St Mary the Virgin, Silchester

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Richard Hyde history

There are two boards relating to the charity established by Richard Hyde in 1671. Income from this endowment was distributed on February 24th and Good Friday to twelve parishioners who did not qualify for the poor-rate (‘the collection’).

In 1968 the Charity Commissioners revised the terms to allow a wider range of grants within the parish, the land having already been sold at the instance of Rector Evans (1948-59) with the Commissioners’ agreement, to increase the endowment. Hyde’s Platt, built as a small local-authority housing-estate now stands there; the house itself, a typical yeoman’s dwelling, half-timbered and thatched, was still let in 1956 but was in a bad condition, and was demolished soon afterwards.

Visitors to the Church frequently ask how much a ‘piddle’ of land is.  The answer would vary from County to County and the word has various spellings.  It was generally a small, enclosed piece of land, often on the edge of cultivated areas.  In Silchester an 1837 Lease by William Tilney to Rector Coles includes “the piddle of ¼ acre and 18 poles”; another Lease is of 3 messuages at Pightle Piece.

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