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Researched by John Meads 2011
Burton Latimer's Ancient Charities

Burton Latimer church porch where bread was left for the poor or needy
The north door of the Parish Church of
St. Mary the Virgin. Right up to the
1940s, loaves of bread, baked by
Burton Latimer bakers in their turn,
were placed in the porch early in the
morning to be collected by the poor
and needy of the parish

From the 14th to mid-16th century persons of wealth might endow a gild or chantry. A gild was the forerunner of the later craftsmens guilds and fraternities and a chantry was a chapel or altar endowed by its founder with sufficient funds to maintain a priest to sing masses on the donor's behalf. This practice was abolished in 1547.

However, some people like Agnes and William Scott in Burton Latimer, also created endowments, the proceeds of which were to provide relief for the sick and poor of the parish, and this endowment lives on today as part of the Ancient Parish Charity which makes grants to the elderly and needy to help pay their winter fuel bills. Many elderly Burtonians will remember the land on the Wold known as Scott's Forty Acre and Scott's Charity Cottages in Church Street, the rents from both going to support the charity or its successor.


From a Charity Commissioner's Report - 1905


On an inclosure of lands in this parish in 1804, an allotment of ten acres was set out in lieu of headlands, formerly appropriated to the repairs of the church. The allotment is let to Thomas Eady, as yearly tenant, at £12.10s. a year, the fair annual value, and the rent is applied for the repairs and service of the church.

Another allotment of between three and four acres was set out in lieu of four acres of land, formerly called the Bell Land. This allotment, together with a piece of ground, containing about an acre, near one of the poor-houses in the parish, is let to Joseph Eadey at £7 5s. a year, and the rent is applied by the churchwardens in keeping the bells and ropes in order, and in payments to ringers.


The sum of £10, given by William and Agnes Scott, in or about the year 1514, for the relief of poor people, and a further sum of £40 arising from the rents of some of the charity estates were laid out in the purchase of land, for which, on the inclosure, an allotment of 40 acres was awarded. The allotment is let by the minister and churchwardens to different poor persons for gardens, at rents amounting in the whole to £44 a year, and the rents are partly applied in affording relief to poor persons in cases of sickness and casual misfortunes, and are fairly distributed on the Burton feast-day among poor persons not receiving weekly relief from the parish.


The sum of £10 left by Anne Mulsoe, to be applied to charitable uses at the discretion of Robert Hicks, and £10 given by the said Robert Hicks, were laid out in the purchase of land at Irthlingborough, and a piece of meadow ground, containing an acre or thereabouts, in the open field of Little Addington, which was conveyed in 1823 to trustees, to the intent that the rents should be applied in apprenticing poor children of Burton Latimer, in pursuance of the directions of Robert Hicks.

An allotment of three acres, or thereabouts, awarded in lieu of the land at Irthlingborough, is let to John Pearson as yearly tenant, at £7 a year, and the ground in Addington is let to William Payne at £1 15s. a year. The lands are let by the churchwardens and overseers of the poor of Burton Latimer, and the rents are applied in apprenticing children with *** of ** for each child put out, as opportunities occur.


In pursuance of the will of Richard Hopkins, the date of which is unknown, the rent of a close or piece of land in Burton Latimer, containing 1 acre 3 roods, or thereabouts, which is let by the churchwardens to William Wood, as yearly tenant, at £6 a year, is laid out in bread, distributed at the church on Sundays among 12 poor people.


An allotment of seventy acres was awarded on the inclosure to the lord of the manor, minister, parish officers and other inhabitants, upon trust to apply the rents to the use of the poor in meat, corn, clothing or fuel, at the discretion of the trustees.

This allotment is let to William Jacquest for 21 years, from Michaelmas 1828, at the yearly rent of £40 for the first four years, and for £48 for the remainder of the term, and the land is properly let.

The rent is laid out in coals, which are distributed by the churchwardens among poor persons, in proportion to the size of their families.

Extract from recollections in 1912 of Mr Charles Fox, born 1843

“Seventy-acre” charity is, of course, is still continuing to give certain of the inhabitants the benefit of very welcome coal. In Mr. Fox’s young days all the coal was stacked at the “Cross,” and it was amusing to see 30 or 40 barrows being run about to and from the big scales situated at the “Cross”; the churchwardens and farmers having a gloriously busy time of it.

In the Northampton Mercury dated Sept 24th 1887, an article states:
Burton Latimer - Scott's Charity
The parishioners eligble for the above charity were the latter part of the last week the recipients of 8cwt. of coal ea


William Luck, by will, dated 3rd July 1546, charged his land called Pywell’s Land, with the yearly payment of 7s., that is to say 6s, to the use of the town of Burton, to be distributed as should be thought needful by the parson and churchwardens, and the other 12d. to a superstitious use.

George Plowright, by deed in 1633, in consideration of £6 13s. 4d., given by Owen Owen for the poor, charged the said lands, called Pywell’s, with the payment of 6s a year for the poor of Burton, at the discretion of the parson, churchwardens, and overseers.

The sum of 12s. a year is now paid on account of the children by Mr. John Sudborough in respect of a house and premises in Burton Latimer, which were substituted to bear the charge by some former owner in lieu of the land called Pywell’s, and the amount is added to and applied with the rent of Scott’s Charity Land.


William Dickenson, by will dated 1727, bequeathed £60 for the poor not receiving parochial relief. This fund was for some time placed out on mortgage, but was afterwards, as is represented, laid out in defraying expenses concerning the allotments set out in lieu of some of the charity estates.

