Charities and Benefactions to Mansfield

FEW towns are richer in the matter of charities and benefactions than Mansfield. In the "Good Old Days" pious people appear to have vied with each other in leaving a portion of their wealth—in some cases the whole of it—to the poor of the town or to the Church. Many of the charities have been lost; but there are still a considerable number in existence, many of them devoted to the cause for which they were originally intended. Others have been diverted into other channels, but are still employed for the most useful of purposes. The charities and benefactions have been arranged, as far as possible, in chronological order. They are as follows:—

1462. The vicar of Mansfield presented by the jury, to keep a lamp burning at the high altar during the time of mass, and that the lands and tenements in the hold of W. Fulljambe were given for the same.

1468. Restwaight presented by the jury, to hold to the use of the Church one tenement with certain acres of land, the tenements of John Morehouse lying on both sides of the same, and that it now should come to James Hinton, the vicar there, for his maintenance.

1521. The following is the oldest existing charity in Mansfield:—

In the name of God, Amen. In the year of our Lord 1521, I Cicily Flogan of Mansfield, in Shirwood in the County of Nottingham, who is of whole mind and memory, make my last will to be indented, declared within the use and intent of a certain feoffment made by me, the said Cicily, unto Roger Pierrepoint, gent., George Blackwell, gent, John Morehall, William Steel, Richard Walker, Robert Alton, Thomas Gayworth, Richard Shakspere, John Scott, Thomas Leke, Thomas Pickford, and Richard Collynson, within the town and said Lordship of Mansfield aforesaid, to stand and be infeoffed and seised after the custom of the Manor of Mansfield aforesaid of and in all my messuages, land and tenements, meadows, closes, and pastures, with all their appurtenances in the town and Lordship of Mansfield, as by my surrender in the Court of our Sovereign Lord, King Henry VIII., and the seventh year of his noble reign, at Mansfield, remaining of record in the rolls of the said Court as plainly doth appear. Be it known to all men that I Cicily Flogan will that it is my said will that my aforesaid feoffes, and their heirs, shall stand and be feoffed and seised of and in all my said messuages, &c, unto the use and behoof of me the said Cicily, during my life, and after my decease I will that my said feoffes and their heirs and my executors for the time being shall find yearly, and Sir John Porter, my kinsman, which I the said Cicily name in my lifetime, for to sing and say Mass in the Parish Church of Mansfield, or in the Chapel of St. Lawrence, for the souls of Robert Flogan and Cicily, and Thomas Edsy, and my father's and mother's souls, and for all Christians' souls, which priest for the time being shall weekly say Sunday Mass as he shall be disposed, and three times in the week days, and seven Psalms and a Litany, with the Commendation when he shall think most convenient for the souls remembered. And each time when he says Mass to say a special collect for the souls before rehearsed, and for the good estate of the King's grace, and all the feoffes for the time being, and for the souls of them that be dead, and to remember them in his memento at the Mass of the said Priest, and the said priest be sworn upon the Holy Evangelists to keep and perform this use and intent Also I will that the said priest for the time being have yearly viii. marks of lawful money of the issues and profits of my said messuages, &c. to be paid by my feoffes and executors for the time being, which priest shall keep the anniversary of the said Cicily's death, with Prayers and Masses in the morn, in remembrance of her, and shall give 4d. at the said anniversary to the Clerk of the said Church, to ring the bells of the said Church after custom and manner of other anniversarys kept and used. Also I will that the residue of the rents, &c, coming of my said messuages, &c, shall yearly by my said feoffes and executors be lodged and truly paid and laid within a strong chest having three locks and three keys which my will is. And I order one of the said keys to be in custody of the said feoffes, another in the custody of the Vicar of the said Church for the time being, to this intent, that is to say, to support, maintain, pay, and keep all manner of repairs, costs, charges, and expenses about my said messuages, &c. And also I will that my said feoffes shall suffer my said executors, Roland Digby, and Sir William Clarke, Vicar of Mansfield, Henry Wheep, and William Sybthorp, to purchase aliens of the King's Highness, or his heirs Kings, to endow a Chantry by the said feoffees for the time being, to, in, and for the honour of our Lord God, our blessed Lady St. Mary and St. Lawrence, for a priest perpetually to sing and say and pray for the souls above remembered, in manner and form above rehearsed, and the said priest to have capacity and succession to sue and be sued, and be presented by the Ordinary of the Diocese, and by those my said feoffes for the time being, and mine executors aforesaid, for the time being, so that such presentment in manner and form aforesaid be made and had by my said feoffees and executors for the time being, within a month next after the avoidance and death of the said priest, and default be by negligence of my said feoffees and executors and such presentment of the said priest, be not had and made in manner and form above rehearsed; and default be thereof to defer, and will not elect another honest priest after each such voidance and death, then the Prior of Newstead for the time being shall present, and default be by him, then I will that the Abbot of Rufford, Sir Rowland Blyton, shall present in manner and form as afore rehearsed. And I will that whensoever it shall happen that my said feoffees decease, so that no more of them live, then six or five at the least that then they so over living, do infeoft twelve discreet and substantial persons living within the town and lordship of Mansfield, that will be sworn to perform this intent of which twelve I will that the Vicar of Mansfield for the time being be one of the twelve feoffees, that as often that it shall, or do happen, that my said feoffees do decease, save six or five at least, they being alive infeoft other persons to the number of twelve as is aforesaid. In witness, Roger Pierpont, George Blackwell, and John Porter.

