TO THE CHARITY COMMISSIONERS FOR
ENGLAND AND WALES.
In pursuance of a Minute of the Board of the
2nd February 1863, I have inquired into the condition
and circumstances of the following Charities under the
management of the Grocers' Company of the City of
London, and I have stated in the Report under the
head of each specific endowment, the result of my
The Grocers' is the second of the 12 greater Companies.
It is constituted of a master and three wardens, and
a court of assistants, of a variable number, now
The liverymen are about 170 in number, and the
freemen about 130 or 140. The number are said to be
increasing rather than the contrary.
The title of the Company is "The Master and
Wardens and Court of Assistants of the Worshipful
Company of Grocers."
Distribution to the Poor Members of the Company.
The Company distribute annually, and casually, various
sums of money to the freemen of the Company who are
in poor circumstances.
The poor members are formed into three classes.
The first class consists of aged decayed freemen and
widows of freemen. That class consists of about six
or seven, who receive gifts amounting to 30l. a year, or
The second class consists of freemen and widows who
are partially assisted. They are about 14 in number,
receiving each about 20l. a year.
The third class consists of a similar class of persons,
but whose circumstances do not, in the judgment of the
Court, require or entitle them to an equal amount of
assistance. They are about 23 in number, and receive
generally 12l. a year.
In addition to the persons who are thus classed,
there are certain liverymen and widows of liverymen to
whom larger gifts are made, varying from 100l. a year
to 30l. a year. At present there are 18 of this extra
class of recipients.
There are also casual gifts made by the master and
wardens on special emergencies arising amongst the
poor members and their families.
These amount to from 50l. to 100l. a year.
The gifts of the Company to the poor members,
in various ways, from 1852 to 1856 inclusive, was
7,827l. 19s., averaging about 1,565l. per annum, and
from 1857 to 1861 inclusive, 11,327l., averaging 2,265l.
per annum. Since 1861 the average has increased.
In addition to these gifts to the members of the
Company, the Company distributes to public institutions and charities large sums as occasion arises. From
1852 to 1861 a sum of 10,151l. was given in such
Thomas Knowles, by will of the 12th July 1432, gave
to the Company a messuage in St. Antholin's Parish for
pure and perpetual alms for the relief of the poor.
The property thus devised consists of a warehouse,
abutting on St. Antholin's Churchyard, Budge Row,
let to Millington and Hutton, assignees of Wm.
Leschalles, on lease for 21 years from Michaelmas 1845,
at a rent of 125l. 17s.
This money is included in the distribution to poor
freemen and widows of freemen of the Company, which
I have already described.
Sir Henry Kebyll by his will of the 20th March 1514,
gave to the Company two messuages in St. Mary-leBow, and two messuages and appurtenances in St. Margaret, Lothbury, and also a great messuage in the
Parish of St. Peter-le-Poor, and a piece of ground in
St. Olave's, Old Jewry, subject to certain superstitious
uses, and then to pay weekly to seven poor men of the
Company 3s. 6d., to each 6d.
The Company charge themselves with 9l. 2s. annually,
which forms part of the distribution to the poor members
of the Company.
This portion of the fund and that which is included
in the Gifts of Penefather, Lady Conway, Richard
Phillips, Edward Turville, John Grove, John Wardall,
and Lady Middleton, amount to 56l. 15s. 4d. a year, and
are classed in the Company's books under the head of
I presume that the residue of the estate was a part
of the purchase made by the City Companies of the
estates devised for superstitious uses, and which was
confirmed by Act of Parliament, 4 James 1st (see my
Report on the Fishmongers' Company).
Sir William Butler's Gift.
Sir William Butler, by his will of the 6th August
1529, gave to the Company his messuage in Thames
Street, and two messuages, five cottages, and garden in
the parish of St. Michael Bassishaw, and three shops
in Tower Street, and a quit-rent of 12s. for certain
And to the churchwardens of Biddenham, Bedfordshire, 40s. yearly for repairing the king's highway;
|For the poor of Biddenham||20s.|
|For the poor of St. Mildred, Poultry, for coal||12s.|
The Company pay 3l. a year on the receipt of the
churchwardens of Biddenham for the use of that parish.
I have suggested that the receipt of the minister and
churchwarden should be required to join in giving the
receipt, or that the minister should certify who are the
The sum of 12s. a year is paid to the churchwardens
of St. Mildred, Poultry.
Sir John Peche's Gift.
By an indenture of the 20th June 1533, between the
Bishop of Rochester of the first part, the abbess of the
Minories without Aldgate of the second part, and the
Company of the third part, reciting that John Peche had
paid to the Company 500l. for certain obits, alms, and
other works of piety, the Company covenanted to keep
a yearly obit in the church of Lullingstone, and distribute 30s. to priests and clerks, and in alms to the
|To the parson of Lullingstone||2||13||4|
|To the three poor beadmen in the almshouses built by the said J. Peche at
Lullingstone, at 8d. a week to each||5||4||0|
|To the poor prisoners of Newgate, Ludgate, Marshalsea, and Kingsbench, 5s.
to each prison||1||0||0|
Together with the repair of the almshouses at
The Company appear to have appropriated 1l. 6s. 8d.
a year as a gift to the poor of Lullingstone in respect
of the share of the 30s. a year in which they were to
participate with the priests and clerks at the obit, and
this sum, with the payments above enumerated, make
up 9l. 4s. a year, which is paid annually to Sir Percy
H. Dyke, of Lullingstone, and by his direction distributed to the poor of the parish in bread and money.
The 20s. a year to the prisons, and other gifts to
prisoners, have not been regularly paid for a considerable time. On the 29th December last the sum of
10s. was paid to Mr. Temple, of the Guildhall. There
is at present a fund of 126l. in hand applicable to
prisoners on this and other charitable accounts.
