Charities for the poor

A History of the County of Essex: Volume 9, the Borough of Colchester. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1994.

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A P Baggs. Beryl Board. Philip Crummy. Claude Dove. Shirley Durgan. N R Goose. R B Pugh. Pamela Studd. C C Thornton, 'Charities for the poor', in A History of the County of Essex: Volume 9, the Borough of Colchester, (London, 1994) pp. 367-372. British History Online [accessed 24 May 2024].

A P Baggs. Beryl Board. Philip Crummy. Claude Dove. Shirley Durgan. N R Goose. R B Pugh. Pamela Studd. C C Thornton. "Charities for the poor", in A History of the County of Essex: Volume 9, the Borough of Colchester, (London, 1994) 367-372. British History Online, accessed May 24, 2024,

Baggs, A P. Board, Beryl. Crummy, Philip. Dove, Claude. Durgan, Shirley. Goose, N R. Pugh, R B. Studd, Pamela. Thornton, C C. "Charities for the poor", A History of the County of Essex: Volume 9, the Borough of Colchester, (London, 1994). 367-372. British History Online. Web. 24 May 2024,

In this section



Almshouses. (fn. 1)

St. Mary Magdalen Hospital (fn. 2) was re-established by charter in 1610 for a master, who was also to be rector of St. Mary Magdalen's church, and five poor single or widowed people of Colchester. The master, appointed by the Lord Chancellor, was to choose the inhabitants of the hospital and to pay each of them a yearly stipend of 52s. A test suit in Chancery 1831-3 and a decree of the court in 1836 established that the almspeople were entitled only to the weekly stipend and that the remaining income of the charity, then amounting to £382 a year, belonged to the master, who was, however, to be resident. In 1837 the almspeople, all women, received a yearly supply of fuel in addition to the stipend. (fn. 3) By 1952 the fuel allowance was paid in cash, each almsperson receiving £1 4s. every six months, (fn. 4) but in 1985 neither stipend nor fuel allowance was paid. (fn. 5)

The endowment of the charity consisted in 1837 of over 50 a. of land in St. Mary Magdalen's and adjoining parishes, 3 a. in Ardleigh, 7 a. in Layer-de-la-Haye, and c. 49 a. in Stanway. In 1818 the Board of Ordnance paid £5,000 for the use of c. 17 a. which were returned to the charity before 1833. (fn. 6) Between 1899 and 1932 all the land and houses owned by the charity, except the master's house and the almshouses, were sold and the proceeds invested. Problems arose in the 1940s over the division of income between the hospital and the rectory of St. Mary Magdalen, both still served by the same man, and in 1951, when the mastership and living fell vacant, the Charity Commissioners held an inquiry (fn. 7) which, in 1953, resulted in an Act of parliament abolishing the mastership, establishing new trustees, and apportioning the assets of the charity between the hospital and the benefice. (fn. 8) In 1985 the charity had an income of £642. (fn. 9)

The 17th-century hospital building, adjoining St. Mary Magdalen's churchyard, was demolished in 1832 and rebuilt as six dwellings under one roof, one of which, with an upper storey, was probably for the master. (fn. 10) The houses were empty in 1987, awaiting repair or rebuilding. (fn. 11) A separate master's house, built about 1880, was compulsorily purchased by the Great Eastern Railway in 1900. Its replacement was sold in 1924, when no. 24 New Town Road was bought and conveyed to the hospital. (fn. 12) The house was assigned to the church in 1953. (fn. 13)

Arthur Winsley, by will proved 1727, gave Brickhouse Farm in St. Botolph's parish to be converted into almshouses for 12 Colchester men over 60 years old 'that had lived well and fallen into decay'. For the maintenance of the almsmen and of his monument in St. James's church he gave the land of Brickhouse farm, Bocking Hall farm in West Mersea, and the rents of his house on East Hill. After a Chancery suit against the founder's brother Richard, brought in 1730 by the other trustees, the almshouses were established in the main block of the house in 1734. (fn. 14) By the later 18th century wives but not widows of almsmen were allowed to live in the almshouses. (fn. 15)

