In 1578 Sir Thomas Sackville sold his Manor
of Mount Bures to the Dister family. He placed on the land a yearly fee
of £25 which has been paid by all subsequent owners of the Hall
Manor Lands up to 1986.
Sir Thomas and his ancestors had owned the village Manor since shortly
after Domesday so it has been one of their oldest possessions. The £25
annual land rent was apparently still levied when Richard Sackville, 3rd
Earl of Dorset mortgaged some of his lands to Henry "Dog" Smith
A 1791 Act of Parliament was seen to concern lands within "Smiths
Charities" and Mount Bures featured within these. "Dog Smith"
had become a very rich man becoming an Alderman of London whose trustees
with many other powerful men had made exchanges of lands within these
If this Act of Parliament were to be studied more fully perhaps extra
information could be gained about this old charity.
However, as with the Tithe Commutations earlier it became possible to
redeem the £25 land rent by paying a lump sum of its value.
When in 1986 Bill McMaster who then owned Hall Farm partly retired, he
sold 80 acres of the old Manor Lands.
The new owner of that area agreed to pay off the whole commutation, a
value for the £25 land rent.
Thus no further demands for "Smiths Charity" have been received
from the London solicitors who administered this ancient portfolio.
It would appear that Mount Bures Hall landowners paid this levy from 1578
Mount Bures its Lands and People (1996) Ida McMaster and Kathleen Evans
1791 Act of Parliament:- Mcmaster Collection of Documents. University
of Essex Sloman Library.
Knowle and the Sackvilles:- V Sackville - West 1922 Ernest Benn Ltd London
The History of the Sackville Family:- 2 Vols C.J. Phillips, Cassell London
Further information of this ancient charity
can be found at:-
The Henry Smith Charity was founded in 1628
with the objects of relieving and where possible releasing people from
need and suffering. These objects continue in the grant making policy
today. The Henry Smith Charity makes grants totalling over £20 million
per annum for a wide range of purposes across the UK, funded from investments.
Grants go towards:-
(a)For hospitals, hospices and other
forms of residential care
(b)For the relief of poor, aged or
sick persons and their spouses, widows, widowers and dependants.
(c)For the relief of poor, aged or
sick members of the clergy and their spouses, widows, widowers and dependants.
(d)For the relief, rehabilitation
and training of disabled persons including disabled ex-Servicemen and
(e)For any medical research
(f)For the promotion of moral welfare
or social service.