Great Wilbraham: Charities for the poor

Page 318

A History of the County of Cambridge and the Isle of Ely: Volume 10, Cheveley, Flendish, Staine and Staploe Hundreds (North-Eastern Cambridgeshire). Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 2002.

This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.



Haynes Barlee by will proved 1682 left land in Essex of which the rent was to be given in rotation to six parishes, including Great Wilbraham, for apprenticing poor children. That sum, £7 yearly in 1783, £10 by 1837, received every 6-7 years, was in the 18th and 19th centuries used as directed. (fn. 1) About 1860 payments were irregular. (fn. 2) In the early 20th century parish boys were still being apprenticed, sometimes to local tradesmen, or otherwise assisted with training, (fn. 3) but by the 1940s candidates were harder to find. (fn. 4) The money was still being received in 1965. (fn. 5)

Anne Ward by will of 1724 left the income from £20, worth £1 yearly, for the poor to be distributed on St. Thomas's day. In the 18th century it was distributed by the squire, in the 19th by a churchwarden. (fn. 6) Following the posthumous insolvency of one warden, half the capital was lost in the 1850s, but by 1905 the trustees through accumulation had £35 in hand, yielding £3 yearly, and given in cash in the 1960s. (fn. 7)

James Benstead (d. 1884), a Brixton grocer, by will proved 1885 left £1,000 for the poor of his native parish of Great Wilbraham. In the early 20th century the £20 income was given in cash to all the poorer inhabitants, with the aged, sick, and widows receiving larger shares. In the 1960s £20-5 a year was still given in cash to up to 30 people. (fn. 8)


  • 1. C.U.L., E.D.R., C 1/1: B 7/1, p. 15; Char. Don. i. 96-7; 31st Rep. Com. Char. 149, 332.
  • 2. Char. Digest Cambs. 1863-4, 45.
  • 3. C.R.O., P 174/AM 1, pp. 160, 166, 256, 259, 319; cf. ibid. P 174/AM 2, s.a. 1909.
  • 4. Ibid. P 174/AM 1, pp. 373, 376.
  • 5. Gt. Wilbraham Parish Guide (1965), 10.
  • 6. 31st Rep. Com. Char. 149; cf. Char. Don. i. 96-7.
  • 7. Char. Com. file 203220, corr. 1854-5, 1906-7; accts. 1961 sqq.
  • 8. Ibid. 202076, will 1883; corr. 1899, 1918-20; accts. 1961 sqq.; cf. C.R.O., P 174/AM 2, s.a. 1908, 1921, 1964 sqq.