therein mentioned, assigned to the
said master and wardens and their successors, all the said premises, to hold to them and their successors for the remainder
of the said term of 1000 years, upon condition, that they should
permit and suffer the said Walter Bigg, to enjoy the same
during his life, and after his decease, then in trust, that the said
master and wardens and their successors should bestow the
rents and profits of the same premises in manner following, viz.
10l. thereof yearly, during the said term, to be paid to four of
the poor men which were or should be from time to time of the
said company half-yearly, and also one other 10l. by the year
to and amongst 10 of such poor persons in the borough of Wallingford, half-yearly, share and share alike, as should receive
collections from the churchwardens or overseers of the poor
there, which said last-mentioned 10l. should be from time to
time distributed to and amongst such poor persons there as the
mayor and aldermen of the said borough, and the minister of
the Church of St. Mary, in Wallingford, for the time being, or
the major part of them, whereof the said minister to be one,
should from time to time think fit and convenient.
And also one other 10l. by the year to such person or persons, half-yearly, as should from time to time be elected to be a
schoolmaster in a free grammar school thereafter to be erected
in Wallingford aforesaid, which schoolmaster should be chosen
by the mayor and aldermen of the said borough for the time
being, or the greater part of them, out of three such persons as
the minister of the said parish-church of St. Mary should nominate
to the said mayor and aldermen, and not otherwise; and until
the said free grammar-school should be erected the said 10l.
should be applied towards the erecting of such free grammarschool; and upon further trust and confidence, that the said
master and wardens should lay out all such sum or sums of
money as should be from time to time raised and received
upon any demise or grant of the said premises as a fine, over
and above the said yearly rent, in and above the necessary
repairs and building of the said messuage and premises.
The house and premises described in the said deed are now
in the possession of the said company, who have demised the
premises from time to time, and applied the rents in the manner
directed by the above-mentioned deed. No such fines as were
contemplated by the deed are taken, but the company keep the
premises in repair, or provide for their being so kept, by the
terms of the demises.
By a Decree of the Master of the Rolls, dated 26th July
1834, the whole income of the charity property was declared to
be devoted to charitable purposes, and by a subsequent Decree,
dated 9th July 1835, it was referred to a Master in Chancery
to ascertain what proportionate additions ought in consequence
to be made to the several payments directed by the aboverecited Indenture.
The Master made his report thereon on 29th July 1835,
expressing his opinion "that one-third part of the surplus rents
of the charity estate, after the payment of the three annual
sums of 10l. each provided by the said Indenture to be paid as
aforesaid, should be added to each of the said several sums of
10l.;" and this report was confirmed by an Order of the High
Court of Chancery, dated 29th January 1836.
Under this Decree the company have regularly paid twothirds of the rents of the charity estate to the trustees of the
Municipal Charities of Wallingford, to be by them applied to the
purpose recited in the said Report and Decree; the company
not pursuing the payments any further.
By a "Scheme for the Management of Bigg's Charity in
Wallingford," which was approved by the Queen in Council on
9th August 1873, the company are thereafter (and after the
appointment of certain governors of the charity as therein provided) to "pay two equal third parts of the net annual income
(of the charity estate) to the governing body for the time being
acting under this Scheme, or as such governing body shall
A Scheme is about to be established, with the concurrence
of the Charity Commissioners, for the enlargement of the scope
of the benefactions to the company's poor under this gift, commensurate with the recent improvement in the proportionate
income of the charity estate applicable to that purpose.
XCIX. LADY JANE MAYNARD'S WILL (1660).
Lady Jane Maynard, by her Will, dated 14th March 1660,
reciting that she was legally possessed of two messuages or
tenements, with the appurtenances, and divers lands, containing
by estimation, 3 score and 13 acres, lying in the parish of
Leicham, in the county of Kent, and divers marsh-lands containing by estimation 138 acres, called Romney Marsh, in the
said county, devised the same to certain persons therein mentioned, successively in tail male, and in default of issue as
therein mentioned, to R. Thompson, R. Raworth, and Charles
Chamberlain, their heirs and assigns, for ever, upon trust (inter
alia), to grant to the master and wardens, assistants, and society
of the Merchant Tailors Company, and their successors, for
ever, one moiety, or yearly rent of 50l. of lawful money to be
issuing out of the said marsh-lands and premises, upon trust, to
dispose of the same to such honest well-disposed freemen of
their company as should have served apprenticeships, and
should be about to set up their trades, in such proportions and
manner as the master, wardens, and assistants of the said
company should think fit, the said annuity to be paid on the
1st day of November and the 1st of May in every year, with
full powers of entry and distress.
By an Indenture, dated 20th April 1711, the co-heirs in
gravel-kind of the said R. Thompson, the only surviving trustee
under the said will, granted an annuity of 50l. to the Merchant
Tailors Company, to be issuing out of the premises in the said
will mentioned, upon the trusts aforesaid.
