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The Charity of Two Chaplains and Thirteen Poor Men of Ewelme


            In July 1437 King Henry VI granted Earl William and Countess Alice de la Pole a licence to remodel and extend the church including a Chantry Chapel.  To serve with daily prayers for their salvation in the Chantry, Cloisters would be built for 13 poor men - to be carefully chosen for their piety and sobriety. Lepers, madmen, those with infectious diseases or the incontinent were excluded!  

             The Trust Foundation was to be supported by revenues from the de la Pole estates in Ramridge in Hants, Connock in Wilts, and Marsh Gibbon in Bucks - amounting to almost 4,000 acres.  

Thus, the deserving old (and young at the school) belonging to their estates could be provided for in perpetuity.  

             The foundation required two priests to be appointed with a stipend of £10 per annum, one the Almshouse Master to supervise the Almshouses and take the services in the Chantry Chapel, and the other the Grammar Master for the school – but the roles could be interchangeable if the need arose.  The first Almsmaster was John Seynsbury, Alice’s chaplain. 

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