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Title: The Endowed Charities of Kensington - By Whom Bequeathed, and How Administered
Author: Daniel, Edward Morton
Language: English
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Transcribed from the S. Mary Abbots Parish Magazine (reprint) by David
Price, email ccx074@pglaf.org.  Many thanks to the Royal Borough of
Chelsea and Kensington Libraries for allowing their copy to be used for
this transcription.

                   The Endowed Charities of Kensington;

                           BY WHOM BEQUEATHED,
                            HOW ADMINISTERED.

                                * * * * *


                        EDWARD MORTON DANIEL, Esq.

                                * * * * *

                                * * * * *

          _Reprinted from the_ “S. MARY ABBOTS PARISH MAGAZINE.”

                                * * * * *

                                * * * * *

                    _Printed for Private Circulation_

The Endowed Charities of Kensington; by whom Bequeathed, and how

                      BY EDWARD MORTON DANIEL, ESQ.

_A Paper read at a Meeting of the Kensington Ratepayers Association_,
_held at S. Mark’s Parish Rooms_, _Notting Hill_, _on Tuesday_, 21_st_
_April_, 1891.

          [Reprinted from the “S. MARY ABBOTS PARISH MAGAZINE.”]

AS everyone has need of charity, everyone exercises charity, and most of
us receive charity, the subject is of personal application and importance
to us all.  This is the case when charity is abstractly regarded; but
when we approach the consideration of the charities of our own parish,
those which we are bound to support and upon which we have individually a
claim, our subject must excite the keenest interest.  Too much cannot be
known about them in order that their benefits may be distributed amongst
the fittest subjects and most deserving persons that can be found; and in
order that those of us who are blessed with means may learn how carefully
and fruitfully any benefaction we may make in the future will be utilised
and bestowed, if placed in the hands of those administering the charities
already established in our parish.

Perhaps the point which will strike you most, when you have learned what
I have to tell you this evening of the charities of Kensington, is the
circumstance that, from small sums of money left for purposes of charity,
great and ever growing results may spring, fulfilling purposes of good
far beyond the most sanguine anticipations in which the original donors
could have ever indulged.

Old Faulkner, to whose quaint and interesting history of Kensington I
would refer all lovers of antiquity and curious anecdote, writing in
1820, says: “The amount of benefactions to this parish is highly
creditable to the humanity of the original founders, and it is a pleasing
as well as an important part of the duty of the historian to record
these; perhaps in few parishes in the kingdom have they been more
scrupulously observed, or more faithfully administered.”  Pleasing as it
was to Faulkner seventy years ago to remark upon the then condition of
the parish charities, it will be yet more gratifying to us to observe at
the present time how greatly they have developed, and how admirably they
have been fostered, improved, and administered.  Seventy years ago
Kensington was really rural, containing only three or four hamlets, or
assemblages of dwellings, a few large houses with grounds, some
celebrated nursery and market gardens, and a few distinguished
inhabitants.  This is what Tickell, the poet, says about it:—

    “Here, while the town in damp and darkness lies,
    They (at Kensington he means) breathe in sunshine and see azure

What Kensington is now we all know; would that its charities had grown in
proportion to its population.  Perhaps if through your kind exertions
more attention can be drawn to the subject they may enlarge, and the
history of the future charities of Kensington prove as creditable as the

In the year 1807 a joint committee of the trustees of the poor, and of
the vestry, was appointed to consider and report, amongst other subjects,
upon the charities of the parish; and that committee undertook a most
careful and exhaustive inquiry into the matter, the results of which were
recorded in “The Report of the Kensington Committee of the 30th October,
1810.”  It is needless to say that this report has now become a very rare
document.  Fortunately a copy has been preserved in the archives of the
vestry, and to that copy—through the kindness of the vestry clerk,
although with all due precautions to its safe preservation—I have had
access; and thus we are enabled to make an interesting comparison between
the condition of the parish and its charities then and now.

It appears from this report (which is as able a document as I ever read)
that the parish in 1810 contained about 1,500 rateable houses, and an
estimated population of 10,000 souls.

It appears from the report to the vestry of the Medical Officer of Health
to the parish for the year 1888, dated July, 1889, that at the middle of
1888 the inhabited houses in the parish numbered 21,566, with an
estimated population of 177,000 persons.

In 1810 the main charity of the parish was then, as now, the Campden
Bequests.  There were also the Methwold Almshouses, the Parish Free
School, and some various other bequests of comparatively small amount for
specific objects, or for the purposes of the poor of the parish

What are known as the Campden Bequests have a most interesting history,
and have grown from very small beginnings into a wealthy institution.
They are alike the most ancient and most important of the parish

In 1629, Baptist Viscount Campden, of the family which built Campden
House, which has within the last sixty years extended its name to the
hill on which its stands, bequeathed the sum of £200 to two gentlemen,
and to the churchwardens of Kensington from time to time, “in trust to be
employed for the good and benefit of the poor of the parish for ever as
the trustees should think fit to establish.”  This sum of £200, with £20
added from accumulated interest and otherwise, was in 1635 expended in
the purchase of two closes of land containing fourteen acres, called
Charecrofts, situate near Shepherd’s Bush Green, a very fortunate
investment, as we shall presently find.

Elizabeth, Viscountess Dowager Campden, the widow of the former donor, in
1644 bequeathed another sum of £200 to Sir John Thorowgood and sundry
parishioners, and to the churchwardens of Kensington, “upon trust that
they should within eighteen months purchase lands of the clear yearly
value of £10; one-half whereof should be applied from time to time for
ever for and towards the better relief of the most poor and needy people
_that be of good life and conversation_ that should be inhabiting the
said parish of Kensington; and the other half thereof should be applied
yearly for ever to put forth one poor boy or more living in said parish
to be apprenticed.  The said £5 due to the poor to be paid to them
half-yearly for ever at Lady Day and Michaelmas in the church or the
porch thereof at Kensington.”

With Lady Campden’s £200 a close called Butt’s Field was immediately
purchased, containing 5 acres 2 roods and 30 perches, and the purchase
also included 3 roods to be taken out of an adjoining field, called the
Middle Quale Field, at the south end of Butt’s Field.  This purchase, we
shall find, has proved a still more profitable investment than that of
Lord Campden’s £200.

The remaining portion of the original property, now known as the Campden
Bequests, is of a still more interesting character.  In 1651, one Thomas
Coppin, in consideration of the sum of £45, sold to the same Sir John
Thorowgood and eleven of the parishioners and their heirs, “all that land
with the appurtenances at the gravel pits in Kensington, containing two
acres, in the occupation of Richard Barton.”  No trust was declared in
this conveyance, but subsequent occurrences leave no doubt that it was
intended for purposes similar to those provided for by Lord and Lady
Campden’s wills.  And the purchase having been made so shortly after the
two others, and at a time when the great Oliver Cromwell was the ruler of
the country under the title of Protector, and when he held property in
the parish, added to the circumstance that the gift was always
traditionally ascribed to him and known as Cromwell’s gift, appear to
leave no real doubt that it is to Oliver Cromwell that the parish owes
this addition to the charities.  It will be seen that this gift and
purchase has proved no less profitable to the parish than the two others.

Let us pause for a moment, and see of what the property of the Campden
Bequests then consisted.

