A History of the County of Bedford: Volume 3. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1912.
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The Bedford Charity or the Harpur Trust.
See article on the Bedford Schools. (fn. 1)
The Dame Alice Almshouses consist of forty-five almshouses for aged couples in Dame Alice Street, and are maintained out of the income of the Harpur Trust. The portions of the Trust reserved for eleemosynary purposes by an order of the Charity Commissioners, 20 July 1906, are defined to be the site and building of the existing almshouses, and a yearly sum of £2,000, less the excess of that sum over one-eleventh part of the net income of the charity, together with the amount necessary to keep in repair the tomb and monument in St. Paul's Church, Bedford, to the memory of Sir William Harpur and Dame Alice his wife.
In 1909 the amount applied for the benefit of the almshouses was £1,203 14s. 8d., of which £1,000 14s. was paid to the pensioners, £64 16s. 10d. for rates and insurance, £97 15s. 10d. for repairs, £40 18s. miscellaneous items, and there was a balance in favour of the account at date of £2,738 12s.
The Hospital of St. John the Baptist (fn. 2) is regulated by a scheme confirmed by the St. John's Hospital, Bedford, Act, 1881. The hospital is endowed with houses, shops and cottages, mostly in the parish of St. John, and 280 acres or thereabouts, the greater part situated in the parishes of Blunham and Lavendon, of the rental value of £1,450, and a sum of £20,780 8s. 1d. consols held by the official trustees on general capital account, producing £519 10s. a year, arising for the most part from sales of land.
In 1909 there was paid out of the net income £350, a year's stipend to the rector of St. John's, £100 8s. in donations, £826 3s. 4d. in pensions, £60 in contributions of £5 each, and £45 in exhibitions.
Thomas Hawes, will, 16 December 1629, trust property sale yard in Horne Lane, let on lease for £100 a year, quit-rent of £1 10s., issuing out of part of road in Horne Lane, and 5s. as an easement (lights over the sale yard); also £160 11s. 6d. consols, producing £4 a year. Under scheme of Charity Commissioners, 7 November 1902, the income is made applicable in pensions of not less than 5s. a week for poor persons of good character who have resided in the borough not less than five years (with a preference for natives) and not in receipt of Poor Law relief, who from age, ill-health, accident, or infirmity are unable to maintain themselves by their own exertions.
Charity of Ann Collins, will, 22 March 1682, consisting of a rent-charge of £30, less deduction of £6 for land tax, issuing out of a farm at Covington belonging to Earl Fitzwilliam, applicable for ten poor widows equally. The sums of stock are held by the official trustees. Scheme 7 November 1902.
Thomas Hawes, will, 1 January 1619, trust property £967 0s. 8d. consols, arising from investment of proceeds of sale of old almshouses, and £44 4s. 2d. like stock, representing a legacy of £45, less duty, under will of John Peers, and a yearly sum of £5 14s. paid by the corporation.
The sums of stock are held by the official trustees. The annual income, amounting to £30 19s. 4d., is, in accordance with a scheme of the Charity Commissioners, 14 December 1897, entitled 'The Municipal (Church) Charities,' applied in the maintenance of two pensioners not in receipt of Poor Law relief, who receive from 5s. to 6s. a week each.
Alderman Newton of Leicester, by deed 15 March 1760, charged certain premises in that town with £26 a year, which was formerly received by the corporation of Bedford and applied for educational purposes. It is now merged in the general scheme for the Bedford schools.
William Nichol, will, 17 June 1707, trust estate, 31a. 2r. in Thurleigh, allotted on inclosure in that parish in 1806, now let at £20 a year, of which £5 is payable to the minister and the remainder in distribution of bread to the poor.
Mrs. Mary Baynes, will, proved in the archdeaconry of Bedford, 23 February 1730–1. Trust property, 72a. in Stagsden, allotted on the inclosure in that parish in 1811, let at £54 a year, and £1,265 15s. 5d. India 3 per cent. stock (see below), arising from sale in 1901 of 5a. 2r. in Eastcotts, in Cardington. The income is applicable as to £5 for the minister, £5 to the minister of some one other dissenting congregation in Bedford, and the remainder among necessitous persons, and at the discretion of the trustees in education.
Mrs. Martha Furness (wife of Richard Furness), by will, 21 November 1794, bequeathed £400 Old Southsea Annuities, the income to be applied for poor of congregation, who should for a constancy attend divine worship and take the sacrament. The legacy, less duty, came to be represented by £385 2s. 9d. consols, vested in 1886 in the official trustees.
