Brian Moseley, Plymouth
Webpage created: May 13, 2020
Webpage updated: May 13, 2020




Mrs Sarah Hancocks, by her will dated January 5th 1811, gave to Mr Joseph Thomas Austin and Mr William Harris, the sum of 100 in trust for them to apply the net interest to any poor person whose place of settlement was within the tything of Compton Gifford although they might reside outside the tything.  The interest was to be paid out in four equal quarterly payments. 

She appointed Mr Joseph Thomas Austin her sole executor and it transpired in 1821 that he had not invested the money in any security but retained it for himself and paid interest at the rate of five per cent.  The 5 thus earned was distributed at Christmas each year by Mr John Hele, a resident of the tything, on behalf of Mr Austin, who lived some distance from Plymouth.  The distribution took the form of payments of between 1 5s and two shillings per person.

Under an Order of the Charity Commissioners dated May 16th 1882 the sum of 200, being the gifts of Mrs Rebecca Shaw and (Mrs) Sarah Hancocks, was paid over to the Official Trustees of Charitable Funds and invested in two sums of 99 5s 1d New 3% Consols.

By a further Order of the Charity Commissioners dated October 20th 1882, the vicar and churchwardens of Emmanuel Church, Compton Gifford, were appointed a trustees.  It appears that from that date the annual income of 4 18s 8d was 'applied in lending bags of linen and providing groceries in maternity cases, and supplying dispensary tickets and milk and other necessaries in time of sickness.'

The accounts of the Shaw and Hancocks Gifts for the year ended March 31st 1908 revealed that 7s 5d had been spent on repairing the linen bags; 16s 4d had been spent on groceries; 5s 6d had been paid to the Plymouth Blanket Society for the loan of blankets; 1 11s 6d had been expended on 12 Plymouth Public Dispensary tickets; and one shilling had been spent on bread.