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An update on research into the origins of our endowment


Author: Trust for London

We are continuing work to better understand the origins of the endowment granted to the City Parochial Foundation in 1891, now managed by Trust for London.

Earlier this year we began work to explore the origins of the endowment bequeathed to the Trust in 1891. The research was initially delayed due to the pandemic, but with archives reopening we have now commissioned a researcher from Kings College London to progress the work.

The endowment originated from the historic philanthropy of individuals within the 112 parishes of the City of London, which over the centuries received around 1,400 separate charitable gifts and bequests to be used for the benefit of its church communities. Our initial investigation into the gifts revealed that the bulk of the endowment was made up of property, some 700 titles. We’ve been able to establish that the original deeds for the titles are held at the London Metropolitan Archives, which is now allowing researchers access to the archives by appointment.

The research will look at ownership of the properties when they were donated, to identify whether the title holders had connections to the international slave trade. The Trust was established almost 60 years after the abolition of slavery, but it is possible that some of the parishioners that left legacies had links to the trade.

Due to the large number of property titles we expect the research to take some time, but hope to be able to share a report on the work with you towards the end of the year.