A History of the County of Stafford: Volume 17, Offlow Hundred (Part). Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1976.
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CHARITIES FOR THE POOR.
Mollesley's Dole and Corporation Alms-houses. By deed of 1451 William Lyle of Moxhull in Wishaw (Warws.) gave Halesowen abbey (Worcs.) a rent-charge of 9 marks from the manor of Bascote in Long Itchington (Warws.), which had been conveyed to Lyle and a William Magot by Thomas Mollesley of Walsall the same year. The monks were to distribute 8 marks at Walsall on Mollesley's obit day for his soul and that of his wife Margery, retaining the ninth for themselves. The distribution, which was apparently not restricted to the poor, was to be supervised by the vicar and churchwardens of Walsall, the chaplains of St. John's guild, and all trustworthy men of the church there. (fn. 1) In 1477-8 £4 was lent from the funds of the guild to maintain the dole. (fn. 2) After the Dissolution the town council, which had acquired the revenues of Bascote manor, continued to pay the dole voluntarily. In 1538-9 £7 10s. 9d. was distributed. (fn. 3)
It is not clear how the dole was distributed in the 15th century. By the 17th century, and probably by the 16th, a house-by-house distribution was made on Twelfth Night of a penny for every resident or visitor in Walsall and Rushall parishes. The cost of the dole thus increased with the population; in 1648 and again in 1650 the mayor tried to reduce the expense by a more stringent application. (fn. 4) About 1769 the corporation attempted to stop the dole, but riots forced its continuance. (fn. 5) In the early 19th century it was paid on 1 January; the cost in 1823 was £61 5s. 7d. (fn. 6) From 1817 an amercement of 1d. imposed on householders who did not attend the court leet of the manor was offset against their share of the dole. (fn. 7)
The corporation, warned by the charity commissioners that the charity should be applied to a better purpose, suspended the dole in 1824 and abandoned it in 1825. It then built a range of eleven one-room alms-houses in Bath Street for needy widows chosen by the mayor, five from the borough, five from the foreign, and one from Rushall. Each inmate received 2s. a week from corporation funds, a sum still paid in 1854. (fn. 8) By 1859 the payment had been increased to 3s. (fn. 9) The Walsall Corporation Act of 1890 required the council to maintain the alms-houses and to pay the 3s. allowance. (fn. 10) In 1937 it was decided not to fill future vacancies because the alms-houses were unfit to live in. (fn. 11) The last inmate died c. 1950. The old buildings were demolished in 1952 and replaced in 1955 by seven bungalows in Heather Close, Bloxwich, and four in Sandbank, Bloxwich. (fn. 12) The weekly allowance was resumed in 1955 and was still paid in 1972. The bungalows were then occupied by aged widows and spinsters. (fn. 13)
William Harper (d. 1508), lord of Rushall, settled in trust four alms-houses in Walsall which he had built to provide lodging for poor men visiting the town. The trust was dependent on regulations to be made by Harper, but he died without having framed them. The property descended to his son John, who reconveyed it with an endowment of two kine and land in Walsall. His will of 1519 stipulated that since the alms-houses were said to have attracted many idle people to the town, there were thenceforth to be four permanent inmates, who were to pray for the souls of the founders, their wives, and others. The inmates were to be chosen by the vicar of Walsall or his deputy, with the consent of the lord of Rushall. The vicar was to make gifts to the inmates out of the income. (fn. 14) Further endowments were received later. By 1548 6d. a year was being paid to the alms-houses out of the endowment of Ellen Rawlinson's obit in Aldridge church. George Hawe by will proved in 1558 left land at Townend; annuities were afterwards given to the inmates by William Ridware and John and Thomas Wollaston. (fn. 15) The land of the original endowment was being sold in the later 19th century, and none remained in 1959. (fn. 16) The income in 1972 was £54 from stock and from land in Walsall bought in 1880. Weekly allowances of £0.20 were paid to each inmate. (fn. 17)
By the late 18th century there were only two dwellings. They were demolished c. 1793 and replaced by a set of six one-room dwellings in Dudley Street, all occupied by women in the early 19th century. (fn. 18) The alms-houses were rebuilt in 1878 as four dwellings on the corner of Bath and Dudley Streets. Designed by H. E. Lavender, they form a red-brick terrace of one storey with a basement. Each house has two rooms, and there is a communal outside lavatory. (fn. 19) In 1972 there were four almswomen.
By will proved in 1634 John Wollaston, a former mayor, left a house in Hall Lane as a rent-free home for 'some poor body'. By 1823, and probably much earlier, the charity had lapsed. (fn. 20)
By will proved in 1636 John Persehouse of Reynold's Hall left a house and two shops under it 'at the stair head' near the churchyard to be used as an alms-house for three poor men or three poor widows of the borough and foreign, to be chosen by his heirs. In default nomination was to pass to the vicar and the borough and foreign overseers with the advice of the mayor. Persehouse left the inmates annuities of 3s. 4d. each to be paid by his heirs in two instalments out of the rent from land near Walsall park. (fn. 21) They were paid until at least 1670, but nothing is known of their subsequent history. (fn. 22)
The alms-houses, however, continued to be used in the 18th century. Late in the century the inmates were chosen from poor people previously employed in the lime-works belonging to John Walhouse, who held the Persehouse estate. Towards the end of the century the alms-houses were demolished during improvements to the area and the inmates were transferred to Harper's alms-houses. (fn. 23) The charity then seems to have lapsed.
Victor Street Alms-houses.