The same observations as to the present securities on
which the capital is invested occurs in this case, as in
that of Lambert and Stiles' Charities (page 6).
The Free Grammar School at Oundle, Northamptonshire.
Sir William Laxton, by a codicil to his will of the
27th July 1556, being minded to erect a free grammar
school at Oundle in the house, late the guild or
fraternity house at Oundle, such school to be called
"The Free Grammar School of Sir William Laxton,
Knight and Alderman of London," and to have an
almshouse for seven poor men at Oundle; and having
agreed with the Company, and set out to them certain
lands in London, gave to the said Company all his
messuages and hereditaments in St. Swithin's, Sherborne Lane, St. Nicholas Lane, Abchurch Lane, and
Eastcheap, on condition that they should make suit to
the King and Queen for the Fraternity House, to be
employed for the school and almshouses, and provide a
schoolmaster at 18l. a year, and an usher at 6l. 13s. 4d.
a year, and pay to each of the almsmen 34s. 8d. yearly.
To the vicar and churchwardens, for the repair of the
By a decree of the Commissioners of Charitable Uses
dated 3rd September 1686, reciting that the jurors
found that the Company did think fit to augment the
several charitable payments to 102l. 16s., and that they
were willing in future to pay 82l. 16s., and that their
estate should be charged with the arrears, it was ordered
that the whole estates of the Company should stand
charged accordingly, and 20 years was given to them
The sum of 82l. 16s. was apportioned as follows:—
|Women to attend them||5||4||0|
The state of this Charity at the time of the last
inquiry is set forth in the Report of the Commissioners
(vol. 6, p. 268). After that inquiry, and in the year
1841, an information was filed in the name of the
Attorney-General, at the relation of several of the
inhabitants of Oundle, praying that an account might
be taken, under the direction of the Court, of certain
property devised to the Grocers' Company, and to have
a declaration, that all the rents, issues, and profits of
those messuages, together with the dividends of a
certain sum of stock were applicable and ought to be
applied to the support of a school which was founded
and established as a grammar school at Oundle, and
the maintenance of a schoolmaster and usher. And it
prayed also that the decree of the Charity Commissioners made upon the inquisition of 1686, being contrary to the intention of the donor, might under the
43rd Elizabeth, cap. 4, sect. 10, be altered or varied
according to equity and the true intent and meaning of
The information came on to be heard before Lord
Langdale, the Master of the Rolls, on the 18th of
January 1845. His Lordship held that the Company
must be considered bound to pay the increased sums
specified in the decree of the Commissioners of Charitable
Uses in 1686, as upon that understanding they had then
obtained an extension of time. As to the claim of this
Charity for the entire rents of the estate, his Lordship
said the argument for the information stood thus:—
"It is said the Charity may not be entitled to the
whole of this fund; yet it turns out that the present
fixed payments are not sufficient to maintain a proper
school, or to pay the salaries of the schoolmaster and
usher of a grammar school; then as it was clearly the
intention of the testator that a grammar school should
be maintained, that purpose ought not to fail by the
accident of these fixed salaries turning out in the
course of time to be insufficient for the purpose."
"That the Court may, therefore, consider, in the
first instance, what would be a proper sum to pay for
the maintenance of such a grammar school as would
effectually answer the intention which the testator had
in view, and that may be a sum very considerably
larger than that which he allowed, and that sum being
ascertained, then by the authority of the Grammar
School Act it may be applied in the maintenance of a
school affording the general instruction pointed out by
"This might be very well, provided you were not
encroaching upon a revenue which, according to the
construction which, it appears to me, ought to be put
on this codicil, belongs as private property to this
Company. If the testator has fixed on certain salaries
which fail to provide for the fulfilment of his intentions,
no doubt it is very much to be regretted, but you
cannot, at the expense of the Company to whom the
testator has given a beneficial interest, take that interest
from them upon the notion that the testator, if he had
thought better of the matter, would have assigned a
larger sum to the Charity, or upon the notion that the
Legislature has interfered as against the interests of
that party to provide a school where there may be a
The information was, therefore, dismissed with costs,
and no appeal was made against the decision; but it
appears that in January 1850, an attempt was made to
lay the case before the then Charity Commissioners
to obtain their interference for the purpose of opening
the question anew. This application does not appear to
have been attended with any result.
The case of this school was brought before this Commission by the Vicar of Oundle in a communication
addressed to the Board on the 30th December 1856, to
which I find the Board replied by a letter of the
2nd March 1857 (File 1,138), stating to the effect that
the Grocer's Company could not be called upon to
render any account of their general receipts or expenditure in respect of the property, or any other account
than a credit on one side sufficient to meet the charges,
and on the other side a debit of the payments they
The return rendered to this Commission is in conformity with the above rule. The Company debit themselves with a rentcharge arising from messuages, lands,
&c. in St. Swithin's, at London Stone, Sherborne Lane,
Nicholas Lane, Abchurch Lane, Candlewick Street, and
Eastcheap, London (to which should be added the
White Hart Inn, at Oundle), amounting in the whole
to 82l. 16s. 0d. a year, apportioned according to the
decree of the Commissioners of Charitable Uses in 1686,
|The seven almsmen||41||12||0|
|" repairs of the school house||1||4||0|
The Company, however, do not limit themselves in
fact to the foregoing payments.
