Fyfield: Charities

Pages 57-58

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

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In 1687 Dr. Anthony Walker, Rector of Fyfield, devised property in Fyfield and High Ongar (fn. 1) for the provision of a school (fn. 2) and a rent-free house for the church clerk, and for the benefit of the poor. In 1834 £2 12s. was distributed to the poor in bread. This part of the charity, however, seems to have disappeared later, since by 1905 the whole of the endowment was held for educational purposes except the clerk's house and a small yearly sum for its maintenance.

The house left for the clerk was the smaller of the two tenements called Bruetts, in Fyfield Street, the larger being for the schoolmaster or dame. In 1873 it was disputed whether the charity was for the church clerk or the parish clerk; the decision went in the church clerk's favour, and the house is still occupied by his successor. In 1949 the school charity and the parochial church council both advanced money for the repair of the house, which had been little altered for some centuries. It is timber-framed with a steep roof and dates from the 16th century or earlier. (fn. 3)

John Collins, (fn. 4) by will dated 1751, (fn. 5) left a field in Moreton to the poor of Fyfield. It was let at £5 a year in 1834 and in 1907, when it was sold for £120 which was invested. In 1834 the income was spent on bread, distributed with Walker's Charity, and on 1s. doles to widows and other poor persons. The bread doles were stopped in 1917 under a scheme of 1915. In 1935 the income of £3 11s. 8d. was distributed in small sums of cash and the same practice appears to have been followed since.

The Revd. Robert Gibson, by will proved 1840, left £200 in trust for distribution among the poor of the parish, preferably those who were sober and industrious and attended church regularly. Charlotte Gibson, by will proved 1859, left £200 in trust for the yearly distribution of blankets, sheets, coals, or clothing to the poor of the parish. These two charities have generally been distributed together. In 1950 the income of £5 from each was given away in food and clothing. (fn. 6)


  • 1. See Frith Hall in High Ongar.
  • 2. See above, Schools.
  • 3. Rep. Com. Char. (Essex), H.C. 216, pp. 225-7 (1835), xxi (1); Char. Com.files.
  • 4. Ibid.; Hist. Essex by Gent. iii, 336-7.
  • 5. This date, given in Rep. Com. Char(Essex), p. 227, is evidently a mistake. Collins died in Sept. 1750.
  • 6. Char. Com. files.