Ref no33041/BMC/6
TitleAlderman John Whitson's Charities
Description*Items 1-24 and PL1-2 have now been re-catalogued as 33041/Ch/Whi1*
*Items 25-31 have now been re-catalogued as 33041/Sch/RMS*

By a feoffment of 1621 John Whitson gave his executors lands in Bristol, Somerset, Herefordshire and Worcestershire. His will was made in 1627 and its provisions were financed out of these endowments. He died in 1629.

Whitson's will also provided that the income of the manor of Burnett should produce £90 annually, which the Mayor and Alderman of Bristol were to use to provide a dwelling house for one honest woman and forty poor girls, being the daughters of dead or decayed burgesses. The girls were bound to the mistress for about eight or ten years, being aged eight to ten years on admission. In a declaration of trust made in 1634 the Corporation provided for the maintenance of the forty girls. The children were to go 'appareled in red cloth', hence the name The Red Maids' School

Whitson was a successful merchant, born in 1557 and dying at the age of 72 in 1629. He was Sheriff 1589-90, Mayor 1603, made an Alderman in 1600, and was twice a master of the Society of Merchant Venturers in 1607 and 1611.
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