Bray with the borough of Maidenhead: Churches and charities

Pages 107-116

A History of the County of Berkshire: Volume 3. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1923.

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The church of ST. MICHAEL consists of a chancel 43 ft. by 14 ft. 10 in., north vestry, north chapel 28 ft. 1 in. by 17 ft. 4 in., south chapel 27 ft. 2 in. by 17 ft. 4 in., nave 85 ft. 11 in. by 16 ft. 5 in., north aisle 85 ft. 3 in. by 16 ft. 6 in., south aisle 85 ft. 7 in. by 16 ft. 9 in. and a tower at the south-west of the south aisle 15 ft. square. These measurements are all internal.

The south aisle and the original arches of the south arcades of the chancel and nave, though much restored, are the earliest surviving portions and date from c. 1300; the north aisle was entirely rebuilt in 1859, and if, as is said to be the case, it is a copy of its predecessor, this and the north arcade were probably built about twenty years later than the south aisle. The present chancel and chapels (fn. 1) seem to have been rebuilt c. 1500. In 1859 a series of sweeping 'restorations' was entered upon. The north arcade of the chancel, the eastern arch of which was widened early in the 16th century, was rebuilt to match the south arcade, while the east window of the north chapel was altered from five lights to four and the two north windows from four lights to two. The south chapel was given an 'early perpendicular' character and the early 14th-century chancel arch was reconstructed. New piers were substituted for the original piers of the nave, and the eastern arches of the arcades, which had till then been separated by short lengths of blank walling from the west wall of the chancel and from the arches next to the westward, were enlarged. The 15th-century west window was removed to make room for a 'decorated' window, and all the original timber roofs were removed, the walls of the nave being raised about 6 ft. At the same time all the original detail which was allowed to remain was restored almost out of recognition. The walls, which, with the exception of those of the chancel, are buttressed, are all faced externally with flint, and the dressings and wrought details where original are of chalk.

The east window of the chancel, though much restored, is of the late 15th century, and is of five cinquefoiled lights under a traceried four-centred head. A doorway of the same date in the north wall leads into the vestry, while the remainder of the wall is occupied by the modern arcade opening into the north chapel. At the south-east is a restored 13th-century piscina with a trefoil head and fluted basin, to the west of which is a modern window of three cinquefoiled lights with vertucal tracery under an elliptical head, probably a copy of a former window. The early 14th-century arcade of the south chapel is of chalk, and has two-centred arches of two orders, each moulded with a sunk quarter-round, supported by an octagonal column and responds with moulded capitals and bases. There are labels on both faces, but their stops and the responds have been renewed in stone. The chancel arch is of two moulded orders.

The east window of the north chapel, now the organ chamber, is of four cinquefoiled lights under a traceried four-centred head. The two north windows are each of two similar lights with traceried heads of the same form; some of the material of the larger 15th-century windows which they replace was re-used in their construction. A modern arch divides the chapel from the north aisle. The windows and south doorway of the south chapel are entirely modern.

The nave arcades are of six bays with two-centred arches of two orders, each order being moulded with a sunk quarter-round. The octagonal columns and responds, together with the eastern arch of each arcade, are modern. The eastern arch of the south arcade is built of original chalk voussoirs from the two demolished arches. The west window is modern.

With one exception the original windows have been reset in the rebuilt north wall of the north aisle. The easternmost window is of late 15th-century date and is of three cinquefoiled lights under a traceried segmental head. The remaining three windows in this wall are each of two trefoiled lights with a foliated spherical triangle within a two-centred head, and, with the exception of the westernmost, which is a modern copy, are of the early 14th century. The west window is modern. At the east end of the north wall is an angular projection, evidently the reproduction of that which formerly contained the rood stairs. The wall is faced with flint diversified by small cubes of freestone.

The south aisle has four south windows, the three eastern of which are coupled lancets, having deep splays with moulded internal jambs and segmental two-centred rear arches with internal labels and leafstops. To the east of the south doorway is a holy water stoup in a recess with moulded jambs and a segmental two-centred head. The south doorway, which has a two-centred head and external label with a drop rear arch, is of two orders, each moulded with a sunk quarter-round, and appears to be of early 14th-century date. Externally it is surrounded by an elaborately moulded opening in the north wall of the 15th-century tower, which is built against the aisle wall, the ground stage forming a south porch. The westernmost window is a single trefoiled light with an external label and a segmental two-centred rear arch. All the external stones appear to be modern.

The tower is in three receding stages with angle buttresses of four offsets at the southern angles, and a square stair turret of slight projection at the north-western angle. The parapet is embattled, and the stair turret, which has also an embattled parapet, rises above it. The ground stage is ceiled by a modified form of sexpartite vault with a central circular opening and moulded diagonal, transverse, and ridge ribs with bosses at their intersections. The ridges of the subsidiary compartments on the east and west are parallel with the transverse rib and meet the diagonals midway between the springing and the apex. The vault springs from triple vaulting shafts with moulded bell capitals having octagonal abaci and moulded bases with octagonal plinths resting on low stone podia with moulded cappings. The doorway in the south wall of the tower is a modern restoration of 1875 and has a moulded two-centred head and jambs with traceried spandrels within a square exterior label. The ringing stage is lighted by small square-headed trefoiled lights on the east and west and the bell-chamber has in each face a window of two cinquefoiled lights with vertical tracery within a two-centred head, the lights being fitted with pierced stone panels. The walls are of flint rubble with chalk dressings.

The roofs are modern and covered externally with tiles; with the exception of the north chapel roof, they are all of steep pitch. The roof of the south aisle has been put together with fragments of the old roofs removed at the restoration.

