THIRD DAY. Wednesday, 22nd March 1882.
The Right Honourable the EARL of DERBY, Chairman.
His Grace the Duke of Bedford, K.G.
The Right Hon. Lord Coleridge.
The Right Hon. Sir Richard Assheton Cross,
Sir Nathaniel M. De Rothschild, Bart., M.P.
Sir Sydney H. Waterlow, Bart., M.P.
Mr. Walter H. James, M.P.
Mr. Pell, M.P.
Mr. Thomas Burt, M.P.
Mr. H. D. Warr, Secretary.
Mr. Henry Longley called in and examined.
Mr. H. Longley. 22 March 1882.
299. (The Chairman.) I need hardly ask you
whether you are a Charity Commissioner?—I am.
300. How many years have you held office ?—Nearly
eight years; I was appointed in 1874.
301. You have, in your official capacity, had dealings
with various amongst the City Companies?—With
302. We understand the Companies are bound,
under an Act of Parliament, to submit an account
of their expenditure on charitable purposes yearly
to the Charity Commissioners?—They are.
303. Has that Act been complied with?—Yes,
it has with more regularity than is the case in most
other charities. I have got a paper here which shows
the dates of the latest accounts which we have received
from the Companies, which will show that they are
not far behindhand. The accounts appear to have
been all rendered for the year 1880, with only two
or three exceptions, and a considerable number for
the year 1881; and when I say that they have been
rendered for the year 1881, that is really more than
they are bound to do, because they are not bound to
return the accounts till the 25th of March 1882, so
that this is what we should consider a very good state
304. On the whole you consider that they have
discharged their duty under the Act in a satisfactory
manner?—So far as rendering accounts is concerned.
305. Do you require the production of vouchers,
or do you in any way verify the statements which they
make to you?—No, we do not. I should be glad to
read a passage or two from the earlier reports of the
Commissioners upon that subject, because there has
been a good deal of misapprehension in the public
mind as to the duty of the Commissioners in that
respect. In the 14th Report of the Commissioners,
for the year 1866, we say that certain advantages
which have been stated are all "secured without any
general examination or central audit of all the accounts
in our office. The Charitable Trusts Acts do not
prescribe, nor as we think contemplate such a gigantic
operation, for which, moreover, the existing establishment and machinery of our office would be utterly
inadequate. In all necessary cases, however, the
accounts are subjected to a rigid examination under
our direction." I cannot answer your Lordship's
question better than by quoting that.
306. I understand it to mean that you do not insist
upon the production of vouchers or go into the question
of accounts in general, but that you would do so if
you thought there were special reasons calling upon
you to do so in any particular case?—Yes; and I
should be glad to add that we do not institute an
examination of all the accounts that come to the office
by any means. A Bill was before Parliament last
year for enabling us to institute an effectual audit of
those accounts, which Bill did not become law.
307. Taking such a case as that of a school or
any building for charitable purposes being erected
by a Company, in compliance with a charitable
bequest, out of trust money, would you be bound to
satisfy yourselves that all the trust money authorised
to be spent upon the building had been so spent, or
would you take the statement as you received it?—I
had better describe our practice in that matter. The
Companies, like other trustees of charities, have no
power to expend capital without our sanction; they
must come for our sanction for the expenditure of
capital, and we should require certificates from the
architect that the amount was required. So far as the
capital was in the hands of the Company, unless our
attention was specially directed to any suspicion of
anything being wrong, we should take it as your
Lordship puts it.
308. In cases where the charity takes the form of
pensions or gifts, I presume you have no power to
satisfy yourselves that the persons receiving those
gifts are in a condition to require them?—If we were
informed or had reason to believe that the Company
were not fulfilling their trust, we could send an
inspector and inspect the mode of administering it;
and if after inquiry it appeared to us that the
Company were not discharging their trust, we could
ask them to apply to us for a scheme, and if they did
not do so, we should certify a case to the AttorneyGeneral, who would bring it before the Court of
Chancery in order that a scheme might be made
compelling strict adherence to the trust.
309. But you would require to be set in motion by
some complaint or appeal made to you?—Yes; we have
no means of ascertaining more than that. The charities
of the country are too numerous for us to be always
inquiring into them; our attention is directed in a
great many different ways to abuses in charities.
310. Are you aware of any cases in which a
Company having trust money in its possession has
diminished in numbers and finally broken up?—I am
not aware except from reading papers furnished to
me by the secretary of the Commission. We have no
information as to Companies other than as trustees of
311. Then it would be a purely hypothetical question
to ask you what means you would adopt for the
protection of a trust estate in such a case?—I have
312. It is a case which has never arisen?—It is
a case which has never arisen. The small Companies
have in some cases no trust estates; it is usually the
large Companies that we have to do with.
313. Are you aware that the trust estates and
corporate estates of a Company are very closely
connected?—Yes, they are no doubt.
314. In many cases we have been given to understand that the charities which are trusts are rentcharges upon lands which are the property of the
315. In such a case would you have any power to
interfere to prevent the land being sold?—No. The
land in such a case would be vested in the Company
subject to the charitable trust affecting the whole
land, that is subject to a rentcharge in the way in
which any land may be subject to a rentcharge.
316. Then if the land were sold the rentcharge
would remain upon the estate?—Yes; if the land
were sold the rentcharge would remain upon the
estate. Of course there is a great risk of a rentcharge being lost in such a case, and numberless cases
come before us in which rentcharges have been lost.
It is a most precarious kind of charitable property,
and one which we try to get commuted into capital.
317. Can you state of your own knowledge whether
it has happened that when money has been left to
Companies in early times, to be invested in land for
charitable purposes, the Companies have not been able
to point out to the Commissioners the land so purchased, or to show that the trust to buy land had
ever been executed?—I believe that to be the case.
