Hornsey, including Highgate: Charities for the poor

Pages 199-205

A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 6, Friern Barnet, Finchley, Hornsey With Highgate. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1980.

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The charities of Hornsey and Highgate divide between those once administered by the parish and those that were not. (fn. 1) Although some of the former were intended for Hornsey Side alone, they have all been used for the whole parish. Those subject to the governors of Cholmley's school (except John Smith's) or other Highgate trustees have been applied solely by Highgate even when intended for the whole parish. In 1976 most of the parochial charities were divided between the Hornsey Parochial Charities and the Hornsey Parochial Charities (educational and vocational foundation), which had the same trustees. The Highgate charities consisted of the Wollaston and Pauncefort alms-houses and Lady Gould's charity, managed by Cholmley's school, and distributive charities, several of them administered by the vicar of St. Michael's.

Parish Charities.

The charities administered by the parish (fn. 2) were consolidated from the late 18th century under the heads of apprenticing, almshouses, and the distribution of fuel, bread, blankets, and money, regardless of the founders' intentions. In 1853 all surpluses were kept by the treasurer of the charities, Thory Chapman, in his private bank account, (fn. 3) and after that date accounting was extremely lax (fn. 4) and large balances were allowed to accumulate. In 1886, when there was no treasurer and balances were held by various parish officers, (fn. 5) the vestry appointed a committee to manage the charities. South Hornsey's relatively small share of the distributive charities and the mismanagement of Draper's charity were especially criticized. A Scheme of 1890 established the Hornsey Parochial Charities, combining twenty foundations. The poor's share of Churchfield and the Fuel fund, which could not be included in 1890, were added in 1954 and 1960 respectively. Tame's charity was added in 1967 and Bird's in 1972.


Rent from a close called Churchfield was used by the parish on the poor and highways in the 5 years before 1547, when it passed to the Crown. (fn. 6) Leased to Robert Shepherd, the land was sold in 1549 to Robert Wood to hold of the manor of Stanton Lacy in free socage. (fn. 7) Shepherd later claimed to have bought it from Wood but it was adjudged to be copyhold of Hornsey manor, rented to him by parochial trustees. (fn. 8) When new trustees were admitted in 1627, the income was declared to be for the maintenance of the church and the relief of the poor at the churchwardens' discretion. From 1687 (fn. 9) a succession of trustees was maintained. Churchfield was let at £33 in 1827. In 1847 3 a. were sold to the G.N.R. for £1,000, which was invested in stock, and the remaining 4 a. were leased at £14 and from 1853 at £24. In 1878 the G.N.R. bought the remaining land for £3,750, which was also invested. (fn. 10) The total income was £145 in 1886, (fn. 11) when, as in 1827, it was included in the churchwardens' accounts for repairs to the church. (fn. 12) In 1894 the Charity Commissioners ordered that half the income be paid to the Hornsey Parochial Charities for pensions but only in 1953 did a Scheme divide it equally between the Churchfield ecclesiastical charity and the Churchfield charity for the poor. The former was still spent on the church in 1976. (fn. 13)

Bread fund.

Susannah Chambers (d. 1641) of London, widow, left a rent-charge of £4 2s., of which £2 12s. was to be distributed each Sunday in shilling instalments in bread or money to the poor of Hornsey. (fn. 14) Payment had ceased by 1827, when it was resumed. In 1897 the rent was redeemed for £125, which yielded a slightly increased income when invested.

In accordance with the will dated 1732 of Catherine Joyner of the parish of St. George the Martyr, spinster, her sister Elizabeth Joyner by will dated 1738 left a rent-charge of £4 for the poor of Hornsey Side to be distributed monthly in bread. Payment of the rent was disputed in 1864 but had resumed by 1869.

Holland and Evans's charity apparently originated in a gift of £6 a year by William Evans, probably made in 1758. Richard Holland, by testamentary paper proved in 1760, asked Evans, his residuary legatee, to secure a like sum for ever to the parish, both sums to be distributed monthly in bread among the poor of Hornsey Side not receiving relief.

Samuel Ellis (d. 1791), of Topsfield Hall, bequeathed £300 to buy stock, the dividends to be distributed weekly in bread among the poor of Hornsey. In 1827 the income was £9 18s. 6d.

By will dated 1797 Isaac Crunden gave the poor of Hornsey £150 stock for distribution in bread each Sunday. His devise of land for the same purpose was invalid, but the stock yielded £4 10s. in 1827.

In 1816 Richard Patmore of Hornsey gave £200 stock, the interest to be distributed in bread among those not receiving relief. (fn. 15) In 1827 the dividends amounted to £6 10s.