The octagonal font with quatrefoiled panels and wooden cover was made in the year 1647, as testified by an entry under that year in the book of churchwardens' accounts. (fn. 2)

Against the west wall of the north aisle is a sepulchral stone, decorated with a foliated cross, having the letters LAG on the arms. Round the edge of the slab part of an inscription is still legible: 'Ici : gist : Willame : Le Fiz . . . . . . . . ari : lesscoler : de …'

On the north wall of the north aisle is the brass (fn. 3) of Sir John de Foxley (d. 1378), containing the figure of a knight in bascinet with camail, and plates, standing between his two wives under a canopy now lost. The knight's head rests on a helm crested with a fox; his jupon is charged with his two bars. The lady on his right wears an armorial dress charged with Foxley impaling Brocas. The lady on his left is similarly dressed; her dress is charged with Foxley only. The figures and the canopy occupy the upper half of the slab; below is a fox, on which rests a column supporting the design. All inscriptions have disappeared.

On the south wall of the south aisle east of the south door is a brass to William Dyer, vicar, 1440. Beneath is a brass inscribed in black letter to Thomas atte Lude, chaplain. He was probably chaplain of the chapel formerly existing at Maidenhead. In the south wall of the south chapel is a brass with inscription to William Laken, a justice of the King's Bench, who died 6 October 1475, and his wife Sibyl, a daughter and heir of John Sifrewast, lord of Clewer. He wears a sword and belt and a long furred gown.

In the floor of the south aisle is a brass to William Smythe and his two wives Agnes and Matilda, c. 1500, with an inscription in black letter, a blank being left for the date. On the north wall of the north aisle is a brass to William Norreys, usher of the Parliament house and of the order of the Garter under Mary and Elizabeth, who died 16 April 1591. He wears the badge of the Garter and kneels with his wife and twelve children. Above are his own arms and those of Fortescue for his wife, and between himself and his wife is the Norreys shield with the motto 'Faithfully Sarve.' Below is Norreys impaling Fortescue.

On the south wall of the south chapel is a brass to Clement Kelke, haberdasher of London and merchant adventurer, who died in 1593, and his wife Elizabeth, daughter of Alderman Becher. On the same wall is a brass to William Smithe, 1594, gentleman-at-arms to Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth. Above are his arms, viz. : Sable a ring argent within a border engrailed or and a chief or with a mace sable therein. The crest is a forearm cut off at the elbow, the hand grasping a mace.

On the north side of the south chapel, in the south-east pier of the nave, is a brass tablet in a marble frame, without name or date. It shows a man and a woman of c. 1600 kneeling in prayer. Below is an inscription beginning:—

'When Oxford gave thee two degrees in art,
And love possest thee master of my heart,
Thy Colledge Fellowshipp thou lefst for mine,
And nought but deathe could seprate me fro thine.'

Two shields in the spandrels of the frame have apparently been repainted.

On the north wall of the chancel is a mural monument to William Goddard of Philibert, who died in 1609, founder of Jesus Hospital, and Joyce Maunsell his wife, who died in 1622. Within two niches under an entablature and broken pediment supported by marble Corinthian columns are painted three-quarter figures, life-sized, of William Goddard and his wife. The inscriptions are on the base of the monument, which is of marble and painted stone. Over the entablature is a shield of arms: Gules an eagle or and a chief vair.

On the north face of the north-east pier of the nave is a brass to Arthur Page of Water Oakley, who died 23 December 1610, and his wife Cicely, daughter of William Brownesopp, by whom he had issue one son, Edward; she died 12 March 1598. He is represented kneeling in prayer with his wife.

In the floor at the west end of the north aisle is a brass to Thomas Lawrence, who died 28 October 1603. On the north wall of the north aisle is an elaborate monument to William Paule, who died in 1685.

There is a peal of six bells, the treble inscribed, 'Feare God Honour the King 1678,' the second by Henry Knight, 1612, the third by Henry Knight, 1613, the fourth by Thomas Mears, 1812, the fifth by Thomas Swain, 1771, while the tenor bears the date 1663.

The communion plate is modern and consists of a chalice dated 1888, a flagon, 1850, and two patens, 1854.

The registers previous to 1812 are as follows: (i) marriages 1653 to 1723 (the years between 1657 and 1660 are missing), baptisms 1652 to 1722, burials 1653 to 1722 (the years between 1656 and 1659 are missing); (ii) marriages 1723 to 1754, baptisms 1723 to 1763, burials 1723 to 1763; (iii) baptisms 1763 to 1812; (iv) marriages 1754 to 1777; (v) marriages 1778 to 1812.

On the north side of the churchyard is the chantry chapel of ST. MARY THE VIRGIN, used in the 18th century for the free school and now for the Sunday school. It is a plain rectangular building, measuring externally about 66 ft. 4 in. by 23 ft. 8 in., with flintfaced walls, buttresses of two offsets at each angle, and a steep-pitched tiled roof. The walls and probably the buttresses, though much restored, appear to be of the late 13th century, but early in the 17th century, when the building was turned into a school-house, the interior was divided into two rooms of unequal size by a brick chimney stack with two fireplaces back to back, and new windows were formed in the north wall. The east and west windows are entirely modern, and their heads are filled with plate tracery of a dreary type. In the south wall are two square-headed doorways, both of modern stonework, but the westernmost, which may occupy the position of the original doorways, has an early 17th-century door. Between the two doorways is a lancet with modern external stonework and original internal jambs and rear arch, while to the east of it are the jambs and rear arch of a second lancet, not visible externally. A sculptured stone bearing what appears to be the figure of a bull is set in the external face of the wall between the western doorway and the lancet.

At the south-east of the churchyard is an L-shaped half-timber gate-house of the 15th century, probably the chantry-house. The entrances to the gateway, which occupies about half the ground floor of the principal block, have four-centred heads with plain sunk spandrels, and the gabled upper story has moulded sills with supporting brackets. A small staircase entered from the north-west corner of the gateway passage and lighted by open balustered lights leads to the upper floor; the portion above the gateway is divided into two rooms, and an original roof-truss is exposed. This part of the building remains very much in its original condition, though the staircase is probably of 17th-century construction, and the windows appear to have been enlarged; the north-east wing has, however, been much modernized, and the upper parts of the chimney stacks have been renewed.

The ecclesiastical parish of ALL SAINTS, Braywood, was formed in 1871. The church consists of a chancel, a nave, north and south transepts, a north vestry, a south-east tower, and a west porch. It was erected in 1866 of flint in 14th-century Gothic style, and at the cost of Madame Van de Weyer. The parish includes Fifield and Oakley Green and parts of Winkfield and Cranbourne. The living is a vicarage in the gift of Col. Van de Weyer.

