Hampshire Archives Trust made a small grant to purchase the account book of the Southwick Soapers Charity. It demonstrates that a small amount of money can save an unusual document.
The book contains an account of loaves of bread distributed to charity recipients, 1869-1880. The recipients are listed alphabetically by year, with accounts of suppliers.
In 1837 John Soaper, surgeon, bequeathed interest from a £400 investment to be spent on bread to be distributed to the poor on 25 January each year. The account and distribution were supervised by the parish overseers of the poor. The charity in some form endured long after the last entry in this book. Hampshire Charity Commission records for John Soaper (and Honor Wayte) for 1901-1938 can be found at HRO/35M84/542, and for Soaper alone for 1949-62 at HRO/55M79/PX59