Horsham: Charities for the poor

Pages 202-203

A History of the County of Sussex: Volume 6 Part 2, Bramber Rape (North-Western Part) Including Horsham. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1986.

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Gifts before 1700, variously for small doles of cash, bread, or distribution in kind, were those of Henry Pilfold (d. c. 1585), Henry Wickens (d. c. 1613), James Smith of London (fl. before 1620), Richard Myhill (fl. before 1653), a Mr. Antill (fl. before 1682), and Theobald Shelley (d. c. 1689). Later charities of the same kind were those of John Gorringe (d. c. 1718), (fn. 1) John Hickenbottom (fl. before 1724), (fn. 2) a Lady Matthew (fl. before 1786), (fn. 3) Elizabeth Gatford (d. c. 1799), (fn. 4) Thomas Summers (d. c. 1807), Edward Jenden (d. 1828), Charles Champion (d. c. 1828), (fn. 5) and W. C. Dendy (d. c. 1872). (fn. 6) A Scheme of 1921 united the Wickens, Shelley, Dendy, and Summers charities as the Horsham parochial charities. In 1974 the income of £15.80 was distributed in food. The Gatford charity still produced £5 5s., distributed in cash or in kind, in 1964. (fn. 7)

In the earlier 19th century Sir Henry Fletcher regularly distributed bread and beef to the poor of the Southwater area at Christmas. (fn. 8) Maj. J. A. Innes in 1913 endowed a nurse for Roffey parish and gave land next to the village institute for a house for her. (fn. 9)

St. Mary's almhouses were founded in 1842 by the Revd. Jarvis Kenrick, curate of Horsham, the former parish workhouse in Normandy being converted to take 15 aged widows or spinsters of the parish. In 1889 four aged couples could also be accommodated. (fn. 10) The western end of the building was rebuilt in 1955, and the eastern end in 1960; (fn. 11) the faôade to Normandy is an asymmetrical composition in handmade brick. In 1957 the almshouses provided for c. 18 old people. (fn. 12)


  • 1. Char. Don. H. C. 511, pp. 1262-5 (1816), xvi (2); 30th Rep. Com. Char. 797; S.N.Q. i. 14-16, 207.
  • 2. W.S.R.O., Ep. I/26/3, p. 15.
  • 3. Char. Don. 1264-5.
  • 4. Char. Com. files.
  • 5. 30th Rep. Com. Char. 795-7.
  • 6. Char. Digest Suss. H.C. 77 (1894), lxiii.
  • 7. Char. Com. files.
  • 8. Horsham Mus. MS. 285.
  • 9. Char. Com. files.
  • 10. Hurst, Horsham (1889), 93.
  • 11. Inscr. on bldg.
  • 12. Kelly's Dir. Horsham (1957).