The annual sum received by the company is 40l. per annum
(10l. being deducted for land-tax), which the company distribute to poor young men about to set up trade. The sum
which they give to each is 20l.
C. SIR ABRAHAM REYNARDSONS WILL (1661).
Sir Abraham Reynardson, by Will, dated 10th May 1661,
gave to the master and wardens of the Merchant Tailors
Company 300l., in consideration of which they afterwards, by
deed, dated 6th December 1662, settled an annuity of 16l. per
annum, to be issuing out of a house belonging to them in
Cornhill, to be distributed as follows,—viz., among six poor
women of the company, for ever, 6s. 8d. a-piece quarterly.
The company pay to the above pensioners 10s. 6d. a quarter,
instead of 6s. 8d., being an excess of 9l. 4s. per annum beyond
the stipulated amount. The company, at their discretion,
increase the 12 pensions to 5l. each per annum out of their own
CI. ANDREW DANDY'S WILL (1673).
Andrew Dandy, by Will, dated 29th March 1673, gave and
bequeathed to the master and wardens of the Merchant Tailors
Company his houses and ground in St. Thomas the Apostle,
within the City of London, to hold to them and their successors
for ever, upon trust, yearly, to pay out of the rents and profits
thereof, to 12 poor men and women in their almshouses on
Tower Hill, or where they might judge best, having little or no
pension or allowance, 20s. a-piece per annum, towards their
maintenance; and farther to pay to six poor men or women,
that have been laborious and pious inhabitants of the parish of
St. Sepulchre, without Newgate, 20s. per annum a-piece for
ever to six poor men or women of the parish of St. Giles,
Cripplegate, London, 20s. per annum a-piece, yearly, for ever;
and to six poor men or women of the parish of St. Botolph,
Bishopsgate, 20s. per annum a-piece, for ever; provided, that
should the rent be deficient to pay the said several pensions,
the same were to be abated in proportion.
And upon the expiration of the existing lease and improvement of the rent, to pay such improvement to so many poor
men and women of the said company, as such future improvement would amount to at 20s. per annum, each man and woman
to be elected at the discretion of the master, wardens and court
of assistants of the said company.
The sum of 12l. per annum is yearly applied with other
funds to the support of the almswomen in the company's almshouses, and carried to that account accordingly.
The company pay yearly 6l. to six poor persons of the
parish of St. Sepulchre, by quarterly payments of 5s to each.
In like manner 6l. yearly is paid to six poor persons of the
parish of St. Giles, Cripplegate, and 6l. to six poor persons of
the parish of St. Botolph without Bishopsgate, recommended to
the company by the above-mentioned parishes respectively.
Under this gift the company yearly pay 1l each to the poor
women in their almshouses, and the residue of the charity
income they apply to the relief of their poor.
The charity property, being a house in Tower Royal, has
been taken by the City of London under an Act of Parliament
for City improvements, and the proceeds have been invested in
Consols by order of the Court of Chancery, dated 13th June
CII. HENRY RICHARDS' WILL (1674).
Henry Richards, by his Will, dated 29th January 1674, gave
to the master and wardens of the company of Merchant Tailors
500l. upon trust, that the same should be lent out on good
real or personal security, unto young men of the said company,
in such manner and during such time as the master, wardens,
and assistants of the said company should think fit, at 4l. per
cent. interest, payable half-yearly, for their advancement in
trade, the interest of the said money to be disposed of amongst
so many of the poorest and most importent widows, children,
or other persons belonging to the company, or the members thereof, as the master, wardens and assistants for the
time being should appoint.
The company received the said sum of 500l., which they
apply in loans to freemen of the company. The sum of 21l.
is in consideration of the said bequest, applied, yearly, for the
relief of 10 of the poorest and most infirm widows or freemen of
this company, by 2l. 2s. to each, which is paid quarterly, being
1l. per annum more than the interest of the principal sum given
at four per cent. See "Mary Ramsay's Charity," p. 295.
The company, at their discretion, increase the said 10
pensions to 5l. per annum each out of their own funds.
CIII. JAMES CHADWICK'S CHARITY (1679).
An entry in the books of the company is to the following
"James Chadwick's gift to four poor women, widows of freemen, 5s. each, quarterly, 4l.
" 4th April 1679.—By Will gave the company, to pay this
And the above is all the evidence in their possession to show
the origin of this donation.
4l. per annum appears to have been always paid in respect
of this charity; and for some time past that sum has been increased to eight guineas per annum, the addition being paid
out of the company's own funds. Under this arrangement four
poor widows of freemen of the company receive each 10s. 6d.
every quarter. The company at their discretion further increase
these pensions to 5l. per annum each out of their own funds.
