Marshall's Charity 2024
JM Marshall's Charity
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John Marshall, Gentleman, was the third son of John Marshall of the Borough of Southwark, citizen and whitebaker of London. 

A native of Stamford in Lincolnshire, he married Elizabeth, daughter of Dr Richard Taylor, made his last Will in 1627 and died childless in 1631. At that time he was dwelling at his mansion house in Axe Yard (now Newcomen Street), Southwark. He was buried somewhere in St. Saviour's Church (now Southwark Cathedral) and his remains, it seems, were never removed to Christchurch as he desired.

The Will
His Will made provision for certain family and friends, and then appointed thirteen Trustees who were charged with building a new church with churchyard in Southwark to be called Christchurch, and the payment of the stipend of a minister.

Download the preamble to the 1855 Marshall's Charity Act of Parliament, which includes the full text of the Will (pdf - 1.3Mb).

The church was built in 1671, destroyed by enemy action in 1941 and re-built in 1960, and remains in the ownership of the Charity, who also retain the patronage of the benefice.

As well as the provision of university scholarships for poor scholars native to the Borough of Southwark or from the town of Stamford, the Will provided funds for a weekly lecture in preparation for Holy Communion to be given at a Stamford church, and also for a dinner for his Trustees on the occasion of the annual audit. 

The meaning of his final instruction, that the balance of any monies should be used for “the Mayntenance and Continuance of the sincere preaching of God’s most holie Word in this Land for ever” was unclear.

Support for clergy housing
In 1755 the High Court decided that these monies should be used for grants to “clergy poor livings” and, following the standardisation of stipends in 1960, these grants are now made to support clergy housing in England and Wales.

New churches
In 1855 the Marshall’s Charity Act was passed by Parliament which gave Trustees greater freedom of action including powers of investment in property and securities, and allowed them to make grants towards the erection of new churches. Trustees have chosen not to make grants under this latter power since 1992.

Restoration, repair and improvement
A major Charity Commission Scheme in 1915 allowed grants for the restoration, repair or improvement of existing churches in Kent, Surrey or Lincolnshire as respectively constituted in 1855 (being counties with which the Founder was himself associated). 

Prudent management of the Charity's assets by generations of dedicated Trustees enable grants and other forms of support to be made of some £600,000 a year, thus benefiting 200 parishes each year.


The Will
First page of the Will.

Download the first page of John Marshall's Will (pdf - 160k)

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Marshall's Charity | 66 Newcomen Street, London SE1 1YT
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