The Companys’ Role

           in Education

The Jewel in the Crown is Merchant Taylors’ School, founded in 1561 by Richard Hilles, Master of the Company, and owned and maintained by the Company ever since. Originally in Suffolk Lane in the Parish of Lawrence Poutney, it moved to Charterhouse in the 1870s, and to Sandy Lodge, Northwood, in 1933. It is now a fee-paying public school educating 800 boys.

St John’s Preparatory School at Northwood was purchased by the Company in 1984.

Merchant Taylors’ School has always had close links with St John’s College, Oxford, founded in 1555 by Sir Thomas White, Master of the Company in 1535. Until recently there were a number of closed scholarships from the school to the college, and in the late sixteenth and early 17th centuries the President and Fellows would travel to London every year to choose the best candidates.

Other schools of which the Company was trustee from the very beginning were at Crosby near Liverpool (Merchant Taylors’ School, founded by John Harrison, 1620); Wallingford (Walter Bigg, 1659); Ashwell, Hertfordshire (Henry Colbron, 1664); and Merchant Taylors’ School for Girls, Crosby (1878). Wolverhampton Grammar School was also administered by the Company from its foundation by Sir Stephen Jenyns in 1512 until a dispute between the Company and the town in 1786. Links have since been renewed.

Other schools founded by wealthy members of the Company but with which the Company was not involved include Macclesfield (Sir Thomas Percyvale, 1503); Market Harborough (Robert Smyth, 1607); and Londonderry (Matthias Springham, 1617). The Company has since established links with many of these.

Further information can be found in Matthew Davies and Ann Saunders, The History of the Merchant Taylors’ Company (Maney, 2004). This includes a select bibliography. Copies are available from the Company.

Providing support for education is a key part of the Company’s philanthropic work.  This is predominantly achieved through our work with the Company’s associated schools. In addition to this we support a number of educational initiatives run by various external organisations. These include, the Livery Schools Link, the Livery Companies Skills Council, the Livery Companies Apprenticeship Scheme (in conjunction with Savile Row Bespoke), City & GuildsCity Hall  and Arkwright Scholarships to name a few.

The Merchant Taylors’ Education Committee holds many activities throughout the year for our associated schools and the wider educational community.

We do not accept unsolicited applications for our educational charitable trusts. However, you may apply to us for funding if you fulfil one of the following criteria:

1) If you attended one of the Merchant Taylors’ Associated Schools and have been awarded a leaving prize by your Headteacher.

2) If you currently attend one of the Merchant Taylors’ Associated Schools and are fundraising for a charity project at your school.

3) If you are an educational charity or not for profit organisation that has been invited to submit an application.

Please refer to Guidelines for Applicants document for further information on how to apply.

If you do not fulfil the criteria for a grant from our educational funds, you may wish to review our other funds and application process listed on the Charities section of the website. If in doubt, please call the Education Officer on 020 7450 4440.

For information on our recent educational activities, please click here.