CIV. SIR WILLIAM TURNER'S WILL (1680). (fn. 1)
Sir William Turner, by his Will, bequeathed to the Merchant
Tailors Company the sum of 300l. upon the following condition,
viz., that the master and wardens should pay 3l. a-piece to
three poor clothworkers every year, for ever.
It appears by the pension-book of the company that the
sum of 9l. is yearly paid to three poor clothworkers, to each 3l.
by quarterly payments. The same persons continue to receive
the annual bounty, and as they die off their vacancies are filled
up by the company.
The date of the will is not recorded in the said book, but
the charity appears to have been in operation for a very long
period, and the company at their discretion, increase the three
pensions to 5l. per annum each out of their own funds.
CV. JAMES CHURCH'S DEED (1681).
By a Deed Poll, bearing date 16th January 1681, setting
forth that James Church, a member of the same company, had
given and paid to the master and wardens thereof 500l. upon
trust, that they and the major part of the court of assistants
of the said company should pay the sum of 20l. yearly to the
said James Church during the term of his natural life, and after
his decease dispose of the said principal sum of 500l. as follows;
viz. 200l., parcel of the said 500l., to be lent to four young men
free of the said company, on good security, for two years,
gratis, by 50l. to each, and so from two years to two years, and
to pay the interest of the 300l., remainder of the said 500l., at
four per cent., being 12l. per annum, to 12 poor men and 12
poor women, free of the said company, who had no pension of
the said company, and who should frequent the church during
Divine Service, which poor persons should be called and paid
by the name of Mr. James Church's pensioners, the said master
and wardens covenanted and agreed with the said James
Church, his executors, and administrators, to perform and
execute the said charitable objects and trusts.
As nothing appears in the books of the company respecting
the 200l. to be lent out as above-mentioned, the probability is
that it has been lost by the insolvency of the borrowers and
In reference to the sum of 300l., the remainder of the sum
of 500l., the company pay 12 guineas annually to 12 poor men
and 12 poor women, freemen, and their widows, being half
a guinea each, on every Good Friday, who are required to
attend at the Company's Hall on that day, and to follow such of
the company as go church, attended by the company's beadles.
CVI. CHRISTOPHER PITT'S DEED (1683).
Christopher Pitt, by Deed, gave to the master and wardens
of the said company the sum of 300l., in consideration of which,
the company, by indenture, dated 16th August 1683, covenanted to pay to six poor men or women free of the company, 10s.
quarterly, each, for ever.
The company pay 12l. 12s. per annum, to six poor women,
each 2l. 2s. by quarterly payments of 10s. 6d., being an overpayment of 12s. per annum.
The company, at their discretion, increase the said six
pensions to 5l. each per annum out of their own funds.
CVII. JUDITH ALSTON'S CHARITY (1687).
It appears from an entry in the books of the company that
Judith Alston, in the year 1687, gave the sum of 300l. to the
company, upon condition to pay 5l. a year to the vicar of
St. Giles, Cripplegate; 5l. a year to the rector of St. Andrew,
Holborn; and 5l. a year to the rector of St. Mary, Whitechapel;
which said several sums were to be applied to the use and
benefit of the poor of those several parishes.
And it further appears from the same entry that a security
was given under the common seal of the company to the donor,
and that three several bonds were given to the incumbents of
the above-mentioned parishes to pay the annual interest aforesaid.
These sums are annually paid by the company to the
respective incumbents of the said parishes; but the company do
not interfere with the application of the money.
CVIII. JOHN WILLIAMS' WILL (1712).
John Williams, by Will, dated 12th November 1712, gave to
the master and wardens of the said company 50l. which was
owing to him by the company on bond, upon trust, to pay
certain annuities to six persons therein named of 10s. to each,
and after their decease to pay 3l. yearly to six poor cuttingtailors of the said company, or their widows, being real objects
The sum of 3l. is carried to the company's general fund for
the relief of the poor, and applied accordingly.
CIX. ABIGAIL SOLLY'S WILL (1719).
Abigail Solly, by Will, dated 9th July 1719, gave and devised
to the master and wardens of the same company all her lands
and estate situate at Godstone, in the county of Surrey, to hold
to them and their successors for ever, upon trust, to pay and
apply so much of the rents as might be necessary in keeping
clean and repairing the tombstone set up by her over the vault
where her late brothers, Joseph and Nathaniel Solly, lay interred,
in the burying-ground in Bunhill-fields, and to apply the surplus
of the rents and profits of the same among the poor men and
women that receive alms of the company, in such proportions
as they should think fit, yearly in the month of December for
ever, deducting thereout the reasonable charges of receiving
the rents and keeping the premises in repair.
The rent of the charity-property, which is situate at Godstone, and consists of pasture and woodland, is 20l. per annum.
The company keep the said tombstone in repair, and carry the
surplus rents to the general fund for the relief of their poor,
and apply them accordingly.
