The Endowed Public Charities of Camborne.
Compiled by T Fiddick, Jnr.
Chairman of the General Purposes Committee,
Camborne Urban District Council, 1898.
THE Camborne Urban District Council having recently had conferred on it the powers and duties of a Parish Council with respect to Charities under the Local Government Act 1894, requested its General Purposes Committee to ascertain what charities were in existence and to give all necessary information with regard to such. Three reports were submitted to the Council by the Chairman of the Committee the substance of which will be found in the following pages. The Committee consisted of Messrs. W. J. Bartle, T. H. Cadwell, J. Negus, W. Rabling, A. H. Thomas and T. Fiddick, Junr. (Chairman.)
A Wooden Tablet placed on the inside of the North Wall of the tower of the Parish Church and headed "Benefactions" gives the subjoined account of Camborne Charities :―
Samuel Percival, Esq., of Pendarves gave in 1753, the interest of £100 annually to Widow Housekeepers of Camborne having no Parochial relief, which sum has been increased to £10 10s. annually by Edward William Wynne Pendarves, Esq., of Pendarves, M.P.
Lady Pendarves and Madam Basset gave the interest of £124 annually to the poor Widows of Camborne, which sum is now invested in Government Securities.
In the 7th year of the reign of Queen Anne a Charter was granted for Camborne Fairs 2/3 of the profits to be given to the poor and 1/3 to be applied towards the repairs of the Church.
William Harris, Esq., of Rosewarne in this parish, gave by will in 1815 the sum of £6 6s. annually to the poor Widows of this Parish.
John Vivian, Esq., of Penkalenick, in the County of Cornwall, in 1817 gave by will, to the Rector of Camborne, for the time being, the sum of £200 reduced annuities, in trust to pay the interest thereof for ever to the poor of this parish in Clothing or fuel on the Sunday before Christmas Day. 1/15 of 7/13 of all the profits of Turnavore Tin-bounds in the parish of St. Agnes in the County of Cornwall was given to the poor of Camborne, lately worked by Messrs. Daubuz & Co. The Rev. Hugh Rogers, Rector.
James Paull, }
Thomas Thomas, } Churchwardens.
Dated, Camborne, 24th December, 1852.
With respect to the bequest of W. Harris, Esq., some two years and eight months ago, the Chairman of the Committee ascertained that a copy of the will of William Harris was in the possession of Mr. William Harvey of Wesley Street, and thinking that perhaps it might become of some public advantage he asked and readily obtained the permission of that gentleman to copy the portion dealing with this bequest, you will observe a slight discrepancy between this copy and the board, and also an omission.*
Extract from a copy of the will of William Harris of Rosewarne, Camborne, referred to on board in Church Tower. (Will dated 31st day of October, 1804.)
"I likewise give devise and bequeath the sum of six pounds lawful money current in Great Britain to be issuing due payable and paid annually for ever out of my freehold estate called Rosewarne, in the Parish of Camborne, in the said County of Cornwall unto and to the use of poor Widows of the said Parish of Camborne* Not chargeable to or relieved by the rates of the said Parish to be paid and distributed to and amongst such poor Widows yearly at Christmas by the proprietor for the time being of my said estate called Rosewarne; at his discretion under the recommendation of the churchwardens of the said Parish for the time being and I hereby charge and make liable my said estate called Rosewarne to and with the payment of the sum of six pounds annually for ever."
The last annual distribution of this charity took place at Christmas (1897) under the management of the District Council.
"Fair Charter” referred to on Wooden Tablet. At my request the Clerk of the Council, kindly wrote the Charity Commissioners for information respecting this and also the other Charities, before reading the reply received I ask you to note in that reply, 1st, The Charter. You will perceive that the account sent opens up one or two points which demand attention, in the first place it seems evident from the reply that there were only 3 fairs chartered each of which formerly occupied 3 days. 2nd, That the Fair now held at Whitsuntide (at present I hear by far the most remunerative) is not a chartered Fair and the question arises as to whom the proceeds belong.
Extract from the printed reports of the former Commissioners for inquiring concerning Charities.
“Vol. 32, pt 1, p436. Dated 1837.
Parish of Camborne.
PROFITS OF FAIRS.
Queen Anne by letters patent bearing date the 1st June in the seventh year of her reign granted to Robert Hocker his heirs and assigns for ever three fairs to be held in Camborne in trust for the use of the Church and poor of Camborne one third to the church and two thirds to the poor and on the 1st February 1748 it was assigned by Elizabeth Clark of the town of Falmouth only surviving heiress of H. Hocker and John Williams of Canarton representative of the other co-heiress daughter of H. Hocker to Somerset Percival Esquire and John Vivian and John Mitchell churchwardens and overseers of the poor of Camborne for the time being and their successors for ever.
These fairs were formerly held for three days (each fair) 10th, 11th, 12th, Noyember, 24th, 25th, 26th, February, 28th, 29th, 30th, June except any of these should be on the Lord's Day then on the Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday following. The fairs are now held the 7th, March the 29th, June and the 11th, November and continue only one day.
The profits of the fairs are let for £10 per annum and two thirds amounting to £6 13 4, are paid to the churchwardens by whom the money is distributed among the most deserving poor and the other third is applied in aid of the church rate.”
