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The following document was found in Parish Council records presumably copied from an unknown record of parish charities in Somerset.  The record must have been made before 1839, when the land was sold to Mr. Thomas Pooll in order to provide money to assist the poor of the parish to emigrate:

ROAD

Mention has already been made in the account of Beckington parish, in this county, of an annual sum of 6, secured upon land at Westbury, by the deed of Thomas Webb, dated 6th February, 20th Queen Elizabeth, ( see the abstract of this deed in the report of the Beckington Charity,) 5 of which was thereby appropriated to the use of the said parish of Beckington, as is stated in that deed, and 20s. were to be paid to the churchwardens of Road, to be distributed in bread to the poor.

In addition to which, William Yerbury gave to the churchwardens of the parish of Road, the sum of 50, with a direction to procure a rent-charge of 50s. a-year, to be settled for the payment of 10s on every Friday for five weeks in Lent, to be distributed to the poor of the said parish for bread, for ever.  By an indenture, dated 5th March 1703, (produced to the Commissioners,) made between William Crabbe and others, parishioners of Road, of the first part, Tobias Crabbe and another, churchwardens of the said parish, and John Howell and another, overseers of the said parish, of the second part, and Honor Harris and another of the third part, reciting (among other things) that the said churchwardens had already in their hands, monies belonging to the said parish to the amount of 55 which, with the addition of 50, a legacy given by the said William Yerbury, made up the sum of 105. with which they had contracted for the purchase of the premises after mentioned; It is witnessed, that as well for the complete fulfilling of the decise of the said sum of 50, as also for settling the remainder of the profits, of the said premises so purchased as aforesaid, they the said William Crabbe and others, did declare, that the therein recited grant and release of the said meadow or pasture ground called Leys, containing 3 acres, more or less, in Road aforesaid and Woolverton, and abutting upon the highway leading from Road to Scutch Bridge, on the north side, and upon a ground called Green Meere, in the south field of Road aforesaid, on the south side, was made to them, upon trust that the annual sum of 50s. should for ever thereafter be paid out of the rents of the said premises to the churchwardens and overseers of the said parish of Road to the intent that they should yearly dispose of the said 50s. according to the direction of the said William Yerbury in his will, and that the residue of the said rents and profits should be paid to the churchwardens and overseers of Road, and their successors, in trust for the poor inhabitants of the said parish,  These two sums of 20s. and 50s. are distributed in bread to the amount of 10s. weekly on the seven Fridays of Lent.  A sixpenny loaf is given to each of twenty families.

According to the statement of the churchwarden of the parish, it is in the recollection of several of the parishioners that a rent-charge of 8s. per annum, issuing out of certain house in Road, formerly in the possession of Mr. Quance was payable to the parish.  It is not known how this rent-charge arose.  It has not been paid for many years; a person of the name of Quance used formerly to bring the amount in bread to the church, and distribute it to the poor at his discretion.  This person appears to have sold part of the property to a dissenting congregation for their chapel, and he engaged to enumerate them for this rent-charge, leaving the residue of the property charged to descend to his daughter, who paid the money for some years till she became a pauper, and received parish relief herself, from which time the payment was discontinued.  A Mr. John Wheeler, a millwright, of Road, bought this property of the daughter, then a widow of the name of Moore, and has always refused to pay this charge, on a pretence that the parish has lost its right by not insisting on the payment.

 

Extract (spelling mistakes included) from the minutes of the Annual Parish Meeting [Assembly] held on 28th of March 1895:

One item he [the chairman, Mr R P H Batten Pooll] specially wished to bring before the notice of those present, and through them to the villiage in general, namely, the Parish Charities.  Misrepresentations as to their origin and amount had at various times been circulated, and he therefore, took the opportunity of thanking Mr. Penrose for obtaining a copy of the charities from the Commissioners, which, with the title deeds now lying on the table, would prove that the poor of Road had been honourably dealt with, and were, and had been, duly receiving their full benefits.  He begged to read the following extract from the deeds, the originals of which any person present could read for themselves.

