The Dulwich Estate

Central Foundation Schools of London

Address The Central Schools of London Foundation
  Cowper Street
  EC2A 4SH
Telephone 020 7010 3022
Fax 020 7490 1536
Email Address

It is the Foundation which benefits from the Estate (having received £4.4 million of income and £6.3 million of capital during the period 1995 to 2007) and not the two Schools direct. The Foundation uses the distributions from the Estate to benefit the Central Foundation Boys’ School and the Central Foundation Girls’ School.

The link between The Dulwich Estate Charity and the Central Foundation Schools of London was established by the Revd William Rogers, Rector of St Botolph’s Church, Bishopsgate. Revd. Rogers was an Estates Governor and a former Chairman of the Board (between August and December 1882).

The son of a barrister, he was born in Bloomsbury in 1819 and was educated at Eton and Balliol College, Oxford. His academic career was undistinguished but he was a member of the Oxford crew which lost the boat race to Cambridge in 1840. After a two year Grand Tour of Europe, he read Theology at Durham and on ordination, he was appointed curate at Fulham (described then as a ‘pretty village’). He was moved (apparently at the Vicar’s request) by the Bishop of London to a very different parish – St Thomas, Charterhouse (bounded by Whitecross Street, Goswell Road and Old Street) where the poverty, ignorance and squalor were typical of mid-nineteenth century inner-city life. Rogers decided that to provide the children of the area with some education might be a way to improve their situation and he began with a class of some 90 boys in a converted blacksmith’s shop. Numbers grew rapidly to some 800, paying according to means – the equivalent of 15p or in most cases, nothing at all.

When he was moved to St Botolph’s, Bishopsgate, he continued his interest in developing education and he established a Committee which eventually led to The Corporation for Middle Class Education, set up under Royal Charter, with the school opening in 1866 in Bath Street but then moving in 1868 to Cowper Street – the current site of the Central Foundation Boys’ School.

It appears that the Revd Rogers was behind the change which resulted in The Dulwich Estate Charity endowing the newly formed Central Foundation Schools of London in 1891: the Estate (with the Charity Commission’s approval) gave £5,000 of capital and agreed an initial annual sum of £2,350. Presumably as part of this, the Estates Governors were granted the right to appoint one Governor to the Board of the Foundation (which continues to the present day).

And the connection with the Founder? Edward Alleyn was born in Bishopsgate and was christened in St Botolph’s. The original twelve poor scholars benefiting from Alleyn’s Foundation were chosen from the four parishes with which he was closely associated, including St Botolph’s Bishopsgate.

Address Central Foundation Boys' School Central Foundation Girl's School
  Cowper Street 25-33 Bow Road
  London London
  EC2A 4SH E3 2AE
Telephone 020 7253 3741 020 8981 1131
Fax 020 7336 7295 020 8983 0188
Email Address
Web Site Central Foundation, Girls School website