Cranford: Charities

Page 187

A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 3, Shepperton, Staines, Stanwell, Sunbury, Teddington, Heston and Isleworth, Twickenham, Cowley, Cranford, West Drayton, Greenford, Hanwell, Harefield and Harlington. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1962.

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Before 1547 the rector and churchwardens held 3 acres of land, and four sheep and two lambs, worth 10s., for the repair of the church. (fn. 1) The land was still held for church repair in the mid-18th century, (fn. 2) but when 2½ acres were allotted under the inclosure award as 'church land' no charge on the land was stated. (fn. 3) From at least 1869 the income was misappropriated to the use of the poor, as it was stated that repairs were undertaken by the Fitzhardinge family, in whose estate the church lay. After the combined charities scheme was made in 1932 the income was once again used for the maintenance of church and churchyard. The land was sold in 1940. In addition £100 was bequeathed by Charles, Baron Fitzhardinge (will proved 1917), as a fund for the restoration and repair of the church. (fn. 4)

In 1680 an order was made for the investment in land of £189 10s. for the use of the poor, (fn. 5) and in 1682 1 acre of copyhold land was surrendered to their use. (fn. 6) Just over an acre of poor's land was allotted in 1820, (fn. 7) which was let out in allotments after 1868. After 1878 the rents were converted into coal for the poor which was distributed at Christmas. The poor's land was included in the combined charities scheme in 1932 and was sold in 1939 and 1940.

John Dowsett (d. 1722) and William Hickman (d. 1729) each left a rent-charge of 10s. to be distributed in bread and in money. In 1862 these were amalgamated under a Charity Commission scheme. (fn. 8) John Gregory (d. 1805) bequeathed money to repair his vault, and for bread for the poor, (fn. 9) which was converted into £145 1s. 10d. stock. Dowsett's, Hickman's, and Gregory's charities, together with the poor's land, were amalgamated in 1932 under the combined charities scheme, the income from which was to be distributed both in money and in kind. The rent-charges were redeemed by Lord Berkeley at the same time. In 1957 the charities had an income of over £50. (fn. 10)

Lilian Gardner (will proved 1926) left Cranford Lodge, some land attached, and £2,000 in trust, as well as £1,000 which was subject to a life interest, to build small cottages for poor people at a nominal rent. The legacy, however, was almost halved by the payment of legacy and estate duties, and by the maintenance of a caretaker in the house. Prolonged disagreement over the composition of the local board of trustees delayed the scheme until 1928. When the accounts were made up in 1930, after four cottages had been built, there was a balance only of £469. (fn. 11)

Other charities in the village were founded by Rachel Low (will proved 1910), of £340 17s. 1d., Cornelius Surgey (will proved 1916), of £1,048 8s. 7d., and Evelyn Taylor (will proved 1932), of £300. The Revd. Maurice Child (will proved 1950) bequeathed £100 to pay for beer at the annual parish feast. Charities for ecclesiastical purposes were founded by deed of Alice Keen and Bessie Lambert in 1943, which consisted of a house and £2,193 stock. (fn. 12)


  • 1. E 301/34, no. 149.
  • 2. Guildhall MS. 9550.
  • 3. M.R.O., Cranford Incl. Award.
  • 4. Char. Com. files.
  • 5. C 93/41/4.
  • 6. M.R.O., Acc. 530/8 (15 Mar. 1682).
  • 7. M.R.O., Cranford Incl. Award.
  • 8. Char. Com. files.
  • 9. 9th Rep. Char. Com. H.C. 258, p. 216 (1823), ix.
  • 10. Char. Com. files.
  • 11. Ibid.
  • 12. Ibid.