Mr. HARE'S REPORT ON THE VINTNERS' COMPANY.
To the Charity Commissioners for England and
In pursuance of a Minute of the Board of the 29th of
May 1863, I have inquired into the condition and circumstances of the following charities under the management of the Vintners' Company of the City of London,
and I have stated in the report, under the head of each
specific endowment, the result of my investigation:—
This Company is composed of—
Three Wardens, and
Court of Assistants.
The latter is uncertain in numbers, but the quorum is
13. The average number of members is about 20. The
liverymen now on the list are 246, including the members
of the court. There is a privilege of all the free
vintners, vintners by service or patrimony, to sell wine
throughout the Kingdom without a license from the
Board of Inland Revenue or magistrates, under the old
construction of ports and port towns. The number of
freemen, not liverymen, known to the clerk, is 273, and
there may be about 50 more. The title of the Company
is "The Master, Wardens, and Freemen, and Commonalty of the Mystery of Vintners of the City of
Vintners' Almshouses.—Shuldham's Gift.
Guy Shuldham, by his will of the 7th November
1446, gave to the Company lands and tenements in the
parishes of St. Martin, Vintry, and St. James, Garlickhithe, London, on condition that the said Company and
their successors, the great hall, with the kitchen and
house for coals, and a pantry and buttery, and a void
piece of land called the Yard, with the well in the same,
and the apparell to the same well belonging, and also a
parlour above leaded and a house called the countinghouse, being parcels of the said lands with the appurtenances, for ever after his decease, put, convert, and
conserve to the proper use of the said master, wardens,
and commonalty, paying for the same with the money
of the common box, 6s. 8d.
And he directed that the Company should grant the 13
little mansions to 13 poor men or women without rent;
and to let the residue of the said lands and tenements,
and pay to the 13 poor people 4s. 4d. each yearly.
The history of the site of these buildings is dated in
the Report of the Commissioners of Inquiry (vol. 8,
p. 380). A portion of it before the Fire of London seems
to have been appropriated to the Hall of the Company
occupying nearly the site of the present hall at the foot
of Southwark Bridge on the Thames Street side. After
the Fire the premises described as the little mansions,
which were supposed to be only rooms in a large
building, were not reconstructed on the same site but
on a plot of land purchased by the Company, adjoining
the Trinity Almshouses in the Mile End Road. These
almshouses were re-built about 60 years ago, mainly
from a bequest from Mr. Kenton, one of the Company,
and his executors. The almshouses, as described by the
Commissioners of Inquiry, consist of 12 small houses,
six on each of two sides of a square, with a chapel at
the side opposite the entrance. Each house has an
outer door, with a parlour and bed-room on the same
floor, and a cellar or kitchen below.
An information was filed on the 16th December 1833,
which was amended by successive orders of the 29th
July 1834 and the 24th January 1835, and as amended
was by the Attorney-General at the relation of George
Everitt and William Everitt, against the Vintners'
Company, stating the gift by Guy Shuldham, and the
subsequent transactions, and praying that it might
be declared that the said Vintners' Company took
and acquired the lands and tenements devised by
G. Shuldham, except so much as was appropriated to
the use of the Company as a hall or otherwise, the
residue of said lands and tenements distinguished from
so much thereof as then constituted the buildings
therein mentioned and specified. And that the said
Company then held the same, subject to a charitable
trust, and not absolutely to their own use, and that the
said Company, for the time being, in respect of the said
lands so vested in them, were chargeable, not merely
with the obligation of supporting almshouses for
the relief of 13 poor almspeople, and of applying the
yearly sum of 4s. 4d. for the maintenance of each of
such poor, but that they were liable for, and chargeable
with, the whole of the rents of such residue of said
lands and tenements as were applicable to a charitable
The bill also prayed that the Company might be
charged in account with the moneys received from
Mr. Kenton and his executor for the relief of the
almshouses, and might account for the surplus rents,
profits, and receipts on taking the account.