I have not in my mind any particular case, but I have
a strong impression that cases of that kind can be found.
318. I presume that that would only apply to trusts
where the money had been left at a very remote
period?—Yes, I think so. Trusts in the last century
there would not be much difficulty in tracing, as far
as my recollection goes.
319. I will put a more general question to you.
Can you state your impression of the manner in which
the Companies, generally speaking, have discharged
their duties as trustees?—I have only experience of
a limited number of Companies; and in regard to
those Companies I should say that they have been
exceedingly liberal in their administration of the
trusts, and in many cases, which are already known
to the Commission, they have subsidised the trust
funds, in many instances very largely, out of their
corporate income. On the other hand, our experience
is that their administration of the trusts has been on
a very generous scale as regards expenses, almost
lavish in some cases.
320. They have been liberal in increasing the trust
funds where they were deficient, but they have not
been very economical in their administration of them?
—No, not in the management.
321. Have any questions arisen with regard to the
Companies' trust estates; questions affecting the proprietary right between the Company and the trust?—
322. Are you of opinion that in such cases loss of
trust funds has been caused by such legal difficulties
as you have referred to?—I have a case here which
I think the Commissioners are aware of, but it is
stated in a very compendious form in the Report of
the Schools Inquiry Commission, in which it is
obvious that a very considerable loss had been sustained in consequence of a particular view, which
ultimately turned out to be the right one, not having
been taken by the Company. (fn. 1) It is the case of the
Drapers' Company, Howell's Charity; the reference
is the 20th volume of the Schools Inquiry Commission Reports, page 154, and there it is stated that
the charity was founded by Thomas Howell in 1540,
who left to the Drapers' Company 12,000 ducats for
providing certain yearly portions and so forth; and in
1559 the Court of Chancery ordered the Company, the
income being 105l. a year, to deduct 21l. for expenses,
and to pay the remaining 84l. to the four orphans,
whose connexion with the founder was to be ascertained by the Bishop of Llandaff. "No further directions being given concerning the amount of payments
to be made, the Company paid the specific sum of
84l. a year for the purposes of the charity, and carried
the rest of the income to the account of the Company
until the year 1845, when the Master of the Rolls
declared the whole of the funds in hand and the rents
of the land to be applicable to the purposes of the
charity, and directed that application should be made
to Parliament for powers to extend the charity." I
believe that the income of the charity is now 6,400l.
323. (Sir Richard Cross.) I believe you have
inquired into the details of this case of Howell's
Charity?—Yes. A scheme for the alteration of the
charity is now before us. It was delayed in consequence of the appointment of a Committee the year
before last to inquire into higher education in Wales.
324. Do I understand that they got into this
difficulty by paying over what they thought they
were bound to do, and having a great surplus, which
they used for other purposes?—They read a decree
of the Court of Chancery, which was made in the
16th century, as obliging them only to devote to that
purpose 84l. a year. When the case came before the
Court of Chancery again in the 19th century the
Court said that they ought to have devoted the whole
income to the charity.
325. (The Chairman.) I understand that in that
case the Company considered that the properly was
their own, subject to a fixed charge for charitable
purposes?—That is so.
326. And it was ultimately determined by the
Court of Chancery that the whole property was trust
327. (Sir Richard Cross.) How do you distinguish
on the Charity Commission? Have you any broad
line of distinction between trust property and corporate property?—We have nothing to do with
328. Do you inquire whether certain property is
corporate property or trust property?—Yes. When
a case is brought before us we get the fullest information we can, and sometimes we find it necessary, as
in the Wax Chandlers' case, to send to the Court of
329. Can you draw a distinction between one and
the other?—Yes, whenever there is a trust declared
by an instrument of the founder for a charitable
330. If there was money left to a Company, to the
Wax Chandlers' Company or the Goldsmiths' Company, or any other Company, simply in the name of
the Company, without any trust attached, you would
not consider it was trust property at all?—No.
331. You would not consider that the mere fact of
such a body as one of these Companies having money
left to them would imply a trust for public uses?—
No; we should look and see if it was a trust to
charitable uses within the intention of the Statute of
Charitable Uses, which is our guide.
332. You would not take it that there was an
implied trust from the fact of the money being left to
the Company, but you would look to the specific trust
in which it was left?—Yes; a charitable trust, of
course, may be inferred from expressions and so on.
333. The mere fact of a Company having money
left to them does not imply a trust?—No; that is my
334. (Mr. James.) It has been represented to us
that there is no power at present to prevent any of
those Companies (assuming that legislation was defective, and that the Company should be dissolved,) from
appropriating and dividing amongst themselves the
property; assuming that the dissolution of the Company took place, what would become of the trust
property?—It would still remain affected by the
charitable trust, and it would be our duty to see that
trustees were appointed.
335. You would appoint trustees?—We cannot
appoint trustees without proper application, and if
we could not get trustees appointed in any other way,
we should ask the Attorney-General to bring the
matter before the Chancery Division for its decision.
336. At the time of the passing of the Municipal
Act in 1835, there were many of these guilds in provincial towns?—Yes.
337. And in some of those cases there were small
trusts attached to those guilds?—Yes.
338. Are you aware whether any of them were
extinguished at that time?—I have not been able to
find any trace of that. I had an intimation that I
might be asked such a question, and I made inquiries
in our office, and I find that though we are aware of
the existence of some of the country guilds as trustees
of charities, we have nothing to show that any have
failed. We have eight or ten as trustees of charities.
339. Are they trustees that you appointed yourselves?—No; they are trustees appointed by ancient
founders of certain charities, some of them very
ancient; the Merchant Venturers of Bristol and the
Keelmen of Newcastle are two specimens.
