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Sheffield Charity Set Up Over Two Centuries Ago Continues to Help Silversmiths in Need

Published: 14th December 2021

A Sheffield charity set up over two centuries ago with money left in a will is continuing to help those within the silversmithing trade. Mary Parsons, who died on September 30, 1815, left a bequest in her will for the amount of £1,500 to benefit old, infirm and poor silversmiths in Sheffield.

Aimed at her executors, the will instructed the money to be given away annually on St John's Day in memory of her late brother John Parsons, one of the earliest Sheffield platers and silversmiths who passed away a year prior.

Since 1993, the Sheffield Assay Office have administered the charity, undertaking annual fundraising activities and receiving donations from the trade to support local silversmiths. We are very grateful for the donations received this year to support our 11 beneficiaries. 

Mary parsons Charity 2021 Mary Parsons Charity Service 2021

The annual Mary Parsons Charity service will take place on Monday 27th December at 11:15am at Sheffield Cathedral and we invite everyone to join us to give thanks to the silversmiths of the City. If you are unable to attend the service we encourage you to call into the Cathedral to see the dedicated Christmas tree to John and Mary Parsons, the tree is one of many beautifully decorated trees on display as part of Christmas Tree Festival. This year the tree is decorated with the makers mark of John Parsons and Winter and Hall and also bears the town mark of Sheffield Assay Office along with items of silver that would have been made in the 18th and 19th century by John Parsons.

The trees will be in place until Sunday 2nd January and available to see 10:00am – 4:00pm each day. 

Find out more about The Christmas Tree Festival here

If you would like to make a donation to the Mary Parsons Charity, any contributions would be gratefully received. Cheques should be made payable to the 'Mary Parsons Charity' and sent to:

Sheffield Assay Office,
Guardians’ Hall,
2 Beulah Road,
S6 2AN.

Click here to find out more about Mary & John Parsons

The Sheffield Assay Office was established in 1773, under an Act of Parliament and today the company assays and hallmarks the precious metals - silver, gold, platinum and palladium. Sheffield Assay Office is one of only four UK assay offices who all work to uphold the Hallmarking Act of 1973 and continue to ensure consumer protection for customers purchasing precious metals.

To find out more about the whole range of services offered by Sheffield Assay Office, such as our hallmarking and analytical services, please email us at or complete the contact form on our website at,

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