Stapleford Abbots: Charities

Page 232

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

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Elizabeth Watson (d. 1782) left £3 issuing from her estate of Mitchells to be distributed to the poor on Christmas Day and Good Friday, provided that her parents' monument should be well maintained in its then position. Although all the monuments in the church were moved into the tower in 1861, the charity money continued to be paid. There was some difficulty in collecting the rent-charge from 1930 to 1937. In 1952 the money was spent on gifts of bread to 38 recipients.

Dr. Gould, rector of the parish (d. 1799), left £105 to be invested for distribution among the poor of the parish at Christmas and Easter. A board was to be maintained, bearing a description of the charity. By 1835 the charity was only distributed on alternate Easter Saturdays, when meat was given away to all the poor families of the parish in proportion to their size. In about 1888 £30 was added to the stock, representing the endowment of the Bell Rope Charity. This was of unknown origin and had apparently consisted of a small plot of land in Hook Lane which was sold by the churchwardens in 1781 for £25. The payment of the dividends of this sum seems to have been irregular for some time: no mention of the charity was made in the Brougham Commissioners' Report of 1835 and about 8 years' arrears were paid in 1855. In the early 19th century the income was apparently used with that of the other charities, and from 1888 it was always distributed with Dr. Gould's Charity. In 1952 the income of the two was £4 18s. 4d. which was spent on meat for 41 persons.

Alice Martin, by will proved 1946, left the residue of her estate amounting to £2,265 8s. 5d. in trust for the benefit of the poor of the parish at Christmas. In 1952 the income was £73 6s. 10d.; 43 persons received gifts in cash and 7 persons received them in children's clothes.

The Parliamentary Returns of 1786 recorded two charities which were then lost: Edward Masters had given £3 a year to the poor in 1670, and Captain Allen gave them £10, producing 10s. a year, in 1675. Nothing had been received from the first 'for many years' or from the second since 1690.


  • 1. All the information which follows is derived from the following sources: Rep. Com. Char. (Essex), H.C. 216, pp. 243-4 (1835), xxi (1); Char. Com. files.