The small charities which have been administered by the church are probably a cause of much work and soul searching these days. In the 1880s the Reverend George Grisdale Hicks left £50 for the purchase of a consolidated 3% annuity, the income from which was to be spent ‘for the benefit of deserving and necessitous inhabitants of East Lavington to be selected for this purpose by the said Vicar by way of gifts in money, clothing, fuel or other articles in kind, or to be applied in any other way the said Vicar may choose for the benefit of the aforesaid deserving and necessitous inhabitants’.
And here we see the certificate for the 3% consolidated annuity.
If our maths is correct this yields £1.50 each year. The paper working administering this probably costs more and the benefits which can be given out are tiny. Sensibly, a number of small and similar charities have been merged.
But the surprising question here is, ‘Who was Reverend George Grisdale Hicks?’ He was not a vicar at Market Lavington Church.
All we can say is that in 1881 he was a boarder at Fiddington House where Charles Hitchcock was in charge. Hicks was listed as a clergyman without cure of souls and he had been born in Coberley in Gloucestershire in about 1835. We have not yet found what brought him to Fiddington House but he is not listed among the patients who were resident at this private lunatic asylum.
He died soon after this census.
Anybody who can tell us more – we’d be interested to hear.