Purchased in 1635 from Lord Campden’s gift, Charecrofts, 14       £220
acres, costing
Purchased in 1645 from Lady Campden, Butt’s Field (say), 6½        200
acres, costing
Purchased in 1651 from Cromwell, Gravel Pits, 2 acres,              45
                                    Total, 22½ acres, costing     £465

Let us now endeavour to identify these properties.

I can make you understand where Charecrofts is situated by telling you
that the Shepherd’s Bush Station of the London and South Western Railway
now occupies a portion of the site.

Butt’s Field comprises the frontage to the Kensington Road extending from
Gloucester Road on the west, eastward about 140 feet to Palace Gate, and
from the Kensington Road southwards to and including the whole of the
premises known as Kensington Gate.

The Gravel Pits are now occupied by Clanricarde Gardens, and the six
shops known as Nos. 2, 4, 6, 8, 10 and 12, High Street, Notting Hill.

It would take too long to describe the various uses to which these sites
have been put, and all the applications of the income derived from them.
Suffice it to say, that the whole was always conscientiously applied to
the purposes intended by their donors, except, that under an Act of
Parliament passed in 1777 the original parish workhouse was built upon
that part of Butt’s Field where Kensington Gate now stands, and the Act
provided that the then existing rents of the three estates, amounting to
£54, should be applied to the apprenticing of poor boys, but that any
further rents that might be obtained beyond that sum should be applied in
aid of the parish rates until the expense incurred in erecting the
workhouse should be discharged.  And accordingly they were so applied
until Lady Day of 1816.  This, no doubt, was a perversion of the fund,
because, although the workhouse was for the relief of the poor, still by
law all the parishioners were rated for that purpose, the rich as well as
the poor; and in proportion as anyone was relieved from the payment of
rates, so was the money diverted from the poor intended to be objects of
the bounty.  However, this distinction in 1777 escaped attention; but in
the report of 1810, to which I have alluded, the point was strongly made,
and since 1816 the whole income has been applied to its proper purpose.

As we have seen, in 1777 the total receipts from the lands were £54.

In 1810 the Charecroft Estate             £103      0  0 per annum.
„ Butt’s „ „                                39     17  6 „
,, Gravel Pits „ „                          38      0  0
                                Total     £180     17  6 „

of which £54 was applied to putting out apprentices, £29 to pay two
remaining annuities; the amount necessary for building the workhouse
having been obtained by the then fashionable expedient of settling life
annuities, while the balance of £97 17_s._ 6_d._ was applied in aid of
poor rates.

Let me now approach much nearer our own times, and, by referring to an
elaborate report of the trustees of Campden’s Bequest appointed for the
purpose in December, 1853, ascertain what was the income derived from
these lands in 1854.  Among the trustees at that time there were some
well known persons, including the Venerable Archdeacon Sinclair, the then
Vicar of Kensington, who many of us now present can well remember; the
Rev. Dr. Hessey, Vicar of S. Barnabas; Sir Henry Cole, C.B., well known
to many of us in connection with the South Kensington Museum; the Rev. E.
P. Denniss, Vicar of S. John’s, Notting Hill; and Dr. Frost, of Ladbroke
Square; who, if I mistake not, is the same Charles Maynard Frost who yet
remains an active trustee of the charity.

In 1853 Charecrofts was let in two          £99     0  0 per annum.
lots, producing
Butt’s Field, let in various lots           445     7  0 „
(among which was the site of the old
workhouse, let at £235 a year),
producing annually
The Gravel Pits, let in various lots,       123     0  0 „
                                 Total     £667     7  0 „

In the year ending Lady Day, 1853, £253 had been paid in pensions to poor
persons, and £157 10_s._ applied for apprenticing poor boys, while £373
1_s._ 5_d._ remained to the credit of the pension fund, and £308 6_s._
7_d._, to the credit of the apprenticeship fund.

Thus we see that the sum £465 invested in land in the years 1635 to 1651
produced in 1777 £54; in 1810, £180 17_s._ 6_d._; and in 1853, £677 7_s._
per annum in rents.

And the application of the funds had, except as regards the old parish
workhouse for the period mentioned above, been in accordance with the
intention of the donors, namely:—

The income from Lord Campden’s Bequest (Charecrofts) in pensions to the
deserving poor of the parish.

From Lady Campden’s (Butt’s) half in such pensions, and half in

And from Cromwell’s (Gravel Pits) three-fourths in pensions, and
one-fourth in apprenticeships.

Meanwhile the parish had been increasing greatly in population.  Other
churches had been built, and other congregations than that worshipping at
the Parish Church of S. Mary Abbots had been formed, and districts
allotted to them.  Questions arose as to distribution of the charity
funds as between the inhabitants of the various districts, and in 1852 a
petition was presented to the Court of Chancery by the Incumbent and
Churchwardens of the District Church at Brompton to have them settled by
the Court under the powers of an Act of Parliament of 52 George III.  And
on the 23rd December, 1852, the Court of Chancery made an order directing
that the trustees of the Campden Charities should in future apply the
profits therefrom as they had hitherto been accustomed to do; but that in
future without interfering with any pensions or contracts of
apprenticeship already entered into by them in the proportions following
among the various church districts:—

S. Mary Abbots, Kensington     25 parts.
S. Barnabas, Kensington        9 „
Holy Trinity, Brompton         21 „
S. Mary’s, West Brompton       6½ „
S. John’s, Notting Hill        17 „
S. James, Norland              9½ „
                        Total  88 „

Such order, it is evident, must have embarrassed the actions of the
trustees greatly, and considerably interfered with their judicious
application of the charity funds.  I have not been able to refer to the
evidence upon which the order was obtained, but if, on the ground of the
distribution of the population of the parish in 1852 it had any shadow of
justice then, it would be highly unjust now, when the population of the
northern half of the parish, forming the Parliamentary district of North
Kensington, and then comprised in the church districts of S. John’s,
Notting Hill, arid S. James’, Norland, is greater than that of all the
other districts put together.

Between 1853 and 1879 the income from the Campden Charities increased
from the £667 7_s._ to about £3,500 a year.

Several leases of plots of ground had fallen in, and meanwhile the value
of the land had been rising enormously.  Charecrofts, at Shepherd’s Bush,
formerly a nursery ground, was in 1864 let on a building lease for a term
of ninety-nine years at a ground rent of £870 per annum.  In 1865 the
London and South Western Railway treated for and subsequently purchased a
part of the estate, 5 acres 2 roods 5 perches in extent, for the sum of
£10,000, which reduced the rent of the estate from £870 to £485 per

This sum of £10,000 was for some time invested in consols, but in 1887
was reinvested in the purchase of ground rents in the city of London.

In 1874 a portion of Butt’s Fields was sold to the Duke of Bedford for
the sum of £18,500 (a very good price you will think) for the site of
Thorney House at the corner of Gloucester Road.  In 1875 a further
portion of the estate, being 12 and 13, Hyde Park Gate, was sold to Mr.
James Watney, M.P., for £22,500.  Both of these amounts were at first
invested in consols, but have since been invested in the purchase of a
freehold estate in the city called Thanet House, and in ground rents in
the city.

In 1869 the Gravel Pits Estate was let on a building lease for
ninety-nine years at a rent of £1,040 per annum, when Clanricarde
Gardens, and Nos. 2, 4, 8, 10 and 12, High Street, Notting Hill, were
erected thereon.  And advantageous leases of the remaining land were made
at greatly increased rentals from time to time as opportunity occurred.

