The History and Antiquities of London, Westminster, Southwark, and Parts Adjacent, vol. 4
The May Feast.
In this parish there was an ancient custom, that the principal inhabitants annually met and dined together on the , when the who presided was called the steward. At the meeting in , Mr. John Panther being in that office, proposed to make a collection for binding out as apprentices, the children of poor persons having a legal settlement; this was readily acceded to, and the minister of the parish, and such gentlemen as had served the office of steward, and should afterwards serve it, were to be the governors. This excellent plan has been followed ever since. The members for the borough are always invited to the feast, and a liberal collection is made.
The governors meet the Friday after every quarter day, to consider of the application of the subscription money. Not more than is to be given with a boy, or more than . with a girl. On the , it was resolved, that boys should be apprenticed annually, and if so many are not found in St. Thomas's parish, the stewards in rotation may each appoint from any other parish.
By liberal donations and good management of the surplus, several have been invested in the public funds, which will soon enable the governors to extend the sum given with the apprentices.
 Manning and Bray's Surrey, iii. p. 631.