Brian Moseley, Plymouth
Webpage created: June 27, 2017.
Webpage updated: August 03, 2017




By his Will dated February 15th 1626, Captain Robert Rawlin (sometimes Rawling or Rawlyn) gave the following:

  • 125 to the Town of Plymouth to be lent out to poor seafaring men at the discretion of the Mayor and brethren.  Interest of 4% was to be charged.  The annual interest was anticipated to bring in 5 of which 3 was to be passed to the almshouses 'to buy butter for the fish days' and the remaining 40 shillings was to be paid annually to the poor of the tithing of Compton Gifford.
  • 125 to the Town of Plymouth to be lent out to poor tradesmen and young beginners, in 5 or 10 amounts, at the discretion of the Mayor and brethren.  Annual interest of 4% was again to be charged.  The interest received from that gift was to be distributed in sums of ten shillings amongst the poor of Plympton Saint Maurice, Saltash, Saint Budeaux, Stoke Damerel, Eggbuckland, Weston Peverell and Stonehouse.  The remaining thirty shillings was to be distributed annually at Christmas to the poor of Plymouth at the discretion of the wardens and overseers.
  •  The inheritance in fee simple of two tenements in Batter Street was given to the Hospital of the Orphans' Aid.  They were at the time in the tenure or occupation of Mr James Boyes and Mr Thomas Tattey.
  • Finally, he gave all his goods and chattels to the Hospital of the Orphans' Aid for the maintenance of the children therein, subject to a payment of 20 per year being made to his wife, Judith, for the remainder of her life and that one child from the tithing of Compton Gifford must be admitted into the care of the Orphans' Aid.

However, although it transpired that in 1634 3 was paid out to the almshouse for butter, 2 was paid to the warden of Compton Gifford, and ten shillings was distributed to the parishes named above, no record could be found in 1821 of any legacy having be paid over to the Mayor and Corporation and no further payments either to the poor or other recipients could be traced.

The overseer's records for 1818 indicated that gifts had been made in Compton Gifford in sums varying between 2s 6d and one shilling but there were no entries for the years 1819 and 1820.  The compilers of the Report were informed that this was because the person responsible for passing out the gifts had become insolvent and his accounts were therefore not maintained.  The gifts themselves had been distributed in the usual way.

During the investigation in September 1820 it was discovered that the overseers for the tything of Weston Peverell had neglected to apply for their gift of ten shillings per year and there was as a result an arrear of 31 years.  It is interesting to note that the treasurer of the Hospital of the Orphans' Aid did not make the payment automatically but had to receive an application.  Such application was made in 1821 and it was expected that the arrears would be paid in full.  It was to be distributed 'amongst the poor persons, or their representatives, who would have received this donation if it had been more regularly paid, provided they remain proper objects of the charity'.

The goods and chattels were appraised on February 26th 1626 by Mr John Jope and Mr Richard Culyn, both merchants, and their value amounted to 2,076 6s 8d.

By an Order of the Charity Commissioners dated October 20th 1905 the Elemonsynary Charity of Robert Rawlin was combined with others to form one single scheme.  For this purpose 340 of Consols stock was to be placed in an account held by the Hospital of the Orphans' Aid and the yearly income used to make payments of ten shillings to the parishes already listed and 2 to Compton Gifford, making a total of 5 10s.

The payment to Compton Gifford was regulated by an Order of the Charity Commissioners dated February 2nd 1900 by which the vicar and churchwardens of Emmanuel Church became the Trustees.  The Charity Commission Report indicates that during the year ended March 31st 1908, ten shillings had been given to somebody called Ackland for a coffin for an infant; 15s had been paid to someone called Betts for milk and other provisions; and 7s 6d had been paid for attendance upon an old couple called Llewellyn.

In the case of the parish of Eggbuckland, it was stated at the Inquiry in January 1821 that the overseers of the poor received 1 a year from the borough treasurer of Plymouth in respect of Captain Rawlin's Gift and this, along with money from Lanyon's Gift, was distributed in bread on two Sundays after Christmas each year to all those poor of the parish who apply for it.  The quantities were apportioned by the trustees according to the number of applicants and the size of their families.

At the time of the Inquiry in April 1910 the Gifts were being administered by four trustees: Mr B Corber; Mr J Downes; Mr J H Leader; and Mr G Hoskins.  The distribution was then in both bread and flour and was carried out around Easter instead of Christmas.  There had been 34 recipients for the last distribution.