Winsley's benefaction had included a weekly stipend of 2s. 6d. for each almsman, 36 bu. of coal a year, and, on New Year's Day, a sermon in the almshouse chapel followed by a dinner. (fn. 16) The stipend rose to 10s. in 1879, but was reduced when income was insufficient to meet expenditure, and was finally discontinued in 1956. The gift of coal ceased in 1958. The sermon continued in 1987, but the New Year dinners were replaced in 1873 by gifts of 3s. to each almsman, changed to 25p. in 1972. (fn. 17) In 1986 the residents paid weekly contributions towards maintenance, hot water, and central heating. (fn. 18)

The sale of 23 a. of land to the Barrackmaster General in 1805 raised £2,793 which was invested, and the surplus income, by Chancery decree, was used to build three new almshouses in 1808 and three more in 1811. (fn. 19) In spite of reduced income caused by the agricultural depression, the trustees built four more houses in 1845, and later legacies paid for two houses in 1861, and a further 34 between 1900 and 1940, including 14 provided for almsmen's widows by George Rose in 1936 and 1940. The almshouses were remodelled between 1952 and 1962, increasing the accommodation. Ten bungalows were built in 1968, and 11 in 1975, (fn. 20) and in 1985 the charity owned 85 almshouses. (fn. 21)

In 1811 the charity bought Barn Hall farm, adjacent to Brickhouse farm; (fn. 22) parts of it were sold in 1899 (fn. 23) and 1931, and the remainder in 1945. The land of Brickhouse farm was sold for building between 1893 and 1914; the southern part of the faremhouse, which had been separated from the almshouses and used to house the tenant farmers, was demolished in 1966. Bocking Hall farm was sold in 1916, and Winsley's house on East Hill in 1951. (fn. 24) In 1985 the charity still owned 15 a. in Elmstead, bought by the trustees in 1735. (fn. 25)

John Winnock, (fn. 26) by indenture of 1679, conveyed the six houses which he had built in St. Giles's parish in trust for aged poor people of Colchester. The charity was endowed with a yearly rent charge of £41 from Winnock's land and houses in St. Peter's parish, an estate which the trustees had aquired by 1697. Gifts and legacies augmented the charity in the later 18th century, including those of Mrs. Simpson (£200 in 1760) and Hannah Nuthall (£500 in 1779). Further sums totalling £300 were received from Henry Dobby in 1786, Mary Poyner (d. 1810), and Francis Freshfield (d. 1808).

In 1815 the charity housed eight women and its gross income was £135. By 1825 twelve women were living in the original buildings, each occupying a single room, and in 1826 a new building to house four more was built, partly with money given by Mary Barfield. In 1840 another two new dwellings were built. In 1909 four rooms were added at the rear of the existing buildings in Military Road, and in 1914 two houses were built on land bought by the charity on the opposite side of the road. Gifts and bequests enabled two more houses to be built in 1922, and another two in 1931. Between 1933 and 1934 George Rose built and endowed nine almshouses, six in New Square; the last two to be built were endowed with six cottages owned by Rose in Magdalen Street. In the 1950s, with the aid of ministry and local authority grants, an extensive programme of conversion, renovation, and rebuilding was carried out, resulting in the number of almshouses being reduced to 33 in 1954 and to 28 in 1961.

The original terms of the charity allowed each almswoman a stipend of 2s. a week and an annual gift of coal. The stipend rose steadily to 4s. a week in 1921, but in 1954 it was reduced to 2s. for the occupants of the 18 older houses, and discontinued for those of the 15 newer ones. Stipends ceased altogether in 1958, when contributions of not more than 5s. a week were requested from the almspeople. The gift of coal ceased in 1955.

John Kendall and his wife Anne, by indenture of 1791, bought and conveyed to trustees a piece of land and a house for eight poor women aged 60 or over, priority to be given to widows of Winsley's almsmen, who were not allowed to remain in Winsley's almshouses. (fn. 27) In 1809 John Kendall requested that three of the seven trustees should be Quakers.

A public appeal for an endowment raised £1,045, and in 1793 stipends of 1s. a week and an annual coal allowance were paid to the almswomen. The coal allowance ceased in 1962; the stipend ceased for new tenants in 1958 and altogether in 1965. From 1958 new tenants, and from 1965 all tenants, paid 2s. a week towards the maintenance of the almshouses, and a Charity Commission Scheme of 1974 enabled charges to be made towards maintenance and heating costs.

