Brighton history


Brighton and Hove charities

Except where stated, information is taken from local directories.
Page in continuous development

Belgian Local Relief and Refugee Committee
Founded in October 1914 as the influx of Belgian refugees into Sussex started to grow.

Benevolent Society
Founded 1816 by the Ship Street congregation 'for the relief of the sick and distressed poor of all denominations ... who might, but for this aid, have been exposed to all the horrors of hunger and mental wretchedness'.

Brighton Bank for Savings
Founded 'to afford every industrious and provident person the great advantage of public security and interest for small sums of money, and to receive such deposits as tradesmen, mecahnics, labourers, servants and others, may be entitled to save; as well as deposits from Friendly Societies legally established; to invest such deposits at interest, in Government securities, issued by the Bank of England, and to manage the same for the benefit of the respective depositors, thus enabling the parties, with little expense of time or trouble, to obtain that personal comfort and independence that arises from prudent conduct'. Annual interest paid on deposits of 20s (£1) or more.
Patron (1822): HM The King
President (1822): Rt Hon Earl of Chichester
Hon Secretaries (1822): Rev D Styles, T West
Treasurer (1822): J Hall
and 112 managers and 14 trustees.

Brighton Bible Society
Founded 1811 as a local branch of the British and Foreign Bible Society. In the year to September 1821 the society received £261 7s 3d from associations in the neighbourhood and remitted £900 to the parent society. In its first 10 years it distributed 13,963 bibles and 8,949 testaments. Became the East Sussex Bible Society by 1824.

Brighton British Schools & Schools of Industry
Founded c1828 by Montagu Burgoyne in Upper Edward Street, modelled on that run by William Allen at Lindfield. As well as receiving an elementary education, boys learned fish net making, tailoring, shoemaking, etc, and the girls learned straw plaiting, making straw hats and bonnets, knitting, washing and ironing, and 'the usual needle-work'. Boys also learn horticulture in the school's vegetable garden. School hours were 09:00-12:00 and 14:00-17:00, with 'Works of Industry' on Tuesdays and Fridays at 13:00-16:00. In 1832 there were nearly 300 children in the school.

Brighton District Society
Founded by Elizabeth Fry in 1824 for 'the encouragement of industry and frugality among the poor, by visits at their own habitations; the relief of real distress, whether arising from sickness or other causes; and the prevention of mendacity and imposture.' The objects were soon expanded to 'the relief of real distress, and a system of small deposits, upon the plan of Savings Banks, which was encouraged by a present premium, in order to induce the labouring classes to try to lay by a little store for their own necessities.'
Patron: The Bishop of Chichester
President: The Earl of Chichester
Vice presidents: the Dean of Salisbury, Rev H M Wagner, Viscount Molesworth, Sir Edward Kerrison, Mr T R Kemp.

Brighton Friends Association for Diffusing Information on the Principle of Total Abstinence from Intoxicating Liquors
Founded 1844-45 by members of the Brighton Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers); promoted by John Hilton Snr (inaugural secretary), Edward Lucas (treasurer).
Source: Richard S Harrison: Brighton Quakers 1655-2005.

Brighton Ladies' Bible Society

Brighton Society for the Relief of Distressed Widows
20 Middle Street
Secretary: Mr Penfold (1851).

Brighton Temperance Society

Central National School
During the 1820s the National Schools in Church Street became the Central National School. In 1832 the number of children being educated was 400 boys and 230 girls. Branch schools in Lavender Street and Warwick Street educated a further 300 boys and girls and 130 infants. Another 120 infants attended the Branch National Infant School in Upper Gardner Street.
Patrons (1832): Their Majesties King William IV and Queen Adelaide
Committee (1832): Bishop of Chichester 'and a long and highly respectable list of the resident Gentry and Clergy'.
Hon Secretaries: Rev H M Wagner, Vicar of Brighton, and Rev Thomas Cooke, Viocar of St Peter's.

County Hospital and General Sea Bathing Informary
Patrons (1832): King William IV and Queen Adelaide
President for Life: Earl of Egremont
Vide-presidents (1832): Earl of Chichester, Viscount Gage, Lord Bishop of Worcester
Trustees (1832): Earl of Chichester, Viscount Gage, Rev H M Wagner
Treasurer: John Hall, Union Bank
See also Health in the Numbers section

Disocesan Institution for Training Female Servants Society
4 Temple Street (1851).

The Dispensary
Founded 1800 in Middle Street under the patronage of the Prince of Wales (later George IV). To provide free advice and medicine to the poor and to promote, 'as much as possible', the practice of vaccination. Donation of 5gns (£5.25) or annual subscription of 1gn (£1.05) entitled the giver to recommend patients.
Patron (1822): George IV; (1832) William IV
President (1822): The Earl of Chichester; (1832) Earl of Egremont
Vice Presidents (1822): Earl of Egremont, Earl of Sheffield, Thomas Read Kemp, Sir G Webster bt, Sir M J Tierney bt, Walter Burrell, Very Rev Dean of Hereford; (1832) Earl of Chichester replaces Earl of Egremont; Very Rev Dean of Salisbury and Rev H M Wagner replace Sir G Webster bt, Walter Burrell and Very Rev Dean of Hereford
Secretary (1822): Thomas Attree
Four physicians, six surgeons, a medical assistant and a dentist

Dollar Society
Founded in November 1813 to help 'the poor not deriving assistance from parochial resources; to extend the hand of kindness to the chamber of sickness, and the abode of unforeseen calamity, and especially to deserving persons under the pressure of years'. Members subscribed one dollar a year. In the year to June 1822 subscriptions and donations amounted to £30 17s and 89 persons 'experienced the liberality' of the society. As well as practical assistance they each received a tract from the SPCK, a bible or similar.
Caroline of Brunswick, consort of the Prince Regent, became Patron in 1814 with a donation of £10;

Duke Street Charity School
Founded in 1817 by Thomas Read Kemp, adjacent to Kemp's chapel in Ship Street. The school had 140 boys in 1822.