310. You say that you find that the Companies
were rather liberal and lavish as regards the management of trust property; that would not apply to all
the trust property in the hands of the official trustee,
because over that they have no control?—They have
absolute control over the income. The official trustee
is merely the custodian of the capital; it is the duty
of the official trustee, and he is bound by the Act by
which he is constituted, to remit the dividends to the
341. But by the appointment of official trustees,
where the trust funds have been transferred to an
official trustee, there has been an enormous saving
in the charge and expenses to the Company?—A
very considerable saving, because it saves all transfers
in the first place.
342. Do you know the exact amount of trust property at present invested in the hands of official
trustees, which belongs to the guilds?—No; but I
can furnish the Commission with that information.
I should say that it is a very small amount, and they
have not been at all willing to avail themselves of
what we consider the advantages of the official trustees.
343. Can you account for that unwillingness?—
It is a reluctance among many trustees; they prefer
to have the custody of the capital of their funds;
while we, on the other hand, maintain and think we
are warranted in maintaining that they are trustees to
spend the income, and they can only spend the capital
either by the sanction of the Court or our Board.
344. But they think, I suppose, that they are better
345. (Mr. Burt.) I understand you to say that the
Companies generally have complied with the law in
rendering their accounts?—Yes.
346. There are exceptions, I suppose?—All the
Companies, I think, have rendered the accounts. The
paper that I have in my hand shows that every Company has rendered the accounts. The Bowyers'
Company appears to be behindhand, and the Wool
Winders; but it is doubtful whether they have more
than one charity each.
347. I understood you to say that there were one
or two exceptions?—The exceptions are these, that
in a few instances we have not the accounts of 1880,
but the 1879 accounts were the latest accounts.
348. They are not due yet for 1880, are they?—
They are due for 1880, but not for 1881; though in
some instances we have them for 1881, they are not
due till the 25th of this month; but in a great many
cases, nearly one-third of the cases, we have them for
1881. The accounts, I should say, are as a rule sent
with very fair punctuality, and in the case of the
Companies that I have to do with personally, they
are exceedingly well made out.
349. You have power, I suppose, to compel the
Companies to send them in?—Yes.
350. (Lord Coleridge.) There are two questions
which I should like to ask you. One is this: has it
ever been decided, and, if so, can you tell me where, that
the charters constitute no trust? ( (fn. 2) ) ( (fn. 3) )—I had occasion
to look into a question analogous to that last year,
and I have brought some notes which I made then.
There are two cases I think which are generally cited.
One is that of the Attorney-General v. the Corporation of Carmarthen, which is reported in Cooper,
page 30; and the note which I have of that is that
a court of equity will not interfere to prevent misapplication of corporate funds, as distinct from funds
held by the Corporation, on express charitable trust.
The next case that I have is the Mayor of Colchester
v. Lonten, 2 Vesey and Beavan, page 226. In that
case it was held that the "court of equity does not
attach the doctrine of trust, as applied under the
words 'corporate purposes,' to alienation of their
property by a civil corporation." There, Lord
Eldon refused to interfere to prevent the alienation
of corporate property not affected by the charitable
351. That does not quite answer my question; those
are municipal corporations. I am supposing the case
of a corporation created by charter for a particular
purpose, not invested with municipal authority, or a
municipal corporation; but a corporation with a
special object; has it ever been decided that the
charter so creating them and pointing out to them
that object create no trust?—I have not been able
to find any case. Last year I took pains to try for a
case, and I asked Sir Arthur Hobhouse to be good
enough to help me, and he furnished me with most
of the cases that I have here, all of which are on
352. You see that there is a broad distinction in
point of law?—Yes. I searched as closely as I could
for such a case.
353. As far as you can judge, is there any principle
of equity which should prevent the High Court from
enforcing, if it could find it out, the obligation imposed
upon the corporation by its charter?—I am not aware
of any authority upon the subject. The only distinction which I thought I saw was that these charters
were granted not directly for a public use.
354. That is rather what I am suggesting. Supposing it was granted for a specific purpose, is not
the very ground upon which you enforce trusts that
the money is entrusted to the corporation for a specified and distinct purpose, and not entrusted to it for
its general objects?—Yes, no doubt.
355. Would it not be carrying a little further the
same principle, where the corporation itself has a
special object and not a general public object, and
that object I will assume for the purpose of my question, capable of being ascertained from the charter,
that it should be capable of being enforced?—I really
am not aware of any authority upon the point.
356. It has never been decided to the contrary?—
It has never been decided to the contrary, and I was
very much pressed by the same question last year; I
forget how it arose, but I took pains to ascertain how
357. When was it first decided that a charity is not
entitled to the equivalent of the whole bequest? Do
I express myself clearly to you? I will assume that
lands were bequeathed to the Goldsmiths' Company,
we will say, then being worth 30l. a year, for the
purpose of maintaining some poor scholars, and that
20l. a year was to go to the specified object, and the
remaining 10l. was left unspecified, and would, therefore, pass to the general funds of the corporation.
When was it first decided that when that 30l. becomes
3,000l., the 20l. only should remain allocated to the
charity, and the whole of the rest of the increment go
to the private funds of the corporation?—It has been
so decided from ancient times, certainly.
358. What is the principle upon which they should
not be entitled to the proportion? I quite understand
that, if the thing goes on increasing, the Corporation
are to benefit in the increment as well as the charity;
but why is the charity not to benefit at all; upon
what principle was that ever decided?—It depends
very much upon the terms of the gift; that is fully
explained in Lord Cairns' judgment in the Wax
Chandlers' case. He draws the distinction very clearly
there. I should wish to refer to that and also to
Lord Cranworth's judgment in the case of the
Attorney-General v. the Dean and Canons of Windsor,
in 8, House of Lords' Cases, page 369.
