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CHARITY

AND

CHARITIES

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adjunct. But it follows that with the decay of this serf- setting out of soldiers, and other taxes. The definition might dom the poor-law itself should have disappeared, or should be illustrated by the charitable bequests of the next 60, or take some new and very limited form. Unfortunately, indeed 22o, years. It is a fair summary of them. (2) Charitable Gifts. A public trust and a charitable trust are, as this definition as in Roman times, state relief proved to be a popular shows, synonymous. It is a trust which relates to public and vigorous parasite that outlived the tree on which it charities, and is not held for the benefit of private persons, e.<j., was rooted: the labour statutes were repealed in 1775, relations, but for the common good, and, subject to the instrucand a century later the Act against illegal combinations tions of the founder, by trustees responsible to the community. for charitable purposes, other than those affected by the law of working men; but the serfdom of the poor-law, the Uifts of mortmain, have always been viewed with favour. “Where eleemosyna civica, remained, to work for half a century the a charitable bequest is capable of two constructions, one of gravest evil to the labouring classes, and after that which would make it void and the other would make it effectual, period to impede and hamper greatly the recovery of the latter will be adopted by the court” (Tudor’s Charitable Trusts, ed. 1889, by L. S. Bristowe and W. I. Cook, p. 28). Gifts thdr independence. Nevertheless, by a new law of state to the poor, or widow’s, or orphans, indefinitely, or in a particular alms for the aged, or by increased outdoor relief, it is now parish, were valid under the Act, or for any purpose or instituproposed to bring them once again under a thraldom tion for the aid of the “ poor.” Thus practically the Act covered similar to that from which they have so slowly emancipated the same beld^ as the poor-law, though afterwards it was decided that, “as a rule, persons receiving parochial relief wTere themselves. not entitled to the benefit of a charity intended for the poor ” The policy adopted by Queen Elizabeth for the relief (Tudor, p. 104). (3) Religious Differences.—In the administration of the poor (1601) included a scheme for the reorganiza- of charities which are for the poor the broadest view is taken of tion of voluntary charity as well as plans for religious differences. (4) Superstitious Uses.—The superstitious use is one that has for its object the propagation of the rites of endowed extension of rate-aided relief. During the a religion not tolerated by the law (Tudor, p. 18). Consequently, charities century, as we have seen, endeavours had been so far as charities were held or left subject to such rites, they made to create a system of voluntary charity. were illegal, or became legal only as toleration was extended. This it was proposed to safeguard and promote concurrently Thus by degrees, since the Toleration Act of 1688, all charities dissenters have become legal—that is, trusts for schools, places Avith the extension of the poor - rate. Accordingly, in to for religious instruction, education, and charitable purposes the poor-law it was arranged that the overseers, the new generally. But bequests for masses for the soul of the donor, civic authority, and the churchwardens, the old parochial or for monastic orders, are still void. (5) Administration.— and charitable authority, should act in conjunction, and, The duty of administering charitable trusts falls upon trustees corporations, and under the term “eleemosynary corporations” subject to magisterial approval, together “ raise weekly or or are included endowed hospitals and colleges. Under schemes of otherwise” the necessary means “by taxation of every the Charity Commissioners, where charities have been reinhabitant.” The old charitable organization was based on modelled, besides trustees elected by corporations, there are now endowment, and the churchwarden was responsible for the usually appointed ea: officio trustees who represent some office or institution of importance in connexion with the charity. (6) administration of many such endowments. What was Jurisdiction Chancery and Charity Commission.