By deed of 1868 Edward Marsh and Harriet Lyon of Walsall settled twelve cottages on the corner of Bescot and Victor Streets in trust for the use of poor and infirm persons of good character, living in the Walsall area and regularly attending a Protestant place of worship. By deed of 1886 Marsh gave £2,500 as an endowment. By will dated 1898 he left two further sums of £1,000 each to be added to the endowment fund after his sisters' death. (fn. 24) The cottages were sold in 1960 and subsequently demolished. A Scheme of 1972 united the two trusts and permitted the trustees to pay the income, then about £400, to infirm and aged persons living in or near Walsall who regularly attended a Protestant place of worship, or to charities benefiting them. (fn. 25)
By deed of 1885 Samuel Cox of Walsall settled in trust thirteen alms-houses for aged and infirm persons in the former barracks in Bullock's Row. He also gave six houses in Balls Street, the rents of which were to maintain the alms-houses. In 1900 the alms-houses were condemned as uninhabitable and were demolished. The income was apparently not spent again until at least 1937, when a Scheme authorized weekly allowances of between 1s. 6d. and 5s. for poor persons living in the borough and normally to be over sixty. In 1938 the houses in Balls Street were demolished, the site was sold, and the proceeds were invested in stock. Payments were suspended in 1941 for the duration of the war but resumed in 1952, when the income was devoted to providing home helps for old-age pensioners. (fn. 26) Under a Scheme of 1960 the name of the charity was changed from Cox's Alms-houses Trust to the Charity of Samuel Cox; the income was to be used for either weekly allowances or Christmas presents. (fn. 27) From 1962 it was paid in cash. (fn. 28) The income in 1972 was £41; it was distributed in £0.75 doles at Christmas among aged poor living within the boundaries of the pre-1966 borough. (fn. 29)
By deed of 1886 John Farrington Crump, a Walsall solicitor, settled in trust three newly built alms-houses in Eldon Street. After the death of Crump and his wife £500 was to be added as an endowment. The inmates were to be sober and industrious Anglicans, married or single but preferably women, over 60, and resident in the parliamentary borough for at least five years. (fn. 30) By will proved in 1972 Ann Elizabeth Brook of Walsall left £1,000 to the charity for general purposes; it was used to augment the endowment fund. (fn. 31) The alms-houses, of brick in a baroque style, consist of three bed-sitting rooms and a communal scullery and lavatory.
The Henry Boys Alms-houses.
By deed of 1887 Henry Boys, a Walsall brick manufacturer, settled in trust twelve alms-houses on the corner of Wednesbury Road and Tasker Street with an endowment of £4,000. There were to be 24 inmates, aged over 60, sober, and industrious; each house was to be occupied by a married couple or by two single persons of the same sex. No clergyman of any sect was to be a trustee. (fn. 32) By his will proved in 1894 Boys left a further endowment of £4,000. (fn. 33) The alms-houses, designed by F. E. F. Bailey of Walsall, are of red brick from Boys's own yard with stone dressings and terracotta decoration. (fn. 34) They are of one storey throughout and consist of a principal range facing Wednesbury Road with short flanking wings. Each alms-house contains four rooms and a rear block which was originally a coal-house and outside lavatory but was converted in 1972-3 into a bathroom. (fn. 35)
By deed of 1894 Edward Marsh, founder of the Victor Street Alms-houses, endowed with £1,500 six one-room alms-houses which he was building in Bath Road for six aged or infirm Protestants. In 1972 the alms-houses were vacant. (fn. 36) They were converted in 1972-3 into three flats for poor people.
Obit and Intercessory Charities.
In 1535 it was stated that the poor had a share in 17s. 4d. distributed yearly by the vicar for the soul of John Harper, (fn. 37) but nothing further is known of the payment. Thirteen annuities to the poor from endowed obits, altogether worth about £2 15s., were recorded in 1548 and presumably suppressed. (fn. 38) By will proved in 1558 George Hawe left an annuity of 6s. 8d. from lands in Walsall to be distributed to the poor on his obit day. His brother Nicholas by will dated 1560 left an 8s. rent-charge from that and other property to the poor, who were to pray for his soul and those of his parents, his brethren, and all Christians. (fn. 39) Nothing further is known of those two foundations.
By deed of 1569 William Ridware, rector of Swynnerton and formerly a chantry priest at Walsall, (fn. 40) settled land in Essington in Bushbury in trust for the yearly payment after his death of 6s. 8d. to the most aged, poor, and impotent people in Great and Little Bloxwich and 2s. to the poor in the alms-houses at Walsall. (fn. 41) In 1804 the land was said to be held by Henry Vernon, who had withheld payment for some years. (fn. 42) By 1823 the property could no longer be identified, (fn. 43) and nothing further is known of the charity.
Thomas Webbe's Charity.
By deed of 1602 Thomas Webbe, probably a former mayor, settled a rentcharge of 20s. from land in Shelfield in trust for yearly distribution to the poor of the town (evidently the borough). By 1823 the rent-charge had been reduced to 18s., which was augmented from Syvern's Charity and spent on gowns for poor women in the borough. (fn. 44) It was redeemed in 1958. The income in 1972 was £0.90 from stock. It was applied with Wilcox's Charity and the borough and foreign shares of John Parker's Charity and Robert Parker's General Charity; £0.25 tickets were sent at Christmas to the vicars of the parish churches of Walsall Deanery for distribution. (fn. 45)
The Boltons' Charity.
