A History of the County of Berkshire: Volume 4. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1924.
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Wanetinz (xi cent.); Wantage or Wanting (to xix cent.).
The parish of Wantage lies on the southern side of the Vale of the White Horse, and with the townships of Charlton and Grove, the last of which was constituted a separate ecclesiastical parish in 1835, (fn. 1) covers an area of 5,935 acres. It varies in height from 600 ft. above the ordnance datum on the downs in the south to 200 ft. in the extreme north. The nature of the soil varies accordingly, the lower fields of the parish lying on Blue Gault, the centre on Greensand and the downland on Chalk. The land is for the most part arable, except on the downs, where sheep are pastured. (fn. 2) The chief crops are wheat, barley, oats, peas, beans and forage plants.
The town of Wantage stands at the lower end of the parish, on the Portway, which connects it with Wallingford. Roman coins of various dates have been dug up here, but there is no evidence of a Roman station. (fn. 3) There is no doubt, however, of the importance of the place in Saxon times. Its name is supposed to have been derived from the West Saxon tribe called 'Unecungs,' who, according to a recent solution of the ancient Mercian list called the 'Tribal Hidage,' occupied north Berkshire, between the Thames and the Icknield Way, in about 660. (fn. 4) Probably Wantage was a royal residence in 849, when Alfred the Great was born here. (fn. 5) Ethelred held a witenagemot at Wantage in 997. (fn. 6) If the town suffered under the ravages of the Danes, it had recovered its prosperity in 1086, when the manor was worth £61. (fn. 7) It was included in a list of Berkshire boroughs and towns in 1177 (fn. 8) and had a fair in 1213. (fn. 9) The aspect of the town suggests that it grew up round its market, which probably existed at least as early as William Marshal's grant to Fulk Fitz Warin. (fn. 10) It consists of a large market-place, to which converge streets named according to their directions—Wallingford Street (part of the Portway), running east; Newbury Street, running south; Grove Street (formerly called Low Hill or Abingdon Street), (fn. 11) running north; and Farringdon Street or Mill Street, north-west. The market-place was mentioned in 1284, when the justices in eyre ordered the removal of various stalls which had so narrowed the marketplace and highway that carts could not pass. (fn. 12) Fulk Fitz Warin received permission to re-erect them in the next year. (fn. 13) The town had a market cross in the 16th century with the inscription, 'Pray for the good Earl of Bath and for good Master Barnabe the builder hereof 1580 and for William Lord Fitzwarren.' (fn. 14) It was probably broken down, like that of Abingdon, in the Civil War, for in 1796 it had not been standing for more than a century. (fn. 15) The remains are in the garden of Winslow House in Newbury Street. A town hall in which the manor courts were held existed in 1654, (fn. 16) and was probably the building in the centre of the market-place which was pulled down in 1835. (fn. 17) It was replaced by a brick building, itself destroyed in 1876 to make way for the statue of King Alfred which Colonel Loyd Lindsay (afterwards Lord Wantage) presented to the town in that year. (fn. 18) The present town hall is a red-brick building on the north side of the market-place. Behind it is Falcon House, a timber-framed building, for which the date 1646 in a modern inscription seems appropriate. Around the market-place are several old houses. A butcher's shop near the town hall is an ancient timber-framed house with a modern front. The Bear Hotel, on the south side, dates from the early 17th century, but the front is of the 18th century, and there is a picturesque sign on a post in front. It existed in 1653, a trade token of that date being preserved. The town contains numerous excellent examples of Queen Anne and Georgian work; one east of the church is dated 1708. Aldborough House is a large 18th-century mansion. On the west side of Newbury Street are the Stiles' Almshouses, a red-brick one-story building, inclosing a courtyard. This courtyard is paved with knuckle-bones, a relic of Wantage's former tanning trade. Over the arched entrance is a tablet surmounted by a small pediment with a cherub in the tympanum, recording the foundation by Robert Stiles, merchant of Amsterdam, who died in 1680. There are twelve tenements, and round the court the roof projects deeply with a boarded soffit, forming an ambulatory.
To the south of the town hall the narrow lane called Church Street leads to the east end of the church of SS. Peter and Paul. In the churchyard till the middle of the 19th century stood all the schools of the parish. The Norman chapel of St. Mary there, mentioned in 1351, when the pope granted indulgences to those who visited it on the feast days of the Virgin and contributed to the fabric, (fn. 19) was still a chapel in the time of Leland, who notices the 'two churches in one churchyard. (fn. 20) It seems to have been adapted for use as a grammar school or 'Latin School' immediately after the charities of the parish were put under the control of a corporate body in 1597. (fn. 21) A second building, known as the 'English School,' was erected in the churchyard between 1604 and 1619 (fn. 22); another was built in 1732. (fn. 23) The grammar school, which was discontinued in 1832, was refounded in 1850, under the name of King Alfred's Grammar School, when it was provided with new stone buildings, designed by George Street in the 13th-century Gothic style, on the north side of the Portway. Incorporated in them is a much restored Norman doorway formerly in the 'Latin School.' It is recessed in two orders, the outer with a series of beak-heads and the inner with lozenge ornament; between the two is a thick cable moulding. Very little of the work seems original. The town contains numerous other educational establishments—namely, St. Mary's School, a good early 18th-century house with a handsome brick doorway with Doric pilasters, to which are added extensive modern buildings with a chapel having an eastern apse and vaulted roof; St. Michael's School, southwest of the church, having a small apsidal chapel, and St. Katherine's School, all girls' schools conducted by the Sisters of St. Mary's Home, an Anglican sisterhood founded at Wantage by Dean Butler in 1850, and now having many branch houses in England, India and the Colonies. There are now four elementary schools in Wantage, and an industrial school, also under the charge of the Sisters of St. Mary's.
The lords of the manor of Wantage had a residence here in 1330, (fn. 24) and the 'capital messuage, site, or chief manor place' is mentioned as late as 1763. (fn. 25) In 1824, however, Clarke said that there had been no manorial residence on the principal estate for many years. (fn. 26) William Stirling, lord of Brian's Manor, in the second half of the 18th century built himself a house called Stirlings, (fn. 27) which still stands at the east end of Wallingford Street. 'The Ham,' the residence attached to Priors Hold Manor, is a handsome early Georgian house of red brick standing in the meadows to the south-west of the town; it still has the water-mill mentioned in 1650. (fn. 28) There is another corn-mill on the stream nearer the town, and a third, the Town Mill, on the south side of Mill Street.
The industries of the town are now merely those of the centre of a large agricultural district. In the 18th century various manufactures were carried on. There were flourishing hemp and sacking factories, three tallow chandleries, and several tanneries. (fn. 29) A street called Tanner Street runs south-west from the church. (fn. 30) The cloth industry, which probably flourished in the 15th century, (fn. 31) was decaying in the 17th century. In 1668 the Governors of the Town Lands, 'for the better employing of the poor people of Wantage,' granted the 'new almshouses' to Robert Burchall, clothworker, as a house of correction for the support of his manufacture. (fn. 32) This building, after an intermediate period of use as an almshouse in the early 18th century, again became a workhouse, (fn. 33) and was presumably the building called the Old Workhouse in Grove Street.
The market has lately been altered from Saturday, its old day, to Wednesday. The fairs were originally held on the feasts of the Translation of St. Thomas the Martyr (fn. 34) (7 July) and St. Faith (6 October). (fn. 35) There are now fairs on the first Saturday in March, the first Saturday in May, and the first Saturday after 11 October.
