Chiswick: Charities for the poor

A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 7, Acton, Chiswick, Ealing and Brentford, West Twyford, Willesden. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1982.

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Diane K Bolton. Patricia E C Croot. M A Hicks, 'Chiswick: Charities for the poor', A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 7, Acton, Chiswick, Ealing and Brentford, West Twyford, Willesden, (London, 1982), pp. 99-100. British History Online [accessed 15 June 2024].

Diane K Bolton. Patricia E C Croot. M A Hicks. "Chiswick: Charities for the poor", in A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 7, Acton, Chiswick, Ealing and Brentford, West Twyford, Willesden, (London, 1982) 99-100. British History Online, accessed June 15, 2024,

Bolton, Diane K. Croot, Patricia E C. Hicks, M A. "Chiswick: Charities for the poor", A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 7, Acton, Chiswick, Ealing and Brentford, West Twyford, Willesden, (London, 1982). 99-100. British History Online. Web. 15 June 2024,

In this section


Apart from the almshouses in Sutton Lane, benefactions of unknown origin included 2 a. known as the poor's land in Chiswick field. Producing £3 a year before inclosure, they were then replaced by a plot at the corner of Duke Road and Hogarth Lane (fn. 2) which was let for market gardens at £25 a year by 1893. A rentcharge left by Thomas Barker by will proved 1643 was probably never paid. Sums left for coal by 1622 and 1659 may have been only gifts; in 1659 money, which had been misspent on the church, was to be used as the donors had wished, (fn. 3) but it was not recorded again. In 1826 rent from the poor's land had for long been wrongly included in the overseers' general accounts. The five oldest distributive charities, apart from Quaife's, were disbursed in money before forming a bread and coal fund from c. 1818. Nearly all the distributive charities from 1893 constituted a branch of the parochial charities devoted to the almshouses, none of which had originally been endowed.


A church house and other rooms in the churchyard served as lodgings for poor people, chosen by the vestry, in 1629. (fn. 4) Probably nothing was done after Chaloner Chute, by will proved 1661, desired the building and endowment of a hospital as he had elsewhere directed, (fn. 5) but almshouses in Sutton Lane were built before 1676 by William Ashburnham. Lord Fauconberg and his widow, by wills proved 1700 and 1713, left money for mourning gowns to women in the hospital at Little Sutton, presumably the almshouses which were maintained by Ashburnham's successors as lessees of Sutton Court manor and which accordingly came to be known as the duke of Devonshire's almshouses. (fn. 6) Six tenements of c. 1700, single-storeyed and with attics, survived in Sutton Lane until 1957, (fn. 7) when they made way for flats called Sutton Close. (fn. 8) The inmates were moved to Essex Place, Turnham Green, before 1822, when the almshouses there were enlarged; those almshouses were demolished in 1885. (fn. 9)

At Strand-on-the-Green there was a parish house in 1655 and almshouses in 1658. (fn. 10) The thatched buildings thereafter were often repaired by the vestry, (fn. 11) until some parishioners paid for four new almshouses between 1721 and 1724. (fn. 12) Repaired in 1816, apparently for six inmates, (fn. 13) they were extended and converted into three under a Scheme of 1934 with the aid of £801 from the estate of Hopkin Morris, in whose memory they were renamed the Hopkin Morris homes of rest. After the trustees of Chiswick parochial charities had proposed to sell them for demolition in 1971, the almshouses, a singlestoreyed brick range backing onto Grove Row, were bought in 1973 and meticulously restored in 1974 by Hounslow L.B. (fn. 14)

Six almshouses, under the Scheme of 1934, were built at the corner of Edensor Road and Alexandra Avenue. Rebuilding was planned in 1971 and later carried out by the trustees of Chiswick parochial charities, with money from the sale of the Hopkin Morris homes. Eighteen flats, each for two people, were opened, as Whittington Court, in 1976. (fn. 15)

Distributive charities.

Henry Fryer, by will dated 1631, left part of a rentcharge to the poor of Chiswick, who were later awarded £25 a year. In 1698 the income met a wide range of expenses, including an apprenticeship and medical care. (fn. 16) The churchwardens spent it on a customary payment to the parish clerk and on gifts of from 2s. 6d. to £1 1s. to 88 recipients in 1777-8 and on almost twice as many gifts, some of only 1s. or in kind, in 1778-9. Although providing bread and coal in 1826, it was again distributed in money by 1868.

Mary Quaife, by will dated 1730, left £400 stock for the poor, subject to her sister's life interest. The stock was soon afterwards sold for £430 1s., which the vicar transferred to the parish officers in order that they could discharge a debt to Thomas Mawson over the new workhouse. In 1826, as advised by the Charity Commissioners, the vestry had agreed to buy stock worth £430 1s. out of the poor rates and return it to the vicar. In 1867-8 the income of £14 18s. 5d. was distributed in bread.

