TitleAlmshouse Charity of Hannah Rawson, Wadsley
AdminHistoryThe origins of the Almshouse Charity of Hannah Rawson (formerly known as the Hannah Rawson Almshouses) can be traced to 1839, when Hannah Rawson (1752 - 1841), of Wardsend House, Wardsend, Ecclesfield (who was a notable benefactor to the parish of Ecclesfield) gave away land for the purpose of building almshouses on Worrall Road, Wadsley, Ecclesfield. On 25 January 1840 Hannah Rawson and her trustees erected on the site 6 tenements for the use of 6 poor widows, who were inhabitants of the Wadsley Parish Church district (covering Wadsley, Wadsley Bridge, Worrall, Wisewood, Oughtibridge, Middlewood, Birley Carr Hirst and part of Owlerton and Loxley). Hannah Rawson's will of 27 June 1841 bequeathed a legacy unto the trustees for the support of the almshouses.

New trustees for the charity were appointed by Order of the Charity Commissioners, dated 4 December 1883 and again by an Order dated 22 August 1890. This latter Order embodied a scheme providing for a simpler method of filling up trustee vacancies, declaring that the trustees should be 'five competent individuals' and 'members of the Church of England'. The Vicar of Wadsley was to be one (at this point in time the Reverend Melville Holmes), ex-officio, and the rest cooptative trustees. Mr James Willis Dixon [Junior] (1838 - 1917) (head of the Sheffield silverware manufacturing firm, James Dixon and Sons, and survivor of the earlier trustees appointed by the Order of 1883) was to be the first of the cooptative trustees and to hold office for life. The others were: Colin MacKenzie Smith, William Henry Lancashire and John Barker, all to hold office for 8 years.

The inmates of the almshouses continued to be drawn from widows residing in the church district of Wadsley and were chosen by the trustees on the recommendation of the Vicar of Wadsley. In the late 1890s the widows received 3s 9d each week, totalling £58 10s per annum, and coals at Christmas. Mr Dixon gave them 2s 6d at Christmas and they also received donations from others.

In the 1890s meetings of the charity were held at Hillsborough and later Meetinghouse Lane, Sheffield, before settling at Wadsley Vicarage in the early 1900s.
DescriptionTrustees' Minutes, 1890 - 2004 (X232/1)
Date1890 - 2004
Extent2 items
AccessConditionsSome records include references to named individuals and their personal circumstances. Consequently some of these records are closed to public inspection for 84 years under the Data Protection Act (exempt under section 40 of the Freedom of Information Act). Please refer to Sheffield Archives for advice on how to access the restricted items.
RelatedMaterialSee SY614/K37 for various 20th century Ecclesfield Charity accounts including the following:
Hannah Rawson's Charity (also known as the Bread Dole), 1902 - 1924 (Ref. SY/614/K37/15 )
Hannah Rawson's Charity for Poor Widows, 1902 - 1909 (Ref. SY/614/K37/16)
Hannah Rawson's Charity for Wadsley Almshouses, 1903 - 1940 (Ref. SY/614/K37/17).

Conveyance of site for Thorpe Hesley School by Hannah Rawson of Wardsend, Ecclesfield, 1838 (Ref. SY608/T1/1).

Hannah Rawson's Charity, Ecclesfield: Conveyance from the surviving to the present trustees (including Rev. Alfred Alfred Gatty). Refers to the trusts for "12 poor widows". 6 Mar 1875 (Ref. 2012/114).

Bundle of deeds relating to Wadsley Forge at Wardsend in Ecclesfield (including assignment by Hannah Rawson's executors to John Milnes and others, 1843), 1802 - 1855 (Ref. ACM/SD/917).

Copy of pre-nuptial settlement (Thomas Rawson, John Rawson and Hannah Rawson, all of Wardsend, parish of Ecclesfield, to Thomas Barker of Bakewell and Vincent Eyre of Sheffield. Property at Nether Hartley or Nether Shire, Ecclesfield, Wentworth, Tankersley, Thorpe Hesley, to uses in consideration of the marriage intended between Thomas Rawson and Elizabeth, daughter of John Barker of Bakewell), 1793 (Ref. Bar D/115).

Deeds and copies relating to Wardsend House and property at Wadsley Bridge (Lease with plan to Thomas Rawson, tanner, of the house and tanyard, 1789, and copies of grants of other land at Wadsley to him. Conveyed by Hannah Rawson's executors to the Duke of Norfolk's trustees in 1843), 1781 - 1842 (Ref. ACM/SD/712-723).

Mortgage of shares (James Barker, lead smelter, of Bakewell and Thomas Rawson Barker, lead manufacturer, to Jane Barker, spinster, of Bakewell. Shares in the Sheffield White Lead Works in which John Barker, deceased, was a partner with Thomas Dunnage, James and Thomas Rawson Barker and the trustees of Hannah Rawson), 1844 (Ref. Bar D/818).

Quitclaim (Hannah Rawson, spinster, of Sheffield, Sarah Barker, spinster, of Bakewell, Jane Barker, spinster, of Bakewell and Robert Barker to John Henry Barker of the Croft, Bakewell, Holme Farm, Chesterfield, bequeathed to Jane Barker on conditions by Elizabeth Bourne), 1831 (Ref. Bar D/588).

Papers relating to a messuage called Scraith (Belonging to the Carr family and conveyed by Rev. Thomas Carr to Thomas Rawson of Wardsend in 1814. With Rawson family register extracts, including marriage of Douglas Carr to Thomas Rawson. The property was sold by Hannah Rawson's executors to the Duke), 1693 - 1842 (Ref. ACM/SD/432, 604-621).

Sheffield, Wadsley, Anglican Parish records (Ref. PR78).

Secondary Sources in Searchroom Library:

Eastwood, T (Rev.), History of the Parish of Ecclesfield (London: Bell and Daldy, 1862), p.304, p. 347, p.394 (Searchroom Library Ref. EAS LOCAL).

Stevenson, Francis and Lawson, J. Grant, Endowed Charities of the West Riding of Yorkshire Vol. 1 (Southern Division) (London: Eyre and Spottiswoode, 1897), pp. 201-204 (Searchroom Library Ref. END O LOCAL).
AcquisitionSourceThese records were deposited in Sheffield Archives in April 2009 by a trustee of the charity.
ArchNoteCatalogue prepared by Tim Knebel, Mar 2010.
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