The church of HOLY TRINITY at Touchen End consists of a chancel and a nave, with a north porch, a north aisle and west bellcote. It was erected in 1862 in the 14th-century style, and is built of red brick with stone dressings and tiled roofs. It serves as a chapel of ease to St. Michael's.

The ecclesiastical parish of ST. LUKE at Maidenhead was formed in 1867 from Cookham. The church consists of a chancel, nave and aisles, north vestry, south porch, and south-east tower, with a broach spire. It was erected in 1867, the spire being added in 1894. The design is of late 13th-century character, and the material is coursed quarry-faced stonework with ashlar dressings. The roofs are slated. The living is a vicarage in the gift of the Bishop of Oxford.

Bray Chantry Chapel from the South-west

The ecclesiastical parish of ST. ANDREW AND ST. MARY MAGDALENE at Maidenhead was formed in 1870. The church is built of light-coloured brick with stone dressings, and consists of a chancel with a semi-octagonal apse, a vestry on the north, a square embattled tower on the south, the lower part of which is used as an organ chamber, and a large and lofty aisleless nave, the west end of which is three-sided. The church was erected in 1825–6, but the whole of the east end was pulled down in 1877 and the existing chancel, with the tower and vestry. erected in its place. The early registers are divided between Bray and Cookham.

The plate consists of two fine silver flagons with the date letter of 1629 and a chalice and paten of 1657, given by Richard Robinson in the same year. A second chalice and paten were presented by I. Knollis, B.D., chaplain, G. C. Gorham, B.D., curate, and seventy persons in the congregation to the church on Christmas Day, 1838, and there are also an almsdish of 1725 and a silver-gilt spoon of 1838.

The ecclesiastical parish of ALL SAINTS, Boyn Hill, was formed in 1858. The church consists of a chancel, with south vestry and organ chamber, nave, aisles, south porch, a tower and spire at the north-west, and a bellcote over the east gable of the nave.

The church was erected from the designs of the late G.E. Street in the year 1857, the nave then consisting of four bays, and the tower standing isolated at the north-west corner of the nave. In 1907 the nave was extended two bays westward, the ground stage of the tower now forming a north porch. The materials are brick, with dressings and bands of stone and coloured brick. The tower is surmounted by a broach spire of stone and there is a stone bellcote over the east gable of the nave. The roofs are of timber, covered externally with tiles. The living is a vicarage in the gift of the Bishop of Oxford.

The church of ST. PETER at Maidenhead, erected in 1894, consists of a chancel with an apsidal end, a south vestry and organ chamber, a nave and aisles and a west porch, while on the roof between the chancel and the nave is a small bellcote covered with a shingle spire. The walls both inside and out are faced with red bricks with diaper work and strings of purple bricks, and the dressings are of stone. The roofs are open and covered with tiles. It serves as a chapel of case to St. Luke's.

The church of ST. PAUL, High Town Road, Maidenhead, erected in 1887 and consecrated in 1889, consists of a continuous aisleless nave and chancel, north vestry, north porch, a semicircular western baptistery, and a wooden bellcote surmounting the roof. The materials are yellow and red brick, with stone dressings. At the west end of the nave is a semicircular baptistery. The roofs are of timber, covered with tiles. It serves as a chapel of ease to All Saints, Boyn Hill.


There was a church at Bray in 1086. (fn. 4) It was granted about 1133 to the abbey of Cirencester by Henry I, whose gift was afterwards confirmed by John, (fn. 5) and the abbot and convent received licence to appropriate it before 1274. (fn. 6) It continued in their possession till the Dissolution, (fn. 7) when the vicarage was worth £25 4s. 4d. yearly. (fn. 8) In 1547 it was granted by Edward VI to the Bishop of Oxford, (fn. 9) to whose successors it belonged until the time of the Commonwealth. (fn. 10) It was sold by the Parliamentary commissioners to Francis Hardinge in 1651, (fn. 11) but was recovered at the Restoration by the Bishop of Oxford, (fn. 12) to which see the patronage still belongs. (fn. 13)

Simon Allen, vicar of Bray between 1538 and 1565, was, according to Fuller, the time-server who held his living under the last four Tudors, and 'being taxed for an inconstant changeling' answered that he had always kept true to his principle, to live and die vicar of Bray. (fn. 14) The story is, however, better known through the song, which makes the vicar live more than a century later in order to give him the opportunity of asserting his principle more frequently.

Maidenhead, since 1870 a separate ecclesiastical parish, was formerly divided between the two parishes of Cookham and Bray. The chapel was built towards the close of the episcopate of Walter de la Wyle, Bishop of Salisbury (1263–74), without any sanction from either of the vicars of the parishes concerned, and the bishop therefore refused his licence and placed an interdict on the building. (fn. 15) This was upheld by his successor Robert de Wickhampton, (fn. 16) and it was not until 1324 that the vicars of Cookham and Bray withdrew their opposition and the Bishop of Salisbury, Roger de Mortival, procured relaxation of the interdict. (fn. 17) It was then agreed that the vicar of Cookham was to nominate a priest to serve the chapel, (fn. 18) but this right was afterwards usurped by the inhabitants of Maidenhead. (fn. 19) They retained it until 1582, after which it passed to the corporation, who are known to have exercised the patronage at least as far back as the earlier part of the reign of Charles I. (fn. 20) The right to nominate was, however, still claimed by the townsmen and gave rise to protracted legal proceedings in 1779, when the corporation nominated Mr. Onslow and the townsmen Mr. Leicester. (fn. 21) The vicar of Cookham also claimed the right to present, but he soon withdrew from the contest and the corporation made good their claim. They continued to be the patrons of the living until the Muncipal Reform Act, (fn. 22) when the advowson was sold to Mr. Ebenezer Fuller Maitland. It is now the property of the Peache Trustees. (fn. 23)


For William Cherry's foundation founded by William Cherry and endowed by his will dated 30 August 1703 see article on schools. (fn. 24) A free school for twenty poor boys was originally carried on in an old chapel in the churchyard. In 1890 the property purchased with the legacy of £500 was sold and the proceeds invested in £1,018 2s. 6d. consols, with the official trustees, producing £25 9s. a year, which under a scheme of the Board of Education of 18 May 1906 is made applicable in the maintenance of exhibitions of the value of £10 a year tenable for the purposes of instruction higher than elementary.

