Aldham: Charities for the poor

Pages 22-23

A History of the County of Essex: Volume 10, Lexden Hundred (Part) Including Dedham, Earls Colne and Wivenhoe. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 2001.

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The parish shared in Love's charity. In the 1830s the Aldham trustees allowed the £2 10s. a year income to accumulate for several years before spending it on bread and blankets. (fn. 1)

Nicholas Stowe, by will proved 1563, pro- vided that, if his heirs failed, his house and land in Aldham should be sold and the proceeds given to the poor. (fn. 2) The land was presumably that recovered for the poor before 1610 and held for them later in the 17th century. (fn. 3) In 1712 trus- tees for the poor held a house called Crapes and 16 a. of land, presumably Stowe's. In 1831 the charity, then called Crapes, provided annuities of £1 5s. a year for 16 poor married couples not receiving parish relief. (fn. 4) By 1919 falling income had reduced annuities to 15s., but the sale of the land that year enabled sums varying from 15s. to £2 to be paid until 1967. In 1967 a Charity Commission Scheme amalgamated Love's and Crape's charities. In 1992 the combined income of the two charities was £201.33, which was used for grants in individual cases of hardship. (fn. 5) Edward H. Lee's charity, founded by a declar- ation of trust of 1973, gave half its income, £168 in 1998, to the rector and the church and half to the Aldham Good Neighbours Club for the relief of the elderly. (fn. 6)

A former almshouse in Fordstreet recorded c. 1554, and an almshouse in the churchyard recorded in 1607 were presumably unen- dowed. (fn. 7) By indenture of 1880 the rector, Charles Bannatyne, conveyed to trustees 4 alms- houses which his sister Dorothea Bannatyne had endowed, opposite the new church. The almspeople, from Aldham and neighbouring parishes, received stipends of 3s. a week for indi- viduals or 5s. for couples. (fn. 8) Payment of stipends ceased in 1954; from 1960 residents contributed to the maintenance of the houses, but they also became eligible for annuities from Crapes charity. The houses were modernised in 1989, with the help of a loan from Colchester Borough Council. (fn. 9)

In 1929 Agnes Hines of Aldham Hall built a pair of almshouses in Brook Road in memory of her husband James. Under a declaration of trust of 1930 and a Scheme of 1970 the almspeople are aged and infirm residents of Aldham. (fn. 10)


  • 1. 32nd Rep. Com. Char. 624-6; below, Little Horkesley, Char.
  • 2. E.R.O., D/ABW 34/17.
  • 3. P.R.O., REQ 2/68/45; E.R.O., D/DWe P9; D/DWe M8; D/DU 91/1; Guildhall MS. 9628, box 3.
  • 4. E.R.O., D/P 208/25/1-2; ibid. Acc. C645 (uncat.); 32nd Rep. Com. Char. 626-7.
  • 5. E.R.O., Acc. C645 (uncat.); Acc. A4933 (uncat.); Char. Com. file.
  • 6. Inf. from the trustees; above, this par. Church.
  • 7. P.R.O., DL 43/2/1; E.R.O., D/P 208/1/1.
  • 8. Char. Com., Unrep. Vol. 45, p. 468; E.R.O., D/P 208/25/19; board in ch.
  • 9. E.R.O., Acc. A4933 (uncat.); Char. Com. file.
  • 10. Char. Com. reg.; plaque on building.