Ref NoMS 1579/1/3
TitleBarrow Cadbury Fund
Date1924 - 1980s
LevelSeries
AccessStatusPartially closed (Content)
AdminHistoryFollowing the establishment of the Barrow and Geraldine S. Cadbury Trust in 1920, Barrow Cadbury became aware of the limitations of trusts as channels for charitable giving. By law, trusts could only make donations or grants to charitable causes. This regulation had the practical effect of preventing Barrow and Geraldine from providing support to causes that were not considered charitable or that may not have been considered charitable.

In order to circumvent this restriction, Barrow established a benevolent fund called The Barrow Cadbury Fund in 1924. To endow the new fund Barrow contributed forty-four thousand £1 fully paid Ordinary Shares in the British Cocoa and Chocolate Company Ltd. The Fund's first trustees were named in the deed of trust as Barrow Cadbury, Geraldine S. Cadbury, Dorothy A. Cadbury, Paul S. Cadbury and Geraldine M. Cadbury with Barrow acting as chair and treasurer. Rachel E. Cadbury was subsequently appointed as a trustee in 1935. The inaugural meeting of the Fund was held on 27 October 1924.

The two-fold purpose of the Fund was to 1) supplement the pensions of retired Quaker staff and social workers, often through annuities, and, 2) make grants to organisations or individuals that were not, strictly speaking, charitable. Through the Fund Barrow and Geraldine were able to considerably expand the scope of their charitable giving. During its first year of operation the Fund dispersed £5,175 in grants to fifteen organisations including the Birmingham Maternity Hospital (£1,500), the Anti-Slavery and Aborigines Protection Society (£200) and the Plymouth Friends' Meeting House (£25). Additionally, annuities totalling £600 were allocated to two annuitants.

Barrow was responsible for the day to day running of the Fund with clerical assistance provided by his private secretary. Meetings of the Fund were held on an annual basis, normally in October or November with informal meetings occurring during the year as necessary. Annual meeting business was consistent and included the re-appointment of Barrow as Chairman, an examination of Fund deeds and a review of annual accounts. Personal grants, subscriptions and annuities were listed as an addendum to each meeting.

Fund expenditure rose gradually from 1924 to 1952. Over the same period the number of annuitants, subscriptions and grantees also steadily increased. Periodically, Barrow transferred additional British Cocoa and Chocolate Company shares to the Fund to enable increased levels of giving and investment. In June 1926 total Fund investments amounted to £74,800. By March 1952 this figure stood at £213,000.

During the Fund's last financial year (1951/1952), over £9,000 was dispersed to over one hundred and fifty recipients. Sixty-six of these payments were made under the classifications 'annuities' or 'personal gifts'. Most payments were relatively modest, for instance £2.2s to the Birchfield Harriers and £5 for the Stirchley Friends Sunday Association, though larger grantees included Fircroft College (£200) and the Central Board for Conscientious Objectors (£300).

In 1948 a legal challenge was raised as to the validity and tax status of benevolent funds. A decision against benevolent funds as they were then constituted would have been likely to undermine the surtax exemption claimed by the Fund. Prior to 1948 benevolent funds were subject chiefly to income tax. To avoid potential legal and financial complications Barrow decided to close the Fund and transfer its assets to a newly created benevolent company titled the Barrow Cadbury Fund Ltd.

The assets of the benevolent fund were transferred as a gift to the new company. The last meeting of the original Fund took place on 24 June 1952, bringing the records of this organisation to an end. A week later on 01 July 1952 the newly constituted Fund held its first meeting, the minutes of which were duly recorded in a new minute book (MS 1579/1/5/1/1/1). Despite these legal and administrative changes, the functions of the new and old funds were identical.

It is worth noting as a postscript that a number of Cadbury Trusts' publications state that the original fund was closed in 1949 and that the new company was established that same year. The archivist can find no records to substantiate this assertion. The minutes of the funds are in agreement that these events took place in 1952.
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