Land adjoining the almshouse was bought in 1798, and in 1806 accommodation was built for another eight women. Between 1799 and 1830 the charity received legacies of over £1,400 from Kendall (d. 1815) and fellow Quakers, and by 1837 the investment income was £140 10s. a year. George Rose built four bungalows in 1933 and a further ten in 1935, endowing them with £5,000 and farms in East Mersea and Lexden. None of them was to be occupied by a widow from Winsley's almshouses. Between 1935 and 1949 the charity received legacies totalling £4,200, including £100 towards a common room which was opened in 1951.

Under a Scheme of 1976 Winnock's and Kendall's charities were administered and managed as the Winnock's and Kendall's Combined Almshouse Charity. (fn. 28) In 1984 there were 27 people in Winnock's almshouses and 29 in Kendall's, and the charity had an investment income of £10,889. (fn. 29)

In 1896 Charlotte Eleanor Cooper, in memory of three sisters, Elizabeth Cooper, Margaret Round, and Charlotte Borthwick, (fn. 30) built Berryfield Cottages for 12 poor people aged 60 or more, resident in Colchester and preferably in St. James's parish. She maintained the cottages until her death in 1899. By her will, proved 1900, she established the charity and endowed it with £6,000 to provide, among other things, a weekly stipend of 3s. and an annual coal allowance for each almsperson. A meeting room and kitchen for the almshouses were built on adjacent land by Amelia Green, and conveyed to the trustees in 1901. By 1968 the residents contributed towards the maintenance, and by 1982 to the heating. In 1982 the charity had assets of £14,014. (fn. 31)


Sir Thomas White founded a charity in 1566 for the benefit of Bristol and 24 other towns and cities. (fn. 32) Colchester, at 24 year intervals, received £104 from which loans of £25 were made to young freemen. Loans were made until 1735, and again in 1766. (fn. 33) The charity then apparently lay dormant until 1846 when 15 trustees were appointed under a revised Scheme; in 1849 ten loans, totalling £525, were granted. £710 was available for loan in 1870, but very few freemen were entitled to benefit. In 1924 the terms of the charity were extended to include non-freemen, nevertheless, of 23 applications received in 1938 only one fulfilled all the qualifications. Efforts were again made to revive the charity in 1971 when there were assets of over £1,500 and a mortgage invested in Colchester corporation. Five new trustees were appointed in 1973. In 1987 the borough council agreed to take over the management of the charity and was negotiating new terms with the Charity Commission. (fn. 34)

John Hunwick, (fn. 35) by will dated 1593, gave £300 to the poor of Colchester with the proviso that every fifth year the income should be given to the poor of Ipswich, Sudbury, and Maldon. From 1595 the capital was lent to Colchester tradesmen at 10 per cent interest. (fn. 36) The corporation had great difficulty in recovering the money owed, and from 1643 borough revenues were used regularly to make up the arrears. (fn. 37) Distributions of the charity continued in 1741 and perhaps later, (fn. 38) but had probably ceased by 1782 when Ipswich demanded arrears of £110. In 1837 the charity was deemed to be lost. (fn. 39) Mary, widow of Sir Thomas Judd, lord mayor of London, known as Lady Judd, by indenture of 1591, gave to the bailiffs and commonalty £100 to buy flax and other materials to set the poor to work. The profits were to be used to help the aged poor and those unable to work. Money was distributed regularly until 1619. (fn. 40) The corporation was taking steps to recover lost capital in 1667, (fn. 41) but no further reference to distribution of the charity has been found. Thomas Ingram, by indenture of 1602, gave to the bailiffs and commonalty £100 to be lent at 5 per cent interest to provide wool for setting to work the poor of St. Peter's parish; the interest was to be distributed among those unable to work. The money was being so used in 1605 (fn. 42) and possibly until 1660 by which time part at least of the capital had been lost. (fn. 43) In 1674 a committee was set up by the corporation to inquire into the charity, and in 1697 and 1698 St. Peter's was being paid £20 a year out of the borough revenues. (fn. 44) The state of those three charities was the subject of several corporation inquiries until c. 1846, but no record of further payments has been found. (fn. 45)

By will proved in 1631, William Turner (fn. 46) gave to the aged poor of Colchester the rent of a house and land at the Hythe, which he held on a lease from the bailiffs and commonalty. Between 1633 and 1653 distributions of £7 were made reasonably regularly twice a year, but only six payments were made between 1659 and 1693, and the last was recorded in 1699. Later attempts to revive the charity, culminating in a Chancery suit in 1835, were unsuccessful.