By deed of 1608 John Bolton, probably a former mayor, and his wife Alice gave a rent-charge of 10s. from land in Walsall to be distributed on Good Friday to 30 poor widows of the borough. (fn. 46) The owners of the land paid the rentcharge intermittently until 1660 when John Persehouse refused to do so. Thereafter the rent-charge seems to have been irrecoverable, and by 1823 the land was unidentifiable. (fn. 47)
By will proved in 1611 Thomas Gorway, a Walsall butcher and probably a former mayor, left a rent-charge of £2 from lands in Rushall and West Bromwich for annual distribution to the poor of the town and parish of Walsall, 'without affection'. (fn. 48) By c. 1660 half was paid to the borough and half to the foreign. (fn. 49) The payment to the foreign was discontinued in 1811 but had been resumed by 1849. (fn. 50) In 1854 the borough share was distributed to 60 poor widows. (fn. 51) The charity has since lapsed.
By will proved in 1614 John Lyddiatt, a Walsall tanner and former mayor, left £10 to be lent yearly to poor men dwelling in Walsall. (fn. 52) About 1670 the charity was said to be applied regularly. (fn. 53) Its existence was recorded in 1786, (fn. 54) but there is no evidence that the money was being lent at any time in the 18th century. Nothing further is known of the charity.
The Fishley Charity.
By will proved in 1616 William Parker of London, a native of Bloxwich, left £200 for a stock to provide work for the poor of Walsall parish. (fn. 55) In 1621 the money seems to have been applied in loans, (fn. 56) and in 1627 in premiums for apprentices also. (fn. 57) The fund passed into the control of the Stone family. In 1657, under an agreement with the corporation, Henry Stone invested the capital, augmented by £100 out of parish funds, in property in Bloxwich, including land at Fishley, to provide an income for apprenticing poor children in both borough and foreign. (fn. 58) The management of the charity passed to the corporation in 1669-70 when £10 13s. was spent on premiums. (fn. 59) By the early 19th century the apprentices were chosen by the overseers of the poor, who applied to the corporation for the premiums. These, however, were too small to secure respectable situations for the children, and much of the income remained unapplied. (fn. 60) A Chancery order of 1837 transferred the charity, with the Bentley Hay Charity and Richard Stone's Charity, to a body of trustees; they were thereafter known as the Municipal Charities. (fn. 61)
A Scheme of 1864 directed that half the apprentices were to come from the borough and half from the foreign. No child was to be apprenticed to a publican or to work more than 10½ hours a day, six days a week. (fn. 62) A succession of Schemes from 1883 to 1909 diverted an increasing proportion of the income to education, and under a Scheme of 1970 the charity was renamed the Fishley Educational and Apprenticing Foundation; part of the income was to provide outfits or money for young people entering a profession, and the rest was to be used for education. (fn. 63) By 1945 part of the funds had been invested in stock and in property in Brixton in Lambeth (Surr.) and Hornsey (Mdx.). (fn. 64) The income in 1971-2 was £3,337 from those investments and the rent of Fishley farm in Walsall; £975 was spent on apprenticeships. (fn. 65)
By will proved in 1617 Michael Shaw of Walsall left a rent-charge of 40s. from land in Walsall to be paid yearly to the poor of the parish. (fn. 66) In the early 19th century it was distributed in 6d. bread tickets. (fn. 67) It is last known to have been applied in 1855. (fn. 68)
Besides his bequest for sermons William Wheate of Coventry at some time before 1618 left £20 to be lent to ten poor men in sums of 40s. for three years at a time. The charity still existed c. 1660, but nothing further is known of it. (fn. 69)
By deed of 1618 John Hall of Caldmore gave a rent-charge of £4 from land in Walsall to provide 28 loaves of white bread to be distributed weekly to the vicar, the parish clerk, and 25 poor. If the rent-charge proved inadequate the deficit was to be made up from the profits of the land. (fn. 70) Between at least 1657 and 1669 the dole appears to have been given in a house-to-house distribution of money. (fn. 71) The expenditure had increased to £5 12s. by 1804 and was then devoted to bread. (fn. 72) About 1814 Thomas Hawe Parker, the owner of the land, raised the payment to £10. (fn. 73) A Scheme of 1859 reduced the amount given in bread to £5, diverting £5 to St. Peter's National school and any surplus to the Blue Coat school. (fn. 74) In 1972 £5 from the charity was paid into the vicar's sick and poor fund. (fn. 75)
By deed of 1618, in performance of her husband's will proved in 1617, Ellen, relict of John Curteys of Walsall, settled a rentcharge of £1 6s. 8d. from land in Caldmore in trust for the poor of the borough, to be distributed twice yearly. (fn. 76) The charity still existed in 1823 but had lapsed by 1854. (fn. 77)
By deed of 1620 John Dee, a Walsall baker, gave the rent from land in Walsall for distribution annually to 60 poor of Walsall, apparently the borough. The vicar and constable were to have 1s. each for distributing it. The rent was then 22s., but by 1823, although it had increased, the dole had been reduced to 21s. The Charity Commissioners recommended that the whole rent be paid, but by 1854 only 20s. was being distributed. (fn. 78) Nothing further is known of the charity.
At an unknown date Dee also left an annuity of 6s. 8d. from a house in Newgate Street to the poor of the borough. By c. 1660 the money was no longer paid. (fn. 79)
Robert Parker's General Charity.
