A History of the County of Stafford: Volume 14, Lichfield. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1990.
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CHARITIES FOR THE POOR
By the 19th century Lichfield was plentifully endowed with charities. They were in general carefully preserved, and those that had been endowed with land had extended their activities as their incomes grew. Trustees' motives in adding to the number of beneficiaries were not always altruistic. Charity money bought parliamentary votes in the 18th century, (fn. 1) and in the early 1840s the Tory trustees of Lowe's Charity and the Radical trustees of the Lichfield Municipal Charities apparently used the distribution of charities for party purposes. (fn. 2) Nevertheless, the Charity Commissioners who visited Lichfield in 1821 found little to criticize, and in 1828 the city's record was compared favourably with that of other places where augmented charity revenues had led to corruption and embezzlement. (fn. 3)
By the 1860s, however, there were complaints that there were too many charities and that the traditional distributions of food, cash, and clothing were having a degrading effect on the poor. In 1865 T. H. Green found Lichfield 'the great seat of superfluous charities' in Staffordshire; the £600 a year said to be handed out in doles and gratuities encouraged idleness in 'an ill-conditioned surplus population'. (fn. 4) An inspector at an inquiry into the city's charities in 1868 was shocked to hear that in St. Mary's parish, containing 1,200 householders, 600 or 700 women applied each year to a clothing charity. (fn. 5) In 1885 the mayor claimed that a scheme to relieve distress by offering work on the roads at 2s. 6d. a day, more than was paid in other Midland towns, had been met with curses by the unemployed, who expected to be given charity. A Charity Commission inquiry into the Municipal Charities in 1888 heard calls for fewer doles, a greater emphasis on medical and educational provision, and popular representation on the trust. A Scheme of 1891 followed those lines. (fn. 6) Further modifications have since been made.
The local agitation of the 1880s also led to the formation in 1889 of a Lichfield branch of the Charity Organization Society. It opened an office in Dam Street, where it remained in the 1940s. In 1940 it established there a citizens' advice bureau for the Lichfield area. (fn. 7)
ALMSHOUSES AND ALMSHOUSE CHARITIES.
St. John's Hospital.
The men's almshouse in St. John Street known until 1989 as St. John's hospital was founded as a hospital, probably in the earlier 12th century. By the later 15th century it was an almshouse, and it was reestablished and re-endowed as such in 1495 and 1496. Its institutional and architectural history to 1970 are treated in another volume; (fn. 8) the history of its chapel as a place of public worship is treated above. (fn. 9) In 1981 its trustees opened an almshouse in the Close on the site of the former theological college. The building included five flats for married couples and seven for single men, a common room, and a guest room. The new almshouse was called the hospital of St. John the Baptist within the Close, and the master of St. John's hospital was given the pastoral care of the almsfolk. (fn. 10) In 1989 the trustees decided that the word 'hospital' might cause confusion, and that in future the St. John Street building would be known as St. John's without the Bars. The building of 1981 was already known simply as St. John's within the Close. (fn. 11)
Dr. Milley's Hospital.
The women's almshouse in Beacon Street, known until the 19th century as the women's hospital and since then as Dr. Milley's hospital, was established probably in 1424 or shortly afterwards; it was reendowed, and probably rebuilt, in 1502–4 by Thomas Milley, a canon of the cathedral. Its institutional and architectural history to 1970 are treated in another volume. (fn. 12) In 1985–7 the building was restored, modernized, and extended; the number of flats was increased from 8 to 10, and a common room was added. (fn. 13)
William Lunn's Homes, formerly Lunn's Almshouses. In 1654 William Lunn gave two houses in Stowe Street as almshouses for six poor widows, with 2 a. in Long Furlong as endowment. (fn. 14) The charity may not have become effective until 1667, when Edward Lunn conveyed the property in trust. (fn. 15) By 1762 the trustees were under the supervision of the city bailiffs. The almshouses then comprised six two-roomed cottages with gardens. In 1868 the almswomen were given clothes by the trustees and most of them received from the parish each week 1s. or 1s. 6d. and a loaf. (fn. 16) The charity was administered with the Municipal Charities from 1899 and was merged with them in 1908. In 1959 the almshouses were replaced on the same site by a terrace of six old people's bungalows known as William Lunn's Homes. Three more bungalows were opened on the site in 1982, and another four in 1985. (fn. 17)
Newton's College, the charitable foundation of Andrew Newton in the Close, is treated above. (fn. 18)
The Revd. George Buckeridge (d. 1863), master of St. John's hospital, gave T. A. Bangham, incumbent of Christ Church, two adjacent cottages in Lower Sandford Street to be used as parish almshouses. The transaction was informal, and although Buckeridge's heirs did not contest the gift, they did not formally renounce their rights in the property. Bangham collected money to establish an endowment fund for the almshouses, which he intended should be named after Richard Hinckley, his church's principal benefactor, but he died in 1876 with the project unrealized. He and his successors chose as tenants aged parishioners charged nominal rents in accordance with Buckeridge's wishes. By 1908 the cottages had become uninhabitable, and the vicar sold them. The money received was invested, and the income from what was known as the Buckeridge Bequest was used for charitable purposes among Anglicans in the parish. (fn. 19)
John Fecknam or Feckenham (d. 1585), innkeeper and twice senior bailiff, gave by will the reversion of 21 a. in Lichfield to augment the income of St. John's and Dr. Milley's. Each received £14 in 1786, £37 16s. a year from 1827 to 1835, and £99.22 in 1988. (fn. 22)
Saturford's (later Wightwick's) Charity.
