Harrow, including Pinner : Charities for the poor

Pages 269-270

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 will of Werhard, dated 832, mentions a bequest by Archbishop Wulfred (d. 832) of food to be given daily and 2s. 2d. to be given annually for clothing to 5 poor people at Harrow. (fn. 2) One will of the 15th century (fn. 3) and several of the 16th century (fn. 4) contain small bequests to the poor. In 1580 John Lyon provided that the governors of Harrow School should give 60 of the poorest 'housekeepers' in Harrow 6s. 8d. apiece every Good Friday or otherwise at their discretion. Pinner was to be excluded unless there were insufficient paupers in Harrow. In the 19th century and later the governors paid £20 annually to the Vicar of St. Mary's, for distribution at Christmas and on Good Friday. Any surplus was to be devoted to the 'help and relief of poor marriages, and other such good and charitable purposes'. In the 18th and early 19th centuries the charity occasionally provided small sums for apprenticing poor children, as marriage portions, and to support a Sunday school at Pinner and the National school at Harrow.

In 1611 Catherine Clarke settled £240 in trust on the Mercers' Company to pay each year to the Vicar and churchwardens of Harrow £12, for distribution half-yearly among 6 paupers from Harrow and 6 from Roxeth. From 1696 until 1802 payments were in arrear but after the money had been re-invested in stock worth £324 the income of £22 was distributed annually in sums of 10s. In 1630 Barbara Burnell bequeathed £300 to the Clothworkers' Company (fn. 5) and in 1655 Thomas Burnell augmented the gift by £5 a year, the income to be paid to the poor of Stanmore. Later the gift, in the form of 2d. loaves, 3½d. cheeses, and clothes, was distributed among two poor women in Harrow Weald, two in Bushey, two in Edgware, and one in Stanmore. By will dated 1637 William Dwight left a rent-charge of £2 a year from property in Sudbury. This was augmented when Margaret, widow of Samuel Parr (d. 1825), left the interest on £200 stock in trust to be distributed annually in bread among the poor of Harrow, Roxeth, Sudbury, and Greenhill. Her bequest yielded £6 a year in the 19th century. Under a Charity Commission Scheme of 1888 the gifts of Clarke, Burnell, Dwight, and Parr were consolidated as the Harrow Pension Charities, vested in seven trustees who were to pay pensions to 3 paupers who had lived in the parish for more than 5 years. By 1965 the income was between £25 and £60 a year.

In 1791 Henry Burch, a London citizen, gave the interest on £200 stock for the use of the Wembley poor. In the early 19th century this gift was distributed by the vicar in sums not exceeding 10s. Martha Bowen, by will dated 1888, left £150 in trust to be distributed annually by the vicar in bread or money to paupers attending the parish church. In 1965 the income of about £4 was spent on bread. Ann Sahler, by will dated 1893, left £300 in trust to provide an annual gift for not more than 3 widows in Harrow Weald. In 1965 the income of between £10 and £25 was distributed as coal.

In Pinner Mary Franklin, by will dated 1735, left the interest on £50 to buy bread for paupers of the Established Church. In the early 19th century the income was distributed in bread at Christmas. Elizabeth Deering, by will dated 1781, left the interest on £100 to be distributed at Christmas to 10 widows 'who frequently receive the sacrament'. The charity was still in existence in 1810 (fn. 6) but its history after that date is obscure. Mary Roberts, by will proved 1797, left the interest on £500 stock to be distributed at Christmas in portions of 30s. to 10 old people who received no parish alms. The gift was contingent on the death of Abraham Clarke, and Chancery proceedings after his death in 1811 reduced the amount to £364 stock. In the 1830s the interest of £17 a year was generally distributed in sums of 30s. Mary Elige, by will dated 1824, gave £50 to be distributed among out-poor in Pinner. In 1836 the legacy was invested and the interest was thereafter consolidated with Franklin's gift, the combined charity being called Elige's. In 1849 Thomas Hill, a Pinner farmer, gave £200 stock, the interest on which was to be distributed annually in blankets to Pinner paupers. Henrietta Howard in 1841 gave £100 stock, the interest on which was to be spent annually on bread and meat for 25 poor families in Pinner. By her will, proved 1855, she gave a further £60 stock, the interest on which was to be used to buy blankets for six poor families. Charlotte Howard, by will proved 1855, left the interest on £500 stock for distribution in fuel and blankets to the poor of Pinner at Christmas. The gift was to be styled the Edward Alexander Howard Charity in memory of her father. Christian Snow, by a codicil to his will, proved 1868, left the interest on £50 stock to be distributed each Christmas in bread to the resident poor. Benjamin Weall, by will proved 1868, left to the churchwardens the interest on £100, with which to buy blankets for such poor as they thought proper. John Weall, by will dated 1864, created a similar trust for the purchase of blankets for 6 poor parishioners. In 1962 the income of the Pinner non-ecclesiastical charities, comprising Roberts's gift and the 19th-century benefactions, amounted to £43, which was distributed in small sums and blankets.


  • 1. Except where otherwise stated, the following section is based on Char. Com. files and 9th Rep. Com. Char. H.C. 258, pp. 261-6 (1823), ix. Some charities have been treated under Church, Local Government, and Schools. Houblon's charity, which had land in Sudbury, does not appear to have been a Harrow charity; it may have been connected with the charity of that name, whose origin is obscure, in Great Hallingbury (Essex): 29th Rep. Com. Char. H.C. 216, p. 191 (1835), xxi.
  • 2. Harrow Octocent. Tracts, i. 20-21.
  • 3. P.C.C. 24 Godyn (John Byrkhede, 1468).
  • 4. Ibid. 7 Blamyr (Hugh Ives, 1501); 13 Noodes (Ric. Lamb, 1557); 35 Noodes (Hen. Page, 1558); 28 Morrison (Robt. Crowley, 1565); 38 Pyckering (John Edlin, 1575).
  • 5. Wemb. Hist. Soc., Acc. 907/68.
  • 6. M.R.O., D.R.O. 8/C1/1.