William Whorlow Bunting, (fn. 47) by will proved 1922, left to trustees, all deacons of Lion Walk Congregational Church, the land and buildings of the Bunting Institute in Culver Street for the benefit of the young men of Colchester. In 1984 the investment income of £264 was supplemented by rent received for the premises. The original hall, built in 1906 as a gymnasium, was sold to developers in 1984, and a new hall built in Lion Walk.

By deed of 1939, George Rose (fn. 48) gave £6,000 to provide coal for the elderly poor, preferably widows. The charity was to be administered by the trustees of Winnock's charity, but separately from it. In 1985 eleven applicants each received 300 kg. of coal, and the cash balance of the charity was £900.

A Lying-in charity, supported by subscriptions, was founded in 1796 and endowed with £50 stock in 1835. (fn. 49) It lent to poor married women bedlinen and baby clothes, and gave them a small sum of money for food. Further donations and legacies had increased the investment income to £39 by 1887. With the advent of the National Health Service in 1948, there were very few applications for help from the charity and a Scheme of 1953 allowed larger grants of money to be made. In 1963, after only four grants had been made in five years, a new Scheme altered the terms of the charity to include unmarried mothers. No suitable applications for grants were received between 1973 and 1980, but ten grants of £30 and five of £40 were made in 1985-6.


All Saints'.

Matthew Stephens, by will proved in 1599, left to the poor of the parish £10 a year charged on his house in East Hill. In 1639 the occupant, George Gilbert, conveyed the house to 18 trustees who were to distribute 16s. a year to the poor of All Saints' and give 12d. and a penny loaf to 12 aged poor. The buildings were destroyed during the siege of 1648, and the site was let in 1654 to a saymaker for 99 years, 1s. a year to be paid to the parish. There is no further record of the charity. (fn. 50)

Charles Gray, by indenture enrolled in Chancery in 1772, gave £10 10s. yearly to the rector of All Saints' for the use of the poor on condition that he serve the parish himself for at least two months a year, otherwise on the same conditions to be divided between the rectors of St. James's and St. Runwald's parishes. In 1837 the payment was charged on the Castle estate in Colchester. (fn. 51) The charity was being distributed regularly in 1886, (fn. 52) but no later record of it has been found.

William Goodwin, by will dated 1828, left to the minister and churchwardens £100 for the upkeep of his family vault and three other graves, the residue to be used for the poor. About £3 a year was usually distributed in bread, coals, and money. John Green Glandfield, by will proved in 1845, left to the rector £100 to be invested for the upkeep of his family vault, surplus income to be used for the relief of the poor of the parish. James Watts, by will dated 1875, made a similar gift also of £100, the residue to be distributed to the poor in bread on 25 October each year. (fn. 53) In 1886 the combined yearly income of the three charities was £8, distributed in bread and coals; in 1986 it was £46, used for general help to the needy. (fn. 54)


Mary (d. 1644), wife of Thomas Darcy, earl Rivers, (fn. 55) known as Lady Darcy, built for the poor of the parish eight brick almshouses in Eld Lane; at least four of them were built by 1635. (fn. 56) Before 1748, when the buildings were used as a workhouse, the parish had added two more houses. They seem to have been used as pauper housing in the early 19th century but had reverted to almshouses by 1886, apart from one house which was used for a school. All the houses were maintained by the vestry, and the rector and churchwardens were trustees of the charity. (fn. 57) Six of the houses were rebuilt between 1897 and 1905; the four remaining 17th-century houses were demolished in 1964 and their site was sold in 1971. (fn. 58) In 1987 ten new homes, built on East Hill, were given to the charity and the old almshouses in Eld Lane were redeveloped as part of the town centre modernisation. (fn. 59)

In the earlier 18th century the almshouses were said to be unendowed, but by 1782 the vestry was leasing 'land belonging to the poor houses', and by the early 19th century two rents of £3 from plots of land adjoining the almshouses had been assigned to the charity. (fn. 60) Cottages were built on one plot, fronting Lion Walk, c. 1836, and a hall, Darcy Hall, was built on the other c. 1910. The cottages were sold in 1955 and 1956 and the hall in 1970. (fn. 61)

Rachel, wife of Sir Ralph Creffield, known as Lady Creffield, by will proved in 1735, left £3 a year, charged on her house in Culver Street, to the poor of the parish at Christmas. The charity was so distributed in the 19th century, but by 1955 it was being added to the income of Lady Darcy's almshouses, and the arrangement was made permanent in 1958. The rent charge was redeemed in 1972 for £43.50. (fn. 62)