359. I know the fact is so, but I want to know the
history of it?—Those cases will explain it in a great
360. (Sir Richard Cross.) Will you give us shortly
what that case to which you refer was?—It was an
information by the Attorney-General against the Dean
and Canons of Windsor, at the instigation of the
Military Knights of Windsor, seeking to establish
that they were entitled to a proportion of the increased
value of certain property which the dean and chapter
held, and it was eventually determined (and it is the
only case in recent years in which the AttorneyGeneral has been defeated) that the Military Knights
were not entitled, and that the dean and chapter were
entitled to hold it subject to a fixed charge.
361. (Sir Nathaniel de Rothschild.) You say
that the Companies do not care to make use of the
official trustees; is that on account of the different
investments that are made, or do they invest generally
in consols?—In consols almost exclusively.
362. And they do not choose other investments?—
I do not think that the Companies, as trustees of
charities, are so fond of other investments as other
trustees are. I think the Companies have great belief
in consols, and in the general management of consols.
363. (The Chairman.) With regard to the application of the Companies' charities, are you aware how
their trust income can be spent; have you got the
figures before you?—Yes, I have the figures.
364. Should we be accurate in taking it at 75,000l.
for the relief of poor members, 75,000l. more for
education, and 50,000l. for miscellaneous charitable
objects, making 200,000l. in all?—I am afraid I cannot
verify those figures. I asked our Registrar of Accounts
when I heard that I was to be examined, whether he
could get out the figures, but he said it would take
a very long time. I have no doubt that this information is quite as correct as any that we could furnish.
365. Have you any knowledge of the details of that
expenditure; would it come before you?—Yes, we
have all the accounts; we can see how it is all spent
if we refer to the accounts; and in the cases with
which I have had personally to do I am aware of a
good deal of the detail.
366. First of all, with regard to the relief of the
poor members, how is it administered; are there almshouses and pensions, or in what other form is it
administered?—I am not aware of any form other
than almshouses and pensions in which it is administered, except that money grants are made in some
cases, but a very large proportion of it is administered
in almshouses, and a very large sum in pensions.
367. Do you consider that that system has worked
satisfactorily upon the whole?—I have had no means
of ascertaining how far it has met the wants of the
poor of the Companies, because I do not know how
many poor there are in each Company; we hear hardly
any complaints on that score; the Companies are
generally anxious that their almspeople should have
sufficient stipends; and in many cases they have
made up the payment from their own corporate funds.
368. We have had it stated that to the 200,000l.
which I mentioned just now they add out of their
corporate income 140,000l. more?—That I have no
personal knowledge of, and if the accounts would not
show it, we should have no means of verifying it;
they might, but the Companies are not bound to tell
us all that.
369. With reference to the educational endowments, are you acquainted with the Mercers' Company?—Yes; I have had a good deal to do with
some of the charities of the Mercers' Company.
370. They are trustees of St. Paul's School, and
also of the Mercers' School?—They are.
371. Are those schools largely endowed?—Very
largely. St. Paul's School has an income of about
12,000l. a year, which is now administered by a scheme
made by the Endowed School Commissioners, about
the year 1874 or 1875, which has since been amended
in some details by the Charity Commission.
372. Have you had an opportunity of examining
those schemes in detail?—Yes, I have; I have got
the scheme here, and I have got the details.
373. Do you consider that the endowment is properly expended for the purpose for which it is intended?
—Perhaps I had better state a few figures; the income being 12,000l. a year, the scheme requires them
to maintain a school, or rather two departments of a
school, for 1,000 boys, and a school for 400 girls, both
of which are to be maintained within a short distance
of London. The annual charges prescribed by the
scheme, that is to say, for the payment of the masters
for the free boys, and exhibitions for the girls, and
for repairs, are 6,340l.; besides that, the income
would have to bear the expense of examinations,
management, and other expenses; then they have to
buy sites for these two schools, and to build the schools,
which would involve a very large appropriation of
capital. Nothing has yet been done in respect of the
school for girls, because the governors are employed
now in establishing the school for boys. I should say
that the school is subject to two governing bodies;
the Mercers' Company are the estate trustees, and
manage the property, and pay over the income to the
governing body, specially appointed under the scheme.
The Charity Commissioners have sanctioned the expenditure of 41,000l. upon a site near Hammersmith,
close to the Metropolitan District Railway, and they
have sanctioned an expenditure of 91,000l. upon the
school buildings, and those buildings have been in
progress about a year, and pending the establishment
of that school we understand that the governors do
not propose to do anything in respect of the girls'
schools; they are meeting this expenditure as far as
they can out of the income of the school; but they
will not be able to meet it all. So that the endowment, so far as we are aware, is very judiciously
applied at present in carrying out the scheme, and
probably, after the deductions of capital are made
which are necessary to give full effect to the scheme,
there will not be any large surplus.
374. Are you also acquainted with the Mercers'
School?—No, I have had no dealings with it.
375. Then you are not in a position to give an
opinion as to its usefulness?—No, I am not. I believe
that a scheme for an endowment connected with it is
either now in progress or will shortly be taken in hand.
376. Now with regard to the miscellaneous and
charitable objects, we know nothing of them beyond
their names; taking the Mercers' Company as a type,
can you tell us at all what they are?—I think they
are very largely almshouses and pensions, and small
charities or doles, and of course education, with
which we have dealt already. The Mercers' Company have very large pension charities and almshouse
charities. One of the largest is Trinity Hospital,
Greenwich, which was the subject of a scheme made
by the Charity Commissioners five or six years ago, in
which there was a very large surplus income indeed,
which has been provided for by a scheme.
377. I take it from what you have said that in a
considerable number of those cases the charities of
the Companies have been examined by the Charity
Commissioners, and schemes framed, and that they
have been put in order?—I should think that a great
many of the more important ones have been, but by
no means the larger proportion, if you take them
numerically, but the more important ones have.
