Loughton: Charities

Page 128

A History of the County of Essex: Volume 4, Ongar Hundred. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1956.

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Robert Rampston, by will dated 1585, left to the poor of Loughton £1 a year issuing from Stone Hall Farm in Little Canfield. In 1834 the money was spent on bread which was distributed after church one Sunday in the spring to those poor parishioners who had attended the service. In 1872 it was decided that flannel was a more useful gift than bread. In 1951-2 the rent charge was spent, together with the income from the following six charities, on coal and clothing tickets.

In 1813 the Rector of Loughton was admitted as tenant of 3 acres formerly waste of the manor, to hold to the use of the poor to grow potatoes or other vegetables. (fn. 2) The land was to be divided into allotments. In 1817 he was admitted to another 3 acres for the same purpose. In 1834 the land was divided into 48 gardens, each let at 2s. 6d. a year, and the income was spent on fencing and on twelve prizes for good cultivation. The Potato Ground lies north-west of Whitaker's Almshouses at Goldings Hill and in 1952 was divided into 80 plots, let at 3d. a rood. The total rent of £12 12s. was spent on maintenance and management.

Anne Whitaker, by will proved 1825, left £2,200 stock in trust for £40 to be spent each year on the charity school and the rest of the income given to the deserving poor, with preference to women lying in. In 1905 the two parts of the charity were separated and the Eleemosynary Charity was given an endowment of £380 stock. In 1951-2 the income was spent on coal and clothing tickets.

Miss Whitaker also left £1,000 to repair the poorhouse. (fn. 3) In 1847 most of this money was spent on building six two-roomed almshouses under one roof, to the north-west of Arewater Green at Goldings Hill. The remaining £115 formed the permanent endowment of the almshouses. To this additions have been made by the charities of Jane M. Waller and Olivia Houghton (see below) and in the Second World War the charity also received Savings Certificates worth £110, raised in local savings weeks. Part of this last sum has been spent on electric lighting. Part of the almshouse garden is now let as allotments with the neighbouring Potato Ground (see above). The almswomen, who live rent free, usually receive part of the other parish charities.

Nicholas Pearse, by will proved 1825, left £50 in trust for the poor of the parish. In 1834 it was reported that the income was distributed every two or three years to poor parishioners selected by the vestry. In 1951-2 the dividend of £1 4s. 8d. was spent on coal and clothing.

In 1834 an inscription in the church recorded the existence of Poor's Piece, (fn. 4) comprising part of the glebe land in Round Mead. In that year the rector paid £3 rent for it, which was distributed with the income from Rampston's Charity. In 1917 the land was sold for £120 stock. In 1951-2 this produced a dividend of £3, which was spent on coal and clothing.

Sarah Pearse, by will proved before 1846, left £50 to be invested for the poor of the parish. In 1951-2 the income of £1 6s. was spent on coal and clothing.

The above seven charities, together with Olivia Houghton's (see below), are in practice administered together under the name of the Parochial Charities.

In 1951-2 they yielded together £9 1s. 2d. This was spent on coal and clothing tickets for seventeen people, five of whom were the inmates of Whitaker's Almshouses and two of Lincoln's Almshouses (see above, Protestant Nonconformity).

Baldwins Buildings or the Parish Houses were founded as a charity by a public subscription to buy the old parish workhouse after the Poor Law Unions were formed. (fn. 5) The workhouse was divided into six tenements with gardens, which according to the foundation deed of 1837 were to be occupied free or at low rent. In 1873 five were occupied but all were in a very poor condition, so they were pulled down and the land was used as allotments. In 1927 the land, then said to front on Wroth's Path, was sold for £430. The charity now holds over £500 stock, the income from which is to be spent on the payment of weekly allowances to deserving parishioners. In 1951 £7 9s. 6d. was spent on coal for the almshouses and £6 10s. on gifts to poor people.

Eliza Watson, by will proved 1871, left £1,000 in trust for the purchase of bread, coal, or clothing for poor parishioners. In 1951 the income of £27 2s. 8d. was spent on 10s. vouchers and coal for the almshouses.

The Parish Clerk's Piece is of unknown but ancient origin. It may be identical with Sexton Acre, mentioned in 1585. (fn. 6) In 1877 the parish clerk held a small piece of pasture on Traps Hill, supposedly by virtue of his office. Its origin could not then be traced. In 1922 the land was sold for £650 which was invested for the benefit of the parish clerk. The income in 1950 was £24 18s. 6d. and was used for the general expenses of St. John's, Loughton.

Jane Miller Waller, by will proved 1882, left £1,000 in trust for distribution early each year to the six inmates of Whitaker's Almshouses. The endowment was augmented in 1897 by £90 from one of the trustees: this was to be spent with the main fund, and called the Longest Reign Augmentation Dole. In 1945 the income of £31 10s. 4d. was given in cash half-yearly to the six almswomen.

William Frederick Turner, by will proved 1905, left two bequests of £250 in trust for the purchase of boots for deserving poor men and of underlinen for deserving poor women, respectively. In 1951 the whole income was £14 7s. 4d. Nineteen 10s. vouchers were given away.

William Chapman Waller, by will proved 1917, left £300 in trust to spend £1 1s. a year each on sermons at St. Mary's and St. John's, Loughton, and £1 1s. a year in gifts to two or three deserving old parishioners of St. Mary's, preferably Anglicans, and an unspecified sum in the same way in St. John's parish. The lychgate at St. John's was to be maintained and £2 2s. spent on the maintenance of the graveyard there. In 1950 the Vicar of St. Mary's was paid £1 1s. for the sermon and three poor parishioners of St. Mary's received 7s. each. The churchwardens of St. John's received £9 15s. 8d. in 1951; £1 1s. was spent on the sermon and £4 10s. on mowing the churchyard.

Mrs. Olivia Houghton, by will proved 1922, left £300 duty free for the general purposes of the Whitaker Almshouses. The money was invested in stock and in 1951-2 the income of £13 13s. 6d. was handed over to the trustees of the almshouses.


  • 1. This section is based on Rep. Com. Char. (Essex), H.C. 216, pp. 230-2 (1835), xxi (1) and Char. Com. Files. Charities not treated here will be found in the sections relating to Churches, Protestant Nonconformity, and Worthies and Social Life.
  • 2. See Waller, Loughton, i, 129. The Potato Ground has also been known as the Potney Allotment Ground.
  • 3. Ibid. i, 130.
  • 4. Ibid. i, 47, 120.
  • 5. Ibid. i, 130.
  • 6. Ibid. i, 47, 111, &c.