There is a mission chapel attached to the parish church. The Wesleyans have a chapel in Newbury Street, and the Baptists, who in 1653 met in the town hall, (fn. 36) have a building in Mill Street.
The village of Charlton, about half a mile east of Wantage, is irregularly built and very picturesque. It consists of a cluster of brick and timber farms and cottages almost entirely of the 17th and early 18th centuries, and has a chapel of ease. The Hall has been rebuilt, but retains a good 17th-century chimney stack. Grove is a long and straggling village about a mile and a half to the north. It has a small green through which runs Letcombe Brook, crossed by three small bridges. Near the north end is a brick and timber farm-house of the 17th century; the mill-house is of similar date, and many of the cottages are of the same period. At the south end is an early 18th-century Baptist chapel, and there is also a Wesleyan chapel.
The Great Western railway crosses the parish, and has a station at Wantage Road, which is connected with the town by a steam tramway.
Tullwick and Furzwick, in the north and south of the parish respectively, represent ancient manorial estates. (fn. 37)
An Inclosure Act for Wantage and Grove was passed in 1803. (fn. 38)
Manor And Borough
The 'town' of WANTAGE was a royal possession in the time of Alfred, who left it in his will to his wife Ealswith. (fn. 39) It probably reverted to the Crown on her death, and in 1086 was a Crown 'manor.' (fn. 40) The assessment was at 4 hides, but the land had never paid geld. (fn. 41)
Wantage remained in the possession of the Crown till Richard I granted it, with extensive privileges, to Baldwin de Béthune Earl of Aumale. (fn. 42) The gift was confirmed by King John in 1199. (fn. 43) Four years later Alice daughter of Baldwin was married to William Marshal, afterwards Earl of Pembroke and Marshal of England and of the Household, and received as dowry this manor among others. (fn. 44) Before 1224 (fn. 45) the Earl of Pembroke enfeoffed in it the third Fulk Fitz Warin of Whittington in Shropshire, who became a hero of romantic legend within a generation after his death. (fn. 46) The overlordship belonged to the Earls Marshal of England (fn. 47) till their office became vested in the Crown in 1306. (fn. 48) From that date it properly belonged to the Crown, which claimed custody during the minority of heirs. (fn. 49) The manor is nevertheless said on more than one occasion to be held of the Earls of Pembroke. (fn. 50) In 1431 it was held of Joan Queen of England as of her manor of Hampstead Marshall. (fn. 51)
In 1237–8 Wantage was claimed against Fulk Fitz Warin by Henry III as terra Flandrensium—that is, as the land of Robert Advocate of Béthune, the nephew and heir of Baldwin de Béthune. (fn. 52) Gilbert Marshal Earl of Pembroke warranted Fulk in the manor, (fn. 53) and he remained in possession, a claim put forward by Robert de Béthune himself in 1241 proving equally unsuccessful. (fn. 54) In 1257 Fulk, probably son of the above-named Fulk, (fn. 55) leased the manor for five years to Adam Fettiplace of Oxford, (fn. 56) who transferred a moiety to Sir William de Valence, the king's half-brother. (fn. 57) The latter had a grant of the custody of the manor of Wantage on the death of the fourth Fulk Fitz Warin in 1264, when his son and heir Fulk was a minor. (fn. 58) The younger Fulk proved his age in 1273, (fn. 59) and was summoned to Parliament as a baron in 1295. (fn. 60) He was dead in 1315, when the manor of Whittington was delivered to Eleanor wife of his son and heir Fulk, then in France. (fn. 61) The lands of the latter came into the king's hands on his attainder in 1330. (fn. 62) A rent of 40 marks from the manor of Wantage, with Fulk's house there, was granted to his wife for her support. (fn. 63) He seems to have been restored in the next year, (fn. 64) and he died in possession in 1349, leaving a son and heir Fulk, a minor. (fn. 65) The latter died in 1371–2, when the manor of Wantage was granted to Alice Perrers, the king's favourite, to hold till the heir, another Fulk, should be of age. (fn. 66) On her forfeiture it was granted to Fulk Corbet and Philip Fitz Warin. (fn. 67) Fulk Fitz Warin was of age in 1383 (fn. 68) and died in 1391, (fn. 69) having granted the manor for life to Philip Fitz Warin. (fn. 70) On account of the minority of his son and heir Fulk, aged three at his father's death, (fn. 71) the king claimed the custody, (fn. 72) which he granted in 1402 to Elizabeth Lady Botreaux and Robert Thresk, clerk. (fn. 73) Fulk died in 1407 without coming of age. (fn. 74) His son Fulk Fitz Warin, then aged one year, (fn. 75) lived till 1420, (fn. 76) when the barony and manor passed to his sister Elizabeth, the wife of Richard Hankeford. (fn. 77) Her husband held Wantage for one knight's fee in 1428. (fn. 78) He survived his wife and died in 1430–1, leaving by her two daughters and co-heirs, Thomasina and Elizabeth. (fn. 79) Elizabeth died unmarried in 1433, (fn. 80) and Thomasina became sole heir. She married Sir William Bourchier, (fn. 81) who was summoned to Parliament as Lord Fitz Warin in her right in 1448–9. (fn. 82) They had settled the manor on themselves in tail in 1442–3. (fn. 83) Their son and heir Fulk died in 1479, (fn. 84) leaving a son John, created Earl of Bath in 1536. (fn. 85) He was succeeded by a son John, whose heir in 1561 was a grandson William. (fn. 86) The latter settled the manor in 1619 on his son and heir Edward in tail-male with remainder to his cousin Henry Bourchier. (fn. 87) Edward left no surviving sons at his death in 1637. (fn. 88) Henry, who succeeded to the earldom of Bath, must, however, have renounced his right to Wantage, which appears before his death in three parts held by Elizabeth, Dorothy and Anne, the daughters and heirs of Edward Earl of Bath. (fn. 89)
