A History of the County of Hampshire: Volume 4. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1911.
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Hwitancyrice (x cent.); Witcirce (xi cent.); Witcherche (xii and xiii cent.); Whicchurch (xv cent.).
Whitchurch is a parish of 6,367 acres, of which 3,760¾ acres are arable land, 1,138¼ acres permanent grass, 179¾ acres woods and plantations, and 19 acres are land covered with water. (fn. 1) The soil is clayey loam, and the subsoil chalk. The chief crops are wheat, barley, oats and turnips. The parish contains the borough and the tithings of Whitchurch Parsonage, Freefolk Priors, Charlcot and Cole Henley.
Port Way, the Roman road from Old Sarum to Silchester, runs across the north of the parish, forming a part of the northern boundary; it crosses the Newbury road at Clapgate or Chapgate, which marks where the chapmen or travelling merchants of Saxon and later times crossed the road to Newbury as they were journeying along the Roman road. (fn. 2) According to tradition Whitchurch was the scene of a battle with the Danes in the 10th century. (fn. 3) In later days the Royalist forces stopped here on their way to the second battle of Newbury, when King Charles slept the night of 19 October 1644 at the house of Mr. Richard Brooke of Whitchurch. (fn. 4) In 1649 the inhabitants of Whitchurch sent a complaint signed by the mayor and others to Lord Fairfax concerning the losses which they had sustained by the free quartering of Colonel Martin's soldiers upon them. (fn. 5)
The small town of Whitchurch is situated at the junction of the London to Andover and Newbury to Winchester roads. The market-place is in the centre of the town and from it diverge these four roads and a fifth running north-west around Hurstbourne Park towards St. Mary Bourne. The Test flows to the south of the market-place and is famous for its fishing. It is crossed by a modern brick bridge of five arches on the Winchester road. There is a railway station on the London and South Western Railway about half a mile north of the centre and another on the Newbury Winchester branch of the Great Western Railway to the north-west.
Beyond the church there are few buildings or interest in the place, probably the most interesting being the White Hart Hotel, an old posting house at the corner of the London and Newbury roads; it dates from the time of Queen Anne and contains a good ceiling of that period. Opposite the hotel in the Newbury road is the Town Hall, a plain small structure dating perhaps from the same period as the hotel; its lower part is now used as a reading-room, &c. Several of the cottages and small shops about the market-place are of some age and contain picturesque half-timber work, but the town is now fast being modernized. The vicarage opposite the church probably contains some remains of the house in which Mr. Richard Brooke entertained Charles I in 1644, but all its details are now modern.
The parish church, which is situated to the northeast of the town in the Salisbury road, is particularly interesting, as it is built on the site of what was probably one of the earliest parish churches in Hampshire. The town took its name from the 'White Church,' built no doubt of hard chalk, and as it must have existed in Thane Hemele's time there was probably a parish church here in 800. (fn. 6) The monument erected to Frithburga, which was found at the restoration of the church in 1868, probably recorded the site of a burial in the first church. (fn. 7)
The workhouse, which was built in 1848 and enlarged in 1869, is on a hill half a mile east of the town.
The Isolation Hospital, on the road to Cole Henley, was built in 1897.
There are three mills in the parish—two flour mills and one silk mill; three existed at the time of the Domesday Survey in 1086, and they may possibly have stood on the same sites. There is a jam manufactory in the parish, and skalloons, serges and other woollens were manufactured to the value of £10,000 about a hundred years ago. The working classes are now employed chiefly at Long's jam factory and Hide's silk mill in the town, and at the bank-note factory at Laverstoke.
Manor Farm stands on rising ground at the west of the town, and there is another farm of the same name in the north in Cole Henley, which was formerly a leparate manor.
Freefolk Priors represents that part of Freefolk which belonged to the priory of St. Swithun in the Middle Ages. It is situated on the river in the south-western corner of the parish, and is ecclesiastically attached to Laverstoke. Close to Priory Farm are the school and parish church of St. Mary.
Charlcot Farm is near Fulling Mill, and in the down country in the south of the parish is Charlcot Down Farm. The prior and convent owned Charlcot, which was granted to their successors, the dean and chapter, in 1541. (fn. 8) The parsonage tithing consists of 183 acres of land belonging to the Hospital of St. Cross, Winchester.
