Braughing. Thomas Jenyns
Thomas Jenyns, a London fishmonger, had property in the area around Braughing and Standon as well as in London. His will, proved 13 Mar 1579, provided for a number of charitable bequests in Braughing. One of these was that a cottage or ‘little house’, called The Ford, with an acre of land should be for a poor couple to live in rent free on condition that they tended the orchard.
10% of the produce was to be given to the vicar as a tithe; the rest remained with the tenants for their pains in tending the orchard and keeping it safe from thieves. The fruit had to ‘be well gathered’. Cussans says the fruit was to be distributed to the poor. This continued until such time as the fruit ceased because replacement trees were not planted. Chauncy adds that a yearly rent charge of £6 13s 4d was laid on a farm called Ford Street.
The vicar and churchwardens were authorised to appoint the tenants. His will stipulates that they paid an annual rent of 8s., which is also recorded by Cussans (writing in about 1870). However, Chauncy (about 1700) notes the accommodation was rent free on condition of tending the orchard.
The exact location of the cottage is also uncertain. Cussans (c1870) noted it was in a ruinous state, so had been demolished and the site used for a school. Jenyns First School and Orchard Close still exist in Braughing, but whether or not they refer to Jenyns’ property is uncertain. There was an Old Boys School mentioned in the Braughing Parish Council minutes.
Assuming these dates to be correct, that does mean the provision lasted for nigh on three centuries.
The charity was registered with the Charity Commission, ref 209768, but was removed in 2009 as it no longer operated
The Historical Antiquities of Hertfordshire, by Sir Henry Chauncy
Vol 1 p 449
Pub Kohler & Coombs of Dorking 1700 2nd ed 1826
History of Hertfordshire, by John Edwin Cussans
Vol 1 Hundred of Braughing p200
Originally published Stephen Austin & Sons 1870-81. Republished E P Publishing in collaboration with Hertfordshire County Library 1972
The Victoria County History of the County of Hertford, Ed William Page
Vol 3 p316
Issued Archibald Constable & Co. 1912. Reprint by Dawsons of Pall Mall 1971 ISBN 0 7129 0477 8).
Available online at https://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/herts/vol3/pp306-317
Thomas Jennyns’ will, in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury Wills, 1384-1858, can be viewed on-line at https://www.ancestry.co.uk/interactive/5111/40611_311328-00149?pid=960610&treeid=&personid=&rc=&usePUB=true&_phsrc=zNI14&_phstart=successSource (site accessed Jun 2019)
Braughing Parish Council minutes can be viewed on-line on the Braughing Local History Society website at https://www.dropbox.com/s/2rel240t3vyu212/Book%20One%20-%201894%20to%201918.pdf?dl=0
https://www.dropbox.com/s/w6dseuzhegksdbv/Book%20Two%20-%201918%20to%201938.pdf?dl=0 (site accessed Jun 2019)
(site accessed Jun 2019)