All that is known of Sarah Dexter is her bequest to the poor of King’s Lynn.
Report of the commissioners appointed in pursuance of Acts of Parliament, Charities and Education of the Poor in England and Wales. Norfolk Vol . XXVII 1815-1835
By Indenture, bearing date 16 September 1756, between the mayor and burgesses of King’s Lynn, of the first part; John Woodcock and another, chapel-reeves of St Nicholas, of the second part; and Samuel Clouds and another, executors of the Will of Sarah Dexter, of the third part; reciting, that the said Sarah Dexter, by her will, bearing the dated 30 April 1753’ bequeathed to the said mayor and burgesses 150l., in trust, that the interest thereof should be distributed in the manner therinafter mentioned, and desired that her Will should be entered in all the future parish books belonging to the chapel of St Nichols, and that the same, as well as a list of the names of the poor men and women to whom the last distribution should have been made, should be read every Easter Tuesday at the parish meting by the chapel-reeves; the said mayor and burgesses, in consideration of the said sum of 150l. , covented to pay interest for the same on the 25th September yearly to the said chapel-reeves and their successors; and the said chapel-reeves, for themselves and their successors, covented to pay to the town-clerk yearly on Easter Tuesday, in performance of the said Will, the interest of 10l., part of the said 150l., for the reading and entering the Will in the manner above mentioned, and to distribute yearly on Michaelmas-day the interest of 140 l., to the poor men living in the almshouse in Broad-street (Framingham’s), and the poor women living in St James’s Hospital in King’s Lynn (excepting always the respective readers there) in equal shares; and should on every Easter Tuesday; at the meeting of the parishioners in the said chapel, produce and read over a list of the poor men and women of the almshouse and hospital aforesaid, to whom the last distribution should have been made.
The yearly sum of 7 l. 10s is paid by the chamberlain to the chapel-wardens of St Nicholas, who pay 3 l. 15s. amongst the almspeople of each of the two hospitals St James’s and Framlingham’s. The Will of Mrs Dexter is read annually in the vestry, for which the town-clerk receives 10s. 6d. per annum out of the parish account.
St James’s Hospital or Bedehouses.
1753 Sarah Dexter left the interest of 70 l. (part of the legacy of 150 l.) to the poor women in this hospital. The yearly sum of 3 l. 15s. divide amongst the eleven almswomen by the chapel-wardens of St Nicholas, to whom the interest of the 150 l. is paid by the chamberlain and who are in fact, themselves entitled to 5s out of the sum of 3 l.. 15s.
Find out more: You can see the Deed of Acceptance of Sarah Dexter’s Charity at the Norfolk Record Office – PD 39/173.