Cogges: Charities

Pages 74-75

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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Henry White gave £100 to the poor of Cogges in 1667; (fn. 38) by will proved in 1677 he left a further unendowed £5 to the poor of the parish. (fn. 39) The £100 was used to buy a close called Boy Croft in Hailey, copyhold of Witney manor, and the rent was used for apprenticing poor children. From 1768 the land, 6 a. of arable, produced £4 5s. and from 1823 £10 10s. (fn. 40) By 1869 the rent had been reduced to £9 15s. which was used for education; (fn. 41) in 1875 it supported the Sunday school and choir. Under a Scheme of 1891 the income was to be spent on subscriptions to infirmaries, provident clubs, or societies for coal or clothing, and up to £3 a year could be used to supply bedding, linen, tools, or fuel for the poor. The rent from Boy Croft fell again to £8 in 1914, when £4 10s. was given to clubs; tithes and taxes amounted to £2 1s. 5d. and quitrent to 2s. 6d. and there was a balance of £11 13s. The balance fell to c. £5 in 1923, when only £2 16s. of the £8 10s. rent was distributed. In 1934 the trustees paid £8 10s. 8d. to the marquis of Blandford in compensation for manorial incidents on Boy Croft. (fn. 42)

William Blake, by will proved 1695, (fn. 43) left for various charitable purposes a charge on the future owners of his house and manor of Cogges, and a rent charge on his estate at Alvescot, together worth c. £66 a year, of which £20 was to buy clothes and books for the schoolchildren and apprentices, 10s. was to be distributed in bread to poor people attending a sermon on New Year's Day, and £7 16s. in bread every Sunday at church. Blake's heirs partly defaulted on the charges and in 1726, after Viscount Harcourt bought the manor, arrears of £250 were received from them by the trustees. Most of the money was laid out in South Sea annuities, which produced an extra £3 10s. a year for better clothing for the children and £4 a year for clothing three old men or women; any surplus was to be used to teach up to 5 girls to write and do accounts. (fn. 44) Between 1808 and 1819 the stock was forgotten and the trustees received no dividends; it was rediscovered by Lord Harcourt's agent in 1818, and invested in £261 13s. new annuities. Arrears of dividends worth over £123 were reclaimed and invested to yield an extra £13 a year, part of which was used to increase the clothing grants. (fn. 45) In 1871 Blake's charity owned two schoolhouses and gardens, rent-charges worth £67 6s. a year, and £845 stock yielding £21 2s. 8d. The gross income was £88, of which £45 15s. was used for education, £2 2s. 8d. for clothing, and £8 6s. for bread. (fn. 46) The income had risen to £161 11s. 2d. by 1890 and to £248 by 1898. (fn. 47) In 1906 the Charity Commissioners divided Blake's charity into an educational and a non-educational charity; (fn. 48) in 1923 the former received £64 16s. 9d. and the latter £38 16s. 3d. (fn. 49)

William Wright of Over Norton, by will proved 1786, (fn. 50) bequeathed to the poor of Cogges, Over Norton, and Hailey £100 each, the interest to be used in schooling or the distribution of bread. In 1789 annuities at 3 per cent were bought producing £3 18s. a year for each parish, which was distributed in bread every Christmas Eve; c. 70 families benefited in Cogges. (fn. 51) A Scheme of 1862 ordered that the share of Cogges be used for educational purposes; (fn. 52) in 1875 it was contributing to the support of the Sunday school and choir. Distributions of bread, fuel, and sickness benefit continued, however, and after 1897 were once again the principal objects. In 1914 the income was £4 6s. 4d., of which £3 12s. was distributed to the sick. Only £1 7s. 6d. was spent in 1922. (fn. 53)

Simon Holford, by will dated 1806, (fn. 54) left £100, the income to be distributed yearly at Candlemas in bread. (fn. 55) By 1869 the income had fallen to £3 3s. a year, (fn. 56) and was only £2 17s. 8d. in 1898. From 1914 to 1923 bread worth £2 12s 4d. was distributed each year. (fn. 57)

In 1852 Sarah Scott-Pruce left £90 stock producing £2 14s. a year to be distributed in bread. The income had fallen to £2 5s. by 1914, but bread was still being distributed in 1923. (fn. 58)

Henrietta Nourse gave £200 stock in memory of her husband A. H. Nourse, a former vicar of Cogges, at his death in 1868. The interest was to be divided between 12 poor families living in the parish who were regular churchgoers. (fn. 59) The first distribution of £6 was made in 1872. (fn. 60) In 1914 the stock produced £5, and £6 was given away in 1923. (fn. 61)