Jesus Hospital and its subsidiary endowments.

— William Goddard, who died in 1609, by his will (exact date unknown) devised to the wardens and commonalty of the mystery of Fishmongers of London, after the decease of his wife Joyce, lands in London and his lands in Bray for the purpose of erecting almshouses to accommodate six aged and poor persons of the company, and thirty-four aged poor of the parish of Bray, to be called 'Jesus Hospital in Bray of the foundation of William Goddard.' The hospital was completed by the company in 1628 under Letters Patent of 13 August 1616.

The trust estates, which had undergone considerable changes in consequence of an inclosure in the parish and of certain exchanges and sales, now consist of the site on the outskirts of the village, and buildings in quadrangular form containing forty almshouses with a chapel and rooms for a chaplain, Short Lane Farm and Lords Lane Farm and other lands in Bray, containing together 232 acres or thereabouts, producing about £300 a year, also no. 10 Aldgate High Street and no. 3 Jewry Street in the City of London, let at £710 per annum; also a sum of £2,610 15s. 10d. consols in the corporate name of the company, representing proceeds of sale of property in Aldgate, sales of timber, &c., and surplus income producing £65 5s. 4d.

The following subsidiary charities are also applicable for the benefit of the hospital, namely:

Jeremiah Copping, by will, 1686, trust fund consisting of a moiety of £2,367 14s. 1d. consols; Thomas Cooke, by will, 1810, trust fund consisting of £5,900 consols; Robert Baskerville's gift in 1653 of £4 per annum, John Owen's gift in 1676 of £1 per annum, and John Hibbert's gift in 1856 of £500 in 1857 of a further £500 on the condition that the company should increase the weekly allowances of the married parishionary almspeople by 2s. a week; and a further gift of £1,000 in 1860 for increasing the allowances by 6d. a week to each of the parishionary almspeople, both married and single. Payments amounting to about £110 a year are duly made by the company in respect of these gifts.

Sophia Ann Osborne, by will proved at Birmingham 1876, trust fund £205 2s. 7d. consols with the official trustees, subject to keeping in repair the tomb in the churchyard; George Pearce by will, proved at London 1878, trust fund £2,946 13s. 4d. consols, including an addition by the company, so as to provide 1s. per week for the parishionary almspeople, and William Joshua Clarke by will, proved at London in 1896, trust fund £230 12s. 9d. 2½ per cent. annuities, the income to be distributed on 2 August, the anniversary of the death of his father, in each year equally between the parishionary almspeople.

The income from rents of the realty and from dividends of the principal charity amounted in 1907 to £1,079 3s. 8d. and the income from the subsidiary charities to £360 14s. 4d., to which the company added a sum of £160 4s.

The allowances paid to the company's almspeople are, married couples 16s. per week and single inmates 11s. per week. The allowances to the parishionary almspeople are 8s. 6d. per week to married couples and 6s. per week to single inmates. Each almsperson receives also annually 2s. 6d. in respect of Osborne's gift, 5s. on annual visitation and two tons of coal and twenty-five bundles of faggots, and biennially each almsman receives a suit of clothes and each almswoman a gown.

The chaplain receives £150 per annum, and £60 is paid for medical attendance.

Lucas Hospital.

—The parish is entitled to have an inmate in this hospital.

The charity of Sir John Norreys was founded by deed of settlement of 30 January 1609, whereby the donor enfeoffed unto trustees certain parcels of ground severally lying in certain hamlets of the parish upon which small cottages had been erected to be used rent free for poor aged and impotent inhabitants. The charity was the subject of an inquisition of charitable uses at Maidenhead in 1699, and also of applications to the Court of Chancery from time to time, in consequence of persons in occupation of the charity estates claiming adversely against the trustees. (fn. 25) Owing to the unsatisfactory condition of the charity and to the fear of personal liability for costs it was found to be impossible to induce persons to accept the trusteeship. The charity is accordingly in abeyance.

The three charities next mentioned are regulated by a scheme of the Charity Commissioners of 4 November 1902, namely :—the charities of Robert Challoner, D.D., by will, 1621, consisting of rentcharges of 40s. for distribution to four of the godliest poor of East Oakley and Bray, and 40s. for sermons, which are now paid by Major M. Adam, the owner of property at Oakley; John Bidleson by will, 1763, trust fund £335 consols, with the official trustees, producing £8 7s. 4d. a year, and the fuel allotment, consisting of 6 a. 2 r. 6 p. awarded under the Bray Inclosure Act, (fn. 26) let at £18 10s. a year.

In pursuance of the scheme, Dr. Challoner's charity for the poor is distributed in sums of 10s. in cases of sickness or other special distress, and the income of Bidleson's charity is distributed annually on St. Thomas's Day to poor persons of Bray town in meat and bread, and the net income of the fuel allotment in the distribution of coals to widows and old people throughout the whole of the ancient parish.

The charity of Mary Rixman (see under Maidenhead).

—This parish participates in this charity for apprenticing and clothing poor boys. Under a scheme of 10 September 1895 every third boy is chosen from the parish of Bray, which lies outside the borough of Maidenhead.

Archbishop Laud's charity (see under Reading).

— This parish has under a scheme of 18 December 1906 the right of having one boy in every twelve apprenticed chosen from boys born in the parish of Bray.

In 1684 Sir William Paul, by will, charged land called Kimbers with an annuity of £5 for the poor, which is now in the possession of Col. Victor W. B. Van de Weyer. The official trustees also hold a sum of £332 0s. 3d. consols, representing the investment of fifty-nine years of the annuity unpaid previous to 1795. The income of the charity, amounting to £13 6s., is applied in aid of a clothing and shoe club for the poor in augmentation of the contributions of the members.