THE “CHARTER” FOR THE FAIRS.
We have endeavoured to obtain a copy of this Charter or the original Document from the Record office, London, the Charity Commissioners, the Clerk of the Peace for Cornwall, Tehidy Office, and Pendarves Office but have not as yet succeeded in obtaining it. The Charter was granted by Queen Anne in 1709. I find on referring to an old “Parish” Book that a Fair or Fairs weie in existence for many years previous to 1709 and were let out for periods of seven years by the Churchwardens, together with the markets. It seems evident from this that these Market Tolls were the property of the parish so far as I know there is no income derived by the parish from any Market Tolls at the present time. (The Saturday (weekly) market was established in 1802.) The last agreement made prior to the granting of the Charter was dated, October 8th, 1702. It expired in 1708. As it is not without interest I will give it in extenso. (This agreement was drawn up seven months after the decease of William of Orange and within 45 years of the death of Oliver Cromwell.)
October 8th. 1702.
It is agreed and consented the day and year above said by William Trevarthen and Thomas Harris Churchwardens of the parish of Camborne that Thomas Trevarthen of the same parish shall and may hould the Fairs and Market belonging to the same within the parish aforesaid for the terme of seven years the time beginning the eleventh day of November next for the said faire and the market before or after according to costome, paying yearly for the same during the said terme unto the Churchwardens of the said parish or to their successors the sume of Two pounds fower shillings and sixpence lawful money of England at or on the Twelfe day of November being the next day after the said faire. Witness our hands the day and the year above written.
It is agreed between Thomas Trevarthen and Andrew Paull that Andrew Paull shall give his hands according to ye bargain, that he hath made with ye parish which is a Bove written. Wittness our hands the 22nd, of November 1702.
It is worthy of notice that there is no mention of any agreement in 1709, the date of the “Charter” when in the usual course one should have been drawn up. The net receipts of these Fairs now available for distribution are much less than formerly in consequence of their removal from the streets to a field, the cost of which has to be deducted from the gross income. In the year (1896) the total income amounted to £8 10 0. The charge for the field was £6 0 0 leaving a balance of £2. 10 0 only for distribution to the poor and for repairing the Church fabric.
I am informed that a Cheque for 16/8, 1/3 of the amount was sent to the authorities of the Established Church and that the Cheque has since been returned to the Assistant Overseer without being cashed.
I venture to express the opinion that 16/8 was really more than the Church could morally claim as I find no mention of the Whitsun fair in connection with the Charter, a portion of the proceeds of which are included in the 16/8.
Whilst fully conscious of the advantages to the general public resulting from the removal of the Fairs from the streets. It is I think cause for regret that the poor should suffer owing to the loss to the fund entailed by the cost of providing a field.
Mrs. Grace Percival's Free School.
Copy of Tablet in Camborne Church
In a vault near this place lies the body of Mrs. Grace Porcival who closed a life of 68 years adorned with many shining virtues on May 27th, 1763, particularly blessed with a benign and liberal turn of mind she founded a school for teaching 12 boys and 8 girls of the poorer sort in this Parish to read, write, and cast accounts and thereby become more useful in their stations.
We have (through the courtesy of W. C. Pendarves, Esq.) obtained a copy of the deed of settlement founding and endowing this school and also gleaned information from other sources. From the contents of the Deed the School appears to have been in existence previous to 136 years ago, the Deed of settlement having been executed on July 25th, 1761. This document is very lengthy and throughout exhibits the thoughtfulness and care of this nobleminded lady. We will endeavour to summarize it by giving the objects of the Charity. The conditions to which it is subject and some particulars of the endowment for its support.
1st, The Objects :―
These are clearly set forth in the following extract:―
Whereas the said Grace Percival hath lately set up a Free School within the said parish of Camborne in the said County of Cornwall, for the educating, teaching and instructing of twenty children that is to say 12 boys and 8 girls of the said parish in the principles of the Church of England as by law established and in reading, writing, casting accounts and other useful and proper learning and hath also lately appropriated and set apart a messuage or dwelling house hereinafter mentioned and conveyed now used and enjoyed as a school house for the purpose aforesaid and whereas the said Grace Percival is minded to found, endow and forever establish the said free school for the benefit of the inhabitants of the said parish of Camborne &c.
2nd, The Conditions.
- The School to be under the management of 5 Trustees one of whom was to be the proprietor of Pendarves and another the Rector of Camborne for the time being, in the event of the death of a Trustee other than the above the survivors were to elect in his stead such other proper person being a Protestant of the Church of England of good credit and reputation residing in or near the parish of Camborne as they in their judgment shall think fit and approve of.
- The Schoolmaster to be a person of a religious and sober life and conversation professing the religion of the Church of England, his salary to be £21 per year, with the liberty to take any other scholars, not exceeding 10 in number beside the 20 free scholars at such fees as he may think fit.
- The 20 free scholars to be elected out of the inhabitants of Camborne (the children of the Tenants of Pendarves estate always to be preferred) no child to be admitted into the school before the age of 7 years or continue at the same after the age of 14 years. Subject to the approval of the managers, each child on leaving the school, to be provided with a Bible and the Church of England Prayer Book.
