Ruislip: Charities for the poor

Pages 147-148

A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 4, Harmondsworth, Hayes, Norwood With Southall, Hillingdon With Uxbridge, Ickenham, Northolt, Perivale, Ruislip, Edgware, Harrow With Pinner. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1971.

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The early history of the almshouses in Eastcote Road is uncertain. Extensive alteration to the 'parish house', probably to convert an earlier building into a series of tworoomed dwellings, took place in 1616. (fn. 2) A number of minor repairs are recorded later in the century. (fn. 3) Lady Mary Franklin, by will proved 1737, left £100 for the purchase of land, the income of which was to be applied to clothing the inhabitants of the church houses. No land was bought, and the money was invested in stock. In 1895 the gift yielded £3 interest, which was distributed by the vicar on St. Thomas's Day. The two-storied building, which may be of 16th-century origin, stands at the northwest corner of the churchyard. The partly exposed timbering of the upper floor incorporates large curved braces; the ground floor has been faced with brickwork. The former almshouses, each with an upper and a lower room, were arranged back to back, five facing the churchyard and five facing Eastcote Road. By 1968 four dwellings at the west end had been converted into a verger's house and two in the centre were occupied as a cottage by the curate. (fn. 4)

The earliest charity known in the parish is that of Richard Coggs, who in 1717 conveyed 3 a. in Frog Lane, Eastcote, to the use of the churchwardens for the relief of poor families. The land was converted into stock in 1889, at which date the gift yielded £4 yearly.

On consideration of £150 paid to them by Jeremiah Bright in 1721, the Leathersellers' Company covenanted to pay £6 annually to provide bread for the poor. The vicar was to receive 10s. from this sum for his care in administering the charity. (fn. 5)

Ralph Hawtrey, by will proved 1725, left £200, the interest on which was to be disposed of by the vicar in the relief of the poor. This gift yielded £8 annually, which was paid by Elizabeth Rogers, Hawtrey's granddaughter, until 1803 when she invested £267 stock, yielding an annual interest of £8. By 1897, however, the annual income had fallen to £7.

Elizabeth Rogers, by will proved 1803, left £380 stock, from the interest on which the vicar was to receive two guineas a year on condition that he preached a sermon each Good Friday morning. The residue was to be divided among the poor, preference being given to regular church-goers. Rogers's charity yielded £16 in 1895.

Henrietta Howard, the date of whose will is unknown, left £100 stock to provide beef and bread for 25 poor families in Eastcote on Christmas Eve, and £60 stock to purchase blankets for six Eastcote families every New Year's Day. The gift was administered by the vicar and churchwardens, and yielded £4 yearly in 1897.

Lady Juliana Campbell, by will proved 1886, left sufficient money to yield, when invested, £10 yearly, to be devoted to the purchase of coal for the poor of Eastcote. In 1895 the gift consisted of £333 stock.

By a scheme of 1897, which introduced representative trustees, the gifts of Lady Juliana Campbell, Howard, Hawtrey, Bright, and Coggs, together worth £49 yearly, were consolidated as the Ruislip Non-Ecclesiastical Charities, and the income made available for the parish poor in general. In 1952 the income of the charities amounted to £358, used to provide coal and food vouchers, bread, and gifts of money.

Under the inclosure award of 1814 60 a. were allotted to the use of cottagers whose rents did not exceed £5 a year. Administration of the Ruislip Cottagers' Allotments Charity was vested in a representative committee. In 1880 95 cottagers were licensed to pasture cattle on this land. In 1960 the income of this charity was £319, applied to the general benefit of cottager families selected by the trustees.


  • 1. Except where otherwise stated, the authority for statements in this section is either 9th Rep. Com. Char. H.C. 258 (1823), ix, or Char. Com. files.
  • 2. M.R.O., Acc. 249/234, 235; L. E. Morris, 'Ruislip Almshouses', Jnl. Ruislip and District Nat. Hist. Soc. (1956).
  • 3. M.R.O., Acc. 249/1574.
  • 4. See plate facing p. 152.
  • 5. See p. 144.