Brian Moseley, Plymouth
Webpage created: August 01, 2017.
Webpage updated: August 01, 2017




An inscription in Plymouth's Charles' Church states that a Mr Stephen Ollaver (sic), of Exon (i.e. Exeter), gave two shillings a week in bread to the poor of this parish.

This is thought to refer to a gift made by Mr Stephen Ollivean, in his will dated May 2nd 1668, when he gave to the mayor and aldermen of the Borough of Plymouth a yearly rent-charge of 5 4s to be paid out of his two messuages and tenements situated in St Luce's Lane, in the parish of St John's Bow, Exeter.  Mr Ollivean had purchased the properties from a Mr John Dotton and they were at the time of the will in the occupation of Mr John Taylor and others.

The rent-charge of 5 4s was to be distributed 'in wheaten bread' in the value of two shillings per week in either of the parish churches of Plymouth (i.e. Saint Andrew's or Charles' Churches).  The one or two penny loaves were to be given to the poor in attendance, provided they had no charge upon the poor relief of the parishes.  It was Mr Ollivean's wish that the widows of mariners and seamen living in the Town should get priority.

At the time of the Charity Commissioners' inquiry in January 1821 it was stated that although the Gift was noticed in a report to Parliament in 1786, no income from this Gift had been received in Plymouth for many years.  No further information about them was ever discovered.