The vestry was administering all the bread charities together in 1793, contrary to the donors' intentions. The consolidated fund was divided equally between Highgate Side and Hornsey Side and was given away weekly and on two feast-days. The senior churchwarden was made responsible for the fund and the beadle for distribution. (fn. 16) In 1827 3d. and 6d. loaves were distributed to about 40 of the most needy following Sunday afternoon service at Hornsey church and probably also at Highgate chapel. In 1856 distributions were made at St. Michael's church in St. Pancras to recipients from Highgate Side (fn. 17) and in 1869 distribution occurred after morning service in the churches of the several ecclesiastical districts. By vestry order of 1824 bread worth only £11 1s. was dispensed in Hornsey Side and the same amount in Highgate Side, (fn. 18) although the total income of the fund was £36 18s. 6d. in 1827 and £45 between 1853 and 1886. By 1837 the savings had been invested in stock and consolidated with the bread fund itself, which received dividends from £1,081 stock (fn. 19) and was further consolidated in 1853. (fn. 20) In 1886 ten paupers of Highgate Side and twenty of Hornsey Side received a 6d. loaf weekly, and the recipients were appointed for life. The arrangement, which made it difficult to meet the suggestion that more should be distributed in South Hornsey, was censured by the Charity Commission. Distribution of bread ceased in 1890 on the formation of the Hornsey Parochial Charities.

Apprenticing charities.

In 1659 Roger Draper of Stroud Green left £120 to apprentice six poor boys of Hornsey to freemen of London in trades other than those of silkweaver, tailor, and vintner; premiums of £15 for the master and £5 for clothing and equipping the boy were to be paid, not more than two each year, (fn. 21) and it is clear that the principal was to be spent. Following a Chancery decree of 1661 Draper's heir and executor Sir Thomas Draper, Bt., in 1668 surrendered to parochial trustees, in return for a full discharge and £20, (fn. 22) 2 a. of copyhold of the manor of Canonbury in Islington. The land was let at £7 in 1670 (fn. 23) and at £10 by 1765. None of the issues was spent on premiums between 1740 and 1755. (fn. 24) In 1765 the land was let on a building lease at £10 rent for the first 8 years and £20 thereafter. Trustees admitted as copyholders in 1787 did not devote the rent to the charity, and the costs of a suit in Chancery consumed arrears up to 1798. In 1841 the admission of new trustees to ten houses in Hornsey Row (later Upper Street) and eight in Canonbury Lane cost more than the annual income. The exclusion of certain trades was not observed before or after 1824 in apprenticing boys at premiums fixed by custom at £5. The balance grew (fn. 25) and premiums were £15 or more from 1858. (fn. 26) New leases of the Islington property in 1863 (fn. 27) increased net income to £660 a year in 1869. A Scheme of 1866 authorized premiums of £30 for boys and £20 for girls for apprenticing them in trades, including that of pupil teacher but not excluding those of silkweaver, tailor, or vintner. Alternatively industrial exhibitions of £10 or £5 a term for five years might be granted to learn trades in which apprenticeship was not customary. In 1867 two special vestries approved 32 apprenticeships, including one as pupil teacher and 21 for additional fees, and two exhibitions. (fn. 28)

The Islington properties were enfranchised in 1883, (fn. 29) when the trustees' report incorporated surveyors' advice (fn. 30) which the vestry accepted under the mistaken impression that it represented the trustees' intentions. The trustees let the Upper Street frontage for eighty years at less than the current rent or highest bid, permitted unsuitable shops to be built, and allowed the erection of a factory which depressed the value of housing. Their mismanagement, condemned in local newspapers, (fn. 31) necessitated the buying back of a lease and litigation which absorbed three-quarters of the income in 1889. (fn. 32) A new lease was made in 1948 of property in Canonbury Lane, and all the property was sold between 1955 (fn. 33) and 1970, the proceeds being invested in stock.

In 1662 Anne, widow of John Smith of Highgate, conveyed to six trustees property worth £80 a year in Canterbury and Westbere Marsh (Kent) for charities there and in Hornsey. From the issues £20 a year was to be paid to Hornsey to apprentice four poor children annually. Originally the whole issues of the estate were for charity but growing revenues were not matched by disbursements. Hornsey's share of the charity increased to £49 in 1866, when the estate was worth £364, (fn. 34) and further increased to £60 c. 1880. (fn. 35) Although more used than the other apprenticing charities, there was a balance of £11 in 1827 and £45 by 1853. (fn. 36) By a Scheme of 1867 Anne Smith's charity was administered like Roger Draper's charity. The Canterbury property was sold in 1919 and the proceeds were invested.

Daniel Midwinter (d. 1756) of Hornsey bequeathed £1,000 to the Stationer's Company of London on condition that £14 a year was paid to apprentice and clothe a boy and girl of Hornsey. The bequest took effect on the death of his widow in 1770. In 1822 the Stationers' Company owed 12 years' arrears, which was reduced to 5 by 1838 (fn. 37) and 2 in 1853. (fn. 38) In 1866 the Company paid over the capital and arrears of fees, which were invested to yield £14 18s. 6d. in 1869. In 1867 a Scheme provided that Midwinter's charity should be administered like Draper's charity.

