Catalogue description RECORDS of TANCRED'S FOUNDATION

This record is held by Yorkshire Archaeological and Historical Society

Details of DD 160
Reference: DD 160

ORDERS DD 160/1-3.


PROPERTY DD 160/4-6.




ACCOUNTS DD 160/16-20.







Date: 18th - 20th century
Held by: Yorkshire Archaeological and Historical Society, not available at The National Archives
Language: English

Tancred's Foundation

Physical description: 7 Series
Access conditions:


  • Tancred, Christopher, d1754, of Whixley Hall, West Riding of Yorkshire
Administrative / biographical background:

Christopher Tancred, of Whixley Hall, died on August 21st, 1754. Earlier, in 1721 he had endowed land for charitable purposes. 'Tancred's Charity' was established under the provisions of his will, made in 1746. His five sisters unsuccessfully challenged his will, and by decree in Chancery in November 1757 the Charity was established and in 1762 recognised by Act of Parliament.


The Governors and Trustees were: Master of Christ's College; Master of Gonville and Caius College (both Cambridge), President of the Royal College of Physicians, London; Treasurer of Lincoln's Inn; Master of Charterhouse, London; Go vernor of the Royal Hospital, Chelsea; Governor of the Royal Hospital, Greenwich. Meetings of the Charity were held at Lincoln's Inn in London.


The Charity provided for 4 Divinity, 4 Physics and 4 Common Law studentships, and for the students to continue their studies for three years after taking a degree. These students had to be 16 years or over when admitted, born in Great Britain, members of the Church of England, and "of such low ability as not to be capable of obtaining education directed by the Settlement without the aid of charity". Divinity and Physics students were to be no more than 22 when admitted, and Law students under the age of 25. A student from each branch was required to make a speech in Latin, yearly, in the Halls of two Colleges, and Lincoln's Inn, in perpetual remembrance of the Charity.


Twelve pensioners were to be housed in 'Tancred's Hospital' (formerly Whixley Manor House). They were to be "decayed and necessitated gentlemen, clergymen, commissioned officers or sea officers", aged 50 years when admitted. They were to have been born in Great Britain, members of the Church of England, and to be called 'Tancred's Pensioners'. Married men were ineligible.


Grants made to students and pensioners varied over the years. The Master, and 13 Fellows of Christ's College also received payments. The Curate of Whixley was paid to read prayers, morning and evening at 6 o'clock, in the Chapel of the Hospital, and to deliver a sermon on the anniversary of the Founder's death.


Reports of the regular surveys made of the estates of Whixley and Green Hammerton itemise names of tenants, and their rents; necessary repairs to estate property, and improvements at the Hospital. Disputes and innovations are recorded, e.g. a request from tenants for permission to let the shooting rights over their properties; a suggestion that part of the estate should be used as a Golf Course; an agreement that water be drawn from the well in the kitchen by mechanical means, rather than by rope and bucket.


In 1812 a student who went to the Napoleonic Wars was obliged to relinquish his place. During the 1914-18 war surpluses in the Students' Fund were invested in 5% War Loan in readiness for the return of students who had gone to war.


In 1921 Real Estate was sold to the West Riding County Council.


In 1934 scholarships of £40 each were given to students at Cheltenham, Rugby, Charterhouse, Clifton and Marlborough.


In 1954 the pensioners numbered 14, including 2 majors, 1 captain and 3 clergymen.

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