The sum of £180 received in respect of the legacy, less duty, was applied as to £130 towards the expenses of the inclosure of the land in Stagsden, belonging to Mary Baynes' charity, and the balance of £50 together with £150 derived under the will of Richard Furness, 20 August 1801, was applied in the purchase of a cottage and 3a. 20p. in the parish of Cople. In 1895 this property was sold and the proceeds invested in Croydon Corporation stock (see below).
Mrs. Elizabeth Priest, by will, 5 May 1784, bequeathed £400 consols for providing £4 a year for minister of the Old Meeting House, £1 for widow of minister and £1 for poor, and £4 for minister at Cotton End and £1 for widow of minister there, and £1 for poor of meeting at Cotton End.
Samuel Whitbread, by will, 13 July 1795, bequeathed to the trustees, out of respect to the memory of John Bunyan, £500 to be laid out in consols, income to be applied in giving bread to the poor in quartern loaves every Sabbath morning from October to May. In 1886 the sum of £980 consols, representing the amount of the stock purchasable at the date of the bequest, became vested in the official trustees.
Edward Wells, by will, bequeathed £500 to be invested in government security, and after the decease of his wife (which event happened in 1806) the dividends to be applied in the distribution of bread. In 1886 the sum of £750 consols representing the legacy became vested in the official trustees, and is now with other funds above referred to included in some one or other of the securities mentioned below.
Richard Graham, who died in or about 1809, bequeathed £100 to form a fund for the relief of widow of officiating minister. The fund was accumulated for many years. In 1886 the fund amounted to £652 3s. consols vested in the official trustees, and is now represented by Croydon Corporation stock (see below).
The trustees also hold a house in Mill Street, used as the Bunyan Institute, producing £30 a year, and cottages in Stagsden purchased in 1896, let on weekly rents producing £4 2s. a year, and a house known as 46 De Pary's Avenue, purchased in 1897 for £1,800 as a minister's house, out of the proceeds of sale of The Manse in Dame Alice Street referred to below.
£3,310 8s. Midland Railway 2½ per cent. stock, treated as a general fund, and £414 8s. like railway stock, treated as a repair fund arising from the investment of the balance of proceeds of sale in 1897 for £5,500 of The Manse in Dame Alice Street (see above).
The accounts for 1909 show that out of the net income a sum of £130 was paid to the minister, £57 14s. applied in the distribution of bread, £62 15s. in grants to sick and infirm, and £23 12s. 9d. paid to widow of minister fund.
The official trustees also hold a sum of £2,027 16s. 7d. India 3 per cent. stock, annual dividends £60 16s. 8d., arising from the sale in 1901 of No. 23 St. Peter's Street, formerly used as a residence for pastor of the congregation of Protestant Dissenters. The charity is regulated by a scheme of the Charity Commissioners of 17 May 1901.
Particular Baptist chapel founded by deeds, 1833 and 1879, is endowed with a house of the rental value of £15, and with £500 consols bequeathed by a codicil to will of Elizabeth Stewart, proved at London, 14 May 1849. The old chapel was sold in 1894, and the proceeds of sale applied with the authority of the Charity Commissioners towards the cost of the new chapel.
St. Cuthbert's Parish:—Church Estate.—This parish has been in the possession of three houses in Newnham Street from time immemorial, the rents of which are applied in repairs, &c., of the church. The official trustees also hold a sum of £605 3s. 9d. consols, representing a moiety of the proceeds of sale in 1903 of land and buildings in St. Cuthbert Street, in which this parish and St. Paul's were jointly interested, and the rector and churchwardens hold a sum of £129 7s. 8d. consols, arising from sale in 1889 of two cottages in River Crescent. The income, amounting in the aggregate to £70 17s., is applied towards the church expenses.
St. John's Parish.
In 1716 Robert Welbourne, by will dated 31 August, devised 3a. 2r. 22p., known as Burgend Close, in the parish of Barton, the rents and profits to be distributed yearly on New Year's Day amongst the poor. The yearly income of £6 is duly applied.
The Church Estate consists of a house and garden opposite the west end of St. John's Church, stated in the benefaction table to be appropriated towards the repairs of the church. The rental value is about £10 a year, of which £2 is allowed to the parish clerk.
St. Mary's Parish.
Thomas Christie, by his will, 10 May 1697, directed (inter alia) that 52s. a year should be applied in the purchase of bread for distribution every Sunday morning among thirteen of the poorest inhabitants of the parish, who by reason of age and infirmities should be unable to work.
