Old Monovians Association; History of the School

George Monoux - Unfaithful Trustees and Litigation


Everything seems quite straightforward, and Monoux evidently left more than enough money to produce the necessary yearly income for the support of his charities. The trustees, however, did not deal faithfully with the charities, and it is reported that "for some time the poor were deprived of many of the privileges connected with the, almshouses. . . . . This seems to have been owing to Richard Vaughan . . . . who afterwards died in the parish miserably hating the sight of light, and most perplexed with fearfull speaches concerning affrightment by the devil." Another trustee, Robert Alford, died, and his son, Edward Alford, succeeded to his father's share of the devised premises, and afterwards purchased the shares of the other trustees, which were conveyed to him by them. Being thus in possession of the premises, Edward Alford made a further charge upon them of £9 for the benefit of the Charity. This, however, was the beginning of trouble, for 1 find that Edward Alford detained the annuities from the almsfolk, took money from the poor people to be put in the houses, and even brought in people for this purpose from distant parishes. A grant to new trustees under Alford's will was made on 8th October, 2lst James I., and there is nothing further of interest till some law proceedings in 1658, when an effort was made by the parishioners to get the Monoux Charities properly administered. On 24th March of that year a Commission was issued to William Conyers, Serjeant-at-law, Robert Smith, John Brewster, Francis Higham, John Trafford, and Thomas Preston, before whom an inquisition was taken at Leytonstone. The parishioners lost the lawsuit and borrowed money to pay the costs. The following is the entry ~ " Walthamstow, Essex, 5 day of April, 1659. Ordered at a general meeting of the parishioners of the said parish that the Churchwardens for the present year borrow the sum of £30 for the prosecuting a cause concerning an argument for the almspeople, etc."
This entry is signed by Thomas Cartwright (Vicar), John Searle, Robert Christmas (Churchwardens), and Wm. Batten, Wm. Conyers, R. ,Cooper, Wm. Holcroft, Wm. Harlow, Robert Shipman, Michael Garnett, John Stanton, Lewis P. Powell, John West, William Johnson, Edward Brantley's mark " E," John Overal's mark °' E."

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