This paper is a most comprehensive, informative and readable account of one essential component in the structure of village life prior to our 50-year old Welfare State. The charitable bequests, which have been researched in considerable detail, cover a time span of four and a half centuries, from the will of Sir John Peche, who died in 1522 (he had begun the building of Lullingstone Castle), and that of the recusant grandson of Sir Thomas More, Anthony Roper, to the 1940s bequest of the parents of a lost Spitfire pilot. At present, 25 charities are listed in the Charity Commission Index in the parishes. The paper can be highly recommended, not only to those of us who live in the Darent valley, but to all Kentish historians with an interest in village life and history. An extra bonus is the excellent summary in the introduction of the motivation and type of donations in the period covered.
Adapted from the review in J. Kent History for March, 1995 p.17