Bishop Duppa founded the almshouses for 10 unmarried women over 50 years of
age. They were first built on Richmond Hill at the corner of Friars Stile Road.
Brian Duppa was Bishop of first Chichester,
and then Salisbury. He had been Chaplain to Charles I and tutor to the future Charles II. He had
remained at Richmond Palace with him until the Civil War. Deprived of the See of Salisbury during
Oliver Cromwell's time, Bishop Duppa lived in Richmond – in a house now occupied by the Old Town
At the Restoration in 1660, he was made Bishop in 1661 of Winchester but continued
to live in Richmond.
According to an article in the Richmond Herald of 16 Dec
The rules laid down by Bishop Duppa
in the foundation of the charity eliminate:-
“any person suffering from any
any inmate found to be
The rules also included the following
“that none of the poor being of
ability to do work should at any time be idle but should always be employed in God’s prayer, or
reading, or in other employment such as spinning, knitting or the like
that no tippling house should be
kept within the said almshouse under pain of expulsion of each person as should keep
and if any of the poor should be
found unseasonably or intemperately tippling in any common alehouse, for the first offence she
should forfeit 4d; for the second offence 12d; and for the third offence should be expelled from
the said almshouse for ever”
Once over the doorstep, the residents
had to wear “a gown or coat made of a substantial cloth and of a colour called Bishop’s blue”.
If any woman sold her gown within a year of receiving it, she was thrown out.