MARGERY MELLORS, of Nottingham, Widow, in 1539, bequeathed to the Corporation in trust some property towards keeping Trent Bridges in repair, and left four cottages and gardens between Low Pavement and Pepper Street (supposed to be the site of the old Assembly Rooms and the Savings Bank) which were to be converted into an Hospital for six poor women for ever, the Mayor and the Rector of St. Peter's for the time being to be the perpetual trustees. In some manner unknown, the "ever" became "never," for the charity disappeared. That was the year of the confiscation of the great Abbeys. Did the bequest go with them? Or did some mortmain provision operate?

JOHN BYRON, (d. 1571) who lived at Bulwell Wood Hall, a very quaint house in the parish of Hucknall, on the road to Watnall, had the misfortune to be an illegitimate son, his father being little Sir John Byron "with the great beard," of Newstead Abbey, on whose death the son, although legally disqualified, was allowed to inherit the estate, and on the accession or the coronation of James I. John Byron was created a Knight of the Bath, and so became Sir John. (Beardsmore). Hucknall at that time belonged to the Byron family. There was in the parish a little farm of sixteen acres, situate near to Forge Mill, of which John Byron had the power of disposal, so he, in 1576 by his will formed a Charity Trust, directing that the income should be devoted one third to Hucknall Church, one third to the poor, and one third for the good of the town, as the Trustees might determine. When the land was measured in 1871 the 16 acres had strangely grown to 21a. 1r. 7p. how this happened is not explained. The charity is now administered under a scheme of the Charity Commissioners. Fortunately, the coal, then undreamt of, has became more valuable than the surface, and the present income is about £268 per annum. The poor's money is distributed each November in about 350 doles of from 2s. 6d. to 10s. The welfare third is spent in donations to several objects, such as the General Hospital, Throat and Bar Hospital, Children's Hospital, Eye Infirmary, Convalescent Homes, Nurse Fund, Babies Welcome, Free Library, National School.

HENRY HANLEY, who died in 1650, lived in the Bramcote Manor House, which is still standing, and has fine elm trees in line, and is a good specimen of the manor houses of the period. He left many charitable bequests, and a copy of his will may be seen in Deering's History. He founded twelve almshouses, which stood on the Eastern side of Stoney Street, Nottingham, and which were rebuilt in Hanley Street. Unfortunately, no provision was made for the repair of the houses, which occasioned much trouble. He gave £100 yearly to be paid out of his estate for pious and charitable uses, including lectures, a preaching minister, the poor in eight parishes, prisoners in gaols, etc. He gave a third bell to the church, which was bigger than the other two. The tablet in the old tower is interesting.

ROBERT SHERWIN, (1638) had a very good motive, but an awkward way of carrying it out, when he bequeathed his half part of the Bell Inn, Angel Row, Nottingham, to the poor in the three parishes of St. Mary, St. Peter and St. Nicholas, the result being that the property became owned in a moiety and three one sixths. He had, however, the good sense to provide that if either of the three parishes failed in their duty to the poor, the other two parishes should join in the forfeited share.

The income continued to be divided, each parish having its own mode of distribution, but in 1923 the Bell Inn was sold for £22,000.

JOHN DARREL, (1621-1665) B.A., M.D., of West Retford, appears to have "practised" for some time at Lincoln, but the large family estates falling to him he had to consider what was the best way of dealing with them. Now his father, Edward Darrel, who resided in the Old Hall, at West Retford, and whose grave may be seen in the South choir of West Retford Church, had the misfortune, quite by mistake, to kill a man, and it was his wish and intention to do something in expiation, and he thought the best way would be to convert his residence, the old hall, into a Hospice for aged men of good repute, and his son John determined to carry out his father's wishes. He made his will in 1664, in which he stated he had "an inheritance of lands of good value," but the blood of his ancestors in the lineal stem was like to be spent and to fail, and he was zealous that an hospital for poor people might be founded, so he bequeathed extensive lands on the Southern side of Retford, and elsewhere, for the purpose named, and for the maintenance and residence of sixteen poor men as brethren, and he ordained many quaint directions in order to secure good conduct, comfort, fellowship, and health.

