Stanwell: Charities

Page 50

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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Charities for the relief of the poor were founded by Elizabeth Hampden (will dated 1664), the executrix of Lady Knyvett's will, John Cary (will dated 1685), and Catherine Cary (deed of 1673). Thomas, Lord Knyvett, also left £25 to the poor, which may have been absorbed in Lady Hampden's charity. The Hampden charity was endowed with land in Stanwell, and the Cary charities, which were restricted to poor widows, with land at Egham and Harlington and a rentcharge paid by the lord of Stanwell manor. All the property of these charities was sold between 1920 and 1950, and together they held over £11,000 stock in 1955. Robert Heath (will proved 1845) left £500, subject to a life interest which expired in 1875, and A. L. Blow (d. 1921) left £200, both of these gifts being in trust for the poor. At the inclosure of the parish 30 acres were put into trust for the benefit of the occupiers of houses worth less than £5 a year who did not receive any allotments. This land was sold in 1950 and the endowment consisted in 1955 of over £10,000 stock. (fn. 1)

From 1770 to 1870 the charities were distributed in cash gifts, often of only a few shillings each. While the payments to widows were generally regular pensions the other charities seem to have been given more or less indiscriminately, sometimes to over 100 persons. (fn. 2) More recently relief has often been given in kind. In 1955, besides cash gifts of about £1-£2 to 118 widows, several hundred pounds were spent on food and coal vouchers and parcels, generally worth under £1 each. (fn. 3)


  • 1. 9th Rep. Com. Char. 312-16; Char. Com. files.
  • 2. Par. Rec., Charity Acct. Bks.
  • 3. Char. Com. files.