In 1783 and 1789 the vestry restricted the apprenticing charities to children of parishioners, past and present, (fn. 39) and in 1789 and 1823 ordered that nobody should take his own child as apprentice, (fn. 40) although the order was reversed in 1824. (fn. 41) In 1856 not all the children apprenticed were poor. (fn. 42) From the late 18th century the charities were administered jointly and the expenses of drawing up indentures and of visiting apprentices, at a rate fixed in 1783, (fn. 43) were met from Draper's and Anne Smith's charities. (fn. 44) The £7 premium from the Stationers' Co. was reserved by 1827 for more respectable masters or for cases of extreme poverty, when the sum was used as an extra allowance on clothes. In 1813 the vestry authorized payment of an extra £5 at the end of the first year of apprenticeship, (fn. 45) in order to attract better masters. By 1827 the extra came from Draper's and Anne Smith's charities, even when the initial premium was from Midwinter's charity. Until c. 1860 most premiums were paid from Anne Smith's charity and as early as the 1740s, when up to four premiums were granted annually, (fn. 46) supply exceeded demand. Twenty-three boys from Hornsey Side and 37 from Highgate Side were apprenticed between 1835 and 1853, when there was a combined surplus from Draper's and Anne Smith's charities of £176. (fn. 47) That was before the great increase of income in 1863 and foreshadowed the accumulation of surpluses for which successive Schemes failed to find a use over the next 120 years.

From 1853 onwards there was criticism of apprenticing as a way of using charitable funds (fn. 48) and from 1880 the trustees suggested devoting the whole proceeds to education. (fn. 49) The Scheme of 1890, by which the charities became a separately administered part of Hornsey Parochial Charities, nonetheless retained premiums for apprenticeship while widening the scope for expenditure on technical and industrial education. No more than half the income was to be used for apprenticing and by an Order of 1904 the old apprenticing charities were divided equally between an apprenticing fund and the Hornsey educational foundation; any surplus from the former was paid to the latter. From 1904 to 1905 and 1912 to 1921 about twelve apprenticeship premiums were granted each year for such trades as dress-making or motor repairs and in 1921 ten girls were apprenticed to a telegraphist. As many successful candidates did not take up their apprenticeships, there were 53 premiums unused in 1914. (fn. 50) By 1933 premiums absorbed only a quarter of the apprenticing fund, the balance being paid to the educational foundation, (fn. 51) but by a Scheme of 1937 they were retained and the maximum premium was raised to £50. In 1955 they were abolished, when a Scheme merged the two funds as the Hornsey Parochial Charities (educational and vocational foundation). (fn. 52)

Fuel fund or the Poor Allotments charity.

Under the Hornsey Inclosure Act (1813) the poor were allotted 17 a., consisting of 12½ a. at Irish Corner, 1 a. at Wood Lane, Highgate, and two copyhold allotments of 3½ a. at Fortis Green. (fn. 53) The Wood Lane allotments were divided by 1834 into eight plots, (fn. 54) which were let for cultivation at nominal rents to paupers not in receipt of relief. (fn. 55) The other land was let to the best bidder. The charity received only £20 10s. rent in 1853. A small part of the Irish Corner allotment was sold in 1869 and the remainder was compulsorily purchased for £3,000 by Hornsey local board in 1887. (fn. 56) The proceeds were invested in stock. After enfranchisement in 1868 the Fortis Green allotments were to let on 99-year building leases in 1869 and the Wood Lane allotment was similarly let in 1867. By 1886 there was an income of £143. All the lands had been sold by 1940 except nos. 43 and 45 Wood Lane, (fn. 57) which were sold in 1960, (fn. 58) and the proceeds were invested. The Fuel fund was omitted from the Scheme of 1890 because it was regulated by Act of Parliament but under an Act of 1940 management passed to the Hornsey Parochial Charities, which could appropriate up to £100 extra towards distribution of fuel (fn. 59) and with which in 1960 the Fuel fund was amalgamated.

Under the inclosure award the income was to be distributed among the poor in coals. (fn. 60) The first gifts, worth £14, were made in 1818 and 50 sacks were divided equally between Hornsey and Highgate sides c. 1840. (fn. 61) In 1886 1,351 sacks were delivered: 347 in South Hornsey, 290 in Highgate, 65 in Muswell Hill, 75 in Crouch End, and 344 and 230 respectively in the districts of St. Mary and Holy Innocents, Hornsey. (fn. 62) There were complaints that coal was not always given and that it was sometimes sub-standard. South Hornsey, the poorest area, demanded a larger share and a committee was established to supervise distribution there. (fn. 63) Distribution had much improved by 1900 (fn. 64) and continued until 1960.

Alms-house charities.

