Webpage created: May 13, 2020
Webpage updated: May 13, 2020
FRANCIS FOX'S GIFTS
Mr Francis Fox, by his will dated August 23rd 1809 ands proved in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury on March 16th 1813, gave the sum of £1,000 'to be laid out at interest on good security, and the income to be applied towards the support of the school lately established in Plymouth for educating the children of the poor, called the Plymouth Institution for the education and improvement of the morals of poor children'.
The money was invested in Consols to the value of £983 12 1d and placed with the trustees, Mr William Collier James, Mr George Edward Fox, Mr Francis Hancock Balkwill and Mr Charles Alfred Fox. The dividend on that sum, amounting to £24 11s 8d per annum, was applied in support of the Plymouth Public Free SchoolS, the institution named above.
By a scheme of the Board of Education's, dated August 25th 1908, this endowment and that of Mr George Bayly were to be transferred to the trusteeship of Plymouth Corporation. They were then required to sell the Consols and use the income to pay off a debt owed by the School, with any residue being handed to the teachers as a gratuity. However, there was a problem with the Bayly Gift and it was decided to change the scheme to apply only to Francis Fox's Gift. The scheme had not been put into operation by June 1908.
Under the terms of the same will, Mr Francis Fox also gave £1,200 for the purpose of building almshouses in Plymouth. However, the bequest was declared invalid (sadly the reason is not explained) and as a result the sum became part of Mr Fox's residual estate, which he had left to Mr William Dillworth Crewdson. Luckily, Mr Crewdson, being a fellow member of the Religious Society of Friends, declared that he 'was desirous of carrying out the intention of the said Francis Fox' and gave £1,119 1s 2d to Mr William Collier and four other trustees for the purpose of purchasing a piece of freehold ground in the Borough, or within one mile thereof, and erecting on it six cottages, each of two rooms, for use as almshouses.
By an indenture dated June 11th 1840 a piece of land in the parish of Saint Andrew, comprising 7,375 feet 7 inches in superficial measure, was conveyed to the trustees for the sum of £215. On this ground Fox's Almshouses were erected. From a recital contained in the deed dated June 24th 1874 it would appear that this completely exhausted the whole of the trust fund.
Mr William Dillworth Crewdson, Lydia Prideaux and Sarah Crewdson made individual gifts in support of Fox's Almshouses.