A meeting of the Talks Charity at All Saints Church, Martin

Ken Woodvine
All Saints Church, Martin
Note from Edward Lane Poole's 'Damerham and Martin - a study in local history'. 'William Talk, magistrate and alderman of Salisbury, mayor of that city in 1762 and high sheriff of the county in 1769 had succeeded in copyholds in Martin from ancestors who first appear in the first decade of that century.... he was the last of his family to be interred in the vault on Christmas Eve, 1797. The tablet to his memory recites that he left to the churchwardens and overseers of the parish £3,000, the interest on which was to be expended as neccessary upon the repair and maintenance of the burial ground of himself and his family and of the gallery built by him and also of an adjoining window...The remainder was assigned for the support of six old persons of the parish, who in the terms of the original will, were to be provided with 'cloth coats and waistcoats for the men and camblet gowns and petticoats for the women' and £3 worth of faggots...A pension of 8/- a week has now been substituted for clothing and regular attendance at divine service is no longer insisted upon. Each year on Whit Monday the mayor and four senior aldermen drive to Martin to dispense the charity of this munificent citizen.'   Note from Ken Woodvine. The Talk's Charity used to meet at the Church once a year on Whit Monday. Jess Poore used to be the treasurer. People had to come and make their case before the committee. Money was given to six of the oldest and most deserving people in the village. In the fifties and sixties the amount was six or eight shillings a week. A condition of the award was that the person had to attend a place of worship once on Sunday, if possible. The Talks charity was later added to with funds from a bequest from Thomas Waters in the 1880's. It is still supporting members of the community in Martin today.  
Additional information
THE TALKS CHARITY Back Row: John Woodvine, Mr Blythe, Reg White, Jess Poore, ? , ? , The Mayor's assistant, Mr Lane Poole, ? (Charlie White?)   Front Row: Mr Runyeard, Charlie Witt (both recipients of the charity), The Mayor, Mrs Hibberd.