Brian Moseley, Plymouth
Webpage created: July 30, 2017.
Webpage updated: July 30, 2017




An inscription in the old Plymouth Workhouse stated that Mr James Madock, merchant, who died in Oporto in 1727, bequeathed to the poor of Plymouth, his native town, 1,500 and appointed Mr Nicholas Docton and Mr John Hellier as his trustees.  They in conjunction with the Guardians of the Poor for the Town were to use the money to purchase land from which to earn an income.  Until such time as the land could be purchased, the interest earned on the money was to be distributed on November 1st each year in clothes, shoes, stockings, and shifts for men, women and children.  A half was to go to those already in receipt of poor relief and the other half to those poor persons who did not receive anything from the Guardians.

It transpires from a declaration of trust dated January 7th 1729 that the Guardians had been unable to secure any suitable land and after a successful action in the Court of Chancery they had used 1,475 to purchase 1,400 worth of South Sea annuities.

In 1820 these annuities were held by the Guardians of the Poor and were earning 41 15s 6d per annum, which was distributed in the manner prescribed.  Inhabitants of both Plymouth parishes were eligible to receive benefit.

Sometime after 1821 the annuities were converted into 1,540 worth of 2 10s per Cent annuities, which in 1907 earned an income of 38 10s.

The balance sheet for 1907 reveals that 34 17s 0d was spent on materials for the clothing and that 1 1s was paid for the cutting out of the garments.  Furthermore, 7s 6d was paid out in a tea for the workers in the Workhouse.  It is not clear if this meant that the workers got two teas (i.e. one for Rowe's Charity and one for Madock's) or a really slap-up single tea worth 15 shillings (i.e. twice 7s 6d).