In 1709 Dame Mary Penyston, formerly wife of Sir William Paul, by deed further charged Kimbers with £5 a year for apprenticing a poor boy. The income is accumulated until it amounts to £20, when it is applied in apprenticing a boy, preferably from the hamlet of Braywick.

The parish chalk-pit.

—From time immemorial the parishioners have taken chalk from land in Canon Lane, containing 5 acres or thereabouts, a portion of which is let for cultivation at £2 10s. a year, which is applied by the parish council in keeping the property in order.

The Rev. Walter Levett's charity, founded by deed 7 December 1853 (enrolled), consists of a cottage let to the vicar at £6 a year, and two tenements adjoining, situate over the gateway leading to the church, one of which is occupied, rent free, by a widow and the other by a man and his wife.

The Touchen End chapel repairing fund consists of £107 19s. 3d. consols, with the official trustees, arising from a gift of the Rev. James Edward Austen Leigh, vicar of Bray, by deed poll of 7 July 1862.

The official trustees also hold a sum of £534 15s. 2d. consols, arising from a gift by Mrs. Levett to the Rev. James Edward Austen Leigh, for the maintenance of a school and church at Touchen End. The dividends, amounting to £13 7s. 4d., are applied towards the salary of the organist and expenses of heating and insurance of the church.

In 1894 Mary Ann Clark, by her will proved at London 15 February, bequeathed £200 to the rector and churchwardens of St. Michael's Church, the income to be applied in keeping the vault in the churchyard in repair and the residue for the benefit of the poor. The legacy was invested in the purchase of £198 16s. 7d. consols, producing £4 19s. 4d. a year, which is applied in the distribution of flannel.

The same testatrix, subject to the life interest of her husband, likewise bequeathed £500 to the same trustees, the income to be applied for the benefit of the charities connected with the same church. This legacy was invested in £441 7s. 10d. consols, producing £11 0s. 8d. a year. A sum of £6 or £8 out of the income is distributed in sums of 5s. or 10s. each to poor persons belonging to the ecclesiastical parish, and the residue is carried to the fund for the maintenance of Touchen End Church and school (see above).

Educational charities: the National schools' endowment.

— The official trustees hold a sum of £1,630 10s. consols, arising in part from a gift of Whitshed Keene, by deed dated 26 April 1817, as an endowment of the girls' school, and in part from a legacy of Sir William Hearne for the schoolmaster. The dividends, amounting to £40 15s., are applied as to £2 18s. 2d. to the master of the Holyport school and the residue in the provision of clothing for girls attending the Braywick school and the Touchen End school (see below).

The Braywick Church of England school is comprised in deed of 13 April 1819 by Mr. Pascoe Grenfell. The Holyport Church of England school is comprised in deed poll of 20 April 1848, by the Fishmongers' Company. The Touchen End Church of England school is comprised in deed poll of 31 December 1861, by Teresa Newcomen. All Saints', Braywood, National schools are comprised in deed poll of 19 May 1858, by Mr. Henry Darvill, and additional land by Colonel Victor W. B. Van de Weyer, by deed poll of 21 January 1900.

All Saints', Boyn Hill.

—In 1876 Emma Lamotte, by will proved at London 14 July, bequeathed £1,000 in augmentation of the endowment of All Saints. The legacy was invested in £856 4 per cent. debenture stock of the Glasgow and South Western Railway Company, in the name of the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, producing £34 4s. 9d. a year.

The almshouses erected by Miss Frances Mary Lamotte, and endowed by deed poll 10 July 1877 (enrolled on 1 August following), occupy part of the land conveyed for the site of All Saints' Church. The endowment was further augmented under the will of Miss Lamotte, proved at London 18 June 1885. The trust property consists of the site and buildings for six poor people, £453 19s. 9d. consols, £113 17s. 11d. Great Indian Peninsular Railway 3 per cent. stock, and £82 8s. 11d. annuity class B of the same railway, all held by the official trustees, which, after deduction for sinking fund, &c., produce an income of £75 a year or thereabouts. The inmates are appointed by the vicar, who selects poor women, usually of advanced age.

Town of Maidenhead.

— The municipal charities formerly administered by the corporation are now administered under an order of the Charity Commissioners of 10 September 1895, by a body of trustees consisting of the mayor (ex officio), four representative trustees appointed by the town council, and five co-optative trustees. The following charities comprise the municipal charities, namely:—

The charity of Elizabeth Merry, founded by will, 1686, consisting of a rent-charge of £5 a year on two houses in the High Street. The rent-charge is received from Mr. Charles Butler, and applied as a scholarship tenable at the girls' High School. (fn. 27)

The charity of Abraham Spoore for education and apprenticing, 1697, consists of trust property, a messuage in High Street let at £97 10s., and the 'Vine' public-house in Market Street, let at £40. The income, subject to the payment of 20s. a year to the poor of Twyford, is applied in apprenticeship premiums, usually of the value of £25, and of scholarships of the value of £10 a year, each tenable at the modern school (see below).

The charity of Mrs. Mary Rixman, founded by will, recited in an indenture dated 20 July 1628. The trust estate consists of a house and three cottages at Boyn Hill, let at £58 2s. 8d. a year, 2 a. 2 r. 10 p. of allotment ground producing £8 11s. a year, 5 acres in Maidenhead Ray let at £13 2s. 6d. a year, and £234 14s. 11d. consols, producing £5 17s. 4d. a year, arising from the sale in 1892 of 3 r. 4 p. at Cox Green to the Great Western Railway. The income is at present charged with £42 6s. a year in repayment of a loan incurred in 1902 in the erection of two cottages at Boyn Hill. The available income is applied in apprenticing. Two boys out of three are chosen from the borough and the third from the parish of Bray, the premium in each case being £25.

The charity of Thomas Ring, founded by will, 20 July 1636, consisting of 4 a. 1 r. 12 p. with a messuage and outbuildings erected thereon, acquired under the Cookham inclosure award, dated 15 January 1852, 3 r. 21 p. near North Town, a piece of land near thereto with two cottages erected thereon, let on lease for ninety-nine years from Lady Day, 1876, at the yearly rent of £45, also four cottages and gardens at North Town let on yearly tenancies at rents amounting to £49.