We must leave the history of the Charity, which has been well administered, and especially so since the middle of the last century, under the care of the "Bailyffes" or Agents,—Mr. John Henry Worth, for thirty-two years, and Mr. Edwin Wilmshurst for twenty-six years, during which time extensive buildings were undertaken, both to the Hospital and of the property generally, the income of the estates was increased, and the benefits to the inmates largely augmented. Thoroton says, "the Brethren have ten pounds per annum," clothing, coals, etc., but now each brother receives sixteen shillings per week, lives rent free, with gowns, feasts, coals, rates and taxes paid. The Charity Commissioners defined a scheme in 1863, and subsequently amended it. Many particulars as to the Charity are given in Mr. Wilmshurst's pamphlet. One item may be named:—The Rev. William Paley, D.D., the celebrated author of "Christian Evidences," was a personal friend of the testator, and in his capacity of Sub-Dean of Lincoln Minster was in 1795 Master of this Hospital. Besides the endowment for the Hospital, the Testator provided for a Scholarship (now £70 per annum) at Exeter College, Oxford, and this has been awarded to deserving students residing in any part of the county.

ELIZABETH HEATH, (1617-1693) of Mansfield, widow, must have a very pleasant recollection of the day in which she founded the almshouses. There are eighteen of them, for poor women who receive 7s. per week and 2½ tons of coals, and a coat or gown yearly. The annual income of the Charity is now over £500.

SAMUEL BRUNTS, of Mansfield, who died in 1711, and was buried at East Bridgford, where there is a stained-glass window to his memory placed there by the Trustees on the 200th anniversity. He, by his will provided for bread doles to the poor, schooling and apprenticeships for poor boys, and benefactions for needy people. He said he wanted to benefit poor people in or near to Mansfield who "had been industrious and of sober life and conversation and feared the Lord." The endowment consisted of land, 375 acres being in Mansfield, and 17 acres in Nottingham. Underneath the former there are valuable mineral deposits, now being worked, and the latter has so increased in value by allotments made under the Inclosure Act of 1845, that hundreds of tenements have been erected thereon on building leases, and the Charity possesses properties of great value in Nottingham, on Long Row, in Ark-wright Street, Peel Street, etc., and in Mansfield, shops in Leeming Street, etc., the total income being over £6,000 per year. There are now about 250 pensioners receiving from 4s. to 7s. per week each, and Brunts' Technical School on Woodhouse Road, Mansfield, has nearly 300 scholars receiving a secondary education, the Charity contributing £1,000 a year thereto.

ROBERT WATSON, (d. 1905) of Mansfield, should have his name mentioned with honour in connection with this charity. For over fifty years he cared and provided for the good management of this charity and its development in new buildings.

BRUNT'S SCHOOL.—A War Memorial room has been built adjoining the great hall, intended to be used as a library, and fitted with stained glass in honour of the sixty old boys who fell in the War. It is beautifully carved and panelled in oak, designed by Mr. A. S. Buxton, the headmaster, and at the other end of the room is inscribed in gold, "Brave men and worthy patriots, dear to God and famous to all ages.''

Four hundred and fifty-five names were inscribed on the School's "Roll of Honour."

JONATHAN LABRAY was a stocking maker at Calverton, and a Hosier at Nottingham. By his will, dated in 1718, he devised a house in St. Peter's Church Yard, which stood where the County Court now stands, for the benefit of the Charity (Blue Coat) School. His house and lands at Calverton he devised to Thomas Smith, the banker, for some pious and charitable use at his discretion, for he evidently had more confidence in Thomas Smith than in his own judgment, and he was right. Six hospital houses were built on Derby Road, framework-knitters having the preference as occupants, and they each receive four shillings a week and coals. There was at Calverton 130 acres of land, in addition to £900 annuities, and a school was established and sustained until the Nottinghamshire Education Committee took it over.

