Charity in Pembridge

Charity has always been a part of life in Pembridge as an old wooden board in the church shows. In the back of the church, on the north wall, behind the main entrance there is an old board. Dated 1794, and created by the Rector and Churchwarden at the time, it lists all the donations and funds that had been donated to the village to support the poor. From money for sermons and bread for those attending to wood or coal, to bell ropes for the church, the board details all the land that was left to support the village.

Although the board was produced over 200 hundred years ago some of the charitable works listed still exist – the subject of an earlier blog posts the charitable status of the Alms Houses still exists today. The board shows that even then, Bishop Duppa was getting credit for building the alms houses, even though they were built earlier than his endowment.

Full details of the information on the board is below.



BISHOP DUPPA, built the UPPER ALM’S HOUSE and endowed it with the Rent of certain Lands in BROXWOOD called the COLLIERS

Dr TRAFFORD and ALICE his Widow built the LOWER ALM’S HOUSE and endowed it with a Messuage and Lands in the Parish of Lionshall purchased by the said Dr Trafford, of one Barnaby Traunter and now in the occupation of John Carwardine – and with a Rentcharge of five Pounds ann. From a House and Premises in KINGTON, late in possession of Antony Arundel – and also with a yearly chart of ten Shillings payable from a parcel of Land called the WELLBURIES in this Parish.

Mrs ALICE TRAFFORD gave the yearly sum of one pound and five shillings, payable from the said parcel of Land called WELLBURIES, to be disposed of by the Rector and Churchwardens in bread on good Friday.

Mrs DAVENANT METCALFE gave the rent of a parcel of Land called KINGS-CLOSE, in this Parish and five shillings yearly payable from the said Land called WELLBUREIS, to be disposed of as above in bread on Christmas Eve.

WILLIAM CARPENTER Esq gave his Lands and Tenements situate in the Borough and in the Parish of Weobley part whereof is now rented by the Marquis of Bath, other part thereof is Lett on Lease to John Peplos Birch Esq, and the remainder thereof to Mr John Insole for the following Purposes Viz.

For two Sermons to be preach’d on the 4th March and the 29th September Annually 13 shillings and 4 pence

To each of the Churchwardens present at each Sermon 1 shilling

To the Clerk present at each Sermon 1 shilling

To the Sexton or Bell-Ringer present at each Sermon 4 pence

To such of the Poor of the Town of Pembridge as shall be present at each, to be disposed of in Bread on each of the above days £2 10s

And the Surplis of the Rents and profits of the said Lands and Tenements, to be disposed of Annually, at the discretion of the Rector and Churchwardens for the time being.

Mr RICHARD GOODMAN gave five Pounds yearly Payable from the YEW-TREE Estate in Marston, to be disposed of in Wood, or Coal on the 1st day of May.

Mr JOHN STEAD gave six Pounds yearly to six poor Bachelors, or Widowers, to be nominated by the Rector and Churchwardens, on Easter-Monday payable from an Estate at AYLEY, in the Parish of Kinersley, now in the possession of Thomas Clutton Esq.

A Piece of Land near the Bridge called BELL-CLOSE, now in possession of John Wilding is charged with providing Ropes for the Bells whenever they are wanted.



Pembridge Charity Board

John Jones

Not all the people who have lived in Pembridge have led exemplary lives, and sometimes it is easier to find out more about those that broke the law in some way. One man who spent part of his life in Pembridge, before becoming a sailor, John Jones was executed at Tyburn on Wednesday 26th of June, 1717 for stealing and for assault. The details of his trial can be found in the Old Bailey Records.

The following, taken from the the account of the Ordinary of Newgate, who was the chaplain of Newgate prison and provided spiritual care to prisoners who were condemned to death shows that John Jones had been apprenticed to a leather maker in Pembridge for about two years. The Ordinary of Newgate had the right to publish accounts of the lives of those executed, which is where the following extract comes from.

John Jones, condemn’d for two Facts, viz. first, for Breaking the House of Sir  Arthur Key, and stealing thence 11 Silver-Salvers value 50 l. 3 Silver-Castors value 8 l. 3 Tankards value 16 l. and other Plate, on the 21st of April last: And secondly, for assaulting Mr. James Lowe on the King’s Highway, and taking from him a Perriwig, value 15 s. on the 21st of May last.