A sum of about £50 a year, together with about £20 from Margaret Poole's charity next mentioned, is applied in an annual distribution of flannel and men's overcoats.

The charity of Margaret Poole, founded by deed, 3 March 1641, endowed with about 20 acres in Wargrave let on lease for 500 years from 1800, at the yearly rent of £30, of which £20 a year is applied in the distribution of clothing (see Ring's charity above), the residue being accumulated. In 1908 there was a balance in hand of £76 13s. 6d. (see also the charity of Ralph Poole, below).

Lady Pocock's ecclesiastical charity.

—In 1818 Dame Ann Pocock, by her will, proved with ten codicils in the P.C.C. on 30 July (among other charitable bequests), bequeathed £2,000 for the support of Sunday schools, which was augmented by a legacy of £400 under the will of John Innes Pocock proved at London 1 May 1865. The two legacies are represented by £3,092 14s. 6d. consols, producing £77 6s. 4d. a year, which is applied in providing clothing and prizes for girls attending Church of England Sunday schools in the ecclesiastical parishes of the borough.

Lady Pocock's non-ecclesiastical charity.

— The same testatrix by her said will and codicils directed certain annual payments for charitable purposes (including £30 for the poor of Cookham parish), for the poor of Maidenhead and Cookham in money, bread, coals, meat, &c., and in gifts to single women servants who have lived in one service not less than seven years in Maidenhead or its vicinity. The trust fund of this branch of the charity consists of £6,774 4s. 8d. consols, producing an annual income of £169 7s., of which £30 is paid to the parochial charities of Cookham (see under Cookham parish) and the residue applied in pursuance of the provision of a scheme of the Charity Commissioners of 22 December 1890.

The almshouses, founded and endowed by James Smyth, citizen and salter of London, by deed, 1661, consist of eight almshouses for eight poor men and their wives, and are under the management of the Salters' Company. The original trust property has by reason of inclosures, sales, purchases, and exchanges undergone considerable alterations.

The following subsidiary endowments have also been made, namely: In or about 1680 Mrs. Smyth, presumably the widow of the founder, gave £200 to the company for the poor, in respect of which £8 a year is paid to the charity.

In 1764 by deed (enrolled) Mrs. Mary Parkhurst and Miss Elizabeth Smith, descendants of the founder, settled an annuity of £50, charged on certain lands in St. Mary, Rotherhithe, for the benefit of the inmates. The annuity was redeemed in 1899, and is represented by £2,235 13s. 5d. India 2½ per cent. stock, of which £1,400 is in course of accumulation.

In 1878 George Pearce by will, proved at London 7 January, left £1,000 to the Salter's Company for the use of the inmates. The legacy, less duty, was invested in £900 10s. 4d. Metropolitan 3½ per cent. stock in the corporate name of the company.

The charity is also endowed with 98a. 2 r. in the parish of Bray, known as Norden Farm, let for twenty-one years from 1894 at £140 10s. a year, also with £1,467 15s. 8d. consols on remittance account, £1,783 12s. 9d. like stock accumulating, and £229 15s. 11d. India 2½ per cent. stock accumulating.

The available income amounts to £238 or thereabouts, out of which, under an order of the Court of Chancery of 1825, certain fixed payments amounting to £31 8s. are made annually, including £10 8s. to the Cookham parochial charities and £8 to Beamond's Almshouses, Watford, Herts. The administration is regulated by a scheme of the Charity Commissioners of 14 March 1902. The stipends of the almspeople are at the rate of 6s. per week each, and each inmate receives also 1½ tons of coal annually and a coat or cloak every second year.

In 1716 Charles Davis by will devised his freehold estate at Maidenhead in trust for the use of the poor of the town, subject to the payments therein mentioned. The trust property consists of nos. 79 and 81 High Street, let respectively for twenty-one years from 29 September 1902 at the yearly rent of £55, and twenty-one years from 29 September 1906 at £80 for the first ten years and thereafter at £100 a year. The charity is administered under a scheme of the Charity Commissioners of 26 April 1881 as amended by a subsequent scheme of 25 September 1896; 10s. is paid to the vicar for a sermon on 11 November annually, 5s. to the church cleaner, and about £3 for refreshments to the trustees. A sum of £25 a year is usually paid to the vicar for St. Mary's coal and clothing clubs and £5 to each of the other clothing clubs in the borough, £10 a year in special cases of distress, and about £50 a year in the distribution of coals on 11 November to about 200 recipients.

In 1729 Richard Whitfield, by will proved in the P.C.C. 28 January, devised an annuity of £6 10s. issuing out of certain property in Wheatley, Oxfordshire, to be applied in money and clothing of four poor men and two poor women, residents in the borough. The annuity is received from the Misses Sheldon, Cromwell House, Wheatley, of which onehalf is distributed by the mayor and the other half by the vicar of St. Andrew's and St. Mary's to poor persons resident in the borough in sums of 5s. each.

In 1797 Ann Seymour, widow, by will proved in the P.C.C. 24 October, directed that stock should be purchased sufficient to produce £20 a year which — subject to the life interest of her son Henry and his wife (if surviving) and to the contingency of there being no issue—the testatrix directed should be applied towards the establishment of a school for poor girls to be trained for domestic service. The charity came into operation in 1835 on the decease of the son's widow. A school for girls had previously to that date been established under Lady Pocock's charity (see above) and the income of this charity is now applied in giving clothing of the value of about 37s. 6d. in each case, and a Bible and Prayer Book to girls leaving Brock Lane Sunday school (see below) and taking a place in service, and in books for the general use of the Sunday school. The trust fund consists of £665 5s. 2d. consols, producing £16 12s. 4d. a year.

