I am researching details for a book I am writing about Howden. It is some years since I wrote a history of Howden with Ken Powls. The book was very popular but is now out of print. So I am now writing a pictorial history (probably in several short volumes as I have done for Goole) which will include both pictures and text.
Whilst writing about the Ashes Playing Field which, along with the Manor House was given to the people of Howden by Charles Briggs in 1927 I came across an article about Charles Briggs' will which I thought was interesting. It appeared in the Hull Daily Mail in 1950:
"£2,000 FOR 'SUFFERING MIDDLE CLASS': £12,000 LEGACY FOR POOR REVOKED
Charles Briggs, of Howden, who left £75,933 (£75,612 net), said in his will, published today, "In a previous will now revoked I had provided a legacy of £12,000 to establish and endow six rest houses for the poor of Howden. Since then the various trade unions have caused a general unrest among the working class and, in consequence, I have thought it necessary to provide for more deserving persons than the misguided working class.
"I consider that by taxation to meet the unemployment, old-age pensions and assistance from Government in these ways I have already contributed sufficient to a trade union-ridden class, whose extravagant demands for higher wages, shorter hours and restricted output, and unwillingness to work overtime, has resulted in withdrawal of my sympathy from them to the suffering and neglected middle class, who are so deservedly looked after by the said Royal United Kingdom Beneficent Association."
Mr Briggs. a benefactor to Howden, died at Bournemouth in February, aged 86. Probate of his will has been granted to Gerald R. H. Wright, of Homeland, Greyfriars-crescent. Beverley and Charles A. C. Wilkinson, of Wakefield. He left £400 to Charles A. C. Wilkinson, and the residue upon trust for his wife for life and then:
Two thousand pounds to the Royal UK Beneficent Association, to found the "Charles Briggs Annuity," to show my sympathy for the suffering middle class as present - day legislation only tends to ease the lot of the worker, and entirely overlooks the condition of the class that is eligible for assistance from this excellent association.
£8,000 to York Diocesan Board Finance upon trust to pay the income to the curate for the time being of the parish of Howden. or to any existing stipend fund of the said parish.
£275 upon trust to pay the income between the bellringers of Howden Parish Church as a Christmas honorarium,
£165 to the parochial church council on condition various family graves are maintained, and £165 towards the general maintenance of the churchyard.
He desired that a tablet commemorating all his and his wife's benefactions to the church and town of Howden be erected on the wall of St. Peter's Church, Howden.
He left £100 to Richard Tiplady, whether or not still employed as groundsman at the Ashes Playing Field, Howden, "to mark my appreciation of the interest he has always shown in my playing field scheme."
Other bequests included: £500 to Hull Guild of Poor Brave Things; £300 each to Dr Barnardo's Homes, and the NSPCC; £250 to the Yorkshire Home for Incurables, Harrogate; £150 to Leeds Children's Holiday Camp Fund; £3,000 if a spinster, £500, if not, each Janet, Evelyne, Ethel and Hilda, daughters of the late Henry Green, solicitor, of Howden; £50 to Mrs Jane Loving, of Bridport, Dorset; £5.000, if a spinster or widow, otherwise £1,000, to his wife's niece. Neta: £1,000 to Gerald Wright, and £1,000 upon trust for Mrs Edith Wright and then to her son, Gerald Wright: £1,500 upon trust for Laura Wright for life and then for her sons, William and Ruby, and £550 each to them.
Other legacies, and one fourth the remainder to Ashes Playing Field, Howden, upon trust for the maintenance of the 16 acres of recreation field, which he had given to Howden, and three fourths to the vicar and churchwardens of Howden, to one part for the church fabric fund, providing a memorial tablet which has been or will be erected to the memory of Rev William Hutchinson. MA (vicar there from 1862- 1902), and two parts for the assistant curate fund."