Somersham Charities of Poor's Money

The Charity Commission approved a scheme by which these three old charities are administered jointly by a body of trustees. It is believed that these were first amalgamated in the 1960s and the trust deed updated in the 1970s.~

Balance Sheet Year Ending 31st March 2017

The Charity known as the Poor’s Money started when a sum of £20 was paid to the parish officers for the use of the poor coming from a rent charge of £1 a year from land which belonged to the late Bartholomew Ibbott. At one time money from this charity was used to distribute coal to five recipients.
The Charity of William Pettit Wilson was founded by his will that was proved at Peterborough on the 5th September, 1867 and reads as follows:
“To invest in the purchase of Consolidated 3 per cent annuities in the joint names of the Incumbent and Churchwardens, for the time being, of the Parish of Somersham aforesaid, such a sum of money (out of such part of my personal estate as the law permits to be appropriated by will to Charitable purposes) as will produce the clear yearly sum of two pounds sterling, which sum of two pounds I hereby direct to be distributed annually, for ever, on St. Thomas’ Day, by the Incumbent and Churchwardens for the time being of the said parish, among such poor widows and widowers resident within the said parish, and in such manner as the Incumbent and Churchwardens for the time being shall think proper.”
The Charity of Robert Hempstead was initiated by his will of 6th July 1883 which directed his trustees to set apart a sum of money which would produce £10 per annum to be distributed in coal to the poor who needed it. Like the Poor’s Money, at one time it was used to distributed coal to about forty recipients.

In the late 19th century it was reported that money from the charity was used to give mutton to widows and widowers and a few large families all of whom were paupers.

Today the Trustees use the income of the Charities for the prevention or relief of poverty in Somersham by providing grants, items and services to individuals in need and charities or other organisations working to prevent or relieve poverty.

The present trustees meet twice a year. Reproduced with the kind permission of Alan Draper.