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

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Description of Property.

Term of exist-
inff Leases.

Total ground



The sitet and appurte-

West Hackney bang :—

No8. 7. 9, 11. 18, 16, 17,

19, 21, 88, 26. and 27,

AJvington Crescent.

99 years from
Lady day 1867.

£ s. d.

£ 9. d.


tBLUB Coat School, Readdtg (John West's Chakitt).

By an order of the Board of this date, the trus- »ndMar4
tees were authorised to apply the sum to be realised MW.
by the sale of the said sums of 61SI. 68. Consols, and
1,078^ Ss. lid. New 3L per Cent. Annuities, towards
the purchase of the hereditaments next mentioned,
namely : —

Description of Property.

ing Leases.

Total ground



The sites and appurte-
nances of messuages at
Clapton, being:—
A messuage at the cor-
ner of Nightingale

joining south, and
Nod. 62. 60, 68. 66.
64,62. 60, 46. 46,44.
and 42. Nightingale

99 years flrom
Christmas 1878.

Do. - -

£ 9. d.


£ 9. d.



9.000 6

Digitized by






The condition of these institations at the time of my
inquiry into the charities under the management of the
Clothworkers' Company, was stated to the Board in my
report thereon. The income of Hobby's Charity under
a scheme of the Court of Chancery, of 1834, is divisable
into 17 parts, of which six parts are paid to Christ's
Hospital, six other parts to the clothing fund of the
Clothworkers' Company, and the remainder or five
seventeenths towards the discharge of 25 poor prisoners
for debt in London, such as lie in for their fees, seven
out of each compter and 11 out of Ludgate.

The question at present relates exclusively to the
latter portion or five seventeenths of the fund«

The manner in which it was dealt with, in assisting
in the discharge of prisoners, up to the time of the
passing of the Bankruptcy Act of 1861 (24 & 25 Vict,
c. 134.y, is set forth in my report of the Clothworkers'
Charities (p. 15). The effect of the late statute, and
especially of the clauses 98 to 105, in discharging all
prisoners for debt (with certain exceptions mentioned in
clauee 104) has led the Clothworkers' Company to regard
this portion of the charity as liberated by the failure of
objects from the purpose to which it was dedicaJbed, and
to propose to the board that the accumulations of the
fund which have not been applied and the accruing
income of the five seventeenths for the future should be
applied to specific educational purposes, that is to say,
the reconstruction of the Free G-rammar School of
Sutton Valence upon an enlarged plan. Under such
circumstances I was requested by the board to make
inquiry first into the fact of the absence or contemplated
absence of any of the prescribed objects of the charity ;
and secondly, if there should be such a failure of objects
into the propriety of the proposed applicafiion.

I should premise that the balance applicable to this
purpose ana the increase of the five seventeenths of the
estate, likewise so applicable, have undergone some
change since my former report. The balance is some-
what less, from the circumstance of larger payments
having been made for the discharge of prisoners in 1861
and 1862 whilst the income, as appears by the following
statement, which has been furnished to me by the clerk
of the Company, is considerably more.

The balance applicable to the discharge of prisoners
is 1,110?. Ss. lid (17th July 1862), thus :—

Balance at Christmas, 1859
Income for the year, 1860
»> >t it 1861

£ 8. d.

1,277 19 1

180 10 7

213 10 9

1,672 6
Paid for discharge of prisoners in 1861 344 16 6

The like 18th February 1862

1,327 3 11

1,110 3 11

I visited Whitecross Street prison, and besides a con-
ference wilii the Acting Deputy Governor, I had the
advantage of an interview with the city solicitor, .Mr.
Charles Pearson, who was kind enough to appoint an
hour for meeting me there, and from whom I received
a full explanation of the practioal effect of the Bank-
ruptcy Act in the confinement of debtors in the city

The effect of the Act will be to abolish imprisDnment
merely for debt. The debtor if retained in prison

against his will, must be retained because he has been
guilty of a misdemeanour under the 221st section of the
Act, or because his conduct before or after adjudication
of bankrupccy falls within the exceptional classes men-
tioned in the 3rd division of the 159th section of the Act
with regard to prisoners for debt under process from
the Superior Courts, I apprehend therefore that the
objects nave ceased.

