Goathurst: Charities for the poor

Page 52

A History of the County of Somerset: Volume 6, Andersfield, Cannington, and North Petherton Hundreds (Bridgwater and Neighbouring Parishes). Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1992.

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Sir Charles Kemeys-Tynte, Dame Anne Tynte, and Jane Busby by their wills dated 1776, 1794, and 1798 respectively left a total of £600 to the poor. In 1837 the money was invested in land in North Petherton parish, some of which was sold in 1981. The income was distributed in cloth and came to be known as the dowlais charity. Mary Escott, by a codicil dated 1809, gave £100 for lying-in women, to provide a nurse for two weeks after confinement, and to keep up the stock of linen she had previously provided. By the 20th century the income was distributed to elderly women and a baptismal grant was paid to mothers. (fn. 1) John Jeanes c. 1831 and James Culverwell by will proved 1867 each gave £100 to the poor and Louisa Campbell gave £300, by will proved 1872. The income from those gifts was distributed in bread and coal until the 1940s or later. (fn. 2) All the above charities and the proceeds from the sale of the poor house were combined in a scheme of 1974 to form the Goathurst Relief in Need charity. The income, from land at Hedging in North Petherton and the interest on £1,468 in consolidated stock, is distributed when required. (fn. 3)

Richard Escott and Mary Jeane by their wills dated 1784 and 1785 respectively gave a total of £125 to provide the poor with bread. The money was in the hands of a churchwarden and was lost when he went bankrupt before 1866. (fn. 4) In 1866 the vestry decided that half the income from parish property in Bridgwater should be given to the poor. (fn. 5) The estate, known as Timberlakes garden, was later sold and the money invested for the benefit of the parish. (fn. 6)


  • 1. 15th Rep. Com. Char. 345-6; S.R.O., DD/X/GST (S/1372).
  • 2. S.R.O., DD/X/GST (S/1372).
  • 3. Ibid.; above, local govt.
  • 4. 15th Rep. Com. Char. 345-6; S.R.O., D/P/gst 23/3; inf. from Mr. R. Thomae, Goathurst, clerk to chars.
  • 5. S.R.O., D/P/gst 4/1/2, 5/1/1.
  • 6. Ibid. DD/RN 64; Char. Com. reg.; inf. from Mr. Thomae.