Medway Council Heritage Services catalogues
  • Title
  • Reference
  • Date
    16th century-1973
  • Level of description
  • Extent
    19 documents
  • Administrative history / biography
    The City of Rochester was entrusted several charities. In 1693, following a disagreement, a committee called the Committee of Charitable Uses was set up. Its members were two aldermen, two assistants and five freemen, elected yearly by the grand jury of the court leet. They met quarterly and examined the accounts submitted by the provider. The provider had also the responsibility to survey the estates of the charities. The main charities for which the Corporation was responsible were: - Watts Charity: in 1579, Richard Watts, MP, left money to the Corporation for scholarships to be awarded to local schools and to set up an almshouse and a building for poor travellers. In the 19th century trustees managed the charity. - St. Catherine's Charity: Symon Potyn donated lands in 1316 to found St. Catherine's Hospital. - Gunsley's Charity: In 1618 Rev. Robert Gunsley donated his rectory, parsonage, land and tithes in Broadhempton for the benefit of the poor of Rochester and Maidstone. - Sir John Hayward's Charity: in 1635, Sir John Hayward left in his will the residue of his estate to several parishes, among them, the parish of St. Nicholas in Rochester, for the benefit of the poor. Two schools (one for boys and one for girls) were established in the parish.
  • Archival history
    The earliest documents were to be kept in a chest at the Guildhall. However, some were kept with the provider. For instance, the council minutes of December 1768 record that a fire at the house of Daniel Woodmeston, provider for the year 1766/67, destroyed books and papers belonging to the charities.
  • Related material
    The provider made triplicate copies of the accounts to the City of Rochester, the Dean and Chapter of Rochester Cathedral, and the Rochester Bridge Wardens. The accounts documents in the Dean and Chapter collection can be found at DRc/C.