Histon: Charities for the poor

A History of the County of Cambridge and the Isle of Ely: Volume 9, Chesterton, Northstowe, and Papworth Hundreds. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1989.

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'Histon: Charities for the poor', in A History of the County of Cambridge and the Isle of Ely: Volume 9, Chesterton, Northstowe, and Papworth Hundreds, (London, 1989) pp. 107. British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/cambs/vol9/p107a [accessed 16 April 2024]


Land was reportedly bought by the parish for charitable purposes in 1649. (fn. 1) It was later supplemented by other gifts of land and in 1728 formed an endowment yielding £3 a year for the poor. (fn. 2) The income in 1783 evidently came from a close let for £3 3s. (fn. 3) By then land left under the will of Samuel Pont, proved 1780, produced a further £1 5s. a year. In the 1780s the income of both charities was laid out in cash, bread, or fuel. (fn. 4) At inclosure in 1806 an allotment of 3 1/2; a. was made for the two together, thenceforth known as the Poor's Land. In the 1830s it was let for c. £8, most of which was spent on coal. (fn. 5)

By will proved 1771 Grace Sindrey left £26 for the poor of Histon. The capital sum was for many years held by a succession of landowners, who paid £1 6s. a year to the churchwardens. (fn. 6) In 1860 the Poor's Land was producing £8 11s. and Sindrey's charity only 15s. 2d., both spent on fuel. (fn. 7) Coal was distributed to c. 60 people each year in the 1910s. The united charity produced c. £21 in 1974, of which £19 was distributed in lots of £1. (fn. 8)

An annual payment of 1/2; qr. of wheat and 1/2; qr. of barley to the poor, said to have been begun on the appropriation of St. Andrew's church in 1416, evidently continued until the early 18th century. (fn. 9)


  • 1. 31st Rep. Com. Char. 93.
  • 2. C.U.L., E.D.R., B 8/1, f. 18v.
  • 3. Ibid. B 7/1.
  • 4. Char. Don. i. 86-9.
  • 5. 31st Rep. Com. Char. 93-4.
  • 6. Ibid. 94; Char. Don. i. 88-9; C.R.O., P 93/1/4, p. 26.
  • 7. Char. Digest Cambs. 1863-4, 397-8.
  • 8. Camb. Ind. Press, 7 Feb. 1913; 30 Jan. 1914; 12 Feb. 1915; Char. Com. file 203123.
  • 9. Char. Don. i. 88-9.