Elizabeth, who married Basil second Earl of Denbigh, (fn. 90) died without issue in 1670. (fn. 91) The heirs of her sisters then held the manor in moieties. Thomas Earl of Stamford, Dorothy's son and heir by her husband Lord Grey of Groby, Leicestershire, was holding one moiety in 1676–7. (fn. 92) The other was in the possession of Sir Bourchier Wrey, bart., (fn. 93) son of Anne by Sir Chichester Wrey, her second husband. (fn. 94) The two combined in an arrangement with regard to this manor and others in 1685, (fn. 95) the effect of which was apparently that Wantage became the property of Sir Bourchier Wrey. His son Sir Bourchier (fn. 96) sold it in 1707 to John Doyley, son and heir of Sir John Doyley, bart., (fn. 97) who succeeded to the baronetcy in 1709. (fn. 98) Owing to financial difficulties he mortgaged this manor for large sums to Mary Countess of Bradford, on behalf of whose lunatic son and heir Thomas Earl of Bradford her executors foreclosed in 1746. (fn. 99) They sold the manor in 1763 to Thomas Giles of Wantage, (fn. 100) by whose will it passed to his relative Samuel Worthington. (fn. 101) The latter was lord of the manor in 1803 (fn. 102) and died shortly afterwards. He appears to have left the estate to be held jointly by his two sons Thomas Giles and Charles and his daughter Frances. (fn. 103) They received allotments under the Inclosure Award in 1806. (fn. 104) In 1820 Thomas Giles Worthington sold the manor to John Bunn, (fn. 105) who was holding it in 1824. (fn. 106) He sold it in the next year (fn. 107) to Sir H. W. Martin, bart., who died in 1842, (fn. 108) leaving the manor to his son Sir Henry with remainder if the latter should die without issue to his daughter Catherine Elizabeth wife of the Rev. George May. (fn. 109) Sir Henry Martin died childless in 1863, (fn. 110) and his sister sold the manor five years later to trustees on behalf of the Wantage Town Commissioners. (fn. 111) It is now held by trustees for the benefit of the urban district council. (fn. 112)
The grant of the manor by Richard I to Baldwin de Béthune gave him also sac and soc, tol and theam, infangentheof and utfangentheof, and made him 'quit of shires and hundreds.' (fn. 113) These privileges, with gallows and pillory and ordeal by fire and water, were claimed by Fulk Fitz Warin in the late 13th century, as included in William Marshal's charter to him. (fn. 114) He was then lord of the hundred of Wantage. (fn. 115)
Wantage was called a BOROUGH during the 18th century, (fn. 116) but its claim to be so considered has apparently no foundation. It probably arose from the fact that a corporate body of twelve governors with a common seal was established in 1597 to manage lands which had been granted for various public purposes. (fn. 117) This body concerned itself, so far as its funds allowed, with education, the relief of the poor and the repair of highways, (fn. 118) but it had no control over the government of the town. The markets and fairs have always belonged to the lords of the manor, (fn. 119) and down to the 17th century their bailiffs (fn. 120) are the only officers mentioned. In 1723 Hearne stated that a new fair had been instituted at Wantage called the Constable's Fair, 'being granted by the High Constable upon the Town of Wantage's choosing him out of Wantage.' (fn. 121) The town was governed by a chief constable down to 1828, but Hearne's suggestion that he was an elected officer seems to be unfounded. The Court Rolls of the manor show that the lord of the manor appointed the chief and petty constables. (fn. 122) He was also responsible for the repair of roads 'within the borough.' (fn. 123) In 1828 commissioners for the improvement of the town were appointed by Parliament. They were the justices of the peace for the division, the vicar and thirty other persons named. The commissioners had power to elect resident householders to fill vacancies. (fn. 124) In 1868 they became lords of the manor, (fn. 125) and so acquired the control of the market. Their functions were taken over in 1894 by an urban district council elected under the Local Government Act of that year.
The manor called BRIANS (Wantyngbrian, xiv cent.; Bryanscourte, xvi cent.; Bryants Brooke, xvii cent.) must have been included in the king's demesne in 1086. It was probably granted to Robert Doyley soon after the Survey, for it is subsequently said to be held of the honour of Wallingford, (fn. 126) and it came with Ardington (q.v.), of which it was considered a member, into the hands of Gilbert Basset. (fn. 127) He granted the tithe of his lands here to Abingdon Abbey, where his son Robert was a monk. (fn. 128) His grandson, Gilbert Basset the younger, (fn. 129) enfeoffed in his land here a certain Thomas Brito, (fn. 130) who before 1230 gave it to William Brian. (fn. 131) It was claimed against William in 1230 by Robert Brito, (fn. 132) nephew of Thomas, who, however, had resigned his claim by 1232. (fn. 133) In or about 1246 Simon Brian, described as the son of Walter Brian, who was the nephew and heir of Thomas Brito, died in possession of this manor. (fn. 134) His daughter and heir Margaret (fn. 135) married Ralph de Gorges, but had no children, her heir being her uncle Richard Brian. (fn. 136) Richard was the rector of West Grimstead (Wilts.) and granted all his land here to Andrew de Grimstead and Alice his wife. (fn. 137) Andrew died about 1324, leaving a son and heir John. (fn. 138) The latter had a son Adam, who was holding land here in 1339. (fn. 139) Before 1351 he must have conveyed the manor to William Fitz Warin, who had licence to found a chantry at Wantage in that year. (fn. 140) He died in possession of a messuage and a carucate here in 1361. (fn. 141) His son and heir Ives (fn. 142) made a settlement of the manor in 1379. (fn. 143) He had a daughter and heir Eleanor, who with her second husband Ralph Bush (fn. 144) conveyed the manor in 1418 to Robert Andrew of Blunsdon St. Andrew (Wilts.). (fn. 145) Before his death in 1437 Robert Andrew had granted the manor to Thomas Joy and Thomas Foturby, clerks, and Thomas Andrew in fee. (fn. 146) A court was held for Agnes Andrew in 1441, (fn. 147) and in 1457 Thomas Wynslow and Agnes his wife in her right conveyed the manor to William York, sen. (fn. 148) It passed with West Lockinge (q.v.) from the family of York through co-heirs to the Hungerfords and Bodenhams. (fn. 149) In 1630 the whole manor was conveyed to Thomas Hungerford, (fn. 150) and it remained in the possession of his family till 1729, when Mary Wyche, daughter and heir of John Hungerford of Blackland (Wilts.), sold it to Walter Graham, a grocer of Wantage. (fn. 151) In 1752 various members of the Graham family conveyed it to Thomas Garrard. (fn. 152) He may have been trustee for a sale to William Stirling, who is said to have bought the manor in that year. (fn. 153) William Stirling's son gave it to his nephew Robert Crosby, (fn. 154) who in 1822 sold it to Joseph Butler. (fn. 155) George Butler, younger son of Joseph, (fn. 156) was in possession in 1824 (fn. 157) and conveyed the manor to Charles Hammond in 1826. (fn. 158) Mr. Hammond left it to his daughter Mrs. John Brooks, whose son Captain Brooks is the present owner. (fn. 159)
Rent in FURZWICK (Foteswik, xiii cent.; Fotteswick, xvi cent.), within the manor of Wantage, belonged in the early 13th century to William de Rivers, who received it from the celebrated Fulk Fitz Warin in marriage with his daughter Eleanor. (fn. 160) John son of William de Rivers died in possession in 1278, leaving a son William. (fn. 161) In 1537 the farm of Furzwick belonged to John Yate of Buckland. (fn. 162) It followed the descent of Tullwick (q.v.) into the possession of Sir Robert Throckmorton, who sold it in 1724 to Matthew Wymondsold. (fn. 163) Since that date it has followed the descent of East Lockinge (q.v.).