Such being the case, and the trustees being hampered by that curious
order of the Court of December, 1852, it was clear that the time had
arrived when the affairs of the charity should be placed upon a footing
consonant with its increased income and the greater population of the
parish.  Accordingly, application was made to the Charity Commissioners,
who have been provided by the legislature with powers in that respect,
and in 1879 that body made an order vesting the lands in the official
trustee of charity lands, and approved a scheme prepared under their
superintendence, altering the qualification for the office of trustee of
the charity, defining the duties and powers of the trustees, and
directing the application of the income of the charity.  That scheme,
which has since been the subject of some further orders, is practically,
but not without some important modifications, the same as the one now in
force, which I will state at length presently.

But at the time it was objected to considerably, and at a meeting of
ratepayers held on the 3rd August, 1879, at the Vestry Hall, it was
resolved to petition the Court against it, on the grounds principally
that it limited the amounts payable in pensions and to be applied for
apprenticing poor boys, and that it abrogated the order of the Court of
the 23rd December, 1852, apportioning the distribution of the funds among
the districts of the various churches; and a petition against the scheme
was presented to the Court.  Vice-Chancellor Hall was impressed by the
arguments for the petitioners, and set aside the scheme, but the Charity
Commissioners appealed, and the Court of Appeal, presided over by the
late Master of the Rolls, confirmed the order of the Charity Commission,
and, in his judgment, made some remarks of so generally interesting and
important a character that I regret time does not permit me to read them
to you.  You will, however, find them recorded in vol. 45 of the “Law
Times Reports,” at page 158.

The decision was given on, the 27th May, 1881, and accordingly the
affairs of the charity were, up to the 4th of March, 1890, regulated by
that order.

But on the 4th March, 1890, the Charity Commissioners, on the application
of the trustees of the charity, made another order, which is the one now
in force.  It is practically the same, with some important additions, as
that approved by the Court of Appeal in 1881.  I now state it fully, so
that you all may learn how the affairs of the charity are regulated.

The charity is managed by eighteen competent persons as trustees,
viz.:—Three _ex-officio_, six representative, nine co-optative.

The three _ex-officio_ trustees are the Vicar and Churchwardens for the
time being of the parish of Kensington.

The six representative trustees are elected—two by the Vestry of
Kensington; two by the Board of Guardians of the poor of the parish; two
by the members of the School Board for London for the Division of

The co-optative trustees must be persons residing or carrying on business
in the parish of Kensington, and are to be provisionally appointed by the
trustees, which appointment must be approved by the Charity Commissioners
before it is valid.

The representative trustees are appointed for five years, and the
co-optative trustees for seven years.

The income of the charity is to be applied as follows:—1st, in the
payment of the pensions and apprenticeship fees granted before the 27th
May, 1881.

The income is then divided into two portions.

One-half of the income, after providing for these old pensions, is to be
applied in charitable or eleemosynary purposes as follows:—(1) An annual
sum of not more than £900 nor less than £700 in the payment of pensions
to deserving and necessitous inhabitants of the parish of Kensington, who
shall have resided therein for not less than seven years next preceding
the time of their appointment, who shall not during that period have
received poor law relief, and who from age, ill-health, accident, or
infirmity shall be unable to maintain themselves by their own exertions.

(2) The remainder of the half, after paying the £900 applicable to
pensions, to the general benefit of the poor of Kensington, to such
persons and in such way as the trustees shall consider most advantageous
to the recipients and most conducive to the formation of provident
habits, as follows:—

1. (_a_) Subscriptions in aid of the funds of any dispensary, infirmary,
hospital, or convalescent home, upon such terms as to enable the trustees
to secure the benefit of the institution for the objects of the

(_b_) To provident clubs or societies in the parish of Kensington for the
supply of coal, clothes, or other necessaries.

2.  Contributions towards

(_a_) The provision of nurses for the sick and infirm.

(_b_) The purchase of annuities for the augmentation of any income
possessed by the recipients and produced by their own exertions.

(_c_) The cost of outfit, on entering into trade or service, of any one
under 21 years of age.

(_d_) Passage money and outfit in aid of emigration.

(_e_) Maintenance of any reading-room, library, or working man’s club for
the benefit of the parish.

3.  The temporary relief in money by way of loan or otherwise to an
amount not exceeding £200 in one year in case of unexpected loss,
temporary illness, or sudden destitution.  The pensions above mentioned
are not to be less than £10 and not more than £26 a-year.

The other half of the income of the charities is to be applied to
educational purposes:—

(_a_) In payments for the education of the children of poor inhabitants
of the parish who are deaf and dumb or blind, or suffering from physical
or mental infirmity, and who thereby aggravate the difficulties of their
parents or guardians; and

(_b_) To the advancement of children who are _bonâ fide_ residents in
Kensington, who have been scholars in a public elementary school, and who
have received certificates of good conduct from the managers, in the
following ways:—

(1) In apprenticing children who have attended school for five years, and
in providing a suitable outfit.

The apprenticeship premium is not to exceed £30.

(2) In payments not exceeding £10 a-year for the benefit of children who
have attended school for not less than five years, and who have attained
a standard which releases them from compulsory attendance.  Such payment
to be made only while the child regularly attends a public elementary

(3) Exhibitions for higher education of £30 a-year for five years.

(4) In providing lectures and classes for the benefit of scholars who are
attending or have attended any public elementary school in Kensington.

The trustees have power to raise and expend £50,000 in a building for the
purpose of such lectures or classes.

The trustees may give rewards of £5 to apprentices for distinguished

The trustees are bound, in administering the funds, to have regard to the
wants of the poor of every part of the parish of Kensington, and to
satisfy themselves that in each case the beneficiaries are, in respect of
poverty and character, deserving of help.  And no part of the income is
ever to be applied, directly or indirectly, in aid of the poor rate of
the parish.

I hope you notice the anxious and thoughtful care which has been taken to
secure that the funds shall be properly administered in accordance with
the true intention of the original donors, and with the needs and
circumstances of the parish at the present time.

The gross annual income of the Campden Charity is now the magnificent sum
of £4,382 19_s._, all derived from the original investment of £465 in
land in the middle of the 17th century.

I have pursued the interesting subject of the Campden Charities as long
as the time at our disposal will permit, and your patience can endure.  I
only wish further to impress upon you that the charity has an office at
the Vestry Hall, Kensington, and a clerk, Mr. R. C. Green, to whom all
applications can be made, and who is ready at all times to give
information to anyone properly applying to him for the same.

Those of you who care to go further into the subject, I recommend to
obtain the last annual report of the trustees, and to carefully peruse
the same.

Some of the most interesting work done under the auspices of the trustees
is that of the handicraft classes, both for boys and girls, in which
practical instruction and carpentering for the one, and cookery and
dressmaking and mending for the other, has for some time been given at S.
Clement’s Mission Room and All Saints’ School Room.

And I think that the powers lately given to the trustees to provide a
building and equipment for technical education have already been
exercised, and active steps are being taken for its establishment amongst

Before finally leaving the subject, I may mention that in the year 1889
there were paid £570 in old pensions; £1,566 on the first head of
pensions and charitable aid; and £1,566 on the second head for education
and apprenticeship.


In 1652 Mr. William Methwold by will gave six cottages or almshouses, in
the will called “an hospital,” to form residences for six poor women.

