Steyning: Charities for the poor

A History of the County of Sussex: Volume 6 Part 1, Bramber Rape (Southern Part). Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1980.

This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.

'Steyning: Charities for the poor', in A History of the County of Sussex: Volume 6 Part 1, Bramber Rape (Southern Part), (London, 1980) pp. 246. British History Online [accessed 24 April 2024]


Jane Wall by will dated 1573 left Church mead in Steyning to her cousin Robert Gravenor, the income to be given to the poor of the parish in weekly payments after Sunday morning service. In 1579, however, Richard Farnfold, the testator's nephew and occupier of the meadow, settled in trust a rent-charge of £7 6s. 8d. from it. (fn. 1) In the early 19th century it was customary to use the income to supplement the poor-rate, but on the instructions of the Charity Commissioners the parish officers restricted the payments to the unrelieved poor. (fn. 2)

William Holland by will proved 1614 devised a rent-charge of £5 out of the White Horse inn in Steyning for twice-yearly distribution to the poor in sums of 1s. (fn. 3) In the 1830s the income was being accumulated for two or three years at a time, to be distributed in clothing. (fn. 4)

Barnard Parson (d. 1618) devised a cottage in Steyning for the benefit of the poor for ever, (fn. 5) but the endowment is not heard of again.

Henry Hilton of Clapham by will proved 1641 left the sum of £24 annually for 99 years out of his lands in co. Durham, to be distributed among the twelve poorest inhabitants of the parish. (fn. 6) Little or none of the income was paid before 1669. (fn. 7) In 1711 the income was said to be paid sometimes yearly, sometimes less often, and to have been last paid in 1709. (fn. 8) By 1724 it had been reduced to £16 by the fall of rents, and the cost of collection was c. £1. (fn. 9) The income was still apparently being received in 1730. (fn. 10)

Charles Marshall by will proved 1845 left £200 stock in trust, the income to be used for distributing bread to the poor. (fn. 11) In the early 1860s the income was £6. (fn. 12)

Mrs. Fanny Ingram by will proved 1911 devised £1,000 in trust, the income to be distributed among the deserving poor of the parish over 70. (fn. 13) In 1966 the income was £73.

The Wall, Holland, and Marshall charities were administered together by 1962, and generally known as Steyning parochial charities. In 1973 those three together with the Ingram charity were formally amalgamated as the Steyning Parochial Charity, whose combined assets, besides the White Horse and Church mead rent-charges, comprised £1,570 stock. In 1976 part of the Church mead rent-charge was redeemed for a lump sum. At that date the income of the combined charity was being distributed to elderly residents of Steyning in cash or fuel.

Florence Marie Taylor by a deed of 1934 settled a cottage in Jarvis Lane known as Jarvis Lodge in trust for low-cost housing for elderly women from Steyning or near by. The charity survived in 1968. (fn. 14)


  • 1. C 2/Eliz. I/S 26/48; W.S.R.O., Par. 183/24/3.
  • 2. 30th Rep. Com. Char. 643-4.
  • 3. S.A.C. xliii. 68-9.
  • 4. 30th Rep. Com. Char. 644.
  • 5. C 142/388 no. 22.
  • 6. Prob. 11/185 (P.C.C. 36 Evelyn).
  • 7. C 93/32 no. 25; cf. Clapham.
  • 8. C.F.. xvi. 506.
  • 9. W.S.R.O., Ep. I/26/3, f. 17.
  • 10. Magna Britannia, v (1730), 477.
  • 11. Char. Com. unrep. vol. 6, p. 279.
  • 12. Char. Digest Suss. H.C. 433 (20), pp. 26-7 (1867-8), lii (2).
  • 13. Char. Com. unrep. vol. 180, p. 260.
  • 14. Char. Com. files; ex inf. the clerk to the trustees, Steyning Parochial Char.