- The Managers to meet yearly on the 1st January or within 10 days after at Pendarves House to examine into any neglects, miscarriages or irregularities of the Schoolmaster and the proficiency of the Scholars and to make such rules and regulations as they may deem necessary for the better management of the school and charity. It was also directed that a writing Book should be bought wherein should be entered the names of the Free Scholars, together with the times when they were chosen, their ages at their reception into and re moval from the School and also the date of their leaving and in addition an account of the yearly receipts and expenditure of the trust. The “Book” is to be kept at Pendarves House and shewn to the Trustees upon reasonable notice.
We now come to the Endowment, an extract from the Deed reads thus :―
This Indenture witnesseth that for founding, en dowing and for ever establishing the said Free School, for providing a School-house and for making a competent provision for the master of the said School for the time being and that the Rents issues and profits of hereditaments hereby released and conveyed may from time to time and for ever after be disposed of laid out and employed to the Charitable uses and purposes hereinafter expressed and for and in consideration of the sum of Ten Shillings to the said Grace Percival by the said Wm. Stackhouse, John Stackhouse, Ezekiel Williams, John Trevennen and James Dunn at or before the sealing and delivering of these presents being paid, the receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged, the said Grace Percival hath bargained, sold, released and confirmed and by these presents doth bargain, sell, release and confirm unto the said Wm. Stackhouse, John Stackhouse, Ezekiel Williams, John Trevennen and James Dunn and their heirs All that messuage or Tenement with the appurtenances situate lying and being in the village of Penponds known by the name of Parkanfenton with the Dwelling-house now used for a School-house to the said tenement appertaining and herewith lately held and enjoyed together with all houses, outhouses, buildings, gardens, orchards, lands, meadows, pastures, commons, woods and hereditaments to the said tenement belonging as the same late were in the possession of Joan Treweeks, spinster deceased, and the reversion and reversions, remainder and remainders yearly and other issues, rents and profits thereof and all the estate, right, title, and interest, trust, property claim and demand whatsoever both at law and in equity of her the said Grace Percival of into or out of the said messuage or tenement or any part or parcel thereof. To have and to hold unto the above named and their heirs and assigns for ever upon such Trusts and for such purposes as shall hereafter be expressed. Under the deed the managers were to permit and suffer the Schoolmaster for the time being to take the rents of the Tenement to his own use and benefit and to give receipts to the Tenant for rent paid.
In addition to the income from Parkanfenton which is put down at £8 8 0 per annum. There is an annuity or rent charge of £26 payable out of all those several fields or closes of land parts and parcels of the Barton of Treslothan known by the names of the Weeths, Parknoweth and Parkwest. This annuity being sold to the managers under the settlement for the benefit of the Trust, and to provide fuel for the School the managers were granted for ever free liberty and license to cut and dig turves by one man two days in every year upon the common within the manor of Treslothan and also to stack and remove the same. The £26 from Treslothan were directed to be expended as follows : ―
£12 12 0 as part payment of the master's salary.
£8 8 0 for needful books, paper &c.
£5 0 0 to keep the premises in repair &c. and for maintaining, supporting and promoting the school and Charity.
A gentleman who was a free scholar in this School from about the year 1828 to 1834 informs me that the children went to Pendarves House once a year to repeat the Commandments &c. to Mrs. Pendarves, and that each child was supposed to carry a clean towel in which to take home a present of Beef and Bread. The Schoolmaster at that time was Mr. David Duckham who had a sufficient grasp of the essential principle of Christianity to act in the capacity of Parish Clerk, and to meet in the Methodist Class led by Uncle Jacky Pearce.
What is the present position of this Charity? Where is the old Schoolhouse and Schoolmaster's residence? Demolished!
Where is the Schoolhouse (which is supposed to have been built in its stead) at Treslothan? Also Demolished!
What has become of the Tenement of Parkanfenton? with the exception of the site of the present School-house, it is believed long ago to have been sold or exchanged!
Where is Mrs. Percival's Free School?
It is closed!
21 Years ago the Charity Commission upon the application of Canon Chappel and W. C. Pendarves, Esq., agreed to the transfer of this Charity to the managers of what is termed the “National” School of Camborne. I have obtained from Canon Chappel a copy of the “Order” which I give verbatim.
Charity: Mrs Grace Percival.
2nd Nov. 76.
2nd Nov. 76.
Appointment of Trustees and Scheme.
In the matter of the School at Penponds, in the Parish of Camborne, in the County of Cornwall, founded and endowed by Mrs. Grace Percival by Deed dated the 25th July 1761 ; and
In the matter of “The Charitable Trusts Acts, 1853 to 1869.”
The Board of Charity Commissioners for England and Wales, having considered an application in writing made to them on the 6th day of June 1876, in the matter of the above-mentioned Charity by
The Reverend William Pester Chappel, M.A., Rector of the above mentioned Parish of Camborne and
William Cole Pendarves of Camborne aforesaid, Esquire,
being the persons acting in the Administration of the said Charity :
And it appearing to the said Board. That the endowment of the said Charity consists of the particulars mentioned in the Schedule hereto.1
And that the gross annual income of the said Charity is less than £50.
