At the time Hemingfield Colliey was being opened, Hemingfield itself was described as follows:
HEMINGFIELD, a hamlet, in the township of Wombwell, parish of Darfield, N. division of the wapentake of Strafforth and Tickhill, W. riding of York, 4½ miles (S. E. by E.) from Barnsley; containing 346 inhabitants. It abounds with coal, of which several mines are in full operation, and there are some extensive quarries of good building-stone: the Dearne and Dove canal passes through the hamlet. A national school was built by John Birks, Esq., who transferred it to the trustees of Ellis’ charity, on their endowing it with £15 per annum.
‘Helmsley – Hemington’, in A Topographical Dictionary of England, ed. Samuel Lewis (London, 1848), pp. 470-474
[accessed 11 September 2015].
[…] In the minutes of the trustees’ meetings of Ellis’s Charity under date 9th October 1824 a resolution is recorded that £100 should be paid out of the funds of the Charity towards the erection of a public dame school in Hemingfield; and under date 10th November 1826, a resolution that a further sum of £200 should be paid towards the erection of the school and one cottage adjoining it. The school and site did not becomes the Property of the trustees until the year 1830.
By deeds of the 27th and 28th October of that year John Birks appointed and conveyed for £420 to the then trustees a piece of land in Hemingfield, part of the south side of a close called The Croft and the building then used as a school and two cottages converted into one, with outbuildings, used as the residence of the school-master, upon trust for purposes of education of poor boys and girls the children of poor persons in or near Hemingfield. The land contained about 1,268 square yards.
Some doubt as to the validity of this deed, owing to its non-enrolment in Chancery, having been entertained, John Birks became a party to a deed of the 31st March 1857, appointing new trustees of the Charity, and conveying the real estate to them. By the same deed he conveyed as a voluntary gift an additional piece of garden ground containing 197 square yards.
By indenture dated 19th October 1876 William Birks for a nominal consideration conveyed to the trustees of Ellis’s Charity a piece of land at Hemingfield adjoining the schoolhouse, containing 1,210 square yards, and of the estimated value of £120.
The land now owned by the trustees therefore comprises 2,675 square yards, or thereabouts. In or about the year 1877, new schools were built, at a total cot of £1,142, 13s towards which the trustees contributed, from first to last, a sum of £852 13s, the remaining £290 was raised by subscription.
In June 1884 the trustees applied to the Charity Commissioners for authority to expend £150 out of the investments of coal rents for repairs to Hemingfield School, the amount to be repaid in three yearly instalments.
In the 1890s the Charity Commission conducted a national review of local charities and trusts which provides useful insights into local life and education before the advent of the Welfare State.
George Ellis of Brampton in his will of 24th January 1711 devised to Thomas Westby, esq. and six others, including the then rectors of Darfield and Rawmarsh, and their heirs, all his estate, lands and hereditaments in Brampton Brieley, and parish of Wath in the county of York, upon the trusts therein mentioned; and he directed that the trustees should meet yearly on the last Thursday in April at his mansion-house in Brampton, or any other house in the parish of Wath they should think fit, and to each of them that should so meet he gave 10s yearly out of his said estate; and he directed, that at their annual meeting the trustees, or the major number of them present, should appoint one of their own number, or some other person, to receive the rents of the said estate, and pay the several charities mentioned in his will; and that on the death of any of the trustees, the survivors, or the major number present, at their next annual meeting, should choose another fit person to be a trustee.
Charity Commission [D.R. Fearon 20 August 1894], Endowed Charities (West Riding of Yorkshire). Return to an Order of the Honourable The House of Commons, dated 10th August 1894; for Parish of Wath-Upon-Dearne, London: HMSO, 1894
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