—The Court of not available from these and other sources was to be Chancery hasbyjurisdiction over charities, under the old principle raised “ by taxation.” The object of the new Act was to that “charities are trusts of a public nature, in regard to which no one is entitled by an immediate and peculiar interest to prefer encourage charitable gifts. a complaint for compelling the performance by the trustees of Towards the end of the 18th century, when the adminis- their obligations.” The court, accordingly, represents the Crown tration of poor relief fell into confusion, many charities as parens patriee. Now, by the Charitable Trusts Act, 1853, and were lost, or were in danger of being lost, and many subsequent Acts, a charity commission has been formed which is were mismanaged. In 1786 and 1788 a committee of the entrusted with large powers, formerly enforced only by the Court House of Commons reported on the subject. In 1818, of Chancery. (7) Jurisdiction by Visitor.—A further jurisdiction by the “visitor,” a right inherent in the founder of any chiefly through the instrumentality of Lord Brougham, is eleemosynary corporation, and his heirs, or those whom he a commission of inquiry on educational charities was appoints, or in their default, the king. The object of the visitor appointed, and in 1819 another commission to investigate is “ to prevent all perverting of the charity, or to compose differ(with some exceptions) all the charities for the poor in ences among members of the corporation.” Formerly the bishop’s ordinary was the recognized visitor (2 Henry V. i. 1) of hospitals, England and Wales. These and subsequent commissions apart from the founder. Subsequently his power was limited continued their inquiries till 1835, when a select com- (14 Eliz. c. 5) to hospitals for which the founders had appointed mittee of the House of Commons made a strong report, no visitors. Then (1601) by the Charitable Uses Act commissions advocating the establishment of a permanent and inde- were issued for inquiry by county juries. Now, apart from the duty of visitors, inquiry is conducted by the charity compendent board, to inquire, to compel the production of missioners and the assistant commissioners. By subsequent Acts accounts, to secure the safe custody of charity property, (see below) ecclesiastical and eleemosynary charities have been to adapt it to new uses on cy-pres lines, &c. A commis- still further separated and defined. (8) Advice.—Trustees, or other sion followed in 1849, and eventually in 1853 the persons concerned in the management of a charity, may apply to charity commissioners for their opinion, advice, or direction ; first Charitable Trusts Act was passed, under which “ The the and any person acting under such advice is indemnified, unless Charity Commissioners of England and Wales ” were he has been guilty of misrepresentation in obtaining it. (9) appointed. Limitation of Charity Commissioners Powers.—The commissioners cannot, however, make any order with respect to any charity of The following are details of importance :—(1) Definition.—The which the gross annual income amounts to £50 or upwards, definition ot the Act of 1601 (Charitable Uses, 43 Eliz. 4) still except on the application of the trustees or a majority of them. holds good. It enumerates as charitable objects all that was Their powers are thus very limited, except when put in motion once called “alms” : («) “The relief of aged, impotent, and poor by the trustees. If a parish is divided they can apportion the people ”—the normal poor ; “the maintenance of sick and maimed charities if the gross income does not exceed £20. (10) General soldiers and mariners ”—the poor chiefly by reason of war, some- Powers of the Charity Commission.—Subject to the limitation of time a class of privileged mendicants ; (6) education, “schools of £50, &c., the charity commissioners have power (Charitable learning, free schools, and scholars in universities ” ; and then Trusts Act, 1860) to make orders for the appointment or removal (c) a group of objects which include general civic and religious of trustees, or of any officer, and for the transfer, payment, and purposes, and the charities of guilds and corporations; “the vesting of any real or personal estate, or “for the establishment of repair of bridges, ports, havens, causeways, churches, sea- any scheme for the administration ” of the charity. (11) Schemes banks, and highways ; the education and preferment of orphans ; and Remodelling of Charities.—Under this power charities are the relief, stock, or maintenance for houses of correction; remodelled, and small and miscellaneous charities put into one marriages of poor maids, supportation, aid, and help of young fund and applied to new purposes. The cy-pres doctrine is tradesmen, handicraftsmen, and persons decayed ” ; and there applied, by which if a testator leaves directions that are only follows {d) “the relief or redemption of prisoners or captives” ; indefinite, or if the objects for which a charity was founded are and, lastly, (e) “the aid and ease of any poor inhabitants con- obsolete, the charity is applied to some purpose, as far as possible, cerning payment of fifteens ” (the property-tax of Tudor times), in accordance with the charitable intention of the founder. This S. II. — 86