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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Charities for the poor
By 1700 the parish owned two cottages called the town houses, standing in 1783 each side of the later parish clerk's cottage. Then, as later, they were probably let to poor people, for £3 rent. One was supposedly that held in 1558 by William Baddesley, who had left the rent of his house for the poor, the other probably the cottage which Catherine Halls, widow, gave to the churchwardens in 1695. Both were inhabited by paupers rent free in 1837, when the parish also let the town lands in small allotments to those with large families. After 1850 that land was all let to one man. Robert Masters by will proved 1798 had left in trust three cottages, two for the parish clerk and schoolmistress, the third for a poor widow. (fn. 1)
From 1850 the vestry let the town houses to poor people at reasonable rents, yielding in 1863 £4 10s. for public purposes. (fn. 2) Under a Charity Commission order of 1869 Baddesley's cottage was to be demolished and Halls's rebuilt, its income being thereafter devoted to church purposes. (fn. 3) Called by 1885 the church cottage, it was sold in 1968. (fn. 4) An order of 1870 continued the use of Masters's cottage to house a poor woman, preferably a widow. (fn. 5) Following its sale in 1974, a Scheme of 1976 assigned the income from the proceeds to relieve Landbeach women in need, especially widows. Much of the income, £300 a year by 1983, was accumulated, the cash in hand reaching £3,000, besides £5,600 of stock in 1983, when the trustees spent a sum equal to the annual receipts on three women. (fn. 6)