The Company paid to the master—
|7th December 1861||438||6||9|
|31st May 1862||435||15||10|
which includes the master's and the second master's
salaries, which are regulated by a capitation fee on a
certain number of boys, and a fixed salary; including
also the rates and taxes and repairs. Sums of nearly
the same amount have been appropriated by the
Company for the purposes of the school for several years
In answer to my inquiries as to the state of the
school, I received the following letter from Dr. Stansbury, the head master:—
" The number of boys in the school is 132.
The average age, 13. The course of instruction,
all the branches of a liberal English education;
the classics, mathematics, and French, for which
latter, the only fee (except 1l. entrance fee), of 2l. a
year is charged, and which fee is charged to prevent injury to the National and British Schools in
Oundle, and the only payment for books and
stationery amounting to an average of 2l. per
"Every seat in the large school-room is filled,
the six masters and 132 boys working satisfactorily to all concerned."
The Company appropriate also to the almspeople an
annual sum of 278l. 17s.
There are six almsmen, five of whom receive six
shillings a week, and one one seven shillings a week, in
addition to Sunday dinners, washing, fuel, clothing,
and medicines. The almsmen are appointed by the
resident committee at Oundle, who are nominated by
The present committee is—
Watts Russell, Esq.
Jessee Russell, Esq.
— Smith, Esq.
and the churchwardens of Oundle.
The committee elect an almsman to fill up the
vacancy, and their choice is generally confirmed by the
In addition to the above charges the Company have
established from their own funds during the pleasure of
the court, three exhibitions of 50l. to be held for four
years, at either of the two English Universities, for boys
of the Oundle School.
Between the years 1852 and 1861 the Company rebuilt the school and an almshouse for the six men, at an
expense of upwards of 4,500l.
The Company have also recently contributed 500l.
towards the restoration of Oundle church.
The property of the charity at Oundle is described in
a statement laid before the Commissioners of Charities
in 1850, as follows:—
Guildhall, situate on the south side of Oundle
churchyard, used as the schoolroom and as the
habitations of almsmen and nurse.
Messuages and premises situate on the west side of
Oundle churchyard, and adjoining Church Lane,
now the schoolmaster's house and dormitory for
the boys, purchased by Lady Laxton in 1557.
A close of land, awarded on the enclosure of Oundle
field in lieu of rights of common, appurtenances
to last-mentioned premises, now in the occupation
of John Bailey.
Messuage and premises in Church Lane, adjoining
and now forming part of schoolmaster's house,
purchased of — Gann.
Four cottages and premises in Church Lane, now
in the occupation of Reuben King and others,
purchased of — Wallis.
Messuage and premises in New Street, now consisting
of playground for the boys.
The White Hart Inn, in the occupation of Samuel
Public Pig Market and dwelling house, in the occupation of Miss Underwood, of Southwell.
Copyhold premises of the manor of Oundle, adjoining
Church Lane and above-mentioned cottages, used
as a stable by the schoolmaster.
Upon this representation the only observation to be
made, is that the Company claim the "White Hart
Inn" as their own property, and not subject to the
trust, and I have no evidence that it is part of the
All the rest of the property above described is occupied by the school premises, playground, master's
house and garden, and the almshouses and the almshouse yard or court.
I append a document which has been transmitted to
me from some of the inhabitants of Oundle.
John Lurchyn by his will of the 5th July 1459, gave
two tenements in St. Mary, Bothaw parish, for the
relief of the poor almspeople of the Company.
These tenements are said to have been situated in
Canwick or Cannon Street, and to have been destroyed
in the fire of London; and it is remarkable that no
subsequent mention has been made of the premises or
of the site, except that in an index to the book of wills of
the Company, of the date 1762, as the Commissioners
of Inquiry state (vol. 6., p. 270), there is a note that the
Charity of Sir William Laxton for the Free Grammar
School of Oundle has had credit for the Cannon Street
property of this donor.
It is not possible now to distinguish or recover this
property for the purpose of applying it to the trust.
Henry Cloker, who died in 1574 gave certain houses
in St. Michael's, Crooked Lane, to the Cooper's Company, upon trust to pay to the Grocer's Company 40s.
The Company have for a long time past received 42s.
a year, instead of 40s. (under a decree of the Court of
Chancery, as it is stated, but of which I have no
The Grocer's Company pay 40s. a year to the almspeople in the Ratcliffe almshouses, under the government of the Cooper's Company.
Emme Backhouse, by her will of the 27th August
1587, gave a house to the Company upon trust to
|To four poor scholars of Cambridge
|To four poor scholars of Oxford
hoping that they would prefer some of her own kindred
to such scholarship, being fit for the same, before
strangers, and the residue of the profits to be disposed
to such good uses as the Corporation should think
The premises are No. 104, Wood Street, and were let
on a lease which has recently expired.
They are now occupied by Hugh Jones, at a rent of
620l. a year.
The Company also receive 15l. 14s. 5d. from the
Haberdasher's Company, a fee farm rent, after deducting land and income tax, supposed to represent the
house in Steyning Lane, which stood on part of the site
of Haberdasher's Hall.
I do not find that any legal construction of the gift
of the residue to "good uses" has ever been obtained.
