Hinckley Historian Magazine

Hinckley Historian Magazine No.63 - Cotes's Charity - an Old Charity of Burbage - the Cause of Dispute

The Georgian building in Burbage which included the New Inn, the part nearest to the street lamps and car. My thanks to John Me Naughton for providing this information.
The Georgian building in Burbage which included the New Inn, the part nearest to the street lamps and car. My thanks to John Me Naughton for providing this information.

These notes on one of the old charities of Burbage were given to the editor by David Wood.

David tells me that this is no longer a working charity and most of the information was derived from a "Report of Commissioners inquiring concerning charities in the Parish of Aston Flamville, Chapelry of Burbach' dating from the 1830's. The editor has summarised the details regarding Cotes's Charity for this edition of the Historian and would like to record his thanks to David Wood who has provided numerous articles in the past, based on recorded interviews which he has conducted.

The first charity which was the subject of inquiry, that of Rev Robert Cotes, the Rector of Burbach (Burbage) was a part of his will dated 10th December 1717. In this document he bequeathed the house (messuage) in which he lived and also the dwelling place of Widow Caves to the Rector of Aston cum Burbach and his successors 'for ever' to be the Rectory for Burbage. He said his reason for doing this was that for 70 years the Rector 'had been destitute of a convenient house to reside at in Burbach.' Within his will he also made provision for £5 to be paid by the Rector and the inhabitants to the Overseers of the Poor to 'put out a poor boy of the town... to such a manual trade as they should think proper.' The boy was to be 'chosen by the Rector, Churchwardens and Overseers and 3 or 4 of the chief of the inhabitants of the said parish.'

Money was also to be paid to a school dame in Burbach, 40 shillings a year for teaching poor children to read English and the Church Catechism. Over time this term expired. John Nichols in 'The History and Antiquities of the County of Leicestershire' records that the house first mentioned had been lost as the Rectory for being in a dilapidated state. Mr Ledbrook, a former Rector, neglected to pay the £5 consequently it fell to the heirs' who considering it of no value, let it lapse to the Lord of the Manor in about 1781. In 1783 Mr John Miller was admitted to it in full court on condition of paying £2 and six shillings yearly instead of £5 to the Overseers of the Poor of Burbach. The money was to be applied as in the former bequest... (for presumably apprenticing a poor boy and for teaching poor children). Mr Miller erected a large public house, the New Inn, on the site of the old Rectory. The inn later became the property of George Godfrey, of Copson, Warwickshire. He succeeded to the property of Mr Miller's son in a will of 1834.

Mr Miller had paid into the charity, when called for and it was money used to apprentice Burbage boys to framework knitters. At the time of Mr Miller's death it was estimated that there was a sum of £71 and five shillings due to the charity but George Godfrey, now owner of the New Inn, built on the site of the old Rectory, refused to pay saying that he had understood that the late Mr Miller had indeed paid all his debts.

The Charity Commissioners believed the sum still needed to be paid but it appeared that there was some doubt on the matter. Charities clearly presented problems two centuries ago as they sometimes do today.

The Editor

Author: David Wood

Editor: Hugh Beavin

Written for: Hinckley Historian Magazine