Graveley: Charities for the poor

Pages 331-332

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

In the 1780s the parish received rent charges of 8s. given by Edward Crofts by will proved 1628, (fn. 1) 12s. given by 1741 and lost c. 1810, and £2 from John Martin given by deed in 1763. The two remaining in 1837, then given in bread, (fn. 2) had been lost by 1863. (fn. 3)

The rector, Henry Trotter, in 1763 gave in trust a copyhold estate at Graveley built up since 1735, comprising three cottages, 3½ a. of closes, and 26 a. of arable, for which 46½ a. were allotted at inclosure. By 1775 the rents totalled £21. (fn. 4) Besides his ecclesiastical and educational benefactions, Trotter directed that 1s. worth of bread be given every Sunday to those poor who came to church: £2 12s. a year was distributed until the 1830s. Most of the rent, which amounted to £70 c. 1815, £45 in 1878, was absorbed in the early 19th century by copyhold entry fines, repairs, and inclosure costs. (fn. 5) In 1846 the rector, John Warren, alleging neglect and mismanagement, obtained a Chancery decree giving the rector de factocontrol of the endowment and shared responsibility with Jesus College for distribution. (fn. 6)

About 1910 (fn. 7) and 1929 the bread dole was still given in penny loaves to churchgoers after evensong, despite popular reluctance to accept such 'bribes'. (fn. 8) Under a Scheme of 1930 the £2 12s. was distributed at Christmas in coal until 1935, later in medical assistance. By 1961 the estate brought in £236. Sales of cottages and some land between 1965 and 1977 produced a capital sum of c. £13,900, which with the farm rent, £55 by 1976, yielded an income much higher than was required for Trotter's original purposes. About 1970 c. £60 yearly was given to the needy, partly in bread. (fn. 9)


  • 1. P.R.O., PROB 11/53, f. 113v.
  • 2. Char. Don. i. 94-5; 31st Rep. Com. Char. 251.
  • 3. Char. Digest Cambs. 1863-4, 14.
  • 4. Jesus Coll. Mun., 11, deeds 1735 and later; C.R.O., Q/RDz 5, pp. 111-12; C.U.L., E.D.R., C 1/1.
  • 5. 31st Rep. Com. Char. 250-1; Jesus Coll. Mun., 12, corr. and accts. 1814-31.
  • 6. Jesus Coll. Mun., 12, cases for counsel and corr. 1845- 7.
  • 7. Ibid. corr. 1905 and later.
  • 8. Ibid. 13, accts. and corr. esp. 23 Jan. 1930; Char. Com. files, esp. letters 31 Dec. 1929; 4 Jan. 1930.
  • 9. Char. Com. files.