In 1817, a lady called Mary Parsons left a bequest in her will for the amount of £1,500 - in those days a considerable amount - to benefit forty-eight old, infirm and poor Sheffield silversmiths. This generous gesture was made in memory of her brother John, who was one of the earliest Sheffield platers and silversmiths
Sheffield Assay Office now administers this unique charity and plays an active role in generating funds and donations by hosting open days and events which enable members of the public to view unique archives and pieces from the silver collection. And every year on December 27th, the feast of St John the Evangelist, retired silversmiths still gather in Sheffield Cathedral to benefit from Mary Parsons' bequest.
Assay Master, Ashley Carson who has been the Chairman of the Mary Parsons Charity since 1993 comments:
"Over the years we have had a strong desire to keep this worthwhile charity going. It now relies on donations and support from the Assay Office and the trade. We organise Open Days and other events to give this unique charity a boost so that it can continue for many years to come. We also welcome donations."
For anyone wishing to make a donation, cheques should be made payable to 'Mary Parsons Charity'.