It is right however, to refer to the greatly increased
exhibitions given by the Company, and the large
amount distributed to charitable and for other
It should be observed that with regard to exhibitions
alone, taking the entire present income of the Charity,
together with 5 per cent. on the capital of the gifts of
Mary Robinson, Bayning and Cocke, the annual produce
would be 656l. a year, whilst (if we include the Oundle
Exhibition) the annual fund appropriated to such
objects amounts to 650l., and if we add to this the
payments from scholars of the City of London School,
the fund dedicated to exhibitions is 770l. a year,
exclusive of other specific charges for that purpose.
The exhibitions at Cambridge under this bequest are
no longer limited to two, as at the last inquiry the
Company debited this trust to pay eight exhibitions
which they have raised to 25l. per annum each, four at
Oxford, and four at Cambridge. They have also added
eight other exhibitions, four to each University, of the
like annual value, in respect of Robinson's and (I
suppose) Bayning's and Cocke's Gift, although the
two latter are not recognised in the books of the
The Company have also voluntarily founded two
exhibitions of 50l. a year, for the students of the City
of London School, when at either of the two Universities, and they also educate at the City of London
School, free of expense, six children, sons of freemen or
liverymen, at a cost to the Company of about 120l. a
year—about 10l. a year each for school fees, and 10l. a
year each for the mid-day meals provided for the boys
coming from a distance.
Mary Robinson's Gifts.
Mary Robinson, by her will of the 13th February
1617, gave to the Company 500l. to purchase land and
pay 25l. a year to four poor scholars of Jesus College,
The capital sum of 500l. was apparently not laid out in
land, nor does it appear to be specifically invested, and
must, I presume, be regarded as a charge on the general
estates of the Company, subject to the same observations as I have made in my report on Lambert and Stiles'
Gifts (page 6).
The Company pay altogether 16 exhibitions of 25l.
each to under-graduates of the two universities, Eight
of these are attributed to Backhouse's Gift, and the
remainder to this endowment, or to the voluntary
liberality of the Company.
Bayning's and Cocke's Gifts.
Andrew Bayning, by will of the 4th October 1610,
gave 120l. to the Company to purchase house or land
of the yearly value of 5l. for a poor scholar at Cambridge,
Robert Cocke, by his will (date not known), gave
100l. to the Company to bestow same in lands and
dispose of the rent towards the maintenance of a
scholar of Oxford or Cambridge.
The Commissioners of Inquiry, not finding these
endowments in the inquisition, and finding no trace
of them in the books of the Company, conjectured
"that they had never been received by the Company."
It may, perhaps, be difficult to discharge the Company
by this supposition, but I must refer to my reports
(pp. 3 and 4) on Backhouse's and Robinson's Charities,
showing that the Company have founded 16 exhibitions
of 25l. a year each, and two of 50l. a year each, thus
far exceeding the liability which these particular donations would impose.
Peter Blundell, by will of the 9th June 1599, gave to
the Company 150l. to purchase lands, and out of the
rents, pay 40s. a year for the poor of Bedlam.
The Company possess 12 houses, Nos. 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9,
10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, Sun Street, Bishopsgate Street,
upon which, or part of which, the 40s. a year is supposed to be charged.
The 40s. a year is paid to the treasurer of Bethlehem
Lady Slaney's Gift to West Wickham.
Dame Margaret Slaney, by her will of the 20th October 1607, gave to the Company 40l. to pay yearly to
the poor inhabitants of West Wickham, Kent, 3l. for
The sum of 3l. a year is paid by the Company to the
churchwardens of West Wickham.
There is no trace of the investment of 40l., nor does
it appear to have been included in the mortgage.
Walwyn's Free School at Colwall.
Humphrey Walwyn, by his will of the 10th December
1612, gave 600l. to buy houses, the rent to be paid as
|To the Grocer's Company for visiting
|To St. Martin Orgar parish, in coals to
And the remainder of the rents to a free school at
Colwall, Herefordshire, for the poor children of that
parish, and seven of the parish of Little Malvern.
The investment directed by the testator does not
appear to have taken place, but in lieu thereof, the
Company have been charged, by arrangement, with a
rentcharge of 30l. per annum, for the Colwall schoolmaster, and 5l. a year for the parish of St. Martin
The appointment of the schoolmaster is vested in the
Company; they have recently appointed the Rev.
Robert O. Carter.
The Company do not limit themselves to the amount
of the rentcharge, but they pay the head master 30l. a
year, who occupies moreover a house in the parish
belonging to the Company, in which he lives rent free.
The head master is regarded only as the visitor to
the school, the duty of teaching the boys devolving on
the second master.
The second master at present is Mr. Miller; he is
not in orders, and the Company pay him an annual
stipend of 70l. a year, and as a testimony of their
satisfaction with his conduct of the school the Company two years ago made him a present of 50l.
There is a school house at Colwall, which has been
built and repaired by the Company, but there is no
dwelling provided for the second master.
The Company make also an annual vote of about 5l.
a year for stationery and articles for the use of the
The Rev. R. O. Carter informs me that the average
number of boys has been 62, and that the course of
instruction embraces English, mathematics, geography,
history, &c., and that the present condition of the
school is satisfactory.
John Grove, by his will of the 10th December 1616,
gave to the Company 100l. to distribute yearly, 6l., to
the poor of the Company.
This forms part of the distribution to the poor of the
Company. It is included amongst what are called
revived Charities, mentioned in my report on Sir
Henry Kebyll's Gift.
William Robinson, by will of the 14th July 1633,
gave to the Company 400l. for the purchase of houses
|Towards the maintenance of a schoolmaster, in Topcliffe, Yorkshire||16|
and the residue among the poor of the Company.