There are, however, the exceptions mentioned in the
104th clause, which includes persons in custody under
the orders of the county court judges. The committals
under the Act of 8 & 9 Vict. c. 1§7, and 9 A 10 Vict,
c. 95 (the County Court Acts) have this peculiarity, that
they are not maae against the parties as simply debtors
but are made in default or contempt of the court for
not attending the summons, for not making the required
disclosures, for fraudulent conduct, or not paying where
in the opinion of the judge the defendant has the means
of paying, which also is, I presume, a quasi fraud.
Prisoners in this condition are not affected by the Bank-
ruptcy Act, and their cases have been represented in
Parliament and elsewhere as cases of hardship. So
lately as the 7th of May in the present year (1862) a
discussion of which the following is a report, appears to
have taken place in Parliament relating to them.

House of Commons, Wednesday. Countij Oowris
Procedure Bilh*

Mr, M'Mahon moved the second reading of this Bill.
The amendments proposed by it had been suggested by
persons thoroughly conversant with county court prac-
tices. ITieir object was to assimilate to a greater extent
than at present the practices of the county courts to
that of the superior courts. One amendment was to
enable persons to sue in county courts on promissory
notes when those notes were lost. Another was to
enable a person to sue for the value of a thing which
had been entrusted to him by another party for sale
and which he had sold. A third class of amendments
was to give power of appeal on a special case against
the decision of the county court judges. No suph appeal
could take place under the law as it stood ; and yet it
was much more necessary in regard to the superior
courts. Ajiother amendment was that defendants who
had not a legal, but had an equitable defence should
be allowed to urge that defence. Under the Common
Law Procedure Act such defences were allowed in the
superior courts, but they were not allowed in the county
courts. He did not think there could be any valid
objections to the Bill.

The dUomey-Oeneral trusted the House would be of
opinion that it would not be expedient to proceed
farther with this Bill. He thought he was in a position
to say that the county court judges were adverse to the
measure ; and a^ to the provisions that had reference to
the penal clauses in the County Cotvrt Acts, enabling (he
judges to impose imprisonment for longer or shorter periods,
he would STiggest that if they were to he considered, that
should he dime in a distinct shape, a/nd their existence
should not he used as an argum^ent in favour of such a
proposal as was to he found in the Wk clause of this BUI,
A great portion of the clauses of this Bill were con-
fessedly taken from the Common Law Procedure Acts
of 1852 and 1854, and so far the provisions of the JBill
might be made available without the intervention of
Parliament at all. In reference to the proposed exten-
sion of the jurisdiction of the county court judges, he
would observe without meaning to disparage ihem, that

*Tbe whole report of the debate ia here inaerted; the passages
materia! to this subject are printed in italics. I have not seen a copy
o( the Bill.

4H 4

Digitized by




if this jurisdiction were thrust upon them they would
not be ftble to discharge it in a satisfactory manner.
He considered that the effect of the 8th clause would
be to make the county courts the means of raising

?ue8tions for adjudication before the superior courts,
f a Bill were really called for, he thought the 6th clause
was unobjectionable; and, if they should go into com-
mittee, his conviction was that the Bill would be
reduced to that clause. If that were so it was not
desirable to legislate piecemeal in this manner. Fro-
hably there were some matters carmected with the procedu/re
of the cownty courts thai might advcuntagecmsly obtai/n the
consideration qf tlie Kouse, with a view to the amendment
of the law. He had been in comrmmication with some of
the county court jvdges amd suggestions from swih a source
would receive the consideration to which tmder the cvrcumr'
stances they would he entitled. If the matter were thus
originated it would be easy enough to introduce a
measure including the 6th clause, but it was not
desirable to press the Bill before the House, and he
should move that it be read a second time that day six

Mr, Henley begged to cdU attention to the position in
which the very poor classes of society are now left with
regard to itn/prisonment for debt. The poorer chisses a/re
subject to be imprisoned simply because in the opinion of
the judge of the court they can poAfy and will not pay^
Having almost relieved the upper and middle classes of
society from imprisonmnent for debt, the Oovemm>ent should
consider whether this system of penal imprisonment should
he continued in regard to the poorer classes of society. He
hoped thai the Government would look to the subject and
that some meams would be taken to rid the gaols of poor
d^tors. The present anomalous state of the Ioa/o with
regard to rich and poor ought to be corrected.