And that there are not at present any legally appointed Trustees of the said Charity.2
And that it is desirable that such Trustees thereof should be appointed.
And that directions should be given by way of Scheme, for the future regulations of the said Charity.
And that the legal estate in the real property belonging thereto should be vested in trust for the said Charity, in manner hereinafter mentioned.
And upon notice of the intention of the said Board to make an Order for the purposes aforesaid having been given by the affixing of the same according to the direction of the said board, to or near a principal outer door of the Parish Church of Camborne aforesaid, and of the Church at Treslothan, in the said above-mentioned County of Cornwall on the 16th day of July, 1876, in each case being more than one calendar month previously to the date hereof.
Do hereby order. That the owner of the Pendarves Estate, situate at Pendarves in the Parish of Camborne aforesaid, and the Rector of the said Parish of Camborne and their respective successors for the time being, be appointed to be Trustees for the Administration of the said Charity.
And the said Board do further order. That the right to sue for, recover, and receive, and to give receipts and discharges for all sum of money, rents in arrear, and choses in action, due to or recoverable for the benefit of the said Charity.
Do vest in the said Trustees hereby appointed their executors, administrators, and assigns, individually in trust for the said Charity.
And that the hereditaments mentioned in the said Schedule hereto, and all other real estate and hereditaments (if any) belonging to or held in trust for the said Charity, and all term and estate therein not being copy hold, together with the appurtenances.
Do vest in the Official Trustee of Charity Lands, and his successors in trust for the said Charity.
And the said Board do further Order and Direct by way of Scheme for the future regulation of the said Charity That the Trustees hereby appointed shall be at liberty to use the above-mentioned School, which has ceased to be used as a Weekday School, for the purposes of a Sunday School in connection with the Established Church of England, and to apply the income to arise from the endowment of the said first mentioned School in and towards the support and maintenance of “The National School” in the said Parish of Camborne, subject to the conditions that the managers of the said National School shall receive and educate therein, free of charge 20 poor children of the said Parish of Camborne, to be appointed from time to time by the said Trustees.
An annual rentcharge or yearly payment of £30 8s. charged upon and issuing out of an estate called Pendarves, situate at Camborne aforesaid and now in possession of the said William Cole Pendarves.
Sealed by the order of the Board this 27th, day of October, 1876.
HENRY M. VANE,
The sum just mentioned is annually paid by the present owner of Pendarves to Canon Chappel for the support of the “National School.”
So far as at present ascertained there seems to be a mistake in the arithmetic of £4 per annum. The rent charge on Treslothan is £26, which, with £8 8 0 from Parkanfenton amounts to, not £30 8 0 but to £34 8 0, to say nothing of the Fuelling. It is, I think, probable that the income of Parkanfenton would be considerably more now than it was in 1761, 136 years ago.
It is perhaps worthy of remark that in the last Schedule of the Camborne National Schools, which was in the Vestry Room for the inspection of the Ratepayers, this charity is set down under the word “Inalienable” which, considering the circumstances, appears somewhat suggestive, Betton's Charity which contributes £5, being placed under the “Heading” “Alienable.” I have been informed that this Bequest was originally made for the purpose of freeing slaves on the coast of Barbary, what that has to do with the Camborne Church School seems to be a little mysterious!
Respecting the Order let us note :―
That the Property is under this order now vested in the official Trustee of Charity Lands and his successors.
Permission was given the Trustees to use the School at Penponds for a Sunday School.
Why! the School at Penponds erected on the site of Mrs. Percival's Schoolroom has been used for a Sunday School by the Rev. W. W. Butlin for over 40 years, more than 20 years before this order was issued.
Puzzle:―Find in Penponds the School referred to in the order of the Charity Commissioners?
I think it highly probable that the Treslothan School-house was the one which should have been referred to. Since the date of Transfer this house has also been pulled down.
It should be remembered that School Fees in elementary Schools have been for some time abolished. The conditions under which this Charity was transferred cannot therefore now apply as formerly. The money is, however, still being paid, and now it is supposed goes into “Hotch Potch” i.e., the General Fund.
For the information of the Council I asked our Clerk to write the Charity Commision for a copy of the application made by Canon Chappel and Mr Pendarves for the Transfer of the Charity to the National School, in reply to which we were told that a copy of the Order would be sent for 3 stamps, we did not ask for this, it was already in our possession, they were again written to and informed that we wanted a copy of the application. Their reply was as follows:
"It is not seen that any useful purpose would be served by sending you a copy of the application upon which the order was made.
What good purpose can be served, gentlemen, by this reply? Why this reserve! on the part of the Charity Commission. Mrs. Percival's Charity was intended for the benefit of the poor of Camborne, surely the request of the local authority for information was not an unreasonable one. Does the “Non volens” of the Charity Commission inspire confidence? I think the answer must be in the negative.
TURNAVORE TIN BOUNDS.
The Tablet on the wall of the Church Tower, dated December 24th, 1852, states that:
“1/15 of 7/13 of all the profits of Turnavore Tin Bounds was given to the poor of Camborne, and that they were lately worked by Messrs. Daubuz and Co.”
