In medieval times, most charitable giving was done through the church. Money could be left to pay priests to chant mass for the souls of the departed. In some cases, the amount was large enough to build a special chapel, or chantry, for the purpose. This, along with giving to the poor during one’s lifetime was seen as a way easing the path through Purgatory into Heaven. At this time the “settled” poor were defined as widows, the unemployed, the low paid and the sick – wandering vagrants were looked upon less kindly. Donations were also made during this period for use by colleges, hospitals and monasteries all, of course, under the control of the church.In Elizabethan England, an increasing population and the effects of the dissolution of the monasteries led to an increase in poverty and prompted a series of laws made between 1563 and 1601 to alleviate the problem. The parish was made responsible for the support of its poor and for providing them with work. This was funded by parish rates collected by the appointed Overseers of the Poor who were often the churchwardens and the incumbent. The earliest record we have, so far, of charitable giving in Langham is contained in the will of William Smyth dated 1512 where he left 20s to the church, a “good beast” to the Guild and 6s 8d to “Our Lady of ??” (words indecipherable).Gifts to the church and the mother church (cathedral) were common and money was also left to repair bridges and roads as seen in the wills of Nicholas Watson 1572, Cuthbert Fawcett 1574 and James Hubbard 1589.The first mention of a gift to the poor is in the will of William Beeson in 1557. William leaves 12d to the parish church, towards repairing the body of the church, and 6s 8d to the poor people of my parish.Most bequests were single payments and often contained very specific instructions. Thomas Palmer 1614required 3s 4d to be given to the poor on St Thomas’s Day after his death; Richard Spell 1615 left 60s to be distributed to the poor of Langham and to “everie poor bodie” who attended his burial “from other places”.Of more than forty transcribed 16th century wills on this website, thirty-seven contain some charitable bequests. 17th century wills studied, numbering over one hundred and fifty, record eighteen bequests. During the 18th century, from over forty transcribed wills, we have noted five bequests - all to the poor, while in the 19th century, in over fifty wills so far seen, five recorded gifts include benefits to the poor, the church, bishop, Wesleyan Missionary Society, the Rutland Dispensary and Stamford Hospital.Where a charity was to continue over the years, responsibility for its administration was normally given to the minister and/or churchwardens. John Walmsley 1611 left three pounds to be “a perpetuytie forever” administered by his wife throughout her lifetime and then by the minister and churchwardens. Five shillings was to be given to the poor on the “next Sunday after Easter usually called Loe Sunday ... whereof Jone Curtes shalbe one and to have foure pence of the saide money”. The will of William Andrew 1638 gave forty shillings to the poor of Langham on the day of his burial and seven pounds and ten shillings to be paid on St James’s Day after his death.The churchwardens held the responsibility to provide bread on St James’s Day thereafter.Langham also benefited in 1692, as did many other Rutland parishes, from Rev. Henry Forster’s charity for teaching poor children.In 1896 the Charity Commissioners split the administration of Langham Charities between the Church and the Parochial Charities administered by the Parish - The Parochial Charities took on the “The Billesdon Poor's Land and The Frances Clarke gift” for which they still hold responsibility in 2013.Please select from the list below for specific charitable donations and to see which are still active today.Thomas BusbyThe Frances Clarke GiftThe Bainton Poor Land - - Now click here to see the 1682 Indentureand then click here to see its transcription Part 1 - - Part 2The Billesdon Poor LandHenry Hubbard’s GiftThomas WatkinsReferences; Langham Wills;Supplementary Returns – for the Benefit of Poor Persons, County of Rutland 1786;Further report of the Commissioners [County of Rutland] for Inquiries Concerning charities 1821;Langham Church Wardens’ Accounts.The Life and Families of 17th Century Langham - Langham Village History GroupVCH of Rutland Vol II.
Langham Village History Group
Now go back ane view the transcription which is in two parts
The Thomas Busby BequestBy his will dated 13th December 1577, Thomas Busby, gentleman of Meyford, Staffordshire made several bequests relating to Langham, Barleythorpe and Oakham.As well as bequeathing twenty shillings for repairs to Langham Church and ten for repairs at Oakham Church, Thomas left ten pounds to be delivered to the poor of Langham, Oakham and Barleythorpe within four months of his death. He also bequeathed to Doctor Goodman, Dean of Westminster, and Mr Edward Chambers and their heirs, a messuage (cottage) in Langham desiring them “to bestow in deeds of charity to the poore sicke and impotent people of Langham and Barleythorpe, the yearly rent thereof”.There is no longer any trace of this charity.[LVHG is currently researching the Busby family who had land in Rutland.]
