Administration of the Charity
The pre-1850 records of the Charity Commissioners dealing with the Elvaston charity are held in the Derbyshire section under classification code CHAR 2/2 at the National Archives in Kew near London. I have not seen these. However the printed House of Commons parliamentary papers contain a series of mentions of the charity in this period with the key information, including:
It appears by an inscription on a plate affixed to the wall of the parish church of Elvaston that William Piggin, citizen of London, who died on 5th June 1621, by his Will, gave 250l. to buy lands, the profits thereof to be yearly distributed amongst the poor of the three towns belonging to the said parish of Elvaston by the churchwardens and some of his nearest kindred, there inhabiting, and 10l. more as a stock, the yearly profits thereof to remain to the disposers of the said poors money, to be spent on a drinking at the distributing thereof, and that with the monies above mentioned there was purchased a house and lands in the parish of Spondon.
By Indenture of Bargain and Sale, enrolled in the Court of Chancery, and bearing date 10th October 1821, between John Glover of the first part; Christopher Stavely of the second part; William Clark of the third part; Charles, Earl of Harrington, John Hutchinson, the elder, and William Trowell, described as the surviving trustees under an indenture of release bearing date 25th July 1769, of the fourth part; the said John Hutchinson, the elder, and John Whyman, churchwardens, and the said William Trowell and Thomas Briggs, overseers of Elvaston, of the fifth part; William Drury Lowe, Roger Cox, Jacob Osborne, and Michael Boot, of the sixth part; and Charles, Lord Viscount Petersham, the Honourable and Reverend F. H. R. Stanhope, the Honourable and Reverend H. R. Stanhope, the Rev. John Swain, William Lancashire, William Severn, Robert Briggs, the said Thomas Briggs, and John Hutchinson the younger, described as trustees nominated for the purposes thereinafter mentioned, of the seventh part; reciting the purport of the inscription in the church relating to the donation of William Piggin; and further reciting Indentures of Lease and Release, bearing date 24th and 25th July 1769, whereby a messuage or farm-house in Spondon, with five closes and several parcels of land, became vested in William the late Earl of Harrington, and others, in trust, for the benefit of the poor of Elvaston; and that under an Act of Parliament, passed in the 28 Geo. 3, for inclosing the open fields in Spondon, the Commissioners, by their award, bearing date 25th September 1789, had awarded to the trustees certains lands thereinafter mentioned; and further reciting, that the messuage or farm-house above mentioned was very old and dilapidated, and that several of the closes and allotments belonging thereto lay dispersed, and at a considerable distance from each other, and were not worth to rent more than 60l. per annum at the utmost; but that the said premises being situated very advantageously for the purposes of sale, and several good offers having been made to the trustees, they had accordingly, with the consent of the churchwardens and overseers, and of the inhabitants of the said parish of Elvaston, at a vestry called for the purpose, lately determined to sell the same, and had entered into contracts for the sale thereof to the several persons, and at the prices thereinafter mentioned, amounting in the whole to 3,121l. l2s. 6d., which was considered a very advantageous price for the same, and more than the actual value thereof; and further reciting the several deeds whereby the trustees had conveyed different parts of the premises in Spondon to the said William Drury Lowe, Roger Cox, Jacob Osborne, Michael Boot, and the Derby Canal Company, the respective purchasers thereof, (from which it appears that the farm contained altogether, with the site of the house and homestead, 29A. 2R. 23P.;) and further reciting, that doubts had arisen concerning the power of the said trustees to make such sales as aforesaid, but that inasmuch as they were manifestly for the benefit of the poor of Elvaston, it was agreed, upon the treaty for the said sales, that the purchase-monies above mentioned should be laid out in the purchase of freehold lands, to be settled in such manner as the same might be effectually vested in nine or more respectable persons usually residing in the parish of Elvaston, to be appointed by the then trustees and their successors, and the churchwardens and overseers of Elvaston for the time being; and that in such conveyances it should be provided that the persons so to be nominated should be seised of the lands so to be purchased, in trust, in the first place, to indemnify the purchasers of the lands in Spondon, and, subject to such trust, for the benefit of the poor of the parish of Elvaston; and further reciting, that the said surviving trustees had, with the consent of the said churchwardens and overseers, parties thereto, and of the said William Drury Lowe, Roger Cox, Jacob Osborne, and Michael Boot, agreed with John Glover for the purchase of the messuage and lands thereinafter mentioned; and that they had, with the like consent, nominated Charles Viscount Petersham; and the other parties of the seventh part, to be trustees of the said messuage and lands so agreed to be purchased; it is witnessed, that the said John Glover, in consideration of 3,150l., by virtue of a power reserved to him by Indentures of Lease and Release, bearing date 13th and 14th May 1814, and an Indenture of Feoffment, bearing date 5th September 1821, thereinbefore recited, and the fines levied in pursuance thereof, appointed and the said Christopher Stavely, and William Clarke, by his direction and appointment, conveyed, to the said Lord Petersham and others, and their heirs, a messuage or farm-house, theretofore a barn or stable, with the barn, stables, and outbuildings thereto belonging, in the parish of Cossington, in the county of Leicester, and 14 closes thereto adjoining, called by the several names and containing the quantities therein particularly mentioned, and containing in the whole, by a survey sometime since made thereof, 89A. 2R. 13P., upon trust, in the first place, to indemnify the said William Drury Lowe and, the other purchasers above named; and in case of eviction of any of the said purchasers, to raise, by sale or otherwise, a sufficient sum to make full compensation to the party so evicted, provided that the party should not receive more than the amount of his original purchase money, with particular directions as to the mode in which the said trustees were to act in case all the said parties were evicted, or in case there should be only a partial eviction; and upon trust, that, subject to the provisions above mentioned, the said trustees should stand seised of the premises thereby conveyed to them, in trust, for the benefit of the poor of the parish of Elvaston, to the intent that the rents and profits might be disposed of according to the will of William Piggin and the said recited indentures of 1769; and it was provided, that whenever the number of trustees should be reduced to three, or a less number, it should be lawful for all the inhabitants of the parish of Elvaston, and they were thereby required, at a vestry-meeting for that purpose, to be convened by the surviving trustees, or in default thereof, by the churchwardens and overseers, to appoint, in such manner as was usual in parish elections, a sufficient number of fit persons, who should usually reside in the said parish, to be trustees for the purposes aforesaid, and so from time to time for ever.
