Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Benefaction board

click photo to enlarge
Until the advent of the Poor Law Act of 1832, legislation that set in motion Unions and then workhouses of the kind seen at Southwell, the support of the poor was organised at the parish level and involved charity, bequests and benefactions made by groups and individuals. Many churches still display old benefaction boards that describe the money, rents, land etc that was given to produce an income to be spent supporting the poor. Often these benefactions were very precise in what they stipulated should be done with the money, and the fact that they were publicly displayed in church made the terms of the gift widely known and less open to abuse.

The example shown above is displayed in the church of St Peter at Barton upon Humber in Lincolnshire. It appears to date from the eighteenth century and is more ornate than many, but is quite typical in terms of what the benefactor stipulates. Though the spelling isn't quite standardised, abbreviations abound, and initial "s" can be confused with "f", it is still quite easy to read. I hope you enjoy doing so.

photograph and text © Tony Boughen

Camera: Olympus E-M10
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 45mm (90mm - 35mm equiv.)
F No: f5
Shutter Speed: 1/100 sec
Exposure Compensation: -0.33 EV
Image Stabilisation: On