Some place-names of interest are Windenaie (1086), which has been identified with Witnal, now a farm in the north-east of the parish (fn. 9); Linch Hill, which takes its name from the acre strips or linches of Saxon times; Travellers' Rest, in the north of the parish, the site of an inn when the Harrow Way was used as a high road (fn. 10); Reedes (1691); Newlands and Homedowne (1691) (fn. 11); Knolle (1455); Langelond and Suthhulle (1455) (fn. 12); Culver Close, Pryors Meade, Cordry Moores, Butt Close, Bottom Down, Little Priddle, Evingdale, Bloswood Lane, Burridge Feild and Winter Hill (1650). (fn. 13)
The commons were inclosed in 1798. (fn. 14)
The elementary school, which was built in 1847, was enlarged in 1892.
The first mention of the borough of WHITCHURCH, which followed the same descent as the manor (q.v. infra), is in 1284, when it was granted by the bishop to the Prior and monks of St. Swithun, the grant being confirmed next year by a royal charter. (fn. 15)
It probably owed its early importance to its position on the junction of the three great roads to Winchester. Salisbury and Oxford and was already a prosperous place in 1241, when the prior and convent obtained a grant of a weekly market on Monday. (fn. 16)
The town was governed by a court leet or port mote, which annually elected the mayor (fn. 17) and bailiff as governors of the town when it met in the townhall in October of each year, (fn. 18) but this custom has died out within recent years, though the last elected mayor still retains his title by courtesy. (fn. 19)
In 1291 the borough paid £5 10s. annually to the priory, (fn. 20) and in 1335 it yielded £10 to the prior's treasury, besides 18s. as perquisites at the port mote or court leet. (fn. 21) In the 16th century the dean and chapter, as successors of the prior and convent, received the same amount for the borough, (fn. 22) which also had to contribute 6s. 8d. to the serjeant for his official gown. (fn. 23) Mr. Clarke, who was mayor in 1897, paid £8 per annum to the dean and chapter, justifying the description of a writer in the early part of the 18 th century, who described the mayor 'as no other than a Rent Reeve to the Dean and Chapter of Winchester, to whom the Mannor belongs,' (fn. 24)
The market, which was changed to Thursday in 1248, was held on Friday in later times; it was still in existence in 1823, but was even then merely nominal (fn. 25); it is now obsolete.
Fairs to be held on the third Thursday in June and the second Thursday in October were granted to Lord Russell in 1696. (fn. 26) In 1795 it was the custom to hold a fair on 23 April, 20 June, 7 July, and 19 October (fn. 27); two of these were still held in 1848, but they were abolished in 1879. (fn. 28)
Whitchurch first sent two members to Parliament in 1586, when John Cooper and Henry Awdley represented the borough. (fn. 29) One of the best known members for Whitchurch was Sir Henry Vane the younger, who was returned for the borough in Richard Cromwell's Parliament. (fn. 30)
In an inquiry made before its disenfranchisement in 1832 the right of voting was declared to be in the freeholders, in virtue of a freehold held in right of themselves or their wives, each freeholder paying 1d. to the dean and chapter upon admission to his freehold. (fn. 31) The bailiffstated in this return that there had been no contested election at Whitchurch within the memory of the returning officer or of older persons. The following quotations from 17th-century letters will show by what means would-be members obtained a seat in Parliament. Thomas Webb, writing to Robert Read in 1640, says:—
'before it (a letter) came my Lord had been . . . infinitely opportuned for places in this next Parliament, and merely to avoid more he commanded me to write his letters for such as he then thought of that they might be answers to all other suitors . . . so that if you will take a plain truth for a fair excuse thus stands the case, my Lord has written to every corporate town for one and I know not whether his power will extend to more . . . if you have a mind to Whitchurch or any other place in Hampshire they are yet free and with a letter of ours and Lord Cottington's will speed anywhere.' (fn. 32)
Robert Read apparently expressed a wish to represent Whitchurch, as a few weeks later his cousin Francis wrote to him that 'Sir Thomas Jervoise hath, as last time, engrossed both the burgers places of Whitchurch, Hampshire, that town being, I know not why, so much at his command that they dare not deny him. Had he been contented with one I had the promise of the other for myself or friend, but through his power there and my loathness to contest with him I must let it alone.' (fn. 33)
In a charter of 909 Edward of Wessex confirmed 'land called Hwitancyrice' to the monks of Winchester, who had complained that this land, which had been granted them by Earl Hemele, was now entirely in the hands of the bishop. (fn. 34)
