Muschamp Charity and Wandsworth Poor Lands

Supporting the poor by land rental

By Cheryl Bailey

Photo:A record of the Muschamp charity in All Saints, Carshalton

A record of the Muschamp charity in All Saints, Carshalton

Cheryl Bailey

In past times a common way to provide  for long-term charity was to donate or bequeath money to buy land.  The rental on this could then be used in perpetuity to support  the charity which was chosen. There are two cases of this occurring on the St. Helier estate 'footprint' - Muschamp's Charity and the Wandsworth Poor Lands.

Muschamp's Charity

Christopher Muschamp died in 1660 and is buried at All Saints, Carshalton.  He bequeathed £200 to buy land, the yearly rental of which was to purchase apprenticeships for two poor children who had been born in the parish.  Pasture land was bought from Henry Byne in Cannon Sheephouse Lane (now known as Green Wrythe Lane).  In the second half of the nineteenth century, Mr. Pimm of Batt's Farm leased these fields from the Parish and they can be seen on this map at the southern end of the farm to the right of Green Wrythe Lane, numbered 119 and 120.

Wandsworth Poor Lands

Henry Smith (d. 1627) was a wealthy citizen and salter of London who gave much money to parishes in London and Surrey during his lifetime and in his will.  He is buried in Wandsworth parish church and is supposed to have been born in Wandsworth. In 1617 he gave £500 towards the purchase of land in Carshalton, the rent of which was to support the poor of Wandsworth. Another £100 bequest came from Mrs. Elizabeth Blackwell.

In 1814 the lands were described as being just over 116 acres and having a building, barn and outhouses.*  The Walworth Poor Lands lay on either side of Wrythe Lane at the southernmost part of the St. Helier estate footprint.  You can see them marked on the Ordnance Survey Map of 1868.

*Parliamentary Papers 1814-1815 (440), Copies of Memorials or Charitable Statements

This page was added by Cheryl Bailey on 13/04/2011.

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