The charities are governed by a Scheme of 1959 which requires the almspeople to be resident in the borough of Colchester, preferably in Holy Trinity parish. The six surviving houses were still occupied as almshouses in 1984, and the charity's investment income that year was c. £2,660. (fn. 63)


Jeremiah Daniell, by will dated 1695, left £10 a year, charged on land in St. Botolph's and St. Giles's parishes, for coal for the poor of four Colchester parishes: St. Botolph's, St. Giles's, St. Mary's-at-the-Walls, and St. Peter's. (fn. 64) The rent charge was paid by the War Office from c. 1888 until 1912 when it was redeemed. (fn. 65) St. Botolph's parish received £2 a year which was distributed regularly as coal until 1940. (fn. 66) In 1985 the parish held £60 stock, the income from which, c. £3, was used in the vicar's discretionary fund. (fn. 67)

By 1734 the parishes of St. Botolph and St. Giles were each receiving £2 12s. a year known as the Poor Widows' Gift out of a house and 42 a. in Little Totham, Great Totham, and Goldhanger. The payments were confirmed by a Chancery decree in 1740. (fn. 68) In 1851 the charity bought bread for 12 widows in each parish. (fn. 69) Money was received as late as 1958, (fn. 70) but no further reference to the charity has been found.

By will dated 1857, Mrs. Mary Thorley left £100 to buy blankets or coal for the poor. The money appears to have been invested and the interest allowed to accumulate until 1885 when a percentage of the accumulated dividend was used as intended. (fn. 71) In 1985 the income of £2.50 was used in the vicar's discretionary fund. (fn. 72)


The parish shared in Jeremiah Daniell's charity, receiving £3 a year which appears to have been combined with the Poor Widows' Gift from 1855 or earlier, when the income was distributed in bread and coals. (fn. 73) Distribution continued in the 1920s but no later record has been found. (fn. 74)


Elizabeth Jacobs, by will dated 1801, left £125 stock and Susannah Hammant, by will proved in 1826, left £130, both sums to provide bread yearly at Christmas for the poor of the parish. In 1837 dividends of £10 and £4 10s. respectively were distributed in bread. (fn. 75) A Scheme in 1900 combined the charities for the general benefit of the poor, and in 1985 the incomes were £46 and £12 respectively. (fn. 76) By will proved 1887, Margaret Round left £1,500 from the income of which £10 was to be used annually to buy clothes for the poor. (fn. 77) In 1985 the combined income of the three charities was used to help the needy. (fn. 78)


Before 1766 an unknown donor founded a Bread Charity, giving the rent from 1 a. of land in the parish to buy bread for poor unmarried people of the parish; (fn. 79) in 1864 the land was sold and the proceeds were invested, providing an annual income of £5 6s. 8d. (fn. 80) In 1985 income was £5.32. Charles Parker-Jarvis, by will proved in 1840, left £100 to provide coals for poor sailors of the parish. Emily Nicholls, by will proved 1918, left £500 to buy blankets and coal at Christmas for the poor of the parish. By will proved 1936, Elizabeth Everitt left £100 in memory of her son, John Paxman Everitt, for the poor of the parish. (fn. 81) In 1986 the income from all four charities, c. £60, was combined and used by the rector of New Town parish, which included the former St. Leonard's parish, to help those in need. (fn. 82)


None known.


By will proved 1689, Joseph Cox left £100 to buy land, the rents and profits to be distributed at Christmas to the poor of the parish. In 1711 his executors bought 8 a. of arable land in St. Mary's parish producing £5 10s. a year. In 1825 the land, then valuable building land, was exchanged for 28 a. in Mile End. (fn. 83) Some land was sold in 1878 and the rest before 1931. (fn. 84) In 1855 and again in 1931 the charity was distributed only to poor widows who had lived in the parish for at least a year, but in 1909 recipients included the sick and poor of both sexes. (fn. 85) In 1986 the income of £47 was distributed to widows at Christmas. (fn. 86)

The parish also shares in the charity of Jeremiah Daniell, and holds £80 stock, the income from which was not distributed in 1986. (fn. 87)


Ralph Finch, (fn. 88) by will proved 1552, devised in trust the four almshouses which he had built in the parish for the use of four poor men or women of the parish, priority being given to Finch's kinsfolk. Each almsperson was to receive 6d. a week, to be paid out of a rent of £6 6s. 8d. a year charged on a brewhouse and land on Balkerne Hill and land in King's meadow and Fordham. After payment of 6s. 8d. to the trustees, any surplus was to provide firewood for the almspeople. Each almsperson was to leave a 'reasonable' part of his goods towards the maintenance of the almshouse.

