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Spurstowe Almshouses Spurstowe Almshouses

Plaque (lost): Spurstowe Almshouses

Erection date: 1689


Out of the pious intention of William Spurstowe DD deceased formerly vicar of this parish of Hackney these six almshouses were erected & built Anno Dmni. 1666 for the habitations & dwellings of six poor widows of this parish of good life & conversation, who died before he made a settlement upon the said almshouses & after his decease Henry Spurstowe, late of London Esq, brother to the said Dr, to perfect & establish the Dr’s good work Anno Dmni 1667 settled for ever certain lands in the said parish on several trustees for the said six poor widows’ better support & maintenance & for no other persons whatsoever. In testimony whereof Henry Spurstowe of London gent. son of the said Henry hath erected this inscription Anno Domini 1689.

{On a separate stone immediately beneath:}
Rebuilt 1819

From the dates, this plaque was erected first in 1689 on the original 1666 almshouses and then re-erected on their 1819 replacement.

Site: Spurstowe Almshouses (1 memorial)

E8, Sylvester Path, 1-11 (odd)

We have Orson Welles to thank for pointing this plaque out to us - assistance to London Remembers comes from all quarters.

The Chelsea Pensioners episode of the 1955 series "Around the World with Orson Welles" begins with Orson outside the stage door of the Hackney Empire. He turns and says "I got to know these ladies who live in this lovely old house, I’d like to read this sign, right across here - it took my attention and I’d like to show it to you”, and as the camera pans across and zooms in on the plaque he proceeds to read the text, in full, in his deep, velvety voice, which made our transcription job a pleasure.

He goes on to interview 5 “poor widows” living at that time in the almshouses and they are all clearly enjoying themselves, Orson too. He enjoyed telling stories about his “nine singular aunts” when he was young so perhaps he had an affinity with elderly ladies.

Our researches confirmed what we feared, eleven years after Orson’s visit, the almshouses were demolished. Though the pub opposite (customers of which heckle during the interview) is still there, the Old Ship.

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This section lists the subjects commemorated on the memorial on this page:
Spurstowe Almshouses

Information Subjects commemorated

Spurstowe Almshouses

Discover National Archives gives: "Shortly before his death in 1666, the Reve...

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Henry Spurstowe

A London merchant and alderman.  Brother and heir to William.  Made provison ...

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Rev. William Spurstowe

Born London, date of birth is approximate.  Became vicar of Hackney in 1643 b...

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This section lists the subjects who helped to create/erect the memorial on this page:
Spurstowe Almshouses

Information Created by

Henry Spurstowe Jnr

Son of Henry.  Erected the plaque in 1689, possibly prompted by his father's ...

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