Little Stanmore: Charities for the poor

Pages 126-127

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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John Franklin, by will proved 1596, (fn. 1) left 20s. a year charged on lands in East Barnet to the poor of Little Stanmore but in 1823 there was no record that the money had ever been paid. (fn. 2) A churchwardens' account of the disbursement of £5, 'the annual gift of Sir John Franklin', in 1693 (fn. 3) presumably refers to a deed of Richard Franklin, confirmed in his will (proved 1615), (fn. 4) whereby a rent of £5 a year was left to the poor. Richard's grandson and namesake accordingly settled a rent-charge of £5 on Litten's Mead in Hendon in trust in 1652. The money was to be distributed by the churchwardens on All Saints' Day but in 1823 payments, of 1s. to 4s., were made on St. Thomas's Day (21 December). (fn. 5) Sir Thomas Plumer supplemented the payments by 30s. a year, representing five per cent interest on £30; in 1811 the sum had been owed as a fine to the duke of Buckingham in return for inclosing a piece of wasteland, but the duke had given the money to the poor. In 1963 the income of Richard Franklin's charity, £4 3s. 4d. from 2½ per cent consols, was distributed among at least 20 old people. (fn. 6)

Alms-houses were built in Church field by Dame Mary Lake, who, by will proved 1646, instructed her son Sir Lancelot to settle a rent-charge of £33 a year to support the inmates, four old men and three old women, all of them unmarried churchgoers. The almspeople were to receive 1s. a week, 20s. worth of coal every summer, and a black gown, worth 20s., at Christmas; vacancies were to be filled by the churchwardens and parishioners, with the approval of the owner of Canons so long as he should be of the blood of Sir Thomas Lake. Sir Lancelot, by will proved 1680, therefore left all the tithes of Little Stanmore, worth about £100 a year, to his executors, who were to maintain the almspeople and assign the remaining profit to the incumbent. Since the incumbent had been granted most of the profits for life, Sir Lancelot's heir Warwick Lake in 1694 agreed to pay £33 a year to the trustees until the expiry of the lease. Warwick also supplemented the income by £11 13s. 4d. a year, charged on 13 a. called Crowshots which had been bought with £300 bequeathed to the poor by Sir Lancelot's grandson, Lancelot Lake, in 1693. (fn. 7) Under a Scheme of 1870 the rector himself was to pay the £33 to the trustees. A further Scheme in 1880 regulated the charities of Dame Mary, Sir Lancelot, and Lancelot Lake, i.e. the alms-house buildings, the payment from the rector, and the rent from Crowshots, to which had been added the income on £1,000 given by the executors of Miss Harriett Hurst, (fn. 8) whose will had been proved in 1878; (fn. 9) the number of almspeople was reduced to 2 men and 2 women, who were to receive at least 7s. a week each. In 1903 the number was fixed at two men and one woman, who were 'diligently' to attend church (a provision omitted in 1880); part of the building was to be let and £100 from Harriett Hurst's stock was to be spent on repairs. The charities were consolidated as the almshouse charity of Dame Mary Lake and others in 1920, by which time the land forming Lancelot Lake's endowment had been converted to stock worth £466 13s. 4d. (fn. 10) The alms-houses, originally eight tenements, formed a half H-shaped block of one storey, north of the church. They were said to be in good repair in 1937, when the brick walls had been cement-rendered, (fn. 11) but in 1938 the urban district council's surveyor found them damp; the last inmate left in 1953 and the site was added to the churchyard four years later. After stock had been bought with the proceeds of the sale, the charity in 1962 had a total income of c. £80, which was distributed in food, fuel, clothing, and weekly allowances. The income, from stock and the surplus of the account of the Whitchurch institute, was more than £250 in 1970. (fn. 12)


  • 1. Prob. 11/87 (P.C.C. 19 Drake).
  • 2. 9th Rep. Com. Char. 277.
  • 3. Vestry min. bk.
  • 4. Prob. 11/126 (P.C.C. 70 Rudd).
  • 5. 9th Rep. Com. Char. 277.
  • 6. Char. Com. files.
  • 7. 9th Rep. Com. Char. 271-5.
  • 8. Char. Com. files.
  • 9. Principal Probate Reg. 1878, vol. 8, f. 318.
  • 10. Char. Com. files.
  • 11. Hist. Mon. Com. Mdx. 115.
  • 12. Char. Com. files; see pp. 120, 125.