The Berkshire Clergy Charity was founded by Gilbert Burnett, Bishop of Salisbury at the beginning of the eighteenth century with the name of 'The Charity for the Relief of Widows and Orphans of Poor Clergymen in the County of Berkshire who have been possessed of some Benefice or Curacy in the County, and in some cases of Distressed Clergymen themselves'. In 1715 the Charity possessed an endowment of £1,400 Consols. This was augmented during the nineteenth century by a series of bequests and by the reinvestment of surplus income. By 1910 these investments totalled £10,826 Consols. The Charity also received annual subscriptions from prominent laymen (including the Sovereign, from 1838 its patron) and the local clergy. In 1890 it ruled that only the dependents of regular subscribers would qualify for aid from the Charity.
In 1898 a revised set of rules was adopted by a meeting of subscribers and the name of the Charity changed to the Berkshire Clergy Charity. At the same time it was proposed that the Bishop Burgess Fund should be merged with the Charity. Both Chariites had similar objectives and had for many years been run by the same man, the Revd. Sir John Leigh Hoskyns Bt. (Treasurer of the Berkshire Clergy Charity 1848-1897). However no such merger took place.
The Charity was represented in each rural deanery by a deanery steward responsible for collecting donations within his area. Three of these stewards were elected by subscribers along with three Rural Deans and the Treasurer to form the management committee. In 1944 the rules were amended to make the Archdeacon of Berkshire rather than the Treasurer, Chairman of the Committee. Four years later the rules were completely revised. The Committee was expanded by the inclusion of five lay subscribers and the 1890 rule governing recipients disappeared (it was already becoming redundant as Parochial Church Councils rather than Clergymen themselves were now the principal benefactors).