By her will proved 19 Sept. 1856 Elizabeth Dopping Arnold gave £100 Consols to the rector and churchwardens for the poor. The dividends amounting to £2 10s. yearly are applied in April for the relief of the poor. The several sums of stock are with the Official Trustees of Charitable Funds

Thomas Ambler who gave £1 yearly for the Old Folk's treat By his will proved in P.R. 22 August 1921 Thomas Ambler (left) gave £1 yearly for the Old People’s Trust. The charge has been redeemed by the transfer of £40 Consols to the Official Trustees of Charitable Funds. The charity is administered by a committee.
(V.C.H. 1938)

Click here to read about a beneficiary of these Charities

More recent changes

In 1975 the Charity Commissioners approved a new scheme which consolidated the above charities (apart from the part held for educational purposes from the William and Agnes Scott charity) to form the Burton Latimer Ancient Parish Charity. The income from the former charities being invested in the Charities Official Investment Fund. It ceased to provide food gifts in the 1970s and now gives grants early in the New Year to help pay the heating bills of the elderly and those in need.


From a linen backed booklet marked "Burton Latimer Charities" on the cover First page:- Burton Latimer Charities of which I am Trustee - A.A.Y.


Five Acres of Grass Land called Savages Close left by the Revd, Thos. Barwick in 1792 to Trustees, to be let by Auction from time to time upon lease not exceeding 14 years. Trustees to pay rents and profits to the Rector and Churchwardens of Burton for the time being to be by them applied in putting out to school such poor children of the Parish of Burton Latimer as the Rector for the time being shall think proper and appoint, until they have learned their letters and are fit to go to the Freeschool - and also in buying of Bibles, Testaments, Common Prayer Books, Spelling Books or other necessary or proper School books to be distributed amongst such children, and other poor persons as the said Rector may think proper.

Present Trustees created in 1839 - Thos. Burnaby, T.S. Grimshaw, B.J. Pulver, John Eady, H.B. Stopford, G.S. Robinson, J.W. Paul, W.M. Dolben, A. A. Young, G.P. Stopford, J. Harper, Edmund Eady, Thos. Eady,  John Stokes.

Scotts Charity Cottages facing south Scotts Charity Cottages facing west
The south facing part of Scotts Charity Cottages,
Church Street. Rents were paid to Scott's Charity
The West facing part of Scotts Charity Cottages. They were
built in 1842 on the site of the former Poor House


A Farm house with one close adjoining in Burton, formerly the estate of William Scott, the house now or lately used as a poorhouse, the said Close now in the occupation of John Eady, gardener, also twelve several cottages in Burton nearly adjoining the said farmhouse. Also a certain field called South Field in Burton containing forty acres and thirty six perches. Also a piece of ancient enclosure in Burton containing twenty four perches, which now forms the East part of the first mentioned close in the occupation of John Eady. Also a piece of land in Burton situated in South Field containing two acres two roods two perches now in the occupation of John Eady. Also a plot of land in Irthlingborough containing two acres two roods and twenty four perches called Knightland field and Windmill Field. Also another plot of land in the said fields in Irthlingborough containing three roods and eighteen perches, which two parcels of land are now thrown together and in the occupation of John Parsons. Also a parcel of land in Little Addington in Little Field containing two roods and eight perches now in the occupation of John Abbott. The aforesaid property in Burton is in trust to permit the Rector of Burton or his deputy and the churchwardens and Constables thereof for the time being to let the said premises and receive the Rents and apply the same "for the helping, discharging and exonerating of such payments as shall be imposed upon the most poor people inhabiting Burton whose goods shall not be esteemed above the value of ten pounds, or for such other purposes as the Rents of the said lands or any of them respectively or any part of them are now lawfully applicable to”. The aforesaid property in  Irthlingborough and Little Addington is in trust that the Trustees shall let it for any number of years not exceeding 21 and from time to time apply the rents and profits, in placing the Children of the Poor inhabitants of Burton as apprentices for seven years at the least in husbandry or some other art, trade or mystery; the nomination of such children to be placed out to be in the hands of the Trustees. Trustees: the same as in Barwick's Charity previously mentioned.

The Jacobean School built in 1622 and the Victorian School House
The Free School built in 1622 and the Victorian School House both initially financed through bequests
to Burton Latimer charities. The school was for many years used by St. Mary's Church of England
School and subsequently as its Infants School when the new school was built opposite. School House
was sold in the 1970s and the sum raised was invested in the United Educated Foundation

A Charity Commisioner's Report in 1905 states:

The Free School

The school is endowed with ten acres of land in Cotton Marsh, in the parish of Hardingstone, which was settled by Elizabeth Burbank by deed, dated 1st June, 23rd Elizabeth (1580-81), for the use of a schoolmaster to teach a free grammar school in Burton Latimer. A house in Burton Latimer, which was given for a dwelling place for a schoolmaster to teach the children of the inhabitants, by William Vaux, Lord Harrowden and George his son, was conveyed to the trustees by deed dated 21st June, 23rd Elizabeth; and an annuity of £7 payable to a schoolmaster at Burton Latimer under a decree of the Court of Chancery and a farm there, now the property of Joseph Harper, Esq.

The school property was last conveyed by deed dated the 24th May 1792, to new trustees and is vested in Sir John English Dolben, Francis Dickens, Esq., Allen Edward Young, Esq., and others, the survivors of those trustees.

The master of the school occupies the house and receives the rent of the land (which he rents at £30 a year) and the annuity, and he instructs all such children of the inhabitants of Burton Latimer as are sent to him, and are then able to read a little, in reading, writing and arithmetic, the number of scholars being on an average between 25 and 30.

It does not appear that the school has ever been maintained as a grammar school.

More recent changes
In 1975 the Charity Commissioners approved a new scheme which consolidated the above charities to form the Burton Latimer United Education Foundation. The income from the former charities being invested in the Charities Official Investment Fund. It is this charity that to this day provides financial help to young people undergoing further education and youth leaders engaged in training young people.

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