Land called the Bowling Alley estate was given for the benefit of the poor before 1697, when it yielded £5 2s. in rent. Near by, fronting Hornsey High Street, were two cottages which in 1828 belonged to the same charity and were let rent-free to two widows. In Southwood Lane, near Wollaston's alms-houses, there were three cottages belonging to the parish in 1697. They had been rebuilt or converted into four by 1771; (fn. 65) two were pulled down in 1815 and one was rebuilt in 1818. (fn. 66) Eight cottages called the Wastelands Cottages were built on waste land given in 1806 by the bishop of London to provide sites for housing the poor. (fn. 67) The parish therefore owned twelve cottages for the poor in 1828. Six were for Highgate and six for Hornsey Side. The Wastelands Cottages were let at low rents, the vestry in 1854 ordering the eviction of a tenant because he was not in employment, and the other four were rent-free. (fn. 68) The cottages in Southwood Lane were double cottages, each housing two widows, in 1853. (fn. 69) The vestry neglected the maintenance of its cottages, which in 1886 were considered unsuitable for alms-houses (fn. 70) and in 1894 were beyond economical repair. (fn. 71) In that year the Hornsey Parochial Charities agreed to sell the cottages in Southwood Lane to Cholmley's school, which bought them in 1898, and to pension off the inmates. Against strong local opposition, (fn. 72) the trustees arranged for building leases for the sites of the others, which were accordingly pulled down. The freehold of the High Street property was sold by 1940 and that of all but three of the 27 houses on or adjoining the site of the Wastelands Cottages, in Muswell Hill Road, between 1969 and 1975.

Other charities.

William Priestly (d. 1620), merchant-tailor of London, devised £250 to the Merchant Taylors' Company to pay four nobles (£1 6s. 8d.) a year quarterly to eight poor men, four of them from Hornsey. (fn. 73) The charity was unaltered in 1827 and in the two decades from 1835 the recipients were old men. (fn. 74)

William Platt of Highgate green, by codicil proved 1637, devised land to St. John's College, Cambridge, subject to annual payments which included £20 to the overseers of St. Pancras and Hornsey for the poor. The poor of St. Pancras were to receive £14, of which £10 was for those living at or near Highgate and £4 for those at Kentish Town or between there and Highgate. The poor of Hornsey were to have £6 subject to the satisfactory location of the testator's monument in Highgate chapel. (fn. 75) There were no trustees in 1827, when the income was distributed in money and bread. In 1867-8 the whole £6 was distributed as fuel, in accordance with the supposed wishes of the donor. Hornsey's share of the charity was included in the Hornsey Parochial Charities in 1890; the rent-charge was reduced in 1970 and the proceeds were invested in stock.

Charles Brown (d. 1826), surgeon of Hornsey, left £100 stock, the income to provide blankets for eight paupers at Christmas. The stock yielded £2 14s. in 1836, when blankets were given to eight paupers with large families. (fn. 76)

George Buckton of Hornsey, by will proved 1847, gave £200 stock, the residue, after the maintenance of his family vault and monuments, to provide blankets and clothing for the poor of Hornsey not receiving relief. In 1867-8 the income was £6.

Brown's and Buckton's charities were spent on blankets and clothing among the most deserving poor of Hornsey Side in 1886. (fn. 77)

Sophia Mitchell, by will proved 1868, left £100, the income to maintain her tomb and any surplus to be distributed among the poor of Hornsey. In 1886, when £20 had been spent on her tomb, no income had been received by the churchwardens since 1879.

The Wastelands fund originated c. 1790 with fines paid for the use of the poor for inclosing commons. The balance left after the building of the Wastelands Cottages (fn. 78) was invested, and rent from the poor's cottages was also paid into the fund. In 1864 £150 was appropriated for public health from the fund. (fn. 79) Rent and dividends were still accruing in 1886, when nobody could remember any charitable application of the money. (fn. 80)

Also paid into the fund was the rent of £13 13s. received for Fermee's Tuke, that part of a piece of ground, given to the parish in 1811 as a site for a fire-engine house, which was surplus and was let on a building lease in 1850. The house, later no. 65 High Street, was sold in 1954.

Hornsey Parochial Charities.

Hornsey Parochial Charities were established in 1890 by a Scheme uniting all the parish charities except Churchfield and the Fuel fund, which were added later. The Highgate charity of Maria Tame was added in 1967. The apprenticing charities were always managed independently by the same trustees. The income of all the charities was £64 in 1890 but building leases of the sites of the parish cottages raised it to £520 by 1905. (fn. 81) In 1962 the total income was £2,025. Between 1969 and 1975 all but three of the houses were sold. The proceeds were invested and in 1975 yielded an income of £8,241, of which £2,544 was unspent.

