The EllisTrust

The ELLIS family were Farmers in Cherry Willingham from the late 1700's and early 1800’s.

The ELLIS family were Farmers  in Cherry Willingham from the late 1700's and early 1800’s.

John Ellis was named on the Roll for the County of Lincoln for the elections of 2 Knights of the Shire in May 1807 as being a freeholder,  residing in Cherry Willingham and the situation of the freeholds being Nettleham. The candidates for the election were Charles Chaplin, Richard Ellison and Hon. Charles Anderson Pelham. John Ellis was mentioned in the Directory of National biography of John Drakard (1775?  -- 1854),  as a gentleman on a special jury at Lincoln on 20/03/1811  on a libel case against John Drakard, who was a newspaper proprietor and publisher of the Stamford News. The subject matter of the libel was an article that Drakard had published on 24/08/1810  entitled One Thousand Lashes, which dealt with the question of corporal punishment in the Army. He was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment in Lincoln Castle.

JOHN ELLIS died on 18/03/1817 age 68years. In his will he left to the overseers of the poor of Cherry Willingham £5 to be placed out at interest and the interest applied to the relief of the poor on Easter Day and Christmas Day. His will was dated 10th April 1816 and is housed at Lincolnshire Archives St Rumbold Street Lincoln and can be looked at on request.

As a result of the 1834 Poor Law Amendment Act the parish of Cherry Willingham became part of the Lincoln Poor Law Union. This act modified the existing system of poor relief which had been administered haphazardly at local parish level to the development of work houses by the Poor Law Unions. It is unclear how this affected  the legacy of John Ellis, although it is quite possible it continued to help greatly and prevent the poor having to go into the workhouse. The horrible conditions of the workhouses acted as a deterrent to any able bodied person.

In 1847 the poor of Cherry Willingham again had a legacy left to them on the death of farmer WILLIAM ELLIS, son of John,  £100 trust was set up and the interest each year was to be distributed  to the poor parishioners of the village  on Christmas Day. His will dated 15th December 1843, was proved 10th December 1847, and is housed at Lincolnshire Archives  St. Rumbold Street  Lincoln and can be looked at on request. The will bequeathed all and every  messuages cottages ,all freehold lands and tenements, hereditaments, apparetances  stretching to Nettleham  to his cousin Joseph Matkin the elder, a painter of Lincoln, and various members of his extended shepherd Benjamin Grainger of as well as to his 
William  was the fifth  child of John and Elizabeth and was born in 1786 and christened on 18/11/1786 at Cherry Willingham.    
His siblings were:

> Joseph christened  10/03/1778  Reepham  died 1812 age 34years  
> John christened  2/1/1780  died  28/03/1825 age 45years
> Elizabeth born 1783  died 10/04/1833 age 50years.
> Sarah christened 21/08/1784  died 05/12/1804 age 19years
> George christened 06/05/1788  died 22/04/1843 age 54years

In the 1841 census for Cherry Willingham William Ellis was recorded as a Farmer, head of household with 5 live in servants.
William Ellis was buried in the churchyard of St Peter and St Paul’s Church Cherry Willingham on 06/11/1847  and there is still a gravestone there to this day, along with other members of the Ellis family.

The William Ellis Trust was administered under the umbrella of the Cherry Willingham Parish Council and always had two named Trustees who were local parish councilors.

Former member of the Parish Council and Trustee Alan Andrews remembers  being aware that in times gone by a bottle of Brandy was entrusted to the Trustees and if anyone went to them who was not feeling well, a tot could be given to improve their health!!

The trust was administered by the Trustees and became a registered charity (no. 244314 ) on 20th October 1965  after The Charitable Trust Act 1965 was passed. Charitable trusts in English Law are a form of express trust dedicated to charitable goals. They are exempt from most forms of tax and give some freedom for the trustees. The organization must demonstrate both a charitable purpose and a public benefit. They must not be run for profit,  administered by trustees and there be no relationship between trustees and beneficiaries. The Charitable  Commission  regulates and promotes  these charitable trusts  as well as providing advice and opinions to trustees on administrative matters.

In recent years it had become difficult to determine who was eligible for the yearly charitable gift as it was such a small amount . At the Parish Council meeting dated 21st February 2011 Cllr Mason confirmed that the access  had been gained to the trust account and the outstanding  balance had been presented to the Special Families Club based in the village. Once the  cheques had cleared the account would be closed and the Charity Commissioners notified that all funds had been expended and the Trust wound up.

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