London Metropolitan Archives - Item Details


Date of Creation:

1929 - 2008

Reference Code:


Scope and Content:
  • Records of The Pilgrim Trust, including minutes of Trustees meetings; financial records; papers of the Secretary; correspondence; annual reports; publications; annual accounts; ledgers; cash books; grant payment books and grant files relating to art and learning, countryside preservation, ecclesiastical preservations, secular preservation and social welfare.
Extent: 62.92 linear metres
Classification: CHARITIES
Site Location: London Metropolitan Archives
Level of Description:

The Collection Tree View below shows the catalogue level, document or item described on this page in the hierarchical context of the collection it belongs to, identified in the tree by the open folder icon and highlighed text. Browsing the collection tree can be a useful way to find similar or related documents.

You can click the arrows next to the folder icons to explore the collection, opening and closing the levels of the Collection Tree. If you click on a title, you will leave this page, opening instead the page of the catalogue level, document or item you selected. Only the DOCUMENT and ITEM levels describe physical documents. The COLLECTION, GROUP, SERIES and SUBSERIES levels provide structure for the collection, but are not physical documents. See Help-Using the Catalogue for more information on our levels of catalogue description.

Administrative History:
  • Edward Stephen Harkness of New York founded The Pilgrim Trust in 1930 by endowing it with a capital sum of just over two million pounds. A group of Trustees were appointed to oversee the granting of funds in Britain. Stanley Baldwin was the first Chairman of the Trust and Dr Thomas Jones the first Secretary. Other trustees were Lord Macmillan, John Buchan and Sir Josiah Stamp. They had authority to expend both the capital and the income of the fund and were given the discretion of absolute owners in the choice of investments.

    Until the outbreak of the Second World War grants were split equally between the preservation of the historic heritage of Britain and schemes for the welfare of the unemployed. In the first ten years the Trust made grants totalling over £1 million, of which £460,000 had been given to schemes of Social Welfare and nearly £400,000 for the preservation of national monuments, archives and the countryside and the remainder to education and research.

    During the Second World War the Trust focused on the welfare of the forces and of other engaged in the war effort, and the alleviation of hardship caused by the conflict. A scheme known as Recording Britain was also established, the aim of which was to give employment to artists while recording historic buildings and places at risk of destruction. This work was published in four volumes and the original paintings and drawings were presented to the Victoria and Albert Museum. Perhaps the most successful of The Pilgrim Trust's war-time efforts was the institution of the Council for the Encouragement of Music and the Arts, known as CEMA, which later developed into the Arts Council of Great Britain.

    After the war there was less unemployment and the Welfare State had been established so the Trust devoted its resources to the numerous cathedrals, churches and ancient buildings of all kinds which had been neglected during the course of the war and were in serious states of disrepair. The Trust received so many requests for grants from parish churches that they approached the Archbishop of Canterbury about the national problem and there followed the establishment of the Historic Churches Preservation Trust and later the Council for Places of Worship. The Trust makes annual block grants to these organisations (the former for the preservation of individual churches and the latter for the restoration of works of art within these buildings).

    The Pilgrim Trust continues to fund projects particularly those where their funds will make a significant impact. Their funding is concentrated into two main area Preservation & Scholarship and Social Welfare and further details regarding these areas can be found on their website.

Creator: Pilgrim Trust
Copyright: Gift Copyright to these records rests with the Corporation of London
Source of Acquisition:
  • Records deposited in 2003, 2007 and 2009
  • B03/024
  • B03/057
  • B07/094
  • B09/097
Access Restrictions: These records are open to public inspection, although records containing personal information may be subject to closure periods
Physical Condition: Fit
Arrangement: LMA/4450/A ADMINISTRATION:
LMA/4450/A/01 Trustees Meetings
LMA/4450/A/02 Finance Papers
LMA/4450/A/03 Secretary's Papers
LMA/4450/A/04 Papers and Correspondence
LMA/4450/A/05 Annual Reports
LMA/4450/A/06 Publications

LMA/4450/B/01 Annual Accounts
LMA/4450/B/02 Ledgers
LMA/4450/B/03 Cash Books
LMA/4450/B/04 Grant Payment and Analysis Books

LMA/4450/C/01 Arts and Learning
LMA/4453/C/02 Countryside Preservation
LMA/4450/C/03 Ecclesiastical Preservation
LMA/4450/C/04 Secular Preservation
LMA/4450/C/05 Social Welfare
Publication Notes:

There is a short history of The Pilgrim Trust, 1930-1980, in the collection (reference LMA/4450/A/06/003).