Click here to return to the main site entry page
Click here to return to the previous page
Transcribed by Kay Collins, 2008
Urban District of Rushden
Charity Commissioners Report

Charities of William May (otherwise Mayes), Reverend Nicholas Latham, and of Mrs. Mary Greaves, or the Bull Money.

1.          William May, alias Mayes, by Will dated 24th May, 1619, and proved at Peterborough 13th May, 1630, gave £100 to be laid out in land to the intent that out of the rent 6s. 8d. should be paid to the Church and 33s. 4d. to the poorest and most infirm folk at Rushden, and that the residue of the rent should be given yearly to the poorest of his kindred, and when none were left, he directed that all the money they should have should go to the poor of the town ; he also directed that the Charity should be distributed by the Churchwardens and Constables of the town and that of the 6s. 8d. for the Church, 3s. 4d. should go to a sermon and the rest to the Church and the repairs of a Prayer set on the wall nigh where he should be buried.

The sum of £100 was laid out in the purchase of land at Wollaston, in lieu of which on the inclosure of the parish in 1789, 9 acres 3 roods 38 perches of land were awarded to the Churchwardens and Overseers of the Poor of the parish of Rushden and their successors. The land is now let at a rent of £20 a year.

2.          Nicholas Latham, generally known as Parson Latham, by the Statutes dated 1st April, 1620, which he made for the ordering of the hospital at Barnwell, directed the Warden to pay yearly by his Bailiffs on the 24th of December, to six poor people in Rushden, where he was brought up in his youth, 10s. apiece for ever.

3.          Mrs. Mary Greaves, by Will dated 1740, gave a rent-charge of £3 a year for the poor of Rushden. This Charity was known at the date of the Printed Report as the "Bull Money".

Under an Order of the Charity Commissioners of 8th August, 1905, the rent charge was redeemed by the transfer to the Official Trustees of Charitable Funds of the sum of £120 Consols in trust for the Charity.

In 1869 it was the practice to apply £5 a year out of the income of May's Charity (then amounting to £25 a year), and the whole of the income of Greaves' Charity to the support of a school which was carried on in a building which appeared to belong to the parish, was formerly used as a workhouse, was converted into a school in 1849 and was pulled down in 1874, when a Vestry was erected on the site. It does not appear when the practice of applying part of the income to educational purposes originated, but it appears to be subsequent to the date of the Printed Report.

By a Scheme of the Charity Commissioners dated 29th May 1877, and made in the matter of the Charities of William May otherwise Mayes, the Reverend Nicholas Latham and of Mrs. Mary Greaves, or the Bull Money, the real estate belonging to the Chariteis was vested in the Official Trustees of Charity Lands and a body of Trustees was constituted, consisting of the Rector and Churchwardens of the parish of Rushden, on their signing in the minute book of the Trustees a memorandum signifying their willingness to act as Trustees and of eight non-official Trustees.

Clause 4 provides that when the number of non-official to three, a new Trustee or new Trustees, not exceeding three, shall be elected by the Vestry of the parish to hold the office for five years.

Clause 13 enables the Trustees to appoint a secretary and treasurer (not exceeding £2 a year).

Clause 15 provides that the clear yearly income of the Charities, after the payment thereout of all necessary and proper outgoings and expenses of management, and, out of the proceeds of May’s Charity according to his will, of 6s. 8d. to the Church and 33s. 4d. to the aged, poorest, and most infirm folk of Rushden, and after the satisfaction of all other specific charges imposed for the benefit of poor kindred or otherwise on the said Charity estate by the instrument or instruments of Foundation shall be applied at the discretion of the Trustees in manner following, viz:

1.      To the benefit of deserving and necessitous inhabitants of the parish of Rushden as therein mentioned.

2.      Or by encouraging and promoting the education of children of the poor by the payment of the school fees of so many of such children being not less than eight years of age, as the Trustees shall who have made the greater number of attendances, not being 13 any case less than 300, in the school year at any Public Elementary School conducted in accordance with the provisions of the Elementary Education Act, 1870, or by assisting  in maintenance of any such child or children, whereby they may be continued at school for a longer time, as by providing free scholarships to be awarded to any deserving child or children, either boys or girls attending any such Public Elementary School, such children being respectively not less than twelve years of age, and who upon examination of the said school shall be reported to the Trustees as the most deserving in respect of conduct, diligence, and proficiency; or in assisting such of the best scholars distinguished as aforesaid, in enabling them to become pupil teachers or monitors, or where practicable in obtaining further and higher education.

3.      Or in providing evening classes or lecture for young persons of the poorer inhabitants of the said parish, or providing maps for physical geography, drawing or scientific apparatus and the like articles for the use of such evening classes or lectures; or in providing aids to industrial instruction, such as tools and carpenter’s shed, field gardens for boys, or a kitchen or laundry for girls, or providing a suitable outfit, premium for apprenticeship or other mode of advancement for such children, boys or girls, distinguished and selected as aforesaid.

The gross income of the Charity is £26 a year. In recent years no part of the income has been applied to educational purposes. [c1920?]

Click here to return to the main index of features
Click here to return to the Education index
Click here to e-mail us