Arthur Clear: A Thousand Years of Winslow Life (1888)

pp.10-11 on benefactions and charities

Benefactions. - In all ages men have shown a desire to create for themselves some memorial, or to perform some meritorious act, whereby their names might be handed down to posterity and their memories so kept from utter oblivion. Various have been the methods by which they have striven to accomplish this object, a favourite mode being that of a charitable bequest to the poor. Generally this has been done with a pure motive, in others it has only been an effort to obtain a place in the list of benefactors of their native town at a very cheap rate, as an instance of the latter we may call attention to the bequest, now lost, of William Hardwicke of Winslow, who died in 1612.

"Memorandum.  - One William Hardwicke at the time of his death, bequeathed ye summe of five pounds in such manner that the Churchwardens yearly for the time being, would see the same put forth to the best use, and the interest thereof to be distributed yearly among the poor of this parish. And the said summe of five pounds was delivered by the executors of the said William Hardwicke, into the hands of the Churchwardens, the first day of May, Anno Dni, 1612."

Joan Forde by her will dated in 1644, bequeathed £100 to purchase land for the use of the poor of Winslow; nothing is definitely known respecting this bequest, but probably it was swallowed up at the general Enclosure of the Parish in 1766.

In 1722, Mrs. Sarah Egerton gave two houses to the poor of Winslow. In the Parliamentary Returns of 1780, these houses are mentioned as producing £5 a year, but it is not stated for whose benefit the money was applied. An account of certain outgoings payable in respect of these houses, appears by the Churchwardens Books to have been allowed to the tenants out of their rents, and it frequently happened that the repairs exceeded the rent. These cottages would seem to have been situate in the Buckingham Road, and with other parish property were sold about the time the New Poor Law came into operation. Mrs. Egerton is also stated to have left the annual sum of 20s. to the poor parishioners of Winslow.

In 1772, Joseph Rogers, carrier, bequeathed the sum of £600, to be laid out in the purchase of land, the yearly rents and profits thereof to be expended in educating and instructing such a number of poor people's children belonging to the parish of Winslow, as his trustees would find the same would answer. The property now consists of a house, outbuildings, and 23 acres of land, in the parishes of Great and Little Kimble. According to a return made to the Charity Commissioners in 1884, the net income of this charity after deducting necessary expenses was £42, with which sum twenty children are educated in the Public Elementary Schools.

It appears by the parliamentary returns of 1786, that money producing £2 8 0 per annum, was given by a former Lord of the Manor, to the poor of Winslow, and was then vested in William Lowndes, Esq.

William Packer of London gave in the year 1814, the sum of £100 in the three per cents, the interest to be distributed to the poor of Winslow in bread, annually on the Sunday after July 5th.

In 1815, Edmund Cox bequeathed £300, the interest thereof to be applied in the purchase of "good wheaten bread," to be twice every year distributed among all the necessitous poor for the time being" residing in the parish of Winslow.

The Parliamentary Returns of 1827, state that two houses in Winslow, one occupied by J. Lomath, the other by S. Yeates, were built on leasehold land the property of the Parish Officers. The ground on which the latter house stands, appears by a recital in an assignment of the lease of it, to have been let in 1700, by certain persons, with the consent of the Lord of the Manor of "Winslow cum Membris," and of principal parishioners of Winslow, for 200 years on a building lease. The draft indenture of assignment was produced to the Commissioners of Charities by Mr. Willis, who stated that there was a similar draft relating to the other house. These Houses, situate in the Market Square, are now held by Mr. C. Wilford and Mr. W.H. Stevens.

In an inventory of the goods of all kinds belonging to the Parish Church of Winslow, A.D., 1757, is the following- "Two Church Houses situate by the south gate of the Churchyard, one of them in the occupation of William Dudley, of the yearly rent of Four Pounds, and the other in the occupation of "William Firth, of the yearly rent of Two Pounds. The Churchwardens paying all manner of Taxes." These Houses were burnt down about 60 years ago.

In 1843, Miss Bridget Yeates gave a house adjoining the Churchyard, for the use of the Infant School, and in 1843 her executors purchased the following three per cent annuities,-£166 13 4 for the use of the Infant School, £166 13 4 for coals and wood for the Poor, £166 13 4 in aid of the Church Sunday School, and £50 to provide books for the Sunday School, the dividends whereof to be applied annually.

From these facts it would appear that the site upon which the Infant School now stands was formerly parish property, and after having been sold away for many years has now returned, by bequest and purchase, to parochial use.


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Copyright 25 July, 2015