The Almspeople were to have been born in Bromham or have lived there for at least three years and had to be at least 50 years of age.

For 350 years these six little cottages stood as a symbol of the poor in Bromham – but were demolished in 1964

The Almshouses, also known as The College, or Hospital of the Poor stood on the slope of the hill to the south-west of the Church of St. Nicholas Church, in the village of Bromham. The six two-roomed cottages consisted of timber framing, brick walls and stone ground floor, with a room above and below. The plot of ground, containing about an acre, on which they were built was part of the Manor of Bromham.

There was a stone insetted in the centre of the building, an appropriate scripture quotation with a Latin inscription denoting that it was founded in 1612:
I was hungry and yee gave mee meate,
I was thirstie and yee gave mee drinke,
I was naked and yee clothed mee,
I was harbarles and yee gave mee lodginge.
Come yee blessed of my Father,
Inherit the Kingdom prepared for you.
Mat. 25 Anno Chri 1612.
Reg. Jac. Regis Magm. Brittan 10.

The college was founded on the 9th May1614 and was governed by Sir Henry Bayntun (President), who a few months earlier, gave the trustees (evidently the rector and churchwardens of the parish church of Bromham) a parcel of land, the almshouses and £20 yearly in rents.

Sir Henry also drew up a list of ordinances for the government of the college. The almshouses were to accommodate six old people, preferably four men and two women. In addition to his two rooms, one above and another beneath, each almsman was to have an allotment adjoining the house and his quarterly share of the £20 endowment allowed for maintenance. If any inmate died before the quarter day, the money was to go to the next inmate.

Vacancies were to be filled by the founder and his successors, who were to choose one out of four candidates put forward by the trustees. If the elector failed to make a choice within three months the trustees were to fill the vacancy.

Sir Henry also intended to give, during his lifetime, two yards and a half of cloth priced at five shillings per yard, at least, to make them gowns and he hoped his successors would continue the gift, however no funds were left for this purpose.

The almspeople were required to have been born in the parish or have lived there for at least three years. Single people were preferred, but mature married people might be admitted, provided they were at least 50 years of age and they were required to have attended the parish church every Sunday, Wednesday and Friday in their dress and receive the Sacrament four times a year.

If there were none eligible, they were to be chosen from other places.

In 1834, Dr. Starky, the husband of Maria Barbara Bayntun-Rolt, a descendant and representative of Sir Henry Bayntun, at the time living at Spye Park House, expressed the belief that Spye Park had been charged by Sir Henry Bayntun with £20 for the support of six poor widows in the almshouse.

He said that his wife's grandfather, Sir Edward Bayntun-Rolt (1710 - 1800) had met the charge for 65 years and following his death, by her father, Sir Andrew Bayntun-Rolt (1755 - 1816) for a further 20 years and also by himself for 17 years on behalf of his wife.

The inmates of the house were six poor widows, chosen by Starky. In 1858 the rector of Bromham declared that John Bayntun-Starky (1834 - 1872), the grandson and heir of the abovementioned Maria Barbara, was disregarding the original statute of the College of the Poor which ordained that the trustees (the rector and churchwardens) should put forward four candidates for each vacancy in the almshouse, from whom the representative of the founder should choose one.

There was correspondence on this point between the Commissioners and Mr Starky and the matter was again raised in 1869 when Captain Spicer, the new owner of Spye Park, informed the Commissioners that he was in the habit of choosing the widows for the almshouses. At the time of the Charity Commission of 1901 Captain Spicer was appointing on the nomination of the rector. Captain Spicer kept up the repair of the buildings.

Nothing remains of these almshouses today, but the above inscription stone was preserved and later inserted in the floor of the Beauchamp Chapel in the Church of St. Nicholas in Bromham in memory of Sir Henry Bayntun. This appears to be the only monument to Sir Henry.

The cottages were demolished in 1964 to make way for modern housing and a new road called Bayntun Close. The first Almshouse was probably situated where the conservatory of the bungalow now stands (pictured below) and ran parallel to Church Hill. So it is likely the six terraced cottages stood where the entrance to Bayntun Close now is. The Methodist Chapel is the red brick building in the middle of the photo.

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