There is one very important charity of the Mercers'
Company not taken in hand, that is Sir Richard
Whittington's Hospital, which is a case which calls
for a scheme very loudly.
378. What is the case of that hospital; can you
give us any account of it?—The income is over
10,000l. a year. The original foundation was by Sir
Richard Whittington for an almshouse. The Company expend 2,600l. upon the college, as it is called,
and 4,550l. for 130 out-pensioners; and they spend in
compassionate allowances to about 60 persons close
upon 3,000l. a year. I should say that there is no
express trust for anything but the inmates of the
hospital; therefore it is essentially a case requiring
a scheme, because, as it has been often held by the
Court of Chancery, the trustees have no power to
employ any of their funds, except in strict accordance
with the trust, however desirable it may be. I had
the case of this very charity before me the other day,
in which property in King's Arms Yard in the City,
previously let at 2,292l. a year, was relet at 7,000l.
a year, the lessee covenanting to expend 50,000l.
upon the property; that is the largest transaction of
the sort that I have had to do with.
379. (Sir Richard Cross.) With regard to these
schemes, Lord Derby asked you whether there were
many schemes relating to these Companies which
have gone through the hands of the Commissioners,
and you said there were a good many numerically,
but nothing in proportion to the whole number ?—
Yes; there have been from time to time several
schemes. I have not any list of them; we almost
always have some in hand.
380. You have no power to originate a scheme ?—
No; we can only move in the case of a charity over
50l. a year, upon the application of the majority of
the trustees; and in the case of a charity under 50l.,
upon an application of one trustee.
381. Would many of these charities be under 50l.
382. In those cases you have certain powers?—
Yes, we require to be set in motion in every case;
but an application in the case of a charity which is
under 50l. a year may be by one trustee, or by two
inhabitants of the place in which it is administered
(that is a condition which it would not be easy to
fulfil, because the charities are for the benefit of the
members of the Company), or by any person administering the affairs of the charity, even if he is
not a trustee, or by the Attorney-General.
383. Have you had many applications made by the
members of a Company ?—Very few.
384. Not any of the small ones?—No; we hear
very little of the smaller charities; it is cases like
Trinity Hospital and the larger almshouses that we
385. Have you had applications by letter ?—No;
we are moved from without very little in the case
of the City Companies' charities; in the case of
other charities we often get complaints from people
386. Have you had any complaints from the other
Companies against the courts of members of the Companies?—I do not remember one in my experience.
387. (Mr. Pell.) Do you consider that the distribution of these large funds in pensions to poor
members, in education, and miscellaneous charitable
objects serve any good purpose ?—So far as the Companies are concerned, I have no knowledge; I should
not think they serve any better purpose than almshouses for any class of poor; almshouses for the poor
are beneficial, no doubt. If those poor persons are
proper inmates of almshouses, I suppose they have
been doing good.
388. With reference to so much as goes to education, does your experience of the distribution upon
that object lead you to believe that it is serving a
useful purpose?—I think in a great many cases it
is being made to serve a very useful purpose by
schemes that have been made; the former administration, in many cases, was not the best that could be
389. With respect to St. Paul's Schools, is not that
a case in which it may be said that the endowment
is excessive?—I think it could hardly be said so
under the new scheme; it probably was excessive
when it only maintained 153 boys, as was the case
before it was taken in hand; now it will educate at
least 1,400 children.
390. The Charity Commissioners never originate
schemes; they have ceased to originate them?—We
never had power to originate them.
391. I thought that after the Charity Commission
was first established, for the first two years, they
introduced schemes of their own motion into Parliament ?—Yes, into Parliament we did; we never do
392. That has ceased now ?—It has ceased. The
reason for it has been clearly stated by Lord Sherbrooke in the evidence that he gave before the Schools
393. Do you think if that power could be conferred, and that you could exercise it more rapidly
and with less impediment, it would be a useful one
as regards the charities?—Yes, I think it would.
There was a bill before Parliament for that object last
394. With regard to the benefits which these corporations receive from the Charity Commission, of
course if the legal estate was vested very generally in
official trustees, there would be a very large saving
effected to the Company or the corporation, inasmuch
as there would be no transfer, no stamps, and probably less legal expenses ?—I was wrong in answering
in the affirmative the question put to me just now as
to saving expense on transfers; in this case there is no
saving of expense in transfers, because the Company
are incorporated, and if the funds stand in their corporate name, then one of the arguments for transfer to
official trustees does not exist.
395. I suppose the Charity Commission is really
doing now a great deal of work, at the cost of the
country, for the charitable trusts of these Companies?
—A great deal.
396. The Companies contribute nothing whatever
to the cost of the Commission, do they ?—No.
397. You take no fees?—No; the stamps are
affixed at a certain rate; the appointment of trustees
has a 10s. stamp.
398. Does that come into the revenue of the
Commission?—No; it goes to the Inland Revenue
399. It can hardly be said that the charities are so
poor that they should be exonerated from contributing
to the cost of the good work which they get at your
hands ?—They are not poorer than a good many other
400. They pay no income tax ?—They are entitled
to exemption from income tax; all funds affected by
charitable trusts are.
401. A corporate property of 140,000l. would contribute, I suppose, to income tax ?—Yes.
402. All the property of the Companies or the
guilds, except that which is trust property, would
pay ?—Do not understand me as saying that as a
matter of fact the trust property of charities does not
pay income tax, but that they are entitled to the
exemption if they claim it, but all over the country
trustees omit to claim the exemption.
403. But by law they are not required to pay ?—
404. (Mr. James.) You were a poor-law inspector
for many years ?—Yes.
405. Were you a poor-law inspector in the metropolis ?—Yes.
406. Have you any experience as to the effect upon
the poor rates where these almshouses existed, and
where these charities were extensively distributed ?—
No, I do not think I can say that I have.
