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Who was John Martin?

John Martin was born in 1637 and lived in fascinating times. His lifetime spanned the period of the Civil War and saw five monarchs on the throne of England commencing with King Charles I and ending with Queen Anne, who died just one month later. He died aged 77 in June 1714 leaving a wife but having been predeceased by his son. In his lifetime he had been a Yeoman Farmer living in Hampton.

John Martin's Will

In his Will, after making provision for his wife, he established various trusts demonstrating his desire for children and young people to have a Christian upbringing, a good education and to help those in need. A number of specific bequests were made to provide support for the poor in the parishes of Hampton, Bengeworth, St Lawrence and All Saints', the clergy, the education of poor children and the ‘setting out yearly of Boys and Girls apprenticeships’.

How has the Charity developed?

Originally the main asset of the Charity was John Martin’s land, amounting to around 92 acres. The rental income from this land through agricultural and market garden tenancies produced a modest income over the first 250 years and the Charity operated in a small but valuable way during this time. As the town of Evesham expanded, the majority of the land was developed. This produced a larger capital sum for investment and it is these investments which continue to generate the Charity’s income.

John Martin’s Tomb at St Andrew’s Church, Hampton.

The increased income available for distribution has enabled the purposes of the Charity to be widened. With the benefit of local consultation and guidance from the Charity Commission, a modern interpretation of the wishes of John Martin was set out in an updated Scheme. This was approved by the Charity Commission in 1981 and this, together with subsequent amendments to the Scheme, governs our work today.


John Raphael performing as John Martin at the Charity's Tercentenary Commemoration Service at Worcester Cathedral, 2 July 2014

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