The Charity of the Ancient Parish of Bisley was formed in 1957 and is an amalgamation of a number of smaller

charities, dating back to 1688, with the aim of helping those in need in the parish.

The combined assets are invested in the COIF Charities Investment Fund. The only land remaining is that known as the Chestergate Allotments in Bisley. The land is held in trust for the charity by the Official Custodian of Charities and is currently leased to the Parish Council.


Constituent charities


Charity of Thomas Butler, founded by will in 1688

Charity of Walter Ridler, founded by will proved at London on 6th June 1698

Charity of Joan Ridler, founded by will proved at London on 26th November 1714

Charity of Mary Ridler, founded by will proved at London on 27th October 1715

Charity of Thomas Ridler (no date)

Charity of Samuel Allen, founded in 1734

Charity of Mary Barksdale (no date)

Charity of William Wise (no date)

Charity of Charles Ballinger, founded by will dated 24th June 1798

Charity of Theyer Townsend, founded by will dated 1st July 1801

Charity of John Harvey Ollney, founded by will proved in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury on
2nd March 1836

Charity of Isaac Woodfield, founded by will dated 9th November 1859

Charity of John Paine, founded by will proved with two codicils thereto at Lewes on 28th November 1874

Charity of William Kimber Butcher, founded by will proved in the Principal Registry on 25th June 1887

Charity of Caleb Tanner, founded by will proved at Gloucester on the 27th March 1902


Some of the details of the original bequests are summarised on the Benefaction Boards lining the walls of the Meeting Room in All Saints’ Church, Bisley (see below).

1688 Mr Thomas Butler gave for a

Sermon and Bread, yearly on Easter-

monday, to be paid out of the Chantry

Estate …………………….£1.10. 0.

1697 Mr. Walter Ridler - £300

1714 Mrs. Joan Ridler - 300

1715 Mrs. Mary Ridler - 100

         Mr. Thomas Ridler - 40

Theabove Sums are secured in an Estate

in the parish of Haresfield in this

County, and the interest arising therefrom is

required to be given to the Poor, either

by educating their Children, or in any

other way that may be thought most be

neficial to their interest, pr. Annm. £37 ” ”

   1732 Mr. John Taylor for educating

and clothing poor Boys yearly, gave

land at Upton St Leonards, in this

County, now let at per Annum_£52. 10.0

   Mr John King of the City of

Bristol, Brazier, a native of this Town

gave the Chandelier to this Church.

1801 Theyer Townsend of Steanbridge

Esq, gave the interest of 100 £ Stock

in the 4 per Cents, which has since

been invested together with accumulated

monies from Ridlers Charity in

the purchase of a Field called Chester-

gate-piece, now let at pr Annm. £10.

   Four Pounds of the Rent or Interest

is given away in Bread yearly on St

Thomas day, as directed by Mr. Town

sends Will.

Charles Ballinger of Chalford

Esq, gave a third part of

two Shares in the Stroud Navigation,

the profits arising

therefrom to be distributed

yearly in Woollen Cloth.

There are accumulations,

from the before named

Charities, which

have been invested in

the purchase of £509

Stock, in the new 4 per

Cents, The dividends

therefrom are given to

the poor Annually.

1839. John Harvey Ollney, of

Cheltenham, Esquire. gave Three

Hundred-Pounds; which is invested

in Government – Securities.

The interest of the above is to

be laid out in the purchase of

Coals and Blankets: to be distributed

at Christmas annually;

to such persons as the Minister

and Church-wardens shall select.

Meetings of the Bisley Churchwardens and Charity Trustees have been recorded in a Minute Book purchased from Geo.B. James & Co. Ltd., Wholesale Stationers, 14 Russell Street, Stroud.

The first entry in this volume of handwritten Minutes is dated March 9, 1904.


Documents relating to the various charities are held at Gloucestershire Archives, Clarence Row, Alvin Street, Gloucester GL1 3DW. www.gloucestershire.gov.uk/archives

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