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City of London Livery Companies' Commission: Report and Appendix, Volume 4 online

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within the parish of Lee, or such other adioining or
neighbouring parishes as shall be expressed in such
scheme.

On the latter part of the foreffoing suggestion, the ex-
tension of the area, I would add that if there are fewer
cases of the application of the principle of Betton*s Charity
thm might be expected, it has probably arisen from the
fact that applications to the court in former times have
been in most cases made at the instance of particular
parishes, and by persons who were not likely to suggest
schemes for the extension of the benefit of a Charity
beyond their own district, if they could by some other
device of cy pres construction avoid it, an evil which the
existence of the Charity Commission, having in view the
interest of the public at large, is especially fitted to
counteract. I cannot conceive anything much more absurd
than to suppose that the regard of the founder for the
education of the poor was subordinate to his preference
for persons living on one side of a parish boundary, to
say nothing of the smaller degree of wisdom which such a
fianciful sentiment would imply.

With regard to the eleemosynary portion of the Charity,
the almshouses and almspeople, it is material to observe
that any increase of such institutions (to the prejudice of
other and better objects) when once established cannot
afterwards be withdrawn without great difftculty. The
Merchant Taylors' Company propose an application of
400/. a year to the almspeople. In the proportionate ap-
plication of the income (after the proposed augmentation
for the chapel services) I have estimated the share of the
almshouses at about 333/. Now, adopting the suggested
increase of the number of the inmates to twelve, and fixing
the stipend of each at 25/. per annum, with the proposed
addition of 10/. to the superintendent and 30/. for a
medical attendant, will require 340/. The magnitude of
the increase of pay may be compared with the present al-
lowances, which are 1/. 6s. a quarter, with assistance from
the parish. I therefore respecmiUy propose, —

B. — ^That the number of almspeople be increased to
12, that one of such almspeople be empowered to act as
superintendent; that the superintendent be allowed 35Z.
per annum and the other almspeople 25/. per annum each,
and that a medical attendant be appointed to the alms-
people at a yearly salary of 30/.

The method of selecting the almspeople was discussed
by the members of the vestiy on the occasion of my inouiry,
and a modification of the scheme laid before the Boara was
then generally (with few objections) approved of. The
parish of Lee is included in the Plumstead district, in
Schedule B, in the Metropolis Local Management Act,
and under the second section of that Act (18 & 19 Vict,
c. 120) it is governed by a vestry composed of a prescribed
number of members, to be regulated from time to time by
ihe number of rated householders in the parish. The pre-
:ent number of vestrymen is 18, and that number may be
increased, but cannot (according to the present Act) on the
largest augmentation of the population exceed 1 20. I pro-
pose that instead of the entire vestry taking part in the
nomination the following rule be adopted : —

C. — ^The candidates for the almshouses who may be
single persons, or men and their wives, none being under
57 years of age, may be of the parishes of Lee, Lewisham,
or Greenwich, and shall be nominated by the rector and
churchwardens of the parish of Lee, the incumbent and
churchwardens of the district of Christchurch, in the said
parish, ani the two overseers of the said parish, together
with four persons to be chosen by the vestry, and m the
event of any other ecclesiastical district or districts being
formed in the said parish, the incumbent and churchwardens
of such district or districts to be added to the said nomina-



ting body, together with two other persons to be chosen by
the said vestry, for every such additional body ot ecclesias-
tical officers. The vestry of Lee to receive notice by their
vestry clerk of every vacancy, and to be allowed a period of
one month to convene a meeting, and choose such repre-
sentatives of the vestry, to nominate the said candidates
before the time appointed for the election. If the candi-
date to fill the vacancy be not elected and presented to the
Merchant Taylors* Company within three months from such
notice the master and wardens of the Merchant Taylors*
Company to be at liberty to appoint the person to fill up
every such vacancy.

The provisions with regard to the chapel and divine
service appear to be framed or suggested by the Com-
pany, in a manner to which little (if any) exception can be
taken, namely : —

D. That divine service be performed in the chapel by
the chaplain [twice] [once] on every Sunday in addition to
the weekly services, and that he be paid in respect of such
duties the annual stipend of 50/. ; and that the clerk to the
chapel (with the additional duty of keeping the garden of
the almshouses in good order), be paid a yearly salary of
12/., and a further sum of 1/. Is, a year, for keeping in
good order and condition the vault of the late Christopher
Boone in the churchyard of the parish church of Lee.