By will dated 1586 George Saturford bequeathed his leases and the income from them to St. John's and Dr. Milley's, with Dr. Milley's to be given preference. His executor, Matthew Wightwick, later stated that the leases had been valued at £50 and instructed his own executor, Alexander Wightwick, to give that sum to the almsfolk. Instead Alexander and his descendants kept the money and paid £1 16s. a year to Dr. Milley's and £1 4s. a year to St. John's. In 1815 John Wightwick gave the £50 and a £10 donation to the feoffees of Dr. Milley's, who used the £60 as capital and paid £1 4s. a year to St. John's as Wightwick's Charity. The payment was redeemed in 1983. (fn. 23)
Charities of Walton, Salt, Allen, and Cressett.
The corporation was apparently obliged to pay the interest on Jane Walton's £20 loan charity (1572) to the almswomen of Dr. Milley's and the interest on Walter Salt's £30 loan charity (1599) to the inmates of Dr. Milley's and St. John's. By the late 1650s it paid 30s. a year to Dr. Milley's as Walton's Charity and 24s. to each almshouse as Salt's Charity. (fn. 24) By deed or will of 1604 Anne Allen gave the corporation £15 to provide annual payments of 9s. to Dr. Milley's and 9s. to other poor widows. In the late 1650s the corporation instead paid 5s. to Dr. Milley's, 4s. to St. John's, and 9s. to other poor. (fn. 25) In 1692 it paid £5 to Dr. Milley's as the interest on Mr. Cressett's £100, an otherwise unknown benefaction. By the early 19th century it was making annual payments of £9 4s. to Dr. Milley's and £1 8s. to St. John's, evidently including the four charities. (fn. 26)
St. John's hospital also benefited under Phoebe Simpson's Charity. (fn. 27)
BENEFACTIONS ASSOCIATED WITH CATHEDRAL CHANTRIES AND OBITS.
The ordination of some chantries and obits in the cathedral provided for annual distributions of money or food to the poor, evidently of Lichfield: (fn. 28) Bishop Muschamp (d. 1208), 6s. 8d., later history unknown; (fn. 29) Dean Mancetter (d. 1254), 20s. in bread, still distributed in 1535 but in memory of Master Peter of Radnor; (fn. 30) Dean Mancetter, a further 20s. in bread or other food, still distributed in 1548; (fn. 31) William de Burton (will dated 1268), prebendary of Gaia Major, 6s. to the most needy, paid until the late 1320s, revived in 1338, later history unknown; (fn. 32) Canon Nicholas de Lega (d. 1268), acknowledged in mid 14th century to include provision for annual distribution to poor, details and later history unknown; (fn. 33) Master Ralph de Chaddesden, cathedral treasurer, established in 1276, 20s., still paid in 1347; (fn. 34) Master Peter of Radnor, cathedral chancellor, established in 1277, 12s. in bread, still distributed in 1548; (fn. 35) chantry at St. Nicholas's altar established by Bishop Langton in 1319, details unknown, 3d. distributed in 1548; (fn. 36) Master William de Bosco, cathedral chancellor, established in 1325, 7s. in bread, peas, or beans, still distributed in 1535; (fn. 37) Master John de Kynardessey (d. 1332 or 1333), prebendary of Eccleshall, details unknown, 1s. 4d. given to almsfolk in 1548; (fn. 38) Roger le Mareschall, prebendary of Dernford, established in 1335, 10s., later history unknown; (fn. 39) John Colman and Margery his wife, details unknown, probably mid 15th century, 3s. 4d. distributed annually 1538–48; (fn. 40) chantry of Jesus and St. Anne established by Dean Heywood in 1468, dole to 12 men, probably still distributed in 1548; (fn. 41) John Meneley, prebendary of Offley 1452–80, details unknown, 5s. 10d. to almswomen in 1504, 4s. to the poor and the Lichfield Franciscans in 1535. (fn. 42)
Dean Yotton (d. 1512) stipulated that the priest of his chantry should be a graduate in civil law or divinity; if the former he was to give free legal aid to poor people brought before the bishop's consistory court, if the latter he was to preach four times a year without charge in nearby churches. The only recorded priest had degrees in both subjects. (fn. 43)
Only one obit charity survived the Reformation, that of Bishop Meuland. In 1265 he arranged that when he died one third (£6 13s. 4d.) of a pension which he had acquired for the cathedral from the church of Wigan (Lancs.) should be used each year to endow his obit. Of that £6 13s. 4d. the sacrist was to distribute £3 6s. 8d. in bread to the poor after the service. Meuland died in 1295, and the bread dole existed c. 1300. By 1535 the sacrist was distributing it on St. Thomas's day (21 December). (fn. 44) In the early 18th century the dole was apparently still worth £3 6s. 8d. By 1878, however, only £1 was being spent on bread, which was distributed annually among all householders in the Close on St. Thomas's day as St. Thomas's Dole. (fn. 45) The pension was commuted in 1958. (fn. 46) By then the origins of the dole had been forgotten. The distribution continued: the head verger bought bread rolls on St. Thomas's day and delivered them to all the houses in the Close. In the early 1970s the tradition was brought to an end. The charity was revived in 1988: after a service in the cathedral on 21 December the congregation was given bread rolls in the Close refectory. (fn. 47)
Loan Chests. (fn. 48)
Under the will of John Harewood (d. 1389), prebendary of Gaia Minor, (fn. 49) his executors established a £20 fund for the poor of Lichfield. By the 1450s the money was kept in St. Mary's church. In 1457, under the will of Master George Radcliffe, treasurer of the cathedral 1435–49 and archdeacon of Chester 1449–54, (fn. 50) his executors added £20 to the fund. Harewood's money was kept in a chest known variously as Our Lady's alms chest and Harewood's coffer. Radcliffe's bequest was put into another chest in St. Mary's known as Radcliffe's coffer. The rules for Harewood's coffer have not survived. Radcliffe's beneficiaries, who were to be poor men living in the city and its suburbs, were to receive interest-free loans of up to 20s. for up to six months and had to leave in the chest pledges made of metal and worth at least 3s. 4d. more than the sum borrowed. A pledge not redeemed within six months was to be sold and the amount of the loan was to be returned to the coffer. If the sale realized more than the amount of the loan half the surplus was to go to the defaulting borrower and half to augment the capital of the charity. The master of the guild of St. Mary and St. John the Baptist, the cathedral sacrist, the chapelwarden of St. Mary's, and a priest chosen by the guild each had a key to one of the coffer's four locks. The rules were similar to those for loan chests at Oxford and Cambridge; the coffer was one of the few medieval loan chests in England outside the two universities. (fn. 51) In 1485 Dean Heywood found that only £13 remained in the two Lichfield chests. He recovered £20, gave £7 himself, had the entire £40 placed in Radcliffe's coffer, and in 1486 stipulated a strict observance of Harewood's and Radcliffe's rules and careful supervision by the guild. The later history of the charity is unknown.