About 1700, one William Yerbury, by his Will, left 50 to procure a rent charge of 50s/- a year, and directed this sum to be paid by sums of 10s/-, every Friday for five weeks in Lent, to be distributed in bread among the poor of the parish of Road for ever.  In 1702 the Churchwardens and Overseers of the parish, having in their hands Yerburys bequest, and other parish moneys amounting to 55, with this sum of 105, purchased the peice of land called the Poor Ground.

By deed of Declaration of Trust, dated 19th March 1702, (which deed is in the possession of Mr Batten Pooll) the said piece of land was formally vested in the Churchwardens and Overseers of the parish for the time being upon the following trusts, namely, to pay out of the rents and profits 50s/-, every year in Lent bread (as above mentioned) and to apply the residue for the benifit of the poor inhabitants of the parish.  These trusts were, it is presumed, acted upon untill the year 1838, at which time the parish had become much impoverished, probably owing to the decay of the cloth trade, and amongst other things money was required to assist some of the inhabitants to emigrate.  The vestry books of the time contain various entries to this effect.  This being apparently the state of affairs throughout the country, an Act of Parliament was passed in 1835, (5 and 6 William IV., c69) for the express purpose of enabling parish authorities, subject to the approval of the Poor Law Commissioners and the local Boards of Guardians, to sell and convey parish land and property, and apply the proceeds for the relief of the poor (section 3).

In 1839, the late Mr. Thomas Pooll, of Road (Uncle and predecessor in title of Mr Batten Pooll) agreed to purchase the poor ground of the parish authorities, under the above Act, for 349 [(] an amount much in excess of the real value of the land), subject to the annual payment of 50/- for the Lent bread, which, having been devised in perpetuity, could not be relinquished.  The deed of conveyance from the Guardians, Churchwardens, and Overseers of the parish to the said Thomas Pooll is in the possession of Mr. Batten Pooll, and is dated the 12th February, 1839.  It is duly executed by the parish officials, sealed by the Frome Guardians, and approved and counter-sealed by the Poor Law Commissioners in London.  The Vestry books of the time contain entries showing how the purchase money was dealt with.

From this date the rents and profits were received by Mr Thomas Pooll (deceased), and since by Mr. Batten-Pooll, his devisee, and 50s/- charge has been punctually paid.  The Chairman further announced he had had a copy of the original deeds prepared at his own expense, and would now hand them over to the Parish Council for safe custody with thier other papers.

In addition to the above 50/- per year, there was 1 annualy received through the Beckington Charity Trustees [from the Webb charity], making a total of 70/-.  This year [1895] 280 4lb loaves had been secured from the bakers of Road for that sum, and distributed.

Letter to the Parish Clerk from the Charity Commission dated 17th October 1958:

County - Somerset.
Place - Rode
Charities - 1. Webb & Yerbury
                   2. Silcocks

Madam,

In reply to your letter of 27th September, I have to point out that the administration of the Charities is a matter for the trustees and not for the Parish Council.  It is appreciated that you act as correspondent of the trustees and I am to say that the benefits of the Charities numbered (1) above should be confined to poor persons residing within the area of the Ancient Parish of Rode (Road) as constituted in the years 1578 and 1705 when the Charities were founded.  It is understood that Roadhill (Christ Church) is an Ecclesiastical Parish formed out of the Civil  Parish of North Bradley and it would not appear that North Bradley was part of the Ancient Parish of Rode.

In respect of he Charity numbered (2) above, the relevant words in the testator’s Will proved the 22nd November 1899, are, as you are no doubt aware “to supply 4 of the oldest poor women and 4 of the oldest poor men in the Village Proper ......in apparel each”.  The Commissioners cannot give an authoritative opinion on the subject but it would appear that the expression “Village Proper” used by the testator in his Will means so much of the village as was situated in the Civil Parish of Road in the County of Somerset, at the date of the Will.

In the census of 1901, Road Hill (Christ Church) is recorded as an Ecclesiastical Parish in the County of Wilts.