I have visited and inspected the almshouses, school, and
chapel. They are the only buildings erected in the lifetime
of the founder, and are accurately described in his founda-
tion deed, as standing upon a certaine peece or parcell of
land or wast situate lyeing and being in the parish of Leigh
in the county of Kent containing in bredth forty foote of
assize be it more or lesse, and in length two hundred and
tenn foote of assize be it more or lesse abutting upon the
highway there towards the South upon the common pas-
sage leading over A small Bridge to the Parish Churcn of
Leigh aforesaid towards the West upon a Ditch and Hedge
of a Meadow of the said Christopher Boone called Brick-
field towards the North and upon a ditch and pale of
another meadow of the said Christopher Boone called The
Two Acres towards the East.*

The site, as it now appears with the garden afterwards
referred to, seems to me somewhat more extensive. In
walking carefully round it, I had concluded it to be about
50 feet deep by 2/0 in length. The Merchant Taylors*
Company hold adjoining land, and may possibly have
added something to the original space, or the arrangement
may have been ^tered. The buildings are accurately de-
scribed in the deed as fower dwelling houses conteiY>eing
each of them one lower roome boarded more then a foote
above the ground being sixteene foote of assize and eight
inches long or thereabouts and fourteene foote of assize
and eleven inches broad or thereabouts with a cimney
therein and one upper roome or chamber of the same di-
mensions in lengtn and bredth and alsoe one smaller low
roome or sheed with a partition for beere wood coales and
the Uke nesessaryes fineene foote of assize long and eight'
foot of assize broad or thereabouts on the north side of
each of the said dwelling houses with a litle backyard to
each house.

The garden adjoining is, as described in the same deed,
which proceeds to recite that the founder hath layed
unto the almes houses to be enjoyed in common by
the said Schoole Mistrisse and almes people in-
tended partly for a Garden Piatt to plant pott herbes
therein and partly for a grasse plat for dryeing of cloathes
a peice or parcell of the said ground containeing in length
from East to West one hundred fifty and eight foote of
assize or thereabouts and in breadth from North to South
one and forty foot of assize or thereabouts.

The buildings are, as may be expected from their age,
very decayed, and require constant expenditure to make
them habitable. The three almshouses which are at the
west have each one room above the other, with the back
room (called above the sheed or shed) now styled the
kitchen, but the inhabitants of the upper room must pass
through the lower room to go in or out, and for access
either to the offices. The fourth house is occupied by the
school mistress, who teaches 12 children free, and as many
other children as she can procure to attend the school. It
is in fact a dame school. Her dwelling room is above, and
the chapel bell is over it, and is rung from the schoolroom.
Acyoining this is the chapel, which is also very much de-
cayed. There is no Question that the whole of these
buildings should be pulled do'vn and re-constructed.

I therefore propose —

E. The chapel, almshouses, and school house to be
pulled down, and the chapel and almshouses for 12 in-

* Record Office, Close Bolls, S5 Oar. II. p. 11, Boone v. Upton.

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mates and common washhouses, baths and other offices to
be built on such plan and upon such sites respectively as
shall be determined upon by the Merchant Taylors* Com-
pany, with the sanction of the Charity Commissioners, and
the expense of the said works to be raised by loan, on the
security of the charity estate.