Corporation Loan Charities.
In the later 16th and earlier 17th century the corporation administered various charities designed or adapted to provide interest-free or low-interest loans, any interest being distributed among the poor. Most loan charities seem to have been lost or absorbed into general corporation funds in the mid 17th century. Unless otherwise stated, all that is known is the name of the benefactor and the amount of the gift. (fn. 52)
Richard Skeffington, probably Sir Richard (d. 1647), second son of Sir William Skeffington, Bt., of Fisherwick, gave £80, all or some of which remained in 1658. (fn. 53)
Richard Caldwell (d. 1584), a London physician and a native of Staffordshire, gave £40 in 1582, to be lent interest-free for five-year periods to eight residents of Lichfield. Nothing is known of the charity after c. 1620, and it had been lost by 1690. Caldwell's similar charity for Burton upon Trent, supervised by the Lichfield bailiffs, was extant in the 1660s. (fn. 54)
Jane Walton gave £20 in 1572, the interest to be paid to the almswomen of Dr. Milley's hospital. By the late 1650s the capital apparently formed part of the corporation's general funds, and loans had ceased. (fn. 55)
Walter Salt left £30 in reversion to be lent for three-year periods to three inhabitants of Lichfield. The bailiffs were to pay 54s. a year interest to the almsfolk of Dr. Milley's and St. John's from the time of Salt's death. By the late 1650s the capital apparently formed part of the corporation's general funds, and loans had ceased. (fn. 56)
John Burnes, probably the upholsterer who was three times senior bailiff and died in 1600, gave £10, to be lent for three-year periods to poor tradesmen. It had been lost by 1690. (fn. 57)
At unknown dates Richard Blount gave £3 or £10, all or some of which remained in 1658; (fn. 58) a person called Needeman gave £6 13d. 4d.; a Mr. (fn. 59) or Mrs. Howard gave £30; Robert Ball gave £12, of which £4 was distributed to the poor; the corporation gave £33 4s.
The Virginia Lottery Money, evidently a prize won in one of the lotteries run by the Virginia Company between 1612 and 1621, provided £25. (fn. 60)
John Utting, probably the John Utting who gave property to St. Mary's church in 1615, (fn. 61) gave £26 13s. 4d.
Walter Wrottesley, who gave £150 and later added £50 more, was presumably Walter Wrottesley (d. 1630), squire of Wrottesley, in Tettenhall, whose first wife inherited lands in and around Lichfield. (fn. 62) In 1630 the corporation lent the £200 for six months to Sir Walter Heveningham (d. 1636) of Pipe Hall, in Burntwood. It had been lost by 1690. (fn. 63)
William Sale, residentiary canon of the cathedral and former master of St. John's hospital, by will proved 1588 bequeathed £20 to provide £5 loans for four-year periods to four poor artificers, interest-free. (fn. 64)
William Hawkes, by will dated 1631, endowed three charities. One bequest, of £40 to the poor, was evidently used for loans. It had been lost by 1690. (fn. 65)
Sir John King, who died in the Close in 1637, bequeathed £20 to the corporation for the poor. (fn. 66) The money was evidently used for loans.
The Charities of the Biddulph Family.
By deed of 1579 confirmed by will proved 1580 Simon Biddulph of Lichfield settled £40 in trust to provide £6 13s. 4d. loans to six Lichfield tradesmen. His trustees were still granting loans in 1631. (fn. 67) No more is known of the charity.
His son Simon (d. 1632), of Lichfield, bequeathed £5 a year to the city's poor, to be distributed on Good Friday and Christmas Eve. He was perhaps confirming, and augmenting to £5, a dole established by the earlier Simon. Two of his own sons later charged land at Hammerwich with the £5. The charity, sometimes wrongly attributed to Sir Theophilus Biddulph, Bt. (d. 1683), of Elmhurst, was 20 years in arrear in 1728 when, following a Chancery decree, the Biddulphs paid the corporation £100. The money was distributed among c. 600 poor in doles of 1s.–10s. In the early 1820s the owner of the land at Hammerwich distributed £5 in 1s. doles on Good Friday and the Friday before Christmas to Lichfield poor, chiefly widows. In 1908 the charity, then known as the Biddulphs' Charity, was merged with the Municipal Charities.
By deed of 1731 or 1737 Sir Theophilus Biddulph, Bt. (d. 1743), of Elmhurst, settled the rents of three houses in Greenhill in trust for the poor. The income in 1786 was £1 5s. The charity was apparently unknown c. 1820. New trustees were appointed in 1845, and in 1868 the survivor distributed the rents, £10 1s. 6d., among 60 Greenhill poor, mainly women, in 2s. 6d. doles. The charity lapsed in 1879 but was revived shortly before 1888. It was administered with the Municipal Charities from 1899 and was merged with them in 1908. (fn. 68)
By deed of 1586 Humphrey Maddocke, a Lichfield mercer, charged 4 a. at Curborough with 13s. 4d. a year for 119 years; the land was then to be rack rented. The 13s. 4d. and the subsequent rack rent were to be distributed on Good Friday among the poorest householders in the city. About 1820 the net annual income, £6 13s. 8d., was distributed on Good Friday in 1s. or 2s. doles. The charity was merged with the Municipal Charities in 1858. (fn. 69)
Michael Lowe's Charity.