Distribution in kind ceased under the 1890 Scheme, which provided for at least four pensions of 6s. or 8s. a week, grants to dispensaries, hospitals, convalescent homes, and provident clubs, and to individuals preparing for a trade or in temporary distress. The parish cottages had been demolished by 1898 and the rents for their sites devoted to additional pensions, which were the main source of expenditure until the 1960s. The total spent on pensions fluctuated from £300 to £425 between 1904 and 1921, when the number of pensioners ranged from 24 to 47. (fn. 82) As beneficiaries were not to be in receipt of poor-relief, the number and the level of pensions was restricted: (fn. 83) in 1949, when the trustees had difficulty in applying the income, there was a large surplus. The basic level of pension was raised from 6s. a week in 1960 to £4 a month by 1975. Between 1960 and 1975 there were from 18 to 25 pensioners and the total expenditure on pensions ranged from £375 to £582. Small grants were made to nursing associations and hospitals between 1904 and 1921. (fn. 84) Payments to institutions for old people totalled £100 in 1960 and rose to £990 in 1969 and £1,350 in 1975. Occasional grants to individuals were insignificant until 1969 but amounted to £714 in 1975. Following the union with the Poor Allotments charity in 1960, the Hornsey Parochial Charities distributed money for fuel, which by 1975 was the largest item of expenditure. Each beneficiary received 15s. in 1960 and £3 in 1975, between which two dates the number of beneficiaries almost doubled to 932.

Col. John William Bird, by deed of 1899, provided that if St. Mary's upper grade school should cease to exist the income from his scholarship fund of £1,500 should be distributed among the poor of Hornsey. (fn. 85) The school closed in 1964 and a Scheme of 1972 vested Col. Bird's charity in the Hornsey Parochial Charities.

Highgate Charities.

Alms-house charities. Sir John Wollaston (d. 1658) built six alms-houses at the south end of Southwood Lane for six paupers living at Hornsey or Highgate in Hornsey. By his will he devised the alms-houses to the governors of Cholmley's school, who were to nominated the inmates, and also left a rent-charge of £16, to provide £1 for repairs and a pension of £2 10s. for each inmate. (fn. 86) His heirs suspended payments after three years, until Chancery ordered them to be resumed. (fn. 87) In 1886 the rent-charge was redeemed for £683, which was invested in stock.

The Wollaston alms-houses had decayed by 1722 when Edward Pauncefort rebuilt them (fn. 88) as part of a range of twelve single-storeyed alms-houses, in the centre of which stood the schoolmistress's house and the schoolroom of the girls' charity school. (fn. 89) Wollaston's six alms-houses and Pauncefort's six were regarded as separate. By will dated 1723 Pauncefort directed his executors to buy land yielding £60 a year and to convey it to trustees for charitable purposes: £30 of the income was to be paid as £5 pensions to the six poor widows of his own foundation, £10 to the reader of Highgate chapel, and the residue to the girls' charity school. Until the land had been settled £60 income was to be paid from his personal estate. In 1728 Chancery appointed the six governors of Cholmley's school as trustees. Robert Pauncefort, the founder's executor, paid £60 each year until 1749, when Chancery directed him to hand over £1,500, which the trustees invested in stock yielding only £45. Payments to the girls' charity school were accordingly reduced but those to the curate and alms-houses remained undiminished.

Hannah Boise, by will dated 1746, bequeathed to the governors of Cholmley's school £150 stock, the dividends to be distributed among the six women in Wollaston's alms-houses. The income fluctuated and in 1811 the stock was sold, although payment of the pensions continued. In 1827 they totalled £6.

Samuel Forster, by will dated 1752, left £300 to the governors of Cholmley's school to augment the incomes of the inmates of Wollaston's and Pauncefort's alms-houses. The principal was invested in stock, which yielded a gradually higher dividend, and in 1827 consisted of £510 stock yielding £12 a year.

Robert Bootle, by will dated 1757, left £300 to the governors of Cholmley's school for Wollaston's and Pauncefort's alms-houses. It was used in 1758 to buy £320 stock, which yielded £9 12s. in 1824.

John Edwards, by will dated 1768, gave £300 to the governors of Cholmley's school to augment the pensions of the inmates of Wollaston's alms-houses or otherwise benefit that charity. The sum was invested in 1770 in stock which was sold in 1773 to pay for repairs to Highgate chapel. Only in 1822 was it replaced with £398 stock, which yielded £10 7s. 2d. in 1827. Edwards also left £50 for distribution at his death, including £12 for the almswomen, (fn. 90) which may have been the £50 invested in 1771 and of unknown origin in 1827.

Thomas Bromwich, by will dated 1787, was said to have left £100 stock to the almswomen (fn. 91) but it is not clear whether it was ever received.

Tobias Kleinert, by will dated 1784, devised the reversion of property (fn. 92) at Highgate to the governors of Cholmley's school. The devise was declared void but the governors received income from the property from Kleinert's successor, who tried to realize the donor's wishes but was later found to have only a life interest. The income, estimated at £100 a year in 1797, (fn. 93) totalled £922 up to 1816. (fn. 94) After spending £1,011 in a lawsuit over the property, the governors were required to refund £459 received wrongly. Half the property escheated to the Crown, which gave the governors £323 from the proceeds of sale. In 1824 the income from stock bought therewith contributed £7 5s. 7d. to the almspeople's pensions.

