The deputation withdrew.
The following gentlemen attended as a deputation
from the Clothworkers' Company:—
Mr. Edward Gregory (Master).
Mr. W. H. Townsend (Warden).
|Mr. J. Bazley White||(Assistants), and|
|Mr. James Wyld|
|Mr. John Neate|
Mr. Owen Roberts (Clerk).
3102. (Chairman to Mr. Townsend.) We have
your return and your statement; if there is anything
else by which you wish to supplement that statement
the Commission are perfectly willing to hear it ?
—Perhaps the statement would be taken as read, my
Lord, as part of my evidence.
3103. If you please.—There is one inaccuracy, if
I may say so, which I wish to correct if your Lordship
will permit me to do so. It is in the sixth page, five
lines from the bottom. It is the case of the Attorney
General against the Haberdashers' Company. The
reference is given wrongly to the fourth Brown's
Chancery Cases; the case referred to should have
been stated as in the first Mylne and Keen's Report,
page 420, before Lord Brougham.
3104. Is there any other correction that you wish
to make ?—None other, I think.
3105. Is there anything you wish to add to the
statement you have laid before the Commission ?—I
think not, my Lord.
3106. (Sir Sydney Waterlow.) Can you tell the
Commission in round figures what per-centage is spent
on education and charity by the Company?—In a
series of years or in the year 1880, do you mean ?
3107. Whichever is most convenient to yourself ?
—I think I can tell the Commission in general terms.
We have taken three periods, 1802, 1842, and 1880,
the last year to which the returns are made up
Speaking roughly, the total income of the Company in
1802, the corporate income and the trust income,
amounted to 10,000l. Of that sum the sum of 2,700l.
was the income of strictly trust property. That being
deducted would leave 7,300l. as the amount of the
corporate income. Out of that, the sum of 2,300l. or
thereabouts was spent in what we may call voluntary
charity or benevolence, and 5,000l. was spent in the
management and the expenses of the Company
generally. That would be a proportion spent in what
I may call voluntary charity and benevolence of rather
less than one third of the corporate income of the
3108. That is in addition to the amount spent of
course out of the trust property ?—Yes, that I put on
one side. That is of course strictly allocated to the
trust, and is applied accordingly. Then in 1842, as I
understand, the total income of the Company had increased to 20,000l. It had in fact doubled. Of that
sum the sum of 6,000l. was the amount of the trust
property income. That had rather more than doubled
in the forty years. Deducting that from the 20,000l.
would leave 14,000l. Of that 4,000l. was spent for
the purposes of voluntary charity and benevolence,
leaving the sum of 10,000l., that being 10,000l. for
the management and expenses of the Company
generally. That again would have been a proportion
of rather less than one third applied for the purposes of
voluntary charity out of the corporate income of
14,000l. Going to 1880 the total net income of the
Company had increased to about 45,310l. Of that the
income of the trust property had increased to about
11,310l., which being deducted from the other, would
leave 34,000l. Of that 20,000l. was applied for the
purposes of voluntary charity, leaving 14,000l. for the
expenses of the general management of the Company.
The proportion therefore of the corporate income
which was applied for general charitable purposes in
the year 1880 had increased so as to be very nearly
two thirds of the corporate income of the Company, and that proportion has still further increased
in the two years which have elapsed since 1880.
Thus we may say, in round terms, that of corporate
income about two thirds are applied for the purposes
of charity, education (general and technical), and other
benevolent purposes, leaving an outlay of about
14,000l. for the management and expenses of the
3109. As the income has increased, have the
Company largely increased their expenditure on
educational and charitable objects ?—They have very
largely increased their expenditure on education and
other charitable objects.
3110. I think the Company held a very valuable
estate in Ireland some years ago ?—They did.
3111. When they sold that did they impose any
obligations on the purchaser with reference to the
maintenance of the charities and monies for a period
of years ?—There was, I believe, no actual legal obligation imposed, but there was an understanding with
the purchaser to expend sums amounting, I believe, to
242l. a year for the purposes of certain churches,
schools, schoolmasters, and so forth on the estate for
a limited term. The purchaser has complied with
that obligation and has expended that amount up to
the present time as I am informed.
