The Almshouse in Studley, in the Parish of Beckly, in the Countie of Oxon.

And hearafter to be observed 

The 21st of September 1639.

1. For their sexe. they shal be four Men. widdowers, or batchelors; and four Women. widdows. or maydes: the men to be above the age of threescore Years, unlesse they shal be lame and not able to worke, or blynde; then they may be admitted. beinge under that age. Women above the age of fifiie years. unlesse they have such impediments as aforesaid. The Election to be by Sir George Croke during his life; and after by Dame Mary Croke. as longe as shee shal live sole, and unmarried; and, after her decease, or marriage, which shall first happen, by Thomas Croke. Sonne and Heire apparent of the said Sir George Croke and by the heirs males of his body; and for default of such issue. two men and two women to be elected, from tyme to tyme by such persons as shall be owners of the Mansion House of Waterstocke; and the other two men and two women to be elected. from tyme to tyme by such persons as shal be owners of the Mansion House of Studley; and the persons elected to be out of the parishes of Chilton. Waterstocke, and Beckley, if anie such persons may be found fittinge there; if not. then out of any other parishes within sixe miles, as they shal think fit.

2. That the persons elected shall be poore indeede. and well reputed of for religion. and good conversation; noe cursers not common swearers. noe idle persons. noe drunkards. noe havinge commited fornication, or adultery; noe haunters of alehouses, noe gadders or wanderers abroad from house to house, noe tale bearers, noe busie bodies, but such as shall live without common scoldinge or brawling, and quietly and peaceable with their neighbours; and such as have been borne, or dwelled by the pace of ten yeares. at the least. in anie of the townes aforesaid. And if anie. by misinformation, be elected. shall afterwards marry, or fall to such misbehaviours, that then they shall be expelled. and removed for ever, and another placed in roome of the person amoved.

3 That such as be placed there, both men and women. shall alwaies dispose themselves to some worke. as they be able. and not to live idle: but if they be able. and in health, and not sicke. they use some labour to get somewhat towards their maintenance. that they may eate their owne breads. and give unto others; and they may be able to keepe themselves when they are sicke

4. That none shall lodge with them in their chambers or be permitted to lye in their chambers. uppon anie pretence whatsoever, but one of them to helpe another, beinge all under one roofe. as in charitie they should; but may permit anie to help them, not lodginge there; and that nor of them doe lodge out of their chambers, nor wander or beg alms. uppon anie pretence whatsoever. uppon paine of expulsion.

5. That their allowance shall be every week two shillings to every of them, towards their maintenance. which shall be paid unto them weeklie, every Sunday, after eveninge Prayer; see as they be present alwaies uppon Sunday at public Divine Service. Morning and Evening. unlesse they be hindred by sickness, or inabillitie to body. to come; but if anie be absent, not hindred by such inability, they, for that week they shall be absent. shall lose half of their allowance for that weeke, and the same to bee given to the residue that shall be there.

6. That there shall be allowed to every of them once ever two yeares, at the feast of the Nativitie of our Lord. a livery-gowne of broad cloth. ready made for them. of couler. London‑russet; and that yeare when they have noe gown. Two Shirts for every of the man and two smockes for every of the women, ready made, and to be provided out of the annual rente‑charge appointed towards the maintenance of the said poore: and if any of them shall dye after their Livery‑gown receaved. before the Feast of the Nativitie of Our Lord. then Nexte ensuinge; that then the same Livery‑Gown shall be to the persons that shall succede them; and that there shall be allowed to every of them yearelie. Half a chaldron of Sea Coales, or two load of wood.

7. That if any of the men or women, placed in the house, do curse or sweare and that testified by any credible persons, or two witnesses, without oath, for the first offence, shall loose the halfe of the next weekes allowance, to be divided in bread amongst the residue of the poore there; for the second offence, shall forfeit the whole weeks allowance; and for the third offence, shall be expelled, and removed for ever from that place.

8. That if anie Man or Woman placed in this house. be drunke or silt in anie alehouse above halfe an houre. unlesse it be with some strange freinde that dwelleth out of the towne, and then remaine there above an houre that the same beinge testified by some forfeit the one halfe of that next weekes allowance, to be divided amongst the rest; and for the second offence. shall forfeit the next whole weekes allowance, to be divided as aforesaid: and for the third offence shall be utterlie expelled and amoved from the place there for ever.

9 That there bee allowed every years, out of the Annuities. appointed towardes the mayntenance of the poore. Twentv Shillings to the Baily of the Mannor of Studley for the tyme beinge, or to some other, to see those moneyes disbursed to the poore, every Sunday, and these Orders performed, or to informe the neglecte of them to such as may have power to see them reformed.

Given under my Hand and Seal the 2Ist day of September. Anno Dom. 1639 L. S GEO CROKE

Signed and sealed and published in the presence of JOHN EDWARDS, JOHN CAMMOCKE, ROBERT DURHAM. JOHN NICKOLS, 1639

Orders added to the former orders to be observed by almspeople placed in the house for the poore at Studley, by 5tth October 1639.

1. That from henceforth Publike Prayers shall be read in the almshouse, in their several chambers, by course, or in the chappell belonging to the Mansion-house of Studley, every morning, and evening, at tyhese hours (that is to say,) between the first of April and the first of October, between the hours of sixe and eight in the morning, and between the hours of foure and leaven in the evening; and from the first of October untill the first of Aprill followinge, between the houres of leaven and teen in the morninge, and betweene the houres of three and sixe in the evening; and that the same prayers shal be the Confession of Sinns, and such other prayers now used in the Church of England.

 2. That there shal be allowed to the curate or schoolemaster, if anie such shal be resident in Horton or Studley, that shall be procured to read prayers usuallie at the tymes aforesaid, four pounds per annum quarterly, or soe much as he shal be agreed with for the same: and if it shall be a layman that readeth prayers, forty shillings or fifty‑three shillings and fourpence yearly, as they can be agreed with by ten shillings a quarter, or thirteen shillings and fourpence a quarter; the same paiments to be at the feasts of St. Thomas the Apostle, the Annunciation of the blessed Virgin Mary, the Nativitie of St. John Baptist, and the feast of St. Michael, by eyuall portions.

 3. That there shall be a little hand‑bell, or other little bell, maintained there, which one of the poor men shall ring allwaies by turves, for callinge them together to prayers, and that such as shall reade prayers shall alwaies reade a chapter in the Old Testament, or Newe Testament, before prayers, and if any placed in the Almsehouse come not by the end of readinge the chapter, and continue there duringe the tyme of prayers, it shall be a defaulte, if they have noe lawful excuse, as beinge at worke abroad, or sicknes, or inabilitie of body to disinable them to come, or some other reasonable excuse, which the partie that readeth prayers shall thinke to be allowable;, and they pay for such default two , pence, to bee bestowed in bread and divided amongst the rest.