There is no account of the investment of this fund,
but the Company pay annually a sum of 16l. in halfyearly payments to the chairman of the feoffees of the
school at Topcliffe, the Rev. H. A. Hawkins.
In answer to an application addressed to this gentleman as to the present state of the school, I was informed
that there is a very good schoolmaster, that the average
number of boys attending is 50, from the age of 7 to 15,
that they are taught reading, writing, arithmetic, and
history, that one or two learn Latin, and that the
school is going on in a satisfactory manner.
William Pennefather, by his will of the 26th January
1636, gave to the Company 233l. 6s. 8d. for the purchasing of land of the value of 11l. 13s. 4d., to be paid
to seven poor almspeople, 1l. 13s. 4d. each.
The capital sum is a charge upon the estates of the
Company under the decree of 1686. It forms part of
the distribution to the poor of the Company.
It is included amongst what are called the revived
Charities, mentioned in my report on Sir H. Kebyll's
Lady Conway's Gift.
Catherine Viscountess Conway, by her will of the
29th March 1637, gave to the Company 200l. on trust,
to pay 10l. to the parish of Acton, for bread to 20 of the
poor on every Sunday, and 12d. a week for teaching
six poor children, 10l.
And by a Codicil she gave 1,200l. out of her residuary
estate to the Company to pay—
|To the parish of Acton, for the most
aged, lame, and impotent||10|
|To the parish of St. Dunstan-in-theEast||10|
|To the parish of Luddington, Warwick||5|
|For releasing two poor persons in
|For releasing one poor person in the
Poultry Compter, and one in Wood
|To five poor widows of the Company||5|
|To Christ's Hospital||20|
And she also gave to the Company 400l., they paying
to the parish of Acton, for apprenticing poor fatherless
The Company were charged by the Commissioners
for Charitable Uses with the capital sums of—
the latter sum being the whole which appeared to have
been received by the Company in respect of the last
legacy of 400l.
The Commissioners appear also to have charged the
Company with 8s. a year, in respect of a gift of 8l. by
Mary Harrison, the executrix of Lady Conway, but
no mention of this now appears in the books of the
The sum of 72l. 9s. 8d. forms the gross annual charge
on the property of the Company in respect of these
legacies; of this—
|20||0||0||a year is paid to the treasurer
of Christ's Hospital.|
|5||0||0||to the churchwardens of Luddington, Warwickshire.|
|10||0||0||to the churchwardens of St.
|22||9||8||to the rector's warden of the
parish of Acton.|
|5||0||0||is applied to the distribution
amongst the poor members
and widows of members of
The 10l. a year for prisoners has not been regularly
demanded, and it forms part of a prison fund of 129l.
now in hand.
Lady Middleton's Gift.
Dame Ann Middleton, by her will of the 20th May
1645, gave the rectory and tythes of Forden, county of
Montgomery, and a fee farm rent of 27l. out of the
rectory of Austell, Cornwall, both of the value of 107l.
a year, to the said Company to dispose of the same as
|For the release of poor prisoners in
and about London||40||0||0|
|To Christ's Hospital||10||0||0|
|To the poor of Westham 3l. for apprenticing, and 2l. amongst 20 of
the poorest people||5||0||0|
|To 10 poor ministers' widows 2l.
|To 10 poor men and women||10||0||0|
|To the Company for their care||2||0||0|
|To the clerk of the Company||2||0||0|
|To the seven almsmen of the Company||3||10||0|
|To two persons mentioned in the
And the residue of the property she left to be disposed
of by the wardens and assistants for the relieving of
poor and aged people at their discretion.
And by a codicil she directed her executor to settle
and convey to the officiating minister of Forden a yearly
pension of 30l. out of the tythes of said rectory of
Forden, which was to cease if the Parliament should
settle upon him any competent maintenance.
The Commissioners of Inquiry remark (Vol. 6, p. 275)
that the gift of 40l. a year to the poor prisoners had
been reduced to 10l. probably under the power given to
the executor to dedicate the 30l. a year to the officiating
minister at Forden.
|The fee farm rent arising from the
rectory of Austell produces, after
deducting Land Tax abatement,
|The Forden tythes are commuted at
a rentcharge of 328l. 0s. 8d.|
|The rentcharge in the
year 1861–1862 was||372||8||9|
|The outgoings, disbursements, rates and taxes,
and 15l. for agent's
|A piece of meadow land in Nantcribbu Meadow, numbered 900 in
the tythe map, and containing
4a. 1r. 6p. and occupied by John
Jones as yearly tenant||4||10||0|
The application of this income, after the appropriation
of the 30l. a year to the minister at Forden, 5l. to the
parish of Westham, and 10l. to the account of poor
prisoners (see Sir J. Peche's Gift) is as follows:—
|The clergymen's widows 40s. each,
directed by the will to be given
to 10 clergymen's widows has
been increased to 10l. a year each||100||0||0|
|The Company have also added to
the number of clergymen's widows
a further number of 40 others at
Together with occasional gifts of a similar sum to
unsuccessful candidates in advanced years, which in
1862 amounted to 75l. In the 10 years from 1852 to
1861 the sum given amongst clergymen's widows
amounted to 3,370l.
John Wardall, by will of the 29th August 1656, gave
to the Company a tenement known by the name of the
White Bear, in Walbrook,—
|To pay to St. Botolph, Billingsgate,
for lighting the north-east corner
of St. Botolph's church at night||4||0||0|
|To the parish of East Greenwich for
And the residue to the almsmen of the Company.