3112. (Chairman.) What was the income of the
estate ?—6,000l. was the rental.
3113. (Sir Sydney Waterlow.) The Company, as
you have said, has a large income arising from trust
property; have they found that the obligations under
some of those trusts have become obsolete, and have
they applied for fresh schemes in order to render the
trust funds more applicable to the wants of the present
day?—Yes, they have done so in many instances,
under schemes either of the Court of Chancery, or the
Charity Commission. Some of those charities were
for loans and clothing, and have been diverted under
the authority of the Charity Commissioners for educational purposes in connexion in particular with the
North London Collegiate and Camden School for girls,
in one instance, and in another for scholarships in
connexion with elementary schools, and also in some
degree for technical education. Another—Hobby's
—charity was for the benefit of prisoners for debt,
and that had become obsolete. That again under the
authority of the Charity Commissioners has been
diverted largely to educational and modernised charitable purposes. In other instances that has been done,
and a great many of our charities, I think, are now
either administered under a decree of the Court of
Chancery, or under schemes framed at our instigation
by the Charity Commissioners. I may say, the whole
of our trust personal estate, consisting of divers funds
and securities, is, I think, almost without exception
vested in the official trustee of charities under the
direction of the Charity Commissioners.
3114. Have the Company large funds for the relief
of the poor members—freemen ?—Some of the strictly
charitable funds are applicable to those purposes, but
they supplement them very largely out of their own
3115. Do the Company find that they have a sufficient number of urgent and necessitous cases of poverty
arising among their own body to absorb the funds
which were left for the poor of the Company ?—Yes,
I consider that they do. The applications are pressing
and numerous, taken in connexion with the age of
the people and their means. Some of the trust charity
funds are specially devoted to that purpose, as I have
3116. Was a person of the name of Lambe a great
benefactor to the Company some years ago ?—Yes, a
very great benefactor; one of the largest.
3117. Can you explain to the Commission the way
in which Lambe's chapel, which was formerly in the
city, was removed, and the manner in which the proceeds
of the site were appropriated ?—We first applied to the
Charity Commissioners, and they were doubtful whether
they could initiate a scheme for the purpose, and therefore we applied for a private Act of Parliament (Lambe's
Chapel Estate Act), which was obtained in 1872, and
which enabled us to remove the chapel which is now
at Islington, and which we have rebuilt out of our corporate funds. That Act of Parliament settled the
scheme for the application of the rents of Lambe's
charity property, and also exonerated the corporate
property of the Company entirely (in consideration of
the burden which they then took upon them) from
certain charges which had been imposed by Lambe's
3118. Practically the Company removed the old
chapel, and built a new church in a populous neighbourhood ?—They built a new church in a populous
neighbourhood where it was more wanted, and that
they did out of their corporate property.
3119. How many years ago is it since the Company
first subscribed towards technical education ?—It began
to take up the question in 1870. In 1876 I think it
took the initiative in establishing the City and Guilds'
Technical Institute to which it subscribes very largely.
3120. Were the Clothworkers' Company the first
Company to subscribe to that ?—They were the first
Company. It was they (as I think the Lord Chancellor
Lord Selborne mentioned in his evidence before the
Commission) who took the active lead in the matter,
indeed, if I might be permitted to say so, Mr. Mundella,
speaking in our Hall in the year 1881, said, when he
first became interested in that question, which was
16 years ago, the first persons that gave him any
assistance at all were the Clothworkers' Company.
3121. Without going into detail, can you tell the
Commission roughly how much money you contributed last year towards technical education in London
and the provinces ?—We contribute between 8,000l.
and 9,000l. a year.
3122. Have you a large school in Kent, at Sutton
Valence?—Yes, we have a large school at Sutton
3123. How many boys do you educate?—About
100 in the school itself.
