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The Welney Website

Marshall's Charity

page created July 2010, amended/updated Friday, 01 May 2015
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  The Parish of Welney has benefited from a generous benefactor, William Marshall, for over 340 years. A brief history of his life is described elsewhere; this page is about the Charity he started, registered as The Charity of William Marshall, but commonly called Marshall's Charity.

In 1661 Willlam Marshall left nine pieces of land, usually said to have been about 470 acres, in Welney, Upwell, and Littleport, vested in the hands of Trustees. In Gardners Directory of 1850, the acreage bequeathed was stated as 749. The income, i.e. rents, were to be devoted in equal amounts to
  • the repair of Welney Chapel, and the bridge leading to it
  • the poor widows of the hamlet, and the apprenticing of poor children therein
  • the repair of the highways
Gardner also stated that a Mrs Margaret Venall of Mildenhall, left 21 acres for charitable purposes, later united with William Marshalls Charity.

These conditions have been amended from time to time, but always for the benefit of the community.

The following details are from 'Wisbech Hundred: Outwell and Upwell', A History of the County of Cambridge and the lsle of Ely: Volume 4: City of Ely; Ely, N. and S. Witchford and Wisbech Hundreds (2002), pp. 206-19. URL: http://www.british- history. ac. uUreport. asp?compid=2 1 9 1 9. Date accessed : I 2 March 2006.

"In 1819 a new scheme for the disposal of the charity moneys was introduced. A third of the rents were to go to the widows. The remaining two-thirds were to be devoted to the other original objects of the charity, and also to the establishment of a free elementary school on Church principles. The greater part of the rental of about £650 was spent on the testamentary objects of the relief of widows (t130), (fn. 85) repairs to highways, bridges, and the chapel (e 185), and drainage taxes, and it was not possible to appoint a schoolmaster until 1827. Even then he received only €£20 a year instead of the £60 proposed in 1819, but by 1835 his salary had been increased to £28. (fn. 86) r />
By 1847 sufficient funds had been accumulated to build the school, and also some almshouses, and to rebuild the Anglican chapel. (fn. 87)

ln 1866 the school received £877 a year from Marshall's charity, and there were 135 children, taught by an uncertificated master and mistress. The school was not subject to government inspection (fn. 88)

By 1893 £100 a year was being devoted to the school, but complaints were made that this was inadequate, and that the school was entitled to a full third of the charity. The buildings accommodated 163 children before and 130 after 1910. The school was 'decapitated' in 1939, when the older children were moved to the new school at Upwell (q.v.). (fn. 89)

Another school, which served also as a mission room, was opened in 1874. It stood near the suspension bridge, and was intended for the children living on the far side of the Bedford Rivers. (fn. 90) It was closed in 1927, when its 43 pupils were transferred to Marshall's School in the village. This arrangement proved unsatisfactory owing to the almost annual flooding of the Washes between the Bedford Rivers, and shortly before 1938 the children were again transferred, but this time to Hilgay (Norf.). (fn. 91)"
  The current charity was created on 8th August 1904 (registered 1906), since amended.

The current governing document, or scheme, of 7th February 1986, was amended 21st January 1998.

The Charity is managed by a body of eleven Trustees. Two are ex-officio (Bishop of Ely and Rector of St. Mary's, Welney), four 'nominative' (appointed by Welney Parish Council, but not necessarily a Parish Councillor), and five 'co-operative', persons who live or work in, or have special knowledge of, the parish of Welney.

Nominated trustees serve a term of four years; co-opted for 5 years.
TRUSTEES as at Nov 2014
ChairCJ Gilbert
vice-chairJohn Loveday
(resigned 2011)
ex-officoThe Bishop of Ely,(Anthony Russell)
ex-officioRector of St.Mary's
(Rev Kevin Fitzgibbon)
 Douglas Carter
 John W Frost
nominative(Cllr) Ken Goodger
 John A Scott
 Alec B Singleterry
 Steve Kerr
Graham Rainbird
nominativeMrs Rachel Brown (resigned Nov 2010)
(Cllr) Dr Susan Dobson
 Sean Booth (from 2011)
ClerkMrs Lynda Clarke-Jones


Related pages on this website
William Marshall
St. Mary's Church
William Marshall School
Almshouses  (coming soon)
Related pages on other websites
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