Portsoken Ward. St. Botolph Aldgate. 20

Portsoken Ward. St. Botolph Aldgate.

dens, and Electors, shall always put in one of them to be of the couple in their Certificate to the Master and Wardens, that they may be preferred before others. Because they be Merchant Taylor's Widows, for whom that Almshouse was first intended. And having thus agreed upon two, the said two Church Wardens shall present them to the Master and Wardens of the worshipful Company of Merchant Taylors, with this Writing, which they shall make and direct in Order as followeth.


To the Master and Wardens of the worshipful Company of Merchant Taylors of London.

 

WE the Church Wardens and Persons hereunderwritten, Parishioners of St. Botolphs without Aldgate, London, have assembled together in our Vestry House, according to the Devise of our good Neighbour Mr. Robert Dow, and have chosen out of the Poor of the upper End of our Parish these two poor Widows named A.B. and C.D. here present before you, and pray you to choose and name one of them, and to place her in your Almshouse, for Successor to [blank] deceased, called Mr. Robert Dow's Almswoman. And we shall most thankfully accept your Choice and Admittance of her: and pray you to place her in the said House, with all the Benefits belonging to such a poor Woman there, so long as she doth observe the Orders appointed by your Company. In Witness whereof to this our Certificate and Request, we the Electors have subscribed our Names. London
Day of Anno Dom.
Church Wardens, &c.
Electors, &c.

N. B. The same Directions are repeated for the choosing of an Almswoman out of the lower End of the Parish; to which is subjoin'd - "And these two Women, late poor Neighbours of the Parish, the said Mr. Robert Dow prayeth the good Parishioners to remember them sometimes with a Dinner, or Repast, for their more Comfort, in shew of their Love towards them."

PROVIDED always, that if the said Church Wardens do not come to the Merchant Taylor's Hall, and present these two poor Women in manner abovesaid, within eight Days after the Burial of either the said two poor Women, then the said Master and Wardens, to avoid Trouble of Suitors, shall, and may elect, and place in, such a one as in their Wisdom and good Conscience shall seem most needful and convenient, and the Parishioners abovesaid, for this their Default, shall loose their Choice for that Election.


Concerning the Choice of the threescore poor Parishioners, these Orders following shall be observed.

 

FORASMUCH as the Poor in these Days are given unto too much Idleness and little Labour to get, and much seeking after Alms, how little soever it be; whereby when any of these threescore Poor do decease, the Church Wardens are in manner cumbred with Suitors to have the Alms of those deceased; It is therefore devised and ordered for the Election of such Poor as shall have the Charity of those deceased, and partly to excuse the honest Church Wardens from Affection to any other than those that have most need; That all the four Church Wardens, seven or eight Days, yearly, before the said St. Thomas's Eve, shall call to them, within the Vestry of the said St. Botolph's Parish, four ancient and discreet Neighbours (that is to say) two of each End, which make four for each End with the two Church Wardens: and having the Clerk with this Book, or Register, of the threescore Poor's Names with them, they shall see and understand how many of the thirty Poor of each End be deceased, and to place such poor Persons as the said four or three of each Side shall think that Noble is best bestowed upon, as they will answer to God for the same; and for Request of any whosoever, to make no Grant before that Day of their meeting, whereby the most Needy may have the Charity.

The Choice of the threescore Poor.

This Charity was first intended for poor Widows and old needy Maidens, because there were then found so many such, and more in the whole Parish, and not purposely meant for any sole Men, or married Couples; yet for that certain old needy sole Men were then Suitors, there were allowed some few of them among the Women. It is therefore agreed and ordered, that ten or twelve such needy and old lone Men may be partakers of this Charity, and not any more, whereof five or six may be married Couples, if their great Need require it, and such Men to come to Church on St. Thomas's Eve without their Wives, if they be able, otherwise his Wife to come for him. There must be no Question to have half the Number of these poor Men from the upper or nether End of the Parish, but more or less as the Necessity shall be found in each End without any Affection. So that ten Pounds, which is thirty Nobles, be always bestowed upon thirty Poor of each End: And that this Form must be duly observed with all Quietness, Love, and Charity, as the Parishioners desire the Continuance of the same for ever.- And to conclude, It is ordered, and Mr. Dow prayeth the Parishioners his good Neighbours, that once every Year, yearly at the first Vestry, holden next after the Election of the new Church Wardens, that this Order of the two Almswomen, and Charity to the threescore Poor, shall be read to the whole Vestry Men, for better Understanding and Observation of the same. In Witness whereof the said Robert Dow for his part, and the said Church Wardens and Vestry Men for them, and their Successors, have hereunto subscribed their Names, the 26th Day of June, in the Year of our Lord 1610. By me Robert Dow.
William Biddulph Curate.
Church Wardens, Vestry Men, &c.


THE EXHORTATION that is to be made to the threescore Poor by the Minister, and in his Absence by the Parish Clerk, after the Charity of Mr. DOW is given, is either to be spoken or read to them in these Words, viz.

 

GOOD PEOPLE, mark what I say to you, the Giver of this Charity, with the Advice of the Church Wardens, and other good Men of the Parish, have thought you most worthy of the same, where a great many other have need of it. You are, therefore, to give God Thanks, and to behave your selves in this manner, that is to say, you shall upon the Sundays come to Church to Morning and Evening Prayer, without you have great Let, and upon other Holidays appointed for Prayer; and there you shall, with all Reverence and Devotion, give your selves to hear the holy Prayers and Commandments of God, with other the divine Scriptures read unto you; and likewise to the holy Word of God, when it is preached

The Exhortation to be spoken to the threescore Poor.

there.