The manor of PRIOR'S HOLD has followed the descent of the advowson of the church. (fn. 164) The endowment of the church in 1086 was altogether 5 hides, (fn. 165) but it seems that only I hide was granted with it by Henry I to the Abbot of Bec. (fn. 166) The grant of 1 hide made by Baldwin de Béthune to the abbot in 1197 was a release of his claim on the same land. (fn. 167)
This was perhaps the manor of Wantage conveyed by John Newburgh and Anne his wife to William Smith in 1519, with a warranty against the heirs of Anne, (fn. 168) who may have had a lease. During the 16th and early 17th centuries a lease of this manor was held by William Wirdnam of Charlton and his son and grandson Robert and George. (fn. 169) During the 18th century a family called Price were lessees. (fn. 170) Mrs. Walcot, daughter of John Price, had sold her interest to Mr. Barnard before 1824. (fn. 171)
TULLWICK (Tollewyke, xiv cent.) was a holding within the manor of Wantage, called a manor from the 16th century. (fn. 172) The family of Carew, of Beddington, Surrey, had land here in the reign of Edward III, (fn. 173) held of Fulk Fitz Warin. (fn. 174) In 1374 Thomas de Seyntmanyfeu quitclaimed to Nicholas de Carew lands and tenements in Tullwick which his father John had had of the gift of John de Carew. (fn. 175) In the same year nine messuages, a carucate of land and rent in Charlton and Tullwick were quitclaimed to Nicholas by Joan wife of John de Mulsho. (fn. 176) Nicholas Carew died in 1390, leaving a son and heir Nicholas. (fn. 177) The latter enfeoffed John Gaynesford of his land in Wantage in trust for Isabel his daughter for life, with reversion to his granddaughter Joan, daughter of Thomas Carew and wife of William Saunder. On the death of Isabel Joan sued the feoffee for these lands, and he was ordered to make estate to her. (fn. 178)
In 1503 Richard Saunder (fn. 179) and Margery his wife conveyed the manor of Tullwick to John Yate of Lyford, with a warrant against the heirs of Margery. (fn. 180) John Yate's heirs continued to hold the manor, which passed with Buckland (q.v.) to the elder branch of the family. (fn. 181) On the death of the last Sir John Yate in 1690 it came into the hands of Sir Robert Throckmorton, (fn. 182) whose son Sir Robert cut off the entail on the estate in 1724. (fn. 183) Nine years later he sold it to trustees under the will of Ann Holworthy, who had directed that lands within 50 miles of London should be purchased for the use of Daniel Holworthy and his heirs male. (fn. 184) Daniel Holworthy and his son Daniel were in possession in 1742, (fn. 185) and Daniel Holworthy, jun., conveyed the manor to James Hawley in the next year. (fn. 186) Nothing is heard of the manor between that date and 1779, when it belonged to John Earl Spencer. (fn. 187)
Five hides in 'Ceorlatun' were granted by Edwy to his minister Wulfric in 956, and the Abingdon chronicler states that Wulfric gave them to the abbey, but there is no evidence for this. It is uncertain whether they were in the Berkshire CHARLTON, and Abingdon Abbey certainly retained no interest here. In 982 Ethelred gave the 5 hides to Aelfgar. (fn. 188) In 1086 there were four distinct holdings in Charlton. The king had 8 hides which had belonged to Elmer, a freeman, in the reign of the Confessor and afterwards to Peter Bishop of Lichfield. (fn. 189) Henry de Ferrers had 2½ hides (fn. 190) and William the son of Corbucion the same amount. (fn. 191) Ralph de Toni had land assessed at 7 hides which had been of the fee of Earl Roger and was held of Ralph by Dru. (fn. 192)
It seems probable that the king's land came into the possession of the family of Burlay or Boule, of whom the principal manor of Charlton was held in the 13th and 14th centuries for half a fee by the family of Earley. (fn. 193) From 1430 this manor was said to be held of the lords of Wantage. (fn. 194) In 1180 the Sheriff of Berkshire rendered account of 20s. from the lands of William de Earley in Charlton. (fn. 195) Giles de Earley was holding half a fee here of Hugh de Burlay about 1240, (fn. 196) and was succeeded in 1251 by his son Bartholomew. (fn. 197) The latter paid subsidy during the reign of Edward I. (fn. 198) In 1317–18 a settlement of one messuage, 2 carucates and 50s. rent in Charlton was made on John de Earley and his heirs. (fn. 199) Six years later he conveyed a messuage and 3 carucates to David Martin, Bishop of St. David's, (fn. 200) who died in possession of 57s. rent from free tenants here in 1328. (fn. 201) His heir was his nephew Thomas de Carew (fn. 202) of Moulsford (q.v.). Another Thomas Carew died seised of the manor of Charlton in 1430–1, leaving a son and heir Nicholas. (fn. 203) Sir Edmund Carew, great-grandson of Nicholas, (fn. 204) sold the manor in 1497 to Bartholomew Reed, citizen and goldsmith of London. (fn. 205) Bartholomew died in possession in 1505, having settled the manor on his nephew William. (fn. 206) In 1578 John Reed and Elizabeth his wife sold the manor to Edmund Wiseman. (fn. 207) Edmund died in possession of Charlton, which was settled on his second son Charles, in 1604–5. (fn. 208) It is not mentioned among the possessions of Charles at his death and its later history is uncertain.
Ralph Toni's fee in Charlton followed the descent of his honour of Clifford, (fn. 209) and belonged in the middle of the 13th century to Walter de Clifford (fn. 210) and later to the Mortimers Earls of March. (fn. 211) John de Pavilly held it of Walter de Clifford about 1240, (fn. 212) and his family continued to hold it for some time. John de Pavilly was among the tenants of the vill in 1316, (fn. 213) and William de Pavilly was returned as tenant of Roger de Mortimer in 1398 and of Edmund Earl of March in 1424. (fn. 214) At both these dates, however, half a fee in Charlton was said to be held by John Earley and one fee by Robert Martyn. (fn. 215) It seems likely that the Pavillys were not in fact in possession of their holding at that date, and that part of it had been acquired some time before by the lords of the principal manor of Charlton.
The land of William son of Corbucion belonged in 1241 to Thomas Earl of Warwick, (fn. 216) and was held of him by Geoffrey de Bono Fossato, (fn. 217) of whom nothing more is heard. It may be conjectured that this holding became the manor of BALDWINS, which coalesced in the 15th century with that of WEEKS to form a second manor of Charlton. Both were held in 1442 of the lord of Wantage. (fn. 218) The name Baldwins suggests that this was the freehold of a family named Baldwin, but the first of that name who has been found in connexion with the place is Richard Baldwin, who was of Wantage in 1461. (fn. 219) Weeks apparently derived its name from the family of de la Wyk, tenants of the Ferrers fee in the 13th century. (fn. 220) Half a knight's fee, which was probably in Charlton, was held of the Barony of Ferrers in the middle of the 12th century by William de St. Quintin. (fn. 221) Nicholas de St. Quintin had lands in Berkshire in 1173, and was probably succeeded by William de St. Quintin, whose heir was Hawise. (fn. 222) Two and a half hides in Charlton was claimed against Hawise de St. Quintin in 1201 by Mabel widow of Ralph de la Grave and her sisters Anastasia and Christiana, who claimed through their father. The dispute ended in a release to Hawise, who granted 2 virgates to Mabel and her sisters. (fn. 223) It seems probable that the land of Hawise came by marriage or by grant to Simon de la Wyk, to whom in 1210 Leoline, widow of William de St. Quintin, granted the 5 virgates in Charlton which formed her dower, reserving a rent-charge of 40s. for her life. Simon was said to hold of Ralph son of Nicholas, who was a seneschal of the Earl of Ferrers and must have had a mesne lordship. (fn. 224) John de la Wyk held a quarter of a knight's fee in Charlton of the Earl of Ferrers about 1230. (fn. 225) In 1284 Simon de la Wyk claimed a messuage in Wantage that had belonged to his grandfather Simon de la Wyk, (fn. 226) and Richard atte Wyk was returned among the lords of Charlton with Tullwick in 1316. (fn. 227) In 1362 the fee held of the honour of Tutbury was said to be in the hands of John de Sparsholt and Robert de St. Martin (fn. 228); it may perhaps be identified with the 'manor of Charlton' held in 1395 by Christopher Fleming. (fn. 229) When next mentioned the 'manors of Bawdewynscourt and Wykes' were held by John Golafre, who granted them to feoffees some time before his death in 1443. (fn. 230) In 1444 these feoffees had licence to assign them to the chaplain of the chantry of Fyfield. (fn. 231)
On the dissolution of chantries Edward VI granted these manors to George Owen, (fn. 232) who held them as the manor of Charlton on his death in 1558. (fn. 233) His son Richard Owen conveyed the estate in 1561 to William Wirdnam, (fn. 234) who sold the manors of Weeks and Baldwins separately to Robert Hyde in 1609 and 1612. (fn. 235) Robert Hyde conveyed them by indenture in 1615 to Edmund Dunch. (fn. 236) In 1630 they were sold by Walter and Samuel Dunch, sons of Edmund, to Sir George Wilmot, kt. (fn. 237) Sir George Wilmot had a son William, whose sons predeceased him; his widow died in 1728. (fn. 238) The Charlton estates of the Wilmots probably came with Uplambourn (q.v.) to Thomas Garrard. According to tradition these manors were purchased in the early 18th century by Matthew Wymondsold and subsequently followed the descent of East Lockinge. (fn. 239) No manorial rights are exercised at the present day.
