Re Beloved Wilkes's Charity

JurisdictionEngland & Wales
Judgment Date28 April 1851
Date28 April 1851
CourtHigh Court of Chancery

English Reports Citation: 42 E.R. 330


In re Beloved Wilkes's Charity

S. C. 20 L. J. Ch. 558. See Hayman v. Governors of Rugby School, 1874, L. R. 18 Eq. 75; Tabor v. Brooks, 1878, 10 Ch. D. 277.

[440] In re beloved wilkes's charity. March 28, April 24, 25, 28, 1851. [S C. 20 L. J. Ch. 558. See Haynum v. Governors of Rugby School, 1874, L. R. 18 Eq. 75 ; Tabor v. Brooks, 1878, 10 Ch. D. 277.] Where trustees are appointed to execute a trust according to discretion, they are not bound to state reasons for any conclusion at which they may arrive in fulfiling the duty imposed on them : their discretion must, however, be exercised with an absence of indirect motives, with honesty of intention, and with a fair consideration of the subject ; and the duty of the Court generally is to see that the discretion of the trustees has been thus exercised, and not to deal with the accuracy of the conclusion at which they may have arrived. If, however, in such cases trustees think fit to state a reason for their conclusion, the Court may consider the validity of the reason thus stated, and if it sees that the reason does not justify the decision, it may correct the decision accordingly. Trustees of a charity were to select, out of certain parishes named, a lad to be brought up as a minister of the Church of England, his parents not being able to educate him for that situation, and in the event of no suitable candidate being found in the specified parishes, then to select a lad from any other parish. On a vacancy occurring, the trustees chose C. J., a lad not of the specified parishes, and declared the election without stating any reasons for their choice. On a petition presented to set aside this election, and to obtain a decree that the trustees ought 3 MAC. tea, 44L BE BELOVED WILKES's CHARITY 331 to have elected W. G., a lad of one of the specified parishes: Held, that the trustees were right in abstaining from the statement of any reasons for the selection they had made, and that in the absence of any proof that they had exercised their discretion otherwise than fairly and honestly, the Court had no jurisdiction to interfere on the question of the correctness of their decision. The petition was dismissed accordingly, the Petitioners paying their own costs, and the costs of the trustees being paid out of the funds of the charity. Beloved Wilkes, by his will, dated the 15th September 1722, devised certain property to trustees, upon trust, to apply the income to the maintenance, education, schooling, qualifying for, putting to, and keeping at Oxford a lad, in order to make him a minister of the Church of England, such lad to be chosen by the trustees from òeither of the four parishes therein specified, and of such parents as were not of ability to maintain and educate him as aforesaid. The trustees named were the incumbents of three of the parishes. The original income of the property devised was £60 a year, but nothing having been done lor many years towards applying the funds for the purposes of the [441] trust, the income had increased to an annual amount of above £250. In 1847 a .scheme for the management of the charity was, on the application of the trustees, settled by the Master, and confirmed by the Court. By this scheme the trustees were enabled, in the event of not finding a lad in either of the specified parishes whom they thought eligible, to choose one from any other parish of England or Wales, but in every instance in which a candidate, fit or proper in the judgment of the trustees, could be found in either of the specified parishes, he was to be preferred. In 1848 a vacancy having occurred, it became necessary for the trustees to choose a lad to receive the benefit of the charity. They accordingly, on the 9th June 1848, ò selected one Charles Joyce, who was not of either of the four parishes specified; and it was this selection which gave rise to the present discussion, it being alleged that .they ought not to have chosen C. Joyce, but ought to have chosen a lad named William Gale, whose father was a respectable farmer residing in one of the specified .parishes. It appeared that, before the appointment of the trustees, by whom the selection in question was made, there had been three elections, and that on each occasion lads not belonging to either of the parishes had been selected, and that during the time of the same trustees, and previously to 1848, there had been one election, when, also, a lad not belonging to either of the parishes, was ^chosen. It further appeared that, previously to the selection of C.*" Joyce, the father of W. Gale wrote to the Rev. W. S. Robinson, one of the trustees, to know whether the funds of the charity would be applicable to the maintenance and education of his son for the [442] purpose and objects of the charity, and requested the interest of Mr. Robinson in favour of his son if the funds were applicable. To this letter Mr. Robinson replied that he would communicate the matter to his...

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17 cases
6 books & journal articles
  • Table of cases
    • Canada
    • Irwin Books Archive The Law of Trusts. Second Edition Part Four. The Trustee
    • 1 Septiembre 2005
    ...95 Re Beloved Wilkes’ Charity (1851), 3 Mac. & G. 440, 42 E.R. 330, 20 L.J.Ch. 588, 17 L.T.O.S. 101 (Ch.) .......................................................... 153 Re Brockbank, [1948] Ch. 206, [1948] 1 All E.R. 287, [1948] L.J.R. 952, 92 Sol. J. 141..........................................
  • Duties of Trustees
    • Canada
    • Irwin Books The Law of Trusts The Trustee
    • 21 Junio 2014
    ...289 (SCJ). 23 Froese v Montreal Trust Co of Canada (1996), 137 DLR (4th) 725 (BCCA). 24 Re Beloved Wilkes’ Charity (1851), 3 Mac & G 440, 42 ER 330 (Ch). THE LAW OF TRUSTS 166 provide little guidance so that, apart from the absolutely obvious examples of the trust instrument itself, stateme......
  • Equity and Trusts
    • Singapore
    • Singapore Academy of Law Annual Review No. 2012, December 2012
    • 1 Diciembre 2012
    ...intervene with the trustee's exercise of discretion. (d) Chao JA accepted the authority of Re Beloved Wilkes' Charity(1851) 3 Mac & G 440; 42 ER 330 that the court's supervision will be confined to the ‘honesty, integrity, and fairness with which the deliberation has been conducted, and wil......
  • Duties of Trustees
    • Canada
    • Irwin Books Archive The Law of Trusts. Second Edition Part Four. The Trustee
    • 1 Septiembre 2005
    ...22 Froese v. Montreal Trust Co. of Canada (1996), 137 D.L.R. (4th) 725 (B.C.C.A.). 23 Re Beloved Wilkes’ Charity (1851), 3 Mac. & G. 440, 42 E.R. 330 (Ch.). THE LAW OF TRUSTS 154 These statements of law, while accurate, obscure the diff‌iculties in this area. The f‌irst question is: What ar......
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