'Daniel Cullimore's Charity'

Rita Curtis

Daniel Cullimore died on April 8, 1889. By his will, dated October 23 1888, capital monies, stocks, funds, shares and securities, representing the sum of 8,000 were bequeathed to the Commissioners of Charitable Donations and Bequests for Ireland . These monies, subject to the payment of all proper costs, were to be transferred to and vested in the said Commissioners, to be applied and administered by them for the benefit of the charities created by the said will.

Daniel Cullimore's Charity

The legal language in the wording of the scheme for the administration of the Charity founded by Daniel Cullimore is clear and precise but lengthy. The administration of the Charity by the local committee, who give their services gratuitously, was initially very difficult and down through the years caused those involved many problems and headaches. Nevertheless, the committees always strove to give the best service possible.

To do justice to those who have administered the Charity since 1891, a period of 108 years, it would be necessary to write a book on the subject. Within the confines of an article for a historical journal it has been necessary to curtail details, without omitting relevant data/information.

The First Local Committee

The administration of a charity is usually in the hands of a local committee who act under the conditions of a bequest and the guidance, approval and directions of the commissioners. The Cullimore Charity first local committee was as follows:
  1. Very Rev. William Murphy P.P. Taghmon (executor)
  2. Rev. Garrett Rennison, Rector, Taghmon (executor)
  3. Robert A. Byron, Harristown, Esquire (representing COI community)
  4. Robert J. Sparrow, Ballinclay, Esquire (representing COI community)
  5. Mr. James Keating, Taghmon (representing Catholic community)
  6. Mr. Bartle Brennan, Taghmon (representing Catholic community)
In a hand-written draft Captain H. S. Pigott's name had been included. It was later replaced by Robert A. Byron's name.

Legal Difficulties 1890

Daniel Cullimore died on April 8 1889. It was January 1891 before the scheme legally came into operation. The Commissioners refused to accept the Bequest or to administer the trust funds, owing to the peculiar nature of the Bequest and the difficulty of administering it. The executors lodged the funds in court at the end of the month of July 1890. Dean Murphy and the other petitioners instructed Mr. Huggard, Solicitor, in the beginning of November, to take the necessary steps to have the charitable intentions of the testator carried out. The petition was immediately presented to Mr. D. H. Madden, Attorney General for Ireland, for his fiat, which was necessary before the petition could be brought before the court. The Attorney General having approved of the petition, the matter came on for hearing before the Master of the Rolls on Wednesday, November 26, when he made an order referring the matter to Chambers to settle the scheme. He directed that Mr. Huggard should have the scheme settled at once and brought before him for his approval. A Bequest regarding the keeping of the Cullimore grave was causing a problem. Daniel's parents and three of his brothers were buried within the Cullimore Enclosure in St. Munn's Cemetery. 4 was to be paid every year to the woman or man taking charge at the graveyard of Taghmon so long as no one, not bearing the name of Cullimore, is buried in the Cullimore enclosed ground or grave there; the said grave to be kept in proper order and the railings to be painted at least once a year. A certificate in writing of the Rector, was to be sufficient proof that the conditions had been complied with as stipulated. The Master of the Rolls decided that keeping the grave in repair was not a charitable bequest and so it was excluded from the scheme. Mr. J. W. Richards B.L. (instructed by Sir Patrick Maxwell, solicitor) appeared on behalf of the Commissioners.

Ballyanne Estate Workmen

In the beginning of 1891 the Master of the Rolls gave judgement in another petition to have a certain portion of the bequest distributed for the benefit and the maintenance of the families of Daniel's former workmen at Ballyanne, New Ross. This bequest was to be financed from the residue of the annual interest, if there were such, after other expenses had been paid. The arguments lasted for two days. On the last Saturday in January, the Master of the Rolls held that the bequest was void for uncertainty, and consequently should be struck out. He expressed the opinion that the petitioners hadn't lost anything, as he believed the several other matters in the will would expend all the interest. It was right, however, that they should be represented by counsel and solicitor, and he accordingly gave costs.