These almshouses were situated in what is now called Cromwell Lane, and
adjoined a house and grounds called Hale House, which had been owned and
occupied by Mr. Methwold; and this house was charged with the payment of
£24 a year to give a pension or subsistence money of £4 a year each to
six alms-women by quarterly payments of £1, at Hale House.

The will provided that the parish in Vestry were to appoint three alms
women to the three western houses, and the owner or inhabitant of Hale
House for the time being to appoint to the three eastern houses.

The alms women were to be single, aged 50, free from vice and of good
report, were not to be allowed to receive lodgers, and were to visit and
assist one another in sickness.

Difficulties occurred in executing the provisions of the will,
necessitating an application to the Court of Chancery, and by a decree of
the Court dated 17th July, 1758, the charity was established according to
the will, except that the rent charge upon Hale House of £26 a year for
pensions was reduced to £18.  The charity continued in this condition for
a great number of years, and the rent charge duly paid by the proprietors
of the Hale House Estate, who in 1810 were the Countess of Harrington and
Lady Fleming, both descended from John Fleming, the purchaser of Hale
House from the Methwold family.

The committee of 1810, in their report of which I have made so much use
in preparing this paper, point out the necessity for a very careful and
vigilant attention in the selection for the benefits of this charity,
from that class of respectable poor “who may justly be entitled to
accommodation of this kind,” and the report quaintly proceeds:—

    “The committee do this the rather as the charity has been for many
    years past shamefully abused by a woman in one of the _eastern_
    houses, who has suffered a man to reside with her in direct violation
    of one of the express rules of the original foundation, and in
    defiance of repeated remonstrances to the contrary.”

Thomas Goodfellow, by his will dated 1597, gave a rent charge of 20_s._ a
year out of the same property as that charged by Methwold to be paid
annually to the Vicar and Churchwardens of Kensington, and this bequest
was duly established of the same decree of the Court as established
Methwold’s gift.

The Methwold’s almshouses continued to exist until about 1871, when both
the almshouses and the Hale House Estate, out of which the rent charges
were paid, were compulsorily acquired by the Metropolitan Railway
Company, who paid a large sum to the vestry for the purchase thereof.
This put an end to the almshouses.  The money received from the purchase
was invested in Government stock, and now consists of the sum of £4,922
11_s._ 10_d._ 2¾ per cent. consolidated stock, purchased for £4,563 4_s._
9_d._ in cash.  Application was then made to the Charity Commissioners
for an order establishing a scheme for the future regulation of the
charity, which was accordingly adopted, viz.:—That the net income of the
charity be applied in pensioning poor widows or single women of good
character and reputation, and not less than 60 years of age, whose income
from all sources does not exceed £30 a year, who have resided in the
parish for not less than ten years, and have never received parochial

These pensioners are appointed by the Vestry.  It appears from the Vestry
report of 1888–9 that there were then seven women, whose ages varied from
78 to 84, in receipt of pensions from this fund, amounting in the
aggregate to £118 6_s._

I now come to various other gifts of small amounts, most of them of very
great antiquity, to the poor of the parish of Kensington, to all except
one of which the following remark applies:—These were gifts to secure
which the donors charged specific sums annually upon certain properties,
or left specific amounts of Government stock.

They were not gifts of land or of money which could be or was, except in
one case, applied in the purchase of real property.  Consequently the
parish has not derived the benefit from the marvellous increase of value
in lands due to the modern development of the parish which has happened
in the case of the Campden bequests.

In 1560 Thomas Young gave for the use of the poor of the parish a rent
charge of 20_s._ a year, and of two houses in High Street, Kensington,
occupied in 1810 by Mr. Gunton, a plumber, and Mr. Cock, a shoemaker.  I
have not been able to trace all the vicissitudes of this gift, but I now
find it converted into £37 18_s._ 2_d._ consuls, from which a yearly
dividend of 11_s._ 2_d._ only is derived, so that this gift, instead of
increasing in value to the poor of the parish since 1560, has actually

In 1617 Lady Berkeley charged a house at Kensington Gravel Pits with a
rent charge of £10 a year, payable half-yearly, to be disposed of by the
Vicar, Churchwardens, and Overseers of the poor within ten days after
being received, “to, and amongst, and for the benefit of the most _aged_
and _impotent_ poor of the parish as they should see convenient.”

In 1658 Thomas Sams left a rent charge of £5 a year charged upon property
in Church Lane and Holland Street, to be distributed among the poor of
Kensington by the Vicar, Churchwardens, and Overseers, and this has ever
since been regularly paid and distributed.  I see that in March in the
year 1890 it produced the sum of £4 16_s._ 10_d._, so this is another
instance of a standstill property.

In 1805 Mary Carnaby left £40 for the use of the poor, and in 1707 the
parish officers with £80, £30 of which was out of Mary Carnaby’s £40, and
the remaining £50 was a gift by Catherine Dickens in 1702, for the
specific purpose of education (as to which I shall have something to say
presently) purchased the freehold of the “Goat” public house in the High
Street in trust as to three-eighths of the rent to be distributed among
the poor.  The “Goat” public house still remains, and three-eighths of
the rent now amounts to £54 12_s._ 1_d._, which is another instance of
how profitable early investments of land in the parish have proved.

In 1794 James Mackintosh, by will, directed his wife to transfer £100 4
per cent. annuities to the Vicar and Churchwardens of the parish, for
them “to apply the dividends thereof every Christmas in the purchase of
coals, or bread, or both, for the relief of ten poor families of the
parish who did not receive alms, as they from time to time may think most
deserving.”  This stock was duly transferred, and now consists of £105
consols, the dividend on which is £3 18_s._ 8_d._

In 1798 Thomas Reeves, by will, gave to the Vicar, Churchwardens and
Overseers £100 5 per cent. bank annuities, to apply the dividends thereof
“unto and for the use of, and benefit of, the poor and indigent people,
parishioners of Kensington, yearly for ever.”

This bequest now consists of £110 7_s._ 6_d._ consols, the annual
dividend upon which amounts to £4 2_s._

In 1832 Elizabeth Ramsden left £500 reduced 3 per cent. stock, the
dividend on which was to be applied in keeping in order a tomb and
tablets in the parish churchyard and church, and the balance to be
applied for the benefit of the poor of the parish.

In 1837 Mary Barnard made a gift on similar conditions, which is now
represented by £110 7_s._ consols producing an annual dividend of £2
14_s._ 8_d._

The application of all the above gifts is regulated by the order of the
Court of Chancery, dated 23rd December, 1853, to which I referred just
now when dealing with the Campden bequests, and which as regards those
was (as it appears to me) fortunately abrogated by the decree of the
Court of Appeal on the 27th May, 1881, putting those charities upon their
present admirable basis.

According to this decree of 1853, the income from the gifts I have just
been detailing has to be divided into eighty-eight parts as follows:—

   25  88ths to S. Mary Abbot’s district,
    9  88ths to S. Barnabas,
   21  88ths to Holy Trinity, Brompton,
   6½  88ths to S. Mary Boltons,
   17  88ths to S. John’s, Notting Hill,
   9½  88ths to S. James’, Norland,

and their respective proportions are distributed to the poor of these
districts by the Incumbents and Churchwardens of each district.

The income from these gifts during the year ending Easter, 1890, was £93
8_s._ 5_d._

I for one venture to doubt whether this method of distribution is the
best possible.