3124. Do they get a collegiate education ?—I may
perhaps mention that we were constituted a distinct
corporation of that school by a charter of Queen
Elizabeth as a grammar school, and Latin is taught
there; therefore, it is a classical school.
3125. I think that was a gift of Lambe's, was it
not ?—That was a gift of Lambe's.
3126. Have the Company supplemented the funds
left by Lambe out of their corporate income ?—The
endowment of the school is very small indeed. I
think the actual endowment only amounted to about
30l. a year, and thinking that the education of the
school might be rather above the class of small
farmers and so forth of the neighbourhood, we give
that 30l. a year to the National school there, which
admits boys of all classes without any religious
distinction, and 20l. to the British school there; and
we give to the school proper upwards of 1,000l. a
year out of our own corporate income. We rebuilt
the school some years ago (in 1864, I think) at a cost
of about 8,000l. or 10,000l., and a further addition in
1876 cost about the same.
3127. I think this Company have also a school at
Peel, in the Isle of Man, have they not ?—Yes, they
3128. Is that supported largely out of the corporate
income ?—Very largely indeed. It was founded under
the will of Philip Christian.
3129. Can you tell the Commission how many
members you have on your court ?—About 40.
3130. Do you find that number larger or smaller
than you think sufficient to do the business ?—I do
not think it is larger than it ought to be to do the
business properly. The members attend and give
very great attention to the subjects brought before
them. There is a great deal of work connected with
the administration of the Company and its charities,
and there are men of different classes and rank in the
court and of different attainments, and I think that
their experience in their various branches of business
and professions and private life are very valuable
indeed on the questions brought before them. I do not
think that the number of the court is any impediment.
3131. Do you think that the Company would be
as efficiently conducted if there were 20 members on
the court instead of 40 ?—I cannot say that, but I
do not think that the number of 40 is inconveniently
large, and we do get the benefit of the various
experience and attainments of the different members.
3132. Of course the 40 cost double what the 20
would ?—No doubt that does involve an increased cost.
3133. Are the whole of your trust funds administered without making any charge against the trust
for management ?—The whole of the trust funds are
administered free of any charge whatever to the charities, there is no charge at all, we do not even accept
the five per cent. allowed by the Court of Chancery
and the Charity Commissioners as receivers. We pay
the whole expense of the management of the trusts
out of our own corporate income.
3134. I think it has been suggested in your return
that the Company should pay succession duty, or a
sum of money in commutation of succession duty, do
you agree with that suggestion ?—Yes, I do; we did
put that suggestion in the returns in 1880, and we do
think that that would only be a proper provision, it
being a general provision not confined to the Companies alone but to owners of land in mortmain all
over the country. We think that that would be fair
and right, and, if we may respectfully say so, we
should entirely approve of it.
3135. Have you, in your statement to the Commission, made some suggestion in reference to an
alteration of the Charitable Trusts Act?—I may say
we have been anxious to avail ourselves as largely as
possible of the Charity Commission. We have full
confidence in them: we have always gone to them in
difficulty: we have put several of our charities under
their revision—many were already under the Court
of Chancery; and we should be quite willing that
the powers of that body should be increased somewhat in the way (if we might suggest) indicated by
Mr. Longley in his evidence before the Commission.
For instance both Mr. Hare and Mr. Longley, mentioned the fetter or limit of 50l.; if the property of
a charity exceeds that amount they are deprived of
taking the initiative without the consent of the
trustees of the charity. That is an impediment, and
we should think that that limit might very well be
done away with, subject to reasonable and necessary
limitations and safeguards. Of course we are only a
deputation from the court of the Company, and we
cannot go beyond our powers, but in other respects I
think I may say that we should be quite willing that
the jurisdiction of the Charity Commissioners should
be increased, safeguards being provided as was done,
I think, by the Bill (amended in the House of Lords,
to a certain extent) which was last introduced into
Parliament in 1880, I think. To some extension of
the powers to the Charity Commissioners we should
most willingly accede, and I think that it would be
very beneficial to charities generally.