By 1809, the full £6 6s. 8d. was charged on the land on Balkerne Hill, which was bought by the trustees in 1827. A strip of the land was taken by the corporation in 1936 to widen Sheepen Road, and in 1963 the remainder was sold to the Borough Council for £11,000.

Legacies enabled stipends to be raised to 7d. in 1791 and to 1s. 6d. in 1827 when an annuity of £262 10s., part of a bequest from William Goodwin, was received. The remainder of Goodwin's bequest, £900 stock to be used to endow four more almshouses, was received in 1835. The trustees demolished the four old, dilapidated houses, and built eight new ones on the same site in Culver Street the following year. By then all eight almsfolk were women, mostly tradesmen's widows; each paid 12s. on admission instead of leaving goods at her death. Stipends of 2s. were paid to those who had occupied the four original houses, the four new inhabitants had only 1s. 6d. each, and all received a yearly allowance of coal. In 1857 stipends, which had risen to 2s. 6d. for all, were cut to 2s. They were discontinued in 1948 but by 1970 occupants received £5 a year at Christmas, a gift which continued in 1987. (fn. 89) Legacies of £100 from James Watts in 1875 and of £50 from Sophia Ruffles in 1916 were invested.

In 1970 the redevelopment of the town centre led to the demolition of the almshouses in Culver Street and their reconstruction by the developers, Frincon Holdings Ltd., as single-storeyed centrally-heated dwellings on the Riverside estate in St. James's parish. In 1983 the charity, administered under a Scheme of 1926, had a total income of c. £3,000. (fn. 90)

Robert Franckham, by will dated 1577, gave to the poor of the parish 13s. 4d. a year charged on a house and lands in West Bergholt. A Chancery decree in 1603 vested the rent in 10 trustees. (fn. 91) The money was apparently paid in 1766 and possibly as late as c. 1800, (fn. 92) but had been lost by 1837.

George Wegg, by will dated 1745, left 40s. a year charged on 5 a. in St. James's parish to buy bread monthly from October to March for the poor of St. Nicholas's parish. The wording of the will was apparently insufficient in law, and so by an indenture of 1748, George Wegg, son of the testator, granted the rent charge to the rector of St. Nicholas's. (fn. 93) In 1898 the full £2 was spent on bread for poor widows. (fn. 94) Under a Scheme of 1945 the charity was administered separately by the trustees of Finch's almshouses. (fn. 95) In 1986 the income of £2 was used by the rector of the combined parishes of St. James, All Saints, St. Nicholas, and St. Runwald to assist the poor and needy as occasion arose. (fn. 96)

John Lyon, by will proved 1800, gave £5 a year to Finch's almshouse charity, and instituted a weekly bread charity which provided 3d. loaves to each of 12 poor widows and widowers, including the almsfolk who attended St. Nicholas's church, and to 12 who attended the Methodist meeting house in the Castle bailey. (fn. 97) The bread charity was commuted in 1943 to £15 a year in cash, half of which was paid to the almsfolk, half to the trustees of the Methodist church. From 1945 the almsfolk's share was used for the general expenses of the almshouses. (fn. 98) After the closure of the charity Sunday schools in 1812, (fn. 99) the c. 18s. a year which John Lyon had left to them was applied to the almshouses. In 1983 Finch's almshouses received dividends of £45 from John Lyon's bequest. (fn. 100)


Agnes Dister or Leach (d. 1553), daughter of John Woodthorpe, gave an unknown sum of money to be distributed yearly to the poor of the parish. Payment was made in 1786 but was lost by 1837. (fn. 101)

In 1570 George Sayer built four almshouses in Lower Balkerne Lane. They had no endowment and had been partly demolished by 1748 and completely so by 1768. (fn. 102)

