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There are about 200 apprenticeship records for Hungerford held in the BRO.

Many educational charities were established in the 17th and 18th centuries to support the education of children. Follow this link to see the Apprenticeship and Educational Charities in place in 1847. They include the following:

Sir Vincent Smith's Charity, 1626:

£2 annually for apprenticing 2 boys.

Field's Gift, 1626:

£1 annually for apprenticing one boy.

Sir Edward Hungerford, 1692:

An annuity of £10 for apprenticing 2 boys or girls.

Ezekiel Lawrence (Lawrence's Bequest), 1698:

A rent charge payable from a copyhold estate at Medstead, Hampshire, producing a net rental of £4. 4s. for apprenticing one poor boy.

West's Gifts, 1723:

In 1723, John and Frances West endowed places at Christ's Hospital for children of the town of Hungerford. When Donald Williams gave a talk to the Hungerford Historical Association on "West's Gifts" in April 2004, he kindly presented a replica of the medallion that was worn on their bluecoat uniforms by pupils who gain admission to Christ's Hospital through Wests' Gifts.

Mrs Elizabeth Cummin's Charity, 1735:

In 1735 Mrs. Cummins gave £400 to the town, the interest on which was to be used for the education of an equal number of boys and girls. The boys were to be taught Latin and the girls reading, working (sic) and writing.

In 1743 the dividends arising from the sum of £699. 14s. 6d., 3% annuities (former Old South Sea Annuities), net amount after deducting expenses of receiving £17. 19s. 6d. Two thirds of the amounts for educating an equal number of boys and girls, and the remaining third for bread and clothes.

John Hamblen's Charity, 1762:

In 1762 John Hamblen granted the rent of 8 acres of meadow ground called Chantry Mead, to be used for charitable purposes, "out of which issues the trust must annually pay £4 per annum for ever, free from taxes, to the Master of the Free School of Hungerford as a salary for his teaching in the same school 4 poor boys of the parish not only to read and write and cast accounts, but also for his instructing and educating them in the knowledge and practice of the Christian religion as professed and taught in the Church of England, which said poor boys were to be elected and chosen by the Vicar and Churchwardens, Constable and Portreeve; and to apply the surplus or remainder of the rents and profits in providing each and every of the said poor boys elected a new grey cloth coat trimmed with black, the sleeves faced with black and a hat and two neckcloths on Easter Monday yearly for ever."

In 1769 John Hamblen gave a further £100 for charitable uses "to be laid out by the Vicar, Churchwardens, Constable and Portreeve of Hungerford for purchase of a fee simple estate of land, the vicar [etc.] and successors to receive the profits of the estate" for various charitable purposes in aid of the poor. This gift was not specifically for educational purposes.

Free Grammar School, 1891:

The 1891 Kelly Directory mentions the Free School under the Charities (qv), including "4 for the Master to teach 4 boys, etc."

Many Charities combined:

In 1905 "An Order of the Honourable The House of Commons" required an inquiry to be made in every parish of the county of Berkshire, listing details of all endowments and charities. The report was published in April 1906, and includes information on the following:
- Hungerford (Thomas Sheaff and the Grammar School, John Hamblen)
- Reports of 1819, and 1817
- Hobbe's Gift (1625)
- Sir Vincent Smith's Charity (1626)
- Field's Gift (1626)
- Lawrence's Bequest (1698)
- Raymond's Gift (1716)
- Hamblin's Bequest (1729)
- Cummin's Charity (1735)
- Lost charities (inc Ursula Curtis (1622), Sir Edward Hungerford (1692) and Jehosaphet Lucas (1693)
- Town and Manor of Hungerford (including history, property belonging to the Town and Manor
- Grammar School Exhibition Fund, including Charities of Dr Thomas Sheaff, John Hamblen, Mrs Elizabeth Cummins and Mr Capps.
- Hobbe's Gift
- The Apprenticing Charities: Sir Vincent Smith's Charity, Raymond's Gift, Hamblin's Charity for the Poor, Cummin's Charity for the Poor
- Lost Charities
- Wesleyan Methodist Chapel and Trust Property, with Fanny Langford's Endowment

For the full text see Endowed Charities of Hungerford, 1906 (pdf 28 pages)

On 6th July 1917, an arrangement was made by which the proceeds of the Cummins, Field, Hamblen, Hobbs, Lawrence, Raymond and Sir Vincent Smith Charities were to be administered by 3 ex-officio and 2 representative, for apprenticing, nursing and hospital benefits.

Hungerford and Camburn Educational Charity, 1980:

In 1980, all the charities were brought together under the Hungerford and Camburn Educational Charity, which is able to give specific funds to young people in relationship to their educational needs.

For a full report on the Endowed Charities of Hungerford in 1906 (including information on the establishment of the Town & Manor of Hungerford itself), see the "Return and Digest of Endowed Charities of the Parish of Hungerford, 2 Apr 1906".

Photo Gallery:


Replica medallion worn by pupils who gain admission to Christ's Hospital through West's Gifts. (Kindly presented to the HHA by Donald Williams, Apr 2004)


- Replica medallion worn by pupils who gain admission to Christ's Hospital through West's Gifts. (Kindly presented to the HHA by Donald Williams, Apr 2004)

See also:

- Schools

- Caring for the Poor

- Town and Manor

- Apprenticeships & Charities

- Educational Trusts

- Letter re Tommins & Hamblin's bequests and teaching c18306

- Hamblen's Charity Abstract c1830

- Free Grammar School Regulations and Education Charities, 1847

- 1855: An Act to amend the Charitable Trusts Act, 1853

- 1868: Endowed Chaities of the County of Berks

- 1893: Copy of "Digest of the Endowed Charities in the County of Berkshire"