of the Trust
Established by the Charity Commission in 1971 to
manage a number of ancient parochial charities with histories stretching back to
the 16th century, the modern aim and objective of the Trust is to help residents
of the former Metropolitan Borough of St Pancras in times of need or
sickness. The Trust provides an invaluable safety net for those who have
nowhere else to turn and when the State can no longer help.
origins of the Trust stretch back to 1558 when St Pancras was a hamlet by the River
Fleet. In that year a wealthy woman named Eleanor Palmer, who had survived many
husbands and had connections with the area, died and bequeathed "two
acres of meadow land and its income for the benefit of the poor of Kentish Town
and Chipping Barnet forever." The land was "situated near a
place known as Fortis Green."
years later, in 1617, a resident of Holborn, Thomas Charles, concerned about the
plight of his poor neighbours, left them various sums of monies, including "twenty-four
shillings payable yearly at Christmas forever for the poor of
was followed by another Gift,
established in 1632 by William Platt of Kentish Town,
to give "one pound each at Christmas to fourteen needy persons living in
the parish of St Pancras forever".
the parochial charities were becoming
irrelevant to the needs of the twentieth century and eventually legislation was
introduced to allow changes to be made. Thus, the Charities Act (1964) required
local authorities to carry out a review of charities in their area. As a
result, and after a long period of consultation, the St Pancras Welfare Trust
was formed in 1971 as a new independent charity with an up to date set of
guidelines, clearly defining how the income from the assets of the ancient gifts
and trusts should be distributed.
Underpinning the work of the Trust is the income received via the Estate Charity
of Eleanor Palmer* from charitable assets created more than four centuries
earlier, still serving the needs of the local community. The story
is one of local people caring for each other and having the foresight
to plan for the future.
the story continues; in 1992, 375 years after the establishment of the
Thomas Charles Gift, the Trustees became
responsible for the assets of the Camelot Trust - a charity established in 1969
by a local resident, Mrs Neel, to provide holidays for disadvantaged local
Trustees are conscious that they have a responsibility towards future
generations and take this into consideration when making decisions about the
needs of the present.
The Estate Charity of Eleanor Palmer is an independent trust with its own