Records relating to Distribution of Bedding

Scope and Content

In addition to expenditure on Little Heath Charity School and Seamon's Moss School, the trustees of Walton's Charity expended considerable sums of money on the charitable distribution of bedding to the poor in the townships of Altrincham, Dunham Massey, Bowdon and Bollington. The first registers of recipients of bedding date from 1786, and account book EGR8/1/1/1 records that in that year over £100 was expended. The bedding charity was a large-scale operation; for instance, in 1791 1700 yards of sheeting, 80 pairs of blankets or underblankets and 45 coverlets were required (EGR8/4/16). Additional bedding was distributed each Christmas (EGR8/4/5).

A gap in the distribution registers and a corresponding absence of references in account books EGR8/1/1/1-2 between 1791 and 1805 imply that the distribution of bedding was suspended during that period, although bedding continued to be distributed at Christmas, and the account books record that £20 was expended annually on cloth for the poor. From 1805 onwards bedding was distributed in Dunham Massey and Bowdon in odd-numbered years, in Altrincham and Bollington in even-numbered years.

The records below consist of several bundles of registers recording the distribution of bedding in Altrincham (EGR8/4/1-2), and in Dunham Massey, Bowdon and Bollington (EGR8/4/3-4); a bundle of lists of bedding distributed at Christmas (EGR8/4/5); another bundle of miscellaneous registers (EGR8/4/6); surveys of the state of poor persons' bedding (EGR8/4/7-14); lists of persons in need of bedding and of the charity's total bedding requirements (EGR8/4/15-16); and 2 letters (EGR8/4/17-18).

[Among the executorship records EGR8/1 above, the account books EGR8/1/1/1-2 include references to expenditure on bedding. Among the records relating to Seamon's Moss School, EGR8/3 above, there are copy minutes of the trustees of Walton's Charity which refer to bedding distribution, and notes on the bedding charity (EGR8/3/3/18-20). The miscellaneous papers from Dunham Massey Hall include notes by the 6th Earl of Stamford on Little Heath and Seamon's Moss schools and the charitable distribution of clothing and bedding, 1843 (EGR13/26/5).]