Supplementary Statement by the Salters' Company.
The Salters' Company beg to remark that the first
recorded evidence of their existence is dated in 1394,
when it was licensed by Richard II., in the joint title of
the Guild or Fraternity of Brethren and Sisters of
Corpus Christi and the Company of Salters.
This combination of the religious and trading elements, together with other circumstances referred to in
their return, render it highly probable that this Company was never exclusively a community of traders.
Moreover, it would appear that this, as well as other
guilds, could not have existed for the sole purpose of
benefiting the particular trades from which they derive
their names; for the right of freedom by patrimony
has prevailed from time immemorial, and this would
necessarily introduce many members who would follow
Statements have been made which suggest that the
funds entrusted to the Companies for charitable uses
have been misapplied. So far as the Salters' Company
is concerned, it may be stated that suits instituted
against the Company, and designed to prove a breach
of trust, have failed; and the returns of the Company
show that the sums expended on the charitable trusts
under the Company's administration have considerably
exceeded the amount which has been received from the
With regard to the income derived from their Corporate Estate, a large proportion has been always
devoted to works of benevolence and public utility, to
the promotion of education, and the support of aged,
poor, and deserving members of their Guild.
The Salters' Company may avail themselves of this
occasion to state that, in addition to the educational
grants alluded to in their report, they have now brought
into practical operation a scheme which for some time
past they had in contemplation, having for its object
the promotion of the education of the sons and daughters
of their own members, by grants of money, varying in
each case from 20l. to 80l. per annum. The advantages
offered by this scheme are much appreciated, the freemen and liverymen having readily availed themselves
Statements were made by witnesses who tendered
evidence on the twelfth day, that the Companies' estates
in Ireland are Trust Estates : that the purchase money
was not taken from the funds of the Corporation or of
the Companies, and that the tenants have been invariably rack-rented.
In reply it may be stated that the conveyance of the
estate to the Companies was absolute and without any
covenant of trust: that the Companies at first declined
to have any dealing with the property, but were ultimately persuaded, by representations on the part of the
Government, that the undertaking would conduce to
their profit. That there is no doubt the Companies
provided all the money; and so far as regards the
Salters' Company (and probably the other Livery Companies), the amount required was raised, partly from
their corporate funds, and partly from loans from individual members of the Company.
There is evidence that these loans were in process of
repayment from the corporate funds of the Company,
several years afterwards. As to the estates being rackrented, the rents of the Salters' Company have always
been, in the aggregate, under the Government valuation.
Tenant-right interests are readily saleable; and the
witnesses generally admit that the tenants are, on the
average, better off under the Companies than under
It has also been implied that the Companies have not
promoted the interests of their tenants by expenditure
of income derived from the estate.
In reply to such suggestions, the Salters' Company
beg to place before the Commissioners the following
particulars of their expenditure during the last 28
Statement of Expenditure on Improvements, &c., from
1853 to 1881.
|Rural Districts.||Town of Magherafelt.|
|On School Building and Repairs||3,220||0||1||2,576||18||4|
|" Support of Education||5,823||17||3||6,801||8||2|
|" Church Buildings, Parsonages, &c.||2,443||12||9||6,064||17||0|
|" Ministers of Religion and Church Sustentation Fund||3,452||13||6||2,315||0||0|
|" Main or Arterial Drainage||4,429||2||5||409||15||1|
|" Improvement in the Breed of Cattle||193||11||3|
|" Farm Roads, Pavements, &c.||5,775||0||2||734||1||9|
|" Water and Gas Supplies||126||3||6||691||9||9|
|" Public Buildings, Repairs, &c.||2,429||19||10|
|" Charitable and other Donations||1,096||2||11||2,465||1||9|
The above expenditure is exclusive of any outlay
from which the Company derive profit, and the cost of
management is not included.
Mr. Andrew Brown, a tenant on the estate, who gave
evidence before the Commission, also on the 12th day,
complains that an appeal which was made against an
advance of 20 per cent. put on a portion of the estate in
bad years, was rejected.
This augmented rent was an addition of 20 per cent.
on a small section of the Town-park holdings, which
had been reduced 10 per cent. in 1855, and not increased
when the rentals of the agricultural holdings were
raised 10 per cent. in 1866.
The aggregate annual accretion of rent from this
source amounted to about 150l., and simply placed all
town-parks and agricultural holdings on the same
Mr. Brown adds that a recent appeal for reduction of
rent was also rejected.
It is true that the Company declined to adopt a general
reduction of their moderate rental, which, for agricultural holdings, is about 10 per cent. below the
Government valuation; but they promised to take into
consideration individual applications for relief, and to
determine them on their respective merits. This decision has been acted on, and in several instances remission of rent has been granted, and pecuniary
assistance afforded to needy tenants.
Mr. Brown further says that from 1854 to 1866
"there are many living witnesses to prove that none
but the tenants do anything to their farms."
The facts are that a sum of 16,560l. 6s. 6d. was expended on the rural districts, and 12,283l. 5s. 10d. on
the town of Magherafelt, in improvements during those
12 years; the money spent in the town being in excess
of the entire rent received from the town holdings.
Only a fraction of the above expenditure, viz., 1,500l.
for mills and milldams, was in any degree remunerative
to the Company.
Mr. Brown also affirms that from 1866 to 1882 the
agricultural holdings have not in any way been improved by the landlords. The answer to this accusation
has been already given in the previous statement, where
the cost and character of the improvements effected are
Expenditure from 1853 to 1866.
|Rural Districts.||Town of Magherafelt.|
|On School Buildings||1,533||11||7||2,591||4||9|
|" Support of Education||1,865||13||6||1,791||19||0|
|" Church Buildings, Parsonages, &c.||2,153||12||9||5,588||14||6|
|" Ministers and Church Sustenta-tion Fund||467||10||0||370||0||0|
|" Main or Arterial Drainage||3,407||2||8||149||1||6|
|" Farm Roads. Pavements, &c.||5,019||1||11||263||14||0|
|" Water and Gas Supplies||239||5||5|
|" Public Buildings, Repairs, &c.||483||3||8|
|" Charitable and other Donations||613||9||0||867||13||0|
|" Mills and Milldams||1,500||5||1|
These sums are of course included in the previous
Statement of Expenditure from 1853 to 1881.