Rev. John Robinson and Alphonsine Sarah Jarry Charities

Michael J. Slater
 North Craven 
 Heritage Trust 

The Robinson and Jarry charities

An article on the Giggleswick Charities was printed in this Journal in 2010; further developments are noted here. Some of the conclusions reached in that earlier account about the fate of the capital monies bequeathed are now happily proved to be incorrect since a substantial amount has been located in income funds recognized by the Charity Commission.

The Rev. John Robinson’s charity was set up by his will of 1882. In 1888 £5000 was invested in Treasury Stock, then in 1894 in railway stocks. In later years other stocks were bought and eventually all assets were in Charinco and Charifund units with income accredited to Barclays Bank accounts.The last Trustee died in 1976 and there is no record of any disbursements made from the charity after this date. The question arose as to the location of any unclaimed capital monies.

It was discovered by accident in 2008 that a Robinson charity account existed with Barclays Bank. It was found that the Charity Commission had removed the Robinson charity from its listings and destroyed all records in 2000 since it was apparently defunct. (no. 20402). After much discussion this Barclays account was closed and the funds (£672.65) were transferred in 2008 to that of the The Giggleswick Charities (240293), since it had similar aims. But income was still being accredited by Charinco and Charifunds to other Barclays accounts labelled ‘Giggleswick Jarry and Robinson’ of which we were not made aware at that time (presumably due to data protection law).

In 2013 Coles Solicitors, managing director Mr Peter Gibson, moved to premises in Settle where a large crate of papers concerning the Giggleswick Charities was found. Mr Gibson contacted Mrs Airey, Chairman of The Giggleswick Charities, who in turn asked the author of this note to determine the significance of the contents.

In this crate were statements from Barclays Bank for a variety of accounts named Robinson and Jarry and from M&G Fund Managers and Merrill Lynch fund managers. Up to 1989, money was held in Charity Commission approved British Transport 3% stock; thereafter re-investment into M&G Charifund and Mercury Asset Management (later Merrill Lynch then Black Rock) Charinco units was made with interest payments into Barclays Bank savings accounts. There were papers concerning Miss Alphonsine Jarry who by will in 1912 added about £2000 to the Robinson charity. This Jarry bequest was recorded as a linked charity. A search of the Charity Commission website under the name Jarry led to the trust no. 225289-2, parent charity Robinson, which was also removed in 2000, along with all records.

Miss Alphonsine Sarah Jarry was baptised on 12 September 1822. Her father was Etienne Edme Jarry, schoolmaster and teacher of French, and her mother’s name was Sophia. Etienne was born in Versailles in 1775 (died 1858) and was a lace manufacturer; he moved to Halifax in 1814 after being in Paris at the time of the French Revolution. Alphonsine died on 6 November 1912 and was buried in Settle. In her will she is recorded as of Fernhill and spinster. Her effects amounted to £10,073-16s-5d.

In 1851 she was in Halifax with her sister Maria Louisa and parents. Her parents died in 1853 and 1858. In the 1861 Census the two sisters are still in Halifax as daily governesses teaching French, but in 1871 they are living on Constitution Hill, Settle and both working as teachers. In 1881 and 1891 the house where they lived is named as Fernhill (on Constitution Hill). Maria died in 1893 and is buried in Settle. In 1901 Alphonsine is noted as retired governess. A William Morris stained glass window in memory of Alphonsine in Settle church dates from 1913 (from a Burne Jones design). She bequeathed £600 and a portrait of her father (by John Horner, a Halifax landscape artist) to the Royal Halifax Infirmary.

All the information about this matter was communicated to the Charity Commission early in 2013 in an attempt to recover the very substantial assets of the Robinson and Jarry charities and to put them to good use - as the Rev. Robinson and Miss Jarry intended a century ago. Eventually, in October 2013, the Charity Commission issued an Order appointing the now four Giggleswick Charities Trustees to be responsible for the Reverend John Robinson’s Trust (225289) and issued a Scheme to allow the defunct charities to be part of ‘The Giggleswick Charities’ (240293). The linked Jarry charity is part of the Robinson charity. The original aims of the Robinson charity have to be adhered to - ‘the object of the charity is the benefit of the aged and infirm of the Old Parish of Giggleswick’.

The objective of these defunct charities has, therefore, happily been restored and the mystery of the missing capital funds has finally been resolved. The capital has been eroded by inflation but not as severely as could have been the case. Four Trustees now look after the charities so that the risk of going defunct again is avoided. The amount which can be disbursed by The Giggleswick Charities in future is now much enhanced. Appropriate documents have been sent to the North Yorkshire County Record Office in Northallerton for safe keeping.


Mr Peter Coles, solicitor, took effective action in saving the paperwork which led to a successful outcome and he was very helpful in discussion of how to proceed. Linda Connolly and Joanne Reid at Charity Commission Operations Liverpool guided us through the process of appointing further Trustees after having absorbed the detail of how the charities had become defunct, and mastered the tortuous audit trail of the monies involved in a large number of accounts suffering occasional renaming. Tracy Williams at Barclays Bank was also involved in smoothing the path. Mary Slater researched the background for Alphonsine. Finally, Mrs Margaret Airey of The Giggleswick Charities has had to deal with the Charity Commission paperwork to bring this matter to a conclusion.

Inventory of crate — John Robinson papers

  • Minute Book 1886 (to 1972)
  • Indenture 1894 photocopy re Trustees
  • Remittances and tax slips of Chief Rent for Chatburn land 1978-1995
  • Dividend slips British Transport 3% stock 1978-1988
  • Barclays Bank Community a/c 70017531 statements 1996-2011
  • Letters re closure of bank a/c in 2008 and transfer of £672.65 to The Giggleswick Charities.

A. S. Jarry papers

  • Cash book 1912 (to 1973)
  • Disbursements record cards for 21 persons
  • Wooden box:
  •       Book: correspondence 1916-1966 and disbursements
  •       Book: business papers and dividend slips 1960s and 1970s
  •       Book: disbursements 1916 to 1944
  • Papers: Extract from Jarry will - residue of estate (£1927-1s-4d)
  • Charity Commission papers
  • Charity Commission original schedules 1952, 1947,1936
  • Miscellaneous items
  • Book listing Tithe fields, owners, occupiers - first section missing. Possibly church record to check rectorial and vicarial tithes income

  • Charinco and Charifund details and redemption of 1978-88 stock
  • Types of Barclays Bank Accounts
  • Book of printed details of local Charities
  • M&G Charifund (inc) records
  • M&G Charifund (acc) records
  • Merrill Lynch Charinco (inc) records
  • Barclays various bank statements
  • About 30 postcards re notification of Trustees meetings
  • Expense payment cheques to (Mr) Pitts
  • Dividend slips British Transport 3% stock 1978-88
  • 16 disbursement record cards
  • Correspondence 1947-74
  • Correspondence re closure of Robinson a/c with Barclays
  • Papers re Charity Commission and Trustees appointment