The rules of these Charities are that they should be administered by 9 Trustees. 5 Representative Trustees, 3 Co-optative Trustees and 1 ex Officio Trustee.

The Representative Trustees are selected by the Parish Council though they don't have to be Parish Councillors. These serve for 4 years.

The Cooptative Trustees are selected by the Representative Trustees from people who reside or have business in or near the Parish of Wilshamstead and these serve for 8 years.

The ex Officio Trustee is the vicar of All Saints

'Any competent Trustee can be re elected'. Though there is no definition of competent provided.

The Trustees must hold meetings at least twice a year and should distribute the Charities income between the Church School and Poor Estates in line with the stated intentions of each of the various benefactors.

A copy of the detailed Rules, or Scheme, of the Charities will be added to this section of the website in the future.


The income of the Charities is mainly from rent from an eleven acre field down Hooked Lane and investments and shares. There is a more detailed account of the sources of income in the past and now in The Detailed History part of this section of the website.


The income of the Charities is divided up between the Church, the School and initially the Poor though in later years this has been given to elder residents of the village.

The Church Estate. The Church has always been given its share of the Charities income in money. It was up to the vicar and churchwardens how it was spent though it should be spent on the fabric of the church or if not spent invested.

This is still the case and the Parochial Church Council get a cheque each year.

The School Estate. The School Estate was for the advancement of education of poor children who are bone fide residents of Wilshamstead and who have certification of their good conduct and attendance. Prizes were not to exceed 10 shillings for those who had attended < 2 years and not to exceed £3 for those who had attended at least 5 years. In the second half of the last century prizes were also given to those who did well at their next school and the leavers from Wilstead School were given a bible.

For about the last twenty years we give a dictionary to each pupil who leaves Wilstead School to go to Middle School and also give money to the school for the purchase of books or musical instruments etc.

The Poor Estate. The Poor Estate was for the benefit of the poor of the Parish and should be either

a. subscriptions or donations to a Provident Club for the supply of coal, clothing or other accessories or

b. temporary relief for unexpected loss or sudden destitution not exceeding £4 per year.

Records show donations to widow Mary Anne Whittamore and widower George Huckle for coal during 1896-1901.

At the end of the last century we would give small gifts of money at Xmas to six or seven elderly residents of the village. However selection was a bit arbitrary so in January 2000 we held, with a great deal of help from the WI, a New Years Tea Party for the elderly residents of the village and 67 turned up. They were entertained with songs by the children from the School and from local singers John & Tracey Hinson. It was a great success and I would like to thank all those involved. It was such a success that the Charities felt it should become an annual event if possible.

With the help of many people, including the children and teachers from the school, this has become a reality and one that is looked forward to by many residents of the village. So if you fancy helping one year or you are a senior citizen and would like to come along keep an eye out for posters in the village, the Newsletter or the message board of this web site.


As you can see all the income is spent in the village. We are limited in what we can give to the village by our limited income. We could do more with a larger financial base. Please could you consider a gift, covenant or bequest to the Charities. You would not only be helping the current villagers but generations of villagers to come.

If you would like to help the work of The Charities by making a gift of money or remembering the Charities in your will we would be very happy to use this for the benefit of the villagers. Who knows in the future people looking back at those who have helped the village would see your name in its list of benefactors. What better way to be remembered, it is almost immortality!

Details of how to do this can be obtained from the Treasurer, Secretary or Chairman.

See the village contacts list for contact details.

The Trustees

Details of Current Trustees

Representative Trustees

Simon Browning 305 Cotton End Rd

Barry Huckle, Horton Turn Farm Bedford Rd (Treasurer)

Nigel Jacobs, 51 Dines Close (Chairman / Secretary)

Veronica Scargill, 4 Hooked Lane

Tom Wisson, 6 Chapel Lane

Frank Boston Church Farm, Vicarage Lane

Margaret Gurnhill, Cotton End Rd

Jane Wooding, Armstrong Close

Rev Stephen Toze, The Vicarage, Vicarage Lane

Representative Trustees

1970-74* D Croot, B Crouch, T Gambriel, L Mastin, V Wisson.

1974-78 B Cole, D Croot, L Mastin, V Wisson, B Yoxen.

1978-82 B Cole, F Crisp, D Croot, A Hinson, V Wisson.

1982-86 D Brooks, B Cole, F Crisp, B Crouch, N Seamark, R Stanton, V Wisson.

1986-90 J Bird, B Cole, N Seamark, R Wainwright, V Wisson.

1990-94 G Anderson, N Austin, J Bird, B Cole, V Wisson.

1994-98 J Bird, B Cole, B Huckle, N Jacobs, R Terry, V Wisson.

1998-02 B Cole, R Cox, B Huckle, N Jacobs, T Wisson, V Scargill, N Punchard.

2002-04 N Jacobs, B Huckle, T Wisson, V Scargill, S Browning

F Boston (1973)* - present

E Crouch (1973)* - 1977

J Elkins 1986 - 1998

M Gurnhill 1986 - present

L Mastin 1978 - 1979

P McKinnon (1973)* - 1980

M Scarborough 1981 - 1986

J Wooding 1998 - present

Rev Hill (1973)* - 1977

Rev M Bannister 1979 - 1989

Rev R Palmer 1990 - 2000

Rev S Tose 2002 - present

E Ashston 1971 - 1983

V Thompson 1984 - 1989

J Willett 1992

L Stone 1993 - 1994

N Jacobs 1995 - present

*The oldest Minute Book in the Charities possession starts in 1973 so we have no details of Trustees before that. However the minute book up to 1973 has recently been found in the County Record Office so hopefully a more comprehensive list will appear here in the future.

The William Thompson Memorial

The wording is not very distinct and some words have been identified by feel. There may well be some errors in the words below.

'Here under lieth buried William Tompson who was born in Wilshamstead the 25th day of February 1539 and was buried the 15th day of November 1596. The which William Tompson have given in foftment? by his last will and testament in pounds yearly forever to be paid out of meadow called Crossmead and tenement wherein George Linford now dwelleth the which five pounds to be distributed to the poor of this parish yearly at the feast of the Nativity of Christ. Fifty shillings at the feast of the Resurrection of Christ. Other fifty shillings to be distributed at the discretion of the minister and church wardens for the ???? ??? for ever. Whose godly example God grants? many to follow he hath distributed and given to the poor his righteousness remaineth forever Psalm 119. Blessed the man that considered the poor and ???? the Lord shall Hebrews 13.16'

Neither of these quotations seem to match those in the current bible. Presumably they are taken from the bible used before the King James bible which was produced