By will proved 1594 Michael Lowe of Timmor, in Fisherwick, confirmed an earlier grant of houses and 45 a. land in Lichfield to provide 12 respectable poor men each year with a coat, a cap, a waggon load of coal (or other fuel of equal value), and 12s. (fn. 70) By the later 17th century the income was sufficient to permit an increase in the number of beneficiaries. In the late 1680s 16 men received the charity each year; in the 18th century there were generally over 20 a year, and sometimes over 30. (fn. 71) Occasionally the trustees tried to ensure that recipients attended church on formal occasions wearing their caps and coats and did not sell or alter their coats. From 1751 hats were given instead of caps. (fn. 72) The estate amounted to 57 a. in 1820. Rack renting was gradually introduced from 1808; the rent increased from £21 in 1796 to £66 in 1820 and £200 in 1868, when 71 men each received a coat, a hat, coal, and 7s. (fn. 73) A Scheme of 1877, modified in 1906, diverted £30 a year to educational purposes; one of 1886 limited the number of poor men receiving coat, hat, coal, and 7s. to 50, but allowed the trustees also to give pensions of 3s.–6s. a week to up to 10 men and to support provident clubs, societies, and institutions. (fn. 74) In 1978–9 the charity had an income of over £30,000. It was amalgamated with nine other Lichfield charities in 1980 to form Michael Lowe's and Associated Charities. (fn. 75)
From the charity which Henry Smith, a London merchant, eventually established by declaration of trust dated 1627 Lichfield was assigned £18 a year for its poor. It received its first payment in 1632. In 1641 Smith's trustees charged the £18 on Fradswell manor, in Colwich; by 1673 it was being levied instead on Drayton Bassett manor. The charity was distributed at Lichfield by the parish officers of St. Mary's, though not restricted to that parish. In early years gifts were of clothes, cash, and bread, and until 1671 there were also payments for apprenticing. Thereafter the money was spent solely on clothes, and from the 18th century the only clothes distributed were flannel petticoats or lengths of flannel, given to poor women at the beginning of winter. There were 94 beneficiaries in 1820, 139 in 1851, 105 in 1897, and 61 in 1967. (fn. 76) In 1980 the charity became part of Michael Lowe's and Associated Charities.
By will, probably dated 1627, Margaret Budd left a 24s. rent charge on a house in Sandford Street to the bailiffs and churchwardens, to be distributed to 12 poor widows on Good Friday and St. Thomas's day (21 December). About 1820 the owner of the house distributed the dole himself on Good Friday and Christmas Eve, as had previous owners. (fn. 77) No more is known of the charity.
Hawkes's Bread Charity.
By will of 1631 William Hawkes, senior bailiff in 1626–7, left the corporation two 13s. 4d. rent charges, one for sermons at St. Mary's on Care (or Carl) Sunday (the Sunday before Palm Sunday) and on Palm Sunday, the other for bread for poor who attended them. In 1650 his trustees gave the corporation 1½ a. in Lichfield in lieu of the charges. The bread dole was still worth 13s. 4d. in the early 18th century, but by 1786, when the income from the land was £2 10s., all save the 13s. 4d. for sermons was distributed in bread. There was no distribution from 1806 until 1820, when £50 of accumulated arrears was given to the poor in blankets and other necessaries. (fn. 78) From 1835 the charity was one of the Municipal Charities.
By will dated 1637 George Collins, presumably the man who was twice senior bailiff, left a rent charge on land at Pipe in Burntwood to provide four poor Lichfield women with gowns together costing at least £3 on All Saints' day (1 November). After the two trustees named by Collins had died the city bailiffs were to choose the beneficiaries. By the early 18th century £3 had become the amount of the rent charge. In the early 19th century the funds of the charity were allowed to accumulate, and distributions of gowns were infrequent. (fn. 79) From 1835 the charity was one of the Municipal Charities.
By will proved 1639 John Nevill, citizen and grocer of London and a native of Lichfield, left the corporation a £6 rent charge on houses in London for bread, to be distributed every Sunday after morning service. Half was to go to the poor of Stowe Street, half to other poor in the city. In the late 18th century the corporation paid the money to a baker who sent weekly supplies of bread to St. Mary's and St. Chad's. The parish clerk of St. Chad's was sent each week 12 penny loaves which he distributed in Stowe Street; c. 1800, however, the overseers of St. Mary's ended his supply. About 1820 the sexton of St. Mary's gave penny loaves every Friday to the poor of his parish, save for four Fridays a year when he gave them to the almswomen of Dr. Milley's hospital. (fn. 80) From 1835 the charity was one of the Municipal Charities.
Mary Perkins (d. 1643) of Lichfield gave by will a rent charge of £4 for charitable uses. Her son John Perkins and granddaughter Ruth Bayley by wills proved 1685 and 1713 provided for its payment. (fn. 81) No more is known of it.
For many years before 1645 Ann, wife of Humphrey Matthew, a Lichfield tanner, gave six poor widows a cloth waistcoat each year. By deed of 1645, at her request, her husband settled 6 a. in Lichfield to endow her charity. The corporation was to have the land after the Matthews had died; it was to spend 20s. of the income on sermons at St. Mary's and St. Chad's, 2s. on managing the charity, and the rest on waistcoats for poor widows on St. Thomas's day (21 December). By the late 1650s the corporation was paying for the sermons and was distributing six waistcoats marked with red letters each year as Mrs. Ann Matthew's Gift. The charity continued in that form until the early 18th century, when its income began to increase. In 1705 two gowns were given besides the waistcoats, and by 1745, when the charity was being attributed to Humphrey Matthew, it was distributed in gowns, coats, and money. About 1820 between 30 and 50 poor widows a year were each given a gown and 2s. 6d. (fn. 82) From 1835 it was one of the Municipal Charities.