Through the courtesy of Mr. H. P. Vivian I have been privileged to see an old document relating to these “Bounds” written by a part owner, the late Capt. Andrew Vivian, a grandfather of Mr. Vivian, and joint pioneer with Richard Trevithick of the Locomotive engine. The document differs in one particular from the statement on the Board inasmuch as it names 1/15, instead of 1/15 of 7/13 as the property of the poor. It reads as follows:―
Turnavore Bounds in the parish of St. Agnes, 1/15 part of the said bounds belongs to the poor of the parish of Camborne.
The South West Corner, near the Western end of Trevawnance Western park, about 40 fathoms North of Richard Nancarrow's house back'd on the South with barn park bounds and on the West with ball due. The North West corner in the Western part of Turnavore meadow (Mr. Ennis' land) backed on the North by the pell bounds (from South to North) the bounds about 50 fathoms wide. The North East corner, about 10 fathoms North of Trevawnance Eastern park in Turnavore Craft (Mr. Ennis' land) backed with the South East corner of Eastern Clize bounds.
The South East corner, in the middle of Trevawnance Eastern park about 30 fathoms North of Trevawnance pleasure house.
Time of renewing the said Bounds is 3rd' March yearly.
ANDREW VIVIAN, St. Agnes Churchtown
October 1st, 1778.
Unless these bounds were renewed yearly, the Title lapsed. I do not think they have been renewed for many years and am afraid that whatever may be their present or prospective value it is for ever lost to the poor of this parish.
THE SAMUEL PERCIVAL and E. W. W. PENDARVES CHARITIES
According to the Statement on the “Tablet” in the Church Tower.
“Mr. Samuel Percival gave in 1753 the interest of £100 annually to widow housekeepers of Camborne having no parochial relief, which sum has been increased to £10 10 0 annually by E. W. W. Pendarves, Esq., of Pendarves, M.P.”
I find on reference to the “Bounty” Book that for several years the name of Mr. E. W. W. Pendarves had been included in the List of Donors and the £10 10 0 had been distributed along with the other bequests. I am told that it is still given annually, and by W. C. Pendarves, Esq.
The Samuel Percival referred to was the second husband of Mrs. Percival who founded and endowed the Free School.
This gentleman presented the beautiful piece of Sienna Marble placed beneath the Chancel Window and immediately behind the Lord's Table in Camborne Church.
The “Digest” of 1868 puts the annual value of the S. Percival Charity at £4 0 0.
THE “JOHN VIVIAN” BEQUEST.
After considerable difficulty a copy of the “Will” of the above named John Vivian, Barrister-at-Law, has been obtained, it is dated July 15th, 1803, and contains the following:―
“I give to the Rector of Camborne for the time being Two Hundred Pounds reduced annuities in trust to pay the interest therefrom for ever to the poor in cloathing or fuel on the Sunday next before Christmas day.”
The interest is I understand paid through the Cornish Bank, Truro. The present annual value is £5 10 0. The Charity is administered by Canon Chappel. It may be stated that the “Will” also contains a Bequest of the same amount and subject to like conditions for the parish of St. Clement, Truro.
Mr. Vivian was a member of the Vivian family who formerly resided at Rosewarne in this parish, and an Ancestor of our respected chairman.
THE CHARITY OF HENRY HARRIS, ESQ., (OF ROSTEAGUE.)
We are indebted to the late Mr. W. Harvey, of Wesley Street, for the subjoined extract from the copy of the will of Henry Harris.
“I give and bequeath unto the poor of the Parish of Camborne, aforesaid the sum of Three Hundred Pounds to be paid to the Minister and Churchwardens of the said Parish for the time being in six months after my death to be by them invested in Government Securities for the use of the poor thereof, and I hereby direct that the dividends arising therefrom shall be distributed amongst the poor of the said parish in the month of January in every year for ever at the discretion of the Minister, Churchwardens and principal inhabitants of said parish for the time being and in such manner as not to relieve or lessen the parish poor rates, but if the Minister and Churchwardens shall not within the space of one year after my decease take the trouble of investing the said Three Hundred Pounds on or in Government securities, and after a copy of this part of my will shall be delivered to them and which I hereby direct my Executors to cause to be done within one month after my death then this legacy is to lapse to my Executors and it is my Will and desire that a tablet of these my several bequests to the poor of the several parishes of Gerrans and Camborne be erected in each of their respective parish churches, the cost and expense of such erections to be paid out of the 1st years dividends.”
Date of Will, July 11th, 1828.
Wishing to ascertain whether the Tablet alluded to had been erected, and if this charity was still in existence, I waited on Canon Chappel, our worthy Rector, who received me very kindly and most readily gave me the desired information respecting this and some other charities. He said the Henry Harris bequest was being paid out yearly and showed me the accounts of the expenditure of the Camborne Charities in the admistration of which he took part. He also told me that the Tablet could be found in the Church, which I visited and then took a copy of the inscription which I was rather surprised to find differed from my copy of the Will in one perhaps important particular.
COPY OF TABLET ERECTED IN CAMBORNE PARISH CHURCH.
“To the memory of Henry Harris, Esq., of the Parish of Gerrans, in this County, who bequeathed in 1830, Three Hundred Pounds to the poor of Camborne to be vested in Government Security, the dividends to be given away in January every year for ever at the discretion of the Minister and Churchwardens for the time being so as not to lessen the poor rate.”
