A History of the County of Cambridge and the Isle of Ely: Volume 4, City of Ely; Ely, N. and S. Witchford and Wisbech Hundreds. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 2002.
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CHARITIES (fn. 1)
Parsons's (c. 1445), Robert Walden's (1605), and Needham's (1730) charities and Howard's preaching charity (1772) are discussed above. (fn. 2) Margaret Walden (1607) left, for the benefit of the poor, two inclosures-one, worth £13 10s. per annum, to Holy Trinity parish; one, worth £6 per annum, to St. Mary's parish, to be administered by the respective churchwardens. John Usher (1626) left a rent charge of 10s. per annum to the churchwardens of Holy Trinity parish, for the use of the parish poor. Thomas Lamb (1654) left land worth £7 3s. per annum to the churchwardens of Holy Trinity, for the use of the parish poor. Anne Bell (1670) left two tenements for two poor widows of Holy Trinity parish, to be administered by the Governors of Parsons's charity. In the same year David Offley gave £2 per annum for the poor of St. Mary's parish. This charity was lost after 1812. Lady Norton (1713) left £50 to the churchwardens of St. Mary's parish, for the use of the poor of that parish. Bishop Laney, in 1674, left valuable lands at Soham, in the hands of feoffees, for the benefit of the poor of Soham and for the apprenticing of Ely children. (fn. 3) Trilton and Cockain (1714) gave a plot and several tenements to be let to poor widows of Holy Trinity parish, at low rentals, the benefaction to be administered by the Governors of Parsons's charity. In the same year Dr. Turner gave interest on £100 to apprentice poor boys of Holy Trinity parish. The charity was lost after 1836. Wm. Cole (1724) left a rent charge of £3 per annum to the churchwardens of Holy Trinity parish: £1 was to go to ten poor widows of the parish; £2 to provide sermons. Samuel Cole (1728) left a rent charge of £5 per annum to the poor of Holy Trinity parish, to be administered by the Governors of Parsons's charity.
Mary Austin (1746) left to the poor of St. Mary's parish lands near Chettisham, worth £6 per annum, to be administered by the Governors of Parsons's charity. Gotobed East (1752) left to the churchwardens of Holy Trinity parish 5 cottages in Newnham, to be occupied by 5 aged widows of the said parish. John Howard (1772) left to the Governors of Parsons's charity, together with the ministers of St. Mary's and Holy Trinity, £400, to supply fuel, clothing, or food to poor inhabitants not receiving public relief. The Revd. Thomas Watkins (fn. 4) left £53 10s. 2d. to the churchwardens of Holy Trinity for aid of the parish poor. Thomas Edge (1814) left to the churchwardens and overseers of Holy Trinity two freehold cottages for the poor to dwell in; also two freehold plots in Cawdle Fen, valued at 21 guineas annually, for aid of the industrious poor of the parish. Elizabeth Morley (1817) left £500 to the churchwardens of the two parishes of Ely, for distribution in sums of 10s. each, to 30 poor persons of Holy Trinity and 20 of St. Mary's parish. Ann Bull (1843) left £350 for small annual distributions to Ely poor. (fn. 5)
Except for Offley's and Turner's charities, all these charities survive, though for the most part now grouped, for administrative purposes, under three bodies of trustees-Parsons's Governors, Thomas's charity, and the Trinity Dole charity. The Dispensary charity, founded in 1867, came to an end under the recent National Health legislation. Two groups of 19thcentury almshouses, replacing earlier ones, are maintained from joint charitable funds: one group is situated at Waterside and the other in St. Mary's Street, on the site of the old Sextry Barn. (fn. 6)