Mr. A.W. Samuels B.L. (instructed by Mr. Huggard) acted for the petitioners. Mr. Mark Cooper B.L. (instructed by Mr. M. J. O'Connor) acted for the families of the Ballyanne workmen. Mr. Piers White Q.C., and Mr. Hume B.L. (instructed by Crawford and Lockhart, Belfast) acted for the executors of the will. Mr.Cruishark B.L. (instructed by Mr. Elgee) represented the Rector of Taghmon. Mr. Richards B.L. (instructed by Sir Patrick Maxwell) acted for the Commissioners of Charitable Donations and Bequests and Mr. Ball B.L. (instructed by Mr. Robinson) represented the Attorney General.

The Scheme

Proper legal procedures having been pursued, the Scheme was ready for implementation. The Scheme, annexed to Order of the Master of the Rolls, Chancery Division, in the High Court of Justice in Ireland, is dated January 31 1891. The solicitor for petitioners was Martin Huggard, No. 7, Stephen's Green North, Dublin and Wexford. A handwritten copy of a draft scheme, entitled Cullimore Trusts, was prepared by R.W. Elgee, Solicitor, 110, Grafton Street, Dublin and Wexford.

The Principal Bequests:

  1. This charity was to be known as Daniel Cullimore's Charity.
  2. The sum of 8,000 was to be invested in the Commissioners.
  3. The Trust Funds were to be invested as the Commissioners saw fit as authorised by the Trust Investment Act 1889.
  4. The income of the Capital Fund was to be applied by the Commissioners as follows:
    In paying for 150 tons of house coal, to be purchased, stored, weighed out and distributed annually by the local committee amongst poor persons in the town of Taghmon or within three statute miles from the old castle in said town.
    In paying 2 each per annum to the Rector and Parish Priest of Taghmon to enable them to provide coal tickets and meet expenses incurred by them in relation to the Charity.
    After making the aforesaid payments, apprentice fees not exceeding 10 in any one case for boys, not exceeding 10 in number for each year, were to be paid in apprenticing them to any useful trade, business, occupation or service and in providing a suitable outfit for any boy so apprenticed, such boys to be nominated alternately by the Rector and Parish Priest of Taghmon to the Commissioners.
    Instead of nominating a boy as an apprentice, the Rector or the Parish Priest could pay a sum, not exceeding 10, to enable a boy to emigrate.
    Similarly 10 could be paid for any boy to enable him to obtain instruction in technical or industrial work at any place of scientific instruction approved of by the Commissioners. A total of ten boys could benefit annually under the terms of c, d & e. Certificates containing particulars as to the age, place of birth and qualifications of the boys nominated, to be forwarded by the Rector and Parish Priest to the Commissioners.
  5. The Local Committee shall consist of :
    the Rector and Parish Priest for the time being of the Parish of Taghmon (they having been nominated in the said will as administrators of the Charity).
    four laymen residing in Taghmon or within a radius of 3 miles; Two shall be members of the Church of Ireland and two shall be members of the Roman Catholic Church

Details of the format to be followed by the committee were clearly defined in the document. These covered the following:

  1. number for a quorum (3)
  2. appointment of a chairman
  3. number of meetings to be held annually
  4. minute book entries, attendance, resolutions and procedures
  5. appointment of new lay members
  6. duties of the committee (subject to the approval of the Commissioners) in providing a suitable yard/shed for the delivery, storage, weighing and distribution of coal
  7. the annual distribution of coal tickets
  8. the keeping of full accounts of all income and expenditure by the Committee; said accounts and books to be available for inspection and balance sheets forwarded to the Commissioners every year

The Scheme was launched. The Commissioners and the local committee had taken on what was obviously at the time a formidable task, and with the passing of the years an impossible one to implement exactly as the testator dictated in his will.

Records of the Cullimore Charity

Ledger records dating from 1891 to the present have been kept by the local committee and they give a very clear picture of the progress of the Scheme. Unfortunately the Minute Book of meetings 1891 - 1936 is missing but those from 1937 to the present are intact. From these records we can follow the progress of the Coal Scheme and the Apprenticeship Scheme but there is no record or proof of boys being assisted in emigrating.