The tenement devised is the Bull's Head (formerly
the Black Bull), No. 23, Walbrook, which is let on lease
to James Waterman for 21½ years from Midsummer
1860, at a rent of 76l. 8s.
The payments made by the Company are,—
|To the parish of St. Botolph||4||0||0|
|To the parish of East Greenwich||6||10||0|
The residue forms part of the distribution to the
poor of the Company.
Gilbert Keate, by his will of the 10th June 1657, gave
to the Company 750l.
100l. be lent gratis to two young men.
50l. to remain as a stock for the Company's poor.
And out of the profits of the remaining 600l. to pay,—
|To the parish of Bishopstone, Wilts||16||0||0|
|To the parish of St. Hearne, Cornwall||8||0||0|
The 100l. directed to be lent forms part of the loan
charities of the Company.
I apprehend that the 50l. as a stock must be regarded
as a gift to the Company.
The 24l. a year in respect of the remaining sum of
600l. is paid annually.
16l. (in 1862) to Rev. H. F. Beasley, the curate of
8l. to the rector, churchwardens, and overseers of
William Robinson, by will of the 9th August 1661,
gave to the Company all his tenements in Grub Street
upon trust, to pay as follows:—
|To the free school at Penrith||10||0||0|
|For educating poor girls at Penrith||20||0||0|
|For 10 men and 10 women at Penrith||20||0||0|
|For a sermon on Christmas day at
Penrith, 20s., clerk and sexton, 5s.,
and for a collation, 15s.||2||0||0|
|For a sermon on Ascension Day,
20s., clerk and sexton, 5s., and for
a collation, 35s.||3||0||0|
|To Christ's Hospital, St. Bartholomew's, St. Thomas', and Bridewell,
The Company is in possession of the property in
Milton Street, in the parish of St. Giles, Cripplegate,
devised by this will, and out of the income they pay
annually 55l. to the vicar and churchwardens of the
parish of Penrith. The 5l. a year to Christ's Hospital
was purchased by the Company some years ago.
The three other sums of 5l. each are paid to the
treasurers of the three other hospitals above named.
The vicar of Penrith informs me that there is an
average attendance of 50 scholars at the girls' school,
who are supposed to be free, but that some few pay
weekly pence for extras, and that the ages are from
6 to 13 years.
As to the 20 almspeople, they are selected by the
Penrith vestry assembled before Christmas Day, and
20s. each is given to them by the vicar and churchwardens.
Box's School, Witney, Oxfordshire.
By an Act passed in the 15th Charles 2nd (1675),
reciting that Henry Box had erected a large free school
with a fair house standing on two acres of ground in
Witney, and by his will declared his intention to settle
the said premises and a rentcharge of 50l. out of lands
in Longworth Parish, Berks, it was enacted that there
should ever thereafter be a free grammar school for the
instruction of children and youth, and that there should
be one master and one usher, and that the Grocers'
Company should be the governors thereof.
And by an indenture of the 19th July 1670, between
Mary Box, the widow, and Ralph Box, the son and heir,
of the one part, and the said Company of the other
part, reciting that the said Mary Box had paid to the
Company 286l. for settling the rentcharge thereinafter
mentioned, the said Mary Box, for the better maintenance of the said school, and the said Ralph Box, in
consideration of the said 286l. paid him by the Company,
granted and confirmed to the said Company a yearly
rent of 13l. issuing out of tenements in Longworth,
10l. for the school,
2l. to the poor of Witney, and
1l. to the provost and fellows of Oriel College,
towards their charge at the visitation of the said
The Commissioners of Inquiry (Vol. 32, Part 2, p. 699)
report the condition of this school, and that the Grocers'
Company had expended in repairs and improvements
of the school premises 761l. 19s. 9d. up to the year 1837,
against which they were charged, apparently on account
of a vacancy in the office of usher, with 518l. 6s. 6d.,
leaving a balance of payments over receipts of the sum
of 243l. 13s. 3d. It would seem, however, that the
balance thus stated was less by nearly 30l. than the
real excess of the Company's payments. In 1861 the
Company expended a further sum of 244l. in repairs of
The Rev. Henry Gregory, the present head master,
receives the rentcharge of 63l. from the Longworth
estate, and transmits annually 3l. to the Grocers'
Company, with his report on the condition of the
I append the statement transmitted to me by
Mr. Gregory of the condition of the school.
Edmund Turville by his will (date unknown), gave
to the Company 100l. to be lent gratis to two young
And he gave 1,000l. to pay 50l. in manner following:—
|To the churchwardens of St. Dunstan's-inthe-East, in bread and money, for 13 of
the poorest of the parish||11|
|To the poorest of the Parish of Kyrettyard,
|To Allhallows, Barking, London||4|
|To St. Stephen's, Walbrook, for sermons
every month before the Communion||10|
|To the poorest members of the Company||7|
|To the most needy of St. Olave, Southwark||5|
|To the most needy of St. Leonard, Shoreditch||5|
The Commissioners of Inquiry (Vol. 6, p. 278) notice
the fact, that the 10l. a year for the preparation sermon
at St. Stephen's, Walbrook, was not included in the
decree of the Commissioners of Charitable Uses, and
had not been paid, the remaining uses are still upheld,
and the sums paid as follows:—
7l. added to the distribution to the poor members
of the Company.
11l. to the churchwardens of St. Dunstan's-in-theEast.
