Treasure of the week no. 30: Quit rents, happy money and Queen Elizabeth’s dole: Bradford charities get a visit from Arthur

The Charities of Bradford. Government Inquiry by Arthur Cardew, Barrister at Law. 1894.

(Information reprinted from the Bradford Observer newspaper by William Byles and Sons.)

JND 18/15 (Please quote this number when the Local Studies library reopens if requesting this item.)

At ten o’clock on Tuesday, January 23rd, 1894, Arthur Cardew, Esq., Barrister-at-Law, Assistant Commissioner, opened an inquiry in Bradford’s town hall. This was on behalf of the Charity Commission who had been asked to look into all charities within the County Borough of Bradford, under the Charitable Trusts Acts 1853 to 1891, and the Charities Inquiries (Expenses) Act, 1892. The inquiry was instigated by the Bradford Council so as to ensure that local charities conformed to recent legislative changes.  Among those in the large attendance were the Mayor of Bradford (James Whitley), two aldermen (Smith Feather and William Lister), the Town Clerk, the Deputy Town Clerk, and two MPs (A. Illngworth and W .P. Byles).

The Town Council had originally thought to examine a few old-established and parochial charities, but the Charity Commission wanted all charities included so that the result would be a complete report valuable for future reference. [Like now!] The charities included large ones such as the Infirmary and the Grammar Schools which had from time to time had endowments given to them as sums of money to be invested and treated as capital. There were also many smaller charities. Over the years practice had varied and there had been occasional suspicions of financial malpractice and partiality. The Town Clerk took it that this inquiry was just to collect information and embody it in a report. The Commissioner assented. [The meeting must have breathed a sigh of relief to hear this, though some charity trustees were given a rough ride!]

Forty-eight charities were examined, ranging from the Grammar Schools, with benefactors such as John Crosse, Henry Brown, Titus Salt and S. C. Lister; the Bradford Infirmary; orphanages, convalescent homes, places of worship, and The Organists’ Charity. Information about their foundation, financial information and management were all investigated. For the information of researchers today, all 48 charities are listed here. Collectively they indicate how much education, health and social welfare in Victorian Bradford owe to charitable activity.

The term ‘Happy Money’ came from the fact that the collector of rents for ‘The Poors’ Estate and Quit Rent’ (No. 3 below) was Mr Henry Happy! Of interest to local historians is that one of the council officials much involved in this inquiry was Thomas Empsall, whose large collection of books on local history was acquired by Bradford Libraries after his death.


  1. The Free Grammar School, including the scholarships of John Crosse, Henry Brown, Titus Salt, and S. C. Lister.
  2. The Girls’ Grammar School, including the scholarships of Henry Brown and Titus Salt.
  3. The Poors’ Estate and Quit Rents.
  4. Richard Pollard’s Charity.
  5. Mary Ann Jowett’s Charity.
  6. William Field’s, or the Black Abbey Dole.
  7. Thomas Farrand’s Charity.
  8. Elizabeth Wadsworth’s Charity for Bradford Township.
  9. John Appleyard’s Charity.
  10. The Rev. Dr. Jobson’s Fund.
  11. The Organists’ Charity.
  12. Susannah Stott’s Charity.
  13. The Bradford Lectureship.
  14. William Wilson’s Charity.
  15. Benjamin Illingworth’s Charity.
  16. Mechanics’ Institute: Brown’s Endowment.
  17. General Infirmary: Endowments of Musgrave, Semon, Leather, and Brown.
  18. Fever Hospital: Nutter’s Endowment.
  19. Eye and Ear Hospital: Semon’s Endowment.
  20. Woodlands Convalescent Home: Nutter’s Endowment.
  21. Orphanage for Boys: Nutter’s Endowment.
  22. Orphan Home for Girls: Nutter’s Endowment.
  23. Nutter’s Scholarship Charity.
  24. Tradesmen’s Benevolent Institution: Nutter’s Endowment and Brown’s Endowment.
  25. Tradesmen’s Home: Brown’s Endowment and Wright’s Endowment.
  26. Spinsters’ Endowment Fund: Brown’s Endowment.
  27. John Harrison’s Charity for the Blind.
  28. Samuel Broadley’s Charities.
  29. Bailey’s Endowment for Minister of Westgate Baptist Chapel.
  30. Endowment of Old and New Wesleyan Chapels at Bradford Moor.
  31. Endowment of Manchester Road Primitive Methodist Chapel.
  32. Endowment of Salem Congregational Chapel in Manor Row.
  33. Endowment of Kirkgate Wesleyan Chapel.
  34. Endowment of Eastbrook Wesleyan Chapel.
    34A. Holling’s Charity for Friend’s Meeting House.

Township of Allerton

  1. James Sagar’s Charity.
  2. The British School.

Township of Bowling

  1. Endowment of Dudley Hill Wesleyan Chapel and School.

Township of Horton

  1. John Ashton’s Charity.
  2. Elizabeth Rand’s Charity.
  3. Dixon’s Charity for Chapel Lane Chapel.
  4. Endowment of Great Wesleyan Chapel.

Township of Manningham

  1. Elizabeth Rand’s Charity.

Parish of Calverley

  1. Queen Elizabeth’s Dole.

Township of Pudsey

  1. Lipton’s Charity.
  2. Gibson’s Charity.
  3. Neville’s Charity.
  4. Simpson’s and Hay’s Charity
  5. Elizabeth Wadsworth’s Charity for Calverley Township.


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