CX. WILLIAM MOORE'S WILL.
William Moore, by his Will, an extract of which appears in
the company's books without date, gave to the master and
wardens of the Merchant Tailors Company, an annuity of 20s.
for ever, to be issuing out of a tenement lying in the parish of
St. Andrew Undershaft, in London, and payable by the churchwardens of the same parish, which annuity he directed to be
yearly paid and distributed amongst such of the company as
had been wardens substitutes in decay.
This annuity, less 4s. for land-tax, is duly paid by the
churchwardens of the parish of St. Andrew Undershaft, and is
carried to the general fund for the relief of the poor of the
company and applied accordingly.
CXI. WALTER HULL'S WILL.
Walter Hull, by Will, an extract of which appears in the
books of the company without date gave to the master and
wardens of the same company, an annuity of 2l. 4s. per annum,
payable by the parish of St. Olave, Hart-street, out of certain
property bequeathed to the said parish by the said Walter Hull,
upon trust, to be disposed of to two poor members of the company, by 5s. the quarter, and to the clerk of this company 4s.
for receiving and disposing of the same.
The company pay two poor members 10s. 6d. per quarter
each, and 4s. to the clerk, making an annual payment of 4l. 8s.,
which payment is referred to the charity of Walter Hull, in the
account, being an excess beyond the receipt of 2l. 4s. per
annum, and the company, at their discretion, further increase
the two pensions to 5l. per annum each out of their own funds.
CXII. THOMAS ROBERTS' WILL (1824).
Thomas Roberts, by his Will, dated the 14th day of April
1824, gave to the masters and wardens of the said company
2,000l. three per cent. consolidated annuities, upon trust, to
distribute the interest and dividends thereof annually, at their
discretion, among the poor almswomen of the company, at their
almhouses near Tower-hill.
The testator before his death wrote in the margin opposite
to this bequest South Sea Annuities, and his executors, upon
his decease, which took place about the month of June 1825,
applied to the company to know which stock they would
prefer; the company however having referred it to the
executors, the sum of 2,000l. old South Sea annuities was
transferred into the names of the master and wardens of the
On the paying off the South Sea annuities on 28th October,
1854, the 2,000l. received was invested in the purchase of
2,108l. 0s. 9d. Consoles, the dividends on which are applied in
payments of 2l. per annum to each of the company's almswomen, and the residue is appropriated towards their general
CXIII. THE PRISON FUNDS.
1. One of the benevolent objects for which money was
bequeathed to the Company, was that of releasing or discharging poor persons incarcerated for debt. Hyde (27), Dowe (28),
and Vernon (34) being the principal, and Blundell (24), Parker
(36), and Wooller (35) the smaller benefactors.
2. The Company applied this fund, in default of small
debtors for sums under 4l. and 5l., to pay the legal fees of poor
debtors unable to pay these on their being otherwise discharged
from prison, and in this manner, from 1799 to 1814, the Company paid out of their corporate funds 331l. 16s. over and above
the Trust monies.
3. In 1815, the payment of fees was abolished by Statute,
and the funds were accumulated until 405l. 11s. (plus the
331l. 16s., which was not claimed from the trust) was in hand.
Application was then made to the Court of Chancery, under
the 52 George III., c. 101, and the funds given by Hyde,
Dowe, and Vernon, were consolidated into one account by an
order made " In the matter of the Debtors in the Prisons of
the City of London," on the 31st July 1820, and were ordered
to be applied to the release of debtors confined for 5l., and
(by a later order of 23rd November 1850) for 30l.
4. The smaller benefactions were disposed of to the Corporation Hall Keeper and the Keeper of the Queen's Prison,
and applied by them to the relief of poor prisoners.
5. As imprisonment for debt gradually became abolished,
the demands on the fund fell off, and the income was invested
for accumulation in Government securities. When the Company originally proposed the establishment of a Convalescent
Home to the Charity Commissioners, the appropriation of these
funds was included in the proposal. The consent of the
Commissioners was however withheld, on account of a suggestion made at the instance of the City of London, that these and
other funds, held by other Guilds for a similar object, should be
applied, with the sanction of Parliament, to the establishment
of an Industrial and Reformatory Institution for Boys of the
Metropolis. Accordingly, in the session of 1870, the Corporation promoted a Bill, which was successfully opposed by this
and other Companies, and thrown out.
6. The matter was then taken up by the Attorney-General,
with the view of obtaining a scheme from the Court of Chancery,
but this (being also opposed) failed of success, the ViceChancellor, Sir James Bacon, deciding that the doctrine of
cypres would not justify his adoption of the Attorney-General's
scheme for applying the funds to a school for criminal children. (fn. 2)
7. The fund was ultimately applied, with the sanction of
the Charity Commissioners, to the increase and sustentation of
the Bognor Home.