South Leigh: Charities for the poor

Page 253

A History of the County of Oxford: Volume 12, Wootton Hundred (South) Including Woodstock. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1990.

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Charities for the poor

Sir Thomas Gore by will proved 1675 and Thomas Guyes by will proved 1692 each gave £10 to be invested for the poor. (fn. 4) Lawrence Betts by will proved 1680 gave £5 to provide Easter doles, (fn. 5) and John Hart (probably d. 1650) gave £50 to provide coats for the poor at Christmas. (fn. 6)

Those sums, together with £2 presumably donated in his lifetime by John Spier (d. 1720), (fn. 7) were used c. 1692 to buy copyhold land at Hailey, in Witney, exchanged at inclosure in 1824 for c. 11 a. The expense of fencing consumed the rent of £8 p.a. for several years, but by Christmas 1819 twelve coats were given to twelve men and money was distributed at Easter. (fn. 8) The rent rose to £33 a year by 1871 and was spent on clothing. (fn. 9)

Richard Talbot by will proved 1724 gave £10, the interest to be distributed in bread the last Sunday in January. (fn. 10) The charity was invested in 1765 in c. 3/4 a. in Eynsham, (fn. 11) which yielded between 17s. and £1 7s. rent in the 19th century. (fn. 12) The profits of timber sales were distributed in coal or added to the clothing account, but in 1809 more than half of £ 17 raised from timber was lost through the insolvency of a bank. (fn. 13)

A Scheme of 1916 amalgamated the charities of 'Sir Thomas Gore and others' with that of Richard Talbot. A Scheme of 1977 provided that the income should be used for relief in need; the Witney land was then yielding c. £83, and the Talbot charity, still invested in Eynsham land in 1943, was by then represented by c. £78 of bonds. (fn. 14)


  • 4. P.R.O., PROB 11/349, ff. 321v.-326v.; PROB 11/409, ff. 134v.-135v.
  • 5. O.R.O., MS. Wills Oxon. 7/2/18.
  • 6. 10th Rep. Com. Char. 412; for John Hart (d. 1650) see O.R.O., par. reg. transcript.
  • 7. O.R.O., MS. Wills Oxon. 151/1/4 does not mention the gift.
  • 8. 10th Rep. Com. Char. 412.
  • 9. Char. Digest, H.C. 292-11, pp. 36-7 (1871), 1v.
  • 10. O.R.O., MS. Wills Oxon. 67/4/25.
  • 11. Ibid. MS. d.d. Par. S. Leigh b 8 (1).
  • 12. 10th Rep. Com. Char. 412; Char. Digest, pp. 36-7.
  • 13. 10th Rep. Com. Char. 412.
  • 14. O.R.C.C., Kimber files; B.N.C. Mun. 1287 (letter 22 Dec. 1943).