Bristol Charities came into being as a result of the 1835 Municipal Corporations Act and the Trustees adminster those charities that, prior the Act, were under the control of the Corporation of Bristol.
The Corporation of Bristol had come under a lot of criticism including accusations of bribing electers with the Charities' funds, and general criticism of poor management of the charities.
The 1831 Reform Bill sought to reconstitute the municipal corporations and in 1833, a Royal Commission was established to "inquire into the existing state of the Municipal Corporations in England and Wales, and to collect information respecting the defects in their constitution".
The Municipal Cosportations Bill introduced in 1835 applied legislation to all 183 coporations which had been investigated including the Corporation of Bristol.
A Board of Trustees was appointed in 1836 and the charities under the administration of the Corporation were transferred to the Trustees of Bristol Charities. These charities were as follows;
- The endowment funds of three schools; The Free Grammar School (now known as Bristol Grammar School), The Red Maids' School and Queen Elizabeth's Hospital; were administered by the Corporation and the Mayor and Alderman governed the schools.
- Three charities under the control of the Corporation offerred accommodation to the poor. They were Foster's Almshouse (founded in 1492) and two Almshouses in Old Market Street; Trinity Hospital North (1411) and Trinity Hospital South (1395) now known as Barstaple House.
- The Corporation also administered a number of non-educational charities principally involved in gifts or grants to the poor.
For more information on the history of Bristol Charities' grant giving charities and almshouses, please go to: