Painswick: Charities for the poor

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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'Painswick: Charities for the poor', in A History of the County of Gloucester: Volume 11, Bisley and Longtree Hundreds, (London, 1976) pp. 86-87. British History Online [accessed 12 April 2024]


A number of charities for the poor existed apart from the educational and denominational bequests mentioned above. In 1695 Stephen Gardiner left £10, the interest to be used for doles of bread on Christmas day, but the principal sum had apparently been lost by 1826. (fn. 1) Mary Shipton (d. 1753) left £10 for the same purpose; in 1826 the sum was held by William Baylis who paid 10s. yearly for bread (fn. 2) but in 1833 the charity was combined with the bequest of Theyer Townsend who by will dated 1801 left £100, the interest to be distributed in bread on St. Thomas's day; Townsend's bequest was not being admini stered in 1826. (fn. 3) In 1683 Richard Clissold left a rent-charge of 10s. on his estate at Steanbridge to buy bread but by 1894 the charity was being used to buy coal. (fn. 4) John Gardner, by will dated 1826, left £100, the interest to buy bread. (fn. 5) By his will proved 1836 John Harvey Ollney of Cheltenham left £320 to the town of Painswick, the interest to be used to buy coal and blankets for the poor at Christmas. (fn. 6) Robert Barnard by will proved in 1872 left £500 in reversion, the interest to be used for the general benefit of the poor of the ecclesiastical parish, which brought in an income of £15 yearly in 1894. (fn. 7) Edwin Gyde (d. 1894) left £500, the income to be used to buy bread and coal for the poor of the civil parish of Painswick as then constituted. (fn. 8) In 1915 the above charities, with an unknown donor's bread charity, were united by agreement (fn. 9) and the income in 1970 amounted to £44 which was distributed in 15s. grocery or coal tokens. (fn. 10)

In 1681 Samuel Webb left £10, the interest to buy bread for poor communicants on Christmas day. The principal sum was later used to purchase or repair the pest-house at Edge in which one of the parish poor was accommodated and 10s. yearly was paid to the churchwardens out of the poor-rates. (fn. 11) The charity was apparently attributed to Samuel Gardner in 1894 (fn. 12) and was subsequently lost.

George Cox of London (d. 1932) left £5,000 to Painswick in memory of his sisters. The interest was to be applied for the sick and needy of the parish (fn. 13) and realised an income of £174 in 1970. The interest was shared out on St. Thomas's day but some part was retained to form a special fund for cases of emergency. (fn. 14)

Frederick Gyde (d. 1872) left approximately £10,000 for the benefit of the town of Painswick (fn. 15) and the trustees subsequently played a major role in the provision of public services. (fn. 16) Edwin Francis Gyde (d. 1894), his brother, also left considerable sums to the town for founding alms-houses, which were designed by Sidney Barnsley and opened in 1913, and an orphanage, completed in 1918 to designs by P. R. Morley Horder, for Protestant orphans of the locality and blind or deaf and dumb children. (fn. 17)

Two charities recorded in the early 18th century have not been found recorded later; the interest on £10, bequeathed by a Mr. Loveday of London, was said to have been left to the poor, and Daniel Clissold of Pitchcombe was said to have left an annual gift of 20s. to be shared by Stroud and Painswick. (fn. 18) A charity for apprenticing one boy annually was left by Thomas Phillips of Gravel Hill by will dated 1824, (fn. 19) but no further record of the charity has been found.

The ecclesiastical district of Slad received a bequest from Elizabeth Phillips (d. by 1851) who left £500, the interest to be administered as follows; two-fifths to be distributed among the poor attending Holy Trinity church, two-fifths to help support the Sunday school, and one-fifth for a singers' pew in the church. (fn. 20) The income of the charity was £6 in the early 1970s and the money for a pew was devoted to the church fabric. (fn. 21)


  • 1. 14th Rep. Com. Char. 62; Hyett, Painswick, 91.
  • 2. 14th Rep. Com. Char. 62; Glos. R.O., CH 6.
  • 3. 14th Rep. Com. Char. 66; Hyett, Painswick, 93.
  • 4. G.D.R., V 5/229T 6; 14th Rep. Com. Char. 62; Glos. R.O., D 6/R 6.
  • 5. Glos. R.O., D 6/R 6; Char. Com. Reg.
  • 6. Glos. R.O., CH 6; Hyett, Painswick, 93.
  • 7. Glos. R.O., CH 6; D 6/R 6; Glos. N. & Q. i. 419.
  • 8. Hyett, Painswick, 133.
  • 9. Glos. R.O., CH 6.
  • 10. Ibid. 21.
  • 11. 14th Rep. Com. Char. 62.
  • 12. Glos. R.O., D 6/R 6.
  • 13. Char. Com. files.
  • 14. Glos. R.O., CH 21.
  • 15. Hyett, Painswick, 95-8.
  • 16. See p. 62.
  • 17. Char. Com. Reg.; Hyett, Painswick, 133-5.
  • 18. Bodl. MS. Top. Glouc. c. 3, f. 170v.
  • 19. Glos. R.O., P 320A/CH 2/1.
  • 20. Char. Com. files.
  • 21. Glos. R.O., CH 21.