Great Stanmore: Charities for the poor

Pages 109-110

A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 5, Hendon, Kingsbury, Great Stanmore, Little Stanmore, Edmonton Enfield, Monken Hadley, South Mimms, Tottenham. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1976.

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Robert Hillson, mercer of London, by will proved 1585, left a house in Edgware to his widow. After her death the rent was to be spent on the poor of Great Stanmore. (fn. 1) John Burnell, by will proved 1605, left £100 to the Clothworkers' Company of London, which was to pay part of the annual interest, 26s., for 6 pennyworth of bread a week for the poor. His son John, also a clothworker, by will proved 1623, left a rent-charge of 40s. a year to the poor. (fn. 2) The testator's daughter, Anne Coo, was accused of withholding payment in 1668 (fn. 3) and the vestry was persistent in claiming arrears from the marquess of Buckingham, as owner of Ward's farm, from 1815. (fn. 4) By 1823 stock worth £50 had been bought, mainly out of 19 years' arrears, and half a year's interest, with the rent-charge, had been spent on 3s. worth of coal for 20 poor people. (fn. 5) In 1964 each of the three charities had an income of less than £5 a year. (fn. 6)

Barbara, widow of John Burnell the elder, by will dated 1630, left £300 to the Clothworkers' Company, which was to spend £7 a year on bread for 12 of the poor and for the parish clerk, on a payment of 2s. to the parish clerk, and on gowns for 6 poor women; all six women were to come from Stanmore one year and two were to come from Bushey (Herts.), two from Harrow Weald, and two from Edgware in the following year. Thomas Burnell, by deed of 1655, augmented Barbara Burnell's gift by 30s. a year for clothing and 18d. a week for cheese. In 1823 the Clothworkers' Company paid £15 0s. 8d. for the gifts of Barbara and Thomas Burnell; although the clerk no longer received 2s. the total amount spent was £15 2s., the difference being paid out of the church-rate. (fn. 7) In 1963 £7 4s. 10d. from the Barbara Burnell trust was spent on bread and £5 3s. 4d. on an exhibition at Oxford University, which the Clothworkers' Company increased from its own resources. The income from the charity of Thomas Burnell, also paid by the company, was between £5 and £10 in 1966. (fn. 8)

Sir John Wolstenholme, by will dated 1639, gave the income on £200 to the poor of Great Stanmore, as well as whatever should be left from the income on another £200 which was intended for repairs to the church. His son John, by deed of 1655, accordingly settled land in Billiter Lane (London) on trustees. (fn. 9) In the 1720s two tenants there each paid £10 a year, although in 1740 the vestry, which often discussed the affairs of the charity, had to be content with rents of £8. (fn. 10) The annual rent amounted to £13 in 1823, when half was spent on the church and half, supplemented by the parish, on beef for 60 poor people at Christmas. In 1964 the income was between £25 and £50.

Rose Archer (d. 1686) is said to have left the income on £20 to six poor women. (fn. 11) In 1823 it was reported that the capital had been spent nearly forty years previously, on legal costs over the houses in Billiter Lane, and the vestry agreed to reinstate the charity with £20 from the church-rates. (fn. 12) By 1899 there was stock worth £77 6s. and in 1964 the income amounted to less than £5 a year. (fn. 13)

John Pardoe, by deed of 1757, left his great tithes on some 230 a. in Hendon to ten poor widows aged 40 or over on Stanmore. (fn. 14) A rent-charge payable in lieu of great tithes was gradually redeemed for stock between 1909 and 1943. Henry Hooper, by deed of 1850, left four cottages on Stanmore Hill to be used as alms-houses for poor widows. The cottages were not endowed and the rector reported that they were very dilapidated in 1883, when the tenants were paying 6d. a week. The buildings, condemned by 1903, had been pulled down by 1915, when a Scheme directed that their site should be let as a garden and that the income should be used, after helping former inmates to pay rent elsewhere, to augment Pardoe's charity. The land, let for £10 in 1947, was sold for £1,250 in 1967. Frances Wilson of Belmont Lodge began to build four alms-houses for widows in Elm Terrace, Old Church Lane, in 1922, and, by will proved in the following year, left the income on £500 towards repairs. In 1963, when the annual income was £26 6s. 2d., a Scheme empowered the trustees to charge weekly contributions of 10s. or less towards the cost of upkeep. The alms-houses, forming a single-storeyed red-brick building, survived in 1971. (fn. 15)


  • 1. Prob. 11/66 (P.C.C. 20 Butts).
  • 2. P. Davenport, Old Stanmore, 98, 108.
  • 3. C 93/30/7.
  • 4. M.R.O., D.R.O. 14/C1/3.
  • 5. 9th Rep. Com. Char. 267-8.
  • 6. Char. Com. files.
  • 7. 9th Rep. Com. Char. 267.
  • 8. Char. Com. files.
  • 9. 9th Rep. Com. Char. 268.
  • 10. M.R.O., D.R.O. 14/C1/1.
  • 11. 9th Rep. Com. Char. 268-70; Char. Com. files.
  • 12. M.R.O., D.R.O. 14/C1/3.
  • 13. Char. Com. files.
  • 14. 9th Rep. Com. Char. 271.
  • 15. Char. Com. files.