Mr. Ayrton said nothing could be more extravagant than
the state of the law at present as it affected the poorer classes
in regard to imprisonment for debt. If a man could borrow
202. he could easily sweep off all his debts, but if he could
not he was liable to imprisomnent. He hoped the Govern-
ment would bring in a JBiU to remove these anomaUes with
rega/rd to imprisonment.

Sir G. Grey said the subject of imurisonment for debt
was worthy of consider atu/n, and it was one which he
thought the Government ought to consider, with a view to
assvmilating the Uvw to the aliered circumstances introduced
by the new Bankruptcy Law.

Mr. MMahon said if they were to wait for the ap-
proval of the county court judges to any measure, there
would never be any improvement of the law. Of all
persons judges were the last to be consulted upon such
subjects. If we had been guided by the opmions of
judges we might still have been hanging women with
children at the breast for stealing handkerchiefs worth
hs. If the county court judges were consulted on the subject
of imprisonment for debt, no Bill would he brought in.
The withdrawal of their power to imprison would wrtuaUy
be almost an annihilation of their business. He did not
amtioipale thai the subject would have been brought forward,
or he would have been prepared wOh returns showing the
magniMtde of the evil. In the gaols of Worcester and
Stafford, however, within two years there were 300 prisoners
for debt, and the debts were m^inty incmred through pedlaflrs
forcing the poor to pu/rchases beyond tlieir means. He was
thankful he had been the means of bringing this subject

Mr. Vance said last year the law prohibiting county
court judges from sitting in Parliament was repealed,
he supposed accidentally, by the Bankruptcy Act, and
he thought some opportunity should be taken to renew
the prohibition.

The motion for the second reading of the Bill was
negatived without a division.

Notwithstanding the opinions thus expressed it is a
material question whether the application of charitable
funds for the purpose of assisting in the discharge of
prisoners conmiitted to prison for such default or con-
tempts of which the^ are adjudged to be guilty would
not DC in contravention of the law and against public
policy. I have some recollection of hearing a case
argued on this ground, against the establishment of a
charitv for payment of the fines and costs of persons
committed by magistrates at petty sessions for poaching,
in which the legacy was considered to be void as against
public policy ; but I have been unable to refer to any
report of the case. The endowment in Hobby's trust,
again, is only for such prisoners for debt *' as ue in for
** their fees," and it is a question whether that is in
any measure the case of the county court debtor. On
perusing the warrant on which a debtor committed by
the Westminster County Court was retained at White-

cross Street prison, I found it specified the following
particulars i —


Costs of judgment summons -

Poundage for issuing warrant

£ s.


. 7 10


. 19


. 13


9 3 6

the total sum forming the amount which the prisoner
must pay in order to be entitled to his discharge under
the 10th section of the Act 9 A 10 Vict. c. 96. It
may be doubted whether the two last items in the above
account can be regarded as fees, and certainly they are
not fees so distinguishable from the debt that the
prisoner may be discharged from the one and retained
for the other.

An important question also arises whether there are
or have been in fact for many years past any fees
payable by prisoners bringing them within the meaning
of Hobby's Charity, and whether in fact all applications
of the rand in the discharge of prisoners smce 1815
have not been made in error. The statute 56 Geo.
3. c. 50, abolished all fees payable by any prisoner on
entrance, commitment or discharge, excepting certaia
prisons* which do not affect this case ; and a statute
of the following year (56 Gteo. 3. c. 116) reciting that
doubts had arisen whether the former Act extended to
prisoners confined in gaols or prisoners under civil
process for debt onlv, provides that the abolition of fees
"shall extend to all prisoners as well civil as criminal
*' whether confined for debt or crime in any of the
" prisons of England,"

Upon a review of the foregoing statutes I think it
may be concluded that the state of the law at present
renders it impossible that any such objects as are con-
templated in the part of the will of John Hobby above
referred to, should be found. The first part of the tes-
tator's rift being for the purposes of education it appears
to me that following the rule adopted by the Court of
Chancery and the House of Lords m the case of Betton's
Charity, the liberated endowment may be applied to
purposes of education, and having regard to the con-
veyance of 1677 whereby the lands were vested in the
Company, which was thereby charged with the trusts
of the entire foundation, an arrangement confirmed by
the decree of the Court of Chancery in 1679, it seems
to be reasonable that the Clothworkers' Company should
be entrusted with the administration of the new educa-
tional fund thus to be created.

