Webpage created: May 13, 2020
Webpage updated: May 13, 2020
JOHN HARRIS'S GIFT
Mr John Harris, of Manadon House, by his will dated January 20th 1725 gave £2 10s per year to the poor of the tything of Weston Peverell. It was to be paid out at the Chapel of Saint Pancras (at that time it was a chapel-of-ease to Saint Andrew's Church, Plymouth), £1 every Christmas Day, 15 shillings every Easter Day and 15 shillings every Whitsunday. The money was to be provided by the barton of Pennycross, which adjoined the Chapel, and Mr Harry Trelawny, of Butshead, and Mr Nicholas Docton, of Whitleigh, and their heirs, were made trustees of the Gift.
Pennycross Barton in 1821 was owned by Mrs Waldron, Mrs Wall and Mrs Parlby, the co-heiresses of the late Mr Hall. Their tenant distributed the money as a form of rent-charge under the direction of the overseers of the poor. It was handed out in sums of 1s or 6d according to the circumstances of the recipient.
By an Order of the Charity Commission dated January 3rd 1902, the rent-charge was vested in the Official Trustee of Charity Lands. Trustees were appointed, being the vicar of Saint Pancras Church, which was now an ecclesiastical parish in its own right; three trustees appointed by the town councils of Plymouth and Devonport and the parish meeting of West Peverell; and two co-opted from outside.
In 1907 the Gift was paid by Captain Parlby, the owner of Pennycross Barton, and also out of £15 8s 4d cash on deposit with the Devon and Cornwall Bank. The amount paid to the vicar of Saint Pancras Church that year was £4 and this was distributed:-
The 1908 Charity Commission Report also makes the interesting statement that: 'The recipients are usually resident in the Devonport portion of the parish, where there is most poverty'.