South Mimms: Charities

Pages 306-307

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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CHARITIES. (fn. 1)

In 1652 John Howkins built five alms-houses for poor women on land between the church and the vicarage house. (fn. 2) By will dated 1677 he left a rent-charge of £5 a year out of property at Wrotham Park for quarterly payments to the almspeople but he did not provide for the upkeep of the houses, which fell upon the parish. In 1811 Francis Barroneau left £100 stock, the interest to be distributed half-yearly among the inmates, and in 1844 Elizabeth Barroneau bequeathed £50 stock on similar terms. In 1837 Mrs. Kerney left £200 to provide bread and coal for widows in the alms-houses and George Pooley, by will proved 1883, left £2,500, the income on which was to be paid in doles. Before 1928 an unknown donor had given £24 and F. Abraham made a gift to Howkins's alms-houses which in 1899 was represented by £32 stock. (fn. 3) The buildings gradually fell into decay and were demolished, the site being sold in 1928 and the rent-charge of £5 redeemed in 1939 for £224 stock.

John Bradshaw (d. 1698) left £3 a year, charged upon lands in South Mimms and Enfield Chase, to provide 20s. for the vicar of South Mimms for preaching a sermon on Christmas Eve and 40s. for bread to be distributed among poor parishioners. The property was later conveyed to Paul Jervis (fn. 4) (d. 1718) and became part of the City Parochial Foundation. In 1895 the trustees of Bradshaw's charity applied for the redemption of the annuity and £120 stock was transferred from the central fund to the credit of the charity.

George Ferne Bates, vicar of South Mimms, by will proved 1841, left £250, the interest to provide coals for the poor. Thomas Maling Nicholson, a later vicar, by will proved 1852, gave £100 for the same purpose.

Under a Scheme of 1941 the gifts of Howkins, the Barroneaus, Kerney, Pooley, the unknown donor, Abraham, Bradshaw, Bates, and Nicholson were consolidated as the South Mimms parochial charities. The Scheme provided that the charities should be managed under that title, although each should retain its own identity. The annual income of £77 7s. 8d. from Howkins's and the six other related charities was to be applied in pensions of between 6s. 6d. and 10s. a week to poor women of good character who had resided in the parish for at least two years. One of the pensioners was to be a widow and called 'the Kerney pensioner'. The annual income of £8 15s. from the charities of Bates and Nicholson was to be spent on coal for poor persons living in South Mimms and not in receipt of poor law relief, as selected by the trustees. The £3 from Bradshaw's charity was to provide 20s. to the vicar as before and 40s. in cash or bread for distribution among parishioners attending the 'Bread Service'.

James Hickson, of the Brewers' Company of London, by will dated 1686, devised in trust his manor of Wyllyotts and other lands at South Mimms for the endowment of six alms-houses which he had built at Kitts End. The endowment provided for the upkeep of the property and payments to the almspeople, each of whom was to receive £4 and a load of firewood every year, and a gown every second year. The company, on the recommendation of the vicar, churchwardens, and overseers, were to select almspeople from the poor inhabitants of South Mimms. The alms-houses were rebuilt by the company in 1750 and c. 1800 they were inhabited by six widows who each received £6 a year, a further £1 instead of the firewood, and a gown of grey cloth every second year. There was an additional payment of 10s. 6d. to each widow at Christmas. Six new alms-houses were built in grey brick in 1856, on a site where the Cross Keys inn had formerly stood. (fn. 5) The old alms-houses, each consisting of a single room and a coalshed, were in poor conditions in 1867, when they were leased out. (fn. 6)

Hickson's endowment was augmented by the gift of John Neiman, who, by will dated 1802, left £700 stock subject to a life interest, to provide weekly payments to the almspeople. The charity became payable in 1820 and after legacy duty £644 stock was transferred to the company, raising the total income of each widow by 1823 to £10 14s. 10d. The two charities were combined by the Charity Commissioners in 1894. By 1961 the total payment of allowances and gifts to inmates had risen to £457.

George Pooley, by will dated 1883, left £10,300, later invested in stock, the interest to be applied to poor persons of Monken Hadley and part of South Mimms. The charity, called the George and Mary Ann Pooley trust, is governed by Schemes of 1884, 1899, 1904, and 1924, the first of which provides that the income shall benefit 15 poor persons who have resided in the parishes of Monken Hadley and South Mimms (including the ecclesiastical districts of Christ Church and St. John's, Potters Bar) for not less than two years, preference to be given to those who have been reduced by misfortune from better circumstances. By 1962 the annual income was £270 and in 1971 twenty quarterly payments of £4 10s. were made to each of the fifteen pensioners, less nine payments not made owing to temporary vacancies.


  • 1. Except where otherwise stated, the following section is based on Char. Com. files; 8th Rep. Com. Char. H.C. 13(1823), viii; 9th Rep. Com. Char.
  • 2. Brittain, South Mymms, 41.
  • 3. Endowed Chars. (Lond.), H.C. 306, p. 20 (1899), lxx.
  • 4. Guildhall, St. Sepulchre's Chars. Box 135.
  • 5. Kelly's Dir. Mdx. (1867).
  • 6. Barnet Mus. 2144, p. 7.