Thomas Cooke, by will dated 1810, bequeathed to the governors of Cholmley's school £2,100 stock, to increase the pensions of Wollaston's and Pauncefort's almspeople. In 1827 it yielded £63.

In 1814 William Bloxam, a governor of Cholmley's school, bought £100 stock for the poor of Highgate, of which the dividends were distributed among the inmates of the alms-houses by his daughters for many years. In 1872 his son C. J. Bloxam, then treasurer of the school, transferred the capital to the governors but asked that during their lifetime his sisters might continue the distribution.

In 1881 William's daughter Emily Bloxam gave £100 stock to augment the pensions of the almswomen but continued to distribute the sums herself.

James Robert Bullen, by will dated 1899, bequeathed money to augment the pensions which was invested in £907 stock.

In 1907 the £186 stock of John Schoppens's charity was transferred to the alms-houses. In 1728 Schoppens had bequeathed £150 to his brother-in-law John Edwards (d. 1769) to buy land for the maintenance of his monument in Highgate chapel and, after Edwards's death, for the poor. Edwards bought no land but bequeathed £150 in Schoppens's name to the governors of Cholmley's school, who bought stock and spent the income in 1773 on repairing the chapel.

Miss Anne de Vismes Bloxam (d. 1935) of Westgate-on-Sea (Kent) gave the residue of her estate to the alms-houses in reversion.

Regulations for the Wollaston alms-houses were drawn up by the governors of Cholmley's school c. 1669. No married couple was to be admitted, no inmate might marry, and all must attend services in Highgate chapel. (fn. 95) The inmates seem always to have been women, whose selection took a prominent place in governors' meetings from 1701. (fn. 96) By 1827 they were normally tradesmen's widows, aged 50 or above. Wollaston had intended that the almshouses should also serve Hornsey but in 1869 his charity was exclusively for residents of Highgate. Until at least 1770 the almswomen received the pensions given to the distinct Wollaston and Pauncefort foundations but all were paid £7 a year, mainly from bequests, in 1797. (fn. 97) In 1827 c. £277 was due to each foundation and there was a slight surplus above the pensions. The charities were administered jointly with Cholmley's school, Highgate chapel, and the girls' charity school: all stock was held in common and all income was paid into a common fund. The greatest loser was the girls' charity school (fn. 98) and the main beneficiary was the chapel. On balance the alms-houses benefited from the system of accounting. In 1827 the Charity Commissioners made detailed proposals to restore each charity and recommended that in future each should be accounted for separately. There was an accumulated surplus by 1950, when it was spent on repairs, but there were deficits in 1956 and in 1957, when the income was c. £350. Repairs and modernization were carried out in 1961-2 with the aid of £1,751 from Lady Gould's charity. As the almswomen received old-age pensions and other benefits, the trustees reduced the pensions, ceased contributing towards fuel, and put the savings towards the electricity bill. The cost of maintenance reached £470 in 1972, by which date the income had increased to £1,173.

Other charities.

By deed dated 1636, Thomas Coventry, later Lord Coventry (d. 1661), granted rent-charges to the Merchant Taylors' Company of London subject to the annual payment of £10 for distribution in fuel and clothing equally among the poor of Highgate in both Hornsey and St. Pancras. It seems that, because one of the rent-charges was not paid, no income was received in the mid 17th century, (fn. 99) and before 1691 a churchwarden had failed to account for £71 of the charity's money. In 1824 the charity was distributed among 24 women from each parish, who enjoyed it for so long as they remained in Highgate. The payment was later replaced by £286 stock. A Scheme of 1961, when the income was £10 a year, provided for distribution in kind or money.

John Smith of Highgate, whose wife Anne gave him £100 for an annual sermon and payments to the 20 poorest men and women of Highgate in Hornsey, in addition gave £4 a year for the 20 poorest people of Hornsey. By codicil to his will proved 1655 he left a rent-charge on the later Barton Court estate near Canterbury (Kent) to the governors of Cholmley's school, to spend £1 on a lecture on 10 December, £6 on 20 poor of Highgate in Hornsey, and £4 on 20 poor of Hornsey. (fn. 100) The rent-charge was sold in 1902 and the proceeds were invested in stock yielding £11 5s. in 1972; £1 was paid to the vicar of St. Michael's, Highgate, and £6 5s. was divided among 25 poor of Highgate and £4 among 20 poor of Hornsey.

Elizabeth, wife of Edward (later Sir Edward) Gould, by will dated 1691 left the reversion of three houses, afterwards nos. 17, 19, and 21 High Street, for the rent to be distributed among those poor of Highgate in Hornsey and St. Pancras who were not in receipt of relief. Following Sir Edward's death in 1728 the trust took effect. The three houses were let at £76 in 1824. The income was distributed, generally among people who had been reduced from better circumstances, in sums of £5 or less. The properties yielded £70 rent in 1867-8. No. 19 was sold in 1956 for £2,405 and the proceeds invested in stock. In 1964 there was a total income of £550, £165 being spent on repairs and administrative expenses and £399 distributed.