I am not aware that any plan for rebuildinpf the chapel
or almshouses has been determined upon by the Company.
The present site of the almhouses and garden abutting on
the high road would no doubt be very valuable as frontage
for shops and places of business, and might probably be
sold or exchanged for a much more spacious and convenient
site elsewhere. A far greater local improvement however
would I think be effected if the proposed almshouses were
built on opposite sides of the ground belonging partly to
the Charity and partly to the Merchant Taylors' Company,
and for which purpose an exchange might, I think, be
effected, beneficial both to the almshouses and property of
the Company and those of the Charity. If six almshouses
were built on each side in parallel lines with the two wings
of the Merchant Taylors* almshouses, forming in fact
prolongation of those wings, although not necessarily
adjoining them, the lawn might be brought down to the
road, from which the whole range of buildings would then
form a very handsome object. If besides this the new
chapel were errected in the centre on an elevation at some
distance from the road it would very greatly add to the
completeness and beauty of the ground, and being made
readily accessible from the Merchant Taylors' Almshouses,
woulcl be an important addition and benefit to that institu-
tion. The chapel ought to be made to contain comfortable
seats appropriated for the aged inmates of both establish-
ments, and I think a certain number of seats might also
usefully be provided for strangers, the combination of
different classes in public worship being I apprehend far
more desirable than chapels confined to a pauper or indeed
any other special class of persons. 1 do not see any ob-
jection to the construction of a few additional seats which
might be let, under the regulations sanctioned by the
Merchant Taylors' Company, and the income so derived
being applied either to the repairs and maintenance of the
chapel and services, or to the increase of the stipend of the
chaplain. If the chapel were approached by an avenue and
steps from a principal gate-way opening from the high
road, and fronting the centre of the entire group of build-
ings, (open perhaps to the public for access to the chapel
at service time), appropriateness and dignity might be given
to the general structure.

The founder of the Charity manifested great care for the
preservation of cleanliness and for what would now be
called the sanitary condition of his establishment. He
recites in his deed, that at one end thereof is erected and
sett up a pump with plenty of water, and at the other end
a convenient wash house sixteene foot of assize and fower
inches square or thereabouts with an oven and some brew-
ng vessells and other utensills therein which are likewise
to be eiijoyed and used in comon by the said Schoole
Mistris and almes people togeather alsoe with two ease-
ments or bowses of office the one for the almes men and
the other for the almes women. And in the schedule of
ordinances he provides that the almspeople shall keepe



their houses cleane sweete and wholesome carefully pre-
serve the walls boards timber glasse windowes and all
that belongs to their respective apartments. They shall
suffer noe dirt filth foule water or other noysomnesse to
be throwne into the water ditch or streeme on the north
side of the said almes houses the offenders herein shall
incurr such forfeiture as the said master and wardens shall
in their discretion think fitt and in case of wilfull persist-
ing in such offence they shall be expelled. They shall not
throw any dirt ashes or other filtn into the streete nor
keep any such noysom or offensive things within their
perticular apartments or within the places they are to injoy
in comon there being provided a convenient place for
that purpose just without the wall at the west end of the
said almes houses with a doore opening thereunto. They
shall keepe their houses of office cleane and sweete without
throwing any dirt filth or rubbish there into this to be
done by weekly tumes. That for the men by the iiieii
each his week and that for the woman by the women each
her week and they shall give timely notice to the said
master and wardens for haveing the said houses of office
emptied as need shall require. They shall keepe the whde
length of the gutter or water course under the wall on the
south side of the said ahnes houses cleane and eve rj day
swept that noe stoppage may happen therein and shall
keepe their grasse plott or drying place cleane and greene
and their snuUl kitchin garden well planted with pott hert)6
and sowed from time to time with convenient seeos for that
purpose and shall keep it alwayes neat and well weeded
and shall keepe their wash house brew house or ImJcc
house well swept cleane sweet and wholesome. All whidi
and all other publick places and accommodacons which
they are to enjoy in common they shall take care of by
weekly tumes both men and women. In remodelling such
a foundation I cannot but think that it would be reasonable
to improve it with some regard to the present state of
sanitary science and economic arrangements. If this
might be done there would be an opportunity of adding
common washhouses and baths to be used free of expense
by the inmates of both the Merchant Taylors* and Boone's
almshouses, and perhaps at a small charge by the other
inhabitants of Lee. These might be conveniently con-
structed at the angle of present garden on Boone's Estate.

The foregoing proposals. A, B, C, D, and E, provide for
all the objects of the scheme, amended as I have ventured
to propose it should be, with the exception of —

F. A competent sum to be annually employed in the in-
surance of the almshouses and chapel trom fire, and so much
also as shall be necessary to be apphed in current repairs, and
the balance of the annual income, after providing for the
several objects aforesaid, to be applied as a sinking fund, in
reduction and repayment of the loan to be contracted as
aforesaid, and the Merchant Taylors' Company and all
other parties interested to have liberty to apply from time
to time for such additions or modifications of the scheme as
may be necessary orexpedient.

All which I submit to the Board.



2nd July 1862.



Tho. Hare,

Inspector of Chanties.