The Domesday Survey of 1086 returned the bishop as holding WHITCHURCH with the reservation that 'it was always the minster's'; two sub-tenants besides the priest were holding land of the manor, William de Fecamp (Fiscannio), who held land, which was previously held by two thegns, in 'Windenaie,' i.e. Witnal, and in two other places, and Mauger, who held land worth 20s.; Alvric the priest held 1 hide of land with the church also worth 20s. (fn. 35) Pope Innocent III confirmed the manor to the prior and monks in 1205. (fn. 36)
John Bishop of Winchester gave up all right in the manor to the prior and convent in 1284, (fn. 37) and in 1335 the manor of Whitchurch yielded £36 17s. 4d. to the prior's treasury. (fn. 38) In 1455 John Roger of Freefolk was granted a lease of the demesne land for forty-four years at an annual rent of 20s., (fn. 39) but John Mawne apparently acquired the remainder of the lease and died in 1479 seised of the manor which he held of the prior and convent. (fn. 40) The dean and chapter, who were the successors of the prior and convent, were granted Whitchurch among other possessions of their predecessors in 1541 (fn. 41); in 1575 John Clarke held the manor of them on lease. (fn. 42)
Robert Wallop, one of the judges of Charles I, who was attainted in 1660, (fn. 43) bought the remainder of a lease of Whitchurch Farm from William Shrimpton before the sale of the dean and chapter's manors in 1650; Whitchurch was then bought by James Nutley and William Pell, (fn. 44) but was restored to its original owners in 1660, when Daniel Wicherley petitioned the king to renew to him and his brother-in-law, only son of the late William Shrimpton, the lease of Whitchurch Farm which Robert Wallop had forfeited by his attainder. (fn. 45) The manor has remained with the dean and chapter, and is now held by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners (fn. 46) as their representatives.
In 1774 Charles Townshend acquired the right of free fishery in Whitchurch, together with a large quantity of land from Thomas Townshend, (fn. 47) who was returned to Parliament for Whitchurch on 17 April 1754, and continued to represent it until his elevation to the peerage in 1783. (fn. 48)
COLE HENLEY (Henle, xiv cent.; Cold Henley, xv cent.; Colhenlye, xvi cent.) was definitely called a manor in 1398, when the Prior of St. Swithun agreed to maintain a 'hedge and ditch between their manor of Whitchurch and the bishop's manor of Henley,' (fn. 49) and was very possibly included in the possession of William de Fécamp (Fiscannio) in 1086; if this was the case two thegns had previously held under the bishop, to whom the property belonged. (fn. 50)
In 1166 William de Fécamp, possibly a grandson, held three of the knights' fees which Hugh de Fécamp had held of the Bishop of Winchester before him; and Richard de Fécamp, presumably a descendant of these persons, held a messuage in Henley in 1275, when he conveyed the land to Parnel, widow of Ralph de Careville. (fn. 51) In the latter part of the 13th or the early part of the 14th century the manor appears to have been held by Martin Sench, and after his death his wife Clarissa and Roger of Wcllesworth, her second husband, (fn. 52) were confirmed by Henry Bishop of Winchester in the wardship of John, son of Martin, a minor, together with the lands held by the late Martin. (fn. 53)
In 1322 (fn. 54) Joan, the widow of Robert Careville, tried to make good her claim to the manor of Henley against John Sench on the ground that it had been granted to her husband and herself during the reign of Edward I by John de Fremantel, and only demised to Martin Sench by Robert Careville. John replied that so far as ten messuages, 50 acres of land and a third of the residue of the manor were concerned, John de Fremantel was never seised, and as to the remainder of the manor he did not enfeoff the said Robert and Joan. (fn. 55) John Sench afterwards infringed the law by granting a virgate of the land in dispute to John Waspray to maintain his suit, (fn. 56) but the result of the suit is not known. (fn. 57) It seems probable that John de Fremantel and Martin Sench both derived their rights in the Henley property from Roger le Savage, who died in 1298 holding land in Hampshire and leaving four co-heirs: Clarissa wife of Martin Sench, Alina wife of John de Hamme, Lucy (deceased) wife of John le Savage, and Thomasina. (fn. 58) This is supported by the fact that William le Savage of North Oakley, and Maud, his daughter, registered their claim in 1330, when the manor was conveyed by Henry Capon of Grateley, chaplain, to Peter de Watesford and Joan his wife in tail-male, with contingent remainder to the heirs of the said Henry. (fn. 59)
Peter de Watesford, son and heir of Peter, presented to the chapel during the episcopate of John Stratford, and was still holding in 1346. (fn. 60) He was succeeded by Henry de Watesford, probably his son, (fn. 61) but in 1428 Ralph Greyshank was in possession of the manor. (fn. 62) It apparently reverted soon afterwards to the Bishop of Winchester as overlord, as he alienated the chapel in 1446. (fn. 63)
The manor was sold with other lands belonging to the bishopric in 1650, Thomas Hussey purchasing it for £130 12s. (fn. 64) It was restored to the bishopric at the Restoration, and is now held by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners as representatives of the bishop.
