Wednesday, 3 November 2010


Following my visit to Drapers' Academy, see previous post, I was in attendance at the Goveernors' meeting of the Sir William Boreman Foundation in the Hall.

In 1684 Sir William Boreman bequeathed to the Drapers’ Company the school he had founded in Greenwich, together with adjacent land and property and other property interests, on trust for the endowment of the school.

The school, except for a short period of closure in the late eighteenth century functioned successfully until 1874 when its site was compulsorily acquired for the extension of the South Eastern Railway.

The school reopened as the Greenwich Hospital School and moved to Suffolk in 1927 and is today the Royal Hospital School.  Boreman's charity was changed at the same time to enable the income to be used for granting awards for the education and training of young people under 25 years of age and residing in Greenwich and Lewisham. Preference is still shown towards children of watermen, seamen or fishermen - but it has to be said few present themselves.

The Company makes grants exceeding £1.5million annually to a wide variety of charities and charitable purposes.  In addition it is trustee of three substantial almshouses.  Boremans is one of our smallest charities, it distributes some £65,000 annually.  However it meets a specific need by making the majority of its grants to individuals who need financial help in their education.

The Board of Governors led by Tony Walker, Master Warden, meet three times a year to consider applications for grants from both individuals and organisations.   The Drapers' Governors include Assistant Nicholas Bence-Trower and Liverymen Lucy Barber, Gill Dirdal and Emma House.  There are also representatives from the London Boroughs of Greenwich and Lewisham, the University of Greenwich and St Alfege's Church, Greenwich that has long been associated with the charity.  The meeting on 2 November was the first in the Company year that starts in July.

Applications are carefully considered with the focus increasingly being made on granting relatively small annual sums of around £1000 to meet living and associated expenses rather than tutorial fees.  We anticipate this is going to be an area of increasing need as the costs of education bear down more heavily on students and other agencies are unable to provide support.  The Governors also make grants to various organisations and projects in the Greenwich/Lewisham area that have a focus on yoing people.

If you want to know more about the Foundation go to  and follow the links through to Boreman's Foundation.

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