In 1715 John Beaker gave a rent-charge of 12s. for distribution in bread among the poor of Highgate. The property was identifiable in 1725 but nothing thereafter is known of the charity. (fn. 101)

Dame Sarah Pritchard (d. 1718) devised £800 stock, the income of £32 to be distributed among seven parishes in Middlesex and elsewhere. It included £2 10s. to be divided equally among ten poor maids or widows of Highgate. By 1824 £2 17s. 8d. was paid to the minister of Highgate, who added to it and distributed £3 among the twelve inmates of the Wollaston and Pauncefort alms-houses. By a Scheme of 1871, the income was apportioned to give Highgate £3. In 1972 the income of £2.88 was expended by the vicar of St. Michael's.

In 1856 Elizabeth Annè Jones bequeathed £150 to the vicar of St. Michael's for charitable purposes. The Revd. C. B. Dalton invested the capital and used the income to pay for a girl's attendance at Highgate industrial school. The income amounted to c. £5 in 1867-8 and £4.80 in 1972, when it was expended at the vicar's discretion.

Maria Tame (d. 1857) gave a sum to Highgate dispensary, after the closure of which the charity was transferred in 1915 to a nursing association and in 1967 to the Hornsey Parochial Charities for aiding the sick of Highgate in Hornsey.

William Hale of Kentish Town in St. Pancras and a native of Highgate, by will proved 1870, gave £100 stock to maintain his family vault, any residue to be distributed among the poor of Highgate at Christmas. The Charity Commissioners ordered in 1871 that the whole income be divided among the poor. The income was £2.66 in 1972, when it was dispensed by the vicar.

In 1972 the incomes of the Coventry charity and the Highgate part of John Smith's charity were doubled by the vicar of St. Michael's and given away each December in sums of 25p. The income of Jones's, Hales's, and Pritchard's charities, totalling £10.34, was dispensed in sherry, tobacco, and discretionary payments.


