A History of the County of Essex: Volume 10, Lexden Hundred (Part) Including Dedham, Earls Colne and Wivenhoe. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 2001.
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CHARITIES FOR THE POOR.
By 1786 the rent of £1 a year from Camping close was being used for the poor. (fn. 3) In 1836 the £2 10s. rent from the field was applied to the poor rate; by 1877 the rent was used to support the National school. (fn. 4) The rents from three allotments of land on Boxted heath, totalling 4 a. in Betty Potter's field and 1 a. in Gravel Pit field, granted to the churchwardens and surveyors in 1815, were by 1881 used to support the National school. A Charity Commission Scheme of 1896 allowed the income from Camping close and 2½ a. in Betty Potter's field and 1 a. in Gravel Pit field to be used for recreational purposes under the trusteeship of the parish council. Gravel Pit field was sold in 1917 and Betty Potter's field in 1919 and the proceeds were invested. (fn. 5) In 1947 dividends of c. £4 a year were used to support the poor. (fn. 6) In 1961, Camping close was sold to the Essex Education Committee for £200 which sum was also invested. (fn. 7)
Robert Gilder, by deed of 1633, gave two cottages on Chapel Lane, an adjacent 2-a. field, and ½ a. of wood for the use of poor widows. By will dated 1663, he vested three cottages and the same land in the churchwardens and overseers of the parish. In 1684 there were two houses for two widows. (fn. 8) In 1837 the cottages were occupied by poor people, and the rent of the land, called Widows' field, was applied to the poor rate. (fn. 9) The cottages had apparently been demolished by 1887. The rent of the field in 1894 was £5, from which 11 widows each received 5s. The ½ a. of woodland had been lost by 1913. In 1956 the remaining land was sold for £160 which was invested for the charity. (fn. 10)
Before 1730 there were two apparently unen- dowed almshouses by the churchyard, perhaps the house hired for the poor in 1770. (fn. 11) In 1838 the almshouses were held by the parish officers and between 1845 and 1937 they generally housed two poor people, although six occupied them in 1855 and 1866. In 1906 they were in poor condition, but residents paid 1s. a week towards their upkeep after repairs in 1912. There was only one occupant in 1952 and the house, St. Peter's, was sold for £45 in 1953, demolished, and rebuilt in brick. The proceeds were apparently invested. (fn. 12)
The income from all of the above charities had been amalgamated in a single church charities account by 1998. (fn. 13)