By will proved in 1625 Robert Parker, a London merchant taylor and brother of William Parker, left £400 to the Merchant Taylors' Company to buy land in Staffordshire worth £20 a year for the poor of Walsall, Rushall, and Pelsall in St. Peter's, Wolverhampton. The company was to pay one-third to Great Bloxwich, one-third to Little Bloxwich, Goscote, Harden, Coal Pool, 'Rushall End', Daw End, Pelsall, Shelfield, Wood End, and Caldmore, and one-third to the borough. (fn. 80) After proceedings against the company the corporation enforced payment in 1631. (fn. 81) The capital was apparently absorbed into the company's funds, but it normally paid the dole in full in the 17th century. (fn. 82) At some time between 1733 and 1769 a deduction was made for land tax, but the full sum was again paid by 1822. By then the shares payable to both borough and foreign were united with those from John Parker's Charity in one fund. The borough share of the fund was applied in 1823 with Thomas Webbe's Charity to buy gowns for poor women; the foreign share was given in money to the poor at Bloxwich. (fn. 83) When Bloxwich became a separate parish in 1842 the foreign share was divided between the churchwardens of Bloxwich and those of the foreign. (fn. 84) In 1972 the borough share and the reduced foreign share were applied with Thomas Webbe's Charity; £10 6s. 8d. was paid to Bloxwich and applied with the Bloxwich Dole, King's, Whateley's, Crowther's, and Picken's Charities and the foreign share of Nicholas Parker's Charity in £1 tickets distributed yearly. (fn. 85)
Robert Parker's Charity to Great Bloxwich.
Robert Parker also left £4 from the rent of land in Bloxwich for the aged poor of Great Bloxwich and the rest for the repair of Bloxwich chapel. After proceedings in Chancery the land was settled in trust in 1627. (fn. 86) By 1804 the payment to the poor had been increased to £7. (fn. 87) In the early 19th century it was applied with the Bloxwich share of Robert Parker's General Charity. (fn. 88) In 1838 the land was leased for mining at a minimum rent of £140 with royalties, a suit in Chancery was brought to establish trustees for the proceeds, and the whole income from 1838 to 1849 was lost in consequence. (fn. 89) Trustees had been appointed by 1849. (fn. 90) A Scheme of 1886 allotted £30 to the repair of Bloxwich church; pensions of at least 6s. a week were to be paid to two poor persons resident in the former chapelry for not less than four years. Any surplus was to be given to other deserving poor. (fn. 91) By 1945 the surplus was distributed yearly in 5s. vouchers; the pensioners received 6s. a week. (fn. 92) The trustees sold most of the land c. 1970. The income in 1972 was about £1,700, chiefly interest from stock. No distribution had been made since 1970, and plans were being considered for the erection of alms-houses. (fn. 93)
Robert Parker's Organ Charity.
When the organs in Walsall church were destroyed in 1642 the annuity of £5 left by Robert Parker to the organist and organ-blower ceased. (fn. 94) After proceedings in Chancery a decree of 1649 required the annuity to be paid to provide bread for the poor, one-third to the borough and two-thirds to the foreign. The arrears were to be divided likewise. (fn. 95) About 1660 the Merchant Taylors' Company suspended payment. From 1701, after a further suit, the charity was again paid to the organist. (fn. 96)
John Parker's Charity (the Langthorne Dole.
By will proved in 1627 John Parker of London, brother of William and Robert, left a rent-charge of £20 from the manor of Langthorne in Bedale (Yorks. N.R.) for sermons at Walsall, Rushall, and Bloxwich, repairs to Bloxwich chapel, and a yearly house-byhouse distribution to the poorest inhabitants of Walsall, Rushall, Bloxwich, and Harden in specified proportions. (fn. 97) Payment did not begin until 1637. (fn. 98) From that time £14 13s. 4d. of the income was divided between the poor of the borough, the poor of Bloxwich, Harden, Goscote, and Coal Pool, and the poor of the rest of the foreign and Rushall. (fn. 99) In 1655 it was being given with the doles of Robert Parker and Henry Stone the elder. (fn. 100) By 1736 deductions were made for land tax, fixed at £4 by 1823. (fn. 101) Since at least 1822 the dole has been applied with Robert Parker's General Charity. (fn. 102) The rent-charge, then £16, was redeemed in 1922; in 1972 the same income was received from stock. (fn. 103)
Nicholas Parker's Charities.
By will proved in 1627 Nicholas Parker of Great Bloxwich, brother of William, Robert, and John, left a rent-charge of £4 from lands in Walsall and Rushall; 20s. was to be given to the poor of Rushall, 20s. to the poor of Great and Little Bloxwich and Harden, and £2 to Walsall church to reduce the church-rates paid by the poor. (fn. 104) The last charity was withheld in 1651, had been resumed by the mid 18th century, and ceased in 1762. The dole to the poor of the foreign was paid until c. 1760. (fn. 105) The charity is probably identifiable with Parker's Dole, recorded in 1767 and then said to be worth £2. It had not, however, been paid for many years and had been lost by 1804. (fn. 106)
Nicholas Parker also left the poor of Walsall a rent-charge of 40s. from a pasture in Walsall called Peakers. (fn. 107) By 1767 the charity was known as Peaker's Dole. (fn. 108) In 1823 half was used by the borough churchwardens for general purposes and half by the foreign churchwardens in gifts to the poor. (fn. 109) The foreign share was paid to Bloxwich by 1849. (fn. 110) The rentcharge was still paid in 1972; the borough share was paid into the vicar's sick and poor fund and the foreign share applied with the Bloxwich share of Robert Parker's General Charity. (fn. 111)
Charity of John Wollaston the elder.
