History of the trust

Abraham Spoore, Elizabeth Merry, and Mary Rixman lived in 17th century and left property, the rents of which were to be used to pay for education and training for children in Bray and Maidenhead.

Elizabeth Merry

In her will of 1st August 1686 she left £5.00 p.a. to the poor of Maidenhead to be spent on “putting poor children to school”. When primary education became free, the money was directed to girls in higher education, and then to scholarships to the County Girls’ school, but not every year, as the cost was too high. Her money was invested in Stocks, and in 1958 produced £195. 18s 11d.

Abraham Spoore

He founded a Deed on 16th November 1697 in Maidenhead which ordered that the rents from a “message in the High Street and another in Market Street”, (now Concept Kitchens and The Vine Pub) be used “to teach boys in Maidenhead (2 from Bray and 2 from Cookham) to read and write, to cast accounts, to buy them books to learn in and pens, ink and paper until they be fit to be put out as apprentices to some handicraft trades”. Later the money was spent on scholarships to the County Boys’ School.

Before he bought property, Abraham Spoore donated tolls from the bridge charges. In 1724, his Trustee Mr John Whitfield conveyed his property to the Corporation, including 2 houses, a barn, and a lodging house for vagrants. In 1958, the rents produced £652. 0s. 0d p.a. for the Trust.

Mary Rixman

Her will of 20th July 1628 created a Charity to “put forth” and clothe certain numbers of children dwelling in Maidenhead and Bray parish, and to provide a dinner every 3rd year, when corporation and churchwardens met to transact the business of the charity.

In 1752 the Board of Trustees was constituted, and in 1835 the Management was devolved on the Corporation by the Municipal Corporations Act of that year. In 1958, when the three Charities were combined, the dinner was no longer observed! The income was £180.

Mary Rixman’s income derives from property in the Boyn Hill and Westborough Road area. Her husband, John, was a Fellow of St. John’s College, Oxford. However, he was apparently forced to resign from his post to marry her, and their marriage lasted 35 years. Their brass plaque can be seen in St Michael and all Angels Church, Bray.