4l. to the churchwardens of Allhallows, Barking.
5l. " " St. Leonard, Shoreditch.
5l. " " St. Olave, Southwark.
8l. to the curate and churchwardens of Kyrettyard,
making together 40l. a year.
Sir Thomas Middleton's, or Richard Phillips', Gift.
Sir Thomas Middleton by his will (date unknown)
gave to the Company two tenements near Baynard's
Castle, charged with 7l. a year to the poor of the
The Company possess property in Thames Street,
Nos. 225 and 226, which is supposed to have been the
subject of his devise, and they charge themselves with
7l. a year, which forms part of the distribution amongst
the poor of the Company, classed as one of the revived
Charities (see Sir Henry Kebyll's Charity).
Ralph Clerveaux gave to the churchwardens of
St. Benet, Gracechurch Street, 2l., which is paid to
them by the Company as a rentcharge on No. 58½,
Gracechurch Street, belonging to them.
John Saunders by will (date not known) gave to the
Company 210l., for apprenticing a boy, in Upton
Warren, Stoke Prior, or Chaddesley Corbet, Worcestershire, for 10l. a year, but if not performed to them,
then the same to be paid to Christ's Hospital.
In December 1831 a petition was presented under
Sir J. Romilly's Act, on behalf of the parish of Upton
Warren, upon which an order was made, in February
1832, referring it to the Master to take an account of
the arrears of the annuity of 10l. accrued since 1794, and
directing the Company after the payment of costs to
pay the balance into Court.
There was an appeal against this order, on the part
of Christ's Hospital, by whom the arrears were claimed
and in April 1833 such appeal was dismissed, but the
costs of all parties were ordered to be paid out of the
fund. The Master found the arrears to amount to 380l.,
and the costs to 359l. 12s. 6d., leaving a balance of
20l. 7s. 6d. There does not appear to be any further
The Company pay 10l. a year on the receipt of the
curate and churchwardens of Upton Warren.
Lambert and Stiles' Gifts.
Robert Lambert by his will (date not known) gave
100l. to the Company, to be distributed after 21 years
amongst the poor of the 25 wards; and
Nicholas Stiles by his will (date not known) gave
100l. to the Company upon the same trusts.
The capital sum of 200l. given by these donors does
not exist in any specific investment, but it is secured
in the real estate of the Company comprised in the
inquisition and decree of the Commissioners of Charitable
Uses, of the 27th August 1686, mentioned in the report
of the Commissioners of Inquiry (Vol. 6, p. 265). The
decree directed a conveyance to 12 trustees to secure the
legacies to charities and the arrears. It does not,
however, appear that the estate of the trustees has been
kept on foot by any successive conveyance, and the
Company hold their estates in their corporate character
independent of any trust.
I have requested Mr. Ruck, the clerk of the Company,
to furnish me with a statement of the situation, and
present rental of the property charged, being the course
which I adopted in the case of the Mercers' Company,
whose general estates were charged by a deed and Act
of Parliament with the payment of the income of
Charitable funds which had been expended by the
Company. The Grocers' Company, however, decline to
exhibit any statement of their property not specifically
charged by the respective founders of the charities. It
has not been an uncommon circumstance in the ease
of the other City Companies, that Charitable funds
given to them are not found at present set apart in any
definite form of investment, whilst the Company
generally admit their liability, and pay the interest or
dividends from their general property. There can be
no doubt that in the case of these ancient, wealthy, and
liberal bodies, the funds are practically secure, and
I have therefore not thought it necessary to insist of
any account being furnished to me of the mortgaged
estate, nor to do more than thus submit the circumstances
to the Board.
The 12l. a year is distributed annually to five of the
City wards, in rotation, 20 recipients being nominated
by the aldermen of the respective five wards on forms
sent to them by the Company, and those nominated
apply at the hall of the Grocers' Company, and receive
Richard Hale, by his will (date not known) gave 100l.
to be lent to two young men.
This is part of the capital of the Loan Charities.
The places called Harp Alley, and Lilley Alley, in the
parish of St. Dunstan's-in-the-East, are stated in the
report of the Commissioners of Inquiry (vol. 6. P. 278),
not to be in existence, and the 200 faggots given to that
parish out of the produce of this fund, not to have been
included in the decree of the Commissioners of Charitable Uses in 1686. The sum of 1l. 4s. is paid annually
to the churchwardens of St. Mildred, Poultry, in respect
of the 200 faggots given to the poor of that parish.
Francis Tirrell, by his will, (date not known) gave
to the Company 1000 marks (666l. 13s. 4d.) to remain
as a stock in Grocers' Hall, to the intent that the Company should provide with the increase thereof 40
chaldron of coals, whereof 26 to be given at Christmas
to the poor of the parishes of St. Giles, Cripplegate,
St. Sepulchre, St. Olave, Southwark, St. Mary Magdalen,
Bermondsey, and St. Botolph, Aldgate, viz., to St. Mary
Magdalen, Bermondsey, 6 chaldron, and to each of
the other parishes 5 chaldron, and the rest of the coals
for the poor of the Company:—
The Company pay 26l. annually, as follows,
|To the churchwardens of St. Mary Magdalen,
|Do. St. Botolph, Aldgate||5|
|Do. St. Olave, Southwark||5|
|Do. St. Sepulchre||5|
|Do. St. Giles, Cripplegate||5|
Nothing is specifically applied from this Charity to the
poor of the Company. I have elsewhere stated the
magnitude of the distribution to them.
Lady Slaney's Fund for the Purchase of Impropriations.