The Company put in their answer to the original and
amended bills, and certain proceedings took place with
reference to the competency of the relators, and orders
were made for the inspection by the relators of the
books and documents of the Company. In January
1836, it was proposed to the Company by Messrs. Yates
and Turner, the solicitors to the relators, that a decree
should be made charging the Company with the
maintenance of the almshouses, "in as ample, effectual,
and beneficial a manner as they were then maintained." This the Company refused to consent to.
In Hilary Term, 1839, a subpœna to rejoin was served,
but no further proceedings were taken, nor was the
information ever dismissed.
The Company charge themselves with 2l. 16s. 4d. a
year in respect of the penny a week with which the
premises are charged.
The almshouses are occupied by 12 women. The
widows of liverymen are preferred to freemen, and
then the widows of freemen, but it was opened to the
widows of freemen in consequence of widows of
liverymen not being sufficient in number. They are
not generally elected under the age of 60.
Each of the almswomen receives as follows:—
|Stipend of 2l. per month, which by an
order of the court of assistants, of
the 11th of June 1863, has been increased to 2l. 5s. per month||27||0||0|
|The Master's Gift (in October)||1||1||0|
|Kenton's Gift (in June)||1||1||0|
|The Consolidated Gift (in July) (mentioned in my report on Gale's
|In lieu of the remains of the dinners
of the Company in July and
|From the poor box (contributed by
persons who are elected on the
court, apprentices taking up freedoms, &c., of which 2l. 2s. are paid
at Midsummer, and 2l. 2s. at
|The matron (who is one of the
almswomen receives, per quarter,
|The chaplain (appointed by the
Company, now a beneficed clergyman in the City, and a minor canon
of St. Paul's). He performs duty
in the chapel on Wednesdays, and
attends the inmates||50||0||0|
This is in addition to water and gas rates which are
paid by the Company.
Benjamin Kenton, who died in 1802, by his will (date
not stated), gave 2,050l. to the Company; a competent
part thereof to be laid out in rebuilding the almshouses,
and directed that what remained should, together with
a further sum of 200l. be placed out at interest and
applied (after deducting 2l. 2s. a year for a sermon)
amongst the poor women of the almshouses.
The whole of the money received in respect of this
bequest was expended in rebuilding the almshouses.
The Company, however, charge themselves with the
annual sum of 12l. 12s., which is divided in 12 equal
sums and given to the 12 almspeople on the day fixed
on for the commemoration of the donor. They also
pay 2l. 2s. a year for a sermon in the parish church of
Stepney, preached by a clergyman named by the
master, usually the rector; the rector receiving the
The same testator gave the Company a sum of
2,000l. for their own use. This money the Company
have voluntarily dedicated to a fund called "The
Decayed Members' Fund."
—Flower gave to the almswomen 5l. a year for a dinner
and 5l. a year for coals. The Company charge themselves with 10l. a year, which is applied to the benefit
of the almspeople, in respect of this gift.
—Tomlinson gave to the almswomen 3l. a year. This
is annually continued to be applied for the almswomen.
Mrs. Gale, by her will (date not known), gave to the
Company 100l. to be lent to two young men at 4l. per
cent., and directed that with part of it two loads of
charcoal should be bought, and the overplus be divided
in August among the almsfolk.
The capital of this fund had not, at the last inquiry,
been lent out for a long period, if ever. An information
was subsequently filed against the Company at the
relation of Thomas Gabriel Bottomley and Hugh
Coppendal, against the Vintners' Charity, stating the
and praying that the charitable bequests aforesaid for
loans and all other, if any, like bequests might be
established, and that the due performances of the said
trusts might be enforced and secured for the future;
and then, if necessary, some proper scheme might be
named for that purpose, and that proper accounts might
be directed to be taken of the aforesaid moneys, and of the
manner in which the same had from time to time been
The Company put in their answer stating that after
diligent inquiries made by their clerk respecting the
said moneys, that all traces of the same appear to have
been lost about the year 1654, but whether such moneys
were lost by inability of persons to whom they were
lent and their sureties to repay the same, or whether
they were mixed up and blended with the general funds
of the Company they were unable to trace, and verily
believed the same could not be traced; but the defendants were willing to admit that the bequests of Gale,
Mallowes, and Hawkins, of 100l., 150l., and 40l. had been
at some time or other mixed up and blended with the
funds of the Company, and though they had no trace of
the 50l. given by Bullock, yet they admitted the same
was received and had been so mixed up and blended.