Elizabeth Lutwyche, by will proved 1776, left £200 for gifts to the poor at Christmas. The income of £7 6s. 6d. on stock worth £244 5s. 6d. was spent on fuel in 1867-8.

Anna Maria Reynolds, by will dated 1803, left £500 for the poor. The income of £25 2s. 6d. on stock worth £837 10s. provided fuel in 1867-8.

Elizabeth Blackshaw, by will proved 1811, left £100 stock for gifts to the poor at Christmas. The income of £3 provided fuel in 1867-8.

Compensation money from Thomas Whipham for permission to inclose a wastehold at Strandon-the-Green in 1815 was spent on stock worth £59 0s. 2d. The income of £2 7s. 2d. provided fuel in 1867-8.

Edward Waistell, by will dated 1812, left £200 for gifts to poor householders not receiving parish relief. Stock worth £244 3s. 8d. in 1826 produced £9 15s. 4d., which furnished gifts of from 2s. to £1, and £7 6s. 6d. in 1867-8, when it was still distributed in money.

Charles Whittingham, by will proved 1840, left £1,000 for coal. In 1867-8 £33 6s. 8d. was spent, from stock worth £1,111 2s. 3d.

Sarah Sermon of Isleworth, (fn. 17) by will proved 1849, left £666 13s. 4d., producing £20 which was distributed in money in 1867-8.

Sarah Wilhelmina Brande, by will proved 1856, left £250 for the poor and £500 to maintain her family's vault, any surplus to be spent on lying-in women in accordance with the objects of a maternity society already established. Stock worth £450 in 1867-8 produced £13 10s., which was distributed in money.

David Goodsman, by will proved 1870, left a sum represented by £531 4s. 2d. stock in 1899, when distributions were made in kind.

Chiswick parochial charities.

A Scheme of 1893 provided for 12 trustees to administer the parochial charities, which were divided into four branches: the educational charities, the almshouse charities, including the poor's land and all the distributive charities except Sermon's and Brande's, the eleemosynary charity of Mrs. Sermon, and the lying-in charity of Mrs. Brande. Income from the almshouse charities was to be spent on the buildings and on paying 5s.-8s. a week to almspeople who had lived in Chiswick for at least five years, their number to be decided by the trustees. Investments were later increased after sales of the poor's land in 1898 for £1,200 and the site in Essex Place in 1905 for £175, and the redemption of Fryer's rentcharge for £1,000. In 1934 the educational branch was separated from the others and from 1960 almspeople might be required to make contributions of up to 5s. a week. The almshouse branch had an investment income of £503 in 1973-4, when the eleemosynary charity had £22, mostly distributed at Christmas, and the lying-in charity £25, largely paid in a grant to the Hounslow branch of Wel-Care.


  • 1. Section based on Char. Com. files; 14th Rep. Com. Char. H.C. 382, pp. 177-80 (1826), xii; Digest of Endowed Chars. H.C. 433, Mdx. pp. 6-7 (1867-8), lii (1); Endowed Chars. Mdx. H.C. 306, pp. 4-5 (1899), lxx; 'Chiswick Benefactions 1776' (MS. acct. bk. 1776-1886) in Chiswick libr.
  • 2. M.R.O., TA/CHI.
  • 3. Chwdns. acct. bks. (1622-35, 1636-62).
  • 4. Chwdns. acct. bk. (1622-35).
  • 5. Draper, Chiswick, 70; P.R.O., PROB 11/303 (P.C.C. 19 May).
  • 6. Draper, Chiswick, 79; inf. from Mrs. K. Judges.
  • 7. Hist. Mon. Com. Mdx. 12; Draper, Chiswick, preface.
  • 8. Brentford and Chiswick As It Was, illus. 58.
  • 9. Inf. from Mrs. K. Judges.
  • 10. Chwdns. acct. bk. (1636-62); inf. from Mrs. K. Judges.
  • 11. e.g. chwdns. acct. bk. (1698-1751).
  • 12. Draper, Chiswick, 139.
  • 13. Inf. from Mrs. K. Judges; Faulkner, Brentford, Ealing and Chiswick, 344.
  • 14. Brentford and Chiswick As It Was, illus. 37; Brentford and Chiswick Times, 30 Sept. 1976; plaque on bldg.
  • 15. Brentford and Chiswick Times, 30 Sept. 1976.
  • 16. Acct. bk. for Fryer's Char. (1698-1776), in Chiswick libr. Some later expenses are in 'Chiswick Benefactions 1776'.
  • 17. V.C.H. Mdx. iii. 138.