Miss Charity Shapland, who died in or about 1835, by her will bequeathed her personal estate to her executor, Charles Williams, surgeon, upon trust, to apply the income as he should think fit for the benefit of the poor of the town. Under orders of the Court of Chancery, 1858 and 1859, the trust funds, amounting to £1,099 19s. 4d. consols, were transferred to the official trustees. The annual dividends, amounting to £27 10s., are applied in the distribution of clothing, usually in tickets of the value of 5s. each, divided among the ecclesiastical parishes in the borough, in the proportion of half to St. Andrew's and St. Mary's, a quarter to St. Luke's and a quarter to All Saints'. Grants are also made to the clothing and maternity clubs.

Ralph Poole's charity.

—An ancient tablet in the church at Cookham states that Mr. Ralph Poole gave by will £10 8s. yearly for ever out of an estate called Munkendon's. The rent-charge, now £10 a year, paid as a charge on a dwelling-house in the High Street, was, by an order of the Charity Commissioners of 10 May 1901, vested in the official trustee of charity lands, and by the same order it was provided that the charity should be administered by the trustees of the municipal charities, and applied in the supply of clothes, linen, fuel, tools, medical or other aid in sickness, or in temporary relief in money in special cases.

In 1869 Robert Wyvill, by will proved at Oxford 22 September, bequeathed £400 to the incumbent and churchwardens of St. Mary Magdalene and St. Andrew, represented by £541 11s. consols, the annual dividends to be applied in the distribution at Christmas time of bread, coals, clothing or otherwise among deserving poor. The dividends, amounting to £13 10s. 8d., are applied in tickets for goods of the value of 2s. 6d. each.

In 1884 Emily Beeney, by her will proved at London 22 July, gave the residue of her estate to Miss Helen Mary Coney upon trust, to apply the same among such of the deserving poor of the neighbourhood of Maidenhead as in her absolute discretion she should think fit. Miss Coney proposed to establish almshouses therewith, but died before she had carried out her intention (see charity next mentioned). The trust fund is represented by £603 8s. 9d. consols, producing £15 1s. 8d. a year, which under a scheme of 15 June 1887 is made applicable by the vicar and churchwardens of St. Luke's in payments not exceeding 20s. each in December annually to poor widows being not less than fifty years of age and resident in that parish. The several sums of stock above mentioned, except where otherwise stated, are held by the official trustees in trust for the respective charities.

In 1886 Helen Mary Coney, by her will proved at London 29 May, bequeathed (after the decease of the survivor of two annuitants therein mentioned) £6,000 stock to the respective vicars of St. Luke's and St. Mary's upon trust, to pay the income at the rate of 6s. per week to each of such six old couples as they should in their absolute discretion select— the survivor of such couples to retain the pension— and upon further trust to pay 5s. a week to widows and spinsters of the age of sixty years or upwards. The estate being insufficient to pay the legacies in full, a sum of £5,644 0s. 1d. consols was in 1902, on the decease of the survivor of the two annuitants, transferred by the executors into the names of the Rev. Henry George Jephson Meard and the Rev. Charles Hewitson Nash, then the incumbents of the respective parishes, by whom the dividends, amounting to £141 2s. a year, are applied in equal proportions in the manner directed by the testatrix.

The Samuel Lewis old age pension fund.

—By his will, proved at London 24 January 1901, Samuel Lewis gave, after the decease of his wife (which event happened in 1906), £15,000 for such charitable institution or institutions at Maidenhead or Cookham as his trustees should select. By an order of the High Court of 4 July 1908 it was directed that the legacy (less the sum of £1,000 paid thereout to the Maidenhead boys' club) should be applied as to twothirds thereof in the provision of old age pensions in Maidenhead and as to one-third thereof for the like purpose in the parish of Cookham (including Cookham Dean) in accordance with schemes filed 4 July 1908. In pursuance of the same order the following securities have been transferred to the official trustees, namely: £3,214 19s. Metropolitan Water ('B') 3 per cent. stock, £3,018 16s. 4d. India 3½ per cent. stock, and £1,090 11s. 9d. Bank of Ireland stock, producing in 1908 an aggregate income of £334 2s. 4d., which, in accordance with the provisions of the scheme, is applied in monthly payments at the rate of not exceeding £30 per annum for married couples and not exceeding £20 per annum in the case of single men or women, widowers or widows. For the one-third share applicable in Cookham see under the parish of Cookham.

The Cottage Hospital and subsidiary endowments.

—The hospital buildings were erected by voluntary contributions on a site purchased in 1878, and subsequent extensions have been carried out on adjoining ground purchased in 1897 and 1902. Samuel Lewis, by his will above referred to, bequeathed £10,000 to the hospital for founding and endowing a wing to be called the Ada Lewis Wing, of which £2,000 was spent in its erection and equipment and the balance of the legacy was in 1908 represented by £2,000 Middlesex County 3 per cent. stock, £4,666 11s. 3d. colonial securities and £1,532 8s. 7d. Reading Corporation 3½ per cent. stock in the names of trustees, and £1,613 5s. 6d. on deposit with Lloyds Bank, producing an aggregate income of £308.

In 1904 John Gillham Womack, by will proved at London 29 September, directed that after the decease or second marriage of his wife his trustees should out of his residuary trust funds raise the sum of £1,500, which he bequeathed free of legacy duty, for the endowment of a bed to be called the Taplow Bed, to be held so far as practicable at the disposal of residents from the village of Taplow.

The Natioal school, East Street, founded in 1819, has no endowment other than the site and buildings, comprised in a deed of grant, 1862. The school is conducted as a Church of England public elementary school.

The National school, Brock Lane, comprised in deed, 1845 (enrolled), is now used as a Sunday school in connexion with the church of St. Andrew and St. Mary Magdalene, and part is occupied by a caretaker. There is no income from endowment.

The Modern School.

—This school was opened in 1894 by the Maidenhead Commercial School Company, Limited. The present school buildings and site, comprised in deed of 7 June 1902, were subject to a mortgage debt of £950, which is being repaid by instalments, the amount outstanding in 1908 being £775 16s. 8d., and there was a sum of £200 on deposit with Lloyds Bank. In 1906 the governors transferred the management of the school to the Berkshire County Council as the local education authority. It is understood that the school, which is inadequate for its purpose, will be removed to more commodious premises.