7th Edward VI. Copy of exemplification of a decree in the Court of Augmentations, as to the estate devised by the will of Lady Flogan :—

Memorandum. For as moche as it apereth unto the Chancellor and gen'all Surveyor of the Court of Th' augmentations and revenues of the Kinge's Maities Crowne, as well by the certificate made on the Kinge's behaulfe into the said Courte, as otherwise that one Dame Cicilie Flogane, widowe, in the saiventhe yeare of the raigne of our late Soveraigne Lord of famous memorie, King Henry the Eighte was seased in her demeane as of fee by copie of Court Rolle of the Kinges Mats Mannor of Maunsfelde in Shirwood in the County of Nottingham, according to the custome of the same Mannor of and in one house or tenemente called the Harte with the certain lands, late in the tenure of William Wyldes, and now in the tenure, ferme, and occupatione of Thomas Farneworthe, in Maunsfielde, in the County of Nottingham, of the yearly ferme of three pounds six shillings eight pence, and one cottage in Maunsfild aforesaid, late in th£ tenure of Roland Beitney, and now in the tenure and occupatione of Joane Beitney, late weif of the said Roland in the said countie of the yearlie rent of seavin shilling. And one other cotage in the tenure and occupatione of John Clarke, in Maunsfielde, aforesaid, of the yearlie rent of four shillings. And one other cottage, late in the tenure and occupatione of Peter Frost, and now in the tenure of John Porter clerke, in Maunsfielde aforesaid, of the yearly ferme of foure shillings. And one other cottage, now or late in the tenure or occupatione of William Elton in Mauns-field aforesaid of the yearlie value of six shillings; and one other cottage, now or late in the tenure and occupatione of Robert Sprentnall, in Maunsfield, aforesaid, of the yearlie ferme of two shillings. And one other cottage late in the tenure and occupatione of Henry Smith, and now in the tenure of Thomas Farneworth in Maunsfeld aforesaid of the yerly ferme of eight shillings. And one other cottage now or late in the tenure and occupatione of John Chambers, in Maunsfielde, aforesaid, of the yearlie ferme of four shillings. All which lands, tenements, and cottages, byn of the clere yerelie value of five pounds six schillings and eight pence. And the said Dame Cicely Flogan so being seised of the premises at a Court holden at the said Manor, in the seventh yer of the said late King Henry the Eight, surrendered al the said copieholde lands and tenements to the use of Roger Pierpoint, John Porter, clerke, and dyvers other and their heires, to the use and performance of the last will and testament of the said Dame Cicely Flogan, the which Roger and John and other co-feoffees were therof admitted tenants at the same Court accordingly. And that this same Cicelie made her last will and testament, and by the same willed to the said John Porter, clerke, eight merkes yerlie, to be taken and peeyed out of the p'misses to have and peeye to him during his lief. And for that it further appireth by the said certificate and depocicions of witnesses in that behalf taken, that the said Dame Cicely Flogan, by her said last will and testament willed the p'misses during the time of fourscore and nineteen years to the finding of a priest to sing for the soul of the said Dame Cicelie in the said Chappell of Saint Lawrence, in the said Church, and that the issues and profits of the same were co'tynuallie co'verted put and employed to the fynding of a priest according to the same will, untill w'thin five years for the making of the estatute for the dissolucone of colledgs chantries and others in the first yeare of the King's Ma'tys raigne, and that the said John Porter, clerk, who was the priest that song in the said service, and had and received the proffits of the said lands is yet lyvinge, and that of the said terme is yet to come three score and two yeres, and that furthermore the said Thomas Farnes-worthe hath the p'misses in ferme for terme of thirty yeres yet to come of the lease of the said Roger Perpoynt and John Porter and other of the said co-feoffees to him made long ago before the said statute. It is therfor ordered and decreed by the said Chancellor and gen'll surveyor in the said Court in the term of Holy Trinitie, that is to say, the sixthe daye of June, in the seaventhe yere of the raigne of our Souveraigne Lord, Edward the Sixte, by the Grace of God King of England, &c, and of the Churche of England and also of Ireland, in earthe the supreme heade, and that the said Thomas Farnesworthe shall from henceforth have, hold, and enjoy all the said copiehold lands, tenements, and cotags to him his executors and assigns, during the said thirtie yeares, and that the King's Ma'tie shall have the residue of the said fourscore yeres next after the said termes ended and determyned. And the said Thomas Farnesworth, during the natural life of the said Sir John Porter, shall content and pay unto the said Sir John Porter yerlie five pounds full of the said eight marks, at the feasts of Seynt Mychaell the Archangell and the Annunciacione of our Lady by even porciones, and the residue of the said yerlie rents of the p'misses being six schillings eightpence unto the King's maisties Receyvore of the said County of Nottingham, for the tyme being, at the lyke termes, to the King's Maitys use, and that after the death of the said Sir John Porter, clerke, the said Thomas Farneworthe, his executors and assigns, shall pay yerlie for the premises to the handes of the said Receyvour, to the use of our said Souveraign Lord the King, his heyres and successors, the said yerlie rent of five pounds six schillings and eight pence, at the said Feaste of Seynt Michael the Archangell and the Annunciacioun of our Lady by even porciones during the residue of the yeres of his said lease, which he shall be then to come.