The remaining question is on the propriety or expe-
diency of employing the surplus fund on the Suttbn
Valence school.

The foundation of this institution and its condition
at the time of my inquiry into the charities of the
Clothworkers' Companv are set forth in my report on
those charities, and to that, to avoid unnecessary repeti-
tion, I beg to refer.

The master of the school resigned his office (receiving,
I am informed, some compensation from the Company)
soon after my former inquiry, and the school has since
been closed. The school, besides its site, was only
endowed with a rentcharge of 30^. a year, which the
Company in 1605 sold for 3601. and thenceforward
charged themselves with the payment of it. They had
not, however, limited their support of the school to the
amount of the rentcharge, but expended on it fw
several years before 1857 apiiuftl sums varying from
600?. to 900Z. a year^^ and since the Grammar School
has been closed, their subscription to the National
school of Sutton Valence has amounted to little lees
than the annual rentcharge.

The Clothworkers* Company now propose to lay out
3,000Z. on the building of the Sutton Valence school. I
have been furnished with a copy of the resolutions of
the Court to that effect, which are as follows :

•• Oowrt 2nd April 1862.

** The following resolutions were a^eed to : —
'* 1st. That in the opinion of this Court it is desirable
to rebuild and reorganise the Company's school at
Sutton Valence.

" 2nd That the Sutton Valence Committee be autho-
rised to commence such rebuilding of the school
premises, at a cost not exceeding 3,0001., the plan and

* An Act of the 5 A 6 Vict. c. 22. sec. 11, abolished fees in the Queen's
Bench Prison, which wms one of the excepted idaoes.

Digitized by




eleyation of the building to be submitted to the Coui*t
for approval.

" 3ra. That a complete new code of laws and ordi-
nances be drawn up d^ the said Committee embracing
all points connected with the internal economy of the
school, which code of laws shall be as much in con-
formity with the expressed designs and intentions of its
bencTolent founder as is compatible with the adyanced
state of education, science, and literature, since his

"4th. That no appointment whatever to any office in
the school shall be made till such revised code of laws
and ordinances has received the sanction of the Court.

" 5th. Thatit be an instruction to the Committee not to
admit any regulation or provision in the said rules and
ordinances that would interfere with the school bein^ a
general benefit to members of all Christian denomina-
tions. "

In pursuance of the second purpose of inquiry, the
expecUency of this application of the funds of a portion
of the funds of Hobby's Prisoners' Charity in aid of the
new foundation, I visited the school premises at Sutton
Valence, and met some of the members of the special
committee of the Companv appointed on this subject,
and their architect, together with the curate of the
parish, and several gentlemen of the neighbourhood
interested in the proposed institution.

The situation of the town or village of Sutton Valence
is singularly striking and beautiful, overlooking a vast
country on the south comprising the weald of Kent and
Sussex, across Tenterden to the sea on the east, and to
the Surrey Hills on the west. The committee of the
Company think it possesses such natural attractions
that if it were the seat of a first rate educational estab-
lishment, it might become a favourite place of residence
for families seeking an education for their children, and
certainly few inland places at a distance from any
populous town have more of natural advantages ti>
recommend them. Upon such contingencies it is,
however, impossible at this day substantially to speculate,
and the question probably to be considered is whether
there is a sufficientr^ reasonable prospect of general benefit
from the Droposed foundation, that the surplus funds of
Hobby's Charity should be permitted to go in aid of the
considerable funds which the Clothworkers' Company
propose to dedicate to the same purpose from their
corporate resources.