Matthew Shepherd retired from the office of school master in 1862, when the Trustees presented him with a gratuity of £10, "for his steady and persevering industry" during forty-one years.

FAITH CLARKSON, of Mansfield, by her will dated in 1725 bequeathed £2,000 for the purpose of erecting a School in Mansfield, which was done in 1731. The trust was sadly mismanaged, and a part of the capital lost, but good service was rendered to the children, as a charity, with their clothing. The income is now devoted to Scholarships.

REV. BENJAMIN CARTER, (d. 1732) was Rector of Wilford from 1694 to 1732. He founded the parochial school and endowed it—together with another school elsewhere—with property in London which very largely increased in value. He also built the Rectory, with its huge barn, stables and dovecot. He beautified the Chancel where he was afterwards buried,, and he left a sum to beautify the Church. He gave a set of Communion plate, provided for apprenticing boys to trades, and for many other benevolent purposes. No stone indicates the spot where he was buried.

(Note.—The instruction imparted in the school is now under the Nottinghamshire Education Committee).

HENRY GALLY KNIGHT, (1786-1846) was the last of a family settled at Warsop, where Elizabeth, the grand-daughter of Sir Ralph Knight, having married the Rev. Henry Gaily, D.D., a French Protestant divine who fled to this country for refuge after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, her son assumed the name of Gaily Knight. Henry Gaily Knight having finished his course at Cambridge, where he made the acquaintance of Lord Byron, travelled through Turkey, and there again met the author of "Childe Harold," and he wrote a series of Eastern Tales, illustrative of the manners and customs of the countries where he had travelled. He was High Sheriff of Nottinghamshire in 1819, and twelve of his tenants accompanied him to the reception of the Judge of Assize, clad in the Knight livery. He travelled in Normandy, taking with him a special artist, to examine the beautiful churches, and he afterwards published "An Architectural Tour in Normandy," and later, "Ecclesiastical Architecture in Italy." He became M.P. for Malton, and from 1835 to 1841 he represented the North Division of Nottinghamshire. He had no children, and left £6,000 for the building of St. John's Church at Mansfield, and directed all his Firbeck Estate to be sold, and it realized some £65,000 to £70,000, for the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, to be used in the building of churches, and parsonage houses, and the, augmentation of livings.

A man of amiable and accomplished manners, a tablet to his memory was placed in Warsop Church, by Sir Wm. Fitzherbert. (R. J. King, p. 63).

THOMAS UNDERWOOD was a printer, and carried on business at the shop No. 9, St. Peter's Gate, Nottingham. The outstanding features of his character were entire reliability, great courtesy, and helpfulness to others. He was the founder of "Thomas Underwood's Charity," under which ladies in need have annuities or grants of £10 to £30 a year. He died in 1873. (See "Old Notts. Suburbs," p. 172).

MISS HANNAH LEVICK, in 1879, founded a charity in memory of her brother, Mr. George Levick, Silk Merchant, Nottingham. She apparently did not desire to have any distinctive mark to her benefaction, so she bought fourteen ordinary houses, such as the people of the class she desired to benefit usually live in, and vested the property in trustees, together with £4,226 in personal estate; for the benefit of persons of sixty years of age and upwards, who live rent free, and have 2s. 6d. a week each and coal. The houses are in Neville Street, off Kirke White Street.

ARTHUR WELLS, (1815-1882) a Solicitor and Clerk of the Peace for Nottingham, was distinguished for his common sense, moderation and fairness. He was a teacher in Castle Gate Sunday School and a Deacon of the Church, an art collector, and a great traveller; a Fellow of the Geographical Society. A valuable collection of Jade Carvings he left to South Kensington Museum. He bequeathed £40,000 to charities, including £2,000 to Miss Burton's Almshouses; £6,000 to the Congregational Institute for training young Ministers; £15,000 to the London Missionary Society; £5,000 to the Bible Society, etc.

