I suppose that this could be described as the distaff side of the Gwyn and Young Endowments. It originated in a bequest left by a Joseph Young upon his death in Decenber 1842 for the purpose of clothing, maintaining and educating female children from the City and Liberties of Londonderry. For some fifty years the Young Estate was under the supervision of two trustees who were also nephews of the deceased, Messrs John and Joseph Cooke. An adherent of the Reformed Presbyterian Church Joseph Young's father acted as stated supply from 1787 until his death in 1794 at Faughan Reformed Presbyterian Church.
Due to the numerous annuitants who benefited from Mr Young's estate the charity was not operational by 1888. In that year on Saturday 19th May the Educational Endowments (Ireland) Commission sat at the Courthouse Londonderry to hear the objections of the Young Trustees to a draft scheme which proposed the amalgamation of Gwyn Endowments and the Young Charity. Mr John Cooke of Counsel who was yet another relative of Joseph Young appeared on behalf of the Young Trustees. Mr J. J. Shaw appeared on behalf of the Gwyn trustees. The latter were generally supportive of the proposed amalgamation. The Young Trustees did not wish to be, as they saw it, subsumed into the Gwyn Endowments charity. Ultimately however this was to be the outcome.
Both John Gwyn and Joseph Young were strong adherents of the Victorian principle of philanthropy. Both gentlemen left substantial monies to assist the impoverished and deserving youthful citizenry of Londonderry. It is perhaps unfortunate that the real value of their bequests has declined with the passage of years and the enslaught of inflation. I suspect that unless there is a marked change in the administration of the Charity that it will not be long before it is the subject of a cy pres application. That would be unfortunate but perhaps inevitable. Yet another footnote in our social history.