Sunbury: Charities

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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'Sunbury: Charities', in 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, (London, 1962) pp. 65-66. British History Online [accessed 15 April 2024]


In 1632 Sir Robert Killigrew gave the parish £30 for the use of the poor in return for permission to inclose part of the common. In 1696 no interest had been received for twenty years. (fn. 1) This money may have become part of the Parish Stock, which was later used for educational purposes. (fn. 2) In return for permission to inclose a piece of open field and to divert a footpath George, Earl of Pomfret (d. 1785), endowed a bread charity in 1769 known as the Courtfield charity. (fn. 3) Some 63 acres of land between Charlton and Ashford Common were allotted at the inclosure to provide money for the buying of fuel for the poor. (fn. 4) This land was later known as the Fuel estate or Parish farm. Between about 1895 and 1926 the land was sold at various times and the proceeds were invested in stock, of which the income was £115 in 1950. (fn. 5)

Dorothy Wood (d. 1765), Henry Claxton (codicil of 1813), James Cowe (d. 1842), Vicar of Sunbury, Samuel Landon (d. 1844), James Annett (will proved 1873), and Thomas Stroud (will proved 1910) all left or gave endowments for the distribution of bread to the poor. In 1950 some £46 arising from these charities and from the Courtfield charity was used to buy bread. (fn. 6)

Other eleemosynary charities were endowed by Roger Boehm (will dated 1801), lord of Sunbury manor, T. P. Ford (d. 1803), Killingworth Hedges (declaration of trust, 1843), Elizabeth Collingridge (will proved 1858), and Francis Needham, Earl of Kilmorey (d. 1880: gift 1864 or 1865). (fn. 7) John Turner's charity, founded in 1761 originally for educating and apprenticing the poor, has been used for other charitable purposes since 1848. (fn. 8) The income from these charities amounted to some £34 in 1950. It was expended in cash payments to widows and in provisions. (fn. 9)

William Pembroke (codicil 1813) left an endowment to repair his family's vault, the surplus income to be received by the vicar. The tomb has been kept in repair. (fn. 10) Isabella Wethered (will proved 1897) left an endowment, which became available some time after 1932, to maintain her family tomb, any surplus income to purchase flannel for the poor. The charity has been used to buy red flannel or blankets. (fn. 11)

Jeremy Norcrosse left a mare and colt in 1636, to be kept for breeding and the male offspring to be sold for the benefit of the poor. (fn. 12) Christopher Child (will of 1625) left £10 a year for the poor. (fn. 13) Nothing further is recorded of either of these charities. In 1919 the urban district council took over the management of the above parochial charities except for Stroud's Bread Charity and the charities for repairing tombs. (fn. 14)

The four almshouses mentioned in the 1830's, 1840's, and in 1890 were probably the old parish house. (fn. 15) In 1891 they were replaced by the present almshouses erected on the same site behind the Grammar School in Nursery Road. These were built at the expense of various locally prominent people, notably H. Vigue, Vicar of Sunbury, W. A. Mitchison, J. P. Fletcher, and the Hedges family. J. P. Fletcher (d. 1905), H. Hedges (d. 1906), and Ellen M. A. Baker (d. 1929) endowed the almshouses with £516, £200, and £300 respectively. (fn. 16)


  • 1. C 93/45/3.
  • 2. See p. 64.
  • 3. 9th Rep. Com. Char. H.C. 258, p. 318 (1823), ix; Par. Rec., Charity Ledger.
  • 4. M.R.O., Sunbury Incl. Award.
  • 5. Char. Com. files; O.S. Maps 6" Mdx. xxiv (1st and 2nd edns).
  • 6. 9th Rep. Com. Char. 318-19; Par. Rec., Charity Ledger and Decl. of Trust (Landon); Char. Com. files; Goddard, Hist. acct. of Sunbury par. 23-26.
  • 7. 9th Rep. Com. Char. 319; Par. Rec., Charity Ledger and Decl. of Trust (Hedges); Goddard, op. cit. 24, 26.
  • 8. 9th Rep. Com. Char. 317-18; Par. Rec., Vestry Min. Bk. 1792-1823, 55, 103; Charity Ledger; Goddard, op. cit. 23.
  • 9. Char. Com. files.
  • 10. Par. Rec., Charity Ledger.
  • 11. Char. Com. files; ex inf. the vicar.
  • 12. Goddard, op. cit. 14, 15.
  • 13. 9th Rep. Com. Char. 320.
  • 14. Char. Com. files.
  • 15. See p. 60.
  • 16. Goddard, op. cit. 26; Par. Rec., Charity Ledger; M.R.O., Acc. 598/Reg. Bk. Teddington, &c. f. 463; Char. Com. files.