Impact of Scheme on Taghmon

It is difficult in the end of the twentieth century to visualise the impact and the importance of the Scheme when it was first introduced in 1891, 108 years ago. The difficulties that afflict late 20th century families such as poverty, sickness, unemployment and the problems associated with old age had to be faced in the 19th century without the benefit of Social Welfare and Health Schemes. People in distress were dependent on meagre payments under the Poor Law or by having recourse to the shelter of the Poor House. The Old Age Pension Scheme was not introduced until 1908, when for the first time, pensions varying from one shilling to five shillings a week, became payable on January 1 1909 to persons aged 70 or over. Large families lived in poverty and in need, under the threat of consumption/tuberculosis which had 'no pity for blue eyes and golden hair'. Homes could be cold and damp during the harsh winter months. It was Daniel Cullimore's intention, that there should at least be a warm fire in poor people's homes, to give them some solace and comfort at Christmas time and during the harsh winter months. He may have got the idea from a fund undertaken by Miss Richards who collected money for the Taghmon and Coolstuffe coal fund. In 1875/76 she received the following subscriptions from well-to-do landed gentry and inserted a notice of thanks in a local newspaper .
s d
Batt, Esq 1 0 0
Carew, the Right Hon. Lord 2 0 0
Colclough, Mrs 10 0
Doyne C.M. Esq 1 0 0
Ely, Marquis of 2 0 0
Goff S.O. Esq 5 0
Hore Ruthven Hon.G 1 0 0
O'Grady Hon. Mrs 2 0 0
Power, Sir James Bart 1 0 0
Richards Miss 1 0 0
11 15 0

This amount of money would have paid for approximately 12 tons of coal. One can imagine the joy in Taghmon when it became known that under Daniel Cullimore's Charity 150 tons of coal would be purchased and that 300 coal tickets, each entitling the bearer to ton of coal, would be distributed locally annually.

First Ledger Entry

1891, April 21
s d
To 150 tons of Coals at J.M. Marlowe's a/c @ 26/- per ton 195 0 0
To Scales and Weights @ 2/6 4 4 7
To Storage 5 0 0
Very Rev. Dean Murphy, P.P. Expenses 2 0 0
Rev. G. Rennison, Rector, Expenses 2 0 0
Man, 9 weeks storing & delivering the coals @ 12/- 5 8 0
Advertising for Contractors 7 0
Shovel 2 0
July 6 Furnished amount 214 1 7
Sept 4
Mr. John O'Connor 150 tons of coal @25/6 per ton 191 5 0
Advertising 8 0
Rev. Dean Murphy, P.P. 2 0 0
Rev. G. Rennison, Rector 2 0 0
Man, 11 weeks taking & delivering @ 12/- 6 12 0
416 6 7
Contra Credit
August 16 By cheque for the coals 195 0 0
Dec 17 By cheque order no. 815 221 6 7
416 6 7
The first cheque is probably the 1889-90 income from investing the capital, which had not been used in 1890.

It can be seen from this ledger entry that the Scheme had been interpreted precisely, under instructions from the Commissioners, by the local committee and that it was being operated as Daniel Cullimore had so clearly wished.


In 1892 a store in Back Street was rented from Mr. J. Keating. Insurance on the store was paid and a brush and handle and a chain were bought. The position of storekeeper must have been a nightmare. His duties were onerous, very demanding physically and psychologically and the task of ensuring that the coal was safely stored was very difficult. James Whelan was the first storekeeper named in the ledger in 1896. He was paid 3. For this sum he received, stored and weighed out the coal using a weighing scales and a shovel. The coal was delivered from the ship and transported by horse and cart to Taghmon. Those who received coal tickets were responsible for transporting the coal to their homes, by donkey and cart if they were lucky enough to have such a luxury. Neighbours helped each other when they could, but many a man gladly carried a bag of coal home on his back.


Advertisements for annual tenders were published in the local papers.
Tender Invited
Daniel Cullimore Coal
The local committee will at their meeting to be held on 29th July 1921, receive and consider tenders for the supply of 60 to 100 tons of best Standish Wigan House Coal or Powells Red Ash, Newport, the bill of lading to be produced; to be delivered and weighed in the Stores, Taghmon, direct from vessel not later than the 1st of September 1921. Tenders to be lodged with James Cullen, Taghmon, on or before 10 o'clock on Friday, 8th August. The committee do not bind themselves to accept the lowest or any tender. By order,
James Cullen, Taghmon
22nd July 1921.

