28/06/2011

Thayer Bequest

In an article in the Baptist Quarterly for October 1977 Harry Foreman has an article on Baptists and the charity school movement. There he says

In 1718 Sarah Thayer, of Dalston, Hackney, bequeathed £200 for the provision of a school in Stow-on-the-Wold. A schoolmistress was to teach poor female children who had either been born, or were living, in Stow to read and learn the "Assemblies" (that is, Presbyterian) catechism by heart. There is no indication as to whether this lady was a Baptist, nor is there any indication as to whether the children had to omit the offensive (to Baptists) 95th Article of the catechism. However, we do know that the bequest was increased by £100 by Joseph Moore [Bengeworth], who was a Baptist, and who stipulated that the interest from this money was to be used by "the religious society or meeting" at Stow as the members thought fit. One of the trustees was Benjamin Beddome, Baptist minister at Bourton-on-the-Water, and it was decided that the money should be used towards the school's upkeep. We have no indication of the school's fortunes. (Beddome, of course, was also minister of Stow and usually preached there twice a month).
The next Baptist charity for educational purposes which has been discovered is that of Elizabeth Seward who, in 1753, left the proceeds from £400 South Sea Stock to Jacob Moore and every Particular Baptist minister of the Baptist church in Bengeworth, Worcestershire, for teaching poor children to read in schools at Badsey, near Evesham, Evesham itself (two schools), and in Bengeworth. By the time of the Charity Commissioners' Report in 1830, there was only one school open at Evesham and one in Bengeworth, where the mistress was appointed by the Baptist minister. No other details are known of the schools and no mention is made of them in the Worcester diocesan returns for the period from 1782 to 1806, although the presence of Baptists in Badsey, Bengeworth, and Evesham is noted.
(Beddome was again a trustee for this charity which we have often mentioned).

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