The Latymer Foundation was created in 1624 by Edward Latymer, a wealthy lawyer and man of property, when he donated a part of his estate for the clothing and education of “eight poore boyes” from Hammersmith.
Between 1624 and 1895 the revenues from the Latymer Foundation’s lands paid for local boys (and for 140 years, girls) to receive an education.
Then, in 1895, the Trustees of the Latymer Foundation decided to establish Latymer Upper School which opened its doors on King Street with 106 pupils.
Latymer has always strived to be as inclusive and diverse as possible and provide financial support to as many children as possible.
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By 1919, 25% of students were attending Latymer thanks to either a bursary supported by the local London education authority or from the Latymer Foundation.
In 1944, following the introduction of the Butler Education Act, Latymer became a Direct Grant school, where half of all places were reserved for scholarship pupils, with the rest available for fee-paying families. However, a number of these fee-paying families were actually financially supported by the Latymer Foundation, resulting in almost 80% of students being able to attend Latymer throughout the 1950s, 60s and 70s on a free place.
The support given by the local authority fell significantly during the 1970s, and the Direct Grant scheme was abolished altogether in 1976. Whilst a new ‘Assisted Places’ scheme was introduced by the Government in 1981, its impact was short-lived and Latymer’s ethos of offering a first class education to children from all backgrounds was threatened for the first time.
Without the support from the Government, the Governors of Latymer were forced to take the difficult decision to set fees at a realistic level to ensure the School stayed solvent. This required all parents to pay for their child’s place, and made it far more difficult to accept boys from poorer backgrounds. By 1998 there were only two permanent free places funded by the Foundation.
The trustes of the Latymer Foundation were not happy about this situation and resolved to find a way to move back in line with the ethos of Edward Latymer. In 2004, Latymer’s Development Office (now known as the Foundation Office) was established. Since then, it has sought to secure donations of all sizes in support of Latymer’s bursary programme, which has expanded from just two free places in 1998 to 268 funded places in the academic year 2022/23.
However there is still more to be done to enable us to reach the next milestone on our journey towards needs-blind admission to Latymer Upper School, which is to have sufficient funding to allow 25% of our students to be financially supported by the Foundation by 2024.
London had a population of around 200,000 of whom approx 1,000 lived in Hammersmith.
Death of Elizabeth I, accession of James VI/I
The Gunpowder Plot
The King James Version of the Bible published, the new authorised translation
Edward Latymer writes his Will, contemplating the bequest of almost 30 acres of Butterwick Manor to pay for the upkeep of 6 almsmen and the education of 8 poor boys in Hammersmith.
Charles I suspended Parliament, and started 11 years of personal rule
St Paul’s chapel-of-ease in Hammersmith opens
Civil War breaks out. Royalist army halted at the Battle of Turnham Green. Temporary bridge of boats built to convey Parliamentary troops from Putney.
Execution (“regicide”) of Charles I
Ralph Griggs rents waterfront property (the current Riverside House)
Great Plague, infections especially rife in the waterside villages including Hammersmith
A Hammersmith parish charity school is established. Schoolhouse is constructed at St Paul’s Church and Latymer pupils join.
Accession, Charles II
Catholic Queen Dowager of Charles II, Catherine of Braganza, takes up residence at Riverside House on Upper Mall. She illegally sets up a Catholic school for girls opposite Butterwick Manor, now called Sacred Heart Girls.
The Great Fire of London
Milton’s Paradise Lost published, first printed at St Dunstans in the West
Isaac Le Gooch (Charles II’s jeweller) moves into Hyde Lodge, where the LUS boathouse currently stands
Catherine of Braganza sets up a Catholic nunnery, called The English Ladies, in Hammersmith
Death of Charles II, accession James II
Accession, William III & Mary II
Bank of England issues bank notes, the money economy begins
London had rapidly expanded to become Europe’s largest city, with a population of around 575,000, eclipsing Paris and Naples
Death of William III, accession, Anne
Death of Anne, accession, George I
Bishop of London issues a directive re charity school curriculum and requires every teacher to be a member of the Church of England and “of known affection to King George I”
Death of George I, accession, George II
Hammersmith Workhouse built, following passage of the 1722 Poor Relief Act allowing parishes the power to acquire premises for the accommodation of the poor. The workhouse stood on two parcels of land owned by Latymer and Nicholas Crispe and overseers paid £37 per year to the two charities. The Hammersmith workhouse housed 132 boys who were employed in chopping wood, making fruit baskets, tailoring and shoemaking.
London distilling around 10 million gallons of gin a year
New schoolhouse was built on the north side of the churchyard, the boys occupied the upper floor and the girls occupied the lower. The costs of this building work was split between the two schools.
Death of George II, accession, George III
Hammersmith population stands at 5,600; 871 houses are recorded in the parish
Rivercourt House built on the site of Queen Dowager, Catherine of Braganza’s former home
Sir Francis Ronald invents the electric telegraph on Upper Mall, beside Kelmscott House
The St Paul’s churchyard schoolhouse was further enlarged to accommodate a growing number of girls and boys.
Death of George III, accession, George IV
Gas street lighting in Hammersmith
Hammersmith’s “Suspension Bridge” built, London’s first suspension bridge, collecting tolls.