DR. ISAAC MASSEY, (d. 1891) a Physician in Nottingham. He was a man of very quiet habits, and simple tastes, and was a bachelor. He was a native of Thrumpton where his father was a farmer, and he caused three stained glass windows to be put up in Thrumpton Church as a family memorial. Having honoured the dead, he would benefit the living, so he placed £30,000 in the names of trustees, the annual income to be expended in pensions to the widows and fatherless maiden daughters of clergymen, ministers, gentlemen, professional persons, or persons who have been engaged in trade, or agriculture, and who are over 50 years of age. The lady pensioners must not be in receipt of more than £35 per annum of private income. His pension is £20 a year. The capital sum is invested in four trustees.

MISS MARY E. HARDSTAFF, (1843-1899) was the daughter of a farmer at Trowell, and later at East Leake. After her father's death she resided in Nottingham (17, Waverley Street). By her will, dated 4th August, 1899, she founded a charity, appointed executors whom she directed to consult her friend Mr. Jesse Hind, the assets being of the value of £36,838. She directed the Trustees to buy land and build almshouses, in the City or County of Nottingham, and to provide the inmates with a small weekly sum, the widows and orphans of miners having a preference. Under these powers, and a Charity Commissioners scheme, the Trustees have erected eight almshouses at Giltbrook, between Kimberley and Eastwood, and eight others at Mansfield Woodhouse, facing Yeoman Hill Park. The erection of eight others at Hucknall was deferred owing to the War. The allowance to the inmates differs according to their circumstances. Messrs. Oliver Hind and E. W. Paul are the Trustees.

ROBERT WILKINSON SMITH, (d. 1907) was a Lace Manufacturer in Nottingham, and described as late of Bunny Park, who left about £220,000 with directions in his will with four codicils, for a Charity scheme to be formed under which grants are made to respectable and necessitous women. About three hundred and eighty-five persons are recipients, but there are usually 2,700 applicants on the books. The annual grants are of £40, £26 or £20 a year. There are also ten very pleasantly situated almshouses in Chestnut Grove, Nottingham.

It may be safely said that no other similar personal Charity in Nottingham is doing so much good as this one.

The executors were directed to provide a stained glass window to be placed in Bunny Church, with which his ancestors were connected.

ANDREW CARNEGIE, the Scotch American millionare, was in no way connected with Nottinghamshire, but his Library scheme is benefiting 174 centres in Nottinghamshire villages, into which boxes of books are periodically sent and exchanged, having 125,504 issues in 1923. His Trustees have granted to the Nottingham Public Libraries Committee £16,500 for the cost of building and fitting up two Libraries, one at Bulwell, and another for the Southern part of the City, in Wilford Grove.

JOHN JELLEY, (d. 1914, aged 73), was a builder in Nottingham, and for many years a member of the City Council, of which he became an Alderman, and took part on several Committees, and was Sheriff.

After leaving certain legacies and annuities, he left the residue of his estate to trustees upon trust to found and endow Homes for the benefit of old people of both sexes, to be called "The John and Eliza Jelley Homes for old people."

Under the powers of his will his Trustees erected twelve homes on Derby Road, Lenton, for the benefit of persons over sixty years of age, who have an assured income of at least ten shillings a week independent of the Charity. Each occupant has the house free of rent, rates, and taxes, and receives an allowance of 15s. a week, or in case a couple occupy the same house, 25s. a week.

MRS. SARAH ANNE BESCOBY, who died in 1921, widow of Ald. Thomas Bescoby, J.P., Retford, left £5,000 to her executor for distribution among such charities or objects whether religious, educational, medical, or otherwise, or towards a public library, as he may select, "feeling sure that he will apply the same according to my general wishes which are well known to him," and £5,500 was bequeathed to other charities specified.