3136. Has any large part of the Company's
property been acquired, by bequest or otherwise,
during the present century ?—Some part has been, of
course; the devises of land were made principally
before the 18th century, but there have been some,
West's and others, since.
3137. That was a trust bequest?—Principally trust
3138. I mean gifts or bequests for the benefit of the
Corporation ?—There was the one to which attention
has been a good deal drawn, Mr. Thwaytes' bequests.
He made two bequests, one of 20,000l. to found a
charity for the blind (which sum is now represented
by an investment standing in the name of the public
trustee of charities, and is administered under the
Charity Commissioners), and the other of 20,000l.
further "to be used in a way to make the Company
3139. How do you spend that?—I was going to explain that. A good deal has been said about it I observe
in the evidence, and it has been much commented
upon. The way in which it is spent is this. The
charitable bequest we have largely supplemented out
of our own funds so as to admit of pensions to a
larger number of the blind than the 20,000l. (less
legacy duty) which he left for that purpose would
admit of. The income of the other 20,000l. is applied
partly in payment of one of the dinners of the Company which is held on the first Wednesday in January
in every year in commemoration of Mr. Thwaytes.
That does not exhaust by any means the income of
the legacy, and the remainder of that income is used
in supplementing the blind pensions and for our
general corporate purposes. The sum is invested in
a way to produce a good income, and the balance
of the income, after paying for this dinner, is applied
as I have said.
3140. Do not the Company give very large sums of
money in payment of exhibitions and scholarships at
the colleges and many of the high class schools?—
Yes, many exhibitions both to Oxford and Cambridge
and King's College and to other Colleges and schools
for young men and women.
3141. Has that been done for some years?—That
has been done for some years.
3142. Do the Company receive reports of the
method in which it works ?—They receive the examiners' reports from the Universities of Oxford and
Cambridge. In addition to that, I may mention that
we have for the poorer class of students unattached
exhibitions now both at Oxford and Cambridge, all
which are given irrespective of religious opinions. In
addition to that, we have also admissions to the North
London Collegiate and Camden School for girls, and
scholarships for competition among the public elementary schools of the metropolis, so as to get hold of any
children who show any considerable aptitude. Some
of the girls get to the North London and Camden
College, and then if they distinguish themselves there
they can be possibly passed on to the colleges at
Somerville Hall, Oxford, or Girton and Newnham
College, Cambridge, to which we largely subscribe, and
to which we are increasing our subscriptions, and from
which colleges we get returns of the conduct of girls
that we send there.
3143. May I ask are the Company quite satisfied
that they are doing good and increasing good by the
payments they make for the higher education of young
men and young women ?—They consider so, and the
reports confirm that.
3144. Have they increased from year to year their
payments in that direction ?—They have been doing
3145. (Sir N. M. De Rothschild.) You say you
would like to see the powers of the Charity Commissioners extended, and that you put your own charities
under the Charity Commissioners; perhaps you would
not mind telling the Commission what advantage you
think would arise to the public from further interference by the Charity Commissioners with other companies. Do you think that their charities would be
better managed ?—I may say that we have thought
the Charity Commissioners' assistance useful. Probably the Charity Commissioners would require to
be strengthened in some way; but we think that the
charities are very well administered under their supervision, and some of us think it would be a proper
thing that the charities of the country generally should
be brought more under their control.
3146. Do you think then that the Charity Commissioners are better judges of the charity objects than
the courts of the Companies ?—I will not say that,
but they are a public body entrusted with the control
of charities, and we find that they do not interfere
improperly with us. We submit our accounts to them,
and if any change of investment or anything of that
sort is required we find that they accede to our proposals as far as possibly can be done. In some instances
if they do not approve they say so, but as a general rule
they fall in with what is presented to them if they
think it reasonable and we think that it is desirable.
