Kidlington: Charities for the poor

Pages 212-213

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

Edmund Gledhill, by will dated 1607, left 20s. to be lent each year to four poor men. The money was lost in 1760 when it was used to build a gallery in the church. (fn. 84) Thomas Kent, by will proved 1633, left 1s. a year, charged on land in Kidlington, to be distributed to six poor widows on New Year's day. The charity seems to have been lost by 1825 when it was not recorded, although it was listed among the parish charities c. 1830. (fn. 85)

John Saunders, by will proved 1642, left 10s. a year for bread for the poor on Good Friday, a gift confirmed by his grandson John Saunders in 1684. (fn. 86) John May (d. 1673) and Martin May (d. 1707) each gave 10s. a year, charged on land in Kidlington, for bread for the poor on All Saints' day. (fn. 87) John Tustian, by will proved 1677, gave 10s. charged on Postern close in Kidlington for bread for the poor on the day of his endowed sermon. (fn. 88) John Morris, by will proved 1702, gave 5s. a year, charged on a house and orchard in Kidlington, for bread for the poor on New Year's day. (fn. 89) Mary Conant (d. 1717) by will dated 1713 left a rent charge of £3 for bread for the poor on the days of the three sermons she had endowed. (fn. 90) All five charities were still being distributed in 1869. (fn. 91) By a Charity Commission Scheme of 1978 the bread charities of Conant, May, Saunders, and Tustian were merged to form the Kidlington Charity for relief in need which had an income of £5.40 a year in 1979. (fn. 92)

Isaac Shard of Kennington (Surr.) by a codi- cil to his will dated 1739 instructed his heirs to pay £ 1 a year for bread for poor householders on 11 May and 4 November. The money was paid until the death of his grandson William Shard's widow in 1819 when the next heir refused to continue the benefaction. (fn. 93) Joseph Smith of Bayley manor, by will proved 1756, instructed his son to pay £2 a year for bread for the poor of Kidlington, but his wishes were not carried out. (fn. 94)

In 1671 Sir William Morton of Hampden manor built Lady Anne Morton's almshouse, endowed by his will dated 1672, in memory of his wife and five of their children, for three poor men and three poor women from Kidlington parish or, failing suitable candidates, from St. Aldate's parish, Oxford. The endowment of 20 marks a year, charged on land in Kidlington, was to provide £2 a year for each almsperson and £1 6s. 8d. for repairs to the building or for clothing for the inmates. The almspeople were to be chosen by Morton's heirs or, in default of such heirs, by the diocesan bishop. St. Aldate's has never benefited from the charity. (fn. 95) The right to appoint the almspeople passed not to Mor- ton's heirs but to his successors in Hampden manor, although the churchwardens seem to have exercised it for much of the 18th century; the overseers administered the charity's in- come. (fn. 96) In the early 1820s J. P. W. Sydenham of Hampden manor successfully claimed the right to appoint the almspeople, and from 1825 to 1845 he seems also to have administered the endowment. (fn. 97) Three of the almshouses date from 1671-2, and a fourth was added in the same style in 1953-4; they were converted into small flats in 1984.


  • 84. P.R.O., PROB 11/109 (P.C.C. 32 Huddlestone); O.R.O., MS. d.d. Par. Kidlington b 14, s.a. 1760, where the capital was stated to be £20.
  • 85. O.R.O., MS. Wills Oxon. 39/3/13; 12th Rep. Com. Char. 340-2; Stapleton, Three Oxon. Pars. 135-6.
  • 86. O.R.O., MSS. Wills Oxon. 62/2/18; 148/4/23.
  • 87. 12th Rep. Com. Char. 342; Kidlington Par. Reg. pp. 251, 262.
  • 88. Exeter Coll. Mun., M. III. 7.
  • 89. O.R.O., MS. Wills Oxon. 141/3/4.
  • 90. Three Oxon. Pars. 140.
  • 91. Char. Digest H.C. 292-II, pp. 36-7, (1871), lv.
  • 92. O.R.C.C., Kimber rep.; char. com. files.
  • 93. 12th Rep. Com. Char. 342; Burke, Land. Gent. (1937); Gent. Mag. Ixxxix (1), 586.
  • 94. P.R.O., PROB 11/826; for the difficulties encountered by Queen's Coll. in securing payment of Smith's legacy to the college, see J. R. Magrath, Queen's Coll. ii. 110.
  • 95. 12th Rep. Com. Char. 340; Three Oxon. Pars. 137.
  • 96. O.R.O., K II/a/1, 2: almshouse accts. at end of bk.
  • 97. 12th Rep. Com. Char. 340; O.R.O., MS. d.d. Par. Kidlington b 14, s.a. 1825-45.