Annual Income

For the first fifty years there was very little change in the annual income and the price of coal. However, twenty years later, the price of coal had risen dramatically while the annual interest had not. In fact the value of the capital had decreased at an alarming rate, as is shown in this item from an article entitled 'Memories of Taghmon' in the Free Press, November 15 1956. Under the heading Cullimore Charity Coal Fund it states that the 8,000 charity was invested in 2 per cent Consols. The price was then par - 100 for each 100 share. Their value today is less than - 46. Consequently it had become progressively more difficult to adhere strictly to Daniel Cullimore's wishes.

Approximate Income from interest on Capital 1891 - 1998

Average interest per year
1891-1920 4,738 157
1922-1951 7,954 265
1952-1972 4,220 211
1973-1982 3,288 328
1983-1992 7,731 773
1993-1998 6,360 1,060

Average Price of Coal

per ton per cwt per ton per cwt
s d
1891 1 6 0 1/3 1978 76 3.80
1901 1 4 3 1/2 1981 116 5.80
1921 1 14 10 1/8 1985 134 6.40 50k
1931 1 14 5 1/8 1986 152 7.60 50k
1942 1 17 6 1/10 1990 131 6.55 50k
1961 13 0 0 13/6 1991 122 6.10 50k
1973 20 1 1998 158 7.90 50k
1975 31 1.55


From 1891 to 1941 the price of coal was fairly constant and the number of tickets entitling bearer to ton coal varied only slightly, but in 1942, during World War II, there was no coal available. Mr. H. Wilson, Coal Merchant, wrote to the committee to inform them of the sinking of his coal ship. In 1942 and 1943 Mr. James Boggan, Tottenham Green, supplied 89 tons blocks.


The Commissioners did not favour the issuing of vouchers but eventually agreed to this procedure. In 1944, fuel vouchers valued @16/- (80p) each were reluctantly introduced. These enabled the holders to purchase fuel from any trader willing to honour them. This system continued until 1953 when 21 traders were supplying fuel - 204 vouchers having been issued that year. The number of traders involved was becoming too numerous. It was difficult to monitor the vouchers. A new system was introduced to restore order and control.

Taghmon Traders

In 1954 tenders were requested and received from three local traders. These were accepted by the Committee and vouchers valued at 28/6 were issued to 174 persons. The coal was supplied by:
J. McDonald 62 vouchers
P. Keating 43 vouchers
T. Williams 63 vouchers

The income from the fund was 220 but there was money in the bank balance to cover expenses. In 1968, the list had to be reduced to 106.


The steep increase in the price of coal coincided with the introduction of decimal currency. Social conditions had improved and there were less people living in dire circumstances. The object of the Charity and the aim of the Commissioners was to give the maximum benefit to the most deserving cases.

In 1973, coal cost 20 per ton, but the income from the fund had not increased proportionately. 108 applicants had received only 14 stones of coal each. The list of applicants was again revised, so that those most in need could receive a worthwhile amount of coal. Only widows, old age pensioners and the disabled were considered eligible. Many people were naturally disappointed but the committee had to operate within a very strict limited budget. 60 applicants received 2 cwts. coal @1.55 per cwt each. In 1978, Taghmon Cattle Mart offered 120 to supplement the income. This was used in 1980.

By 1982 the price of coal had risen to 5.80 per 50 kgs and only old age pensioners were eligible to receive the vouchers. In 1998, 44 vouchers valued at 20 each were issued to old age pensioners. Coal now costs, depending on grade, from 6.50 to 7.90 per 50k. Perhaps in the future there will no longer be coal available but the Commissioners and the local committee will as ever, endeavour to do their best, under changing circumstances, to administer the Charity.


The Coal Scheme has survived and will survive in the future. It may be forgotten that there was also a bequest which funded apprentices. Fortunately for research, Rev. P.M. Furlong, P.P recorded some apprentices' names in the ledger and left simple receipts as proof of the boys completing their apprenticeships.


There is also an original Indenture signed by Thomas Walshe, apprentice, Nicholas Devereux, Master, and P.M. Furlong P.P. Taghmon, dated Feb 5, 1906. Being an apprentice, to judge by the terms specified in the Indenture, demanded a high standard of self denial. An extract from an Indenture runs as follows :

He shall do no damage to his said Master, nor see it to be done of others ... He shall not commit fornication nor contract Matrimony within said term. He shall not play at Cards, Dice Tables or any other unlawful Games, whereby his said Master may have loss. He shall not haunt nor use Taverns, Ale Houses or Playhouses nor absent himself from his Master's service day or night, unlawfully.

