A Short History of Hammersmith United Charities
Hammersmith United Charities exists because of the generosity of Hammersmith’s more wealthy residents since 1618
In 1618, Dr Thomas Edwards gave £100 – which, according to the Bank of England, is worth about £10,000 in today’s money – to the poor of Fulham to buy them lands. Two years later, in 1620, Bishop John King, the then Bishop of London (after whom the main street in Hammersmith is named) donated £20 for a similar purpose. These two sums were added together and Dr. Edwards and Bishop King’s Fulham Charity was established. Much later, in 1834, the hamlet of Hammersmith became a separate parish to Fulham and, in 1863, the Charity Commissioners ordered that the income and assets from the combined Charities of Dr Edwards and Bishop King should be divided equally between a Fulham and Hammersmith branch; the latter being the “root” of Hammersmith United Charities.
Other benefactors in the 17th Century, each of whom established his or her own individual Charity, included Edward Latymer (1624), William Payne (1626), Thomas Iles (1635), Thomas Collop (1645), Nathaniel Dauncer (1656) and Sir Nicholas Crispe (1665). In the 1700’s, Charities were established by Sarah Goudge (1759), John Powell (1773) and Henry Webb (1793) and, in the 1800’s, by the Waste Land Almshouses (1810), John Brown (1822), Peter Brown (1833), Mrs Harriet Clancy (1844), Dr John Betts (1859) and William Smith (1865). In the early 1900’s, bequests were made by Ellen Graves (1932) and Maria Eliza Morris (1948).
Whilst the terms of each of our benefactors’ wills were different, the general thrust of each was either for the relief of poverty or the care and well-being of the elderly poor of Hammersmith and, in June 1923, the Charity Commissioners decreed that all the then individual Charities should amalgamate, under the title of Hammersmith United Charities. Subsequent governing trust instruments were issued in 1932, 1958, 1970, 1981 & 1982. In 1992, the Trustees applied to the Charity Commissioners for the addition to our objectives of the provision of an “Extra Care” branch and this request was incorporated in the Trust Deed of 14th July, 1992, the Charities’ current Governing Instrument.
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