This item is an out-pensioner's application paper for St Cross Hospital in Winchester.
The Hospital of St Cross & Almshouse of Noble Poverty was founded in the 12th century to provide a 'hospice' or home for 13 poor, elderly men.
By the late fifteenth century it also helped those of 'substance' (men and women) who had fallen on hard times.
Shown here is the application form, dated 1890, for Eliza Harding (nee Kermish) of Bucklers Hard, Beaulieu, a widow who had a small village school in an outlying hamlet of the parish for 46 years. Rev Robert F Powles, vicar of Beaulieu, describes her case: “I recommend most strongly Mrs Harding of this parish for an out-pension.
She is 72 years old and has lived all her life in this parish.” He goes on to say that “She has been brought to a state of absolute need through the very sad misfortunes of her family. One son went blind and he with 3 young children who were deserted by their mother, were entirely dependant on the grandmother.
The blind boy died last year and she now has to struggle for a living for herself and the 3 children.” He notes that: “her strength is fast failing and she is in great need of more support. I cannot speak in too strong terms on her behalf, she is such an excellent old woman and thoroughly deserves to be helped.” Lord Montagu writes from Palace House, Beaulieu, adding his strong support for her application.
The bundle also includes a letter of thanks from Eliza Harding for her pension from St Cross.
Another out-pension application paper, and an accompanying testimonial, for William Deavin of Winchester, can be found in the "Gallery" section, with details in the "Facts" section.
The St Cross applications and related papers held at Hampshire Archives and Local Studies cover approximately 1500 individuals, and date from 1867 to 1967, although those for 1965 and 1967 are closed as they could relate to living individuals.
Catalogue record for Records relating to pensioners and brothers, St Cross Hospital
Find out more about St Cross Hospital
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