In the first place it is altogether disproportionate to the present
population and to the localities now inhabited by the poor residents in
the parish.  As we all know, a larger proportion both of population and
poor now reside in that part of the parish north of the Uxbridge Road,
yet the districts of S. John’s, Notting Hill, and S. James’, Norland,
which according to the order in question occupy the whole of the northern
part I am alluding to, receive only 26½ 88ths, which for the year ending
Easter, 1890, amounted to £28 1_s._ 8_d._, far less than their due

Then there is needless complication in dividing the income into
eighty-eight parts, splitting it up into small proportions, so that it
reaches the hands of those who have to distribute it in driblets, giving
an amount of trouble and anxiety out of all proportion to the importance
of the sums, or the benefit to those receiving them.

I for one venture to think it would be much better to hand over all the
property now representing these gifts to the Charity Commissioners and
the Campden Trustees, to be dealt with by the latter in the same manner
as that portion of their fund allocated to charitable purposes as
distinguished from educational ones are applied.

There are also some other gifts more recently bequeathed, which are
distributed to special purposes as directed by the donors.  These are:—

In 1840 Mr. Searle bequeathed £300 consols the dividends on which are
distributed by the Vicar and Churchwardens among poor women, sixty years
and upwards of age in single £1’s (pounds sterling) or as near thereto as

In 1851 Mr. Shore bequeathed £120 9_s._ 8_d._, new £3 per cents. the
dividends on which are distributed by the Churchwardens and Overseers in
bread and coals, or both, but not in money.

In 1867 Mr. Haine bequeathed £300 consols, the dividends on which after
defraying the costs of cleaning and restoring the donor’s tomb every
second year, are distributed by the Vicar and Churchwardens in the same
manner as Mr. Shore’s gift.

In 1885 Mr. Thomas Blewitt bequeathed £1,000 to the Vicar and
Churchwardens, which was invested in the purchase of £997 10_s._ 2¾_d._
consols, the dividends in which are first applied to the maintenance of
the testator’s grave in the Kensington Cemetery at Hanwell, and the
gravestones of his ancestors in Kensington Churchyard; and the balance
applied for the benefit of six of the oldest and most deserving poor
widows in the parish.  It is gratifying to know that from this bequest
the sum of £26 6_s._ 11_d._ was so applied during the year ending Easter,

I have attached to this paper the account showing the application of the
income of these charities during the year ending Easter, 1890.  But the
unsuitableness to modern times of the prescribed method of distribution
of these charities clearly appears from these accounts.  When I tell you
that five separate gentlemen distributed, one the sum of 14_s._, and the
four others 13_s._ each in that year I think you will agree with me that
it will be better to place these charities upon a more sensible footing.


                        _Year ended Easter_, 1890.

The undermentioned charities are apportioned among the several
ecclesiastical districts of the parish, pursuant to an order of the Court
of Chancery, dated 22nd December, 1852, viz.:—

                                £   _s._   _d._      £   _s._   _d._
Lady Berkeley’s Gift                                10      0      0
Thomas Young’s „                                     1      3      4
Thomas Sam’s „                                       4     17      6
Elizabeth Ramsden’s Gift                            13     15      0
Mary Barnard’s „                                     3      0      8
Mary Carnaby’s „                                    54     16     11
Thomas McIntosh’s „                                  3      7      4
Thomas Reeve’s „                                     3     17      0
                                                    94     17      9
Cheque Book (stamps)            0      8      4
Clerical Assistants, _re_       1      3      0
                                1      9      4
                                                    93      8      5

                           _The Apportionment_.

                                           £   _s._   _d._
S. Mary Abbots District   25-88ths        26     10      9
S. Barnabas ,,            9-88ths          9     11      0
Holy Trinity „            21-88ths        22      6      0
S. Mary, Boltons „        6½-88ths         6     18      0
S. John’s ,,              17-88ths        18      1      0
S. James, Norlands „      9½-88ths        10      1      9
                                          93      8      5

The undermentioned charities, having specific trusts, are distributed by
the donors, viz.:—

Mr. SEARLE’S Gift, by the Vicar and Churchwardens, in single pounds,
among women 60 years of age and upwards.

Mr. HAINES’ Gift, by the Vicar and Churchwardens, in bread or coals, or
both, but not in money.

Mr. SHORE’S Gift, by the Churchwardens and Overseers, in bread or coals,
or both, but not in money.

   Charity.        The Vicar of S.    Capt. James, R.E.,     Mr. F. C. Frye,      Mr. A. White, (Town)         Mr. C. G.         Lt.-Gen. R. M.          Total.
                    Mary Abbots.         Churchwarden.        Churchwarden.             Overseer.               Kemball,       Macdonald (Nottg.
                                                                                                               (Brompton)       Hill) Overseer.
                     £   _s._   _d._      £   _s._   _d._      £   _s._   _d._     £      _s._       _d._     £   _s._   _d._     £   _s._   _d._      £   _s._   _d._
General              6     12      9      6     12      8      6     12      8     6        12          8                                             26     10      9
applicable to
St. Mary
Mr. Searle’s         2     15      0      2     15             2     15      0                                                                         8      5      0
Mr. Haines’ ,,       2     15      0      2     15      0      2     15      0                                                                         8      5      0
Mr. Shore’s „                             0     14      0      0     13      0     0        13          0     0     13      0     0     13      0      3      6      0
                    12      2      9     12     16      8     12     15      8     7         5          8     0     13      0     0     13      0     46      6      9
Unpaid Balances:—
Mr. Searle’s         0     10      4                                                                                                                   0     10      4
Mr. Haines’ „        0     15      4                                                                                                                   0     15      4
                    13      8      5     12     16      8     12     15      8          7         5     8     0     13      0     0     13      0     47     12      5

I must now hurry on to the three remaining endowed charities of

The first is the Charity known as Leech and Aisley’s Trusts.

Margaret Leech, a lady residing in Kensington Square, by her will dated
in the year 1799, gave £1000 6 per cent. bank annuities to five trustees,
of whom the then Vicar was one, in trust to apply the interest thereof
“in the maintenance, clothing, and instruction of so many female children
as it would be sufficient to so provide for; such children being
parishioners of Kensington whose fathers and mothers, and grandfathers
and grandmothers should have been seven years successively housekeepers,
or employed as servants in the parish, and have been three years in the
same service.”  The children to be appointed by the trustees, and not to
be less than seven years of age when admitted, nor to be continued after
attaining fifteen years.  The interest always to remain a separate stock,
and not to be applied to any other purpose, and the charity always to
remain a distinct foundation, but the children might be placed in any
other charitable institution, but so as always to be distinguished as
children of this foundation.

This charity, as you have perceived, is for the benefit of girls.

Stephen Aisley, by his will dated 1805, gave so much money arising from
the realisation on his personal estate as would, when invested in
accordance with the directions in the will, produce an annual income of
£30 a year, to five trustees, of whom the Vicar was one, “in trust for
the apprenticing of boys from the Charity School of Kensington, of the
boarding establishment only, to be selected by the trustees of his will.
The £30 a year to be considered a separate fund, and not to be applied to
any other purpose.”