By will proved in 1634 John Wollaston, a former mayor, left the rent of a house in the churchyard to the poor of the borough; 2s. was to be given to the four inmates of Harper's alms-houses and the rest distributed to the poor. The charity existed in 1670, but nothing further is known of it. (fn. 112)
John Persehouse's Charity.
By will proved in 1636 John Persehouse left a rent-charge of 40s. from land near Walsall park to be distributed twice yearly to the poor of the borough and foreign. (fn. 113) In 1657 the dole was distributed with the gifts of John Hall and Henry Stone the elder. (fn. 114) The rent was withheld in 1660, and payment seems never to have been resumed. (fn. 115)
Bentley Hay Charity.
By deed of 1638 Thomas Lane of Bentley in St. Peter's, Wolverhampton, agreed to pay £20 a year out of the profits of Bentley Hay to the poor of Walsall borough if the inhabitants of the parish waived their claim to common in the hay. (fn. 116) By Exchequer decree of 1640 the moneys were divided equally between the borough and the foreign. (fn. 117) The rent-charge to the foreign lapsed soon after, (fn. 118) but that to the borough continued to be paid until at least 1667. Lane's grandson subsequently refused to pay it (fn. 119) but redeemed it in 1702 for £220. (fn. 120) Of that sum £141 1s. 6d. was spent on property in Walsall, which was settled in trust. (fn. 121) The rest appears to have been used to buy three alms-houses for ten poor families, but nothing further is known of them. (fn. 122) The rents of the estate were distributed yearly in gowns to poor widows. (fn. 123)
By the early 19th century the charity lands were administered with the corporation's estates, (fn. 124) but from 1822 they were separately managed. In 1837 control passed to the trustees of the Municipal Charities, who distributed the gowns. (fn. 125) A Scheme of 1864 required the income to be applied in gifts of clothes, coats, or provisions to poor not receiving relief. (fn. 126) By 1945 tickets were being used for the distribution; the greater part of the property had by then been sold and the proceeds invested in stock. (fn. 127) A remaining rent-charge was redeemed in 1970. (fn. 128) Under a Scheme of that year the charity was amalgamated with Richard Stone's; the income was to be spent in cash grants to needy persons in the county borough. (fn. 129) In 1972 the income of the joint charity was £206 from stock; £160 was distributed to aged poor in Christmas gift tokens of £0.75. (fn. 130)
Henry Stone the elder's Charities.
By deed of 1639 Henry Stone the elder of Walsall, a former mayor, settled a rent-charge of £34 14s. from land in Walsall, Castle Bromwich (Warws.), and Yardley (Worcs.). The trustees were to spend £13 in a houseby-house distribution twice yearly to poor householders of the borough and foreign; a further £7 10s. was to be spent on coats for 12 poor men of the borough and gowns for 12 poor women, and £4 4s. a year was to be given to them in bread each Sunday. The trustees were to keep £2 for an annual dinner, give £1 to the preaching minister of Cannock, and pay the remainder to Walsall church for repairs and sermons. (fn. 131)
In the 1640s and 1650s Henry Stone the younger was augmenting the dole to poor householders, £13 6s. 8d. being usually paid. (fn. 132) In 1659 it was said to be distributed together with John Persehouse's. (fn. 133) Stone also paid the other charges regularly and renewed the trust in 1686. (fn. 134) In 1706 the rent-charge on the Castle Bromwich and Yardley lands was apparently reduced by £2. By 1777 a further deduction was made for land tax. At some time between 1753 and 1788 the rent-charge, amounting to £7, on part of the Walsall property ceased to be paid. The weekly distribution of bread was abandoned in 1801. By 1823 the trustees received only £24 4s., though that was augmented by £5 from Henry Stone the younger's Charity. In the early 19th century c. £12 was usually spent on coats for 18 poor men and women and half-crowns were given to the poor at Christmas. (fn. 135)
The distribution of bread had been resumed by 1838, when loaves were given weekly. (fn. 136) Between at least 1841 and 1849 £4 17s. 6d. was paid to the poor of Bloxwich. (fn. 137) In 1875 £7 of the rent-charge was redeemed, and the remainder had likewise been converted to stock by 1910. (fn. 138) A Scheme of the latter year separated the donations to the church and Cannock from those to the poor, which were united with Henry Stone the younger's Charity as the Stone Eleemosynary Charity. The income was to be spent on clothes, bedding, fuel, tools, or medical aid. The annual dinner was abolished. (fn. 139) In 1971-2 the income was £28; food- and clothing-vouchers worth £29 were given to poor people in the pre-1966 borough. (fn. 140)
Richard Stone's Charity.
By will proved in 1640 Richard Stone of Walsall, a former mayor, left a rent-charge of 20s. from land in Bentley in St. Peter's, Wolverhampton, to the mayor of Walsall to be given in cloth to two poor men at Christmas. He also left the mayor 26s. charged on further land in Bentley; 20s. was to provide cloth for two poor women of the borough yearly, and the corporation was to keep the rest. (fn. 143) By the early 19th century both rent-charges were being used with the rents of the Bentley Hay Charity for clothing. (fn. 144) In 1837 control passed to the Municipal Charities trustees. (fn. 145) A Scheme of 1864 restricted the application to the provision of coats for old men. (fn. 146) By 1945, however, the income was again being combined with that of the Bentley Hay Charity and was used to purchase tickets. (fn. 147) The rent-charges were redeemed in 1970, and the charity was amalgamated with the Bentley Hay Charity by a Scheme of that year. (fn. 148)
In her will Cicely Haynes (d. 1650) left a rent-charge of 10s. a year from land in Wolverhampton to be paid to 30 poor widows of Walsall borough on St. Andrew's day (30 November). It ceased to be paid in 1775. (fn. 149)
Thomas Wollaston's Charities.