407. You cannot speak from your knowledge that
where almshouses existed, or where there were large
charitable distributions, it had the effect of drawing into
these parishes poor persons, and thus largely burdening
particular districts with poor rates ?—I think that is
the very common result of dole charities, but there
are very few dole charities under the City Companies,
and these almshouses and pensions are so frequently
for the poor members of the Company that I doubt
whether they would exercise much influence upon a
408. Is it the case that there are few dole charities
under the City Companies ?— Very few; the amount
in our digest is exceedingly small.
409. Is it not the case that in connection with the
City parochial charities there are an immense number
of small sums distributed to the City parishes by the
Companies themselves ?—Yes.
410. Are they not very much in the nature of
doles?—I am not prepared to say. Of course the
Companies have nothing whatever to do with them
when they have once paid them over. I was not including that. In our digest we deduct all the payments
that they make to other parishes because they are not
doles administered by the Companies. It is quite
true that the Companies make considerable payments
to City parishes, and I have no doubt that a good
many ought to be applied in doles if you could find
people to receive them.
411. They might be entrusted to the parish officers
to distribute as doles ?—Yes.
412. Have you any experience with regard to pensions ?—No.
413. It is not your business as Charity Commissioner to know persons who are in receipt of pensions ?
414. I should like to ask you with reference to the
schools—because you have had great experience of
these schools—what class of children are they generally
who are educated at the larger schools which are
under the administration of the Company of Merchant
Taylors, the Mercers' School, the Tonbridge School, or
St. Paul's School ?—Tonbridge School, St. Paul's
School, and the Merchant Taylors' School are public
schools in fact, and I fancy they have very much the
same class of boys as go to Charter House or Winchester.
415. In the scheme that you have framed in the
case of the Tonbridge School have you taken merely
children of parents of humble circumstances ?—We
have always tried to provide in those schemes for
giving facilities for children of the lower grade to
come to the higher grade school.
416. Do you find a desire on the part of the Companies to carry out that idea ?—In the case of the
Skinners' Company as to Tonbridge School, and of the
Mercers' Company as to St. Paul's School, there is.
417. As to the Tonbridge School, I believe at the
time of the scheme there were large contributions
made by independent persons, not made by the Company ?—I do not know how that is; in that case the
Company made large additions themselves to the funds
418. Do you not think with regard to schools connected with the Companies that the class of school
which is more needed is a school which is between the
grammar school and the elementary school, a sort of
superior elementary school?—A school of what we
should call the second or third grade, is that which is
wanted all over London; you could scarcely establish
too many of them.
419. Is it the fact that the Companies have been
slow to propose schemes for schools of that class ?—I
do not think they have engaged themselves in promoting schemes until the passing of the Endowed
420. Do you know any one case in which a school
of that kind was established ?—No, I do not, but my
connection with the Charity Commission is since the
passing of the Endowed Schools Act. I cannot say
what the Companies did before that.
421. With regard to the Cooper Street schools,
Mr. Rogers' schools, I do not think they are connected
with the Companies at all ?—No.
422. Is that the class of school that you desire to
see established ?—Yes, that is the class of school that
we desire to see established in London, and the class
that we are establishing.
423. And you think that there is great need in
London for the establishment of schools of that kind ?
—Very great indeed.
424. With regard to miscellaneous objects I have
here a return of the London School Board, with which
you are acquainted; taking one of the Companies as a
type, I see in the case of the Mercers' Company, at
page 228, an item of "Lectures 157l.;" do you know
what the subject of the lectures was ?—I take it that
is the Gresham lectureship.
425. Attached to the Mercers' Company? — The
Gresham lectureship is attached to the Mercers' Company; it is a case which we have always been anxious
to deal with, but have been unable to do so.
426. Why have you been unable to deal with it?—
There has been no application.
427. Why has there been no application ?—We cannot move without an application; it is a case that has
always been present to the mind of the Commissioners
for many years.
428. Here is another miscellaneous object, "Sermons 417l." Do you know what sermons there are
attached to the Mercers' Company ?—No; there are a
great many charities all over London for sermons,
small sums given for afternoon service, for preaching
on Good Friday or Christmas Day.
429. The services are hardly ever attended, I suppose ?—That I do not know. We have had cases
brought before us in which the gift was conditional
upon preaching a sermon, and the sermon has ceased
because there has been no congregation.
430. Would it not be a great public advantage if
you had certain powers by which you were able to
consolidate many of these indiscriminate objects and
use them for some purpose, such as the establishment
of such schools as those to which I have just been
alluding ?—No doubt more could be done.
431. Could you in a few words state to the Commission what additional powers the Charity Commissioners would require to enable them to take up
schemes of that kind ?—In order to make a scheme
under the Endowed Schools Act for dole charities or
charities which have failed in their objects there
would be required a repeal of the provisions in section
30, which require the consent of the trustees to such
a diversion of the funds.
432. That was the proposal in the Charitable Trusts
Act of last year, was it not ?—No, not that; there
was no amendment of the Endowed Schools Act proposed. You speak of the diversion of funds to
education; there was no dealing with the education
question in the Act of last year specifically, but if
that condition were removed we could make schemes
for any of these charities.
433. It is hardly necessary for me to ask you
whether you have found in all your dealings with the
Companies that the corporate trustees are admirable
men of business ?—Yes.
434. Do you think there is any guarantee under
the present constitution of the court that the high
business capacity of these gentlemen would be sustained ?—I am very little aware of the present constitution, it has not come before me in any way.
435. Are you aware that in many cases the Livery
Companies consist of members of particular families ?