He said, he was about 24 Years of age, born in the Parish of St. Clement Danes: That when young he was carried down to Pembridge in Herefordshire, where most of his Friends and Relations liv’d, and there was bound Apprentice to one of them, a Leather-dresser : That after he had serv’d with him about Two Years he left him, and came up to London: That some time after this, he got into Service with a Captain of a Man of War, and then became a Sailor, and in that capacity serv’d the Crown about Five Years, on board two Men of War, viz. the Guernsey and Triumph, alternately.

He would not plainly own his Guilt of the Facts he was condemn’d for, but only said, that he knew something, and might (if he would) have prevented the commission of them. When I charg’d him with being an old Offender, he confess’d he had been so; and, that he had suffer’d the Law for it, being once burnt in the Hand for a Felony, and at another time whipt.

Essex Sherbourne (Part 2)

Last week we mentioned that there were three generations of Essex Sherbourne who lived in Pembridge. The second of these was the grandson of William Sherbourne and a lot of what we know about this Essex Sherborne comes from his will, which was written in 1723, two years before he died at the age of 67. He lived at the Court House, Pembridge and was a gentleman and a farmer, with a ‘deare wife‘, who survived him. Though he was a wealthy man he asked for a modest funeral, ‘to be buried in my father’s grave as may be convenient with as little Expense as may be and to be decent.’

His death and lands are detailed in the bequests that he made in his will:

  • To his nephew Essex Sherborne (son of the Rector Nicholas Sherbourne);
    • Court House
    • Clearbrook Farm and lands;
    • Middlebrook and lands, on lease to Captain Steward and his wife Katherine (Eesex’s niece);
    • Barewood Farm;
    • some land in Eardisland and Pembridge,
    • and the Rents of Twyford Farm and the Broom Farm, and the lease of some water.
  • His ‘deare wife‘ was left a regular income and £50, and a place to live
    • ‘the furniture of any roome in the house‘ (Court House),
    • ‘the choice of what linen she pleases’ and
    • ‘a bed and all the furniture to it ‘ for her and one for her maid.
  • Essex also left various sums of money to other members of his family. He especially mentions nephew Essex’s brother William, he was insane – hence – ‘I recommend to my nephew Essex Sherborne the deplorable condition of his brother Will Sherborne in case his said brother survive … that he suffer him not to want‘.

Will of Essex Sherbourne

ln the name of God Amen. I Esssx Sherborne of Pembridge in the County of Hereford Esq. being in p(er)fect mind & memory thanks be to God doe make this my last Will & Testament as followes

My Soule into the hands of Almighty God hopeing thro the Merritts of Christ to be Saved And my body is he buried in my father’s Grave as may be convenient with as little Expense as may be ard to be decent And I will that my debts be paid

I bequeath unto my Nephew Essex Sherborne All that Capitall Messuage wherein I now dwel called the Court with all outhouses Gardens Orchards and all the freehold lands belonging and Appertaineing to him and his heirs forever

I bequeath unto my s’d Nephew Essex Sherborne and his heires forever All that Messuege or Tenem’t called or knowne by the name of Clearbrooke farms with all the freehold lands belonging and all houses outhhouses Gardens and p(re)mises with the ap’ten‘ces whatever

Item I give and bequeath unto my said nephew and his heirs forever the Messuage or Tenem‘t called or knowne by the name of Middlebrook with all houses outhhouses Gardens Orchards p’mises whatsoever or anywise app’taining together with all the freehold lands which now belong to the said Tenement subject nevertheless to a Lease or Terms of Ninety Nine Years Granted by me to my Coz(en) Stewart said Messuage or Tenem’t buildings Garden and Orchard belonging

And I give and bequeath unto my said Nephew Essex Sherborne and his heires for ever All that Estate being freehold called or knowne by the name of Barewood farme  there was a farmehouse and outbuilding lately standing subject to the paym’t of five pound yearly during the lifetime of Humfry Howards wife

And I give and bequeath unto my said nephew Essex Sherborne and his heirs for ever all the other freehold and Copyhold lands which I bought and purchased of Mr John Prise lately dec’d or of my brother Sherborne  dec’d or of Wm. Parlor Joyner dec’d or of Fransis Smith of Kington or of any other p’son or p’sons lying and being in the p’ishes of Pembridge or Eardisland or elsewhere in the County of Hereford.