Letters Patent granting to the vicar and churchwardens of Mansfield the rents and profits of lands, tenements, &c, mentioned in the last will and testament of Lady Flogan. Also the rents and profits of the Chantry lands, for the maintenance of a priest.

Philip and Mary, King and Queen of England to all to whom these letters patent shall come, greeting. Whereas Lady Cicely Flogan, widow, gave and granted divers lands, tenements, &c, to a presbetyr, to celebrate divine service in the Church of Mansfield, which premises came to the hands of our dear brother, King Edward VI., by reason of a certain Act of Parliament for dessolving chantries, &c. Know ye that at the request of the almoner of our said King we do ordain Christopher Grainger, clerk, Vicar of Mansfield, and William Wylde, and John Chambers, Churchwardens, to be governors of the lands and possessions of the Parish Church of Mansfeld, and that they and their successors for ever shall be one body incorporate, and may have a common seal, &c. Know ye moreover that we have given and granted to the said Vicar and Churchwardens and their successors for ever, the whole aforesaid yearly rent of an hundred six shillings and eight pence. And also that tenement of ours in the tenure of John Hayton, situate in Mansfield, parcel of the possessions in common being amongst ten Chantries called the ten Chantry Priests lands, in Mansfield, aforesaid, and the reversions whatsoever of the premises, and, also, the yearly rents and yearly profits whatsoever. And also the profits, emoluments, &c, in as ample a manner as the last Presbyter of the Chantry, all which the aforesaid messuages, &c, are extended to the clear yearly value of six pounds three shillings and eight pence, for the maintenance of one Chaplain or Presbyter. And for this intent that the aforesaid Vicar and Churchwardens and their successors must find one Chaplain to celebrate divine service for ever. Witness ourselves at Westminster in the third and fourth years of our reign.

This Corporation, in the early age of its constitution, acquired other lands, as appears by the Court Rolls of the Manor of Mansfield. James Colly, a chaplain under the Charter of Philip and Mary, in his bill in Chancery, in 1615, complained that he was unjustly deprived of his office and its emoluments, and, in a letter to one of the churchwardens, attributes it to the vicar; for he says: "Be not too much p'swaded by the p'swasions of the vicare, who will not care what the towne doth spend, so he may have his humour for a time satisfied, though it will prove good for him yf an order be taken, for I must touch him most deeplie yf the suyte go forward, even with no less a losse that the losse of his place; and must in my bill sue for al that money wch he hath received, beinge in law and conscience due unto me." Colley was compromised with, but whether any chaplain was appointed after is doubtful, and for the last 170 years, at least, the vicar has received the money produced by the estate.