—I have seen it stated in a paper which the secretary
of the Commission has been good enough to furnish
436. For instance, in the Mercers' Company there
are ten bear the name of Watney, nine Walker, seven
Collier, seven Hodgson, seven Smith, five Parker,
five Sutton, and three Watson; does not that rather
convey that the Companies, although essentially public
bodies, are composed to a great extent of a limited
number of private individuals,—clans ?—I should
infer it from that statement in the case of the Mercers'
Company; but the Mercers' Company is admirably
437. While such a state of things prevails, would
you have any guarantee for the maintenance of that
high business capacity for which the Companies are
very justly conspicuous in many cases ?—I suppose
there is no special guarantee, except that it has
438. (Mr. Burt.) Do you think the money spent
for educational purposes by the Companies is, on the
whole, wisely expended?—I think where it is expended under modern schemes it is very well expended;
but where the funds have not been dealt with by
schemes, probably the expenditure is very large in
proportion to the benefits conferred.
439. Have many of them been dealt with by your
schemes ?—Yes, a good many. The most important one
now being dealt with is the Bancroft School under the
Drapers' Company. There the expenditure was very
large in proportion to the results; but the Drapers'
Company are going to make a large addition to their
school, and it will be expended in the same manner
as St. Paul's School.
440. Did the Commission take the initiative in
forming the scheme ?—In forming schemes under
the Endowed Schools Act the Commission take the
initiative, except in a certain case under section 30,
which provides for the diversion of non-educational
funds to educational purposes; there they can only
act under the powers of the trustees.
441. Have you known any cases of Companies
selling their corporate property, and dividing the
proceeds?—No, I have no experience of that.
442. You do not know of any case ?—No, I think
443. (The Chairman.) I understand you to say that
you have no special knowledge of corporate property ?
444. (Lord Coleridge.) With regard to these
schemes and the contributions that have been made by
the Companies, has there been any inclination upon
their part to maintain control over the elections and
the disposition of the educational endowments ?—I
should say that there has been a very strong disposition
to retain control over the management of the estates;
but the Companies have not always objected to
have other persons associated with them as governors
of the schools. In the case of St. Paul's School the
Mercers' Company are the trustees of the estate,
and the governing body of the school—the body
which administers the school—is a mixed body.
445. I do not refer to that. Has there been any
disposition upon the part of the Companies to control
the educational part and to interfere in the management of the school ? I will put an example: Take
such a case as this which has come before me; I
should like to know whether it is a common thing for
a Company to offer to a school two scholarships on
condition that the Company should select the best of
four names to be sent up to them ?—I cannot remember
an instance of that kind.
446. I refer to control over the intellectual results
of their benefaction ?—Yes. I may say in the case
of the Drapers' Company, there was a great deal of
discussion between the Company and the Commissioners as to the number of places which should be
left to the Company's nomination. They were anxious
to have in return, so to speak, for the large additional
money endowment, a large number of free places at
their disposal by nomination. We have reduced the
number considerably, and it has been a subject of
agreement with us. The school was about to receive
a very large sum from them.
447. The result of that would probably be, if the
whole intellectual rate of the school were taken
together, to lower it ?—Yes; that is why we set our
faces as far as possible against it. I should say that
the Drapers' Company now nominate every boy in the
448. (The Chairman.) Supposing that any proposal were made to require the consent of the Charity
Commissioners before the Companies could buy or sell
land or stocks, would you consider that that came
fairly within the legitimate scope of your duties ?—
I should scarcely think so, as our duties are at present
defined. It would be analogous rather to the power
of the Treasury in sanctioning the alienation of the
property of municipal corporations.
449. And in the event of a Company being required
to publish their accounts, would that be a matter with
which you would have anything to do ?—Not as we
are at present constituted. We know of no subjectmatter of our jurisdiction outside the Statute of Elizabeth, which defines charitable uses.
450. (Sir Sydney Waterlow.) You were asked
whether the Companies, as far as you can judge, were
generally favourable to the establishment of superior
elementary schools,—something between an elementary and a classical school. You mentioned that there
are two; are you aware that the Haberdashers' Company have had a school recently established of that
kind at Hoxton ?—Yes; Aske's Charity.
451. Is that school, or not, now working very
satisfactorily ?—I believe it is.
452. Do you know anything of a similar school
established by the Brewers' Company ?—Yes.
453 Is not that of the character referred to ?—I
was under the impression that that was a school of a
higher grade; but neither of those cases have been
under my personal cognisance.
454. Do you know that there is a superior elementary school established by the Grocers' Company at
Hackney ?—Yes; that is a very flourishing school.
455. And doing great educational work amongst a
large and new population ?—Yes.
456. Do you know anything of the Stationers'
School in Fleet Street, and that when some years ago
there was an inquiry into these schools the Commissioners said it was one of the best schools of the kind
in the City of London, not excepting the City of
London School itself ?—No; I do not know anything
of that school. I have nothing to do with the
457. You do know something of Bancroft's School
for girls and boys ?—Yes.
458. Have the schools been, during the last ten
years, very considerably enlarged ?—Yes.
459. By a large legacy left by one of the court of
the Drapers' Company ?—I was not aware how it
460. You told the Commission that the Company
had themselves supplemented that and all previous
endowments by a very large grant from their corporate income ?—Yes, they have.
461. Can you tell the Commission how the boys
are nominated ? They are not nominated by the
Company direct, are they ?—I can tell you how it is
proposed; the scheme is not ripe yet. There are to
be 100 scholarships of 50l., to be awarded on competition by boys who have been for three years in
any public elementary school of the metropolis, and
20 of these scholarships are to be awarded to poor boys
to be nominated by the governors.
462. Are the governors all drapers ?—Yes; and
the remaining 30 scholarships are to be awarded to
boys to be nominated by the governors, but they are
to pay fees, that is, a class of paying boys; the other
70 are to pay nothing.
463. Have those boys that are to pay to pay
hospital fees and tuition fees ?—It is to be a fixed
sum, and to be at the rate of not less than 20l. a year
for each boy.