BRADLEY (Bradelee) in Whitchurch appears to have belonged to Thomas son of William de Salemonvill, who enfeoffed Parnel Bluet for a rent of 5s., Parnel in turn giving up her property to Kingston Nunnery (fn. 65) (co. Wilts.). The charter is not dated, but the Prioress of Kingston was holding land in Henley and Bradley in 1271 when Ralph Syward quitclaimed to her '1 virgate of land with appurtenances in Henley and Bradeley.' (fn. 66) In 1428 the prioress was returned as holding half a knight's fee in Bradley of the Bishop of Winchester and their land is included in the account of the property belonging to the priory in 1535, its value being assessed at £4, (fn. 67) though seven years later in 'Particulars for a Grant to Long,' the annual value of 'the Farm of chief messuage in Bradley with the appurtenances demised to William Cleve and John Cleve' is given as £5 6s. 8d. (fn. 68)
The name of Bradley still survives in the northwest of the parish; there are Bradley Wood and Bradley Farm, and just across the boundary in the parish of St. Mary Bourne is Bradley Hill.
The church of ALL HALLOWS has a chancel 24 ft. 3 in. by 16 ft. 4 in., nave 47 ft. 8 in. by 21 ft. 10 in., north aisle 18 ft. I in. wide, south aisle 17 ft. 10 in., west tower 16 ft. 6 in. square, vestry south of the chancel and a south porch. The measurements are between the walls.
The church was largely rebuilt in 1866, and the only parts left to tell its history are the western halves of the nave arcades and the tower. The three western bays on the south side of the nave date from about 1190 to 1200, and were probably part of an aisle added to an earlier building consisting of a nave and chancel with a western tower. A north aisle was added in the 15th century, and two and a half bays of its arcade still remain. The tower was rebuilt from its foundations in 1716, and the rest of the building is modern. The most interesting features in the church are the 15th-century oak stair turret inside the tower and the small Saxon tombstone now standing at the east end of the nave, both described below.
The chancel is lighted by an east window of three lancets with three cinquefoils over, two single lights with tracery above in the north wall and one in the south wall; next to the last is the doorway to the vestry, which has an outer doorway to the south.
The nave has arcades of four bays a side; the east respond and first pier on the north are modern; the second, third and west respond are of the 15th century; they are of square plan with hollow-chamfered angles and attached half-round shafts, the latter with moulded capitals and bases; they stand on square sub-bases with chamfered plinths, and in all are 2 ft. 10 in. above the floor level.
The arches are two-centred and of three hollowchamfered orders; the first and the east half of the second are modern, the rest are old. The pillars on the south side are round with moulded bases and capitals with hollow-chamfered abaci; the arches are pointed and of a single chamfered order with moulded labels towards the nave; the west bay is modern, the other three bays are old; the bases on this side are 1 ft. 11 in. high.
The north aisle has two lancets in its east wall with a round traceried light above them, in its north wall are three double-light traceried windows and a single lancet, and in the west wall another double light. The south aisle has its east wall pierced by three trefoils, high up over the vestry roof, and the south wall by two double lights and a single light similar to those opposite; the south doorway is between the second and third, and has a lintel carved with foliage; the west wall also has a two-light window.
The archway from the nave into the tower has chamfered jambs, with grooved and hollow-chamfered abaci partly restored; the arch is pointed and of somewhat irregular shape, of a single chamfered order, and is of 12th-century date.