The following extract from a terrier of the possessions of the Church, in the year 1786, refers to the same subject:—"Some lands and tenements were given in the time of Philip and Mary, by Lady Floggan, for the maintenance of a minister; some also have been given for the support of the Grammar School; but the distinct lands for each purpose could not be set out so long ago as the year 1682, so that an agreement was then made that the vicar should receive £60 per annum, and the schoolmr £30, and the surplus shall be applied to the purpose and necessary expenses of the church. The church and churchyard are repaired out of the above mentioned estate."

It may be added, before leaving this lady, that her residence in the town is supposed to have been where the White Hart Hotel now stands, in Church Street, so that she lived within sight of the church she loved so well.

1602. Robert Hall, of Mansfield, by his will dated June 23rd, 1602, left 10s. per year, to be paid 5s. on Good Friday and 5s. on the Friday before Christmas. The income was secured on land in Cowshut Hedge Close, on one side of Chesterfield Road, and a close of a Mr. Barley on the other. The funds are regularly distributed as directed by the testator.

1603. Edward Cowper, a butcher, gave ten shillings yearly to the poor. According to an ancient memorandum book relating to the church and school property, this sum was paid out of an inn in Westgate by one William Cowper. In 1832 it was paid out of the Eclipse Inn, formerly the Maypole, Westgate, by Widow Skinner. This charity is still distributed.

1603. Richard Innocent, grazier, gave the interest of £20 to be distributed to the poor on Good Friday and St. Thomas' Day.

1607. King James I., by letters patent, bearing date the 20th day of February, in the fourth year of his reign, in consideration of the sum of £560 8s. 6d., granted to William Deerson and Thomas Elye, of London, gentlemen, and to their heirs and assigns (among other premises), all those ninety-one acres of asserted pasture land in one close, commonly called the Eight Men's Intake, in Mansfield, in the occupation of the vicar and churchwardens of Mansfield for the time being, with the tithes of corn, grain, hay, wool, and lamb, and all other tithes belonging to the same premises, to the use of the concionator of the said parish, being of the annual value of £5 2 s. 6d. One parcel of the land is thus described:—"All those 97 acres of pasture or thereabouts of assart land, by a particular thereof, in one close, commonly called the Eight Men's Intake, lying and being in the Parish of Mansfield, in the Forest of Sherwood, and County of Nottingham, then or late in the tenure or occupation of the vicar and churchwardens of Mansfield for the time being, for the use of the preacher (concionator) of the said parish, of the clear yearly value of £5, in all issues beyond 2s. 6d. to the said King, usually paid yearly and beyond all other reprizes." An important note is appended, which clears up the force of words otherwise doubtful. It is as follows:—"On a panel in Mansfield Church this charity is recorded in a manner which has created an erroneous opinion as to its objects. 'King James I. by letters patent,' &c. (read as above). From these words it may be supposed that the land was granted 'to the use of the concionator,' whereas, by referring to the grant itself as abstracted, it will be seen these words are only descriptive of the property which is said to have been 'lately in the occupation of the vicar and wardens for the use of the concionator.' The habendum which follows is to Deerson and Elye and their heirs, to the use of them, their heirs, and assigns for ever; and the foregoing description is repeated at the close of the deed, to specify the land out of which the rent of 2s. 6d. was payable, and to distinguish it from the various other parcels of land purchased at the same time by Deerson and Elye, and conveyed to them by the said deed for £560 18s. 6d., and of which they afterwards sold a part, being the lands in question, to the parishioners of Mansfield for £20. The inscription on the panel would be more correct if it stated that the parishioners in 1606 purchased 97 acres of land, the trusts of which were for the first time formally declared by a deed bearing date the 1st of December, 1656."

By an indenture dated 18th of March, 1606, the said William Deerson and Thomas Elye, with the consent of the vicar and churchwardens and other inhabitants of Mansfield, sold all this property, subject to the rent of 2s. 6d. to the King, to Francis Dand, gentleman, and seven other parishioners and inhabitants of Mansfield, for the sum of £20. By a deed dated the 3rd of March, 1626, a portion of the property was leased to George Kitchen, containing ten acres, for which he was to pay £3 6s. 8d. per year; the money "to be employed to divers necessary and behoofful uses of the said town."