464. Is that education and board ?—Yes, and also
for tuition at the school.
465. As regards the control of these lower intermediate schools, from the opportunity you have had
of inquiring about them, do you think that they are
well managed and that they are accomplishing the
objects for which they were intended ?—So far as
I know they are, but the schemes have so recently
come into operation that some of them have hardly
started yet. The Grocers' School, I know, is well
managed, and the Aske School at Hoxton is going on
successfully. Some of the others are hardly started
466. May the Commission understand from your
answer that there has been and is now an increasing
attempt on the part of the Companies to establish
these schools, some of them not having been yet
started ?—No, I should not say that there has been
an increasing attempt upon the part of the Companies; there has been an increasing attempt on the
part of the Charity Commission. (fn. 4)
467. Did not you tell us that the Drapers' Company
had largely supplemented the funds under the control
of the Charity Commission ?—I have no doubt that
that is so.
468. Therefore are they not to have some credit ?
—Certainly; but the schemes are originated for the
most part by our Commission, which takes the cases in
hand. In the Drapers' case I am not sure how it
was, whether we came to them or they came to us.
469. I must ask you whether it was not the fact
that the Drapers' Company applied to have a new
scheme under the old charity, and under the legacy
left by Mr. Deputy Corney ?—Yes, I find that in
1870 the Company submitted a draft scheme to the
Endowed School Commission, after the Endowed
Schools Act was passed.
470. In that case the initiative was taken by the
Company ?—Yes; there was a special reason for
taking the initiative then; under the Endowed
Schools Act the governing bodies of endowments
above 1,000l. a year, I think, had a certain time
allowed them to submit draft schemes, and I have
very little doubt that that was the reason why it was
submitted. Christ's Hospital and others during 1870
were allowed to submit draft schemes, and if they had
not submitted draft schemes then the schemes would
have had to come from the Endowed Schools Commission.
471. Could you explain more in detail in what way
you think a greater power could be given to your
Board to consolidate small charities belonging to
Companies?—By rendering application unnecessary;
by enabling us to act of our own motion, as the
Endowed Schools Act of 1874 puts it.
472. You mean by enabling you to draw a scheme
irrespective of any application from the trustees of
small charities ?—Yes, that would be the most complete way of doing it.
473. Did I understand you to say that you thought,
looking at the composition of the courts of the Companies, that the properties, either corporate or trust,
were managed in a business-like way ?—As far as the
accounts come before me they certainly are.
474. May I ask from your experience, which extends over a great number of years, whether, as a fact,
they have not been so managed that the funds have
very largely increased ?—Yes, the funds have very
475. One of the members of the Commission asked
whether you thought that was likely to continue
owing to there being so many Watneys and Parkers
on the Mercers' Company; is it not the fact that there
are Watneys and Parkers of great eminence both in
the Mercers' Company and out of it ?— I suppose so.
476. May I take it that, generally, you as a member
of the Charity Commission find no fault with the way
in which the Companies have managed their educational endowments ? (fn. 5) —I think the administration by
the Companies of all their charities has been on rather
a lavish scale. I give as the result of my experience
that there is more spent in the management of the
charities than is desirable or reasonable.
477. Have they not generally subsidised the expenditure out of their corporate funds ?—They have.
478. (Lord Coleridge.) Can you tell me as to the
extent of the bequest of Mr. Corney ?—I think it was
479. Was it appropriated by Mr. Corney's will to
this object ?—I have not the particulars here, though
it could be easily found out.
480. You do not know to what extent they supplemented it ?—The Drapers' Company have offered to
481. To the 30,000l. ?—To the existing endowment.
In 1870 the income was 4,600l. a year.
482. Then practically, upon the creation of these
hundred scholarships, fifty are to go by examination
and fifty by nomination by themselves ?—Yes; it has
been the result of long negotiation between us and
the Company; the Company came with 50,000l. in
their hands; we should have preferred that they should
have had fewer absolute nominations.
483. (Sir Sydney Waterlow.) You spoke of the
expenses and lavish management by the Companies;
is it not a fact that as a rule the Companies pay for
the management of their trust property out of their
corporate income ?—It is not my experience.
484. Take the Drapers' Company, is it not the fact
with regard to them that they do so ?—I have no
personal knowledge of the Drapers' Company charities,
but in the Trinity Hospital, Greenwich, the expenditure has been very large out of the trust income.
485. Have you any experience of what is done by
the Haberdashers' Company ?—No.
486. Nor the Merchant Taylors'?—Yes, I have
seen something of the Merchant Taylors' charities, but
not much; I cannot speak positively about them.
487. Or the Clothworkers' ? — Yes, I have seen
something of the Clothworkers', but the case of the
Trinity Hospital, Greenwich, is the case that I have
chiefly in my mind, because it passed through my
488. As you see a good many of the accounts of
the Charity Commission, may I ask you whether it is
not the fact that the Clothworkers' Company do not
take the 3 per cent. which is allowed by the Chancery
Court out of their trust towards the management of
their property ?—I do not know that.
489. (Mr. James.) Has it ever come to your knowledge, as has been sometimes stated, that members of
the Court in the management of the Company's property take leases to themselves at low rates and then
sublet at high rates; have cases of that kind ever
come to your knowledge ?—No, I have never heard of
a case of that sort.
490. Has it come to your knowledge that pensions
are paid to members of the Court or members of the
Livery ?—No, I am not aware otherwise than that
I have seen it so stated in the paper handed to me by
the Secretary of the Commission.
491. (Sir Sydney Waterlow.) Are you aware that
when a member takes a pension he resigns his position
as a member of the Company ?—I saw that stated in
the same paper.
The witness withdrew.
Adjourned to Wednesday next at 4 o'clock.