Assuming the copy of the Will to be correct, the omission of the words “and principal inhabitants,” after Minister and Churchwardens seems somewhat suggestive, but as we are dealing with Charities let us exercise a little charity by supposing that just at the moment when these words were to be transcribed the proverbial “Fly” came between and blurred the vision of the Transcriber.
This Tablet must have been placed in the Church about 67 years ago and long before Canon Chappel became rector. This fund has been invested by the Charity Commissioners in the names of the Rector and Churchwardens, the only names now standing being that of Canon Chappel and the late Mr. James Paull, the annual income (taking the last quarterly statement as a criterion) being £8 12 8. The money is paid through the Consolidated Bank, Camborne. The charity is administered through the Rector.
From the return of Endowed Charities ordered by the House of Commons to be printed in 1868 I find that Camborne Charities are set down at a total gross income of £67 6 5 per annum, (this is however subject to fluctuations) the portion of this money which was said to be applicable to church purposes was £3 13 4. A very important point in connection with the administration of Public Charities appears to have been somewhat neglected, under the “Charitable Trusts Amendment Act 1855.” Sec. 44, I understand requires the Trustees of a charity annually on or before March 25th, to make up an account of the gross income arising from the charity, all moneys received, all payments, all moneys owing to or from the Charity and to send one copy to the Charity Commissioners and another to the Churchwardens of the Parish, who shall present the same at the next Parish or Vestry Meeting, and insert a copy in the minute-book, such copy to be open to the inspection of the ratepayers and others, and any person may require a copy of such accounts or any part thereof on paying therefor at the rate of 2d. per folio, this section is now I believe incorporated in the “Local Government Act, 1894.”
Acting under this Section 1 waited on Mr. Lee, our Assistant Overseer, and asked him whether he could supply me from the parish books with two penny worth of Charity Accounts. I found that with the exception of Two of the Charities I could not obtain one half-penny worth. No blame of course attaches to Mr, Lee, who I find is always willing to supply any information in his power to give on parish matters.
“FRANCIS BASSET” CHARITY.
In the Digest of Endowed Charities ordered by the House of Commons to be printed in 1868 under the heading “Camborne” there occurs the name of F. Basset as a donor of £5 annually for the purposes of education, not possessing any other information but that just quoted. I waited on Mr. Goddard the agent of Tehidy Estate, and asked if he could tell me who the F. Basset was, he said he knew nothing about the matter and did not recollect of any such charge on the estate, but kindly referred me to Illogan Church which contained memorials of the Basset family. I visited Illogan Church and secured copies of some of the Basset Tablets, amongst these was one to a Francis Basset who died in 1769, and thinking that this might possibly be the one referred to I mentioned the matter to Mr. Daniell, and at my request he wrote to the Bodmin Probate Registry asking for a copy of his “Will” the reply received stated that they had the “Will” of a Francis Basset, of Probus (not of Illogan) of about the same date who carried on business as a Shoemaker, your clerk and myself felt quite convinced that the owner of Tehidy had not been engaged in that trade. The Probate Registry at Somerset House was then appealed to with the result that we were promised an unofficial copy of the “Will” for £2 11 6, but fearing lest after the Will was obtained and the money paid that possibly some other F. Basset had made the bequest, economical reasons led to further enquiry, which elicited the fact that we had been after the son instead of the father. Application was made to Somerset House and we were at last successful in securing the right “Will.” This will was proved on the 15th February, 1722, 175 years ago and next to the Fair Charter is probably the oldest of our Charities. The portion dealing with the Charity reads as follows (our friends of Illogan and Redruth will please take note.)
“I give and bequeath to the several parishes of Camborne, Illogan and Redruth, the sum of Five Pounds per annum to each parish for ever to be paid quarterly for Charity Schools to instruct poor children especially in their religion.”
This Francis Basset was the grandfather of Lord De Dunstanville, and son of John Basset who was imprisoned by Cromwell's Parliament, he was however allowed to compound for his lands, but through losses sustained on account of his loyalty was compelled to sell St. Michael's Mount to the St. Aubyns.
So far as I can learn this Charity was paid in the time of Lady Basset, but is not now paid in Camborne. In a communication from the Charity Commissioners received in reply to a letter asking for information they state:―
“It is not known who administer the Charity, but the Rector will no doubt supply you with this information.”
As a matter of fact Canon Chappel knows nothing whatever about this Charity, but our acquisition of a copy of the “Will” puts us into a much more satisfactory position. The Digest of 1868 gives with regard to Illogan the names of Bassett and F. Basset as donors of £5 each per annum. The following note is appended:―
“Rent charges for Widows and Education, payment as such now refused, though a larger sum is actually given voluntarily for these purposes by owner of estate, supposed to be charged.”
Strange to say this Chanty seems to have been over-looked as far as Redruth is concerned. There is no reference in the “Digest” to Redruth, which town is usually to the fore in the knowledge of that which pertains to its financial interests.
THE “ROBERT EDMONDS” BEQUEST.