Many boys however stayed the course and no doubt derived benefit and a livelihood by their perseverance and stamina. Daniel Cullimore believed in giving a boy a trade so that he could become useful and independent.

Receipts signed by Rev. P. M. Furlong, for boys nominated by him, are proof that the apprentices completed their term, which usually took four years. In the case of John Kehoe, apprenticed to John Fane, baker, the apprenticeship was for five years. The fee payable by the Commissioners to the Master was 10; 1st moiety on signing an indenture and 2nd moiety after two years.

The apprentice was to learn a trade. He was entitled to food, lodging, washing and occasionally medicine and clothes. A sum of 5 was to be paid to an apprentice on the completion of his apprenticeship.
Date Master Apprentice Period of Apprentice & payments to master
Nov 20 1896 James Walshe Shoemaker Carrig-on- Bannow Michael Martin, Rochestown Learning Shoemaking 4 years completed 10 paid
Nov 20 1896 James Doyle Carpenter Scaughmolin James Roche Taghmon 4 years completed 10 paid
April 10 1897 Martin Carty Shoemaker Tullicanna James Doyle Rochestown 4 years completed 10 paid
Nov 23 1897 John Fane Baker Taghmon John Kehoe Taghmon 5 years
June 16 1889 5 paid
June 21 1899 2 paid
May 29 1899 Patrick Cullen Carpenter Cullenstown Thomas Dillon Began apprenticeship Nov 27 1899 Indenture signed Nov 29 1899 4 years Jan 2 1900, 10 paid
1906 1908 Simon Cogley Richard Byrne Raheen 4 years 10 paid
Dec 11 1906 5
Dec 22 1908 5
1907 1910 Thomas Mernagh Shoemaker Thomas O'Connor 4 years 10 paid
Dec 8 1907 5
June 12 1910 5
June 11 1910 Thomas Mernagh Shoemaker Thomas Donovan June 11 1911 5

Margin notes

It is recorded that James Doyle, apprentice was to receive 1s per week during the last year of his apprenticeship and that Martin Carty and James Doyle were each paid 2 10 0.

Annual duties

I have not dealt with the meetings and the day-to-day details connected with the operating of the Scheme: e.g.
  1. Renting, paying insurance for and keeping the store in good repair: likewise the weights, wheelbarrows, shovels etc. When the Scheme started, the store was rented from Mr. P. Keating, later bought for 40, and when no longer used, sold.
  2. Advertising for and scrutinising tenders
  3. Banking and budgeting, keeping accounts, forwarding balance sheets to the Commissioners, preparing the ledgers for frequent inspection by representatives of the Commissioners
  4. Preparation of and distribution of coal tickets ensuring vouchers were honoured and accounts paid promptly

These and many other duties were faithfully fulfilled by the committee members during the past 108 years.


The Cullimore Charity account was initially opened in the Bank of Ireland in Wexford. In 1935 it was transferred to the National Bank Taghmon, now the Bank of Ireland. The Local Committee has kept the accounts excellently and a sum is always reserved in balance to cover unexpected expenses or to cope with rapid price increases. Accountants from the Commissioners, who examined and signed the ledgers, always found the accounts in order.

Accountants from Commissioners:

1922 Alan Rayner F.R.C.A.
1924 J.A. Swaine
1937 M. Clancy
1947 M. O'Suilleabhain
1952 J. O'Sullivan
1960 T.J. Simons
1963 J. McEvilly
Coal Suppliers 1891 - 1953 (1953 - 21 traders)
M.Marlowe 1953-1998
John O'Connor Thomas McDonald
Harpur and Wickham Philip Keating
J.J.Stafford * Tom Williams Thomas Donovan M. Munnelly
Wexford Coal Company Williams' Supermarket
Harry Wilson Furlong's Supermarket
J.Boggan (blocks) Neary's Store
James White Caulfield's Supermarket
William Staples
E. Esmonde
P. Stafford
Shelbourne Co-op