No further proceedings were taken in the suit.
The sum of 4l. a year is charged by the Company
upon their funds, and forms part of the sum appropriated
for the benefit of the almswomen. It is a portion of
a gift of 5l. 5s. given to each almswoman on the
The sum is made up as follows:—
Richard Jacob, by his will in 1609, charged his lands
in Eastcheap with 13 nobles (4l. 6s. 8d.) yearly for the
poor almspeople. The Company hold the lands in
Eastcheap except a part which has been taken for city
They apply annually this sum with the other sums
for the benefit of the almspeople. (See my report on
Edward Mallowes, by will of the 5th September
1614, gave to the Company 150l. to be lent to three
young men paying for same 5l. a year for the almspeople.
The capital of this gift was included in the information
filed against the Charity and mentioned in my report on
Gale's Gift. It is not in any specific investment. The
sum of 5l. a year is part of the sum of 63l. given to the
almspeople in July. (See my report on Gale's Gift.)
John Pierpoint, by will of the 1st June 1711, gave to
the Company 105l. to pay 12 widows, in the Hospital,
Mile End, 10s. apiece.
The sum is not held in any distinct state of investment,
but the sum of 10s. apiece is paid to the almspeople in
sums of 2s. 6d. per quarter.
Alderman Brackley Kennett, about 1780, gave 52l. 10s.
to the Company to pay 2l. a year to the almswomen.
The sum of 3s. 4d. each is paid the almswomen in July
of each year.
Richard Mervayle, by his will of the 5th April 1437,
gave to the Company lands and tenements in Lombard
Street in pure and perpetual alms to the sustentation and
relief of poor people.
The property possessed by the Company under this
|The freehold messuage and premises, No. 54, on
the north side of Lombard Street, in the parish of
St. Edmund the King, in the City of London.
It has been recently let to Messrs. Barclay and
Co., Bankers, on a building lease for a term of
99 years (under the sanction of the Board of
the 9 June 1863) at a rent of||900|
This is without the land tax which belongs to
the Company, having been redeemed by their own
The rent paid by Messrs. Barclay is 930l.
In consequence of the increase of income of the
Lombard Street property a committee of the Company
has lately presented the following report to the court,
which has been approved.
"The special committee appointed to consider and
recommend to the court what augmentation should be
made to the gifts to the poor of the Company in consequence of the increased rental of the Lombard Street
property beg to report the present payments, viz.:—
8 senior decayed members 30l. each per annum.
8 junior " " 24l. " "
16 widows on the quarterly poor list 12l. 12s. per
8 3rd-class decayed members 12l. 12s. per annum.
26 quarterly poor, of whom 21 are widows and 5
freemen, 6l. 6s. per annum.
"The 12 widows in the almshouses are paid a monthly
allowance of 2l. in addition to various other gifts, making
a total of 40l. 7s. 10d. each per annum, and to the
matron an additional 8l. 8s. per annum, and a liveryman's widow without an almshouse is paid 10s. per
week, making 26l. per annum.
"The amount voted by the court for temporary relief
has been of late very much increased, in addition to
which the court have voted annuities to two ladies
(widows of late members of the court).
"The total given in charity to members of the Company during the last year amounted to 1,620l.
"We, your committee, considering the very great
increase that has taken place in the sums voted for
temporary relief in anticipation of the increased rental,
recommend that at least 200l. thereof should be reserved
for this mode of relief, and if the court should consider
that amount sufficient, we would then recommend that the
permanent allowances should be augmented as follows:
8 senior decayed members 30l. to 36l. per annum.
8 junior " " 24l. to 30l. "
16 widows from 12l. 12s. to 14l. 14s. per annum.
8 3rd-class decayed members 12l. 12s. to 14l. 14s.
