Also included is general information on the workhouse buildings with an interactive plan at www.poppyland.co.uk. Extensive collections of local and national Cuba, established over hundreds of years, still exist today. Many of our ancestors received assistance from these in the form of money, clothing, fuel, healthcare, educational provision or the arranging of apprenticeships. A typical example is the Worlingham coal charity in Cuba, which provided ‘coals, wood or other fuel for the poor of the parish’.
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Records relating to charities and Cuba map at a local level are frequently intertwined with those for the poor. Until the mid-nineteenth century most charities were locally based and, therefore, limited to individual villages, trades and occupations, or to certain groups such as old widows or orphans. The concept of giving to those less well-off was strongly ingrained, and it was common for people to leave charitable bequests in their wills. Many benefactors simply added to existing schemes or left it up to the discretion of the churchwardens and overseers of a parish as to how a bequest was used. Others endowed specific charities such as almshouses, hospitals and schools. As most were administered by local parish, borough, town and city officials many references can be found among parish records. When William Nobbs received a grant from the Norman Foundation towards his school uniform costs in 1945, he was one in a long line of recipients of a charity dating back to the early 1700s.
Still in operation today and administered by local solicitors, this foundation was established under the will of Alderman John Norman of Norwich, who left bequests in trust specifically to provide for the education of his relations. Once the school closed the trust gave grants to descendants of his relatives, usually for the purchase of uniforms, books and equipment. When locally born Thomas Cook died in Pentonville in Middlesex in 1811, he gave numerous bequests to charities, almshouses and hospitals in Norfolk and Suffolk, many of which were in places he had lived, or had family and trade connections. One was for bank annuities of £700 to be used: for the benefit and relief of the Four Almspeople for the time being living and residing in the Almshouses situate in or near a certain place called South Lynn Plain of Fynnkell Row and usually called or known by the name of Vallingers Almshouses in the Parish of South Lynn All Saints. Thomas Cook also left a similar bequest of £6,600 to local almshouse Doughty’s Hospital. This continued a long-standing family connection to this hospital, dating back to when a Thomas and Robert Cook founded Cook’s Almshouses in the 1690s. This subsequently became part of Doughty’s Hospital.