Thomas Hawes, by deed dated 28 July 1688, gave £150 upon trust to be laid out in the purchase of lands, the rents whereof he directed to be applied to the use of the poor of this parish and St. Paul's in bread in the proportion of one-third and two-thirds respectively. The endowment now consists of £2,199 11s. 9d. consols with the official trustees, arising from the sale in 1864 of 6a. 2r. which under the Inclosure Act of 35 Geo. III had been awarded to the then trustees of the charity in lieu of land in Trumpington Meadow originally purchased. The sum of £18 6s. 6d., being one-third of the dividends, is duly applied in the distribution of bread on St. Thomas' Day.
St. Paul's Parish.
In 1606 Thomas Paradine, by deed dated 19 November, charged certain property at Broken Wharf in the city of London with an annuity of £5, of which 48s. was directed to be paid to the vicar of St. Paul's for preaching eight sermons upon the feast days in the deed mentioned, the remainder to be distributed every Sabbath Day among the poor and needy in bread.
In 1627 Jonas Andrews, by will dated 3 February, gave 20s. a year for the use of the poor at Lady Day. The annuity is received from the borough fund and distributed in sums of 6d. among forty poor widows.
In 1658 Sarah Paradine, by will dated 21 August, bequeathed £50 as a stock to set the poor on work. The trust property now consists of 5a. 3r. in the parish of St. Peter of the rental value of £24, allotted under the Inclosure Act of 1795 in lieu of land originally purchased. The income is carried to the account of the poor's rate.
In 1720 the Rev. Robert Bamford, by will dated 24 October, gave £5 a year for apprenticing a boy or girl of this parish or of St. Peter's, also 40s. a year to the poor of this parish and 20s. a year to the poor of St. Peter's. The sum of £8 a year is duly received and applied.
Charity of Thomas Hawes (see under parish of St. Mary).
In 1697 Thomas Christie, by will dated 10 May, founded almshouses for eight poor unmarried persons, to each of whom should be paid 1s. a week, which the testator charged upon the rectorial tithes of St. Paul, together with 52s. a year for bread for poor of St. Paul's and 52s. a year for bread for poor of St. Mary's.
The testator further directed that the residue of the clear profits of the said rectory should be paid to the vicar of St. Paul's for the time being. The trust properties now consist of 60a. or thereabouts in the parish of St. Paul allotted under an Inclosure Act of 35 Geo. III in lieu of the rectorial tithes of the parish of St. Paul and £1,743 11s. 6d. consols held by the official trustees, arising from sale of land in Clapham Road, Bedford.
In 1909 the net income, amounting to £226 9s., was applied as follows:—£20 16s. for providing 1s. a week to each of the eight poor women in the almshouses, £5 4s. for loaves for the poor, £10 for repairs to the chancel and the residue £190 0s. 9d. to the vicar.
In 1735 Mrs. Martha Leith by deed in confirmation of the will of her husband, the Rev. Alexander Leith, settled certain lands in Cardington and Great Barford upon charitable uses. The endowment consists of 14a. or thereabouts with buildings thereon at Harrowden in Cardington, allotted on the inclosure in 1802 in lieu of the open field-land in Cardington mentioned in the deed and 19a. 2r. in Great Barford allotted in or about 1821 on the inclosure in that parish, producing an income of about £50 a year. The charity is regulated by a scheme of the Charity Commissioners whereby the income—subject to a yearly payment of 40s. to the vicar for sermons on certain days—is made applicable in prizes to children in public elementary schools, in aid of provident clothing clubs for benefit of poor children and in maintenance of evening classes in the proportion of two-thirds to St. Paul's parish and one-third to St. Cuthbert's.
The Church Estate Trust is endowed with two cottages in Castle Hill, two houses in Mill Street and two houses in Midland Road, rental value £129 15s. a year, also a sum of £605 3s. 9d. consols held by the official trustees, representing a moiety of the proceeds of sale in 1903 of land and buildings in St. Cuthbert Street, in which this parish and St. Cuthbert's were jointly interested, producing £15 2s. 4d. in annual dividends. The net income is applied in repairs of church.
Samuel Cooper, by will proved at London 1 July 1861, bequeathed £50 consols, now represented with accumulations by £53 13s. 8d. consols, producing £1 6s. 8d. a year to be applied by vicar in rewards to twenty poor children of the Church of England for the best answers to questions on the Catechism.
St. Peter's Parish.
This parish is in possession of the following properties, namely, No. 8 Tavistock Street, let at £40 a year, gateway, &c., 22 St. Peter's Street, let at £10 a year and ground rents of £3 and £3 of Nos. 10 and 12 Kimbolton Road, the income being applicable in repairing and beautifying the church.
The officials also hold a sum of £1,890 4s. 10d. consols, producing £47 5s. a year, arising from the sale in 1907 of land and buildings in St. Peter Merton, and a further sum of consols in course of accumulation amounting in May 1910 to £196 12s. 6d.