The Acton (Middlesex) Charities is a drawing together of numerous charities formerly administered by the Rector of St Mary’s Parish Church, Acton, in West London. These charities started with Thorney’s Charity of 1612, to provide a water supply. Other monies were left for the upkeep of buildings, for worship materials (altar bread) and to help the needy: for coal, for coats, for a few newly married couples. John Perryn left money for food; George Needler left £40 in 1638 for shoes and stockings; Henry Ramsey left £10 per annum ‘for ever’ to the Rector.

In 1825 a ‘great list’ or Register was made after an investigation into malpractices, and in 1899 these charities became the Acton (Middlesex) Charities. Under the 1899 Scheme, reinforced in 1985, Trustees are appointed: the Rector ex officio; five nominated by the local authority (Ealing Council) for four years; and five local Trustees co-opted for a five-year period.

The area the Charities cover is the old Parish of Acton before it was sub-divided (see Map). The objects have changed over the years, because in the 1600s the poor would present themselves on the Rector’s doorstep; in the 1800s workhouses were set up, and in present times the Charities try to help where other local services fail.

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