Worthy Acts of Women. 280

Worthy Acts of Women.

First, She gave to the Library in the University of Oxenford , the Sum of 200l.

The manifest Testimony of her Affection to Learning.

She gave also to the Library in the University of Cambridge, the Sum of 20l.

For the Foundation of one Fellowship, as also one Scholarship, in Emanuel College in the University of Cambridge, she gave a Sum of Money, the certain Value thereof is not as yet come to my Hands.

She gave unto Christ's Hospital in London, to the end that Twelve Pence apiece weekly might be given to certain poor People of Islington, 60l.

Her Care of the Poor.

Towards the beautifying of the Cloisters of Christ's Hospital, she gave the Sum of 66l. 13s. 4d.

She gave towards the maintaining of a School-House at Edmonton, 20l.

For a great Bell, to be rung and used in the Parish of Condover, in Shropshire, she gave the Sum of 50l.

A Token of her Love to the Country.

Item, The Building of the Almshouses at Islington, and Purchasing of the Land laid to them, did cost her the Sum of 1415l.

Close to the said Almshouses she builded a School-House, and a Chapel of Ease, that the Poor might not go over-far to Church; the Charges whereof did cost her the Sum of 361l.

Her Providence for the Poor in her Almshouses.

Yearly also she gave good Sums of Money to poor Preachers unbeneficed, as also to the Prisons in and about London. All these being done in her Lifetime.

All these Things were done in her Lifetime.

By her last Will and Testament, she hath provided, that 22l. yearly shall be purchased, for the Maintenance of the School at Islington.

Gifts appointed by her Will.

She hath bequeathed to poor Preachers the Sum of 35l.

She hath given to the Parish of Bassishaw, (wherein sometime she dwelt) to increase the Stock of the Poor there, 20l.

She hath given to the Prisons, 8l.

To the Company of Brewers in London, to whose Trust and Care she hath committed the Government and Oversight of the forenamed Almshouses and School-House at Islington; as a grateful Remembrance of her Love, and that their Pains should not go altogether unregarded, she hath given in Plate and Money, 100l.

And here let me tell you, that the Charity of this Virtuous and Religious Woman deserveth the more to be remembred, and commended also to Posterity; because she made her own Eyes the Witnesses to all, or the greater Part of the several Sums first mentioned, and given in her Lifetime.

A worthy Example, and well deserving Imitation.

And yet at the Time of her Death, of Children, and Childrens Children, she had no less than Two and twenty. A Motive very able to hinder Charity, especially in a worldly and covetous Mind.

Nevertheless, looking on all the Parts disposed to her Children, and the other Dividends beside, she selected out so bountiful a Portion for those poor Members of Christ, that (even to the World's End) may successively remember her Good done to them, and justly term her their liberal and merciful Mother.

One Thing (above the rest) I may not forget; because in Deliverances from any Dangers, we owe a more special Duty and Gratitude to GOD.

This worthy Woman being born at Islington, in the Time of her Childhood she happened there to escape a great Danger, by means of an Arrow shot at random in the Field, where she was then sporting among other Children; the Arrow missing all the other, pierced quite through the Hat on her Head, and (God be praised for it) did not touch her with any other Harm. Whereupon, in the Town of her Birth, and where she escaped such an unexpected Peril, she made choice to express her Thankfulness to GOD, upon the Altar of her charitable Almshouses and School.

A great Danger she escaped in her Childhood.

The Reason of erecting her Almshouses.

To all these London Ladies, so exemplary for their Charity, let one more (long before them all) be added; namely, Leofriva, that lived in the Days of King Edward the Saxon, Anno 1060. She is called in the Ancient Writings, FÅ“mina Lundonica, i.e. a Woman of London.

By her last Will, she gave the Town of Fisherton to the Abbey of Peterburgh. Afterward Edryd, the foresaid Edward's Queen, claimed the said Village, pretending Leofriva decreed it for her. So there was a Contest about it; and the Abbey gave the Queen Forty Marks of Gold, and Forty Marks more in the Ornaments of the Church.

The Lady Leofriva's Charity.

J. S.

This pious London Lady died in her way to Jerusalem; whither, it seems, she undertook a Journey for Devotion.]

Hist. of Peterb.

Thus much for the Worthiness of Citizens (both Men and Women) in this City; touching whom, John Lidgate, a Monk of Bury, in the Reign of King Henry the Sixth, made (amongst other) these Verses following:

John Lidgate in Praise of Londoners of his Time.

Of Seven Things I praise this City:
Of true Meaning, and faithful Observance;
Of Righteousness, Truth and Equity;
Of Stableness aye kept in Legiance,
And for of Virtue thou hast suffisance:
In this Lond here, and other Londs all,
The Kings Chamber of Custom Men thee call.