The Frances Clarke GiftRoger Clarke, born in Langham on the 20th March 1559 left the village for London where he became a Salter. A citizen of influence and wealth, he became an alderman and was Sherriff of London in 1599/1600. He died in 1608 remembering the poor of his birthplace to the tune of six pounds, thirteen shillings and four pence to be distributed by his brother, Bartholomew, and the churchwardens. (Roger’s total estate was worth around £20,000, approximately £2.3 million today) After Roger’s death, his widow Frances paid annuities of £200 to a number of City Companies for charitable purposes. One of these was to the Worshipful Company of Tallow Chandlers, which was charged with paying £10 yearly “towards the reliefe and maintenance of the poore people which shall be of the Towne of Langham in the County of Rutlande”.Frances died in 1618 and her lengthy will makes clear that the charity should continue after her death. It continues to this day; the amount was increased to £25 in 1988 but in recent years, through the good offices of Maurice Cocking, who in his role as editor of the Historical Journal of the Tallow Chandlers’ Company discovered the connection with Langham, his evacuated wartime home, the sum now paid yearly is £250.(The Church Wardens’ account book for 1787 show receipt of only £5 but with no signatures.)
The Bainton Poor LandBetween 1682 and 1685, a number of benefactors gave varying amounts of money for the relief of the poor and the use of the church. The greatest amount, £15 was given by Thomas Sharpe with Edward, Lord Noel donating £13. 6s. 4d; M Whitfield, £10; William Andrew £7; Elizabeth Bagley, John Bullimore, Joane Clarke, Henry Hubbard, Elizabeth Ascue, and William Hubbard £5 each; Edward Briscoe, £3. 13s. 4d; John Walmsley and James Jackson £3 each and Henry Seagrave and William Webster £2 each.This money, with an additional amount of £22. 5s taken from a bequest made by Elizabeth Chamberlin, was used to purchase land and property at Bainton. The purchase, comprising a cottage, outbuildings and fifteen acres of arable and pastureland, four cow commons, three horse commons and forty sheep commons in the parishes of Bainton and Barnack, was made by the Trustees of the Poor, namely, Henry Hubbard, Luke Sharpe, Richard Cheseldine and John Hack. The vendors were Dorothy Ireland (a widow of Preston, Rutland) and her son William. The first tenant, John Bird, was charged rent of £5.10s per year with a tenancy of six years. Rent was due on the customary dates of 25th March (Lady Day) and 29th September (Michaelmas) but for the first year, the tenant was allowed to keep £3. 5s in order to repair the cottage. The indenture made on 4th May 1682 states that all rents and profits shall succour and relieve the poor and repair the church “in such sort and manner as shall be from tyme to tyme for ever be agreed upon and thought meet to the chiefest part of the inhabitants... of Langham for the tyme being”. It also states that no changes can be made “without the consent and in the presence of Soe many of the inhabitants of the said Towne of Langham as will be at the ffive and Twentyth Daiae of March next ensuing then present in the parish Church of a Langham aforesaid.”A note in the Churchwardens’ Account book of 1806 states that the Poors Land at Bainton is let at £7 per year rent taken half-yearly and the person who receives it spends 1s each time.The Further Report of the Commissioners [County of Rutland] for Inquiries Concerning Charities (1821) states that the sum of 16s. a year is paid for land tax, and 18s. a year are deducted from the rents for the repairs of the church.In October 1916 the Grantham Journal reported that “owing to the heavy though necessary expenditure in repairing the roofs etc. on this property, the participators in Langham of the annual dole derived from this source will, unfortunately this year find their share much curtailed.”This charity was in the hands of the church and we understand that the land was eventually sold in 1961 and the money invested in Treasury Bonds.
