A question for you? What is a ‘feoffee?’ (see foot of post for definition?)
Jim Jacobs, Steward, gave members a fascinating insight into the history of this well known local Charity, together with a chance to see lots of pictures of projects and buildings that it has helped to fund in Market Harborough.
The Charity, based in St Mary’ s Road, was formed in 1994 when 3 local charities came together and is now valued at £15.9m. Jim took us right back to the 1500s and the Enclosures Act (yes, remember that from school?) and up to the present time, where the Charity is now accountable to the Charities’ Commission.
Well known buildings and landmarks in the town that the Bowdens Charity has supported include the Old Grammar School (see slide in the picture above), Joules and adjacent jewellers, the cricket field, Scotland End flats, St Stephen’s allotments and those opposite Protheroes, the land between the Grand Union Canal and Forest Gate Motors plus the site of an old quarry that is now home to an abundance of wildlife and fauna.
Other funding opportunities include responding to applications from local families with little disposable income for grants (a sign of the recession), as well as funding for local musicians, uniforms for sports teams and the current refurbishment of the Harborough Museum and Library. Challenges for the future will include the ‘big society’, school academies and looking after the people of the town.
Feoffees? Dating back to the Crusades, they were tenants of land who paid no rent but if their owner went on a Crusade they would insist the tenants left! Derived from ‘fief’ or ‘fee’.