The borough of Southwark: Charities

A History of the County of Surrey: Volume 4. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1912.

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'The borough of Southwark: Charities', in A History of the County of Surrey: Volume 4, ed. H E Malden( London, 1912), British History Online [accessed 19 July 2024].

'The borough of Southwark: Charities', in A History of the County of Surrey: Volume 4. Edited by H E Malden( London, 1912), British History Online, accessed July 19, 2024,

"The borough of Southwark: Charities". A History of the County of Surrey: Volume 4. Ed. H E Malden(London, 1912), , British History Online. Web. 19 July 2024.

In this section


St. Saviour's Parish:

A charity school stood at the corner of Red Cross Street and Union Street, on ground which had been a burial-ground supposed to be the 'Single Women's Burying Ground' connected with the Stews. Its origin is unknown, but twenty children were educated, clothed and bound apprentices by the benefaction of Mrs. Elizabeth Newcomen, or Newcombe, by will proved in 1674, and seventy by the will of John Collet of 1711. The building in this place was erected in 1713 after Mr. Collet's benefaction was received.

A school for girls in Three Tun Court was supported by voluntary subscriptions.

A school for boys and girls in Zoar Street was established by the exertions of Mr. Arthur Shallett, Mr. Samuel Warburton and Mr. Fernando Holland in 1687, in opposition to a free Roman Catholic school, then newly set up. It was supported by voluntary contributions. An annual sermon was preached for it at St. Thomas'. It was established for forty children, raised to fifty, and in 1781 to 200.

Cure's College, almshouses for sixteen poor parishioners, with a warden and sub-warden, was founded in 1584 by Thomas Cure, saddler to the queen. The chief justice of the Common Pleas was president of the college.

Edward Alleyne, in connexion with his Dulwich foundation, established almshouses in 1616 for ten men and women, to be taken into Dulwich College as vacancies occurred.

Henry Jackson founded an almshouse in 1660 for two poor women.

Henry Young founded a similar almshouse in 1690.

Henry Sprat, by will in 1708, established almshouses for two poor men out of the Clink Liberty.

There was an almshouse in Gravel Lane for ten poor women who had formerly paid scot and lot, rebuilt in 1705, of unknown foundation.

In 1812 the Rev. Rowland Hill, whose large octagon chapel of Lady Huntingdon's Connexion used to be a well-known place in Christchurch parish, opened almshouses in Gravel Lane for twenty-four poor widows belonging to the congregation.

To the north of the Lady chapel of the church were eight almshouses, in this parish but belonging to the trust of St. Thomas' Hospital.

Smith's charity exists as in other Surrey parishes. (fn. 1)

St. Olave's Parish (and St. John's, Horsleydown):

In 1611 the vestry built almshouses in Horsleydown in what was called the Artillery Ground.

In the reign of James I there was a workhouse, called the Pynn House. In 1725 a new workhouse was built, which was added to from time to time. The management was the occasion for frequent quarrels and lawsuits. (fn. 2) It was superseded after 1835 by the Union Workhouse for St. Olave's, St. John's, and St. Thomas'.

A charity school for about fifty girls was supported by voluntary contributions.

In 1708 Mrs. Elizabeth Stuckbury, by will, left £2,200 for apprenticing the children of poor Quakers and for the relief of poor Quakers. She was an inhabitant of St. John's, Horsleydown, but the benefaction was not confined to the parish, in which, however, there was a considerable body of Quakers with a large meeting in 1725. It was said to have been for long the only benefaction in England enjoyed by Quakers.

In 1714 a school was established by Protestant Dissenters of different denominations 'upon those common principles of Christianity wherein they all agree,' an interesting anticipation of undenominational religious teaching. As in 1725 there were in the parish large congregations of various dissenting bodies, including about two thousand persons, the place was a fitting area for the experiment.

Smith's charity is distributed as in other Surrey parishes. (fn. 3)

St. Thomas' Parish:

A charity school was established in 1781, next to Guy's Hospital, for thirty boys.

There were almshouses in St. Thomas' Street belonging to the parish, which were transferred to Pipemakers' Alley.

Smith's charity is distributed as in other Surrey parishes.

St. George's Parish:

The Lock Hospital for Lepers is said by Stow to have existed in the time of Edward II, but its foundation appears to be unknown. It had a chapel in it, which was perhaps rebuilt in 1636, which date remained on the door in Aubrey's time. In 1437 John Pope left by will an annual rent of 6s. 8d. to it. Tanner says that it was dedicated to St. Leonard. It was attached to St. Bartholomew's Hospital in the 17th and 18th centuries, but became ruinous and was pulled down about 1800. It was on the stream between St. George's parish and Newington, at the head of the tidal water. If there was a sluice from which the name came it is perhaps the earliest known use of the word lock for a sluice in English.

In 1725 there was a charity school for fifty boys. In 1725 almshouses of the Drapers' Company are returned; they held four poor persons of the parish and were on ground belonging to the City of London The almshouses are in Hill Street.

The Surrey Dispensary was opened in 1777 in Union Street. It was removed to Dover Street in 1840.

The Asylum for the Deaf and Dumb, in Kent Street, was started by the Rev. John Townshend and the Rev. Henry C. Mason in 1792, though the present building was not opened till 1809.

The School for the Indigent Blind was founded in 1799 at the old 'Dog and Duck' in St. George's Fields. The society was incorporated in 1826, and the buildings near the Obelisk, now itself superseded, used to be much admired. They were faced with stone, in imitation 16th-century style. They were pulled down in 1908, the school having been removed to Letherhead in 1902.

The Philanthropic Society for the care of children of convicted parents and for the reformation of young offenders was started in London Road, St. George's Fields, in 1788. The society was incorporated in 1806. The chapel has been already noticed.

Bethlehem Hospital (Bedlam), after existing for 400 years close to the present Liverpool Street station, then for 140 years in Moorfields, was rebuilt in 1812 in St. George's Fields, on the 'turnpike road from Westminster Bridge to Kennington.' Lewis was the first architect, and Smirke enlarged it in 1838.

Smith's charity is distributed as in other Surrey parishes. (fn. 4)

Christchurch Parish:

Edwards' Almshouses were founded by deed of gift by Edward Edwards, in 1717, for twenty-four poor women, receiving 40s. a year each, and a gown every two years.

Hopton's Almshouses were founded by will by Charles Hopton in 1730, for twenty-six poor men, with £10 a year and a chaldron of coals apiece.

Parish schools were opened for boys in 1712 and for girls in 1720; some of the children were clothed by the parish. Mrs. Elizabeth Downes gave £50 to each in 1766, and Mr. John Stock £100 in 1780 to completely clothe and teach one orphan boy in the school for ever.

The Magdalen Hospital was opened in the parish in 1758.

Smith's charity is distributed as in other Surrey parishes. (fn. 5)


  • 1. Manning and Bray (Hist. of Surr. iii, 592–5) give a very long list of small benefactions taken from Concannon and Morgan's history of the parish, 1795.
  • 2. Ibid. 601, from the parish books.
  • 3. A long list of small benefactions is again given by Manning and Bray, op. cit. iii, 608–10.
  • 4. See Manning and Bray, op. cit. iii, 647–8, for other small benefactions.
  • 5. See Manning and Bray, op. cit. iii, 541–2 and 544, for other small benefactions.