26 quarterly poor from 6l. 6s. to 10l. 10s. per annum.
12 almswomen to have an addition of 5s. per month
to their allowance, the income being raised from
40l. 7s. 10d. to 43l. 7s. 10d.
all of which we respectfully submit to the consideration
of the court."
In addition to the periodical payments mentioned in
the foregoing report, there are various sums given
annually by votes of court to casual applicants; these
in the year 1862 were 209l. 10s. This is an increasing
claim upon the Company.
The total of these disbursements under the new
arrangement will be as follows:—
|8 senior decayed members||288||0||0|
|8 jnuior "||240||0||0|
|8 (third class) decayed members||117||12||0|
|26 quarterly poor||273||0||0|
|The almspeopel ( )||397||9||0|
|From this should be deducted the
produce of the special fund called
"The Decayed Members' Fund," of
£8,237 14s. 9d. and
£3,208 0s. 0d. Reduced Annuities
£11,445 14s. 9d.||343||7||5|
The moneys appropriated for the poor of the several
classes above mentioned, and which may be regarded
as paid from Mervayle's Charity, so far as that will
extend, are therefore upwards of 1,200l., being a surplus
of 300l. beyond the income.
In addition to this there are 10 aged widows of
members of the court who receive 60l. a year each, and
the widow of a liveryman who receives 29l. a year.
Stephen Skydmore, by his will of the 20th March
1584, gave all his lands and tenements in Blackfriars to
the Company on trust to pay to each of 17 parishes in
and near the City of London 20s. for fuel in the month
|To St. Stephen, Coleman Street,
parish, for bread||1||12||0|
|To the poor of the Company||1||0||0|
|To the City of Cork||24||0||0|
The Company held the estate in Shoemaker's Row in
Broadway, Blackfriars, in the parish of St. Ann,
They pay the sum of 19l. 12s. a year over to the
churchwardens of the City parishes mentioned in the
devise, and to the Municipality of the City of Cork 24l.
Cuthbert Buckle, by his will of the 20th June 1594,
gave to the Company his lands and tenements in
St. Mary-at-Hill and St. Dunstan-in-the-East parishes.
The Commissioners of Inquiry (volume 8, page 383)
report that this devise had not apparently been accepted
by the Company.
Nothing more is known of it.
Peter Blundell, by his will of the 9th June 1599, gave
to the Company 150l., to purchase lands and pay thereout 40s. to the poor in Bridewell Hospital.
No account is found of any lands having been purchased; 2l. a year is paid to the treasurer of the
Paul Hawkins, by his will of the 21st June 1600,
directed his executrix to pay to the Company 40l., to be
lent to a young man, for the delivery yearly of one load
of good charcoal for the poor of the Company, and 2s.
to the clerk.
This was one of the subjects of the information
mentioned in my report of Gale's Gift. There is no
account of any investment of the capital.
The supposed produce is paid in sums of 3s. 4d. each
to the 12 almswomen in July of every year, forming
part of the 5l. 5s. they then receive.
Richard Jacob, by his will of the 20th May 1609, gave
to the Company all his houses in Eastcheap, to pay
|To the parish of St. Clement Danes||4||0||0|
|To the poor of St. Andrew Hubbard||2||0||0|
|To Bridewell Hospital||3||0||0|
|To Christ's Hospital||2||0||0|
|To Bartholomew's Hospital||2||0||0|
|To St. Thomas' Hospital||3||0||0|
|To the poor almspeople of the Company||4||6||8|
The property held by the Company under this devise
has been referred to in my report of this donor as part
of the Almshouses Charities.
The foregoing additional charges are paid to the
churchwardens of the several parishes and treasurers of
Thomas Bullock, by his will of the 18th February
1632, gave to the Company 50l. to be lent to young men;
they paying 20s. yearly for the relief of poor members
of the Company.
This part of the subject of the suit is mentioned under
Gale's Gift. There is no account of the investment of
the fund. The 20s. a year is added to the distribution
to the poor, and returned in the accounts of the Company with Mervayle's Gift.