The parish share in Jeremiah Daniell's charity, £3 a year, was allowed to accumulate in the 19th century; in 1985 the parish held £120 stock. John Moore, by will proved 1810, left £200 to buy coal, bread, and meat every New Year's Day for 20 poor people and to provide snuff and tobacco for the old in the workhouse. Only £54 was received, which yielded £2 9s. 6d. a year. John Mills, by will dated 1822, left £166 13s. 4d. from the income of which £2 10s. a year was to provide bread and money yearly at Christmas and Easter for 12 poor widows, and £1 5s. a year was to be used for the general relief of the poor of the parish. In 1863 the proceeds of the three charities provided bread and alms for 26 widows and 100 poor people. In 1985 the interest on all three, c. £8, was used for the general relief of the sick and poor. (fn. 103)

A Charity Commission Scheme of 1905 directed that part of the c. £9 income of the Sears Family Fund, established by David Sears of Boston, U.S.A., in 1853, be used to help maintain buildings or institutions used in parochial work with the poor, (fn. 104) but there is no evidence that the poor have ever benefited from the charity.


None known.


  • 1. This section was completed in 1987. A draft hist. of the almshouses, including transcripts of many of the trustees' minutes, was kindly supplied by Mrs. D. Woodward.
  • 2. Above, Religious Houses; V.C.H. Essex, ii. 184-5.
  • 3. 32nd Rep. Com. Char. pp. 546-8.
  • 4. E.R.O., D/P 381/3/10.
  • 5. Inf. from the rector of New Town parish.
  • 6. 32nd Rep. Com. Char. 546-8.
  • 7. E.R.O., Boro. Mun., Parks and Bathing Places Cttee. Mins. 1896-1907, p. 28; ibid. D/P 381/3/8, 9.
  • 8. 1 & 2 Eliz. II, c. 17 (Local).
  • 9. Char. Com. file.
  • 10. 32nd Rep. Com. Char. 548.
  • 11. Inf. from the rector of New Town parish.
  • 12. E.R.O., D/P 381/3/3.
  • 13. Char. Com. file.
  • 14. 32nd Rep. Com. Char. 540-1.
  • 15. Ibid. 543.
  • 16. Ibid. 540.
  • 17. E.R.O., Acc. C168, Winsley's Almshos. trustees' mins.
  • 18. Inf. from the clerk to the trustees.
  • 19. 32nd Rep. Com. Char. 541.
  • 20. E.R.O., Acc. C168, Winsley's Almshos. trustees' mins.
  • 21. Inf. from the clerk to the trustees.
  • 22. E.R.O., D/Q 30/2/66.
  • 23. Ibid. D/Q 30/1/9.
  • 24. Ibid. Acc. C168, Winsley's Almshos. trustees' mins.; R.C.H.M. Essex, iii. 71.
  • 25. E.R.O., T/B 193/1-2; inf. from the clerk to the trustees.
  • 26. Account based on 32nd Rep. Com. Char. 536-40; Char. Com. file; E.R.O., Winnock's almsho. char., trustees' mins. (uncat.).
  • 27. Account based on 32nd Rep. Com. Char. 543-6, and E.R.O., Acc. C160, Kendall's almsho. char., trustees' mins.
  • 28. Char. Com. files.
  • 29. Inf. from the clerk to the trustees of Winnock and Kendall's Combined Almsho. Charity.
  • 30. Plaque on wall of cottages.
  • 31. Char. Com. file.
  • 32. 8th Rep. Com. Char. H.C. 13, pp. 585-7 (1823), viii.
  • 33. E.R.O., D/B 5 Gb1, 30 Sept. 1598; 32nd. Rep. Com. Char. 552.
  • 34. Trustees' Minute Bk. and correspondence in possession of Colch. Boro. Council; inf. from Mr. P. Evans.
  • 35. Account based on Morant, Colch. 164-5, and 32nd Rep. Com. Char. 552.
  • 36. E.R.O., D/B 5 Gb1, 10 Nov. 1595.
  • 37. Ibid. D/B 5 Ab 1/15; D/B 5 Gb5, passim; Gb6, p. 342.
  • 38. Morant, Colch. 164.