William Bradshaw
William Bradshaw

WILLIAM BRADSHAW, (1836-1921), former proprietor of "The Nottingham Journal," left to the Society for Church Pastoral Aid £10,000; Church Missionary £2,000; Bible Society £3,000; Beneficent Association £2,000. He was for many years an active member and generous supporter of the General Hospital, Dispensary, Convalescent Homes, etc.

MISS FLORENCE CARVER, (d. 1922), the daughter of Mr. Frederick Carver, who was Chairman of Thomas Adams, Ltd., in 1922, by her Will, left a bequest to the Nottingham General Hospital estimated at £40,000, £30,000 of which has been received. She wanted to perpetuate her father's memory, and so directed that the benefaction should be devoted to a special ward or cot or bed bearing his name.

THE REPORT of the CHARITY COMMISSIONERS as to the evidence laid before them in their'enquiry into the administration of the Charities in the town and county of Nottingham, between 1820 and 1829, and the reading thereof may become a profitable exercise to a thoughtful and reflective mind. A copy is in the City Reference Library.

(1) What a multitude of good intentions and benevolent aims are here recorded! And with what a variety of objects and conditions! (2) How frequently the pious objects have been partially defeated, owing to weakness or wickedness in administrators, whether private individuals or public bodies! (3) How objects and circumstances for which charities are left change! (4) What a great benefit is now secured through the supervision of the Charity Commissioners in the prevention of misappropriation, and in the adaptation by them of obsolete objects to modern conditions. (5) How much we owe to our ancestors! They planted apple trees for us, and we ought to plant for our successors. A few cases only follow:—

JAMES PEACOCK, in 1641, gave houses and lands in Ruddington, for bread distribution, and towards the maintenance of a schoolmaster to teach a free school. The trustees might be advised in the appointment of a schoolmaster by some godly minister of the county, so that a religious, industrious, and able man might be chosen to teach.

GEORGE WILLOUGHBY, of Cossall, in 1685, erected a hospital in Cossall for four poor men, and four poor women, and endowed it with lands. Each of them was to have five shillings a week, and every two years one grey cloth gown of three shillings the yard. All of them must be single persons, and if they married they must be displaced. If they refused to wear gowns, or were disorderly, they were to be displaced. Provision was also made for placing apprentices, but this was not carried out. The income at the time of the enquiry was £132 a year.

WILLIAM HART, Collingham, 1699, gave after his wife's decease, and Mary Hart (1718) confirmed the giving of land for charitable uses, for teaching poor children to read, and write, and instructing them in the true principles of the Christian religion, the persons to be put in trust, and the persons to teach the poor children "should be such as were baptized by being buried into the water, after his actual profession of faith, and in full communion with those people commonly called Baptists."

Take the item of how we got our Schools in the villages—Here are a few of them:—

REV. WILLIAM SAMPSON, Clayworth, who died there in 1702, gave four fields, the proceeds of which were to be paid by the Rector to a schoolmaster to teach poor boys to read, write, and cast accounts, and for instructing them in the principles of religion.

GEORGE WELLS, in 1712, built an almshouse at Clifton cum Glapton on the waste land, for six poor women, each of whom was to receive two shillings per week, and a convenient garment once in two years.

There was a peculiar provision that if Sir Gervase Clifton, whom he made trustee, thought it would be a benefit to Clifton, and would not be incommodious to the poor women, the hall in the almshouse should be made use of as a school for girls. The endowment consisted of 103 acres of land.

JOHN BLEY, in 1730, gave to Trustees the School-house at East Leake, with the orchard thereunto adjoining, for the sole use and benefit of the children in the township, and directed that £450 should be expended in the purchase of land for the like purpose; the children to be taught to read, and to be instructed in the principles of the Christian religion, according to the usage of the Church of England, and other useful learning.