The west doorway in the tower is an 18th-century one, having a round arch with projecting keystone and imposts; its threshold is level with the ground outside, but is 4 ft. 5 in. above the tower floor; its inner jambs are carried up and inclose an oval light above it, which also has keystones on four sides. Over this is a panel with the date 1716. In the first floor is a small window of two round-headed lights of the same date. The bell-chamber is modern and is lighted on each side by two two-light windows with pointed heads; all the buttresses to the tower are modern. Above it is a modern oak shingled spire changing from square to octagonal above the eaves.
The walling generally is of the usual flint work with stone dressings; and the tower has been coated with cement outside.
The roofs are gabled and covered with tiles; the nave appears to retain a few old timbers in its trusses. The stair turret inside the tower is of feathered and beaded oak boarding and is a half-octagon in plan; three moulded bands with battlements pass round it dividing it into four stages; the sides next to the west window of the tower are pierced with small traceried openings and quatrefoils, and the doorway is in the south-west face and its threshold is 4 ft. 8 in. above the floor, showing that the west half of the tower floor was formerly at that level.
The font is a small octagonal one of late 15 th-century or early 16th-century date; its sides are panelled with quatrefoils inclosing square flowers, excepting the eastern, which has a large Tudor rose; the underside of the bowl is wave moulded; the stem has a neck mould at top and the base is modern. The altar table is a modern one of plain oak; to the north of it is a small chest with the date 1730.
In the tower are two recumbent effigies from an altar tomb which have been painted with black clothes, &c, and evidently date from the beginning of the 17 th century.
In the east wall of the south aisle is set a monumental brass with the figures of a man and his wife; he is in a long fur gown with hood and has a pointed beard, and the lady wears a steeple hat with wide brim, ruff collar and figured skirt, with over all a long gown bound at the waist by a belt. A black letter inscription below them reads:—
'Pietatis Opus—The grave (oh griefe) has swallowed up with wide and open mouth, | The body of good Richard Brooke of Whitchurch Hampton South, | And Elizabeth his wedded wife twice twentie yeares and one, | Sweet Jesus hath their soules in heaven, ye ground flesh, skin and bone | In Januarie (worne with age) daie sixteenth died hee | from Christ full fifteene hundred yeares and more by ninetie three, | But Death hir twist of life in Maie twentith did untwine, | From Christ full fifteene hundred yeares and more by ninetie nine; | They left behinde them well to live and growe to good degree, | First Richard, Thomas, Robert Brooke the youngest of the three, | Elizabeth and Barbara then Dorothea the last, | All six the knot of nature's love and kindness keeping fast. | This toombe stone with the Plate thereon thus graven faire and large, | Did Robert Brooke the youngest sonne make of his proper charge | A citizen of London state by faith full service free, | Of marchant great adventurers a brother sworne is he | And of the Indian Companie (come gaine or losse) a lira | and of the goldsmith liverie, all there God's gift to him, | This monument of memorie in love performed he | December thirtie one from Christ, sixteene hundred and three. Anno domini 1603. Laus Deo.'
On two shields above are the arms Checky on a bend a lion passant, and A battled fesse with two stars in chief. A third shield below has the first quartering the second, and is set between three sons and three daughters respectively.
The Saxon tombstone which stands at the southeast of the nave is round-headed with a deep sinking on one face, in which is the half-figure of our Lord in high relief, holding a book in His left hand and with His right held up in blessing; on the curved upper surface of the stone is an inscription in capital letters, '+ hic corpvs frithbvrgae reqviescit in pacem (sic) sepvltvm.' On the back of the stone is a lightly incised spiral pattern, and the base is left rough and was evidently meant to be hidden. It was found in the north wall at the restoration, and seems to have been originally set at the head of a grave in the churchyard (see p. 304).
There are six bells: the treble is by Robert Catlin, 1748; the second is a pre-Reformation bell inscribed, 'O Virgo natum fac nobis propitiatum'; the third is inscribed, 'Elizabeth Warren gave this bell anno 1612,' with the initials of Henry Knight of Reading; the fourth is a 15th-century bell with the legend 'Sancta Margarita ora pro nobis,' in black letters with crowned initial capitals; the fifth is by Henry Knight, 1611, and the tenor by William Tosier, 1724.
