The Foundation has a very long history, dating back to the year 1579, of assisting with the education of young people. It was originally founded by a gift by a Guildford clothier, Thomas Baker, who was also Mayor of Guildford in 1565, 1575 and 1580.
Maurice Abbot was also in the cloth industry at the time in Guildford, and his son was George Abbot, born in 1562 and educated at the Royal Grammar School. He went on to become Archbishop of Canterbury between 1611 and 1633, and was also one of the translators of the King James Version of the Bible. His name is commemorated by several buildings in Guildford.
Until the early 1930s, there was a school in Guildford called Archbishop Abbot’s School. This was the school founded by Mr. Baker at the Rye Market House. Mr Baker built his school adjoining Holy Trinity churchyard with the intention that its future income be used to teach 30 poor men’s sons until they should be fit to attend grammar school or be bound apprentice.
His school merged with the Royal Grammar School in 1933, but the remnant of its Endowment, previously regulated by an Order of the Court of Chancery in 1855, was re-ordered into the existing Foundation by a scheme of the Board of Education of the Government of the time on 20th April 1933.
The rules of the Foundation were established then, and have been varied from time to time by Orders of the Charity Commission.
There are 7 trustees, three being appointed by the Bishop, Surrey County Council and Guildford Borough Council, and the remaining 4 being appointed by the trustees themselves.
The investments representing the endowment produce an annual income, which the trustees aim to spend, after expenses, in making grants to young people aged between 11 and 28, who are in financial need, towards the furtherance of their education.”Education” includes furtherance of a career by apprenticeships.
There is a residence qualification, too, or one of attendance at schools in Guildford or most of the Waverley Council areas.