Ruins of the Minster Charity.
In 1651 parliament ordered that £1,200 raised by the sale of materials from the derelict cathedral should be used for poor relief. Of that sum the corporation was given £40 in 1657 and a further £20 in 1659; the money was put out on loan and the interest paid to the overseers. In 1690 it was claimed, probably incorrectly, that £100 in all had been received. (fn. 83) In the early 18th century the bailiffs distributed £5 a year in coal to the poor, but after complaints of irregularities it was decided in 1717 that the charity should be distributed instead by the churchwardens and overseers. The money was divided evenly between the three parishes until 1743, when, following an alleged increase in the number of poor in St. Mary's parish, its share was raised to £2 and the shares of St. Michael's and St. Chad's reduced to 30s. each. (fn. 84) In the late 18th and early 19th century the charity was distributed in bread on St. Thomas's day (21 Dec.) by the overseers. (fn. 85) From 1835 it was one of the Municipal Charities.
By will proved before 1673 Mary Dilkes, apparently of Lichfield, left two rent charges on a house in Conduit Street, 10s. for distribution among 30 poor widows on Lady day, and 5s. for repairs to St. Mary's. The 5s. was regularly paid, and until 1817 the owners of the house distributed 10s. to widows, latterly in 1s. doles. The marquess of Stafford, who bought the house in 1819, was said in 1820 to be willing to revive the charity. (fn. 86) He apparently did not do so.
By will dated 1677 Thomas Minors, founder of Minors's school, bequeathed a 10s. rent charge for an annual sermon in St. Mary's. If the authorities forbade the preacher to speak, the 10s. was to be distributed among 10 poor Lichfield widows. In 1786 it was stated that the money was given to 10 widows, and had been for many years. The charity had been lost by 1821. (fn. 87)
By will proved 1681 Thomas Marshall of Lichfield devised in trust 1½ a. in Lichfield, the rent to be distributed at Christmas among the city's poor. In 1737 there was a dispute between the trustees, and part of the rent, then 22s. 6d., was withheld. The charity had been lost by 1786. (fn. 88)
By will proved 1689 William Finney, citizen and tallow chandler of London, devised land in Lichfield and Mavesyn Ridware worth £31 6s. 8d. a year to Lichfield corporation and provided for the purchase of further land to raise the total rental to £37; land at Yoxall was bought. Every year 22 poor men and 10 poor widows were each to be given a wainload of coals, 1s., and a cloth gown with W. F. on the sleeve; the men were to be given caps, the women cash to buy themselves headcloths. Recipients were to be Anglicans, with preference for Finney's kin. The first distribution took place in 1690. In 1738 the estate was 63 a. and the income £37 16s. 8d. By c. 1820 the rent income was £219 and the corporation had increased the number of beneficiaries. Between 1815 and 1820 from 79 to 263 men and women a year received 6s. for coal and 1s. cash, the balance between the sexes reflecting that laid down by Finney. The men were also given a hat and a coat with W. F. on the sleeve, and the women, all aged widows, a gown, a cap, and a handkerchief. Recipients did not normally benefit more than once every two years. The corporation diverted surplus funds to good causes; in 1819, for example, it spent £50 of the charity's money on blankets for the poor. (fn. 89) From 1835 the charity was one of the Municipal Charities.
By will dated 1685 Roger Hinton of Castle Church charged his estate there with annuities for the poor of various places in Staffordshire; the poor of Lichfield were to receive £12 a year. The charity was established in 1692, after Chancery proceedings. (fn. 90) Lichfield was receiving its £12 by 1703. Initially the money was distributed in doles of up to 10s.; later, smaller gifts were made to larger numbers. From 1703 to 1724 the beneficiaries included the almswomen of Dr. Milley's hospital. (fn. 91) It had been directed in 1692 that the entire income of the estate was to be divided among the places concerned, but it was not until the early 19th century that the charity received the full economic rent. Between 1805 and 1820 Lichfield received £336 12s. 6d. in irregular instalments. There were routine distributions to the poor in 1807–12 and 1814, and in 1821 the vicar and churchwardens of St. Mary's distributed an accumulated £140 throughout the city in 10s. and £1 doles. By 1889, when Lichfield received £31, the mayor received the money and handed it over to the ministers of all denominations in the city for distribution. (fn. 92) In 1955 Lichfield's share of the charity was made part of the Municipal Charities, which in 1988 received £58.93 from Hinton's Charity. (fn. 93)
By 1757 the corporation was distributing £2 2s. a year among the poor as the interest on £60 given for charitable uses by Elias Ashmole (d. 1692). The charity was not established by will, and no deed has been found. In 1678 Ashmole wrote that for over 20 years he had given £5 a year to the poor of the city; the corporation perhaps accumulated the £60 from those gifts. In 1765 it reduced its payments to £2 a year. Until 1805 the charity was distributed in 2s. doles to poor women. Nothing was paid in 1806. There was a distribution to both men and women in 1807; thereafter no payments were made to the poor for at least 13 years. (fn. 94) From 1835 the charity was one of the Municipal Charities.
Charities of Francis and John Deakin.
By will of unknown date Francis Deakin the younger, a Lichfield fellmonger, left a £1 rent charge to buy 6d. loaves for poor householders of the city on the Wednesday after Ash Wednesday. The Revd. John Deakin of Rugeley bequeathed the city £20; of the interest 10s. was to be used to augment Francis's bread dole and 10s. for a sermon at St. Mary's on the same day. (fn. 95) A Revd. John Deakin, master of Rugeley grammar school, died in 1727; his will made no bequest of £20 to the city, but it asked his father and brother Francis, both of Lichfield, to use his books and other goods, valued after his death at £20, to establish a free library at Lichfield, and they presumably preferred instead to extend an existing family charity. (fn. 96) The corporation used the £20 to buy another £1 rent charge. About 1820 the vicar of St. Mary's was distributing 30s. in 6d. loaves after the sermon to poor householders chosen for life from the three city parishes, preference being given to widows. (fn. 97) No more is known of the charities.