The plate consists of a silver chalice, paten and flagon of 1648, 1713 and 1730 respectively, the latter the gift of Ambrosia widow of Richard Becke.
The registers begin in 1605, the first book containing marriages from that date to 1634, burials to 1631, the entries to 1635 being lacking, and baptisms from 1607 to 1635, with gaps from 1608 to 1610, and from 1620 to 1623. The second book has baptisms, marriages and burials from 1635 to 1678; there are many omissions from 1641 to 1647; the book also has some briefs, 1661 to 1664. The third has baptisms and burials 1678 to 1758, and marriages to 1754; from 1678 to 1731 they are mixed, afterwards they are separate. The fourth has marriages from 1754 to 1790, and the fifth baptisms and burials 1758 to 1805; the sixth contains marriages from 1792 to 1812 (entries from 1790 to 1792 being lost); and the seventh baptisms and burials 1805 to 1813.
In the vestry is a mural monument to Joseph Wood, a former vicar, who died in 1731. He left a library of books to the future vicars of Whitchurch; the volumes now number 587. Many of the works are the unread produce of forgotten men, but there are a few valuable works, including a small Sarum breviary of 1525 (its front leaves are missing), a black letter edition of Chaucer of about 1545, and a book of hours in Sclavonic, printed in Moscow in 1639.
Henry de Blois, Bishop of WinChester, gave the church of Whitchurch and the land belonging to it to the Hospital of St. Cross when he founded it in 1132, (fn. 69) and Richard I confirmed the gift in 1189. (fn. 70) The master and brethren of St. Cross are at the present day the lay rectors, and still retain 183 acres in the parish known as the Parsonage Tithing. (fn. 71)
The bishop excepted the advowson of the vicarage from this grant, and the living is at the present day of the net annual value of £280 in the gift of the Bishop of Winchester. (fn. 72) In 1284 the Bishop of Winchester confirmed a charter whereby former bishops had assigned to the Prior and convent of St. Swithun the right to the Easter offerings and pensions from the church. (fn. 73)
There was a free chapel in Cole Henley which was originally attached to the manor, the successive lords presenting. (fn. 74) Henry Beaufort, Bishop of Winchester, alienated it in 1445, when he presented it to the Hospital of St. Cross, Winchester, and Henry VI confirmed this gift ten years later. (fn. 75) The chapel, which no longer exists, is mentioned in a Compotus Roll of 1526. (fn. 76)
The Wesleyan Methodists, Baptists, Primitive Methodists, Congregationalists and Particular Baptists have chapels in Whitchurch; of these the Wesleyan Methodist was built in 1812, the Particular Baptist about 1880, and the Primitive Methodist in 1902. A church, on the site of the present Congregational church, was erected by a congregation of 'Protestant Dissenters' in 1705. The Salvation Army has barracks in the town.
Woollaston's gift, arising under will andcodicil of Richard Woollaston, dated respectively 13 November 1688 and 27 February 1689.—In the result of proceedings instituted in the Court of Chancery by the Attorney-General against Jonathan Woollaston and others certain lands at Ashingdon and Latchingdon in Essex, specified in the Master's Report, dated 31 March 1705, were settled upon trust for the poor of this parish, Wormley in Hertfordshire, and six parishes in the county of Leicester in certain proportions. The average amount received in this parish is about £50 a year, or three-fifths of a moiety of the net rents (see under Wormley, Herts.), which is applied in the distribution of suits, serge, flannel and calico.
The vicar of Whitchurch receives £10 a year in respect of Bishop Morley's trust (see under Bishop's Waltham), also £19 a year from the Hospital of St. Cross, Winchester.
The Bread Charities.—The official trustees hold a sum of £66 13s. 4d. consols, arising under the will of William Walton, junior, dated in 1844, and £216 consols, derived under a codicil to the will of George Twynam, proved in 1846, producing together £7 1s. 4d., which is duly distributed in bread.
The Baptist chapel, founded in 1777, consists of chapel and premises in Bere Hill Street, and is endowed with 2a. 2r. let at £25 a year, for the minister, who also receives the interest; £300 Debenture Stock of the Grand Trunk Railway, Canada, representing legacies by wills of John Benham, 1746, Thomas Benham, 1763, and Mrs. Mary Tanner, 1865. Trustees were appointed by an order of the Charity Commissioners of 15 July 1898.