History of Thaxted
Reproduced courtesy of The Francis Frith Collection.
History of Thaxted >> White's Directory 1848
White's Directory of Essex 1848
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In the town is an old Friends Meeting House, used only for the quarterly meetings of the society. Here is a large Independent Chapel, built 1771, and having 1100 sittings; and there is a small Baptist Chapel at Mile-end, and another in Park street, the former built in 1813.
The old building called the Guildhall, is now used as the Boys' Free School, and for public meetings, etc. Here is also a Girl's Free School, and the parish has various estates and funds vested for Public and Charitable Uses, as noticed below.
The TOWN ESTATE was vested in trust, for the general benefit of the inhabitants, as early as the reign of Henry VIII., and now consists of Yardley's Farm, 183 acres, let for £150, and the Pest House, let for £5 per annum. Out of this income about £40 is applied in the repairs, etc., of the church, and £40 in repairing the highways. The trustees also pay yearly about £37 a year to the master of the school, held in the Guildhall, for teaching 30 freescholars; and £16 to a schoolmistress, for teaching 20 poor girls, who are also occasionally supplied with clothing.
The estate is subject to a quit-rent of 18s.1d. to the manor of Horeham Hall. LORD MAYNARD'S CHARITY:- In 1698, Wm. Lord Maynard left £4000, to be laid out in the purchase of tithes and glebe lands, and the proceeds thereof to be applied yearly as follows:- £100 for increasing the maintenance of the vicar of Thaxted; £10 towards repairing the church; and the residue in apprenticing poor children, in marrying poor virgins, in setting up poor apprentices to trades, after attaining their majority, and in relieving poor people overburdened with children; or in other like charitable uses.
With the sanction of the Court of Chancery, £2500 of this legacy was laid out in 1702, in the purchase of the impropriate Rectory of Potton, in Bedfordshire; and the remaining £1500 was vested in the purchase of the Manor of Gifford's, and its demesne lands, now called Clopton House Farm, in the parishes of Wickhambrook and Depden, Suffolk.
The parish of Potton was inclosed in 1814, when allotments of land were awarded in lieu of the tithes. A new scheme for the future administration of this charity was sanctioned by the Court of Chancery, in 1827, and during 10 or 12 years of previous litigation, the unapplied income of the charity was suffered to accumulate, and was invested in the purchase of stock, now consisting of £3117.3s.5d. three per cent. Consols.
The other property, now belonging to the charity, consists of a farm of 258A., at Potton, mostly awarded in lieu of tithes, and now let for £300; Clopton House Farm, (157A.,) let for £100, and the Manor of Gifford's, which yields in fines, profits of courts, and quit-rents, only about £10 per annum. The total yearly income of the charity is about £503, which is applied as follows:- £100 to the vicar; £30 to the receiver; £40.13s.6d. for land tax; £10 in beautifying the church; about £130 in distributions among the heads of large poor families; £72 in apprenticing poor children; £45 in setting up the apprentices in trades; £54 in marriage portions to poor virgins, and the remainder in incidental expenses.
The vicar, parish officers, and the trustees have the administration of the charity, and the latter, as well as the receiver, are appointed by the donor's heir-general, now Sir A. G. Hazlerigge, of Nosely, Leicestershire.
Various Charity Lands, etc., were vested in trust, in the 16th and 17th centuries, for the use of the poor parishioners, by the wills and gifts of persons, named Pattersall, Wilton, Rayner, Haywood, Ellis, Moore, Aburforth, Collin, and Humfrey. This property is now managed by a body of trustees appointed in 1832, and comprises fifteen parcels of land, etc., let at rents amounting to about £130 per annum; and an Almhouse, formerly a Chantry House, but now occupied rent-free by 16 poor aged persons, who are maintained partly by the parish and partly by donations from the funds of the various charities.
Town Street, Thaxted
Low resolution copy courtesy of Footsteps' Shop on Ebay. Quality postcards of Essex.
The rents are applied yearly as follows, viz., £13.13s. in weekly doles of bread; £57. 4s. in weekly stipends of 1s. each to 22 poor aged widows; £7.16s. in shares of 6d. each per week to six other widows; £1.15s. to the said six widows for clothing; £11. 14s. in shares of 9d. each per week to six poor aged men; £2.10s. in a distribution of bread, on the 5th of November; £6.7s.6d. for the use of the church; and the remainder is absorbed in incidental expenses. Messrs. John Morgan, Rev Thomas Jee, Wm. Hockley, Robert Fitch, John Webb, J. H. Brand, T. Brand, and others were appointed trustees in 1832.
Queen Elizabeth resided for some short time at Horeham Hall, in this parish, before her accession to the throne, and afterwards visited it on her progress through this part of the country. She is said to have given the annual sum of £5.13s., now secured by a debenture in the Exchequer, and paid to the churchwarden of Thaxted, for distribution in coats to seven poor aged parishioners. Some histories have ascribed this gift to Henry VIII.
Wm. Bendlowe, in 1571, charged Bardfield Place Farm with the yearly payment of £3 for the poor people in the almshouses at Thaxted.
The condition of many of the labourers of this parish has been much improved by 24 acres of land, let to them by Viscount Maynard, in small allotments, at moderate rents.
Thaxted Provident Benefit Society, though only established in 1847, has already about 60 honorary and 150 ordinary members; the latter of whom, by small monthly contributions, make a provision for weekly relief in sickness and old age. Mr. J. Frye is secretary of this useful institution.
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