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The Clergy Orphan and Widow Corporation

The Clergy Orphan and Widow Corporation, commonly called The Corporation of the Sons of the Clergy,(Note 1) 2, Bloomsbury Place, W. C., instituted 1678, for the benefit of the distressed clergy, their widows and children, affords temporary and permanent assistance to clergymen who are incapable of duty, or are suffering from losses, or from the expenses of large families; the amount granted in any one year to a clergyman varies, according to circumstances, from 5 to 50. Permanent pensions of from 10 to 25 are allowed to the widows and aged daughters of deceased clergymen whose incomes do not exceed 50. Last year the sum of 4,271 was distributed amongst 242 clergymen : these are at present 712 permanent pensioners. 930 have been also expended in temporary assistance to widows and daughters during the past year; 30 apprentice fees amounted to 860; 840 for outfits to 71 children obtaining situation; besides educational grants amounting to 1,025 to 81 other children have been also granted during the year. It is computed that 2,000,000 have been distributed by this charity, in pensions and donations, to at least 30,000 clergymen, their widows, aged single daughters, and young children. It annually assists about 1,250 persons.(Note 2)

A charity connected with the Painters' Company provides 100 annually to be distributed by this corporation among 10 poor curates.

President, Archbishop of Canterbury.—Vice-President, Lord Cranworth.—Treasurers, Alderman Copeland, M.P., J. W. Freshfield, Esq., and Rev. J. W. Vivian, D. D.—Registrar, Charles J. Baker, Esq.

Note 1. The title of "The Corporation of the Sons of the Clergy," but which the charity is commonly known, was derived from the circumstance of its earlier promoters being sons of clergymen.

Note 2. It is computed by this society that at the present time the number of clergymen in England and Wales is about 20,000, of whom 10,000 receive on an average 100 per annum, only whilst in actual duty; "and a large proportion go through life without much, if any, pecuniary advancement. They are debarred from the means of increasing their incomes open to laymen; and when they die, their widows and children have to seek new homes, and if without private property, and left to obtain their maintenance from charity."

SOURCE: The Charities of London, by Samuel Low, Jun., London: Sampson Low, Son,
and Marston, Milton House, Ludgate Hill. 1861.