Samuel Mousley (d. 1733), twice senior bailiff, left houses, barns, land in Lichfield, Curborough and Elmhurst, £100 cash, and the residue of his personal property, which probably amounted to another £100, to the corporation, the income to be distributed among the poor. About 1820 the gross annual income was £225, although the net income was sometimes much less. It was distributed in cash payments of 10s., and occasionally of £1 or £2, and £5 a year was subscribed to the Lichfield dispensary. (fn. 98) From 1835 the charity was one of the Municipal Charities.
By will proved 1733 Richard Wakefield, town clerk of Lichfield 1688–1721, left the reversion of his Lichfield property, the income to be distributed annually by the constables, churchwardens, and overseers among the Lichfield poor not in receipt of parish relief. The life tenant died in 1754, and in 1755 the estate was conveyed to trustees who were to distribute the income themselves to the poor at Michaelmas. Recipients were not to have received parish relief for six months. In 1820 the net income of the estate, then 48 a., was £185, and 472 beneficiaries received between £1 and 5s. (fn. 99) Management of the charity was transferred in 1914 to the Municipal Charities, with which in 1955 the charity was merged. (fn. 100)
By will Cary Butt (d. 1781) of Pipe Grange in Pipehill devised in trust for sale 3 a. in Lichfield which he had acquired from Catherine Taylor. Part was already charged with a payment of up to 10s. for the Lichfield poor. In 1783, when Butt's trustees sold the land, the rent charge was said to be 15s., payable to the poor at Christmas. The origins of the charge are unknown. Taylor's conveyance to Butt did not mention it, but she was later alleged to have been anxious to secure its payment. About 1820 the solicitor to Butt's trustees was distributing the 15s. income of what had become known as Mrs. Taylor's Charity among deserving poor, giving preference to Mrs. Taylor's kin. (fn. 101) No more is known of the charity.
By deed or will before 1799 a Mrs. Bolton gave £50, the interest to be given to 20 poor widows of the city at Christmas. The charity may still have existed in 1806, but no more is known of it. (fn. 102)
By deed of 1827 Richard Slaney of Uttoxeter, an ex-convict who had been transported and had returned to England, (fn. 103) gave £700 to St. Mary's, St. Michael's, and St. Chad's, the income to be equally divided among the parishes for clothes 'with an appropriate badge' for up to 12 aged and indigent men. (fn. 104) The badging requirement seems to have been ignored. In the 1840s and 1850s St. Mary's spent the money on shoes, in 1868 all parishes distributed boots, and in the early 20th century St. Chad's gave clothes and shoes. (fn. 105) In 1922 the charity was converted into three separate parochial endowments. (fn. 106) In 1980 the charity, reunited, became part of Michael Lowe's and Associated Charities.
Lichfield Municipal Charities.
The Municipal Corporations Act of 1835 transferred the management of charities which had been administered by the unreformed corporations to bodies of municipal charity trustees. Lichfield Municipal Charities, comprising the charities of John Allington, Elias Ashmole, Walter Chetwynd and Richard Plumer, George Collins, William Finney, Humphrey Matthew, Samuel Mousley, and John Nevill, William Hawkes's bread charity, and the Ruins of the Minster Charity, were further regulated by an Order of 1843. The existing forms of benefaction were in general preserved. Except for Mousley's Charity (for the city alone) and Chetwynd and Plumer's Charity (for the parishes of St. Michael and St. Chad) the beneficial area of the Municipal Charities became the city, its suburbs, and the Close. In 1858 the Municipal Charities trustees took over the management of Maddocke's Charity. In 1888 an inquiry revealed that for many years the Order of 1843 had not been observed. The town clerk, Charles Simpson, steward and treasurer of the Municipal Charities since 1848, had ignored it and had not told trustees of it. It had escaped notice in 1868 during an earlier inquiry into Lichfield charities. The trustees had made grants to schools and to deserving institutions, had reserved a certain amount of money each year for cases of sickness, and had then allotted fixed sums to the four districts into which they divided the city, for distribution among the poor. A Scheme of 1891 provided that of the 15 trustees 5 were to be directly elected by ratepayers, 3 were to be appointed by the city council, and 7 were to be co-opted. The first elections of trustees were held in 1891 and produced much working-class excitement. In 1908 direct election was abolished and the number of trustees was reduced to 13: the mayor, 2 co-opted trustees, 6 appointed by the city council, 2 appointed by the board of guardians, and 1 each from the Lichfield branch of the Charity Organization Society and the Lichfield nursing home. The charities of the Biddulphs and Sir Theophilus Biddulph, and Lunn's almshouses were merged with the Municipal Charities. From 1908 to 1955 the trustees were empowered to use the income of Chetwynd and Plumer's Charity and Mousley's Charity for educating poor children. In 1955 the charities of Rowland Muckleston, Luke Robinson, and Richard Wakefield, and the Lichfield share of Roger Hinton's Charity were merged with the Municipal Charities. The main object of the 13 trustees (the mayor, 6 appointed by the city council, and 6 co-opted) was to be support for Lunn's almshouses and the almspeople. Under the Scheme the trustees replaced the almshouses in 1959 with William Lunn's Homes, which they later extended. A Scheme of 1982 increased the number of trustees to 14 (the mayor, 3 appointed by the city council, 2 appointed by the district council, and 8 co-opted) and confirmed that the city on the eve of the 1974 reorganization of local government was the beneficial area of the Municipal Charities. In 1988 the income of the charities was £91,259, the expenditure £23,559. (fn. 107)
By will proved 1860 Elizabeth Passam of Lichfield bequeathed £1,000, to be invested in stock. The income was to be distributed among poor widows and families living in Lichfield in sums not exceeding 10s. on 24 January, the anniversary of the death of her brother Thomas Passam, by whose wish the bequest was made. (fn. 108) In 1980 the charity became part of Michael Lowe's and Associated Charities.