Nonconformist Charities:—

Congregational Chapel Manse.

—In 1760, by deed (enrolled 24 October 1760), a sum of £333 6s. 8d. South Sea annuities was settled for the benefit of the minister of the meeting-house of Protestant Dissenters. In 1781, by deed (enrolled 23 July 1782), a further sum of £400 was settled for the same purpose. By a deed dated 8 June 1887 (enrolled 8 November following) a messuage in Marlow Road, known as Greenfield, was in consideration of £800 (towards which the above-mentioned trust funds were applied) conveyed to trustees to be used as a manse for the minister. The manse was in 1906 vested in the official trustee of charity lands, together with a small piece of adjoining land purchased with voluntary contributions and comprised in an instrument of transfer dated 25 May 1907. The premises are registered under the Land Transfer Acts (Title 9647, T.). A sum of £8 a year is received from the minister by a way of rent, which is applied in payment of repairs, insurance and other expenses.

In 1872 William Micklem Eyles, by will proved at London 1 October, gave (after the decease of a person therein named) to the deacons for the time being of the Congregational chapel, known as Back Lane Chapel, his residuary personal estate to be applied yearly in the distribution of coals to poor and deserving persons in quantities not exceeding one ton, the names of the recipients and the entire cost to be presented yearly to each member of the church, and the testator declared that in case the directions therein given were not carried out for a period of three years the said residue should pass to the Royal National Lifeboat Institution. The sum of £910 11s. 7d. consols, representing the bequest, was received in 1895, and now stands in the names of James Jones, James Moores and Charles Alfred Vardy. The dividends, amounting to £22 15s., are duly applied.

Kidwells Park, originally the gift of James Daniel Morling Pearce by deed poll 23 July 1890 (enrolled 31 July following), consisted of 12 acres lying between Marlow Road and Market Street, on part of which a technical institute was erected in 1893–4. By deed dated 1 June 1901, with the sanction of the Charity Commissioners, a portion of the premises was exchanged for four houses in Bridge Street and two houses in Victoria Street let on long leases at the yearly rents of £30 and £15 respectively. The income of the charity consists of £45 from the house property and payments received from cricket and other clubs using the recreation ground.


  • 1. One of these chapels was dedicated to All Saints (Wykeham's Reg. [Hants Rec. Soc.], ii, 296), and this is now supposed to have been the one on the south side of the church. The north chapel is said to have been dedicated to St. Nicholas (inform. from Rev. P. H. Ditchfield).
  • 2. The items refer to the payment to Mr. Winch for the new font £1 12s. 3d., to 'Waul the Joynder' for the cover and for carving, painting and gilding this font £2 2s.
  • 3. Kerry, op. cit. By his will dated 5 Nov. 1378 (Wykeham's Reg. [Hants Rec. Soc.], ii, 296) Sir John de Foxley desired to be buried near his ancestors in All Saints' chapel in Bray Church (see above, n. 65) and that his executors should provide marble slabs and brasses to cover his tomb and that of his parents. He left a mass-book, plate and vestments to the church and 50s. to the fabric.
  • 4. V.C.H. Berks. i, 330.
  • 5. Dugiale, Mon. vi, 177.
  • 6. Pat. 2 Edw. I, m. 24. In 1294 the queen was said to be patron as lady of the manor, but this was presumably a mistake, unless the abbey had granted her the patronage for one turn (Coll. Topog. st Gen. vi, 188).
  • 7. Pat. 5 Edw. II, pt. i, m. 18d.; 6 Edw. III, pt. ii, m. 9; Inq. a.q.d. file 278, no. 2; Chan. Inq. p.m. 20 Ric. II, no. 84; Early Chan. Proc. bdle. 317, no. 22; Valor Eccl. (Rec. Com.), ii, 155.
  • 8. Valor Eccl. loc. cit.
  • 9. Pat. 1 Edw. VI, pt. v, m. 31.
  • 10. Inst. Bks. (P.R.O.). In 1589 Archbishop Whitgift presented during the vacancy of the see (Cal. S.P. Dom. 1581– 90, p. 641). The see is here given as Salisbury, which, however, was not vacant that year, while Oxford was (Stubbs, Reg. Sat. Angl. 228, 236).
  • 11. Close, 1651, pt. xlv, no. 26.
  • 12. Inst. Bks. (P.R.O.).
  • 13. Clergy List, 1913.
  • 14. Fuller, Worthies (1662), 82; Ct. of Req. bdle. 115, no. 16; Kerry, op. cit. 59; Walker, op. cit. 209.
  • 15. V.C.H. Berks. ii, 30.
  • 16. Ibid. 31. Notwithstanding this prohibition the inhabitants of Maidenhead proceeded to build a house for the chaplain, for which they obtained a grant of six oaks from the king in 1293, on condition that the chaplain should celebrate for the souls of his wife, father and mother (Close, 20 Edw. I, m. 7). There is not, however, enough evidence to show that chaplains were actually appointed and services held, as has been stated (Berks. Bucks. and Oxon. Arch. Journ. x, 47). Walker (op. cit. 25) accepts this statement with the comment that it 'seems difficult to understand.' The presentation of Theobald de Thingden in 1304 to 'Elyndon,' identified as Maidenhead (Cal. Pat. 1301–7, p. 304), can scarcely refer to this chapel, which could not possibly have been described as a 'church' at that date. Nor is there any evidence that the appointment to Maidenhead was ever in the hands of the Bishop of Winchester, to whom the patronage of 'Elyndon' belonged (Cal. Pat. loc. cit.).
  • 17. V.C.H. Berks. loc. cit.).
  • 18. Ibid.
  • 19. Walker, op. cit. 31, 32.
  • 20. Ibid.
  • 21. Ibid.
  • 22. Ibid.
  • 23. Clergy List, 1913.
  • 24. V.C.H. Berks. ii, 283.
  • 25. See Rep. of former Commissioners of Inquiry concerning Charities, xxxii (1), 67 (1837).
  • 26. Local and Pers. Act, 54 Geo. III, cap. 34.
  • 27. V.C.H. Berks. ii, 283.