The manor of FRANKLINS must be identified with the fee in Charlton held by John le Frauncklyn in 1316. (fn. 240) Reginald Franklin of Charlton is mentioned in 1320 and Richard Franklin in 1360. (fn. 241) In the reign of Henry VII the manor of Franklins belonged to Richard Estmond of Wantage, (fn. 242) who sold it to John Tate before 1507. (fn. 243) Later he stated in a dispute with John Tate that his ancestors had held it in fee and that he had mortgaged it to Robert Tate. (fn. 244) The Tates were apparently successful in this suit, for in 1552 Richard Tate was in possession. (fn. 245) Franklins then followed the descent of Woolley (q.v.) into the possession of the Pauncefoot family. (fn. 246) Elizabeth wife of Thomas Dennis and apparently a daughter of Richard Pauncefoot conveyed it in 1570 to Thomas Webbe. (fn. 247) In 1609 Richard Webbe and Joan his wife were in possession. (fn. 248) The manor was sold in 1650 by Thomas Webbe to a member of the family of Blower, (fn. 249) and Frances Blower held it in 1691. (fn. 250) Nothing more is heard of it till 1752, when Mary and Charlotte Mallet conveyed it to James and Nicholas Carter. (fn. 251) Its later history is unknown.
GROVE was granted by Stephen in 1142 to the abbey of Bermondsey and is probably the 'wika' in Wantage held by the abbey in 1235–6. (fn. 252) It does not appear, however, among the lands of that house at the Dissolution, and was never a manor. Thomas Grove held a capital messuage here and a water-mill in 1622. (fn. 253)
The church of ST. PETER AND ST. PAUL consists of a chancel 51 ft. 6 in. by 21 ft. 9 in. with north vestry and north and south chapels, central tower 16 ft. by 16 ft. 8 in., north transept 18 ft. by 21 ft. 6 in., south transept 18 ft. 6 in. by 25 ft., nave 75 ft. 9 in. by 21 ft. 3 in. with north aisle 12 ft. wide, south aisle 15 ft. wide and south porch. All the measurements are internal.
There is no work in the church earlier than the 13th century, but at this date a large cruciform church with an aisled nave and a north chapel was built, of which the central tower and the west walls of both transepts remain. The chancel may be partly of this date, but the evidence is inconclusive. In the 14th century the nave was rebuilt with aisles of four bays and the chancel was possibly lengthened by one bay. Early in the 15th century the end of the north transept was rebuilt with a small chapel to the east of it Later in the same century the chancel was largely rebuilt with the vestry and north and south chapels, and a chapel was added east of the south transept. Late in the century the north and south porches were built and at the same time or early in the 16th century the clearstory was added to the nave. The church was extensively restored during the last century under George Street, who inserted the east window. The nave has been lengthened by one bay and the south porch reconstructed two bays west of its original position.
The chancel has a modern east window of 'Decorated' character and in the north wall a three-light 15th-century window with a pointed head. Further west is a modern doorway to the vestry with an old oak panelled door, and two 15th-century pointed arches opening into the north chapel; they are of two moulded orders, and have a pier with four attached shafts with moulded bases and capitals with concave faces; the responds are half piers. In the south wall is a window uniform with that on the north, and below it is a piscina, probably modern. Further west are two four-centred arches of the 15th century opening into the south chapel; they are of two chamfered orders continued as responds and having a pier with four attached shafts with a moulded octagonal capital and diamond-shaped base. The clearstory has two modern windows on each side, replacing squareheaded 15th-century windows of two lights. The 15th-century north vestry has a two-light squareheaded east window and modern doors on the north and west. The north chapel, now occupied by the organ, has two square-headed 15th-century windows in the north wall, both of three lights. The flat roof is of the same date and is divided by moulded ribs into panels; the main ribs are curved down on to moulded corbels. The early 15th-century transeptal chapel adjoining has a two-light pointed east window. The south chapel has a square-headed three-light east window and two windows in the south wall of two and three lights respectively; below the first is a piscina with a pointed head. The modern roof rests on the old corbels. The transeptal chapel adjoining on the south has a three-light squareheaded window on the east and a similar one of two lights on the south with a pointed piscina below it.
The central tower rests on four 13th-century arches of three chamfered orders and acutely pointed. The responds are also of three orders, the inner having a semicircular shaft keeled on the face; the moulded capitals and bases are carried round each order, but the moulded abacus and the plinth are common and straight. The crossing has a modern ribbed vault with a bell way. The tower is three stages high; the bell-chamber is lighted by a tall two-light window with a quatrefoil in the head in each face and apparently of late 13th-century date. It is finished with a moulded corbel table of the same date and a 15th-century embattled parapet. The tower vice is carried down to the floor level in a 14th-century projection adjoining the south-west pier.
The north transept is partly of the 13th century, but was largely rebuilt early in the 15th century. The eastern arcade is of that date and has two pointed arches resting on an octagonal column with a curious moulded capital and square base; the north arch springs from a moulded corbel on a short semioctagonal shaft. The south arch springs from a moulded corbel with a row of minute dog-tooth ornament of c. 1200. Below it is the elaborate 13th-century respond of an earlier arch, with clustered shafts, moulded bases and finely carved 'stiffleaf' capitals with a common moulded octagonal abacus. A part of the 13th-century arch also remains. Between the inner and outer chapels is a half arch springing from a well-carved angel corbel. In the north wall is a 15th-century three-light window and in the west wall is a 14th or 15thcentury arch opening into the north aisle, pointed and resting on moulded corbels, with capitals, shafts and head stops. The south transept has two 14thcentury arches in the east wall opening into the chapels; the arches are pointed and of two chamfered orders, springing from a circular pier and semicircular responds with moulded capitals and bases. In the south wall is a modern window and on the west is a 14th-century trefoiled lancet. The 14th-century arch opening into the south aisle is pointed and moulded and rests on 13th-century responds with clustered shafts and 14th-century moulded capitals. The northern respond was reset when the tower vice was inserted. The roofs of both transepts are similar and have heavy tie-beams and curved moulded principals above them with heavy bosses of foliage at the apex. They are ceiled at the collar, the panels having rough pargeting in geometrical designs; along the side walls runs an oak frieze of cinquefoil-headed panels.