Female Servants' Home Society
31 Queen's Road (1851)
Matron: Mrs Ann Mason.

East Sussex Bible Society
Apparently an extended version of the Brighton Bible Society.
Patron (1824): Duke of Sussex
Vice-patrons (1824): Rt Hon Earl of Ashburnham, Rt Hon Earl of Egremont, Rt Hon Viscount Hampden, Rt Hon Lord Colchester
President (1824): Rt Hon Lord G H Cavendish

Institution and School for the Education of Female Orphan Children (Female Orphan Asylum)
Children admitted to the asylum in Gloucester Street by the trustees and committee on the basis of recommendations by subscribers. Children of the Brighton parish have preference and each 'is required to bring with her a certain supply of clothes, a list of which may be had at the Asylum'. In 1832 there were 17 children in residence.
Patron (1832): William IV
Trustees (1832): Sir David Scott bt, Rev H M Wagner, Nathaniel Kemp, John Mills
Committee of 12 ladies (1832): Miss Jeffreys (treasurer), Miss Coombe (secretary), Mrs Tournay, Mrs Evans, Miss Brisbane, Miss Barber, Mrs Bond, Miss C Elliott, Miss Pelly, Miss Wake, Miss Smith, Miss Locke.

Ladies' National Association for the Diffusion of Sanitary Knowledge
Established c1858 at 21 Egremont Place in premises lent by the Countess de Noailles. Published such tracts as How to Manage a Baby, How to Feed a Baby with a Bottle and The Evils of Perambulators.
Source: Brighton Gazette, 7 October 1858: 7

Maternal Society for Assisting Poor Married Women
Founded 1813 under the direction of 12 female subscribers 'to provide for poor married women child-bed linen, clothing, and suitable nourishment, during the period|month of their confinement'. Relief provided for not fewer than 200 women annually.
5 Church Street (1851)

Metropolitan Society for the Abolition of Church Rates
Brighton branch founded 1836 by Thomas Read Kemp, Isaac Newton Wigley MP, Joseph Hume MP, Sir George Brooke-Pechell and others.

The National Schools
Rev Anthony Springatt left £8 a year in 1725 and another £35 a year in 1740 for the education of 20 poor boys of the parish of Brighton. Mr C Beach added £2 10s in 1735 and Rt Hon Countess of Gowen £7 10s in 1770 for the same school. The original school failed and was replaced by another, using the same endowment, opened off Black Lion Street. A girls' school was opened in Church Street. By 1820 they educated together about 375 children out of a potential capacity of 450, with an annual turnover of up to 100 children. Around 125 were also helped with clothing.
Patron (1822-24): HM the King
Committees of 20 gentlemen and eight ladies respectively managed the schools.
See also Central National School.

Percy Almshouses
For six poor widows.
Hanover Place (1851).

Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge
Local branch founded 1815 as an offshoot of the national society.
President (1822): Earl of Chichester
Secretaries (1822): Rev Dr Holland, Rector of Poynings, and Rev H J Taylor, Curate of Brighton
Treasurer (1822): John Hall, Union Bank
Governing committee of 20 gentlemen.

Society for Promoting Christianity among the Jews
Secretaries: Rev H V Elliott and Rev F Reade (1851).

Swan Downer's School
Established with a bequest from Swan Downer of £7,100, originally intended to educate 20 girls but sufficiently funded for 50 in premises in Gardner Street. Swan Downer left a further £5,000 to provide clothing for 48 poor men and omen annually.By 1832 it was educating 65 girls.
Trustees (1822): Dean of Hereford, John Chatfield, John Mills, Mr Venning.

Union Charity Schools for Boys and Girls
Founded by Edward Goff, who left £400 for the boys' school and £200 for the girls'. Opened in Middle Street in 1805 and financially supported by 'Dissenters of every description' for the children of Christians of all denominations. Annual subscribers (1832) of 2gns (£2.10) entitled to send six children, for 1gn (£1.05) three children, for ½gm (52½p) one child. In 1822 the schools educated 220 boys and 140 girls.
Treasurer (1822): W Wigney esq
Secretary (1822): Mr G Kemp

United Fishermen's Society
Founded 1813 to support fishermen in time of sickness or retirement, their widows and childrem. Funded by donations from benefactors, plus subscriptions from fishermen to the society of 1s a week for nine months of the year, raising £95 11s in 1821 (suggesting 49 fishermen subscribed), and £1 per boat per year, which produced £17 in 1821.
Patron (1822): King George IV
President (1822): Very Rev Dean of Hereford
Treasurer (1822): Wm Wigney
Secretary (1822): Rev John Styles

William Godley's Charity
Godley was a local marine merchant who never married and left a sizeable estate after his death in 1912 to found a charity 'For the benefit of such poor persons of the ecclesiastical parish of St Luke, Brighton, as the trustees think fit either in the supply of articles in kind or in grants of money'.

Page updated 12 September 2018