I give and bequeath unto my said nephew Essex Sherborne and his Assignes all my leasehold lands and the benefit owing as far as in me lyes together with ye yearly Rent issuing out of the farmes of Twyford and the Broome and lease of ye Water AND whereof there is a Settlement of great part of my Estate on my deare Wife and of the Copyhold and leasehold lands hereby Given and bequeathed unto my said nephew Essex Sherborne and his Assignes which out of affection and kindness to him is willing to remitt Upon Condit’on that he my s’d nephew Essex Sherborne his heires Adm’ or Assignes shall and will att the end of three moneths next after my desease and soe att the end of every moneths successively during her life pay or cause to be paid punctually and without delaye the sume of fifteene pounds of lawfull money of Great Brittaine to her or to her Assignes without any deduction or defaltat’on whatsoever to the payment doe hereby charge and make subject All my lands Tenem’ts Hereditam’ts and p’mises be it freehold, copyhold or leasehold hereby Given and bequeathed nd which I dye possessed of to the true and exact payme’t thereof

And doe also bequeath and unto her my deare Wife the sume of fifty pounds to be p’d by my said Nephew Eesex Sherborne within two months after my decease And alsoe I doe hereby Give and bequeath unto her and her assigns the further sum of fifty pounds to be paid to any parson or persons to whom she shall by any instrument under her hand and seal give devise and dispose the same to the payment of which sums of fifty pound and fifty pound I do hereby subject all and singular to my real and p’sonal Estate the first mentioned fifty pound to be p’d as above directed the other to be p’d within six moneths after my decease

And I will that my deare wife shall have the furniture of any Roome in my house for her use as long as she thinke fitt And all other convenitys for her liveing and being in the house and alsoe for her Maide dureing if shee thinke fitt

And alsoe l give and bequeath unto her my deare wife A Bed and all furniture to for the use of her maide and her choice of what Linen shee pleases for her use and in case shee shall Remove to any of her place in such case shee hath hereby power and Authority to pull downe and take awaye the two Beds and e hereby given and alsoe the linen she shall make choice of and to dispose the same to any p’son or p’sons shee pleases by any writeinq & under her hand and seale

Item I give and bequeath unto her my deare wife moiety or halfe part of all my plate whatsoever to be equally divided betweene her and my Executor hereafter with all due regard to be had to her share and proport’on

Item And I give and bequeath unto My bro’ Nicholas  Sherborne Rector of Pembridge the sume of five pound.

Ite. And I give and bequeath unto my bro’ Cocks. And sister D? the Sume of ten pound

ltem I give and bequeath my Neece Katherine Stewart the sume of One hundred pound to be paid to her within Twelve Moneths after my death But in case shee happens to depart this Iife then I will that the said hundred pound be paid and divided Equally betwene her children either to place them att the time of Attaining the Age Of One and Twenty yeares as their Father Captine Stewart shall thinke fitt and approve

Item I give and bequeath unto my neece Davenant her sister an Annuity or Rentcharge of Tenpound p. Annum to be issueing out freehold lands above mentioned during her life But to commence only from the death of her father and to be paid her without any deduct’on.

Itm. I give and bequeath unto my deare sisters Gertrude Lyde Alice George Mary Burton Sherborne and Dorothy Sherborne the sum of five pound a peece

And I hereby give and bequeath unto my deare Elizabeth Lea the sume of Ten pound All which several legacys to be p’d within six moneths after my death I give and bequeath unto my neece Gertrude Sherborne daughter of my brother Thomas Sherborne dec’d the sume of Ten pound to be Paid unto her when shee shall attaine the age of One and Twenty yeares or be marryed

Itm. I give and bequeath unto my deare sister my brother Davenants Widd and Relict One Guinny which I desire her to accept as a Token of my true love

I give and bequeath unto my Coz. Powel the sume of five pound and to every Godsonn and God daughter of Mine one Guinny each

I recommend to my Nephew Essex Sherborne the deplorable condition of his bro. Will Sherborne in case his said brother survive that he suffer him not to want

And I doe hereby appoynt my said Nephew Essex Sherborne my whole and sole Executor of this my last will Revokeing all former Wills by me made witnes my hard & seale this fowerth day of Aprill in the Ninth year of our Soveraigne Lord George over Greate Brittaine Anno domini 1723
Essex Sherborne

Essex Sherbourne

We’ve talked about William Sherborne previously on the blog as well as his will, and his children also played a large part in the village in the 17th and 18th centuries.