The nave has an arcade of five bays on each side. Previous to the restoration there were only four bays, and the last column on each side is modern. The original work is of the 14th century. The arches are pointed and of two chamfered orders and rest on circular columns with moulded capitals and bases. The responds are square with a moulded corbel to take the inner order; the western pair are old material reset. In the north-east respond is a trefoiled niche with a shelf. The clearstory has four irregularly spaced 15th-century windows on each side, all of three lights under square heads; the western pair are modern. In the modern west wall are reset two pointed and transomed two-light windows of the 14th century. The 15th-century roof is a rich example of the hammer-beam type resting on carved stone corbels; the ends of the hammer beams have mostly carved faces with two shields of arms, and the soffits of the collar beams have a series of foliage bosses. The line of the old roof before the building of the clearstory is visible on the west tower wall.
In the north wall of the north aisle are two fourlight 15th-century windows with four-centred heads, and between them is the blocked north door with a cinquefoiled head immediately to the east, probably for a stoup. Reset in the modern west wall is a four-light 15th-century window with a four-centred head. The south aisle has two windows in the south wall similar to those in the north aisle, and further west is a small four-centred doorway of the 15th century opening to the parvise staircase. The reset south doorway in the last bay has a four-centred head with spandrels carved with foliage and flowers. The 15th-century oak door of two folds has panels with traceried heads. In the west wall is a modern window. The north porch, now used as a store, appears to have been much altered and has no outer archway. The re-erected south porch has a fourcentred outer archway and a two-light square-headed window to the parvise above it, both of the 15th century.
The 15th-century quire stalls in the chancel have six seats on each side and three on the returns. The bench ends are finely panelled and foliated and the poppy heads are elaborately carved with oak and other foliage. The front and ends of the platform have a band of shields in quatrefoil panels. The misericordes are all carved with blank shields or foliage except three on the north return, which have a shield with three flagons, a double-headed eagle and a pelican in her piety. Against the west end are the stumps of the old rood screen. Between the chancel and chapels are oak parclose screens of the 15th century, somewhat repaired; each division has a traceried head and moulded posts brought down on to the back of the stalls.
Against the north wall of the chancel is an altar tomb with alabaster effigies of Sir William Fitz Warin, K.G. (1361) and Amice his wife. The male figure has the hands crossed on the breast and the legs crossed, with a garter on the left leg and the feet on a lion; he wears the camail and a surcoat of his arms. The lady's figure is cut from the same block; she wears a pleated head-dress and her feet rest on a dog. Above are remains of an elaborate canopy, but except for portions of the cusped and gabled ends little is left. On the same wall is a tablet to John Wilson (1621) and Mary his wife, with Corinthian columns and a shield, Sable a leaping wolf between three stars or, for Wilson. On the south wall is a tablet to William Wilmot of 'Up Lamborne' (1684), Mary his third wife and William his son, with busts, Corinthian columns and a defaced shield. On the north wall of the north chapel is a brass to William Wilmot (1618) and Cecily (Hyde) his wife, with a figure of a lady, foot and marginal inscriptions and two shields, one of Wilmot impaling Hyde, the other of Hyde. On the south wall is a fine demi-figure of a priest in mass vestments of about 1330. On the north-east tower pier is another brass of a priest, very small, in academicals, with one line of inscription. On the west wall of the north transept is a fine full-length armed figure of Sir Ives Fitz Warin (1414), with remains of a tilting helm and the feet on a lion. In the south transeptal chapel is a brass inscription to Roger Merlawe (1459) and Katherine his wife. On the south aisle wall is a brass to Walter Talbot, 1522, and Agnes and Alice his wives with five sons and four daughters (now lost).
The 14th-century decagonal font has an attached shaft to each face of the stem with moulded capitals and bases; the bowl appears to be modern. In the nave is a fine 18th-century candelabra, and preserved in the south porch is a section of a circular Saxon cross shaft with knot-work. A stone baby's coffin lies in the north transept. In the eastern window on the south of the south chapel are two stained glass shields, France and England quarterly and Bourchier and Louvain quarterly impaling Fitz Warin and Coterell (?) quarterly.
There are eight bells: the treble, second, fourth and tenor by Mears & Stainbank, 1892; the third inscribed 'William Culley, Henry Keepe, C.W.H.K. 1669'; the fifth by Lester & Pack, 1764; the sixth by J. Warner & Sons, 1867, and the seventh by J. Taylor, 1843. There is also a sanctus inscribed, 'This bell was made 1609 E.G. W.S.'
The plate includes a cup (London, 1571) with chased ornament; a large cup (London, 1624), plain; two patens (London, 1722) inscribed, 'Wantage Church plate, 1757'; a large almsdish of foreign work, inscribed, 'The gift of Madam Wilmot of Uplamborne to the church of Wantage 1725,' with a rich repousse rim and a coat of arms, Wilmot of Wantage impaling a cheveron between three eagles displayed; two large flagons (London, 1744) inscribed, 'The Gift of Ambrose Clement Gent.'; two large modern chalices and patens and some small modern pieces.
The registers previous to 1812 are as follows: (i) baptisms and marriages 1538 to 1653, burials 1542 to 1653; (ii) all entries 1653 to 1704; (iii) all entries 1705 to 1749, baptisms to 1737 only; (iv) baptisms 1738 to 1804, marriages 1749 to 1754, burials 1750 to 1806; (v) marriages 1754 to 1774; (vi) marriages 1774 to 1804; (vii) marriages 1804 to 1812; (viii) baptisms 1804 to 1812, burials 1806 to 1812.
The church of ST. JAMES, Grove, was built in 1900 and is a stone-faced building six bays long with a south aisle and vestry, at the west end of which is a stone bellcote with two bells. The style is 'Early English' Gothic. There is an oak chancel screen, and the wooden 18th-century font, of baluster form, was brought from Pusey Church. A chapel here, dedicated in honour of St. John Baptist, was said to be destroyed in 1733. (fn. 254) A new church was built in 1832 and an ecclesiastical parish formed three years later. (fn. 255) The patronage belongs to the Dean and Chapter of Windsor.
The church of CHARLTON was originally built as a chapel of ease to Wantage in 1848. The chancel was added in 1891, and in 1906 the original nave was taken down and rebuilt, so that none of the original church now remains. In its present state it is a structure of red brick and stone in the 14thcentury Gothic style and consists of a nave with aisles and small transepts and a chancel with a three-sided apse. Timber posts divide the nave and aisles, and there is a timber bellcote at the west end.
Before the Conquest two parts of the church of Wantage were held by Bishop Peter of Lichfield as part of his personal estate and not in right of the bishopric. (fn. 256) They were consequently in the hands of the king in 1086, when the third part was held of him by William the Deacon. (fn. 257) Henry I granted the church to the Abbot of Bec Hellouin, (fn. 258) who had licence to appropriate it before the end of the 12th century from Hubert Walter, Bishop of Salisbury. (fn. 259) It was annexed to the cell of the abbey at Ogbourne, Wiltshire, and with the churches of Ogbourne and Hungerford and the chapel of the latter at 'Sandburn' was in 1208 constituted a prebend of the cathedral of Salisbury. (fn. 260) The Abbots of Bec were directed to ordain a vicarage, the presentation to which was to remain in their hands. (fn. 261) In spite of an attempt on the part of the Bishop of Salisbury to exercise the patronage in the 14th century, (fn. 262) the Priors of Ogbourne continued to present till the dissolution of alien priories by Henry V. (fn. 263) The spiritualities of the priory were granted to John Duke of Bedford, (fn. 264) who in 1422 gave them to the collegiate church of Windsor. (fn. 265) The Dean and Canons of Windsor are still the patrons and hold the prebend.
