Combe: 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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'Combe: Charities for the poor', in A History of the County of Oxford: Volume 12, Wootton Hundred (South) Including Woodstock, (London, 1990) pp. 97-98. British History Online [accessed 20 April 2024]

Charities for the poor

A fund known as Poor's Stock, derived mainly from bequests made in the 17th century, comprised £10 each from Mr. Irons of Charlbury (date unknown), Richard Ward (by will proved 1636), and an unknown donor; £5 each from William Annison (by will proved 1672), John Hurst the younger (by will proved 1672), and Simon Hawkins (by will proved 1681); £4 from George Bolton (by will proved 1692); and £2 from John Hurst the elder (by will proved 1682). (fn. 15) The stock was augmented by £5 from Gervase Bradgate, a former chaplain, by will proved 1713, and by £5 from Charles Mortimer (d. 1784), rector of Lincoln College, Oxford. (fn. 16) By 1817 £1 had been lost, but the remaining £60 was secured on a 5 per cent bond given by Edward Tatham. The churchwardens distributed the interest among the needy of the parish, 80 families in 1823 sharing £5 14s. 7d., which was two years' accumulated income. (fn. 17) By 1871 the stock had been reduced to £56 and the income to £1 16s., which was distributed in bread. (fn. 18)

George Spencer, duke of Marlborough, gave in 1776 a rent charge of £6 6s. on waste land at Combe, redeemed for £90 in 1973. (fn. 19) Charles Richardson, by will proved 1827, devised £27 the interest from which was to be presented annually at the altar of the parish church to a poor old lady of religious disposition. The money was invested in a pasture close yielding £1 a year, which was redeemed for £15 in 1974. (fn. 20) John Radford, rector of Lincoln College, in pursuance of the wishes of his late wife Elizabeth, gave £100 in 1849 to buy bread or coal for the poor of Combe, (fn. 21) the charity being known locally thereafter as Mrs. Radford's charity. In 1869-70 the capital stood at £108 16s. 5d., (fn. 22) as it still did in 1962 when the income was distributed in coal. (fn. 23)

By a Charity Commission Scheme of 1974 Combe's four charities were merged, providing an income of c. £15 a year for distribution to the poor. (fn. 24)


  • 15. O.R.O., MSS. Wills Oxon. 71/1/28; 113/2/19; 33/4/19; 132/3/14; 8/1/4; 132/3/17; Char. Don. 1787-8, H.C. 511, pp. 992-3 (1816), xvi B.
  • 16. Oxf. Univ. Arch., Chancellor's Ct. Wills BE-BV, Hyp/B/21; V. H. H. Green, Linc. Coll. 708.
  • 17. 12th Rep. Com. Char. 334.
  • 18. Char. Digest, H.C. 292-11, pp. 20-1, (1871), lv.
  • 19. O.R.C.C., Kimber files.
  • 20. Ibid.
  • 21. Linc. Coll. Mun. Z/COM/7. Eliz. Radford's char. has sometimes been confused with her husband's educ. char. e.g. O.R.C.C., Kimber files. Above, Educ.
  • 22. Char. Digest, pp. 20-1.
  • 23. O.R.C.C., Kimber files.
  • 24. Ibid.; Kimber, TS. Rep. on review of Oxon. chars.; Char. Com. files.