Thomas Cox, by his will (date not known), gave to the
Company 50l., to distribute 50s. to poor widows.
The sum of 2l. 10s. is added in the Company's account
to Mervayle's Gift, and may be considered as included
in what is given by the Company to their poor, which
far exceeds the produce of the Charity Estates.
Mrs. Winifred Young gave to the Company 50l. for
The sum of 3l. a year in respect of this donation is
returned with Mervayle's Charity, as given to the poor,
and it may be regarded as forming part of the surplus
of the gift disposed of.
Richard Stowell gave to the Company 20l.; the interest
to be paid to their poor. The Company account for 1l. a
year as supposed to be derived from this source.
The Company give to the poor far more than the
produce of the estates.
Thomas Bateman, in 1817, gave to the Company 100l.
3 per cent. Reduced Annuities; the dividends to be paid
to decayed members thereof.
This forms part of the sum of 8,237l. 14s. 9d. 3 per
cent. Reduced Annuities, set apart for the benefit of
decayed members. (See Mervayle's Gift.)
At a special court of assistants of the Company held
on the 4th July 1839, the renter warden reported that
Mr. Alderman Lucas, then master of the Company for
the second time, had paid into the hands of the renter
warden 500l.; the interest to be annually distributed
to the almswomen inmates of the almshouses. It was
resolved that the said 500l. should be invested and
kept separate from the said charity funds of the
Company, by the title of Alderman Lucas' Gift, that
so great an act of beneficence might be held in
perpetual remembrance by the members of the
This money was invested in the purchase of 604l. 8s.
New 2½ per cent. Annuities, which stands in the
corporate name of the Company.
The dividend, amounting to 15l. 2s. 2d. a year, is
divided equally amongst the 12 almswomen in the
Mile End Almshouses.
John Henry Peacock, by his will of the 14th May 1849,
gave to the Company 500l., and directed the dividends
thereof for ever, to be paid and applied to and for the
use and benefit of the widows of decayed liverymen,
inhabitants of the almshouses at Mile End, belonging
to the said Company, at such times and in such proportions and manner as the trustees or other officers for
the time being of the said almshouses should see fit.
This money was invested in the purchase of
522l. 3s. 10d. New South Sea Annuities, since
converted into 574l. 8s. 3d. New 2½ per cents.
The dividend, amounting to 14l. 7s. 2d. a year, is
equally divided amongst the widows in the Mile End
Decayed Members' Fund.
This fund is composed of a gift of 2,000l. by
Mr. Kenton (as stated in the report on his Charity) for
the use of the Company, but which was applied by
them to the benefit of the decayed members to which
various subsequent donations of other members have
been added, the respective names and amounts of which
will appear in the annexed table.
The total sum now consists of 8,237l. 14s. 9d. Reduced
3l. per cent. Annuities.
A further sum of 3,208l. like stock, arising from the
balances of the poor box, has been also considered as
belonging to the above fund.
The dividends are distributed at the discretion of the
court of the Company for the benefit of the class
indicated by its title.
All which I submit to the Board.
Inspector of Charities.
15th December 1863.
Decayed Members' Fund.
(3 per cent. Reduced Annuities.)
|1808.||A legacy of Benjamin Kenton, Esq.,
of 2,000l. produced in stock||3,383||6||8|
|1817.||The gift of Thomas Bateman, Esq.
(the father of the Company)||100||0||0|
|1823.||John Leach, Esq. (a member of
the court of assistants), a legacy
|1835.||William Harrison, Esq. (a member
of the court of assistants), a legacy
|1841.||George Fournier, Esq. (a liveryman), a legacy of 200l.||202||5||0|
|1847.||Edward Laforest, Esq. (a liveryman), a gift of fifty guineas||58||16||6|
|1849.||John Kaye, Esq., a member of the
court of assistants (High Sheriff
of Bucks), a gift of 100 guineas||112||6||3|
|1849.||Robert Gray, Esq. (a member of
the court of assistants), a gift of
|1859.||A gift of two hundred and five
|Quarterage invested from time to