This bequest was made by the late Mr. Robert Edmonds, of Tuckingrnill. The Will was proved in 1885. The Digest of 1892 states the annual value to have been (1892) £2 16 4 the capital sum £102 8 7 and the money to have been invested in Consols and held by the Official Trustees of Charitable Funds for Noncomformist purposes.
EXTRACT FROM THE “WILL” OF LATE ROBERT EDMONDS.
I bequeath also to the Trustees for the time being of the British and Foreign Bible Society the sum of Two Hundred Pounds, and to the Trustees of the Tuckingmill Branch Missionary Society the sum of One Hundred Pounds, and I direct that the last two mentioned legacies shall be invested in the British Consols, the interest arising from the sums to be paid to the accredited agents of the Societies as they may become due, and in case of dispute as to the Society intended to receive this last legacy the decision of my executors to be final and binding on both parties, and I further declare that if at the time of my decease the amount of my property shall not be equal to the payment of the above mentioned legacies, then the deficiency shall be born pro rata by all the legatees, save and except the sums therein bequeathed to Charities.
By Codical to Will it is stated
“The legacies to the Bible and Missionary Societies … shall be paid free of legacy duty.”
We learn from one of the Executors under the above “Will” that the £200 bequeathed to the British and Foreign Bible Society was handed over to the Society shortly after the decease of Mr. Edmonds, and that the Official Trustees under the Charitable Trusts Acts have invested the sum left to the Tuckingmill Branch Missionary Society in Consols, the interest being paid to the Wesleyan Missionary Society at Tuckingmill.
THE “PENDARVES-BASSET” CHARITY.
In the printed reports of the Charity Commissioners dated 1837, it is stated that the Pendarves bequest was founded by “Will” (date unknown) and Mrs. Bassett's Charity by “Will” dated 1762. I think there can be no doubt that the Pendarves portion of the money was bequeathed by Lady Pendarves wife of Sir Wm. Pendarves, who was knighted by Queen Anne at 23 years of age, and who lies buried in Camborne Church within a copper coffin. By the way an ancestor of our clerk named John Daniell acted as Churchwarden with Sir William in the year 1716, Lady Penelope Pendarves was the daughter of Sydney Godolphin, of Breage, and must have been a public spirited lady, being at one time a Churchwarden of Camborne. It is interesting to note that another lady Jenefer Carthew was overseer of the poor here in 1806, and yet another lady Constance Richards was overseer in 1807. After this I think Camborne may lay some claim to having been the original “Home of the New Woman.”
The Mrs. Basset whose name is coupled with that of Lady Pendarves, was the second wife of the Francis Basset, who gave £5 per annum for educational purposes, and whose “Will” is quoted in this report. She was niece and heiress of Alexander Pendarves, of Roscrow, St. Gluvias, and through this marriage that valuable property passed into the possession of the Basset family. The board on the wall of the Church tower to which allusion has already been made names £124 as the amount of this joint charity, the interest of which is applicable for distribution. The digest of 1868 states the amount to be £158 1 9 a difference of £34 1 9. There is however nothing startling in this, as discrepancies do not appear to be uncommon in these matters. For instance later on it will be shown that £200 was at one time invested for this Charity. The money (£158 1 9) has been invested by the Charity Commissioners in the names of the Rector and Mr. James Paull (who has been dead many years.) The annual income which is paid through the Consolidated Bank, Camborne, is £4 4 0. The Charity is also administered by Canon Chappel.
Respecting the question whether the Pendarves-Basset bequest is a sectarian or a Parochial Charity, I think the proceedings at a meeting held in Camborne in the month of November 101 years ago have an important bearing:―
At a special vestry held at the house of John Newton this 16th day of November, 1796, to consider about laying the money left by the late Lady Basset and Lady Pendarves for the benefit of the poor of this parish.
Resolved to invest Two Hundred Pounds in the three per cents Consolidated Stock and that William Harris, Esquire, be requested to purchase the same.
Resolved that the remaining One Pound Ten Shilling to make up Seven Pounds and Ten Shillings (which has been annually distributed) be charged to the poor rate.
Seen and allowed by us
In confirmation of these minutes there is an entry in the parish accounts from Easter 1796 to Easter 1797. It reads:―
Paid Wm. Harris, Esq. towards buying £200 stock in the Consolidated 3 per cent Annuities for the poor widows of this parish £18. Paid postage of letters on do. 1/-
These extracts from the Parish Book suggest the pertinent question. How was it that the administration of this non-ecclesiastical Charity so long ago got into the hands of the authorities of the Established Church?
It is rather significant in connection with this and other charities that the Entries in the “Bounty Books” of the parish are somewhat irregular. One year a Charity appears in the accounts, the next year it disappears, after a while like the “Ghost” in Hamlet in re-appears, and this occurs in connection with one or more charities which we know to be permanently endowed. It is of course quite possible that the money may have been distributed amongst the poor, but by whom I cannot with certainty say. In fact from the year 1858 to 1876 a period of 17 years, the book contains no list shewing by whom the money was given, and the amount annually distributed shews a considerable falling off. For some time previous to 1844 the money derived from the Sacraments at the parish church was annually accounted for in the parish “Bounty Book” and distributed together with the other charities presumably by the parish officials. The four sacraments totalled about £4 per year. After 1844 I find no mention of the sacraments or the money. Why has this been ommitted since that date?