Another authority says:—"The Eight Men's Intake Lands (except what, on the assart made of the wastes of the manor in the year 1666, was allotted in their right) were formerly held of the Crown at a small annual rent by the parishioners of Mansfield, who in the year 1606 purchased them of the grantees of James I., and they were conveyed to eight inhabitants of Mansfield, but for what particular purpose is not mentioned in the conveyance. In 1626, Henry Heath and Francis Dand, being the survivors of the said eight persons—Heath executed a deed, stating that 'It was agreed, and by common assent thought to be most convenient for the general good of the said town of Mansfield, to make some improvement of the said ground by demising the same to be husbanded, and to raise in a reasonable manner some increase of rents more than formerly had been made thereof, to be employed to divers necessary and behoofful uses of the said town/ And under such pretext Dand, by this deed, obtained from Heath a conveyance of all his estate and trust in the premises, and thereby became sole trustee. Upon his death, the trust descended to his son and heir, Rowland Dand, who in 1656 transferred the property to eight persons, in trust, to apply two third parts of its rents for the concionator or public preacher of the parish of Mansfield; two third parts of the remainder for the head-master of Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School, and the residue for the usher of that school. From 1655 down to the end of the last century, the trustees of the estate appointed a minister by the name of concionator, or public preacher, who in many instances was not the vicar."

1608. Gregory Walker, mercer, gave the interest of £20 yearly to the poor.

1610. Henry Walker, mercer, gave ten shillings yearly to the poor, to be distributed by the churchwardens. This payment was secured by a close, or parcel of land, in Westfield, commonly called "Hungry Well Close," and the same was to be distributed to the poor on December 21st each year. In 1832, the Charity Commissioners reported, "Nothing is known of this charity."

1611. Thomas Woodward, gentleman, gave certain money to the poor ; but the legacy being doubtful, with much ado and great wrangling his wife paid the churchwardens the sum of £10.

1613. Bartholomew Clark bequeathed 10s. per year, issuing out of land, to the churchwardens of Mansfield, to be distributed by them to the poor on St. Thomas' Day and Palm Sunday. In 1638, this sum is stated to have been paid by Robert Newcombe, butcher. The charity is also noticed in the Parliamentary return of 1786, but in 1832 the Commissioners were unable to find any trace of its existence.

1616. Richard Kitchen, of Mansfield, husbandman, left four shillings yearly to the poor, to be distributed by the churchwardens in money or bread, as they thought best. The money was paid out of the rent of a piece of land at the rear of his house in Westgate. The land is used as garden property.

1616. Mr. Ludlam left a sum of money, the rent of a piece of land on the Chesterfield Road, called the "Three Cornered Close," and a piece of garden ground in Westgate. This charity has been irrevocably lost since 1832. The amount of the charity was 10s. per year, and was to be distributed on Good Friday and the Friday before Christmas. The testator was a well-known butcher in the town.

1619. William Pryde, a journeyman shoemaker, gave the interest of £10 to be divided among the poor yearly.

------. £5, being a rent charge on the Bath Closes, was given by Dr. Laycock for purchasing ten petticoats yearly, to be disposed of annually on the Feast of All Saints. In the Churchwardens' parish book there is this entry respecting the charity:—"At a meeting held for the town of Mansfield, May 6th, 1729, the vicar, churchwardens, and overseers of the poor, together with other inhabitants there assembled, agreed that, inasmuch as they had for some years been oppressed with heavy levies towards the maintenance of the poor of the said parish, and were possessed of certain enclosures commonly known by the name of Spring or Whinney Closes, in order to redress the said grievances, the title of the said closes should be made to Samuel Dunstan and his heirs, he or they paying the costs and charges incident thereon, always reserving to the vicar and churchwardens and their successors the annual rent of £5, to be applied to the charity left to the town of Mansfield by Dr. Laycock, in consideration whereof the said Samuel Dunstan agreed to pay within six weeks then next the sum of £236, which it was agreed should be laid out upon the Workhouse, for the use of the poor of the said town."

1623. R. Dand left 20s. per year to the poor, to be paid annually out of land in Bancroft Lane. For wilful non-payment of this sum the holder was to forfeit the land altogether. In 1832, this sum of 20s. was paid by Catherine Ellis, in respect of her ownership of Bancroft Close. The charity continues to be the means of doing that good which the testator originally intended it should accomplish.

1634. Received for the repairs of the vestry the chief rents, viz.: Mansfield town, £7 6s. 3d.; Sutton, £6; Woodhouse, £4 6s. 3d.