The prebendaries claimed at various times that the charter of 1208 gave them peculiar jurisdiction over their churches. (fn. 266) This right was disputed by the Deans of Salisbury, as well as by the Archdeacons of Berkshire. The matter was at issue in the middle of the 16th century, when the prebendaries presumably established their claim, for in 1786 the Dean and Canons of Windsor were said to have archidiaconal jurisdiction. (fn. 267) In 1824, however, this right was said to belong to the Dean of Salisbury. (fn. 268)
In 1351 William Fitz Warin had licence to alienate land to three chaplains to celebrate divine service daily in the church of Wantage. (fn. 269) He subsequently arranged to reduce his grant by two-thirds. (fn. 270) This chantry was probably never founded, for Ives Fitz Warin, son of William, made provision in his will for a daily celebration at the altar of St. John Baptist in the parish church for the souls of his father William and others. (fn. 271) No chantries at Wantage are mentioned in the survey of 1546, but 12 acres belonging to a chantry there were in 1584–5 granted to Anthony Collins and others, (fn. 272) and Theophilus Adams had a grant in 1582 of lands belonging to 'Isley's chantry.' (fn. 273) Probably some of these lands ultimately became part of the endowment of the parish charities.
Educational Charities.—For the grammar school see 'Schools.' (fn. 274) The school is governed by the scheme therein referred to, as amended by a scheme of the Charity Commissioners of 8 February 1901. The endowment consists of the school buildings, a field containing 3 a. 3 r. and a yearly sum of £200 received from the governors of the town lands (see below). The County Council also pays a maintenance grant of £300 a year and grants are received from the Board of Education. The total receipts, including the tuition fees, in 1906–7 amounted to £1,166.
In 1754 Joseph Tomkins, by his will proved in the P.C.C., bequeathed £100 South Sea stock, and in 1771 Robert Dowsett, by his will proved in the P.C.C., bequeathed £100 like stock for educational purposes.
The trust funds are now represented by £334 8s. 7d. 2½ per cent. annuities with the official trustees, the annual dividends of which, amounting to £8 7s. 4d., are applied, under a scheme of the Charity Commissioners of 7 May 1901, in the manner therein directed for the benefit of children attending any public elementary school in the ancient parish of Wantage.
The town lands include the charities of Ann Latton, will 1584, Thomas Aldworth, about 1604, Alexander Carter, will 1608, the Rev. Hugh Otwell, date unknown, Robert Payne, deed 1617 and subsequently by will, Thomas Brooke, will 1677, Mary Harbert, will 1763, Thomas Willis, will date unknown, and Thomas Fewson Eagles, deed 1832.
By an Act of 39 Elizabeth (1597) for remedying certain irregularities certain houses and lands given in the reign of Henry VI and Henry VII for charitable purposes were vested in twelve persons incorporated as 'The Governors of the Town Lands of Wantage' for the relief of the poor, amendment of highways, and the maintenance of a schoolmaster to teach grammar within the town. The property originally belonging to the trust has been much modified by awards under certain Inclosure Acts and by purchases from time to time.
The endowments now consist of ten almshouses erected in 1867 in Eagles Close at a cost of upwards of £1,100 and eight almshouses in Mill Street erected about 1870 at a cost of upwards of £900, of which £200 was provided by a legacy of Robert Cooper, a former governor. The real estate also includes the King Alfred's Head Hotel, the Shears Inn, and houses, cottages and lands, containing in the aggregate 144 acres or thereabouts, situated in Wantage, Grove, Charlton, East Challow, East Hanney, Stanford in the Vale, and Steventon, producing in the aggregate about £490 a year; also an annuity of £10 in respect of Thomas Brooke's charity issuing out of land known as Black Croft, and certain quit-rents and acknowledgements amounting to £1 18s. 6d. yearly.
The official trustees also hold a sum of £866 3s. 6d. consols, producing £21 13s. yearly, arising from sales of land from time to time, and a sum of £236 7s. 2d. consols on an investment account towards the replacement of a sum of £256 consols expended in 1896. The sum of £200 yearly is paid to the grammar school. A sum of £1 is paid to the vicar for two sermons on certain Sundays in respect of Willis's charity and 13s. 4d. for sermons on Christmas Day and Easter Day in respect of Payne's charity; the remainder of the net income is appropriated for the benefit of the almshouses, and permits a stipend of 4s. 6d. weekly to each house.
The governors of the town lands also administer the charity of Mrs. Sarah Whitfield, who in her lifetime gave £200 and at her death in 1832 bequeathed £100 for the use of the old almshouses in Newbury Street. These sums are represented by £325 16s. 9d. consols, with the official trustees, producing £8 2s. 6d. yearly, which is applied in the maintenance of all the almshouses.
In 1845 William Cless, by his will proved in the P.C.C. 18 July, bequeathed to the governors £400 consols, which owing to the insufficiency of the personal estate was reduced to £392 consols. This sum, which in 1866 was transferred to the official trustees, produces £9 16s. yearly.
In 1864 Richard Belcher by deed (enrolled) granted to the governors of the town lands a yearly rent-charge of £3 issuing out of a messuage in the Market Place then known as the Cowheel Inn, now cottages in the rear of the town hall, of which 15s. was to be paid to the minister for a sermon on St. Matthias's Day, 3s. to the clerk, 2s. to the sexton, 3s. to the organist, and 6s. to the singers, and the residue in the distribution of bread.
In 1871 Mrs. Mary Burd, by her will proved at Oxford, bequeathed £2,000 to be invested in consols and the dividends to be applied by the governors of the town lands in clothing and bedding amongst the inmates of their almshouses and of the almshouses in Newbury Street (Stiles's Almshouses). The legacy is now represented by £2,165 1s. 10d. consols with the official trustees, the annual dividends of which, amounting to £54 2s. 4d., are applied in the proportion of three-fifths for the governors' almshouses and twofifths for Stiles's Almshouses.
The almshouses founded in 1680 by Robert Stiles and subsidiary endowments. The endowments are now as follows:—
Stiles's Charity.—The twelve almshouses in Newbury Street, and Doles Farm in the parish of Andover, Hants, containing 236 acres or thereabouts and two cottages let at £100 a year.
Charity of Thomas Willis (will date unknown), being an allotment of 5 acres on Chain Hill under the Wantage Inclosure Act, 1803, let at £10 a year, and an allotment of 1 r. 34p. at Charlton under the Charlton Inclosure Award, (fn. 275) 1868, let at 18s. a year, and £137 4s. 1d. consols arising from the sale in 1859 of a tenement in the market-place.
Charity of Joseph Belcher, will 1808, trust fund, £900 consols, and of Mrs. Mary Viel, will 1821, trust fund, £86 6s. 7d. consols; and of Miss Harriet Floyd, will proved in the P.C.C. 29 February 1856, trust fund, £50 consols.
Charity of Mrs. Jemima Caudwell, will proved at Oxford 20 March 1894, trust fund, £389 10s. 9d. consols.
