Handed down from the family, but with no known family connections I have in my
posession a small volume entitled " An Account of the Many and Great Loans,
Benefactions and Charities, Belonging to the City of Coventry." The volume is dated
1733, Published by William Ratten Bookseller in Coventry, and runs to 142 pages.
The volume is dedicated to the Freemen and Poor Inhabitants of the City of Coventry. It
was prepared by un-named collectors, who 'extracted such Minutes and Accounts as lye
scattered about in books and writings of the Clerks or Members of the Council House'
but two persons of particular note were said to be Mr Burtons and the late Alderman
Edw. Owen, with their knowlege of City Affairs
Listed are 18 Donors of Loan Money providing for repayable Loans Total Â£4,343 in the
years 1518 to 1662. Loans were more often than not Â£10 for from 1 to 3 years.
Willed benefactions and gifts total 84, between years 1492 and 1731. The value of the
Benefactions as a total value has not been calculated, as often they consisted of property
or property with rental value. Great Gifts include those of Thomas White Â£1,400 in 1543
and Thomas Jesson Â£2,000 in 1634 amongst others. Principal Donors and Benefactors
are highlighted in the 110 page summary.
For the Genealogist 856 individual surnames of the Citizens of Coventry appear, with a
total of 2196 entries. Many appear as example Smith up to 70 times and with christian
names rangeing from Edward, Elizabeth .....to Thomas, William. More than 50% of the
names have the location of their property, whether owned or rented, or their profession
Entries of Particular Note:
Mr Thomas Wheatly, where in 1566 Â£800 was provided as Loan Money to 20 different
Guilds, including: Girdlers, Whittawers, Corvicers, Cappers, Coopers and Mercers etc.
Mr Oughton, Servant of Thomas Wheatly was sent to Spain to purchase barrels of steel-
gads. Bought in open Fair: when opened contained cochineal or ingots of silver, which
being unclaimed the profit formed part of Mr Wheatlyâ€™s estate given to Charitable uses.
Indicated 'Family' in cases such as William Peytow where he is noted as Nephew of
William Coke. Ralph Swillington shown as husband of Elizabeth Swillington etc. etc.
I have Italicised comments inserted by the Collectors eg See Mr Zouch
The present Tenant of the Clifford Chambers Estate pays Annually to the Treasurer
(A.O-----n) Â£100. The Treasurer accounts for Â£78-17s. Q. What becomes of the rest and
why is this estate not improved in Space of 100 Years?
Note 1 - The book has 242 pages which include Appendices I to VII in Pages 204 to 242. Each name appearing in the book
appears in this list of surnames giving a total of 2196. A number appear more than once.
Note 2 - Pages 25 to 37 contain the Benefactions of Mr Thomas Bond as relating to Bablake Men's Alias Bonds Hospital.
Note 3 - Pages 37 to 45 contain the Benefactions of Mr Tho. Wheatley and Rentals arising and accrueing
Note 4 - Pages 72 to 82 contain a summary of the Benefactions of John Hales from his contacts with
King Henry VIII to the provisions of his will as executed, with the various Charters, Deeds and Acts
purtaining thereto, in the founding of a Free School in Coventry.
Note 5 - The Free School - Every entry recorded in Pages 83 to 85, come under the Title - A Rental of
such Houses, Tenements and Closes as did pass by the above mentioned Deed of John Hales
18 Dec. 15. Eliz. (1573)
Note 6 - The Free School - Every entry recorded in Pages 85 to 98, come under the Title - The Bayliff's
Rental of the School Lands and Tenements for the Year 1724
Note 7 - Chief Rents belonging to the said Free School. Â£264 ought to have been paid by the City.
Pages 93 to 95 and again on Page 97, the complaint that the Corporation by letting to one another and to
to their Relations and Friends have suffered this estate for these 20 years to be improved only
from Â£120 to Â£150
Note 8 - Rental in 1724 of Lands & Tenements and Benefactions, belonging to the Hospital in Grey Friars
Lane are detailed on Pages 102 to 104.
Note 9 - A Copy of the Decretal Order concerning the memorable Charity of Sir Thomas White appears on Pages 175
to page 203, with provisions on Behalf of the Inhabitants of Coventry, Northampton, Leicester, Nottingham & Warwick
Note 10 - Land Areas are expressed in Acres, Rods & Perches (A-R-P )
Note 11 - 1 Noble = 1/3 of Â£1 or 6 shillings & 8 pence 1 Mark = 2/3 of Â£1 = 160 pence or 13 shillings & 4 pence
20 Marks = Â£13-6-8. 200 Marks = Â£133-6-8
Copyright, John S. Austin 2015
Coventry charities index
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