WALBERSWICK COMMON LANDS
The Charity today is in many ways similar to the body that existed in 1800 - still using its land and property to benefit the community.
At that time, the Poor Rate provided some support for individuals in need. This was particularly important during the winter months, as much employment was seasonal. The first Poor Laws, enacted during the reign of Elizabeth 1 represented the beginning of a progression from private charity to welfare state. Each town was responsible for the care of its poor and a Poor Rate was raised in every parish.
Early in the 19th century, the Village elders decided that some rules needed to be imposed to ensure the smooth running of the agricultural aspects of village life, especially in respect of its “common lands”. It was this decision that the first formed what became known as the Walberswick Common Lands Charity.
The founding document of today’s Charity goes back to 1899 and it became a legal entity in 1901. Whilst the detail of what we do is different today, nothing has materially changed since the 19th Century.
Image shows a minute book from 1872