Charity of Mrs. Mary Burd, £21 12s. 11d., being two-fifths of the income thereof; and charity of Mrs. Sarah Whitfield (see under town lands charities).
The several sums of stock are held by the official trustees, producing in dividends £60 13s. 11d., making a total gross income of £171 11s. 11d. The administration of these charities is vested in the churchwardens, who pay each of the almspersons 4s. a week, 5s. at Christmas for a dinner, and £1 for warm clothing.
In 1876 Mrs. Caroline Smart, by her will proved at Oxford 2 December, bequeathed to the church wardens £100, the income, subject to the repair of the tomb of the testatrix's husband, to be distributed in bread. The legacy, less duty, is represented by £94 17s. 2d. consols with the official trustees, producing £2 7s. 4d., which is also applied for the benefit of the inmates of all the almshouses.
Distributive Charities: Newbury Money.—It appears from an old churchwardens' book that a sum of £2 per annum was received from the churchwardens of Newbury so long ago as 1683. The annuity has been regularly continued to the present time, and is distributed in bread, 30s. in Wantage and 10s. in Charlton.
The Parliamentary Returns of 1786 state that a rent-charge of 10s. was given to the poor by a person unknown, and was then vested in the overseers. The annuity, which was formerly paid out of land in the parish of Denchworth and distributed under the title of bread money, has ceased to be paid.
It is stated in the same returns that Alexander Fettiplace, by will dated 1720, gave the interest of £20 for bread for the poor. The principal sum appears to have been laid out in the repair of Stiles's almshouses, in respect of which £1 per annum was formerly paid by the churchwardens.
Charity of Richard Belcher for bread (see under town lands charities).
The Bellman's Swarth.— By an award, 21 March 1806, made on the inclosure of Wantage and Grove, a plot of land containing 1 r. 16 p. in Grove Meadow was allotted to the bellman in lieu of a piece of land enjoyed by the bellman from time immemorial in consideration of his ringing the church bell at five in the morning from Michaelmas to Candlemas. The owner of the property surrounding pays 10s. a year to the sexton.
Under the same Inclosure Award four allotments were made to the surveyors of the highways, containing together 4 a. 2 r. for furnishing chalk and gravel for the repairing of the roads and ways. The allotments are not now used for any purpose.
The Town Commissioners' Trust.—The Wantage Improvement Commissioners, who were appointed by Act of 1828, (fn. 276) by deed of 31 March 1868 (enrolled) acquired the disposition of the hundred and manor of Wantage and the hundred of Ganfield with their rights, members and appurtenances (except as therein excepted) and the fairs and markets of and in the borough and manor of Wantage. At the date of the conveyance the trust property was subject to two mortgages amounting to £1,200, which has been paid off in part by sales and the remainder out of income. The property subject to the trust now consists of three rooms in the town hall let at £4 yearly, market tolls, stallage and piccage, producing in 1907 £107 12s. 6d., quit-rents amounting to £27 6s. 9d. and ward corn rents £4 15s. 1d., producing a gross income of £143 14s. 4d. The net income of about £95 was in 1907 paid to the account of the Victoria Cross Gallery, a public hall belonging to the council.
Medical Charities: The Cottage Hospital.—Percy Smith, by his will proved at Oxford 8 January 1884, bequeathed £5,000 for the establishment and maintenance of a cottage hospital for Wantage and the neighbourhood, including particularly East Hanney and Letcombe Bassett. A house at Belmont was purchased by public subscriptions, the trusts of which were formally declared by deed 29 April 1908 (enrolled). The legacy is represented by £4,250 secured by mortgages at 4 per cent., £481 16s. 1d. Natal 3½ per cent. stock, and £407 Bombay, Baroda and Central Indian Railway 3½ per cent., producing together £201 2s. 4d. yearly. The sums of stock are held by the official trustees, who also hold a further sum of £317 3s. 7d. consols, derived under the will of the Rev. James Macdougal, proved at London 14 April 1897, producing £7 18s. 4d. yearly.
The Medical Dispensary.—Mrs. Harriet Firth, by her will proved at Oxford 23 June 1885, bequeathed £2,000 for the establishment and maintenance of a medical dispensary for Wantage and the neighbourhood, including particularly the parish of Letcombe Bassett. The legacy is represented by £236 12s. 9d. India 3½ per cent. stock, £183 London and South Western Railway 3½ per cent. stock, and £1,237 1s. 4d. New Zealand 4 per cent. stock, all held by the official trustees, and £200 secured by a mortgage at 4 per cent., producing together an income of £72 3s. 6d. annually. The dispensary is maintained in a house rented at £10 10s. a year. The income from endowment is about a third of the total income, the remainder being derived from patients' contributions.
Nonconformist Charities.—The Wesleyan Methodist trust property consists of the chapel and school comprised in deeds of 1 October 1844 and 7 June 1856, and of two cottages producing an income of £16 18s. yearly. The official trustees also hold a sum of £80 2s. 3d. consols on an investment account towards repayment of a loan of £180.
The Baptist chapel, comprised in deeds of lease and release, 20 and 21 April 1682, is endowed with (1) the Inkpen estate, consisting of a homestead, gardens and 68 a. 3 r. 16 p., producing a gross income of £77 a year, and (2) the Balking estate, consisting of 5 a. Or. 33 p. acquired in 1778 under the Uffington, Balking and Woolstone Inclosure Act in lieu of 10 acres in the common fields originally purchased, and producing £8 12s. a year. The last appointment of trustees was by a memorandum, dated 19 June 1907, whereby the same persons were appointed trustees of the Garston Lane Baptist chapel settled by deeds of lease and release of 6 and 7 August 1695, also of the Mill Street Baptist chapel, comprised in deed of 26 December 1860 (enrolled).
Township of Grove.—In 1890 William Caudwell, by his will proved at Oxford, bequeathed £400, the income to be applied in coal, clothing, furniture, or subscription to a hospital. The legacy was invested in £410 5s. 1d. consols, producing £10 5s. yearly, which is applied in aid of the funds of the coal club.
The charity of William Godfrey, founded in or about 1840, consists of £218 11s. 7d. consols, the annual dividends of which, amounting to £5 9s., are, in pursuance of a declaration of trust of 26 November 1900, applied at Christmas in the distribution of coal to about twenty poor persons who are not subscribers to the coal club. The sums of stock are held by the official trustees, who also hold a sum of £28 5s. 4d. consols, producing 14s. a year, arising from the sale in 1896 of a portion of an allotment known as Haywards allotment, situate at the north end of the village. The remaining portion of the allotment, containing 3 r. 32 p., is or the annual value of £3, and tolls are received from the showmen on the occasion of the annual feast, the income being applied in the maintenance of oil lamps in the village.
The clerk's land, which at the date of the inclosure in 1803 consisted of a plot of land containing 1 a. 1 r. 24 p. including cottages and gardens, portions of which were sold under the authority of the Poor Law Board, is now represented by the parish room and site and 2 r. 3 p., the rent of which, amounting to £2 1s. 6d. a year, is received by the parish clerk.
Township of Charlton.—By an award, dated 16 April 1868, made on the inclosure of the common fields of Charlton, a public well was set out for the use of the public and a plot of 1 acre was allotted to the surveyors of the highways of the hamlet. This plot is exhausted as a quarry, and is let at 14s. 8d., which is applied in aid of the township's rates.