Dame Margaret Slaney, by her will of the 20th October 1607, gave to the Company 2,000l. to remain a
perpetual stock for purchasing impropriated benefices,
to bestow yearly some competent portion of the profits
thereof in the maintenance of a learned preacher in the
parish, retaining the estate of the benefice in their own
hands until they had again made up the stock of 2,000l.,
and then, under advice of counsel, to disappropriate
the benefice so that the full profits should thenceforth
remain to the parson and his successors, and so to
continue and employ the said 2,000l. for ever in purchasing and disappropriating in manner aforesaid;
provided that the said parsonages or benefices so appropriated should be donative and not presentative, and
be for ever freed from first fruits and tenths, and archbishops' and bishops' fees. And she directed that no
appropriated benefice should be purchased where the
vicarage was worth 80l. a year, and that bonds should
be taken from the ministers appointed, to resign if
they accepted any other benefice, or were non-resident
40 days a year without leave as therein mentioned.
By a covenant entered into with the executrixes of
the testatrix, pursuant to a power in the will, it was
agreed that Christ's Hospital should be allowed 6s. 8d.
per cent. a year on the balance in the Company's hands;
and by the decree of the Commissioners of Charitable
Uses it was ordered that the Company should pay
50s. per cent. a year on the balance in their hands
towards the increase of the stock.
Under a decree of the Court of Chancery of the
4th December 1761, it was declared that it was the best
execution of the Charity that the Company should from
time to time, as the fund would permit, purchase impropriations to which the right of patronage of the
vicarage appertained, which vicarage the said Company
might purchase to the amount of the gross annual sum,
not exceeding 150l. a year, including the annual value
of the said vicarage, and that such impropriation should
be applied for the benefit of the vicar, as the court
should after direct. And he ordered that the Company
(having then in hand a stock far exceeding 2,000l.)
should proceed to find out a purchase or purchases of
such impropriation and patronage of the vicarage, but
so as to retain in their hands at interest a capital sum
of 2,000l. as a future fund, allowing interest for the
same after the rate of 2l. 10s. per cent., the purchases
when found out to be made with the approbation of
The following impropriations have been purchased:—
|1620.||Rectory of North Hill, in the
county of Bedford value||400|
|1663.||Rectory of Allhallows, Steyning
|1762.||Rectory of Bucknall, Shropshire
|1786.||Rectory of Wyburgh, Devonshire
The impropriate tythes belonging to all these benefices
have been united to the respective churches; the
presentation to the livings is vested in the Company.
In 1818 and 1819 the Company expended out of the
fund the sum of 1,180l. in repairing the parsonage at
North Hill, and in 1856 a sum of 1,500l. was advanced
to rebuild the farm buildings in the same grant where
the income is derived from the farms belonging to the
rectory. Sums of money are also frequently contributed
to restorations and improvements of the churches of
The Company have not, however, charged the fund
with these advances, but given it credit for the sum
of 4,102l. 19s. 11d. up to December 1862, upon which
they paid the 6s. 8d. per cent. to Christ's Hospital and
50s. to the fund. They claim, however, the right of
deducting the advances they have thus made for
rebuilding the farms and the parsonage house. (fn. 1)
The amount of the several Loan Charities as set forth
in the Report of the Commissioners of Inquiry (Vol. 6,
p. 280), is as follows:—.
|Sir James Lyon||200|
|Sir Thomas Ramsey||200|
|Sir Robert Napper||100|
|Sir Samuel Wright||50|
In the year 1833 an information was filed by the
Attorney-General v. The Grocers' Company praying
amongst other things that an account might be taken
as against the Company of the sums received by them
upon trusts for making loans to poor freemen of the
Company, and that it might be referred to the Master
to settle a scheme or schemes for the due application of
the same sums.
The case came on for hearing in the year 1835, before
the Vice-Chancellor of England, who dismissed the
information with costs with the following remarks:—
"Though it may be very true that for a long series
of years these Charities have not been called into action,
yet it is not at all certain but that to-morrow there
may be an application to the Company on behalf of the
poor members of the Company for loans out of the
aggregate sum of 4,620l., and the mere circumstance
that there has not heretofore been any application, does
not in my mind constitute any breach of trust with
respect to the persons who are to be the lenders, because
it is apparent there can be no loan unless some persons
can borrow, and the reason the fund has not been
applied is that no person has made any application to
the Company to participate in any loan. Then there is
no breach of trust, and there still is a subsisting charity,
which may be exercised whenever parties may make
application for it. My opinion is that the fund is not
given to charity generally, and the fund is still subsisting as an available fund for the purpose of being
doled out in the shape of loans to young members of
the Company who may apply for it, and who of course
are to take the loans at the discretion of the wardens
and assistants of the Company."
Of the above-mentioned sums, it is stated that from
the loans which could not be recovered the gifts of—
Stephen Abberly, 250l., was lost in 1835.
Thomas Westram or Westran, 100l., lost in 1854.
Thomas Gannel, 50l., lost in 1854.
The remaining sums making together 4,220l. are
still held by the Company applicable to investments
according to the directions of the several donors.
A sum of 200l. has been recently lent to a freeman
of the Company without interest, this is the only sum
at present out on loan.
It is not the habit to give any public notice of the
existence of the fund in the newspapers or in the hall
of the Company, but it is believed that the freemen of
the Company are generally aware of the existence of
the fund and their claims upon it.
All which I submit to the Board.
Inspector of Charities.
15th December 1863.