Yarnton: Charities

Page 489

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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Sir Thomas Spencer by will dated 1684 left a rent charge of £7 a year on Windmill field for repairs to the family chapel, with the residue given to the poor on St. Thomas's day. Usually the whole amount was given to the poor, and from c. 1815 it was used to support the school and clothe schoolchildren. (fn. 72) In 1914, however, the vicar and churchwardens claimed that the Spencer chapel had been allowed to fall into disrepair because the original terms of the endowment had not been complied with. Despite local protests the Charity Commissioners ruled that the chapel's repair should be the first charge on the bequest. (fn. 73)

Alderman William Fletcher, by deed dated 1823, gave £30 a year to the parish, of which £10 was to be distributed to the poor in meat and bread on Christmas Day and on the anniversary of his death, £4 in bread and cakes to poor adults, and £1 in cakes to their children. The parish clerk received £8 a year, and the remaining £7 was to be used for educational purposes. Fletcher further provided that if the village school should be discontinued the part of his bequest relating to it should be given instead to the poor. In 1835 Vaughan Thomas and the churchwardens drew up a schedule for the better management of the distributions. The new scheme typically reflected Thomas's ability to combine energetic and efficient administration with the imposition of his own values: only Yarnton poor were to be eligible for the distributions, which must be received at the church door; careful account was to be kept of the gifts and recipients, and those not regular churchgoers or whose conduct during the past year had been 'wicked' should be dropped from the list. (fn. 74) By Charity Commission Schemes of 1907 and 1913, £100 of the Fletcher charity was placed in a separate account for the school and for the repair of the clerk's house. In 1971 the charity provided £15 a year distributed amongst c. 20 people in grants of up to £ 2; the parish clerk was living in the old schoolhouse and receiving £8 a year from the charity. (fn. 75)

West's charity was established by will dated c. 1840, giving £210 stock to assist the lying-in of poor and deserving parishioners. £5 5s. a year was spent on providing boxes of clothes, each labelled with a description of the type of woman who was not to benefit. (fn. 76) The income in 1979 was distributed to the poor. (fn. 77)

By a declaration of trust dated 1980 the Oldfield charity was created to promote the welfare of the aged and the relief of poverty in the parish of Yarnton. The income was c. £500. (fn. 78)


  • 72. 12th Rep. Com. Char. 357; Stapleton, Three Oxon. Pars. 270; O.R.O., MS. Oxf. Dioc. d 577, f. 175v.; Char. Digest, H.C. 292-11, pp. 64-5 (1871), lv.
  • 73. O.R.O., MS. d.d. Par. Yarnton b 8, ff. 140v.-141.
  • 74. Stapleton, Three Oxon. Pars. 271-2.
  • 75. O.R.C.C., Kimber files.
  • 76. Ibid. The will has not been traced. One of the boxes is preserved in the Museum of Oxford.
  • 77. O.R.C.C., Kimber files: MS. rep. on Review of Oxon. Parish Chars. 1979
  • 78. Char. Com. files.