OXFORDSHIRE BLUE PLAQUES SCHEME

Edmund BRADSTOCK (d.1607)

Local benefactor to the poor

Orchard house, church street, appleford

There is no record of Edmund Bradstock’s year or place of birth but c.1550 seems a reasonable estimate. On 25 November 1579 he married Jane Justice, from a prominent local family, in Appleford church. He acquired the property now known as Orchard House (formerly the Old Parsonage) in ‘the twenty-fifth year of the reign of Queen Elizabeth’ (1583) and is deemed to have lived there until his death. He died in 1607 and his widow Jane followed in 1608. They were probably buried at All Saints, Sutton Courtenay, as burials were not licensed at Appleford church until 1749.

He is still remembered in Appleford and Sutton Courtenay for the benefaction in his will which left land of about 105 acres to provide funding for the education of ‘twenty scholars, sons of the poor inhabitants of Sutton Courtenay and Appleford’ and also for the general assistance of the poor in the two villages. The concern for the education of young village children is an unusual provision for such an endowment. The school buildings were erected in the grounds of Orchard House. Bradstock’s School was succeeded by the local authority school 1876–1961. School Lane is a reminder of that history. Local children now attend Sutton Courtenay School which itself stands on Bradstock’s Way, recalling the original benefactor whether by coincidence or design.

More than four hundred years later the Trustees of Edmund Bradstock’s Charity continue to award grants to Sutton Courtenay Primary School, to individuals undertaking a variety of educational projects, and to those who are experiencing some form of hardship. The Trust also owns the Appleford village allotments which are let for a very modest monthly rental of one pound per plot. The reason why the Charity has survived so successfully and with such fixity of purpose may be ascribed to the careful and thorough drafting of the bill which enabled the trustees to remain constant to Bradstock’s intentions, and to the integrity of successive trustees. A Charity Commission report of 1819 contrasted the continuing robustness of the Bradstock Charity with the demise of many similar arrangements through neglect, uncertainty of purpose, dishonesty, and diversion of funds.

Sources:

  • Edmund Bradstock of Appleford by E. J. King (1957) who drew on the indenture of 1583, the will, and title deeds
  • Information about Edmund Bradstock’s Charity from Christopher Owen, Trustee

The plaque was unveiled at Orchard House, Appleford, on 3 June 2017 by the Revd Helen Kendrick on behalf of Edmund Bradstock’s Charity, after the address given by Christopher Owen, Trustee. The ceremony was attended by a gathering of residents and community representatives from Appleford and Sutton Courtenay.

Pictures taken at the unveiling ceremony:

Picture awaited

Oxfordshire Blue Plaques Board

EDMUND / BRADSTOCK
d.1607

Benefactor to the poor of
Appleford and
Sutton Courtenay
who left land and money
to endow a school
lived here

edmund bradstock’s charity

© Oxfordshire Blue Plaques Board

 

Email: oxfordshireblueplaques@gmail.com