Hanborough: Charities for the poor

Pages 178-179

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

John Heathen, by will proved 1566, left 1s. a year to the poor, charged on his land in Hanborough; the charity had been lost by 1685. (fn. 14) The rector Ralph Merryman, by will proved 1578, left £6 as a loan charity for poor husbandmen. The charity was recorded as £8 in 1605 and 1685, but had been lost by 1824. (fn. 15) Richard Eyans of Charlbury, by will proved 1615, left £15, the interest to be distributed to the poor of Hanborough, and Brooke Whitney, by will proved 1624, added £2 to the poor's stock. (fn. 16) The money had been lost by 1824, possibly in 1702 when £5 was borrowed to repair the church spire. (fn. 17)

Robert Valence, by will dated 1632, left £200, the income to be given to the poor. Because of a dispute over the validity of the will the money was not paid until 1662, (fn. 18) when it was used to buy two closes in Bletchingdon which yielded c. £12 in 1787. Before 1823, probably in 1792-3 when the churchwardens went to Bletchingdon to look over the poor's land, the closes were exchanged for a single 10 a. close in Weston-on-the-Green, let for £19 a year. (fn. 19) In the 17th and 18th centuries the income was spent annually on apprenticing, or on doles of bread, meat, clothes, or, occasionally, money, but in the early 19th century it was allowed to accumulate, and in 1822 coal was bought for 164 families with three years' rent. (fn. 20) The rent of the land was £17 in 1871. (fn. 21) Susannah Hart, by will proved 1666, left a rent charge of £1 a year to buy clothes for the poor at Michaelmas. (fn. 22) In the 18th century and the early 19th the charity was distributed in bread and money. In 1823 it was four years in arrears, but was recovered soon afterwards. (fn. 23) The rent charge was redeemed in 1973 for £12 which was invested with other charity money. (fn. 24)

Sophia Brown, by will proved 1861, left £200, the income to be distributed in bread on Good Friday. The money was invested and in 1871 yielded only £6 a year. (fn. 25)

At inclosure in 1773 trustees for the poor were allotted 10 a. for common rights. (fn. 26) In 1871 the land was let for £5 a year, and in 1967 for £40. (fn. 27) Under a Scheme of 1906 the surviving trustees were replaced by the parish council. (fn. 28)

In 1925 Valence's, Hart's, and Brown's charities, and the poor's land, which were administered as one, had an income of £38 17s. 6d., and at Christmas 156 parishioners each received 2s. 6d. and two half-loaves. By 1941 the income had fallen to c. £20, but rose slowly to c. £28 in 1966 when 26 people received £1 each. In 1967 rents from the charity lands were substantially raised to bring in £94 a year. A Scheme of 1973 amalgamated the four charities into the Hanborough Welfare Trust to provide relief in need. The income from rents rose steadily, and in 1985 72 households each received £10 at Christmas. (fn. 29)


  • 14. O.R.O., MS. Wills Oxon. 184, f. 238; ibid. MS. Oxf. Archd. Oxon. b 40, f. 150.
  • 15. O.R.O., MS. Wills Oxon. 185, f. 517v.; ibid. MS. Oxf. Archd. Oxon. b 40, f. 150; St. John's Coll. Mun. XXXVII. 5, p. 1; 10th Rep. Com. Char. 405.
  • 16. O.R.O., MS. Wills Oxon. 20/2/4; P.R.O., PROB 11/144, f. 279v.
  • 17. St. John's Coll. Mun., XXXVII. 5, p. 233.
  • 18. Ibid. p. 19; O.R.O., MS. d.d. Par. Hanborough c 7.
  • 19. Blenheim Mun., misc. family pps. box 10: copy of will; O.R.O., MS. d.d. Par. Hanborough b 7, s.a. 1793; 10th Rep. Com. Char. 405; Char. Don. 1787-8, H.C. 511, pp. 994-5 (1816), xvi B; Char. Com. files, Scheme of 1973.
  • 20. St. John's Coll. Mun. XXXVII. 5, pp. 21, 28, 35, 37, 131; 10th Rep. Com. Char. 405.
  • 21. Char. Digest, H.C. 292-II, pp. 28-9 (1871), lv.
  • 22. O.R.O., MSS. Wills Oxon. 33/1/30.
  • 23. 10th Rep. Com. Char. 405; Char. Digest, pp. 28-9.
  • 24. O.R.C.C., Kimber files.
  • 25. O.R.O., Misc. R. III/1; Char. Digest, pp. 28-9.
  • 26. O.R.O., incl. award.
  • 27. Char. Digest, pp. 28-9; O.R.C.C., Kimber files.
  • 28. St. John's Coll. Mun. XXXVII. 4.
  • 29. Char. Com. files; inf. from Mr. J. M. B. Edwards, chairman of Hanborough Welfare Trust; O.R.C.C., Kimber files.