You will notice the resemblance of these two bequests.  It would seem as
though the respective testators had been acquaintances, and had talked
the matter over between themselves; and that Mrs. Leech had resolved to
benefit some of the poor girls of the parish, while Mr. Aisley, on the
other hand, determined in a similar manner to benefit some poor boys.
You will also notice how strongly both testators insisted that these
funds should for ever remain separate foundations, and should never be
mixed with any other.  If their intention was to keep up the memory of
their names it has succeeded, for the Leech and Aisley Charity,
established so long ago, remains to this day under the same name, and the
funds are still applied as the testators directed.

These bequests were the subject of an order of the Charity Commissioners
of the 13th July, 1880, by which the funds of both were vested in the
Official Trustees of Charitable Funds, and which regulates their present
application.  It appears from this order that the property of Leech’s
Charity then consisted of £1,477 19_s._ 10_d._ new 3 per cents. and that
of Aisley’s Charity of £1,352 12_s._ 11_d._ consols.

The order provided that both charities were in future to be administered
by seven trustees—three official, namely, the Vicar and Churchwardens of
Kensington for the time being; and four more non-official, who were to be
appointed from competent persons resident in Kensington, whose
credentials should be satisfactory to the Charity Commissioners.

The order directs that the dividends arising from the £1,477 19_s._
10_d._ new three per cents, representing Margaret Leech’s bequest, shall
be applied in the “maintenance, clothing, and support of girls, daughters
of deserving persons resident in Kensington, who are inmates of the
Girls’ Industrial School established in the parish, and in providing such
girls with suitable outfits upon their leaving school and entering
domestic service, or otherwise for their benefit or advancement in life;
provided that in case the trustees shall at any time consider that a girl
not in the said school, but being the child of a poor inhabitant of the
parish, is a more suitable object for the charity, such girl may be
selected.”  You will notice with what tenderness the directions of Mrs.
Leech are treated and how closely they are followed in the order.

The Industrial School for Girls mentioned in the order does not come
within the scope of my paper, since, as far as I am able to learn, it has
never become an endowed charity.  It is an excellent institution,
established in 1858, with the object of providing education and a home
for girls, who “either from evil example, extreme poverty, or the death
of their parents, are exposed to temptation,” and supported entirely by
voluntary contributions.  The institution was formerly carried on at 2,
Bullingham Place, Church Street, and is now merged into the Kensington
Training School for Girls, at 3, Church Street.

It still subsists almost entirely on voluntary contribution, its only
settled income amounting to £13 9_s._ 1_d._ a-year, and is an institution
which deserves support.  I trust that some charitable person may hear of
or see this paper, and thus be induced to place the Kensington Training
School for Girls among the endowed charities of Kensington by bestowing,
preferably in his lifetime, but at all events by will, a handsome
endowment upon it.

It appears from the accounts of Leech’s Charity for the year 1890, which
I have seen, that its income for that year was £40 13_s._, and with that,
and a balance from the preceding year, it paid the sum of £44 5_s._ 6_d._
to the Kensington Training School for Girls for the support of girls
within that institution, in strict accordance with the directions of the
donor, and the order of the Charity Commissioners.

This order, as regards Aisley’s Charity, directed that the dividends from
the £1,352 12_s._ 11_d._ consols belonging to the charity should be
applied in the payment “of exhibitions to boys of the yearly value not
exceeding £15 a-year to boys educated at one of the public elementary
schools in the parish, either in the situation of pupil teachers, or to
assist their education at some school higher than elementary, or of
technical or professional instruction.”

I have also examined the accounts of Aisley’s Charity for the year 1890,
and I find during that year the income of the charity was £37 5_s._
8_d._, out of which, and from a balance of £46 9_s._ 1_d._ from preceding
years, exhibitions of varying value were paid to five boys at various

I have next to deal with a charity as to which there was, at the time I
prepared this paper, a singular absence of information.  It is called the
District School, carried on in Jenning’s Buildings.  Jenning’s Buildings,
if I remember rightly, was a rookery in Kensington, and removed to make
way for Baron Grant’s house, since in its turn pulled down, and its site
occupied by Kensington Court.

Since this lecture was delivered, Mr. J. J. Merriman, of 45, Kensington
Square, one of the most respected and distinguished of Kensington
parishioners, has most kindly given me full information as to these
Jenning’s Buildings Schools.  Jenning’s Buildings are thus described in
the Report for the year 1853, of the S. Mary Abbot’s Kensington District
Visiting Society:—

    “Jenning’s Buildings is a portion of the town leading out of the High
    Street, and is the chosen settlement of the Irish Romanists.  It
    consists of a series of courts and alleys, which, for closeness and
    filth, are probably without a parallel westward of S. Paul’s.  Being
    a _cul de sac_, unlighted, irregularly-paved, and indifferently
    supplied with water, its best-disposed inhabitants find it difficult
    to cultivate the habits of civilized life.  The majority give the
    matter up, and seek in alcoholic and other stimulants an antidote
    against wretchedness, malaria, and disease.  Nowhere are the evils of
    overcrowded chambers more apparent.  Single rooms frequently shelter
    two and even three families.  Its choicest district exhibits a return
    of 40 families to 18 houses; of 160 persons, exclusive of lodgers,
    sleeping in 39 rooms.  The entire population must exceed 1,500 souls.
    Prior to the erection of the present schools it was impossible for
    ladies to penetrate its recesses.  The police entered its retreats in
    couples.  In 1847 the work of reformation commenced, and since then a
    steady progress has been made.  At first the school was emphatically
    ‘a ragged school;’ its scholars were literally running wild and
    half-naked in the streets; they outraged alike propriety and

The modern inhabitants of Kensington, especially those residing in its
not least-favoured spot, Kensington Court, will have a difficulty in
believing what is nevertheless the fact, that the above was a truthful
description of the state in A.D. 1853 of the spot now occupied by the
mansions and gardens of Kensington Court.

Jenning’s Buildings School was the outcome of the earnest efforts of a
few Kensingtonians of those days, headed by that great and good man,
Archdeacon Sinclair, to deal with this sad condition of things.

By voluntary contributions the school was established and carried on, and
there, from 1847 to 1874, devoted men and women laboured amongst the poor
Irish for their improvement, physical, mental, moral, and religious, with

In 1874 Baron Grant obtained the site of this rookery, and thereon
erected the palace, destined to be so shortly afterwards demolished and
replaced by Kensington Court, and the former inhabitants of the rookery
dispersed, many of them to take refuge in the potteries in the northern
part of the parish.  The Jenning’s Buildings Schools were pulled down.
Accommodation for those of the children remaining was found in the Parish
National Schools, and out of the money received from Baron Grant on the
purchase of the site, which was received by the Charity Commissioners,
£1,600 was paid to the manager of the Parish National Schools by the
Charity Commissioners, on the twofold condition that those schools should
be worked in accordance with the 7th section of the Education Act of
1870, and should provide accommodation for the children of the Jenning’s
Buildings class.

The balance of the money received by the Charity Commissioners from Baron
Grant for the site of the Jenning’s Buildings Schools, remained
unappropriated in the hands of the Charity Commissioners until last year,
when the attention of the manager of the Parish Schools was called to the
fact by one of the officials in the office of the Charity Commission, who
is a member of the congregation of S. Mary Abbots.  A scheme was
thereupon prepared, and an order of the Charity Commissioners, dated the
21st November, 1890, was made on the application of the Vicar and
Churchwardens (the trustees of the charity), reciting that the property
of the charity is the sum of £343 3_s._ 2_d._ two and threequarter per
cent. consols, standing in the names of the official trustees of
charitable funds.  And the order provided that the income of the charity
is to be applied in payments of not more than £8 a year each to the
advancement of the education of children attending public elementary
schools, and in payments to encourage continuance at school.  The money
may be applied towards paying the tuition fees of the child, or it may be
deposited in a savings bank for the benefit of the child, or otherwise
applied for his or her benefit.


