Dr John Townson Excerpt from... [book title, author, publisher and date of publishing]
The Almshouses for eight poor women, opposite the South Gate of the churchyard, were erected in 1682 by John Townson, DD. Dr Townson was the son of Robert, Bishop of Salisbury, and was the vicar of Bremhill at the time of promulgation of the “Solemn League of Covenant,” and for refusing to sign it and for supporting the King he was dispossessed of his living by the Parliament and compelled to pay a fine of £320. At the restoration of the monarchy in 1660, he was fortunate enough to regain his living, and the Almshouses were erected by him as a memorial. The inscription on the tablet let into the front wall [is still mounted on the building today].
By his will dated July 21st, 1685, and proved in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury. Dec 6th, 1687, Dr. Townson, after stating that he had built the above Almshouses for the relief of eight poor ancient people, gave all his lands in the parish of Calne for the perpetual endowment thereof; but no revenues are known to have been received.
Registered charity numbers: Advancement in Life 278477. Relief in Need 205038. Almshouses 205037.