Of course we have no power to alter these obsolete
charities without the sanction either of the Court of
Chancery or of the Charity Commissioners, and we
find that it is satisfactory that such of them as are
obsolete or useless should be altered by means of a
well considered scheme drawn up under the immediate
supervision of the Charity Commissioners and carried
3147. (Sir Richard Cross.) Are you speaking of
trust funds only, or trust and corporate funds?—Trust
funds only, certainly. I merely referred to charities.
Both Mr. Hare and Mr. Longley expressed their
opinion that they had nothing to do with corporate
property under the Charity Commission. I was merely
alluding to the strictly charitable trusts which are
committed to our care.
3148. (Chairman.) There are only two questions
which I should just like to have an explanation upon.
Are those funds which have been called trust funds
derived from property, the whole income of which is
expended on the trust purposes, or only a certain portion of which is expended, the increment going to
you ?—In most cases it is the whole income of a particular charity.
3149. You make the payment and take the difference ?—In some, but in the latter case, where there
has been a charge on the property for charitable purposes with the surplus given to the Company, we have
redeemed, under the sanction of the Charity Commissioners, the charge, and the sums paid by us for
the redemption of that charge are now invested in
Consols or some other stock in the name of the
official trustee of charities, and administered in that
way; we have done that very largely for many years
past now. Wherever we had a property charged by
the will that devised it with a sum applicable to
charity and subject thereto, the surplus given to ourselves, I think in almost every instance we have
redeemed that charge under the sanction of the
Charity Commissioners, and as approved by them.
3150. Then the statement that you do not take the
five per cent. for managing these charities applies to
all ?—Yes, to all. We do not take it at all.
3151. As to this 20,000l., you say the income goes
to a dinner in commemoration of Mr. Thwaytes, and
then for general corporate purposes, including other
dinners, I suppose ?—It goes into the exchequer of the
Company generally, and is applied as I have before
3152. It goes into the 14,000l.?—It would go into
the 14,000l. or, rather, it goes into the 34,000l., and
so much of it as is applied in augmenting the pensions
of the blind falls into the 20,000l., and the rest of it
falls into the 14,000l.
3153. (Mr. James to Mr. Owen Roberts.) I believe
you were mainly instrumental in establishing the City
and Guilds' Technical Institute ?—I was concerned in
establishing the Technical Institute as clerk of the
Clothworkers' Company. The movement of technical
education originally arose from the invitation of the
Society of Arts instituting examinations in connection
with the annual series of exhibitions at South Kensington, and when the turn of cloth manufacture came,
the Clothworkers' Company first gave a prize of one
hundred guineas for the encouragement of the examinations in connection with the cloth trade, and afterwards put themselves into communication with
Colonel Donnelly and others on the subject of technological examinations and technical education generally, more especially in connexion with the cloth
industry. They afterwards obtained a conference
at Clothworkers' Hall consisting of the mayors of
various corporate towns and Presidents of Chambers
of Commerce of the towns in the west of England,
Yorkshire, Glasgow, and other places where the
textile industries are the staple industries of the
district, and took their advice as to the best way of
promoting a system of technical education in connection
with the industries of the various localities. That
matter has grown gradually, and now the Company
have schools or classes, independently of the City and
Guilds' of London Institute, in almost all the centres of
the clothworking industry in Yorkshire and the West
of England, they have also subsidised a technical
weaving school in Glasgow.
3154. But the one central institute up to the
present time has been in Finsbury, has it not ?—I am
speaking of the Clothworkers' Company's action in
technical education. Then in 1876 the Clothworkers'
Company took counsel with the Drapers' Company,
who also had shown an interest in the question, and
availing ourselves of the fact that at that time Lord
Selborne was master of the Mercers' Company, a
scheme was submitted to him, and he expressed his
cordial approval of it, and through his intervention a
combined movement of the guilds was then brought
about for the establishment of technical education in a
general sense, distinct from the cloth-working industry
but including it.