Charles Bailey, by will dated 1868, (fn. 62) left £150 which in 1886, after the death of his widow Mary, (fn. 63) was invested in stock yielding £4 8s. 6d., of which £2 8s. 6d. was given in bread; £1 13s. 8d. out of the income of £3 13s. 8d. was used for bread from 1914 to 1923. (fn. 64)

A Scheme was made in 1934 for the charities called Blake's non-educational, Henry White's, William Wright's, Simon Holford's, Henrietta Nourse's, Charles Bailey's, and Sarah ScottPruce's. Blake's non-educational charity was divided into an ecclesiastical charity with £100, the first charges on which were to be £1 10s. for the upkeep of Witney market clock, 10s. for bread for poor people attending the Blake sermon, and £4 in kind for three old people living in Cogges; the remaining income was to be distributed with the other non-ecclesiastical charities. Bailey's charity was similarly divided into a sermon charity owning £60 stock, and a charity for the poor with £87 12s. 11d. Nourse's charity was deemed to be ecclesiastical, although it was used to supply clothes, linen, bedding, fuel, tools, and medical or other aid for poor people living in the parish who were members of the Church of England. The remaining charities, comprising White's, with a rent-charge of £6 a year, Wright's, with £144 5s. 3d. stock, Holford's, with £105 stock, and Scott-Pruce's, with £90 stock, were to be administered as nonecclesiastical charities, making payments for the poor of the ancient parish of Cogges for such things as subscriptions to hospitals, nursing provision, patients' travelling expenses, the fitting out of persons under the age of 21 for a trade, or the supply of clothes, bedding, fuel, tools, or food. (fn. 65) All those charities were still being implemented in 1985. (fn. 66)

By will proved in 1927 Thomas Beal of Epworth (Lincs.) left the rents and profits of two cottages and a garden at Epworth to be divided in equal shares between the poor of Epworth and Cogges every November. The first distribution of accumulated funds, £12 13s. 9d., was made to Cogges in 1936. (fn. 67) It was still being given in 1984. (fn. 68)

The poor of Newland received a share of Elijah Waring's charity, comprising £1,000 divided between four parishes and bequeathed in 1813 for bread on New Year's Day. (fn. 69) There is no mention of the charity after 1824.


  • 38. Board in Cogges church; Char. Don. 1787-8,, H.C. 511, pp. 992-3 (1816), xviB, and 10th Rep. Char. Com.. 397, where the gift is erroneously called a legacy; cf. O.R.O., MS. d.d. Par. Cogges c 10, item d.
  • 39. O.R.O., MS. Wills Oxon. 72/2/15.
  • 40. 10th Rep. Char. Com.. 397.
  • 41. Char. Digest,, H.C. 292-II, pp. 20-21 (1871), lv.
  • 42. O.R.O., MS. d.d. Par. Cogges c 10, items c, d, j, k.
  • 43. P.R.O., PROB 11/429, ff. 193v.-200.
  • 44. Bodl. MSS. d.d. Harcourt c 107/20-6, c 108/3-6; 10th Rep. Char. Com.. 393-4, where the date is wrongly given as 1720.
  • 45. 10th Rep. Char. Com.. 394-6.
  • 46. Char. Digest,, pp. 20-1.
  • 47. O.R.O., MS. d.d. Par. Cogges c 10, items h, k.
  • 48. Char. Com. files 309286.
  • 49. O.R.O., MS. d.d. Par. Cogges c 10, item j.
  • 50. Ibid. MS. Wills Oxon. 75/1/24.
  • 51. 10th Rep. Char. Com.. 397.
  • 52. O.R.O., MS. d.d. Par. Cogges c 10, item f.
  • 53. Ibid. items i, k; above, Educ.
  • 54. Char. Com. Scheme 20 Mar. 1934: copy in Witney Town Hall archives.
  • 55. 10th Rep. Char. Com.. 398.
  • 56. Char. Digest,, pp. 20-1.
  • 57. O.R.O., MS. d.d. Par. Cogges c 10, items h, k.
  • 58. Ibid. items e, k, j.
  • 59. Board in Cogges church.
  • 60. O.R.O., MS. d.d. Par. Cogges e 12, f. 8.
  • 61. Ibid. c 10, items k, j.
  • 62. Char. Com. Scheme 1934: copy in Witney Town Hall archives.
  • 63. O.R.O., TS. of par. reg.
  • 64. Ibid. MS. d.d. Par. Cogges c 10, items i, j, k.
  • 65. Char. Com. Scheme 1934: copy in Witney Town Hall archives.
  • 66. Corresp. in Witney Town Hall archives.
  • 67. O.R.O., MS. d.d. Par. Cogges c 10, item g.
  • 68. Char. Com. file 238578.
  • 69. 10th Rep. Char. Com.. 381.