There were three generations of Essex Sherbournes who lived in Pembridge. The first, was the eldest son of Dr William Sherbourne.  Essex was probably named after the Earl of Essex who was William Sherborne’s patron and friend.He built the house called “Clearbrook” on the flat land beyond the bridge just outside of Pembridge. Clearbrook is a pun on the name Sherbourne. The brook was the outflow from the corn mill once at the Leen Farm.

He has no memorial in the Church but is mentioned on his wife’s tablet. Her memorial tablet has become almost unreadable in places but the following transcript is hopefully close to what was written.

This Marble decorative index unto the precious ashes below deposited of Anne the daughter of John Cocks of Chellwood in the county of Somerset Gent and the beloved wife of Essex Sherbourne of ys parish who having been fruitful in her generation in a pregnant issue and true conjugal faithfulness to her husband and in all good workes of fervent piety unto her God of an open handed charity unto this poore members of an exemplary  snd pleasing affability unto all w’ch rendered her person generally respected & her loss as greatly lamented was admitted to receive a glorious recompence

Her mortall putting on immortality
The 7th day of February Ano Dom 1668

Many daughters have done vertuously but Thou excellest them all
Prov 31. 29th

The second Essex Sherbourne was their eldest son and most of the information we have about him comes from his will, the topic for next weeks blog post. His nephew was the third generation of Essex Sherbourne’s in Pembridge, son of Reverend Nicholas Sherbourne, who inherited the majority of his namesake’s property.



Pembridge Free School

William Carpenter, Esq. a prosperous layman who was born in Pembridge, left money in his will of 1650 to endow a free school in Pembridge for the children of the poor. The school may have been established before this, possibly as early as 1616. The school used an existing building, which still survives today and can be seen in the photo above. This was a timber framed property, next to the church which was probably built in the 1500s. In 1680 the schoolmaster was James Williams.

The school was administered by the churchwardens and from the church warden account books there is evidence showing a number of repairs to the building over the years. In 1712 they mended the chimneys; in 1719 the walls were repaired with 2 loads of clay and severn burdens (or loads) of rods. These were probably split hazel wattles to make up the wattle and daub walls. In 1773 the roof was re-thatched, however at some point the thatch was replaced by tiles that exist today.

In 1782 an inventory was taken of the school and the contents were as follows:

Inventory 1782

  • A lock and key to the door
  • a grate
  • a form fixed on the East side – 9 feet long
  • a form fixed and joined to the former on the south side
  • 2 benches of equal length – with the aforesaid forms
  • a writing desk 5′ 6″ long
  • a writing desk 8’6″ long
  • 2 benches to each desk equal in length thereto
  • a shelf on the North side – 10′ long.
  • 3 shelves on the north side  – each 3′ long
  • 2 shelves on the East side – each 3′ long
  • 1 shelf on the west side, 6′ long
  • 1 shelf on the mantelpiece – 6′ long
  • 2 benches for readers to sit on, each 6′
  • 1 bench 6′
  • 1 bench 3’6″

seen and compared & do agree with the above by us
Henry Copner
Thos. King April 28th

In 1841 James Higginson, aged 35, was the schoolmaster living in the school building with his wife Mary and their 7 month old baby. Mary was also the schoolmistress but taught the girls elsewhere in a room that was rented for £4 per annum. Her salary was £20 and she had 50 girls on the roll, 40 of which turned up regularly for lessons. They were taught reading, writing and arithmetic, but also knitting, spinning, plain sewing and plaiting straw for their bonnets.

James had a salary of £25 and also had 50 students on his roll but only 16 to 30 boys turned up regularly. They also learnt reading, writing and arithmetic. The school continued until 1866 when it was absorbed into the newly built ‘National school’ which exists today as Pembridge CE Primary school.