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The Widows' Fund (1764)
The Widows' Fund (1764)
Widows' Fund, 1764-, Lancashire Association for the Benefit of Widows and Children of Protestant Dissenting Ministers and of Ministers themselves, 1764-, Lancashire1764-1967
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M287/1 MINUTESM287/2/1-2 TRUST DEEDS1. Appointment of Trustees etc.2. Abstracts of Title of the Trustees of the Widows' FundM287/3/1-10 RULES1. Rules, 1829 - 19042. Alterations, 1764-18293. Alterations, 18484. Alterations, 18785-8 Alterations, 1890-18919. Question of Which Protestant Dissenters May Benefit from the Fund10. Question of Women MinistersM287/4/1-19 FINANCE1. Benefactions2. Registers of Subscribers3. Registers of Annuitants4. Accounts5. Ledgers6. Petty Cash Book7. Cash Paid to Treasurer8. Cash Books9. Bank Pass Book10-12 Annual Statements of Accounts13-17 Valuations18. Question of Whether Income Tax Should Be Paid Out of Annuities19. Solicitors' BillsM287/5/1-41 ESTATE1-30 Westleigh1. Deed of the Parsonage Estate2-10 Leases11-14 Sales15-16 Maps17. Farm Accounts18-23 Rent Accounts24. Correspondence25-30 Miscellaneous25. Division of Parsonage Farm Yard26. Copy Tithe Apportionment27. Sewer28. Estimates For Repairs29. Telegraph Poles30. Coal (Registration of Ownership Act), 193731-37 Liverpool31-34 Deeds35. Schedule of Chief Rents36-37 Rent Accounts38-39 Manchester38. Rent Accounts39. Miscellaneous40-41 Salford40-41 DeedsM287/6/1-3 MISCELLANEOUS1. Part of Schedule of Documents2. History3. Ministers' Lists.Place:LancashireFor a history of the Fund up to 1937 see The Widows' Fund Association (est. 1764) A Historical Sketch, by H. McLachlan, M.A., D.D., F.R. Hist. Soc., Principal, Unitarian College, Manchester, Lecturer in Hellenistic Greek, Manchester University, 1937. (M187/6/2).
The Widows' Fund (1764)
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(Association for the benefit of Widows and Orphans of Protestant Dissenting Ministers and of Ministers themsleves) The fund was first projected at a Provincial Meeting of Lancashire Ministers at Warrington in May 1762. At the following annual meeting at Preston in May 1763 a Committee was set up to work out a scheme, which was presented and accepted at the next Provincial Meeting in Manchester on 16 May 1764 under the title of 'Rules of an Association for the relief of the Widows and Children of Protestant Dissenting Ministers in the Counties of Lancaster and Chester and of indigent Ministers Members of this Association'. Until 1793 ministers in any part of the world were eligible for membership, but after 1814 it was limited to ministers in Lancashire and Cheshire. In 1802 only Presbyterian ministers could join the Fund. This was further defined in 1850 as 'English Presbyterians' as opposed to 'Scotch Presbyterians' and in 1854 ministers 'of a recognised congregation called Presbyterian or Unitarian'. In 1806 it was decided to look for an estate in which to invest the funds and in 1809 the Parsonage Estate at West Leigh was purchased for £6,000. This was to prove a long term worthwhile investment when coal was found under the Estate and leased from the 1870s, but the purchase produced an initial strain on the resources of the Fund and in 1825 the Auxiliary Benefit Fund of £1,500 was raised by the 'Presbyterian Dissenters of Lancashire and Cheshire', for the benefit of the members of the Widows' Fund. This was administered as a separate Fund and a further £5,000 subscribed to it in 1892. In 1871 Jane Ellen Yates of Liverpool, daughter of John Yates, Pres. of the Fund 1811-1827, set up an additional fund of £550 to pay honoraria to retired Unitarian Ministers. Chief rents were also purchased in Liverpool, Salford and Manchester.
The following papers were deposited in the Library in January 1978 by Rev. Leonard Smith of Stand, Sec. of the Widows' Fund, from the offices of Messrs. Alexander, Tatham & Co., solicitors, 11 St. Peter's Square, Manchester, the Fund's solicitors since the days of Robert Dukinfield Darbishire, who in 1841 was appointed to co-operate with the Secretary and Treasurer in the investment of capital.
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