Thus at Leighton Buzzard on Rogation Monday, in accordance with the will of one Edward Wilkes, a London merchant who died in 1646, the trustees of his almshouses accompanied the boys.
A state board of charities has supervision over all philanthropic and penal institutions in the state, including hospitals, which numbered 103 in 1907; and the board visits the almshouses supported by seventy-eight (of the 168) towns of the state, and investigates and supervises the provision made for the town poor in the other ninety towns of the state; some, as late as 1906, were, with the few paupers maintained by the state, cared for in a private almshouse at Tariffville, which was commonly known as the " state almshouse.
Among a number of almshouses are some bearing the name of Queen Elizabeth, endowed in 1562 out of the revenues of a dissolved fraternity of St Mary.
Among various institutions may be mentioned Whittington's almshouses, near Whittington Stone, at the foot of Highgate Hill, on which the future mayor of London is reputed to have been resting when he heard the peal of Bow bells and "turned again."
The picturesque almshouses were erected in 1798 by Caroline, duchess of Marlborough.