1636. Katherine Martin, widow, gave the interest of £4 to the poor yearly.

1652. Roger Greenhalgh, Esq., of Teversal, by his will, dated December, 1652, appointed his body to be buried in the south aisle of Teversal Church, near to the altar, and gave £60 to be distributed in alms, deeds, and other expenses, by him limited, on the day of his funeral; and £40 in deeds of charity that day month afterwards. He gave also to the Church of Teversal £20, and for mending the highways of the parish £40. After other legacies to the poor and other objects, he directed that to all his friends who attended his funeral should be presented a black gown or a cloak, and every yeoman within his house a black coat. He likewise gave £50 to the Free School at Mansfield, should one be erected; if not, to his heirs.

1665. Richard Girdler left a rent charge of twenty shillings per annum, upon a close called Bury Lane Close, to buy six coats yearly for the poorest of this parish, on All Saints' Day, by the vicar and churchwardens.

1670. Rowland Dand left a parcel of land, the rent of which was to be devoted to the purchase of twenty-four yards of cloth, eighteen of which were to be for the poor of Mansfield, and the remainder for the poor of Mansfield Woodhouse, to be given on the Feast of All Saints. The land was known as Bowser's Land, containing 2a. 1r. 27p., in Westfield Lane; and there were also four parcels of land in a close in Mansfield, called Knave's Grave, containing three roods. The trustees were to have absolute control in selecting the recipients. The payment for Mansfield Woodhouse was secured on the White Hart Farm in that village.

1673. According to the Annals of Nottinghamshire, an indenture made in the year 1673 between Richard, Archbishop of York, and Richard Sterne, of Bishopsthorpe, in the county and city of York, Esq., son and heir apparent of the said Archbishop, of the one part, and the Master and Fellows of Jesus College, Cambridge, of the other part, witnesseth that "for the founding of four scholarships for ever, for the better maintenance of four poor scholars, and to fit and enable them to be serviceable to God in the Church of England, they, the said Archbishop and his son, having given and granted to the said master and fellows one yearly rent charge of forty pounds per annum, issuing out of lands, &c, lying and being in Birkin, in the county of York. And it is agreed that the said master, fellows, and scholars shall and will hereafter pay the sum of forty pounds per annum each unto four poor scholars, by equal payments. Provided always, the said Archbishop to have the nomination of the four poor scholars during his lifetime; and after his decease the nomination shall be in the master and major part of the fellows of the said college; that is to say, the poor scholars shall be taken, two out of that part of Yorkshire within the Diocese of York, the other two out of Nottinghamshire: and of the two former, one shall be born within the city of York; and of the two latter, one shall be born within the town of Mansfield. No scholars to be elected but those who have sufficient learning and manners, and stand in need of such help for their maintenance. And the said four scholars shall be subject to the discipline of the said college in like manner as those of the ancient foundation."

------. £1 13s. 4d., issuing out of the rent of the Black Lion, Cow's Hill Close, Poor Man's Pingle, and Bancroft Lane Closes, to be charitably disposed of on St. Thomas' Day yearly.

------. £1 8s. 4d., issuing out of the rents of the Black Lion, a piece of land near the late Mr. Daykin's garden, Cow's Hill Close, Poor Man's Pingle, a garden, and the three-cornered close in Chesterfield Lane, to be charitably disposed of every Good Friday.

1691. Heath's Charity, founded by Elizabeth Heath, has an annual income of £500, out of which it provides eighteen poor women with houses and seven shillings per week for life. They also each receive two-and-a-half tons of coal and a new dress annually. There are eighteen comfortable almshouses—twelve on Nottingham Road, and six in Portland Street, formerly Bull's Head Lane. On the front of the centre doorway of the Nottingham Road houses was formerly this inscription: "Eliz. Heath, of Mansfield, widow, founded these houses for twelve poor people, and gave them eight shillings apiece, and to be paid by the trustees every kalendar month in the year, and every one of them a wayne load of coals, and a coat or gown yearly, for ever, who departed this life the twenty-fourth day of the second month, called April, An. Dom. 1693." At the back of this building is a burying ground, and on a tombstone is this inscription: "Eliz. Heath, of Mansfield, widow, who founded these almshouses for twelve poor people, died 24th of the second month, called April, 1693, aged 76." This trust is one that is doing a really good work. One of the conditions of the will is as follows:—"If none of the inhabitants of the said town and parish, nor no other by their procurement, should give the trustees any trouble in the connection of their trust, then it is the direction of the said Elizabeth Heath that the said charity to the town and parish of Mansfield shall be continued; but if any of the said inhabitants of the said town and parish should give the said trustees any disturbance, by commencing any suits in law, or otherwise, in the connection of their trusts, and should endeavour to alter and oppose the true intent of the said duty, it was agreed by all parties thereto, and the said Elizabeth did declare, that the said charity, intended to the said town and parish of Mansfield, should utterly cease and determine, and be wholly left to the order and discretion of the said trustees." The persons to be placed in the north almshouses were to be such as had been housekeepers in Mansfield, had become poor, but had received no alms from the public stock. All money not required for the benefit of the almshouses and inmates was to be laid out in paying for poor boys to be apprenticed to some honest trade, the said boys to be such as had been born within the parish of Mansfield of honest parents. The system of apprenticing boys has long since been abandoned, owing to the manner in which it was abused.

