Kennett: Charities for the poor

Page 467

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.

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In 1684 George Fyson left in trust 26s. 8d. for a sermon and a feast on St. George's Day. (fn. 1) In 1837 and in the 1860s 8-10 a. of arable at Cowling (Suff.) yielded £10 of rent. The rent later declined, and during the 1960s came to £5 a year. After 1974 distribution was made occasionally, when funds permitted; 18 poor parishioners each received £1 in 1988.

In the 17th century Rowland Griffith gave £30 to provide an annual feast and distribution to the poor on Gunpowder Day, to which the rector John Fairclough (d. 1696), added £20. (fn. 2) John's son and successor Richard supplemented or replaced the income from these gifts with the net rent, after recovering the repairs, of a copyhold house and orchard which he gave in 1731 in trust to, and perhaps for, succeeding incumbents. When a new rector refused in 1811 to accept admission to the then ruinous house, it was forfeited to the Godfreys, then lords, and was demolished in 1827. The Godfreys nevertheless accepted the trust and continued in the 1830s and 1860s to give £2 10s., equivalent to the interest on £50, in coal to the poor. On one of the occasions when the manor changed hands in the 20th century a new owner successfully contended that the orchard and land had no value, and the charity ceased.


  • 1. Char. Don. i. 98; Char. Digest Cambs. 1863-4, 396; Char. Com. file 204017.
  • 2. Char. Don. i. 99; 31st Rep. Com. Char. 165; Char. Digest Cambs. 1863-4, 396-7; Church Com. file 13202.