Bladon: Charities for the poor

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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A P Baggs. W J Blair. Eleanor Chance. Christina Colvin. Janet Cooper. C J Day. Nesta Selwyn. S C Townley, 'Bladon: Charities for the poor', A History of the County of Oxford: Volume 12, Wootton Hundred (South) Including Woodstock, (London, 1990), pp. 36. British History Online [accessed 25 June 2024].

A P Baggs. W J Blair. Eleanor Chance. Christina Colvin. Janet Cooper. C J Day. Nesta Selwyn. S C Townley. "Bladon: Charities for the poor", in A History of the County of Oxford: Volume 12, Wootton Hundred (South) Including Woodstock, (London, 1990) 36. British History Online, accessed June 25, 2024,

Baggs, A P. Blair, W J. Chance, Eleanor. Colvin, Christina. Cooper, Janet. Day, C J. Selwyn, Nesta. Townley, S C. "Bladon: Charities for the poor", A History of the County of Oxford: Volume 12, Wootton Hundred (South) Including Woodstock, (London, 1990). 36. British History Online. Web. 25 June 2024,

Charities for the poor

Robert Cundall, by will proved 1559, charged his estate in Bladon with 6s. 8d. a year and Thomas Godfrey, by will proved 1747, charged his estate with £1 a year for the poor of Bladon. (fn. 70) Both charities had been lost by 1825. In 1606 the inhabitants of Bladon held three houses, built on part of the lord's waste, probably on land once part of the Green, for the use of the poor of the township. (fn. 71) Those or other houses were conveyed by William Fletcher and Mary Baldin to the churchwardens and overseers in trust for the poor in 1765, and were repaired by the overseers in the early 19th century. (fn. 72) They were not reported as a charity in 1825.

During the 17th century and the earlier 18th a number of bequests were made to form a stock for the poor. Richard Stockman, by will proved 1620, left £5; John Symons, by will proved 1638, £5; William Hopkins, by will proved in 1639, £3 6s. 8d.; Henry Hopkins, by will proved 1643, £20; Mary Hopkins (d. 1649) £1 13s. 4d.; Gervase Broadgate, by will proved 1713, £5; Sir Thomas Crisp (d. 1714), £5 and Thomas Loughton, by will proved 1722, £5. (fn. 73) Another Henry Hopkins, at an unknown date, apparently gave £5 or £10. (fn. 74) In 1796 the sum of £40, the surviving capital of those and at least one otherwise unrecorded charity, was added to £27 collected at the opening of a new organ in the church, and invested in £100 3 per cent consols. (fn. 75) The income was used in 1825 for a dole of bread at Easter. (fn. 76) In 1896 the income was £2 1s. 3d. (fn. 77)

Peter Hopkins, by will proved 1643, charged his yardland in Bladon with £3 a year, half for schooling, (fn. 78) half for distribution among the poor or for apprenticing. (fn. 79) After a dispute with Hopkins's heirs over his power to charge land held in tail, the charity was confirmed by a Chancery decree of 1693. (fn. 80) By 1825 only 25s. was assigned to the poor, and that was added to the bread charities described above. (fn. 81)

William Hopkins of Oxford, a member of the Bladon family, by his will proved 1681, left £200 to buy land, the income to benefit 'honest and true' servants in Bladon, or, failing suitable applicants, for apprenticing. (fn. 82) In 1825 the income of £10 a year, from land in Rotherfield Greys, was distributed by the churchwardens. (fn. 83) In the 19th century the money was more often used for apprenticing than for rewarding servants. (fn. 84)

James Nixon, by will proved 1800, left £300, subject to his wife's life interest, as a bread charity. The bequest was found to be irregular, and in 1830, after protracted litigation, only £11 18s. 3d. remained for the charity. (fn. 85) That capital was transferred to the official trustee for charitable funds in 1863, and in 1896 yielded 4s. 9d. a year. (fn. 86)

Sophia Brown, by will proved 1861, gave £100, the income to be distributed to the poor on Good Friday. (fn. 87) In 1896 the charity had an income of £2 9s. 4d. (fn. 88)

In 1877 the vestry decided that the poor of Hensington should not benefit from the Bladon charities. (fn. 89) By a Scheme of 1965 the Brown, Nixon, 'small donations', and Peter Hopkins non-educational charities were amalgamated into one charity for the benefit of poor people resident in the area of the ancient parish of Bladon; the William Hopkins charity was to continue to be distributed to servants, in accordance with the testator's will. (fn. 90) In 1969 the Peter Hopkins rent charge was redeemed for the sum of £75. In 1970, under a new Scheme, the William Hopkins charity for servants was amalgamated with the other parish charities to form the Bladon parochial charities for relief in need. In 1979 £39.83 was distributed to the poor. (fn. 91)


  • 70. O.R.O., MSS. Wills Oxon. 183, f. 208v.; 130/3/8.
  • 71. P.R.O., LR 2/224, f. 40; Bodl. map (MS)C 17:49 (240).
  • 72. O.R.O., Bladon P.C. XXV/i/1; ibid. II/i/1.
  • 73. Ibid. MSS. Wills Oxon. 200, f. 67; ibid. 32/2/29; 59/3/43; 139/5/1; P.R.O., PROB 11/180, f. 112v.; PROB 11/541, f. 205v.; Oxf. Univ. Arch., Chancellor's Ct. Wills BE-BV, Hyp/B/21; G.E.C. Baronetage, iv. 12.
  • 74. O.R.O., MS. Oxf. Archd. Oxon. b 40, f. 64.
  • 75. Ibid. MS. d.d. Par. Bladon b 8, f. 76.
  • 76. 12th Rep. Com. Char. 319.
  • 77. O.R.O., Bladon P.C. XI/i/3.
  • 78. Above, Educ.
  • 79. O.R.O., Bladon P.C. VI/i/2.
  • 80. Ibid. VI/i/5, 9.
  • 81. 12th Rep. Com. Char. 317.
  • 82. O.R.O., MS. d.d. Par. Oxf. St. Mary the Virgin c 25, no. 4.
  • 83. 12th Rep. Com. Char. 317.
  • 84. O.R.O., Bladon P.C. III/i/1-19; III/v/1-7.
  • 85. 12th Rep. Com. Char. 319; O.R.O., MS. d.d. Par. Bladon c 5, p. 66; ibid. Bladon P.C. IX/i/1-4.
  • 86. O.R.O., Bladon P.C. XI/i/3.
  • 87. Ibid. Misc. Ri. III/1.
  • 88. Ibid. Bladon P.C. XI/i/3.
  • 89. Ibid. MS. d.d. Par. Bladon c 5, p. 199.
  • 90. O.R.C.C. Kimber files.
  • 91. Ibid.; Kimber, MS. Rep. on review of Oxon. par.chars