The Church Charities.

A small oil painting (plate XI.) by Sedden Tyrer, in 1867, which is in the possession of our townsman, Mr. Maltby, depicts some of the 27 panels in front of the galleries, and on which were painted the various Charities which belonged to the Church, and at that time were mostly dispensed by Church Officials. It was the removal of these panels that more than anything else incensed the people against the restoration in 1870, and it does seem a thousand pities that some place could not have been found for them. They were sold by public auction, and one of them to-day is built into the counter of a shop on the Nottingham Road, at the corner of Clerkson Street.

Mansfield was at one time peculiarly rich in Charities. The town is not so badly equipped in that direction to-day, although several have disappeared, and been lost when lands have changed hands.

We will give those that remain, and which are strictly connected with the Church:—


Panel No. 26.—RICHARD GIRDLER, of Pleasley Hill, in the Parish of Mansfield, Yeoman by an Instrument in Writing, dated 30th Jan., 1665, appointed that George Hanson and Edmund Bee. to whom he had on the same day surrendered his Copyhold Close, called Bury-Lane Close (X), situate in Mansfield, and their heirs and Assigns should forever thereafter receive twenty shillings yearly out of the Rent of the said Close, and thereby buy six coats for six poor people, who should dwell in the Town of Mansfield, to be nominated by the Churchwardens and Overseers of the Poor of Mansfield, and should deliver the same on All Saints' Day (D).

Panels No. II and 12.–ROLAND DAND, of Mansfield Woodhouse, Esq., by his Deed dated the 24th March, 1670, and by two surrenders by his Trustee in the Court of the Manor of Mansfield made the 9th of June, 1688, and the 30th December, 1682, vested a parcel of land in the Westfield of Mansfield, in the tenure of Susanna Swift, called Bowsers or Bower's Land, containing 2 acres, 1 rood, 27 perches, and 3 roods in a close in Mansfield, Knaves greave, also in the occupation of the said Susanna Swift, to the Vicar and Churchwardens of Mansfield and their successors tor ever, upon trust to buy yearly twenty-four yards of Grey Cloth and make eighteen yards thereof into six coats for the poorest people in Mansfield who frequent the Church there, to be elected by the Vicar and Churchwardens, to be delivered in the Church upon the feast of St. Simon and St. Jude, and the other 6 yards to be made into two coats for two poor persons of Mansfield Woodhouse. The said Roland Dand under such deed subscribed these instructions to his Trustees to be followed at their discretion namely: to dispose of the Coats to the most poor and indigent people, but not to such as have run into poverty by debauchery or other viciousness; that none have them above once in three years, that none under fifty years of age have them that they respect rather natives than foreigners; that they be people of good life and conversation, that they wear a D upon the right breast or sleeve, one year of green cloth, and the next year of yellow cloth, that they be given to none born out of the Township that hath not lived at least 20 years therein, unless upon great necessity, and to have lived 10 years there as least (E).

Panel No. 17.– CHARLES THOMPSON of Mansfield, gent., by his Will dated 4th Dec, 1784, gave to the Vicar and Churchwardens of Mansfield £400 of 3 percent. Stock, and directed the interest of it to be applied to the purchase of Ten Drab-coloured Cloth Coats with white buttons, at or about twenty-two pence per yard, for clothing ten poor elderly men of the Town of Mansfield, and of 30 yards of Baize ot the same colour, at or about fourteenpence per yard, tor Petticoats for ten poor elderlv women of the same town, to be given to them in October, for ever; and with the surplus of the interest to give 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 should think proper.

In addition to the above Clothing Charities (which are all in existence), Panel No. 27 contains a list of BREAD CHARITIES which were to be distributed yearly on Good Friday and S. Thomas's Day, by the Churchwardens. We do not reproduce the inscription on the panel, but summarise the Charities as they exist to-day :—

Hall, Robert, 1602, 10s. per annum, rent charge on Cowshut-hedge close
Cowper, Edw., 1603, 10s. " " " the Maypole, now the Eclipse.
Kitchen, Rd., 1616, 5s. " " " the ground on which the Drill Hall stands.
Ludlam, Rd., 1619, 5s. " " " three-cornered close. Chesterfield Road.
Dand, Richard, 1623, 20s. " " " Old Meeting House Manse.
Bould, John, 1727, 6s. 8d. (F) " " " Poor Man's Pingle.

Panel No. 22.—JOSEPH SALES, of Gower Street. Bedford Square, Middlesex. Esq., by his Will dated 30th Sep., 1795. directed that if he should die without issue, his Executorsshould, after the decease of his wife, stand possessed of £1,000 3 per cent. Annuities upon Trust to pay the Divi-dends thereof for ever unto the Rector or Vicar of the Parish Church of Mansfield, to be paid half-yearly amongst 6 poor, honest, and industrious housekeepers of Mansfield, of the age of 50 years and upwards each, who should never have received any relief from the Parish Rates, as such Rector or Vicar should elect, but that no person should receive the said Charity for two successive years. The Testator left no issue, and his wife died 27th Sept., 1815.

(x) Bury Lane Close is Sherwood Gardens, redeemed by John Greenwood for £40.
(D) The Charity Commissioners pay 5s. a quarter on account of this Charity, but 20s. per annum does not buy 6 coats to-day, whatever it may have done in 1665!
(E) The Grammar School Trustees pay 20s. per annum on account of this Charity from "The Longlands."