Many of the faithful founded abbeys and churches on condition that the right of patronage, that is the choice of beneficiaries, should be reserved to them and their heirs.
The Smith Charities is a peculiar institution, endowed by Oliver Smith (1766-1845) of Hatfield, who left an estate valued at $370,000, to be administered by a board of three trustees, chosen by electors representing the towns of Northampton, Hadley, Hatfield, Amherst and Williamsburg in Hampshire county and Greenfield and Whately in Franklin county - the beneficiaries of the will.
When the poor believe the rich are beneficiaries of different legal status than the poor.
Moreover, in proportion as the clergy, no longer mere ringleaders of a despised and persecuted sect, became beneficiaries and administrators of rich endowments - and this at a time when the external safeguards against embezzlement were comparatively weak - a strong feeling grew up among the laity that church revenues should not go to support the priest's family.
Among the beneficiaries of the education fund was Samuel Stillman (1737-1807), afterward the honoured pastor of the Boston church.