In his will Thomas Wollaston (d. 1657), a former mayor, left the rent of a house below Walsall churchyard to the poor. After the deduction of the chief rent 2s. was to be paid to the four inmates of Harper's alms-houses and the rest distributed to the poor of the borough. He also left 10s. rent, from a cottage at Townend which he held on a 99-year lease, to be paid yearly to 30 poor widows of the borough. The charities existed in 1670, but nothing further is known of them. (fn. 150)
Richard Stone of Caldmore's Charity.
William Webbe's Charity.
By deed of 1670 William Webbe of London settled in trust two houses in Walsall 'under the hill . . . and near the pump'. The rent was to be spent upon the poor of the borough and foreign. The charity existed in 1692, but nothing further is known of it. (fn. 153)
Charity of John Wollaston the younger.
By will dated 1670 John Wollaston, a former mayor, left the rent of his house in Walsall to be distributed to the poor of the borough on Good Friday at the discretion of his heirs. (fn. 154) Nothing further is known of the charity.
Blanch Wollaston's Charity.
By will proved in 1678 Blanch Wollaston of Walsall, widow of John Wollaston the younger, left land in Great Barr in Aldridge and a house in Walsall for the poor. From the Barr property 10s. was to be given yearly to 20 poor widows of the borough; the rest, with the rent of the house, was to be spent in apprenticing children in the borough. Out of her personal estate land was to be bought to augment the charity; £5 of the income was to be given to the poor of Bickenhill (Warws.) and the rest united with her Walsall apprenticing fund. (fn. 155) The charity was not payable until after her son's death and did not take effect until 1692 at the earliest. (fn. 156) The augmentation was effected by the purchase of land in Aldridge in 1698. (fn. 157) By 1823 40 widows were receiving £4 each yearly, and in the previous ten years 74 children had been apprenticed. (fn. 158) In the mid 1850s much of the income was unused because apprenticing was restricted to borough children, but only in 1871 were the trustees authorized to draw upon the whole parish. (fn. 159)
By a Scheme of 1910 separate charities were established for Walsall and Bickenhill. The trustees were to give £10 of the Walsall charity's income to poor widows in the borough; the rest was to be spent on apprenticing and on outfits for young people entering a trade. (fn. 160) A further Scheme of 1933 restricted the application to minors. (fn. 161) By 1945 the widows received clothing tickets at Christmas. By 1947 the payments for apprenticeships had been replaced by more general vocational assistance. (fn. 162)
Land at Great Barr was sold in 1896 and land at Aldridge in 1935. (fn. 163) The income in 1971-2 was £590 from the remainder of the estates in Barr and Aldridge and from stock; £82 was spent on Christmas gifts to widows in the pre-1966 borough and £100 on a student's grant. (fn. 164)
By will proved in 1684 William Syvern, a Walsall shoemaker, left £5 a year to the poor of the town. (fn. 165) The capital was converted into a rent-charge of £5 on property in Birmingham. By 1804 payment was confined to the borough. Each year £1 14s. 8d. was spent on bread; eight loaves were distributed each Sunday. The balance was applied with Thomas Webbe's Charity. (fn. 166) In 1972 the rent-charge was paid into the vicar's sick and poor fund. (fn. 167)
Roger Hinton's Charity.
By will dated 1685 Roger Hinton of Rickerscote in Castle Church devised rent-charges from lands in Rickerscote and Burton, also in Castle Church, to the poor of several Staffordshire parishes and townships, including one of £5 to Walsall. The annuities were at first withheld, but under a Chancery decree the estate was settled in 1692 upon the trusts of Hinton's will; the trustees were also to divide the surplus revenue after payment of the rent-charges between the places in five equal portions. (fn. 168) By the early 19th century the sum payable to Walsall was spent on gowns and coats for poor people in winter. It had increased to £23 18s. 11d. by 1821. (fn. 169) Under a Scheme of 1909 at least £10 of the clear yearly income of the estate was to be paid to Walsall; it could be spent on medical aid, fuel, food, clothing, or other assistance. (fn. 170) Since then the Walsall income, £67 in 1971-2, has usually been applied in gifts of tickets to poor living in the pre-1966 borough. (fn. 171)
Henry Stone the younger's Charity.
By will proved in 1690 Henry Stone the younger of Walsall settled in trust a rent-charge of £5 from his estates in Staffordshire and Warwickshire. The money was to provide coats for five poor men of the borough and gowns for five poor widows on Christmas day. By 1777, despite an exemption clause in the will, the annuity was charged on the property in Castle Bromwich (Warws.) and Yardley (Worcs.) already encumbered with Henry Stone the elder's Charity. By the early 19th century it was administered with that charity, and the two were formally united in 1910 as the Stone Eleemosynary Charity. (fn. 172)
Robert Moseley's Charity.
By will proved in 1697 Robert Moseley of Walsall left a rent-charge of £2 1s. from land in Bushbury to the vicar of Walsall and the churchwardens of the borough. They were to distribute 40s. yearly to the poor of the borough, retaining 1s. themselves. (fn. 173) It is not known that the rent-charge was ever paid. (fn. 174)
Humphrey Persehouse's Charity.
