Hendon: Charities for the poor

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.

This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.


A P Baggs. Diane K Bolton. Eileen P Scarff. G C Tyack, 'Hendon: Charities for the poor', in A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 5, Hendon, Kingsbury, Great Stanmore, Little Stanmore, Edmonton Enfield, Monken Hadley, South Mimms, Tottenham, (London, 1976) pp. 48-49. British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/middx/vol5/pp48-49 [accessed 30 May 2024].

A P Baggs. Diane K Bolton. Eileen P Scarff. G C Tyack. "Hendon: Charities for the poor", in A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 5, Hendon, Kingsbury, Great Stanmore, Little Stanmore, Edmonton Enfield, Monken Hadley, South Mimms, Tottenham, (London, 1976) 48-49. British History Online, accessed May 30, 2024, https://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/middx/vol5/pp48-49.

Baggs, A P. Bolton, Diane K. Scarff, Eileen P. Tyack, G C. "Hendon: Charities for the poor", A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 5, Hendon, Kingsbury, Great Stanmore, Little Stanmore, Edmonton Enfield, Monken Hadley, South Mimms, Tottenham, (London, 1976). 48-49. British History Online. Web. 30 May 2024, https://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/middx/vol5/pp48-49.


By will proved 1670 Edward Nicholl of Knightsland, South Mimms, left £10 a year with interest to the poor of Hendon. In 1687 his son John was ordered in Chancery to pay the money (fn. 2) but the charity seems to have lapsed soon afterwards.

In 1696 Thomas Nicholl of Hendon erected a single-storeyed brick alms-house at the junction of Milespit Hill and the Ridgeway, Mill Hill. (fn. 3) He did not endow the premises, which accommodated 6 pauper residents of Hendon at a nominal rent, and the parish was forced to undertake repairs. Consequently the building was generally called the parish alms-house, although it was later known as Nicholl's alms-house. Trustees were appointed in 1863, under a Scheme for the charities of the parish, but by 1881 the only income was the weekly rent of 6d. paid by each inmate. In 1892 the executors of Eliza Holm, the widow of a former resident of Mill Hill, gave £2,700 stock to provide each alms-person with a small weekly pension. (fn. 4) Her endowment was administered separately until in 1910 a Scheme established the Nicholl and Holm charity, whose income was administered with that of the Daniel and Holm charity.

By will proved 1682, Robert Daniel, a London merchant, instructed his executors to spend £2,000 on land and after ten years to use the accumulated revenue to build an alms-house within ten miles of the City for 6 men and 4 women of at least fifty years of age. Thereafter the income was to provide each resident with a grey cloth gown, lined with orange baize, every two years, a shilling loaf at Christmas, and a weekly pension of 3s. (fn. 5) In 1686 the executors purchased 110 a. at North Aston (Oxon.) and by 1727 their plans to establish an alms-house at Hendon had been approved in Chancery. The building was opened in 1729 (fn. 6) and sometimes held more women than men, despite Daniel's stipulations. The women's pensions were increased to 4s. a week in 1806 and the men's in 1818. The trustees had run short of funds when Eliza Holm, by will dated 1890, left some £30,000 to such charitable institutions as her executor thought fit. In 1892 Daniel's alms-houses became the first beneficiaries and were endowed with £6,100 stock, after the premises had been repaired at the cost of the Holm estate. The Daniel and Holm charities were consolidated under a new Scheme of 1910, whereby the Daniel and Holm and the Nicholl and Holm charities, while retaining their separate names, jointly contributed towards alms-houses for 16 poor persons who had resided in Hendon for not less than five years and towards weekly pensions for the inmates and other parishioners. A detached portion of Daniel's endowment at Stoke Lyne (Oxon.) was sold in 1935 and the rest of the Oxfordshire land in 1959. By 1965 the total investment income of £775 a year was spent mainly on the alms-houses and on medical services for the residents. The alms-houses, a gaunt brick building with a pedimented centrepiece, were largely rebuilt c. 1800 and extensively repaired in 1854 and the late 1950s.

Elizabeth Parsons of the parish of St. Anne, Westminster, by will proved 1758, bequeathed £100, the income to be used to maintain the family vault at Hendon and to benefit poor unrelieved parishioners. (fn. 7) After the death of her sister Martha, who bequeathed £100 on similar terms, the money was invested in stock. By 1843 the income amounted to £6 6s., which was spent in bread. (fn. 8) In 1966, when the charity was administered jointly with the Neeld charity, £5 10s. was distributed in bread.

An early-19th-century lord of the manor of Hendon gave a piece of land at Temple Fortune to compensate the parish for loss of rights on some recently inclosed waste. The vestry directed that the land should be sold and some of the proceeds spent on a stove for the church. The remainder was invested in stock and by 1854 the annual income of £5 1s. was distributed as bread at Christmas. From 1863 the charity was no longer administered separately.

By will proved 1856, Joseph Neeld bequeathed £500 to be invested in stock; the income was to maintain Neeld's tomb and benefit two aged unrelieved parishioners. In 1902 the commissioners declared the former purpose invalid and that henceforth all the income was to benefit the poor. In 1966 each beneficiary received £7 10s.

Elizabeth Bragg Shaw of Dorking (Surr.), by will proved 1874, bequeathed £100 to be invested, the interest to supply the inmates of the alms-houses at Mill Hill, and other old people, with tea and sugar at Christmas. In 1961 the annual income of £2 13s. 8d. was devoted to the sick and the poor of the parish.

By will proved in 1874 Anne Prince left £200, which was to be invested and used for the poor as the vicar of Hendon thought fit. In 1966 the income of £5 9s. was passed to the vicar for distribution to the poor. Mary Elizabeth Partridge, by will proved 1902, bequeathed £200 to provide coal for aged men and women in Hendon or the Hale. In 1965 the income of £5 9s. was distributed by the vicar. George Sneath, by will proved 1922, left £200 to be invested on behalf of aged parishioners. By 1965 the capital had grown to £311 stock and the vicar received £7 2s. to be given to the poor.

In 1895 Mrs. Eliza Burgess opened a day nursery at Devonshire Place, Childs Hill. In 1922, after her death, it was endowed with three houses (one of which was to be sold) and £2,236 stock. The nursery had a regular daily attendance of more than a dozen until it became redundant during the later 1930s. In 1942 a new Scheme established the Mrs. Burgess fund for children, to benefit children under school age in Hendon and its neighbourhood by helping mothers and by providing remedial assistance and appliances.

An Air Raid distress fund, established in 1941, (fn. 9) appears to have been perpetuated after the war as the mayor's benevolent fund. Registered as a charity in 1963, its objects are the relief of poverty and other such works as will benefit the community of Hendon. It has an annual income of about £2,000, apparently derived from investments. The Hampstead Garden Suburb charitable trust was incorporated in 1968, to apply money raised for general charitable purposes within the Garden Suburb. In 1972 the income exceeded £100.


  • 1. Except where otherwise stated the section is based on Char. Com. files and 4th Rep. Com. Char. H.C. 312, pp. 164-7 (1820), v.
  • 2. C 93/42/39.
  • 3. Hist. Mon. Com. Mdx. 72; plaque on building.
  • 4. Hendon and Finchley Times, 11 Nov. 1892.
  • 5. Prob. 11/370 (P.C.C. 96 Cottle).
  • 6. Inscription on building.
  • 7. Prob. 11/838 (P.C.C. 163 Hutton).
  • 8. Char. to be Distrib. to Poor, H.C. 436, p. 161 (1843), xviii.
  • 9. Hopkins, Hendon, 102.