Minchinhampton: Charities for the poor

Pages 206-207

A History of the County of Gloucester: Volume 11, Bisley and Longtree Hundreds. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1976.

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At the beginning of the 16th century Alice Hampton built an almshouse at Minchinhampton for three paupers and assigned 21d. weekly from her land for their support. Syon Abbey continued to maintain the charity until the Dissolution (fn. 1) but the king allowed it to lapse when he granted the manor to Lord Windsor (fn. 2) and the alms-house became an ordinary tenement. (fn. 3) Samuel Sheppard (d. 1672) built an alms-house for 8 poor people but it suffered from having no endowment (fn. 4) and was dilapidated by 1821 when the elder David Ricardo pulled it down and built new almshouses for the same number of paupers; the new alms-houses, a Gothic-style building on the north side of West End, (fn. 5) were maintained by the Ricardo family until the early 1930s. (fn. 6)

Ursula Tooke directed a contingent interest in £5 of the profits of her endowment of 1699 for the benefit of 4 aged poor people (fn. 7) and in 1826 it was being distributed to 4 poor widows. (fn. 8) Mary Churches by her will proved 1758 left £10 for a distribution in bread to the poor of Rodborough tithing; (fn. 9) the distribution was made in cash for some years before 1826 when it was redirected to its original purpose. (fn. 10) Sarah Webb of Giddynap, before 1772, left £300 to provide gowns and shifts for 12 poor women; (fn. 11) the principal, invested in stock, produced an income of £11 in 1826 when there was a large accumulation of funds which the trustees proposed to disperse by doubling the number of recipients. (fn. 12) Rebecca Vick of Clifton by will proved 1768 left £200 for poor housekeepers; (fn. 13) in 1826 the income of £10 from stock was distributed in sums of 1-4s. (fn. 14) William Webb of Holcombe, before 1772, charged land with the distribution of shifts worth 15s. to 5 poor widows; (fn. 15) the charity appears to have been discontinued in the 19th century. Minchinhampton was one of the parishes that benefited from 1839 under the will of John Harvey Ollney, receiving £300 for coal and blankets at Christmas. (fn. 16) Joseph Hiatt by will dated 1830 gave £200 stock, half the profits to provide food or clothing at Christmas and half to be paid to the Gloucester Infirmary for treatment of parishioners there. Joseph Mill by will proved 1857 gave £2,000 to provide blankets and clothing at Christmas. (fn. 17)

In 1876 the income of the Ollney, Hiatt, and Mill charities was assigned to meet special cases of distress resulting from sickness; but in 1880, when £48 of the £80 received from the three charities were being distributed in the Amberley and Brimscombe divisions of the ancient parish, the bulk of the residue was assigned to a Minchinhampton clothing club. In 1909 the Tooke, Churches, Sarah Webb, Vick, Ollney, Mill, and Hiatt charities, together with the charity of Benjamin Cambridge formerly used for educational purposes, were amalgamated as the Minchinhampton United Charities with a total annual income of £112. (fn. 18) In the mid 20th century the income was passed to the incumbents of Minchinhampton, Amberley, and Brimscombe, who distributed it in cash, mainly at Christmas, but in 1973, when the annual income was £65, a new Scheme applied it to individual cases of need in the form of grants of money or in goods, services, or facilities. (fn. 19)


  • 1. G.D.R. vol. 40, f. 204v.; S.C. 6/Hen. VIII/1176.
  • 2. Trans. B.G.A.S. liv. 342.
  • 3. G.D.R. vol. 40, f. 204v.
  • 4. Atkyns, Glos. 453; for his date of death, see Visit. Glos. 1682-3, 167.
  • 5. 18th Rep. Com. Char. 346; date on bldg.
  • 6. Kelly's Dir. Glos. (1856 and later edns.).
  • 7. Glos. R.O., P 217/CH 1/3.
  • 8. 18th Rep. Com. Char. 341-2.
  • 9. Glos. R.O., P 217/CH 7/1.
  • 10. 18th Rep. Com. Char. 345.
  • 11. Glos. R.O., P 217/CH 5/1.
  • 12. 18th Rep. Com. Char. 345.
  • 13. Glos. R.O., P 217/CH 6/3.
  • 14. 18th Rep. Com. Char. 345.
  • 15. Glos. R.O., P 217/CH 5/1. It was being distributed in 1826 but three other bequests made to the parish had been lost by then; they were £300 given by Wm. Vick of Bristol for bread for the poor and a sermon, land producing a rent of £10 left for the poor by Dan. Webb, and £20 given by Thos. Yeats: 18th Rep. Com. Char. 345-6.
  • 16. Glos. R.O., P 217/CL 1, p. 13.
  • 17. Benefactions boards in vestry room; cf. Glos. R.O., P 217/CH 6/3. Mill also gave, in 1831, a rent-charge of 30s. for 6 poor residents of Chalford tithing, but that char. appears to have soon lapsed.
  • 18. Glos. R.O., P 217/CH 6/3.
  • 19. Ex inf. Sir Rob. Ricketts, a trustee.