  • 1. Except where otherwise stated, the section below is based on Char. Com. files; 18th Rep. Com. Char. H.C. 62, pp. 383-404 (1828), xx; Gen. Digest of Endowed Chars. H.C. 433 (11), pp. 4-5 (1867-8), lii (1); Endowed Chars. Mdx. H.C. 306, pp. 8-9 (1899), lxx; Thory Chapman, Acct. of Chars. of Par. of Hornsey (1853); H. Warner, Acct. of Chars. of Par. of Hornsey (1869); E. C. Price, 'Acct. of Chars. of Ancient Par. of Hornsey' (TS. of 1922 in Hornsey libr.).
  • 2. Recorded in tables of benefactors, e.g. Highgate Sch. rec. box 1, bdle. 2 (1697, 1771); B.L. Add. MS. 5836, ff. 89-91 (1725); Lysons, Environs, iii. 58-9, 75-6.
  • 3. N. Mdx. Chron. 27 Nov. 1886.
  • 4. Bruce Castle Mus., D/PH/2A/1.
  • 5. N. Mdx. Chron. 27 Nov. 1886.
  • 6. E 36/258 f. 149v.; see above, p. 173.
  • 7. Cal. Pat. 1549-51, 96-7.
  • 8. Req. 2/274/24; see also Guildhall MS. 10312/95.
  • 9. Marchams, Ct. Rolls, 61, 68, 205.
  • 10. Cutting in Hornsey libr.
  • 11. Standard, 12 Nov. 1886.
  • 12. Ibid.; N. Mdx. Chron. 13 Nov. 1886.
  • 13. Ex inf. the Revd. P. E. Brassell.
  • 14. Prob. 11/186 (P.C.C. 93 Evelyn).
  • 15. M.R.O., D.R.O. 20/H/1, p. 79.
  • 16. Ibid. C1/1, ff. 195v., 201v.
  • 17. Bruce Castle Mus., D/PH/2A/1.
  • 18. M.R.O., D.R.O. 20/H1/1, pp. 50, 54.
  • 19. Ibid. p. 50.
  • 20. Bruce Castle Mus., D/PH/2A/1.
  • 21. Prob. 11/293 (P.C.C. 356 Pell).
  • 22. B.L. Add. MS. 5836, f. 89.
  • 23. M.R.O., D.R.O. 20/H/1, p. 27.
  • 24. Ibid. C1/1, ff. 2-68, passim.
  • 25. Ibid. H/1, pp. 35-6, 38.
  • 26. Bruce Castle Mus., D/PH/2A/1.
  • 27. Hornsey par. Roger Draper's Char. (1863) (copy in Hornsey libr.).
  • 28. Bruce Castle Mus., D/PH/2A/2, pp. 175, 184-6, 191-3, 236, 243.
  • 29. N. Mdx. Chron. 21 July 1883.
  • 30. Rep. of trustees of Hornsey Row estate (1883) (copy in Hornsey libr.).
  • 31. N. Mdx. Chron. 25 Aug. 1883, 26 Mar. 1887, 7 Apr. 1888; Standard, 4 Apr. 1888.
  • 32. N. Mdx. Chron. 7 Aug. 1888, 27 Oct. 1894.
  • 33. Hornsey Par. Chars. Ann. Rep. and Abs. of Accts. (1960).
  • 34. Bruce Castle Mus., D/PH/2A/2.
  • 35. Cutting in Hornsey libr.
  • 36. Bruce Castle Mus., D/PH/2A/1.
  • 37. M.R.O., D.R.O. 20/H/1, pp. 39-41.
  • 38. Bruce Castle Mus., D/PH/2A/1.
  • 39. M.R.O., D.R.O. 20/H/1, p. 18; C1/1, ff. 96v., 143v.
  • 40. Ibid. C1/1, f. 143v.
  • 41. Ibid.
  • 42. Hornsey par. Acct. of Apprenticeship Chars.
  • 43. M.R.O., D.R.O. 20/C1/1, f. 99.
  • 44. Hornsey par. Acct. of Apprenticeship Chars.
  • 45. M.R.O., D.R.O. 20/C1/4.
  • 46. Ibid. C1/1, ff. 2-68, passim.
  • 47. Bruce Castle Mus., D/PH/2A/1.
  • 48. Ibid.; 2A/2, p. 92.
  • 49. Cuttings in Hornsey libr.; see also N. Mdx. Chron. 10 June 1876, 28 Apr. 1888.
  • 50. Hornsey Par. Chars. Chairman's Reps. (1904-5, 1912- 21).
  • 51. Hornsey Jnl. 10 Feb. 1933.
  • 52. See pp. 190-1.
  • 53. M.R.O., MR/DE Hornsey.
  • 54. M.R.O., D.R.O. 20/E5/5; E5/13 (plan).
  • 55. Ibid. E5/5.
  • 56. N. Mdx. Chron. 3 Nov. 1886; 50 Vic. c. 15 (Local Act).
  • 57. 3 & 4 Geo. VI, c. 17 (Local Act).
  • 58. Hornsey Par. Chars. Rep. and Abs. of Accts. (1960).
  • 59. 3 & 4 Geo. VI, c. 17 (Local Act).
  • 60. M.R.O., MR/DE Hornsey.
  • 61. M.R.O., D.R.O. 20/H/1.
  • 62. N. Mdx. Chron. 12 June 1886.
  • 63. Ibid. 15 May 1886, 7 Apr. 1888; cutting in Hornsey libr.
  • 64. Cutting in Hornsey libr.
  • 65. Highgate Sch. rec., box 1, bdle. 2.
  • 66. See p. 165.
  • 67. Cutting in Hornsey libr.
  • 68. Bruce Castle Mus., D/PH/2A/1.
  • 69. Cutting in Hornsey libr.
  • 70. Standard, 12 Nov. 1886; N. Mdx. Chron. 13 Nov. 1886.
  • 71. N. Mdx. Chron. 27 Oct. 1894.
  • 72. N. Mdx. Chron. 27 Oct. 1894; The Times, 11 June 1895.
  • 73. Prob. 11/135 (P.C.C. 39 Soame).
  • 74. M.R.O., D.R.O. 20/H/1, pp. 1-4.
  • 75. Prob. 11/175 (P.C.C. 159 Goare).
  • 76. M.R.O., D.R.O. 20/B1/1, p. 1; H/1, pp. 149-50.
  • 77. N. Mdx. Chron. 13 Nov. 1886.
  • 78. See pp. 165, 202.
  • 79. Bruce Castle Mus., D/PH/2A/1.
  • 80. N. Mdx. Chron. 13 Nov. 1886.
  • 81. Hornsey Par. Chars. Chairman's Rep. (1904-5).
  • 82. Hornsey Par. Chars. Chairman's Reps. (1904-5, 1912- 21).
  • 83. Hornsey Jnl. 28 Jan. 1927, 10 Feb. 1933.
  • 84. Hornsey Par. Chars. Chairman's Reps. (1904-5, 1912-21).
  • 85. See p. 190.
  • 86. Prob. 11/276 (P.C.C. 248 Wootton).
  • 87. Marchams, Ct. Rolls, 150-1.
  • 88. Lysons, Environs, iii. 75-6; stone on bldg.
  • 89. See above, p. 191.
  • 90. Lysons, Environs, iii. 76.
  • 91. Ibid.
  • 92. Ibid.
  • 93. Ibid.
  • 94. Brewer, Beauties of Eng. & Wales, x (5), 221.
  • 95. Highgate Sch. rec., governors' min. bk. 1576-1810, f. 71.
  • 96. e.g. ibid. ff. 186v.-7.
  • 97. Lysons, Environs, iii. 76.
  • 98. See p. 191.
  • 99. Cal. Cttee. for Compounding, iii. 2191-2.
  • 100. Prob. 11/256 (P.C.C. 211 Berkeley).
  • 101. B.L. Add. MS. 5836, f. 91.