Upon a view of the schoolmaster's house and the
school buildings, it appeared very doubtful whether any
valuable or permanent impix>vement could be made
short of pulling down and rebuilding the whole. This,
I believe, was the opinion of most of the committee and

their architect, and it appeared to me that the premises,
particularly the master s house, were in too dilapidated
a state to jusUfjr any expenditure in repairs. It then
became a question whether a better site for the new
school could not be obtained.

The school premises and gardens are on the southern
slope of the hill on which me village stands, and the
houses front the principal street, the gardens rising in
terraces behind, and extending to the top of the hill,
where the outer garden wall abuts upon a lane or occu-
pation road leading to the property of Sir Edward

The ground which forms the table land at the top of
the hill belongs to the same gentleman, who was present
at my visitation, and expressed his willingness to
exchajige a sufficient quantity of land x)n the hill, for
other limd belonging to the Clothworkers' Company (not
to the school) on the side of the valley, south of the
school and street. The site thus oflfered would be on a
level and healthy spot, in a very commanding position,
and would have great advantages over the comparatively
narrow and confined space below, whilst the latter would
be eligible for private residences which would not im-
probably be in demand, especially if the school were
successful. The members of the committee present
expressed their intention immediately to take steps
for canring out this exchange between the Company
and Sir Edward Filmer, and thereby to facilitate the plan
of rebuilding and adding to the foundation of the school,
and I am informed that the exchange is now in progress.

There is nothing in the terms of the foundation of the
grammar school of William Lambe, which stands in
the way of the adoption of a scheme for aflbrding by its
means a liberal education to persons of all classes, and
referring to the foregoing resolution of the Court of the
Company of the 2nd April last it does not appear that
there is any inclination to restrict its benefits, but
rather that they are disposed to enlarge them. The
Board will probably refuse to pledge itself to an ap-
proval of the application of the iunds in question in aid
of a school of which the scheme of admission and
government is not yet before it ; but assuming that the
scheme be such as the Board may sanction, the future
income of the five seventeenths of the Hobby
estate still rem&ining applicable to its original objects if
any should hereafter arise I respectfully submit that
there is no apparent objection to the application of the
existing balance and the income from time to time ac-
cruing in aid of the Sutton Valence school.
All which I submit to the Board.

(Signed) Thos. Hajie,

12th August 1862. Inspector of Charities.

A U546.


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Bepobt of Mb, Skibeow, dated the 10th day of Angnst


In the matter of John Lute's Chabity, under the
management of the Clothworkers* Company, in
the city of London.

Mt Lobds akd Gentlexek,

In porsiiance of a Minute of the Board, dated 13th
July 1877, 1 inquired into the foundation endowments
and objects of the above-mentioned charity, and its
present circumstances and condition, and whether any
and what improvements might be made in the manage-
ment or application of the same.

In the course of such inquiry, which took place on the
7th August 1877, at the Clothworkers* Hall, Mincing
Lane, I received both oral and documentary evidence,
but not upon oath, and now have to report as follows :

John Lute's Charity.

John Lute, citiaenand clothworker, by will, dated the

12th May 1586, and proved in the Prerogative Court of

Canterbury on the 6th Febraary 1586, devised four

messuages, with the shops, &c. thereto belonging, in the

parish of St. Dionis, Backchurch, then rented at 9^ 13*. 4d,

a year, a messuage called the Leaden Porch, with the

shops, Ac. thereto belonging, in the parish of St.

Lawrence, Old Jewry, then rented at 6Z. a year, and a

messuage, with the shops, &c, thereto belonging, called

the Lute and Maidenhead, in the parish of St. Michael,

Comhill, then rented at lOZ. a year, to the master,

wardens, and commonalty of clothworkers and their

successors ; and he willed that they should demise the

premises and should from the profits arising by the

fines of such leases within four months after they should

have raised 200Z., thereby, lend and deliver the 2001,,

as follows, viz. :— lOOZ. thereof to five young men free

of the corporation, 20?., a piece for three years; and

Online LibraryGreat Britain Great Britain. London livery companies commissionCity of London Livery Companies' Commission: Report and Appendix, Volume 4 → online text (page 166 of 169)