Bendlowes Trust


The Charity to help the elderly and lonely in Shalford


bendlowes02William Bendlowes 1516 – 1584

Sergeant-at-law and law reporter.

Founder of the Bendlowe’s Charity 1573

1553 – 1554 parliamentary member for three Cornish constituencies

Built Gt Bardfield Place and founder of free grammar school Gt Bardfield

Portrait by kind permission of the Master and Fellows of St John’s College, Cambridge.


A few months ago we, too, had never heard of William Bendlowe.  The above portrait of him dated 1564 wearing the scarlet robes and white coif of his order hangs in St John’s College, Cambridge and puts a face to the name.

William Bendlowe was born in 1516 and died 1584 at the age of 68.  In 1573 at the age of 57 he formed a charity and registered it with the Charity Commissioners.  This charity continues today 443 years later. Yes, four hundred and forty-three years later.  It is this fact that interested us.  How can such a small charity survive for so long.


The charity scheme states that the trustees shall be the Vicar of Shalford for the time being and by virtue of his office and two representative trustees appointed from time to time by the Parish Council of Shalford.  The purpose of the charity was to apply the clear income for the benefit of not more than four poor old persons resident in the Parish of Shalford either in the supply of clothes, boots, blankets, fuel, food, or other articles in kind or in grants of money, provided that income of the Charity shall in no case be applied in relief of rates, taxes or other public funds.

Today, hopefully, our Parish of Shalford no longer has elderly residents in need of clothing or fuel being supplied to them by a charity.  However this, in turn, faced the newly appointed trustees with a dilemma.  Has the Bendlowe Charity a purpose?  Should it continue or be absorbed into another Charity such as Age Concern?


The Trustees and Shalford Parish Council felt quite strongly that every effort should be made to try to continue the Bendlowe Charity.  A more relevant and up-to-date purpose was needed if it is to continue.  The proposal is to continue the Charity for elderly persons of Shalford but to focus on loneliness as opposed to clothing fuel etc. as there are more ways of being poor than financial.bendlowes03

Your Help Needed

Currently there are only three Trustees and in order to succeed,

  • We do need help from the residents of Shalford.
  • Sadly, yes, we need donations as the charity does not have an income of its own >>Click Image to Expand<<
  • We need information in the form of being notified of friends, relations, neighbours, who fall into the category of elderly and possibly lonely.

  • We need your ideas of how the Charity can help.
  • We need your time and dedication to help in fund raising events and ideas to what sort of event would be popular.

If you, too, feel that it would be sad for the Bendlowe Charity’s life to end at 443 years and would like to be an integral part of ensuring that the life of the Charity continues, then please contact:-

Alice Cox E:- or M:- 07850 264518

Sally Welsh E:- or T:- 01371 851016



Charity No. 241285