By will proved in 1698 Humphrey Persehouse left a rent-charge of £5 from land in Great Bloxwich to be paid yearly to the poor, £2 to the borough and £3 to the foreign. (fn. 175) The dole to the borough may have been paid in the earlier 18th century; that to the foreign was still paid c. 1770. (fn. 176) The charity had been lost by 1804. (fn. 177)
By will proved in 1710 Samuel Murrey of Walsall left land in Darlaston to sixteen poor men of the foreign, who were each to receive 6d. yearly from the profits. (fn. 178) The charity may have existed in the later 18th century, (fn. 179) but nothing further is known of it.
By will proved in 1724 Richard Robinson, a Bushbury nailer, left a rentcharge of 40s. from a cottage apparently in Bushbury to be distributed to the poor of Great and Little Bloxwich twice yearly. It had ceased to be paid by the mid 18th century. (fn. 180)
By will proved in 1729 William King of Great Bloxwich gave land there to the poor widows of Great Bloxwich. The charity was to take effect after his wife's death. The income in 1736 was £2. (fn. 181) By 1804, however, the charity had been in abeyance for some years, as the land had been mortgaged for securing a debt 'for Burton ale'. (fn. 182) By 1823 the owner of the property was applying about £2 a year in small gifts to the poor, but by 1849 a £2 rent-charge was distributed by the minister. (fn. 183) In 1864 by order of the Master of the Rolls the rent-charge was redeemed and the capital invested in stock. The income was to be applied in bread, coals, clothing, or fuel for the poor of Bloxwich parish, preferably widows. (fn. 184) By 1965 the stock had been united with that of Crowther's Charity. The joint income in 1971 was £53 and was applied with the Bloxwich share of Robert Parker's General Charity. (fn. 185)
By will proved in 1754 Bridget Mills of Walsall left £100, the interest on which, after the death of her nieces, was to be distributed yearly among 100 poor of the borough. (fn. 186) The charity had become payable by 1804; the income in the early 19th century was £5, which was given in flannel by 1838-9. (fn. 187) In 1972 the income, £3 from stock, was paid into the vicar's sick and poor fund. (fn. 188)
By will dated 1799 Henry Whateley left a rent-charge of £6 from land at Coal Pool for annual payments of £4 4s. to old and infirm men and women of the foreign not receiving pay from the overseers and £1 1s. to the curate of Bloxwich for a sermon; the distributors were to retain 15s. for refreshment afterwards. (fn. 189) The annuity was still paid in 1971 and was applied with the Bloxwich share of Robert Parker's General Charity. (fn. 190)
Before 1804 John Wilcox gave 16s. a year to be distributed to the poor of the borough. By 1804 it was charged on land in Darlaston. It was agreed in 1823 to set aside ½ a. of the property for the poor. It was sold in 1845 and the proceeds were invested in stock. (fn. 191) In 1972 the income, £4, was applied with Thomas Webbe's Charity. (fn. 192)
The Bloxwich Dole.
By 1819 a rent-charge of £2 11s. out of a farm in Little Bloxwich was being given yearly to the poor of the foreign. (fn. 193) Payment was interrupted from 1820 but had been resumed by 1841. (fn. 194) The rent-charge was redeemed in 1893 and invested in stock. (fn. 195) In 1971 the income, £2.55, was applied with the Bloxwich share of Robert Parker's General Charity. (fn. 196)
By will proved in 1857 John Crowther of Wednesbury left £2,000 to be invested in stock. The income was to be spent on coats, gowns, and blankets distributed to poor parishioners of Bloxwich, preference being given to regular church-goers. By 1965 the stock had been united with that of King's Charity, and the two funds are applied together. (fn. 197)
By will proved in 1866 George Ricketts, a Walsall whip-thong maker, left £100 out of his residuary estate for charitable purposes within St. Peter's parish. In 1972 the income, about £2.50 derived from stock, was paid to needy people there. (fn. 198)
By will proved in 1890 J. E. Bealey of the Hills, Bloxwich, left £200 to provide bread for distribution weekly to poor widows of the district of Christ Church, Blakenall Heath, and £100 for bread for poor widows and other needy persons living near Little Bloxwich mission church. A Scheme of 1937 permitted both charities to be applied in cash. (fn. 199) By 1972 the two funds had been amalgamated with Farnall's Charity; the income in that year, £5 from stock, was paid to needy persons in Christ Church parish. (fn. 200)
By will proved in 1892 William Henry Hill of Walsall left £300, payable after his wife's death, for yearly gifts of food and clothing to the poor of St. Michael's parish, Caldmore, and £300 to St. Matthew's parish on like trusts. The charity took effect in 1903. (fn. 201) The income of the Caldmore charity in 1972, £10 from stock, was given in cash and food at Christmas. (fn. 202) The St. Matthew's income, £19, was paid into the vicar's sick and poor fund. (fn. 203)
The Henry Boys' Charities.
By will proved in 1894 Henry Boys left £1,250 for yearly gifts of Witney blankets to poor widows over 50, £1,250 to provide boots for poor, infirm, and unemployable men over 50, and £1,000 for a yearly gift of shoes to equal numbers of orphan boys and girls aged between 6 and 12. Life-long residents of Walsall were to be preferred. (fn. 204) The income in 1972 was £90; £56 was spent on boots and shoes distributed to old men and orphans in the pre-1966 borough, and £48 on blankets given to widows there. (fn. 205)
By will proved in 1894 Eliza Farnall of the Hills, Bloxwich, left £100 for yearly gifts of flannel to poor widows living near Little Bloxwich mission church. (fn. 206) By 1972 the capital had been united with that of Bealey's Charities and the incomes were applied jointly.