I now come to the only remaining charity of which I propose to treat,
which is that now representing the old Parish Free Schools, viz., the
well known schools in Church Court, adjoining the parish church of S.
Mary Abbots, now called the National and Infant Schools.

The first endowment to this charity dates from so long ago as 1645, when
Roger Pimble gave by will two houses in High Street, Kensington, held
under a lease from Brazenose College, Oxford, for “a salary for the
maintenance of a free school in Kensington for poor men’s children in the
said town to be taught.”

In 1652 the parish purchased the leases of the “Catherine Wheel” public
house and a small plot of land adjoining, which were accordingly conveyed
to the Churchwardens and Overseers, and other parishioners, for the use
of the parish; and in 1664 the freehold of these premises was granted by
the Lady of the Manor of Abbots, Kensington, to Christopher Batt and
others in trust “for the perpetual habitation of a schoolmaster; for the
education, teaching and instruction of poor boys and youths of the parish
of Kensington in the same messuage;” and the said schoolmaster was to be
chosen by the parishioners and inhabitants, or the majority of them.

Catherine Dickens by will made in 1702 gave £50 to the Vicar and
Churchwardens, the income thereof to be applied for ever “for the further
maintenance of a schoolmaster belonging to the said parish, for teaching
such poor children to write and cast accounts, whose parents being
inhabitants of this parish were not able to pay for the same.”

In 1705 Mary Carnaby, as I have already mentioned, left £40 for the use
of the poor.

And in 1707 the Parish Officers, with £80 made up of Mr. Dicken’s £50 and
£30 out of Mary Carnaby’s £40, purchased the freehold of the “Goat”
public house in High Street, which was accordingly conveyed to trustees
on trust as to fire-eighths of the rent for the further and better
maintenance of the said schoolmaster, and as to three-eighths “to be
distributed among the poor.”

With these endowments a school was established; there was a building in
which instruction was given and a salary provided to pay a schoolmaster
by whom the instruction was to be given.

The history of the charity thus just established now becomes very
intricate, and it would exhaust your patience still more, without serving
any countervailing useful purpose, were I to attempt to follow the whole
matter in detail.  I will therefore spare you all this, and content
myself, and I hope my hearers, by calling your attention to the more
important events.

In 1707 a charity school was established in accordance with the notions
of those days, in which 30 boys and 20 girls were instructed, and were
also clothed in an uniform at the expense of the charity, but were not
lodged or fed, except by a dinner on Sundays to secure their attendance
at church.  This object was attained by applying for subscriptions, and
it was then that the Royal bounty which the schools have up to the
present received was first granted, Queen Anne granting £50 a-year, and
Prince George of Denmark her husband, £30 a-year.  The next step was to
amalgamate the free school with the new charity school which took place
in 1709, and in 1711 the old schoolhouse on the premises formerly
occupied by the “Catherine Wheel” public house was pulled down and a new
one erected, and was first used in August, 1712.  The subscriptions
collected for the building were more than sufficient for the purpose, as
were also those for the carrying on the school, and the surplus was from
time to time invested, first in East India bonds, and afterwards in South
Sea annuities.

Thomas Smith, and his son in 1721, left a house adjoining the school
premises in trust for the habitation of a schoolmaster.

In 1732 the Rev. Dr. Millington, the then Vicar of Kensington, devised
one-third of the rent of some land at Acton to trustees for the use of
the Charity School; and some other small gifts were from time to time
made to the charity.

In 1769 a Mrs. Randolph bequeathed, or gave in her lifetime, a sum of
£275 to the schools, which appears to have been invested in South Sea

Another benefactor to the parish was Mr. John Farmer, who died on the 9th
November, 1803, bequeathing his portrait to the schoolhouse, in the
modern representative of which it still hangs, and assists the school
committee in their labours by beaming upon them from the wall of the
school committee room, and a sum of £500, together with the proceeds of
the sale of his household furniture and pictures, saving the aforesaid
portrait.  The furniture produced £400, making Mr. Farmer’s, benefaction
amount in money to £900, and the whole appears to have been invested in
South Sea Stock.

At the date of the report of 1810, to which I have frequently alluded,
the property of the charity consisted of the school premises, occupying
an important site in the main road, two sums of South Sea stock,
amounting to £2,275 and £925 each, the Royal bounty, five-eighths of the
rent of the “Goat” public-house, and the rent of the land at Acton given
by Dr. Millington.  And the committee recommended that some children be
boarded and longed as well as educated, and that more be educated, and
that the title be changed from “Charity School” to that of “Free School.”

The school premises erected in 1712 by means of the subscriptions to
which allusion was just now made, was long one of the glories of
Kensington.  It was designed by Sir John Vanbrugh, the constructor of
Blenheim Palace, and the fashionable architect of his time.  Sir John was
also known as a great and successful courtier, as well as a dramatic
author and poet of somewhat doubtful reputation.  Many of us are in a
position to criticise from memory one at least of his works, viz., the
front of these Kensington National Schools, which stood until removed to
make way for the new Town Hall.  There were figures of a charity boy and
girl in the costume of the period decorating the front.  Sir John
Vanbrugh seems to have satisfied the taste not only of his own but of
some succeeding generations with this building, for Faulkner, writing in
1820, speaks of it in terms of high praise, and makes a boast of
Kensington possessing it, but I must confess I personally never admired
it, and am far from regretting its destruction.

Following on the recommendation of the committee of 1810, the charity was
reconstructed.  New schoolrooms were built, still behind Sir John’s
front, which were first opened in June, 1818, on the National system of
education which had been first established in the parish in 1809.  In
August, 1819, according to Faulkner, there were 140 boys and 100 girls in
the school, the whole of whom were taught by one master and one mistress,
without any assistants.  Mark that, ye moderns!  70 girls were clothed,
but only 12 boys.  The children were all day scholars, the hours of
attendance being from 9 to 12, and 2 to 5 on week-days, and on Sundays
twice to church.

I now come to the more modern history of the Charity.  The older
parishioners will remember the time when Archdeacon Sinclair was Vicar,
and the interest he took in the matter of the parish schools.  In my
search for information on the subject I applied to the Rev. Wm. Wright,
now Rector of Sutton, near Sandy, in Bedfordshire, who was for twenty
years, from 1855 to 1875, senior Curate of Kensington under the
Archdeacon, and who acted as secretary to the schools all that time, and
he has been very kind in answering my questions.  This is how Mr. Wright
describes the schools:—

    “In 1855 there was next to the Vestry Hall and Churchyard a large
    room consisting of four walls, three of which were dead, _i.e._,

    “The room was divided by masonry and folding doors; on one side was a
    boys’ school and on the other a girls’ school.  The building was
    hideous in the extreme, internally and externally.  Adjoining was a
    residence for teachers, comfortless and miserable, but with a
    make-believe frontage to High Street of brick work which was admired
    by the ‘craft’ and the antiquarians, I should say.  Behind this was a
    wretched schoolroom for infants abutting on Church Court.  The whole
    lot of building save the frontage a miserable affair.

