Stanford Rivers: Charities

Pages 221-222

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

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Thomas Petit (fn. 1) (d. before 1602) left 5s. a year each for the poor and 'poor folk's marriages' to the parishes of Stanford Rivers and Greenstead. It issued from lands in Stanford Rivers. (fn. 2) In 1834 the money had not been paid for at least 23 years. The owner of the land was apparently willing to pay the charge in future but there is no later record of the charity.

William Green, (fn. 3) by will dated 1554, devised a rent charge of £2 to 12 poor inhabitants of Stanford Rivers and £1 to 6 poor of Chipping Ongar. In 1786 it had not been paid since 1739.

Mary Rayner (fn. 4) of Greenstead, by will proved 1873, left £400 for the upkeep of her family tomb and for the provision of clothing for the most deserving poor of Stanford Rivers. Although the primary trust was void by the rule against perpetuities, small sums were spent on the tombstone at various times. In 1950 the income was £10 1s. 2d., which, together with the last year's balance was enough to give 27 parishioners 10s. each for clothing.

Jessie Matilda Berkeley (fn. 5) of Mere (Wilts.), by will proved 1930, left £500 in trust for the upkeep of the graveyard of the parish church and for the benefit of the poor provided that her family vault was maintained in good repair. (fn. 6) The income in 1950 was £20 8s. 4d., all of which was spent on the graveyard.


  • 1. Rep. Com. Char. (Essex), H.C. 216, p. 243 (1835), xxi (1); cf. E.R.O., D/P 140/1/1 f. 143v.
  • 2. Cf. the 'anniversary' in the Church, in 1549 and earlier.
  • 3. Rep. Com. Char. (Essex), p. 243; cf. D/P 140/1/1 f. 138 f.
  • 4. Char. Com. files.
  • 5. Ibid.
  • 6. The condition was void under the rule concerning perpetuities.