The sale of the lands at Spondon, which were at the time let for only 46l. 10s., which was considered a fair rent, and the purchase of the Cossington estate, appears to have been very beneficial to the charity.
The premises at Cossington, consisting of a farm-house, with outbuildings, and the several closes mentioned in the deed, containing 89A. 2R. 13P., are in the occupation of John Glover, who has held the same from the time of the sale thereof, as yearly tenant, at the rent of 100l. per annum; this is considered the fair value.
The buildings upon these premises being in bad condition it is intended to rebuild them by degrees, and a new barn has been already erected. These expenses are incurred under the directions of the parishioners, with the concurrence of such of the trustees as attend the parish meetings.
The rent of the above-mentioned premises, and the produce of Wilcox's and Piggin's charities are carried to one account, from which the following payments have been made on account of the farm at Cossington:
|To Mr. Curzon, for preparing the deeds relating to the said farm
|For building a new barn
|For putting up a brass plate in the church, with an inscription stating the particulars of the sale and purchase above mentioned
The application of the residue of the rents will be stated hereafter, under the head of Osborne's charity....
...This rent [Osborne's] is carried to one fund with the produce of Piggin's and Wilcox's charities, out of which, after the payment of such expenses as may be incurred upon the two farms above mentioned, and some other trifling charges, a distribution is made amongst the poor of the parish in the following manner.
Every month, from October to May, the overseer makes a distribution not exceeding 10l. in amount, in sums varying from 1s. to 10s. amongst the poor, according to their wants, and the number in their respective families. By this distribution many persons are relieved who would otherwise apply for relief from the poor-rates; and there are also many who receive from the charity an addition to their parochial allowance.
The overseer makes up a particular account of the application of this money every month, which is examined at a meeting of the inhabitants. In May 1826, there was a balance upon the general account of these charities, amounting to 44l. 4s. 1d. in the hands of the overseer, exclusive of 10l. 13s. which was due at the preceeding Christmas from Wilcox's charity, and which was received soon after the making up of the accounts in May.
Commissioners of Inquiry into Charities in England and Wales: 17th report, appendix, pages 165-168 (1826-27)
White’s 1857 Directory of Derbyshire (transcribed by Neil Wilson): William Piggin, citizen of London, by will, gave £250 to buy lands, the profits thereof to be yearly distributed amongst the poor of the three towns belonging to Elvaston [the other two were Ambaston and Thulston], by the churchwardens and some of his nearest kindred therein inhabiting, and £10 more as a stock, the yearly profits thereof to remain to the disposers thereof, to be spent in a drinking at the distribution, and with the monies there was purchased a house and lands in the parish of Spondon. By the award of Spondon inclosure, 1789, several allotments were made to the trustees, &c., and it was stated the farm house was very dilapidated, and several of the closes at a considerable distance, and that the said premises were not worth more to rent than £60 per annum, but were very advantageously situated for sale, which, with the consent of the parishioners at a vestry meeting, was accordingly done, to various purchasers, amounting in the whole to £3,121 12s. 6d. John Glover, in consideration of £1,350, by virtue of a power reserved to him by indentures of lease and release, dated 13th and 14th May, 1814, and an indenture of feoffment, dated 5th September, 1821, conveyed to Lord Petersham and others, and their heirs, a farm house, &c. in Cossington, in the county of Leicester, and 14 closes thereto adjoining, and containing by survey 89A. 2R. 13P. upon trust, &c. John Glover has held the same as tenant since the sale, at the rent of £90 per annum, and with Wilcox and Osborne’s charity, are carried to one account, and the application is there stated. A brass plate was put up in the church, with an inscription stating the particulars of the sale and purchase above mentioned, at a cost of £6 8s. 10d. which, with law charges for deeds, and building a new barn, amounted in the whole to £251 4s. 3d.
Kelly's 1881 Directory of Derbyshire: This states the combined annual income of the three charities as £180 yearly from the land etc. at Aston-on-Trent and in Leicestershire.
The current scheme, or constitution, of the Elvaston United Charities is a 10-page document, 3218/9, from the Charity Commissioners of England and Wales printed series dated November 30, 1909, based on a November 1907 application to the Charity Commissioners. It specifies: "The pensioners shall be poor men and women of good character, of not less than 60 years of age, who have resided in the Ancient Parish of Elvaston for not less than five years." The current scheme does not mention the Drinking.
© Jean-Baptiste Piggin 2000-2009
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