The distinction between the idle poor and the deserving poor is a discussion which is unlikely to be resolved.
The proposal to build an almshouse at Tewin in 1717 was agreed by all the parishioners except for the rector, Dr Proby, who thought it would be a nest for idle folk and a nuisance to all the parish. Only time would tell.
The provision was a building in four partitions, and was built on the Lower Green. The exact location has not been ascertained. The OS map for about 1900 shows buildings on all sides of the green, so the almshouse could equally have been on any side. The 1838 tithe map does not help much either (assuming the workhouse lasted till then, following the 1836 Poor Laws), the only likely entries being plot 115a used by the Parish Offices.
Finances. £30 was given in the will of William Gore. Cussans also mentions money from Sir Francis Boteler. About £20 had been borrowed from the parish by William Howland. This money was recovered from his estate, and then given for the almshouse by Rev Fulk Tudor. There is a footnote that the interest on the £50 was distributed among the poor at Christmas, so there may be some doubt as to how the building was actually financed. If the building was paid for, the capital would have gone hence there would be no interest. Otherwise, the contribution from Francis Boteler may be relevant.
The almshouse was later converted into the workhouse. The 1777 Parliamentary Survey recorded there was provision for 20 people, so how they fitted into 4 partitions raises a further query.
The centre of Lower Green is
GeoRef: 527216 214714
Grid ref: 51o 49’ 0” N 0o 09’ 21” W
This can be viewed on-line at https://maps.nls.uk/geo/explore/side-by-side/#zoom=18&lat=51.8168&lon=-0.1560&layers=168&right=BingHyb (site accessed Jun 2019)
DP/106/1/1 (stored at HALS) is the Tewin parish register. The relevant entry is to be found at the end.
Abstracts of the Returns Made by the Overseers of the Poor (a Parliamentary survey of poor-relief expenditure in England and Wales) 1777
History of Hertfordshire, by John Edwin Cussans
Vol 2 Hundred of Hertford p25
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 p487
Issued Archibald Constable & Co 1912. Reprint by Dawsons of Pall Mall 1971 ISBN 0 7129 0477 8
Available on-line at https://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/herts/vol3/pp480-487
William Gore’s will (probate 17 Aug 1709)
Prerogative Court of Canterbury: Wills of Selected Famous Persons. Digitized images. Records of the Prerogative Court of Canterbury, Series PROB 1. The National Archives, Kew, England.
This document can be viewed on-line at https://www.ancestry.co.uk/interactive/5111/40611_310729-00172?pid=787013&backurl=https://search.ancestry.co.uk/cgi-bin/sse.dll?indiv%3D1%26dbid%3D5111%26h%3D787013%26tid%3D%26pid%3D%26usePUB%3Dtrue%26_phsrc%3DzNI10%26_phstart%3DsuccessSource&treeid=&personid=&hintid=&usePUB=true&_phsrc=zNI10&_phstart=successSource&usePUBJs=true&_ga=2.145085364.1070340720.1560604020-914537116.1525435375