The Sarah Janet Kirkpatrick Trust.
By will proved in 1894 Sarah Janet Kirkpatrick of Walsall settled £500 to benefit poor women. (fn. 207) From 1921 to 1952 the income was paid to the Sutton Coldfield Home of Rest for Women and Girls, and between 1922 and 1935 to the Wolverhampton Hospital for Women also. Since 1952 it has been divided between the Walsall Tuberculosis After Care Committee and the Walsall Civic Guild of Help (now the Walsall Guild of Social Service and Citizens' Advice Bureau). (fn. 208) The income in 1972 was £24. (fn. 209)
By will proved in 1896 James Trees of Walsall left £300 to be distributed in winter clothing yearly to the poor of St. George's parish, half for men and half for women. (fn. 210) A Scheme of 1966 divided the interest equally between St. Matthew's and St. Paul's parishes for gifts in money or in kind to poor residents in the former parish of St. George. In 1972 the income, £7, was paid into the sick and poor funds of the two parishes. (fn. 211)
By will proved in 1911 Eliza Brace of Walsall left £500 to pay the travel and subsistence expenses of poor patients from the borough and foreign staying in convalescent homes. A Scheme of 1934 restricted the application to poor mothers in St. Matthew's parish but permitted expenditure for other medical purposes or for gifts of money or clothing. The income in 1972 was £15, which was spent on convalescent holidays for poor women. (fn. 212)
Sir Edwin and Lady Smith's Gifts.
In 1917 Sir Edwin Thomas Smith of Marryatville, South Australia, a native of Walsall, gave £1,000 to provide clothing, boots, bedding, fuel, or similar articles at Christmas for poor of the borough over 50. (fn. 213) The income was distributed in kind from 1917 to 1952 and from 1953 in tickets. (fn. 214) The income in 1971-2 was £35; £53 was distributed within the area of the pre-1966 borough. (fn. 215)
By will proved in 1918 Joseph Allen Archer, a Walsall leather-goods manufacturer, left £500 for a yearly distribution after his wife's death of boots among poor children in the borough. The charity had come into effect by 1926. The income in 1971-2 was £17 from stock; £26 was spent on boots and shoes in the pre-1966 borough. (fn. 216)
By will proved in 1919 William Edward Blyth left £25 for the poor of St. Matthew's parish. In 1972 the income, £0.93 from stock, was paid into the vicar's sick and poor fund. (fn. 217)
By will proved in 1920 Mary Jesson Windle of Walsall left £100 to the sick and poor fund of St. Matthew's parish. The income in 1972 was £5 from stock. (fn. 218)
The Isabel Jones Trust.
By will proved in 1933 Thomas Halbert Jones of Walsall left £500 in memory of his daughter for poor Walsall children. The trustees decided to spend the income on boots, clothing, spectacles, and milk for needy school children under 17. In 1971-2 the income was £18 from stock; £30 was spent on needy children. (fn. 219)
The J. A. Leckie Trust Gift.
By will proved in 1938 J. A. Leckie of Sutton Coldfield (Warws.), M.P. for Walsall 1931-8 and mayor 1926-7, left a share of his residual estate to the Walsall Victoria Nursing Institution. In 1956 his trustees decided that the money, then amounting to £1,000, should be administered under a resolution of the town council's charities committee that it be invested and the income distributed to aged poor living in the borough. The fund was first so applied in 1958. (fn. 220) The income in 1971-2 was £51.75 from stock; £61 50 was spent on £0.75 tickets distributed at Christmas within the area of the pre-1966 borough. (fn. 221)
The charity, applied in St. Matthew's parish, is said to have been founded in 1940, but the donor and instrument are unknown. Two funds were established, one for bread for the poor and the other for 10s. gifts to them at Christmas. In 1972 the income of the bread charity was £10.96 and that of the gift charity £6-54 from stock; both were paid into the vicar's sick and poor fund. (fn. 222)
The Annie Elizabeth Bull Charity.
By will proved in 1943 Frederick Bull, a Walsall spring-hook and chain manufacturer, left £2,600 in memory of his wife for Christmas distributions in cash, food, or clothing among poor over 65 and resident in the county borough for at least ten years. (fn. 223) In 1971-2 the income was £90; £78 was spent on £0.75 tickets distributed in the pre-1966 borough. (fn. 224)
The Alice Hanlon Charity.
By will proved in 1950 Alice Hanlon, sister of Frederick Bull, left £2,330 on trusts identical with those of the foregoing. (fn. 225) The income in 1971-2 was £117, which was distributed in £0.75 tickets. (fn. 226)
The Mayor's Old People's Christmas Gift Fund.
In 1958 £2,100, raised by public appeal in 1957 by D. Cartwright, then mayor, was settled by the corporation to provide Christmas gifts in cash to men over 65 and women over 60 living in the borough. (fn. 227) In 1971-2 the income was £129 from stock and was distributed in the pre-1966 borough. (fn. 228)
By will proved in 1963 John Picken of Bloxwich, a retired colliery-timber sawyer, left £100 for the general charitable purposes of Bloxwich church. In 1971 the income amounted to £10 from stock, which was applied with the Bloxwich share of Robert Parker's General Charity. (fn. 229)