The Billesdon Poor Land Elizabeth Chamberlin, whose contribution of £22 5s. made up the purchase price of the land at Bainton actually left in her will £100. She is described, on the schedule of donors, as a widow of the city of London, but so far, our efforts to trace her will, or to find out who she was and how she was connected with Langham, have failed. The remaining £87 15s. of her bequest was used to buy land at Billesdon. The transaction took place on 14th April 1685 between the Trustees of the Poor of Langham, messrs, Hubbard, Sharpe, Cheseldine and Hack; and Peter Rudkin of Morcott and William and Thomas Hanger of Billesdon. The purchase was described as “a fourth part of one yard land, lying in the fields, precincts and territories of Bilsdon, subject to a mortgage of £30 in trust for the use of the poor decayed inhabitants of Langham, such as the trustees, together with the overseers of the poor of Langham should think fit objects of charity.” When Billesdon was enclosed, a close of six acres was allotted in lieu of the original land. In 1806 the land was let at twelve guineas per year and the person bringing in the rent was allowed one shilling to spend. In 1821 the land was in the occupation of John Mansfield as yearly tenant at a rent of twelve guineas. In 1842 the land was let at £15. 00 per year to John Crowson of Oakham from Old Lady Day.This land remains in the hands of Langham Parochial Charities and the rent, together with the donation from the Worshipful Company of Tallow Chandlers provides the gifts made to widows and widowers of the parish in December each year.
Henry Hubbard’s GiftIn his will dated 1714 Henry Hubbard gave £40 to be put out at interest by his executors for the use of ten poor widows of the parish. The interest was to be paid yearly and distributed at the discretion of the executors and overseers of the poor. A further £10 was given with the yearly interest to be paid to the parish church. Henry’s executors were his son William and his son-in-law John Sharpe.The sum of £1.5.0 was apparently paid by William Hubbard, as interest on one half of the legacy, for some years when land at Sewstern was purchased. The sum of £1.5.0 continued to be paid; twenty shillings to the ten poor widows and five shillings to the church. The sum of £1.5.0 interest was paid by the other executor and his representatives or descendants until 1814 when Mr Richard Sharpe being in reduced circumstances declined to pay. The land at Sewstern was sold in 1954.Research continues into this charity.
Indenture Transcription Part 1This Indenture made the three and twentieth Day of August in the Six and thirteth yeare of the raigne of our Lord Charles the second by the grace of God of England Scotland ffrance and Ireland Kinge etc Betweene Moses Ireton of the Burrough of Leicester in the County of Leicester Tapister and Peter Rudkin of Morcott in the County of Roteld whitewer Thomas Hanger of Bilsdon in the said County of Leicester Blacksmith (the said Peter and Thomas being Executors of the last will and Testamt of Anne Theobalds late of Billesdon aforesaid widdow deceased) of the one parte and John Muston of little Dalby in the said County of Leicester Clerke of the other partewhereas the said Anne Theobalds by the name of Anne Theobalds of Billesdon in the County Leicester widdow by her Indentures of lease and Release beareing Date the fifth Sixth dayes of August in the three and thirtieth yeare of his Majesties Raigne that now is for the Consideracon of the sume of thirty pounds did grant Bargaine Sell and convey unto the said Moses Ireton and his heires and assignes All that quodeine or fouerth part of one yard land with Thappurtennces be it more or lesse lieing and being within the feilds Lordshippes Liberties precincts and Territories of Billesdon aforesaid in the said County of Leicestershire then or late being in the Tenure or occupacon of her the said Anne Theobalds her assigne or assignes Togeather with all and singuler hedges ditches mounds fences trees woodes underwoodes waies Easmts paths passages and all other proffitts priviledges Commedites advantages emoluments hereditaments appurtennances whatsoever to the said quarterne or fouerth parte of one yard land and premisies with thappurtennacs and everye or any parte or parcell thereof belonging or in any wise apperteyning and the Revercon and Revercons Remainder and Remainders thereof And all the state right title interest use possession Claime and demand whatsoever of her the said Anne Theobalds her heires and assignes and everye of them of into or out of the said quorterne or fouorth parte of one yard land and premises with thappurtennances and of into or out of everye or any parte or parcell thereof To have and to hold the said quorterne or fouerth parte of one yard land & premisies thereby granted or intended to bee granted with theappurtennances and everye parte & parcell thereof unto the said Moses Ireton his heires and assignes forever to the onely propper use and behoofe of him the said Moses Ireton and his heires and assignes forever under a certaine provisoe or Condicon in the said indenture of Release Conteyned that if the said Ann Theobalds her heires Executors Administrators or assignes or any of them did & should well & truly pay or cause to bee paid unto the said Moses Ireton his Executors Administor assignes or any of them the full & just Summe of thirty five pounds & Eight shillings of lawfull mony of England in manner and forme following that is to say Eighteene shillings parte