Alderman John Nash

  • 1 Feb 2019
  • Worcester People and Places
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In New Street there is a fine half-timbered building known as Nash's House. It takes it's name from Alderman John Nash, Mayor, and twice representative of the City in Parliament during Charles 1 reign. He was born of a wealthy family of clothiers in 1590, at a time when Worcester was the largest clothing manufacturing town in the country, employing 8,000 people on 380 looms. The lengths of white cloth made in the City were called either long Worcesters or short Worcesters, according to their length.

In his 72 year, Nash was a Roundhead Captain Horse , politician, local administrator, and successful merchant. He was the collateral ancestor of the Nashe's of Martley and Somers-Cocks family. In the revolutionary days of the Commonwealth, he as a J.P. married couples in the Cornmarket. A church service being then regarded as unnecessary.   

Apart from his Hospital charity, he left £300 from which young men could borrow free of interest to set themselves up in business. Records say the scheme worked well, none abusing their privilege. Various parishes had money to apprentice young lads.

John Nash's tomb was placed in St. Helen's Church, near his old enemy, Colonel Dud Dudley. He left 5s. to the Town Clerk, 'so far as relates to his charitable bequests, to be publicly read by the Town Clerk at the Guildhall of the said city, on the first Friday in Lent and he to receive for his trouble 5s.'

The present Town Clerk never read it and it is unlikely that this has been done this century, nor does it appear that the loan to young men to set them up in business has operated for a very long time.