* J.J. Stafford was a grand-nephew of Daniel Cullimore

Members of the Local Committee 1891 - 1998

Parish Priests
1891 Rev. Garrett Rennison 1891 Rev. William Murphy
1897 Rev. William Evans 1896 Rev. Patrick M. Furlong
1915 Rev. Thomas Lowe 1914 Rev. William Fortune
1921 Rev. Francis B. Mollen 1925 Rev. Thomas Scallan
1926 Rev. Thomas Talbot 1953 Rev. Michael Byrne ADM
1934 Rev. George Browne 1956 Rev. Martin Murphy
1956 Rev. M.W. Talbot 1972 Rev. Henry Williams
1964 Rev. Ernest A. Brandon 1984 Rev. Thomas McCormack
1995 Rev. Norman J. Ruddock 1997 Rev. Denis Brennan
Secretaries Storekeepers ticket/voucher distributors
William Bennett N.T. 1891 James Whelan
1926 John J. Kelly N.T.* 1896 Thomas Leonard
1951 Martin Doyle N.T. 1924 Joseph Kendrick
1985 Rita Curtis N.T. 1940 Mrs. Kendrick
1992 Dan O'Flaherty N.T. 1952 Nan Murphy
1954 Mrs. Nan Codd
1996 Mrs. Mai Ward
The Principal of the Taghmon Primary School is traditionally the Secretary of the Committee. Rita Curtis is the only woman to have served on the Committee.

* In 1954 the Charity received 134 from Mr. J.J. Kelly's estate.

Lay Committee Members

Church of Ireland Catholic Church
Robert A. Byron James Keating
Robert J. Sparrow Bartholomew Brennan
W. Simmons William Bennett
Mr. Rhynehart J. J. Kelly
Captain Parker J. R. Cullen
Aby Watchorn James Cullen
Robert Ward Martin Doyle
Sam Simmons Patrick Fenlon
Rita Curtis
Dan O'Flaherty

Aby Watchorn

In 1948 Mr. A. Watchorn was appointed a member of the Committee in place of the late Capt. Parker. Aby is the longest serving member of the Committee having reached a record of 50 years service in 1998 - a remarkable achievement.

The good that Daniel Cullimore did lives after him. For this he deserves to be remembered in Taghmon and

'within three statute miles from the old castle in said town'.


Parochial Records, Taghmon
Local Committee, Taghmon
Ledgers and Minute Book
Rev. D. Brennan P.P.
Ann Boland
Grace Curtis
Mary Rose Curtis
Breda Doran
Phil Kelly
Brendan Hamilton
Ann Marie Lemass
Rev. T. McCormack
Hilary Murphy
Sylvia O'Connor
Dan O'Flaherty
Eithne Scallan
Seamus Seery
Tom Williams


  1. See article on his life and times by Rita Curtis in this journal.
  2. The Board entitled 'The Commissioners of Charitable Donations and Bequests for Ireland' presently situated at 12, Clare St., Dublin 2 is the authority responsible for the general administration of Charities in the Republic of Ireland. The Commissioners are a statutory body and at present they derive their powers from the 1961 and 1973 Charities Acts. They are appointed by the government and give their services gratuitously. The Commissioners meet on a monthly basis. They act as trustees for some charitable trusts and hold funds on behalf of others. They can invest and authorise charity trustees to invest in securities outside the ordinary range of trustee securities. Their many other functions include the appointment of new trustees and the authorisation of sales of charity property. The Commissioners regard the carrying out of the donor's or testator's/testatrix's intention as of primary importance. This can be very difficult at times.
  3. Definition of the scheme (Catholic Church, Parochial Records, Taghmon).
  4. The Wexford Independent November 29 1890
  5. The People, February 2 1891
  6. Catholic Church Parochial Records, Taghmon
  7. First Report of the Department of Social Welfare 1947-1949; my thanks to Phil Kelly H.E.O.
  8. The Wexford Independent April 5 1876
  9. The People, 27/07/1921
  10. Bill of Lading: an official detailed receipt, given by the master of a vessel to the person consigning the goods, by which he makes himself responsible for their safe delivery to the consignee (the person to whom the goods are delivered).
  11. Catholic Church Parochial Records, Taghmon