thereof in or upon the sixth day of ffebruary then next ensueing the date of the said recited indenture of Release & Eighteene shillings more part thereof in or upon the sixth day of february which then should bee & since hath beene in the yeare of our Lord according to the accompt of England one thousand Six hundred Eighty and two and Eighteene shillings more parte thereof in or upon the Sixth day of August which then should bee & since hath beene in the yeare of our Lord according to the accompt of England one thousand six hundred Eighty and three And Eighteene more part thereof in or upon the Sixth day of february which then should bee & since hath beene in the yeare of our Lord according to the accompt of England one thousand six hundred Eighty and three And Thirty poundes and Eighteene more residue thereof in or upon the sixth day of August which then should bee in the yeare of our Lord according to the accompt of England one thousand six hundred Eighty and foure & since hath beene this instant August at or in the then dwelling house of William Massey gentln situate and being in Burrough of Leicester aforesd Then the recited indenture of Release & everye clause therein Conteyned should bee frustrate void and of none effect to all intents & purposes whatsoever as in & by the said recited indenture of Release relacon there unto being had may more at large appeareAnd whereas the said Anne Theobald her heires Executors Administratrs or assignes or any of them did not pay unto the said Moses Ireton all the said summe of thirty & five pounds and Eight shillings at the severall daies and times in the said recited indenture of Release expressed and appointed for the paimt thereof nor at any time since whereby the title Estate & interest of the said Moses Ireton and of his [?] heires and assignes of & in the said quorterne or fouerth parte of one yard land & premises with Thappurtenncis is in Law become forfeited & indefeazable now this Indenture witnesseth that for & in Consideracon of the Summe of thirty pounds of lawfull English money unto the said Moses Ireton in hand paid by the said John Muston before then Sealing and delivery hereof the receipt whereof the said Moses Ireton doth hereby Confesse & acknowledge & there of and of everye parte thereof doth acquit release and discharge the said John Muston his heires execrs & Administrs and everye of them be theis presents he the said Moses Ireton at the request and by the speciall direccon and appointmt of the said Peter Rudkin & Thomas Hanger Testified by theire being parties to theis presents & setting theire hands & seales hereunto And the said Peter Rudkin & Thomas Hanger for & in consideracon of the Summe of five shillings of lawfull money of England to them or one of them allso in hand paid by the said John Muston before thenealeing and delivery hereof of the receipt whereof the said Peter Rudkin & Thomas Hanger doe hereby acknowledge and confesse And in Consideracon that the said John Muston hath at the speciall instante and request of the said Peter Rudkin and Thomas Hanger paid unto the said Moses Ireton the said Summe of thirty pounds for the propper debt of the said Anne Theobalds deceased and for divers other good causes and consideracons them there unto moveing have given and granted bargained sold aliened enfeoffed released and Confirmed and by theis presents doe give bargaine sell alien enfeoffe release & confirm unto the said John Muston ( in his full and actuall possession now being by vertue of one Indenture of bargaine and sale for one yeare to him thereof made by the said Moses Ireton Peter Rudkin & Thomas Hanger beareing date the day next before the date hereof and by force of the Statute for transferring uses unto possession) and to his heires and assignes
Indenture Transcription Part 2All and singular the aforesaid quorterne of fouerth parte of one yard land with thappurtencis bee it more or lesse lieinge & being in the feilds of Billesdon as aforesd & now or late in the Tennure or occupacon of the said Peter Rudkin Thomas Hanger or William Hanger or Some or one of them theire some or one of thiere assignee or assignes Togeather with all and singuler proffitts privilidges advantages Commons Comodities and Hereditamnts what soever to the said quortern 8or fouerth parte of one yard land belongeing or in any wise apperteineing and all the said reci[t]ed premises with thappurtennis And also all the estate right Title interest claime or demand whatsoever of them the said Moses Ireton Peter Rudkin and Thomas hanger and everye of them theire and everye of theire heires Executors Administraters and assignes both in Law and equity of in and to the said premises with Thappurtenncs and everye parte and parcell thereof And the Revercon and Revercons Remainder and Remainders thereof To have and to hold the said quorterne or fouerth part of one yard land and premises with theire and everye of theire appurtennances unto the said John Muston his heires and assignes To the onely propper use and behoofe of him the said John Muston and of his heires and assignes forever And the said Moses Ireton for himselfe his heires Executors and Administrators and everye of them doth Consent promise grante agree to and with the said John Muston his heires Executors and Administrators by theis presents that hee the said Moses Ireton hath not done or committed or will [make] or willingly suffered to be done or committed and a[?not read] matter or thing whatsoever whereby or where with the said quorterne of fouerth parte of of