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MR. SKIRROW'S REPORT. — MEROHANT TAYLORS* COBfPANT.



399



MERCHANT TAYLOES' COMPANY.
Mr. Skirrow*s Report.



ROBERT DONKIN'S CHARITY.

Under the manaffement of the Master and Wardens o£ the Merchant Taylors' Company and the Rector and Church-
wardens of St. Michael, Comhill.

Report on Inquiry held on the 8th day of January 1875.



My Lords and Gbntlembn,

In pursuance of a minute of your Board, dated
27th November 1874, I inspected and now report as to
the right of the Company, in a matter of a doorway from
No. II5, fiishopsgate Street, into Lamb Alley, and sub-
mitted for decision by your Board.

The inquiry, which was attended by Mr. F. Boyle, the
solicitor, and Mr. ReiUy, the surveyor of the Rector and
Churchwardens, and Mr. F. Fisner, the solicitor, and
Mr. J. Ansen, the surveyor of the Company, took place at
the Secretary's office of the Company, in Threadneedle
Street, on l^e 8th January 1875, a view of the premises
havinff been previously had by the above persons and
myself. Chral and documentaiy evidence was received at
the inquiry, but not upon oath.

In the great fire of London of 1666 the leases, deeds, and
other do<mment8 (with the exception of some books of
records) relating to the Charities of the parish, are said to
have been destroyed.

It appears from these books of records, that on the
10th March 1548, Edward VI. granted (amongst other
things) to William Crofton, and Thomas Langton, and
their heirs " all those two messuages or tenements and the
" gate entry and ground under the south part of one of
*' the said messuages lyin^ and being in the parish of
" St. Buttolph Without, Bishopsgate Street."

These premises, being 144 and 143, Bishopsgate Street
Without, were by the above or a similar description, and
at different times conveyed to different persons, and having
ultimately become vested in the Waterbearers' Company
were conveyed by a deed of 7th October 1568, to Robert
Donkyn (now called Donkin) and his heirs.

Robert Donkin, by will dated 12th March, 13th Elizabeth
1570 (an office copy of which was produced at the inquiry)
devised his messuage or house which he had purchased of
the Waterbearers (being 144 and 143, Bishopsgate Street,
to the Parson and Churohwardens of St. Michael, Cornhill,
and to their successors, &c., the profits to be applied by
them and the parishioners to certain charitable purposes.
And the testator also devised to the Master and Wardens,
&o. of the Merchant Taylors' Company his property in
Bell Alley, in the parish of St. Botolphe (mcludmg No. 145,
Bishopsgate Street Without) for certain other charitable
purposes.

From time to time the Parson and Churchwardens
demised Nos. 144 and 143, and the Company demised No.
145, Bishopsgate, to various persons respectively.

By a lease of December 1/80, the Parson and Church-
wardens demised Nos. 144 and 143 to Sydney Brooks for
30 years, at a rent of 381. a year, and on this lease a nlan
is drawn, a tracing of which is to be found annezea to
case A. Subsequent leases were granted of the same
premises, the last of which bears date in September 1853,
and grants the same premises to Thomas Baz for 21
years from the 29th September 1853, at a rent of 155Z. a
year.

In 1871 the Charity Commissioners established a scheme
for the Charity, so far as it related to the Parish of
St. Michael, Comhill.

With regard to No. 145, leases have been granted thereof
from time to time by the Company.

By a lease of 30th March 1787 the house was let for
a term, which expired in 1842, such lease stating the house
to have been then lately built (i.e., rebuilt) by the lessee,
and describing it as abutting east on Bishopsgate Street,
west on other ground of the Company, north on Lamb
Alley, and south on Sun Street.

In two subsequent leases the house is similarly described,
the last of which was granted to Robert Fowler, M.D. (who
occupies the same) for 21 years from Lady Day, 1863.



On these leases there is a plan, and on the plan of the
lease of 30th March 1787, the north wall of No. 145 is
drawn perfectly straight, the whole of its length thus part
of such wall extending beyond the covered passage of Lamb
Alley towards the west.



^



t ^



^ m
t o



a/sHOPSGAT£ Street.

But this is clearly incorrect, as the north wall runs, with
a slight curve, the whole length of the covered passage, as
may be seen on the tracing of the plan drawn upon the
lease of December 1780, of Nos. 144 and 143. This curve,
which I pointed out to the survevors, extended the whole
length of the covered passage, and measured four inches at
its greatest width, as represented by the dotted line.