John Foster Haworth and Blanche Susan Haworth Charity Fund.
By will proved 1867 Margaret Haworth, formerly of the Close, left the reversion of £2,000 to the dean of Lichfield for a fund for the very poor of the city, preference being given to consumptives and chimneysweeping boys. The life interest expired in 1888, and the first grants were made in 1889. In the mid 1980s the income of £150 was used for grants to Dr. Milley's hospital and for small payments to its almswomen and other elderly women. In 1989 the charity became part of Michael Lowe's and Associated Charities. (fn. 109)
Michael Lowe's and Associated Charities.
In 1980 the charities of Michael Lowe, Jesson Mason, Elizabeth Passam, Elizabeth Preest, Alice Simpson, Phoebe Simpson, and Richard Slaney, Turnpenny's Charity, the charity known as Mrs. Richard Hinckley's Memorial, and the Lichfield portion of Henry Smith's Charity were amalgamated to produce a fund for the general or individual relief of residents of the city. In the year 1988–9 the combined charity had an income of £69, 621, of which £15,424 was distributed in fuel grants, £294 in pensions, and £14,275 in other grants. Haworth's Charity was amalgamated with the charity in 1989. (fn. 110)
Hawkes's Gallery Charity.
When William Hawkes paid for a gallery in St. Mary's church in 1630 he stipulated that those who took sittings in it should pay a 1s. entry fee, to be given to poor communicants on Palm Sunday and Low Sunday. Four shillings was distributed in bread in 1634 and 6s. in 1635. (fn. 111) The charity presumably ended when the church was demolished and rebuilt in the early 18th century.
By deed or will of 1631 William Thropp, presumably the mercer of that name who died in 1632, gave a £1 rent charge to pay 6s. 8d. for a sermon at St. Mary's on MidLent Sunday and the distribution then of 13s. to 13 poor widows. The distributor was paid 4d. The charity apparently still existed in the 1680s but had been lost by 1786. (fn. 112)
John Allington (d. 1642), thrice bailiff, bequeathed rent charges in trust to the two senior freemen of the Lichfield mercers' company for a weekly bread dole for the poor of St. Mary's. According to a 17th-century inscription formerly in St. Mary's church the rent charges amounted to £5 6s. In the 17th and early 18th century 2s. a week was distributed in bread. In 1786 the total rent charge was said to be only £4. (fn. 113) Bread continued to be distributed at the church every Sunday until c. 1797, when the mercers' company became extinct and the charity lapsed. In 1818 Chancery transferred the management to the corporation and ordered the revival of the dole. Accumulated funds went in the costs of obtaining the decree. In 1821 the Charity Commissioners, accepting that the rent charges totalled £4, noted that the corporation had received no money since 1818 and had not revived the dole. It was later revived as one of the Municipal Charities, and in 1843 its beneficial area was extended to cover the city, its suburbs, and the Close. (fn. 114)
Edward Finney's Charity.
By 1651 Edward Finney the elder, probably the senior bailiff of 1636–7, had established a bread dole at St. Mary's endowed with 1s. a month. Apparently it still existed c. 1715. (fn. 115) No more is known of it.
John Matthews's Charity.
By deed or will John Matthews (d. in or before 1669), perhaps the junior bailiff of 1650–1, gave the minister and churchwardens of St. Mary's a 10s. rent charge on property at Little Wyrley, in Norton Canes, for distribution among 10 poor widows. In 1671 and 1672 the property was conveyed to John Darlaston the younger and his wife. Darlaston and his father covenanted to pay the corporation 10s. a year, which would be given to St. Mary's for distribution. (fn. 116) The charity survived in the 1690s and early 1700s, latterly as Mr. Darlison's Gift. (fn. 117) No more is known of it.
By will proved 1767 Luke Robinson of Lichfield left £300, the interest to be distributed among the poor of St. Mary's at Christmas. About 1820 the charity's £18 income from stock was distributed annually among poor chosen for life. From 1858 to 1897 the charity was given in 10s. doles, no longer to recipients chosen for life; later it was distributed in cash or coal. In 1908 its management was transferred to the Municipal Charities. The beneficial area remained St. Mary's parish until 1955, when the charity was merged with the Municipal Charities. (fn. 118)
By will proved 1777 Richard Edge, a Lichfield mercer, left his friend and former apprentice James Wickins £30, the interest to be used to buy 2d. white loaves for distribution by the churchwardens of St. Mary's on 23 or 24 December among the poor of the parish. The bread was to be bought from bakers in Conduit Street or Dam Street. Wickins kept the money and used the interest (24s. in 1786) to buy 1d. loaves which he distributed at his house on Christmas morning among aged persons from the three city parishes, giving priority to parishioners of St. Mary's. About 1817 he gave the £30 to the vicar of St. Mary's, who c. 1820 was paying 30s. interest to the churchwardens for distribution among poor parishioners on Christmas morning. (fn. 119) No more is known of the charity.
In 1778 Mary Hector (d. 1783) of Lichfield gave £50 to endow an annual Lady day distribution by the St. Mary's churchwardens to 20 poor widows of the parish. The charity was not established until 1834; previously the interest on the capital was paid into St. Mary's general church account. In 1856 the bank in which the £50 had been deposited failed, and the charity came to an end. (fn. 120)
St. Michael's, city portion.