3155. That is the movement which eventually
proposes to establish the large central college at South
Kensington, is it not?—That was one of the objects,
but the great object of the central institution is not to
teach the application of science and art to the ordinary
workmen, the rank and file, and there always must be
rank and file, but to teach the men who are picked
out from among them as the leaders in intelligence,
and whom we hope to make into efficient foremen or
managers, and above all into efficient teachers, for
trade schools throughout the kingdom. These men
will come from every part of the kingdom, and will
not be drawn from the industrial classes of London
alone, or even to any great extent, and even the
London men will in all probability be for the most
part picked men supported by exhibitions, and not,
while students of the Central Institution, engaged in
journey work. We found when we established our
dyeing school at Leeds that we could not in this
country find a teacher, there was no technically
qualified teacher of dyeing. We found the same
difficulty wherever we founded schools. By the
advice of Professor Huxley, and with the concurrence
of scientific opinion, it was thought absolutely necessary before any movement of technical education
could obtain a hold in the country that there should
be a normal training school to supply technical teachers in the same way as the normal training schools at
Battersea and elsewhere supply the elementary teachers
and now the universities are recognising that teaching
involves not only the possession of knowledge but is a
profession, and like any other profession requires
3156. What post does Mr. Magnus hold ?—Mr.
Magnus is the director and secretary of the Guilds'
3157. That is the institute in Finsbury ?—He is
director and secretary of the Institute as a whole.
He holds also in connexion with it, temporarily, the
function of director of studies in the Finsbury College. Probably he will also, when the institution at
South Kensington comes into operation, assume some
such position there; but that is not settled.
3158. And Mr. Magnus is also a member, I think,
of the Commission upon Technical Education at the
present time ?—Yes, it was thought exceedingly desirable that he should obtain that experience (which
conjoined with his opportunities as Director of the
Guilds' Institute I suppose would make his qualifications in regard to technical education almost unique in
this country) by going about with that Commission to
various countries abroad. His experience will be most
valuable, and it has been found so already.
3159. Can you tell me what contribution the
Clothworkers' Company make to this movement ?—
We give 3,000l. a year; but we also have paid
10,000l. for the Building fund of the Central Institute,
and of the Finsbury College; and we hope to establish, as time goes on, trade schools in various parts
of London; also to supplement local effort wherever
we find there is a tendency towards technical education.
3160. The effort to raise the money among the
other Companies for this Institute was originated in the
first instance by the exertions of the Clothworkers'
Company, or to a great extent, was it not ?—No
doubt the Clothworkers' Company took a foremost
part, but the Drapers', the Fishmongers', the Goldsmiths', and the Mercers' Companies also took part in
it. I should not wish to claim more than our proper
due in the matter. We found all our fellow-Guildsfolk equally anxious to enter into the movement as
soon as they found that technical education was a matter
that could be worked out adequately in practice. As
soon as they found a proper scheme could be formulated, other companies showed themselves as anxious
as we were to carry the matter out.
3161. (Mr. Firth.) Have you ever found the return
which was presented by your Company and others to
Parliament in 1724. A return was presented of
various matters connected with the companies the
year before the Act was passed under which you vote
in common hall ?—I am afraid not. I may have seen
it referred to, and probably I have, but I have no
special recollection of it.
3162. With respect to the vote. I may ask you
this: you say you are entitled to vote in common
hall; I think no one except the livery are entitled to
vote in common hall at all, are they ?—I think the
theory that we hold is, that the livery is a property
qualification, and the number of freemen entitled to
vote is limited by the qualification that they must be
of the superior order of citizens which is denoted by
the fact that the livery represents a property qualification.
3163. I will just draw your attention to this point,
and that is all I will ask you. The 14th section of
the Act says "No person or persons whatsoever shall
be entitled to vote for the election of a mayor who
have not been on the livery twelve calender
months" therefore the election of the Lord Mayor
rests alone with you, does it not?—I should prefer to
say that it was a select body of freemen; that it is
not qua liverymen they vote, but qua freemen, who
are selected as a kind of superior order of citizens in
the same way as under the restricted household
franchise that existed before 1867 in parliamentary