|Administrative / biographical background:
The Bradley School Endowed Trust is very unusual in that there are no surviving deeds for the acquisition of its property apart from one deed of exchange in 1918. The charity lands had clearly already been in existence for some time at the time of the earliest surviving documents in the 1560's and 1570's. By any standards therefore, very early parish charity and the charity properties must have been almost customary in nature. Similarly the administration of the trust must have equally been customary, being evidently left very much to the discretion of the churchwardens.
These loose arrangements seemingly resulted in endless litigation and charges of misappropriation of funds over the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries and most of the surviving earlier documents result from court cases.
In 1726, the School Trust property was described as follows:-
One messuage or tenement, with the appurtenances, situate in Bradley, wherein William Garner then lived, with the garden, hempbutt and croft thereto adjoining; and also two leasowes, called the Hall alias Stall leasowes, and a parcel of meadow ground, called the Hook in Alport's meadow the two Stubb hills, the Hurst and the Hurst meadow, half a dole of meadow, in a meadow called Hilchmoore, one dole in Bridge meadow, near Wollaston bridge, in the township of Shredicote, in the said parish; also one messuage or tenement, wherein Edward Horton lived, situate in Bradley aforesaid, with the barns, stables, outhouse yards, gardens, orchards and appurtenances, and the parcels of ground thereto belonging, viz: the two ash leasowes, the Bithins, the Turn pitt, four doles in Alport's meadow, and one dole in Stockings meadow; also one messuage or tenement in Bradley aforesaid, in the possession of Edward Cartwright, his under-tenants or assigns, with the barns, &c. and appurtenances, and the parcels of land thereinafter mentioned, viz; the croft adjoining to the garden, the low yard, three pieces called the Downe hedge, the Withings in two parts divided, one dole in Bull meadow, one dole and four swathes in Hilchmoore, one dole and two swathes in Alport's meadow, and two doles in Hurst meadow; also a messuage situate in Bradley aforesaid, in the possession of Chew Phillips, with the barn, &c. and the several parcels of land thereinafter mentioned, viz : the barn yard, the new yard, the hawthorns, the coal pit leasowe, the two low leasowes, the twenty lands, one croft adjoining to a croft in the possession of Thomas Cartwright, two meadow called the Tythe meadows, in the townships of Shredicote and Wollaston, in the parish of Bradley, and one dole in Hilchmoore; also a tenement in the possession of Mary Forrester, another tenement in the possession of Joseph Cheshire, another tenement in the possession of Thomas Garner.