! i



N9I45



I ^ 2

1 UJ <

I ^ ^

/ Q -^



AfP/44



Bishopsgate Street



The lease to Mr. Bax, of Nos. 144 and 143, expiring at
Michaelmas 1873, the trustees for the parish agreed to
grant him a new lease of the same premises for 21 years, at
a rental of 240/., and the surveyors of the trustees, being
instructed to draw a plan of such premises, surveyed the
same, and discovered that a doorway had been broken from
No. 145 into Lamb Alley, about the middle of the covered
passage, by Dr. Fowler, the tenant of No. 145, but with the
assent of tne Company, for the convenience of his pauper
patients, he being the parish doctor.

This state of facts being known to the trustees, a corre-
spondence took place between them and the Companv, and
Mr. Reilly, the smn'^eyor of the trustees, and Mr. J. Ansen,
the surveyor of the Company, having met, the latter con-
tended that the whole of the wall on the north side of 145
from the basement up to the lintel (a.) (see plan on case B)
was the exclusive property of the Company, and Mr. Beilly
that the trustees were possessed of half of such waU.

On the 8th January 1874, the doorway in question was
bricked up by the surveyor of the trustees of the Charity,

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but such brickwork was thrown down by someone on the
afternoon of the same day.

Application was then made at the Guildhall Police
Court for a summons against Dr. Fowler, for destroying
the wall, which was however refused, on the ground that a
question of title was involved.

Ultimately the trustees of the Charity fastened iron
plates over the doorway, which were standing at the time
of my view.

The opinion of counsel was taken by the trustees, and
also by the Company, to be found on cases A. and R., and
ultimately the trustees agreed by letter to submit to the
arbitration of the Charity Commissioners the matter in
dispute as to the doorway.

In the Appendix will be found a photograph of the
premises in question, but it is too dark to be of much use.

The colored plan attached to case B., and which was
made by the T/ompany's surveyor, represents correctly
enough the exterior of No. 145 and No. 144, and the entiy
and gate between them, but not so correctly the ground
plan of the north wall of No. 146, as such wall is desig-
nated by a straight instead of a curved line, as already
mentioned.

Assuming that originally the " gate entry and ground
** under the south part of No. 144 *' was a private way, it
certainly was dedicated to the public very many years ago,
but no one can tell the exact time, and consequently, if the
whole of the north wall of Lamb Alley (which extends not
only the whole width of No. 144, but also forms part of the
separate wall of No. 145 farther down the alley) belongs
exclusively to No. 145, the Company had a perfect right
to make or permit to be made by their tenant a doorway
through such wall into the public alley.

There is a gate into the alley, which was erected about
50 years ago, upon which a lock was placed about 24
years ago by Mr.Bax,the then tenant of Nos.144 and 143.
This was done to prevent nuisances being committed in the
entry, and Mr. Bax gave one key of the gate to the parish
watchman and afterwards, about five years ago, another
key to Dr. Fowler, the tenant of No. 145, retaining one
himself. The Commissioners of Sewers repair the flags of
the alley throughout its entire length, and Mr. Bax, the
tenant of Nos. 144 and 143 has, at all events, for upwards
of 20 years, painted or whitewashed the whole of the north
wall of No. 145, extending his operations, however, beyond
the covered passage to the other part of the nortli wall,
which exclusively belongs to No. 145, and faces the back
part of the south wall of Nos. 144 and 143, for his own con-
venience, i.e., by way of increasing the light.

Mr. J. Anson, the Company's surveyor, stated at the
inquiry that the Company did not admit the right of
Mr. Bax to paint or whitewash the north wall of No. 145,
and that Dr. Fowler had a right to a key of the gate, as the
alley is a public way, which latter fact is admitted to be
true by both sides.

The Company's claim in respect of the north wall of
No. 145 is somewhat j)eculiar, for Mr. J. Anson also stated
that the Company also claimed an exclusive right to the
north wall of No. 145, so far as it extends along the
covered passage, firom the basement to the lintel marked



Online LibraryGreat Britain Great Britain. London livery companies commissionCity of London Livery Companies' Commission: Report and Appendix, Volume 4 → online text (page 113 of 169)