    “There was no boarding of children in my time.  There was free
    education, but leave was obtained to make a change subject to a small
    free list being maintained.  As to clothing, there was a partial
    clothing of some children, but as the uniform of charity was
    distasteful it was dropped, and the saving thereof thrown into the
    educational fund of the school.

    “The question of new schools arose, and what we did was, first, to
    buy up the house in Church Court next to the police station, and on
    the site of it build the girls’ schools. {16}  This done, it was
    after a time rumoured that the adjoining houses were likely to be
    sold for purposes which would destroy the quiet of the schools.  We
    then, secondly, bought the houses adjoining.  Accommodating ourselves
    to the times, we had to look out for better schools, and the thought
    struck us that as the wretched room in High Street was a very
    valuable site for almost any other purpose in the world than a
    school, we might sell it and with the proceeds build a boys’ and
    infants’ school on one of the best sites for such a thing, viz.,
    Church Court and on the verge of the closed churchyard.  Accordingly
    we sold the school site in High Street to the Vestry, and with the
    money so obtained built the boys’ and infants’ schools.

    “As to the funds of the school: they were drawn upon to effect the
    purchase of the close houses, and there were sums of ‘accumulated
    balances’ which were at the disposal of the trustees for such
    purpose.  Of course when the schools were built the rents of the
    houses on its site were gone for ever.  There were other sources from
    which help was obtained to aid the cause.”

I am sure every one interested in Kensington will feel grateful to Mr.
Wright for kindly giving us such full and accurate information, which
probably no other man now living could have supplied.

Exactly according to Mr. Wright’s recollection I find an order of the
Charity Commissioners dated the 15th December, 1874, sanctioning the sale
of the school site to the Vestry of Kensington for a sum of not less than

This sale was effected, and upon the site was erected the new Town Hall,
which we of this generation admire as much as our forefathers did, Sir
John Vanbrugh’s school, and we are conceited enough to believe with far
more reason.

The schools are now regulated, like most of the other charities, by an
order of the Charity Commissioners, dated the 13th August, 1875.

That order contains a schedule of the property possessed at the date by
the Charity, and it then consisted of:—

The sites of 3, 4, 5, and 6, Church Court, {17a} forming the site of the
proposed new schools for boys and infants, and also the school buildings
and site adjoining the girls’ schools.

A sum of £7,543 consols standing in the names of the official trustees of
charitable funds.

The leasehold houses bequeathed by Roger Pimble, being Nos. 51 and 53,
High Street, held from Brazenose College, Oxford, for twenty-one years,
from Lady Day, 1864, at £4, and underlet at £220 per annum.

Five-eighths of the rent of the “Goat” public house, from Catherine
Dicken’s bequest.

The Millington land at Acton, being 5a. 0r. 7p. copyhold {17b} of the
Manor of Acton, let at £20 per annum.

A sum of £421 17_s._ 3_d._, representing a bequest by William Briant
Arundell made about the year 1830.

The royal bounty of £73 10_s._ received from the Commissioners of Woods
and Forests in respect of an annual grant of £50 per annum by Queen Anne,
and £30 by Prince George of Denmark.

And by this order of the Charity Commissioners of 13th December, 1875,
which is made “in the matter of the Charity called the National Schools
in the parish of Kensington, with the subsidiary endowments belonging
thereto,” it was directed—

That the piece of ground being the site of Nos. 3, 4, 5, and 6, Church
Court, should be held in trust by the Vicar and Churchwardens of
Kensington, “to permit the premises to be for ever appropriated and used
solely as and for a school for the instruction of children and adults of
the labouring, manufacturing, and other poorer classes of the parish of

Such school was directed to be conducted as a public elementary school
under the 7th section of the Elementary Education Act, 1870.

The management of the school is vested in a committee named by the order,
which also provides for their future appointment, and in whom is vested
the power of engaging and discharging the teachers and regulating the
attendance fees and all other matters.

The school remains as constituted by this order.

A large sum of money was necessarily expended in the erection and
equipment of the new schools, so large that I find the income from rents
during the year ending 31st December, 1890, only amounted to £143 16_s._
5_d._ (which since the charity received five-eighths of the present rent
of the “Goat” public house, which is £150 a-year, or the sum of £93
15_s._ from that source) shows that very little other endowment is left.

I regret to say that I learn that the royal bounty is to be reduced for
the future to the sum of £10 10_s._ a-year, the Commissioners of Woods
and Forests declining to pay any larger sum, regulating the payments of
the royal bounty by the proportion which the contributions from the
public in the parish bears to the total property of the parish, and the
proportion which the Crown property bears to the other property in the

On the other hand, I hear that the land at Acton is coming in for
building, find will probably shortly be sold on advantageous terms, or
leased at an increased rent.

There is accommodation in these schools for 364 boys, 256 girls, and 260
infants, a total of 880.

The number of children attending during the year 1890 was 864, and
altogether the Kensington National Schools are an institution of which
the parish may well be proud.

I have now concluded the task I set myself, of endeavouring to explain to
you the endowed charities of Kensington.

Of course there are numberless other most admirable and deserving
charities in the parish endeavouring to provide for the temporal and
spiritual necessities of a population of 188,000 souls, but upon these
neither the scope nor the limits of my paper allow me to touch.

May I hope that the enumeration of all these almost exclusively ancient
charitable bequests to the parish, and the slight survey of the good they
have accomplished I have been able to give this evening, may awake in the
minds and hearts of those possessing means a feeling of emulation with
their ancestors, and lead them by adding to the endowments of the
existing parish charities and by the foundation of new ones, to prove
that Kensington still deserves the reputation it has long enjoyed of an
eminently christian and charitable parish.

May I be permitted one word relative to myself before I sit down: I
undertook the preparation of this paper some two months ago, at the
urgent request of the Secretary of the Kensington Ratepayers’
Association.  I then had no idea, nor do I think anyone else had, that I
should be called upon to take an active part in the management of these
charities to which my paper has related.

When in the country during the Easter holidays engaged in the study of
the charities of Kensington for the purposes of this paper as a holiday
task, I heard that I had received the unsolicited and unexpected
appointment of Churchwarden of Kensington, and am therefore now to
administer as part of my duties the very charities of which I have been

The labour of love I undertook in the preparation of this paper will not
then be thrown away after its immediate purpose has been served, but the
knowledge I have gained will greatly aid me in the performance of my

And may I finally conclude by saying what I am sure we all feel and
endeavour to practice, that it is the duty of every individual to do what
he can according to his opportunities on behalf of the general cause of
charity, and that by endeavouring to ameliorate the condition of our
fellow creatures, we better and improve our own, and what is even of
greater importance, enlarge and stimulate our own hearts and sympathies.


{16}  Towards building the Girl’s School £500 was appropriated out of the
£2,278 8_s._ 8_d._ South Sea Stock.

{17a}  These houses apparently cost over £2,500, which was provided by
the sale of capital in 1863 and 1866.

{17b}  The land is now freehold, not copyhold, having been converted.

{17c}  The present endowment is—

Fire-eighths of rent of the “Goat”                        £91      8     0
Rent of Acton Land                                         26      0     0
Millington Charity      £119     10     8
MacIntosh                 50      0     0
Arundell’s               421     17     4  Interest        16      8     4
                                                         £133     16     4

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