Death of George IV, accession, William IV
Reform Act, broadens suffrage to approx. 6 million citizens, previously limited to freeholders only (440,000 out of total population of 20 million)
Death of William IV, accession of Victoria
Railways arrive in Hammersmith with station in Harrow Road
Chimney Sweep Act
West London Railway links Hammersmith with Kensington
Hammersmith population stands at 17,000, with the single largest profession being brickworking
The Latymer Foundation School sets up in a new building on Hammersmith Road, designed to accommodate 200 boys
Female Charity School remains in the schoolhouse in St Paul’s churchyard and becomes the girls department of St Paul’s National School
Ravenscourt Park tube line opens
The Forster Education Act, making elementary school education free and mandatory for all expenses to be covered by rates. London School Board becomes the authority in Greater London.
Endowed School Act, Latymer Foundation School is now publicly funded with Latymer Foundation contributing no more than £250 per year, allowing the school to fix tuition fees at between 2-9 pence per week per student.
Hammersmith population stands at 72,000
St Paul’s Church is rebuilt
The Latymer Foundation began to plan for establishing a new, secondary, Latymer Upper School. The process began of acquiring ownership of the rest of the Hyde Lodge site, completed by 1889.
The foundation stone of the new Upper School was laid.
Mendel Trachtenberg became the first Latymerian to win an award at Cambridge, an Exhibition in Mathematics at St John’s College. (His brother Henry followed him to Trinity College the following year.)
Death of Victoria, accession, Edward VII
Hammersmith population stands at 112,000
The Latymer Foundation took on the recently closed Sir William Godolphin’s Grammar School, in order to reshape it as the Godolphin and Latymer School for Girls. During work to refurbish and alter the Iffley Road buildings, the Godolphin and Latymer girls were taught in what is now ‘E’ Block on the King Street site.
The Governors acquired the sports field at Wood Lane, previously a military training ground.
The Cadet Corps was set up
The School buildings were extended to house the growing numbers of pupils.
General Sir John French opened the Rifle Range.
Godolphin & Latymer school opens funded by Latymer Foundation (£8,000 investment plus £500 p.a. to cover operating costs)
Swimming began at Lime Grove baths, built by the Borough of Hammersmith on what had been Latymer Foundation land.
Death of Edward VII, accession George V
In the First World War over 1,200 Latymerians volunteered to join the armed services. Two hundred and twenty former pupils and one member of staff, Mr P.H.A.T Brill, lost their lives.
The first Prefects were appointed.
The foundation of The Gild under the first Reve, Mr F.J. Skinner.
The first known overseas tour by Latymerians, to St Germain-en-Laye, near Paris. Regular tours to Germany and Austria followed until the Second World War
Hammersmith population reaches 300,000 between the two World Wars, but then falls as people move away to less crowded areas
Hammersmith Odeon opens, gaining a legendary reputation with several iconic gigs played there by Bob Marley and The Wailers in 1976. It is now known as the Eventim Apollo.
Riverside Studios begins life as a movie studio. It is later taken over by the BBC hosting such productions as Dr Who.
Death of George V, abdication of Edward VIII, accession of George VI
Rowing begins, using the boathouse of the Furnivall Sculling Club.
Butler Education Act, Latymer Foundation School becomes
Following the Butler Education Act in 1944, Latymer Upper School becomes a Direct Grant Grammar School.
The Johanneum Exchange begins
The first Johanneum boys visit Latymer.
The first Latymer visit to Hamburg
The Dedication of the Memorial Window in the Hall, honouring the 119 Latymerians who fell in the Second World War.
Rugby at Latymer begins
The Governors acquire Rivercourt House, to be used for the Preparatory Department and Sixth Form.
Death of George VI, accession, Elizabeth II
Latymer boys take part in the first French exchange with the Lycee Chaptal in Paris.
The School takes part in the first pilot project of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme.
A record number of places (32) are won at Oxford and Cambridge by Latymerians
The Latymer Foundation School on Hammersmith Road closed.
The Boat House opens
The Beatles play at Hammersmith Odeon.
The Combined Cadet Force at Latymer disbands
The Dining Hall and ‘ABC Block’ buildings were opened by the Minister of Education, the Rt. Hon. Margaret Thatcher, MP
The Swimming Pool opens
Latymer Upper School becomes independent, with the end of the Direct Grant system.
The Sports Hall opens
The start of the Assisted Places Scheme
The Sixth Form becomes co-educational
Assisted Places scheme abolished
The Latymer Arts Centre and the Edward Latymer Theatre open
Co-education introduced to Years 3 and 4 at the Prep School
Foundation Office opens - fundraising for bursaries begins
Girls are welcomed into Year 7 as the school becomes fully co-educational
The Latymer Performing Arts Centre, including the Recital Hall and Dance Studio, open
Governors award the first Latymer Foundation bursary to a Prep pupil
Olympics held in London
The Inspiring Minds campaign launches to raise £40m for bursaries by 2024
The Latymer Sports Centre opens
Death of Elizabeth II, accession of Charles III
75th year Anniversary of the Hamburg Exchange