1693. By will, dated May 15th of this year, John Litchfield bequeathed to the poor of Mansfield the sum of 40s. yearly, to be distributed amongst them in bread, on St John's Day in Christmas, and St. John's Day in Midsummer, by equal portions; and he charged his house and lands in Mansfield with the payment. The Parliamentary returns show that payment in respect of this bequest was made by John Litchfield's grandson in 1786; but in 1832 the Charity Commissioners reported that they could not find that anything had been paid since his death, or that the property was then charged with the payment.

1702. "John, Archbishop of York, to the Vicar and Churchwardens of Mansfield, greeting. Whereas it doth appear that the parish church of Mansfield will not afford convenient seats for the parishioners, and that a charitable person hath proposed the building of a gallery in the said church, the seats whereof may be from time to time leased to the inhabitants, and the rents or profits thence arising applied to the putting out of one or more apprentices yearly of the poorer sort of them. To the end, therefore, the said charity may take place, and the parishioners accommodated, we do hereby give license for the building of a gallery at the lower end of the said church, next the belfry. In witness whereof we have hereunto set our arch-episcopal seal, 1702."

1709. Brunt's Charity has an annual income of about £3,000, a large portion of which is distributed in sums of £4 annually to needy persons over sixty years of age who have not received any alms from any public funds. The instructions in the bequest are for "Paying to such poor people living in or near Mansfield as receive no alms from any public stock, and had been industrious and of sober life and conversation, and fear the Lord, as his trustees should think fit to nominate, £4 yearly." The following are a few extracts from the will of Mr. Samuel Brunt:—"I give and bequeath the sum of twenty shillings a year to Mr. John Fletcher, of Mansfield, and his successors for ever, for the benefit of his congregation. Item: to the poor of Mansfield the sum of forty shillings a year, to be laid out by my trustees in bread, and by them to be distributed to such poor people as they think fit at Lady Day and Michaelmas, by equal proportions, for ever. Item: eight pounds ye year for ever, half thereof for putting forth a poor boy apprentice, born in Mansfield, whoever my trustees may think fit; the other four pounds a year for putting poor boys born in Mansfield to school, at the discretion of my trustees. Item : four pounds apiece to so many of such poor people living in and near Mansfield that receive no alms from any public stock, as the income of my lands, &c. will admit of, to be paid half-yearly, at Lady Day and Michaelmas for ever, by equal portions, and to whom my trustees shall think fit." The will of Mr. Brunt is dated January 31, 1709, and it was proved two years later in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury. The trustees invested the money well, and became extensive land proprietors in this and neighbouring counties. In the year 1799, certain properties in Leeming Street were sold for the sum of £1,424, and the purchase money was laid out in the acquirement of stocks. The value of the property increased to such an extent that in the year 1876 it amounted to ,£1,800 per annum. Since that time the increase has continued, until latterly the Charity Commissioners —thinking they knew better than the benefactor of the poor what should be done with the money so devised for the benefit of the poor—prepared a scheme for otherwise disposing of the income. This is now waiting for final sealing. It may be stated that the greater part of the money will be devoted to educational purposes in the future.