  • 39. E.R.O., D/B 5 Gb8, f. 127.
  • 40. Ibid. D/B 5 Gb2, f. 183v.
  • 41. Ibid. D/B 5 Gb5, f. 15v.
  • 42. Ibid. D/B 5 Gb2, f. 55.
  • 43. Ibid. D/B 5 Gb4, f. 222.
  • 44. Ibid. D/B 5 Gb5, f. 98.
  • 45. Official Enq. into Colch. Chars. 1886.
  • 46. Account based on 32nd Rep. Com. Char. 533-6; Morant, Colch. 164; Official Enq. into Colch. Chars. 1886.
  • 47. Account based on inf. from trustees of Bunting char. and Char. Com. files.
  • 48. Account based on inf. from trustees of George Rose char. and Char. Com. files.
  • 49. Account based on mins. of trustees of the Lying-in char. in possession of the Town Clerk, Town Hall, Colch.; Char. Com. files and correspondence; inf. from trustees.
  • 50. 32nd Rep. Com. Char. 553.
  • 51. Ibid. 553.
  • 52. Official Enq. into Colch. Chars. 1886.
  • 53. E.R.O., D/P 200/8/3.
  • 54. Official Enq. into Colch. Chars. 1886; inf. from Char. Com.; inf. from the rector.
  • 55. Morant, Colch. 171; 32nd Rep. Com. Char. 563-4; Complete Peerage, iv. 79.
  • 56. Camb. Univ. Libr. Hengrave MS. 91: agreement of 1635.
  • 57. Guildhall MS. 9558, f. 103; Official Enq. into Colch. Chars. 1886; E.R.O., D/P 323/8/1, passim.
  • 58. E.R.O., D/P 323/8/2, s.a. 1897, 1905; corresp. of trustees of Lady Darcy's char. in possession of Mr. N. Abbott.
  • 59. E.C.S. 5 Feb. 1987.
  • 60. Morant, Colch. 171; E.R.O., D/P 323/8/1, s.a. 1782; 32nd Rep. Com. Char. 563-4.
  • 61. Trustees' corresp. and mins.
  • 62. 32nd Rep. Com. Char. 562; trustees' corresp.; Char. Com. file.
  • 63. Char. Com. file; inf. from trustees.
  • 64. 32nd Rep. Com. Char. 554-5.
  • 65. E.R.O., T/A 645; ibid. D/P 203/25/3.
  • 66. Inf. from church treasurer.
  • 67. Inf. from churchwarden.
  • 68. Morant, Colch. 167.
  • 69. E.R.O., D/P 324/8/1.
  • 70. Church accounts, in possession of church treasurer.
  • 71. Official Enq. into Colch. Chars. 1886.
  • 72. Inf. from churchwarden.
  • 73. E.R.O., D/P 324/8/1.
  • 74. Ibid. D/P 324/8/2.
  • 75. 32nd Rep. Com. Char. 555.
  • 76. Char. Com. file.
  • 77. Ibid.
  • 78. Inf. from the rector of St. James's.
  • 79. Guildhall MS. 9557, f. 70; 32nd Rep. Com. Char. 555.
  • 80. E.R.O., D/P 245/8/5; D/P 245/3/7.
  • 81. Char. Com. files.
  • 82. Inf. from rector of the New Town parish.
  • 83. 32nd Rep. Com. Char. 556-7.
  • 84. E.R.O., D/DMb T49; Chelm. Dioc. Chron. Feb. 1932, p. 30.
  • 85. E.R.O., D/P 246/25.
  • 86. Inf. from churchwarden.
  • 87. Ibid.
  • 88. Account based on 32nd Rep. Com. Char. 557-60; E.R.O., Finch's char. order bk. 1685-1835; transcripts by Mrs. D. Woodward of extracts from later order bks.: in her possession.
  • 89. Inf. from chairman of trustees.
  • 90. Char. Com. file.
  • 91. Morant, Colch. 166.
  • 92. Guildhall MSS. 9557, f. 71; 9558, f. 100.
  • 93. Morant, Colch. 166; 32nd Rep. Com. Char. 561.
  • 94. E.R.O., T/A 645.
  • 95. Char. Com. file.
  • 96. Inf. from the rector.
  • 97. 32nd Rep. Com. Char. 558.
  • 98. Transcript by Mrs. D. Woodward of Finch's charity order bk.
  • 99. Above, Educ.
  • 100. Char. Com. file.
  • 101. Morant, Colch. 165-6; 32nd Rep. Com. Char. 562.
  • 102. Morant, Colch. 171.
  • 103. E.R.O., D/P 178/25/1-2; 32nd Rep. Com. Char. 561-2; inf. from church treasurer.
  • 104. Scheme in possession of the clerk to the trustees.