Archive: a collection of records of a place
Action: the process of doing something

In July, we asked if we could borrow, scan, photo or otherwise copy, any photographs, documents or artefacts that would represent Geddington’s history over the centuries.

Our aim is to create an online archive of our village.

Our weekly article covers the fifth category which is:


CHARITY: The giving of help, money, food etc, to those in need

17th century Geddington had its share of people in need, and no-one was more aware of this, or did more for them, than Sir Robert Dallington. In an extract of his Will dated 25th April 1636, Sir Robert bequeathed:

“To the Poor people of Geddington, in the County of Northampton, where I was born, the sum of £300 for continuance for ever of such relief as I have formerly given and allowed to twenty-four people there weekly in Bread and in such manner as they now have it together with such relief in money at ye Feast of Christmas and Easter every year as they have formerly had from me.”

Dallington Will complete
Sir Robert Dallington’s Will

The Will laid out terms to his Executors to purchase Land or Annuity to the yearly value of £15, “for the perpetual relief of four and twenty Poor people.” Land was purchased in Loddington and to this day, 24 people receive bread every Saturday and a gift of £20 at Easter and Christmas.
(A full account of this Charity is posted under ‘Village Life’ on this website.)

Of the four active charities in Geddington, the Dallington Charity is the oldest, but not the only one to cater for the needs of Geddington residents.

The Samuel Lee Charity was created in 1717 after the death of the Ranger of Geddington Chase in 1708. Land was also bought, but in Cranford, and the Charity benefited from ironstone deposits found underneath the land. However, in 1898 the land was sold and the money invested in Consols by the official Trustees of Charitable Estates.

In the 21st century, interest from current investments (plus donations and fund-raising activities) has allowed every resident over the age of 75 (and who applies) to receive a gift at Christmas. Over the years the gift has taken many forms, from vouchers to be spent with local tradespeople, to a ‘hamper’ of Christmas goodies.  The words ‘relief’ and ‘need’ no longer apply, but it’s a tradition that is willingly carried out by the Trustees and well received by the beneficiaries.

Samuel Lee’s tomb lies in Geddington churchyard, to the south of the church and to the right of the path leading from the gate to the south porch. A recent addition has been a memorial stone, engraved with the exact words that is on the tomb, but which are fading with age. An Annual Luncheon in 2008 was held to commemorate (and raise funds) the 300th anniversary of his death.
(Again, a full account of this Charity is posted under ‘Village Life’ on this website.)

Mr Samuel Lee's Tomb
Mr Samuel Lee’s Tomb

If you have any information, documents or pictures relating to any normal day-to-day living in the village, during the past few decades (or earlier centuries, if you have them) we would like to hear from you.

The Exhibition on Saturday 1st November is not the end of our Archive Project, but just the start of what we hope will be an ongoing project over the next few years. With more material and research we’ll bring fascinating facts to light.