Accounts of the Trustees of the Poor's Ground
Account book for a charity issuing bread and a yearly coat for each poor person (presumably of the parish). Recipients are named (in 1685 there are 8; in the 1760's there are about 40; after 1784 they are no longer named). Trustees are named: they usually sign the account yearly. The charity is not named or located; after 1725 the yearly heading is "The Accounts of the Trustees of the Poores Land Devisd by, Richard Hill Gent. Decd." The money is derived from rents from land in Cradley and in Froom (i.e., one of the Fromes west of Cradley), from investments, and from selling woods and coppices. Expenses include itemised costs of making the coats (in the 1730's breeches began to be added for the men and a petticoat for the women; later the woman's coat turned into a gown); paying the baker; upkeep of the poor's ground (hedging, etc.); legal expenses; carriage; the Trustees' meetings in Stiffords, Worcester, or Bromyard.
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1 volume : Binding: Disbound; paper integument made 1975. Script: Various semi-legal and semi-literate hands; begins with secretary-types. Leaf 1 recto: shorthand; leaf 2 recto "The names of them that have the Coates 1708" ; Volume measures no taller than 20 cm.
Scope and Contents
Incipit: The Accompt for the years 1685. Receipts. The Rent of the ground. 6--13--0.
Note: Mr Cooke[e] of Storige [Storridge, Herefs] is a tenant & buys coppices 1741-1761 (see 1729).
Wanting leaves 1-13 (&, presumably, a blank or title to fill out the gathering). Missing leaves after 1697, in 1773 and 1779, with no apparent loss of text.
Make-up: 1685-1714: Recto has accounts and trustees' names; verso has names of recipients. 1714-1784: Double-page opening: left-hand names; right-hand accounts.
Among the trustees are two or more named Richard Hill, Richard Long, and George Hales, and William and Richard Fifield, John Woodyatt, James Smith, and Thomas James. There is almost always some sort of Hill among the trustees, or mentioned in the accounts. Judging from the signatures, one Richard Hill died after 1722, and another one took over. Leonard Hill begins to be one of the Trustees in 1763; after 1768 no Trustee is mentioned but Leonard Hill, who is keeping the account, and disbursements are only occasionally mentioned; the accounts 1803-1805 are signed R. P (?) Hill, and are receipts of rent for lands "belonging to my late father ...called the Poor Land."
Place: The location of the charity is unnamed; but the primary piece of land is at Cradley (see 1728). All the meeting-places named are convenient to Cradley, Herefordshire; Stiffords bridge is a hamlet with an inn a mile from Cradley. Just north of Stiffords is Halesend; one of the Longs is identified as "of Halesend." The bookseller identified the area as the Halesown district of Worcester-shire, presumably thinking of the better-known Cradley in the north of Worcestershire; but the place names do not agree.
Since each year takes a leaf, the accounts probably began circa 1670.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Bristow 1 (June 75): 59. Gift of Helen Foresman Spencer, 1975
- Guide to the Accounts of the Trustees of the Poor's Ground Collection
- Accounts of the Trustees of the Poor's Ground
- Finding aid prepared by alh, July 15, 1975. Finding aid encoded by mg, 2005.
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- Finding aid written in <language encodinganalog="language">English.</language>
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- Preferred citation
Accounts of the Trustees of the Poor's Ground, Department of Special Collections, MS B124, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas