History of the Foundation

Samuel Butler was born in the parish of St Anne’s Limehouse, but his date of birth, occupation and address are unknown, so it is difficult to compile even a basic biography.

What is known is that Samuel Butler was born into a family of mariners, probably around 1763. His will, dated 1821, features the parish of St Anne’s prominently, so he must have had a strong connection to the area and is thought to have carried out philanthropic works throughout his lifetime. Samuel died on 15th May 1837 and the Samuel Butler’s Educational Foundation was established in 1854, some seventeen years after his death.

From its beginning the Foundation supported needy individuals from local parishes in the City of London and what is now Tower Hamlets, providing scholarships and apprenticeships for boys and girls. The first grants the Foundation made in 1854 were to fund apprenticeships for boys to attend the Red Coat Charity School in Mile End and the Green Coat Charity School in Ratcliffe.

The first Chairman of the Foundation was the Reverend Edward Rhys-Jones who was the Rector of St. Anne’s. At that time, the charity was administered by Messrs Kennedy, Hughes & Kennedy (the Clerk being Thomas Kennedy) from 26 Chancery Lane from 1854 until 1875.

From 1875 until 1898 and 1900 until 1910 it was administered from 1 Clements Inn in the Strand. From 1898 until 1900 meetings were held at Sir Charles Elliott’s Room at the London School Board’s offices on Victoria Embankment.

The administration of the charity moved from Clements Inn to Sir John Cass’s Foundation in 1910 when William Henry Davison (later Lord Broughshane) became Clerk to the Trustees.

The Foundation purchased 3 Cannon Street, St Paul’s Churchyard in 1894 for £8,344. They obtained an annual rental income of £620. The property was destroyed during the Second World War and was compulsory purchased by the Corporation of London in 1951 for £3,000.

Today the Foundation welcomes applications from the thirty-nine primary schools in its benefice area. Over the last year, the Foundation has assisted schools with the costs of school journeys, artists in residence, literacy and numeracy projects.

With thanks to the Sir John Cass Foundation for the above information

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Registered Charity No 307908