Northam Charities Report and Accounts c.1870

North Devon Record Office ref: 1843A/PF6

Transcribed by David Carter 2020

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Description of documents:

This set of pages is set out quite neatly in good handwriting and detail the accounts of the various historic charities known to exist at the time of writing.
The document is not dated but probably took place due to the change of vicars in 1870.
Reverend Isaac Henry Gossett resigned 1870, died 1892.
Reverend Marcus Dimond Dimond-Churchward appointed 1870, died 1916.

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Report of a sub-committee on Northam Charities

Your committee report as follows:

There are only now in existence 3 gifts specially applicable for Educational Purposes:

One of these, Melhuish's, is evidently applicable at the sole discretion of the Vicar of Northam.

The second, Best’s, is left to the discretion of the Minister and Churchwardens of the Parish, by the Original Deed, and by Mr A Gould's confirmation of the Gift. N.B. This Charity like the Melhuish Gift has only passed through the Vicar's hands and does not come into the Trustees' Accounts.

The third, Colwill's, has no shadow of limitation as to its distribution.

A further sum of £1.10.2 arising from two small Gifts has no direction as to distribution and might, we think, be applied in future to Educational Purposes.

Omitting Melhuish's Gift - we see only one course open to the Trustees: viz:-

Give Appledore National School    14/20 of Best's        = £5.12s.0d
Northam National School6/20= £2.8s.0d
and divide Cholwill£5.14s.6d 
2 small Gifts£1.10s.2d= £7.4s.8d

into 2 equal grants of which 1/2 shall be divided equally between Northam and Appledore National Schools, and the other 1/2 shall be given to the Appledore Wesleyan National School.

We also present Schedules of the intended appropriation of all the Charities and a schedule of those Charities that have lapsed.

Signed: M.D. Dimond-Churchward, I.H. Gossett.

The above scheme would give the following sums:

       Northam National School        £5.14s.2d
 Appledore National School £7.8s.2d
 Appledore Wesleyan School £3.12s.4d

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Northam Charities - Schedule A

Strange's Gift

To be distributed to Poor and Impotent people,
inhabitants of the Town and Parish of Northam.
Nett: 10s.0d.
Out of Bennetts Underborough.

Berriman's Gift

To be distributed among Poor. No particulars.
     12s.0d tax
£5.8s.0d nett
In Braunton

Britton's Gift

To be bestowed on purchase of Coals at cheapest time of year, to the use of the
most sober and godly poor, who are in greatest need. Coals to be sold to the Poor
below the ordinary rates, yet so that stock of coals be preserved. Found to be too
risky - so money was outlaid in purchase of an annuity of £1.16s.0d. Charity
Commissioners in 1820 though money should go in purchase of coals for distribution
to Poor.

Berry and Cholwill Gifts

Berry gave £50 to be distributed to Poor of Parish. Commissioners in 1820
understand Poor not in constant receipt of Parish relief.
Cholwill gave £60 to teach poor children of Parish at School.
Nett £10.10s.0d.

West Putford

3/4 of an estate at West Putford purchased.
Rents to be laid out 5/11 Berry Charity: 6/11 Cholwill Charity.

Cocke's & Langdon's Gifts

Cocke gave £200 proceeds to Poor Widows & Fatherless children of Parish.
Langdon gave £100 to such good & charitable uses as the Trustees may find
convenient for relief and maintenance of any pious or poor persons.
In all at first £15 annually arising out of an estate at Appledore - Trustees now own
whole estate and land - Rope Walk & Cottages. 2/3 now distributed to Widows &
fatherless children. 1/3 to general Balance of Charities, chiefly expended in Blankets.

Melhuish's Gift

To School-master of Northam £1.10s.0d, to instruct 6 poor children yearly, each child
to remain for 3 years, to learn writing and arithmetic - to be such children as the
Vicar shall think meet.
To 4 old maids £2, who shall be church people, and for want of old maids - seamen's
widows. The Vicar to keep the Almshouse in repair.

Best's Gift

David Best, having educated 20 poor children out of the parish of Northam for 18
years, gave an annuity of £4, out of Commons, for education of 20 children in
reading, of such people, (poor) parishioners of Northam, as were not in sufficient
circumstances to educate themselves, at the rate of 4/- per child. 14 to be
inhabitants of Appledore and 6 of Northam.
The succession of these children to be arranged by the Minister & Churchwardens of
the said parish, or the majority of them.
He then gave a further annuity of £4 out of an estate in Torrington, for same purposes.
£4.0s.0d Commons
£4.0s.0d Torrington

Smith's AlmsHouse

Has been rebuilt in Northam with the Melhuish almshouse. The Smith Family
contributed handsomely to the rebuilding, but the endowment has lapsed. The site
has been sold and the Almswomen widows receive some small dole from it.

Mule's Gift


Gift out of Rosegill Northam paid with Strange's Gift, 16s.10d.

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Schedule B. Northam Charities General Purposes.

Strange    Poor & Impotent    £0.16s.0d
Berriman    Poor    £5.8s.0d
Berry    Poor    £4.15s.6d
Langdon    Pious & Poor persons    £26.13s.4d
Average Nett Receipt            £37.12s.10d

No Trust

Mules                                  13s.4d
Rosegill    16s.10d

Special Purposes

Britton - Coals to sober, godly & needy poor             £1.16s.0d

Cooke - Widows & Orphans (average nett receipts) £53.6s.8d

Educational Purposes


    To teach poor children of the parish
    No shadow of limitation.                                        £5.14s.6d


    14 children in Appledore, 6 in Northam
    To be arranged by the Minister and 
    Churchwardens of the Parish, or the 
    majority of them.                                                      £8.0s.0d


    6 poor children in Northam                                    £1.10s.0d
    This charity is chiefly for the good
    of the Vicar of Northam - is entirely
    under his control, and is not passed
    through the hands of the Trustees.
    The Vicar is to choose the 6 children.

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Charities Lost - Schedule C

Poor Houses Appledore

Ruinous, pulled down - site sold.
Produce paid yearly to 4 oldest women in Appledore, 
not receiving Parish Pay.

Lady Berry's Gift

Lost since 1876 - partly before. For the benefit of the 
Widows of the Vicar of Northam.

Jeffery's Gift

Lost before 1820. For giving bread to the Poor.

Docton's Gift

Lost since 1775. For education of 6 poor children.

Wood's Gift

Lost before 1820. For education of poor children of Northam.

Arundell's Gift

Not paid since 1816. For the Poor.

Beaple's Gift

Not paid since 1791. For the Poor, and repair and 
maintenance of Parish Church of Northam.

Olivean's Gift

Nothing known of any payment from this in 1820. For bread.



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