It is worthy of remark that in the year 1858 the poor's fund was augmented by contributions from some of the most noted Drunkards of Camborne, these gentlemen however do not seem to have subscribed with a hearty good will seeing that the entry reads:―
Drunken Fines £1 10 0.
So far as ascertained the following is a complete list of our endowed Charities giving year of foundation together with their present gross annual value (the income is subject to fluctuations.)
|Year.||Donor.||Gross annual value.|
|1709.||Fair Charter of Queen Anne||£8 10 0|
|1722.||Francis Basset||£5 0 0|
|1753.||Samuel Percival||£4 0 0|
|1761.||Mrs. Grace Percival||£34 8 0|
|1762.||Lady Pendarves and Mrs. Basset||£4 4 0|
|1815.||William Harris||£6 0 0|
|1817.||John Vivian||£5 10 0|
|1828.||Henry Harris||£8 12 8|
|1885.||Robert Edmonds||£2 16 4|
|£79 1 0|
It should be stated that the F. Basset Charity has not been paid for some years, that the amount actually paid on Mrs. Percival's bequest is £30 8 0 and that the net income from the Fairs is £2 10 0. The total net income should in my opinion be £73 1 0.
This is of course also subject to fluctuation owing to difference in rate of interest, &c.
The “Digests” of 1868 and 1892 name respectively £67 6 5 and £2 16 4 a Total of £70 2 9 as the gross income for the Camborne Charities so far as I gather it should be at the present time £79 1 0.
The Chairman of this Committee having endeavoured to collect and place before it such information as was thought essential and your committee having carefully considered the information at its disposal have striven to determine as between Ecclesiastical and Non-ecclesiastical charities. For the guidance of the council it is well to state that Ecclesiastical Charities do not come under its control, hence the effort of the Committee to separate the one from the other. The “Act” of 1894 Section 75 subsection 2 defines the expression “Ecclesiastical Charity” unless the context otherwise requires as:―
Including a Charity, the endowment whereof is held for some one or more of the following purposes
For any spiritual purpose which is a legal purpose, or
For the benefit of any spiritual person or ecclesiastical officer as such, or
For use if a building, as a Church, Chapel, Mission Room, or Sunday School, or otherwise by any particular church or denomination; or, for the maintenance, repair or improvement of any such building as aforesaid, or for the maintenance of divine service therein; or otherwise for the benefit of any particular Church or denomination or of any members thereof as such, &c.
The Committee are of opinion that their classification should be as follows:―
Lady Pendarves & Mrs. Basset
The Chartered Fairs and the William Harris Charity are already under the control of the District Council. Whilst your committee have no desire to suggest the control of Funds which belong to any particular Church or denomination they are determined to assert the right of the District Council under the “Local Government Act” 1894 in all cases where the Charity is Parochial.
Your Committee therefore recommend for the government and administration of these Charities.
1. That the Council appoint Five Trustees for the Chartered Fairs, Pendarves and Basset and Wm. Harris Charities.
2. Henry Harris bequest: ―
Two Trustees to act with the Rector and application be made to the Charity Commission for sanction to raise the number of Trustees to five.
3. Samuel Percival―Four Trustees to act jointly with W. C. Pendarves, Esq.
4. John Vivian―That application be made under Section 14 Sub-section 3. Local Goverment Act 1894 for the appointment of two additional Trustees to act jointly with the Rector of Camborne for the time being.
5. F. Basset. That the District Council ask A. F. Basset, Esq., to continue the annuity of £5 left by Will of Francis Basset in 1722 To be called the Francis Basset Scholarship and to be awarded to the most efficient scholar in any elementary school in the parish of Camborne by H. M. Inspector for the time being and to be appiopriated as the Inspector shall approve and direct.
6. That the whole of the emoluments of the “Whitsun” Fair be distributed to the deserving poor of the parish.
Mrs. GRACE PERCIVAL'S FREE SCHOOL.
7. We recommend that this District Council call the attention of Canon Chappel and W. C. Pendarves, Esq., Trustees of this Charity to the fact that the children all being subjects of Free Education, Mrs. Percival's wishes cannot be carried out by means of paying the income to the National School, and suggesting the desirability of Ear-marking the Fund and that the money be used for giving Education to 12 boys and 8 girls in advance of that now given free, or by means of Scholarships or prizes, and if necessary that the matter be brought to the attention of the Charity Commissioners.
8. That for the assistance of the Council the present acting Trustee or Trustees of each of the Camborne Charities mentioned in the report be asked to furnish it with particulars of last year's distribution as under:―
(1.) The gross income arising from the endowment.
(2.) All moneys received.
(3.) All payments.
(4.) All moneys owing to or from the Charity,
The foregoing reports and recommendations of the general purposes committee were unanimously adopted by the Council, the Chairman of the Committee being requested to get them printed for circulation. The following gentlemen were elected as the 1st Trustees of these Charities, viz:―
John Vivian, J.P., C.C.
Josiah Thomas, J.P.
John H. Holman, J.P.
T H. Cadwell,
T. Fiddick. Jr.