By will dated 1735 Elizabeth Bailey of Lichfield devised land in Abbots Bromley, the income to be divided equally between St. Michael's parish and the township of Newton, in Blithfield, for distribution among their poor at Easter. St. Michael's annual share c. 1820 was £2 10s., which the churchwardens distributed after consulting the vicar. (fn. 121) The land was sold in 1947 or 1948 and the money was invested. In 1978 St. Michael's received £3.25 for its poor. (fn. 122)
Greenwood Gregory, the son of a Lichfield dyer and alive in 1721, (fn. 123) left the churchwardens a £1 rent charge on a house in Lombard Street for a Christmas distribution to the poor of Greenhill. The charity existed by 1786. In the early 1820s the churchwardens distributed the money, a few shillings at a time, to poor parishioners. (fn. 124) The £1 was still being received in 1884, but by 1989 the charity was extinct. (fn. 125)
By will proved 1823 Jesson Mason of Lichfield left £800, the interest to be used to provide coats, hats, gowns, and caps at Christmas for the poor of Greenhill and St. John Street. Clothing was distributed until the beginning of the Second World War and clothing vouchers were then given until the 1960s. Thereafter small cash grants were made. In the 1970s there was an income of £80–£100 from stock. (fn. 126) In 1980 the charity became part of Michael Lowe's and Associated Charities.
St. Chad's, city portion.
A person called Turnpenny bequeathed a 6s. 8d. rent charge to provide a bread dole for the poor of Beacon Street. (fn. 127) The benefactor was probably Zachary Turnpenny (d. 1672), subchanter of the cathedral, who lived in Beacon Street. (fn. 128) By 1786 the dole was being distributed on Ascension Day, probably, as c. 1820, in 1d. loaves handed out by the churchwardens. (fn. 129) The otherwise unknown 6s. 8d. paid in the late 18th century by the heirs of John Fletcher to provide a bread dole for the poor of St. Chad's parish was probably Turnpenny's Charity. (fn. 130) In the 1930s bread rolls were distributed to poor parishioners on Ascension Day. (fn. 131) In 1980 the charity became part of Michael Lowe's and Associated Charities.
Charity of Alice Simpson or Thomas Green.
By will proved 1674 Alice Simpson devised her house in Stowe Street to her cousin William Holmes subject to a 10s. rent charge, to be distributed on St. Thomas's day (21 Dec.) among five poor widows of Stowe Street and five of Beacon Street. (fn. 132) Holmes and his heirs concealed the charity, and it did not become effective until either 1696 or 1736, when Thomas Green, who had bought the house, agreed to honour Simpson's wishes. The 10s. was to be distributed by the incumbent and parish officers; if insufficient widows applied, the number was to be made up by poor householders. About 1820 the money was handed out at Christmas in 1s. doles. (fn. 133) By 1918 poor widows living near the two streets were also eligible for the doles. (fn. 134) In 1980 the charity became part of Michael Lowe's and Associated Charities.
Christopher Lowe's Charity.
By will proved 1705 Christopher Lowe, a Lichfield innkeeper, left £5 to provide a 5s. distribution at Christmas among five of the poorest householders in Beacon Street not in receipt of parish relief. The charity had been lost by 1786. (fn. 135)
By will proved 1838 Elizabeth Preest of the Close, a servant of the Revd. T. H. White, left £100 in reversion to St. Chad's to provide Christmas gifts of a woollen cloak and 1s. 6d. to poor women who attended the church most regularly. (fn. 136) The money was lent to a maltster who went bankrupt, but £76 was recovered from his estate and in 1849 was invested in stock. In the later 19th century cloaks and shawls were given. (fn. 137) In 1980 the charity became part of Michael Lowe's and Associated Charities.
Mrs. Richard Hinckley's Memorial.
By deed of 1881 the trustees under the will of T. A. Bangham (d. 1876), incumbent of Christ Church, gave £225 stock, the income to be divided annually between two poor parishioners, who were not to benefit in consecutive years. (fn. 138) In 1980 the charity became part of Michael Lowe's and Associated Charities.
Martin Heath Memorial Fund.
By will proved 1952 Edith Mary Heath (née Martin) left the residue of her estate to the vicar and churchwardens of Christ Church. Part was to be used to endow an annual New Year's gift of £1 each to 12 poor parishioners, six men and six women, aged 60 or more. (fn. 139) The gifts were being distributed in the 1980s.
By will proved 1897 Rowland Muckleston, rector of Dinedor (Herefs.), who had been born in the Close, established a charity for its poor. Its endowment in 1902 was £2,850 stock, and £65 of its £71 income was then being distributed in pensions for five people. In 1919 its management was transferred to Lichfield Municipal Charities. The beneficial area remained unchanged until 1955, when the charity was merged with the Municipal Charities. (fn. 140)
Other Parochial Charities.
Chetwynd and Plumer's Charity.
In 1726 or 1727 (fn. 141) Walter Chetwynd and Richard Plumer, the city's M.P.s, gave the corporation £400 for the poor, to be divided equally between the city portions of St. Michael's and St. Chad's. Over £300 was used in 1730 to buy 32 a. in Mayfield. The remaining money was left at interest, yielding £1 12s. a year until 1753 and £1 8s. a year thereafter. In the 19th century the Mayfield rental was £30–£40 a year. The corporation paid money on request to the churchwardens of the two parishes, who generally used it to apprentice poor boys. From 1835 the charity was one of the Municipal Charities. The Order of 1843 regulating the Municipal Charities widened the potential range of benefactions while retaining the original beneficial area, and was confirmed in 1891. The beneficial area was extended to the city in 1908. (fn. 142)
Phoebe Simpson's Charity.
By deed of 1807 Phoebe Simpson of Stowe Hill gave £400 stock, the income to be divided equally between St. John's hospital and the three city parishes. The hospital's share was to be divided equally among the almsmen, and the money for the city parishes was to be given to their poor. About 1820 the charity's income, £20, was paid to the vicar of St. Mary's, who gave the overseers of the other two parishes their shares. (fn. 143) The charity lapsed in 1855 but was revived in 1869 and the arrears were recovered. By the 1940s the income was distributed in small Christmas gifts to the poor and the almsmen. (fn. 144) In 1980 the charity became part of Michael Lowe's and Associated Charities.