High Ongar: Charities

Pages 187-188

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

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By a scheme made in 1924 Tabor's almshouses, Wyberd's, Thomlinson's, Peacock's, and Waller's Charities were united under the name of the Parochial Charities. (fn. 1) Their income is expendable in general charitable purposes. In 1951 £18 16s. 7d. was spent on gifts in kind and on management.

Tabor's almshouses were founded by William Tabor, then Rector of High Ongar, who in 1607 gave some cottages on the north-east side of the village street, for the reception of old and deserving parishioners. By his will dated 1610 he added a rent charge of £10 for the support of the almsmen and the repair of the houses. The land charged lay in Bradwell-juxta-Mare. In 1834 the almshouses consisted of six tenements 'in pretty good repair', occupied by nine old people appointed by the rector and vestry. The total amount spent on the almspeople at this time was 17s. a week. For many years they had been partly supported out of the poor rates, and the charity income was carried to the poor rate account. (fn. 2) By 1900 the almshouses were in poor repair and their maintenance was uneconomic. (fn. 3) By 1929 four of the houses had been empty for six years and soon after this they were condemned by the County Council. In 1937 the houses were sold for £50 and were demolished soon after. (fn. 4) The income from the investment and the rent charge are now used for the general purposes of the Parochial Charities. The almshouses were a row of six single-story cottages, with leaded casement windows. Each cottage contained a lofty room in the front with a lean-to scullery behind. (fn. 5)

John Wyberd, citizen and haberdasher of London, by will proved 1625, left 50s. a year for bread for the poor, charged on property in Kirton-in-Holland, Lincs. Fourteen years' arrears were paid in 1820. From then the charge was paid regularly until its redemption in 1910 for £100 stock. In 1834 this charity, along with Peacock's and Waller's, was given in bread to all poor parishioners. (fn. 6)

William Peacock, at an unknown date, gave 20s. to the poor charged on a cottage in High Ongar. The rent-charge was being regularly received in 1834 and was distributed in bread. In 1926 it was redeemed for £40 stock. (fn. 7)

Humphrey Waller, at an unknown date, gave 10s. charged on a copyhold farm called Farrows at Paslow Wood Common. In 1834 the rent-charge was being paid regularly and distributed with Wyberd's and Peacock's Charities. Except for a few years before 1907 the rent has apparently been received regularly. (fn. 8)

Mrs. Alice Thomlinson, by will dated 1655, left 5s. a year each to eight poor widows of High Ongar to help them buy waistcoats. (fn. 9) With similar charities for other parishes, it was charged on property in Hatfield Broad Oak. Up to 1769 the 'Widow's Crowns' were paid every year according to the will, (fn. 10) but in 1834 the money was distributed every two years to about 20 widows. (fn. 11) The money was still being paid in 1951. (fn. 12)

High Ongar participated in Walker's Charity (see Fyfield). No children were being sent to Fyfield school in 1834 but the Rector of High Ongar received 10s. a year from the Walker Charity which was spent on school-leaving prizes of bibles and prayer books for the High Ongar children. This arrangement was not confirmed by the scheme controlling Dr. Walker's Foundation made in 1874. (fn. 13)


  • 1. Char. Com. files.
  • 2. Rep. Com. Char. (Essex), H.C. 216, p. 240 (1835), xxi (1). And see above Parish Govt. and Poor Relief.
  • 3. Char. Com. files; Parish Council Mins., extracted by Mr. D. W. Hutchings.
  • 4. Char. Com. files; Paroch. Char. Mins., extracted by Mr. D. W. Hutchings.
  • 5. Inf. from Miss Neville of High Ongar.
  • 6. Rep. Com. Char. (Essex), p. 240; Char. Com. files.
  • 7. Ibid.
  • 8. Ibid.
  • 9. E.R.O., D/P 68/12.
  • 10. E.R.O., D/P 68/8/1 and 2.
  • 11. Rep. Com. Char. (Essex), p. 240.
  • 12. Char. Com. files.
  • 13. Rep. Com. Char. (Essex), p. 240; Char. Com. files.