1725. Faith Clerkson, by her will dated 1725, bequeathed £2,000 in trust to W. Mompesson, clerk, Vicar of Mansfield; William Whitehead and P. Ellis, gents.; and J. Clerkson, Esq., for the purpose of erecting a school, &c, in Mansfield. This charity has been grossly mismanaged, and the funds misappropriated in the past; but nevertheless, by means of the very excellent school bearing her name, it has become the chief seminary of the town—next in importance to the Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School. The will of Faith Clerkson stated that the legacy was to pay her funeral expenses, and that her trustees were, as soon as they conveniently could, "to purchase a piece of land within the town of Mansfield, and build thereon a school house for the benefit of a charity schoolmaster, to be chosen and removed at the discretion of her trustees, and with the remainder of the said sum to purchase lands of as large yearly value as might be had for the time; and she directed that, after such purchase, the said trustees and their successors should stand seised, and take and receive the rents and profits of such lands so purchased for ever, in trust to apply the same to such charitable uses within the parish of Mansfield and Mansfield Woodhouse as they should judge best; and to make an account yearly for the disposal of the same." Into the history of the misappropriation of the trust it is not advisable to go; suffice it to say that it took place in the first half of the present century. The amount lost was £544 1s. 10d. The original school was erected in 1731, and a new wing was added in 1849. The charity has always been recognised as connected with the Church of England. The children attending this school were provided with clothing; the boys being dressed in blue woollen caps with yellow topknot, cutaway blue coat and brass buttons (on which was stamped "Clerkson's School"), and a brass plate with their number stamped thereon, waistcoat to match the coat, knee breeches and stockings, and shoes with buckles. The girls wore drab felt bonnets trimmed with navy blue ribbon, white cap, white linen tippets, blue baize or serge frocks with short sleeves, nankeen mits to meet the short sleeves of the frocks, white aprons, and buckled shoes. On Sunday, they attended the morning service at the Parish Church; the girls sitting round the communion rails, and the boys on forms in the adjoining aisle.

1726. John Bould, by will dated January 1, 1726, proved in the Manor Court of Mansfield on the 2nd day of January, 1727, bequeathed the sum of £10 per year for ever, issuing out of Brownley Close, lying between Chesterfield Lane and Brownhill Lane West, to three trustees and their heirs on trust, that they should annually distribute that sum amongst such forty poor housekeepers in Mansfield receiving no alms of the parish as they should think fit, in sums of 5s. each. The same testator bequeathed 6s. 8d. per annum to the poor, the same being charged in respect of two parcels of land, formerly part of the Poor Man's Pingle, to be distributed in bread on St. Thomas' Day and Good Friday. The money is still distributed as desired by the testator.

1784. Mr. Charles Thompson bequeathed the sum of £400 consols to the vicar and churchwardens, the interest whereof might be yearly applied to the purchase of ten drab coloured coats with white buttons, at or about 22d. per yard, for the clothing of ten poor elderly men of the town of Mansfield, and thirty yards of baize of the same colour, at or about 1s. 2d. per yard, for petticoats for ten poor elderly women of the said town, to be given them some time in the month of October, annually, for ever. And as to the surplus of such interest, to distribute the same to such poor people of the said town in bread, of fourpenny loaves each, at one or two distributions in the year, as the said vicar and churchwardens shall think proper. The following are extracts from his will relating to charity:—"Item: I desire that my executors will transfer unto the trustees of Mr. Samuel Brunt the sum of six hundred pounds in the three per cent, consols for the augmentation of his charity, and direct that the interest thereof shall be applied in the same manner as the profits of their estate are now applied. I also desire that my executors will transfer unto Mr. Brunt's trustees the like sum of six hundred pounds in the same stock, the interest whereof to be applied to the improvement and better education of such poor children of Mansfield as they shall judge to be proper objects. Item: I desire my trustees shall transfer unto the vicar and churchwardens of Mansfield the sum of four hundred pounds in the stock aforesaid, the interest whereof to be yearly applied to the purchase of ten drab coloured cloth coats with white buttons, at about 22d. per yard, for the clothing of ten poor elderly men of Mansfield, and of about thirty yards of baize of the same colour, at about 14d. a yard, for petticoats for ten poor elderly women of Mansfield, to be given some time in the month of October, annually, for ever; the surplus of such interest to purchase fourpenny loaves, which are to be distributed to such people annually as the vicar and churchwardens shall think fit. Item: I desire that my executors shall transfer the sum of one hundred pounds of the said stock unto the committee of the Society's Mill in Mansfield, to be applied to the benefit of the several persons who may be members of the same." The school provided under the will was built in 1785-6 by Mr. Joseph Thrall, in Toothill Lane, and was opened in 1786—the first master being Mr. Abraham Hine, who held the post until his death, in 1820.

1795. Mr. Sale left the sum of £1,000 consols —the interest to the vicar of the parish—that the annual interest, £30, should be paid by half-yearly instalments to six poor, honest, and industrious housekeepers within the parish of Mansfield, of the age of fifty years and upwards, who should never have received any relief from the parish rates or assessments, as such vicar should think fit. Persons not to receive the charity two successive years. Neither more nor less than six persons to receive the interest.