one yard land with thappurtenncs or any parte thereof is or are charged or incumbred in title chardge Estate or other wise here soever And the said Peter Rudkin and Thomas Hanger doe Covent grant and agree for themselves & either of them theire and either of theire heires Executors Administrators and assignes to and with the said John Muston that they the said Peter Rudkin & Thomas Hanger and theire heires the said quorterne or fourth parte of one yard land & premises with thappurtenics unto the said John Muston his heires & assignes against them the said Peter Rudkin & Thomas Hanger theire heires Executors Administrators and assignes & against all and everye other person & persons Whatsoever shall & will warrt & forever defend by this presents provided allwaies nevertheless and theis presents are upon this Condicon that if the said Peter Rudkin & Thomas Hanger or either of them theire heire or either of theire heires Executors Admisor assignes or any of them doe & shall well and truly pay or cause to be paied unto the said John Muston his Executors Administrators or assignes the full whole and Intire Summe of three thirty pounds and twelve shillings of lawfull money of England in manner and forme followeing That is to say Eighteene shillings parcell thereof att or upon the three & twentieth day of ffebruary next ensueing the date hereof And Eighteene shillinges parcell thereof att or upon the three and twentieth day of August which shall bee in the yeare of our Lord accordeinge to the accompt of the Church of England one thousand Six hundred Eighty and five And Eighteene shillings parcell thereof att or upon the three and twentieth day of ffebruary which shall bee in the yeare of oure Lord according to the accompt of the Church of England one thousand Six hundred Eighty and five And thirty pounds and Eighteene shillings residue thereof Att or upon the three twentieth day of August which shall bee in the yeare of our Lord according to the accompt of the Church of England one thousand Six hundred Eighty and Six at or in the now dwelling house of William Sheares me[?]nr and being in the Burrough of Leicester afore said without any manner of desa[?]caton or deduccon or abatemt whatsoever and without any co[??] fraude or delay then and from thenceforth the use and estate here in before limmitted to the said John Muston and his heires and assignes shall cause determine and become absolutely void as if the same had never beene limitted or appointed and then their presents and said Execucon of the state hereupon and the assurance hereby made shall be and [enure] to the use and behoofe Peter Rudkin and Thomas Hanger and of theire heires and assignes forever And the said Peter Rudkin and Thomas hanger doe for themselves theire heires Executors and administraters and every of them covenant & promise to & with the said John Muston his heires and assignes that they the said Peter Rudkin & Thomas hanger & theire heires Executors and Administraters and all & everye other person & persons whatsoever having or claimeing or which shall or may have or clame any estate right title or interest into or out of the said premises or any of them shall and will from time to time and att all times hereafter from and after the breach or non-performance of the last promise or condicon aforesaid dureing the space of seaven yeares then next ensueing at the Costs and Chardges of the said Peter Rudkin and Thomas hanger theire Executors or Administrators make doe acknowledge Execute and suffor or cause to bee made done acknowledged Executed and suffered all and everye such further & other lawfulll & reasonable act or acts thing and things devises assurances and conveyances in the law whatsoever for the further better more perfect & absolute assureing and conveying of the said premises with thappurtenances unto the said John Muston his heires and Assignes for ever Bee it by fine ffoeffmt Recoverye or otherwise as by him the said John Muston his heires or Assignes or his or theire councell learned in the law shall be reasonably devised or advised and required And the said Peter Rudkin and Thomas hanger Doe hereby consent promise to and with the said John Muston his heires Executors and administrators that they the said Peter Rudkin and Thomas Hanger theire heires Executors or Administrators or some of them shall and will well and truley pay or cause to to bee paid unto the said John Muston his [something scratched out and filler symbols inserted] executors Administrators or assignes the said summe of three and thirty pounds and twelve shillings in such manner and forme as is in the last proviso herein before appointed to be paid And lastly it is declared and agreed by all the said parties hereunto that until breach or non-performance of the promise aforesaid it shall and may bee lawfull to and for the said Peter Rudkin and Thomas Hanger and theire heires Executors or Administraters to receive and take the rents issues and proffitts of the said premises to theire owne use and benefit In Witnesse etc whereof the parties first above named to this present Indenture interchangeably have sett theire hands and seales the day and yeare first above written Annog Dm 1684
Thomas Watkins‘In memoriam Thomas and Mary Watkins’. By his will of 7th March 1905, Thomas Watkins bequeathed £10 to the trustees of the parish church, the income to be for the benefit of the poor at Christmas. The endowment consisted of £9.16s.11d, two and a half per cent Consolidated Stock producing 4s.8d per annum given to two poor persons.